Pretty cool double stroller for Agoo to push around.
Kate's all bundled (where is she?), and Aidan's got his belovéd blanket.
We took about 10 days in late July to have a road trip to Lubbock, TX, to visit Amy's mom's side of the family, the Falbos. We also went to Flagstaff for a few days of those 10 on the way home. While in Flagstaff, we took a walk one evening (as seen in the above pictures). The weather was beautiful in both locations. I can't tell you how much I missed my Phoenix, though. I might vacation in Flagstaff, but I want to live here. Family, church, work, beautiful desert landscapes...there is too much to love (yes, mom, that was for you). We had a nice time in Lubbock with the family, but we really enjoyed some time off in Flag (Amy and Francy scrapbooked most of the time). I think we all needed it pretty bad by that point in the summer, especially as school was about to start again in just a week more when we arrived home.This was the sunset the evening of our walk.
Maggie and her parents, the Browns, waiting for her grand entrance.
Maggie and new husband makin' out!
Amy and Maggie.
So, Maggie's now married. This marks the first marriage of any student which Amy or I discipled at ncc. Maggie married just two weeks after she turned 18, just two months after graduating high school. He is in the Air Force, and he helps guard missile silos in Montana (side note: the Spanish word montaña translates mountain in English). Don't know how things will go, since we've not really been around her for the last year and a half or so, and we definitely do not know him, but we wish them the best of the LORD's blessings for their new family.
As school was about to commence, the DVUSD (Deer Valley Unified School District) leaders held a district-wide kick-off for all of the teachers and support staff. We had the superintendent speak, as well as a special guest speaker. It was not incredibly thrilling, but the guest speaker was alright. He was a great story-teller. Here are a few of the things that I wrote down during the conference:
they keep pumpin' us up so we don't feel so bad about our pay
The summer is over and Deer Valley High School is back in session. We started this past Monday to have class again, and there is always a period of time where nothing is settled and students get their schedules changed left and right. I've gained and lost numerous students just over the past five days. I have to do and redo seating charts and the pages where I write down homework grades for me to then take and put into the computer. With that said, change is a delight at times, though. I am enjoying being back at school. I truly do love teaching. I feel blessed to be at DVHS and I'm looking forward to what the LORD has for me this year. CCC (Christian Club on Campus) will hopefully get started here pretty soon, marking the first time that we've had the club up and running as we'd like it to in the fall. We didn't truly get going last year until the spring semester rolled around. I am truly excited about the LORD using the students involved in CCC's leadership and just those in attendance. I am excited about Him using Diedrich and I to reach the leadership and take them to a new and deeper level of understanding their God and His Gospel. I am also excited about being able to have the classes that I do throughout the school day. I have all Algebra 1-2 and 2-1 classes. 2-1 classes are dropback classes for students to keep moving forward even if they are a semester behind for whatever reason. I have classes all six hours instead of having a prep hour. It means more work, but it also means 20% more pay, which my family could surely use. After being told that we weren't going to receive a raise, I ended up receiving a 2.11% raise, a flat cash increase, and the 6/5th contract on top of that. The LORD is proving to me over and over again that I made the right decision to stay at DVHS this year. It wasn't for the money, since I signed a contract that had the same amount on it as last year's pay, and it wasn't just because I live across the street, though that was a factor. I truly believe that the LORD led me to the decision because of CCC and my desire to serve Him in my neighborhood. So many things to look forward to because of what the LORD is doing and how He's providing in ways only He could be responsible for. All glory to Him. Please pray with me that He would be glorified on Deer Valley's campus more this year than ever before!
It feels like a long time ago that I truly posted last (other than the two videos of Aidan, that is). We've done and been through a lot in the past month or so. For some of it, we have pictures that we'll be posting, for others we have more feelings and things to express via words that we do pictures. First things first though, I feel as if I need to ask you for something. Please be praying for my family and a wise direction to follow as the LORD directs us. We desire to bring Him glory above all else, and we are having the privilege of being in the middle of a fairly major trial involving our church. There has been a lot of upheaval over the past few months. The elder board asked our senior pastor to step down to be shepherded through some issues they'd all been seeing for a long time. Randy Murphy decided to go ahead and take his family elsewhere. Our prayers and well-wishes go with them. We, as a body, are still trying to deal with what that all means, and yet there is more upheaval to come. We need to have a new senior pastor, and there will be another associate pastor position created to lessen the burden of responsibilities that the senior pastor has to deal with. Not only this, there are other things in the works right now that have not been shared with the congregation, and I have been asked not to divulge that information with anyone, spare my wife, so I will not loosen that bond of confidentiality here. I will only discuss it here for others to read once the elders have brought they're direction to the congregation as a whole, which should only been in another two weeks, at the latest, I am told. This hits Amy and I hard, though, as we now have to decide what role we are to play in the future of our church, ncc. We've been dedicated to sticking the storm out and seeing where the LORD lands us all, but now toward what will hopefully be the end of the storm we see another storm on the horizon and we're having to brace ourselves for it. Do we take up positions to guide people through the rough patch ahead? Do we abandon ship like so many others seem to be about to do? These are questions that need answers, and so I ask that you'd be in prayer with us about what the LORD would have us do to glorify Him most in the coming weeks, months, and seasons.