Friday, September 26, 2008

Viva la Vida. . .

Or Death and All His Friends. Yes, I am speaking of perhaps the most epic music to ever hit your eardrums. If you do not have Coldplay's new album, you are not living. Why am I writing about this you might ask? Well, Coldplay is our favorite band and as you may recall, in 2005 our entire wedding party walked down the aisle to the song "Fix You." Also epic, by the bye. We went with JJ's sister Emily a few years back and have still not recovered from all of the residual awesomeness. So, in anticipation of their upcoming album, JJ and I tossed around the idea of seeing a show in this tour. As it turned out, Coldplay would not be stopping by the great PNW and our dreams were crushed. Until one day, on a whim, JJ bid for tickets on eBay. This is not normal for him, but he tried anyway. The result was two tickets to what might be the end all, be all of our short, concert-going lives. The only problem: we have to get back to California and the Ankle Express,--albeit free--would take too long. Being the jet-setters we are, we got cheap-ish plane tickets and packed our bags once again for Los Angeles. The result was a mind-blowing evening of Chris Martin and the gang once again showing up all musicians for all of eternity.

We had time to kill before our flight the next day, so we got a couple of tickets to Knott's Berry Farm and did things I hope to never do again. I learned that I can't control myself when I go from 0 to 80 in 2 seconds and if a five year old tells me that a vertical drop at that speed is "no big deal" that I should not believe her. We had a blast, but we are fairly certain that we are all theme-parked out for the year! 

Check out some pictures and videos of the concert and Knott's. If you are going to the Coldplay concert soon, don't watch the videos!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Campers

Every summer (and fall, winter, and spring) JJ spends a majority of his time planning camp for our junior high and high school kids at Shiloh. We took 50 high school kids to Farragut State Park to camp out for a week. It involves  swimming, water sports, volleyball, Frisbee, night games, sharing meals together, singing, and learning about Jesus. It's a blast  and a blessing to be able to get to know students better. We also get to know ourselves better which is something we forget to do as we get so busy with work and school. 

By far, the best part about this camp is what it evolved into as the week progressed. As leaders we didn't have a lot of direction and decided that we were going to try and not make camp so programatic. We often lose ourselves and in the methods we use to get kids to think about Jesus and how we relate to him. So we decided to ask God to take control of the camp (cue: "Hey Captain Obvious!") and when we let go and allowed him to do that, amazing things happened. Truth was shared among friends and enemies, reconciliation took place, grace was given, and our relationships with each other and God were strengthened. I speak for a lot of people when I say that it might have been the first time I have ever truly felt that I accepted the presence of God at a camp. I have felt him in the midst before, but this might have been the first time I could visibly see God moving in his people and his will being carried out by his people. High schoolers are amazing human beings and have a great capacity to change this broken up world with the love they have for God.

A closing note: Thanks to JJ for being a humble leader and allowing God to take over this ministry that he is so invested in! Check out some pictures to the right. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

In the springtime, JJ and I decided we had been far too serious in our 6 years of relationship and that it was about time to let loose and have some fun before life got complicated. What better place to do that than the Magic Kingdom? So, in May we packed our Mouseketeer ears and flew to Anaheim for a quick four days. We did the California thing; Venice Beach, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and the Kodak Center. We spent two lovely days with Mickey and all of his friends, acting like kids and having no inhibitions. We saved money by not going to Universal Studios because--oh yes--it burned down in places. That was too bad. I also had my very first In-N-Out Burger experience and I'm obviously hooked on the Double Double Animal Style. . . Or whatever. We had so much fun and it was a much needed break from school and work. Disneyland was the proverbial bottle of champaign cracked on the bough of our ship o' summer fun. Check out the pictures to your right!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oh the Places You'll Go. . .

We've set up this blog to let our family and friends know what we are have been up to lately. We have been gone a lot this summer and have had some incredible, life-changing experiences that we would really love to share with you. So, go ahead and take a look around. Feel free to comment and ask questions if you would like to!