Monday, March 23, 2009

On the 2nd Day of Spring Break...


Sunday: On the second day of Spring Break, some of the things I did:


(Before I start, I forgot to mention that on Saturday, we all took Emily's "HyperDash" game outside and spent quite a bit of time taking turns hunting down colored discs with our HyperDash wand. We had a LOT of fun!)

We went to church in the morning. I am very guilty about not wanting to go to church. Honestly, I'd rather hang out at the house. Sometimes, I know I have a lot to do on a Sunday and staying home would jump start those chores. I spent most of my life not going to church, so it is very easy for me to do (not go, that is). I was not brought up in church, though we did go every so often because my Great-Grandmother would take us along or because we stayed at a friend's house and they went to church, so we had to go as part of staying over. Shan and her Mom went to church. Because Shan was going to church when we met, I began going. At that time, we went to the Assembly of God.

Now, take a Northern-born boy who could count the number of times he went to church on one hand and throw him into a pentecostal Assembly of God church. It was like nothing I had ever seen. Now, in addition to not having been in church much, add a sprinkle of Liberal Arts college background. It was quite an experience. Over time, though, I learned the ways of the church and eventually found myself in a deacon's position. The downside (for me) to being in a small church in a position such as that comes in the form of church business. It was all church business all the time. I grew sick of church. Then, we had something of a falling out happen at the church and several of the families left, including ours.

So, to bring things back around again, we attend a different church, Central Baptist. I don't really care what the 'foundational truths' of any church are, as long as they preach from the Bible and have Christ as the center.

I do not preach to anyone. If you want to know what I believe, I'll tell you. If you believe something else, that's your business as far as I'm concerned. If you go to church, if you don't go, none of that is my business unless we're talking about it. Take it or leave it.

But, I enjoy going to the church we attend. I like singing the mix of contemporary songs and classic hymns. I enjoy the energy, humor, and wisdom of our pastor. I also think it's important for our children to learn the foundations of life. No matter what your belief system, I believe most of the 10 Commandments apply to life in general - don't kill, don't steal, respect your parents, etc.

So, even though I don't always 'feel' like going, I try to go because I think it's important for my children to see me go - after all, I cannot expect them to go if I'm not willing to go myself. I believe that should hold true, no matter what a parent is trying to teach their children.



After church, we came home, changed clothes and ate lunch at shan's Mom's place. We had lasagna, which happens to be my all-time favorite food. That's a big thing to say, because I love all kinds of food. Yes, I am very picky and have several food-related idiosyncrasies, but I love food. Of course, my favorite lasagnas are those made from scratch - the noodles, the fresh meat, the wonderful sauces with just the right spices. But, I also enjoy the 'prepared' variety, too. Stouffers-type meals lack some of the richness and deep tastes of your favorite Italian restaurant, but the flavors are different in a good way (for me). Basically, if it's lasagna, I'm eating. Well, if it is 'traditional' (that is meat and tomato-based sauce). I think I've had chicken lasagna, and I am pretty sure I was not a big fan. And, you can forget any kind of 'vegetarian' lasagna. Heck, in my case, you can pretty much throw out anything remotely connected to the word 'vegetarian!'



Emily and I watched "Toy Story" on DVD. I have to say, that is by far my favorite Pixar movie. "Cars" is close, but the original "Toy Story" makes me laugh out loud every time I see it, and I've seen it a LOT since going too the theater to see it in 1995. It amazes me that the movie is as old as Tyler and I could sit here right now and watch it again even though I just watched it yesterday (I am writing this on Monday). Emily and I ate popcorn and Milk Duds and had a great time!



I spent much of the rest of Sunday working on my desktop computer, installing software and deleting things I didn't need from the two 'extra' hard drives. I also entered a stack of Indians baseball cards into my database. In this case, I had received a pretty nice-sized box of Indians cards, all of which were selected by the sender because he did not find them on my 'already own' list of cards. I only managed to check about 1/4th of the cards because Emily and Shan were on the trampoline and wanted me to come outside. So, I did.


The three of us hung out on the trampoline for quite a while. Emily paraded across the pad in various poses and performing various activities, trying to get Shan and me to guess what she was doing. At one point, she was 'ocean waves' and then she was a ballerina. There was also one in which she stood on one leg with her other leg bent so that her foot rested on her opposite knee. She raised her hands in the air and then pooched her lips out. I thought she was a flamingo. I was wrong. With Shan's help, I was able to come up with water fountain (like in a park). And this was also not quite right. The 'right' answer was a 'penny fountain' - you know, one you throw pennies into?


From there, we just kinda hung out, if memory serves, for a bit. Then, shan decided she was going to try on her clothes to see what still fit and what no longer fit her new, thinner body. Her rules was that if it did not flatter her, she didn't want it. She also wanted me to be honest when giving my opinion.

I'm a guy. I've been married for a while, and I've been on the earth a lot longer. Life has taught me to listen carefully for 'catch' phrases. You know, the ones that women use to 'catch' you saying the wrong thing! Well, the first couple outfits had me being ginger and somewhat politically correct. That is NOT what she wanted. It did not take long for me to shed the 'catch' and get down to business. I found it was actually pretty easy. If didn't like the way it hung on her, I told her straight up. Some things had been too tight once upon a time and now fit her very well. Some things had been too tight and now hung off her - they were now too big! And, of course, some of the clothes fit very, very nicely.

All of this serves as prelude to the shopping spree we will be taking later this week. Shan's very excited to head to the store for some flattering, great fitting clothes as the ultimate reward for all her hard work!



While Shan was changing clothes, I was playing Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter on the computer. I received the game free when I bought my last pair of video cards. I had not loaded it up yet (the game is several years old now), so I thought, "What the heck." The premise is that you have a squad that you command through various scenarios. That's fine in theory. Honestly, the computer comrades are idiots. You can tell them where to go, and how carefully to go there, but in the end, my guys would charge off into a confrontation instead of waiting for things to line up for a more planned attack. I'm sure a lot of this has more to do with my lack of ability to lead and command computer-controlled troops than anything.

So, I would let the other guys head off in various directions while I stealthily picked off key enemies. Or, at least TRIED to pick them off. By the time I quit playing out of sheer frustration, I was more like a duck in a shooting gallery than a well-armed warrior. I was getting picked off as I ran from point to point, trying to sneak up on the baddies. I eventually just went 'balls in' with guns blazing.

If you've never played the game, I can attest that going full-out, full-in does NOT work. It's basically a good way to end up as hamburger.


This post ended up going much longer than I ever anticipated. It was going to be a simple list of things I did. Instead, you were subjected to another episode of "Popped in my Head." Thanks for taking the ride.

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