a little late, but worth the wait

My lovely wife celebrated a birthday a few days ago. She’s had some memorable ones.

6 years ago we were in China, adopting Annabelle. Somehow the hotel manager learned that it was Kim’s birthday, and we were pleasantly surprised by a knock at the door. Room service delivered the most beautiful little birthday cake to honor Kim.

26 years ago Kim and I were in college. A group of us made the trek down I-75 to Atlanta to eat at a super fancy restaurant called The Olive Garden. Someone stole our umbrella while we were eating, so the kind employees sent us home with full bellies and a brand new umbrella! That’s hospitaliano!

This year her birthday got lost in the mix of church stuff, kids’ schedules, and babies. In order to set things aright, the kids and I are making dinner for her next Monday. We’ll do family night and keep mom out of the kitchen.

Enjoy these pics from 1990. We were blissfully in love, had been dating for less than a year, and were planning a wedding for about 5 months later.
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back in time for Gotcha Day

I don’t know if I’m back for good or just back for now, but I’m back, and it’s Annabelle’s Gotcha Day–the day we met our Annabelle. A little more than 6 years ago Calvary created this video, telling part of our story.

A short time after we taped that, Kim and I boarded a plane and whisked around the world to FINALLY meet our Annabelle. Here’s the actual moment we met our sweet little girl.

We had no idea how much our life would change in the years that followed that day. Annabelle has grown into a wonderful, kind, sensitive, beautiful young lady. She was the first of our 6 adoptions, and if she hadn’t been such a natural fit for our family, I don’t know that any of these adoptions would have happened.

Life certainly has been a wild ride over the past 6 years. We have seen God move in some mind-blowing ways. Our faith has grown, we have been both stretched and blessed, and we LOVE what we see happening in Team Sublett as a result of sweet little Annabelle!

Say hello to Suzanna Joy!

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We weren’t looking for another baby to adopt, but God brought her into our lives and we have agreed to become her adoptive family. She was born a few days before we expected her, but she’s a beauty! She’s got the cutest little rosebud lips, and I’ve already had to take care of her long fingernails. She’s doing well, and we couldn’t be more excited.

She made her debut 9/1/15 at 8:42, weighing in at 8 pounds 14 ounces, 20 inches long. We were hoping she’d have red hair, but we’re happy that she’s not bald like some of the other Sublett babies! We think we’re going to call her Suzu, or maybe Zuzu.

We sure would appreciate your prayers as we adjust to life with another little Sublett under our wings. It’s A Wonderful Life!

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almost like starting over

It seems surreal, but we knew this day was coming. The same week that we sent 5 big kids off to State High–2 seniors and 3 freshmen!–we also sent got Charlie started with a little pre-school action, courtesy of the fine folks at Grace Lutheran.
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He’s a sharp little guy who is totally ready for the world of academia! He’s been excited about starting school for a while, and I’m sure that this is going to be a great experience for him. He’s already made a few new friends, and his teachers are wonderful.

A few years ago we thought we were out of the “diaper bag and car seat” stage. We were past the nighttime feedings and done with the days of looking down in a meeting to discover a big glop of baby spit on my shoulder.

But we knew that the Lord was leading us back into this stage of life. Yes, we’re not as young as we used to be. We’ve already done the math. We know how old we’ll be at their graduation. I don’t care if you ask which one is my grandkid. Just point out my kids when they walk across the stage if I can’t see or hear by that time!

It’s been a little crazier than usual around the Sublett Ranch. This week. Stay tuned for a pretty big announcement later today.

I should listen to my wife

Yesterday was great on so many levels!

Our staff got to celebrate our friends Lois and Curt. They’ve been around Calvary for more than a decade, serving and creating art and loving people and basically being family. They’re moving to Louisville this weekend to start the next chapter of their lives. We’ll miss them.

Last night was our monthly Team XStream (youth ministry staff) meeting. These folks have grown closer and are experiencing God moving in our lives. It’s always good to share our stories with each other, to pray and encourage/challenge each other. These leaders set the tone for where Calvary’s youth ministry is headed.  We’re in good hands!

And Charlie’s birthday party was a great success! Lots of friends came out to celebrate with us, and the PLAY GYM AT HARVEST FIELDS WAS OPEN! Kids has a blast, just like all of Kim’s parties. The decorations were cute, and Sadie got to be creative with the cake. She also made a sweet pinata that looked like a safety cone!

The only glitch in the whole shebang was mine. The last thing Kim asked me was we were leaving the house was, “Do you have enough gas for the grill?” I smugly assured her that my grill was fully equipped to handle my gassy needs. You’d think that by now I’d know to listen to her intuition. Halfway through the grilling I ran out of gas and had to call my friend Jake to swing by my house to grab another tank. Good grief, Charlie Brown…
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happy birthday Charlie

4 years ago you stepped into our lives, into our world. We were pretty comfortable as a family with lots of big kids. You took us back into the world of diapers and bottles and car seats and baby bags. You also opened up a world of healing and discovery and nurture for us. We hadn’t planned to adopt a baby, but the Lord brought us together, making us family. And we can’t imagine life without you!

You’re incredibly bright and catch on to things so quickly. Somehow you know directions to places, and often point out places we’ve been as we pass them. You are better at your dad at Mario Kart, much to his chagrin. You wake up smiling and happy every morning. You’re brave in almost every situation, but spider webs might be your kryptonite! You have a great and vivid imagination. It’s been fun watching your older brothers and sisters play with you, and you turn it around as you engage your little brother. You love to sing worship team songs and pop hits from the 80s, so you’re a chip off the old block.

I don’t know if you were trying to be funny or not, but here’s a classic line from this past vacation. You were wearing an orange shirt that had the words “Beach Bum” on it. You promptly started calling it your “Water Butt” shirt! You crack us up all the time.

You’re my little adventure partner, and I can’t wait to explore this great wild world with you. Happy birthday Charlie!
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adventure is where you find it

Charlie and I are adventure guys. That’s how I’ve been describing us to him for the past 6 months or so. I use that terminology when I’m talking about taking walks in the woods, climbing big mountains, or helping out around the house. I want him to look at life as an adventure to be lived, and I figure I’d better start laying that foundation.

A few weeks ago I read an article about microadventures. You can read that article here. I found myself nodding my head (yes!) as I read, inspired and more than ready to embrace the adventures that lie within my everyday reach.

So today on our way to pick up Sadie from her Shakespeare Camp (shows are a week away!) Charlie and I left the house 15 minutes early. We just beat the 4:30 closing time of Lion Surplus, Penn State’s clearinghouse for electronics, office furniture, and interesting odds and ends. We spent a glorious 15 minutes roaming around, gawking at size 17 football cleats, 20 old kayak paddles, and piles of old computer parts.

As if rewarding our adventurosity, one of the worker men gave Charlie a creamsicle as we made our way out the door. He thought it was great–until it melted all over his hand…and shorts…and car seat. He’s a mess, but he’s growing an adventurer’s heart.

Life is supposed to be an adventure. You might not be able to get away to the Grand Canyon–or even the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania–but you can live the adventurous life. Find adventure in the familiar.
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guess who got a new job?!

This girl! Say hello to the newest employee of State College’s landmark restaurant The Tavern!

Josie job

Josie applied at a few places around town, but hadn’t heard from them. So when our friend Ali suggested that she apply at The Tavern, Josie jumped at the chance. Ali (who used to work at the Tavern) talked to one of the managers, then took Josie down to meet him. At the end of the interview, Josie had a job bussing tables! She’s set to start in July.

She’s never done anything like this, so I’m interested to see how she handles a new role and new responsibilities. She’s not afraid of hard work and she learns systems and structures pretty easily, so I think she’s going to do well.

I wish you could have seen the look on her face when she told me she got the job–absolutely beaming! And it’s all the more sweet to know that she’s working at mom and dad’s favorite date spot!

You go, Josie girl! I’m proud of you!

oh but he’s at a fun stage

I don’t know how long it’ll last, but I’m going to hold on to this as long as possible.

Charlie wants to go with me everywhere I go. Today that meant riding out to Spring Mills to pick up the truck, hanging out at Josie’s end of the year rugby picnic, then immediately over to the church building for another round of worship team rehearsal.

The truck is back on the road and running well. Last week my buddy Andy and I replaced the brakes and rotors, but I got something misaligned, and the right brake was squealing. So the good folks at Bierlein Automotive tweaked it and threw on two new tires to make it all road-worthy.

The picnic was a blast. We got to hang out with some of the fabulous rugby parents while the girls chattered about the season. Charlie was more interested in playing in the creek and on the playground. But can you blame him? He’s got the soul of an Adventure Guy growing inside him, and I want to feed that.

Since he handled last week’s worship team rehearsal so well, I thought we’d try it again. He was a trooper. He spent about 30 minutes chasing a wiffle ball around the room, swinging righty and lefty (mostly lefty!) and driving the ball the length of the room. It was pretty fun to watch. He was even able to connect with a couple of Happy Gilmore swings, running as he approached the ball and swinging as he ran.

He’s asking me to spend some time with him tomorrow having an adventure. I’m not sure that I can pass that up! We may have to find a little trail or creek to play in…

I think we’re ready for summer

What a weekend! We did some gardening and pruning, played on the trampoline, watched one of the black cats (I can’t tell them apart) play with a little snake, practiced a wedding, helped lead worship, performed a wedding, and spent a day playing in and around the pond. We capped things off with our girls’ middle school orchestra concert. Whew! I’m ready for another weekend.

We’re a few weeks behind our normal schedule for getting the yard into shape and planting some things in the garden, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather to get some plants in the ground. That’s typically how we spend the Mother’s Day weekend, but we were sick/busy (sick of being busy?) The rototiller that I borrowed wouldn’t start, so I got Charlie and Isaac on the job!

Kim and I got cleaned up for Saturday evening’s wedding rehearsal. Our dear friends Artur and Laura asked me to perform their ceremony, which was an honor. It was a beautiful weekend for a wedding, and they are such a precious couple. We’re excited to send them off into life as husband and wife.

Monday found us out at Harvest Fields, just like usual for Memorial Day. We played around in the pond, grilled some hotdogs, and feasted on my buddy Andy’s doughnuts made over the fire! That might just become a new tradition for us. By the time we got home, Jase was slapstick-silly! And as you can see, the hair on those boys just begs to reach for the sky!

Tonight’s middle school orchestra concert was a sweet reward for a day at work. I don’t know many youth pastors who enjoy a middle school orchestra/band/choir concert, but the students in our district can flat out bring it.

Any way you slice it, I think Team Sublett is ready for the summer.

 

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