photos by justine wildauer

Our good friends the Wildauers blessed us with amazing pictures of the kids and of the family.

Well, it was actually Justine who blessed us. No, scratch that.

Ryan (her husband) blessed us too cuz he was behind Justine making faces so the kids would smile. And he made spaghetti that night too.

So I stand by my first statement.

Check out her website. Book her. She's great.

Here are some pics to wet your appetite.


chuckling parents (episode 1)

I wanted a way to document all the funny things that our kids do from day to day. I'm usually good about recalling the major things, but I'm learning that sometimes the most hilarious things can occur right underneath your radar. So I've started a "chuckling parents" string of posts that you can enjoy.

I came home early today because I have a "work night" at the church tonight that I have to return for. Caleb is always excited when Daddy comes home early. I swear one of these days his head will explode from over-excitement. As Kara and I were sitting in our bedroom chatting, Caleb yelled out a phrase of completely incomprehensible gibberish. But he said it in a tone of voice that communicated that he knew what he was saying. Kara and I exchanged a confused look, and then ask him to repeat himself. He proceeded to say the exact same gibberish as before, but this time slower and more pronounced, as if that might help our comprehension.

It didn't.


death needs to die...

Having been a licensed minister now for over 8 years, I have had the "privilege" of conducting a number of funerals over the years. Most of them up to now have been for people over the age of 70. They lived long lives. They had kids and grandkids. They spent their hard-earned retirement. They lived a long life and passed on.

Then you realize that death shows no favorites.

We received a call last Thursday that our godson Rayce had passed away. He was not over 70. He hadn't even signed up for a checking account, much less spent his retirement. He was 4 years old.

Rayce had numerous medical issues from the time he was born. His parents, Billy & Dara, had been completely selfless in taking care of him. No matter how many tests or procedures, his body seemed to be always ahead of the doctors in adding to his long list of conditions. At the end of his life, it was his heart that cut his life extremely short.

I was asked by his parents to conduct Rayce's funeral service. "Of course", I said while thinking How in the heck do I do this? How do I put my own feelings about Rayce's passing aside and give him the honor he's due?

Fast forward to after the funeral.

It went well. It was all Billy and Dara wanted for their precious child. And I found that after I had stuffed my emotions for so long in order to be strong for everyone around me that I loved, that the feelings welled up inside me so strong that I couldn't help but cry. As Kara and I said goodbye to the silver urn with Rayce's name engraved on it, I finally wept.

"I had dreams of doing things with my son. And I'm still gonna do them. And I'm gonna think of Rayce when I do them"
Billy Cannon, Rayce's dad