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.

Friday, December 7, 2007

An Honest Opinion and Critique of the movie, "The Golden Compass"

Follow this link to find a Commentary about the movie (and books) The Golden Compass! I trust this fellow blogger, who took it upon himself to read the books and watch the movie before commenting about them. It is a great blog!

Some of My Family's Christmas Traditions

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the annual reading of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! by Barbara Robinson. Every time I read the book, I come to tears in the end. It is both serious and funny, much like the Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park. (I wonder if your name has to be Barbara to write great intermediate level books?) My wife and I read this book to our children every Christmas. This year I read it to my Adult Education Class. They also loved the story. I wish I could find it on DVD or on tape.

Other Christmas traditions include:

(1) Reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess (and of course watching the television version with Boris Karloff doing the voices.

(2) Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV. Even though we own it own tape, we love to gather around and eat popcorn and support the showing of this timeless classic.

(3) Watching the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV Special). The songs get stuck in your head and you can't help but sing along with them. Plus who doesn't love "The Bumble."

(4) Doing the "12 Days of Christmas" gift exchange with my wife. We will each buy each other 12 gifts for Christmas (not counting the stocking). All gifts, except one, must be $5.00 dollars and under. One can be $10.00 or under. This helps us to think about each other more during the Christmas season, and we get to torture our kids by opening the presents, one day at a time, starting 12 days before Christmas. I have been trying to get my dear bride to adjust the amounts to spend to adjust for inflation, but so far she has not budged. She said if I want to get her something that costs more, that is what the stockings are for!

(5) Spending time at home with the kids. It's a great chance to get some extra loving on them before the year ends and it's back to school.

(6 & 7) Putting up the Christmas Tree. I am almost always the one who wants to put up the tree. I am ready to have it up the day after Thanksgiving. It helps we have another tradition that goes along with the tree. Each Family Member picks a new ornament for the tree. Some times the ornament can mean something special about the past year, or it can just be an ornament that they like. Most of the time Mom & Dad pick a "couples" ornament together. (You know, ones that have two mice sipping a soda, or two penguins dancing, or something like that.) But sometimes we do pick individual ornaments. The ornaments the kids pick we will send with them when they move off to college or start their own families.

(8) Watching -- Frank Capra's, It's a Wonderful Life either on television or on DVD. It's a great movie that ranks as one of my favorite films.

(9) Driving Around on Christmas Eve to look at Christmas Lights and Displays, while wearing a new set of matching P.J.'s! Driving around looking at Christmas lights has been a tradition for the past couple of years, but the new P.J.'s will be a new tradition starting this year. My wife has purchased a set of matching P.J.'s for the family that we will open of Christmas Eve. She plans to buy some new P.J.'s for us every year so we can wear them to ride around in. Cool!

We start these traditions shortly after Thanksgiving in order to get them all in before Christmas. We are currently reading "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever!" at night. We have already seen "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on television. I think we own the Rudolph Special on tape and we may wait to watch it a little later. The tree, of course, is up. We have our new ornaments on the tree. (My wife and My's ornament this year is a Penguin giving a Polar Bear a Coca-Cola. My son's ornament is a mouse sitting on a video game controller. He sure loves the video games. My daughter's ornament is a dog in a dog-house. It has a bone above the dog house that you were supposed to write the name of your family pet in. But she wanted her own name written in, because she loves dogs so much.) I have finished my "12 Days of Christmas" shopping, I just need one more good stocking stuffer. I think my wife has one more to get for me. We have even finished our shopping from "Santa" for the kids. I think. Now we just need school to get out so we can enjoy the Christmas Break!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Trimming the Plants

My daughter recently learned at school that is is healthy to sometimes trim your plants back in the winter to allow for new growth in the spring. In an attempt to help our only surviving houseplant get a head start for next spring, she got a pair of scissors and trimmed our plant. She cut approx. a 1/2 inch off each leaf.

I thought the plant looked a little different when I was getting ready for work this morning. When I asked who cut the leaves of the plant, my daughter happily said, "I did it to help the plant grow!" I smiled at her, hugged her and told her that, trimming the plant means cutting off dying stalks, limbs or leaves from the plant and that you should cut them off near the roots. She was sad and asked if her "trim" job would kill the plant instead. I told her, I didn't think it would, and that it would be OK.

So now our houseplant has some funny looking leaves, courtesy of our well-meaning daughter.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, That Will Never Come

Here I am sitting at home enjoying a supposed to be relaxing on a nice Sunday afternoon, yet I can't seem to get my mind off the weather. The windows are open, to let in the cool air, because it is a balmy 80+ degrees in Texas. You would think it was early Summer with the recent weather we have been having. For crying out loud it's December and it's so warm outside you could wear shorts. Now, I'm not a big fan of cold/wet weather, but isn't that what we are supposed to be having in December? I want the cold weather. I want a fire in the fireplace. I want some hot chocolate; I don't want a suntan! I can't remember the last time it snowed where I live. Someone did tell me it snowed at my current home the year before I moved in. Maybe I cursed the place? I think I remember about 5 years ago it snowed enough to make a snowman with the family, but "Frosty" melted the next day. Like I said before, I don't want 5 foot snow drifts to trap my family indoors, but a little snow would be great. Maybe, just maybe, if I prayed hard enough, God would send us some snow for Christmas. Pleeeeaasssee God let it snow for Christmas. Even Texas deserves a little white stuff from time to time.