Wednesday, April 18, 2007

15 Years and counting

15 years ago today, Ali and I stood in front of family and friends at ACU's Chapel on the Hill and vowed to love each other until death should part us. And what an amazing 15 years it has been.

I sang (over my own prerecorded vocal track cause I knew I might not make it through the song...Wendy Wray Ogren accompanied me on the piano) Ali down the aisle. "Arise With Me" by Michael Card and no, I didn't make it through...She was so beautiful and I was an overwhelmed 22-year old! I sniffled my way to the end. Somebody, maybe my mother, handed me a Kleenex. Anyway, my dad then started the ceremony with Scripture, a story and a prayer then asked the question "Who gives this bride away?" Ali's dad had walked her down the aisle, answered "Her Mother and I" and then he took over the rest of the ceremony. It was a great day!

We left that day in a horse and carriage to our awaiting vehicle at Ali's grandparent's house. Our honeymoon was spent in Northwest Arkansas at a cabin my aunt and uncle owned on a private lake. (It was free and beautiful!) We actually stopped for the night on the way there at what then used to be the Harvey Hotel here in the DFW area.

After the week we traveled back and made a quick stop at the Burleson Church of Christ to interview for their youth ministry position. They asked if I played the guitar, I told them barely, they asked if I'd play it around the kids, I said probably, they never called!

We made a decision to go to San Antonio over Thousand Oaks, CA for a job. After two years, we moved back to Abilene for Master's degrees. Then on to Houston for 5+ years and now we are nearing the 5 year mark here at Southlake.

We've been blessed with 3 awesome and beautiful kids in these 15 years, but I must say...sitting across from my wife at breakfast this morning...She is more beautiful today than the day I was overwhelmed by seeing her beauty walk down the aisle at the Chapel on the Hill at ACU.

I love you, Ali!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The hermitage

I mentioned last time that Ali, the kids and I got be near Baton Rouge over spring break. What we got to experience was some much needed rest and relaxation and an unplugging from work and the world and TV and Nintendo and computers, etc. We went to a place called Parish Hermitage and it was fantastic. My kids loved it (I'll try to put on some pics of us in the rubber boots preparing to walk the swamps). Eddie & Judy Parish along with their 2 kids run the place and are incredible, gifted people. A couple of times each day Judy would come and take our kids and love on them and play with them while Eddie would spend some time talking with Ali and me.

We talked about life, God and our relationship with him, marital relationship and parenting issues. One of the biggest things I discovered is how much I feel I need to work for salvation rather than accepting it as God's gift. Don't get me my head I get it and I also know that it is not by faith alone for faith without works is not worth much. But when it is ALL work and little faith, there begin to be problems. And I have felt for a long time that I could never please God, no matter how much "work" I did.

So here I am a minister at a church, leading the worship just about every week, wanting desperately for my heart to get lost in His great love and being an instrument of His to bring others into His presence, and yet all the while feeling as though I've not done enough. It messes with you! So I'm taking small steps and reciting several times a day the same prayer over and over (wondering if God is sick of it yet). But what I've seen is that what I'm praying for is more about the relationship with Him and it is affecting, positively, my relationship with Ali and the kids, it is somewhat alleviating my burdens. I'm not sure I've let go of my frustrations, but in time ...

I'm not ready to share my prayer yet with anyone (except Ali) and we've been praying together each night which is something I hadn't done in a long while.

One more side note...I'm re-doing our master bath, tiling the floor and widening the shower and tiling it as well. In order to widen it, I had to move the all of the pipes for the water about 18 inches...praise the Lord that I got it done and when I turned the water back on, NO LEAKS!!! Maybe I'll get some pics of the bathroom on here as well.

Be blessed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Been Awhile, Huh?


Not sure what I'm going to start writing about because I've got a lot of emotions ticking around.

There are a lot of things I would like to write about as it relates to work, but work is also where I go to I'm a bit stuck in how honest I can be. And there are things about church, not specifically SBC but religion in general that I would like to write about, but not sure how that will be viewed. So I'm in a bit of a quandary.

There's a part of me that wants to be real honest, and yet the other part says no way...too much information.

So I will gingerly plod through over the next few days...

On another note, my family and I had great time near Baton Rouge, Louisiana last week with great communal meals and fellowship.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hot Mama

I think David or Andrew took this picture. And while this picture may be blurry, her beauty still captivates me. Her long hair, pulled back kind of showing off her neck and ear...MEOW! I love my wife!

She's an amazing woman who finds me to be amazing. She is so in my corner and believes in me. I know I don't tell her enough, but I believe in her, too! Her creative ability is a gift from God. And I know she wants to use it more and more. She has been so gracious to put those on the back burner with our kids still so young. But oh, how I want her to explore and use those gifts more and more. And while her outer beauty is something to behold, it's her inner beauty that shines brighter than the brightest star.

She truly is a "hot mama!"

Elizabeth's recital

Here's a couple of pics of my Elizabeth. (Obviously, I'm not a good photographer when it comes to lighting). She did awesome at the recital (which we had at our church). She played two pieces: P-I-N-K and Wee Small Bear. I'm very proud of her and her abilities.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

stefanoelliott band

This is the stefanoelliott band playing at a coffee house in Grapevine.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Andrew the MVP

Andrew has one more T-Ball game.

He got to have a few balls thrown to him--"coach pitch" and connected well on one of them.

The other great thing is that he got the game ball! Here he is showing it off!

Elizabeth has a piano recital this Saturday...I'll try to post a pic of her as well.

David's Cello

This is my oldest at his Cello recital. He hasn't totally enjoyed it, but he did stick to it and now has a little bit of theory knowledge and can read a bass clef. He's awesome! Way to go DAVID!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Slug Bug Game

My 9 year old (10 in a week) is getting bigger...and with bigger comes the need to test his strength. So he loves to hit me in my arm as hard as he can. At first I could take it pretty good, but he seems to be getting stronger and has better aim. The "way we play" is that I get to "toughen" up his arm as well. But rather than taking it, we go through an awesome wrestling routine of taking him down and "lightly" punching his arm...then he comes back ready to hit away at me. It's fun to see his heart getting to be wild!

So speaking of hitting...most of this started because of game we call (and most people call) The Slug Bug Game. The point being that when one sees a Volkswagen beetle, you yell out "Slug Bug" plus the color and then you get to hit who ever is in the car with you.

This use to be a fun game and one of rarities because there were not many 'bugs' around, but they have made a comeback and there certainly are a plethora. But as time has gone by and as we learn from others (Val) we've come up with several other cars to look out for. Here is a list, add to it if you have others:

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