A Quote to Start Things Off

Somebody told me there was no such thing as truth. I said if that's the case then why should I believe you" -Lecrae - Gravity

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Pictures of Memories I

Pictures of Memories I
Snow kidding! These "kids" now range from 17 to 23

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Say Uncle

Six Word Saturday time.

Uncle for ninth and first time!

I was on my way out to take my kids to see a play Thursday Morning. My SIL was trying to reach my wife at work, because her water had just broke. Early Friday morning she gave birth to Connor Mark. Amy was able to participate in the birth and Mom, Dad and Baby are doing fine.

I am now the uncle of nine children. Connor is a little different as he is my first nephew by marriage rather than blood. This is generally not too great of a distinction. However, being related to me by blood is not exactly a picnic. Sure I have my rugged good looks. I have no allergies and I am of pretty healthy stock. The problem is if being a goofball is hereditary, than you don't really want to have me swimming in your gene pool. Puns, parodies, crazy ideas, not to forget my scary math skills. Let's face it, Connor has a definite advantage of not having genetic predisposition to my random thoughts and nut job tendencies.

The flip side is that he is related by blood to Amy. Amy may well be every bit the lunatic that I am. After all, we did co write the song I'm insane, your insane, who's gonna win?

So, if 12 years from now at Grandma Kayrene's birthday bash Connor writes down the first thing that comes into his mind during a spirited game of Balderdash, we can know for sure that Amy's influence (nature or nurture) is to blame. Katie, Danny you knew what kind of relatives you had and you chose to continue those blood lines anyway. I say to you congratulations and good luck!

Head on over to Show my face dot come for more Six Word Saturday.

Next Time: C+H Book Review

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lucy, Bears, and Meat Loaf. Oh My!

Time again for things this Thursday.

1. Lucy the Artist.

We had a piece of saran wrap like packaging material around the house. Lucy wanted to make a project of it. I taped it up to two pieces of construction paper so it wouldn't rip. Lucy proceeded to make the design pictured here. I removed the tape from the construction paper and displayed it in our room.

2. Lucy, the graphic novelist.

The same day all the kids were working on some school work. Lucy was drawing pictures. Sometimes she likes to write words on the pictures so she asks me how to spell the words. On this particular occasion she asked: "Dad how do you spell " a long time ago in Mexico in a library that was far away from Carpentersville? She then proceeded to illustrate and dictate narration to a ten page story of kitties in a Mexican library.

3. TV

I don't regularly watch the show House. Amy watches it sometimes and I have sat down and watched it with her. A recent episode entitled 5 to 9 followed the day of the Hospital administrator. Even though the focus of this episode was not House and his antics, I found that it did a good job of grounding the new or infrequent viewer into what the Show is about. You can watch the episode on HULU by clicking here.

4. Dinner

Last week I made meatloaf for dinner. I used a traditional recipes that uses tomato soup. The only significant departure I made was to substitute oyster cracker crumbs for bread crumbs. I even put whole oyster crackers on top. It actually turned out to be very good. Better than the after picture shows.

5. Polar Bear backwards is Polar Bear.

I took the kids to the zoo last weekend. We always try to go see the Polar bears. A few years ago Amy and the kids saw one of the bears do this.

On Saturday we watched a polar bear doing this

over and over again. I took 4 separate videos of the bear walking on the ledge

and then backing up.

So those are my things this Thursday. Join in by clinking on Mr. Linky below.

Next Time: Six Word Saturday

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Video Shmideo

I am putting off my post about our recent trip to the zoo to share a few links to videos.

The son of an elder from my church, a home school student, has entered a contest that is hinged upon how many views his you tube video receives. This is an excellent video entitled Let's revolutionize higher education!. The idea presented here is revolutionary, and presented very ably. I encourage you to watch it and tell others about it.

The movie Star Trek Generations was on Hulu this week reminding me that I have it on videocassette. Charlie watched it last night and absolutely cracked up at a scene, that I had almost forgotten. We showed the scene to Emma and she just loved it as well. In the movie, the android Data is experimenting with an emotions chip. In the scene my children enjoyed he is asked by Commander Riker to scan for life forms. Here is the result.

Speaking of movies, I was reminded on the radio that today is the thirtieth anniversary of the miracle on ice. Yep, thirty years ago Herb Brooks and his US Hockey team defeated the Russians in the Olympics. Prior to the game coach Brooks gave the team a pep talk. Here is a rendition of that pep talk from the movie Miracle.

You may have already seen the you tube video of a 4 year old giving the Brooks speech. It's worth watching over again if you have. I really thought that was impressive until I saw him on Ellen. It is one thing to quote it in your living room, but something else entirely to recite it in fromt of t.v. cameras and a live audience.

Well that's all the footage I have time to present today. I hope you enjoyed it all.

Next Time: The Z Double O

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Haven't been posting for a while. As my lovely wife shared in her recent guest post, I have been busy living. Today was no different. We had a Cub scout meeting tonight. Charlie is in the same cub scout den as his cousin who is 9 months older and 1 grade ahead of him. Charlie should really be a wolf bus since Bobby is a Bear, they are both Bears. We drive about an hour each meeting to get into Bobby's town and then an hour back. It makes for a long day and Charlie has not been too keen on all the travel.

But tonight was a little different. Tonight's pack meeting was the meeting where the Webelos kids become boy scouts. It was a 3 hour dinner/ceremony with entertainment afterwards. During the celebration all the Webelos's kids crossing over to Boy Scouts got to shoot an arrow into a target. Charlie loves archery and took some videos of it with my camera. Here is one of them . . .

After the shooting is over, the kids get to keep the arrow.

So I know that is a lot of talking before I get to my six words. SO here they are.

Charlie wants to get an arrow.

This means that Charlie doesn't want to quit Cub Scouts at the end of the year like he's been talking about for a while. I am not sure exactly what that will mean because the travel is exhausting. Perhaps we will switch him to a local pack next year. I will keep you all posted.

For more Six Word Saturday, head over to show my face dot com

Next Time: the Z double O

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dave Roller, Daddy Extraordinaire!

Pardon my intrusion, but this is Amy, Dave's wife popping in for a moment. Dave's been busy lately being a dad and husband. He is teaching three different grade levels here at home, shuttling Lucy to ballet while exercising on the track with the older two, teaching two classes at our home school co-op, brushing a certain person's extremely long and curly hair, making a mean meat loaf, going to men's bible study, sweeping up countless (and he's GOOD at math!) crumbs, and treating us all with love and good humor. Didn't you all know, February 18th is national Dave Roller appreciation day?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You haven't seen ... ?!!!!?

Time again for Things this Thursday.

Thing # 1. Films seen and unseen

I watched the movie Hello Dolly last night. I had never seen it before. The movie is based on a musical which is based on Thornton Wilder's play the matchmaker. I think I saw the play in high school. I know I read it (Yes I used to read plays for fun!).

The Movie Wall-E was inspire by Hello Dolly and actually includes footage from the film. This made me even more interested to watch it. I enjoyed Hello Dolly. It is funny, and poignant. It made me wonder how I missed it all these years.

This got me to thinking about movies that seemingly everyone has seen except you. These conversations used to happen at work. I would be sitting with my coworkers and some movie reference would come up and everyone would talk about how great a movie that was and one person would have never seen it. I remember one guy had never heard of Rain Man, it was strange.

One movie I never saw was Platoon. When it came out all my friends said I should see it but no one would see it with me. They had already seen it once, and said it was too powerful to watch again.

If there are any movies that you have always wanted to see, that seemingly everyone except you has watched, leave a comment or post about it and link here.

Thing # 2 Dance Class Fever

Lucy is loving her ballet class. She loves to spin around and play all the dancing games with the other girls. It is definitely the highlight of her week. Her first recital is in May and she is so excited.

Thing # 3 CTRL
This past week I have discovered a quirky web based t.v. show called Ctrl. It stars Tony Hale who recently played the ultra nasty Emmet Milbarge on Chuck. The first 10 episode which originally ran last summer are about 5 minutes each in length and are available in their entirety at Hulu.
The basic premise of the show is that Iced Tea and computer keyboards don't mix. I have seen 8 of the 10 episodes so far and encourage you guys to check it out.

Thing # 4 Sickness Disease Update
I appreciate all the encouraging feedback I received about my posy regarding Amy's recent unexplained medical issues. It seems we have hit upon an explanation. The chest pain and arm pain seem connected to GERD which is like acid reflux. Amy is going to review this with her doctor next week, and hopefully that will be that.

So, those are the things this Thursday. I encourage you to come join the fun.

Next Time: Six Word Saturday

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Multiplication and McCarthyism

Word Count Wednesday: 100 Words or Les

Crazy Uncle Dave here. It’s late Tuesday night, early morning Wednesday. Here are a few random thought to start/finish my day.

Yesterday, Charlie did double digit multiplication for the first time. Where’s the camera when you need it?

If comedy = tragedy + time, does parsley = oregano + thyme?
Speaking of comedy = tragedy plus time . . .

A Poem by Joseph McCarthy
Roses are red
Violets are too
Everything’s red
Except me and you
And I’m not so sure about you.

Next Time: You haven’t seen . . . ?!!!!?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Please pray for the o'connors

We met the O'connors right before Amy and I became engaged all the way back in November of 1998. They were a recently married couple who had begun attending our church. Within a short time of our meeting We and the O'connors became the volunteer youth group leaders of our church. For the next 3 years we maintained a close friendship with them as we ran the youth group together and Mike and I were on the deacon board together. Right before Amy Emma, and I went to Turkey in 2000 we asked the O'connors if they would consider agreeing to raise Emma, in the event anything ever happened to us. They readily agreed.

Shortly before Charlie was born in 2001, we moved away from the area where the Oconnors and our church were located. We were all still in the Chicago area but we were now relegated to seeing them on a much less frequent basis. A few years after Charlie was born, the Oconnors gave birth to their son Max. A few years after that we had Lucy.

In 2006, I lost my job of almost 10 years. I quickly got a temporary to permanent job but without insurance benefits. In December of 2006 the O'connors called and said they were coming over to deliver some groceries that our old church had donated to us as part of their benevolence ministry. When they came over they not only had the groceries, enough for our family to live off for well over a month, but they also had 100's of dollars of Christmas presents they had bought out of their own pocket for each of the kids. I mean each kid must have had 5-6 gifts and they gave us a pretty significant gift card for us as well.

We still don't see them very often. We ran into them at Great America in the Summer of 2008 and just caught up with them this past fall at a wedding of two of our former youth group members. We were excited to see on face book recently they were expecting another child.

This is where the prayer request comes in. Cassandra just informed us on a note in face book that she miscarried their son at 15 weeks. God has used this couple in such a mighty way in our lives over the years. We want to do anything we can to minister to them in their great sorrow. Please pray for Mike, Cassandra and Max.

The Day After

Yesterday was the Super Bowl and in what is becoming increasingly usual for us we stayed at home unable to watch the game. We are not one of those families that does not have a television. We have a television, we just can't watch t.v on it. For several reasons we have decided to not have cable in our home. When we moved to our current home we discovered that our ability to get network television was greatly inhibited. Our reception usually contained more snow than the Atlantic coast states received over the weekend. As a result, 3 or 4 years ago we moved the television away from the antenna, and use the t.v only to watch dvd's and videos. We do watch episodic television through hulu and other online sights. I have watched every episode of Chuck without using a television to do so. The problem we have is with television events like award shows and sports programming. I have become perfectly fine listening to sports on the radio. If I really want to watch a good game, I put on a dvd from the 2005 world series. But spectacular events like the Super Bowl are ones that we now forgo. We sometimes go visit family on such an occasion but nothing worked out this year.

I listened to parts of the game on the radio. Amy and I watched some of the commercials on the Internet and we played some games and read a little. It was a nice relaxing way to spend any Sunday evening, even a Super Bowl one.

Next Time: Works for me Wednesday

Sunday, February 7, 2010

They Ain't the Aints no more!

The New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl LXIV by a score of XXXI to XVII. I mean if you are going to talk in roman numerals, talk in roman numerals!

This Saints won in their first ever Super Bowl appearance beating the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts seemed to be favored by almost every prognosticator out there. However, if you look at my post from yesterday, I picked the Saints after a lot of hemming and hawing. What can I say?

A Colts victory would have evened the annual AFC NFC grudge match to 22 games a piece. The saints pulled the NFC to a 23-21 mark with the win.

A brief history of the Super Bowl shows that the AFC won 8 of the first 11meetings, the NFC won 7 of the next 11 and 9 of the 11 after that. In the past 11 games the resurgent AFC have won 7, losing only four.

New Orleans Quarterback Drew Brees, a former standout at Purdue, was the bane of the Hoosier state tonight, completing 32 of his 39 passes for 288 passing yards and 2 touchdown passes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Are You ready for some football?

I have been meaning to come back here and give my Super Bowl pics.

The game is tomorrow, so I better get to it.

I have not been following the past two NFL seasons as much as I have done in the past. There are probably several reasons for this, but the main one is that I no longer work outside the home.

When I worked outside the home, I would listen to sports radio on my way to and from work. Even though I did not watch the game s over the weekend (We only use our t.v. to watch videos and d.v.d's I would get a pretty good idea of how teams were doing by listening on the radio. Now, I can certainly tune in the radio and listen at home, but I don't. This means I am no longer as knowledgeable about the NFL as I once was.

This doesn't mean that I don't have anything to say as to who I think will win.

Since my favorite team is in the NFC, I generally lean towards the NFC. However, there are some AFC teams I like (Steelers, Colts) and other NFC teams I dislike (Cowboys, Falcons, Vikings). I also tend to pick against teams that have won it all recently in favor of teams who have not.

So, I have been not sure whether to pick the Colts, whom I like, and who are on paper the superior team or embrace the Saints as the feel good story of the year. I also can't help over thinking the choice as a vote for the Saints is a way to express my dissatisfaction that the Colts last Super Bowl victory was at the expense of my beloved Bears.

I am going with the Saints. Much of the reason why I liked the Colts was because of former coach Tony Dungy who I have been a big fan of since his time with the Buccaneers. I also have a hard time rooting for the team that stuck it to the Bears.

While my heart says Saints, my head would not be surprised at all at a Colts victory.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sickness Disease

Last Wednesday night Amy as she was driving home from a Naperville hospital after visiting her Mom who was in for pneumonia felt arm and chest pains and drove herself to our local emergency room. I rushed over there and they admitted her early Thursday Morning. They ran every test you could think of EKG, Ultrasound of the heart, X-Rays, blood work, and some of these multiple times. They were able to rule out heart attack, mini strokes, basically everything. Yet for most of her visit, her arm still felt like something or someone was clamping on it. Eventually that feeling subsided and they released her with a clean bill of health. Our family doctor will check on her in a few weeks to make sure everything is okay.

This is the second time in less than 2 years that she has gone to the doctor with legitimate symptoms and they have not been able to find anything wrong with her. It is incredibly strange.
These visits both remind me of what happened with Amy when Lucy was just a few days old. We had been out of the Hospital for less than 48 hours and Amy could not find any comfortable position to lay down in and was having trouble sleeping. We called my Dad in the middle of the night and he came over to watch the older kids. I remember it was snowing pretty hard as I drove Amy and Lucy to the hospital at about 2 in the morning. We didn't know whether to keep Lucy with us or keep her at home because she was less than a week old. Once we got to the Hospital they sent me back home with Lucy while they began tests on Amy.

I got back there about an hour later. After a long battery of tests they determined that Amy's heart and kidneys were both working at about a 25% level. They admitted her to the Heart Hospital. I drove home at about 8 a.m. I was devastated, I had had no sleep the night before and I just prayed a ll the way home. 4 years prior I had donated a kidney to a family friend. I was tempted to despair as now I would be unable to donate one to Amy. I wondered how I would possibly be able to raise 3 kids on my own if anything were to happen to Amy. But mostly I was struck with how much I love Amy and how much of who I am is tied into her. I did not understand how I would make it without her in my life.

When I got home I took care of the kids and started calling people for prayer. This was on a Sunday morning. By Thursday Amy was released and both her heart and kidney were at basically 100%. We never got an adequate response as to why the levels had gone down and then gone back up.

What was really strange was that less than a year later my brother was hospitalized with about the same kidney and heart levels as Amy had experienced. Amy and I both expected that his levels would go back up to normal as hers did. Keith's diagnosis was not the aberration that Amy's had been. He died less than 3 years after the condition was found.

I have had other friends and family members pass away from cancer and other illnesses in the past few years. My experience on that ride home in December of 2005 has built an empathy for the relatives, especially spouses of sick, dying and deceased people. Even though my experience with Amy turned out to be only a false alarm, it gave me a glimpse of what others go through.

I am not sure why I am sharing all this. I have been thinking about that time and thought the need to get it out there.

Next Time: WFMW

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