and my hilariously beautiful life...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Kiddo!

Oh my goodness, time with family came to an end much sooner than I would've liked today.  But, catching up with aunts, uncles, cousins etc. was, as always, lots of fun.  My darling eight-year-old cousin was charming as ever as she welcomed guests, opened presents, and sweetly bossed the photographer around.  Happy Birthday Mackenzie!  I hope you had a wonderful time today.  I know I did!

Friday, June 25, 2010


Wow.  He's almost two! I'm currently in the process of planning his birthday party.  I tried to think of what Noah's main interests are.  Only two things came to mind, food and dirt.  So... Why not?  We're having a DIRT PARTY!  We're filling a pool full of mud and letting the toddlers loose!  To my photography buddies, YES, you are welcome to attend:)  I'll send you an invitation when I have all the details.  And to my grandparents who have agreed to host the little mud-trackers, Thank you!                                     

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oops. My bad.

I fell for one of the classic blunders.  No, I didn't get involved in a land war in Asia or with a Sicilian when death is on the line.  Here's what happened.  I type notes in the photo books I design for clients.  I erase the notes as I go along, making sure every detail is perfect before I place the order.  And, although I hate to admit it, every once in awhile something slips through the cracks.  This is a memory book that a client had ordered for their mommy for Mothers day.  Let's have a looksie shall we?
This is a close-up of the bottom.
A closer look at the inside sleeve.

Yeah, that was bad.  Fortunately, I was able to fix it before the date I had promised it to the client.  
I thought you might like that insider's edition of Vintino gone wild.  And now, todays verse....



Haha, Aint that the truth.  

Have a great day.

Christina Lusk

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hi everyone!  Today's post is one of my favorites ever!  Written by none other than my husband, Rev. Michael Lusk.  Enjoy!

I wanted to share a unique story from one of my missionary adventures in Estonia, on the Baltic rim.  Then I´ll try my hand at extracting some significant, live-changing message out of it, as Christina always does with her own stories.  But she has a lot of good stories due to the fact that she has the unfair advantage of finding herself in unbelievable (and at time, self-created) situations much more frequently than I do... or most anyone I have ever met, for that matter.

Where do I start? My friend, Johannes wanted to assure that I had an even more authentic Estonian / Russian cultural experience before I left. So after tonight's closing tent meeting, he took me to the house of some Russian friends.

Nickolai, the man of the house, along with his friend Alexander, were already in the sauna (banyah, for Russians) when we arrived. Johannes and I put on our sauna suits (which, in case you didn't know, are invisible a.k.a. birthday suits) and joined the other two men in Nickolai's home sauna. The temperature inside was 110 Centigrade (around 230 F). I am not lying! I guess that amount of heat isn't as bad when your stark-naked.

The whole experience is a real type of social, male-bonding thing that really transcended even my lack of language. I went in the sauna three different times, and after the third entry, Nickolai grabs hold of the traditional beech tree branch cluster, dips it in water, spreads water on the sauna's wooden-slat bench, and indicates for me to lay down on my stomach. Mind you, all I had on at that point was a wool hat, used to protect the top of your head from the scorching heat that collects at the top of the sauna. As I accommodated myself in that prostrate position (and the bench was still scorching my body, even with the water on it!), Nickolai lets loose and starts to beat the tar out of me with the beech branches. He gave me a real wailing, while Johannes shouts out, "Slava bogo! (Praise God) Alleluyah!!"

Just when I thought everything was over and I was free to go, Nickolai makes me sit down, and proceeds to flagellate the front of my body! Then, they all urge me to hurry, place flip flops on my feet, and run outside into the night air (temperature read at - 10 C, around 18 F). Remember, I still had nothing but the flip flops and the hat. I was directed to the swimming pool, where Nickolai had prepared a Russian "PRORUP", or "hole", in the thick ice that covered the pool, in the area surrounding the ladder. Alexander showed me to take off the flip flops, and to lower myself up to the chin in the frigid water. All had to be done quickly. 1,2,3... YAAAA!!! Just a dip was all I could bare, although I never remember shivering. It was actually refreshing and exhilarating. I went back inside, took one more trip into the sauna, and I was left with nothing more than enjoy the memory of a unique experience that will be indelibly marked within my autobiography!

So, what´s the deep moral lesson here? (digging deep...pulling...OK, got goes)  As I learned from my cultural-shock experience in Estonia, it's uncomfortable to "bear all". Awkward. Downright unnerving. Maybe that's why people aren't sure if they can "bear their soul" to God, you know, really open up.  Well, sooprise, sooprise, sooprise.... He knows what you look like naked. And not just the birthday suit. He sees who you really are on the inside, too. Past the walls that you might put up for other people to avoid getting hurt.  But the awesome thing is, God knows what you're like, and loves you anyway! So much, in fact, that He can't bear to leave you the way you are.  Open your heart up to God, and He'll change you and do cool things you never even thought could happen to you.

If you liked this story, read my blog (it´s even better than Christina´s... Ok, well, not really, but it´s got some good insights.)

Your friend,
Michael Lusk

Click Here to see a video of me in Etonia!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Swear words are silly. This is a PG13 post.

       I have contemplated road-rage for as long as I can remember.   It puzzles me.  I still can't figure out why kindly good-hearted human beings turn into vulgarity (yes, it is indeed a word, Dr. H.) cannons when they're behind the wheel.   Does no one wonder if, maybe, the blinker doesn't work on that beat-up old chevy with the two-by-four bumper?  Or possibly, that everybody has that moment of indecision when the light turns yellow as you are mere feet from it.  Sure, some people drive like they're insane.  (Don't be afraid to call the authorities if you happen by someone who could take a life, because of reckless driving.)  And, yet, I find no place in the Bible where name-calling is encouraged under any circumstances.

    I was in a car accident seven years ago.   Somebody decided last-minute to make a sharp turn into a subdivision.   That of course, meant that everybody behind that car had to step on the brakes to avoid a collision.  I was among that line-up.  As I slammed my brakes,  a really weird thing happened.  I could no longer steer the car.  My brakes had locked.  Because the road was slick, my car slid into the oncoming lane, it's driver unsuccessfully doing everything possible to get back over.  Unfortunately, the zippy driver of the shiny new red car,  did not view our collision as an opportunity to make a new friend.  Perhaps, it was because she was a bit confused.  You see, she could not decide if I was an unintelligent girl-version of the canine species, or an orifice in the lower half of the body.  Either way, it would've been impossible for me to have intercourse with myself.  Moving on...

   Road rage is just one of those things that is "acceptable" because everybody does it.  Listen Buddy, (Just kidding. - "Buddy", in my neck of the woods is the mean-hearted, non-cuss word for bad drivers.) I'm just crazy enough to challenge that.  Try to think the best about the rest of the world behind the wheel.  They are the same people you see at church, the movies, and at the grocery store.  You wouldn't refer to them as "donkeys who have relations with their mother",  for taking the last buy-one get-one box of Wheaties, would you?  So, why direct imprudent sayings at them when they are in their vehicles?  I'm just sayin'.  Oh wait,  no, that's not me talking... It's Wisdom... Let me see where is it?...  Ahhh, here it is.

Wisdom is personified in the book of Proverbs.  She says...

I hate perverse speech.   Prov. 8:13

Also in James 3:9&10:   With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

And in Philippians 2:3:  in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Anyway,  just chew on it for a while.  I love you.  You are the most AWESOME READERS EVER!

Love you,


PS.  I almost forgot!  The winner of the kneecap scar competition....

Congratulations Jennifer!  The scar is shaped like the letter H, but your guess, "L", was closest!

You have won $10 gift certificate to the place of your choice.  Let me know where you'd like to spend it!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Winner Announced!

You guys are pretty good.  You all over-guessed, which makes me feel kinda more special and more well traveled than we really are :)  (I think you were guessing places our luggage has made it to.)

I awarded 1 point for the following ACTUAL countries we have been to (I deducted 1 point for incorrect guesses) :

Japan (airport only)
Malaysia (airport only)
Chile (airport only)
Costa Rica
Belize (airport only)
and last, but never least, our favorite country...The United States of America

I also awarded half points for countries we have plans to minister in, but have not yet made it to.  They are:


Smiles...  Good try, you've known us the shortest amount of time so don't feel too bad with 1.5 points.  You were the only one to get Kazakhstan

Crystal Rae... You cannot just say, "I say what Smiles said."  Silly Lazy head ; P (I love you!)

Gloria... You were SOOO close.  Great job with 6 points!  You were the only one to guess USA.

And finally, the winner is.....

Jennifer and Danabanana tied for the win with 6.5 points.  I was impressed. (Jennifer, England is in Europe, but I couldn't give you credit for naming the entire continent.)

Tie breaker Question:  (It had to be something really obscure since you both know so much about me)  I have a scar on my left kneecap.  It is shaped like a letter of the alphabet.  Which letter is it?  The answer with the letter closest (in numerical sequence) will be hold the title and receive the prize.  You have 24 hours.

Also,  If any participant feels that my math is off in some way... Let me know, and I will double check.

Goodnight Everybody!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Prize Giveaway!!!


 I announce the winner tomorrow(Monday, June 7) evening!  Only a few have participated so far.  Click the  Bible verse to be directed to the game post.  Also, don't forget to click on the geography lesson.  Many people avoided the link, surely thinking it was going to be something boring.  Come on now, who do you think I am?

      Mark 16:15 Go everywhere and announce the Message of God's good news to one and all.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Silent Saturday II

My Best Friend for 12 years and counting...

Thank you all for the constant encouragement.  Welcome to the new (and the not-so-new, I mean some of you have been with me for TWO whole months now, lol.) followers.  I'm looking forward to the laughs together.  See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Guessing Game

       Yay for Interactive Blog Day (not a real holiday, except maybe in Latin Countries.  They have a holiday pretty much once a week.  I think Monday commemorates the birth of the first person to combine avocados with lime and cilantro.  We're celebrating that one in our house for sure.).


Why do we travel so often?  The answer is simple.  People deserve to have a chance at life.  We have the information, necessary for them to do so.

  And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.  Mark 16:15

I'm looking forward to reading your guesses.

Have a most wonderful day.


Play me a song Mr. Violin Man...

      My husband is a wonderful (I mean he is really, really, super good) violinist.  He is practicing now.  I am  glad he knows how much I need a happy atmosphere to create a fun entry.  That holly jolly theme from Schindler's List is really doing the trick.

      It's funny how environment can affect the way you see things.  These pictures usually bring me great joy and laughter.  But, with the sweet sad melody in the background, All I can think about is how fast these guys are growing up, and how much I'll miss this.  Hopefully, I can get the reverend to wind down with some good 'ol Turkey in the Straw.

He's done.  Bad feeling gone now.

Feeling guilt and negligence for leaving you depressed, I am including a really cheesy joke.  The more I thought about it's corniness, the more I chuckled.  In fact, I laughed at laughing at such a dumb joke.  Then, I thought about Michael laughing at a dumb joke (usually his own) and that really got me going.  Later, I looked at the pictures above and smiled.

                     PROVERBS 17:22

A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Amal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan". Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his mum. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, "But they are twins. If you've seen Juan, you've seen Amal."

Love you.  Thanks for reading.