Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sweep x3

Steelers? Check.
Ravens? Check.
Browns? Check.

Entire AFC North? Check!

Go Bengals!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Cutest Thing Ever

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Today, among other things, we are incredibly thankful for super cute moments like this:

and this:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Breckenridge Photos

Snow! Real Snow! A blanket of it when we woke up our first morning there.

Don't let the smile fool you, this is where the incident happened.

This Dult did a great job skiing for her first time.

Not a bad place to stay for a few days!

A great Main Street to walk down has Breckenridge.

Ahh, this is the life!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

To lose control

While skiing this week, we took a break from the mountain to sit and eat a little lunch (they say eating consistently is good for the whole altitude sickness thing). It shouldn't have been shocking, but we were surprised when a couple skiers sat down next to us, double-fisting beers they'd picked up at the concession stand. We're on a mountain covered in slick snow and ice with lots of steep descents, people, and trees. People are barreling down at literally break-neck speeds (we've seen quite a few in little sleds with first-aid crews around them). Why not toss in some booze?! Let's make this sport real fun!

Today on a chairlift, the guy sitting by me told me about a nearby ski base where you can get a $1 mystery beer (whatever's overstocked I guess?)... I can only think of one reason to buy $1 mystery beers. And then to hop on the mountain and shoot down it on slick glass-fiber kevlar and titanium planks while surrounded by hundreds of other people? Who comes up with these ideas? We're pretty harsh on doing the same on our streets, and I feel safer on roads than I do on the mountain anyways. Although, maybe there's a new way of thought on drinking and driving, at least in Ireland.

Then I rode a bus today, returning to the mountain for a few final runs. When I got on, there was an old fella who was plastered out of his mind. I could smell him from a few rows back, and he was singing , laughing, and talking for all to hear. And he was holding a snowboard. A few stops later, we picked up some more boarders, and one of them recognized the old guy. He was apparently a local legend who was known for pulling some impressive tricks on the mountain. Sure enough, he hopped out with his board and went straight to the lift. Does drunkenness make one a better snowboarder?

I never did get run over, or wreck into anyone who was acting irrationally, so maybe all is ok up there. Like I said, shouldn't have surprised us, but did seem odd at first glance.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting high = getting sick

Have you ever heard of altitude sickness? Maybe I had, maybe not. Probably did but sort of pushed it out of my mind as one of those things I'm immune to :). So this week we're in Breckenridge, Colorado, on a wonderful vacation that came together with some help of family and friends and divine providence. We're really having a great time, but didn't realize just how sick we'd get the first day! Breckenridge town sits at 9600ft, and then we're doing some skiing up higher in the mountains. Apparently that's pretty high, who knew?

Our first day out here, we hopped off the plane and took a bus out to our hotel in Breck. We picked up our skis, grabbed some dinner and hit the hay. Sleep came tough though, as breathing wasn't exactly easy... but that's to be expected, the air's thinner up here! So a night of fitful sleep led to a beautiful winter morning. Snow covered the ground and continued to come down, the air was crisp and fresh, and we took off to the mountain. After about 5 hours of skiing and some lunch, I picked up a massive headache and suddenly felt incredibly nauseous. Took a short nap in the locker room while JJ finished up some lessons. Then we hopped in the gondola to ride back down to town. If you're new to the whole skiing thing like us... this is a gondola:

About 7 minutes into our ride, it all came up, 4 times in a row. The pork tamales from the night before, the apples and cinnamon oatmeal from breakfast, and the tuna fish from lunch. Add in a lot of water and that other stuff, and we had a royal mess in our gondola on the way back down.

All this to say, if you're going somewhere high in altitude and not used to it, take it slowly! They recommend around here to spend a night in Denver before heading up higher. Next time, we'll do that. Drink a lot of water, and if you feel sick, stay home in bed and watch movies, don't go ride in swinging, swaying gondolas and ski down crazy mountains. We're glad we scheduled a few extra days in our trip so we could take a day to rest after hitting a wall on day 2!

According to webmd, the symptoms of Altitude Sickness are "Headache (chief symptom), poor appetite, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, difficulty sleeping". They don't mention crazy big vomiting, but I've always liked to take things to extremes. And I may have eaten a bad relleno at the mexican restaurant the night before (tasted real bitter, something must have been bad in that).

But we're all better now, time to get back to the fun!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bon Voyage!

God has undoubtedly revealed to us the next step in life He has planned, and this week it became official. The pieces are falling into place, and we can now say that without a doubt we will be moving to France in short order. With a little luck, grace, and hard work, by this time next year we'll be fully integrated into the culture of France, speaking the language, and hanging with the locals while we enjoy some fresh bread and not so fresh cheese.

Please pray for us: incredibly exciting, but a move like this is tough on all of us as a family!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

With or Without Him

I'm reading a book called "Society without God" by Phil Zuckerman. It's about how moral, ethical, and productive society can exist without God or religion. It's basically a case-study of Denmark and Sweden, the two most "godless" societies by Zuckerman's standard. Two countries where atheism is the norm and God has mostly been forgotten, Denmak and Sweden are filled with people who are interested in social justice, quiet lives, and a healthy environment.

I'm only barely into the book so far, but what I find interesting is not the stats and stories. I find it perfectly believable that countries without God (which are certainly not truly without God, He's there whether acknowledged or not!) can be peaceful and productive, not full of crime and debauchery. Some of the stats are interesting, some not so much. But I think the curious thing is his obvious reaction, a total knee-jerk... someone or some situation ticked him off. Enough to move away in search of utopian atheistic society. He constantly quotes Pat Roberston and other such talking heads as the voice of evangelicals who claim such things as destruction to godless places and self-implosion of societies who do not base themselves on Biblical rules, and claims that events like 9/11 were God's wrath on an American society that is falling away.

Why is it that the voices recognized by the non-christian world as christian are those that are a bit nutty and not so Jesus-like? I don't think we (Christ-followers who are willing to take 1 Thess 4:11 as a verse that at least slightly applies to us all!) should have louder voices of dissent, because no one should yell that loud, but perhaps there could just be enough other voices to disassociate that mess with Jesus. Maybe.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Everything's Bigger in Texas?

Keeping up with the Joneses?

Not sure the exact reason... but isn't $130 million a bit much for a church building?

Read what I'm talking about here.

And here.