FamTeam - Christmas Trial

Uploaded by famteamtv on 09.08.2012

Cathy: In our family, we had the tradition of,
the day after Thanksgiving,
getting out all of our Christmas trees and putting them up.
Seth: I'm putting together the one in the family room.
Jacob has a separate one -- not quite as large --
that goes in the living room.
Then Dad has a small one, which Nato is going to put together.
Cathy: We have three separate Christmas trees.
My brother Joe was getting rid of
a bunch of oddball pieces he had to --
I don't know -- four or five trees.
And he had them in storage.
And when he gave them to us,
we managed to make three very nice trees
out of his oddball pieces,
and got rid of the rest.
Jacob: Seth, could you give me a hand with my tree?
Seth: Sure.
Jacob: My box of tree.
James: How big does the base need to be?
Seth: Well, I guess the bigger, the better.
Since this is such a large tree,
this ordinary base just won't cut it.
What we need to do is cut a big board
that we will screw this into,
which will give it a much wider base
and keep it from tipping over.
Jacob: Whew.
So close.
Okay. This is fine.
I'll be setting it up over here.
Seth: Oh, good.
James [woodenly]: Here you go.
Seth [woodenly]: Thank you.
James [woodenly]: You are welcome.
Seth: Now it'll be harder to tip this thing over.
If we put sandbags here, it'd be even more more difficult.
Jacob: Now the head.
That was too close.
Now I just need to get the stuff in between.
Mary-Elizabeth: I'm grilling some chicken strips for Dad.
He's been wanting these for his diet that he's doing.
Rick: A big goal over the years
has been for us to try to stay in shape --
everybody in the family, but especially the guys.
And when I say "the guys," the oldest ten,
who play with me on the softball teams.
Since we do play about 100 games per summer,
it helps not to haul around extra freight
as you're running under that July sun.
Lately, the theme around here has been low-fat,
low-calorie, low-carbohydrate food, high in protein --
a good, balanced diet.
And it just seems to be working.
And I'm really thrilled to see this,
because it's turned into fun.
"Discipline" is not a bad word around here.
Mark: You know, Wizzy, later on,
we were thinking of playing that anecdote game.
Mary-Elizabeth: That will be cool.
Mark: We played it a while ago,
but this time, John and I added --
there are two attorneys now,
a judge, and a witness, and a jury.
Our family runs a court reporting business,
so we're in the legal profession.
We know a lot of lawyers.
And so we came up with this game
that is sort of a courtroom game.
Basically, someone comes up with a story.
And now, the story can either be made up or true.
So it's different.
It's more fun, because you can be a lawyer
for one side or the other.
So we'll have to get a big group together later
and try playing that.
Mary-Elizabeth: That would be fun.
Jacob: Okay. This is fine.
I'll be setting it up over here.
Well, traditionally, after every Thanksgiving every year,
we put up all three trees in our house.
It sure helps to sort them.
Seth: It's always kind of a pain to go searching for the box,
finding the branches, separating them --
Jacob: Of course, this has saved a huge amount of time,
just sorting them last year when we put them away.
Seth: Now it's easier, because I've learned from that,
and I arrange them very tidily in the box.
So all I had to was basically
take them out and set them apart.
So this shouldn't take long at all.
Maybe --
the setting up of the tree might be 20 minutes or so now.
[upbeat music]
Cathy: Hi.
Jacob: Mom wanted us to switch tables from under the tree,
just small, square tables.
Cathy: So you need some muscle help?
Jacob: Yeah.
Cathy: Mark, you got muscle help?
Jacob: Somebody will have to hold up the tree.
I think one was slightly shorter.
And the reason we had to do it is because the star
wouldn't fit on the top with the taller one.
So she assigned Mark and me to the task.
Cathy: Well, put this table next to it.
Let's just see how tall --
yeah, it is slightly shorter.
Jacob: It's three or four inches taller.
Mark: Can I just slide it over?
Cathy: If you lift --
tell you what -- you lift up the tree,
I'll pull the table out,
and he'll put the other table underneath it.
Mark: It's a little hard to lift like this.
Jacob: How about I go over there, we both lift it,
and Mom slides them both out?
Cathy: Yeah.
Mark: Can't we just slide the tree onto this table?
Cathy: That's too easy.
Mark: Yeah, I know.
Jacob: No. It might tip over.
How about just lifting it like this?
I got behind the tree.
I assumed Mark was going to help me lift the tree,
so I started holding it up --
I started holding on the middle like that.
Mark: Can you -- what are you holding on to?
You got it?
Cathy: Yeah.
Jacob: Are you helping?
Mark: No.
Mark: Hang on. Hang on.
Jacob: Hurry!
Mark: Be strong, man. Be strong.
Jacob: Really! I'm just about to drop it!
Mark: Here, I've got it.
Mom, we need you.
Cathy: Oh, yeah, sure.
Jacob: I thought somebody was going to cover me.
Cathy: [laughing]
Jacob: Ahh!
It's hard to hold a tree like that.
Mark: Well, that's what I was saying.
That's why we should have slid it.
Jacob: I thought you were going to help.
Cathy: [laughing]
Mark: Well, I was ready to.
We should have just coordinated that a little.
Jacob: I thought Mark was going to help, but he didn't,
so I just ended up holding the tree up like that, by myself.
Mark: Be strong, man. Be strong.
Jacob: Really! I'm just about to drop it!
Cathy: [laughing]
Mark: I was perfectly willing to help lift the tree.
It's just I thought we were going to try to slide it.
And then Jacob lifts it up suddenly, and then we thought,
"Okay, fine. He can lift it."
Jacob: He could have done the same thing I was doing.
Mark: What were you doing?
Jacob: I just was holding it like that.
Mark: Like that?
Jacob: Yeah.
Mark: But it worked.
Cathy: It worked.
Mark: One thing I wanted to ask you --
we really need to put Christmas lights on this house.
We've never done that.
This is our seventh Christmas in here?
Cathy: Uh-huh. Seventh or --
Mark: Eighth.
Well, anyway, it's been many Christmases,
and no lights ever on the house,
a beautiful house that we worked so hard to build.
In the years since we've moved into this new house,
I've had this big desire to see it in Christmas lights.
Part of that is probably nostalgia.
I remember our old house -- we used to do that.
We had a white picket fence that we would load with lights,
and then we would trim the gutters,
and the eaves, and everything -- the gables.
Cathy: We lived at our old house for 25 years,
in a big, old drafty house in downtown Belleville.
The house evolved with us.
We had initially rented out half of it,
and then we took over the whole thing, and began --
our business began in the basement there.
And it worked really well for us,
but we needed more space.
Rick: Well, after seven boys had come along
and we were expecting Number Eight,
it was the fall of 1991.
On the first Saturday in October
we came across a piece of land -- five acres --
that was for sale.
And all I can say is both Cathy and I --
all the kids were with us.
We had been taking a Saturday drive.
I just felt -- and Cathy separately --
that God had sort of touched our heart and spoken to us,
that this land was where we were supposed to settle.
This was someday going to be our homestead.
We've been coming out here for four or five years.
Hey, Seth, Mary-Elizabeth never went on the land before.
It's the first time she's ever gone --
she'll probably have a bedroom out here someday.
Well, in the intervening years,
the land just basically sat there,
and we made payments.
We would visit constantly, and I would wonder,
"Hmm. Will this be the year? Nope."
Never could quite find the extra money to build.
Everything was just survival.
We had dedicated ourselves to the idea of just
totally trusting God and letting Him send children.
It's a lot easier, we figured, to let --
bring Him in on it and let Him take care of it
than for us to try to figure out how to do it.
Well, a year would go by, a year would go by,
and finally, we hit the 10-year mark.
And I began to -- it just began to --
I began to think, "Well, did we hear wrong way back then?
"No. We really" --
Cathy and I talked.
"No. We really felt that was God.
"Let's just be more patient."
And finally -- whoosh --
all of a sudden, in early 2002, we were --
without even knowing what we were doing,
we were making house plans.
Mark: It took, I think, 12 years after we found the property
until we were able to build.
So when we were finally able to build,
I was in such awe that I was willing
to do any work that was given to me.
Rick: We knew we'd have to do our own labor, for the most part,
and were able to get it accomplished in 18 months.
And we learned to love every nook and cranny,
because we had to do it, basically.
So it's interesting now to look back upon the land
when it was a rough piece of farm field.
That's why I've learned never to push against God
or try to make Him pull my way,
because He has a perfect design,
and if you really ask for His perfect will,
you've just got to be patient
and let it be His perfect timing.
Jacob: We're probably going to use about 1,000 lights or more.
>> Just on that tree?
Jacob: Yeah.
>> Now, how many lights do you think you're using total?
Jacob: Probably around 3,000.
David: I'd say about 250.
Jacob: 250?
David: Yeah. Or 2,050.
Jacob: Oh, okay.
David: Wait. There's one light extra.
Here's the little light that I have.
So I know we have 3,001, probably.
Something like that.
Jacob: That's right.
We forgot to count that one.
Well, Seth and I had spent the whole afternoon
setting up the trees,
and Nato was just about to set his up.
Nathan: I'm setting up the Christmas tree right here,
so that later on,
when we move the piece of furniture over there,
I can move this right over there.
It's a pretty lightweight tree.
I need to make sure it works.
Oh, no.
Oh, yes.
It works.
Cathy: The last so many years,
Jacob, Nathan, and Seth have surprised me --
not now anymore,
but the year we moved in here, seven years ago,
they put up the trees.
And that was the first time I wasn't the one
shaping the trees and doing it from scratch.
And it was wonderful.
They did a great job.
Each one had their own tree.
And so now, since then, it's become --
since we've moved into this house,
it's become kind of their baby to put the trees up.
Nathan: I've been doing this, I think,
since I was 11, so four years.
And I think I've been getting better at it.
Seth: All these ornaments that we have
are hand-crafted, actually.
Some are more creative than others.
Like here, a gumball machine.
Now, then one Chub made a little while ago.
It's a black square.
You might -- that might explain why a lot of
our other ornaments don't have black in them.
Cathy: It's kind of fun.
Each room has a different theme.
Rick's tends to be, I suppose, the most simple one --
just a few ornaments, mostly bows and the lights.
The family room one has a bunch of
homemade ornaments that the kids made,
all made out of those little iron-together beads.
And then in the living room, our more traditional ones,
different ones that were made by family members
that have their names.
We have a really sweet sister-in-law who made
an ornament for each one of the kids as they were born.
And some of our most special ornaments, to me,
are in the living room, where I seem them more often.
Mark: The whole day,
we'd been really wanting to try out this game.
We had to wait until the trees were finished
before we could get the group together,
but then we thought, "Hey, let's try it out."
Mark: Right after coming home
from the Thanksgiving party last night,
John and I got to brainstorming in our kitchen.
And we came up with this game, sort of like a bluffing game,
but where one member of the game will tell a story
to the rest of the group.
Then the rest of the group asks questions,
try to probe his testimony
to figure out whether it's true or false.
John: We'd have a subject who would tell a story,
which may be true or false.
Then we decided to appoint attorneys for each side.
Mark: He's trying to defend his story,
so he's trying to get you to vote "true."
He's the prosecution.
He's trying to get you to vote "false."
John: We also decided to add a judge
who could rule on objections.
And the rest of the people are jury members
who have to vote on whether the story's true or not.
Mark: Order in the court.
All rise.
I am standing.
The witness is in the witness box.
You may proceed, Mr. Arndt.
John: Good.
I'm not under oath, am I?
Mark: No, no.
John: Good.
Mark: Tell your story.
John: My story. Okay.
Mark: And now, the story can either be made up or true.
John: My story was from my youth.
I was maybe a teenager, perhaps 12 years old.
I had some extra birthday money,
and I wanted to spend it on something,
so I went down to the fast food place just down the street.
I rode my bike over there and ordered some food --
a normal cheeseburger,
and then those bacon and potato
wedges that they also had --
cheesy bacon and potato wedges.
The thing is, I think I ordered,
and then there was this guy behind me who ordered.
The thrust of the issue was that I got this food,
and there was an adult who was ordering food behind me,
and I realized I got the wrong order,
but I was embarrassed, so I didn't go back up there.
So I, you know, started --
I took a couple bites out of it.
But then as I looked up at the counter,
I kind of saw the guy waiting for his order,
kind of asking the employee.
And then they kind of looked my way.
And I realized, "Oh, I think I got the other guy's order."
They must have just put his order up first,
but it looked enough like mine.
So I just finished my food, and that was about it.
Nothing else happened.
That was my story,
and the guys had to decide
whether I was telling the truth or not.
Philip: So you say it was a special treat
to get potato wedges?
John: That's right.
Philip: A potato with some cheese on it --
that's your -- that's for your birthday?
John: And bacon. Yes, sir.
Philip: With it being such an occasion as his birthday --
he was using his birthday money --
I would think he would have gotten something --
not just something normal, like a sandwich,
and maybe some cheese sticks or whatever.
John: We got hung up on potato wedges,
and whether I would have gotten them,
and whether this place had potato wedges.
Philip: He would have gotten something that he really likes,
like a milkshake.
Seth: Had you ever ordered --
you had ordered potato wedges before.
Is that correct?
John: I had, but rarely.
I would order them, but not all the time.
But they were kind of one of my favorite treats to get
if I had a little extra money.
Seth: No further questions.
John: I've been impressed by how much everyone
throws themselves into this game.
I've seen the attorneys actually taking notes
for possible subjects to reexamine,
or something to refute in a closing argument.
And we allow the jurors to ask questions as well.
And we've had some well-thought-out questions.
And oftentimes, when someone has a false story,
someone will poke a hole in it
and think of some base that perhaps they didn't cover.
Mark: We need to at this time --
we're going to go to the closing arguments.
Make it brief -- each one of you.
After they're done talking,
then you guys vote whether you believe it or not.
Philip: You see, as prosecutor,
you have to discredit the other side,
or you have to just make it seem silly to believe their story.
And that's what I was trying to do.
I don't think he would have been allowed
to ride a bike at such a young age.
Three blocks away.
Three blocks.
When he gets there, he orders potatoes.
Ha. Scoff.
I implore you,
he would have gotten an Oreo shake if his story were true.
That is all.
Mark: Thank you, Mr. Arndt.
Mr. Arndt, you may give your rebuttal.
Seth: I think it sounded like a pretty convincing story.
I tried to defend him.
Milkshakes would have taken a long time to finish off.
He loved potato wedges.
So basically,
my argument was that there's nothing wrong with his story.
All Philip here is doing
is slinging mud at my client here.
Mark: At this time, we will go into deliberations.
Everyone, except John, can vote, including myself,
because I don't know if the story is true or not.
Either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.
Thumbs-up means it's true.
Thumbs-down means it's false.
Will the defendant please open his eyes and rise?
The vote, I'm afraid, is six to one in favor of "false."
Six people believe your testimony to be false,
and only one believe it to be true.
Jacob: I doubted John's story all the way.
Mark: I didn't buy it.
Philip: I thought that probably it was false.
Seth: I couldn't think of a reason to vote "false,"
so I didn't.
John: I cannot believe you gentlemen.
I cannot believe that six of you could sit here
and see through my story for the lie that it was.
It was a complete fabrication.
It was not true.
Seth: I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
John: You voted for me?
Seth: Yeah.
John: Oh. Sorry.
Mark: His defense attorney is the only one who believed him.
John: I'm glad you were loyal.
Seth: I guess I felt a little betrayed,
because I voted in his favor,
and then he revealed it was a complete fabrication,
a complete lie,
and that he had fooled even his own defense attorney.
John: I didn't think the thing --
the whole case would turn on potato wedges
and whether or not they're healthy for you.
I hardly considered them a health food.
They had cheese, bacon.
I was a bit surprised the verdict
went so strongly against me.
I'm glad at least my own defense attorney voted for me,
but he was the only one who did.
Mark: We've played the game several times since,
and have heard a dozen or two stories,
and I don't anyone yet has gotten away with a false story.
John: I think someday,
someone will get away with a false story.
And I'd like to see someone not only do that,
but actually come away with a unanimous verdict.