Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Here's just a few shots of our Christmas. I like to record these things for posterity (and also for future blackmail attempts on the young ones!)

I hope yours was a magical as ours was.

We are blessed beyond measure.

I could fill up a blog about how much I love this woman - oh wait.....I already have!

Here's my girls........mighty early in the morning!!

Here's the youngest........and the cutest!

Obviously we had a little pirate problem at Christmas - here's the sword fight to prove it!

It's hard work unwrapping all these presents.....sometimes you just gotta strip!

Hey, hey, hey........I GOT ONE!!

My kids.......version 1.0

Now I've got to tell you......this boy LOVES him some dinosaurs - ROOOAAARRR!

Here is my baby with HER baby!

Now this is the "reason for the season" - best picture yet!

Is this the future daughter-in-law.......only The Shadow knows........muahhhhahahaha

That's some GOOD SUGAR!

Hey.........what the hell is Santa Claus doing with my damn wife!!

So that's it folks...a little picture review of Christmas 2010.

Just keepin' it real


Happy New Year - 2011 edition......

It's been a crazy year.

The economic recovery hasn't been so recover-ful.........yet.

But on the bright side, I'm healthy, wealthy and wise! (at least in my eyes - which are the only ones I can actually see through)

I am still crazy in love with my wife.

I see people that I will love forever each and every day of my life.

I am still employed and still the boss.

My children are all alive and mostly well.

I miss my parents but realize that we all grow old and I am at peace with the entire mortality issue.

I still have hope for my country.

I love the Lord my God with all my heart.

I have seen miracles so often that sometimes I have to remember that what I just saw was miraculous.

As I look around the world we live in, I realize more and more each day that we live in the most amazing place.

Consequently when I hear all the folks who belly-ache each day about how "bad their lives are", well, I just want to slap the shit out of them and tell them to go hang out in Central America, or Africa, or pretty much anywhere else and then come back and see how "bad" you've got it.

Yes, as I end 2010 and look forward to 2011 I can say that it could have been better - but then again, what did I do to make it better.

Like most folks, I get out of it pretty much exactly what I put into it.

So what do I want to do for the next year (you know, the dreaded "resolutions"!)

Well, I'd like to lose 40lbs.

I'd like to exercise more.

I'd like to be a better husband.

I'd like to be a better father figure to several folks.

I'd like my grandson to live a different life than I think he will have to live.

I'd like to be more faithful to several things.

But mostly, I'd like to win the powerball, retire, take my wife and travel the world in a bus.

So that's all the news that is news........

In closing, I'll sing one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs - written by Brian Jones in 1968 but rewritten by Mick Jagger in 1970 in honor of Brian's death after he was found "not floating" in his swimming pool:

Saw you stretched out in Room Ten O Nine
With a smile on your face and a tear right in your eye.
Oh, couldn't see to get a line on you, my sweet honey lover

Berber jewelry jangling down the street,
Making bloodshot eyes at every woman that you meet.
Could not seem to get a high on you, my sweet honey love.

May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Make every song your favorite tune.
May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Warm like the evening sun.

When you're drunk in the alley, baby, with your clothes all torn
And your late night friends leave you in the cold gray dawn.
Just seemed too many flies on you, I just can't brush them off.

Angels beating all their wings in time,
With smiles on their faces and a gleam right in their eyes.
Whoa, thought I heard one sigh for you,
Come on up, come on up, now, come on up now.

May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Make every song you sing your favorite tune.
May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Warm like the evening sun.

So there you have it......and may the Good Lord, shine a light on you!

(and try not to be found dead at the bottom of your pool this year!)


Monday, December 27, 2010


As far as I'm concerned, religious faith isn't something you believe; it's something you live, something you do.

Anything less is an intellectual fad rather than something really meaningful and life-changing.

Therefore it is very cool to read about a church in Alabama that seems to grasp that reality.

Here's a brief symopsis of what the pastor says:

We American Christians have a way of taking the Jesus of the Bible and twisting him into a version of Jesus that we are more comfortable with.

A nice middle-class American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts.

A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who for that matter wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings comfort and prosperity to us as we live out our Christian spin on the American Dream.

Jesus has different priorities. Instead of congratulating us on our self-fulfillment, he confronts us with our inability to accomplish anything of value apart from God. Instead of wanting us to be recognized by others, he beckons us to die to ourselves and seek above all the glory of God.

In my own faith family, the Church at Brook Hills, we have tried to get out from under the American Dream mindset and start living and serving differently.

Like many other large American churches, we had a multimillion-dollar campus and plans to make it even larger to house programs that would cater to our own desires. But then we started looking at the world we live in.

It’s a world where 26,000 children die every day of starvation or a preventable disease. A world where billions live in situations of such grinding poverty that an American middle-class neighborhood looks like Beverly Hills by comparison. A world where more than a billion people have never even heard the name Jesus. So we asked ourselves, “What are we spending our time and money on that is less important than meeting these needs?” And that’s when things started to change.

First we gave away our entire surplus fund - $500,000 - through partnerships with churches in India, where 41 percent of the world’s poor live. Then we trimmed another $1.5 million from our budget and used the savings to build wells, improve education, provide medical care and share the gospel in impoverished places around the world. Literally hundreds of church members have gone overseas temporarily or permanently to serve in such places.

And it’s not just distant needs we’re trying to meet. It’s also needs near at hand.

One day I called up the Department of Human Resources in Shelby County, Alabama, where our church is located, and asked, “How many families would you need in order to take care of all the foster and adoption needs that we have in our county?”

The woman I was talking to laughed.

I said, “No, really, if a miracle were to take place, how many families would be sufficient to cover all the different needs you have?”

She replied, “It would be a miracle if we had 150 more families.”

When I shared this conversation with our church, over 160 families signed up to help with foster care and adoption. We don’t want even one child in our county to be without a loving home. It’s not the way of the American Dream. It doesn’t add to our comfort, prosperity, or ease. But we are discovering the indescribable joy of sacrificial love for others, and along the way we are learning more about the inexpressible wonder of God’s sacrificial love for us.

So how amazing is that?

Congratulations to Rev. Platt for choosing to follow the Master more closely, along with his congregation. I'd love to visit his church if I find myself in the area. I think I'll feel right at home. I'm pretty sure Jesus does, too. He's among friends there.

May the Peace of Christ be with you........

Here is the link to the story on CNN.

Here is the church's website:

P.S. - you'll have to copy and paste these links to your seems I've never quite learned how to make a link do the click it thing!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope each and every one of you were as blessed as we were this Christmas!!

It really boggles my mind just how lucky we are.

May God bless you as she has blessed me!!!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Wife is Amazing

One of my wife's best friends died last week. That's her on the far left in the picture. Her name was Alicia and she was an amazing person.

Alicia worked for my wife for serveral years until she got too sick to work. She was on her third round of breast cancer, which is an incidious disease.

She beat it twice but the third time, it was just too much. It spread to her brain and to her skin and bless her was simply horrible.

This past weekend, she was laid to rest. And she deserved her rest more than anyone I can ever remember.

And she was laid to rest in an elaborate ceremony.

She was black........which means that it is very different from a cultural perspective. And for those of us that were there, it was an amazing celebration.

I wish I was black sometimes so I could claim some of that because it is just so cool to me - but alas, I'm a lily white boy!

My beautiful, amazing wife stood up to speak for her friend at the funeral. Now there were many speakers and some were wonderful.........but my wife was quite simply amazing.

Her heartfelt eulogy was the best I've ever heard. She not only maintained her emotions which I know were way out of hand, she also remained dignified and classy while doing it. She brought humor, love and very important spiritual points to bear in a presentation that just blew me away.

I know that I love this woman and almost everything she is and does is amazing to me - but this was simply graceful and so full of love that it left me in tears.

I wish I could let her know how special she is to so many people. What a rare gift she is for all of us.

Yet each time I do, I am minimized because "I see her through rose-colored glasses" as she says.

Well, the truth is the truth.

My woman is amazing and I love her so much.

Merry Christmas Baby.

400 Years in the Making......

How cool is a total eclipse of the moon?

Very cool, that's how!!

I wonder if the wise men could follow that or not??

Peace on Earth folks.........Peace on Earth!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trouble Again!

Isn't this what got him in trouble in the first place??

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas....?

You know, some folks are scared of clowns and some are scared of Santa......but what in the hell is this picture.

Smooth freaking me out!

Merry Christmas???

What If It Was Real.....

Move Over........or die

Ahh yes. My old driving companion.

People call you by many names. The left lane, the passing lane, the fast lane.

It pains me to see people abuse you the way they do. Folks these days ignore the fact that you are meant for a specific purpose. Passing a slower moving vehicle or vehicles.

You are not to be cruised in. And you are CERTAINLY not to be used by the ass-hat who chooses to go 20 MPH SLOWER than everyone else around him.

You are not to be used by trucks. You are not to be used by buses.

My old friend, people have forgotten the bygone era in which you were empty for miles, only used for brief moments by those of us who caught up to a driver who was traveling slower than we. I could move into your loving embrace, make my passing maneuver and move back out into your neighboring lane, thereby allowing anyone who might be going faster than me to pass me in the same manner.

Alas, it pains me to see the abuse heaped upon you, left lane. You suffer such abuse from the humble Prius, whose driver insists upon traveling at 55 miles per hour no matter how long the line of cars behind. Ach, and the little old lady from Pasadena who thinks you are her personal lane to do with as she wishes, no matter whom she pisses off in the process.

Oh, poor fast lane. I regret that things will never be the same between us. But it is not your fault.

It's not you, it's me.

I can't stand to be stuck behind such slow-pokes. Instead, I usually drive with your lovely sister, the country back road. I did not choose her because she is more beautiful than you are, although she is. I chose her simply because she allows me to keep moving at a steady speed (most of the time) without the stop and go that you are burdened with.

Alas, my old traveling companion, we do not see each other as much as we once did. I will continue to drop in from time to time, but it will usually be when I'm on a long trip and away from that ugly traffic that scars your hide.

I just ask that you remember one thing, oh fast lane...

To me, you will always be number one...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Diner for 8!

We had a little dinner party at my house last night with some friends and I've got to say that is was just short of fabulous!

Here's what we had:

Appetizer Course

Cheese Platter (Gouda, Cheddar, Provolone)
Brie with Kahlua Pecan Glaze

served with blanc de blancs champagne

Salad Course

Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese and Grape Tomatoes
Blue Cheese Dressing

served with cakebread chardonnay

Main Course

Lebanese Herbed Lamb Kabobs with Mint Sauce and Mint Jelly Glaze
Marinated Beef Kabobs
Grilled Onions and Peppers
Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
Grilled Corn with Chipotle Chili Butter
Grilled Pineapple with Brown Sugar
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Seeds, Almonds and Molasses
Honey Buttered Sweet Bread

served with la crema pinot noir

Desert Course

Rasberry and Blueberry Cobbler with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Now I've got to also say that the "hit" of the party was the brussels sprouts with the pomegranate was the shiznitz! My wife, well, let's just say that's all she ate and she ate a bunch of it!!

I did burn the the point where it set off all the fire alarms in the house and boy was that loud! I guess that I will never out grow burning the bread!

Anyway, a good time was had by all. And even though I continually get into trouble because I spend all my time cooking and don't eat......I'll keep doing that because that's what I enjoy. If I have a dinner party, I want everyone to wake up the next morning and say "wow".

And I'm sure they did that this morning!!