Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Geri and I are working hard to implement activities to make our holidays fun and meaningful as a family. Tonight we built a gingerbread house. We started doing this with our gang from Golden about 10 years ago. Our lack of construction skills are still evident. The roof keeps sliding down, but the kids don't mind as long as the candy keeps comin'.

Tomorrow we are going to Christmas Eve services at The Journey Church at Tower Grove, then coming back home to open one gift. After Benny sprinkles Reindeer Food on the front lawn, we are going to bed, hoping that Santa will find his way down our chimney.

Life is blessed and we have no room to complain or bicker about it. I hope you are ready to make sure your respective families have some meaningful times this Season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This is my favorite commercial these days. There's also another one with LLCoolJ.

As this year comes to a close, I'm realizing a desire to post more stories/photos of our family here on the blog. I've been sidetracked since joining Facebook. Also known as FB to the non-FB'ers in the audience.

Maintaining a blog is definitely more satisfying than being on FB. The whole FB experience reminds me of Charlie, my friend in CO. Charlie is a great guy with a wonderful personality, but years ago he never was one to stand around after Church and socialize (this has changed). His goal was to talk to a few friends then hustle out to the car without being cornered by the folks he didn't know very well. He called it "running the gauntlet". On FB that's called a lurker. It's too easy just being a lurker on FB. I'm generally a lurker. I will say this though...the ability to find out who is online, and instant message them on FB is a great feature. This is something Nancy (my cousin) and I have done a few times, and it's been nice. She actually types full words as opposed to the texts she sends me. She can manage to speak a chapters worth of words with approximately 17 CAPITALIZED letters. She's hip. I'm not (LOL).

Thursday, December 04, 2008

We tend to joke that time stands still when we go to Woodward. To an extent this is the case. It can drive you nuts if you let it. You go to sleep, and who knows when you wake up. There is no clock around. You wake up at 3am and someone is in the living room still watching TV. You realize you are hungry because it's 7pm and dinner is almost on the horizon. Experiencing this time-warp phenomenom, I tend to make excuses to make the 5 minute drive to WalMart. Oh I saunter around looking at the OU stuff, but the highlight is making my way back to the deli section and ordering fried okra. Now that is good stuff (unlike Cracker Barrel's sorry attempt).

On the other hand, what I love about Woodward is that time stands still. We are blessed with an incredible array of kids that come over to visit. This Thanksgiving was special because Benny and Everlie were constantly playing with their cousins; who were defacto babysitters for G and I. Having time on your hands just to absorb the kids playing-listening to the laughs and constant commotion is priceless. Yeah, we make fun of time standing still...but wouldn't trade it away for anything. This won't last forever and we are blessed to have a great extended family.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Our Greatest Fear

It is our light… not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
People won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of
 God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
 permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In the world of adoption, you learn to celebrate the milestones with other families. The Hackenewerth's daughter, Sophie, officially became a US Citizen. Congratulations! According to Tony and Jennifer, Sophie got the Korean tall genes. Geri and Evelie definitely isn't mixed into that section of the gene pool.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

When I downloaded my last batch of pics, I forgot about our trip to the pumpkin patch.
This morning was the 2nd annual Christian Family Services Fun Run. Hats off to Eric McPherson and the gang for putting on another great run. As a volunteer, I was stationed with Cary Paul at the first left turn on the course. This was a great place to be able to snap a few photos of folks and volunteers coming through.

For those interested, next month we are hosting a CFS Trivia Night. See myself or Eric McPherson for details.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Don't Forget To Vote

Everlie was up quite a bit last night with teething pains, so it wasn't too difficult to get up, knock the sleep out of my eys and head over to Kirkwood HS a bit after 5:30 to stand in line to vote. I knew it would be crowded, but didn't expect to be approximately 300th in line at this early hour.

Despite the chill in the air, it was very satisfying waiting my turn to "pull the lever" for my candidates & issues. I am very aware that many have fought and died so I can have the priviledge of living in this great Constitutional Republic (see Wikipedia)and truly feel that my vote counts. I hope you vote today...and don't forget to thank a Vet for this priviledge!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It doesn't get any better than a Gotcha Day party on the farm. Tim and Julia pulled out all the stops and made sure this was a biggie for Benny. The festivities started out with Tim taking us out to the pond to catch a fish. Benny doesn't know how good he has it with Uncle Tim. His Daddy is not exactly a fisherman, hasn't fished in years, never has cleaned a fish, and doesn't put live bait on a hook with ease. Long story short...Benny started catching fish and loved it.

To top off the Gotcha Day activities on Saturday, Benny went for a few spins on the tractor...he lovedmoving up/down the front loader and actually did minimal damage to the yard! He then climbed aboard the huge backhoe and proceeded to dig a big hole. He had a confident grin on his face the entire time.

Saturday evening we roasted hotdogs and marshmallows at Benny's request. It was fun being around the campfire and catching up with Nancy and seeing the girls.

All in all this was a wonderful trip that we will remember. When I polled Benny about his favorite activity from his party...he proudly said "Roasting Marshmallows". Thank goodness you don't have to gut marshmallows or catch them with live crickets..I think we'll be able to manage his simple pleasures.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22nd is one of my favorite days. Life has not slowed down a bit since picking Benny up on October 22, 2005. This week I had conversations with 2 people from Guatemala. I couldn't help but beam with pride when telling them my son was born there.

Happy Gotcha Day Benny! I Love You!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's been awhile since I've written down some thoughts running in my head. This past month has been a blur of challenges and changes both personally and professionally. While it's not been a pleasant month on a certain levels, at other levels, life has been quite satisfying. Sounds manic, but that's life in the big city.

I am determined not to watch the news on TV until after the election. Every story is depressing, with no good news on the horizon. Who needs that?

I am also determined to think of a few things I'm thankful for (think of this as a simple exercise to clear my head of clutter and a bad attitude):

1. I am thankful that Everlie has been sick. This is teaching me patience and allowing me to focus on her tiny little head on my shoulder. She is sweet.

2. I am thankful I have been sick. This is teaching me patience. I appreciate Tony Martin putting a purchase order in for another Plastic Bubble. Many people have this joke that I'm the boy in the plastic bubble, since I catch everything. Tony was just worried my original bubble is contaminated.

3. I am thankful my wife is going back to having her own office. What is better than arranging your life to make time for kids and family, while helping other people in the process.

4. I am thankful for my business. We have been blessed with good clients in these tough times. This has also been a learning experience of major proportions.

5. I am thankful for my friends. A secret to success is to surround yourself with people with a good heart that will always truthfully give advice when asked. That is if you are brave enough to solicit it. I have many...

6. I am thankful for Benny. He is teaching me patience (and trying my patience sometimes). He is funny, witty, loves preschool, makes friends easily, has a good heart and loves his parents unconditionally.

That's enough for now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Come see the Amazing Guato do some dancing to Matchbox Twenty. Everlie has some moves of her own.

On a totally unrelated observation: Who made the rules that politicians can call as much as they see fit...even if you are on the National No Call Register? Just another reason Washington is eternally broken. He who writes the rules, writes them to their benefit.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Look out Vegas...your next headliner is on the way in 2030

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

One thing we can always count on is that the Cope and Robinson kids play well outside. Sunday night we had a wonderful and celebratory picnic at New Town. While the builder/developer is not a client of mine, I have to honestly say this is a great place for young families with kids. These are a few photos of our beautiful kiddos. I will use this as a public forum to congratulate Jonah and Grace's Dad on his promotion. Of course behind every accomplishment within a marriage is a spouse that has to be pat on the back as well. We love you guys.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Photo Workshop

213 pictures taken....2 worth posting. The great thing about taking classes is to expose your weaknesses for improvements, learn new ideas/concepts and get to know other people with similar interests. Mission accomplished. The photo of the model is altered using Lightroom 2. The photo of Karl is pretty self explanatory. He's a goofy nut with a good photographic eye.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

FIrst Day

Armed with his Lightning McQueen backpack and a smile, Benny stepped up in the car, buckled his seat belt and headed out to his first day of Pre-School. His teacher is Mrs. Jaschik. I do not envy her since the class consists of 10 energized boys. Every day she will pick kids to help her out. Benny was chosen to be the Door Holder. On the way to school I told him that this is the first day of what should be at least 16 years of schooling. All he cared about was making sure we remembered going to McDonalds after his first day of school.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Geri and I had a rare date night and stumbled on the Clayton Art Festival on the way to the restaurant (Oceano). After dinner we took a stroll through the festival. As Geri ducked into an estate jewelry store, I spied this flag just outside the shop and took this picture with my camera phone.

Benny is obsessed with storm drains. After Benny finished staring down this hole, I shot this at Eckert Farms.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Here are a few pictures that Geri picked out. I really marvel at how pretty our kids (and my wife) are. Things are good at our house. We are going apple picking in Illinois this weekend and am looking forward to taking some pics of the kiddos.

On the last 2 pictures, the seeds on Everlie's nose were not "planted" (sorry for the pun).