Heyman!

One of the gifts that Micah got for his first birthday were Batman pajamas, and until this week, they never really fit.  They are still a bit baggy, but he loves them.  Its actually a bit funny how much he has grown to like Batman in the last year without ever seeing a movie.

When we are on an airplane, one of his favorite activities is to look through the SkyMall catalogue.  On one of the pages there are some Batman things and whenever we got to that page, mom or dad had to say, “I’m a big strong man” in our best Batman impression.

Then whenever we walk through a toy section in a store, he always has to stop and look at the Batman collection.  When he’s at his grammy’s house, his uncle has some Batman guys and he has to get those guys and play with those, while doing his Batman voice.  Its funny how attached a kid can get to a movie character without ever seeing a movie.

Well, last night we put the pjs on that Matt and Donny bought him for his first birthday and this is what happened:

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Micah’s Second Birthday

As many of you saw, Micah’s second birthday was coming and he was very excited.  Well, it has come and gone and Micah is now officially TWO!!!  This birthday was very different than the last.  We live in a different state, it was much colder, there were no friends, but we had all the family there, and that was great.

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Nehemiah came early to play with Micah.  Here they are having their snack on the ramp.  Nehemiah would later conquer the ramp in his riding truck, steering himself from the edges with the precision of a Formula One driver.

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img_1433Micah and Nehemiah were both very impressed with the decorations.  Micah had an Elmo theme, including the Van Goghish drawing on the wall by Auntie Ashley.

img_1434Here is the Big Bird that Leah got when she was little.

img_1438DINNER!!!!

img_1439Micah’s Oreo Cupcake.  Devoured like a champion.

img_1441If that wasn’t enough, we also had ice cream, or Tumnah as Micah calls it.

img_1444After dinner, cake, and ice cream, we opened presents!

img_1445Micah’s blocks!  He got a hammer block banging set.  I believe he has hit just about everything in the house other than the blocks.

img_1447Micah also got a bubble blower, making his parents obsolete.

img_1449The first and possibly last time he hit the blocks with the hammer.

img_1452Auntie Beth got him rubber animals!  He now has his own Busch Gardens to play with.

img_1453Dave ended up playing with it more than Micah.

img_1454And this is what happens if a two year old has a juice box, cupcake, and ice cream followed by presents.  Let this be a warning to parents everywhere.

Micah Update!

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Friday night was crazy hat night at the children’s program at church.  If Micah were to go he wanted to wear this pimp hat.  I blame the California culture he was raised in.

img_1399This was part of Micah’s breakfast tradition at Gunga’s (Grammy) house.  He helps make toast and coffee.

img_1402This was Micah getting ready to help dad shovel the snow in the driveway.  He wasn’t crazy about the layers of clothes.  He got over it.
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img_1405Here’s our humble abode!

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Micah’s going to be two soon.  This is how he says ‘two’ with his fingers.

A Flashback at the LA County Fair

Yesterday, when I mentioned the fact that I was going to be going to the LA County fair, one of my friends not in this area said, “LA has their own fair?  What I wouldn’t give to see that!”  That pretty much sums it up.  As one who was practically raised at New England fairs, you definitely see a different picture when you enter the LA Fair.  When you enter the gate we go in, you see a large section dedicated to Hispanic culture, then large convention buildings full of expo displays.  Unless you want something to polish your silverware or want new insurance, those buildings are largely useless.

You have some displays that celebrate California culture and history, a large building for interactive displays for small children.  Micah had a blast in that area, playing in sand, pushing trains, and looking in a big magnifying window at his dad’s huge head made even bigger.  There is a large animal barn where you can see new borns with their mom’s, whether they are pigs, sheep, goats, or chickens.  We took Micah into a big petting zoo and the small goats converged upon him sniffing him for food.  He laughed one second and nervously raised his hands up to get picked up the next.  We gave him some food and the goats licked it out of his hand.  He wasn’t sure what to think about this.

The highlight of the trip came when we were looking at the big sheep in a pen in the middle of the petting zoo.  Some animals hang out in there to avoid the kids running around, so I took Micah to the fence so he could pet an animal that wasn’t going to freak him out.  That’s when I heard something I haven’t heard in awhile.  I heard the ewe make a deep moaning noise and looked behind it only to see two little feet coming out of the sheep.  The poor thing was well into labor and no one that worked there had noticed.

Someone went over to tell the girl in charge of the zoo that there was a sheep lambing.  I started thinking back to my days raising sheep and thinking of the things that I needed to look for.  I was first of all, concerned that it was lambing in early September.  Normally, sheep of this breed lamb in the winter, Nov-Dec time of the year, but not this early.  Once in awhile you get a fall born sheep, but it isn’t normal because sheep have a certain time of the year where they go into heat.

Anyways, I’m sure my sister or mother could provide more info if you are interested.  The lamb seemed to positioned right.  I checked to see if the front feet and nose were coming out first and they were.  once I saw that, I knew it was good just to let things happen.  I called my mom to get any last minute advice should I need it, as no one had come yet.  Soon, the head started to poke out, and finally someone who knew what they were doing showed up.  He asked everyone to be quiet and the lamb popped out in a couple of minutes.  He cleared the mucus and such out of the lamb’s mouth and nose and the mother came over and started to lick the lamb.

All of this in the petting zoo.  Certainly not what we expected when we entered the pen, and the city folk saw much more than they ever imagined.  Here are some pics of the time!

A happy moment with the goats.

All they had was John Deere tractors.  Micah was clearly disappointed.

You may recognize this from last year’s picture.

Micah is interestingly still a horse…

Notice the David Ortiz jersey in the background!

Micah had a blast shaking the maraca along with the Spanish music.

Tuckered out after a long afternoon.

Pastoring a Family

Now that Micah is getting older, I have found how much of a challenge pastoring my own family is becoming.  I don’t mean to say that the family is becoming difficult, but I find that it is stretching me more and more.  I’ve known that I want to have my home model a Christ-centered, Cross-centered family, but I’m finding that more and difficult to do.  For some things, it just doesn’t come naturally.  For example, when it comes to discipline, the easy thing is to tell Micah no and discipline him.  What needs to happen next, though, is an explanation of how that was displeasing to God and disrespectful to me.

I don’t know if it is the fact that this side of my own personal ministry is much more real and immediate for me, but it seems to be much more intimidating than my pastoral ministry.  I guess I feel a sense of confidence that I have been there and done that to a certain degree with Youth Ministry and have a handle on where things are going, but everything is so different and new when it comes to parenting and spiritual training my own family.  And it seems like the impact is much more long lasting, as I’m completely responsible for how I guide my wife and son.

I’ve had general ideas of what I want to do, but life never allows plans to be simple.  Obviously I know many of the general truths of parenting and have read many books on the subject, but it is sometimes more of an art than science.  You know the truths, but applying them can take wisdom and experience.  I want Micah to learn how to pray, learn to study his Bible, grow a Biblical worldview, and see what it means to be a godly father and husband. Leah and I have been reading through “Shepherding a Child’s Heart”, though we both read it before being parents.  We’ve also begun praying in the morning and including Micah in that.  We also want to get some books for Micah to read through in the evening during our reading time before his bedtime.  Anyone with good suggestions, we’re all ears.

Then today I was blog hopping and found this Piper post.  He was asked how he spiritual guides his family.  Here is what he said.

1. We encouraged our children from the very beginning to be alone with the Lord in the morning. That can start as soon as you can prop a child up with a pillow so that he doesn’t topple over and bonk his head. You can set a tape recorder beside him with a song about “Jesus loves me, this I know” or a Bible story.

So a child can have devotions from age 1 on, as strange as that may sound, if you train him to have a little time alone to be with God. He can’t read yet, obviously, and he won’t read yet for another 4 or 5 years. But he can listen and he can enjoy that time. So we did that, and then it turned into Bible stories. Then it turned into giving them their own Bible that they could read, which went on up through teenage devotions.

2. We were at the table together every morning, and I led devotions at breakfast with the children. And if the child is little he just says “Jesus” and that’s all he says. But we used to work our way through the Global Prayer Digest so that there was a missions component. And then we read a short passage of Scripture, and I would pray. It might not take more than 5 minutes, because of the children being little.

3. Then in the evening we had family devotions, which was a little longer. We read a longer portion of Scripture, and all the children–if they were able–would pray, not just me. Noel would pray, I would pray, and each of the children would pray. And as soon as they could talk, we taught them to pray.

4. And then when we put them to bed, we tucked them in, blessed them with

The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace,
and joy, and hope, and love, and a good night’s rest,
and someday a godly husband. (Talitha will always laugh when I say this last line.)

And then I sing a song for Talitha. And then I give her a big hug. There is a very definite routine that we walk through. And there is a word component even as you tuck the child in bed at night.

That has been the routine for 31 years, basically, though I don’t want to create the impression that it is flawless or that we didn’t miss mornings or evenings. We did, but this was the goal and the routine. And pretty much we have been able to keep with it.

Hope someone might find this helpful!

Randomness…

This is just a compilation of a few things…

Hilarious, Painful Mistake

Check out this video.  hahahaha….

Slamball

Then I heard SlamBall is coming back.  A few years ago I was at a college retreat and became engrossed in this.  I’m happy to hear it is back for all to enjoy:

Red Sox

As most of you know, the Sox are back in Spring Training.  Yesterday, they went to the White House to visit the President as the World Series Champions.  Bush managed to make a joke about Manny not being there because his grandmother must have died again.  The first time they went to the White House after winning in 2004, Manny missed it supposedly because his grandmother was sick.  No one believed him then, and Bush managed to make light of it again.

Then I saw this picture, which is priceless:

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It totally looks photoshopped, but he rode in the side car from the White House to Walter Reed to visit some troops.  Francona apparently rode in it from the Airport to the White House, and challenged Papi to do it, himself.  Then Kyle Snyder rode in it from Walter Reed to the airport, which apparently was longer than the other two.  He said it was so cold, but he wouldn’t get out and go to the bus because he wouldn’t stop hearing it from his friends.  I like this team, and that picture is hilarious.

Celtics

Speaking of Boston sports, on Monday I went to the Celtics game against the Clippers at the Staples Center here in LA.  It was funny how many Boston fans there were.  Everyone around us were Boston fans, and the guys next to us were talking in Boston accents and spent the 4th quarter talking about Spring Training, the Sox, and the Yankees.  The place was full of green jerseys, shirts, and Red Sox hats.  It was just great.  The Celts blew  ’em out by 28, and the 4th quarter was all the young guys playing against each other.  When we walked out into the concourse after the game, it was like we were in the Garden.  I would say by the end of the game that the Celtics fans outnumbered others by 4-1.  EVERYONE was a Celtics fan.

Micah

Micah has been sick this week, but is now apparently getting better.  He was looking pretty bad at some points, with a high fever, but now he is getting better.  He lost a couple pounds, but now appears to be on the rebound.  Leah’s looking forward to getting out of the house, as she’s been trapped there quite a bit, lately.

Pet Peeve

Lately, I’ve been hearing people use the word ‘literally’ a lot, and hardly any of it is really literal.  For example, I’m watching a sporting event and someone says, “He’s literally giving 110% out there.”  That phrase ‘110%’ already is annoying because its impossible, but then you throw literal in there and its literally impossible!  Or someone may say, “It literally killed him.” Well, no.  It didn’t.  It may have brought him great pain, but it didn’t literally kill him.  I’m now going to be the ‘literal’ police, but not literally.  There will be no badge or actual penalties.

Funny Videos   

Here are a couple funny videos that the kids showed me this weekend:

In Appreciation of New England: Part 2

There are some things that you just can’t do outside New England.  Drive without a seat belt .  Smoke in a restaurant.  (Although i hear that one may change, or already be changed)  Have a perpetual yard sale.  Talk with anyone you’ve never talked to before about the Red Sox.  Disregard the letter ‘r’. 

Another thing are things like fairs and festivals.  After having gone to the LA County fair, I was disappointed and missed the New England style festival.  This past weekend the my family and Leah’s family went to an apple festival in Hampton Falls.  We took pics of Micah in the pumpkin patch, took a ride on a wagon beind a tractor, ate some good food, listened to a bluegrass band, and shopped around. 

If you want to see pics of Micah, check out his blog.  If you don’t have the address, email me and I’ll email it to you. 

Here are a few pics from the day:

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I like the way I framed this one.

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Here’s the grilling of the corn.  Really gives the corn a diferent flavor.  You just feel more New Englandish if you eat stuff like this. 

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Here’s a look at the rest of the place.  There was the stage, a hay bale pyramid for people to sit on and take pictures.  They also had homemade donuts with cider.  One thing I miss a lot in California is apple cider.  We just can’t get it there.  And if, for some odd chance someone is selling it, its $7 a half gallon. 

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Here’s lunch.  One corn is husked, one isn’t.  Then there is the classic Sausage with onions and peppers.  This was my fair food, but couldn’t get it at the LA County fair.  Love the sausage with grilled onions and peppers. 

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Here’s my sister Beth, her son Nehemiah, Micah and I.  Niam didn’t want to be good for pics.  I think he felt the heat of competition from Micah to be cuter.  Couldn’t pull it off…