Nickels 4 Neighbors… Dollars 4 Daughters

Each week at CrossWay we have a children’s offering called Nickels 4 Neighbors.  It’s something that our conference does.  All 34 churches in the conference collect this offering each week, and every six months we give it to a ministry that benefits children.  It’s really cool to see all the kids come up each week to drop in their money.  They’re learning to give, and to give as an act of worship.  It’s also pretty neat that this offering helps other kids.

The past three weeks, Laura Marie has participated in the Nickels 4 Neighbors collection.  Since she can walk now, she’s able to come up (with some… um… direction) and drop money into the container.  It’s so cute to watch her walking up there with the other kids!

As I was reflecting on last Sunday’s worship service, a certain irony hit me.  Laura Marie came up during Nickels 4 Neighbors, carrying her dollar (apparently this offering was named before inflation), but she didn’t want to let go of it!  Here’s her daddy three minutes away from preaching about money, and she won’t let go of her dollar.

Actually, it’s a pretty good illustration of stewardship, but I didn’t think of it at the time.  She was given that money specifically for the purpose of giving it to the children’s offering, but she wanted to hold on to it.  How often do we do that with what God has entrusted to us for a specific purpose?

When I told Carolyn about all this, she told Laura Marie that she should have stayed in the service for the sermon.  Funny mommy.  That reminds me: Sunday marked a milestone for Laura Marie.  She stayed in the nursery without her mommy for the first time!  Of course, it helps that she had four other babies to play with.

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 9:30 am  Comments (3)  

Our Upright Baby

Laura Marie walked today!  That’s how she celebrated turning 10 months old.

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie’s Baseball Card Collection

Laura Marie may be only 9 months old, but she’s already building her baseball card and autograph collection.

Her first baseball card was a 1991 Donruss card of former All-Star Bobby Bonilla.  I gave it to her to help her start her collection.  She promptly proceeded to bend it and chew it, as you can see below.  I sent Mr. Bonilla the card along with a note explaining its condition, and he sent it back signed for her.

With her card collection underway, I wrote to Carl Erskine, a former All-Star pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  I told him about Laura Marie, and he sent this card which he personalized for her:

Then there is Virgil Trucks, another former All-Star pitcher who is 92 years older than Laura Marie.  I sent him a picture of his youngest fan.  He sent her a baseball card and a postcard, both of them signed to her.  Mr. Trucks also wrote a note about how beautiful she is.  He suggested I might need a good bat to keep the boys away when they come calling on “this future Miss America.”

She’s off to a good start!

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Laura Marie, Age 9 Months

Laura Marie turned 9 months old yesterday.  It’s hard to believe that next month she’ll hit double digits.  (Okay, so it’s double digits in months, but still.)

Published in: on March 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Sweet Baby

Laura Marie has been out of the womb longer than she was in the womb.  She’s growing up!  She’s at a really, really fun age.  What a blessing she is!

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 4:22 pm  Comments (2)  

Popeye’s 90th

Today my grandfather, Popeye as we called him, would have been 90.  Dude.

It’s funny how we give our grandparents odd nicknames when we’re really young, and then they seem strange to everyone else but perfectly normal to us.  It wasn’t until I was about 20 that I realized that there aren’t too many other grandmothers out there called NeeNaw.

Just shows how my grandparents are extra unique!

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

A Christmas Carol Bi-Annual Date

Carolyn and I had our first date in six months yesterday.  The last time we went out was the night before Laura Marie was born.  We saw Night at the Museum 2, then went to dinner at Zia’s.

Yesterday afternoon our good friends Josh and Christi, along with their boys, watched the baby while we went to see A Christmas Carol.  Man, it was good!  Nearly every year we read or watch A Christmas Carol.  It’s one of our Christmas traditions.  So it was really cool to have a new version of it come out.  Not only was it a new version, but it was 3-D in the theater–it was so cool!

We’d never seen a 3-D movie before.  Now I’m hooked on it.  We saw previews for some upcoming 3-D movies.  I want to see them all!  Even without the 3-D, it was a great version of the classic story.  For the most part they stuck very closely to the book.  One of the best parts was their depiction of Victorian London in a snowy December.  I loved it.  They also made the most of the 3-D effects.  Now that I think about it, I’d like to see it again before it leaves theaters!

I figure having one date twice a year is probably a good place to start.

(By the way, if y’all see this, a big THANKS to the Engles for taking care of our baby!!!)

Published in: on December 13, 2009 at 1:30 pm  Comments (1)  

Baby’s First WinterFest of Lights

Last night Carolyn and I took Laura Marie to see the WinterFest of Lights in Ocean City.  It was a special night.  Carolyn and I have gone together to see the lights for 12 years in a row.  It was so wonderful to have our little six-month-old baby daughter with us!

The baby really liked the lights.  She was all bundled up so that I could only see her eyes and nose.  She stared intently at the lights, only occasionally glancing around and looking at me with an expression that seemed to say, “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?”  She was awed.

After the ride through the lights we took her inside to see the Christmas trees that various organizations decorated, and she stared at the colorful lights and sparkling tinsel.

Our baby is starting to be introduced to family Christmas traditions!  We’re really excited about creating new Christmas traditions with her.

Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 11:49 am  Comments (3)  


Today Laura Marie is half a year old.  Six months ago Carolyn woke me up about 6:00 a.m. and told me her water broke.  Our lives have never been the same since.  We knew that having a baby would be awesome, but Laura Marie is so much more wonderful than anything we ever could have imagined.

Once she was born, one of the things I most looked forward to was seeing her smile.  She didn’t disappoint.  Her smile is just unbelievable.  If I got hit by a car and broke every bone in my body, then saw her smile at me, I’d probably forget that I’d even been hit by a car.

Our daughter is now 1/2.  Another six months and she won’t be zero anymore!  What an incredible blessing.

Published in: on December 7, 2009 at 11:20 am  Comments (2)  

Sledgehammers, Cute Babies, Cosby, and the Devil

What’s happening:

  • We’re halfway through the Revealed series at CrossWay.  Last Sunday I preached about the devil–the dragon of Revelation 12.  It just worked out that it was the day after Halloween.
  • Carolyn and I have watched every episode of The Cosby Show.  We just finished the eighth and final season.  Now that’s good television!  I don’t know how long it took, probably about three years.  Being able to watch an entire show like that is one of the advantages of Netflix.
  • Several churches in our community came together last Saturday for our annual Harvest Fair.  This year we had about 1,300 people.  The size of the crowd grows every year.  Laura Marie was dressed as a flower for the first half of the night, then switched to her pink poodle costume.  She was absolutely adorable!  This year was especially cool for me because I got to smash a pumpkin with a giant sledgehammer.  If only I’d known several months in advance, I could’ve grown my hair long in the back and on the sides to complete the Gallagher effect.

  • It’s picture week at the Training Station, and they were kind enough to take our family portrait.  Our first one!
Published in: on November 4, 2009 at 11:04 am  Comments (2)