Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Part 2

Mmmmm.... Pumpkin seeds roasted! So, while Thomas and Thad were carving the great pumpkin, I was separating the stringed membranes from the seeds. Today we roasted them and they taste so yummy. First we added 2 tsp of olive oil and then seasonings to taste. I chose cayenne pepper, garlic powder and some cajun seasoning we had on hand. Of course you need to salt them well and then mix all ingredients together before putting them on a pan. Bake at 300 for 45 minutes checking and stirring every 15 minutes.

The result is a great snack and very rich in vitamins! Thad tried one and liked it...but then didn't like the aftertaste. We'll see if he'll try some more later.
Hope you can make some from your pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Watch out Charlie Brown it's the Great Pumpkin

What a cute little dude. He looks like he's all ready for some Halloween pumpkin carving fun right? Wrong. It turns out the big tough man is deathly afraid of the inside guts of pumpkins. We were all set to do this thing together (I was actually looking forward to making him do the nasty part just like my dad used to do with me). He looked me dead in the eyes and flat out refused to put his hand in there. It was hilarious.

After we got the guts out, the debate raged as to what we should carve. I was thinking a nice cross or icthus fish or maybe even a Chi Rho (that P with the X that you've seen in Catholic stuff before). My wife came up with the cool idea of writing something in Hebrew. We thought of a couple of ideas before finally settling on the Hebrew word for "light." Kind of appropriate.I'm not even going to try and tell you how to actually pronounce this word, but just trust me, it's awesome. And now, my pumpkin is awesome as well. There are tons of amazing times that scripture uses this word. The first and most obvious is when God says "Let there be light."
I'm going to have to say that my favorite is Isaiah 9:2 "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."

That is just a freaking awesome verse. For those of us who have come to know God, we have new life and no longer live in fear or in the shadow of death. May we be so bold to live as lights in a dark place so that others will be drawn to the Lord.

You are the devil and the devil is bad

Ahh the W's. Clearly one of the best Christian ska bands of the late 90's. With those lyrics they pointed out one of the most obvious things ever, and yet I find myself a lot of times forgetting that I do have an enemy.

Not only is this guy/thing/whatever pronoun you want to use for him/her/it out there, it really doesn't like me because I like Jesus and he really really doesn't like Jesus. In 1 Peter it says that Satan "prowls around like roaring lion seeking someone to devour." He has apparently been up to this for a long time because in the first part of Job (arguably the oldest of the books of the Bible) God asks Satan what he's been up to and he says "...roaming through the Earth and going back and forth on it." Well, let's just say that he must have decided to take a few days in Vienna because this past week was uncanny in how some things went down.

The week before was Spiritual Emphasis Week at VCS and it was a tremendous success. We had 2 kids come to know the Lord and several others begin to deal with sin in their life through counseling with teachers. As Chaplain, I also spent time with teachers developing a plan for follow-up. We have designed a schedule for students to be able to meet together daily for prayer. We have also set up for teachers involved in discipleship and leading Bible studies to get together for prayer and accountablilty in teaching. And finally, we have layed the foundations for starting a youth church at the school for our kids who come from backgrounds that would prevent them from being able to attend a regular church.

You can imagine that as this past week started we were all pretty excited. And that's when Satan showed up...big time. I can't really go into much detail, but let me simply ask that you would be in prayer for visa and work permit issues pertaining to the teachers at the school. As big a deal as this is, one thing Satan probably isn't too happy about is the unity among the staff. We spent over an hour in prayer together about this situation and to a person I think we are all resting in God's provision for this situation. It's so cool to be facing a really big thing and yet to have a quiet confidence that God is in control and He will receive the most glory however something works out.

Friday, October 24, 2008


we love bruschetta and i wanted to share how lovely the meal looked.
All you need to compliment it is a glass of red wine, some kalamata olives and a little salad on the side.
it's one of our favorite meals!

Take some chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and salt and minced garlic. Add according to taste and let sit for awhile in the fridge. Spoon over some toasted french bread and voila! You have an easy yummy meal. You can also rub fresh garlic on the bread once it comes out of the oven, but spoon tomatoes on top right away!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smoothie time

Did you know you can put anything healthy into a smoothie and your kids will never know? Try flax seed, tons of crushed up vitamins, wheat germ.....even frozen spinach!
They just drink away and smile....and of course you're smiling cause you've won!

They're pretty cute drinking my vitamin boost and totally oblivious :)

Monday, October 20, 2008


Root beer floats for a euro at our junior class event.

Thomas hosted the game "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"

We cooked chili and cornbread for the event and it was good!

Here is the singing game and the four staff members... they had such fun and we loved it when the music cut off and they had to finish the lines a cappella :)

Thomas singing his heart out... he did win the event overall and of course we laughed!
Our Junior class even called "Showtime!" was a hit with the school and provided a unique time of fun with staff and students. One of our students, Marson, led the games as the Host and did a fantastic job!
You had to vote for your favorite staff member to play in the singing game knows as "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" Thomas did get enough votes and participated...

Here are our 5th graders from VCS playing the game "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"

And we had a cake walk to get others to participate in the cake raffle. Several people went home with a lovely dessert!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

After these commercials.... we'll be right back!

Well, it's been one interesting journey these past two weeks. We've had some real emotional moments along our journey this month and we have been humbled and reminded of God's unfailing love. Recently, we lost a dear friend of ours and his death has been sobering and a reminder that the days we have are short. He will be missed but we will remember him as we strive to encourage our young people here to open their lives to others and reach out to their friends.

This past week included Thomas traveling to Budapest for soccer games and then returning home to find his wife a little sick. I ended up in the hospital for dehydration and to receive an IV. I'm feeling much better now, just slow to recover!

But even with all the emotional events we've had good ones too! This past Saturday night we hosted our Junior class event "Showtime!" at the school. It was a great time of fellowship and team building moments for our class as we prepared for the fun. We had game shows such as "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?". Plus, we ended the evening with "Don't Forget the Lyrics" in which Thomas participated with 3 other staff members and eventually won. Let me mention that he did win by singing "Bye, Bye, Bye" NSync style.

We have Spiritual Emphasis week beginning tomorrow at school. We're so excited to have some good ole southern folks here with us for this special time. Please pray with us as we take this week to challenge some in their faith and answer some questions from those students who are new to VCS or who have never understood this God thing. It will be amazing to see what God will do and how he will use the team. Thomas is working with them as Chaplain and he's really looking forward to how this will affect and impact our student body.

That's all for now.........we'll post pics soon to give some color to these black and white words!