Monday, December 31, 2007

Outstanding Free Bible Software

In his sermon at church on Sunday, Smokey Nevins challenged us to spend more time reading, memorizing, and meditating on God's Word. A great tool for doing so is the free Bible software E-Sword.

E-sword comes with the King James Version and Strong's concordance, but it also allows you to download and install a number of free add-ons, including other Bible translations. Of the free translations, I recommend the English Standard Version.

(If you want, you can add the New American Standard Bible study set, but you'll have to fork out a few bucks to the Lockman Foundation to get it. I finally caved in and did this last year.)

You can also add free classic commentaries, such as Matthew Henry's Commentary, and other great study aides, like the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to do a daily Bible reading, E-Sword can help you set up a customized reading plan. Prior to using E-Sword, I always had a hard time remembering where I left off last time I read my Bible. E-Sword solves this problem by automatically popping up your next daily reading whenever you open the program.

You can also use E-Sword to read a daily devotional, like Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon, test your memory of a Bible passage, and keep track of prayer requests.

Download the free E-Sword software using the link below. If you have problems or a slow internet connection, let me know and I'd be happy to lend you my E-Sword installation CD.

e-Sword Home

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fun Year End Trivia

Since this blog is now just over one year old and we're wrapping up 2007, it seems timely to post some random highlights and statistics about our blog. We hope you find them interesting.

Average visits per day: 13.18

Blog posts with most comments: New Baby Pic... by Christina (5/15/07, 15 comments to date), In Memory of Felicity by Christina (9/26/07, 10 comments to date), Reformation Day Movie Night by David (10/20/07, 9 comments to date)

E-mail subscribers: 9

Estimated Value: $2,258.16

Level of education required to understand our blog: Genius

Month with most posts: January 2007 (13 posts)

Month with least posts: November 2007 (2 posts)

Most comments (just a wild guess): Sharon Lowery

Odd search terms that found our blog: ebates scam (11 visits), winzy search about diapers (4 visits), russian diapers (3 visits)

Technorati authority: 4

Technorati rank: 1,644,723

Top traffic sources: Baby NRM! (285 visits), Home-schooled Nerd (147 visits), A Relentless Pursuit (119 visits)

Thank you for reading our blog this year. We appreciate you. Best wishes for a very Happy New Year to you all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Peace on Earth

So, in Luke 2 an angel shows up and tells some shepherds about Christ's birth. Then, as if to eliminate any doubt about the magnitude of the angel's announcement, reinforcements show up in verse 14 "praising God and saying..."

Hold it there just a second. Does it actually matter what the angels say? If so, tell me, what did they say?

(1) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


(2) Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.

Your answer to this question most likely depends on the Bible translation you read. (#1 is the King James Version and #2 is the New American Standard Bible.)

Now, is it just me, or is there a big difference between "good will toward men" and "peace among men with whom He is pleased." The former seems warm and inclusive, just the sort of platitude everyone loves to hear this time of year. The latter seems more exclusive and begs the question, "Is God pleased with me?"

I haven't had a chance to research this further yet. Do any of you know why there is such a significant variation in the translation of this verse?

May God bless you with a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Watch a 50 second video of Eliana eating dinner last month at Great Grandpa and Great Grandma's house.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

About Time

Remember my earlier post titled"The Missing Movie"? Well, there's finally been a major development that should bring this movie to a cinema near you. (You'll still have to wait three more years, of course.)

Business Week reports:

The battle for Middle Earth just got a little easier. The movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, suspended in legal limbo for decades, will hit the big screen thanks to the settlement of one of Hollywood's nastiest lawsuits. And like The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's fantasy series about dwarfs and other unworldly creatures, The Hobbit is being counted on by the studios behind it to become another larger-than-life blockbuster.

On Dec. 18, MGM announced that it will team with Time Warner's (TWX) New Line Cinema unit to make two Hobbit flicks, with the first scheduled for Christmas, 2010. "This is the major league of major-league franchises," says MGM studio Chairman Harry Sloan, who helped negotiate the lawsuit settlement needed to get the films on track.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Brotherhood of Sons

The Wonderful Sharon Lowery sent this article excerpt to me, and I'm posting it here in full support of her request. The whole article can be found here. Sharon says that all are welcome at the Lowery home Sunday night to further discuss this topic and the article mentioned recently by my husband on "The Golden Compass."

So for all our dear friends and family that have shown a picture of God's loving plan for us through adoption...
What Some Rude Questions About Adoption Taught Me About the Gospel of Christ
by Russell D. Moore

“So, are they brothers?” the woman asked. My wife Maria and I, jet-lagged from just returning from Russia, looked at each other wearily. This was the twelfth time since we returned that we’d been asked this question. This lady was looking at the grainy pictures, printed off a computer from some digital photographs, of two one-year-old boys in a Russian orphanage, boys who had only days earlier been pronounced by a Russian court to be our children, after the legally mandated waiting period had elapsed for the paperwork to be filed.Maria and I had returned to Kentucky to wait for the call to return to pick up our children, and had only these pictures of young Maxim and Sergei, our equivalent of a prenatal sonogram, to show to our friends and relatives back home. But people kept asking: “Are they brothers?”

Now Brothers
“They are now,” I replied. “Yes,” the lady snapped, “I know. But are they really brothers?” Clenching my jaw, I coolly responded, “Yes, now they are both our children so they are now really brothers.” The woman sighed, rolled her eyes, and said, “Well, you know what I mean.”

Of course, we did know what she meant. She meant did these two boys—born three weeks apart—share a common biological ancestry, a common bloodline, some common DNA. It struck me that this question betrayed what most of us tend to view as really important when it comes to sonship: traceable genetic material.

This is the reason people would also ask us, “So do you also have any children of your own?” And it is the reason newspaper obituaries will often refer to the deceased’s “adopted child,” as though this were the equivalent of a stepchild or a protégé, rather than a real offspring....

This newness of identity also informed the way we responded to questions, whether from social workers or friends, about whether we planned to “teach the children about their cultural heritage.” We assured everyone we would, and we have.Now, what most people meant by this question is whether we would teach our boys Russian folk-tales and Russian songs, observing Russian holidays, and so forth. But as we see it, that’s not their heritage anymore, and we hardly want to signal to them that they are strangers and aliens, even welcome ones, in our home.

We teach them about their heritage, but their heritage as Mississippians. They learn about their great-grandfather, the faithful Baptist pastor, about their countrymen before them in the Confederate army and the civil rights movement.... Whether our background is Norwegian or Haitian or Indonesian, if we are united to Christ, our family genealogy is found not primarily in the front pages of our dusty old family Bible but inside its pages, in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew....

We don’t think we were adopted. In our persistent Pelagianism, we assume we’re natural-born children, with a right to all of this grace, to all of this glory. We’re ashamed to think of ourselves as adopted, because to do so would focus our minds on the bloody truth that all of us in Christ, like my sons, once were lost but now we’re found, once were strangers and now we’re children, once were slaves and now we’re heirs.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mohler on The Golden Compass

Dr. Al Mohler writes:

The release of The Golden Compass as a major motion picture represents a new challenge for Christians -- especially parents. The release of a popular film with major actors that presents a message directly subversive of Christianity is something new. It is not likely to be the last.
He continues:
This is not just any fantasy trilogy or film project. Philip Pullman has an agenda -- an agenda about as subtle as an army tank. His agenda is nothing less than to expose what he believes is the tyranny of the Christian faith and the Christian church. His hatred of the biblical storyline is clear. He is an atheist whose most important literary project is intended to offer a moral narrative that will reverse the biblical account of the fall and provide a liberating mythology for a new secular age.
Read Mohler's complete comments on his blog.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Shopping Tip #2: Price Protection

So, let's say that after carefully researching a large (or small) purchase and shopping for the best price, you finally pull the trigger and buy it somewhere -- either online or in a brick and mortar store. Have you ever checked back a few days or weeks later to discover that the item is now on sale?

It's a little frustrating to realize you paid more than necessary for something, but the good news is that most retailers will give you a price adjustment for 30 days after your purchase date when the price goes down on the item you purchased. The only catch is you have to know to ask for the price adjustment, which means you have to know that the item is on sale.

There's a new little web site called Price Protectr that now makes this challenge much, much easier. After making a purchase at a participating retailer, you can simply plug the URL of the item into Price Protectr along with your e-mail address, and Price Protectr will notify you when the price drops on the item you purchased.

Participating retailers include Amazon, Babies "R" Us, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Circuit City, Costco, Gap, Lowes, Kohls, Office Depot, Office Max, Sears, Staples, and more.

I've already saved about $40 using Price Protectr on two purchases I made this year. Perhaps you'll save even more than me when you "price protect" your holiday purchases. Give it a try -- you might be surprised on how often you can get a few bucks back.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christmas Shopping, Anyone?

UPDATE (10/09): We are no longer endorsing Capitol Ministries. Please see this post for details.

Consumer Reports:

If any of you would find it helpful to do a little research before making a major purchase, please let me know. I have access to some good reviews and ratings through an online subscription with Consumer Reports.

Support Capitol Ministries while you shop:

Additionally, if you plan to shop online this holiday season, please consider starting your shopping from At no extra cost to you, a portion of your purchase will benefit Capitol Ministries. Participating retailers include, but are not limited to, the following:
Best Buy
Home Depot
Office Depot

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Four Thumbs Up for "Bella"

Looking for a good movie to see? We saw the movie Bella in a special screening earlier this year and highly commend it to you. Since it's only a limited release, you may have to look hard to find a theatre, but the extra effort will be well worth your while.

In the Sacramento area, Bella is currently showing only at the Century 14 Theatre in Roseville. (Due to some intense elements in the film, we recommend a sitter for the kids.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reformation Day Movie Night

It was just last year that I became aware that Reformation Day falls on October 31. It then occurred to me that this is a holiday worth celebrating far more than Halloween. The following are details regarding an event I'm helping put together at my local church. I hope to see you there!

(If you'd like permission to do your own public showing of this film, contact

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Whittenberg, challenging errant teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church and sparking what ultimately became known as the Reformation. Christians around the world celebrate this important day in history as “Reformation Day.”

You are invited to attend a special free showing of the movie Luther (2003) on Wednesday, October 31 at River City Grace Community Church in Sacramento. Learn more about how God used the Reformation to renew and revitalize His church. Dessert will be provided, and childcare is available for children ages three and below. RSVP online.

Reformation Day Movie Night
6:30 PM, Wednesday, October 31

River City Grace Community Church
4261 Whitney Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Danny!

Our little guy turned one today, and since mommy is taking a nap, the responsibility of sending him birthday greetings via this blog has fallen upon my shoulders.

While I've certainly been at the hospital each and every time, for some reason I don't seem to remember the birth of our children with the same, er, intensity as Christina. I do remember that during her delivery of Danny I made the mistake of letting her hold my left hand -- that's the one with my wedding ring on it. Folks, let me just tell you, that is a big mistake -- one I had consciously avoided making in the prior two deliveries.

Danny is our most "normal" child yet. We didn't show up at the hospital too early or too late. He weighed just about the normal size and has acted fairly normal as far as babies are concerned... Okay, enough rambling. Here's a photo from a year ago to bring back the memories:

We love you, Danny. Happy Birthday!!!

Today's birthday celebration photos to follow...

New Church Web Site & Blog

We'd like to take this moment to draw your attention to our new church web site. As proud parents, we can't help but point out that there's a nice photo of Eliana in the rotation on the top page.

We'd also like to take this moment to welcome Pastor Greg to the blogosophere. We've added a link to his new blog under our "Friends" links and would encourage you to check his blog out and leave a comment from time to time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Photos of Eliana and Michael

New Photos of Eliana and Michael courtesy of Rebekah Tennis (40)

Don't worry, we haven't lost Danny. We'll post some new photos of him as soon he turns one...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Win R.C. Sproul Books

Enter to win 40 copies of R.C. Sproul's most recent book, The Truth of the Cross.

Monday, October 1, 2007

New Giveaway: Grisham Novel

In light of Christina's jury duty today, it seems fitting to do a new giveaway in honor of those brave men and women across America who leave their homes and workplaces to serve on a jury.

Be the first to leave a comment claiming today's giveaway, and you win a free hardcover copy of The Runaway Jury by John Grisham.

According to the book review:

Millions of dollars are at stake in a huge tobacco-company case in Biloxi, and the jury's packed with people who have dirty little secrets. A mysterious young man takes subtle control of the jury as the defense watches helplessly, but they soon realize that he in turn is controlled by an even more mysterious young woman. Lives careen off course as they bend everyone in the case to their will.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Next Narnia Films: 2008, 2010

Christianity Today reports:

Amending an earlier plan to release one new Narnia film per year, Disney has moved the third movie in the franchise, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, from a May 2009 release date to May 2010. Disney reveals that the film will begin shooting next summer: "In consideration of the challenging schedules for our young actors, Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media have chosen to delay the start of production for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader until summer 2008."

Meanwhile, the second film in the series, Prince Caspian, will still release on May 16, 2008. The teaser poster for Caspian was unveiled last week.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

In Memory of Felicity

John Piper just lost a granddaughter. His and his family's loss is beautifully felt in his words.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mikey's Birthday Photos

Are you LinkedIn?

One of my co-workers recently told me about a professional networking site called LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is an online network of more than 14 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.

When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you.

Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to thousands of qualified professionals.

When I set up my free account at LinkedIn, I was surprised at how many people I knew who were already using the site.

I'm not sure yet how much practical benefit LinkedIn will be for me since I'm not currently seeking a job, but given my current job transition it seems like it might to be a helpful way to keep track of folks who might not send me an e-mail when they change jobs in the future. (Of course, there's always a risk that they might not update their Linkedin profile either.)

If any of you have a profile on Linkedin or decide to try setting one up, please be sure to send me an invite to be one of your links.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mikey!

Okay, so two years ago today, I was, once again, in a bit of pain...and 9 lbs, 4 oz is enough to make any mommy say, "Please God, please make the next one smaller!" But sleeping through the night by 2 weeks of age almost made up for that!

Happy, Happy Birthday, dear Michael Joseph! We love you soooo much, and we're so thankful that God made you and gave you to us! You're sweet smile, engulfing laugh, twinkling eyes, and crushing bear hugs are just a few of the many things we love about you. We couldn't imagine life without you!

(About here would be a great spot for a video clip of Mikey talking, which as Aunt Stella says, is about the cutest thing in the whole world...but alas, Daddy hasn't been able to hook the firecabelwiredoodad up to the

Happy Birthday, Mikey!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

And the verdict is...

UPDATE (9/8/07): Image replaced with higher quality scan
I'm sure that as soon as David gets five minutes at home, he'll replace the following picture...I seem to be having problems figuring out how to appropriately scan in our lil'est lil' one's picture from today...but, for all those who are eagerly awaiting the news, our family is once again balanced in the battle of the sexes!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

My New Job

UPDATE (10/09): I am no longer working for Capitol Ministries, nor endorsing the organization. Please see this post for details.

As many of you already know, I've agreed to fill the newly-created position of Communications Director for Capitol Ministries. Both Christina and I are very excited about this new opportunity, and although it won't officially start until October, we've already had the opportunity to participate in training and get to meet much of the Capitol Ministries team. Since I'll be based in Sacramento, we won't have to move, but the job will certainly involve some more travel than my current job.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Capitol Ministries, it is a non-political, non-profit organization dedicated to making disciples of Jesus Christ in the political arena, primarily by sending trained ministry leaders to state capitols to lead weekly Bible studies for legislators, lobbyists, and staff. Eventually the ministry plans to establish a national presence in DC and then, as God allows, expand to foreign capitols as well.

My new job duties will revolve primarily around getting out the word about the great work Capitol Ministries is already doing in over a dozen state capitols. While every new job has its challenges, the transition will be made easier by the fact that I've been a part of the California staff Bible study for nearly seven years. Sean and Lynne, who work in the national office, are members of our church, and Pastor Greg serves on the ministry's board of directors.

To give you a little more background on my reasons for taking this particular job, I thought it might be helpful to share the following excerpt from my application:

"God's purposes are often hidden to us and sometimes we see His reasons for the events in our lives most clearly only in hindsight. Even so, I believe that God may be calling me to work for Capitol Ministries. I offer the following three observations in support of this belief:

1. God has chosen me for His purposes and for His glory.

Being raised in a Christian home, educated in a Christian school, it was almost a given that I would profess faith in Christ at an early age. I recall praying the “sinner's prayer” on several occasions just to make sure there wasn't any confusion between God and me about my salvation.

My assurance of saving faith today, however, comes not from those early childhood professions of faith, but instead from the work that God has done in my heart and the fruit He has brought about in my life. Apart from the grace of God, I would be a proud independent rebel, blinded by my sin, doomed for destruction.

But instead of giving me what I deserve, God saw fit to give me a heart of faith and to justify me through Christ's atoning work in my place. Although I am certainly still in an ongoing process of sanctification, God has given me a growing desire to walk in obedience to His Word and to bear fruit for His kingdom.

2. God has given me an interest in politics but also a clear understanding of its limitations.

In my high school and college years, I was active on behalf of many political causes. However, more recently through the biblical teaching I have received, I have grown to see more clearly that ideological political action, even when it advocates righteous principles, cannot solve the deepest problems facing mankind.

Although government restrains the worst effects of our sin nature, it cannot cure that disease. At the root of nearly all of our political problems lies willful sin and rebellion. Since the gospel is the cure for the disease of sin, it is also the most effective cure to our political problems, since nearly all of them are the result of sin. Accordingly, the evangelism and discipleship work of the local church and of organizations like Capitol Ministries is far more important than that of any political party.

3. God has given me a growing desire to know His Word better, spend more time in it, and assist in its proclamation to others.

Although I have enjoyed working for several legislators and have learned much about various policy matters, one of the drawbacks of my current job is that it allows little time to learn more about God or His Word. Accordingly, for some time now I have had a desire to have a job where at least some of my work-related activities would be of greater spiritual benefit to me and my family. In addition, while I certainly enjoy my current job and am happy to do it as unto the Lord and for His glory, if given the choice, I would prefer to spend more of my working hours doing work that would more directly assist in the expansion of Christ's kingdom."

I'm sure there will be opportunity to share more about Capitol Ministries via this blog in the weeks and months ahead, but if you'd like to learn more right now or sign up for regular e-mail updates, check out their newly redesigned web site.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Just Another Sunny Day in Iraq

As many of you know, Aaron Towner, my childhood best friend and best man at Christina's and my wedding, is currently serving in Iraq. I thought you'd enjoy this photo he recently sent over. Please keep him and his fellow soldiers in your prayers.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Three Years...

This is where I get to say that, three years ago today, I was in a bunch of pain, fighting with nurses, and truly thinking that my sweet-tempered husband was going to get arrested for punching an evil doctor in the nose! (Actually, the nurses weren't that bad. We had a couple really great ones that time...)

Happy Birthday, dear (creative, compassionate and opinionated) Eliana! God truly has answered us with joy! We love you bunches!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


David: "Do you think we'll ever describe Eliana as 'normal'?"

Christina: "Not a chance."

Duke the Wonderpup

Before leaving for our Colorado trip, we had the joy of puppysitting Duke, the newest addition to the Stoever family. The kids loved having him around...

Eliana discovered that the puppy napped often... so in order to get some extra puppy time, she joined in on his naps.

Danny thought this high-energy pup was a bit of a handful, until he uncovered the secret to bonding with Duke.

And Mikey and Duke became the best of pals, though capturing both of these speedy lil' guys in the same photo was the most challenging task of the week!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Piper in Sacramento

John Piper will be the featured speaker at this regional conference in Sacramento October 12-13. The theme will be the "Pleasures of God." The conference cost is $30, but for the price of admission you'll get a "free bag of Desiring God resources."

If you want to go, I'd suggest registering soon, because once the word gets out this conference will likely fill up fast.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Get $10 Cash Back at Ebates

From now through September 15, Ebates is offering a $10 "double bonus offer." Use a link in this post to sign-up for Ebates, make at least one purchase, and you'll receive a $10 bonus in addition to the regular cash back you get by making purchases through Ebates. (We'll also get a matching $10 bonus if you use one of the links in this post.) This is a great deal! It effectively means you can buy something for $10 online and get all of your money back.

Ebates is one of several "share the wealth" web sites that have sprung up on the web recently. Here's how it works: Let's say you're going to make a purchase at Before you actually make your purchase, go to the Ebates web site, register or log in and click on the link. Once you do this, you'll get 4% cash back on any purchase you make at on that visit.

No, this isn't a scam. Ebates is simply sharing a percentage of the kick-back it receives for referring you to an online merchant's web site. Most other web sites keep it all for themselves.

Other great cash back sites include:

BondRewards: Instead of giving you cash, Bond Rewards lets you collect points redeemable for U.S. Savings Bonds. To find the true "cash value" of the bond points you receives at Bond Rewards, simply divide them by two (since a $50 series EE savings bond costs $25 to purchase.) If you're interested in signing up for BondRewards, let me know so I can send you a referral e-mail.

FatWallet: This site is a lot like Ebates but it includes some different online retailers and offers higher cash back percentages at times. In addition to providing cash back on certain retailers, offers a unique reverse auction live shopping show called "Smack Shopping." Christina and I have used Smack shopping to get great deals on quite a few products, including an iPod and a KitchenAid. (Use the referral link on this post when you sign up and I'll get credit.)

Although none of these web sites provides cash back on purchases, you should always feel free to use the link on this blog to help out your favorite diaper fund. We receive cash back on any purchases you make when you use our link, which is always readily available in the list of links on the sidebar of our blog (under "Other").

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Diapers for Four?

Mommy is hard at work this week, with help from Auntie Laura, attempting to convince Eliana that, yes, she really does want to go "pee-pee" and "poo-poo" in her Winnie the Pooh potty seat.

Eliana, who turns three this month, has a mind of her own about these sorts of things. Although she'll happily sit on the potty seat, she seems particularly resolute in her efforts to ensure that nothing comes out, despite tempting offers of cookies and M&Ms as a reward for any small success.

As you may have guessed, the stakes for this blog, Diapers for Three, are high. If Eliana isn't potty trained by the time #4 arrives in January, we'll have four kids in diapers, making our current blog name and web address obsolete (at least temporarily so).

But to ensure that you, our dear faithful reader, do not lose sleep over this dreadful prospect, I've secured the blog address Should Eliana's heroic resistance continue into 2008, we'll always have the option of moving our posts over there for whatever time is necessary.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Big Broods on the Rise?

According to NPR's weekend edition, the "newest status symbol for the nation's most affluent families is fast becoming a big brood of kids."

Of course, NPR seems to think that a "big brood" is three or four kids. This Arkansas mom might disagree. She just gave birth to baby #17 and isn't opposed to having more.

Amy and Lila Report on Colorado Trip

The following are firsthand reports by Amy and Lila, who accompanied us on our recent trip to Colorado.


On July 20th, 2007, [David, Christina, Eliana, Michael, Daniel], Lila, and I left for Colorado. We were going to be gone for a week and were super excited! The first day of the trip we drove 10 hours, from California to Salt Lake City, then stopped at the Courtyard Marriott for the night. It was a very nice hotel. The next day we drove 7 hours to Montrose, Colorado. I have to tell you it was beautiful!

The next few days were wonderful! We went to various places including the Black Canyon, Ouray, and Box Cañon Falls, which were all wonderful because we were out in God's creation. I was very sad to have to leave Montrose but very grateful for the time we had there! This trip was one of the most wonderful trips I've been on and ever will be!


Well, as everyone knows, Amy and I went to Colorado! It was supposed to be a surprise for Laura but her mom ruined it. That was very funny.

The day we left was a very long day. Nevada was very dull. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott (aka, Cockroach Inn) which was very nice and the next morning we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Yum!

The day we got to Colorado, we received a very warm welcoming from [Christina's parents] and a wonderful dinner. Then we went to Charity’s house. Oh my goodness, it is soooooooo beautiful! We stayed in her bonus room, which has a pool table.

On Sunday we went to [Christina's parents'] house and had a BBQ for Charity’s home coming. (She had just returned from Hong Kong). That was very fun.

Monday was very relaxing. We just stayed home and watched movies and hung out. And Laura had a doctor’s appointment for her boil behind her ear.

Tuesday was awesome. We went to the Black Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. It was AMAZING. Then we went to a going away party for one of Laura’s friends who is moving to Texas.

On Wednesday we went to Box Canyon Falls, where [David] proposed to [Christina]. It was so pretty! And we had some yummy ice cream in a little town called Ouray. That was one of the best days.

Then on Thursday, sadly we left. BUT! Laura came back with us!! Yippee!! We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott again, and Laura, Amy, and I got our own room! It was so much fun. We stayed up late, swam, and ate junk food.

Friday was very long because my nose started to plug up so I couldn’t sleep very well in the car. But it was fun anyway. We stopped at 5 McDonald’s on the way! I have to say it was one of the best trips in the world!! Every day was completely wonderful. I can’t wait to go again.

In case you missed them, photos of the Colorado trip are available here.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Piper on Minnesota Bridge Collapse

Minneapolis-based Pastor John Piper responds to the collapse of the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Colorado Trip Photos

Special thanks to Lila and Amy, who accompanied us on our recent trip to Colorado and took most of these photos.

Colorado Trip (67 photos)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thank you, God!

*Please note: This post contains a wee bit of sappiness and much rambling. If such things cause you nausea, repulsion, or disgust, please feel free to discontinue reading.*

David worked late last night, with the Assembly in session to pass the state budget. I had fallen asleep before he got home, but woke up when he walked in the front door. After chatting with him about the evening and our upcoming trip, he fell asleep...But I was unable to follow suit, excited about our plans to see my family this week and thinking about what needed to be done, and then, reminiscing...

Five years ago this night I was also pretty excited and sleepless. I couldn't stay in bed for the joy and anticipation of what I was going to face the next day -- my wedding to my beloved. I couldn't believe that God had brought David into my life...that a man like him even existed, much more that I would love him so, and he would choose me as the one with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life.

(On a side note, 7 years, 3 months ago tonight was also a pretty sleepless night for me...Thinking about this boy I had been getting to know was just too much to allow me to rest...That sleeplessness, and a dear roommate's encouragement, prompted me to get out of bed and write him an email, asking David out on our first date!)

Now, (at least before I snuck out of bed to write this post), I lay beside this man, my husband of the last five years, my hand resting on my stomach where our fourth child grows, and truly, I am amazed and awed by the One who gives such good, sweet gifts.

I am also amazed at how God has changed David and I in the last five years. He has taken two young, in-love, but independent beings and melded them into one...I think of all the ways our hearts and thoughts have changed during this time. It truly is a work of God...and yet He is in no way finished with us yet...

I think of David - amazing five years ago - absolutely inspiring today. He loves so fully, so self-lessly, so consistently and persistently. This man is a product of the day-by-day grace of God working in his life. He strives to love as God loves...a truly humbling and inspiring gift in a husband.

And with this all, I eagerly anticipate tomorrow, next year, the next 50 years, if God so chooses to keep us on this earth for that long. Seeing the faithfulness of God over these last years, and throughout history, gives me such hope and joy in what He will accomplish in the future. Though it may contain difficulties, pain, trial and tribulations of any sort, I look forward to what God has in store for us on this earth...and even more so, an eternity with this awesome God.

And, I look forward to seeing how God continues to change David and mold us into the children, the spouses, the parents, the friends and family that He wants us to be. I pray that we will grow in His love and faithfulness...and that we would care more about the lost and dying world around us, that we might more fully and eagerly reflect and point them to the One that created them.

I expect our Danny to be waking up soon, so I'll leave my ramblings here and sneak back into bed...Actually, I hear him now...

Joyfully and thankfully,

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nearly Five Years...

Can you believe Christina and I have been married for nearly five years? Although our anniversary isn't until July 20, we'll be heading up to Tahoe this weekend to celebrate a few days early.

As we look back over the last five years, we are thankful to God for his abundant grace in bringing us together and blessing us with a great marriage (and cute kids). I'm especially thankful for the tremendous gift of Christina, who is an awesome wife, mother, and friend. It gets harder and harder each year to imagine life without her. And, last but not least, we're thankful for all your support, love, and friendship.

For all of you nostalgic types, here's a slideshow of our wedding photos. More photos from before and after our wedding ceremony are available here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Online Shopping Tip #1: Research, Research, Research

When the mercury hits triple digits and you have three kids in diapers with naptimes and bedtimes to think about, online shopping becomes a very attractive alternative to traditional shopping venues. Even if you don't have kids, online shopping can be much more pleasant and often less expensive than driving from store to store in search of a certain product at a certain price.

Over the past few years, we've (hopefully) become a bit more savvy at finding deals online. In this upcoming series of posts, we'll share with you a few tidbits of our acquired wisdom in hopes that it might aid you in your shopping endeavors.

Tip #1: Research, Research, Research

Before you buy anything whether online or in a store, take a few minutes to make sure you're not buying junk. The following are a few resources you might want to consult: Regardless of whether you ultimately make your purchase on Amazon, the Amazon customer reviews are a great resource. Look for products that have 4 or 5 star ratings, but also skim the actual reviews for further guidance. (Hint: Try sorting the product category results to see which items are bestselling or have the best customer ratings.)

Consumer Reports: For $26/year you can have online access to all of Consumer Reports' great product reviews. If you've never consulted this resource before, you may be surprised how often spending will get you an inferior product rather than a better one. (I have a subscription, so if you're ever planning a major purchase and want to see an article, just let me know.)

Epinions: Another good resource. You won't find a review for every product at Epinions, but when you do they are typically very thorough and informative.

Google: Try searching Google for the particular product and model number you are interested in and add the word "review" to your search. Typically Amazon and Epinions reviews will turn up in the search results, but you'll often find other reviews as well.

Do you have a research tip you'd like to share? If so, feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Save the Smelly Carpet!

This carpet (approximately 7.5' x 5') needs a new home.

By using the adjective "smelly" in the headline of this post, I don't intend to say that the carpet totally stinks... However if one just happens to put one's face close to said carpet, one may detect a slight musty odor that might not rank in one's top 10 list of favorite smells of all time.

But does this carpet's unappealing odor require it to be banished to the dumpster? Say it ain't so!

There are all sorts of possible ways this carpet could be put to good use, including:

  • Use it to provide a little extra padding in the bed of that brand new pickup you just purchased.
  • Or put it in the garage to create a more comfortable place for your new puppy to hang out.
  • Or spray paint it red, so you'll have the appropriate gear handy next time royalty drops by.

The clock is ticking... who will save the smelly carpet?

First one to leave a comment claiming it, gets it. Free delivery for Sacramento residents only.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Piper for $5

This Wednesday and Thursday (June 27-28) Desiring God Ministries is offering all books by John Piper for only $5 each. If you haven't read anything by Piper before, this is a great opportunity to check him out.

As part of my Friday morning Bible study, we've read Desiring God and are currently reading Let the Nations be Glad! I highly recommend both.

If you've read any books by Piper that you would recommend, please feel free to leave a comment.