Saturday, 26 June 2010


(Wahoo... internet is back!  Now I don't have a good excuse not to blog, so here we go again.)

My second weekend home in the US was set aside for family time.  A 2-day family reunion took place in the shady back yard of my parents' home in Mount Vernon.  About 30 relatives from Colorado to Illinois to Michigan to Ohio gathered for the festivities.  It was wonderful to see so many, to have a chance to catch up on family happenings and meet the new ones who had joined the Doenges clan in the last year.  My cousin Christy's baby Parker is such a cutie, and just as ticklish as his mommy!  There was a lot of good food... burgers and brauts on the grill, potato salad and cole slaw, crisp sweet watermelon, gooey brownies, ice cold Vernors' ginger ale.

During the reunion I was introduced to a favorite mid-west past time... a game called "cornhole."  Apparently it has been gaining in popularity over the past few years, but having most recently lived in Texas and PNG I had only just heard of the game.  Teams of two take turns tossing bean bags at a wooden board--one point for landing on the board and three for making it into the hole.  First team to 21 wins.  (Ha ha... I am trying to describe the game to my roomie as I write my blog, and I can't help but laugh at the hilarity of it all.)  Not only was I introduced to the game, but we had a full out cornhole tournament complete with a winner and loser bracket.  The champions were... aunt Carol and her 4 year old grandson Brandon 
over the very competitive cousin Jeff and his son Andy.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs!  And a wonderful time of making memories.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

A wedding and a baby

Sarah is one of my forever friends, probably my most forever friend who is not also a relative.  We met each other when we were both 2 years old.  My parents moved to Mount Vernon where my dad was starting a new job with Mount Vernon Nazarene College (now University).  We lived in the Glen Road apartments, which at the time were housing for faculty and staff.  The Stevens lived in the apartment above us.  I am told that shortly after we moved, they joined us for the celebration of Ami's first birthday.  We pretty much became family from that day forward and have celebrated many such occasions together.

Fast forward 30 years or so to 2009... Sarah is living in Singapore and teaching at a Christian school there.  Steph is on her way to PNG for her first term as a missionary.  I got special permission for my route to include a visit with Sarah.  (Click here to read about the Singapore stopover.)  I so enjoyed spending a few days with my friend, seeing and experiencing a bit of her life in Singapore.  One Sunday I was able to attend a very special Bible study that Sarah helped to lead.  Her co-leader was this guy named David from Oklahoma.  How did a guy from Oklahoma get to Singapore?  Probably the same way two girls from small town Ohio ended up in Singapore and PNG.

To make a long story short, God did an awesome work and David and Sarah fell in love.  When I heard the news of their engagement, I knew I couldn't miss this wedding.  I wrote to my bosses and they agreed to let me use my vacation to come home for the special event.  A few weeks later, I learned that my sis was pregnant with her first baby... and she was due 5 days before the wedding!  I would be home to see Sarah get married and meet my new nephew all in the same trip.  God is sooooooo good.

So after a year and a half in PNG, I made my way back to the USA for a some family and friend time.  Grayson, my nephew to be, was due the day before I would get home to Ohio.  Thankfully he held on until after I arrived.  My only other request was that he not be born during Sarah's wedding!  Well... it was a close call.

Thursday and Friday were busy with shopping and wedding celebrations, including a bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner.  In addition to catching up with Sarah, there were many wonderful reunions with other long time friends and continue to be.  Here is a picture of me with Sarah (middle) and my best friend Amber (left).

I received a call from my sis at 6AM on Saturday morning... contractions had started and were getting stronger.  Several hours later, she and her husband were on the way to the hospital.  She was admitted in early labor.  I prayed that things would stall long enough for me to attend the wedding!  

Sarah and David literally tied the knot at a beautiful ceremony that afternoon.  I was honored to read scripture from 1 John 4:7-12 and also participated in the choir that sang "Be Thou My Vision."  As the new couple exited the chapel, they were showered with origami cranes... a symbol of their life together in Singapore.  Congrats and best wishes to the bride and groom!  Enjoy your honeymoon in Akron ;).

The party moved off toward the reception, but Dad and I made our way to Columbus where Ami was in labor.  As it turns out, I would have had plenty of time to stay for cake and punch.  I am happy that I got to be with my sis.  At 2:44 AM on Father's Day morning (and the 100th anniversary of Father's Day at that), Grayson Hoke Workman made his way into this world.  Happy father's day to Darren and Grandpas Norm and Steve!  What a great present :).  Grayson weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces and measured 20.5 inches.  Despite my belief that most babies are born ugly, that did NOT apply to my nephew!  He is sooooooo precious.

Wow... if I thought I had aunt fever before, it has only grown worse.  I have found that the only treatment for aunt fever is to terribly spoil the new nephew.  And I am well on my way to spoiling him.

A wedding and a baby... that makes for one pretty good day.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."
~ 1 John 4:7-12