Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Year in Review

Well, here are some favorites from 2006. It was a good year.
Favorite Movie Watched in a Theater:
The Prestige
Favorite Movie Watched for First Time at Home:
Big Fish (also my new favorite movie EVER)
Favorite Fiction Book Read for the First Time:
The Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva
Favorite Nonfiction Book Read for the First Time:
The New Man by Thomas Merton
Favorite Family Moment:
Getting to go as a family to Ecola for a week so that I could teach at the school
Favorite 24 Moment:
Jack saving Audrey from being tortured (I cried)
Least Favorite 24 Moment:
Tony's lame death scene (I'm holding out hope that he's still alive)
Most Frustrating TV Show:
LOST (come on, David, you knew it was coming)
Favorite Survivor Moment:
Ozzy winning every immunity (okay, I admitted that I watch it)
Favorite Ministry Moment:
Going to New Orleans on a relief trip with 30 college students
Favorite Lesson Learned:
Voice your opinions and desires
Favorite California Moment:
Sweat pouring down my face during Zac's wedding
Favorite Concert Attended:
Toad the Wet Sprocket (especially when they did All I Want)
Favorite Sports Moment Watched:
The Dodgers hitting four home runs in a row in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game
Favorite Matthew Moment:
Running down the sand dunes with him while we were at Ecola
Favorite Married Moment:
Going on a Family Life Conference Together (and also, all the times we laughed at funny things Matthew was doing)
Favorite Bible Verse from the Year:
John 1:18: No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

Hope this list brought up some fun memories for you as you think back over this past year. Feel free to comment on some of your favorites from 2006.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Fun

It's really Christmas time, isn't it. Today is December 19th (incidentally it is exactly one year since the crazy ice storm that almost ruined the U2 concept that Dave and I went to). The picture above is from when we went to buy our Christmas tree. Matthew loves being outside for anything, and, since it has been too cold to do a lot of outside stuff, he really enjoyed our time picking out a tree. It is now up in our living room, and he has been pretty good about just pointing and not touching.

We also had a Christmas party with our College Home Group last night, so here are some fun pictures from that.

Here are Josh and Jenny leading some games. They are two of our student leaders, and they pretty much rock.

Here are some students playing the games. Miranda, Ellia, Kevin, David, and Ben.

Here is one of the girls teams huddling together to get answers to reworded Christmas Carols.

Here are our winners for best costume. Zac's sweater actually had shoulder-pads.

And CJ won for the best haircut. Newly christened mohawk. Pretty amazing.

We can't wait for a family visit in a couple of days, and we continue to look forward to Dave's wedding in two weeks.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Almost. . .

Matthew says lots of new words each week. One of his most commonly spoken words is, "Almost." He says this all the time, especially when we are playing basketball or some other sport. "Almost" has a broad meaning for him. He may shoot a ball at a full-size basket, come up 8 feet short, and still say, "Almost."
It is fun to have things to look forward to. Right now, I am almost done with school. Tonight I finish up my last homework for the semester, and tomorrow I go to my final class for the semester. It is almost Christmas time, which means we will be celebrating as a family, and my parents will be up for a visit. It is almost time for my best friend Dave to get married (December 30th). Not to mention that it is almost time for the premier of Season 6 of 24 (the prequel is now on YouTube).
Strangly enough, I find for myself that the things I most look forward to can tend to let me down. I think that time off from school, or getting to a special event, or seeing old friends, will deliver more happiness than is possible. So, I the move on to look forward to something else: I'm almost done with my entire seminary education, Matthew is almost to the point that we can fully converse, I am almost 30 (oh wait, that is one that I am not looking forward to).

Well, that's it. End of post.

What a downer. What am I saying, that Christmas isn't going to be as great as we think it will be? Well, maybe. I guess I find that I am able to enjoy things much more when I look at them for what they are. When I find that I am placing a great deal of hope in something that God did not create to deliver on that hope, I can become disillusioned.
God does give me tons to hope in. I hope for growth and maturity in my own life. I hope for the gospel to change to lives of those around me. I hope in greater joy in my life as I cling to Christ and live as his disciple. And I hope for the great fulfillment and fullness that will come when I am graciously brought into the new heavens and the new earth. There is plenty to hope in. Maybe I can enjoy the simple things a lot more if I just enjoy them for what they are, and don't expect them to be something they are not.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Reviews

Hey, I know I have been miserably inconsistent with movie reviews, but I just put up two new ones: Deja Vu and The Prestige. Links are on the side.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Winter Time

Well, we got our first snow and it is not even Winte yet (officially). Last Monday and Tuesday we had some snow fall and some of it even stuck on the ground. So Karina took Matthew outside for his first interaction with snow. He likes wearing all of his snow clothes, but he is still pretty cautious of snow itself. You can see from the pictures, though, that the snow was still falling while he was outside, and he spent some time trying to catch it on his tongue.
We also went through the major transition of moving Matthew from the crib to his big boy bed. Okay, so it turned out to be barely a transition at all because he loves it and he doesn't get out of it. It's pretty fun to see him laying in an actual bed.

So, in sports news: I don't know if anyone heard, but, if you didn't, UCLA beat USC!!! I heard someone today say that USC blew it against UCLA. I'm afraid this was simply not the case. It is true that USC blew it when they lost to Oregon State. They got way behind in that game, came raging back, and had they had two more minutes, instead of losing by 2 they would have won by 28. Again UCLA, the Trojans had chances at the end. They had time. They were held to 9 points in the entire game. USC did not blow it. UCLA beat them. Wooo hooo!!!

So, I finally got to see the much-anticipated (at least by me) Deja Vu last Friday night. And guess what? I didn't like it. I was so let down. The director made Spy Game, one of my all-time favorite movies, and the movie starred Denzel Washington, the greatest actor of all time. Here are the problems (I won't completely spoil it, but I will a bit). First of all, movies need to be careful when they take a mid-movie leap from being a thriller/mystery to being a SciFi movie. That was tough. But even moving beyond that, it was inconsistent with the space/time continuum. I am no talking about ultra-nerd stuff here. I am just talking about consistency. If a person looks back into the past and it becomes clear that he has already been somewhere (as in, it is clear that he will go back and change something), then it makes no sense for him, when he actually does go back, to change things. If you have seen the movie, what I am saying should be more clear. Anyway, kind of a letdown. The action was decent, but the plot didn't work. Too bad, had potential.

Time to go eat lunch.