Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dinner with Friends…Saying Goodbye

We only have a few more days until we move from Spring Arbor, Michigan to North Carolina, and are looking forward to getting settled.  At the same time, we know we will miss our community and our friends.  We are glad we have had opportunities over the past several weeks to visit with friends.

This evening, our family enjoyed dinner with our friends Jim and Marvelle Vannest at their home.  The power was out, but Marvelle prepared a wonderful meal for us in spite of this challenge.  Marvelle served on the board at Eden Family Counseling and has been a big encouragment to me in my work here in Spring Arbor.  We are hoping to stay in touch with our friends in Spring Arbor, and may come to visit from time to time as we celebrate Christmas each year in Lansing, MI.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Brent and Dave Enjoying Another Breakfast in Spring Arbor

Breakfast for Brent and Dave

Brent Smith and I and enjoyed a "last Breakfast" together this morning.  We met once per week for breakfast from 2001-2005 and about once per month 2006 to now.  Brent is a psychologist in Michigan and provided supervision for me while I was completing my independent license.  Brent has been a great friend and help to me in my work as a psychologist in Spring Arbor.  I have appreciated all that I have learned from him and will miss our meetings at the Spring Arbor Cafe.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Trip to the Zoo

Today, we enjoyed a trip to the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan with the Buratoavich family.  Our two daughters have been friends with Mike and Carolyn's 3 daughters for about 5 years.  It was a lot of fun today.

Three Dodos
Mike and Dave and the bird make...three Dodos!

 I have always found the history of the Dodo Bird interesting and sad.

Five Friends
Five Friends

The girls had a great time today!














While we saw many interesting animals, the giant tortoise was especially interesting.  Some of the animals were difficult to photograph because they were moving quickly or were behind glass.  The Tamarin was very cute and fun to see, but unfortunately I could not get a good picture the small primate.

It was a great time for us all and we are glad to have good friends like Mike and Carolyn. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Family Bike Ride

One of our favorite family activities is biking.  Our home in Michigan has been a good place for riding because we live near trails.  Here are some pictures of today's ride from start to finish.

Amanda Getting Ready to Ride

Amanda Getting Ready to Ride

Julie and Emily Getting Ready

Julie and Emily getting ready to go

Getting our bikes ready to ride takes almost as long as the ride itself!

Julie and Amanda Avoiding the Mud

Here are Julie and Amanda avoiding the mud!

Home Stretch

We are in the home stretch now.

By the Pond
Julie, Amanda, and Emily

We take a quick stop by the pond behind our home.  We were suprised to find that it is full of fish.

Dave and the Girls
Dave and the Girls

It was a fun ride!  We will look forward to new adventures on our bikes after we move to North Carolina.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

How Many Things Does a Family Need?

Trying to Get Rid of Our Things

As we have been preparing to move, we have been packing, sorting, and trying to get rid of some of our things.  We had a moving sale yesterday and were fortunate to be able to receive money to get our junk hauled off!  We still have a lot more which we will probably donate to Goodwill.

We don't need so many things.  Not only could these resources help someone else in need, but it is a big challenge to store and move it all.  It reminds me of Leo Tolstoy's famous short story, How Much Land Does a Man Need?  The story was written over 100 years ago, so is part of public domain and can be read here:

How Much Land Does A Man Need?

The short story is part of an anthology, so you will need to skip down a bit to read it.

Father’s Day, 2007

Dave, Amanda, and Emily

Today has been an interesting Father's Day, and it isn't even 12pm!  Julie took a picture of Amanda and Emily and me about 30 minutes ago.  I love my girls and they always give me a happy Father's Day.

I am thankful for my two grandfathers and other men who have helped father me.  I'm especially thankful for my father who is also my friend.  We have lived in different states for the past 6 years, but next year, I will probably be able to celebrate Father's Day with him.  He will be coming to help our family move to North Carolina in a couple more weeks.

 This was an especially interesting Father's Day because church was cancelled at the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church due to a bomb threat!  Here is the local news report.  To our knoweledge, no one was harmed, but we don't know much about the situation.  I will look forward to reading what the news has to report.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Amanda and Emily Enjoying a Frosty Boy

Amanda and Emily at Frosty Boy 

Amanda, Emily, and Dave enjoyed going to a favorite spot in Spring Arbor this evening. We always enjoy an ice-cream treat at the Frosty Boy of Spring Arbor, Michigan during the Summer. Our trips to Frosty Boy are numbered, but I don't think there is any danger that we will be giving up ice-cream treats any time soon. I'm sure we will find another ice-cream stand in North Carolina and several more months of warm weather to enjoy it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dave’s New Job

I will be working as a staff psychologist at the Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC.  I don't have an exact start date yet, but I will probably begin working in either July or August, 2007.  I completed my pre-doctorate internship at this facility and know many of the psychologists with whom I will be working. 

The VA  is a great work environment and I am looking forward to starting. My position will focus on providing services to elderly and critically ill veterans in their homes as part of the Home Based Primary Care team. The treatment team  includes a nursing-practitioner, a social worker, and several other health care professionals. I will care for people in a 40 mile radius from the hospital.    My position will also include work at the hospital providing outpatient services, supervision of psychology interns, and other related duties.

In addition to doing work I will love, another benefit of this position will be more time with my family.  I will have a predictable schedule of 8am to 4:30pm with no evening, weekend, or on call hours.  My family will have a big improvement in medical insurance for which we are very thankful.

Eden Family Counseling (EFC)

EFC All Staff
The Eden Family Counseling Team in 2006 -- A great group to work with!

I have provided counseling to the Spring Arbor community since 2001. It has been very fulfilling work and I am grateful that the leaders at the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church allowed me this opportunity. My clients came primarily from the church and Spring Arbor University, but I have had many from outside of Spring Arbor as well.

In 2006, we made a significant shift by operating as a non-profit counseling center (while maintaining the same location in the church). This has been a wonderful opportunity. Our service providers expanded from 1 licensed counselor (me) and 3 interns to 5 licensed counselors and 3 interns. We provided approximately 3x the number of counseling services. It has been wonderful to work with this team. The most common issues for which our team provided treatment included:

  • Adjustment issues for college students

  • Problems in mood (primarily for adults, but also children)

  • Addiction Issues for adults

  • Relationship problems among people of various ages

There were a number of other presenting issues as well, but those four issues were the most common.

Eden Family Counseling's board plans to resume services by Fall of 2007. I am hopeful the counseling center will open and be successful, because the service is very much needed. Our biggest challenge was funding. We found that many of the people we served were not insured and unable to afford customary fees for counseling.

My primary reason for seeking other employment was because serving the poor and elderly is my top interest and I found a position at a VA Medical Center that is a perfect fit. This position will enable me to live near my parents and will provide a more predictable schedule that will lead to more time with my family. Even though moving to this new position was obviously the best fit for me and my family, I am sad to say goodbye to Spring Arbor after the past several years of investment in this work. I will be in prayer that God will bless the counseling efforts in Spring Arbor in the future.

Monday, June 11, 2007

selling our home

Spriggs Home in Spring Arbor

We placed our home for sale on 5/29/07. Although the market is difficult in Michigan, we are optimistic that our home will sell in a reasonable time frame. We have enjoyed our community and will miss our friends and home.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Move to North Carolina

We have recently decided to move from our home of nearly 6 years to North Carolina. We anticipate that we will move from Spring Arbor, Michigan to North Carolina the last week of June, 2007.

We will miss our friends and family in Michigan and hope you will stay in contact with us.