29 December 2008

Winter Wonder

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:22-23

What a wonderful Christmas season it was, giving thanks to the King for sending us our Saviour. Casey and I were blessed to be able to spend time with all four of our parents and one brother, Matthew. Lukey was the only missing piece as he has new responsibilities in Vail, CO working on the mountain. We missed you, buddy, and are already looking forward to our Christmas together next year.

Seeing that pictures often describe adventures better than I ever could with words, here are a few to show you what we've been up to the past few weeks...

Christmas morning in Ione...

Farmer Matt

True country boys.

That's right. I ride dirt bikes. (Or at least on the back of one while Matt drove)

Christmas morning... very awake and very fresh, as you can see.

Ward men love each other.

Our early Christmas celebration with Mom and Dad in Seattle before our trip to Ione

I think I formed a bruise when I fell off the sled...

Casey and a few of his Young Life kids... Saturday sledding

Jingle Bell Dash with Shauna

And now we return to work, cleaning house and paying bills... praying that the awe we feel inside regarding Christ's birth will not fade, but rather grow with each day.

13 December 2008

I apologize for the lack of recent updates. The past several weeks have included a lovely Thanksgiving celebration with both sets of parents and Casey's brother Matt. The only one we were missing was our Lukey. Besides missing him, the evening could not have been better. Mom cooked an incredible turkey dinner, and we were all together under one roof... and quite possibly my favorite roof, as we were at the beach house. Being a few feet from the water, and being with family... it was lovely.

Casey has been in full swing with his Young Life duties. He recently organized a weekend trip to Arlington for a day of paintballing with a group of 8 tenth graders. He takes his boys out to Starbucks on a regular basis, we both were invited to a lovely birthday dinner for one of his boys, and tonight he will be participating in an exciting game of broom ball with a very large group of high school students. We helped with a sit-down Thanksgiving dinner at our church for our homeless brothers and sisters, and Casey brought 5 of his boys to be servers. For some, it was their first exposure to such a population. He is one of their most faithful fans at their various sports events, and his phone is always on for their calls and text messages. Casey's approach to ministering to these young men is beautiful to watch. The deep relationships that have and are continuing to form from simply spending time with one another are priceless. The conversations that arise are a direct result of him intentionally investing in them as people, showing a genuine interest in who they are and who he knows that they can become. He demonstrates to them integrity, loyalty, and unconditional love. We simply pray that their eyes would be opened, their hearts softened so that they will see Jesus in Casey.

I recently had an interview in Seattle at the Bailey Boushay House to become a volunteer there. I was accepted, and now am just working on the paperwork to finalize things. I should be able to start in late January. I am extremely excited for this opportunity, and I am kicking myself for not jumping into this earlier, as I know it will be a wonderful experience.
I participated in the Pineapple Classic with some friends... the beautiful photo of Katie, Jen, Shauna, and myself at the top shows our awesome attire that we ran the race in. And tomorrow, Shauna and I will run the 5k Jingle Bell Dash downtown Seattle. I still have yet to pick out a costume...

As you know from the previous post, Casey had his interview at Loma Linda University this past week. He is wisely remaining cautiously optimistic... please continue to pray for his heart to remain encouraged, his spirit strong. He has been investing in this dream for a very long time. Not only has he been pondering the medical profession since the age of 10, but he...

~pushed through 5 years of undergraduate school graduating with honors
~volunteered at Scripps Mercy hospital in San Diego

~took a Kaplan preparatory course for the MCAT

~studied for several months for the MCAT

~took the MCAT

~applied to AAMC in 2007, choosing 17 schools

~received 15/17 secondary applications and completed all of them, including individualized essay questions

~bought a new suit, shoes, and belt for interviews... thanks mom and dad :)

~got a haircut

~interviewed at UW

~flew to Ontario and interviewed at Loma Linda

~flew to Washington DC and drove to Baltimore for his interview at University of Maryland

~flew home

~endured several rejection letters

~remained positive and hopeful

~mustered up the strength to repeat most every step

~applied to 20 schools through AMCAS this year

~filed all secondary applications received including all individual essay questions

~has spent over 70 hours shadowing physicians

~took a physics course at UW to improve his transcript (and got an A- I might add--- in physics!!!)

~has endured more rejection letters from various schools

~remained hopeful, still

~got another haircut

~flew to Ontario a second time to interview with Loma Linda

~flew home

and now here we are.

The truth is that this list in not even close to being comprehensive. I am continually in awe of Casey's drive, his perseverance. He is grounded and humble. He depends on his God for energy, strength, peace, and encouragement. I simply could not be more proud of him.

I am grateful that in the midst of the craziness I touched on above, we still take time out to play, to "date" one another. Just this morning we walked down to Noah's bagels for a Saturday treat. Hand in hand, laughing, over six years later. And the adventures just keep comin'...

So we wait. And while we wait, we continue to live.

Love to you all,

Chelsea (for us both)