He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Monday, December 27, 2010

Have you toured the Pacific Garden Mission?

Our family visited Willow Creek Chicago church on Sunday, the day after Christmas. We had an amazing worship service, and a quick message by the campus pastor, Jon Klinepeter. Since this is an urban church, they are focusing on ministering to the people around them. We found we showed up at a great service to minister as a family! In the foyer they had blankets for sale, and after buying 5, we followed the handout to one of the missions they had listed.

We were familiar with Pacific Garden Mission, so we headed there. After putting the blankets in a bin at the front door, we asked if someone could help explain to the kids what this facility did. Little did we know, we were in for such a blessing! "Pastor Lewis" led us on a tour of the beautiful facility. We knew that the city had wanted to property on State St. they had for years, so they offered them another area close by. Through these events, only God could have provided everything they needed to house and feed over 700 people a night if needed! They turn nobody away. You have to check in before 8:00pm if you want to stay overnight. You also get to attend a church service that evening. There was a cafeteria that was sponsored by Starbucks for breakfast, area stores like Jewel and Dominics for lunch and dinner, and donations from others for most of the rest. They also had a salon, a "store" for clothes that were donated by others or brand new from stores, a complete medical clinic where they were treated for free, and the list goes on. Only by donations and people volunteering is this accomplished. 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  
Matthew 25:35-40

As we saw how God has provided and blessed this ministry, Pastor Lewis shared his testimony. I was moved to tears more than once as I listened to what he has been through, and how he has been changed. "Only God," he kept saying, "God is awesome!" He had kicked a nasty crack habit by just quitting. Saying enough! God gave him that will power to be done. Here he is serving others, and being made new.
Pacific Garden Mission rehabilitates along with meeting the immediate needs of their "guests" by giving them medical attention, a church service, warm shower, and a place to rest their heads.

Pastor Lewis not only shared how he and others are being transformed, but he also blessed our family, and talked directly to our children. "Stay with God," he directed to them, "Stay on the right path."

 Old Pacific Garden Mission on State St.
that would have to feed 100 and send others out,
clean and feed another 100, then repeat..
 New Pacific Garden Mission on Canal St.
can feed, and house over 700 people at once!
 See how God provides?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sad day for the Chicago Fire Department

2 firefighters dead, 17 hurt in extra-alarm blaze

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Chicago fire personnel evacuate an injured firefighter at a extra-alarm fire at 1700 East 75th Street. (E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune) | MORE PHOTOS
Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer were among a dozen firefighters putting out a blaze in an abandoned building at daybreak today when suddenly the roof gave way.
Steven Ellerson, a 20-year veteran, and others swarmed inside to rescue them. "He heard someone calling for help and he looked for him," Ellerson's brother Maurice Matthews said.
Ellerson found Ankum on the floor, gasping.
Firefighters dig through rubble as they search for trapped colleagues after a brick wall collapsed at a South Side fire in a vacant commercial building. (WGN-TV)
"He found him and knew he was struggling to breathe so he took off his mask to give him some oxygen," Matthews said. "Corey's head was stuck somehow and they couldn't get him out. So my brother went to give him his coat but they came and got my brother out of there. My brother didn't want to leave him, but there was no choice.
"It was a chaotic scene," Matthews said. "These guys put their lives on the line every day."
Stringer and another trapped firefighter was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police closing ramps and clearing the way for the ambulances. Ankum was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said both firefighters died of trauma. Ankum had been with the department less than two years, Stringer about 12 years.
The other trapped firefighter taken to Northwestern was "stable," according to Chicago Fire Cmsr. Robert Hoff. In all, 19 firefighters suffered injuries, Hoff said at an afternoon news conference. He said the injuries of those who survived were not considered life-threatening.
This is the worst fire for the department since February 1998, when two firefighters died in a blaze. A roof collapsed at 10611 S. Western Avenue, killing Patrick King, 40, and Anthony Lockhart, 40. They were among the first to enter the building. In August, Christopher Wheatley died when he fell about 35 feet off a ladder while battling a fire at a West Loop restaurant.
The deaths came on the 100th anniversary of a huge fire at the Union Stockyards that claimed the life of 21 Chicago firefighters, the single greatest loss in U.S. history of professional big-city firefighters until Sept. 11, 2001.
Late this morning, dozens of firefighters stood at attention, removing their caps and saluting, as Ankum's body was taken from the hospital and put in an ambulance.  A police escort led the ambulance to the medical examiner's office.
A similar procession with a dozen department vehicles left Northwestern just after noon with Stringer's body.
A little before 1 p.m., a member of the Fire Department walked out of the Cook County morgue carrying a folded City of Chicago flag and a red plastic bag and clothing that one of the fallen firefighters was wearing when he died.
The firefighter said about 50 members of the department gathered inside the medical examiner's office to honor their dead comrades' bravery and service.
"Bravery, honor, valor, and a commitment to duty. It's just paying tribute," he said. "We're all devastated."
He described the dead as "excellent men and excellent firemen."
The firefighter's job was keeping track of the fallen firefighter's belongings. "It's an honorable task," he said.
Hoff said firefighters were in the building and on the roof, searching for hot spots and whether anyone was inside, when the roof collapsed. The two who died were inside the building, he said.
"The search effort was aggressive, two members were found immediately," Hoff said at a news conference. "Every firefighter that was there did the best they could to save their brothers.
"We had to use some extrication devices to get at a couple of them. The structure was a flat roof in the front and a bow-string truss in the back. The roof was made of heavy timber. We're investigating what caused that heavy roof to collapse.
"We can only put a theory out there that, because the fire wasn't that well involved in that area. . .that maybe the snow and ice (were a factor). Maybe the age of the building contributed?"
Hoff said officials decided to search inside the building because "people in this kind of weather seek refuge and we take no building as being vacant. We do it cautiously, but we go in for people who may try to get out of the cold."
Hoff said there was "no indication to the chief officers and company officers at the scene that (the roof) was in danger of collapse. That's when we make our decision to go in and do a search."
Hoff would not speculate on what caused the fire.
Firefighters -- their faces and uniforms covered in soot -- shook their heads as they embraced one another after the search was called off.
At Northwestern, about half a dozen police cars and several fire vehicles were parked in front of the emergency room after two ambulances arrived from the fire. Truck 122 pulled up and three firefighters walked in, including a lieutenant. One  firefighter from Truck 122 was on a cell phone and wiped away tears with his jacket.
Robert Smart, owner of the Smart Bros. Car Wash and Detailing next door to the burned building, said he arrived at his business at 7 a.m. to find the block swarming with firefighters.
He saw two people being brought out on stretchers, followed by two firefighters. He got a good look at one fireman. "He looked pretty bad," said Smart, adding the firefighter did not appear conscious.
Rescuers appeared to be trying to revive the injured firefighter in the middle of the street as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Jorico Smart, who with his father Robert has owned the car wash for 16 years, said he has called police at least a dozen times in recent years to report people trespassing in the abandoned building next door.
Smart characterized the trespassers as squatters. Last month, Smart's brother called police to report a break-in.
Chuck Dai, who co-owns the building with a younger brother, said he has been struggling to keep squatters from entering ever since his laundry business at the site failed about six years ago and he stopped paying property taxes on the site.
"It's been a tiresome battle just to keep it buttoned up and everything," said Dai, 61, speaking from another laundromat he owns nearby.
Though the property has been boarded up several times,  he said, "somehow they managed to break in."
Dai said he had no idea how the fire started. He learned about the dramatic rescue attempt and the death of two city firefighters while watching the morning news in horror, he said.
"I'm pretty down right now," Dai said, his voice growing hoarse with emotion. "I'm at a loss for words about the whole situation. I feel bad about the firemen getting hurt."
The fire broke out about 6:54 a.m. in the abandoned one-story brick building in the 1700 block of East 75th Street.
The fire was raised to two and then three alarms to save the trapped firefighters; Hoff said that there was no indication that the fire was in the truss roof at the time the roof collapsed. A "mayday" was called. Firefighters also reported having problems with frozen hydrants, but Hoff said only one hydrant was frozen and it was not hampering firefighting efforts when the collapse happened.
-- Pat Curry, Cynthia Dizikes, Carlos Sadovi, Will Lee, Serena Maria Daniels, Jeremy Gorner, Antonio Olivo and Noreen Ahmed-Ullah

Friday, December 17, 2010

Feel Good Story!

Feel Good Story! Sometimes it's nice to just say, "Awww!!"

Coyote rescue from floating ice in Lake Michigan

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Coyote drifting on patch of ice in Lake Michigan this morning. (WGN Channel 9)

A Fire Department boat rescued a coyote spotted floating on a patch of ice hundreds of yards out on Lake Michigan this morning.

The coyote was seen around 9:30 a.m. off Fullerton Avenue, curled up on a piece of ice barely bigger than itself.
A coyote rests safely in an animal rescue truck after the Chicago Police and Fire rescued it from a patch of ice on Lake Michigan. (William DeShazer/Chicago Tribune)
As a helicopter hovered overhead, the Victor L. Schlaeger fire boat slowly approached the coyote. Several times two crew members bent over to snare the coyote, but it kept drifting away.

Finally, the stern of the boat slid toward the coyote and a crew member snatched him with a long-handled snare and pulled him aboard.

The boat then sped to Belmont Harbor, about an hour after the coyote was spotted. There was no immediate word on his condition.

-- Staff report

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beautiful (cold) day in Chicago!

Today was super cold in Chicago! Hope you are all staying toasty warm! This is the time I'm dying to have a fireplace in my house. I don't understand why every house built here doesn't have one. Oh well - fingers crossed for Christmas! I had a great time taking photos today along the lakefront. I went to the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field, and Navy Pier. Good thing it warmed up to 24 degrees today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Best thing about Birthdays!

I haven't been around for a while. For our household, in December, we have 2 birthdays! We also have Christmas, out of state guests, and all the planning this month. Lucky for us, we've also added the show the youngest is in, but we are on show 4, only 6 more to go!
The best thing about birthdays in our house? Besides the busy parties, the presents, and family and friends, one of our favorite times together is the breakfast! Each person in the family gets to choose their special breakfast. We love the youngest one's choice of German Pancakes! Serve them with butter, lemon and powdered sugar! I only got the picture of them right out of the oven. Forgot the extras, that would have been good, but everyone started digging in. So the camera got put away.
Have a great week reflecting on our precious Savior's birth!

Recipe for you all:
German Pancakes
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Put 1 tbsp butter in a 2 pie plates or nonstick pans with raised sides. Pour half the batter in each pan and place in oven with plenty of room for them to rise! Bake for 20 min. Put lemon and sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Serve immediately for the wow factor. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being His hands and feet

One of the most memorable VBS years for me was that of when Kathryn was in 3rd or 4th grade. She and her friends were the sweetest, most energetic little group, and I knew they would be on to great things in life. The beauty of working with children, is to see them bloom and grow before your very eyes. Kathryn is one of those that have grown up with a heart for those walking and living in darkness.
Here is her latest post, as she's in a world outreach group in Cape Town, South Africa. Please read this. She is doing what we all should hope to do with someone out there, someone close to home, or someone we have not yet met.
Read her blog, then continue to the comments. About 4 down, is from her brother, Taylor. The most inspiring words, and such loving thoughts reach out to her from afar. Just touching!
May we be His hands and feet...

She writes in her blog:

The Abortion Ward

I went to the hospital today to start doing post abortion counseling.
It was more like during-abortion counseling.  I’m actually at a loss for words.  It was one of  the most graphic, saddening, awful experiences i’ve ever had.  And yes, i may continue doing it. And yes, I had some good conversations with some of the women there. But it was…I don’t even know the word.
(click here to continue)

Monday, November 22, 2010

That Good Friend

"If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky." - S.E. Hinton

I've been thinking a lot lately about friendship. I'm so thankful for the friends that I have in my life. Some have been around for just a couple years or so, and others since I was little. I also love social networks, because they have kept us all connected. It doesn't matter that we haven't seen each other for years. I just like knowing she cleaned out her clothes closet today, or stepped in a mud puddle.. it makes me still feel close to them. 

My youngest had a friend over the other day. It was freezing outside! They were so excited to see each other (after all, it had been a day or so..) and were going to stay inside, but they had a brainstorm and decided to bundle up and go outside. I heard them laughing and having a great time with what they had found to do. Wash my garage windows! Yep - and the water they used? Well, none other than the garden wagon itself. Someone was nice enough to leave it out so it could collect rain for the last several days!

I pray that each of my kids have friends that are an encouragement to them. I also pray that they are the same to others.  
Proverbs 12:26
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
Proverbs 18:24
There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
 Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. 

The reason I'm loving this day, is because when you have that really good friend who just "gets" you, it doesn't really matter what you do. You have a great time just being together. I am so thankful for their friendship. It makes me miss the days I would call my friends and we would find something to do. Didn't really matter what, but these two rarely complain that there is nothing to do. There's always something to do when you're with that one good friend!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

UW study reveals MRSA bacteria in local fire stations

UW study reveals MRSA bacteria in local fire stations



Posted on November 17, 2010 at 6:29 PM

EVERETT, WA. -- It started with one curious Snohomish County firefighter, but what he learned may end up exposing a dangerous threat to firefighters everywhere.

A study by the University of Washington, the first of its kind on a large scale, revealed MRSA, the drug resistant strain of staph infection, living in fires trucks, aid cars, station houses and in firefighters themselves.

Snohomish County Fire District One firefighter and paramedic Kevin Fetter suspected his crews were exposed to MRSA by sick patients, at accident scenes and in hospitals. But he didn't expect it would be transmitted right into the fire station living quarters.

"We found a little over four percent of the surfaces we tested were positive for MRSA," said UW Professor Marilyn Roberts, an expert in MRSA research.

Roberts said the surprise was that the bacteria had found its way from the garage to the living quarters. Tests revealed the station kitchen tables were as bad as any of the aid cars where the patients ride. But things got even more interesting when nose swabs revealed MRSA levels in firefighters ten times higher than the general public average.

Roberts emphasized the firefighters are not sick or a risk to patients, but do need to protect themselves and each other by even more vigorous hand scrubbing and equipment cleaning.

Following the study, the Snohomish County Fire District immediately changed rules on what can be brought from the garage into the station. Crews who already stripped off fire gear before entering the house were instructed to bring no equipment of any kind from the garage to the living quarters. Sanitation stations were set up everywhere around the house and all fire clothing was to be washed after every call.

"We don't want to take this home to our families," said Fetter, who added, "we have to do this job for 20, 30 years."

Other departments are adopting similar measures and agreeing to be part of a greatly expanded study by the UW.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All in a Week's Work..

This past week seemed to just fly by. We were running around with family schedules like crazy. But looking back at my pictures, it looks like we had fun! Do you ever race through life then look at your photos later to relive them and enjoy the moment? I seem to do that a lot! Here are some highlights of the week. My husband worked a lot, got 3 fires, currently conditioning with a football team, and we are all tired!

 We went downtown and visited where our oldest spent a lot of time. At the new American Girl Place, Chicago where she played "Kirsten/Kit/Julie" in the American Girls Revue for 3 years. Sadly, they don't have the shows at any of the stores anymore. 10 years and now it's gone. Stores sometimes just don't know a good thing when they've got it. Now it's just another (beautiful) retail store.
Our middle one playing football after a downtown school session with some of the kids and his last year's teacher. Pretty cool for a teacher to get out there to hang out with the kids.

This little guy got chased up onto my kitchen windowsill by our dog. I was wondering why the cat was up on my counter when I came back downstairs! There he was.. I decided to reward him with peanuts and almonds.

  It's not fall until you have a picture of kids in trees. After the Feed My Starving Children packing party, the kids let loose some more energy before we went home. What a great opportunity to see kids help. Schedule a packing party with your church or kids group..etc. We loved it and are going back again very soon! The kids wound up packing enough boxes to feed 25 children for 1 year!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lots of Fires Lately!

Just a sad day when there's just nothing you can do. Prayers for the family who lost a child, and those injured. There seems to be a lot of fires lately. My husband has had one, each of the last 3 days he has been working this week! 

Boy killed, 4 hurt in Near West Side fire

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With their 3-year-old relative dead and two others hospitalized after a fire destroyed their multi-story apartment building in the Pilsen neighborhood today, members of an extended family wondered where they will live as they mourn.
Jose Lopez was called at a mall and rushed home when he learned of the fire. Be he was unable to save his 3-year-old nephew, Michael Cruz, who died in the blaze that also injured the boy's sister, father and two firefighters.
"I wish I was (home), then I would've been able to help them," said Lopez, 30, who lives with his wife and their seven children on the third floor of the apartment building.
Now, he said, the family has no place else to go.
A member of the Chicago Fire Department battling flames at 1752 W. Cullerton St. Saturday. (Tribune / Nuccio DiNuzzo)
While battling the flames, firefighters found the child in the back bedroom of the second floor of the apartment building, said Chicago Fire Department District Chief Thomas Kennedy.
The boy was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. at St. Anthony Hospital, said a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Of the four survivors, two of them were firefighters. The firefighters suffered non-life-threatening injuries, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Richard Rosado, adding that one suffered a back injury while the other suffered a shoulder injury.
The two civilians who were injured suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken in serious-to-critical condition to area hospitals, Rosado said.
Among those survivors were the 3-year-old boy's 1 ½-year-old sister and their father, also named Michael Cruz, 33, said Yolanda Cruz, the grandmother of the two children.
Shortly after 4 p.m., firefighters responded to the four-story apartment building at 1752 W. Cullerton St. in the Pilsen neighborhood. Flames ended up damaging the second, third and fourth floors of the building, and spread to a rear coach house, said Kennedy.
Officials did not know how many people where in the buildings when the fire broke out, but Kennedy said everyone who survived the blaze was outdoors by the time firefighters arrived. Three dogs also died in the fire, but two others survived, he said.
The fire was believed to have started somewhere in the rear of the apartment building, but Kennedy could not say what caused it to erupt. Working smoke detectors were found in the hallway area of the apartment building, Kennedy said, but he did not know if there were alarms in the individual units.
The fire was brought under control by about 5:25 p.m.
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago said they would be providing aid, such as food, clothing and shelter, to 20 people affected by the fire.
Kristy Mendoza was watching the fire from her building nearby and said she saw a child wheeled out on a stretcher covered in soot and put into an ambulance. She also saw firefighters attending to a man, lying him out on the sidewalk.
Fire officials said this evening the cause of the blaze was being investigated.
--Jeremy Gorner

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Girls Get Away Cruise update!

Well, girls.. I've got my button for booking the cruise under my name. There will be prizes and contests!
January 12-16, 2012 - From Ft. Lauderdale, FL to Cozumel, Mexico! Traveling on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas!
But for now, a link from my site to theirs. More to come soon.....

Join Kara on the Girl's Get-a-way 2012

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

48 hour shift - Mine!

Well, I think I actually almost made it through my 48 hour shift. Oh ya, my fireman worked those kind of hours too! We made it through 3 kid's crazy schedules! Homeschooled, gymnastics, youth grouped, one's theater rehearsals, another's funny scheming dance preparations, a good friend picking another up at the bus,...and I fed them too!! All this to start again tomorrow, but with some help! :) If you've single mommed it for the last 48 hours, hats off to you! I'm exhausted! Thank goodness for my son (my "date") today getting Starbucks, getting randomly interviewed complete with photos (who doesn't love that when you're running) and hanging out.
Check out what Tim Hawkins has to say about parenting. He's so funny! If you have some time, check out his other stuff on youtube or his website Tim Hawkins.
And hey, if you read this blog... give a shout out! I'd love to hear from you and visit your blogs as well! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Science Project Time!

I'm sorry I can't give out details. Not to hold back, but I'm not the Science expert in the house. Dad is! Our youngest is diligently working on her project about "How light effects leaves." (I think) They tenderly wrapped the beautiful leaves in different colors of cellophane. They will wait and see what changes occur over the next week. Hey, I'm learning as we go as well. What I did learn, while looking over my pictures, was that my little one has a rogue bandaid, (can you see it?), that I still need to pick up the bills on the table behind her, and I am very thankful to have a husband who loves science. (whew!) They had some great bonding time together. I should have taken more photos, but I was cleaning the kitchen..


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Battling an Extra Alarm Fire in Chicago tonight.

Fire near UIC displaces students

| 8 Comments | UPDATED STORY
Fire officials were investigating the cause of a fire that engulfed four apartment buildings and a garage near the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.
About 150 firefighters were involved in battling the extra-alarm blaze which began about 3 p.m. on the 700 block of South Aberdeen and was under control by 4:58 p.m., said Dep. Fire Cmdr. Michael Callahan.
One firefighter was treated at the scene for shortness of breath, he said.
Firefighters at the scene of the blaze on the 700 block of South Aberdeen Street. (Tribune / José M. Osorio)

The fire erupted on the rear porch of a building at 716 S. Aberdeen and spread to three other buildings and a garage. He said by the time fire fighters arrived, "flames were already shooting over the roof.''
He said heavy wind caused the fire to quickly spread to the other buildings.
The three-story brick apartment buildings, which were near the end of a dead end of South Aberdeen, housed about six apartments each. Officials said the residents of the buildings had evacuated themselves before firefighters could make it to the scene.
Callahan said three of the four buildings sustained significant damage and the fourth building had minor damage.
  ~ more ~

Chicago Weather Today!

The wind blew up to 60mph all night long! There were severe storm watches, tornado warnings and supposedly the biggest storm the Midwest has seen in years. I had a little one at my side about 4:00a.m. Luckily for her, the couch in our room was open and beckoning. I woke up to beautiful clouds. Some as dark as night, some that looked like a bright, summer day. I think I just want to take pictures of the sky every day. I love it! I will have to take my camera with me a little more often. Here 's a little peek at our homeschooling view today.

In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. - Hebrews 1:10


Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Fall!

Today was great!  Lots of family time, carving pumpkins, lighting candles, and getting into the crisp, autumn mood! Part of the fun is digging out all that goop and seeds. I should have probably cared a little more what my house looked like as I was taking photos. I think the laundry shall sit and wait until tomorrow. Today is just family day! I guess this is just part of "keeping it real." This is us!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hungry For Love tour!

I checked my email the other day, and found a Congratulations from KLove Radio. I opened it and was shocked to find out I had won 2 VIP Gold Tickets to see Sanctus Real! Remember? I had blogged about them a while back! This was great, the family we had been praying for, I was going to meet! The tour was called Hungry For Love also with the groups, The Afters and  Leeland.
My husband and I got a date night. Much appreciated, KLove! We had a great night of worship with all 3 of the bands. They were full of stories and experiences with countries and children needing help. And, what a little bit of our money does for one kid! Needless to say, we walked away with 2 sponsor kids from Bangladesh! Our kids were thrilled when we came home (at midnight). They posted them up on the fridge immediately. They were bouncing ideas off of each other about how they would write them, and maybe one day we could meet them. That may be another blog.. another day, but hmm... maybe we could meet them...
Sactus Real! Great photo - only, the person taking the picture cut off the lead singer, Matt Hammitt! :(
Sanctus Real! Okay, in all fairness.. I wasn't ready! I'm pretty sure the guy in the plaid (Pete Prevost) wasn't either. ;) There he is! Lead singer, Matt Hammitt, on far right.

Left: The Afters, Middle: Leeland, Right: Sanctus Real

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Q-R4esGf4 Light up the Sky
Lead singer, Josh Havens, The Afters. He shared a miraculous story of their car accident with 3 kids in the back. Someone pulled out in front of their family and they wound up hitting him at 60 mph. The impact made them roll over. As they were upside down, thinking it was all over, he heard his wife talking, and each child start crying. He said it was as beautiful as the day they were born to hear they were all ok.The officer said this was the worst wreck he had ever seen with no fatalities.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ajIFfSaEzE Follow You
Leeland is the lead singer of Leeland. :) He and his brother started the band. He looks like Shaun White! This band has a beautiful heart for the Lord that shines through as the night goes on.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZg-HrclQPY Lead Me, Sanctus Real - not the best picture, but at least I got one.