Good news!!! We're pregnant! Jamie found out last week and we're making it official now. She's due somewhere around the beginning of June 2007. Mollie and Isaiah are super excited and so are we!



Joe, my pastor, said something yesterday that made me think of a book so I grabbed it and let him borrow it. It's one of the best business/life/motivational/management type books I've ever read and it's a really quick read (seriously 45 minutes or so). It's called FISH and it's about a manager in a toxic work environment that gets some valuable guidance from a fishmonger at Seattle's Pike Place Market. You may have seen these guys on TV. They have a lot of fun and involve onlookers. They throw fish around and make people laugh and cheer. But they have to have one of the worst jobs in the world - handling fresh dead fish all day. This manager finds out their secret to having a great work environment. The reason this book is so great is that it really can apply to about every area of life - home, church, work, etc...

The 4 key principles are:
* Play - Have fun and create energy at home or at the office.
* Make their day - How can you engage fellow employees, customers and make each other's day?
* Be Present - How can you make sure you are fully available and aware during conversations with people? It is about creating a greater sense of intimacy between individuals.
* Choose Your Attitude - Each day you choose how you are going to act or which "side of the bed" you wake up on. The choice is yours and, the way you act, affects others.

Anyway Joe read it and is all excited about it so I think I'm gonna reread it again soon since it's been about 2 years since I first read it. Everybody should get it - it's worth it ($13.57 on Amazon) and very challenging.


The Hunt for GREEN October!

The A's clinched the AL West Division tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right - your Oakland A's are Division Champs and are going to the playoffs! All is right in the universe!


Mr. Wonderful

We received a call last night from our former pastor in California that a friend of ours was killed early yesterday evening. Terry Vannoy was the husband of Linda, our Children's Pastor at Bay Hills Church in El Sobrante, CA. Terry was a great guy who always had a smile and a hug for you whether you knew you needed it or not. In three years of knowing Terry, I only recall seeing him mildly upset once and that was in defense of Linda. I don't know when I've ever seen a couple more in love than Terry and Linda. He loved riding his Harley and was on his way to a motorcycle rally in Reno, NV last night when his bike was clipped by a pickup. He was thrown from his bike and ran over by a semi. Terry will be missed by my family. My kids knew him only as "Mr. Wonderful", because that's always what they heard Linda call him. Please say a prayer for Linda Vannoy - I'm sure she'll need it.


Greatest Game Ever!

I don't know why I haven't blogged about this yet, because I think about it all the time. Our friends, Micah & Becky Derby, recently introduced us to a board game that I must recommend to everyone. The game is called Settlers of Catan and it's freakin' awesome! It's a stategy game that is highly addictive.

Before I go any farther, let me say (in case you don't know), I pretty much hate playing games. Whenever people are together and someone says, "Hey, let's play a game!" and everybody else says "Yeah, let's play!", I pretty much want to shoot myself in the head (actually I want to shoot all of them in the head so they'll shut up and I can watch TV). But the Derbys have introduced us to two great games that hail from Germany (evidently the Germans love games). The first was a card game called Bohnanza where you trade beans. Sounds silly, but I really enjoyed it. The second was Settlers of Catan and it blew me away! I want to play it all the time. I finally ordered my own tonight off of Amazon.

Settlers of Catan allows 3-4 people to play and there is an expansion you can buy that will allow up to 6 to play. There are also add-ons such as Seafarers of Catan and Cities and Knights of Catan that make the game more complicated and interesting. Anyway, everyone needs to check it out. It's a great game!


Late Night Thoughts

We are finally back in our house! We've been displaced for about 2 weeks while they've been removing mold. Joe and Julie Wilson were kind enough to open up their home to us while they were in China. Though they have a beautiful home (and I became particularly fond of Joe's recliner), the whole time I just wanted to be in MY house sitting on my couch, watching my TV, showering in my bathroom, sleeping in my bed, etc... We finally were able to move back in today and it somehow feels different. There's a faint odd odor and the air seems a little stuffy, but our dog is very happy we are back. Cleo was caged in a 10'x10' pen in our backyard the whole time. She only received daily visits when we fed and watered her. So her standard of living has greatly improved today!

Recently I read an excerpt from a book by Eugene Peterson that I was considering purchasing. He was commenting on the office of pastor in modern America. He stated that until the last 30 years or so the primary responsibilities of a pastor included 1) studying and devoting oneself to spiritual disciplines and 2) serving as a spiritual guide to the congregant so they might also achieve a greater spiritual maturity. He then stated that the modern pastor is more of a program director and marketing exec than pastor. I think he's right. I'm so tired of planning programs, and events, and advertising, and banquets, and other crap. Who am I personally helping to become closer to Christ? Who am I meeting with and encouraging and challenging and such? How much time am I spending in spiritual disciplines so that I am personally equipped to lead people closer to Christ-likeness? I have bought into the megachurch dream and sacrificed the important things. Not that the megachurch thing is all bad - it definitely has caused us to shift our focus to evangelism. But everybody I know is scratching their head just like me and asking "How do I do discipleship?" Something's got to change.

I bought my first MP3 player recently and it was finally delivered today. I went with the Creative Zen Sleek Photo instead of an iPod. I am very happy with it. It was about half the price of the equivalent iPod and has alot more bells and whistles (FM Radio, syncs with MS Outlook's calendar, voice recorder, etc...). I'm lovin' it!!!


Granny's Gotta Gun!

I'm not quite sure what a toodle is, but beware of sweet old ladies bearing automatic weapons!


They Got Her!

The Wilsons finally have a brand new daughter! Karlee & Kassidy have a new sister to contend with. She's very precious. Here's a link to see video of them receiving Klaire. Warning: this is a multi-tissue affair!