Friday, June 29, 2007

The Joys of Having a Two Year-Old...

Drew has been acting like a two year old lately.  Sometimes it's a joy and often times it's exhausting!  Today, at the same time, the exhausting part turned in to a joy.  You see, he has such a vivid imagination and has been pretend playing a lot.  He'll pick up a bag and fill it with books, toys, etc and announce to me that he's going to school.  I'll kiss him goodbye andIMG_8771 tell him to obey his teacher and off he goes pretending he's at school.  He also pretends he's a firefighter (his current obsession is any thing fire truck).  The other day he put on a toy hard hat as his helmet and wanted his firefighters jacket.  So we went in his room and got out a zip up sweatshirt and he wore it all morning "fighting fires" that popped up around the house with his imaginary fire hose.  It is so fun to watch!

The other side of being two is the meltdown that can occur at any minute over the simplest little thing and can often last for up to an hour.  Today it happened as I finished changing his diaper.  We are working up to potty training and I have been encouraging him to be a big boy and pull up his own pants.  I usually have to help him a little (with a chunky behind and diaper, the shorts tend to get stuck on his bottom!)  Well today he had a meltdown at the suggestion, "I can't!  I can't!  You do it for me!" and the crying lasted about 20 minutes.  I wasn't going to back down!  I wanted him to learn that he has to try (we talked about that) and that Mommy can't always do everything for him.  So after about 20 minutes of crying, it dawned on me!

Me: "Drew, let's pretend you are at school and I am your teacher!"

Drew: "Okay!"  (Big smile!)

Me: "I think we should learn about pulling up our pants today!  You can't go to school with your pants down!  Do you think you can do it?  I can help you but you have to try!"

Drew: "Okay, I'm ready!"

And with a little help from me, he pulled up his own pants!  See, with Drew, often he needs to be "ready" to obey or to try something new. 


Thursday, June 28, 2007

The best laid plans of mice and men...

cry Yesterday, I got to Naples, and was working for an hour on computer issues, when my phone rang (I actually had gotten a ton done).  Tessa had been crying uncontrollably for several hours and was throwing up.  Fun!  So, my whole day was thrown up in the air as I had to go pick her up (no chance of Becky leaving her 14 hour shift).  Nothing against the sitter, because something was obviously wrong, but when I got there she was happy as a clam.  In fact, all afternoon and evening she seemed pretty much normal.  Maybe a little fussy, but normal.  She slept all night as usual and today she is normal as well.  Why the crying?  Why the vomiting?  Who knows.  Oh well. 

paycycle In the midst of it, thank goodness for PayCycle.  PayCycle is one of the best moves I made here at RMI.  This service provides automated web payroll processing.  With a little input online each month, they do everything (direct deposit, online pay stubs, monthly and quarterly reporting and tax payments, etc)  Yesterday, right in the midst of a "upside down" day, we had some serious payroll issues that I had to deal with (what payroll issues aren't serious?).  While caring for Tessa, I was able to get online, make some adjustments, and get payroll completed.  If these issues didn't get resolved by 5pm, then all RMI personnel would not get paid on time.  PayCycle came through!!!  If you own a business, check them out.  For an astonishingly low price, they provide an incredible service.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dog days of summer...

thermometer We hit a record temperature a couple of days ago, 98 degrees. For all you northerners, who think it is scorching hot here, that may come as a surprise. What makes it warm here is the fact that it is 90/90 every day. 90 degrees, 90% humidity.

Today is going to be a long day. Becky is working 14 hours. Her partner had an emergency so Becky has to cover her shift. Working more will also help pay for her Guatemala trip coming up. I have to go to Naples (1 hour away) to work on some computers for RMI. So, I am dropping off the kids at the sitters, driving, working, driving, picking up the kids, feeding them, bathing them, putting them to bed (no small task especially for drew). It is going to be a long day.

By the way, Tessa is walking. Ok, not totally, but on her way. She will regularly take 2-4 steps without hanging on to anything. The record is 6 steps.

And we're off...


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hard to Believe.

"12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."  John 14:12-14

That, is hard to believe.  More than Jesus?  Really?


Monday, June 25, 2007

Go Cubbies...

chicago-cubsI must admit, we have watched too many Cubs games recently.  Hooray for WGN, Chicago's local station that we get here in SW Florida!  Hooray for DVR.  Without it, we could never watch the games.  Since there isn't a game on today, I might actually get something done!

Sweeping the Sox was fun to watch.  Being in second place, 7.5 games back of the Brewers, is no fun, but it gives us something to shoot for I guess.  Go cubbies!


Friday, June 22, 2007

Apparently, I have sinned...

Have you followed the NASA computer problems?  It makes me feel better to know that even NASA struggles...

This week I have been working on 4 laptops, troubleshooting wireless problems, updating software, installing software, cleaning up, etc...  I love these things, but wow they take a lot of maintenance.

I think I learned something this week.  I have to confirm it, but here is the deal.  Disclaimer: Maybe I should have known this?  Did you know then when you buy retail software (as opposed to volume licensing), legally that software licence lives and dies with the first computer you put it on?  Let me say that another way.  Let's say you buy Microsoft Office and install it on your personal computer.  Then, 6 months later you decide to trash and replace your computer with a new fancy computer.  You are not allowed to install that software again, even though there will still only be 1 copy being used.  This comes from a software specialist at Dell.  I am told that this is standard to "most" retail software copyright laws.  Now don't get me wrong, I am very committed to having legal copies of everything.  I want to have integrity, but I have to admit I have never considered this aspect of the software copyright laws. 


Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Burden of a Canon, the delight of an I Can!

Have I ever told you about the relationship between cameras and bathrooms that has developed in my life?  Remember Guatemala?  If you haven't heard the story, ask me, our blog is not the right place to share the story...:-)

canonWe have lost our camera.  If you know us, you know this is a very big deal!  We took it to church on Sunday morning to take pictures of our class members for our class directory.  Well, it never made it to class.  Somewhere between the nursery and our class, it went missing.  So far it has not turned up in lost and found.  Pray that it does.  We are sick over it.

safety-1st-potty-n-step-stool A very funny story.  Last night, as we always do, I put Drew on the big potty so he could try to 'go'.  As always, he said, "I can't I can't, I am all done, I can't I can't".  Then, unique to last night, he pointed at his little training potty and said, "I want to use that one."  So, of course I obliged and quickly moved him.  Well, don't you know, he immediately started into his, "I can't I can't I can't", and then, the funniest thing happen.  He got this huge grin and proclaimed proudly, "I can!"


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Modern" Christianity outdated?

273081tI just finished up the book Velvet Elvis by Mars Hill Pastor Rob Bell.  Warning, this dude is a free thinker!  

Sometimes it was disturbing.  Sometimes it was incredibly freeing.  Sometimes it connected to my deepest doubts.  But I am not sure it provided much salve.  Sometimes it gave me insight into my deepest wanderings.  Sometimes it gave me night terrors, and sometimes it provided the peace of Jesus.

I think this is the point of the book.  We need to be free to be intellectually honest while being biblically grounded in our passionate love for Jesus and Others. 

In response, what am I thinking?  Within modern/post-modern wrangling, we can know Jesus.  Not in a new way, but in a revived way.  Let's not dig up our foundations for the sake of digging.  Let's not crack our foundations for the sake of being real.  But, let's not be intellectually dishonest and pretend our doubts don't exist.  Let's not accept things just because we were told to.  Tradition is awesome, but tradition without thought proves hurtful, debilitating, and incredibly stifling.  Let's be transparent with God and others.  Let's be in intimate fellowship with Jesus and our community.  Jesus wants real people, not religious people.

There is no need to "repaint the Christian faith" (Bell's words), but I think there is need to "dust off, reform and revive our response to the old painting" (my words).

It made me think, and that is good.


I love people...

Can I just say, I love people!  I hate them too.  Can I say that?  I know Jesus wouldn't.  People can be both draining and energizing.  Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.  Even so, I love people.  I love talking, sharing, leading, discussing, confessing, rejoicing, crying, loving, praying, teaching, collaborating, joining, playing with people.

HPIM0022 This past Saturday I had the opportunity to visit with a team of people going to Guatemala to visit their Sister Church with RMI.  What fun it was to visit, teach and lead that group in their preparations.  Did I have an impact?  It is just very cool to be involved in people's lives.  I need more of that. 


Monday, June 18, 2007

Dad, you would have loved it!

HPIM0018While in SC over the weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with a friend of RMI. He is an amazing taxidermist. Now, if you don't know me well enough, you might not understand why this gets me all excited. I grew up hunting with Dad. Bow and Muzzleloader are my favorites. Deer are up there in terms of my loves. God, Family and Deer! What else is there?

HPIM0019This guy, Dave Strafford is an award winning hunting guide, speaker and taxidermist. He had animals (mostly deer) from all over the US. And they were huge!!! I saw some animals that were way up there in Boone and Crockett points. He had both typical and non-typical

This guy was truly a deer enthusiast. He currently has 6 deer in a pen behind his house so he can watch them, learn, and grow in his ability to mount them. He used to have more than 20. I had the opportunity watch these deer for awhile. What a great time we had. It was great to meet this guy that is using his passion to serve the Lord. Not only is he amazing at what he does, but he travels around sharing his 2 passions, Christ and deer, at sportsmen's banquets, camps, and seminars. Very cool.

In an earlier post, I mentioned SC is different? Well, we drove 20 miles to Laird's BBQ. the BBQ sauce wasn't BBQ sauce as I knew it. They just didn't have the typical sauce. It was this amazingly good mustard based sauce. yum! The buffet included hash, fried chicken, fried gizzards, fried Liver, fried Okra, hush puppies, and some other stuff I didn't recognize. A truly great, but very different experience. I think I fit right in with the guys wearing their mossy oak camo hats and denim overalls. (I can at least pretend I fit in, right?).


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

 I just wanted to shout out a big Happy Father's Day to a great Dad!  Rob has been so hands on from the very beginning.  I admire how easily he cares for Drew and Tessa and the love he showers on them every day.  It's evident from these pictures that the kids are in love with him too. 





Happy Father's Day,  Rob!

We love you!

Love, Becky, Drew & Tessa

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What an Imagination...

First of F  First of all, a boy in a Nascar outfit and Daddy's cowboy boots is a boy after his dad's own heart!  (Drew is a Jimmie Johnson fan because he loves to ride in the Jimmie Johnson shopping "race car" at Lowes.)  He is always walking around in someone else's shoes.  He has such a great imagination!  Today, he put this basket over his head and said, "It's my football helmet Mommy!  Play football with me!"   I think he walked around for 15 to 20 minutes with the basket on his head, switching between football and baseball!


Friday, June 15, 2007

Today's Activities...

I am in SC, and can I just say it is another world here. 

Yesterday in the airport I walked longer than I ever have in an airport.  Now, I must say, I have walked a long way in Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago (O'Hare and Midway), etc etc.  I know, we have all walked a long way in airports.  The terminal is always the last one.  But yesterday, I walked further than I thought was possible!  I was walking for a long time, when I saw the funniest sign.  It was like a traffic sign you might see on the highway.  it said Terminal A, 12 minutes.  Yeah, it was saying that I still had 12 minutes of walking.  Maybe I am easily amused, but how funny is that?  Probably the best part was that there were 4 escalators and 3 people movers that I had to use on the journey.  The worst part is that only 1 of the 7 was working!

 This morning, I had the opportunity to visit Darrel, Fannie, Francis and Willie.  They were our friendly servers that helped us out.  I learned a few things.  People are really nice in Georgia.  Now maybe that is because I am from the "Cold" North.  Dripping pleasantry is normal.  Very cool.  Waffle House has its own culture.  Really!  It is like stepping into another world.  The other thing I had no idea about was that Waffle House doesn't necessarily major on Waffles.  Their menu is super long.  They claim they sell more steaks than anyone else in the world.  Not sure I believe that, but hey, that is their claim.

I saw this hysterically funny vehicle while driving.  It is a Ford Aerostar converted into what appears to be a hearse.  How ridiculous.  Friends, when I go, please spend a little more for my ride. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jacob slept on a Rock...

This past Sunday afternoon, I asked Drew what he learned at church.  After a pause, he said Jacob.  I asked what Jacob did, and he said he slept on a rock.  Becky and I kind of looked at each other realizing that he was slightly confused.  Well, he was right.  We just found his Sunday School paper, and sure enough, part of the story was that Jacob used a rock as a pillow.

Genesis 28:11 "When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep."

Shows you how much we know about the Bible.

Funny what our 2 year old is teaching us.


Going North

I will be visiting 2 Sister Churches and a University in South Carolina at the end of this week.  I will be flying into Atlanta, joining up with our other VP, and then driving for several hours into SC.  Both of these churches are new Sister Churches that will be going and visiting their Sister Churches for the first time at the end of this month, one to Haiti, and one to Guatemala.  Please be praying for me as I prepare for my times of sharing with these 2 churches.  Please be praying for Becky as she will be home with the kids alone.


Monday, June 11, 2007

New Beginnings

When was the last time you "broke up your unplowed ground."

Jeremiah 4:3, Hosea 10:12

It is a new day.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lord Rob

 It would be great if there were 5 Rob's  so that everything got done exactly as I would do them (dripping sarcasm intended).  Oh my goodness, can you imagine?  That would not be good. 

I think I have learned something about myself.  I am a jerk.  Maybe we are all at times, but after doing a little biblically inspired self reflection, I think I have realized that I need to learn better what it means to lead without telling someone how to do their job.  How stifling, limiting, not creative, not team oriented, hand-cuffing.  I think I have a tendency to do that, and that is the last thing I want to do.  I need to lead, embrace, empower and let go... 1 Corinthians 12 seems to apply here.  So does this.

Then again, I am better than anyone else I know at just about everything...


Thursday, June 7, 2007


"Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers made a 60-watt light bulb glow by sending it energy wirelessly — from a device 7 feet away — potentially heralding a future in which cell phones and other gadgets get juice without having to be plugged in."  Check it out.

Can you imagine?  No cool would that be...I am giddy just thinking about it!



Do you IM?  We do.  I guess I can't say we are constantly doing it, but we are always on and available.  I IM mostly with our missionaries overseas.  We have multiple accounts.  You?

At home at (windows messenger)

At my office at (windows messenger). 

At home at (AIM).


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

"Widowmaker" Shower

Believe it or not, this is a shower head!  This picture was taken by our missionaries, Enrique and Chrissie Coreano.  Did you know these are very common overseas?  I guess our missionaries have had to use these regularly.  Does that look a little unnerving or what?  I guess there is some sort of heating element in the shower head that is powered by electricity.  I guess I would do it, but wow, I would be oh so tentative!  I wonder why it is called a widowmaker?


Monday, June 4, 2007

Carousel of Progress

Have you experienced Disney's "Carousel of Progress"?  Remember the song?  "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day...".  It is a 360 degree representation of how society is progressing through the decades.  I wonder, if someone looked at my spiritual life in the same manner, would they see that same sort of marching forward progress?  Here are "14 Attributes of a Healthy Christian" that I have come up with from Scripture to help me think about this.  Here is the question... "Have I progressed in each of these areas in the last 6 months, 1 year, 5 years?"  "Am I more 'put attribute here', than I was 6 months, 1 year, 5 years ago?"

  • Be Scripturally Saturated – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • Be Submissive to the Will of God – Hebrews 12:9
  • Be Satisfied in Him - Psalm 63
  • Be Stewards of God’s Resources - Matthew 25
  • Be Soldiers, Standing Firm, (Armor of God) – Ephesians 6
  • Be Spiritually Growing – 2 peter 3:18
  • Be Strangers, Salt in this World Matthew 5:13, 1 Peter 2:11
  • Be Serving using your Spiritual Gift (the body, the world) – Rom 12, I Cor 12, Eph 4
  • Be Socially Compassionate – Matthew 25:40
  • Be Strong in Faith – Hebrews 11
  • Be Spirit led – Romans 8, Galatians 5
  • Be Sharing One Another’s Burdens in Community - Galatians 6:2
  • Be Sowing, Shiners – Ephesians 4/5, Matthew 5:14
  • Be Speaking with God (Pray). Philippians 4:6


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Board Pics...

For some of you, you might be "bored", but for those interested, I have uploaded pictures from the RMI Board meetings on our website


Friday, June 1, 2007

Silencio Por Favor

The Board meetings are done.  The budget was presented, and if I can be transparent, it took way to long.  There is just no way to communicate the depth and breadth of past fiscal actualities and future prognostications in a timely fashion. 

I posted about being busy.  Here is the answer...

"We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today." - Tozer

Time to retreat...