El Shaddai
Amy Grant

Welcome to my blog, updated whenever something of interest happens in my life (for the most part). Complete with pictures and video, you're sure to have a great time (although I can't promise you that). Anyway, thanks for visiting!

(pictures expandable by clicking)


March In Massachusetts
April 1, 2007

My goodness, what a week. What first appeared to be turning into a total disaster quickly became yet another wonderful trip that will forever stay with me in warm memory. About a day or so before leaving, I started to come down with a slight headache, which eventually turned into dizziness, which eventually became a terrible and frightening case of vertigo. It got so severe at one point, in fact, that I couldn't even walk. We arrived at the Thomas' Friday afternoon, and by the next morning I was completely incapacitated. I tried to eat breakfast, but I couldn't (and they were waffles!!! AHH!!!!). Checking into some type of medical clinic was fast becoming a serious option, until finally my dad called after having spoken with a local doctor and asked me if I was drinking enough water. I wasn't sure. Regardless, it couldn't hurt to try, so from Saturday afternoon to evening I drank like a race horse, as Jonathan Drake would say. Lo and behold, by Saturday night I was feeling 90% better. Praise the Lord. I'm such a dunce. I have no idea why, though, I've never had such a severe case of dehydration before. Mrs. Thomas even tried ear-candling on me! (Bless you!)

So, I'd like to just take a brief moment now in appreciation of water. I would also like to place this image of a cup of water on my blog in dedication of what water means to me in my life.

"Milk, it does a body good." - "Beef, it's what's for dinner." - "Water, it keeps you from collapsing."

In any case, I was free to enjoy the rest of the week, and only came down with a small cold on the night before my departure, which really only effected my throat and voice (and, as I understand it, started with Melanie. THANKS!). ;-) I'm feeling better now.

But boy, what a fantastic week. Incredible meals, comfortable lodgings, wonderful friends, fun filled filming, and a host of other things and activities made for a lovely rendezvous in New England. Thank you, Thomas family! Ok, enough of the slop. Let's get to the pictures.

In case you missed the bloopers.

Another video montage. Yes, with Barry Manilow back at the microphone.

Mother and I at the airport in Providence, waiting for pops to hork us some rental wheels. This was near the height of my vertigo lunatic derangement phase, being clearly detectable in my face. I was akin to being legally stoned, I think.

Had some intense discussion amongst ourselves before getting this car. My dad was like, "It's so big." I logically countered, "But dad, people on the road respect you when you're huge. Plus, look at it. It's so stinking cool." He quickly saw my rationale, and minutes later we pulled out of Providence like a giant bat out of ... heaven.

So, the next morning we head south for the Thomas'. After about a 20 minute drive, I see some cityscape and ask, "Is this Providence?" My dad replies, "Umm ... no." Then my mom goes, "That sign back there said 'Entering Boston.' Are we going the right way?" My dad looks back ... "What? Are you sure?" I then look over at another sign. "Hey, that sign says Logan Airport. Isn't that in Boston? And look at that store ... it says 'Boston Book Store' (or something with Boston in it, I can't remember exactly). lol, it was hilarious how long it took us to finally come to the conclusion that we were back in Boston again (we spent the night at a hotel on the outskirts). My dad's normally a very good driver, but he just really goofed on this one. The poor Thomas' had lunch ready to go and we finally got there like almost 2 hours late.

Matthew and Marscel. Opposite Brain Types (ISFP/ENTJ), but close and loving brothers.

So like as a welcoming gesture, I guess, I'm immediately asked to install a deadlock on the Thomas' backdoor (I think it was punishment for being late). Fortunately, all I had to do was sit on a chair and pretend to read the directions while Matthew eventually figured it out (though we ended up having some extra parts left that hopefully weren't necessary). I hate directions. The Spanish translation made more sense to me than the English.

Michael gets home from work (construction), and begins munching on something Melanie thought was disgusting because it had been sitting in the fridge for like a month or something. That's not too bad, depending on what it was. I have no idea what it was, though. I don't think Michael did either.

The Thomas' lovely home. It's so quaint and cozy. "Hark," said Mr. Thomas. "Let us now together purpose to walk, and thus partake in mutual accord of physical exertion and bodily refreshment." And thus, accordingly, we did, and all were refreshed.

Michael, earplugs and all, rushes to embrace Yablo.

My main man Marscel on his nifty scooter.

Matthew kindly carries his weary older brother. I can't believe how many dogs there were in their neighborhood. We must have had at least 5-10 dogs come barking and running at us. Next time I'm bringing one of those high-pitch dog-stopper gizmos.

Enjoying time with the Thomas family.

Ooooh man. Avocado egg roles made ala Cheesecake Factory style, but healthy. So unbelievably tasty! Thank you for a week of out-of-this-world, incredible meals!

Off to see the historic buildings of Providence, Rhode Island! Kind of embarrassing to admit, but It took me awhile to actually realize that I was in Rhode Island.

Do you ever get the feeling that you're being followed by two annoying females?

Group photo.

Melissa, our friendly tour guide, points out some historic graffiti dating back from ... about a week ago.

There's something really artistic about this shot, and not because I took it, but just because it's a photographic shot that's artistic which ... I took.

That's a genuinely warm smile. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were an ENFP, Michael.

Matthew and Micaiah, also known as Thing 1 and Thing 2 (from Dr. Suess). Unfortunately, no H2O ever came out (just the O).

The ladies stand before my future summer home.

They call that art. I call that puke.

Melanie: "Oooh, look everyone at that black wiggly statue thing!"

Actually, if I'm honest with myself, this is what my future summer home will probably look like ... except more rundown, and about half that size, with no nice picket fence ... and it'll be my fall, winter and spring home too.

Let's go to Whole Foods! That day they had a number of nice local restaurants giving away free samples, and you were asked to vote for your favorite. I voted for this one that had these really succulent scallops on spinach lettuce with this really tasty dressing on it. Actually, I think I'm the only one of the group who voted for them. You guys are weird.

Michael and Melissa just minutes before leaving for their first wedding to photograph ... or, to be paid to photograph, am I right? The word for the night was "Professionalism." Look, act, talk and smell professional. Ironically, I think Michael's holding one of the very camera lights that ended up not working that evening. I don't know why I find that really funny. :-)

Melanie works hard on her Biblical Old Testament hermeneutics dissertation, while Matthew gets an early start by reviewing his next month's HTML web design assignments. Please, there's no need to expand this picture.

For the first time ... ever ... I publicly reveal my invincible Stratego setup. From this point on I can never play anyone who has ever visited my blog. Matthew and I had some really good battles, one of which, as you'll see later, lasted for over 2 and a half hours.

Wake up Sunday morning to a lovely light frosting of snow.

A self-shot in front of the Eckerson's home, where the Thomas' attend church with about 70 other people.

Some friendly faces as we sit together for lunch.

Off again to visit some historic structures. Here the girls mimic the engraved images behind them. You both are just ... too cute for words.

Melanie looks back at the camera as Thing 1 & 2 peer from behind the pillars.

The two IFPs.

Look at my cheekbone in this photo. I really am starting to look like Michael Jackson.

Conversely, the boys mimic the engravings behind them. To me they look more like really bad mimes.

Hey, who's that pretty lady on the staircase?

Hangin' with the two Things.

From a different angle. Ok everyone, say organic free range goat cheese.

The Thomas' get down for some high-flying, foot-kickin music. With Pa at the drums, Ma at the cello, Mar at the guitar (gotta stick with the short names here), Mike at the violin, and Mel (oh that's a good one) at the piano, it sounded incredible! You can see them in action on the "March In Massachusetts" video.

Time for an evening family game of Scrabble. Hmmm ... what word starts with a 'D'.

Mr. Thomas deeply contemplates before placing his next 40 point word.

But in the end, "Team Marscel" comes out on top! We're so humble. All we do is give a simple, yet smooth, thumbs up.

Gotta come up with a story and script for a video! I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEAS!!!!

Where I come from, we call this 'snitching.' lol, Matthew gets the funniest, guiltiest look on his face when he snitches (regardless of whether he actually feels guilty or not). One time during dinner, he reached over and scraped some of the crumbs out of a rice-crispy-type dish. I looked at him, and then he looked over at me with his hand in his mouth, and I just busted out laughing for like 30 seconds straight. I have no idea why. Just the look on his face was priceless. Thanks for the laughs, Matthew. :-)

This is Noah, one of the smartest, most precocious little boys I've ever met. I get such a kick when little kids have such epic-sounding names. I think I'm gonna name my firstborn son Hercules.

This is it. The game that would never end. The picture says it all.

Me etching ever so close to his flag. It's right there! This game could have been finished an hour ago!!!

This is so not worth it.

Where's his bloomin' flag!!!??? Finally, after about 2 hours and 40 minutes, I found it. What a game.

Micaiah: "I think I would look good in this."



Yet Again ... I Depart
March 20, 2007

An important announcement. Jeremy and Danielle are expecting their second child!!! Woohoo!!! We're all very happy and excited, and so far Danielle is holding up rather well (I think she's like 3 or 4 week in). I have no doubt that Kalea will be a great older sister ... perhaps a bit of an "in charge" older sister, but a great one nonetheless (and if it's a little INFP, he or she will definitely need someone to boss it around). :-) Anyway, what a praise.

Today and tomorrow will be extremely busy for me, so I just want to get one last post up before I depart on Thursday for Boston (for about a week). What for? Why, to visit the Thomas family, of course. You may recall them from the "October Events" blog in the archives, or when I made that "Sweet Liberty Freedom" video showing just how relieved I was at their departure. :-) To be honest, I just hope you guys are getting enough sleep. I want continuous, non-stop entertainment the whole time, and if ever I feel even the slightest amount of boredom, or I sense even the smallest amount of downtime, I'm not going to be happy, and believe me, you don't want me to be unhappy. As the Dahers know full well, I can be a very difficult guest to have. Extremely difficult.

lol, I hope you know that I wouldn't even mind picking flowers the entire week if that's what everyone wanted to do. :-) Looking forward to it.

Anyway, may you all have a wonderful week. Below are just a couple pictures. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! Some mentally-challenged rabbit made a nest INSIDE one of our dog houses! What on earth was it thinking? I only found one in there (though there may have been two and they killed one), so I took it out the other day and am feeding it with an eye-dropper. Great, another rabbit. Just great. On the internet it says you sometimes need to stimulate them with a warm tissue so they'll be able to ... relieve themselves. I'm holding it right now and ... it just ... relieved itself. That's great. I only need to make it till Thursday, then Jeremy will be taking care of this ... furry thing

I just couldn't get my camera to focus without using the flash ... but this is an incredibly thoughtful birthday gift that Jeremy made for me. It's a framed picture collage of pretty much every well-known INFP there is (or was), with a great quote from Jim Henson (the Muppets creator) at the top that says, "My hope still is to leave this world a little better for my being here." Thanks, Jer! Some people on here include Tiger Woods (golfer), Richard Chamberlain (actor), Christian Reese Lassen (artist), Mother Teresa (we all know who she is I think), Derek Jeter (baseball player), and uhh ... me (famous ATV rider). Yeah, that's Peter Pan on there too. INFPs are kinda known for extending their childhood.

The bunny INSIDE the dog house. I know I've said this before, but only now have I seen it all.

In case you missed it ...

The Return To California

Farewell my good friends. Lord bless you all.