Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Music Wednesday

This week's featured band is Starfield. The more I listen to this band the more I like them.

"This Christian rock/worship band from Vancouver, Canada is making a name for itself in the States. Not only do they deliver great music, but they also integrate a powerful message. Their albums take an honest look at life, God, and the in-between while including tasteful riffs, catchy melodies, and worshipful songs. Though they’ve already released their third album, Starfield is just beginning to figure out their band’s identity. Check out their newest release I Will Go and be amazed." – Collide Magazine

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goodbye Sassy Sable

I wrote a song specifically for this day; it was adapted from Michael Scott's "Goodbye Toby" which was adapted from Supertramp's "Goodbye Stranger".

It was an early morning just today
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
The Sable must be moving on

Goodbye Sassy its been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true

Goodbye Sassy, goodbye Sassy
Will we ever meet again
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

Sassy, Sassy, Sassy going away

That's correct, today is the day the Sable is getting donated and being towed away. It's been a good run, but it is time to say goodbye.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Heather and I got to drive a little bit this weekend. Friday evening, Rob and Erin were taking their youth group to the Twin Cities for a retreat. Heather's mom was going to watch the girls for the weekend, but she was out of town till Friday evening around 7pm. Rob and Erin needed to be in the Twin Cities by 8:30, so Heather and I drove up to Albert Lea, MN to pick up the girls. It worked out perfectly, we pulled into the travel center 3 minutes before the big church vans got there. A quick pit stop for dinner and we were back on the road.
We made the return trip on Sunday, but this time we were joined by Nathan. Nathan is spending spring break in Orange City with his cousins. We couldn't fit 3 car seats in our car, so we got to take Papa Brent's truck. We packed up the kids and all their gear and they were ready to go!
We are all smiles at the start of the trip!
The kids are packed in like sardines.
Nathan and Gracie were chatter boxes as we started our trip North.Nathan shows us his travel pillow, which came in handy as both he and Karys fell asleep for most of the two hours.

We put in the movie "Cars" and before we knew it, we were in Minnesota making the kid exchange. As we pulled into the travel center, Auntie Heather got everyone cheering "Spring Break - Orange City, Spring Break - Orange City" We has a great time with the kids. They are a lot of fun and each one of them has their own unique personality. It was a lot of fun to see them interact with each other and chat with one another...and those kids say the darnest things!

Joni turns 30!

Our good friend Joni Pine turned 30 this past weekend and we got a chance to celebrate with her and friends on Saturday. Derek, Kim and Heather planned the party without Joni knowing a majority of the details. The event started at the "Incredi-roll". That is the premier roller skating rink on Des Moines' north side. We started skating around 2 and it was so much fun.
Lisa, Miya and Joni are all super excited to start skating. Isaiah is more interested in the lights and disco ball. Joni got to wear her "30" crown for the skating party.
Joni and Heather can skate and dance at the same time!
Evan, Aaron and Dawn share some family time as they skate around the rink. Shortly after this picture was taken the DJ announced "Please DO NOT carry children while skating, it doesn't matter your skill level, please do not carry children while skating."
So Evan got to try and rollerskate for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, he didn't weight enough to make the wheels turn, but he had fun trying!
Heather and I smile as we skate around the rink.
The girls are all smiles as they cruise around on skates.
Dawn and Evan take a break from skating. Evan has the skater hair, now he just needs the moves.
Isaiah wants to inspect my teeth.
The guys just chillin' at the Incredi-roll.
Derek and Joni relive their middle school days and they hold hands!
After the skating party, Joni was saying good bye to everyone, telling everyone thanks for coming, what she didn't know was that we were all heading to Derek's parents for some birthday cake!
After the birthday cake, Joni said goodbye again and we headed home to let the Riley out. Then we met back up at Bravo for birthday dinner. Again, Joni was surprised to see us and the Stotts walk into the restaurant. After dinner, Heather took Joni and they meet Dawn at a place in Valley Junction called "Whatta Dish" where they decorated ceramic plates. Unfortunately, the girls has so much fun, they forgot to take pictures. All in all, we had a great time celebrating Joni on her big day. Happy Birthday Joni!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad

Last night, Heather and I had my parents, Wade, Christa and Morgan to our house for dinner. This was a continuation of the adventure's that we have planned for my parents and since my dad's birthday is on the 12th, we made it a birthday celebration! Riley was super excited to see the birthday boy!
...but probably more excited to check out Morgan.
Morgan was just as excited to check out Riley.
Morgan shows me her pointing skills.
Heather and I take a break from getting the food ready to pose for a picture.
My dad, Christa, Morgan and I are all excited to sing happy birthday to my dad!
Morgan thinks that Riley is the coolest thing since sliced bread, she couldn't get enough of her.
The Marchant family at the dinner table. Morgan is in shock to hear how old her grandpa is. My mom, Christa and Wade are all smiles, Morgan is going to the serious look.
After dinner, Heather and Morgan play a little patty cake...
...Morgan loves that game.
After dinner we have a little birthday cookie cake.
The night wouldn't be complete with out a drum solo from Morgan, she wrote it just for the birthday party.
We had a great evening together celebrating my dad. Morgan was a ton of fun to watch and see her reaction to Riley. Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Music Wednesday

This weeks music selection is Tenth Avenue North. My brother-in-law, Rob, turned me on to this band and I think they are excellent. I think they have a great sound. Check out their video of "Love is here":

A little background from wikipedia: Tenth Avenue North is an American Contemporary Christian music band from West Palm Beach, Florida. It features Mike Donehey on vocals and acoustic guitar, Jeff Owen on electric guitar and backup vocals, drummer Jason Jamison, and Scott Sanders on bass guitar.[1]
Their debut album, Over and Underneath, was released on May 20, 2008 on Reunion Records, and the band began a tour in promotion of the album near that time.[1] Their song "Love Is Here" hit the Top 20 on the U.S. Contemporary Christian Music chart, and reached #3 by June 21, 2008.[2] It ended 2008 as the 12th most-played song on Christian Hit Radio according to R&R magazine's Christian CHR chart for the year.[3]
The band's next single, "By Your Side", was released in late August 2008, and eventually became a #1 hit on Christian CHR radio in 2009; according to R&R's chart, it stayed at the top position for three weeks by February 13, 2009.[4]
The band has toured with the David Crowder Band and MercyMe and headlines their own dates throughout the United States.[1]

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekend Guests

Friday night, Chad, Shay, Nathan and Falco came to stay at our house. Shay is on the committee for the JDRF walk for Pella Corp. The walk was Saturday morning in the skywalks downtown, so instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and driving to Des Moines, they came and had a slumber party. Their good friends Mark and Jen Phillips are in the process of moving to Des Moines, Mark is here while Jen is finishing up the school year in Denver. Mark came over and joined us for dinner and an evening of entertainment from Nathan. We busted out the Wii and Nathan showed us some of his bowling skills. Heather and Shay take a Wii break to smile at the camera.

Nathan finds a book for Mark to read as they chill on the couch.

There is a game on the Wii where you race cows, Nathan decided he could help Auntie Heather. Once he got "cozy" the shirt came off, I guess that means he is comfortable.

Nathan helps Heather to win the race and they share a laugh.

Falco and Riley were playing like old friends.
After the Wii, it was back to more books as we tried to settle down for the evening.

Once the jammies were put on, it was time to lay down, Nathan started to watch "Cars" but didn't last long before he fell asleep.
He was quick to remember the next morning, so we finished watching the movie.
Then Nathan dazzled us with his soccer moves...
...he did all this before they headed downtown at 8 am. Life seems to be pretty busy for that 2 year old. Too many things to play with and too little time. It was great to have the Pella Vande Lunes over, the evening went fast, but it was time well spent.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Music Wednesday

Last Wednesday, I highlighted a new song that we like. That led me to an idea, Music Wednesday. Each Wednesday, I will highlight a band, song, musician, concert...that we have been listening to or has caught our attention.

This week's music selection is...The Fray:
The band finished recording their self-titled second album (The Fray) at the end of July 2008 for a February 3, 2009 release. The album was produced by Aaron Johnson and Mike Flynn, the same production duo from the band's debut album.[26] The Fray filmed a music video in Chicago, for their first single, "You Found Me", directed by Josh Forbes, which debuted on on December 9, 2008. A documentary, titled Fair Fight, directed by the band's longtime photographer and documentary filmmaker Rod Blackhurst[27][28][29] will be sold with the first 300,000 copies of the second album.[30] The Fray debuted their new single "You Found Me" on November 20, during a commercial break of the show Grey's Anatomy. It was a one-minute promo with scenes from the upcoming season of ABC's Lost, and was also made available on iTunes.

Check out the video for "You Found Me"

I highly recommend this album, it is solid from start to finish.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Trip to the O.C.

This past weekend, Heather, Riley and I made the trip to northwest Iowa to Orange City to visit Rob, Erin, Gracie and Karys. We drove through some snow on the way there, but we managed to pull into Orange City around 8 pm Friday night. As we were driving we realised that we left our camera at home. I know, I know, how do I except to maintain a blog without pictures...I'll improvise!
This past weekend was Rob's birthday, he turned 7 1/4 years old. That's right, Rob is a leap year baby
And we celebrated with what is quickly becoming a birthday tradition for the Comforts, a cookie cake!
Saturday was pretty low key, which was really nice. We got to spend some good quality time with the girls. Riley got to meet her new friend, Maggie (their new puppy). It was a really relaxing morning capped with a trip to the O.C. public library.
The girls love the library, and they showed us where we can find all their favorite books.
The library even has a kids room with a bunch of fun stuff to play with including computer games.
After some good play time and picking out some new books to take home, we headed back to Rob and Erin's. For birthday dinner, we headed to a favorite new spot in Orange City, The Blue Mountain.
This is a great place to spend an evening. It is kind of like 3 restaurants in one. The Blue Mountain Smokehouse and Grill, is their main restaurant. It was a 60 minute wait and with 2 hungry girls, not the best option. So we went to their lodge, which is like a bar and grill.
It was really good food and we were able to walk in and get a seat. I had a pulled pork burrito, it was excellent! After dinner, we headed back for some more play time with the girls. Sunday morning, we headed to church at Trinity Reformed Church.

Rob is the youth pastor at Trinity Reformed and he is teaching a class, so he had to be at church early. While Heather, Erin and Karys were getting ready, Gracie and I got to spend some time together playing. We played with Play-doh, made all sorts of things and went through the alphabet. Karys joined us once she was ready and we played some more and colored. Out of the whole trip, I really enjoyed Sunday morning and getting a chance to spend some time Gracie and Karys. They both have their own personalities and it is fun to watch them interact with each other. It was a great trip and hopefully Rob had a good birthday as well.