Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Annette got up this morning at 3AM to let the cat out (there's got to be a better way), and found it snowing outside. She came in and told m, and we both went outside to look, and I ttok some photos. Not having anything better to do, I e-mailed the photo of the cat to our friend Leah, who sings on our Praise Team at church, and who produces the Las Vegas CBS morning show. She put Whiskers on TV, so that was cool. I stayed up, and so I'm sure I'll be dozing as we try tyo put on our Living Nativity tonight. Of all times, we get the COLDEST spell we can remember in a while. It's goin to be pretty good, though, and I'll post photos when I gets 'em...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I don't know exactly why it's taken so long to blog, but it's been almost four weeks exactly. In the past month we went to Yuma, AZ for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful visit with our family... Connor has performed in two preschool programs... Chloe is almost walking (any day now)... We have prepared and tonight presented a terrific Christmas praise and worship service... and best of all, we have had the privilege of taking a "peek" at our litle baby boy, who is on the way. If you want to see more of our little one, you can viit the website www.sneakpeekultrasound.com, and use the password 1229nv. As for me, I'm one proud pop, and mom's been glowing, too. All is going well with her pregnancy, although she's had quite a bit of contractions.
Next Tuesday through Thursday we're having a Living Nativity out in front of the church. The temps are going to be close to freezing, and we're using live animals (when I'm asked the question about live animals, I always respond that I'd rather they be live than dead), and you've probably heard that certain groups are protesting, so we'll let you know if anything exciting happens.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pastor Rob preached a sermon on Zaccheus this morning, and it reminded me of Connors spin on this great bible story. We tell this story together at bedtime frequently. Our version is pretty much like Luke's account, except when little Zaccheus climbs up the sycamore tree and sits out on a limb, he almost falls. Connor then gives the old, "Whoa, whoa, WHOA!" Then after Zaccheus promises to give half his money to the poor and pay back those he stole from four times over, Connor adds, "Then Zaccheus got bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER!"
Connor also did something tonight at dinner he used to do a lot, but we never figured out where he got it from. At the end of the meal prayer, he says, "In Jesus name, Amen." Then he exclaims, "Rock and Roll Band!"
Chloe finally finished what she started tonight. We went to Chipotle's, and she grabbed my coke cup in a split second. I caught her, and wrestled it away. At the end of the meal I went for a lid for the coke, and as soon as I got up she grabbed it again and spilled it all over her.
What's it gonna be like with three kids?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Annette and I had a real treat last night. One of our band members, Steve Burris, and his wife Melanie took us to go see Allison Krauss and Union Station at the Orleans Arena. The Orleans is my favorite venue to go see a concert- both the arena and the showroom have the best sound in town- and it was a blast. My personal favorite moment of the night was when her band member Dan Timinski sang his hit "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" from "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Annette and I wore the soundtrack CD out when we first moved to Mobile, and we really enjoyed hearing him sing it live. I was half looking for Charles Durning to come dancing out on the stage like he did in the movie. She ended by singing "Down to the River to Pray" a capella with the band.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I just got photos from my good friend Hexel Hernando that he took at my baby girl Chloe's first birthday. Thought you'd enjoy this shot!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Our friend Hexel Hernando took these great photos for me Halloween night. Connor is such a ham, and Hexel is such a good photographer, so here are a couple of shots.

Chloe was so cute, and she and her daddy are bonding more and more each day. When I come home, it's instant smiles, and when I leave he room, the tears start to flow. I love her...

Connor and dad are going to the final Green Valley Football game tomorow. Connor is excited about going, and now asks if we can see a THREE point conversion.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tonight was Halloween, and who was more excited- Connor or dad? I love the fun of taking Connor around the 'hood to our neighbors, and we had a great time. Connor has an animated discussion with each neighbor about the candy as they put it in his bucket, but he is always so polite to say "Happy Halloween!" and "Thank you, and Bye Bye!" Almost every person we go to is laughing by the time Connor leaves. We actually went to four homes of our close friends before we went door to door, and I took Chloe with us to their homes. She was a bumblebee. She is my sweetie, and was SO cute. Check out this Youtube video!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Last July 4 we had a patriotic service at church, and for this celebration I produced a video, called "More Than a Name on a Wall." It was a tribute to our Viet Nam veterans based on the Statler Brothers song of the same name. It has received so much positive response that we decided to show it once more in a special Veterans Day service Sunday evening, November 12. Here is a low resolution copy of it that we've posted on Youtube. You'll be able to see it, but it is in two parts, because YouTube doesn't allow content of more than ten minutes. I hope you enjoy it. By the way, the video at the end, of the woman at the Viet Nam Memorial Wall- I shot it last June in Washington DC.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Last night I took Connor to his first football game, Green Valley High vs. Liberty. We went especially to see the kicker, Wayne Hope, who's part of our church. (He's really good.) We met his parents, Eric and Renee, early for the homecoming parade down Arroyo Grande, and afterwards, went in to the stadium. We were about an hour early. A high school kid came up and said that President Jimmy Carter was there. I knew he was in the area, campaigning for his son, Jack, for U.S. Senator. I took Connor and we went to the side field where Carter and his entourage was. He was getting interviewed, and when he was done, he came over to the small crowd and started shaking hands. Long story short, he came over and talked to Connor, and Renee snapped this photo. When I told the President that Connor was a good Southern Baptist boy, his eyes opened wide, and he smiled, and said that was good.
Green Valley won the game, and Connor had his first lessons in football. He kept asking if we were going to have a two-point conversion (Wayne passed the ball during a fake extra point attempt- he made it). When I told Connor to tell his mom about what happened at the game, instead of saying "I met Jimmy Carter" like I coached him, he said, "I had gatorade and cotton candy!"

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Here are some recent photos I've taken...
This is my baby girl, Chloe. The photo on the left was taken today. She has learned to pull herself up, and she's so proud. I am too! She is doing new and exciting things every day. It's going to be non-stop action at our house by the time our newest little boy comes around in February.

Our dear friends, Billy and Elaine Salter from Satsuma, Alabama, came by for a visit as they were returning to the south from a three month trip to Alaska. We were so happy to see them, and after a feast at one of our favorite restaurants, Chevy's, we came back to the house for a visit. Elaine was my pianist for my Senior Adult Choir in Mobile, and was always such an encouragement and support to Annette and me. She was there to visit Connor the forst day he was born. He loved seeing them, and snuggled up to Elaine all afternoon.
Finally, here's a photo of Chloe and her Pawpaw. He was in town for a quick visit, and hwen we received the news that Annette's Aunt Betty died, Doyle and Annette took the kids and went back for the funeral. Pawpaw is sweet on Chloe, and she loves him too! Pawpaw has thirteen granddaughters and two grandsons (and one on the way!)

Friday, October 13, 2006

I really love this photo of Connor. I take a lot of pictures, but I really need to get back to taking more candid, "slice of life" photos. His favorite days are when he's digging in the dirt, mud, or sand, and he was having a ball. I'll post more in the next few days.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Here's a family photo from our vacation last August to Avila Beach, California. Our dear friends Rob and Betty Mauer allowed us to stay at the their timeshare, and we had a really fun and relaxing five days. Connor LOVES playing on the beach, and making sand pies (!) and castles. Chloe and mom had some quality time, and we all had a ball. I'll post some more photos (I took some really great shots) in the next few days.

I'm right in the middle of my family being gone- they'll return next week. I am missing them big time!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

One of my best friends and one of the all-time great guys to know is Whitney Phoenix. He is not only our accompanist/pianist at church, but a Las Vagas entertainer who appears daily at the Bellagio hotel on the strip. Whitney is married to Marianne, who is my assistant at church, and they are really great. They love our kids, and Marianne and Annette and I sing together occasionally (Marianne was a successful entertainer on the strip as well). I'm hoping Whitney's excellence rubs off on Connor! As a Worship Pastor, you have no idea how blessed I am to have someone with Whitney's skill play for me. And then on top of it all, he loves the Lord and serves with all his heart and energy. Whitney has a website, where you can get his current CD- it's www.whitneyphoenix.com.

I saw a pretty amazing movie on TV the other day. It's called "Muriel's Wedding," and if you ever get a chance, watch it. It's an independent film out of Australia, and instead of explaining it, or why it spoke to me, you'll just have to check it out sometime.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Here's a photo of Connor with Cosmo, the Las Vegas 51's mascot. Connor thought seeing Cosmo was about the coolest thing in the world. It was really cute- I had Connor go up to Cosmo to say hey. Really, what does a three year old have to chat about with a sven foot tall mute alien? Connor had a Cracker Jack prize, a little booklet in his hand, so he gave it to Cosmo. Now Cosmo, who is probably a pimple faced High Schooler from Silverado High or somewhere, takes the prize, autographs it and hands it back to Connor, who hasn't the foggiest idea what's up. I took the prize, and this photo, which now proudly hangs in Connor's room. The whole scene reminded me of one of my earliest memories, of meeting Winnie the Pooh in Disneyland- yeah, me and about 20 other kids at the same time. I kept trying to show Winnie my shirst, which has his likeness embroidered on it. I was sure Winnie was going to be my best friend when he saw it, but he just kept on shaking hands with the other kids. I still resent Winnie a little even to this day. I mean, I had his shirt on.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We have always been blessed with great friends everywhere we've lived. Here in Henderson, we have two ladies that have become second grandmas to the kids. This is Jewel Wilms. She lives just about a mile away, and she has really been an invaluable help to us, watching our kids on a regular basis. Connor is in love with Jewel! If we tell him that she's going to watch him tonight, he'll talk about it all day. He loves to go to her house, and spend time with Jewel and Dave. Chloe loves Jewel too, but can't say it as well. I'll get a photo of his other Grandma, Judy, up here soon. We love you, Judy and Dick, and Dave & Jewel!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I love my cats. The black and white cat is Whiskers, and Punkin is the other one. My favorite is Whiskers. He kisses me every day, and he is invited to sleep up on our bed each night (although lately he's been getting kicked out for unruly behavior at 3AM). Recently we have allowed them to go outside, and this is the first time we've let them do that in four years. Everything has been great- they stick close to the house, and they love the outdoors. But when I was leaving home for work yesterday, I drove down the block, and there's Whiskers, enjoying the day, keeping watch over the neighborhood- in the neighbors gutter, under their trash can. He gave me a little head recognition as I drove by, as if to say, "What's up?" It disturbed me the whole day. My cat laying in the gutter, just like he lays on my bed.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Here's a picture of my nephew, Gage, at a Jo Dee Messina concert Saturday night. He and his mom (My sister Lisa) had front row seats, and Jo Dee autographed his cast (a recent football injury) during the show. I love Jo Dee...

We had a great day at church. Our choir was terrific, and the spirit of the Lord was moving. Our Pastor has begun a six week series called "The Journey of Faith," and it's going to be good.

Annette's dad is in town, and he can't get enough of Chloe. He's crazy for Connor too, but he hasn't seen Chloe as much, and he's pretty whipped by her already. She is really growing and learning new things every day. And to think there's another one on the way...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Here's a video we made in the summer of 2001 with Annette, her nieces Brooke, Haley, and Kara Beth, snd our puppy, Abby.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I spent a good deal of the weekend free time transferring digital photos from old technology (floppy disc) to my computer, so I can burn them onto a CD. It is amazing how quickly time passes. When Annette and I were first married, we would invite her nieces from Texas to come to Alabama for a visit, and we had a great time, or at least that's what the photos tell me. Now those girls are all grown up. I had photos of Connor as a little baby, and now he's in preschool. I sorted through photos of our very first "baby," our dog, Abby, who was hit by a car and died the day before 9/11. It was a blessing to see the photos of such great times in our lives, but it made me a little melancholy. Time has a way of slipping by, and before you know it, the days you thought would never end are the good ol' days.

The things I look forward to nowadays mostly involves my children. Chloe is doing so well- we took her to Andi Stalsworth's birthday party the other night, and while Andi opened gifts, Chloe entertained by doing roll after roll. It was cute. Connor is doing great- he's started preschool, and loves his family. Annette has been ill recently, but the baby's doing great- I look forward to having anew baby boy.

I submitted a video clip of COnnor and me to America's Funniest Home Videos, and they sent me back a release. That's not a guarantee that they'll play it, but that's a pretty good sign.

God is good, and has really blessed our family and church. The words to my favorite song, "Made Me Glad," are as follows:

I will bless the Lord forever
I will trust him at all times
He has deleivered me from all fear
He has set my feet upon a rock

And I will not be moved, and I'll say of the Lord,
"You are my Shield, my Stength,
My fortress, Deliverer, My Shelter,
Strong Tower, My very present Help in time of need."

Whom have I in heaven but You?
There's none I desire beside You.
For You have made me glad, and I'll say of the Lord,
"You are my Shield, my Stength,
My fortress, Deliverer, My Shelter,
Strong Tower, My very present Help in time of need."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

September 15 has been a good day. Our church hosted gospel singer David Phelps in concert tonight, and he was terrific. But the really eventful part of the day occured when Annette and I went to the Doctor's office and found out that our baby we're expecting in February is a little... boy! I was THRILLED. I couldn't stop laughing and smiling. I was really hoping for a boy. THe main reasons are that I have enjoyed Connor so much through four years that I thought another son would be really great, but mostly, I wanted Chloe to be my little princess all by herself. She has daddy charmed already. I can't wait for our little boy...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Connor has become an internet junkie. He used to be into his cartoons, like "Max and Ruby" and "The Wonderpets," but ever since the day I introduced him to their websites (yes- Max, Ruby, and all the Pets, plus many of their friends all have a spot on the WWW), all he wants to do is interact with their games on line. He would play for hours if we would let him. I am constantly amazed how little kids like Connor can so easily pick up the feel of navigating on line, especially since he can't read sentences yet. He is very comfortable with a mouse. Go figure.
I took Connor to go see boxer Mike Tyson last Friday. I know. But it was Iron Mike. He is training at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood, for no apparent reason (he doesn't have a fight lined up), but there he was, in all his, um, glory, training, with hundreds of people watching. It was like the Friday not too long ago when we were going through the Forum shops at Ceasars (we hadn't been, so we went), and Connor got to shake hands with Pete Rose. (I know- who's next... O.J.?) We also saw comedian David Brenner that day, and I got his photo with the boy.
Chloe is doing new and adventurous things each day. SHe and I have a bit where I hold her around her legs, and lift her straight up. I like to do this while seated on the couch, because there's a mirror on the wall behind me, and when I lift her up, she can see her reflection. It never fails- she goes crazy! She gives a loud, low "Ohhhhhh!" and starts smiling and babbling at herself. It's too cute.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's September, and the official end of summer. As much as we love Nevada, we are never sad to see summer go. Too hot for us.
We just returned from a week in Avila Beach, California. We had a great time in a timeshare right on the beach. Connor and dad spent a lot of quality time together. We're so grateful to our dear friends, Rob and Betty, for allowing us to stay at their timeshare. If you ever get a chance to visit the central CA coast, by all means, GO. It is really great.
Connor turned four Sunday. I get the whole thing of kids growing up fast. You turn around and they're four. What's next? I really try to spend a lot of time with Connor every day. Just this past weekend we did some things together, including going to the 51's game. I'm getting him acclimated to baseball. He loves to eat crackerjacks, cheer the announcement of each Las Vegas player, and his consuming passion at the game is to see the 51's mascot, Cosmo. Oh, if you don't know, the 51's are named after Area 51, where many are convinced UFO's frequent. We have friends, including Rob who I mentioned before, who work there. It is fun for me to question these guys about their jobs, and receive the old "If I tell you I would have to kill you" line. I think anyone who has the ability to kill in their line of work is pretty cool. The most I can do at the church is throw a darting glare every once in a while.
Oh, I had a sighting in San Luis Obispo last week. I didn't know until I left, but in Starbucks I sat next to one of the baddest Ultimate Fighters on the planet, who just happened to win a championship in Vegas the Saturday previous, Chuck Liddell. He is a bad dude, and I say that with much respect.
"Starbucks? They should call it four bucks." I love that joke.
Anyway, Connor turned four and we had a party at the home of our friends, Andi and Bill. They allowed us to swim in their beautiful, custom built pool, made with a waterfall, built-in slide, the works. We cooked hot dogs and shared a beautiful (did I say hot?) September evening with friends. Connor loved all his presents and wanted to stay in the pool the entire night.
The baby's getting her personality, and it is so funny to watch. Chloe makes faces and tilts her head to Annette, and goes crazy when she sees herself in the mirror. She is going to be a heartbreaker.
Wow- a big post, and I haven't even gotten to all the great things God is doing at Green Valley. Soon...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006