Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Visitors from Holland

     Well, our friends from Holland are here!! Robert and Jordy are our favorite dutchmen and they've come to visit for a week. I of course have to work for most of their stay but I do get a day off to play. We will be going to Oaklawn to bet horses and gamble, and then if we get back early enough, to Playtime Pizza. Playtime Pizza has become a tradition, this being the third time.
     They flew in from Holland to Chicago. Of course, the weather in Chicago was bad and their flight to Little Rock was cancelled. They were able to get a flight to memphis so at midnight Monday night I drove from Little Rock to Memphis. I got there about 2:30 and Robert and Jordy got there about 2:45. Then we discovered that their luggage was still in Chicago. We left Memphis around 3:30 and had a fun trip back to Little Rock, stopping once for the bathrooms and a snack, then stopping at Wal-Mart to get socks and toothpaste since we had no luggage. We got home at about 6:15, just in time for me to wake the babies and get them started getting ready for school. Then, if you can believe it, I went to work!! Seems crazy, but in my world if I don't work, I don't get paid. Getting paid is pretty important at my house...
     I worked all day and at 10 minutes until 5 I decided to leave a little early. I realized on the way home that I had actually left at 10 til 4. I really thought it was almost 5, ha!! I got home and visited a little with the dutchmen, then after about 38 straight hours of being awake I crashed. I fell asleep on the couch and the babies couldn't even wake me up. William was also sleeping on the couch, but I was snoring so loud and so much that he had to get in bed with his mommy to go to sleep.
     The main thing is the boys are here!! After some shopping yesterday, they're going to the Zoo today and Hot Springs tomorrow. I'm not sure what the rest of the week will hold, but I do know it will be fun. I love when my Dutch friends are here. I wished they lived next door, or that airplane tickets were really cheap. One of my goals in life now, is to take my entire family to Holland. Of course the plane tickets alone would be around 5 or 6 thousand dollars!!
     Also this morning I took the dog and the goat to the vet. Serious business that! You can never take the removal of testicles lightly, even if it's on a goat. The goat doesn't see any humor in the act at all! But the goat is starting to get mean, and we can't have that. Even though the dog is 45 pounds and the goat is only 18, the goat has those dang horns so the goat wins the fights. It's funny to watch, but I worry about those horns and my kids, so off to be de-nutted. Hopefully it will calm him down.

Monday, February 14, 2011

10 steps to a happier life.

I hoped you don't mind that i conned you into reading about the ten commandments. If you dont mind, then read on..... If your offended in any way then fell free to click the "x" in the upper right corner. I'm not an expert in the field, but I've studied some and developed the following interpretations and opinions.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.
    Literally, back then, people worshipped everything. Trees, the Sun, the stars, other people....everything!!
    To me this means you should never put anything between you and God. Things like wealth, fame, new clothes, shoes or other people...God should be at the top of your priorities.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
     Again, literally, back then, people carved likenesses of whatever it was they chose to worship. A cow, or a fish, the sun etc...
     To me, this commandment stresses that nothing on earth has any true value. It's OK to have stuff for yourself as long as you don't let the acquisition of "things/idols" take the place of God.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
     A lot of people think this means you shouldn't say a certain word, which I won't repeat because my wife tells me to try not to offend people with my blogs. That just seems silly though, to use a commandment to ban a word.
     Here's what I think. I believe that God is warning us not to use our Christianity to make us feel superior to others. I think "taking the Lord's name" refers to becoming a Christian. This is a tough commandment to follow sometimes, I'm always a Christian, but I don't brag about it or expect anyone to be impressed. You shouldn't have to tell someone that you believe in God. They'll know just by how you act and live your life. Sometimes I see people praying before they eat at a restaurant. That doesn't bother me, but even Jesus said when you pray you should be alone. If you give thanks before you eat because your thankful, that's fine. If you're doing it to impress the other people in the restaurant, then I believe you're taking the Lords name in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    At one time, people seriously wouldn't work on the seventh day of the week. Back then you could get in trouble or even be killed for working on the seventh day. Jesus said that if your ox is in the mud on the sabbath you work and get it out. I think this commandment just means remember that God gave you a day to rest and you should be thankful for that. God knows that my "ox" gets in the "mud" a lot. I don't always rest on the seventh day, but I always remember that a day of rest is a gift from God.

5. Honor your father and mother.
     This is an easy one. It means treat your parents with respect. I am fortunate that I have good parents so this is simple for me. In todays world though, I see parents that make this hard for their sons and daughters to do....of course, the commandments weren't written for children to follow, they were written for adults. Any adult should be able to treat their parents with respect, no matter what kind of childhood the had. It just requires forgiveness.

6. You shall not murder.
     Simple enough. Don't commit murder. Some people read this as "you shall not kill". I don't think it's a sin to kill though, in self defense, or as a punishment for murder. It's pretty complicated if you think about it, if a guy is trying to kill you and you kill him that's not murder. If you climb up on a water tower and shoot someone at random, killing them, that IS murder.
     Also, if you think this refers to dolphins, or mussels, or a deer, well, I think you're confused. (me being nice)

7. You shall not commit adultery.
     Um, don't sleep with someone who is married to someone else. There's plenty of fish in the sea, as they say, move on....

8. You shall not steal.
     Again, an obvious one. If it's not yours, leave it alone. Stealing something is a good example for the second commandment. When you steal, you're putting that stolen object between you and God.

9. You shall not bare false witness against your neighbor.
     Some people will say, "you shall not lie." Silliness, everyone lies constantly, mostly to ourselves. If your wife asks you if her butt looks big, and it does.....lie! Nothing wrong with a lie if told properly, I think. However, you should never lie with the intention of hurting someone.

10. You shall not covet your neighbors house; you shall not covet your neighbors wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbors.
      COVET: to desire without regard to the rights of others. I think this means you shouldn't dislike or discredit other people because they have more stuff than you. Or because they have something you wish you had. If your neighbor has a nice looking donkey, you should be happy for him and maybe even tell him about it. If you want better stuff, work harder to get it. Just remember, it's only stuff. Material things rot away, but your soul is eternal. Take care of your soul.

In Matthew, Jesus broke these commandments down to just two commandments. The first four mean, "love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind". The last six mean, "Love your neighbor as yourself". Find a way to keep those two and you'll be fine.

Thanks for reading this. I've been told not to blog about religion, but this particular blog has been growing in my mind and I just wanted to get it down. I fully understand that not everyone thinks the way I do, in fact, probably no one thinks the way I do. My wife says my mind is unique (her being nice, I think). I also want to apologize if I've somehow offended someone, I honestly don't try to push my religious beliefs onto other people and I'd rather other people didn't try to force theirs onto me.

Monday, February 7, 2011


     I'd like to start this blog by saying that I strongly dislike snow. In fact, I'm not very fond of cold at all. I'd rather it was hot. I'll take 100 degrees over 20 degrees any day. My kids like snow though, and when (actually in Arkansas I should say "if") that first snow comes in the winter we all get excited. We'll play all day in that first snow. They weren't quite as excited about the second snow, and we didn't even get out in the third.
     We have a sled and a decent hill, but that only works for us if we get ice first. Sledding consists of 2 kids on the sled and me pulling a rope down the hill, trying not to let the sled run over me. Before we got a sled, we would convert the old plastic swimming pool from the summer. Swimming pools work really well on the snow, but they tear up pretty quick.
     A lot of years, we don't get any snow. That's fine with me. Arkansas is not really prepared for snow anyway. When the roads get slick here, we tend to wreck all over the place because we almost never drive in snow or ice. Apparently, most of us don't understand the laws of physics. Concepts like "an object in motion tends to stay in motion" are difficult to grasp. "I push the pedal and the car stops" is familiar to everyone though, but on ice, of course, the car doesn't stop until there is an equal but opposite force applied. That would be the other car.....
     The weather people are now predicting up to 10 inches of snow in two days. I'm sure, if we get that much, the kids will want to play in it. Of course, I'll help Winter get them bundled up and we'll get out in it and play. Then when they are almost frozen, we'll come inside and have hot chocolate. After that, it will be okay with me if it never snows again.
     It snows in every state in the U.S. except maybe Hawaii. The record snowfall for a year in Arkansas is about 3 feet. Nothing compared to the 80 feet of snow they get in Alaska, but still a lot of snow. My new favorite state is Florida. Their record snowfall for a year is about 4 inches.  I won't be moving there though because they balance the lack of snowfall with the occasional hurricane. We have a lot of tornadoes but a tornado can pass really close to your house and not do any damage at all. A hurricane covers a lot of territory.
     Oh well, let it snow. It's better than a hurricane.....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Staying up late

     The best part of growing up for me has always been deciding when I should go to bed. The vast majority of my problems as a child came from having a "bed time". I know that's kind of sad, to think that my worst childhood problem was that I has to be in bed by 9. Kids today have STD's and drugs, bullying and violence in school, and other major issues. Mine was that I hated having to go to bed every night.
     My little kids go to bed at 7. That, sometimes, seems harsh to me. Brody and William hate having a bedtime and they resist sleep with all they have every night. Just like their daddy did when he was their age....Their bedtime is 7, but they almost never go to sleep before 8 or 8:30. Sometimes it's 9 or 10 before they drop. I totally understand their point, but I also know that they have school and stuff.
    I, on the other hand, stay up way too late every night!! Why? Because I can!!! I'll go to bed when I'm by golly good and ready!! Maybe midnight, or 2am, or maybe not at all. Of course I can get myself up when I need to and get to work in the morning. Sometimes I suffer the next day, sure. But I love, and I mean love, being up late at night when everyone else is asleep. This is my "me" time. I very seldom accomplish any important tasks, mostly I just play games on Facebook. "Me" time isn't about getting things done though. It's about unwinding my brain and relaxing my soul.
     I remember clearly hating sleep. Now of course I crave it!! I have 4 children, a lovely wife and a job that requires standing and working on a concrete floor all day! Nothing that severely wears on me, but I get a good day in almost every day. Usually when I quit moving, I fall asleep. Yeah, I could lay down right now and in less than 10 minutes I'd be snoozing. But I don't HAVE to, and I love that!!
     One reason I'm up is that I snore. If I go to sleep before my dear sweet wife does, she will wake me back up just to let me know that I'm snoring. It seems that she is unable to go to sleep while listening to me snore. At the same time, I am unable to lay in bed without going to sleep. It's a catch-22 that I choose to solve by getting online until I'm sure she's asleep, then sneaking into bed. It works out fine and everyone's happy.
     My refusal to go to sleep at a decent hour may seem immature. It probably is immature. My immaturity is just one of the many things that make me so cute, though. For me, being sleepy just isn't a good enough reason to go to sleep. Just like being full isn't a good enough reason to stop eating. I prefer to eat until it hurts, and then stay up until I'm about to pass out. Simply because I'm in charge around here.....of me.....sometimes.....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Being a dad

     The person I least want to disappoint is my dad. His approval is very important to me and I remember every time he ever told me that he was proud of me. My dad drove a truck and he was on the road a lot, usually just home on the weekends. I think, because of that, my sister and I are closer to our mother. We both love and admire our dad though. He's been an excellent provider and gave us everything we needed in life.
    Probably the most important thing my dad taught me was responsibility. Even when we were little, dad would say "don't let other kids do your thinking for you."
    Now I have four kids of my own. I don't feel like I'm bragging when I say that I'm a pretty good dad myself. Since each of my kid's were born, I've been involved in every aspect of their lives. When they were babies, if they woke up in the night, I got them. I would take them to their mommy and she would feed them, then I would change a diaper and rock them back to sleep. Even now, when my kids wake up at night they call for me. I do my best to teach them responsibility like my dad taught me. It's not as easy as you might think, but they're catching on.  Mainly I teach by example, I work hard and love my family openly. I have tons of hugs and kisses always at the ready.
     I worry because so many kids today don't have a dad in their life. Mothers amaze me, especially single mothers. One of the first thing that amazed me about my wife was the fact that she lived alone with her son. She worked every day and got the bills paid and her boy was healthy and happy. She sacrificed so much in his first few years, and I just couldn't imagine how she made it all work out. It may just be my ignorance, but I see kids all the time and think, "that kid needs a daddy!"
     If you're a dad but not involved in your child's life, please be aware that they need you. Even if you can't get along with their mom anymore, you're children still need to learn all the things that a good dad has to offer. Responsibility for their actions, a good work ethic (I know, Moms can teach this too!!), and how to love themselves and others. Of course, all kids need someone to wrestle with. In my experience, Mom's suck at wrestling. That always ends with Mom pretending you hurt her.
     I'm not the best dad, and I'm still learning how to be a good husband, but I try to be the best dad every day. On really good days I AM the best dad. Hopefully my children will someday look back and think that of me. Maybe on of them will let me live with them when I'm old, instead of putting me in a home.....