Our Lady of Fatima... Pray for us.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament... Hear us.
Our Lady of the Rosary... Strengthen us.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Agenda 21...

     "If you open your eyes, you will see what is going on. Read about Agenda 21 and study it. It is the stuff of nightmares and all patriots should hear alarm bells ringing over this. The fascist stealth of Agenda 21 is upon us." Romantic Poet article on Agenda 21. 
     Read it. Know what is happening. Know what the buzzwords are. 
     Agenda 21 is in my sidebar under "Who would destroy America."
     See my other related posts here and here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Funny Guy Friday... I think my thumb is broken...

     I love my daughter Grace more than just about anything else in the world. But like any other dad of a teenage girl, there are things that I will probably never understand about her. For instance, every year, the night before softball season starts, she asks if anyone has seen her glove. Why would she not know where her softball glove is the night before the season starts, you ask? Because she hasn't touched it since the last game from last season. Sports are social events for her---not the live-or-die, slit-your-opponent's-throat-at-all-costs events that they should be. I don't get it.
     Once the season starts, she goes to practice and looks pretty good. However, this does not always translate into hitting success at games, as she is not... how shall I say this... not overly aggressive at the plate. She is a good hitter that looks at too many pitches. Certainly, she is not the same hitter as she is in practice. When she does get on base, she is a smart base runner. But if she strikes out, it does not bother her.
     In fact, very little about softball bothers her too much. In one of her games this season, her team was leading by five runs going into the last inning when the other team scored four runs and had the bases loaded with two outs. The hitter struck out but the catcher dropped the third strike, so the batter was allowed to take off and run to first. All the catcher had to do was step on home plate or throw to first but for some reason she decided to throw to third. The catcher overthrew third and two runs came in and the other team won the game on a walk-off strike out. Devastating!
     Grace rode home with me and I knew better than to bring up the game, and so did Grace. We were silent for a long period of time when I finally asked if she were okay. "Sure, no problem." The silence continued. I thought she must have been taking this pretty hard. I knew that I was.
     "Are you going to be able to sleep tonight?"
     "Yeah, why wouldn't I be able to sleep tonight?"
     "How did we lose it? And why would I lose sleep over a softball game?"
     It turns out that she wasn't upset at all. We just never talk to each other in the car... only I had never noticed it before.
     Anyway, I was a bit surprised the other day when she asked if I would take her out to hit. The season was over and she had never once asked me to take her out to hit. "Sure, no problem." I figured this presented an additional opportunity to spend some more quality time together, and at the same time, not talk to each other.
     So we scrambled to find a few softballs and off we went. I must admit, she was hitting great when she started to complain about her thumb hurting. After about half an hour, she declared that it was broken. I have taken thousand of hours of batting practice and I have thrown thousands of hours of batting practice---I have never seen anybody break their thumb just by swinging a bat.
     She continued to complain over the next day or two, and she and her mother insisted it was swollen. I told them to just wait and it will be fine, but Gracie thinks that a parent's love is measured not in the number of hugs or kisses they give their kids. No. Love is measured by the number of times that parents take their kids to Nighttime Pediatrics. There have been many occasions when Grace has stubbed her toe, nicked herself with a razor, or scraped her cuticle during a manicure, and insisted that we take her to Nighttime
Pediatrics. "You took Noah that one time," is a common phrase we hear. And we always remind her that Noah's leg was broken. "You always use that same lame excuse," she always replies.
     Grace convinced Cheryl to take her to Nighttime Pediatrics to have the thumb x-rayed. It really was quite swollen. Thankfully, no break----but the doctor explained that it was sprained. They put it in a soft removable cast. This was a perfect resolution because it was not broken, but it was injured enough to vindicate a removable brace. Gracie got some Nighttime Pediactric Love, or NPL as we have come to call it.
     As Cheryl was explaining the doctor's findings, she told me that Grace strained the tendons in her thumb. Grace chimed in and said that Mom was downplaying the injury and what the doctor said... The doctor said she suffered a sprain. We explained to Florence Nightingale Junior, that this was the definition of a sprain. No problem, so long as we understood the serious nature of the injury.
    I am happy to report that the brace lasted three days and we expect a full recovery. I hope she gets completely healed because in 364 days, she will have to pick up her glove and start getting ready for the next softball season.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Do Progressives Still Matter?

     Time magazine just keeps growing more and more irrelevent. This is the cover of their July 4th edition. Everybody should experience a little progressive indoctrination with their fireworks and apple pie, don't you think?
     This Fourth of July, I recommend some alternative reading to the Time piece... the actual Constitution, and The Federalist, both found in my sidebar under American History. For more on the Time story, read this article from the New American.
     Don't be fooled.
     Be watchful.

Posthumous... Not posthumous... Whatever...

     Okay... so I will weigh in on yesterday's fiasco at Fort Drum, where the president told the Army's 10th Mountain Division, "Throughout my service, first as a senator and then as a presidential candidate and then as a President, I've always run into you guys. And for some reason it's always in some rough spots. First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn't receiving it posthumously."
     The problem is that Jared Monti died in Afghanistan, and did, in fact, receive the medal posthumously. The president had "recalled" stories about him at a White House ceremony with his parents present.
     Salvatore Giunta was the one who was the first living recipient of the Medal who served in Afghanistan. The president gave a speech all about that at the time, where he recounted his whole emotional story. And yet, he did not know it.
     That's because when you only read someone else's words on a teleprompter, it simply goes in through the eyes and out through the mouth... and misses the heart altogether.
     He never made a connection with these men. He could not remember them in his heart.
     Mr. President... If you are going to pretend to be one of the guys... at least get your story straight.
     This was not the first time the president didn't know the details surrounding this honor. Remember when he (sort of) delivered remarks about the Fort Hood shootings at the end of a tribal leaders conference? He began by giving a shout-out to Dr. Joe Medicine Crow, ..."I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow (ph) was around, and so I want to give a shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner. It's good to see you."
     Obama actually had presented Crow with the Medal of Freedom, and not the Medal of Honor.
     The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Generally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress, it is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor.
     The Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor.
     The reason the president doesn't know these things is because he doesn't care to.
     And by the way... Am I the only one who cringes with the president's choice of the word comrade? And czars, for that matter? Read the history of those words and decide for yourself. 
     Those terms, I am sure, he knows well... and are firmly planted in his heart.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Funny Guy Friday... The Buzz Off...

    The other day, Matthew commented about a talented young man in his class that could really draw great characters. The boy had done several drawings of the Joker from the Batman cartoons. Noah, our six-year-old artist, questioned Mattthew whether he thought that this boy was a better artist than Noah, and if his drawings of characters were better than Noah's.
    Matthew, ever the kind big brother, said that the boy was really good and left it at that. But Noah was having none of that, he wanted more information and requested that Matthew bring home some of these drawings. He then went to get paper and pencil and started drawing his own pictures of the Joker.
    Initially, they were pretty basic, as he made his drawings from his  memory---which was interesting because we don't watch the Batman cartoons, yet the drawings included some pretty specific details. The other day I was going through his little sketch book---yes my six year old has a sketch book---and there was a drawing of the Joker's face that was pretty remarkable.
    This got me to thinking, Noah is not all that interested in sports, but he is very competitive. He can be like a dog with a bone. This whole episode got me to thinking that art could be a competitive sport. I hear Cheryl when she tells Noah that you can't mess up when it comes to art, or art is not right or wrong and there are no losers when it comes to art. 
    To this I say, nonsense! Two people draw the same thing, one is better than the other, that artist wins. How hard is that?
    All of this came to a head when I got home from work, and Noah showed me a drawing he did of Woody from Toy Story. It was really good but I said I could do better. Game on for the little man. We decided that we would each draw Buzz Lightyear and Mom would judge our work. I preferred a more neutral arbitrator, but in the end, we always let Mom decide. I told Noah that we would call this contest, The First Annual Buzz Off!   
    Saturday arrived, the day of the Buzz Off, and I must admit that I was a little nervous. He is really talented and I am not. Clearly, I was the underdog, but I have watched Noah and Cheryl draw, and I have picked up a few things over the years, so I had a puncher's chance. I can look at some stuff and draw some reasonable facsimiles, but I would say they are rudementary at best.
    Of course, this did not stop me from talking trash and getting inside the six year old's head. "Mom likes me best, and last night after you fell asleep she told me she was going to pick my drawing"---this he knew was a lie, so it had no effect. "I tricked you into this contest because when I was your age, I was the State champion Buzz Lightyear drawing guy"----since I was trash talking a six-year-old, I wanted to make sure he understood what I was saying and was appropriatley intimidated. He doesn't even know Buzz Lightyear didn't exist when I was his age, but he was still not fazed. But then I unwittingley did strike a chord when I said, "Once you see my great artwork, you won't know what to do, you will be paralyzed with intimidation and you will be Buzz Frightyear!"  This was a good one especially the Buzz Frightyear reference. It drew a very meek response. "Nuh-uh," he said.
    I had him. I was in his little pea brain.
    Gentleman, start your pencils---Game on!
    I jumped out of the gate and started on Buzz's head. Noah does not operate like that. He tends to start with a smaller detail and work back to the bigger picture. He watched me and he saw that my picture was coming along quite nicely and was looking very much like Buzz Lightyear. He was surprised by my talent and frankly, so was I. As he watched me, he kept starting and stopping his own drawing and erasing what he thought were mistakes. He then wanted to use one of his practice drawings of Buzz Lightyear---yes he practiced the night before---but I said no, that was against the rules.
    I was like a shark smelling blood in the water. He was intimidated. He was like LeBron in the fourth quarter of the NBA finals. The best artist in the room and he couldn't perform. I was winning. I was actually winning.
    Okay, as I re-read this, it seems kind of silly that I was taking great pleasure in this, and in retrospect, I could have handled it differently. BUT I WAS WINNING AN ART CONTEST! I never win these art contests. This was not our first one, just the first formal one that I gave a clever name to---The Buzz Off! He draws way better than I and if truth be told, I usually just copy what he does. But not this time.
    What I did find fascinating was that he could not put pencil to paper because he thought that he was not going to win.  This drives me crazy when I coach kids that think they can't win, so they don't compete. They figure if they don't try and then lose, they really did not lose because they weren't trying. I got this type of reaction from Noah.
   Ultimately, he did put forth a weak effort. Cheryl always picks his art as the best, but I knew I was riding a winner when she told Noah, "You know I love you even if I pick Daddy's," and "You know I think you're a great artist even if I pick Dad's, right?"
    At this point, I decided to take a minute to be an adult (I am perfectly capable of being an adult when I have to be) and explain to him that you can't just quit or not try because you may not win. I explained that he was a great artist but this was not his best effort, and that he should really try again. When I win, I want to crush him when he puts out his best effort. I get no satisfaction (maybe a little) from beating a six-year-old that is not even trying! He was a little bummed, so we postponed the judging.
    Later that day, I took a little nap. I was awakened by Noah who brought with him a new drawing of Buzz Lightyear. A much better effort, I must admit. He was very proud of himself and told me that he really tried on this one. We compared our two drawings, and pointed out the differences and the similarities. We decided that his Buzz was more cartoonish and my Buzz was more "life-like"-----I decided that mine was still better, but I was proud of his effort.
    Who cares what we thought, what was the judge going to say?
    Of course, as always, she praised both efforts. In the end she went with the cartoonish Buzz. A travesty, the likes of which the art world has never seen. I demanded a rematch. So after the First Annual Buzz Off, we had the First Annual Woody Off.  Certainly not as clever a name, but we had a theme going.
   Unfortunately, I am a one-trick-pony, as my Woody looked like a short middle-aged cowboy that had put on a few pounds over the years. Clearly his Woody was the winner. But I still have, for that one fleeting moment, the joy and the exhilaration of knowing that I drew a better Buzz than my six-year-old son.
    The next day, as he and I were driving to the ice cream store, he asked me if I really thought my Buzz was better than his. My response was that it could have been, but I am forty one years older than he, and the fact that I was competing with a six-year-old---and we were competitive---was kind of funny.
    I explained that if we played a basketball game of one-on-one, and I tried my hardest, I would crush him. He agreed. I then told him that I have to try my hardest just to keep up with his artwork. He agreed, and he, too, thought that was kind of funny!
   When we got home from the ice cream store, we played a game of HORSE. He beat me H-O-R-S to H-O-R-S-E. I would have won, but his mother awarded him an extra shot because he is so cute. I really do need a more impartial arbitrator.

A band of angels...

     For the past two days, my sister Karen, has come over to help me with my housekeeping projects. Sorting. Purging. Donating. Organizing. Cleaning.
     Karen is my hero.
     If you saw Funny Guy Friday last week, you know that I was in the middle of a total laundry re-do. Now, I am almost finished. Only the clothes that the kids actually wear are in their rooms. The laundry has been done. Even the socks have been paired, and the lonely ones are history. The books have been thinned out. Eight bags of trash have been discarded. And my refrigerator-freezer is old-food-free and sparkling.
     Without Karen... except for some help from Noah, my most willing and frequent helper... and Gracie, my most capable helper... and the occasional distribute-the-laundry help from Matthew... it was pretty much four against one around here. We had sort of developed a "drop and go" routine, so often there was stuff everywhere.
     But Karen is a force to be reckoned with.
     She sees the big picture, and takes on every task with determination. She barrels right through each project. And she doesn't allow me to zig-zag.
     Oh, she is good.
     And yesterday... Bonus... She brought her nine-year-old daughter Elaine to help. Elaine helped Gracie clean and organize her room. And she never complained.
     Like mother, like daughter.
     I told my kids that the next time I ask them to straighten up, if they dare to say, "But I didn't mess it up!" I will remind them of Elaine helping solely because there was a job that needed to be done.
     Thank you Karen and Elaine. When I needed an angel, you were there. My own little kiddies stepped up as well and did what needed to be done... as well as Karen's two little sons, who played happily and quietly while we worked away. Angels all.
     Oh, and just a thank you to the perpetual angel that is my mother-in-law. She dropped by in the midst of this Karen-clean-fest, and as usual, bellied up to the sink with her usual cheerfulness to do some dishes. Laundry is her normal task, but it was done!

     Update... 10:30 pm Friday night... Karen came back again today... much to my surprise and relief. I really needed her. She just left after helping me for about twelve hours. I told her to go home to her hubby. He's a blessed man to have her for his wife. I'm blessed more... I've known her longer.
     Fourteen bags of trash, and twelve bags/boxes of giveaways and I'm still not done. Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Adam Smith quotes...

     Day by day, as we witness the growing loss of our freedom and property (pursuit of happiness), it is important to remember the wisdom of economist Adam Smith.
     "It is the highest impertinence and presumption… in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense... They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will."
     "The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it."
     Runaway spending and crushing debt, the burden to businesses (and individuals) of high taxes and over-regulation, the federal stranglehold on domestic energy resources, QE2 (printing money to purposefully devalue our currency), an American military stretched thin amidst wars in four Middle Eastern countries, an ever-expanding Executive Branch at the cost of an increasingly irrelevent Congress, inflation... and on and on.
     May the Lord bless us in the days and weeks ahead.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Funny Guy Friday... Some clean clothes, please...

    My wife has come up with a great plan to clean the house and purge our home of unwanted and unused items such as clothing and toys. When she started the project, she boldly asserted that if Jesus can rise from the dead in three days, I can get our house cleaned in three days. Apparently Jesus did not have to homeschool the kids, blog, go to field day, babysit, watch his kids' games, or bra shop----I could have sworn they said ball shop but that is for another FGF.
    If Jesus had Cheryl's life, he never would have had time to save the world. We are on day nine of the house resurrection and there is no end in sight.
    Anyway, she has ordered that we bring all of our clothes to the laundry room where they will be washed, dried and then folded. They will then be stored in the living room. Nothing can go back upstairs until we go through these clothes and throw out those items that we do not wear or that no longer fit. Those discarded clothes will be either donated (Cheryl's plan) or dumped (my plan).
    Whenever we intend to donate clothes, we put them in a bag and put them in the back of the car, and then we drive around with them until the time comes that we need the space in our car. Then we take the bags out of the car and put them in our garage---where they sit until I need to make room for all of our Christmas junk. I say we avoid the Christmas rush and go to the dump today.
    As for right now, we are basically shopping in our living room. The problem is that all of our clothes are never clean at the same time so the process has no end in sight. I have always told Cheryl that she should do a load of laundry a day and we will always be okay as far as clothes go. It is not as if she has to take the clothes down to the river and beat them on a rock. You throw a load in the machine and walk away. Laundry is something that you do  while you are doing something else. Cheryl, on the other hand, believes that you can do twelve loads of laundry once every two weeks----if I don't have any clean underwear, so be it! Our only hope to get all the laundry done is to go naked for about a week, which is not such a bad idea with these 100 degree days we have been having.
    Another problem is that we still sleep and get ready upstairs. Whenever we need clothes, we have to run downstairs for a shirt, run downstairs for socks, run downstairs for shorts, bras, t-shirts, etc. I am contemplating putting my bed down in the living room to save me some time and effort. When we do get to the living room, we grab what we need, we run back upstairs and in the course of events, we knock over all the neat piles, and the clothes will then lie on the ground long enough to qualify as dirty clothes---needing to be rewashed, redried, and refolded!
    I will say that the boys have figured out how to beat the system. They either run downstairs completely naked after just getting out of the shower, or they just change in the middle of the living room, leaving their dirty clothes mingled with the clean ones. I suppose when they finally get around to bringing clothes back upstairs they can just place the dirty ones on the ground in their room where they belong in the first place.
    The final problem with not only this, but any big project at our house, is that my wife is a Zig Zagger. She starts these huge projects and then all of the sudden before that project is complete, she shifts to an equally huge unfinishable project. For example, after day two of the clothing purge, she decided to go through the basement and bag up all of the unused toys. She went through a similar process of bringing all of the toys and games to the living room for the kids to go through.
    Not surprisingly, now we have a living room with little worn clothes and unused toys. A match made in heaven, as the little toys make their way under the mounds of clothes. What are the chances we will trip or stub our toes on some hidden toy? Oh, I'd say about 100%.  I can't help but think of the movie Toy Story with the little green soldiers rounding up all the other toys and hiding them under the camouflage shorts in an effort to avoid being "donated."
    By the way, I do think that we will actually donate these toys to our church for an annual fundraiser. The ironic thing is that half of the unused, unwanted toys to be donated were obtained by our kids at last year's annual church fundraiser. "Trading in" is probably a better description than donating.
    When all is said and done, I am sure that eventually, it will all get finished. However, I don't think it will happen any time soon. You see, the engine light in my car has come on and Cheryl has decided to take a look under the hood. She has started the process of taking apart my engine and is going to resurrect my car. She estimates that the project should be wrapped up in about, oh, three days--give or take a few. I am thinking maybe forty days and forty nights!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Peter... Do you love me?

     This is a reprint from a post I wrote a year ago. It is the gospel from today, and so I thought it worth another look. May the peace of Christ be always in your hearts and in your homes.
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep." ~ John 21:15-17
       My name is Simon Peter.  I have been fishing all night and have come up empty. I feel empty. What am I going to do? I can't stop thinking about it. Just days ago, I did just about the worst thing you can do to a friend. Let alone your best friend. And it happened just as He had said it would. I cursed, and I swore I didn't even know Him. He had shared his knowledge and his wisdom with me. He said I was the rock, upon which He would build his church. I had watched Him do amazing things. Miracles. I had promised that even if everyone else forsook Him, my faith would not be shaken. But I was weak. I was so afraid. I still can't believe it. I turned my back on Him.
     I remember the first time I met Him. I was here fishing. He told me to go back out and put my net back over and try again. I remember thinking, what's the use? But I learned that day to humbly trust in Him. That was a lesson I would have to learn again and again.
     Wait.... Who is that on shore? At his very Word, our nets are overflowing once again. John says it's the Lord. Jesus? Here? Could it be? Oh, Lord... I want to be close to You again. I leap into this once fearful sea, and I swim as fast as I can. Thrashing through the water just to be with You again. One more chance to be near You. And there You stand, offering me your company, once again, in the breaking of the bread. I approach You. I am so sorry. I cannot say it out loud. Please forgive me. I am flawed. I am weak. I am sorry.
     Then He speaks. Simon, do you love me more than these? He asks... using the word agape... which means unconditional, sacrificial love. The way He loves. I am humbled. I don't think I am capable of love like his. No more boasting. I am imperfect. I say, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You... but I use the word phileo, meaning brotherly love. Earthly love. Imperfect love. It's all I have. I am not Him. After last weekend, we both know I may not ever love that way. I am human. He is God. But He tells me to feed his lambs anyway.
     He asks me a second time, Do you love me? I say again,Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He says, Tend my sheep. Once more, he asks me if I love Him. We are face to face. His eyes are so kind. I feel so guilty. I swore I would never deny Him, and I did it three times... when He needed me the most.  Well, I need Him now. I am lost without Him. I simply say, Lord, You know everything. You know that I love you. That is enough for Him. 
     The sun is shining now. I start to feel better. Three times. I love You Lord. I do. I do. A second chance. He is still my friend. He will never deny me. He has given me a gift. And He has given me a task. Feed my sheep.
     Even if my love isn't the perfect love of the Father or his Son, it's enough to do His work. I am enough for Him. I love Him. And I will ever strive to love as He loves. I will do my best to feed his sheep. He still trusts me. Even though I let Him down. He promises to empower me. I know what I must do. My life will never be the same again.

Funny Guy Friday... Stay tuned...

     A not-so-funny thing happened when I went to post Funny Guy's latest...  I accidentally deleted the draft and cannot get it back.  When Funny Guy gets some free time, he will re-create it.  So check back later today.  
     Sorry honey.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Obama and the end of western civilization"...

     As I've said many times, once you know who people are, everything they do becomes much clearer. Here is another look at what is going on, by Steve McCann, from American Thinker.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Funny Guy Friday...These are not your Daddy's last days of school...

   I hate to sound like all those old fuddy duddies that say how things are so much easier for kids today than they were for kids back in our day, but how could you not agree with me after you hear what my kids did in school this week.
   Matthew is in fifth grade and he proudly announced last Friday that his teachers have already turned in all of their grades for the final quarter and they will not have any more  graded work. You have got to be kidding me, there are two weeks left in school---no final exams---what are you going to do for the next two weeks?
   Drown Proofing! They will go to the local pool for four days and learn about drown proofing. Now in fifth grade world, this means that they are going to the local pool and for four days, they will be going swimming. I am sure that someone would be talking about drown proofing while the kids are swimming but they will, in fact, be swimming.
    I have been very curious as to how this program has been going, so each day, I get an update. Matthew has reported that on the first day, they learned how to float. He is a great floater so this got me excited---I know he has to be the best floater in the class. I asked if the instructor recognized his mad skills. No not really, he advised.
    Not really? Not really? Are you serious? He can float for hours. Certainly, he is deserving of at least a little shout out. For some reason, this bothered me because he really can float like nobody's business. What kind of idiot instructor does not recognize this? Perhaps the better question is what kind of idiotic parent would care that his son did not get recognized for his ability to float? In any event, the first day of the program left a bad taste in my mouth.
   On day two, they went back to floating, and finally, my man caught the instructor's attention. She said he has a great ability to float. I knew it all the time. Cheryl and I are very proud of this very limited and hopefully never used talent.
   Day three brought an entire day dedicated to PFDs. Grace asked, "What is a PFD?" I told her that it stood for Private Flotation Device---non-floaters need these. Matthew corrected me and advised that it was a Personal Flotation Device. Grace giggled and said, ''Sure dad, I can hear it now---excuse me, but could you please turn your eyes away, I would like to float in private for a minute or two!'' Smart alec kid. Not sure where she gets that from.
   The last day of Drownfest, as I have dubbed the week, will be today, and they will learn how to make their own PFD out of clothes that they may wear while in the water. He needs to bring in one of my shirts for this exercise. Why Matthew would be out in the water with one of my shirts is beyond me, but stranger things have happened.
   Despite the chlorine burned eyes---you would think that someone that can perfect the ability to float could also perfect the ability to shut his eyes while under the water---the week has been fun. But Drownfest does not compare to Grace's school activity. Gracie girl went sailing with her ninth grade class.
   That's right, some smart teacher figured out how to make sailing part of the special Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum. I suppose that all four subjects are used in sailing but they are used in a lot of things. A few come to mind, like a baseball game, cooking, football, cooking, basketball, cooking. Why not take the kids to a sporting event and buy them a hot dog and call it higher education?
    Anyway, she loved it. She even got to steer the boat---I think they call it taking the helm, but what the helm do I know about sailing? (that was bad and it was really beneath my keen sense of humor so I apologize).
    She wants to go again, so I reminded her that Cheryl's uncle has a sailboat up in Newport, Rhode Island, and maybe she could go with him this summer. I also told her that although I love and trust Cheryl's uncle, he is almost ninety years old. If something were to go wrong while they were out at sea, she would have to recall all that she learned in her sailing class.
    Well, as it turns out, they didn't actually learn anything in sailing class, they just sailed. No problem though, God has a funny way of making everything make perfect sense. Matthew just spent four days learning how not to drown, so we could send him out with the sailing crew and everything should work out just fine. I'd make sure he had some extra shirts of mine so everyone would be taken care of.
   With all of the education that they received this week, what could possibly go wrong!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

American Pie hits Grand Rapids, Michigan

     I saw this over at Creative Minority Report. Always good stuff there.
     I don't know how they pulled this off, but it is amazing and fun to watch. I am always touched by these crowd song videos. Maybe it's the goodwill of so many strangers coming together.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Simple living... Could you do it?

"It's not what you don't have... It's what you do have."

     I didn't see any clutter. Hmmm... I could be quite happy in something like that.
     Five Hefty bags are going out today!
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