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Archive for the ‘Vacation’ Category


I was off to the airport a bit early this morning thanks to the 5 inches (and counting) of snow that fell overnight and into the morning.  I had a 12:30 flight home.  The snow made slow going, which was not helped by the driver’s incessent need to look around and see damage from last week’s ice storm.  He slowed down even more.  A few times we were caught behind snow plows or caught in an accident slowdown.  So, the time before my flight decreased as my anxiety increased.

Shortly after 11 we pulled into the Albany airport.  There was no curbside check-in so I had to endure the line inside.  Anxiety level (sinfully) rising.  After checking my bag, I went up the escalator to security.  I still needed to go to the bathroom (I had a cup of tea earlier) and grab some lunch before hopping on the plane.  Predictably (?) the usually quiet Albany airport had a fairly lengthy line that was moving sslloowwllyy.  Finally 2 more TSA employees showed up to get it moving faster.  Yes!  The x-ray machine broke.  No!!  But I still got through with plenty of time to take care of my ‘errands’  before heading to the gate.

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Everything seemed to get off to a good start.  We went to bed at a reasonable hour, mostly packed and oatmeal soaking for a quick breakfast for the kids.  We’d be getting them up a little early, not way before the crack of dawn like on other trips, to get on the road to the airport by 7:30.  This would give up plenty of time to get to OIA in time for our 10:05 flight to Albany.  But you know what they say about the “best laid plans of mice and men.”

It broke down near the end of my shower.  CavWife went to get the kids up.  CavBoy had peed so much it soaked through his diaper, PJs (which we were hoping to have him wear on the flight) and into his sheets.  So CavWife was involved with stripping his bed and sent him into a still-dripping dad to strip him down and put him on the potty.

This was the morning that he decided he had to poop first thing.  And it took time as the minutes quickly went by.  Suddenly I heard CavGirl screaming from the kitchen.  To help avoid illness being passed around the plane, we gave the kids Airborne.  CavWife mistakenly put it in CavGirl’s water bottle.  So, it fizzed away building up pressure until CavGirl opened it.  It erupted, spraying  our very dramatic/traumatic daughter.  So much for not having to change her clothes…

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Joined at the Hip

Joined at the Hip

The last week seems to be a blur.  We are now back in hot, humid Florida.  The travel day was filled with way too much whining and crying.  Seems to put a damper on a good vacation.  Returning also means a return to my responsibilities- first of which is finding a way to support my family.  Yes, puts a damper on the whole thing.  But let’s ponder more interesting things!

Here are the “highlights”.

Monday night I learned that a church has begun checking references.  This is great news!  The result of the process is not certain, but the process has begun and maybe that will result in something really positive.

Tuesday we missed Tropical Storm Fay.  Our home got plenty of rain, but we did not experience the flooding many other communities in Florida and elsewhere did.  Better than that, CavWife and I stole away for a lunch alone.  A quiet lunch!  No crying, complaining etc.  We enjoyed each other’s company and talked about a few things- including my impressions of Job this time through (2nd time in a year).

CavWife's New Doo

CavWife

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It was a different week.  My brothers-in-law were away on a missions trip to Mississippi.  Not as much male interaction.  ESPN and ESPN 2 have not been available on the cable the last 5-6 days, so I’m suffering from the DTs.  I was also slowed down by a summer cold that started with sniffles => sore throat => running nose => cough.  A real pleasure.

I Need a Dentist

I Need a Dentist

On Wednesday and Friday we went to the Word of Life Ranch to visit the petting zoo.  The kids loved it.  They had goats, sheep, llamas (in desperate need of dental work), chickens, cows, horses, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets.  CavGirl’s priceless comment- “They’re stinky.  They need a bath.”  We were also able to spend time in the fort playground.  I pushed the kids on the tire swing, and they enjoyed the slides.  On Wednesday’s trip we had lunch at the WoL campground with some friends of CavWife who still work at Word of Life.  Both trips ended with rain shortening the stay.

Radio station options way up here are limited.  So for both rides to Schroon Lake, we ‘enjoyed’ the worst of the 80’s.  Lots of bad flashbacks, so I’m surprised we didn’t crash the SUV.  I hadn’t heard “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for many years, and heard it 2 times this past week.  Sigh.

CavParents arrived Thursday and stayed until Saturday.  They skipped the petting zoo.  Don’t blame them- smelly animals and poop-covered shoes.  It got pretty noisy around here though with up to 11 cousins running around.  Sometimes they played well together, and other times …. not quite.  The rainy week didn’t help matters.  CavBoy and his youngest cousin here are getting along famously.  Just like Frick & Frack now that she is feeling better.  This is good since CavGirl is able to enjoy her older cousins.  He doesn’t feel as left out now.

Friday night we all got together for dinner at Aunt Jane’s place at the bottom of the hill.  Mom’s lasaugna with meatballs & sausage, and Bernie’s eggplant parmesian (I passed on the eggplant) followed by ice cream.

Saturday I helped my sister-in-law work on their new home near the bottom of the hill.  I spackled over the screws in the drywall, helped move in some furniture, and helped with some staining of the trim.

On Sunday I preached at Calvary Bible Church in Wevertown.  I ended up choosing a shortened version of my sermon on adoption from Ephesians.  It went well.

I’m antsy … I want to become a productive member of society again.  Still no progress on any fronts.  It can eat at you if you have too much time on your hands, which, by definition, you do.

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It is hard to believe it is Saturday.  Life has slowed down tremendously since we hopped on that plane Tues. morning.  The big rush to de-clutter the house was done.  We were packed and gone.

Since then I’ve been doing some reading.  That has been hard for me lately.  I’ve had trouble concentrating.  There were far too many things going on, and I deperately needed a change of scenery- and weather.  I got both.  So my concentration has returned.  As you may have noticed, I read Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian.  Dr. Nicole taught me to read those I don’t agree with (or other ivew points) so I can see their own arguments first hand lest someone mischaracterize them.  Glad I read it, and I still disagree with him.

In addition to starting to read Job, I’m reading Sinclair Ferguson’s book on Ruth, Faithful God.  It is really good.  As someone who is going through a difficult time, I need that reminder that God’s plan is not always evident until it has completely unfolded.  And that might be long after you’re gone.

It’s not all serious- I’m reading a Dean Koontz novel I picked off the bookshelf here.

I’ve been helping my brother-in-law get the website ready for his business.  I’ll also be helping to get their financial system integrated on the software.  My sister-in-law has too much going on the learn the system and get it all integrated herself.  Since the guys at Riedinger & Sons are heading off to Mississippi for a missions trip today, I’ll be able to work on this with no new invoices etc. 

The weather has been quite varied.  Plenty of sun, and plenty of rain too.  The tempuratures are mostly in the 60’s-70’s.  A very nice  change of pace allowing me to sit outside and read.  Sadly, no cigars to enjoy outside.  But my sister-in-law provided me with some Smithwick’s Irish Ale as a treat.  Quite nice.

I helped my other brother-in-law work on his new house today.  I was priming the dry wall in a few closets.  And tonight I’m cooking some Cajun Back Ribs.

I know some of you are more concerned about the kids.  They are having a blast.  CavGirl loves coming here and playing with her cousins.  It is the first time CavBoy has come to the Farm.  He might be feeling a bit left behind as she goes on adventures with her cousins.  But he’s getting more adventurous.  Both are playing long and hard, so naps and night time have been met with quickly nodding off to sleep.  Parenting has required less time and energy.

I got some great pictures of the humming birds.  At one point there were 5 vying for the feeder.  I couldn’t get the beautiful finch.  He was too skittish when I came near with the camera.  That and the territorial battle he was engaged in with another bird.  I don’t have the right software here, so posting any of them will have to wait.

I was disappointed to discover that my capo and picks were not in the guitar case where I thought I left them.  This greatly reduces what I can do with old vacation guitar while I’m up here.

Well, a beautiful sunny afternoon is calling my name.

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The kids have been playing “going to the Farm” and “riding on the airplane.”  I think they are ready to head north, away from the heat and humidity to spend time with grandparents and cousins galore.

I know I need a change of scenery.  I’ll continue my “search for work” while I’m up there.  It would be great to have an offer on the house and a job close to in hand by the time we return.  I should spend some time working for my brother-in-law, so I’m not sure how often I post while we are gone.  Oh, and I do need to spend time with CavWife and CavKids!

I will be preaching at the small church nearby while we’re up there.  The pastor will be taking a trip himself.  I’m undecided as to which sermon to offer.

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9 Mark Ministries compiled some ways for pastors to better love their wives (we’re talking a plurality of pastors, not polygamy) and kids.  Some of them are very good.  Some make me wonder “how?”  I’ll put my comments, silly and otherwise in brackets and in red.  Since they are compiled, there are some that sound inconsistent, go with it … they are suggestions.

IN RELATION TO YOUR FAMILY…

  1. Take the initiative and establish a plan for family worship. Then follow the plan! (Don Whitney encourages “brevity, regularity, and flexibility” in family worship.)
  2. Come home at the exact time you say you will be home; and prepare your heart to serve your family, not be served.  [this is very difficult to do regularly, at least for me.  there is that sinful sense of entitlement that plagues me when I return home, I want to rest not parent/husband.  i need grace.]
  3. Take responsibility for your children’s education and discipline—don’t leave it to your wife to figure out.
  4. Share with your wife and kids some of the good things that are going on in the church, and then thank them for helping to make that possible.
  5. Use every hour of your vacation time. And take a vacation that does not involve extended family; restrict it to just your wife and kids.  [All of our vacations have involved extended family.  We can’t afford to go anywhere else- I’m a pastor!]
  6. Take a two week vacation.  [this is wise, i’ve heard it takes about 10 days for you to actually begin to relax.  our 3 week summer vacations, though with extended family, were very relaxing.  if you go  to vacationing spots, it is hard to relax since you are going to theme parks and events.]
  7. Diligently guard your days off.  [lay leaders love this, not!  it can quickly breed a sense of envy on their part, or assuming you think you’re better than them or special.  you have to work had to communicate this priority well.  but if you’re guarding your days off, they should be able to guard theirs from church business, so maybe they really feel convicted of their lack of attentiveness to their families.  who knows, but it can get messy, folks.]
  8. There are times when it seems like you have to choose whether to be a good dad/husband or a good pastor. Good pastors choose to be good dad/husbands.  [What makes this difficult is the success-driven culture of many of our churches.  They want you to be a successful dad, not necessarily a loving & involved dad.  Loving involvement will mean less time to building the empire.  I know building my relationship with my daughter ‘cost’ the church some of my time/energy that might have resulted in a different outcome for the congregation- and my family.]IN RELATION TO YOUR WIFE…
  9. Get up early and have your quiet time, so that you can take the kids in the morning while your wife has her quiet time.  [she’s up way before the rest of us, so this is a moot point for me.]
  10. Give her flowers and a hand written card when she least expects it.

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