Closed for the Season!

closed 1As we prepare to finish out our term here in FLL and prepare to return for a short time to America, we think it’s best to close out our blog for this season of our life.  As you can tell from the last blog (published in early March!), it has been just a bit busy around here; and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

We hope to gain some insight while in America for how to best utilize our blog when we return to the FLL.  In the meantime, feel free to peruse the archives and relive some of the fun of the past 3.5 years!

FLL Danger Run Results – Northside’s Spring 2015 Team

And we are back with another recap of the FLL Danger Run.  In this edition, Scott and David from Northside took their turn on the Danger Run.  As their host, I will have to say that their run has been the most dangerous of them all!  So on to the results.

Just to recap, the previous 2 Northside teams rolled in these results: Adults 88%, Teens 85.4%.

So, how did Scott and David do?  Well, this isn’t a singing contest so right to the results: 92.6%! (50/54)  And where does that rank them in terms of total scores: First Place!
Northside (Scott/David) – 92.6%
Northside Adults – 88%
Will P – 86.9%
Northside Teens – 85.4%
Dan R – 82.6%
Alyssa R – 80.4%
Dei C – 80.4%
Sarah P – 78.3%
Abbey C – 78.3%
Alan P – 39.1%

So how did they do it?  Well, here were some of the keys to victory.

  • First, they got outside the city!  Yep, that’s right.  It appears that 5 days in the villages of India will indeed help you see a lot things that will get you a victory.  It also turns out that some of those things are not the most pleasant (like no public toilets)!
  • Second, they got creative.  You will notice that their hunt had 54 items, which is more than any other.  Nothing in the rules state that you cannot add something memorable.  It should also be noted that your host declined a number of items they wanted to add!  No, you cannot get extra credit for a Sadu walking his pet monkey on a rope.
  • Third, they worked as a team.  You want the glory…then you are gonna have to share it!
  • Fourth, they got lucky.  I mean, this team pulled off the rare inside the park homerun: scootie with training wheels, bicycle carpool, the unfortunate #2 sighting, and 3 different colors of sparkly sweater vests.  BOOM!

That’s all from this edition of the FLL Danger Run.  Good luck to all the next contestants!

Advent 2014 v1.0 – Week 4

Ha!  Sorry this is coming at an awkward time!  As you can see in the 2 previous posts from Will J about our romatical history, our computer crashed before Christmas so I couldn’t post the rest of the ornaments!  Sheesh!

Anyways, so, to finish up the series of our first Advent Jesse Tree from here, here and here, see the plan below 😉  It was fun mixing our Christmas tradition up this year…the girls enjoyed this addition and we can see some areas of improvement!  Hope you had a wonderful Christmas season this past year and we pray that 2015 will be filled with opportunities to draw closer to our Savior!

4th Sunday – Preparing the Way (the back of John) – Luke 1:57-80

  • Can read “Heaven breaks through” in JSB

Monday – Mary: The Mother of Jesus (Mary praising the Lord) – Luke 1:26-38

  • Can read “He’s here!” in JSB

Tuesday – Angels Proclaim His Birth (Angel’s face) – Luke 2:8-14

  • Can read “The light of the whole world” in JSB

Wednesday (Christmas Eve) – Jesus’ Birth (Manger scene) – Luke 2:6-21




10 Years with Beth J: Actual First Date

Note: The post has been post-dated to reflect the actual 10 years since our first date.  As per the previous post, the computer crashing and vacation put us behind schedule in keeping the blog updated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA10 years ago today, I took Beth on our first date….to the old Spartanburg, SC Krispy Kreme diner.  Classy!  I went to a friend’s wedding in GA, and then over to Auburn to visit some other friends.  Beth and I had talked a few times on the phone in between New Years and now.  I am not a big phone talker, but I found talking with her quite easy.  I believe that in one phone conversation, I had another “how not to court a lady” moment.  I was pretty sure that I was heading to Southern Seminary in the Fall, that I was possible looking to travel overseas, and that currently I was traveling around for my job.  So, I really didn’t want another friend.  (Judge me now).  So I told Beth all this right upfront just so that neither of us would travel down this road for a while and then have it break off.  She said that she was good with all this and willing to see what happens.

So, I added a stop on my above travels in Spartanburg, SC on my way back to my job.  I knew a family there, and they let me stay with them that night.  They were especially excited that I was there to meet a girl!  So Beth and Taiter drove up and met me at the local McAllisters.  From there we drove back to their friend’s apartment where we hung out and took the picture you see above.  And so for our official first date, we went to the old Krispy Kreme.  It wasn’t the new kind, but the ones where you sit around the counter on bar stools.  It was awesome!  When we got back to the apartment, we chatted in the car for a little bit, and then she gave me a gift…chocolate filled Oreos!  BAM!  Just the way to a man’s heart!

And yet in another “how not to court a lady” story (are you amazed that she married me yet), rather than walking her to the door, we said goodbye at my car.  She walked to the apartment; I drove off.  Sheesh!

So now we were officially dating.  Had I had Facebook, it would have been Facebook official!

The story will continue…

10 Years with Beth J: First “date week”

Note: our computer crashed a week before Christmas, so there was no opportunity to write this post on the actual date.  This post has been post-dated to the week it would have been published.

So to continue from the last post, I talked with Beth’s friends a couple of times to see how things were going.  One of my first conversations with Beth on the phone involved the way that the moviephone guy would say “mur-FREES-boro.”  Yeah, riveting discussions.  Anyway, so on one conversation, they told me that they were coming to Smyrna for New Year’s Eve to spend time with Beth’s parents and also to live it up in Nashvegas.  So Beth, Anna, and Taiter (and another friend) made the drive from Florence to Smyrna.

Meanwhile, I really wanted to hang out, but I didn’t really want to go alone.  So we all planned to spend New Year’s Eve in downtown Nashville at Graham Central Station (classy, I know).  However, all of my peeps bailed at the last minute so I joined the crew and we all headed up to Nashville and had a blast.  I didn’t realize at the time that the 1 guy that came with them was possibly interested in Beth….TOO SLOW MY FRIEND!  HA!  Anyway we celebrated the New Year by dancing and having a good time.

Over the course of the next 3 days, I met Beth and the group twice more.  Once was a dinner at Camino with the Hardimans and I think Mr. Green.  Another night was another hanging out at some country/pop dance club near Nashville with Mr. Pilote.  I was content to keep on dancing and talking with Beth, but the rest of the group had had enough of the country people dancing to pop music.  Think lots of starch, hairspray, and boots dancing to ‘NSYNC.

To cap things off with a “not how to court a girl” moment.  I gave Beth my number and told her to call me when she gets back home.  I believe her reply was, “I don’t call boys.”

But she did anyway!

Advent 2014 v1.0 – Week 3

Hope you’re enjoying your family’s Advent celebrations!  We are “refining” ours 😉  Maddie’s biggest qualm was that we were sitting on the floor (cold tile floor!) to do ours – Pah!  Here’s week 3’s Jesse Tree lineup.  Not as many Jesus Storybook Bible matches, but it’s not a bad thing to mix it up and include some ‘grown up’ Bible reading or another version from another children’s Bible!  Jesus’ birthday is almost upon us!

3rd Sunday – The Prince of Peace (Crown with dove) – Is 9:2, 6-7

Monday – The New Covenant (Heart w/ Scripture inside) – Jer 31:31-33, Heb 9:13-15

Tuesday – Bethlehem Prophecy (Bethlehem silhouette) – Micah 5:2, Luke 2:4-7

Wednesday – The Fiery Furnace (Fiery Furnace) – Daniel 3, Matt 5:11-12

Thursday – Return to Jerusalem (Brick wall) – Neh 1:3, 2:18, 6:15-16

Friday – Daniel & the Lion’s Den (Sleeping Lion) – Daniel 6:2-29

  • Can read “Daniel & the scary sleepover” in JSB

Saturday – Jonah’s Special Message (Fish) – Jonah 1-4, Heb 1:1-2

  • Can read “God’s messenger” in JSB


Advent 2014 v1.0 – Week 2

2nd Sunday – Joseph’s Forgiveness (Coat of many colors) – Gen 37:1-36, 45:4-15

  • Can read “The forgiving prince” in JSB (Jesus Storybook Bible for those just tuning in!)

Monday – Moses and the Burning Bush (Burning bush) – Ex 2:1-4:20IMG_8250

  • Can read “God to the rescue!” in JSBIMG_8251
  • In later years we will combine the Burning bush ornament w/ Passover & the Red Sea (Door w/ blood on post) – Ex 12:1-14:31 (Can read “God makes a way” in JSB) and The Ten Commandments (Tablets) – Ex 19:1-20:20, Deut 5:1-22 (Can read “Ten ways to be perfect” in JSB)

Tuesday – Ruth’s Loyalty (Wheat) – Ruth 1:15-2:13, 4:13-22

Wednesday – Jesse’s Descendants (Stump of Jesse from 1st Sunday) – Is 11:1-5

Thursday – David is Anointed as King (Water being poured on head) – 1 Sam 16:1-13

  • Can read “The teeny weenie true king” in JSB

Friday – God’s Forgotten Scroll is Found (Scroll) – 2 Kings 22:2, 23:1-3IMG_8252

Saturday – The Good Shepherd (Shepherd w/ sheep) – Ez 34:2b, 4-5, 10-12, 15a, 16a, 23-24IMG_8253

  • Can read “Operation no more tears” in JSB
  • In later years we will combine the Shepherd ornament w/ Light of the World (Sparkly star) – Ps 27:1-3, John 1:9, 8:12, and The Suffering Servant (Cross) – Is 53:4-7, 9, 12b


Advent 2014 v1.0 – Week 1

haha…I called it v1.0 b/c I KNOW that over the years, this year’s NEW Jesse Tree Advent study will morph into something our family will love and anticipate! At least that’s what I (Beth) hope! I made the ornaments over the Aug-Sept months and am pretty pleased with the way they turned out. I made a few extra ornaments, while I was at it, (partly b/c I couldn’t decide which to cut from certain websites and which to keep) that we will probably just wait and incorporate in later years…but we will start off w/ the traditional 25 ornaments this year.

Ideas from here and there. Even a way to incorporate the Jesus Storybook Bible, which my kids (and us!) love. So, here’s this week’s…b/c Advent starts today! (Sunday, Nov 30)…hope it blesses you all this year!

1st Sunday – Introduce the Jesse Stump ornament and read Isaiah 11:1 (but don’t hang just yet)IMG_8245

  • Explain about hanging the ornaments and reading the verses.
  • Creation (World ornament) – Gen 1:24-31 (full account Gen 1:1-31)
  • Can also read “The beginning: a perfect home” from Jesus Storybook Bible (JSB)

MondayAdam and Eve and the Fall (Apple w/ serpent) – Gen 3:1-24

  • Can read “The terrible lie” in JSB

Tuesday – Noah’s Ark (Ark w/ rainbow) – Gen 6:11-14, 7:17-18, 8:8-22, 9:9-17

  • Can read “A new beginning” in JSB

Wednesday – Abraham’s Faith (Camel w/ tent) – Gen 12:1-7

Thursday – Abraham’s Descendants (Green star) – Gen 15:1-6

  • Can read “Son of laughter” in JSB
  • In later years we will combine the star ornament w/ Isaac’s Birth (cradle) – Gen 21:1-7

Friday – Protection for Isaac (Ram w/ leaves on horns) – Gen 22:1-4

  • Can read “The present” in JSB

Saturday – Jacob’s Ladder (The ladder) – Gen 28:10-22

  • Can read “The girl no one wanted” in JSB


Celebrating 10 years with Beth J!

photoIt was 10 years ago today that I first met the Beth J (then it was Beth Parker or later became Smyrna B).  Either way, I had traveled down to Florence, SC to speak at the BCM there about missions in South Asia.  One of their students (Christina…see picture to the right) was on my summer team that year and wanted me to come speak.  So we checked calenders and made plans for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  I had been traveling a lot that month and was really just ready to go home and hang out for Thanksgiving.

When I arrived, Christina took me around to meet any and everyone.  It was just slightly annoying since I really just wanted to speak and head home, but that was my selfishness.  So at lunch, she says that she wants to take me to meet her friend who just happens to be from right near my hometown in Murfreesboro.  To tell you the truth, I really wasn’t interested.  The other girl driving us wasn’t the best of drivers (sorry to offend) and didn’t like to turn left.  So she would just make multiple right turns…anyway I digress.  So we head down to the Bank of America to meet this friend.  As I walk in the bank, I turned to my right and saw my future wife.  The most beautiful smile I had ever seen; just amazing.  She said hello…and here is where our stories differ.  I say that I absolutely said hello back.  Beth says that I just stood there and said nothing.  Either way, I was thankful I made the trip!  As we were leaving the bank, a voice in my head said, “That’s the girl you’re going to marry.”

Now, I kid you not that this is indeed what happened.  I too was a bit caught off guard as I didn’t even really know much about her.  That night at BCM, I made it a point to sit near Beth and just get to know her a little.  I knew that it was a crazy long shot as she lived there and I was traveling.  After BCM, I went out to dinner with Beth and Christina and Anna (all 3 best friends).  As we entered the booth, Anna and Christina sat one one side and Beth and I were both sitting on the same side of the booth, yet you could have put a semi between us as she sat so far away, it was amazing!  We all continued to hang out throughout the night and had a blast.  I was now definitely interested in this Beth Parker.

The next morning, I called Christian to ask more about this Beth Parker, but I was told to stay away for awhile.  Anyway, the story will continue on another milestone date in the future as I celebrate 10 years with Beth J, leading up to our 10 year anniversary in 2015.

FLL Danger Run results – Northside edition

For the first week of November, 2 teams from Northside Baptist in Rock Hill, SC, took their turns at the FLL Danger Run.  They decided to break up into 2 teams: adults and teenagers.  After the judges review of all the score sheets, here are the results:

Adults – 88% (44/50)
Teenagers – 85.4% (41/48)

Being that there are not a whole lot of rules for the FLL Danger Run, the adults decided to add 2 new animal items to the list, snake and donkey, which made their percentage of victory higher.  However, even without these 2 additions, they still would have beaten the teenagers by 1!

Credit to both teams for being the first to find the “carpool” entry.  It was this discovery that now puts the Adult team in 1st place overall.  Congrats to both teams for a well played Danger Run.

Northside Adults – 88%
Will P – 86.9%
Northside Teens – 85.4%
Dan R – 82.6%
Alyssa R – 80.4%
Dei C – 80.4%
Sarah P – 78.3%
Abbey C – 78.3%
Alan P – 39.1%