Lights January 11, 2017

Lights flickr photo by bennettscience shared under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

At church, we meet in the gym for the contemporary service because it has a more relaxed feel and is a little more flexible in terms of staging. Every few weeks, the stage lighting changes, and these just showed up.

This is one of the things I struggle with constantly: what does "church" look like? I've had discussions about what kind of mood or atmosphere needs to be present in order to truly worship God. I used to get up in arms over the types of song or what the room looks like. Admittedly, a gym is not really the best place to meet for a number of reasons, but it misses the point.

Jesus specifically says that He - through the Spirit - is present whenever believers gather to worship. Because the Holy Spirit doesn't move me through stage lighting doesn't mean it can't work in someone else.

This year has been one of sacrifice for me. I've worked to let go of some of the constructs I have in place for what church "should" look like. In the end, if Jesus is in the center, it looks right.

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Categories: church

Serious work meeting January 10, 2017

Serious work meeting

As an instructional technology specialist, I spend a lot of time in training meetings. Kat, Wes, and I need to know what student support systems are available to teachers and how to use them. All of this is happening while we're staying on top of incoming support requests.

It's a little crazy, really, because it turns into a mobile command center. We grab a table and open the laptop to the training materials while our iPads and/or phones quietly hum in the background.

The hardest part of all of these meetings is not becoming cynical listening to the low-fruit goals set by the tool. Our role is more to interpret the long-term goals of using our technology intentionally for creative work with these outside systems playing an ancillary role.

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Categories: candid work

Hi? January 9, 2017


For three months of the year, my garage is clean enough to park in. My wife is gracious enough to let me use the garage, even though she's home with the kids, during winter so I don't have to spend time scraping or brushing on snowy mornings.

This wiffle ball has been hanging from a rafter since before we moved in and I've never replaced it. It isn't even hanging the correct place since we rearranged the shelves, but there he is every day, saying "hi?" before and leave and right when I get home.

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Up in smoke January 8, 2017

Up in smoke

M has been extremely excited to get the Christmas tree burnt this year. To her credit, we left it up in the house far too long. The thing was a tinderbox waiting for a spark. So, I hauled it outside and dumped it on the fire pit.

Typically, we wait until the summer to burn the tree as one of the first fires of the season. But, M had so much energy, L had her go out and pick up any sticks she could find to add to the pile and they burned it together today. I stayed inside with C because it was incredibly cold out, but I managed to get this little shot of them staying warm by the tree. L came in and said the whole thing burned up in less than five minutes from a single match, Christmas Vacation style.

I should've had that thing out of the house a week ago.

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Bottom of the cup January 7, 2017

Bottom of the cup.

I drink maybe two cups of coffee each day. The travel mug I use for work holds just the right amount and I usually don't finish it until 10:30 or 11 just because I'm so distracted with other stuff.

The weekends are another story. With no travel mug or schedule (other than kids) to take my attention, I power through coffee and I find myself at the bottom of the cup very quickly.

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Categories: routines

Lines January 6, 2017

flickr photo shared by bennettscience under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

This hairbrush goes through a lot. It's become one of C's favorite toys and one of M's most feared self-grooming devices. It's a battle, every time we finish the bath, to get M's hair brushed. My wife is super gracious and uses it to spend time talking with M and treating her like one of the adults. Our other option is to see how many times it takes us to sing the ABC's while M has her hair done. It depends on the night. Either way, this hairbrush is out in the living room with the toys more often than it's with my wife's things in the bathroom.

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Categories: toys

Tea for two January 5, 2017

flickr photo shared by bennettscience under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

This tea set has been in the family since M was born. Gram got it for her for Christmas 2014, just after she turned one. It's a small set...two cups and saucers, a kettle, and a sugar bowl. But, the set is always within reach when the fix for tea hits.

It's also hilarious to hear what kind of tea M is mixing up. She handed me a cup today and said it was tea for me. So, playing along, I took a nice loud sip and asked what kind it was. Well, it turned out it was Jo (our dog) tea. I'm not sure how it worked, but it was definitely not the answer I expected.

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Spill it January 4, 2017

Spill it

When M was born, some friends gave her a piggy bank. As she got older, we would throw some coins or bills in there when she got some. One of our favorites was when an old man in Aldi gave her a $2 bill one day. She's still too young to know what it is or why it's cool, but I think it's neat.

This bank usually sits up on the shelf, forgotten. Every now and then, she makes a trip down from her perch to play with the other toys. Tonight, things got rough and she was spilled for a quarter. I'm just glad I haven't turned into the bank yet.

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Categories: family

Shelved January 3, 2017


Our house used to be two bedrooms only, but they were both massive. This past fall, we decided to split the master bedroom into two smaller kid-sized rooms. We were left with a small nook in the new hallway and we decided to do a built-in bookshelf.

This is a copy of "Anne of Green Gables," one of my wife's favorite books. We had an old, beat up paperback copy (which is great in itself...) and this is a copy I got her for Christmas.

One of her favorite design companies is Rifle Paper Co, and they did a custom cover, along with some other classics texts, as a special series. I grabbed a copy of Anne and it was the first book put up on the shelf when we finished it earlier this evening.

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Jo, the dog January 2, 2017

Jo, the dog

Jo is a nearly three-year-old Weimaraner/black lab mix. We didn't know when we got her that Weimaraners were just as needy as labs tend to be. So, we now have a 65-pound dog who loves to lie right on top of you. She's a big softie...really submissive and extremely gentle with the kids. It's amazing watching her interact with the girls day to day. The younger walks around shouting "Hi dah [dog]" first thing in the morning before Jo is even out of her crate. The older rolls around, hangs off of, and in general, borders physically abusing her during the day, and Jo just takes it in. She's a part of the family, no matter how annoying the constant need for contact can get.

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Categories: Uncategorized