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Showing posts from August, 2014

last first day of school for the year

tuesday was the first day of preschool for our youngest and perhaps most rascally child.  it was a long-awaited day, as he has long been saying that he gets to go to school when he turns three.  well, he turned three in july, and was very disappointed that he didn't go right to school.  then, last week, when his brothers started school, he couldn't understand why he didn't get to go, too.  finally, the day arrived, and he was ecstatic. he loved it.  he came home able to say all of his teachers names (although Miss Bev became Miss Beb, a change i'm not sure she endorses).  he was energetic in talking about all the things he did and how much he loved it.  he returns to school for his second day today, and looks to continue his journey toward being too ridiculously cute for his own good.

yes, i did the ice bucket challenge

okay.  i finally did it. i was nominated by at least three of you, if not more.  i was trying to ignore them.  but i wanted to put an end to it, so here it is. i had ice cold water dumped on me. the kids loved it, it was all in good fun, and i am amazed at how much money this has raised for research into ALS (lou gehrig's disease). but i have to say this. please don't wait until some crazy trend goes viral on social media to get off the couch and so something radical and passionate for others.  it isn't about attracting attention to ourselves or giving out of some kind of peer pressure.  we really ought to be known as people who are giving all that we have and all that we are to one another all the time.  whatever your "cause" is - whatever it is that God has given you gifts for to meet some of the world's greatest needs - then throw yourself fully and completely into that arena, and serve with everything you've got.  let's not just dump

keys to the kingdom (and a 1985 ford tempo)

last week i wrote a little bit about keys.  i had to share that dramatic story of storms, skunks, and shredded screens.  but, in the end, the story was really about a lost key. i've got another great lost key story.  well, this one wasn't so much "lost" as it was "locked inside my car in the middle of the 'hood in downtown pittsburgh.'  i knew where the key was.  right on the seat.  i also knew where the lock was.  in the down position.  it wouldn't have been that big of a deal, except that we were dressed to the nines, on a night in which i had secret plans to ask shannon to marry me.  on the one night of my life when i wanted to be super-suave, i turned out to be supremely stupid. she still said yes. and i still got to drive my 1985 ford tempo home, after the parking lot guy broke into it for me in about 1.37 seconds, not really boosting my confidence about the security of any locked items in my vehicle. but sometimes keys can cause so m

happy birthday, shannon

happy birthday to my beloved...the girl of my companion and sojourner.  the best in me is always you.

back to school, 2014 (part 1)

as cliche as it may be, i have to begin this post by saying where in the heck did summer go? just a couple of days ago, they stepped off the bus for the last day of school.  i blinked a few times, slept in once, and now i am taking pictures of them getting on the bus again.  congress needs to pass some legislation to slow july and august down.  this has to stop. however i feel about the fluidity of time (i am thinking of you, Dad and Uncle Jim), the cold, hard truth is that i drove away from that bus stop with an empty minivan, now the parent of a 2nd grader, a 4th grader, and (next week) a preschooler. this really has to stop. still, as much as the passage of time confounds and dizzies me, i love the beginning of a new school year: the smell of unsharpened pencils and the curves of a clean desk.  there is the promise of wonder and exploration and learning.  this is the first step of a new adventure; an educational road trip with sojourners and trail guides and breathtakin

go jump in the lake

here are just a few pics (of about 740 that we took) from our recent vacation up at eagle rock resort near hazleton, pa.  there was a beautiful lake there where we spent most of our time, and i just thought i'd share with you a couple pics of our fun at the lake, memories which we'll be cherishing even more dearly as school begins this week!

the case of the missing key

 i love my wife.  no, scratch that...i adore  her.  i really do.  she is amazing in so many ways and is so good at so many things that she almost always makes me look way better than i really am.  in fact, i often have to work hard to remember what her flaws are, which is really annoying, by the way.  when i do remember them, they are so ridiculous that i seem petty by even mentioning them (she is a heavy-walker, she loads the dishwasher like an intoxicated blind person with a blindfold and a straightjacket on, etc.). and then something like this happens, and i just have to tell the world.  and by "the world," i mean all 8 of you who will read this. a couple of weeks ago i took the kids for a walk to the park.  shannon went for a run.  when she was finished, she met us at the playground, and we all walked home together, only to discover that she had locked the door, and neither of us had brought our keys.  this would normally not be a problem, since we keep an extra ke

another thing off the bucket list: lego courthouse

we just got another thing checked off the summer bucket list, and this time it was making the northumberland county courthouse, in sunbury pa. this time shannon put in the lion's share of the work, with the boys and i offering a fair amount of help along the way. here is the real building in sunbury: and here is what we were able to make:

my trip to training camp

i had the wonderful joy of being able to head out to latrobe, pa (known at my house this time of year as "mecca") for last night's annual "friday night lights" practice for the pittsburgh steelers at the latrobe high school football stadium.  i don't know how many other fans were there, but there were a ton of us (they had a 50/50 and the fan won about $3000!), and i waited in line for over an hour just to get in the gate, so i could get a nice spot along the fence outside the track, where i then waited another 90+ minutes until the players arrived, and stepped off the yellow school buses, making their way to various spots along the fence to sign autographs for about 15-20 minutes. here you can see three wide receivers signing autographs, from left to right you have new free agent lance moore, c.j. goodwin (from california university of pa), and derek moye (from penn state).  i didn't get any "pro-bowl" autographs, but i did get 11 gu