Sunday, October 10, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Last week our family spent a few days at the Outer Banks of NC. We only live about 1.5 hours away, but we don't get down there as much as we'd like. In fact, we've only been over night at OBX a few times in the 11 years that we've been this close.
I'm one of those people that loves to play on the beach and play in the ocean but I am a little picky. I don't like getting all sandy and have to live being sandy for hours on end. I like to leave as much sand on the beach and not take it with me.
Also, when I play in the ocean, I don't like seaweed and sea creatures rubbing on my legs and I certainly don't want to see any sea creatures. If I do, I'm out. Something chewing, biting, stinging or stabbing me on a sneak attack is not my idea of fun.
So, our last day on the beach looked great. The water was warmer (it had been 57F) and the waves were bigger (which meant more fun!). One problem - jellyfish! I mean, loads of jellyfish. You couldn't look in the water and not see jellyfish. If you were walking down the beach, there were jellyfish on the shore like seashells. I'd never seen so many jellyfish.
It seemed that the cold water had killed most or all that we saw. So, what do you do? Perfect conditions, except for the jellyfish. That's a pretty big except in my book. Imagine putting five or six of those things in your bathtub and then getting in - yep, now you have the picture.
Believe it or not, we sucked it up, played scared and swam with the jellyfish. We had a blast! I mean, we had those things all over us. I don't know how many I stepped on (felt like stepping on a banana peel).
It might have been the most fun I've ever had. I imagine the adventure with the jellyfish added to it. However, we almost missed out because we were afraid. I wonder, how many great adventures we miss out on because we are afraid?
Now, before you go too far, we weren't stupid. We noticed that no one else was writhing in pain, so we assumed those things weren't stinging people. So we tested it. We went in shallow water, allowed them to bump into us and us not get stung, before we went out deeper.
We did end up with some 'tingly' sensations from time to time, but it was well worth it.
What about you? What are you missing out on because you are afraid?
Sometimes you just have to swim with jellyfish!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
A little while ago I began hearing about a Cheerwine Krispy Kreme Doughnut. Since I was a kid, a Krispy Kreme Doughnut was a treat, and a Cheerwine (it's a soda) was a treat.
But to combine them - all I could think of was the greatness of what happened when chocolate and peanut butter was combined - the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup! So, I couldn't wait to try it!
Well, we don't live near a Krispy Kreme. So, last week when the kids and I went to my parents' in Winston-Salem (the home of Krispy Kreme), it was the big chance. We made a special point to go to Krispy Kreme - even loaded up mom & dad.
I really talked up this new doughnut, everyone was excited. We got into KK and was told that they don't sell them in the store yet, but you could get them at grocery stores. Whaa?
We got a couple of consolation doughnuts and headed to the grocery stores. Stopped by two on the way back to mom & dad's - sold out! Whaa?
Needless to say - I gave up for a few days. Today I had to go back to High Point for a meeting. Stopped in another KK, same story. Stopped in a couple of grocery stores. Same story. Crud!
I guess I just won't get to try that new doughnut . . . I'll back in the area next week, maybe better luck then.
I got back to Hertford - stopped by our Food Lion to get some apples and was walking down the milk aisle and guess what I saw - whaa? Cheerwine Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.
Yep. I drove all over the place looking for these things and they were at the grocery store closest to my house. Go figure.
Oh, yeah - if you like Cheerwine and you like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts . . . then this new doughnut is like the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup . . . awesome!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This week must be vacation week for a lot of folks. Not for us, but for lots of other folks.
The crowd at church was off some Sunday, most of those not there were at the beach. At the Y this morning, nearly empty. We went to Target the other day in Chesapeake, nearly empty. The coffee shop this morning - just a few people.
So, it must be crowded somewhere. Probably crowded on vacation. That's fine. I can handle where I am not waiting in line. It's cool with me :-) Enjoy yourself!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Today our little Hyundai reached 200,000 miles. Amy and I were on our way to our coffee shop for a little date.
I like milestones. This one shows that we have an older car (2003) that we have driven a lot (we've put all but 7 miles on it). That car has been paid off for years.
In fact, in May we purchased our first vehicle that we had the money to pay for in full (a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer 4WD). We've decided to save money and pay for stuff with cash. Yep, sounds weird. But, that's the way we roll.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Yesterday Katherine and I had some time together and went to the mall in Elizabeth City. We happened by a shoe store and Katherine found some shoes she really liked. Plus, they were on sale! "Sure, you can get them."
We pay for them, walk around a few other places at the mall, and then leave to go to my favorite coffee shop, Muddy's. On the way to Muddy's, Katherine decided to put on her new shoes. She put on the right shoe. Then got the other shoe, looked at it, and it was another right shoe. She looked at her right foot with the new shoe on, and said "Did I put the shoe on the wrong foot?" Nope, we had bought two right shoes. We laughed and laughed. Good times.
(We did go back and exchange a right for a left.)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
It's been a while since posting. It's not that there hasn't been anything going on - it's just that there's been so much that it's hard to slow down and put it into words at times.
Tomorrow night our oldest son graduates from High School. It's gonna be special. Amy is a member of the school board and will be on stage when he gets his diploma. Kendall is the valedictorian and will give a speech. Last Thursday at the Baccalaureate service, I was privileged to speak to the graduating seniors. It was fun. The local paper did an article about the whole family deal with this year's graduation.
I'm really proud of Kendall. I'm proud of what he has accomplished. I expected him to graduate from high school. But to be valedictorian, wow! We knew early on when we were homeschooling him that learning came easy to him. So, when he went to public school, we got him to skip a grade. The school folks weren't so sure. I guess it turned out ok :-)
I'm probably more proud of who he is. He is probably the most dependable person I know. If I ask him to do something, and I am relying of him for it to be done, it is good as done. I'm also finding that some things he can now do better than me. (don't let him know). Well done, son!
We've got a crowd coming to town beginning today for the big event tomorrow. If we're not careful, we could be a movie sequel to Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Have you ever been somewhere several times, don't exactly know the directions, but once you're en route you 'feel' your way there?
Usually when I try that, it doesn't work out so good. My 'feeler' is usually slow. That means I have to turn around several times, get irritated, and usually having to make a phone call to get real directions.
However, on Saturday, it worked perfectly. I was meeting my parents, my sister and my uncle at a family cemetery. It had been several years since I had been there. I was not exactly sure of all the turns and knew none of the road names. I headed in the right direction and went by 'feel'. Several landmarks had changed, but I didn't miss a turn. Cool!
Life is like that. We don't know all of the turns that we should make. We don't know all of the answers. We have to go by 'feel' sometimes. When I'm following Christ, that 'feel' isn't my good guess, but rather Christ's leading.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather be led that go on a guess. How about you?
Monday, March 29, 2010
I wrote earlier about our goats getting our paper. That day it was cute and kinda funny.
Not now. Those jokers are now going to our newspaper box, pulling out the paper, and eating it. The other day, we were watching for the paper, saw it delivered, grabbed a coat, and those goats got to the newspaper box before I could. Dang!
I don't mind them eating the paper, it's actually an easy way to recycle. Just let me read it first!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
This is the 4th year that my family has gone to Virginia Beach for the Shamrock races, so it has started to become somewhat of a tradition. In 2007, I ran in the 1/2 marathon. In 2008 and 2009 two other families joined us and the guys ran in the 8k.
This year, the three families returned. Danny, Todd and Corrie (her first!) ran in the 8k (5 miles). Amy and I ran in the half-marathon (13.1 miles). It was Amy's first! Here were some observations:
- Going to Olive Garden on Friday is definitely a tradition that I don't want to give up. I love going to OG, but going with a group of friends is awesome! It's also guilt-free - knowing that you can eat a lot and burn it off running in the race!
- Love staying on the ocean front where you can hear the ocean in your room and see the sunrise over the water.
- Reminded that I'm glad we don't live in an apartment. Loud neighbors at 3am would get old.
- It was fun watching Todd, Corrie and Danny run on Saturday. I hadn't watched many races since I'm usually in them - it was fun trying to find them in the crowd. It was also fun watching those that won the race - they basically sprinted the whole race.
- Saw the craziest thing - after the 8k, runners were stretching out so they wouldn't get stiff. One of the runners - a guy really in shape - was stretching while smoking a cigarette! No one was with him, so that meant that he carried his cigarettes with him for 5 miles. Crazy!
- Our race began Sunday morning at 7am. We left the hotel at 6:30 t0 walk to the start line. It was weird to be walking while it was still dark with thousands of others.
- Along the race course was several were water & Gatorade stops. There was even one place where people were handing out beer to runners.
- It was fun to hear folks yell out your name and cheer you on. (my name was on race # that I wore).
- After finishing the race, it is quite satisfying for the next few minutes to soak in the knowledge that 1). the run is over 2). I finished it 3). it's time to relax.
Who knows . . . maybe some day.
Friday, March 19, 2010
This weekend a group of us from church are headed to Virginia Beach to run in a couple of different races. Three will be running in the 8K race tomorrow morning. Amy and I will be running in the 1/2 marathon on Sunday morning.
The question "How'd You Do?" will be asked, and it will be referring to my race time, or how I felt, or if I finished.
The question actually goes back to many months ago when we started training for this distance. How we do in the race has to do with how well we trained. You can't make up for the lack of training.
For us - we expect to do well. We've trained well. We don't expect to be faster than we were when we trained. We expect to finish. And finish well. That's what we've trained for.
That's true in life, too. (Had to put that in there).
Now looking forward to eating at Olive Garden and spending time on the beach!
Went out to get the paper earlier this morning and this is all that I found.
It's not unusual to be missing a section or even the whole paper, but to have only a chewed-off piece left was really weird.
I looked around and spied these two looking at me - hmmm . . .
Monday, March 15, 2010
I know its been a while - I'm trying to get back in the routine of posting.
We're trying something new now at the church office. For years, we have worked in the office from Tuesday through Friday - with me having Mondays and Saturdays to be more flexible.
Starting today - we're in the office on Mondays - Thursdays. We'll try it and see how it works. Like a lot of things, it's an experiment. If it doesn't work, we'll change it.
One thing I already like - staff meeting on Monday. We get to celebrate the big things that happened over the weekend. Two of big things that we celebrated:
1) at the teen event on Friday - almost double the # of teens - WOW!
2) new folks at church again yesterday! One person drove over an
hour (one way) to be with us for the first time!
Great stuff is happening at Bagley Swamp! God is good!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Today is the day that we are finishing up our projects. The closet has been completed and a coat of primer is being applied as I write. The two large rooms that we hung sheet rock have been sanded this morning and the primer is going on this afternoon. It seems that we should finish up just about at quitting time today.
Last night Shirley and her crew fixed us a rice, beans and sausage casserole. It was quite good. We went to Dairy Queen afterwards for our weekly fix of ice cream. Tonight we plan to go out to eat at Pizza Hut.
Last night we had more great conversations about spiritual things. Several shared of times when they've been hurt and God has brought them through the pain. It was quite touching and we could really feel God's presence. This week has been a phenomenal week for us as we have grown closer to God and to each other.
Keep us in your prayers. Amy's (my wife) grandfather passed away last night. Please keep them and myself in your prayers. I will be preaching the funeral on Sunday. Also keep Pastor Todd in your prayers. Since I will be away at a funeral, he will be preaching at Bagley Swamp. Keep our team in your prayers at we finish up today and as we travel tomorrow. We could run into some snow.
That's it from Big Stone Gap. Thanks for checking in.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
As far as the work goes, no real updates. We're still in the 'mudding' and sanding process with the sheet rock. The plan is to have that mostly finished up by quitting time today so tomorrow we can put on a coat of primer. The closet has been built near the bedroom that we painted the other day. Sheet rock is being hung, a light and outlet installed, and the door hung. Our plan is to be finished with this mostly by today, so we can get a coat of primer on it tomorrow.
Last night we had baked spaghetti, salad and chocolate cake at the same church, fixed again by Shirley and her crew. She shared with us about God's call on her life, how she got from Anderson, SC to Big Stone Gap, VA and how God has used her and her family to minister to children and teens in this community. Her son, David, runs The Edge, the teen center that has bands to come in a play each Saturday night. Check out The Edge's myspace here.
Some have asked about the snoring situation. On Tuesday evening when we went to Lowes, several sets of ear plugs were purchased, so there has been more rest:-)
Today the weather is still quite cold, though it felt pretty good at lunch when we walked down to the same restaurant that we ate at yesterday. Today, some got the chicken livers, while the rest had the hamburger steak. That place has good food and seems to have a good business. It's one of those places where the older waitress calls you 'son' and the younger ones call you 'hon' or 'sweetie'. You gotta love it!
After lunch we spent a few minutes milling through some of the downtown shops and meeting some of the locals. We struck several conversations with folks, most of them wanting to know where we were from. I've a pretty good southern accent, but I believe the folks here have event more of one :)
Gerald is smiling more than usual today. He is a grandpa again. Colton Adam Christian was born this morning to Brandy and Shane Christian. From what we know, mom and son are well. Congrats!
Great conversations again last night! God is at work in us and among us! I'm more pumped now than ever about what God is doing and what God is gonna do through Bagley Swamp.
Continue to pray for us - we're praying for you!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Yesterday afternoon was quite productive. Annie, Christy and I finished painting that room that we had started earlier in the day. As you may remember, we were painting over paneling, so we had put kilz on it, then several coats of paint. We were surprised that we were able to finish. We thought that it would take us two days.
The guys finished hanging the sheet rock. They also taped all of the joints and put one coat of 'mud' on all joints and screws. They left kerosene heaters on last night so the 'mud' would dry.
Last night we went back to the same church to have dinner, prepared again by Shirley and her crew. We had tacos and all of the fixings. It was very good.
After dinner we went to Lowe's in Wise, VA, about 15 miles away. We needed to get some trim supplies for finishing up the sheet rock trim around windows and doors. While we were in Wise, it started to snow hard, but by the time that we got back to Big Stone Gap, it wasn't snowing.
Last night we had probably one of the best discussions I've ever had with a group of people about God and how we can try to impact our community for Christ. It was great! Before we knew it, it was 11:30 and well past some folks' bedtimes.
This morning we woke to snow covering the landscape. It's only snowed a couple of inches, and continues to snow now, but it doesn't seem to be accumulating. The temperature has been in the 20s and when the wind catches you just right, it's real cold.
The guys spent the morning working on the sheet rock some more, putting on the final coat of 'mud' so that it can dry. Some of the crew worked on the trim work around the windows and doors. We went to lunch in town at the Mutual Drug & Cafeteria. Most of us had chicken & dumplings or meatloaf. It was real good.
This afternoon we are finishing up on the 'mud' and trim on the sheet rock so we can start sanding first thing in the morning. We are also building a closet outside of the room that we painted yesterday.
This evening we are headed back to eat dinner with Shirley and her crew. Shirley is going to share with us her story of how she came to Big Stone Gap, how she started her ministry, and how it's working today. You can find out some about it here.
I'm not sure where we're headed after supper tonight - we've been to Wal-Mart and to Lowes - so we'll see.
I look forward to another great evening. Can't wait to see what His plans are . . .
Pray for us - we're praying for you :-)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Yesterday afternoon we finished up with the insulation in the building we are working in. There are two large rooms, and one room we finished hanging all of the sheet rock. This morning some of the guys started putting 'mud' on the sheet rock that was already hung, while others worked on hanging sheet rock in the other room.
Annie, Christy and I began painting a room in another building this morning. It had paneling on the walls, so we put kilz on it this morning and started to put the first coat of paint when we broke for lunch. That's the work status as of now.
For supper yesterday we ate at Artesian Baptist Church where Shirley and her helpers had cooked us lasanga. Shirley is the director of HIS Ministries, where we are doing the work that we have done so far.
After supper, we took to mandatory trip to Wal-Mart in Norton, VA. There is a Wal-Mart in Big Stone Gap, but it was an old one, we wanted the Super version. After getting more snacks, we returned to our house for the evening.
It seems that the snoring increased last night, at least by some reports. The 'non-snorers' are thinking that they may be well trained in the art of snoring by the weeks end :)
We've had some rain today. Not a hard rain, most the occasional shower. It is supposed to snow tonight - 1 to 4 inches possible.
We're laughing a lot, getting to know each other and enjoying each other. Keep us in your prayers - we're praying for you.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Ten of us from Bagley Swamp are in Big Stone Gap, VA this week on a mission trip. I hope to update daily while we are here. We'll see how it goes. My Internet connection is at the McDonald's a mile or two away, so it shouldn't be that hard.
We drove into Big Stone Gap, VA on Sunday around 4:45 pm. As we traveled, we were on four-lane highways the whole way except for about 10 miles. The roads were clear of snow and dry. At the top of some mountains we saw a lot of snow, sometimes snow and ice still in the trees.
The house we are staying in has three bedrooms, and no beds. So . . . we are on the air mattresses and cots that we brought with us. The two women are in one room, three guys in another room, and four guys in the third bedroom. Myself and our host, Ken, are in the living room. So . . . by the end of the trip, we ought to be real close.
Lots of laughter this morning as each told stories of waking during the night to hear the others snoring. We'll probably sleep sounder later in the week when we are more tired (probably snore more, too).
We ended up watching the Super Bowl last night in the lobby of a Comfort Inn up the road. Nice big screen HDTV. We thought about staying for the free breakfast, but decided we'd better not push our luck.
This morning we have been working on finishing insulating a new building for His Ministries in town. Right before lunch we began putting the drywall on the ceiling. It was cold when we started this morning, but the building we are working in was warmed up by kerosene heaters, so by lunch we had our heavy coats off.
This afternoon we are working hard on the sheet rock and hoping to finish it tomorrow. This evening we plan to eat at a local church. Here will be the interesting part - there is only one bathroom/shower in the house. Who gets the hot water?
Keep us in your prayers - we're praying for you!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Not exactly sledding in an actual swamp, but the area where we live is known as Bagley Swamp. Yes, there is a swamp there, but we don't sled in it.
Our first winter in Bagley Swamp (1999) we noticed that there is no real place to sled when it snows. We are basically in the flat-lands. We also noticed that it doesn't snow much. So when it does snow, drop everything and play in it.
I grew up in a neighborhood that had several huge hills that were awesome to sled on. But I had no idea of how to sled on flat ground.
Once in Bagley Swamp, it didn't take us long to figure it out. Tie one end of a rope to your sled. Tie the other end to the back of a four-wheeler (ATV). Hold on!
Since we don't get a lot of snow, the sleds tend to take a beating being pulled over ground where the snow has melted. We've gone through several sleds.
Our biggest 'redneck' sled was an old suitcase. It worked fairly well, but looked . . . redneck.
The best ever - we had today. Our neighbor had a truck hood. He tied it to the back of his 4-wheeler. That thing was super smooth and fast. Clark Griswold style. Awesome! It was like being pulled on a tube behind a boat, but no wake. All of the kids, and even me, had a blast.
Just a little wind burn. What's your favorite way to sled?
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Random thoughts this Sunday evening:
- New experience this morning. When I got to the church at o'dark early, I was surprised to find someone asleep on the steps of our side entrance.
- Great worship this morning, especially at our second service. Have been preaching this month on God's principles for handling money - probably have had more people contact me to discuss this sermon series than any other. Hmmm.
- Similar note: we had more people to show up at Financial Peace University this afternoon that we had expected! Like . . . twice the amount. Awesome!
- Heading off to Big Stone Gap, VA in a few weeks on a mission trip. Getting excited.
- Had fun this afternoon watching my boys and some teens try and do some Dude Perfect videos. Here's one of their shots. Here are some more.
- One of our teens was hurt on Thursday and had to be hospitalized. It was awesome to see him in the 8:30 worship this morning. God is good!
- Looking forward to hanging out with some pastors tomorrow in Greenville.
- Glad the Colts won! The Super Bowl should be good - no matter if it's the Vikings or the Saints against the Colts. For the third year in a row . . . I'll be away on a mission trip, but we'll find a TV somewhere.
- Boys are talking about some wings to go with the Vikings/Saints game . . . sounds good. Peace out.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Today has been a great day!
- It started early with meeting with some guys at 6:30am for a time of prayer. I look forward to getting with these guys and starting the day and the week!
- Went for a nice, 4-mile run. Perfect weather. Not too cold. Not too hot. Just right.
- Took it easy around the house for a while with the family.
- Spent some time at the office doing some sermon prep for this Sunday.
- Had several conversations today with folks about yesterday at Bagley Swamp! Great stuff! Life change is happening and is becoming contagious.
- Spent several hours on the road today, driving to my parents in Winston-Salem. Listened to a book via my new Kindle. That was really cool!
- Stopped by Dicks Sporting Goods and purchased some new running gear. Found the running pants I've been looking at for a while for 1/2 the price.
- Went out to eat with Mom & Dad at our favorite Japanese place. Looked forward to it all day. Was not disappointed.
- Got Mom & Dad's cat to chase a laser for a long time. Cats can really be funny.
- Looking forward to a good night sleep. For some reason, I always sleep well at Mom & Dad's.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I can't believe it.
No, I'm not trying to sign you up for anything, or trying to get you to buy anything. But I did just save over $1000 for 2010. Here's what I did.
I've been seeing these commercials for the new phones, blackberrys and droids. I've had my HTC smart phone for over 2 years and was looking to upgrade. I was excited about all of the bells and whistles that those new phones have. In fact, I would really like to have an iPhone, but AT&T doesn't have service where I live, so no iPhone.
I started comparing phones and realized that I really didn't need to use my phone for the internet. I can tweet by using text messaging. I mainly used my smart phone to sync my contacts and calendar.
I started searching, and found software that could sync my Mac's calendar and address book with an LG enV3. I could get the LG without getting the data plan, saving $70 a month/ $840 a year.
When I went to Verizon to make the switch, I was told that I had to keep that old plan I had, since we still had 2 Alltel phones that would not work on the new plan. So, I wasn't going to save any money. How much would it cost to get 3 LG phones? Buy one ($79), get one free. Then have to buy the third one. I would get a $50 rebate on the first one, so $108 for 3 phones, not so bad.
The lady entered my information into the computer, stared at the screen, and said I've never seen this before. Somehow, I had some kind of credits or something, but I was going to get all three phone for $11.64 after I get my rebate. Wow!
They talked me into getting insurance on my phones @ $6 per phone per month. The insurance would replace the phone if it is lost or broken. If a phone is broken or lost, we don't qualify to get a new phone for 2 years, so we would have to pay retail, about $300. Counting all 4 phones on our plan, that's $24 a month in insurance. After thinking about it, I called and had it canceled.
Here's why. Over the two years that we would have the insurance before we would qualify for a new phone, we would pay $576 for that insurance on all 4 phones (4 phones x $6 /month x 24 months). That almost paying for two $300 replacement phones. Since we don't have a history of losing/breaking phones, I thought we would keep the $576. We can use it to replace a phone if we mess on up or for something else. I'm voting for something else.
How are you saving money?
Friday, January 1, 2010
One of the Christmas gifts that we bought for our family this year was a trampoline, our fourth. No, we don't have four of them out in the yard, but we have worn three of them out.
Why get another one? Are we secret gymnasts? I don't think so. The kids play on it from time to time.
But our favorite is to play '21', the basketball game. We have 10 foot basketball goal next to it, the boys and I get on our knees, Katherine stands up, and we play. It is virtually a huge wrestling match, with very few rules. Lots of laughter, a few bruises, and something that we have done for years. The colder it is, the better. We've even cleared snow off of it to play. It's something special that we do together.
Tonight, we broke in the new one.
Oh, yeah. I usually win.
Yesterday I posted about listening to the Daily Audio Bible last year and by doing so, I listened to the entire Bible last year. Well, yesterday was #365 and today is #1. Yep, starting it all over today.
Also, went on a long run this morning. Looking forward to running in the Shamrock Half-marathon on March 21. I like running, but need some goal that I'm working toward. So, for now, the Shamrock will do.
What have you been up to so far this year?