December 21, 2008

Christmas Movies

I just finished watching Jimmy Stewart (he's such a dream-boat) find out that life in fact is wonderful. I am sure before the end of the advent season I will see Danny Kay sing a duet with Bing Crosby, and hopefully I'll watch Chevy Chase kidnap his boss when he finds out his Christmas bonus was a year's supply of jelly. What about you?

My newest poll is probably the most important of the year, and I really want you to vote. (Thank you for your great turnout, telling us what to do next year.) If you freeze when having to make decisions, I want to let you know that the "OTHER" option is highly important in this specific case. Here are some ideas: Muppet's Christmas Carol, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, or maybe even Family Stone. . . who knows.

Home is where the heart is.

This was how I felt.

It's good to be home.

December 16, 2008


We're flying home for Christmas. If you live in the Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk, or Detroit areas, we are visiting for the next two weeks. Here is our itinerary:

Omaha Friday night (11:30)
Lincoln through Monday morning
Norfolk through Friday morning
Detroit through the next Friday

While I am home, I want to play Huggermugger. It has been a long-standing tradition in our family to play Boys vs. Girls, and I'm looking forward to a few exciting rounds. What board/card games do you like to play as a family?

In other news, Nebraska is winning in my sidebar poll, so if you haven't voted, or have friends that haven't voted, there are still a few days to voice your opinion.

December 15, 2008

Music Monday

Well, I've officially joined the ranks Music Mondays on the Bloggable Music Network. I am not exposed to new music very often here in Mexico, but a friend posted Ronnie Freeman's God Speaking on her blog, and it was good. However, I think the song I'm about to link to is even better! Play Satisfied on his ShoutLife page. Honestly, it gave me goosebumps and it's been on repeat all night. Oh, and Melissa, I think he's single.

December 14, 2008

from me to you

I have a few links that I want to share with those of you that read my blog. You may have already seen them, but if not, they're worth checking out. Each picture is a link to their website.

1) Free Rice - End world hunger while improving your vocabulary. Newly added to the website: pick your subject - geography, mathematics, language, etc... (Personal disclaimer: be prepared to spend hours, procrastinate immensely, and learn strange words like: "chine" "parsimony" & "acolyte")

2) The Bloggable Music Network - Read insightful reviews from "Kat", find out about new & old artists, and receive free music occasionally. (The way the site works: you read her post, listen to her music, and if you like it, you post about it on your blog. This way, you get new music, and the artists get publicity. Everyone wins.)

3) L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle - This one doesn't need much explanation. This link explains how doing a crossword a day keeps Alzheimer's away.

4) The Big Picture - Alan Taylor from The Boston Globe is featured a few times a week on their website. His articles are always informational, but not in the traditional sense. He follows the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, hence his pen is the camera.

December 13, 2008

el blog

Don't forget to respond to the new poll I've placed on the right side-bar. . . It decides the fate of Liz and me.

To supplement my update: my wife has posted some great pictures of our Friday's activities.

In other news, SEVENTEEN strapping and strong men showed up at our old house to assist in the packing and moving of the previous tenant's things. While we had agreed to house sit for the family, we were also responsible for their stuff. Thus, when deciding to move, we had to store said items. Although I took no pictures, I beg you to put your hands together for the combined total of 85 man-hours spent on the job. We completely filled four truck-loads followed by a massive trailer and a tow-truck. We celebrated over burgers and parted ways.

Also, anyone who knows me won't be surprised to find out that after lifting heavy items for hours today, I also lifted weights in the evening with a fellow missionary. I'm tired.

December 10, 2008

New home. . . round four.

Everyone moves four times in their first year of marriage, right? Okay, maybe not. In my defense, I told Liz that a life with me meant a lot of moving, a lot of uncertainty, and a few unexpected adventures, but I don't think she believed me. :)

Here are three stories from our new home. Quick background on the implied move - our last place was isolated, dangerous, and inaccessible by 2-wheel drive vehicles. We made the decision to move a few weeks ago, found a home very close to the school and other missionaries, and we are moved in. Any delay in blogging or communication was due to the slow transfer of telephone/internet from one house to the other (we finally got phones yesterday), not to mention having other things to do. At any rate, we are moved in, online, and happy. Now, for the stories:

1) We heat with a wood burning stove, pictured below, and so the house stays toasty-warm so long as a fire is lit. After sleeping 8 hours, the fire is rarely lit. This morning we awoke to a house in the 40's.
2) My mom has always pulled out a variety of nuts and a cracker during the holiday season. The days leading up to Christmas wouldn't be the same without them, so we found our own stash.

3) I am growing a beard because it is cold (not by Nebraska/Michigan standards). Although it took some time to get full and fuzzy, it is a help on those cold mornings.

November 26, 2008

What are you Thankful for?

This is your chance to post a comment! I know you read the blog, but do you participate with it? We're about to find out. In your response, tell me two things you're thankful for.

As for me, I am thankful for my wife. (I am now going to mention some of the things that make me thankful; this is NOT an exhaustive list.) She is sensitive to my need for adventure and change, even though she dreads the thought of it. She finds joy in serving me, and goes out of her way to make sure my EVERY need is met. At times, Liz has been known to get very angry at people because she thought they mistreated me. . . I think this is cute. Finally, against any common sense or logical reasoning, she thinks herself lucky to have me, and that is flattering.

Second, I am thankful for Jackie Chan . . .

November 21, 2008

. . . in case you were wondering . . .

Chance Buss, if you are reading this, you are worthy of praise and laud. We ate several pieces of your dear Bessy today; they were fantastic.
There are families on the field that we have connected with over the months, and we wanted to bless a few of them this evening, so we invited them over for dinner. During our last visit to the U.S. of A., we were given random cuts of phenomenal beef. Those were the center-pieces of the evening, and I feel like all involved went home happy.

November 20, 2008

Pictures Worth Sharing

Before I get to the good stuff, I want to remind the "Google-Reader" users out there that I have another poll on my blog, and this one is of personal interest to me, so please contribute. Now, without further ado. . . these pictures are from several different locations over several different years. Enjoy!

I just participated in "Crud-Wars" at camp. Imagine a food-fight with 600 people.
In spite of her face, she actually really enjoys wake-boarding. And she's good at it!

Harnessing our "Chi" - or giving our best "Karate Kid" impersonations.
Liz was having some fun with her macro focus.

This kitten was about as freaked as the lizard from above.

Bonding time with Dad.

I married a little cutie!

It looks sweet and all, but she's rubbing sand in my hair.

November 19, 2008

Did you know that . . .

The fastest moving land snail, the common garden snail, has a speed of 0.0313 mph.

The next sentence is true but you must not believe it. The previous sentence was false.

One can cut a cake into 8 pieces with only three movements.

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want.

American car horns beep in the tone of F.

November 14, 2008

Math is

I would like to take some time to introduce you to my math students in no particular order.

Algebra 2 - I asked them to think of how they wanted to be remembered in the annals of time. This is what they came up with: Mug-shots w/height measurements that say they are 2-3 ft tall.

PreCalculus - They preferred the group shot, and it happened on a day that we met outdoors.

Algebra 1 - They also favored the group shot, but they chose a more expressive pose.

I only have 1 Calculus student, and he is pictured above in the pre-calc class. His name is Jack, and he's on the left.

Finally, my physics class can be better seen in a previous post: Physic's Project.

I hope you enjoy them all. If you don't get the joke at the top of this post, please see your nearest math professor.

November 9, 2008

There and back again.

New and exciting things are coming your way! Liz and I just returned from yet ANOTHER school break. You may remember the last break from September. Also chronicled here, and here, and HERE. Well this time, I was asked to be in a friends wedding. Adam Parks, who is adequately described in my old blog, married an outstanding girl from the east coast, and I was given the honor of standing with him as a friend and a brother. The wedding took place in Colorado, and it was beautiful.

Also, because we were so far from Mexico, and because the bordering state to Colorado is Nebraska, we were able to spend the remainder or the school break in Norfolk with my parents. It was such a blessing to be around my mom. We also used the time to catch up with our niece, Addison Ann, and a lot of friends in the area.

October 29, 2008

New Features!!

Friends, family, and worhty opponents:

There are two new features that you will notice on my blog. (Google-Reader users will need to visit my actual website to see.) I encourage all of you to take part in these new features, as it will allow you to be more interactive in my blog, thus creating a community that I have very much been missing these last few months.

First: The poll is inspired because of the many hours each week I spend waiting for Liz to finish up her work. In the waiting hours, I read blogs, watch soaps, and stare at the ceiling. . . but I feel as though the hours could be better spend. (In my defense, I already read my Bible every morning, am reading several novels in the afternoons, and have watched EVERY movie the Imuses left us including 7 of Mary-Kate and Ashley's classics.) At any rate, I could be working on making myself a more rounded individual, so vote on what I should do in the passing hours.

Second: If you read my blog, let me know by clicking on the "Followers" link on the right. :)

October 26, 2008

Homeward Bound

With another school break fast approaching, and with my mother fresh out of Cancer treatment, we have decided to use this break for some travel. We will be in Denver on Friday and Saturday for Adam Parks' wedding, and then we will spend another five or six days in Norfolk with Momma Taylor. What a blessing it will be to help her in the recovery. The following weekend we will drive back to Chihuahua to start school again. I know that some of you will be in Lincoln, so if we can find a way to meet, that would be splendid.

Now, Chihuahua is a place RICH in history and culture. It is an old city, and it has seen many famous revolutionaries and politicians come out of it's history. A magnificent piece of that history is this cathedral, which I caught my wife ignoring in the quest of a "better" picture...

October 18, 2008

Up, Up, and Away!!

In our efforts to expand our ministry and encouragement down here, (as if we needed a noble reason to make it worth-while) Liz and I joined five families from the language program for a weekend out at Majalca. All of the families involved (save for one) have multiple little children that scurry around and eat mud, bugs, and what-not. It was a lot of fun for sure!

Also, if you remember from our pictures from the camping trip, there are great rocks to climb there, so we pulled out the gear and enjoyed some rock-climbing as well.

Finally, for those of you who have been praying for our community down here: one thing is for certain, the Tylers and Meissners are proving to be a big blessing. We love their company and are enjoying their friendship immensly. You'll probably hear more about them in the months to come.

October 10, 2008

Two thoughts and a picture.

1) When do you stop accepting causes for the sake of being single-focused, without ignoring the pain and hurting in this world? (In other words, how do you live this Christian life w/out getting homeless, penniless, and completely empty, while avoiding the snares of complacent living?)

2) Why does every woman respond to charm so easily? (there IS a story attached to this question... you'll have to call me at 248 341 9771 to get it. (it's a US #)


October 8, 2008

He replaces the phone on its base and rubs his temples. He's never had to deal with this before. Sadness courses through his veins, his throat constricts, and that tension in his jaw develops. (the one he associates with pain, tears, and heartache)

They tell her she has cancer. That word feels like a knife, subtly stabbing at his heart, reminding him of all the times that word has ended in pain, tears, and heartache.

She says it feels like she is telling the story about a dear friend. . . in a sense, that statement bares truth as she is one of his dearest and most faithful friends. His only response is concern, hers too, but not for herself. She is used to bearing the burdens of others, such that even in times as these, she is concerned for her listeners' pain - ignoring her own.

Is this what it felt like, Lord God? To watch the love and pride of your life bear such burdens and suffer such pain? You watched from afar, as he must, to see your son, his savior, bear the cross. He does that now, as he watches your servant, his mother bear her cross.

The fiercest pain is having no tears to drown this heartache.

October 4, 2008

What I miss (part 2)

I feel the need to apologize for that last post. I mentioned that it wasn't about people, and then I put the picture of Mike Hsu in the middle. Although I dearly miss the man behind that face, the face is supposed to represent the essence of Grace Chapel in that I couldn't find a decent picture of the building.

October 3, 2008

What I miss:

There are too many faces that I miss to start mentioning now. If you're reading this blog, I'm sure you're one of them. . . Today's post is not about you. It's about the THINGS I miss most. I will try to capture a few of their essence(es) with some pictures.