Call to Arms – The Paradox of Leading to Follow

Did Christ ever ask his disciples (read: church) where he/they should go, or what he/they should do?  Did he ever ask them to teach him?  I don’t believe so…if so, I am struggling to find where.  Christ was a leader, the leader.  He led his disciples and guided them in the ways they should go.  He demonstrated to them how they should act towards themselves, towards other believers, and even towards non-believers.

After being called, his disciples made the choice to fervently follow him.  They desired to be with him, do what he was doing, and learn what he was teaching – not necessarily the other way around.  He loved them by choosing and doing what was best for them, by giving them his best.  Christ surrendered himself in the sense of servanthood (e.g. he chose to wash their feet) but that was not surrendering his leadership per se.  It was a demonstration of love; specifically of humility, meekness, and how to love Christ’s way.  Never once did he surrender his headship as the leader, the guide, or the decision maker.

We, as Christian men, are called to love our wives as Christ loved the church; to be leaders in our community, our homes, and especially in our families.

In today’s society this truth is more important than ever.  Too many men today take this so-called “servant leadership” to the extreme, and end up surrendering their entire leadership role and responsibility over to their wives.  I don’t even know where to begin on how wrong this is on so many levels…Of course, we must be careful not to take it to the other extreme of leadership by “iron fist”…

Another truth in today’s society is (facetiously) that blame has to fall elsewhere. The statement (read: excuse) could be made that female empowerment or the feminist movement is partially to blame for men becoming passive and complacent.  Another argument may be that the laws are becoming too strict for men to stand up and be men anymore.  We hear all sorts of stories about fathers disciplining their children and being arrested for it…

The simple truth is that, regardless of the excuse, this passivity is wrong.

Christ didn’t instruct us to lead by asking what to do or where to go.  We’re not told to ask our children how they think they should be raised or whether or not discipline is in order.  We are called to lead our families.  It’s time, for men to become men again and stop trying to pass this responsibility off.  Stand up to the challenge of following the only one that we, as Men of God, should follow…Christ.

Lead to follow…

Baby Blueberry

It’s been a while since I’ve updated. Here are a few pregnancy pictures from our first 6 months.
Baby Blueberry @ 20 weeks

We had the ultra sound tech write down the sex of the baby and seal it in an envelope so we didn’t know. We took it to a bakery and had them make a cake with secret tinted frosting inside, pink for a girl, blue for a boy. We had our families and a few friends over to all cut into the cake together and reveal the sex of our baby….

It’s a BOY!!!!!!

18 weeks

19 weeks

22 weeks

24 weeks

Nursery before – from the door

Nursery after – from the door

Nursery before – from the closet

Nursery after – from the closet

Nursery before – from the room

Nursery after – from the room

The paint colors are a baby blue and latte brown though it looks like bright blue and ivory in the pictures, I didn’t get the right light in the room for the pictures. Bo painted the nursery while I built the bookshelf and changing table then we put the crib together then he fixed the changing table :) hahaha.

18 weeks

We hit 18 weeks yesterday, that’s right, 4.5 months. Nearly halfway done! Pretty amazing! It doesn’t seem like anything has changed, living life as normal for the most part. I’ve gained 3 lbs but I FEEL like I look like a house because my body is definitely changing in a big way. I finally had to go out and buy a pair of maternity pants to wear to work since my pants are getting too tight. Good thing I had lost a bit of weight before getting pregnant because I can still fit into most of my normal clothes though I feel awful in them and think I look awful in them so I’ve had a really hard time finding anything to wear lately. But I am healthy, babyblueberry who has now graduated as of yesterday to babybellpepper

We’re Pregnant!

Well, this isn’t actually new news anymore but I haven’t blogged about it at all yet so I thought I would.

8 weeks ago today I found out I was pregnant. Bo and I had been arguing something fierce and not getting along at all and I wasn’t myself, I hadn’t even considered taking a test though we had been “trying” to get pregnant for quite a while. I was home alone contemplating purchasing a 25 pack of pregnancy tests for only $5 from amazon when the light went on inside my head and I remembered I had 1 left upstairs so I went up and took it. I got the plus and the line, never seen that before. I started crying and thought “Really God?? REALLY!?!?!? Right NOW?!?!?!” I had been doing well losing weight and was down around 25 lbs at the time but it had certainly slowed down recently. When Bo got home later that night, I told him. He lit up like the house on the Griswold Family Christmas video and I cried some more. He tried to hide his excitement and console me but I was too upset and he was too excited, he glowed, like staring directly at the sun type glow when he saw the positive test result.

The pregnancy has been good so far, pharmaceutical companies make AMAZING drugs for nausea and after trying to “tough it” for the first 2 months I finally caved and started taking the medication and have felt SO much better since! I haven’t had a migraine for over 3 months which is the longest I’ve ever gone without so I’m very thankful for that.

I truly believed that when I got pregnant, it wouldn’t affect me – at all. Really, I believed this. I figured I’d go about life like nothing was different and not notice a thing until my belly button popped out and I was about done. I haven’t eaten eggs for over 2 months, I went an entire week eating ONLY potatoes, I nearly threw up (multiple times) with a group of people at a Chinese restaurant early on and I LOVE me some Chinese food! Bo quickly learned that if I asked him “what day is today?” that his response was to be “nap day!” and if I asked “What time is it?” the correct response was “nap time!”. I was napping a LOT and completely lost the ability to sleep at night at ALL anymore. I would lay in bed and toss and turn, huff and sigh, flop and roll and kick about but I wouldn’t actually ever sleep. Thankfully that too has now passed and I am sleeping well again only at night and not napping anymore (except for in the car).

We finally got to meet our little babyblueberry at week 8. I’ve tracked the pregnancy, embryonic growth into a fetus and changes since. At week 7, she (I call “it” a she because I don’t like referring to our baby as an “it”) became the size of a blueberry so I started calling her “babyblueberry” and that’s stuck even though she’s graduated a # of sizes through kidney bean, grape, kumquat, fig, lime and this week she’s a medium sized shrimp. Here are our first pictures:

Here’s a picture of me at week 12, I am not showing at all (just my regular chubby belly) and have lost about 10 more lbs now putting me down a total of 35 lbs from this time last year.

We just went in for our 12 week check up a few days ago and go to hear her heartbeat again (in the 160’s) though we didn’t get any new pictures. Doctor says we won’t get another ultrasound for another 2 months. We opted out of the genetic test because we don’t want to go through all that even though it would have given us another look via ultrasound at the baby.

Her weekly birthdays are on Saturdays so as of today, we’re 13 weeks. Here’s a picture from this morning, still not showing and Doctor said I’ve lost 2 more pounds since last week (I think his scale is wrong, mine at home doesn’t say I’ve lost). It’s ok for me to lose weight while pregnant as long as I’m getting all the nutrition and water that baby needs since I was so overweight to start with.

Since I was a little girl, I think the most important thing to me for having a child was to have a rocker-glider chair. I’m not sure why, I don’t think my mom ever had one but that’s been important to me for some reason. So this morning, we went out garage sale’ing to see if we could find one. We found a couple but they were icky, dirty, stained, VERY used and didn’t have the ottoman to match so I decided not to get them. I figure I can try some magic at clearance shopping with coupons and see if I can get a decent one with the ottoman (which is just as important as the chair itself) for a great price. Enter… God. While garage sale’ing, I asked everyone that had baby stuff out if they had a rocker-glider available and 1 gal told me that she had just ordered 1 herself from and got a great deal on it. But she said she had just left the Bellevue Babies R Us store and they told her about 1 they had in the back warehouse that had just come in from an online order that was never picked up and had to be discounted to resell. She said it was a brand new one for $86. I didn’t get TOO excited, I figured it would have already been gone and even if not, it wouldn’t include the ottoman so it would probably still cost far too much if we had to purchase it separately. But I called the store anyways to ask about it and she told me she did find it, a brand new, still in the box Stork Company glider rocker with ottoman for $86. “With ottoman?!?!” I exclaimed, “yes” she replied. I asked her to put it on hold for me and we would pick it up today. We had just received a gift from our friends that included a $50 Babies R Us gift certificate that I of course wanted to use on something substantial, not just boxes of diapers we’d go through and throw away, I wanted something memorable to purchase with the gift and this was the deal!! We arrived in the store and went to pick it up, long story short, they finally did find it (after I was nearly in tears because they tried to charge us $176 for a different one) and gave me the additional 20% off for the current furniture sale they were offering since I asked for that as well. Dave Ramsey (and my dad) taught me well how to negotiate! Here is the current rocker glider & ottoman as it sits in our living room downstairs and the after picture of what it will be as soon as Bo puts it all together! I’m so excited I can’t stand it! I had nearly resigned to having a decent (non stained, smelly, rickety, only partly padded) glider rocker and ottoman and got blessed with this bad boy for $26 out of pocket out the door! BEST. DEAL. EVER! I’m so thankful! I think we’re actually going to leave it in the living room downstairs, it matches with our art and shelves there and we spend ALL of our time in the living room … we can move it to the nursery later if it would work better in there. We’ll see.

That’s about it for our current updates! We don’t have any names picked out yet and aren’t sure if we’re going to share those publicly when we do chose one anyways. We’re undecided about finding out the sex, I’d prefer to wait, Bo REALLY wants to know. I know it would be more convenient but what a great surprise to be blessed with after baby comes to find out who they really are? It just seems neat to me but we will probably end up finding out because it’s really important to Bo. That of course we will share with everyone if/when we do find out.

Blessings until the next blog…

-TBC (Bo, Kari & Babyblueberry)

2011 Gardening

I’m so excited to get going on my garden this year! I actually HATE yard work & gardening (so does Bo) but I LOVE eating fresh veggies out of the garden so it’s worth the work! Hopefully this year I’ll produce a better crop of things we will eat more since last year was my first year and I could have fed an entire army with all the lettuce & peas I had and we didn’t come close to eating it all or even giving it all away, guess I’ll actually count my seeds this year like I should have last year. I’m looking forward to growing some lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, zucchini and I’m not sure what else, but I’ve only got 2’x12′ to work with so I can’t go crazy.
Here’s what I’m starting with!

(Left) The garden this morning overgrown with weeds and last years leftovers that I never took out. (told ya, NOT a good gardener….)

(Right) After about 10 min of weeding and turning the soil, I put the tomato growing thing back in and the trellis that I’m not sure what I’m going to grow on this year since I am NOT growing peas again. Any ideas what I could plant that grows up?

Vacation !

On Sunday, Bo went to the mens breakfast at church with my dad then dad took us to the airport. We arrived at about 930am, our flight left at 1130. I purchased the tickets back in August and had seats assigned at the time but when we checked in at the gate, they advised we didn’t have seats yet and they would call our names after the passengers boarded to get the last seats if they were still available. This was after finding out they charge for bags and we had to pay extra for that as well. Not a good start. We got on the flight and made it to Chicago on time. Transferred planes and took off to Baltimore. I was getting sick on the ride so Bo asked if they had some crackers or bread or anything small so I could get something to settle my stomach, they said no, only the snack boxes available for $8.99 to purchase. Nice. It was a turbulent ride and the fasten seat belt light was on but Bo had to use the restroom so he got up. We were in the last row before the galley where the restrooms were located and Bo was in the galley waiting to use the restroom when a flight attendant passed by, Bo excused himself politely and got out of the way and got yelled at for being up while the seatbelt sign was on. We were not very pleased with our travel but arrived safely to Baltimore at about 930pm Saturday night. We couldn’t board the ship until Sunday at 1230 so I decided we’d just stay in the airport for the night because I’m cheap and heck, I’m a world racer, I can sleep anywhere, anytime and need no comfort. Bad idea. We had packed to go to the Bahamas, shorts, tank tops & flip flops and it was 8 degrees in Baltimore when we arrived with snow on the ground. Good thing we didn’t plan on leaving the airport. We found the “meditation room” and figured maybe we could sleep in there even though the sign stated it closed. We snuggled up on the floor in the corner in front of all our luggage and tried to sleep. Apparently I’m not cut out to be a world racer anymore because it was a COLD, HARD floor that hurt to lay on, I hadn’t packed well and had nothing warm to wear and couldn’t get warm enough or comfortable (pain free) enough to sleep. We were able to rest uncomfortably in there until 630am Sunday morning when they kicked us out.

We decided to go have breakfast and check out the transportation options to the port. I had planned on walking to the bus stop, taking that to the light rail to another bus then walking to the port from the stop. That would have been about a 2 hour ordeal in the snow for only about $15 less than the cost of a cab direct to the airport in about 20 minutes so we decided to do that instead but didn’t want to leave for a few hours so we found a different hallway that was nice and warm and laid down again to get some rest. We napped and played games for a few hours and got up at about 1130am to go get our cab and got passed by at least the 100th airport employee who had seen us laying on the floor who asked when we were leaving and told us we should have gone up to the “observation deck” where we could have slept all night in warm, comfy recliners watching the planes take off and land with pillows and blankets. REALLY!?!?!? We searched all over for a comfortable place to sleep and never found one and 14 hours later, someone tells us about it. Ugh.

We made it to the port, got checked in, boarded the ship and got our room and luggage. We walked around on the ship and saw the outer decks were all covered in ice. Bummer. We’re packed for a HOT summer vacation and the decks/pools are all ice. We froze some more. We set sail Sunday afternoon and hung out on the ship until Wednesday when we arrived in Florida. We got caught up on our sleep, saw all the shows on the ship, participated in some activities, tried our luck at the casino, ate some great food and had lots of pictures taken.

We met our table mates the first night,Tim & Aarone, the other couple we’d be having dinner with together each night and connected pretty quickly and sat at the table and talked until they asked us to leave as the dining room had closed. We’ve done that pretty much every night since then as well. They’ve been a fun couple to chat with each night over dinner. We met another nice couple playing poker who we’ve continued to talk to each night as well and look forward to our conversations with them each day.

Wednesday we arrived in Port Canaveral, Florida and Bo’s uncle was there to pick us up right as we stepped off the ship. He took us back to his house, we played pool and chatted with his Great Uncle who had just arrived from New York on his vacation then headed out to a Cuban restaurant for lunch. We picked up his aunt on the way and had a great time at lunch catching up with them all. Then we hit the bowling alley and bowled 3 games then headed back to the ship. We had a great day catching up with his aunt, uncle & great uncle and were so happy to spend the day with them.

Thursday we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas where we had booked an excursion to go see the Atlantis resort. We hopped a bus with a bunch of folks, took a walking tour of the property, saw tons of cool aquatic life, walked around with the couple we had met at the poker table then I had to try my hand at the casino just so I could say that I’ve done it and lost my small amount pretty quickly so we went back to the port and walked around there for a while before getting back on the ship.

We also found a Starbucks in the Atlantis…. :)

Friday we arrived in Freeport, Bahamas early and had booked a sailing/snorkeling excursion and as we excited our room to go meet for that, we found a note stating it had been cancelled due to low attendance so we were switched to a power catamaran/snorkel excursion. We met with the group outside in the freezing cold (wearing a swim suit, tank top, skirt & flip flops) and caught the bus to the resort where it was located. We hopped on the power catamaran and “set sail”.

It was FREEZING! They said the outside temp was around 60-65 which really isn’t that cold but wearing the nothing that we were wearing clipping along at a good speed on the water in the very windy conditions, it felt VERY cold. We arrived at the snorkeling location and everyone on the boat just sat around looking at each other to see who, if anyone, was going to go in first. Everyone stripped down of their sweats, hats, socks, sneakers and we all jumped in. Except Bo, I had made a number of laps around the boat snorkeling before he decided to get in. We snorkeled up and down the Lacaya reef and saw some pretty amazing fish. It was a lot of fun and not too bad once we got in the water. We all got out, snuggled up in our towels and got ready to head out.

The captain started the boat but we only traveled about 2 minutes very slowly before he stopped for us to spot the sharks he had seen in the area. That was pretty scary seeing them so close to where we had just been in the water but neat to see nonetheless. We “sailed” back to the resort, caught the bus back to the port, found a coffee shop to get a hot coffee to warm up with and got back on the boat to go take a hot shower. Friday was our last elegant evening so we got dressed up again, took pictures everywhere around the ship and went to dinner with our buddies again. After dinner we went to another show, attempted to make a bankroll in the casino and went to bed.

Saturday was our last “fun day” on the ship. We ate, went to the shows and found a couples massage workshop to take. It was $50 for 1.25 hours of learning how to massage one another and practicing. We had a massage therapist in the room teaching us each how to use the techniques they use on their massage clients and we each got a nice massage. We also sat out on our balcony and watched dolphins putting on a show for us for quite a while, we can’t even count how many we saw jumping out of the water from right up against the ship to as far as our eyes could see, it was really cool.

I entered a slot tournament, I’ve never done it before and it was only $20 so I decided to give it a try. There were about 90 people that entered and played the first round. I was in 2nd place after the first round and had to come back at a later time to spin again for the grand finale. When I came back, the top 9 winners from round 1 and a wild card entry were ready to spin for our prize. They sit everyone down at a machine that has 0 credits and unlimited spins on a 5 minute timer and you just spin and spin and spin as fast as you can for 5 minutes and whoever has the most credits at the end wins. That just happened to be me! WOO HOO!!! I won a hat, t shirt, 24 carat gold plated plastic “piece of ship” and $500 cash!!!

There was a dance party on an outside deck one night and just after the party started we heard overhead paging for “Operation Brightstar” which we thought was some sort of party call. Bo was already headed up to the party deck and when he arrived he found that “operation brightstar” means that someone had collapsed and the employees were performing CPR on the gentleman. He had been part of the dance competition and had just collapsed on the deck. We found out later that they were able to revive him with CPR and defibrillation and he was airlifted off the ship by the coast guard later that night in stable condition.

We had the same wait staff every night as well, Lourdes from Peru and Arip from Indonesia, they were a ton of fun and sang and danced for us and with us when Bo “party boy’d” Lourdes…

We have lots of people we look forward to recognizing for excellent service during our cruise, we had a blast even though the ship was quite a bit older than the previous ones we’ve cruised on, therefore not as nice. But the staff is always exceptional and make it a great time.

One of my favorite things is waking up in the morning and sitting out on the balcony for quiet time. Here’s the view… BEAUTIFUL yet freezing!

We finally had to say goodbye to our friends and head home. We’re descending into Seattle airport as I type this and looking forward to getting home, seeing Bows and having the day off to sleep in, recuperate, clean laundry & buy groceries. I’ll post the rest of the photos on FB.

Home Repairs Comedy

Here’s how my attempt at home repairs went while Bo was gone in Africa for 3 weeks. These stories are all from the past 3 weeks but I couldn’t post them because Bo had no idea I was doing any of this while he was gone. Hopefully he’ll never leave again or if he does, we’ll have the money to hire someone who can do this CORRECTLY!


Here’s the funny story of attempting to paint. I had a gift card to home depot AND walmart and didn’t want to spend money out of the family budget to pay for painting since there was no money in there and Bo didn’t know I was doing this. I figured I’d use my walmart card to purchase the supplies and use the home depot card to buy the paint. (mistake #1). So I get the roller kit with all the needed stuff from walmart and go buy the paint from home depot. Did this on a friday. Got home late friday night and was motivated so I taped everything off (all the trim/baseboards/etc) and decide to start painting at like 10pm. I went to dump the NAVY BLUE paint into the paint pan I bought at walmart and the whole corner was cracked out of it… the paint would have just run straight through onto the floor. Had to wait until saturday to go buy good paint pans at Home Depot. I got up saturday morning, went to Home Depot, bought the good paint trays and went back home to paint. It was so nice outside, I decided to mow the lawn instead and mowed 90% of the lawn until the mower ran out of gas. Bummer. Put that away and decided to go BACK to Home Depot (3rd time in less than 12 hours now) to buy the edging for the yard I wanted to install… to make a nice border between the rocks and the grass so the grass doesn’t grow up into the rocks. Wasted a few hours out back digging holes in the yard and made NO progress. Gave up on that and went inside to eat. Ate food, decided to give the edging 1 more try and went back outside for a couple hours and tried again and ruined more of the yard and didn’t get anywhere with that, decided to quit until i had some guy available to help me dig the 30 foot trench. Went back inside to paint…. poured the navy blue paint into the pan and finally started painting! about 5 min into it, I realized I was painting the WRONG WALL!!!! (Mistake #2). Navy blue paint on the wrong wall… UGHHHHHHH! … move over to the correct wall and start over. Paint the whole thing and run out of paint with about a 2’x2′ section left (cuz that amount of paint was on the wrong wall, it would have been perfect had I not done that)..,. so I’m pressing REALLY hard with the roller trying to stretch the paint out to cover that little square and the roller snaps in half (DAMN WALMART!!!!) (Mistake #3). The roller flies OVER MY HEAD and lands on the carpeted floor behind me. I only laid plastic out about 2 feet from the wall, not expecting to throw paint backwards over my head. :/ So the roller now snapped in half with the navy blue paint on it is laying on our white carpet behind me. Fantastic. BACK TO HOME DEPOT (4th time in less than 24 hours) to get paint remover and a new roller. Come back home, clean up MOST of the mess, finish up and go to bed. Sunday after church I go rip the tape off the trim and VIOLA! the trim is BLUE! (Mistake #4). Paint soaked all through the tape onto the trim… fantastic. The places where it did not soak through the tape it ripped chunks of paint off the wall so now the wall is uneven with beige chunks and blue trim. I decided to just rip the trim off the wall (mistake #5) to clean it up and paint behind it. Bad idea. Took me almost the next week to clean the trim and paint behind it and there are large holes now gouged out of the wall where I used a screw driver/butter knife/paint mixer/hammer to try to rip the trim from the wall. (Mistake #6). That is my story of trying to paint ONE wall. I have 3 left. please pray for me. :)

TV Wall Mount:

Bo wanted to get the motorized wall mount for his flat screen tv to hang on the wall. Lucky for him, I catered to his desires while he was gone in Africa because I missed him and decided to buy it and install it for him. Bought it at Costco and brought it home. Our friends came over to help me install it. It didn’t take that long, got it BOLTED into the studs and hung on the wall. Hang the tv and turn it on to test it out! Hit the remote and hear “click” and that’s it. No motor running, nothing moving (the tv is supposed to move and tilt forward). again, “click” again, “click” … NOTHING. Grrrrr. Troubleshoot it as best we can and decide the motor is shot. Fantastic. I even called vizio for tech support to see if we maybe missed a switch or something because this thing is BRAND NEW, it should be working. Well vizio does not have tech support for their wall mounts, only for the tv’s. there is NO support for the wall mounts, they tell me to contact the store where I purchased it from and ask them. Yeah, right, Costco is going to have tech support for me?? Doubtful. So, friends come back over a 2nd time… we UNinstall the whole thing, pack it back up in the box and I return it to the store the next day. re-purchase a new one, friends come back over a 3rd time and REinstall it and it finally works this time! WOO HOO! 1 project COMPLETE!!


I wanted to edge the yard … between the rocks and grass because the grass is growing up into the rocks so at one of my MANY trips to Home Depot over the weekend I purchased the black rolled up edging stuff. Saturday I tried to dig the trench. It needed to be about 4″ deep x 1″ wide for 30 feet long. I dug holes and made a mess. Quit and went inside for dinner. Got powered up and decided to give it another try. Used my shovel, dug more holes, used my step on edging tool thing and got no where, used a small hand shovel and dug more holes. Gave up. Left everything out in the backyard for a week. Attended a wedding on Saturday and came home that evening and it was all gone… INSTALLED!!!! Our friends (who have been over multiple times to help me already while Bo is gone) came and magically completed it for me while I was gone! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New Car Pics

Here are a few pics of my new car I just drove home….

I love the black rubber cargo mat in the back.

And under the mat and the floor is a cargo keeper thing… that’s cool too to store crap in. Though I don’t plan on storing much crap in here. And below that is the spare tire and my jumper cables though I don’t plan on needing any of those either.

I am SO excited to have a safe, reliable car now that’s not falling apart at the seams and threatening me to break down every day. And even more excited about the awesome warranty that came with it! woo hoo!

My garden

Here’s the garden so far! I have lots more room to plant a few more things, i just haven’t decided what to plant yet. I added a red bell pepper plant the other day, that seems to be doing well. The only thing looking bad is the jalapeno plant but it’s still 1/2 alive… we’ll see what happens. My tomatoes haven’t done A THING and they’ve been in the ground for a while too so I’m not sure if anything is going on there. And if anyone would like some romaine lettuce starts, please let me know soon, I have TOO MUCH and it’s all going to choke each other out and die if I don’t pick some out of here and if you want to grow some, here’s an opportunity for a free start for you!! (or 10)