July 27, 2006

New Pics Added to Tom's Album

I've uploaded some new pictures of our trip to Chicago for your viewing pleasure! Click on "Tom's Album" on the left side bar.

July 24, 2006

Vander Well News Briefs

Livingroom_001 What have the Vander Wells' and our families been up to? Here's a few quick hits:

  • Wendy and I spent the weekend painting our living room [see picture]. We started Friday night and worked until the wee hours, then hit it hard again Saturday. We love it. The dining room is next! Our bathrooms continue to be under construction. The contractor hopes to have that all finished in the next week or two.
  • I uploaded pictures from our trip with Taylor and her friend Rachel to Chicago. Click on the "Tom's Album" link on the left side-bar of the blog.
  • I've gotten a couple of e-mails from Madison this weekend. She's doing great in Thailand. She was preparing to go with her Global Expeditions team to a mountain village to minister to the people there. Last week was spent helping University students on their conversational English. They were having a party Friday night with all of the students with the intention of sharing the Good News with them.
  • Taylor continues to work at the Restaurant and is working at the area TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) retreat this weekend. It's hard to believe that school is just around the corner.
  • Wendy and I are headed to the lake to see my folks this coming weekend. We can't wait!
  • Wendy's siblings Josh, Jesse and Heidi are in the process of moving to Iowa City to start Dental school this fall. We can't wait to have them a little closer to home so we can see them more often!
  • Wendy's dad and brother, Lucas went on a short mission to Tijuana a week or two ago. We saw them this past week and got the scoop on the trip. They handed out clothes & toys to the poor and taught VBS. They're hoping to go back down with some men to build houses in the near future.
  • My folks have been entertaining guests down at the lake in recently. Friends from church visited, then Jody, Emma and Sol were down there this past week.

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June 28, 2006

Vander Well News Briefs - June 28, 2006

Newsbox_by_jdunlevy Whew! The summer is already flying by!

  • Madison has her last Driver's Ed class on Thursday. She's still a year and a half away from her license, but happy to have the class over. She's packing for Thailand and leaves July 11.
  • Taylor, on the other hand, is not too far from having her license - seven days to be exact. Our 4th of July kid will be driving "old blue" around Pella  next week. Yikes!
  • Wendy has been doing well with the commute to Sully each day. It hasn't been a huge deal except when she got stuck behind the Great Iowa Tractor Ride coming home Monday and going to work yesterday. She called me to vent her frustrations as she putzed behind a million puttering tractors that were in her way.
  • We're enjoying a respite from the stage for a few months before Wendy begins directing The Christmas Post in the fall. It's strange to be able to sit in our home at night and...do nothing.
  • Brown Construction arrives Friday to begin our 2006 home improvement project. We're putting a shower in the main floor bathroom and expanding/adding a shower to the upstairs bathroom for the girls.
  • Looking forward to seeing the family at Grandma VH's birthday party on Saturday!

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Flickr photo courtesy of jdunlevy

May 30, 2006

Vander Well News Briefs May 30

Newsbox_1 It was a nice break this weekend, but HOT!

  • Wendy and I had Shakespeare rehearsal Friday night and Monday, so that pretty much took away any chance to plan much. But that's okay, we relaxed, cleaned up the massive, living, breathing mass of junk piled in the basement from our multiple moves (Tom & Girls to House, Wendy out of one apartment into another, Wendy out of apartment into House) last year. We have three or four coffee makers, two irons, multiple phones, radios, alarm clocks, etc. When the girls are ready to move out on their own I think we could set them up without having to buy anything!
  • It was an X-men marathon weekend. I hadn't seen either of the first two movies, so Wendy watched them with me on TV Sunday night and then we went to the matinee of X-men 3 yesterday. Fun stuff. It's pretty rare that sequels get better as you go along but I think they pulled it off with this one.
  • It's the girls last week of school. They have semester tests this week. I can tell that they're both excited to be done.
  • Madison is looking for a job to make some extra money before she goes to Thailand. Please pray for God to open something up for her.
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May 23, 2006


Wendy_danceIt's cool that Taylor and Wendy both dance with the same dance studio. The semi-annual recital is this Saturday. It's such a blast to see the little ones in the their pink leotards and tutus. Taylor is doing both jazz-tap and hip-hop. Wendy's "adult" group is reprising a beautiful ballet number they did last year and then, for a stretch, doing a hip-hop number. Recital is Saturday. If anyone wants to attend, let me know!

May 21, 2006

Vander Well News Briefs - May 21

Suzanna_sluggerIt's been a great week!

  • Taylor and Madison are looking forward to being done with school in just two more weeks. Taylor is hoping to get both lunch and dinner hours at the restaurant. Madison will start Driver's Ed as soon as school is out.
  • Much Ado About Nothing rehearsals are every week night and Saturday mornings, so Wendy and aren't doing much else outside of work. Are you coming to the show? It's FREE! For schedule of performance dates and locations click here.
  • We had two graduation parties to attend yesterday, which seemed like a lot until I spoke with Monique, one of our group members who we ran into at Brooke Zehr's reception. Monique said that she had 27 graduation receptions to attend next weekend. That's ALOT of white cake.
  • Wendy and I stopped by Mom & Dad Vander Well's yesterday after the graduation parties. They are back from Lake of the Ozarks for a few weeks. Pray for mom's cataract surgery tomorrow (May 22).
  • We then scooted up to Boone to see Mom & Dad Hall and attend Suzanna's little league softball game. She was adorable in her hot-pink batting helmet. Heidi was home, as well. She and Jesse are planning to move to Iowa City the first of August. We're looking forward to having them closer!

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May 14, 2006

VW News Briefs - May 14

  • Newsbox Happy Mother's Day! Mom Hall came to Pella with Becky and Suzanna yesterday. We took Grandma VH to Pizza Ranch for lunch. Mom VW is at their 'playhouse' on Lake of the Ozarks through the rest of this week and then returns to DSM for her 2nd cataract surgery.
  • Wendy survived her first week commuting to the new office in Sully. It's about a 20-30 minute drive, (depending on the amount of farm implement traffic in Peoria! Ha!). She's been putting in ALOT of hours with the transition. One little surprise has been Faye Brand's dog, who likes to sneak into the office and lay by Faye's desk (which means he lays between Faye and Wendy).
  • It was a long week of client meetings for me this week, with one overnight in Lincoln, NE. By the time I got back to the office on Friday the stack of work that had piled up was deep and wide.
  • We decided to forget work yesterday and just enjoy the day together. After lunch with mom & grandma we headed to DSM for some shopping and finished the day having dinner with my brother, Tim, who was proudly showing off one of the two guitars he finished last week. Sounds like he's going to buy an old commercial building in Red Wing, MN to convert to a home and guitar shop.
  • Taylor and Madison are counting down the days until school's out for the summer (3 weeks!). Madison is taking Driver's Ed before leaving for Thailand. Taylor has been working a lot of hours at the restaurant and is hoping to pick up another part-time job.
  • It's been stinkin' COLD, with rain and wind all week. Feels more like late November instead of mid-May (Most of the Tulips are still up if you want to stop by and see them).

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flickr photo courtesy of Special

May 10, 2006

Vander Well News Briefs - May 10

  • Newstand Wendy and I have a week off production before rehearsals start for Pella Shakespeare Company's production of Much Ado About Nothing.
  • We auditioned last Sunday for day roles in an upcoming Hollywood film shooting in Cedar Rapids and Norway Iowa called The Final Season. Who knows. It was fun to audition.
  • Wendy's office moved out to Co-Line in the greater Sully metropolitan area. Co-Line purchased GoalSetters this past Spring. Wendy has a great corner cubicle with an expansive view of the rural landscape.
  • Madison got her driving permit last week (yikes!). Of course, she wanted to drive the Cadillac home from the court house. Ummmmmm....no.
  • Speaking of Madison, her support is all raised for Thailand and she's already putting away money towards her next mission trip. Anything extra she raised can go toward another TeenMania trip if it's used within (I think) a year, otherwise it goes towards TeenMania's general budget.
  • Taylor's boss at Monarch's Restaurant told me that she's a great hostess and they've been impressed with the way she handles the Tulip Time crowds. At times, Taylor managed over forty people waiting for tables. Her boss said, "Taylor's so sweet, people can't get mad at her. If we have an angry customer we just send Taylor up there." They've asked Taylor to train their new hostess. Not bad for fifteen years old.