« November 2006 | Main | January 2007 »

27 December, 2006

Need a Fix of Pics?

These pictures will refresh each time you reload this page, so as to cycle through different pictures. Or, to see them all, click here to see all of our Magic Kingdom pictures.

Life Less Normal's photos tagged with Magic Kingdom More of Life Less Normal's photos tagged with Magic

24 December, 2006

The Answer is Yes...

... the Bubby really likes Disney World!


17 December, 2006

JonJon Takes a Roadtrip!

A rare perk (I guess you could call it a perk) of my job is the occasional road trip. And by road trip, I mean one of my attorneys needs me to go do a filing or posting or something out of county that requires a higher degree of skill/knowledge (i.e., something we can't send a runner on). Usually, it's something that takes me to a fun Texas small town, the kind that have an actual town square, and an old-school courthouse therein. Previous trips have taken me to Graham, the further outreaches of Wise County, and some place in Hill county.

This past week I was sent on another such trip, to Grayson County (on the border with Oklahoma) about 65 miles north of Dallas proper. These little trips are great because they give me time in the car to think, to listen to music as loud as I want, to just enjoy a little break from the norm.

...also, they're nice because our firm pays the federal maximum for mileage, so it's like getting a nice little bonus...

The speed limit was 70 most of the way, but 121 was a parking lot pretty much the whole day, and my 195 mile trip took me over 4 hours.

Something I always love on these trips is stopping at Sonic. Sonic is so ubiquitous in small town Texas, and I love it. It's like the Sulfur Springs version of Starbucks...

Didn't see where/how they wanted you to Shop Naked...drive a manual transmission while messing with my iPod and taking pictures with my cell phone was hard enough...

Inside the Grayson County Courthouse...this hand is pointing you to nothing in particular...still, very cool...

...and in a shocking twist, the Grayson County Courthouse is not an old-school courthouse. It's a fairly new and bland building that does not deserve the attention that being in the square of the town square affords...

Christmas on the Square...Toys...and a Pawn Shop...

10 December, 2006

Bubby Loves Advent...and Chocolate

Chocolate is best when running down your face..

The season of Advent is not one that is normally noticed much in typical protestant churches. A couple of years ago, our church decided to start participating in this 4-week celebration which joyfully anticipates the arrival of God as a man, the eternal putting on flesh, and becoming the sacrifice for us.

And so we have informally joined in, taking the time to daily look forward to this important spiritual anniversary. I say informal, because more orthodox keepings of Advent include fasting and times of preparation similar to Lent. For us, participation has included times of special times prayer and reading related to the promises of God to redeem His people, and the specific prophecies that pointed to Jesus' coming; also, special sermons from Jamie at Christ Fellowship. It has been a good and meaningful exercise for us these last two years, and further enhances the Christmas season, helping to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas.

Involving the Bubby on a level he could understand and would enjoy was definitely a priority for us, and this is kind of the first Christmas that he is old enough for something like this. Definitely a 'commercial' part of the season, yet also one of the best at promoting the Christmas season, Starbucks has Advent Christmas tree decorations for purchase which make it easy and exciting to have a daily conversation with Noah about the upcoming special day. The 18-inch tall tree has little compartments for 24 small, numbered boxes. Each box contains a small treat (some kind of chocolate wrapped in gold foil), and on the reverse side of each box is 1/24th of a picture of a wintery, holiday scene. For each day of Advent, you pull out one box, counting down the days to Christ's birth, and after pulling out the special treat, you put it back into the compartment, with the 'new' side of the box facing forward. Each day brings us closer to the special arrival, and also further reveals the new, happy picture.


This has been a wonderful tool and a fun, child-friendly helper for our small little family. Each evening, we gather around the little tree--normally because Noah can't take the anticipation anymore and begs us to do it--and Noah reminds us that 'It's almost Jesus' birthday!' Then we'll talk for just a minute about how God sent His only Son to be born as a baby because He loves us and wants to be close to us. Maybe we'll talk about how the star at the very top of tree--the last box to be removed, No. 24--was a special sign that God made to tell people about Jesus. Then, Noah will remove the appropriate box, take out the treat, and put the box back in, with the new side out, reminding us that, 'When Jesus comes, He makes everything new!' Then, he enjoys the chocolately treat.

...and boy, does he enjoy it!


May God draw your own heart closer to His in this special season, reminding you how much He loves you, and may you follow that same star, all the way to the King, to bow, to worship, to bring Him your gift, and to let Him make all things new.

8 December, 2006

The Wishlists...


It's that time again, and while I think all of you have already gotten quite a bit of your Christmas shopping done, I nonetheless wanted to put all of the wishlists in one place so you can each easily access them if you want to use them as a helper in your holiday shopping.

Remember, as Captain Barbosa said, 'They're more like ... guidelines!' They are particularly helpful to know who doesn't have a particular DVD, who likes what type of cologne, what a good book idea would be, etc. You certainly don't even have to look at the wishlists, let alone buy a specific item through Amazon (although on a side note, we have found that Amazon often matches or beats Wal-mart's prices on books, DVDs and music), but here they are, either way, for your benefit:

One tip, though: the wishlists automatically pull up showing whatever was added last. Thus, if you want to see what someone wants in order of what they like the most, you need to re-sort it in the pull-down menu by 'Desired (high to low)'.

Also, Mom, Dad and Grandma are not featured as I do not have wishlists from them. If they make them, I will put them above. Otherwise, Mom has mentioned the Anne of Green Gable DVDs, xBox stuff or Star Wars stuff is always good for Dad, and Grandma...well, use your imagination.

Happy hunting!

Parade of Lights Photos

Life Less Normal's photos tagged with Christmas More of Life Less Normal's photos tagged with Christmas

7 December, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad!

We salute you!


Today, Dad, El Guapo, is twenty-seven! You have been such a blessing to so many people, and we are happy to get to celebrate another year the Lord has so graciously given you.

If you're milling about LLN today, drop Dad a line and tell him something nice! It's his birthday, and there's nothing nicer than a good warm fuzzy!

5 December, 2006

...Bet This Didn't Work


I'm thinking this was from somebody that isn't downtown much: It's not like the officer comes back in 30 minutes to find the envelope stuffed with cash, still under your windshield wipers.