Friday, June 29, 2007

Tahoe Wildfire Update

Just a quick update on the wildfire that earlier this week was threatening South Lake Tahoe. If your check out this article you can get full details but I'll summarize. The fire's now 70% contained (which is good) and the high winds that were forcasted and were supposed to turn this thing into an inferno, never came. The article calls it "good luck"...perhaps... "be still". We'll certainly be able to tour some of the damage in August, which is quite fascinating if you've never seen the remains of a forest fire like this. Jake's Tours anyone? This picture was the view from Highway 89, a couple of miles south of the cabin. Yikes!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lake Tahoe Update

Can you believe only 45 days until we gather amidst the towering pines and clear blue skies in the Eastern Sierra Nevada's? We're getting excited for what should prove to be an epic 5 days. I just wanted to give a brief update on a few items to make things roll as smoothly as possible and invite all valuable feedback.

First, let me reiterate that when Jeff and I hashed out this vision awhile back we wanted this to be a week to just enjoy the Gaines-Lampi fellowship that has been so sweet for decades now. I want to put the populace at ease that for all W.P.Gaines planning genes that invade my every cell, I really want the schedule to remain quite flexible. Yes, I have a few ideas and there has been some groundswell for Jake's Tours to be in full effect, but I'm resisting the urge. My rationale... 5 little ones on different nap schedules and sleep schedules that are sure to put Jake's Tours out of buisness.

But a few ideas and answers to a few questions you might have...

#1) Sleeping arrangements- right now we're planning on have the Lampi clan in the cabin that we're renting from the nextdoor neighbors (literally 5 pine trees away)which should easily accomodate everyone. I'll get exact confirmation on numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms in the next week. That means all Gaines' will be in the Aldrich cabin and we think we've configured it to make it work.

#2) Meals- Our thought is to do all the grocery shopping in South Lake Tahoe on Wednesday. Breakfast and lunch should be simple to do at the cabin's or down at the beach and can really be flexible. We thought it would be nice to try and do dinners all together and put someone different in charge of each night. If everyone's game, I'll put together teams and assign an evening later. As far as the cost for food, we'll have to tally receipts and then all chip in afterwards.

#3) Evenings- Part of our hope was to spend some intentional time each evening to allow God to work as he may through the various gifts he's imparted. The hopes would be after the kiddos go down we have some worship (Wes and/or Steve) and then have someone prepare something in advance from the Word (short devotional/discussion/homily, etc. etc.) End the night will some prayer and share under the stars or wherever it leads. Anyhow, throw ideas out for this as I know God gives you vision too. If you'd like to take a night, let me know as well

#4) Grandma and Grandpa's Night with the Kids- Okay, this was only given the thumbs up by Bill and Lena so I'll let Norm and Deb have their say, but we were thinking about one night letting the Nanas and Papas take the kids and the rest of us hit the town. This could mean a nice dinner at a lakeside restaraunt, or we throw caution to the wind, follow Jeff across the stateline and hit the casinos in Nevada. Question: Is that morally reprehensible, and what are the odds that the bookie, aka Jeff throws down a Benjamin on snake eyes at the craps table. My bet... he's all in!

#5) Other Completely Optional Recreational Ideas in the Works- There will most likely be opportunities for an incredible hike up the Mt. Tallac trail with amazing views of Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe. The Gaines - Wes + Steve did this one years ago, and we must try and find BAB's (Bernie A. Blair) pine. There's also been talk of a golf scramble tournament. I did some online checking and best bet is probably that we hit up the local nine hole par 3 course which would only put us out $20, unless the patriarchs want to ante up about $60-80 to play in paradise. We've also got a kayak for the lake, the horseshoe pit (give Steve 5 minutes he'll be throwing ringers), tether ball, ping pong, and a whole host of vintage puzzles and old board games.

Okay, well that's all I got for now. I'll post maps and such in the near future. Any other questions or input, let me know. Cheers!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Get your thinking caps on.

I'm working on some trivia questions for Tahoe (I'm on a kick after a heated round of trivia with Bill last month). Just thought I'd let you know incase anyone wants to put in a good word for their favorite category/subject. I'm not making any promises, but if you're lucky I might throw in some familiar questions to increase the competition. Sports are a given, I'm sure. I cannot be bribed . . . I don't think I can be bribed. And no betting on this one (ahem, Jeff). Tahoe or bust!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the boy's got ups

We buckled. We bought the boy a jumper. As we walked out of the second-hand children's store, giant jumping mechanism in hand, Wes's cheeks were flushed with embarassment and we both agreed our six month-old had "taken us to the bank." It's just that he has all this energy. I mean a lot of energy. The kind of excess energy that caused him to grab his dad's sandwich basket at Zingerman's and fling it across the restaurant. And wouldn't you know, he loves the darn thing. I snuck a little video (sorry for the darkness) of him and Wes together last night to show you just how much Cash adores the jumperoo (and the guitar)!

Expect more jumping videos soon. Click here to see another video of Wes and Cash. Background for this video: Cash wasn't going down for a nap, so Wes said he'd go upstairs and lay with him for 10 minutes to see if he could get him to fall asleep. After 15 minutes I didn't hear any squawking, so I went upstairs and this is what I found. Biiiig surprise.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lugnuts get Screwed

Well we made it out to the ballpark tonight, and were treated to the Zooperstars (yes they were as funny as they look), a questionable Wizard homerun, and a near no hitter against the Nutz. Oh yeah and with the Wizards win, the Lugs were eliminated from the 1st half playoffs. I hope Lansing doesn't take this one too hard. A couple Wizards fanatics in the making here. Below is a look at the plans for our new downtown stadium. (Testy topic in the Fort, a laundromat on my way to work has a sign saying, "If You Build It, We Won't Come!" Next up...Bring it Lance Parrish!! Go Baddeley!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Grandpa Locklin in the Hospital

Many of you know and remember Becky's Grandpa, Bill Locklin. He was taken to the hospital yesterday via ambulance due to being very weak from the chemotherapy. Becky's Mom is down from Seattle, her dad will be coming soon as well. Please keep Becky and her family in your prayers as this is not an easy time. Becky and I are taking the day off today to go out to Loma Linda Hospital so I will update you with any further info.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Top Gun?

So Jeff calls me up today with the challenge to be his wingman in Brighton's July 4th Half Marathon. The problem being the run is three weeks away and besides a handful of mountain biking excursions, this dude has barely broken a sweat in the past few months, well all year...and into last year too. I went out for a test run tonight, and logged about 20 sluggish minutes. So I pose the following question to y'all...
Is Wes up to the task?
Yes. Jeff you can be my wingman anytime!
No. Wes your ego is writing checks your body can't cash!
Free polls from

Those who vote yes, I need a three week plan to get me to thirteen miles. Any advice from the pros?

Family Pics

Yesterday, Abigail, Gracie and I had a 2 hour session with the same amazing photographer from LA who shot Ben and Becky's wedding. As you'll see when you click here, she hasn't lost her touch! She took over 600 photos and these are the first we've seen.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

FINALLY!!!!...The Cup Comes to SoCal

Cue Queen, "We are the Champions" because Lord Stanley's Cup will be spending this year just off the 57 and Katella. We finally brought it home tonight and now the party in the O.C. can begin. Emilio Estevez was right...the Mighty Ducks could and did win it all and to say that SoCal is Cup Crazy is putting it lightly.

Okay, okay, eeeaaaasssy fellas. Before the Midwest crew hits that comment button and lays the wood to this redcoat, bandwagoner, my tongue is planted firmly in cheek when I celebrate this win.

In actuality, I like the rest of LA/Orange County tuned into less than one period of the series. I went to LA Fitness right after the big game expecting to find it empty with all the locals celebrating the Cup only to find it packed out with no one seeming to notice. "What's the Dodger's score?" was about the only thing I heard. On the way home, local sports radio was talking about whether or not we should boycott the Bejing Olympics. Probably will be Page 2 of the LA Times tomorrow. Isn't it great that the last 3 Cup winners come from Anaheim, Tampa, and Carolina. Whatever happened to Boston, New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Detroit? All I can say is that the Anaheim PD is trying to figure out how to contain tomorrow's parade at Downtown Disney where they're expecting hundreds of Duck's faithful. As much as I detest Chris Pronger for giving it to Holstrom's dome (ala Claude Lemiux on Drapes), he did separate his shoulder in the first minute and still played the rest of the game with it popping in and out. Bring back McCarty and Shannahan, and get Stevie Y out of retirement for one more run!

Sunday, June 03, 2007


What a weekend! We had a great Bday fiesta for out two lil guys, and a special dedication to Jesus performed by pastor Steve joined with loved ones. Wish you could have been with us, but we'll see you all soon. Eden is officially a year on tomorrow morning. I "Stand Amazed" (ref to Wes' song) everyday at how SIMPLE and beautiful life is I play playing with my two sons. I know this is so cliche, but there is a reason behind the truth of the saying,"Don't blink, because they grow up so quickly." To think Caleb is heading to Preschool this fall and answering the phone and Eden is...well....we'll give it a lil longer....about ready to walk. Stay tuned. WOW! I can't wait for Gracie, Grey and Cash's first bday!

Hey, there's a thought. let's do a lil celebrating in Tahoe since we prob won't be all togrther for their first bdays???

I blogged some pics from the party/dedication ...and I have to say me WIFE IS AMAZING! She was the hit of the party ...everything from her cakes (w/ Jami's help too) to her dino games-- a dino bone dig in sandbox, train painting, dino tattoos and masks, etc! I was in charge of guessed it...dino swim in the pool! (ironically , Saturday was National Dinosaur Day-we had no idea)...she is such a FUN mom and stellar Party Planner. Thanks Babe.

I love you all, perros and all

Jeff xo

Friday, June 01, 2007

Allen County Public Library Makes it to the top 5!

In a contest for Thomson/Gale Publishing libraries were asked to submit a short video depicting why we love our libraries. And . . . my library's video made it to the top 5! Click here to view the top 5 videos and to vote for Reference Zombies--our submission. Winner gets a big prize. You have to vote by the 11th. Quick! We're in a close tie with the Columbus, Nebraska submission.