Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New TV Shows I Love!

Some of you may know that this past summer I got a Tivo device. I absolutely love it and it has allowed me to begin to watch tv again despite having kids that like to hog the family TV. Having the Tivo allows me to record a program while Jay or Sam are watching one of their DVD's for the upteenth time. I am going to highlight some shows that I have recently got into.

This show debut'd this past fall and we quickly made it a weekly staple in our house. WE have the season pass set on the Tivo and we catch every episode despite our busy schedules. It is about a small town in Kansas that one day sees mushroom clouds on the horizon. The show then reveals that facts of this attack as the residents of the town discover what is happening outside of Jericho. The show is currently in mid season hiatus, but will resume again in a few weeks.

I don't know what made me finally watch this new action show. Perhaps it was the personalities on Fox and Friends who were talking about it, or just I finally disciplined myself to watch it. Regardless, I have got into the life of Jack Bauer and the rest of the support staff of CTU. My father in law has the first 4 seasons on DVD, so perhaps when I visit his home in April I will have to sit down either in front of his tv or my laptop and catch up on some things.

On Monday night while watching 24 in real time, a commercial aired that featured the return of House on Fox. In the upper right hand corner, my Tivo put a thumbs up icon, saying, click "thumbs up" to record. I thought, "what the heck." As I type this, I watching my first epsiode of House. I must confess to having to stop and rewind it as it records to hear some of Dr. House's well known punchlines.

Do you have any shows that you can't miss? I have a few others, but these are the new ones on my repetoire.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Can We Be Friends????

The picture is self explanatory. I think we have two friends in the making here. I imagine that in a few days they will be inseperable.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Welcome Tucker!

Today we decided to add a new member of the family. What started as a joke between Elaine and I snowballed into us getting another dog. Welcome Tucker!

Yesterday at lunch, Elaine was looking in the paper and was saw that there were some Husky puppies for sale. She said how much she missed having Ashley around, and jokingly said she would call to find out how much. She did, and started to convince me that she wanted another dog. I know...the pictures above are not of a husky! I will explain.

Well today there was an ad in the paper for a Lab puppy that was cheaper than the husky. So we asked the kids, do you want a dog like Ashley (our former Husky) or a dog like Taylor (my parents dog). They said in unison...Taylor!

We made an appointment with the breeder. The dog that was advertised wasn't quite what we wanted. He was older and pretty hyper. He didn't take to us as well as the other family there, but there was another absolutely adorable puppy. His eyes are beautiful, and as soon as he was brought out to us, the kids eyes lit up. He bathed them with kisses. We brought him home and he is getting used to our house and huge yard.

Enjoy the pics! More information will be coming as Tuck grows up.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Winter Has Arrived

The first snow has arrived in Connecticut. It is amazing but it is January 22nd and we have had no snow on the ground until today. It is only a dusting, but the roads are just a little slick. We just arrived home from Divisional Roller Skating and the drive home was a little bit slower to compensate for the little bit of snow on the highways. In fact this evening is the first time I have used my snow brush/scrapper all winter.

The weather this winter has been especially strange. It is hard to believe that southern California and Texas have had measurable snow before New England or the Tri State area of NYC. The midwest and Rockies have been especially hammered.

I have been saying we will either not see any snow, or we will be hammered later on. There are still 8 or so good weeks of solid winter left. We shall see how it plays out.

As for me and my house, I will stock up and windshield washer fulid and I will make sure I get gas for the snowblower! However right now, I have a date with my tivo. I tivo'd 24. I think I am going to like this show.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

American Idol

Tonight is the night! American Idol is back! The television phenomenon and ratings giant will be airing on the FOX network in just under 33 minutes. For the next several weeks, we will see the infamous auditions where wannabe stars come out by the thousands for a chance to be the next American Idol. People who think they have talent, but clearly were not blessed with musical talent from God, will try to convince Randy, Paula, and yes, even Simon that they are worthy for that coveted trip to Hollywood.

The judges are for the most part...great. Of course my favorite is Simon who tells it as is. If a contestant gets a compliment from him, they should cherish it. I also like Randy. He is fair, but doesn't necessarily bruise the ego the way Simon does. I can appreciate Paula as I was in love with her as a teenage boy in the late 80s early 90s. However, she clearly does not have the backbone to be an effective judge.

I am looking forward to the return of one of my favorite tv shows. It should be a fun few months on Tuesday evenings.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Prayers of Children

For the last six months, our territory of The Salvation Army (USA East) has had a prayer initiative. The challenge is that the entire territory will be at prayer 24/7 for an entire year. The trick is to have various corps (churches) or headquarters commit to taking a "shift." Regrettfully, our corps has not been able to do this as we don't have the committment from our members. This is definitely something to work on!

However, my main focus tonight is the prayers of children. There is one instance that I do not mind my children arguing. How can you condone your children arguing you might ask? Lately, they have a competition as to who can say grace at meals. Usually, Jay wins and insists on praying prior to our meals. If one of us fails to say Amen, or he notices an open eye or two, he insists we or better yet, he pray again. It is funny stuff! This also carried over on our cruise vacation a few months ago.

The other night, we had family devotions and before we had a chance to even begin, Samantha wanted to pray. Elaine reminded her that this was not a prayer..."God is great, God is good, let us thank Him... She told her that she would have to say something different. Samantha quickly rebuked us and told us as she often does, "Yes I know Mom and Dad!"

When the reading was complete, Samantha bowed her head and prayed the sweetest little prayer. It was only a couple of sentences, but it was from her heart. I was reminded of the story of Jesus and the Children, where He said, "unless you become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of God."

I was especially proud the other night of my little girl!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Officer's Retreat 2007

Elaine and I just returned from Sturbridge, Massachusetts where we enjoyed our second retreat in the Southern New England Division.

Initially some things did not seem right. Almost always, there is snow on the ground as we go to retreat. This was especially true in Northern New England, and was true last year here. As we drove to retreat the temperature was near 50 degrees on the thermometer in our car.

It also seems like we went right from Christmas to Retreat. This was compounded by illness and family visits.

Upon arrival in Sturbridge we quickly got into the swing of things. We registered, got our room, and unloaded the Sienna. However, Elaine soon realized that she was developing Bronchitis!

For her, the few days of Retreat were enjoyable, but her illness was a serious nuisance, and did not allow for her to enjoy her time as much as she should have.

I, on the other hand, had an exceptional time. The first reason is I/we performed in musical groups!

Our division has recently had an influx of energy for brass banding, and I have enjoyed playing once again at Family Camp Meetings and now here at Retreat. I actually felt that I played well. In fact, Elaine and I will be scouring Ebay for some reasonable instruments. I am watching an Euphonium for her right now!

We also were able to sing in a group. I haven't enjoyed singing in an ensemble since my days at the SFOT. Since then, I haven't felt challenged, but I did enjoy myself this week on some beautiful songs that we sung. I was happy to find my pitches finally halfway through the song, "I Know a Fount" today! I am so out of shape!

The guests were top notch as well. Our main speaker was Dr. Katrina Bright Cochran. She is a psychologist who has worked alongside the Army following the events of 9/11. She has spoken to our senior territorial leadership as well as at the SFOT. She was easy to listen to and is clearly a very bright (no pun intended) woman.

Our worship and devotional leaders were Lt. Colonels Lyell and Elaine Rader Jr. (R). I have always enjoyed them since they were on the staff at SFOT. I especially enjoyed Lt. Colonel Lyell's study and sermon on Peter. He entitled it "A Man Goes Far to Find out What He Is" The Saga of Peter. In his usual, highly visual delivery, I felt pulled in to what the Colonel was sharing and truly enjoyed all that was said. I have heard Colonel Rader over the last 10 years of my life, and would have to say, today was the best. Perhaps, I was just especially intuned with what the Spirit had in store for me. I will have to drop the Colonel an email as I didn't get a chance to thank him personally.

All in all it was a great week. I feel bad for my wife with her illness but she came home and got right into the doctors. She now has some high powered medication and should be her usual chipper self in the next day or so.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy Belated 2007

Greetings family and friends! It has been a crazy couple of weeks since I last posted. We enjoyed the Christmas holiday. Jay has been glued to his PS2, and Sam has been modeling all of her new clothes. We have had family visit, and all of us have got sick! In fact, I have been sick since Wednesday the 3rd, and now Jay has joined the ranks of the sick. He and I are home from the corps today. Fortunately for Elaine we have special guests!

I hope your 2007 has started well. It is promising to be a good year for our family. Jay and Sammi still continue to amaze us with what they are learning in school. Jay types his own name on his PS2 games. I never showed him, he just figured it out. Samantha is reading away and writing away. They are both involved in activities outside of the corps. Samantha is in Jazz dance and Jay is in Karate. Sam really enjoys Jazz and shows us every week what she has learned. Jay just graduated from his white belt to a White/Orange belt. If he stays with it, he could be a black belt by age 8! Scary thought!

We are in the midst of planning for vacations. We will be spending time with family over April School vacation as well as in July. In August, we will once again make the trek to one of our family favorites...Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. I first went to Rehoboth when I was 7 and it is such a thrill to take my own kids there to share with the next generation. This is the first time we will be staying somewhere different. Our formal rental was recently bulldozed to make room for multi million dollar condos. We found something even closer to the beach...just a hundred yards. I am really excited about this vacation. The only problem is that this new rental is pretty much adjacent to the Rehoboth Beach rides...aka Funland. My kids will see the rides morning and night! Oh well, fortunately they are relatively cheap and we will just save our cans to pay for the rides!

2007 promises to be a good year for our family and I hope it will be for yours.