OK, here's the nine questions asked of me, followed by my answers. The questioner is in parentheses at the end of the question.
1. What's it like to be ripped now, runner-man? (Dan Erickson)
One of the things I haven't written much about with all this running I've been doing is my lack of discipline when it comes to food. I tried to quit the Mountain Dew, but couldn't do it. The combination of burning extra calories through running and working outside over the summer made me feel like I didn't need to worry about my calorie intake. Also, I abandoned the weight lifting portion of my training plan about 2 weeks in. All that to say, I'm not ripped! But, I can run for a long time without even breathing hard and that's kind of cool.
2. Talk about, in your experience, the difference/difficulty/fun, etc... of moving from one child to two. (I know that's technically a request, not a question, but hopefully it qualifies) (Dan Erickson)
I feel like I'm at a really good place to answer this question because David and Hanah are pretty much at the same level of abilities (walking, running, riding a bike, talking, potty trained, emotions, etc.). That's important because until David reached a similar level as Hanah we had to treat him differently, which was sometimes good and sometimes bad.
When David was first born we tried really hard to include Hanah in everything because we knew she was going to feel left out. It ended up that Hanah and I began spending a lot more time together while Katie spent much of her time with David. This has created some sort of disproportionate relationships, but that's sort of evening itself out now.
The other thing that I'm constantly reminded of is how little effort we made to capture moments with David. There are not nearly as many pictures or videos of him as a baby.
We also were a lot less anal with David. We didn't worry so much about getting him a nap every day, getting him to bed on time, what types of food he ate. But we were also tougher on him with training-type things, because we were far too easy on Hanah and paid for it (like teaching her to go to sleep by herself, obedience, etc.)
3. If you could go back and give High School Dan one piece of advice, what would it be? (Derry Prenkert)
This is by far the toughest of all the questions asked, because I'm not sure what I could say that I would have taken seriously and applied.
I guess the thing I most needed to hear back then was that God didn't care what other people thought about me. It didn't make any difference to Him whether people saw me as the good kid, the bad kid or just another kid. All the "good" stuff I did just to make people believe I was different was worthless. I needed to hear that unless I really loved God and worshipped Him with my life, anything I did would ultimately be worthless - even the really "good" stuff.
I also would tell myself to try out for the football team, change my attitude in sports and learn what it means to work hard for something.
Sorry, that's more than one piece of advice, but it's hard to narrow it down to one thing!
4. If you had to live in another country, which one would you choose? (Jeff Simpson)
I'm pretty sure it would be Jamaica because I love tropical climates. I also love the laid-back culture of Jamaica, and the music! I also think it would be cool to pick up a Jamaican accent!
5. What is the most defining moment in your spiritual life, and why? (Rob Henschen)
This answer is directly related to the answer to the ninth question in this list. The most defining moment in my spiritual life is obviously the moment when I accepted Christ as my savior, but the journey toward that moment started when my dad decided to seek Christ and walk away from the things that were controlling his life up to that point. Other notable moments: Establishing some friendships with people who would push me spiritually in college; Breaking up with Katie after my sophomore year of college, and eventually reaching a place where we could be together again and still please God; Moving out of an off-campus house and back into the freshman dorm during my senior year of college; Marrying Katie; The birth of Hanah; The birth of David.
6. I only know you through blogging...so give me a fun story about you that I don't know... (Rob Henschen)
I went to Bethel College and every year we had a day called the World Christian Action Conference - or something like that. Basically, classes did not meet but students had to attend several sessions throughout the day. Well, during my junior year some friends and I decided to skip the conference and go rollerblading. The summer before we had built a halfpipe in Petey's barn and that's where we went. I took a turn on the halfpipe, which I had done hundreds of times before, but this time I fell hard. My feet went out from under me and when I reached back to catch myself, my left forearm broke right at the point where my wrist guard ended. Seeing my crooked arm nearly made one friend vomit. My first thought was for my friends to call Katie, who was my girlfriend at the time, and have her call my parents. I ended up spending some time in South Bend Memorial Hospital before going to an orthopedic surgeon's office for several hours. He eventually reset the bone and fitted me with a cast that held my arm at a 90-degree angle. That night my roommates and I were sitting on the couch, I with my broken arm sticking straight up in the air when Derry walked in, looked at me, shook his head and said, "Oh man." He still gives me a hard time about skipping the World Christian Action Conference.
7. Ten years down the road...what do you hope Dan and Katie will be doing? Feel free to dream. (Anonymous, though I have a hunch who it might be)
That depends on which Dan and Katie you're talking about. Just kidding.
I hope I am teaching communication classes at Bethel College and Katie is doing some kind of part-time work teaching people how to eat healthier and take care of their bodies (nutritionist, personal trainer, etc.) I hope we find ourselves with plenty of time to spend with our kids, who will be 16 and 14 (typing that made my stomach queezy) and probably involved in sports, clubs, hobbies and school activities. I also want to be involved in some kind of ministry - wherever God leads us.
8. Since your housing situation is constantly in flux... :) If you could afford to live anywhere LOCALLY...where would you live and what would your house/property look like? (you'd move, but still go to the same church, have the same life) (Becky Rassi)
I honestly think I would purchase the land we live on right now, move into the Lodge (the biggest of the three houses on the property), fix it up and knock down the other houses. I just love the location, the huge yard by the lake and the pond on the other half of the property.
9. Who has had the greatest spiritual impact upon you and why/how? (Todd Owens)
My dad has had the greatest spiritual impact on me, but I didn't realize that until just a few years ago. As far as I know, my dad never went to church growing up. He became an alcoholic early in his adult life, but walked away from that habit because of his love for his family. He gave his life to Christ soon after that and has given me a great picture of the love my Heavenly Father has for me.