Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chris and Garrett find some familiar names on a hike!

Here are some pictures on a recent hike Chris and Garrett took to what is called First Canyon. Some of you will recognize the names in the picture!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Nice Pictures of Rehoboth

Here are some nice pictures of the Rehoboth campus taken by the Calvin students living in our dorm. Click here!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Turkey Time Update!

This update is long overdue! It’s hard to believe that it is almost Thanksgiving already, and that we’ve been in New Mexico for almost 4 months. The weather here is still wonderful, this weekend we were still able to stroll the flee-market in short-sleeves! Ok, it does get below freezing at night and we’ve had a few really cold, windy days, but still no snow and plenty of sunshine!

Here’s an update on each of us:

Garrett: discovering everything by putting it all in my mouth, including markers. I’m starting to cruise all over our house and I have no fear! At my last doctor’s appointment I weighed in at 23lbs! I had an ear infection last month, have three teeth, my parents say I look like a Jack O’ Lantern, and with all of the pain I didn’t let them get much sleep for a couple of weeks. I like to talk a lot, but it doesn’t seem like anyone understands me ;). My most exciting news is that I’m going to be a big brother in June!

Chris: Time has flown by for me as I have been as busy as I have ever been with teaching, coaching, and chasing my wife and son around. Cross Country finished up at the end of October and I am now enjoying the extra time with Nikki and Garrett. Both teams made it to the state meet where the boys finished 7th and the girls 8th. One of the biggest benefits for me from coaching was the weight loss! Since I started running again I have lost quite a bit of weight and have continued to keep up the running habit even since the end of the season. Coaching also took me to many new places in New Mexico. Early in October I also had the opportunity to go to a Math Teacher Conference (aka: Nerd Fest 2006) in Phoenix. Teaching has been one of the easiest transitions for me with our move here. Kids are still kids. It’s been finding a church and being the person who knows nothing about the area that has been the hardest for me. With all of that though it’s been clear to us that God has plans for us here.

Nikki: busy with Garrett, the After School Program, the Calvin program, and enjoying it all! I’m ready for the Thanksgiving Break to have some time to relax! Tired, slightly nauseous, and taking advantage of Garrett’s naps to rest. I’m really enjoying my Bible Study and am so glad that I have the chance to get to know some great women and be stretched in my faith. It’s been great to have Chris around more and so much fun to see how he and Garrett enjoy each other’s company. Chris can always make Garrett burst into laughter, and he gets really excited when he hears Chris come home from school. It’s also nice to take turns making dinner now that Chris is home before I am three days a week!

We will be spending Thanksgiving in Colorado with Chris’ Aunt Liz and family and then in just a few short weeks we’ll be back in MI for Christmas! We can’t wait! We’d love to catch up with as many of you as possible!

Recent Videos
Bath Time?
Cold Butt!
Yummy Pickle!

Recent Pictures!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sept. Update

We have been in NM for two whole months! Time has flown, and we are loving it here. Of course we do miss Michigan and our loved ones there, but we can't say we miss the overcast days. :) In two months we've had tons of thunderstorms (we arrived during monsoon season and it rained daily until about a week ago), floods that closed the highway, and some torrential downpours, but only 3 days where the clouds didn't disappear within an hour! We've also seen some beautiful rainbows.

Everyone asks if we think it is pretty here, and sometimes we really do, but it's hard to compare the dirt to the forests and lakes we know and love. There are some beautiful mountains right to the West, and gorgeous red rocks to the North though. They have provided us with some nice hikes and Chris with some really tough runs.

Chris is enjoying his classes and says that kids are kids, no matter where you go. He is busy with the Cross Country team and is really glad he is helping as the Assistant Coach. He hopes to coach track and field in the spring.

Nikki is staying busy with the Calvin Semester in the Southwest program and is also working as the Site Coordinator for Rehoboth's After School program 3 days a week. It keeps her busy, but she is glad to still have lots of contact with kids.

Garrett is doing well and is about to learn to crawl as you can see from the video. He and Nikki take a music class one morning a week, and Garrett smiles the whole time. He is loved by many here in our new community and we get lots of comments about what a cute, happy baby he is. We also continue to hear "You don't feed him, do you?" Apparently it doesn't get old!

We have done some site seeing, and are getting acquainted with our area, but find that many locals give terrible directions. Nikki has gotten lost a couple of times. We continue to feel like we are the newbys, but people are welcoming and have certainly helped us to start to feel at home. Speaking of home, we are including some pics of our apartment to enjoy.
We are both making some friends, but true, deep friendships will take time. We miss our church in Michigan and agree that it is probably the hardest part because we are faced with what we are missing each Sunday as we go to new churches and realize that no church will be the same as what we had before. That is a good thing and has been stretching for us, but at times we miss the comfort and familiarity we had at 1st Reformed.

All in all we continue to experience God's faithfulness and have felt over and over again that this has been the right decision. We would appreciate your prayers and extend ours to you. We hope to see many of you at Christmas. Stay tuned for an updated video when Garrett perfects the crawling, it should be any day!

Recent Garrett Videos

Garrett Crawling
Get the Phone!
Laugh Attack 2
Johnny Jumper 1
Johnny Jumper 2
Johnny Jumper 3
New Mexican Lizard!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

We have arrived in NEW MEXICO!

Greetings from Sunny New Mexico! Our trip went very well, Garrett did surprisingly well until the last 1/2 hour or so, and is now letting us know that he has had enough of his car seat every time we try to run into town. The U-Haul ran smoothly! While it doesn't feel like home yet, we are meeting a lot of people. We've had invitations to dinner, and have definetly felt welcome here. Our apartment is cozy and it has a great view of the mountains! We'll get pics of that soon. If you want our new mailing address or phone numbers just shoot either one of us an e-mail and we give them to you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Garrett by the months

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Eight Months

Six Months
Five Months

Four Months

Three Months

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We are Moving to New Mexico!

Newsflash number 1: Garrett is already 12 weeks old! He's gotten so big!

Newsflash number 2: The VanSlooten family is moving to the Southwest! After much thought, prayer, and discussion, as well as a personal visit, we are going to be moving to Rehoboth, New Mexico. I have taken a job as a full time high school math teacher at Rehoboth Christian School. I will also have the oppurtunity to coach Track and Cross Country is some kind of capacity. Although not all of the details are totally worked out for Nikki, it is pretty sure that she will be RDing (similar to what she is doing now at Hope) for college students who go to the Rehoboth area to student teach (They live in a dorm on Rehoboth's campus in which we would do what we do now). The school was founded by the Christian Reformed Church as a ministry to the Native American's in the four corners area. You can check out the school if you'd like at its webpage here:

Welcome to our Blog!

Here we are at Joe Louis Arena: Chris, Nikki, and Garrett! Check back periodically to see updates about our family!