Adam's Top 7

Yes, it is three weeks into 2008. Bother me not with such trivialities! As Anne did a couple weeks ago, here are my top 7 from 2007 (some of which may explain why I haven't posted in such a long time):

1. 10-year anniversary - Marriage is fun, and it keeps getting better. Ten years have flown by in a blink. Two kids, multiple addresses all over the world, many stories to tell. I think the next ten years will be even better!

2. GMAT - I knew going in that because of my unspectacular grades in college I would have to score well on my admission test. So, I gave up television and studied like mad for 5 months. At one point I nearly cried from the effort. Anyway, on October 9, I walked out of the testing center with a solid 700 score, which is the 92nd percentile. My verbal score was 98th percentile, my two essays both recieved the highest score possible, and my math was 63rd percentile. Had I had a math tutor, I think I could have scored 750 or higher.
This was such a great feeling of accomplishment for a couple reasons. First, it has paved my way for school. Second, to work that hard and achieve your goal (my goal was 700) is an incredible feeling. Third, there's scholarship money for scores that high (read on!).

3. Portland marathon - For my second marathon, my goal was 3:20. My time was 3:22, off my goal time but still very respectable. In fact, a few days after the race, I was in a running store looking at shoes. The two people working the store, both obviously serious runners, asked me if I ran the marathon, and how I did. I told them my time, and they were genuinely impressed. Last year my time ellicited the "Hey, nice job, good for you!" type of response. It was flattering to see my new time ellicit actual respect.
Training for it became all consuming. I ran as much as 63 miles per week, ran over 20 miles four different times, trained at altitude while we were in Colorado. and missed only 13 scheduled miles over the course of the 18-week training plan. I am not a very rigidly disciplined person, so this was an effort for me. Fun, too!

4. South Africa - Seeing the other side of the world impacted me like few other things ever have. Traveling for 41 hours to get home gave me a great deal of time to contemplate what I saw. I learned a great deal about the interrelations between the various elements of society (family, religion, business, and government). I am still processing what I saw. It may lead me to a PhD program someday.

5. Intellectual renaissance - This is hard to describe to others, but this year I have experienced some kind of awakening in my brain. There was a time long ago when I felt very smart, concepts came easily to me, and little effort was required to grasp things. Years have gone by since I felt that, but it has seemingly begun again. I credit much of that to my extensive reading of GK Chesterton this year. His books and his ideas have stimulated me powerfully. I am excited to see where this leads.

6. The kids - Watching them learn, grow, make friends, make choices, become who they are, dance, do karate, play football, travel, learn to read, learn to focus...six and four have been fun ages!

7. Getting a full scholarship! - On December 21 I got a phone call from Case Western Reserve University informing me that not only had I gotten into school there, but that they were offering me a full-tuition scholarship. This was not a part of the plan, to be sure. My plan was this - 1. Study hard for GMAT. 2. Get in somewhere. 3. Prove that I belong by doing well. As you can see, getting paid to go to school was not in the original plan. but it certainly makes the plan better!

2007 was a very good year. It was weird and transitionary, but much good happened. Our family is facing many changes as a result of things that happened in 2007, and we are excited to experience them.


The Vancouver Tornado

Today, the unspeakable happened in the greater Portland area, we had a tornado touch down. The exciting news is that it was here in Vancouver. The state of Washington ranks 47th for frequency of tornado sightings. Apparently the tornado came right down 78th Street, which we live right off of! I (Anne) was eating lunch with Allison, and we began watching the weather do some weird things out our windows. First there was lightning and thunder (which is rare here), and then it began hailing like mad. A few minutes later the winds picked up. Allison and I thought it looked like we were in a carwash by the way the wind, hail and rain was hitting our windows. I had no idea it was a tornado until Adam called (about 10 mins later) and said he heard that one touched down in Vancouver. There is quite a bit of damage, which starts yards away from our house, however our house was untouched. The tornado photo above was taken less than 2 miles from our home. And, the snapped billboard was less than half a mile away!


Seven Reflections on 2007

Since we are half way through the second week of 2008, I thought it an appropriate time to share my (Anne's) thoughts on 2007. Here are my thoughts......

1. Our Marriage
In March of 2007 we celebrated 10 years of marriage. At that point had known each other for over one third of our lives. What encourages us, is that over the past 10 (now almost 11) years, we have grown and developed in ways we never would have imagined, all because of the influence we have on one another. I believe our marriage is stronger today, than it was 10 years ago, and I'm convinced it will be even stronger when we reach the 20 year mark. In 10 years time we've...
...had 6 different 'homes'.
...had 2 children.
...made 2 major moves (from OH to NV to OR/WA).
...joined staff with Campus Crusade and held many multiple roles within the organization.
...bought our first home.
...allowed Copper, our boxer, to tag along with us most of that time.

2. Our Children
Last year, Alex turned 6 and Allison turned 4. Another major milestone was that they both started school. Alex started in the T1 (full-day kindergarten) program, and Allison is in preschool 3 mornings a week. They both have fantastic teachers, which helped make the transition simple for us. Plus, they've made great friends, and they both really enjoy going to school (which is the most important thing). I, now, have a whopping 8 hours a week of free time (in between running the shuttle to and from their schools), and for the first time in 6+ years we DO have to get up and get dressed EVERY day. It was an adjustment, but a good one.

3. Our Lifestyle
In April I finished my fourth marathon and in October Adam finished his second. Mine was of average speed, but Adam actually clocked in at an impressive 3hours and 22minutes. Most importantly, though, is that we continue to make health and fitness part of our family lifestyle. Both Alex and Allison enjoy being active, and on top of their karate and dance schedules, they too have participated in several 5k events of their own. They desire to play outside, ride bikes or go for walks/hikes more than spending time indoors even in the rainy, Pacific NW. Another 2007 benefit was that we had our large gravel driveway paved last April. This allows for outdoor play even if our yard is full of mud.

4. Our Travels
At times all our traveling can seem to be a burden, and to be honest, there are days when I feel that myself. However looking back, I am grateful for all we get to do and experience as a result of being on staff with Campus Crusade. In 2007 we journeyed to...
...Walt Disney World
...Lake Tahoe
...Colorado Springs
...Ft. Collins, Colorado
...Rocky Mountain National Park
...Silver Lake, Michigan
...The Tetons and Yellowstone National Park
...Olympic National Park
...and I'm sure the list continues. This does not even include any day trips to Seattle, Mt. St. Helens, the OR coast, Hood River, Multnomah Falls, etc. And, this list is just mine and the kids. Adam's is even more extensive including a trip to South Africa. I once had an acquaintance tell me the furthest she traveled one summer was to Janzten Beach (a shopping center less than 20 mins. from our house). Imagine that!

5. Technology
2007, for me, is definitely the year I became technologically advanced. I've enjoyed spending hours on the computer at a time. From blogging, to digitally formatting our pictures, to downloading music and creating playlists on my MP3 player, etc, etc., etc. I've especially loved the social networking that the Internet now provides. 2007 saw me spend a fair amount of time on Facebook. I've come to check that more regularly than my e-mail. My favorite part has been connecting with past friends from college, high school and even my youth. For me, its been a blast!

6. My Hobby
This is just a quick blurb to let you know I accomplished something this year. I am an avid scrapbooker, and in 2007 I was able to scrapbook all our pictures through the year 2005. All told, its over 1,000+ pictures that comprise 5 different albums. This really means nothing to you, unless you are also a scrapbooker, and I need to add that many, many domestic duties were neglected in order for me to reach this milestone. Let's hope I have 2006 finished by 2008. And, because of my advances in technology in 2007, I'm thinking most albums from here on out will be done digitally. It sure does save a lot of time!

7. Our Future
And, finally, I'm excited for what's to come. In 2004, Adam began to think about obtaining an MBA. Due to a role he had that year within Campus Crusade, he began to see that he was gifted in the areas of strategic planning, operations, and the like. He desired to develop those skills. Early in 2007, God gave him the green light to begin pursuing his MBA. His first step was to take the GMAT, so for nearly 7 months he diligently studied for this test. His hard work was rewarded! He scored an impressive 700! And, the Friday before Christmas, Adam received the best Christmas present. I will let him fill you in on all the details, but let's just say, this time, all his hard work PAID off. It was immeasurably more than we could have asked or imagined. We are looking forward to a GREAT 2008!



Whew! Where has the past month gone? We've been swamped with Christmas programs, recitals, semester ends, etc. And, since December 27th, we've been at Masterpiece, Campus Crusade's Winter Conference. Fortunately, the conference was here in Portland, so we didn't need to travel far, however we both had some major responsibilities at the conference which added to our December rush.

I've added a few pictures of the kids from this past month. Sadly, most are still on the camera. Happy 2008!

A Belated Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve

Karate Night

Alex graduated from the white belt to the yellow belt this December. Here he is showing off a few of his moves.....

Allison's Dance Recital

Finally I have some pictures up from Allison's dance recital which was December 15th. She performed twice. Once to Teddy Bear for Christmas, and the second time to Mele Kalikimaka, which was a huge crowd favorite.