About ME

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Mansfield, Texas, United States
Mr. E is a Christian, Husband, Father of 2, former Army Officer and Texas Rangers Baseball fan.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Schnitzel (The Other Child)

This is our dog Schnitzel. Actually his name is DaWiner (pronounced Da Veener) Schnitzel, but Schnitzel sounds better. He came into our lives in August 2004, after we moved to our current home. After having mostly cats as pets, and one bird, my daughter "really needed" a puppy. This little fella' does his best to be a great watch dog. He does watch out for killer squirrels, suspicious birds or occasional straying cats that pose great threats to his family. He puts up a great bark at strangers or visitors who knock on the door, but he prefers not to bite them. He will however give them an occasional growl to let them know he his keeping his eyes on them. He is a great cuddle partner. He will jump up next to you during your lazy or nap times and sleep with you all day long if you let him. He is a wonderful playmate to my two children, especially my daughter who loves Schnitzel more than her brother (I think). We did have two cats when Schnitzel came along but he loved to chase them. Not liking this form of attention the cats, who lived outdoors, moved on to live elsewhere. Even though I am mainly a cat person, I have grown to love the little guy. He keeps me company during my morning Bible study and he is always excited to see me when I get home from work. He is the fifth member of the family.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Upcoming Marriage Retreat

Earlier in my blogs, I wrote about the importance of marriage and how to keep it healthy. (Marriage Blog # 1, Marriage Blog # 2). The weekend of Sept. 14-16, my wife and I will be attending a Marriage Retreat sponsored by VOW. We are looking forward to spending some quality time together, while learning how to keep our marriage strong and focused. When the itinerary came in the mail we were very pleased with the events & workshops that are being offered. The workshops include some basic instruction on creating budgets (which my wife and I already do) and "The Art of Playing" ??? Hmmm! Some of the fun-events being offered are: an early morning Horse-back Riding, Romance Bingo and Ballroom Dance Instruction. How fun is that! My lovely wife is a little gun-shy about the horses (she was thrown off of one in college), but she is willing to give another go. We are both very excited about the Ballroom Dance Instruction. We have often talked about taking dance classes together, even before Dancing With the Stars, but never could work out the time or money. Now we can get some basic instruction for free! I just hope I don't step on my bride's toes or drop her during a romantic dip. Also as part of the retreat, we get to repeat our marriage vows to each other.

I still remember the day my bride and I said our vows to each other. I will never forget how beautiful she looked. Tears of happiness flowing down her cheek, her hair all fixed up, and the way the lighting hit her face just made her look like an angel. Forget all those supermodels, that moment I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt, that this was the woman I was going to love forever and grow old with. I still feel about her the same way today. There are times when I look at her and I can't believe that God blessed me with such an amazing woman. I could go on and on about the virtues of my wife, but I need to save something to write about for our Anniversary, which is coming up on Sept. 19th.

I'll let you know if we survive the horses and the dancing!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

If You Like To Talk To Tomatoes...

Yes, I am talking about VeggieTales. VeggieTales is a series of animated cartoons produced by Big Idea Productions. In these animated shorts, the "Veggies" tell parable type stories with a Bible Message. The them of VeggieTales, "God made you special, and He loves you very much!", rings throughout the stories. The stories are told with music, drama, and comedy that teaches children the faithfulness and mightiness of our LORD. The VeggieTales have even appeared in a couple of major motion pictures; Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, which is coming to theaters this Fall. The creators of VeggieTales are also famous for the "intermission" part of their programs called, "Silly Songs with Larry", which is a hoot! (Yes, I'm from the South.) They have also created another series called, 3...2...1...Penguins, which features a group of space traveling penguins and two children who learn valuable lessons about Christian values. Another series is based on a VeggieTale character called Larry Boy, who is a superhero of sorts.

My family has been fans of VeggieTales every since I found out about them, while working for a Christian bookstore. My kids used to watch them over and over again; so much so they memorized the stories and the songs. Even now we anxiously await every new video release to add to our collection.

I, personally, have a special connection with Bob the Tomato. (His photo is featured above) His personality matches mine. He is a little OCD, I think, and despite being a rule follower, his love for God, allows him to love his crazy friend, Larry the Cucumber.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I Can Do Math!!

This morning I was helping students who were having problems doing some of their Math work. Since Math is not my strongest subject, I was worried about exactly what kind of Math they were working on. Lucky for me they were working with adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers. This I knew how to do. As I was showing them what they were doing, the other Adult Education teacher, who's strongest subject is Math, came into the room. She took one look at what I was telling them and proceeded to tell them that I was working the problem wrong. Since Math is not my strongest subject, I stepped aside and watched her show the students the "correct" way to do the problem. I understood what she was telling them, but something just did not seem right. So I checked my work with a calculator, and then checked the answers in the back of the book. Somehow the answers I was coming up with always matched the answers in the back of the book. Concerned that maybe I was doing something wrong, or maybe the book was wrong, I asked my fellow teacher to explain why she was doing the problem in the order she was working the problem. When I told her that my answer was different, she looked at my work and told me I was also doing the problem correctly. I was confused, as the students now were, which answer was correct and which one of us (the teachers) was working the problem correctly. After a few minutes of looking over the problems again, my fellow teacher, realized that she was doing the problem incorrectly. COOL! I was right...how about that? I actually knew what I was talking about.
Knowing that I was still a little concerned about basic Geometry and Algebra, my fellow teacher wanted to find out just how much Math I really knew. She gave me several basic Algebra, and Geometry problems. With a few minor mistakes, I correctly worked and answered the problems presented to me. How Cool Again! I Can Do Math!......Now how come I couldn't do this when I was almost failing Math in 9th & 10th Grades? I really hope I do not sound cocky or arrogant, but I was just so excited that I actually knew what I was doing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

1st Day of School 2007

Today was the first day of school for both my kiddos. My young man is now in 7th Grade and my daughter is now in 5th. They are growing up so fast. Of course the traffic around the schools was horrible this morning as parents/students/teachers/administrators/buses etc...were all trying to figure out how to get to school on-time. My wife spent 30 minutes in traffic dropping off my daughter. Whew! The kids are excited and a bit nervous as they begin another academic year. They will miss the time at home, yet they will be so glad to be away from each other as well. I guess I'm just a nervous dad, but I am taking a half-day off work to make sure they get home. My son is riding with a friend, whose mother was nice enough to pick up our son and bring him home. My daughter is riding the bus. Overall I just have to remember that God is control of it all. He has taken good care of my kids so far while at public schools, and He will do it again. I pray for the teachers, administrators, and students, that they will have a great and safe year. Even so I guess I just worry about my kiddos, after all they are my babies. Ahhh, the life of a parent. It's great isn't it?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Castle's In the Sand

"Ed Jarrett collapses in exhaustion after completing his world-record 31.7-foot-high sand castle, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007, at the Point Sebago Resort in Casco, Maine. Jarrett spent the summer building a 'Castle to the Sun' to raise funds to benefit Camp Sunshine, a camp on Sebago Lake for children with life-threatening illnesses. Just under a million pounds of sand - forty dump truck loads - went into building the castle." (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

This photo reminds me of a parable Jesus told, In Matthew 7: 24-27, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (New International Version of the Bible)

At least Mr. Jarrett was building this castle for a good cause. I pray the camp benefited from his contribution. It sounds like even though Mr. Jarrett built a temporary sand castle he was building a stronger foundation for his soul, by honoring Jesus with his talents and serving those who are in need.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Blast From the Past

Before you start thinking this is a trip down memory lane, let me explain the title. The past few weeks during my morning Bible study time, I have started to look for verses in the Gospels, that refer back to the Old Testament. Some verses are referred to by Jesus as He tells parables, teaches His disciples, confronts His accusers, and even answers Satan during His temptation in the desert. In some verses the gospel writers and Jesus show that prophecies from the Old Testament prophets about the Messiah have now come to pass. When I find them I highlight them with map colors showing if the verses are quotes by Jesus, quotes referred to by Jesus in His teachings, or prophetic verses about the Messiah. I think doing this has helped me appreciate the writing of the Old Testament prophets.
My past attempts at reading the Bible in a year, have always bogged down and died, while attempting to read and make sense out of the prophetic books of the Old Testament. Now, when I read these important books, I have something to look forward to. It also reminds me of the truth of the Bible. What are the odds that one person, Jesus, actually fulfills all the Messiah prophecies exactly the way they are written? God, through the prophets, warned Israel about the consequences of their wickedness. But more importantly God also told them about His greatest gift of all, a Messiah, who would redeem His people once and for all.
It's amazing to me how "educated" people who lived during the times of Jesus, failed to recognize that God was fulfilling his promise through Jesus. It is also amazing to me how the "educated" people of today also fail to recognize the true proof of God's love for them. Maybe if they look to the past, they can see just how bright their future really is.