Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Sometimes 3rd sounds bad, sometimes it sounds good. If you finished 3rd out of 500 runners in a race, that would sound good. If you finished 3rd out of three, that would be bad.

Well, today the boys and I went to see NC State play basketball in Raleigh with a guy from church and his two kids. We got to the game early, picked up our tickets from Will Call, and headed inside. We were in section 306, row L. We knew that we would be high, but when we climbed the steps - we were 3 rows from the top. We had to look down to see the banners hanging from the rafters.

We sat there, catching our breath. It was about 50 minutes before tip-off. My friends were all State fans, so they had on State shirts. Even though we're UNC fans, we wore red to pull for the Pack. Kaleb bought a State shirt yesterday to wear to the game. I wore a red polo. Kendall had on a red t-shirt.

We were displaying our red (except Kendall, who still had his sweatshirt on) when a State student with a red wig climbed up to where we were and asked if "he (Kendall) had a red shirt on under that."

Kendall showed his red shirt and the guy gave us 6 tickets for lower down. We were excited! How low? Section 120, Row C.

3rd Row. Behind the State bench. Can you say awesome!

We went from 3rd row from the top to 3rd row from the court. What a huge difference. Some of us even made it on the huge jumbo tron screen!

What a great time! Memories for a lifetime. What a way to end the year!

Oh yeah - State won by 20.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Roundup!

Our crowd made it back home on Sunday evening, after leaving out on Christmas morning. We had a great time visiting with family. As with most families, we had some new ones to meet and some to miss. We had a great time and enjoyed some great food.

It was nice to get home. We feel like we have been living out of our van. We had places to stay - that wasn't problem - it was a different place each night. We also had seven different stops to make - so it was quite amazing that the gifts for the last stop were found, not crushed, and still wrapped.

I know this Christmas has just passed, but I'm already looking forward to next Christmas. As of now, we are planning to stay at home on Christmas Day, and travel afterward. We also look forward to the Wesleyan Youth Convention that takes place in Charlotte. We've attended these since 1990 and look forward to each one.

Since we made seven stops, that means that we ate at least seven large meals. Be looking for a post in the near future about Goals for 2009.
Note: In case you were wondering - that's not us in that photo - it just felt like it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve traditions. We have a candlelight service at the church that is always special. The boys and I usually watch the The Christmas Story, you know the one with the boy wanting a Red Rider BB gun.

We usually prepare our breakfast casserole so all we have to do is put it in the oven Christmas morning. We try to get to bed before too late so we can get up early!

I hope you have a great Eve!

Great Times!

Last night we had a wonderful time with some pastor friends and their families. One of the couples had lived in Kansas City, so they knew how to make ribs. These were the best ribs I've ever eaten. I'm probably ruined. What a great time of food, fun and fellowship.

We had to travel about three hours (each way) to get to the event. On the way back, I needed to get some gas. There was a particular place I wanted to stop, fill up and get a few snacks, but it was further down the road than I had thought. They kids got rather quiet when they realized that we were well below the E on the ol' fuel gage and no gas stations in sight.

Well . . . we made it to the gas station on fumes. I think the experience enhanced the family's prayer life.

BTW, I did set a new record for the most miles driven on a tank of fuel for our van! :) I think I am prohibited from going for a new record during our Christmas travels.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my bride's birthday! Yeah! I wish I could say that I took her to some exotic place or really awesome restaurant, but I didn't. As she would say, it was a "regular" day.

She went to work, came home, and then we headed to a Christmas party. The folks there knew it was her birthday, so a hearty "Happy Birthday" was sung. We had a great time at the party, and were real glad we went. (I had given her the option, go to this party or go out for her birthday). We'll go out for her birthday later.

The kids and I presented her with gifts and a cake when we got home. The kids enjoyed the cake, Amy and I were stuffed from the party!

The funniest thing happened with her cake that I had never seen before. I had gotten some candles that spelled out Happy Birthday. Kendall had the candles lit and was walking into the living room - we were singing Happy Birthday - and he was about to hand the cake to Amy when all of the candles went out at the same time! The look on Kendall's face was awesome!

Needless to say, it doesn't work well to carry a lit birthday cake underneath a ceiling fan!

Happy Birthday HB!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Lights

The other night the kids and I did some "exterior illumination" to the house - the icicle lights. This is the third year that we have put them on the house. In years past I climbed all over the roof like Clark W. Griswold, Jr. - feeling like I'm going to fall off. One portion of the roof has a particularly steep pitch, and last year I did a little sliding.

Well, I'm older and wiser now, so we borrowed a ladder and hung the lights without getting on the roof. It wasn't as thrilling for the kids - I didn't have any Griswold moments this year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I’ve had more people ask me about UNC football lately. You see, I’m a UNC grad and a sports fan, so I tend to keep up with college football and basketball. Over the last several years, UNC football hasn’t been doing too well. They haven’t had a winning season since 2004 and hadn’t won a bowl game since 2001.

So, why were people asking me about UNC football? Expectations were higher this year. In fact, they were predicted to finish near or at the top of their division. When UNC lost to State this year, just about every State fan made sure that I knew about it. Last year when State won no one said much. So, what’s the big deal about State winning this year? Expectations. UNC was predicted to win. They lost 41-10. In fact, a lot of people (including State fans) thought that might be the score with UNC winning.

Expectations are exactly what you think they are – what you expect to happen. Sometimes our expectations are too high, or not high enough. We do this in all aspects of life. For example, you expect to pay too much for very average food at Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion amusement parks. You expect to pay more for gasoline in Hertford that in Elizabeth City. Unfortunately, when calling customer service we have come to expect to talk to a computer rather than a human.

However, when our losing team wins - we get good food cheap – gas is cheaper close to home – and we get to talk to a human – we are pleasantly surprised and we take notice.

As Christians, what are the world’s expectations of us? Hypocrite . . . judgmental . . . exclusive . . . think they’re better . . . etc. What would happen if the world found us to be different (better) than that? What would happen if the world found us to be like . . . Jesus?

What are the world’s expectations about church? Boring . . . irrelevant . . . out for your money . . . etc. I know I don’t want to be about those things. Let’s be innovative and exceed expectations so people will be drawn to Jesus!

May we connect people with God . . . and each other.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The First Saturday!

The first Saturday of December has been one of my favorite days each year for the past several years. It's the day of the Annual Christmas Parade in our town of Hertford. For years our church has built a float for the parade and had a bunch of folks to ride on it. This year was no different. We had a whole team of people spend a lot of time working on the float this year. We even won first place in the "Church Float" division at the parade. That's cool!

Along with the float, we have a table set up downtown - along the parade route - to give away hot chocolate and coffee to those waiting for the parade. The thing I like the best, is the look a lot of people give when they are told "It's Free!" Yesterday we got several of those looks. Even some "don't you take donations?" Nope.

Now that's fun!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Wave!

Yesterday was the Hertford Christmas Parade. Since Amy is on the School Board, a car was provided for Board members to ride. Here you see Amy doing her Miss America wave!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Week Update

Our family had a great time over Thanksgiving. Amy and I were able to spend time with our parents and go to several family gatherings where we saw extended family. Several memories were made, especially in the tree cutting. Let's just say that they tree didn't fall where I intended, and it was a miracle that it only brushed Mom and Dad's house.

It was a good time away, but we were glad to be back in Bagley Swamp on Saturday evening. Since we've been back, it's been quite busy!