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Another Halloween is in the books…

…and the candy industry is alive and well! Seriously, if anyone knows the amount of candy given out nationwide on Halloween I’d like to know what that is. Man, the dentists have to love November checkups. Talk about hitting the jackpot.

It really is amazing to me how much candy kids get (and then subsequently eat) every year for Halloween. I remember getting home and then immediately dumping out the entire night’s contents on the living room floor with my sister when I was a kid. Of course then there was the obligatory ‘Mine are better’ taunting that would ensue. Plus, some wheeling and dealing between us to secure what we felt was the very best candy that the neighborhood had to offer that night. We hit it hard. We ate a lot of candy. Really I’m just glad to still have teeth after all of that.

Which brings me to the present day and my children. They scored big time this week. First, my youngest son brought home bags (yes that was the plural form of ‘bag’) of candy from school. Then they pulled in the out of town loot from Grandma & Grandpa, who were kind enough to spend some time with us here this weekend. Then they went for Round 3 at the outdoor mall, where the store employees stood at their respective doorways handing out even more of the sweet stuff. Finally the main event tonight where they picked up the actual Trick or Treat haul – for good measure really, at that point. But it was candy, so therefore it was by nature, good.

Here’s a look at the goofballs, doing their thing this afternoon:

I had the opportunity to do something really cool this evening. I mentioned it a few days ago. Riverside Community Church hosted its annual ‘Fear Factors’ event at Dream Center Peoria. Picture an entire gymnasium filled with games, face painting, balloons…just a smörgåsbord of fun stuff for kids. Oh, and candy too. The goal was to collect 1,000 pounds of it to pass out to all of the kids attending the event. Half a ton! Anyway I got to run one of the games…and I had to smile when I found out my assignment 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I cannot stand flying. Least favorite thing it the world to do. Only fitting that my game was ‘Plane-o-Phobia’ 😉 Had a blast with it – fear of flying and irony aside. Seeing kids smile has to be right up there on the list of things that are great in life. Last year approximately 1,000 kids came through. It’s safe to say that happened again. Amazing. So very cool. I can’t express how awesome it is to see kids happy. After having my two, I’ve never looked at the world the same way. Kids rock. So cool to have been able to be a part of tonight’s event. God is good!


Yes, it’s before 7am on a weekend morning where the kids are not here and there is the rare opportunity to sleep in…and I’m up. Gotta love it. The reason? Click here.

Now for the record, I have nothing wrong with these things. They’re completely harmless. During a nice summer afternoon – they’re actually quite lovely to have around. But it’s 40. And it’s early. And let me tell ya, they’re on a roll out there. They seem to be getting louder by the minute! It almost sounds like someone is actually playing these things as instruments 😉 Ah well. So be it. Guess I’ll just jump back in bed and enjoy the ‘concert’..  🙂

Foods You Know You Shouldn’t Eat But Yet You Eat Anyway #97

The frozen pizza.

Have you ever looked at how many calories and grams of sodium are packed into one of these things?! Scary…and to make matters worse I eat the whole thing every time I make one. Hmm. Good thing I had that fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast. Nothing like life balancing itself out 😉  Now, time to go polish off those last two pieces..

Halloween Fun!

Here’s where I’ll be Halloween night:

Peoria people: Come on out to the Dream Center with your kids and enjoy a fun-filled evening with games, TONS of candy, and a positive message for your family afterwards 🙂 Should be a great time.

The agony of defeat

A phrase every Florida State football fan is familiar with.

Yes I’m a die-hard FSU fan. I know, it makes no sense – I’m from Illinois, never lived in Florida, didn’t go to school there, etc. But my grandparents sent me a Seminoles hat when I was like, 10 years old and I’ve been a fan ever since.

And so…the ‘Noles managed to add to the legacy of losing in grand fashion tonight. Fumbling inside the opponent’s five yard line with the wide receiver open in the end zone, ready to catch the go-ahead score with the game on the line in the last minute of the game…yeah. Brutal. Any FSU fan who’s followed the team long enough knows all too well the ‘Wide Right’ heartbreaks against Miami and various other close calls that ended up with the Seminoles having fewer points on the scoreboard at the end of the game than the opponent. But, when you’re a fan you just keep on rooting. Of course it’s hard for me not to root for them, considering that former head coach Bobby Bowden personally wrote me a letter in response to a letter I sent him, complaining about the Seminoles’ lack of closing ability after one of those Miami losses in the early 90s. I thought it was so cool that he wrote back to some random teenage kid who was criticizing his team’s effort, and he wrote back right in the middle of the season no less. It’s still really cool when I think about it.

Anyway, FSU has won two titles since I became a fan about a quarter of a century ago…hopefully they’ll win a few more before it’s all said and done. One can hope 🙂 Go get ’em next week, guys..