A Random Pattern

Archive for the 'personal' Category

White Shadows

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Tessa woke us up this morning.  As she was talking with us, trying to get us to wake up and get moving, she noticed something on the covers.

“White shadows” she said excitedly!  (Never mind that she says everything excitedly.)
She was pointing at the bright spots of light where the sun was making its way through and around the shades.  My still sleep-numbed brain tossed about for another word or phrase to describe the sun-dappled scene that had entranced our daughter.  No, it seemed to me that “white shadows” was quite good enough, and a remarkably adroit phrase for a 4 year old.

footnote:  It says something about the world that our children learn first about the dark, scary shadows at night in their rooms, before ever being given a word for the kisses of sunlight in the morning.  Perhaps the latter is so much bigger, so much better, that it is hard to wrap up in a simple word.

Kids and volumes: would you like earplugs with that?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Selah only has 2 volumes:

SCREAMING!   and    let’s talk ever so gently.

Unfortunately for us, her normal volume is the first one.   We only recently discovered the second one, and it only appears in the rarest of instances: when she is full enough to stop eating long enough to talk, but hungry enough that her attention is still mainly on her food.  Unfortunately, this coveted period of ear-healing only occurs for a few minutes each night at the dinner table.

Any suggestions (besides ear plugs, I’ve already got those ;) )?

Actually, what I really want to know is if this is normal, or if there’s something we’ve somehow done drastically wrong?  I keep hoping this is a phase, and one day soon Selah will wake up and talk in a normal voice.  Someone out there give me some hope …  :D

Family Force 5

Monday, April 9th, 2007

This is a followup to my earlier post about the Toby Mac / Portable Sounds concert. Unfortunately it is not as much about Toby Mac as it is about one of the opening acts, Family Force 5.

If you don’t want to hear loud music, didn’t know that “crunk” was a word, or don’t want to hear about mullets and the dirty south, then don’t follow this link to the band’s website. Otherwise go enjoy, and rock on.

There was lots of other good music at the concert – let’s be clear on that. It was fun, and when I got to help someone sponsor a World Vision child that was perhaps the most exciting moment of the night (and the whole reason Sara and I got to attend for free). Of course Toby Mac put on an awesome show, let there be no doubt about that. I’ll probably write more later and put up some pictures on that, but it was definitely fun.

The most amazing part of the concert, though, came early on. While we were getting set up at the volunteer station, some of the kids kept raving about something called “Family Force 5“. “Sounds like Gaither Vocal Band or something” I thought to myself. But these kids were nuts over the act, so Sara and I figured we’d try to catch the show and see what the big deal was.

Sure enough, when FF5 blasted onto the stage, it quickly became clear we were in for a treat. At first I couldn’t tell if the music was any good (it was too loud and distorted, and we were in the back of the seating area) – but it did not matter. The group had the most insanely amazing amount of energy I have ever seen on stage. They were loud, fast, and fun. Pretty soon they broke into a chorus with a great hook, and I decided I had a new favorite band. The sound is different than anything I’ve heard in a while – part Grits, part Kutless, part country and part deep funk. They had a guy up on stage doing nothing but dancing (and helping move things around when necessary) as far as we could tell.

One of the funnest songs was when the lead singer broke out these HUGE silver fist / gloves that he wore over his hands. These things were bigger than his head, and they added a whole new level of energy to the song. In the short set FF5 did, I became convinced that this group is headed straight for the top of the charts – perhaps their only problem is that Christian radio doesn’t play “hard” music barely ever, but in this age of increasing radio-irrelevance the internet could do all that FF5 need to shoot their popularity through the roof.

I’ll try to get a picture or two of those gloves up soon, but in the meantime go check out the FF5 website.  It is a treat in itself, and quite fun.  Make sure to look for the rocket ships.  :P

Will I finally see (one of the members of) DC Talk?

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Sara and I are volunteering this afternoon / evening for World Vision. We’ll be supporting the Portable Sounds Tour at Six Flags. This means we get in free, and get to (hopefully!) see Toby Mac perform.

At least twice before we’ve had tickets to go see him or Tait, and they have not showed / concert has been cancelled. This has been at least a 6 year wait, and Toby Mac has only gotten better with time (though his latest release strikes me as ‘tamer’ than his last two solo outings). I can’t wait!

We are hopefully watching him as you read this. Go check out his MySpace page, and get a little listen to at least “No Ordinary Love”.

I should note that World Vision is a good organization, and we support several kids through them. This is a chance for you to get in touch with and develop a relationship with (very!) poor children in some very poor areas of our world.

Footnote: Sara has actually seen some of DC Talk in concert, and we both caught Michael Tait in Hero: The Rock Opera after missing him at a Third Day concert a few years earlier. I haven’t heard anything about K-Max coming over our way, though, and it’s doubtful we’ll be travelling to California anytime soon to see him. :(

Disappointing news for Macolytes

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

I wrote up a post on MDA, so I won’t repeat it here.  The gist of it is that I couldn’t think of a better day to let everyone know what was going on with Whistler.  It’s a bit disappointing, but it had to be done.

In other news, Tessa and I played pogs this morning!  I was going through YAB (yet another box) and found some of my old pogs.  Tessa and I had a great time – anyone else pulled out their pogs recently?  :P

Quick Notes: Tessa is A-Ok, but surgery was no-go

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Tessa is fine, back to her normal self though a little tired.  But unfortunately she did go under anesthesia, and did not get her second CI this morning.  She got sick just this week, and the doctor took the conservative and wise route of not doing surgery when she was congested.

There’s more to the story, but I won’t tell it all here.  The only other major point is that her doctor is switching practices, and that leaves us without any way to even try to reschedule until the end of May.  We’re trying to find a way around that right now, so please pray for that.

A pretty (hot) tutorial and a question

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

I need to figure out how to do this sweet magic text effect with Paint Shop Pro.  Why Paint Shop Pro?  It’s what I have.  :) On that note, does anyone know a decent photo / paint tool on the Mac that’s also “entry” priced?  Because I won’t be shelling out the big bucks for Photoshop anytime soon.

Tessa tells a joke

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

We were in the drive-through at Papa John’s the other day (actually a first for us, unlike many American families we don’t eat pizza “regularly” much less weekly). They have a special if you pickup instead of getting delivery – $5 for a medium, $7 for a large, one topping only.
Now to fully appreciate this story, you should know that I like Hawaiian pizzas.  Sara does not.  We are also both cheap, especially right now.  And of course, due to the big announcement, Sara’s usual range of acceptable pizza toppings (pepperoni, sausage, ham, or extra cheese) is currently reduced to extra cheese only.

So let’s back up about 10 minutes.  I go in to the store, find out what deals they have, then order 1 extra-cheese medium and 1 pineapple pizza.  Hey, Sara doesn’t mind the ham so why not get pineapple when I have the chance?

When I tell Sara what I’ve ordered, she laughs.  Then she suggests we could pick up some ham to make mine a full Hawaiian.  The Walmart is about 20 seconds away, and we have 10 minutes to wait, so why not?  We drive over, and Sara goes in to pick up some ham for lunches and my pizza.

So far I’ve left out the kids, but they are sitting patiently in the backseat, behaving about as well as any kids possibly can.  We’ve explained we’re getting pizza, and they are quite excited – well, Selah is.  Tessa doesn’t like pizza, but Selah’s living it up with a rousing “Pizza!  Pizza!” chant.  I continue to explain that mommy is going in to get some ham for daddy’s pizza, because we’re too cheap to pay for two toppings.  We talk about ham, that it’s a meat, that it comes from pig, that kind of thing.  In our house, explanation and discussion rule the day (well, when mass chaos doesn’t).

So Sara gets back, and we head back over just in time to pick up our fresh Papa John pizzas.  As we’re waiting at the drive-through, we’re still discussing the ham.  Then, Tessa has something to say:

“What’s ham’s last name?”

Well, we’ve been talking about last names for awhile, so this isn’t completely a surprise, but we don’t really have an answer.  Sara starts to explain, “ham doesn’t have a last name, Te…” when Tessa interrupts.

“Meat!” she yells out delightedly.

“is that a joke?” Sara asks as I try to stop laughing.  Tessa seems puzzled by our laughter, instead of her usual extra-large grin and beaming pride.  We tried a few more times, but it seems Tessa wasn’t intending to tell a joke – that or she suddenly got bored.

So remember, kids.  “Ham Meat, it’s nice to meet you.”  Or “Mr. Meat”, if you’re being polite.

Life Facts: At the dentist

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Here’s a little life factoid for you:

Don’t wear nice shirts to the dentist.  You WILL drool on them.  No matter what.

So, yeah, guess what I did today?

Japanese Italian Korean

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Last night (or Friday morning for those in the U.S.) I had dinner at a Japanese Italian restaurant.  It was quite an experience,though that is true of all my meals here so far.  The first dish had Korean stylings, hence the title.  But the part I want to share right now is something I am particularly proud of, and it starts with our second dish.
The second dish consisted of pasta – and one full-bodied large shrimp.  (Ok, I’m not sure if it was shrimp, but I don’t know my seafood very well.)  When I say full-bodied, I mean eyes and everything still there.

My host then explained the best part.  You guessed it – bite the head off whole.  He also recommended a lot of chewing immediately.  :)

To be honest, I wasn’t that sure I was going to eat any of the thing, much less the head, eyes and legs and all.  But the other two gentlemen at the meal with me (one Japanese, one living there but from Belgium) also tried it for the first time.  I decided to give it a go – it was obviously doable.  So I told my eyes and stomach to shut up and picked it up.

The shrimp was white and reddish orange.   It looked like it had been crawling along the sea floor, got scooped up and thrown in the pot, then transferred to my bowl.

I took a bite, which can actually be described in one word: crunchy.  I suppose if I had thought of it, I could have just closed my eyes and imagined I was eating chips, with a little salty dip in each bite.  Savor that mental picture, while I go off to eat breakfast.  Ciao!