Monday, March 30, 2009

Watching Tee Ball

Last year I helped coach tee ball, although I think I volunteered myself. I don't think I missed a game and I actually think I was able to attend practices and games more consistently than the coaches who actually received official coaching shirts. That wasn't a problem since last year we were the Cardinals and I had about 5 or 6 Cardinals shirts I could wear. I was always on the field and was very involved in practices as well.

This year we switched teams so our son might be on a team with kids he could possibly go to school with. The practices are much more structured and intense. Keep in mind my son is only 4. My son did say that he didn't like the horseplay and clowning around that was common on last years team. There has been some this year, but not much. The coach's wife is going to be the dugout manager and I did much of that last year.

Tonight we had our first game. Being the new kid on the team my son actually batted 11th out of 12 kids. Last year he batted earlier in the line up. Tonight he played right field twice, first base once and short stop. Last year he was anchored at first base most of the time because he was a good fielder. My son saw 2 pitches tonight and hit both of them. For a 4 year old he seems like such a natural. I don't work with him that much.

Tonight I watched from the stands. I had a tough time not yelling at him when he was not paying attention or when he had his hat on backwards. He caught me off guard on the way home when he said, "I'm bored with tee ball." Great, one game in and I'm fighting his disinterest. He said he likes it when I'm on the field. He also doesn't do as well when he's not involved in every play.

We have practice Thursday and another game Friday so we'll see if his feelings of boredom are short lived.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Finale

I spent about 12 hours overnight with some stomach virus that made me a frequent flier to the bathroom. I was up probably about 10 times trying to settle my stomach. At one point I even broke into a sweat. I left the house on time to make the 9am church service. I had a friend meeting me there so that ruled out staying home to get better. I stopped with the kids at a donut shop and I got a cake donut to put on the volcano. I only ate about 1/2 and held it down.

Church went well and afterwards we went to Durkins Pizza again. I brought another newbie with me and I think they enjoyed it. I was only able to put down 2 pieces as I was still on "alert" stages to my stomach problems. All was well. I came home and washed my truck. I also put a wax on it. My wife got home from her conference around 2pm and I detailed her car as well. Today was SO MUCH nicer than Friday and Saturday. After leaving for a few hours to watch the OU/UNC game I came back home to mow my yard and play with the kids.

I did pretty well with the kids on my own. I'm not the type of dad or husband who would shy away from being alone with my kids.

I do hope I get a better night's sleep tonight.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monsters Vs. Aliens Experience

My kids let me sleep in today and they were great last night as I hosted cards so I figured that I would treat them and take them to see Monsters Vs. Aliens. At 11:30am I looked online to see the times for the theater by my house. The first movie was at 12:30 and the second one 2:40. I told the kids that they had an hour to clean their rooms and they barely squeeked by on time. I took a $20 from our entertainment envelope and I still had $2 left over from Friday.

I took the kids to the gas station and let them each pick one candy as long as it was close to $1. I showed up at the moves with $19 and change. As I'm standing in line, FREEZING, I hear the lady in front of my order tickets for the 2:05 show. I look up and see that it is on 4 screens and one of them was in 3-D. My son didn't do so well with the Coraline 3-D so I really prompted them to the the regular one. PLUS there was a $3 per ticket surcharge for 3-D. I had planned on having to stand around for 30 minutes or so and got lucky with the 2:05 show. We walked in right as the previews started.

The movie was a good movie for both kids and adults. I had $9 left over. Popcorn or save it and take them to McDonalds? The lines were so long so no popcorn. My biggest temptation came when I went to get a booster seat and the hallway concession was open, fresh popcorn popping and NO LINES. I really wanted it, but passed.

I Lost

I lost at cards tonight, but not by much. I wasn't very lucky at crunch time.

My friend was very agressive and won very much. He won't be invited back.

Folks, we are taling VERY low stakes stuff.

Card Night

It don't get much better than this! I hosted cards tonight. My friendship dynamics is kind of crazy.

One friend from St. Louis.
One friend from my first teaching job.
One friend from my first teaching job at a regular building.
One friend and her husband from my first regular education teaching position.
Two friends from the first church we joined in Texas.

I have somehow alway been the centerpiece for connecting people to play cards. If I only had the drive or commitment to network like this in the business world.

The last time I hosted cards my brother was in town and we were finished by 11pm. Same thing tonight. We MUST be getting old.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taking it Easy

It hasn't been a tough week at all. I'm feeling pretty good physically and plan on going to the gym on Saturday. I may even mow as well. Friday night I'm hosting a card game and right now I'm watching MIZZOU play Memphis. Right now, Mizzou 421-33 with 3 mins. left in the half. It is a Tiger vs. Tiger game.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Should Have Rested More

If you have surgery that requires you stay off your feet for 24 hours and not exercise or do any heavy lifting for 3 days I advise you follow instructions. Last Monday afternoon I had outpatient surgery and got home around 2:30pm. Tuesday my mom came in from St. Louis and I left around 10am to go and get her. Looking back I realize how I jumped the gun in getting out of the house. In reality I HAD to go pick her up. I did rest most of Tuesday and even passed up an offer to go to the Mavericks basketball game.

Wednesday I went to the movies in the morning and fishing at night. We walked a lot at the first fishing place.

Thursday I again went to the movies in the morning and at night I went out with some friends and my wife to a sports bar to watch basketball and be entertained by poor karaoke singers.

Friday for the third morning in a row I went to the movies. Then after that I went to the same sports bar to watch the Mizzou game and at night my wife and I went shopping at Lowes which required a lot of walking around.

When I came home Friday night I was in pain. I realized that I had kind of overdone it for the week. I got up Saturday morning and drove my mom to the airport and then came home and did NOTHING. Sunday it was church and NOTHING. Monday was work and the pain and discomfort was still there. So Tuesday I stopped by the doctor's office and he said all was well.

Today was one of my best days and I can finally say that I'm feeling like I'm almost out of the woods. If ONLY I had rested more the first 3 days! Doctor knows best.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kudos to My Wife

We are tinkering around with listing our house for sale in preparation of possibly moving back to Missouri in 2010. Our idea is if we list it in April for 90 days and we happen to sell it we can rent for a year and break away clean under our timeframe instead of hoping our house sells. We are not desperate now so we wouldn't have to take a close offer that would still cost us out of pocket either.

We have started and completed a few projects around the house and yesterday my wife kicked some tail in her efforts.

1. Painted the front door
2. Replaced the malfunctioning front door handle and locks
3. Took down our dining lights, painted and put backk up
4. Painted our guest room(last room to be painted since moving in)
5. Washed window treatment and bedding in guest room
6. Cleaned carpets in 3 bedrooms
7. Washed the hardwood floors
8. Cleaned most of the house as well

She did most of this without any help as I am still recovering from my outpatient surgery from Monday. Seems I over did it this week and still need to take it easy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Movie Etiquette

Went to the movies yesterday to see The Knowing with Nicolas Cage. Interesting movie to say the least. The previews for other movies were pretty sporadic on who they were targeting as well. Music during the movie was so loud I could see people covering their ears. Loudest I've ever experienced.

Right as the movie started the guy behind us starts unwrapping something and he kept unwrapping for at least 5 minutes. He was so noisy that my mom kind of got ruffled and I asked her if she wanted to move. She just sat up a little and looked over the seat and looked at the guy. The paper rattling stopped.

Near the end of the movie in a slower, most serious part of the movie the starts in again with the paper rattling. I really wanted to stand up and ask the guy to stop. My mom took a candy wrapper from her purse and held it over her head and started scrunching it. The guy stopped again.

I guess when you are in public you never know what to expect. My wife and I had a bad experience watching Bejamin Buttons when some teens kept going in and out of the theater and hopping over their seats as well.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I posted a while back about the limits of the Redbox movie renting system. I still think they need to add a side for returns only so people who are just returning can get in and out quickly.

Recently I visited the Redbox website, , and found a lot of good things about Redbox:

#1 You can go online and find out where the Redbox locations are.
#2 You can search for a movie and it will tell you which Redbox to go to.
#3 You can check out a specific Redbox and see what movies they have.
#4 You can reserve a movie before you go and take away all guess work.
#5 You can return the movies to any Redbox. This would be good for a long distance trip.

So, give Redbox a try. Not quite as many movies as Blockbuster or any other place, but a LOT cheaper.


After day one I am 14-2 in he NCAA tournament bracket. Not too bad.

Went again to the movies today with my mom and my daughter to see Race to Witch Mountain.

We cleaned the garage today and we are still thinking about listing our house in April. We are thinking we could sell it this year and rent for one year and then determine if moving back to Missouri is something we want to do. Easier to move back if we don't have to sell a house.

Actually went out tonight with my wife with a few friends. We watched some bad karoake singers and watched NCAA basketball.

One more free day of spring break.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fun Day

Went this morning with BillyV and my mom to see Slumdog Millionaire. It was my second time and I enjoyed it just as much this time around. It was a 10:30am show and there were at total of 5 people there.

After lunch we went fishing. IT wasn't until our 4th fishing hole did we finally start catching fish. It was a small pond by my friend CB's house. We fished there for almost 2 hours and catch about 20 extremely small fish. CB caughter one real keeper just as we were leaving.

NCAA the next 4 days. Plan on watching Mizzou Friday with BillyV.


I finally beat my wife in a game of Scrabble last night 314 to 302.

Scrabble has been our game of choice the near 14 years that we have been married. My wife has come a LONG way in the level of her play. When we first started playing she would only focus on what she was doing and wouldn't pay attention when she was setting me up for the Triple bonus plays. Often she would play an S in a wimpy place instead of putting it at the end of a word to create 2 words.

The last few years her level of play has really gotten better and her competitive side has come out. We played enough that I got her the Diamond Anniversary set with the rotating board and black letter tiles for Christmas and she LOVES it.

Now when we play she really takes a long time to play because she is wanting to maximize her points and doesn't want to miss the big play. This kind of makes the game drag and robs me of a little joy when we play. I'm always planning ahead and play quicker. Last night I suggested we get a timer and keep each play to 2 minutes or less. She didn't like the idea. We used to play 2 to 3 games as a setting when we played faster. Now it takes 2 hours to play one game. I brought this up and she says she at least wins more now.

Last night I only won because I told her I could spell pimento with all my letters. She pointed out when I could play it. It so happens it was on a triple tile so I scored 88 points with one play. Without her her help I would have lost again. I told her this was a much needed victory and I could see playing again this week. Now I just got to find the timer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doctors and Such

I have a personal doctor that I would see on rare occasions. It was hard to get in when I had a cold so I'd often go to these new E-Care type places. About a month ago I did the same and my bronchitis didn't fully clear so I called Dr. Jones. I got an automated machine that gave his hours: M,T,W, F 5pm until 9pm. Thursday was 2-7pm. Wow, strange hours. When I did contact the office I was informed that he had moved and was no longer taking insurance. The office visit cost $75 and I was not charged for my breathing treatment. He also prescribed an inhaler and even gave me a $20 off coupon. I wonder if I would have gotten better quicker had I went to him first? In the long run I probably was out of pocket $200 by going twice.

Yesterday I had outpatient surgery. I arrived at 1:30 as suggested for my 2pm appointment. I was the only one there and began filling out paper work. I was given a bill to pay, pre-surgery, and was told it was for my deductible and co-pay: $528. I wasn't caught off guard because they called and told me ahead of time. I was taken to my room at 1:40 and was actually sitting in my truck ready to drive myself home by 2:20pm. I just wonder if my portion was $500, what the total bill was for about 20 minutes of surgery time.

Maybe the insurance industry is hurting the economy as well?

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Need a New Cell Phone

Last summer I finally upgrade my old cell phone AND still had to pay a little bit for a refurbished Sony Ericsson 580. It was exciting to get a newer phone. One drawback has been that it turns on in my pocket. Often a ringtone will play or I find that the internet has kicked on showing my the weather for my mom's city. Yes, I am still on her plan. Recently I noticed that the keys are cracking. My friend CB had the same phone and had it replaced. When I called the lady said since it was refurbished it only had a 90 day warranty. AND I didn't have the $6 a month warranty on it so I was out of luck.

The phone still works. My next cheaper upgrade isn't until April 2010. I am finally getting into texting and wouldn't mind a keyboard too. So what do I do? Is there a way to get a phone cheaper without going through AT&T Cingular?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ah, Spring Break

Had a fun weekend. Went to a sports bar Friday night with a friend to watch Mizzou beat OSU. Saturday I worked out and then went to play cards at a different friend's house. Also watched Mizzou beat Baylor in the title game.

Went to church this morning. We were running late and our son threw a fit at church and I just about left with him, but was glad I didn't. Great sermon about Character Assassins. Go to the media section.

It was awesome out today. I detailed another teacher's Toyota Highlander-$50. I did this one about 4 years ago and it was really pretty easy. Amazing how much easier the dog hairs vacuumed out with my new vacuum. The clouds broke while I was detailing and almost made it warm enough to change into a short sleeve shirt. After the detailing I went and mowed 2 yards for the first time this year-$45.

The detailing and mowing definitely cause my back to tighten up. My knuckles also hurt a little bit. Getting old I guess.

Outpatient surgery on Monday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cash Only Please

We officially started our cash only plan. We are going to accelerate paying off debt and if we stick to this plan we will only have a house payment and a car payment by Christmas. Last night I went out with my friend CB to watch Mizzou take on OSU. We had hoped it would be Mizzou and OU. Well, at least CB did. Mizzou had a better chance against OSU. They won.

When it came time to pay I only had $15 and my total bill for drinks was $17.50. I know the servers here and when I gave Leon the $15 and a debit card I said I went over my cash limit and he could charge the extra to my debit card. He came back and had reduced my bill to $10.50 and gave me $4.50 back in change. I wasn't so cheap to keep the money so I tipped it. He took off my last 2 drinks. NICE.

My friend CB couldn't believe it and gave me a bit of a hard time. My defense was that I didn't ask for a deal, I just gave 2 forms of payment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


It has been a long week. I am tired and crabby. I think I didn't adjust to daylight savings that well. On top of that I have stayed up late each night. Add to that every night we have something going on and when I get home I'm doing lunches, dishes, laundry and so on. Tonight I had to unclog the dishwasher. A dozen or so popcorn kernels had the drain blocked. It works now. Funny thing is my wife ran the dishwasher last night and our current tablets are wrapped in plastic. She left the plastic on.

Spring Break. I do plan on sleeping til 8am or later a few days.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Little Wet

I think we made up for a whole month of drier weather today. I rained a little bit on Tuesday and then stopped before the moon tried to show its waxing self. I awoke about 5am this morning to a little bit of lightning and thunder as the cold front pushed through. It has been raining about 17 hours straight, most of it a heavy rain. Great opportunity to teach a few things in science today: what causes weather, how the hot air moves to cooler places forcing the cold air toward the equator, ground saturation, runoff, erosion and so on.

The cooler, raining weather should make it easy to fall asleep tonight. Time to get out the thick comforter for sure.

2 more days until spring break.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We have one credit card with a balance and with the new Financial Peace University class we are taking at church our goal is to get out of debt and start saving and paying cash for things. I noticed Sunday that our credit card had increased to 17.99%. We don't pay late and I always pay more than the minimum. So we called about lowering the rate and after talking to 3 different people I was assured that was the best rate possible. Our card is with GMAC and I wonder if they are hurting so bad that they will risk losing someone to a lower rate.

Well, I took one of our offers from New York Life. Since I am a client of theirs I can get 0% til May 2010 with NO FEE for balance transfers. Then it is fixed at 8.99%. With our snowball paying off of debt we play to pay that card off by November of this year and then would only have our house and 1 car we owe on.

My brother may sell me his 1980 CJ-7 for $3000 so I'll have a vehicle to drive when my truck lease is up as well.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I can See Spring Break

For once we are not leaving the state of Texas for spring break. I am having minor surgery Monday and actually look forward to taking it slow for a change. It was another busy weekend. We had something every night last week and then friends came over to spend the night Friday. I went to play cards with this friend. One slice of pizza cost me $10. I gave the host a $20 thinking I'd at least get back $15, but I guess she forgot. With that $10 and the cost of beverages for me and my friend I ended up even on the night.

Saturday we got the yard in shape. My wife weeded and cleaned the beds while I scalped the lawn. At night I went to visit the KVKid at a pastor friend's house. The biggest mistake of the weekend may have been that burger from Burger Island. I ate a burger and some greasy fries about 8pm Saturday night and work up Sunday with stomach cramps and the sweats. It cleared, or left my body, in time for me to go to church.

I wish they timed spring break with daylight savings time. Another busy week ahead. We may go camping this weekend and grandma is coming to town next week!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

No Slowing Down

It has been a busy week with no end in sight. My brother visited last Wednesday and I had 4 straight nights of going out with very little rest. Sunday may have been the best rest I've gotten in a while. Gymnastics Monday night, a financial peace class at Church Tuesday night, I mowed Wednesday night and never made it to take the kids to church, t-ball practice tonight and a visit to McD's for our sponsored school night. We came home and cleaned until about 9pm. We have good friends coming to stay with us for a night. Tomorrow should be fun as the guys will go play cards as the women stay home with the kids and visit. Saturday my wife has a school carnival after noon and another friend from the midwest is visiting for 2 days so we are hooking up with them sometime Saturday evening.

It may very well be Sunday again that I'll get my day of rest. Maybe God's plan of having a day of rest is something we all should heed! After that we have one week before spring break. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

A friend of mine accused me of becoming "One of those parents" when I told her we had commitments every night this week.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sorry Grandpa

I want to apologize to my grandpa, post mortem, for thinking he was mean for throwing my mom's paper dolls in the fire when she was a child. She left them out and didn't pick them up. As a parent I faced this crossroad myself today. My wife swept the hardwoods, and like usual, she allowed me the privilege of picking up the pile. In this pile was dust, dirt, small pieces of trash, a kid's sock, 3 paper airplanes and 1 Sonic airplane toy. The paper airplanes were made of paper from a special kit my son got this weekend. You probably see where this is going.

I picked up the airplanes and neatly stacked them. I wondered where I might put them. Then I decided that if it wasn't important enough to pick them up then he wouldn't miss them. In the trash they went along with the broken down Sonic toy. I've actually attempted things like this before, but was foiled when one of the kids see them in the trash.

So, sorry Grandpa, I understand your plight. Although my mom says they were her only toys.

Did you know? The Galileo spent the last decade of his life in prison because he was teaching that the earth wasn't the center of the galaxy and the Pope of the Catholic Church sentenced him to house arrest. He could have been hanged. This was in the 1600's and Pope John Paul offered an official apology in 1984. Nice.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Day of Rest

My brother came into town last Wednesday night. I picked him up at Love Field around 8pm. My kids went cause they really enjoy their uncle. We came back to the house for a little bit and let them unpack. We went to a local place that had open mic night and I got in around 11:30pm.

I took the day off. We went bowling early, drove by Southfork Ranch(they weren't impressed), drove downtown to check out the Grassy Knoll. My brother doesn't see the value in spending $13 to go into the museum. So by 3pm he was ready to hit a West End bar and start drinking beer. We went to the Stars/Blues game and saw a good game, if you are a Blues fan. Blues won 3-1. My friend Bobby went with us and it was his first NHL game. I think he enjoyed watching the people more than the game.

We had a weird day at school with an early release day. So school was 4 hours long. 1 1/2 hrs of that was an assembly. 30 minutes for lunch and another 30 for going to and coming back from specials. That leaves in the best case 2 hours for teaching. Subtract announcements, transition to and from lunch and dismissal we really only had about 1 hour of instruction time. We did not swith classes. The kids really do ask if they still have recess.

Friday night I hosted a poker game and everyone checked out by 11pm. My earliest FOLD every. I had time to blog and facebook after poker.

Pizza for lunch, bowling and then we went for dinner and then to see a band play. Got in after midnight.

Left for airport by 7:40am. No traffic. I went straight to church from there and have spent the rest of the day doing NOTHING.

I don't think I could handle my brother's lifestyle. He's a great guy, but he drinks more beer than water. I think I'm ready to hit the diet trail again after gorging myself this past week.