Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Austin based band, Balmorhea, released their new album:: Constellations :: on Tuesday. This music is in a class all of its own. Here is a little taste:: and the cute crazy haired guitarest might be my cousin:: wink::

Balmorhea "Untitled 1" from Retread Sessions on Vimeo.

Get it on iTunes HERE

Monday, February 22, 2010

Take 3

Monday night I got to see Switchfoot for the third time since September. This evening will be remembered for years to come, if not a lifetime. It was full of excitement, anticipation, anxiety, tragedy, pain, hope and song.

Since I am a member of The Friends of the Foot, the bands fan club (go ahead laugh, i am secure in my fan-ness) I get "meet and greet passes" to all shows and am able to go to sound check. The funny thing is, I have NEVER done it. I always chicken out. I mean, what am I going to say to them..."umm, hi, your music is amazing and I stalk you because of it." seriously. The only time I have ever spoke with the band, and I have had my fair share of times, I talked about how their new album at the time (Learning to Breathe) had so many undertones of the CS Lewis books I had been reading. We had a great talk about how their dad read them CS Lewis every night growing up. It was a great chat. I walked away and felt like a moron...and have never spoke to them again.

Vernon, who is NOT a concert goer, decided he would come to the show with me this time. He is also Switchfoot fan and more specifically a Jon Forman fan. When we found out our great friends, Sarah and Andrew, were coming in from KC for it, he was in forsure. Vernon, knowing how much I chicken-out, said he would go in to the meet and greet with me (because I get two passes to all shows). The sound check was superb and fun. They guys came down from the stage and just hung out with all the FOTFers for about 45 min. We got to tell them how they have impacted our lives, writing songs about the hard things and about redemption. These guys are our age, married and have children. I was in awe of how sincere they were, how honest and open they were and how kind they were even to the 17 year-old over excited girl who had drawn them a picture and talked their ears off. These guys are legit.

We got the best seats in the house...literally, center of the bar, no one in between us and our view of the stage . This was the first concert I have EVER been to that I about restraint. But there was NO WAY in the world we would have gotten Vernon to stand in the pit with all the jumping, yelling crazies. It makes me laugh just thinking about it!

We got settled for the show and we were enjoying the opening band when Vernon's phone rang. It was a friend who would normally call my phone instead of his. He said, "should I answer?" because it was loud. I said, "she probably wants us to let her hear a song, I'll call her on one of her favorites." But Vernon decided to pick up and go to the back to get the call, "just incase" ...and I am so glad he did.

This call was one you never dream you will get from one of your best friends. The worst of the worst tragedy was explained to him on the phone. He walked back to our seats stunned and told me what had happened. We immediately began sending out texts to friends for prayers. Our hearts were so heavy.

It was now time for Switchfoot to come on. We were deciding if we should leave and get packed to go to be with our friends, or stay and enjoy the show. We knew we could not head out that late in the bad weather. So we stayed, hearts heavy for our friends, excited for the show and every emotion in between. Each song, filled with hope and reality, loss and redemption ministered to my heart as I processed the news we just received. Lyrics like::

It's no accident we're here tonight
We are once in a lifetime
All is not lost
All is not lost
Become who you are
It happens once in a lifetime


these are the scars
deep in your heart
this is the place you were born
this is the hole
where most of your soul
comes ripping out
from the places you've been torn
and it is always yours
but I am always yours
I'm caving in
I'm in love again
I'm a wretched man
every breath is a second chance

This night will be remembered for years to come as we journey through this tragedy with our friends. Thank you Switchfoot for being a part of the process, even though you have no idea.

And on a lighter note, our friend Sarah who came with us is and AMAZING photographer and all of the above are her pics from the night. Love you Sarah and Andrew! What a great evening!

Monday, February 08, 2010


Being the great mother that I am, my poor second child missed both his 15 month and 18 month check up. This is his 20th month of life and he finally got to go to a check up. I guess this wouldn't be all that bad if we weren't doing the Alternative Vaccination Schedule. He hasn't been immunized since his 14th month. We will be doing some monthly visits to catch back up and stay with the regimen.

Justus weighed in at almost 31 lbs and measured 35 inches tall. He is in the mid 90th percentile for both. He is so big. Everywhere we go I feel compelled to explain that he is only 20 months so they don't expect him to respond like a 3 year old because he looks like one!

Justus is a fun, easy going guy. He has the BEST belly laugh! He loves to have fun and is mostly interested in balls and bats and anything his big brother is doing. He enjoys our Ugandan drums and plays them everyday. He stacks them, bangs them, fills them with toys...all sort of things. He is adjusting to life in MO very well. He has a few little friends, Lina and Eli. Lina is a bit younger than J but...she could be the cutest thing I have ever seen. I love her. love her! Eli is a sweet little boy that is almost exactly J's age. He was adopted by a sweet family in our small group and he is just precious. And I must not forget, Mikail Kuntz. I still can not believe we live close enough for J and M to be friends! YAY! I am excited for these friendships to grow.

Justus is not very interested in his letters and colors but loves his shapes. This is the opposite of our hyper verbal first born. He is way more interested in tackling, running, spinning and being social. This boy can play and play and play and play! He is SOO FUN!

We talk about his friends from Texas and are excited to see them in March. Bear, Klaire, Shawn and Gabe....seriously we must have a play date!

The photos have been lacking as of late, so I will do my best to bring them back!
What's On The Menu Monday

If you are new around this blog, each Monday I post what we will be eating for the week. This method of planning has helped out so much in our budget. Just sitting down for a couple minutes looking in the pantry and refrigerator then making a menu BEFORE heading to the store. This allows me to cut appropriate coupons, make a complete list and NOT be stuck each afternoon racking my frazzled brain about what we should eat. So here is what is up for this week:

Gluten Free Build Your Own Waffles with Scrambled Eggs and Turkey Bacon (Erin be proud "bye bye pork" ;) : just mix up a gfree waffle mix, warm up the waffle iron and let each person choose their flavor. ex. blueberries, peanut butter, chocolate chips or even sprinkles! This is lots of fun and the kids love it!

Split Pea Soup : I got a split pea soup mix from my mother-in-law (Robyne) for Christmas. I have been hoping to make it and just haven't yet.

Ahi Tuna Steaks and Quiona : you prob get tired of seeing these steaks on here, but we love them and they are sooo easy and SO good for us. This will be my first time to make Quiona, I am a little nervous, but I have brown rice as back up.

Fish Taco Bowls: or something of the like. I have a lot of talapia and Mahi I need to use.

Black Bean Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: the sandwiches will be Ezekiel Bread with soy cheese

Things I will try to bake::

Gfree brownies (TJ brand are the BEST!): i am making these to go with the new Ice Cream we bought today at TJ's...YUM.
Almond Meal Banana Nut Muffins

We will be gone Friday and Saturday for Eden's third bday so the menu was small this week. ENJOY!
What are you cooking?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Bob Kauflin's Post :: Open the Eyes of My (Face), Lord

The post I am coping below was posted by Bob Kauflin who is the Director or Worship Development at Soverign Grace Ministries. He is a renown author, song writer and worship leader. He is training the next generation of worship leaders through his books and his blog. I always enjoy reading his blog and his book Worship Matters is a must read for all worship leaders and pastors. (or even people interested in the topic)

For years now I have had COUNTLESS conversations over the topic of worship leaders closing their eyes as they lead. I spoke with a number of people in congregations who "dont get" this or are completely distracted by it. They think "if they are suppose to be leading us why are they not "connecting" with us and helping us/leading us." To which I would agree. The role of the leader is to engage the congregation and invite them into the Praise of the Living GOD. Like Kauflin in the below post states, there is times for closing your eyes. Its not a do or do not issue.

ANYWAY:: I would love for you to read this article and discuss through commenting! ENJOY

Open the Eyes of My (Face), Lord by Bob Kauflin

Paul Baloche’s song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” has been sung by millions of Christians throughout the world. It’s a song based on Ephesians 1, asking God to open our spiritual eyes that we might know him better.

But I wonder if those of us who lead congregational worship shouldn’t be asking God to open our physical eyes, too.

Why do leaders close their eyes so often? Not just for a few moments, but for 5, 10, even 15 minutes. I’ve seen leaders and vocalists keep their eyes shut from the first note we sing to the final “Amen” of the closing prayer.

There are definitely some good reasons to close our eyes. We want to shut out distractions. We want to focus completely on the words we’re singing. Our hearts are deeply moved by God’s mercy and we respond in humble adoration.

But are those the reasons we usually have in mind when we close our eyes? Are we even thinking about what we’re doing? Or why we’re doing it?

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you find yourself closing your eyes when you lead for one or more of these not-so-good reasons.

  • we want to look spiritual
  • we think the Holy Spirit likes closed eyes more than opened eyes
  • we don’t want to look at the faces of people who seem apathetic, concerned, confused, or angry about what we’re doing
  • we’re battling fear of man and the easiest thing to do is just pretend that no one else is around
  • we don’t want to see who walks out of the room
  • we’re discouraged by the dwindling number of people showing up on Sundays
  • we’re imagining that this is our own personal encounter with God
  • we don’t remember the words to the next verse
  • we can’t think of anything better to do

Not to mention that worship leaders who shut their eyes sometimes look more like they’re in pain than in God’s presence.

Corporate worship has a horizontal aspect that glorifies God. We’re to teach and admonish one another while we sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16). We’re to “strive to excel in building up the church” (1 Cor. 14:12). At the same time we’re singing with gratitude in our hearts to God and very aware that he’s present with us. Both directions — horizontal and vertical — are important to consider if we want to benefit fully from our time together.

That’s why I’ve come to think that more often than not, it’s better for me to keep my eyes open when I’m leading people in singing God’s praise. It’s not that I don’t ever close my eyes. I do. It’s just that in recent years I’m becoming more aware of the good reasons to keep them my eyes open:

  • I can see how people are responding (or not responding) and adjust what I’m doing accordingly
  • It’s easier for me to communicate to people how the truths we’re singing are affecting me when I look at them
  • My heart is encouraged when I see people who seem to be genuinely engaging with God
  • I can share the joy in Christ I’m experiencing by looking at the other musicians
  • I can communicate directions more clearly to the team
  • I’m more aware of what’s happening around me
  • I can see what I’m playing on the piano
  • I can read the lyrics to the song

Don’t hear what I’m not saying. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to close our eyes when we’re singing songs of praise to God. I just don’t think Scripture says that has to be our default.

To put things in perspective, having our spiritual eyes opened is far more important than having our physical eyes opened.

But maybe it would help us and those we lead if we did a little more of the second.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


no i am not preggo:: WE HAVE A NEW WEBSITE!

I have mentioned here and there on my blog posts that I have had a lot of deadlines as of late and

is the end result!

PLEASE stop in and let us know what you think!

ps:: i did not forget WOTMM this week, infact I thought alot about its since I got to buy a fair share of RED MEAT this week because Vernon is in MN. I am a type O blood type and require 4 servings of red meat a week....not easy to do when your husband is type A and is not allowed to have ANY! needless to say, Titus, Justus and I will be having a lot of hamburgers the next few days! YUMM.