Monday, May 28, 2007

Praise the Lord!

Well, this is our first post as Uncle and Aunt.... and we couldn't be happier!

Bruce Hunter Graham Humfrey arrived safe and sound on May 24 weighing in at 7lbs 13 oz.

Congratulations Christel and Clint! Can't wait to meet your little man in person (and maybe get a few tips?!?!)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Congratulations Chad!

We just finished a weekend of celebration. Chad graduated with his MAR in Biblical Studies from Liberty this weekend... Magna Cum Laude, no less! Yay Hubbie! Americans know how to do grad. It was was huge 2 day event with 3300 graduates. Friday night was the Baccalaureate service with Jerry Vines preaching. Following was a reception with faculty, graduates and guests. We then went out to TGI Friday's and had some food and a delicious brownie!

Saturday was a very early and long day with the commencement ceremony in the football stadium (it was FULL). Newt Gingrich gave the address, wind ensemble played music, chamber choir sang, grads sprayed faculty and vice versa with silly string, beach balloons were tossed around, the wave went around the stadium several times as we waited to go live on TV. From there, the faculties split up and the Seminary went to the church sanctuary to present the "degrees" to all the seminary grads.

The whole weekend was kind of bitter sweet with the passing of Dr. Falwell this week. There were lots of memories and stories shared and a few tears were shed. Every grad has some personal story of Jerry. It felt like something was missing without Jerry being at such a big school event.

When we got home on Saturday, our landlords had filled our apartment with "Congrats", "Class of 2007" and red, white, and blue balloons! Too fun! Congratulations Chad! I'm proud of you!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Remembering a Spiritual Giant—and Father in the Faith

Larger than Life

It was the twentieth of August 2006. Karmyn and I sat three rows from the front, just to the (stage) right of the pulpit. The air felt cool, the environment overwhelming. The music was beautiful and then, Doc stepped up to the Pulpit to welcome us all to the worship service. The big baritone voice was incredible. It was larger then life, and one couldn't understand it from just watching him on TV. The voice penetrated you. I felt overwhelmed.

This man was larger than life. The first to be saved in my family was my mother, she was saved watching him preach while my dad was working the night shift. He was a mentor to my father who studied the Liberty Home Bible Institute Doc founded with Dr. Harold Wilmington.

As a child I had read his autobiography, "Strength for the Journey" and Jerry Falwell became a ministry ideal for me. He did all the things I thought the church should do, from the home for alcoholics, to the nationwide chain of Liberty Godparent Homes for unwed mothers, facilitating thousands adoptions. He founded Liberty University, to train up "young champions for Christ" a phrase my dad often quoted. The most memorable is, "A man's character is measured by what it takes to discourage him". When I played competitive sports, when I started a ministry project, this line often encouraged me to go foreword.

He was preaching in I Corinthians and his verse 26:

In verse 26, we see that God's purpose for each of us is to use us for His glory. We read the words, “For ye see your calling, brethren.” The word “calling” refers to the saving will of God; the effectual call; the call that results in redemption. The use of the word "brethren" makes that clear. He is speaking of believers. Saved people. What is it to which God saves us? He saves us to a life of usefulness and fruitfulness... a life of purpose and productivity. He does not call us to be spectators, but participants.

The very next week, I met David Wheeler who said "God wants you to be a church planter". He laughed disarmingly and then said, "Seriously, have you ever considered it?" It was the final human recognition that we needed to begin our pursuit of this challenging ministry.

Meeting the Man

But then I got to know this man, this icon of education, ministry, politics and so many other things. I was walking to class one morning, when I saw the big black suburban pass me by and I was shocked by the tremendously ridiculous train engine horn that blared just feet from me! Inside Doc was laughing like a maniac, waved and moved on. I shook his hand a week later as I joined Thomas Road Church, and he asked me about where I was from. I told him Alberta Canada, and he struck up a conversation about the oil industry and on how he had recently told the president to rely more on Canadian oil, if possible. "At least they won't try to kill us". He recalled saying.

He was never without his smile, the sparkle in his eye and the gracious nature that let any one of his 22,000+ students, 20,000 church members, or Old Time Gospel Hour listeners walk right up to him and earn a few moments of time.

Working for the University as a parking attendant for NCAA games, I was often in charge of the executive lot, where Doctor Falwell and his friends parked. This became a harrowing experience my first day, when I went to move the cones out of the way and he came straight at me accelerating. I stepped back, he kept coming, then when I realized he wouldn't lose this game of chicken, I leaped behind a parked car and he zoomed by with his and out the window waving back at me.

The next game he stopped and apologized that I had to stand outside in such cold weather, and promised to save a piece of pizza for me if I could make it in the building during the game.

That was Doctor Falwell a man of fun and compassion. A good guy, but most importantly a man committed to the gospel ministry of Jesus Christ.

Formed by Falwell

Humanly speaking, it was because of Doctor Falwell, my Mom, and eventually my whole family was saved. Because of his training program that my father developed into a spiritual leader who raised us conscientiously "in the discipline and admonition of the Lord" (Eph 6:3). Dr. Falwell's Liberty University was the place my Uncle Darren and Aunt Cheryl met, and they became a major part of my life as I went through college and started ministry. It was the care and concern for the Scripture and the ministry of the "message preached" that became a model for my grandfather, Dr. Lyle Richards. Grandpa was my ministry mentor and the man that encouraged me to read good theology and to aspire to great preaching.

Last Words

The Last sermon I heard from Doc, three weeks ago, was The Indestructibility of God's Servant. He said a phrase I immediately wrote down:

"God’s man/woman is indestructible until he has finished the work God has called him to do. Therefore, we have no reason to fear anyone or anything. God's Servant is bullet-proof, until God is finished with him".

While Doc has gone on to his reward, we left behind can still follow his example, learn from his mistakes and remember the last words he uttered in my hearing:
"God is faithful. He is never surprised. He is never perplexed. He is never out of control. Remember what He said."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

For the best husband I could ever ask for... Thanks for a wonderful 2 years. I would marry you again in a heartbeat and couldn't imagine my life without the blessing that is you!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Just had to share...

Last night (May 9th) at exactly 22 weeks along I came home from work and we were unwinding by watching a little bit of TV when I felt something strange. It honestly felt like a kick, so I reached down and touched my belly and this time my hand felt it too. I got all hysterical and grabbed Chad's hand as quick as I could and Niblet was just a kicking away (and I was worried I wouldn't know what a baby kick would feel like...). I was so happy and excited to be able to share the first 'real' kicks right away with Chad and we laid there and laughed through a good few minutes of solid kicking... maybe Niblet's not so laid-back after all! Maybe a soccer player instead?!?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Niblet Update

We had an ultrasound on Monday and (once again) it was sooooo cool. The bad news was that their DVD recorder was not in yet and the VHS recorder was eating tapes so we didn't get a recording. :( But, the good news is that Niblet once again refused to stretch out and co-operate so the tech wasn't able to get a good look at the heart structures so we will have yet another ultrasound in 4 weeks and hopefully we can get a recording then!!

Everything looked wonderful on the scan. The spine was all closed in, as was the lip and palate. The baby weighs 15 oz, has 10 fingers and 10 toes. The cord has the 3 vessels and we got to see both kidneys. The heart rate was 146 beats/min and it was fun to actually see the little ticker beating away.

Niblet is flexible and apparently is comfortable with it's feet up at it's head (you can see the one foot touching the forehead above!) We also got to watch Niblet play with it's feet- it looked like it tickled it self as it jerked it's feet away when it's hands touched them.

It is strange to call Niblet an 'it'... but it gets annoying writing he/she all the time. We always refer to Niblet and a 'he'... only time will tell if we are right!! We just pray that Niblet will be healthy and that is all that really matters!

I still don't feel a whole lot of movement (but the odd flutter and maybe a kick?) so it is so weird to see all Niblet's actions on the monitor and yet not really feel anything!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The CK Update!

My my! No posts for so long and then 3 posts in one day!?!? What is going on?!?! Well, Karmyn's computer has been experiencing some minor technical difficulties, and Chad's computer has been burning the candle at both ends (along with it's operator) finishing up a semester of heavy course load. Term papers, translations, book reviews, sermon outlines, assignments, reading logs, etc., etc.

We spent a couple weeks a while back getti
ng to know some car mechanics in town. Driving home from church one afternoon, stopped at a stop light, chatting away, and SILENCE! The car just stopped. No warning. Nothing. Just stopped. Great! Well, Chad, being the awesome hubby that he is, pushed the car (with Karmyn in it!) off the main road into a parking lot. After a little wifey-meltdown, we remember- call AAA for a tow truck. Okay, call. Oh-no! Our membership has expired. Okay, renew the membership. Now, call for a tow truck. Wait for Calvin's Low-Cost Towing, hmmm. Soon Calvin arrives (think Southern hillbilly with no teeth), loads up "Greeny" and off we go... only Calvin's Towing is low-cost because his truck is almost in need of a tow itself. The speedometer, odometer, etc don't work, it rattles, is rusty, but it is all okay as he graciously clears enough garbage off the seat for us both to get a ride with him! Our landlords tell us of a good garage right down the street from our house where we leave the car and then our landlords let us use their 2nd car for the couple days it took to repair the bearing that seized and did a bunch of damage! Doh! We get the car back, swallow the huge bill, and all is good for about a day... then Greeny starts sputtering. Great. This time we take it back and it is (thankfully) just the sparkplugs and wires (or something... I'm not really a car person...) [the engine was missing because of a short in one of the spark plug power lines and the plugs were in bad shape so we decided to replace them--Hubby note, think editor's note!] that don't cost too too much and Greeny has been going ever since.

Back to the present. Graduation is in a couple weeks. Chad has the regalia (looks good) de-wrinkling in the closet, and we are looking forward to the 2 day celebration. The commencement will take place outdoors in the new football stadium on campus. It starts at like 8am... I guess to be done before it gets piping hot!![Chad gets to show up at 7:30 at the main campus to register, then walk in regalia to the football stadium to hear an address from Newt Gingrich, then walk to north campus where the graduate students will actually "walk"! Hoy!]

Where has this year gone? We can't hardly believe that it is May and in one week it will be our 2nd wedding anniversary!! We were driving home from church today and I was thinking, "I love being married"! Enough said. [What she meant was: I have such a great husband that I love every day i get to spend with him. He helps me clean and takes me out on dates and is super awesome!]

Things with "Nible" are going wonderfully. Karmyn is pretty sure she has felt Niblet 'kick' a few times (soon it will become very obvious peo
ple tell us!) Mostly it is when she starts a jog (and yes! she is still lifting weights, and yes! it is okay!) or leans up against her little (but growing everyday) belly at work. She still feels great and was 21 weeks last Wednesday. We will go for another ultrasound tomorrow where they will check all the anatomy (but we have asked them to skip over a certain area that would reveal the ultimate surprise!!) We will get a recording of the scan and hopefully can post some new pictures!! Karmyn wore her first maternity shirt (Thanks Kirst!) last weekend, although with the styles as they are, it still was not too obvious with every other girl wearing an empire waist shirt! Ha!

Karmyn's work is still going great and it is so nice to have a job you don't dread going to each day. She finally broke the news of Niblet to her boss and it went over as well as to be expected seeing as it will mean that she will loose one of her newly trained employees. There are 7 other pregnant gals on her uni
t right now so news of the 8th traveled fast! It is fun to share stories and advice back and forth.

We are planning on making our way back to Canada sometime this summer (but not until the snow and rain stops!) We don't have a 'for-sure' date yet, but are getting excited about returning to the land of Timmy's, edible Slu
rpees, cool evenings, and home.

Last week we had the pleasure of Chad's dad visiting with us for a week. It was fun to show him around our little corner of the world, introducing him to "Sweet Tea" (and it's effects!), Southern buffets, some civil war history, tour around campus, rambling houses, our town, and just spend time visiting [and did we mention buffets? Every night a new sumptuous feast of oversized plates full of steak, prime rib, ham, sirloin roast, fillet minion (sp?)...]. We are still savoring the Canadian treats he 'smuggled' across the boarder for us... Timmy's and Cheesies! After being away from family for 2 years (except short visits) it was such a blessing to have some time together (of course we missed Chad's mom, though!) Karmyn's parents are planning on comming to visit as well (now that they finally got their passports!) and we are looking forward to that time too.

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our Nephew who is due in about a week, and praying for his safe arrival. Karmyn has left specific instructions on all the information Chad must collect and then immediately call and pass on if she happens to be at work when the big call comes![so after the phone call, an email with all that information forwarded to Chad's email would be the most beneficial method of communication!]

King of the Block

Now, I preface this post with an affirmation that I still don't really like cats. I definetly like dogs, but cats?!? That said, after living in a neighborhood of really old (like from before the civil war to turn of the century "new" houses), large, rambling houses that are (too say the least) not mice-proof (or rat proof for that matter!!), I have learned a new appreciation for the multitude of random stray cats that roam our neighborhood.

And then there is Mufassa. He is the king. Okay, I don't really even know if 'he' is a he. I have never even gotten close enough to pet 'him.' But for some reason he spontaneously inherited the name Mufassa shortly after we moved in and it has stuck (at least for us!). And he IS King of the Block.

Spring in Virginia

Well, spring is basically over and we are basically into summer. Everything now is fully lush and green with all the leaves out, grass growing, vines climbing. The spring was so beautiful here. It seemed like every tree bloomed- something we weren't used to, but enjoyed... until the pollen counts started making the 6 o'clock news and our noses began to drip! Here are some (late) pictures of some of the flowers.