“The finest men in all the world are not to be found in the warm, genial climates, where the earth has only to be tickled with a hoe, and it laughs with plenty; but the strongest and the most enterprising spirits have been found at the back of the north wind, where there are frosts and ice, and long, dreary winters, and men have a hard struggle for a livelihood. They become really men under that stern training. Now, if there were no thorns and thistles, no struggles and no trials, should we have any brave Christians? Should we have any great and noble souls at all? When did the Church yield her best men for her Lord’s service? It was in the persecuting times, when they had to swim through seas of blood to hold fast the truth of Christ. These are silken days, and we have wretched specimens of Christians everywhere; but if the times of persecution were to come once more, with the rough winds blowing, and the whole sea of the world tossed in tempest, we should then find brave sailors who would put the ship’s head to the wind, and ride safely over the stormy billows in the name of the Eternal God.” Spurgeon, C. H.

From the Thorns and Thistles Sermon, Vol 39.


Greek side of Matthew

One of the best falafal places in San Jose is actually one of the lesser attractive and least accomodating places.

At lunch time the place is usually packed with people and seating is limited. It’s not uncommon to have strangers join you at your table. Nevertheless, it’s a treat to visit. The falafals and hummus are excellent. Matthew doesn’t care so much for the falafel’s but he loves the hummus and banana shakes.

Usually we eat in our car, especially today since it was so cold outside and most of the seating is outside.

The hummus comes with pita bread. Usually when we give him the bread, he’ll just suck the hummus off. He actually prefers to eat spoonfuls of the stuff.

There are more photos in the galleries. Click Here


Easel Cubby Hole

Whenever things get very quiet, it's a good sign to check on what Matthew is doing. This time I looked around and could not find him anywhere. We bought Matthew an easel for drawing with chalk and markers. But he found a totally unique use for it.



Raking the Leaves

Matthew, Jenn, my dad, and I had some fun raking the leaves this weekend. I think he’s going to make an excellent helper.

It’s funny but I think he’s imitating me and my dad in the determined and focused way he’s walking with the rake in this next photo.

What do you think? Here’s a photo of my dad blowing. See the resemblence?

Even though Jenn’s pregnant, she also managed to help with her new purple hair do.

Purple Haired Jenn

Jenn decided to get red highlights to the front of her hair. I thought it was crazy when she first mentioned it, but she said she’s done it before and liked it. Here’s a photo of my mother putting the red dye into her hair.

After 15-20 minutes, one of the other hairdressers looked in shock at the color in Jenn’s hair. It turned out that my mother had put a Level 5 red dye that was too intense for Jenn’s hair. She should have used Level 2 or 3.

I couldn’t handle hanging out any longer. I was already getting upset about my mother messing up my wife’s hair AGAIN. Last time she had let the highlight solution bleed through the plastic barrier and caused all her hair to be highlighted. This time when I left, I was expecting that Jenn was going to have ferrari red highlights and look like a circus clown when she came home.

Last time my mother was able to fix the highlight disaster by darkening some of her hair. This time they were able to do some disaster recovery and darken what turned out to be hot pink to more of a purple. So Jenn narrowly escaped another disaster. See more of the photos. Click Here for the Gallery


Gallery Choices

After a short evaluation of Flickr.com, I decided to stick with putting photos on my own gallery. I think flickr.com is a lot slower than my own site.

Flickr is slower for several reasons.
- Huge number of visitors.
- It’s a cheap service, you get what you pay for.
- A complex interface.

My site has a very simple gallery interface that makes it much faster for viewing. I know not everyone has a superfast DSL connection, so I decided to stick with my own website. Also, I’ll have complete control over how the photos are displayed and the organization of them on my site. With flickr.com I am subject to whatever they decide to do with the site.

It’s so easy to uploade to flickr.com that I’ll continue to upload there. The high resolution versions will be uploaded, so if you want to have any printed at your local store, the flickr.com interface provides an order prints option that prints to a local store. In my area, they print to a variety of Target stores. I thought this might be a compelling reason for me to use flickr.com, however, I find that their prints are mediocre compared to the professional online service I use. I use http://www.whcc.com and 4x6’s are only .24 cents per print, including shipping. So I’ll continue to use http://www.whcc.com for prints.

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