Monday, June 18, 2007

Has it seriously been TWO months?

Oh my goodness- I'm sure some of you are still checking our little website here. :) Things have been quite busy. I'll try to highlight a few things over the last two months.

1. I am a Master of Divinity! I graduated on May 5 from Haggard School of Theology. The ceremony was very nice--well planned and wonderfully accessible! The night before graduation there was a smaller "hooding" ceremony with just the theology students and professors. It was very meaningful and they gave me a standing ovation. :) I wasn't sure if it was really for me, but Aaron assured me it was. Getting my robe on was tricky! We actually ended up cutting the back out of the robe and tucking the rest around me. It worked! A couple of professors walked by as we were hacking up my robe, but they didn't say anything. :)

2. Aaron has 2 more days of school!!! He has had such a difficult year. But in spite of the challenges, his groups performed very well. In May, he took his advanced band to a larger regional festival in San Diego where they scored a superior rating in the competition. He was very proud of his students and I was very proud of him! A couple of weeks ago, he was presented with a beautiful plaque recognizing his committment and dedication to his students in spite of the difficult personal circumstances the past couple of years. It was very special. The parents also gave us a gift certificate to a travel agency so we could go on a vacation! We were so surprised! We are very blessed to be part of such a great school district. I could not even begin to describe the incredible support we have received from the Riverside/Gage community.

3. My dad is hopefully finishing up his final round of chemotherapy tomorrow! The tumor has shrunk significantly and an MRI will determine where to go from here. Please keep him in your prayers. Even as the cancer seems to be diminishing there are still significant pre-existing health conditions that make life challenging for him. He was finally able to get a wheelchair and van to make him much more mobile!

4. My brother Dustin had a pretty crazy couple of months. He had some medical conditions that put him on light-duty for a couple of weeks in Iraq. During that time one of the platoons from his company hit a roadside bomb and one of the soldiers was killed. So that has been pretty difficult. Dustin's physical health is fine now. Just pray for the emotional and mental health of the soldiers.

5. My dear friend Amy is still in the hospital in Las Vegas. She has been there for over a year! Her health is very fragile--she's still on a ventilator. It's very sad and VERY frustrating to know how much insurance or lack of insurance affects the quality of healthcare in our country. If Amy had received the proper care in the beginning, she would be so much better. It's not fair. Please pray that she would be transferred soon to a hospital in California so she can at least be closer to her family.

6. Aaron and I are leaving on Thursday for our big summer adventure. We are driving to Colorado (yuck) for a wedding this weekend. From there we journey to Chicagoland to spent some time with our friends and family (Aaron's)--and then we head to Omaha, NE to spend time with my family. On our way back to CA we are stopping in Vegas to see Amy. We will be gone for almost 4 weeks! We are excited to get in our van and hit the road! Hopefully we will get to see many of you on our journey! Pray for safety as we drive.

Well- that's it for now. Please drop a comment! We love hearing from all of you. I'll try to write again before another two months goes by!
Many blessings to you all-



keely said...

I was SO excited to find your web site! Congratulations on your masters! You are an amazing woman!

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother.

Hope you have a fun summer adventure!

Much love,
Keely Pauls (Craig Hospital)

thechrisproject said...

Hi, I'm a friend of Aaron's from middle school. I haven't spoken to him in... gosh, a decade or so? I found your blog searching for him on google. I'm so sorry to hear about all the things you two have been through in the past few years, but it's very inspiring that you are the type of people that can gain strength through that. Congratulations on your graduation from Divinity School! Congratulations to Aaron on finishing up school! I'll keep your dad, brother, and friend Amy in my thoughts.

Have fun on your trip.

-Chris Norris

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Kari & Aaron! Thanks so much for the update! The only news I've gotten about you is from your comments in Amy's guestbook. It's so great to read about all the ways God has shown love to you and your family and answered so many prayers!
I'm praying hard for Amy and her family now, after reading this morning about how ill she was last night.
God bless you and give you a wonderful road trip!
Love, Diane Brodeen 6-19-07

Anonymous said...

How exciting that your summer travels include a trip to Chi-town! I just got an e-mail that your preaching, too?! Even better! Congrats on finishing your masters and hope to see you when you're here...

Shelly :)

Anonymous said...

Hello congrats Kari!!! I'm so proud of you & your strength!! You are a great inspiration to me!! I really tried to get 7/1/07 off so I could come listen to you preach but no such luck!! I have to work. I hope someone is recording it maybe I could see it that way. I miss you!!!!!
Much love,
Doni Pilger

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari and Aaron
Congratulations!!! I knew you would finish school. Bob and I just returned from a week riding around the mountains in Colorado on our Harley. What a beautiful state. Take your time and really enjoy it!! You two work so hard and deserve a 4 week road trip.
See you next week,
Jan Yessa

Anonymous said...

Kari and Aaron,

Congrats on your graduation from Divinity School Kari!! Alice and I would love to see both of you when you are in Naperville. Give us a call. It's great to hear that you are doing so well! You both are in our thoughts constantly. My email is

Miss you both,
Phil and Alice Brown

Anonymous said...

Kari... Hey let me know when you are going to be in Omaha. I'm living near Kansas City, KS and would love to drive up to visit with you and to introduce you to our baby girl, Eva Lynn (she's almost 10 months old). Hope you have a great trip. Enjoy the time to talk and connect and laugh!!!
email me...
Rachel Sundine Anderson

pam and ron engel said...

Hi Kari and Aaron! Today's July 7th. Have we missed your stay in Naperville? Hope you're enjoying your trip. Thanks for keeping us updated! love, Pam and Ron Engel

Jim Prust said...

Hi Kari,
Congrats on your M. Div. Great work. I was in your Phil. of Min. class as well as a few others. Dr. White sent me an e-mail today saying that you would like to connect regarding my work on theology of disability. I'd love to. I asked him to send you my e-mail address but to cover all bases it is Drop me a line when you get a chance.

Jim Prust

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Kari and Aaron! Hope you are having a wonderful trip. I check Amy's website every day. It's great you'll be able to visit with her. I'm sure she's really looking forward to your visit.
Enjoy the rest of your road trip!
Diane Brodeen

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Kari & Aaron! Looking forward to news about your road trip. Saw Kari's sweet note on Amy's guestbook. May Amy respond to your encouragement and go on to encourage others in your unique situation!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Diane Brodeen