Monday, October 15, 2007

Lily, little princess/big girl

Hard to believe that Lily turned 4 years old yesterday! She had a wonderful day as her Uncles Kevin and Brian and Aunt Faith are visiting from PA. Of course, her Aunt Tina, Uncle Jackie and cousins were all here for her party too. Of course, she had a pink, princess cake! Click to play the short video clip and you'll hear how she wants to share her cake and her birthday too!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Heights achieved and celebrated!

Daddy and Lily had some special time yesterday morning with the boys in school and mom at work. We took a little drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Yes, I know that just being able to say that is not something to take for granted as some of you would have to drive for hours just to get to the parkway. I was hoping to see wonderful new brushstrokes painted by God amongst the trees, but things were still 'mostly' green... I did appreciate all of the sculptures of the mountain ranges however, and Lily (yes, still in her pajamas... why not, it was a lazy morning) did have some nice discussions about the leaves changing color and that Jesus is the reason.

Then, last evening -- October 9 -- Laura and I had a special date for dinner as it was the 25th anniversary of our very first date. Little did we know about the delightful journey that was ahead for us. Why do I remember? Well, I told someone recently that I was either very neurotic or desperate but it could just also be that I'm a hopeless and sensitive romantic at heart. Could it be both? In truth, probably!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Danielson rocks!

From leading a worship song during the morning offering today at church... to opening band at show tonight at a local venue... Daniel makes us proud with his musical talents, heart for God, and fun showmanship!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pumpkin Patch Pictures

David had a 'no-school' day, perfectly timed to join Lily for her school field trip to the pumpkin patch. After all, she had the chance to go with him on his field trips to the same patch for the past two years... too bad grandma and grandad were not here this year like last. David enjoyed getting his own pumpkin and a Happy Meal at McDonald's afterwards. So much so, that he declared this as "the best day ever". This afternoon the cousins came to the house to spend the day and sleep over tonight.... that was part of why he knew it was going to be a "best day".

Model Child

The following is taken from an email update sent by Laura:

At work, Don and I just attended one of J. Crew's annual Fall Kick-off meetings intended to get everyone excited about the upcoming peak season. We had a few important people from corporate headquarters in NY come down to Lynchburg to give us all the statistics about our company growth and tell us all what a great job we do stuffing packages in the distribution center and smoothing out customer issues in the call center. Just to make everyone aware of the new styles and create a buzz about the brand, there's always a little fashion show at the point for telling you all this is...Lily was picked to be one of the models this year!

She did a great job, sporting her red corduroy pants and yellow polka-dot wellie boots, tartan ruffled shirt and yellow argyle cashmere cardigan. To add additional cuteness, as if that were really necessary (or possible!), she had a yellow fair isle hat that just made everyone go "Awwwwhh...." when she came out and did her sweet little spin on the stage. No diva fits, temper tantrums or shrinking violet shyness the entire time--she was just cheerful and confident. No, we're not thinking about contacting a modeling agency or doing any beauty pageants any time soon, but we are very proud of her!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Camden Yards... without Cal

I always wanted to visit Orioles Park at Camden Yards... but wanted to do so while now-Hall of Famer Cal Ripken was still actively playing. That never happened, but yesterday I had the chance to go to Baltimore to watch the Orioles play the playoff-bound NY Yankees at Camden. The O's lost 10-4 and it was a very warm day, but Todd (my co-worker friend) and I had a lot of fun making the bus trip there and are already looking forward to a return visit in '08.

While there, I did as much scoreboard-watching as I did game-watching, hoping for what actually happened -- a NY Mets loss and a Philadelphia Phillies win!!!! The combination gave the Phillies the NL East division title and their first post-season appearance since 1993!! (note the scoreboard at Camden photo capturing a video of the celebration) They'll play the Wildcard team on Wednesday!!! Go fightin' Phils. Hope you can catch Phillies Fever!!!
Here's the wrap from (as luck would have it, the 4th inning is when Todd and I went to the concessions to get some food ... we saw some of the feats on video but didn't get to fully take it in... oh well, neither of us are Yankee fans, so its OK)...
BALTIMORE -- On the 162nd day, there was rest.

After an emotionally draining season, the Yankees took a more relaxed approach Sunday as the team's stars took their final bow in a 10-4 victory against the Orioles.

"The guys have played a lot of innings -- a lot of stressful innings -- in the second half of the year," third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. "It's good to get your mind and body rested."

It was the team's final game before Thursday's playoff opener against Cleveland. Rodriguez received the loudest ovation from the Yankees fans in Baltimore when he was removed from the game in the fourth inning, but inside the dugout the biggest cheers went to Bobby Abreu, who picked up his 100th RBI of the season in the fourth inning.

It was a milestone he had been chasing for the entire month, and Torre thought it showed.

"I was surprised he got a walk his first time up, because he was swinging at everything," the manager said with a laugh.

Abreu's quest had been picked up by the team, and the day's honorary manager, catcher Jorge Posada, was waiting with his team to congratulate Abreu in the dugout.

"When he got it, it was like a load came off for all of us," Posada said. "I can only imagine what he felt like."

Abreu hit the milestone four times with the Phillies, but he said this year was special because he battled through a rough first half of the season. At the end of May, the right fielder was hitting .228. Like the team, he went on a second-half tear to boost his numbers.

But as he approached 100 RBIs, things slowed down. He stalled at 98, picking up just one in the past 11 games before Sunday.

"I've been looking for that for a long time," he said. "I never gave up."

Yet another review of Thursday night's Dylan show!

Sept. 28, 2007

Dylan and Costello Push for the 22nd Century

Concert Review by Olivia Beatty

Say what you will about Bob Dylan - at 66, the man still knows how to rock. Dylan is a living legend, one of the few socially conscious rock troubadours to make it out of the ’60s alive.

And thank goodness he did. He and his five-piece band proved they still have what it takes get an arena of thousands on their feet screaming. Dylan filled Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena Thursday with his blues-infused, country-tinged, good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll.

In a wide-brimmed flat cowboy hat, hips swinging, Dylan proved his talent on guitar, keyboard and harmonica. It’s impressive that the man has made a career with a voice that sounds like he’s got a mouthful of cotton balls, but those nasally vocals are what make his voice unmistakable.

The show was a best-of bonanza, combining ’60s classics, tracks off his 2006 album, “Modern Times,” and notable bits and pieces in between. The mix might have been because he’s releasing yet another greatest-hits album in October or maybe because he has a solid songbook nearly four decades long.

A particularly rousing rendition of the 1965 hit “Highway 61 Revisited” really got the crowd going. In “Spirit on the Water” he jokes about his age: “You think I'm over the hill. You think I'm past my prime. Let me see what you got. We can have a whoppin’ good time.”

Dylan made the audience practically beg him to come back onstage for an encore. I guess when you’re Bob Dylan you can make them wait an extra few minutes, just to be sure enough they make enough noise to warrant the extra songs.

And what an encore it was. They played the up-tempo, hard-rocking “Thunder on the Mountain” from “Modern Times” and the pièce de résistance: his oft-covered 1967 masterpiece “All Along the Watchtower.”

Opening for Dylan was Elvis Costello, a headline-worthy act in his own right. He played an engaging and impressively energetic solo-acoustic set, which included his classic hits “Alison,” “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” and “(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.”

His British wit proved just as charming between tunes as he told tales of spotting Schwarzenegger in a restaurant and recounted the genesis of his politically charged newer songs. Costello and Dylan made for a solid tour pairing, with the former’s charm and short, poppy songs complementing the latter’s straight-to-business rocking jam sessions.

After 14 years of waiting... how sweet it is!