Monday, December 31, 2007

Holidays Update


For all the family here is a little update on how the holidays have been at the Welch household.


First, for all of those who sent money or gift cards to Cooper for his birthday, he used his money to buy an iPod.  It is something that he should use for a long time and it hooks up to the iDog that he had asked for and Santa brought.  So thank you to everyone.

Thank you grandparents for all agreeing to kick in for Val's new video camera.  Even though she asked for it she was surprised on when she opened her present.  I have tried to stay out of the way and only offer assistance if asked.  I am as excited as you to see what videos come out of it, but she was very excited.

We had a great Christmas here.  My mom and dad came up for the week.  Dad helped with several projects around the house (mainly involving doors.)  We opened family gifts on Christmas eve.  Then the big man came that night and left a little more for Christmas day, including a new sled, which has been used several times already.

On Thursday night Val and I went out for our anniversary to the Wabasha Street Caves Swing night.  We had a lot of fun and then stayed at the Saint Paul Hotel.

Right now Cooper is trying to stay up with Val to ring in the new year.  Lincoln has been sick and Saturday night I was up most of the night with him, so I don't think I will see the new year pass.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have a wonderful 2008.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No Room in the What?

Ben Witherington at Christianity Today has an interesting article about the way we have interpreted Luke 2:1-7 and what Luke may have been trying to tell us.

"We've heard it countless times before. We've all been inoculated with a slight case of Christmas, preventing us from getting the real thing, or in this case, from reading these texts in a more historical way. The problem with the Christmas-pageant version is, this is not at all likely to be what Luke intends to tell us in this much beloved and belabored Christmas tale."

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

(HT: Cindy Bryan)

Cooper's Radio Interview (update)

We got a CD today of Cooper's "Holiday Outlook" radio interview. Not as much static.

LISTEN HERE

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Isaiah on True Fasting

Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

Isaiah 58

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cooper's Radio Interview

LISTEN HERE

It is recorded off of our local AM radio station, so there is a lot of static, but here is Cooper's Christmas Interview.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas List

For the grandparents we are working on wish list for the boys. Not that you have to buy what is on the list, but it should give you some ideas. Just click on their heads.

Thanks.





Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas Cards

It's that time of year. The holidays are fast approaching and it will soon be time to get those Christmas cards in the mail. Here is someone else you can add to your list.

A Recovering American soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington , D.C. 20307-5001

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween 2007




Last night I took the little goblins out. It was Val's late night so just the boys for halloween.

We went around the houses right by us and then came home to pass out candy. After a couple of houses Lincoln figured it out and would go to the doors and hold up his bag.

Cooper was a "Monster Truck Driver Monster" It was his design that we followed. Although he got stuck with blue hair because I couldn't find green.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cooper to begin radio career

Today Cooper came home with this note in his backpack...

"Some second grade students have been selected to be recorded on the radio for the annual 'A Child's Holiday Outlook.', which will air on KRWC (AM 1360) from November 19-Christmas Day. Your child has been selected to participate this year. Please fill out the bottom of the sheet so they have your permission. I will give you a schedule of when your child will be on the radio station when the radio station provides us with one."

I hope they know what they have gotten themselves into giving Cooper access to a mic.

For family, once we have the schedule I will try to see if we can either get it recorded or get a copy from the station.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Reasonable Response

I finally got a reasonable response from PCI. Here is what they did.

They explained how the mistake happened and apologized for it.

They apologized for the way I was treated.

They offered to send us the cable we needed.

They offered to send us a $50 gift card to a restaurant of our choice for our trouble.

If I had gotten this response first, even without the gift card (and there would have been not need to apologize for the way I was treated) I would have been very happy.

I asked them to donate the $50 to a food-shelf or homeless shelter. I do not need to personally benefit for this, that was not the point.

If I can be so bold I would like to offer PCI some customer service advice in case something like this happens again with another client.

1. Take time to look up information if you need to. I know I am not the only client you have. A very appropriate response to my first email would have been something like, "I am sorry you are having a problem. I will pull your file and review the cart we built to find out what happened. I will contact you next week when I have more information."

2. If you are not the appropriate person to address the issue, send me to the right person. I contacted the person at PCI who was our consultant. The only person at PCI I had every dealt with. But if you are not the person to handle my issue, then send me to the right person. Something like, "I am sorry you are having a problem. I will forward your email to _______ so they can help you resolve the issue." You do need to be careful this doesn't turn into a run around. But I, as a client, want to talk to the right person.

3. Don't blame the client. You are not only the cart builder but the consultant. My pastor is not the expert on building carts, you are. Take the time to find out what happened, but don't blame the customer.

4. Don't call people names. I know it's no always easy to be in customer service and I'm not saying that you have to put up with abuse. The customer is contacting you because they have a problem. The are likely frustrated or mad, but what they want is there problem solved. Make sure your responses don't upset them more, make sure you have all the information you need to answer their questions, but don't let it get to the point where you are calling people names.

Part of that is don't take this personally, the client is writing to the company. It may be addressed to you because you are the company representative, but they are writing to the company.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

PCI and Me


A while back our church hired PCI (Portable Church Industries) to consult on then design, build and deliver carts and other equipment for setting up and running our church on Sunday mornings from the Middle School.

One of the things they designed and built was a cart to hold a computer for running our projected image on a Sunday morning. At the time we didn't actually have a computer to use for that, but it was built in anticipation for where we would grow.

Recently we bought that computer and put it into the cart. In doing this we found out that the patch panel they had put in the cart was inaccessible from the inside, making the audio panel worthless. It couldn't be used.

I contacted PCI to tell them there was a problem and to ask how they planned to solve the problem.

They first insisted there wasn't a problem. Then they said it was our problem for not ordering the right cables that would have been there. It took a dozen emails back and forth for them to finally admit they made any kind of error.

Through all of this they blamed our pastor for deleting the necessary cables and personally insulted me, calling me "condescending and arrogant."

And after this run of emails and PCI finally admitting their was a mistake, what am I left with. No actual help from PCI to fix the mistake (they did tell me that RadioShack sells cables if you think that is helpful) and no apology or even acknowledgment of the way I was personally spoken about in the emails.

I said in several of my emails that mistakes happen. I can understand that. We are all human.

I did however want them to own up to and fix their mistake.

But what I really don't appreciate is the defensive nature of a company that is a one stop shop and the name calling as part of their customer service.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

Finally, Mexicans will be able to make a run for the border without worrying about the border patrol.

Taco Bell has opened a store in Mexico.

Apparently crappy Mexican food is hard to find in Mexico.

Bless you Taco Bell for filling the gap.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

updates on Cooper

School is in full swing now, so here are some updates on Cooper.

Discipline
So far this year Cooper hasn't had any discipline problems. The teacher had some concerns at the start of school about his attention and staying on task. We have been working on that and seems to be doing well now. I think part of it was just getting into the routine of school again.

Academics
Cooper has been doing very well academically. He has gotten perfects on all his spelling test. He got 100% on his timed math test (20 questions in a minute). He is in the advanced reading group and was tested at 84 wcpm (words correct per minute). 82wcpm is the 75th percentile.

In other words, he has his mother's smarts.

Philanthropy
The other day Cooper asked if he could give some of the money from his bank to poorer kids. The other day we were going through his clothes and removing clothes that were too small and he said we could give them to charity.

It is nice to see those seeds that have been planted starting to bear fruit.

Wants vs Needs
I'm not sure exactly what they were doing in class, but it was obviously something distinguishing wants vs needs. Cooper came home with a large piece of paper folded in half. On half said "Wants" and the other said "Needs" The wants side was empty (he may have just run out of time, I don't know) but here is the needs side.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Nooma, Nooma, Yeah



"Until you have a community that you are journeying with, please don't say you are a part of this church. You just come to a gathering. We are very intentional about that. The question is, "Who do you call when your brother ODs on cocaine? If your mom is in the hospital, who comes and sits in the waiting room with you? When you cannot pay your rent, who do you go to and say please help me out?" That's your church."

Rob Bell interviewed by the Door

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

iPhone price cut



Apple Inc. slashed the price of the top iPhone by $200 Wednesday to bolster holiday sales, but also angered loyal customers who paid top dollar in the gadget's first 10 weeks on the market.

read entire story

Monday, August 13, 2007

MS Paint

My sister-in-law sent me this video.



I am excited to get the new photoshop.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Heaven may have just gotten funnier

LifeChurch.tv has done it again.

It started with their church franchise. With more than 10 locations everyone is guaranteed to get "powerful worship and a life-changing message."

Then came their revolutionary "money-back guarantee." If you tithe to LifeChurch.tv for 3 months, and "God doesn’t hold true to His promises of blessings", they will refund your money.

Then LifeChurch.tv began saving virtual souls when they built a church in Second Life. Earlier this year they began worshiping and teaching to the avatar community.

Now, LifeChurch.tv is making history once again, with a first step toward saving the animated community.

It began when LifeChurch.tv received information from God, via a multimillion dollar marketing campaign, that The Simpsons Movie would be a huge cultural phenomenon.

"We were watching the Simpsons, trying to figure out what we could use for a message series when it hit us," said Hugh Jass, a member of the LifeChurch.tv creative team. "Springfield is totally undeserved by the church community."

And that is when plans first started being made to reach the animated community by putting a LifeChurch.tv church in the fictional town of Springfield.

The first thing LifeChurch.tv did was hire an animated Teaching Pastor.

"I was very excited when I got the call from LifeChurch.tv,"said animated Teaching Pastor, I.P. Freely. "The current church serving Springfield is really outdated. Most of the residents in Springfield are what we would call 'seekers', but the church is not very 'seeker friendly'. They sing outdated hyms to organ music. The pastor wears a robe. And where is the powerpoint and the IMAG [image magnification]?"

LifeChurch.tv's approach will be totally different. Not only will the service include updated worship music, but the teaching will be relevant to the community.

"It is obvious that the community of Springfield needs teaching that is going to meet their needs. They need messages about marriage, parenting and sex. These are the kind of things that bring people to church," said Mr. Freely. "And the worship will rock. Because we are an animated church we won't just perform David Crowder songs, but we can have an animated David Crowder singing David Crowder songs. The next week, Mercy Me. I don't think there will be a better worship set in any animated, virtual or real church in this country."

And LifeChurch.tv thinks they will draw people not just from Springfield, but from surrounding communities like Shelbyville, Salem, and Burlington.

"This is just the beginning," said LifeChurch.tv representative Maya Buttreeks. "Most cartoons die without hearing the Gospel message. Some live in purgatory [reruns] but there are many more than can still be reached. When we put a LifeChurch.tv in Bikini Bottom, then we will be making real progress."

Chris Rice once asked, "What if cartoons got saved?" Thanks to LifeChurch.tv it's not a matter of "what if" but a matter of "when."

This article reprinted, with permission, from my imagination.

i need a hobby


Thanks to Audra I spent too much time today simpsonizing my family. Now I will be up all night doing it to famous people and other family.

Monday, July 30, 2007

on parenting


"Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves."
        Marcelene Cox

Thursday, July 26, 2007

a little prayer



I don't usually put personal prayer request up on my blog, but today I am.

My name is Chad, and I am a dentalphobe.

Today I have a two hour dental appointment. From 2-4 I will be at the dentist. I considered the full sedation dentistry, but Val wasn't comfortable with the way that worked (giving you a pill at home before the visit) and we didn't find any very close, plus our dentist have been very good to us, so today I will bite the bullet (sort of speak) and finally get things taken care of. I hope you are doing something better this afternoon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

for what it's worth

Here are a couple of things from around other blogs I found interesting.

Idolatry of Excellence? from Mary
Sure, we spouted it off as some grand way to honor the Lord with the best of everything, but it’s quite possible that the truer motive was to appear great in the eyes of man. We wanted excellent children’s ministry programs, excellent dramas, excellent retreats, excellent guest speakers, excellent ministries, excellent decorations, excellent messages, and, of course, very excellent worship music. Why? So more people would come? So we could have entertaining alternatives to theater and rock concerts? So we could pat ourselves on the backs because of how much we have it all together now (God must be pleased)?
(HT: grace)

How to Survive Church from Matt
I am very conscious that although much has been written on emerging churches, and a moderate amount has been written on churchless Christians who forsake community altogether, very little has been written about those of you who don’t fit conventional church but choose, for whatever reason, to stay within it. I think a significant reason for this is that the emerging church conversation is heavily weighed towards Missional ecclesiology. We mavericks simply don’t have as much to offer in that area do we? Other than an ecclesiology of endurance!
(HT: cindy)

Here's to Nothing! from Brant
Turns out, when you have time to do what, culturally-speaking, is "nothing" (like walking the baby around, chatting with neighbors, letting the kids play together) neighbors get to know each other. It doesn't happen when everyone's at breakneck speed and, when home, exhausted.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

gone fish'n




Today Cooper went fishing for the firs time ever with Grandpa and Granpa's friend Claudie.

Monday, July 02, 2007

chasing Lincoln



Today we took a trip to Springfiled, Illinois. We visited Lincoln's home. Then we out to Lincoln's tomb.

Lastly we went to The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The museum is amazing. I could spend a whole day there. I would love to go back sometime when I didn't have the kids in tow and spend some more time at the museum. If you are ever near Springfield and have any interest in Abraham Lincoln or the civil war it is worth stopping by.

It is amazing to think about those events in history and try to imagine the thoughts and emotions that these people must have had. It was a touching and wonderful experience. Our Lincoln got a little confused by all the people using his name. Someday he will be able to go back and understand what happened. Know more about the man who he is named after.



Thank you Mr. Lincoln.

7 books

Well, I don't really read seven books at once, but I decided to try to my best to participate in Grace's 7 books I'm reading

So here it goes.

1.bought on vacation - Stealing Lincoln's Body by Thomas J. Craughwell

I bought this book at the gift shop at Lincoln's home in Springfield, IL. I just started reading it. So far it has been very interesting about the assasination of Lincoln, the history of counterfeiting in America and the birth of the Secret Service.

2. recently loaned out - The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch.

This book help me put words around some of my feelings and gave me insight into what others are doing to be the church. It read somewhat like a text book at times, which actually worked for me, but for someone not really interested in the subject I think it would be a tough read.

3. just finished - How (Not) to Speak of God by Peter Rollins

I thought this book was great. It really stretched me and opened my thinking of God, the Church and spirituatliy.

4. on order from Amazon - Jesus Has Left the Building by Paul Vieira

I had some money from a Amazon gift from my birthday and spent a lot of time looking at what book I might order. Settled on this one. Should get it when we return home from vacation.

5. in the kids bathroom - Inconsolable: How I Threw My Mental Health Out With the Diapers by Marrit Ingman

This is a book my wife had read and said, "you need to read this." The chapter about the Picture People is worth the read. I keep in the kids bathroom and read some durring bathtime.

6. hidden treasure - A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

Take an extrodinary trip through history based on the predominate beverage. Beer, Wine, Spirits, Coffee, Tea, Cola.

7. one of my favorites - Messy Spirituality by Mike Yaconelli

This is one of those books I still like to go back and read from time to time. When I first got it I could not put it down and read it in one sitting, I had no idea how much this book would speak to me. Every once in a while you need a reminder that despite how messed up you might be, God still loves you.

Friday, June 29, 2007

my yoke is easy

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

I have been thinking about this text a lot lately. This is one of those passages that has always held onto, even if I couldn't totally make sense of it.

For me, at least, I have had trouble making sense of it. My yoke is easy. I mean the disciples spent years with Jesus, learning from him and it seems like most of the time they got it wrong. I realize that what they got wrong is they were continually trying to figure out the "new" rules. But it wasn't about "new" rules. Replacing the list from the Old Testament with a new list.

There are few times that Jesus gives a straight answer to a question. Usually when Jesus is questioned he answers with another question or a story. There is one blaring exception, when he is asked about the greatest commandment.

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40

The theory for my own personal life is I will try to focus on these commandments, once I got those down I will move on to others.

I think that ahead of all things, we as Christ followers, as people who claim to follow the one true God, the one thing we are called to do is love.

1 John 4:8 says "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

Here he says God is love. Not God likes love, not God wants you to love, God IS love.

I used to think love was like a limited commodity. I remember having my first son and thinking there is no way I could love anyone on God's green earth more than this. We waited a while to have #2. I was nervous about when we had our second son if I would have enough love. So when he was born I siphoned off 1/3 of my love from #1. Alright, that's not what happened, my love grew exponentially. The more I loved, the more love I had.

We can debate church styles. We can talk about theology and church doctrine. We can discuss music choices and the future of organized religion. I enjoy all these things, but these cannot be what we are about. We are in the business of love. We are called to love. Not just the people that make us feel good, but everyone. We are to love with reckless abandonment. Crazy love.

Jesus has parable after parable describing this love.

It is not about power or control. It is not about searching the Bible for the "new" law. You don't need political power or fame. Everyone can do it, and children are perhaps the best at it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Jesus said his yoke was easy, and I choose to believe him.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

iPhone fever

iPhone mania hits fever pitch this week as the long anticipated phone is released this week. In honor of that here are some post about the iPhone.

iffect fromMike Metzger

A Letter to Rich, the Young Ruler from Dan Edelen

How does the iPhone stack up in total cost? from engadget

You Got to Be Kidding Me! - The new iPhoney by Carlos Mencia

And before you say there has never been anything like it, check this out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

whole lotta love



Now you can make eating a burrito a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser. Buy a burrito on Monday, June 25th at any Minnesota area Chipotle and a portion of the proceeds up to $35,000 will be donated to the Red Ribbon Ride, a 300 mile bike ride that benefits 8 HIV/AIDS service and support organizations right here in Minnesota.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

where are you going on vacation?

Next time you are in Orlando, why visit a mouse when you can visit your Lord and Savior. That's right, the Trinity Broadcasting Network brings you the Holy Land Experience.

Now you can not only walk in the footsteps of Jesus, you can walk with him and buy his crown of thorns hat to take home.

There is nothing like watching the crucifixion while enjoying a funnel cake and refreshing Coke, the official cola of Jesus.

Visit Calvary's Garden Tomb. Is it empty? It depends on if it is Saturday or not.

So the next time you plan a family vacation prayerfully consider a trip to the Holy Land, in Florida.

And for those of you who are not excited to go, you need to find Jesus. He will be greeting guest at the temple after the 10:30 parade.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the Bible is not an ethical textbook

I bought this book a while back with another. I read the other first and finaly got around to picking this one back up. It is not a very long book, but it is one I will likely read several times over, highlighting and learning new things each trip through. It is one of the best books about Christianity that I have read.

From the book
Our interpretations of the Bible must then be understood more as temporary shelters than eternal structures. We never finish reading the Bible, but always find ourselves standing on its threshold, ready to read again. Thus we can never rest easy, believing that we have discovered the foundations that act as a key for working out what we must do in different situations: for the only clear foundation laid down by Jesus was the law of love. This love demands that we use scriptures not as an ethical textbook but rather as a text that extrapolates the Christlike way of being in the world.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

just finished reading

from the book
I asked him where he was going to church. With no hesitation he said he was not going anywhere. His life was full. His work was valuable. He spent his days with people of many faiths and no faith at all, who gave him ample opportunity to practice his own.

Still immersed in church life, I was skeptical. "Say more," I said.

"After a lot of listening," he said, "I think I finally heard the gospel. the good news of God in Christ is, 'You have everything you need to be human.' There is nothing outside of you that you still need - no approval from the authorities, no attendance at temple, no key truth hidden in the tenth chapter of some sacred book. In your life right now, God has given you everything that you need to be human."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

currently reading

from the book
Sometimes known by its Greek name, this kenosis is captured best in the second chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippians. "Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, " he writes, "who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness."
The import thing to notice is that no one emptied this Christ Jesus. He willingly emptied himself, leaving his followers a baffling example of how powerful the surrender of all power can be. While my taste of this truth was admittedly no more than a drop on my tongue, I could still taste it. My new powerlessness in church gave rise to such a riot in my ego that I became freshly aware of how much emptying I had left to do. The wish to be in charge was, among other things, the wish to avoid the pain of not being in charge, of my life or anything else.

Monday, June 04, 2007

random photos





around the house

Here are some of the things that have been happening around the house.



We stopped by our local lighting store recently and found an entry way light that we both liked and was very reasonably priced, and when they included free instillation, it was too good for us to pass up. The only problem right now is it is not working, but they are suppose to come out this week and check it out.



We finally got rid of the wires running accross the wires running across the floor for the rear surround speakers. I found a good deal on amazon for some ceiling speakers.



For my birthday I got a audio tower to replace the old turntable stand that I had gotten free at a garage sale that was holding the equipment previously. I undid everything, rearranged, cleaned and then rewired the entire system. It was a lot of fun to do.



This is the new TV I bought when Valerie was in Canada. I didn't actually go and pick it up from CircutCity until Val was back and we talked about it. Up higher Lincoln cannot get to it and it has given us more storage space below.

Oh, Canada (or how I spent my Memorial Day weekend)

Friday:

Val left for a meeting at 7am and then straight to the airport for her weekend trip to Canada to see her sister and new baby Finley, who came quite a bit early.

Cooper was a little upset because it was grandparents day and none of his grandparents could be here. I told him I would drive him to school. I then noticed that Val had left her boarding pass at the house. I was able to get a hold of her and find out where she was parked in Buffalo and took it to her car. I packed up the kids and away we went to Buffalo. We have a spare key, but for some reason while it unlocks the door, it also sets off the alarm. I put the boarding pass in the car and we sat in the parking lot until the alarm stopped. Thank heaven for those things. If someone was actually stealing a car everyone would do nothing. It's great.

Then took Cooper to school. While Lincoln napped I put together my birthday present, an actual audio tower. What we had been using was something I got free at a garage sale.

The kids stayed up late, Cooper went to bed around 10pm. After the kids went to sleep I took everything apart and set up the equipment in the new stand and rewired the system. I then watched Glory Days, my free gallery rental.

Saturday:

In the morning I did some cleaning, laundry and hanging out with the kids. Cooper played some Shreck video game that we rented.

We went out for a very special Birthday lunch at McDonalds. We drove to Buffalo because they have a playground.

That afternoon we watched "Night at the Museum" which we got free because the last time we went for a family movie night the movie was all checked out and it was their guaranteed rental. We played and hung out and the kids went to bed early.

That night I watched another free gallery rental, The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Sunday:

Got everyone together and went to church Sunday morning. It was a really thin crowd. For those of you who don't live in Minnesota, in the summer half of the state goes "up north" to the cabin on the weekends. Especially the holiday weekends. I think people in Northern Minnesota must go to Canada, but that is just conjecture.

After a light lunch at home we went to a little carnival in town. It was REALLY expensive. I let Cooper ride a couple of rides and play a couple of games since we had packed up everyone and I wasn't going to drive to the Mall of America that day.

That night we had a special pancake dinner. One of Coopers favorite. I did not stay up and watch a movie.

Monday:

On Monday we mainly hung around the house cleaning in mommies anticipated return. We did grab some Arby's and head to the park for lunch. I had also been checking into a TV that Mom and Dad were thinking about getting from CircutCity. I ended up buying for our playroom because the deal was only through Monday. I don't usually make purchases like that when Val is out of town.

Val got an early flight from Toronto to Philadelphia, but was delayed from Phily to home. Although, from what I understand she had Chick-fil-a for lunch, so I don't feel too sorry for her.

I stayed up for her and in the middle of the night Cooper vomited. So when Val came home I was putting his sheets in the wash.

And that is how I spent my Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

quote

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
Albert Einstein

Friday, April 27, 2007

lost tooth


Cooper had early dismissal today and came home very excited and smiling.

"Cooper, you lost your tooth."

"No I didn't, it's right here," as he pulls a small envelope from his backpack.

Maybe the tooth fairy will come tonight.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

quote

“I hope that someday we will be able to put away our fears and prejudices and just laugh at people.”
Jack Handy

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cooper's music

Here are a couple of songs that Cooper likes right now.

If Everyone Cared
Nickelback

Cooper's comments: This song makes me think about God.

Someday
Flipsyde

Cooper's comments: This song makes me think about making my dreams come true.

Monday, April 16, 2007

beat my margaret's monkey

Alright, it is time for some head to head competition.

It is a monkey kicking a ball.

One monkey, one ball, one button.

Can your monkey beat my monkey?

TRY TO BEAT MY MONKEY

wax on, wax off

I am looking for an adult size karate uniform to borrow for the first weekend in May. It is for KidStuf. If you have access or have leads please let me know.

Thanks.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

yet more stupid web tricks

Your Dominant Intelligence is Interpersonal Intelligence

You shine in your ability to realate to and understand others.
Good at seeing others' points of view, you get how people think and feel.
You have an uncanny ability to sense true feelings, intentions, and motivations.
A natural born leader, you are great at teaching and mediating conflict.

You would make a good counselor, salesperson, politician, or business person.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

goodbye Chief

The University of Illinois has decided to retire Chief Illiniwek after his last halftime dance Wednesdays final men's basketball home game. This will immediately end the NCAA ban on the illini hosting postseason games.

If the basketball team ends up in the National Invitation Tournament, which is now owned by the NCAA, it will be able to play home games.

For me feelings are mixed. I grew up with the tradition. Chief Illiniwek visited our school when I was younger and taught us not only about the Chief Illiniwek tradition, but also about the native american culture.

So while I adore those memories and tradition perhaps it is time for the Chief to retire. Certainly the university has more to hang it's hat on than a mascot, and if it is something that is ultimately seen as offensive rather than respectful, then perhaps it is time to not use a race of people as an image for athletics.

However, as with anything, it is the hypocrisy of the situation that I find most disturbing.

So far two Illinois teams have been impacted by the NCAA sanctions. The men's tennis team was forced on the road last spring, and the women's soccer team had to play outside Champaign last fall.

Ironically enough, the soccer team ended up losing at Florida State. The Seminole mascot has dogged NCAA sanctions.

Here are some other mascots to consider; Fighting Irish, Rebels, Aztecs, Gauchos

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

It seems like I have seen a lot of Mac Hammond lately. Not intentionally, but it seems like every time I turn around he is there.

For those of you that might not know (I didn't until not that long ago) Mac Hammond leads a megachurch in Brooklyn Park (outside the twin cities) called Living Word Christian Center.

Mac Hammond seems like a sad case to me. If you ignore the at best fishy, at worst illegal financial transactions, the blatant politicing from the pulpit, endorsing political candidate from the pulpit and the "name it, claim it" gospel, the thing that really makes Mac Hammond seem like a sad character is he believes that without wealth the gospel cannot spread.
"It takes wealth, folks, to establish God's covenant on this Earth. You and I will never get so spiritual that we don't need money to get more influential in the world we're in."
Pastor Mac Hammond

It is amazing the people who were able to change the world without Florida vacation homes and Porches. There was Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi and, oh yeah, Jesus.

I think maybe the worse thing to happen to Christianity is it's success with political power. When you work from a position of wealth and power you really don't need God's help. A lot of people in the name of a lot of things besides God can get listened to with wealth and power.

But without those things, then God can really shine and show His strength.
"But his answer was, 'My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.' I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weakness, in order to feel Christ's power over me. I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So fly your private jet to your vacation home in Florida wearing your designer suits to meet with your political friends, but please don't pretended that it is actually needed by God to spread His message.

Monday, February 12, 2007

strange brew II



This message is NOT endorsed by Quarry Community Church, it's leadership or members

This is an idea I had last year. I talked to some people but didn't want to try to start anything right before the holidays kicked in. Now it is almost the middle of February and it may be time to start if there is interest.

What I want to do is get a group of guys (I say guys because that was my original idea, but I am open to changing that if people think it would be better) to get together regularly for Friday happy hour. I want to go someplace local, JPs has been suggested to me. I am thinking of maybe every other week. I want to go to one place where we can become regulars.

My idea is two fold. One is to fellowship and grow together as a group. To support each other, learn from each other and have a community of believers. I want to do this in a public setting to also meet people and start to make connections with them and grow relationships there as well.

So if you are interested, drop me an email I will set stuff up. If you have other ideas let me know.
"The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!
Luke 7:34