Friday, November 9, 2012



It's well past November 1st, but here are some of my favorites for the month:

11.1.12 National Family Literacy Month
11.4.12 Daylight Savings Ends; Use Common Sense Day
11.6.12 Election Day
11.8.12 National Parents as Teachers Day
11.10.12 National Day of Play
11.11.12 Veteran's Day
11.14.12 National Teddy Bear Day
11.15.12 I Love to Write Day
11.17.12 National Adoption Day
11.22.12 Thanksgiving
11.23.12 Fibonacci Day
11.24.12 Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day; Small Business Saturday
11.30.12 Mark Twain's Birthday

Adopt a Senior Pet Month- hits close to home right now... Lady is definitely a senior, and a senior who is not a fan of the new kid on the block, Sophie.

Family Stories Month- we do have quite a few of them... though we never all tell the same story the same way.

National Adoption Month- I didn't know much about adoption until my friend Debbie adopted two incredible children... what great parents she and Jared are... and what a beautiful picture of how God adopts us into His family.

National Novel Writing Month- I always wanted to write a book.

National Peanut Butter Lover's Month- I don't really have anything to say here, except that I really enjoy peanut butter. ;)

National Scholarship Month- I'd like to one day give scholarships to kids who work hard, but come from homes who cannot afford to send their children without assistance- I'd like to help a student graduate debt free!  Perhaps, I should just start saving for Sophie's college tuition for now though...

Happy November,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2012



October is a busy month... there are a TON of holidays to celebrate.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

10.4 Ten-Four Day
10.5 Do Something Nice Day; World Teachers' Day
10.9 National Face Your Fears Day
10.14 Church of the Suncoast's Grand Opening @ their new location (www.ChurchOfTheSuncoast.com)
10.15 I Love Lucy Day; National Cake Decorating Day
10.16 National Boss' Day (or as I like to call it, National Wife Day)
10.18 National Cupcake Day
10.25 World Pasta Day
10.27 Make a Difference Day
10.28 National Chocolate Day (I feel like this one comes up every month...)
10.29 Visit a Cemetery Day
10.30 National Candy Corn Day
10.31 National Caramel Apple Day; Hallo-weenie :)

10.1-10.7 Financial Planning Week, National Storytelling Week
10.7-10.13 Great Books Week; National Carry a Tune Week
10.14-10.20 National Food Bank Week; Teen Read Week
10.21-10.27 National Save for Retirement Week; Pastor Appreciation Week

American Cheese Month
Pizza Month
Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month
Financial Planning Month
National Bake a Cake and Decorate it Month
National Book Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Caramel Month & National Dental Hygiene Month (Coincidence?  I think not...)
National Go on a Field Trip Month
National Reading Group Month
National Sarcastic Awareness Month

... and Squirrel Awareness Month.  Why?  I have no idea.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday Morning Commentary... on Tuesday

The past few Sundays have been a little different for us at the Suncoast.  For one, we are in our own space, and are no longer meeting in a Middle School Cafeteria.  And two, since the space we are meeting in is not finished, our services have been a little less media driven (no videos, power point, etc.), and the messages have been a little more like a conversation.  Brian has been doing some vision casting for the future of the Suncoast, as we approach this new season in our church life.

Here are a few things that stood out to me:

1.  Only 17% of Americans attend church on a regular basis.  40% of Americans still see the church as a relevant environment when seeking spiritual growth, looking for help in times of crisis, and in their pursuit of self-improvement, etc..  60% no longer see the church as a relevant option, period.  What does that mean for us as a church?  Well, we have to continue to do our services with excellence for the 40%, with the idea of "come and see," and be the church the rest of the week for the 60% with the idea of "go and be."

2.  Five statements we need to embrace as a church to avoid making Sundays the finish line, and instead, keep it the starting line.

Found people, find people.
Who are you "finding?"  Who are you sharing your faith with?  Once you encounter Jesus, you should want to share him with everyone you know! 
(Matthew 9:9-13)

Saved people, serve people.
People should know we are Christians by our love for one another.  Do people see you this way?  Who are you serving? 
(John 13:35, Matthew 20:28)

Changed people, change.
Christianity is an event, followed by a process.  Our goal is to be more like Jesus.  Are you more or less like Jesus this year than you were last year?  Why or why not? 
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Blessed people, bless.
You cannot out-give God.  Are you blessing others?  Who?  Have you ever given sacrificially, and watched God come through on your behalf?  
(2 Corinthians 9:6-15)  

Those who get grace, give grace.
We have not done anything to earn grace, nor should others have to earn it from us.  
(2 Timothy 1:9)  

I hope you take the time to ponder those questions and look up those verses.  It was a pretty challenging message (for me), considering the fact that 60% of the people we come in contact with will never set foot in a church, and their only exposure to Christianity could be the interaction they have with us Monday-Saturday.  I know I don't always do a very good job of representing my Savior... my prayer is for people to see less of me, and more of Him in me.

See you on Sunday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Road Trip!

Road trip!  The three necessary ingredients of a great road trip:

1.  Fun scenery:

We saw some goats...


a beautiful canal...


an even more beautiful park on a lake that was connected to several other large lakes (a great place for a boat, and for some great exercise, located right on the Withlacoochee Trail)...


Chinsegut Hill, which was actually a pretty steep hill for the flat lands of Florida...


and a beautiful oak canopy road.


2.  Great food:

We dined at a place called Coach's Pub and Eatery.  I actually failed to get any pictures here... probably because we were so hungry, and the food was so good.  It was also the first time in a while we let ourselves eat full out carbs for a meal, yum!  Our intention was to try a place called, Stumpknockers, but they are closed on Mondays- bummer for them, we found a spot we liked next door and would return to if we happen to land that way again.

3.  A great story:

While traveling, we happened upon a beautiful canal that was tucked back away, far from civilization... all of a sudden, we find a pretty happening, quite busy little restaurant with seating right on the water- perfect!  Well, not so much.  Before entering the restaurant, Brian pulled over by the canal, got out and took some pictures.  While snapping a few photos, a lovely gentleman from the restaurant came outside and politely asked Brian what the hell he was doing.  Uh... taking some photos?  Some more unkind words were said, and before you know it, instead of eating at their restaurant and raving about it here online, we quickly drove away angry and moved on to the restaurant mentioned above.  It was a bummer because it really looked like it could have been a cool spot... if you're one of them.  If you're not, well... watch out!  Ha!

Another successful road trip with the family!



Friday, August 31, 2012

Here We Go!

As you may have heard, Church of the Suncoast is moving!  We signed a lease on a new space that we are currently working on fixing up as our new home!  We are far from finished, and still have about 40% of the funds to raise to be able to finish with no debt, but here is a look at what is going on right now.

We had our last set up and tear down as a portable church on Sunday at Rushe Middle School!  We were so blessed to get to meet at this school, get to know the principal a little, one of their custodians (We love you, Doug!), and serve the staff and students of the school on many occasions.  We hope to be able to maintain those friendships and continue to serve our community and its schools in ways we have in the past, and in new bigger ways in the future.  We love where we live, and we love the people of our community!

We packed up and closed that trailer one final time...


Say, CHEESE!


Here are a few peaks at the new space:

Crystal has some awesome things going on in the space for the children... I can't wait for Sophie to get to hang out here!  Thanks to Angel for the mural in the room where the babies will be hanging out!


This is the hallway in between the different rooms for the different ages of the children.  I love what they have done here!  In case you don't know, the theme for our Children's Ministry is "Coastal Kids."  Children ages 0-1 hang out in the Mangroves, ages 1-4 hang out in the Shore, and ages 5-10 hang out in the Beach.


We are working on creating an awesome space for the grown ups as well... but that is a bit of a bigger project.  We still have a lot of work that needs to go into those spaces.  We'll share some of those pictures at a later date. :)

Our purpose at the Suncoast is to simply help people take their next steps with God by loving up, reaching out, and growing within; and we felt like the best way for our church to do this was to have a more permanent location for ministry to take place, and for people to be sent back out into their communities to serve others.

Here is how you can help:

1.  Pray for the leadership team.  They need your prayers more than anything else!  Wisdom, clarity, direction, and vision- to name a few broad things to pray for.  The people who lead and volunteer at the Suncoast have put their lives and livelihood on the line to see this church built, and by church, I don't just mean a building.  You can also pray for our community.  We are located in South, Central Pasco County, but wish to reach all of Pasco, and northern Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties as well.  That's an awful lot of people!

2.  You can give.  And it doesn't have to be a lot.  It could be anywhere from $5.00 to $5,000; it doesn't matter what the amount is, what matters is your heart when you give, whatever the amount may be.  There are three ways you can give: 1) online at www.churchofthesuncoast.com , 2) by mail 13266 Byrd Drive Ste. 300 Odessa, Florida 33556, or 3) by attending on a Sunday and dropping it off in person (just keep in mind, there is still a lot of work to do, so things will be far from finished looking).

Thank you to those who have already been praying and have given, and thank you to you for reading this post!  We are very excited about the future of Church of the Suncoast, we hope you are too!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

September 2012


I was just about to write about how much I love September, but the truth is, I love every month!  There is so much to celebrate and are so many ways to be creative all year long!

Here are a few of my favorite September holidays (as always, there are many, many more than just the ones listed below...)

9.3 Labor Day
9.5 Be Late for Something Day (as if I'm not late for enough all of the time anyway?)
9.8 International Literacy Day (read a stinkin' book!)
9.12 National Chocolate Milkshake Day
9.13 International Chocolate Day
9.16 Wife Appreciation Day (what a nice treat for your wifey if you celebrate this one somehow)
9.17 Constitution Day; Citizenship Day
9.18 National Respect Day
9.19 Talk Like a Pirate Day (I cannot wait for this Mateys!)
9.22 First Day of Fall; Kids Day (I love, love Fall...and Winter...and Spring...and Summer...oh, and kids!)
9.23 Great American Pot Pie Day
9.24 Family Day (Aw, shouldn't this be everyday?  I love my Brian and Sophie... )
9.26 Johnny Appleseed Day (I actually remember celebrating this in elementary school)
9.27 Chocolate Milk Day
9.28 Ask a Stupid Question Day; Love Note Day (wink, wink); Hug a Vegetarian Day (Steve, I'll be looking for you!)

9.2-9.8 National Waffles Week
9.17-9.23 Constitution Week
9.23-9.30 Keep Kids Creative Week (Yay!!)

All American Breakfast Month (have breakfast for dinner one night)
College Savings Month (here we go...)
Library Card Sign Up Month (check!)
National Recovery Month
National Chicken Month
Peach Month

Feel free to share any ideas as to how you like celebrate some of these lesser known, or even the greater known holidays!  Always looking for ideas!

Happy September,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Snack Time!














Brian and I have been on a diet... yuck!  We have been doing the South Beach diet, which Brian has done before, but I have not.  It is a diet that requires me to give up some sweets for a period of time, and if you know me at all, you know that is kind of a big deal for me.  But, as a cost saving measure, since we can no longer fit into our clothes (and I still cannot fit into my pre-Sophie clothes), and we cannot afford to buy a whole new wardrobe for our new size, we are losing a few pounds.  So far so good.  Brian has lost about ten, and I have lost about five.  About five more to go for both us to at least get our old pants buttoned, a few more for me if I want to not have extreme muffin top in my old jeans. ;)

Anyway, the South Beach Diet has three phases.  The first phase requires you to give up all sugar... I'll be honest, that is impossible for me, so I have cheated a little here and there- which is probably why I have not lost as much as Brian, but whatever.  The second phase allows you to reintroduce some of the good sugars back into your diet.  And the third phase, which is supposed to last forever,  you are eating a normal healthy diet, substituting all good sugars in place of the bad ones, with an occasional cheat here and there.

SO, that brings me to the point of this post... a little snack I've whipped up for the two of us: mixed nuts and dark chocolate chips.


I used Planters mixed nuts (just peanuts for Brian), and Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips (the only brand I found that actually stated it was made with 60% cacao).  You can use about a tablespoon of the chocolate chips, and about a 1/4 cup of the nuts.




I combined the two ingredients into some of Sophie's old baby food containers that I had saved (Nancy would be so proud!).  Any small containers would be fine, recycled, or purchased new.




Popped the lids on, and stacked them up for the week.  There is a stack for Brian, and a stack for me.  Now, we can just grab a little container and go! And, as far as snacks go, it is pretty tasty, and gives me just enough of a sweet treat with dark chocolate to make this diet a little more manageable!





I hope this was helpful... if not, thanks for reading to the end anyway. ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

We're Moving!

Church of the Suncoast is moving!  Currently, we meet in a middle school cafeteria... soon (the move-in date is to be determined), we will be meeting in a more permanent location on Gunn Highway just one mile south of SR54.  We are very excited!  The first project... painting Brian's office.  It was a priority for me to get him moved in and settled as soon as possible, to help ease some of the current stress in his life right now.  Here is a peek at his new space.

Before

After

On our way out last night, we caught Crystal and Keith stopping by to look as some design ideas for the new  children's space!  They have some great ideas... I can't wait to see how it all comes together!



Sunday, August 5, 2012

August 2012


Some favorites for this month:

8.4.12 National Chocolate Chip Day
8.5.12 Friendship Day; Sisters' Day
8.6.12 National Fresh Breath Day
8.10.12 National Smores Day
8.15.12 National Relaxation Day
8.17.12 Hug Your Boss Day- so men, be sure to hug your wives today! ;); Men's Grooming Day
8.18.12 Bad Poetry Day
8.20.12 Cupcake Day
8.24.12 Pluto Demoted Day (Ha!); National Waffle Day
8.25.12 Kiss and Make Up Day
8.26.12 National Dog Day
8.30.12 National Toasted Marshmallow Day

8.1-8.7.12 Simplify Your Life Week
8.5-8.11.12 National Farmers Market Week

All month long, we celebrate:
Celery, Fennel and Cactus Month (I don't know...)
Orange and Papaya Month
National Brownies at Brunch Month
What Will Your Legacy Be Month- Hmm... it got deep all of a sudden.  Perhaps something to ponder over a brownie at brunch?  ;)

Happy Holidays,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Take. It. Off.

We went to the doctor on Thursday to have Brian's cast taken off...



I love how Sophie is holding Daddy's hand in this picture.  I guess he holds her hands when she gets shots, so she thought she'd hold his when he got his cast taken off. ;)  


Mmmm... there was a nice yummy smell coming from that cast when she opened it up!


Aw, his poor little toe is afraid of the light.


What we were not planning for, and what the doctor specifically said he would not need, was a boot and physical therapy.  Ugh!


He does a little better on it each day.  He wears the boot faithfully, and tries to move his foot a little each day when he is resting.  He starts therapy this week... hoping it goes quickly and smoothly!

Hoping no one in this family ever breaks another bone,