Peace On Earth
Casting Crowns

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!

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Catching Up On October/November Events
December 25, 2008

Well, tis' Christmas night as I write this, and we're getting ready to watch The Nativity. Last night we saw A Muppet Christmas Carol. I just love that movie! It's a new tradition to watch that every Christmastime. Anyway, we just flew in from our California/Hawaii trip two days ago and are still settling in! Was a truly awesome trip, and pictures of it (and Massachusetts) will come in the next entry! I hate posting pics from events that took place one or two months ago, but I just can't skip entire sections of my life (after all, this blog is sort of my personal journal)! So anyway, enjoy these random pictures.

Merry Christmas, everyone, and a very happy, blessed new year to you all! 2007 was such an adventure, 2008 an epic journey ... and now 2009. Wow. A child on the way, a home to prepare for ... so many things to give to the Lord. Overwhelming at times, but never despairing. It's all such a joy. Lord bless you!

We begin with a shot of a little orphan Russian papoose (wait, that's an Indian baby). Actually, this is Keoni, wrapped up all nice and warm for a ...

... kayak trip! The morning started off cloudy and cold, but the sun eventually broke through to become a bright and beautiful day.

Hi sweety.

I wave to Michelangelo and Donatello.

Click this one. Very cool.


We couldn't believe how close this bald eagle let us get to him. Missouri's population of this beautiful bird is thankfully on the rise after nearly going extinct years ago.

In October we were blessed to have the Riggenbach family stop by while on vacation in Branson. They live in Illinois and are good friends of the McDonalds. Yep, giving them a quick tour of the house. Check out that plaster stain on Duchess' hindquarters.

A family portrait before their departure. Thanks so much for stopping by! Please come again if ever you're all in the area (where we'll be able to treat you in our own home). :-)

My dear mother turned 62 on the 15th of October. Still so bright and beautiful.

That's a kick-rear carrot cake.

Blessed generations.

Ok, to make a long story short, Melissa basically saw an ad in the local paper for some incredible yard sale being held in Gainesville where all your dreams come true. Seriously, you should have seen the ad. So like, we leave at 6:00 in the morning and get to Gainesville a half-hour later, driving on this one highway looking for a particular street. We can't find it. So I stop at a general store and ask them where the street is. They've never heard of it. So I ask another guy at a gas station. Never heard of it. So we get back on the main road and figure we've got to see it if we just keep driving on it, right? So we drive another half-hour and start to enter Theodosia. I'm like, "You know, this yard sale address says Country Club Road, and like the only golf course I know of in the area is in Theodosia. Let's keep going and see if it's there." Fifteen minutes later, yeah, it's there. We've been driving for over an hour and I have to get back to work by 9:00 and we pull up to find ... what you see above. Let's just say it was probably the most pathetic yard sale I've ever seen in my 26 years of existence on this planet earth.

But hey! Not a total loss! Got this sweet cordless phone for a dollar! YEAH BABY!!!

A little while later we were again blessed to have Nathaniel and Helena Bluedorn stop by while passing through the area. Yep, another tour (mind you, these people asked for one. It's not like I'm Hezekiah).

The plastered walls before being painted.

The main living area upstairs.

The unfinished porch. The view is just lovely.

A delicious dinner together. Dude, Jordan, what kind of smile is that? Take a chill pill. Um, thanks.

The next morning Meliss and I took them to Rockbridge for breakfast. Nathaniel, like Michael Thomas, is a photo-freak.

See what I mean? Meaningless pictures. As if years from now he'll be showing his grandchildren a portrait of hydrogenated butter.

Out to see the waterfall.

Carnage. Death.

I don't ever remember giving Nathaniel permission to use my image on the Christian Filmmakers website.

Aaaannnd ... on the 25th of October miss Kalea Jerielle Niednagel celebrated her 4th birthday!

"Uhuh, thanks. Yeah, been a great birthday. Right. Listen, I gotta go."

Just when I thought Kalea's party couldn't get any rowdier, Jeremy pulls out these cool light-up necklaces.

We jump ahead again and find ourselves helping out some friends of a friend build their new home. Course, these pictures will give the impression that I worked the longest and hardest ... which impression I really don't mind leaving you with.

Step 1: Listen and nod as though you completely understand everything he's saying.
Step 2: Afterwards ask your older brother what the heck you're supposed to do.

This is very illegal.

Ok, another long story short, but basically the stairs leading up to the house gave way and I took the plunge. Then, when I thought everything was over with, one of those planks came tumbling over and knocked me square on the side of the head. Meliss took this picture seconds after it happened (no really, she does still care about me). Anyway, I had a huge headache the rest of the day and may have suffered a mild concussion. So, all in all, I only worked about an hour and a half on the house. I've got a good lawyer and will be taking the family to court next week. I'll keep you updated! ;-)

That same day we decided to rendezvous over to a peaceful park ... free of any wood planks.

Isn't this a great pic? Love the colors. Yeah, you can tell I'm still out of it.

Time for some more house pictures!

The "Boy's Room".

Got our sweet, medieval lights.

Just want to show you how organized and clean our builders are. You can practically lick the floor.

4 months of marriage! Thank you, Lord! Meliss and I had a lovely lunch together at MaMa Jeans, and then went to pick up Nathan Daher at the airport for his two-week stay, which was mainly for business. We then had dinner with Jer and Danni at Jilardi's. I don't know if I've told you all this before, but Brad Pitt ...

Brad and Kyle. You wouldn't believe how many crazed fans swamped us when they saw us together at the airport. Right, I know it looks empty and those ladies behind us look like they're hibernating, but I'm telling you, it was just nuts.

Nathan had to sadly accompany us on one of our many boring Lowes excursions. Look, Nathan, lights!

Jon Courville made the long drive down to join Nate and I for a fun night. Great seeing you again (and nice ping ponging, you goober)!

Dude, Meliss, you and the baby weigh a ton!!!

Back to the house. Got the front porch put in, and it's since been stained and cut to completion.

The master bathroom, so far our favorite room. The colors and tile just really worked out nicely.


The bathtub. Can't wait to use this on freezing nights.

And as we began with Keoni, so shall we end with Keoni. Trust me, I'll let you know as soon as we get a sure reading of his Brain Type. Can't wait! C'mon INFP!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Lord bless you all!