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As many of you know... Stevie and Darren are engaged as of last month! Pretty much a couple days after I blogged last month, he proposed to her, at their early wedding shower (they weren't engaged yet, but are planning on marriage sometime within this year, and due to not knowing when we are leaving California on tour, our California family and friends wanted to be a part of their wedding shower). We decorated the house in reds, blacks, and whites (which was perfect, considering everything was on sale right after Valentine's day). We set up Skype for Darren's family in KS (just so they could "be a part of the bridal shower", Stevie unknowing what Darren was planning). One of our games that we all played was "How well do Stevie and Darren know each other?", in which everyone invited (guys and girls) wrote down their question for Stevie and Darren on a piece of paper, which was then read aloud for them to answer on their own pieces of paper. The very end question asked was, "When did Darren and Stevie get engaged?". Stevie answered, "He hasn't yet officially...", but he answered, "Right now". And then, he got on one knee, and proposed, and Stevie (and pretty much every other girl, too) started crying. It was an amazing evening!!! :) And of course, Stevie said 'yes'. :)
Not long after, Colton and I began packing and preparing for our trip to Salem, OR, to visit my family, who just recently moved there. We weren't sure if we were even going to be able to be accepted onto the flight, due to a mishap of my name being different than the one on my driver's license (which is still Henry, rather than Davy. Waiting to get to KS for that). But according to God's will, we were able to present our marriage license, and were allowed on the plane!
Both the trip there and back were amazing and beautiful (I never cease to be amazed at flight and planes and the humility that comes from seeing the world so big, and the realization that God knows every cell and hair and leaf and animal and rock on it).
It was really cool to be there. Many of the rumors were true for us-- it rained A LOT; most the people living there are pretty happy and chipper; people were so courteous in their driving that it was almost rude; the trees are CRAZY tall, and moss grows on every branch; there's not many walmarts; and indeed, my family's cat has gotten WAY fatter than the last time we'd seen him. :) I loved the new house. My family just recently moved there last August, and it's definitely a pretty town, a cozy house, and cool neighbors (including my brother's new "brother", Garrett, an excellent speed-pictionary drawer. That's that game where you write a sentence on a notecard, pass it on, and draw your depiction of the sentence you received, and continue to pass it on till you get your beginning one again, which at that point looks NOTHING like what you started with).
It was amazing being able to see my fam again, and to get to spend two weeks with them. Many of our days included walks at the park, morning cribbage (my FAVORITE game!), frisbee golf (we all suck), deep conversations about God, zombie games (Zombie Fluxx, Zombie Survival board game, and a life-action zombie game in morgue that's now used as a coffee shop and teen hang out with a bunch of cool kids. That one was DEFINITELY the scariest, as the game was held in the pitchblack basement of the morgue, with my brother acting and screaming and moaning like a zombie, who's intent is to tag you and therefore "infect" you to become a zombie, too. The moral of zombie games: nobody wins, except zombies), Napoleon Dynamite, knitting, drawing and artword, longboarding, climbing stuff, awesome steak (my dad's steak is killer), and trips to Winco (the magical store where you watch peanuts be turned into peanut butter. Definitely a highlight of the trip of the millions of highlights). We visted Oceanside, a small town built into the woods and mountains and cliffs overlooking the ocean and giant rocks, along with a cafe called Roseann's (which, on that particularly cold and rainy and windy and cloudy day, was warm and not busy and cozy, a good place to prepare ourselves to go down onto that cold beach). On the beach, there was a tunnel that went through the cliff to the other side of the cliff, which was cool. My crazy brothers attempted to swim, but gave up fast (it was freezing out already, without adding the cold waves to it). But they did find a cove, and had to keep racing the waves to try to peek in and see how far back it went. We also went and saw, "The Vow", which I really liked. But I totally put the popcorn bucket on my lap, left it there, and by the end of the movie, all the butter had seeped OUT of the bucket... and onto my jeans. Fortunately, it washed out easily.
Besides that, there would be so much to go into detail about the conversations and things we did. Most of all, it was just good to see them again, and to catch up on life. We're definitely looking forward to our next visit! :)As for life back here in Cali, right now we're trying to plot our course for this year, and figure out where we want to go, and what we want to do this year. I finished the album artwork for this third CD; now it just needs to be photoshopped and finished. We're still writing songs. Colton is now working with his Logic program on the macbook, trying to learn how to write songs from that, as opposed to his usual using of the guitar for songwriting. His wrist is better yet; still hurts him a lot, and keeps him from playing almost completely. But he's definitely having to get creative with Logic-- his first few beats and songs are sounding really impressive to me! :) Lastly, we listened to a sermon series by John Piper on "How to Kill Sin" (it was three parts, though it's part of a bigger series on Romans, which I also HIGHLY recommend. It kicks butt, and is flat-out amazing). It's really been helping me to daily wage war on my sin that I often allow to slip in without a fight, and take over (often, it's in the form of selfishness, despondancy, pride, self-righteousness, and bitterness, though it comes in every other form that sin likes to come in). It definitely explained WHY we need to be fighting sin (pretty much, 'cause we'll die eternally if we aren't fighting and killing it conciously every day), and how (by hearing and trusting and believing God's promises and His word in those constant moments of temptation to give in to ourselves). It definitely reminded me of the importance of reading God's word daily-- "Be killing sin, or your sin will be killing you" (John Owen), and "Read this book to keep from sin, or your sin will keep you from this book. " (John Piper's mom, Ruth Piper.) I'm NOT saying it's been easy-- WAY no. It's stinkin' hard to fight sin, and I'm REALLY weak, and definitely would rather give in most times. But thanks be to God, that Christ gives me the strength, and guides me, and keeps me fighting sin, by His grace living within me. What an amazing Saviour!!! :)
The sermon series: