Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Photo Shoot starring...

Ms. Sarah Kay

Friday, February 23, 2007

I just love going to the movies with my son. He is so animated throughout the film, and he truly reacts to every single "turning point" of the storyline. I never read this book in grade-school, but was assigned the novel in an adolescent literature course that I took in college. Truthfully, this is one film that actually was more enjoyable than the original literary work. It certainly held my son's attention, and I too was impressed by the cinematic production of this Newberry Award winning novel.

However, I wasn't entirely prepared to deal with Josh's reaction to the novel's tragic drowning death of the young girl, Leslie. Josh kept saying...rather loudly in the theatre..."she can't be dead...she's his best friend!" Uh....want to explain that one to a five year-old?
I think the best compliment that I've ever received about my son came from his teacher last year. She told me that never in her teaching career had she met a young boy who wore his heart on his sleeve as Josh does. You know, it's true. The little guy does have an incredible knack for making sure everyone whom he knows is content, and he does genuinely get upset when people in his life are unhappy/ having a bad day. I've often wished that I had the compassion of my son...what an awesome gift that he has to share.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Monster Jam

So I decided to expose my kids to what may very well be the next cultural renaissance of our lifetime. Seriously, this thing was a sell-out! We had great seats as we were able to watch these machines come right at us and fly over a bunch of old jalopies and mini-vans. I figure when the day comes that I can buy another Mustang, I'll donate my Dodge Caravan to this show.

As Josh watched all the promo commercials for this event, GraveDigger was definitely the truck to root for. So what happens? The dude comes out and flips during his first stunt. Then, the driver from Safe Auto got a stomach flu and they asked if anyone in the crowd could take over. So- not to disappoint my kids- I took a shot at it...and look at me soar through the air! Impressive, huh?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blizzard of 2007

After shoveling what was easily more than a foot of snow, (and by the way, I just love the additional snow that I inherit at the end of my driveway from the city's snow plows!) I returned to work today- just in time for parent teacher conferences. How much additional fun could I ask for? Hard to complain, though, since we're off tomorrow as well as Monday. Josh and Marie definitely enjoyed their snow day yesterday...Josh's riding tractor in the background gives you an idea of how deep the snow actually was.

The 3 Legends of St. Valentine

Legend #1
The priest Valentine was arrested and put into prison. He was incarcerated because he did not worship the Roman gods. After being in prison for many years, he was presented to Claudius II (known as Claudius the Cruel). Valentine stood by his convictions and still refused to worship any other but his God. Claudius II was outraged. The ruler sealed Valentine's fate and condemned him to die.

In the meantime, Valentine had become friends with one of the prison guard’s daughters who was blind. Valentine sent her a note before he was martyred. When the girl opened the note, her sight was restored. She could read the signature of the person who had signed the note. The note was signed "from your Valentine."

Legend #2
Claudius II was interested in building a great army. He recognized that married men would not make effective soldiers because they would be concerned about their wives and families. To stem this problem, Claudius II forbade young couples to marry. Valentine had great empathy for the young couples who wanted to marry. He chose to marry couples in secret. However, Valentine's service was discovered and he was put to death for breaking the law.

Legend #3
Mr. Hallmark was looking to make a quick buck during the cold, dreadful month of February and entice buffoons like me to trod out to his store on the 13th during a blizzard in search of the perfect Valentine. True story: I’m in the Hallmark store yesterday- you know the 13th- and this elderly gentleman scampers in and hollers at the clerk, “Where do you keep the cards for someone whose been married to the same dame for 120 years?” I about fell over backwards laughing.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How thoughtful

So this whole turning 40 thing has been making me kind of nuts lately. With d-day still over a month away , I get this early "birthday card" in the mail today. At first glance, it looked seemingly innocent, and the first thought that entered my mind was what senile relative sent me a card so early. Allow me to quote the inside greeting...

Consider this an early present from us. If you buy now, you can get a personalized quote for a 39-year-old male and pocket the savings. Purchase today additional life insurance coverage before that next birthday, and you'll have even more to celebrate...
Happy Birthday from your friends at USSA Life Insurance
Now I'm really depressed...I'm going downstairs to jam on my Epiphone

Monday, February 12, 2007

Rock On, Dudes!

It arrived! (No, not the kid- he's been around for almost 6 years now) My G-400 Epiphone; the original version of the SG was the dominant electric guitar of the 1960s. The little guy looks pretty good with it, huh? (yellow duck pajama bottoms and all!) He'll probably figure out how to play the thing well before I can master it. Although, I'm more excited than ever about my guitar lessons with Greg- Akron's very own guitarist extraordinaire. My goal is just to play some kind of small guitar lick for Sunday service in about a year- a childhood dream come true! (that's just a small subtle hint, Kenton)

Friday, February 09, 2007

"Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!"

So here's some friendly advice...if you're ever visiting a friend's house and this is the greeting that you receive...RUN!

More than 500 years ago, Prince Vlad "the Impaler" Tepes, aka Dracula, ruled Wallachia on the frontier of the Ottoman Empire and gained notoriety throughout Europe as a fierce and murderous tyrant. How bad was he? Well, his name alone translates as "son of the devil". In 1462, Vlad impaled/ displayed over 20,000 Transylvanian men to simply intimidate the approaching Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Impalement- Vlad style- includes the use of a long wooden stake that was pierced between the legs of a victim's body and then planted in the ground. Over several days, the victim would slide down the stake under the force of his own weight- destroying his internal organs and ultimately bleeding to death. OUCH! Another famous story tells of the time when two ambassadors paid a visit to Vlad's court at Tirgoviste. Refusing to remove their turbans at the presence of Prince Vlad, the ruthless tyrant ordered that their headpieces be nailed to their heads- such that they should never have to remove them again. Nice guy, huh?

Over the centuries, millions of people in Europe read and heard outlandish tales about Vlad Dracula, but the one legend that has probably had the biggest impact on today's society is this: dedicating his life to defending the Church from the Ottoman Empire, Vlad became distraught upon learning of his wife's death while he was away at battle. As a result, he sold his soul to the devil to punish the same God whom he had spent his life defending. The price he had to pay for this act, though, was costly. He was now destined to live the life of a vampire.

Well, this part of Vlad's illustrious life engaged the curiosity of a young Irish novelist. Centuries later, writer Bram Stoker combined the Prince's bloodthirsty historical reputation with popular vampire folklore, and the literary Gothic character Count Dracula was born in 1897.

Please read chapters 1-4 by next Thursday...or somebody may be paying you a nocturnal visit. Vah, ah, ah, ah...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

After waiting over an hour for our photo sitting (grumble, grumble), we walked away with about 12 different shots to choose from. Funny...but little Sarah was the only one who managed to smile in all the pics...honestly, it was either Cindy, Josh, Marie, or I who had some kind of goofy grin in most of them, but Sarah kept smiling away....what can I say, she's a natural!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rock-A-Bye Baby...
So c'mon...fess up. How many of you can sleep this way?
I think I'll send this pic off to TemperPedic mattresses to see if I can get my daughter a modeling gig.