Sunday, May 30, 2010

farewell party

Little Miss Mehringer

Darry and Cathy Duhm (neighbors and one of Ben's bosses at Cragoe)

Molly, Emma Grace and Ben

Darry & Cathy with their happy foursome

Teri White (Bob and Teri did our premarital counseling)

Jason & Tammy (seminary friends from Mississippi)

This weekend we had a going away open house at the Gillespie's house (seminary friends) to say good bye to people we've met while being here in So Cal. There were just a handful of people that stopped by, a lot people were out for the holiday weekend, but it was fun just the same and nice to have time to chat with those who did make it. Thanks Jason and Tammy for opening up your home!

We are going to miss the sweet fellowship we have here. God has blessed us with several life long friendships during Ben's four years and the year and a half I have been here. It's exciting to think about how our paths may cross again in future years Lord willing.


Yesterday at while we were spending time with our friends the Gillespies and Duhms I met a new and rather interesting friend. I was standing at the kitchen counter getting something to drink next to Molly who was perched on a bar stool at the counter. Molly is the token girl of four Duhm children, two older brothers and one younger brother all a year apart. Yes a busy house of preschool/kinder children. Just to set the stage a little Molly can rough house with the boys but she is the princess of the bunch. She loves to dress up, wear barretts and tiarras, paint her nails and be . . . a girl.

Standing next to Molly at the counter I noticed a pretty pink sash around her shoulder and looked down to find a strategically tied harness, if you could call it that, where her baby doll was hanging. I was a little taken aback at first sight, partly by the harness and party by the war paint on the baby. Not sure whether to laugh or be horrified I asked Molly about her baby.

She looked down as I asked like she had forgotten the baby was there at all, "Oh yea, that's Shag my baby." Shag for those who are confused by the gender neutral name is a girl. She explained that Shag likes to go places with her. Shag's legs are kind of soar (they are hanging on by a thread) but her arms are okay. I inquired about the fancy war paint (black sharpy) all over Shag's face and foot thinking it likely was one of her three brothers that got a hold of the doll and disfigured it but no it was make-up and the big circle on her forhead was a bruise. I'd have a bruise on my head too if I was drug all over the yard and up and down stairs. Molly's mom Cathy told me that Shag one of her favorite dolls and she takes it everywhere. Funny the things we love to pieces (literally) when we are little.

Friday, May 21, 2010

counting down . . .

Today is the three week mark. In exactly three weeks from tomorrow Ben and I will leave for the Burdine triennial family reunion . . . Ben's first of many to come and my 10th, yes that makes me 30+ now, still not sure when that happened. So the craze has begun, or maybe just continued. :)

Our days are filled to the gills and life is good, very good, but very busy. Ben is finishing a two week summer class tonight which is the grand finale of his seminary career and we are SO glad. He has worked crazy hard the past four years. I am wrapping up three more weeks of work before we leave on June 12th for Missouri for family reunion. Ben is also finishing up a part time job with Cragoe, a pesticide company he's been working for for the past couple of years. In the midst of all that we are packing up the house here and there and soaking up as much time with friends as we can before we leave.

We are hoping to sit down sometime this weekend and solidify our hypothetical drive to AK a little more. The general plan at this time is . . .

* May 28th Ben finishes work with Cragoe and starts prepping for youth ministry in AK
* June 11th I finish work with the Saugus School District
* June 12-20th family reunion in Missouri (yes we are flying, yeah!)
* June 22nd load the Uhaul and drive to San Fransisco to spend a night with the Hultgrens (my aunt and uncle)
* June 23rd drive to Oregon and spend a night with Mark, Joani and Allison
* June 24-? Spend a few days in Washington with Ben's family
* Get to AK by July 3rd but sooner if possible
* July 4th Ben leaves with Faith Bible youth on their first summer trip (I crash and unpack a little)
* July 18th we both leave with the youth for a week long VBS in Eagle, AK (the trip we went on last year right after our honeymoon)

Ben is going to hit the ground running literally full speed ahead so I am hoping he can soak in some down time before we leave my last couple weeks of work. We are excited for the move and sad at the same time to say good bye to close friends down here. A positive is that we will likely be back occasionally for the March Shepherd's conferences at Grace when we can see people here again. We are so thankful for God's provision, provision in giving us both jobs in Alaska, provision in providing finances to get there (Uhauls to AK are not a cheap endeavor!), and provision in blessing us with sweet fellowship all along the way, here in CA and back up in AK. God is faithful.

fun girl time

a belated birthday tea

an over cast day in Santa Monica

Last week Thursday through Sunday one of my good friends from Alaska Carrie Lambing stop through for a visit on her way to a photography workshop in Newport Beach. I took Friday off and we soaked in a full three days of girl time. It was a fun weekend filled with sleeping in, shopping, going out for tea, admiring fine art at the Getty, strolling along the beach, and laying out at the lake. Thanks for making the time to stop through Carrie it was refreshing and a great excuse to put off packing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Tim and Dorothy

Tim, Dorothy, and Aunt Becky

the hood

Jonathan and Stephanie Niednagel (Ben's hunting buddy and the couple I stayed with when I first moved to CA)

Ashley and Reese Mehringer

reception cake a friend made

Rick and Kim Holland (my seminary wives leader and Ben's hunting buddy)

Last Sunday Ben graduated from seminary with his Masters in Divinity (MDiv). He's been going to school the past four years in hopes of moving into full time ministry preaching the teaching the Bible. This was his second round of college after getting a bachelors in Education and teaching in Alaska for 4 years. It was during his time working and teaching in the Alaska Bush that he had a change of heart professionally and was burdened to teach the Bible, not reading, writing and arithmatic to students.

The Lord has brought Ben through a loooooong and TOUGH 4 years of seminary. Greek, Hebrew, Old and New Testament Studies, Hermeneutics, Ordination Prep, Theology class after Theology class the list goes on. Spending this last year married I have seen first hand some of the time and work he has poured in to learning the Bible and preaching and teaching others. He is on the verge of being completely done finishing one last class this summer, Pastor's Home. The best part of his summer class is that he has to take me on a date as an assignment, something he plans and puts together and I "grade" him on how he does . . . it's an easy grade class that covers the heart of pastoring issues, one being a godly and loving husband. Not a bad idea in my mind! The end of June we will be heading to Faith Bible Fellowship in Big Lake where he will be the youth/associate pastor at the church. We are thrilled to be wrapping up our time here and feel blessed to have a church (in a state we LOVE) to go to as soon as we're done. God is faithful.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Tea

petifores (sp?)

For Mother's Day we (okay, I) planned a Mother's Day Tea after church because I knew the day would be shadowed and busy with graduation that night. I actually learned about this particular "tea shop" in the newspaper and it turned out to be a really cute and perfect place to celebrate with our moms.

We took our moms to "The Tea Gardens" about 15 minutes from our apartment and had a fun "high tea" and lunch outside in the sun. I had never experienced "high tea" before so it was fun to see how it works. Basically, my the little knowledge and experience I have "high tea" is more than a cup of tea it is an three tiered eating extravaganza. The top tier of the tray they bring out has tea sandwiches (the cute small ones you cut the crust off of), the second tray has scones with a cream spread and jelly, and the third and final tier has a variety of petifores (little fancy deserts) to sample while you drink your tea.

Ben was a little skeptical at first and commented as he drove in the parking lot, "Hey, there's an I-HOP next door!" in secret hopes that the tea shop might be too busy and we'd have to "settle" for omelets and pancakes. He loved the experience after it was over though. I think he'd even go back again . . . if it was for something as sacrificial as celebrating our mothers. :)

It was a really memorable time having both of our moms with us and something that may not happen again for a long, long time (having the two of them together on Mother's Day). We love you Dorothy and Lynda!

Graduation Banquet

me and my handsome man

Jim, Lynda, Anita, Ben, Dorothy, Tim

fillet mingon

a desert to die for

Kim Holland, my seminary wife table leader (Bible study group)

Bob & Teri White, Ben's seminary advisor and the couple that did our premarital counseling

This past week has been full and filled with fun memories as family flew down to visit and see Ben graduate from seminary. My parents flew down Thursday so Ben and I had some time with just the two of them Thursday and Friday before Ben's mom and step-dad flew down from Spokane on Saturday.

The graduation festivities officially kicked off Saturday night with a formal banquet at Grace Church. They served fillet mingon with mashed potatoes, vegetables a scrumptious salad and a to die for chocolate desert. A couple of graduating seminary students shared their testimonies along with some other faculty sharing about the seminary in general. They also had special music performed by some friends of ours. It was a special evening.