Friday, June 26, 2009

TeachBeyond Orientation

The past three weeks have been really busy for me as I prepared for our misson's orientation that I facilitated. The orientation for our new missionaries was from June 13-20 in Minneapolis, and it was the first orientation that Sharon had not attended since 2005. This time, I was on my own as Sharon and Caleb stayed at home - though I am glad to say that the week went really well and that it was an encouraging and informative time for our the 20 new missionaries that attended. Our mission has been in a major time of transition the past year, and one of the biggest pieces of that is the name change from Janz Team Ministries to TeachBeyond. If you're interested in hearing more about the direction that our organization is moving, I encourage you to check out our new website at Though it is definitely exciting to be a part of the organization during this time, it is also a bit overwhelming thinking of all the changes that need to come alongside the changing of the name and sharpening of our focus.

While I was off in Minneapolis, Sharon and Caleb had a great time with our friend Cari who visited for a few days from Boston. I was especially excited to notice the projects around the house they had accomplished while I was away. Though I was a bit scared that Caleb would forget who I was after being away so long - I was pleasantly surprised to see that he actually did recognize me when I returned. Also while I was away, Sharon got to celebrate the engagement of her brother, who flew in from LA to propose to his fiance Emily, who lives in the Atlanta area. They've set a wedding date of January 2, and Sharon, Caleb, and I are all honored to be a part of the wedding party. Caleb was secretly hoping to be asked to be a groomsmen, but I think that he won't be too disappointed to be serving as the ring bearer instead. Anyways, following are a few pictures of Caleb as well as our recent orientation group.

Caleb's antidote to the Georgian heat

Always willing to help lick the spoon
Caleb's newest favorite perch on top of the hope chest

TeachBeyond New Staff Orientation 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Visit from Nama and Pap-pap

This post is definitely long overdue, since my parents visited over memorial day weekend. However, things have been so busy since that I'm just now posting some pictures from their visit. The visit was definitely an exciting surprise as we just found out they would be coming the week before memorial day. Though we were very excited they were able to rent a minivan to bring a bunch of stuff for us down from Clearfield - the 12 hour drive convinced them that they will be looking into flying down for their next visit.
We really enjoyed the opportunity to show our new home off - and the pending arrival of my dad (AKA Mr. Project) really spurred us on to get moving once again. During their visit, they helped us tame our front yard as well as paint the ceiling in our formal dining/living room. Within a week of their departure, Sharon and I finished up the job - and you can see the final results below. We're super excited now that our family room and formal dining/living room are completely done. All that is remaining to finish in the kitchen is the refinishing of the cabinet doors (which may end up being a bigger project than we had hoped).

In addition to the weekend filled with projects, we also had time to have a memorial day cook-out with Sharon's parents, which was also the first that Caleb got to spend time with both sets of grandparents at the same time. Caleb was really excited to spend time with his Nama and Pap-pap, and it was really helpful that he had seen them less than a month before up in PA as well. Seeing Caleb interact with them gets us super excited about our family beach trip to Ocean City, NJ in August - as I know that Caleb will have so much fun there. We actually already bought our plane tickets to fly up for the beach, as my parents' trip down here was a good reminder of how long that drive would be. It is hard to believe that the Summer is in full swing already, as April and May just seemed to fly by. Before we know it, I imagine that August will be upon us and we'll be making final plans for Ocean City.

Nama and Pap-pap with Caleb outside of our house (with Sharon waving in the background)

Caleb with both sets of grandparents

Caleb enjoying the new dresser that Nama and Pap-pap brought down
Caleb modeling the overalls that Sharon used to wear when she was his age
The final product: our formal living/dining room
The paint color we put on the walls is actually called "brown sugar" - though there is a mysterious amount of green tint that comes out depending on the lighting

Caleb rocking out to Phil Collins