Saturday, April 29, 2006

Belated Birthday Present

Geri had this great idea that Benny would like to have kid-sized furniture for his birthday. Of course I was skeptical, but the proof is in the pudding. His couch was delivered this week, and he is having a ball with it. He quickly learned how to get himself up to sit on it, and slide down back to the floor.

This morning we played around the couch, and danced to the music channels on the cable. He has rhythm. We listened to 80's, Reggae and Country. Even a little Salsa! I'm thinking he likes swaying to the Carribean Reggae Beats the best. It must be an influence from all the Jimmy Buffett he listens to.

Speaking of music, every once in awhile I find a catchy song on the radio. Check this out and let me know if you like it. It's called SOS, by Rihanna. Never heard of her, but she's got a great voice. It's hard to miss when you mix in a bit of 80's remix for the backbeat.

Later this week Geri has a meeting in Colo Spgs, so we are verrry excited to see our friends back in Denver next weekend. If you are reading this from the Mile High City, we'll see you soon.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

3rd plank

My third plank for my "campaign" would be to rid baseball of the DH.

Monday, April 24, 2006

My 2 Cents

The term "Big Monday" came about when ESPN and Chris Farley teamed up to do some funny ads promoting NCAA basketball games on Monday nights. For me "Big Monday" isn't confined and constricted to basketball season. Every Monday, I get the great honor of staying home with Benny. As my business grows, I hope this spreads to Friday as well. Not many dads get to spend one, not to mention-TWO days/week home with their kids. Lord willing this will happen.

Every once in awhile I get frustrated at the political drivel I hear. Dems and Republicans alike. There would be 2 main planks I would run on, if I were to throw my hat in the ring. First, I'd find a quick way to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants already in the US. They are already here, and presumably (in my simple mind) their addition to the reported tax rolls would be an immediate boost to the legitimate economy. I would assume this would be an immediate relief on legitimate policework that could be taking place.

My second plank would be to open up Alaska for oil, as well as develop the Rocky Mountain oil shale work. Once again, I am a pea-brain when it comes to things of public policy-but isn't that status-quo? It's all good and grandiose to talk about developing other technologies to reduce our independence on oil and the Middle East, but we need to deal in the now! Can't we concurrently drill here in the US, build more refineries, and research long-term approaches to energy? I get tired of the US attitude that seems to say that our land should not be spoiled, so we'll just spoil someone elses land for oil. Attitudes like this probably build international resentment, and our suppliers' legitimacy to control the price we pay at the pump. Hey life isn't fair, is it. My guess is that US derived Oil = lower prices and a tremendous boon to our economy with high base of legitimate paying jobs. Perhaps even for those newly naturalized citizens.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Wow, fun game! We arrived late, but managed to get a primo, freebie parking spot next to the stadium. Must be living right. We didn't even sit down before G decided to stop off and get some munchies. The nachos/jalepenos were excellent as usual. The Italian Sausage was better at the old stadium-not to mention bigger.

Today was C of C day at the stadium. Basically there were 150 seats set aside, with proceeds going to CFS and the local Christian school (I think). Many thanks to the Kelley's for giving us their tix. After G and I scarfed down our food, I procured some Dip N Dots. Like father, like son. Benny's lips are coated with Cookies and Cream. This little sugar fix actually violates one of the things we said wouldn't happen when we have kids. We find ourselves eating our words alot these days.

Here are a few other snapshots of the outing. One pic shows Pujols getting ready to hit the gamebreaker with bases loaded. He is always coming through in a clutch. Gary and Mary Lee Loopers' (from OKC) nephew retired the 6 batters he faced today, as well. The ballpark was buzzing with excitement all afternoon. Also shown is Ed (Benny's St Louis Grandpa. If we were in the AL, he would be the Designated Grandpa). Hopefully PaPa will get up here one of these days to take him to a game. As usual, Ed was into the game filling out his scorecard. He is a top-shelf Cards fan.

All in all, today was a milestone for me as a Dad.

Passing the torch

Instead of going to baseball games, my father/son thing was camping. Of course there were the years of "Deer Camp", but I remember the "Annual Cope/Sharp camping trip. My buddy David and I conjured our dads into going to Elk river one year on an overnight. About all I remember was that this annual gig turned out only being a one time thing. As I grew older, we would head out to the CO mtns for a week of camping with the guys in the family. This is what I loved, and look back fondly on all those trips. I still enjoy camping there. One favorite spot is Twin Lakes, just below the upper lake-Forebay.

Camping is one tradition that will be carried down to Benny. We had our little camping excursion the other day in the backyard. It's not Twin Lakes, but is a start.

Today is another day I've been looking forward to ever since we knew about Benny. The Cards and Cubs are playing, and we have tickets. Gotta run! Games started......and Benny just woke up.....gotta run. This passes the torch from when me and Dad made it to the 7th game of the World Series in 1982.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I couldn't have been more than 6 when I had the thought that since school was out for the summer, so was church. It's not that I didn't like church, I simply had fun playing. Mainly my hobby was to go behind the church building and throw rocks into the wooded ravine, or head to the field behind our house with my buddy David. These days, I love going to church, and even class! I did play hooky from class a few weeks ago. To be honest, we were really late, but not late enough to put Benny in his little class. Geri and I pray that he grows up to love God. There are some great kids his age, and the odds are in his favor to have a loving heart that stems from relationships with these very kids. All I need to do is look at the parents of these kids he will be hanging around with, to know he will be ok from that aspect. We are blessed to worship with great folks at McKnight!

Monday, April 17, 2006

We are back after going to western OK for a funeral. Jim Rucker officiated the ceremony. Now that is one guy I love hearing. He is a worker for the Kingdom-not to mention the father of Bennys namesake. Under the circumstances it was really good to see family on G's side, as well as my sister in Mustang (Auntie La-La) and her family. Building up to Easter, I was originally looking forward to special services at McKnight Road. It's funny that my Easter experiences typically had been an emphasis on wearing the right clothes, and rounding up folks for a dinner. Now I'm finding myself wanting more out of this "season". I try and commemorate His Death and Resurrection every Sunday, but what a great time to use this month to share His message. I figure if folks are thinking about "Easter", why not probe and evangelize with that opportunity. Same for Christmas.

We continue to love each day with Benny. He is growing into a little boy before our eyes, and it is unsettling. Where is this baby we picked up in October? Today-as every Monday-is my day with Benny. We spent it playing at the park, and just hanging out. When we went to the office for a few minutes, I started to get stressed out. I finally had to stop it, and realize that tomorrow will pose it's own challenges-but will not rob my today.

I want to thank Uncle Darrel and Aunt Wessie for amending their schedules yesterday. I apologize for the non-planning aspect. I also want to thank La-La and Drew (and girls) for having us over for a few hours. It meant alot.

Here are a few pics from the weekend. Unfortunately I didn't snap any at L&A's house. Doesn't this picture of G look like Benny. It's funny that people hardly assume Benny is adopted-I understand why.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

We are trying to make good use of these times. Here are a few pics from this weekend. We managed to go to Parker's birthday party and ride a carousel at Faust Park, see Ice Age 2 (well most of it), go to Sunday School, and take advantage of todays beautiful weather here in St Louis by going to the park down the street.

I do want to mention that it has been a great experience getting to know the families at birthday partys, the church nursery, etc.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Someone asked me the other day if I would ever want to travel to Mars. My answer: No. I do love to explore, but prefer to keep it within the Big Blue Marble.

Here are 5 places I would like to visit:
5. Northeast US on a major roadtrip.
4. Eindhoven and surroundings for a Battle of the Bulge tour.
3. Amalfi Coast.
2. All over the Carribean in Jimmy Buffett's sea plane. (seen here in the Orlando Margaritaville).
1. To Hot Springs to see Benny and Carissa play.

How about you?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Here are a few other pics from last week. Last night I jogged to our house to Geri's office, to pick up her car. On the way there I chatted with the other family we hosted the trip with. They have 2 great kids, John and Claire, who were out playing basketball in their backyard.

What was playing on the IPod as I was jogging? Glad you asked! Here's the eclectic laundry list:

Aretha Franklin
Maroon 5
Neil Young
Steve Winwood

My training has been somewhat negligent for this race:

...but a major hurdle was actually getting off my duff to start slappin' the concrete with my soles. My really, really major hurdle was to stop all snacking between meals. That's the toughie.

Tonite we had a good discussion in Men's Class about the Good Samaritan. Studying this parable has made me rethink who my "neighbor" really is. I am thankful for grace on this one.

Fred (Benny's Uncle to those not in the know)...just kidding about Winwood.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Here's a pic of my beautiful family enjoying a stroll on Disney's Boardwalk.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

First Candle

Alright I guess Disney isn't all that bad. Geri and I first went there 5 or so years ago on an EDJ trip. We quickly toured the place in a day, and split to the Keys. Needless to say, we won't be going back to Key West. Too nutty. Case in point, the guy walking down the street in chaps (with a backflap). I'm finding out that the key to Disney is watching the kids eyes and excitement. Even though he knows diddly about any of the characters, Benny sure had a good time at the pool, and on the little rides. Even watching the fireworks. A personal highlight was to go back to Margaritaville and order a "Cheeseburger In Paradise". Have I mentioned loving Jimmy Buffett?

We had a few highlights on this trip. First, Benny got his first haircut. In keeping with my tradition, I really wanted "Bill the Barber" to do it. Benny was growing a ridiculous mullet because of our attempts to keep his hair "in check" with our few snips here and there. Something had to be done before we could get down to Neosho, so we stood in line for 1 1/2 hours to get his haircut. It was a pleasant experience. But what is a Disney trip without waiting in line for at least something.

The second highlight was the birthday Character Breakfast with Pooh, Eyeore (sp?), Tigger...and the birthday cake with suprises sent to our room compliments of Disney, and our housekeeper-Juanita. He first dabbled in the cake, not knowing what to think. At first he swiped a finger in the icing. It took a few minutes to actually get him to put it into his mouth (which is crazy considering everything else goes straight there-hence Rotovirus). Once he got the hang of it, and realized there were no restrictions-he went for it. It so happens that Disney "accessorized" the birthday platter with huge flecks of plastic glitter in the shape of Mickey, Palm Trees, etc. Those went straight into his mouth, and started to lodge in his throat. Nothing like a crying, panicking kid greased down with icing trying to breathe-that was just me! (choking phobia syndrome). Once we got our composure-all was well. I have been looking for Disney glitter in his diapers ever since.

We definitely have a well travelled baby. In 5 months, flights from Guatemala, OKC, Denver, Washington DC, and Orlando. This summer we will have plenty of others-including Nantucket.

All in all this was a great trip, but am glad to have both feet planted back home. Tomorrow is "Baby Dedication" day at McKnight. Benny will get a Bible (not his first thanks to JuJu and Carissa), and our families will be prayed for by the Elders. This is a great tradition there at McKnight.