It’s kind of a funny story – Coleen is from Minnesota, while Chris hails from Colorado and Western N.Y. We met in California, married in Nevada, on our way to Pennsylvania, grew our family for ten years in Virginia, and now have settled in Minnesota.
Chris spent eight years in the Navy as an AW, which used to mean Anti-Submarine Warfare Operator, and was stationed in Florida, Tennessee, California and Pennsylvania. Chris accumulated over 2000 flight hours on P-3Cs, and deployed to the Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf from both coasts of the U.S. in just over a year, completing his circumnavigation of the world. Coleen left her lifetime home in Winona, MN to attend the Beverly Hills Nanny Institute before taking a position in San Francisco, just three days before the 1989 earthquake that hit the city pretty hard.
We dated for over a year in California, then got engaged prior to Chris’ last sea duty deployment. We were married on our way to Chris’ shore duty station at the Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, PA. (later NAWC & realigned with NATC Patuxent River, MD), and got used to the idea of being together at home in the evenings. The idea of more six-month deployments apart from each other didn’t sit well as shore duty drew to a close, thus we made the decision to leave the Navy life, and Chris transitioned into a career as a Systems Engineer for Lockheed Martin in Manassas, VA.
Not too long after moving to Warrenton, VA., Chris was lead to the Lord by the living testimony and witness of his coworker/mentor, the body of GBC and the prayers of many (especially Coleen). Chris & Coleen began studying God’s word together in a discipleship bible study in 1996-97 and were shortly thereafter led to the decision to be baptized (by immersion) and join the fellowship of Grace Bible Church. Since that time, we’ve come to know our Lord Jesus better through the Holy Spirit’s leading in personal devotions, discipleship, and bible studies. Though we are human and prone to stumble in our walk, God has blessed us richly as a family, and has brought us closer together with each passing day – as He brings us even closer to Him. With three young children and two being home schooled, we prayerfully considered a home-business for some time. Following an extended leave following the placement of our daughter in the summer of 2004, Chris started a computer & internet technology company to promote a spirit of entrepreneurship and lifestyle of service to others within the family.
After ten wonderful years in Northern Virginia, in 2005 we relocated to Winona, MN. We had been truly blessed during our time in VA, but we were led for a year or two to raise our children in closer proximity to extended family, and expose them to the family farm lifestyle. In many ways, the Winona area is similar to the beloved Fauquier Piedmont with all the wooded bluffs, which is kind of funny.
The following four-five years brought us much closer as a family, and allowed us to experience a wide variety of endeavors including two years on the farm helping and learning about dairy farming. Over time we prayerfully considered where the Lord might be offering opportunities and what our family goals were. A large part of pursuing a small business was the idea of having more control over our time to raise and nurture our children, though in our experience we did not find this to be the case. By the fall of 2009 we had made the decision to pursue an opportunity for Chris to return to his previous career in the Twin Cities area, though now representing the Navy customer as an engineer for L-3 Communications.
The Lord has worked mightily in our lives, and we praise Him for blessing us with our children through international adoption…see the Adoption page for the whole story!