Friday, November 30, 2007

We were duped!

Cathy and I have been working on putting together out our annual Christmas mix CD for friends and family. Some people do Christmas letters, we do CDs. This is the 6th year we've done one and we always have a lot of fun with it. The first year's CD in 2002 included some of our favorites, like "Christmas, Baby Please come Home" performed by U2, Elvis' classic take on "Blue Christmas" and "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which I incorrectly labeled and "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." Another song we included was "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." This was back in the days of the original Napster, Limewire and Kazaa. Yes, I know, I shouldn't have been stealing music from hardworking artists, but the truth is, I did. These services were ripe with labeling errors, like the infamous cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" by The Gourds that was incorrectly labeled as being performed by Phish. One of the song I downloaded was labeled as "The Beatles - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." It was a great little twangy track that to me sounded just like the Fab Four. Well it wasn't. The Beatles never recorded this song, as far as anyone knows. The Beatles did release several fan club only Christmas CD, which included some carols, skits, jokes, and messages to fans, but never included this song. The song was actually recorded by a Beatles cover band called "The Rubber Band." Man, we were totally fooled! It sounded just like the Beatles to me. If you'd like a 2002 Roach Family Christmas CD with a corrected track listing let me know! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

123s to 911!

So, Parker sometimes stutters a little when he gets excited. His brain is working faster than his words are coming out. I think it's adorable. I have to keep myself from repeating things in his stutter so that he learns to say things correctly. Well a couple of weeks ago we were giving him a bath and he was talking and stuttering a little. It reminded me of the chorus from Public Enemy's 1990 single "911 is a Joke." So, I sang it to him: "So get up get, get get down, 911 is a joke in yo town." I may have done it one other time since then. Monday, Cathy called me into the bathroom when she was giving him his bath. He was singing it himself, without prompting. His mother was so proud, let let tell you! Now we just need to get the kid a big clock necklace, two turntables and a microphone and he'll be set. "Yeah boy!"

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can you please pass the bottle of ham?

Back it time for the holidays is the Jones Soda "Christmas Pack" featuring liquid version of your yuletide favorites: Ham, Egg Nog, Sugar Plums, and Christmas Tree. I think I'll be passing this year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our baby cakes

Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Lately, when we call Parker "baby cakes" he's been saying "No baby cakes, Parker little cakes, Daddy big cakes!"

Friday, November 09, 2007

A couple of good reading lists

Lately I've been trying to read classic kids books that I've never before. I wanted to read them before Parker is ready for me to read them to him! So far, I've read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, all for the first time. I've been using three different lists as starting points to picking books to read. I thought I'd share it here and see if any faithful Roach Family Blog readers have any other suggestions.

The first list is the American Library Association's list of The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000. This is a list of books that someone in the country has attempted to remove from or restrict within public and school libraries. A successful challenge often results in a banning of the book from the library. The top three reasons listed for challenging a book is that it is “sexually explicit,” contains “offensive language,” and is not “unsuited to age group.” There are some great, edgy, fantasy filled works on this list, that someone, somewhere found offensive. Listed below are the top 15. I just finished #14, The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was phenomenal and was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1994, see below. Other books of interest include Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five at #69, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time at #22 (Newbery Medal Winner, see below), Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird at #41, Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic at #51, Ronald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach at #56, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at #84 and five books by Judy Blume.

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Newbery Medal winner, see below)
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry (Newbery Medal winner, see below)
  15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

The second is the list of "Books Every Boy Should Read" as published in Conn and Hal Iggelden's The Dangerous Book for Boys. If you haven't seen this book, be sure to check it out. It's a reference book of sorts for "boyhood." describes it as "a reminder of lore and technique that have not yet been completely lost to the digital age."

  1. The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George's Marvelous Medicine, The BFG and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  2. The Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Milne
  3. The "Adventure" series by Willard Price
  4. The "Famous Five" and "Secret Seven" series by Enid Blyton
  5. Fungus and the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
  6. Famous fairy tales, including Grimm's Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson , and Greek and Roman legends
  7. "The Belgraiad" series by David Eddings
  8. Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
  9. The Lion , the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  10. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  11. Kim, Just So Stories, and The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  12. Mr. Standfast and The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  13. The "James Bond" series by Ian Fleming
  14. The "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  15. The Outsiders, Tex, and Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton
  16. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  17. The science fiction works of Isaac Asimov
  18. The "Discword" series by Terry Pratchett
  19. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  20. The "Seafort Saga" series by David Feintuch
  21. The Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams
  22. The fantasy works of David Gremmell, especially Waylander and the "Drenai" Series
  23. Magician by Raymond E. Fiest
  24. The Lords of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkein
  25. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  26. The "Flashman" series by Geoge MacDonald Fraser
  27. Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell
  28. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  29. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  30. The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  31. The "Sherlock Holmes" series by Aurthur Conan Doyle
  32. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  33. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  34. The horror and fiction works of Stephen King, starting with The Bachman Books.

The third is the list of Newbery Medal Winners. According to the Association for Library Services to Children, "The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." Here's a selected few that you might recognize from the past.
  • 2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
  • 2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
  • 1999: Holes by Louis Sachar
  • 1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • 1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  • 1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • 1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  • 1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
  • 1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • 1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • 1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Any other suggestions? I'd love to hear your comments!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Mississippi Miracle

Anyone else see this? This past weekend, SCAC Trinity University (7-1) beat defending SCAC champs Millsaps (6-2) in what ESPN called the "the longest play in college football history". 15 lateral passes, 61 yards and 62 seconds later, Trinity beats Millsaps as time expires, 28-24. They’re calling it the “Mississippi Miracle.” Brilliant! These are both good teams. We saw DePauw (7-2) lose to Millsaps on September 29th. DePauw's only other loss of the season was to Trinity. I love Division III football!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Three Pumpkins

Three Pumpkins
Three Pumpkins,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

As promised, here's a picture of the three pumpkins on Halloween! Parker had a great time. He had more fun handling out candy than going around the neighborhood though. He loved seeing all the kids, especially the witches!

Habitat house dedication

Habitat build
Habitat build,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's a picture of the house we built. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. That's the Common Ground Band from our chruch playing the the front porch.

Habitat house dedication

Habitat build
Habitat build,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Our church, along with other United Methodist churches in the county sponsored a Habitat house this fall. The dedication was this past Saturday. It was raining and muddy, but still a great celebration. Here's a picture of the new homeowner Alejandra Hurtado, her daughter Tonya, and Habitat Director Kerry Thompson.