Friday, January 23, 2009


Please, if you read this blog...would you please storm heaven and pray for our friend David. His body is covered with unidentifiable sores...what started out as a simple infection in his finger has turned into something else. He is on the way to the hospital...he is the sole provider for his family and deeply loved and needed by them. Please pray for him.


Steve's Weight Goal Update

A little progress this week. Another pound or two gone. My initial hope was to lose about a pound a week. So far I am staying ahead of that pace. Belt and pants still feel tight but sometimes I can take the belt in a notch.
All in all a good week. Plan to do more running this weekend. Trying for 1.5 miles, half way to the goal of 3+ miles for the 5k run at the end of February.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bet Ya Didn't Think of This

Parents are always careful when selecting names for their children. We don't want to encourage bad nicknames or create initials that spell something awkward. My Dad's middle name was "Spurgeon" after the famous preacher, his friends figured out it rhymed with "sturgeon" so they called him "Fish." I just got a call at work from a lady whose first names starts with "S" and her last name is "Pike." "SP" - no problems with the initials. However, when she formats her e-mail address according to the company pattern, it becomes "spike" "Spike" how cool is that but probably not something most parents would want their daughters to be called.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

King of the Hill

The call went out to the neighborhood boys: “We are playing king of the hill!”

That was the call for all able bodied youth to climb over or through the barbed-wire fence west of the neighborhood, gather cow pies, and form teams to see who could conquer and hold the top of a small hill just outside of the fence.

There were five or six boys in the neighborhood ranging from about six (me and the boy in the Quonset hut to the east) and 10, I think, the boy in the Quonset hut to the east. If you remind me, I’ll talk more about the “neighborhood” in another story.

This hill was a small flat-topped rise. We used it for sledding in the winter, but that is another story, too. It sloped from the top eastward down to the fence. That was the longest slope. There were other, shorter slopes on the west and south sides. The north side was a short, easily scalable cliff, even for a six-year old. The cliff did afford a way to sneak up on those on top of the hill.

Cow pies were plentiful as cattle freely roamed the acres behind the fence and the climate was dry – this part of Washington State is a high desert. The cow pies were usually about a foot in diameter and a couple inches thick. Each pie would break up into several throwing size clods. Nobody like being hit with them, but they weren’t dangerous because they were rock free and would usually “explode” into harmless but smelly powder when they hit something or somebody.

On that day I did not hear the initial call to pies. But I did notice the commotion a little later. Quickly, I ran to the fence and crossed it. It is not easy to cross a barbed-wire fence by yourself. It is better if you have someone holding the strands apart a little, but I made it without ripping my shirt or pants.

I found a friend sneaking up the hill. “Can I be on your team?” I asked. “Sure” he said. So I quickly ran to gather an ample supply of pies. As might be expected, being late, the supply of these coveted missiles was in short supply, at least near the hill. So I scurried off to find some pies but quickly got out of sight of the hill. Finally finding enough pies, always careful to watch for rattlers (you’re right, another story), I headed back to the hill circling around so that I approached the hill from the cliff so as not to be observed.

I carefully cradled the pies while I scaled the short rocky cliff. The climb was not difficult just slow – didn’t want to drop any pies so I could only use one hand to pull myself up.

A minute or two later I was able to peer over the cliff to the top of the hill. To my surprise the top was empty. Getting fully on top there was no one, anywhere, just cow pie debris. Sad at first, I consoled my self by tossing the pies – a chunk at a time at a nearby fence post.

I was king of the hill; no one took the hill when I was king! I soon followed the other boys. I arrived home with dirty hands, more than slightly thankful I had not been hit by a ton of cow pies.

Perfect Wii Bowling Game!

Okay, first – ask Alan who beat him in our last bowling match!! Check this out Steve- I GOT A PERFECT GAME!! 300!! 13 STRIKES IN A ROW! How cool is that? I must’ve been in the zone or something! We all freaked out! He’s still trying to get one – and practicing every day!! Hee Hee! Talk about lucky!! 224 is pretty darn good though – Alan’s average is about a low 200 and mine is usually mid 200... but now my average is way up – like that’ll ever happen again! (Sara B)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The First Fishing Trip

This is the first installment of what I hope to be a series of stories from times long, long ago and far away.

It was going to be a fine spring, opening day of fishing in eastern Washington. I was probably six or seven. Dad got my younger brother and me up really early, before daylight. We loaded up the 55 Ford black and white two-door Crown Victoria and drove out into the country. The fishing gear, worms and moms sandwiches were all packed in the trunk with ease.

I don’t know where we went (I must have slept most of the way), but finally we parked. We got our fishing gear out of the trunk, it was barely light. We climbed over the rocks along the side of the road and were rewarded with a dark, deep lake in an old gravel quarry.

We climbed down the rocks to the side of the water and couldn’t wait to start fishing. I think Dad hooked all the worms.

The morning was cold but we started catching rainbow trout so we didn’t really notice. Nice ones about eight inches or so. The sun rose and the chill was replaced with a warmth and glimmer off the pond.

But as the sun rose, my joy sank; both Dad and my brother had caught four fish each, I only had two. The time was rapidly approaching for us to pack up and go home. Finally, Dad made the call: “Time to go.”

In my frustration, I began to fling the worm out onto the pond, trying to snap it off so I would not have to touch it, I guess. After about three or four of these “casts” (my bamboo pole had about 20 feet of line, no reel) when to my great surprise and joy a trout bit. I pulled it in more excited than I can put into words. On top of catching the fish in this manner, it turned out to be one of the biggest fish we caught that day.

That was a good ending to a great fishing trip. We climbed back up the rocks to the car, loaded up, and started the trip home.

A few miles into the trip, a small thunder storm started to the right side of the car. As we drove I noticed it was raining on the right side of the car the wiper struggling to clear the water and the sun was shining on the driver’s side, the wiper squeeking on the dry surface. It was really cool, but kind of odd, something like the writer of this story.

I think we went fishing opening day nearly every year until I graduated from college about 16 years later. I can't remember for sure, but we likely had fried fish for dinner that night. I like trout but always make quite a show of removing all the bones.

Sarah and Her Violin

To ALL of you who are interested in Sarah's violin competition, today (Sat.1/17) in Spokane. SHE WON the all Northwest area which included Alaska, Wa, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana -- I think I have all the states that Carla told me when I asked & when she just called to tell me of Sarah's success. Now she goes to further competition in Georgia at the end of March. I do not know how many were competing today, but I gathered it was quite a number. Of course all the Halls are really pleased as are each of us, huh. Pleased & Proud that all of Sarah's determination with practicing, practicing had very good results.

So, with that latest Family Update ---------------- 'Bye for now, Love, Mom/Grandma/GG
Note: the picture is about a year old. If someone sends me a new picture, I will replace this one. (Steve)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Old pictures

I thought papa might enjoy these.
They are a little old, but still are pretty cute.

Sorry, I had to remove one of the pictures! We'll replace it pretty soon. :)

I hope you like them!
Farmer Boy
P.S. If anybody else has any pictures that you would like to share, you should make a post. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Steve's Fitness Update

Yesterday (Saturday) was a good day, but I over did it. Started with a one mile run/walk, took 11 minutes. That was good. Followed up with 30 minutes on Wii Fit. That was very good. Then I found out that Kathi committed me to steam cleaning the carpets for her parents new (used) mobile home. They are moving a lot closer, but that's another story. The carpets looked like they had not been cleaned since the home was built. So that resulted in just over three hours of operating the steam cleaner and another two hours this morning. Lots of gallon of cleaning water and more gallons of really black waste water. The carpets looks a lot better. My shins and back hurt a little, but only when I move :-). Good news though about my left knee. It seems to have held up just fine.

Love, Steve

Wedding News

Many of you know that Mary is engaged to marry Joel Fisher.
The wedding date is now set for May 9, 2009.
Location here in Bradenton Florida. Exciting time around here. Joel and Mary have been seeing eachother for over 2 years. Joel is a worship leader at a local church and he also teaches guitar. He has a business called "workship works" where he teaches worship teams. He and along with Mary have most of the high scores on the Wii Fit. Mary and Joel tied on the final game of the New Years family bowling tournament on Wii. Definately a good match.