Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dan's Trip to Seattle

A couple of weeks ago, Dan had to make a short business trip back to Seattle. There for three days, he was able to see the kids every night. Unfortunately, Barb could not go along. This really isn't a DC adventure but it is a special event due to living here!

Dan with Matt, Callie, Shell, and Nate (left) and with Kacie (right).

How great it was to see them all !!

Clear River Outreach - Back to School Party

We love the heart of this church. The love of the Lord is evident in so many ways, in worship and prayer, in ministry and outreach. Clear River has taken on as an ongoing outreach the community nearby and surrounding London Towne Elementary School. Earlier we blogged about the free yard sale. In this post we show the back to school party that was thrown on Labor Day Weekend. It was a party thrown just to give the local families something to enjoy. And everything was free to those who came!

Behold the pictures:

Free food (that drew them in)! Hot dogs, chips, drinks, and sno-cones!

Face painting and games.

Ever-popular moon bounce.

Free school supplies were given out to the neighborhood kids.

It was well attended. We had a continuous stream of people for about three hours and cooked about 300 hot dogs.

It was a great community outreach and a gift to the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Civil War Battlefield, Antietam, MD.

Battle of Antietam Sept. 17, 1862

On Sept. 15, 1862, Confederate Gen. Robt. E. Lee positioned his army along a ridge west of Antietam Creek. Confederate Gen. James Longstreet commanded the line's center & right, and Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson held it's left. Behind them a Potomac River ford allowed retreat to VA. On Sept. 15 & 16 Union Gen. George McClellan deployed his forces east of the creek. His plan: attack Lee's left and when "matters looked favorably" attack the Confederate right. Succeeding in either he hoped to strike Lee's center. His plan was good but his instructions to commanders ambiguous.

The 12 hour battle began at dawn, Sept. 17. Three morning Union attacks struck the Confederate left, north to south. Gen. Hooker's 1st Corps made the initial assault, followed by Gen. Mansfield's 12th Corps. Part of Gen. Summer's 2nd Corps made the final attack. McClellan's battle plan broke down in uncoordinated advances.

From 6AM until 10AM savage combat raged across the Cornfield,

East Wood, West Woods
And around the Dunker Church

By late morning fighting shifted toward the Confederate center(Sunken Road) in the 3-hour stalemate that left the road forever known as "Bloody Lane".
Most contested of the 3 bridges Union forces used to cross Antietam Creek was the lower. At 10:30 AM Union Gen. Burnside's 9th Corps assaulted the Lower Bridge and at 1PM made it across. Burnside then halted for 2 hours to replenish ammunition, still deploying men across the bridge. The delay proved critical.

When he again advanced on the Confederate right, Gen A.P.Hill's reinforcements, arriving in the late afternoon from Harper's Ferry stopped him. The battle ended about 6PM. The lines of the battle had not shifted significantly from that morning.

Of nearly 100,000 soldiers engaged in battle, about 23,000 were killed, wounded, or missing. Late on Sept. 18, Lee forded the Potomac to Virginia. The Union Army held the field.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


We have found our new favorite restaurants ... Clyde's. Clyde's started as a single restaurant in Georgetown and has grown now to thirteen locations. They are great locations, all are unique (not cookie-cutter franchises) with terrific food at good prices. (Click HERE for more info.) Mom T and our kids have been to the Clyde's "Old Ebbitt Grill two blocks from the White House. Mom T has also been to the one at Tyson's Corner. Mom and Dad Z have been to the one in Reston, Va. Last night we went to Clyde's at Willow Creek Farm for their $17.95 Maine Lobster special!

See how yummy it looks? We used our birthday gift card from Bruce and Joellen. Thanks B&J!!!

Another 30th Anniversary

Hi, Dan here. Another significant 30th anniversary just rolled around. Unlike our 30th wedding anniversary, this one will not take 10-plus posts to chronicle...just this one. I just hit my 30 year mark with Boeing. Just like with our marriage, it is hard to believe that much time has passed. My vice president from Seattle, Steve Atkins, was in town last week and took Barb and I to lunch to celebrate. It was a very nice lunch and I appreciated it very much. Here is Barb and I holding the service award certificate right after I received it from Steve.

When I accepted the offer from Boeing right out of college, I fully planned to work at Boeing for three years and then Barb and I would move to Wisconsin. Well, a funny thing happened along the way - I found working at Boeing to be far too interesting, challenging, and fulfilling than I ever expected. So I stayed. It has been a great ride so far.

Some people have asked me how I could stay at one job for so long. The truth is, I have had many jobs. I counted recently that I have had about ten different jobs, so I held to my three year goal ten times over!

Of course, I can't tell this story without acknowledging that God had something to do with it. Once Barb and I gave our lives over to Jesus in the early 1980's, he helped us to make roots in the Northwest and to begin serving Him in ministry there. The desire to live in Wisconsin dimmed as He used us in the Seattle area.

I am very thankful that He has provided a great job for me that has allowed me to provided for my family and be stable enough to serve Him. I am thankful for all the many people that have made my career at Boeing richer. I am thankful for my wife that she was willing to come along for this ride when I plucked her from her life and family in Crystal Lake and dragged her to Seattle.

I am sorry for the distance this move put between us and the rest of our family, but it has been very much in His will and we are all the better for it.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Year?

Has it really been a year? Yep - September 10, 2008 we signed the papers for our house in Virginia......

and on September 11 we moved in ....

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by so quickly. Looking back we can say it has been a wonderful year. If there is any chance we might forget all the year has brought, it is all chronicled in our blog for us to remember. Thanks again, kids, for setting this up for us.

We have been truly blessed by this move. Here's to what ever God has for us next.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Clear River Outreach - Community Yard Sale

A while back we told you about the new church we found - Clear River Community Church right here in Centreville. (To recount the story, click HERE.) As we get more involved, we see more and more how deeply the people of Clear River love the Lord. We are being blessed by the growing friendships and fellowship we find there. Another part of what we love about Clear River is that they have such a heart to serve the people of the community, people whose circumstances are challenging and difficult ... to meet the very tangible needs of these people. Here is one example.

Near the church is London Towne elementary school. The neighborhoods surrounding London Towne are filled with just such people, many of them immigrants struggling to get by. Every June, Clear River holds a yard "sale" for these people. Except it really isn't a sale - everything is free. This year, on a Saturday in June, we took over the parking lot of the school. People of Clear River brought items from their own homes and set up tables. A couple of nights ahead of time, fliers were distributed around the neighborhoods announcing the free yard "sale". And when people showed up, we gave them six tickets that could be redeemed for six items at any of the tables.

We had a large turnout - people came, perused, and found items they could use. All it took was a ticket in exchange.

We were blessed to be a part of this community outreach.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Giving it a Try

Barb has only played a golf couple of times in her life but thought it would be fun to start playing together as an empty nester marital activity. She started mentioning that last year, so I (Dan) bought her a set of clubs for her birthday. However, given all that happened last summer with the move, we never had a chance to play. Furthermore, with all there is to explore around here, it had not been a priority for us. Finally we took the plunge ... and got out to play here in Virgina a couple of weeks ago. I asked Barb what to title this blog post and she came up with it ..."Giving it a Try".

We had a good time and Barb did pretty well, given that she hasn't played since about high school!

Just another adventure!!!

Our 30th Anniversary - Epilogue

Well, if you have browsed the prologue and all ten chapters, you are either devoted readers or lacking other worthwhile activities. Either way, congratulations for making it this far. And this, being the epilogue, means this little blog-series about our 30th anniversary is coming to a close. The story thus far has been about the trip we took in celebration of this important occasion. Now a few words about our marriage.

How, in this era of fractured families, broken marriages, and "me first" cultural norms, have we been able to honor our vows for 30 years? What would we tell newlyweds if they asked? It may not be possible to list all the factors. Although we look at the 30 years as a flowing stream of blessings from God, Lord knows that mixed in with all the good we have had our ups and downs, our spats, disagreements, and misunderstandings.

But here are a few thoughts...

We have had great role models in our parents.

We have had good examples of marriage in friends along the way.

We have learned not to keep score.

We have learned to make each other a priority.

We have learned, with a growing family, to make family something special.

We have prayed to remove self centeredness.

We have tried to embody the tenets of marriage that the Bible offers.

We truly love each other, and like spending time together.

We love to laugh together.
We pray together, and for each other.

We see each other as works of God's creation in a growing process, not to expect perfection.

We have learned to say "I am sorry" and ask for His patience.

The list could go on, but here is the most important piece. All of that comes because we recognize that it was God's plan to bring us together, and the more we seek to live out His will the more we see His blessing on our marriage. We take seriously our vows and the Word of God that says "they shall become one". When we try to do things our way, we are like two people wandering through the forest. When we include God in our life and our decision, we feel His peace and love which pours out to each other.

In short, when we are a marriage of two, we are two. Only when we are a marriage of three, can we be one .... in Him.

We praise God for making a marriage in His image, one that is still in development. We are thankful to all you who have been in our lives, who have supported, cheered and blessed us in your own way. And we are thankful for each other.

May God find ways to allow our marriage to be an example to others, for His Glory.

Blessings to you all ...

Love, Dan and Barb

Our 30th Anniversary - Chapter 10: The Great Gift

We received many calls, card, gifts, and other well-wishes from friends and family. Each was greatly appreciated. If you were one of those and are reading this now, we thank you for all expressions of love and congratulations.

As special as all those were, we received one that was very special to us above all the others. It was a beautiful picture montage of our kids, from our kids.

We were so touched when we opened the box that held this gift. Our kids are precious to us beyond all else and we were so happy to get this. It is now prominently displayed in our family room so we can look at it often and help bridge the miles that separate us for now.

Bless you, Matt, Callie, Nate, Shell, and Kacie!

Next up - The Epilogue.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Our 30th Anniversary - Chapter 9: Quintessential New York

There are just a few more sights of New York that we want to share - sights that are so common that they are essential, or quintessential, New York. Here they are, in no particular order.

Taxi cabs. There are an estimated 12,000 taxi cabs in New York.

Magazine stands - the old (l) and the new (r).

Bus tour sales agents on every street corner.

Bike cabs.

Corner hot dog stands.

Famous people ... we saw "The Donald" Trump(top l), Diane Kruger of "National Treasure" (top r), and Matt McCarthy of Verizon FIOS commercials (bottom). (OK, we only took the picture of Trump, but we really saw them all!)

Street purse sellers ... imagine Prada and Coach for $30!
(Ah, honey, they are fake!)

Subway stations.

Ice cream trucks.

Garbage sacks.

And last, but not least, deli's.
Next up - a great gift.