Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Uncle Terry Is Coming

My brother will be coming to town this Saturday afternoon. His coming to town is a rarity as he seldom gets off his beaten path. He just turned grandpa at age 45 and was just 18 when he became a father. My experiences as a father are greatly different than his. He is an awesome uncle to my kids and I look forward to our times together this weekend. Maybe he will babysit for me one night...ha.

Our tentative schedule:

Saturday: cards and NCAA viewing
Sunday: church, watch Mavs game, Cards/Mets on ESPN and bowling.
Monday: golf and Blue/Stars game
Tuesday: trip to airport

Guess my wife gets the bulk of the kid duty this weekend!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blessings and Sacrifice


As I deal with my stubborn 5 year old daughter on a daily basis I was able to make a connection during church Sunday. I told her that if she were obedient in a reasonable timeframe and manner I would LOVE to do so much more for her and with her. I'd love to heap blessings upon her, yet she often needs 2-5 reminders and threats before she follows thru sometimes. I then reflected that God wants to bless us all the time, yet he withholds blessings from us because we are not fully obedient to him. Sure my salvation is unconditional, but God wants to do so much more for me and with me, yet I am stubborn and fail to do what he really wants.


I feel it would so much easier to point out other people's needs to give things up for God than to examine myself. As the pastor talked about making sacrifices that would build our relationship with Christ I thought of what I could give up and focus on spending more time reading the bible, praying and just being saturated in wholesome, edifying things. Maybe it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict us on things. Last night I did decided to not get involved in the new show on FX called The Riches. After about the 3rd or 4th profane word I decided, "That's it" and turned off the TV. Sad thing is I knew before watching it that I should make the sacrifice.

The pastor said the average person spends up to 30 hours a week watching TV and I thought no way. Then I thought that 99% of the time that we are home the TV is on whether we are really watching it or not. What if I had a simple plan such as reading or studying the bible 30 minutes for every hour that I watch TV. How much more in tune with the Holy Spirit and God's plan for me would I be? LOTS, I'm sure.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mowing in the Rain

My plan was to mow 3 yards on Monday after school but the forecast was for rain....60% chance for most of the day and up to 80% at night. I should have known better than to cancel my mowing plans due to a forecast. Last week they forecasted rain about 6 days and it never rained.

Anyway I decided not to load my mowing equipment because it was for sure going to rain. Well, as of 2:30pm today it had yet to rain. I then decided to run home during my planning time and load the equipment. Then it rains a little bit on me as I pull back into the parking lot at work. Great, we need the rain anyhow I guess. Then it stopped as soon as it had started.

I left work about 5 minutes early and started mowing my first lawn. It began to rain a consistent heavy drops that quickly soaked the streets building up big puddles. I was then committed to mow and made it to my 2nd stop. The rain was pretty heavy as I mowed the back yard. No stopping now as I began to mow the front yard. I got caught mowing by my friend who gave me the, "Don't you know it is mowing look." Sure I did, I was having fun and I had yet to hear any thunder. With it raining I was able to put out the weed and feed and hope it wouldn't rain too much and dilute it a bit.

Feet soaked and body drenched I made my way to lawn #3. The rain let up a bit, but the ground where grass wasn't growing had become muddy on the top. Mud quickly built up on the mower wheels and it got a little bit messy. I did it! I mowed all 3 lawns and fertilized 2 within 2 hours. As I was leaving a lady pulls up and asks if I'd be interested in mowing her lawn.

I thought since it was a mobile home park it wouldn't be bad and gave her a really cheap estimate. Then I saw her lawn. Very little to mow around her home, BUT a huge hill behind it. I bumped my estimate $5 and she said she would check with one other person. I really hope this person decides to mow it. My plate is actually full.

Yes, it is mowing season and I've got new things to blog about. I'm inside and dry right now and don't have a mowing or auto detail commitment until Thursday!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Found $60 and Saved $30

I finally loaded up a few extra items that were left over from the hardwood floor installation and took them back to Lowes. 2 bags of floor leveler at $25 each really helped along with a few miscellaneous items that had been sitting around for a while. All told my credit at Lowes was just over $60. And all of this was just sitting around the house.

We still had about $233 left on our Lowes giftcards so we purchased a ceiling fan along with a light for the kitchen. As we wandered thru the garden section we came across a good looking Japenese Maple. We have talked about getting one of these for YEARS so with about $100 left over to spend the $109 price tag didn't look so bad. Plus my lawn mower scares have passed and spending the $ tagged for a new mower could now be used to treat ourselves to the Japanese Maple. Well, it rang up for $79 saving us $30. Not bad.

My most rewarding savings on the night came when I decided not to buy drinks at Golden Chick and instead crossed under the highway to the On The Go gas station. 32 oz. drinks were only 62 cents. I probably saved about $3 all told. Nothing like handing your 3 and 6 year olds 32 oz. drinks since they were cheaper than the small drinks.

Now if I would just transfer our one credit card to the GM credit card offer imagine how much interest I can save in the next year PLUS I could earn credit for our next GM purchase.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Comfort Zone

As we wind down the school year I am thinking about next year already. Do I stay put and keep myself in a situation where I already know my expectations and curriculum, or do I venture out and possibly find a better situation? I have already put myself in position for having "options" for next year and probably have about 30 days of reflection and exploration. The following are the positives of the options:

1. Stay put. I really do like the grade level that I teach and it would be my 3rd year teaching the same subject areas so my confidence and familiarity would be beneficial. I do have many relationships established and the benefits would definitely outweigh the negatives.

2. Transfer. They are building a new school near ours and if I could teach at this school I think it would be exciting to open up a new building. Plus, many of the students at this school I would already know. I'd just need to teach the same subjects and grade level.

3. Teach in wife's district. It would be nice to have the whole family under the same schedule. Not sure if I'd be able to teach on the same campus as my wife, but she really loves where she is.

When we moved to Texas the first time we for sure got out of our comfort zone. I had only lived in the St. Louis area so leaving family and familiarity behind was tough, but beneficial. Recently my wife and I left our home church of 4 1/2 years after struggling with whether or not to find a new church home and we are LOVING our new digs. We are excited spiritually and emotionally and count it a blessing that we just spent 6 hours today at church getting it ready for our dedication Sunday. That said, I am not one to just stay put and do what is familiar and easy. Within 30 days my future should be more clear.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Down ONE

Finally weighed after coming back from Spring Break and I was actually down 2 pounds and then I weighed this morning and it was only 1 pound. Probably could go back to St. Louis and eat junk again and lose more weight. Was glad that I didn't go back over 200 pounds.

Currently at 198 pounds and I really haven't tried THAT hard. I still make better bad choices and I was pretty busy mowing. Haven't been to the gym for over a week. Also need to start adding water, fruits and vegetables on a regular basis!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pink Eye

Came home yesterday after detailing 2 cars and a jetski and did chores around the house. I had a birthday party to go to so I cleaned up a bit and when I looked into the mirror I saw that my eye was bloodshot red. It looked as if it were actually bleeding. It didn't feel puffy or anything. It was a little gritty, but I had just spent 4+ hours outside on a nice sunny day. Then I realized that as I was cleaning the bottom of the jetski sand and dirty would fall off as I got close to the rails. I do remember getting some grit in my eye.

I took the Visine and placed a few drops in my eye and immediately washed out some gritty stuff. It didn't fully take care of the redness, but it felt a lot better. It was still a bit red this morning so I again squirted Visine in. Probably not doing myself any favors mowing 3 lawns today as it is a bit windy.

I hope it isn't really pink eye.

As I post this entry BillyV is somewhere driving his green Honda Civic in the state of Oklahoma. Please pray for him! Speed traps and it is so hard to stay awake since it is a boring drive.

Softball game to announce tonight as I will be critiqued by BillyV and then some cards.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's A Beautiful Day

Did hit the MANFC cheapskate jackpot yesterday when we arrived to bowl and it was $1 a game. We bowled 5 games each and I finally beat my brother the last game. The money we saved bowling was spent on appetizers for my last supper in STL.

Arrived home last night without complications. Smooth flight, landed and was in the car home all within 20 minutes. Figured driving takes 10 hours all told and flying takes about 5 considering the time it takes to get to the airport, the waiting, the landing and getting picked up. Lot less tiring though.

Since I was cured of my strep throat last week my illness has migrated to sinus issues. Could not breathe the last 2 nights. Bought some generic stuff at Dollar General yesterday and it didn't work. Then went to Walgreens for some professional advice and Claritin D was recommended. $9 for 10 pills and it did NOTHING for me yesterday. So last night I mixed up a little medicine cocktail of a a few things I had here at home and the Claritin. Was figidity until about 2am this morning when I decided to sleep on the couch. When the wife woke up for work I migrated to the bed and got 3 more hours of decent sleep. Feeling better today, but not 100%.

Just detailed a Dodge Ram truck, Pontiac G6 convertible and a jetski for $120. Took me about 3 1/2 hours. It truly is a beautiful day outside. Will watch a little of the NCAA opening day games today. I've got kid duty tonight as my wife has open house at her school.

Back in Texas for a while!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

End of Trip

Yesterday I got the vacation blues as my friend drove me home after we watched Wild Hogs. I knew I was less than 24 hours before departure time. My biggest blunder of the trip was allowing my friend to leave with my mom's cell phone in his front seat. I figured this out as soon as he pulled off the street. Call him right? Well, my mom's home line doesn't allow area code 314 calls and both his and mom's cell were just that. After trying to locate someone home who could call I just called "0" and had the call billed to her home phone number. It cost my friend a good 15 minutes extra on the night to bring it back by.

Today: pack and visit a local mall to see if I can get any deals on St. Louis Cardinal goods. I think we are going to bowl one last time, eat dinner and then head to the airport for my 7:40 flight. Get home probably 10:30pm when all is said and done.

Thursday: Tournament time for the NCAA. I have 6 for SURE details to take care of Thursday and Friday. Three are to payoff the Christmas tree I bartered for and another 3 are prepaid. I still owe Pigs one freebie for helping me set up my room last Summer.

Friday: detail cars and BillyV is coming to town. I do have a softball game to call Friday night.

Saturday: may detail cars including BillyV's and he needs to help me fix a sprinkler head that I busted on my first mow. May mow one lot for a friend and then play cards Saturday night.

Sunday: I am craving good worship with my family. It seems for 2 months we've taken turns going to church whether one of us or the kids is sick or one of us is out of town. They really don't think we're a normal functioning family!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Closed on Mondays

We headed out yesterday to entertain my daughter and while driving to the Butterfly house my mom notices that it is closed on Mondays. Next choice is The Magic house and it is closed. We ended up going to The Arch and we checked out the Westward Expansion Museum of Lewis and Clark. I thought they had more animals but they only had a few. My daugher was quickly bored. I asked the information desk where the City Museum was and received easy directions. My daughter wanted to ride the elevators up the Arch leg to the top but at $10 a pop I convinced her maybe something better was in store.

We then drove to the City Museum only to find, "Closed On Mondays" awaiting us when we pulled up. This place is a mace of artistic style tubes, metal and netting that kids can endlessly crawl thru. $12 a pop though and I wondered would me and my mom have to pay too if we wouldn't be climbing thru the mazes that reached sky high. I could imagine losing my 3 year old son if he were there.

We ended up at the St. Louis Zoo(FREE). We went to the Children's Zoo part for a small fee. We really didn't alot enough time for the zoo and by 1pm we were beat just from driving place to place.

All told I think my daughter had a good day. We'll hit the Butterfly house today and let her ride the carousel close by.

I plan on meeting my friend Jon at the movies and we'll see Wild Hogs.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Blog Hits

I was reminded today that many people periodically check out my blog, but they may not leave comments. I often judge how interesting my blogging has been by the number of hits I get. On tblog it was not uncommon to top the 30 comment mark(my return comments included) on a regular basis. I evne made their top 10 list one time. Now I get excited if it ever approaches 10. This morning as I visited St. Louis friends I was reminded that a few friends and strangers do indeed visit my blogsite, but they don't leave comments.

It made me reflect as to why I blog. I guess I like to blog so friends from close and afar can keep up with what is going on in my life. I have picked up a few blog friends along the way and I do enjoy the blog community. I once put Bravenet hit tracker on my site so I could check out who visits and how they found my site. Keeping up with this seemed to take up more of my time than actually posting blogs and visiting other people's sites so I bailed. We talked this morning about if someone who has a blogsite can actually tell who visits and from where. The answer is yes as far as I know.

I do have one friend who takes it personal that the main way he gets to stay in touch with me is thru reading my blogsite. He thinks that it is a lot less personal than phone calls, emails and letters. Others have said they enjoy keeping up with the MAN thru reading entries.

I do appreciate all who visit whether you leave comments or not. Whether you comment in disuise, "me" or whether you just say who you are. I do know that my frequent fliers are billyv, "me", wiccachicky, pigs, txgrl and those I've linked along with infrequent commentors rebecca, coco, resourceful and erin.

I rarely comment about about work because there could be a mole checking out my blogsite. So usually cards means poker, work means school, boss means principal and clients mean students.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Police

I missed the opening act that The Police put on at the Grammys and was pretty excited the next day when they announced that they were going on tour. I pretty much made up my mind that I was going to their concert regardless of the cost. I didn't pay attention to the details, which I always preach to my students, and missed when the tickets went on sale in Dallas. They sold out 2 shows and that left looking for tickets online thru or similar ticket outlets. The $50 tickets way far away were selling for a minimum of $70-$100 each.

I contacted my good friend BillyV and we agreed on going to the June 26th concert in Dallas and that I'd probably get the cheapest seats available. I still didn't commit before leaving on Spring Break.

I arrived in St. Louis yesterday and by chance found out that The Police tickets went on sale at 10am and the time was currently 1pm. If only I had stumbled across this earlier I would have better choice in ticket selection.

Before I committed to buying tickets for the St. Louis show I needed to consider a few things. First, if the July 2nd day was okay for BillyV. Second, it would involve actually traveling to St. Louis for that week which shouldn't be a problem. I finally reached BillyV and he said the July 2nd show would actually work better for him AND the drive would be about 3 hours less. Problem was I was never able to get in contact with my wife to see if it would work out for us.

That said I bought tickets at after searching tirelessly for the right tickets. Each search involved typing in the quantity and the price range, followed by a screen with the crazy figured code you had to decipher and then type in and finally the section with the seat numbers would show up. Section 324, row B, seats 4 and 5. I got my credit card and got ready. After trying to figure out my password I ended up taking too long and lost those seats. I then kept getting the same section, rows D or E, with middle of the row seats so I kept searching until finally it popped up. Section 324, Row F, seats 1 and 2. I bought them. Seats on the aisle have always been a big thing for me, especially at movies and entertainment events, since I have a bladder about the size of a peanut.

All said each ticket cost $50, plus a $2.50 facility charge, plus $8.55 convenience charge, plus a $3.50 processing fee. Total bill for $100 seats worth of tickets ended up being $128. What a scam.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Random Babbling

Spring break is here! Went to the E-Care yesterday only to find out that I have strep throat. Luckily I have not had any fever or body aches. Oddly enough this comes about 2 weeks after my wife went thru the same symptoms.

Woke up this morning at 4:30am to fly out of Dallas at 6:55 am. Smooth flight. Sat next to a guy who has a son that teaches in the district that my wife teaches. This guy works for Major League Baseball in their licensing department. Great conversation, hope he doesn't get strep.

My daughter is outback picking weeds with my mom.

Might go bowling today and play cards tonight. Just don't want to overdue it since I'm feeling slightly better.

Will be in STL until Wednesday night.

Monday, March 05, 2007

4 1/2 to 8 1/2

With a title like 4 1/2 to 8 1/2 what could I possibly be posting about?

5. Target weight loss for this month.
4. Time it takes me to detail 3 cars.
3. Ages of my kids.
2. Hours of sleep I got this weekend.
1. How long we've had both cars.


Friday night I hosted a card game and the 1am cutoff time turned into 2am with me finally getting into bed after 2:30am. I woke up about 6:45 to the sound of new neighbors moving in behind us. My alarm clock was set for 7am anyway since we had a yard sale planned. Saturday morning was windy and extremely chilly. My face and eyes had all the wind they could take by the time we shut down at noon.

Saturday night I was able to get 8 1/2 hours sleep and it was great sleep. I did have the bed to myself since the wife was out of town at a teacher seminar.

Slept pretty well last night as I feel like I was catching up from Friday night's deprivation of sleep.

Sleep is good!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Yard Sale

Saturday I am hosting a yard sale along with a few neighbors who will pack their driveways with un-needed junk. Last night I spent about an hour putting together the crib that both our kids were kept in. Also our bigger ticket items will be a freshly painted bookshelf, a 2 seat jogging stroller, a small 3 drawer dresser, a mirror and a few picture frames. We also have a few toys to sell and lots of clothes that are still on hangers from our last yard sale. Any clothes that are not sold will be passed on to friends or taken to the Goodwill because I am not hauling 4 tubs of clothing back up into the attic for next year's sale.

All proceeds will go towards the purchase of 2 new bibles that will replace the ones we had stolen a few weeks ago. That reminds me, I better go get my gym bag out of the truck or I'll need to buy tennis shoes and an MP3 player.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I've stayed off the scales for almost a week and finally got on this morning. It read 199! I got below 200 one time before but basically cheated by hitting the treadmill for 80 minutes and then I sat in the sauna for 15 minutes. I felt like a wrestler trying to make a weight for a match. That time I came home and consumed some beverages and snacked pretty hard only to end up 4+ pounds heavier on the following Tuesday.

I'll hit the gym hard the next 2 days so hopefully I can bust down to 198 or 197. I have not been totally disciplined, but have fasted from adult beverages for about 3 weeks now.