Saturday, December 30, 2006

Our Christmas

Only 3 times in the 11 Christmases we have had in Oregon, have we stayed home (here in Oregon). Ususally we plod out to North Carolina, South Carolina, New York and or Florida. This year we stayed home. We have had two weeks of major chilling. Just a lot of family time and play time. I am not sure how Jeanne-Ann and the kids will handle it when I go back to work! haha.

During our break we have done several fun family things. One of the big highlights, besides gifts (I'll share that later) is our Christmas music video... enjoy.

and our "card" that shares the highlight stuff of the year.

~~~ Merry Christmas to you ~~~
Another year and here we are. A few
highlights to catch you up on what has
gone on in our world this year.

Kynzi – She loves 1st grade at Forest Ridge where she is part of the charter school program. This summer was filled with soccer games. She is really looking forward to starting gymnastics after Christmas. We continue to see Kynzi’s heart for others in the way she interacts with them. She is a Sparky in Awana’s and loves memorizing Bible verses.

Karston – Kindergarten has been a blast for him. He is also playing soccer after having spent the early part of the summer playing tee ball. Anything active is pure joy for him. He just lost his first tooth and is really excited to be like his big sister. He is our prayer warrior. He prays whenever he hears a siren. In case you are wondering, Karston prays for everybody, so you are covered on a regular basis. He is a Cubbie at Awana’s and is really enjoying coming home with new songs about Jesus.

JA – After years of staying home with the kids and working part-time at Sylvan Learning Center, Jeanne-Ann just renewed her Oregon Teaching license and plans on subbing in late winter. She started BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and is enjoying the study of Romans. A highlight for Jeanne-Ann was going to Thailand with Erik for a business conference.

Erik – Still surfing as often as possible, which is never enough. He is back to playing on an indoor soccer team. During one weekend Erik, Kynzi and Karston all scored goals for their respective teams. After Thailand, Erik took a trip to West Africa as part of a video team for our national youth conference in the summer of ‘07. A dream came true as he was part of a team who co-authored a book called “Inside Out Youth Worker.” You can get your own copy at

Serving Him,
The Williams

Pursuit of Happiness

Jeanne-Ann and I went to see this film tonight. You know the one with Will Smith and his son Jaden? It was awesome. I think the two things I liked the most were 1) the relationship between the father and the son and 2) the emotion that sat just below the surface on Will Smith's face.

The relationship. As a father I am often intrigued by father/son relationships in movies and on TV. Often a father expresses his love by tussling his son's hair. Sometimes a hug, rarely, if ever a kiss. Early in the movie "Chris" kisses his son "Christopher" on the lips. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me. I know that doesn't happen when you get older, but as a young boy it is totally normal. I understand why it doesn't happen in the movies, typically, that's why I thought it was cool that it happened here, as they are real life father and son.

I enjoyed watching their relationship throughout the movie. It was a very close and respectful one. They both had respect for each other and cared very deeply for each other.

The emotion. Will Smith did a great job in using his emotions. They were the kind that sits just below the surface, but because you are let in on what is going on you can see it deeper. It is very well done. Yes, I cried when *spoiler alert* he was hired at the end and his eyes got red and tears spilled down his face as he shook the hands of his new bosses.

A great shared experience for the both of us.

Oh, and the hippie that was with the hippie chic that stole the bone scanner...was that Tyler of the Amazing Race 9? I looked up on imdb, but found nothing. He had no lines, just held on to the scanner. hmmm...good for him, if it was him.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Friends and Games...a Boggle Rival?

Our friends Becca and Josh brought a "new" game to our game night tonight! MyWord! You flip cards down with different letters and when you see a word you yell it out. First one to yell out a word gets the cards. If you yell out an incorrect word everyone gets a card but the false yeller. It is really fun. Course Becca didn't like my abilities so she was ready to yell "BOAT" anytime it looked like I may see a word. Better everyone gets 1 card than me getting several. haha. Boat girl.

We had fun eating dinner, playing games and eating Death by Chocolate. I love having people over. Especially when we get to play games. I love playing games. Brian, Chele, Patrick and Maria also joined us. What great fun! I am so glad I have friends like this I enjoy. God has been good to me!

My stomach hurts a little from all the Death by Chocolate!!! mmm...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Family Time...Thanksgiving

My parents came for a short visit Wednesday to this morning. I love my parents. They were really hoping to get "bumped" on their flights, but there were open seats on all the flights here and there.

There is a "talent" to getting bumped. I was given that talent. For our first 8 years out here I think we payed for a total of 3-4 tickets to the east coast. All the rest were from bumps. And we flew quite a bit.

This year we are staying home for Christmas. So there will be no bumping. This will be only the 3rd time time in 10 years. That will be hard being that we don't live near any family at all. I am thankful for friends who have become family though. God is good...all the time.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A little time away

I am letting you in on a little secret. Friday I am taking my bride away for the weekend. We are going to Seattle. All she knows is that we are going away. I love surprises and she is not a huge fan. So I told her we were going and I told her it was Seattle today.

This is a little bit of a late celebration of our anniversary this summer. We did celebrate, but it was just a small celebration. It is great to have friends to help us out with a weekend like this. The kids are taken care of and hotel is taken care of (one night is from my frequent "flyer" program).

I am really looking forward to pampering her. She is getting a massage and a pedicure and we are gonna do Seattle stuff. [starbucks, pikes, music experience, etc.] U from Seattle? Got some ideas? Know me? Send me a text.

I think we may check out Stranger than Fiction with Will Ferrell. Hope it's a good one.

Welp, I should get some sleep. nite.

ps. don't tell her.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Myspace...ourspace? Tillamook Ice Cream!

Last weekend I spoke at the high school retreat for my church (where I volunteer as a Dgroup leader). The theme was ourspace.God. We "lifted" it from another camp I spoke at this summer and revamped it for this weekend. It was a great weekend at the coast. We played in the beach; we slipped down a giant slip n slide into an oatmeal pit; we climbed a giant sand hill; we visited the Tillamook cheese factory ( cheese and yummy ice cream). I had one of those moments that you get so frustrated, but you can't really say anything to anybody that can do anything about it.

I ordered a waffle cone with mint chocolate chip and chocolate peanut butter. I was enjoying my mint chocolate chip, as there was a delicious large chunk of chocolate, but that's where it ended. There was only ONE piece of chocolate in that scoop@ WHAT?!?! Then came the chocolate peanut butter. Why did I joke with Tifani that there probably wouldn't be any peanut butter in it? Turns out there was no peanut butter in my chocolate peanut butter ice cream! MAN WAS I STEAMED!!!

So anyhow, we showed some funny and poignant video clips throughout the weekend. I am including the promo video in here. Hope you enjoy it. It shows a bit of what the addiction and craze of myspace can do to you.

Oh, check out my perspective of what a Jesus' myspace site might look like. Click true on and click on the green button.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lost and the Red Sox!!! but this is about the team winning, not their miserable season

Man...the last episode of Lost kicked my butt. There are times when I watch something that I get so pulled in that my emotional strings are played well. Sometimes it's a moment where an extra-terrestial is trying to get home and the tear ducts are opened a bit; from time to time there's the Boy named Tommy who wears a coat that's too small and causes my gut to hurt from laughter; and then there are the OTHERS!!! My ire rose quite high tonight. I wanted to yell, "If you really are just normal then why do you treat them like animals."

I know what you are thinking. Well, yes, I have never denied that I am a bit too into TV. I guess I just drop my "thinking" when I am being entertained and allow myself to be entertained. Sounds a bit weird, but I love watching something that will take me on a journey.

The end of Lost had Henry or Ben telling Jack Shepherd that if he plays nice he will take him back home. Jack didn't believe that Ben had any contact with the outside world. Ben told him that in the 69 days they had been there (it's apparently 2004) Bush was re-elected, Christopher Reeves passed away and the BOSTON RED SOX won the world series. Jack laughed and told him he should've come up with something more believable. Then he showed him the video of the final game.'s good to relive one of the greatest moments in baseball history again. Seems soooo long ago and yet seems like it was just yesterday. bitter sweet moment...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Old Friends, New Places

I meant to write about this first part some time ago now, but I am reminded as the second part relates. A couple of moths ago my friend Jessica started working with me again. We used to work together at the church and then she left with her husband as he got a full-time job about 45 minutes away.

When I got my new job, I hoped one day I could hire Jessica again. Well, a year and a half later and a position opened up. It wasn't necessarily the ideal position, but it was something. I knew that she wasn't all that super excited about what she was doing so I gave her a call. Now she is on board. Yahoo!

This weekend some friends (Steve and Michelle)of ours (me and my wife) are talking to the church about a position. They have been flown out here from Georgia. I tried to get them to come out a bunch of years ago before I hired Jessica, but that was not the right time. Now it looks like it just may happen. I am praying HARD! They are dear, dear friends who I have held close to my heart since the day I met them. I can not believe they are actually here. We should knowpretty soon if this is the right fit. Now I just need to help Steve find a job. If you read this and you pray, would you pray Steve finds a job that he would love and that they find a house (assuming they decide to stay) near us? Thanx.

I am truly blessed with friends and family that I love so much! Wow!

I'll update you on this trip when I find out what the verdict is.

Monday, September 18, 2006

7th Heaven's Back? The CW! Stupid Dish Network...

My DVR stopped working the other day and it is making me really mad. I have a bunch of "junk" on there that I was dropping onto DVD (Prison Break to send to my Dad), etc. and some stuff I have not watched yet. Well, it stopped working. Now I have to wait for the new one to come in the mail, pay $15 to have it shipped and another $5 for insurance. Stupid Dish people!!! I missed the season opener for Amazing Race and I couldn't miss Prison Break so I went down to Radio Schack to "borrow" one till mine arrives, then I will return it. I got it all set up with 30 seconds left to spare...yes!!!

Now I also recorded the new CW channel (WB and UPN combined) and there was a show that was highlighting several shows they will have this fall, including 7th Heaven! Now I know you are probably thinking, "Are you kidding me? 7th Heaven? Is this guy a freak, or what?" Well, yes. I started watching from the beginning and have seen every painfully themed episode ever. I was actually relieved when they cancelled it last year. Then this summer someone told me that they heard it was coming back. I smiled and patted her head and told her it was over and to quit dreaming.

Well, tonight I saw previews for the new season. Crazy! Do I have to keep watching? Yes I do. At least to se where it goes now with the crazy series "finale" that had everyone having twins.

Now I am just trying to figure out how I can get the stuff off my old DVR onto my computer. Hmmm...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

1st Grader brings tears

This morning we took Kynzi to her first day of 1st grade. I guess Jeanne-Ann spent the beforehand part of the morning dropping the salty liquid drops and I saved mine till we got to the school. I didn't think it would come, but I guess you just don't have control of when the tears will flow.

We walked into the classroom, where 23 students include only 9 boys, and saw the Condellos (Grace is in her class). We took a bunch of pictures and video and then went down to the cafeteria for juice and donuts and conversation. After 30 minutes of wait time we went outside for the raising of the flag, the pledge to the flag and the roots and shoots song. Their school is a charter school that focuses on the environment and technology. (yes!) Kynzi will learn how to give a powerpoint presentation as a 1st grader. (I still love technology).

Monday, September 04, 2006

I am NOT a handyman! ...and Steve Irwin is gone...

I have been working on a project for several months now. The first part was putting up blinds in our house. That seemed to be an ok deal. I did deal with some level of frustration, but got it done. Then came the boards that cover the top of the blinds. I'm sure they have some official name to them, but I have no idea what that is. I guess that, even though we got the blinds to be custom fit, the boards weren't. So I had to cut them to size. Somehow my measurements didn't add up on several of them and I had to recut them. 2 more than once) I had to put plastic clips on the metal part of the blinds in order to hang the boards on them. Turns out that there was no room to get the clips on there. So I had to lower the whole deal. This meant that I had to unscrew them all, measure the whole deal and screw them back in.

Well, today I finally finished that project. But before I finished them I had a few moments of frustration where I screamed and yelled at the tape measure, the blinds and the clips. I told them! Stupid inanimate objects!

In other was a sad day today. Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter, was killed by a stingray. I guess that is very uncommon thing to happen, but it sent its tail through his rib and into his heart. Crazy! Loved that guy. He leaves behind a wife and 2 kids and many sad fans. Few people have brought as much attention to wildlife with as much passion as Steve Irwin. He will be missed.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

In the Pit!

Have you ever played that game Pit? The one where you shout, "one, one, one!" "three, three, three" etc. You trade commodities like wheat, barley, hay, flax, etc. And the first one to get 9 of the same cards wins that round. You don't want to get stuck with the bear (-20 points) or the bull (-20 points) unless you have 8 of a kind and the bull, then the bull is a wild card.

We had some of our favorite friends in the world over last night and played. Jessica & Justin, Brian & Chele, Patrick & Maria. It gets so loud and competitive. I can't ever believe that our kids sleep through it.

We also played Jessica's newest game "Imaginiff.." You roll the die and land on someone's name and read a card that says something like "Imagine if _____ (erik) could discover the answer to a great mystery. Which mystery would he choose?
1) What is SPAM?
2. Where do the missing socks go?
3. Sasquatch - fact or fiction?
4. What goes on at Area 51?
5. Why was the stonehenge built?
6. How come I pay more taxes than Bill Gates?
then everone chooses a number they think is right. Those that choose the number that matches the majority opinion get to move a space.
It's really funny to see whta everyone else thinks about you.

We laughed a lot and had a lot of fun. I'm so thankful to God for good friends.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

3 pools

What a beautiful day! We took the day to go out to 3 pools in little north fork. I love that place. We were a little concerned that it would be too crowded being a HOT day and end of summer and all. It wasn't too bad at all actually. We went to the top part and set up our chairs and unpacked our lunch and went to test out the water.

As always it C-O-L-D! We went down the "slide" a couple of times and then I went to jump off one of the rocks. The first jump was off the middle one and then the second jump was off the top. I love doing that! Sucks the wind out of me just a bit and makes me want to do it more. hmm...drugs?

Later, after we walked around a bit we went down below and I jumped off the tallest rock. Man...I want to go sky diving. My friend Steve is going tomorrow and I am a bit jealous. It's so stankin' expensive! But this makes me want to go even more. It was interesting as I stood up top waiting to jump. In the past I have always been slightly hesitant even though I know I want to jump and will jump. hesitations. Not even in the slightest. Cool! I think. Am I losing my ability to make sound judgement choices? I dunno. Still, I liked it.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

New Vietnamese Students Going to Heaven

Yesterday I spoke on the passage in Luke 10 and the parable of the Good Samaritan. I focused on the opening part where the expert in the law asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. And how Jesus responded by asking what the Law says and how he interprets it. The expert says to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Jesus tells him he has answered correctly and to go do likewise.

That’s the set up. I shared about how this expert asked the wrong question and that it was really focused on him, not God. He thought he could earn his way into heaven by following all their rules.

I then walked the group through how we need to begin asking different questions. Ultimately they are questions that relate to them and God. At the end of the message I gave an opportunity for students to respond to Jesus Christ’s freely available forgiveness. FIVE students prayed for forgiveness for the first time and invited Jesus to be part of their lives!!! Wow. That never ceases to amaze me! God is good…all the time!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Terrorist on my plane?

On Wednesday I got to the airport with just under three hours before my flight was to leave. With the new restrictions (no liquids, gels, toothpaste, etc) they say you should be there 3 hours before on a domestic flight. Well I got there with plenty of time to go and I was through security so fast. One of the faster times I have done it actually. So I had plenty of time on my hands and sat down to go over my messages for camp.

I like to be early to the airport anyhow so that I can be the first in line at the counter. I always ask if they need volunteers. So as it was almost 1 hour before I got up there and the ladies who work the counter came. They were walking with another lady who I overheard tell them that she had overheard something.

There was a Middle Eastern guy about 20 years old who had said something on the phone about our plane crashing. The next thing you know there are cops there and they begin to question him. They arrest him and take him away. To make sure he wasn’t back, I scanned the entire plane as I was one of the last people to get on. CRAZY!!!

Then we had a delay. But it was the first delay I have ever been thankful for. They took off all of the bags from under the plane and went through everything. Then they put them back on. They never told us why, but I think I have an idea.

I guess God still has some things He wants to use me for, so here I am in California speaking to over 150 Vietnamese students and leaders in up in the mountains.

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cali, Vietnamese, Leaving...

So I am sitting at the airport right now and waiting for my plane. I got here 3 hours early, like they have been saying all over the news. Guess what. No lines. Oh well, better know the rest.

The worst part was trying to find a parking spot early in the morning when no one is leaving to open up spots. I think I may have parked in one of the furthest parking spots from the front. I started in the blue and ended up in the red parking lot (e2). <--that's for me in case I forget. haha.

I am heading down to Verdugo Pines camp east of Los Angeles. Speaking to a group of vietnamese middle school and high school students. I am pretty pumped. The them is ourspace.God. Hmmm...could be cheesy, but I think it will be good. I created a little flash animation of what God's myspace might look like to help me with my first message. I posted it up on click on truth and then click the green button. I will try to fully update it later. Maybe with my voice talking over it so it makes more sense with what I am talking about.

Last night as I was putting my children to bed, it hit Kynzi that I was going to be gone for a few days. That did not sit well with her. She usually does pretty well when I go away, but this was not one of those times. My heart just broke and I wanted to call down there and tell them I wouldn't be making this trip. So we just hung out for a while and she fell asleep in my arms. I love my family!!! God has truly truly blessed me. Wow!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Girls sleepover

So Kynzi turned SEVEN yesterday! Can't believe this. She is an absolutely amazing little girl who isn't so little anymore. It's freaking me out. She had a birthday party that was a sleepover for 7 friends. It was crazy. I thought it would be no problem, but it was crazy weird. Lots of moments where I had to have conversations about including everyone, etc. Jeanne-Ann and I had a bunch of stuff planned, but they did plenty on their own.
Kynzi called them all into her room and told them all to pick out a toy and then they went out to the backyard and had a show and tell. Each one had a turn to sit in the show and tell seat and the rest sat quietly on the grass and listened.
Then something happened that blew me away. One of the girls shared her own toys and said her grandma gave them to her before she died and that she would never see her again cuz she is in heaven. Her friend Grace said, "Well, do you have Jesus in your heart? If you do you can go to heaven one day too and see her." She said no. Kynzi said, "Do you want to ask Jesus to come into your heart? It's really easy. you just have to ask him." She said yes and Kynzi walked her back to her room and prayed with her.
WOW!!!! Unbelievable. I am learning from her.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crazy hoops

This has been around a while, but you are not gonna believe it! I love stories like this. Why does it always affect my allergies though?

Welcome Home Flea Bag

So we got in at 12:30AM this morning! Visiting the East Coast for a few weeks. Spent some time in each of the Carolinas visiting family and then off to New York to speak at a camp. All things went great, I may post a little about it later, but we got home pretty late and it was Karston's birthday this morning. We had some shopping to do and we open gifts first thing in the morning.

So Jeanne-Ann goes out and shops at Wal-Mart after we get home! Our body clocks are on East Coast time so she got home at 5AM EST!!!

Well, it turns out Kenya got fleas and deposited them in our home! Grrrr. We were running from hallway to the bed so we wouldn't get any on us. Nasty! Some welcome home, huh?

So, needless to say we bombed the house today to get rid of the buggers. Looks like a few made it through the fog. Hope it is just an incubation thing and they die overnight.

It's pretty nasty looking down on your leg and seeing four or five fleas just hanging out there. My method is to pinch them between my fingers and take them to the drain. You can't kill them with the pinch method. You have to get them between two fingernails and pinch till you hear a pop. They are very resilient.

I can feel them all over my body right now. Can't you? Oohh..what's that on your leg?
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