Archived Posts from this Category
Archived Posts from this Category
Boy, it’s been 14 years that I’ve been working at New Hope. None of that changes–I’m still working at New Hope, but my role is a’changin.
This week, I’m transitioning to a part-time role at New Hope. I’ll still be doing the communications and IT end of things.
But the life change coming is that at the same time, I’ll also be starting part-time work at Utopian Coffee Company as a Web Developer. Utopian Coffee is a great company located in downtown Fort Wayne, right between Perfection Bakery and Randall Lofts, just west of Columbia Street West and a block north of the new Ash Brokerage development.
At Utopian, I’m surrounded by like-minded people who care just as much about the quality of the coffee we drink as ensuring we deliver a sustainable coffee bean, meaning we carefully source our beans to ensure the lives of the farmers and workers is fair. We have several direct trade relationships with farmers–we import the beans directly from the farmer without a middle-man wholesaler. This allows us to pay an additional premium to the beans because there is no middleman marking up their price.
As much as we love roasting coffee, we love drinking the goodness of a properly roasted and properly prepared cup of coffee, too. Fresh coffee is key to enjoyment, and that’s why we actually don’t roast beans until after they’ve been ordered. Yeah, that means the beans we ship you haven’t been sitting in a warehouse for weeks losing freshness.
Whether you have a keen appreciation for extremely high quality, fresh roasted craft coffee, or you’re just figuring out the world of coffee, I want to invite you to join Utopian. I created a coupon code to allow you to save 20% off your first shipment of coffee when you join our membership. It’s really sweet–we do all the work, and you just get a shipment of fresh roasted gourmet coffee every month! The coupon code to save 20% is: save20now. Head over to UtopianCoffee.com to check out my new adventure!
I’ve mentioned to many of you that Raegan seems to just love Michael Jackson.
Today, we show you proof of her appreciation for the King of Pop:
Raegan is doing wonderful. She’s 3 1/2 months old and has been sleeping through the night for the last 7 weeks now–that’s been nice for us as parents. Raegan smiles a lot and likes to talk and play. She is very social and seems to like to interact with people more than play by herself.
Raegan has her 4-month checkup in a little over a week, and the doctor told us to start on cereal about a week before then, so this morning Raegan had her first cereal. We thought we’d try Coco Puffs, and she really did go coo-coo for CoCo Puffs. Of course, we are kidding–it was rice cereal. It went as expected, she spit most of it out and wanted her bottle. She did seem to like the cereal, she just didn’t know what to do with it.
I weighed Raegan yesterday after her bath and she is now 7 1/2 pounds! We see many changes as the days go by. She is much more alert. During her awake time she kicks and moves her arms all over the place. She loves listening to us talk and especially loves listening to music. This morning she was rocking out to Uncle Josh Doyle. She no longer stares past us, but will stare right at us. It’s precious!
Raegan was finally able to meet the rest of her aunts, uncles and cousins this weekend at a shower held in her honor. She pretty much slept through the entire party, but she enjoyed being passed around and held by everyone…she loves to be held. We have to be careful how much we hold her because she always falls asleep while being held.
We started using cloth diapers yesterday. Raegan now has enough fat on her little legs that the plastic pants finally fit. The diaper sure makes her little bottom look huge, though. It’s pretty cute. We decided to do cloth diapers because it saves so much money, but since we’ve been using disposable diapers the last five weeks, we’ve realized how much trash we now generate, so it’s also good to know we won’t be filling up those landfills with diapers for the next several years.
Here are some pictures from her shower. Aunt Amanda was nice enough to take some cute posed shots too.
So we arrived back home to the great Town of Waterloo on Wednesday night, 12 1/2 days after we left for Florida. It was a wonderful time as a family, although the 22 hour drive one-way is a little long. On the drive back, we bought a John Grisham audiobook, Playing for Pizza, and it was a good 7 hours that kept my mind off the monotony of driving. Great football story, so I enjoyed that, and Emily was intrigued by the storyline of the book.
On the drive back up, we stopped for the night in Nashville, Tenn., and Raegan got to meet Aunt Jenny, Uncle Josh and her cousins Lauren and Reuben. When we got to Indianapolis, Raegan was lucky enough to meet Aunt Nicole. Back in Waterloo on Wednesday night, Raegan got to meet all four of her grandparents, Aunt Megan, Uncle Jon, Uncle Adam and her cousin Olivia. Raegan likes her extended family very much.
Last night Raegan actually slept for six hours straight. We don’t expect this to be a common occurance just yet, but we certainly aren’t complaining about the good sleep last night.
Thank you everyone for all the wonderful greetings. Raegan loves you all very much, and she keeps telling Emily and I how excited she is to meet you all.
Raegan is a great girl. She is beautiful! I love my little girl.
Emily and I have been increasingly stir crazy just sitting in the hotel. Today we had lunch with Kym France, who is the first of our Indiana friends to meet Raegan. I’m sure our parents will be jealous of that!
After lunch with Kym, we drove to Sawgrass Mills Mall. We didn’t exactly know what to expect, but heard good things about the mall. Wow, was it busy! It is a very big mall. It actually is divided into four ‘Avenues’ it’s so large. It is an outlet mall, so lots of deals, but also lots of people. Lots of tourists there, too. My guess is that this mall is the area’s premier shopping mall. It’s size is almost comparable to the Mall of America, in my estimation.
Raegan is doing great. She’s a wonderful little girl, and we are such proud parents!
So with an inter-state adoption like this one, we cannot take the baby across state lines until we have the approval of both the State of Florida and the State of Indiana. This process will take about a week, maybe a little longer. If we would happen to cross state lines, we would technically be committing federal child trafficking.
Emily and I checked into our new hotel this afternoon. It is SO MUCH BETTER than the old hotel. The room is twice as large as out old one, has a couch, fridge, stove, sink and a microwave. Oh, and it has running water!
Tonight I went shopping and picked up some food so we can eat here at the hotel instead of having to eat crappy bad-for-you fast food twice a day.
We took Raegan to her first post-hospital check-up at a local pediatrician office. She passed everything with flying colors. We have a very healthy little baby girl. She is still very tiny, but is eating a healthy amount every 3 hours like clockwork, so that’s great. Raegan does prefer to be held when she sleeps, and she tends to be fussy when we let her sleep in her pack-and-play bassinet.
Thanks everybody for your words of encouragement. We look forward to getting the approvals to come back to Indiana so you can all meet the most wonderful little girl ever! I am such a proud daddy!
Emily and I spent our first night with Raegan in a small hotel just 5 minutes from the hospital. It was an unforgettable experience. Not just the first night as parents, but the HORRID HOTEL! Let me tell you a little bit about our hotel experience.
But, at least I got to share the experience with my daughter! Made it all worth it!
And now, I’ll let Emily share a bit about the first night with Raegan:
Well, what can I say that you don’t already know about a night with a newborn? She slept a lot. She ate and dirtied her diaper every three hours and I didn’t get much sleep. Raegan’s little cry isn’t too loud, but being in a hotel I was concerned about disturbing the neighbors, so I didn’t want to let her cry. She didn’t like to be alone in her bassinet, so every time we’d put her in there, she’d squeak a little and then start to cry. So, I held her most of the night. Luckily I had a Boppy pillow (thanks to Chris & Robyn!) with me so my arms didn’t get tired. I was able to doze off just a bit while holding her. After she eats, she likes to be awake at night for a little bit, so once her diaper was changed, I just held her and let her stare at me and look around to take in her surroundings. It was a precious time. She is a precious girl. Hopefully we’ll get a little more sleep tonight. I’m pretty tired and anxious to get into our new hotel once Raegan has her first doctor’s appointment this afternoon.
And Nathan again…
Our new hotel is supposed to be MUCH nicer. It has a kitchenette with range, microwave and fridge, so we’ll be able to finally get back to eating normal food instead of fast food crap. It had better have running water, too.
This morning we all went to work on the new El Calvario Ministerios office in downtown. This was my first trip to the offices, as I’ve been working on computers several mornings this week. So today I finally got to meet Jennifer, a Dominican who speaks very good English and will teach some classes out of the new offices. We worked until about 3 p.m. this afternoon.
After lunch (at 3 p.m.), I met with Dr Allyn about their web site, and I made a list of things for me to work on the site tomorrow morning.
I also had a few moments to jump into the pool. The locals all thought we were nuts for wanting to swim in the middle of winter, but when your winter consists of 75 degrees and sunny, the swim was awesome. Keith and I sat by the pool basking in the sunlight for a little while, too.
Tonight we went to the Missions conference held at an AG church downtown. This was hands down the largest church I’d been in, and it could seat probably 500 if it was packed out.
We heard from a Dominican missionary who will be leaving soon for India.
It was a great meeting.
After the conference, Keith and I had a few moments to say goodbye and pray with our new friends Miranda, Serria and Jennifer. Miranda and Serria are from Africa, and both speak English with a strong South African accent.
I am very encouraged by the quality of young leaders in the Domican churches. My friend Javier is such a joyous Christian. These people are so genuine in their faith. They have all garnered such a special place in my heart.
After the conference we went to a corner chicken barbeque place, and that was some very tasty chicken!
Tomorrow we will depart, and get into Chicago in the late night, and we will have a 12-hour layover before wecan catch a connecting flight back to Fort Wayne.
This morning we went to a local AG school and taught the 135 elementary kids in a small chapel room.
Before the program began, we had a few moments so I pulled out my yo-yo and boy did these kids like it. I had used it before on this trip, but these kids’ reaction was really unexpected. I did a couple of tricks, and then they all started motioning for me to do the Rock the Cradle trick, so I did it a couple times, and the kids started chanting with the rhythm of the rocking. That was a pretty cool experience.
This afternoon we went downtown into a marketlookong for souvenirs. I faced a dilema: what to get my wonderful, beautiful wife.
Anyone have any suggestions here?
I have been speaking a little bit of the Spanish I can recall from my freshman-sophomore years. I am able to say little phrases like ‘I don’t speak Spanish’ and have enjoyed some time trying to communicate with the wonderful Dominicans here.
I also have recalled some of the German I learned in my Junior-Senior years in high school. It’s been amazing to me the amount of language stores in my brain that have come back to me after all these years.
I miss my wife a lot. This is the longest we’ve ever been apart since we got hitched almost four years ago. It’s been tough to be away from my wonderful, but I’m very excited to get to spend time with her when I return on Sunday afternoon!
I spent this morning working on some more computers. I clened out a desktop (very dirty!), and also got it fully functional again. I also looked at another laptop, and decided it was okay, and I believe the behavior was just a fluke.
For lunch today we had plantanes, which is the first time I have ever eaten a platanos (en espanol). We had what looked kinds like a breakfast quish (spelling?), but tasted completely diffenent.
I have seen some platanos in walmart back some, and am planning on getting dome to fry up at some point in the future.
This evening we went to a church across town pastored by an awesome brother, Pastor Donny. We arrived a little early and went door-to-door inviting people to come to the church service.
This church gave the first domican offering toward reaching the J. people. I have a photo of Pastor Donny presenting the offering to C.
The church building is very small for this congregation, and they are looking for a new building. We had 34 young kids squeezed into a 4′x15′ hallway. That was crazy!
I really enjoyed the people at this church, and know I will always remember them.
We had a breakfast of eggs and bacon (I only had one small piece of bacon–I’m trying not to put on too much weight on this trip). We also had this type of fruit juice, which is a mix of 5 different types of fruit. Oh yeah, we also were served papaya, which I have never eaten before. Now, papaya is my favorite melon fruit.
Today we went to a local Christian school about a mile from where we are staying. I got to ride in the back of a pickup truck with our supplies, that made for a bumpy ride on the pothole filled side streets.
At the school, we did two presentations of our Jambi program. The one the morning was in English–most of these students had lived in New York for a time before being sent back here to get out of the harsh environment in NY.
This evening I got to go shopping around town. We went to a Supermarket which is actually probably the largest store I’ve ever been in. It is much larger than our walmart stores–that surprised me a lot. It had a first floor grocery store about 2/3 the size of an entire walmart, and then a second story department store above that. This entire store was packed with people (like walmart is on a Friday night).
Tomorrow we are getting up early for a 6 am prayer meeting! I gotta go to bed now!