Monday, October 26, 2009


Lots to blog about. Not much time to do it in. Main reason I wanted to hop on here was to brag on my kids. Top grades on their report cards (Clara did get an N because of talking) and they look mighty fine in their Halloween costumes. Here is a picture from the PTA Halloween meeting where they had a costume judging. I made the costumes (except for the lion) this year. We have Wizard of Oz this year and I have been told that next year is Mario Brothers! Got to get the requests in early I guess!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Time for a new post

Wow, it happened again. 1 month in between posts (Ok, it's more but who's counting?) Anyway, a lot has happened in the last month, but I'm not sure how much of it is blog-worthy. Decide for yourselves.

School started back up a month ago, and all 3 kids are doing great. Carrie, not so much. There's just a ton of paperwork and other things that have to be done, and so the reasons she started teaching in the first place aren't as easily apparent as they were back then. Keep her in prayer, because she's already drained every night, and it's not even October yet.

As for me and my sub teaching adventure, it hasn't happened yet. I filled all my paperwork and turned it in the day after the July board meeting, so that I could be approved at the August board meeting, but the state said they were waiting on my background check. By the end of August, I called the state myself to see what the hangup was. Long story short, the identity check place lost my fingerprints. They had a record of me making the appointment, keeping the appointment, and being fingerprinted; there just weren't any prints. They paid for me to go back and get it redone, and the results were back before the September board meeting, and as far as I know, I was approved, but I haven't gotten any calls to sub yet during the last week. I'm going to go to some other area districts tomorrow to get the ball rolling there, so pray that I'll get 2 to 3 opportunities a week so that we can get some extra income coming in. It's not "necessary," but it would help it getting the rest of Hannah's medical bills taking care of, getting me on insurance, and getting our car paid off before it falls apart and dies.

The MercyMe concert was awesome, and so was the day at Six Flags. The weather was actually too cold to go into the water park, which ended up being a point of contention between me and everyone else, since they were all geared up for the water park, but the rain held off, and we had lots of fun. If you have never heard MercyMe, they are great, and the testimony behind the songs is great as well, especially Bring the Rain.

Now to the part where I hope that no one from our old church is reading, because I don't want to step on toes or rehash old thoughts, but doggone it, I'm upset. Yesterday, we went to a potluck dinner at an old country church about 5 miles north of where I used to preach, so on the way home, we decided that we were going to pull into the cemetery. As we pulled off the road to go to church, it was obvious that something was going on there, so we decided to turn around and head home. I know that there would be some who would ask, "Why didn't you go ahead and go to the grave, because you know you're always welcome here?" That's just the point; we're not welcome there, and I'm not sure that we really ever were. I know I'm responding to what I feel would be asked instead of what has actually been said, but still, I know from past experience, that this is there normal coversation. As much as I hate to move for the kids, there's a part of me that is feeling that for Carrie and I's sanity, we need to move. That begs the questions of where to and for what other reason? I mean, I'm not certain about preaching again, and I know a 2 gaps of 2+ years without preaching within a 6 year span don't look good on a resume, so I am really at a loss as to what to do and where to go. Pray that we will see God's direction in all of this: career change or not, move or not, Carrie continue teaching here or not. Maybe yesterday was the gentle tap on the shoulder that will be followed by a huge blow to the noggin if I don't listen. I don't know, but I genuinely pray that God will show me soon, so that we can begin planning what to do.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


You ever notice how it doesn't take much for your perspective to change a complete 180 degrees? That happened to me on Saturday.

As I mentioned in the blog on the summer, we were looking forward to our trip to Six Flags and the Mercy Me concert on Saturday. Even though it was 95 in the shade, with a heat index of over 100, we still ventured forth on our trip, part out of enthusiasm for the concert, part masochism, and part adventure.

When we pulled into the parking line at 10:45 (we came from the wrong direction to see the big sign up front), we saw the signs reading "Mercy Me concert postponed." We had been listening to Joy FM the whole trip and had heard nothing about what had happened, so we were a bit confused. I then began calling the radio station, but they were all on voicemail, so I called my sister Steph to see if she could check online to see what was going on. She was at work, so she couldn't help me out, so when I got to the booth, I told the lady that we were mainly just there for the concert, and we needed to figure out what was being done to help people like us out.

She directed us to the drop off area, and I proceeded to guest services with a very angry mood about me. I was upset that we had driven the hour or so to Six Flags and were probably going to have to drive back and I was going to have to explain to the kids that we weren't going to be going today (not a fun job since they were all geared up and don't take disappointment well because of their age). I got to the guest services and the lady was very nice and told me when the makeup date was, that we could upgrade our ticket vouchers (except for Caleb's since it was reading certificate) to Big 6 passes for only $9 apiece. She also told me the concert tickets would be honored on Sep. 5 and that we would also be able to park for both day for one price of $15.

At this point, I took her up on the offer (we had a free ticket at home from another teacher so we all could still come back on the 5th), but I was still disappointed about the concert and a little agitated that I hadn't heard anything about why the concert was postponed.

Boom!!! I was waiting in line for Scooby-Doo with my kids (sans Carrie and Hannah, because the sign said "no infants or lap-riders" although there was a lady carrying an almost 3-year-old who got on right after us, but I digress) I struck up a conversation with a 17 year old who was there for the concert. He told me that he had heard that there had been an accident. Whoa! I was upset and focused on what I was missing out and the band had been in an accident. I then began to use my cell phone for something other than checking email and sports scores and started trying to find out as much as I could. After posting on mobile facebook to pray for the band, one of Carrie's friends posted with the details from the Mercy Me website, which kept timing out when I tried to access it. Anyway, a car made a left hand turn, either in front of them or directly into the side of the bus and 2 people in the car were killed as well as the unborn baby of a 18 or 19 year old in the car. She is the only one from the car still living and she is in critical condition.

Here I was moping about spending an extra $40 and complaining that no one had said anything on the radio about the concert being cancelled, and 3 people had lost their lives. That hit me like a ton of bricks (and then some). Then I realized that we do that a lot in our daily lives, don't we. We complain that it's too hot, even though we have the AC on, not realizing that there are people throughout the cities who don't have even a window unit or fan to survive the heat. We complain that our steak is burnt, even while there are people fighting over pieces of bread. I could go on and on about how we look only at ourselves and forget to look at others, but you get the point.

How do we solve the problem? Look around you. See what you can do to help that person around you. Instead of throwing something out that you can't use, see if someone else can use it. Donate your used clothes to Salvation Army, Goodwill, or maybe a homeless shelter instead of simply trying to have a garage sale. I'm not trying to put myself up on a pedestal by any means...just trying to say that God can use us if we look for ways to be used, both with our gifts and with our possessions.

As far as the accident, take time to go to and check out their blog. I believe there are almost 200 posts in response to the accident, and I am sure there are 10 times as many people who want to post, but don't really know what to say. Lift them up in prayer, then lift up those around you in prayer, and ask God for ways to give you a new perspective on life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Arthur's sermon

Here is the sermon that Arthur preached back at the end of May. Thanks to RK, where I obtained the information for sharing this video.

Where did the summer go?

Wow. It's August already and school (the longest 4-letter word) starts next week. I originally meant to post each time we did something cool, but it's now too late for that. So, I'll run down the summer via pictures.
We started in June by going to Springfield, Illinois to see Grammy and Grandad and go to the Lincoln sites. Hereis a picture of us with the Lincoln family at the Lincoln museum. The kids really enjoyed the tomb as well.

At the end of June, we got a needed break from our children. They (except for Hannah) went to Grandma's house for 10 days. It was the longest time that 2 of our children had ever been away from us at the same time. We got the house clean (almost spotless), and it took them less than a day to change that. While they were gone, we went to St. Louis to see Up and then saw the fireworks from the city park in East St. Louis. Here's Hannah "enjoying" the fireworks with Daddy.
The next week we were invited to join Aunt Lisa, Uncle Bill, Grammy and Granddad at the All-Star Fan Fest at the America's Center in St. Louis. The boys had a lot of fun playing baseball games and meeting some former baseball players like Jack Clark and Orlando Cepeda. We have a picture of the boys with Jack Clark as well as a picture of them under one of the arches that were around St. Louis. Aunt Lisa and Uncle Bill were lucky and went to the actual All-Star game!!

The next weekend we went camping with the entire Coverstone family, and that was a lot of fun for everyone. The meals were great and the weather was phenomenal. Here's a picture of Clara helping Aunt Laura with the cucumber sandwiches.

During the summer the kids went to 3 different VBS weeks and they actually were able to go to 3 completely different weeks. They went to one at Grandma's house, one at the church in town where they attend AWANA during the school year and one at a friend's church. We don't have any pictures, but they sure enjoyed their 3 weeks.

Last week we went to the zoo for the 3rd time this year. We went the first time for my niece's birthday at the end of April. We saw a lot that day, and we have decided to definitely go to the zoo during April at least once every year (as long as the zoo stays free). The second time was a couple of weeks later where we went to see the butterflies and the insetarium. When we went last week, we went to the children's zoo and to see and pet the sting rays. We had originally planned to go for free during the first hour the zoo was opened, but I didn't notice on the website that there were special summer hours. When we arrived and asked about the free activities, we were told that the zoo opened at 8:00, not 9:00 as we had thought. We ended up getting a family membership to the zoo, because we will go at least 3 or 4 times during the year, and right now, the kids are at an age where they always enjoy going. Here is a picture of the penguins and Caleb petting a turtle.

After the zoo, we went to Qdoba to eat and then we went back to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Arthur enjoyed the Lindbergh exhibit, but Caleb and Clara were getting wound up, so the parents didn't enjoy things as much as we would have liked. There were 3 of the All-Star arches located in the park, and we took pictures at 2 of them. If you've ever been to Forest Park and haven't seen the Art Museum, it's a beautiful view. The other arch we posed under was in front of the History Museum. The 3rd arch that we saw was in front of the steel animal sculpture at the zoo, but that's a long walk just to get a picture, so we skipped it.

Anyway, it's been an eventful summer, which is what we had planned, and we didn't spend a whole lot of money, which was also what we had planned. We are going to Six Flags on Saturday, and since school starts next week, that may be our last trip of the summer. We still haven't figured out how to handle Hannah at the park, but we'll figure it out. I hope to post soon after with pictures of our great day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hannah is half a year old!

What a cutie. She makes it next to impossible to get out of a portrait studio cheaply! These are a sample of the things we did. We have other pictures in the same poses. Some have better smiles, some are better positions but we still spent way too much. I am going to try to get them all onto an album in facebook for those of you who have a facebook page. Those who don't will just have to come visit and I will show you the CD!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I am sad that a full month of my summer break is gone! Yet July is always an exciting month. It starts off with Mike's birthday. Then moves to the fourth of July which is always funnest with the kids. To watch the wonder and awe of fireworks is wonderful through child eyes. Next comes the time when Hannah is half a year old.! Wow, how time flys!!! Then there are VBS's and other activities to attend. And toward the end of the month, I need to start getting back into school mode.
We have enjoyed visiting the zoo, Shakespeare in the Park, Magic House, free movie and lunch, and many other activities so far. If I can get Mike to get the pics off the camera, we will try to post a few. Hannah is growing and learning. She has the melody of talking down pat, she just needs to learn the words! She is very curious. Arthur is a big help. Caleb and Clara continue to dote on her. Everyone has a reading program at the library that they are participating in. All seems to be going well.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Obviously not a "techno-geek"

Ok. I enjoy the cool internet social sites as much as the next guy, but I'm obviously not as dependent on them as others are. I'm not saying they're bad, nor are they the sign of the apocalypse. I just prefer a phone call or face-to-face interaction with someone. That's my only excuse for not updating the site more than I do.

That being said, there has been a lot go on in the last month-or-so since I last posted.

First of all, as of May 31, I will no longer be preaching at Mill Spring. We have mixed feelings about his. The positives are no more 90-minute car rides to church every Sunday, but the negatives are no more preaching for a while.

Second, Hannah turned 4 months old, but she has been congested for over a month now, and the doctor can't figure out exactly what's wrong with her. She has no signs of infection or allergy, so he thinks it may be acid reflux, which makes sense with the amount of spit up she has, but the prescription (even with insurance co-pay) will be at least $45 a month. It may be more because the regular pharmacies don't carry it anymore, and it has to be purchased from a special pharmacy.

Third, we (and I do mean all 6 of us) went to the Michael W. Smith/Steven Curtis Chapman United Tour in St. Peter's, MO and it was awesome. I still remember my first Smitty concert when he was at ICTC back in 1986 or 1987. That was so long ago that it was pretty much just him and the piano (no keyboard that I remember). I hope the kids are able to remember their first Smitty and Steven concert as well. I will try to post some pictures in the next few days, but you know how reliable I am for that.

Finally, school is out next Wednesday, and I think all may go back to normal after that. I am currently planning to start substitute teaching in the fall, and that may not be just for the money. To some extent, I/we are considering me finding out exactly how much more schooling I will need in order to get my teaching certificate. It's just in the thinking stages right now, but it is something we are talking and praying about.

One more thing. Maybe I am just hypersensitive to these things, but if I here another news guy tell someone to have a "Happy Memorial Day Weekend" I'm going to scream. Memorial Day is not a happy occasion at all; it's a time for remembering those individuals who gave their lives for our country and not just a time for celebrating with picnics, hot dogs and other things. Yes our freedom is a great time, but IMO Memorial Day is not a happy day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hannah's one-fourth of a year old!

Easter break was wonderful. I truly enjoyed being a stay at home mom for the 5 days. We took Hannah's pictures, we colored eggs and baked cookies. We had fun together and played games. I put off working on curriculum and now I am truly behind the eight ball trying to get grading and curriculum done plus getting the students ready for end of course exams. Yikes! Better get going on something more productive than writing on a blog. We have pics of the kids and their eggs that will be posted later.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Business of life

Just in case, you misread the title, I am referring to the constant sense of being busy, rather than owing a business. It seems like we are always coming or going, and not staying, which is good, because it means we are doing things, but bad, because we are never accomplishing the things which need to be done. That is why I haven't posted in a while; I just haven't had the time to set, collect my thoughts, and put them on the blog. I will try to do better, but you've heard that before.

Anyway, Hannah is getting bigger by the day, and would probably be even bigger if she didn't spit up so much. School is going great for the other 3 kids. Arthur has a solo coming up for a performance, and his choir group will be in the High School production of Beauty and the Beast next weekend, and he's going to preach for me at the end of May. Caleb finally lost his first tooth, and he has at least 2 coming after that one. Clara got her kindergarten shot, and she didn't move an inch. She is anxious for real school to start in the fall.

Carrie is pretty stressed out because of all the stuff going on with school, and the fact that her car was supposed to be fixed on Wednesday, and it would have been, except the mechanic discovered the used engine we had been sent was defective. Now we have to haggle with the company to recoup some of the labor costs we have to spend extra because the new engine has to come out, be reshipped, so we can get a working engine into the car. We will be paying 1 1/2 times the labor instead of double the labor, but it's still more than we expected. We're hoping we can get the engine company to pary for most, if not all of the extra costs. We should find out by Tuesday exactly what's going on.

I'm still working at Wal-Mart in Potosi and preaching at Mill Spring every Sunday. We decided not to move, and the church was agreeable to that, so the only problem we face is traveling an hour and a half to church each way each Sunday. It makes Sunday mornings long, but it's worth it.

Anyway, I will post a little bit more tomorrow or Monday, and I will definitely update as soon as we hear what's going on with the car. In the mean time, keep us in your prayers.

Mike, Carrie, and all the kids

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Pi Day!

Boy has it been a long time since we posted! School has been crazy busy and then my little car lost its engine. We are in the process of replacing the engine and making my car healthy again, but a one car 4 child family with individual schedules is wild to figure out. Yesterday was pi day and we celebrated it by going to the Science Center and then celebrated Jalen's (nephew) birthday at the NASCAR go carts in St. Louis. We have been chasing our tails and so it was fun to kick back and have fun with family and let me show my inner nerd! I am trying to learn how to do more on this blog thing but with time only on weekend and even then not much, it is difficult. I am supposed to be sewing on the girls' Easter dresses. I can't figure out the tension on the machine and was getting frustrated so I changed activivty.

Hannah is growing wonderfully. She had her 2 month check up last Tuesday and was 11 pounds 7 ounces and 23 inches long. She had a skin granulation from her umbilical cord so doc took it off and cauterized it. She is starting to routinely sleep for 6-8 hours at night. The thing I love the most though, is the talking. She will make sounds that are definitely not cries and just has such a pleasant look on her face. I swear she said "oh, mama" today. Ask my mom. I was on the phone with her at the time!

One more quarter at school. Spring is here at the end of this week and then family birthdays start up. Ten more weeks of school with a last day of May 28. I look forward to summer and the different routine that happens with the coming of that season. I look forward to Hannah growing and talking and walking -- but do not want it to happen too soon. I know that her being able to talk is not going to help me understand her. Her being able to walk is not going to help me keep track of her. Yet these milestones are exciting and momentous. God gives us such wonderful things in babies. They are so helpless, and most of them are so cute. Even when they are crying incessantly, God gave them the ability to be cute so we wouldn't kill them! I am constantly tired, but love every minute of this new routine with four.

I need to wrap this up. I have to get my curriculum written for school and several other things that I actually want to do in the next busy weeks. If the site is updated, that means Mike is trying to procrastinate something and we will just have to allow that. We all need our escapes sometimes! Let's see if I can get some photos attached!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snowed In

Mike says this is easier than CaringBridge. I am not as adept at change as he is and so I find this is not so easy right now. We are snowed in. Praise God! Yes, I who usually root for no snow days so we can get out earlier, have been rooting for snow days. It is nice to be around Hannah and get aquainted with her. I also got caught up on my grading. Now all I need to do is get ready for my evalustion on Friday -- if we have school! Life with four is settling into routine and I think I might be able to do this. I do know the only way I can do all that I want to do in raising these children and teaching is to fully depend on the strength that can only come from God. I have my weak days and still break down when remembering Levi and the events of last year. Those times though are getting farther between. With Mike working at Wal-Mart and all the business of school and babies, maybe I just don't have time to think about it. I figure no matter when you lose a precious prayed for child it hurts. Whether that is just 9 weeks into the pregnancy, 7 weeks after birth, or 7 years or further, it is a part of you that is ripped away and waiting in a better place for you. A friend of mine got confirmation this week that she has lost her pregnancy. She had to go in today for a D and C. To my thinking that is insult to injury. She has one precious little girl who turned 3 this year and she has trouble getting pregnant due to endometriosis. She prays for another miracle and I grieve with her in this tremendous loss. When I don't get out for a while, I start to have more time to think.
Clara and I will be putting together her doll house andI hope to get a few stitches in on Levi's blanket. I really want to get started on Hannah's blanket -- well at least the middle. I could get used to this stay at home mom thing. It seems like a nice pace.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The birthday boy

Nothing like realizing your baby boy is now 11 to make you feel old, and that's what today is all about. Today is our oldest son, Arthur's, birthday. He is excited because he is going to a friend's birthday party on Friday, and then to his Grammy and Grandad's house for a party of his own on Saturday. Mom was quick to tell him that he wasn't going to get a 2-week-old baby sister for his birthday every year. I was going to post a baby picture of him and then his most recent picture, but I'm having trouble locating the baby picture. The picture above is his most recent school picture, and the video is from early December when he helped me with a sermon I was preaching. He wants to be in the Air Force, but I'm sure he'll do some public speaking as well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One Little Click

With one little click of the mouse, our computer changed forever, and to some extent, it was more than just our computer; it was symbolic of a change in our lives as well. Earlier this evening, I deactivated Levi's CaringBridge website. That was very difficult to do, because it held so many memories for our family, however it was a necessary part of moving on.

CaringBridge provides a lifeline to many people, who are dealing with serious health issues in their families, and it provided that lifeline to us as well. With that said, both Carrie and I felt that we needed to move on from CaringBridge and find another home that would allow us an outlet to feel comfortable to post things about our entire family, while still having the opportunity to have the support of our CaringBridge friends and family. We just didn't feel that CaringBridge was the appropriate venue for normal everyday blogging; it was like we felt a necessity to bring Levi into every update just because we were on CaringBridge. I hope that makes things a little clearer to everyone. If not, feel free to post a response to the blog or send me an email. We hope that everyone does continue to support us and pays attention to this blog.

Anyway, we got Hannah's 2-week pictures taken today (a day early, but momma wanted to be there, and since I was off work...) The 2 pics above are some that were taken today. If you want to see more, let me know.
One more thing, Carrie is returning to school tomorrow, so keep her in prayers, since she hasn't been back since right before Christmas. She may just have forgotten how to teach (probably not, but you never know). I know that she is a little worried about being sore or in pain, so pray that she does well. Thank you all for your prayers.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Looking Back...Looking Ahead

If you have managed to navigate here, then you either know us personally or are finding us from our Caring Bridge website. Today is a day for looking back at the last year since Levi passed away, but it is also a day for looking ahead. There are a lot of lessons that we have learned in the last year, but believe it or not, I learned the most in the last week and a half. When Hannah was born, I cried. I know, big deal, dads cry all the time when their children are born, but I honestly don't remember crying when our other 4 children were born. When Dr. Grechus handed me by daughter, I could feel the tears on my face. Why? Because I was able to hold my baby in my arms, without much fear (more about that in a second) and knowing that Carrie would be holding her soon as well. It truly emphasized the greatness and majesty of birth in a way that I might not have understood without losing Levi.

By no means am I saying that Levi's death was a blessing, or that it in itself was a good thing. It wasn't. It was a tool of Satan to get us off track, and to an extent, it worked. God has used this bad thing to help us see his goodness, to help us see his greatness, to help us understand how great his blessings can be. Life is not always good, and the "unfortunate" goal as Christians is to see God even when our lives aren't good. I say it is "unfortunate" because the world only sees the bad, and they are quick to ridicule us when they see us rejoicing even when bad things are happening.

Enough philosophy for one day. You are probably wondering why we are switching away from CaringBridge. Carrie and I discussed at length how long we would keep the CaringBridge site up, and we had decided that the best way to handle it would be to leave it up until after the year mark had passed, and since we wanted an easy way to keep in contact with everyone, we (actually, I) decided to open up this blogspot page, mainly because we saw the blog of a friend of ours (thanks, RK) last year when we were going through all the hospital visits and thought it looked like a good idea to continue our updates to our friends and family.

We will be leaving the CaringBridge site up for a little while longer, but we won't update on it any longer. We will be trying to pull most of the information from it, and we will move some of the pictures over here. We will provide updates on our family at least 2 or 3 days a week, and we will be posting more pictures as well.

We are truly thankful that you followed the link to our blogspot page and we hope that you continue to check back and see how we are doing. God bless each of you, for we know that you have blessed us tremendously.