random updates

been too busy to update as much as i'd like... but here are a few random updates for today:

in the personal realm
- you can see shanna's previous posts - but we've started the adoption journey and are so excited to see where God will take it. we've both always loved the picture of heaven and redeption that adoption brings into the real world. the statistics are staggering, and to be honest i'm having a hard time understanding why so many white families only look to adopt white babies. i know it's more than just a reality of the racially divided nation we still live in, that there are other reasons/factors... but i'm sure in large part that sadly has a lot to do with it. ...for us, we really want our family to look like what heaven will look like...and it aint gonna be just white people there!
- not as exciting, but i got a new phone off verizon's free upgrade thing - it's cool and new stuff is always fun.
- i *tried* to install a new door in our bedroom the other day... it looks great (maybe a little crooked) until you try to shut it. yeah doesn't quite fit in the doorway, even though it *should* by all my calculations. this is why i don't this kinda thing for a living.

in the dog realm
- to be honest it's a little disconcerting that mariska gets her own category in this post. she's doing well, getting bigger every day. she now sits and lays down on command *most* of the time. she's pretty much housebroken but sometimes we miss her hints to us that she needs to go outside. she's lots of fun nonetheless (especially when people come over and she greets them with a nice, husky bite).
- we had a guest over the other day and as mariska went to playfully bite her, she yelped like another dog would in a very high pitched voice. mariska stopped and walked away. maybe that's a new technique we should start using (apparently it works)...but i'm not sure it'll ever happen from me when people are around. lol

in the lakeshore realm
- currently we are in a series called just walk across the room based on the book by bill hybels. fantastic series, very eye-opening and challenging, and extremely timely as we finish the building project on the church's expansion.
- the new building is almost completely dried in, paint's going on the walls, and cielings and floors are being installed very soon. we are working hard to open on sunday, november 22nd so we can be in before thanksgiving.

in the youth ministry realm
it's been absolutely wonderful, rewarding, and fruitful... and yet exhausting and tiring at the same time. with the new building getting close to being open though, the excitement is far outweighing the exhaustion! :)
- it's been so cool to be able to take the students' design ideas and put them together into one huge youth room that will immediately shatter their friends' stereotype that church is boring! the architects and building teams really care about the teens in the church, and it's showing! black exposed cielings (with some partial drop "clouds" throughout the room), geometric designs on the floor, paint and whiteboard on the walls, a built-in bar area for food/snack service, couches, ping pong, pool table, foosball, etc. so exciting!
- our ministry is shifting gears in some major ways once the building opens.
- mozambique 2010: the church's support has been overwhelming and the applications from the students are all in. working this month to finalize the team.
- small groups have started - we have 7 groups, most of which meet in homes throughout the area. it's been so great to see the rosters and who's connecting at a deeper level with the youth group... and then to hear some of the stories that inevitably happen when we simply do life together.

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