All posts by Reed

Gratefully redefined and redesigned by relationships: disciple, husband, dad, brother, son, uncle, friend, and fellow sojourner along The Way.

Wrapping up in Port au Prince

The heavy lifting (literally, yesterday they moved debris!) is now completed for Erin and the rest of the team. You’ll see their smiling faces in one of the pictures below, as well as a market on a Port au Prince street. The team is relaxing a little on their last full day in Haiti… the beach looks quite beautiful! Overall, it’s been a good trip for her. They did important works of service and she was able to complete more of her research, too!


Exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of Ireland

As I write this, our students are at their service placements for the first time. Can’t wait to hear how their experience is! (More on that tomorrow. )

Yesterday was a very fine day indeed! We met up and made our way through the Book of Kells exhibit in the Old Library at Trinity College. History within history within history. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels that “represents evidence of a scholarly and artistic culture of the highest achievement.” (Killeen, 2012) There’s more on it here. After that we were led on a walking tour of Dublin by Sean Finnigan, a Dubliner of many years. On that tour we learned about the history of the south side of Dublin, passing through Trinity College (where we heard some anecdotes about Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, as well as a few other former students at Trinity).

From there we walked through the city soaking in what we could about Irish history and culture. Perhaps the most interesting point of the tour came at its end (2.5 hours into it!) in the old House of Lords. It was there that Mr. Finnigan exlored the political and religious divisions here while invoking William of Orange and his father-in-law James the II,  the hoi palloi, the Protestant ascendancy,  and, eventually, Bill Clinton and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Certainly well worth our time.

We wrapped up our day at Oliver St. John Gogarty where Jamieson impressed us all with his ability to down copious amounts of food! All in all, a great day.

On African Soil

Erin has arrived in South Africa(!) but is without any data access. Still, she managed to call out and give a brief update on behalf of the team. You can find it at the Mhlosheni Go Team’s web site.

Thanks for your ongoing thoughts and prayers as Erin (and the rest of the team) travel about, half way across the world.

-Reed (for Erin)

Abbie in a piece of history

This photo was taken before church Saturday night, August 20, 2005. Abbie is wearing a dress that her Great Grandma Primus bought in China in 1973 or 1974. It was given to Abbie’s Aunt April at that time (mine was a much smaller version as I would have been a baby!). Now, over 30 years later, it adorns Abbie…Grandma Primus would have loved to see her in it! Jackson is looking dashing, as always, in Sean’s hand-me-downs (thanks, Sean!) and new red flip-flops. Just thought we’d share this piece of fashion history with you!

Long overdue update!

Well, it’s been far too long since our last post. I (Erin) will try to keep things more current, but apologize in advance for too much time slipping by between posts. To sum things up, we all are well and feel so blessed by the life God has given us. Jackson and Abbie continue to fall more in love with one another, though there is, of course, a healthy dose of “sibling rivalry” present each and every day. Our extended families are well, too. We welcome the arrival of a new niece: Aspen Bennet Ahrenholz, born 8-12-05. We anticipate meeting her when we travel to Iowa later this month! We grieve the death of Reed’s step-sister, Laurie VanWinkle, who lost a well-fought battle with a brain tumor on 8-8-05. She won the victory in her relationship with Christ though, and we all take comfort in knowing that she is now face-to-face with Him. Our many jobs are good. Again, we feel blessed by the work we do each and every day. Below are some favorite photos that pick up where we left off on our last post. Enjoy!

[LEFT] Our big boy has learned to ride his bike, with training wheels, of course. Not only that, but he can ride it on our not-so-level paving! Way to go, Jackson…we are proud of you! [RIGHT] Here Jackson is enjoying a local playground. His previously held fear of adventure has worn off and he is more than willing to climb to the highest places!

[LEFT] Reed is building Jackson a tree house, and both boys are loving it! Here they are preparing to spend their first night camping in the tree house. [RIGHT] A particularly funny face by Jackson (our dog, Moab, is the inspiration for the grimmace!).

[LEFT] Abbie is really coming out of her shell and enjoying the world around her. A few months back, I took Abbie to this park and she didn’t care for the toys. But, as you can see, now she loves them! [RIGHT] She also loves to swing at home! “More please!” is often heard!

[LEFT] In this photo, Abbie is happily showing off her new headband. If you’ve ever wondered why Abbie always has her hair in piggy-tails, well, it drives her crazy to have her hair in her face! The headband sounded like a good solution, but it is far too easy for Abbie to remove. Therefore, it is used sparingly! [RIGHT] Another option, though not lasting, is the ponytail!

[LEFT] These last shots are a couple of my favorites. The first one is at the beach this past weekend. Though it was cold (who ever heard of 59 degrees on an August afternoon?!), our hearts were warm. Here Reed looks on as Jackson flies his kite and Abbie plays in the sand. [RIGHT] Here are our beautiful children…Jackson so handsome and Abbie so beautiful. Like I was saying above, blessings from God are present in our midst each and every day.

Quite a treat this week

This week we had quite a treat. But before I get into that, first, I must say that I apologize for not keeping up with this online blog. It seems that time is compressed considerably when you add a new little one into the mix. I figured adding one kid should just about cut my free time in half. Well, that’s not actually been the case, it feels like much more is gone — and yet, so much has been gained. It is truly a joy to see our two children hugging and playing and kissing! Smiles are the norm now, except for the occasional struggles over a toy that has allure for both Jackson and Abbie.

At any rate, we had several wonderful treats this week. Abbie is now putting two-word sentences together (I’m proud to say that “More, Dada” was her first)! In addition she’s using more words in her slowly expanding English repertoire (“Bra Bra” for brother, “Mama” for you guessed it, her favorite person in the world, “Help,” and “Up,” both with nice pronunciation). She amazes us all the time and our hearts do melt as she smiles.

But that wasn’t all. We also received three of her update reports from the Half the Sky Foundation. It seems that she was sponsored by a person in California through HTS and because of that was included in the wonderful Grandma Program we mentioned previously. We’ve even learned of who her sponsor is and have begun correspondence. Very amazing! Anyway, below you can read what we now have: a little more history on this girl who’s now so much a part of our family it is hard to believe these reports are written about her (although, from the descriptions we know that they must be as they fit her perfectly).

HTS Report – 4/22/04 – 5 Months Old

Yong Ran is an outgoing baby. She has a round face and beautiful hair. She smiled at me when we first met. I fell in love with her at that moment.

I like to carry her in my arms, kiss her on her cheek, and pat her on her behind. I talk with her sometimes, and she will always make the sound “oh, oh” to respond to me.

Yong Ran is a healthy child. She is too young to practice sitting and standing, but her leg and arm can move and extend easily. Occasionally, she can roll over with my help.

Now Yong Ran recognizes my face. She will smile to me every time I stand by her bed. What a cute baby!

HTS Report – 7/22/04 – 8 months old

Yong Ran is cute and developing well both physically and mentally. As an eight-month-old, Yong Ran has learned many skills such as clapping hands to greet people, nodding her head meaning “yes,” and sometimes wrinkling her nose at me as if playing. She is so adorable. She is very fond of toys. She fondles the little eyes on the toy or chews on the tail of the toy fish. Sometimes she plays so hard that her drool is all over the carpet. Once when she discovered the different reflections in the mirror, she stared in looking from right to left, her eyes chasing after the kids in the mirror and looked so confused. She still looks confused by this mirror business every time she looks at it.

Yong Ran has good strength and can sit, stand, and crawl all on her own. She rolls around when she gets tired of sitting. She can hold herself up with her arms stretching out to support her weight on the floor and play while resting at the same time. Yong Ran throws big fits crying aloud when she is hungry or sleepy. As soon as we satisfy her needs, she can calm down immediately.