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, July 25, 2008

Saying Goodbye!

Even though my last day at Kilgore College is not until next Thursday, my students wanted to give me a little going away party. They had taken up a donation and purchased some pizza from Little Caesar's and we had lunch instead of our normal writing class. They also bought me a card and a little trophy as a gift. The trophy has the lamp of knowledge on it and a little plaque that says..."Mr. English, You Have Made The Difference!" written on it. The card also had some nice things written in it as well.

As a teacher, it feels good to be appreciated for what you do. It's sad that most of the 6th-8th Grade students I taught in the public schools didn't or won't always appreciate you until later. At least these students value a good teacher now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Planning the Last Days of Summer

With the start of school a mere 30 days away... my family and I are attempting to make the most of our last days of summer vacation.

On August 2nd we are planning on having a Garage Sale (hurrah, in a sarcastic voice) to earn a little extra cash to spend on some home improvement or on last minute family outings.

August 8th & 9th we are planning on visiting Water Town USA in Shreveport, Louisiana for a last effort at getting sunburned while swimming, and we also plan to visit Gators and Friends near Shreveport just to visit somewhere else family friendly. After that I guess we will spend the rest of our time at home buying and organizing school supplies and clothes for the upcoming school year. The kids are planning a couple of more sleep-overs with some friends as well.

Everything else is to expensive or we just can't work around current and upcoming new work schedules.

Jamie's sister, Susie, and her family have invited us to Houston, TX to watch the Indianapolis Colts play the Houston Texans on October 5th. Dang...the price of tickets!!! This may be a good mid-fall activity, if we can afford the tickets.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why So Serious? -- A Movie Review of "The Dark Knight"

Last Sunday my kids and I went to watch the newest Batman movie, The Dark Knight. Wow! What an incredible film. The recent hype about Heath Ledger's role as the Joker was right on target. Ledger played a perfect psychotic lunatic as Batman's most feared nemesis. I really do think he deserves a posthumous Oscar nomination. Ledger literally gave me the creeps. Another actor I hope gets an Oscar nod is Gary Oldman, who plays Lt. James Gordon. Oldman does an excellent job at the embattled head of the Major Crimes Unit of Gotham City and later (SPOILER) as the new Commissioner of the Police Department. Christian Bale once again performs adequately as Batman and Aaron Eckhart does a great job as the District Attorney, Harvey Dent turned Two-Face the criminal.

The movie is full of suspense and action right from the start. One the great parts about the film was the "whining" noise you hear every time the Joker appeared or something bad was going to happen. It just added to the extremely dark nature of the film. My son, age 13, loved the film and was only "freaked out" a little. My daughter, age 11, had to turn away from the very intense scenes several times, but admitted that Ledger's portrayal of the Joker was "so good it was bad, very very bad." I do agree that the movie is to "Dark" for kids under 13, thus the PG-13 rating; however, there was very little graphic violence. Most of the scenes cut away from possible gory moments at the last second, which added a "what is not seen, only makes your mind wonder even more," effect.

The only down side to the movie was its length. Despite the action and drama, there was just enough slow moments in the film to give you time to look at your watch and wonder, "Man, how long have I been in here!"

I think I may add this movie to one of my top 10 films of all-time. Look to my Favorite movie list to see if I make any changes. I rate this movie 5 out of 5 Stars, or an A for overall greatness.

On a cool note: This review garnered a "Genius" rating on my Blog reading level. : )

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spending Time With the Family

Remember that Texas Rangers baseball game I went to on July 12th! My niece, Amber, and my daughter, Rachel, designed some shirts for us to wear to the game. I am the "Exclamation Mark" at the end. Fitting since my name is Mark.

Pictured, in order are: R - Jordan (my nephew), A - Caleb (my son), N - Susie (my sister-in-law, Jamie's sister), G - Phillip (my brother-in-law, Susie's husband), E - Amber (my niece), R - Rachel (my daughter), S - Jamie (my bride) and "!" - Mark (that's me)

The Ranger's lost the game to the White Sox! : (

This weekend my family and I have been attempting to spend some quality time together. Friday we had a "Family Camp Out" on our living room floor and watched Meerkat Manor: The Next Generation and a movie together. Saturday we went to LifeWay Christian Stores to pre-order a couple of music CD's and buy the latest VeggieTales video called "Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue." We also went to eat as a family at Applebee's. Caleb, my son, can put away the ribs. Rachel, my daughter, likes the Chocolate Mousse for dessert. We then came home and watched the season premire of Monk, which had been recorded from the night before.

Today, Sunday, we split up the family group for a while. Jamie has to deliver a presentation about her job, Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services to a local church. The rest of us will attend our church home. Afterwards the kids and I plan to watch The Dark Knight, the newest Batman film. Jamie, who is not a big Batman fan, may go watch a show on her own. After the movie, I have a little bit of lawn mowing to do; then maybe we can spend the rest of today playing games together before the weekend is over.

Also, thanks to all my blog friends for your words of encouragement regarding my new job. I am sure I will love it!