Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Outfit Destroyer

Claire Kate doesn't go to the bathroom like a normal person. She holds it in for days, and then unleashes the fury. EVERY time she goes Number 2 we have to soak her clothes because her stinky ruins her outfit. You probably don't care to know any of this, but she leaked out onto two outfits today, and it's a real pain!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tell Me About Yourself Part 2

So last time we talked about day jobs. Today I have two questions so that I get to know YOU better.

1. What is your favorite color?

2. Do you brush your teeth with hot or cold water?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No Guts for His Glory?

I saw this video on another blog the other day, and it rocked me! Your thoughts?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

1000th Visitor!!!


Today the blog passed 1,000 visitors! This is a meager milestone no doubt, but one I am grateful for. Thanks for stopping by and adding pieces of your mind! Whoever this is, congrats, and let me know who earned this distinguished honor. You evidently live in Alabaster, run a Windows machine, and are a twitter user. Thanks friends!

Friday, December 26, 2008

This Dude is Awesome!

I love people like this guy! He's awesome, and comfortable being himself. I'd love to meet him!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The One Thing You Should NEVER Get a Boy for Christmas

Clothes! There's no building suspense or holding my cards close on this one. Never buy a little boy clothes for Christmas. I remember as a child being completely disheartened when I unwrapped a Christmas gift to find clothes. No doubt this is a result of being spoiled and ungrateful, but I remembered that thought while watching Trey unwrap presents this week. He ripped right through the clothes to find the next ball, car, or Elmo. I remember one year my Grandmaw gave me clothes for Christmas, and all year I told her she didn't get me anything. The only alternative is to give them clothes which are covering the real gift, be it a toy or gadget. 

**Note** Some boys like clothes when they become older, but they NEVER get tired of opening a toy! Guys, am I lying?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Two questions for you on this most blessed, awesome day: What was the coolest thing you got, and what is the coolest thing you gave?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas

I remember just about every detail of every Christmas as a child. I remember the year we got the original NES system, the year dad played the new drum set in the living room as we entered from the hallway, and the year we got the go cart. I can recall the excitement we felt as we went to sleep the night before, and how I never had a problem being a "morning person" on Christmas. I was always the first one up. Those are some awesome memories! Tomorrow morning we begin those memories with the babies. I hope they love it as much as we did.

Monday, December 22, 2008

When Did it Happen?

I remember a time when I got extra money and immediately went to the guitar store to pick up the next guitar or pedal. Holly and I had a great system. We took turns buying things we wanted. If she spent $600 on an armoire, I got to spend $600 on guitar stuff. It was a masterful plan that worked to perfection. Then something happened...kids. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind. I would much rather have our babies than another guitar. By the same token, (don't miss this) I still want just one more guitar, pedal, or gadget! Anyway, the other day I got some money we didn't know we would be receiving, and you know what I did? Bought groceries and put $100 in savings. WHAT?!?! I know what you're thinking, "Robert, you are such a party animal!" So my question is this, When did it happen? When did I become a grown up?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

With Friends Like These...

Jonathan sent me this video this morning and I needed to share it with all of you.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Santa or Not to Santa?

Growing up, our family never believed in Santa Claus. My parents never wanted to tell us that something was reality if it wasn't in fact real. However, Santa came to the house with gifts every year, and He was always referenced in gift givings during this most glorious time of year. Now as parents Holly and I will probably carry on the same tradition. We'll say Santa's coming even though our kids will know that there's no Santa. It was fun growing up, and I hope our kids enjoy it like we did.

I know everyone has different traditions. Any of you guys believe in Santa growing up? Were you deeply scarred when you found out that He was a sham, a fraud, a fake, a phony? I didn't know every family wasn't like ours, and I spilled the beans to my cousin James. He was devastated. I beat him up for being a crybaby. I was mean, but somehow ended up on the "nice list" every year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tell Me About Yourself

Some of you check in every day, which by the way is incredibly flattering. You read about my serious thoughts, things going on in my life, and you watch my children bust their heads on door frames while their uncles laugh at them.  Anyway, you're sharing in my life but I don't know anything about you! 

Let's start off with something easy, what's your day job?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

I wonder if they even know they are a wolf. I think they think they're doing God all kinds of big favors as they stir up dissension, strife, and conflict. Why are we caught off guard by these people? Christ promised us they would be there. The question in my mind is how do I love them like I'm supposed to, yet deal with the problem?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Daddy's Girl

From the minute that we met, there has been a special connection. When she was a few days old, the sound of my voice would make her stop crying. Nobody gets the smiles that I do, and she talks like crazy when I hold her. She is a big time Daddy's girl! This is one of the grins I get every time she can see me. What a spoiled rotten angel. I can't wait to watch her grow. 

Friday, December 12, 2008

Junk Email


A year ago today I began leaving all my junk email in the junk inbox instead of deleting them. I wondered how many I would get in a year, because it seemed like I would get 50 a day. During that time I received 11,245 junk emails. That's 31 junk emails a day on one email account. I've got 3. This is not the first long term experiment I've done. I did one the first year Holly and I were married, but I'll keep that one to myself. If you care enough, email me and ask.

Anyone else do stuff like this?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Me and Holly

There are a lot of areas of my life that are not what I want them to be, but my marriage to Holly is pretty awesome. (This would be a good point to interject that the goodness of said marriage is due in large part to her awesomeness.) As with any marriage it's a two way street, but her lane is much bigger than mine. She's incredible at every aspect of being a wife. One of the reasons I feel like our marriage works is because we are interested in each others interests. Before we were married I could care less about paint colors, outdoor swing sets, back splashes, and pillow shams. I would have never flipped to HGTV or known who Carter Oosterhouse was. Likewise, she didn't care about the Chicago Cubs, and couldn't tell you the difference between a Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster. However, now I can match a ceramic tile with a formica countertop, and Holly can explain the difference in tone between a cedar and koa guitar top. This all happened because we love one another, and love to be together. The only logical thing that could have developed was that we gave attention to the interests of the other. It's one of my favorite parts of being married to Holly. She understands why I need that other guitar and I understand why she needs another pillow on the couch.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I look at my Christmas presents before Christmas

Ok there it is, and it's true! Every year growing up I knew almost everything I was getting for Christmas, because I would search and investigate. Here's the thing with surprises...you're surprised when you find out what it is! What is the big deal with it being wrapped? I got just as excited when I saw it on the Walmart receipt as I snooped in mom's purse, or when I unwrapped the gift, and rewrapped it before anyone knew otherwise. I also tend to be a phenomenal guesser. I'm not good at a lot of things, but you let me feel the box in my hand and shake it, I know what it is. All of this drives Holly absolutely crazy! 

Do you like to be surprised as you unwrap the gift, or when you see it in your parents closet?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Labor Of Love

One of the things I love about being married to Holly is listening to her sing. This past Sunday we sang "Labor of Love" by Andrew Peterson. My good friend Mike captured it and posted it. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

I am Second

Hey everybody, I know that everything in the world is thrown at you on this great tool known as the internet, but I found out about a brand new website tonight that I would love to pass along to you. If you take a second to check it out, I'm sure you won't regret it! It's called I am Second. Click here, and pass the word along.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Top Christmas Gifts of My Life

Christmas is probably my favorite Holiday. Easter means the most to me, but I love the celebration of Christmas. I think this is probably due to the fact that I LOVE to give and receive gifts. I wish I had about $100 per person to spend on me and Holly's family, but it just isn't there. Anyway, I got to thinking about the best Christmas gifts I have ever received today and I thought I would share them with all of you.

1. Jesus - Not to be cheesy or cliché, but seriously consider that Creator God became THE integral part of creation. Without His humiliation, there would be no hope. I wonder if He walked around at times reminiscing about forming the Sea of Galilee, or if He glanced up at the stars at night with a smile knowing that they would not have given light if He had not hung them there. Without a doubt, the greatest gift I have ever been given is Jesus Christ!

2. Taylor Koa T-5: Most of you will read this and have no clue what a Taylor Koa T-5 is, but for those who read this and know, you understand my glee over it. Ever since I began playing guitar, I wanted a Taylor. They are awesome guitars! In addition I've always loved the sound of Koa wood. Holly and I had talked about it, but I never thought I would get one. One night I was up at the church practicing for praise band, and Holly stopped by...with a brand new guitar. This earned her Wife of the Century Honors, and a spot under Jesus on the best Christmas gifts of my life!
3. Elvis, my first dog - I remember it like it was yesterday. Dad said we were going to pick up a Christmas present, which sent the four of us boys into an all out frenzy. We stopped off by his job to pick something up and into the back of the van he loaded a doghouse. I had been wanting a dog for a long time, and that night I realized I was gonna get my wish. We went to pick him up, and he was everything I could've hoped for. To top it off his name was Elvis, and he was perfect...except for the fact that he hated fat people. I kid you not, the dog had a great dislike for persons of excessive girth. As a matter of fact, one day he bit a fat kid walking up the street and we had to send him to be put down at the Humane Society. That part was sad, but the part about me getting him at Christmas was awesome!

Honorable Mentions - Dukes of Hazzard cardboard town, drumset, my first guitar, Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish Levels 1 & 2, a go cart, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and several bicycles.

Anybody else get some cool stuff for Christmas in the past?     

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lemons anyone?

I know, I know, I'm a horrible parent, but this is SOOO funny. This is Trey's first experience with lemons. It's a couple of months old, but still funny. He loves them now.

Oh, also, tonight when I was in the tub with Trey giving him a bath, he dropped a floater on me. There was a quick evacuation and extraction followed by a swift drain and refill and we progressed on just as pretty as we pleased. Ah the joys of having kids!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kids playing


I don't know what it was like in your house growing up, but in our house with the 4 Hope boys, there was always chaos. It was awesome! One of the things that stands out most to me was our innate ability to create a game out of nothing. I remember we used to have this one game we played on the trampoline called Dhalsim, that's right, the Street Fighter character.  The purpose of the game was to wet down the surface with water and then slide kick one of the brothers until they fell. No one was eliminated, we just slide kicked each other. 

Little kids can create a game out of anything. Tonight we kept a few kids for a church function and it made me think of our childhood and those games we made up. What sweet memories! I hope Trey and Claire Kate have that much fun growing up!

Any of you guys have any funny games you played growing up?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hilarious

I laughed out loud during this clip. Totally Awesome!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dreams

When did it happen? When did we quit dreaming? Are you in that place? It is such a sad state when we begin to focus life on simply existing, making it week to week. Dreams find themselves under the accumulation of memories and we cease to look forward. We refer to the "good ole days" when the best should be up around the bend. Did we give up when we were told that the dreams of our childhood were ridiculous or unattainable? Has adulthood taught us to fit in, lose all imagination, and survive? I never want to be a person who loses sight of the prizes on the path ahead. I never want the thoughts of yesterday to outnumber the aspirations of tomorrow. As I learn and grow, may it only expand my horizons, and never narrow my vision. May my heart be determined to live for more than survival. I pray we never let go of our dreams!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tough

Trey is tough! Here's one of the reasons why. Holly thought about sending this video to AFV. Do you think it's worthy?

Dear Auburn Fans

Dear Auburn Fans,

We as Alabama fans understand the pain you have endured this season! We have dealt with it for the past six years. We don't by any stretch of the imagination feel sorry for you, but we know your pain. Please understand that we find great joy in your most embarrassing demise. I only comment to let you know that we are on top now, but we know what you're going through on the bottom. Enjoy your free Holiday time seeing as how you won't have to watch any bowl games!

Until Next Year...

Robert

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home

There are a couple of things that I long for when I'm away on travel. The first thing is my bathroom! That may sound silly, but doing your business isn't the same in someone else's domain. My bathroom is set up like I like it, and I miss it when I'm away.  The second thing I miss when I'm away is Me and Holly's bed. I remember when we bought it, I thought it was way too much money to spend on a mattress. However, any time I'm out of town on a "foreign" bed, I miss mine.

What do you miss about "home" when you travel?

Friday, November 28, 2008

I like watching my brother get tazed!

This is my brother Joseph. He works for the police department in Alabaster. This is his taser certification. I like to watch it at least once a week. It makes me happy!

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Top of the Thankful List


There are innumerable things I'm thankful for today, but one thing tops the list: my wife Holly. She is a wonderful mother, incredible wife, and best friend. When God put us together I gained things that I always wished for, but there are also things that I didn't even know I would want that God graciously gave me in a wife. We've been married for a little over 5 years and during that time I've seen my world spin out of control, but our relationship has been a solid, unmoving fortress. Her arms are a place of solace, and there is true love in her embrace. She listens as though mine is the only story being told, and she gives weight and care to my words. Holly respects me as her man, and backs our decisions even if she may not feel it's the best way to go. I love the simple things about her, like watching her blow-dry her hair, seeing her kiss our children, and her beautiful smile. I could not have dreamed up a more perfect dream woman!

Baby, when you read this know that you are my girl, friend, wife, lover, partner, confidant, make-out buddy, and the top of the list of blessings from God that I am MOST thankful for. I LOVE and APPRECIATE you more than words can describe! Thank You!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas Music

I don't know what it is, but I cannot get enough Christmas tunes this year! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holiday's and I hate that it gets overshadowed by Christmas stuff. We always wait to put anything Christmas out until after Thanksgiving, but this year I have been sneaking carols and songs like crazy. I would have to say some of my favorites include: O Holy Night, O Come O Come Emanuel, What Child is This, Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bell Rock and Run Run Rudolf.

I'm listening to it right now!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Major News

Has got some major news coming tomorrow...Stay Tuned!!!  It's been a busy weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Claire Kate

My Baby Girl is 2 months old!  How did that happen already? She's starting to really pay attention and smile at me. If I wasn't wrapped around her finer already, when she flashes that smile at me, I melt. I'm really gonna have to watch myself as she gets older. I remember when Holly and I were going through pre-marital counseling one of the things our counselor said was, "Strong fathers make moral daughters." I reckon there will be plenty of time to be strong. For now I'll just enjoy eating out of the palm of her hand.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bizarre Choices


So there's this book Holly and I picked up a couple of years ago.  It's called Zobmondo Book of Bizarre Choices.  We enjoy looking through it and discussing some of the answers.  It has some good questions like, "Would you rather eat a bottle cap OR a spider the size of a bottle cap?" Then it usually throws in some great information like, "In the Amazon, the Kayap people are such adventurous eaters that their language has more than 100 different words for diarrhea." OVER 100 WORDS!!!  Anyway, considering some of the nonsense I've posted on here, why not throw out a good bizarre choice, and let you guys fight it out in the comment section.


WOULD YOU RATHER
Always be itchy
OR
Always feel like you have to pee?


Just so you know the additional information on this says, "In Lynch Heights, Delaware, a woman filed for divorce because her husband 'regularly put itching powder in her underwear when she wasn't looking.'"  I hope this doesn't affect your answers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nostalgia

I got to thinking today about my childhood, and more specifically about the TV shows I loved as a child. I started thinking about Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Thundercats, Punky Brewster, Ghost Busters, Chicago Cubs Baseball, Saved by the Bell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Knight Rider, and ALF.  I remember one year for Christmas I got the whole cardboard town of Hazzard with all of the Hotwheels cars like the General Lee. The same year my brother Matt got all things Ghost Busters. He had a proton pack, an Ecto-1 soap dish, and a replica of the firehouse. When we played Ghost Busters I was always Peter Venkman. In Ninja Turtles I was always Michaelangelo, you know, for the nunchuks. 

This is one of those odd things that I think about from time to time. I reflect and wonder what impact these things had on making me who I am today. Occasionally I still shout "Thundercats HOOOOOOOO!" to small children and passers by on the street. Every so often I hum the Knight Rider theme, and try to figure it out on the guitar. To this day, and quite frequently, I pity the fool.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Family Dance Night


Trey getting down to some Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Claire Kate working out her sweet Air Drum Skills to AC/DC.

Caption Please

Friday, November 14, 2008

Trip Phrases

Every youth trip we take, there's always a phrase that we create that everyone says for the entire trip. It gets old really quick, but then becomes funny, and memorable. Here are a few we've had on previous trips: "My sheep are missing" "For me to poop on" "You ain't got no pancake mix" "Clearly" etc...

For today's trip to Atlanta for the lock-in tonight it will be, "The male Sea Horses carry the babies!"

Just thought I would share. Any other suggestions?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snake-a-phobes look away!

I ruined my favorite pair of underwear the first time I saw this!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Little Things


I'm not the guy who takes what he has for granted.  I wouldn't have to lose everything to know what I had.  I understand that God has blessed me beyond measure.  I have a wife I believe God taylor-made for me.  In His infinite wisdom He created things within her I didn't even know I would want.  She loves me, cares for me, and shows me on a daily basis.  We enjoy being around each other.  We have two beautiful, healthy kids that bring massive amounts of joy to our lives.  God has been VERY good to me.

Everyday that I pass by the tub I am reminded.  I could get annoyed that when I want an afternoon soak I have to remove a toy box full of balls, rubber ducks, and blocks, but I know I would desperately miss it if it was gone.  So I smile as I remove playthings because I realize it's a gentle reminder of all I've been given, and I know one day it will be gone.  

What little things does God use to let you know of all you've been blessed with?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Poison Control

This afternoon I was at work when my cell phone rang.  Holly called to let me know she had to call poison control for our son.

Holly is such a GREAT mom.  I have no idea how she gets everything done around the house with 2 babies.  Claire Kate isn't moving yet, but Trey is into everything!  I think if we had a pet raccoon it would get into less than Trey does.  When he is awake he is constantly moving.  We decided early on that we would let our kids be kids and enjoy life, so we let Trey explore.  Holly and I give him boundaries, but he's pretty free to play and move.

Today, Trey was awake during one of Claire Kate's meals.  Holly was watching him, but it's impossible to follow Trey while she is breast feeding.  He came in the room holding a squeeze tube.  No big deal! He carries things around the house all the time.  As Trey got closer Holly could see that there was white cream around his mouth, and he was chewing.  Holly put Claire Kate down and found that our son had confiscated Desitin diaper rash ointment from Baby Girl's bag.  He helped himself to a couple of squeezes, and seemed quite happy about it.  It says on the tube, and I quote, "For external use only.  If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away."  Oh great!  So, Holly called them, and they instructed her to give him something to drink.  She did just as they said, and he never acted like there was anything wrong.  They also called a few hours later to check on him, which I thought was nice.

Anyway, this was our first call to Poison Control as parents.  I anticipate it won't be the last with a little pet coon, Desitin eater on our hands.

Winner


Meet Jonathan Troutman.  He likes long moonlit walks on the beach, a gentle spring rain shower, oatmeal cream pies, laying down fat beats on the skins (that is musician's talk for "He plays the drums"), and the occasional easy ranked Sudoku puzzle.  He's my best friend. In addition to such a lofty honor, he is our Sudoku challenge winner from yesterday.  I posted late last night, and before I was even out of bed this morning I had an email with the bottom picture.  Jonathan, your super excellent Sudoku skills have stirred me.  It is with great scrupulousness that I supply such an awesome cd as Cannons by Phil Wickham!

Thanks to everyone who emailed me answers.  We shall do this again, or something similar, in the near future.  Remember, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to outwit ole Jonathan.  (You could, however, stay up past 10 and beat him.  Did I mention he has a sleeping disorder?)  Congrats Trout!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sudoku


I've been trying to think of things to share with you guys on here. Things that matter, things that have depth, and things that are life changing.  I couldn't come up with any of that, so here's what you get.

Holly is probably the only person in the world that knows this about me, but I do Sudoku puzzles everyday.  Literally, 7 days a week I work these number crossword puzzles.  I have a web app on my iPhone that resets every night at 6 pm.  It's one puzzle a day in various difficulties, and I have 24 hours to solve it.  I also have a couple of sudoku books.  I've worked all of them.  I have a very addictive personality, so the books don't work out to well for family life, because I MUST complete them when there are puzzles left to be done.  So, I limit myself to one a day.

If you have no clue what I'm talking about, the puzzle above is an example.  In each square you must place the numbers 1 - 9 without repeating.  The same goes for each row and column.  For any person that reads this, I'll have a little competition.  The first person to complete this puzzle and get me the answers gets a free cd (of my choosing).  You can comment the answers or email them to me.

Are there any other sudoku junkies out there?  What do you do everyday that nobody knows about?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Auburn


Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I wish...

I wish I...
I wish I was thinner.
I wish I could sing better.
I wish I was more spiritual.
I wish I was good at everything.
I wish I cared more for the outcasts.
I wish I wouldn't act like I know everything.
I wish I was a better husband, father, and friend.
I wish I was less concerned with monetary things.
I wish some of these things weren't things I wished for.
I wish I could make solid decisions with more ease.
I wish I didn't have to deal with difficult people.
I wish I always practiced what I preached.
I wish I was a better communicator.
I wish I was a lot more creative.
I wish I was better at guitar.
I wish I was a better leader.
I wish I had more things.
I wish I was content.
I wish I...

What do you wish for?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I need help!

Hey Everybody

A couple of weeks ago I came to a crossroads with blogging.  I decided that I either needed to do it, or not do it.  Posting twice a quarter is a waste of time for everyone involved.  I enjoy writing, it's a great way to keep up with people, and have people keep up with our family.  I anticipate at times blog posts could even foster some discussion and community.  So, I decided to go for it.

Anyway, I've come across a few really neat tools, and I figured I would pass them along:

The first one is a website called Site Meter.  When you upload this to your blog template it lets you know how much traffic your blog gets on a daily basis.  It also lets you know all kinds of neat information like where they are from, what website they came to yours from, etc.  Since I've started monitoring it, I have averaged about 16 visitors a day, from as far away as Jakarta, Indonesia!  It's not much, but if 16 people care enough every day to see what story I have to tell or information to share, it keeps me going.

The other tool I just started using is a comment tool called Disqus.  I tell you about it because I need your help in testing it out.  So please leave me a comment telling me something simple like where you are from, since I know anyway because of Site Meter.  Don't be a blog stalker, join in the fun.  I need your help!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mr. President


I find myself completely unafraid, and at ease!  I have been praying for President Obama since it became clear tonight that he would be our next National leader.  Even though we would likely disagree on almost every national, social, political, and economic issue, I comprehend the task before him is great, and I do not envy the watershed of complex issues that he will inherit. I lift Barak Obama before our Heavenly Father with the understanding that complete, perfect wisdom comes only from the Almighty.  A leader does not come to power without the appointment from the Sovereign King of Kings, and God is not caught off guard.  I would encourage all believers to pray for our nation and it's new leader instead of voicing their disappointment and anger.  Let us use our time, energy, and breath to cry out to God.  Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will."  May we believe in the promises of God, and pray for our new President!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why Starbuck's is Awesome!

There are certain times in life when you get a sneak peak into an organization and realize there is a reason why they are a gigantic business.  I was gonna vote anyway, but now I'm gonna vote and go buy a cup of coffee.  I know I could get it for free, but consider my Grande Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte a bit of gratitude for being as awesome as you are! 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Family Portraits





Today was pretty eventful!  We went to eat lunch at Sumo (not as good as Stix or Shogun) for dad's belated birthday meal.  Then we had family portraits made.  Matt had a WONDERFUL idea that we should take casual and suit pictures, so not only did we appear as a herd of cattle being corralled into the door, but we each had a change of clothes in tow.

From the get go I could tell it was going to be loads of fun.  The place was full of babies that were out past their nap times in uncomfortable clothes meant to make them beautiful for everyone to see in Christmas cards.  When we got there Trey joined in the chorus of unhappy voices, and this continued for about an hour before the first picture was snapped.  

These pictures are so sweet and beautiful.  Luckily you couldn't see what went on in between takes.  Claire Kate slept the whole time, except for her close-ups.  (She's going to be such a diva!)  Trey on the other hand, decided he was not going to take a single picture without a ball in his hands.  The very moment the ball was taken away, he broke into hysterics.  Incidentally, he fell asleep within five minutes of the last picture.

When all was said and done, we did get a few really good pictures, and even more fun memories.  We also remembered why we do this once every five years.

Halloween

Well, there you have it.  Hope's Fish (minus Tim) played at a fall festival last night and since we were a trio, we decided to go for the Blue Man group.  Here I is.  Enjoy!

What were you?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

P.S. We didn't dress the kids up.  We're lazy, lame parents.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Daughter...James Spann


Let me say from the beginning that I think my Baby Girl is absolutely beautiful!  I know one day she will look at this and be so upset with me for posting it, but I intend on being one of those dads that thrives on embarrassing his kids.  Anyway, Claire Kate has a perfect horseshoe bald pattern on top of her head.  It's sweet!  She even has a little Rogaine patch up front on top.  We have nicknamed her James Spann, because she shares his hairstyle...perfectly!!

Changes Part 2


This blog is a follow up to this one.

I could not have dreamed of things adjusting as naturally as they have.  I realized today that it's already to the point that I don't remember what life was like before Claire Kate.  Trey has taken to his "tister" so well.  He never acted jealous, although he did check on her from time to time with this look in his eyes like, "is she still here?"  All in all, I would say it's been pretty awesome becoming a family of four.  

I would like it to stay that way for a little longer than 15 months this time around!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Will You Read to Me?



There are certain things that happen only when you have kids.  This is one of them.

Let me explain:  Trey loves about three things more than me.  1) A ball - any ball, it doesn't matter, although right now he is fixated on "putballs" (footballs).  He throws balls about 10 hours a day.  If he is awake he has a ball.  2) "Nute Nacks" - to the common person these are called Fruit Snacks.  He walks in the kitchen, points to the cabinet where we keep them and says "nute nacks".  3) laundry - if Trey can find a basket with clothes in them, he loves to pull them out all over the room.  Recently, this has spawned into something a bit more sinister.  He loves adding things to a pile of dirty clothes ready to go in the washer.  His favorite things are his nute nack wrappers, a brush, or in the case of these pictures, one of his books.  It was a book that he purposefully leaves in the hallway to read and play with in the hallway.  Coincidentally, the hallway is where we pile the dirty clothes as they are loaded into the washer.  Imagine Holly's surprise when she opened the door up to find Trey's hallway book in a thousand pieces.  
This never happened before we had kids.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Seriously?

I apologize in advance for my intentional vague language on this post.  I received some upsetting news yesterday concerning a dear friend, and I wish not to draw attention to his family.


I find myself in a dangerous place - numbness.  I should have been really heartbroken and surprised, but I wasn't.  It's not that I saw any conspicuous sin in his life when we hung out.  I've just come to expect it.  This frightens me greatly.  I don't want to be numb, or expect it.  I want to go back to the place of shock and disbelief.  I want my faith in Christian individuals to be restored, but in the past two years this has been the trend - if I look up to you in ministry, you will fall into sin.  So beware P, D, M, S, D, etc...you're in a long line of people who I highly esteem, and the track record's not so great.

Perhaps the thing that bothers me the most is that I look for ways to think maybe it's not that bad.  "Conceivably, it didn't go as far as I think."  That's stupid!  For where the heart goes, so goes the body.  And it's not ok!  It's wrong!  It's sin!  Christ shed precious blood because of it!

So far, the only tenable positive outcome of this experience, is that it grants me motivation to be evermore careful.  I understand what I am, and realize I could be trapped.  This news give me a bigger stick with which to poke the ground in front of me as I walk.  May God remove the snares and grant me greater hatred for opposition to His righteousness!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The New Me




Well, I did it.  My hair is short, and my goatee is trimmed nicely to match other facial hair, thus creating a VERY short beard instead.  I look as though I should sign up for kindergarten in the fall.  Oh well, it will all grow back in time I suppose.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Texting

I saw on the news last night that 80% of people send text messages while on the porcelain throne.  I think it's funny, in part, because I'm guilty...dead guilty!  Think about that next time you get a text message from me.

Where are you when you send text messages?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trey likes to swing!

video
This video makes me laugh!  I thought I would share it and bring some joy to your day!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Setting of the proverbial bar...

Ahh Yes!