Jul 12, 2020

June 2020: "Hurry up & Wait"

Family and Friends,
This pace of this last month has been "hurry up and wait" because we are just waiting for Wren to come! Our bags are packed and she could decide to come anytime, even as I write this. Here are a few things we have been doing in the meantime:

Slushies & Park Walks

This picture of My Love is called "mid-bite scowl at unexpected photo"

Baby Prep


My office is now merely a desk in Wren's room. It's still a mess (because of me), so no pictures for now. (should I be cleaning right now?πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ» )Any tips on where to store a mountain of diapers? I like this persons idea: 

Good News Homes


A handful of youth had a great service project with Good News Homes. They painted, cleaned, pulled weeds, and mulched like CHAMPS! Somehow I managed to get into poison ivy and chiggers on my right leg. It was gross, but three weeks and a two doctor visits later I can wear pants and refrain from groaning about my itchy leg. 
Julia in action!

Break Time for a Game!

Ice Cream

Youth families met up for ice cream downtown! We played corn-hole, jumped in a fountain, and threw a football around. If you have never savored homemade Mexican ice cream, you are missing out!
It was too hot NOT to get your feet wet
Baby Shower #2

Last month we were blessed to have a baby shower, but this month our family threw us another over Zoom! We are so thankful for the reunion of friends and family in Virginia and we can't wait to introduce you to Wren later this year!

Back to Church


We are so thankful to be back worshiping together with parts of our church family!! Here is a shot of service our first week back.


Preachin'

On the 28th, I preached in Acts 4. Here is that video.


Hebrew Reading Group

The HRG has been faithfully meeting this summer. It has been a blessing to stay disciplined in the text! I have been learning a lot about Genesis, passive verbs, Hebrew vocab, and English vocab (ever heard of  "Chrestomathy?"). I have been learning even more though about how much I *don't* know. I hope to continue this learning journey! 

Jun 20, 2020

April & May 2020 - Birthday, Baby Showers, Nesting, and Building Projects

Hey Family and Friends,

Writing about life has been hard for two reasons lately: 1) we are cooped up and there isn't much variation in our life - like many of you are experiencing. 2) We don't know what is next. People often ask what is next because I finished my degree, but I don't have answers. I am thankful for my current job and I'm not "itching to get out of town." We are taking one day at a time and praying about what might be next. I am considering a PhD and also a part time teaching job. Life surely isn't all uncertainty and routine though - here are a few highlights:


This meme spoke to meπŸ˜ƒ



Graduation/Birthday

I had my 30th Birthday in April and graduated Seminary shortly after! I am relieved and also excited about what plans the Lord has for us next. On my birthday, I received many wonderful celebration videos and texts, but this one made me laugh quite a a bit:





Family Bible Time

Pastor Don and I have been making weekly videos for our Church family to stay plugged into God's word. If you want to watch these regularly, you can be put on an email list (by request) or find them posted weekly on our church Facebook page. 

(Sorry, it is on Vimeo and 
that doesn't embed well 
on the google platform!)


Zoom 

The Youth have been gathering on Wednesday nights since the quarantine started until last week. We recently did a series called "Remain" which was from John 15 and was about how we can "remain in Him" while we "remain at home." Afterwards the youth would stick around, chat, and do silly things...like draw on a photo of me. 



Baby Shower

Our church friends threw us a very thoughtful drive-through baby shower! It was a great to see all the folks who came through to show love and support. Our family also threw us a shower on Zoom a couple weeks later and that was a lot of fun also- we played "the price is right" and heard some great advice about raising kids! 



Preparing for Baby

This shot is right after we installed the baby seat! We have been rearranging the apartment, throwing things out and donating lots to thrift stores to make room for Wren! (Full disclosure - Amber has been doing most of it, but I did install the car seat πŸ˜€)



Hebrew Reading Group

This summer I began hosting a group to read through the early chapters of Genesis and sing some Hebrew songs to keep our language skills fresh. The Lord has blessed this group with a few consistent guys who have been a great learning community! Here's a snapshot of Genesis 1:1-7:



Quarantine Devotions


I launched a series of devotions written by Ballardsville Baptist church members to teach each other how we can pray! I encourage you to check them out on our Facebook page. The will be releasing 3x/wk (m-w-f) for the next couple weeks! 

Building A Farmhouse Table


Jason Wallin and I are building a table for a youth area. We got started the other day very early and I got to enjoy this sunrise at church! After we finish, I will add the time-lapse of our build!


Pictured:
Supervisor - Annabelle Wallin
Labor - Bronson
Photographer - Jason Wallin


Mar 30, 2020

March 2020 - Baby News (& 1st quarter review)


Friends and Family,
I'm sorry I haven't written updates for 3 months. Life got crazy because our Camry broke down and it threw off our juggling act of work, school, and baby check-ups. All that said, we bought a 2010 CRV and it has been treating us well. Most of you could care less about anything besides the picture attached, so here it is: WE ARE HAVING A BABY GIRL!!! and HER NAME IS **classified**.πŸ˜€ We are thrilled the Lord has blessed us with a baby girl and we can't wait for her to "arrive" in July. She's a real kicker!


So much has happened since January, so here are the highlights and pics:
January

  • Amber and I visited Cincinnati for a 3 day weekend. We went to "Taste of Belgium" and had delicious food. We also found this epic statue of Harambe (right before we got lost in "Jungle Jims")

@ Taste of Belgium

  • Our Camry broke down and I made this Bernie Sanders Meme. 
  • Wednesday Nights got off to a great start at church. (remember when we could go to church and it wasn't a national health risk? I miss those days.) Here's a pic I snapped of 1/2 the room right before we got started:


February
  • We bought the CRV early February. We are very thankful the Lord provided for us. We hope it will help our growing family!
  • We started a High School Sunday School Class at Church focused on money. That was intended to continue until the summer. (Thanks a lot, Rona)
  • The Youth Leadership team (part of it, anyway) went on a day-retreat about 30 minutes away. This is us out to eat on the Ohio River. We learned about "leading first as followers of Jesus" and "Questions Jesus asked his disciples."


March
  • I'm sure our march was as crazy as yours. Basically our whole lives are online now: Both schools, both jobs - the whole shebang. 
  • We found out Baby Simmons' gender early March!
  • Before Rona, Amber and I went to a Escape room with friends for Kevin's Birthday.
Happy 40th Birthday Kevin πŸ˜‰
  • I had a crazy Costco TP shopping experience. (don't judge, we were genuinely out and Walmart didn't have any) The line hit the back of the store, looped back, turned left, looped again off the sidewall. It was nuts. I might make a shirt "I survived the 2020 TP rush."

  • We went on a **socially-distanced** walk in the Park with church friends. 
  • Since the gyms are closed, I am going to start biking for a season. Grabbed this one off FB marketplace and already started using it. 
INSERT PICTURE HERE
  • Amber and I have been walking almost any day the weather permits. Here is us (not socially distanced) on a recent walk.



Please Pray

  • Please Pray that Amber and our baby girl would stay healthy (and me, while you are at it).
  • That we would be lights to those living in darkness and fear around us. 
  • That we would continue to be blessed with employment as we get closer to Baby's arrival.