Thursday, July 31, 2008

vacation days 4-6--Alabama

(I'm blogging with more detail and pics on our family blog. It is viewable by invitation only; let me know if you'd like to see it!) up, packed, went to lunch at Grandma's, then goodbye visit at Aunt Sharon's. It was so great to spend time with them; of course, the boys captured both their hearts, and both were amazed at the beautiful young lady A is becoming.

We drove to Lake Martin, AL to see my friends Ryan and Kelly. Ryan and Kelly both taught with me in Forth Worth, and quickly became dear friends. We've kept in touch and were eager to spend time with them and their two boys.

We stayed at the lake house owned by Kelly's parents. It was beautiful--literally right on the lake, with several decks and porches, a dock, boats, everything you could want. B hit it off with their boys, and even more with their dog Aslan!

We ate dinner,  talked and caught up, and discovered that we have a favorite show in common--The Office; so we watched some TV. Great to relax and be with people we love!

We spent the next two days eating, swimming, splashing, tubing, waterskiing, took the boys for their first boat was an awesome two days; the most relaxed and fun we've all felt in a while.

Ryan and Kelly are wonderful people--kind, loving, fun, easy-going. The best friendships are ones where, even after years apart, you bond immediately when reunited. That's how it is with Ryan and Kelly.

Monday, July 28, 2008

road trip day 3

Got up today and had breakfast at the hotel; it's not easy getting everyone up and dressed and to the dining room on time; so J made about 10 trips bringing cereal, waffles, eggs, juice, etc. to the room.

We went for a swim at the hotel, then went to Grandma's for lunch--had barbecue from Center Point Barbecue--really good.

The boys napped in the afternoon, so we relaxed. Met Aunt Sharon for dinner at Opry Mills Mall (I'm still mad that they tore down Opry Land to build a shopping mall)...

Sharon took us to dinner at The Aquarium. The boys loved the atmosphere--incredible sea life in this enormous aquarium in the middle of the restaurant, and the seafood was fantastic. B had a blast walking around the aquarium, looking at all the fish, talking to other kids...We got some cool souvenirs for the kids.

After dinner we walked around the mall, got an aqua massage--really cool. Went to the Bass Pro Shop, J was in heaven.

Late night, but very much worth it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

road trip day 1 and 2

We made it to Nashville. Day one was good; made pretty good time. The kids watched movies, we sang songs, and played Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (I wasn't). The baby slept a lot.

My sweet wife almost got in a fight at a rest stop where we ate lunch. A guy started mowing the grass and shot dirt and grass all over us. I thought J was going to knock the guy off his John Deere; but she restrained herself and politely told him how she felt. He apologized.

The highlight was crossing into Tennessee and getting Krystal's for dinner. If you've never had a Krystal--you need to next time you're in the South--great hamburgers (and small--you need to eat at least 4). They were just as good for breakfast today!

Last night we stopped in Bulls Gap, TN (about halfway between Bristol and Knoxville) to spend the night. The toddler had a rough night--didn't want to go to sleep, or stay asleep. J was exhausted and frustrated, finally climbed into the pack-n-play with B. I opened my big mouth before I thought and said, "I don't think that thing is meant to support your weight." not too smart.

But overall, day one was good.

Day two was even a late start--but we're committed to relaxing--not rushing--on this trip. Stopped for lunch at a really nice rest area. B saw a butterfly and started following, so I followed him--all over the place. I love watching him so excited about the world around him. Later on he saw a young bird that was hopping more than flying, and followed it for a while.

We walked up the hill to where the trucks parked and watched the 18 wheelers drive in and out. Whenever a truck drove out, B and I would wave to the drivers--several of them blew their horns for B--he loved it!

Got into Nashville around 4, unloaded and unpacked, then want to my grandmother's for dinner; wonderful time. She is in her late 80's and met the boys for the first time; it was sweet watching B hug and kiss her! Also had a great visit with Aunt Sheila.

The day ended with daughter and I going for a late-night swim here at the hotel. While traveling, most of our attention is on the boys, so I feel A often gets the short end. It was great to spend time with her tonight! off to bed!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

read this poem

You must read this beautiful poem by my friend Amy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

my friend is famous

Check out this HBO commercial--the music is my friend Jay's Band, Middle Distance Runner.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

great video

you've got to check this out; from JibJab, the guys who did great videos during the last elections.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

last week is over/yesterday was great!

thank God, last week is over. I blogged last week about how rough it was--it kept up through Sunday.

we rent space at Convergence to a preschool; but realize it's time to take back the space they use so that we can better fulfill our mission. Sunday we met with their leaders to tell them we were going to give them one more year on their lease. 

I knew they would be upset, and expected them to plead with us; but wasn't prepared for the anger and accusations. I don't want to replay any of that now; I just say that to explain that I went into worship Sunday afternoon feeling like crap.

(New rule, no more 4 pm meetings on Sunday!)

It was the final in a series of meetings and conversations over the last 5 days that were really hard. I hate hurting or upsetting people; and seems I had to do it several times...

but worship turned out good (you can read about it here.) I was so grateful for the support of our leaders, who walked through some of the difficulties with Lisa and me, and really encouraged us.

So I went into my day off Monday really needing a change; and I got it. Yesterday was one of those "best days." We went to Kings Dominion, with low expectations because of a forecast of thunderstorms; but it was sunny all day, almost a perfect day. 

the crowd was small; so we never had to wait for rides. Brady rode his first roller coaster; had a blast. We rode rides and splashed in the waterpark. Brady got a kick just watching the drop zone over and over.

it was so fun watching him walk around, gazing in wonder at the sights around him. All day I felt so much joy, just being with my family. 

Ashley brought a friend and both were really good all day.

We didn't expect to stay too long; but didn't leave till almost 10 pm. I was exhausted; but it was worth it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

rough week

it's been a really rough week; with some really good times interspersed. I shouldn't get into a lot of detail; but had to make some decisions and had some conversations that were very hard; had big impact on other people, hurt some people's feelings, disappointed some...

I tried to do everything well; but know I know I made some mistakes along the way. I just felt several times throughout the week like the grim reaper--the bearer of bad news.

it was pretty exhausting spiritually and emotionally. 

but I also had some good times...great time with Bud, lunch downtown and a visit to the Studio Gallery...Elise gave a fantastic lecture on The Artist and Faith in Community. Afterward several of us hung out at Lisa's house and had great conversation about worship. At times like that I really feel God's presence realize how special this faith community is.

Also had special time with my boys, got a few things done at work, and watched some good TV (finished season 1 of Deadwood.)

A lot to do in the coming week, then we're on vacation--Nashville, Lake Martin, AL, and Atlanta. Should be a great road trip!

Friday, July 04, 2008

a classy move

Gilbert Arenas of the Washington Wizards signed a new contract for $111 million over six years, even though the Wizards offered him $127 million. He took less money so the team would have more to pay other players.

"What can I do for my family with $127 million that I can't do for $111 million?" asked Arenas.

wow. makes sense to me. Great to see a top professional athlete more concerned with his team than himself. 

I still think it's ridiculous what we pay athletes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

don't miss this!

starting next week at Convergence--this will be a great opportunity to see where we are headed in some areas and how important this is to our community and our world.

Artist in Residence, Elise Edwards, will lead a series of lecture and discussion groups in July on the theme of the Artist and Faith in Community. 
This series is free and open to the public. 
Thursdays, July 10, 17 & 24 at  7:00 pm


Discussion Topics:

-What is the place of the artist in Christian community?

-Worship Planning and the Design Process

-The Connection Between Art, Faith and Civic Engagement

Elise is an architect and designer. She holds an MTS degree from the John Leland Center for Theological Studies and is a Ph.D. student at Claremont Graduate School in Claremont CA. Elise is also a founding member of Convergence and the designer of our renovation projects.

update and random thoughts

after a crazy couple of weeks, Monday was a great day. We did a little housework in the morning, set up Jamie's new iMac (my macbook seems puny now!), and spent the afternoon relaxing and playing with our boys.

It was the best day I've had in a long time, just relaxing and recharging and enjoying my beautiful family!

Watching season 1 of Deadwood. The language is rough, but like most HBO series, has incredible writing and acting.

Interesting article about Bruce Springsteen and spirituality at the Washington Post. 

Last week I got tickets to see him next month in Richmond with my friend Kenny. Can't wait!

work is good--we continue to meet new people, and the sense of community and intimacy is growing. I really look forward to Sunday afternoons these days.

Josh and Shey are home now; Rowan is doing well. Please keep praying for Shey--still having back problems.

Had lunch with my friend Chris yesterday; he reminded me fantasy football is not far off--hooray!

time for dinner...