Monday, August 31, 2009

Mimi and Lake fun

Monday morning the girls were surprised by a visit from Mimi! The girls played with Mimi at the house while I went to the gym and Justin ran errands. Then we took a picnic to the lake and enjoyed the cooler weather(95), the water, the food and the company!

1.Mimi and Jones

2.Justin and Annie


4.Justin, Jones and Georgia


Friday, August 28, 2009


Annie is 18 months old! Can you believe it? She weighs 20 lbs and is 31.25 inches. She is a climber, a singer, a jumper, and a dancer. She is fearless. Her favorite words are Georgia, mine, no/yes, up/down,and MAMA. She will tell DADDY hi and bye bye on the phone. She will have a conversation on her toy phone. If we can't find Annie, the first place we check is in front of the bookshelf. She loves to read. Annie loves her sisters and loves to do what they do. We love you Annie!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Bert Green was from the other side of town. We began competing against each other in YMCA basketball when we were in the 3rd grade and developed an animosity toward each other as 9 year olds. I didn’t like him. He didn’t like me. This rivalry continued into junior high. He was a Lee Rebel. I was a Lincoln Brave. That’s right, the president of the Union vs. the Confederate General.
When I was in the 8th grade, his mom got a job at Lincoln. As luck would have it, she was my Literature teacher. I didn’t like her. She was the mother of the enemy. My dislike for him increased. He was not only my athletic opponent; he was also the son of a bad teacher. It became a vicious cycle of dislike.
Our high schools didn’t compete against each other so during those years I found new enemies in far off places like Andrews and Big Spring, but Bert and I were destined to cross paths again.
I decided to follow Jesus when I was a sophomore (wise fool). Sometime during the next year I was attending a Christian youth rally and, much to my chagrin, Bert was in attendance. Turned out he was a Jesus lover too. I had a hard time reconciling this in my mind. I had only recently read the part where Jesus said “love your enemies” and there was one of them right in front of me. Was I really supposed to love him? I’d like to say that I called him brother, shook his hand, and went away friends with the guy, but I can’t. I “merely listened to the Word”, but didn’t “do what it said.”
That the experience humbled me, but it wasn’t the last time that I would judge someone as “good for nothin’” only to find out that Jesus saw value in them and was working in their lives.

I don’t remember how the subject came up, but sometime when Ryan and I were living in Nashville we began discussing King Solomon and whether he was damned to hell or reconciled with the Lord in heaven. Ryan (as he did in the comments section 3 posts ago) said that Solomon was in hell. I thought that since he had contributed to a chunk of the Bible that he must have made it through the pearly gates. I had always seen him as a friend while Ryan had viewed him as a traitor to the Lord. What do you think? Did Solomon forsake the love and eternal life found in the Lord when he took all of those foreign wives and their foreign gods or did he return to the arms of Jehovah in repentance? Will you see him in heaven?

I doubt that any believers reading this would question the eternal abode of St. Paul. I know he must be a citizen of heaven and I respect the work he did and his apostleship, but I’ve always felt that he was arrogant and no fun. From what I know of the two men I think I would rather hang out with Solomon than Paul.

I’ve found myself making excuses for Willie Nelson while condemning rap stars for similar transgressions.
J. Walling has probably led lots of folks to the Lord, but he made me mad one time and I haven’t respected him since.
God let Elijah shame and smite the priests of Baal, but chastised Jonah when he questioned God’s love of the Ninevites.
Please add your own contributions to this list of paradoxes in the comments section.

I believe in both the glory and pleasures of heaven and the eternal torment of hell. I believe that every soul will end up in one or the other. I know and am relieved that it is not me or any other man who decides who ends up where.

I tried to know every mystery,
But soon realized no,
It was too much for me.
Because most things true
Are simple and complex,
So it is with you.
What else should I expect?

Caedmon’s Call

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Railroad Girls

Our dear friend, Jamie, took some fabulous pictures of the girls today. She has taken photos on the tracks of her kids from the time they were small to their graduation. I really liked the sentimentality of the picture.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Jones started preschool off with a kolache, doughnut holes, and strawberry milk. Could life get any better? She did great and so did I. No tears. We love you Jones.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Barton Springs Pool

We met Andrea, Luis, MiKayla, and Ethan in Austin at Barton Springs Pool to celebrate MiKayla's 9th birthday. The water was cold and the rocks were mossy, but we had a fun time in the sun!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Take on New Mothers and Parenthood (abridged)

“Look! He’s smiling,” the new mother says to you.
“I think it’s just gas,” you say and you know it is.
“No. I was tickling him like this….and he smiled at me!”
Then you smell it and you know she has to smell it too, but instead of saying, “I told you so,” you say, “Well, maybe he did,” and leave it at that. After all, he probably did produce a smile as you yourself have been known to do at a good bit of flatulence. Later you hear her on the phone with her mother telling about this milestone moment that, according to the What to Expect book, wasn’t due to occur for three more weeks.

I like watching new parents delight in the developmental milestones of their kids. Even the ones they make up. The first year of our children’s lives we get excited about everything. Blogs and photo albums document baby’s first smiles (when the real deal comes you know it isn’t gas), rolling over, first cereal, first steps, and first words. I remember the wife of a friend (a TOTP subscriber) talking excitedly about her kid bringing his hands to midline. Looked like clapping to me.
I sometimes catch myself thinking disparagingly, “Good grief, woman, don’t you know they’re supposed to be doing that. It’s normal! Your kid is just normal! Maybe even a month or so behind on that one.” Then I realize that I get excited over my kids normal stuff too. It is as it should be. Some parents don’t, and that is sad.

“Hey, Mom, what should I do when……?”
“I don’t know. Is that normal? What do you think?”
“I don’t know, Mom! That’s why I called you!

“Hey, Mom, what did you do when I…..?”
“I don’t remember. That was a long time ago.”

“Mom, don’t lay her down on her tummy! SIDS, Mom!!! SIDS!!!”
“Oh. Well. That’s the way you slept. What’s a sid? I don’t think we had those when you were a baby.”
“I don’t know how I survived to adulthood! But just so you know, they say you should only lay them on their backs to sleep.”
“But, what if she spits up in her sleep and chokes on it?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t think about that. Maybe I should just stay up and hold her while she sleeps.”

I realized after I became a father that my mother and my mother-in-law had raised two kids each and that all four had turned out okay, but that of the billions of children in the history of humanity they had only raised four of them; That though they had over 55 years of combined parenting experience they only had a few weeks of newborn parent experience; That a lot of what were “dos” during the late 1970’s were “don’ts” in the mid 2000’s.
I remember being at the Walgreen’s with Leslie’s mom just before we were to go home with Jonesy when she said, “Don’t you think you need some nursery water?” I’d only known the woman for a couple of years, but I knew her well enough to know that her commands were issued in the form of questions.
“Umm. Okay,” I said as I picked up a gallon. I wasn’t sure what it was for, but I was sure that she must know since she suggested it. I checked the ingredients label and it was just high priced water. She never got around to telling me what to do with it so it just sat in the pantry for a few months and then I made high priced ice out of it.
The thing to do is just do it like Christy Lane, one day at a time sweet Jesus. Learn as you go. By the time you get something figured out the child is out of that phase and into the next. The best you can do is try to remember what you learned when the next one comes.

A new mom is a sucker for good marketing. For $8.29 she can buy a plastic duck that holds rolls of blue plastic bags ($4.59 on the same shelf) for disposing of stinky diapers. So handy when you are on the go and the duck is so cute! By the time the kid gets big enough to dig in the diaper bag and unroll the deadly blue bags (suffocation hazard) all over the place she realizes that the duck isn’t really that cute and that the same Wal-Mart that sold her the duck gives away free plastic bags with every purchase.
Like a lot of new parents, we received lots of great things as gifts and were grateful for them, but Leslie and I kept in mind what Dr. Furman said at our last appointment before Jonesy was born: “Don’t worry about it. All you need is diapers and Desitin. The rest is just fluff.”
Well, we tried to keep it in mind. Now we mostly keep it in floor. I trip over lots of fluff everyday.
I’ve leaned a few things though…..
A hand-me-down crib sleeps the same as a $100 one, and a $1000 one.
Shoes on a newborn are non-functional, but new mothers insist on them and get upset when one goes missing.
New moms are convinced that Mozart will make their kid a math whiz. The truth is that he wrote some good stuff, but BabyEinstein is making more money off of it than Wolfgang ever did.
New moms complain about no sleep, but won’t sleep when they can. Why spend all of that time, money, and energy fixing up the nursery if you aren’t going to let the kid sleep in there? Wouldn’t you like to make more?

I’m not an expert, but neither are most of the contributors to Parent’s Magazine, so I’ll conclude with my own list of sound advice for new mothers and fathers. Most of it is commonsensical, but like golf and rock climbing, parenting is not complicated just difficult.

•He’ll eat when he gets hungry.
•Let her cry it out.
•You can take him to the pediatrician to get a prescription and it will clear up in about a week, or you can let it run its course and it will clear up in about a week.
•Leave him alone and let him figure it out.
•Don’t pick her up every time she falls.
•Not only spanking, but a busted lip, shots, and saying no to McDonald’s are harder on you than they are on the kid.
•Kids are so called because, like goats, they will put anything in their mouths and try to eat it. Don’t let it surprise you.
•You can’t use logic to reason with or persuade someone who is being illogical. Toddlers are never logical. Neither are women 72% of the time.
•Lots of things could harm or even be deadly to your child, but it’s pretty unlikely that the things you worry most about will hurt them.
•Instead of crying because your baby girl keeps pulling her bows out of her hair, just dress her in pink and most folks will assume that she’s a she.
•Instead of emasculating him by making him squat and instead of crying because your little boy pisses all over the floor and walls of the bathroom, send him outside and let him work on his aim.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Precious Silver and Gold

Here is the conversation I heard today coming out of the girls bathroom:

Georgia: Hi, My name is Silver and I am getting baptized today and tomorrow I am going to Sea World to ride the Shamu roller coaster. I believe Jesus is baptizin' me and Jesus is the Son of God of the whole world.
Jones: What is your name?
G: Silver
J: What is your last name?
G: Gold
J: what is your middle name?
G: Scott Seela
J: And you want to be baptized today?
G: Yes, Jesus is the Son of God
G: But, when my mom comes to get me from class, I need to go home.

Now the funny part of this is that you are probably assuming they are in the bathtub, but you are wrong. They are on their separate toilets having this conversation between themselves while doing their business.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still Is Still Moving To Me

Long time, no blog. I offer my sincere apologies to my loyal subscribers. As an act of contrition in an effort to maintain reader loyalty, the billing department here at TOTP will be prorating your August bill and most subscribers should see a discount of about 39%. For those of you who have been reading without paying, you are breaking commandment #8. You can send $19.76 to my paypal account or a blank check to the address below.
My lack of posting has not been from a lack of material, but rather from an abundance of it and a case of indecision on my part as to which topic to write about. Also, during Nathan’s visit, he challenged me be a little more narrative in my writing and I told him I would do my best. His challenge has caused me to think a little more about what I am writing and how I am writing it.

Soon to come on Time of the Preacher:
Will You See Solomon in Heaven?
New Parent Syndrome: What it is and how to deal with it.
Things My Kids Say Funny, Part III
A series of scenes from my childhood.
A series profiling some of our subscribers.

Please let me know which of these you’d like to see first

Time of the Preacher
Justin Brown, Editor in Chief
1722 Oak Chase Trail
Temple, TX 76502

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dahlstrom's Visit

Nathan, Missy, Soren, Liv, Annabelle and Troy (friend from NY) came Thursday night to Sunday to see us! We had a fantastic time. All the girls got along great, and Troy was a terrific helper and gentleman. Thursday night, Missy and I closed Target, picked up a Sonic drink and headed out to the lake. On Friday, we all went to the Dr Pepper Museum, The Texas Ranger Museum, played in the rain(yippee)and we had a couples date out to dinner and bingo(thanks, Troy!). Saturday morning Justin and Nathan went fishing, the girls tried the splash pad, after lunch Missy and I went shopping while everyone else took a nap and then we were all off the lake! Sunday was church and lunch and the Dahlstrom's headed home. We had lots of laughs and lots of fun! Thanks for coming. We enjoy your company and are blessed by your friendship!

P.S. Check out the slideshow for more pictures.

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