Monday, April 21, 2014

April 2014 Family Update

It is time for a family update.

Hannah is turning 21 years old this week, on April 25.  As with most parents, I think, it's hard to grasp that my oldest is 21 years old.  Hard to believe that she is that old and hard to believe that I am that old!

Hannah was a very independent child - I had prayed for a strong-willed child and God answers prayers!  Hard to believe given how sweet Hannah has turned out to be.  She walked by eight months, skipping crawling as it seemed beneath her; she knew all the letters of the alphabet by 21 months, and was reading by age three.  Her favorite phrase for a very long time was, "Who dat?"  When we would go out with her, she would point at every person and say, "Who dat?"  We gave up trying to explain to her that we didn't know everyone and just began to randomly name people.  "That's Joe, Mary, Peter, Julie."  When we asked her, "You tell us - who is that?"  She would say with great pleasure, "Boa."  Not sure how that became her favorite name but it was.  She almost never wanted our help with things - "Hannah do it" was another favorite phrase. And she always had to do it very well.

Hannah is now completing her junior year at Calvin College and will be a senior this fall.  She is double majoring in Psychology and Social Work, with a third major looming in French.  She hopes to take a semester after her senior year in France to complete that major.  Ever the high achiever!
She took a second job this past year, with all her spare time :), and now works at the library at Calvin as well as at the Q'dobe on 28th St.  She will continue working those two jobs this summer.  She lived at home this past year and managed the house with a couple of college students as roommates. We hope to get her a car soon to help her juggle her schedule.  She also just got her hair cut.  She had been trying to grow it long enough to be able to donate it, and she was successful!  You can see the before and after pictures.

Noah is 19 years old and is completing his second year at Calvin, going into his junior year in the fall.  Also hard to believe!  He is working on a major in International Relations with a minor in Economics.  He served as a Barnabas (floor chaplain) in his dorm this past year and really enjoyed it.
He seems to be a natural at counseling (wonder where he gets that from?) and decided to go for being a Resident Assistant (RA) next year.  He got it!  He will be a RA in Schultze Eldersveld, which if you are familiar with Calvin, will be a challenge for him coming from two years and a family history in Noordewier-VanderWerp! He loves wearing suits and yet also loves wearing jeans and black shirts.  He has been working as a dorm tech this past semester, leaving his job of cleaning the field-house with no regret!  He is still looking for a full-time summer job so email me if you have any ideas for him!  The challenge is that his RA position starts in the beginning of August so typical summer jobs won't work.  He too is driving now.

As for me, life has been very busy.  The pilot project is in full swing and growing rapidly.  I have been teaching a lot and working on my MBA in Sustainable Development every evening and any day off.  Planning a wedding (in 46 days) also takes a chunk of time, not to mention the fact that we are starting to work on having the basement finished for a bit more living space.  So lots going on!
Hannah was not the only one to get her hair cut.  Michael decided to cut his hair as well, which I was able to watch via Skype.  Here are a couple of pictures of how we typically see each other during the course of the week.  We are very thankful for how Skype lets us stay connected!  However, it is not seamless - with frequent power outages in Kitale, internet not working, delays, and other tech issues, we have learned our fair share of patience with communication.

This Easter weekend, I leave you with the words from the song, "How Deep the Father's Love for Us":  Why should I gain from his reward?  I cannot give an answer.  But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom."  Amen!

Lastly, here is the video I made of Hannah for her high school graduation.  Seems fitting to show it again.  I love you, sweetie! Happy Birthday!