Monday, August 15, 2011

Mom's 75th

Happy 75th Birthday, Mom!

We love you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tears of Joy

This, my friends, is one happy family!

I was overwhelmed with emotion as I read my baby sister's blog this evening. My smile was Grinch big as I viewed these pictures. Bitter sweet though as "E" gets so big so FAST!! I am so thankful for the weekend we spent with her...way back when...but am so sad that she is growing up not really knowing Aunt Kimmy & Uncle Mike and pfaff cousins.

How I wish 1100 miles did not seperate us!

Counting the days until we see you this fall, E!!

Until then, store up on some hugs and kisses for us!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I just read a book about this incredible man. German theologian in the 1930's and 40's. Ended up being executed by Hitler. This is part of a sermon he preached. Oh, to have this faith...

No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected, and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward joyfully to being released from bodily existence.

Whether we are young or old makes no difference. What are twenty or thirty or fifty years in the sight of God? And which of us knows how near he or she may already be to the goal? That life only really begins when it ends here on earth, that all that is here is only the prologue before the curtain goes up-that is for young and old alike to think about. Why are we so afraid when we think about death?

Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God’s Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in Him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace.

How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world?

Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

I was listening to sports talk radio the other day after Jim Tressel resigned (Ohio State football coach who knew about various wrongdoing by his players yet kept quiet). The caller said, “What kind of parent turns in his own kids” (referring to Tressel’s relationship to his players). The host said, “What kind of parent doesn’t!” That is a perfect precursor to my Father’s Day blog (which could also be a Mother’s Day blog).

I remember to this day when my mom found out I had taken a candy bar from Smith’s Food King in Los Alamitos while I was shopping with her. I was ashamed, it was wrong. But that wasn’t enough, my mom took me back up to the store to pay for the candy bar and apologize to the manager. This was no easy feat when you consider I was one of 5 kids who had to be lugged back up there. Obviously, this made a huge impression on me. She didn’t do it because she wanted me to get into trouble, I was already there; she did it to show me the consequence of my action, the way to do the right thing and the power of forgiveness. My folks were very good at that.

The best words of advice my dad ever gave me were, “Don’t be stupid”. Sounds kind of odd, but it was perfect. After all the time he spent showing us how to do the right thing and how to make good decisions, when we would go out with friends in high school or college or out on a date, those were his words. He knew he had instilled in us the ability to tell right from wrong, good decisions from bad, smart from stupid. A two hour fire and brimstone speech could not have been any more effective because those three words were backed up by a lifetime of hard work, Indian Guide campouts, family vacations, baseball coaching, church involvement and dedication to family that were the culmination of doing the right thing, making good decisions and being smart. Putting family first. He never said, “Be like me”, he is much too humble for that, but that is what I heard every time he said, “Don’t be stupid”.

I love you Dad, Happy Fathers Day!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and you shall revew the face of the Earth."

Happy Pentecost

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Photo by: David Leaser

Kindergarten Graduation

First Grader!

Sixteen years ago today Mike and I became two for two in God's gift of creating boys! The joy that entered our lives on this day can not effectively be put into words. By far it will go down as one of Tod's proudest days. He so lovingly took baby brother, Craig..named chosen by HIM, into his arms minutes after delivery...and has cherished his brotherhood/friendship ever since. For us, Craig was such reward. Just using the word "reward" seems strange in context...but if you know Mike and I well, you get it. Much time.....five long years to be exact.....were spent attempting to figure this balance of marriage and parenting out after Tod's birth. We still don't have that down but God gave us Craig at such a perfect time! Happy baby...a little older and wiser parents...and a big brother who had prayed and prayed for a baby brother!! How blessed we are!

Craig, you have given more to us than we could ever thank you for. Your tenderness, compassion, empathy, and determination are qualities that will enable you to SOAR through this gifted life. To say we are proud of the man you are becoming is such an UNDERSTATEMENT. From your academic successes at Jesuit, your determination to achieve EAGLE, your loyalty to friends, your determination to make the basketball team, and your unconditional love towards ALL of God's creations....put that together with all of the character traits you have... and WOW, what a winning combination. We pray, son, that you continue to give God the glory for all of these gifts, and always reach out for His hand to guide you as you become a Man for Others.

We love you, Craig-o, more than you know!

Happy 16th Birthday!

You + Tod + AAC + Dallas Mavericks in Finals =

F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S way to spend your birthday night!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I love baseball. Been coaching it for about 15 years at various youth levels and always love it. We've got the 2 youngest still playing, both are very good and hopefully will keep playing and having fun for years. An added bonus this year is that I am able to coach T-ball with 2 of my brothers. Reed is playing with Ian (John's son) and Christian and Patrick (Steve's sons). It has been a great experience to have them all on the same team (Our folks love it because they can see about 9 grandkids at 1 T-ball game). Cole is on the Lugnuts and continues to amaze. Diving from his shortstop position to his left, fielding the ground ball from is knees, rolling over, popping up and throwing a dart to first for the out. Immediately after letting a slow roller go right through his legs. (ed. note: In case he reads this I don't want him to get a big head.)

Our T-ball team, the Dodgers, is pretty good. We hit well and field pretty well and have a record of 7-1-2, but the best part is that every player (14 kids) has played every position. Our coaches are proud of that because we keep all of the kids engaged. Which leads to the reason for this post.... This week I had to attend a T-Ball coaches meeting to discuss rules and player rotation. T-BALL!!

Apparently some of the coaches were leaving the same kids in the infield for the entire game and some others did not play infield at all! Some coaches were changing the rules in the middle of the game or adding things to give their team an advantage. Makes me scratch my head. Personally, being the manager of a 1st place T-ball team is not on my bucket list. It's much nicer to have a kid run up to you in a restaurant 2 years after you coached him, give you a big hug and say "Hi Coach!". Those little guys don't remember who won or lost, they remember that they had fun and got a game ball for making a great catch. I'm not the greatest coach in the world, and I make plenty of mistakes, but at least I remember that T-ball is for the kids. Doesn't seem like a hard concept to grasp.