Monday, May 07, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today, 59 years ago, a wonderful event happened: my mother was born in the town of Hilversum in the Netherlands!

Happy birthday, mom!

Jen and Niels

Prayer answered: 'Our' MI condo is rented !!

Well, finally some good news to report on the MI condo. We got renters!! Yes!!

Through Jen's Small Group we found a young couple that is in need of proper housing. They are about to get married and have a baby on the way. They are both in school and don't have a lot of disposable income. Jen and I were talking on our way up to MI on what to do about 'tithing' in our current situation and one of the things we talked about was doing some 'subsidized' renting of the condo.

In a true answer to prayer - while at KCC - the mother of the bride approached us and asked if the house was sold yet. With a sigh Jen answered 'No' and the mother asked if we were open to renting it. How awesome is that... but wait... at the same time, the neighbors daughter Beth just told us that all the 'staging' furniture they put in the house got sold in the garage sale, so the condo was empty and ready to be moved-in... Thank you, God! Perfect timing, as always... ;-)

During the drive home the mother and bride went over (the neighbors have been graciously acting as the 'landlord') for a 'showing' and they liked it. Yes!!

So, as of May 25 we have it rented. It is below market-value, but since we are now helping the young couple to get a good head start and are supporting our friends Gabe and Emily in their quest to become full-time State-side missionaries at Campus Crusade we have now reached our goal of tithing (giving away 10 or more % of our 'income' to God's causes) for this year AND have the condo rented!!

We serve an awesome God!

Another weekend, another trip

We just got back from another weekend trip. We're making a lot of those. This time we went (back) to Jen's former stomping grounds of Grand Rapids, MI.

The 'official' cause was a baby-shower for one of Jen's good friend Melissa, but other reasons were to visit my friends Deb and Jon in Holland, MI. Plus, this time of year (early May) is prime tourist season for Holland, MI as it is time for the annual Tulip Time festival.

So we enjoyed a leisurely drive up on Friday after work. Jen drove to Beachwood, parked her car and the three of us (Jen, Bailey and me) were off to GR. Very uneventful drive (finally, no snowstorms or other freak weather patterns for a change!) we got in at 10.30pm - actually right on-time...

We dropped Bailey off at the (former) neighbors, said hello to them and did a quick inspection of 'our' MI house. Besides a completely deflated blow-up bed everything looked fine. We blew it back up and headed for Hotel Van de Vegte where we had 'reserved' our 'usual' rooms and made sure we had a guaranteed late-arrival. It took us all but 5 mins to fall asleep.

On Saturday we had plans to be in Holland, MI at about 10am so an early rise was needed. I, however, procrastinated a bit in the shower and after a stop at the Post Office we got into Holland at around 10.20am. Not bad...

Deb and Jon were in the garden and after the 'hello's' we set out to the arts and craft fair and took some pictures in front of the tulips. How 'Dutch'! We ate some delicious 'Elephant ears' and on the way back to Deb and Jon's house we actually met some 'real Dutch' singers. Guess we are in Holland ;-) So it was not surprising that there where some clog-dancers, almost a 1000! Funny to see Americans do the 'Dutch-inspired' customs and dances...

Since we had to be back in GR at 2pm we set out on a quest for some Dutch food and headed for the Marktplaats (Market Square). However, arrived there we found that there was still a Latin-festival and the Dutch food wouldn't be there until next Tuesday... bummer, again no Oliebollen!!!

Back in GR - only 20mins late - Jen went to the Baby shower. I went outside to help Rich build a deck... much more fun then figuring out how many diapers a baby goes through in a year!! - for those of you who thought 1000, well that times 7 !! -

For the evening we went to KCC and a after a quick stop at our friend Erin (who bought us 'Trivial Pursuit - booklovers edition') we picked-up 'Night at the Museum' and some snack-food at Meijers and wound down in front of the TV.

Sunday was nice and relaxing... Slept in late, sat outside in the sun, had some lunch (remember... Slept in late... ;-), did some planning for the MI wedding shower, did some exercises (Jen) and some babysitting and web-surfing (Niels) and left for Ohio again around 5.30pm.

Again an uneventful drive, well, not quite... More about that in the next post!