Saturday, December 20, 2008

One of my favorite Christmas songs ever!

I have had a lot of trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year, and I've figured out why.

It's because I haven't listened to my favorite Christmas CD this year. It could be the middle of September, and if I hear a song from this CD, I'm geared up and ready to go for Christmas.

This album has been one of my favorites ever since it came out. About the same time, my friend Andy and I had to work at KLWN in Lawrence on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. It was then, sitting through the strict Christmas Eve playlist of the "solemn 40" Christmas songs we had to play. There was a list consisting of people like Tennessee Ernie Ford, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Guy Lombardo and Kate Smith that we were NOT to stray from on Christmas Eve. We survived that night of holiday molasses, but only because of the hope dancing on the horizon of Christmas day. On Christmas day, we could play contemporary Christmas songs...songs we selected. This was our time to shine. Our time to share music we knew was good that was being kept from the people by the rigid restraints of holiday tradition at the station.

That Christmas morning, as people were at home listening to me play Christmas music, as people prepared their home for family arriving soon, as people enjoyed Christmas breakfast, I received numerous phone calls asking the name of certain artists or songs, not to mention many, many compliments on the music selection.

This was one of those songs. It was pretty upbeat for KLWN standards, especially to be playing it before noon. This is "Gloria" by Michael W. Smith, from his Christmas album.

This entire album is phenomenal! If you have never heard it, you are missing out on a tremendous collection of work. This album is so good, it moved Andy and me to take action.

Before Christmas tours were all the rage, we had an idea. This album needed to be heard live. So, we contacted Michael W. Smith's people and inquired about him coming to Lawrence to perform this CD live on the KU campus at Hoch Auditorium (before the fire). I don't think we realized the enormity of the request we had made. We certainly didn't think (or know) about what needs to happen for a concert to come to town. For this to be done right, we needed more than Smitty, we needed his band and an orchestra. Looking back, it wasn't a realistic request and it was bigger than both of us.

We were told that Smitty spends the holidays with his family and that touring wasn't an option for him during that time of the year. We understood and let the dream die.

So what happens a few years later? Amy Grant (who Michael W. Smith played piano for) starts a Christmas concert in Nashville. Before long, they take the show on the road year after year. And this year, who do you think went on a Christmas tour?

Michael W. Smith.

I'd like to think that Andy and I planted a seed. And that seed's name was "Gloria".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sentimental Dad

Call me sentimental.
Exactly one month ago, I was running late for work, just like I do everyday. Actually, it was more like walking late for work. I knew I was late but I was in a very controlled form of expidited motion making my way toward the office.
The previous evening, Amber was in the driveway...focused...ignoring the activity around her...a large piece of chalk in one hand, a blank concrete canvas before her. She worked and worked feverishly, never distracted by the buzz of children playing around her. When she finished, she had drawn a football stadium. She must have been inspired by Andrew and his friends playing a pickup game of football in the front yard. She was very proud, as well she should be.
I knew that rain was coming our way later in the day and thought what a downer it will be when her hard work in the driveway is washed away before we really have the chance to appreciate it.
I started my car, closed the garage door, backed over the artwork, and headed toward the office.
I didn't make it to the end of the block when I decided to be even later for work. I drove around the block, grabbed the camera and captured Amber's creation before it was gone.
So, I bring you, Amber's football field...immortalize forever via the gift of digital photography.
Good job, Amber!
And you know what?
Nobody noticed I was late.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tunes for Tuesday

I meant to start a "Music Monday" entry where I would share a favorite song every Monday, but I missed it. Here it is Tuesday and I'm itchin' to share a rare, Christmas favorite by one of my favorite artists of all time. I've seen her in concert more than any other. And, if you use the 6 Degrees of Seperation theory, I'm only one person removed from her via several different paths.

This song was made available on cassette as a "cassingle" from Target when you purchased her album "Home For Christmas". It's become difficult to find, but today, I'm sharing it with you here.

This is Amy Grant and "Let The Season Take Wing".


Several years ago, I edited a Christmas greeting video with my friend, Christine D., for the TV station we worked at using this song. We gathered old movies and photgraphs of our families and from co-workers and set them against this song. Here's the video we came up with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMOmA0eRTuA

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I really like this song!

I know it's been around for awhile and for the life of me, I can't figure out why it wasn't more of a pop hit. It's very catchy! And, the melody just makes you feel really good.

This is Guy Sebastian and "Elevator Love".


Oh...and I finally added the video of Sylvester from Kanakuk LIVE! in the post below.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Father's Eyes

Tonight, as a family, we went to Kanakuk LIVE! This is the winter tour staff members of Kanakuk make to touch base with kampers from the past summer and to give those kampers an opportunity to bring their family and friends to watch video and experience, just for an hour or so, what they experience for an entire week! I admit, I'm always excited about Kanakuk films coming to town. Even when I didn't have children, I would go, just to reconnect with old friends and to get that "feeling" again. Tonight was no different.

I was happy to get to speak with my friend, Todd Rapp, again and to finally meet Pete Newman. Seeing those guys in action tonight brought back everything I love about Kanakuk...which is everything! I even got to "work" with them. Well, they asked me to run the DVD player which had all of their video on it so, yeah...I was kind of a big deal tonight. I mean, people come to see the video highlights from Kamp so, without my right thumb and mad multi-media skills, the audio-visual element of the program would have been severly lacking. Don't get me wrong though, even if there were no video, Todd and Pete were MORE than entertaining on their own. They had help from a wonderful lady who was also on the Kanakuk staff but her name escapes me. I hate it when that happens.

Anyway, the highlight of the night for me was not the great skits Pete and Todd performed (although I'm very pleased that Sylvester made an appearance), it wasn't the cool video (sorry thumb!), and it wasn't the testimonies, the worship songs, or the great message Pete shared with all of us. It was sneaking a glance at Andrew and Amber and watching their reaction to all that was going on. Seeing them laugh at the skits, seeing them really listen during Pete's talk, seeing them clap after the songs were sung...seeing those things makes me know that what is happening at Kanakuk is really something good. It's something I need to continue to invest in. It's something I need to work hard towards so my kids can have the Kanakuk experience and grow up knowing where they stand as individuals with their faith, to know how to treat and react to others, to learn how to compete and be good sports, to learn how to win graciously and to lose respectfully, and to know that Mom & Dad must have really loved them to allow them to leave the house for one week each year (hard as that is) for something that will change their lives forever.

With that being said, check back soon for a video from Kanakuk LIVE! starring one of my favorite characters, Sylvester.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Forecast of the persimmon


According to folklore (which means it hasn't been scientific proven, or disproved), the severity of approaching winter can be forecast by cutting open a persimmon seed and looking at the shape of the kernel inside. Hold the seed carefully with a pair of needled-nose pliers and use a paring knife to slice it open.

If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow is forecasted.
If the kernel is fork-shaped, powdery light snow and a mild winter is predicted. If the kernel is knife-shaped, bitter icy cutting winds for next few months will occur.

It is recommended to cut at least ten seeds to determine the outcome of the kernel shape.
First of all, what is a persimmon? I thought they were called tomatoes, but apparently, I'm wrong.
If you don't know, I'm a winter person through and through. There are no bugs biting and no sweating just from stepping outside. Those are just two of the many reasons I love the season.
Well, in today's paper, I see this article which made me very happy. I may have to start planting persimmons in our garden.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Moment In Time

Twenty years ago. I was 19, pushing 20. I've not changed much and at the same time, I'm an entirely different person. I enjoy music now as much as I did then, although my taste has refined...not much, but still, I'm particular about what I'll listen to, although I'm open to giving anything a chance. It doesn't take me long to form an opinion about it, though.

I appreciate things from the past. That's my dad's influence on me. I remember days sitting in his music room that he built himself. It was full of 45's, albums, 8-track tapes, cassettes, pictures of his favorite artists, models of cars from the 1950's, and so much more that I can't remember. My brothers and I would sit there and listen to his stories about growing up while he played songs from the soundtrack of his life. From Dad, I learned that new isn't always better and that if you have a chance to experience a good memory from the past, you should try and do it.

Twenty years ago, Amy Grant released "Lead Me On", a landmark album for her. At the time, I didn't really get into the album. It was quite a jump from the pop-filled "Unguarded". "Lead Me On" was darker...more mature. More mature than I was at the time. I bought the cassette but it didn't get much deck time from me. I didn't get to go to concerts much back then and I'm not sure the tour even came near me. That tour spawned one of the best radio specials of all time, "A Moment In Time". I wouldn't have known about that except that I found a CD copy of the radio special in the trash at the radio station I was working at (Thank you, Brian!). Being a fan of Amy Grant, I picked it up and, to this day, it's one of my most treasured possessions. The stories that were shared, the music that was made, the friendships that were forged and solidified on that tour were amazing. Ask my friend, Andy. He witnessed the magic of that tour through the same CD. It's like someone put a magical spell on that round piece of plastic so that anyone coming in contact with it would be blessed by its audio content. After listening to the CD of that radio program, I immediately knew I had missed out on something pretty special...until now.

Amy Grant is bringing that tour to Wichita and I'm getting a second chance to experience that tour. She's bringing most of the original band with her to celebrate 20 years since the release of that album. It's like I'm getting to go back in time to experience "A Moment In Time". I'm very excited! Amy will be there with many of my favorites...Chris Rodriguez, Chris Eaton, Chris Harris (what's with all the Chris's?). It's sure to be a fantastic evening.

And to make the night even more special, I'm taking Amber as a surprise birthday present. Lately, she's really been into Amy Grant's music. She has always enjoyed music and she wanted to listen to something on her headphones. I wanted to give her something positive to listen to so what better artist to introduce a little girl to than Amy Grant. She has really connected to her music and I can't wait to watch her watching Amy. It'll be Amber's first concert (if you don't count The Average White Band playing in the park at Salina's Smoky Hill River Festival. Since it wasn't a ticketed event, I'm not counting it).

I'll be sure to share as much as I can remember about the concert. I know, I know...you're still waiting on details about the Kenny Loggins concert I went to a while back. I still have pictures to share from that. But, this concert is special. This concert will connect me to my past in a way nothing has before, and it'll be nice to be 19 again, even if for just "a moment in time".

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Conversations with the Neighbor Kid

(Standing in my driveway waiting for the school bus)

Neighbor Kid: Mike...do you want to feel my ears?
Me: Not really. Why do you want me to feel your ears?
Neighbor Kid: (smiling) Because they're warm.

That boy is an interesting child.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Goldilocks and the Walrus

So, last night while we were waiting for the school bus, I see the neighbors across the street pull into their driveway. They start unloading their car with bags. Apparently, they had been to the airport to pick someone up. Well, not too far behind them comes this guy driving a small dark blue pickup. The family across the street has 6 kids, 4 of them are driving age so there was really no place for him to park. He pulled over to our side of the street (going the wrong way) and parked his truck. A boy about Andrew's age got out and walked our way asking if the tree next to our driveway was a cotton tree. I said, "No, it's a maple, but there are plenty of Cottonwood trees around here." By that time, the guy driving the truck was walking toward me and I really couldn't believe who it was. It was Paul McCartney. No security, no stupid paparazzi, no nothing. Just the walrus himself.

When I was a student at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, there were always celebrities and well-known people walking around campus so we learned in a hurry not to ever be a "fan". The environment was one of learning and these people were here to help us with our education so there was no room to be star-struck. After working in the music business for a few years, fame doesn't affect me much anymore. They're just people after all.

As Paul walked toward me, I played it cool and welcomed him like I would a neighbor from down the street. While I may have been freaking out on the inside, I was cool as a fall breeze on the outside. I shook his hand and asked how he was doing and if I could do anything for him. Apparently, he was looking for locations to shoot his album cover and someone told him about our tree and the amazing colors it turns during the fall. (Link to see pictures of the tree during the fall here: http://clicketyclickclick.blogspot.com/2007/11/fall-in-front.html) The name of the album is "Goldilocks" so I can see the connection.

So, there I am standing in my driveway unaffected by the fact I'm talking to one of the Beatles...Paul Mc"fricking"Cartney, about the neighborhood and about music in general (one of my favorite topics!) and I notice people driving by starting to look curiously our way, so I invite him in to the house. He waves to the neighbors who have some connection to him to say I'll be over shortly. The boy who rode with him stays outside to play with Andrew & Amber.

Our house is very unassuming to it's a nice front for someone of his caliber of celebrity. We go in and sit in the front room. We offer him something to drink (water, soda...nothing hard) and he declines so we sit in the front room to continue our conversation. As he's talking, I think of three people I know within driving distance who would love to have the opportunity I'm having. So I ask him, "You're not an idiot, Paul. You're aware that people all over the world love your music and think you're pretty cool. I know three people who would enjoy meeting you and am wondering if you'd care if I called them so they could meet you." He says, "Sure! I'd love to meet your friends." So I call my dad and tell him I need him to come to Wichita but didn't tell him why. He's reluctant but decides to head our way. I also call Christine and I call Jon. They both come over and are floored at who is sitting in my living room. But they were cool and very polite and not fanatical at all. I was relieved and impressed and I know it meant a lot to them. I was eager to see how Dad would react.

We continued talking, sharing stories, not dropping one delicate word pitched toward our ears. The discussion turned back toward the tree where the boys were playing when all of a sudden...

I woke up. Yep, it was a dream I had. You probably clued into that fact in the first sentence when I said "last night I was waiting for the school bus" knowing full well that school buses don't run at night, especially on Sunday nights. I have no idea what this dream means. Andrew had a goldfish that died recently whose name was "Goldilocks" but I can't find any meaning behind this. All I know is it was as vivid as 3D movie and I was aware of the noises around me (Sara was getting ready and the kids were stirring) but I was still able to keep my eyes closed to see what might happen or learn if Paul was going to give me concert tickets or something cool.

I'll end with a message for Paul. If by some weird cosmic chance you had a dream similar to this about putting my tree on your album cover, you have my permission, and you're welcome to visit anytime. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How About Now? (Kenny Loggins setlist)

I think I've waited long enough.

What a concert! One of the best I've been to. Kenny Loggins did a fantastic job. Just a perfect night in almost every way.

I have plenty of pictures to share and I'll get that link to you soon. For now, here's the setlist:

  • Danny's Song
  • Return To Pooh Corner
  • Conviction of the Heart
  • How About Now (new song, new CD)
  • Celebrate Me Home
  • This Is It (Kirk Franklin version...I've included the Kirk Fanklin version. I preferKenny's version and am glad he took this back for his own)

  • I'm A Free Man Now (new song, new CD)
  • Angry Eyes
  • (some song he said was from Caddyshack that I'd never heard before. I think he mentioned "Baby Ruth" and "do what you gotta do" but am not sure. Great song, though!)
  • Your Mama Don't Dance
  • I'm Alright
  • Don't Fight It
  • Danger Zone
  • Footloose
  • Forever (encore)

It was a solid set from top to bottom. Check back on this post for the link to photographs and an extra treat or two from the show. It's late now and I have a busy week in front of me. I've been so busy at work with the launch of the new TV season and with life by getting the kids where they need to be and going to ball games and painting the house (although Sara has done most of that) and dodging flood waters...blogging kinda had to be set on the back-burner. Sorry about that. Hopefully you understand and you haven't given up on me. I can tell you stories about talking to 7,000 people at the Kansas State Fair, learning that my very cool Saturn also serves as a makeshift boat, gathering "wisdom" in an empty Gatorade bottle, and share my curiosity about the whole "Twitter" bonanza. But, my pillow beckons me and I am looking forward to viewing the backside of my eyelids for about six-hours.

Good-night!

12/26/08 - I just put together the setlist from the show for your listening pleasure, in case you want to "experience" it again with us. Enjoy.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Conviction of the Heart

Tonight, we are going out to celebrate our wedding anniversary that we haven't been able to celebrate in two years. We're nowhere near the correct date, but we're attending an event that seems perfect for the both of us.

I'm not ashamed to say it...we're going to see Kenny Loggins. We've been wanting to see him for YEARS and he's finally playing close enough for us to go. We bought V.I.P. tickets that include dinner, drinks and all of the other fancy stuff.

I have this habit when I go to concerts of writing down the set-list so I can make a CD copy of the exact song order. Then, we can sort of re-live the experience chronologically. I'll probably post that tomorrow for any other Kenny Loggins fans out there.

Most people I tell about this think the guy only has one-hit..."Footloose" or "I'm Alright". But, most people aren't as musically educated and well-rounded as I am. That ain't bragging, it's just the truth.

I'm looking forward to hearing:
• Heartlight
• Heart To Heart
• I'm Alright
• The Real Thing
• Sweet Reunion
• House on Pooh Corner
• Danny's Song
• DangerZone
• I'm Free
• Forever
• Whenever I Call You Friend
• Don't Fight It
• Vox Humana

....I could go on and on. I think I have an argument here that Kenny Loggins has had more than just one hit.

There is one particular song that I really want to hear, and am sure he'll sing it. Sara thinks he'll start the show with it. (I think he'll start with something from his new CD, "How About Now"). The song I want to hear is from his "Leap Of Faith" CD...."Conviction Of The Heart".

Sunday, August 17, 2008

So I get back from Orlando, Florida just in time for a hurricane to nose it's way toward the state. I guess one hurricane sees DisneyWorld and they all think they have to go...either that or head to Six Flags over Texas. I thought I'd have some time to write about these topics:

• My trip to Orlando
• The crazy premonitions I kept having before the trip
• Andrew's trip to Kanakuk
• Am I really staying up late to watch fencing, ping-pong, swimming and gymnastics?

...but, we started painting the exterior of our house. Between that and football practice and a new school year, I've not had much time to really reflect and just spill it out all over my keyboard.

Andrew's birthday party is next week so I'm sure this week will be consumed with planning and preparing for that.

One day, I'll have the time I want to blog about life, but as long as life keeps happening and writing new pages and episodes, a short note will have to do.

Friend from VC

Here's another fabulous piece of artwork from Amber. This is her first compisition as a first grade student. A short explanation of the piece is provided by the artist below the picture.

OK...so she got the VC on there backwards, but still, it's a pretty good picture.

This is actually a Squiggle Art project. What that means is, the kids are given a blank piece of paper except for a small "squiggle" on the page. In this instance, it's the V in the v-neck shirt. Then the kids draw a picture centered around that. It's a great exercise in imagination, which Amber has an over-abundance of.

She says, "This was my best picture that I ever made in my whole life and I really like it. This person was looking at another person. I made his red hair pointy cause it matched the squiggle on the page...I think that's all. It's like a picture with his arms down by his sides or like in his pockets. His name is Crazy Hair."

So there you have it.






Saturday, August 9, 2008

Billy Goat-Goat-Goat-Goat

Remember Saturday mornings growing up? You didn't ever, EVER sleep in. Because if you did, you'd miss them. You tip-toed past Mom and Dad's room so not to wake them up (if they weren't up already) because if you did, they'd either give you chores to do or they'd get the TV to watch something. But, back then, there wasn't much else on at that time except...CARTOONS! Yay! I win!

So, being that it's Saturday morning and I survived my trip to Florida (although DisneyWorld nearly killed me), I'm celebrating my homecoming with a favorite from the past. Gather the kids around and show them something from when you were a kid. You gotta admit that this is much easier to watch than the anime' stuff like Pokemon and Dragonball Z. My kids don't even like that junk. But when they heard the opening music from this cartoon on my computer, they came running in to watch.
This is "Billy Boy" and I laugh everytime that farmer guy stutters. Great stuff!

Tex Avery BILLY BOY

Monday, August 4, 2008

Leaving for Orlando

Until I return on Friday, this blog is...

Hopefully, I'll have much to blog about my trip and Andrew's week at Kanakuk. Have a great week!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Great Adventure

Sara and I saw the first photographic evidence that the boys are at Kanakuk safe and sound! How awesome!

As Andrew and I were leaving town under a thick fog that stayed with us until we were deep into Oklahoma, this is the first song I played for him. This song was brand new when I worked at Kanakuk K-2 back in 1992 and I adopted it as my song for the Kanakuk summer.

I can't embed this particular video for you so you'll just have to click through. Great song and so appropriate for anyone going to Kanakuk. Be sure to watch it in high quality. The scenery is fantastic.

Here is Steven Curtis Chapman and "The Great Adventure".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrrjbTc0urk

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kanakuk Bound!

Tonight is Andrew's last night with air conditioning, his own room, his own mattress, a computer, Guitar Hero, MLB on PS2, his Nintendo DS, his MP3 player, an ice-cold Pepsi, his dog Sonny, his sister and his parents...all the luxuries of his life...for an entire week!

He's trading all of that in for a thinly mattressed bunk-bed in a grafitti-walled cabin with about 9 other boys his age on the edge of Table Rock Lake, his life for the week packed inside a steel trunk, only knowing one other soul within 300 miles (his cousin is going with him), Sunday morning coffee cake, zip lines, a giant multi-colored blob, a couple of God-fearing college kids to watch over him, multiple evenings of exciting K-Life meetings, Mom & Dad's prayers for his safety, and more fun, new friends and fantastic memories than he'll ever be able to remember.

I'll miss him...terribly. But, I'm so excited for him. He's excited for himself! And that makes me happy.

It's late and we're hitting the road for Tulsa early. Good night.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why global warming is bad...



Enough said. (Thanks, Andrew, for telling me about this!)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Isaac...today is your day!

I've never met the kid, I don't know what he looks like, I just know his name, and he's probably making his entrance (or is it an exit?) even as I speak.

My little sister is having a baby today! I'm excited for her, I'm nervous for her...it's weird. I know she's going to get to witness all of the joy someone can experience from pitocin. I called her husband, José, and told him how I talked Sara through the Pitocin Pathway.

For those who don't know, pitocin helps to induce or augment childbirth...but only if you're already pregnant. In other words, it takes a regular contraction and turns it up to eleven. Thank you, Spinal Tap. And speaking of spinal tap, if you know that pitocin is in your future, I suggest getting an epidural to numb as much of your body as possible. Not sure if it helps but I know I'd have that box checked on the option sheet with a big red Sharpie.

Anyway, once they had her connected to the pitocin drip and it started to perform it's evil contraction dance, I would warn Sara that a contraction was beginning because the red numbers on this machine next to me that she was hooked up to started to rise. Those were probably the most terrifying words I spoke to her every six or seven minutes because once I gave her the warning, she would totally get her game face on and withdraw into this inner sanctum of peace and strength. But, on that climb to the peak of the contraction, it didn't look very peaceful. And, it appeared that the lady behind the counter of the inner sanctum was rationing the servings of strength. It was kind of scary, and I really felt bad for Sara. Throughout the climb, I was NOT to say anything more until the red numbers told me that the contraction had peaked and was on the decline. Then, and only then, I told her that she was coming down. Once the contraction was over, and not one minute before, she would thank me. Yep, she would thank me for uttering just a few words of hope and promise during one of the most intense times of her life..."You're at the top" or "You're coming down"...she WASN'T thanking me for putting her in that situation. Let me make that clear.

Anyway, Sara survived, we were blessed with Andrew after walking the evil Pitocin Pathway and I expect my sister, Stacie, will do the same.

Good luck, Josè.

Isaac, welcome to our world! Your uncle Mike has a lot to share with you. Let's get together soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Coolest Thing I Did Today

I tucked Amber into bed and gave her a kiss and hug, right before Andrew gave me a big hug goodnight. That about does it. Nothing else can top that.

So what if I'm tender-hearted?

My friend, Dustin, forwarded this to me today. What a great story and a great video. I'll even admit, it made me want to cry...but I didn't.



I don't know why but it made me think of my kids and how they react when I come home at the end of the day. I'm really blessed with the family I have and really thank God for them. Sure, there are times when I'm frustrated by them, but in the end, I don't know what I'd do without them.

Even though they are only 11 and 6 (well, almost 12 & 7), Andrew is already talking about learning to drive and getting his first car and preparing for college. Amber is talking about getting Andrew's room when he moves out. My gosh! She's only going to be in the first grade. I didn't have such conversations until I was in high school.

Last night, I admit, I feel a little bad about. I had come home after working a couple hours late and set down to eat dinner. Everyone had already eaten and the kids were ready to play before bedtime. All during my dinner, they were trying to show me the magic tricks they had been working on. (Basically, hiding in a big box that Andrew's Kanakuk trunk arrived in and pushing items through a hold they had cut in it for a flashlight when they use it for a clubhouse.) They wanted to show me over and over and over again. I should have been thrilled that they were playing so well together and wanted to share their achievements with me. But I just wanted to relax and enjoy my dinner. Finally, after several repeat performances, I asked them to either go downstairs or outside so I could feed my face and purge my day onto Sara. And I don't think it came out that nice.

The four of us went for a walk after I finished eating, but that just irritated me more because my numb left foot (it's been over a year now!) was acting up so I limped through a 3 mile walk. At the end of it all, I was hot, my foot was sore, and I just wanted to get to my basement that is at least 15 degrees cooler and mess around on my acoustic guitar.

I won't say that I was a bad dad but I was feeling very human and I'm afraid that "humanity" was shared too generously with the rest of those in the house.

But, this morning, as I was getting ready to head to work, both of the kids gave me a hug without me asking for one...much like the lion in the video.

Being loved is wonderful. Being forgiven is even better.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Amber's artwork

Amber has proven to me (her dad) that she has "mad" artistic skills. She likes to draw and color and is really a very creative little girl. So, I thought the best way for me to preserve her work is to post it here. Sort of an artistic timeline or record.

This isn't her first piece of work but it's certainly a very good one. I think this may be the beginning of a career in calligraphy.

She says this is her autograph and she wanted me to have it. I have a feeling that this is not the last time someone will get her autograph.

Dumbest Valentine Ever


This was going to be my initial blog entry (make all the jokes you want. I realize it's a princess) but I got impatient and posted the other's first just to get the thing started.

I remember Andrew coming home with his bag of valentines he got at school from the rest of his classmates. There were some cool ones in there with sports stars and super heroes and the occasional cartoon character. Most of them had your typical Valentine's Day message like, "Be My Valentine", "Being friends with you is a slam dunk" (on the Dwayne Wade card) and other sentiments that a 5th grader might say to another within the confines of a classroom.

But this one is so lame that it's hardly worthy of giving to someone on a day when you're supposed to be at least feigning a friendship with everyone else in the class. This one is the equivalent of someone signing your yearbook with "Stay just the way you are because you deserve the best in life". What does that mean? Nothing. It means I couldn't think of anything original to say and I'm not creative enough to try, so here's what you get.

Here's what the valentine said when he opened it up:

Thanks for the Valentine's Day card, chick. Good-bye.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pickens Plan

The price of gas is ridiculous. Face it. It's not going to get any better. But, today I heard of a plan that makes complete sense.

Boone Pickens, a well respected oil man from Oklahoma (and graduate of Oklahoma State University) was on the news talking about how we, as Americans, can reduce our dependance on foreign oil. I did some more research, and found the following video on his myspace page. He really simplifies the problem and shows us the way out. It's like Moses leading the people through the Red Sea to the promised land.

If you have 5 minutes, please take a moment to watch this video. If you don't have 5 minutes, you should find the time.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Now that it's born, let's name it!

As many of you know, I have a photo blog but I needed a place to just upload my thoughts on anything and everything having to do with my life. Not that you care about what I think or feel, but it's a great writing exercise for me and I'm sure it'll be good for my sanity at times.

I've been wanting to get this thing kickstarted for quite a while now but have been waiting until I have a good name for it. Here are a few I've come up with:

• The Other Side of Me
• Cut - Splice - Print
• Gov's Stuff
• Just My Type
• Splice of Life

I'm guessing "Gov's Stuff" will be the popular choice since it's in the URL for this blog, but who knows. Send me a comment on your thoughts, whether you prefer something listed above or have a suggestion of your own. Once I have a name, this blog will spring to life with opinions, artwork, music, and much more. You can vote in the margin to the right.

Thanks for taking an interest!