Thursday, August 30, 2007

Effective or Efficient?

Leadership is about doing the right things (effectiveness)
while management is about doing things right (efficiency)
-Rick Fox

Monday, August 27, 2007

Third Grade

Despite the fact that she does NOT have my permission to do so, Amanda Kay continues to grow up. Today was the first day of 3rd grade and despite the cursory "I don't like school" comments she thinks all kids are supposed to make, she didn't have any reservations about going back to school. She was stylin' with her new clothes, High School Musical 2 book bag and her elbow sling!

I am always sad to see school start again. Besides the obvious (like getting an education), I know it is healthy for Amanda to develop her "own life" with her own friends, away from us for awhile, etc, but do I have to like it? I am a family man through and through. I would love to be on "family vacation" year around, just the three of us traveling and making memories together. Of course we make memories during the school year, too, but school just seems like such an imposition on family time. I certainly am not "Mr. Spontaneous", but I like staying up late to watch a movie together, or go for a bike ride after it cools off in the evening, going to Dairy Queen or whatever without having to worry about "no time because of homework" and "we've got to get home so you can get a bath and get into bed for school tomorrow". School trumps family fun, and I don't like it.

Being on her own at school is healthy for Amanda and she LOVES being around her friends (like her Momma, she's a 'people person'), it's just an adjustment for me. I know Amanda gets bored during the summer not having people to play with and having to hang out at church while we work, but I miss having her around. It will all be OK in another week or so, but I'm just a little mopey right now. I'm looking forward to the three day weekend this weekend. We're camping with Geama and PaPa D, so we've got some family fun ahead of us!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Geocaching in Mesquite

Amanda and I went to a geocaching event today called Milestone Event for Geocaching Achievements in Mesquite. We cached on the way there, had some WONDERFUL smoked BBQ for lunch, got to hang out with nearly 200 other geocachers, met "The Outlaw" who is a geocacher with over 8,000 finds and came away with some pretty cool geocaching "stuff". Amanda and I didn't have a very good day cache-wise (only 7 caches in as many hours of geocaching), but we decided we still had a great day just hanging out together.


This is what greeted us at our first cache. Actually, this was just the first such GIANT spider that greeted us at our first cache. No, we did NOT find this cache and no, we did NOT stick around after seeing this thing!


Do you see it? The little magnet box behind the post? GeoPunkin spotted this one today.


This little guy was not near as scary as the giant spiders we saw today. Still, I was too chicken to pick him up.


Sometimes you gotta cross a creek, and in my thinking, the drier you can do it the better.


GeoPunkin followed me across the creek, complete with arm in a sling (from yesterday's elbow dislocation "incident")


I kept telling Amanda to smile "normally". Finally I threatened to blog the picture if she did not stop. She didn't.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23rd.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I guess I only need a few more to tell you about this picture.

Thursday, August 23rd.

1:55 PM - Amanda standing on a skate board (STANDING, not skating). Somehow skateboard shoots out from under her. Amanda falls. Arm hurts and Amanda cannot move it.

2:00 PM - Rob, Brooke and Amanda en route to emergency room. Beginning of pain and crying.

2:20PM - They take us back. Very nice paramedic talks with Amanda to find out what happened (he could have worked at a children's hospital...he was really good). X-rays needs...LOTS of screaming. Diagnosis - dislocated elbow. IV started to administer morphine and medicine to make her "semi-conscious" so elbow can be popped back into place. LOTS more screaming and not enough sitting still...had to poke a second time. Amanda figured out that moving around meant more pokes, so she sat still second time. Also discovered that the needle stick was not near as bad as she had imagined it in her mind. Morphine helped her calm down. Then it was time for the REALLY COOL medicine. They gave it to Amanda via her IV, she closed her eyes as if asleep, they had us leave the room and three minutes later we were back. Amanda's arm was being wrapped in a splint, she was not in pain, it was popped back in place, she asked "Am I dreaming?" and had no recollection of anything that had taken place during those three minutes.

4:00 PM - A few muscle tremors and it was all over.

5:00PM - That nice paramedic brought Amanda a Popsicle and unhooked her from everything.

5:30 PM - FINALLY discharge papers arrived, we were harassed about paying our $100 deductible right then (which we did not do) and we left for home.

Thursday, August 23rd.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Coke, Pop or Soda?

When my friends from "up north" come to visit, I have to tell them not to order "pop". When I explain to them that it is "coke" here, they ask, "What if I want a Dr. Pepper or something." When I explain, "It's still called a 'coke', you just order 'Dr. Pepper'" they look at me funny. Maybe this will help:

Monday, August 20, 2007

How Wide the Gap

I am updating my blog page and just finished moving The Jesus I Never Knew from my "currently reading" section to the "good reads" section. This book has grabbed a hold of me like no other book I have read. It is what I would call "one of my favorites" on the one hand, yet on the other, it disturbs me greatly. It has made me uncomfortable. It has given me a picture of Jesus that I did not have before, and it has given me an even clearer picture of the GREAT CHASM that exists between the example Jesus laid out for me and the way I live my life. This book has challenged me to reexamine some deeply held beliefs in my Christian life. It has also bothered me because I have become aware of more areas where I say I want to follow Christ, but when I am brought face to face with what that means, alarmingly I hear myself say, "That is NOT what I want." What I mean is, I do "want" to live that way, but honestly, I do not want to pay the price.

What I have found, as I am trying to process all this book has brought to my mind and heart, is that I am not riddled with guilt, rather I am challenged to draw closer to Jesus and let Him change what is wrong in my heart...in the very core of who I am. I feel the pain of falling short, but I also feel a certain sense of adventure as I see how my life could be changed...again. Hmmm...I guess what I am trying to describe is what is hinted at in the title of the book "The Jesus I Never Knew". Words fail to describe adequately what is going on in my heart. I think it will take several days of journaling to pour out all of this before the Lord.

I will leave you with the two things that have most challenged me, and I will share them in a very general way. If I try to quote specifics from the book, I will be here all night and this post will become a book!

The first and most challenging thought had to do with the people who felt most comfortable around Jesus...those who sought Him out. These people were cheats (tax collectors), prostitutes, the sick, poor, social outcasts, vile people (a thief on the cross). Who was most UNcomfortable around Jesus? Religious people. And it was a mutual thing...Jesus was most comfortable around non-religious people. Why is it that the church (myself being the perfect example) has gotten this so backwards today? Why is it that "sinners" do not seek out the Church, rather they are repulsed by us? And why am I so uncomfortable around the people Jesus spent His time ministering to?

And being a deeply patriotic person, the second thought that greatly challenged me was being reminded again that Jesus' kingdom was so far opposite from what people of his time expected (a conquering Messiah) that they didn't even recognize Him. Jesus did not try to change the world through politics or social activism. At this point, I'm not taking down my Fred Thomas links from my blog and I'm not going to "un-register" as a Republican, but I have been deeply challenged to reconsider the "hope" I put "Christianizing" people through social reform, politics, the American Dream and the powers of the "Moral Majority". Jesus' kingdom will not come about through electing a Republican president and Congress or through legislating morality. I still believe I have a responsibility to care for the blessing God has given America by being a voice for Him and for righteousness in this great country, but God is challenging my thinking. His kingdom and his heart includes those on the "other side" of my political walls.

How wide the gap between Jesus' example and my life. A rebuke, a challenge...an adventure.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Geocacing Finds 425-432

Saw another road runner while out geocaching today. The picture is not real clear because I had to crop the picture to make the bird big enough to see, but I found him at the park today. I think this is the third one I have seen.

Here's a picture of a rabbit I saw at the Rush Creek Rabbits Cache today.

Here's me with the actual cache.


Rush Creek Rock was the most fun cache I did today. When I originally read the cache description, I thought perhaps this was more adventure than I wanted today: Cliffs, springs, unique aquatic vegetation, and an ammo box full of good stuff, including rocks and related items. What could be better than that. . . . and did I mention mud? . . . briars . . poison ivy . . . sweet! So I had it marked down as a "maybe". I had just completed a cache where I had walked about 1/3 mile from the car. I found that cache and was heading back to the car when I let the GPS search for the next nearest cache...it said go BACK another 2/10's of a mile, so I turned around and went for it (not realizing I was heading for the "maybe" cache). When I got there, I came to a creek and debated about crossing it. Found a shallow, narrow area but knew it would get my hiking boots wet to cross it. But hey, what good are hiking boots if you can't do some "real" hiking in them, right? So I crossed and walked down the dry side of the creek bed. The closer I got to where the GPS said the cache was going to be, the louder the thought came "it's gonna be back on that other side of the creek". It was. I saw it clearly. By this time, it must have been in the upper 80's with at least that much humidity and I was already a half mile away from my car. There was no way I was leaving without signing the log, so I just had to decide between "cross back where I came from, walk way around and then try to find it coming down" or "cross shin-deep water and try not to slip on the mossy rocks and get the cache quicker". I opted for the latter, TOTALLY soaked my boots for the rest of the day and proudly signed the cache. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you should be able to see the cache clearly.


And here is a map of my travels for the 8 Finds and 2 Did Not Finds I had for the day. It's just a screen shot turned into a JPG, so the zoom arrows, etc will not work.

Showing God's Love in Practical Ways

This past Saturday, our church handed out 85 backpacks full of school supplies to kids in our area of town. We rented out space at a park just down the street from the church, brought in some bounce houses and invited our neighbors (via door hangers two weeks ago) to come for free school supplies. We were able to help families get the supplies they needed for their kids, pray for a few people and meet some of our neighbors. We were trying to demonstrate God's love in a practical way, and for at least 85 kids, practical needs were met. Brooke did a GREAT job coming up with this idea and organizing everything to make it happen. I think a number of people caught a vision and I'm excited to see what happens next school year.

Click on the picture above to view our church's Flicker page with the outreach photos. There will be a link where you can view the pictures as a slide show if you wish.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Family Picture

The Hurts all dressed up at a wedding


Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist's Eyes (Paperback)

I just ordered this book at Amazon. I read about it on the Rant & Reason atheist blog I follow. This is what Maggie had to say about the book in her post Equivalent to Friendly Atheist?

I feel that Hemant’s book is great for Christians looking to understand atheists better. He expresses his honest opinions with an open mind about his visits to several different churches across the country. And even though he could have used the book to convert readers to atheism or badmouth each church he visited, Hemant takes the high road and remains true to his “friendly” form.

I went to Amazon, and here is the editorial review posted there:

Mehta, an atheist, once held an unusual auction on eBay: the highest bidder could send Mehta to a church of his or her choice. The winner, who paid $504, asked Mehta to attend numerous churches, and this book comprises Mehta's responses to 15 worshipping communities, including such prominent megachurches as Houston's Second Baptist, Ted Haggard's New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Willow Creek in suburban Chicago. (Mehta ranks Willow Creek as the church most likely to draw him back.) Mehta, who grew up Jain, offers some autobiographical context, then discusses nonreligious people's approach to topics such as death and suffering. But all that is just a preamble to Mehta's sketches of the churches he attended. He doesn't find much community in churches; families sit far apart from other families, and people race "out the front doors to their cars" as soon as the service ends. Churches earn high marks for Mehta when they offer great speakers and focus on community outreach, but they also do many things wrong, including singing repetitive songs and alienating non-Christians by ubiquitously proclaiming them to be "lost." Mehta's musings will interest Christians who seek to proselytize others and who want to identify their evangelistic mistakes.

I hope to finish my current book, The Jesus I Never Knew, this weekend. Then I've got to read Communicating for a Change (just got it in this week), and then I'd digging into this book.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One, Two, Three...FOUR Turtles

This is Grumpy O'Mally. He is a Three-Toe Box Turtle and we found him while geocaching. I believe he was still hibernating when we found him. I thought he might be a cleverly disguised cache, so I picked him up. When I realized he was a real turtle, I thought it might be fun to bring him home for a day or two and let Amanda watch and possibly feed him. Somehow, Amanda was able to experience fear and "love" at the same time. She literally screamed when I made her touch him, but then she cried when I wanted to let him go. So I ended up building a pen outside in our back yard and he came to live with us. Amanda named him "Grumpy" because he hissed when he first saw us and who knows where "O'Mally" came from. Does he look Irish to you? Grumpy's favorite food is Romain Lettuce (actually, any kind of lettuce, but we get the darker lettuce so he can have more vitamins). We call him a "he", but we don't know for sure.


This is Little George O'Mally. "Little George" is what Amanda came up with when she saw his size. "O'Mally" because that became the official last name of the newly formed turtle family at the Hurt household. Little George came to us from our Pastor's swimming pool. He fell in and could not get out. He was swimming for all he was worth, and fortunately for him, Mrs. Debi rescued him and called us. We brought him home to the Hurt turtle pen (large pen outside) so he could avoid future "incidents" in the pool. Little George likes sweet fruits like strawberries and cantaloupe, but he's a meat eater at heart. He loves worms and bugs and will even devour hamburger, chicken or ham if it's dropped into the cage. I think he is the most fun turtle. He knows I am the "food guy" and he literally comes RUNNING when he seems the worm container. Near as I can tell, Little George is a Texas Ornate Box Turtle.


This is Grace O'Mally. "Grace" because Amanda decided this one was a girl and because we had "G" names for the other two turtles. Grace lived with a family from church who had a college age son. When he left home, they kept Grace for a while and then offered her to us. A third turtle? Sure, why not. We told them she would move from her indoor aquarium to our outdoor pen and would have to learn how to fend for herself outside (i.e. figure out how to dig in the mild Texas winter and hibernate). She did just great. Grace is not a big lettuce eater. She likes strawberries, bugs and worms. Grace is a Three-Toe Box Turtle.


This is Gina O'Mally and she is the newest edition to our turtle family. We just got her this weekend. When you have turtles, I guess word gets around. Gina came to us from my mom's, hairdresser's son! He found her on the side of the road and went to move her off so she would not get run over. When he did, he noticed she had a cracked shell on the underside of her shell (called the plastron) and her left, back leg (not show here) is missing a foot! The leg is all healed up and she gets around fine. We know Gina is a female because she laid eggs at the other house before coming here, but some animal got to the eggs and so there are no baby turtles. So far, we have seen Gina eating strawberries and worms. Gina is also a (three-footed) Three-Toe Box Turtle.


This is our turtle pen along side our back porch. It provides plenty of shade, a small "pool" for drinking and soaking, logs to "hide" under and crawl on (see Little George's picture above), direct sunlight (also necessary for healthy turtles), it is easily watered down if we have not had rain in a while. The dirt is soft enough for them to dig to partially bury themselves to stay cool in the summer or to completely bury themselves to hibernate for the winter. The pen is about 9 feet by 16 feet.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Date Night With Daddy

Friday night Brooke went "out with the girls" so Amanda and I had a daddy/daughter date night. As you can tell from this picture of us at the Olive Garden, we were a bit more casual than last time. We had to start out with Olive Garden because Amanda is now hooked on Chicken Alfredo. They did not have Chicken Alfredo on the kids menu, so Amanda got Fettuccine Alfredo, I ordered the Chicken Alfredo and we shared the chicken.

We spent the night at my parents house. They were gone camping, so it was just me, Amanda, 4 dogs, 10 or so cats and I don't know how many birds.

These birds we found at the local park, not in the house! These ducks (and about 7 more) went through a whole loaf of bread.


As soon as I told Amanda we would be going to my parents' house, she told me she wanted me to play cars with her. This is a bucket of cars, trucks, motorcycles and airplanes I had when I was a kid, so we played together on Saturday morning.


When we got up Saturday morning, Amanda wanted to play the keyboard in "her" room at my parents' houses. She does not know how to play the keyboard, but it has background music, various instrument settings, etc. I am not a keyboard player or much of a musician, but I know how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Ba Ba Black Sheep and the ABC song on the keyboard. Before you get too impressed, think about it...all three can be sung to the same melody. Anyway, I taught Amanda how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Unfortunately, the camera battery died before she finished the whole song! But you can click on the picture above to see/hear a video clip of her playing. We learned the song, shot the video and packed up to head home to see Momma.

Sanctuary Cities - They Don't Make Sense To Me

From Fred Thompson's blog today:

If you listen to folks who oppose immigration and border enforcement, you get the feeling they think we put locks on our doors to keep everybody out. The truth is we have locks so we can choose who comes in.

An example of what happens when we don’t make the choice took place August 4th when three Newark, New Jersey, college students with great promise were executed, gangland style. The killers’ ringleader was apparently an illegal alien indicted twice in 2007 for felonies, including the rape of a kindergarten-aged girl.

Why would such a person be set free instead of being handed over to authorities for deportation? The answer is that Newark is a “sanctuary city” which bans cooperation between local officials and federal immigration officials. More than 60 sanctuary zones, including 30 of America’s largest cities, provide a national networked haven for foreign and organized criminals who recruit and operate outside those areas as well. These sanctuaries include Cambridge, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Austin and Houston, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and New York City. (Read the rest here)


Friday, August 10, 2007

Gotta Have AC in Texas

The Fox news story says: After finding out he would have to pay $1,200 to fix his car’s AC, Dawson, 26, rigged a common household air conditioner to fit on top of his car. The crafty civil engineering graduate from the University of Houston cut a hole in the sunroof to allow the cool air to get in, MyFoxHouston reported.

Read it all here. There is a link to the news story video as well.

Chatting with the Humansists

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I occasionally posted conversations I have had with staff bloggers on the Humanist News web site. It was not until last week that I realized I have not had anything new from them show up in my Google Reader feed for their blog, so I went to check it out. They "updated" their blog, and it is now called Rant and Reason (very clever name).

What made me think about them was a Fox News article I read entitled San Diego Firefighters File Complaint for Being Forced to Attend Gay Pride Parade. I went to the new Rant and Rave web site, looked up the email address for one of the staff bloggers I had conversed with before and sent this this email:

Hey Maggie,

Rob here...I'm the Christian that visits your site from time to time (been a while now) and comments. I'm writing to you rather than some of the other "newer" folks 'cause I thought you might remember me.

Anyway, here is a news story I would be interested to hear somebody's take on there. Don't know if anybody will blog it or not, but thought I'd send it your way anyway.

San Diego Firefighters File Complaint for Being Forced to Attend Gay Pride Parade

I think I have a pretty good idea what you guys would say if a firefighter were forced to attend a "religious" parade but was hoping to hear some thoughts on this one.

Does Fred not blog anymore?

Have a good week,
Rob

To which she replied:

Hi Rob,

Great article! I’ll definitely blog on it, since I myself haven’t found much to blog about this week. And you’re absolutely right: as I would never want anyone to be forced to attend a “religious” parade, nor should anyone be forced to attend a gay pride parade.

Fred indeed no longer blogs … his work keeps him pretty busy and we needed to have writers who could dedicate at least one blog entry a week.

Thanks! -Maggie

You can read her blog posting here. Be sure to read the comment section as well. I haven't posted a comment yet. I just replied to a different post yesterday and I suggested the material for this post, so don't know if I will or not, but I thought it was all an interesting read anyway. Being "logical" is very important to these people and I often point out when I feel they are not being consistent when it comes to Christian matters, so I had to point this one out. At least Maggie is being consistent.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

More Reasons Not To Join the Global Warming Religion





1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintained its estimate that three to five of the hurricanes will be major storms of Category 3 strength or stronger. The original report forecast up to 17 tropical storms, with up to 10 becoming hurricanes. - Since the consensus of scientists have told us that global warming is at an all time "high" (i.e. "hot") due to man-made carbon emissions, and since we "know" global warming is what cause Katrina (well, that and President Bush), what in the world is happening? Why are there fewer hurricanes with global warming reaching emergency levels?

2. Despite the slight reductions, NOAA said atmospheric and oceanic conditions mean that the season likely will be more active than normal. On average, there are 10 named Atlantic storms and six hurricanes, three of them major. - Please define a "normal" hurricane season. Have their not been years with more hurricanes, followed by years with fewer hurricanes (say with me..."cycles") since we have been tracking them? This is just a way the global warming faithful are trying to cover up their crying WOLF."

3. But the unexpected development of El Nino -- the periodic warming of Pacific Ocean waters that affects wind patterns and tends to result in fewer Atlantic storms -- helped dampen conditions. - These "experts" can't reliably predict hurricane conditions from one season to the next, yet they can tell us of the planet destroying, cataclysmic events that we will experience 50 or 100 years from now due to "global warming"?

I wish these people would just go ahead and form an official "religion", apply for their 501-c-3 and whatnot rather than keep pretending that their faith (i.e. that which is believed yet not seen) is science.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Working...and Relaxing

At the church, we have one big wall and one small one made of railroad cross ties. The cross tie at the bottom of the small wall split out, so it had to be replaced. Chad (on the left) came to help me out. Had it not been for Chad (and his tools!), I would still be working on that wall and I'm pretty sure it would have collapsed a week or so after I finished.

Here's a picture of the three of us (Chad, Rob, Chris) and our proud accomplishment. If you click on the picture to enlarge, you will see that my eyes are closed. I'm not sure if I just blinked at the wrong time or if I was just miserable from the sunburn I got! Thank you Chad and Chris for your help.

On Sunday afternoon I did a little solo geocaching. It has been WAY too long since I've been out, and I really enjoyed myself. Here's a picture of me at one cache...I labeled the picture "No partial commitment here" because I saw the tree where the cache was right off. And then I surveyed the LUSCIOUS growth around it and tried to calculate what kind of "crawl into the middle of that stuff" commitment it would take to get to the cache. As you can see from the foliage around me, there was no partial commitment here.


Saturday night we went to a friend's house and cooked out with some friends. Had a great time.


Normally I would not have posted a picture like this on my blog (in case somebody didn't like the way they looked in the picture), but since Meagan (the one in the pretty blue goggles) threatened me, I had to go ahead a do it.


I thought this was going to be the "special" family picture of the night...


...until I saw this one! Yes, this is the woman I married and am still deeply in love with!


And this was my favorite picture from the night.

If I do not post anything new for a few days you'll know it's because I'm having to lay low after posting a couple of these pictures!

Kooks...Kooks...Kooks!

I get more negative comments on my blog for "name calling" when I call Global Warmers "kooks". But the more I read, the more convinced I become that Global Warming is a religion of kooks! Let me illustrate (rather, let me show you how these people illustrate their kookiness themselves):

First of all a question for the Head Kook, Weird Al: Since when does a "consensus of scientists" make something a fact? I thought science was objective and could prove itself. Why do you keep referring to a "consensus of scientists"? How long ago did a consensus of scientists tell us the world was flat? Was that good science? Here's what Head Kook had to say:

"There has been an organized campaign, financed to the tune of about $10 million a year from some of the largest carbon polluters, to create the impression that there is disagreement in the scientific community," Gore said at a forum in Singapore. "In actuality, there is very little disagreement."

Gore likened the campaign to the millions of dollars spent by U.S. tobacco companies years ago on creating the appearance of scientific debate on smoking's harmful effects. (read the rest of this Fox News story)

Kook example #2 - We've all heard how we need to go back to the dark ages and quit driving cars in an effort to minimize carbon emissions which we know, through a "consensus of scientists", is man-made and the number one cause of Global Warming. Now we told we do more harm to the environment by walking than by driving because of the carbon emissions produced by getting the food to us that we need to produce the energy to walk somewhere! Check it out here. (So should I walk, drive a Prius or take the Hummer?)

And the winner of tonight's Kook Expose, Did Climate Change Contribute To The Minneapolis Bridge Collapse? (link to the Kooks' own web site).

If Weird Al, and others, keep shouting GLOBAL WARMING long enough, more people are going to buy into it. But please, research it yourself and don't fall for faulty reasoning and the lack of scientific evidence from the Religion of Global Warming. And please, somebody explain to Weird Al that "consensus" is NOT science.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

I Did it Again

I was watching X Games on TV tonight and flipped to the channel guide. I saw that We Were Soldiers was on, so I started to watch it. I bawl like a baby several times throughout the movie, but there is something that draws me to it every time. I got tired of waiting through commercials, so I got my DVD out and watched the whole thing from the beginning.

I blogged about this movie last year, so I won't repeat all of that again, but I am always so moved by this movie that I feel I have to do something to let out what I feel inside. No movie moves me as deeply as this one...men dying for our great country while wives and small children are at home having to "go on with life" after receiving the news that their husbands/fathers have been killed in the line of duty. The movie is WAY too intense for my 8 year old daughter, but some day we will sit down, watch it together and cry together. When she is mature enough, I want her to understand the tremendous sacrifice so many have given for our great nation.

Two lines from the movie that hit me hard tonight. One, spoken by Mel Gibson who was the Lt. Colonel in charge of the operation the movie is about. He said, "I will never forgive myself" When asked why, he said, "because my men died and I did not." I cannot imagine that kind of responsibility. Had it not been for the actions of this Lt. Colonel, all of the men would have died, but that didn't change how he felt.

The other line (that set me off crying once again) was when he finally got to come home, he was hugging his wife and she called to the children, "Kids, come down{stairs}. Your Daddy is home." How many times had his wife stopped herself from thinking about that moment out of fear that the day would never come?

I'll never be able to watch that movie without being moved to tears...and I don't want to. God help America if we can ever sit and see the story of such great sacrifice and not be moved...and not thank Him for this great nation and for the heroes who gave their lives in sacrifice. I say again, that you God for their sacrifice, that you to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice (both the soldiers and their families), and thank you to the men and women of our armed forces serving today. God bless you, and may God continue to bless our great nation.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Simple Pleasures of a Closed Door

Here's a picture of the two furry members of our family, Boo in front and Sully in back (Brooke is the less furry one in the middle). I had to laugh at them last night, and then I got to wondering how something so simple can make them so happy. Let me explain.

I was reading last night while Brooke was watching TV. I had closed my office door to make it a little quieter. A little while later, Brooke came and opened my office door and let the dogs come in. She said they were both just sitting at the door waiting to come in. When she opened the door, they both ran in and jumped up on my lap as I sat in my favorite reclining reading chair. Brooke talked for a few minutes then closed the door and went back to her TV watching.

What do you think those dogs did not 30 seconds after Brooke left the room? They jumped out of my lap and went to sit by the office door waiting for somebody to open it. I opened the door and they bounded out to go greet Brooke as if they had not seen her in several hours.

And that made me remember my Husky, Mitzi, when I was growing up. We lived in Iowa so houses had basements. Our basement had a large room where we kept the ping pong table. And I can remember, as if it were yesterday, getting my ping pong paddle out and heading toward the basement door steps. Mitizi would jump up, run in circles, wag her tail and get oh so excited about going down those steps and into the ping pong room. I don't know why, other than the simple pleasure of getting to the other side of a closed door. Once inside the room, she would lay down under the table while we played ping pong.

After Dad and I had played several games (usually it was "enough" for him and not enough for me), we started the whole process in reverse. I would walk to the door and Mitzi would get all excited. I'd open the door at the bottom of the steps and she would RUN up the steps and wait at the door up there. I'd open that door and she would bound through all excited about I don't know what.

At our house, when one of us leaves, the dogs sit at the door and wait for us to come home. Yes, they get up and do other things, but as soon as they hear a car pull up, they run back and wait, eagerly looking up at that closed door. And what a joy it is to walk through that door. Two dogs are all excited, jumping up, turning in circles just so glad you walked through that door. Boo in particular gets so excited I've started calling it her "party" whenever somebody comes home.

I'm not sure what it is about the simple pleasures of a closed door, but now that I've noticed the phenomenon, I've started enjoying it myself. Boo is at my feet chewing on a bone right now. I think I'm gonna close my office door just so I can watch her little tail wag 900 miles an hour as I walk back toward the door two minutes later to let her back into the rest of the house.