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June 2007
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August 2007

Something's Fishy

My brother, Michael, set up an outing for us here in Wisconsin to take our kids to a trout farm and do some trout fishing.  The experience was like shooting fish in a barrel!  There were so many fish we couldn't reel them in fast enough.  Fish and hooks were flying left and right as the kids kept casting their sweet corn bait into the pool of piranha-like trout.

Here's a look at the excursion.





As a final note, all 12 of the fish that were caught by the youngsters suffered a quick death as they were cleaned and filleted right before our very eyes. 

As Silas and I sat at the dinner table tonight eating southern fried trout, Silas said, "Daddy, those fish died."

"Yes, they did," I replied.

"And now they're going into my tummy!"  Silas put a final note on the great fishing expedition. 

A View From Chicago

We've had a great time on our trip thus far.  Currently in The Dells, Wisconsin enjoying the "Water Park Capital of America."

We stopped in Chicago for a couple of days before we got here and wore ourselves out; had a great time, regardless of tired feet.

We went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which was a fabulous experience (especially considering it's free), spent an afternoon at the Navy Pier and Chicago Children's Museum and went to church at Willow Creek Community Church on Sunday morning.

Here are a few pics.  More coming later.

How To Survive 9 1/2 Hours in the Car With Kids

We made the road trip from Mississauga to Chicago yesterday.  All-in-all, it was a smooth trip.  I had succumbed to the pressures of "numb skull" parenting and dropped $150 on a portable DVD player with two monitors and seat straps to take in the van.  It proved to be a brilliant move on my part.  Elizabeth and Sarah both agreed.  Silas and Ephraim spent at least half of the trip watching movies with headphones silence.

Border Action
We were blessed with the fortune of being "randomly selected" for a vehicle search at the Port Huron, Michigan border crossing.  We were delayed at the border for nearly an hour in total.  It was a real pain in the rear.  I noticed that we were one of the only "Canadian" families being inspected who did not have accents.  I'm not quite sure what to make of that.  Anyway, hanging out at the border is not my idea of a good time; especially with a bored 3 and 4 year old.  For once in my life, I was actually quietly wishing that the boys would start acting terrible; throwing tantrums and stuff.  It would be the least we could do to repay the border patrol for their gift of delaying our journey.  But, as luck would have it, Silas and Ephraim were quite well behaved.

Don't Touch the Slurpees!
Mexi_2 After a delectable (and cheap) dinner at a local Mexican eatery/dive, we took the boys to a little park where they ran around for a while to get that last bit of energy out.  While looking for a place to park our own behinds, Elizabeth decided to clean off a park bench. She grabbed a mostly empty Slurpee cup and chucked it in the nearby garbage can.Slurp   Ep Unfortunately, the burly Latino man pushing his two daughters on the swing was not so happy to see his Slurpee being disposed of.  He had a few choice words for us.  Elizabeth, quite embrarassed, tried to give Teeter_2 him some cash to repay him for the Slurpee.  He refused the money, but continued to stew over the incident.  Fortunately, we did not get beaten up over a Slurpee.

Move 'Em Up - Move 'Em Out

Two more sleeps 'til we head out of town.  The Blair clan will be taking off in the wee hours of Friday morning to drive to Chicago.  We'll spend the weekend in ChiTown then head on to The Dells, Wisconsin for a week with extended family.

I've had a busy and semi-stressful week leading up the the trip.  This is the first time since I've been on staff at Grace that I will have missed back-to-back Sundays.  That trend, in and of itself, is probably not a healthy one.  However, the anxiety that I've been through the last week or so, as I've prepared to be gone, is enough to make me wait a while before I do it again.

I've got a fellow by the name of Jason Azevedo filling in for me as the worship leader while I'm away.  Jason is involved with the worship ministry at The Meeting House.  He's a very gifted guy and, I think, quite competent as a worship leader.  I feel like I'm leaving the team in solid hands.  Nonetheless, I've got trepidations about everything going smoothly.  I've had to get all the music, arrangements and multimedia pulled together for the two weeks before I leave. 

In the past, when I've been away for a Sunday, I've just had my own team "wing it" without me, or I've had Mat Fugere from the Village Church in Milton fill in.  But I've always come back home to the band saying, "Well, it was interesting..."  and others on staff and from the congregation simply saying, "Bart, we really missed you while you were away!"  My goal in hiring Jason to fill in is that NO ONE MISSES ME AT ALL!  Yes, that's right.  I'd love to come back and hear, "Why don't you bring that guy in more often?"

I hope!

Lacrosse Finale

Did you know that the national sport of Canada is NOT hockey?  Hard to believe, isn't it?  It's actually lacrosse.  Yes, that's right, lacrosse!

Silas finished his very first lacrosse season in style this morning with his team's second win of the year (they finished 2-8).  And Silas scored his first and only goal of the year today.  Needless to say, I was very proud.  AND I proved to be the laughing stock of the dads on the bench.   The last two games I've brought out the video camera to shoot some footage of the games.  I realized today, with more than 12 minutes of game time left, I had only 2 minutes of tape.  So I decided to "conserve" it.  And wouldn't you know, Silas scooped up the ball from about 20 feet out, ran to the crease and fired in a goal.  All the while I stood there cheering, with a video camera in my hand with the power "off."

Oh, well.  While I didn't get the moment recorded for posterity, nothing will erase the moment from my mind.  Silas was quite proud of himself.  He'd had about 5 or 6 shots on goal the whole season.  It felt good to see him actually get one in the net.

Here are a few of stills I grabbed from the video I did shoot.  As you can see, Silas was never afraid to go up against the bigger boys.  I'm already looking forward to next season!

Number 7, Silas Blair, with the cross check (which is perfectly legal, in case you didn't know).

Silas with the stick check.

Silas picks up the ball and runs the full length of the floor for a shot (that went wide right as he was checked by an opponent on the shot).