Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hannah rolls over!

I realize that John already posted a blog entry for today, but I just had to document Hannah's newfound skill! For the first time in her little life, she rolled over from her tummy to her back - to the great delight of her brother, sister and mommy, who all cheered her on to do it again and again for the still camera and the video camera.
Hannah turned 4 months on 7/27 and had her 4mos. well check-up yesterday. She weighed in at 13 lbs. 11 oz. and measured 24.5 inches, which puts her between the 50th and 60th percentiles for her age. She is definitely on a much smaller growth curve than her older sister and brother at this age. At 4 months, Sarah weighed 16 lbs. 11 oz. while Christopher weighed 17 lbs. 16.5 oz.! Both were always hovering around the 90th percentiles. As much as we loved our big chunkers, we are delighted to have a more normal-sized baby as our third! She is just as sweet as she can be. Now look at her go!

TPC Romania Missions Trip

A group of 22 from our church is currently on a missions trip in Craivo, Romania. You can visit the mission trip blog here. If I didn't have a new baby at home and so much to do before the Fall starts, I'd be there too. I'm very jealous of the experience they are having! God is really doing some great things through them.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sarah and Hannah together

Here are a few pictures of our girls...

The contrast in their eye color is pretty striking!

Sarah loves to play 'mommy' with baby Hannah.

Sarah and Hannah are sitting in a little rocking chair that used to be Martha's (Nana's) when she was their age! It's been reupholstered a few times...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ma & Pa Kettle Do Math

I'm stooping down to YouTube yet again, but I really enjoyed this one...

Friday, July 20, 2007

new random pics

We forgot to mention that John's parents kept Christopher and Sarah while we were in St. Louis. They were so excited to spend the whole week at "Nana and Pop's" house that Christopher kept telling us, "it's time for you to go now" after dropping them off. While they didn't miss us at all while we were gone (they were having too much fun in "yes-land"), our reunion with them was very sweet. They were very excited to see us and immediately began telling us about all of the special treats they had the previous week (i.e. pizza, nachos at the Mexican restaurant, lollipops every day after lunch, etc.). The first picture is of an elaborate "house" that Christopher rapidly put together after rediscovering his bricks the first day home. The 2nd picture is just a cute close-up that I took of Hannah yesterday. She will be 4 mos. old next week.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

St. Louis in pictures...

Here is a brief summary of our week in St. Louis. We feel as if we've been drinking from a fire hydrant all week long and are still digesting everything that we've learned and discussed! So it will be difficult to summarize in just a few words all that the Lord has been teaching us this week through the speakers and through the discussions with our fellow "cohorters."

We arrived in St. Louis late Monday night and had a sweet reunion with Michael and Denise Wichlan. Michael and Denise were members at Trinity before John became the pastor, but had felt a call to full-time pastoral ministry while we were there. So we had the privilege of 'sending' the Wichlans off to Covenant Theological Seminary to prepare for the ministry. While there, Denise was asked to serve in her current job as the administrative assistant for the Pastor's Summit! It has been great to have the Pastor's Summit as an excuse to get together with the Wichlans!

Tuesday morning we had even more reunions with the other pastors and their wives who are a part of the "Westminster Cohort". We cannot even begin to describe the blessing it is to share struggles as well as encouragements with these fellow partners in the ministry. Our sessions began Tuesday at noon with our speakers, Pete and Geri Scazzero, who serve at New Life Fellowship in Queens, NY and who authored the books, Emotionally Healthy Church as well as Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Each session was followed by exercises (i.e. journaling, listening/conversations between spouses, etc.), which were incredibly helpful to each couple as well as to the larger group as we regrouped to reflect and discuss. We recognized how much we need to grow emotionally as individuals and as married couples, and how this affects church leadership as well as the church at large. As I said earlier, it's too much to summarize, so I highly recommend the books!

We finished Thursday afternoon and spent all day Friday touring St. Louis with our personal tour guides, Michael and Denise Wichlan! Denise is like the "mother hen" of the Pastor's Summit, making sure everyone gets there on time, knows where to go and what to do, and makes it home on time. What's funny is that after spending the day with them in St. Louis, we got stuck in unexpected traffic and missed our flight to Dallas! Thankfully, there was 1 more flight that evening and we made it home a little after midnight... But hey, we had a great time with the Wichlans and we're home safe!

We were able to get pictures of all the members of our cohort, the speakers, as well as a few fun pics around St. Louis. My only regret is that we didn't get a picture of the Wichlans, even after spending all of that extra time with them! We hope that you enjoy these pics almost as much as we enjoyed our trip to St. Louis!

Here we are standing at the base of the Jefferson Memorial Arch. Hannah is hiding behind the doll.

The arch is very impressive. We saw the video about the 'making of the arch' and decided we didn't need to take the tram car up into the arch.

St. Louis has the largest park within city limits, which includes a beautiful zoo, museums, walking trails, etc. - all of which are free to the public! Our favorite part of the zoo was the penguin and puffin exhibit. Here are some puffins swimming around.

Here are some King Penguins. They were so noisy...but very cute.

Here are our speakers, Geri & Pete Scazzero. What a gift they gave to all of us who attended the summit!

Pete & Geri in action... sorry these pics are a little dark.

The Pastors Summit is made up of 3 cohorts - the Reformed Seminary Cohort (those in their 1st 5 years of full time ministry), the Westminster Cohort (those who have been in full time ministry for 5-15 years), and the Covenant Seminary Cohort (15+ years in the ministry).

After the large group sessions, we would gather with our individual cohorts and reflect.

Priscilla & Wendell Stoltzfus - serve in an OPC church in Reading, PA.

Lisa & Andrew Vander Maas - serve in a PCA church in St. Louis.

Josh & Shannon Geiger - serve in a church plant targeting the Hispanic community in Dallas, TX.

John & Mindy - you already know about us...

Drew & Becky Derreth - serve in a PCA church in Hanover, PA.

Diane & Chuck Jacob - serve in an EPC church in Ann Arbor, MI.

Dave & Cindy Tate - serve in the 2nd oldest church in the PCA in Cochranville, PA. (This picture gives the illusion that Cindy is rather tall, but Dave is actually quite a bit taller than Cindy).

Bob & April Willets - serve in a PCA church in Norfolk, VA.

Linda & Andy Phillips - serve in a PCA church in York, PA.

Adam & Liz Brice - serve in a PCA church in Conshohocken, PA.

Hannah was such a trooper throughout the week! She stayed with us through all of the sessions, mealtimes and discussions and hardly made a peep. She is certainly happy to be back in her own bed though.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In St. Louis after a long delay at the airport

Mindy and I (along with baby Hannah) arrived in St. Louis last night around 8:30 pm, after a 3-4 hour flight delay at DFW. There was a backlog of flight due to weather and the AC on our plane went out, leaving temps in the plane at 97 degrees. Fortunately, they deplaned us and fixed the AC. It was much better waiting in the terminal than on the tarmac.

We had dinner with our friends Michael and Denise late last night at the hotel. This morning we met up with a bunch of other pastors/wives for breakfast. Our cohort has its first official meeting at noon today. It looks like we'll be meeting from 8am to 10pm until Thursday. Mindy and I are really excited to be back with our group. We've gotten to know them pretty well over the last two summits and we've formed some great friendships. We're expecting the Lord to do some good things in our lives this week.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Christopher reading

Here is a little clip of Christopher starting to be able to read 3, 4 and 5 letter words. He turned 4 in April of this year. Now if we could only get him to stop being so hyper! We're getting reports that he is one of the "problem" children in Sunday School. Pastor's kid. Go figure.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Next week in St. Louis

Mindy and I will be leaving the older kids with the grandparents on Monday and heading to St. Louis for the week. We'll meet up with other pastors and their wives and spend the week talking about marriage and ministry. We met up with this same group in Orlando back in February and talked about conflict in ministry. Peter Scazzero will be addressing our group about some of his own experiences in Queens. We're really excited about this week together. I won't miss any Sundays in the pulpit on either side of the week. Thankfully, I have most of a sermon ready for a week from this Sunday. We'll get home late Friday night, after spending a day with our good friends Michael & Denise W.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


One of our friends posted this on their blog awhile back and we thought it was really funny. This is from the 2007 National Spelling Bee...

A Dog Eat Dog World

This is a funny video of a dog with a vivid imagination...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

John & Hannah on July 4th

First attempt at Hannah video

Here is a little video that I took with my cell phone today.

For Q

For Q and all my other friends whose sense of humor is as juvenile as mine, enjoy! (And hurry!... I'm sure Mindy will delete this off the blog as soon as she discovers it. She HATES the Simpsons!)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday family pictures

Here are some pictures of the kiddos that Mindy took this afternoon.

This one she actually took on Friday...