e shtunë, 7 korrik 2007

Birthday Boy

During this past week, as the Country celebrated its Birthday, our oldest son celebrated his as well. It's so hard to believe that Camden turned 5 on July 4th. I know how cliched this sounds, but it literally seems like yesterday when I witnessed his birth. I can vividly remember the pictures we took of him laying on my forearm in his first few weeks of life. And today, he's this independent little boy about to enter through the halls of Kindergarten. Where did the time go?

Camden, I am so proud of you. I know that I often lose my patience with you (because you're as hardheaded as me), but know that I love you and your brother and sister more than life itself. It gives me such a sense of pride and joy to sit back and watch you as you interact with the world. Your spirit and personality bring a warmth to my heart. My prayer is that your mother and I will guide you in the right direction from boyhood to manhood, and that the Lord will take the seeds we plant and make you His Man, a man that serves Him and others with passion and vigor.

e shtunë, 16 qershor 2007

Fathers Day Weekend

I'm back...unofficially at least. It's Fathers Day weekend and it's been great so far. Friday night we took advantage of Parents Night Out at church, and today was a great day spent with my kiddos. We definitely had a highlight today - Carter took his first airplane ride. He's been begging to go for months, so today was the day. Actually, I've been wanting to go just as bad as he has, so he was a good excuse for me! We went up in a small yellow and red Piper. Carter and I sat in the back seat and had a blast.

I've attached a few pics of the experience. We were only up in the air for about 40 minutes, but he had a smile on the whole time. It's always great capturing and savoring those moments as a dad. He was so excited! We couldn't quite coax his older brother along for the ride, but we'll keep working on him. Carter now has new career aspirations - you guessed it - a pilot.

e hënë, 19 mars 2007

Latest Update/Baja Bound

Has it really been almost a month since I've posted anything? Life has been a little hectic lately, with no signs of slowing down much anytime soon. Here's the latest update...Camden wrapped up basketball season and is gearing up for his first season of T-Ball. I think the little guy's a natural center fielder. He's doing great with catching the ball and his arm is getting much better as well. He seems to love it so far, so we'll see if it lasts. Carter is ready for soccer (he's begging to play), but unfortunately, it doesn't start until the Fall. Until then, he got a pair of cleats so he could keep up with Big Brother. Caley, our beautiful resident Drama Queen, is holding her own in the house. She's getting big and has big aspirations of "go potty" right now.

As for Brooke, she's hit a bump in the road with her running. A little over a week ago, she did 16 miles. Incredible! All this running, however, has taken its toll. Looks like she may have a stress fracture. The doc told her to stay off for a week, and it hasn't gotten any better yet. She may have it scanned tomorrow to find out for sure. I know how disappointed she'll be if she doesn't get to run the marathon, but her discipline and hard work are accomplishment enough for me. I'm extremely proud of her for how well she's done.

Me...works been chaotic lately, but a reprieve is near. I'll be leaving Thursday with our group to head to Baja. I think this will be my 6th trip, and it never seems to get old. This trip should be an interesting one. I'm excited about our team (although I'll miss my faithful sidekick Brooke on this one) and the opportunities for so many first-timers to go. It's always a blessing to see how this work touches them so much. After multiple trips, I don't so much care about the construction or building or working as I do about loving on the brothers and sisters of the church in Baja. The circumstances that they endure every day (after we've gone home to our comfortable lives) are tough to describe, and I hope that our presence is a drop of encouragement to them. One day, we'll all be together, where there are no dirt floors for beds or families worrying about how they will feed their children.

Please pray for our trip...for our safety and for the church in Baja to be encouraged. May Jesus be seen through the work that is done this weekend.

e diel, 18 shkurt 2007


Wow...what a weekend! The whole family just returned from an action packed weekend at Winterfest in Gatlinburg. We had an awesome time hanging out with the guys and gals from the Mayfair Youth Group. It's such a blessing to spend time with these young men and women and see the level of spiritual maturity they display. I'm always so impressed at how many of them have such a genuine, pure desire to enhance their personal relationship with Christ.

This weekend the theme for Winterfest was "The Prize". The theme was taken directly from Paul's letter to the church at Philipi, in which he urges his brothers and sisters to "press on toward the goal for THE PRIZE" which is found in Christ Jesus. There were so many great lessons from the weekend, and a lot of good discussion from the kids in the group as well. My favorite part of the sessions, however, was hearing 6,000 people praise God through song...it was powerful. I know that I was blessed immensely by being there, and my prayer is that the kids grew closer to each other, and more importantly, to Christ, over the weekend.

Some highlights and pictures from the weekend:

* Camden throwing up Friday night...not what we wanted on the first night there, but that's what we get for too much pizza and popcorn. He recovered for the remainder of the weekend, although I spent some of Saturday with Carter & Caley by myself. Thanks to Chris & Stacy, Joy, and all of the teens for helping me out that morning.

* The Snow...it was gorgeous. It snowed most of the day on Saturday, and other than us all freezing to death, I think it really helped the weekend out.

* Seeing my kids play in the snow. No, not just my real kids, but our high schoolers sledding down a nearly vertical hillside on a garbage can lid (Grant & May) and having an all out war of a snowball fight.

* The "Gallon Challenge". Four of the guys (Chris, Jared, Ross, and Michael) decided to try and separately down a gallon of chocolate milk in an hour. Needless to say, no one finished it off, but Chris came the closest for the win. The hour ended with the biggest barrage of brown puke I've ever seen. Did we really stay up until 3am to watch this? Yes, we've got it all on film.

* Hanging out with the Andersons and Cagles, our Huddle Leader cohorts. It's been a great blessing to spend time with their families this year.

* Watching the way my kids latch on and love the teenagers. If any of the teens happen to read this, little eyes and ears and watching and listening. By the way, I think my boys have a thing teenage girls.

* Seeing some of the teens be pricked by what they heard, and making a commitment to make a change in their hearts. No one in the group was baptized this weekend, but I trust that many seeds were planted and that the rest of us were re-energized and re-focused.

In summary, an incredible weekend. We pray for changed lives and renewed spirits. God, thank you for giving us just what we need just when we need it.

e martë, 13 shkurt 2007

Little Girls

Is this what I should expect every day for the next eighteen years?



e diel, 11 shkurt 2007

Marathon Bound

As some of you may know, Brooke got a wild hair about three months ago that she wanted to run a marathon. Honestly, I thought that this was another case of "one track mind" that would pass after the first couple of weeks. Don't get me wrong, Brooke is a great athlete, but running has never been her thing. In fact, she couldn't run a mile four months ago without being out of breath and tired. To my amazement, she completed a 13 mile run in the cold and wind yesterday. Yes, no period in there. Not 1 point 3, but thirteen miles. I am really proud of her for the discipline she has shown the past few months. Even with aches, pains, and time constraints, she has stuck diligently to her training schedule. Why can't I be that disciplined? I actually started out running with her, but a few aches in the knee gave me a good excuse to stop. I'll stick to basketball as my form of exercise for now.

The Nashville (Country Music) Marathon is coming up in late April, so Brooke is halfway to the 26.2 miles of torture. It seems like a long way to go, but she's squashed any of my doubts so far, so no reason to doubt her now. Brooke, when you read this, I'm proud of you. You're doing a great job.

e premte, 9 shkurt 2007


Here's a picture of the kiddos from last weekend. It's pretty easy to get frustrated at the little things they do sometimes, but it's also the little things that make me smile, laugh, and fill my heart with a joy I can't describe. I heard a song this morning that Steven Curtis Chapman sang called Cinderella. Its lyrics reminded us to savor the small things, because before we blink our eyes, our children will be grown. God, I thank you for the immense blessings we have in our children, and even more importantly, thank you for calling me your child.

e diel, 4 shkurt 2007


Saturday was yet another day in the land of Upward Basketball - Kindergarten style. Our team got hammered, but we've improved so much. I was extremely proud of Camden's improvement on defense...I really think he's starting to get the hang of it and understand the flow of the game. It's been exciting to watch how my five kids have improved so much since December. I told someone that I almost lost my religion trying to get them to listen and understand two weeks ago, but this season has taught me a lot about patience and encouragement - two critical elements for coaching five rambunctious 4 & 5 year old boys. In fact, I've probably learned a lot more than they have. Next up, a rematch of our Sharks against the Flash. It should be an epic battle. I've posted some pictures for your enjoyment.

e enjte, 1 shkurt 2007

Snow Day

Today was Snow Day at the house. No, not a winter wonderland, but enough to get the kids excited enough to go outside at 6:30 this morning. I can't even remember the last time it actually snowed here before today. In fact, Camden has probably never seen it really snow. They had a blast though...until their hands froze. They helped the neighbors make a snowman and through a few snowballs before the cold rain set in. Here are a couple of pics from this morning.

e shtunë, 27 janar 2007

Daddy Duty

Brooke was at Ladies Retreat Friday night and this morning, so the last 24 hours have been just Dad & the kiddos. We made it...no broken bones, no ER visits, no nothing. Man, I'm good at this. Actually, I really enjoy my time alone with the kids. It's a great chance for me to spend some good one-on-one time with them. Last night was dinner out and a movie (at home). This morning we spiffed up the house and went to Camden's basketball game. Not exactly sure who won, but Camden is really improving. I'll try to get a picture of him playing up soon. It can be a little chaotic coaching 4 and 5 year olds, but worth it in the end. That's it for now; hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday.

e hënë, 22 janar 2007

What is Worship?

Last night was one of mine and Brooke's (and the kids) favorite Sunday nights of the month. Huddles night! We can't say enough about what a wonderful ministry this is and how blessed we are to a part of it. I think we were literally the last couple added to the mix this year and it has turned out to be a great decision for us. We are so blessed to be working with the 9th graders at Mayfair. They are a great group of young people that we have the opportunity to help mentor. It's great having Chris & Stacy and Ryan & Joy there as our partners in this. I think each of our families have been blessed, and I hope we are somehow returning the favor to the kids.

Last night (after Pizza and before a rowdy game of "Honey I Love You but I Just Can't Smile! - thanks Chris!), we talked about the idea of Worship. When I was a 9th grader, worship to me was exactly what the world seems to define it as, going to church on Sunday morning. It was not until much later (and I'm still learning today), that God has called us to something so much greater than corporate worship. Our communal worship is often a highlight, but it's the ins and outs of our daily life that can be the sweet fragrance of worship to God. Paul defines it for us in Romans 12 where he tells us the true act of spiritual worship is to be Holy...set apart for God. That goes so much deeper than what many of us are willing to do. Being set apart for God is much more than calling ourselves a Christian because we attend church; it's a lifestyle characterized by not just knowing about God, but knowing God on a deep, relational level. It means being set apart in our speech and our actions. Did you do that today? As I reflect back on the day, there were many times where I just blended in. Just last night, I challenged the kids to be set apart, to be holy, but did I uphold myself to that same challenge? Probably not. The good news, however, is that God calls me back to His throne once again, just as He always has. Tonight and tomorrow, I'll try once again to present my life as a worship to our Creator.

e premte, 19 janar 2007

Welcome to My Blog

I never, ever thought I'd be doing this. My excuse is that it will be a great way to share pictures and stories with family and friends.