Monday, June 30, 2008

A Day at the Beach

I must say, I'm not a huge fan of the beach. Not that I don't like outdoors, but I just prefer cool crisp weather, crunchy fall leaves, and a hot cup of coffee. So when Mel suggested that we take the kids down to Surfside, I was a bit hesitant. But I didn't want to be the party foul, so I agreed to the sandy adventure. And, man I'm glad that I did! We had an incredible day!

We ended up making friends with the people parked next to us and our kiddos played together the entire time. When we left, our oldest daughter was asking them to join us for dinner. :)
I think they still wanted more beach time that evening, so we all exchanged emails and said we'd try to meet down there again sometime.

Here are some pics from our day at the beach...

See Ya.jpg

Get Your Board.jpg

Mommy's Shoulder.jpg

Where's the Baby.jpg

Wave Run.jpg

Jump and shout.jpg

Sit and stare.jpg

Hold Your Tongue.jpg

Beach Chillin.jpg

The Beach Fam.jpg

Best Kiss

So I have been starting to get my feet wet with photography. It something that I've always loved, just haven't had the know-how. In the past months, I've been seeking lots of advice from this guy and this guy to help get me started. Both have been more than excited to share all their little secrets. :)

Anyhow, the folks over at Best Kisses contacted me through my flickr account and offered me an insane amount of money to post a picture of my good friends Roland and Johanna. On this particular day, Roland and Johanna were with me helping a family in our church renovate their house. I must say the one thing about photography I've learned is this... get a big memory card and snap as many times as you can! The other 12 pics of Roland and Johanna didn't come out as good.

Take a read through the website of Best Kisses. It's actually pretty cool what they are doing!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Love My Dog But...

So, I'm cruising to work this morning down the newly expanded 8 lanes of Hwy 90 and I see something that makes me do a double-take. My camera was in reach, so I decided to get a shot of it...

In case you think your eyes are deceiving's a close up. You can click on the images to get a really good shot. And yes, the dog is sitting on a pillow and is wearing goggles.

Here's my home, on the carpet, doing what she does best. No extreme sports for her...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Day With the Kids

So, yesterday my wife was out helping a family in the church that just had twins. In order for her to be freed up to be with them, it was best for all three kids to stay at home with me. In an effort to be the best dad to my kids I could be, I began to mentally prepare myself the night before. Upon waking up, these were my thoughts:

- Today will not be an easy day
- It’s unlikely that I will sit down very much
- There’s a good chance I will get thrown up on
- I will clean the kitchen no less than 3 times today
- Whatever you do, do not get your computer out. Your kids need the best you today.

So, I woke up at 6:30 and began my preparations for the day. Coffee on, milk ready for the girls, and milk thawed for the baby. This was not my first time alone with all three, but it would be the longest stretch.

We had a great day…my kids had my full attention and I really enjoyed my day with them. Upon planning for the day, I decided I would put one of my wife’s little “home maintenance” programs in place for the day. She has told me that she’s been trying to make sure the kids clean up their mess before they move onto the next activity or before leaving the house.

I thought that to be very wise, so I tried it out.

I must say it proved to be the tension reliever of the day. If you have toddlers, you know it takes about two minutes to wreck a room. I would turn around and there would be crayons and paper thrown everywhere after 5 minutes of coloring. Then they were ready to dress up and play princesses. Coloring was no longer satisfactory.

So I would tell them, “Ok, we’re not going to play princess until all the colors and paper are picked up.” It was like magic…”Ok papi, we’ll clean up.” We went through this process about 4 times during the day, cleaning the immediate mess before moving on to make another.

The whole day wasn’t about messes though…my favorite part was when Cash was sleeping and we went outside to wash the car. (Granted, there’s no reason to wash my heap of a Ford Escort, but it’s the smallest car and they feel they’re making a contribution to its cleanliness).

I couldn’t find a bucket, but we did have this big tub we keep toys in. It turned out to be the best thing since sliced bread. A “mini pool” if you will. Here are some pics of their time “washing the car.”

Friday, June 20, 2008

Long Three Weeks

So, it's been an incredibly long three weeks. It was a ministry first for me. 3 funerals in 3 weeks. 1 per week...the good thing is that all these folks were believers and it was great to celebrate their lives and know that they were finally home. However, it has been a great drain on my family and I. Since I was a part of all 3 funerals either singing, preaching, or creating videos. That meant my wife was alone to manage 3 kiddos in a reverent environment! 4 year olds, 2 year olds, and 10 week olds have no idea that you're supposed to be somewhat quiet during those times.

My kids did great overall, but I gotta give kuddos to Mel for the hard work. Her job was definitely harder than mine.

Talking death with our 4 year old was interesting at times. She wanted to know why the person was sleeping in the treasure box. :) That gave us ample reason to explain the great "treasures" of heaven to her!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 24th 2008

This date can't come soon enough for me.

Mel and I saw Amos open for Norah Jones years ago...all he had was a guitar and a 5 song EP. We met him after the show and Mel got his autograph. We've been hooked ever since and his music stays on high rotation on my iPod.

So here's to a romantic evening of slow dancing in the kitchen with my wife...soon after June 24th. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Barber Shop Revisited

So when I first started my blog, I talked about Oscar's Barber shop and my experience there. Well, my days at Oscar's are gone. Why you say? Because I now have 3 kids, 1 less full time salary, and the last time I filled up my Jeep it cost me $65. (Cost me $28 when I bought it). If I can save a few bucks by changing barber shops, I will.

And I'm happy to say that I've made the move to the Richmond Barber Shop where I save a good $5 to $8 with each haircut. That's about $100 a year in savings.

I thought my last barber shop was for guys, but this one is in a league of its own. Let's just start by saying, the guy that cuts my hair is named "Colt." Give you a picture? Yeah, he's country. You can get your shoes shined as well or buy yourself a jar of honey. There's a life size cutout of John Wayne in the corner...along with a few other portraits of him. Footballs signed by Bum Phillips. Baseballs signed by Nolan Ryan. There's a hat rack...and guys use it.

It just so happened that the shop was full of patrons the last time I went. Not one of them under the age of 50...except me. But let me tell you some of the lines that I heard thrown around...ones you don't hear much in Suburbia. But our Suburbia borders Redneck Town, so the two collide every once in a while and it always makes for a good time! So here are some of the one-liners I heard that day:

"Well, when I leave here, I gotta go spray my cotton."

"He was happy as a June-Bug"

"Supposed to feel like 104 today."

"You hear that old man __________ died?"

"It's hot, but we're still gonna run our trot lines this weekend."

These are just a few of the reasons why I love my barber shop. This is why I don't get my haircut at a "fancy" place in the mall by a guy named Sergio that swats me on my tail with his comb. There's no trendy music that I can go home and download on iTunes. No hair products called "Sexy" are available here. It's just a dude in a ball cap with some clippers and an antique cash register.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Fabuloso Mondays

So Mondays are one of my favorite days to come home from work. Why? Because it is the day my wife mops the entire house! And a splendid job she does I might add. But more importantly than the clean floors, there is the lovely aroma of the purple Fabuloso. It is the shekinah glory of all household cleaners.

It is a rare Monday that I don't thank Jesus for the lovely smell of purple Fabuloso.

*there are other colors of Fabuloso, but they are far inferior and merely "aspiring" to be all that the purple Fabuloso is.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Friends vs. Seinfeld

Yes, I believe the title itself is probably causing all sorts of vibrations to rise up in many of you. I'm not afraid to go there.

This is often a topic of discussion around our office here at Crossbridge. To go even further, it is the final question of every job interview we've done as well. "Friends or Seinfeld?" The person immediately feels on the hot seat and the answer they give will inevitably tattoo them for their entire tenure here at CB.

I know, I know...many of you will say "statistics don't lie...just look at the numbers." Yes, the Seinfeld finale was watched by more viewers. But, looking at the overall numbers from season to season, there is a clear winner in terms of viewers.

Seinfeld Stats

Season Ranking Viewership
Four (1992–93) 25 12,754,700[35]
Five (1993–94) 3 18,274,800[36]
Six (1994–95) 1 19,652,400[37]
Seven (1995–96) 2 20,330,800[38]
Eight (1996–97) 2 19,885,000[39]
Nine (1997–98) 1 21,266,000

Friends Stats

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Thursday 8:30 P.M. (September 22, 1994 - February 23, 1995)
Thursday 9:30 P.M.(February 23, 1995 - May 18, 1995)
September 22, 1994 May 18, 1995 1994-1995 #5 24.3
2 Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 21, 1995 - January 18, 1996)
Sunday 10:13 P.M. (January 28, 1996)
Thursday 8:00 P.M. (February 1, 1996 - May 16, 1996)
September 21, 1995 May 16, 1996 1995-1996 #2 29.4
3 Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 19, 1996 - May 17, 2001) September 19, 1996 May 15, 1997 1996-1997 #3 25.0
4 September 25, 1997 May 7, 1998 1997-1998 #3 24.1
5 September 24, 1998 May 20, 1999 1998-1999 #2 23.5
6 September 23, 1999 May 18, 2000 1999-2000 #4 20.7
7 October 12, 2000 May 17, 2001 2000-2001 #3 20.2
8 Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 27, 2001 - October 4, 2001)
Thursday 8:50 P.M. (October 11, 2001)
Thursday 8:00 P.M. (October 18, 2001 - May 16, 2002)
September 27, 2001 May 16, 2002 2001-2002 #1 24.5
9 Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 26, 2002 - May 15, 2003) September 26, 2002 May 15, 2003 2002-2003 #2 21.6
10 Thursday 8:00 P.M. (September 25, 2003 - April 29, 2004)
Thursday 9:00 P.M. (May 6, 2004)
September 25, 2003 May 6, 2004 2003-2004 #2 22.8

Now then, I know you die hard Seinfeld loyalists are all throwing things at your computer screen right now...but really. Episode after episode I have tried to watch...with nothing more than the occasional "ha" at some mediocre joke. I do keep giving it a shot, but seriously, not funny.

Friends on the other hand...Mel and I have the entire library and we watch the show regularly. Laughing every time as hard as the first time we saw it.

So, I'll open it up to you guys for comments. Are you a Friends or Seinfeld person? Why?

I'll also set up a little poll to the right to add to the fun!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Real Quote

My wife is in one of her "modes" right 10:30 p.m. She passes me in the house and mutters with great enthusiasm - "There's nothing better than a clean bathroom."


I'm forever in debt to Mel for the incredible house keeper she is. But really, nothing better than a clean bathroom? I can think of so many other things...but I don't want to burst her bubble you know. So my answer is this...

"I Know Right!" I join her in that great undeniable joy of a clean bathroom!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Worship Matters

I'm currently reading this book called Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin. Chuck and I are meeting weekly to discuss our thoughts on it and we're finding it to be a catalyst for some really good discussions.

This week I finished Chapters 11 and 12 and they blew me away. I think it would be easy (especially for worship pastors/leaders) to just breeze through a book like this looking for quick answers to common issues facing the local church today.

But I'm finding that Kauflin packs a lot of stuff into 2 sentence quotes. He'll launch something out there and you see that you still have plenty of chapter left to read. However, it usually makes me stop...I can't just do the holy "hmmmm" and move on. I have to dig deep into what he said. So, below are a few of the quotes from his book that are rocking me right now. They are causing me to evaluate, think more deeply, and realize that after 12 years of leading worship, I still have so much left to learn!

Quoting Gordon Fee - "Show me a church's songs and I'll show you their theology."

"When is the last time a non-Christian came to your church and fell down on his face, convicted and gloriously converted?"

"Given the biblical history, God's commands, and the immeasurable benefits we receive from Word-centered worship, it's worth asking why worship today is so often focused on sensory experiences, inward feelings, and subjective encounters."

"We need songs that have substantive, theologically rich, biblically faithful lyrics. A consistent diet of shallow, subjective worship songs tends to produce shallow, subjective Christians."

"Music can make shallow lyrics sound deep. A great rhythm section can make drivel sound profound and make you want to sing it again."

"The bottom line is: Sing God's Word. Lyrics matter more than music. Truth transcends tunes."