Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fair-Weather Gardener

I love to work in the garden...I love to work in the flower beds...I love to work in the yard...AS LONG AS IT'S 70 DEGREES AND SHADY!!! Tonight I finally got it...after a summer of neglect (due to never being home or the weather not cooperating) I was finally able to weed the flower garden!!! Believe it or not, there were still flowers in there! Enjoy some random pictures of the evenings activities. ~Jaye~
Joseph hitching a ride from G-Ma on a pile of weeds!

Big Foot has been in our garden!!

A sad little birdie who fell from its nest
"Mom, you better watch for aphids on your flowers!" This was a random quote from Anna one night as she was helping me with dinner. It was after her second day of school...guess what they're learning about!! Jess snapped this picture just to remind us of that moment!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Three Things

Ok, I have three items to share today. I thought about three different posts but...naa, I'll just get everything going at once.
1. My friend Stevan ( is the master computer guy. He is the guy that has a new post, great links, and tons of worth reading things on his website. Well, today he added us to his list of blogs. It may not mean much to others but to this old guy, well, I feel like I've arrived. Thank you my friend, you've made my day. Go read his stuff, it's great.

2. I should have made this number one cause if you go to Stevan's you'll see that he talked about this too. Americas Got Talent, Terry Fator, the winner. I was glad to see this guy win. Cas Haley will go on to make some money singing, he was good. Terry on the other hand, I think this was a one time shot. So I'm happy about the turn out. Did any of you catch the show?

3. Lap top computers. I am looking to buy a lap top. I have been to, Best Buy, Staples and Dell. I have found some that look cool but here is my dilemma. I don't know what type of processor I need. What about the wireless card, upgrade for 50 bucks or go with the one that comes with the machine, get the better batteries? So many options and I'm clueless. Feel free to give me some advice. But you should know, I can't afford a Mac! And I'm old, you know what they say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Sorry Mac guys.
That's it, my 3 picks of the day. ~Brian~

Friday, August 17, 2007

My Friday Night Adventure

As the world celebrated the premiere of High School Musical 2, Anna excitedly went of to a HSM2 party. Jaye and Jessica microwaved some popcorn and settled in for the big show. Wes was off to a friend’s house. I don’t think he was watching the movie, I think it was video game night. That left me, well, looking for something to do. I went off to McDonald's not for a burger but for a movie. This being the first time I have used the McDonald DVD rental machine I took my time reading the touch screens, I didn't want to end up spending a thousand dollars to rent a movie. Let me share my adventure. The first screen showed two said Rent a DVD the other Return a DVD. I found a picture online you can see for yourself, this one has three, I don’t think the one at the store did.

I touched my way thru the menus, found a movie to watch and ended up at the “swipe your card now" screen. I followed the example picture on the machine to swipe. Turns out the picture was opposite of what I was doing. The swipper strip needed to be on the other side. But that’s not my story. As I was at one point at the “swipe your card screen", not getting the swipe to work, a guy walks up. I’m not going to tell you his age, you can guess at the end of the story. There is a little black box on the side of the machine, a “Return your DVD here” box. As I’m working on my order, he keeps trying to ram his DVD into the machine. Grumble, grumble, grumble he starts getting frustrated. Being a servanthood kind of guy, I abandon my order to return to the first screen that says Rent a DVD, box one, RETURN a DVD, box two. I said “I think you need to tell it you are returning a DVD”. I’m working my way back to the first screen for the fella, you know, to let him touch the right box to tell the machine he is ready to return the movie. He leans in, says to the machine, out loud, not missing a beat, “I’m returning a DVD.” I about die! Trying not to laugh out loud, I push the “Return a DVD” on the touch screen for him. The red machine sucks in his DVD and he walks away happy. Oh my, I’m dying inside! He had no idea about the boxes on the touch screen. I would LOVE to see him take the next movie back….standing at the RED McDonald's DVD Machine saying “I’m returning a DVD.... I AM RETURNING A DVD!. What's going on, this worked last time, grumble, grumble, grumble.” I love technology. It was all worth not having to watch High School Musical 2. ~Brian~

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

School Daze

I love the beginning of school. For me, it ranks right up there with the beginning of the new year. It's a time for a fresh start, a new adventure just waiting to unfold! With much influence from Brian, I even love shopping for new school supplies. There's nothing like the smell of a new box of Crayola crayons! And who cares if we have 25 pair of scissors and 10 rulers in the craft closet...we deserve new ones anyway!

I know that Jess and Anna agree with me...Wes on the other hand...well, he thinks the 1st month is okay...after that he's counting down for fall break!! Jessica starts her adventure as a freshman in high school (gulp, it pains me to say that!) Wes goes to the jr high this year as a 7th grader. Anna is no longer a "little kindergartner"..she's "all that" in 1st grade!

As I write this they are all enjoying their first day back. And I must admit I am enjoying my time at home(no explanation needed, I'm sure)!! I also have started an adventure of my own...babysitting. I babysit for Kent and Angie Santees' daughter, Meredith. She is almost 4 months old and we love her like our own! I couldn't ask for a better baby to be watching. I have a lot of help from Joseph and we're loving it!! Jaye ;)

At 7:00 am I'm not sure if these smiles are real!!

Back to school means the start of getting things rolling at youth group. It seems that when summer hits we lose connection with some of the teens. I'm always glad to know vacations are over, teens will be home, and things will start to get into a rhythm. It also kinda kicks off the busy season for those of us in youth, choir, track, drama, you know all the stuff we get to be a part of as a youth pastor. It also means that there are opportunities to call home and talk to my wife without having to fight through a conversation with kids hanging all around. Hmmm, who knows there might even be a lunch date here and there once in awhile. My kids are growing up. It's fun to watch that. They are turning out to be wonderful young people. We'll be able to write this type of blog for a long time. By the time Joseph starts school I'll be talking about sending my red head to college. Wow, now I know I'm getting old. Maybe I should start a college fund. Anyone wanna donate? ~Brian~

Monday, August 13, 2007

At Church

We went to Sunday School this past weekend, which we do every Sunday. I love Sunday School. Jaye and I are in a "Fellowship" class. It is great because we've gotten to know some of the folks in church in a deeper way. We knew everyone before, don't get me wrong, but now it's more than that. It's cool to be in a place where you can be yourself, not have to put up a "Christian" front. Real relationships, wow, God's plan for church is really sweet. I'm very excited that some of our Sunday School friends are visiting the Holland Blog...thanks Bekah and Sarah :)
We got the hook up this weekend...High Speed internet. It is the best! So what does that mean? More pictures, more blogging? I'm sure that is what's going to happen. To me it means more visits at home to Thanks for stopping by, let us know you've been here, leave a comment. ~Brian~

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Farmers Holland

Background info: the last 13 days temperatures have been in the 90's, Humidity 110%! Translation: HOT and STICKY!

Over the last few weeks life has been really busy with camps, vacation, work, etc. We haven't spent the time working outside in the yard or garden like we've wanted. With all the global warming that is going on, we have watched out the window from our air conditioned house as the weeds take over our flower beds and garden. They are doing a good job! I wish the flowers grew like weeds. Tonight we finally caught a break! The temperature dropped to a chilly 82ish and the humidity was a bit lower so Jaye took advantage of the cooling opportunity. Into the garden she went with the help of the troops. You can see the bounty of green beans and tomatoes (tomatoes are from a raid into the neighbors garden, shhhh don't tell). The green beans are great, only one problem...Granny, who lives in our old garage out back, is on vacation. She is the one that helps us snap the beans to get them ready for canning. I think she left on purpose so she didn't have to help this year. Smart woman. ~Brian~

Notice the tomato seeds on Joseph...
He thought they were little red balls.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's the little things...

WOO HOO!!! Our bumpy, nasty road has been paved!! It's been a lengthy process but as of today we have a nice smooth road running in front of our house!! If you're not familiar with where we live...our house sits VERY close to the road. We use to have several large potholes in front of our house. When semis or anything pulling a trailer would go over them it sounded like they were crashing thru our house. It was a sound that we have gotten use to over the years (although Joseph was still working on that). Now, as I write this, I have not heard any traffic outside my window! YEAH!! Sometimes it's the little trivial as they may seem... that are pretty cool!! ~Jaye~

The steamroller man...Joseph waved everytime he went back and forth...
the guy was so nice to honk and wave back each time! :)

Looking for more "trac-tors" Joseph EVERYTHING is a tractor!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Rain Rain Go away

We had planned a Cedar Point trip for the youth group yesterday, you know a last "hoorah" for the end of the summer. School starts next week for most of the teens. We rented a van, bought supplies for lunch, packed up and left the church at 5:30 am...a time of day that none of the kids have seen in the last 3 months. We took off. Oh, about half way there it started to rain a little, then a lot, then thunderstorms, lightening...the whole 9 yards. We stopped and had a pow wow with the adults and called someone with internet to check the radar. We found that there were storms all across the lake. We decided that it would be really not good to drive the entire way up there, pay 35 bucks to walk around in the rain and not get to ride any rides. So we went to Ft Wayne to play lazer tag, then went to the go cart/mini golf/arcade place for awhile. It ended up being a pretty fun day. We did sing the "rain rain go away" didn't work. ~Brian~

More Pictures

I uploaded some photos to Facebook. You can check them out at:

Monday, August 6, 2007

Glory Land

Well, yesterday was the last day of the big vacation. It was hot and muggy outside too, like 95. So what did we do, we headed off to the motherland, sweet home Chicago. It was "Bears, Family Day" so we took part of the family to see the boys practice. Man talk about some beef, those guys are HUGE. It was really cool being able to watch practice. We had great seats in the end zone, second row. Most of the line practice was down at our end of the field. I got some great pictures of my favorite Bears #57 Olin Kreutz, #30 Mike Brown, #54 Urlacher, and of course, the lovable #8 Rex Grossman. After waiting in line hours and watching practice, we were able to watch an awesome fireworks show, way better than what we seen this past 4th of July. It was great. I was thinking about how nice it was being among like minded people. All you could see was a sea of Bears Blue and Orange. There was not a single sissy blue Colts shirt in the crowd. NICE.
We enjoyed the sites on our way up, nothin' better than the Gary, Indiana landscape. Rusty metal, and old abandon buildings. Did you know that Michael Jackson was born in Gary? We have a lot in common that Michael Jackson and I. I was also born in Gary, and we both turned out to be white guys. Go figure. Enjoy the pictures, I wonder if Michael is a Bears fan too? ~Brian~

#54 Look at the size of that melon!


Picture by Jessica

Devin Hester, photo by Jessica

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Marengo Cave

Yesterday we took a trip down to Southern Indiana to Marengo Cave. I grew up driving past the billboards as we went down to visit family I have living in the area. I've always wondered what kind of "cave" could be in Southern Indiana. This week we finally decided to take a family trip and discover for ourselves!

We were all amazed at the beauty that lies underneath our feet! I can't even
describe the majesty of this underground "cavity". I was expecting a dark hole with bats hanging from the ceiling and maybe even a bear (at least that's the picture we painted for Anna)! If any of you have ever been to the Grand Canyon you will understand my loss for words in trying to describe something so beautiful.

I have to admit that I was "somewhat" nervous when entering the cave. I am VERY
claustrophobic! I can't even handle having blankets on my face and don't even think of me getting in any type of a crawl space!! Once I was in the cave all my fears were put to rest. I tried not to think of the tons of dirt above us! There were some "tight" spots we had to wind our way thru but the majority of the time we were in wide open spaces!! Some spots were so large that in the early 1900's they held square dances underground with 300 in attendance!!

Enough was a WONDERFUL trip. We would recommend it to anyone! What a great way to spend a HOT day...90 plus degrees outside and it was an even 52 degrees in the cave!! Check out for more info! Jaye :)

The Family (minus Joseph-the cave wasn't stroller friendly)

Stalactites & Stalagmites (yep, we know the difference)

Rimstone Dam and Stalagmites

Brian and Anna gemstone mining