Birthday, Graduation, Job, Beach Trip, and Funeral


Well, the last time we posted anything was right before we left for the beach. Since we've gotten back, life has been busy, so we haven't had time to add pictures to our shutterfly account, or even just write up a short update with what's going on in our lives. Anyways, life has finally setteled down...a I'm going to try and catch y'all up to date with us.

Hart's Bday
Well, back at the beginning of May we had a birthday party for me. We invited some friends over, cooked some burgers, hung out, and played with my bday gift...a disc golf goal. Some things didn't go as planned...our burgers completely fell apart while we were grilling them, so one of my friends went and bought more burgers for us, and a pitcher of tea was spilt all over the kitchen floor. But overall it was a blast! Vanessa spent 4 hours the night before fixing my favorite cake for me; a German chocolate was AMAZING! The next day my parents took us out to lunch for my bday and I found out I would be getting a bodhran (an irish hand drum) and bagpipes! The bodhran is pretty sweet, but tough. And as for the bagpipes, I'm currently working on the chanter, which is something you practice on to learn the finger positions. I'm probably going to need to get lessons before I actually start playing the bagpipes. You can see pictures from the bday festivities here.

Vanessa's Graduation
The following Saturday (May 9), Vanessa graduated from USC! We had family and friends over to our house after her graduation and enjoyed barbq and fellowship. You can see graduation pictures here.

Vanessa's Job
I mentioned in my post right before we went to the beach that Vanessa got a job! She is going to be teaching 4th grade (teaching all subjects) at Heritage Christian Academy. We're excited about this opportunity the Lord has given her. God has really blessed this, and it's going to be such a great way to begin a teaching career. Here are just a few examples: The 4th grade teacher from this past year is moving up to 5th grade, so Vanessa has met with her some and this teacher has passed on ALL her lesson plans and everything to Vanessa, and since she'll be there next year, Vanessa can go to her with any questions. Vanessa is only going to have about 10 students in her class. And this school's stance is that it is the parents' responsibility to discipline their children. The school has a pretty intensive interviewing process, and if they feel that a child is too rebelious and the parents are not doing there part, then they won't accept them. So Vanessa should be able to focus on being a teacher, and not a mom to these children! Please lift up Vanessa in your prayers. She is excited, but also very nervous. For the last 5 years at USC she has studied Spanish and Secondary Education. So at times she doesn't feel eqiupped for this job. But we truly believe this is where the Lord wants her. And we believe God is good. He is good to us. And He is sovereign. therefore, He WILL equip her for this job. Pray that she would rest in that truth. Also, this is a smaller private school, therefore, they don't have lots of money to spend on things like computers for the teachers. So we are praying that we can find a computer either for free or really cheap that she could use. So if any of yall know of something, please let us know!

The beach
At the end of May; I think it was the 23rd through the 30th, Vanessa and I went to Fripp Island with my parents and sister and brother in law. It was a really sweet time. We hadn't seen Hannah and Mike since the wedding. They have been in Salt Lake City for the last year working at Hidden Valley Pres Church. But a few months back they went to Seattle for Hannah to do some music. (If you didn't know, my sister is a Christian singer. She's really good. You should check her out!) Andre Lewis used to live in Columbia a good many years ago and was the college minister at 1st Pres. Hannah knew him and his wife through that. Now Andre and Heidi live in Seattle, where Andre pastors a church (Redeemer Redmond) that they planted. Well, while out there, there was some talk of Hannah and Mike moving to Seattle once their year was up in Salt Lake City, and Hannah would help with the music, and both of them would work with the youth group. After months of prayer, they sensed the Lord indeed wanted them out there. So, immediately after our beach trip, when Hannah and Mike got back to SLC, they packed up and moved to Seattle. And because of the cost of plane tickets, etc, it will probalby be over a year before we see them again. So, with all that said, we were really excited to see them and get to spend some time with them!

I'm not going to bore you with in depth details of all that we did. It was your typicall family beach trip...for the most part: out at the beach during the day, swimming in the ocean, playing bocci ball/frisbee (i took my disc golf goal which we played with a couple times), sunburns, and then in the evenings card games/movies, etc. The cool thing about Fripp Island is that it is a private island. So you don't see many cars out on the roads. Instead you see golf carts! The house we rented had a 4 man golf cart and a 6 man golf cart. So in the evenings we would drive around the island, and go out to the point and see the sunset. There are 2 golf courses on the island, so in the evenings we would also drive around on those. And the wildlife is awesome down there! There are deer everywhere, and they come up and eat out of your hand. Sometimes you might even see some gators swimming in the ponds (we counted 7...yes gators in one pond one night!)

You can see our beach pictures here.

Don McCune (aka Grampie)
Lastly, last week Vanessa's Grampie went to be with the Lord. He was one of those Christians who when you met him, within seconds you knew he loved love loved Jesus. Every time I was with him, he had his Bible and was reading it, underlining things, highlighting things, and taking notes. He wouldn't let you leave their house without gathering everyone together and praying for everyone. He didn't care who you are, you could be the cable guy, but he made sure to tell you that he loves Jesus and Jesus loves us. He turned 91 in April, but these last few months his health declined a lot, and his wife Ali (aka Gramie), who is in her upper 80s, just couldn't continue taking care of him by herself. So he went to a nursing home. The couple times I visited him at the nursing home I saw a man struggle with the Lord...longing to go home, and leave this far country, but not understanding why God still had him here. But he WOULD ALWAYS return to this truth and declare with a loud voice "God is in control!" Some thoughts I had after he left this world: I can only imagine what it would have been like to finally enter Heaven, and see his Savior face to face and no longer have to walk by faith, but now walk by sight. He no longer is confined to a bed. And also, I always felt bad for him while at the nursing home because he couldn't really eat solid foods anymore, so he had to eat a lot of mush. And the mush looked very unappetizing. But now he is at the wedding feast! God told us through the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 25:6) that we will eat "the choicest meats and refined, aged wine" at the wedding feast (that sounds like my kinda feast!). No more mush for Grampie!

More News...
We have another anouncement, but it's kinda long, and since this post has gotten long, I'll post about it tomorrow. :)

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