Last weekend we had great winter camp called Alalanche for middle school students and it was awesome! There were a couple hundred kids and the whole weekend was supposed to be a wild "avalanche" of an event and it was.
Rachel is in PHX all week for more training. She's learning about lending, which is funny because while she is doing that I am becoming more addicted to Dave Ramsey and wanting to get completly out of debt. We don't have much debt, the house (which we are still trying to sell) and the car, but I would love to be debt free.
Anyone want to buy a wonderful, georgous, well loved, Jeep? I hate the idea of selling it, but to get rid of a car payment would be great. Ray and I are trying to decide if we should sell it or attack it and have it payed off ASAP and then have a great, practically new vehicle thats paid for. Oh Dave Ramsey, you inspire me so.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Yesterday was a long day at work. We left Prescott at 5:45 and drove over to Las Vegas for a couple of meetings and then drove back, we got home around 8:15.
The trip was nice and we got to hang out with a bunch of children's pastors at an area networking meeting. It was cool seeing all these people working in children's ministry and how they are working so hard to provide quality experiences for the kids they work with.
After that meeting, we went over to Pei Wei (pronounced Pay-Way, pardon?) and met with some of the youth ministry team from Central Christian Church. They have a really cool ministry going on where they run 3 or so campuses, but are teacing on the same lesson plan and doing lots of activities together. Each of the guys has their own area of expertice, from writing the material to marketing to leader development and others. We had a blast hanging with them and hopefully they will be coming to camp this coming summer with the JR High kids.
Rachel is directing a childrens musical that will be performing in March and last night they had audicians. She said it was great seeing all the kids and being back in a theater environment. I know she will do a great job and while she loves banking, she excited to work with something artistic, even if its just on a very part time basis. I am really happy for her and can't wait to see it all come together.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 6:08 PM
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I posted around the new year about a few resolutions I have and I'd like to update you on how its going.
Ray and I made a resolution to not eat fast food in 2009 because we are fat Americans and we like our South African bodies better. Its going great! Sure, its only been 12 days, but every epic journey begins with a step....or 12.
I also said that I wanted to learn more about coffee, in particular, how to roast coffee. I contacted the roaster/owner of Prescott Coffee Roasters and asked him if I could come watch him work and learn about the roasting process. He said it was fine so I spent Saturday with Rich roasting several batches of coffee. It was so interesting and it made me appreciate coffee even more than I did. So much goes into a cup of coffee, its crazy.
At first I was super confused, but as we continued I caught on. Rich logs the bean temps as we go and has a whole system for how he does what he does. The amazing thing is, if your beans are only like 5 degrees warmer or cooler at the end of your roast they can be ruined. And if you end up ruining a batch that's like 8 pounds of coffee wasted, which at 10-13 bucks a pound that's a costly mistake.
So I just wanted to fill you in on what I have been doing to work towards my goals. I love to hear your resolutions and how its going with you so far. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 1:18 AM
Monday, January 12, 2009
We have Jr High winter camp, Avalanche, coming up in a few weeks and today we shot a rules video for the event with these genaric action figure guys. I converted my desk to a studio adn we had to come up with ways to get our figures to do what we wanted them to do.
Hopefully we can put it together well and it will be as good as we hope it will be. I'll post the final product later. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 10:53 PM
Thursday, January 08, 2009
There are several times in life when you feel important. Of course, for many people these seem far and few between, however they still do exist. Here are a few for me.
-When I think of Creation and that we were made in the image of God. This makes me think that we are so important to God that he would make us and then love us even though we aren't perfect. I feel important.
-When I think that I was adopted I feel important. That someone would burden themselves with a child that was not there own makes someone feel important.
-When Rachel agreed to marry me and live the rest of her life with me. I feel like I am such a lazy bum sometimes, but to know that this beautiful woman would love me and live each day with me makes me feel important.
-When I was offered a job, I felt important. I mean, the fact that people would give me money and trust me to do a good job with teenagers makes me feel important.
There are other things that have happened in my life that has made me feel important, but what happened to day ranks up there......I got business cards.
Thats right, business cards.........with my name on them...........first AND last names..........that I didn't pay for...........with my phone number AND email AND company name AND title at work AND multi color company logo on them..........cards that weren't printed at my house on perferated card stock I purchased at Office Depot.
I feel important. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 1:02 AM
Sunday, January 04, 2009
I love Elliott Smith's music (the soundtrack to Good Will Hunting [a brilliant movie, the music is perfect for the feel and vibe of the story]is mostly his music). He died in 2003.
I was reading an interview with him tonight and there was a quote that I liked especially in regard to creating. Many times, artists can be their own worst critics and won't give the time for something (song, dance, play, video, design) to evolve fully and kill it right away. However, we grow so much from just producing. It's not that every idea will be great, but if you put out enough ideas there will be something that is worth pursuing. He said:
"It's very important to try all things that occur to you. You can't not try something just because it might be cheesy. It's a fine line between something that sounds like bullshit and something that sounds really cool. A lot of people agree that Picasso is the greatest painter of the 20th century, but I was told that he has more terrible paintings than everybody else too. He just painted more than everybody else! He didn't demand of himself that everything he did had to be stellar. It's sort of like, do everything and sort it out later, because you learn from your mistakes."
I know this sounds obvious, however while I try to teach this idea to people I come up short in regard to living this principle in my own life. Mostly when it comes to songwriting. As one of my resolutions for this year I want to continue growing as a musician and write more songs. I typically think everything I write is just shy of being mediocre, but I need to keep writing if I every to expect anything to be worth a damn.
I was just thinking about that tonight and was reading a little about Elliot Smith. If you've never heard him before, you should search some stuff out. Its typically mellow and haunting, which is a perfect combination for some car music. There is also a lot of his music on YouTube so you can check it out for free. Hope you like it and don't be afraid to try something, even if you fail wince we typically grow from our failures (except for algebra, failed it in 11 grade [only class I ever failed] and I never recovered). Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 8:07 AM
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Its amazing to think that its been a year since we moved back to America. On 1-1-08 we landed in DC, got a connecting flight to ATL and then got a ride to Ray's sisters by our good friend Kerrey. Starting a long and tiring 2 weeks of driving, packing and more driving (over 60 hours total) to arrive at our new home in Arizona.
2008 was a good year. Any time you make a huge life change there are things that take time getting settled. From touring to having office hours is a major shift for a person like me. I also struggled living back in the States for a while. I LOVED living in a foreign country. For me it was always an adventure and I loved that there was always something crazy happening (go to Africa if you have a chance, you will just smile the whole time because there is always something funny or odd happening). Plus, all the traveling we had done before moving to SA was an adventure and I struggled with being in a 'normal' life.
For Rach, I know it was a great year. Not living out of a suitcase meant the world to her. Finally getting a job as a teller and then being offered a personal banker position at Chase was exciting. She is amazing and excels at everything she does. What a freaking awesome woman!
As a couple it was a really good year also, I honestly feel that we grow closer and closer as time goes on. Rach was really there for me in my transition from the road to the office and it would have been a lot harder without her there. Thanks Ray.
Resolutions can be so trivial, but I think its a good way of looking to the future and finding areas in your life where you can grow and develop.
For me I want to grow in my fiscal responsibility and learn more about money. I was never taught much about money growing up and want to really develop that area of my life this year. Rachel and I will probably never have huge salaries, however the more we learn how to let our money work for us the better we will be. Or worst case I'll just start producing and selling meth, its big business around here.
I also would like to learn more about different crafts or trades. In particular I really want to learn more about coffee. If you have spent more than 11 minutes with me you probably know that I love coffee. I want to learn how to roast coffee and more about that business, its interesting to me. I've already contacted a local roaster and will be helping out with him coming up in the next couple of weeks. I am also wanting to continue to grow as a musician/producer and also learn more about the mechanical side of cars and trucks. I think its interesting, but something that is not really taught when you are raised by women.
Lastly, no new years resolution can go without something about fitness. I am fit in spurts, but never stay on track. I hope to be more active this year and eat a more healthy diet, staying away from as much processed stuff as possible. A goal that Ray and I set for ourselves (which I might add makes me sad) is to not eat any fast food this year. I know its a goal that sounds impossible to do in America, but we can try and I will keep track on here if we are able to keep that up. (I will miss you Taco Bell, Chick-fil-a and In-n-Out like close friends). We both have put on quite a bit of weight since moving back and it makes me feel gross.
I hope you all have a great New Years and would love you to post your resolutions in the comment area. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 8:47 PM
Right now on my TV Rocky is driving fast in his car reliving all his memories while Survivor rocks "No Easy Way Out" in the background. Life doesn't get much better.
Oh wait, it will, when Rocky starts training in the snow in Russia. I love my life right now.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 8:05 AM