I realize that being busted by mom and dad is an ongoing thing with children.
But I thought this one needed to be shared.

A couple weeks ago, we were skyping with my parents to give the kids some "papa and gama" time. After talking for a while, we realized that our two kids had not only been out of our field of vision...but were not making any noise.

Yes. We panicked.

Fortunately they were only in the kitchen.

Unfortunately...they'd found the brown sugar.


winner of best decorated house for christmas

"Do you want to put up lights on the house this year?"
"Well, we should put something up."


i don't want to hear that at christmas!

As part of my job at Salem Alliance Church, I design graphics and publications for various ministries and for Sunday morning services.

Recently my lead pastor passed along a sermon title that he needed a title slide for. The name of the sermon..."A War in a Manger". His text was Revelation 12 where John writes down a vision of what's happening in heaven surrounding the birth of Jesus. Fascinating stuff.

Here's a snippet...

"A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days...

Pretty cool stuff!

So I worked on a title slide and submitted it to my online Flickr group where I get immediate feedback on graphic projects. Here's my slide...

war in a manger02

And here's the first person's feedback..

"my biggest problem is the title. "war in a manger" freaks me out, and it's not what i want to hear at Christmas (and i'm not even a fan of Christmas)... ...yeah, you may need to hit the drawing board for a new concept. see if you can get a new title from leadership as well. i promise, this one won't go over at all. "


You don't want to hear that Jesus fought for you? You don't want to hear that there was an all-out war on your behalf? You'd rather stay in Hallmark card land where everything smells of french vanilla and overcompensation?

If we're picking sides, I'm on the team that NEEDS to hear this message. I need my idea of the Christmas story stretched from time to time. I need the comfortable plastic manger scene to be replaced by a scene that more closely resembles "Star Wars". I need that.

Don't you?

P.S. If you want to hear the sermon, click this link to download it


friends and big towers

I found myself with a weekend off from leading worship. So we decided to take a trip up to Tacoma, WA to spend some time with dear friends of ours. Justin and Melissa Morris have been friends of ours for a LONG time.

Kara and Melissa were roommates in college and teammates on the basketball team. Melissa said she actually met me before she met Kara, but I was a "snob" then. Let's be honest Mel, I was a big deal. A BIG deal.

When Justin later moved out from Nebraska to take the Junior High Pastor job at RCF, Kara and I both had an underlying motive to hook Melissa and Justin up. Apparently, so did God. Cuz' they hooked up.

Now we all live in the Pacific Northwest (aka, Promised Land). And our times together are special and too short.

Enjoy the pics.


brown update

Kara turned 30!
Yep, we're the same age for the next couple weeks. And you'd be proud to know that Kara took turning 3o in total stride. Plus she's hot.

She woke up to balloons, streamers and a birthday breakfast with a "3" and "0" candle sticking out of the linguica sausage. The van was decorated with non-distracting white window paint. The kids and I gave her a one-hour body massage, which was fine until after the massage when she had to come home and I had to go to work...and it was as if the massage never happened. Such is the life of a stay-at-home mom.

Sam is walking!
And our lives of watching both kids in the same room is over...

She still continues to balance herself with her arms which resembles very closely the chicken dance. Gone are the days of slow transportation down the hallway. Onward to quick exits and fast getaways.

She's also catching on the fact that she can run away from mom and dad if they catch her holding something she's not supposed to. Yep...gone are the days...

Caleb talks while he dances!
His sentence structure is incredible. I'm no longer searching for one recognizable word in his sentences to understand him. He's actually communicating. Some of our favorites..."Dadda gonna go pee pee", "Sissy (Sam) goin night night", "daddy gonna drive car" and "Al down!"

The last one is a command to our dog Ally, who the kids have lazily renamed "Al". THE DOG IS A GIRL!!

He's at such a fun stage of learning ABC's and 123's (Jackson 5). I'm so impressed with Kara as a teacher. Every day I come home to something new that Caleb has learned. And Kara's comprehension of numbers, letters, and colors has soared above all expectations.

Hee hee.

"Dadda gonna be in trouble".


hot off the press

I've just recently begun doing freelance graphic design. It has become a side passion of mine.

I was approached by a pastor at my church who was finishing up a 2 1/2 year book writing journey, and wanted me to design her cover for her.

And here it is.

Email me if you have any graphic design needs.