On May 16th, Ivan turned 6 months old already. Since then he’s gained 5 1/2 lbs. and 5″ in length. The video below highlights some of his moments since his birth.
May 15, 2015
Every year we go to Hutchinson, KS to the Kansas State Fair Grounds for the annual Mennonite Central Committee relief sale. I think this year was the 47th and Nick has been going as long as he can remember. His grandfather took over ordering and volunteering for the booth that sells caps and yardsticks. Nick has now taken it over and we sell and enjoy the food all weekend! This year was Ivan’s first year as well as the Italian cousins.
Nick’s sister Leia and her 4 kids live in Italy so they decided to come to visit during the spring this year. They all had a blast at the sale helping to sell popcorn and going down a huge slide. After the sale we had planned a surprise 60th birthday party for Nick’s mom. She was quite surprised as it was the day of her sister’s birthday, and hers is not until July, but since almost all of the family could be there we planned it early! It was a crazy busy weekend, but we had a lot of fun together!
April 20, 2015
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Ivan and I took a week to visit Grandpa and Grandma Reimer in Phoenix at the end of March. It was his first plane ride, and he did great!! We enjoyed getting out a bit, and also staying inside and catching up! A former neighbor from Kansas City lives in AZ now, so it was great so see and catch up with them as well!
April 6, 2015
My birthday usually falls around spring break, so that means we often spend it with Nick’s mom and whoever else comes along from Kansas. This year it was his brother and girlfriend. We went to the mountains and snow shoed. We then spent the entire second day in PJs playing games. It was great fun and despite Ivan not sleeping much it was good to get away from the routine of normal life.
March 23, 2015
The beginning of February we headed for our first road trip to Kansas. The trip had a twofold purpose: one to watch Nick’s brother Alex play soccer with the indoor Wichita B52s team and two to surprise Nick’s dad with a birthday dinner and visit. We were successful at both and enjoyed the family time that we got through the weeke
January 21, 2015
With Ivan born right before Thanksgiving the holiday season was a blur of activity. We started off with Reimer parents and Nick’s dad for Thanksgiving, then most of the Hostetler clan for Christmas and finished with all the Reimer family for New Year’s. We had a blast with everyone, and everyone loved holding and loving on Ivan.
– playing games
– playing in snow
– Avalanche Hockey game
– beer and wine
– delicious food
– day of skiing and lotion making
Here’s a video of pictures from the time with family.
Email readers click here to see the video: https://vimeo.com/117427091
January 8, 2015
- Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg is a humorous book about a small town in Missouri. One woman, loves all and helps all and she dies and has an experience in heaven, which changes many peoples lives. This is a quirky book from start to finish but it was an easy fun one to read.
- Radical by David Platt is a book about “taking back faith from the American Dream”. This book was a challenge to me in many ways. One was my perspective of, this big hot shot pastor of a mega church talking about living radically for Jesus yet still being comfortable taking a 6 figure salary. I had to fight to actually take Platt for what he said, not what I expect him to do or say. With that being out there, I did enjoy this book about making disciples and living in a way that is not the expected “American Dream”. I have yet to decide practically what it means for me, but I do want to live in a different way than the norm.
- Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by Erin Gruwell and her students at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, CA. It is a book of heart wrenching stories written by the individual students during their four years in high school. It catalogs their journeys of racial discrimination and prejudice.
- Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick with John Perry is an amazingly miraculous story of the Barrick family’s car accident. This story specifies their daughter, Jen’s, recovery. She had brain damage on almost all parts of her brain and the time in coma and recovery she discovered a power and relationship with Jesus that she could live out loud.
- Proof of Heaven: a Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Dr. Eban Alexander is an amazing story of his impossible illness, week in a coma, and his visions of life after death. His story is very controversial and some would not call it “Christian”, however I appreciated his scientific approach to something very incredible.
- Anti Cancer: A new way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber MD, PhD, is a well researched book of how to help your body positively fight cancer. David shares his story of having brain cancer and relapses through which he begins to seek alternative approaches. The biggest takeaway is that we all have cancer in our bodies, some of us are able to better keep it in check through the immune system, others cannot.
- The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges is a little book of a Biblical viewpoint of holiness. He does not subscribe actions of things to do or not do, but it is more about a relationship with God. However, I do think the one thing he left out is the ability we have to listen and hear from God directly, not just through scripture.
- The Kingdom of God is Within You by Leo Tolstoy is an old book but many of the concepts he discusses about government, religion and life are still very applicable. Tolstoy’s philosophy is that of nonresistance and he talks through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as evidence for that. It is a very interesting and compelling argument.
- Discipline: The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot is a short book discussing spiritual disciplines in our world. She brings in personal stories to illustrate points and disciplines which draw us closer to God. She has a simple style to the writing, but the points are well taken.
- Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus by Jerry Trousdale is a book of amazing stories. These stories are about discipline Muslims to conversion and then watching them change their world. Amazing and practical as he outlines the disciple making movement through Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) and ending with simple churches that are multiplying.
- My Lord the Carpenter: the stories behind the parables by Etta Nommensen is a simple narrative of the early life of Jesus and the stories in Nazareth from which the parables could have come. It is an interesting concept and the book takes liberties to expand stories, but short and thoughtful.
- The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is a tear jerking book of what a young father wants to leave as a legacy for his children as he is dying of cancer. As a former computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, he is asked to give a lecture in the series; little does anyone know it truly is his last and final lecture.
- Eiger Dreams: Ventures among Men and Mountains by Jon Krakauer is a compilation of short stories of hiking, bouldering and extreme sports. Written in the early 90’s, it is a bit dated; however, the stories are intriguing just the same. Stories of men and women on some of the world’s highest mountains in Alaska, France, and Asia.
- A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd and His Sheep by Phillip Keller is an easy read telling stories of Jesus through the lense of a modern day shepherd. It felt traditional to me and not many new thoughts, but I did enjoy the simplicity of it.
- Love and War by John and Stasi Eldredge is an excellent book co-wrote on marriage. It has some great reminders of things that we learned through premarital counseling, however the daily life over the years causes a rhythm that may or may not be excellent. This is a great resource for having an excellent marriage!
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a book I knew I wanted to read as soon as I saw the trailer of the movie. Wow, what an excellent read! I thoroughly enjoyed this look at World War 2 from the perspective of death as the narrator and the focus on a German girl.
- Vice and Virtue: The Battle Within by Jim Dixon is a book about sin as well as fruits of the spirit. It is typical of a pastor with little sermon illustrations and such, but much of the book I did take to heart and thought more about than on the surface level.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a classic on relationships. He dives in with many interesting stories to illustrate how to or how not to interact with others to get the best for both parties.
- How Starbucks Saved my Life by Michael Gates Gill is a great book about a man who after almost 30 years of giving himself at the expense of his family to his corporate advertising job loses his job and in his despair settles for a job at Starbucks. He learns so many more things about relationships and helping others that he admits to being the happiest in his life. He peppers his story with flashbacks throughout his life which make this a humorous and interesting book.
- National Velvet by Enid Bagnold is a classic about a girl and her love for horses. I was a bit surprised when I had to look through three library systems in order to obtain this book to help read with a student, however it was fun to reread a childhood favorite.
- What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding by Thomas Hill is a parody on the popular book What to Expect When You’re Expecting. This is a funny book that we enjoyed reading together. Most of it is completely made up and we had a great laugh together.
- Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman is a great combo memoir and parenting book about Pamela’s experience and education living in Paris. Her writing style is excellent as well as some of the tips of how the French raise their children to be independent.
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin is an incredible book on midwifery and modern medical information for pregnancy and childbirth. The first half of the book starts with positive birth stories of women on the farm or in home birth situations.
- Husband Coached Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley, M.D., Marjie Hathaway, Jay Hathaway, James Hathaway is a great birth preparation book. I laugh that it refers to the partner as a coach as it is an older book, but that is the buzz word right now. Anyway it has helpful tools of preparation and use before, during and after labor and delivery. It is meant to be paired with the Bradley class series but can be read on its own.
- God Guides by Mary Geegh is a journal of stories of her experience as a missionary teacher in India and how she listens to God and teaches others to do the same. They practice a quiet time of listening to God for guidance and obeying what he says.
- How Big is a Placenta Bowl and other weird questions you’ll ask when planning a home birth by Renee Moilanen is a book that the title explains it all. Anyway it was a quick read with a few tips and new information, but nothing that I hadn’t heard already.
- Supernatural Childbirth by Terri Mize is a book about the New Testament promises surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. In an era when childbirth is plagued with so much fear and panic this is another resource that helped me to realize that God made our bodies to have children.
- The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley is a gentle way to help baby learn to sleep on their own. The big take away from this book is that the infant and baby will not just fall asleep when he is tired, but instead must often be taught how to sleep.
- The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor by Sheila Kippley is a book about natural birth control. The 7 standards are things to do to ensure that breastfeeding is postponing ovulation so as to delay pregnancy.
- Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer is a book about elimination communication. Basically the idea is that instead of putting a diaper on a baby the caregivers learn to respond to the babies natural communication about their elimination needs. I love the concept, however in reality it hasn’t happened for us yet.
- The Bible. I can no longer count how many time I have read through the Bible in a year. I love being surprised over and over by new insights.