Yes, our "Winter" weather is nice. Come on down!
Here are few of my favorite pics from our day at Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island on Dec. 27th. Click on any pictures to see the whole album.
A few days ago I came across a blog that I am just loving. lifehacker. "Tech tricks, tips and downloads for getting things done." Check it out.
Just today they posted a link to their 2007 Guide to Free Software and Webapps. Cool!
I also liked these posts...
Google Tips, Itunes, Outlook, windows, web apps, etc... Right up my alley.
I played tonight. It felt good. Ah, I needed to relax a little.
Becky is feverishly making enough Christmas cookies to sink a battleship, or at least to feed our cookie monster. Drew helped for awhile. He proclaimed tonight, "Mommy, you're a good cook!" Mommy proceeded to give him cookies, cookie batter, chocolate chips, more cookies, etc etc etc. I think he accomplished his mission...
Here is a pic that I just did. Nothing really to do with it, but fun nonetheless. I really have to say taking pictures is so gratifying. I was thinking I could name this picture... "Floridian Christmas".
I was reading a book to Drew that Becky and the kids picked up from the library the other day. Disclaimer...If I am just nuts, feel free to just tell me so...
Does Rudolph always lead Santa's sleigh? The book I was reading showed the sleigh and reindeer, and there was no Rudolph. So it got me thinking. If Rudolph doesn't always lead the sleigh, when does he? Did he only lead once? Does he only lead on certain years where the weather is especially foggy? Well, foggy when they take off from the North Pole, what about the rest of the world.
So, according to my analysis, I think the Rudolph story falls apart. I don't think it is real.
We have had a period of time of pretty significant stress. I have been totally focused on some things and totally not focused on other things. Not only blogging, but family and Christmas has taken a back seat. Becky has been such a trooper! All isn't magically honky dory, but hopefully, now I am back.
BTW, I want to smack this author. Are you kidding me?
You will hear more about our "stress" in the coming weeks.
You have got to check out this link! We elfed ourselves this Christmas-- have you? It's hilarious! Thanks to Rob's cousin Becky-- she elfed her family and we cracked up laughing! We had to do it ourselves!
Hope you get a good laugh!
Grandmom and Pop-Pop Thompson came down from NJ to join us for Thanksgiving. The day started out with citrus from the neighbors trees. First grapefruits. Drew helped Grandmom cut them and squeeze the juice. We hade a great citrus breakfast along with sticky buns from Chester's (brought all the way from NJ.)
Pop-Pop took Drew for a ride in the tractor.
Grandmom and Tessa snuggling...
There's nothing like eating your Thanksgiving dinner on the lanai! It was a beautiful day!
Friday we went to Bass Pro Shops... pics to come...
In youtubeland, it may not be saying much, but check this out... Tessa's Birth Video has just passed 23,000 'views'! (No, I have not spent the last week hitting play...play...play.)
How cool is that? If you have seen it, you know how it praises God.
Well, I think it is cool...
You know, it angers and saddens me when preachers preach without rightly dividing the Word of God. I just listened to a sermon, that really tickled my ear (note 2 Timothy 4 reference), and then it just tee'd me off. After a very long intro that was really nice to listen to, he turned to Philippians 2. Wow, great passage, but the preacher totally missed it. He either lied (which I highly doubt), or was totally unaware (which is really sad).
The "lead conversant" said the letter was written to the whole city of Philippi, not specifically to the community of believers. Did he read verse 1? "...to all the saints...". How could he say that? Did you see the use of "brothers? The entire context is the body, that's the beauty of Philippians. This is so obvious, it is not easy to miss.
Then, he talked about chapter 2, and said that Paul was saying..."look, you don't have to acknowledge anything, but if you simply believe in the tenderness and beauty of humanity...if you have any encouragement, or comfort, or sense of community, or any tenderness in your soul, if you are soft person..." What? Everyone of those statements in chapter 2 include Christ and are only possible in Christ, and yet the preacher said it was about the embracing and appreciating the human spirit. He followed up with some good points...but I didn't hear them.
Hank Fortener at Mosaic..sorry dude, you blew it big time. I love you brother, but next time spend more time in the text before you have your 'conversation'.
This is one of those occasions of righteous indignation. Right?
If you haven't lived in South Jersey, you don't understand, you can't understand, so don't try. If you have lived there, you immediately "get it" and agree with me. It is a culture in it's own rite. it is a lifestyle that I miss. Somewhere between redneck and yuppy, but by self admission more redneck .
What is Wawa? Well...Don't ever compare it to 7 Eleven, I will be personally offended and get in your face. It is a small convenience store that represents home.
It has been said, Wawa is...
"wawa makes my life. its my indulgence, and i would be nothing without it." erin
"its not a deli...its a lifestyle" jon
"The deli that will change you forever upon entering. The deli that has served me for 18 years of my life. I love wawa and i'm in withdraw without it." alfonso
This past Sunday a friend brought 2 of these travel mugs as a gift for Becky and I from their recent trip to NJ. Now, everyday, on my way to work, I get to drink from my Wawa mug. Thanks!
I miss "home".
So, I have just recently starting listening to podcasts. The most recent from Andy Stanley is phenomenal in my opinion. If you haven't listened, you should.
So far I have subscribed to...
I won't have time for too many, but any good ones that you have appreciated that I might be interested in?
Quote of the day:
Mommy: "Drew, what happened to your hair?"
Drew: "It got wrinkled"
It's been "cold" here since Saturday. "Cold" means, for example, it was 57 degrees today at 8:30 am but will probably go up to 76 degrees by this afternoon. It's finally that time of year where I can turn off the air conditioning and throw open the doors and windows for the next 5 months at least. The kids love it. Our lanai is screened in and they play out there all day. Drew rides his tricycle like a crazy man! Tessa just runs around following him. Drew insisted on socks, hat and "sweat coat" this morning to play-- it was a little cold for his liking! In a few hours, their outfits will be too hot and I'll have to change them into shorts and T-shirts. I only have a few warm things for them to wear. Guess it's time to buy a few more pants and long-sleeved shirts. Of course, it's supposed to be a high of 85 degrees on Saturday!
On another note, Drew has been potty-training for a month now and is doing pretty well. He's gone a few times in public bathrooms, but most of the time gets too nervous once we get in the public restroom. He wears underwear all day unless we go out or to church, then he wears a pull-up. He even does great in underwear at the babysitters! He does a pretty good job of keeping his pull-up dry when we go out. We haven't attempted bed-time in underwear yet. Thought you might get a laugh out of this picture!
I have used gotomypc for a very long time. It allows remote control access to computers. For instance, I regularly pull up my home desktop at my office. I have often used it to pull up my bookkeepers monitor at home to troubleshoot. Very cool.
But, I have made a switch. I dropped the fairly expensive gotomypc like a lead balloon in favor of logmein. logmein is free! It also gives me some features that fit my needs much better. Chat, Whiteboard, laserpointer, add many computers to one account, easy, secure, etc... One limitation is that the free version does not allow transfer of files from the remote computer to the host computer, but I find that I don't really need that. gotomypc is certainly a more robust option, but I just don't need those additional options. Plus, free is almost always better!
The best part is that I can install logmein on all of rmi's computers so that anytime I need to, I can pull up their computer screen and provide support. Here is a screen shot. I haven't gotten everyone installed yet, but soon I will.
One example is that I have been working with Chrissie Coreano in Guatemala on their field bookkeeping. So, when she has a question, I just pull up her screen and work away. Very cool.
What a huge help to my ministry.
I am not going to Haiti, at least not today. The Arlington team is not going at all, because the road is just not passable. Not only is the river enraged and impassable, but the road itself has been taken out in 3 locations. So, there is no chance in getting the team out to their sister church.
I may still go for a few days next week, maybe on Monday or Tuesday, to work with our bookkeeper down there. No decision on this yet.
For the RMI blog post (letter from Dan, more pics and details), click here.
Here are some more pics. Click on them to see a few more pictures.
Here is one of our vehicles coming through a river/waterfall.
The flooding persists. TS Noel has come and gone, but the rain has not. I may or may not be going to Haiti today as planned. A decision will be made in the next couple of hours. So sad if I and the team from Chicago can't go! Up to this point, the road to the village I would be visiting is impassable due to a raging river that we need to cross (there is no bridge. so the water levels must decrease, and the mud must dry out enough so that our 4 wheel drive vehicles can navigate across).
Here are 2 pictures from 2 days ago with the kind of destruction that is so common due to the rains. This is not the road I was to take, but it gives you an idea as to what the rains have done. This is a very, and I mean very typical sight.
I have been teaching on the Sermon on the mount recently. Jesus threaded the use of contrast into every point of that sermon.
Here is how you should live...opposite of how we typically live.
You have heard it said...but I tell you...
I tell you the truth..(as opposed to the lies we have believed).
Here's is the point. Christ followers need to question our beliefs/morals/values/behaviors/attitudes, and then employ biblically apposite (appropriate and relevant) and typically opposite (to how we normally live) beliefs/morals/values/behaviors/attitudes.
Are you living appositely and oppositely?
I am humbled...
Naku Penda Becky...
Becky worked 14 hours yesterday. Wow, what a day! As you can imagine, she got home yesterday exhausted. Why did she do that? So that she didn't have to work on Wednesday, freeing herself up to go with me and the kiddos to our church's fall festival.
Here are some other reasons I love her...
She selflessly does way more than I when it comes to work around the house. Now, you might say that is because I work full time outside the home, and she works part-time. Well, true, but that really doesn't embrace the realities. She really does more than I. Every moment she is caring for the kids, working, cleaning, packing their "bags" for the next trip to church, to the sitters, to an event, shopping, laundry, "playing" with the kids, etc etc.
She cooks all the time (by the way, she is an amazing cook). Last night she didn't cook, and I realized the depth of appreciation I have for her. I threw some frozen things in the oven when I got home. 45 minutes later (hungry and whining), I had the kids up in their chairs eating, only to realize that I barely had enough food. I won't tell you what I did to try and compensate, but it was bachelor-like.
She shops till she drops. Unless you have been there, with kids the same age as ours, you may not understand the issues. 2 kids, neither walking on their own in the grocery store, is a handful. What do you do with both of them while you are trying to shop. I haven't been tempted to try it myself. She is a trooper.
She spent 5 unexpected days by herself with the kids (drew sick) during my recent trip to NJ. I will be leaving them for a week in Haiti on Friday. A week later, I will spend 3 days away from them again for another event.
She spends time with the Lord everyday. There is no telling of the impact that this has on the children and I.
Well, I won't bore you with the rest of the list of things she does and reasons I love her. But suffice it to say, I love her for all of them.
Love you honey...
p.s. - Unrelated, but here are 2 pics taken at a recent Sunday School Class event...
Today, I will be working on the Haiti bookkeeping system, and talking over the phone with Guatemala about their bookkeeping system.
The love of money is indeed the root of all evil. So is the administration of it!
I have been working directly with our fields to help them develop and redevelop their bookkeeping systems.
Both fields have an elaborate bookkeeping system to handle their unique income and expense issues. You know, dealing with our checkbooks on this side of ocean is one thing, but imagine dealing with exchange rates, inconsistent foreign banking regulations and international transfer delays in the midst of it. US Dollars, Haitian Gourds and Guatemalan Quetzales muck up the system. On top of everything, our finance software doesn't make this real easy as it is naturally very dollar centric! To make matters worse, we are missionaries who want to tell people about Jesus, who have no accounting training, yet the bookkeeping must get done.
Plug: Missions needs skilled and educated people to help. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are...all in the marketplace.
Slow wire transfers, electronic deposits, credit cards, reimbursements, missionary vs. field vs. personal accounts, waiting for checks drawn on US banks, advances, lack of money, waiting for promised but delayed donations, international payroll, field "IRS" regulations, etc... Ugh
Pray for them as they work to bring clarity to complex issues.
Pray for me as I am a resource to them. Pray that I would be able to wisely instruct, discern their unique issues, plan, implement and facilitate viable systems.
You'll have to click on this to read it most likely, but check it out...too funny...
I am addicted to....
So what are you addicted to that maybe I didn't already know about?
New Jersey...I can't get over the smells...they are oh so good...
I can't get over the emotion that wells up inside of me when I inhale in NJ. It is hard to describe...
You should have seen me with my head out the window, neck extended as far as humanly possible, sort of like a dog as I was driving around.
So what smells?
Dirt. Yeah, I can't really describe it. Dirt is everywhere, right? Well, I guess NJ dirt is different. The minute I step off the plane, there is the smell. I love it. I feel at home.
Pine Trees. In certainly places, where the pine trees are blowing in the wind, the smell is intoxicating. By the way, I love that sound too. The pine smell is so natural. Not like a pine candle, or a bag of potpourri. It is real...it is good.
I like NJ. I miss it. But I am sure glad to be going home...