October 31, 2008

Pay Off

We just paid our kids out of Halloween.

We were on our way home and we were dreading the Trick or Treating thing.  We have never really disliked it, but we just weren't in the mood.  (And I had a feeling that they weren't really in the mood either...)  So, we made them an offer.  My wife said, "How much would we have to give you to NOT go trick or treating?"

Youngest son (with no concept of money), "A Hundred Dollars!"

Oldest son, "Um... What exactly do you mean?"

Me, "Well, we aren't in the mood for trick or treating, what else could we do instead?  Understand though, if you really want to go trick or treating, just let me know.  I don't want you not to go if you are going to feel sad about something."

My wife, "How about a toy, a pizza and a movie?"

Both sons (spoken with excitement), "Yes!"

Me, "sold."

You can't soak the Rich!

Here is a great article: (Warning: you need to have some level of intelligence to understand this one...)

You Can't Soak the Rich (The Wall Street Journal)


[HT: Finger Toe, who also wrote this little piece: Nobody gets it, Rich do not pay taxes ]

Obama vs The Willis Family

Not that anybody who has made up their mind is even listening...

Not that anybody who has made up their mind would even find this to be a bad thing for a leader...

Obama vs. Scott and Janet Willis

Reverend Scott and Janet Willis, whose six children were killed in a tragic accident involving a truck driver who had obtained his commercial drivers license through bribery, drive three hours to the state capital in Springfield to testify in favor of a “Choose Life” license plate; proceeds from the specialty license plate would be used to help fund adoption expenses. Echoing pro-abortion groups, Obama calls the issue “contentious.” NARAL calls it "aggressive propaganda," and the vice president of the Illinois National Organization for Women calls it "a violation of free speech." Reporters fill the hearing room, eager to record the expected emotional Willis testimony; Obama calls only his friendly witnesses, ignores Scott and Janet Willis, and then abruptly adjourns the hearing. Obama reconvenes the hearing the next day, after the reporters have returned to Chicago, listens to testimony, and then has his Democrat-controlled committee kill the legislation. [412,413,414]

[ht: A Little Gray Matter ]

October 30, 2008

Final Day

In January 2007, I was in desperate need of a job... A second job.  I had just been praying for an overly flexible job when a guy from the church called me up.  I can still remember it, I was standing in the backyard raking (and burning) leaves when he called.

I, of course, said yes to his job offer.  It didn't pay much, but it was really flexible, and just about the number of hours that I needed, without being too much.

It was a great job, and I have to say, it never really felt like a job.  It always felt like I was just serving at the church.  Especially when the paychecks started getting direct deposited... Then I didn't really see any of the pay.

My boys came to work with me almost 50% of the time.  Most of the time they would just hang out, but I would always try to give them a little job or two to do.  My oldest was really turning out to be a good worker.  He had learned how to do almost every job that I did.  He was such a good help that when I brought them with me, it would cut my time in half.  My yougest couldn't do as much, but he had amazing intentions.  He always wanted to help, so I would give him a little job or two to do.

They wanted to come in with me because it was the last time, so I took them to Sonic to celebrate the final day of cleaning at the church.  We worked together one more time.  It was alright.

I have to admit, I am feeling a little sad about the end of this job.

October 27, 2008

Monica Pryor




A Note from our Pastor This morning:

Dear church family,

This morning at 8:45 Monica Pryor went to be with Jesus! Her family surrounded her bed and sang and prayed as she slipped peacefully into eternity. God's empowering favor has been so strong in and through Monica and continues to rest on her family Please keep praying for them.

Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 6-8 p.m. at NHCC, and her home going service will be Thursday at noon, also here at NHCC.

A few hours ago, as Monica's family gathered in her bedroom, 2 Corinthians 5 filled our hearts with hope:

"For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened - not that we should be unclothed, but that we should be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

"So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord."

2 Corinthians 5:1, 4-8

Remember, "He who has prepared us for this very thing is God…"

Peter H.



Also, on her Caring Bridge Blog, her father writes:

This Monica's father again, my sweet daughters struggle is over!!! She has been gently ushered into the presence of her Lord and Savior. There was much pain and struggle, but our prayer for a gentle departure was honored. Her labored breathing slowed then became smooth, then gently stopped. Her dear husband and our family surrounded her and sang "Just as I am"a song we often sang together as we drove to church. This was our last trip with her. To those who wrote and encouraged Monica with your notes of love. how can we thank you? You were a intregal part of her strength as this cancer progressed.

From Monica's Mum,

the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.



October 24, 2008

Nope

It is official.  I cannot get caught up.

The gods of chaos are working against me.  At the moment that they see that I am almost getting caught up, they bring about some new method to sway me away from my goal.  Somebody needs help getting moved, someone needs some computer assistance, there is a special school function that requires my presence, something, always something... They know my greatest weaknesses.

October 19, 2008

Lost and Found


So, last week was not a good week.

To top it off, we temporarily lost the dog.  I don't want to talk about how it happened, because it was my fault.  I also don't want any lectures about keeping his tags on him at all times.  I get it!  I know.  And it was my fault that he didn't have his tags on!

But, we lost the dog.  We even did the whole canvas the neighborhood thing... with posters!  I was actually driving around the surrounding neighborhoods putting posters on telephone poles!  The whole family was in the van.  I was armed with a staple gun and a handful of flyers.

It worked though.  

Some guy saw my poster, then realized that he had already seen a poster saying, "Dog Found" just down the street.  What a nice guy!  He actually went back to the first poster and got the number off of it and called me.  (Must be a dog-person...)

Sure enough, Milo had been picked up by a nice lady (who actually ran a dog obedience school) and she had been keeping him for the last couple of days.  She had made some posters and put them up around her neighborhood.  We had just missed each others posters.

I went to pick the dog up, endured the lecture from her about tags and neutering your dog... then I called the first guy back to thank him... go the lecture again... and returned triumphantly with the dog.

Within 5 minutes I was ready to get rid of him again.

[note: if you enlarge the picture, you can see that I even made an e-mail for the lost dog!  I also enjoyed adding in the "last seen wearing:" bit...]

October 15, 2008

decisions made in a pickup truck

We crawled into the cab of the truck, the boys and I.  We had walked out into the parking lot at a pace that was a little slower than normal.  They had their reasons for shuffling, I had mine, but we shuffled out there together.

I hadn't told them the news while we were in the school building, because I knew it would make that walk feel just that much longer.  So I allowed them their own thoughts on the way down that 'gravel mile' and kept my thoughts to myself.  The opportunity to mull those thoughts over one or two more times wasn't such a bad thing anyway.  So we shuffled to the doors and hauled ourselves in.

I stuck the keys in the ignition, but hesitated to start the truck.  I wanted to get going -- to drive home right now -- to arrive at my destination.  I wanted to turn that key... but I knew that would only be postponing the inevitable.  Sure, I needed to start the truck and get going, but they deserved to know where they were heading.  So, I hesitated.

"I have some news guys.  Momma went to the doctor's office today..." 

*there was a long pause*  I knew the words, but I didn't want to say them.  It had been good news... good news... good news... And now this.  Sure, things had been hard the last several weeks, but we were always up to the challenge.  Making our own meals.  Cleaning the house ourselves.  It was always about looking after Momma.  What can we do to help her... She's sick.  It had been in every prayer.  It was on our minds all of the time.  Now, I had to say these words to them...

"When she went, they looked on the monitor, but they couldn't find the heart beat."

*another pause* I could see it in their eyes.  That slow recognition.  That realization that the thing which we had been longing for, that thing which we had been sacrificing for, that thing which had caused someone that we loved so much difficulty and suffering... that thing.  That thing which was now a person to us was no longer a part of our future.  The little dreams and discussions we had had.  The hypotheticals of how old each person would be at different times.  Those things were now invalid points.  I could see it in their eyes.  They were sad.

"What are you thinking?"

[oldest] "Well, I can see how some people just, you know, get mad at God.  But I know that is wrong, because God is good.  We can trust Him."

[me]"Yeah.  yeah...  Mommy was a little worried that you might get mad at God.  Even though she is so sad herself, she was still worried about you two.  So, you're not mad at God?"

[oldest] "No.  I mean, how could you be mad at God?  He always does what is good for you.  And that baby is in heaven now, and that is a better place anyway."

*another pause* True.  It was almost like he was saying, "You keep talking about this heaven place and how good it is... So, how could someone going to heaven be bad?  Right?"

[youngest] *with an intrigued look on his face* "So, since we prayed so much for this baby, does that mean that God is just going to make it alive again?"

[me]*sigh* "You know bud, He absolutely could.  I have no doubt that He absolutely could.  But I don't think that He is going to bring this baby to us, but one day we will go to it. "

*pause*

[me]"You know, momma was also a little worried that it might be her fault.  What do you guys think about that?"

*both give puzzled expressions* Then youngest gives irrefutable logic: (and I quote...)

[youngest] "That's not right.  We know that if momma was in control we would have two living babies.  But God is in control."

[oldest] *nodding in agreement* "Yeah, and He always makes right decisions."

Not how I was going to approach it -- but, -oh- so much better.  What a great perspective!

[me]"That's right guys.  In Psalm 19 it says, 'The judgements (decisions) of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.'  All of God's decisions are the right decisions, so if we trust in Him, the we can know that the right thing happened."

So, we all sat there, on the way home, in our old pickup truck.  We had worked it all out and we were on our way, as quick as we could get there to our 'momma'.  Three men, ready to bring our strength (and our joy) to the one who was hurting.

October 13, 2008

Big pie


A friend at the school sent a pie home with us today.  It was pumpkin, so I was pretty excited about it... But then I saw the pie!  Now I am really excited about it!

October 10, 2008

impressionable

I was talking in class the other day and strayed into a mini-soapbox-rant about effort and grades.  (I couldn't be a teacher if I didn't do that every so often.)  I was saying something about how those students who are doing well were really working for it, as opposed to those students who were not doing well...  There is actually quite a bit more to this speech, so please don't take me out of context...

When I reached my first lull in my rant, one of my students, with a smile on his face, says, "...maybe we could take some extra points off the top of those high grade students and give them to those students who don't have as many points.  In my neighborhood, that's called fair."

He's a sophomore.

New Quote

Here is a new quote.  I love it.  I just love it.  It says so much.  I think that I can attribute it to John Wayne, but I haven't googled it yet to find out for sure.

"Stupid should hurt."

Love it.

October 9, 2008

Mail Goggles

Just to make sure you think twice before that e-mail.  (Or maybe to make sure you're thinking...)

Mail Goggles by Gmail

[HT: Sunday School Thoughts]

October 8, 2008

On Target for Halloween

I am passing along this post: Some thoughts about costumes on Halloween.

I have always liked Halloween.  I have several good memories associated with this holiday, but I had to agree with the tone of this particular post.

October 5, 2008

Internet

My linksys wireless router just died today. Why? I have always been good to it. It hasn't been mistreated in anyway. It just quit working.

So, I have been without internet all day. This is bad for a guy who does 90% of his work on the internet.

October 4, 2008

I know this guy!

This guy goes to my church.  I didn't even know that he went anywhere else to do his dramatic scripture recitation thing.



[HT: Rebecca Writes]

New Piano

I never thought that I would be able to own a piano.  I just never thought that I could afford one.

Well, my lovely wife found an awesome deal on Craigslist and informed me on Wednesday that I would be driving to get a piano on Saturday.  I was a little nervous about trying to pick a piano up and set it in my truck.  I didn't have a trailer that I could borrow and I didn't have any people that I could haul with me to get this thing, but my wife said that we were going.

Sounded like a good opportunity for me to point out that this particular furniture mover had never been able to purchase any straps for his old truck.  There was no way I was hauling a piano in the back of my truck without it being securely strapped down.  The accounting committee in my house (also known as my lovely wife) granted permission for the strap purchase.

The piano moving bill passed, along with my little bit of pork barreling, (didn't know what that was until this week ) and so we all piled into the cab of the truck and took off this morning.  After a McDonald's stop, an air pressure in the tires stop, and a bathroom stop, we arrived!

There weren't any problems in the transit or the delivery, and (with a little help from my friend Lee) before I knew it, there was a lovely piano sitting in my living room.  Just another in the long list of things that God has blessed us with.

Sorry for the poor quality of picture, it was taken with my phone and the lighting was bad.  I just can't believe that we got it for $125!

Follow me...

If you go to the sidebar, you can become a "follower" of this blog.  What does that mean?  I haven't got a clue.

October 2, 2008

Debatable

I listened to the entire VP debate.  It was really interesting.

I think that this is the first time that I have really listened to a debate.  I have heard debates before, but I don't think that I have ever really listened.  It was really intriguing. 

There is so much that I could say about it, but the thing that bothered me the most was the disagreements over the basic facts (like voting records).  In my mind, that wouldn't be debatable.  Facts are facts.  They are black and white.  We can't really debate a voting record, because it is... well, a record.  

I was wrong.  Those two kept going back and forth over who voted for what.  Now, I can agree that we could debate the meanings behind why someone would vote a certain way, but I kept hearing differing numbers and statistics, I didn't know what to believe.  Those disagreements were never truly settled. 

Unfortunately, I don't have a staff to find the truth for me.

A Weird 27

I have to say, this was a weird one.  The number 27... The first number on the moon?

October 1, 2008

FOUR!

Alright. I waited to post this on the blog, but here you go:

Number four is on the way.  I didn't have an available scanner, so I snapped this shot with my phone, but you can see the little bud.

To answer your question, No.  I didn't plan this.  Yes, I am happy (how couldn't I be?)  Yes, my wife has had morning (and afternoon and evening and night) sickness for several weeks now.  Yes.  I am tired, but not regretful.  Yes,  I am hoping for a girl.  Yes, I am holding back some of my excitement because of our most recent experience, but that hesitation is quickly fading.  It almost faded away when I saw the heartbeat last week.  This shot is from this week.  Yes, I am 36 years old.  Yes.  I am already wondering how this will affect my future.  And Yes.  I love it.

Isn't it amazing how you can love your child before you even see it?  From the moment you see that little flutter on the monitor.  Actually even before that, because it precedes technology.  Even if I couldn't see it on a little screen.  Even if we didn't even have that CVS pregnancy test, it wouldn't have mattered.  I loved it from the moment my wife said, "You know, I have felt this way before.  I am pretty sure I am pregnant."

It is my child.  And it is a child.  And I did call it number 4.  (Read about number 3 here and some other thoughts here .)  I know that this child has no rights in this country right now (not even those most basic of human rights: the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness).  So I am thankful for a wife who will protect his/her rights.  I am thankful that my economic status has no bearing on whether or not this child should have the right to live.  I am just praying for continued health for this (already existing) baby and health for my wife as she carries this life.

My wife's doctor asked her about some tests that she could take.  One of them would let her know about different potential genetic problems that the baby could be born with.  She asked the doctor whether or not it would affect anything that they would do during the pregnancy or delivery.  He said no.  So, she said, "Why would I need to know?"  The implied answer was the question of keeping the baby.

If I had a problem with one of my other children, could I get rid of one of them.  I am not well off financially, should I eliminate one of the problems.  Does that make it OK?  I thought I was done having children, can I just say "no" now?  I mean, I am really not ready for all of this (again).

Of all the philosophies that are at work in America, I find this lack of concern over the weakest and the smallest of our residents to be the most appalling.

So, I post this particular blog post to announce new "harmless" life.  I pray (and ask you that know me to pray) that God will protect it and continue to form it in my wife's womb.  I look forward to the day she (he?) is born.  I anxiously await the day I get to meet her for the first time.  And the years I will have discovering her  personality and likes and dislikes.

 I hope to make her laugh.