Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bears, sharks, and an asian woman yelling at me

Hello all! We are having a great time at the beach and thought that we'd say Happy New Year! We are having a fun time at the beach - the weather is warm, the food has been good, and there is no one here - what else could you ask for? We have had some funny happenings while here that I thought some of you might find interesting.

Saturday, December 27th - about dusk on highway 98 between St. Teresa and Eastpoint we saw this large dark animal walk out of the bushes and undergrowth along the side of the road. I saw it first, thought it was a dog, then decided it was the biggest darn dog I had ever seen... it was a black bear, bigger than any of the ones I have seen in the Smokies. Laura and the girls saw it too. And no, no one had been drinking and Laura and the girls saw it too.

Tuesday, December 30th - walking along the beach with the girls picking up shells and talking we saw some porpoises about 30 yards out, neat. About 15 minutes later we are walking along getting nearer to a fellow surf fishing. As we get near his spot (he had been there every time we had been walking), I noticed 2 things. First, he wasn't there, but his stuff was. Second, there was a triangular shaped fin above water and a tail fin that was long and jagged, also known as a shark, in the water under his line right in the surf where we would wade around. The dude came running down the beach (he'd been in the bathroom) and I said, "hey dude, there's a shark in the surf near your line, pretty cool, hope he didn't scare off what your fishing for." He had been fishing for the shark for the two days and had seen it only occasionally. According to him it was about 5 feet long.

Wednesday, December 31st - Laura and I have been getting up early walking the sand roads. We were walking along this morning on the roads by the bay and this lady busted out the door to her deck in her robe and yelled "Happy New Year!" We looked around, thinking that she was talking to a neighbor across the street that we could not see. She yelled again, I threw my hand up. She yelled again, Laura yelled "Happy New Year!!!" back to her, and the woman walked away. Some people are a little off, but she was a day early?!? It wasn't till we got back to the house and saw some news of celebrations going on around the world, in China and Japan and other Asian places, did we make the connection to her exclamation and her ethnicity - she was of Asian decent.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas 2008 Manifesto

It is hard to believe that it is Christmas, again! It seems like only a few weeks ago our family was sitting in the living room with gifts scattered everywhere, and the kids playing with the packaging and not the gift. That was last year. It wasn't long after, maybe even that afternoon, that we began the conversation of 'so what about next Christmas?'. Would the girls be game to skip out on the 'stuff' and do something else, like take a trip?

Here we are 365 days later, packing bags, and wondering what tomorrow will be like without all the usual movements of the day - stockings, big breakfast, gifts... Don't hear us wrong, there will be a couple of things under the tree for the girls and there will be a stocking and most definitely we will have a big breakfast! But we traded most all of it for a trip to the beach and instead of spending time scurrying from one place to the next to get that toy or those shoes, we chose to spend the time helping take care of other folks. Now the biggest question to us is whether the girls 'get it'? I hope so, and I think they will. I know growing up that other than a bike and a sled, the only things I remember about Christmas was my grandma's birthday party on the 24th and spending time in Georgia with my dad's folks, eating ice cream with his aunt's and uncle's, eating oysters at Andrew's Oyster Bar (read as 'hole-in-the-wall'), and watching football.

Looking back and comparing this year to the last few, it has been amazingly peaceful. Is it because we haven't been standing in line at Target, or waiting on UPS to deliver? Or, was it because we made it a point to give our time away and focus elsewhere? I guess it is both really, but I know that the latter played a huge role. This has to have been one of the most peaceful, stress-free, and rewarding Christmases that either of us have ever experienced.

We had lots of opportunities to help this year, from providing for kids at school to playing Santa, and I am glad that we were able to share most all of it with our small group.

Merry Christmas? I hope so.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

1' 35"

Hey guys!

We thought that you might like to see what we have been into this fall via some pictures. So here is 1' 35" of the Fall of 2007....


Cabinet space...

Nothing really to say, just thought some of you might like this picture of Kate in the cabinet. Can you imagine being this small. She just unloads that cabinet and climbs in on her own. I guess if we ever can't find her we could always look here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Over the last several weeks, our small group has been walking alongside a family that we have gotten to know through connections at school. From the initial mention of coming alongside a family and not knowing exactly where that would lead us, each person in our small group has been eager to help in whatever form that took. Over the last few weeks, we have had the chance to have a picnic with these new friends as well as help plug them into the life of our church. It has been a pleasure being a part of a small group that sees the need to look beyond the four walls of the church to the community that we all live in and see how God can bless others while using us as the tool.

Today, we had the chance to help them around their home. The long of the short of it was that the exterior of the home needed to be painted so that it didn’t begin to rot with the dampness that comes with Winter. Since this would likely be one of the last weekends of the year with warm, dry weather, we decided that this Sunday afternoon would be the time to do it. I have included some pics below to show the before and after.

The $38.67... We had prayed for some guidance about just how to undertake the things that we were getting into; just some wisdom and guidance to do the best we can, in this case choosing the right materials and having enough time and so on. I called a good friend that shares a heart for this kind of stuff and also works with painting and contractor-type stuff day-in, day-out. In five minutes, he (& He) provided materials and advice that were going to cost ~$200. In the end, it was $38.67 to make a profound impression on some new friends.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

Hey everybody... it's Laura. I told you when I deleted my blog that I might jump on Rodney's if there was something that I really wanted to say. Well, today I ran across something that I just had to share. I laughed until I cried while watching this. If you are a parent you will definitely be able to identify with this guy. Not only is it hilarious, but it's very sweet too...make sure and watch until the end.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Mary Elizabeth claimed a big step toward 'big girl' status today when she walked into her Kindergarten class. She walked in like she owned it and never looked back. She took a backpack full of stuff, including the all important water bottle. She bought her lunch in the cafeteria, carried the tray and all that goes with it.

Her teacher's name is Ms. Willis. She and Laura have worked together before when Laura was there helping out.

Here are some pics of the day. I hope you enjoy. We're proud of her.