Brighter Is Better

We've been wanting to redecorate Emmy's room for a while in a ladybug pattern, as "ladybug" is my pet name for her. The holdup has been finding the right furniture to buy. Most kid's furniture is just cheap junk, or it costs over a $1,000. We finally found a Trendwood set, very similar to what we got for Jacen's room. So that meant it was time to paint, which is what I did this weekend. You can get a sense of the color we chose from the picture below.

Blue Screen of Death

I've been getting blue screens for quite a while on my desktop computer, an Athlon 1400. I tried a number of things, but couldn't get it to stop. I suspected that my memory had gone bad, but I didn't want to spend $150 on more memory to swap it out and test it. A friend recommended that I try some memory testing software, so I found a free one called Memtest86 on the Net. I used Easy CD Creator to burn the ISO image, popped it into my desktop, and turned it on. It started running the tests, and sure enough it found over 640,000 errors. I have two DIMMs, so I re-ran the tests one at a time. One of them had the errors; the other did not. I left the good one in, and the computer hasn't blue screened for a couple days. Very handy software.

Memtest86 homepage
ISO images suitable for creating a bootable Memtest86 CDROM

Learning To Pray

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep..." Did you learn that prayer as a kid? Would it surprise you that I have no intention of teaching it to my kids? Prayer is not reciting canned quotes. Prayer is talking to a very personal God. I want my kids to learn to pray by talking to God, and I want them to learn by following my example. So when we pray together at night, we talk to God. Jacen has been praying like this for some time, but Emmy has just started in the last week. It's so wonderful to hear her thanking God for her Mommy and Daddy and Jacen and her ladybug bed and so on. She even prays for Grandpa.

Learning to Read

Ann is homeschooling Jacen, using A Beka's K-5 (5 year old kindergarten) material. Because I'm at work during the day, I don't get to experience a lot of this process. This week Ann started something new. She gave me one of Jacen's practice books and told me to let Jacen read to me -- a wonderful idea! I get to see the fruits of their labor and get involved in my son's education (something I think every father should do, especially for their sons). We were reading words like jump and help and belt. My son is really starting to understand the phonics. It's a pleasure to see the lights coming on in his head.

A Beka Books

Puerto Rico

We had some friends over Sunday evening, and I got my first chance to play the game Puerto Rico. It was pretty much what I had expected, based upon the reviews I had read. It was more complicated than Settlers of Catan or Carcassonne. The interaction among a players, a strength of these other two, was noticably less in Puerto Rico. That's not to say there was none. In the game, each player builds a small empire in the developing island. Different roles, such as the mayor or the craftsman, allow you to build different parts of your empire. The role you select helps you, but it also helps your opponent. We spent most of the game just figuring out the rules, so I have no real sense of strategy yet or how fun the game is. Certainly it will take longer to play than Settlers or Carc and will require more thinking, but time will tell if it is as fun as they are.

Pictures and reviews
Game rules

Pictures from JCPennys

Ok, we got a number of pictures of Jasen and Emmy done at JCPennys recently. I'll be posting a few of them online.

Testing w.bloggar

Ok, I downloaded and installed w.bloggar to see if it's any better than running through the Blogger default web browser interface. This is my first test to see.

Emmy Is Cute Today

Well today Emmy ate many waffles.

Test from Google Bar

I'm not really sure what happens when I use this, so here we go...

Adding a photo

Ok, this family blog is more about pictures than words, so can I add a photo easily?

Another Test

Ok, the first time I tried to post something using Blogger, it didn't show up on my website. Here's my second attempt.