Sunday, September 12, 2010

Iowa City POD Arrival- August 2, 2010

A tip: when packing your POD, make sure all items that could shift are roped away from the door. Thanks to Mark and Jeff for unhooking the car jack from the door. There are no pictures of the POD full.

Guys...what are you siting around for? Oh wait, you just unloaded our whole life.
You're so tough. No, really you are. Thanks guys!
Alot of work ahead. But a place to call our own.

Not something you see everyday.

Yeah, it's a tree completely tipped over, trunk in tack. Windy much?

These may not be things you see everyday, but they were things I saw everyday this summer, and I loved it.

There was a birthday party at the mansion...

Jett turned one this summer while we all lived together! What a fun time to celebrate this little man!

Fresh wild flowers picked by Ava.
The party guests, aka Jett's brothers and sister, Cameron, Beck, Makai and Ava.
Singing and taking pictures. This is Mark and his wife Leatha. God knew what he was doing by having us all live together this summer. I adore their whole family, and consider Leatha a friend.
Eat your gluten free chocolate cake! Yummy!
This is proof, birthday boy ate dinner before his cake. :)
Enough said.

A summer at the Mansion.

Welcome to Lisbon Iowa. This was our view every night for 2 months. I probably took 150 pictures throughout those 2 months, trying to capture the beauty of it, so here's 1 of 150.
Daytime shot. What a vast difference from the desert we came from! They are both beautiful in their own ways. :) Oh---and Ashley Ahrens, here's the shout out I said I'd give you while showing all the green. ;)
This was our house for a summer. Wow. What an experience it was! The one and only time we'll ever live in a place that the master suite was 2500 sq. feet.

More ND Pictures!

This is my best friend from high school Stephanie (Leier) Coombs. She stopped with her ADORABLE little family, Jason, Elise and Anna, in Hurdsfield for a quick visit. It meant so much to me that they did that! I'm so thankful for Stephanie's friendship over the past... 14 years! (wow, that is weird to write that)
I was able to see both of my Grandma's while back! This is Grandma Waldoch, we spent ALOT of time together while I was in High School. I loved every second of it, she's hilarious! And if you ever need a dance partner, Orine is your lady.
Here's Gma Weckerly, yeah her teeth aren't in, but she was actually in the hospital here. So then it's ok to not have your teeth in. :)

Over the summer, we visited MN and I visited ND! Yey Family Time!

This is my youngest brother Landon (20) and his girlfriend, Kelli whom I got to meet (finally)! She SO sweet and poses like my mom! :)
This is random I know, but FRESH green beans from my Mom's garden! It was fun to pick them and see the AMAZING foods she's grown. They were delish! Who needs a farmers market?! (just kidding! I do!)
A lovely day in Maple Grove MN, visiting my brother Jordan (24-ladies, he's single!). We played bocce (see next photos, and yes, Jordan rarely wears a shirt) and relaxed in his apartment. Jeff took me on a Northewestern College Tour that weekend, Yes people, the Jeff Thune Legend returned! Ha! It was so fun to see the grounds of all those college stories and most importantly the football field. Ah...glory days. (Don't have photos of the field, don't be confused.)

Photo updates, finally!

Let the photos begin....

On our drive to Iowa...we stopped in Colorado!

Here's me with Jeana Cost, one of my best friends. We were roommates in college in Fargo. We met at a country club pool that we both worked at, the summer after our freshman year. She's such an amazing friend, mom, employee, and wife! She's balanced school and Mommyhood for MANY years, and I've been completely blown away by her and her stamina! It was SO nice to be able to stay over night with her and her family in Denver CO, they've just moved there within the year and I'm so excited for them and their new adventure! Only problem her and Jeremy have...they are snowboarders, and not skiers. :)
Jeana's precious family! Jeremy, Elsie and Owen.
Every time that I've ever stayed with the Cost's (in Fargo) Elsie crawls into bed with me halfway through the night. This time, since Jeff was in bed with me, she brought Jeff some 'friends' while I was in the shower.
Ah, memories! Here's Jeff on his old stomping grounds in Vail Colorado. In his pre-me days, he was a ski instructor for a few winters. What a stud. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Iowa City Iowa...we've arrived (and so have 4,500 Freshman students (plus upper classmen) to U of I.)

We are moved into our rented place (hello 'stuff', hello bed...we've missed you these past 3 months, hello just the two of us), the students have arrived (wow...they are everywhere!), I got a job (a barista at a coffee shop called Bread Garden & Market, so very thankful for it!!), our car got towed today while I was at work (so fun to walk up to the parking lot and your car is gone after a 6am to 2pm shift), SALT (the college ministry) starts THIS wednesday, Veritas meetings on Sunday nights have grown so much(!), the students are back ("like, oh my gosh" said in a valley girl voice), my Mom came to visit for a week last week (and clean things that I didn't even know existed in our place...thanks mom!), the Ruckus we bought (used, cheap, our 2nd 'vehicle') in mid June has only had to be filled with gas twice (Yey!) and have I mentioned the students are back?

That was a recap in a sentence of our past 23 days...I will upload pictures from the summer etc sometime this week :)

Miss you all!

PS-Our house still hasn't sold, please continue to pray for that...thank you thank you thank you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

world wide web (site)

The website is up: we're getting close to kick-off!!

Do not worry...

"I tell you, do not worry..." "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" -Matt. 6. 25 & 26

Hello Friends, we're coming to you in need of prayer (again). Please pray and believe alongside us that God will bring along a buyer and sell our house by July 31st. I know you may be a bit confused thinking, "Wait! Didn't they write a while ago that they sold?/Had a buyer?"'s the run down: 1.) The bank has approved our short sale for that 1st buyer that had LOTS of cash. 2.) That buyer backed out. 3.) Open Houses are happening each weekend. Last weekend 2 people showed up for the whole weekend. 4.) WE NEED A BUYER and get this thing DONE! We've had an INCREDIBLE Realtor Buzz Jensen who is a 'Thune Family Friend' helping us with this. Not sure if he knew what he was getting into, but we're very thankful for him and the INSANE amounts of work he's been putting into this.

We move into our Townhouse and start paying rent on August 1st (SO EXCITING! The moving part, not the rent part) but it would be easier to get excited about with the house sold. (Especially for Jeff, as the man/provider/leader of our house, I can see it weighing on him.---*another prayer request for ya!)

Thank you friends...I promise once our POD gets dropped off, and we get unpacked, I'll upload pictures from our summer!

We love you and are SO thankful for your prayers.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." --1 Peter 5.7

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lightning (Bugs)

Welcome back to the Midwest! Yahoo! We've been staying in the country at a HUGE mansion this past month. (I have limited pic's on here because my camera's setup cd to import is packed in the POD so all these photos are from Jeff's iphone which has worked out well.) Here's a cut off shot of 'our house'. We've been here since the end of May, and all those peaks above the garage is the Master Suite which WE GET TO STAY IN! We have the main floor and upstairs and the Arants are staying in the basement. All 7 of them in the basement! No, we're not evil, just the two of us hogging the whole house, but the Arants are actually staying there until their house is finished being built in September. The family that actually lives here and is SO GRACIOUSLY letting all 9 of us 'live' here over the summer are in Haiti for the summer. How cool are they? They have 4 sons and took the whole family to help over there. They'll be back at the end of July, so Mark, Leatha and family are getting used to living in the basement cause that's where they'll be once the family comes home. We're so thankful for the Krobs and for the Arants for taking us homeless people in. (We get to move in the Townshouse we'll be renting for the next 2 years, August 1st...I CAN'T wait! I always think oh I have a "______" (fill in the blank) then remember, oh yeah, it's packed away in the POD)
At the 'mansion' we're in the country which has lead to some fun sites. Here are a couple of Examples:
*Lightning bugs. This was Jeff's accessory while we played a game of bocce ball.
*Storms. Ok, these are not fun. They are honestly the thing that has been my hardest adjustment. There have been MULTIPLE tornado warnings the past couple weeks, and it's fine when you can hear the sirens but here are a few reasons I'm FREAKED out: 1.) we're in the country so you can't hear the sirens well at all. 2.) we're staying on the upper level, so we're the first to go. 3.) we sleep with a sound machine that is loud (that's the point) so we can't hear the sirens for those 'middle of the night storms' at all! 4.) see photo below:

Jeff took this while on a bike ride!! Insane! That day we had 2 HUGE storms where we watched the clouds begin to swirl on storm #1 and with storm #2 there were sirens going off and everyone was gone, when they came running into the house they found me in the basement with our safe (filled with wedding video, birth certificates, passports, etc) and my purse. Whew! That was an exhausting day.
Anytime we have high winds I'm up (in the middle of the night) checking for storms or warnings. I need to chill out, I know that and admitting it is the first step.

Veritas Church

Our church has been named! Veritas Church. I love it. The more I hear it the more I love it! Here's a little description of why Veritas---(I'm stealing this from Mark's blog-anyone who reads his blog too, I'll tell him next time I see him I promise. :) )

"Veritas" is the Latin word for "truth." In John 18:37, Jesus said to Pilate, "for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth." Our church exists for the same reason. We use the Latin word as a reminder that we join history in the pursuit of truth, which is often elusive and polarizing. Truth transcends cultures, nations, and history itself. There's at least one thing we share in common with the Ancients, namely, this quest for truth.

There it is! We're all going to get Veritas tattoos written in some Old English font now. Just kidding.

Complicated Buyers.

So as stated in the last post, we're very very thankful that the bank has approved the price at which we can sell our house, now is the next complicated part....We had a buyer. A very rich buyer who was actually an investor (great idea, if you have TONS of money you also should be buying up these 'steal-of-a-deal' houses) was ready to purchase our house in California. Turns out his bank said he has one to many properties and would have to put down 30% on our house. He slept on it, while we prayed hard about it (God if it's your Will. God PLEASE MAKE IT YOUR WILL!!!). Turns out, he didn't think it was worth it to him to put that much down which then means...we need a buyer for our house. Nuts. But I do trust that God has this all timed out accordingly, AND Phillippians 4:6 helps. "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God..." SOOO, if you remember to pray about a new buyer for us that would be very much appreciated. :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010


God did something remarkable for us on last Tuesday. After just a month in process, the bank has officially accepted the offer on our house! We are ecstatic about God's goodness and blessing in all of this! We can now go 'rental shopping' in Iowa City!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A ride in our car...

Here is a little video from our travels across the country. It's unedited and raw, but gives you good insight into our relationship! Ha!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prayer Request-House

Please pray for our house to sell. There is an offer in on it, but we're now waiting on the banks approval on the short sale. Please pray for favor with the bank. We'd like to be able to 'fully engage' here, and to also not have to pay a mortgage there + rent here. Thank you so much. We're so thankful for you all.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Family. Dodge House. Holy Humid.

This past weekend I went up to Maple Grove, Minnesota (suburb of Minneapolis) to visit my brother Jordan. Our Mom drove over from ND, so we had fun little weekend of checking out Jordan's new city. It's BEAUTIFUL! We looked at shops, ate yummy meals and went on a GORGEOUS hike on this path that makes you feel like you're in the middle of no-where but we were in the middle of town! It was so neat and SO HUMID!! (We missed you Landon and Dad!!) Jeff then came up on Sunday afternoon with Mark (Arant) and some guys who are recording a worship album, and he was able to hang out that night with us! Then Monday morning we headed back to Ames (a 3 hour drive).(Mom's drive is more like 7 hours so not a quick little trip for her.) It was VERY fun to hang out with FAMILY!!! It's been 6 years since I had the opportunity to just 'drive' to see them!
Last night was our first night at the Dodge's house. Our car is unpacked into the closet and we can 'carry' people in our car now! Rollin' in the Honda. No more prying out clothes from the hanging rack, no more panicking if the doors are locked cause our TV is in the backseat, and no more only having 1 passenger!! (One Sunday after church, Jeff and I had to share the passenger seat cause Mark needed a ride home...not very cozy, or safe. But I guess it would've been worse if either of us had to sit on Mark's lap. :S)
Jeff finished his papers and tests!!! Thank you for the prayers! He put in some LONG days last week, he poor brain was exhausted. One of the days he left the house at 7am and got home at 11:45pm and then couldn't sleep cause he couldn't shut off his mind. Sounds like torture to me. I think he's finally getting 'caught up' on sleep and I know he's VERY relieved to be done with this semester of Seminary. I'm very proud of him and how hard of a worker he is, I can learn a lot from him.
The weather had been rainy, sunny, rainy, sunny. HUMID.HUMID.HUMID-WOW. It's a lot like being in Brazil, except there, we're on mission trips and it's good to get sweaty and dirty cause you're 'on a mission trip'. Well, not so good here. (boys-this next part may be boring for you) All my "products" are for dry, desert weather where extra moisture is good for your skin. I've been glowing, not 'glistening' all cute-like but greasy-holy-get-control over yourself, you look like a teenager with new types of hormones-like. Time to start experimenting with new products. I feel like those last few sentences were pretty vulnerable and I just exposed my diary, but hey, I'm just being honest.
I am enjoying this place called Iowa, and we're excited get rolling with each new step. Thanks for your prayers through this month, we appreciate each of you and miss you all!!!

PS-Jordan, sorry this is the only 'normal' pic of you from the 100 we took on Photobooth!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Iron Man in Iowa

So we've now been here in Ames for a week and 3 days. This of course isn't our ending destination so it's tricky (for me at least), there isn't any point in me going out and 'exploring' the city, cause this isn't where we'll be living. So I'm happy I've brought along my pictures from the last 5 years that need to be written on and put into albums. That's what I work on most days. I feel like I sound like I live in a nursing home.

We have been staying with Mark and Leatha Arant (this is the couple that we'll be doing the church plant with, Mark is Jeff's "childhood friend".) and their 5 kids-Ava 8, Cameron, 7, Beck almost 5, Makai 2.5, and Jett will be 1 in July. Yep 5 Kids!! How fun! There isn't a dull moment! I've taken kids running in the jogger (that a stroller with big wheels for those of you that don't know) for a great workout, and I've even taken the mini-van for a spin to Target! My life is different these days that's for sure!

The first 6 days we were here it was raining and dreary so that was sort of depressing by day 4.5 I was wondering WHAT DID WE DO?!?! BUT then the SUN came out and it was oh-so-glorious! Kids, adults, lawn mowers were all outside, the whole city of Ames was rejoicing!!! Singing instead of talking, it was like a big musical. Ok, maybe that isn't totally true, but that's what was going on in my head.

Jeff has been busy finishing up this semester of seminary. In 8 days he had 2 finals and 2 research papers due. At this point he's finished 2 finals and .5 of the papers. Did I mention the papers are due by tomorrow eve? He could use your prayers. I don't think his mind has even be able to wrap around the fact that we're here yet. He's had a few staff meetings with the Iowa City crew, which have gone well. I think they were working on coming up with a name for the church. I think they have it, but won't release it until it for sure...I LOVE it though! It's sort of fun, the whole group of people that are moving to Iowa City are all sort of in the same place as us...staying with people, half of their lives packed away, looking for places to live etc etc.

Jeff and I went on a 'date' the other night. We don't technically call them dates, but I'm calling it what it was. :) We had dinner and then went to Iron Man 2. Afterwards we stopped at Dairy Queen for a cone (ok, I got a million dollar peanut parfait but I had thought of those the other day and REALLY wanted one) and while we were sitting in the drive-thru line, Jeff discovered this light that I had packed in the car as a 'reading light' while traveling across the country (ok, that's what my second thought was, my reason it was in the car, was cause I ripped them from our house. they were underneath lights on our cabinets, and they are now in our car. Ok. I feel honest.) and the picture above is what came of it. We laughed alot while trying to get the perfect picture. He's fun to be married to.

I Ashley promise to you...

Welcome to our blog. I'm VERY hesitant writing this thing because of MANY things I will list them here: 1.) I'm not a talented writer so for me this is not a 'show you how talented I am at writing' sort of thing. I have no desire to write a book so I'm not trying to show off. :) 2.) I know thousands of people (ok, maybe not thousands, a few, but I'm trying to be dramatic here...) who start a blog, do one post then never ever post to it again. I will do my BEST to not be that person. 3.) We don't have kids yet, but I promise that when we do I won't pretend they are the first to do anything. 4.) We don't have pets. period. If by some random chance I'm STILL writing this blog when we do get pets, I promise to not write FULL posts on our pet. It's a pet people. 5.) I don't like to read over things that I've written so if they sound random...they are. :)

Hmmm. Yes. I feel good about post 1.