08 Jun


The big day and the big moment had arrived. As good luck would have it (or was it more than good luck?), we were sitting on the same side as Nori and she was sitting on the end of the row. We could see her clearly (and sign to her). The Ceremony was fantastic. As a former University Professor for more than 25 years I had been to many college/university graduations. This one was…..

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26 May


On Thursday, May 15, 2014 we left Knoxville for Washington DC with our friends Phil and Lynn Beam. Nori considers Phil and Lynn and their children, Matt and Sarah “family”. She and Phil are especially close. Phil is himself adopted and helped Nori at a time when she was trying to understand why her family abandoned her in Honduras. We drove in rain the whole way and arrived on the Gallaudet campus late in the afternoon. Nori had…..

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24 Apr


Most likely everyone reading this blog entry can relate to the idea “where has the time gone”!? In one month (May 16th at 1:30P) Nori will graduate from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. Gallaudet is considered the Princeton of the Deaf. Nori told us not long ago that after her first year at the Arkansas School for the Deaf, she made Gallaudet her dream. And by the…..

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12 Mar


Graduation is approaching for Nori. On May 16th she graduates from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, the Harvard of the Deaf. Gallaudet was established as a land grant institution by President Abraham Lincoln who has always been Nori’s favorite president. Back in 1996 when Nori was seven years old and had just arrived in the United States with a very very limited Sign vocabulary, Pat and I set as one of our goals for Nori, a college education……

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21 Feb

God’s Design for Us, Part 2

Last week I wrote about God’s timing and how the delays in Nori’s arrival in Little Rock from Tegucigalpa served to strengthen our faith and remind us of His sovereignty. Likewise, He puts people in our lives just when we need them. In the Nori Book, I call them emissaries. If we have the eyes to see them, they’re there. One of the important people in Nori’s life has been Phil Beam. Phil is…..

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16 Feb

God’s Map of our Lives

My wife Patty and I heard a very inspiring and provocative message this Sunday morning that really touched a chord with us. Every Sunday morning we watch Joel Osteen on TV before heading to our church. This morning Joel was talking about how God’s plan for us is a strategic life plan not an episodic and random plan. He knows the end from the beginning and takes steps that may seem illogical to us to…..

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29 Jan


We’re snowed in here in the South so I decided to write about Nori’s first Winter. I remember it well. Nori had never seen snow “live” so she was sure looking forward to her trip to Central Illinois for the holidays. Before leaving Pat my wife explained as best she could why we were going to Illinois and why it was such a festive time. One of the things she highlighted for Nori was that we were…..

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22 Jan


When Nori arrived at her new home in Little Rock, she had very limited communication skills and even less what would generously be considered language. In short order she began to acquire signed vocabulary words. My wife was determined to enrich her language environment and one of the things we did immediately was to pray with Nori at bedtime. Nori slept in a bunk bed in the top bunk. The bottom area was a little “hideout” where…..

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13 Jan


Nori started her senior internship this week at the New Mexico School for the Deaf in Sante Fe. She is interning in the Deaf Mentor Program, a nationally acclaimed pre-school program. Over the next three months she will be traveling the state of New Mexico in her 15-year-old Honda, her mom’s old car, visiting the families of pre-school age deaf children. At first she will shadow Program Mentors, learning the ropes, but that shadowing will not last long……

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03 Jan

We were invited to have a Scholarship established in our names by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  We were delighted and honored to accept.  The Scholarship is

The Bob and Patricia Rittenhouse Endowed Scholarship in Sign Language Studies.  Here is the story:


UALR NL Fall 2013002

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