Friday, August 28, 2009

Like fugitives.

On Wendesday, August 20th my mother and I fled Waupaca racing toward the shores of Lake Michigan. Once we arrived there we bribed the ferry operator to take us across the Great Lake on the SS Badger. It was a rough sea and the salty air filled our senses as we rushed across the lake in the wee hours of the morning, like fugitives.

What a great start to a vacation. Only embelished a little, the seas weren't very rough and there wasn't really salt in the air. Other than that though it is pretty accurate. My mother and I went to Holland, MI to visit her friends, Donna and Jay. Donna, Mom and I did a great deal of shopping. On one of our shopping excursions we came home with 20 pounds of blueberries! Get ready for cobbler, pies and more.

We also brought home some fantastic MI peaches.

Craig and Dad went to Lake Superior for a camping trip and then met Mom and I just west of the bridge in the UP. The UP is beautiful. We enjoyed Lake Michigan, the beautiful landscape and one of our old time favorite places to stay "Dune Shores" motel. The rooms might not be incredible, but the home run restaurant with pasties, ice cream and delicious breakfast combined with the best beach on Lake Michigan make it one of the greatest places to enjoy a summer trip.

All in all, it was a wonderful time away.

No Way!

It has come back! For real! Last night Tim and I drove into my parking lot and he jumped out of his car and was pointing at my garage door. I thought he was saying I needed to park in my garage since my CD player was stolen last night. But he was pointing with more urgency than that and then I realized what he was pointing at! My CD player was lying on the ground outside my garage!

I was astonished! I have never heard of that happening, ever. Crazy! I made Tim take pictures with his phone and immediately post them on Facebook as I called my mother and shared the story with her and my brother and my father! Here are the stories we've come up with to explain the miraculous return:

Mom-The thief was talking to his friend bragging about how easy it had been to get this CD player and is friend asked where he'd gotten it. The thief said, "Out of a silver neon over by such-n-such." And the friend said, "Dude! You have to put that back. That's my pastor's car!"

Dad-The conviction of God got 'em!

Tim-Two kids stole it and their moms found out and made them march straight away to put it back. (This makes me wonder, if my car had been there, would they have re-installed it?)

Nathan-Somebody who knows me was playing a joke on me. (bad joke)

I have two theories. 1) They hooked it up and heard the fantastic Hillsong United CD in it and God got ahold of them and they repented and brought it back and will be in church on Sunday. 2) They read my blog and knew they hadn't stolen it to feed starving children and decided to give it back.

Whatever the reason for the return, I'm happy it's back. What a great story!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jean Valjean and the stolen CD player

I was planning on writing many inspiring things this morning, but then I got to my car and discovered that a thief stole my CD player under the cover of darkness last night! I was very upset. I know that I could have taken better steps to prevent the thievery, but right now I am just upset. I tried to console myself by remembering that I have some extra money set aside. But that was short lived because then I thought, “I shouldn’t even have to buy this! I had one already!” Very upsetting.

I got to work and Tim told me I couldn’t put a sign on my garage door saying:
“To the individual(s) who stole my CD player:
You have done an awful thing. I hope you stole my CD player so that you could feed your starving children like Jean Valjean in Les Mis, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think you stole it because you are greedy.”
Tim said no! Then I asked him if we could at least pretend the thief took the CD player because he was really trying to feed starving children like in Les Mis. He said, "Sure, but I think that's all it would be: pretending." Rough morning.
Tim thinks that maybe we can find one at a rummage sale… I’m skeptical… I don’t think he’s really serious.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Rock Climbers experience

I taught Rock Climbers for the first time on Sunday. Rock Climbers is our kids' church for preschoolers. I was a little nervous because I've heard a few horror stories and the teacher's seem exhausted afterward. So I went in ready for a zoo, but it was delightful! One of the greatest times I've ever had teaching.

I asked what missionaries do and Olivia told me, "They answer calls." I can see it in her mind. A call center room full of missionaries all answering phones. Great to hear her thoughts. During snack Elijah blessed our food by singing the "Thank You, Jesus" song. Beautiful. The worship, the lesson, activities, snack time, all went extraordinarily well. Of course, there were always a couple kids who had a hard time concentrating at our task on hand, but I think we all enjoyed ourselves.

By far the best part of the morning was our little trouble maker. When he's not pulling hair, throwing things or jumping off of chairs, he wants to be the one sitting right next to you or on your lap. Very loving, but trouble nonetheless. This little boy quickly burnt through his warnings and soon found himself in time out while the rest of the class finished their activity. Miss Anna took the kids back to their other room and I stayed back to talk with him for a moment.

I assured him that I cared about him, but that he can't disobey. At this he started to tear up and desperately say, "I want to be good, but I just can't. I try, but I just can't be good. I don't want to be naughty." His little plea got straight to my heart. I told him that Jesus can help him be good. Jesus won't make him be good, but can help him make the right choices. When I asked if he wanted to pray he nodded, folded his hands and started singing the "Thank You, Jesus" song because it's the only way he knew how to pray. He didn't remember any of the other words and looked up in desperation, "I don't know how." So he repeated a prayer after me asking Jesus for help to be good.

I was so moved by that time. Five minutes later he was jumping off of another chair, but that's fine. We'll keep praying together as often as we need to and God will make a difference in his life.

It was a great first day in Rock Climbers.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bubble Tea

After Amazing Family Race Pastor Dan kicked me out of the office for 3 days. Tim was also scheduled to be on vacation during that time and we decided to go spend some time in Minneapolis/St. Paul. I got to stay with my cousin, Heidi, and her husband, Mike, and Tim with his buddy Bill.

Bill is a cool "in" guy. He knows what is cool and "in" so when Bill was raving about how we had to try bubble tea we said, "Let's go for it!" I thought maybe it was carbonated tea. Wrong. We got to the Tea Garden and were offered samples of chilled Royal Tea Latte with tapioca pearls and coffee flavored jellies. You are given these huge straws through which you drink the tea and suck up the pearls and jellies, i.e. the bubbles! I tried to be cool. I tried to be in. But I couldn't stomache it! I'm not a fan of tapioca to begin with, but then in a drink in huge bubble form?! Nonetheless, you have to try it. It was an experience.

I decided to get a honeydew guava cooler sans bubbles and that was delicious. Find a bubble tea seller near you and enjoy... or at least experience.


Amazing Family Race has been raced! Last weekend's race was a hit. It was exhausting, but everyone involved loved it. The volunteers, the participants, everyone! The favorite challenge may very well have been the bare handed minnow catching in challenge 10 on Friday. It was great!

Family's had an excellent time and we're looking forward to doing it again next year. Start training now. There was some fierce competition out there. One of my favorite quotes from AFR was Russ Ehlinger's cry to his family as they raced toward the finish line, "Let's beat the Schroeder's!" What a great success.

Thanks to all who made it possible!

For kicks I threw in a picture of what my office looked like in the weeks leading up to the race. Glad that part is over! For more AFR pictures check out Highland Church on Facebook.