Life continues to stay busy at the Redden household, and so much has happened since our last update. For starters, the Redden household has a new address! On May 1 we finally moved into our house. We would definitely not recommend moving twice in four months to anyone, but we are so grateful that we took the time to wait for the right place. After just over a month, we already love our house and our neighborhood and are starting more and more to feel like Denver is home. One of our hopes when we moved was to find a neighborhood with more of a sense of community where we could develop relationships with neighbors. That hope has already become reality. Sometimes we joke that our neighborhood feels a little bit like Mayberry with warm and friendly people who have quickly embraced our family. Of course we have also been busy with many renovation projects. We have been working on all the things that we knew needed addressing when we bought the house and discovering all the things we didn’t! We love our house, but it is definitely old and has lots of “character.” We continually remind ourselves to be patient and just keep moving ahead one project at a time.
In mid-May we took some time away from projects and unpacking to travel to the Willow Creek Ranch in Wyoming, Kate’s family’s ranch. Stephen was invited to come speak to a men’s retreat, and we marked the one-year anniversary of Kate’s dad’s passing. It was a great weekend to get away together and to enjoy some time with Kate’s family. One of the motivating factors for us moving to Denver was being closer to the ranch and Kate’s family, and this trip was a great reminder of how much we enjoy being close. Watching Ethan and Andrew playing with their cousins, feeding the orphaned lambs, and explore the ranch is such a joy. The ranch provides the opportunity to experience a way of life that is almost gone, and we are grateful that our kids will have the opportunity to grow up and experience things most kids never will.
Ethan is doing great and keeping us all busy. He remains as outgoing as ever, and we have joked that he is our neighborhood evangelist! Always eager to meet new people, Ethan has initiated meeting half the neighbors that we’ve gotten to know so far. He continues to enjoy school and still loves sports. We finished spring soccer last month and just started t-ball last week. Even a case of the chicken pox couldn’t slow him down for more than a few days. Fortunately Stephen’s parents were here while he was sick, and there’s no sickness that a little grandparent spoiling can’t fix!
Andrew continues to grow and is talking more and more. Though he has always been our “serious child,” he is so full of joy and has a laugh that is infectious to anyone nearby. He remains skeptical about preschool teachers and babysitters, but is becoming more and more outgoing. He also loves sports and is currently obsessed with golf. He got his first set of toy golf clubs for his birthday in April and frequently swings them wildly in the house screaming, “GOF, GOF, GOF!!”
Kate is also doing very well. Still juggling kids and working part-time for Ron Blue, she has added “home decorator and general contractor” to her list of responsibilities. Though she stays incredibly busy, she loves our neighborhood and regularly makes time to go for walks or rides in nearby Washington Park. We celebrated her birthday in May by all going out and helping her find a bicycle and now enjoy riding together as a family with Andrew in tow behind mom in a pull-behind baby cart! Kate recently traveled back to Georgia for some client meetings and for a friend’s wedding. Unfortunately (for Stephen, fortunately for her) she was gone the week Ethan had chicken pox! So we were doubly grateful that Stephen’s parents were here to help.
Stephen continues to balance time between a host of projects. Working to get New Denver Church remains his passion (at least when he’s not coaching soccer or t-ball), but he also has worked on a variety of consulting projects – both in the area of technology and church leadership. He is enjoying the diversity and variety of work he’s doing and is also thankful for these opportunities God has provided to stretch the support we’ve raised by taking less salary from the church. Of course our new house is providing him ample opportunities to improve on his handyman skills in whatever free time he has. In May he had the opportunity to travel back to Atlanta and participate in the Drive conference at North Point. The conference was great, but reconnecting with so many friends with whom he had done life and ministry over many years was certainly the highlight.
We continue to be grateful and amazed at the way we see God working in our lives and confirming our decision to follow him to Denver. We still have our share of up and down days, but we are excited to be living in the adventure God is writing for our family. We are excited to see the slow momentum that is building with the church and seeing the community that is already beginning to grow among our core members. We are also grateful to the many friends and family members whose generous contributions to New Denver Church have enabled us to be here working to lead people into a growing relationship with Christ.