We live in a  rent house, and the yard is, well, a bit boring.  So to liven things up, I planted some wildflowers in front and back.  The very first of the flowers are starting to bloom.  Anyone know what these little guys are?

120420 Flowers

TKD Tournament

For the second part of the tournament, Jacen had to spar against an opponent.  He drew a boy who was older but shorter though faster.  The other boy scored 3 points quickly with rapid kicks to the chest, but then Jacen took advantage of his reach and connected twice to the head, worth 2 point each.  When time expired, Jacen was up 4 to 3 and won the match.




Here's a recent portrait I took of Emilee:


TKD Tournament

Jacen participated in his first TKD tournament last weekend.  In his first event, he worked the forms for the green belt.  He took first place in his division.



Smacked by probability

I'm taking Dan Boneh's online course on Cryptography, and today I got smacked down by his crash course review of discrete probability.  Painful what I can't remember.


There are few things in life that I hate more than working with source control systems.


Here's a shot I took of Emilee tonight:


And Jezzy gets the bone

When Ann and I went out for our anniversary date, we got an amazing steak at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. And we brought the bone home for our dog, who enthusiastically licked it clean.


Green Belt Testing (part 3)

Just in case you were still wondering, I'm happy to report that Jacen did indeed earn his green belt in Tae Kwon Do:




As you many remember, the kids got a trampoline for Christmas.  Yeah, you should expect to see a lot of trampoline pictures this year.  Anyhow.  Emmy's trying to learn how to do a front flip.  She's most of the way there.  Here's a couple pics of her trying:



Green Belt Testing (part 2)

A good deal of his testing was sparring against another student.  They both suited up with padding on their head, chest, hands, and feet, and then went to town attacking each other.


Jacen also had to break a board with his foot.


Green Belt Testing

Jacen began taking Tae Kwon Do lessons at our church over a year ago, and he's faithfully working on it.  In January he tested for his green belt, his 5th belt.  The first part of the testing is demonstrating his knowledge of various forms and techniques, series of punches, kicks, and blocks.  Some of these forms are done individually; others are done with another person.

120106 Green Belt Test

120106 Green Belt Test

120106 Green Belt Test

Anniversary Dinner

We have been married for nearly 19 years, so last night Ann and I went out to dinner to celebrate.  We ate at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Durham and had an amazing porterhouse prime rib steak, the best we've ever eaten.  (And at that price, it had better be the best!)




I'm proud of my son, Jacen, he's created up his own web site using WordPress on a local copy of MAMP.  Next week he'll load to our web host so you can see it.

Yummy Thai food -- cheap!

We found a new restaurant today that has real Thai food prepared by real Thai speakers! The food was delicious and the prices were very good (about $8 for lunch and $10 for dinner). We will definitely be going back!

You should try it. It's called Asian Saigon Bistro, and it's on S Main in Wake Forest between 98 and the Walmart.


I can't claim credit for creating it, but I like!

Remove After Impact

Jezzy tries (unsuccessfully) to remove a dart stuck to her head:


Brace For Impact


Don't Try Path

It's kinda like Facebook or Google+, but it's supposed to keep you interacting with actual friends, not 5 bazillion pseudo-friends/acquaintances/people-you-don't-really-care-that-much-about.  I had read some good things about it online, so I tried out the iOS app.  Now I'm sorry that I did.  They've been caught uploading everyone's address book.  Without the user's knowledge or permission.  They've admitted their practice and defended it.

  Path uploads your address book

So I've deleted the app and recommend that you not install it.

Lame Super Bowl Commercials

Am I the only one who thinks that the Super Bowl commercials were just lame this year?  I wonder if companies spent all their advertising money buying TV slots and didn't have any left to hire a decent ad agency.  The only one I liked was in the 3rd quarter!  It made me laugh out loud.

Know Your Opponent

One afternoon the kids decided to try their Nerf guns out on Jezzy.  She ran and jumped and barked, and she always keep an eye out on them!



Despite the chilly weather this time of year, the trampoline has been a hit.  Here's one of Emmy jumping.  (Check out those socks!)


Twilight White

Playing Killer Bunnies with our newest expansion set for Family Time!

New Toys

The day after Christmas we went to see family and exchange some gifts.  Not surprisingly, the kids got some new toys and wasted no time trying them out!



An Exposition of James

I have translated, studied, taught, and preached my way through the book of James, and along the way I've written a commentary on it.  If you're interested, you can download it as a PDF file from my website.  But I've also decided to self-publish it as a book, and so now you can buy a copy of the book for yourself, if you're the type who prefers good old-fashioned paper books.  I published through Lulu.com, who can print on demand.  If you order a book, then they print one, just for you.

The book is a very typical-looking book.  The paper is decent quality.  It's soft cover.  The binding is just like a normal book.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  The cost to print is around $6.  I added no markup (no profit).  The cost for shipping and taxes is about $4.  So you can have a 226 page commentary on James for about $10.

If you want, you can order it from my (very simple) page on Lulu.

This commentary would be useful to anyone who is looking to study James for themselves or preparing to teach a class; it's also good for seminary students who are looking to try and translate the book of James for themselves.

If you get a copy, let me know what you think!

Photo for Book Cover

Yesterday I finally finished my book, a commentary on the book of James.  As part of the cover, I had to submit a small photo, which I took myself.  Here's how it turned out:


If you're interested in the book, it might be a couple weeks.  I ordered a proof copy for myself; if it turns out, I'll open it up to whomever.

Christmas Gifts (Part 3)

This year we got the kids one big gift, a 15 foot trampoline.  It's huge.  I had planned to assemble the thing in our garage, but it was way too big for that.  It took 2 hours to put together and required the help of a couple guys in the neighborhood.

111225 Trampoline for Christmas

Perhaps the biggest challenge was our yard:  It slopes downhill.  We had to dig out a couple spots to level the trampoline.  But it's a blast.  And a good workout, too!

Christmas Gifts (Part 2)

Emilee bought her own iPod Touch earlier this year, so Jacen thoughtfully gave her an iTunes card to buy more games.  Her first pick?  Plants vs Zombies!


Christmas Gifts (Part 1)

We spent a nice day together as a family for Christmas this year.  We began the day opening some gifts.  One of Jacen's was Season 3 of the Clone Wars cartoons.


Gingerbread House

Another Christmas tradition at our house is making gingerbread houses.  This one was my favorite this year; I liked the blue decorations on the tree in the yard:

111225 Gingerbread House

Under the tree

One day I discovered an unexpected "present" under the Christmas tree.


We never did figure out why she crawled under there with all the presents.  Maybe she was looking to see if she had any for her?

Decorating for Christmas

Just after Thanksgiving, we began to decorate the house for Christmas.  Following the tradition of my parents, most of our Christmas tree decorations are small, and many have some connection to something we've done or somewhere we've been.



I had been serving as the Interim Pastor at a church, and right at the 6 month point they hired a Pastor.  The timing was wonderful, because I finished the week before Thanksgiving, which allowed me to spend a lot more time with my family over the holidays.  Ann, unsurprisingly, was amazing.  We had turkey, dressing, potatoes, green beens, and cranberries--all delicious!

Delicious smells filled the house the moment Ann and Emmy started sautéing the onions and celery.

111124 Prep Work

Ann grew up on cornbread dressing; I grew up on oyster stuffing, which she stuffs in the turkey.  She makes both for Thanksgiving; my wife is amazing!  And it's really good.

111124 Stuffing the Bird

Ann's fine china hasn't seen much action the last few years, so it was good to bring it out to host our friends, the Parks family.

111124 Fine China


While in Illinois we did some fishing in the ponds on the Meyer farm.  We caught a mess of bluegill and small bass, and Emmy even got a crappie.  Fishing from the shore of a small pond on a nice day is one of my favorite ways to fish, especially when the kids are catching them, too.


Target Practice

While in Illinois, Jacen and I also took a bit of target practice with shotguns.  I used a 12 gauge and he a 20 gauge.  I think it kicked more than he was expecting.  ;-)



Target Practice

I own a couple guns, but we don't have many opportunities to use them around here.  So when we when to see my grandmother in October, we took them along.  After some instruction in gun safety, everyone took a turn firing the revolver.





And some times we even hit what we shot at.

121016 Target Practice

Galatians 5

I've finished my translation and interpretation of Galatians 5, which you can download as a PDF file from my NT page.