Run DMC no more

This is just pathetic. Jam Master Jay was shot in the head last night while working in Run DMC’s recording studio. Though I never listened to much Run DMC, their music generally set a better tone than much of the junk produced in the modern rap scene.

A Day Out With Thomas

Today we enjoyed a rare and special treat: “A Day Out With Thomas”, an event where children and their grown-ups are able to enter the world of Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends. Hosted by various US Railroads around the country, they represent an opportunity for kids to take a ride on board a train pulled by Thomas. There are many other activities such as storytimes, live music, train exhibits, etc. Here are some photos from our day.

A & J were quite enthralled with the lifesize Thomas Engine and Abigail especially wanted to give him a hug after our ride. Jonathan, who has balked at train rides in the past (he’s very tentative about things that won’t hurt him, yet over-daring in more dangerous situations) was quite brave and also seemed to enjoy the train ride. Though they got pretty tired midway through our day, a trip to McD’s for lunch and “playplace time” seemed to recharge their engines (pun intended). They returned for more model train play, face tatoos and another visit with Thomas himself.

I strongly resisted the incredible urge to “shop”. You cannot imagine how much merchandise of every type they offer with a Thomas logo, some of it very enticing!! I passed over the little plates/forks/spoons and the “Day Out With Thomas” tees in favor of a CD of Thomas Tunes. Since I’d been looking for Thomas music for over a year, and since we all really enjoy listening to music at home, we figured that was a worthy buy. We enjoyed the delightful songs on the way home (during which the kids fell asleep!). I recommend the CD “Thomas’ Songs and Roundhouse Rhythms”; it is well-done music, simple but fun for kids without being overly loud or annoying. And the kids who perform the musical numbers have cute little British accents.

On a personal note of thanks, we are very appreciative of Mommy Horne’s kind contribution to our day. Jay and I were able to enjoy our Thomas outing with Abigail and Jonathan while Nicolas enjoyed “A Day in with Grammy” (as she aptly put it!). Thank you again, Grammy!! (by the way, is that spelled with a “y” or an “ie”???)

Nevin’s birthday party

We celebrated our nephew Nevin’s fifth birthday today. Here are the photos.

Nicolas Comes Out of the Closet

Well, after 3 1/2 months of sleeping in his pack ‘n’ play, Nicolas finally made the move to his “Big Baby Nursery” last night. He did fine and slept a total of 11 hours (what a kind little boy!).

Though it sounds awful at first hearing, when Nicolas first arrived, we set up his p’n’p in our master bedroom closet. The closet is fairly roomy, with an air vent, and it allowed him to be close by for middle-of-the-night feedings, a definite perk for me.

However, Nicolas chose to begin sleeping through the night at 3 weeks of age, so after that milestone, there were not too many occasions when I needed to feed him in the wee hours of the morning. Logically, we could have moved him on to the nursery a month or so ago, but I think we have found it fun to have him close by. (Not everyone can say their baby sleeps in the closet.)

Then there was the issue of a third “baby” monitor (Abigail and Jonathan are already each on a separate one) which we’ve just now reacquired after sending ours back to the company for repairs. How many people do you know who have three separate intercoms in their bedroom at night? Hopefully if one of the kids does wake up, Jay and I will not feel disoriented and mistakenly stumble into the wrong child’s room!

More photos with Lolly and Pa

Some more photos for all those interested family members of Lolly and Pa’s visit with the Hornes.

New Digital Camera

We have finally replaced the durable camera I’ve used since my freshman year in college with a Canon PowerShot G2. When we put up a new album, we’ll link it with an entry here. Use the “Photos” category link to the right to access older albums.

Evening at Peter and Katie’s House

Lolly and Pa (Tricia’s grandparents) are staying with us right now. Last night, we all went over to Peter and Katie’s house along with Aunt Sandy. Here are some photos of the event.

Disclaimers and Jesus

There are often two distinct levels when discussing an issue of Christian doctrine or practice. There is the level of personal conviction or belief, and the level of perceived interaction with others. For instance, when discussing such an issue as serving alcoholic beverages at a New Year’s Eve party, comments are often made such as “I’m fine with beer and wine, but I would never actually serve them at a group event, since it might cause problems for someone else.” Personal conviction is trumped by a sensitivity or strong responsibility to protect others from their own lack of ethical behavior. In reality, I actually believe that the outward perception is quite informative of the person’s own views, but that is not really my point.

This same sort of movement is made with regard to doctrine, how one expresses them, and what range of liberty is granted in wrestling with a particular doctrine. So, for instance, many people with whom I’ve interacted believe that one cannot discuss obedience as a part of the Christian life without all sorts of disclaimers to ensure justification by faith is not undermined. In many cases, the concern is given expression not in terms of the person’s own view (e.g. that my discussion of obedience is somehow weakening their faith in Jesus) but rather at the broader level, that my carelessly spoken words might cause others to be somehow more inclined to attempt to merit their salvation.

I believe both these concerns, those tied to ethics and those tied to doctrine, are fraught with error because they very pointedly level accusations at Jesus, that he was careless and incompetent.

Breedin’ in Eden

Apparently, technology and idle minds can lead to some pretty funny stuff (link courtesy of Mark Kraemer). And while you are there, you’ll need to watch Star Wars Gangsta Rap if you haven’t seen it already.