Archive for December, 2008

Children’s Ministry in Portables: Part 6

Posted on 30. Dec, 2008 by .

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Now that the outsides are painted and ramps and completed, all the focus in on the interior. The insides of these portables look so tacky with the wood paneling and ugly carpet and sagging tile ceiling. The plan is to replace the old ceiling tiles, sheet rock over the wood paneling and lay down a new tile floor. When we’re done, it shouldn’t feel so much like a “portable” building. Next is the decor.

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New volunteer t-shirt

Posted on 30. Dec, 2008 by .

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Since arriving at Gateway, I’ve wanted to give the Children’s Ministry an image. Don’t get me wrong, we have a great building with excellent environments. However, the ministry lacks a real image. The closest thing to a logo is a low resolution image of a boat, something we probably won’t be sticking with. We’re still a little way off from developing a brand, but we needed something now.

So for Christmas we decided to give all of our volunteers a new Kid’s Quest T-Shirt. It was our thank you gift for all of our volunteers as well as an opportunity to get Kid’s Quest out there. We’re still planning to build our brand later in 2009, but this is a fresh new look we can use in the meantime that is fun, fresh and not embarrassing for our volunteers to wear (you know what I mean?).

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When getting it done isn’t such a good thing

Posted on 29. Dec, 2008 by .

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A few weeks ago I posted a silly entry about “point of view.” I mentioned that I’m an extreme optimist. I actually really love this about my personality. But on the other side, it lends toward something not so good about who I am. This week I discovered another way this “point of view” isn’t the best thing in the world.

Where this point of view comes in handy is when it comes to getting things done. I’ve a firm believer that one can do (or get away with) almost anything if one is committed to the task. I set goals and then I get them done… usually. It’s part of my DNA.

However, where this is a weakness is that sometimes my “goals” are not realistic. There have been times where Sara would call me and ask me when I’m coming home. I’ll reply, “15-20 minutes… max!” Forty minutes later I’m still at the office. Unfortunately, she got to the point where she didn’t trust my optimistic expectations. Not a good thing. That’s where the optimism affected my character. I’ve been working on this side of things.

This week I saw another area from growth in regard to my “point of view. Yesterday I posted about my near-Christmas disaster. Like I said, I’m a get it done kind of guy. On Sunday when I saw Sara starting to get sick and overwhelmed with Titus, I took action. I knew we had to leave on Wednesday night, so I started doing laundry and cleaning the house. I wanted to make it as easy as possible or us to get out on time. Even as Tuesday came around, Titus hadn’t been eating, I still had my sites set on a Wednesday departure. I wasn’t doing a good job of letting it go.… Read the rest

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Near Christmas disaster

Posted on 28. Dec, 2008 by .

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I’ve had a fantastic Christmas, but it almost didn’t happen!

Many of those who follow me on twitter knew what was going on and were praying for us. They saw the whole ordeal unfold.

For the past few weeks, Titus has been fighting off colds and stomach bugs. Last Sunday he was hit hard. We’ve never seen him so sick. He was throwing up, congested and downright lethargic. He’d just lay in his crib or or arms… so sad. We had plans to drive from Austin, TX to Atlanta, GA after our last Christmas Eve service. I wasn’t too concerned about Titus being sick since it was still several days away. Since he was so sick, Sara wasn’t feeling great and Sara had a lot on her plate as well, I kicked into over drive to get us ready. I tried to sanitize our house and catch up on laundry. On Sunday I did 6-7 loads. Monday and Tuesday came and Titus wasn’t getting any better. He hadn’t kept down solid food since Saturday afternoon and our trip was defiantly in jeopardy.

By Tuesday night, we knew we wouldn’t be driving to GA the next day. My brother (incredibly generous) offered to fly us out the next day instead. However, Titus was in no condition to fly. He was just so week. On Christmas Eve, Sara and I talked about what we wanted to see to even consider traveling. We wanted to see Titus eating solid food again and sitting up and playing. He still hadn’t eaten since Saturday and hadn’t played since Sunday.

Well, just before bedtime, he ate a jar of baby food and started babbling. A ray of hope. Then at 5:00 in the morning, he woke up screaming. He was HUNGRY. He downed two big jars of baby food before falling asleep again.… Read the rest

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Children’s Ministry in Portables: Part 5

Posted on 23. Dec, 2008 by .

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When planning for our portables, we had to plan out our foot traffic. These buildings are almost behind our main kid’s building, so a clear path needed to be built. In addition, we had to create suitable entrances to the portable buildings and the rooms within. If we can expect 100-120 kids in these rooms, we had to create space or drop-off and pick-up lines. To solve these issues (as well as conforming to ADA standards) a beautiful deck was built to link the portables together and provide wheelchair access. We also intend to put in a door between the two rooms in each portable. This way parents can all walk into one portable door, go through the door that connects the two rooms and out the other portable door to exit. They can do this at both-drop off and pick-up which should keep the traffic moving.

We also built a crushed limestone path from the main courtyard (beside the Kids Quest building) right up to the portable buildings. I figured we would have done a cement pathway, but the crushed limestone is very nice. It looks very natural and fitting here at our Austin church. Check it out.

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Children’s Ministry in Portables: Part 4

Posted on 22. Dec, 2008 by .

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We had a big task ahead of us. We had to help the portables blend in. Well, we didn’t really want them to blend in. We just didn’t want them to be so dang ugly. Honestly, Gateway is one of the coolest and most beautiful church campuses I’ve seen. It’s got a very modern, outdoor "shopping center" type of look. Portable just don’t fit into that genre of building.

Initially our interior designer developed a plan to paint and mural the outside of the portables to create a "destination" for the kids. One that would lure the kids to come and check them out. Honestly, I was afraid that this would make them stick out even more than an ugly portable would stick out. I suggested that we choose some of the building colors and pain them to match the other buildings. That way they’d look like they were planned and that there was some intentionality behind them. It totally worked. These ugly portables actually look really nice. Amazing!

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See how this ties into the rest of our facility by here.Read the rest

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Saving money when renting a car

Posted on 20. Dec, 2008 by .

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Money is tight. Budgets have been cut. Here are two tips to save you money the next time you’re renting a car when at a conference. I’ve cars a few times in the last 6 months and these money saving tricks worked for me.

If you can arrange to rent a car in the middle of the week, you stand a really good chance in getting free upgrade. Business travelers usually pick up their cards on Sunday or Monday and they often get all the economy cars first. If the size of the car doesn’t matter for you, book the economy. You’ll usually have the option to upgrade when picking it up if you want. However, if it is the middle of the week, there is often a chance that there are no more economy cars and they’ll have to give you a bigger car.

Search for the deals. The last two cars I have rented have been through Priceline. The first time I tired the bidding thing. The cheapest economy car I could get was $22 a day. With Priceline I was able to pay $18 a day by bidding for it. The next time I rented a car, I found an ad on Priceline. Just before checking out, I saw a place for a coupon or promotional offer. I Googled “Hertz Coupon” and quickly found a promotional coupon. I typed it in and immediately saved $40 for a 10 day rental.

It may cost more than you’d love to pay, but do a little research and see if you can’t get the best deal around!… Read the rest

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Name my environments…

Posted on 19. Dec, 2008 by .

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If you’ve been following this blog recently, you’ve read about our portable buildings. We’re working like crazy right now to get them open for the first of January. So much to do!

Well, we need to name the classrooms and boy could we use some help in naming them. To avoid using the word portables ever again, we’re referring to the space as “The Backyard” or Kids Quest Backyard. It’s fun and it’s fitting. Each building has two rooms, so were saying the backyard consists of 4 classroom environments. We need to name each of these environments. Here are the themes:

  • Underwater
  • Jungle
  • Tree House
  • Downtown City

Here is the challenge. Every room in our Children’s are has a two word name, each starting with the same letter. Here are some examples:

  • Cozy Corner
  • Heavenly Haven
  • Bubble Babies
  • Grasshopper Grove
  • Little Lagoon
  • Asteroid Alley

So, in keeping with this pattern, do you have any ideas for room names. My early childhood director came up with a pretty good brainstorm the other day, but I’d like to hear some more fresh ideas if you haven’t already checked out for Christmas Vacation.… Read the rest

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Probably my favorite SNL sketch

Posted on 19. Dec, 2008 by .

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I don’t know what made me think of this the other day. It was a random SNL sketch I saw several years ago and I’ve never forgotten it. If you’re watched SNL in the past, you’ll probably remember long running sketches like Sprockets or the Church Lady and the occasional one timers like More Cow Bell or Massive Head Wound Harry. However, I’ve never heard anyone talk about this sketch, but I’ve never forgotten it. Anytime I’m at Taco Bell, I laugh to myself as I read the menu. Unfortunately, I don’t have a video to show you. SNL stuff is hard to find online, especially if it is several years old. I’ve got the second best thing. The script. Take a second and read it. It’s almost as good as seeing Jan Hooks, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers and Rob Schneider in action. IMO, these were the SNL glory days.

Script from “NBC News Employees” sketch on November 10, 1990.Read the rest

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In case you’re wondering…

Posted on 18. Dec, 2008 by .

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If you follow this blog at all, you may be thinking… “Dang, Kenny’s writting a bunch of blog posts.”

Yeah, I am. The last few months have been marked with 1-2 week vacations of me posting nothing. I had many great ideas, I just didn’t take the time to write them down.

In addition, I’m trying to hit a personal goal. The other day I wrote about my goal of hitting post 400 by the new year. It was a very attainable goal, but taking time off slowed me down from reaching this goal. However, I’m very goal-driven and I’ve got it stuck in my head that I want post #400 to publish at 11:59 PM on December 31st. It will be followed by post number #401 at 12:00 AM on January 1st. Post #401 will contain my resolutions for 2009.

So, as I write this post, I have 353 published posts and 12 scheduled posts. That means I only need to write 35 more posts in the next 12 days or so. It’s actually very attainable still. So, we’ll see how close I get! Oh, and I’m not going to publish a bunch of fluff either, nothing but good stuf to encourage, connect and resource those serving kids!… Read the rest

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