Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Chapel Hop on Pop
(No Dave, No...don't sit on that!)

Now all you need to do is to replace the word "Pat" with "Dave" and the word/ image "hat" with the word/ image "cup of coffee"...and you've got a sure winner for America's funniest home videos...albeit a rather poor effort to keep Dr. Seus' original syncopation and rhyme scheme.

I write about this with a degree of jest because a) Dave is a great sport b) he didn't burn was a hot cup of coffee! c) I feel somewhat guilty because I was slow in reacting to try and stop him. It was as if the whole episode was in slow motion, and I was stuck in time...only to witness poor Dave come crashing down on his coffee and grimace shortly thereafter- realizing that his entire backside/ underside was saturated with his morning java. But, he persevered and continued playing his guitar as only he knows how to...all the while a number of folks were already text messaging the hilarious event.

We love ya, Dave!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Die-hard Tribe Fans

This has been a trying summer for Indian's baseball. I would have been a very rich man if I had bet the house on the fact that the Indians' would have a kid by the name of Shin Soo Choo starting in the outfield...who'd of thunk?

Marie and Josh still have a few precious summer days left before they start back, but good ole' Hoban (in its infamous wisdom) began last Thursday. So far, so good.

I'm actually pretty excited about this upcoming school year because my principal slated me to teach a course that I truly love- World Literature. I was told back in the spring that I would be given a freshman English section, but over the summer- as enrollment sky-rocketed to over 900 students- they needed someone to fill this course. When I've taught this in the past, I've always organized the class chronologically. We'll start off with the concept of origin myths (specifically the Osiris and Isis myth) and then move to the oldest piece of literature recorded to date- The Epic of Gilgamesh. From there, we'll move into the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), the
New Testament, Ancient Greeks (Homer and Sophocles) and then plunge into the great masterpieces of the Middle Ages, including Dante's classic- The Inferno and Boccaccio's Decameron. And that's just the first semester! I'm not sure if the kids share the same excitement (yet), but hopefully they'll get into the lit as we progress through the year.

Josh headed off to Marietta last night to spend his last days of summer with his grandparents. With Marie being with her mom's till Wed., the house definitely seems a bit empty. I think Cindy is already missing the little guy- and it does seem really odd not having a five year old following you around constantly talking about....everything under the sun! Cindy and I enjoyed a campfire last night with Ms. Sarah and tonight we're going out to dinner ....and we may actually be able to stay and dine longer than 30 minutes!

The race training is going well. I'm up to about 4 1/2 miles at a time, and I no longer feel like I've just been run over by a semi after completing a run. I'm running the 5 mile Labor of Love run in a couple of weeks, and then the Akron marathon is scheduled at the end of the month.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Where has the summer gone?

Well, it's back to school tomorrow, which brings an end to my Mr. Mom duties this summer. Back in early June, I would be lying to say that I didn't have a little anxiety about watching an infant all summer long...not to mention a five year old and a "pre-teen"...but, it really was a great summer. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, a baby will really "anchor" you down to the homestead, but little Sarah has brought more joy to Cindy and I in her young life that I wouldn't have traded the time I spent with her the past 10 weeks for anything in the world. With Josh, and Marie and times, as the leader of the pack, we've enjoyed the zoo, the metro parks, neighborhood walks, swimming/ slip-n' sliding, McDonald lunches , and trips to the ice-cream stand... and a lot of backyard "chillin" in the swing.

Cindy and I just returned late this afternoon from an awesome tubing trip up in Standish, Michigan. The weather was super, and it was nice to get away one last time before school begins. Our trip began with a Friday night dinner at Cooperstown/ baseball game up at the Jake (they actually won!), then a late night visit/ sleep at Becky and Troy's home in Ypsilanti (sp?)...and then an early morning trek up north towards Standish (near Saginaw). This was the first time that we have been away from Sarah, and Cindy was definitely ready to see her little girl today as we arrived back in Barberton. We are going to have to do some serious babysitting juggling for the next couple of weeks since Josh does not start back to school until after Labor Day. (Which I personally think should be a federal law for all school systems....beginning with mine!) Cody and Adam are planning on hanging out with the little guy through Wed. of this week, and then his big sister Marie will watch him on Thur. and Fri. Then, the following week, he's off to Marietta to spend a few days with Cindy's folks.

I probably should get to bed at a decent hour tonight (no more late-night TV with Jay Leno and Conan O-Brien)...we have three days of in-service planned for the Hoban, the excitement about this is simply too overwhelming....I'll have to create my Christmas Break countdown calendar sometime at work tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A trek to the Gorge

Well, at the time it seemed like a good idea. The weather forecast for today was 78 degrees and I thought I'd pack the kids up this morning and hike the trail at the Gorge Metropolitan Park. The only minor detail that I kind of forgot was that the trail was 2 miles long. Sarah faired pretty well, but after the first mile, let's just say that I would be a very rich man for every time that the loquacious Josh uttered..."my body's aching, Dad!"...the first time was cute, but after hearing it for almost a mile...I too was longing for the van.

I used to come here all the time while in college. Having lived almost 5 years in the North Hill area of Akron...this was the ultimate get-away. The metro park has really improved the trail by the construction of all the wooden platforms and staircases...making it a much easier hike than what it used to be- as I tried to convince Josh during the last 1/2 hour of the walk.

Sarah actually fell asleep in her huggy napsack...which, if you have kids, you know what I mean when I say that sleeping children always seems heavier to carry- go figure!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

True Wisdom

Paul Sartarelli asks, "What choices do you have to make? Will you consider using the wisdom the Book of Proverbs can give or will you choose the road of folly?"

For the past couple of weeks, our church has tackled the question as to how to use wisdom in making everyday decisions. Easier said than done.

"Let instruction and knowledge mean more to you than silver or the finest gold. Wisdom is worth much more than precious jewels or anything else you desire." (Proverbs 8: 10-11)

Certainly instruction and knowledge can come from our family and friends, but they too are susceptible to the "materialistic/ it's all about me" society that we all live in. I guess I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to squandering money. Should Cindy and I be putting even more into the kids college fund instead of buying "stuff" that more than likely will end up in next year's garage sale? Or are we doing enough when it comes to charity and helping those who certainly are not as fortunate with their health and financial situations? I suppose that you could begin to second guess just about every decision in life, but I really think that one of the primary lessons in Proverbs is just asking us to prioritize and make sure that our decisions are not always self-centered, but instead reach out to those whom we love.

Money isn't the only issue here, as well. How about the decisions we make when it comes to the words we speak towards each other? Mike Castelli nailed this topic when he essentially told us that's just best to remain quiet. Words can be hurtful, spiteful, and utterly damaging when we don't truly think about the ramifications that they can cause. What may sound like a harmless sarcastic remark may not be similarly received by everyone else...I am so guilty of this one!

Finally, wisdom certainly beckons us when it comes to our family: the time we spend with them, the counsel/ advice we offer them, and the "listening" that we award them. Josh, who was somewhat of a late bloomer when it came to speaking, now never shuts up. It's truly amazing that a little boy of 5 years of age has so much to say, and after a while, it's kind of easy to treat him as a static radio station...but truly some of my favorite times with my son is when we're sitting outside together on the park bench in the evening and he proceeds to tell me all the things going on in his young, fascinating life- and he knows that I'm truly listening to him. He told me the other day that heaven is a place where you pray to Jesus to help all the "bad people" in the world to behave themselves; it's also a place where, if you've been good, you can just chill and relax (his two new favorite words)...words of wisdom from the mouths of babes.

Choosing among the roads of wisdom and folly...easier said than done.