Thursday, November 29, 2007
Often times my tastes in music have come from the people that I care about. This probably began with my friend Anna Manente in high school. Her dad played guitar in a bar band. Music like Eric Clapton, John Denver and James Taylor was always playing at her house when I was there. Tricia was in college at this time and she brought home artists like David Wilcox and Nanci Grifith. I passed along the music that I was discovering. When I got to Taylor I met people like Mike Wooten (Johnny Cash, Springsteen, Dylan, Bill Mallonee, VOL), Ben Arendt (Smashing Pumpkins) and Amanda (Over the Rhine). Over the Rhine is a great example of this. Before I met Amanda I had heard them and even been to one of their shows. I didn't really like them. I didn't "get" them. Once I saw Amanda's excitement for them, I wanted to like them and gave myself over to them. They have become one of my favorite bands and I look forward to each upcoming album.
I have also had the opportunity to introduce people I love to music that I love. Tricia began listening to the music that Anna introduced to me. Amanda has embraced almost all of the music that I like. My friend Jared has become a big Springsteen fan. Bill from work has begun listening to OTR and likes it. I recently passed on some music to guys I'm still in contact with from Taylor and Ryan Adams was a stand out favorite. Probably my most satisfying contribution is to my boys' musical tastes. Ben, Caleb and Matthew are Springsteen fans. Someday they will talk about the music that they listened to growing up. That will be fun.
I am always interested in the music tastes of my friends. To what are you listening? Who has influenced your musical tastes?
Now playing: Gillian Welch - Revelator
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Now playing: NPR - Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard in Concert: 05/10/2007
Last week we watched the NOVA program Intelligent Design on Trial on PBS. It was very well done and raised more questions than answers for me. I was especially frustrated by the Christians that were involved. The Intelligent Design movement seems like a meager attempt at repackaging Creationism and "backdooring" it into mainstream thought. Many of the people interviewed came out and said as much.
Since, I have been seeking for either some Christians who believed in evolution that could reconcile their views with those of the Bible well or for Creationists who were seeking to scientifically support the words of the Bible. This is when I came across Reasons to Believe. It is an organization that seeks to support a Biblical creation model through science. The founder, Dr. Hugh Ross, is a former CalTech fellow. All of the people on his staff are also REAL scientists. I listened to a debate that was hosted by the Veritas Forum (an awesome organization). In this debate, for the first time, I heard Christians who all believed in Jesus debating evolution and creation. It was great. I think at this point I have come to a few working conclusions.
- I believe that the Bible is true and does not contain any "myth".
- I believe that science can and does support claims in the Bible. All truth is God's truth. The more we find out about science, the more it will help make sense of the Bible.
- These are tough issues for smarter people than me, but I am expected to work on them in my own way.
- Smart people who love Jesus disagree on these issues.
Now playing: Mar - Mother Star Sun (Edit)
Monday, November 26, 2007
We also did Christmas gifts with Mom while we were in Alpena. Benjamin and Caleb both got a great Lego set. We spent around eight hours building them both. When the set comes with two instruction books, you know you're in for some time. It was a lot of fun though. Mom got me a Stir Crazy popcorn popper and an ice cream maker. We made our first batch of ice cream last night (cookies and cream). Amanda said that it was as good as any ice cream she's eaten. I would agree. Mom said that there is a Ben and Jerry's ice cream recipe book on Amazon. I'd love to get that for Christmas (hint, hint.)We are excited to try some new recipes.
One downer of the trip and yet a very funny moment was that I got a ticket in Wisconsin on the way back. This is at least the second or third ticket that I've received driving across Wisconsin. The police officer was very nice though and "let me off" with just a city ticket that he said would not affect my insurance and would be no points. When the officer went back to his car Caleb asked, "Are we all going to jail?" Then Ben said, "Dad, I will give you some of the money out of my piggy bank." Amanda and I almost cracked up laughing. They are all such wonderful people and we are so blessed to have all four of them in our lives.
It was a great week and we are so thankful for each of you that are important parts of our lives. See all of the pics from our week here.
Now playing: NPR - Neko Case in Concert: 04/09/2006
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
There are five children five-years-old and younger here at the Gammons' house. It's a lot of fun, but if you're not used to it, it's a lot. We have had a lot of fun hanging out with the Falder clan. Matthew and Davy are fast friends. Mom bought all of the kids matching camo pj's. Tomorrow is our attempt at a brined turkey. More to come on that. Sharon is down stairs right now yelling at me about getting the salt dissolved in the water.
Now playing: Neil Young - Long May You Run
Sunday, November 18, 2007
There are great things about coming home. It always helps me remember good things about home and how it has impacted me. The popcorn bowl above is the one that we used growing up. We had an old black pressure cooker pan that my dad would use to make popcorn on the stove. If it was a very special night, he would bring home an eight pack of Pepsi bottles. Tonight we popped popcorn on the stove and had our usual Sunday night family meeting, big yellow bowl and all.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
This morning we woke up, had a cup of coffee and went outside. I love being outside in Alpena. It was a beautiful morning with low hanging snow clouds. The boys and I made a huge fire on the beach and walked by the water. Tricia, Alex and Davy come on Tuesday and we are looking forward to having them. More from Alpena to come later this week.
Now playing: Agapeland - Smile
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
"If we want to give thanks, we need only two things. Something we’re thankful for and somebody to thank. Seems so obvious, but I think I need to say it because it’s amazing how many people can say, “I’m thankful for _____ ,” without admitting that God is there to hear their thanks."
We have been doing our "I'm thankful for . . ." banner after dinner each night this week. I need to remind the boys to whom we are thankful. What are you thankful for this year? Post them in the comments. Here are some things that have ended up on our banner.
Molly (almost every night from someone)
Star Wars figures
Poor people (I think Ben meant that we should pray for poor people.)
Jesus (Caleb knows we like this answer. He's a second child parent pleaser. I think he is thankful for Jesus though too.)
Now playing: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Raise Your Hand
Now playing: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Spirit In The Night
Friday, November 9, 2007
One week from today we will be embarking on our yearly holiday trip to Alpena. This trip always brings a myriad of emotions. I love going home. It is a place of solace and rest for me. That might also be the fact that I'm always on vacation there. There are many things though that are peculiar to Alpena to which I look forward.
- Fires: I love a campfire. If I could I would build a fire every night, sit outside, smoke my pipe (I don't smoke anymore Mom.), and be near people that I love, I would be very pleased. I think this love started at Summer Camp growing up in Alpena. After the campers all went to bed, the counselors would sit around the fire that Bill Fitch had built, talk, pray and sing way into the night. These were amazing times! I got to know the saints of our church, learned to talk about this Jesus that I loved and grew up. I love fires now because it is something very masculine that I can do with my boys. I am teaching them things, they are breaking sticks, and we are being together. Fire is a gift to men. Men don't say things very well face-to-face. But if they are all facing a fire, words come more quickly and more gently. Every year when I go on our Guys' Weekend with my friends from Taylor, we experience this. We have talked about staying in hotels on that weekend, but someone always says, "What about the fire." I hope to have many a fire in Alpena while were there.
- Connie's Cafe: This is a little restaurant in Ossineke, Michigan a few miles from Mom's house where we always like to do at least one breakfast. Sometimes Mom will even keep the kids and Amanda and I get to slip off for a breakfast by ourselves. Sweet and precious time.
- Tricia, Alex and Davy time: I have missed seeing little Davy grow. I am looking forward to seeing them. Tricia was able to be so involved in the lives of our first two kids. It has been difficult to not be able to see Davy and Drew and be involved in their lives.
- Walks on the beach: At least once while I am in Alpena, I get to take a walk with just Amanda, one with just my mom and one with the whole family. Mom's spot there is so beautiful. The beauty of winter is one of quiet, cold, barrenness. It is a place where you can bundle the boys up, send them out and know that they are going to have good "boy" time: jumping in puddles, finding sticks, walking on the ice, pushing limits.
Now playing: Over The Rhine - My Funny Valentine
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Now playing: Bruce Springsteen - I'll Work For Your Love
"What?," I said.
"There's going to be a second show in March!"
That's right. Springsteen is coming back to the Twin Cities on March 16! Benjamin has been very into the new album lately. He keeps saying, "Dad, can we listen to the new Bruce Springsteen album?" When we put it on and turn it up loud, he bounces around playing his air guitar (which Matthew mimics). If he's getting really into it, he runs back to the bathroom and gets his hair wet. "Rock and rollers are always sweaty," he says. I tell him, "That's right buddy." The other night when we were jamming out, Amanda said that it would have been so great to take Ben to the show. Well, maybe we'll get our chance. Would a five-year-old like to get Springsteen tickets for Christmas? Would Ben rather go to a Springsteen show or get Lego's? Would Caleb freak out if just Ben and I went to the show? Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10:00 AM. Maybe you'll see Ben and I in line down at the Xcel Center with all of the 40 and 50-year-olds.
Now playing: Bruce Springsteen - Gypsy Biker
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
of my life. But like all such experiences, there's always much to be gained and I think there's a lot to be learned." WHAT ABOUT THE LITTLE GIRL? She talked about how she spent the first half-hour after she heard about it crying. Then she was able to pull herself together and do what needed to be done. In response to this incident, she decided to give each of the girls a cell phone with her number on it. Do you think Oprah is going to be answering the calls from those little African girls? "Hello, you've reached Oprah Winfrey. I love you, but I can't take your call right now. Please leave a message." The causes that she tackles are admirable, but it always seems like it all about Oprah and not about caring for people. This seems to be just another example.
Monday, November 5, 2007
- This season is about the most important gift ever given: the gift of the incarnate savior Jesus Christ and his eventual death, resurrection and redemption.
- Secondarily, the holidays are about being together with family and people that we love. As part of this, we give and receive gifts that are expressions of that love.
- If anything in #2 takes away from #1 it should be subordinated until #1 is paramount.
- Our culture makes the main part of this season getting the things that you want out of the Toys 'r Us circular (or Best Buy in my case.)
Now playing: Brandi Carlile - The Story
Thursday, November 1, 2007
I love this picture of Ben. He's so serious.
We had a great time last night. My favorite part of the evening was talking to the two widow ladies on our street. We tried to talk to them for a while. The first one said, "Are you having fun?" I said, "We sure are. Are you?" She didn't really know what to say. As we left she commented, "What a beautiful family. You've made my night." Again, a reminder to us that such a small thing to people in need really can make a difference. Shube said that we should invite one of them down for dinner. That would be scary, but I think we should too. I am sure either of them would love to come down.
Check out the other pictures from last night here.
Now playing: Bruce Springsteen - Devils & Dust