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Showing posts from June, 2014

that's (15 years of) marriage

fifteen years ago today, on the hottest day on record in the northern hemisphere, i married this beautiful woman.  in what turned out to be the luckiest, most lop-sided move ever, i somehow convinced her to marry me, and, now, fifteen years later, we are still discovering what that means. sometimes i don't feel like getting up from watching the buccos on tv to help with the bedtime ritual for the kids.  that's marriage. sometimes i want to watch batman begins for the 27th time, and she wants to watch pride and prejudice for the 127th time.  that's marriage. sometimes i don't want to talk about it.  sometimes she just needs to be heard.  sometimes i want to argue it out.  sometimes she just needs space.  that's all marriage. and sometimes when we are walking, not to anywhere fancy or special, mind you, she'll just slip her hand into mine, and my nerve endings will somehow send little messages almost instantly through my hand, arm, shoulder to my brain

finishing this puzzle > everything else

jackson, caedmon and i put this puzzle together in about 4 hours or so. it is 1,000 pieces. it's nice to see that they've inherited my obsessive/compulsive tendencies. let's just keep it real.  when i'm in the middle of a puzzle, finding the next piece trumps any other activity.  i will keep searching for pieces even if i'm sitting cross-legged and bouncing up and down with a bladder so full that it is likely to rupture at any second.  some things are just more important that bodily functions.  the same goes with meals.  finishing this puzzle is more important than meals.  i will simply eat whatever is easiest and quickest.  what's that first thing in the cupboard?  oh, it's a bag of flax seeds?  that'll work.  i'll eat that for dinner.  now hurry up, i'm trying to find this red piece with a little purple on the corner.  what, the district superintendent is on the phone?  tell him i'll call him back tomorrow.  i'm busy here.  i c

the great milinovich root beer taste test of 2014

some of you may remember from my post about our summer bucket list  that we were planning a root beer taste test this summer.  well, we couldn't wait, so the second official day of summer seemed about as good a time as any. so we collected 13 different types of root beer, got a bunch of dixie cups ready, and started pouring.  i randomized the test for shannon, jackson and caedmon (quinton didn't taste test...he just drank his weight in root beer, one dixie cup at a time), and then shannon re-randomized it for me. we had score sheets so that we could take notes on each one.  you can see some of those notes below.  some were too sweet (almost like  molasses), some were good, but left a peculiar aftertaste.  one was just downright awful.  some were spicier, while others were sweeter.  i particularly like cade's score sheet, which reads: sweet, good, sweet, good, sweet, good, sweet, root beer barrels.   hard to argue with any of that. now, the part you'

mission trip to the jersey shore, day 5

our final day was very similar to the rest, at least in shape and structure.  we woke up (relatively) early, had some breakfast, and headed down the garden state parkway.  this time, our entire group went to delmont, nj, where we continued working on a home that some of us were working on yesterday. this home has been raised up some 10 feet, and was terribly damaged by water from sandy.  we are one of many groups that have already been working on this home, including a great team of people from another church i served, in clinton, nj!  we were doing lots of drywall work today, mudding and sanding and installation, seams and more.  we were blessed to work with another team from wisconsin, and we worked well together, accomplishing quite a bit in one day. another way we've been blessed this week is by our hosts.  first united methodist church of toms river, nj has been a wonderful place for us to relax, play games, take a shower, eat, and sleep.  not only that, but th

mission trip to the jersey shore, day 4

thursday was a sort of new beginning for our journey here along the atlantic coast, as we all were starting on a new project - two new projects, to be more precise.  since two of our number returned home on thursday morning, our number was now twelve, so six of us went to a home in wildwood and the other six to a town, a bit inland from wildwood, called delmont. those who went to wildwood, were involved in painting, demo-ing a floor, carrying incredible amounts of drywall, and doing some insulation work.  here are some pictures from that project: the other six, who headed to delmont, were doing mostly drywall installation, some insulation, and lots of mudding/spackling.  here are some photos from the delmont home: we're all learning new things; new skills for working in a home, but we are also all growing closer together, laughing together, eating peanut butter and nutella sandwiches together, sharing the same sleeping quarters (and all th

mission trip to the jersey shore, day 3

today has been a day of ups and downs.  we had a great day of work today, full of hanging doors, putting down ceramic door tiles, grouting, spackling, sanding, priming, and tons of yardwork, just to name some of what we did!  it felt really good to be extremely productive, even though temperatures reached upwards of 97 degrees here at the jersey shore! but we also had to come to terms with the fact that we are leaving this job site and will be starting at two new job sites tomorrow.  we are bummed about this, but excited to see what tomorrow has in store!  we also had a great time this evening of discussing where we've seen God so far in this trip, and we finished the night with a great game of logo party, which included steve trying to act out the word "jazzercise," which you will see in the video below.  sorry about my cackling laughter.....we were having a pretty good time! Austin gives the sanding work two thumbs up Cheryl isn't sure which tool to u

mission trip to the jersey shore, day 2

greetings from the hot and muggy state of new jersey once again!  day two took us back to our worksite, after a much better night's sleep.  our site has a great deal of yard work needed, so we were able to clean up the yard, which included Steve trying to break a pickup-truck cab cover with a sledge hammer (i presume it washed into the yard during the storm).  we were able to get a hold of a lawn mower, which Mary used to cut the grass, some of which was at least two feet long. while that was happening, others were inside working on the ceramic tile flooring, as well as continued work on the drywall.  a couple of us had to make a lengthy trip to the store to purchase some needed materials, including 5 doors and a window for the home.  when lunch arrived, we took a much needed break! we continued to work throughout the afternoon, albeit with several obstacles and difficulties, which we handled to the best of our ability.  these kinds of trips - doing this kind of

mission trip to the jersey shore, day 1

greetings from the jersey shore!  our group of 14 from catawissa avenue umc in sunbury drove out here to toms river, nj yesterday, and were warmly welcomed by a wonderful group of methodists here.  it is a particularly poignant pleasure for me and shannon, since this is a church where we served for 8 years, and the very first church i served out of college.  i was the youth pastor and director of christian ed here, and then an assistant pastor, and then an associate pastor!  it's been 8 years since i've been here (other than a 30 minute stop last year), and it is a real blessing to catch up with some dear friends and see how God has been at work in this place.  i know our whole group surely appreciates all the hospitality they have afforded us.  we are blessed! today we began work, after a bit of a frustrating delay, on a man's home in little egg harbor township.  we are working in a downstairs room where he had about 5 feet of water come into his home during sup

a prayer for the susquehanna annual conference, june 2014

as we come together, God of eternity, we praise you for your bigger-than-us-ness. we praise you for your dominion over balance sheets and boom reports. we praise you for the way you've called each of us,             for the holy mystery of communion together,             for the free-gift-grace of holy conferencing,             for the joy of friends and colleagues,              sharing stories of seminary days, and memories of past appointments. we praise you for the people called methodists in this corner of the world,             for the way you are using us, calling us, challenging us, pushing us and saving us from ourselves. forgive us, we pray, for our assumptions. forgive us for our audacity to think we can somehow control or manipulate you. forgive us for the way we have excluded others. forgive us for the way we have sometimes turned your church into business, replacing love with doctrine, hope with projections, joy with job-satisfaction, and faith with