Scaring Beckham

I couldn’t figure out if the above spelling of “scaring” is proper for the word, “scare” or “scar” in the end I think both apply. Here is video of messing with Beckham.

Whirley Pop!

Apparently I missed the boat when it comes to these. I didn’t realize there was a compromise between stovetop pot popcorn and microwave popcorn. There is and it’s called the Whirley Pop.

Gina told me about this. Yes, she also introduced me to kettle corn, and this is why she’s my friend! She asked if I was making it with a Whirley Pop (this was when we ran into each other at Target… ironically in the produce section!). What’s a Whirley Pop? After a Google search, I headed to Bed Bath and Beyond, coupon in hand and bought one for $15.

My first attempt I dumped everything in there (oil, kernels, sugar) and heated. No, make that burned. I was discouraged, but not ready to give up on my WP. Again, another Google search and batch #2. (The trick is to heat the burner, add the pot with oil in it, heat, add kernels, heat until almost ready to pop, then add sugar. Take it off the heat right after the popping peaks and keep twirling, in case you were wondering!)

Brian initially said he liked the pot kind better. After many blind taste tests, we can’t actually tell the difference, but that hasn’t stopped us from taking sides; he stands by “country corn” (what we call kettle corn in a pot) and I’m a Whirley girl. Again, we can’t tell the difference. He likes it cause it’s original, simple. I like the WP better because it’s a breeze to make, less flop corns, and cause on a scale of 1 to 10 for clean up, the pot is a 7. WP is a 2. When you make it daily, that matters!

Bottom line: We like both. We’ll make both. Whirley will not be stored in the basement any time soon. When I make normal popcorn I’ll use the Whirley. No more microwave kind for us.

The bear in our backyard

When we bought our house, there was this huge tree bear in the backyard. It was weird. It was a tree that the previous owners had had carved. The family across the street said she spent THOUSANDS of dollars on it. Ouch. It was rotting, so we got rid of it. We’re only sad that it’s not around to talk about how weird it is anymore! But this is Beckham on his first Halloween with the bear….

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On a side note, this picture below looks so much like Berkley now! She’s toothless though

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And here’s Little Dude last week in the church nursery:


Cookies: Brian style

Brian and SP decided to make cookies last week. That’s like me saying I’m going to mow the lawn. My first question would be “Where’s the key to start it?”

So, after telling Brian not to use the hand mixer, milk isn’t in cookies, and when it says “bag” of chocolate chips, don’t use the Costco sized one, he and the girl went at it. Here’s a few of the things I heard in the next half hour.

“That’s not good…”

“How do I know…(insert any step here!)”

“You guys wanna eat that? (it was butter!)”

“What do I do with it?”

“Is this bowl microwavable?”

“I don’t care where you put it, just get rid of it (to Beckham about the egg shells!)”

“What’s vanilla look like?”

“Is this gonna turn out good?”

Brian measuring…it was more an “ish” thing!


Brain and his helpers




Licking the butter bowl




All done!


Then they guarded the oven while the cookies cooked


That’s SP’s “guarding” face!



Checking on them


Just being cute


YAY! They turned out really really yummers! Good job guys!


I think she liked them…


Don’t mind if I do!


Every time Brian makes anything, when he gets to the end he always makes the last one really big and uses the rest of the batter (pancakes, whatever!). Becks scored the big cookie! He was pretty pumped about that!



He finished it off the next morning for breakfast (again, cause Dads are cooler than Moms), and then he asked me what was for breakfast. When I told him he just ate it, he told me, “No, that was dessert, what’s for breakfast?”


Country Monk

The two seemingly unconnected words above have been shaping me for years and weeks. The concept of a Monk being someone concerned primarily with service and knowledge and love to and for God. Simply a life that chooses God, not wealth or self or entertainment.

The concept of the Country has been a recent fixture in my mind. Not country as in the United States, Canada or Texas, but in the sense of away from the city, full of oak trees and grass, apple pie, berries, baseball, vanilla ice cream, young girls, old men, American cars, town squares, fireworks, big sky, small shops and love that has never been what it could be.

For certain my eighteen month love of the bicycle has sparked this concept that is now shaping my thoughts about life lived. Ponds I once passed at 50 miles per hour on one hundred and fifty first street now can be viewed from every angle as I roll by on my country cross bike. From there God placed before my eyes Romans 12:18, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Beginning four verses earlier is a passage I have turned aside as my American citizenship seemingly negated these Holy Words of God on the grounds of being right all the time.

When I tell my daughter Sadie Piper good night each evening she responds, “I love me too.” I don’t think she means to be so honest so I’ve tried to correct her truthfulness. I do see now that I have lived more like a two year old than a follower of Christ. I prefer to live peaceably with me and others may or may not fit into that plan. That’s not right, that doesn’t consider the life God has called me to. So as I consider all these things as a 31 year old man child living in the wealthy suburbs of Kansas City I’ve come to realize life should be thoughtfully lived each day of each month if it is to be lived simply rather than simply lived. Listen closely to the words of a country monk living the suburban dream.

Never, ever, seriously ever rush real people for the sake of technology. Do not rush from church or the coffee shop or anything else to get to a television show or video of a sporting event. You live at a time where you can serve technology or it can serve you. Ideally I would say only watch less television and read more books, realistically I say use technology to serve your lifestyle. Do not watch an entire sporting event alone, watch with friends or watch highlights. Use Hulu to watch the Bachelorette later so that you eat dinner slow and take a walk with those you love afterwards. Don’t rush to find out what new narcissistic information so and so feels the world must be told. What I mean is this, value Christ above all others, value others second and if you must value technology last.

“And [Christ] answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”” (Luke 10:27 ESV)

Take time to sleep plenty. Lights do extend the day, but they do nothing to extend your time of rest. TV & Web will not help you sleep they are like gasoline on the flame of ADHD. Remind yourself before staying up too late, “night you” will gain nothing and “morning you” will certainly hate “night you” the next day. On top of that being tired does not help with that whole live peaceably with all command.

Slow cook your food, there is not much healthy benefit to this, but everything you do adds to this thing we call pace of life. Food cooked fast, is eaten fast and when food is eaten fast their is no fellowship of meal. Sit your children down and don’t let them leave until all have eaten. Slow them down to the pace of a bicycle. Feel the breeze of conversation flow through your hair. If possible sit in your yard and enjoy God’s well landscaped creation.

Learn to converse with others. On a mission trip to Laredo last summer I sat with a young boy who could share more about himself in one breath than a child his age could have with ten breaths a hundred years ago. I pointed this out to him and set out to teach him the art of question asking. He turned to the older girl and asked how her day went. As she opened her mouth to speak the rush of words from his mouth cut her off and he never heard an answer. We tried this a few more times and failure by failure lead to discontinuing humor. Buy books with questions, collect questions, listen for good questions people ask you, care about the people God has placed in your life and learn about them and pray to God with the information you learn.

Write. Often. Write letters to others, write prayers to God, write really cheese poetry, write thoughts, write about Scripture and about life and about dreams and what you wish to gain from this life. Stop consuming barrels of blogs and other timeworn things and produce something in your own words even if it will gain you no money and no fame, just write.

Drink wine if you’re nice and beer if you’re not and Irish cream if you dream of one but live like the other. Drink with living saints and dead theologians. Not much and not often, but know that there is a social & mental aspect to these controversial drinks that is undervalued.

Ride a bike or walk whenever possible. A ride to the store or the library is like discovering a completely new town you’ve always known. You pass people and you breath air that has not been conditioned. Forget the spandex, forsake the racing bike raise your handlebars, get a big fat seat and ride for the pleasure of the journey.

Avoid anything that requires waiting in lines, but bring a book when that is not possible, let someone cut in front of you, after all they have some place to be too, and they don’t have a book.

Spare the weeds. I know it looks horrible and your neighbors will fear invasion of a your 500 strong dandelion army. Unless you believe this will affect your adherence to Romans 12:18, spare the weeds and instead of only working in the yard, live and play in the yard.

Swim Lessons

Beckham’s in swim lessons for the first time (we are late with this, we know!), and he’s now a little fish. Although, he prefers the term “diver.” He even wears his goggles every night in the bath tub so he can “dive.” He caught on a lot faster than we expected. He can swim alone, but he really likes this “bubble” thing they put on him, boy can cruise with it on (never mind, as of Saturday, he prefers to swim without it, he made me nervous, but he loved it!)! He’s ready for a summer at Mimi and Ompah’s pool!




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It’s Baseball season…

This is the outfit Becks pieced together tonight in the gym. He found knee pads, a helmet!, and a glove and even has the stance. We’ve never played catcher with him, so I guess he picked it up from watching baseball with Brian? He told SP, “You be the batter, I’ll be the glover.”

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CFA Day and the perfect Play Doh recipe!


I’m tempted to say that this has been the funnest Play and Learn CFA day, but then I think of all the fun things they’ve done for us, and I can’t decide. The kids for sure loved this one though! It was the best homemade play dough ever and they gave us the recipe (follow the “read more” link at the end for it!)!

Here’s SP hoarding the cutters. Nice.







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