Saturday, May 7, 2016

Recording for Mother's Day 2016

Happy Mother's Day to the most wonderful wife/mother ever! All three of us love you so much and are so thankful that you are in our lives! This is a recording we made for Stacia for mother's day!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What the GIF!

I needed a way to show two wonderful things that happened this week!

First My beautiful Daughter getting her walk on...

And then I was honored to interview Dikembe Mutumbo and he officially gave me the "No No No"  Awesome days!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

For Grandma Barbara, I'm sorry it's late, but We love you and miss you!

 This is the letter that I wrote for my Grandmother's funeral.  My Step Dad, Timothy read it in our absence.  We love and miss you Gma!

Good morning all.  First we would like to send our apologies for not being present today, but know that at this moment we are sending our love from Hong Kong. 

Being the oldest grandson, I wanted to take time to write out some memories and stories of Grandma Barbara.  As her condition started to get worse, I began to reflect on the past 26 years and how she has impacted my life. 

Some of the earliest memories of Grandma were of two things: manners and gifts.  First manners.  I distinctly remember grandma making sure to teach me each time I was to go into a building that I needed to hold the door open for the people behind me, especially if they were a female.  I remember her reminding me how to chew, how to eat, and of course, how to hug…always cheek to cheek. 

Now when I came to gifts, grandma was always the best at getting the stuff that a little boy would love.  This was of course a long time ago, but I am almost positive that Grandma was the one who gave me my very first nerf gun.  She would also have little things for us each time she saw us including a book called “the dangerous book for boys”.  Grandma was a gift giver and of course as a little child, and even an adult, I loved it.

One of the favorite events that happened when I was a boy, all the way up to around middle school was a weekend night at grandma’s house.  I would like to walk through this event step by step.  Grandma would come and pick me up from home in her Subaru wagon.  Brown, white, blue, she loved the Subaru.  After all of our stuff was loaded up we would drive, very fast, to dinner.  I remember multiple times being in the passengers seat, and seeing grandma become anxious when she passed a police officer, hoping they wouldn’t pull her over.   The menu for dinner was typically McDonalds, or some form of fast food.  I vividly remember when I was around ten and I ordered the Mutumbo triple cheese burger and fries from McDonalds and grandma and the cashier looking at this ten year old boy in awe.  What can I say, I was a chubby kid back then! 
After dinner we would go to a movie, or rent a movie.  If we went out, it was typically the most recent Disney release, or something similar.  If we rented a movie, it was typically my choice what we got.  I remember having two favorites… Earnest movies, such as Earnest goes to Jail, or Earnest Scared Stupid, or Look Whos Talking  a movie starring John Travolta and Kerstin Alley centering around the birth of a baby who can talk and add commentary to the situation that it was in.  As I look back on that movie now, I think, what was grandma thinking!  But she did have a love for educating her family members in all areas.

I also remember how proud Grandma was of us.  She was always at band concerts, plays, basketball games, tennis matches, youth Sundays, speeches, graduations, or any other major event that happened in our lives.   Always positive, always encouraging, always excited to see us succeed.

Along that same thought, I think Grandma was on a covert plan to bring more culture into her grandson’s lives.  Grandma was always taking us to different plays and musicals downtown, or to the country dinner play house, she loved taking us to theater events.

We all know that Grandma Barbara wasn’t much of a cook, but I have to share the epitome of stories for a meal.  We were over at Grandma’s for Christmas morning just 4 years ago.  Grandma comes out with wonderful fruits and jellys and for the main course breakfast burritos!  I was very impressed because they were neatly wrapped in foil, not from a restaurant!  As I unwrapped the burrito, I was still really confused, had Grandma learned how to cook while I was in Texas?  Then I bit into the burrito, and the memories started to flow.  This was not a home-made burrito, this was the same burrito that I would get around midnight at Baylor from McDonalds!!  Of course being the polite one, I leaned over to Timothy and whispered very discreetly, “these aren’t homemade, they are from McDonalds.”  On the other side of the table though, my brother called grandma out. “Where are these from? He asked…”are these from burger king”.  Grandma then came clean that she had purchased breakfast burritos and then re-wrapped them for us.  She was so thoughtful and caring, and always was able to laugh at what was going on around  her. 

I would like to take a moment from this letter to break to promote in honor of grandma, total toddy.  Honestly I have no idea what it was supposed to do, but I do know that Grandma swore by it.  Whether we were not feeling good, had a lack of energy, or we were just board, the answer would be total toddy.  That beautiful brown sludge that went down so badly was the remedy to all ailments! 

The reality is, is that Barbara Dalberg was a wonderful woman, and an even better grandma.  She was always worried about others before herself.  Always asking about girlfriends, relationships, and my feelings about stuff that was happening in my life.  I knew that I could always give her a call to talk, and she would be ready to listen.   I remember when I introduced Stacia to Grandma for the first time.  Stacia excused herself to use the ladies room and, along with Uncle D and Aunt Cheri, grandma offered her approval of how great Stacia was, and each time after when I would talk to her, she would continue to be so excited that we had found each other  Grandma approved, so I figured it would be okay.

Grandma I am going to miss the long conversations at your house about life, the stories about past clients, the breakfasts at black eyed pea and the dinners at poppies.  I will miss calling you with a celebration of the day, or asking for advice about a new issue at my job.  I will miss squeezing into your Subaru, getting magazine subscriptions from you, watching your super old tv, exploring your creepy basement, field trips to IMAX, the Denver Mint, and both musems and enjoying the days with you at the cabin.  I will miss your encouraging words, your thoughtful cards, your world religions calendar each Christmas and the ability to know that no matter what was happening you would be there with a hug and a smile.  

In closing I wanted to share a quote that grandma would send me often from mahatmas Gandhi  which said “be the change you want to see in the world”.  I know that my grandmother embraced that quote until the day that she left us.  Stacia and my prayers are with all of you, and we look forward to re-connecting with you next summer. 

Let's dust off this blog and let the people know what's going on!

Good morning, all!  Let me apologize for not being more of a blogger!  I have been absent for a while, taking a slight break trying to reassemble my jumbled brain.  Now I am coming to you rejumbled and excited to be a couple of things: a resident of Hong Kong, China, the proud holder of a Hong Kong ID card, and the biggest fan of BBQ Steamed Pork Buns!  Anyway, we were looking at one of our cameras, and it seems that the lost archives of the past month and a half have been found! So come with me on a journey as we revisit how we got to this point!
 Here is the last sunset we viewed from the little White house at PEPC.  It was always my favorite in late June and July because the field was lush and green and the thunder storms were always amazing to watch from the deck!
 Goodbye White House!
 On the plane to Hong Kong from San Francisco.  We had found out prior to our departure that our new friend Lauren Waymire would be on the same flight!  Low and behold God is good and she was one seat behind us! We were able to trade with the person next to us and have Lauren join our little band of hooligans! 
 WE MADE IT! Kinda.  Step one.  Find all 8 bags.  IF they don't make it, what do we need to go buy?  Thankfully, all bags were accounted for and we could check that step off our list!
 Here is my beautiful bride after our 14 hour plane ride, looking as beautiful as ever!
 I on the other hand, needed to stretch out.  In a grip of thankfulness, I laid myself at the mercy of the Lord on our altar of luggage, and prayed for energy as we tried to cart all of our stuff out of the airport!
 Not only were we new to Hong Kong.  But 11 other families as well!  We packed out the bus!
 Welcome home, 703, so close to the beginning of our new lives!
 Except the key hasn't arrived yet, so we sit in the hallway!
 As you can see from this picture we did make it into our apartment and this is our first morning after our travels. 
 Our kitchen, complete with cook top (on the right hand side) and our oven/microwave/steamer (in the middle)
 Our bathroom, great size, warm seat (my wife is currently frowning at the thought that I would include this detail...)
 Our bedroom after the first night pre-Ikea trip.  Let's call it cozy, but we love it.

 On the bus to IKEA, the bank, and other wonders of our new home!
 Mall number 1.  Known as New Town Plaza.  Did you know, it is possible to travel hundreds of miles in Hong Kong, going shopping, groceries, sporting goods, clothes, etc. and never go outside!?  Nuts.
 Yum Yum Dim Sum! 
 Steamed buns, tea, and greens, really good!
 Some of our new colleges and friends.  From right to left, Wanda, Daniel, Sophia, and Rachel
 Welcome to the MTR.  Our primary form of transportation.  Or is it more like Cattle shoots?
 I WANT TO BE PART OF THE LEGEND! if only i knew Chinese and could read how :(
 This is our school and our home.  Who knew that we could live closer to our jobs than the white house!  We are on the 7th floor, my room is on the 4th, Stacia's is on the 3rd.
 The Shek Mun MTR station.  If you find yourselves in Hong Kong and can make it to this station, you are almost to our place!
 My wife, excited about her first kitchen purchase from the Japanese Home Store!
 Our first dinner at home with a little tv on the computer.  Since then we have gotten cable tv, an hdmi cable to plug our computer into our tv, and we have rearranged the living room as well!

Our mighty score of $3 dvd's.  Love it!
Here is our new view of the sun rise.  Thank you for welcoming us home Lord.  We love you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Here I stand, in a brave new world, with a pit in my stomach the size of China...

Only in recent weeks, even days, have I started to think about the action heros, or movie athletes that stand on the brink of impossible disaster, what might be going through their heads.  Because here I am a mere 36 hours from my debut as an actual teacher, and I have a pit in my stomach.  Now over the past two weeks, my wonderful wife has helped me talk through my "career-shock," but there are some moments in the day when my stomach feels like the Smurfs are jumping up and down with soccer cleats on.  Why does it happen?  Why in those moments of change, newness, or 'first-timedness' do we get that pit?

I think back to the day I asked Stacia to marry me.  We were on beautiful Huntington Beach, sun was shining, I had just bought a skim board, and I knew 2 things: there was a ring in my backpack, and that she WOULD say yes.  Yet there it was again.  That pit.  Low and behold she did say yes, and that day the skim board tried to make me into a 6'3" pretzel on the beach, but that is besides the point.  I had a huge pit, eventhough I knew what was going to happen.

I think that this is where faith comes in.  I am starting a bible study that is covering 52 men of the bible.  This week's is about Noah.  The author described the scene leading up to the flood.  The boat was not made in a day, but rather in years.  Imagine years and years of building something larger than a football field, and having the most corrupt, mean, dis-likeable people mocking you every single day.  (And a majority of those people are your family!)

Noah was in a moment of faith, where there was nothing else but his wife, his kids, and his God.  Now for those of you who are curious, we are not building a boat on our balcony, but we are about to embrace a flood of newness unlike anything we have ever had before.  For me this is an opportunity to follow God in his call.  The 8th grade team leader asked all of us to share what brought us into teaching.  I thought in my mind, it was a means for getting Stacia and me to Hong Kong! But the reality is, this is an act of faith.  There is a lot that I am confident in when it comes to TEACHING 8th grade bible, in fact, that's not the part that is feeding my pit.  The transformation into a TEACHER feeds my pit.  Gradebooks, discipline, Powerteacher, Eclass, and SO MANY MEETINGS! (That unfortunately don't happen at McDonalds, Chipotle, or Fika Coffee).

2 Timothy 3:10-11 says "You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra, (Hong Kong!)-which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. "  Yet in all of my "stuff" that is happening, God is going to guide me, teach me, mold me and rescue me...even if that means rescuing me from myself!

All for now, I'll let you know how it goes this week!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hong Kong...Welcome Home!

Okay people!  Here we are, one week in from arriving in HK.  

-things would be new
-things would be different
-we will eat a lot of rice
-we are going to meet new people
-it's going to be hot
-we are not in parker any more

-things are very new and very cool
-things are very different (working for a school rather than a church is VERY different!)
-we have eaten a lot of rice and noodles, so much that when we at american food, we kind of got an upset stomach
-we have met a great group of people, we have made some great friends and look forward to the new relationships
-it is very hot and humid, but getting nicer each day
-we are for sure not in parker any more and that is and okay thing

Overall, this past week has been one of orientation to the new apartment, the new job, the new town, the new city, and the new culture.  It has been an interesting ride so far, filled with the ups and downs both emotionally and physically...and it's not done yet. This is a great place, a holy place, where God is doing amazing things.  This school is centered completely on Christ's love and teaching. Student's don't have to be christians when they enter this place.  Some don't become Christians while they are here, but they are at least having the seed planted.  

I am (and we are as a couple) in a place right now of transition, learning everything new, trying not to forget where we came from.  It is a strange chaos to be in.  I refer to it as chaos because when you are in chaos at one moment you feel out of control, and in the next you are at total peace.   I know, at the end of this path of chaos is my God, cheering me on, reaching his hand out to me.  Like Peter, when he stepped out of the boat to walk on water toward's Jesus, it will be very VERY easy to look at the waves around me, but with the support of my beautiful wife, and the reminder to stay centered and focused on Christ, I know that I will be able to grow and accept this place as my own.

Prayer request:  That in the next week, my comfort level in becoming a teacher becomes better.  It's so crazy how much teachers do, and how much different Pastoring and Teaching is...on the other hand, they are SO similar, I am feeling at home in this new place in that sense.  Who needs curriculum right!?! :)

All for now, hopefully our internet and cell phones (iphone 4 by the way) will be up and we will be able to frequent Facebook and email better.  My prayers are with our family and friends in the states, can't wait to Skype soon!


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Precise Q-tip countdown...

When Stacia and I got married, we moved her out of her apartment and into the little white house.  When we combined our stuff, I noticed one thing.  We would never run out of Q-tips.  We had three packages full of 750 soft ear mops each for our cleaning pleasure.  Fast forward from January 2010 to July 2011.  Today was our last day in the white house.  Last week we moved our furniture and other stuff to the storage unit.  We had reaped the benefit of living in a church house, experiencing staff and other volunteers coming to help clean out, trash out, and prepare the house for its next tenants.  However, I noticed one thing this morning.  Our once abundant cash of q-tips was now a small pile of 15.  Stacia and I were finishing up in the bathroom, cleaning out the rest of the stuff so I took the remaining 15 and placed them into a sandwich bag, and into one of our many tubs that is going to HK.

When I think about the q-tips, I think about how God gives us timers.  Sometimes they are evident, and other times they are not.  When we moved Stacia into the white house, I was dumbfounded by the amount of q-tips in our house, not knowing that it was our timer.  So many people question God's timing.  Why are we moving now? Why did they die then?  Why was his job eliminated?  We want to control God's time.   We have a want to be God and hold onto that hourglass of life and keep it running full.  But that's the unfortunate part, we are not God.

Our timing sucks.  Period.  Let's just get that out of the way right now.

God knew that tomorrow, July 23, 2011 we would be changing everything, and moving our entire existance to Hong Kong to serve him.  Did I know that when I saw the abundance of Q-tips coming into that little white house?  Nope.  But now that I am sitting here in an airport hotel, preparing for a new adventure, I smile.  God's timing is so great, and to be able to fully trust in that timing is the most freeing feeling one can experience.

The next post that comes from me will be from HK!

Be Blessed