October 28, 2007

An impending crisis

This year marked nine years that I have been working at my job. We live on the southern edges of Chicagoland, and my work is on the northwest corner. A round trip of 120 miles. Within a few months of starting I joined in with a state sponsored vanpool program. This program has been what's kept me at work so long. I pay a fraction of what it would take to drive every day, and I don't have to drive every day. We lost two of our five riders in the last few weeks, and a vanpool needs a minimum of four riders. So next week my van folds in. This is bad news in many ways. When I started work, my car was brand new, and gas was $1.20/gallon. You know the numbers now (well, for foreign readers, gas is close to $3/gallon). And, of course, my car has 120,000+ miles on it through all these years of use. My commuting costs will quadruple immediately starting next month, not to mention the constant worry of breaking down on the highway in a high mileage car. Needless to say, my mind has not been at ease in the last few days.

So is there any hope. Maybe one - and this is the stuff miracles are made of. There is one other vanpool that runs from the same location. They drive a mini-van with six passengers. Pace (the agency that administers the program) also offers a full-size van that seats 10 passengers. However, the way the program is set up, the lead driver of each vanpool can decide what kind of van they want to drive. The driver of the other vanpool has in all these years refused to drive a larger van. We were trained to drive on the big vans, but this particular driver feels more comfortable driving a mini-van (ok, understandable). If by some chance (chance? insert, miracle), this other driver has a change of heart and agrees to a larger van, then I still have a vanpool.

This whole situation has not been without some other unpleasantness. I had mentioned that our van was left with three riders. Well, it so happens that one of the drivers (our lead driver) had a little bit of advance knowledge of the van's breakup. The other vanpool I mentioned above had one opening (they were five, and a mini-van can seat six). So this woman called up Pace, and reserved the extra seat without telling any of us. Now she is sitting happy, while another person and I are in the lurch.

Anyway, the one thing I keep reminding myself is that I have a job to go to. It's not like I am complaining about having no work. It's just that what I had felt was God's provision is seemingly slipping away. Just because the the Egyptians were facing seven years of drought did not mean that God was proving to be unfaithful. His faithfulness was more than adequately represented in the seven years of plenty. Times like these serve to remind me that my help does not come from the hands of men.

And now for the stars of this blog...

October 21, 2007

Just life...

There's not a whole lot going on with us, except the everyday stuff. I got done with my stint of traveling, and with a few weeks coming up in Pennsylvania, there's nothing planned for the rest of the year. The big thing coming up is Todd's wedding to Susan, so that's something exciting to look forward to. Neither of them have blogs, so watch this space for pictures.

It's always fun to have friends over

As part of 40 Days of Community, the whole church did a service project. We picked about 28 homes in Lansing where work was needed (mostly in the yard). Then every home group pitched in to get that work done. Here's Priya helping trim some bushes, and shoveling dirt.

Priya and Armaan got to enjoy Auntie Shawn for a few days when she visited Michigan

Hmm... Look what happens when your back is turned...

Kavon and Armaan

We were invited to a costume birthday party where a cowgirl and a cowboy showed up.

Should we hire Priya as a gardener?

October 07, 2007

Global Warming

More on the title coming later. Armaan is big enough that he can eat some rice cereal. So here's his first feeding of semi-solid foods. He didn't much care for it - I think the texture is what threw him off.

The little guy is 3 months old

Priya thinks it's great being in Armaan's crib. It seems a lot more fun bed than hers.

Almost exactly to the day as last year, we were back at County Line Orchard for apple-picking. You can refresh your memories on our last year's experiences here. Last year, it was a nice, crisp fall day - perfect for picking apples. This year? 92 degrees!! Ok. So maybe Al Gore needs a little more credit. Today was hotter than what a summer day in Chicago should be, let alone one in October. Every where I looked, I saw cranky kids, and parents and families that just wanted to get done with the day. We were out for about 20 minutes, and I was ready to call it quits. Still - it was fun to go as a family. Maybe the weather will cooperate next year.

Armaan was a trooper the whole time. He really is a very forbearing baby.

92 degrees outside, and he is happy to be looking around.

Can you tell it's hot?

Priya got some nail polish like a big girl.

Sister and brother

Armaan with his first cereal

Little chunky monkey

It's fun in Armaan's bed