Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jones ~5th birthday

Week Jan. 7-14, 2010
Jones spread her birthday celebration out for a week. She took cupcakes to school the Thursday before her birthday, Sunday she opened her family presents and picked a restaurant to eat lunch, the Thursday after her birthday she was treated to a surprise party. Gran-nola and Mimi came to town, Jamie H., and her friends from church and preschool met us at Burger King for the surprise. I think she was excited about having a surprise, but didn't really know what all was involved. As I was pulling into the BK parking lot, I had made the excuse that I needed to go to the bathroom and maybe we could play for a bit. That night it was really bothering her that I lied. Bad Mom feeling moment. Justin and I both tried to explain this one to her. Also, she didn't like that everyone yelled "Surprise, Happy Birthday Jones". She didn't understand and didn't like that they yelled. Ugh. But in the end she did have a lot of fun.
Happy birthday to our princess of style.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Husband Rocks~Van

God has been taking good care of us! I have been to three different Firestones in the past month. The first for a balance and rotation. Afterwards they told me I needed struts. The second time was to the Belton Firestone because the quoted me a cheaper price for the struts, but they said my struts were fine and not needing to be replaced. The third time was in Amarillo. I went in for a low tire and there was a nail in it, but they had taken all my tires off and told me I needed new brake pads. I called Justin and we declined. Justin drove the van this past Sunday and said he thought we might check out the brakes. Justin took my van in to Just Brakes on Tuesday for them to check it out for new brakes and it turns out I did need new brakes plus other stuff! The outer tie rods were extremely loose, the axle was worn, (calipers) pistons were sticking, the cylinders were leaking, and the drums, rotors, shoes and pads were also replaced. Most of the repairs were on the right side. I had been braking with the left front, partial right front, left rear and none on the right rear and we were close to having a wheel break. We are still having to watch for the ABS light and I have to brake carefully and pretty far back. Apparently they clean off all the sensors it is throwing the ABS a little. But, they assured me it was safe to drive. Next Tuesday I will get a new windshield so the van will passs inspection next month. And to think that we had been to Austin, Amarillo, and Odessa/San Angelo. Yikes and Whew. Thank you God for protecting this family!

So, all of this to say, Thank you Justin for taking care of the van issues that are required to keep us legal and safe! I love you.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Reader Profile #5

The subject of this Reader Profile been an acquaintance of mine for about 15 years, but I have to admit that I never knew her very well, and I don’t think I’ve seen her live and in person since my sister’s wedding over seven years ago. When I was in college I thought of Larissa as Suzanne’s sister. For the last decade I’d thought of her as my sister’s friend.
Then, a couple of years ago, in the wide weird world of blogging where one blog can lead you to another, like a slow version of fasebook I guess, I stumbled across Larissa’s blog and began reading. I had heard bits and pieces about what was going on in her life over the years, but through reading her blog I feel like I got to know her better than I ever did during the years that I was in Lubbock. She became Larissa in my mind rather than just Suzanne’s sister, Jack’s daughter, or Sheila’s friend.
I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t know too many details, but shortly before I began keeping up with her through her blog, Larissa found herself a divorced mother of three young children, one of them a brand new baby. I have been impressed by her tenacity and inspired by her faith. She has been honest without being whiney. She has been real with herself and with her readers about her circumstances.

I confess that I am often too quick to judge and too lacking in compassion. I’m frequently frustrated with what I see as the glorification of single parenthood in the media. In the wake of hurricanes, the economic depression, or “the health care crisis” I’ve seen countless human interest stories focusing on a single mother in crisis, with blame being pointed at employers, schools, government programs or lack thereof, etc. while her status as a single mother is portrayed as something to be admired rather than as a contributor to the severity of the predicament.
Rarely is it ever mentioned that a two parent household would be better able to handle the tribulation. Blame is seldom placed on the bum who is absent, isn’t there to lead and shelter his family through the storm. Nor do the media question or find any fault in the sexual behavior of a never married woman having multiple children by different men. It makes my blood boil and I point at the TV with lots of should’ve, could’ve, would’ve statements.
Reading Larissa’s blog and learning more about her situation has taught me to be more compassionate about situations as they are, rather than just pointing out mistakes of someone’s past. I’m glad to tell you that she has found a good man and proud to say that they were married a few weeks ago (Bro. John performed the ceremony) and are doing well.

From one of her recent posts:

“I can't explain how awesome it is to feel like a family. To have a partnership between two people who have a common goal to raise 3 children to project them as thriving Christians into society. That is after all what parenting is supposed to be, right? I'm thankful for the man who allows me to mother again. I had lost that. I loved being a mother, but somewhere along the way when I was trying to wear so many hats as a single mom, the one that I didn't get to wear as much was the one I missed the most; being a mother. I love to nurture. I love to cook for my family. I love to prepare them for school. I love to teach them. I love to be tender with them. I love to laugh with them. Barrett gave me that role back.”

Monday, February 15, 2010

In serendipity

For those of you who don't know... I am not a real preacher, I only play one on the internet. The name of this blog is taken from a song off of Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger album.
But Scott Meyer is a real preacher. A good one. A professional. Yesterday he gave One of the best sermons I've ever heard on Ephesians 5. It would be well worth your time to give it a listen.

Masterpiece: Submit from Western Hills on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In response...

I couldn't get this Utube clip to post in the comments section from the Marital Bliss post. Jerry Clower makes me laugh so I'll allow his telling of his encounter with Gloria Steinem serve as my response to my Libber friend.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Husband Rocks

My husband is incredibly awesome everyday, but especially this week!Tuesday night he was at work. About midnight I was so sick. He came home at 4am, I got up with the girls at 6:30, and then he got up at 11am. He took the girls to the store with him to get me some Gatorade, Sprite and crackers. He had a lunch date with his girls and when he got home I went to bed. I slept from 2 until after 6. He played the girls all afternoon and took them to church that evening. Thursday morning I took Jones to school and then took another nap when I got home. Justin cooked us lunch, homemade chicken pot pie, and then he went to work. Thursday night I received flowers that were delivered to our house. Thank you doesn't really seem like enough to say!

I tell this past week story to tell you, Justin, how much I truly love you, admire you, respect you, and am so thankful for you being my husband and father to our precious children. Thank you for being selfless when you work in the rain, in the cold, in the heat and at all hours of the day and night. I am so grateful to be able to stay at home with our children and help raise them in a Christian home with a godly man. I respect all the ways you lead this family and that you are head of this house. I want to thank you for all the times you cook and clean for me. And the times you let me sleep in late on the mornings when you are home. You are my logic and my sounding board. My confidant and best friend. I am so glad that you wooed me and won my affection seven years ago. And I cherish that you will love me today and tomorrow. I am blessed to love you, to serve you, to care for you, and to have and to hold you. I excitedly await to see where the next 54 years lead us. I am so glad that you are tattoo sure of me!
Thank you for the flowers.
I love you!
Your wife,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On marital success

Leslie and I have a book called Love Talk Starters that I highly recommend.  You can get it on amazon for less than $5.  It’s not a preachy book full of chapters of advice.  It’s just a small paperback full of prompts and one sentence questions that can really help you to get to know your esposa better.  We’ve been taking this book with us on road trips for several years so we have gotten into the habit of discussing each other and our marriage when we travel.  We had the book with us on our trip to Odessa last weekend and, since we were traveling to celebrate my grandparents’ 60th anniversary, marriages (ours and everyone else’s) and marital issues were on our minds and dominated most of our conversations. 

As the party was winding down Bro. John asked my grandmother if she had any advice for the rest of us.  At first she kind of shrugged it off and then a couple of minutes later she said (as best I can remember),

“Seriously, John, I was only 16 years old when we got married and was still living at home.  I went from telling my daddy, “Yes, Sir.” to telling granddaddy, “Yes, Sir.”  It wasn’t that much different.  I just did what he told me to do.  Our relationship was never really 50/50.  So many women these days were raised being taught that that’s the way that things ought to be.  That she should have a career and make just as much money and have just as much say so as her husband.  I had four boys never raised a daughter so I don’t know if I would have raised a daughter that way or not.  I never had to make that decision…
It wasn’t always easy, but Granddaddy always provided for us and we just took care of each other.”

Some one else may have heard a woman describing how she never got to spread her wings and fly, that she’s been under a man’s thumb her entire life, that her sixty years of marriage were sixty years of bondage and oppression.

What I heard was an honest answer to the question that was asked, “What is your secret for staying married so long?  Do you have any advice for the rest of us?”
What I heard was a personalized version of the verses from the fifth chapter of Ephesians.  “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord…..Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her …..`For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.`  This is a profound mystery…..”
On our way home as we continued our conversations about marriage, Leslie and I were talking about Grandmother’s advice and how we wanted our children to be wise in choosing whom to marry.  How we want our girls to find husbands that will love and provide for them and be worthy of being submitted to, and that West will grow up with the expectation that he is to lovingly protect and provide for his wife and family.

And finally, all of that brings us to the song of the week.  I remember sitting in class (I was a social work major in class with a bunch of libbers) when the teacher said that she had heard this song on the radio and that it was just awful and so offensive to women.  I couldn’t hold my tongue and told her that I disagreed, and it made me smile every time I heard it because it made me think of both sets of my grandparents.  I told her to look at the title of the song, “It Works.”  It may seem like foolishness and some folks might not like it, but It Works.
As always, whether you agree or disagree, your comments are welcome.

“It Works”

He rattles his glass, she jumps up fast
And pours him a glass of tea
Deep in her heart she believes
That's the way it should be
Yeah, and I've seen my dad get fightin' mad
Over one little four-letter word
He'll tell you fast you don't talk like that around her

We may not see it the way they see it
We may not do it the way they do it
But she lives here life for him
And he'd gladly die for her
And even in this modern age, it works

Though he's been down in his back
He still jumps out of that sack
Every morning at 5 a.m. Having her home
With the kids has been worth it to him
Yeah, and she takes pride in being his wife
And making their house a home
And sometimes she wishes the world
Would just leave them alone

If the good Lord's willing there will come a day
When our children will say…

Even in this modern age, it works...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On the Road Again...

Business is continuing to improve. I’m working as an engineer on the road again. Sure beats being a switchman in the freight yard. The work is easier, it’s not wet and cold, and it pays better.
I’ve got a week of vacation coming in March. Nathan is going to come down and go camping and fishing with me for a few days.
We traveled to Odessa last weekend to celebrate my Grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. More on that in an upcoming post.
Leslie has been sick since last night. Coming out both ends. She’s pretty miserable and has been laid up in bed today. Please pray that she feels better tomorrow as I will probably be on my way to FtWorth and she’ll be solo with the girls.
I wish global warming had been real and not a myth. This cold and damp has me downright despondent.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

You don't have to call me darlin, darlin'.

I’ve been a blogging slacker and I apologize.

Things have picked up at work and I’m no longer in danger of being furloughed. In fact, they’ve recalled some guys that have been cut off for a year now. I’m still not holding the job that I’d prefer, but I’m working and thankful for it.

I’ve been working on the railroad for 6 years now. I know a lot of people still wonder why I went to work there in the first place and/or why I’m still there. Well, being so close to being out of a job made me think long and hard about it and some of the answers are……..
The pay and benefits are good.
Americana. I work for a company that is over 150 years old and was instrumental in the settlement of the Western part of our nation. I take pride in being a part of what keeps America moving.
I don’t sit inside all day everyday.
I don’t think I could handle the rut and routine of a Mon-Fri, 8-5 job. I know my schedule makes it difficult to plan things with other people, but it really works well for our family.
I get to fish, grocery shop, and run my errands during the week when everyone else is at work.
I don’t have to work with many women. You can be offended by that if you want to, but I believe that it makes my days less stressful than they would be otherwise and makes me better appreciate the company of my wife when I’m home.
I wear what I want.
I get to work on and around trains. I’m not a rail enthusiast or anything, but what little boy wouldn’t get excited if you told him that when he grew up he would get to work on the railroad, ringing the bell, blowing the horn, driving a train?

So this week’s song is Steve Goodman’s “City of New Orleans” performed by Willie and the Highwaymen. Yes, THAT Steve Goodman from the line “A friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song."  He not only wrote the perfect country and western song, he also wrote the perfect railroad song.
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