Thursday, October 30, 2008

Christmas Shopping Part I

Yeah, I know. It's still October. Why would I want to talk about Christmas shopping? Well, I just saw a very cool looking toy that I think I might get for LilKat2. Remember 'Lite Brite'? Everyone liked Lite Brite, right? Well, imagine that you have a Lite Brite that doesn't light up (ok, I know that makes it worse, but stay with me...), but still has patterns that you can copy to make interesting things. Now instead of lights, imagine that it has colored screws. And instead of just putting them into the board, you screw them in with a toy drill. What you end up with is something that looks like this:

Think it'll work for LilKat2? Well, he loves tools, he's creative, he loves making 'patterns'. I can seriously imagine him sitting and working on a picture for an hour straight with this. The only downside I can see is LilKat1 wanting to play with it while LilKat2's using it. Oh, that and it costs $40! I think we might have to get it for him though. Seems like a perfect fit.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm Done!

Oh boy, what a week...

Here's all the stuff I did:

1) Ran 3 Soccer practices
2) Coached 2 Soccer games
3) Attended 2 End of Season Soccer parties
4) Created 2 Soccer Team movies (along with copies for all of the parents)
5) Created 1 flower arrangement for my friend K's family (huge assist from Mrs. BigKat here)
6) Attended 1 pumpkin carving event at LilKat1's school
7) Created 1 Sunday School PowerPoint lesson with associated take home pages

All while sick!

I just printed the last page of my Sunday School stuff.

I'm done! Woo hoo!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oyster Race

Ever heard of the Oyster Race? A friend of mine just ran one last weekend. It sounds like a ton of fun! You team up with some friends and do an 'Amazing Race' style event where you get clues that take you all around a big city. There's running, biking, skating, and other things, so it sounds like a pretty good workout. But there are also other challenges, like finding certain flowers in the Rose Garden and taking a picture of them, or sitting in every single seat in a particular row at a sports stadium. I am definitely going to do this next year. It just sounds too fun.

Here's a video of what it's like...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22

Remembering my friend K on her birthday. She would've been celebrating her 10th birthday today. Instead, she's celebrating eternal life with Jesus.

I went to the cemetary today, same as I do every year on this day. It's been 3 years in a row now that God has decided to make October 22 a beautiful sunny day, right in the middle of fall.

I miss K. But it's wonderful knowing that I'll get to see her again someday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Last Friday, while I was in the kitchen, the doorbell rang. I took a look through the window and saw a small child running away. LilKat1 rand over and opened the door, only to find a small bag of candy one the welcome mat.

This was exciting for 2 reasons:
1) We got a bag of candy
2) It's BOO-ing TIME!

BOO-ing is one of our favorite activities. I look forward to this all year long. Have you heard of BOO-ing? No? Well, let me show you how it works...

First, you print out one coloring page for each house that you're going to 'BOO'. You also need to print out an instruction page for each house as well. Then you make a little bag of candy or treats for each place and attach the pages that you've printed out.

Then you sneak over to your target houses, leave their stuff in front of their door, ring their doorbell, and run away without being caught. The idea is that then they will do the same thing for 2 other houses, and so on and so on. You put the coloring page on your door after you've been BOO-ed so everyone knows not to BOO your house again. 

My boys love doing this. We actually break the rules a little bit and BOO several houses. This year, we did 6.

Now, in the past, you could say that we have been a little less than sneaky. For instance, a couple of years ago, we BOO-ed 4 houses and I think we got caught 4 times. The boys just weren't that fast back then. Especially on houses with steps. I ended up having to carry LilKat2 like a football to try and get away quickly without being caught. And it didn't always work.

But now the boys are starting to get bigger and faster. We BOO-ed all 6 houses and didn't get caught once! This year, LilKat1 was in charge of putting the candy on the step and ringing the bell (LilKat2 was in charge of the candy on the first house, but got too nervous after that. For the rest of the houses, his job was to stand on the sidewalk and be the lookout).

It is hard to describe how much fun this is for us. My boys love 'secret agent' type stuff and this definitely fits right in. They actually get quite nervous about not getting caught. But I think that's part of what makes it so fun for them.

I think I need to figure out a way to do this at Christmas time too. Call it Secret Agent Santa-ing?Or maybe Ho-Ho-Ho-ing? We'll see...

Friday, October 17, 2008


This was a first for me...

I just got a call from a telemarketer. He started to tell me about this insurance offer. I quickly told him that I didn't want it.

But instead of trying to keep me on the phone by telling me more, he just said 'Oh...thank you...' And he sounded so sad. Really forlorn. Like a kid who just dropped his ice cream cone. Or when you're at an amusement park and you accidentally let go of your balloon. Or like when my buddy looked down during our college graduation ceremony and realized that they had spelled his name wrong on his diploma. I almost wanted to say 'It's ok...Go ahead and tell me your offer.'

But I didn't.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

To live is Christ and to die is gain

Last month, a youth pastor near where we live was struck by a car and killed. This article appeared in the local paper on Sunday, giving some insight into the lives of the youth pastor and his wife. It's a great story of faith and forgiveness. Check it out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Something that I would LOVE to see even if it failed miserably

Andris Biedrins...Point-Center

Read about it here.

Monday Basketball

We play basketball at our church on Mondays. In the bulletin, it used to say 'Men's Basketball'. But I've heard that a couple of women were interested in playing, so I had them change it. It now says 'Co-ed Basketball' or something like that.

Anyhow, yesterday, a woman came to play with us. My-Friend-Who-Lies (MFWL) got to guard her. It didn't go so well for him. She was taller than him and scored on him repeatedly in the low post. He ended up having to ask the other guy on his team to switch with him on defense so that he could guard someone else.

He told me that he did this to save him some embarrassment. But what fun is that? I thought I'd give him his embarrassment back by letting everyone on the internet know that MFWL got beat up in basketball by a girl.

School Bus

When I was a boy, the school bus was not very fun. You got on, you sat down, and you shut your mouth. If there was anything more than quiet talking, the bus would pull over and everyone would get yelled at. One time, the whole back section of the bus (where I happened to be sitting) had to get out and walk home (uphill!) because the bus driver said we were too loud. Not so fun...

Now compare this to LilKat1's bus this morning. A full bus of kids rolls up. There's smiling and waving. The bus driver waves to the parents and says good morning to everyone getting on. You can hear a familiar 50's tune coming through the windows, and suddenly the whole busload of kids explode with a shout of 'YAKETY-YAK!!! DON'T TALK BACK!!!' followed by laughing and giggling.

Their bus sounds more fun than my bus.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Former Warrior

You know, it doesn't happen very often, but every once in a while, I see something that makes me a little bit sad that Mike Dunleavy Jr. is no longer a Golden State Warrior. Today, it was this...

For some reason, I just can't see Stephen Jackson wearing that outfit.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sunday School Challenges

This Fall has been about figuring out new ways to tackle old Sunday School challenges. Some of the things I'm trying to do this year are:

1) Making Bible lessons interesting and relevant to kids with different levels of Bible knowledge
2) Helping families to do Sunday School stuff during the week
3) Helping parents get a handle on what they're kids are learning in class
4) Providing useful resources related to the in-class lessons that parents can use in discipling their kids
5) Helping kids share about how God is working in their lives

But one of the main challenges that I've consistently faced is communication with parents. Parents don't always have time to come to meetings. And there's not enough time to talk to all of them individually when they're picking up or dropping off. Handouts and bulletin announcements can get lost in the pile of take-home stuff they receive each week.

So I decided to try something new. I made a video that gives an overview of some of the new (and potentially more confusing) things that are going on in our class. My hope is that parents that are interesting in finding out what's going on in class can watch this whenever they have some free time. It's not something they have to schedule. I think a lot of the parents (like me) just have a ton of stuff going on all the time. I'm hoping that this is more helpful to them than the other things we've done in the past.

You can go here if you're interested in finding out what kind of new things we're doing in our class this year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Date Night

Last night was me and Mrs. BigKat's weekly date night. We decided to do something new. We went to the Family Fun Center and played minature golf! It was a very nice evening out, and we thought it would be nice to do something outside since it was supposed to be rainy for the rest of the week.

Well, right off the bat, Mrs. BigKat took a commanding lead. On the 2nd hole, she got an ace, while I missed an easy putt and had to take a 3. She was up 2 strokes.

I made up a stroke on the 4th hole, when Mrs. BigKat had to take a 3. But on the 6th hole, she came roaring back. She got a 2, while I missed my 2nd shot and mis-hit my third causing me to record a 4. Mrs. BigKat was 3 strokes ahead after the front 9!

I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me on the back 9. But I caught a break on number 10. Mrs. BigKat didn't get enough on her 2nd shot, and it rolled up the little hill...and then rolled right back to her. She ended up with a 4, putting me only 1 stroke back. She got one of those back at number 12. But then came a critical turning point at number 15.

Mrs. BigKat left the door open for me a little bit by getting a 3. I had a very makeable 4 footer which would have cut her lead down to one stroke.

And I missed! Too much pressure! And to make it worse, I hit it too hard and ended up with another 4 footer going the other way! Which I missed as well!

So instead of cutting her lead by one, it was extended by another stroke, putting me down 3 with only 3 holes to go.

Now understand, things looked pretty bleak here. Mrs. BigKat was on fire. Anything within 6 feet was pretty much AW-TOW-MAT-TICK. She was a putting machine. She had gotten a 23 for the front 9. For the first 15 holes, she had gotten seven 2's and an ace, with only two 4's. I figured that I was going to have to make hole-in-one's if I even wanted to tie, and I hadn't really came close to hitting any ace's yet.

Hole number 16 was a longer hole. And it had a brand new carpet on it. In fact, the new carpet was much different from the carpet on the rest of the course, as Mrs. BigKat would soon find out. Even though the hole was slightly downhill, Mrs. BigKat struck her first putt pretty hard, in order to get it all the way down to the other end.

It went about a third of the way and stopped.

The new carpet was like putting in molassas. The ball moved really slow. Seeing how short Mrs. BigKat's putt was, I put a lot extra on mine, and it still came up short! I had about 6 feet left.

Mrs. BigKat took her 2nd shot. And again, the carpet slowed her shot down to a crawl. Her 2nd ended up just behind my first. She took a third and hit it past the hole.

Now I saw a big opening and I needed to take advantage. I knew I had to hit it a lot harder than it looked based on how slowly Mrs. BigKat's putts were going. I gave it a good solid whack and drained it right down the middle of the cup. Woo-hoo!

At this point, Mrs. BigKat was getting flustered. She ended up missing her 4th and took a 5. Her once seemingly insurmountable 3 stroke lead had vanished, just like that.

On to 17. This one was a longer downhill hole with cement bumpers all down it's length. We played decent 1st shots putting us both about 5 feet out. I made my first shot putting the pressure on Mrs. BigKat. I was really nice and made sure that she knew the implications of missing, that she would go down a stroke going into the final hole. I think she appreciated this.

She took her shot...and it went in!

And then out.

Seriously, the ball rolled around on the inside lip of the cup before coming out the front. Mrs. BigKat tapped in for 3, and I now had my first lead of the day going into the final hole!

Now, the 18th was pretty straightforward. It was uphill, and had a small bend. But it looked like an easy 2. I hit my first shot off the far wall and banked it towards the hole. It climbed the hill almost to the top...and then slowly ran back down. It looked like it might stop in the middle, but it kept right on rolling. All the way back down. Until it landed at my feet.

Mrs. BigKat looked quite pleased with this development.

So I took my 2nd shot. This one was much better. It landed about a foot away, so I tapped in for a 3.

Mrs. BigKat was about to go, so I had to run back down to her before she putted. I wanted to make sure that she knew what was at stake (I'm nice that way). I told her 'Ok, here's the situation. A 1 will give you the win. A 2 will tie. And a 3 means that you lose EVERYTHING!'

She thanked me for my advice (ok, I don't actually remember her doing this, but she must have because she's usually very nice about her pleases and thank yous) and took her first putt. She didn't really come close to sinking it and ended up about 5 feet away.

As we walked up to her ball, I made sure that she knew that she needed this putt. I told her again that if she missed, she would lose EVERYTHING!

She started to take the putt...and then stood up. She just stood there looking at me. After a few seconds she said 'I'm waiting for the pressure to go away.'

After a little bit, she felt ready to take her 2nd shot. But I guess the pressure was still there because she wasn't really close. She missed by a couple inches to the side and had to tap in for a 3.

I had just won the BigKat Family Miniature Golf Championship of the WORLD!!!

I was so happy. Mrs. BigKat was less happy than me. But we both had a great time. I had no idea that Mrs. BigKat was so good at miniature golf. Our final score was 48-49. If she had gotten a 3 on 16 (instead of the 5) and made her 2 pressure putts (which would not have been so pressure-y if she hadn't had her Number 16 Meltdown), she would've ended up with a 45 and beat me by 3. 

But she didn't and I won! :)

Afterwards, we went inside and I bought us a dollars worth of tokens (which only ended up being 3! What a ripoff! It's supposed to be 4 tokens for a dollar!)

She used 1 token to play SkeeBall and earned herself 5 tickets. I played a basketball game and scored 63 points! I got 10 tickets. We went to go buy our stuff, but the cheapest things costed 10 tickets. I told the guy that we had 15 tickets, but we both wanted something. So he gave us 5 more for free. We each walked away with a brand new fancy pencil.

I'd say it was one of our funnest date nights yet.

Because I won.