Wednesday, December 24, 2008

From Us to You - Song #12

It is Christmas Eve and this is the final song to finish out The Best of the Black Christmas.  We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

From Us to You - Song #11

We really love you all and want to give you the very best.  We held nothing back for this song and truly hope that you savor every note.  

**Please make sure you have your crystal insured before playing this song.  We will not be held responsible.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Family of Blacks Christmas Film - 2008

Instead of Christmas cards we send out a video.  It is our ongoing attempt to be green and cheap.  If you are seeing this video for the first time it probably means that you weren't on our email list.  That was our ongoing attempt to save time.  Enjoy.

From Us to You - Song #10

Ring 'em if you got 'em.  

Song #10 - Jingle Bells

Sunday, December 21, 2008

From Us to You - Song #9

Even though the snow here is too powdery to pack into a snowman you may have the right kind of snow for such a personified winter creature. If so, be warned. The thing may come to life.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

From Us to You - Song #8

Sorry for the delay.  We were piled under snow again yesterday and I was unable to get to my computer (maybe).  I hope this has not caused any trauma for our fans.  Because of the delay we will release one bonus track on the final day.  

I thought this song was appropriate due to the silence of songs yesterday.

Song #8 - Silent Night

Thursday, December 18, 2008

From Us to You - Song # 7

This song goes out to our good friends - The Carrolls.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More than we expected...

The popularity of our Christmas album has been much greater than we ever expected.  Who would have ever expected that we would have received such publicity.  This will certainly help the sales of our album (and future albums). 

From Us to You - Song #6

Ring-a-ling, hear us sing
Soon it will be Christmas time
And you will have to pay for these downloads. 

Song #6 - Silver Bells

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From Us to You - Song #5

Simply Classic! 

Monday, December 15, 2008

From Us to You - Song # 4

As the weather forecast indicates, the next several days will not go above zero.  The likelihood of a White Christmas is nearly 100%.  The free download of the day is quite appropriate.  

Song #4 - White Christmas

Sunday, December 14, 2008

From Us to You - Song #3

The entire realm of Nearly, Canada is under a Blizzard Warning and we have been advised not to travel.  As law-abiding citizens, the leaders of our church decided to postpone church until next Sunday at the same time.  Never fear though because the free download today includes the very best of CyberHymnal.  So, whether you are stuck at home or on your way to church count yourself blessed to be able to sing along with the churchiest of songs.  

Saturday, December 13, 2008

From Us to You - Song #2

We are preparing for a blizzard here in Nearly Canada and it seemed only appropriate to give you the gift of this song today.  Please pass on the joy to your friends and family.  

Song #2 - Let it Snow

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lookin' for good music...?

My friend Bryan just posted some information about a new album he was enjoying.  If you are anything like Bryan or me for that matter, you are often looking for new music for your listening enjoyment.  Kirsten and I feel your pain and would like to assist you this Christmas season.  We recorded a Christmas album and we would like to give you an early gift.  Over the next several days we will be releasing one FREE download each day.  Please feel free to download each song and share them with your friends and family.  Be sure to snag your copy every day because on December 26th these songs will be going to ITunes for $.99.  Enjoy!
Free Download #1 - Feliz Navidad

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ezra Picasso

Ezra is starting to put together faces and bodies when he draws.  This is a picture that he drew of me.  You will notice that it is in fact me because of the dark hair and beard (the black circle around the mouth is the beard).  He is also beginning to perfect the artist signature.  I'm not sure why he chooses to spell his name "EZrA."  I think that is his signature signature so that you know it's a genuine EZrA masterpiece.  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for... family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Last Monday we had to put Clive to sleep.  He was a good dog.  Yesterday we got a new dog.    He is a German Shorthaired Pointer.  We got him from a GSP rescue in Montana.  He is a fantastic dog.  His name is Warnie.  We named him after the brother of C.S. Lewis (Clive).  His name was Warren but he went by Warnie.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Black Gold

I received my Starbucks Gold Card in the mail today.  I was excited...why?  I'm not sure.  The Gold Card gives me

  • 10% off of every purchase
  • A complimentary birthday beverage
  • Exclusive offers and discounts
  • Free Wi-Fi access for 2 hours each day
  • Access to a members-only web site
I don't go to Starbucks often enough to make up the $25 annual fee for the Gold Card...BUT...I received one year free because I have the Starbucks Visa card that gives me back 1% in Starbucks cash.  I only drink black coffee from Starbucks.  When I spend $1.61 on coffee I get a return of $.016.  After I purchase 100 cups of coffee I will have enough on my Visa to pay for one cup of coffee.  Now that I have the Gold Card I get 10% off of every transaction - which makes my total for a cup of coffee about $1.45.  My dilemma is this - now that I get 10% off of every transaction with my Gold Card I actually get less money back on my Visa.  What will I do??!!  These are the struggles I face.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Do you have what it takes?

Kirsten and Ezra have similar hair texture.  This causes them to be bedhead rivals.  Do you have what it takes to compete?  Submit your picture and we will upload it to the hall of fame.  

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Snow Shovel

The 1object posts are back...and better!  Please feel free to discuss.  This object is sometimes referred to as a snow scoop as well as shovel.  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Maybe this will help you decide...

...and happy halloween (or harvest day for some).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Practice NOW!

If you would like to begin practicing on your gourd click here. You are able to carve out images to get a preview of what your cadaver may look like when the autopsy is completed. This is fun for the whole family!

Monday, September 29, 2008


As Kirsten has already noted on her blog - the season has already changed to fall here and we had a good time in the front yard this evening.  I was pretty impressed with Ezra's jump into the pile of leaves.  
Asher didn't seem to get the concept of jumping into the leaves.  Instead he just ran through the leaves.  Although, as I think back about it - I am glad he didn't jump.  He would have probably knocked out more teeth.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Asher eat your dinner!

There are new pictures of our boys on September pages of our Family of Blacks web site.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Obed

It's hard to believe that Obed was born one year ago today. Happy Birthday Obed Elijah.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I love my wife for...


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm back alive...

Yes Mom, I am back and I am safe. Bryan and I were in the back-country of Glacier National Park for 4 days. After our first day of hiking we were resting at the head of Red Eagle Lake when a small grizzly bear walked out on a sandbar. The bear then entertained us with 45 minutes of swimming in the lake and playing with a stick.
After we were certain that the bear was gone we went out to the sandbar to check out the tracks.

Our second day was a long day (nearly 11 miles and climbing over a pass). Our last opportunity for water was the runoff from a glacier (Sorry Mr. Gore).
This is the final push to the top of Triple Divide Pass. The mountain off to the right is the central watershed of the continent.
The difficult climb was worth the view - both sides of the pass were spectacular. (Bryan is the mountain-sized guy on the right.

The next day was certainly restful as we had no option but to sit in our tent for 9 hours and wait out the pouring rain. After the clouds broke we tried to dry out our belongings.
The next day was even worse so we decided to cut our itinerary short and hike out of the back-country. We met a ranger on the way out and she advised us to head out quickly as a storm producing strong winds, low temperatures and snow was on its way. We made our way to a gravel road and...don't read this part Mom...and stuck out our thumbs for two rides - one from two Native Americans and one from an Irish guy and his girlfriend. They were nice people to get us back to our car at Two Medicine Lake - about 30 miles away from the trail. It was a memorable trip and probably the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. God's creation screams of His majesty!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Here's the church, here's the steeple...

I recently read that the reason church attendance is declining in some churches is because those who attend on a regular basis are not inviting their friends, neighbors and family members.

What do you think? If we are not inviting people to church - who is? Who or what are we relying on to bring people through the doors of our church?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Cotter Pin

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nature-Deficit Disorder

In less than two weeks I will be heading off into the great outdoors of Glacier National Park for a time of retreat. I enjoy backpacking, hiking and anything else that has to do with mountains. I have jokingly said that my responsibility as a father is to teach my boys what to like at an early age. Out of responsibility I am trying to teach them how to enjoy backpacking, hiking and anything that has to do with mountains. They will come around eventually.

All joking aside - I do believe it is my responsibility as a father to train our boys to enjoy God's good creation. This happens best in the context of being out in God's good creation. I don't want our boys to grow up with the understanding that all good and fun things happen inside with electricity.

Albert Mohler recently wrote on this topic. He says

The troubling development is that many children never play outside. They prefer to play computer games, surf the Internet, or update their Facebook pages. Their parents are increasingly afraid to let them play outside, scared by the constant barrage of news stories about crimes against children. These children and teenagers are accustomed to air conditioning, sophisticated entertainments, and lack of physical activity. They are aliens in the outside world...

...God reveals His glory in creation. How can we read the Psalms with insight if we never look and see that the heavens really are telling the glory of God? Something precious is lost when children -- or adults -- are alienated from the created world. This choice for alienation is a choice to cut ourselves off from what God has given us to enjoy and to appreciate.

Here's some good news. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to provide your children with experiences in nature and outdoor play. Just open the door and point them into the back yard or take them to a local park. Take a walk in the woods or go fishing in the lake. Go where the light does not obscure and see the wonder of the night sky.

Who knows? Your children just might forget to look for the nearest electrical outlet.

So here is my challenge. Go outside. Stay outside. Enjoy, or learn to enjoy being outside and worship God for His unique work of creation!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Are you a member?

Several months ago my friend and I started a series about the importance of church membership. The blog series was about as consistent as the attendance of many church-goers and like many church-goers it stopped showing up altogether.

Church membership is an important part of the local church. If you consider yourself a regular attender of a local church and still have yet to become a member - it's time. I have yet to hear a good reason for NOT becoming a member of a church.

Up until now there weren't many resources on church membership. I recently finished reading Thabiti Anyabwile's book - "What is a Healthy Church Member?" I plan to give this book to everyone who becomes a member at our church. It is a simple encouragement and challenge to church members about how to be a healthy support to your church. As a member, do you want to serve your church and the leaders in your church? Read this book. It is a short book with ten short chapters. Buy the book. Read the book. Give the book to someone who should be a member and encourage them toward this commitment for the glory of God.

New Church Blog

Our church has started a new blog. It is a means of communication for our congregation - but it is also open to everyone else. I am learning that not many people in our church know about the blogosphere and so many of the comments have come from outside of our church. Please feel free to read, participate and comment. The current post is about tipping the wait staff at restaurants. Join the fun.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Waffle Fry

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I really enjoy blog post series. I don't post to this blog much and I thought it would be fun to begin a series of posts. Over the next several days I am going to post single images that, in my opinion, are best when viewed as a single image. My hope is that, as you view these images, you will appreciate the image for what it is. Don't take it for granted. There are things in life that we need to appreciate more.

Monday, July 28, 2008


*UPDATE* - I do have a friend.

A friend of mine asked me what bible(s) we use for the discipleship of our boys. I have posted this information in the past but I will post it again for your reference. I would highly recommend both of these books. Unlike many children's bibles which simply point out the moral lessons of Scripture, each of these books gets to the heart of Scripture. One reveals how the bible is tied together from the sin of the garden to the Revelation of John. The other shows the common thread of Jesus running throughout the Old and New Testaments. On a side note - the illustrations in each are pretty spectacular!

We have used both for about two years now and recommend them to everyone who has children or will have children or once was a child.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It wasn't worthless

Many of you know that I graduated with the very useful degree of Sculpture. Some of you have asked - "do you still do any artwork?" I don't. I don't have a lot of time and sculpture can be an expensive hobby.

In June our eldest sons were painting with some cheap watercolors during our visit to my parents. While they were painting I took a piece of paper to see what I could do. Below is the product of 4 years of study in art. I left the masterpiece at my parents and my dad sent me a scanned copy. I think he was overwhelmed with pride for the greatness of his son.
Please don't flood my inbox with requests for portraits. I simply do not have the time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

She's back

She's back! Some of you may be reading her blog but it has been quite some time since you have seen her bedhead. Check the previous entries here. Send your submissions to me for the Bedhead Hall of Fame and I may post them - if they come close to this queen!

Face it - She's hot!

Monday, July 07, 2008


Our friends purchased sparklers for the 4th of July. They were going to spell their names with the sparklers and take pictures of the outcome. I asked them to spell my name and send me the picture. This is the outcome. For the purposes of our friendship, I will say - great job!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Still cleaning out the collection

If you are a regular reader of this blog, which I know both of you are, then you will remember that I sold 183 PEZ dispensers a few weeks ago. It was a 10 year collection sold for $43. I am now trying to sell the rare, foreign and collectible dispensers and other PEZ paraphernalia. If you have always dreamed of owning four fuzzy candy dispensers and a PEZ clown car check out the items for sale here.

If you are interested in purchasing these dispensers on ebay click here.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My wife the blogger

A few weeks ago I wrote about the genesis of a new blog - the long-awaited blog of my beautiful wife. She has done a fantastic job of retelling stories of our boys. The post today is fantastic! Check it out here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Vacation is Always Fun

As I noted in my previous post, we saw quite a bit on our recent vacation. We are now back in Nearly, Canada. I sat down this evening to look through our pictures from the trip. Our pictures reveal just how much fun we had down south. This picture accomplishes two things. 1.) It shows just how great a time our boys had at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Grandma and Grandpa have the best toys - like this "helmet" that Asher is wearing. 2.) This picture is a tribute to the queen of angled photos.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

St. Louis Itinerary

We have been in St. Louis since Saturday evening. We have done quite a bit in the last few days. The boys have had a good time and Ezra has asked after every event - "can we do that again?" Below I will list our up-to-date itinerary.

Sunday: to church at The Journey with Rob and Holly.
Monday: to the St. Louis Zoo and to the Magic House.
Tuesday: talked to a friend at Kaldis Coffee Shop and then to the Kirkwood pool.
Wednesday: to the Botanical Gardens and Whittles Train Store.

Tomorrow we leave for southeast Missouri to visit with my parents. I will keep you up to date and I know you are all so thankful to be kept up to date with our travels.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Going South

It is Saturday and we are flying out of the International Airport toward St. Louis.
It is Saturday and it is Bryan's birthday.

It is Saturday and Kirsten has posted again.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Moldy Cheese

A friend of mine told me the other day that the cheese needed to make a comeback. I agree. The cheese has gotten a bit moldy. Since the response to Kirsten's blogging efforts have been positive - I couldn't be outdone. Check out the new cheese here. 'Tis the season to get cheesey.

My wife and blogs

I love my wife! She is an amazing woman and I do not deserve her. Over the years I have tried to get her to post her thoughts, comments and humor on a blog. She never agreed to jump on the wagon...until now. To be honest I guess she didn't really agree to do anything with a blog. Here's how it went down - we were talking last night about the funny things our boys say. Kirsten said "that's why I wish I had a blog, so I could post these funny things." I jumped on the idea, created a blog and signed her up with an account. I have posted the first item on the blog to get her going. It's a repeat from something I posted earlier this week. If you know Kirsten and would like here to follow through with my idea - go to the blog and let her know you want to read what she has to say. She is so amazing she deserves to be shared with you.

See the new blog here!

Skittle Ads

I like Skittles. I have for quite some time. We have a gumball machine in our house that dispenses Skittles (for free). I like them even more after seeing these ads.

ht: JH

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Email Etiquette

I ran across this post today entitled Email Checklist. There are 36 helpful tips how how to send email. Particularly insightful are the following -

13. Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour).
14. Could I do this note better with a phone call?
16. Is there anything in this email I don't want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).
20. Have I included the line, "Please save the planet. Don't print this email"? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger or flight attendant).
21. Could this email be shorter?
25. Are there any :-) or other emoticons involved? (If so, reconsider).
28. Am I forwarding something about a virus or worldwide charity effort or other potential hoax? (If so, visit snopes and check to see if it's 'actually true).
33. Are there any little animated creatures in the footer of this email? Adorable kittens? Endangered species of any kind?
36. If I had to pay 42 cents to send this email, would I?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Update on PEZ

Contrary to popular opinion I decided somewhat rashly to post all of my PEZ dispensers on ebay. When I logged and counted all of the common dispensers there were 183. I started the bidding at $.99 for a three day bid. The last time I checked there were 8 bids and the high bid was $20.59. If the bidding stops at that price each dispenser will be worth $.11. Each new dispenser costs on average $1. That is a net loss of $162.41. Most of the dispensers were gifts so that brings the net loss back up a bit. I will keep you posted on the final highest bidder.

For those of you who tried to convince me to keep the plastic candy-throated fun - sorry. The money has already been earmarked for something much more valuable.

**UPDATED** The entire lot of dispensers sold for $34. On average each dispenser sold for about $.19.

Soon to be vacating

Our family is beginning to get in packing mode for our upcoming vacation to the south. We will be flying out on Saturday for a 10 day trip to St. Louis and beyond. As I think about our vacation many things come to mind about what I want to do and things I want my family to do with me.

Yesterday I stumbled across a series of posts on C.J. Mahaney's blog. The title of the series is "Leadership + Family Vacations." In these posts he discusses the role of the father/husband while on family vacation. He writes about seven lessons he has learned in his history of family vacations. The father must be the one setting the example in the following seven things.

1. A Servant Heart
2. A Tone-Setting Attitude
3. An Awareness of Indwelling Sin
4. Studying Your Family
5. Skillful Surprises
6. Intentionally Together
7. Gratefulness to God

He concludes by saying-
Fathers, I hope some of the lessons I have learned over the years and the mistakes I’ve made and sins I’ve committed on vacation somehow serve you and make a difference in your vacation experience. Before you this summer is a sweet opportunity from God to deepen relationships between family members and create memories that your children will never forget, memories that will outlive you.

You can rest when you get home.

Dads and husbands - serve your families well on vacation. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do - point your family toward Christ. That will be my goal for our upcoming vacation. Pray for me to lead my family to our Lord and Savior during our vacation.

I would encourage you read the entire article here (it's a .pdf).
Or check out Mahaney's blog here.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Speaking of Fundies...

Last week we were reading through the early chapters of Genesis with our boys at the breakfast table. After talking about the fact that Adam and Eve were naked, Ezra laughed and said "yeah, but they had undies on didn't they?"