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Showing posts from July, 2014

the faces of a boy turning three

holy happy birthday, batman! last week we celebrated the third birthday of our own little caped crusader, and it was a festive occasion! even though no one seems to believe it, i did indeed make and decorate the batman cake he wanted, and it turned out okay, if imperfect.  but he didn't notice....he loved it! but probably not as much as he enjoyed the gift portion of the festivities, which included several lego items, much to his delight. he is a blessed boy, of course, but he is also a tremendous blessing, not only to his mommy and daddy, but to his brothers, as well.  we are so fortunate.  he keeps us laughing, guessing, dancing, and tickling him as much as we can.  like any three year old, he can be a stubborn child, trying on his own new ideas and testing out the boundaries and the consequences for crossing them, but even those tries and tests have a certain amount of joy connected to them.  he is just fully alive, freshly so, and contagiously offering al

the chronicles of prydain

a couple of weeks ago, after encouraging jackson to read it, i was inspired to read a series i had read before in my early teen years, and i am so pleased that i did. i had read lloyd alexander's "prydain chronicles" some 25 years ago, but had forgotten a great many of the details of the story that make this such a rich literary adventure.  reading it again, here in my late 30's, was just as rewarding as i remember it being when i was a teenager, if not more so. the series consists of five books, admittedly aimed at younger readers, (but literature aimed at younger readers in the 1960's feels a bit more advanced than much of what is aimed at 13-year olds today), which tell the story of a young man who lives and operates under the undistinguished title of "assistant pig keeper."  this lowly position is held by a boy named Taran, who wants more than anything to be a hero.  eventually, the adventures of his life afford him the opportunity to become j

back to camp

it's time. time for the steelers to hit the practice fields in the hot summer sun.  time for the sounds of pads hitting pads, coaches shouting instructions, and whistles piercing the campus air at st. vincent's.  it's time for the steelers to go back to camp and try to fix what ended up as an 8-8 mess last year. and it is time for me to enter my yearly promised land of sports-fandom.  i get 3+ months of baseball and  football together, and it is the best quarter of a year that a baseball/football guy could ask for. so please excuse me if i revel in this for a bit, with a gigantic smile on my face.

happy birthday, Quinton!

our little baby, our round little man who has thinned out and become quite the little comedian, turns three years old today.  born just before midnight on the 25th of july, to the sweet sounds of grieg's "peer gynt," he was instantly loved and adored, not just by shannon and i, but by his older brothers, too.  it is stunning to think that it's been three years already, but the calendar swears its not lying about it, so we are making a batman cake and blowing out the candles and singing robustly to our young and hilarious little man.  we love you, Quinton, and are so proud of you!

chase's big day

see this guy?  his name is chase headley.  chase had a very interesting day yesterday.  let me tell you about it. chase started the day in chicago as the third baseman for the san diego padres.  they were in the windy city for a series against the cubs.  at some point during the morning, however, it was announced that he had been traded to the new york yankees.  i can't even imagine what all must go through your head as a ball player who has just been told that you will now be playing with a whole different group of men, and you will now call a different city (on the other side of the country) "home" for the next 3 months.  but whatever goes through Chase's mind, it had to go through pretty quickly, because while i'm sure he wanted to talk to his wife and other family, he quickly had to make sure he was boarding a plane in chicago that was bound for new york city.  somehow, amidst saying goodbye to his teammates, and gathering his belongings, he did just that

jackson plays "home on the range"

Jackson provided the special music at church on sunday, playing the not-so-churchy "home on the range."  perhaps if you change the words to "where the deer and the antelope "pray," it would be a bit more churchy.  in any case, he did a great job. check it out!

(a tiny bit) more magic for muggles

attention potterheads:  in case you missed it, j.k. rowling has written a (very) short little vignette as a tasty update on the harry potter stories. it appeared on her pottermore website under "the daily prophet" section, and is written as if that nosy, nebbing reporter, rita skeeter, was reporting on some potter "gossip" at the quidditch world cup. rita writes about harry and ginny, ron and hermione, now in their mid-thirties, with children of their own, taking some time off to get away with some friends (neville longbottom, luna lovegood, etc.) to catch a big quidditch match. the piece offers some tasty morsels and updates on what has happened to the crew since we last said goodbye (tearfully, in my case) to them, and also, at least for about 150 seconds, makes you feel like you are back in rowling's amazing world of magic. finally, the final paragraph of the pice COULD be construed as a hint that there is more harry potter material down the road. one can onl

nothing but respect

respect.  that's what the captain of the yankees has earned over his career.  just take a quick glance at the message boards across baseball this year, and you'll constantly read things like this (actually quoted from a video of jeter):  "i  *$^%# hate the yankees, but i got nothin but respect for the captain." nothing but respect. he seems to have had his relationship problems off the field, but some of the reporting of that seems to be as largely exaggerated as is the human tendency to tear down those who are successful.  he generally stays out of the tabloids, and certainly out of the limelight in new york city, other than when it comes to playing baseball, which is what he has always wanted to do.  since his proclamation as a 4th-grader that he would someday play shortstop for the new york yankees, he has been a driven man, full of focus and determination.  sure he has natural skill, but i don't think anyone would ever argue that he is the most naturall

we're back!

we've been busy! a july 4th weekend getaway included a surprise anniversary celebration for shannon's brother and sister-in-law, and then we returned home for one day before leaving for our annual camping trip with shannon's family.  so it has been a full and fun two weeks!  i believe we have about 1000 pictures (that's not an exaggeration) from the last 14 days, but here are just a few that i quickly found from our camping trip, since it is too overwhelming to go through them all at this point.  suffice to say that we had a great time, despite sitting in a tent while waiting out a tornado warning.  other than that, our time was hot, sticky, buggy, dirty, and loads of fun).

a sincere confession

i have a confession to make. while there are very few of you that can really understand what it is requiring of me to write the following words on a public forum, the rest of you will just have to take my word for it:  this is a big deal for me. i used to hate broccoli.  now i love it. but that's not my confession. i used to think that the world was black and white.  now i live in and love the gray areas. but that's not my confession either. i used to blast hanson's "mmm bop" as loud as i could and dance around like a crazy fool. still not my confession. my confession is this:  i have been watching the fifa 2014 world cup. and enjoying it.   look, i am a football and baseball guy.  my most formative sports years were spent falling head-over-heels in love with baseball, and i spent every waking moment throwing and catching any ball i could figure out a way to throw and catch.  and i was pretty darn good, if i do say so myself, at throwing and