Summer Camp Gag Reel ’09

This year, we were privileged to have Wesley Matlock join us as a leader. Most of you who read my blog probably don't know Wesley, but if you did you would understand the constant goofing around, pranking, and other shenanigans that happen when he's around. Thankfully, we were able to capture some of them on film. Here are some of his better moments.

Journey Students Summer Camp ’09 Slide Show

3 Week Overview

Wow. It has been a ridiculously long time since I have last blogged. No excuses, but it's not because I've been lazy. The past few weeks have been filled with fun, excitement, blessing and exhaustion. On July 4, the newest addition of our family, Karis Eleise Via, decided to join us! That's right she's an Independence Day baby. I wouldn't say that the process was uneventful, but there were no complications and God gave us a healthy baby girl weighing in at 7 lbs, 15 oz. 

IMG_0222Early that morning, Kelly had been feeling some contractions. Since she has a history of quick labor, we went ahead and had some family come and take Cana and Kayil with them for the day while we spent the day out counting contractions. The entire day Kelly's contractions were rarely ever closer together than eight minutes apart (sometimes there were as far as 20 minutes apart). For those of you who have had kids, you know that they tell you not to go to the hospital until your contractions are 5 minutes apart. So we kept waiting and waiting. Meanwhile, Kelly's contractions were getting harder and harder (but not closer together). Finally, I called the doctor, and she said that we were doing the right thing so we continued hanging out at the mall and waiting it out. Then suddenly, without warning Kelly's contractions moved to 3 minutes apart. We left the mall at 4:30 pm. Baby Karis was born at 6:05 pm. Crazy. It all happened so fast, Kelly didn't have time to get an epidural. The doctor wasn't even in the room until the end of the delivery. The nurse who was doing the paperwork and I basically delivered the baby! I've yet to learn whether or not that entitles us to a discount of some kind.


IMG_0245The week after that is a bit of a blur. Our family was getting acquainted to having a new baby in the house. I got very little work done, and we got even less sleep.  But as always, it's a very rewarding time and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. My wife is awesome. She's a freakin' machine. She just keeps going. One week after Karis was born, she was right back to work helping work with our middle school students. Most people didn't even expect to see her back at church yet, and she was already serving again. She never ceases to amaze me.

The next week, I left Kelly alone and took off to camp with 40 students. Again, my wife is awesome. She was totally cool with me taking off to camp only one week after baby Karis was born. Camp was incredible, God worked in the hearts and lives of many of our students. Lives were forever changed. Unfortunately, not everything that happened was good. On the second day of camp, I wrecked a little motor scooter and ended up spending most of the night in the ER.


They told me nothing was broken but that it looks like I may have torn my rotator cuff. I don't know what that means, except that I'm in a lot of pain, and it may require surgery. I have an MRI scheduled this week with an orthopedic surgeon to figure out exactly what is going on. And we're beginning to question the "no broken bones" verdict, since the entire area around the injury has turned yellow. Now my poor wife not only has a three year old, a two year old, and a newborn to take care of, she also has an injured husband to care for. She's keeping it all under control. She is amazing. Please keep her in your prayers.

Well, there you have it: the three week update. As life begins to settle down, I'll return to my regular blogging schedule. Tune in tomorrow; I'll post a picture slide show of camp.

I Love My Pastor

There are actually a lot of reasons why I love my pastor, but today I just want to share one.

Yesterday, Pastor Jimmy and I had a meeting over lunch. We were riding together back to the warehouse when my wife called. From the very first words out of her mouth, I could tell that she was beyond frustrated, and that she had probably been crying just before she called me. She began to explain to me how she went to get our baby car seat out of the shed (our new baby is due in 1 week) only to discover that it is covered in mold, lots and lots of fuzzy, hairy mold. 

This car seat would have made anyone cringe, but Kelly is a "germaphobe" and I'm sure just the thought of putting our baby-to-be in that car seat made her nauseous. But she is also very aware of our financial situation and that we don't have the money to buy a new car seat right now (We're not poor by any strectch of the imagination, but we live on tight budget). So being the amazing wife that she is, she sucked it up, took the car seat inside and began taking it apart so that she could clean it up. When she got the individual pieces of fabric off of the car seat, she began to smell the distinct scent of urine. She knew that if it was in the fabric, it was also down in the nooks and crannies of the car seat itself. And since it had been in the shed, her first thought is: "rats have been in this car seat." It's at that point that she began crying. Now my wife NEVER uses coarse language. So you know for her to use coarse language she's really worked up. When she called me, she said that all she could think about was putting our little newborn baby girl in "rat piss!"

I tried to calm her down, and tell her that it was okay and that we didn't have to use that car seat. So I said, "Just talk to me about solutions. Don't worry about that car seat. We won't use it. That's not an option. But obviously we don't have the money to go out right now and buy a new one. So what's the solution?" After a few minutes, we decided that Craig's List was probably our best option. I told her that I would cancel what I had going on that evening and that we could go check out some car seats from Craig's List if she would search see what's out there. This solution was, of course, a huge stretch for her because she is "germaphobe" and would have no knowledge of what may have happened in any used car seat we could find. But she was willing to look, and I agreed to find the money to make it happen.

When I got off the phone, Pastor Jimmy turned to me and said in typical Jimmy fashion, "So, what's the deal?" I said, "what do you mean?" He said, "With your wife. What's the deal?" So I began to unfold for him the whole scenario. When I was finished, he said, "That's really funny because Beverly and I wanted to do something for you guys for the new baby. And just before your wife called, I was about to ask you if there was anything that you still really needed for the baby. So is that what you need? You need a car seat?" I told him that was definitely what we need. He turned to me and said, "Dude, that's a done deal. Call your wife back right now so she won't stress over it anymore." When I called my wife back and gave her the news, she didn't respond immediately. I have AT&T, so I couldn't tell if we had been disconnected or if she was crying. As it turns out, she had been so stressed out over this, and now she was so relieved and overjoyed that she was weeping on the other end of the phone! From there, Jimmy immediately took me to the bank where he withdrew and handed me more than enough money to cover the cost of a new car seat. Later that evening, I turned that money over to my wife which she used to go out and buy a brand new car seat for little baby Karis.

Kelly is a very happy and very grateful mom. I'm happy because she's happy, and I'm blessed to serve Jesus with a man like Jimmy. I love him not just because he was (and is) generous to me and my family, but because he genuinely loves, appreciates, and invests in us.

So Jimmy, from the entire Via Family Clan (Smooth, Kelly, Cana, Kayil, & Karis): 

We love you and appreciate you. Thank you for being a blessing to our family.