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 17, 2009

Prayer Request for Jamie and the Family

I am requesting prayer request for my wife, Jamie. She just got word from her doctor that she is going to need surgery to remove some fibrositic type cells from one of her breast. It is not cancer, it is just a mass of cells that if left untreated could turn into pre-cancer cells. We are pretty sure insurance will cover most or all of the cost, but we would like prayers for all of this just in case.

Also, I filled out two more applications for local schools who have positions I am qualified for. I am waiting to hear back from them. I need another full-time job soon especially since I may be getting a small cut in hours from my part-time job at Mardel.

We also want prayers for our upcoming Dynamic Marriage class starting in Sept.

I know God is Sovereign; however, I am starting to get frustrated (especially since I am causing the rest of my family stress, because of my lack of a full-time job. Come on God, isn't enough, enough.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

To Arkansas and Back Again

Yesterday my family and I returned from our last summer vacation at Hot Springs, Arkansas. (The childhood home of former President Bill Clinton.) We had a wonderful time and we can't wait to return again sometime.

We started our Hot Springs vacation by taking a Hot Springs National Park Duck Tour . This tour gave us an entertaining tour of the Historic Downtown Hot Springs area as well as a short cruise around St. John's Island on Lake Hamilton. Our "Captain/Guide" was nicknamed "Bubba" and he was very interesting and funny as he gave us an education about the history of Hot Springs.

As part of a package deal with the Duck Tours, we also purchased tickets to The Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum. The wax figures of many famous Americans and world figures are on display here. Although the tour of the museum was very interesting, many of the figures look like they have been slowly melting over the years without any upkeep. The figure of former President Jimmy Carter was especially scary looking. The best two figures in the museum were Jack Sparrow, from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and President Barack Obama. They are the two newest figures on display. I'm not saying, not to tour the Wax Museum, but just be prepared for what you see. (see the above link)

After visiting the wax museum we visited the last part of the package deal we purchased with the Duck Tours. We did wine tasting at The Winery at Hot Springs. Their locally blended wines can be shipped to any address in the U.S. that has a state that allows alcohol to be shipped by mail. We tasted 8 local wines and almost purchased a bottle or two, but alas we were limited on our vacation budget. I had never tasted wines before and it was a treat for me to so. I will have to do it again sometime.

We then went back to the hotel (Howard Johnson) to swim a while before heading up for me to watch Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby. Although I fell asleep watching it, I found out the next morning that the Rangers own Nelson Cruz finished 2nd. Way to go Cruz!

The next morning, I went to one of the only two active Hot Springs bath houses to take in one of the famous baths Hot Springs is famous for; The Buckstaff. I got the Whirlpool Mineral Bath package and enjoyed it very much. While I was soaking in the relaxing and healing hot mineral waters, that God and I had a talk about my current job hunt and some other life issues in general. I think I left a lot of worries in that water. I have been very relaxed since then. I hope it lasts. (Jamie, my lovely bride, took her bath the next morning.)

After the hot bath and spa; we visited Magic Springs/Crystal Falls. All of the large roller coaster rides at Magic Springs were out of order during our visit. They were waiting on parts to come in so they could finish the maintenance they needed to operate properly. Oh well, the kids came to swim anyway. We spent most of the afternoon at Crystal Falls enjoying their wave pool, lazy river and a few of their water slides. (Their wave pool had nothing on the waves at some of our more local water parks in Texas.) Surprisingly no one was sunburned despite record temperatures in the low 100's.

We returned from Magic Springs/Crystal Falls and decided to eat some local Arkansas Bar-B-Que. Sadly we overpaid to eat at a place that made almost all of us a little sick to our stomach. I would mention the place by name, but maybe it was just a bad batch of Bar-B-Que and I hate to bash a place over one bad visit.

That evening, we went to see a local magician called Stonehenge. He provided us with a great show filled with amazement. All of his magic was up close and personal and his show was very family friendly. He (or at least his sound guy) was a Christian and Christian music played before and after the show. He called several members of the audience up to the stage. Caleb, my son, was called to help with a pretty nifty card trick. The two hour show was worth every dollar spent and we will definitely go see him again next time we visit Hot Springs. I'm still not sure how he cut his nice assistant in half! He and his assistants provided autographs and photo opportunities after the show and seemed very interested in learning about the audience and where they were from, etc.... Sadly I missed MLB's All-Star Game during the magic show, but it was worth it to see a magician who did not have all the cult references many magicians have today. I recommend Stonehenge as a must see if you go to Hot Springs any time soon.

Wednesday morning, we went to visit a local rock dealer who sold a wide variety of locally earthed volcanic rocks and crystals. We got a free "Arkansas Diamond" (a polished crystal) just for stopping by. After the rock dealer we went to tour Garvan Woodland Gardens. This would have been so much better if it were not for the intense heat and our still slightly upset stomachs from the previously mentioned Bar-B-Que from the previous day. Still, the gardens offered many beautiful examples of waterfalls, local plants and wildlife and we enjoyed our shortened visit, before heading back home to Longview, TX.

We did drive by the boyhood home of former President Bill Clinton and did see the High School he graduated from; however, I think we enjoyed swimming the hotel pool more than we cared to stop and visit these historic sights.

I am glad to be home, although I could use another hot mineral bath.