Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sledding in the Swamp!

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

Sunday Night Download

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

Great Day!

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.
How was your Monday?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Just Saved $1000!

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

Trampoline #4

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.

Number 1

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?