About ME

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

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sitting in the Dark Because of IKE!

Even though IKE has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm; the eye of this storm is passing within 10 miles of us at this moment. Our electricity went off about 30 minutes ago and now we are in the dark. Limbs have blown out of our trees and are scattered all over our back and front yard. We are hearing thumps on our roof as the limbs are falling. (Maybe it will do enough damage to replace our roof?) It's an amazing site to watch the trees leaning over and our patio swing blowing across the yard.

Despite the 60 mph wind gusts, the kids and I went out into the storm to move some big limbs away from the house. It was fun getting blown around by the wind, until some smaller limbs fell and we decided it was best to go back in. We are even considering going to Sonic to eat, since we are afraid to open our refrigerator for a while.

Our poor Schnitzel is so nervous we had to drug him with Benadryl.

As Governor Perry suggested, we are hunkered down and riding out the storm. (Except for Sonic of course, if they are open!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Facing "Certain Death" with Hurricane Ike!

Texans along the coastline today were warned to leave or Face Certain Death! My family lives well away from the coastline, but we were warned to stock up on water and make sure have plenty of batteries and a generator handy in case of power losses. We are also expecting lots of rain and a some possible tornadoes, due to Ike's large size. Ike is almost as big as the entire state of Texas itself.

I may be crazy but I like stormy weather and I am not afraid. I know my God is with me and my family will be taken care of despite the weather. Yet, God did give me a brain, so before I go home today I may try to stop by Wal-Mart or Brookshires and pick up some extra batteries, food and water (if there is anything left).

What strikes me as funny is the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, told reporters that unless you live along the coast line, "It's just best if we just 'hunker' down and be prepared." What a great Texan! Ha-Ha.

Oh, well, it's time go prepare for "Certain Death!"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You on this date?

I borrowed the theme for this blog from my beautiful wife Jamie. (Where were you?)

Please feel free to share your own memories of these events, then leave me a comment so I can visit your blogs as well!

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster--28 January 1986--I was a student at Tyler Jr. College when this happened. I was a member of the Student Senate and we were starting to gather for our weekly meeting. The television was on in the Senate room and several of us were watching the launch live. We were anxious to see the first civilian teacher be launched into space. The launch seemed to be going normal, when I thought I heard someone call my name. I glanced away from the television for just a moment, when I heard a girl next to me say, "Oh, My God, did it just explode?" I turned back only to see the trails of the fuel tanks racing away from a massive fireball. I remember thinking, "Those people just died, live on television." I immediately felt bad for the families of all of the astronauts.

The Oklahoma City Bombing--19 April 1995--I was a teacher in Gilmer. I was teaching one of my 10th Grade Social Studies classes when another teacher told me to turn on the television in our room. I remember thinking, "Who could do something like this?" My wife was home with our one month old son, Caleb. Of course this took over the lessons for the day. The students got lessons on domestic terrorism the rest of the day, while we watched the horrible events live on television. The news reminded me this was the anniversary of the Branch Davidian raid from two years before, and I wondered if it was a former cult member who did it.

Princess Diana's Death--31 August 1997--To be perfectly honest, I don't remember what I was doing when this event happened. I just remember seeing the news reports later that day and thinking, "The crazy media and their desire for a story have done gone and killed somebody." It was only later I found out the driver had been drinking and that didn't help the situation. I did feel bad for her two children though.

Terrorist Attacks on the Twin Towers in NYC and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. --11 September 2001--I was just finished taking the attendance for my first 8th Grade US History class. We were about to start a lesson over the British Colonies when our Principal, Jim Heath, came over the intercom and informed the school that, "A terrible tragedy had just taken place," and those of us with televisions in our room might want to turn them one. A teacher next door, who had a television came into my room and started to tell me what was going on. I couldn't believe my ears. I quickly told my class that, "History was being made at this moment," and how I wanted them to see what was going on for themselves. We went down to the library where several other classes were already there watching the news. I was in shock as I watched replays of the first plane hitting the trade towers, then live before us all the second plane hit. I was thinking, "Oh, my gosh, how many people are in those buildings and how many people were on that plane." Being a history person, I also thought this is worse than Pearl Harbor. As teachers and students sat and watched these terrible events, many of us started to cry or get angry at who could have done this to us. Then the Towers started to fall, I couldn't help but cry and pray for all of those people who suddenly lost there lives. I called Jamie and home and told her to turn on the television. (To read what she thought click on her blog above.) I was surprised they did not cancel school. Then we heard about the Pentagon and the other plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I also remember thinking about the Elementary kids who don't quite understand replays of events, and how they are thinking there must be millions of planes, crashing into buildings all over the United States. We watched television in the library the rest of the day listening for information and watching footage of the tragedies. I was so glad to get home and hug my family. I just knew we were going to war with somebody!

Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster--1 February 2003-- This event happened, literally, over my head. The Space Shuttle Columbia came apart over North East Texas and pieces were falling to places just south of us. Some people claim pieces fell in Gilmer, where were living at the time. I was in the shower, when I thought I heard a booming sound, but I didn't think anything of it. My sister was outside with my parents, at their house, when they heard a loud boom as well. We just didn't know what it was. It was later that morning we knew what had happened. There were news people all over East Texas and many civilians and government officials were picking up the pieces of "everything" for the next few weeks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Saving Marriages Before They Start

The State of Texas has come up with a great idea! Rather than complaining about the number of divorces, child support cases, and the number of family abuse cases, they have decided to do something to try and help prevent all of this from happening.

As of September 1, 2008, the State of Texas raised its fees to get a marriage license from $30.00 to $60.00 (not counting local county fees); however, a couple who completes a pre-marital education class of at least 8 hours in length can get the $60.00 license fee waived. The class must be based on an accepted curriculum that focuses on improving communication skills, conflict resolution skills and other elements of healthy marriages. The curriculum can be secular or faith-based in nature. Couples who choose not to participate in these classes must pay the full price for their marriage license.

They are trying to save marriages before they even start! The program in charge of making sure there are plenty of marriage education classes is the Twogether in Texas program.

Let's pray that this small incentive plants many seeds that helps marriages in Texas get off a to a good start and learn to love for a lifetime!

Speaking of promoting good marriages...see my previous blog and read about and watch the trailer, for a great movie about saving marriages called Fireproof.