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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fun at the Carnival

It's been a while since Amy posted something here. Here she is with a recap of a fun Saturday spent at a local carnival.

Our family enjoys going to the carnival every year. When I say, "our family" I mean, the kids. I can't ride rides, as they make me sick. Dave enjoys rides, but this carnival doesn't usually sport rides that interest him. He usually gets a wristband so he can ride the merry-go-round with Lucy, ad nauseum. This year, Lucy was tall enough , so Dave didn't have to spend the extra $20 and ride with her. He is saving that money for me just in case Bath and Body Works brings back Plumeria or Jewel Food Stores brings back Generic Iced Tea. But I digress.

In the past the carnival has come to town in April, but this year, they showed up in May. The weather usually is at extremes, either freezing or piping hot. This year's trip was the latter. The carnival is set up in a local parking lot, about a city block long.

When we first started going, Emma was 2 1/2, and it seemed huge, and we worked diligently to keep a hold of her, and make sure she didn't get lost in this vast area. This year, we followed our 4 1/2 year old, Lucy, around, and the other two fended for themselves. When I looked out for the two fenders-for-them-selvers, I could stand at one end of the carnival, and see Charlie at the other end, waiting in line for his favorite ride. Why did I used to think it was so big? Who knows, maybe it was the fact that I was still a relatively new parent. Maybe I was looking at the carnival through the kids' eyes. Maybe someone secretly performed LASIK surgery on me while I was sleeping, and I can see that much better. Who knows!

(Charlie in action)

We usually scout out the prices ahead of time, so we can prepare the kids: "We're only going from 2-6 because that's the time you can use your wristband." This year, it was a full-carnival-frenzy. ALL-DAY $20! Emma and Charlie were in heaven! Okay it wasn't heaven but it sure wasn't Iowa!

The carnival was ill-attended during the day, so most of the time, they stayed on their favorite rides as long as they wanted to. We usually park the car right next to the carnival and have a cooler with cold water, sodas for adults, and snacks. This year, it was so hot, the drinks were exhausted quickly. So Dave and I took turns sitting in the nearby Taco Bell reading a book and sipping on a cold drink. . Lucy was wiped out around 4:30 pm and wanted to go home. She was bathed and asleep by 7:30.

Dave stayed behind with "the bigs" who had found some of their friends. Dave took Emma home around 8:00, and then Dave and Charlie stayed until after 9. Our family has another tradition, of keeping their wrist-bands on as long as possible. Well meaning church friends will think we were hospitalized. Maybe they just think we should be hospitalized. I think Dave still has one on from Great America last summer. Wait, no, that's his watch.

(Emma and friend)

But enough with blogging already, I want to use my computer for its real purpose in life: watching The Walton's on DVD.

Next Time: It's Dave's blog ask him.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Of Lucyisms and Lemons

Lucy came up to me earlier today and said the following :

Dad, could you google sour lemons?

So I did.

First I found this video . . .

Then this picture . . .

I also found devotions, recipes for Indian side dishes, a my space page for the group Maxwell and the Sour Lemons and a link to buy a 5lb bag of sour lemon drops for $29.95.

Still not sure what put Lucy on the lemon obsession. I made about 20 lemon shapes for her already today.

Oh, well.

For more Six Word Saturday head over to Show my Face Dot Com.

Next Time: Carnival Musings

Watch Robin Hood? Sure Would!

I haven't put an installment of my top 25 labels up recently. So here goes . . .

Label # 20 (in a seven place tie): Films

I like movies, I have for as long as I could remember. I'm not sure what the first movie I watched at home was, it might have been Wizard of Oz, Dr. Doolittle, or maybe Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I remember that sometimes back before videos, cable or on demand my parents would wake us up so we could watch a movie that was on past our bed time.

There is a new Robin Hood movie out in theatres. I watched it last night. A little more on that later. I recently watched Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for the first time. These two make a total of 5 Robin Hood Theatrical releases that I have seen. Last nights was the first one that I saw in an actual movie theatre.

Here is a list of those films ranked from first to last in order that I liked them. By clicking on the title of the film you will be linked to the movie's IMDB page.

# 1 Adventures of Robin Hood 1938

This is hands down the best Robin Hood movie ever made. If I ever get around to revising my list of 10 ten films of all time, this will definitely be on it. Erroll Flynn is the definitive Robin. Claude Rains (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Cassablanca) is delicious as Prince John and Basil Rathbone is a text book example of movie villainy as Guy of Gisbourne. The director Micheal Curtiz does a great job of alternating the pace of the movie between action, comedy and romance as he did so ably a few years later in Cassablanca. The hidden gem of the movie is the dynamic score of Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

#2 Robin Hood (1973)

This is the first Robin Hood movie I ever saw. As far as a Disney Cartoon, it came at relative low time for the studio. None of the six animated features they released from 1967 to 1981 (Jungle Book, Aristocats, Robin Hood, Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, The Rescuers and Fox and the Hound) were received as well as the Disney Animated features of the previous and future generations. Robin Hood is definitely one of the best made during that time period. For me it is definitely the funniest of the Robin Hood movies I have seen.

# 3. Robin Hood (2010)

Having just seen this yesterday, it is possible this movie could go higher or lower on this list in the future. I have not yet seen Gladiator, (Yes I'm the one) so I can't compare Crowe's performance in that film to this one. I will say it is a totally different performance than he did in A Beautiful Mind, that's for sure.

When you make a movie that's been made into as many versions as Robin Hood, you want yours to stick out. This Robin Hood seems to be a prequel to the Robin Hood stories we are used to seeing. I think it is a pretty good reimagining. I would talk specifics but I am allergic to saying spoiler alert, achoo!

I was the only one in the theatre, so I have still not seen a Robin Hood movie with a paying audience. This will change in the next week or so when I take my Son to see it. I am in the habit of previewing movies before my kids see them. Since this movie owns a PG 13 rating, I wasn't sure if it was suitable for Him. While there is much violence in the film, I would have to agree with the review I read at a Focus on the family web site that in comparing Robin Hood to Brave Heart says that the violence in the former does not achieve the gore of the latter.

This does not mean I advocate taking every 8 year old to see it. I would not take my 10 year old, but I have a pretty good idea of what my son can watch and not watch. There is a brief scene in the early going that we will be off for a popcorn run during. This is why I advocate viewing a movie before your kids do, it costs more monetarily but I don't have to walk a screaming girl out of the theatre as I did when we tried to watch Eight below. Thanks for the recommendation, Dad!

#4 Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)

When this movie came out in the theatres, I had a small level of interest in seeing it. It would have been the first Robin Hood movie I ever viewed. I never got around to seeing it until last week, when I decided to watch it since a new one was coming out.

The movie has it pluses and minuses. I wasn't as impressed with Alan Rickman's Sherrif of Nottingham as most reviewers seems to have been. Morgan Freeman was excellent as usual and While Kevin Costner is no action hero, His interactions with Freeman, Rickman and Christian Slater are all top notch.

5. Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)

When I compiled this list in my head, I forgot all about seeing this movie. That is certainly not the kind of endorsement that would put it any higher on this list. Don't get me wrong I love Mel Brooks. His work in Mad About You and The Muppet Movie are about the funniest things I have ever seen.

As I now remember this movie it was pretty funny at parts. But like many of Brook's comedies, the movie as a whole wasn't anything all that special.

So there we have it. Some thoughts I have on movies under the guise of some Robin Hood Reviews.

Next Time: A Six Word Lucyism

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Reading

Memorial Day weekend is this weekend. Many people including myself see the Memorial Day weekend as the beginning of Summer. Although business as usual will continue at The Izola Becker Home School through mid June, Memorial Day does begin my summer reading plan. I will be reading as many books as I can from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. I hope to read at least 20 books in that time period. A few years ago in my pre blogging days I wrote a So you want to page at Amazon. It was entitled So you want to make a Summer Reading list. You can check it out by clicking here.

If you're not much for clicking here I brought the guide to you:

Keep in mind this was written 5 years ago. So when I talk about the White Sox going to the World Series last in 1959, I was writing it a few months before they returned there in the magic season of 2005. Here we go:

It's summer and you've decided to have a summer reading plan. The question is what are you going to read. My suggestions are formulated for adults but there is really no reason that a student could not adapt these suggestions for their benefit.

I. Buy one book for the purpose of reading this summer and then read it!

One mistake many people make is to buy 8 or 10 books for their summer reading list and then not read any. Right around Memorial Day 2004 I waltzed over to my local Christian book store to find a book to start my summer reading on. I found a sale copy of How Good is Good Enough by Andy Stanley. I had never read anything else of his but the title intrigued me and besides it was short. I don't generally get books based on their size but when starting your summer reading on a short book is not a bad idea for getting that first book read.

II. Read a book that you already own but have not yet read. Once you have the first book under your belt it's not a bad idea to go with a book you own. I received Strength Down the Middle - The Story of the 1959 Chicago White Sox by Larry Kalas for a Father's Day present last year. I was born in 1964 so did not know a lot about the 1959 Sox and found it a very interesting Memoir about the Chi Sox last trip to the World Series.

III. Choose a book from one of your favorite authors that you have not yet read. Many people make the mistake that their summer reading list should be chalk full of books that they should read, and don't put enough books on their list that they want to read. I have been reading Bill Pronzinni books my entire life so I went to my local library and found a nameless detective mystery I had not previously consumed, Hard Case was an excellent entry in the nameless detective series. Which leads me to my next point:

IV. Choose at least one book based on something you just read from your list. I believe a summer reading list should be a living document. Having a preset list that you must adhere to can knock all the spontaneity from your summer. So after I read Hard Case I went to Amazon and looked at all the reviews for it. Many reviewers compared it with Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers. I promptly went to my local library and checked it out. I am so glad I did. Dorothy Sayers is now on my list of favorite authors because of it. For years people have been reccomending Thrones, Dominations to me, and based on how much I enjoyed Busman's Honeymoon, I went and made that the next book on my summer list.

V. Read a biography of a personal hero. Three summers ago I read the Ronald Reagan Biography, . Last Summer I read a biography on Eric Liddell the famous scottish runner and missionary. This summer I think I'll pick up Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck. I think it is important to have heroes and even more important to know about them. Emulation is a lost art, and biographies, especially inspirational ones are a way to hone that art.

VI. Read at least one book that you think you should. As I suggested earlier having your summer list full of books you think you should read rather than those you want to read makes a drudgery of the entire ordeal. However the inverse can be just as dangerous. You want to challenge yourself on your reading list. So each summer I read a book that I should have read in high school. Last year it was and this year it will probably be To Kill a Mockingbird . This also falls under my next category and the book I am currently reading:

VII. Read the book if you've seen the movie. I am a big movie buff. So each summer I try to read at least one book based on a movie I've seen. I am currently working on The Three Musketeers .

VIII. Make your list as unique as you are. As you can probably tell from this guide, I am passionate about a wide variety of topics. My summer reading list reflects that variety. Last Summer I read The Dick Tracy Casebook: Favorite Adventures, 1931-1990 because I love comic strips. This summer many of my choices will reveal my interests. It would be difficult to live your life as who you are and then to read who you're not.

IX. Read something based on someone else's recommendation. Some of my favorite books are books that I would have never chosen for myself. In the Summer of 1990, I had to read Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Night by Elie Wiesel along with 7 other books for a 4 week literature class. I would have never chosen either of those books in a million years if I was picking on my own. I am very happy that they were both shoved in my direction. Again,there should be tension on your reading list from reading what you are interested in and enjoy to experimentation and expansion of ones horizons.

X. Read!!!!! I made a decision last year after enrolling both my children in summer reading programs to have a reading plan for myself each summer for the rest of my days. We unplug our T.V. each summer for the purpose of going on long walks and enjoying each others company in the fine Illinois summer weather. Reading is definitely part of that summer tradition and I think it should be part of yours as well.

Starting this Friday I will post a mini review for each book I finish this summer. I will also post a Mr. Linky each Sunday for anyone who wants to link their book reviews here. Let the reading begin!

Next Time: Films

Saturday, May 22, 2010

We now resume this blog

Yes, I am back three short days after saying I wouldn't be back for a while. My Six Words will summarize my explanation:

Be careful what you ask for!

When I explained my busy life because of my temporary job on Wednesday by saying that something had to give, I assumed that I would need to curtailing my blogging until the job ended. It turns out that I received an e-mail from my team leader late last night stating that our entire team would be done working as of Sunday. Oh well, she was always preaching the importance of being flexible in our jobs.

As a family we were hoping for more of an income stream than the 4 weeks my gig actually lasted. I am thankful for what God provided and am looking forward to having a pip more free time come Monday.

Today is still going to be a blur of activities between dance rehearsals, soccer games and 8-9 hours of work. I will make the most of my few minutes on line by contributing a joke to the weekend funnies meme on this very post.

I made this joke up yesterday so it's still fresh in my mind.

A match made in heaven: Immelda Marcos and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Click here to see more of Six Word Saturday and click here to see more Weekend Funnies.

Next Time: Summer Plans (or something else entirely, it is important to be flexible!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tweets Fortnightly?

Things Fortnightly here for another episode in our biweekly bloggy bash. Since I posted how busy I was yesterday, I thought I'd introduce a new segment for the blog. It is called The Tweets I would tweet if I were a twit who used Twitter. I know it's a little Seussian, let's just call it Tweets Tweet Twit Twitter for short. Yep all my things will be 140 characters or less.

Tweet 1: Olivia from Suchakingdom.blogspot.com has won the contest for my Washington D.C. memoirs and trip trinkets. Congratulations!

Tweet 2: Chuck has been renewed! Here is the tweetnouncement from show creator Josh Schwartz. I am all set for Monday’s season finale.

Tweet 3: Our church had a father daughter cake decorating night a few weeks back.
Started with this . . .

Added aprons,

A hat,

And voila!

Tweet 4: Charlie and I saw a Cubs game last Monday. It was his third in his lifetime and He is still looking for win #1. Poor kid!

Well, that's all the things/tweets I have thought/tweeted.

If you want to participate your things can be more than 140 characters. Just link your post with Mr. Linky.

I'll be back in no less than 2 weeks with another fine installment of Things Fortnightly.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Something's Got to Give

Life has been very busy at casa de Roller lately. I am working a temporary job in the evenings and weekends. Each of our three children is busy with an extra curricular activity. I have decided to slow down the blogging until my temp job ends. I wish I had done a little more Bulk Blogging like Kristin talked about an her most recent WFMW post.

I will be publishing Things Fortnightly tomorrow. But then I have nothing planned for a week or two until the temp job ends. Remember that today is your last chance to comment on this or any of my posts since last Monday for an opportunity to win a copy of my Washington D.C. Journal and a few D.C. knickknacks.

Next Time: Things Fortnightly

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rejected by Readers Digest

My most recent Six Word Saturday submission scored a myriad of comments. One commenter invited me to join her meme Weekend Funnies. Basically what you do is tell a joke and link it to her post.

My first entry, and most likely not my last, is a true story. We liked it so much we submitted it to Readers Digest. We still do not sit well with their decision to totally ignore our entry. But that's a mouthful of bitter resentment best digested (get it, digested?) on another occasion.

What happened is this, our son Charlie was between 1 and 3 years old and Amy was training him not to say no to us when we gave him instruction. When he would say no, Amy would counter with "say yes, not no." When we were months into this process Charlie asked what month he was born in. Amy told him, November. Charlie responded "It's Yesvember, not November!".

Still not sure why Readers Digest took a pass that one. We hope you enjoy it. Click here to return to Weekend Funnies.

Next Time: Men's Monday Meme

Friday, May 14, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Toady's Six Words: The dangers of blogging after midnight.

Last Saturday after I wrote my Six Words for last week, I was working on a guest blog about being a home school dad for a blog called Daddy's Home. Before I knew it it was 1 in the morning. I got ready to go to bed but decided to first add a blog to my blog roll. Because I was so tired, I accidentally deleted all 15 or so blogs from the blog roll. So at 1 A.M., I tried to remember all the blogs, find them and link them back to my blog. It was 2 a.m before I finally got to bed.

It is 11:15 p.m. now and I am going to post this before I blow something else up. For more Six Word Saturday head over to showmyfacedotcom.

Next Time: Films

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Guest Posting at Daddy's Home

About a month ago, I received an e-mail about a blog called Daddy's Home. It is a blog about an organization of dad's who are the primary care givers for their children. Apparently, one of the editors of the blog had discovered my blog and asked if I would do a guest post about being a home school Dad at their blog. I was glad to oblige.

The article was just posted. You can link to it here. While you sre there, be sure to check out their blog. It has some other pretty good articles.

Next Time: Six Word Saturday

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

People let me tell you about my best friend.

I am no multitasker, this is very true. I am a multi-utilizer. I like to use things for more than one purpose. This is especially true when it comes to this blog. If I am going to participate in a meme like Six Word Saturday, I often make those six words about something I was going to post about anyway.

I have been pretty busy lately with home school life, a guest post at another blog (more on this later), my temp job with the census, and just regular every day stuff. I have been trying to continue my series about my top 25 blog labels and I also wanted to participate in the Men's Monday Meme. I didn't think I'd be able to do both. But when I saw this weeks question I knew I could do both at once.

Men's Monday Meme

The question went like this:

Who is the woman that has made the most impact in your life and why?

To answer this question, I have decided to move up form my 7 way tie for label #20 and move to

Label # 19 Sitting in a Tree

While at first glance it may seem like this label is dedicated to posts about Zacchaeus, It is really a label about the woman that has made the most impact in my life. That woman is my wife Amy. I could write article after article about how much I love her and how important she is to me. And the thing is, I do.

Here are a few key points as to why she is the best thing before, after, and during sliced bread.

1. We match.

Ever since we met almost 20 years ago, we have had an instant rapport, or as one musical lyricist put it: A perfect blendship. We enjoy many of the same things and most of all we enjoy each other.

2. Great Minds Think Alike.

We not only sometimes complete each other's sentence. What is really cool, is this is still not gotten old. Just tonight we said the same thing at the same time and we were high fiving like the Bears just won the Super Bowl.

3. She Gets Me.

I am what you call an acquired taste. I have had many a friend, who has told me that when they first met me they did not like me. It may be, that I rub some people the wrong way. But I think that the truth is that people just don't understand me. Amy understands who I am, and she likes me for who I am.

4. She Helps Me.

Amy once described our courtship as friendship with help. She is not only my best friend, she is my biggest fan. When I talk to people I often don't make eye contact with them. This is not due to any conscious reason except that I get so focused on the convo, I forget to make eye contact. Amy has a code word she uses to help me remember eye contact. She makes a comment about My Aunt Eileen. (Eileen = eye contact) The thing is I don't have an Aunt Eileen, yet she has become one of my most important relatives.

5. She believes in me.

This may just be a rehashing of 3 and 4, but my wife thinks not only better of me than she does herself, she thinks better of me than anyone else other than God thinks about me. She is constantly reminds me of all the good gifts and talents the Lord has bestowed on me.

6. She's funny.

Humor is very important to me. Amy makes me laugh on a daily basis. Some times we crack each other up with our own private jokes. But more often than not it's just the natural laughter that comes from spending your life with your best friend.

I could go on and on. I could tell you what a great worker, mother, sister, daughter and friend she is. But, hey I want to save some of those so I have ideas for future blogs. One final thing I would like to say to her is.

You're really cute and I like you a lot!

If you are interested in viewing or participating in this meme, head over to Families Again.

Next Time: Films

Sunday, May 9, 2010

DC Trip Day 9 Puzzle

1. To the kid's delight (and mine too), we chose an indoor water park at a somewhat affordable price.
2. I was pleased to discover that Sandusky, Ohio, home of Cedar Point, was 15 minutes from Milan and had several places to swim.
3.I have been unsuccessful in any attempt to find it, now that I need it.
4.Our only two criteria, were to stop in Milan, Ohio, the birthplace of Thomas Edison, and go to a place where we could swim.
5. Tomorrow after an Easter brunch, we will head home and close the book on a most excellent vacation.
6. It wasn't long before we were past D.C., into Maryland and heading towards Pennsylvania.
7. The paragraphy program, will randomly mix up the sentences, and you will have to put Humpty Dumpty together again.
8. I was supposed to finish up with my Washington D.C Journal today.
9. We stopped at a Dairy Queen for lunch and then started thinking about a place to hang our hats for the night.
10. Day 9 started early as we left Claire's and drove out of Stafford.
11. Because of the mix-up I have decided to give you a mix-up of your own.
12. The problem is, I wrote my last entry in one of my kid's notebooks as Amy already had my notebook packed away.
13. Using Paragraphy, which I read about at blogging2learn, I will tell you about the events of day 9.

If you are able to unmix this, place it in the correct order in the comments below.

One thing I remember from my original journal entry is recalling that when we were visiting the capitol, our guide told us that each state has 2 statues of famous people from their state housed in the capitol building. I asked my guide if Thomas Edison was one of the features statues. He said, no but in Ohio, he was on a short list of potential candidates to replace the statue of a fromer governor, who was pro slavery. Just day's after asking that question, I was shocked to see this banner in Edison's birth city. . .

Here are a few more day 9 pics . . .

I did not complete a journal entry for day 10, our return to Illinois. So, this is the end of my D.C. Journey. To celebrate I am going to put all of my journal entries together including remembrances of day 9 and 10 into book form. I will be giving away 1 copy of this memoir to a lucky commenter. Anyone who comments on any of my blog entries from now until May 19th will be entered into a drawing. I will announce the winner in the next edition of Things Fortnightly on May 20th. I will also throw in a few souvenirs, I picked up on the trip. Full details will be listed in the next few days.

Next Time: Men's Monday Meme

Friday, May 7, 2010

Six Word Saturday - Lyrics By Dave

Yes it's Six Word Saturday again and my top 25 label celebration is continuing.
These are not my six words: LABEL # 20 (7 way tie) Lyrics by Dave.

I have been writing songs for most of my life. I can carry a tune, but only in a bucket. As you know, buckets are hard to come by in this economy. Often when I sing, the only one who recognizes the tune, is me. This can be difficult, since I also wrote the music.

I occasionally write parodies so anyone I can con into listening will at least recognize the tune. I was trying to think of what parody lyrics to share in this post, when I saw this video on a friend's facebook page.

That video reminded me of today's six words:

Some people say I Monkey around.

I love the Monkees, they and the Beatles more or less created the music video along with the folks at School House Rock. Last Train to Clarksville is one of my favorite Monkee's songs. Let's face it any Monkee's song I happen to be listening to, has the tendency to be my favorite. My all time favorite has got be, I'm a believer. So sometime in 1987 while singing it to the top of my lungs alone in my van I came up with these alternate lyrics (All but the last verse those I made up as I typed. Hey it's a gift. But after you read it, you might want to send the gift back.) ...

I thought God was only true for little ones
Like Santa Claus, you find He isn't real
But God was out to save me, I just couldn't see
When I was at lowest, He died for me

That's when I felt his grace (bomp Ba da da da)
Now I'm a believer (bomp ba da da da)
And there's now a place (bomp ba da da da)
In Heaven that's mine
And He's my Lord (Ohohohohohhhh)
Now I'm a believer
Now I'm a receiver
And I'm glorifyin!
(Bomp Ba da da da Bomp ba da da da)

I could never think of a second verse
I racked my head
I tried and tried and tried
Then a few years later
I heard a Christian version
And my chance for CCM* fame died

But I still feel His grace (bomp ba da da da)
I'm still a believer. (bomp ba da da da) )
There's still a place (bomp ba da da da)
in Heaven that's mine
He's still God. (Ohohohohohhhh)
I'm still a believer
still a receiver
And still glorifyin!
(Bomp ba da da da bomp ba da da da da bomp ba da da da daaaaaaaa)

* CCM = Contemporary Christian Music

So that's all we have for Dave's top 40 today. I'll keep writing em down and you keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars. (Sorry, had to be said.) For more Six Word Saturday, head on over to show my face dot com.

Next Time: All good trips must come to an end.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Balloons Ahoy!

As far as fortnights go this one seems shorter than most. But yes it's been 2 weeks since our last Things this Thursday. Let's get right to it shall we.

Thing 1. Talk about your send offs!

The last Monday in April was the last day of our home school cooperatives Spring Semester. The group Christian Workshops of the Fox Valley (CWF) had their 10th anniversary this year. To celebrate we had a balloon launch.

Each family put their names on a pre-addressed stamped post card and attached it to a balloon.

Then we gathered as a group.

and let go!

The release was less than 2 weeks ago and 3 posts cards have already been returned. So far all have come from Illinois. Some from 3 hours away. What I find amazing is that 2 balloons found 3 hours away were returned by the same person and seemed to have been retrieved on different days. Our families balloon is still among the missing. If it shows up I'll let you know.

Thing 2: Trained to do right!

Last year Charlie learned about the underground railroad in one of his CWF classes. In the town next to ours there is a historical marker on a very busy corner of a busy street. My sister is obsessed about historical markers, so I decided to take a picture of it for her. I took Charlie and Emma with me as a field trip is a field trip no matter how small.

We were surprised and delighted to find out that the marker showed that the home next to it was a station for the underground railroad.

It really does something inside of me to realize that in the area I live there were people bold and brave enough to fight against a great injustice. On this the National Day of Prayer it reminds me that God often answers prayers through the actions of others.

3. Is Chuck Lost?

Today I continue my tribute to the top 25 labels I used in the first 300 posts of Home School Dad.

Label # 20 (7-way tie) Chuck.

My blogging about the NBC show Chuck is very tied in with my experience with Three Things Thursday. When Michelle of Psalm 104:24 was at the helm of 3TTT she always had 1 of her things about the ABC series Lost. Having never watched an episode of Lost (a fact that HULU is helping me remedy, see future posts) I could not include a synopsis of said show. What I could do was write little blurbs about the best television show I never watched on television. I have watched every episode of Chuck online either at NBC.Com or Hulu.

Because of low ratings and the t.v. writers strike of 2007 Chuck has spent much of it's life on the NBC chopping block. Even with the large grassroots supports of scifi/ action geeks (like me)i t barely survived last year to make it to season 3.

As I reported here, I wasn't sure if Chuck's renewal was a good thing or not as the 2008-2009 season ended on the highest of high notes. It turns out my fears were totally unfounded as season 3 has made season 2 look like a Partridge Family reunion show in comparison.

But now that Season 3 is drawing to a close, Chuck's fortunes for a 4th season seem as unclear as ever. There is some speculation that Chuck could be renewed and premiere later in the season as it did last year.

I have more things than I have time to share them. If you'd like to share your things link on Mr. Linky below. I'll be back in two weeks with another installment of things fortnightly.

Next Time: Lyrics By Dave

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I haven't participated in Works for Me Wednesday for quite a while. Today's WFMW is a backwards edition. In essence: you state what doesn't work for you and hope the blogosphere will help you resolve it. It reminds me a little of an advice column. SO I composed an open letter.
Dear WFMW,
My wife and I have been having problems recently with our four year old. Even though she has little to no trouble going to bed in her room. She regularly wakes up in ours. Between 4 am and 6 am she makes the commute and often wakes up my wife with requests for food and or attention. We have tried many things: bribery, a gate and several others. Nothing seems to work when we put up the gate, she either climbs over it or screams until I have to go and deal with her. What we'd like her to do is stay in her bed, or climb up on to her sister's bunk. But most nights she heads on over to our room. We did not have this as a regular occurrence with our first two children.
Is there anything that we can do? Because having our (mostly my wife's sleep disturbed each night) does notwork for us!
Sleep deprived in Suburbia
For more Backwards WFMW head on over to We Are That Family.
Next Time: Things Fortnightly

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Men's Monday Meme

I am participating in Families Again's Men's Monday Meme again this week. The questions arise this week to criticism the author received to posting about helping poor people in foreign countries. Here is a link to his comments in full. Here are the questions that I am going to address:

1. Should we only help those here at home and forget those abroad? 2. Have those abroad "gotten themselves into their own mess", and we need to clean up our own "messes"? 3. Is it anyone's business what we do with our time and money?

1. Ethnocentricity, the belief in the inherent superiority of one's own ethnic group or culture, may not be an American invention, but we certainly have perfected it. I find the notion that we should help only those at home and forget those abroad ironic when most Americans can trace their lineage to lands other than here.

Ethnocentricity may stem from a false sense of value. In a recent post, I talked about the possible false belief that the U.S. is the best nation on the earth. I say the possible false belief, because for all I know, the U.S. might be the best. Even if that is the case, does it make any sense for me to feel better about myself for being an American? I didn't do anything to become an American. I just happened to be born here.

In my opinion, God has chosen the nationality and ethnicity of everyone on earth. Does He really love me more than the child being born this minute in extreme poverty 1/2 way across the globe? I think it is very easy for those who are blessed materially to not realize what they have to be thankful for, until they are given a glimpse of how those not so blessed live.

2. It is important to teach people who we are responsible for how to bail themselves out of their own messes from time to time. So as a parent, teacher, coach, or church worker, I may have the opportunity to teach someone the consequences of their actions. When dealing with strangers in need, I have no such obligations to mold their behavior, I only have the Biblical mandate to treat them as Jesus would.

3. It is not really anyone's business what we do with our time and money. However, if we blog or write on facebook what we do with our time and money, we make it other people's business. This blog automatically updates to my facebook page. That means that everything I write here is available for friends and family who may never take a look at my blog (you know who you are.) So if I blog about how much I love the White Sox, it may open myself up to a few nasty comments from my Cub Loving familial compatriots. Is it any of their business that I love the White Sox? No. But when I tell them I do, I invite their comments. Which is one of the reasons why my sports blog doesn't automatically update to my facebook page, so there!

So, that's my Men's Monday Meme for the week. To participate yourself click here.

Next Time: DC Trip Day 9

Saturday, May 1, 2010

DC Journal

Today I begin my tribute to the top 25 labels I used in the first 300 posts of Home School Dad. It is also Saturday, so I'll try to get my six words in edgewise.

Label # 20 (in a seven place tie): Washington D.C. Trip

When the family got together and decided to create a dream come true, (There's a song there somewhere, the dream in this case was our trip to Washington D.C) I decided to keep a journal of the trip and then post those entries here once I returned.

For a writer, I am a horrible journal keeper. I usually miss a day by the third entry or am going back to fill it in on a later date. Besides the night I fell asleep journaling, I was able to complete each entry before the day in question was in the books.

In terms of posting these entries here, I am very faithful to my original work. While I add pictures and sometimes videos from the day in questions and will correct grammar and spelling (not that you'd notice), I fight off the urge to turn a phrase differently than when pen first met paper, and try to stay true to the moment.

Today I am up to Day 8, our last day of sightseeing before we started driving back home.

Before I start, here are my Six Words:

Take a picture, it lasts longer.

Washington Trip: Day 8

Day 8 started like it might eclipse Day 7 as best day of the trip. I woke up at 4:45 A.M. and drove with Claire, the woman our family has been staying with, into D.C. We got to the tidal basin about 40 minutes before sunrise.

I took pictures from a bridge that overlooked both the Jefferson and Washington monuments and the Potomac river. It was an awesome sunrise among the cherry blossoms. I snapped picture after picture and even without a tripod or a really good camera, I took some breathtaking photos.

At about 7:30, i walked to the Washington monument and got in line to get tickets to go up the monument. I waited two hours just to find out that they had run out of tickets. I then met my family and my sister's family at the National Aquarium.
Most of the museum here at D.C. are free and huge. The aquarium went the other way, expensive and small. After that we spent a few hours at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Saw some real cool exhibits for both adults and children.

We went to the Julia Child exhibit and many others.

We then walked in the almost 90 degree heat to the tidal basin. The petals on the cherry trees were gorgeous. We the walked back to my sisters car and headed back to her house. We ate pizza at Kathy's and visited for a few hours before making our leave. We prepared for our return trip home and called it a night.
So that is it for my look at a label, I will finish the trip this coming week. For more Six Word Saturdays head on over to showmyfacedotcom.
Next Time: Men's Monday Meme

A to Z 2023 Road Trip

#AtoZChallenge 2023 RoadTrip