Sunday, April 30, 2006

Props to Wesley

5 stars for wes's birthday bog to Jeff. Nice one kid.

New Orleans Reflections from Dad (Bill)

It has been a week since mom and I returned from NO. I remember a conversation we had when she was to Kiln, MS. in January. The change in her life by being there exceeded anything that had been done in previous missions trips. I have to now agree. Coming home from the week of "vacation" the thought occurred to me that when I take vacation to visit family or friends or do some recreational activity, I come home relaxed and encouraged. On a trip like this, I have to say that I come home changed.

The devastation, traffic lights not working, homes that have not been in for 8 months, damage as far away as 90 miles out of NO, all of these things were minimal to the effect of this hurricane had on the life of the people. The pictures of what Ben showed on his blog were not of molded furniture or walls or piles of rubble. Those things piled up in the street were of peoples memories of their homes and the things that went on in those homes for over 20 years. From hearing a daughter of one home owners wale as she came to see what we were doing to the home she grew up in. Lorentz, who was retired and lived in his home 23 years could not in 8 months come over to his house to clean out the memories. When the first pry bar went ripping into his molded living room dry wall, his whencing and expression showed how much this hurt to hear his house and memories being ripped apart. But he was very appreciative and loving to us for what we were doing to help him. In Ben's blog, the picture of me bending over in front of an older gentleman was me presenting from the BCC group a bible to Lorentz that was supplied by Samaritan's Purse (I know, it was a Holy moment). How would we feel if 7028 was stripped of all her memories. The kitchen table where many conversations occurred being thrown into a pile of rubble on the curve at Winding Trail.

The people are being told that they cannot get flood insurance unless they raise their homes 4 feet. How do you raise a home on concrete slab 4 feet? The obvious question we all asked was, "why do you stay?" Every answer was, "because this is our home. Our family has been here for generations". It was meeting the people in NO that has changed us. The devastation was incredible, but it was the people.

Sumaritian's Purse did an excellent job of taking care of us. They also extended a lot of trust as they sent us out to clean out the homes that had been waiting for months for someone to come help. Volunteers from Washington State, NJ, Montana, NC, GA and two groups from MI. became the Body of Christ for these hurting families. It did not matter what brand of christianity we were. We worshipped together, prayed together, heard devotions together, worked together and shared experiences of the day together.

Lena and I thank you all for praying for us while we were in "hot" NO (95 degrees), but the effect of the effort was life changing. Thank you Lord!

Friday, April 28, 2006

New Orleans 2006

I'm sure you are all have heard stories from either mom and dad or myself, but here are just a few pictures from our recent trip to New Orleans to work with Hurricane Katrina. I am sure our trip leader (dad) will give a nice report on the blog (hint..hint) about exactly what we did and how it went.


Here’s a tribute to my man Jeffery on his 28th!
Happy Birthday Bro, we love you!

The Top Ten Worst Decisions Jeff and Wes Made

10. Driving at 100 mph tops to Taylor U. in 2 hours for a campus visit
9. Giving the ole “my eyes were hurting and I was trying to make it to the next exit excuse when you got pulled over
8. Double dating Jenny Payne and Carin Patrick in 6th grade
7. Summer girlfriends after freshman year of college (no names)
6. Taking candy bars from Norm’s secret “Activity Night” supply in middle school
5. The Daytona Beach fist fight Spring Break ’93
4. Two for “Beavis and Butthead”
3. Throwing eggs at the neighbor’s house from your bedroom window
2. Two for “Far and Away”
1. The whole living on the beach together swimming with dolphins idea

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The most important news you will ever hear from mt. pleasant

Well You all probably know by now, but i will blog it anyway. this only happens once or twice or five or six times in life. Shea is pregnant!!!!!!! That was me screaming. I am very excited. I have never had a bigger reality check in my entire life. I don't have pictures or anything, but I did go in to the OB with her. On May 11th we get to hear the heartbeat. My child is the size of a lentil bean right now, and his or her brain is forming. I also just read that his testes or her ovaries are forming. That's nice to know, huh? I never thought I would spend so much time on pregnancy websites in my life, but I am often caught looking by my co-workers. the Lampi-Gaines family is soon to go from Caleb to Caleb times 4. Talk about exponential growth. I can't believe I am going to be a dad. In the words of Joey Lawrence "WOW!"

Random Andrew siting

Originally uploaded by stevelamps.
Alright, here's how it happened. You are probably wondering what is this picture of. I have no clue, but it has to do with the fact I saw Andrew. At about 7:00am today I was flipping the channel and came upon a show called Action Blast (think show for video game junkies). I was very confused as to what was going on during it but I tuned in for about 5 seconds. Then all of a sudden, i see Andrew picking this girl up on a date with commentary in the back on this show. I just about peed my pants. i wasn't sure at first so i kept watching and it was definitely him. What the heck was that all about Andrew. I must admit i had to take a step back and confess some pride issues that i now know people on tv. You looked great and your acting was stellar, ecspecially when you finally picked up the girl. I continued watching and was more confused after a while amidst the fighting costumed caracters a la power rangers but that alone made my day. Good to see you Andrew. Love ya man.

Mt. Pleasant in the spring

Mt. Pleasant in the spring
Originally uploaded by stevelamps.
Everyone was giving love to the spring time in there home cities and I can't find any breathtaking view like the weeping cherry and flowing river, so here's what Mt. P looks like right now. Students in classe Mt. Pleasant, Wow!. No really that is our city motto. Wow!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Springtime in Brighton

I think there was a request for a picture of the Weeping Cherry? Can you believe I actually figured out how to upload this? I can't either!

"And the streams are all swollen with winter..."

I believe it was Rich Mullins who penned those words as he hammered away on his dulcimer singing about the color green. Wes told us a week or so ago to blog some pics of springtime so I thought I'd throw a few pictures on the blog from a recent hike with Abigial, Harley, and friends in the San Gabe's. With a little winter rain and heavy snow at higher elevations we are in our green time of year. This is one of my favorite new mountain biking and hiking spots. The trail runs 8 miles along this rushing river complete with fly fisherman catching rainbow trout along the banks. With all the snow melting now, there must be 9-10 waterfalls coming off the cliffs as you meander through this canyon up to a big lake with an amazing view of a snow-capped Mt. Baldy. It's a must see the next time you Midwesterners head west.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring Break pics

JUst some shots from the week. There'll be more on later. I know SOME OF YOU will love the last pic. Sweeeet shades. Guess who? Got pole? Is Newman on roids? Caleb, today a Butterfly house at MSU with friend Kristina. One with nature.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


For the second year in a row Sarah was voted the "Most Outstanding English Major" by her department, a feat that the chairman said was "unprecedented"!! Way to go smarty pants, you're putting my 3.00 to shame.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

resurrection sunday

magnolia flowers
Originally uploaded by wes gaines.
"Why do you look for the living among the dead?"
Easter and springtime remind us of the powerful gift of new life. This is a picture of my new favorite tree, the magnolia. As a blog assignment snap a photo of your favorite spring tree, flower, scene and post it!!

Friday, April 14, 2006


The Lampis' took to the Spring outdoors, partook in fun and fellowship at the park, Caleb and Mekkena flirted all day (pics soon of the two lovebirds), as the padres feasted on Mexican. I thank God for our families. Cristos en estes! (Greek..Christ has risen...sp?)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Countdown...

Went to the docs yesterday and he said the baby is very low, head down, locked in loaded. He also prepared us with material concerning pre-term labor (June 2nd due date). Who knows??? So excited about the little ones in the G-L posse. Abagail and Jake, luv your blogspot. So special. We also followed your tech-savy suggestion and uploaded one for our little man (men) if you want to check-it-out (WE GOTS TO STAY CONNECTED SOMEHOW MILES APART...I know we can't see eachother every other weekend, but the blog is better than nothing)


Happy Easter
"Que viva Jesus Cristo"

Sunday, April 09, 2006


I've been thinking a lot lately, of what relevance the death and resurrection of Jesus has to us today, and what it means to me personally. Its Palm Sunday, and at church today our pastor Ron gave one of the best "sermons" I have heard lately. He challenged us to be on the Hosanna side of things in life. This really hit home with me. What he meant was, don't let the world which seems to be vortexing into chaos overcome you because God has overcome the world (John 16:33). He explained how the crowd that was rejoicing as Jesus came into the city quickly became the mob that shouted crucify him. What Palm Sunday really signifies is that "God's ways are not our own" His ways are higher than ours. Many expected Jesus to come and overthrow the occupying Roman Empire, but 5 days later Jesus ends up crucified on the cross. I cannot imagine the kind of despair at that moment that Jesus' followers must have felt, all of their hopes and expectations were seemingly crushed upon Jesus' "pre-mature" death. This dissapointment is so clear in the story of Emmaus road. Two of the disciples are leaving Jerusalem on what would have been the first Easter Sunday. Luke 24:17 says "They stood still, their faces downast" as the resurrected Jesus approaches them unrecognized. The story goes on that Jesus explains to them how he had to suffer and then enter into glory. And finally that evening as Jesus breaks bread they suddenly realize who they are with. And all the sudden their "hearts burned" within them. And this is what I have come to see this year. That God's ways are higher than mine, and out of great suffering and pain comes great joy and passion. I love that the act of Jesus breaking bread is how they recognized him! It sybolizes so much. That Jesus himself has become the bread of life for us, that he was committed to celebrating this life with his friends, and that he even taught his disciples to do the same (Acts 2:42). The last verse in Luke's gospel says it all "They stayed continually at the temple praising God" The resurrection has always required the response of celebration and awe, and I think the call to us today is the same: to stay on the Hosanna side of things in life. To tell and re-tell the incredible story of Jesus in this world, to live and celebrate life with our friends and family, and to pursue Christ with hearts that are burning for him!

I challenge you this week to reflect on what the cross and resurrection mean to you. What is God saying too you in this season? Share it with us.

Here is an excellent article by NT Wright on what the resurrection means in todays society, let me know what you think.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Have we forgotten so easily?

Lou Whitaker Louis Rodman Whitaker Jr. (Sweet Lou)
Bats Left, Throws Right Height 5' 11", Weight 160 lb.
Debut September 9, 1977 Final Game October 1, 1995 Born May 12, 1957 in Brooklyn, NY
Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round of the 1975 amateur draft. (All Transactions)

Let's take a trip down memory lane. Does anyone remember the year 1984?

I don't.
But one thing I do remember. Lou Whitaker (sweet Lou) (sweet ole lou as I once called him)

In this day of Video Ipods, Sliver cellphones, American Apparel fashions, Trader Joe's healthy organic foods ...
A day when we are quick to jump on the latest sports bandwagon: Indiana Hoosiers, LA Lakers, Sasha Cohen ... etc.
A day when we text message our votes for the next American Idol...
A day with the Gaines' boys and their wives scattered throughout the country.
Did we not learn from a brutal UCLA Bruins defeat.
Are we losing our roots?
Are we forgetting where we came from?
Are we compromising all that we stand for and the history that make us who we are?

I want to invite you for just one second ... to stop ... take a breath ... close your eyes ... and remember a day in 1984 when the Tigers made us proud of the motor city.

Oh the memories.
I plead with you! Lou pleads with you!
Remember younger days!!!

With the Tigers off to a 4-0 start.

Could this year be a reminder of those days?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Odds and Ends

Revenge or Judgement?? The Country Inn Suites where you all stayed during our wedding, caught on fire today. We hear that the owner when asked if he knew of anyone who might have a motive, replied, "yes...I do remember a group that was exceptionally rude and boisterous two years ago. They even used our breakfast room without renting it. What's more, one Lena Jo Gaines wrote a particulary scathing letter to us. They are capable of doing this!!" Watch out mom!

The Masters is on and the question is can I make it through Sunday without getting watery eyed. Well that all depends on who's putting on that green jacket, if Fred Couples pulls it off I'd say chances are medium to high! What I do know, is that I wont be placing bets with David J., lesson learned. Who are you pulling for? Dad, could you stand to see "lefty" pull another one off?? Here is a funny article on guys crying during sports (article)

This week Fredrick Buechner was interviewed on the radio. Buechner is a minister/writer and his books are incredible. He writes a lot about preaching and his latest book is a collection of his sermons. In the interview he talks about the desperate need for pastors to "tell the truth" from the pulpit, that is be real, authentic and speak to people's real needs. One of the callers asked what advice he'd give to someone who wants to preach and he responded, "speak with your own voice"...awesome (listen) If you're interested in Buechner's writing, start with "Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, Fairy Tale "

Here is one more track from the album (download)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

One shining Moment!!

You gotta love Noah!! Props to David for winning the pool and once again denying either a Gaines or a Lampi from winning our own Tourney Challenge. In light of the hottly debated immigration reforms I think we ought to reconsider for next year who is allowed in our bracket! And did Joel finally elude having to explain the mysterious J. Gleason entry for good!
Better Luck Next Year guys. Here are my predictions, lock em up!

Final Four: UNC, LSU, Ohio State, Memphis (if everyone stays)

Indiana will have a rough first year under Sampson, but watch out in two years when he starts getting those top Hoosier recruits back to Bloomington (We could've had Sean May, Josh McRoberts, and Greg Oden all playing next year)

Ohio State will win the Big Ten and might win it all, watch out for Greg Oden and Mike Connely out of Indy.

The Stache will move on to the NBA high first round pick and be a Dirk-like player.
Reddick will go low 1st round to 2nd round and phase out after 3 Hurley-like seasons.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Snazzy Spanish Tee

Oye everyone! A big thank you to the very talented sarah jane for hooking my kids up at Pinckney with these culturally-empowering, might I add AMERICAN APPAREL (Ange) made tee! They are the latest buzz at school. Some kids think the word "vaca" is Spanish for "vodka". Huh? It really means "cow" and the tee is a spin off the "got milk" add (their original idea, not mine), but ours is "got cow". Over the holidays my kids raised $ and sent 3 cows overseas through Heifer International. Hence the back of the shirt, "the Vaca project". Anyways, this is the first time sarah has seen them. GREAT WORK. .......I have extras, anyone....???

Sunday, April 02, 2006

si se puede

Here is a pic from the Fort Wayne protest of the new immigration bill. I'm holding the "Stop Xenophobia" sign.

A Spring Hello for Caleb!

Hey everybody,

Just wanted to post some recent pics (Florida mid-winter break) since we NOW can import pics onto our computer (it was broken and a neighbor fixed it!) Love ya'll. Caleb, Jeff and Steph xoxoxoxoxo