Here are a few things I came across in the past few weeks.
Culture: Film & Theology Night - Talladega Nights Here is a great sermon that talks about the movie Talladega Nights. Many of you have either seen this movie, heard about the movie, or have friends, family, and co-workers who have seen the movie. Maybe your kids have seen this movie...or they want to. Check it out, it's an excellent way of understanding & engaging your community and culture.
Music:Peace - in the search box (top right) type "peace". The song was written by a worship band from a church out on the west coast.
Last weekend was our Shepherds Spring Retreat! We had a great time with our friends who come to camp in the summer and live close enough to attend our weekend retreat. Despite an extreme delay in receiving the registration forms, [we thought we were going to have to cancel the retreat] we had 30 campers with us over the weekend. We also had a lot of staff serving throughout the weekend too. With service staff in the kitchen, counselors, program staff, co-counselors, and volunteers - we had a total of about 25 staff. Wow, what a weekend!
Two of our campers playing bumper pool during some free time. Another one of our campers proudly displaying his Arrowhead visor.
Snow? Let's not forget the snow. Just a week ago there was still white stuff on the ground up here. It took some time, but the snow has finally melted away. Working outside has been a blast with all the warm weather...as I'm sure you would all agree.
Family Update: Things are hopping on the home front as well. Did you catch that subtle Easter pun/joke...Your welcome. Natalie is showing great improvement in her speech and motor skills. She's also trying more and more to act and sound just like Kelly and I. One of her newest activities is to grab a book, head down the hallway to a little stool she has. This usually occurs when Kelly is on the phone or cooking dinner. Natalie sits down on her stool, opens up her book, and begins to read. It's mainly incoherent rambling...but man is it adorable.Natalie also loves to pray. Our normal evening routine is: read a book, drink milk, brush teeth, get pajamas on, pray as a family, and then go to bed. Holding Natalie I sit down in the rocking chair in her room. We all fold our hands, after Natalie motions for Mommy to come closer and kneel down. We spend time praising God, thanking Him for the day we had, and praying for our family by name. Well, the other day Kelly was in the kitchen and she heard Natalie talking from her room. Kelly peeked her head in the room and saw Natalie sitting on the rocking chair with her hands folded praying. And get this...she was saying our names, "Daddy, Mama, Natalie, and baby. Oh man! If that doesn't make you tear up a little...there's something wrong with you.Side note: it's okay for guys to cry on two occasions only. First, if you get shot more than once. Second, when your children are obedient and follow God.
With that last snow storm we got somewhere around 16". I was already starting to go into "warm weather" mode. What a crazy way to end the winter season. Not to worry though, this weekend is suppose to bring temperatures in the high 50's. We'll see what happens.
Our Shepherds Spring Retreat is coming up this weekend. Please keep us in prayer as we "love and serve" our friends from the local area.
The Baby Report Well folks...we've got a very healthy baby girl on the way! Kelly had a doctor's appointment last week which included an ultrasound. It was no less astonishing than the first ultrasound I saw two years ago. I remembered a lot of details and signs to look for, but I was still blown away by all the things the doctor could see just from a little black and white fuzzy screen that never stayed still. Praise God for the report of a very healthy baby girl. [Side note: check out baby name books. Many of them advertise on the front cover how great they are because of the vast number of names within. Sadly enough I've come to realize that quite a large number of the names in these books...are girly-guy names (or vise versa). Girly-guy names are boy's names with an "a" thrown onto the end. This creates two problems in my mind. The first is that I'm now forced to read these names which adds a lot time to my search for the perfect name for my daughter. The second is the realization that some parents are choosing girly-guy names because deep down they really wanted a boy but had a girl instead. Now, don't get me wrong. There are plenty of good and acceptable girl's names which just happen to end in an "a", and that's fine. I'm talking about names like - Berta, Stevea, Grega, Tonya, or Andya. Then there is my personal favorite, Sylvestra...the girly-guy name for Sylvester (It really is in the book).]
Natalie's World Someone has been growing like a weed. Natalie is starting to open doors, walk up stairs without using her hands, and have conversations with people. Well, the conversations are a little mumbled, but she talks to you for about 20 seconds straight and then looks directly at you for a response. Her vocabulary is getting bigger and better every day. I'm also amazed at her memory skills. She seems to remember how to do everything after the first time. She also remembers where things are located even if she hasn't been in a certain room or house in weeks. Here's what makes being a Dad great. In the morning when I put my coat on she nods her head and says, "Work." Then I ask her where Daddy works and she responds with a smile, "Camp." She also runs to give me a hug when I get home from work. Nothing beats the hug. Natalie also enjoys praying. Each night before bed Natalie, Mommy, and I sit in her room talking about our day and then we pray before she goes to sleep. I love the simple joy it is to hold her in my arms as she folds her hands together and looks at me to begin our time of prayer.