Monday, April 30, 2007

Separation of Church and Bank

There is a small debate going on, and I would like to know your thoughts. Here is the issue:

A church in the area has asked their members to sign up for direct deposit, withdrawn each Monday morning, for a 10% (or more) tithe. They claim they are thousands short each week, and would like to make sure that, even on vacation or absence from church, people are still tithing the full amount they should be.
So, what do you think? Overstepping boundaries? Taking out the "cheerful" part of giving? Or darn smart idea?

Thursday, April 26, 2007


The Year: 1988
Place:Terry Hall, Grandville, MI
Event: Roller Skating Party
Mission: get asked by some other boy classmate for "boy's choose free skate"
Memories: Sweaty Palms, concession stand with awesome candy, backward skate, classmate speed races, loud 80's music blaring, disco balls, and the hokey pokey. Can't you just smell it? They all seem to smell the same.

Tonight was the skating party for Dutton Christian and I felt transported. Apparently this roller skating hall has been the exact same for thirty years, so although it was a different rink than I went to as a child, it looked so similar. Maybe all of them look 70's disco themed.
Nostalgia...don't you love it?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lessons Learned in Florida

We got back yesterday and had a great time in Florida. We went to Destin, which is on the Gulf side. It was beautiful.

A couple lessons learned:

1. I can survive an entire week without my computer and Internet (okay I did cheat once and went to the library to pay bills).

2. Alligators are very soft, and not at all slimy like I thought they would be

3. Mom needs to do a better job with sunscreen, even though Kayden made it pretty difficult by wiggling and screaming bloody murder the entire application. I tried waiting him out and after an hour I wrestled him down and just forced it on.

4. 19 hours is a long car ride. Kayden did so much better than I thought he would. He did not cry once. We stopped a few times to let him run around outside. Other than that, he really enjoyed being in the car. Surprising.

5. God hears me. On the final day of our trip, we were out by the beach all day. The sun was hot, the water was teal blue in contrast to the white sand. We set up our chairs and umbrella and played up and down the beach all afternoon. There was a dip in the sand where water would pool and we dug holes for Kayden to play in. When it was time to take Kayden back for a nap, we discovered that the room key had fallen out of my dad's bathing suit. We thought we might get lucky if it had fallen out right where we had initially sat. My dad and I went down to the beach and combed through the sand. Nothing. We expanded our search a little further. We went down to where we had dug our holes. We went everywhere we had been and could not find it. I looked up and down the beach for someone with a metal detector that would possibly help us out. After an hour, we felt all hope was lost of ever finding that key. Since it was the last day, we had no idea if we would have to get a locksmith or some other solution to remedy the situation. I sat down in the sand and said a prayer and decided to dig one more time. Into my hand slipped that metal key. Unbelievable. Someone once said that answered prayers can be explained away as coincidence if unbelievers choose to look at it that way. One three inch key in a beach full of sand? A God thing.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Before and After

Why is it that before I take a vacation, I have to clean? I tackled the black hole tonight- my sewing studio in the basement. I love seeing your before and after photos, so I thought I would share (and also so you feel good about how clean your house is after seeing these photos).

Yikes, how does it get like this?

Okay, it never really looks like this and the minute I get back we will be in BEFORE territory again.

Yikes twice

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is God pushing rewind?

Seems like we are going backwards. Waking up to six inches of blowing snow is certainly not making it look like spring is coming any time soon. We even had the pool guy drop off the chemicals needed for this summer today and I thought, "Why bother?"

Flat tires must be the order for this month, because not only did Tami have one recently, but my two brothers and I had one also. As I was getting four new one installed today, someone ran into an electrical line on our street, knocking out power from 3-10:30. Two thoughts came to mind:
  • We must have either exceptionally clumsy drivers, or very low poles. This is the second time in the last seven months that someone has split an electrical pole in half, leaving wires dangling over the street and us without power for six or seven hours.
  • I take electricity for granted. Do you know what there is to do without lights, a computer/sewing machine, television, or heat? Not much. After about an hour and half of talking in bed, Josh and Kayden finally fell fast asleep, leaving me just getting more and more annoyed that I could be doing something. Anything!

I have heard that the snow is not lifting anytime soon. Hopefully by the time I come back, the outlook will be little more promising around here.

Naughty Blogger List: MiniMe Mom

My only excuse I have is that I have been adding many products lately, and it took a lot longer than I thought it would.

I hope all of you had a nice Easter. Our church service was beautiful and I found myself emotional at the wierdest of times.. thinking of Sam Post, my friend Joan that lost both of her parents recently. Realizing our suffering and brokeness is nothing compared to the sacrifice of the cross....


Update on Kayden, from the mouth of babes:
Kayden lately is being a big tease. I will ask him "Do you like Puppies or Kittens?" and he will always say Kittens even though I know he likes Puppies better. He then laughs and laughs with that glint in his eye. This repeats all day- he will tease my mom that he is really Papa's Sweetheart and not Grandma's sunshine. He teases rotating between Joy and Lacie. If I ask him if he likes Lacie, he says he likes Joy better and vice versa. He is on his way to the VanderPloeg art of pushing buttons.

Easter picture with Josh's parents:

Kayden did not really "get" the idea of egg hunting this year. Saturday morning at 9am, we traveled to Jenison for the Easter Egg hunt at their church. Arriving with a big bag in hand for all the candy my son would receive, and I would eat, we eagerly anticipated the start of the hunt. After the sermon, all the 1-2 year olds (plus parents) huddled behind the caution tape until the organizer said "GO". Kayden quickly picked up four smartie packs and decided he was spent. We watched as all the other kids loaded their baskets full of eggs. Alas, I did not really need the candy anyway.

And from Chuck E. Cheese:

with the giant sucker he got:


Throw open the beach houses, wax the surfboard.... I have been asked a lot by all you Californians when we are coming to visit. Josh and I just got tickets for the end of July. We are taking Kayden with us this time, and so excited to see you all again...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring Break

So, how is spring break going for you?

I am ready for summer having Josh here all week! It is so nice having him home. Kayden and him are big buddies. We have had people over we usually only see in the summer time. I even got Josh to stay up to, gasp, twelve o'clock one night.

Some highlights of this week:

  • Kayden- on one of our many walks, looking intently into the storm draim, "Kayden wants to go swimming"
  • Chuck E Cheese- what is vacation without Chuck E?
  • Big Red Lighthouse- I did not realize that the end of the pier in Holland is an open block of concrete! Josh and I were talking and looked up to see him running straight for the water. Good thing Josh is quick. I probably would not have caught him. Brrr, cold.
  • Thursday we are going to go over and see the triplets. Josh has not met them yet, so we are excited.
  • Sleeping in-without even opening my eyes, I usually frantically search for the remote so Kayden can cuddle up and watch Mickey Mouse clubhouse in the morning, giving me an extra twenty minutes of sleep. No Meescha Mooshca this week!
  • Uccello's Pizza- how have I not know about this pizza? $12.67 for two 14" pizzas and breadsticks. Delicious.
  • My dad setting up for the 17 hour car ride to Florida (Leaving in two weeks). He had Josh bring over the car seat for a "test run". At one point he talked about creating a freestanding apparatus to attach the portable DVD player to, just so Kayden could swivel the DVD player. He finally settled on attaching it to the seat. I swear he will still make one. That is actually one thing I love about my dad- he is a problem solver and a fixer. He can fix or build anything.
  • Jamie with a chainsaw. Our tree out front needed some trimming, so I used my dad's "chainsaw on a stick". Not the technical term for it, mind you. I actually had a lot of fun until Josh came and watched me cut one branch down. Possibly the fact that it is on a stick frightened him. Images of me dropping the heavy chainsaw through the window, or worse-the electrical line close by, made him take over pretty quickly. He cut a few branches and broke the chainsaw chain. Thankfully Dad already fixed it.

I can see why kids have such a hard time going back to school after Spring Break. This taste of non-structure makes me long for lazy summer days. One of the teachers Josh taught with in California was often asked, "What is your favorite part of teaching?" to which he always replied, "June, July, and August".

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Name that movie::

In my sidebar is a youtube video from one of my favorite movies. Can you name that movie?
Hint: The sonnet at the end is my favorite part