Sunday, September 21, 2014

6 for 6!

Last week, my blogger friend Heather posted a challenge on facebook to do the 30 day shred each day for 30 days.  She and her husband were looking for support and accountability. I joined in saying that instead of the shred, I would commit to running on the treadmill for 20 minutes each day. In part, to join in their challenge, in part to move that ticker on my sidebar to read my summer 50 mile goal, and in part because I know I should be more active. Today was the 6th day in a row that I have run. Twenty minutes usually takes me within a few points of 2 miles and so most days I crank the speed and try and get the distance to 2 miles which puts me at a time of just over 20 minutes. I actually can't believe that I have kept up for the last 6 days. Can I do it for the next 24? We'll see....

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The view from here

Current state of the rental house:

Main floor bedroom before this evening:

my job this evening:

first coat is on!

While I was painting, Conrad was putting up a shelf and installing doors:

He had installed the rec room flooring this week:

I finished the second coat in the bathroom and now it's ready for for Conrad to put down the flooring. 

Conrad also put the flooring on the steps this week too:

He finished all the baseboards upstairs:

We're getting closer!

Friday, September 19, 2014

You can't always get what you want

or can you? ;)

Kiandra and I are very similar in our "glass-half-full" outlook on life. We imagine possibilities. We know what we want. We dream big. Conrad calls our life outlook "name it and claim it" and he laughs at the many times that our impossible dreams come true. Most notable for me was my wish list for my dream job after graduation. Ten days after that post I got my dream job. Conrad just shook his head.

This week, Kiandra and Kezia, and their best friends, Kara and Jenna, hatched a plan to go to meet Jamie Grace. They collectively decided that the concert tickets were too pricey for their budgets but the meet and greet session before the concert was free *IF* you could win tickets on our local Christian radio station. The contest was running each day for the week with one winner each day. The girls asked everyone they could think of to submit a photo of themselves in white boots for a chance to win tickets to the session on their behalf. Kezia's idea to submit our cat won on Tuesday and when I asked Kiandra what they were going to do because they only won 2 tickets...she immediately said, "Mom, it's only Tuesday! There are still 3 days left to win two more!" Like I said, we dream big.

Wouldn't you know it, yesterday one of Kara and Jenna's friends submitted a picture to win and it did and now all 4 girls had tickets to the session. Their plan was to go to the session and then out for coffee or something after since the concert was now sold out even if they changed their minds. I know the girls were thinking about the concert and Jenna, last night, was even second guessing their decision not to go.

Upon arriving to the meet and greet session, the girls were approached by a radio host and asked if they had tickets to tonight's concert. If they could get permission from their parents that it was ok for them to attend, the radio host said she had 4 tickets to give them for free! Phone calls were made, Jenna was tracked down (she ended up not being able to attend the meet and greet because of a driver's ed commitment), and it was confirmed...they were going to the concert!!

Don't be afraid to dream big!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

We are advertisements

I'm so thankful to teach at a Christian school. I love my job and I love being able to live my faith through it. Here's what I shared this afternoon at our school's first staff meeting of the year:

Many of you know this already, but I write every single day on a personal blog. I have also been a contributor every other Monday on a Bible Study blog and I thought that one of the posts I did recently resonated with me as a perfect thing to think of as we start a new school year. On the blog, we sometimes post our thoughts on a given passage following a  "SOAP" template: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. Here is my post in its entirety:

Today's scripture focus is Mark 1:1-8

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[a]
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,[b]
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare[c] the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Scripture: As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,[b]

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,

Observation: Advertising is necessary so that we know what is coming.

Application: We are currently just finishing a 10 day vacation in Orlando, Florida. If you have ever been here, you could write a book about the ways theme parks and shops and restaurants vie for your attention....signs, billboards, sky writing (?!), banners behind an airplane, tv, radio, etc. etc. etc. Say all you want about the "in-your-face" advertising but let's be honest.... It. Works. If if didn't, business would struggle and there would be less money spent on advertising if it were not doing its job.

Without advertising, how would we be swayed to eat at certain restaurants.... $6.99 for all you can eat pizza! How would we know where to buy the cheap souvenirs ....Everything $1.99! How would we feel a little disappointed to not visit the Disney Parks when every billboard ad is telling you about all the rides and events at those parks? Advertising lets us know what is coming up around us and let's us know what we are missing.

John was the advertisement for Jesus. He was the messenger about what was coming. He was the banner, the billboard, the radio announcement, the pamphlet, the brochure, the writing in the sky...His job was to prepare people for Jesus. Jesus could have arrived without people knowing if it had not been for John's role in preparing the way. It would be like people just driving through Orlando without knowing what was around them if it were not for the advertising.

John prepared everyone for the arrival of Jesus. They began to anticipate him. They longed for him. They began to get excited that John was just the advertisement for Jesus and the real thing would be even better.

Our job, as Christians, is to be the walking talking living breathing advertisement for Jesus. John prepared the way for Jesus before he accomplished what He was sent to do and now it is our job to advertise for him now about what He has done. We have the great responsibility to be the advertisement for the greatest message that people will ever hear. What message are we sending through our lives?

Prayer: Dear Lord, You sent John to prepare the way for the mission that Jesus had--to cover our sins and to provide us with the only way to live in eternity with you. You gave John the enormous responsibility to prepare the way. We have this job too and sometimes we don't realize that we are doing the same job. Thank you for the reminder that our lives can prepare people to hear the message of salvation. Give us the courage to speak the truth and the ability to.

We, as Christians, are the advertisements for Christ. We are preparing the way for Jesus in the lives of our students. We have talked before of our school as a Christian school and not a school just for Christians. We have opened our doors to families of all faiths. Many of our students do not have a church background....and yet families are choosing to send their children to our school knowing what we believe and what we will teach their children. We are advertising to people who are interested in our message. During opening conferences, a parent confided in me that their child did not have any religious instruction and the parent admitted that they did not have any church experience and that they might come to me with questions too. We are advertisements for Christ. What we say and do is impacting children and families. My heart smiled in chapel last week when I saw this child, with no church experience, begin to do the actions to a worship song. Later in my classroom some of the children began to sing the sending song as they worked on their printing book. I know that the songs and lyrics are getting into their heads and they will stay there long after their time at our school is over. The bible stories we share, the verses we teach, the prayers we pray, the life we live will be our advertisement. As we begin this new year, let us remember that we have the awesome privilege to teach our children something more valuable than anything in the curriculum. We have permission and ability to affect their eternal future. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Movie Premiere

This summer, Kiandra had a chance to be in a music video playing a soccer player. She practiced her soccer moves and was thrilled to be involved in the project.

The music video was for Steve Bell's latest music video. You can watch it here:

TURN IT AROUND from Steve Bell on Vimeo.

Kiandra's involvement in the music video prompted a special invite to the Premiere screening of "Burning Ember" the Steve Bell journey documentary. She was allowed to bring a guest and I felt pretty honoured that she didn't even hesitate to ask me to come with her. 

The event was pretty classy as the theatre was beautiful and it looked pretty fancy. They even had waiters come around with snacks at the end. Kiandra and I felt pretty privileged to be there.

The documentary was actually written and directed by a parent of one of my Grade 1 friends so that was a cool connection to the film too. The movie was a great representation of what life must be like for musicians and it gave a real insight to the not glamourous part of life on the road. 

At the end of the evening, I thanked Kiandra for choosing to bring me as her guest and she replied "who else would I bring?....." as my heart swelled and then she added "....I don't know how to drive downtown!" It's nice to be needed! :P

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

White Boots

Kezia and Kiandra are fans of Jamie Grace and were able to see her in concert last year. There was a contest for tickets to a "Meet and Greet" with Jamie Grace and all you had to do was send in a picture of you wearing white boots. Kezia had the idea to send in a picture of Goliath wearing "white boots" and this evening, Kezia found out that her idea  was a good one because it won!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Before and After

Recently I was emailed by someone from to ask for my permission to use the photos from our basement renovation for a slide show they were putting together for their home improvement website. I agreed to let them use them and today I found them on the website.

Check out the before picture here.

Check out the after picture here.

Pretty cool!
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