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...