Sunday, July 19, 2009

12 Years

Yesterday's post was about a car, but that's only part of a much bigger occasion. 12 years ago was the day Michelle and I entered into marriage. Yes, Ruby will be an effective reminder of this particular anniversary, but to tell you the truth, every part of every day is a reminder of my precious bride. She's a part of me in so many ways. We've made it through life's ups and downs, always growing stronger as individuals and as a couple, but most importantly, as followers of Christ.

I'm loving every minute of my life with her. I don't deserve her or any of my blessings, which is why I live each day in a constant state of thankfulness.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Since I've known Michelle, she always would express how much she liked the Mercedes-Benz roadster convertibles when they would pass by, so naturally it's always been a lofty dream of mine to actually get one for her someday. Well, this desire started taking flight a few days ago when I found a 1982 380 SL Roadster (on the internet) for an amazing price. I thought that surely there was an underlying deficiency in this car's past that has brought it's resale value down. I called the owner and he turned out to be the kindest man you can imagine. He seemed to be honest and candid about how he and previous owners had cared for this car. As the saying goes, "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is"; however, the further I researched this car, the more and more I realized that this was simply an incredible opportunity. It had half the national average of miles and the asking price was a few thousand less than it's NADA market value according to its condition. At 27 years old, it's now a classic, yet much of it's mechanical make-up is new because of the thousands of dollars the previous owners had invested in the upkeep of this car.

In an effort to not drag this out much further, I'll just summarize by saying that Michelle and I decided to buy this old girl. Mr. Russell (the man who sold her to us) had named her Ruby, so in honor of him and his kind nature, we will also call her Ruby. Please enjoy these pictures from today. I'm sure that we'll make many memories in this car.

These next two shots are from our voyage home from Atlanta with the newest addition to our family.

This photo was taken right after Michelle parked Ruby in our garage for the first time.

Noah was the first to take a joy ride with Mom because he turned 9 yesterday. He deserved it for many other reasons as well. He's a great kid and an awesome son.

This shot really captured the moment. I'm sure Michelle and Hannah will have lots of time to bond as they cruise around town together.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Missing My Family

Tonight, I'm writing from Hampton, VA. I've been here all week conducting business. I'm really missing my wife and kids, but I have to keep in mind that this job that takes me away at times is also the same job that helps me provide for my family. Today at my meeting, I was taking notes on my laptop and then I decided to secretly open up a little media window to run a video of our Gulf Shores family vacation from last summer. I still paid attention to our briefer, but every few seconds I'd glance down at that little video. Even though it made me miss my family even more, I still had to see them. Yes, I'm over-the-board when it comes to sentiment, but you know what, I'm thankful for that part of me. I love that feeling in the center of my soul that lingers on each little movement of my kids. I had the volume turned off so others wouldn't hear what was going on from my computer, but the images were all I needed. That silent video conducted a symphony in my heart. I can't wait to be with them again this Friday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Landon's Surgery

This morning at 5:00, my wife and I rolled out of bed. I made coffee while she prepared to take our 3-year-old son, Landon, to the medical center in Macon to have his tonsils removed. Although this is a common thing that's been done for many years, I still wasn't handling it too well. When Landon was a few weeks old, he caught pneumonia. All I could do was hold his little body and pray for him as he gasped for breath and coughed up thick mucus from his lungs. He then had some issues with digestion and that had Michelle and I on our knees in prayer as well. During those early weeks and months of his life, I became extremely sensitive to his well-being, which is why I haven't done well coping with the fact that he's going to be anesthetized and have his tonsils taken out. However, NOT doing this is far riskier because he's had problems breathing at night due to his tonsils being so large. So our plan for this morning was for Michelle and her mother to take Landon while I stay home with our other kids.

I woke Landon up at 5:40, helped him go potty, and then carried him out to the car. After loading him into his car-seat, he smiled at me with that sleepy smile and leaned his head over to rest against my head. I securely placed his stuffed turtle, Pluffy, and his favorite train, Gordon, into his lap, then closed the door and returned to the house. For the next two hours I tried to stay busy, but that didn't help a whole lot. I kept in touch with Michelle and she updated me each step of the way. The surgery went well and he was back home by 12:30. Throughout the afternoon, he cried at the least thing and wanted me with him every second. I rocked him to sleep a couple of times, sang songs, played Thomas the Train, and gave him LOTS of chocolate ice cream. At bedtime we had to give him the stronger medication. He immediately began to drift away and as I watched him fall asleep, a few tears ran down my cheeks. My little buddy had experienced a rough day that had to be.

Here's a photo of my little "Landy" taken last Friday at Miramar Beach, FL. He had gotten really cold and so I wrapped him in a beach towel and held him until we left. His head was buried into my chest and when Michelle asked him to look at her for the picture, he was only willing to peak around my neck with one eye.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend With Uncle Ronnie

Today, we returned from a 4-day get-away to Sandestin, FL, where my Uncle Ronnie lives. He invited us to stay with him and it turned out to be a life-long memory. I was able to catch-up on his life and spend some truly quality time with him. Not to mention, he was able to become a part of my kids' lives. As you'll see from these photos, it was a beautiful place. He lives in a 4th floor condo that sits next to the Sandestin Bay, the Baytowne Wharf Marina, and the Baytowne Wharf Village. Each day we scooted around the resort on his golf cart and experienced the type of life he's living. I can't say enough about the fun we had with him.

This next picture is of Michelle and the kids at the Baytowne Wharf Village. This chair looks like any beach chair, except this one is huge. It made a quite unique photo of the 5 most precious people in my life.

On Saturday, the weather and sea were about as perfect as it gets. Just take a look at this photo of my 3-year-old, Landon, running down the walk-way to the beach. The ocean in the distance was calm and crystal clear. It was awesome.

This last photo is of my Uncle Ronnie with my kids. It was taken on his balcony that overlooks the Sandestin Bay. Moments later we got in the car and returned home, but it was with a heavy heart since we were not going to be able to share more time with my dad's big brother. This trip reminded me of how important it is to re-connect with family members. This life is too short to let it slip by without sharing time with those you love.

Monday, May 4, 2009

April & Early May '09

Our dear friend from San Antonio, Pam, visited us in early April. It was so awesome to hang out with her again. On her way to the San Antonio airport, she stopped and picked up some freshly made flour tortillas for me. Boy, were they delicious!

I took my three amazing boys to the airshow here at Robins AFB on Saturday, 2 May. This picture was taken in the back of an Army helicopter. We had such a great time! This was my first opportunity to take them to an airshow!

The next day, Sunday, 3 May, I took Hannah to Day 2 of the airshow because she was unable to come with the boys and me the day before. This picture was taken in front of the aircraft that I support, the E-8C Joint STARS weapon system. I was proud to show her my jet.

I had to include this photo. Look really hard and you'll see my little Hannah next to this enormous cargo jet called the C-5.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Easter Photo

My cute kiddos on Easter '09.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Noah's Soccer Game

I'm late getting this post out here, but I just wanted to let you know how great Noah did at his first soccer game of the season last Saturday. Basically, there were only three goals made during the game. They were all by Noah's team. And oh yeah, they were all by Noah! I was so proud of him. Here are some great photos from the game.

The pre-game prayer.

Noah's corner kick.

Here's Noah dribbling the ball through the defenders toward the goal!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mom Is Recovering Well

My mother's surgery went well this morning. She had a tumor removed from her neck. I wanted so badly to be with her during this, but I'm just not able to because of so many things keeping me here in Georgia. As I spoke with my dad this morning after the surgery, I could here in his voice the same feeling that was in my heart, and that's the feeling of nervousness, dependence, and relief . . . all at the same time. Maybe it's a guy thing, but there's something about 'not being able to protect your loved-ones' that just rattles me. We had to rely on the skill and knowledge of the doctor for my mother's safety and outcome. I'm so thankful for doctors and their expertise, but for the most part, I hope that God keeps me away from them as much as possible. I'd rather wrestle a gorilla than lay up on a hospital table and receive a procedure of any kind. (Somehow I'm talking about me now . . . back to Mom)

This evening as I drove home I called my mother's cell phone expecting my dad to answer, but to my surprise, she answered! She definitely sounded like she'd been through a rough day, but considering those factors, she sounded great. Please continue to pray for her recovery. Thanks

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Been A While

Well, it's well into March of '09 and my last post was around Thanksgiving of last year, so needless to say . . . I've been completely negligent of my blogger page. If anyone is out there, then "I'm sorry."

Basically, my life is going well and I'm truly blessed; however, I'm surrounded by friends in need. All I know to do is keep praying that God enables me to bless them somehow. I don't have much extra money, but that isn't always the answer anyway. If anyone reading this happens to be going through a rough time right now, please put your trust in God. Do your very best to keep going, but remember that He is in control of your life. Ask Him for what you need and He will hear you. I truly believe that what He desires mostly is your obedience, and it starts with laying your burdens at His feet. Just something to think about . . .

My wife and kids continue to be my joy. I learn something new about fatherhood everyday. I'm trying to maintain and strengthen my relationship with my daughter as she nears her teenage years. My belief is that only the love and trust we share with one another will be what stands the test of time in these challenging phases ahead of us. I've been trying to equip (or "prepare") her for years now and I'm sure I won't be done with that any time soon. She's so great. My prayer is that she becomes an example to her peers of how you can live righteously and still be accepted in the social scene.

My boys are also doing great. They are mature beyond their years. Noah is so loving and good-hearted. Jonah is full of integrity. Landon teaches me patience over and over. Michelle is the love of my life. I can honestly say that I love being who I am because of my family.

More updates: My career is wonderful. We're getting use to middle Georgia. I'll be starting my master's degree in the next few months, which will help me compete for a promotion within the next 18 months. It snowed a couple of weeks ago. I'm producing a lot of music these days. We joined a new church a few months ago and I'm playing the drums in the praise band. Hannah & Noah were baptized last month. I changed my eating lifestyle three weeks ago and have lost 9 lbs so far. My mother is having surgery on Monday, 16 March, so please pray for her. I have to finish an online course by midnight tomorrow, so please pray for me as well. And lastly, the boys and I sure are enjoying the new animated series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

OK. I'll end by just posting some pictures of the kids. Talk to you later!