Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Friday, May 28, 2004

One more day of bachelorhood, then off to Omaha on the bus. I've never taken that long of a bus trip before. The bus leaves here at 1 pm, supposed to get into Omaha at 9:55 pm, and that's with nearly an hour layover in Des Moines where I change buses to a Greyhound. Leaving here I'm on a Jefferson bus to Des Moines. It goes down through Northfield, with a stop at the airport. That's bus I'd always take back and forth when I was at Carleton.

I'm sure the kiddies (and Ellie) had fun running around the farm. I think they were heading for Omaha today.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Update: on page 1126 of War and Peace (out of 1455) the end is in sight!

The fun part of reading this is reading the various descriptions of Moscow and its geography. Tolstoy mentions places we visited, like Red Square, St. Basil's, the Arbat, some other streets, the Kremlin and its structures. He mentions the Tsar Cannon. We had our picture taken crouching next to it. He describes how Napoleon stopped on this one hill to overlook the city. That hill is now the location of an immense WWII Victory Memorial that we visited. From the descriptions in the book, Napoleon's army approached Moscow from the south and west.

If you've never studied that whole Russian campaign, it's quite the
story. Napoleon's Grand Army just swept through, much like Hitler's
armies would 129 years later. The Russians kept falling back and falling
back, unable to make any kind of defense. The first big battle the
Russians stopped to fight was to defend Smolensk, and then kept
retreating. The only other large-scale battle was then at Borodino, 70
miles from Moscow. Both sides lost heavily. But, the Russian army
survived to fight another day.

Because French losses were so heavy, and the Russians survived, the
battle is considered a Russian victory. (there was bitter fighting in
the area too in 1941). There was a large Borodino panorama in a museum
at that WWII Victory park we visited, but it was closed as we visited on
a Monday. Booo.

The Russian army though was still no match for Napoleon, and so
retreated past Moscow, leaaving the city to Napoleon. The French entered
the city in September. Most of the inhabitants had fled, leaving behind
mostly only rabble, the poor, criminals, etc.. The city burned, it's
never been clear just how the fires got started, whether on purpose,

When we visited the Kremlin, by the Trinity Gate, there are a number of
French cannon there, pointed back at that gate, where the French
entered, sort of as a thumb in the eye of the French. There's also an
Arch, near that WWII memorial, resembling the Arc de Triumph,
commemorating the Russian victory over Napoleon. Its resemblance to the
one in Paris is another thumb in the eye to the French.

Napoleon stayed a month, but because of the oncoming winter, with little
supplies so deep in Russia, Napoleon decided to leave. The march back
was a cruel one. Napoleon tried to go south, back by a different route,
along one where they could scavenge for supplies. But the Russian army
did make a stand and turn him away, forcing Napoleon to go back the same
route he had first come. That route had been pillaged and denuded
before, so now there was no food along that way, and with the cold
winter, an enormous portion of the army perished. Only a small
percentage of the army that had left Poland made it back there.

A couple years ago in Vilnius, a mass grave was uncovered, I think 3000
bodies were discovered. At first they weren't sure if it was Jews killed
by Nazis, or people killed by Stalin, etc... but they turned out to
soldiers in Napoleon's retreating army.
My sniffly stuffed up cold continues. Boooooo.

The rest of clan will head down to Iowa today. On Saturday I'll take the bus down to Omaha. Hopefully that will be a reasonably pleasant trip, and I won't be forced to sit in the lap of some psychotic drunk.

I'll try and get the lawn mowed Friday after work. The Buick is in the shop, I carpooled with a guy today, and he'll drop me off at the shop on the way home so I can get the car. It should be done.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Update: I am now on page 1072 of War and Peace... (the book I have has 1455 pages)
Yesterday Hanna was sitting on my lap after I got home from work, and she starting singing "Farmer in the Dell". She'd sing ", eye-oh,derry-oh, farmer dell", then "farmer..wife, farmer, wife," etc... then, she made up a new verse I hadn't heard before.. "farmer chocolate milk, the farmer chocolate milk, eye-oh-derry-oh, farmer chocolate milk" ha.

She's been saying her own prayers lately. John has been too, he'll say thank you for the day, for this food, etc... Hanna puts her own twist on it though. She says thank you for just about every word she knows... she'll say "thank you Hanna, John, Mommy, Daddy, mm, mm, sprinklers, Old Donalds, mm, mmm vitamins", etc... ha, it's cute.

We've let John watch Cinderalla lately, and he's really taken to it. The one scene that really sticks with him is the one where the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella runs off. He acts that out all the time. He'll have me bong like a clock, then he'll say "bye, daddy, I have to go" and he'll run off.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Ugh, I have a cold. Sniffly, tired. This steenking rainy cool weather doesn't help any. About the only good this weather does, is that the kids take good naps when the weather is like this.

Timberpuppies thumped the Lakers last night. Wow, didn't think they had it in them. Still, will be very tough to win down in LA.

Twins got utterly hammered by the ChiSox yesterday, 17-7. Their pitching has been terrible lately.

John likes "swordfighting" with me, gets it from Peter Pan. He really likes that movie lately.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Let's see, another day, that must mean... more cool weather and more rain! Ggaaahhh. It's rained all weekend. I mowed the lawn Friday as soon as I got home from work, knowing this was coming.

Had orchestra today, the last Sunday for choir and orchestra before the summer break.

After lunch today, Hanna was changing Elmo's diaper. She asks for "wipes" now (we give her a Kleenex) and she'll clean up the doll and say "clean". Today she added something new, after all that she went up to the bathroom and washed her hands! Ha. She did that several times.

Whimperwolves looked tired and flat and ugly Friday night. Will see how they do tonight, but if they win more than one game in this series against the Lakers, it will be a miracle.

Just laid the kids down for their nap. Rhonda has a cold, and gave it to me, so now I'm sniffly and feel rather run-down. Maybe I'll snooze too.

Friday, May 21, 2004

More rain today. Sigh. Up north they're having one of the coldest Mays ever. I can't take it anymore!

Kids were still slumbering when I left this morning.

Whimperwolves begin their series against LA tonight. This isn't going to be pretty.

Twins rolled over like dogs last night and lost to Chicago 10-3. If your opponent gets 10 runs, it doesn't matter if you get 3. Those are just some charity runs they threw ya because they felt sorry for you.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

This morning I got several good-bye kissies from Hanna when I left for work! And, she said to me "Have a nice day!" Ha.

Went to orchestra practice last night. Before that, I stopped by the hospital to visit someone from our bible study. He had a heart attack Tuesday. But, he looked like his usual self, and was feeling much better.

Have a deacons mtg tonight.

Timberpuppies won their Game 7 last night against the Kings. KG had a monster fourth quarter, but it's credit to how tough the Kings are that they still almost sent the game to overtime at the end. They hung with 4 points for much of the 4th, were down 6 a couple times late, then, they were down 9 with 2 minutes to go, but quickly got with one at one point. Down three at the end, Chris Webber took a 3-ptr that would've tied it, but it rattled in and out. But it doesn't matter. The Pups play the Lakers now, and they will get destroyed by LA.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The last couple times I've went in to get John up so we can get going to Sue's house, Hanna has come in and said "good morning, sweetie-pies". Ha!

Last evening was rather nice (well, compared to what we've been getting lately) so we went over to the beach. There was a bit of a coolish breeze. A couple of pontoon planes were flying around. One took off on the lake where the beach is and flew right over us. There's often one or two flying around the area. On the way home we saw what looked like someone starting to inflate a hot air balloon.

The Buick is in the shop today. The check engine light has been on, so wanted to get that looked at. Might have them flush the radiator too. The old gal just went past 100,000 miles. I missed it turn over, too. Rats.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

A bunch of layoffs around here today. Eek. I'm safe, but quite a few people I know are leaving. This company is not in the best of shape. Most of them weren't developers, a couple were though. So, most of us developers are safe for the time being. But a bummer to see familiar faces go. On a cube wall, they've putting up the nametags of people who have either left or been laid off in recent weeks and months. There are 18 up there now. Man, not good for a company to let that much knowledge and talent walk out the door.

I took the kids to Golf Ball park last night for the first time this year. Looks nice outside today, was to get into the 70s. But otherwise, has still been constantly cool and windy. Erg.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I wonder if John is going through a little growth spurt. He's gained a couple pounds, and grown an inch or few. Also, often lately he says he's hungry, often around bedtime after we've had our snacks. I don't think it is just a delay tactic. He'll eat something.

Got over an inch of rain overnight. More cool cloudy weather today, sigh, but should be nice tomorrow. There was some thunder and lightning, I think some of scared John. I heard him crying and went in there. He settled down and went back to sleep.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Just got back from the lake. It's still much too cold to go swimming, but the kids like the playground, and John loves the water toy on the beach. He was quite wet and full of sand. I just laid them down for a nap.

On the way over there, we saw the horses that are near us, and Hanna saw them and started singing Old Macdonalds. Well, it sounded more like "Ob-a-don-oh ham a farm, e-i-e-i-o, neigh-neigh dere, neigh-neigh dere, Ob-a-don-oh ham a farm, e-i-e-i-o". Ha. On the way home we saw some cows, and she sang the song with cows.

I took the kids over to the playground by the Y last night. I let John play there for a few minutes after the swimming lessons till we were ready to go, and he didn't like having to leave, so I brought them back. That's the first we've really played there. It was a bit cool and very windy, so we were the only ones there, but they had fun. There's a kind of handle on rail tracks, that you hang onto then slide back and forth. John can hang all by himself and I give him a push so he slides down and back.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Congrats to Mike and Joni and Makenna!!! A new arrival has, um, er, arrived on Wednesday. Baby Jace. That makes the second Jace I know of on the planet. (Sue, the person who takes care of John and Hanna, has an adopted boy named Jace.)

Brrrr. And, GGGAAAAHHHHH!!!! When will it ever warm up? Seems like it's been this way for several years now, the weather from March all the way into June is just crummy, cool, windy weather. Two months a year of hot, enjoyable summer weather just isn't going to cut it! I'm going to go right out and buy cases of spray cans stuffed with CFCs and start spraying them into the air right now.

But, as much as I complain, those north of here got hit worse. They got several inches of snow. In mid-May! Bbbbboooooooo.

We're supposed to have a little get together tonight for our sunday school class. Guess it won't be outside tonight.

Ok, enough ranting. Rhonda went to a group last night facilitated by our adoption agency, for parents of adopted kids, just to talk about various things. She enjoyed it. I had the kids, so we chases around. They like playing the bear game down in the guest room. We take turns being the bear and hiding under the blankets. Last night John improvised some twists, he wanted to have two bears get the one under the blanket, and then all three of us were the bears. Ha.

I brought War and Peace to work so I could read it on my lunchtime. Should go a bit faster that way. I just crossed page 700. At home I started reading The Seventh Scroll by Wilbur Smith, an adventure-type story, just for some fun reading. I got it years ago on the discount table.

Lakers beat the Spurs last night in a wildly improbable ending. Kobe hit a shot with 11 seconds left to go up one, then Duncan hit a shot that was the equivalent of buying a lottery ticket. Then the Lakers, with 0.4 seconds left on an inbounds play hit a shot to win. booooooo. I have not been impressed with the Spurs, except for Parker they've showed me nothing. The Timberpuppies play again tonight, they had better start playing better.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

After supper last night, we took the kids over to the lake again. Eek, it was chillier than I thought it would be. There was a strong wind coming off the lake and was a bit cold. But, the kids didn't seem to mind. They had fun throwing rocks in the water, and playing with the water trough and playing on the playground equipment. Part of that is something like a ship, so we pretended we were on the pirate ship in Peter Pan. Rhonda wimped out and sat in the car.

When we got home it was bath time. There was some sand left in the tub!

Timberpuppies play again tonight. I doubt I'll stay up to watch all of it again.

John had his at home eval yesterday. Sounds like it went fine. No obvious signs of something wrong, which is what I have been thinking anyway. Maybe a bit behind in some speech, and doesn't do as much pretend play as others his age, but he's doing just fine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The last couple days John has been telling his own stories about Tinkerbell and Peter Pan. It's so cute. He'll say something like "This one is called (something...)" (he gets that from Mouse Soup, where there are several different stories, with different titles, so in reading it to him we probably said "and this story is called...") Then, he'll tell some kind of story, like "One morning, Tinkerbell and Wendy.." funny...

John has his at home evaluation this morning. They should already be there at this time.

I'm meeting Pastor for lunch today. Also, have a deacon mtg tomorrow night. Not looking forward to that one.

It might be warm enougn tonight to try and take the kids over to the lake again, let them play on the playground stuff. Only thing is the bathrooms were still locked up there.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Blogger just introduced some new features for their blog software, one of which is the ability to add comments. Not sure yet how that'll work. Will be checking that out. Look for some kind of link after each post that lets you add comments.

Just got back from mission board mtg, put Hanna to bed, John is reading.

The Timberpuppies game will start soon. But it'll go way too late, I won't be able to see the end of it.

I'm working on an article I'm going to try to sell to Christianity Today. It's about how as one of the fruits of the Spirit, self-control should bubble up from within like the other gifts.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!!!

Here, Rhonda wanted to grill steak for lunch, so I got some last night and marinated it before we left for church this morning. Finished eating awhile ago. I just laid Hanna down for her nap, John is playing with Mr. PotatoHead, and he'll be ready for a nap soon as well.

It's very nice here today. A bit of a breeze, but temps could reach 85. We might see if the county lake park is open today and head over there. I'm sure the water is much too cold yet, but we'd play on the playground stuff and just walk on the beach.

John has really been enjoying Peter Pan lately. He likes the video, and does little scenes from it now. He likes it when I say "I'm a codfish!"

Saturday, May 08, 2004

The kids really enjoyed getting back to their swimming lessons today, especially John. They were playing some kind of shark game, and he was so delighted. He cried when it was time to go. This time, Rhonda took Hanna in the adult locker room, and I took John to the men/boys locker room. It was faster, didn't have to worry about the few family locker rooms. We stopped and got some Wendys for lunch on the way home. They're napping now.

Lately if I'm snoozing on the couch or something, John will come up to me and say "I wake up Daddy" then he'll scream loudly. Hah.

I went and bought a basketball yesterday, and took it to London Park with us last night. That was fun shooting around while the kids played. They played with the ball a bit too. John thought it was terribly funny when I'd take a shot and miss and have to go chase it.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelms. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig huh?
Took the kids to the park last night for awhile, then came home and tossed them in the tub. John had play-do in his hair. Then, we had cake! The kids greeted me at the door when I came home yesterday with a "happy birthday, daddy!" awwww

Lately when Hanna gets a booboo or something, she'll shriek and cry, but almost immediately in between wails she'll say "pacifier! pacifier!" It settles her down to get her pacifier.

Driving into work this morning, I was behind a truck that had two port-a-potties on the back. It just made think, we're a strange species. All these different activities and efforts that go into making a civilization. Here's a guy carting port-a-potties off to somewhere.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Happy Birthday to me!

Don't have any big plans today. As a treat for myself, I ordered the Deep Space Nine Companion book, the official episode guide. SpikeTV has started showing the series, and since I didn't start watching till about season 6, this is a great chance to catch up. I'm taping all the episodes. We talked about getting Chinese food tonight.

Sounds like John has a home eval scheduled for next Tuesday, as part of his early childhood evaluation. Not sure exactly what they look at.

Lately when Hanna pretends to talk on the phone, she'll pick it up and say "Hi! Oh dear!" ha.

Was pleasantly warm last night, so I took the kidlings over to Bumpy Slide Park for a spell. When we got back home, I chased them around the family room, as the Giant. ("Fee Fie Foe Fummy, I spell a boy, and boys are yummy! I'll roast that boy and fill my tummy!)

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Last night the neighbor kids were out so we went over there and they all played around. Scott was blowing leaves out of his bushes, and the noise scared Hanna, so she wanted to be held while that was on. After awhile John went in the house but Hanna was still out playing with Maya. I held open a bag or two so Scott could put leaves in, and Hanna saw that and came over and helped. She grabbed little fistfuls of leaves and put them in the bag. She said "garbage!"

While John was at his early childhood eval, Hanna stayed at Kyle's house. They must have done some vacuuming, cuz when I asked her what she did she said "Vacuum. House.", she told me about it several times.

At the eval, I guess they thought John was behind in some verbal areas. Like, if you ask him something he'll still often repeat what you ask, and not answer the question, things like that, but in other areas he's doing real well, like with his alphabet and counting, etc... He was behind from the start, and probably just has some catching up to do yet.

The Timberpuppies stank last night. The Kings played like the grizzled veterans they are, and deserved to win.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Lately Hanna has been giving me a kiss when I leave the house, for work or whatever. She'll come up to me and say "kiss!" and I'll lean down and she'll give me a wet smacker on the cheek.

The kids had a bubble bath last night. Will try to call Dad again tonight to wish him Hoppy Boithday.

Supposed to get a little warmer around here throughout the week.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Happy Birthday, Dad! If he lived in a place with decent weather, he'd be able to get in a good round of golf. Instead, he might have to put on the parka and go out and plug the car in.

After I dropped the kids off at Sue's house, I headed for the freeway onramp, and just before that a rooster pheasant ran across the road in front of me. I don't think I've seen any pheasants since moving here.

As we were having breakfast, Hanna asked "where's Lady?" and then said "I'll find it." She does that sometimes now, and she'll go and find whatever it was. Except, since we were eating, she just reached out her hands and pretended to find it, then giggled.

Last night Ramsey put up a shelf in John's room, and John saw the drill and started rummaging in his closet. He wanted his little toy drill. That little bugger, he hadn't played with that drill for awhile, but he remembered it was kept in the closet!

We did nursery last night. Sigh. A zoo, I think we had 13 or 14 kids, was hard to count them all what with all the running around. It's really supposed to be for 2 and under, but we had some up to 5 yrs old. We wanted the parents to be able to enjoy the talk, and some were visitors, but it doesn't work to have the older kids in with the younger ones. They're too big and run around and its too easy for the little ones to get run over or something. We didn't have any injuries, but oh well. That'll make up for the times we never had any kids to watch in nursery.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Went to first service and ss this morning. We have a guest speaker here through Tuesday, Dr. Ron Carlson. He was here two years ago. He speaks all over the world. Spoke on health/wealth/prosperity theology (and the Roman Catholic church in ss) this morning. Looks like we have to do nursery for tonight's service. He'll speak on the Jesus of the cults.

I took John and Hanna to bumpy slide park yesterday morning, and then I took John again in the afternoon. He enjoyed that. John came with me over to the compost dump to drop off all the grass that was raked up in the yard.

I had my writing group last night. I need to finish up something for the group next time, it's been awhile.

I've been starting in on getting my application to the MSSE program ready. Fun chore.