Happy 2011 everyone!! Welcome to my blog. One of my goals for this year is to continue posting more thoughts on life and experiences, inspirational ideas as well as videos and pics so I hope you can visit often. I know this year is going to be very adventurous and have its challenges . If you can when your online stop by to check out whats up and maybe even a thought that might be encouraging. Feel free to add yourself to get notifications or even post your own comment or thought. Thanks for visiting. Read on and have a great New Years Day!



A Marvelously Beautiful Mistake?

OK, so I'm in Michigan for Christmas break and the snow here, what little they have, is melting. Meanwhile back where I live, Flagstaff, AZ is getting pounded with snow. Pretty ironic I think. Somehow the other day during a conversation with my boys about snow we got on to the topic of snowflakes. They were both talking about how amazed they are at how they're designed. (This was going on while I was attempting to make some snow flakes out of paper with scissors and kept messing up.) Did you know each one is amazingly different and amazingly unique? Ever taken a look? Ethan tried this at school.... take a black piece of paper and catch a flake and examine it with a magnifying glass or even just your eyes. Check out this real pic of a close up of a snowflake.

Is that insane or what? It's just ridiculously unbelievable how something so tiny is so cool. Its not just a tiny snowball or a dot. Its actually a beautiful intricately designed piece of art. Each snowflake being different start as ice crystals that are the size of a speck of dust. When the crystals fall they join up with other crystals to form a snowflake. The size and shape actually depend on how many crystals hook together.

Crazy huh? But how did that process itself even come about? Some think these things came to be by time and chance. Some think it was a consequence or part of a chain of events from a big explosion or mistake. So my thought is that in order to make a snow flake itself would really good mistake. Or really a marvelously beautiful mistake. What kind of mistake that you know of has turned out that cool? Its really what I'm thinking more of a marvelously beautiful reminder. And proof of design.

When snow is coming down by the foot like it is right at home just think that every inch of it you plow through walk on and shovel includes hundreds, thousands, millions & billions of tiny pieces of artwork with a design that as you can see, could take your breath away. Mistakes? That's pretty insane to assume. A uniquely designed tiny creation like that only says one thing.....

There has to be some pretty awesome Designer.
And it's made bluntly obvious from even something as simple, as a snowflake.


Sledding in Buchanan
Ethan throws an attitude when his sled doesn't make it as far as he wants to go and then almost gets ran over by his brother.

Arriving in Chicago
After arriving in Chicago and getting off the train we take a short walk down the famous Michigan Avenue. (a short clip before we went back inside after almost freezing)
Train #28
For some reason Corey has been on this short kick all year and is still. Short kick meaning he's wearing shorts for as long as he can into the year instead of pants like normal people. He has been wearing them into the winter supposedly in a competition with a friend at school to see who could wear them the longest. He's already won but still wears them and wore them on our trip back here to MI. Of course when arriving in Chicago he finally realized how cold it is wearing shorts in winter as I took him on a short walk down Michigan Avenue downtown. After our long wait to jump on the next train to get to Niles we went into the loading area and stood in line with hundreds of people passing through. One lady in the front checked tickets and as the travelers passed through she'd say 28 and send them on their way towards loading area #28. It went on forever 28, 28, 28, 28, 28, 28, 28 each person passing through one at a time. I was wondering how boring that job that would be and if she ever got to at least shout out a different number. 28, 28, 28, we got a little closer..... 28, 28, 28.... finally it was our turn. 28! , I go through, 28! Ethan passes, 28! Corey passes and behind me I hear stop the 28 cycle and yell out.....

I turned around and there Corey was in his shorts standing next to her. She supposedly was stunned probably even confused seeing somebody wearing shorts in the middle of winter in Chicago and took a break from #28 long enough to announce it. We got a laugh out of it. She paused for a couple seconds in shock I guess and then jumped right back into the 28 routine again for everyone behind us. Corey thought it was hilarious.


Our Trip on the Train to Michigan for Christmas Vacation!


An awesome pic of the peaks yesterday after all the snow we got. (Taken by Jen Ross)


Merry Christmas Eve!
I don't really believe it but its Christmas Eve. Does anyone know where the year went? It seems like we skipped a month or three somewhere. I just got back from Walmart which is not any fun late at night especially when there are long lines and only about 3 lanes open. But my shopping is done and I actually didn't do it at the last minute. I did it the day before.

I spent the night rehearsing for Christmas eve services and am excited that I get to be a part of it. We are doing some amazing Christmas songs and versions by Chris Tomlin and Bebo Norman that have been running through my head all week. My favorite part will be Corey and I doing our own arrangement of "One Small Child" on acoustic guitar and Matt on the Djembe. Its going to be awesome!

Christmas will be great and I'm also excited about what all the boys are getting. Lots of Paper Jamz instruments , Wii games, movies, Nerf guns and other cool things. (Let's keep that a secret for them at least until they open them tomorrow ok?) Best of all I surprised them a few days ago with tickets for a train ride back east to visit fam! So after an awesome Christmas day the boys and I will be boarding a train and getting out of Dodge to visit my fam and brothers for a week in Michigan. Its gonna be good.

Most all however as Christmas arrives my focus has been reading through the nativity story in my Message Bible. Its amazing how it can has a whole new appeal reading it in a new version. This season I am trying to rediscover the gift and be reminded how this incredible gift has blessed my life and praying that as I rediscover the gift that I can continue to re- invent myself into something new to positively effect people I come in contact with. I pray the season can help you to do the same......
check back here in a few days as I will be blogging and posting pics on the train ride back to MI and adventures there!
Merry Christmas!!!!


So this year I have been blessed with an awesome job at Arizonas Chidren Association. I have two roles there. One as a Family Support Counselor (Meet Me Where I Am) for families in northern Arizona and the other clinical therapy work. My favorite part, which is very different from the usual "counseling/life coaching" setting, is that its all is done in the home, school and community. Our job is to provide services for familes in need and high risk youth with a variety of different crisis and problems. I do a lot of travelling in northern Arizona and in Flag every week and am always excited for new creative ways to help people in need. After being in ministry for over 12 years this has been a great career change and amazingly enough I personally have felt like this has been a more effective and unique way to minister to people than most church settings provide and than I have been able to do in many years in the past. Needless to say I'm very grateful for this opportunity. At AZCA we have multiple programs for in Home therapy, Independent Living Clinical needs and also have offices in Prescott, Phoenix and Tucson with a great reputation throughout the community here and the state. In a couple weeks I'll have completed a year here and I'm looking forward to great new opportunities in 2011.
Check out the website at http://www.arizonaschildren.org/
You can also check out more about the programs on Youtube.com and get info on Facebook!