Thursday, April 26, 2007


So, last night Karina and I decided to hit the gym, and I was keeping an eye on Matthew and putting away dinner while she got ready. As I was putting saran wrap over the corn bread I heard Matthew say, "It's pinching," from the other side of the living room, by the couch. When I looked over, I did a double take. Then I realized that he had taken off his pants and his diaper. Apparently his diaper was pinching him. This would have been nothing more than a funny little quirk were it not for the fact that I could tell from looking at his bottom that there was a reason why the diaper made him uncomfortable. Yes, you guessed it. There was human excrement on his rear end.
Well, I was able to run him into the other room and clean him off before it got all over the place (there was, however, some on one of his socks). And, thankfully, his diaper was in his pants, so the living room survived the adventure.
By the way, sorry that I don't have any pictures of this experience. I was frantically trying to handle the situation.
Anyway, I know all of you parents can relate to such adventures.
Well, yes, the other thing I need to do in this post is to write my new Survivor rankings. Last week was quite an episode. I felt bad for Edgardo. What a blindside! Here's the reason I don't like Dreamz (as a player). He's ruining the game. I am not just annoyed because he went against his alliance. People do that all the time. The reason it annoys me is because it did not help him at all to betray his alliance. It was totally random. If one of my favorite players gets voted out because someone makes a smart power play, I will be bummed, but I won't be upset. The antics of Dreamz had me totally annoyed because he was not simply smarter and more shrewd. He simply does not know how to play the game. Playing the idol would have worked for Alex, and it would have been a great moment. Dreamz, for whatever reason, ruined it. And then the other alliance didn't trust him enough to update him on what they were doing. Hope he gets booted tonight.
1. Alex (if he can find a way to turn the tide now, it will be truly amazing)
2. Yau Man (leapfrogs Earl after that impressive show in the immunity challenge)
3. Earl (still a solid player, the way he handled Dreamz)
4. Mookie (moved up for me when he was willing to give the idol to Alex)
5. Boo (I'm beginning to like him a little more; goofy guy)
6. Cassandra (nice move in taking Boo and Dreamz on her reward)
7. Stacy (apparently the other players don't think she's very nice)
8. Dreamz (as I said, he's ruining the game)
Looking forward to watching tonight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cousins and Papa

On Eater, Randy had some pictures taken with the grandkids (Matthew and his cousins Jake and Ty). It was for the back cover of a kid's book he is coming out with soon. It was a pretty hilarious experience watching all the parents trying to get the kids to smile, look at the camera, and stop chewing on their feet long enough to have the pictures taken.
Anyway, here are some of the highlights. Can't wait til Baby Jack joins the fold.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And May Your Second Child Be. . .A Masculine Child

The title says it all. We found out yesterday that we are going to have another boy. Pretty conclusive. Once again, I understood very little of what I was seeing during the ultrasound. Karina seemed to know what was going on. When the tech went in for the gender check I still didn't know which way was up, but when she stopped the picture and said, "Can you venture a guess?", even though I could see nothing, I knew it must be a boy. You gotta look for nothing to know it's a girl, so it makes sense that you find out much faster if it is a boy.
So, we don't have a middle name yet, but it will be Jack Franklin.
Ami, glad you got the message. I guess I should have tried your home phone instead of cell. I just don't ever call people (except mom and dad) on anything but cell phones anymore. Next time I'll try both.
I loved how half of the comments on the last post were about the baby, but the other half were about Survivor. You may mock me (especially you, Grubbs), but you know you love it.
By the way, Dave. Don't let Kelly get her hopes up too much on Alex winning. Since I proclaimed him as my new fav, it is almost certain that he's next to be voted off. I'm going for two weeks in a row.
All that to say, Woo hoo, we're having another son!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's a . . .

So, our appointment to find out the gender of our baby got moved up to this afternoon (it was going to be yesterday). When we ask Matthew whether he wants a brother or a sister, he responds, "I want both of them." We'll see. That would be quite a surprise. For whatever reason, Karina is really convinced that it is going to be a girl. This makes me think that she's right, so it will really throw us off if it is another boy (even though we have no hard evidence for it being a girl).

So, if you are family, and are reading this on Wednesday morning, expect a call later on today.

Well, I know this seems cheesy, but I also had to make a comment about the whole Survivor fiasco (for all you fellow fans out there). As several of you pointed out, my favorite contestant, Michelle, was voted off right after I made my list. I was bummed. Things just conspired against her. First, the team immunity. Then, her team make-up being what it was (with virtually no allies for her). Then, Stacy doing horrible on the challenge, and basically losing it for them (even though Michelle made up some time on the puzzle). Then Alex's brilliant communication skills at Tribal Council, which clearly influenced Dreamz. Well, I was super-bummed (you can ask the Staffords; I was yelling at the TV screen). Anyway, I am looking forward to tomorrow night because, as far as I see it, it's Alex vs. Earl. They each think they are in control, and they each have an ally with an immunity idol. Interesting. I hope that one of them does not go because I really like them both. In fact, here are my new power rankings (not really power rankings, just my new list of favs).

1. Alex (I don't blame him for Michelle going; he's really cool)

2. Earl (solid)

3. Edgardo (yes, Mirranda, he's a really nice guy)

4. Yau Man (he ruled in the challenge again)

5. Mookie (moved way up for trying to keep Michelle around, and or effectively playing both sides)

6. Boo (I'm pretty indifferent, but he saved them in the puzzle challenge)

7. Cassandra (hasn't done anything to make me care one way or another)

8. Stacy (like her even less after she stayed and Michelle left)

9. Dreamz (in the doghouse for voting off Michelle instead of Stacy after he and Mookie had clearly agreed).

It also made me laugh out loud to see from the commercials that Dreamz tells Cassandra (and Earl) about Mookie's immunity idol this week. Boy were Alex and Edgardo right. What a crack up.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Return to Form

Well, as I criticized 24 last week, I was pretty stoked about the last episode. I thought it was the best episode since the premiere. That was not because of the Audrey thing. I knew that she was still alive (I thought that was pretty obvious). I just really liked how Wayne bluffed the anonymous Middle East country into cooperating, and then I especially loved the end sequence of Jack vs. Fayed. I could have done without the whole Jack-riding-under-the-truck thing, but remember, he is Jack Bauer.
Anyway, my main question is whether or not there is a legitimate explanation for the impeccable timing of the Chinese, calling just minutes after the nukes were finally secured. I hope there is.
I know that many of you watch Survivor, and that Survivor is one show that even my sister Ami and I can agree on. For those of you who like it, I thought I'd give a mention. I think this season started slow and a bit boring (so one-sided), but I have really liked it lately. There are ten left, and here are my rankings in order of favorite to least favorite (not necessarily who I think will win):
1. Michelle (she rocks)
2. Alex (this season's Yul)
3. Earl (super-cool under pressure)
4. Edgardo (such a nice guy)
5. Yau Man (best old guy ever on the show)
6. Dreamz (moved way up in my book after the way he called Lisi out)
7. Stacy (I guess, don't really know her)
8. Boo (he's funny)
9. Cassandra (don't really know her)
10. Mookie (don't like the way he makes fun of other people)

I'm such a nerd. I just gave my top ten survivor picks. At least my previous post was about Easter.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Easter

We had a fun Easter this past Sunday. The picture on the left is Matthew with a chocolate bunny that he got from Nana Patti and Papa Charro. We asked him to hold it up for a picture and he put it right to his mouth. When we took it back from him, we notices that there was a little bit of the wrapper that was gone. He had been able to get just the slightest little taste of chocolate before we took it away from him to save it for later.
Easter is one of those holidays that should really be celebrated. I don't just mean that it should be observed. I mean that it should really be celebrated. Jesus rose from the dead! If he didn't, nothing we do matters (according to 1 Corinthians 15). We have new life, forgiveness, hope beyond this world, reconciliation with God and with one another.
It certainly seems like we should live everyday in celebration of this fact. At the same time, following Jesus is not simply a life of celebration. There is diligence and sorrow and doubt and repentance and evaluation and learning and so much more. All of these things must be constant and must be integrated into our lives. But there is something great about just taking time to celebrate.
I was thinking about this during the weekend services at Good Shepherd. I was thinking about it because I was wondering what all the visitors were thinking as they attended our church. Sometimes I wonder if unbelievers would get a clearer picture of Christianity if we did nothing different in light of their presence, but simply let them look in on what it means for the church to come together and, in this scenario, celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. At the end of our service when we sang In Christ Alone and Christ the Lord is Risen Today I found myself thrilled to the very soul. It was so amazing to sing about something so cosmic and big and epic. Wow. We serve the risen Lord, the Creator of the universe. And he came to die and rise so that humanity could be his bride.
That's a lot to celebrate. I hope we all can catch that, experience that, and, perhaps, let others see the light of that celebration.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Unique Actions Sequences

I saw the movie Children of Men this past week. First of all, I thought it was good. I actually thought that the story itself was pretty mediocre. Nothing too innovative or original. I thought the presentation of the story, however, was exceptional. The mood of the movie and the environment which the director created were amazing. I also really liked Clive Owen. I saw him in Inside Man and thought he was great in that too. I think he only does movies, though, in which he can use a lot of F-bombs. Has he been in anything that wasn't rated R?
Seeing this movie brought up an interesting topic that I thought I would present a list on: Unique Action Sequences in movies. Children of Men wins the award for Best Birth Action Sequence. It was pretty intense. Here my top 10 unique action sequences in movies.

10. Best Quantum Physics Action Sequence: Frequency
9. Best Spelling Action Sequence: Akeelah and the Bee
8. Best Novel-Writing Action Sequence: Stranger than Fiction
7. Best Sewing Action Sequence: The Three Amigos
6. Best Birth Action Sequence: Children of Men
5. Best Baby Carriage Action Sequence: The Untouchables
4. Best Imagined Action Sequence: A Beautiful Mind
3. Best Skydiving Action Sequence: Point Break
2. Best Figure Skating Action Sequence: Ronin
And finally. . .
1. Best Merry-Go-Round Action Sequence: Strangers on a Train

You gotta give it to these directors for creativity. Some of these actions sequences went over well, and some of them are laughable. The Ronin one is especially dedicated to my old roommate Chris Kropf.

If I missed any prominent ones, feel free to write them down in the comment section.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spring Break

Well, I finally got my pictures from our College Spring Break trip on my computer. Here are some of them.
We spent some of the time doing work and beautification projects. Here's Esther and Sparky doing some work:

As most of you know, this trip was all about working with homeless people. On Thursday night we held what was called a "Love Feast." We went and personally invited homeless people to come for a sit-down spaghetti dinner. When they arrived, we seated them, brought them food, and then sat down and ate with them. It was a great time for conversation. Here are some pics of students during the Love Feast.

All in all, the trip was great. One of the things that is great about Bridgetown Ministries (with whom we partnered) is that there ministry is very relational. As you can see from the Love Feast pictures, the focus is not simply to feed people. The focus is to listen, talk, and relate personally to people who have either fallen on hard times or have made decisions to abandon the system and live freely on the streets. God really did some neat things as far as personal connections.
Anyway, if you want to read more about the trip, you can check out David K's blog, where he has his thoughts on the week:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Fair is Fair

Okay, so I have taken a lot of shots at the TV show LOST because the writers have moved it along at a slow pace, dragged out the story, and opened five times as many strands as they will ever close. But fair is fair, so I cannot in good conscience not critique my favorite show of all time. I speak, of course, of 24.
There are three strands to this season of 24. There is the strand of Jack tracking the terrorists. This strand has been good. At times very good, and at times slow, but overall it has been good. There is the CTU strand, which has been at times interesting, and at many times boring. Then, there has been the White House strand. And I must say, the White House strand has been horrible. Perhaps the worst strand ever on 24. It is not as bad as the Kim strand in season 2 in that it actually relates to the main plot line, but in other ways it has been worse because it has actually been more impossible to believe than the Kim vs. Cougar moment. First of all, Wayne as the president has at no point really been believable. He is not presidential, and since when does a former chief of staff run for president? Then there was the plot to assassinate Wayne from his own staff. If this was not impossible to believe, it was certainly impossible to believe that the men who organized the assassination, and captured Tom Lennox in the process, would end up letting Lennox walk right out of the room, expecting that he would not tell of them (he did tell on them right away). The obsessive and pure power-hungry VP Daniels has been such a characature that it is laughable. And, perhaps worst of all, did anybody else think it was ridiculous that when the staff was voting on whether or not to invoke the 25th ammendment no one thought it ironic enough to mention that the exact same thing had happened to Wayne's brother during his presidency? Come on writers. You're better than this.
At least the Jack strand is strong enough to keep it going. Still, fair is fair, and I have to say that 24 has had some pretty disappointing elements to it this season. At least the plot is moving, with Fayed captured and all.
Soon to come: Pictures and post on the college Spring Break trip.