Archive for May, 2008


from Pflugerville to central Austin. I suppose even 15 years ago, this wouldn’t have been the huge deal it is today. (Well, it would have been for us since that would have been just before marriage and well before graduation from college.) But translating my current salary into ’93 dollars, it would have been comparatively, a cinch.

Today, we’re looking at home prices that are at a minimum 2x from our current one. Now, I don’t mind a fixer-upper. In fact, at times I can rather enjoy it. A good project can be downright pleasant when you have a good friend beside you. This was the case for laying a portion of our hardwood flooring, when dad came down for a visit and helped me lay parquet. (Yes, the home we’re selling vaguely reminds you of Boston Square Garden with the Celts in the house! Especially true when Tab, Char, or Judah breaks out the basketball.) The problem I’m currently running into is that the fixer-uppers are out of our price range.

So, patience may be the key. I don’t plan on settling for whatever. Likely we’ll rent for a while.

You may be asking, “Craig, why are you moving? Is it the astronomical gas prices and the fact that you drive from Pflugerville to south Austin every day?” To which I’d say, “that’s certainly a factor, but not the real reason.”
You may ask, “Well, is it the fact that you’re homeschooling and your church is in that area?” To this I may say, “Yes, that’s closer to the core reason. Both of these things lead us in this direction. Homeschooling has actually freed some of our time (amazingly), and a great deal of our income. Yes, Westover is at Steck and Mesa in central Austin. And so, yes, our lives are no longer tied to north Austin.”
“So then give me the lowdown!” And so I’d say, “Our vocation is to serve and love college students. UT and ACC are in central Austin. We should be too. If we cannot be accessible to those we want to love and serve, then what are we doing? We want our lives to be available and this includes an open home, a place that can be easily reached.”

We’ve found several factors thus far. Most students that come to Westover, do so feeling they’ve traversed a great distance. (It’s about 8.5 miles/15-20 minutes to the center of the main campus.) However, when compared to walking to class, it is indeed an effort. Now, consider the fact that most students will be up on a Saturday night…late on Saturday…or think of it as early Sunday morning! This doesn’t translate directly to something bad. I remember late night card games, movies, dorm Olympics including hallway-bobsled and stairwell banister sliding, and lots of talking and coffee. But this does mean that 9AM on Sunday is not the best time to think…or even walk very straight much less drive for 20 minutes. So, the second factor is timing, though not necessarily time. Something a bit more centrally located within the day would be more appealing. With current church routines, this doesn’t exist. So, setting this as a time at our home would be preferable, which requires an accessible location.

Then there’s NACC and the good work that is done on Rutland drive. Lots of refugees in the surrounding apartments, right now mainly from Thailand though originally from Burma. Beautiful people. The area itself is filled with low income housing. Difficult and beautiful people. Moms and dads, homeless and housed, come for the food and clothing pantry. Kids come from next door to play and socialize and find a bite to eat. Tam and I help. Our children are a part of the group. A gentle, firm, kindness is required by all who come to help. I believe this to be a wonderful opportunity to learn what God has for us in this life. I believe this is an opportunity we could extend to our college students. This is an opportunity to love your neighbor. And again, being close by would only extend our usefulness here.

So there you go. That’s why to move. We’re now in the middle of the how. Keep us in your prayers as we tenaciously try to hold on to our sanity, our kindness, our faith, and grow into the love He has for us.


Crew Trip #3 – Jasper Rodeo and Lake Sam Rayburn

Actually, attending the Jasper Lions Rodeo is a yearly event for us.  There have only been a couple of times in the last 8 years that we were unable to attend.  There’s just something intimate, something personal, something special about a small town rodeo.  Riders from all over the country are there, though mainly from the southwest and midwest states.  The full pale of events, bull riding,….

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Field Trip #22 – Emma Long Park

So, we just can’t exhaust the bounty of the Austin Area Parks. Emma Long Park is another of the local Austin parks that gets little notice by the larger community.

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Field Trip #21 – The Asian Market

Though we’ve visited, what we lovingly call, the Asian Market numerous times over the last few years (since it was established), sometimes it’s good to visit old haunts.

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Field Trip #20 – The Austin Zoo

The Austin Zoo is an interesting place.  Far from a modern zoo, it’s really neat seeing the animals at close range.  [Click here for more….]