Friday, November 30, 2007

One Big Snake

Check out this short video clip on a 440 pound snake found in an abandoned house in Brazil.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 29, 2007 Update

So much time has passed since my last "real" post, I'm not sure where to start or what to include.

Last week my in-laws flew in to spend Thanksgiving week with us (not with Stephanie and I but the grand kids - you parents know what I'm talking about). They flew in on Monday, several hours late due to weather and mechanical delays. We ate at Chilli's for supper. Monday I worked but I was off the rest of the week.

Tuesday I decided to do another one of those "quick" home projects. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that inevitably when I start a home project, it's never quick or straight forward. This time the toilet in the half bathroom wouldn't stop running. So I bought all new guts plus a new shut off valve because it was now a slow-down valve but not a shut off valve. The plan was to do the work during the kids nap time, while my wife and her mom went shopping. This seemed an ideal time since I had to turn off the water to the house to replace the shut off valve. Replacing the valve went smoothly, with no issue (yeah!). Replacing the innards of the toilet did not. It should have been easy. I've put in a whole new toilet before without much issue, but every time I would attached the tank (I had to remove it to replace the old flush valve) and fill it with water, there would be a leak. First they started off big, like when I flushed the toilet and water squirted out from around where the tank meets the toilet. Finally, after I had lost count of the number of times I had taken the tank off and put it back on, it was down to a very slow leak, a single drop every 20-30 seconds. At that point I declared it good enough for the day and put a towel on the floor behind the toilet to catch the drops. The toilet could be used. Mind you, I had started around 1:00 p.m.. When I called it quits it was around 8:00 p.m. The rest of the family had gone to McDonald's for supper. Prior to attempting the toilet repairs I did replace a knob on a lamp that had been broken and after calling it quits I cleaned out the aerator in one of the sinks to make the water flow better, so I did have a couple of small victories. Once the family returned from supper we exchanged Christmas presents with Stephanie's parents. Good and fun stuff was given and received.

Wednesday was Stephanie's birthday. Before lunch Will helped Grandma make a birthday cake. After lunch we went to the Providence Children's Museum. The kids really enjoy going there, especially the "water" room where they get to splash and play with water and have permission to get wet. Afterwards we went to eat at On the Border, Stephanie's favorite restaurant. I let the waitress know it was her birthday, so she received the typical restaurant birthday cheer and a free dessert. Then we went home and did the birthday cake. The adults would have been fine skipping that but Will was insistent that a birthday needed a cake (and once the cake was served and eaten the birthday is over). Then came presents.

Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving. It was a very relaxed day. The ladies chose to have our big Thanksgiving meal at supper so that they did not have to rush the preparations.

On Friday the in-laws left on a road trip to Niagara Falls with a detour through Vermont. The rest of us just relaxed - Stephanie read a book and I played with the kids.

On Saturday I tackled the toilet again. This time there were no more leaks. Thanks be to God. In the evening we got out the Christmas tree and decorated it. Both parents and all three kids got involved, even if the youngest, Ellie, was mostly taking the ornaments off the tree which were being put on by her older brothers :-).

Sunday we went to church, came home and did more of the Friday activities.

On Monday (of this week) I went back to work. Grandma and grandpa returned from their road trip, which they enjoyed a lot. We ate out at Friendly's.

Very early Tuesday morning Stephanie's parents flew out. I'm grateful that they had to return their rental car and so we did not have to take them =).

That's a synopsis of the last couple of weeks. Nothing significant to report for most of this week - got up, had quiet time, ate, got ready, went to work, ate, worked some more, came home, ate, played, put to bed, read, and went to bed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving 2007!

Happy Thanksgiving

to everyone. I hope it has been a blessed day for all and that you took time to thank God for all of His abundant provisions and blessings.

We have been busy and I'm tired, so I'm going to keep this short and post more about this week at some future point.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Honey

Happy Birthday!
to my wonderful wife.

Friday, November 16, 2007

November 16 , 2007 Update

As you've probably noticed, I've been absent from the blog world for a few days. I've been busy, mostly with reading. Last weekend while shopping for Christmas presents for others, I picked up a book for myself - "Out of Islam: One Muslim's Journey to Faith in Christ" by Christopher Alam. I finished it in two days. I will try to do a review on it soon. I picked it up 1) because that kind of biography/story interests me and 2) I thought it was another man whom I heard about several months ago and I had wanted to get his story. I found out this was a different individual, the one I was thinking about is Daniel Shayesteh.

Once I finished that, I've been reading "Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling" by Mary Pride. I've gotten through about eight chapters but still have quite a ways to go. Will will be ready to start school next fall. At the same time that we got the "Getting Started in Homeschooling" book, we also got "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox and Elaine Bruner. Stephanie has started working with Will on that. He is very excited about it. I only hope that he does not get frustrated because it does not go as fast as he wants it to.

I also got issued a different work laptop yesterday because my senior manager decided the one I had was running too slow. So he gave me his old one, which was a definite step up from the one I was using. So I've been in the process of getting it set up and customized to my likes. This one has a dual-core processor and twice the RAM I had in the previous one. I have noticed a performance difference. It has a wide screen display, which is taking some getting used to.

I'm having breakfast in the morning with a couple of Christian brothers, which I'm looking forward to. Unfortunately, I have to work Sunday morning - our fourth quarter disaster recovery test. Not too excited about it.

My in-laws fly in on Monday for Thanksgiving, so our house will be quite full. We will be exchanging Christmas presents and celebrating Stephanie's birthday next week as well. It's going to be a busy week, but it should be good.

I think that's pretty much it. Stay tuned on this same bat channel for the next bat update.

Monday, November 12, 2007

November 12, 2007 Update

For my company, Veterans Day is a "personal choice" holiday. That means we can choose to take it on the day it is celebrated (today) or we can work the day and use the holiday at some other time. I chose to do the latter.

Since there were not going to be many people at work today, the family came in for lunch. The boys like coming to the office and having lunch. And my boss likes to see the kids. After lunch, we went to my cube, visiting people on the way. I had arranged to work from home in the afternoon so that my wife could go to an appointment without dragging the kids along. So after spending some time at my cube, I packed up and we went home.

As I was packing up, my boss graciously told me not to worry about working this afternoon. So I got to work for half a day and bank a full day to be used later. Isn't God good?

Friday, November 9, 2007

What a Way to Celebrate a One-Year Anniversary

Looking for a unique, once-in-a-life time way to celebrate your first anniversary, or any anniversary for that matter?

You could try to duplicate this couple's experience, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Let's count the number of times I've eaten out this week:

  • Monday - Chuck E Cheese
  • Tuesday - Burger King
  • Wednesday - ate at home
  • Thursday - ate at home
  • Friday - Long Horn Steak House
That's three times this week. And my lovely wife and I are supposed to have a date night tomorrow night, so that will be number four. I'm looking forward to date night, but at the moment I'm feeling rather "restauranted" out. I'm feeling stuffed to the gills. Stephanie offered to make me some hot chocolate tonight. Usually I would have taken her up on the offer. Not tonight. I think anything other than water may put me over the top.

Maybe a salad tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Daddy And Three

What do you get when a dad takes three kids out and about? Unusual questions.

Last night Stephanie was not feeling well when I got home from work. I was going to have to cook supper and she just wanted to go to bed. So I decided to take the kids out for supper to Burger King where they could play in the indoor playground. On the way home I was to get bread and milk.

During these activities I received two questions that I have not received before.

The first question was from one of the Burger King workers. As I was filling up our cups at the soda machine he looked at me and asked, "Babysitting tonight?"

The second question was from the cashier at Wal-Mart. As it came my turn and I was placing the milk up on the counter, she asked me, "Is this WIC?"

What's the deal? Is it that unusual that a dad takes out his three kids, by himself?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

November 4, 2007 Update

About a week and a half ago, I blogged that I was going to go to the Rock The Sound concert this past Saturday. As Proverbs 16:9 says, paraphrased, my plans were not God's plans. I did not make it to the concert.

To sum it up briefly, last Saturday my wife took a pregnancy test, which tested positive. This Saturday she had a miscarriage. You can go to my wife's blog to read more details: Discovery and loss. We are doing well, but are of course grieving. It's amazing how quickly one's heart can make room for a new child. We trust God and know that He is good no matter what trials come our way.

I do want to recount a conversation thread I had with my oldest child, Will, who is four and a half. We had told the kids about the pregnancy and he had been really excited. On Saturday, he perceived that I was sad and asked me why. I put him off until nap time when I could talk to him one on one. I did so, letting him know that the baby had died and was in heaven with God and that we would see him or her one day when we got to heaven.

Among the many questions and comments Will asked and made throughout the rest of the day was the comment that we had not named the baby. I replied that no, we had not but that I was sure God would give the baby a name.

On Sunday, I took the boys and made a trip to Wal-Mart that had been planned for Saturday but never happened. On the way, Will asked a question that really touched me.

"Dad, when we get to heaven, can we ask God what He named the baby?"

"Yes son. We can definitely do that."

Friday, November 2, 2007

Truck Update

Last Sunday I got around to looking at the truck. A friend from church, Kevin, volunteered to come and help me. Since he is more vehicularly savvy than I am, I took him up on his offer. While waiting for him to arrive, I went ahead and got my tools out and decided to try and start the truck. I was fully expecting it to be completely dead. To my surprise, it started right up and ran just fine. The only thing I noticed was the charge meter was showing higher than normal.

Kevin and I looked things over. I asked several questions about interesting looking things in the engine compartment. And we decided to take a "wait and see" approach. I told Kevin that I had been praying, asking God to fix the truck, so that could be the reason nothing appeared wrong.

Well, the truck has started faithfully without a hitch all week. I'm choosing to believe that God fixed my truck. Thank you God.

P.S. I know, "vehicularly" is not a real word. But I thought I would try it out. The English language needs this word.

The World's Smallest Radio

I read this interesting article today on the world's smallest radio, made from a carbon nanotube.