Archive for June, 2006

Court reporting

June 20th, 2006 No comments

I’ve been studying court reporting quite a bit the past week or so. Today I put in over two hours at the machine, soaking in the different rules and practicing on the keys. I now know my ABCs. :-)

I’m hoping to kick this thing into high gear, because it can take a lot of time to get to be fast and accurate enough to pass the certification tests. So even though I have quite a ways to go, if I can just make a daily habit of dedicating some time to learning/practicing, the hours and days will add up before I know it. :-)

Other than the court reporting work, today I went with James to do a little bit of networking at somebody’s office in Belleville. Also, this evening we played a softball game and… got trounced. 15-0 in four innings. Yeah, we didn’t do so good. :-) It was a team effort, though, and it keeps us humble!

One more thing. I’ve also spent some time polishing up on SmorgasWord. I need some volunteers to help me test it! Who’s game?

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This… is gonna be interesting

June 20th, 2006 No comments

We have recently learned that the Discovery Health (I believe that’s the name) channel would like to do a feature on our family as we prepare for the Softball Classic. Evidently, they’re wanting to do a one-hour documentary on our family, possibly culminating with the Softball Classic weekend.

This is pretty exciting stuff! :-) I’m not exactly sure what to expect with this all, as we’ve never been the subject of that much of an in-depth story or feature. So while it’s a big question mark as to what will exactly happen or be shown on TV, I just pray that God will use this whole opportunity to reach people, to encourage them, or that we might simply be a positive thing to watch on TV for the hour that our spot would be airing.

Whatever the aftermath of this is, I trust that God has a purpose for us in this whole thing, and that if we are obedient to Him, the mission will be accomplished. Perhaps it won’t be anything earth-shaking, but maybe somebody’s life will be touched. Maybe someone’s heart will soften to the point where they are open to God and end up turning their life to Him.

I’ll admit, though, that this has got me excited. :-) It should be an interesting summer.

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What a scare

June 19th, 2006 No comments

Around noon today, right as Dad, Philip, and I came home from the YMCA, we saw police cars driving up and down our road. We eventually learned that a four-year-old boy (named Dylan) was missing from a house that lies perhaps a mile or so from ours and is separated by fields and wooded areas.

Well, when we got wind of the fact that they thought the boy was somewhere in the area, word quickly spread throughout the house that we were going to put together our own little search party and start combing through the fields and brush that separates our place from theirs.

We had about 10 of us go out there and start making our way towards their house. After about a half-hour of us looking all around, praying, and shouting out “Dylan,” a man on a four-wheeler road up to my mom and let her know that the little guy had been found, alive and very well, simply sleeping under a bush or something that was just 20 feet in front of his house. Well, praise God for that!!

You know, it’s weird. We never met the little boy or his parents, but for a short time everyone was focused on one thing, and that’s finding this kid and bringing him back home. Nobody minded trudging through mud or getting scraped up by thorns and stuff. Incidentally, my knees look kind of like an angry cat got at them. But it didn’t matter, because we were all unified in doing whatever it took to help find this boy.

But anyway, we are so thankful that he was found and that everybody was willing to drop everything and go look for him. I try to imagine, what if that was Peter or David who was lost? I would certainly hope people would just dive right in to try to do their part in finding them.

So it was a small adventure today, and it’s just so awesome that little Dylan was found and there is this very happy ending. Also, it’s such a great thing when people just shake off any selfishness or reservations and dive headfirst into helping somebody in an emergency. It doesn’t matter whether you know the affected people or not, but you just make yourself available to do whatever you can to help them out.

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New graphics

June 19th, 2006 No comments

If you haven’t noticed, I have a new “Luke’s Blog” graphic at the top of my blog here. It’s actually a Flash movie/animation, although it isn’t animated. The reason it is a Flash (SWF) file is because I wanted something that could retain the transparency. Notice how you can see the background through the letters and such.

If I saved that as a JPG, that wouldn’t have been possible. If I used a GIF file, the transparency would be there but it’s not nearly as clean-looking. If I used a PNG file, the transparency would have worked perfectly for Firefox (and maybe Opera), but Internet Explorer wouldn’t be able to display it correctly. So… I chose the Flash format. :-)

Additionally, I have a new favicon graphic (that’s the little icon you see to the left of the URL in your browser’s address bar). The new icon is simply an “LB” with a box around it. I think it looks all right, though.

There, now you have learned about image file formats. You can now sleep peacefully. ;-)

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A strange wedding

June 17th, 2006 No comments

This afternoon, Paul and I travelled to nearby Columbia in order to videotape a wedding. We arrived at the church plenty early, set up all of our video equipment, and we were ready to roll. We were waiting for the ceremony to kick off in about 15 or 20 minutes, and then… the power went out.

Evidently, there were storms in the area, and a transformer or something must have blown. Whatever the cause, the church was quite dark, and the wedding was supposed to start very shortly! But there we were, in a regular rain delay. :-)

Eventually, the minister and the different people in charge of the wedding decided to start lighting candles throughout the church and turn this into a candlelit wedding! :-) So they improvised and made it work out pretty well, considering there was no electricity in the church. It was actually kind of humorous, because it just happened to be 90-plus degrees outside, and now everybody was stuck in a hot church with no air conditioning. :-)

As a whole, the wedding ended up going really well, despite the fact that the power never turned back on during the ceremony. It certainly will be a wedding day to remember for the happy couple. And I’m very glad that we have good batteries in our equipment. :-)

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June 16th, 2006 No comments

Today was the first time in a long time that I’ve gone to the YMCA. Dad, Philip, and I went to the Belleville facility this morning for a workout. As I was chatting with Dad there, we remarked how it doesn’t take much to start getting back into the mode of working out. When I don’t do it for a while, I tend to think there’s some scary reason why I’m not working out. Normally, I just get out of the habit of working out, and then I get intimidated since it’s been so long.

So… let’s go a little more often, huh, Luke?

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You Lift Me Up

June 16th, 2006 No comments

You lift me up

You fill my cup

And I am so in love with You

You lift me up

You fill my cup

And I will follow You

All the days of my life

I think I heard this song just one time in my life. It was a good seven or eight years ago, at a conference I went to at Victory Fellowship in St. Louis. I don’t know who wrote the song or who sings it, but I wish I could find it. I have tried searching for the lyrics, but I haven’t come up with anything yet. I guess it mustn’t be a real well-known song.

It’s weird — the tune has stuck with me all through the years, even though I haven’t heard the song in such a while. It’s one of those worship songs that’s simple enough where you can just sing it over and over again.

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Look out. Here comes the rest of 2006.

June 15th, 2006 No comments

Around the beginning of this year, I had a feeling that 2006 would be “the year,” so to speak. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it’s as if there are a lot of things ready to finally bloom or unfold in both my life and the family’s as a whole. Maybe a good way to explain it would be that it felt like 2006 would be a turning point, starting point, or defining moment in regards to different things.

Already, 2006 has been an incredible year. We’re not even halfway through it, and so much has happened. God has taught me so much in so many different areas. I think I’ve grown up a bit in the past few months, and I think God has been working on me and is slowly revealing things to me and refining things in me.

On top of everything else, 2006 has been so much fun. Dad made the remark the other day that “It doesn’t get any better than this.” He was referring to the family’s situation, things like how we’re all still together, we have time to spend with each other, we’re able to watch as the chubs grow up, and soon we’ll be at the point where different ones of us are ready to get married and start families of our own.

Lately, I’ve just been overwhelmed by God’s goodness. Again, I wonder, “Why me, God?” There are so many things that cause me to be incredibly thankful. Everyday things, like the fact that our family is still together, that everybody is healthy, that we have a beautiful piece of property, that our jobs enable us to have flexible schedules and spend time with each other, that I’m able to play softball with seven of my brothers and Dad. It’s just… wow. God is so good. What more could I ask for? Could it get any better than this?

As I said before, the first several months of 2006 have been very special, for a number of reasons. And, to be honest, it seems like the rest of the year is going to be very exciting — likely even more so than January through June. There are a few things that have popped up lately that have the potential to make this year really interesting.

1 Corinthians 2:9

However, as it is written:

“No eye has seen,

no ear has heard,

no mind has conceived

what God has prepared for those who love him.

I’m really excited to see what God has in store. :-D

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Pursuing three letters

June 15th, 2006 No comments


Certified shorthand reporter.

Today, a new era begins. An era of me diving head first into learning and practicing to become a court reporter. Becoming a CSR is no easy task — ask Dad or John. It’s going to take a lot of focus, a lot of hard work, and a lot of dedication on my part. But if this is where God wills me to go, then I’m sure His graces will be there to see me through it.

I’ll have to spend many, many hours on my little steno machine. It’s intimidating, I’ll admit. But I know that the best way to begin a 20-mile hike is with one step. It’s time to put one foot in front of the other and see where I find myself in a while.

Please pray for me, as I know I have a tendency to get excited about something and then eventually lose the interest over time. This should be interesting. :-)

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Introducing the all-new FamTeam Days Diet!

June 15th, 2006 No comments

So since Friday, I’ve lost a good five pounds. I guess a combination of not eating much, not sleeping much, lots of activities, and a lot of laughing will do that to a person.

If only we could offer FamTeam Days in a capsule form.

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