Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Spiritual Lesson From My Wife

The last few days, I've been a little under the weather.  It started with a mild soreness in my throat and some sinus congestion.  Saturday was bad, Sunday I lost my voice and my throat was more sore than ever, and Monday I went to urgent care in Athens to make sure it wasn't strep.  I don't have strep, it's a viral thing, so the doctor said I just have to wait for it to go away.  Today has been a little better as far as my sore throat, but it's definitely the worst I've felt.  So, I'm hoping this is the peak and it will start to dissolve from here.

Since yesterday, I haven't held Elise much.  We've been trying to keep her from getting sick.  It's definitely tough on me because I love to hold her and rock her to sleep, but it's rough on Kim having to do pretty much everything for Elise with little help.  She's great about it though.  She still stays on top of things.  But, that's her personality.  She is super disciplined whereas I am a little more slobbish (if I can use that as a word).  I even noticed when she was taking care of laundry, she was talking to Elise and mentioned ironing one of my shirts.

Kim irons a lot of the stuff I wear to church or anything that gets crazy wrinkled.  I've tried to tell her certain things will be fine without ironing, but she always comes back with something to the effect of this statement: "I can't let you walk out of the house with that shirt/those pants not ironed.  People will think that I don't take care of you."  Basically, she implies that what I look like is a reflection of her and what kind of wife she is.  That made me think of trying to live my life as representing Christ.

So often I try to make excuses of what I can do or don't have to do as a Christian because it may not be that big of a deal.  After all, we have freedom and liberty in Christ.  But, I think of wearing the shirt that wasn't ironed.  What if I told Kim that I just wasn't going to let her iron anymore of my clothes?  I could tell her that it doesn't even matter in the long run and I don't care what anyone else thinks so leave my clothes alone.  First, this would hurt her because she wants to do it with the intention that ironing my clothes is one of the small things that identifies us as being together.  If someone suggests that my clothes look superb and neatly pressed, I could use that opportunity to brag up my wife.  Second, Kim uses ironing my clothes as an attempt to make me the best I can be.  So, by turning down the ironing, I'm essentially saying that I'm content where I am with no desire to be better.

As awkward an illustration as that is, it really did make me think of how Christ works in us.  When the Holy Spirit is working in us, even in small ways, it is what helps me identify with God and His kingdom.  By taking an outward examination of my life and seeing where I came from to where I am now spiritually, I can see it was the Spirit who did this and I can make much of Him.  Then, I recognize His working in me as an attempt to make me better.  This is the Spirit bringing my heart towards holiness.  I have to indulge this rather than stay content where I am.  It's then that I can see just how much more I need to grow.

After that whole illustration though, I would hate to leave it as though Kim only inadvertently gives spiritual lessons.  She far surpasses that.  Her dedication and discipline with the things of God give me encouragement and motivation all the time.  One of my favorite things she does (and I'll end the brag session on the ole wifey with this) is that she prays with Elise before every baby food meal.  It's obviously something that Elise doesn't understand the logic of now, but it will be something that we can explain as she grows.  And not just as a legalistic thing, but as something with meaning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Youth Blog Revisited

Our youth blog is now at www.racineyouth.com.  We bought the domain name because our old one was a little bulky and not too friendly on the memory as well as having the .blogspot with it.  I've updated a few things and I am going to make an extra effort to keep things current.  The goal is to bring in some student and parent traffic to spark some interest in the youth group as well as inform and encourage.  So, go check it out sometime and share the link with someone you know to bring some traffic to the site!


These pics are a little late, but here is Halloween (well, trick or treat night for Racine).

We were a little late on our fall decorations, but last year, we got them up early and by Halloween, they looked all run down.  So, this year we put them up just before trick or treat night.

Here's PawPaw Mike with Ellie the Elephant.  

Here's the baby girl again.

Elise with her mommy

The spread of goodies

Our pumpkin carvings were probably the most difficult we've done so far.  I was actually too intimidated to take on this one, but the Frankenstein template I chose instead was too big, so I had to go back to this one.  But, it didn't turn out too bad

This is Kim's pumpkin.  The curves, eyes, and spots where you have to leave just a notch of pumpkin on the edge are hard to accomplish.  Kudos to Kim.

After the festivities

Sammie wanted in on the love

Grace had her Halloween toy out

Thursday, October 18, 2012

6 Months Old and Teeth Already!

It's unreal that Elise is 6 months old already.  Here are a few pics.

 Here she is on October 10th, 6 months old.  Sitting up pretty good!

Here is her basketball binky that we bought before she was even born I think.  But, they were for 6 months old.  Well, she finally gets it!

Here are her two teeth coming in on the bottom.

Here is Elise and Kim when we went to get some pumpkins in Vicki's pumpkin patch.  It was getting dark and all I had was the cell phone so the pic is a little fuzzy.

Me and the baby girl

Kimmie and Ellie

Pups and Their Heating Pads

It's getting that time of year again when it gets cold.  Last year, we had a heating pad that Gracie loved to lay on, but one of them chewed through the cord (when it was unplugged) so we didn't like leaving them around.   They make pet-proof heating pads, but they were crazy expensive, like $40-50.  So, I went to the hardware store and grabbed some black tubing, cut it all the way down, and put it around the cord.  Now it's puppy proof for half the price.

This picture is actually one of a kind.  Normally, Gracie is hogging the heating pad, but she got under the pillow instead.  You can barely see her snout.

This picture is rare as well.  They were sharing.

Bob Evans Farm Festival

We took  trip to the farm festival this year with Elise and it was a pretty good time.  Here are a few pics.

The pigs

Welcome setup

Strong pumpkin guy

I think this was supposed to be a pumpkin

Here's a pony we saw as we were leaving.  There were actually two of them and the other kept drinking water and slinging it on this one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why Men Hate Going to Church

Why Men Hate Going to Church
By David Murrow

This book, in a very simplistic form, is basically the author’s view that the church is overly feminine, has been since the Victorian Era, and became increasingly more feminine during the Industrial Revolution.  He supports his view by showing a values chart from the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and stating that the values commonly associated with women are the same values commonly associated with Jesus/Christianity.  His book is divided into three sections that ask where the men are, contrasts church culture with man culture, and gives some practical advice in making churches more man friendly.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book.  I got it from the “BookSneeze” website primarily because I wasn’t interested in anything else at the time and had a lack of options.  I honestly thought I would get the book and go through the painfully boring task of reading it through and probably disagree with a number of things.  Contrary to my original thoughts though, I loved the book.  One thing that was refreshing is that the author didn’t seem to be a self-absorbed macho man looking to call men into the church so we can knock the women down a notch.  I just don’t have time to entertain people who think that way.  Murrow seemed genuinely concerned that the church was at a loss from not having men because they can offer so much.  He simply calls us to look at the characteristics of men and base our methods around them.  His concern seemed to be seeing men becoming closer with God and in effect bringing other men to God.  It was encouraging, challenging, written in short chapters, and it was concise.  All of that was right up my alley.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Spoon Feedings

We saw the doctor for Elise's four month check-up and she suggested we go ahead and start spoon feeding.  We started with rice cereal, then oatmeal, barley, etc.  These are the first attempts.  She did not want anything to do with at initially.  But, we also figured out not to try doing it when her bottle was due.  She wanted her bottle not a spoon.  But, once we started the spoon feeding between bottles she has done excellent.  She's all the way up to apples now!


This is an easel I made for Landen.  Kevin and Alicia said he was wanting something they could set his whiteboard on that they could adjust as he got taller.  This is what I came up with.  I just ripped some 2x4s to one inch strips.  Then, cut my angles and started patching it together.

They had given me these furniture legs to use as supports for the whiteboard, but the original screw in it was way too short to fit through the one inch board.  So, I went over to Wagner's and he gave me some longer ones.  I pulled out the old screws, put the new ones in, and attached wing nuts.  

First Meigs County Fair and First Football Game

Here's Elise and mommy at the fair.  She had her new Pooh Bear onesie on.  She was all smiles despite the death metal music playing in the background.  There was a live band playing on the stage that was like a mixture of punk rock and Satan speaking.

 Elise loved her first football game.  We went to South Gallia's new school to watch Eli play in his Jr. High game.

Myrtle Beach 2012

So, the blog has been a little neglected lately..It's kind of been a whirlwind of stuff going on and it just got pushed back a little.  But, here are some pics from our time at Myrtle Beach.

On the way. Sammie took a little nap in the back window area.

We stopped at a Hardees to eat and feed Elise.  I took the pups out for a walk and when we got back, Sammie was all smiles.

This is the first night at Duffy Street seafood.  

This is on Sunday morning before going to church.  Elise barfed a ton on the both of us.  Then, we covered her with a blankie and watched Phineas and Ferb.

Here's her bathing suit!  Although, we never kept her out in the sun much because she can't have sunscreen on until 6 months.  So, we just dressed her for the heck of it.

Family pic at the beach

Enjoying the breeze

Group pic

Weston and Emma

Ole James and Rhonda even made an appearance on Thursday and Friday! 

The pups are afraid of the beach water, but we got them this close before they took off.

Posing for the camera

This is after our 8 hour drive that turned into 12 when we finally got home.  She was tuckered out.  So were here mom and dad.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Elise Randoms

 Getting some tummy time on the boppy

Sitting in the Bumbo seat.  Thanks Stacy!