May 31, 2007

Surgery Update

Here is a little surgery update, for those of you who are concerned about my wife. Once she feels up to it, I am sure that she will give a much better update, with all of the fun, interesting details, but for now you will have to be satisfied with my version of what happened.

Charity's parents had come down a couple of days early so that we could spend some time with them before she didn't feel like having fun. So, we left for the hospital yesterday, the boys stayed home with Grandpa, and after a little while in the waiting room, we were finally ready to go, gown and all, by about 1:00. They gave her a couple of shots of the "don't worry, be happy" medicine, and by 2:30 she had left us for the operating room.

She ended up only being in surgery from 2:30 to 3:30. The doctor came out and told us everything went well. She had had a tonsillectomy and a septoplasty. (Don't ask me what that second thing is.) After a couple more hours we were able to go back to the recovery room.

Before the surgery she had some concerns about being able to breathe when it was all over. This is understandable since she was having her nose and her throat operated on. She was nervous that the doctor would leave "packing" in her nose, so it was a real answer to prayer when the doctor came out to talk to us when he told us that there was no packing in her nose. When I saw her afterwards, I asked her if she could breathe, and she told me that she could breathe better than before. We were all relieved.

There has also been no bleeding, which was my biggest concern. There has been a little bit of drainage in the nose, but nothing to be concerned about. The last issue though is the issue of the pain. I am not going to lie to you. It is bad. Of course I am just relaying it from the source, but she has told me that it is much worse than she anticipated.

So overall, it is not a pleasant situation. She is looking at a few hard days coming up, but she is resilient, and she will survive.

I know that she would appreciate your prayers. If you would like to drop her a note, her e-mail is theharmlesses@gmail.com

More later.

May 28, 2007

Why do I blog?

Rodney Olsen from The Journey just posted five reasons why he blogs, and has encouraged others to share their reasons. I don't have five reasons in my head yet, so I am going to make them up as I go.

  1. In my mind, I believe that it makes me a better writer. I don't (at all) consider myself to be a writer of any sort, but I would like to be. I admire writers, good ones, and would like to improve on this area of my life. I don't know if it is actually helping, but I think it does.
  2. I still think that blogging is cool (in a geeky sort of way). I know that there are some who have stated that blogging is fading away, but I just think that it is weeding itself out. The true bloggers will remain for a little longer yet.
  3. I feel like I am talking to people when I blog. I like the idea that I am going to hit that little publish button, and then there are going to be people that read this later. Rodney called this "community" and I have to agree. There are a couple of people out there that I would never have met, but now I feel like I know them. I feel the desire to share with them and be held accountable with them. I want to know about their lives, and they seem to want to know about mine.
  4. I feel a little obligated. I know that I am not obligated at all, but since I have been doing this since 2003, I don't want to stop now. It just seems wrong.
  5. It is something to do.
If you would like to share why you blog, please let me know. Post a comment below with a link to the reasons why you blog. Hopefully your reasons are better than mine!

bored... out of my gourd

I am finishing up this school year at Mauldin High School. I have been here since January 3rd, and it has been an interesting year for me. I might post on some of the things that I have learned during these days here, but that is not what I wanted to mention today.

Today, you see, is Memorial Day, and here I am at school. This isn't considered a holiday by the Greenville County School District, of course the students don't have to be here, but I do. It wouldn't be so bad, if I had something to do, but I don't. I teach seniors and the seniors exams are a week earlier than anyone else. So, I gave all my exams, graded them, entered my grades, turned in all my stuff, etc., etc. last Tuesday. I haven't had anything to do here at the school since.

The county has policies that require all teachers to be here, even if they don't have anything to do. So, I have been reading books, watching CNN, blogging, and I have even brought a couple of movies with me.

Today, as I mentioned in the title, I am bored out of my gourd. I am hoping that the administration will let us leave early today, but I am not getting my hopes up too high.

May 27, 2007

Finder

This is Finder.

Finder is the name given to experiment 158, from the Lilo and Stitch TV series. Finder is excellent at finding things. You tell him what you want to find, and he goes and finds it. Doesn't matter what it is, just tell him, and he will track it down.


...


I wish he was real.

May 25, 2007

Moving Travels

I have a new link on the sidebar. It is a link to my Google Maps with a non-extensive list of locations that I have been to as a household mover. They are all places that I have driven my truck to at one time or another.

Check it out.

Mountain Dew

My love of the Dew goes back a long time. Back when the phrase was "... Doing it country cool..." Back when it was guys in cut off jeans swinging from ropes into a lake.

That is when I began to love the Dew.

It has transitioned over the years, of course. Sometimes I loved the Dew because of its flavor. Then I went through a spell when it was all about me, and I drank the Dew because it helped me get through the tough spots, the 2nd and 3rd shift jobs, and I needed that boost to finish loading that truck.

But then when I hit 30 the Dew turned on me. I couldn't take all of that sugar all of the time, so I switched to The Dew's Sister, The Diet Dew.

I still drink it on a daily basis. Sometimes I drink Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper, but I always come back to the Dew. It has been a friend, a comforter, a pick me up, and even a gift when I left one of the schools I worked at (those kids really knew me).

Thanks Mountain Dew.

May 23, 2007

The Hobbit

I am currently reading The Hobbit to my boys.

This (though it shows my geeky side) will make the third time that I have read that book. It is really a great story, I suppose that is why it has become as popular as it has. And The Hobbit, especially is written in such a way that my boys can easily follow along with interest. I think that the other Tolkien books might be a little much for them, but this one is right up their alley. They ask me every night if I would read more to them, and even my younger one knows what is going on.

The other day I came home and they had drawn me a couple of pictures with dwarves and a hobbit and a wizard named Gandalf. They are loving this story, and that makes me happy. I really enjoy the bonding time that I am having with them. Sam on the top bunk, Jo on the bottom bunk, Milo at my feet, and I am good to go. It is a great way to end the day, especially after I have been around kids who have no desire to listen.

Sam's Picture



Jo's Picture



Brilliant artists they're not (don't tell them), but their pictures are beautiful to me.

occurrence 226

Occurrence 226 on this blog, came from the movie, V for Vendetta. In that movie, there are two 27 occurrences. The first comes from an inspector who says that he has been "...a party member for 27 years." Then later a newscaster states, "...a new airborne pathogen that has killed 27 people."

NASA Image

Here is a picture of Saturn (again).

Sorry, I know that you may not care for pictures of Saturn, but I am always amazed at these images that they are taking. This one was taken by the Cassini-Huygens mission, which I believe is now simply called the Cassini Mission, because the Cassini probe is all that is left. The Huygens probe actually landed on the surface of Titan, one of Saturn's moons. (Which blows my mind.) I actually posted a picture that was taken from the surface of Titan around the time that it landed.

This image is called Crescent Rhea Occults Crescent Saturn, in case you were wondering...

I have added the Image of the Day Gallery to my Google Reader, and I would like to recommend it.

May 19, 2007

The Post I Have to Write

This is the post that I have to write before I can get back to blogging. It is not going to be an eloquent post; I just have some things that I need to say before I can get back to the blog world. It might be a little long, I am not sure yet, I just sat down to type it. So, bear with me, if you like.

This last year has been a hard year. I have had other hard years in my life, none of which I have discussed on my blog. In fact, I started this blog at the beginning of one of those tough years, but I am not discussing those years now. I need to talk about this year.

It all started around Christmas of 2005. I had decided to leave my job at Shannon Forest Christian School (for reasons that I will not discuss right now, because they have little to do with this post), and I was now in the market for a new job.

I began the job search, the first of many job searches, and was coming up short. I almost went to another Christian School, but decided against it at the last minute. I even had the contract in my hands but decided that it would be best not to do this (also for reasons that I will not discuss right now...).

I ended up deciding to stick with my summer job at the moving company, because it paid very well most of the time. In fact, it paid so well that I could make in a week what I was making in a month at the school. I took this job and felt so confident that I bought a house and took a vacation.

When I got back from the vacation, that is when things started to slide. They were having trouble finding moving jobs for me to do over the road, so I spent some time doing some local moves. It was ok at first, but not enough to pay the bills. This began my second job search. A job search that I had never completely abandoned from the first time.

I began to have a whole new compassion for the jobless. Oh, there are plenty of jobs out there, if you want to make $10/hr. and have no benefits. Oh yeah, there are a hundred jobs like that, but that just won't cut it if you are trying to take care of a family and pay a mortgage.

I was getting desperate. I was coming up with all kinds of ways that I could take two of those mediocre jobs and just work all of the time. I told my boss at the moving company that I needed work. Lots of it, but it was one of the slowest winters that they had experienced in 15 years or so. There just weren't any jobs, and the ones that they found had been discounted so much that by the time I paid for fuel and labor (and slept in the cab of my truck to save on hotel expenses), I was not getting any money. Once I got back from Buffalo, NY, moving someone up there and picking someone up and taking them back down south, and my paycheck was only about $100. More than a week's worth of hard labor, 15 to 20 hour days, sleeping in the cab of a truck at rest stops, and all I got was $100. Not worth it.

It is very challenging as a man to not be able to provide for your family. I was in the middle of a third job hunt in December. We had not missed any bills, but our savings was trickling down to nothing. I had already gone for two weeks of December with no paycheck, but it was looking like I might get one the Friday before Christmas. I had just gotten back from a trip that took me from home to Wilmington, NC to New Jersey to a town near Boston, Massachusetts to New Paltz, NY and then back to North Carolina. I had spent most of the time working and sleeping in my truck. I had not wasted any money, so I thought for sure I would make something on this one. The moving company had made an error on my insurance though, and had not been taking enough out of each paycheck. They decided to take the rest out the Friday before Christmas. My paycheck that week... $0.

I knew I had to do whatever it took to survive, but before I started selling my blood or one of my kidneys, I decided to try the Public School System. They gave me a job right away. And after a full semester here, I know why. (I won't go into my public school experiences right now, because it also doesn't have a lot to do with the story.)

Anyway, if you are still with me, I took the job and started January 3rd. Unfortunately, if things weren't bad enough already, it just so happens that the way payroll worked out, I wouldn't get my first paycheck from the school until the end of January. Frustrating.

Now, here I am. Last month I took a job at the Christian School that I almost went to last year. I just replaced my septic system. (Which was an absolute miracle how we got the money for that one. We were able to pay in cash, and I would love to tell the donor, but I don't think that they want to be mentioned.) and my wife is going in for surgery next week.

I have told you all of this to tell you that through it all, God has been good. I have seen Him work in many ways to provide for us, but more importantly I have seen Him grow me and my wife in faith.

That is what this is really all about anyway. And when I say "this" what I really mean is all of this. The whole thing, not just my situation or my post. In the book of Romans, we get a glimpse of what God's goal is in everything. It says, "we know that God works all things together for good ... (for those of us who are truly Christians) to be conformed to the image of His son." Everything that God does (or allows) is all to be worked towards making you like Jesus.