Friday, December 29, 2006

Holiday Doings

We had a great Christmas…the festivities started on Saturday and continued through Monday night. Yeah, it was really full and definitely tiring. :) We’ve spent the rest of the week recovering. We especially enjoyed the time we had with just the 5 of us on Christmas morning - it was relaxing and fun watching the boys discover everything.

Sunday, Calvin and Patrick were baptized. It was a wonderful celebration for us and we take our vows very seriously. We were thankful our pastor had gone over all the vows earlier in the week as we were a bit distracted by our active little boys. The icing on the cake was Calvin taking off his shoe and throwing it with all his might across the platform and looking incredibly pleased with himself as he tried to do the same with his sock. Patrick also violently shook his head as the pastor asked us whether we would read the Bible, pray etc. Overall, they were very good, though – no tears. :)

The boys had a great time opening presents – by Christmas Day, they had the hang of it. They are enjoying their new toys and Mommy loves their new clothes. We also received a wonderful toy organizer from Nana & Papa which is helping with our toy messes. We gave the boys animal cell phones and little animal bikes – they are still learning what to do with the bikes but have the phones down (as noted in our previous post). They received several books, blocks made by Uncle Peter, and many other things. Mom & Dad were the happy recipients of a digital camera and photo printer. The boys loved spending time with people which was great but the past few days have been a little rough. We were reminded again that we need to make sure and spend plenty of time at home as they continue to adjust. Fortunately, Andrew has been able to be home quite a bit this week. Hopefully by next week our schedule will be back to normal. Here are a couple pictures - blogger is giving us trouble so we will post more pictures later.

Checking out their stockings! They were thrilled with the puffs!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Different Generation

We recently realized how far technology has come and how different it is even from when we were kids. We are completely amazed at the boys' ability to immediately understand the purpose of phones and to put that knowledge to use. They love it!!!

Looks like pretty intense conversations, huh?! This kept them (and us) entertained until dinner. :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Saturday Morning Funny Stories

(Written on Saturday, but not posted until now. Sorry.)

Calvin’s been sick (more about that later). This morning we’ve been trying to get him to drink his juice and eat a Popsicle (yes, at our doctor’s orders!) Calvin wasn’t enthusiastic about either option. So Mommy had the brilliant idea that if the toy cheetah Calvin was playing with (Hobbes?) wanted a drink, Calvin might, too.

Daddy discovered this when he took Calvin’s empty cup. But before Daddy could take it, the cheetah had to have another drink. Calvin passed.

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Calvin’s feeling better. He’s fully dressed, toddling around, playing with his toys, and jabbering away. He just stretched out, almost prone, resting on knees and elbows. It almost looked like he was doing pushups. But he was actually trying to pick up a flute. With his mouth. He tried several times, but never quite got it. It was the funniest thing to watch!

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Patrick’s napping now, but earlier he was quite happy. He likes the Christmas music playing right now. He was standing feet apart, one in front of the other, rocking back and forth. Heal-toe, heal-toe, heal-toe.

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Patrick loves to laugh. Mommy and Daddy love it when he does. Daddy has discovered that sometimes if Daddy laughs, Patrick will, too. Especially if Daddy makes a funny face when he laughs. Even if Patrick was upset or crying before.

Patrick got up from his morning nap, he was very happy to see Daddy. When Daddy started laughing, Patrick laughed also. A lot. You could hear him several rooms away!

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Calvin was laughing a lot this morning, too, when he first woke up. He and Daddy played a little game. Patrick’s objective was to keep his blankets, a towel, and a pair of pants out of his crib and on the bedroom floor. Daddy’s objective was to keep them in the bed.

At least, that’s what it seemed like to Calvin. Whenever Calvin was winning, he was laughing. But the euphoria of winning passed quickly, and the laughing stopped. So the blankets et al. had to go back into crib so the game could start over.

So you see, Daddy’s real objective was to keep Calvin laughing. And in that game, Daddy won!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Brief One

Well we've had a demand for an update and it has been awhile, so here’s a brief one…

We are busily preparing for the holidays and specifically our Open House.
Calvin is in the Christmas spirit as evidenced by this picture:

Patrick wouldn’t participate in these festivities but here’s a cute one of him:

The boys are doing great, continuing to adjust well. We feel like they have always been with us. They are starting to actually enjoy each other which is exciting to see. We are loving being a family and looking forward to our first Christmas together.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Paradox of US Military Might

I recently came across a very interesting article entitled “The Paradox of Military Technology” by Max Boot. I still haven’t read it completely through, but Mr. Boot makes some very interesting observations, and it brought back a number of memories from my younger years (I would say from my childhood, but that makes me sound too old!).

Mr. Boot starts out by observing that “we live in the age of American supremacy,” and that the “American military is now the strongest the world has ever known.” This is true in large part because U.S. forces “are undisputed masters of the ‘commons’ (sea, air, and space), which allows them to project power anywhere in the world at short notice.”

The author then goes on to describe in detail the resources, intelligence, equipment, spending, personnel, etc., that contribute to U.S. supremacy. Just a few interesting facts: the United States has twelve air-craft carriers, including nine (with one more in the works) supercarriers capable of carrying 70 aircraft. No one else in the world has even one. A few nations have one smaller carrier, and several have a few helicopter and jump-jet carriers – which are roughly equivalent to the U.S. amphibious assault ships, of which the U.S. also has twelve.

One of the things that gives the U.S. military such an advantage over the rest of the world is its funding: “The U.S. spends around $500 billion a year on its military, almost as much as the rest of the world combined. In fact, the U.S. spends more simply on the research, development, testing, and evaluation of new weapons—$71 billion in 2006—than any other country spends on its entire armed forces.” In addition, Mr. Boot argues, the American all-volunteer force, realistic training, and coordination between the forces set it apart from the rest of the world.

And yet despite this supremacy, there is still a real sense in which Americans feel vulnerable. Hence, the paradox of his title. Technology, Mr. Boot recognizes, “is both the great separator and the great equalizer in military affairs.” September 11 taught Americans that having the largest military in the world can’t protect us from all who would seek to do us ill. He alludes to but doesn’t really develop, as far as I saw, the fact that those who have nothing to lose and who care nothing for their own lives – and who play by no set of rules other than their own – will always be a threat to their enemies.

Mr. Boot has an interesting way of looking at one of the more frightening weapons potentially threatening the United States: “The atomic bomb is more than sixty years old. It belongs to an age of rotary-dial telephones and fin-winged cars. It is a miracle that it has not been used by maniac dictators or political radicals since 1945, but that streak won’t last forever.”

The picture of an atomic bomb going off, and the accompanying mushroom cloud, brings back memories from the early- to mid-80s. I can remember being genuinely afraid of the Soviets and a possible nuclear war. A military chaplain spoke at a gathering and talked about the advantages the Soviets had in Europe, and it left a vivid impression on me – and I was afraid.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of those fears subsided. I think I also grew in my trust and confidence in the protection of our Lord, the Good Shepherd. But the object of our trust to keep us safe from those who would do us harm must be our God, not our military. I am reminded of the Psalms speaking of the vanity of trusting in war horses, in the strength of our arm or the length of our bow, and that no king is saved by gathered armies. Our trust today must be in the Lord, Who is our Protector and, even in times of trouble, the One who is with us in our distress. This is not to say our military is useless or unimportant; God has established those governing over us, and given them a sword – the military – for our protection.

So read the article, or at least the intro and conclusion, scanning the parts in between. Recognize the danger and be thankful for one of the means of protection God has given us. But ultimately, we must place our trust in Him.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Morning with the Boys

Friday mornings are “Dad’s morning with the boys” mornings – Daddy stays home with Calvin and Patrick while Mommy works at the dentist. At least, that was the original plan. It hasn’t worked out so well – in fact, today was the first time that I stayed home until Alaina arrived home.

We had a few little adventures – one of the boys pulled some beads off the Christmas tree, and a candle in a glass holder bit the dust – but overall we had a good time. We played with newspapers (actually, the boys played with them, Daddy tried to read an article or two, and Daddy did most of the clean-up), petted Pippi, and ate breakfast (oatmeal and bananas for the boys, Fruity- Pebbles for Daddy). The boys also got dressed. I know none of you would conclude that Mommy picked out Calvin’s outfit (right), so Daddy will admit that he did. He thinks it’s actually kind of cute. It is color coordinated. And Daddy didn’t want Calvin to grow out of that snazzy summer outfit before Calvin had a chance to wear it!

This picture of the boys (above), eagerly waiting for Daddy to come back downstairs, is so cute. It also makes me think of a couple evenings this week when the boys were so excited to see Daddy when he arrived home from work. One evening in particular, both Pippi and Calvin were waiting right inside the door for me. As soon as I opened the door, Calvin started bouncing up and down, waving his arms, and laughing-shouting in delight. It was enough to melt anyone’s heart, and made me absolutely delighted to be home – and to be a dad!

This last picture is one of my favorites – I love the expression on Calvin’s and Pippi’s faces, the way they’re both enjoying the sunshine, and the shadows all around them!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Last night we took the boys out with our friends, Derek and Sarah. We originally planned to have them over but due to a power outage, that didn’t work out. So we went to O’Charleys. The boys were fantastic!!! We were so proud of them. They sat for 2 ½ hours contentedly. They ate well – loved the mac ‘n cheese and fruit. We had such a good time.

Our kids constantly amaze us with how well they have adjusted and how well behaved they are. They make us look good as parents but really…they came that way! We are really enjoying being Mommy & Daddy to the two greatest boys in the whole world. We feel so incredibly blessed by God and know Calvin and Patrick are gifts from Him.

Today, a couple of friends from church threw a shower for us. It was very nice. I was overwhelmed by the many gifts but more than that the wonderful people there who have helped welcome our newest family members. Both Andrew and I had extended family come which meant so much. The boys stayed home with Daddy so it was a morning out for me but they have been enjoying their new things since I brought them home.