The Making of a Masterpiece

Friday, December 28th, 2012
The Final ProductEvery year, we love to create clever themed Christmas cards to send to our friends and family.  Each year has been a bit of a challenge to create, but this year's card posed some unique problems.  Namely, the theme was of the four Mack girls posing in a gingerbread house in a winter wonderland.  The problem?  We now live in Santa Clarita where it doesn't snow...ever.

Behind the scenesSince giant gingerbread houses are in short supply at this time of year, we built our own out of wood and thick cardboard.  We designed special candies for the front of the house out of tissue paper and colored cling wrap and spray painted the house to look more authentic.  On a bright, windy day, the four of us carried the house into the backyard and posed in front of our palm tree (not very Christmassy, right?)

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Mack Family Update: First Semester Completed!

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
It has been quite a while since I have been able to blog as I have been incredibly busy preparing for and going through my first semester of college.  I thought I would share a little bit about what that has been like for me:

 Wendy talks to friends while waiting for her student ID on the first day of collegeMy first semester in college has been a dream-come-true!  I am a double major in Worship Music Ministries and Liberal Arts and it has been amazing to be able to focus on areas that I really love.  I have just finished taking twenty units which has been intense but incredibly worth it.  This first semester I mostly took general education classes and a few of the basic classes required for my major and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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The babies have arrived!

Sunday, September 5th, 2010
I'm posting this birth announcement exactly 18 years later...

Amy & Wendy's first day home - can you tell them apart?On Saturday, September 5, 1992 at 5:54 PM. and 5:55 PM. The Lord answered our prayers and brought us two very healthy identical twin girls.
Two years earlier, our Sunday school class did a series on Parenting Perfect Children. That's a pretty presumptuous tittle but the presenters of this class were half a dozen older couples who had already been through the trials of parenting and whose children were a testimony to their accomplishments.

Each Sunday, one couple shared from their perspective the things that had contributed to the well being of their family. One couple who spoke shared how they began to pray for their children before they were born. Not only that, they continued to pray regularly for their children's friends, and even their spouses to be - unknown at the time.

Always together and always adorable - Amy & Wendy at age 2This lesson hit home. I have seen the power of prayer work miracles in my own life and in the lives of others who call upon the Lord. Kathy and I decided that we would begin to pray for a child even though we knew that the time would be far off. During these times in prayer together, we found that we both had a desire to have twins - something that we had each desired since our early days and yet never discussed between us. The Bible says “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." PSALM 37:4. Believing this desire to be sincere, we decided to express these desires in our time of prayer.

Amy & Wendy with Daddy on the first day of PreschoolKeep in mind that there are no twins in either of our families for at least 4-5 generations that we know of. The instances of “twinning” in normal conception are very low. They are hereditary or can be the result of advanced aged (38+) or fertility drugs taken at the time of conception. Neither of these were the case for us.

Like two peas in a pod. Close friends in all things.By the time of our second pre-natal visit to the doctor, Kathy's womb had already grown quite large. We shared with our doctor that we had been praying for twins and that we suspected that Kathy had twins. Our doctor suspected that we had miscalculated the date of conception. An ultrasound examination quickly resolved the issue - identical twins! Identical twins are NOT hereditary but are the result of one fertilized egg that splits during the early weeks. Our babies shared the same sac and a common placenta - which is extremely rare (1 in 30,000 births) and often very dangerous.

Amy & Wendy, true best friendsBy Kathy's 5th month of pregnancy, she was approaching the size of a full term single birth! Our doctors became very concerned about the health of the twins. We began a routine of examinations which would bring us to the hospital once a week and 3 times a week in the last stages of pregnancy. Although the babies were expected to arrive a month short of their calculated due date of Labor Day (no pun intended), the babies held out until Saturday, September 5th.  

Meanwhile Kathy kept growing and growing and growing ... Fortunately, the babies remained in good health and both remained in the head down position thus allowing us to plan for a normal childbirth.

Amy & Wendy helping their Dad at a conferenceEarly Saturday morning, I took Kathy to the hospital. She immediately went into active labor. They brought in all of the equipment and staff and everything stopped. After several procedures and another 10 hours of difficult labor, the decision was made to perform an unscheduled C-section.

Twin births are already classified as high risk pregnancies. With a C-section now things really got hopping. The staff at St. Joseph's Medical Center were terrific. Within minutes, a medical team of 9 people were assembled and ready. Moments later, our two daughters, Baby A :7 lbs. 4 oz. and Baby B: 7 lbs. 2 oz. were born.  Our prayers for healthy twins had been answered!

Amy & Wendy at 17 - beautiful godly young women who love the LordTheir names are:
BABY A: Wendy Anne Mack
BABY B: Amy Elizabeth Mack
Born Saturday, September 5th at 5:54 &  5:55 PM.

Kathy is greatly relieved to no longer be carrying such large babies. The hospital staff was also quite amazed at their healthy size - apparently uncommon in identical twins. Identical they are. I can't yet tell them apart. If I don't return one baby to the same crib from which I took her - forget it, I'm lost!
Kathy and the girls will remain at the hospital for the next few days. Then the real excitement begins.

Kathy and I want to thank you for your friendship, your encouragement, and your support.

Sincerely yours,

Eric (Proud Papa), Kathy, Wendy, and Amy

Mom’s Precious Jewels

Sunday, September 5th, 2010
Birthday Cake.jpgEighteen years ago this very day, two precious jewels were added to my life.  The twins were born!  After 14 hours of labor, and finally deciding you were just too tangled up to come out on your own (trying to get out first, Wendy?), a C-section was performed, and two beautiful little ladies came into the world.  

Amy and Wendy, I'll never forget the moment you made me a mom - a role I have and always will cherish.  I don't deserve to have such wonderful daughters like you two, but I'm thrilled that I do!  I've loved every moment of it - pushing you around downtown Burbank in your twin stroller, sitting on the couch at the condo reading to you, and all of the "bonding" moments in Pine Mountain.  You have become incredible godly women, and I am proud of both of you!  Happy Birthday my precious ones!

A ticket to Disneyland

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
20100617 - Hand writing letterThumb.jpgDear Mr. Iger,

The Orange Country register just reported that Disney attendance has dropped 4% for the spring/summer season this year.  That's normally Disneyland's busiest time, isn't it?

Why do you think attendance has dropped?  

Perhaps it is because the average family's expendable income cannot keep up with your constant raising of the price of the park admission.

When Southern California annual passes were $99, our family of six bought them, and drove the 125 miles each way to go to Disneyland almost weekly.  Since we felt we were getting a "deal" we spent money on meals, snacks and souvenirs.  Now, they are $239 each - over twice as much!  There is no way our family can afford that much in passes, gasoline, parking, AND food to go to Disneyland.

Perhaps you should consult the folks over at Knotts Berry Farm.  When they lowered their annual pass prices last year, people flocked to them in droves.

School has arrived at the Mack House!

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
Kelly in front of her sixth grade curriculumOn August 2, my 6th grade curriculum arrived. I am so excited!  I LOVE learning!  I took inventory, making sure everything we ordered had arrived, and then I sorted my books by subject.  I cannot wait until next Monday, so I can start school.  My favorite subjects are health and history.  I'm very proud to announce that last semester, my sister, Emily, made the honor roll.  My goal for this school year is to get straight A's!

Recession: A Blessing in Disguise?

Saturday, July 31st, 2010
20070216_GTDBreakfastClub (small).jpgFor a scholarship, I wrote an essay about the effects of the current recession on the family.  I really enjoyed writing it and thought I'd share it.

While initially, one would expect the current recession to have an adverse effect on the average family, I have found that my family has grown more creative, closer in our relationships, and wiser in our decisions as a result.

I've heard of studies that claim that television and video games “reduce” creativity and I believe that there may be some truth to that.  Several years ago, in order to better manage what we consumed, my parents made the decision to get rid of our cable television.  We still had videos to watch, but the television was on far less frequently than when we had cable.  Suddenly, my sisters and I found ourselves with abundant time on our hands.  Kelly is wearing the cardigan I knit for her as well as my hat and scarfWe all read more and began to discover interests or talents that we otherwise might not have known we possessed.  Although I did not enjoy the home economics course I took in high school, I realized that once I had the freedom to experiment, I loved cooking and baking.  I also learned how to knit and have enjoyed making sweaters and scarves for family and friends.  We encouraged friends to get rid of their cable subscription and they, too, have found themselves being more creative.
Continue Reading "Recession: A Blessing in Disguise?" »

Are You Wise?

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Fourth Wiseman.jpgA while ago, my parents watched a movie called, "The Fourth Wise man". It was based on a story by Henry Van Dyke called The Other Wise Man. They were so impressed with the story, that they wanted my sisters and me to watch it as well. Here is the summary:

A magi named Artaban leaves his home and sells everything he has to go look for the Messiah. All the other magi taunted him for his decision. A reluctant servant accompanied Artaban only for a reward of his (the servant's) freedom. Artaban brings three gifts for Jesus; a ruby, a sapphire, and a pearl. Along the way, he stops and helps needy people and gives the gifts away to provide for them. He got sidetracked, and for 33 years, Artaban lived with a colony of outcasts and lepers using his medical skills and farming abilities to help them. Artaban learned that Jesus was in Jerusalem and set out to meet him. Many troubles prevented him from seeing Jesus before the crucifixion. Before Artaban’s death, Jesus rewarded his faithful servant, Artaban, with his heart’s desire.

        My dad gave my sisters and me a challenge of how many verses from the Bible we could find to support this movie. He said if we found enough verses, we could earn the new Nancy Drew computer game for the four of us to play together. My dad also said that if we write a blog post about it, we could earn another game. These are the verses and the reasons why that we found:

John 3:16- For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth on Him will never perish but have eternal life. –Answers why Jesus came.

Isaiah 9:6- For unto us a child is born. Unto us a Son is given and the government will be upon His shoulders and His name will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. –The prophecy that Jesus was Born.

Matthew 11:5- The Blind receive sight, the Lame walk, those who have leprosy are healed, the deaf her, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor. –Blind man received his sight

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Minnie is a Chicken?!?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
Kelly pets Sophie the ChickenMy cousin, Julie, recently got a chicken, and is looking forward to showing it in the fair.

She wanted to show us what her chicken will do in the fair. Julie inspected it, so that the judges would know if it is a healthy birdJulie inspects her chicken's wings

One of her requirements was to dress up her chicken. Julie decided to dress her chicken up as Minnie Mouse. She has an old Minnie doll dress for her chicken, felt arms with little white gloves. She also hollowed out a Minnie Mouse antenna ball for the ears. The funniest thing was that as soon as the dress was put on the chicken,Julie tries to dress her chicken it pulled its head out - looking like a chicken with its head cut off.  When the chicken tried to walk in the dress it would wobble, and turn somersaults across the table.  Oh well, at least it has time to get used to the dress!

I am very impressed with my cousin’s creativity!

Mom Vs. Day Care

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
I was at a dinner party a few nights ago when a woman made the comment that in this day and age, both husbands AND wives have to work in order to get by, and children need day care.

Well, nothing puts a bee in my bonnet faster than such a ridiculous comment.

Before I go further, I do understand there are single moms who have to work - they have been dealt a tough role - but that is where families and churches need to step up to the plate to help these moms as much as possible, so that she can spend as much time as possible raising her children.  Please note, I am not advocating welfare - but time and compassion.  Kudos to dads who are raising the children.  We need to reach out to you, as well.

Picture of woman getting a pedicure.jpgBUT...we live in a society where most people feel they DESERVE to have the things they WANT (note, I did not say the things they NEED).  In Santa Clarita alone - there are more nail salons than Starbucks (and there are quite a few Starbucks!).  I cannot begin to tell you how ridiculous it is to spend $4 on a cup of coffee and a great deal more to have your fingernails and TOENAILS painted.  But we deserve it don't we?

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Soil, Sheep, and a Rainforest?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
SonQuest Rainforest logo.jpgAdd together almost 16,000 cookies, 1500 children, 500 workers, and five parables - and what do you have?  Vacation Bible School at Grace Baptist Church!

The girls and I were extraordinarily blessed this past week to attend Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita.  I certainly had a life-changing week.

Wendy and I shared a sixth grade classroom of 19 girls - in which Kelly was a student.  Emily led a table of first graders, and Amy sang and played the keyboard for Outdoor Music.

When the children arrived each morning, we attended a 35 minute assembly of music, drama, and information on the missionary that we were supporting.  The contest between the boys and girls was held each day to see who could donate the most money to our missionary, Ashley Ruffner, who works at a school in Ecuador.  The over $19,000 the students brought in will go to supply sports equipment, VBS materials, Bibles, and some new sound equipment to the school.  The donation also paid for a plane ticket home, so Ashley could see her father who had become ill and needed surgery.  Ashley was able to join us at the assemblies on Thursday and Friday.

After the assembly, our group went to our classroom (which our family had a blast decorating with rain forest themed decorations!) for craft time, then outside for some wet recreation time.  After a quick snack (some of those 16,000 cookies), we headed in for a message from one of our pastors or a drama group.  After that, we headed back to our room for our table time.

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Amy and Wendy Display their Awana Citation AwardsMonday, May 24, marked the completion of 12 years of hard work and service for Amy and Wendy.  That day they were each presented with the Awana Citation Award.  For young people involved in Awana, earning the Citation Award is the ultimate achievement. The Citation is their reward for thousands of hours attending group meetings, working with children, getting involved in their communities, completing 10 years of biblically grounded curriculum and learning more than 700 Bible verses.

The awards ceremony was held at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita.  Wendy was the first of three students to speak.  She shared what the various stages of Awana meant to her spiritual growth and development.  Amy delighted all by playing the piano before and during the ceremony, including two of her own compositions.  

Continue Reading "Amy and Wendy Earn the Awana Citation Award!" »
Emily Displays Her First Year Awana Trek AwardNot to be outdone by her little sister, Kelly, on May 17, our Emily completed her Awana year.  Emily finished her book, and a plaque for her accomplishments.  She, too, went above and beyond and did the extra credit and earned a certificate and pin for her efforts.

Emily had a blast this year making a DVD of the year's accomplishments (including her participation on the Bible quizzing team, and the game team).  The video was presented at the awards ceremony, and the audience enjoyed it tremendously.  She's already thinking ahead to making a video for next year.

Way to go Em!

A Tribute to My Dad

Sunday, June 20th, 2010
This Father's Day, I wanted to share how much my dad means to me.  

Eric and Wendy pose for a pictureFor as long as I can remember, my dad has made it clear that the family is important to him.  Dad chose to work at home so that he can spend more time with the family.  He welcomes us at all times of the day to show him a craft or a test grade and he works hard to make sure that we don't feel like a nuisance but that we understand that he values our attention.

God has given my dad a passion for teaching.  Everything is a lesson, and it is rare that I walk away from a conversation without learning something.  A couple of days ago, while setting up a pantograph for my mom, he was excitedly explaining to Kelly and me the device's historical use by President Thomas Jefferson.  Family dinners are so much fun - especially now as Amy and I are approaching voting age.  We are often discussing or debating something, whether it be our stand on a political issue, or a historical fact, or how our government works.  Dad encourages us to pay attention in school by eagerly listening to anything we share - especially about history or physics.  It is not uncommon that we find ourselves the teachers and our parents the students!  Earlier as he was helping me with some technical aspects of a blog post - he took some time to teach me how to understand some of the code that he was entering.  Dad also practices what he preaches.  He not only tells us how important education is but he proved it to us by going back to get both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree!

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A tribute to my mom

Friday, June 18th, 2010
20080315 - Kathy's Turkey Pot Pie.jpgIn a society where so many are unreliable, lazy, or proud, my mom is the opposite.  She possesses the rare gift of a servant’s heart.

Mom’s days are spent serving others, with little time reserved for herself.  It is very rare that one can wake up before her as she is up preparing food for the day or working on accounting.  I have often woken up to the aromas of fresh muffins, bacon, and eggs with the realization that she woke up early just to make a “family breakfast”.  This morning, she woke up at 6:30 to do the laundry so that we had clean clothes to wear - all after going to bed at 1:00!

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Incredible Audio Books!

Monday, June 14th, 2010
Since our family does not have cable TV we enjoy listening to audio stories whenever we clean, do crafts, or drive somewhere.  Here are some of our family's favorites.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Here are Some Resources for Terrific Audio Books/Stories

Adventures in Odessy audio story cover.jpg

Nothing can top "Adventures in Odyssey"

This company has an incredible inventory

Christian Book Distributors offers these:

In addition to "Adventures in Odyssey", here are some of our very favorites:

Peter and the Starcatchers

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Television - No More TV.jpg

Many years ago, my husband and I pulled the plug on our television. I must admit, I was initially devastated with this decision. Looking back, I really only watched a few things - I enjoyed the Home and Gardening network, Vault Disney (Disney classics), and TV Land. I was becoming quite dismayed with TV Land, and had to stop allowing my children to watch classic TV shows because they would often broadcast inappropriate commercials, or worse yet, promos for their Showtime movies. These movie promos blatantly offered more information than my little girls needed to know.

Continue Reading "Pull the plug on TV, improve your family, and save $600 (or more) per year" »


Sunday, July 26th, 2009
This weekend, a friend shared a list of the top ten things a father can give his children.

1. A Spiritual compass

2. A Biblical self-image

3. Physical affection

4. Roots and wings

5. Marital harmony

6. A positive attitude

7. Purposeful discipline

8. A good role-model

9. A passion for life

10. ______________

What would YOU add to this list?

Watching Free Willy with my daughters

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
We've got Free Willy playing on the big screen.

On the first 5 minutes of the VHS tape there is a music video by Michael Jackson and a commercial for the "Save the Whales Foundation."


Let me get this straight:

In the commercial, the Save the Whales foundation  is sponsored by BumbleBee Tuna?

Sounds fishy to me.
Emily receives her Awana Timothy awardKelly receives her Awana Excellence award
We recently attended the Awana year-end celebration. Part of the activities include recognition of each child's accomplishments.

Emily (11) earned her Timothy Award through the Awana Bible club program.  She has been a part of Awana since she was 3.  To earn this award, Emily spent the last four years memorizing 438 Bible verses!  Emily also participated in Awana Bible Quizzing this year, and her team earned a second place ribbon.

Kelly (9) earned the Awana Bible club Excellence Award. Like her sister, she has participated in the Awana program since age 3.  Kelly spent the last two years memorizing 190 Bible verses.  She also represented our church at the Awana Games tournament, earning a third place ribbon, and at the Awana Bible Quizzing event, where she took home a first place medal.

Next year, Amy & Wendy will earn their Citation awards for their accomplishments, including memorization and reference of almost 800 verses.

The Awana program has spent the last 60 years helping churches and parents raise children and youth to know, love, and serve Christ.  It does this by teaching them to hide God's Word in their heart (Psalm 119:11) - by memorizing the Scriptures and by study, Q&A, and games.  Each week more than 1 million children and youth, and 250,000 volunteers participate in Awana in over 17,000 U.S. churches, and in over 100 countries.

I am thankful for the Awana program which helps parents teach their children to hid God's Word in their hearts. The Bible teaches us that God's Word does not return void. No doubt, this knowledge will serve them well throughout their lifetime.

Kelly’s first fish

Monday, May 18th, 2009
I spend far too much time in my office. Fortunately, I only have to step outside to enjoy the beauty of God's creation. Yesterday, I took the girls fishing at the lake down the street. Within minutes, Kelly had caught her first fish, an 11" Bass.  A wonderful day and a delight to see the smile on my daughter's face when she proudly displayed her catch!

Kelly catches her first fish at Fern's Lake, in Pine Mountain Club, CA

We did see 24" Catfish swimming around, but it was not the least bit interested in our measly worm. Perhaps another day...

Making faces in class

Friday, December 26th, 2008
My home office is connected to our conference room. When I'm not using it for meetings or client work, my wife uses it to conduct homeschool lessons for the children.

The laughter level was higher than usual - perhaps too much to stay focused. As principal, I decided to step in to see what the commotion was all about...
Kelly and her magnifying glass in school

It seems that Kelly had discovered the face-distorting potential of her magnifying ruler...

Continue Reading "Making faces in class" »

My wife, Kathy, is a life-long Disney fan and we love to spend time at the park. A friend of hers arranged for this dedication.

Via: Sun 7 News (Click on the link below)


Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Wow, 80 years old! It seems like just 20 years ago that the kindergartners of room 19 celebrated your birthday with Miss Mullen.
Miss Mullen and the kindergartners of room 19 wish Mickey a happy 60th birthday!

A stockholder letter to the Disney Corporation

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
My daughter, Emily (11) wrote this letter to the Disney Company. I asked for permission to blog it. I think she touches on several very important points...

November 10, 2008

As a stockholder of the Disney Company (that means I own two shares of the Disney Company), I think we should:

       Bring back Disney magazines
       Lower prices on things
       Have Santa visit
       Put cotton candy in the candy store
       Make Fantasmic a little less violent
       Under the huge Christmas tree, put a stable with Mary, Jesus, and Joseph
       Bring back submarines and the Country Bear Jamboree

Emily Mack

No response yet, but I look forward to seeing how they respond to this young stockholder.

The Wealth Wall Street Can’t Touch

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
I always appreciate how my friend, Michael Hyatt, places things into perspective.

Recently, Michael posted a beautiful piece on the impact of the market's downward slide. He proposes that we can have two responses: we can focus on what we have lost or on what we have. Michael's started a list of some of the things most important to him:
...I also realized that I have a choice: I can focus on what I have lost or I can focus on what I have. I started making a mental list:
  • I have my health.
  • I have a loving wife, who is also my best friend.
  • I have five wonderful daughters, two sons-in-law and (so far) two beautiful grandchildren.
  • I have several profound friendships that encourage and challenge me.
  • I have meaningful work that I would do even if I wasn’t getting paid.
  • I have incredibly competent co-workers whom I truly love and respect.
  • I have a church that grows dearer to me with each passing year.
  • I have a relationship with God that is endlessly fascinating and fulfilling.
Michael is blessed. As I read through his list, it reminded me of just how blessed I am, too. With the exception of bullet point #3 * , I could have written the same list. It fits me perfectly.

We have so much to be thankful for.

I encourage you to read the full blog post: The Wealth Wall Street Can’t Touch

* I have only four daughters, none are married yet. That's a good thing. Daddy's not quite ready for that yet. :-o
Kathy was my kindergarten crush, then she became my princess bride. I have been greatly blessed since.

Today, for the 19th time, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.

Blood Sucking Leeches

Thursday, September 4th, 2008
My sister Roxanne needs a blog, but since she's too busy hiking in the rain forests of Malaysia I offered to post her story here...
(An alternate title could have been:  "One more reason not to visit your sister in KL.")

Sept. 1, 2008
Dear Friends and Family,

Saturday morning marked our first encounter with leeches.  Granted a 3-day weekend to celebrate Malaysia’s Independence Day, we were inspired to go for a hike in KL.  Our task was to trek through the rain forest. Our reward would be a dip in the ponds above a local waterfall.  The only challenge, beyond cardiovascular, was to avoid the teams of squishy tubular blood-sucking leeches that lined the trail.

It turns out that leeches are keen at sensing movement and are actually drawn to our carbon-dioxide rich exhalations.  In the wettest parts of the trail, the leeches “stood” upright, dancing in our path…reaching towards us, desperately trying to throw themselves aboard our mud-soaked shoes.  Once aboard, they would inch their way to softer territory. Sometimes, that meant they would climb up our legs. Often they would squirm their way between shoe and sock.  Then, unbeknownst to us, they would gorge themselves on our nutrient-rich blood.

Continue Reading "Blood Sucking Leeches" »

It happened...

Saturday, July 26th, 2008
45th Birthday Cards

Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008
(Guest post by Kathleen Mack)
This past weekend, our family went to see the movie "Kit Kittredge:  An American Girl."  Our two youngest daughters, ages 11 and 9 are big American Girl fans.  
KitKittredgeAmericanGirl.jpgThis is the first time this franchise has released a movie to the theaters.  They have previously released videos straight to DVD.  Several months ago, we watched the movie based on the "Molly" doll.  The movie, set in the WWII era, was incredible.  To borrow the colloquialism:  We laughed, we cried.  It was a well written and entertaining story that did more than entertain, it made the personal history of families who lived through WWII very real.

The "Kit" movie does the same thing with the Depression Era.  For those of you who are uninitiated to the American Girl series, each doll represents a time in our nation's history - Josefina represents the early days of the southwest, what we in California call the "mission era";  Addy is a slave girl from the time of the Civil War; Julie represents the 1970's, and so-on.  The various series of books, that go along with each doll, don't necessarily teach history through dates and facts, but through the emotions of a family, and especially a little girl.

Continue Reading "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl" »

GTD and the Ironing Board

Friday, May 5th, 2006
Well, you would think being the wife of David Allen's "Technology Guru", Eric Mack, that I would have attended countless GTD seminars over the years.  Due to child care restraints, it just never happened for me.

In March, a dear aunt stepped forward to watch our children, and I headed with my husband to Santa Monica for David's RoadMap seminar.

The night before David's seminar, Eric told me about some of the questions that David would ask in the seminar.  He asked me..."If tomorrow's RoadMap seminar were a wild success, what would that look like?" He wanted to know what I could walk away with that would make my life easier/better/organized, etc..

Continue Reading "GTD and the Ironing Board" »

Update on Kathy’s Mom (12/05/2005)

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005
Our family's been going through some amazing times as we deal with helping my mother-in-law recover from her stroke. We could not have made it this far without the prayers and assistance from friends and family. While I'm grateful for the assistance we've received, I'm most touched by the prayer support from many faithful people - many of whom I have never met. God is sustaining and strengthening not just Kathy's mom, but all of us. Here's an email Kathy sent me from the hospital to share.
As many of you know, our world changed dramatically at the beginning of August.  While traveling with our family, my mother suffered a stroke.  A CT scan in the emergency room revealed that she had a 9x4 inch cyst in her brain, and surgery was scheduled to remove that cyst and take the pressure off of her brain.  The surgery went well, but Mom was in a coma for ten days.  A frightening time, as you can imagine, as some told us she might never come out of that state.  She did, and I believe God listened to the prayers of many.  

Twenty-six days later, we took Mom back to her home town via ambulance and checked into a nursing and rehabilitation facility.  Unfortunately, we were ignorant as to their lack of care, and Mom came down with pneumonia six days after arriving there.  That night, when they wheeled her into the emergency room, my sister and I had to decide whether or not to stop life support.  God gave us both a peace that we should keep fighting.  Mom left that hospital two weeks later, and we transferred her to a different nursing facility.

Continue Reading "Update on Kathy's Mom (12/05/2005)" »

The wife of noble character

Friday, October 14th, 2005
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord. - Proverbs 18:22

Kathy, as we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary for the 15th time, I took some time to reflect on my blessings from a biblical perspective:

A wife of noble character who can find?
     She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
     and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good not harm
     all the days of her life.

     - Proverbs 31:10-12

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Will he really wear it?

Sunday, June 19th, 2005
For Father's Day, my daughers presented me with some really wild shirts and ties. Yes, ties. I've got one with hand prints all over it, one with pink stipes, some with vivid colors and still another with Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat. The shirts are equally unique. My daughters were not sure I would wear them; they were concerned that these might be too over-the-top for a professional to wear. Well, today, I proudly wore one of the new shirts and ties. Why not. My kids gave them to me in love, and I will think of them each time I put one on.

These are not just ordinary ties. These are the ties that bind.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.


PS. This week's shaping up to be a busy week. Several blog entries, podcasts, and comment responses in the draft queue. I'll get to these soon.

My proposal to Kathy

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
May 26th, marks the 15th anniversary of my proposal to the kindergarten teacher in room 19.

The proposal was tricky. It involved short-term deception, an airplane, mystery, lots of roses, and many accomplices.

Fortunately, she said yes.

We've been through a lot together: better and worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer. Through it all, God has blessed our marriage. I've been faithful to her from day one and I will continue to be so. (She only has to share me with a robot, four daughters, and now, a Tablet PC. )

I am honored that she's my wife.

Perhaps I should see if she would agree to share the story?
I missed Happy TV-Turnoff Week and I did not even know. Many years ago, we shut off our TV; we've never looked back. It was difficult for about 3 days. Since then, we've found better things to do with our time - like visiting, playing games, and just being a family.

I do miss the history channel, but not the commercials - it's just not worth it. I can buy or rent quality programs. I can also check them out from the library. Life is too short to fill my head much of the garbage that the networks and their sponsors want me to see. Even when we did have broadcast television in our home, there was so little that represented our values, that Kathy and I spent most of our viewing time previewing and screening shows and their commercials from our children. Even our favorite classics on Nick-at-Nite (were talking many years ago) were routinely punctuated by commercials unbecoming a responsible network. It seems that the networks (or their advertisers) see little value in programs that are not violent, degrading, or graphic in more ways than one.  Well, I'm not watch'n it and I care too much about my children to let them watch television that won't show them what a functional home and marriage can be like.

Recently, we purchased the entire Little House on the Prairie series on DVD. I'd never seen this; I must have been too busy playing with computers. What a wonderful program -- and without commercials. Each week, we watch one episode with the children and then we talk about it. We've had a great time and we still have many seasons left to see.

Kathy and I have learned to be much more careful about what comes into our home and into our minds.

If you've not tried it, consider turning off your TV for a week. You may not miss it.

Use the force at breakfast

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005
A delightful way to make your 7 year-old happy is to eat your cereal with a Jedi light saber spoon - the kind that glows red while you're holding it.

[Update: 12:20 PM: Due to popular request, I've uploaded a photo:]

Jedi Light
Saber Spoon.jpg

Michael, you can get your very own, inside a box of Apple Jacks. Let me know if you can't buy AJ in NZ, and I'll send you one.

Plenty of Wiggle room ...

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005
Where can you take your young children where they are encouraged to make lots of noise, get out of their seats and move, and interact with the folks on stage?  A Wiggles concert!

The Wiggles are Australia's best export in the world of children's entertainment.  Are these friends of yours Richard?


Greg, Jeff, Anthony and Murray wiggle, giggle, sing and dance their way into children's hearts.  Parents love them because their songs are about safety (how to cross the street), healthy eating habits (Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy), and excercise (Shaky Shaky Shaky).

Tonight, Kathy and I took the girls to see The Wiggles perform a live concert in Bakersfield.  We were soon clapping, singing and dancing along with them (even our 12 year olds caught Wiggle fever - but don't tell their friends!).

According to their website, they are currently touring the west coast, up through Canada.  If you want to experience pure childhood entertainment, without the crassness Hollywood has thrown into the movies and television shows, then I encourage you to catch the Wiggles in concert.  You are never too old to have fun!

Losing hair for a good cause

Tuesday, March 15th, 2005
This past week, our seven year old, Emily, did something remarkable.  She cut off her hair to donate to Locks of Love, an organization that makes hairpieces for children who have lost their own hair due to cancer and other illnesses.

Emily's beautiful
snip, off they comeEmily with the locks she will donate

Emily set this goal for herself about 18 months ago, and took good care of her hair until it was long enough to donate.   Each time Mommy brushed out the tangles we reminded ourselves that someone was going to enjoy having her beautiful hair.

It is no secret that Kathy and I are truly proud of our four daughters, and we take great joy in the delightful young ladies they are becoming.

Management Training for Children?

Monday, November 1st, 2004
Nik Chapapas, posted this question about teaching children how to be productive on his Living Life forum:
Management Training for Children?
As I continue to practice the methods of Getting Things Done, I'm reading of people being successful in teaching their children these methods. I'd love to see my children learning this, but question if I have the right words or practices to teach them.
Nik's question is an appropriate introduction for today's blog entry. I believe that Nik already has what it takes to teach his children, and in fact, he's already doing it.

One of the best ways that I know of to teach a child anything -- good or bad -- is simply to model it. Desirable behavior or not, they will copy what they see. I try to have my children see me in a variety of situations; one of them is dealing with clients. I will often allow one of my children to study or read in my office, just so that they can be with me, see what I do, and observe how I serve clients on the phone or even in a video conference. I never cease to be amazed and what they pick up without my even saying a word to them. It's a great lesson for them, and a good reminder for me.

This weekend, I had to take a brief trip to see a client a few hours away. I knew it would be a casual event, so I decided to invite one of my children to come along as my "helper." This time, it was Emily's turn. We had a great time, the client was friendly and gracious to her, and Emily and I got to spend several hours together in the car, just talking about stuff.

Equally, if not important to the things we discussed, were the things that she observed. I could lecture about principles at length, (been there, done that), but in the end, what is more likely to stick is what she has observed.

Image:Management Training for Children?
All dressed up and ready to go...

I consider myself blessed to be able to make a living doing what I do, and serving the people that I serve. I'm even more delighted to share this blessing with my kids.  If you ever have the opportunity to invite your child to come to work with you, consider doing it. It will be a learning experience for both of you. Whether or not you are able to do this, know that your kids are watching your every move. They know what is real and what is not and they are quite perceptive. Next to knowing that God is watching, I cannot think of anything more humbling.

Celebrating 50 years

Thursday, October 14th, 2004
Tonight, Kathy and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We were married 15 years ago, but we learned that the 50th anniversary is such a special celebration that we now celebrate it each year.

Image:Celebrating 50 years

I am grateful to the Lord that He has given me the desire of my heart and that He has blessed me with a Proverbs 31 woman - a wife of noble character.

I am equally delighted that when I proposed to my kindergarten sweetheart, she agreed, because tonight, we get to watch that classic movie once again.

Thank you, Kathy, for being my wife.  I'll always be your prince charming and I look forward to celebrating for many years to come.

(Disney fans, see if you can you spot the hidden Mickey)

Kelly gets her 5 minutes of fame

Monday, August 9th, 2004
Kelly and I were honored to be in the wedding of a close friend of mine. Kelly was the flower girl while I stood up front and thought about what it will be like to escort each of my daughters down the aisle someday.

During the rehearsals, Kelly walked so briskly that Kathy and I both encouraged her to walk more slowly. On the day of the wedding, Kelly did just that; she took her sweet time; so much so, that the wedding procession was almost done by the time she reached the altar, yet the bride was still in the aisle. (Oops.)

Image:Kelly gets her 5 minutes of fameImage:Kelly gets her 5 minutes of fame

There was some concern that the bride and groom might not find their way out from the reception, so we added a pilot-car sign to Kelly's gown ...

Image:Kelly gets her 5 minutes of fame

The wedding went well, and my friend and his new bride did not stop beaming the whole time.

The only problem (for me) was that Wendy caught the bouquet ...

Application for permission to date my daughter

Thoughts on how to pay for a wedding

Wiggle Party

Wednesday, July 28th, 2004
A diversion from productivity or technology posts: Michael Sampson revealed to the world that I was celebrating an anniversary of my 29th birthday. July is a month full of birthdays in our  home. Recently, I helped two of my daughters celebrate their Wiggles Theme birthday. Kathy "volunteered" me to be Captain Feathersword, the fun-loving, kindhearted, singing and dancing pirate. So for the Sampson family, here I am as the captain...

Image:Wiggle PartyImage:Wiggle Party

 I love watching pirate movies. In fact, just last night, Kathy and I watched the Pirates of Tortuga.  I have a large collection of pirate movies I like to watch, including, Pirates of the Caribbean, Crimson Pirate, and even the VeggieTales Pirates who don't do anything. I have no problem dressing up to play the part of a pirate, but I draw the line at a dancing pirate. (I have my professional image to maintain.)

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with The Wiggles, they are a group of entertainers from Australia, who for the past 13 years have been entertaining children, young and old[er], as they encourage them to eat their fruit salad, hot potatoes, cold spaghetti, mashed bananas, and crunchy munchy honey cakes.

Image:Wiggle Party

The Wiggles are quite popular in our home, surpassed only by the VeggieTales. (That's another story!) If you have children under the age of 6 in your home, then you have an excuse to watch the wiggles. Highly recommended. Oh, thanks for the birthday greeting, Michael!

What will you leave behind?

Monday, June 14th, 2004
A hundred years from now, when people stumble across the archaic things that we once called blogs, what will matter the most? Will future generations really care which model PDA you wore on your belt, what kind of car you drove, or how many hours you put in each day at the office?

After you are gone, would someone who knew you well be able to say that during your lifetime you accomplished the things that were truly most important to you? How would they know?

Chances are that your children's children and perhaps even their children will know of you. Verbal family tradition, a personal journal, and even your blog, (if you had one), as an active journal of history, will help paint a more vivid picture of your life than perhaps you currently have of your grandparents. But, what will these say about you?  What kind of legacy will you leave behind? What will your children be like?

A hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had, nor what my clothes were like. But  the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child. - Dr. Forest E. Witcraft

If you have spent any time perusing the archives of this site or my family web site, you know that beyond my work, or my current hobbies, such as robotics, or CNC, my family -- my wife and my children -- mean the world to me. Other than the spiritual element of life, it is my family that I live for. The primary reason that Kathy and I have chosen to home educate our children is more than just to be able to provide our children with a sound education: we want to provide them with a heritage, rich in the knowledge, skills, values, and faith that we consider most important for a successful life.

Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.  -- Proverbs 22:6

David Allen challenges us to focus on the "Successful Outcome." Stephen Covey tells us to "Begin with the end in mind." Whatever you call your process of long-term contemplation, I believe that you cannot truly be "on-purpose" in your daily life without a clearly defined objective and a strategy to get there.  Without a road map (or compass), pointing me to my destination, how could I possibly hope to know how to evaluate the opportunities or tempting situations along the way? I could accept that CTO offer, I could, move to ...,  I could pursue [fill in the blanks].

Many years ago, Kathy and I decided to sit down and map out the mission, vision, and purpose for our marriage and our family. Knowing that life can seem like a series of course corrections, we wanted to make sure that at least we were both heading for the same destination and that we were clear on how we expected to reach it. Using our 30th wedding anniversary as an initial milestone, we prayerfully wrote out our family mission statement; a picture of what we desired our family to be like 21 years into the future.

The legacy that Kathy and I hope to leave behind is our family mission -- not on paper, as I will share it, but a living testimony in the lives of our children. The true measure of our success as a family, will be in whether they choose to pass on this legacy in the lives of their children and if their children in turn, choose to do the same.

With a clear picture of our successful outcome in mind, we worked backward to the present and translated our family vision into measurable outcomes in specific areas of our life, and we committed to work towards each of these. From this family mission statement, I have developed my personal and business vision. When faced with difficult decisions, I have found great clarity in reviewing these.  I wish I had had the maturity to have done something like this when I was much younger.

Having a clear sense of direction has given Kathy and me a clarity and unity in decision-making that we would not otherwise have had. It has influenced our decisions about everything -- where we live, our career choices, (even including which clients to serve),  and how we play.  We review it aloud regularly, and we now include our children in the process.

How will we do living out our family mission statement? Certainly better than we would do without one. Check back on this site in 15 or 20 years.


P.S. I would like to encourage you to develop your own family mission statement and to reflect upon it regularly. It will change your life. If you would like to see ours, you are welcome to view it here or on our family web site.

Mother’s Day Tribute

Sunday, May 9th, 2004
This weekend, we enjoyed a wonderful Mother's day. I took my family to visit my grandmother and grandfather and my aunt and uncle.  As we visited together I took the time to observe how each of my children were behaving and interacting with one another and with their great-grandparents, great-aunt and great-uncle, and their cousins.  I took time to reflect on each of their character and grace.

I'm very proud of my children -- not for any accomplishment on my part, but for the delightful young ladies that they are growing into. They are graceful, compassionate, kind, intelligent, caring, eloquent, and fun. Most of all, their love of the Lord can be seen in their countenance. As I thought about all of this, I realized that these are the very characteristics that had first attracted me to Kathy 15 years ago, and that through her example, these were now manifest in my children. What a fitting tribute to my wife on Mother's day.

I'm very honored to have Kathy as my wife and I count our daughters among the many blessings in our marriage. Thank you, Kathy.  Happy Mother's day!

Not easy being green

Wednesday, March 17th, 2004
Many years ago, Kathy (the former Miss. Mullen) wanted me to wear something green to a St. Patrick's Day party, hosted by our choir.  The local haberdasher did not have any green tuxedoes, so my wife set out in pursuit someone to sew a fine green tuxedo for me, along with a matching dress for her.  I told her if she could find someone to sew it, I would wear it and ...
Image:Not easy being green
I wonder if it still fits...  Now, I feel like watching Darby O'Gill

Kindergarten Crush

Wednesday, November 5th, 2003
Like many people, I had crush on the Kindergarten teacher in room 19.

Image:Kindergarten Crush

Unlike most of you, however, I did something about it... I proposed to her.

She said yes.


50th Anniversary

Saturday, October 25th, 2003
My grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary tonight.  We had a wonderful family celebration in Riverside.  Kathy and I put together an evening of entertainment, along with slide show to pay tribute to their more than 50 years together.   Kathy and I enjoyed the celebration so much that we are now planning to celebrate our 50th Anniversary next year and each year thereafter.
Image:50th Anniversary
The trip to and from their party was a bit nerve-wracking, as we had to travel amidst the many Southern California fires.  While we were in no danger, the smoke and ash made it a pretty uncomfortable trip.

Princess Bride

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
Today, Kathy and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.  I thought I would share this story about how Kathy passed "the tests," during our courtship.  For those of you who have not seen the movie this may make no sense at all. The photo may make even less sense -- unless you like The Princess Bride and Disney and enjoy fantasy, romance, and fun.
Image:Princess Bride
When I was dating, I had several "trials" that the woman I would eventually marry would have to pass.

Separate from a long list of spiritual and family considerations which were key, and certainly most important, there were several light-hearted but valuable tests.

These included, in no particular order:

1. If we went on a formal date, did she wait for me to open the door for her, or did she do it herself? (Did she want to date a gentleman?)

2. How did she do on a date at The Magic Castle? (Could she behave with style and elegance in a formal setting?)

3. How did she do on a date to Medieval Times? (How well did she do eating messy food with her hands while knights jousted below)

4. How did do on a date sailing on my boat with only 20 minutes notice? (Could she have spontaneous fun or did she need 2 hours to apply make-up first?)

5. What did she think of eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese on a date?  (The only kind in my book. This was a test to see if she could be satisfied with little and with much.)

6. How did she do with children?  (Being a kindergarten teacher gave her an easy "Pass")

7. What did she think of the movies "The Princess Bride" and "The Count of Monte Cristo?" (Need I explain?)

Finally, was her father the kind of man who would allow me to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage? (He was and he said "yes." Then I asked Kathy and she said "yes." I'm glad that she did.)

Kathy was unaware of these trials at the time. However, she had a list of her own expectations which I was equally unaware of. I am happy to report that my wife passed all trials. Fortunately, I passed her long list  too. (Going to Disneyland was just one item on her list)

While life has certainly thrown us many challenges in our marriage, finances, and family life, our faith has been the unifying factor.

All of the secular criteria above have helped to allow us to laugh and have fun together during these times.

The theme of "The Princess Bride" played a big part in the nonreligious part of our wedding and my bride really got into it. At our wedding rehearsal, our pastor opened the evening in a very serious tone, with the statement "Mawwiage.  Mawwiage is what bwings us togethaw today.  Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam..."  

At our wedding prior to my entrance in the church, the organist played the traditional "Pachabel Canon" followed by the Disney classic love songs including "Once upon a dream." I entered the sanctuary during "Someday, my prince will come." When my bride came down the isle, my heart melted.  It still does just thinking about it. The audience cheered when we kissed. A beautiful hand-blown glass sculpture depicting a Minnie and Mickey bride and groom graced the top of our wedding cake. The wedding ring which Kathy gave me, has the words "As you wish..." engraved inside the band.

For our honeymoon, we traveled to the South of France where we stayed in rented castles and palaces while we toured the chateaus of the Loire Valley. I took Kathy to the Chateau D'If off the coast of Marseille. We retraced the steps of young Edmond Dantes. But that is another story.

Disneyland, here we come!

Sunday, October 12th, 2003
The girls have been saving all of our loose change for a year. They also had a garage sale and sold Lemonade.  Finally, we were able to purchase annual passes to Disneyland.
Image:Disneyland, here we come!
Emily, Kelly, Amy & Wendy hang out with Mickey's Brooms

LEGO 2003 Kickoff

Tuesday, September 30th, 2003
This year, I will again coach a team of seven home educated girls, and this week we kick off the season for the U.S. First Jr. Robotics LEGO Competition. Last year, the girls won the Judges Award at the competition, held in LEGOland, California. This year, we again will endeavor to do our best. The theme is "Mission to Mars" to coincide with NASA's missions to Mars.  It will be a great deal of work, a lot of fun, and a good education -- for all of us.
Image:LEGO 2003 Kickoff
Amy & Wendy put the finishing touches on their robot.

My wife left me

Thursday, August 7th, 2003
My wife left me early this morning to join her sister at OsFest.  
Image:My wife left me

For the next four days, Kathy and her sister will be in Hollywood and then at the Universal Hilton, (Part of the Universal Studios complex) ,celebrating the unveiling of the latest star on the Hollywood walk of fame, dedicated to a leading entertainment family. The evenings will be filled with star-studded, white sequined jumpsuits, dinners, variety acts, possibly a surprise visit from Andy, and lots of home movies.

As for me, no such excitement. I get to stay home and really appreciate just how hard my wife works, day in and day out, tirelessly educating, cooking, and cleaning, and helping me with the business. She is truly an amazing woman.  Perhaps I should nominate her to run for governor of California.  

I miss her already, and it is only day one of four.  

Mr. Mom.

Here horsey....

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2003
Image:Here horsey....Image:Here horsey....
Elisabeth Vernand, one of the wonderful people I work with at The David Allen Company, invited our family over to see her miniature pony farm, Ojai Painted Minis.
The girls thought it was fun to play with full grown ponies that were shorter than they were.  Kelly especially liked being bigger than something for a change. We had a lot of fun and it took the rest of the day to explain to the girls all of the reasons why we were not going to bring some home and let them live in our house.  I did not have an answer to their question "But why do you let Lassie live in the house?"  Thanks, Liz.

Daddy cruises with his little chicks

Friday, February 7th, 2003
Tonight, Eric took Amy, Wendy, and Emily out on a "date."  They went to the Father/Daughter banquet at our church.  The theme was 50's.
Image:Daddy cruises with his little chicks
The fun part was that there was a raffle for a china doll.  As soon as they started calling off the number, Emily started running to the stage, just sure she had won.  Imagine her delight, when indeed, she was holding the winning ticket!  She is now the proud owner of a china doll dressed in 1950's attire.

Father Daughter Banquet

Friday, February 7th, 2003
Tonight, I took Amy, Wendy, and Emily out on a "date."  We went to the Father/Daughter banquet at our church.  The theme was 50's, and while we were over dressed for the part, we had fun taking pictures.
Image:Father Daughter Banquet

The Count

Sunday, June 30th, 2002
The Count of Monte Cristo has to be one of my all-time favorite novels. I have the book as well as a large collection of movies which have been made based on this story. My favorite version is the 8 hour French miniseries (in French) with Gerard Depardieu.

On our honeymoon, my wife and I stayed in rented castles in France. (Think bed and breakfast, only these happen to be castles where you can rent a room or a wing for the night).

Back to Dumas, I took my new bride to the Chateau D'If just so that I could show her the room where a young and innocent Edmond Dantes spent so many years of his life.

Of course, Kathy has a completely different take on the whole experience - that of having to suppress bodily function for hours,  for lack of proper "Western" rest-room facilities on the island. I explained that the holes in the ground had been used for centuries and that they were authentic. She said that they looked and smelled authentic and managed to survive until we got off the boat in Marseille to more civilized facilities.  She has no desire to return.


Sunday, February 18th, 2001
Amy, Wendy, and Eric attended a Father/Daughter banquet at our church.  My mother made the girls Hawaiian dresses, and Eric, a matching shirt.  
Looking at the clothes on their backs and the sandals on their feet, you might conclude that it was warm and sunny outside. Actually, it was 30 degrees at home, and we had to trek through deep snow to get out to the car.  Fortunately, they did not get frostbite!

Back to the Happiest Place on Earth

Sunday, September 10th, 2000
We took a family trip to Disneyland.  While the Park was a little too hot to enjoy, we did have some memorable experiences.  Amy, Wendy and Eric were chosen to participate in the parade down Main Street U.S.A..  It was probably the first (and last) time anyone will see Eric in a pink tutu.  (Sorry, no pictures).
Image:Back to the Happiest Place on Earth
Wendy and Amy later participated in a skit with the Dapper Dans - Disneyland's barbershop quartet.