The Christmas Haul


While I think we all know that Christmas is much more than a time to give and receive presents, my inner child is still enjoying the many new toys that appeared under the Christmas tree with my name on it. In addition to these, I also have my birthday gifts to enjoy as well. In other words, I am in gift overload.

It’s funny too. I actually told Jamie on the way to Appleton for Christmas that I wished I had put more “practical” items on my Amazon Wish List instead of just videogames and books. Fortunately my family cares too much about me to let me become a hermit and got me some great gifts to enjoy the outdoors too.

So without further ado, here are some of the highlights of the gifts I am enjoying. This list is in no particular order so please do not be offended if your gift came in “second place” according to this. It’s just a list. I love them all.

Dead Rising – Any game that allows the player to run over zombies with a lawnmower is okay in my book. I’ve heard the game can become annoying in some ways, but I love killing me some zombies.

Bully – I have always enjoyed movies that show the turmoil of the school years (Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, etc.), so this game is a great fit for my type of humor.

Snowshoes – While I am doubtful that it will actually snow anytime soon, I am enjoying the prospect of it. I think owning these also scores me some more points towards being a borderline lumberjack.

Garmin GPS – This is actual a return purchase after my dad bought Jamie and I a camcorder. Since we already had a camcorder, I picked up a GPS and got Jamie an iPod. I am excited to do some GeoCaching with this little guy soon. Again, borderline lumberjack.

Velvet Elvis – I have really wanted to read this book by Rob Bell for a while so I can’t wait to finish up the last of the Left Behind books to move on to something I actually want to read.

Again, this is just a fraction of the gifts received. I am so ridiculously blessed. Thank you much if you were one of the family members doing the gifting. Rest assured that your gift is helping me keep my sanity in my downtime here at camp.


A Disturbing Story Time


Jamie has gotten in the good habit of reading to Leah. Every day she reads to her before her two daily naps and then before she goes to bed.

On Wednesday we all went to the local library and checked out a stack of books so we had some more variety of books to read to Leah. Some of the classics such as the Bearenstein Bears and Babar made the list along with several we had never heard of. Such as the book pictured above.

Well, yesterday we sat down to read to Leah during my lunch break. The book started out innocent enough. A heart warming story about a dad playing guitar with his two kids. Then the next page talked about how the dad sometimes drank beer and acted funny.

Now, normally this would raise a red flag for me since it is a kids book. However I dismissed it thinking it was probably written by a Wisconsinite who thought this was acceptable for a kid’s book. Fair enough. I can be open minded.

So we turn to the next page. Here it talks about dad and mom fighting and mom accusing dad he is an alcoholic.

Huh. This is an odd book.

We quickly flip through the rest of the pages and see at the end of the story that dad is checking into AA. Apparently this book is meant for a very specifc audience.

While Leah is certianly too young to understand this story, I would probably be okay with rereading this to her later in life. The story really painted an accurate and understandable picture of living with alcohol abuse and I can see why the author wrote it.

It was just kind of surprising to find it mixed in with Richard Scary and Curious George.