When was the last time you…

June 5, 2009 at 1:21 am (Uncategorized)

…Went to a church service and people genuinely looked happy to be there?

…Saw the people leading a worship service with smiles on their faces and actually appeared to believe the songs they were singing?

…Went to a church service and couldn’t count the number of people being baptized because there were too many of them?

…Saw someone jump up and down after being baptizing because they were so excited about what God has done for them?

…You’re relationship with God truly brought you joy?

I experienced all of that last night. It made me incredibly happy, grateful and SAD. Sad for all of you stuck in routine religion. God is so much more than a church service. He offers peace, life and the means to rise above the mundane in life every day.

I pray that all of you will experience God the way I did last night. If you don’t believe what I’ve said is true or possible, call me, email me. Let’s talk.

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But What’s the Price of Tea in China

May 29, 2009 at 11:44 pm (Uncategorized)

We got our water bill yesterday. Let me remind you that we live in Las Vegas, NV. In the DESERT. You will not believe our water bill. For the entire month of April our bill came to a grand total of…$9.46! That’s right, we pay less than $10 a month for a very precious resource in the middle of the desert.

I’m no genius and I don’t have a city planning degree, but wouldn’t it make more sense to charge a little more for water and have a respectable school system? You could double my water bill, give the difference to the school district and then maybe construction paper wouldn’t have to be on the “wish list” at the boys’ school!

Call me crazy!

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A few things that I can’t believe I’m doing…

April 24, 2009 at 1:39 am (Uncategorized)

…Eating dinner at a Dairy Queen that serves no beef! That right. All chicken products, no hamburgers, but they do have cherry and butterscotch dipped cones! What the what?!!?

…Giving Will an official, metal t-ball bat. Anyone that knows Will knows that he should not be voluntarily given weapons!

…Still working this hard AFTER tax season! We have state and federal deadlines to meet at the end of the month and several internal deadlines that are keeping me busy.

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Long talk, no speak

April 19, 2009 at 2:42 am (Uncategorized)

Here’s a little catch up on what’s been happening in Vegas over the last few weeks.

My life can be summed up in one word. Work. I have been working for a CPA firm in Vegas and with April 15th this last Wednesday, I worked 60 hours a week for the last 2 weeks. David was amazing and kept the boys in check and the house going because all I did was go to work, go to bed and go back to work. This wasn’t anything we weren’t expecting, but it’s nice that it’s over.

Last week was our first Easter in Vegas. It was very interesting being a church planter on Easter without a church to invite people to. We actually have adopted Central Christian Church as our home church until Verve services get started. I did invite my coworkers to come to church with us. The entire office had to work a full day on the Saturday before Easter. I invited my coworker to come to a Saturday night service, since everyone would already be out. I emailed the invitation so that no one felt pressured and no one responded.

I don’t mean that no one took me up on the offer. I mean that no one even acknowledged my email. I didn’t expect anyone to come, but I thought I’d get a “no thank you.” Oh, well. I felt like I needed to try and I didn’t change the way I treated anyone or comment sarcastically about how nice the Easter service was. I just invited.

So, in the last four days, my life has gone from 1040s and extensions, to a whole new family life. I got to pick the boys up from school on Thursday afternoon. I didn’t pick them up on Friday, because I treated myself to a well deserved massage at the Green Valley Ranch Casino’s Spa. Oh my gosh! That was heaven!

The Spa is amazing and definitely the swankiest place I’ve even been. I was escorted to my private locker where my robe was waiting for me. (I had already been given my individually sized spa sandals.) I changed into this huge, soft, luxurious robe and then escorted to by “therapy suite.” I enjoyed the heated massage table (which I loved!), had a hard time deciding if I should close my eyes or enjoy the bowl of water and fresh orchids that was placed on the floor under my head rest and definitely didn’t want it to end. When it was over, I followed my massage therapist’s advice and enjoyed some time in the sauna and whirlpool. I am definitely going back!!

Today, we went to Will’s first baseball practice. He is now a Riverdog. He did great! He’s batting lefty and hitting the ball consistently. His coach, Coach Eddie, seems to be the perfect combination of sports knowledge and light-heartedness. His only real flaw seems to be that he’s a USC fan.

I made a new friend at practice. Suzanne is the mother of 6. (David so kindly asked me: “That skinny little girl is the mother of 6?!?!” I’ll let it go.) She was super nice and filled me in on some of the great things about this part of Vegas (actually Henderson) known as Green Valley. It really was green! Quite a rarity in Vegas. It was a gorgeous day and seeing the green park and all of the joggers and cyclists in the area really made it feel like Austin. We may have to do some house searching in this part of town.

After baseball practice, we headed off to Red Rock Conservation Area. It’s a beautiful place where the red rocks of the desert jump of the horizon. We took a hike to a place Will has fondly named “Waterfall Church” (that’s a whole nother story). It was a great time on a beautiful day. I know now what my Dad meant when he said that parents can have fun just by watching their kids have fun. The boys did their best Spiderman impression jumping over rocks and climbing every thing they could find. It was wonderful! We had the best time and I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my first weekend back from tax season.

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I Didn’t Want To, But I Did It

March 1, 2009 at 6:08 am (Uncategorized)

We have started a weekly tradition with the people who already live here in Vegas. It’s called Tex-Mex Tuesdays and every week, everyone is invited to the Tobey house for some good ol’ Mexican food. It’s just a fun time of hanging out and getting to know each other.

This past week, the Overholts suggested that we do something productive with our time. Everyone brought ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies and brownies. We all made a batch of each to divide up and take to our new neighbors. Vegas is not a very friendly place and the neighborhood “welcome wagon” has not rolled out in any of our neighborhoods, so we took things into our own hands.

This afternoon, we finally baked the cookie dough we made and headed out with our baggies to meet our neighbors. I was totally intimidated!! We’ve lived here for 2 months. Isn’t it too late to be introducing ourselves like this? If they really wanted to know us, wouldn’t they have already made an effort? Can’t we just leave a bag of cookies on the doorstep, ring the doorbell and run? Nope, we had to do this for real. (And we made Will hand out the cookies. Who’s going to be mean to a smiling 5 year old handing you a bag of cookies?!?!)

It was wonderful! We met some great people. There were a few people who weren’t home and a few people who said, “Thank you. Nice to meet you,” and that’s about it. But we also met Nelson. He’s from Houston and was on his way to share chili and stuffed jalapenos with friends since it’s “rodeo season”. (God bless Texas!) We also met David, Rachel & Rico. They are a family that lives about 3 doors down and very friendly. We talked for several minutes and they invited us to their baby shower in a few weeks. Everyone jumped at the idea when David mentioned back yard bar-b-que.

It took us less than half an hour to meet 4 new families. How many more encounters will that 20 minutes generate? I can’t wait to see!

So, here’s the kicker. Who do you need to meet? Who lives next to you, works next to you, shops next to you that you need to make a big, hard effort to meet? It’s daughnting, I know, but it’s totally worth it to be obidient to God. Plus, if you need it, we’ll send Will to help you hand out cookies!

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I Still Haven’t Figured It Out

February 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm (Uncategorized)

We’ve been in Vegas for almost a month and a half. (Man that seems weird!) I have been working since the 4th day we were here and I still haven’t figured out how to keep a balance between work, home and social life.

Right now it’s tax season. For all of you outside the accounting world, tax season is January through April 15th, when accountants and bookkeepers scramble like madmen to meet goverment deadlines for business and personal reporting. You think the government is interfering with your life? My entire indusrty revolves around when the governement wants info, but that’s another post.

Because it’s tax season, I’m working overtime. Last night, for example, I worked until 5:00, after getting to work at 7:00 AM, ran to the store, picked up some supper and was home by 6:00. I was pretty proud of that. But, by the time we ate and got things cleared off the table, I only had and hour and a half to be with my boys before bed time. After playing with them and getting them to bed, I made lunch for tomorrow and crashed on the couch with David. Didn’t do the work I brought home.  Didn’t email my friend like I meant to. Didn’t even check Facebook!

All this to say…I don’t know how working moms do it. Especially single moms! I am blessed to have a husband who is a real man and understands that a man’s job is to take care of his family and that if that means caring for kids and doing laundry, that’s what a man does. David is AMAZING! He’s doing a great job at home and is incredibly supportive of me and totally undestands tax season and what the next 2 months are going to be like.  What do women do when the only appliance their husbands know how to use is the microwave?

So, I just want to say “I’m sorry” to all of you that have not gotten a card or email or call from me. I’m thinking about you, I promise. I WILL figure this out…it might just take until May!

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Now There’s Something!

February 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm (Uncategorized)

Last night we went with some Verve people (Verve is the name of the community based organization and church we’re starting) to First Fridays. It’s an art festival near downtown that is very much like the Pecan Street Festival in Austin.

There were booths set up for artists to sell their wares, a band stage with various groups playing, a group of break dancers wowing us in the street and just a lot of people that I never would have met anywhere else in MY world. We had a blast!

Verve is looking to see how we can be a part of this event. One of the things we are going to do is survey key community leaders and locals about what some of the most unmet needs are in Vegas. We want to do a thorough job, so we can start an educated community organization and not just one who just comes in and decides to help the homeless, for example, if there’s already a lot of resources going to meet that need. We’re starting from scratch and assuming nothing. First Fridays would be a great place to try to survey people and get some good insight.

Now, how do we get break dancers and artists to want to come to our booth and take a survey…

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It’s Official…

February 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, I finally did it. I didn’t want to, but I did. Tuesday morning I went to the Nevada DMV and got my new driver’s license. I am now officially a Nevada resident.

I didn’t cry, like some people I know who had to give up their Texas licenses, but it was a sad day.

Regardless of any legal status, I will ALWAYS be a Texas girl!

PS – Pepe (the PT Cruiser) and Ol’ Blue (David’s truck) are still Texas vehicles. You have to get a smog test before you can register them. Pray for Ol’ Blue!

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I can’t believe I’m doing this…

January 27, 2009 at 2:13 am (Uncategorized)

Today at work I watched it snow on the mountains to the east all afternoon! I’ve never done that before!

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OK…Now what?

January 15, 2009 at 3:25 am (Uncategorized)

Well, we’ve been here a week and a half. Most everything is unpacked or in a place we can find it if we need it. We’ve gotten into a routine of work and school. So…now what?

We know we’re here to engage people and make friends so we can have an opportunity to share God with them. That’s going pretty slow. Nevada isn’t as friendly as Texas (what state really is as friendly as Texas?!!?). Our neighbors drive into their garages, shut the door and don’t come out again. (It’s not like they have yard work to do!!)

Vince (the Senior Pastor for our yet to exist church) and his family will be here Friday. I’m sure there will be more to do once our fearless leader gets established. But we still have our own goals even without being told by a pastor. It’s just getting started a little slower than we thought.

There’s no doubt on whether or not we’re suppose to be here, just wondering exactly how we’re going to do what we’re here to do. I guess we’ll just add it to the rest of the learning curves we’re on!

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