Friday, March 28, 2008

Easter Recovery

Rei's impetaigo has cleared up well, and it turns out Shelley has strep throat. After a week of symptoms and not eating anything beyond an occasional milkshake or pudding, she went to the after hours clinic on Saturday where she was almost immediately diagnosed with a throat infection. On Monday she got a call from the clinic about the throat swab they took last Tuesday: positive for strep.

So everyone is finally on the mend, including the TV. I swapped the new satellite receiver in but still needed a 20-minute phone call to customer service and an hour wait to complete the "synchronization" process.

Work-wise, the church is just as busy as ever with meetings, luncheons and a special "regional" service to plan for as well rehearsing for an ecumenical concert on Sunday. I'm glad for the upcoming Year of Sabbath check-in meeting that's coming up, I'll have renewed appreciation for recovery and restoration.

Easter Feast

The worship services went well enough, we saw my family at the farm where the anticipated chocolate egg hunt did not disappoint.
egg hunt 2008

I managed to sell off the remaining dance class fundraiser chocolate bars Reiko had in stock as well as her soccer team cash calendars (thanks to her uncles and grandparents). I had asked my brother to bring his guitar for the kids.
guitar up close
They were intrigued and delighted. Kai happily strummed for most of the evening.

Easter Crunch

Absences from blog posting have generally been due to busy-ness at church and home. What with the earliest Easter that I'll see in my lifetime following so closely to March Break hadn't afforded much time for personal complaining or bragging about the kids.

My first Holy Week in a new pastoral charge and figuring out what traditions and expectations left me without time to fill out my bracket for the NCAA Final Four. Belatedly, I'd have gone with Kansas winning over UCLA, Louisville and Texas filling out the rest (yeah, I'm too sentimental to be any good at picking).

Further complicating matters was the fact that our satellite receiver went on the fritz, so I missed the entire first round and Duke's ouster in the second, losing PVR capabilities and the 40-odd hours of programming that we'd recorded (including the recent episode of Dexter, and countless episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba).

I guess this was God's way of telling me to get to work.

In the end, after five calls to Tech Support averaging 28 minutes per call, they managed to decide send a new receiver. I had to fight for the $25 credit they gave me for my trouble.

Oh yes, Easter came and went. Jesus rose again. Hallelujah.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Health and Cake

After the balancing act of March Break, childcare and work, I ended up with an immobilizing headache on Sunday. By the time I came around to a functional state, Shelley had a sore throat that was dismissed by the after-hours clinic as merely a cold. And because it had been a few weekends, we also had Rei to the doctor on the weekend. She has impetaigo.
cakewalk winner
In lottery news, she did win a cake at her school fundraiser. That made everyone feel better.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Juno Night

Shelley's sister offered to babysit for us and we gladly accepted. This being our first date night since moving in the summer, we weren't sure what was out there in the wild and crazy world of date-appropriate entertainment.

Opting for dinner and a movie, I undertook a search to find some quality Indian curry in London. Thanks to the reviews at Restaurantica, we headed to Curry Garden Restaurant which seemed to be a down-to-earth Darbar equivalent to the hoity-toity Massey's Fine Indian Cuisine (evoking yummy, but costlier, memories of Curry Original).

I enjoyed the heat and flavour of the madras. While the Butter Chicken may have been more authentic than the paler, sweeter version we know from Kingston, it failed to win rave reviews. As Shelley commented, if we're eating out we should be tasting something unique or different from what we can prepare ourselves ... which, I guess, is a backhanded compliment to President's Choice. Still Curry Garden offers great tastes for good value and good service. I'd go again, this time to scope out their Dhansak. (Doesn't that sound dirty! Oooh, so hot ... with a sweet undertone...)

What did get rave reviews from us was our movie selection, Juno. Go see it. Enjoy. Buy the soundtrack. Who ever thought the Moldy Peaches would hit mainstream?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Go to the Farm with Murray

The original March Break plan was to take the kids to my parents for a couple days and give Shelley the house to herself, but that obviously changed. I did take them for a visit this afternoon where we attempted to ride the old toboggan (but the warm-and-cold winter did not produce much in the way of slidable slopes, even in the snowbelt), explored the shed and its tractors, and were spoiled by Grandma and Papa.

Upon returning home, we learned that Shelley procured a Wiggles guitar-shaped book for Kai which more than made up for his distress at not receiving a Mickey Mouse purse that matched his sister's newly-acquired Minnie Mouse purse.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hair Raising Adventure

Reiko went to sleep with her ponytail and barrettes still in her hair. You can imagine the wavy, warped hive of hair that greeted her in the morning. We had planned to go to Early Years in the morning and after Kai's post-lunch nap, head to Adventures on Wonderland in London.

To address her hair woes, I coped as best I could with all my knowledge and experience: I wet her hair and put a toque on her head. Then we decided it would be a baseball hat day. Our efforts masked much of the problem, but there were some "bumps" of hair by her ears that warped out in an unsatisfactory fashion. So we abandoned our morning play plans (has it begun already?!)

Another round of toque-wearing turned the tide and we were good to go to Adventures in Wonderland. These days Kai appears to be phasing himself out of the need for an afternoon nap, and I wondered how giddy/overtired/cranky he'd be.

He seemed quite happy driving the bus...

... and playing in the ballpit with his sister.

Her hair doesn't look that bad, does it?

The kids had fun, and so did I.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Church Stinks

I was at a worship service this afternoon in a church where a skunk had recently taken up residency. The animal was gone, but the aroma lingered. Upon leaving the sanctuary, I noted the dryer fabric softener sheets clothes-pinned to the vents. (It didn't make a difference).

It reminds me of a moment a couple days ago when Kai sniffed the air and declared there was a skunk beside the couch. We changed his diaper.

Zombie Jesus

With the one church having purchased a computer projector, I prepared a full-out PowerPoint worship service today (although it was a Mac Keynote presentation, which I prefer to the Microsoft product – apologies to my brother-in-law!).

Although with the "worst storm of the winter" filling in driveways and lanes everywhere, I wondered last night how much effort I should put into something that might be cancelled in the morning. Sure enough, I got a phone call as I was digging out to head to the first service. It was cancelled.

The second service, being later in the day, went ahead as planned (once I figured how to connect the audio with cables that were too short). With the story of Lazarus coming back from the dead, it seemed a fitting segue to Zombie Jesus. The integrity of the sermon was still preserved and I managed to reference zombies! Up next: pirates and ninjas.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

These Things Happen in 3s

Another funeral today, this will mark the conclusion of 3 services in 3 weeks. (The graveside service I declined to perform last week notwithstanding. Not to worry, the family's needs were met by someone else; I had asked if the funeral home could find someone else instead. If not, I would oblige).

The pastoral care pager went back to the hospital today and I was half-expecting a 3rd call, but thankfully that wasn't necessary. I did have to tend to a few administrative issues though.

And if I'm complaining about 3s: if I see Jamario Moon attempt another 3-point shot, I may just vomit in disgust. Not really, but I'm not sure how best to convey my disapproval.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Blogging, Old School

My Uncle Charlie was our next door neighbour growing up; he was like a grandfather to me. He died rather suddenly a few years ago. His widow, my Aunt Myrtle, called this morning to say that she was reading through his daily journals and found an entry of interest.

According to his note for October 27, 1974, my parents and I went to their place for lunch. His impression of the visit? "Kenji is walking now."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Culture Shock

Firsthand hearsay from Shelley:

After noting the new handsoap in the bathroom and learning that its fragrance is "Japanese Cherry Blossom", Reiko frowned slightly and confessed, "But I don't know how to talk in Japanese!"

Shelley explained how my parents are Japanese. And that I was also Japanese. Rei accepted these as interesting facts. When it was explained that she was half-Japanese, she protested (and you can guess) "but I don't know how to talk in Japanese!"