Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More new stuff

Ana's back at her post at work, and I'm very glad to hand her back the reins (her telephone) and assume other duties. Actually, today I was at my new office (where I'll be doing some new work and some old), learning new things for my 5-hour-a-week position with CAPS/GS. I got my computer set up, my new phone set up, and keys to my new office. I have now made several new piles, but I have shelves on which to store them so it doesn't look too bad. I'm set up to print at a printer in my office--what more could a worker want?

Emi seems to be adjusting to life with the Nelsons as well. We are settling into a little routine--I take her to Bethel, walk her to her classroom, and she waits for me at a little circle area where I pick her up at the end of the day. Today she went to the Walker Art Institute and learned about gender issues in America. Tonight another host family called to see if she could go with their Japanese student and another Japanese friend to the Mall of America on Sunday. This should be lots of fun for her, and help her have something to look forward to this weekend.

I'm looking forward to a work picnic on Friday afternoon. My friend and co-worker Katrina will be there with her family, including her brand new baby Aiden. There should be lots of food and fun. After that, Tim and I will go to another picnic/skit night with the Japanese students and their host families. I may sleep all day on Saturday.

Till next time,



Friday, July 27, 2007

Hosting again

Wow, things can really change in a 24-hour period!

Last night I got a phone call asking if we'd consider hosting a Japanese girl who is studying at Bethel for one month. She had been living with a family for a few days already, but found she is allergic to their cat. So, tonight she moved in with us.

We just need to provide her with breakfast and supper during the week (she has lunch at Bethel) and weekend meals, as well as weekend meals. Since I'm working pretty much full-time at Bethel, she can ride with me to and from work every day.

She is a very sweet young gal, 19 years old, and we are already enjoying her. We went out to Byerly's for supper and went down to Solomon's Porch to say good-bye to a friend Tim has gotten to know at Bible studies there over the last several months.

We'll keep you posted on our activities!

Sayanora! (or however you spell it...)

Till next time,



Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well, Ana will be back on Monday--so I only have two more days to fill in for her! It's been busy at the office--even without a lot of student traffic, phone calls or emails. Just learning the ropes, printing transcripts, registering new students, etc. is busy enough!

Today I've also been working on getting material ready for Christina for her senior year. She may do a Post Secondary Education Option--something Minnesota offers seniors--they can take college courses in their junior and senior years and get high school and college credit for them with NO college tuition! We're hoping this will work out. Luke took several college classes in his senior year and enjoyed it very much.

It is hot and very humid here--especially for Minnesota. We are hoping for rain tomorrow night--we really need it, as do many parts of the country.

Here's to rain and cooler temps!

Till next time,



Sunday, July 22, 2007

Blogging again

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a week since I blogged! It's been super busy at work; even though I have full-time hours now, it seems like I can't get everything done. Phones are not that busy and drop-in interruptions are not that frequent, but we have so much to do with registering new students, sending out transcripts and diplomas, verifying enrollment for prospective employers of students, etc. etc. that it just seems crazy.

Life at home has been busy, too, as Tim has worked to get our son Luke's old house ready for new renters. New carpet, new ceilings, new paint, cleaning, throwing out stuff, yard work, and on and on. Plus his work has been busy too. This weekend, however, we did get some scooter time in. We went to a festival in south Minneapolis and connected with some friends. We rode over to some good friends' house and got ourselves invited over for supper tomorrow night. We watched the fireworks from the Stone Arch Bridge and ate supper at a little Mexican restaurant (not a chain). It was a good weekend.

I'm hoping for a productive week. One more week till Ana comes back--the registration coordinator/advisor whose large shoes (not that her feet are big, they're not) I'm trying to slip into somehow. It will be very good to have her back.

I'll try to blog during the week this time.

Till next time,



Saturday, July 14, 2007

Employment excitement

Above: the logo for the Bethel University employee intranet log-in page. Left is the university main entrance, next is the outdoor courtyard on campus (I think), next is the university chapel, and on the right is the seminary library staircase.

Last spring (2006), when I lost my part-time job as a Communications Manager, one thing Tim told me was, Well, maybe you've lost a part-time job so you can look for a full-time one. At the time, I'm not sure I appreciate this "helpful" comment (sorry, honey), but as the summer wore on and a stream of interviews ended up in no prospects, I began to think more about it. But as time went on, I realized that I needed to think about part-time to begin with, hoping that it would open the door to full-time employment one day.

Well, last August, I was hired part-time to work in Anthropology/Sociology as an Administrative Assistant at Bethel University--I job I absolutely love. But it's only 15 hours. So I looked for another job on campus. In October I applied for a 20 hour a week position--working at the Bethel Seminary registrar's office as Registration Coordinator for the SemPM and Doctor of Ministry programs. Thanks to the recommendations of my new friends at Anthro/Soc, I was offered this position as well. But 35 hours a week with summers off did not add up to full time--yet. (Although I did get retirement benefits--hurray!)

Fast forward to summer of 2007. Two people from the seminary registrar's office (out of 3 1/2--me being the half) are out. One had a planned three-week vacation. The other had a planned C-section which ended up being a fast labor 10 days early with a husband out of town (but thankfully her mom was here!). So, two full-time people were out. I had already gotten approval for 20 hours a week for one month during this time.

Now, in addition to the absence of two of the registrar's full-time people, the university registrar's main office was undergoing some stress. Our CAPS/GS (College of Adult Professional Studies/Graduate Studies) program was experience growth (a good thing) but the associate registrar for the program was being stretched to the max. The University Registrar spoke with me about the possibility of working five more hours a week, devoting that time to CAPS/GS in the registrar's office. This brings me to FULL-TIME STATUS--and in the summer I'll only work 25 hours a week!

So now my job title at Bethel is: Administrative Assistant in the Department of Anthropology & Sociology and Registration Coordinator/Advisor for SemPM & Doctor of Ministry programs and Registration Coordinator (I think that's my title anyway) for the College of Adult Professional Studies/Graduate Studies. Think I can get 'er all done in 40 hours a week?

As of now, I've been approved to work 40 hours till the end of the month to help fill the current vacancies. I am very excited about this new opportunity and the CAPS/GS person I'll be reporting to has become a good friend--in fact--we meet at her house for the book club I joined at Bethel in October!

God is good. His timing is not always our timing, but his outcomes make the wait worth it. Monday I talk to HR about benefits. I'm just afraid they may charge me for the space my new title will take up in databases/printed rosters....

Till next time,



Monday, July 09, 2007

Happy Birthday Luke! (7-7-07)

I was waiting to blog about Luke's birthday till Tim uploaded his birthday party photos, but alas, it hasn't happened yet, and I wanted to go ahead and wish him a happy (belated) birthday here.

He was born 22 years ago on 7-7-85, and he celebrated his big day this year on 7-7-07. So, of course we had to have a party.

Relatives and friends were invited. Mark grilled in the 100 degree heat and with a dewpoint of around 70. Tim had bought a window a/c unit for his office upstairs, so we had the central air going and two window units (the other is for our back office--my blogging office).

I've decided to copy past posts of Luke's birthday/birthday party of the last few years. He is a great kid--ooops, young man! Wow--22!

Love you Luke!

Luke's birthday


I can't let this day go by without acknowledging our son Luke's 19th birthday. Wow--it seems like only yesterday (I know that's a cliche......) that he was born. Now he's talking about moving into another home with his friend Alex (Alex's grandfather recently moved out and the house needs some updating, which Luke could help do).

He just graduated from high school, so I guess a chapter of our lives is ending. But even if he moves, it will only be a couple of miles away, to a nice area of Minneapolis. He'll keep working with Tim, and I'm sure he'll be back home for occasional meals or to visit the dog (and us?).

Nineteen. Sounds so old, but I don't feel old enough to be the parent of an almost-20-year-old. Old enough to have a daughter-in-law or grandchildren????? I do have friends about my age who already have kids-in-law and some even have a grandchild or two.

Well, I don't regret getting older. Each day, each month, each year is a gift from God. I'm glad I've lived to see Luke turn 19 and see the fine young man he is becoming. We have lots of good memories--many of them camping, some helping him with homework (especially during his two years of home schooling), watching him play baseball and basketball, hearing him play in his school bands (clarinet, then bass clarinet), listening to him on his guitar, bass guitar, and lately drums with his head banging band. He's excited about moving his instruments and his band to a new location. I may not miss the loud noise, but I will miss the drummer/guitarist/bassist son. But I rejoice at his new place in life.

After all, didn't God give us teenagers to make it easier to let them go? Godspeed, Luke. Happy birthday, honey. Stay in the Lord's hands--the best place of all.

Till next time,




Twenty years ago little Luke, our firstborn, came into this world. It was after a long labor, and my blood pressure was steadily rising--so he ended up being an emergency C-section. He was healthy, though, and we were so thankful. I was in pretty rough shape for a couple of days as a result of toxemia, but I recovered from the whole experience in a couple of weeks. Luke, meanwhile, was happy, sweet and wonderful.

Grandma and Grandpa Nelson were at the hospital to see their first grandchild. Uncle Greg was just heading off to hockey camp, but Luke made his appearance before they had to leave town. Uncle Jeff must have been around somewhere, too--Tim is the firstborn, so at that time his brothers weren't married.

It has been fun to watch Luke grow up into a wonderful young man. It's hard to believe that he's not a teenager anymore--never mind that he left infancy, preschool and school-age years long ago. He's been a great example to his younger siblings--helpful, smart and kind. He's not perfect, but we are very blessed to know him as our own. Have a great day, Luke--I don't know where the time has gone, but we are grateful to God for giving you to us. We love you!

Till next time,

Suzi (proud mom of a grown kid)



It's not easy to get the Nelson crew together in the summer. Planning around summer vacations, baseball games, kids activities, etc. makes it tough.

So, when I planned Luke's birthday party (kind of last minute--his real birthday on July 7 happened while we were at Cornerstone) I set it for a Sunday, thinking that would be best for everyone. Luke was working at night (delivering pizzas) so I scheduled it for 1 pm, after church.

Turns out Tim's brother Jeff and family were leaving town Sunday morning. His other brother Greg was prepping for a major kitchen remodel which was to take place today. Maybe a couple of Luke's cousins could make it.

Then the morning service went long on Sunday. And, ironically, after church there was a birthday party for another boy who was turning 21. I had to drag Tim away from cake at church at 12:40 when I needed to get home to prepare a salad, set Mark to grillin', and have Tim pick up the DQ birthday cake for his son.

We made it home before 1. I coaxed Christina into helping me assemble the chicken cashew salad. Mark set to flipping burgers. 1:15 came, and nobody had arrived. I guess I was grateful, because we needed the time, but I was a little nervous too. Had everyone forgotten?

Well, Tim did come home with the cake, and then Grandma and Grandpa Nelson arrived. Our friend Judd came, and Luke arrived with his girlfriend Katie. Cousin Terry came on the scene a bit later.

It was a nice gathering--Luke also brought his new cat Omar. Of course, all the adults thought he was named after the famous actor Omar Sharif, but I guess there's a well-known (?) guitar player named Omar Rodriguez. Anyway, we had to put Raven in the office--Omar & Raven's first meeting didn't go to well. (Omar hissed from under the table and Raven barked like crazy). Finally we let Raven out while Katie held onto Omar. They seemed to have arrived at a sort of truce. (This after Raven checked out--I won't go into more detail than that--Omar's litter box that Luke had brought along.)

Everyone was able to fit into the living room and we had enough food--not too many burgers or brats, but enough. There was a little bit of cake left, but since we have a new freezer, it fit nicely inside it.

Our next summer birthday party is this Sunday--niece Nicole will be ten! Nephew Alex and Tim have August birthdays, and then we get ready for the fall lineup of parties.

I'm glad we're still making the effort to get together even though the kids are getting older and schedules more crazy. Even the animals are making an effort. I wonder what Greg & Kari's dog Avery (a toy poodle) would think of Omar--they are, at least, closer in size...

Till next time,



Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Almost home

Tonight is my last night on the road. I'm blogging from the Hilton Garden Inn in Kankakee, IL. Tomorrow Cheri & I will have lunch with our sister Lori and then Cheri will take me to O'Hare to fly back to good ole Minneapolis.

We had a fun, but long day. Left Madisonville, TN at 6:30 am (eastern time). Stopped in Nashville to see Rog & family for a few minutes. Travelled on to Metropolis, IL to join Uncle Bob, Aunt Barb & Cousin Benita at a 4th of July picnic. This was going to be a quick stop, but 2.5 hours later we were back on the road. We ran into some heavy rain and pulled into a Burger King parking lot for about 20 minutes.

We had a blast with Mom and Dad--traveling to Pigeon Forge and east of Knoxville to visit a friend of Cheri's who makes lots of things including homemade soap, sauve, and shampoo.

More details later--must get to bed!

Till next time,



Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tennessee tales

Well, my sister and I arrived safely in Tennessee. We transported our nephew and his two friends because our brother left the festival early--while he was with us at Cornerstone, his house caught fire. Fortunately no one was home and the fire department arrived quickly (thanks to a neighbor who called them and even ran through the burning house (not a recomended thing to do) to see if everyone was out.

Half their roof is gone and there is lots of smoke and water damage. They will be staying in a hotel for several days until a rental home can be found for them. It will be 3-4 months before they will be back in their home.

They are all doing quite well under the circumstances, but I'm sure they would appreciate your prayers.

Meanwhile, Cheri & I stopped to see them and had supper with them before we traveled on to Madisonville, TN where we are now. I jumed on the computer while everyone else is napping, but I need a nap now too. We got in last night at midnight and were up to be at church by nine. I'll be fighting my sister for the computer :)this week, but hope to blog again soon.
That is, if I can get used to my dad's laptop.

Till next time,


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