Verse of the Day!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Three in one day- can you believe it?

I have a history with critters.

I once caught a bothersome opossum but then felt pity on it and couldn't deal the death blow. My wife and sister like to laugh at me over that one.

We were caretakers of a historic house for about a year, before we had kids. There were some very annoying birds called grackles that really liked the trees at the house. They liked to "sing" to us at about 6 am and again at dusk. Imagine this, only there were 1,000,000 birds making this sound 100 times louder (each). And it didn't stop. Ever.

I tried to make big noises by slapping 2x4's together to scare the away. They scoffed at me. We got a tape of owls. They're not supposed to like owls. They joined in a melodious chorus with our hooting friend. I told them we had a cat that would eat them. (I think they knew I was lying.)

I got desperate. Enter my childhood BB gun. Notice the second floor balcony? It was a great place to shoot from since the trees offered cover from the police and they couldn't see that I was illegal shooting a firearm within the city limits. (At least that made it sound like more of an adventure. I doubt that it's really illegal to shoot a pump BB gun. But, just in case, don't tell your policeman friends.)

I'd hit one from time to time and that would scare them for a bit. Apparently, they have short memories because they would be back within 12 hours. Regina has a nice picture of me in my bathrobe on the balcony shooting at the little suckers.

In our current house, we have bird feeders. We like birds. We like squirrels, too. Squirrels like bird food. Actually, the squirrels hog the bird food. Stingy guys. I have pretty much given up on trying to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder. I saw this article and thought there might be hope. While I got a really good laugh, I still have squirrels and it only reminded me of my grackle adventure.

Seriously, read the story now. I promise you'll laugh.

By the way, I have actually purchased red fox urine to try to get rid of raccoons, but that's another post. And I may need to get Steve, the former youth minister at my church, to guest post his story about red fox urine and squirrels, though it may not translate to the written word well. If you know him, and see him, ask him about it.

Does your church "suck"?

Wow- 2 posts in quick succession. I just wanted to link to this on Bowden's blog.

Our church is looking for a pastor and I don't think it "sucks" now, but I see tremendous growth potential if we get the right person in the pulpit.

New Orleans

Wow. That's pretty much all I can say. It's incredible what's happening out there. I'm certainly praying for all the people that are stuck there and the people trying to help them, as well as the people who left beforehand and now have no home to return to. The images have been astonishing and heartbreaking. You can find a bunch here.

Here's a couple, though. How old do you think the owner of these hands is? According to the caption, she's 40, but was in water for 2 days before being rescued, resulting in extreme water-logging (or whatever form of the word I should use there). You have to figure, though, that all the residents of New Orleans will age quickly as they try to get their lives back together. Look at the utter look of loss on this man's face.

Really, though, can they rebuild this city? It seems as though it would be easier just to leave the levee as it is and move the whole city inland. Apparently, 80% of the city is under water. In Dallas terms, I heard that this is comparable to everything inside Loop 635. Of what I've seen, the houses are in water up to the roofline, so it doesn't seem as though they can be salvaged.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


The kids weren't terribly excited about it, but I decided that they needed to see a bit of history in the making, so I took them to Crawford last Saturday. We missed the big pro-Bush "You don't speak for me, Cindy" rally. We did visit the site of the rally, but it was pretty much cleared out. That just meant there was no line for the highlight of the kids' time in Crawford (sorry, all I had was by phone cam):

It was an interesting experience. Even though we missed most of the action, it was still worth checking out.

We missed all the speakers, including Ted Nugent's wife, but we got a small taste of all that was going on. The locals expressed their obvious displeasure with Cinday Sheehan and the crowd that she has drawn:

We walked around a little bit "downtown", by Fort Qualls. I took a picture of the kids in front of the Yellow Rose, the store that help start Fort Qualls, in response to Camp Casey. Drew didn't want to be in the picture, but I got him anyway:

Mainly what the kids remember is the traffic. By most reports, there were over 5,000 people in Crawford on Saturday, increasing the population by about 700%.

We, of course, also missed the big names that were there on Sunday- the Rev. Al Sharpton [media hound alert!] (who needs to slow down a bit, though the sooner he gets out of Texas, the better), Joan Baez, and Martin Sheen.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sadie's a WHAT???

I never know what Drew has in his seat in the van. He sits in the back by himself and he accumulates junk and, well, you know how he is- he doesn't clean it out until we make him. Apparently, he was reading the almanac in the car yesterday and he learned something new....

"Hey, Sadie's a b*&%$!"

As most of you know, Sadie is our dog and yes, she is female. Good thing I wasn't drinking anything or it would have been spit out all over the dash. I asked for clarification. He cleared it all up by saying that when she turned one she would be a you-know-what. Right now, she's still a puppy.

I calmly explained to him that while what he said is true that other people have a different definition for that word and that he should not use that word. We'll just call Sadie a girl dog. Hopefully, he won't feel the need to share his knowledge with friends at school today!

(Or be reminded of this conversation by any of my faithful readers!)

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sweet Lindsay

When we put Lindsay in bed last night she said "I'm not going to wake you up tonight!" She had gotten up the night before and come to our room. She doesn't do this very often but when she does, we often have a hard time getting back to sleep.

She did wake up during the night and came to our room. I helped her get a bed roll made on the floor next to me. In the morning as I got ready for work, I noticed Lindsay had some "dirt" on her shirt. Alittle later Lindsay said "I threw up last night." I had NO idea! I went to her room and there was a little "specimen" on her sheets and comforter. She managed not to get any on the carpet! She cleaned up her mess in the bathroom---by herself! Can you believe it? She is only 3 years old. All because she didn't want to wake me up. Poor baby! I felt terrible. She is an awesome little girl!

On another note: Those of you out there who are prayer warriors we really do need your prayers right now. Evan has gone 13 days without a seizure and for that we are thankful but he has become SO combative. He has been yelling, squealing, and fighting which is so unlike him. Those of you who know him, know that he is so sweet and kind. When he finally comes out of it, he says he hates the way he acts during those times but can't control it. He also says he doesn't like himself. He can be completely in control at other times. I am not sure if the medicine is affecting him this way or if it is a discipline issue. We deeply desire wisdom in dealing with this situation. (Should we change meds even though the seizures appear to be in control?) We could also use an extra dose of patience.

Wow! This parenting thing is not easy. Someone should warn you about these challenges before you have these little munchkins! God is so good to mix these challenging times with other times of great joy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Regina has asked about putting pictures on here. Blogger seems to have added a tool to make this easier. I'm trying it out. Later I'll show Regina how easy it is. These are a few from out trip to the beach. (You can click on them to see larger versions.)

The family (It's a little dark. I guess we waited a bit late in the day to take it.)

A really cute one of Lindsay-

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New! Verse of the Day!

I was looking up some verses on and came across the Verse of the Day feature. It's a little bit of code I put on the blog template and it's supposed to pull a new verse from each day. I'll try to "pretty" it up a little bit, but it took me 15 minutes to figure out where to put it in the code. I'm not too good at "pretty."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Lemonade, anyone?

I love weekends for all the fun and relaxation they bring. Saturday, the boys had a lemonade stand. This was a compromise because Drew really wanted to have a baseball card stand and try to sell some of his better cards. I didn't want to discourage him by telling him NO ONE was going to drive down Mosswood looking for baseball cards. I also didn't want him to sit outside all day (on our very low traffic street) waiting for someone to come by and buy a baseball card or two. He has hundreds of cards that I would love to see find another home but of course those cards would not be the ones to go. He's got a nicely cased Barry Bonds rookie card that is probably worth something and that would be the one to sell. A few years ago, I bought Drew a magazine so he could look up the value of his cards. It was worth $10 coverprice to keep him busy for so long. Unfortunately, he thinks he can get exactly what the magazine says the cards are worth.

Anyway, back to the lemonade stand. We set up on the driveway and luckily the neighbors across the street were playing outside. They have four kids and they had friends over! We got off to a good start. The boys charged .25 and gave unlimited free refills. As you can imagine, we ran out of lemonade very quickly. Mark, the wonder dad, sat out in the heat with them and even read a little C.S. Lewis aloud in between customers. We had to eventually serve tropical fruit punch because we ran out of lemonade with a nice sized crowd waiting in line.

After paying me .15 for my help and supplies (is that all I am worth?), they earned $4.50. I hope they have fond memories to go along with their $2.25.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I am ready to get back into a routine. The boys are getting better at getting up with a smile, dressed and fed in a timely manner. 7:50 seems so early to have to be in your seat and ready to learn. We've all done our part to make that happen but I think everyone is ready for the weekend. Sweet Evan was so sad last night. We were finally able to determine that he was worried that if he had a seizure at school and his teacher called him but he didn't respond that he would get in trouble. I am sad when I think of him having to deal with the unpredictability of the seizures. He worries that he'll have one and no one will be there to "care for" him. I know he's told his class about the seizures because a mom stopped me at HEB today and said "My daughter is in Evan's class and she told me he mentioned having seizures. She is worried about him and we have been praying for him." It's nice to know we have fellow prayer warriors in our class.

On another note, we visited my grandparents in Houston last weekend. I am ashamed to say that I do not see them as much as I should. Lindsay and my grandmother really bonded. God is so good. I loved seeing the two of them showing so much affection to each other. The 81 year difference in their ages didn't seem to bother them. We tried to treat them to lunch but they wouldn't let us pay. Later that afternoon, I got a call that my grandmother fell and broke her hip. You never know what is lurking around the corner. It went from a fun happy day to a day filled with pain and sadness. Please pray for quick healing and strength for my grandmother and all who are involved in caring for her and my grandfather.

Lindsay starts preschool in the morning. She had to get a Hepatitis A shot today. It's apparently a recent addition to the required immunizations. I don't know how I am going to get her back to the doctor for her 4 year old appointment and 4 more shots two months from now! Yikes. Sounds like a job for dad.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Caught with his pants down...

That got your attention, huh?

Evan had another seizure Sunday night. It was a pretty big disappointment the night before school. We had hoped that his seizures would be behind us when he returned to school.

He was getting ready to take a shower. I had left for a minute and when I came back, he had his pants around his ankles and was making no effort to continue with the process. When I moved in front of him, he was staring blankly.

I asked him if he was having a seizure, and he said 'yes.' In that sense, the seizure didn't seem as "deep," but it lasted longer. I don't know if deep/shallow are accurate ways at all to describe a seizure, but he verbally responded to me the majority of time when I would ask him a question, so it didn't seem to be as "deep" into his brain. However, he wouldn't look where I wanted him to and he couldn't follow my finger, which is a pretty tell-tale sign of a seizure.

This lasted for about 15 minutes, which is one of his longer seizures. Even though is was "shallower," the length of it was pretty discouraging. He had his normal headache afterwards. I didn't want to leave him alone, so I helped him with his shower and it seemed like he had a hard time standing up straight. He was off to bed right after his shower, but he seemed to feel fine when he woke up the next morning.

Pray that his seizures will stop, but if they don't that they will at least happen in "convenient" places, such as home. Thanks!

School has begun!

Well, the boys survived the first day of school. Getting them out of bed wasn't much fun. In addition to getting used to sleeping late, neither was excited about going to school. We ended up getting them to school a few minutes late. I don't think anyone noticed, though. Things were pretty crazy. Lots of parents taking their kids to the classroom.

Afterwards, though, they were both grinning. Evan had a good time and enjoyed seeing his friends. Drew said that his first day was better than the first day of school last year. That's about as glowing a review as you can expect from Drew. This morning was a little easier and we actually made it to school on time today. Plus, I just dumped them at the curb today.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Mark's Secret Admirer

I received this voicemail on my cell phone today. I didn't answer, as I was running at the time. I have no idea who this person is, even after doing a reverse phone number lookup. I can only assume it's a wrong number, but would you all watch my back, just in case?

this is an audio post - click to play

By the way, in the process of figuring out how to get this on my blog, I found audioblogger. You can post voice blogs from any phone. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

last week of summer break

Sometime very early this morning, Drew came to our room and wanted to get into our bed. This is not normal for him. It didn't take us long to figure out why. The sky was filled with amazing lightning and thunder. I can't remember ever hearing such loud thunder. Before long, Lindsay joined us. Evan followed soon after her. You know the weather has to be bad to wake Evan up. He sleeps like a rock. Have you ever tried to sleep in a queen size bed with five people? It's not a comfortable situation! Lindsay and I decided that we would let the boys stay with dad and we would move to her room. This was a great idea except I forgot what a talker she can be. She wanted to talk about hairbows, pillows, toys and many other things that didn't seem important at the time. We finally did get back to sleep but I know I saw the sun start to creep up before her eyelids were shut!

The weather this morning was terrible and we didn't have electricity for part of the time. We were supposed to go to Salado but decided that we should stay put. We've really spent a lot of time in the car lately. We didn't go the distance that we did last year but our vacation was just as fun. The kids loved learning some Texas history in Austin and San Antonio. The Bob Bullock museum is a must see!! Our yearly trek to Port Aransas was great fun like always and a blast to share with friends and spend time with family. We spent 10 days at the beach and have the tan lines to prove it!

Our Plano trip on Tuesday was great. We visited the Dallas Zoo after Evan's appointment. Please continue to pray for Evan. I hope that once he gets back into a routine that he will begin to respond better. My biggest prayer for him once school starts is that he will be able to wake up on time to get to school. He slept until 10:00 last week and that is how he likes it!

We are heading to another family reunion this weekend. We will stay with my mom in Houston and hopefully get to see lots of my family as well as Mark's. It seems like we will be going full speed right up until the 8:00 bell rings on Monday morning!

More wait and see...

We had a good visit with Dr. R yesterday. We didn't learn a whole lot new. He was slightly discouraged by Evan's seizure last Thursday, just as we were. However, since Evan is still fairly new to the medicine and his schedule was rather erratic last week (we were at the beach, after all), Dr. R wants to give him some more time before we make a decision on adding another med. Once Evan gets started at school again (on Monday- wow!) and on a more regular schedule, we'll see how he does. We have another follow up in about 3 months.

Keep praying that the Depakote ER does the trick and we don't need to add another medicine.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Back home

It was good to be in our own beds again last night. When we got home the kids headed straight for their rooms and didn't come out for a while.

I unpacked the car and then was quickly off to church for a meeting. I was disappointed that I didn't get to stick around for the youth-led service last night, but the kids didn't seem to want to leave home. I hear it was good and I would have liked to hear more about camp.

After one exciting day at work, we're off to Plano tomorrow for a follow-up appointment with Dr. R. We head up there somewhat discouraged, as Evan had a seizure on Thursday afternoon while we were at the beach. I guess the new medicine isn't working as well as we had hoped. We may have to increase the dose, or add a med. We'll see.

I'll try to post tomorrow night to let you know what we find out.