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 merycme.org 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.