Archive for the 'Family' Category

I Adopted My Daughter Today!!

Evie and Dad

We just got back from court and Eve-Marie is now legally my daughter! We’ve always been a family from the day Sarah and I got married, but now it’s official. It’s been a long and crazy journey to get here – none of which I’ve blogged about, but now that we’re finally here it’s amazing.

We thoroughly prepped Evie for court to ensure she’d show politeness to the Judge. Our lawyer told us what the questions would be –

Judge: Would you like me to make this man here your daddy?

Eve-Maire: Yes sir!

But he didn’t ask that!!

Instead he asked, “What do you think of this man here?”

We hadn’t prepped her for that.

Evie, thought for a moment, and then went on and on about how happy I make her and how she feels when I’m around. Sarah started to cry. Then the Judge almost started to cry!

It was awesome.

Afterward we ate some skittles, and we’re out to Chic-fil-a tonight to celebrate!

You can read Sarah’s post about today here.

Thankful for Godly Women

Godly Women

My wife just spent a week back in Evansville. She got to connect with some of her good friends Kara, Elaine and others while she was up there. I’m am so absolutely thankful for these Godly women who are able to speak wisdom into my wife’s life Titus 2 style.

Barbie on My Toe

Barbie Toe

I love flip flops in the summer.

Even if it does lead to the occasional cut or stubbed toe.

I love being the father of 2 daughters.

Even if it does lead to a limited bandaid selection.

All Moved In

This weekend I moved my family down to Alabama. It rocks.

The move was relatively painless. We had many people helping us out. Even the weather seemed to cooporate. Torrential amounts of rain mysteriously seemed to stop at just the right time when we needed to load or unload the truck.

The fun part happened when we showed up to the apartment and signed our lease. We got our keys and went out to meet the small army gathered near the Uhaul that had shown up to help us move in.  We put the key in the lock, turned it, and nothing happened. We had like 20 people standing around and no access to the apartment. My resourceful buddy Tim broke in through an unlatched window and the rest of the unloading went off with out a hitch 🙂 We got a new working key the next day.

I love having my family down with me. Man, I missed those girls like crazy.

I Spilled the Beans

I was planning on surprising Sarah by driving home Tuesday for our anniversary. (We’ll be married two years on March 11th.) Tonight while we were talking on the phone I couldn’t hold it in and just told her I was planning on coming home. She was so bummed about not spending our anniversary together. I didn’t want her to spend two more days all down about it. Now she’ll have two days of excitment looking forward to being with me.

I can’t wait to see her again.

My Daughter Schooled Me

Eve-Marie doesn’t quite understand hyperbole yet…

Me: Being your dad is the best thing in the world.

Eve: No, it’s not.

Me: Yes, it is. You girls are awesome.

Eve: No, it’s not.

Sarah: What is then?

Eve: That we have the opportunity to trust in Jesus Christ as our savior before we die.

A Christmas Light Tangent

Tonight Evansville was wet. As we drove home from worship rain gushed from the sky and streamed down our windows like a never ending car wash. While driving past the neighborhood where Sarah grew up, the wavy distorted flicker of a house lit up for Christmas caught her eye through the windshield and water.

“Let’s drive through and look at Christmas lights,” Sarah says. The worst possible night for such a venture.

Our windshield wipers groaned under the strain of the relentless shower. Then, for just a moment, the rain let up and we saw the dazzle of beautiful shrubbery strung with artful lighting as well as the haphazard kitsch of inflatable snowmen and loosely strung chords shaking violently in the storm.

Each one in the family pointed out their favorites.

Mine wasn’t a decoration at all. It was the inconvenience of the moment and the beauty of sacrifice creating togetherness.

2 Years Ago Today

IMG_5159I proposed to Sarah.

The night before I’d taken the chocolate out of her Starbucks Advent calendar and replaced it with a clue. That one led to another clue. The hunt took her all around the house and even online to some websites I’d made. It eventually led back to the calendar where I hid the ring in the box for Dec. 24th.

After the hunt Sarah wrote, “The beginning of the rest of our lives,” on the side of the box for the 11th. This year we socked the calendar Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Rollos and Hershey’s Kisses. Today Sarah and I shared 2 Kisses during our morning coffee. I took a picture of the calendar and we reminisced in how awesome the last two years have been.

5 Reasons I’m Thankful for Vacation

  1. Telling stories with my family on the long car ride.
  2. Seeing my parents with my children.
  3. Left over turkey and canned-cranberry jelly sandwiches…mmmm.
  4. Worshiping at my home church for both a contemporary and traditional service.
  5. Being home again.

Foal in Paint Shop

horse.jpg

That last video inspired me to do some airbrushing.

My daughter likes horses so I made this one for her.

Around the ‘sphere

Jeff did a cool worship leader interview with Chris. Next week is Brent, king of the mullet men.
Bobby‘s adorable giraffe and Los‘s um…princess are gonna give Conner a run for his cute-kid money.  Of course I’m pretty biased towards the cuteness of my girls.

Jeremy shot me an email about his worship song podcast. It’s inspired me to go on a songwriting rampage seriously cutting into my memorization time.  Thanx 🙂 (BTW – My baby girl loves Matt Redman’s Shine – she starts dancing every time it plays – like right now.)

The Beginings of a Rockstar

IMG_4966I promised Eve-Marie, my 7-year-old, that I’d start to teach her guitar when she finished her level 1 piano books. The other day she finished one of her books and Sarah bought the next level of piano books for her. So as a reward for learning to ride a bike I busted out my SG and taught Evie how to play Holy is the Lord. It was a glorious moment for me. I’ve given guitar lessons to more kids than I can count and always dreamed of the day I’d teach my own children.

Well it turned out I goofed. Apparently Evie didn’t finish her level 1 piano books, the book she finished is a pre-level book. So the level 1 books are really called “primers” and the level 2 books are called “level 1.” Sound confusing? Alright, it’s not just me then.

Sarah and I both want Evie to stay serious about piano so yesterday I told her that I would give her a guitar lesson only after she’d practiced the piano that day. Most days piano practicing is met with groans and whining but today Evie volunteered to practice with out coaxing. She then reminded me, “As you know, I practiced my piano today and you said you’d give me a guitar lesson when I did.”

At my house getting to practice guitar is a reward for practicing the piano. How do ya like that?

Goodbye Training Wheels!

All Dads suffer from the common lower-back pain of “stooping down to hold your child’s bike seat so they don’t fall over while they are learning to ride” -itis. After many months of this ailment my daughter took her first bike ride with out Dad’s help today:

We promised her that she could have a girly basket for her bike when she learned to ride it, so we did an awards ceremony for the bike-riding princess with all her royal subjects around as she was awarded her shiny basket of accomplishment:

Some pics of the basket on the bike:

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I’m crazy proud of my girl.

Zucchini

It’s the little things that make Sarah such an awesome wife.

I just got done eating some really tasty zucchini.

Awhile ago I mentioned how much I love the zucchini at Biaggi’s and since then Sarah’s cooked it several times.

She always pays attention to small details and I love that about her.

Cool Parenting Blog

This one’s for the ladies:

One of the authors for a local magazine Evansville Parent has started an excellent new blog called

Parenting through the Great Unknown

This is a wonderful resource that shares the honest narrative of woman trying to figure out how to be a housewife and mother who glorifies God.

She shares insights and practical tips on subjects ranging from cooking to child rearing to making your marriage the best. She does so with a unique poise, intelligence and humor.

Did I mention this published author is my beautiful wife Sarah?

Yeah I’m crazy proud of the girl.

You can read her article in September Issue of Evanvsille Parent entilted:

Lifelong Learners (Pg. 16)

Our Atrophied Jewish Holydays

Man we totally missed Rosh Hashana this year and I’m bummed.

Rosh Hashana (“head of the year”) is Jewish New Year.

We used to very regularly celebrate holydays using an awesome book that taught how to celebrate Jewish Holydays with a Christian spin, but recently we’ve been slacking.
For Rosh Hashana last year we at apples and honey and this amazing bread that Sarah made. We sent cards to our family. My parents were awesome and sent us a “happy new years” card this year. (Thank you mom and dad, it was really meaningful.)

Last year around this time I was a youth pastor. For fun I took my wife’s trombone (I didn’t have a shofar) to youth worship and I did my rendition of American Pie. We then talked about Rosh Hashana and 1 Thess. 4 where the end will come “with a loud trumpet blast.”

Maybe we’ll hit up Yom Kippur next week.

Grandma’s Homebaked Ministry Tips

Today just rocked. It was a non-stop pure adrenaline joy ride.

The main feature?

Lunch with my mom-in-law, Margie.

This woman is so full of wisdom it was excellent simply to spend a few hours together talking life and ministry. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The church needs to be intergenerationally focused. We can’t ignore a different age group simply because it’s convenient
  • The church needs to reach beyond it’s “family” focus and minster to singles as well. Especially single mothers, divorcee’s and women who’s husbands don’t participate. They are often left out.
  • The best ministry is simply showing people that you care about them with out an agenda.
  • God has a purpose for you in the context you are in. You don’t need to go somewhere else to serve Jesus. You are called to serve everywhere you go.
  • Grandmothers are a vital part of your child’s development
  • People come in diverse personalities. Some are full or engery and others are great accomplishers. Some are peacemakers and others have great analytical strength. God can use them all.
  • Choleric Sanguines or “task oriented fun lovers,” (my temperament) make the best worship leaders. Margie told me so 🙂

There was tons of other great stuff. Man when you get two talkers together it goes on forever.

So seriously, call up someone older than you with more life-experience and go and hang out with them today.

More on Bad Worship Lyrics

Today I checked my site, and Laura Anne posted this comment about the song “I could sing of your love forever.” It reminded me of a great link I wanted to share. The easily offended need not click, but those seeking a hilarious romp of a post should proceed to:

Danny’s Blog Cabin – Top 5 Worst Worship Songs

At dinner last night my family was talking about all the other comments from my post on changing the lyrics to worship songs and I started signing, “Lift my hands and spin around.” I kid you not, on cue Ashlyn pumps her fist in the air:

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Only 7 months old and already a worshiper. The other day I caught her trying to escape the walker to play my guitar:

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You know this girl’s all about following in her dad’s footsteps. Now I just need to remember to raise her to write good lyrics.

Temporary Tattoos

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HT: Sarah

What’s your family do for fun?

Seven Year Miracles

Eve-Maire entered this world purple and barely alive. Throughout the labor Sarah had to lay down. The baby’s neck was noosed in her own umbilical cord and standing up caused a worrying drop in heart rate. The moments immediately following birth dragged into a tense eternity when the nurses pulled the baby from her mothers sight in order to clean her. Panicked and heartbroken, Sarah wondered is she dead? Then she heard Eve-Marie cry.

Today we celebrated Eve-Marie’s seventh birthday by going out for donuts. At breakfast Sarah shared the story of Evie’s birth. She said, “Your cries were the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard because then I knew you were alive.”

I wouldn’t know what that feels like.

I wasn’t there.

I didn’t come into Eve-Marie’s life until 5 years later. After her mother and I had met on eharmony.com, after we’d built a friendship that turned into a relationship, after we’d dated secretly telling Eve-Maire this guy from the computer that mommy hangs out with was, “just a friend,” to protect her fragile heart in the event that things didn’t work out.

At breakfast this morning I told the story of the first time I met Eve-Marie.

That first day I sat cross-legged on the floor as she showed me the toys in her bedroom. She turned around, looked at me in those fresh moments of our relationship, crawled into my lap, wrapped her arms around my neck and whispered, “You’d be just perfect for my daddy.”

Then she asked, “What’s wrong with your eyes?”

I’d fallen in love with Sarah before I’d ever met Eve-Marie. I’d been praying over pictures of her for months seeking God’s will desperately and the moment was too much for me to handle. As I wiped away tears Evie ran to tell Sarah, “I have an idea who could be my daddy, he could be my daddy.”

When I proposed to Sarah I gave Eve-Marie a ring too. When we wrote our wedding vows I committed myself to Sarah as a husband and to Eve-Marie as a father.

I love my little girl.

Today was a special day.

A Sincere Thanks

Thank you to everyone who has commented and emailed me recently. Thank you for your prayers. They are powerful and my family needs them.

My mom sent me this email today after reading about how God is working in my life:

Be possative about your singing and God will bless you “Power of posative thinking.”My friends son had a terrible fear of singing due to epilepsy one am he almost fell off the choir balcony everyone prayed he takes meds and has never had another attack again.He travelled to England France & Rushia.My friend died this year Bob moved into his own appartment and sings lead tenor in several group0s although He can not drive Boy can he sing. If God wants you to sing He will bless you with the gift, BE POSITIVE Love Mom

She also sent another email where she wrote

YOUR VOICE DOES NOT SUCK!

Then she reminded me of several recent opportunities I’ve encountered because of my talent as a worship leader.

I also had a lengthy Father-Son talk today with my Dad about the whole process.

Mom and Dad, I love you, thank you for being a part of my blog.

Sometimes being transparent, especially in a public place like the the internet, can be a risk all it’s own. In this case the love I’m feeling from you guys is really encouraging.

I’m not necessarily a fan of everyone in the world knowing my vulnerabilities, but I believe in sharing the knowledge. God is teaching me so much through this situation, it wouldn’t be fair to keep it to myself.

So, thank you. We’ll do this together.

When the Water Park Closes

Today we created our own homegrown waterpark.

Sarah and I agreed to leave the computer off all day and spend some family time together. We thought it’d be fun to go to a real water park but apparently they’re only open on the the weekend.

This is what we resorted to:

(It was a ridiculous amount of fun)

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Continue reading ‘When the Water Park Closes’

Love Song for Sarah

When I first met Sarah I wrote this chord progression on the piano for her. I used to play it everyday and pray for her. After a while I put lyrics to the song.

Sarah was the first in our relationship to actually say the words, “I love you.” In fact she didn’t really mean to, they just slipped out one day when we were gazing deeply into each other’s eyes.

I didn’t say, “I love you” back.

Instead, I took her hand, pulled her over to the piano, and played this song.

(my voice cracks a bit but that’s what it use to sound like when I’d sing it and pray for her. I wrote the lyrics to the bridge after we got married.)

Continue reading ‘Love Song for Sarah’

Wedding as Worship Part 7

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 7th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 7 – The Kiss:

Exit Tune: Beautiful Day – U2

Eve-Marie was so cute. Her job was to drop rose pedals on the way in so she thought she’d pick them up on the way out.

Wedding as Worship Part 6

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 6th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 6 – Lighting the Unity Candle:

Flame – Nooma, Rob Bell

Sarah and I sifted through tons of music to get the best picks for our wedding. We couldn’t seem to find a song that fit with the lighting of our unity candle. We though this was more representative of what we wanted to convey.

You can purchase Flame at Nooma.com

Wedding as Worship Part 5

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 5th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 5 – The Bride’s Entrance – Vows:

Billy’s Vows:

SARAH!! I take you to be my wife, confident in my soul that you will be my lifesaving helpmate, true friend and loving companion

Today, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, I give to you my sacred vow that as your husband and Eve-Marie’s Daddy,

I will always protect you, cherish you, and sacrifice myself to love you as Christ loved the Church

Not only in health but also in sickness,

Throughout our laughter and our tears,

Whether we are blessed with abundance or struggling with want.

I promise to

Love you completely

Giving you my heart, my body and my commitment

And to lead you in the adventure that God ordained for us

As long as we both live.

Sarah’s Vows:

Billy, I take you to be my husband and Eve-Marie’s Daddy, confident in my soul that you will be my faithful protector, true friend and loving companion.

Today, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, I give to you my sacred vow that as your wife,

I will always help you, respect you, and submit to you as to the Lord–

Not only in health but also in sickness,

Throughout our laughter and our tears,

Whether we are blessed with abundance or struggling with want.

I promise to

Love you completely

Giving you my heart, my body and my commitment

And to join you in the adventure that God ordained for us

As long as we both live.

Wedding as Worship Part 4

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 4th of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 4 – Processional:

Not to Us – Chris Tomlin

We had our bridesmaids/groomsmen/parents walk in during Not to Us. At around 1:30 on the video you see my brother, Al, walk in my mom-in-law and then see my best man, Kevin, raising his hands. Al’s not much of a church kid so not really knowing what Kevin was doing he gives Kev a high-five.

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 3

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 3rd of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 3 – Worshiping God through Song 3:

Better is One Day – Matt Redman

One of my favorite moments from that day is at the end of this video when I let the people at my wedding lead me in worship.

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 2

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

This is the 2nd of 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 2 – Worshiping God through Song 2:

In Christ Alone – Stuart Townend

BJ laid down a nice little solo. Scope it:

The band:

Wedding as Worship Part 1

When Sarah and I were planning our wedding we decided we wanted the event to be first and foremost a service of corporate worship to God and only a wedding on secondary level.

Over the next 7 days I’ll be posting 7 sections of video from our wedding on March 11th, 2006 to show what that looked like.

Part 1 – Worshiping God through Song 1:

  • No One Like You – David Crowder
  • Indescribable – Chris Tomlin

The band:

Surprise

Continue reading ‘Surprise’

Chia Family Reunion 2007

This year I’m going web 2.0 with my reunion photos. I’m inviting everyone in my family to upload their reunion photos to a flickr account so we can all see each other’s photos in one place.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiafamily2007

If you were at my family reunion you can email me at:

billy1979 [at] gmail [dot] com

and I’ll send you the password so you can add your photos to the site.

For My Beautiful, Detail-Oriented Wife

Yes, what follows is the actual IM conversation Sarah and I had on 11/05/05
Continue reading ‘For My Beautiful, Detail-Oriented Wife’

New Friendlier Categories

Going through old blog posts brings up great memories. I cleaned up the “categories” section of my blog and found some real gems.

Engagement Story

My favorite posts were some images I created when I was trying to figure out what kind of engagement ring to buy Sarah. I told her I posted some “abstract art” on my blog and asked her which she liked the best. I also posted pictures of an ugly sink and told her, “here’s a sink I like but which color should I get it in?” hoping to find out if she liked white or yellow gold. Despite the obviousness of my post she was still clueless as to my scheming. Here’s the ring I finally chose.
Continue reading ‘New Friendlier Categories’

Sisters

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Photo by Sarah

How Blogging Saved My Marriage

Sarah and I argue a lot. (What married couple doesn’t?) For a while the problem has been that we argue more often than we have genuine conversation. It’s put a strain on our relationship to the point where we’ve just started talking less and less in an attempt to avoid arguments.

That is until we got Google Reader.

Continue reading ‘How Blogging Saved My Marriage’

Ashlyn’s Restaurant

Who likes whiny babies? I don’t.

This morning Ashlyn wouldn’t simmer down so I started to play her my rendition of an Arlo Guthrie tune, I just change the words a bit. She loved it. As soon as I stopped playing she got all whinified again. Then her mom could deal with her. Sarah commented, “Man, such a daddy’s girl today.”

I loved it.

Sinner/Saint

Demon BabyAngel Baby

Generations

Grampa and Ashlyn

Gerations

My Dad and the girls.

My Wife Rocks

Sarah and I celebrate one year of happiness on Sunday. It was amazing. This girl is fabulous kids, and I can’t believe I get to spend my whole life with her. We hit up the Abbey Inn for some time away together. I highly recommend it.

And then tonight I come home late after working pretty hard and Sarah’s got dinner all ready for me. There’s a plate wrapped in foil in the fridge and she’s written my name on it and put a little heart. I swear this girl loves me or something.

The last year has been pretty stellar. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

More baby pics


Evie takes good care of her little sis.


Hands.


My girls.


“I’m a thug” face.


Sleepy face.


Double face.


“Awe this sucks” face.

Born

Ashlyn Sydelle Chia:
Born Jan 17, 2007 at 5:17PM
7 lbs. 15oz.
She’s got my looks; God help her. At least she got her mother’s ears.

Sarah was induced at 4:30AM. It took a while for the labor to really kick in. We watched movies and played UNO. After the contractions really fired up then it didn’t take that long. I’ve never seen Sarah be so brave. I was completely in awe of strong she is. She fought the contractions with out any kind of pain killers all the way up until 8 centimeters. I told Sarah she should ditch her amateur status and go pro because she was PHENOMINAL at doing labor. Sarah said she needs to keep her amateur status to compete in the Olympics. Many thanks go out to our doula, Andie. We couldn’t have done it with out her.
The first time I heard Ashyln cry it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard. (I know that won’t last long.) She was a totally healthy baby and took to breast feeding extremely well. She even let her dad put her to sleep and cart her off to the nursery without a fuss.

Here are some pics. Enjoy.

 





On the Up and Up

Life can be pretty awesome sometimes. Eve-Marie keeps reminding me that , “You’re the best Dad ever!” Sarah IS the best wife ever. I’m feeling very passionate about the job search. For a while I was in a quandry there, but now that I figured out what I want to do the process of finding a job has been almost as fun as actually having a job.
I have to recomend:

www.familylife.com

If you are married, get to a “Weekend to Remeber” Family Life Marriage confrence and fast!

My Family Rocks

These last few days have been a new kind of low.
On Friday I reieved the news that New Life Church couldn’t afford a youth pastor and that the position would be eliminated. This is the wise decision. It would have been unwise to pay a youth pastor while leaving more fundamental needs unmet. The news came to me with kindness and a loving heart and I have nothing but repsect for the people of
New Life Church.

Although everything has transpired in the right way, I’m still struggling pretty hard with the result. This saddness has been very apprent to Sarah and Eve-Marie.

This morning I woke up to Eve-Marie saying, “Hey Daddy.” When I opened my eyes she was carrying a plate full of pancakes with a note that read, “We

Kick

I felt the baby kick for the first time today. It was pretty awesome.

Shorty

Mornings are too short.

Best Year of My LIfe

So one year ago today I met the absolute love of my life….kinda. (You can read about that day or see some pictures)

Sarah and I “met” through eharmony on April 5, 2005. But on August 9, 2005 we hung out for the frist time and my life hasn’t been the same since. This girl is amaizng, beautiful, captivating, and other adjectives.

I love her more than I can understand or explain and I think about her constantly. She’s my lifesaver and I couldn’t do this with out her. It’s been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Happiest News Ever

We are now a family of four.
The due date is January 25th.
I think it looks like me.

Lazy Sunday afternoon.


Lazy Sunday afternoon. Posted by Picasa

Honeymoon Pix

Finally got some pics up on the web from the honeymoon.

You can veiw them at www.flickr.com/photos/billychia


 

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