Monday, September 29, 2008

election rambles...

This post is long overdue and thanks to a wonderful breakfast experience with some intelligent folks, I feel the need to share my thoughts. This comes from the heart (and my current quiet times)...

Regardless of who you're voting for, I want to express some of my concerns. Honestly, it doesn't have much to do with the candidates at this point. Don't get me wrong, I have opinions on the matter, I've done my research (and continue to) and I make it a point to dialog with others about the future of this great country. However, it's all of the stuff leading up to the vote that seems to concern me the most.

As a Christian, I feel there are some ground-rules that should be established when talking politics. Specifically, I'm referring to our upcoming presidental election. I understand that people are passionate about what they believe, who they back, and what they want to see in our future. We should all be vocal about our stance on issues. We should all seek out the facts (unbiased ones, if possible) and then share what we know. We should all listen to each other. We should share our concerns. We should pray for our country and its leaders. We should look to the Bible for guidance.

[Eph. 4...1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.]

None of this is new. These are things we are encouraged to do as Christians. Why should it be any different when dealing with the political issues in life?

So, here's where my concern comes into play. Why is it that so many of us (Christians) have become rude, forceful, dramatic, and pushy when discussing our political beliefs? Why do we make others feel alienated, upset, and disrespected for choosing one over another? We are called to love one another. I cannot (and should not) forcefully impress my beliefs upon anyone else. Sure, I may not agree with others, but that does not give me the right to belittle them or make them feel as though they are unintelligent and incapable of making an educated decision based upon what they value and deem important.

[Eph. 4...14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.]

Regardless of who wins this election, I think Christians have an opportunity to make a huge impact on our society - one for the better. We can open up to others, listen to their words, and then intelligently share our own Biblically based ideals. What an opporunity to be a light in this dark world. I'm not suggesting we become "soft" and refrain from voicing our thoughts. Instead, I think we should share...and we are instructed to do so. However, we must remember that we are called to love.

Eph. 4...17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.]

I look forward to reading your comments...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

it's so hard to say goodbye... Dusty and Kara!

Today we (Joel, Erin & Cami, Chris, Christy & Case, Erik & Krista, Kim & Dave, Dave & Doreen, and Terry) helped our friends move out. I should actually clarify...Ben helped with the moving. I did a lot of standing around, holding babies. It was great! :)

Since I failed to post these pictures earlier, I figure now is a good time. A while back, we had a going-away party for our friends. Check out the fun...

Who attended...
Todd, Jessica & Hailey
Greg & Kelly

Ben & I

Chris & Christy


The girls were a bit bored by all of the football we decided to take the fun outside. Here we are demonstrating our croquette skills (or lack of).

Kelly totally makes this sport look cool...and cute!

Kara looks so...graceful?!?!

These two pictures of Jessica are my favorite! She is so stinkin' funny...I love spending time with her. Oh, and she and I were on the same team. I'm pretty sure we won!

Hailey was by far the most adorable player!

Some of the girls

Some of the fellas

Goodbye kisses

Monday, September 15, 2008

wanna go for a walk?

How about 60 miles? :)

Friday Morning Ben dropped us off at Bellevue Community College. The sun was just beginning to rise and we were gearing up to walk 23 miles. This is the scene that greeted us upon our arrival.

The crowd...a sea of pink!

These flags were everywhere. Throughout the day, people would carry one as they walked and then pass it off to someone else. Hillary and I carried quite a few on our first day.

Our first shot of the day. Can you tell that we took it? So tired...yet so excited!

Here we are at a pit-stop. They had stops about every 3 miles. This is where you would grab some food, refill your water supply, and use the porta-potty. We lived for any sort of stop! It felt like a small goal to reach each one of these stations. This was the Double-D Ranch. :)

Hillary and I pose with a flag. We were still full of energy and feeling great at this point on day one.

This is the pig motorcycle. You wouldn't believe how many rough-and-tough biker men invade the Breast Cancer 3-Day course. They volunteer their time to ensure our safety along the routes. Dressed in pink, they stop traffic and help us cross the street. They greet us with smiles at several stops along the way. We became big fans of the pig guy. :)

Here's what we saw as we started day 2...22 miles!

Ben showed up at lunch with a pink bra on...over his white t-shirt! He fit right in! :)

Here's the fam. They were all there at lunch on the 2nd day. This is when my mom helped out by lancing my blister. My dad took countless pictures of the ordeal.

The blister returned several times...I just couldn't get it to go away. This is the smaller version too.

Kara was nice enough to come see me during the lunch break as well. What a good friend! Thanks for your support K-Ham!

Proof that we were still out on the course!

Hillary's mom (Leslie) and her step-dad (Lonnie), were huge supporters! They live near Marymoor Park and showed up at countless cheering stations, visited us at camp each night and even brought us coffee on Sunday morning. Riley stayed with them for a couple of nights since Steve had to work, so he came to cheer us on as well. It was so much fun to see him light up each time Hillary came into view.

Riley wanted to walk with his mama at one point. So, he grabbed his blanket and showed his support. How sweet, huh?

These signs were posted before every pit stop. During the morning hours, we were happy to see these. As the day wore on, we hated these signs...a mile can seem like forever when you're walking 60! We're also pretty sure that the signs were posted 2 miles before the pit stops. Someone needs to check for accuracy.

Here we are at a pit stop. These themes, the friendly people, and endless supply of food and drink were a welcomed break in our day. We were so happy to reach each pit stop...smaller goals within the 60 miles.

The last day...I wanted a picture in front of the fountain (not turned on) at u-dub. I figured Ben would appreciate this. On the far right, is Kasey. Hillary and I know her through Maywood. She has helped with our school musicals in the past. Right now she's gearing up to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz at Seattle Children's Theatre.

Here were are in the "holding-tank." We completed the walk and this is where we were waiting for the rest of the walkers. SO EXCITED TO BE DONE! At this point, the pain didn't really matter.

Here is a look at everyone lining up for our entry into Memorial Stadium.

I looked for my family as I came out. They were the ones holding the "Anne Simmons Rocks" poster. It's just to the left of the large pink blow-up. You can't really see it here...but it meant the world to me at this point!

Everyone out on the thankful to be done!

We held up a shoe in support of all of the survivors who walked. Those of us who simply walked wore white shirts. Those who walked as survivors wore pink shirts. This is when the survivors were introduced. I wish I could have seen the sea of pink shirts a bit better. Regardless, it was extremely emotional.

Here are a few survivors who carried in the flags. At this point, everyone is crying. The strength displayed is beyond description.

This is a picture of the women raising the final flag...the one that says something about a world free of breast cancer. Hey, with the 8.6 million dollars raised from this walk alone, that's a huge possibility!

So happy to be a part of something so meaningful!

I don't know that there are many things in life I have truly been proud of. I mean, there are a few things that come to mind, but something about this challenge has brought so much joy to my life. I kept telling Hillary that I was so proud of her. I know it wasn't easy and I couldn't have done it without her support. At this point, I wonder how long it will take me to sign up for next year. :)


So many of you have supported me in this walk and I can't even begin to thank you! Your prayers, financial support, emails, encouraging words, and willingness to come out to the event made a huge difference. I continue to hope and pray that the cure for breast cancer is something we'll see in my lifetime. Thank you for doing your part to help make that a reality!

Monday, September 8, 2008

it's a...

Bobby & Kelli are having a baby boy!
We are so excited!

Now, we just have to sit back and wait - patiently. I'm not so sure about that part...I'm not a fan of waiting. There are a few name ideas, but nothing solid just yet.
I can't wait to meet Rockie Balboa (that was my name suggestion...I have a little 7th grade boy named Rockie and I was trying to share some great ideas with Bobby & Kelli). :)
Hooray for Baby Weber! We love you!