Saturday, April 25, 2009

Not Your Every Day Week @ Camp

The past five days might have been some of the most physically challenging days I have had in recent years. I do confess, I am not in the best shape possible, but the Rope/Challenge Course training kicked my rear.

Highland Lakes Camp has an amazing low and high ropes course. These elements are used throughout the year, but mainly in the fall and spring. Somehow I have overlooked some of these elements (the entire low ropes course!) and am very impressed. Swinging log, nitro swing and the meat grinder are just a few of the challenges you or your group can tackle.

After five days I learned a few things: A. I don't like pole climbing 25'. B. I don't like pole climbing 25'. C. I don't like pole climbing 25'. I did not certify on the highs (thanks Stine), but did complete the course for belay and lows training. I have not received the test scores yet, but felt good about the test.

After five o'clock I was back to my regular duties, taking care of guest needs and cleaning the dining hall. Living and working at camp still seems like a dream. We are enjoying each day and are thankfully to serve at such an amazing place. Please keep us in your prayers as we get geared up for summer (Baby and camp).

Wednesday morning, Kari and I had a date on the front porch. Three hours before sunrise there was a meteor shower. We got to see 4 falling stars and enjoyed the cool morning breeze (we were up at 5:30am not 3:30!). Kari is almost 28 weeks and doing great. Baby Hellums continues to kick daily and is getting bigger. The other day Kari felt him move her ribs; oh, she was thrilled about this (wink, wink)!

I hope that you all had a great week. God Bless and take care.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Review Time!

  • Thursday night Kari and I went to Opening Day for the Round Rock Express and saw them blow the Iowa Cubs out of the water; two home runs and 10 runs!

  • On Friday Kari, Shelbi and I saw Hannah Montana: The Movie and it was amazing. Seriously, this film is great. The father-daughter interaction on screen is great.

  • Later that evening we went to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in College Station. I hadn't been since I was a kid and have to say it was worth the $19.

  • Saturday we relaxed and spent time with Kari's family in Milano.

  • Easter Sunday morning and early afternoon was spent with Kari's family. It was a great sermon by Brother Jimmy that charged the congregation to live each day for Christ.

  • Later that afternoon we went to Bastrop to spend time with my family. Everyone was present, except for Courtney. My Papa is doing better, but I would ask that you keep him in your prayers.

  • Monday thru Wednesday, Kari and I decorated our new house. We hung pictures, curtains and played some XBox 360.

  • Tomorrow we are headed to Round Rock for the April Baby appointment. Keep us and Baby in your prayers.

We hope that you are having a great week. God Bless.

Happy Tax Day (4 of 4)

Happy Tax Day (3 of 4)

Happy Tax Day (2 of 4)

Happy Tax Day (1 of 4)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

For me and my family Easter was celebrated spiritually and commercially. We attended church and knew what the holiday meant and we received pastel colored baskets of our favorite candies. It was a time of celebration with chocolate rabbits, money and candy filled eggs and Jesus' resurrection. It was always a good time to hunt eggs with my siblings and cousins. One time we even made it a little more complicated and had a night time egg hunt with flashlights.

This Easter Kari and I will be celebrating in Milano and Bastrop. In addition to celebrating the resurrection of Christ we will honoring Ruth (my mother in law) and Russ (my uncle); who are both celebrating birthday's tomorrow. Happy Birthday to you both.

At this point, Easter is a time of celebration for both Kari and I because it is a cornerstone of our faith. According to the bible, Christ was betrayed by Judas, arrested, tried and condemned to death. Christ died for the world's sins on the cross, but three day's later arose from the grave.

I pray that each of you have a blessed Sunday.

He's Alive!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Move to Camp

Kari and I stayed up till 3am on Friday night, preparing our earthly treasures for folks to come help us move and unload them at out new home on the Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center campus. We promptly woke up at 7:30am to put the finishing touches on our items.

My buddy, Patterson, arrived at 8:30am with breakfast tacos in hand. We enjoyed our chop tacos and more for a few minutes and then went to task. We really hit the ground running hard at 9:30am and were completly loaded up by 11:00am. I can't say enough about our amazing helps; they flew in and quickly loaded all our items, one friend even cleaned out the back of his pickup to put items in his truck (because he bought a brand new truck!).

We took a detour to Springhill at 620 & 71 in Bee Cave. Our helpers, friends and family (minus Patterson), enjoyed some great food and conversation. It was such a blessing to break bread or fried fish and shrimp with these amazing people.

After lunch we made the rest of the journey to the camp. There we met up with Brandon who assisted in the unloading process. I think the unload went faster than the load, which is to be expected. Either way, we got most of the major items inside and then had a porch full of stuff. We considered having a porch sell, but were certain we wouldn't have too many customers.

My dad and Donna came out that evening and had dinner with us in the dining hall. We enjoyed some great food and fellowship. After that, they graciously took some of our stuff home with them (Kari's parents also took some stuff in). A few hours later, 8pm, we were in bed sleeping the night away. It was an exhausting day, but a very successful day.

Thank you, to each and everyone who helped physically on Saturday. Thank you to everyone who helped prepare us move. Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for us. Thank you so much.

Have a blessed week.

*Only one item was injured during the duration of the move; one dog bowl broke into pieces; Randy said, "Sorry Carter."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Blog Tour: Clutter-Free Christianity

“It’s time to cut through the clutter and get to the heart of what it means to please God. In this liberating look at the core principles of faith, Dr. Robert Jeffress reveals the truth about what God really wants from you–and what He wants to do for you.”
I sat down with Clutter-Free Christianity by Dr. Robert Jeffress and read the first chapter and was very impressed. Dr. Jeffress unique viewpoint and position provide for solid biblically grounded points, illustrations and personal stories. He quickly informs the reader he had a “turning point” in his ministry when he received a phone call from a member “gone astray.” Basically, he is concerned that his pulpit ministry is not encouraging members/people sitting in the pews to actively live for Christ. After reading this I consumed the first couple chapters very quickly.

God has a unique way of reminding us of things and the evening I opened the package and pulled out Clutter-Free Christianity all I could do was laugh. Kari and I are embarking on camp ministry this coming weekend. That afternoon we had just been to look at the “smaller” living quarters we were about to move into. Up until recently I have been somewhat of a pack rat and collected/hoarded too many items, or clutter. To imagine putting all this clutter into our new living space would be out of the question. With the help of my wife, the process of “releasing” or overcoming my pack ratness is coming to an end. Clutter-Free Christianity is not about getting rid of your earthly treasures (sorta), but the title in conjunction with our current circumstance caused much laughter.

It is an easy to read (not a John Piper) and inundated with scripture. This book is very challenging. Also at the end of the book a Bible study guide and group discussion question provide the opportunity for individuals to dig deeper in there study and hammer out the ideas of the book with others.

Dr. Jeffress is the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas and the author of sixteen books. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Jeffress is married and father of two adult daughters.

Check it out @

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wednesday Upload in Short Bursts (sorta)

Today is my second to last day of work at Great American. It has been a good run, but I am VERY excited about going on staff at Highland Lakes.

Last night we sold our bed via craigslist; what a relief (the move has begun!).

My Papa (pronounced paw-paw) celebrated his birthday on Monday, but I forgot to call and tell him Happy Birthday.

Carter fell asleep in his bed last night laying on his back with his legs in the air; he must have ran a mile cause he was OUT!

I slipped in the shower last night; I didn’t hit the ground, but I am sore today.

Kari has worked 5 straight days for Pflugerville ISD and has brought home some funny stories; it’s really exciting to watch her glow about teaching students.

We had dinner with Will on Monday night and ate like royalty.

Baby Hellums is growing; it is so amazing to watch and feel him move around. The interaction through these movements when he hears my voice or Kari’s is indescribable.

God is so good.