Monday, December 31, 2012

My 12 Favorite Instagram Pics of 2012

You're reading this, so I assume you either know me personally or follow me on pinterest, the book of the faces, or the twitter. So you probably also know that I enjoy using Instagram.

My Instagram Use
For those of you out of the loop, Instagram is a smart phone app that allows you to easily take, edit, and share pics. I've been using Instagram for a few years now and enjoy it. I do my best to try to use it (and all social media really) to educate, entertain, or enlighten. That sounded awful fancy, didnt' it? Really, I just try to post stuff that I find interesting or funny. If you're wondering what you should or shouldn't post, I suggest you chase this rabbit.

Daily Instagram Photo Challenges
I have even gone through some spells of taking pics everyday as part of different photo challenges that some bloggers put together. While that is fun, I have found that it often loses it's entertainment value if the theme of the day is boring.

For a while, I considered starting my own daily challenge, but that idea ended when The Lovely Kristi and I started listing things to put on a daily photo list.We started with some good ideas...

Day 1) Favorite person
Day 2) My Collection
Day 3) Stink Eye

But sadly, as the list got longer, instead of progressing into a great list of photo ideas, it regressed into a list of things no one wants to see.....

Day 23) Is this a rash?
Day 24) My scar
Day 25) Inside my used kleenex

I gotta admit, we laughed a lot while making the list of things no one wants to see.
But, anyway, to be clear. I am not starting a daily photo challenge.
I am however going to share with you some of my favorite pics from this year, in case you missed them when they originally posted.

My 12 favorite pics...
with the captions that originally appeared on Instagram.

The Lovely Kristi. Celebrating Christmas with the Allreds.

Day 10: Self Portrait. Running my first 5k tomorrow. This is what they call a 2X shirt. I guess they're not used to bigun's running in these races. Tightest shirt I've ever worn. On the bright side, I do have a great rack. #febphotoaday

Day 5: Smile. A great summer day with Dad in 2010 when kids playing in the hose turned into the adults playing. #marchphotoaday

Ethan was super excited until he learned this was a giant box of regular size pop tarts and not a box of head sized pop tarts.

He's not always as sweet as he seems.

Ethan & Uncle Joel doing some early morning fishing.

Another pic from a great weekend. Wrestlemania broke out last night with my boys, Natalie, @aimeekaitlyn, and @stephen_g_d

Sept. 29th - Underneath - Baptizing my oldest son, Ethan a couple weeks ago was one of the greatest moments of my life. I'll never forget watching his face as he came back up from underneath the water. So thankful He's given his life to Jesus Christ. (Photo credit to The Lovely Kristi) #fmsphotoaday 
Side note about this pic... This day would have been perfect I had remember to zip my pants after baptizing Ethan. Instead I led 250 people in worship with my fly down. Oops.

Sept 20th - Man-Made - That little man made our night pitching for the first time. (See what I did there =) #fmsphotoaday

Sept 22nd - Up - Ethan and Gavin knew Alabama would win today. So they found other ways to entertain themselves at the game. Alabama was up by 33 pts at the end. Looks like they were right. #fmsphotoaday #rolltide

New blog entry. My Encounter With Baywatch

Sometimes when shopping, kids come in handy.

Those were my  favorites.
As you can see, most involve my family and our adventures.
Just for curiosity's sake though, I checked with Statigram, and apparently my most liked photo on Instagram was this one.....

Happy Halloween from Charlie Brown & The Great Pumpkin. Photo credit to @mistyshantay .

Happy New Year Everybody!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shaken To The Core

I've been sitting here making final preparations for tomorrow night's Christmas music service at church.
I happened to look over at facebook and saw that the names of the victims of the CT school shooting have been announced. My wife is a kindergarten teacher. My sons are in kindergarten and 3rd grade. This hits home for me. Honestly, I'm shaken to the core.

I've been thinking about Christmas songs of hope and joy and peace.
In Connecticut there are parents asking "why".
I'm looking over my shoulder at my sons and wife watching a Christmas show on TV.
In Connecticut there are parents looking at wrapped gifts under the tree that will never be opened by the person they were purchased for.
I'm wondering how I'm going to survive the hectic holiday schedule that is upon us.
In Connecticut, there are parents wondering how they are going to survive without their missing loved ones.

I can't help but pause from my music preparation to focus on the victims, on the grieving families, and on the churches in that area that have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to them.
My heart is with the loved ones of these victims............
The below list and information is based on a list of victim's names and dates of birth I found on

Charlotte Bacon was 6 years old.

Daniel Barden was 7 years old.

Rachel Davino was 29 years old.

Olivia Engel was 6 years old.

Josephine Gay turned 7 years old 4 days ago.

Ana Marquez-Greene was 6 years old.

Dylan Hockley was 6 years old.

Dawn Hockstrung was 47 years old.

Madeleine F. Hsu was 6 years old.

Catherine V. Hubbard was 6  years old.

Chase Kowalski was 7 years old.

Jesse Lewis was 6 years old.

James Mattioli was 6 years old.

Grace McDonnell was 7 years old.

Anne Marie Murphy was 52 years old.

Emilie Parker was 6 years old.

Jack Pinto was 6 years old.

Noah Pozner was 6 years old.

Caroline Previdi was 6 years old.

Jessica Rekos was 6 years old.

Avielle Richman was 6 years old.

Lauren Russeau was 40 years old.

Mary Sherlach was 56 years old.

Victoria Soto was 27 years old.

Benjamin Wheeler was 6 years old.

Allison N. Wyatt was 6 years old.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I tell myself the same thing:

“Self, you’re going to be productive today.
You’re going to

  • knock one project off your long term to do list.
  • read 2 chapters of one of those many books you’ve bought and never read.
  • pick a room in the house and clean it like you’re selling it.
  • go to bed feeling accomplished because you were so productive.”

around 9:30
when everyone else in the house is in bed,
I tell myself the same thing:

“Self, those episodes of Duck Dynasty on the DVR aren’t going to watch themselves, ya know.”

I’m not saying that will change.
Just making an observation.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Setlist 10-28-12

Today was a fun day (for me at least) at Westwood.

A few weeks ago, when I learned that Bro. Steve's message today would be about hell, I immediately started combing through my list of hell related worship songs. 2 seconds later, when I realized that list didn't exist, I decided to do a general worship setlist instead.

Then last Sunday, I learned that both our pianist and bass player wouldn't be at our church today. (Just to be clear, they were not out together. I know this is how rumors get started.) Our keyboardist could fill in on piano or bass but would be really tested if I asked him to play both simultaneously. So I chose to go a completely different route.

Our worship services typically include an approximately 30 voice choir, 5 person vocal praise team, 5 person praise band, and 4 person horn/wind section. But today, I gave almost all of them the morning off. Instead we had what I referred to as "Westwood unplugged".

Acoustic guitar, percussion, and vocal. That was it.

Westwood Unplugged. Photo credit to @kristigranade on Instagram.
You can follow her on instagram to learn how much she loves her husband and "I Love Lucy".
This pic is of Joseph Kinnaird on guitar, me on vocals, and Matt Wiginton on drums.

Here's what we did today:


Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)


In The Sweet By & By - I'd never led this old Southern hymn before, but I knew it from my own childhood. I think I'd stayed away from it previously because I typically steer clear of songs that focus on Heaven. But since the message was on our afterlife, it seemed appropriate. A bonus was that it was a ton of fun to sing and it really seemed to engage the congregation too.

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing -The response from the congregation on this hymn and the next song was awesome. Talking with Joseph about it tonight, it was great to hear that he heard what I did. The congregation was singing out so loudly, that he backed off on guitar just a bit so the voices coud be heard even more.

How Great Is Our God w/ How Great Thou Art

Offertory Prayer

Special: Listen To Our Hearts - Did a semi jazzy version of this old Steven Curtis Chapman & Geoff Moore (and the distance) classic.


Invitation: I Have Decided To Follow Jesus

In The Sweet By & By

Overall our Sunday went well. People were still talking about it tonight. I think they enjoyed the sound and the song choices. But I know for sure they enjoyed that it was something different than normal.

How was your Sunday?

You can see what other churches did in their worship services today at theworshipcommunity.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Unfinished Blog Post

When I was writing about my encounter with Baywatch, I found a blog entry that I had never finished in July. It may be 4 months old, but I figure it's still worth sharing...

Here are 7 things overheard on the Stinson July beach vacation.
  1. "I could eat every pancake in this place" -Gavin @ Jack's in Jasper as we headed out of town.
  2. "It's a vacation miracle"- Shawn after losing his hat in the ocean, then finding it soaking wet, hours later, on a bench, in the Condo lobby.
  3. "It's a vacation miracle!"- Kristi after losing a swimsuit to the wind from our 20th floor Balcony railing, then having security check with the residents on the floors directly below us, then finding it in the grass on the opposite side of the building.
  4. "The Sea Dragon is the best ride ever."- Ethan @ Miracle Strip at Pier Park after riding said ride 8 times.
  5. "This is the best frozen yogurt ever."-Ethan @ Pier Park
  6. "I want to eat at dirty somebody's crab shack." -Kristi talking about supper plans.
  7. "Ow! My nipples are killing me." - Shawn after swimming for hours in the ocean with a tshirt on.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Encounter With Baywatch

Hello? Is anyone there?
This blog has been quiet for so long, I wasn't sure if you'd be here.
But I'm glad you are.
I'm at the beach with my family and in-laws. Yesterday I had an experience that just had to be documented.
When you have kids, a beach vacation is not always relaxing. While my choice might have been to sleep in, the boys want to hit the beach early. So we're typically in the water before 9am. Yesterday was typical.
The water was calm. The boys were entertaining themselves. So I said to everyone "I'm going to swim out to the sandbar." The only problem with that is that I knew the sandbar was deeper than I could touch, so they'd have to let me know when I got there (into the lighter green area in the water.) I devised a genius plan. When I thought I was there, I would turn back to shore raise my arms into the air, palms up, shrugging my shoulders, as if to ask "well?" They would reply by either giving me a thumbs up or waving me on to swim out further. It was clearly a perfect plan.
So off I went. I wasn't in a hurry. I was just enjoying a leisurely swim in the deeper water. I turned from time to time, raised my arms, and received the sign from shore to keep going. When I finally did get the sign that I had gone far enough, I decided to just have some fun. I was wearing goggles (If Jaws was going to eat me, I wanted to see him coming.) so I would dive under from time to time to look for sand dollars. I swam to the bottom and from the pressure in my ears could tell it was very deep. Wanting to know how deep, I surfaced, raised my hands into the air, then went under trying touch bottom with my feet. I knew from my toes to my raised hands would be about 8 feet. I estimate the water was about 15' deep, I could neither touch bottom, nor feel my hand out sticking out of the surface.
After bobbing around out there for a while, I decided to head back in. I'll admit, after swimming so long, I was getting a little tired, so I started back stroking some, swimming underwater some, basically just freestyle swimming and enjoying myself. At one point I even wondered if I could get more bang for my buck with each stroke if I held my hat in my hand so that it would cover more space and therefore move more water. (Did I mention I was wearing a red baseball cap?
Ok, so picture that:
  • big guy
  • wearing a t-shirt (I don't go shirtless in public. No need to cause women to lust like that.)
  • with goggles
  • and a red baseball cap.
I had it going on.
That's when I saw the guy on the jet ski.
Now, my first thought was " Oh crap! He's coming right at me. I'm about to get hit by a guy on a jet ski." So I started swimming with bigger strokes, to make sure to be seen. I quickly figured out that he definitely did see me and was slowing as if to speak to me.
David Hasslehoff like dude: "Hey man. Are you ok?"
Me: "Yeah, I'm great."
Hasslehoff: "You sure? Someone called and reported someone struggling in the water."
......Me struggling? Nah. How could anyone think that?
Images from the past 30 minutes flashed in my mind:
  • Me with both aims raised into the air looking towards shore
  • Me putting both hands up then dropping underwater for 30 seconds at a time.
  • Me going from front stroke, to back stroke, to floating, to any other kind of swimming I could think of.
  • Me swimming with a bright red baseball cap in my hand. Practically waving it for all to see.
I assured him that I was ok and continued swimming toward shore.
His response was to back away about 30 feet, put on his life vest, and watch me until I was walking in the sand.

Clearly, he believed me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

1 Year, 5 Months , And 26 Days

I reached a goal of mine this morning. I finished reading the entire Bible.I do not write this to try to brag or draw any attention to myself, because honestly, it's really kind of embarrassing that it took me this long. I have been a follower of Jesus Christ since I was 9 years old, and it took me until I was 37 to read all of God's writings to me.

I had set a goal, a few different times in my life, of completing this, but I finally got serious about it last year. I started a 1 year Bible reading plan using the You Version app on January 1st of last year and today I finished, 1 year, 5 months, and 26 days later. ( again, clearly I have no reason to boast.)

If I were to summarize what I've learned through this reading in just one sentence it would be this: I have so much more to learn about my God, who knows me so well, and yet still loves me so much.

So tomorrow I begin a new reading plan.

Through this post I just want to give thanks and all glory to God.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (Revelation 22:21 ESV)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

I have not personally known anyone that has given their life for our country. But I am very thankful for all of the men and women I do know that have served or are serving in the armed forces. People like my Dad.


My Dad, C.L. Stinson, served in the Navy during the Vietnam conflict. He was a communications specialist on the U.S.S. Ticonderoga.


The stories he shared with me about those years usually involved him getting very little sleep due to his bunk being just a few levels below the runway. I know he also honed his mad ping pong skills during that time. I'm sure there was more to those years than that, but he didn't discuss it very often.

I'm thankful for him and for the many others who have so bravely served. Today as I enjoy my day off of work, swim with the kids, and enjoy steaks from the grill, I will be thinking of them all. I will thank God for them and all the freedoms I have because of their service.

Have a great Memorial Day!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3 Lessons Learned

I spent a couple hours after work yesterday just hanging outside in the yard with my sons.
During this time I learned a few things...

Picture courtesy of The Lovely Kristi Stinson's facebook. Used without her permission.    

  1. Ethan has found his groove throwing a baseball. He's stinging my hand through my glove when I catch it now. I'm glad he can throw better at 8 than I could at 37.*
  2. Putting training wheels on a bike is harder than it looks. I accidentally backed over Gavin's bike yesterday, breaking a training wheel in the process. So I put a new set on. Apparently I didn't quite do it right because I got them on, said "Here you go Gavin", then walked away. Before I got very far I heard him yelling "Hey! Hey! What's going on here?" I turned to see the back tire of his bike 1 inch off the ground and him just pedaling as hard as he could without going anywhere. I couldn't help but laugh.
  3. It don't matter how long we stay outside, it's not long enough. When I say "Come on guys. Let's head inside." it doesn't matter if we've been out there for 1 hour or 5 hours, they still aren't ready. Honestly, I'm glad. I know there will come a day, sooner than I'd like, when they won't want to play with me. So I'm trying to enjoy every minute.

What do you do with your kids, or friends, or kids friends, to enjoy every minute?

* I am 37 now.

    Monday, April 23, 2012

    Sunday Setlist: April 22, 2012

    Westwood Baptist Church sanctuary as seen from the choir loft.
    Sunday morning was...interesting..

    Don't get me wrong, everything went well.
    There were no musical, technical, or logistical train wrecks that I am aware of.
    But things didn't exactly go as I expected.

    I'll list below what we did, why I planned it that way, and what was the outcome.

    We opened with a moment of silence, and a prayer of remembrance of the1 yr anniversary of April 2011 tornadoes that effected our area last year. I expected it to be a moving time of prayer and thought that would lead well into singing about " the joy of The Lord" being our strength. Instead, I stumbled over every word trying to explain what we were doing. I've definitely been more eloquent before. I know I got the point across. But it didn't go as smooth as planned.I just had trouble finding the right words and stumbled over the few I did find.

    Holy Is The Lord (Tomlin)
    Expected good middle to upbeat opener that would get everyone engaged in worship.
    Song went well. It is nice to see more people lifting their hands in worship, especially when singing the line "We stand and lift up our hands for the joy of the Lord is our strength." Should have planned another song after this one though. It felt like slamming on the brakes to end this song and stop the worship for announcements.

    Welcome / Announcements / Fellowship.

    A Mighty Fortress (choir arrangement) 
    This is a choir arrangement of the great hymn with an added chorus. It is a favorite of our church from approx 10 yrs ago. It is upbeat and powerful, both musically and spiritually.
    The song sounded great, but I had forgotten how high it was. I could see people disconnecting from it the further into the song we got. It's a lesson I learned years ago about this song, but had forgotten.

    Song Of Moses (Keyes)
    We've done this newer song 3 or 4 times in the past 6 months. The first time we did it, I spoke of the history of this "Song of Moses." in Exodus. Everyone really let loose on the chorus "The Lord shall reign forever and ever." It was very moving. This time was a little different. I think the previous song had been so long and high that folks were a little worn out to try this high song as well. My voice was even strained on the higher notes. Plus, I didn't intro it well and again stumbled over my own words. The song went fine. I expect not many even felt about it like I did, but it just didn't feel quite right. (or maybe I didn't?)

    Offertory prayer - Deacon

    Choir Special - This Is Your House (Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir) 
    Choir sounded great as always.

    Transitional chorus: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Hymn, chorus only)


    Invitation: Your Name (Baloche)

    Closing: Sing To The King (Tomlin)

    Worship Leaders, Have you ever stumbled over your words and wrecked what you thought was going to be a great time of worship?

    Worshipers? If you were at Westwood, what did you think? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

    This post is part of's Sunday Setlist. Check it out to see what other worshipers are doing around the world.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    I Am Chasing Rabbits Today

    I've heard Oprah Winfrey called "The Queen of all media".
    She seems to have the whole “TV host, movie star, and magazine publisher” thing figured out.

    I call my friend, Jamie, "The Queen of some media".
    She seems to have the whole “blogging, tweeting, and watching TV & movies” thing figured out.

    Her blog, Jamie’s Rabbits is sometimes informative, sometimes inspirational, and always funny.
    You should check it out.

    You should especially check it out today because she invited me to guest post.
    I don’t want to give too much away, but in my post I discuss Draw Something, The Nation of Islam, and awesomesauce.
    What are you waiting for?
    Go check it out.

    While you’re at it, you should also follow her on twitter, and like her blog on Facebook.
    Since you're doing all those things to follow her, might as well do them for me to.
    Follow me on twitter. Like my blog on facebook.

    Why are you still here?
    Go check it out, now.

    The number of links on this page is directly proportional to the amount of enjoyment you'll get from clicking on each one. I guarantee* it.

    *"Guarantee" in this case, does not imply any promise or guarantee of any kind whatsoever.

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    Gavin Likes To Rock It!

    I posted this on facebook last week, but thought it was very blog worthy as well.

    Most people that know my son Gavin think he is a quiet, shy child.
    But they've probably never heard him say....
    "Daddy, can we listen to Jesus Fweak? And Daddy can we "Wock it"?

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Advice For An Overweight, First Time, 5K Runner

    It's absolutely crazy that I'm writing the following sentence...

    This coming Saturday I'll be running in a 5k.

    I said it.

    I've talked about it for a long time and have finally decided to step up and do it.
    I am participating in the 5KBR benefiting Kid One Transport. 
    So if I die, at least it will be for a good cause.
    But, I need your help. I've never done anything like this before. So I need some advice.

    What do you think I should do or should know before the run starts Saturday morning?

    Here are the tips I've compiled so far...

    1) Don't die.
    As I've been running on the treadmill in the past to prepare, this is what I chant to myself to keep going. It's been pretty effective so far.

    2) Wear comfortable shoes.
    I don't mean like Birkenstock comfortable. Just something that protects and will not cause blisters. So even though I'm due for new running shoes, I'm not about to run in new shoes.

    3) Restroom use is something that needs to be planned ahead of time.
    I don't want to be surprised mid run with a sudden urge to "go". Need to remember to take care of that ahead of time.

    That's about all I've got for now, so I'm probably in trouble.
    What other tips do you suggest?

    As I look back over this list, I realize these are also good things for me to remember when my kids leave me in a nursing home someday.