Friday, December 9, 2011

LIve and Learn

Here's my journal entry for today, unedited. I hesitated sharing it because I made such a stupid judgment error, but maybe by my sharing it, I can help you keep from making the same mistake, I hope that it might be beneficial to some of you! 

December 9, Friday
I learned an expensive lesson today. I got scammed $500.
I am shopping for a macbook for Mrs. Cornelious (I'm not buying it, I'm simply doing the shopping, and she'll pay me back), and there was one on craigslist up in traverse city that looked pretty good, not too good to be true, but a good deal. So I was in contact with the seller via text message, and decided to buy it. He said that how I we needed to do it was for me to buy a moneypak card, and then we’d use an escrow service to hold the money, until I received the computer, and then it releases he money to the seller. Well, that probably would have worked, but I didn’t follow the directions exactly. I followed his instructions, figuring that he’s done this before. I gave him the number on the back of the card, and that was the last I heard from him. I should have seen the signs, there were quite a few. He said that he was out of minutes, so I couldn’t call him, He told me to give him the number on the moneypak card, and I did, even though it says not to do that right on the back of the card, I asked for his address before I gave him the number, which he did, but once I realized I’d been scammed, I looked the address up online, and it’s a house that’s for sale. Then I called the phone number, and it’s a pay per use phone, so no contract, no address, no nothing. 
So I’m out 500 bucks. 
But you know what? I’m ok with that. I mean, not that I wanted to lose that money, I still feel like an idiot (maybe that’s a little strong, foolhardy perhaps) for not seeing all the red flags, but I learned an important lesson from it. God is sovereign, so he’s in control right? So who allowed/made that man steal my money? Well, God did! And I’m thankful for it!! Because it says in James 1:2b-4 ...count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. So I can either chose to be bitter, and angry at that man for scamming me, or I can rejoice, and be thankful to the Lord for this lesson. I mean, 500 dollars for a lesson that will last me a life time? Quite a deal if you ask me! Because I know I’d learn it at some point, so better it happen now when there aren’t as many zeros on the end of the price tag. Well, I’m back in the market, and I’m going to be sure that I can hold the macbook before any cash changes hands. I won’t make this mistake again! So I’d say it was worth it. Thank you Lord!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Family Economics Conference 2012

This is the first conference that I have been to of my own free will (as in, one that I wanted to sign up for, rather then just going along because mom and dad were going), and I'm really looking forward to it!!! I would humbly suggest that you consider (or ask your parents to consider) signing up for this event. Click  Here to go to they're website. We have problems on the national scale (big ones) and problems on the state level, and on down, but one of the problems that isn't being widely addressed in the media (other then by Glen Beck) is that the family is breaking down. So this is a very timely conference, and I'd love to see you all there!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And the winner is...

And the winner of my very first blog giveaway, is:
(spoken in a deep booming voice)'

Peeeeteer Mixooooooon!!
I'll contact you via email to arrange shipping!

Be checking back in about a month, as I'll be giving away another book!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Five Love Languages Giveaway!!

As you'll recall, I'm reading this book, and I've talked to several people from our home church, and a lot of them have heard the name before, some not at all, but non of them have read it. It's such a great book, and I think that it should be high up on peoples reading lists. So, rather then simply bemoan it's lack of popularity, I thought I'd do something about it! So I am going to do my first blog giveaway! Since My reader base is mostly younger single's, I'll be giving away the singles edition. Depending on how well this goes, there will probably be more giveaways in the future. Bear in mind that this is my first giveaway, so I might not have all of the procedures quite right.

I will announce the winner at around 5pm on Tuesday the Twenty-Ninth! 

All entries must be submitted by 3 pm eastern standard time. so if you're on the west coast, by noon.

So here's the rules of engagement:

For one entry:
Follow this blog, and then leave a comment saying so (if you already are, then just leave a comment)

For one extra entry:
Link to this giveaway on your social networking site, and then leave a comment saying you did. (I.E. Facebook, twitter, Etc. I have no way of verifying this, so be honest) 

For two extra entries:
Link to this giveaway on your blog, and leave a comment here with with a URL to your blog post with the link.

So, if you do all of these you'll have a total of 4 entries! If you do multiple of these, leave a separate comment for each one (I.E. One for following, one for linking on facebook, and one for linking on your own blog)

Thanks a bunch!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Courtship Interviews

Ross and I had an amazing opportunity to participate in a documentary that it currently being filmed about courtship! I won't give you all of the back story, because it's not particularly interesting, but in summery, Ross was put in contact with this family (the Wrights) by one of his other friends in the area, and when they found out about Ross's views on courtship, told him that they were in a documentary that was being made about courtship, and asked if he'd like to come over for a visit and be interviewed for it! Well it just so happened that around this time, I came out to Michigan, so I got to come along and participate.

I was expecting to be interviewed by the producer, and have my responses video taped. But what actually happened was that as Ross and I walked in the front door, and they all greeted us, off to the side, hiding in the shadows, was the camera man filming us. I immediately realized that this wasn't going to me an interview driven documentary, but more of a reality TV style, where it looks like all the people aren't even aware that there is a camera in the house. So after I saw the camera, I did my best not to look at it, even though it was a really nice camera. Throughout dinner, and the conversation afterwards, the camera was floating around us, sometimes close up, sometimes off in the corners. It took a little bit of focus at the beginning to act normal, and resist the temptation to look at the camera, but after a little while, it wasn't such a distraction, and the conversation flowed naturally.

Now before I go any farther, you all would probably like to know who this mysterious family is that we were visiting. They look like a pretty normal homeschooling family on the outside, but on the inside, they're much more! It became apparent after just a short time that they all love each other so much, and they have so much fun together. They laugh and joke together, often telling us interesting (and occasionally embarrassing) stories about the different members of the family, as well as deep, heart touching stories about they're life, how Mr. and Mrs. Wright met, the trials they'd had in they're marriage, and how they got saved. They have a website called "Before the Kiss" which is a compilation of books and recourses on courtship! They have two daughters, as well as a 'somewhat' adopted daughter. (I say 'somewhat' because her parents are still living,but in another state). Read their story on they're website here:

So for most of the filming we sat around the dinner table, eating a delicious meal, and talking about home churches and courtship. They're working on starting a home group, so we talked for awhile about our experiences with our home church, it's strong points, and it's weak points, and then we moved onto courtship. It was mostly an ongoing dialog between all of us, rather then them simply asking questions, and us answering them. It was a great time. The producer and camera man left at about 11pm, but we kept talking until about 1am. Ross had originally planned on driving back home that night (about 2 1/2 hours), but he decided that it was a little late for that, so he asked if we could sleep on the floor and leave in the morning. They said that would be fine, so we got to spend the night. Ross was planning on being out the door by eight the next morning, but after they got up, we started chatting again, and then they made breakfast (eggs and hand made sausage), and we kept talking until we finally left a little behind schedule, about noon.

I am really looking forward to going back to visit them some time soon, they're such a great family to be around!


The Producer is about 6 months into this project, and she said that ones of this length usually take about three years. So I'll keep you updated.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I've now been in Michigan for over a month, coming up on a month and a half, I am starting to feel a little (more) homesick. I don't regret being here what so ever, but I do miss the fellowship of people back in Oregon. They're just so one of a kind. If any of you are reading this, I miss you all! I won't be coming home until Christmas Break, and even then, it will probably only be for three weeks or so, and then I'm hopping that I'll be able to come back. I am learning so much here from Mr. Parunak it's unfathomable. I can't imagine a better person to thrust me into the engineering world. This is just sort of a reminiscing post, and I don't have any deep theological lightbulbs for you this time (not that I usually do). If I were to encourage you all to one thing, it would be this: Love and cherish those around you!! Relationships are so precious! Guard and protect the ones you have. They are more valuable then you can imagine (at least, then I can imagine, though I don't have the most creative imagination, so maybe you all can imagine how valuable they are). All the cars, houses, power, fame, and riches pale in comparison to relationships, especially our relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus. So, if someone you love is near you right now, go give 'em a big bear hug, and tell them how much they mean to you!
~Sir Paul

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How you treat your Mom...

...Is how you'll treat your Bride.
I’ve heard is said many times, 'how a young man treat’s his Mom, is how he’ll treat his wife". “Wait, What!?!?” you might think “But my mom’s so much different then who I’d like to marry!” It still rings true! It’s taken awhile for this to really sink in, but It really has been these last few weeks. It’s so easy for me to imagine how I’ll treat my future bride. “I’ll be one of the best husbands ever!” I think. That’s all well and good, but what about when things get tough? Am I really willing to make the choice, even when it can hurt? What if my wife would really like to have “blank”, but I can’t see why? Am I willing to put her desires above my own? How can I know? How can I prepare? Can I know?
Enter “Mom”.
God’s design for marriage and raising children so amazing. He give young adults someone who we live with,who is very forgiving, who is much, much wiser then us, to teach and train us how to treat our future spouses. They also know you inside and out, and will be able to spot a bad attitude from a mile away. So when they are giving instruction, give them your full attention! You won’t regret it later!
It also allows us to see how other people will treat they’re future spouses. In my case, when a young lady catches my interest, one of the first things I’ll want to observe is how she treats her father. Is she rude and short tempered? Does she just kind of blow him off? Or does she treat him with kindness and respect? Similarly, my Mom is the perfect proving ground for how I will treat my wife!
I heard a good quote the other day:
Sew a thought, reap a desire. Sew a desire, reap an action. Sew an action, reap a habit. Sew a habit, and reap a lifestyle.
And one that is a little more well known:
Deuteronomy 5:16
Honor they father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord has thy God giveth thee.
In conclusion, think about how you can bless your parents today. Maybe some kind words, maybe doing the dishes without being asked, maybe a note, be creative. It’s a very rewarding process. Having a close relationship with your parents is one of the biggest blessing you’ll ever have!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Review of "The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition" Coming soon!

A couple of weeks ago, A great friend of mine loaned me a copy of "The Five Love Languages". It's an amazing book, and has given me a new insight to my relationships with other people (Mostly my family at this point). It is directed primarily towards married couples, which made applying some of the concepts in is somewhat challenging. So it was with great delight that I found that, on at the back of the front cover, was a list of other books that he author had written, one of which the "For Singles" edition! Once I got to Michigan I ordered it and am now greatly looking forward to reading it late into the night, as is my habit with really good books. 
So, when I'm finished with it, or maybe while I'm reading it, I'll post my thoughts on it. So be watching!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Next Chapter (Or Two)

So for the last year or so, I've been trying to decide weather or not I really want to be a Mechanical Engineer. I competed for two years in a robotics competition, and I loved it! My main question was "Is what I did while competing going to be only a minor part of an actual engineering career?" I've been praying about it, and looking for an internship, or an engineer that I could shadow for awhile. I wasn't having much success, as I hadn't found any, so I basically decided that for this fall, I was going to take a class or two at our community collage, and do some heavy studying at home. But the Lord had other things in store for me. One day, a Thursday if I remember correctly, after Dad came home from work, he and Mom went out on the front porch to talk, and wouldn't let any of us listen. In walking by (maybe a little more slowly then normal) I heard my name come up, as well as Ross's, and Gene Parunak's, one of Ross's friends back in Michigan. I knew that something was up, because after "The Meeting" neither one of them would say anything! It was sheer torture! Dad said that he would fill us in sunday afternoon. 
That was a long weekend.
Sunday evening finally rolled around, and not a minute too soon. Dad called me out to the back deck, and handed me a piece of paper. It was an offer to intern with Gene Parunak at his company: In2Being!!! I had heard before that he helped people with medical device development, but I never really gave it much thought for a couple of reasons. One is that medical engineering didn't really catch my fancy, and that I wanted to be actually working on a product, not just giving advice, as I thought Gene did. Boy was I in for a surprise. After talking with Mom and Dad, I gave Gene a call to get more information, and we talked for an hour or so about the various aspects of what I'd be doing back in Michigan (that's where he lives), and how many hours I would be working a week, Etc. I also found out  that, should I accept, I'd be leaving that Friday. My first (or maybe second) thought when I heard this was "Phooey, that Means I'm going to miss Fiesta night." But I put that behind me and took the job! The next four days were a flurry of activity, buying my first suit, getting new shoes, and packing.

My flight was rather uneventful, for which I'm thankful, and Ross and Gene picked me up at the Detroit airport at 10 they're time on Friday. The next morning, after a plate of only slightly overdone eggs at my bro's house, people started arriving for bible study, which Ross was hosting. That went for about an hour, and then Gene and I went to his office so that he could get me up to snuff on his business, and sign the employment papers. We talked for several hours and looked at designs that he was working on for his clients. At lunch, his wife brought the family over, as well as enough Pizza to feed us all!
But enough of me rattling on. To the trip!

I spent sunday night at Genes house, so that we could get an early start the next morning. We got on the road at about 9am (hey, that's what happens when you have a bunch of kids, as he does) and I drove the first 5 hours, after which we stopped for lunch, and then Gene finished off the last half hour of driving through Chicago to get to the McCormick Place Expo Center. We set the booth up and then headed off for our hotel, which was (thankfully) bed-bug free!
The next three days were a whirl of activity, not that there weren't slow points, but in general it was very enjoyable. We talked to lot's of people, and it looks like Gene has four or five good leads. So it was a grand success! On the third day we got to do some walking around to look and the other expo booths. There was some pretty incredible machines, let me tell you! Here's some pictures! 

This robot is an assembly line cart mover. It could push a cart weighing over 10 tons!

This pictures just makes me get all dreamy. This would be so much fun to design and build.

Here's Gene and his booth. That's where we spent most of our time there. Loads of fun. 

For this event I got to purchase my first full suit! I felt pretty professional! I guess I'm not your standard male, in that I like getting all suited up for an occasion, be it biking through the woods, or manning a booth and the Medical Device and Manufacturing Expo.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A glorious weekend!

A couple of weekends ago, I was Extended a generous offer to come to Fiesta night at the Cornelious's house, and possibly even stay the night, partly because it's a pretty long drive. I drove down about an hour early to help them get set up, though primarily because that meant that I got to spend an extra hour with them. :)
Fiesta night was loads of fun, and I got so see some other people that I hadn't seen in quite some time. One of the games we played was called Ninja. Everybody stands in a circle, and taking turns, tries to slap the hand of the person standing next to them. Easy, right? But there's a catch. After you swing at they're hand, you have to stay in that position, and you can only move when somebody else tries to slap your hand. It makes for some rather humorous photos.

 Mr. Long Arm.

You what!?!

I didn't make it to bed until really late that night, actually, it wasn't until early the next morning. We talked about so many things, that I didn't bother to watch the time, that is, until it we got really tired, and noticed what time it was. So I wasn't able to journal about all the events of the day, so I was trying to catch up the next morning. I got a few paragraphs done, but then these little munchkins started showing up, and It quickly became obvious that I wasn't going to get much written down.

 This little girl, Maryann is her name, almost always had a cheerful countenance about her.

That morning, after we finished putting the sheetrock up in the shop, Mr. Cornelious and a couple of the boys suited up, and we went out to gather honey!

Yes, there is a boy in that suit.

That cart weighed about 600 pounds! And that was only about 3-4 hives.

This is What Maryann and Josh were doing while we pulled honey. Not sure how it got started.

Mrs. Cornelious bought a treadmill off of Craigslist while I was there, and once they got it set up, all of the kids just couldn't wait to get a turn on it.

Family bonding time. I hooked my laptop up to they're TV, and we played some Angry Birds!

So come saturday afternoon I was dreading not looking forward to the prospect of having to drive home that night, and end my lovely sojourn with them. As it got closer to dinner time, one of the boy's asked if I was staying for dinner, and Cheryl said that I was invited, but that I'd probably have to stay the night if I did. (Muffled "Yippee" followed on my part) So I gave Dad a somewhat nervous call, hoping that I hadn't left something undone at home that I had to go home and fix, or that there was something on the calendar that I had to be home for. My fears were much relieved when Dad said that it'd be fine. (followed by a not quite so muffled exclamation of joy) So the adventure continues!

The next day being sunday, I got to go to the Church they attend.

Maryann blinked.

After Church, and more honey extracting, Eric invited me to go Kayaking with him on the river! That was super cool of him, I'll remember that trip for a long time. I'd never been kayaking before, so it was quite the learning experience, and I managed to only flip once! There were some pretty good rapids, for me at least, and there were some slow parts. It's was loads of fun, and we got to talk quite a bit. I asked him a bunch of questions about life, and when his had been like before I met him, how he and Cheryl met, why he joined the army, etc. Here's some photos that Cheryl took with my camera after she dropped us off.

Once we got back from that, it was starting to get late, and I was planning on packing up and heading home. I would have loved to stay another night, but I had already stayed two, and I didn't want to overstay my welcome. But then one of the boys came to my rescue again. Or maybe Cheryl asked if I'd like to stay for another night, I don't quite remember how it happened. But however it did, and I got to stay yet another night! 
I should mention that dinner that night was really, really good. But since Cheryl had been gone for a large portion of the afternoon, she wasn't home to cook it. So Laura Cooked the whole meal, with minimal help from Mrs. Cornelious, while baby sitting her 5 younger siblings. Did I mention that it was really good?
Anyway, so the next day they're friends the germonds (the first photo of this post has two of them) were having they're annual labor day BBQ! Dad had said last night that I had to come home on monday, so I drove my van there so that I could head straight home once it was late. So with Ben and Michael riding with me, we headed for the BBQ. As you might expect at a BBQ, there was a lot of great homemade food and desserts.
Here's Gabe wearing his Daddy's sunglasses.


They set up a slip and slide, so I attempted to get photos as kids were sliding down it. This is the best one that I got.

6pm rolled around way to soon for my liking. So I had to start the journey home. After saying goodbye to the kids and and Mr. and Mrs. Cornelious, I got in the van and started driving, my eye's only slightly moist. It was a great weekend, and I look forward with great anticipation to going back sometime in the future. 
Thank's Cornelious's!!


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