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October 31, 2006

Halloween Scrooge

I am a Halloween Scrooge. I don't like the evil it represents, and I don't like the way it instills an attitude of greed into our children. I don't like the traffic jam it creates in our neighborhood, and I don't like the idea of having to buy 400 pieces of chocolate coated corn syrup -- and I really don't like it when the ungrateful, greedy masses complain when they only get two pieces of said candy. I just don't like it!

None-the-less, we will dress our kids up in non-scary costumes and take them around to a few friends' and family members' houses tonight... but as more as an evening of fellowship than as an excersize in candy mongering.

Drive carefully tonight, as there will be many little ones about... and remember to brush your kids' teeth after all that candy!

UPDATE: We had our first trick-or-treater at 5:15. I was trying to feed Emily and get dinner for myself... I didn't even have any candy out yet. I shut off all the lights after that. The steady stream of traffic has already begun to flow through our neighborhood. Did I mention I don't like Halloween?

October 20, 2006

Vacation time...

We are going on vacation next week... for the whole week!

We will be staying in a condo at Eagle Crest, a beautiful resort in Redmond, OR. We also hope to visit Tony & Kamie while we over there, as they now live in Bend (not that far away). It seems like it has been a long time since we've taken a full week to go somewhere (not counting the trip to the hospital when Em was born). In fact, I'm pretty sure the last time we got away for a week was August of '05 when we went to visit the Nofziger clan up north.

As usual, I'm not feeling too excited about the vacation yet (for a number of reasons), despite the fact that we leave tomorrow.

Our main truck broke down this morning, and we had to rush it to the nearest International dealer. I rescued our driver, and he is now using the clunker truck, but I really would like to have the truck back by the end of the day... seeing as how I'm helping our friends Ron & Kara move tomorrow morning! The old clunker will still work for moving, but it doesn't have a lift-gate... and a lift-gate is very handy to have with large pieces of furniture!

I also need to mow my lawn... either this afternoon (if I'm not retrieving the truck), or tomorrow after the move. The weather is supposed to be good through the middle of next week, but I who knows what will happen beyond that. With the time-change coming on the 29th, I won't have a lot of daylight in the afternoons for mowing... so I'd better get it done before we go.

Steph is scrapbooking with friends tonight (with Ron's sister Kim, actually), so I have both kids. Normally having both kids isn't a problem, but when I'm trying to get packed up, it could create some confusion and delay. And since Steph is scrapbooking tonight, she will need to pack tomorrow morning -- with both kids -- while I am helping with the move.

I'm sure I will feel excited by the time we hit the road tomorrow afternoon, but probably not until then...

October 15, 2006

He's on a roll...

"Mama, can you have Papa put a headrest on the toilet for me?"

October 10, 2006

Noah's Quote of the Day

Tonight, after Noah had cleaned up all of his toys...

Papa: Great job cleaning up buddy; I'm so proud of you.

Noah: Yeah, I think you guys should keep me! :-)

October 9, 2006

Kicking the Coffee-Mate Habit

Back in May I tried to kick the coffee habit, but it just didn't work. I went for about a week without it, but the haze was just too much -- I need my morning coffee!

As you can tell from my 0g Trans Fat entry, it wasn't the coffee I was trying to eliminate, but the flavored creamer. Well, after a few more months of downing this toxic sludge, I decided to take Tammy's advise and try plain old-fashioned 'cream and sugar' in my coffee -- but with a little twist. I use plain old half-and-half for cream, but instead of ordinary refined white sugar, I am using Sugar In The Raw. While the end result isn't quite as sweet as the French Vanilla flavored stuff I used before, the raw sugar does give it a slight caramel flavor. I have had zero problems making the switch, and I feel a lot better knowing that I'm not dumping trans fats down the hatch.

Remember folks, you want to avoid partially hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup and enriched white flour (look for whole grains products) -- your body will thank you for it.

October 5, 2006

Not Ready for the Rain

We are so not ready for summer to be over with, but I know that our nice days are numbered.

Today was another beautiful 70 degree day -- perfect for being outside. Noah 'helped' me grill some steaks and veggies on the ol' BBQ (a BBQ that deserves its own weblog entry) while Steph made a batch of herbed rice... Mmmm-Mmmm good. A tall glass of iced-tea topped it all off, of course. We enjoyed eating our dinner outside, and Noah even ate all of his vegetables!

After dinner, Noah played in his sandbox and scooped pea-gravel with his trucks. Then he wanted to play soccer, so we set up his hockey net (thanks Uncle Marc & Aunt Kimmy!) and kicked the ball around. I wish days like these would never end, but I know the Daylight Savings switch is just around the corner... and that means shorter days, soon followed by 40 days and 40 nights of rain...

Here are a few photos from tonight:

Noah takes a break from kicking the soccer ball.

Emily had to get in on the action, too.

October 4, 2006

Love Your Enemies

Excuse me while I dust off my soapbox... I'm going to do a little preaching here, but I pretty much plan to let the Written Word speak for itself.

For those of us who claim to be Christians, Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount are paramount to our belief system. In this sermon, Jesus proclaims that he has come to fulfill the law (the commandments) and not to abolish it (Matthew 5:17-20). But, in fulfilling the law, he also elaborates on the true meaning of several of the commandments. Towards the end of the sermon, Jesus says the following:

43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

His commandment is clear. When he says 'Love your enemies', he does not mean 'kill them'. For some reason this passage seems to be forgotten by many who profess to follow Christ's teachings.

Furthermore, Jesus says (in a different sermon):

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."John 8:12

Read that again... what does he say? He says, "I am the light of the world" -- not the light of the United States, not the light of Canada, not the light of Israel; but the light of the world.

Our current president's attempts to regionalize God are appalling and blasphemous. God's love stretches beyond man-made borders; and we, as the body of Christ, need to make sure that our love does the same. Christ did not come to divide the world, but to unite it. Let us spread the light of hope and salvation to the entire world -- not the darkness of death and destruction.


October 2, 2006

Rolly-Polly Emily

Emily is beginning to get very mobile. While she does often end up in crawl position, she hasn't officially learned to move forward... yet. At this point she is happy rolling -- and she is pretty good at getting where she wants to go, too. It's just a matter of time before she figures out how to crawl -- and then Lord help us all!

"I'm coming to get you, Papa!"

My sweet little baby girl. :-)