May 2011


Sorry, but I didn’t prepare a post today.  It just occurred to me that I’m a day behind with Monday being a holiday.  We visited my family this weekend in Tennessee and left my kids there with Nana.  I never realized that going to work and coming home in the evening could be a vacation until I had two kids.

We pick them up this weekend.  I’m sure there will be some good stories to tell…

Despite Harold Camping’s predictions, the rapture did not come this weekend.  That guy was really making predictions like there was no tomorrow… collective moan from the crowd.  Apparently, some were so convinced in his prediction that they quit their jobs.  I’m guessing that today they’re looking for some Kool Aid stands.  Yeah, I know there are some crazy natural disasters going on and a lot of the Biblical signs of the end are occurring, but why are some people so obsessed with predicting the exact day and time?

First, we need to establish some very basic theology here.  No man knows when the end is coming and anyone who claims to be a Christian yet believes what some guy says about predicting a date for the rapture needs to open up their Bible and actually read it.  Jesus himself said that he did not know when the time would come – only the Father knows. 

Meanwhile here on earth, religious fanatics push people further from the truth with outlandish and inaccurate claims.  It is often the “religion” created by man that pushes people away from the gospel given by God.  That might be a good subject for a post on another day.

I heard several stories about what people were doing in preparation for the rapture.  Possibly one of the craziest I read was about After the Rapture Pet Care.  Go ahead and click on that link for a good laugh.  Here’s the basic premise: when the rapture comes, Christians will be taken away and non-believers will be left behind.  Most of you are familiar with that part.  What you may not have thought of is what will happen to all of the Christian’s pets.  This website allows Christians to register their pets and for a onetime fee of $10.  The following is straight from their website.

This is what will happen for all pets registered with us immediately after the Rapture:

  1. Our non-Christian administrators will activate our rescue plan.
  2. Volunteers will be alerted immediately by email and telephone that they have been activated.
  3. Pets will be assigned to our Volunteer Pet Caretakers based upon location and other factors.
  4. Our administrators and Volunteer Pet Caretakers will do whatever it takes to find and rescue your pets. If your pet has a location chip, they’ll use that, or they’ll go to every location you’ve registered with us, and, if your pets are not at one of those locations, they’ll search for your cars as well as stay in contact with the local pet shelters. If they are unable to reach a Volunteer Caretaker in your area for whatever reason, our administrators will communicate with local animal organizations, like the Humane Society, to advocate for your pet’s rescue and care.
  5. Our administrators will stay in touch with our Volunteer Pet Caretakers regarding each and every pet to be sure everything is being done to rescue and care for them.

Wow.  There are so many things I could say about this, but I’ll just let you insert your own punch line. 

It’s been a while since I did any “kids” postings and Olivia gave me a great opportunity this week.  Her preschool class filled out a questionnaire entitled “All About My Daddy!”  Here are her answers:

  •  How old is your Daddy?   31 years old (thanks, Liv)
  •  How much does he weigh?   4 pounds (take that, Kelly Ripa)
  •  How tall is he?   5 feet (give or take a foot)
  •  What color is his hair?   Brown (1st one she got right)
  •  His eyes?   Blue (back to wrong answers)
  •  When my Daddy relaxes, he likes to – go on the computer (it’s called work)
  •  He loves to cook – pizza (agreed)
  •  When my Daddy works – He fixes people’s stuff (I guess)
  •  His favorite TV show is – The news (I do like the news, but I haven’t seen it about three months because it interferes with iCarly, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Good Luck Charlie.  I hear we’re hot on the trail of UBL.)
  •  He likes to sing – Scooby Dooby Doo (but only the old-school version)
  •  Daddy always tells me – He loves me (Awwwww)
  •  It makes him happy when – I make him pictures (it’s true – she’s becoming quite the artist)
  •  I really love my Daddy because – He gives me presents (at least she appreciates me for something)

It’s official – I am now a graduate with an MBA.  That means that with the help of a lawyer, a CPA, and a few pots of coffee I might be able to understand my cell phone bill.  This graduation came without much fanfare.  While the others in my cohort walked to Pomp and Circumstance, I went to my daughter’s end-of-the-season soccer party.  With a room full 5 year-olds juiced on cupcakes, we successfully transformed a completely respectable Italian restaurant into a Chuck-E-Cheese.

I guess that’s just one of the ways I have changed over the years.  I used to love the awards banquets and attention.  Now, I just don’t see the point.  Maybe that’s the perspective that a few more years add to a person.  I know it’s respectable to complete graduate school while working and raising a family, but with all that’s going on in the world right now, it just doesn’t seem right to make a big deal about it. 

Please don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against graduation ceremonies.  I just think that there are a lot of unheralded actions and a lot of individuals that do amazing things everyday without any recognition.  What about our soldiers overseas… a single mother working two jobs to support her family… a firefighter or police officer who shows more bravery on the average day than most of us have to muster up in a year… a missionary who forgoes all of the comforts of home to go to a land where they are constantly oppressed for their beliefs… or Charlie Sheen’s publicist?

No, it wasn’t easy to go back to school during such a busy time in my life to get a graduate degree, but it was nothing in comparison to the everyday realities facing many people all over the world.  Besides, getting an education is the easy part.  Using it in a significant way that enriches the lives of others is the challenge.  More on that later but for now I need to review my phone bill. 

As the South recovers from the second-deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in U.S. history, I want to take some time to reflect on what’s really important.  While we didn’t have any damage, the tornadoes were all around us and many people suffered great loss.  Times like this help put things in their proper perspective.

I stayed at work late Wednesday to take a final for my MBA (the last final of my MBA… EVER!).  I got home around 9:30 and while the storms were all over the news, we hadn’t had so much as a drop of rain.  Tall trees surround our house and our girls’ bedrooms are on the second story, so bad storms always make us a little nervous. 

I’m usually the one on storm patrol.  I watch the radar, keep an eye on all the warnings, and make the decision to move to the basement if the weather warrants doing so.  Since I knew I wouldn’t be home until late, I told Sara to make sure she watched the news and to get the girls in the basement if she needed to.  After I got home, I ended up staying up past 12:30 – watching the weather updates until I was satisfied that the threat had passed.

The next day, I went down to the basement and saw Sara’s preparation.  We’ve had lots of tornado warnings, but this one had her particularly nervous, so she prepped the basement accordingly.  There was a mattress, a couple of bicycle helmets for the kids, and some supplies.  Included in the supplies were a gallon of water, a bowl for the dog to drink out of, Pop Tarts, candles, and a flashlight.  Next to this bag of survival gear (who could live without Pop Tarts?) were family picture albums, keepsakes, and another bag filled with shoes and clothes. 

Our basement is sort of a catchall for various junk that includes lots of old clothes waiting to go to Goodwill.  At first, I thought this bag was clothing waiting to be donated.  I’m no fashion expert, but I’ve seen enough What Not To Wear to know that these were not old clothes.  In fact, they were very nice clothes.  It turns out that as Sara moved through the priority of list of things she wanted to keep in case a tornado demolished our house, the top three were survival supplies, family photos, and her “prettiest” shoes and clothes.  I don’t even know if they were in that order, but that was the top three. 

I did’t see a first aid kit, any medicine, a telephone, a radio, diapers, or any of that frivolous stuff, but I did see several pairs of shoes that would be absolutely useless if our house was destroyed.  One of my wife’s favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz.  I guess she thought that if a tornado took us away, she could click the heels of her pretty shoes together and repeat, “There’s no place like home.”

I know this story is a little flippant in the wake of a true tragedy, but humor is an important ingredient to recovery.  For the record, Sara is not so shallow that she esteems her clothes as prized possessions; she just isn’t the best at making quick decisions under pressure.  I, on the other hand, am a decent decision-maker, but she has to dress me.  It’s those complimentary aspects – the incorporation of each other’s strengths and flaws – that makes us complete.  Yeah, that’s a little sappy, but I had to add something to keep her from getting too mad at me for writing about the shoes.