Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sanibel Beach

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.

Rob

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy 35th Birthday Rob!

Happy birthday to a wonderful husband and great father!  We love you!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas from Rob and Becky

We had a great Christmas.  Here are our pictures.  Click the slide show to visit the album.

Rob

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I am a self proclaimed Lifehacker!

image 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...

Make Homemade EggNog

Flight Tracking via Google

Paper Towel Draught Dodger

Google Tips, Itunes, Outlook, windows, web apps, etc...  Right up my alley.

Rob

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Relaxing...

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".

Rob

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Guess where we are...again?

Tessa took a dive! 

Update, we are now home.  2 stitches...Poor girl.  I hated holding her down...

Rob

Rudolph...

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.

Rob

We are alive...

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.

Rob

Friday, December 7, 2007

Drew's Creations

Drew can running out to me just now and says, "Mommy, do you want to see my helicopter that I made?!!" He was so excited and explained all the parts to me.
A few minutes later he came back out and wanted me to see his concrete truck! He loves making "designs" with his blocks.


Becky
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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Have You Elfed Yourself This Christmas?

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!

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1144164413

Hope you get a good laugh!

Becky

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving

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.)

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Pop-Pop took Drew for a ride in the tractor.

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Grandmom and Tessa snuggling...IMG_1965

There's nothing like eating your Thanksgiving dinner on the lanai!  It was a beautiful day!

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Friday we went to Bass Pro Shops... pics to come...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Congrats to Peter and Rachel...

...on the birth of their little boy, Brian David.  He was born at 11:59 am on Thursday!  He 8.0 pounds and 20.5 inches long.
Mom and Brian (as well as Dad & Luke) are all doing well.

Is this the picture of a future pilot?

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Rob

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Becky and Tessa are famous...

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...

Rob

Righteous Indignation...

original-life I am angry.

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?

Rob

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I miss Wawa!

IMG_0006 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".

Rob

Monday, November 12, 2007

podcasts...

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...

  • Mark and Miller Show (wow, you guys rate up there with Stanley and Bell, way to go!  Oh, btw, the new theme song is really swell)
  • Andy Stanley (North Point)  (What's up Andy?  Great going yesterday with Judgement Call!)
  • Rob Bell (Mars Hill)  (recently read his book velvet elvis.  Pretty intense, good points, refreshingly honest, but scary in some places.  My post on this.)

I won't have time for too many, but any good ones that you have appreciated that I might be interested in?

Rob

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fun in the "Cold"

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Quote of the day:

Mommy:  "Drew, what happened to your hair?"

Drew: "It got wrinkled"

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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!

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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!

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Becky

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Free tool that has changed my life...

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 logmeinlogmein 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!

logmein 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.

Rob

Friday, November 2, 2007

Decision Made...

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.

These boulders came down and blocked a mountain road. Note the "Flood Line" on the house in the background!

Rob

To go, or not to go, Pray for Haiti...

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.

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river

Rob

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I am trying to live appositely opposite...

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...

Rob

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My wife is my hero...

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...

Rob

p.s. - Unrelated, but here are 2 pics taken at a recent Sunday School Class event...

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Friday of Fiduciary Function...

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.

Rob

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Maybe you will learn something about me...

You'll have to click on this to read it most likely, but check it out...too funny...

I am addicted to....

  • Jesus (I am a collaboratively proclaimed/declared Christ follower)
  • Becky (sweety, you mean everything to me!  Lately it has been hard to connect much due to kids, traveling, work, etc.  But the reality is, there is no one on earth I would rather hang out with.)
  • Drew and Tessa (They are just so darn cute!)
  • The Internet/email/blogging (shocking, huh?)
  • Photography (More Recently, don't really know why, but I am having trouble controlling my desire to pick up the camera)
  • Coffee (mmm, recently hazelnut dunkin donuts brewed at home.  Their slogan is, American Runs on Dunkin.  Let's be honest, America Sits on Dunkin)
  • Creating a Paperless Society (pens are only useful for stirring my coffee)
  • Free Stuff (maybe I should just say google)
  • Leading (Lord, use me!)
  • People (yes, sometimes they are very difficult, but every ounce of who I am loves fellowshipping with people.)
  • Self (sadly)
  • Cubs (it is sad, I still visit their web site daily)

So what are you addicted to that maybe I didn't already know about?

Rob

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ever feel like this picture looks?

This pictures emotes.  How does it make you feel?

Kennedy Park, Somers Point, NJ

Rob

Monday, October 22, 2007

NJ Smells...

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?

The bay.  Most visitors will tell you it is a foul odor.  Me?  I love it!  It reminds me of home.  Nothing like the bay at low tide.

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...

Rob