Sunday, April 30, 2006

12:01am...May 1...That means it's Melissa's Birthday!

That's right folks! May 1 (or today as otherwise known...) is Melissa's Birthday! Feel free to send your love to her by a phone call or a post to the blog. (She's in the other room reading and has no idea i'm typing this... Hee Hee.) Happy Birthday Melissa! We all love ya baby!

AMC Movie Church?

Yes folks, it's true. Melissa and I went to our local AMC 30 this morning, not to attend a movie, but rather to go to church. After today, i'll never look at going to the movies the same ever again. I never realized that every nook and cranny could be used as nursery or classroom, or that hallways made great high school meeting areas. I don't believe that I have ever seen such creative use of space in my life. We walked in, were welcomed right away and found our way to the Krispy Creme welcoming table. (Now that's church hospitality!) This was our first experience with "theatre church," but what a great opportunity for local church plants. The question we now have to ask ourselves..."Can we ever get used to church without a 60 foot projection screen?" Melissa and I really enjoyed our time worshipping with all of our new friends at Epic Church. Have you taken the time to branch out lately?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Grilled Pizza

We've been waiting all winter, and this evening we enjoyed our first grilled pizzas of the season! Many of you are thinking "grilled WHAT?" But a couple of years ago we heard it could be done, so we found a recipe, tried it, and discovered it was a delicious new way to enjoy pizza. You can find the recipe by clicking on the following link. You basically just need the recipe for the dough and instructions on how to cook it. Go ahead and top it however you like. Tonight we did ham and pineapple with sweet and sour sauce. Incidently, this is a fun thing to make if you're having a group of people over. Everyone can participate and they usually leave impressed with your culinary abilities!

  • Grilled Pizza Recipe

  • Be brave and try it! Let us know how it goes!

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    The highlight of our week...

    Well, we've wanted to add another post for a week now, but currently our lives are really lacking in blog-worthy news. We could have told you about the new parks we built on "Roller Coaster Tycoon," or how bored we are (being unemployed), but we didn't think that sounded very interesting. So, therefore the highlight of our week has been meeting our friends Mike and Laurel at Don Pablo's for dinner tonight! We celebrated an early birthday for Melissa since our dear friends will be abandoning us for a five-day cruise to the Caribbean. They'll be celebrating Melissa's actual birthday in Jamaica.... without Melissa. Don Pablo's being one of our favorite restaurants, we always look forward to the warm queso dip, fajitas, and chocolate volcano cake.

    In other news, we're hoping to attend a "For Sale By Owner" seminar either tomorrow or Saturday to figure out if that's the route we want to go. We figure we probably ought to list the house pretty soon whether we have an official job lined up or not. You never know how long it will take to sell. If anyone has any home-selling advice, feel free to share. This will be our first time.

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    The Windy City & The Willow Creek

    Well, you'd think that we have nothing better to do than "travel about the country" and you would be right! Fresh back from a trip to Chicago to visit the Liddick family, we have learned that our little dog Allie loves the car! As soon as someone mentions going somewhere, she's out to the garage and waiting with tail wagging at the passenger door. There were multiple times during the trip where I wished I was a dog. I mean, she gets the whole back seat with our two pillows and a huge blanket and doesn't even have to wear a seat belt. That dog was sprawled out all over the back seat for the entire 6-hour trip, and here we are packed all in with extra cd's, a cooler, and the laptop bag between us in the front seat. What a life! I would have taken a picture for you, but we didn't have any room in the front seat for the camera. It's a dog's life...

    Anyhow, had a great time visiting with Melissa's parents and brother while in Wheaton. Matt let me play the XBOX 360 for my first time, and he was kind enough to not completely embarrass me during the first hour of play. We made Fish Tacos for the parents on Saturday night, and we made dad try my famous Guacamole.

    Sunday morning started out with a little trip out to South Barrington, Illinois to visit Willow Creek Community Church. I personally hadn't been out to Willow for around 6 years, and their new worship center is enormous. Once almost seated in the 10th row of the main section, we realized that everyone around us was holding a ticket for their seat, and believe it or not we didn't have one. We waited in a line with all of the other surprised guests for the chance at an empty seat, and we got to find out what the second balcony looked like. So, seating fiasco aside, what a great worship service! All I can say is it was quality through and through. As my friend Gary Rogers would say, "It almost made my eyes leak about 3 times!" Dynamic storytelling by about 20 members of the congregation of life change and divine intervention always makes for a great Easter service.

    Now it's Monday night and we're back in good old Detroit ready to start the job search one more time. Feel free to tell your church we're available! Thanks for checking in with us.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    April Showers Bring Spring.....Flu?

    It's been awhile since our last post, but that's because the Gafford home has been invaded by the flu virus. Melissa brought little Emily's cold back from our visit to Indiana, and was kind enough to share this great cold with me. We now have more types of medicine on our counter than I have ever seen in this house, trying to keep up with our ever changing symptoms. If anyone needs an excuse to miss work for a couple of days, come on up and we'll cough on you. It will be at least a 3 day break, I promise.

    In other news, we had a chance to visit First Christian Church this past weekend, and really enjoyed their services. Melissa and I had a unique opportunity to spend some time in a Chevy HHR over the weekend, and boy was it fun! It is hard to describe, but imagine a Dodge Neon and a Ford Expedition all smushed together and you'll get the general idea. Good times! It's great hearing from you all! We'll try to update our links when we get a chance. Happy Easter to all!

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    Whirlwind trip to Marion!

    We find ourselves back from a whirlwind trip down to Marion, IN visiting family and loved ones. This trip was Allie's first trip outside of her crate, and she was a champ! She only ever wanted up in the front seat whenever we were eating, and other than that she dozed in the back seat. We had a chance to spend some time with Julie and Nate Lamb and their little cutie Emily. We had the privilege of helping Emily pet a dog for the first time, but the courage didn't last long. As soon as mom and dad hit the scene later that night it was, "Allie No!" all over again. We'll just have to visit again soon and try again.

    If you haven't had a chance to see what the Shortcake house is all about, check out Nate and Julie's blog linked here on ours. Everybody who gets the chance to visit the Lamb's gets to spend time in the shortcake house with Emily, and mom and dad Gafford have built the "Pooh house" at Grandma and Grandpa's. I truly hope that each of you have relatives somewhere where you get the chance to enter such a virtual wonderland of dreams and imagination. To some it might feel like sitting under a card table with a sheet over it, but to those who are truly enlightened, we all have the unique opportunity to dine with Pooh in the Hundred Acre Woods. (I'm sure there's a service illustration in there somewhere...)

    Anyhow, we also had the opportunity to surprise Grandma Liddick and the VanHarken family by joining them for dinner at Bob Evans before we left town. (Their Pot Roast sandwich is great by the way...) It was a great time to catch up with our fellow "Marion-ites" and even see loved ones from way out in New York. We visited with Grandpa Gafford on Thursday evening, and had a chance to visit Grandma & Grandpa Cox later that night. Grandpa has been working hard on his musical project, and we were treated to a little concert before we left. As far as the "work" of the trip, I was able to reprise my role as "tractor driver" on the Gafford farm and help dad prep for the summer season. All in all it was a great trip and the food is ALWAYS good! Thanks everybody & much love!

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    Old Friends...After all of these years....

    Forgive the old Bill Gaither "Praise Gathering" reference, but that's almost what it feels like around here! It's great to hear from all of you who have found us over the massive expanse of the World Wide Web, and Melissa and I can't stop reading all of the Blog's that are out there. At some point we'll try to put a link to yours if we know it's there, just drop us a note in a comment and we'll post it.

    In other news, last night Laurel came over and highlighted Melissa's hair while I moved our home office downstairs to prep for showing the house sometime in the future. Our kitchen was transformed into a hair salon and Laurel played beautician for a couple of hours.

    This afternoon we had the "privilege" of taking both of our cars in to be worked on. New front brakes, a gasket or two, and a few oil changes later we're back on the road again. To celebrate getting out of the repair shop for a while, Melissa and I visited our local "Ming Garden" Chinese restaurant. I seriously don't know how they do it, but their food is incredible! I tried asking our server if they gave out recipes or let random people into the kitchen to watch the masters at work, but I'm pretty sure he didn't understand a word I was saying. He just kind of looked at us and said, "ok" and just walked back into the kitchen. I mean seriously! I would pay pretty good money just to be able to watch over their shoulder and figure out exactly how they put heaven on a plate. My hat is off to the little mom and pop Chinese restaurants all across America who help us quench that Asian fire inside every one of us. (If I ever figure it out, I’ll post it here.)

    Sunday, April 02, 2006

    Rockpointe Church

    This morning we celebrated the fact that we didn't have to get up extra early with the time change by going to the 10:45 service at Rockpointe Community Church in Sterling Heights. What a great church! The worship leader is from England, so he naturally sounds like Matt Redman. Their band was great and their singers gifted, but the worship was far beyond their human talents. We had a fantastic time of worship even though we didn't know half of the songs. They used a satellite video setup in their "foyer" where they seated almost as many as were in the sanctuary. What a cool little setup. Any seat in the sanctuary is a great seat considering that there are only around 7 rows per section and maybe 4 rows in the balcony. No matter where you were seated, you felt like a part of the action. I have to admit that it is strange going to church 5 minutes before the service starts and leaving 5 minutes after, but now I have a better understanding of all the multitudes of people who do just that every Sunday. It is nice every now and then to not be the last car out of the parking lot... :)

    Spring is officially here!

    Well, we know for a fact that spring has officially arrived because Erma's custard shop opened for the season yesterday. This is the day we've been waiting for all winter. Erma's is a local ice cream shop about a mile and a half from our house that is a favorite of many in the community. We'll often find the line 50-60 people strong on a nice summer evening. But Erma's is always worth the wait. Last night David and I both enjoyed a small swirl cone dipped in chocolate. It was even better than we remembered! We've posted the flavor schedule in the picture above, so talk it over with the family and come on up and join us for a cone!

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    Band-aids for dogs??

    Allie had her annual trip to the vet yesterday for her well-pet check-up. They had to draw some blood for a routine heartworm test and she came back to us wearing a band-aid. We'd never seen a band-aid on a dog before. We thought it looked pretty cute. I think there was something special in the shot they gave her because she woke up extra smart this morning. Within about 10 minutes, she FINALLY grasped the concepts of "shake" and "roll over." We've only been working on it for a year and a half! Now Allie's routine consists of "sit", "lay", "roll over", "shake", "wait", "up", and "catch".

    The Search Is On!

    Greetings friends and family! I can't believe that it has taken us this long to get our little blog started, but here we go! To many of you from the past, the title "The Search" will mean something different, but in this case, i'm referring to our recent opportunity to "relocate" our family. Our Senior Pastor has resigned at Community Wesleyan Church, and thus according to the Wesleyan discipline I have resigned my position as Music Director. Melissa had been serving as a teacher in the church daycare, and has also resigned her position. So, the search is on! We've been able to take daily walks with the dog, paint almost every room in the house, and even test my skills as a handyman and plumber! So far, I have proved to be my father's son. (For those of you who don't know my father, that means i've passed the test.)

    During our time looking for a position, we've decided to take a little time remodeling the house to get it ready to sell, and also maybe even write a blog. So, i'm sure with all the time on our hands that this blog will be updated frequently, so check back for your Gafford fix every now and then! I'm sure it will be a life-changing and white knuckled ride! Love to all!