Monday, March 30, 2009

Command & Conquer 2

I'm so excited about the deal that‘s coming this weekend at Texas Speedway, and since Elisabeth’s eyes glaze over when I share my stats with her, I have to get this out of my system here... :)

Mark Martin at intermediate tracks
221 - the number of top ten finishes he has
139 - the number of top five finishes he has
18 - the number of wins he has

The last two weeks
6th at Bristol
7th at Martinsville
7 - the number of spots he has gained in the points
27th - where he currently is in the standings
He’s on a roll!

TOTAL wins in his career = 35
plus 48 wins in Nationwide and 7 in the truck series

So all together he has 90 wins!

And now I get to prepare for Texas...

Mark Martin - at Texas
8 - the number of top ten finishes he has
5 - the number of top five finishes he has
1 - the number of wins he has

Plus he has won 5 IROC races, come in 2nd in points 4 times, and has the experience of driving in NASCAR since 1981.

I will definitely be eating cereal to support his sponsor - no fear there. Even if I didn't like frosted mini wheats, I would still do this to support Mark Martin (#5 driving for Kelloggs). Anyway I look at this, he’ll come out the winner!!!

Guest post by Chris

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Command & Conquer

I'm so excited about the deal I got this morning at Harris Teeter, and since Chris' eyes glaze over when I recount my exploits to him, I have to get this out of my system here... :)

1st transaction -
8 boxes frosted mini wheats
1 box honeycomb cereal
worcestershire sauce
frank's red hot sauce
mentos gum
airheads candy (6 pk)
cracked wheat italian bread (which I got sliced to make sandwiches with)
rhodes frozen dinner rolls
6 cans pillsbury grands biscuits
1 bag reduced apples
1 bag reduced nectarines
TOTAL I paid = $5.38
plus 3 coupons for free milk and a mail-in form for $10 from Kelloggs

So now I had to go use my free coupons for milk...

2nd transaction -
8 boxes frosted mini wheats
3 gallons organic milk
TOTAL I paid = $6.15
plus 3 more coupons for free milk and a mail-in form for $10 from Kelloggs

Plus I can cut out 5 tokens from my mini wheats boxes and send in for a free DVD.

So all together I paid $11.53 for everything!

We will definitely eat all this cereal - no fear there. Even if we didn't like frosted mini wheats, I would still do this to make the money ($20 back from Kelloggs) and I could donate the cereal. Anyway I look at this, I come out the winner!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Center of the Universe

Just in case you didn't know, I am the center of the universe.

Now you're mad at me because you think I'm wrong, but I'm telling you, I am the center of the universe.

Okay, so maybe I'm not really the center of the universe, but I know someone who does think so:
To Autumn, I am the center of the universe. I realized that the other day. It's funny and sweet how her moods change depending on whether I'm paying attention to her, holding her, talking to her, feeding her, or just being in the same room as her. And when I'm not doing any of those things, then she lets me know of her displeasure. Which, in reality, shows that she is the center of the universe. So as far as she's concerned, it's all about her which means it's all about me. Thinking this through is starting to hurt my brain. But it does reinforce my personal opinion and belief that all humans are at the core very selfish beings.

I mean, really, most of what I do or think is based on selfishness. Why do I buy ice cream? Because I want it. Why do I get mad at other drivers? Because they're not driving the way I think they should. Why do I make the kids go to bed early? Because I am tired. Why do I expect certain behavior from others? Because I think I deserve it/that's the way it should be done (according to whom?-me)/I want things to be fair (the way I see it).

And when I don't get my way, I do like Autumn does. I pitch a fit. Figuratively speaking (most of the time). What is pitching a fit? Complaining, whining, ignoring, grumbling, yelling, crying, pounding fists and feet, silent treatment, making so much "noise" that I get my way. Lots of grown-ups do this. It's just hard to admit, or even see. Haven't you ever felt like suing someone because you didn't think you were done right? Well, guess what? Life ain't fair. Ain't no amount of fits gonna make it fair. I'm not the center of the universe. You're not the center of the universe. And it's an awful hard thing to have to tell Autumn, but she's not the center of the universe, either.

God is the real, true, and only center of the universe. Dadgummit, He's the One who created the universe that needed a center. And since He created the universe, I reckon He's the only one big enough to fill the center of it. So really, it's a matter of perception vs. reality. I may feel like and think that I'm the one it's all about. But I'm not. God is. I need to re-align my thinking to the truth. God is the center of the universe. And God wants me to accept Him as the center of my universe. It's up to me whether I accept or not, but that doesn't change the fact that He is. I can choose to be in harmony with Him, or I can choose to "pitch a fit" and fight against Him.

I am so thankful that God is the center of my universe. I hope that one day Autumn will acknowledge the truth of her Creator. And I pray that you, too, have your center calibrated with the true Center of the universe.

Friday, March 6, 2009


So, I hit my mid 30’s today. And since the average lifespan is relatively 70, I guess that puts me at “mid-life”. I know that the 50’s are usually associated with the “mid-life” crisis but I feel I’m being a little presumptuous to think I’ll make it to 100 or more. The 30’s are an interesting time of life. When I was in my teens, I perceived the 30’s as being old. And I assumed that by the time I reached those years, life would be pretty settled and on course. That is not the case in so many ways. I still have a part of me that is searching for who I am and where I’m supposed to be in the world. I still feel I’m in transition. Actually, there seems to be strong Biblical support for what Dr. Black calls the “age thirty transition”. I’ve not read his book that covers this subject but I heard him speak on it at a small conference years ago. The concept is simply that the age 12 and the age 30 are transition ages in Scripture. At age 12, one becomes a young adult (at least, in the generations of old this was true) and then the age 30 was when one transitions to full adulthood. It is also a transition when one becomes aware of their mortality and the realization that life will pass them by if they don’t get settled and find their place.
It is an interesting thought and one that seems supported by experience if not Scripture. I won’t go into his argument here (the links below point to his book and to a sermon on this) but I can testify to the feeling. It is only in my thirties that I have begun to feel comfortable in my own skin and with who I am. It wasn’t until my thirties that I began to feel comfortable around “adults”, began to think of the rest of my life, and began to worry about my health. Of course, my experience is not the norm for all but I believe many could testify.
I’m 35 now. If God is willing, I have many years to live. And if the age thirty transition has any merit to it (and I personally buy into much of it), I’m just beginning to live life at its best and fullest. The second half is the best half. It not only encourages me to look forward to what God is about to do in me and through me; it reminds me to ease up on those younger than me who are still transitioning. I give them grace and see them all wearing signs that say “under construction”. And don’t think that the construction project ends when you hit thirty or thirty-five. The sign is just changed to read “Under Construction - sorry for the delay”.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6 (NASB)

Age 30 Transition sermon
Dr. Black’s book

Guest Post by Chris

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I think I am physically dyslexic.

I frequently have to stick up both my hands to see which one forms the "L" for left, to remind myself which side is left or right. As long as I'm confessing, I might as well add that I still sing the ABC's to alphabetize things; but that doesn't have anything to do with my physical dyslexia.

I realized my dyslexia issue tonight. At the kickboxing class at the gym. It was my first kickboxing class; I was excited. We started out with the loud music and the instructor hollering out the commands. "March in place." This was easy. He showed us newbies the few punches and kicks that we would encounter. I could do this. "Right jab". So far, so good. "Right jab, left hook." Oh, yeah! "Right, left, left knee." I'm gettin' the rhythm, baby. "Right, left, left knee, right kick; Super Power!" Uh, oh. My knee was kicking when everyone else was jabbing. My left hook was going hard and fast while everyone else is right side-kicking.

I looked like a flailing monkey.

I couldn't keep my right and left straight. I couldn't remember if arms meant legs or legs meant arms.

But I'm going back next week. It was fun despite my appendage entanglement. And I think this class can teach me a thing or two!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


It’s ping pong with a kiss. The love pong, that is. A great website that Elisabeth and I discovered last year. It’s a fun quirky way to strengthen the communication skills between couples. The concept is very simple. Both of you sign up and then one of you will receive an assignment by email. Each assignment seeks to help improve on how you communicate and/or how to communicate on particular topics. Along the way, you can click on highlighted words that give extra counsel on how to understand the art of communication better. After you’ve completed your assignment, an email will be sent to notify your pooh-bear. And then your sweet-tart will have a chance to respond to what you’ve said. Once your lovey-dovey has had the chance to read and respond to what you‘ve shared, the assignment is complete. You can either move on to the next assignment (which will be emailed to your little pumpkin) or keep the communication going as much as you like on the current subject. This back and forth (like ping pong, thus the name, love pong) is a great way to learn to communicate and have fun at the same time. We highly recommend it.

So, check it out and love pong away. By the way, it’s your serve Elisabeth…my little dandelion.

Guest Post by Chris

Sunday, March 1, 2009


My ears, tired after hearing the downpour of rain for 2 days, strain for the soft sound of snowflakes hitting the windowpane. The clock is ticking in the next room. The blazing fire crackles and pops. I feel a low rumbling. Is that a train? No... "Chris! Is that thunder??"

We are experiencing a rare phenomenon. Thundersnow. At first, I don't believe Chris when he tells me this. Thundersnow? Yeah, like thunderstorm, except that it's snow instead of storm. But I can't deny the weatherological facts. It is snowing. And it is thundering.

Wikipedia, the all-knowing internet encyclopedia, tells me that there really is such a thing as thundersnow:
Thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thunder snowstorm, is a rare thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It commonly falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of extratropical cyclones between autumn and spring when surface temperatures are most likely to be near or below freezing. Variations exist, such as thundersleet, where the precipitation consists of sleet or ice rather than snow.

I am wowed by the creativity of God. Who would have ever thought to mix thunder and snow? It's as if God said, "Ta Da! Announcing snow!" So not only do we have the uncommon appearance of snow, but it has also come in an even more uncommon form. It almost makes the 6-8 inches of accumulation we're supposed to get worth it.

We have bread and milk. We even have hotdogs and lunch meat. We have candles, matches, firewood, and flashlights at the ready. Hot chocolate and marshmallows are calling. The world we live in has shut down and it is just us and the thundersnow.

The heavens are sounding the glory of God; the arch of the sky makes clear the work of his hands. Day after day it sends out its word, and night after night it gives knowledge. There are no words or language; their voice makes no sound. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world (Psalms 19:1-4).