Saturday, August 8, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Surf Camp

Steve Wise from Nags Head Church (North Carolina) came down to head up a Surf Camp for my youth. Steve teamed up with an old friend of his (Phil) out of Cocoa Beach, FL who runs a surf camp there.

A few things:
  1. I need to be a lot better at advertising. I know word got out but we didn't get any response from youth. I was hoping to reach youth that were connected with my existing youth. . .but the results were not good.
  2. I had a few pastors from other churches calling me about it. They heard about it through advertising I was doing in the local high schools.
  3. I know I could duplicate the camp for next year, but having two veteran surfers will be a hard thing for me to duplicate; I love getting up on a board. . .when it actually happens. . .but I'm no surfer. I'm sure I could talk a good talk about surfing, but having a veteran is better.
  4. All of my youth now want to go out and buy boards! One of the boys keep talking about how he and I need to buy boards and go surfing together regularly.
  5. All of the youth want to repeat this for next year. . .I wonder how many would be willing to work the event instead of just attending?
This slide show kind of captures the highlights. . .

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pics of the New House

Here are the pictures that we have of the house. It is no fun buying a house and not being able to go see it without the realtor.

This is the outside. Lovely tan color with brown trim.

There is extra parking in front of the shed. Will come in handy when having people over!

This is the first shed, with another behind it.

There are tons of palm trees and other foliage on the property, just needs a little trimming up.

Here is the kitchen. Very nice cabinets. The appliances are a little old, so hopefully they all work.

The two car garage.

The garage again. Tons of space for all of our junk.

This is the odd extra room attached to the garage. We will probably put a wall here to separate it and turn it into a game room or something.

The backyard. It was raining when we went, so this is the best that we have. The house is on a double lot, so a nice long backyard. The neighbors behind the house have a fence, but the sides aren't fenced in...yet.

The pool! It is screened in and a very nice size!

This is the little dinning room that is attached to the kitchen and the living room. Don't know if our table will fit there.

This view is from the living room looking at the kitchen. Has a nice little bar.

Here is the living room with the ugly green carpet. One thing I like about the house is that in here and the master bedroom there is a ledge along the top of the wall, where you see the trim, which will make for fun decorating.

So, this is our house! Needs some work, but we are up to the task, we think.

Sarah Elizabeth

Friday, June 12, 2009

Major Updates

Wow, it has been a month and a half since either of us has posted. Because of this I am going to update you on everything that has been happening in our lives. And boy, has it been happening!

About three weeks ago or so we started the process to buy a house: went to the bank and got pre-approved for a loan (both of us have really good credit!), met with a real estate agent (who we love!), and started looking for houses. As you well know the market is very good for buyers right now, and Vero Beach is even better than most places. We went looking at houses, and on our second day out looking with Peggy, our agent, we found our house! It is a beautiful home built in 1995, I think. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a big living room/dining room, nice kitchen, nice master bedroom with a big walk-in closet, a 2 car garage with an added on room, a screened in back porch, a screened in pool, 2 sheds, and all of this is placed in the middle of a double lot (meaning there is a big yard, front and back). Wow! The outside has lots of trees and bushes (there have got to be close to 10 palm trees on the property!). Very nice neighborhood. Peggy had to fight hard for us to get this house, but we got it! We should close in July, so please pray that everything goes smoothly. I will post pictures hopefully Saturday or Sunday. They are on Terry's computer and he is gone today. So that is the story of the house.

Last August, I think, I had an interview at Riverside National Bank (a local chain), but there were no possitions available, so nothing came of it. Then about 3 weeks ago (the day we went to the bank for pre-approval for the house) I got a call to re-send my application. I had a couple more interviews and got the job! I am now a teller in training at Riverside! It is a little daunting and scary all of the information and procedures that I have to learn, but I think I am up to the task! I am very excited about this new job and the opportunites I'll have there. All of the girls there seam to be real nice. I think I'll like it there a lot. And to all of my Staples peeps, I still love you all! And I miss you already (even though I am still working there one day a week)! So that is the story of the new job.

We finally have a worship pastor at the church! Yay! Aaron's first Sunday was last Sunday, and he actually preached and did the music (Pastor Paul and Terry were both gone for a mission trip)! He did a great job and I am so excited to see what God is going to do with him here. I am also thrilled because with Aaron came his wife Heather and son Anselom. Aaron and Heather are around mine and Terry's ages so we now have another couple to make friends with. I have spent some time with them this past week and I see the potential for a great relationship with Heather and Aaron (and I have been in great need of one of those since we moved here), so I am so happy that they are here! So we have a new worship pastor and new friends!

Other smaller, maybe a little less important news consists of:
  • Our clownfish layed eggs! We were so excited to see that until we realized that they would get eaten as soon as they hatched. It was so fun to watch though! The male never went more than an inch away from the eggs; they moved the eggs; and we were able to watch them grow and see tiny eyeballs! But yesterday I noticed that the eggs were gone, so they must have hatched during the night. Poor babies, although they probably made a good meal for the other fish. And we also now have a blue hippo tang (Dorey!), but she is a pest.
  • After 16 months of living here under an ant invasion, we finally got rid of the little pests! We had tried everything we could get our hands on and nothing worked. I saw a do it yourself pest control store, went in, bought stuff, and the ants were gone the next day! Hurray! What a relief!
  • To everyone back in NC, we will not be coming in July anymore because we are closing on our house in July. I'm sorry, I am dying to get up there! But don't you dare get mad at us for us not coming, because we are still waiting for you to come and visit us! The only ones who are alowed to get upset are my parents and Terry's mom, because they are the only ones to come for a visit. We will have a nice big house next month....hint hint.
  • Ooo! I got to go shopping for clothes for my new job on Wed! My mission was to get some nice, dressy, comfortable shoes and maybe a few pieces of clothing for the bank. Well, when I got home I had 6 pairs of shoes (3 times more than I've ever bought at once before!) and two pairs of pants and two tops (and yes, I stayed in my budget!). What fun that was! Yay for shopping and yay for new shoes and yay for sales!!!
Well, that is all that I can think of for now. Look for pictures of the house coming soon!

Sarah Elizabeth

Monday, April 27, 2009

The "New" Newsboys

Amazingly, the Newsboys came to our tiny little highschool theater for a concert. We heard about this back in March, and I got so excited (Newsboys have been one of my favorite bands for probably 15 years now). About a week after we learned that they were coming here to Vero we heard that their lead singer, Peter Furler, was no longer going to be their lead singer. He would stop touring with the band but continue to write for them. The horror! Peter Furler gone??? How could the Newsboys continue without him? The new lead singer for the Newsboys in now none other than the ex DC Talk member Michael Tait. What?!? Michael Tait? What a dissapointment that was to hear.

After hearing that news I was a bit bummed and not nearly so excited for the concert. But we went anyway, wanting to see if he would be any good and worth continuing to support the band. We went, with little hopes, although trying to keep an open mind and give him a chance. Before they played we heard Bread of Stone, Vota, and December Radio. They were good bands; quite impressed with Vota.

The Newsboys started the show with their drummer, Duncan (who is an amazing drummer, and can keep playing while his drum set and he starts revolving and tilting!), saying a few words about Peter no longer touring with them, and then he introduced Michael as the new lead singer. I don't know if there is any relation, but to me he looks just like Whoopi Goldburg! First song in, it sounded pretty good. Now, I don't know if he was trying to sound like Peter Furler or if maybe their voices are that similar, but he sounded a lot like him.

Good things I can say about Michael being a Newsboy: He did a very good job singing and not changing the songs to fit him; he stayed true to the "Peter" versions of the songs. Michael can really sing. They did some DC Talk songs, which was a blast! And he is a good performer.

Bad things I can say about Michael being a Newsboy: he looks nothing like Peter, which makes it hard for the brain to accept. He doesn't have the same energy lever or stage presence as Peter. They focused a bit too much on the fact that he was a part of DC Talk.

My suggestions for Michael being a Newsboy: get rid of that hat! He needs to change his look from when he did his own show. My thought is maybe he wears the hat because he is balding; if that is so...perfect! He should shave his head and put on eyeliner! He should find out what the fans want out of him.

Overall, I was impressed and happy with what I saw. I really enjoyed the concert and Michael's singing. I hope that the band is able to continue with this big change.

Good luck to you, Newsboys! Farewell Peter, enjoy your well deserved time home with your family! Keep up the good work, Michael! And to all you Newsboys fans, keep being fans!

Sarah Elizabeth

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Photos of Saltwater Fish

Our newest aquarium (we have quite a few) is a 90 gal saltwater.

Probably our favorite to watch. Our two clown fish and their anemone.

They spend most of their time within 6 inches of the anemone.

Here they are again, but in this one you can see the snowflake blenny in the top left corner. He seems to enjoy watching us all the time.

Some polyps coral with the royal gramma hovering above. I've had a hard time taking pictures of the royal gramma (who we call Gurgle, after the same fish in "Finding Nemo"); maybe my camera doesn't like the really bright colors.

A toadstool coral. We have two.

Friday, April 17, 2009

5 Years of Ministry

Today marks the fifth year I've been in paid ministry. 10 years ago I would have no idea God would have lead me where He has me. I've been asked many times in my life "where do you see yourself in 2, 5, or 10 years" and I would have never thought this (I'm sure most of my high school friends would say the same thing).

I still remember like it was yesterday when Kyle Bridges let me become a youth volunteer. And I remember when Charlie Waller, Carol Edmunds, Yvonne Sternberg, and Jim Todd took a risk on this youth pastor candidate. Good grief was I ever a rookie!

It's been an awesome journey and the exciting part is it still feels like it's just beginning. I'm looking forward to what the next 5 years will hold.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Bless Your Heart"

I recently heard a guy MC a pretty big event and he talked about his time in the south (for those of you outside the U.S. the south is not so much a geographical thing as it is a area of the U.S.; I am currently in Florida and Florida is NOT the south). During his time there he heard a phrase quite frequently, "bless your heart". I haven't heard that since I was back in Louisburg, NC.

The MC talked about how he thought it was something sweet, but then he figured out it wasn't. After a while he figured that "bless you heart" was best translated as "you're an idiot". I never thought of it before, but that's pretty true.

Some of the youth in my youth group heard about this from the other couple that attended the conference with Sarah and I. . .let's just say we're hearing "bless your heart" all the time now.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We Got Frodo 1 Year Ago

We made this 2 days after we got him. . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Fish Tank(s)

Back in February we purchased a 45 gallon fish tank. We set it up and got our starter fish, two opaline gouramis, to make sure that the tank was ready for fish. They lived, yay! so we added four more pearl gouramis. Our goal was to build up to Angelfish, but they are super sensitive, so we took our time. Our water was very brown and murky for the first few weeks. After a few successful weeks of gourami survival, we decided to go get the angelfish. We went to Petsmart, our favorite pet store, and picked up 6 of the smallest angelfish I'd ever seen. So cute! Two of the original died, a few of the replacements died, but we now have 5 thriving, growing, beautiful angelfish! We added a bushy nose placco, a leaf fish, a crowntail betta, bubble bee catfish, and a rainbow shark, and then got really crazy and set up our 10 gallon right beside the 45. We added another leaf fish, betta, and two guppies in the 10 gallon. This has been a fun hobby. Here are some pics of the tanks, enjoy!

Here is our two tanks side by side, the 10 gallon now seems so tiny, especially when I remember how many fish I had in there years ago.

Here is the little 10 gallon, sunken treasure theme. In here lives a betta, a leaf fish, and two guppies (who I'm sure will soon produce babies).

Here is the 45 gallon. Both tanks have live plants in them, which I love! I'd never done live plants before, but they are great, and pretty!

Here is one of the leaf fish. Very small, cute fish. He has a huge mouth and would eat smaller fish if we had smaller fish.

Here is the pretty blue crowntail betta in the 45 gallon tank.

Here is one of the angelfish, we have two stripped ones.

Here are two of the pearl gouramis.

Here is our biggest angelfish.

We have two white angelfish, they are my favorite!

Another picture of the blue crowntail betta.

Here is the male guppy, the female has the same colors.

Here is the crowntail betta in the 10 gallon, very pretty red color.

Here is our rainbow shark.

We got four bumble bee catfish. We rarely see them, so we don't know if we still have four. They are really cute when we get to see them.

Here is another shot of the leaf fish.

Our bushy nose placco. He hides most of the day.

Sarah Elizabeth