Posted by: Andrew | September 24, 2011

Visitors

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a couple of visitors to our new place.  The new townhouse is much bigger than the old apartment, so we finally feel like we can have company without all being on top of each other all the time.

The weekend before Labor Day, my parents and little brother came to visit, they even brought their own guest bed and were kind enough to leave it here for future use.  We had a great time hanging out, feeding them some Blackthorn Pub Pizza (if you’re ever in St. Louis, you must try it, and it’s a block away from us, so while you’re in the neighborhood stop in and say hey)!  They got to go to church with us on Saturday and experience the Festival of Nations right up the street from us in Tower Grove Park (think yummy ethnic food booth times 40).  It was great seeing them and we hope we get to see them again soon.

Last weekend, Bethany’s parents came into town for a weekend visit.  We made sure their bellies were filled while they were here with the Blackthorn pizza and Pappy’s BBQ.  Friday was the Forest Park Balloon Glow, where you sit and watch hot air balloons tethered to the ground fire off their flames and…glow!  So I dropped Bethany and her parents off in the park as close as I could get them and set off to find a parking spot, thinking I could make quick work of it.  Wrong!  Every road in the park was blocked off and/or required a permit to park on and I ended up parking about a mile and a half away.  So by the time I got to the park the glow was over and everyone was ready to go.  I was less than thrilled, but I set off to get the car and now I have a story to tell, so it’s all good.  We also got to take them to church with us on Saturday and just had an overall good time hanging out.

So if you’re in The Lou and you need a spot to crash, give us a heads up, we like having visitors, and we even have a place for you to sleep now (thanks Mom and Dad and Johnny)!

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Posted by: Andrew | September 14, 2011

This thing still exists?!?!

It’s been a busy year, and I won’t attempt to recap everything here, but I’m gonna try to make a concerted effort to update this thing on semi-regular basis. So get ready, it’s going to be awesome. Or at least moderately interesting 🙂

Posted by: Bethany | December 19, 2010

Recaps and Thanksgiving

On Saturday August 28th, Andrew was baptized. This was such an amazing experience standing next to Andrew and witnessing him profess his belief in Jesus Christ to other believers. What a blessed decision!

Andrew being baptized at The Journey.

Over Labor Day weekend, Andrew’s mom, Brenda came and visited for a few days. We enjoyed spending time with her. We went to a Cardinal’s game, Kirkwood Farmer’s Market and all the little shops nearby, Tower Grove Park, Cheesecake Factory for Sunday brunch (yum!), our church, and relaxed.  It was a fun-filled weekend!

Brenda, Andrew, and I at the Cardinals game.

Cardinals Game!

Downtown Kirkwood.

Cheesecake Factory Brunch…yummy!!

November was a busy month for Andrew and I. Besides school coming to an end with many projects due before finals we did some traveling during Thanksgiving with a trip to Seattle, WA and Danville, IN.

We flew out to Seattle, WA to celebrate Andrew’s Grandpa Ritchie’s life full of accomplishments and wonderful memories and attend his memorial service as well as spend time with family. We left on Thursday evening (November 18th) and returned late Sunday evening (November 21st).  On Friday evening we went to Grandma Ritchie’s house and had a chili dinner. On Saturday, some ladies from Grandma Ritchie’s church provided lunch for the Ritchie family. Then, we went to Kayak Point on the eastern side of Puget Sound and remembered Grandpa Ritchie by spreading his ashes. The memorial service followed at their church. On Sunday, Aunt Cheryl provided a huge Thanksgiving dinner for the entire family and several friends. It was good seeing everyone.

In Remembrance of John A. Ritchie

Andrew and Grandma Ritchie

Ritchie Family

Family

We left for Danville, IN on Wednesday the 24th and returned that Saturday. On Thanksgiving we made a scrumptious brunch with the family. On Friday we went picked out Christmas trees at the Christmas tree farm followed by hot cocoa and pizza! We returned to Saint Louis that Saturday.

Family Time

Jacob and I.

Ryan and I.

Jacob looking for a Christmas tree!

We have many things to be thankful for this year: family, friends, education, safety, and shelter. God has been so good to us this year and continues to provide for our needs and take care of us.

It was wonderful being able to see so much family this Thanksgiving from all over the U.S. and make new memories filled with laughter and joy.

 

Posted by: Bethany | December 16, 2010

Autumn with the Arkills

Amongst the busyness, Andrew and I did find time to go to the apple orchard where we picked apples, found a pumpkin to carve, and had a fun-filled day of festivities!

Eckert’s Orchard where you pick your own apples and pumpkins!

Andrew at the orchard.

Fun corn maze we walked through.

We found our pumpkin!

Coming back from picking apples and our pumpkin.

Having fun!

Finished Product 🙂

Yummy homemade apple pie!!!

Posted by: Bethany | December 16, 2010

Wrapping Up Fall Semester

Greetings!

Andrew and I are enjoying some much needed R & R. We have both completed a very busy, but successful Fall semester. Our grades are rolling in and they are looking good 🙂 We kept very busy this fall with studying, projects, and tests with some fun mixed in.

Andrew has one more academic semester! He is traveling to Hong Kong January 3rd for a two week study abroad experience with his MBA program and classmates. He is looking forward to the experience: traveling overseas, sightseeing, and learning. When he returns, he will begin to apply for jobs in earnest as he finishes his educational journey; graduating in May.

December 10th, I had my pinning ceremony to complete my academic career. January 3rd, I begin my first fieldwork rotation at a preschool. I am excited to begin practicing and moving closer to graduation in May and completing fieldwork in June!

This next year will bring many exciting adventures and changes as Andrew and I will be leaving the academic side of life and enter the work force!

http://vimeo.com/17888998

Here are a few pictures from my pinning ceremony:

Receiving Pi Theta Epsilon cords.

Me, Christy, and Jenny after the ceremony.

Posted by: Bethany | August 11, 2010

A Little of this and A Little of that

I have not written for about a month because Andrew and I have been very busy. Andrew has been going to classes from 9:00am-5:00pm each day and then usually staying on campus for group work or coming home and doing a lot of homework. He has two more full weeks of his summer schedule left and then final weeks. He is definitely looking forward to his summer schedule coming to a close, receiving a small 5 day break, when Brenda will be visiting us, and then beginning a calmer fall semester! He is still enjoying MBA school even though it is very hard work!

Andrew and I have been exercising to keep ourselves in shape and we have found it is a nice stress reliever. About 4 1/2 weeks ago, Andrew had a “nice” fall as he tried to jump over a metal chain strung across his choice running path. Unfortunately, he did not clear it, which may have had something to do with him being on mile 3 of his run, and his legs were tired. He is slowly recovering but I thought I would share pictures of his incredible bruises he acquired on his arms from the fall (which have finally disappeared). He did not actually hit his elbows, but he hyper-extended them which caused the bruising.

Andrew’s Left Elbow

He also hit his chin, knees, and had bruises on his hands, wrists, and shoulder. After five weeks or recovery, he only has soreness on his left hand now. We are very thankful he did not break anything!

Although I have not been working this summer I have remained quite busy. I completed my Master’s paper just in time for my ten day visit with my family. I told my sister my goal was to have it done by the time she gave birth to Ryan, and I finished it four days after she had him!

The first ten days of August, Andrew was gracious enough to do without me while I spent time with my family in Danville, Indiana. I was able to spend lots of time with my nephews, Jacob and Ryan, as well as the rest of my family. Overall, it was a wonderful visit and it was very nice to see my family before I begin classes again. Below are some pictures of my visit.

Ryan

Me enjoying some time with Ryan!

The Girls (Me, Sister, Mom…left to right)!

Jacob and Me!

Jacob and his cool shades!!!

I love being an Aunt!!

Hopefully, I will keep up with blogging, but soon, Andrew and I will both be in school (I start August 23rd)! Until next time, God Bless!

Posted by: Bethany | July 5, 2010

Arkills’ 4th of July Weekend

Andrew and I were able to enjoy a fun-filled weekend due to him having a long weekend away from his busy school schedule.

On Friday morning, while Andrew went to his last two classes, I drove downtown to wait in a very long line for First Pitch tickets to the Cardinal’s Game that evening. First Pitch tickets allow you to receive two tickets for $11.00 to the Cardinal’s Game that day or night. The catch is, you have absolutely no idea where you will be seated until 15 minutes before the first pitch (hence the name). Andrew and I journeyed downtown around 6:00pm that evening and anxiously waited in line until 7:00pm  to find out where we would be sitting (section 370, row 3, seats 13 and 14). Not the suites, but oh well, for $11.00, we could not really complain, and at Busch Stadium, there is really not a bad seat in the stadium. We enjoyed watching the Cardinals win along with some good food!

It was Brockabrella night too!

Not too bad of a view!

Us enjoying the game!

Saturday, Andrew and I woke up bright and early to exercise! We have taken up exercising to get in shape and have consistently stuck with it for two weeks now:) Andrew runs or rides his bike that someone loaned to us and I walk in the park while carrying hand weights for cardio.

After exercising, we ate lunch and packed our picnic dinner for later that evening. Andrew then watched some soccer and the Tour De France while I took a little siesta. We headed downtown for our picnic before walking over to the Arch for a John Legend concert and fireworks that followed.

John Legend!

The beautiful Saint Louis Arch!

Us at the concert.

Our friends, Heather and Aaron who joined us!

Pretty Fireworks!

Sunday, we took it easy in the morning and then decided to go back downtown to watch the airshow and more fireworks! We were at the airshow and it was announced there would be a heavy downpour for about 10 minutes. Andrew and I hurried to FRIDAYS to eat some dinner. We made it just in time; they certainly meant downpour! After we finished eating we went and found a spot on the grass and watched the beautiful firework show!

The fireworks! (there was a small tree in the way on the right, but we could still see almost all of them)

Happy 4th of July!

The firework covered the entire Arch!

Enjoying the show!

Well, after a wonderful weekend of relaxation and fun, it is now time to return to a busy week. Andrew will be returning to his full schedule of classes with projects, presentations, and homework galore; and I will begin writing my Master’s paper!

Until next time, have a blessed week!

Posted by: Bethany | July 2, 2010

Arkills Update

Wow! It has been a long time since Andrew and I have posted a blog. We initially started a blog page because we wanted to keep everyone updated on the “Arkills’ Adventures.” Unfortunately, I believe we have slightly failed at this mission. Today, I was looking at our last blog, and I realized how much our lives have changed since the last time we posted something.

Andrew and I have moved from the Central West End of Saint Louis to within walking distance of Tower Grover Park and the Botanical Gardens. At first, we were a little nervous that we would miss our old neighborhood, but we actually love our new neighborhood so much more. We walk to the park quite often. Andrew has been running and I walk in order to get our exercise! We can even walk to our church on days that it is not too hot. The Botanical Gardens is free on Wednesdays and Saturdays but we have yet to check that out. In addition, they have free Jazz music every Wednesday night. We live on a peaceful one-way street with lots of trees for shade and our apartment has much character.

(Our Kitchen)

(Our Living Room and Dining Room)

(Front Door)

I finished my first year of Occupational Therapy school and loved every minute of it even though it was very challenging. I completed three Level I Fieldwork experiences: the first one at a skilled nursing home facility, the second one at a rehabilitation unit at a hospital, and the third one at a preschool. I absolutely loved the preschool setting. In fact, I just received my placements for my spring Level II Fieldwork. I will be spending three months at the First Steps Fox School District and three months at a Rehab facility. God has truly been blessing me and stretching me through this program and I am certainly learning a lot.

I have this summer off. I looked for a job through the spring but did not have success because during May and the first part of June I was not available to work. I am enjoying some time off, taking care of the housework and Andrew while he is studying and going to school. I seem to be keeping plenty busy!

Andrew did not find a job this past year, but God was good to us and took care of our needs during this time and for that we are very grateful. Andrew was a huge blessing and support system to me during my very rigorous schedule; taking care of everything that needed to be done around the house, bills, and moving while I was still in school. It may have been a blessing in disguise that he was not working during this past year, because he was needed for plenty of other things.

It is truly amazing how God works in mysterious ways, because during this past year, Andrew decided to go back to school and receive his MBA. He studied and took the GMAT and applied to business schools this past spring. He chose to go to Saint Louis University’s one year MBA program (this is also where I am attending for OT school)! I am so very proud of Andrew and all of his accomplishments thus far; he is such a hard-worker with strong ambition! On June 1st Andrew began the MBA program, in which he will have taken 19 credit hours by the end of this summer. He is doing well, very busy, but managing the load successfully!

After I got done with school at the beginning of May, Andrew’s dad, step-mom, and I  surprised Andrew for his birthday and they flew us out to Washington D.C. for a little vacation to see them. We then headed to Indiana and saw his mom, step-dad, brother, and grandparents and then headed to my parents house to help them move. Then, we headed back to Saint Louis so Andrew could begin his rigorous MBA program on June 1st. He will graduate next May. I also went and visited my family again in June because my mom had surgery. I stayed for 10 days to help take care of her and visit. She is doing wonderfully! In addition, Andrew and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary on June 21st:)

(Us in front of the White House)

(Andrew in front of Abe)

(Me chilling on the steps)

(The Family)

In our spare time, Andrew and I like to go to Cardinal’s games, walk around downtown, go to the park, free concerts, the farmer’s market, cook, etc.

(Cardinal’s Game)

(At a Cardinal’s Game)

(Homemade Chicken Marsala)

(Homemade Cheesecake for Andrew’s Birthday)

(Andrew and I)

Hopefully this brings everyone up to speed on Andrew and I’s journey this past year. I will try to keep up with blogging more often. Andrew and I are very grateful for everything that God has done in our lives this past year. We have grown tremendously closer with one another and with God. God’s love is abundant and He is always faithful!

Posted by: Andrew | October 25, 2009

On the Importance of Date Night

Something Bethany and I have been striving to do lately is to carve out a night each week where we put aside whatever it is we might be working on and “have a date”. This can sometimes be as simple as renting a movie from the nearest redbox, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. The point is that we’re devoting time to nothing and no one else but each other. I think too often in this world that we live in, we tend to get so caught up in everything that’s going on around us and in our daily routine that we don’t stop to cherish what we have right in front of us.  One of my favorite quotes is one by George Orwell and is quite applicable to this trend:

“To see (and appreciate) what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”

So if you don’t currently have a date night set aside each week for you and your spouse or significant other, make one. You’ll find it a welcome repreive from the daily grind and a great opportunity to keep that flame alive.

Posted by: Andrew | October 19, 2009

Digging deeper….

Hmmm, where to start?  Well, I don’t know, so I guess we’ll go with the beginning for those of you that don’t know.

I’m a recent graduate of Purdue University, husband to a beautiful wife, son to some great parents who poured everything into me and who made me who I am today, grandson to many awesome grandparents who have been me spoiling rotten since before I exited the womb and are a never-ending stream of wisdom.

Beyond that, and I suppose this is the digging deeper part, I am a Christian.  I am unapologetic about this fact, and rejoice daily in a God who loves me for the broken person that I am.  I am constantly seeking to know more about Him, to understand the salvation that was bought for me by His son, and to find ways to share this great news with everyone I come in contact with.

We live in Saint Louis, a little bit north of Forest Park, which we have come to love.  It’s nice to have that kind of open space so close to your front door in a city this size.  We don’t utilize this awesome space as much as we should, but when we do, we enjoy the heck out of it.

I enjoy helping my breathtakingly gorgeous wife enrich her brain in her Occupational therapy studies by quizzing her, being a sounding board for tough homework questions, and being a “practice patient”, which requires a great deal sitting still and doing as you’re told, but results in Bethany learning what she needs to, so it’s worth it.

We’ve joined a church here in town, joined a small group, and are just enjoying life in general.  If you have any questions, just let me know!

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