Saturday, July 28, 2007

New CD Released!!

Faithful readers of this blog will undoubtedly remember that back in January, we invited all of our friends to come to a special night at our church, when we recorded our second CD and DVD of home-grown Worship music...

It was a great night, and now here we are six months later, and the project has finally made it out of post-production and was officially released tonight - and it's a GREAT disc!! From explosive anthems of praise to reverent, passionate worship, it's on here, it's all good, and it was all written by members of our church here in Tacoma!!

It is so awesome to be part of a church with not only great vision, but also so many committed members driven to see that vision fulfilled. There's already talk of our third album, and I have no doubt that it will continue down the path of excellence we've established with the first two.

If all this leaves you feelig inspired to pick up your own copy, just click here! Otherwise, just hang around us long enough, and you'll undoubtedly hear it playing loud 'n' proud!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday Funny!

Leave it to Japan, truly the nation where if you can dream it, you can also find it for sale somewhere. Case in point: For all the times you've looked at your ordinary cat, your non-hello-kitty, and wished that he/she/it were MORE Hello-Kitty, you can now make that dream a reality!! Just buy the new Hello Kitty costume and dress that finicky kitty all up. Of course, for some reason, the cats shown wearing the costume don't look all that happy about it... Not so much saying "Hello!" as they are saying "WHY?" or even "I will cut you deep!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

First Swim Meet Of The Year!

The shocking image to the left is the latest thing in high performance teen competitive swimwear. I don't recall if they had a specific, catchy name, but Ellysa mentioned that they make full body suits for girls, and although she didn't explicitly ASK for one, it sounded like she would love to enhance her racetime wardrobe... :)

Aside from the cutting edge fashion on display, our swimmers did an awesome job. Not surprising, since they've both been little fishies since ummm... well, pretty much forever! But, while we expected their mad swimming performance, there were some unexpected surprises... Right before the meet officially began, the whole team huddled up and began to chant... Well, it was sort of a chant, but more of a cheer. Like the kind that cheerleaders would do. In the '50s. With pom-poms. I am not making this up! In July of 2007, approximately 20 kids from 8 to 18 huddled up and repeated a cheer that included several Oh-Cha-Lock-Ahs, a Sis-Boom-Bah and slammed it home with a rousing "Fircrest, Fircrest, Rah Rah Rah!" Now, I love my town. I really do! Cindy and I often describe it as very Mayberry-like, and this morning, Mayberry was down at the pool, pumpin' up the home team! Next time, I'm totally bringing the camcorder to get audio-visual proof of the cheer that time forgot!

Then the meet was on! Kaylee was up swimming breast stroke first, and quite effectively whoop'd the competition!

Ellysa's best event - literally, the one she was born to compete in - was the backstroke. You could tell from her game face as she stepped up on the starting block, that something big was about to go down. Sure enough, once in the water, she shot ahead of the rest of the pack, and by the turn-around point was a full body length ahead of everyone - even the boys!
Great times, and they both did so well! We are VERY proud of our little aquagirls!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

They did it again...

...And this time I got the camera out!!

Yes, our renegade chickens have done it again, and we discovered a rogue nest with 14 eggs in it tonight. I wasn't actually very surprised, because we'd been noticing a severe lack of the Green / Blue eggs for the last week or so.

Kaylee actually found the nest this time, and the thing that made me go "D'oh!" was that it was in an area of their yard that I *knew* would be an appealing spot for a nest... In fact, I'd checked there periodically many times, so many times that I finally quit looking. Which was apparently what they had been waiting for!

As usual, it's Ginger and Babs who are the ringleaders, although there was one small brown egg, indicating that Marzipan had at least visited the nest once... So now we know where to look, and we'll just hope that they don't go making a NEW new rogue nest.

Anybody want some eggs?? =)

Saturday, July 14, 2007


We got a new toy!! As we settled back into the post-vacation life, it occurred to us that now that we have our handy utility trailer (it was truly essential to the successful camping trip!) we don't really need the truck anymore. Add to that that the truck is paid off, and the idea was born that since both Cindy and I would prefer a sporty car to a truck or a *cough* minivan, we should see what our options looked like...

Well, they looked good! Our truck had done a far better job of retaining value than I expected it to, so I started looking into just what sporty cars would look good in our driveway. The first and obvious choice was a Dodge Daytona, since that was the first car I ever bought, and I loved (really loved!) it... I also had a second one, which was my car when Cindy and I first got together. Problem is, they quit making them back in 1993, meaning that every one I found listed either had prohibitively high miles, or prohibitively high levels of "project" required to make it into the car we would want it to be. Bummer!

So we started looking at newer stuff. Given unlimited funding, I'd be all over the new Dodge Charger. That's my "someday" car. However, they're still far too new to fit into our plan. Plan? Oh yeah, I shoulda mentioned that! These were the ground rules we set up:

#2 - Newer, Nicer, Sportier
#3 - Will Last 10 Years Or More

So I realize that #3 depends at least as much on OUR maintenance of the vehicle as it does the vehicle itself, and I'm willing to put that effort out. But #1 and #2 were absolutely immovable.

So I decided to look at the various models that replaced my beloved Daytona in Dodge's lineup. The first Avenger was extremely bland looking... Not sure what they were thinking, plus it wasn't reviewed all that well... The Stealth was hot hot hot at the time, but like the Daytona, there aren't many good ones to be found. The NEW Avenger is hot hot hot now, but completely incompatible with ground rule #1. Ahh, but in between was the Stratus... Not the midsize sedan, 4-door, wants-to-be-cool-but-falls-short stratus, but the 2-door fraternal twin of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Stratus. Mmmmmm, Tasty! Found a couple, they look great, and the pricing is more in line with what we expected to get out of the truck.

Then I decided to widen the search to include the Chrysler version, the Sebring Coupe LXi. And bingo, up popped the picture above! After a test drive, we knew it was our new car... well, even before the test drive, when I sank into the rich corinthian leather seats, I knew. It's good good stuff! One of the best things about it, was it was at the Lexus dealership, and those people know how to treat a customer!! The trade value of the truck was exactly the price of the Sebring plus Tax, so we ended up doing a straight swap - it was completely surreal to drive away in our new sporty car, without having gone through the pain of the haggling, the financing, payment manipulating, etc. Still kinda feels like "did that really happen?" But when I got up this morning, there it is, in the driveway, waiting for us to come drive it!

And drive it we will.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


So why is it that a week can take forever, when you're doing some (most?) things, and yet as soon as you put that magical 'V' word in front of the same number of hours, they fly by as if somebody hit the FF button on the big remote of life?
We were on vacation this past week. Above, you see us on Day 1, aboard a state ferry heading to the San Juan Islands, and specifically, Orcas Island. We camped (yes, camped - with tents!) at Moran State Park on the island for four days and nights, and had an incredible time!
Some highlights? Well first, Cindy and I were very relieved that our new utility trailer not only fit all of our gear inside, but also held together for the entire trip! (we'd only built it one week prior, and hadn't driven it more than around the block before)
Then there was the hiking... Us lazy suburbanites hiked approximately 10 miles in 2 days, and that's WITH Cindy suffering from Plantar Faschiaitis. The first day's hike took us up to Cascade Falls, and as you can see, it was well worth the hike!
Day two brought us around Cascade Lake and the Rosario Lagoon, which was another great one. Some would argue that it was even better, since it was (1) shorter, and (2) more level. Anyway, there was some more awesome nature to enjoy along the way, including this totally cool tree that was growing out over the water. I had envisioned a picture of the kids up in the tree, above the water, but then Cindy started talking about making backup plans in case they fell in, and suddenly nobody wanted to leave the safety of the lower trunk. Still, it was definitely a Kodak moment. (ummmm, I guess technically, it was a Panasonic moment...;)

A little further in our loop around the lake, we came across a bald eagle perched on a log in the lagoon! We were able to get fairly close - much closer than we had been the day before when we saw one soaring above the swimming area of the lake... but I wasn't close enough for a good pic. I did get a "kinda okay" pic though... (that's it on the log)
Our last day of venturing out saw us driving up to the top of Mount Constitution, the highest point in all of the San Juans. From the top of the mountain, you can see all the other islands as well as cities in both the U.S. and Canada, mountains, and really gorgeous deep blue water. But if that wasn't high enough for ya, there's also an observation tower that gave even more specactular views!

So the hiking was great! But there was more... Cascade Lake has a swimming area that the kids spent every afternoon in! We'd bought a little blow-up raft, and they never got tired of climbing in, flipping it over, wash, rinse, repeat!
And in addition to our cool bald eagle sighting, we also had some "Woodland Creatures" come to us, visiting our campsite. Some, like this young buck deer, were an awesome reminder of just how close we were to nature!
Others, like the thieving raccoons that trashed out camp in the middle of the night, eating anything with a high carb count (no bread or chips left... luckily, they didn't seem to like chocolate very much) just seemed to remind us that even though we were on vacation, Raccoons are still horrible creatures. Oh well, at least our chickens were safely locked in their coop this time!
Then, as suddenly as it began, it was Friday morning and time to tear down our tents and leave our beloved Campsite #85.
It's Saturday night now, and I just can't seem to accept that it's over... Gotta go back to work and the normal routine after just one more day... Ahh, sweet vacation memories... TAKE ME AWAY!!
Oh, and if you're one of those types who actually enjoys looking at other people's vacation pictures, just click here to go to our photo album!