December 30, 2005

Back to Normal

Well, things are staring to get back to normal. The kids (Gabrielle & Cameron) are getting over their Christmas virus, decorations are about ready to come down and Tammy is planning for Chandler's school to pickup again next week. In the midst of this planning, Chandler asked me to type up this list of "units" that he plans to "teach" Aunt Bunni tomorrow...

Chan's List

Seeing all this activity, Gabrielle had so see her own paper come out of the printer and she wanted her bear, Robby, to be on it.
Gab N Robby

December 28, 2005



This is an outfit that Tammy's brother wore as an infant.

December 27, 2005


Recently I've been reading some very low-brow but highly entertaining books by Vince Flynn.

  • Term Limits

  • Transfer of Power

  • The Third Option

  • Separation of Power

  • Executive Power

  • Memorial Day

  • Consent To Kill

My normal MO when I find an author I like is to find everything he has written at the library and read it all, preferably in order written. I've done this with most the the action/adventure/thiller authors I've liked. Then I'm likely to read the titles over again with some regularity. At some point I need to try this program with the Bible. (Note to self...) Anyway, my latest interest is Vince Flynn. The hero, CIA assassin, Mitch Rapp is the perfect hero for the Walter Mitty in me. I guess I'll add a section on my links to the right regarding what I'm reading. I was given a copy of the Christian classic, Holy Living by Jeremy Taylor, for Christmas (thanks Ken) so that will be my next conquest after Vince Flynn.

December 24, 2005

Now Boys!

How is it Christmas Eve already

Linus How is it Christmas Eve already. Tammy was up a lot last night with Gabrielle and Cameron, so Cameron and I are playing a little this morning while she and the kids catch up on their rest. This little keyboard is always a sure thing to entertain Cameron (Linus) for a few minutes.

So much to do today! This is our first real Christmas as a blended family so we a doing "Christmas" with Grammy (Evelyn) & Ken (thanks to eHarmony) and Aunt Sissie. Tonight we'll go to church for Christmas Eve communion. (I don't know if it's just our church, but if you don't get to Christmas Eve Communion, there is no telling when you'll get it.) ;)

December 23, 2005

Eve of Christmas Eve

Gabrielle Sleeping The week has just been flying by. Tammy in a flurry of wrapping night after night, Gabrielle really sick and Cameron somewhat ill. Gabrielle became ill before our Christmas program last Sunday and has had a fever and cough all week. Our pediatric office says they have been seeing 150 kids a day with this. Fortunately, Cameron has only had the congestion and runny nose with limited fever. Still, this just makes his already marginal sleeping habits even worse. He had a 1.5 hour nap today in the car as I shipped out some last minute eBay sales. These Dec 23rd buyers have great faith in the post office.

Chandler Wrapping

Chandler went with Tammy this afternoon to pick a present for Cameron as well as presents for Grandpa Brown and Miss Lois (grandpa's wife), Grammy, Mr. Ken, and Aunt Bunni. Upon arriving home they found Cameron sleepingon my chest and Gabrielle sleeping as well. She just crawled up in the bed about 6:00pm and went to sleep. Chandler immediately went to dragging this piece of wrapping paper through the house like a cape looking for someone to help him wrap Cameron's present. He ended up doing it himself and did pretty well.

December 12, 2005

Baby Liam

Baby Liam
Photo by Amy B. Benson

Well it's past time to talk about the latest, greatest news in our family. Baby Liam Cooper Benson was born Nov. 23th to my sister Amy and her husband Dale and big sister Brooke and big brother Conner.

The "Cooper" part, of course, is the family name of our mom's side. Liam, on the other hand, is just a great name. :-)

By all accounts, Liam is doing great. Mother Amy on the other hand, now has three kids under the age of 4 so she's going to be tired!

December 2, 2005

All I got was this lousy shirt!

Well, first of all, let me say for the record that the shirt is not really lousy. It's actually very cool. Anyway, my brother-in-law John gave this to me (and one to my dad) at Thanksgiving. John is employed by Lockheed Martin and is involved in their Presidential Helicopter (Marine One) Program. He has been to the White House several times to work on the project but was just invited back to see the President arrive back on Marine One. Click here to see the photos.

The Shirt

November 30, 2005


We are doing Advent activities with Chandler (5) and Gabrielle (3) each evening, partly as home school activity and partly as just plain old wholesome family time. The Scripture we read yesterday was Genesis 1:26-31 regarding how we are made in God's image:

26 Then God said, “Let us make man [1] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

It's funny to me how the kid's prayers have evolved recently. For a long time, there was only the "food" prayer. Whenever the prayer was happening, meal-time, bed-time, whenever, it was always the "food" prayer. Recently, they have started a "bed-time" prayer relevant to bed-time.

Anyway, last night following the Scripture reading, Chandler prayed first and on his own he thanked God for "making us in His image." I thought was really cool to hear him use something in his prayer that he had just learned.

November 28, 2005


I had the privilege of spending Thanksgiving weekend with most of my Dad's large family. We all gathered at my uncle's home in Roanoke, VA. Let's see who was there....

  • Great Uncle Harold and Aunt Lavera

  • Cousin Veda and Carl

  • Dad and Lois (Uncle Bill to everyone else)

  • my sister Jennifer and brother-in-law John

  • Eric

  • Caroline

  • Me and Tammy

  • Chandler

  • Gabrielle

  • Cameron

  • Aunt Mary and Uncle Mitch

  • Cousin Michael and Diane

  • Micah

  • Benjamen

  • Bethany

  • Kayla

  • John

  • Celleigh

  • Anna

  • Ruth

  • Aunt Glenda and Uncle John

  • Aunt Brenda and Uncle David

  • Uncle James and Cherlyn

  • Cousin Susanna and Jake

  • Annabelle

  • Cousin Sara

  • Uncle Harry and Ela

  • Cousin Katie

  • Cousin Michael

  • Uncle Dave and Aunt Susan (Dave deployed to Afganistan today 11-28-05)

  • Cousin Jon

  • Cousin Martha

  • Cousin Josiah

  • Cousin Emma

I think I and my family are really blessed to have each other (and like each other.) :-)

We really did miss everyone who couldn't be there.

November 17, 2005


I was reading this article in the Salisbury Post today, The gist of the story is that the Rowan County Commissioners voted to sell some land without following state law in the process. When it came to light and everyone acknowledged that the process was flawed, you would assume that they would start from scratch and do it over legally. Well, you know what assuming does. Only one Commissioner wanted to do it over and he had to threaten a lawsuit to get the rest of the Board to agree to follow state law and redo the process on this issue. Hence, this letter to the Salisbury Post.

With President Bush in his second term we've heard the term "hubris" become the favorite description used by his detractors. Apparently this is something seasoned politicians get infected with that causes them to become arrogant.

It seems that this infection has arrived in Rowan County and the whole "Common Sense" investigation was not the last occurrence. The County Commissioners take an illegal action on the Summit Land sale, and in a textbook display of arrogance, refuse to correct their illegal action until Commissioner Sides threatens a lawsuit.

This is just the latest in a long list of reasons to eagerly anticipate a house-cleaning in next election.

November 16, 2005

Huff On Alito and me on abortion

My friend Randy wrote some interesting thoughts on Supreme Court nominee Alito. It brings back to mind something I read earlier in the summer about what the practical result of overturning Roe V. Wade would really be. I've no chance of finding it now but the gist of the article was an analysis of which states were likely to allow abortion and which would not. The result of the study was that the availability of abortion would likely not change much for the vast majority of American women.

When you consider that a clear majority of Americans support the right to abortion and yet majorities also support restrictions like parental notification and a ban of Partial Birth Abortion, it seems like the only accomplishments of the long fight against abortion might be the correction of a terrible court decision and a vindication of States Rights.

I guess some battles must be fought on principle even if any potential victory will be pretty hollow.

November 15, 2005

Hello World!

I hate to stereotype people, but I always assumed that people who have personal blogs were somewhat self-absorbed. I mean, why would anyone care to read your personal ramblings. Anyway, I was finally inspired to start my own blog by a couple of treasured friends who have put up blogs. I know that neither of these guys are self-absorbed (I'll withhold judgment on the rambling.) :-)