October highlights

Friday, October 31st, 2003
Our homeschool drama group got into full swing this month. This year, all of the children will be angels in Heaven preparing for the birth of Jesus.
Kathy is running the sound board again.  Our church opened it's new worship center this month. Amy and Wendy were onstage singing with their choir a couple of weeks after its opening. Their choir kicked off the "Operation Christmas Child" ministry, which our family has been excited about supporting. Eric's grandparents, Skip and Nelly Stelter, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful evening with them sharing memories and hugs.  The girls presented them with gifts of song - they performed songs that were popular the year they were married. After literally saving our pennies, we were able to purchase our Disneyland annual passes. What a grand time we had going to the Park. It is truly one of our favorite places to be.  Our daughters amazed and delighted us with their Awana awards this month.  Both Kelly and Emily earned the top awards for their age group.  Wendy and Amy, indeed, met their challenge and earned the Timothy Award a year early.  They memorized over 360 Bible verses to accomplish this. We were on fire watch this month.  With our travels to and from the city, we saw many of the Los Angeles area fires from a distance. The smoke and ash was everywhere. God protected our area, and soon the rains and snow came. Eric and Kathy celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary. The girls made us a wonderful family breakfast to celebrate.

Approved workers

Tuesday, October 28th, 2003
We've just completed another year of the AWANA program and Amy & Wendy have earned the distinguished Timothy Award!

Emily, Amy, Wendy, and Kelly show the awards they have earned in AWANA

On October 28, Pine Mountain Christian Community Church held its annual AWANA Awards Program.  

We are proud of all of the girl's accomplishments.   We are especially proud of Amy & Wendy, who have completed 6 years of the AWANA program and have each earned the Timothy Award a year early.

To earn the Timothy Award, a boy or girl must memorize 393 Bible verses, attend club 120 times, and complete 16 activities on missions, patriotism, health and service.  This award is based on the Bible verse found in 2 Timothy 2:15.

50th Anniversary

Saturday, October 25th, 2003
My grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary tonight.  We had a wonderful family celebration in Riverside.  Kathy and I put together an evening of entertainment, along with slide show to pay tribute to their more than 50 years together.   Kathy and I enjoyed the celebration so much that we are now planning to celebrate our 50th Anniversary next year and each year thereafter.
Image:50th Anniversary
The trip to and from their party was a bit nerve-wracking, as we had to travel amidst the many Southern California fires.  While we were in no danger, the smoke and ash made it a pretty uncomfortable trip.

Princess Bride

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
Today, Kathy and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.  I thought I would share this story about how Kathy passed "the tests," during our courtship.  For those of you who have not seen the movie this may make no sense at all. The photo may make even less sense -- unless you like The Princess Bride and Disney and enjoy fantasy, romance, and fun.
Image:Princess Bride
When I was dating, I had several "trials" that the woman I would eventually marry would have to pass.

Separate from a long list of spiritual and family considerations which were key, and certainly most important, there were several light-hearted but valuable tests.

These included, in no particular order:

1. If we went on a formal date, did she wait for me to open the door for her, or did she do it herself? (Did she want to date a gentleman?)

2. How did she do on a date at The Magic Castle? (Could she behave with style and elegance in a formal setting?)

3. How did she do on a date to Medieval Times? (How well did she do eating messy food with her hands while knights jousted below)

4. How did do on a date sailing on my boat with only 20 minutes notice? (Could she have spontaneous fun or did she need 2 hours to apply make-up first?)

5. What did she think of eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on a date?  (The only kind in my book. This was a test to see if she could be satisfied with little and with much.)

6. How did she do with children?  (Being a kindergarten teacher gave her an easy "Pass")

7. What did she think of the movies "The Princess Bride" and "The Count of Monte Cristo?" (Need I explain?)

Finally, was her father the kind of man who would allow me to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage? (He was and he said "yes." Then I asked Kathy and she said "yes." I'm glad that she did.)

Kathy was unaware of these trials at the time. However, she had a list of her own expectations which I was equally unaware of. I am happy to report that my wife passed all trials. Fortunately, I passed her long list  too. (Going to Disneyland was just one item on her list)

While life has certainly thrown us many challenges in our marriage, finances, and family life, our faith has been the unifying factor.

All of the secular criteria above have helped to allow us to laugh and have fun together during these times.

The theme of "The Princess Bride" played a big part in the nonreligious part of our wedding and my bride really got into it. At our wedding rehearsal, our pastor opened the evening in a very serious tone, with the statement "Mawwiage.  Mawwiage is what bwings us togethaw today.  Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam..."  

At our wedding prior to my entrance in the church, the organist played the traditional "Pachabel Canon" followed by the Disney classic love songs including "Once upon a dream." I entered the sanctuary during "Someday, my prince will come." When my bride came down the isle, my heart melted.  It still does just thinking about it. The audience cheered when we kissed. A beautiful hand-blown glass sculpture depicting a Minnie and Mickey bride and groom graced the top of our wedding cake. The wedding ring which Kathy gave me, has the words "As you wish..." engraved inside the band.

For our honeymoon, we traveled to the South of France where we stayed in rented castles and palaces while we toured the chateaus of the Loire Valley. I took Kathy to the Chateau D'If off the coast of Marseille. We retraced the steps of young Edmond Dantes. But that is another story.

Disneyland, here we come!

Sunday, October 12th, 2003
The girls have been saving all of our loose change for a year. They also had a garage sale and sold Lemonade.  Finally, we were able to purchase annual passes to Disneyland.
Image:Disneyland, here we come!
Emily, Kelly, Amy & Wendy hang out with Mickey's Brooms