Strings attached

Josie with her guitar

Josie with her guitar

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ferguson offers a program called “Strings Attached” which offers students guitar lessons and the chance to earn a guitar if they stick with the program.

A spot finally opened up for Josie this year and she has worked hard. Like her older sisters, Josie often doesn’t want to practice, but she has pushed through, and performed in her first concert.

Here’s a video of Josie in action:

Josie's guitar concert from Josh Renaud on Vimeo.

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An All-American Christmas

Ludi in act 3 of an All-American Christmas

Ludi in the third act of an All-American Christmas

Ludi got her first taste of the theater this year. We enrolled her in a new program at church called “Miss Kathey’s Academy for the Performing Arts.” She spent the last several months learning dances and songs in preparation for a big Christmas production.

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K’nex armada

Josie and Joseph with some of their favorite K'nex ship models.

Josie and Joseph with some of their favorite K’nex ship models.


Last year, I built Joseph a U.S.S. Enterprise from K’nex pieces. He played with it a lot, and oftentimes the ship would crash or be destroyed.

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Dozens of monarchs

Today we released 20 monarch butterflies that emerged from their chrysalises.

The season started off seemingly slow. We weren’t finding caterpillars like we had at the same time last year. I guess they just got a late start, because eventually they started rolling in.

Altogether, we’ve probably released 50 or more butterflies so far this year.

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No training wheels!

I can report that today Ludi finally learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She is the first of the kids to do it.

I am a very proud dad!

UPDATE (Sept. 20, 2016): I was so proud that I tried making an ANSI art portrait of Ludi. Read about it here

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Trip to San Antonio 2016

Here are a few scenes from our recent trip down south to Texas.

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Jadzia on the air waves

As a member of Vogt Elementary’s chess club, Jadzia has had opportunities to be featured in stories about the “Your Move” chess program in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Here are a couple of her recent appearances:

“Crossing Continents” (BBC Radio 4)
Episode: Checkmate Me in St Louis

Ascension Health
Ascension Your Move Chess on YouTube

Ascension Your Move Chess, longer Viddler version

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Finding Fire Capt. Frank J. Becker

Frank Becker. Photo reprinted with permission of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Frank Becker. Photo reprinted with permission of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

My great-grandfather Frank Becker was a fireman. I knew that he had been promoted to captain at some point, and some relatives had once told me they thought it had been covered on TV or in the newspaper.

I wanted to see if I could find a news story about the promotion.

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Pie in the face

Our kids attend AWANA at Grace Church. AWANA emphasizes memorizing Bible verses so that the kids can hide God’s word in their hearts.

One of their teachers, Mr. Rich, has a very unusual way to motivate the kids in the Sparks club to memorize verses.

He willingly lets the kids who complete the most book sections throw a pie in his face! He has done this for many years.

Our little Josie has long wanted to throw a pie in Mr. Rich’s face. So this year she worked hard — and she won!

And boy did she make the most of her opportunity!

See for yourself:

Josie Throws A Pie In Mr. Rich's Face from Josh Renaud on Vimeo.

Thank you, Mr. Rich, for being such a good sport.

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The Current at 50

Back row: Jeff Kuchno, Clint Zweifel, David Baugher, Wiley Price, Judi Burch Linville, Josh Renaud and Rick Jackoway Front row: Sharon Reus, Michelle McMurray, Kathleen Riddler

Back row: Jeff Kuchno, Clint Zweifel, David Baugher, Wiley Price, Judi Burch Linville, Josh Renaud and Rick Jackoway
Front row: Sharon Reus, Michelle McMurray, Kathleen Riddler

In November 1966, UMSL’s student newspaper published its first issue under the name “Current.” That means The Current turns 50 this year!

To celebrate, this year’s editor-in-chief, Kat Riddler, put together a fantastic banquet for the current Current staff, alumni and other interested folks.

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