Sunday, December 9, 2012

My heart is open to you . . .

My reasons for utilizing the public schools are now on my other blog www.baptistcitizen.wordpress.com. 

We appreciate your prayers, not only for our children as they grow in the Lord and in their education, but as I mentioned last post here - we have all been quite sick.

Thanks,

Levi

Saturday, December 8, 2012

We're all sick . . .

Well, the whole family seems to have strep throat!  Grant bruised his foot quite badly in a fall last Saturday; it was bad enough that I decided to take him to the emergency room on Monday for an x-ray.  Because of his cough in the emergency room, the doctor asked if it was okay to do a throat culture?  His foot was not broken, but he did have strep.  The next day, 3 more of the boys had a fever and cough.  I took them to the doctor and they were each prescribed an antibiotic - while at the doctor with those three, the school called to say that Laura had a fever and needed to be picked up from school (she also is now on an antibiotic).  Within 2 more days, Carol, Gardner and Kara, also had it and were on antibiotics.  Yesterday, while finishing my drive home from Chicago, I started feeling very achy; by the time I got home, my temperature was almost a 101.  I decided to do what I haven't done before and that is to find another preacher to fill in for me tomorrow.  Josiah has missed 7 days of school; I don't want to give something this difficult to get over to anyone at church, so we are all just going to stay home. 

My job driving the van/bus will be ending next week.  Upon review my logbook by the DOT, I was told I would have to begin recording all of my church work as compensated labor and therefore could not drive more than 20 hours in a week if I worked for the church for 40 hours in a week.  Furthermore, I would have had to make sure that I didn't work more than 40 hours for the church in order to save enough time on my logbook to be able to drive one day a week and do some other odds and ends for the company.  Obviously, a pastor can't say, "I will only work 40 hours for the church."  So, the two jobs came to the point of incompatibility.  It was nice while it lasted, I enjoyed the work, but can see that this is where the Lord directed.  I am re-invigorated for my pastoring.

School is going very well for the kids (other than missing this week due to strep).  I'm in the midst of starting up my other blog www.baptistcitizen.wordpress.com.  On that blog, my first post will be an explanation of our decision to put our kids in the public school.  I've talked to quite a few people about the decision, but always only partially.  The blog post will be the most detailed explanation - like most people, I can express things best by writing.

I'm sorry there are no pictures this time, but will get some up here soon!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Life Changes . . .

Changes are a part of life.  I'm going to post some updates that show how much life can change in a brief amount of time.  But - I must begin by saying, that one thing that hasn't changed is that fact that I still don't update the blog as frequently as I should (or perhaps could).

Maturing Changes:

Since my last post, several milestones have been reached.  Laura turned 11, Carol and I celebrated 13 years of marriage, Gardner turned 2, John turned 7, I turned 36, and Grant has turned 9.  I'm not leaving out Joel, Josiah, and Kara - they just have not had birthdays recently. 

Laura  - she has matured into a young lady.  I'm so proud of her growth as a Christian and as a young lady.  Since Christmas, Laura had been saving her money in order to purchase a Kindle e-reader; her birthday gifts provided enough money to purchase one.  She reads as much as everyone else in the family.



Anniversary - 13 years of marriage to the best wife I could imagine.  The last year has seen us make family changes that have deepened our relationship tremendously; I couldn't be happier.  (F.Y.I. - the 16th of this month is the 14th anniversary of our engagement - it is appropriately sweetest day.)

Gardner - two years old and LOTS of fun.  His vocabulary has blossomed, he loves trucks, still takes good naps, and has finally matured to the point that we can let him outside without a fear that he will end up in the street.  He wants to be like the older kids - especially at the table when it comes to serving himself.




John - is now a very adept reader.  His energy has not diminished, it is just channeled into more things than just playing.  He still is "jolly!"  He has endured a black eye, a lump and gash on his forehead, and multiple bruises, scrapes and cuts this summer - so some things have not changed for him.  (The black eye happened during a rough housing session that Uncle Michael was supposed to be monitoring).



I'm 36 . . . . don't know what to say. . .



Grant - has given us reason to be pleased with his maturity.  He has learned some good lessons (some easy and some not) in the last several months, but they are all helping to develop him into a striking young man.



Minor Change:

We have nearly finished many of the construction projects at the church (a few still remain).  However, we did paint and rotate the auditorium.  We hosted an anniversary service in July along with an open house for the community and other churches to see all of the things that have been done to the building.  There is a report on the AIBCI website that can be seen here - http://www.aibci.org/files/Grace_Baptist_Church_in_Paxton.pdf

The auditorium went from this:

To this:


Moderate Change:

I have started working a part-time job.  I'm always careful to assert that this church has been very generous in providing for our needs; however, with 7 growing children, we just needed more income.  I'm driving either a shuttle van or a coach bus to Chicago from the University of Illinois campus three days a week.  I started in April with just the van, and then after getting a CDL, began driving the bus.  I have really enjoyed the job and am very thankful for the help that it has provided for our family.  If I could have created a part-time job that enhanced my pastoring, I don't think I could have done better.

 

Major Change:

After 7 years of home education, we have put our children in the local school system (we still are very involved in their education).  This decision was the result of nearly a year of prayer and deliberation.  I am not going to detail all of our reasons now (I will write much more on the decision at some point in the future), but will suffice to say that we were absolutely convinced that this was the right decision for our family and have been more than pleased with the results as they near the end of the first quarter.  Joel is in 7th grade, Laura is in 6th, Grant is in 3rd, John is in 2nd and Josiah is in Kindergarten.  (Kara and Gardner have adjusted to being home without the other kids presence.)

Well, that's all for now.  I got this picture in Alton early in the summer; they are looking over the Mississippi.  Joel, Laura, Grant, John, Josiah, Kara, and Gardner.  


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A sigh of relief . . .

Just a quick update on the restroom addition at the church.  There are still a few odds and ends to complete, but the new ladies' restroom is now functioning and in use.  We still need to install the hot water heater, counter top and faucets in the men's restroom, as well as the door trim and some painting, but we are nearly finished! 

Below are a few pictures of the ladies' restroom.

The door on the right is a sliding pocket door.  It is the handicap stall; a 3 foot door to accommodate a wheel chair and does not swing wide into the main room.

There is a 6 gallon, "point of use" hot water heater under the counter that gives instant hot water.  Also, an open cabinet on one end to facilitate a wheel chair.

All of the door swinging directions were considered with the most privacy possible.

There is a 3 foot privacy wall that protects the mirror and sink area.

The individual stalls are not made with hanging dividers, but are fully enclosed rooms.
This project has taken far more time than I anticipated or than any of us wanted to spend.  However, we would have been unable to afford the addition if we had hired a contractor to do it.

I'll post pictures of the men's restroom and hallway when completed in a few weeks.  I'm taking a week off from the construction part of things; I have a class that I need to finish by the end of the week.

Monday, April 9, 2012

In case you are wondering . . .

In case you are wondering -

I'm still working on my education; 2 and 1/2 more classes and a dissertation. I should be finished by next summer . . . I hope . . .

(My thumb isn't in my mouth, but I'm probably about to doze off to sleep.)

In case you are wondering -

All nine of us do fit around the table, barely. We just moved Gardner to the table; a friend found a high chair that we could use to sit him at the table. He still likes to dump his drink in his plate while it is full of food, and he takes things that he doesn't like out of his mouth, but the general conclusion is that he eats better while sitting at the table with the rest of us - he even uses silverware (he pushes the food onto his utensil with his hand and then puts it in his mouth)!

In case you are wondering -

"How do they do all the dishes?" Someone gave us an anonymous gift at Christmas which was just about the right amount to purchase a dishwasher. We bought it then, but it wasn't until just a few weeks ago that I finally made time to install it (thank the Lord for a patient wife). Since I had to turn the water off for the job, I had to do it late at night when everyone else was in bed (the restroom isn't usable with the water off). Joel stayed up and helped me, but he was sure ready for bed when we finished at about 2:00 a.m. Though we were able to turn the water back on, the kitchen was still in disarray the next day, so Carol let the kids have a picnic outside. I also put in a new counter top, kitchen and drink faucets with a water purifier. By they way, whoever gave us that gift, I can't say thank you enough (nor can the kids who do the dishes).



In case you are wondering -

Do kids still do the things that we did when we were kids?

The kids have enjoyed the early spring. While I was working on our restroom addition this afternoon, the kids had finished their school work and took advantage of the big church yard and the gusty April wind. It has been years since I have used a kite; Joel and Laura have flown one a little bit at Grandpa's house, but we all kind of had a "crash coarse" in flying a kite. However, it didn't break, it isn't in the top of a tree nor hung up in power lines (there are a couple of string burns though).

In case you are wondering -

The building project is near completion! In the last 5 weeks, we have finished the sheetrock, texturing and painting. My friend, Bro. Jim Appel from Camp Joy, (with help from Samuel Briddick) has installed the tile. We have hung the light fixtures and have only one more of the pocket doors to hang. The restroom fixtures are mostly complete, the trim is all routed, painted and ready to nail (if you've ever done it, you know that the hard part of trim work is cutting it :-). We are ready for the cabinets, hot water heaters, counter tops and mirrors. The list may still sound substantial, but from where we were last fall, we are almost complete!

Joel and I both sanded drywall on stilts.


video

I took Gardner and John to Menards with me . . .

video

Jim Appel, Samuel Briddick, and the tile.


I thought it was pretty neat that the tile pattern on the floor matched the design in the glass in the doors.



Light fixtures, doors and restroom fixtures.


I still need to put the trim around the doors.


I've never installed a pocket door before, so I'm pleased with the result. Also, we were steered onto brackets used to hang doors - it sure beats the old way of shimming them. You can see them on the video as I open the door.


video

Thanks to all of you men who have helped over the last few weeks - I can't name all of you. Also, several of you ladies have done much to clean up our construction dust, etc. Thanks to all of you.

In case you are wondering -

I need to go to bed . . .

Friday, March 2, 2012

Out of the house . . .

Our family - from Gardner to Carol - got hit with a round of colds (Grant and I escaped the attack). Carol was home from church for more than two full weeks with sick children. However, it was the kind of cold that didn't really make the kids feel that badly, we just didn't quite think we should have them out and about - especially at church. So, they were basically confined to the house but not feeling like they should have to stay home. Finally this last week, everyone was well enough to go to church on Wednesday evening.

Last night, we went to Champaign to get some things; we decided to eat at McDonalds and let the kids burn off some of the cabin fever in the playplace. We ended up staying almost two hours! Carol and I met a nice couple who had brought their grandchildren to play and eat. They both work for the U of I and were very enjoyable to talk to - we thought similarly in several areas and we both follow politics . . . :-).

The kids were absolutely soaked with sweat after nearly two hours on the playground. John's hair was nearly dripping, Josiah had holes in both of his pant knees, Joel's knees are both black and blue today (he's not quite too big to play in there - age limit is 12), we had to keep getting Gardner down - even though he is technically too small to be on the playplace . . . but, they certainly enjoyed their time - we all did!

I don't know how clear the picture is, but here are all the kids just before we left McDonalds.


This next picture shows how wet John's hair still was when we got to Walmart a little while later. Fortunately, it wasn't that cold or he might have ended up getting his cold right back! He is the same energetic Jolly John that he has always been!


I mentioned in the last blog post that Joel had received a Rubik's cube for his birthday. It didn't take him long to master it - as the video shows. It took him 1 minute and 48 seconds in the video, but he tells me his best time is 1:26 - I believe him.

video

An update on the building project. The sheetrock installation is finished; we are in the mud and sand process right now and hopefully the walls and ceiling will all be textured and painted within the next 10 days.

The next set of pictures will show the progression of the project. The focal point is transition of the window to the hallway into the new addition.

Taking off the siding last summer - the window from the outside.


The window (from the inside) is still there while we were building the new nursery.


We left the window and wall while framing in the addition late last summer.


After we were "in the dry" and able to install the doors for security we took out the window and cut out the block wall.



This is today (where the window used to be) with all of the sheetrock installed. The big box above the hallway is where our electricity and hvac enters the addition from the existing building (there is heat and air duct-work in it).

This is looking in through the hallway that used to be a window.

More updates will come soon. Bro. Jim Appel will be coming to lay our tile at the end of March. If the Lord allows, I'm hoping to have this all finished by Easter Sunday! Please pray to that end; I'm ready to be finished for a while (as much as I enjoy my tools :-).

That's all for now.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Life is fun

First, another one of the Deatrick's got glasses. We thought Grant may have been struggling a little bit with his eyesight; not as badly as Laura was (one near and one far sighted eye), but still worth a check-up. Sure enough, he did need a pair with a minimal amount of correction. He and I both got new glasses on the same day. I had not had a new pair in 10 years - I could still see through them and they weren't broken and I am selective of where I spend money - but I did need new ones.

Kara just happened to be sitting here when we decided to take the picture. Yes, getting new glasses is fun when you know that they are needed (and when you know that you have gotten your money out of the previous pair and WILL get your money out of the next pair).

Next, we took another trip over to Missouri; this time for tax preparation. Tax season is not really that bad for us at this stage in our lives (with 7 dependents), so our trip to stay with Dad and Mom is usually more like a day or two of vacation. Mom kept our kids one day and Carol and I went to lunch in town and then went to visit with my Grandma Deatrick for a while (with coffee and cake). The next evening, Carol and I went out with my brother, Stephen, and his wife, Jennifer. A young lady from the church in Wayland, MO kept our combined clan of 11 Deatricks under the age of 11, I think she had fun and I know the kids did! The evening with Stephen and Jennifer was a little reminiscent of past times with a meal and a meander through the mall. We also stopped at a "Ben Franklin" general store that was going out of business; Starbucks on the way home to top of the date. Sorry, no photo, but the time with Stephen and Jennifer - and especially Carol, was fun!

Then, once we got home from Missouri, I had to hit the ground running in order get our new addition ready for our big workday (today) when we would start hanging drywall for the restrooms in the church. We are getting closer and closer all of the time. Even insulation and drywall is fun in a way. Sorry, no photo.

Joel, our oldest turned 12 on the ninth of February. He had seen his Uncle Stephen solve a rubik's cube in less than 3 minutes. Carol and I could tell Joel thought this was fun and so when at the "Ben Franklin" store with Stephen and Jennifer, we found one and bought it for him. He has an instructional video and directions and I'm sure is finding great fun in learning all the tricks. But, is it really a challenge or a game if you have learned all the tricks? Isn't a game fun because of the challenge? Maybe the challenge is shaving off seconds or in beating your old time . . . By the way, I'm having fun watching our children get older . . .


Finally, for any of you who enjoy hearing of God's provision - a lady in our community gave our church a Yamaha G2 (grand) piano. It is beautiful! When I was getting to know the piano at church this evening, Carol told me, "it seems quite loud." I responded by telling her that I was playing loud on purpose. For those of you who play the piano, you understand the sheer pleasure of hearing and feeling the lower registers reverberate with deep octaves! This is GREAT FUN!

The piano will be a great blessing to our congregation, a great joy to our pianists, and I believe a wonderful supportive addition to our corporate edification and worship! I'll close with a video of Carol playing our new piano. She also had fun!


video

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Some recent things

First, sorry for the "s" that those of you on the e-mail list got to begin with - I accidentally pushed "publish post" before I had even finished the title. :-)

We went to Missouri for a few days after the new year and I was at Camp Joy in Wisconsin for a retreat last weekend - however, some interesting words have come from our little ones recently and I didn't want to forget them.

Kara - she called a paper plate a "plaper plate." Also, she was watching as we looked at some pictures on the computer, we came across a picture of last fall when I had grown some facial hair - Kara saw the following picture and said, "you used to have a beard, but you shoved it off!" It is fun to listen to them begin to try enunciate the different tenses.


John - is reading quite well for a six year old. Carol loves hot tea; yesterday John saw this box of tea on the kitchen counter and asked his mother with a little confusion, why do they call this "horbal [horrible] tea?" Obviously, we laughed about that one!


I went to Camp Joy for the annual Pastor and Deacon Retreat; Fred Moritz was the speaker. All three of our deacons were able to attend this year and we had a good time of fellowship. The video is of Darin Kennelly going down their "sky-glide" zip line. A couple of years ago, I tried using my phone to video going down, but invariably, you end up going down facing rearwards and so the video is not real exciting, so I just decided to catch Darin coming down this time - I'm posting it on the internet for his son, Joe! :-)

video

Camp Joy has completed some very nice cabins in the last couple of years; they call the complex "Driftwood Village."

Above: Lowell Mest, Donnie Wright, Darin Kennelly.

The previous week, we had gone to Missouri to see my family; we hadn't gone over during the week of Christmas because there are too many children and grandchildren to all stay at the same time, so we staggered our trips (our kids were all sick the week of Christmas anyways).

Carol and my Mom went to an Amish store in Rutledge, MO. to spend some Christmas money. We all met that noon at my Grandma's house for her Deatrick favorite zucchini stew.

The following video is of the road on which my folks live - perhaps a strange sight for those accustomed to straight and flat roads in Illinois. After Carol stopped recording the following video, there was a beautiful red fox that ran across the road just about a hundred feet in front of us.

video

My brothers and their families came over at various times, as did my Aunt and Uncle. We exchanged gifts - ate, played some games - ate, talked - ate some more; you know how it is at family gatherings. . . !

I also had a chance to shoot a little bit with Joel, Laura and Grant - Laura had never shot a pistol and turned out doing pretty well. Dad has a Ruger Mark III 22 caliber that she and Joel shot - I was tickled by the surprise that Joel showed when she was shooting . . . you'll have to listen carefully.

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I learned the hard way that there are two release buttons on the left hand side of the grip - one releases the clip and the other releases the action on the chamber - I had a blood blister for more than a week and a half as a painful reminder that you should not release the chamber with your finger in it.

I grew up shooting rifles and shotguns a lot, but feel like a bit of a novice with pistols; I've had some teaching in the past years though and am enjoying this side of things.

video

Believe it or not, I didn't intend to blog much this evening; it just happened that I didn't want to forget what Kara and John had said recently, and so to use a "web log" for its intended purpose I thought I would record it quickly - but once logged on here, just decided to keep going. But, that seems to be the nature of talkative people . . .