Archive Monthly Archives: December 2008

Illegal Gun Sales

This is one of those instances where, as parents, we don’t know whether to be proud or horrified.

As many people know, Sam has an uncanny ability to make various things out of paper and tape.

His specialty is weaponry.

We don’t know why that is, exactly, but if he sees a weapon in a book, movie, or elsewhere, he has to make his own version out of paper and tape, and then he protects the creations mercilessly.

So it was to our surprise when Sam came downstairs this morning, laid out a selection of his creations on the kitchen table, put pricetags on them, and then proceeded to sell them to his brothers, who were more than willing to toss all of their money at him.

He took them for over three dollars.

Walt then followed example and opened up his own pawn shop, selling all of the random junk he no longer wanted.

Should we be bothered that the older boys are selling stuff to their brothers, or proud of their entrepreneurship and initiative?

Click through to see more pictures of Sam’s Pawn Shop.
Continue reading

Posted by Greg
December 28, 2008


One of the many board games we got for the family for Christmas is Blokus. It’s sort of like a Tetris board game for up to four players.

One thing I’ve learned from this game is that not only am I way too competitive with games like this, but this is also a great game for practicing patience as it takes our boys about 5 minutes each time it’s their turns!

Overall, though, we’re quite happy with the games we got for Christmas and I’m certain over time we’ll only enjoy them more as the boys get faster.

We’ll be giving a full board game review on Tuesday’s show. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here is a preview of some of the games we got for Christmas:

Posted by Greg
December 27, 2008

Pink Eye!

After apparently dodging the bullet of an eye infection the other day, this morning Tommy woke up with goopy junk in his eye that looked much worse than mine felt this past Saturday.

I wasted no time in calling the doctor to set up an appointment and it’s avoid thing I did as not only did he have pink eye, but an ear infection in his right ear.

So just as we finished Ben’s first round if mess for pneumonia, I was back at the pharmacy getting another prescription filled for antibiotics.

After his first couple rounds of eye drops, along with the first dose of antibiotics, Tommy is already back to fighting crime as evidenced below.

Posted by Greg
December 22, 2008

Christmas Vacation: Day One

We started our very first vacation since starting our radio show back in September.

Even though we only started broadcasting then, we spent most of August getting ready, and before that, we were totally swept up with the Catholic New Media Celebration and tons of other work.

In fact, we haven’t had more than 4 days off in a row in over two years, so we are SO thankful to have off the next week. Even though we’re “off the clock,” I always end up doing a lot on vacations spent at home.

If today is any indication of what the rest of our vacation will be like, then I think we’ll need a vacation from our vacation!

Honestly, though, we’re very appreciative to have a few days off before the baby shows up next month.

In the meantime, there will be “Best Of” episodes of The Catholics Next Door every day this week, and we’ll be back on the with a new show on Friday, December 26th.

So for now, below we invite you to join in on our first day of vacation. The picture to the left is a preview of what is ahead.


6:30 AM – I woke up several times last night feeling like there was something in my eye. In fact, I think I dreamed that I actually cut my eye with my fingernail, but I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen. When I woke up this morning, it felt like there was a grain of sand or something under my right eyelid. I’ve felt this in the past and ended up with a horrible eye infection, so I tend to get paranoid when I get woken up with eye pain…

6:45 – No one was awake yet, so I went outside, in bare feet, on December 20th. And it wasn’t bad at all. Don’t look too long at my toes or you’ll end up with nightmares yourself.

My first cup of decaf was in my trusty Flash mug. I calculated this morning that I’ve now had this mug for 18 years. And now Sam is trying to make it his. So I grabbed it first this morning.

So why am I outside? To let the dog run around in the yard. Why, you may ask, must I be there if we have a fenced in yard?

Because we live in Georgia, and if I don’t watch her, she tracks these kind of prints into the house:

7:00 AM – I head up to the studio, which is a bit of a disaster with books and such from this week’s guests, along with my random water bottles, hot water pitcher, cough drops, etc.

7:05 – I debate whether to flip the switch on an updated theme on this website. As you may be able to tell, I went ahead and did it, and I still have a lot of tweaking to do.

7:10 – As I suspected, within minutes of launching a big project, the first kid woke up. Ben is always very snuggly when he gets up before his brothers.

7:30 – That didn’t last long. All the boys except for Walt were now in the kitchen and I fed the younger two while Sam (who walked in wearing an Uncle Sam hat and declared, “I want YOU to turn on the TV) went about making his own breakfast.

9:10 – Jennifer woke up around 8:30 and I told her about my eye and that I was going to go to a doctor’s office that’s open on Saturday to have it looked at. I really don’t need an infection just as we’re starting vacation. The picture below was taken just after the physician assistant put drops in my eye to numb it, then added yellow drops to my eye, and then stuck a piece of paper up under the eyelid to check for infections.

No infections were found, but now I was seeing like this:

10:10 – After leaving the doctor’s office with no conclusive diagnosis for why my eye felt weird, I stopped by the post office and picked up Rosary Army mail.

10:30 – I was unable to fight the temptation and drove over to Kaiteur Coffehouse to see our buddy Moose (he owns the place) and get a real cup of half caff latte.

11:30 – I then headed home where Jennifer was getting the boys ready for us to head out for our first Christmas break field trip.

11:40 – But first, I put Visine in my eyes, hoping that would help.

12:00 – We then rushed to the local movie theater to take the boys to see “The Tale of Despereaux.” Very nice flick and everyone enjoyed it.

2:00 PM – Walter had a bit of a confrontation with Desperaux in the lobby after the movie.

3:00 PM – At home I decided to get the tractor out of the shed and get the fallen leaves out of the front yard. Yes, that’s right, it’s December 20 and Tommy is wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and it actually quite comfortable outside.

3:05 – It didn’t take long to realize I wasn’t ready for this job, as there were many more leaves than I expected and I didn’t have an adequate place to dump the leaves.

3:30 – So I stopped what I was doing and bolted up to Lowe’s to pick up some recyclable bags for the leaves, as well as the huge pile of grass clippings I collected over the summer.

3:45 – Once home, I put Sam and Walt to work bagging up leaves and grass clippings. I think they rather enjoyed it. Shortly after this, it started to rain and I was unable to get the rest of the leaves picked up. Instead, I opted to finally prune some of the unruly branches from the two trees in our front yard.

4:30 – After pruning, I realized I was running out of time to dump the leaves and branches at the recycle center, so I bolted to my in-laws house to get my father-in-law’s truck. Sam and I then filled the truck with tons of branches, as well as 4 30-gallon bags of clippings and leaves, and rushed to the recycle center.

Sam enjoyed riding in the front seat of the truck.

A way blurry picture from the recycle center, but what you’re supposed to see here are ridiculously huge piles of grass clippings, leaves, and other recyclable stuff. Bet you wish I’d been holding the camera still, huh?

4:50 – Since the center was about to close, I was in a big rush to empty the truck of all the branches, and ended up with a nice collection of scratches all over my arms.

5:10 – Because Sam was such a help, we stopped by Kaiteur (twice in one day!) and split a Moose Special frozen smoothie.

6:00 PM – Once home again, it was time for a shave and a trim. Yes, I actually have to trim my hair. Here’s the before:

6:10 PM – And here’s the after. Not much difference, but it feels so much better.

6:30 – After a quick shower I laid on the bed for just a few minutes while Jennifer and Walt played a game on Jennifer’s phone.

6:40 – Then we decided to fit in our Advent prayers before dinner.

Walt got to hang an ornament tonight.

The Jesse Tree is looking quite full.

Beer o’Clock – Dinner still needed a few minutes so I grabbed a much deserved beer and watched the kids play a game. This lasted for about two minutes. Tops.

7:05 – The food was almost ready. Awesome dinner ahead. Beer can chicken, fried asparagus, and corn pudding. Oh my.

I needed to carve the chicken, but it was also past time for Ben’s breathing treatment. He was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier this week. He’s doing MUCH better now, but still has to have breathing treatments several times a day.

Then the carving began.

Followed by the eating. Again…oh my. So good.

8:00 – After cleaning the kitchen, I sat down again and started updating some software I’d installed on our Apple TV. I have no idea why I chose to do it at that moment, but it just seemed like the thing to do.

9:00 PM – With the kids finally in bed, Jennifer and I set out to wrap the last of the Christmas presents.

9:30 – I went out to check on the chicken soup I’d started a couple hours before using the chicken bones from dinner. I was skeptical this would work.

But after getting all the meat off the bones and adding some veggies, it was looking quite good!

9:45 – Jennifer, meanwhile, finished wrapping the rest of the presents. I then kicked her out of the room so I could wrap hers. Once done, she kicked me out.

10:00 – In the living room, I was surprised to see Jennifer had cut some extra pine branches we had and put them on our mantle.

I grabbed another much-deserved beverage from the fridge…

10:54 – And now here I am, almost 16 hours later, right back where I started the day. And my eye is still bugging me.

Posted by Greg
December 20, 2008

If We Were In New York We’d Be Guilty, Too.

I gotta say, we have an awesome crew for The Catholics Next Door, our show on The Catholic Channel.

With today being our last show until the day after Christmas, we’re all in a festive mood, including Jackie (our board operator) and Adam (our producer) up in New York.

They are SO festive, in fact, that they decided to spread the cheer by wrapping the desk that belongs to Jared, the producer on Lino Rulli’s The Catholic Guy (4PM EST M-F).

Now at first, my initial reaction was fear of retribution from Rulli. After all, Gus Lloyd (Seize the Day, 6-10AM EST M-F) recently wrote a parody song about Lino, and Lino retaliated with an entire ALBUM of songs poking fun at Gus.

But then I realized this desk belonged to the same guy that Lino loves to pick on during his show each day, so in fact, The Catholics Next Door were doing him a favor.

Glad to be of service, Lino. I just wish we’d been in the New York studio to wrap the stapler

Below is the final masterpiece.

Merry Christmas, Jarred!

Posted by Greg
December 19, 2008

I’ve Seen 116 Out of 239 Movies

movieposterI guess I’m a loser.

Our friend Erika Anderson, she of former Georgia Bulletin staff writer fame, posted this over on Facebook (you can find me there, as well as Jennifer). I thought it was amusing and funny, but apparently, I’ve wasted a great deal of my life.

SUPPOSEDLY if you’ve seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own Facebook account or website, paste this as a note or blog entry. Then, put X’s next to the films you’ve seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
() Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
() Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 7

(x) The Princess Bride
() Anchorman
(X) Napoleon Dynamite
(X) Labyrinth
() Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
() White Oleander
(X) Anger Management
() 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 12

(x) Scream (Ashamed to admit)
(x) Scream 2 (Ashamed to admit)
(x) Scream 3 (Ashamed to admit)
(x) Scary Movie (Ashamed to admit)
() Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie (Ashamed to admit)
() American Pie 2
() American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far:17

() Harry Potter 1
() Harry Potter 2
() Harry Potter 3
() Harry Potter 4
() Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
(X) The Village
(X) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far:20

(x) Finding Nemo
(X) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
(x) The Grinch
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(X) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total so far: 27

() Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
() Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
(X) Deep Impact
(X) KingPin
() Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
() Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
Total so far: 33

(X) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
() The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
() Flubber
Total so far: 38

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
() Practical Magic
() Chicago
() Ghost Ship
() From Hell
(X) Hellboy
() Secret Window
(x) I Am Sam
(X) The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 41

(X) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
() Bride of Chucky
() Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(X) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
(x) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 47

(X) Bad Boys
() Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
(X) Ocean’s Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
() Lone Star
() Bedazzled
(X) Predator I
(X) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(X) Ice Age
(X) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(X) Curious George
Total so far: 57

(X) Independence Day
() Cujo
(X) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
(X) Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(X) War of the Worlds
(X) Rush Hour
(X) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 65

( ) Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
() She’s All That
() Calendar Girls
() Sideways
(X) Mars Attacks
(X) Event Horizon (Most Evil Movie EVER – DO NOT WATCH)
() Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(X) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(X) The Terminator 2
() The Terminator 3
Total so far:72

(X) X-Men
(X) X-2
(X) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(X) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(X) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
(x) Freaky Friday (the original only!)
(X) Reign of Fire
() The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 85

() Swimfan
() Miracle on 34th street
() Old School
(x) The Notebook
(X) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf’s Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
() The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far:87 (I’ve now passed loser-hood)

(X) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(X) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(X) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(X) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(X) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(X) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 93

() Baseketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(X) Highlander
(X) Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 97

( ) The Jacket
() Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(X) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(X) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 101

( ) High Tension
() Club Dread
(X) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(X) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
(X) Waterworld
Total so far: 105

() Kill Bill vol 1
() Kill Bill vol 2
(X) Mortal Kombat (*Sigh*)
( ) Wolf Creek
() Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
() Army of Darkness
Total so far: 106

(X) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(X)Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(X) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(X) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(X) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
(X) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
(X) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 114

(X) The Matrix
() The Matrix Reloaded
() The Matrix Revolutions
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
( Team America: World Police
() Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal
Total so far: 116

Now Add them up and…

Put “I’ve seen [however many] out of 239 films” in the subject line and repost it on Facebook or your blog. And for that matter, leave a comment here on our website and let us know how many you’ve seen!

And sadly, I didn’t count some movies I started to watch but didn’t finish, or if I’ve only seen parts of a movie. And even more sadly, there are a LOT of movies on this list I should have walked out of.

Posted by Greg
December 13, 2008

Live Eggnog Tasting on CND

Once I made the discovery that Greg never had eggnog, I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity. What a perfect time to taste it live on the air.  I made sure he was good and ready.  He knew the history, the flavor choices, etc.

Here Greg is about to taste his very first sip of eggnog (non-alcoholic) live on the air.


A big thank you to Greg for being a good sport over the whole thing and for giving me a hearty laugh and a great photo op. I’ll need to come up with other live food and drink taste testings for him :).


We did learn that Jody, our dog, had no problem finishing off Greg’s unwanted beverage.

I thought I wanted a Pop-Tart

I don’t usually eat them. But today, I thought why not relive an old childhood pleasure. My boys love to help themselves to this on some mornings. I have taught them repeatedly about proper food storage. They always respond “Yes Ma’am”. I try to instill the values of being considerate for the person who comes after them. They always respond “Yes Ma’am”. I try to explain how certain foods require sealing from open air. They always respond “Yes Ma’am.” So, behold, the photos will share the results of my stellar parenting techniques.

Mmm-mmm, that tasty breakfast treat.

This can’t be good.

My breakfast dreams begin to fade.

Eeewwwww. I wonder how old this is.

Mustard Seed Community, Covenant House, and Ways to Give

Tons of thanks to Janice Givens from Mustard Seed Community and Christ in the Garbage Ministries for stopping by The Catholics Next Door yesterday.

If you want to help them out, here are their websites for donating, or for setting up a Bowling Team for their Spare Change For a Change Bowling Event in February:

Give a Meal and a Toy
Bowling Event Donations

The first picture here on the left is Janice during a mission trip last year with just one of the many kids being helped by this important ministry. The other pictures are other kids that Mustard Seed Community is helping. Please help if you can!

Thanks also to Jim White from Covenant House for being on Wednesday’s program.

Check out the video below to see how Covenant House has already helped 70,000 homeless teens in 2008.

If you can help either of these great organizations, please do!

Posted by Greg
December 10, 2008

Scrabble Season

Apparently, Scrabble Season began today.

Last year we played what felt like a zillion games around Christmas time.

For some reason, I now have an association between Scrabble and Italian olives. We had a bunch of them last year and while we’d play, we’d munch on olives.

I have no idea why we did, but now a year later as we play our first game of Scrabble Season, I have an insatiable craving for olives.

I wonder which one of us will give in and actually go to the store to get a batch of olives.

As it looks now, with the letters I have at the start of the game, this could be the beginning of a Scrabble Season that brings Jennifer’s revenge from last year.

*UPDATE* We’re well into the game now, and I think it’s certain I’ll be losing.  Throughout the entire game, I’ve had 1 consonant and 6 vowels.  Just now, I sealed my defeat by drawing a 7th vowel.

I passed my turn to get a new rack of letters.  It’ll take a miracle to catch up since I’m running 40 points behind.

Posted by Greg
December 7, 2008

Rosaries From Syria

We’ve been giving away Rosaries lately compliments of our producer Adam Hamway, who went to Syria for a couple of weeks back in October, and brought back a bunch of Rosaries for us to give away on The Catholics Next Door.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to win one of those Rosaries, here’s Adam (on the left) outside the store where he bought them.

Its a little shop in Aleppo, Syria that makes all the crafts sold in churches in Aleppo. They are moving to Damascus soon for better business. So these Rosaries are collectors items!

Even though Adam abandoned us for two weeks to traipse around the middle east, we appreciate the Rosaries.


Posted by Greg
December 7, 2008

Caption this photo contest

I took this photo of Greg while he was checking his iPhone email while laying down.  We WERE having a conversation.  In fact, I just asked if he could help me out and feed our youngest son.  I couldn’t help but notice his amazing ability to remain almost frozen in this exact position for several minutes.  And then I looked even closer and noticed his eyes.  

In all my years of seeing him sleep, I’ve never found him in this position before.  So, just to make things a little fun, I thought I would open this photo up for a caption contest.  So if you desire, go ahead and leave your caption blurbs in our comment section of this post!

How to Beat FOCA and Grassroots Films

defending_life_hostFather Frank Pavone from Priests for Life was on the program today and encouraged everyone to already start contacting your local representatives to tell them you do not want them supporting FOCA. The louder people are against this bill before it is even introduced, the better the chance it’ll show up D.O.A.

If you don’t know how to find your local representatives, check out the Priests For Life website here.

And yesterday Joe Campo from Grassroots Films stopped by. Be sure to check out the trailer for their new film, The Human Experience, as well as their other films!

Posted by Greg
December 3, 2008