Monday, May 18, 2009

Jon is a Master!

Saturday we attended the graduation ceremony for Jon to receive his Masters of Divinity.  It was a great ceremony!

The above pictures are him getting ready for the procession. He has on a cassock and surplice and in his arm is his masters hood.  It kind of looks like he has on a clergy collar but it is just his shirt underneath the black cassock.  He will be getting ordained as a deacon later this summer and then will be allowed to wear the clergy collar.  

This is part of the procession.

Worshiping during the ceremony.
The class president offering some reflections on their time in seminary.
A very happy Jon to be graduating!
Filing in during the procession.

Jon won an award and won a 14 day trip to Jerusalem!  They give out 5 or 6 awards every year at graduation and Jon was one of the "winners". It was the one award that I was selfishly hoping he wouldn't win.  He has up to two years to take it.  This summer is pretty much out of the question although I think I'd rather him go while we have just 3 kids and not 4.  One of our friends won the same award last year and he hasn't taken his trip yet so they are scheming when they can go together.  Our friends are expecting another baby a few months before us.  Anyone want to come next summer and stay with me while Jon goes on his trip to help me watch the kids?  

One of Jon's professers, Grant LeMarquand is explaining the awards being given.

Jon is getting the award from the Dean President, Justyn Terry.

Justyn is calling Jon's name to come up for his degree.
The lovely hug that follows.

Getting hooded.
There he is, an official graduate!

I think he looks thrilled, don't you?

Here is the recessional.  Those peeps are most of Jon's professors.

Graduates and faculty getting a class picture taken.

Sharing a celebration moment with Ewan.

Family photo at graduation.  Graham was super cooperative during the pictures.  We had a hard time getting good pictures of the older boys.  Or in the pictures that they did look good, I looked terrible.  And since this is my blog, I don't want to post any crummy pictures of myself. Hee-hee.  
We are all super proud at Jon's hard work!  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

And The New In Utero Name for Baby #4 Is....


After some other names were tried, this one seemed to fit the best.  The baby will now be referred to as Quatro.  

All the kids have had an in utero name.  
Ewan was Nemo.
Isaac was Doodlebug.
Graham was Tex.
And now baby Quatro.  

No more baby news for now.  I have my first midwife appointment next week and I am looking forward to that. 

Next will be pictures from Jon's graduation.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Astronaut

These pictures make me laugh for multiple reasons.  Graham wanted to wear Ewan's astronaut outfit around the house.  Of course it was too big so we walked around flapping his arms like a bird.  I caught a shot with his arms in mid-air. Hilarious!
This picture looks like he is doing a skit walking around on his knees.  He scooted around the house looking all cute.  He must have worn it for about 30 minutes.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Countdown

Cook for the staff appreciation lunch at Jon's school. (yummy carnitas!) Check!

Senior dinner. Check!

Pick up in-laws from the airport. 2 hours.

Try to wait patiently for Jon's last paper to be finished.  Still trying.

Baccelaureate service. 2 days

Graduation!  3 days

Pack, sort, sell....pack, sort, sell....pack, sort, sell, store.....4 days!

First midwife appointment. 7 days

Head to Texas in the van. 49 days

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions and the BIGGEST To Do list ever

So, as most of you know from facebook, we are moving to England this summer.  To Durham, in fact.  It is in northern England about 2 hours south of Scotland.  Jon will be continuing his studies there and we are along for the ride.  

I cannot even begin to tell you all the things that have happened in the last few months to get us to where we are now.  We waited for months to hear back from school whether or not Jon was accepted into Ph.D. programs.  We got a yes from Durham University to go for a 1 year Masters program before rolling over into the Ph.D. the following year and a yes from Wyclif College in Toronto.  We prayed and talked, prayed and talked, asked friends, prayed some more, talked some more and decided that God was leading us to England.  

It feels exciting and crazy to move our little family of 5 + another one on the way overseas.  And the To Do list to actually get over there is so unbelievably long.  I know once we get there it will be easy-breezy.  But what to do with all of our STUFF?  George Carlin has a hysterical bit about how the purpose of life is to find a place for our stuff.  It sure feels that way.  We are working on storing most of our belongings with family up in Canada but we are in the process of decluttering/selling/getting rid of TONS of STUFF.  It is overwhelming.  

We just bought some crates and duffle bags that we will be using to take the necessities with us.  We decided against suitcases for a few reasons: 1) they are heavy to begin with and limit what you can take 2) they are hard to store.  The crates are multifunctional and stack on top of each other and the duffle bags can be stored under a bed easily.

So many things are still up in the air--We just found out we are getting family housing which is GREAT!  A 3 bedroom flat will be wonderful for our 6 person family.  But, we DON'T know when we can move in.  Ewan and Isaac will both be in school full time and school starts September 3rd.  Our housing is available starting September 30.  Unless someone moves out sooner we won't be able to show up until the 30th which means that the boys miss the first month of school.  We are looking into the possibility of getting temporary housing if moving in early is not possible.  The school will notify us in the next few months if someone moves out earlier and we can move in.  

Now we have to fill out a school application for the Local Education Authority.  We have to research what schools are nearby and which schools might be a good fit for our kids.  They have schools in the UK which are run by churches but funded partially by the government and the church.  It doesn't cost anything and is a good choice if you wish to have some religious education taught to your kids.  They are apparently difficult to get into because many people want their children to go to those schools.  The school system works differently there in that you apply to the Local Education Authority and the school finds a spot for you in a nearby school.  You don't just automatically go to the school nearest to your house.  

So, we know we are moving to England, but we aren't exactly sure when.  Mid August or sometime in September? No idea.  We can't apply for Visas until we know when we can move so we can either opt for waiting until Sept. 30 or take our chances at moving earlier.  

Three words on my mind all the time are: Downsize, downsize, downsize!  Everytime I walk into a room I see something that we either need to give away, sell, or throw away.  I don't have the patience to post everything on CraigsList but I have to do it.  I haven't had any results with that yet.  I want to try selling some things on Ebay but I'm a little intimidated by the whole process.  The part where you figure out how much to charge for shipping paralyzes me.  We are planning on a yard sale sometime in late May or early June.  Freecycle is a fabulous way to declutter. 

 I recently went through my closet and got ride of 2 giant trash bags of clothes.  Then I went through all my maternity clothes for an initial downsizing.  I have mostly summer maternity clothes since I've mostly been pregnant in the summer or living in a place where it is still blazing in October.  I doubt I'll need to take all the short sleeved maternity shirts that I have since I will be majorly pregnant in northern England in the late fall/early winter.  

And now comes the sorting process.  Everything will be sorted into 5 categories: it's going with us, we are getting rid of it, we're storing it, or we think we want to store it but we may not have room.  Deciding how to store our things is a bit complicated and we are praying about it but this is what is stressing me out.  We'll also be getting the house ready to rent out.  We have renters (praise the Lord!!!) and there are a few projects that need to get finished before we take off.  We can't actually do anything until Jon is finished with his school work and takes a deaconal exam for ordination.  

The deaconal exam is for the church, not school, but it is a long test and he'll need a few days to study for that and take the test.  Jon will be getting ordained sometime later this summer at our church back in Texas.  

Speaking of Texas, the plan is to move back there at the end of June/early July.  We'll stay there until we take off in a plane to England.  We are planning on making a trip to San Antonio to visit friends while we are in Texas.  

I know I have been a very lame blogger for a few months now but I am planning on getting back into the groove of posting things and pictures.  It isn't that life has been boring--just the opposite!  

So, that is what is going on in our world.  Please pray we get it all done without going crazy!

Friday, May 01, 2009

And Speaking of Birth...

I have found an AMAZING blog.  The writer is an L&D nurse who has some powerful, eye opening posts about her job and the kinds of things she sees at work.  Some great, and some not so great. Her hearts desire is that women would KNOW their options about birth, KNOW the stats about the providers they choose, and to ADVOCATE for themselves.  I feel the same way! 

Here is the link!