Manuka's Place

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

So I have a few minutes here so...

here is a quick update while I have a sec...

Parenting class is almost over. I will give you a detailed post when I have more time. The short version is the material is good (for the most part), our fellow classmates are wonderful and our instructors are not the most engaging. We did find out that we need to take another three week class sometime in May or June so that any children that are placed with us will have access to various services provided by UCLA (by the way...go Bruins!!!). We were not really expecting to take more classes but we will do what what it takes. We absolutely love our social worker. She is great and we are looking forward to working with her. Our home interview will be sometime in May. Keep praying for us and for the kids that will be placed in our home sometime soon.

School is going well but I am really really really busy! I have been getting to Concordia by about 10 AM on school days (Tuesday and Thursday) and studying until class starts (6 PM) with a short break for lunch and dinner. I am learning a lot and it feels good.

I am looking forward to going to Florida on a short vacation the end of April. Josh and I will be traveling together and we will be spending time with Dad's side of the family. Jill is not able to go because she can't take the time away from school. They have testing during the week and the following week the 8th grade is going to Washington DC. So she has a lot to get done. It will be nice to get away for a while but I still have to log into class on one night. It could get rough since my class goes from 6 to 10 PM Pacific time and I will be in Florida. You do the math...

Well I have to get back to work. I already lost one Bible study to the Microsoft gremlins today so I am a bit gun-shy to do more work on this machine. Until then....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I am still alive

I am not dead or anything, just busy. Jill and I are in the middle of parenting classes and with school those take up most of my time. My schedule right now is this:

Monday- work in the office then parenting class from 6-9
Tuesday- study and read for school then class from 6-10
Wednesday- work in the office then parenting class from 6-9
Thursday- study and read for school then class from 6-10
Friday- catch up on any reading and work on homework
Satuday- try to relax but I have had meetings for church the past few weeks
Sunday- help lead services ( I preached this past week) then get some work done around the house (ie laundry)
Monday- start it all over again

Really I am not complaning, just explaining why no posts for a while. I did drop my Spanish class. I just had no time to devote to it right now. I will take it again next semester.

OK then...back to work. Talk to you later.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Good Times!!

I have returned! I got back to Long Beach at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon after a great couple of days in Arizona. We had 28 people on our little "retreat". We went out to Mesa to watch the Cubs play the A's on Thursday. Great Stadium. So-So food. It was on the warm side (85 degrees) and we sat in the sun. I retreated to the shade by about the fifth inning and watched the kids try to get autographs once most of the starters left the game. Pretty exciting ending for the first real game of the Spring. The Cubs got out front early and then some poor guy trying to make the team gave up three homers and seven runs without getting anyone out. OUCH!!! His ERA is now infinity. The Cubs came back in the bottom of the ninth to win by one. On Friday we went to Tempe and watched the Angels play the Padres. We had lawn tickets but went right to the shade because the crowd was pretty light. Great Stadium!! Good food! I had a delicious grilled hot dog, good times indeed. Most of the Angels signed autographs for the kids especially before the game outside the stadium. Most of the kiddos got at least 20 signatures each day. We had dinner at the restaurant inside Chase Field (formerly called the BOB) in Phoenix. It is the home to the Diamondbacks during the regular season. It was first time to that stadium and it is impressive. I liked it. It has a totally different feel than any other ballpark I have been to. Many of you know I am a stadium junkie. I love them. I own books about them and I would like to visit all of them someday. The car I was riding in left early while some of the other groups went to watch the Brewers play in Maryvale and a few went back to Chase Field to watch the USA team practice in preparation for the World Baseball Classic that starts this week. Once again it was a great trip. I highly recommend it if you can get away from work. Here are a few pictures from my camera:



HoHoKam Park home of the Cubs




Tempe Diablo Stadium home of the Angels



Me at the BOB (now called Chase Field)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Baseball, Kids, & Greek


Spring is in the air!! Some of the trees here in SoCal have even started to bud. But the most telling sign is Spring Training games start tomorrow!!!!! And of course I am leaving for Phoenix early in the morning. This will be the second year I am making the trek out to the desert to watch the best game in the world in one of the most relaxed atmospheres around. If you have never been out to Spring Training you need to go. The players are so willing to sign autographs and pose for pictures. It is a great for the kids and even the young at heart. This year we have made the trip a "father-n-son" retreat for the church. Now you may ask how do I get to go? Good question. As the vicar (read here the guy who does what the senior pastor says) I am in charge of the devotions and Bible study. I wrote the study and will lead the devotional time. Pretty good deal huh??? Maybe next year I will bring my own son, that would be pretty cool!!!! Anyway, we will see three games, one on Thursday, one Friday, and one Saturday. We will be home Saturday evening. We even got tickets to see my beloved Angels for Friday. I am pumped but I am not looking forward to leaving at 3 AM. I will give you an update when I get back.

On the adoption front. We had our first day of parenting classes today. It was mostly filled with a ton of paperwork. I thought we were done with that but I was wrong. We found out we need to get more fingerprints taken. How crazy is that?? We also have to get another form filled out by out doctor. There is nothing like doing everything twice. Oh well, the end result will be worth it. I think the class will be about as interesting as watching paint dry. One of the teachers is... how shall I say??.... the volunteer type. She is big hearted, good natured, but doesn't have much time in public speaking. The Socical worker running the class is great. She does not take BS from anyone. She dismissed about 8 people for not having the right paperwork or for not being eligible for the class. It was great. She also has a great dry but witty sense of humor. I think she will be a lot of fun. So Jill and I have a ton of work to do to fill out all the forms by Monday since I will not be around most of the weekend. I will let you know how things progress.

My studies are going well. I told Jill last night I was joyfully tired. It has been hard but rewarding work so far this term. I am spending a lot of time in the Greek texts and it is a struggle. I have about five books open at a time but I am slugging through it. I am loving the new insights I am learning and discovering every day. My professors are great but they did assign a ton of reading. I did the math (and I probably shouldn't have) and I have about 1200 pages to read in the next ten weeks! Some of it is pretty hard stuff too. I have two book reports to do and one paper as well as a bunch of translating. I am almost finished with the translating for one class and during Spring Break (next week) I will try to finish the rest of it.

Well that's about all for now. Talk to you later.