11/7/12

A few thoughts on the 2012 Election

Just a few thoughts:

1) I predicted back in 2008 when Barack Obama won the election that if the Republicans ran another older white male for president, they'd lose. Unfortunately, that happened and in terms of the electoral college, the Republicans lost badly (the popular vote was much closer). I was surprised at how Romney actually made it a closer election than it seemed.

2) I think that we're going to see one of the worst 2nd term presidents in a long time. This is not necessarily an Obama thing, but rather, it's a presidential thing. We've already seen in the past that most second term presidents are not very successful. For instance, Bush 2 can be termed a failure for his second term, Clinton's certainly was, Reagan's was not great, Nixon was impeached and resigned, and Truman left office with the lowest approval rating until Bush 2. Eisenhower didn't have a necessarily bad 2nd term, but it can be said that many of the decisions made in that second term made things interesting for the next 50 years.

3) The charter school amendment in Georgia passing is going to be a windfall for private companies working in Georgia. Sadly, this means that Georgia students and teachers will again be getting the short end of the stick once again. I told Tasha last night that we should seriously start contemplating working for charter schools because that's where the money for schools in Georgia is going to go. At least we might not have furlough days there if that happens.

4) When I woke up this morning, I felt that we had reelected Hoover rather than electing FDR. The analogy is that in the Great Depression, Hoover sat back and tried to let the market correct itself until it was essentially too late. Having read some about what Hoover would have done if reelected, it seems that our current president is doing much of the same. Mainly, it was to let things work themselves out on their own rather than stepping in and doing something. When Hoover did step in, he did so in a way that did not assist people, and did not work towards any means of pulling out of the depression. Sound familiar?

5) Finally, it'll be interesting to see what both parties do in the next four years. I sincerely doubt that there will be much crossing the aisle to work with one another, so nothing will happen really in the next few years. Sad, really, that we are stuck in neutral as a country.

In all, it was an interesting night last night. As I said four years ago, I hope that my assumptions are wrong and that the president proves to be a great person. As always, more later....

9/30/12

Birthday boys!

video

We couldn't post this video except here, so here's the boys having their birthday cake! :)

9/3/12

Bath time!

Here's the boys taking their first bath without a support. Samuel's having too much fun and Joshua seems to be like "what in the world are we doing?!"


video

4/30/12

My Automotive History

So, I stole this idea from www.15q.net, which is a cool website about mostly license plates across the nation. However, one section, the author put down all of his cars, beginning with his first. So, I'm stealing the idea! I wonder who else might do this with me? :D (Btw, I don't have pictures for all the cars scanned, so I'll put in some pictures from the internet as fill-in.)


My first car of my own - 1982 Buick Electra Limited

(By the way, not my car, but pretty darn close. I'll see if I can change the picture with a scan of my Buick later)

 This was a grandma car, literally. The original owners had bought it new in 1982 as a closeout special. They had had the engine rebuilt two years before I bought it, had the interior redone a year before. In other words, I was getting a car that was nearly brand new for $1200. The downside was that we had to immediately put it into the shop for $1200 worth of transmission repairs and the seat transmission (to move it forwards and backwards) went out in 2001, necessitating me to drive from nearly the back seat for the last year I owned it. When gas got to $1.75 a gallon, I couldn't afford the 14 miles to the gallon that I was getting. We sold it for $1 to a family that needed good transportation and a reliable one at that. A good first car.

Particulars:
Owned: June, 2002-July, 2002
Miles Driven: Approximately 50,000 - the speedometer broke shortly after we bought it b/c of a faulty wire. Disposition: Sold to another family in Mableton, GA

2nd Car - 1992 Mercury Tracer



Again, not the real car, but close.

I HATED this car. Dad found it for me from one of his friends at NAMB and we bought it for around $1500. The engine was underpowered, the steering horrible, and, as you can see from the above picture,  everything was plastic. It was not a car that was built for a 6'1'' person, and was often in danger of being blown off the interstate by crickets and grasshoppers. Most of the time, it was running on three cylinders because it would burn through spark plug wires, and most important...IT WOULDN'T DIE. I tried many times to kill the engine in this thing. Give it to Ford for finally building the indestructible engine. Even though it would burn oil, I wouldn't put any in and hardly ever took it to get an oil change. It would finally ping when it would be ready for another quart. What finally killed it was getting rear-ended by another person in Carrollton who was going around 35 and didn't hit her brakes. The whole rear end of the car was crushed, the trunk deck was lifted around an inch, and the rearview mirror popped off with so much force that it took an entire piece of glass from the outside with it.


Particulars:
Owned: July 2002 - September 2004
Miles Driven: No idea, but too many for my tastes.
Disposition: Totaled and sent to a junk yard in Ranburne, AL

3rd Car - 1978 Mercedes-Benz 300D


The most amazing car known to mankind.


This was and still is my all-time favorite car. I still talk about it at least once a week and still have a heart and longing for another one. We had a 1982 300D as a family car in the mid-90s that Nathan had a wreck in and was totaled. We had another 2 D-model Mercedes from 1996-2002, one of which was another 300, and the other was a 240. When the opportunity to have whatever car I could find for $1500 came up, I began to look for another 300D for myself. This beauty was what I found. A perfect body, but needed some light work underneath the hood and in the suspension. It had the Euro headlights, plether blue interior, and the original radio was still in it. I was hoping that this would be my long-term project car, but unfortunately, the original engine gave out at 340,000 miles, cracking two of the five cylinders while I was driving to work one day in Carrollton. We tried to sell it for a while, but it just sat. Sadly, in late 2006 I sold it for a parts car. Even more sad, I never registered it with Mercedes or wrote down the VIN number, so I won't ever be able to come across the chassis if I wanted to.


Particulars:
Owned: October 2004 - September 2006 (ran until April 2005)
Miles Driven: close to 100,000.
Disposition: Engine busted, sold to a junk dealer in Western North Carolina


4th Car - 1995 Mazda Millenia 






For a while, I didn't have any car to drive consistently. I drove a 1995 Dodge Spirit that had been my Mamaw's, then Dad's. However, Dad gave it to BJ without telling me or letting me have a say! I drove Dad's 1995 Toyota Paseo convertible for a while, all the time trying to save up enough money to buy a car. This one was not a bad car overall, but not a great one, either. Bought this through Craigslist in Blairsville for $1200. I only owned this for a short while because it spat smoke like it was a chimney. Apparently, the V6 model of this car had a problem with the scrubbers that were installed, but it cost quite a bit to get down to them so you could fix it. Instead of dealing with that, we sold it so that we could get something a little better and more dependable. Funny enough, I made money on the sale of it, selling it for $1500!


Particulars:
Owned: March 2007 - September 2007
Miles Driven: About 10,000.
Disposition: Sold to a guy in the Atlanta area.

5th Car - 2007 Hyundai Accent GLS 



This was my first brand new car ever. We bought it at Cartersville Hyundai (which, sadly, is out of business) for around $10,000. It was a fun little car, but that was the problem: little. When Tasha and I found out that we were having twins, we realized that we needed something much larger pronto. Thankfully, the resale value had stood up rather well and we were able to get more than we owed for it when we traded it in for our first van (see 7th car).



Particulars:
Owned: September 2007 - September 2011
Miles Driven: Slightly more than 40,000.
Disposition: Traded in at Capital BGC in Marietta, GA.

6th Car - 2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 


(unfortunately, we don't have a good picture of our Sonata, but it looked exactly like this)


The infamous 'trim piece' car...we bought this car when gas went over $4 a gallon. Tasha had a 2004 Honda CR-V (a car we should have kept) that was killing us on gas at the time. We traded that in for this car, and were pleased with it while we drove it. A good and roomy car, it did lack a bit under the hood, but it was a sedan and a new one at that. The problem for us was that right before we traded it in for our second van (see car 8), the back window exploded on us because of the heat. While all of us have heard of this before, I don't think any of us have ever seen it happen. When we took it to the dealership (because we were still well under the 50,000 mile warranty), we were told that the back window was only covered in the 10,000 mile warranty because it was a TRIM PIECE. I was seeing red. Needless to say, we quickly decided that since Hyundai couldn't actually stand behind what they stated their warranty was, we couldn't own any of their vehicles. We traded this car in after about a month of getting it fixed.


Particulars:
Owned: November 2007 - October 2011
Miles Driven: 48,000
Disposition: Traded in at Capital BGC in Marietta, GA

7th Car - 2004 Honda Odyssey EX-L






This is one of our current vehicles. We bought this because we needed something to bring the boys home in, and this really fit our needs. I told Tasha that if we were going to get a van, the only kind that I wanted was a Honda. She found this one at Capital for a song, and on top of it, it has all of the bells and whistles that one could ask for. It was just at 103,000 when we bought it (we've put on around 11,000 going between Blue Ridge and other places in it), and runs very smooth. Leather seats, heated seats, CD player, DVD player, 2-zone AC/Heat, side and front airbags, 4 captain chairs, and a tape deck. :D


Particulars:
Owned: September 2011 - Present
Miles Driven: 11,000 so far
Disposition: Still own

8th car - 2005 Honda Odyssey EX


(no new pics of the van yet - will edit soon)

We got this van after the Sonata fiasco, but also because we realized that we needed another vehicle that Tasha could get into the back of if the boys needed us. Since Joshua came home from NICU and on an apnea monitor, we had to be sure he was breathing. This is pretty much a bottom-of-the-line Odyssey, but it still has cruise control, a CD player (which we had to replace immediately after buying because the laser didn't work. Thankfully the dealership we bought it from paid for the Pioneer system we have in it now), and also room for 8. It's got a bit more pep than the 04, but it does sometimes ride a bit rougher than the other van. This is likely because it needs better tires than what came on it when we first bought it.


Particulars:
Owned: October 2011 - present
Miles Driven: Around 8,000
Disposition: Still own


Hopefully this will be the last vehicles for a while! More later!












1/11/12

Work

So I obviously haven't updated in quite a while. No small wonder with two boys needing bottles, changing, and trying to be in a routine. In any case, it has been a bit crazy over the last few months. I have been working at Blue Ridge UMC coming up on three months now and things seem to be humming along. I've got around 10 kids that show up regularly, and we are starting to show signs of maybe growing just a little bit. Considering my first night I was here we had five kids, I think that this is a bit of an accomplishment. I also feel like we are making an impact within the church itself. While it isn't part of my job description to read scripture, greet people, or to sing in the choir, I have always done this in whatever church we have been at. I just feel more complete as a churchgoer to do this. Honestly, I don't feel that it takes away from the youth, either. Pretty much I feel like this is one of those great examples of follow my lead. It most certainly falls into our new slogan of "Seeking Jesus, Serving Jesus, Giving Jesus" within our own church.

In any case, I have been reading some blogs about different aspects of church ministry, and I find it funny sometimes how some ministers try to put a blanket idea over all churches because that is what they feel comfortable in. I recently read a particular post about an evaluation of a church in Oklahoma where a pastor from here in Georgia had gone out. Knowing how this particular minister is and what kind of church he has had, I found it a little amusing that essentially he was telling this church that they needed to make a church just like his out in Oklahoma. One major thing that he did not address, though, was how people would connect more deeply with God through the church. It was all surface stuff rather than anything deeper than just the aesthetics of the church or the flow of the worship service. This, of course, was the major flaw at his church and was one of the reasons why he ended up leaving his ministry. While extraordinarily talented at creating an atmosphere that was inviting and new, he lacked the skill to move new Christians away from the baby food and onto the meat of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps what is saddest, though, is that he does not realize that he is lacking badly in this.

I guess what I am trying to say for myself and those who read this who are in ministry is that we must always strive to be inclusive towards others, but also that we must address the deeper needs of those that we are trying to reach. I might have a ministry that is overwhelmingly attractive towards youth in Blue Ridge, but if I am not meeting their spiritual needs, then what am I doing in the first place?

Oh well, rant over. :D More later!

8/16/11

Changed the background

As some of you may have noticed, I changed the background of my blog here. One of the reasons that I had it the way that it was was a defense mechanism. When we lost our two children the last time that we did IVF, needless to say I was pretty depressed. Finding that template that had the birds flying just seemed to be symbolic for me to know that it was ok. However, I didn't want to have the colors other than black for mourning on here...just somehow it all made me feel somewhat better about the whole situation.

In any case, the new template is of the world. I can't wait until the boys are here and can explore their new world. I know that it will be limited to their cribs, the house, and church for a while, but I know in all too little time, they will be able to go anywhere they want to go in the world. Only 7 1/2 more weeks until they are here (hopefully no less).

Ok, got to get to bed. More later!

7/18/11

New post...only 2 months late...

It seems that when I am working on school things that I don't blog quite as often as I would like to. I suppose that's because I'm already writing so much during the week that I don't really want to write too much otherwise. Anywho...in the previous two months, I've been ordained and had a job interview with a company a friend works at. Needless to say, one went much better than the other. :D

The ordination service was really great because it truly felt like I am doing exactly what God wants me to be doing in my life. I don't know if I'll end up in a church or not, but I know that being a pastor is truly what I am called to do.

As for the interview, it was not with a Christian company or church. It just didn't go as well as I thought it would. We'll see what happens over the next few days. I'll post something here when I know something. :D

For now, that's it. More later.