Wednesday, July 26

Addy Sits Up on Her Own for the First Time

Wednesday 5:00 PM

This was the third time we had seen her sit up on her own, all in the last couple of hours. You can tell she it pretty proud of herself.

Teach the Fundamentals Early

Watch as Addy gets on the ground to get to this loose ball (ignore the fact that it is a volleyball for now-there is plenty of time to correct that.) Now we need to teach her to grab the ball and call timeout, rather than knocking it out of bounds.

Another Male Suitor Comes to Town

Addy was wooed once again this week by another WM Alumni's son. This time it was Tiffany Staley (formerly Tiffany Stopper, WM '97) with her mother and three adorable children, Emma Grace, Luke and Nate, who is about 10 days older than Addy. (Tiff's husband Jimmy was in Mexico on a SM missions trip.) Needless to say, Nate had goo goo eyes all dinner for Addy and we thoroughly approved. For those who know Tiffany and Jimmy, they are doing great down in their new house down in Cary, NC. Jimmy is still working as a Youth Pastor and Tiffany not only holds down the fort at home, but is an Power Seller on ebay as well. Check out NCTiffer on ebay here.

Monday, July 24

Time For Addy To Move to the Real Tub

Pic of the Week: Even Babies Hate Squash

Addy and Mom Get Hair Cuts Together

Addy Finds Her Voice

Someone has been watching too much American Idol. Text 020506 to vote for Addy now!

Sunday, July 23

Road Trip

The Ritners headed out to Farmville, VA (2 hours west) on Friday night to visit Chad, Karin, and Aly Warner who recently moved away from Williamsburg. Addy and Aly were going through withdrawl...or at least their moms were. Here are some pictures of the two of them from Saturday.

Thursday, July 20

Chapel Missions Moment for Team Brussels

"Well, we are here to report that the light of God’s Church has not gone out in Europe and saw that first hand during our week in Brussels.

We were privileged to serve alongside our Chapel Missionaries, Carlton and Shannon Deal, who are pastoring a church that is trying to make Christ relevant again to a city that has dismissed him as irrelevant and obsolete.

And it is fitting that we are focusing on love this morning, because their strategy to reach Europe is to demonstrate the Love of Christ through acts of service.

Our team participated in a week long project called Serve the City that coordinated 300 volunteers with 30 ministry locations and sent teams out to serve the community in the name of Christ. We taught young Muslim girls how to play basketball, painted young children’s faces at day camp, and even gave a manicure in a subway station to a homeless woman.

Last summer Serve the City in Brussels made such an impact in the community that this year Pastors in 5 other cities brought the vision to their churches and launched similar weeks of service. In fact today as we worship here, Serve the City Dublin has just begun.

We hope you will continue to keep our brothers and sisters in Europe in your prayers when you ask God to demonstrate his love to the world through His people."

Monday, July 17

Stop the Traffik

Kristyn and I were really impacted by a Stop the Traffik rally we went to in Brussels. Take a moment to visit their website by clicking the banner above and sign the international declaration against trafficking of human slaves. Slavery in the world is more prevalent now than at any time in history and it is a huge problem in Europe where girls and boys are lured from thier families with promises of jobs as nannies and builders only to be turned into prostitutes and beggars with no hope of returning home.

Saturday, July 15

MMM...Rice Cereal

Addy has just begun eating Rice Cereal, which is like oatmeal with the taste of glue (we've tried it). Grandma and her practiced for a whole week and by the time we came home she was a pro. In fact, she isnt drinking enough milk because all she wants is cereal which makes for some backups on the other end if you catch my drift.

Tickle Torture

The benefits of not shaving for three can tickle Addy's feet with your chin.

Water Skiing for Newborns

We spent Monday relaxing by the pool getting used to the Virginia humidity again. You can see Addy is enjoying the pool more and more so we broke out one of like 7 inflatable toys we have amassed somehow in the last 5 months.

Monday, July 10

Look Kids. Big Ben...Parliment

On our way home, we took the Chunnel London's Paddington Station and then spent the day on a double decker tour bus before flying out of Heathrow that evening. Here are some videos of the day there.

Trafalgar Square and a Christian Outreach Concert that was going on.

Big Ben and Parliament

Serve the City

The purpose of the trip was to partner with one of our Chapel Missionaries in Brussels who is the pastor of a Church plant called The Well and their annual city wide service project, Serve the City. They coordinated 125 volunteers in 30 sites working in all sorts of ethnic neighborhoods. Kristyn's Beauty Team went out and gave manicures and haircuts in homeless shelters and retirement homes. Kristyn even gave a manicure in a subway station to a woman who was begging. Jon helped coach at a basketball camp each day, one outside location, and then an indoor gym in the afternoon. Serve the City is an attempt to build relationships with religious and non religious organizations in Brussels and publicize the Well as a socially active church in a mostly post-Christian culture. One of their main expenditures is media publicity. The web site has some great videos from each day (Jon is in the basketball video) and Kristyn is standing in front of one of the subway station signs below.

While we were there, The Well had their weekly meeting on Sunday in St. Catherine's Cathedral downtown and served free dinner to all who were in the area. That made for some interesting church-goers.

Pics of the Week: Flash Flood

On Friday, we had an off day and decided to travel to Brugge, a city an hour north of Brussels called the "Venice" of Belgium because it is surrounded by canals. On the boat tour of the city, the clouds opened and began to pour, sending our boat under the nearest stone bridge. Here is Kristyn during and after the storm.

City Life

Brussels is the capital of the European Union and the governing body, the European Commission meets downtown. We were surprised, and a little scared to learn how unified Europe actually is. Most of us Americans thought the Euro currency was the extent of their unification. They are actually forming legislation together and growing in influence. The Belgian buildings are so amazingly crafted with such detail. It was a blast to be in Europe during the Tour de France, Wimbledon, but more importantly, the World Cup. There were jerseys and flags everywhere. Here are some Italian fans below.

Getting Adjusted

Our Missions Team left for Brussels last Friday afternoon and arrived fully jetlagged on Saturday morning. With no time to rest for the weary we checked into the Van Gogh Hostel (named as such because Van Gogh lived there at one time) and went out on a 4 hour tour/prayer walk of the city. The Hostel had a cafe/bar in the lobby and an outdoor courtyard that was packed with partying backpackers until 3 AM every night. The sun doesn't set until 10:30 or so, making the nights much longer than in the US. So getting caught back up on sleep was a challenge the first two nights. One that was not made easier by the 70 degrees and no AC rooms (we happened to visit during a summer heat spell that had temperatures 15 degrees above normal for them)

Sunday, July 9

Where Did My Parents Go?

Kristyn and I landed last night after a week long missions trip to Brussels, Belgium with 14 other Chapel members. Once we get over the jet lag and spend some quality time with Addy who has been here with Grandma McKendrick all week, we will put up some pictures and stories. Sorry for the week without any postings. (We didn't want to announce our being out of the country online for security reasons). Thanks for checking in. -Jon