Hayden’s Braces

Hayden Sans BracesAfter more than a year of putting up with the braces on his teeth, Hayden finally got the final okay from the orthodontist to have them removed this past Thursday. His teeth look great and for him it is a huge relief not to deal with the difficult task of cleaning around them. No more cut lips and poking wires.

We celebrated with his choice of dinner locations: Chinese takeout at home. It wasn’t really what Connie was hoping he would pick for his “eating out” selection, but I suppose he had a craving for it. It was cute that Maggie drew a “congratulations!” card for Hayden and put it in his room for him to find. She is so sweet.

The downside for Hayden is that now he will have to learn to deal with his retainer. On top of that, it seems that he will need to have his wisdom teeth removed. Ouch! It seems that he just can’t catch a break.

Working on My Bike Rims

road_wheel1 Had a little problem with my road bike the other day. My front wheel slipped down into a slot between two sections of concrete and scratched the aluminum rim of my bike. Fortunately I was moving very slowly and managed to get my foot unclipped before hitting the ground. Surveying the damage, it looked pretty bad. There was some pronounced scratches all around the front rim on the left side. With lots of burrs to catch the bottom side of the break pad, it wasn’t even useable anymore. Continue reading Working on My Bike Rims

Electronic Devices at Church

With the proliferation of devices in our lives, it’s not surprising to see more and more of these devices showing up on Sunday morning (and other weekday nights you might meet together). It’s really just a part of society these days. It’s not totally different from the Gameboys of the past, but there are so many more shapes and sizes and these are almost all connected to the net. I’ve been bringing my Surface RT to church for a while now and I use it for my Bible as well as a way to copy the sermon recording from the office server to the FTP site after the service is over. Its nice to have. Most of the people there also have their cell phones (and some of the phones are actually muted).

First off, let me say that I don’t think that there is anything inherently evil about an electronic device. It’s just an inanimate object. I think we can also use them in plenty of good ways, but over the years I’m noticing that they are becoming more of a distraction. As a family, we are heavy electronics users yet I’ve always had the policy of no games at the church building. We did however let them bring a few toys which are the same kind of distraction without the chance of the electronic beeping noises. As they transitioned out of childhood and into grade school and teens, they don’t bring their toys or non-religious books to read. We expected that they would start to focus on the real reason for being there.

So what is our reason for being there? You know, the “Not forsaking the assembly as the manner of some” (Hebrews 10:25). If you read on, it says that we should be exhorting each other as we see the day approaching. We also take this time to worship as a collective group, but that also helps to encourage each other. We also take part in the memorial of the death, burial and resurrection (Acts 20:7). How is this affected by electronic devices? As I see it, when used improperly they are a distraction and fall in the category of an adult just bringing a book to read while they are there (with loud electric sounding pages). It’s just easier and is become more accepted. I have to keep myself in check as well. This is not my time to surf the web. It’s my time to take part in the community of Christ. This is something I need to remember. As an adult, I can just stay home if that’s all that I’m going to do while there.

For us parents, I would encourage you not to send your grade school kids to their classes with electronic devices. Not that this is evil, but you end up with four or five kids looking over one person’s shoulder watching them play. It’s also bragging rights in a place that doesn’t need the world’s distractions. Just leave them in the car and they can play them on the way home. Your kids might not thank you later, but they probably will later in life.

Youth Rally at South – Limitless

This past weekend, the boys attended the youth rally hosted by South: Renewal 2015. The speaker was Dusty Rush (great guy), the worship leader was Jeremy Swindle and entertainment was provided by Dale K (amazing hypnotist routine). This year both Quinn and Hayden took part in the event and they also performed as part of the Revival 2015 skit group (last year only Quinn was old enough).

I personally thought that the boys did a great job with their parts! Since the start of the year, they’ve been practicing with the rest of the group on Sunday afternoons and then several times the week before the performance. The really neat thing about this group is that they created the skits as well as performed them. Very creative. I’ve included a video recording of the skits as they were performed at the rally (video taken from the balcony with my small camcorder, so quality is iffy at times).

For a first timer, Hayden did great. He’s so quiet most of the time and so I’m a little taken back to see him on stage. He used to be more outgoing, but his personally has changed as he got older. This seems to be a flashback to younger times for him. Afterwards, Hayden didn’t really want to comment about it and avoided watching himself in the recording. I suppose I can understand that if you felt awkward doing it. I was just very happy that they joined in with the group to help out.

Jury Duty Observations

To me, the jury pool is a representation of the great melting pot. They really try to create a random cross section of the people that make up the community and just from a casual observation, I’d say they do a good job of it. All ages, genders and races. Being stuck in the same room with everyone (that no one really wanted to be stuck in) isn’t a great experience however I didn’t meet anyone that wasn’t friendly. Some seemed a little odd, but the others didn’t mind me being that way.

As the media tries to play up the discord among the people of the nation, I’m reminded of just how much we all have in common as we try to work toward a better community. To that end, there was a group missing and that is those who don’t drive and don’t vote. Perhaps there we have a group that would not be characterized by my above statement (although I can’t be sure of that either). Regardless, I did leave my jury duty with the feeling that I live in a community with lots of people just trying to make it a better place for their family.

This was my shortest week of jury duty so far: just one day. It was my fourth or fifth time (lost count) and it was nice to get off sooner rather than later. It might be the best justice system out there, but it’s not the fastest (and we should be very thankful for that).

Stop by for a few words on what is happening with the Callahan's.