Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble Gobble....Eat Me!

Awww....Thanksgiving Day has finally arrived and now we have the wonderful sight in our house of the beginning of Christmas.  Ok maybe not Christmas just yet because we are not that organized and disciplined yet, but we do have thousands of Black Friday Newspaper Fliers all of the place! A quick glance at the Internet and we see everyone out there offering the deals of the century for us to buy buy buy......
Please! Not today, Not Yet.....Today, I am eating Turkey!

Our family has always had its traditions much like Christmas. We have the certain meals, desserts and snacks.....and FOOTBALL. lol, yes of course. We grocery shop like crazy finding the certain ingredients, we cook massive amounts of food, then we eat eat and continue to eat, maybe play a bit of football out in the yard (try not to lose our meal...I  am not talking exercise-lose either), watch the game on TV and of course fall asleep on the sofa.

This year has some differences as our small family grows up and the kids begin to move away.  Some of them cannot jump on a plane for a quick two day trip.  That just doesn't make sense. Sad, but understandable. Two of the boys are living in the midwest and were able to get together this week. Them and our new daughter-in-law will visit Grandma today which I am sure will excite her to no end. They will need to help with the cooking and preparing the meal, Grandma just cannot do it anymore. But that's okay, they will probably find out from her all those "rules" we started and how they are know the rules that some how got a bit twisted as we began to adopt them for our family. Our traditions change a bit because we didn't have that certain bowl, or the mixer, or the space or the time or whatever.....we adopt and evolve the traditions we have grown up with to own them.  That is what is great about starting a family. Making them your own!

Here is one thing that I am thankful this year.....the invention of SKYPE.....Yes! (I think I should get some sort of financial reward for the plug.) Last night we had the whole family together....sort of. All of us here and all of them there......1200 miles away.....and we were all chatting together on the laptop and sharing all the silliness including the puppies. They were making the beginnings of cranberry salad for the first time on there own.  (No don't ask for the is locked in the vault at Fort Knox....right next to the gold bullion.) There we were in our kitchen in Virginia and they were in their kitchen in Oklahoma....both of us grinding cranberries for the salad.  What a crazy world we live was great.  I will settle for that this year. Those things will never change no matter how the world evolves us with technology. We will always be family - no matter the distance.

For me.....Online shopping, forget the getting up at ridiculous hours. For me....making the snack mix (and sending some in the mail as well as sending some home with a few.....weight watcher points!). For me....we will be watching football (no matter who is playing on TV). For me.....we wont be playing football in the yard, but will most likely need to do a few laps around the neighborhood. For me....It is Turkey Day and I am thankful that I have been blessed with such a great family.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving my friends......
Gobble Gobble Gobble!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

5 pounds of work stuffed in a 3 pound week

This time of year seems to always get a bit crazy.  As the holiday approach more and more tasks appear on the "to-do-list".  Here is the beginning of mine:
  1. You have to get all the grocery shopping done so you can plan and prepare the massive family meal that will stuff us full and make us all fall asleep on the sofa watching football.
  2. You will need to begin the holiday decorations by first digging out of the attic the mountain of boxes that have been stuff in there since last year. (except for those few items that were mistakenly left out that set out on the coffee table all year long because you couldn't get enough energy together to venture to the attic just yet)
  3. Begin the Christmas shopping list (only if you are organized) oh yes, we need to get this and that and oh yeah maybe this too.....where is the best price, who has the most selections and Heavens to Betsy do we even dare venture out on BLACK FRIDAY? Talk about a potential wasted day standing in line.
  4. Start the Christmas card design.  Our family has always designed our own cards for the holidays and of course I am a crazy man when it comes to over doing something.  Christmas cards are no exception.....maybe this year we actually try to organize that list that is pasted together and crammed in a box from last year.  Imagine, actually getting them out in the mail before Christmas.
  5. (Note to self about item #2 above: we need more decorations or new colors or just something else.....go to Home Depot and buy some more.....oh yeah and buy some more storage bins while you are at it.)
  6. Don't forget about work too. Remember! That thing you do all year round that pays for all of this stuff.....Guess what? The boss just said we cannot miss the deadline on the project this week and since there are only three days and you don't really want to come in on Black got it....early to work and late to leave.
  7. (Note to self about Item #1 above: Plan for moderation....oops.....plan for exercise to work off all those calories and don't forget to ACCURATELY plug in your weight watcher points in to the counter......No cheating!)
  8. Plan for travel time to see all the family members back home.....scratch on Item #6 more and pay for them to come see you to make better use of your time.....scratch that......just send pictures in the the cards made during Item #4.
  9. Begin shopping for all of those items planned out in Item #3......(wont happen) you know what does happen is that at 10:30 on December 24th you realize that you don't have even number of presents for all of the kids.....not enough stuff to stuff the stockings....immediately run out on the lawn (with such a clatter) and climb into the car rushing off to the Walmart to equalize the pile that remains unwrapped on and under the the way pick up some more tape....we forgot that earlier too...duct tape isn't so fashionable.
  10. Plan, Prepare and Perform........yeah right! January 1st 7:30PM.  Begin the dismantling, cleaning, packing, piling, boxing, returning and ......better yet....go back to the office and leave it to the wife to figure out.
Have a happy holidays my friends!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weight or Wait?

Okay, this might be a heavy subject for some of you....sorry, cant help but throwing in those "Bad Dad Jokes". This last week I went to Weight Watchers and was an additional 5 pounds less...YEAH! No works! A total of twelve pounds in about 8 weeks.  It seems like it is taking forever.  I cant really do the running like I used to.....Reason (1) too heavy, hurts feet, Reason (2) need new running shoes, Reason (3) cannot get myself to get up that early. So most of this is just watching what I eat. that and portions. well of course I cheat on he counting points sometimes....or forget that I ate 2 cookies not one.

I can remember when I used to drop pounds each week. Of course that was back in the high school days.  Now it takes forever and I just have to Wait and take it slow. My weight watchers goal is 206. That is the lowest I will have been in a long time.  Not sure I was that light when I ran the half marathon. I don't plan on stopping there.  I want to be 199......that would be awesome. The next 10 pounds will be tough due to the holidays, but I know it will be well worth the suffering.....ha. suffering by not eating all those sweets. 

Here is the biggest goal.....Bring my blood sugar down consistently. I cannot control it as well when I am heavy.  The insulin and other meds keep the weight on and make it difficult to watch your weight.  If I can get down, that will be awesome.  I go back to the doctor the first week of December to see the results of this weight loss and dieting.  Another thing I would like to do is start running again.  It was sort of fun......kind of a challenge for me.  I felt like Forrest! Just started running and didn't stop.

That my friends IS worth the WEIGHT!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


There are many ways to look at the effects of the word abundance most of them are good. Typically an abundance of food is a great thing, just means that we will not go hungry. An abundance of work is nice, again, we wont go hungry. Enough to keep us busy for a good while. A deluge of work however sounds like we would just be drowning. An abundance of any item probably means that our habit of collecting has just gone from hobby to insanity. If we have to build a museum to hold all of it....maybe not so good......unless of course someone will actually pay to go see your abundance of things. (besides your family)

I am not much of the spiritual writer, (I leave that to my wife) but the abundance I am talking about here is the kind described in the Bible. "God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things in all times, having all that you need". 2 Cor 9:8 To have an abundance of blessing just sounds so ......comforting. It is like having His arms wrapped around us and we needn't worry. All will be taken care of. Do note that the scripture uses the word NEED not WANT. An abundance of vehicles or money isn't exactly a need. Even so he will give before we even know or ask. Another scripture in Ephesians says, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." Eph 3:20. I could write a whole sermon on that single verse, but what I want to share is that we must first understand that the power needs to be IN us, then it will work great glorify Him. Not us.

God is very good. I feel very blessed and really don't know why he has chosen me.  I stumble often. My book is probably filled with more Oh No's than Oh Yeah's. But I do love the Lord, an I keep getting up everyday praying for forgiveness from the past and praying for guidance for the future. I pray that he blesses me abundantly, not for me, but for all many more things I can do for others. And each time I pray for these things, I pray for the ability to be a good steward.

Make me a servant. Rejoice my friends!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Birthday Bash

The heat is being generated already by all those candles. Can't believe that 45 years has already come here so fast.  It only seemed like a few weeks ago I was playing in the front yard in my space man suit, or playing Little League out at Tuxedo Ball Park.  Only a few days ago I was playing football in high superstar but still had fun. It was yesterday that I did that all-nighter in college and had our first child. Yesterday, I was coaching the boys on the football field or my sweet little girl (terrorist) in softball, basketball etc.  Yep time has certainly flown by.  Not sure where it went.  We all say that though don't we.  What did we do with the time that we always say that? Pretty silly.

Well I feel fortunate that I have all those memories and Alzheimer's hasn't taken that away Seriously, I feel that I have had a wonderful life thus far.  I cant really complain. I have had an opportunity to grow up working in my father's business and helping out.  I have had an excellent college education at Oklahoma State.  I had the wonderful blessing of winning the William Caudill Fellowship and traveling all over the world studying architecture....not by myself but with my wife and two young sons. since then I have had the most excellent adventure of starting my own business......I say adventure because with adventure comes adverse weather conditions.....stormy weather patterns have certainly been part of that experience but right now bright sunshiny days seem to be in our forecast.

God has been so good to me and my family.  I cannot really complain. Sure, that house I played out in front of as a child is about dilapidated.  But was a great home to be raised in. I miss my dad. Yep, my knees and back are certainly still there...I feel them every morning when I get up from those days of ball. I still have that education.  They can't ever take that away from me. And I have those fantastic  kids that used to drive me crazy and I probably scared to death as a mean old grumpy stressed-out dad.....Sorry kids.  I do love you. Blessed is this day and every day that I arise with the Lord by my side.

Yes George Bailey, This is a WONDERFUL LIFE!
Enjoy the day my friends.....I certainly will.
Life is THIS big!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Social Network

My wife and I went to the movies last night to watch all about this FACEBOOK thing that has invaded our lives.  It was a great story that helped us fill in the pieces of history that had passed us by. After all, anything that began in 2002 really slipped right through the cracks of our life expereience. We have just had to play catch-up.

Pretty amazing how some people can clearly think and see in numbers, formulas and algorithms. I guess maybe it is how I have the ability to visualize something before i draw it. It just formulates in my mind.....guess that is why some of us are considered delirious or delusional or just plain demonstrative.  I guess it is from the perceiver's perception. Regardless, I would love to meet Mark Zuckerberg with just the opportunity to discuss how he thinks.  At old age all things become more of an analysis rather than an action.  How does it work? While you are just take it and do it.  WHO cares about figuring it out.

Our world has changed so much in such a short time. I was there for the first video games and now we are living in a world that evolves around "video games".  Our architecture is now designed not in paper but in a three dimensional world.  One where we can places ourselves inside and walk among the pixels of what is yet to become.  Some of the old world charm is now lost, but we consider the new age an art form in itself.

Back to FACEBOOK.....such an amazing tool an with such potential for meeting new people, finding lost people and keeping in touch with those that may live right around the corner.  Somewhat a busybody mentality.  But one that boasts your eagerness to share with others what you are doing.  Like anyone really cares? Maybe. I think the business opportunities are there as well by reaching those who have embraced the technology and realize how we are all going to be connected by this cyberspace......or left behind.

See you in the future my friends! FRIEND ME!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Time Machine

Have you noticed how quickly time seems to pass you by once you get older.  When you were young it took forever for something to happen.  If you were waiting for a surprise.....forever you would wait...impatiently I might add. If you had to wait in a waiting room or were delayed for something it seemed agonizing.  Now those moments are quite peaceful relaxation

Seriously, what happened to our sense of time once we got all went in fast forward! It was only a few years ago I was in college....getting married. And now it has all flashed by.  22 years of marriage in a blink of an eye.  Kids getting married, not just in college but graduating college. Our business that we struggled to open began 11 years ago.....oh yeah, still struggling.  Go figure!

I have often wanted a TIVO machine for life.  Something that necessarily allowed be to go back in time but at least allowed me to review it.....did I miss something? What did she say? Let me see it again please? I love the remote control that allows me to flip through the commercials on all of the recorded shows or even to be able to rewatch the Superbowl commercials. Now that is useful! Did you see that catch! rewind and lets see that again.  What did they say? I couldn't understand them......that is just probably old age cannot hear.

I often will be driving in the car and have the radio on and the DJ will say something and I reach for a button that can rewind and repeat what they said or replay a great song.....oops no button.  What is really bad is I will be sitting in the living room and my wife or one of the kids will say something and wont hear them....I try to rewind them!  What!  That is crazy......I cannot believe I think that.  If I don't watch out I will be like Click with Adam Sandler......of course a funny movie about an architect to boot.

Well in a few days I will be 45, I anticipate more weddings soon another Christmas will have come and gone.  I think, both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year will be the first without everyone around.  That is what happens in life, as you get older, you and your wife get the opportunity to spend more time alone together.  Just like in the beginning......still that is a bit lonely.

That my friends will be another blog post entirely.  Stay safe!