Saturday, February 28, 2009

Create a caption Contest

This is a contest as to who can create the funniest caption for this picture. The contest runs through Tuesday, March 3rd. The winner to be announced.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hey everyone, it's Jake's Birthday!

Happy Birthday big bro Jake!

Sorry, this is two weeks late!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fireside Chats with Cash

I've been trying to post this video of Cash for weeks now, but blogger has been acting crazy. Anyways, a month or so ago Cash wanted to make "bideos," so we spent the afternoon filming "chats with Cash." Here's the first tiny installment. More to come.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Its Fat Tuesday, and way before sunrise Eric Smith is broadcasting live for Channel 7 news at a Hamtramck paczki shop. I always wondered if this assignment was to Eric Smith what going to Punxatawny was for Bill Murray in Groundhogs Day. I don’t think so, Eric Smith always seemed like a genuinely good person. Anyway, Happy Paczki Day!! We are having a Fat Tuesday party with our church community and I happened to find paczkis at our local store and the sight of those donuts on steroids made my heart jump. I guess the story behind them is that before the start of Lent, when Christians typically fast, the Polish would try to use up everything they had in their kitchen, and so the result was the Paczki, an oversized donut stuffed with anything imaginable, sold for 50 cents at Maltby Middle School (Norm has the 50 cent paczki become a victim of inflation?).

For those observing Lent, our Church is also using this prayer guide as we journey from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week. I thought it has some good stuff in it if any in the family want to use it. Peace, Love, and Paczkis.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rebellion are 4-1 at midseason

Gaines (#20) finds his stride, scoring two tries in the first half, en route to another Rebellion victory.

Schedule for the rest of the season:

March 7: las vegas SILVERBACKS
March 14: san pedro RHINOS
March 28: at orange country RAVENS
April 4: at san fernando MUTINEERS
April 25: at san diego ARMADA

Come see a game!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ahhh!!!! So frustrating.

Hey ya'll be praying for Michigan. The economy is horrible here in this area. Families in the area are having to make decisions of staying or going. I have two co-workers who's husbands will never be called back again to work. It is hitting our faith family hard. We are spending the next month talking about overcoming fear and praying a lot on Sunday mornings together. Many men are walking around with heads hung. Some more than others. It's very hard to watch. We are actually having community dinners for the area every wednesday so family's don't have to worry about dinner one night of the week. Not sure if you are there with me yet, but it's upsetting. Remember Lee Iaccocca. He's the guy that pulled chrysler out of it's last "crisis". This is what he has to say about it all in his book "Where have all the leaders gone?": (Most of this is frustration with the car companies)

'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course. Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned, 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!' You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq , the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the ' America ' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest 'C' is Crisis! (Iacocca elaborates on nine C's of leadership, with crisis being the first.)
Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.
On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here's where we stand.We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership. But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point. Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.
Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it? Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.
I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change? Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope - I believe in America . In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The 'Great Depression,' 'World War II,' the 'Korean War,' the 'Kennedy Assassination,' the 'Vietnam War,' the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.
If I've learned one thing, it's this: 'You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a "Call to Action" for people who, like me, believe in America '. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had 'enough.'

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

cute story

I thought I would share a quick moment from yesterday that was pretty special. So like, Caleb had to go into Preschool yesterday to take a "test" with his teacher, Mrs. Tildon for Kindergarten - you know the letters, storytelling, numbers, etc. stuff. One of the last parts of the test he had to finish an incomplete drawing of a man. He drew the rest of the man, and Mrs Tildon said, "good job, Caleb," but Caleb told her he wasn't done yet. He continued to draw a heart inside his chest. Mrs. Tildon asked Caleb, "How does this man feel?" He told her that "This man is FULL of JOY."

She came out after the test to tell Steph about his performance, and that cute story that caused her eyes to well-up when he said that. Ever since I've had Caleb and Eden I have realized how much I have fallen far from the innocent, child-like, faithful simplicity of things. Everything's always so complicated. And like never before when Christ calls us to "come to him like a little one," and the myriad verses that echo this "child-likeness" have I been reminded by this. And a lot of the time they GET IT, and we miss it. Anyway, thought I would share it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lincoln 200

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Monday, February 09, 2009

ode to a tree

We were home a few weekends ago, and I feel like I have to report some news. Those who live in perpetual 70 degrees may not be aware but its been a particularly brutal winter in the great north. We like to think it makes us tougher, more able to withstand life's hardships, but none can deny that this winter has taken its toll. And it is my great displeasure to have to tell you that the sugar maple that has sat at the edge of 7028 Winding Trail for as long as any of us can remember may have taken a fatal blow. So this is my ode to a tree that all of us have enjoyed.

Its buds in the springtime were one of the first true signs that the long cold winter was over. As generations of red robins returned to the state that has honored them as their "State Bird", this tree provided a home, a place for nests and bright blue eggs. Its deep green leaves in the summer provided shade, a canopy to lay under. It lovingly received hundreds of wiffle ball home runs from front yard baseball games. Its colors in the Fall made it easy to love Michigan, our greatest season, football, rakes, and smoke. And now it has become a casualty of the winter. It withstood decades of snow and ice but this year the weight was too much and the broken branches might signal the end of an era. So to close this ode, I have some questions for this tree, starting with how many times have I climbed you?? Did Chris Voris ever climb you in parachute pants? Did Tony Broger ever TP you on devils night? Did the Gaines boys ever ward off would be attackers as we hid in the bushes defending our home on devils night? What kind of mischief did BJ Willey cause you? Did Bo ever corner the Willey's cat up you? How many times did Alex Craig mow around you? And finally, would Brennan have ran into you if he hadn't bolted out of bounds when there was nothing but endzone in front of him? "Had I not, I would have ran into THAT TREE!!"

We used to laugh when the Mr. Rogers record sang, "Tree, tree, tree, we love you!" but now I know what he was singing about. I'm going to miss that tree if it has to go.

And for those tired Midwesterners enjoying this week's brief reprieve from the cold dark winter (60 tomorrow in Fort Wayne), I remind you that there is no greater feeling than that first warm day after a frigid winter! It is like being reborn!! Baseball bats will soon be cracking! This is why we live here!