Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Keizer Times Front Page? Adoption Acceptance!

In my last post I shared that my kids assume we will always be on the front page of our local paper with our snowman like we have the last 3 years in a row. Well, we are on the front page of the website. Click here to check it out. This paper comes out once a week, so I don't know if we will be in the paper or not. Here's hopin'.

Also, in the mail today came our adoption packet saying we have been officially accepted. We had an interview on Tuesday after our all of our references got in. We made our announcement before the official acceptance, but we were pretty certain it wold be no problem. Just wanted to keep you updated.

Oh, we also made it to the Statesman Journal.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Surprise Snowfall Changes the Day

Today my friend Steve sent me a text with a picture of snow up in Wilsonville where he works. (a stone's throw from where I work). It's only 25 minutes north of where I live. We had nothing. I was so jealous! I love the snow. Karston has been praying for snow over Christmas break. We have seen some flurries in the forecast, but it has never come to fruition. He has been very bummed to say the least. Today we were told it would rain. It has actually been a very sunny winter so far, so I am not too bummed that it would rain, but I would MUCH prefer snow.

Well Karston's prayers were answered today. We had a quick snowfall that covered the ground enough to make it mostly white, then it stopped. We ran out and made a paltry little snowman. Actually it wasn't that bad as you can see, but it was not like others we have made in the past.

Kynzi was at a birthday party so she did not get to join in with us. We always jump in the hot tub when it snows and take some pictures. We added hot cocoa to that tradition today with cool-WHIP (say it, "whip") and sprinkles. Yum! We had some really good belly laughs in there. (have I mentioned that I LOVE my family?) Then I headed out to see Sherlock Holmes with some of my buddies. (I really enjoyed it). When we came out it had snowed some more. Bigger flakes, denser snow.

By the time I got home it was dark and the kids had been sledding in our driveway and pulling each other down our street (don't worry. We are not as bad of parents as you think. We live on a private street with only 4 homes and we are the 2nd to last). So I put on my winter clothes again and we began to make another snowman. Well, there was so much snow that just a few rows in our tiny front yard and I had a really good base. It may be the largest one we have ever made. We decided we needed to make one for everyone in the family. This is what we ended up with. Not bad, eh? My kids are convinced that the paper will put it on the front page like they have the last 3 years in a row. I told them they may never post it all. They just assume the newspaper does it for us or wants ours or something. They are pretty fun I must say. We'll see. I will let you know if they do. Haha.

Why does my back hurt so much tonight? Hmmm...

Monday, December 28, 2009

One of the BIGGEST Decisions of my life

* Inviting Jesus to be part of my life and asking His forgiveness (8 years old)
* Telling Jesus that I would go wherever He wanted me to go, do whatever He wanted me to do, talk to anyone He wanted me to talk to (8th grade)
* Where I was going to go to college (Houghton)
* Who I was going to marry (Jeanne-Ann)
* What my first "real" job would be after college (youth pastor in Georgia)
* Moving to Salem, OR to take another job at another church (middle school pastor at Salem Alliance)
* Talking with Jeanne-Ann and deciding to have our first child (Kynzi)
* Having another conversation with Jeanne-Ann not long after (Karston)
* Deciding to leave my role as middle school pastor at Salem Alliance and heading to our district office to be the Director of Next Generation Ministries (December 2004 after 8 years at SAC)

These have all been major decisions in my life. We even decided that we were going to have more kids...6 years ago. We still don't have any more kids. It's weird, because almost the moment we decided to have Kynzi and Karston, Jeanne-Ann got pregnant. God has a plan. He reveals that plan little by little as we are ready.

On December 26, 2004 there was a great Tsunami that hit southeast Asia. It was devastating. We watched the videos and wept for the families who lost everything, including family members. It sparked a conversation that Jeanne-Ann had already started a couple of years prior to that. She wanted to know if we could adopt one of the many orphans that were left behind in the tsunami. I was not having anything to do with that. I would pray for them, I would even travel there to help if needed, but I could not imagine taking in another child that we didn't birth.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for adoption. I believe in it and am so thankful for the many that are willing to adopt. I just never saw it for me. Oh, I could go through a whole list of reasons why including the cost of adoption, future potential issues and starting all over (our kids are 8 and 10 and very independent). Back to diapers? I can't imagine.

Well, this summer we talked more and more about it. My sister and brother-in-law are adopting from Nepal. Then we had a serious discussion where I promised I would think about it and pray seriously about it. That night our friends Josh and Becca came over and asked us if we would be references for them as they adopt from Ethiopia. It was as if God was already speaking to my heart. I was a bit floored to say the least. Skip forward a few months and I am taking  three day time to fast and pray and seek God's heart. In the midst of that fast I was asking God to give me a crazy, out of this world moment where it was so obvious that this is what God wanted. I imagined a woman walking down the street and spotting me from across the way, coming right over to me and saying, "I don't know who you are or why, but I feel like I am supposed to tell you to adopt." Well, nothing like that happened. I was bummed at first, but I was committed to journaling during this process and I read one of my entries right after I wrote it down.

In this journal entry I wrote down all my connections to Africa including: a video I saw in 8th grade with a little African boy at the end smiling and saying thank you; 2 trips to Africa in the last 7 years. My experiences there were out of this world. My heart was so drawn there. I never sensed God calling me to be a missionary to Africa, but I knew there was a connection. I also read a couple of books on adoption. One of them was a couple's journey to adopt from Ethiopia.

As I read back over the journal entry I realized that was my "woman coming across the street to me." It was almost ridiculously clear. At the end of the entry I wrote a note to Jeanne-Ann that said, "Babe, let's do this." She was shocked She didn't know what to say after so many years of hearing no from me.

Well, I drove up to Dove International the next day and dropped off our application. We are now on our way to adopt. The plan is to adopt 2 kids. We are very early in the process. The whole deal should take 10 to 16 months. It varies a lot. This blog will be the best way to stay updated, besides talking to us. I will continue to blog about other stuff, but our adoption process will all be a part of this blog. We have talked about having a separate blog just for that and it may still happen, but for this moment it will stay here. Thank you faithful readers for your prayers and support. If you want to read more about it all I have posted more info on my website

There you have it. One of the BIGGEST Decisions of our Lives!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Top 10 Christmas Songs of All Time

I love top 10 lists. Every year around New year's great lists show up and I want to read them all. They are fun little wastes of time yet great insights into pop culture and where we are as a world. It's the end of a decade now and top 10 decade lists are already popping up. Did you know that N*Sync's No Strings Attached album was the best selling of this decade? Well here is the list of the Top 10 Christmas Songs of ALL TIME!

10. Have A Holly Jolly Christmas
9. O’ Holy Night – Nat King Cole
8. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow – Dean Martin
7. Rockin’ Round The Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
6. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams
5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra
4. It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas – Perry Como
3. Christmas Cannon – Trans Siberian Orchestra
2. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby

Do you agree? Are there any songs you thought should make it on the list? What's missing?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's So Easy...It Makes a Difference

Have you ever thought about making an impact on your community? On your world? Ever feel like there is too much to do and you are just one person? Often that is exactly how some major movement starts. Just one person who decides they are going to do something. That person has a passion for it and it gets caught. Have you ever caught a passion from someone? They were so excited about something you couldn't help but to jump on the bandwagon.

This is how I feel about the dream of Give A Shirt. Whitney, a girl in our church, took the challenge from our youth ministry team to find a cause in our area and do something about it. Actually 25 students did. They each made a video to present their ideas and then it was voted on, the top 5 went before a panel of "judges" who asked some great questions and the top one was Give A Shirt. It was presented at our annual Reach conference.

Basically you buy a shirt for $15 and $10 goes to help homeless teenagers in our city buy clothes. There are over 900 identified homeless teenagers in Salem/Keizer and many don't go to school because they only have one outfit and get made fun of for the way they smell, etc. This is a great opportunity to make an impact on our community. This will be expanding around our nation soon. Maybe even to a city near you! Jump on board today, won't ya? Plus, the shirts are really cool. <---click here

give hope * restore dignity

Thursday, December 03, 2009


You know I love TV. You may also know that I have been trying to cut back a bit. I may not have cut a lot of shows that I love by my choice (I have lost many shows to the dreaded cancellation), but I am trying not to add too much to replace those shows. A limited few shows have been added to my list this year. Flash Forward is one of those shows. What's crazy is until tonight, I have not had any Tuesday night shows this fall. That was until V.

I remember the original show from 1984 very well! It was completely different from anything I had ever seen on TV. It was amazing. I loved the concept. I think I have always liked alien shows/movies. I remember thinking how crazy it would be if it were true. Scary. Haha.

Did you know that the guy who played Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund,  was also the guy in the original series who was a very timid, mild-mannered alien? Watch it some time. Kind of weird to see if you have seen any of his movies.

Some other "alien" shows I have enjoyed over the years:
Surface - sea creatures
Roswell (where Kathryn Heigel got her start)
Lost? Does that count? I am not sure. I will know for sure at the end of this next season.
of course...Mork and Mindy!
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