Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It's so important to fellowship with your Church. I'm talking about the Church that walks by you during the day and the Church that goes with you to get lunch. Christ's church is not just where we meet on Sundays is it? It's right here in my home and with you at work. WE are the Church and WE need to fellowship! I love having people over for dinner during the week and hanging out with friends on the weekends and going out with moms during the mornings of the week. Those times are powerful and beautiful times of fellowship. We need the Christ in others.... We need to see Him at work in their lives and be sharpened by it. We need to be vulnerable, honest, gracious and attentive when fellowshipping with the Church. Life can be messy, good, tough and so much more.... Be who you are in Christ....let others inside to see the Light in you. And you will be changed by their Light and motivated to come again :)

We had the Staff Retreat this past weekend in a beautiful city outside Vienna. During the weekend, we fellowshipped! It was beautiful to see the Church, a living organism, interacting and laughing and so much more! Please continue to pray for our staff as we live and minister in Vienna.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Here comes the COLD

Okay, do you just want to cuddle him or what? Let's just say it's a little cold around here! Fall seems to have brought on some winter weather that we weren't quite ready for. I thought this picture was so cute because it shows Ian all wrapped up in the morning after he woke up.

I want everyone to know that this is Thomas' old coat. That's right! Thad wore it and now Ian's wearing it and it's hard to imagine Thomas ever being that small!

Speaking of.... he turned 28 this month and we had a little celebration at a favorite restaurant of his with friends!

ODE to Summer

Well, it has been lovely spending the rest of our summer in nice sunny weather without humidity! We bought sunflowers the other day and I love them because they are such a bright flower and truly make me smile in the morning. And the boys loved to play with them as well....
I put the sunflowers in a watering can which made the look so refreshingly country....:) but then I realized it made for some real fun for the little guys. You see, one can put their mouth on the spout and blow bubbles in the can! But sometimes.... the water spit back out the spout into their face! It was hilarious!

Goodbye summer and we wish you well until next year.....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Puffed Up Painting

Thad and I had so much fun making this paint! It puffs up when you microwave it and he loved watching the process!
All you need to do is:

Mix 4 TB of Self Rising flour
4 TB of Salt
Add water slowly until it forms a drippy paste
Separate into bowls and add food coloring

Paint and then microwave drawings for 30 seconds or a little more

We used Q-tips for painting

Here are two paintings that puffed up a little bit!

YAY for another day of fun! And many thanks to Tricia for finding the idea for us!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I finished the painting

Here's the finished painting
Scroll down and look at the post where Thad and Ian are helping paint the background for me. I just fixed it a little and gave us a sunny sunshine for our kitchen table.

I'm hoping the bright sunshine painting will remind us to smile and enjoy the new day. God's mercies are new every morning....isn't that a great reason to smile?

Confessions of a really tired Chaplain...

Let's just say that the first two weeks of school have taken a bit out of me. I love what I do, but life has reached another level of busy...and that's even with teaching one less block than last year.

A Rundown of Things So Far This Year:

Classes: My classes are great so far, especially 9th Grade Bible. I have redesigned the curriculum of the class and things are going great. We have been studying the life of Daniel as our model of what it is to live a discerning life and the kids have really enjoyed the study. If you haven't read Daniel in awhile, you should go through it. What a great dude and what an interesting life.

Soccer: Soccer is going well, but is taking up a crazy amount of time. I can't believe it but I have actually contemplated giving up coaching (I realize that some of you may have just spit coffee or some other beverage on your computer, feel free to clean it up before continuing to read). I love being around the boys, but getting home between 6:30 and 7:00 every night takes it toll after awhile. The team looks OK so far. We are not going to have as much depth as my first two seasons and we are also really young. These are the major factors that are going into me classifying this as a rebuilding year. I've told the boys that the goal for the year is to learn to play good soccer and results are secondary.

Chapel: Let me start by saying that I do enjoy being the Chaplain. Let me follow up by saying that there is a ton of stuff that comes along with being the Chaplain that are not what I would call my "gifts." I was supposed to have a secretary help me keep things organized and what not, but she ended up leaving this year. This has left me with a bunch of administrative things that go along with chapel that I don't get that excited about. But, I guess with more responsibility comes more meetings, emails, and various other forms of organizational things.

So far things have gone well for both High/Middle School Chapels. I do find that I'm so focused on making sure the schedule is full and time is used wisely that I don't have as much time to prep for teaching the day of (my usual habit). This has been good because it has forced me to really prepare ahead of time, but it's hard to teach and old dog new tricks and so I still don't know how comfortable I am teaching something that I've prepped pretty far in advance.

Chapel #1: Was our first chapel and so I was glad I didn't teach. I just wanted fill the time while getting used to the whole thing. We had a great time with a game where the kids had to choose the real band from lists of various fake names. It was great. Ken, our director then spoke about being "True Faced." We ended with the kids looking at some lists of words and writing down what was one their hearts, as well as what they were seeking in life. I was shocked at how honest the kids were. Many admitted to feeling guilt, sorrow, loss, and other painful emotions.

Chapel #2: Building on what the kids shared, I decided to do a 2 part series on guilt. Yesterday I told the story of David and Bathesheba. We discussed the confrontation of the prophet Nathan and then spent most of our time studying Psalm 51, where David's guilt causes him to cry out to God. It was such a great transition into sharing the Gospel, especially when David says, "You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart." It was great to share with the kids that sometimes guilt is a good thing because God uses it to show us that things are not right in our lives. 2 Corinthians 7:10 was also great: "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." I initially didn't think that I made much sense, but several kids told me they appreciated it and so I trust the Lord used His Word in the lives of His kids.

So that's pretty much the insanity. Oh yeah, I'm going to a World Cup Qualifier tonight between Austria and France, and tomorrow we're loading up the fam to go to Eggenburg for the Middle Ages Fest and last night we had a class party for our Juniors. No rest for the weary I guess.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Elephants and Peacocks

My friends and I found 3 little animals at the zoo. Here's their backsides as they crawl up a panda bear. Hopefully they won't catch me taking pictures of them.

I'm hoping the creatures won't discover I've been following and observing them in their natural habitat.

This one seems to like me and you can see my arm and the attempt I made to touch it.

Among the 3 little ones, we found the beautiful turquoise colored peacock. Talk about painting! God used incredible colors on this one.

Then we encountered the majestic elephant....

When we arrived home, Thad promptly got out drinking straws and stuck them out of his mouth claiming that these were his tusks. It was rather cute!

So that's a day in the life of the zoo animals....
Sometimes I think I'm the keeper of the zoo. Hmmm....


Aren't they cute?! They're about to paint and I think I'm crazy for letting them. But it was fun and they created a background for a painting I'm going to finish.

Well, I couldn't expect the paint to stay on the canvas could I? Oh well, with some scrubbing and a little elbow grease it all came off. Now I have a lovely green background to give me inspiration!