Archive for February, 2014

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

27 February, 2014

Song of the now, “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

I first heard it in worship last Sunday. It moved me, and I laughed to myself, “you gotta be kidding me!” I thought at the third verse….

“And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come”

I let myself cry a few tears…but not too many, I was afraid of totally breaking down and sobbing, and I was teaching Bible class in ten minutes. (The show must go on.)

(Bible class went great, my students have learned all I can teach them and need someone better. I am very proud of them, and it has been a joy to watch them grow. I told that to one of the dad’s, that his daughter had grown so much, from very shy, very quiet, to enunciating slow, clear and loud while performing a play. We put on a “Isaiah, summed up in ten minutes or less” play for the younger class. MrGrunty found the production boring. MsSqueaky complained it wasn’t a real play. Whatever, it went as well as I had hoped, better than I expected.)

So, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer too few years ago. Last Friday, they took her to hospice care, in her own home. MyBetterHalf flew back to Spokane Friday afternoon.
She was talkative to people on Friday, but as of Saturday, she didn’t say anything. It is sweet that some of her last word to MyBetterHalf were regarding making sure she brushed her teeth, and that she went to bed. A Mom to the end. All her children were there with her when she passed away.

After church I was told that my Mother-in-law had passed away. I was at work, trying to catch up on a few things. The childrens were with me. I gathered them to the sofa, and told them that grandma had died and was now in heaven. MrGrunty was shocked, and snapped at me “don’t talk about that”. MsSqueaky put her face on the sofa. MrCuddles asked “really?”

(We had warned them a few weeks ago that grandma-in-Spokane was really sick, and would not get better, and soon would go to heaven to see God, get hugs from Jesus, and not be sick any more. They didn’t really get it.)

The childrens miss their mommy. Especially MrCuddles. The other night he was whimpering for “mommy” in his sleep.

Side note, MrCuddles is sitting next to me, playing “10,000 reasons” on my phone, learning and singing along. “I like this song,” he told me when he quit playing to come and sit next to me and listen to the song.
Me too.
Me too.



22 February, 2014

Last Sunday, me and MsSqueaky sat down stairs, not in the balcony at Church. I held song book for her, and she was singing along, learning the song better on each verse. So proud.

Few days ago, MrGrunty was in the shower, loudly singing “we are the champions”. MyBetterHalf and I thought it was so cute, but we didn’t let him (or his siblings) know that we heard him.

Now, MrCuddles is plucking at my acoustic guitar.

Last Saturday, we took the childrens to my mom, and MyBetterHalf and I went out for a dinner date. (When we left, MrG was crying that he didn’t want us to go.)

MrG and I have a game, “Bouncy Ball”. You lie on the floor, throw a soft ball across room, saying “bouncy ball” and the other person catches it, saying the number of the consecutive catch. MyBetterHalf asked if you have to say “bouncy ball”. Yes, you do.

These days, MrCuddles usually wakes up crying, “I want to give my a hug”. Well, son…maybe if you went to bed at a decent hour, you could give her a hug at six when she leaves. Just sayin’.

Basketball games #6

21 February, 2014

“Always bring a towel,” a friend of mine told me, about thirty years ago, as he handed me a towel, and “the Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy” for my birthday. I didn’t get it. About ten years later I finally read the book, and enjoyed it, and later would give it to my young brother-in-law, and he would enjoy it too. Now I grab a towel each time at the Y just in case I need to mop up any spills to keep the floor safe and dry.

I’ve read, that after a game a parent should only say, “I love watching you play.” That’s difficult for me, because I like to talk about it, I like to accentuate and encourage the things they did good.

During her game, MsSqueaky took a few shots. She got “good D” from her coach. I was lucky enough to see her grab a rebound, fast break down the court, be open, and yet give the ball to a team mate who scored. Unfortunately, as “assistant-to-the-assistant coach” I spent too much time trying to coax a girl into playing. She just wanted to sit on the side and chat with a friend. Yeah, next time I won’t spend so much time talking someone into playing. She did play a few minutes in the second half, though.

MrGrunty’s game. We always tell the kids to hustle….a kid, going after a ball, crashed face first into the wall. I was the only one in the gym with a towel. MrG didn’t see, which is good, because he hates even the discussion of blood. The coaches quickly gathered their teams, and talked to them, having the boys not stare at the hurt player. After a bit, the boy got up and walked off, and we all clapped. MrG mentioned that we all did that. I told him that’s what you do for a hurt player. MrG had some rebounds, a couple good passes, a couple bad passes, stopped a fast break with good D, and the coach yelled at him, “take it to the hole! That’s money.” And he got the basket.

Children’s books

12 February, 2014

So…books my childrens pick, that I like.

Captain Underpants.

Junie B. Jones

The Gruffalo

Nirvana was OK

11 February, 2014

Recently, someone was ranting about how bad Macklemore’s music is, and wrote  “The city that blessed us with Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana…” No, just stop. Nirvana was not a  blessing. Sure it was fun to sing, “here we are now, entertain us” at parties. But Nirvana was not good.

They were perfectly marketed. They were NOT pioneers musically. I’m sure we can all agree that his wife, and also his drummer were both better guitarists, singers, and song writers. His music was simple chord progressions, much like Motley Crüe. And the lyrics, nonsense for the most part…”I’ll take all the blame, aqua-sea foam shame” …”I feel stupid, and contagious”.

One of their biggest albums, the MTV unplugged,…you ever notice how they beefed up the band with cello, fuzzy-amplified-acoustic-guitar… Because if you just play Nirvana with only acoustic guitar, you notice how boring they are.

Sure, they were fun at the time, much like Color Me Bad “I wanna sex you up” (1991) or Bryan Adams “Everything I do…” (1991),…but music geniuses? Doubtful. What did they do to get in the rock-n-roll hall of fame? Play three chords loud whilst screaming, then the same three chords quietly while mumbling.

Next time you talk about musical blessings of Seattle please mention Sir-Mix-A-Lot, the Presidents of The United States, and queensryche. You can mention Nirvana and Kenny G when talking about guilty pleasures.


10 February, 2014

MyBetterHalf had a meeting aboot Girl Scouts, so I went and picked up the childrens. MrCuddles did NOT want to leave, and so I had to carry the screaming boy away.

At home, she found a worm on the steps, named it Ben, then put it in the grass. Inside MsSqueaky helped me make soup. Though we didn’t do it the way her teacher does. “First you get the water. And then you make it really hot. Then you put in vegetables. And then it’s soup.” Sigh, kids today aren’t learning the joy of stock.

MrGrunty, who thought the soup looked disgusting, (he did love the banana chips), played a bit of catch with me. We played a bit of catch.

Today snow day

9 February, 2014

It snowed last night. MsSqueaky was first awake, and woke me to excitedly tell me.

I taught Bible class, which I was completely not ready for.

After Church, MrGrunty and I played monkey-in-the-middle with a few other kids. I was proud of MrG playing easy and letting the four year old get the ball a couple of times.

K came over for a play date with MsS. They played in the snow, but by the time I got out there they went inside. MrG and I built a snowman and a fort. Then they watched “the Incredibles”, one of my favorites!

While making dinner, MsS wanted to help. So I taught her how to crack an egg. She was proud.

And while MyBetterHalf and I watched “the Walking Dead” MrCuddles fell asleep on our bed, lights on, listening to music on the iPhone.

Basketball games #5

8 February, 2014

Before the game, MsSqueaky was tossing the ball against the wall and catching it. She didn’t really want to play catch with me. I coaxed her take a few practice shots, but she was barely hitting the net. What the heck, had she regressed. I tried not to worry, she was playing with the ball the way she wanted.

We were early, and got to watch some second graders. There was passing, defense, assists,…I look forward to next year.

MrGrunty went first. All week I’ve been telling him to be a rebound monster, and it worked, he grabbed a bunch of rebounds. He attempted a few passes, but most ended up turn overs. He blocked a shot and got a “good job G!” from a coach. He did get upset, but worked his way out of it. And once, was crying, but coach said a few words to him, kept him in the game, and soon MrG was playing with focus. After, I thanked the coach, saying MrG is doing a lot better, but still needs work controlling his emotions.

Talking with head coach after MsSqueaky’s game, we had an assist!!!, some strong defense, new dribble skills we hadn’t seen…they are so much better during game than at practice, at skill level, at concentration, at paying attention.
MsSqueaky in her game, running fast, smiling, engaged. She even had a basket.


7 February, 2014

When I got home, MrGrunty and MyBetterHalf were watching highlights of Super Bowl, with players voices.

MrCuddles and MsSqueaky were playing in her room. I got a bite to eat…and then heard them screaming. MrC came out of the room, tears streaming down his cheeks, “Squeaky yelled at me. Go put her in time out.” I held him, got him to calm down, we talked about how it’s not nice to be yelled at, talked about when it’s OK to yell. MsS entered, “I told him to stop, and he didn’t, and then Cuddles threw the pencils.” We talked about when it’s OK to throw. Then MsS and I played a bit of catch with a Super Bowl football. She told me they played a fun math game at her school, taught it to me, and we played it for a bit.

Later, MrG and I played a new game. We lay on floor, bounce a small rubber ball against the wall, and the other person tries to catch it. It was very difficult for us, so we laughed lots.

Cold and dry

6 February, 2014

Not only a Super Bowl win, but the weather has been strange, too. We’re aboot half of what we should be for rain since October. The dry weather has been giving MrCuddles nose bleeds. The first graders are getting chapped hands and cheeks, but they hate putting on lotion.