Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

June according to Gordon

Gordon is guest posting today:

Starting off June, some of my relatives came into town for a visit; More than that -- my dad was preaching his final sermon. He is officially retiring from full-time ministry, and my grandmother and some cousins were able to make the long drive to see it. Things went well, and one of my cousin's daughters was even able to attend the first couple days of my church's vacation Bible school, which was pretty cool.

After they left, my daughter continued attending VBS for the next couple days, which brings me to the next event in June: One night, after picking up Bekah and heading home in the driving rain, I was coming over a hill to encounter a car at a dead stop in the middle of the road (not at an intersection). Well, our car hydroplaned, and being unable to stop I rear-ended her. The praise is that both Bekah and I were uninjured, and while the paramedics did come for the lady in the other car, I believe it was precautionary since she was complaining of back pain. She remains in our prayers, however, since I don't really know the extent of her injuries and haven't received the police report yet. Good news too was that while I was obviously cited, it was for "failure to leave assured minimum safe distance" rather than speeding, as I was going too fast for the conditions of the road, but not faster than the posted speed limit. Also good news that the car I was driving was my wife's Saturn, a car that we have had paid off for some time, and not the Subaru which we are nowhere close to having paid off.

In the aftermath of the wreck, we found out that my insurance totaled the Saturn, though to rub salt in the wound, if the figure had been $80 less, the car would have been salvageable. We looked into salvaging the Saturn on our own, but determined that the trouble of salvage title, fees, and no guarentee that the actual repair would equal the estimate was more trouble than it was worth. Since all this occurred literally two days before we were due to go out of town on vacation, we could have been in a real bind. Fortunately, my parents stepped up to the plate and offered us their Ford SUV to use for the next week and a half.Which brings us to the next section. We went out of town to Detroit, Michigan to attend a stopover of the re-inactment of the Big Race of 1909 from New York to Seattle, which my great-grandfather won for Henry Ford a hundred years ago, driving a model T car cross-continant over the course of a month. In the re-enactment, 55 model T Fords are slowly making their way to Seattle caravan-style (as of this morning, they are in Wyoming, judging by the website). We got to meet up with them, and they took us all around Detroit and Dearborn riding with them in a very memorable tour. We visited areas of the Ford factories that are completely off-limits to normal tourists, and it was very strange in that we were treated as minor celebreties during our time with them. Also, in a truely bizarre way, it turned out good that we were unable to take the Saturn up north, as during one of the days Jessi wound up driving the Expedition around, following the caravan to a series of points-of-intrest. How would that look for the family of the great-grandson of the man who won the race for Henry Ford to be driving a GM model car during the re-enactment? :) My parents and brothers were also with us on this trip, and we all had a trip of a lifetime. I will try to get some pictures at some point, though I don't think they really do the trip justice.

We headed home the following Sunday, which brings me to the next event. As we were driving back from Detroit, my daughter randomly started talking about God and heaven, and how various different people (some real, some fictional) are or are not going there. Well, in the middle of the discussion, completely unprompted by Jessi or I, Bekah decided that she definately wanted to go to heaven, and prayed the sinner's prayer right there on the spot. Jessi and I just looked at each other with a combination of joy, pride, and amazement, and decided a follow-up discussion with our children's pastor was in order once we got back. (An aside -- we did have that conversation with our pastor, and Bekah was able to re-iterate everything that she did, and why, to him so that he and we believe the conversion was 100% genuine! Praise the Lord!)

After we got back, Jessi and I celebrated our sixth anniversary, and we went out to a restaurant called "The Melting Pot". The place specializes in fondue, and it was a great dining experience, especially since I had never had fondue before. I will tell you though -- how little bits of meat and bread on sticks can fill you up so completely is beyond me. It also was a slow dining experience -- we started eating around 8:00, and didn't finish up until 10:30 or so. But I will tell you, the food was superb!

After a few uneventful days, last Thursday I was still driving the Ford SUV around, as we had not gotten a replacement car for Jessi, and I was going to meet her at the gym where Bekah has her tumbling class at lunchtime. I was going to go to Chick-Fil-A to grab lunch and then meet them there. Well, I was getting ready to turn into the parking lot of the restaurant when a semi truck decided to exit out the entrance. He turned left in front of me, and failed to leave adequate distance so that his trailer didn't sideswipe my dad's SUV. Protectively, I threw the car into reverse and after checking my mirrors and seeing no-one, idled backward to steer clear of the semi's trailer. Unfortunately, a little convertable was smack dab right behind me, and due to the blind spots of my dad's behemoth SUV, I didn't see him. Thunk! The SUV hit the convertable, causing a 4 to 6 inch dent in the front of his car. My dad's SUV didn't have so much as a paint smear on his car, as the area that came in contact with the other car was the trailer hitch. I figure if the hitch hadn't been there, the bumpers would have collided and there would have been zero damage to either car. Anyways, the semi didn't realize what he had done and had already headed off to goodness knows where, so the driver of the other car and I exchanged insurance information (my poor insurance account!) and went our separate ways. Last week was not really a good week for me.

We purchased a new car for Jessi with the insurance money from the Saturn wreck, which the Lord saw fit to be sufficient to cover the total cost of the new car. While a definate downgrade from the decked-out Saturn that my wife had, it meets our needs, and she is excited about it since this is the first car that she has shopped for and selected on her own that is not a hand-me-down. It is a Forrester, and it had every maintenance record conceivable stuffed into its glovebox. Also, the dealership that we bought it from was the very same one that had sold the car new back in 1998. May it last many, many long years, or at least long enough for us to pay off my Subaru. Jessi promptly named her car "Sally", which caused my mother-in-law to follow up by naming my Subaru "Harry", since previously it had been nameless as "Gordon's Car". Cute.

Finally, the last event before the month came to a close: This past Sunday, we discovered that Jessi is pregnant with our second child! We are extremely grateful for this new blessing, and would appreciate your prayers over the next months as we prepare to add this new member of our family into our household. Especially, pray for the period of time right after the birth as well, as this was an exceptionally difficult time for Jessi the first time around. We haven't seen the doctor yet for our first appointment, but we estimate Jessi's due date is March 1st. She's currently about five weeks along, now.

Whoa. I think that is it. Here's hoping for a quieter July, that's for sure!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Office

The office in our home has long been a dumping ground. It has especially been used during the last minute stash and dash before visitors arrive. It has been a goal of mine to get the office decluttered. Here's the result!



Computer Desk:

Before After


Before After
Corner next to closet:

Before After

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ice Cream for Breakfast?

Sure when it is Starbucks new Caramel Macchiato ice cream. I was sent an email with a $1 off coupon as a Reward Card holder. I figured it was worth a try. The cost at my Kroger was $3.59. Kroger plus card took 59 cents off. So in the end I paid $2 for a pint of ice cream. Even without the coupon it cost less than its drink counterpart. It has a great strong coffee taste that it not bitter. It has a thick ribbon of caramel that gives more caramel than the drink. The great thing is that it is so rich I couldn't eat it in one sitting. I sampled it Wednesday night when I bought it. Had some for breakfast yesterday, then some for dessert and finally I'm finishing it off right now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Free Regal Movies - Schedule for my local theater

Get your local schedule:

10AM each Tuesday and Wednesday

March Of The Penguins (G)
Igor (PG)

Kit Kittredge: American Girl (G)
Star Wars: Clone Wars (PG)

Everyone's Hero (G)
Inkheart (PG)

Space Chimps (G)
Kung Fu Panda (PG)

Charlotte's Web (G)
Journey To The Center Of The Earth (PG)

Horton Hears A Who (G)
Firehouse Dog (PG)

Wallace And Gromit (G)
Evan Almighty (PG)

Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Veggie Tale Movie (G)
Alvin And The Chipmunks (PG)

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Starbucks new instant coffee

Saturday in the mail I received my sample of Starbucks new instant coffee "Viva". I have yet to taste an instant coffee that I like. However I went into this with an open mind. They gave me two packets. Yesterday I made the first one. I followed the exact direction on the package. I took a sip and promptly spit it back into the cup. It tasted awful black. It tasted like - instant coffee. I was really hoping that Starbucks had indeed come up with a good instant coffee. Today I decided to try it out as iced coffee. I made it as directed on the package. I put 4 TBS of sugar-free vanilla syrup, 4 TBS of half and half, ice and then coffee into a glass and mixed it up. The result was perfect iced coffee.

Amish Friendship Bread - It's a Success!

This time our bread made it the whole ten days. Gordon baked it Saturday. He add the optional pecans and it is so yummy. We only have two slices left. We gave two of the starters away and kept one for ourselves. I think that it will be nice to keep our bread going as long as we can.