Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roy's Thoughts

We have been at Nashotah House for more than 2 weeks now, and I am so blessed to be in such a loving and generous place. I finished orientation on Friday, and have made so many great friends already. We have finished unpacking boxes for the most part, and our townhouse is starting to feel like home. It's amazing how hanging pictures and such on the walls changes the entire atmosphere of a house, and makes it home. Our family has grown closer in so many ways over the past month. Marcia and I go to Chapel every morning, and Heather has made some great friends and is adjusting better than I could have ever imagined. We are searching for a church we all feel comfortable in, since Nashotah House doesn't have a service on Sunday morning in hopes that it will give us a chance to experience the surrounding area and meet other people.

I have already made many great friends, and it is sometimes hard to believe we have only been here a few weeks. The genuine care and concern the community has shown to and for us has been overwhelming at times. It is so unlike the the typical world, and would be unbelievable unless one experienced it first hand. An example is, one of my brothers called me to the side on Thursday evening and asked to pray with me because he felt he needed to pray for my family and our financial situation. He, like everyone else here, has only known me a short time, and yet there is already this bond and relationship that connects us on a personal and spiritual level. Of course, the exception is my brother Bryan, who has helped my family and I in so many ways since we arrived at The House.

I realize also that as I use the term brother for my brothers here at The House, my brother Rob has been truly amazing in supporting me through this transition. It isn't only the financial aspects Rob has helped me in (though those are significant and greatly appreciated more than I could ever repay), but also the love he has shown for me and my family. One of the hardest days in my life was saying good-bye to my brother when we left Florida; even if only for three years. I look forward to seeing him soon, though I too would probably pick lobster fishing in the Keys over a trip to Wisconsin! :)

Our church family, Holy Trinity, has also been so supportive of us. Their prayer and financial support continue to reassure us of why we are here. My friend, Marcus, also set-up a Seminarian Fund through SunTrust bank. Marcus has been a best friend to me over the years, and in speaking with him last evening, made me realize just how blessed I am to have people like him and my friends at St. Andrew's Presbyterian in my life!

Aside from orientation this past week, my days have consisted of spending time with our new friends in community at bonfires, having cook-outs, playing volleyball, and getting to know each other before everyone hibernates for the winter! Marcia, Heather, and I drove to Madison today and went to a Farmer's Market that wrapped around the entire Capital Building. Afterward, we went to the Henry Vilas Zoo and had a great time looking at the animals and taking pictures. Marcia drove so I could study Greek and read one of many books in my line-up for the first semester. We are trying to find ways to do things together that also allow me the time to get my reading and writing in. More on that, once the semester actually begins!

I should find out about my work scholarship position in the next week or so, and I'm sure we will also be given our work crew assignments in the near future, too. My days will consist of Chapel at 8am, breakfast, 5 classes per semester, work crew once a week (maintaining the campus), our work scholarship assignments, Chapel at 4:30pm, training for Chapel during the week, an advisory group meeting during the week, and various other assignments I'm sure I'll find out about once classes officially begin. I am prayerful that He will provide the time for homework and family somewhere in the midst of what seems to be controlled chaos at the moment. The Benedictine lifestyle holds everyone accountable for more than just their studies, and that's what makes our community a family. Though the lifestyle is unlike any other seminary, I know the Nashotah House lifestyle (along with other things) is what drew me and my family here. Hopefully, some of our family and friends will get a chance to come visit us and experience it for themselves! :)

Until next time, God's Peace and Blessings +

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Heather's THoughts And Sayings!

So Nashotah House has been A great experience for me so far, alot of welcoming nice people! There's also alot that I'm going to have to get used to. But when you move there;s always going to be alot to get used to. It was alot to handle at first and I was very nervous....but as I saw all the Nice people walking up to introduce themselves and to help unload our things the nervousness went away. I do miss all of my family and friends back in Florida but I'm liking it here in Wisconsin/Nashotah House. I think I'm going to be able to be comfortable and fit in well here and it's going to be a successful 3 years. I'm very proud of my dad for being brave! and also my mom for being able to hold the family together while we leave Florida the only place we have ever lived. I love them both & and am very proud of both.
That's all for now, Heather

Cloister Photo's

December 8th 2009 - wow what a difference

Now compare to photo taken today in August at 9am. The green beauty is breath taken throughout the campus.

Here is a photo of the Cloisters back in March when we came for "Experience Nashotah" to view/tour the campus. These are the buildings where administration and the classrooms are.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

All moved in...

The travel was exciting... auto train on Aug. 3rd from Sanford to Lorton, VA was fun. Once we arrived and checked in with Uncle Don and Aunt Judy at the campground, we relaxed and enjoyed the company of family. We slept in Cabin #3 (violet) for 2 nights at the KOA campground, equipped with their own outdoor swim park. On August 5th we took the Metro to Washington, D.C. and toured the city. The history and sites were amazing. We watched the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetary, went to see the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Institute, Capitol Building, White House, WWII Memorial Garden, Vietnam Memorial Wall, and the Washington National Episcopal Cathedral. The Cathedral was a building of awe and reverance. The gargoyles completed the architecture of the beautiful building. Aug. 5th after a morning at the waterpark at the campground, we then drove to New Jersey and stayed at the airport Wyndam Hotel. Early the next morning we took a train to Manhattan and spent the day touring New York City. After a long day of adventure and family time we went back to the hotel and got a good nights rest to prepare for the 12 hour trip to Ohio. We arrived in Ohio on Saturday night Aug. 8th and spent 2 nights with Uncle Dan and Aunt Sarah. Again spending quality time with family. Then we went to Indiana and spent the next 3 nights with my life long friend Tina and her family.

Aug 13th it was time to head "home" to Wisconsin. The 6.5 hour drive was pleasant and uneventful. As we got in to Oconomowoc we went straight to Heather's school for registration. This lasted a couple of hours with quite a bit of chaos and excited chatter of noisy students. We then rolled onto the Nashotah House Campus at around 5:30pm. The PODS were there waiting, but we still could not sleep in our own bed just yet. We spent the first night with our good friends the O'Carrolls and obtained permission first thing Friday morning to MOVE IN. The seminarians all arrived to help unload the PODS. What a blessing for a strong hand!

Today is Wednesday Aug. 19th and I am happy to say we are officially moved in. I pondered the thought this morning as Roy and I were riding our bikes to chapel, how sureal the atmosphere is. Can riding our bikes to chapel everyday along with others either on their way to chapel or to work be for real? Scholars sit on benches scattered throughout the campus reading, the majestic trees and grounds are enchanting. This afternoon Heather and I rode to the lake and joined friends swimming. The weather has been beautiful enough to eat outside every evening.

We will post pictures soon. I hope you enjoy all of our thoughts and moments on this blog. I will encourage Roy and Heather to sign on soon as well. Keep in touch and we miss you all. Marcia

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Journey Begins

We packed our house into two PODS on Thursday, July 30th. My brother, Rob, says we were able to fit 10 lbs of stuff in a 5 lb bag! He has been a great support, and I am thankful for his love and friendship. We stayed at Rob & Lorri's house on Thurs and Fri, and had family over for a cook-out around the pool on Fri night. Marcus and Jenny came by, and everyone had a great time. My friend Marcus set-up a seminarian fund for me, "Allison Educational Fund", so that friends and family can support us financially through the church or through SunTrust Bank.

On Saturday, Aug 1st, we went back to our house to pack the car. Another attempt to fit 10 lbs of stuff in a 5 lb bag! LOL Once again my brother bailed us out and offered to ship what wouldn't fit! We said our good-byes to Rob and Mawmaw, and made our way across the state to see Stephanie. Steph was proud to show-off her apartment and cooked us a great stir-fry dinner! I am not a fan of tofu, but it's nice to know that she is capable of making and eating something other than Ramen Noodles. :) We went over to visit Judy, and on Sunday we all went over to spend the day with Stephanie and Cristina. We hung out by the pool, played Boggle, tried to pet Ruby, went to the mall where Steph and Heather made a karaoke CD, went to Tijauna Flats for dinner, and finished evening with an icee at Jeromiah's.

The outpouring of love we have received from our family and friends is amazing. There have been tears and hugs, and smiles and laughter. We know the Lord is with us and guides us, and that our family and friends are angels who love, support and encourage us on "Our Faithful Journey"!