Saturday, May 30, 2009

Graduation Day!

We can't be there for Greg to walk across the stage in his cap and gown, but today is graduation day at Bethel Theological Seminary, and Greg is receiving a Master of Divinity degree with honors - magna cum laude! We're excited that these studies have come to a conclusion (after nearly 10 years!) and also humbled by what God has done. We're praying for God's wisdom and vision as to what is next for Greg and for both of us.

Kitty and the girls and their husbands have been so supportive over the years. There were family sacrifices made so that Greg could study or attend class. And there was so much encouragement and love to see him through. Bless you and thank you!

And thank you also to the many, many other family members and the friends who were there along the way to encourage, to teach, and to pray for Greg and Kitty in this endeavor. God bless you all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Aloha!

We're back from a wonderful anniversary vacation to Hawaii!! We have so many memories, so many stories to tell, so many photos to share, and so many moments together to cherish ...


Click on the slideshow to go to the photo album website

After five days in Honolulu and six days cruising to the other major islands, we truly understand why so many people want to vacation and live in Hawaii. From Waikiki, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Pearl Harbor, and the North Shore on Oahu, to the rain forest, waterfalls, snorkeling, and more fun on Maui, to the volcanoes, flowers, coffee, and macademia nuts of Hilo and Kona on the big island, to Waimea Canyon, Spouting Horn, Wailua River, and the luau on Kauai, we sampled something of the ohana life and legends, the activities and beauty of each island and wished there was time for more.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village is an expansive complex right on Waikiki Beach, with all you could ask for in a tropical vacation from the ocean, beach, and pool to shopping and food to palm trees, flamingos, and even -- penguins!?! For our anniversary, the staff graciously upgraded us to a rooom with a view over the whole village and the beach and water. Friday night we watched the hula and music show from our balcony, and then the fireworks over the beach.

The NCL ship Pride of America was a great way to move from island to island, sailing close past the exciting lava flows of Hawaii at night and the rugged Napali coast of Kuai during the day. The ship offered good service, food, entertainment, and relaxation, along with people from all over the world to share these experiences. How strange it was to meet almost a dozen people from our home area, including a waiter who used to live in our neighborhood.

This vacation was all we had hoped to enjoy for our 30th anniversary celebration - and more! We were truly blessed with warm and sunny weather, unusual sights and experiences(swimming with sea turtles and a shark!), and by the wonderful people of Hawaii wherever we went to whom we can only say "mahalo" (thank you) and "aloha!"

And mahalo to our kids and the anonymous others who blessed us with gifts of food and drink at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and on the ship. We enjoyed your generosity immensely.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shark Attack!

Well, not exactly. We were snorkeling off the southern coast of Maui at the Molokini Crater island today, enjoying the amazing array of colorful fish and coral. We even saw green sea turtles and a moray eel. But it was the sudden sight of a shark swim by just about ten feet away from us that got our adrenaline pumping. Kitty wanted a picture so bad she started swimming after it! Okay, so it was only a 4-foot reef shark, but still - what was she thinking?! Greg managed to catch her before she got too far, but it sure gave us something to talk about the rest of the day!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Zoo Birthday

Another birthday come and gone for Greg ... but this one was extra special because it was a blessed day with grandkids at the St. Louis Zoo. Enjoying the animals, the train, and everything else through the eyes of the kids just made the zoo that much more fun and memorable!!