Monday, November 30, 2009


One of my favorite things about this blogging stuff is that you never know who is reading. Since I’m sure there are some TOTP readers who may not know it yet, I’d like to announce that my wife, aka “Fertile Myrtle”, is due to deliver our fourth kid in June. My intuition tells me that this one is a boy. Not because we were “trying to have a boy”, or would be disappointed with another girl. The signs have just been there, including the clincher today. You see, my sister is pregnant too and I figured since we were having kids so close together that they would both be of the male gender. My sister just called and confirmed my suspicion, so now I can officially post this post.

This post is also to introduce a new feature here at TOTP. I think I’ll call it Song of the Week. I know that I’ve posted songs on here before, but I’m going to do my best to post a good one every Monday. Please chastise me if I ever shirk the task.

In tribute to John and Sheila’s news and to all the other new or want to be parents out there, here is Brad Paisley’s “Anything Like Me”.

I hope you like it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fall Outing

There was frost on the ground when we got up Wednesday morning, but the sun was shining and I didn't have to go to work until later that afternoon so I took Jones and Georgia on an outdoor adventure.
We went to Miller Springs, where water from Belton Lake is released through the dam and moves on down the Leon river. Because of the rains we've had over the last month they were releasing at a pretty good clip. You can see the current moving in the pictures.
This was the best outing I've ever had taking both of the girls at the same time. No fussing, fighting, arguing, or complaining. Georgia cried once when she got her hook stuck in her thumb, but I might have done the same under similar circumstances.
The sun warmed things up and created a beautiful fall day. We saw buzzards, blue herons, and cardinals. We snacked on apples, muffins, M&Ms, popcorn, animal crackers, and kool-aid. We found a giant tree that was so tall it went "all the way to the top of the sky!" Georgia collected rocks. Jones collected snails and crickets. We even caught a catfish that we took home for our lunch.
Good times.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Great Romance

Let me start by confessing that I believe in the Providence of the Lord.

In 2001 I moved to Nashville to work for Aquinas College, a small Catholic school run by a congregation of Dominican sisters.
I wasn’t sure what to expect being around a bunch of nuns. I soon learned that rather than a bunch of spinsters or ugly girls who didn’t have much choice in the matter of celibacy, these were women who lived their earthly life as the bride of Christ. It was like they couldn’t wait for the trumpets so they just eloped. It wasn’t that they shunned marriage or motherhood. To the contrary, I often saw them elated to the point of giddiness with news of romances or in the presence of children (especially babies).
Sadly one of the older sisters, the chair of the Education Dept, died unexpectedly that winter. I went to the convent for the funeral and was taken aback to see her open casket in the middle of the sanctuary of the convent. There she was laying there with a copy of the vows she had taken some 50 years earlier rolled and held tightly in her hand. She had remained true to her beloved and had gone to join Him in the by and by.

A couple of months later, just before I moved back home to Texas, I went to see Derek Webb perform at 12th and Porter and heard his song “Wedding Dress” for the first time. (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the song there is a Utube link below) It is a song sung with lamentation and confession that really convicted me that night, at a time in my life when I was concerned with the path of my life, unsure of my career choice and my future.

In 2002 I moved back to Texas, met Leslie, wooed her, and proposed. Of course she said yes. It was around this time that Latayne Scott released her book, "Shout of the Bridegroom", that she co-wrote with R. Glenn Greenwood. For me, as a betrothed man, this book came at just the right time. It made me see the story of Jesus and his love, his wooing, and redemption of His church as the bride of Christ in a new light. It was like the book was watering the seeds of thought that had been planted during my time in Nashville. So much so that our chosen wedding vows, which we borrowed from a Catholic ceremony and Dan Scott did an outstanding job administering, highlighted the parallel of our marriage covenant to the covenant relationship of Jesus and His bride, the church.

2008- I read Francine Rivers’ “Heart of the Lion” trilogy which led me to read her book, "Redeeming Love". I highly recommend all four books.

2009- In my previous post I mentioned that I’ve been reading Ted Dekker’s Books of History. I just finished White, and through these books I have once again been reminded of “The Great Romance”: That Christ pursues us, woos us, and rescues us to take us home and show us off as His bride, “blameless in His sight” to the Father. If you haven’t read the Circle Trilogy you should.

My point is: In the same way the Passover lamb was a reflection of Jesus hundreds of years before His sacrifice, our ‘till death parts us marriage covenants here are representations of our eternal marriage covenant with Jesus. It’s a lesson that has been pointed out to me again and again since 2001. I hope that you will think on it, that your marriages will be enriched by it, and that you will see your relationship with Jesus in light of it.

For more on representational thought or to get your copy of any of Latayne’s books please visit her website. (link in the sidebar)

To hear Derek Webb’s “Wedding Dress” click here->

I’ll close with the words from verse 3 of “The Love of God”, a song from 1917 that I never had heard until just a few years ago…..

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the earth of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forever more endure
The saints and angels song.

FM Lehman

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street

Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary was today and we celebrated by going to Rosa's for taco Tuesday and then to the Mayborn Planetarium in Killeen. The Planetarium featured a free 30 minute show with Elmo, Big Bird, and a new Chinese character Ming Ming Choo or Zhu Zhu Choo (or something like that). Annie snuggled up wanting to go to sleep when the lights went out, but was mesmerized by the size of the screen and by seeing Elmo. She stayed awake for the entire show. Jones sang along, Georgia danced and Madalyn eagerly clapped and pointed at Elmo. It was also a great educational video too. Lots of counting, naming stars and learning words in Chinese. Georgia can tell you all about the Big Dipper now. On the way out, everyone received an Elmo doll wearing a book backpack. Annie did not want to leave. She stayed at the door, knocking on the door, saying Elmo, Elmo, go in, Elmo. So precious.

Justin is not a big fan of Annie's big bow. I think it's adorable. Any opinions out there?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Morning

After a month of working only 3 or 4 times a week as a switchman in the freight yard I've been back working on the road at a frantic pace for these last three weeks and haven't spent much time near the computer(or home). But this morning I'm at the hotel in Ft Worth with no wife to wrestle, kids to pester, breakfast to cook, or fish to catch and thought I'd sit down and doodle on this keyboard in the "business center." I know doodling is not the right word, but what do you call it when it's a keyboard instead of a pen?

More work means more money but less fishing time. Some would call that a catch 22, but I don't. I've never read the book, so I don't feel that I should just borrow its title because I think I know what it means. I also don't know why people call trash cans, "File 13". It's kind of annoying, but I'm easily annoyed. I also don't like the phrase, "We've been playing phone tag."

Among the books I've never read, but plan to read: Catch 22, Moby Dick, Swiss Family Robinson

I've been reading Ted Dekker's Books of History over the last few weeks. I've read Saint, Black, Red, and Showdown in that order. I plan on reading White next, then Sinner and Green. He is a fantastic storyteller. His books are fiction, yet full of truth.

Woody came down last weekend for a fishing adventure. He had to leave after lunch on Saturday, so we left the house at 3:30 to allow for a full morning of fishing.
4:00 am..42 degrees..full moon --We ran about 3 miles across the lake, caught bait, put out some jugs. We were going to crank up and go to a different spot to rod and reel fish, but my motor wouldn't start. I've had the motor for almost a year and never had any trouble with it. We made the most of a bad situation and ate our breakfast of vienna sausages, Fritos, and bean dip. We fished where we were for the rest of the morning but only caught a couple. I had a full charge on the trolling moter battery so we made it to another park. My dear wife came to our rescue and then we had lunch at the Mexican joint.
A few days ago I had the time to do some tinkering (I am not a mechanic) and changed out the spark plugs and lower unit oil. I took it to the ramp for a test and it fired up on the first pull. Ran better than ever.

Annie say's "I do!" whenever someone asks a Who wants... question. She has the best little girl voice. Makes me smile. She can walk up my legs while holding my hands and do those flips now too.

We don't have any guests lined up for Thanksgiving, so I'm extending the invite to all of you TOTP readers. RSVP in the comments section.

I'll post again soon. On the merits of country music.
Until then... "Grab your partner, pat her on the head. If she don't like biscuits, feed her cornbread."
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