Sunday, December 26

Utah: Photo #1

The first of many photos for our Utah trip...all of which will include this awesome panda hat (courtesy of Faith), which will hopefully have a name by the end of the trip. :)

Monday, December 20

best and biggest mug of peppermint hot chocolate so far!

Tuesday, November 30

Just the view from where I sit. Legit.

Saturday, November 20

New Chairs and A Legend

The two are not related in the slightest, let me assure you. The chairs have nothing to do with the legendary figure I am proud to be a friend of.

Let's deal with the lesser things first.
Chair blogs are few and far between these days, but here's two epic chairs must be mentioned.
The first is a guest appearance by Miss Joy Wecker, whom I will fearlessly say is just like her sister and inevitably one of the funniest people I know.
In an antique store we found this little beauty, and though she is not shown seated, she did rate the chair.

If my memory serves me well, I believe she rated it a 4 due to its classy appearance, yet the comfort was (not surprisingly) disappointing because of its age. The poor thing probably saw a great deal of wonderful butts in its lifetime, it probably has a future of sitting in one of those "forbidden" rooms in a hoity-toity upper class house.
Next is just a simple picture of me enjoying the fun atmosphere of Cherry on Top. Let me just say, as a side note, that frozen yogurt is taking over the world. Or at least it seems like it is.

This fro-yo stool just made me feel really happy to be eating such a wonderful treat, and as I really think about it, it inspired me to eat more. I guess that's a clever retailer's trick. These stools are kind of like those sweet haircut store chairs, where they have a little lever thing that allows you to lower or raise the stool. Unfortunately, those poor levers are probably misused and abused or simply overused because mine was forever stuck at the lowest level possible. At any rate, I was happy to be sitting there and for that I give it a three. Let's be clear, there is little to no comfort; it's all in the looks.

Finally, there's this awesome man that I've come to know quite well over the last 7 years or so named Bill Batstone. He is quite the legend in the Calvary Chapel circle, known for his classic worship songs. He writes, sings, plays, jokes, surfs, and more. He played last night at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa last night with Bob Bennett, and naturally my dad and I went to cheer him on. I was struck with this embarrassing but liberating reality dad and I are "those people."
What do I mean?


We're "those people" who:

1) Talk to each other during music at a level just loud enough that the people next to us and in front of us can hear us,

2) Sing loudly with everyone, trying to anticipate what rhythm the words on the screen are actually going to play out in the melody,

3) Laugh at EVERY single one of the jokes the musicians tell,

4) Take pictures of the musicians during the songs or just in between the songs....and by take pictures I mean...figure out the flash, zoom in and out, with our arms literally outstretched so that our hand is between the two heads of the people in front of us,

5) Tell jokes about what the musicians are saying,
(Don't know what that means? Example:
Bob Bennett: For this next song, this capo is so high on the neck that I have no idea what sound will actually come out
Dad: Yes, but is he "capo"-ble?)

6) Sing using a David Crowder impersonation at inappropriate times.
(aka Dad during All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name)

With that said, I'm proud. We're basically the same person, and I'm okay with that. I'd like to think I have a bit more tact than him, but...if not, it's fine. We enjoy ourselves.

To end the night, though, I got a classic pic with the legend himself.

Friday, November 19


Thursday, November 18

Basically I'm in the business of training the Mitchell clan. Kevin and Kelly mistakenly trust me completely with their children, and as you can see from the following pictures, I'm already brainwashing them to be just like me.

Kasey will soon be a singer/pianist/worship leader/ least within the next few years.

I'm having to use a more subtle approach with Jakob due to his age and lack of verbal communication skills.

But as you can see I'm training him to strengthen his grip in the hopes of encouraging him in the ways of drumming. Good, consistent drummers are hard to come by. Not Jakob. No way.
Also, I must say that he is to blame for breaking me out of my "baby-shy" phase...meaning, I generally don't like babies. It's not that I don't think they're cute, it's just that they...aren't people? Okay, that's an exaggeration. Obviously they're people. It's just that....they can't talk to me. They cry when I make faces at them. I feel like I'm going to break them. I feel like I couldn't handle living for more than ten minutes making baby noises to keep them calm. But.....ahh. Jakob is soft and cuddly and I basically bonded with him. Perhaps my baby-fearing stage has come to an end.
(Don't worry, I'm not having a kid any time soon.)

Tuesday, November 2

Comedy night. Nice.

Monday, November 1


Hanging out with the Schilperoorts!

Saturday, October 30

The view from where I sit.

Monday, October 25

What is happening to the world? Facebook gift cards? This is ridiculous. Kind of embarrassing even.

Sunday, October 17

Looking Deeper

"God, when, if ever will I be free?
What does it truly mean to forgive?
Tomorrow marks one year from when I broke through
Months of hurt to find only a broken spirit and abandoned life
What does normal look like?
How can I live without fear and oppression and doubt of my own validity?
Restore me, redeem the time I've lost
Keep me from that sort of blindness, from that pain
Restore my mind, that I might actually believe that I am complete, beautiful, whole"

I found the above text written on a piece of paper in my Bible last Sunday, something I had written during this past summer. God has been working on my heart so much and has been so gracious toward me.
The last six weeks or so have been an absolute whirlwind since I have a lot going on, and generally about this time into the semester, I'm exhausted. This semester has been different though, in so many ways. :) I have been learning a lot about the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to lead me, as I lead worship especially. I have been exploring the freedom that comes by living honestly before God and others and have watched God prove Himself faithful on my behalf. I have seen the text, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" come to fruition in my own life. I have seen God stir the heart of His people in lives around me, and I am thrilled! He has put a new song in my heart and has truly been redeeming time that I thought I had lost and wasted, and He's re-energizing me so that, as I run with Him, I do not grow weary.

I write this to say that life is certainly full of seasons, and though the desert places can certainly be barren, the fruit that comes during the harvest is plentiful and well worth the wait. There is comfort in knowing that God is my Victor, that He is for me. I hope you can trust that He will do that for you also if you wait on Him.

Tuesday, October 12

The mark of a man: the pondering pose. Ben has now passed into manhood, or at least figuratively. Donning a new hat and shirt, he chose to get a quick meal from Wendy's so we can get back home to watch the baseball game. The best part...the Wendy's staff joined us in a melodious Happy Birthday chorus. :)

Sunday, October 3

Well Ben and his buddies started a club at school called "Bowlers in Lake Forest," also known as "BILFS," and made these accompanying shirts for the officers of the club. I'm not sure if it's blasphemous or not and really I'm not sure if it's the greatest representation of Jesus. HOWEVER it is hilarious and seriously made me laugh ridiculously hard. He and his buddies have a significant club membership now as the member count is now near 140. Clearly these shirts are epic enough to only be for officers, so Ben wears it proudly. More tshirt designs are to come. I'll keep you in the loop.

Saturday, October 2

Woooo! As you can tell i'm bored since i can't do much due to the condition of my ankle. Therefore...many picture updates.

Rock climbing!

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Inspiration Point

Friday, October 1

Hanging out at thousand pines for VSB retreat! Woooooo! It's so pretty up here!

Rehearsing with VSB!

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Thursday, September 30

Monday, September 20

Deceitful Bliss

Little did I know, injuries give you a deceitful sense of bliss in the midst of pain. Or maybe I should say...injuries cause you to look forward to simple things because you have a delusional fantasy that said thing will ease your pain and make you feel like you're back to normal.
I was okay with that on Saturday when I chose to go grocery shopping with Tyler and use this little contraption.

I will admit that this cart is probably one of the coolest parts of being temporarily disabled. I was able to scoot my way around the aisles like a ninja (comparatively...I suppose it would be more like a disabled ninja or a ninja in slow motion, but it felt like light speed compared to my normal turtle-like rate of movement). This cart is also conveniently a chair, so I'll go ahead and give you my rating of it, too. It definitely has the eye-catching feature of electricity attached to the seat which automatically gives it a head start as a chair. The seat itself is padded but sort of in an awkward shape, almost feels like a drum throne that looks really cool but is kinda old and worn down. Anybody know what I mean? Or like a piano bench that sort of makes your skin stick to it. Not really the greatest. Oh, also kinda like the new "leather" seats in the dollar theater at Woodbridge. In any case, you get my drift. Not the greatest. Nevertheless it made my day much brighter and will receive a 3.9. I cannot bear to give it a 4.

Also in choir today we had our rare but sweet tradition of massages during warm-ups. Faith's massage duties were a little bit harder for her than normal seeing as the guy next to her is a good foot and a half taller than her. Still, she made it work. What a trooper.

Thursday, September 16

Tiny Tim Reincarnated

Well, after spraining my ankle yesterday...Tyler has graciously referred to me as Tiny Tim countless times. Who would've thought a sprained ankle could inconvenience me so much. Thankfully it's my left foot, so I can drive, and I suddenly have three time the amount of friends than I normally would....but hey, I'm not complaining. It's hard to open doors with crutches. And now the rest of my body is getting a great work out because the inability to use one leg suddenly spurs on every other muscle to work extra hard. Also my armpits hurt like no other.
While I was in the ER waiting for my x-ray results, I kept quoting Brian Regan to my mom, and dad texted me with quotes from "Charlie Bit Me" like..."that really hurt....and it's still...hurting..."
Here's a picture, and then I'll leave this topic to rest.

Also, Tyler, Tavani, Faith and I had a great Labor Day weekend of fun and frivolity, of course involving videos with the Flip, so here's an episode of raspberry catching.

And finally, a long awaited chair update. :)
Below is a picture of me on a bar stool at the Red Robin in the Spectrum.

Bailey and I went there to get shakes to go a bit ago...and let me just tell you bar stools are the best. They're tall enough so they make you feel powerful, and they have little bar things to rest your feet so you feel comfortable. The padding is clearly not that great, which is definitely a downfall, but it's cool. Red Robin is definitely one of the coolest places of all time, and with a Rookie Magic shake, I felt like I was on top of the world. That being said, I give this bar stool a 4. In order to get a 5, it would have had to have some cushioning. Also, keep in mind I sat there for a grand total of 7 minutes tops. My opinion may have changed had I sat there longer.

Wednesday, September 8


Get some tissues.

Well, don't get your panties all up in a bunch just cause I haven't updated for a couple weeks - school started and life has launched back into its hectic routine. I have a few pictures/videos to catch you up on in regards to my chair blog, but at the moment I haven't the time to enlighten you with them all. Therefore I must simply give you this: a video of a few dogs in a car next to Faith and I as we drove to get some boba.
Take a look at these little beauties.

Wednesday, August 25

Closet Readers

Come out. I mean seriously. I know you're there because you've told me.

Clearly this is not a chair. But it felt as good as one after I stuffed myself at the Cheesecake Factory after a dinner celebration of Pops' birthday. He prides himself on the perspective of this picture so I figured I'd give him a shout out.

Now on to the chair. The chair you see here is orange, well cushioned, and generally finds itself sitting alone and unattended in the foyer of the women's bathroom at church. Miss Maldonado decided it should go on stage during Frequency tonight so that Kevin could speak sitting down. More of a chill family talk, right? So here's Zack, who practically begged me to put this picture up. Here you go.

Let me just tell you, this chair gets mad props just for being old-fashioned looking and cool. Grandma's don't really sit in that sort of chair, so I felt kinda like a Grandpa about to read a story or something when I sat in it. But due to the cushion on this thing and the incredibly cultured look it has, this chair gets a 4. The comfort isn't superb, but it's the vibe that counts. I almost feel like I should name it. Too sentimental? :)

Monday, August 23

You must understand, I am not a self-proclaimed artist. I am also not proclaimed an artist by anyone else. It's well understood that I am not born to draw or paint or sculpt. I do however enjoy little humorous things as you might have guessed. At Music Camp with Vanguard this year, our teams were named according to big cities in the world, and our overall theme was "Greater Things Are Yet to Come," a phrase in a popular Tomlin hit called "God of This City." So me and my other two teams leaders, Brooke and Julee, created our team poster in a short amount of time - they painted and drew, and I worked on the little beauty you see below.

I would have liked to dress up as him as a team mascot, but didn't have the time. Or energy. Or money. :) Still, he makes me laugh, especially his teeth.

Chair Over Food

Chair next in line: Del Taco.

Now I realize the great controversy between Del Taco and Taco Bell is still raging; however, I refuse to pick a side for good. Sometimes one sounds better than the other. Both are equally gross, I think, in a weird desirable way. Regardless of the quality of their food, I was focused on the chair. As I'm sure you've noticed, these chairs are not made for people to enjoy a luxurious meal. Literally this chair receives a 0.9. I cannot bear to give it a 1 simply because it really did suck. I constantly wanted to lean backwards in it just to create a distraction for my mind. Subconsciously I was hoping to focus more on balance rather be miserable sitting there on such an awful chair. Now that I think about it, maybe 0.9 is a little generous. IS purple.... :)

Sunday, August 22

Coinciding free time is a rarity for us, so Pops and I headed out for adventure down at the San Clemente pier...if you look closely You'll see him all decked out and headed into the water. Just a beautiful summer day in SoCal. :)

Saturday, August 14

Back to VU

Well, starting yesterday I headed back to school to be a part of the leadership team for Music Camp, which starts next week. I admittedly was depressed having to get up and go there yesterday morning, but when I got there, my depression was lifted and instead I was filled with joy at seeing everyone again. One such individual was my friend Michael Tavani, pictured to the right. Tavani was part of our China team where people in all provinces equated him with Captain Jack Sparrow.
Anyways, I was showing my new Flip to him and he shot the following video.

In other news, last night David Karstens proved himself as a fire/grill master as you can see in this picture. I redact my former statements about his inability to do manly things in my blog about my flat tire which he may or may not have helped me with.

And furthermore, my mom planted sunflowers to grow in our backyard, one of which has decided to open up and it is absolutely breathtaking. Sunflowers are so amazing. I still am on a quest to find a field of them, by the way.

Friday, August 13

Scratch Tracks

At Ocean Hills we're working on an album of some regular songs that have come to be an integral part of our church's worship music. A couple days ago I went through my tracks to make sure everything is clear in my mind...I'm super stoked.

Videography by

Tuesday, August 10

Fat Free

Well, vlogging is maybe my newest favorite hobby.

Though it's not mentioned in the video, the chair I was sitting in was one of those green, metal seats that are almost always outside your local strip mall. This chair is the ultimate prank, so it would seem. It's like if you got asked out on a date and said yes out of some sort of obligation and decided you wanted to sit outside. Did you really want to sit outside? No, you just said that so your dinner would be faster. These chairs are literally so uncomfortable after the first 30 seconds that you're constantly trying to sit in a different way just to last 30 more seconds in that seat. It's like a game. I rate it a 1. It still serves its purpose of providing seating, AND there are even "arm rests," if you can call them that. (Your arms do not feel rested, nor will they ever after using said "arm rests".) But there is no comfort. And yet I've sat there countless times. Must be the food that keeps bringing me back.

Monday, August 9

A Real Chair?

I purchased a Flip today, an UltraHD 2nd Gen. 120min. Flip. I'm not sure if this is better than the minoHD yet or not.

To piggyback off of my recorded assessment of the dollar theater chair, I must say that my estimated value of the chair has since been redacted. It is no longer a 3.8, but a 1. Through the endurance of our movie, I felt the constant necessity to move in order to quench the discomfort caused to my back due to the chair. Though I still believe the discomfort is justified by me only paying $2, I am displeased with the "upgraded" look at the dollar theater. The chairs may look cooler, but the older, sketchier cloth ones were more tolerable than the current faux leather ones.

Thursday, August 5

Nothin like beef jerky at ten am! The chair im currently in gets five out of five stars. Simply because it brings me great happiness. Im driving with the best people ever Jessica, Alex and Avalon. We are driving up to Mammoth right now!!!

Wednesday, August 4

2 in a day? This whole mobile blogging thing is so easy! This chair is especially made for youth pastors but its worth a sit her and there. It provides a great source of cushiness pretty much all around. I imagine after extended sitting sessions it might ou provide sufficient bak support, but for a quick sit its the bomb. I give it 4 stars out of 5.

Chair number 3! This is the chair from which I teach piano lessons. It's your standard folding chair that we have at church...the kind people normally put out for their guests at events that won't last long. After sitting in this chair for longer than an hour, the average person decides to peace out. Good thing my lesson is only an hour. I give this average chair a 1.

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Tuesday, August 3

Bailey's using the snazzy soda machine at pick up stix! :)

Catch Up

Well, I have this awesome memory card on my phone that stores lots of pictures, most of which I take while I'm on the go. Unfortunately, I don't have time to blog about every picture I take, so there comes a time when you get a bunch of pictures to reminisce about. That time is now. Here's some of my mobile photos.
Note, I recognize that this interrupts my chair blog series, but don't worry, I'll be back to chair blogging ASAP. After this.

Picture #1: "World of Color."
Description: I love the World of Color show at Disney's California Adventure. If you have not seen it yet in person, you must go. This is a little tease.

Picture #2: "Pump - N - Stretch."
Description: I snapped this at a gas station while filling up. Even though you're not supposed to use your phone while pumping gas, I took a risk. My first thought was that this is ridiculous. My second thought was that this is ridiculous.

Picture #3: "Solar"
Description: Yes, this is from last Christmastime when we made gingerbread houses at the Karstens home. Brittany and I crafted this beauty and gave it a solar panel.

Picture #4: "Mochi"
Description: This is the MOCHI van, seen enroute on the freeway. I took this before it was illegal to text and drive at the same time.

Picture #5: "Phantomess"
Description: I'm not sure if "phantomess" is a word, but if it is, that's the perfect word to describe how I felt as I sat at this organ found in a secondhand consignment store.

Picture #6: "Midget Chairs"
Description: Steve and I sitting in teeny chairs at the same consignment store as mentioned above.

Picture #7: "Math"
Description: Math. In action.

Picture #8: "Do Work Son"
Description: Steve and I like to think we contribute to society every month or so by recycling. We also have a tradition of getting Slurpees after.

Picture #9: "GLOW!"
Description: Some of us at a glow party fundraiser at Chapman University for Invisible Children. Notice's glow hat. The other pictures from that night seem to have gone missing.

Picture #10: "Thinking of You."
Description: What a big though, eh? This was seen in the parking lot outside of Ralph's in Santa Ana. It was not around Valentine's Day. Why was it on this person's car? Was it a surprise? Did they like it? Was it a joke? These questions remain unanswered.

Picture #11: "For Steve"
Description: It's never too late to go back to the basics.

Picture #12: "Flip-a-B"
Description: Don't turn down a street that will be impossible to turn around in once you realize you've made a wrong turn. Lesson learned the hard way by Bailey as she and Bat and I nearly were impossibly stuck while turning around during one of our daily adventures. I got out of the car to take this picture. We did get out. Eventually.

Picture #13: "Find Me"
Description: Missed the memo of wearing black.

Picture #14: "Find Bailey"
Description: It's like she's in the cast or something...?

Picture #15: "Hallelujah"
Description: I am extremely envious of this guy's job. That was at one point my dream job. It's not quite so high on the list now but I would never turn it down.

Picture #16: "RUN!"
Description: Creepiest pot you've ever seen. You never know what you'll find at a thrift store.

Picture #17: "Grounded"
Description: Bailey, Bat, and I filled all the centerpieces for Bailey's wedding in one night with coffee grounds and flower things. Yes, it was a year ago.

Picture #18: "Best Idea Ever"
Description: How spoiled are our dogs?! Good grief. I can't believe it. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen and yet...pretty funny. I believe Evan either was going to or DID purchase one for their dog Mango.

Picture #19: "Look Out."
Description: I often find myself in funny situations like this and don't really know what to do. This particular time I took a picture. In Mexico, they dont' flush their toilet paper. They don't at the Ross in Santa Ana either.

Picture #20: "Crack Kills"
Description: Saw this guy at Six Flags one day last summer. Those big dog shirts are awesome.