Friday, February 29, 2008

The Hunt Continues

We arrived in Gastonia and called the dude with the camper we were interested in only for him to tell us that he has just sold it. So, that put us back to searching. There are a couple that we will go and look at today. TC and I really want to get one soon as Spring is coming and camping is our hobby. Last year I had about what I wanted but we felt that we were suppose to give it away, so we did. Camping is one of the most relaxing thing I know and I love to be around the people. You will find the best people in the world at Campgrounds. Loving the time off.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time Off is Grand

Wow, it's Thursday morning and it's time to leave. Four days off is grand. Today, TC has a doctor appoitment, what fun. But, we are going to look at a few campers. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

25 years and counting

Thanks to Lois for this idea. It's pretty cool. This is TC and I at South Mountain Resort last year.What fun this is.....

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When God Called...

Some people would never understand when you say that you actually heard from God. Did I hear a voice? No of course not, but my heart was telling me and I believe the work of the Holy Spirit compelled me and convinced me to surrender to God's Will. Where that took me is obtain a two AA Degree in Ministry from Fruitland Baptist Bible College. Since then we have served as a Chaplain of a Campground, youth pastor of two churches, served as my Dad's Associate Pastor and youth pastor. Also, I have been Senior Pastor of three churches. I guess this started in 1993 and continued until I resigned my last church in 2004. Of course some of these were part time churches, which enables me to work at PSNC, which was good. There are tons of happenings and blessings and struggles in those years. There are some great memories and some I would just as soon to forget. There are some wonderful people we've met and then there are those who well, I just will not say anything about them. In 2005 we became so disconnected to church that we begin meeting with some folks in a setting they call House Church. Basically, there were four families and we met in one home studying the Bible and fellowshipping together. It was really nice and we enjoyed, but then TC and I hit the road. For over a year we only went to church in truck stop chapels and such. Then, one Friday morning in St. Louis Missouri, I woke to a feeling that could be only described as the Holy Spirit's direction for TC and I to become houseparents. That has brought us to Collins Home and Family Ministries. Again there have been tons of bad choices interlaced with a some good choices. That is all...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Making Sense out of Nonsense

Have you ever felt like?
Like you were weaving from the old to the new,
Being both good and bad,
between a rock and a hard place
between blessed and stressed,
Like you knew what to do but just couldn't do it.

It's been one of those days and I really hate to complain, but it's like man, I just can't get nothing right sometimes. It's like emotionally I got behind early in the day and I have not been able to get caught up. I'll leave out all the happenings of the day but just to say it really has been a good day, I just don't feel like it has. That is all!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Quickie

Just an update. Today being Monday we got all of our boys back from their weekend visits. After snack and homework, we only had two tutors today, we made a mad dash to Chick-fil-a where we met TC and Crystal with the rest of the boys, after picking up Jared from after school tutoring. After supper I took two boys to basketball practice, Tc stayed at Chick-fil-A and played with some of the boys and Crystal took little D to get his haircut. I'm home now but have to return to pick up J and D from practice and Crystal will pick up TC and the rest of them and then come back home. Crystal leaves around 7:00 PM and then it's a race to get all of them showered, do devotion and off to bed by 8:30 PM. Tuesday will be filled with moving some donated furniture, one meeting in the morning with a guardian of one of the boys and tomorrow night both cottages is cooking dinner for a major sponsor. Busy as bees.....

The Road Continues

We were so excited about going into the Army. TC has always been up for adventure. After signing up I received that information that I could not get what I wanted. Now, I had already resigned so going in was the only option. I watched the video on 12B and it looked interesting. There were a lot of heavy equipment and I thought, cool! The only bad thing was that I was going to be attached to a newly formed “Light Infantry” unit that was being formed in Fort Drum New York, the 10th Mountain Division. I thought that maybe the army might be a career for me but let me just say it like this. "I was glad to go in and I was glad to get out". It was cool cause I learned a lot, met our best friends and had a son named Chad. When I got out in 1989, I went back home to NC and went back to work at the Fire Department for one year. Things were just not the same. Soon thereafter I was driving a truck on my days off. You see fireman work a 24 hours on and 48 hours off schedule. This allowed me to work else where. I probably should have stayed there but the lure of making twice the money was too great. So here I go making another change and start driving a truck long distance. Mostly I was home every weekend but there were those times when I just could'nt make it home. What a dip I was cause I was missing so much of my children growing up, yet the moeny was more than I had ever made. Many companies later and I finnally got a job that would keep me home more. Then God called.......

The road Continued

TC and i were married in February of 1983. At the time I worked at Sundrop Bottling Company in Gastonia, NC but soon thereafter, just cause they lied to me at work, I left and worked at Cedar Lake Farms. There I was the Bull man. In other words I took care of 72 bulls, 60 young ones and 12 active breeding bulls. Great job! Soon thereafter I received the call for my dream job, to become a full time paid fireman for the city of Shelby NC. I loved this job and was damn good at it. I'd say one of the best, but there was just something to me about going into a burning building that was cool. I love the way fire swirls over you head as if it was alive or something. Anyway, I stayed there until and enjoyed the job until one Christmas, as I was sitting in my grandmothers house listening to my Dad, Grandfather and two of my uncles talk of their time serving in the Army and Navy. It was then that I took notice of myself, that I had a desire to serve my country, but how? I was already married with a daughter about one and half years old. How could I just up and leave them? I thought about it for a while and went and seen a recruiter, but i was aware of their BS. I found that I could go in the Army as a firefighter, cool. I decided to take TC and Christie to a picnic up at Lake Lure NC and it was there that I talked to TC about it. It did not take long to convince her, she was ll for it. She has always loved adventure. Soon thereafter, I had signed on the dotted line and was swearing in. At this time I had resigned my position at the Fire Department and began making all the legal arrangements for TC to handle all the business while I was to be away. Then, the phone call came. The Army has decided to cancel that firefighter class, do you have a next choice. "MP", I said. The was upfront with me, as we had become friends. In fact his name was Stephen and he said," Dude, that's fine but you will for sure do a year in Korea with no family". I'll pass on that one, so I signed up for 12B, Combat Engineer. To be Continued....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Roads Traveled

Posting on the subject of friends the other day, it got me thinking about roads traveled. I believe that we all are destined and designed for a specific route. A journey if you will that will please all our desires that are God-given and God- designed. For any person who thinks life just happens, I guess this post would not work for you. I believe that we have choices and I believe that I am the KING of bad choices. If there were a village of bad choices I would be the chief. What is surprising to me is how God has blessed me so, even though I continually let Him down. It seems everyday I am a disappointment. I will confess that I feel that I am out of my league at almost every turn. My Roads traveled consist of the following of many things and perhaps this post might inspire you think of all the thing you have done and how many blessings have come your way. My fingers would not allow me to type all I want to say, but this will perhaps be a series on Roads Traveled. That being said, let me begin by saying of all the bad choices, there have been quite a few of good and even some great choices......To be Continued

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Weekend is here

Tonight we have the older boys basketball games and we will be down to 5 boys. Then, after Saturday mornings games by noon we will be down to four boys. Man, that is so nice and it makes the weekend very relaxing. Of course I love the fact that the boys gets to go home. This Sunday the four that remains will be singing with the children's choir at Bounty Land Baptist Church so that will be fun.

FRIENDS

Friends; where are they now? Let me explain. Just about all of my life I have considered my friends as a big part of my life. The friends I am talking about are the ones you would die for, not just acquaintances. For instance growing up there was Jonathan (who was in a car accident and hardly remembers our childhood), there was Greg who we both become truck drivers, and then there was Gary that died several years ago. Then there was Moose, which most regard as just a butt hole these days. I rarely speak to any of these unless I just happen upon them while we are at home; except the ones that have died of course. Then, there was Randy who I worked with at Jones Bros. Store that introduced me to TC and I married her and he married TC’s sister Debbie. Of course he just betrayed her and cheated on her and also lied to me so right now there are no words between us. I have tried but he continues to lie. Then, later in life there were my Fire Department days. There is only one guy that I still see sometime but hardly ever. Then, even later there were my Army days. From that time there are two guys Roy and Wes. Roy is from Brazil Indiana and Wes is here in North Carolina. Of all of these guys I have mentioned my bestest best friend would be Wesley Byrd. But, there again I go for weeks and sometimes months without even talking to him. Why is that? There are also my college years where Nicky and John came as great friends, but usually there is very little contact just an occasional phone call. There is one thing though; it seems that if there is contact made it is made by me. I guess that is the person that I am, not sure but if that it is my gift, then so be it. Writing this makes me want make some contacts this weekend and catch p on some great friends. I think I will….

Of course there are all my blogger friends, who have been some good ones. Is it not weird that people can become very close to others that most never meet face to face. Again I would like to say how cool it was to meet SGT DUB face to face and there are others I intend to meet one day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sick and Sleepy; Awesome

Well for sure I started feeling better on Wednesday. So, TC and I got to hopping again and the days was going so great. We were really getting some things accomplished. I mean we got our physicals completed, went to the bank and decided to eat at the super china buffet. Bad decision. TC fell ill the rest of the day and I don't have to tell you what happened. God gave me strength because I did fine throughout homework and tutor time, play time and chore time. Thank God for Bobby our support staff on Wednesday's. We made it to church where we ate supper and the boys went to RA's and I went with J into the youth meeting. I've enjoyed that for almost two months now as Past or Scott has welcomed us and the youth I think has come to expect us in there. TC began feeling a little better last night so i hope this morning proves that true.
Hey someone donated a 37 inch HD flat screen TV and another donated a recliner, all for our suite, so now I have a place to chill and watch satellite TV. Only one thing though, at the end of the day I am so tired that I only watch TV for just a bit and then I just fall a sleep. Life is Awesome!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

BLUE

Yesterday was spent running around looking for doctor offices, filling up two buggies at Walmart, and just feeling like crap most of the day. Why? Who knows. I guess there are just some days that come your way. Both TC and I felt it. There is a lot going on with her sister being betrayed by her husband of 25 years(the ones that were our best friends and we did a lot together). Also, we have heard nothing from Chad so that it is depressing. It was just one of those day, know what I mean. God is good and He makes all thing good. We are just Human and you can't deal with some of this stuff without feeling blue on occasion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's a Dog's World

Listening to the news yesterday I learned of a new program the Military is using. It takes a trained K-9, a dog and allows it to be present while solders that have seen trauma talks to a trained counselor. The purpose of the visit it to take away the "John Wayne" effect and get some of these guys to let go of holding it in and really share what is on their mind. I think that is good and of course I believe in using pets whenever possible. I understand there had been some wonderful results and it got me thinking. Of course you know that we have two dogs, Benji and Smudges. These dogs have done more for these boys than one can really imagine. Big A has opened up to the point he has told me some good information that will be used in his treatment. Most days when I just sit and talk to him the dogs are present and it relaxed him, just like those solders. There is something about dogs that are calming. Big A just rubs Benji and pats his head and I think it gives him a comfort zone he needs in order to enter another zone that is not so hot. Trust me some of the things you hear just totally blows your mind. And, to be honest after the feeling I have to want beat somebody's ass for what they have done to some of these kids, my compassion kicks in and I just want to be with these little guys. I know this that if I was having to share something horrific, I think having a dog around would be a wonderul thing....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Feeling Like Home

Last night we arrived back at Collins here in Seneca SC. It really did feel like getting home. Crystal had the boys settled and it was good to see them. The dogs really get excited as I think they miss them when we are gone. These last few days were great and very relaxing. One of the things that overwhelmed me here was the size of the house. We have worked hard in organizing things and putting all supplies together and easily found. But, things are actually going better than I thought they might at this stage. Well, it's Monday and there are things from last week and the weekend to deal with today. It is always hard to play catch up from the weekend staff but I will get it caught up.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

WOW

Here is our cabin.....It was only one night but it was great. We are back home now for a couple of day to stay at our camper. These days off are precious.....
What a view....Those North Carolina Mountains.....

yip, had one of those..........


We were lucky to find a pet friendly cabin. It's there world we are just living in it....



Notice the lazy dog on the couch.




Can't cook but i can wash dishes...





Need I say more






If I was anymore relaxed I would fall off the porch.



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

He's IN The Army Now

Well Chad just called me and he has taken his second oath and will be flying out of Charlotte NC to Ft. Knox Ky later this afternoon. He is in the army now..... As for us we are trying to wrap up here so we can take a few days off. There are sweeping changes at our home. They are in the process of hiring a new Executive Director, while two others are resigning and taking other positions, so in a matter of the next few months there will be at least three new staff positions; Executive Director; Fund raiser and the receptionist/bill payer. For the ones that have been here a little while I can see that they are a tad worried of all the changes, but for us heck everything is till new for us. Anyway, this will be the last post until probably the weekend. Tonight it's church and after the boys are at school in the morning; it's off to our creekside cabin.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

TC, My Love Happy 25th

Today, 25 years ago I married the girl of my dreams. She has been there for me, done things for me and made me the happiest husband I could have ever dreamed of. She is my best friend and have no desire to spend time with any other person I know. We like almost the same things and enjoy the simple things in life. Today, we spent the day walking and riding around Oconee State Park enjoying the falls, the creeks and the lakes. This afternoon we will be doing homework with the boys and taking them to a spaghetti dinner that the home is hosting. I am looking forward to Thursday so we can spend some time at a cabin in the North Carolina mountains that is creekside and secluded, with a hot tub I might add. For sure these have been the best 25 a man could ask for. Thanks Tc for all you do and I love you..........

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A good day

Just sitting here recapping today. Today was and still is the Lord's Day. We went to Foothills Church this morning where the kids went to Planet Kidz, and Tc and I hit the adult service. This is a rocking service as they, well rock to some good tunes. Today's message was on a healthy marriage. Good service for sure. Then, it was off to KFC, cause we only had four boys this weekend. That was fun cause we usually have 6 on the weekend. Today was a good and relaxful day. BTW I rented 3:10 to yuma for me and the "transformers" for the boys. Again a good day...
TC just finished up the Library today sort of. It was really in shambles when we got here. The boys were allowed to turn it into a video game room. She moved all of that stuff out into the Garage and organized all the books. This should be again a good place to read and do homework. It will also be used by the tutors.
Yes, the look that I was shooting for. Notice the curl of the lips. That's right, she is getting mad at me. I know when to quit, but I just love getting there. The following pics is all that led up to this pic.

What, why are you following me?


You have been a bad student. Now lay your head sown and take a time-out, young lady!



Yea, I know sometimes that is how I feel. Actually, she did not want me to take this pic. I do not know why




Saturday, February 09, 2008

Just Thinking about stuff

Well, what a day. The games ended in a tie, Christie and David cme down from Brevard NC and we cooked out hamburgers with healthy portions of cheese. I will post some of those pics later. Everyone has gone and they took Chad with them. He is going to hang out with them until Monday and then head to the recruiters office on Tuesday and then it's off come Wednseday Morning. Just sitting here got me thinking about some things that I love. First and most of all my God and then after that here we go;

That Goergous Redhead that just like Jerry Mcguire, "Completes Me". Not that Jerry completed me but, well you know what I mean.......
My Daughter and Son II who are the best a man could ask for.

That's my Boy, Chad who is no so little anymore. Goofy glasses though.


My Dog, Benji



Notice the drummer in the left corner, yea that's me...I love playing the drums..




Friday, February 08, 2008

These last few days have been pretty hectic. Between the budget and the Kids Data Software the only computer time I've had has been working. I have checked a few blogs but there has been a lot going on. We are looking forward to a great weekend. We will only have 5 kids so that will make things a little easier. Of course Chad is still here but he will be leaving Saturday. Our daughter Christie is coming down on Sat. and she will take Chad back with her. That's hard to think about because once he leaves Saturday it will be Basic Training graduation the next time we will see him, about 9 weeks away. We have had some staff problems in trying to match up some personalities. Currently, including myself, we have three strong willed people at this home and so we are working that out. Tonight it is basketball games and the same on Saturday morning. I guess that is all for now....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

If they could see me now....

If they could see me now. You have heard that saying before and I was thinking about this morning as I was preparing my coffee. Last night I spent most of the evening talking to little J on why he can not wear his long so long that it hangs in his face. To see a 12 year old crying like a baby over his hair was sad. But wait, I think we made a breakthrough. To find that he uses his hair as a shield to hide his eyes because he cries a lot even at school. Well that puts a damper on being strong and making him get his hair cut. We have included the professional staff here at Collings and even met with his teachers yesterday. Then, this morning acting I don't know how, sipping my coffee I heard that one of the boys had left his radio on so I went to turn it down only to find he had gotten sick during the night. that's two day this week I am cleaning up puke. Oh well, let's get the latex gloves and get with it. Today we have several hours of staff meeting and such. Glory be......

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

We give but to who?

Here at the children's Home that we work at, it is private and depends completely on private donations and takes no money from the state. This is both good and bad. Good because the state has no say so how we do things, except the basic license issues etc. It's bad because we don't take state funds and therefore it is astruggle all the time and this bring me to my point. Yesterday I was told someone would be delivering a gas grill. I assume it would be a new one but to my surprise not ony was it used but several years old and quite rusty. Will it work yes, but think about. This guy did what most people do, they buy something new for themselves and then they give what is left to God and for good causes. In other words they give what is left. Too many people give what is left and not from the there first fruits. Was this guys intentions great, sure but I think I have made a great point. I was challenged years ago; instead of buying new for me, buy new for someone else and make do with what I already have. Of course a used grill is better than no grill..(Can I get a witness)

Today we have some parent teacher meetings and also take care of some personal banking issues mainly the lack of one.

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Love of a Lifetime

Why is it hard sometimes to love? It's not hard all the time , just at times. Is it the difference in people or is it the changes in yourself? This week has had challenges because someone we love is at a critical point in their life. In spending hours on the phone listening and doing my best to counsel, I concluded and have actually began summarizing this very point that there is nothing we can do; except allow God through the work of the Holy Spirit to Change these two wonderful people from the inside out. If this happens then and only then will they begin to see, hear, speak and think differently. That's the only chance they have. I can say with experience that it is the one thing that made a difference in our lives.

We are back at the Children's Home and trying to get back to our schedule. We have one child that is sick this morning and so there's a lot to do to get organized. Busy Busy Busy are we....