Sunday, January 31, 2016

365.31: Memory Lane

The Herbster Team is here for special meetings at our church this week. Mark and Amy have been friends of ours since our college days back in the mid 90's. We enjoyed catching up after the service; it was also neat to see our kiddos get reacquainted! We are looking forward to a great week at church this week. If you're in the Bradenton/Sarasota area, come and see! The music will bless your heart, and the preaching will challenge and inspire you! Learn more at our church website:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

365.30: Twirly Dress

What is it about girls and twirly dresses? Both my girls have always loved wearing that they called "twirly dresses." After spending the afternoon with the Norman family for Allee's senior pictures, I learned that it's not just my girls that love twirly dresses. Allee and her mom wanted to make sure to get at least one shot with her dress twirling. This one was on the back campus of New College of Florida. I had a great time with the Norman family tonight! They are great people, and I was honored to photograph Allee!

Friday, January 29, 2016

365.29: Pasta Perfect

Being married to an Italian lady means pasta is a significant part of my life. I have to tell you that it's never boring and always perfectly al dente.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

365.28: Oodles of Snickerdoodles

These beauties and a bunch more just like 'em are headed up to the freshman bake sale tomorrow at our school. K has been baking all afternoon. We're making money for that senior trip coming up in a few years! We'll have snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, peanut butter, and brownies! Three for a dollar! What a bargain!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

365.27: Crochet or Yarn?

I'm not sure which she loves more: the yarn or crocheting with the yarn. She came home early today with a migraine and was able to work on a crochet project that she has been nursing for several years. I can't wait to see this queen-size blanket finished. It really is beautiful.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

365.26: Coffee--the Great Ground

So many things are hashed out over a good cup of coffee. Today I was reminded of several conversations that I had over cups of the brown ground. I wonder how many life-changing talks have been had with this stuff brewing in the background.

Monday, January 25, 2016

365.25: Bonkers for Benefit Brunch

This project is consuming every ounce of free time for me and most of my colleagues. We are thrilled to have 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel here at our school to speak about his burden for the Lord's work. We are trying our hardest to use this event to raise money for our athletic field improvements. Maybe somebody reading this would consider helping out financially to provide Christian young people with an excellent athletic program. Our family sure would be thankful for anything you might be able to do! Certainly you can pray for the Lord to bless this event at the end of February. Visit to learn more about how you can help!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

365.24: Michelle's Magnificent Meatballs

Nobody makes a meal like my wife makes a meal. Eating well at home is a dying tradition. It seems that nowadays people head out to restaurants to get good food while they tolerate reheated convenience foods in their home. I don't think there's a restaurant around that serves food better than what Michelle makes for us. These meatballs are one of her signature dishes. When she makes them the whole family cheers! There are even leftovers for meatball sandwiches!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

365.23: A Few of my Faves and a Fire

Michelle and I had such a great time with the play cast tonight. Michelle made her homemade Chipotle burritos and we had s'mores around the fire. Words can't describe how thankful I am for this group of kids (and their parents) and their dedication to our theatre department at CCS. We had a great show this year, and I'm looking forward to another great show next year!

Friday, January 22, 2016

365.22: Patience Is a Virtue

I spent three-plus hours with these wretched gift cards tonight. We purchased them for T to connect with buddies and play Star Wars games online with them. That's quite a gimmick Microsoft has going the the monthly to connect. Anyway...apparently the gift cards that say XBOX can't be used to pay for connection fees. You have to get the gift cards that say XBOX LIVE to use them for connection fees. The plain XBOX cards have to be used to download digital content. WHAAAAAAAAAAT? Mason at XBOX customer service was very patient with this XBOX newbie...we finally got it all figured I'm tired...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

365.21: American Voices

I spent most of my evening at home with this book in my hands. I teach seven different classes--each one is a favorite at different times of the year for different reasons. Right now, I am really enjoying my American Literature class. I'm trying to help my kids to appreciate the lost art of public speaking by showing them some great American speeches given by orators of days gone by. Whether we are reading speeches by President Abraham Lincoln or General George MacArthur, I hope they see the importance of believing strongly, speaking clearly, and living those convictions. That's the American way!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

365.20: Read to Lead

As an English teacher, I require an extensive amount of reading of each of my students. My eighth through twelfth grade students will read a total of twenty-seven books this school year in four different genres: fiction, biography, devotional non-fiction, and drama. I try to challenge myself to read a new book in these genres every time I assign one to my kiddos! I am excited that our pastor is starting a Sunday school study of _Visionary Parenting_ by Rob Rienow; that study made my next book choice very easy! I look forward to learning even more about being the best dad I can be to my three precious children. You can learn more about Visionary Family Ministries at

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

365.19: Here She Goes Again

K is at it again. She is working hard in a new medium. She loves pencil and watercolor, but oils are new to her. Her teacher is convinced that this is a good fit for her skill set, so we are excited to see how she does. State competition, here she comes!

Monday, January 18, 2016

365.18: Sunset on Campus--No Improvements Needed

I am so thankful for all the improvements that are taking place on campus. The Lord has really worked miraculously to provide for the various projects that needed to be done. But...I have to say...the view of the sky at sunset across back campus is something that you just can't improve on. Gorgeous blue. Blazing orange. The sunsets here are absolutely breathtaking!

Coleman, 2016

Eat your heart out, James Bond! Here are some words I never thought I'd say: "I had so much fun photographing a senior in an Aston Martin." Coleman is one of my students, so we had a great time talking as we took pictures in downtown Sarasota. He is a quiet and confident guy, but his heart for others shines through. I appreciate his testimony and his desire to do right and be an example to other guys at school. We sure will miss him when he graduates!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

365.17: My Grandmother's China

This is heritage china that belonged to my Grandmother Oma. After my dad was married, my grandmother gave it to his wife, my mom. My mom passed it on to Michelle when we were married. I suppose that some day, Titus's wife will get the china. I wish I knew more about it. I'm not sure how my grandmother came by it. I wish she were still around to ask. I wonder if anyone knows the story. It has hung on our dining room wall for years. I always think of my grandma when I see it. My wife and children never got to meet Oma Riley Moore. I wish they had. She was an amazing lady.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

365.16: What God Has Joined...

We were thrilled to witness the wedding vows of our friends Jim and Holly today. It was a private, intimate ceremony with just immediate family and us present. I appreciated the minister's emphasis on the unbroken circle of the wedding rings and what those circles symbolize. It was a wonderful testimony of God's healing power through the unforeseen challenges of life.

Friday, January 15, 2016

365.15: First Families

It has been such a blessing since we moved here almost three years ago to get to meet many of the First Families of Community Christian School. I get to serve with many of them each day. These people have a vision for Christian education and a passion for the mission of Community Christian School. Michelle and I are so proud to be members of the faculty at CCS! Our groundbreaking ceremony today for the new building and campus renovation was so exciting! We can't wait to see what the Lord has ahead for our school!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

365.14: Delivery Therapy

Today was a great but long day. Tomorrow will be a great but long day. Saturday is shaping up to be very full as well! We agreed that a little pizza delivery therapy was in order. There's nothing quite like a Papa John's Works pizza! Now we're feeling full and tired. Bring tomorrow on! We're ready!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

365.13: Filling

As I watch Michelle finish up raspberry-filled cupcakes for a birthday tomorrow, my mind was filling with memories of the days when she baked from 6:00 a.m. until midnight: sore feet, sore back, carpal-tunnel from piping hundreds of cupcakes a day. I spent my evenings delivering cupcakes for Cuppity Cupcakes, Cookies, and Confections all over the Kansas City Metro! Those were long, hard days, but they were very full days. We learned so much during those years. If you ever get to eat one of Michelle's cupcakes, they aren't just filled with wonderful flavor. They're filled with life lessons that weren't always easy to come by!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

365.12: That Boy of Mine

When I sit on the sidelines and watch this boy play basketball, my heart is full of such gratitude that words nearly fail me.


I am overwhelmed that God has seen fit to entrust me with a son. I am so unworthy to be blessed with this boy. He makes me want to be the dad I should be! He is compassionate and sensitive. He is reckless and impulsive. He is kind and caring. He is headstrong and overconfident. He is spiritual and teachable. He is so many conflicts rolled up into one package...yet he looks to me to guide him. In spite of my failings with him...he still looks to me to point him in the right direction. It's humbling.

I could wrap my arms around him and hug him hard forever and ever, but as I watch him dribble the ball on the court, take a shot, miss, dribble the ball, take a shot, and make it, I realize that there are many lessons he will have to learn without me. There are lessons that he learns from his coach, his pastor, his choir director, his youth pastor, his band conductor, his administrator, his teachers, and his friends.

These are all lessons that he learns from God.

I hope he never stops learning. I hope that with all his getting, he gets understanding. Wisdom is the principal thing. More than the layups, more than the A's...I want him to get wisdom.

I am thankful for him, and I am proud of him!

Monday, January 11, 2016

365.11: Thank You, Jean Gatch!

Sixth grade math has been a real struggle for AG. We had tried several different options, but none of them were really helping her to understand...until we met Jean Gatch! Jean is a teacher at a school in Texas. She videos her lessons and posts them online to help her students. We found several online videos of her lessons over the last several months that really clicked with our little mathematician. I was able to get an email address for Jean, and we contacted her to ask for any help she could provide. Within two hours, she had emailed an entire year's worth of math lessons! That's more than twenty-four hours of supplemental instruction. They are even indexed to match with her textbook! AG watches one each night before she does her homework, and they have been a real help! Thank you, Jean Gatch!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

365.10: The Smell of Leather

There is nothing like the smell of new leather! The messenger bag Michelle got me for our anniversary will take its first trip to school tomorrow. I took it out of the box yesterday, and the whole house smells like leather. I filled it with my books, my papers, my laptop, and my pens. I'm ten years old, and it's the first day of school again! She sure knows how to make me smile!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

365.9: Coleman

I had the opportunity to spend several hours taking pictures with Coleman in downtown Sarasota, Bayfront Park, and a little stream behind his family's home in Bradenton. We climbed through barbwire, waded through cold creekwater, and braved the banyans. We got some terrific shots all over the area. I am thankful for this young man and his spirit! He's a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy...what you see is whay you get! His whole family has been a blessing to us here in Florida.

Friday, January 8, 2016

365.8: Proud of These Guys

I love getting to be a part of these guys' lives. I teach each one of them, and I get to see them play hard on the basketball court too. These are excellent young men, and I'm thankful for their parents who trust me with their education.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

365.7: The Chemistry of Simplicity

I don't know what this bush is in front of our house, but the berries are so colorful. They remind me of the diagrams and models that my college roommate used to put together for his organic chemistry class. The colors are different every few weeks, so it's really neat to see the bush change from month to month. There were some frustrations at school today...nothing major, and I'm thankful for our support staff at CCS who work so hard to make sure things work right. They take really good care of us! But today...despite their best efforts...the tech wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. My heart was all tense when I got home. Seeing this bush with its colors, detail, and lack of plugs, cables, and cords helped me to put things in perspective. I'm thankful that God puts simple little things like this in our paths to keep our focus on Him and the simple things He has given us...which often are the things that matter most!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

365.6: We Walked Home in the Rain

I handed my keys to my kids after church because they needed to get something out of Michelle's classroom before we went home. I specifically said, "Don't go home. I'll need my keys to to lock up,"
What they heard was "Go straight home. I'm going to do lockup."
So Michelle and I were left without keys to walk home in the rain. We only live a block away so it's not a big deal. The best part? 
Michelle said, "I didn't really want to walk home in the rain, but it sure is nice being with you."
WIN! I'm certainly not made of sugar, but I was melting in the rain tonight!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

365.5: Look What I Found!

Yuck! I knew we weren't out of milk, but the kids said that we were.
"Did you look in the laundry room fridge?" I asked, "I thought for sure I put one in there." 
"No," they insisted, "there is no milk in there."
Of course, we should have double-checked, but I just ran to the grocery and bought another gallon. Tonight I moved a case of pop and found this crusty treasure unopened and quite spoiled. I think the sink almost got sick when we poured it out. Lesson learned! Don't trust hungry teenagers when they tell you they can't find milk!

Monday, January 4, 2016

365.4: The End

It's officially over. I have my Mimio slides ready for tomorrow's classes. I have lesson plans posted on Chalkable. I've got my tests and quizzes planned for the month of January. Lunches are packed. Schedules are checked. Gym bags are ready. The house is quiet. The kids are in bed. Tomorrow is mere hours away. The alarm will sound at 6:00 a.m. and our first school day of 2016 will begin. This is the official end of Christmas break. I have to be honest; we're more than a little excited to get back into school! Our kiddos...not so much!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

365.3: Baby Boy

Who doesn't love babies? This little guy was born to good friends of ours and is boy number four in the family! His facial expressions for the session were wonderful! This little guy is going to be a heartbreaker...welcome to the world, T! We're glad you're here! 

"Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth." Psalm 127:4 (HCSB)

Saturday, January 2, 2016


365.2: The Party's (Not) Over
I had a great Christmas break. I got to spend a lot of quality time with Michelle and the kids. My parents came and stayed with us. We relaxed and watched the sunset on the beach several nights. We worked on projects around the house. We spent time learning things about each other that we didn't know. But...all good things must come to an end. It's back to the books on Monday (Michelle and I are so excited to get back into our classrooms!). To celebrate the end of break, Katelynn baked us a delicious chocolate cake with pink vanilla frosting and sprinkles! What a sweetheart! Christmas break may stop, but the fun really never ends when you get to do what you love every day with the people you love!


365.1: Happy New Year!
We spent the day at Universal Studios Orlando. This Christmas tree caught my attention in Seuss Landing. Its curves and odd shape reminded me of the last couple of years of our lives. Not exactly what we expected--but definitely a thing of beauty! God is definitely in the curves!