Clara grows up, Liam learns to use a camera

It’s been a little while, so here are some recent pictures of the kids and me. I’m happy to report that my relationship with Clara is really coming along. She and I have spent a lot more time together recently, and as she grows less dependent on Lisa for everything, I’m able to step in and enjoy her more. She is a smiley little girl with a really fun personality. She’s not a really snuggly baby like her brother Liam, but she does love to interact. She’s excited to see people she recognizes, and makes a jerky little waving movement with her arm that we think might be intentional. At least she seems to do it when she’s greeting someone. She also gurgles something that sounds like, ‘Hi.’ She learned to say ‘Mama’ while we were camping. She’s not quite to ‘Dada’ yet, but that’s not for lack of effort on my part. Liam might be her favorite person in the world. She loves to watch him run around, and is always laughing at even his simplest movements. Clara is a joy, and we continue to cherish every bit of her growth and progress.

Liam is starting to learn how to use a camera. He shows genuine interest in this. He has an old, used children’s book about how to use your 110 pocket camera (anyone remember those?). It’s narrated by a bear, and teaches about basic lighting and composition, complete with self-assignments. He’s still at the age where he loves to be read to, and doesn’t much care what we read. It’s very special. He has a summer recipe book that we read him, and he doesn’t seem to mind that it’s not narrative material.

The other day, Liam picked up my Pentax K-1000 camera, which is a 20- or 30-year old silver fully manual film camera. It’s a complicated thing to operate, even for an adult. And it’s heavy. But he loved using it, and now knows how to look through the viewfinder, click the shutter release, and wind the film to the next frame. The other night he was taking pictures of Clara, which they both really enjoyed. There was no film in the camera, but I think sooner or later we’ll have to try that part out, too.

Faith and Patriotism

It seems I’m not the only person to struggle with the competing claims of my faith and my love of country.  President Andrew Johnson said, “I do believe in Almighty God! And I believe also in the Bible…Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribed for our motto: “Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever,” and exclaim, Christ first, our country next!”

Today Show Interview about The DaVinci Code

  • Ian McKellen, on whether there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie to clarify that it’s fiction: “I’ve often thought there should be a disclaimer at the beginning of the Bible. I mean, walking on water? That takes a bit of…….faith or something.”
  • My response: “Yep, Ian, that’s what makes those things supernatural. When you start by acknowledging that such things don’t naturally happen, it means they’re miracles and thus worthy of the telling.”
  • Matt Laurer: “Paul, when you got the call that you were going to be the killer albino monk, how long did it take you to say yes?” Paul Bettany: “It took about ought-point-three seconds to say yes to that. It doesn’t matter what else you have going on. You can’t turn down an offer like that.”
  • My response: “I think if I got a call asking if I want to play a killer albino monk, I’d say yes, too. Who wouldn’t? I’m looking forward to seeing the movie just to see Paul Bettany. He’s great.”