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'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: 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.