Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Road Trip!

Maddie made her first visit to the Dairyland. Saw all the sites and several important people in our lives.

She can hardly wait to go back!

Here is a pictoral documentary of the trip.

(P.S. - Everyone is safe and sound at home now. No damage. Nothin'. Daddy is just glad to have his girls home)

"Shhhhh...I'm watching the game!"

Concerned about daddy staying home alone?

1,2,3,4...get your ladies on the floor.

"Bumpa" and his little ladies

Telling Grampa stories on his birthday

"Hey, Aunt Lydia...whats that over there?"

"I think you're havin' engine trouble"

Uncle Alan and the newest of the...



Ben keeps watch

Not overly impressed with Miller Park...

...plane rides either.

Just a cool cat from Tejas

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Undoubtedly you have seen the photos of the insanity on I-45. I began my own trek on Thursday morning at 5:15 am, fully intending to avoid that interstate completely.

At least until the radio announced that they would be opening all lanes of traffic to go northbound. "Sweet!" I thought. Seemed most people had taken my idea to go up through College Station to Waco and hit I-35.

Once on I-45, it took 3 hours to go 8 miles. In five hours I had managed to hit a few pockets of moving traffic and got 50 miles down the road. At 1:30, nearly 8 hours after I had left, I took an exit for backroads, wound my way up to I-35 north of Waco, and cruised into Dallas just before the thick of rush hour. Needless to say, I looked as though a hurricane had hit.

Rita has managed to avoid Houston for the most part. For this we are thankful. Still no word on the damage or any of the after effects. I hope to be able to return Sunday evening or Monday morning. Much will depend on the power situation.

I can't tell you how much I have appreciated all the prayers and offers of hospitality. An very big thanks to Aunt Kathy and her family for opening up her home to me. I know that can change the dynamics of a house real quick. I was able to get a round of golf in yesterday (didn't break 50 but did manage a birdie), took some power naps, and caught a Texas high school football game (Creekview, my cousin's school won, 37-14).

Today we get to watch the Spartans throttle the Illini and tomorrow I am going to my college roommate's church. Our campus pastor from CUW is there, so it will be good to hear a familiar voice deliver the sermon.

I know, I know. Sounds more like a vaction. I do miss my wife and my daughter more than I could ever explain. I pray they are able to return as previously scheduled on Monday. If not, the hugs will be tighter and the kiss a little bit longer. (Sorry if thats too much information, but I miss my BABIES!) Praise God for his protection so that this entire situation wasn't more serious than it could have been.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Baton Down the Hatches!

She ain't perty, that's fer cottin' pickin' sher.

There she is, in all her glory. Miss Rita. Headed right for the Texas Gulf Coast.

Thank you to all those who called for housing offers, prayers, and general concern. I certainly did not get all this done by my own power.

To fill EVERY one in...Tomball is about 35 miles northwest of Houston. That puts us about 90 miles from the gulf coast. Depending on where the eye of the hurricane lands, we can see anywhere from 6-36 inches of rain and 35-75 mph winds. Cool, huh! All Houston area school districts have been told to shut down for Thursday and Friday. Rita is due to hit about midnight Friday to Saturday morning.

Now, as I mentioned to many of you, this is a far cry from the snowstorms that I am used to having interupt school. Erin and Maddie are in Milwaukee on a previously scheduled trip. I have packed up some irreplacable items, moved furniture and other items into bathrooms and hallways, and taped up windows to keep damage to a minimum. I am going to grab a few hours of sleep and try to wind my way up to Dallas to stay with my aunt and uncle. We are expecting power to be out, not sure how long, and it is likely we will not have school on Monday either.

It has been an overwhelming time at school with relief efforts for Katrina, and I may have tested the big man upstairs when I exclaimed to my lovely wife "I need Christmas break NOW!" Well, here it is. Not quite what I had in mind.

I caught myself taking comfort in the words of a hymn we sung at church this weekend, as I taped up windows:
Have no fear little flock, have no fear little flock
For the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom
have no fear little flock

Thankful hearts raise to God, thankful hearts raise to God
For He stoops down to heal you, uplift, and restore you
Thankful hearts raise to God

Praise the Lord high above, Praise the Lord high above
For He stays close beside you, in all things works with you
Praise the Lord high above

It's like I told our secretary Rita as we walked out the door today, "we know who is in control."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Dumb Dad Moment brought to you by Acme Carpet Company

Apparently the freshmen retreat Sunday night took its toll on me, or perhaps we are growing our carpet a little long. After battling my teething three month old to sleep, I tried to get up from our Ikea lounge chair and lay her on the blanket covering the floor. Unfortunately my foot got "caught" on the carpet and before I could lovingly place her on the floor we both came crashing to earth. Only my wife can tell you exactly how ridiculous we looked but one positive out of this was that Maddie just popped her eyes open to see what her stupid father was up to.

Side note for our Minnesota friends: Another pair of pants bit the dust at school last week. Just for your information.

Adore me.

Yea, Boston!...wait. wha? Boston?!?! (a gift from Aunt Jana's summer trip)

Friday, September 09, 2005


What a haze the last week has been. We continue to take in students of displaced families. Our already busting at the seams enrollment is increased by nearly 20. We are adding another teacher from Lutheran High of New Orleans. This afternoon I met one family that had literally been plucked from their roof 72 hours ago. We also had a junior girl who lost her father in a fatal car accident late Thursday night. Many students and teachers were visibly shaken by the news. But what a joy to be able to rest in the comfort of our faith. To know that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. But He didn't stop there! He proclaimed His victory over sin, death, and the devil by His ressurection! What a joy to share! We can proclaim as the hymn writer did, "Jesus Lives! The victr'ys won!" The last 24 hours have been especially draining emotionally, mentally, and physically. Still, God continues to bless us with His strength by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Are you ready?

On a completely seperate and irrelevant note, the BICKEL FOOTBALL LEAGUE begins its 17th season of competition this weekend. I would wish all the other owners good luck, but who am I kidding...YOU'RE GOIN' DOWN! GO TEN GALLONS!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sitting up and curious

Silly mommy!

Out like a light

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Disaster Relief

I have been in discussions with many of you who read this blog, and for those of you I haven't contacted in a while, since most of you are churchworkers and teachers let me fill you in. As with the victims from the Superdome, many of the displaced families are seeking refuge at shelters or with family in the Houston area. These same families are looking for schools for their kids to attend. Concordia Lutheran High School is opening its doors, free of charge, to students of displaced families. As those families come in, our NHS is providing them with gift cards to stores such as Kohl's, Target, and Wal-Mart. Currently we have three families that are being taken in by CLHS, with that number expected to grow quickly in the next week or two. If you or the congregation you are with are wanting to help, offerings for LHS of New Orleans or the displaced families that we are assisting can be sent to Concordia. Gift cards from the stores I mentioned before would also be welcome. They can be added to what NHS is purchasing and given to the families as they arrive. We are working hard with Mr. Ron Royak, principal of LHSNO, to help the faculty, students, and families of that school specifically. The faculty will not be able to return to New Orleans for some time, so they must have other employment temporarily. Lutheran high schools across the nation are placing those teachers as temporary subs or other help within their schools. This presents a strain on the budgets for those schools, but must be done. If you or your congreation would like to "adopt" a faculty member, provide offerings to help support a teacher's temporary salary, contact Concordia and they will connect you with our Executive Director, Dave Beringer or Mr. Royak. It has been a stressful time down here, but we know that God is using us as the hands and feet of Christ, showing His love through our service. Please keep all those displaced and those providing shelter in your prayers.

Conctact CLHS for more information

Watching some more sports

Friday hit EVERYone hard

Little cowgirl tries sittin' up on her own

Watching the big game

As the song goes, "you're so vain"