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With  CavWife and I out of town this past weekend the kids stayed with some friends.  I haven’t written too much about the kids lately.  Our friend’s updates were funny, so I thought I’d make them available.

Ch. 1: played on floor from 8-9:30.  LAID on floor while CavKids PLAYED on floor.

Ch. 2: SNACK–brought up by CavGirl (surprised?)  Townhouse crackers/bananas/grapes and a few Easter M&M’s from the bottom of Karl’s Easter basket.

Ch.3: SWAM from 10-11:30.  Neither went in farther than their knees (1st pool step).  But we had fun with Grey’s truck and sand bucket.  They poured water all over me!  When they were peeling off their suits I suggested they go potty in the grass since CavSon wasn’t keen on my toilet before we swam.  Both had success!

Ch. 4: LUNCH at………….McDonald’s!!  11:45 – 12:30.  They were completely clueless about the restaurant and the food.  I was almost embarassed!  I got them both Happy Meals thinking they would each get a toy—well….it was a CD of kids songs.  Except when we played it in the car on the way home it was RAP and HIP-HOP!  Sung BY kids but definitely not “Kid Music!”  CavGirl gobbled all SIX chicken nuggets and CavSon ate 3 of his 4 but ALL of his french fries!  He was completely fascinated with the Ronald McDonald statue outside on the bench, so after we ate we went out there.  CavGirl crawled right up into his lap but CavSon kept shaking his head “no!”  I bet next time you pass McD’s she will mention something about the trip.

Ch. 5: came home and played babies with Meg and Amber til nap.

Ch. 6: NAP at 1:15.  He went potty on the toilet, and he did use the stool a bit.  She was totally into going upstairs with all her JUNK to take her nap; so was CavSon til I actually left Karl’s room–then he cried, but not for long.  She asked for some books and as of 1:45, I don’t hear any crying or singing…..

Ch. 7: Post-Nap:  I think I filled you in on most of this.  The kids played with Amber and Meg on the tire swing while I fixed dinner.  We ate and I drove the girls to Lakeland.  Came home and took baths in the BIG bathtub.  They loved it.

Ch. 8:  8:15: BEDTIME!  We all read a book then CavSon went down, then I read 1 more to CavGirl and she went right down.  I woke up about 7:45 and was listening for “rumblings” but heard nothing–I couldn’t believe this was actually true.  When I went upstairs, meg had her on the bathroom sink and was looking at her chin.  Well…..apparently she fell out of bed in the middle of the night and hit the bottom of her chin on the little rocking chair next to the guest bed!  I didn’t hear a thing!!!  She said she didn’t cry–just crawled back into bed.  But her bumpy blanket looked like a CRIME SCENE this morning, as did her PJ’s.  (another load of wash…)  She has a small slit on the bottom of her chin.  A doctor might have called for a stitch, but…too late!  So Meg was cleaning it and putting a band-aid on it.  She wasn’t upset at all!!  Can you believe it??

Ch. 9:  HOT BREAKFAST of French Toast and yogurt.  MEG thoroughly enjoyed it.  She left at 9:00 for Sunday School and we didn’t!  Instead, we watched…..”Lady and the Tramp” which the kids LOVED.  This gave me time to get ready for church.  (A guy from Riverview preached…where is that?  He said near Brandon?  He mentioned that they adopted both their girls, and CavGirl made friends with Rachael in C.Church.).  He came out of the nursery after church with a Matchbox Service Station/garage which I was told was a birthday present from the nursery worker!  He was SO excited.  The C.C. lady told me the nursery worker (don’t know any names here!) tried to bring him to C.C. since he is 3 now (I totally forgot!) but he would have NOTHING to do with it!  So they took him back to the nursery.

Ch. 10: LUNCH–grilled cheese and tomato soup and fruit.  CavGirl did not care for her soup and she told me so, but quickly added that she could still have a snack, right?!!  :  )  They watched the last 15 minutes of the movie and down for nap.  This time I remembered his diaper!

Ch. 11:  NAP–I slept great….don’t know about CavGirl as she was up and singing at 4:00 when I went up.  He had just woken up and was crying a bit.  CavGirl wanted to swim again, so as she was going potty b-4 putting her suit on, he tried to jump up on the toilet as well.  He had just peed in his diaper so I couldn’t imagine why he would want to try again, but I made him wait til she was done.  POOP!!!  This would have been a dandy time to be able to talk…but I’m glad he did it w/o being asked.  We were out in the pool when Cavnan called, but Karl gave me the message.  CavSon was not as thrilled about going in this time—it was all I could do to get him to stand on the first step.  Oh well.

Ch. 12:  PIZZA for dinner:  I just ordered Dominos.  CavGirl suggested that we go somewhere “special” for supper like we did for lunch yesterday so we compromised on pizza.  She asked it if was the kind that the MAN brings!!

There you have it … a few days in the life of the kids.

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Joined at the Hip

Joined at the Hip

The last week seems to be a blur.  We are now back in hot, humid Florida.  The travel day was filled with way too much whining and crying.  Seems to put a damper on a good vacation.  Returning also means a return to my responsibilities- first of which is finding a way to support my family.  Yes, puts a damper on the whole thing.  But let’s ponder more interesting things!

Here are the “highlights”.

Monday night I learned that a church has begun checking references.  This is great news!  The result of the process is not certain, but the process has begun and maybe that will result in something really positive.

Tuesday we missed Tropical Storm Fay.  Our home got plenty of rain, but we did not experience the flooding many other communities in Florida and elsewhere did.  Better than that, CavWife and I stole away for a lunch alone.  A quiet lunch!  No crying, complaining etc.  We enjoyed each other’s company and talked about a few things- including my impressions of Job this time through (2nd time in a year).

CavWife's New Doo

CavWife

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It was a different week.  My brothers-in-law were away on a missions trip to Mississippi.  Not as much male interaction.  ESPN and ESPN 2 have not been available on the cable the last 5-6 days, so I’m suffering from the DTs.  I was also slowed down by a summer cold that started with sniffles => sore throat => running nose => cough.  A real pleasure.

I Need a Dentist

I Need a Dentist

On Wednesday and Friday we went to the Word of Life Ranch to visit the petting zoo.  The kids loved it.  They had goats, sheep, llamas (in desperate need of dental work), chickens, cows, horses, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets.  CavGirl’s priceless comment- “They’re stinky.  They need a bath.”  We were also able to spend time in the fort playground.  I pushed the kids on the tire swing, and they enjoyed the slides.  On Wednesday’s trip we had lunch at the WoL campground with some friends of CavWife who still work at Word of Life.  Both trips ended with rain shortening the stay.

Radio station options way up here are limited.  So for both rides to Schroon Lake, we ‘enjoyed’ the worst of the 80’s.  Lots of bad flashbacks, so I’m surprised we didn’t crash the SUV.  I hadn’t heard “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for many years, and heard it 2 times this past week.  Sigh.

CavParents arrived Thursday and stayed until Saturday.  They skipped the petting zoo.  Don’t blame them- smelly animals and poop-covered shoes.  It got pretty noisy around here though with up to 11 cousins running around.  Sometimes they played well together, and other times …. not quite.  The rainy week didn’t help matters.  CavBoy and his youngest cousin here are getting along famously.  Just like Frick & Frack now that she is feeling better.  This is good since CavGirl is able to enjoy her older cousins.  He doesn’t feel as left out now.

Friday night we all got together for dinner at Aunt Jane’s place at the bottom of the hill.  Mom’s lasaugna with meatballs & sausage, and Bernie’s eggplant parmesian (I passed on the eggplant) followed by ice cream.

Saturday I helped my sister-in-law work on their new home near the bottom of the hill.  I spackled over the screws in the drywall, helped move in some furniture, and helped with some staining of the trim.

On Sunday I preached at Calvary Bible Church in Wevertown.  I ended up choosing a shortened version of my sermon on adoption from Ephesians.  It went well.

I’m antsy … I want to become a productive member of society again.  Still no progress on any fronts.  It can eat at you if you have too much time on your hands, which, by definition, you do.

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It is hard to believe it is Saturday.  Life has slowed down tremendously since we hopped on that plane Tues. morning.  The big rush to de-clutter the house was done.  We were packed and gone.

Since then I’ve been doing some reading.  That has been hard for me lately.  I’ve had trouble concentrating.  There were far too many things going on, and I deperately needed a change of scenery- and weather.  I got both.  So my concentration has returned.  As you may have noticed, I read Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian.  Dr. Nicole taught me to read those I don’t agree with (or other ivew points) so I can see their own arguments first hand lest someone mischaracterize them.  Glad I read it, and I still disagree with him.

In addition to starting to read Job, I’m reading Sinclair Ferguson’s book on Ruth, Faithful God.  It is really good.  As someone who is going through a difficult time, I need that reminder that God’s plan is not always evident until it has completely unfolded.  And that might be long after you’re gone.

It’s not all serious- I’m reading a Dean Koontz novel I picked off the bookshelf here.

I’ve been helping my brother-in-law get the website ready for his business.  I’ll also be helping to get their financial system integrated on the software.  My sister-in-law has too much going on the learn the system and get it all integrated herself.  Since the guys at Riedinger & Sons are heading off to Mississippi for a missions trip today, I’ll be able to work on this with no new invoices etc. 

The weather has been quite varied.  Plenty of sun, and plenty of rain too.  The tempuratures are mostly in the 60’s-70’s.  A very nice  change of pace allowing me to sit outside and read.  Sadly, no cigars to enjoy outside.  But my sister-in-law provided me with some Smithwick’s Irish Ale as a treat.  Quite nice.

I helped my other brother-in-law work on his new house today.  I was priming the dry wall in a few closets.  And tonight I’m cooking some Cajun Back Ribs.

I know some of you are more concerned about the kids.  They are having a blast.  CavGirl loves coming here and playing with her cousins.  It is the first time CavBoy has come to the Farm.  He might be feeling a bit left behind as she goes on adventures with her cousins.  But he’s getting more adventurous.  Both are playing long and hard, so naps and night time have been met with quickly nodding off to sleep.  Parenting has required less time and energy.

I got some great pictures of the humming birds.  At one point there were 5 vying for the feeder.  I couldn’t get the beautiful finch.  He was too skittish when I came near with the camera.  That and the territorial battle he was engaged in with another bird.  I don’t have the right software here, so posting any of them will have to wait.

I was disappointed to discover that my capo and picks were not in the guitar case where I thought I left them.  This greatly reduces what I can do with old vacation guitar while I’m up here.

Well, a beautiful sunny afternoon is calling my name.

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CavGirl and I had a date this morning.  The local theaters run older kids movies a few mornings each week during the summer.  They are free since they expect you to spend money on concessions.  It works out well for everyone.  We were supposed to see this:

I double-checked the time and theater with my friend.  He was taking his daughter too.  Somehow wires got crossed because The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anythingwas not playing at that movie theater, and my friend was nowhere to be found.  It was at this moment that I was glad I didn’t tell CavGirl she’d see her friend this morning.  I was tempted to go home.

But my mind went back to the night before when I told her we were going on a date.  She was excited about the idea of going to the movie.  She wanted to bring Addison, her favorite doll.  She wanted to bring him in the stroller.  We compromised … ‘yes’ to Addison and ‘no’ to the stroller.  She was already disappointed, I didn’t want to completely disappoint her.

So … we saw this.  Yes, Alvin and the Chipmunks.  It was okay, aside from some words I was not excited about my daughter hearing.  Like “sucks” for instance- even though they used it to mean “awful”.  The scatological humor was something else I could do without.  The singers & dancers who joined them on stage were not exactly kid appropriate either.

But, she enjoyed her first taste of movie theater popcorn.  And she savored the Sprite that came with it in the kids combo.  She did really well for the first time in a movie theater.  She didn’t get restless until the last 10-15 minutes.

This may sound strange to some of you.  We know people who have been bringing their kids to the movies since they were a year old.  You might call us “old fashioned” since she’s 3 1/2 and has never gone to a movie.  Others might call us progressive because we took such a young child to the movies.

I thought she was old enough to enjoy it.  And I thought it was Veggie Tales.  Yes on the first, and no on the second.  But I had a good time watching a movie with my little girl- even if it was Alvin and the Chipmunks.

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This weekend I had the privilege of officiating the wedding ceremony of a great friend who was marrying a great woman.  They are … a great couple.

Since it was nearly 2 hours away drive-time, and CavGirl was the flower girl, we ended up staying in a Residence Inn about 30 minutes away from the wedding site.  We packed up the car and headed out Friday morning, hoping to enjoy some time at the hotel before naps.  Alas, that was not to be so since it took longer to get there than I had anticipated.  It was farther north than I thought, which was advantageous when it came to going back and forth for rehearsal & the wedding with 2 toddlers.

The front desk informed us that due to a lightning strike, they would have to test the alarm system that afternoon.  But they checked our room before we even got settled in.

After I unloaded the car, I set out to iron my clothes for that evening.  I wouldn’t be able to do it with the kids down for a nap.  At that point CavWife asked about the dresses for CavGirl, and her own clothing for the festivities that night and the next.  “Huh?  What clothes?  I thought you got them?”  I was informed that I actually had to move them off my suit to load it into the car.  She was without appropriate clothing for the rehearsal and dinner to follow.   Neither of us was happy.

Now I’m checking out the LG HD LCD TVs in the rooms.  I have TV envy- the picture is so incredibly sharp.  After the kids enjoy their lunch it is off to bed for them.  I wonder, what are we eating?  Apparently I’m off to hunt up some grub for 2 starving adults.  After splitting a McDonald’s Asian salad and some McTenders we settle in for the afternoon.  All was going fabulously until I started to get ready for the rehearsal.  Suddenly the alarms for the whole building are blaring- the kids are screaming (well, they had to get up anyway).  It is so ear-piercing we take them out by the pool to calm them down.  I couldn’t even think in there.  This is the effect they wanted them to have.  But I had flashbacks to 3 am fire alarms in college.

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One of my good friends is about to be married.  He has lots of changes going on: graduated from seminary, starting a new job in a new town, and taking a bride.  We met when he rented a room from me the summer before my own marriage.  He’s lived with us 2 times since then as he underwent transitions.

I couldn’t make his official bachelor party (a Cubs game in St. Pete).  So, some friends and I locally decided to spend an evening with him saying good-bye in a guy kind of way.

That meant wings, snacks with tons of carbs, beer and Monty Python.  After spending some time talking about life on the back porch we headed in for some movies.  One of our friends has somehow had the misfortune to never seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  I’m not quite sure how he liked it yet, but when the movie abruptly ended he cried out, “That’s it?!”.  You expect something else with them?

I was reminded of my own wedding.  It was December 27th, so I was so wrapped up in the church’s Advent preparations that I couldn’t really think about the fact that I was getting married so soon.  It really didn’t hit me until I was getting ready to board my Christmas Day flight to NJ.

I wasn’t really scared, except for about 5 minutes.  I had checked into our hotel room in the afternoon of the 27th.  I took a nap and was getting ready when it hit me.  “Wow, life is about to change irrevokably.”  I figured that was a good thing, and it was.

I’m glad that this weekend I have the honor to officiate the wedding ceremony.  This one definitely one of the greatest parts of ordained ministry.  I love to see the faces of the grooms when their bride appears.  I get a front row seat to some great stuff.

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