Monday, April 18, 2016


We've had two birthdays in 2016 so far; Anna turned 14 in January and Nicolas 17 in March.  I am not going to extol all their awesome virtues and why I love them so much here on the blog, but I am (with their permission) going to share a funny anecdote about each of them.  These may just be funny to us as many family stories are, but if this post makes it into a blog book I know my children will enjoy seeing them in print someday.

Anna's birthday fell on Sunday and she requested Aunt Becca's Shepherd Pie with applesauce for dinner and Michigan Grandma's Pistachio and Hawaiian desserts.  Seth insisted that he put candles on one of the desserts (pistachio, to be exact) and we sing "Happy Birthday" before blowing out the candles.  Micah and Austin, the Air Force guys from Mountain Home, were at our home for dinner and Micah had also invited his friend Marty for the first time.  Knowing that blowing out candles on a cake or dessert can be rather insanitary especially when you have guests that are not family, I specifically joked aloud to Anna, "Don't spit on the dessert when you blow out the candles!" So, there we are standing around singing "Happy Birthday" and watching Anna blow out the candles which if you know Anna is a pretty uncomfortable situation for her anyway.  Imagine her horror when as she blows out the candles out comes her chewing gum, PLOP, right on the middle of the dessert!  The guys handled it with kindness and tons of laughter.  "So, that's the piece you wanted, Anna?"  Thankfully, Anna also lived up to her name and conducted herself with much grace while she just laughed along with us.  

Interestingly, Nicolas' story also involves the guys from Mountain Home.  When we visited them over our spring break last month we stopped at Micah's new apartment after taking them out to eat to see his "digs".  His roommate was not home when we arrived, but arrived later and evidently did not receive a full introduction, just "this is Pastor Russ and his family".   Micah told us later that after we had left, his roommate had wanted to know who the Hispanic guy was with us!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Break 2016

Although we didn't travel or make any big plans for the week of spring break we still found plenty to do.  Enough at least to wonder where the week went and "could we have another week, please?"  

Late Tuesday afternoon we met our Air Force "boys" at the Mountain Home Air Force Base. (2-3 guys drive an hour from the base to attend our church.  They eat dinner and spend the afternoon at our house and head back after the evening service). It was extremely cold and windy that afternoon/evening, but we still walked around to see the planes on display.  We then drove around the base to see where the guys spend most of their waking hours.  We left the base after an hour or so and headed into the town of Mountain Home to take the guys out for a burger at Frankies. 

I love this picture because it shows how small "camo" is getting.  He can't quite give it up, though.  I need to find out if Columbia still makes the jacket and order him another size!

On Thursday morning we hiked Table Rock with several families from our church.   

Two evenings that week, Russ and I went out for dinner with friends from church.   With families and full schedules it is always nice to sit and connect on a deeper level than conversation in the church fellowship hall allows.    

Church activities also occupied quite a bit of our time that week.    It was a busier week for Russ as he needed to prepare three sermons rather than just two (Good Friday and Easter Sunday).  Nicolas and Anna and I took more time to practice (cello/piano and piano duet) as we were in charge of music for the prelude and offertory Easter Sunday evening.  The youth group had a work day at church on the Saturday before Easter.  A huge brush pile was hauled away, new mulch was put down in the playground, furniture was moved around in the church offices (and old stuff hauled away), and new marker boards were put up in all the Sunday school rooms.  When the work was completed ultimate frisbee and pizza followed and the kids were all on their way home by 6:00.  I also attended two church baby showers so used my free time that week to crochet around burp rags.  I think I need a trip to Roelofs Fabrics in Sioux Center to stock back up.

We did love the fact that Easter fell over spring break this year.   Tradition in the Herman home is to put away the normal devotional for family and dinner devotions and pull out the Resurrection Eggs and Passion Hymns devotionals.  I was also edified by reading Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, a compilation of writings/sermons of various Reformed pastors put together by Nancy Guthrie.  

Seth must not have had enough to do because he spent quite a bit of time putting together pranks.

It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is actually a little disturbing when you initially flip up the toilet lid.

I forgot to mention on an earlier post that Cloverdale URC hosted the Dordt choir on their spring break tour through the Northwest. We were one of their last stops on the way home.  They arrived late on a Friday afternoon (March 11) and we fed them supper at the church.   After the concert the kids were split up into homes of church members.  We hosted two men and two women. They had to be back at the church to load onto the bus by 6:45am, so it was an early breakfast that Saturday morning!  The concert was beautiful and we enjoyed visiting with the students.

I also failed to mention that Nicolas participated in State BPA the same weekend the Dordt choir was here and his team did not move on to Nationals.  They were quite disappointed as they put so many hours of work/practice into their project, but decided they would try again next year!