Monday, September 23, 2013

Children's Choir

Yesterday our Sunday School children sang in our Divine Service. They have been learning the hymn The Gifts Christ Freely Gives (LSB #602). It's a great hymn for kids to learn and to teach them our theology. They have the first three verses learned so far, so yesterday, as we sang it for the office hymn, they sang verse 2 alone. They did great! And no, we did not line them up in the front of the church for show - they sang from the back. Hopefully we can continue to teach them hymns to keep singing in church. And learning them as children, they learn to love and cherish them, and they stay a part of them. So good job kids!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Week in Review

Been some time since I've written, mainly because I'm tired. This new house has proven to be a LOT of work. But more on that in a moment.

First, the 12th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks was this week. I wove that into my sermon on Wednesday night. My wife mentioned to me that it seems like just yesterday that it all happened. But my oldest, Robbie, was in kindergarten then! We still have the stuffed animal he got at school, donated by some folks in Columbus, OH, to comfort the kids. (It is a gorilla which we named Columbus.) We were still in New York then. I still have vivid memories of it all. Not just that day, but all the days, weeks, and months after that day. Much of the country moved on, but in New York, it just kept going and going. The clean-up was so massive, and casualties (or pieces thereof) were being found in "the pile" months later. I remember traveling to Ft. Wayne in November and being away made such a difference! I hadn't realize what living with that constantly did to me.

I remember being at the pile (that's what the workers called it) and counseling the workers. Their stories were horrifying and sad, yet they returned everyday. Their stamina was amazing, and they were very appreciative of us pastors being there to support them. When I went back to see the memorial last year, it wasn't the memorial or the giant holes in the ground that got me, it was being back at the little church where I helped. For that's where I was. That's what made the memories come flooding back.

But now, we are fixing up our new house. When we actually moved in, we found out that the place was really pretty dirty and needed more work than we thought it would. So we've been cleaning (deep cleaning!) everything and doing a lot of painting. The floors were all very creaky and squeaky, so I've also been busy peeling up the carpets and reattaching the wood. I needed to get all this done now because we are getting new carpet installed on Tuesday and I don't want to pull up the new stuff once they put it down.  :-)  That should make a big difference! We also found out that the former owners had painted right over all the switches and outlets.  :-(  So in addition to repainting, we've been replacing all of them. Then there's been the work we've had contractors in to do - they're still coming. Electrician next week to fix some problems and install a lot more lighting in the basement which will be my study/office. And there's still a lot to do - but after next week, I believe all the major work will be done. Then we'll begin taking things out of our storage unit and settling in all the way.

My brother and sister came to help us move and they did a LOT of work! Not only did they help with the actually moving, but did a lot of patching, sanding, cleaning, and painting while they were here. I don't know how long it would have taken us without them!

The basement which will be my study/office is what needs the most work now. It has an old and not very nice wet bar of sorts in one corner that needs to be torn out. Some brick around it will need to be chiseled out too. Then some drywalling and painting, and with the new lighting, it should be pretty good. I want to put some carpeting down also, but I think that may need to wait a while - I think we've pretty much used up our improvements budget with everything else we've done! There's other stuff that will have to wait as well, like a new basement door and some new windows in the basement, new light fixtures in various places, too.

What we'll do little by little after this major stuff is done is the painting of all the trim in the house, as well as the wainscoting in some of the hallways and rooms. I would like to try something like this picture, except with the color above the rail light and the color below the rail and in the squares dark - maybe a dark green. I think the contrast would be nice, but we'll see. As I said, we can take some time with that.

But what I also need to get moving on is my school work! I've always tried to place church and family before school, and with all this happening, the school work has slid a bit. But I still need to get it done, so I need to carve out some good time to make sure I do.

Finally, here's a picture of the whole gang around my father. We are making plans to move him down in November. It will be nice to have him with us.