As of 6-26-13
Not much has changed in Katie's world, at least as far as we know. We recently hosted a gathering at our home to celebrate her 31st birthday. While she was happy with all her gifts, I think the one gift she really lit up about was the artichoke frittata which Anne McCarthy usually makes for our Christmas Day open house and has always been a favorite of Katie's.
Katie is continuing to work for an accounting firm in Oakland on a part time basis. She is still working part time for Hosannah Homes as well. She has just completed a course which will make her eligible to compete for one of a few positions as a probation counselor. She continues to live in the Dublin/San Ramon area. If you are a facebook member you can check out her facebook page to keep in touch with her. By the way, in just a little over 2 weeks Katie will be celebrating her 30th birthday. Hard to believe. For a look back through her first 30 years check out her photo album .
2009 continues to be a challenge for Katie as far as employment. She's not alone of course as 11.9% of Californians are jobless. Katie actually is still employed but at severely reduced hours. She is actively looking for work to supplement her current job but has not been able to find anything yet. She has moved again since our last posting and is currently living in San Ramon, CA. In addition to looking for employment she is doing some volunteer work with a group that is working with troubled teens at the local juvenile hall in San Leandro, CA. She is really enthusiastic about this work and the desire to see God change these young lives.
2008 has been a challenging one for Katie. She ended her employment with Aaron's deciding to move on to a less hostile work environment. She eventually found a position which I think is a good fit for her working as an accountant for Hosannah Homes. She has seemed to really enjoy the work she is doing as well as the environment in which she is working. Her commute is significantly reduced as she works in Castro Valley now as opposed to commuting into SF each day. She has moved from her apartment as her room mate recently married. A couple of months ago she temporarily moved in with her Aunt Debbie while she recovers financially from her period of unemployment and continues her search for a new room mate.
We recently celebrated Katie's 27th birthday with the family gathering
at Katie's place for dinner. Katie had recently moved from the small
1 room apartment in Dublin to a larger 2 bedroom apartment which she is
sharing with a former high school friend. Unfortunately she will have
to move from this place unless she is able to find another room mate, as
her friend will soon be getting married and moving out. Katie is
continuing to fellowship at her church in Pleasanton and is actively
involved in a variety of ministries. One of her highlights this year
was a short term missions trip to Mexico. She had lots of photos and
stories to share from her trip. She has enjoyed steady employment
Aarons for about the last 18 months doing accounting work for them in
San Francisco. We don't see a lot of Katie as she keeps quite busy
between her job and church ministries, so most of our contact is via the
telephone or e-mail. You can e-mail Katie to get more up-to-date
Things are changing quickly for Nate and Becky. They plan to move within the next 1-1.5 months to their new home which will be in Frankfurt Germany where Nate will be teaching at a Goethe university in the Safe (Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe)center. As of June 16, 2013 it became public that Gioia is expecting a sibling. More to come on that in future updates.
Becky is now Mrs. Vellekoop and has relocated to the Netherlands with her husband, Nathaniel. They are calling Zoetermeer home for now while Nate continues to look for long term employment opportunities. Advancements in technology such as video calling on skype certainly make being 6000 miles away seem not so far. Reasonably up to date info can be gotten from Facebook as well as a blog page . Sometimes we just use "old fashioned" e-mail, which reminds me of the most recent e-mail we received. It went something like this. "I discovered a cool Dutch word recently that I thought you might like: zwanger". For those of you who don't speak Dutch, Nate and Becky are expecting a baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The due date is ~Nov 12th.
As of August 1 2011 Becky became engaged to Nathaniel Vellekoop. Nathaniel is from the Netherlands, but was in the Bay Area and fellowshipping at Fairhaven Bible Chapel while in the Bay Area as an exchange student. You can read more about them on there wedding website. There wedding is scheduled for Dec 3 2011 at Fairhaven Bible Chapel.
For the better part of a year Becky has been working for a startup dental office in Dublin. She is being trained to be the dental office manager. She has been slowly increasing her work hours as the office gains clients. She seems to be enjoying her job. She is still living at home for now, with an eye to move back out as soon as it is feasible to do so. For the present her staying at home as been both a help to her financially and a help to us with the variety of routine household chores and projects.
Like Katie, Becky is also looking for work. She was recently let go from her teaching position of 4 years. She has decided to move back in with us while she looks for a job. The move was completed at the end of July. She has been helpful in doing many of the labor intensive jobs we have around the house. Becky is still much involved in working with the college age group at her church. She recently went with a part of that group for her third trip up to Half Dome in Yosemite. Keep her in your prayers that she will find a job, even part time soon.
Like Katie, Becky lost a roommate who will be getting married this weekend. Becky however, has found a new room mate, a fellow teacher where she works and they have rented a new apartment in Castro Valley. Becky has kept busy this summer, so we have not seen a lot of her. She just recently began her 4th year teaching (sixth grade) once again at Chinese Christian School. Most of her summer activities this year have been local.
Becky's car finally gave up the ghost earlier in the year and she purchased a used one from her Aunt Sondra, who was buying a new vehicle.
Becky is 2 1/2 months into her third year teaching at
Chinese Christian Schools (Alameda Campus),
where she continues teaching 6th grade. As with Katie, Becky also
moved again and is now living in San Leandro, which gives her a much
shorter (both distance and time) commute. She is sharing her new
place with another teacher (Stephanie) from Chinese Christian School.
Becky turned 24 this past April and is quite active at church in both
children's work as well as the college age group. We see Becky much
more frequently as she still fellowships at Fairhaven Bible Chapel along
with us. While she didn't do anything as monumental as climbing
Half Dome this year she has enjoyed short retreats with her friends.
One of the highlights for this year I'm sure will be a trip she is
planning to take (following Thanksgiving) to Florida to see 2 close
friends marry. I'm sure she will have lots of pictures and stories
to share. She can be reached by email
firstname.lastname@example.org . .
As it has been almost 14 months since my last update. I figured I had better get caught up. We have just recently finished our ministry year (Sept-May)at the church we attend. That primarily consists of Katherine's role as Girls Club director for the Awana club working with 3rd-6th grade girls. We also host and teach a small group Bible study at our home on Wednesday nights. Both of these activities suspend from about mid May thru early Sept. Other responsibilities such as monthly deacons meetings and volunteer work with ECS prison ministries continue year round. During the summer of 2012 we stayed close to home except for our customary trip in July for the Yosemite Bible conference. In early September we traveled back to Missouri for the annual Burrall Family reunion. We once again were blest to spend a couple of weeks in Kauai in late November. Christmas open house was special this year as we were joined by Nate and Becky and got our first in person glimpse of our grand daughter Gioia. What a special time that was. While it was great joy to have them visit, time went by quickly and soon we were driving them back to the airport for the long flight back to the Netherlands. Things were pretty quiet in Jan and Feb. In late Feb we departed again for the east coast for a visit with Katherine's dad and step mother in Tampa Florida before driving along beautiful Florida coastline towards St George Island where we met up with the Burrall side of the family. We stayed close to home until May 20th when we left for 3 weeks to go visit our family in Holland. All the details of that trip and others can be seen using the thumbnail image links on our home page. Well that catches you up on some of the highlights since our last update.
The first 4 months of this year have just flown by. As of 2 days ago we celebrated quietly our 14th anniversary. We both are amazed how fast that 14 years has gone by. We are nearing the end of another ministry year at our church where we are primarily involved in the Awana program. Katherine is in her first year as director of the girls club where she has served in prior years as a leader and game director. I have also continued to volunteer time handling the task of processing bills and making payments for the ECS prison ministry, a ministry of Fairhaven Bible Chapel. Part of what has made this year pass so quickly is some of the traveling we did. On Jan 30th we traveled to the Netherlands to be a part of a second ceremony for Nate and Becky. We stayed in the town of Delft in a home situated above a candy store. We enjoyed our time in spite of the severe cold temperatures (at least for us) in part I think due to the hospitality of so many. We did venture outdoors for a few excursions in the Delft area. You can see pictures from our trip by viewing the video-slideshow on line. A month after returning from Holland, we were off to Florida for 2 weeks. The first part of our trip was spent on St. George Island (southwest of Tallahassee). The second part of the trip was spent at the home of Katherine's dad and his wife in the St Petersburg area. The trip schedule afforded time to visit many points of interest as well as to take in a spring training ball game. A slide show of this trip is also viewable online. The biggest news for us was the news of our first grandchild due early Nov. We can't wait!!
Things have been relatively quiet for both Katherine and I over much of the past 12 months. We still are involved in church ministries (Awana kids club and hosting a mid-week Bible study) while Bob continues his work for the ECS prison ministry. During the summer we break from the Awana and Bible studies, however this year we both were actively involved in a summer Vacation Bible Study or VBS program at our church. We had a great time working with ~140 kids (not all at one time).
As for travels, while we haven't taken any lengthy trips this year we have enjoyed several shorter ones. In January Katherine went to Florida to spend some time with her dad and his wife. Later on in March we joined the Burrall family for a west coast reunion in Pacific Grove, CA. In May (for Becky's Birthday) Becky, Katherine and I took the train down to southern California for a couple days at Disneyland during the premiere of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie which made for an interesting time. For Bob's birthday we once again paid a visit to the AutoClub speedway in Fontana. The summer we spent primarily at home with the exception of a couple of annual trips, one to Yosemite and the other to Missouri for a family reunion. The final 2 months of this year are shaping up to be very busy with the focus now of course for us being the upcoming wedding of Becky and Nate, Dec 3. And that just about gets us up to date.
I'm sure much has transpired over the past 13 months or so since I updated our journal. To keep this from getting too lengthy, I'll just cover the more recent events. We still our in Hayward, CA where we have been for 12+ years. We like everyone else have watched our home values plummet, but hey, we still have a roof over our head, so we can be thankful for that. The past 3 weeks have allowed us to settle back into more of a normal routine. Prior to that we had been on the road literally for most of the summer.
Katherine took a week road trip with her dad in late May-early June. In June for my 50th birthday Katherine surprised with with a trip to Southern California to get behind the wheel of a race car . In July we were off once again to Yosemite for week in the Valley. We arrived back home from Yosemite for one week before heading out on a 30 day 4000 mile trip through the Pacific Northwest., One week after returning home we attended a family camp in the Santa Cruz mountains over the Labor Day weekend. With fall comes the resumption of the Awana program at our church which both Katherine an I have worked in for many years now as well as hosting a small group Bible study at our home each Wednesday night. We both try and stay physically active with Katherine going to the gym as frequently as she can while I split my time between bicycling and the treadmill. And that about brings you up to date.
Since our last entry I am still having some difficult periods with my sleep. We continue to explore the potential cause and try and eliminate any potential causes. We continue to fellowship at Fairhaven Bible Chapel where we teach 4th-5th grade Sunday School as well as serve as leaders for the Awana program.
We once again hosted a Christmas Day open house this past December which was attended by 40 or so guests (not all at one time). It is always fun to share that day with so many others as well as to provide the option for those who don't have family in the area.
We had some friends who were in Fort Collins, CO move back to the Bay Area, which we were excited about.
We have taken a few trips this year, although staying closer to home for the most part. You can see pictures of some of these in our Current Events Page. Katherine enjoyed a trip with her dad in April, driving with them up from Southern CA along the coast eventually ending up just east of Sacramento, CA. Some of the highlights of that trip included attending the commissioning of the USS Stockdale .Other stops along the way included Hearst Castle, Carmel, and a trip on the Napa wine train. I met Katherine at the conclusion of this trip for our 11th anniversary getaway. We traveled from Cameron Park, CA to Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately we were unable to do any of the activities we had planned, so enjoyed our time together and rescheduled another trip one month later. The next try proved to be much more successful. We enjoyed a great trip on the MS Dixie2 over to Emerald Bay. A bit later we drove down 395 to 120 and over Tioga Pass to Yosemite Valley. The pictures we took tell a much better story than I ever could in words. It was spectacular.
Once again we enjoyed attending the California Bible Conference in Yosemite Valley. The weather was great, although it did get a bit warm a couple of days, so on those days we headed for higher elevation. As in the past, the food planners did a great job of planning and preparing all of the meals for the week.
Recently we invited another couple from our church to join us for a night in Pacific Grove at the Martine Inn B&B in Pacific Grove. Our host there were great. While we were there we had a chance to talk with Don Martine while he prepared one of his MG collection for an upcoming Historic Automobile Race held at Laguna Seca. As Monterey Car Week was in progress during our stay, sightings of classic cars were routine.
Most recently we enjoyed a visit with Katherine's cousin David Allen Burrall. We along with mom, (Anne) teamed up to act as tour guides to share some of the local places of interest with David. These included an A's game, trips to the California Academy of Sciences, The Exploratorium, and Fisherman's Wharf, a SF Bay cruise, and a drive down Lombard St. Along the way we managed to snap a few memories.
Some upcoming events which we are looking forward to will be Family camp at Camp Koinonia in the Santa Cruz mountains Labor Day weekend,as well as a trip back to Kauai in November.
A lot has happened since my last entry. I think we finally got my blood pressure meds set where they are keeping my blood pressure under control. My sleep continues to be a struggle as I have good periods and then will struggle for a time. Were still not sure what the cause is and the doctors don't really seem to know either.
This has been a very busy first half of the year. In March we gave our kitchen a face lift, the results of which we both have thoroughly enjoyed. So if your in the market for this let us know and we'd be happy to share from our experiences.
The first half of 2008 has also been a very busy travel year. In February Katherine went to Las Vegas to spend some girl time with Mama Dot and her daughters Debbie Barnes and Pat Straubel. Then in April as part of our 10th anniversary we returned to Tahiti where we enjoyed a 10 day cruise aboard the Paul Gaugin. We returned home for just 10 days before traveling to Kauai where we provided meal support for a group of 10. After taking a "break" in June, we went to Yosemite for a week for the California Bible Conference. Finally we have just returned home from Strafford MO where the Burrall Family Reunion was held officially Aug 8-12.
Did I say we took a break in June. Well we did from travel, but is was hardly event free. The weekend of June 21-22 we celebrated the 50th anniversaries of both my parents as well as my aunt & uncle. This included a family barbecue, Saturday, at the home John and Danielle Dearborn. The "Main Event" was held at the Menlo Circus Club on Sunday. We were also blessed to host some of the out of town guests from Washington State.
2007 has been quite a year for us. The year started with news
that a very dear friend of ours Jeff Lanet was terminally ill with a
brain tumor. This was a terrible shock to all those who knew Jeff.
The Lord who had already been working on my heart in drawing me to
himself used this situation to really cause me to examine my own life.
Ultimately this led to my surrendering my life to Jesus as both Lord and
Saviour. This has been a real blessing to Katherine and to our
relationship together. On April 29th 2007 I was baptized and
continue to seek to please and honor the Lord with my life.
Katherine and I as mentioned earlier are both still involved at
Fairhaven Bible Chapel in San Leandro, CA. Both of us continue to
be involved in the Awana program which is a program for children.
I have also recently taken a part in doing the book keeping for the Set Free prison
ministry. Another blessing for us has been the opportunity to host
a Wednesday night small group Bible study at our home.
Each day we are reminded that were not getting any younger and the
weight just seems to want to hang on and increase. To combat this
we have continued our work out regiment at Chabot college as well as
doing some additional walking.
I am still trying to keep pace with the upkeep of our home as I
attempt to hone my carpentry, plumbing, and electrical skills.
We continue to take time out for B&B getaways (2-3 days) usually every 3
months. In addition we also took time in mid September to visit
with some old friends who now live in Fort Collins, CO. One new
experience (for me) this year was a Riverboat trip we took on the
Columbia River in early October. It was a much different
experience from the 2000-3000 passenger cruise ships. For the most
part we enjoyed beautiful weather, which made for a very pleasant trip.
Since the cruise began and ended in Portland OR, we took the opportunity
to drive 2 hours south to visit some friends of ours who live in the
Eugene, OR area.
Finally, we are looking forward to 2008 as Lord willing we will
celebrate our 10th anniversary. We appreciate your prayers for us
as we seek to make our lives a blessing to the Lord and to others.