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WELS Marriage Enrichment Weekend

Last weekend was a big one for Tyla and me. Mom flew out from Indiana and stayed with Elijah while Tyla and I headed to Hood River, OR for our church organization’s marriage enrichment weekend. This series comes to the Pacific Northwest every two years. When we heard about it a few months ago, we signed up to “force” ourselves to get there this year instead of putting it off again.

I had never been to Hood River. What a gorgeous area! The class was hosted at the Best Western right on the waterfront and our room overlooked the river. It’s not a big town but there were enough restaurants, shops and scenic sights to easily keep us entertained during our free time.

The Marriage Enrichment weekends consist of a variety of programs but ours was called “Simply Marriage.” It covered five topics:

Overcome frustration
Faith moves us from frustrated over God’s ways to curious about God’s ways. Become more curious and less frustrated with your spouse.
Appreciate incompatibility
We are all incompatible because we’re fallen. But incompatibility is grounds for marriage. Learn to put your spouse and his/her happiness ahead of your own; as Jesus has done for you.

Break patterns that destroy oneness
The two shall become one; but there’s an enemy. Learn how to break common patterns that war against your oneness:  escalation, invalidation, negative interpretation and withdrawal/avoidance.

Use words that work
Move from monologue to dialogue, learn how to initiate a behavior change request, cut the negativity and communicate appreciation.
Grow more intimate
Build your intimacy in ways that most couples can’t dream of: in your faith, in your friendship and in your sex and sensuality.

Those five sessions filled up an hour on Friday evening, 9-3 on Saturday and a couple hours on Sunday morning. The rest of the time was free for us to spend time together as a couple. We walked along the river, spent time in the hot tub, visited Multnomah Falls, and ate dinners at Solstice and Full Sail Brewing.

We didn’t have many expectations going into the weekend, but now we’re itching to go to the next one in two years! We met a bunch of great couples, learned a lot and enjoyed spending a weekend away together. It was obvious that the class has been offered many times because it went very smoothly.

These events are held all over the country so if you’re at all interested, check out the website to find one near you. Thank you Pastor Hunter for leading the class and we look forward to seeing you again in two years. Thank you Mom for coming all the way here to watch Elijah and thanks Dad for spending a weekend alone while she was here.

Fantasy Football – Week 11

The Seahawks looked pretty good against the Packers but you have to wonder what’s going on with Wilson this season. He’s missed a lot more throws than I remember him missing in the past. I counted at least three big misses on that Thursday game including one to a wide open Baldwin in the endzone.

The real game of the week was Monday Night Football between the Chiefs and the Rams. If you didn’t catch that, go watch a highlight reel. I zoomed past Luke for the win floating on Mahome’s 6 TD’s (despite his 3 INT’s and 2 lost fumbles.) Logan said that Mahomes was “Farving all over the field.”

Our league set another record this season for total score. Logan topped 170 for a whopping third week in a row. I don’t have the stats for it, but I bet that 520.91 points in three games is a league record. Logan and Andy both one to extend their leads on the rest of the league. Yahoo doesn’t give them the little icon yet but they’re pretty much a lock for the playoffs. Tyler and I are tied for third but we could easily get overtaken by Nick and maybe even the others. In fact, Tyler and Nick are playing next week which will be a key game for both of them.

Logan is still on top of the power rankings this week:

1. Logan (Goat Roapers)
2. Andy (RAAAWWWRRRRR!!!) +1
3. Ben (Kool Aid Kid) -1
4. Tyler (Krazy Kanuck)

On to the weekly records:

This Week This Season All Time
Highest Team Score Logan had 170.13 Tyler had 191.89 (Week 8) Tim 200.51 (2015)
Lowest Team Score Nick had 99.10 Tim had 72.47 (Week 10) Andy had 41.29 (2015)
Biggest Blowout Dad beat Nick by 37.91 Tyler beat Dad by 90.22 (Week 8) Luke beat Andy by 113.02 (2010)
Closest Win Ben beat Luke by 18.55 Tyler beat Ben by 1.55 (Week 6) Jim beat Ben by 0.12 (2012)
Highest Scoring Player Patrick Mahomes had 47.92 for Ben Mitchell Trubisky had 55.46 as a free agent (Week 4) Drew Brees had 60.54 on Tim’s bench (2015)
Longest Active Winning Streak Logan has a 3 game winning streak Andy, Logan and Tyler had 5 game winning streaks. Micah (2011) and Ben (2015) had 8 game winning streaks
Longest Active Losing Streak Tim has a 4 game losing streak Dad has a 5 game losing streak. (Week 9) Kyle had a 14 game losing streak (2011)

Black Friday

I don’t go much for Black Friday sales, but there was a time that I tried to survive the mob and I realized that story hasn’t appeared on this site before…

I believe it was my junior year of college (Nov 2000) when I decided I wanted to buy a sound system, DVD player and TV for our dorm room. All of it was pretty entry level stuff but it was going to be a major upgrade! I went shopping at Best Buy and figured out what I wanted. The sales guy hinted that there were going to be some big sales on Black Friday so I decided I’d wait and save some money.

Dad kindly waited with me that morning. I don’t remember the specifics but I think we got there around 5am and it was below 20 degrees. We were about 10th or so in line and we waited for hours for the store to open. As the doors open, everyone mobbed the doors and pushed their way in so we probably weren’t the 10th people to get in. Dad and I had a plan so we went directly for the stuff we wanted, grabbed it and reconvened. That maybe took 60 seconds, but the store was already completely full. It took forever (half an hour?) to make it back to the cash registers.

As the cashier rang up my total, I happily said, “How much did I save?” … “Save? Nothing. None of this was on sale.”

Yep, we waited in the freezing cold for hours to save… nothing. The TV and DVD player are long gone, but that sound system has traveled all over the country with me and is currently in our theater room (complete with birdseed and a mouse carcass inside the subwoofer but that’s a story for another day.) I think about that Black Friday regularly when I flip on the sound system. Thank you, Dad, for suffering through that with me and not giving me grief.

Fantasy Football – Week 10

The Seahawks are now 4-5 and are looking like they have a pretty good chance of hitting my 8-8 prediction. That might even be a stretch. If they can beat the Packers after this short week then that will be a big help because you hope they can beat the 49ers twice and the Cardinals. They kept this last game interesting but the magic isn’t there. I loved seeing Russell running more. I wonder where that’s been all season?

Our league was kuh-razy. It was the most total points for our league this season and there were two huge upsets as Luke took down Tyler and Nick squeezed out a high-scoring win over Andy. Those games were crazy too as Luke’s Monday night player scored just enough to beat Tyler before leaving the game early and Nick was one fumble away from losing his game on Monday night too.

Everyone has over 1000 points for the season now but there’s a pretty big separation between positions 1-4 and 5-8. The playoffs are far from a lock though. Andy and Logan should be feeling pretty good about their chances but there are still 4 games left before we start our playoffs and crazier things have happened. Next week’s key matchup is Andy vs Tyler in a battle of #2 and #3.

After putting up 350 points in two weeks, Logan is obviously on top of the power rankings:

1. Logan (Goat Roapers) +2
2. Ben (Kool Aid Kid)
3. Andy (RAAAWWWRRRRR!!!) +1
4. Tyler (Krazy Kanuck) -3

On to the weekly records:

This Week This Season All Time
Highest Team Score Logan had 177.67 Tyler had 191.89 (Week 8) Tim 200.51 (2015)
Lowest Team Score Tim had 72.47 Was: Luke had 81.52 (Week 9) Andy had 41.29 (2015)
Biggest Blowout Dad beat Tim by 57.92 Tyler beat Dad by 90.22 (Week 8) Luke beat Andy by 113.02 (2010)
Closest Win Nick beat Andy by 2.21. Tyler beat Ben by 1.55 (Week 6) Jim beat Ben by 0.12 (2012)
Highest Scoring Player Ben Roethlisberger had 45.82 on Ben’s bench Mitchell Trubisky had 55.46 as a free agent (Week 4) Drew Brees had 60.54 on Tim’s bench (2015)
Longest Active Winning Streak Nick has a 3 game winning streak Andy, Logan and Tyler had 5 game winning streaks. Micah (2011) and Ben (2015) had 8 game winning streaks
Longest Active Losing Streak Tim has a 3 game losing streak. Dad has a 5 game losing streak. (Week 9) Kyle had a 14 game losing streak (2011)

R2-E2

Elijah has been watching reviews of Lego Star Wars sets and decided he wanted to be “R2-E2” for Halloween. He came up with that all on his own! Instead of buying a costume, I decided to make one with him.

We bought some cardboard boxes from Home Depot. They sell some heavy duty boxes which thought would work well for the body to keep it from falling apart so quickly. We kind of made it up as we went and eventually we ended up with a body that had arm holes and a head hole. I fashioned a box for the front to hold his candy and also gave him a head. We covered the whole thing with a metallic silver spray paint.

Then came the fun part! I bought some inexpensive electroluminescent wire and an Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board. I wired the sound board up to some arcade buttons and placed those on the front of his costume. He ended up with 6 buttons that he could press to make various sounds. For a speaker, we used a battery powered bluetooth speaker that we already had (it also had a line-in) and I powered the circuit board with a USB battery pack.

The end result was a fun looking costume that lit up and made sounds. It was a quite a hit and he loved showing it off. That excitement was tempered a bit by the fact that it was hard to walk up and down steps and a couple times he got overwhelmed by kids mobbing him trying to push the buttons. All in all, I’d call it a win but he said he wanted to have a simpler costume next year.