Thursday, November 20, 2008

Maxwell is "Straight Arrow"

In the post titled "School Days at the Renaissance Festival" from earlier this week, I mentioned that I would come back to a story about Maxwell's first foray into archery. The reason I waited is because today was Maxwell's Thanksgiving Feast at Kingdom Kids (his preschool at our church--he is in the Sunbeams class). In learning about the Pilgrims and Native Americans, each student was given a new name and Maxwell's is "Straight Arrow".

Now back to the Renaissance Festival--when his buddy Aiden's daddy (Mr. Riley) was helping him learn how to shoot an arrow, Maxwell did pretty well at hitting the target. He did so well that on about the 4th or 5th time he shot the bow and arrow, he shot an arrow right into the heart of the dragon (see the picture below--you have to zoom in, the black spot in the middle of the dragon's heart closest to him is the arrow)!
When Mrs. Pam gave Maxwell the name "Straight Arrow" she had no idea that he had done this, so when he told us his new name we thought that was pretty amazing. Straight Arrow indeed--may Maxwell be used for God's glory as a straight arrow for his name and renown!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hey! He took my my kettle corn!

So I promised a funny story from the Texas Renaissance Festival and here it is:

Our friends, the Migliaccio family, owns the kettle corn business at the Renaissance Festival so one of the first things we did when we got there was to find their booth and get some kettle corn. We enjoyed some of it after lunch and went to ride the elephant (see the picture below):

After we were done with our elephant ride, we walked over to tell Mommy about the elephant's rough and hairy skin (who knew an elephant was so hairy!) and as we were talking about it, the elephants came back by and stuck out their trunks for everyone to pet. When one of the elephants got to us, he apparently smelled Maxwell's kettle corn on top of Miller's stroller, reached out for it, picked it up, and put the entire bag into his mouth (yes, plastic bag, twisty tie, and kettle corn)! It all happened so fast that we didn't even have time to react (in retrospect, Maria said she was worried about the elephant reaching out to Miller and trying to "get him", but in the moment, we didn't know what to do). Maxwell immediately burst into tears and everyone around us thought it was because he was scared. In reality, it was because the elephant took his kettle corn--needless to say, the Migliaccios graciously replaced his stolen kettle corn. So the lesson here is to guard your kettle corn if you find yourself close to an elephant!

School Days at the Texas Renaissance Festival

At the end of October, the Texas Renaissance Festival hosts "School Days" for two days in the middle of the week. The cost for tickets and some of the activities is supposedly reduced and the really raunchy "stuff" is closed on these days. We decided that it would be a good idea to take Maxwell this year so all four of us loaded up and headed to Plantersville, Texas for the day.

We were supposed to meet a few other families who were there for the day, but we only saw one family, the Rileys, who inspired Maxwell to try his hand at archery (more on this when we post about his Thanksgiving Feast at school later this week...I promise you'll be able to see the connection then!). Here are a few pictures from the day:

Maxwell and Daddy getting ready to ride the spinning top

Maxwell and Mommy on the giant swing!

Maxwell on the bungee cord jumper - yes, he is that high!

We had a fun day, but we think once is enough for us! I have another funny story to tell about our day, but I'll save that for tomorrow. Oh, and Miller was an absolute trooper throughout the day--he only cried once, and that was right before he was supposed to eat.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our answered prayer...a new car!

Many of you have been praying for us over the past month or so as we have been looking for a 2nd vehicle (after 9 years of being a one car family, the time had come!). We have looked at more vehicles than anyone would ever want to and we've made 3 trips to Dallas to check out different ones--each time thinking we would buy that one. Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is, "the rest of the story":

We looked at a car about 4 weeks ago, had a mechanic check it out (he gave us the "all clear"), and were ready to buy it. When we went back to the dealership to try to agree on a price, instead of countering my offer, they actually told us that they would have to increase the price because of the two minor repairs that we were requesting them to make (fix the passenger side door power lock and fix one of the back windows so it would open like it was supposed to, totaling about $320). Needless to say, I walked away. After 3 more weeks, they had lowered the price below what we originally offered so we called them back and made them a lower offer. Again, they chose not to we waited for another week. Then on Friday of last week, I saw that they had lowered the price another $500 so, at Maria's encouragement, I called on Saturday and offered the same price I had a week ago. The sales manager told me he would have to check on it and get back with me. In less than 10 minutes, he had called back saying they would sell it for that price, but that he wouldn't hold the vehicle for me (in other words, if someone came along before I could get there to pick it up and offered a higher price, he was going to sell it to them). He would hold it for the day when we told him we were coming to purchase the car though so we made arrangements at my work, called my parents to ask if they could come stay with the boys on Monday while we drove to Dallas, and we called the dealership to tell them to hold it until Monday (they are closed on Sundays).

So yesterday at about 1 PM, Maria and I left the Sewell Hummer dealership in Dallas with our new car (see below--no, it isn't the white Hummer in the background, it is the Honda Odyssey in the front--the Hummer was a mere $70,000 so we chose the Honda instead!).

Thank you to everyone who prayed...and sorry it has been so long since I posted.