Saturday, December 30, 2006

Please, air out your dirty laundry some place else!

I think I've just discovered a new quirk of mine: I get real uncomfortable when people start airing out their 'dirty laundry' in front of me!

Angie, for example, who I just told you about. And just now, Bill, as we'll call him.

Bill is a plumber who paid a visit to our house today to fix our garbage disposal. Bill is a nice guy and a very good plumber - he fixed our disposal and only charged us $89 for 15 minutes of work. (Which deserves a blog post all by itself!)

I was surprised how much I learned about Bill while he was crawling around underneath our kitchen sink.

He lives in Bedford and has 2 kids. And, at the moment, Bill is working 2 jobs because he and his wife want to eventually own a home once she gets out of the penitentiary. Er, excuse me? Did you say 'penitentiary'?

"Oh, she ain't violent or none of that! White collar crime. She's actually a wonderful woman!"

OK, pause. It's at this point in the conversation when my quirky uncomfortableness kicks in. And the reason is because I don't know what to say. How are you supposed to respond to something like that?

Option 1 - Lie so that Bill doesn't feel uncomfortable: "Hey, whose wife hasn't spent a little time in 'the big house'. In fact, they keep coming to pick up my wife because she never calls her parole officer! That crazy girl!"

Option 2 - Try to sound interested: "Cool! What'd she do?"

Option 3 - Stay positive: "Keep up the hard work, Bill. You'll get that house someday!"

Option 4 - Abruptly change the subject: "So . . . uh . . . crazy weather, huh?"

As you all know, I'm most likely to use Option 4!

It's not that I don't want to hear about other people's dirty laundry or discover which skeletons are in thier closet. It's just that when they throw it out there in casual conversation . . . it catches me so off-gaurd that it's hard for me to respond . . . well, casually!

So if you're ever talking to me and I suddenly comment on the 'crazy weather' without using an appropriate transition statement, then don't get upset. It's just that I have no idea how to respond to whatever it is you just said.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Tate's First Sponge Bath

I took these shots during Tate's first sponge bath a few weeks ago.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Can't buy me love?

Not too long ago I bumped into a very casual acquaintance - let's call her Angie.

Angie was eager to show me an early Christmas present her husband had given her that same morning. A huge diamond ring. Very pretty. Very sparkly. Very $$.

Impressed, I complimented Angie on her new bling and asked if it was expected - since she got it on a weekday morning I thought surely this was an anniversary/Christmas gift or something like that.

Angie: "Well, if you must know . . . we haven't been getting along very well lately."

(Warning: Socially awkward conversation!)

Wade: "Oh! . . . uh . . . that's great! . . . I mean, about the ring and all . . . not about you and . . . "

(Failing! Abort! Mayday! Change the subject!)

Wade: "Uh . . . so . . . crazy weather, huh?"

(Just stop talking, Wade)

First, in Angie's defense, let me state that marriage is difficult (understatement of the year!) - so nobody here is judging any body's marriage.

That being said . . . I spent the rest of the day wondering if that ring actually made things better for Angie's home life. I mean, is it really that easy? Is all I have to do when I upset my wife is make a quick stop at Coach?

I realize one of Dr. Gary Smalley's love languages is Giving and Receiving Gifts - but does a diamond ring really make a difference in a marriage facing challenges?

I asked this very question to someone who knows quite a bit about this subject . . . and Kelly said that it depends. (Listen up, guys) She said that it does help when the spouse is feeling under appreciated. An appropriately thoughtful gift (which doesn't necessarily have to be $$) shows the them that they are valued.

However, if the gift is given just to make-up for a pattern of undesirable behavior then it may not produce the intended outcome. Sure, your wife may have a rock on her finger but you're still belching like a cow and scratching your rear-end in public!

I hope and pray that things improve with Angie and her husband. I just had to share my thoughts on a conversation that took me a few hours to move past.

By the way, Kelly's love language is Acts of Service. So when I'm in the dog house, I'll get more mileage out of hand-washing her car than giving her an overpriced hand bag.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

QOTW: Jolly Old St. Nick

Warning: If you still believe you were visited the other night by a red suit wearin', deer drivin', gift bearin' fat guy who did a shimmy down your chimney . . . then don't read this post.

My 9-year old nephew made a comment on Christmas Eve that pretty much sums up my belief in Santa Claus when I was growing up.

"I don't believe in Santa. But its fun to make believe because he's seems like he would be a really neat guy."

I have to agree, Trip!

I remember when I was 5 and figured out the whole thing was just a bit. I can't say that I was all that disappointed and/or upset. I just knew the idea of some guy spending all year making brand name toys and then flying all over the world in a sleigh pulled by, ahem, flying reindeer all in one night was a little far-fetched.

But, just like Trip, I had fun make-believing. One of my favorite things to do on Christmas Eve was watch Harold Taft (local weatherman) give Santa Watch updates using his weather radar during the 10 o'clock news.

Every year just as the news was ending, Harold would interrupt the send off with 'Breaking News' that Santa had been spotted on the radar. They would switch to the radar and you would see a really poor graphic of Santa in his sleigh dance around on the screen.

That was my cue to scream real loud and run off to bed so Santa wouldn't catch me awake. I can remember hiding underneath my covers and hearing my dad act like he was talking to Santa in our living room.

"Hey Santa! Glad you made it! Wade has been such a good boy this year! What did you bring for him? Wow! Wade's gonna love that! Did you bring the batteries for it?"

I can't wait to do the same thing to Tate!


QOTW: You're woken early Christmas morning by a man wearing a red suit placing presents under your tree, you:

Total votes: 14

Gather the kids around for a photo-op: 9 votes, 64%

Assume your dreaming and go back to bed: 2 votes, 14%

Hide your family in the closet and call the police: 2 votes, 14%

Grab your 12 gauge and get trigger-happy: 1 votes, 7%

PS: Since I have this crazy fear of somebody breaking into our house in the middle of the night, I'd be the one with the 12 gauge. So leave it me to be the one who kills Santa! Sorry, kids!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

"Just what I've always wanted!"

If you don't mind, I'm putting off QOTW results until tomorrow.

I rather share my Top 5 favorite Christmas presents I got growing up.

5. My first drum set (5 years old) - This was the year that had me thinking, "Maybe there really is a Santa!" Although I had been asking for a drum set all year it wasn't until Christmas Eve that I specified that I wanted one with a cow bell! How else was I going to play along to Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper if I didn't have a cow bell? The next morning I ran into our living room and found my drum set . . . complete with a cow bell! Hmmmm?

"I need more cow bell!"

4. My first TV (7th grade) - It was while watching this TV in my room when I realized, "Wow! They play football on Monday nights, too?" I've been hooked ever since.

3. My Millennium Falcon (6 years old) - A Christmas gift my mom would ultimately regret giving me (as if she didn't regret giving me drums the year before), the Millennium Falcon was the mother of all Star Wars toys. It solidified my position as one of the popular kids in the neighborhood and insured that all the other kids would be coming to play at our house! Thanks, Mom!

2. My dog, appropriately named Bonkers (7 years old) - What's the best gift for an unmedicated ADHD little boy? An unmedicated ADHD golden retriever!

1. My real drum set (8th grade) - No more toy sets from Toys R' Us - this was the real deal . . . minus the cow bell. I'll tell you more about my life as a little drummer boy in a Shocking Confession coming soon.

Merry Christmas, Everyone! I hope you get whatever it is you've always wanted!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Joy of Winter

As the mid-west is currently enjoying "Artic Blast 2006", this clip is a great reminder of why I prefer living in an area that has an annual snowfall of less than 3 inches.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tate-ism #1

It was bound to happen sooner or later . . . though I was hoping it would be much later.

Several nights ago I felt something wet dripping on my foot while changing Tate's diaper. I guess I should have waited another minute or two!

I realize no one at the hospital actually said this but I was going under the assumption that circumcision rehab would somehow limit his "range".

Eh, not so much!

I don't know whether to be proud or grossed out!

As for the messier diapers, apparently Tate is a grunter when he's going to the bathroom. Oh yeah! Sounds like he's trying to pass a tennis ball or something! He's not in any pain - I just think he's being a little dramatic. Hmmm . . . I wonder where he gets that from?

What I do know is that newborn diapers are supposedly the easy ones. There will come a day will when I will hope the 'fountain of youth' is all I get hit with.

Speaking of which, Tara has a great story about her 5-month old's diaper explosion - talk about a kid with range!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

QOTW: Christmas Shopping

I asked this question to hopefully draw out someone who has stood in line for hours waiting for (insert name of retail store here) to open the day after Thanksgiving. I'm glad it looks as though we all utilized our God-given common sense and have thus far avoided this particular yuletide whipping.

I'm serious! I just don't get it! What could possibly be inside that store that makes you stand out in the cold (or summer-like temperatures if you live in Texas) just to be trampled as soon as the doors open at 5 AM?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this season's biggest time-waste!

I don't want to make too much light of the lady in the white coat because she obviously needed medical attention. But I wonder how hurt she would have been if she hadn't stopped to put her wig back on before getting up.

QOTW: When do you typically do most of your Christmas shopping?

Total votes: 16

Throughout December: 14 votes, 87%

Throughout the year: 1 vote, 6%

Christmas Day Eve: 1 vote, 6%

Black Friday: 0 votes

I dunno, ask my wife: 0 votes

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

QOTW: O Tannenbaum! O Tannenbaum!

I have to admit there is something about a great real Christmas tree that immediately puts you in the Christmas spirit – that “new tree smell”, perfectly hung lights and ornaments, presents underneath . . . living a whole month in nervous anticipation of knowing the 8 foot tall fire hazard in your living room could go up in flames at any moment!

Real Christmas trees definitely have their place during this time of year.

But c’mon! Nothing beats the simplicity of an artificial Christmas tree . . . especially one with pre-hung lights!

There’s no beating of having to comb through tree lots. You don't spend weeks trying to scrape tree sap from the top of your car. No trimming. No, “It’s still leaning a little to the right, dear!” No watering – it’s actually a fire hazard if you do!

But here’s the biggie: an artificial tree pays for itself by Year 2. Which means you'll have more $$ to spend on gifts!

Here’s the Strzinek Family (artificial) Christmas Tree! As you can see, we’re running a little behind on the Christmas shopping – we’ve been pretty busy lately!

QOTW Results: Real Christmas Trees or Artificial Christmas Trees?

Total Votes: 25

Nothing beats the smell of a real Christmas tree!: 11 votes, 44%

Gotta go artificial! Those tree lots are a scam!: 14 votes, 56%

Monday, December 11, 2006

Coming Out of the Newborn Fog

Whew! I wish someone had told me that having a baby pretty much changes everything . . . just kidding!

Today is really the first day I've had the mental capacity to do much more than just sit in my recliner with a blank stare on my face.

But now it's back to business as usual . . .

Little Man Tate's Baby Pool

And the winner is . . . 6-month old Mallory!

Some may be impressed that a baby could predict the birth of, well, another baby but I'm just trying to figure out how she typed her guess on the keyboard. Hmmm . . . I wonder if Mommy Shannon had something to do with that.

Of course, I'm sure Mallory will use her Barnes & Noble gift certificate to buy baby books and not cooking or sewing books!

It's pretty embarrassing that my guess ended up 37th out of 40 - hey, I was certain we'd have a Thanksgiving baby!

Thank you all for playing.

Friday, December 08, 2006

We're Home!

We've made it!

Thank you all for your kind comments. Kelly and I have felt lifted by your prayers throughout this entire adventure. It has meant so much to us to know we have such encouraging friends and family! Please continue to pray for us as often as you'd like!

He's awake! Quick! Grab the camera!

Look at this kid's hair! Since Kelly and I were both blonde growing up, we're amazed that Tate arrived sporting black hair.

I'm sure it'll fall out soon but while it's here I'll have fun combing it over. Hmmmm . . . . I wonder if I can spike it up into a mohawk?

Coming soon: The results of Little Man Tate's Baby Pool

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sweet Baby Tate

Let me begin by stating how incredibly disappointed I am in our hospital's wireless network - disappointed indeed! I stayed up until 1:00 AM trying to post updates! Sorry to leave so many of you hanging!

Since I had to run home to pick up a few things, I thought I'd stop down and show off my boy - what else would you expect from a proud daddy?

Kelly will give all the details later but the day went pretty much like this:

7 AM: Arrive at hospital.

8 AM: Kelly's water is broken and she is given a "pit IV" - the stuff that supposed the get the party started.

8 AM-6PM: Absolutely nothing! After watching contractions on the monitor for almost 10 hours, Kelly is still only a 6 - very frustrating! Thinking we still had a ways to go, I order pizza. (Don't worry - I wasn't planning on eating it infront of Kelly!)

7 PM: Just as I finish my pizza, Kelly is now a 9 and we're told we'll be pushing within 30 minutes. (My pizza-filled stomach suddenly doesn't feel so good!)

8:10 PM - Tate shows up fashionably late!

7 lbs 7.7 oz (with those numbers he'll be picking all my games when he gets older!). 20 3/4 inches. A head of black hair so full that you can part it to the side! He is simply perfect!

As for Kelly, she simply amazes me! Absolutely fabulous doesn't come close to describing how well she did. She never complained. She never got upset. She never lost hope. Heck, she never even broke a sweat!

And should any of us be surprised?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

Kelly-ism #7

One thing I will always remember about Kelly being pregnant is that she has been so quick to laugh during this time. I wonder if there is any medical evidence supporting 'pregnancy induced giddiness'.

We all know, however, that there is plenty of evidence (mainly from personal experiences by moms everywhere) supporting 'pregnancy induced loss of bladder control'. But leave it to Kelly to find a way to actually combine the two and lose bladder control nearly every time she starts to laugh.

For example:

When Macy (our golden receiver) and I got home from a softball game the other night, we both needed a bath. Below is the conversation that occurred shortly thereafter when Kelly walked past the bathroom:

Kelly: "Ew! It smells like wet dog and wet 31-year old in here!"

Wade: "Yeah, smells kinda like up-dog!"

Kelly: "What's up-dog?"

Wade: "Nothing! What's up with you dawg?"

Although Kelly had heard the joke before, she couldn't stop laughing at how stupid it was . . . Whoops! So much for bladder control! Off she ran to the bathroom! (You'd be surprised how fast she can move at 39 weeks!)

There's something that cracks me up about watching my 9-month pregnant wife crack herself up and then have to rush off to the bathroom!

Who knew I'd have so much fun during Kelly's pregnancy! We should do this more often!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

QOTW: Christmas Decorations

I know I'm going to sound like a scrooge when I say this but there are some things about Christmas that are an absolute beating! That being said, they are usually the very same things that eventually make Christmas all the worth while.

I'm talking about shopping malls. Parking lots. Christmas carols 24/7. Picking out a Christmas tree that doesn't come with a payment plan. Trying to figure out Uncle Ricky Joe Bob's sweater size. It's A Wonderful Life on a continuous loop on 4 different channels. A Christmas Story on a loop on 4 other channels.

Last but not least - Christmas decorations.

For me, my responsibilities for Christmas decorations involve only one thing - putting lights up on the house - umph! I'd rather a Steinway piano fall on my head!

So yet again this year I found myself elbowing my way down the Seasonal Aisle at Home Depot wrestling some poor old lady for the last box of green outdoor lights and praying to God that they actually work when I get home.

Once I start hanging the Christmas lights I begin cursing the guy who originally came up with this glorious idea. All the while knowing that once I've finished, the Clark Griswald moment of the lights not working is inevitable . . . of course, there's one bulb out so the entire stran doesn't work.

(Side rant: That stupid box said the lights would keep working even if one bulb goes out!)

Breathe in. Breathe out. Count to 10 . . . and try again.

Hey! Not bad! I guess I don't mind putting up Christmas lights after all . . . even if is kind of a silly tradition.

"When do you start decorating for Christmas?"

Total votes: 16 votes

As soon as I clear the Thanksgiving table: 9 votes, 56%

December 1st: 4 votes, 25%

December 15'ish: 3 votes, 18%

Bah humbug: 0 votes

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Looks like Tuesday will be the big day.

Kelly's got the details . . .

Thursday, November 30, 2006

False Alarm at 2 AM!

Kelly and I have been sleeping in separate rooms for the past few nights.

Don't worry, we're not fighting.

With the 12-pillow arrangement that she needs to sleep comfortably (in addition to all that racket I apparently make in the middle of the night), Kelly prefers to sleep in the guest bedroom in order to get a good night's sleep until the baby arrives.

Yesterday morning, Kelly woke me up as she opened our bedroom door at 2 AM and I could tell she was walking towards my side of the bed. Before she said anything I was already thinking, 'Oh my gosh! This is it! She's coming to tell me that she's in labor! It's time to go to the hospital!'

Just as I was about to jump out of bed and grab our ready-packed suitcase, Kelly leaned over and said in her sweetest and most pathetic voice, "Wade? The wind keeps swinging the fence gate back and forth and it's keeping me awake . . . will you go outside and close the gate?"


Too bad none of you were in my backyard at 2 AM yesterday morning. You would have seen me walking around in my underwear, with no contacts, stumbling over patio furniture and mumbling something about the 'stupid wind' and a baby who is 'taking his own sweet time!'

Man, I sure hope none of you were in my backyard at 2 AM yesterday morning!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shocking Confession #4 . . . but not really!

Apparently I snore.

Kelly keeps accusing me of ripping the house apart at night with my King Kong sleep apnea - which is a gross exaggeration that I have been reluctant to believe.

It's not that I don't believe I snore - it's just that there's no way I snore as bad as she describes.

So to prove her case, Kelly presented the following evidence . . . and did so with the same enthusiasm as if she had just discovered the second shooter on the grassy knoll.

My verdict: Evidence is non-conclusive!

First, how do I know it's even me? For all I know, Kelly was playing around with the camera before she went to bed and accidentally set the timer to record herself!

Second, the charge is 'insomnia caused by excessive spousal nocturnal breathing'. C'mon! Anybody can sleep through that . . . even me! That's not snoring! Heck, some people might find that rhythmically soothing!

I rule that no further action be taken due to my "snoring" will soon be trumped by a hungry, wet, screaming baby! And when that happens, Kelly will refer to my snoring as golden silence!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Let Christmas 2006 officially begin!

Now that we've taken the appropriate time to give thanks to our Lord for the blessings that we have received . . . let the Christmas season begin!

Retailers, restaurants, offices with waiting rooms, buildings with elevators, TV commercials, radio ads and even cell phone ring tones - you are all free to bombard us with Christmas carols until we can take it no more . . . or until December 26th, which ever comes first!

To guide you through this most festive time of the year, let me give 2 suggestions:

First, be sure to pay homage to the greatest Christmas movie of all time, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation:

(What? Were you expecting It's A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story? Oh, pa-leazzz!)

Second, let me warn you to avoid the worst Christmas song of all time! I can speak from personal experience and say that if you hear this song on your car radio you will be suddenly tempted to drive off an embankment! So listen at your own risk!

Hey, I love Paul McCartney just as much as the next Beatle fan - but his eggnog must have been spiked with a little "sumpthin-sumpthin" (if you know what I mean) when he composed this noise pollution!

I can remember barely containing myself when I heard that Sir Paul was releasing a new Christmas single. I sat in my room on the edge of my bed wearing my Walkman radio in manic anticipation of hearing the next great song written by my favoriate ex-Beatle!

30 seconds into it my ears started to bleed and I suffered flu-like symptoms for a week!

Which is not the way you'll want to spend the Christmas holiday, believe you me!

So follow these 2 simple suggestions and Christmas 2006 is guaranteed to be one of the best ever! Meanwhile, be sure to stop by throughout the holiday season for additional proper guidance on optimally acceptable Noellic celebratory practices and such!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

QOTW: Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

According to my highly scientific survey, Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is still a hit.


The only thing that I can imagine being a bigger beating than watching Macy's Parade on TV is . . . well . . . watching it in person! I read that there was an estimated 1 million people who lined the streets waiting to see over-sized balloons and lip sync'er's.

At least if you see it in person you don't have to fight through play-by-play commentary from the likes of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer.

Call me a Thanksgiving Scrooge but I just don't get it!

"Will you stop down and watch Macy's Thanksgiving Parade this Thursday?"

Total votes: 18

"Absolutely! Lip sync'ing hasn't been this good since Milli Vanilli!": 11 votes, 61%

"Not while the Cowboys Pre-pre-game show is on!": 7 votes, 38%

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Invisible Leash & QOTW

It's amazing how dependant we've become on technology.

My technological dependency became quite obvious last night when, after my work computer rolled over on its back and died, I went to bed a little upset because Kelly was hogging our laptop.

Her excuse had something to do with her being 38 weeks pregnant and still not having found a suitable diaper bag - which apparently justifies 2 hours of online shopping.

I didn't get too worked up about it - but it did make me realize that the invisible leash between me and my laptop has gotten really short!

It seems like most of you out there in the blogosphere are looking forward to getting your L-tryptophan fix with a healthy serving of turkey this Thanksgiving.

As for me, I'll probably double-up on the honey baked ham.

Here's the best explanation I've found of why turkey supposedly makes you tired: Turkey meat contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan. When eaten, this amino acid travels in the blood from the digestive system to the brain.

The brain then changes the L-tryptophan into another chemical called serotonin. Serotonin calms us down and helps us sleep.

Which is why I'll probably fall asleep somewhere between halftime and mid-3rd quarter of the Cowboy game - that is unless Vander-dork misses another pair of field goals and gets me all worked up again.

QOTW: "Do you enjoy eating turkey on Thanksgiving or would you rather have something else?"

Total votes: 18 votes

I love me some turkey: 13 votes, 72%

Turkey's not my favorite but I can deal with it: 5 votes, 27%

Please! Anything but turkey!: 0 votes

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No Vacancy in Heaven?

I should share more about the people I meet in the waiting rooms of the doctors I call on . . .

Yesterday I was in a waiting room reading Happiest Baby when I suddenly realized the guy across from me had been speaking to me for the past minute or two . . . don't you just love conversations that start like that?

He was giving me commentary on Montel Williams, whose show was on the TV. (Side rant: How does that guy still have a TV show?) Montel's guest was some lady who claimed she could use spirituality to see into the future. Again, why is that spare still on TV?

Anyway, the guy in the waiting room started telling me about how his 14-year old daughter asked him if he believed in "God and Heaven and such." (Yeah, the awkward transition from Montel Williams to God and Heaven and such really confused me, too!)

Although he never told me how he answered her question, he said to me, "Between you and me: I did 3 tours in Vietnam. Everybody I knew over there who went to church ended up getting killed. I never went to church once and I came home without a scratch! Now what does that tell you?"

At this moment I was wishing I had something clever, snappy and sarcastic to say - which probably isn't what Jesus would have done. Instead, I just sat there silently hoping that wasn't how he answered his daughter's question.

Then he continues, "Besides, I don't know if I even want to go to Heaven. Think about all the people who have ever lived and are now dead - Heaven's a crowded place, it's too crowded."

That's when I finally spoke up, "Says who?"

"What do you mean, 'Says who?"

"Do you really think that Heaven is too crowded?"

"Well, yeah - billions of people have lived on earth. Do you want to go to a place where there are billions of people?"

This guy's logic was beginning to frustrate me. I was ready to roll up my sleeves and go a few rounds with him! I was ready to tell him that he couldn't possibly be disappointed with Heaven - no matter how many people are there. I was ready to tell him that God is infinite and so is his home. I was ready to tell him that Heaven is as big as needs it to be - which is bigger than we can imagine! I was ready to tell him what he should have told his daughter!

But just as I was about to set him straight I heard the nurse say, "Wade, are you ready to come back?"


All I could think to say to the guy was, "Well, a crowded Heaven sure beats the alternative."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

When a SNL parady seems all too real!

This has always been my favorite Saturday Night Live sketch because (1) it's funny and (2) the "little boy" reminds me of myself growing up - sad, isn't it?

It's all fun and games until you can relate to something you see on SNL!

(Double-click play button to start)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

QOTW Results: Premature Christmas Celebrations

There are a couple of reasons why it really bothers me when retail stores preemptively celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving.

1. It shows blatant disrespect for the Thanksgiving Holiday! C’mon, people! Thanksgiving is important! If it weren’t for Thanksgiving then the pilgrims would have never had an excuse to eat lunch with the indians. Show Turkey Day a little respect!

2. The longer stores have Christmas decorations up the longer they have to play Christmas music. Hey, I can get into the Christmas spirit with the best of you but 6 weeks of Silver Bells, Chestnuts roasting on an open fire and a partridge and a pear tree – Ahhhh! It’s enough to send me over the edge!!

I’ve tried getting Kelly to join my boycott of all offending retailers but she just looks at me like I’m insane!

“Does it bug you when stores put up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving?"
Total votes: 14 votes
Yeah, but waddya gonna do?: 7 votes, 50%
No! I can't wait for Christmas!: 4 votes, 28%
Absolutely! We should boycott!: 3 votes, 21%
I never really noticed: 0 votes

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Daddy Thoughts, Part II

A few months ago I shared my daddy thoughts. Here’s what I’m thinking now that we are approaching t-minus 3 weeks . . .

1. Holy cow! 8 months go by fast!!

2. Oh, no! I don’t remember a thing we talked about at the birthing class!!

3. Aw, man! The breast-feeding class is next weekend!! (So much for watching Michigan-Ohio State!!)

4. If one more person explains to me how much my life is going to change (as if I didn’t already know) then I’m going respond with an overly sarcastic, “Well, d’uh!”

5. The funniest comment made to me by someone who was just trying to be nice: “You’re having a boy, aren’t you? I could tell – you’re just glowing!” (I was sun burned)

6. Babies ‘R Us should be renamed Parents ‘R Us because 75% of it is just comfort/convenience stuff for the parents!

7. The womb is still the most uncomfortable environment that I can possibly imagine.

8. I don’t get it – what’s so great about The Wiggles?

9. Baby Einstein I get.

10. Ok, I can do this. Just keep thinking, “It’s just a dirty diaper – how bad can it be?” (I don’t know if I can do this!)

11. The Expectant Father by Brott & Ash . . . don’t bother, it’s all the same stuff you learned in birthing class.

12. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, MD . . . not bad, but he could shorten it by about half the length.

13. Kelly really surprised me with the way she decorated the nursery . . . as usual she did a great job! I think the Chamonix poster is my favorite!

14. The Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Mavericks are seriously under-serving the newborn market with very little merchandising.

15. What I’m most hopeful for during ‘the big day’: That we get a suite at the hospital. They are so nice but it’s first come, first served.

16. What I can’t wait to see during ‘the big day’: The expression on Kelly’s face when she holds Tate for the first time – we’re both gonna lose it!

17. What would surprise me the most on ‘the big day’: Kelly cussing me out!

18. What I’m most afraid of during ‘the big day’: That I might pass out – I’ll wear my cycling helmet so I don’t hit my head on the floor!

19. What I’m most curious about during ‘the big day’: What Tate will look like, of course!

20. The one thing I’m not worried about during ‘the big day’: Kelly. She’s gonna do great!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Intelligence Test

I got tihs iellentgncie tset in an eamil - soseppeuly olny srmat poelpe can raed it.

It is hrad to blveiee taht you can aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht you are rdanieg. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy tihs is the phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid.

It deosn't mttaer waht oredr the ltteers of a wrod are in, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt – srory Klely!

Let me konw if you can raed tihs or not.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Now this is more like it!

I wouldn’t say I had a bad day today – but I definitely had a draining day.

I’m doing pretty good now that I’m sitting back in my recliner, watching football in HD, blogging on my laptop and eating a bowl of the greatest dessert man has ever concocted . . . Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and Magic Shell Chocolate Fudge.

Seriously folks, if you’ve never had Blue Bell and Magic Shell then you would be best served by stopping whatever it is you are doing and rushing to the store to get yourself some!

Now this is more like it!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Here we go again!

The Dallas Maverick season opener is tonight. And we all know what that means!

It’s a brand new season of crazy dancing and courtside over-reactions from everybody’s favorite NBA Team Owner Mark Cuban!

Who needs Emmitt Smith and Dancing With the Stars when you’ve got Dirk Nowitzki drowning 3’s and Mark Cuban perfecting the Elaine Benes dance move all in one camera shot!?! It’s fun for the whole family, folks!

It may not get you a NBA Championship but it sure will leave you thinking, “I wish I was a billionaire basketball dork, too!”

Here’s a clip of Cuban firing off one of his classic hot sports opinions on . . . The Wiggles?

No wonder we lost 4 straight to Miami!

(Double-click play button to start)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Kelly-ism #6

I came home late tonight after softball and this is what I found on the kitchen counter - Kelly's breakfast already laid out for tomorrow morning.

Kelly does this to save time in the morning when she has to leave in a hurry. I realize it makes total sense and helps her get out the door on time.

It's just funny to see that she even puts a straw in the cup in order to save an extra 5 seconds in the morning!!

I know, I'm going to appreciate this kind of organization and preparedness once Tate gets here.

But meanwhile, it's just one of those cute things my wife does that makes me giggle!

PS: Yes, this is the famous breakfast Kelly eats every single morning! Peanut butter on wheat bread with her doctor approved one-and-only Diet Coke - the breakfast of champions!

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Shocking Confession #3

In over 7 years of marriage, I have lost my wedding band 3.5 times! I know – shocking!

So shocking in fact, today I got called out from the pulpit by my preacher at church about it! No kidding!

Let me explain:

Infraction #1: During our first year of marriage I noticed one day after playing golf that I lost my ring sometime during the round. I felt particularly bad about losing my ring because Valentine’s was the following day. I waited until February 15th before telling Kelly. I bought a replacement on February 16th.

I was elated a couple months later when I found my ring still inside my golf glove! For some reason, Kelly didn’t share my enthusiasm!

Infraction #1.5: A few months later, having learned not to wear my wedding ring while playing golf, I took off my ring and left it in my car before heading out on the course. Since it was a particularly hot day, my ring was exceptionally hot when I returned to the car.

To cool if off, I turned on the A/C and held my ring directly in front of the vent. Unfortunately my ring dropped down the A/C vent like a quarter in a coke machine!

For the next week I could hear my ring roll back and forth inside my dash – each time prompting a glare from Kelly in the passenger seat. The service rep at the car dealership said that I was the very first person to bring in a car with this type of problem – you don’t say?

(I’m only charging my self with a half infraction for this one since technically I didn’t lose my ring . . . I just couldn’t reach it.)

Infraction #2.5: We all know what it feels like to move, right? All your possessions are boxed up. You don’t know where anything is. You’re out of your routine. You don’t have that little place where you put things so they don’t get lost.

It’s perfectly understandable that personal items can get misplaced during this transitional period, isn’t it?

I bought a second replacement.

Infraction #3.5: During this past summer, some guys from our church played in a basketball league. Just before playing in a game, I could have sworn I put my ring in my gym bag. When I got home and opened my gym bag I was shocked to find no ring. I called the rec center but nobody had returned it.

So I bought my third replacement.

Just this past week I received a phone call from our preacher, David, who said that he had found a wedding ring in on his closet floor and wondered if it was mine – it was! I thanked him for calling and asked him not to let me forget to get it from him during church today. I’ll never ask him that again . . .

During his sermon today, David started a story by saying, “So I walked into my closet this week and found something peculiar on the floor . . .”

Oh no he didn’t! Oh yes he did!

He proceeded to use my personal issues with wedding bands as an analogy for the whole church to learn from! One of Kelly’s proudest moments as my wife no doubt!

The funny side of his story is that when he found the unfamiliar men’s wedding band in his closet he immediately became suspicious of his wife! He called up his wife at work and said, “I found something in the closet! Is there something you want to tell me?” She said, “No. I can’t talk right now – I’m eating lunch with my boss!” Which only increased his suspicions.

Before David’s imagination got too far out of control he stopped and realized that it might belong to one of the guys on the basketball team. That’s when he started calling around.

After church I told David that if I was going to get called out from the pulpit I could think of a lot worse things to get called out on!

Anyway - At this rate, I will have lost my ring 24.5 times when Kelly and I reach our 50th Anniversary. That is to say that Kelly doesn’t first leave me before then for losing my wedding ring 24.5 times!

I love you, Babe!

Here's a picture of Macy admiring my collection of wedding rings!
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QOTW Results

I loved CapN' Crunch growing up. I remember eating it for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.

The only problem was that all the preservatives at Quaker Oats couldn't keep the cereal from getting soggy so it was always a race to eat it before it turned into CapN' Mush.

But CapN' Crunch was a staple for any Saturday morning. It was the perfect add-on to Looney Tunes, Transformers and the League of Justice!

Once I grew out of CapN' Crunch to switched to Grape Nuts. But I only liked it after I added a couple of packs of Sween-N-Low to sweeten it up.

Gotta feed that sweet tooth!

Other won out this week so I'm looking forward to hearing which was your favorite kid's cereal growing up.

"Which is your favorite kid's cereal?"

Total votes: 17

Other: 6 votes, 35%

Lucky Charms: 4 votes, 23%

CapN' Crunch: 3 votes, 17%

Fruit Loops: 2 votes, 11%

Apple Jacks: 1 vote, 5%

Coaco Puffs: 1 vote, 5%

Frosted Flakes, Trix, Rice Krispies: 0 votes

Friday, October 27, 2006

Announcing Tate's Online Baby Pool!

I'm starting a baby pool for Tate!

Guess the day when he'll be born, how much he'll weigh and how long he'll be!

It's free to play - so get in on the action!

The winner will get a $25 Gift Certificate from Barnes & Noble.

ExpectNet calculates an overall winner by totalling penalty points from each category:

Incorrect gender: 400 points - No excuse for getting this one wrong!
Birth date & time: 5 points/hour
Weight: 5 points/ounce or 0.2 points/gram
Length: 10 points/inch or 4 points/centimeter

The winner is the person with the fewest points.

Click here or on the banner above to play.

Game name: LittleManTate

Good luck!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Waste of Time Website of the Week

Have you ever felt like being a pest just for the sake of pestering someone?

You can fill your pestering urges by clicking here.

This is a really stupid website where you can see how many times you can poke a penguin before the little guy finally loses it. He has several 'over-reactions' so be sure to poke again.

Have fun wasting your time!

PS: Just to make sure 'poke the penguin' wasn't street slang for something really bad, I looked it up at

It means to make a nun really mad.

Example: Dude, I totally poked that penguin when I egged her house.

It's safe to say that I have lost all my street cred!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Kelly-ism #5

As you would expect, Kelly continues to issue one-liners and zingers as only she can. However, they have recently been coming in the form of 'just had to be there' humor - I could tell you what she said but I just don't think I can do it justice in the blogosphere.

. . . That is until Kelly causually mentioned after one such zinger, "You know, I think pregnancy has made me really funny."

Hmmmm . . . I wonder if labor and delivery will have the same affect on her!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Power of Prayer . . . and Pickles!

I usually don't bog you all down with my cycling stories - mostly because I know they are about as interesting as my dad's golf stories - sorry, Dad! But, I'll try to make this good . . .

Yesterday I rode in the Crazy Kicker Bike Rally. 50 miles through the most gorgeous scenery west of Mineral Wells - the only problem is that there is not a flat stretch of road the entire route. You're either going up or going down. Going down wouldn't be that bad if your thighs weren't still burning from going up!

Because of the up's and down's I tried something new this time - pure 100% pickle juice! The high-salt content in pickle juice helps with cramps and gives you quite a kick! It worked great for me yesterday! No joke - even agrees!

Seriously, I felt like I was on steroids . . . uh . . . not that I would know what being on steroids was like . . . so . . . maybe you should just ignore that part.

Unfortunately it would take a lot more than just pickle juice to get up Cherry Pie Hill - a 15% grade incline with 4 switchbacks! This is the type of hill that makes you regret ever taking up cycling. There were signs on the side of the road saying, "There's no shame in walking!"

Anyway, about halfway up I began to really struggle so to focus I actually distracted myself by thinking of Kelly and Tate. I said a little prayer for them both. I prayed that God would grant Kelly peace of mind and comfort of body. I prayed that God would help Tate grow strong and healthy. And I prayed that He would give them both a good day - yesterday was also our first baby shower.

At the end of my prayer I suddenly realized something . . . I was now at the top of Cherry Pie Hill and pedaling at a faster rate then I was when I started at the bottom!

I don't want to get too cheesy, hokey or whatever you want to call it - but at that same moment a thought crossed my mind: Our own struggles don't seem near as bad when we are in constant prayer for other people.

As for the ride: 50 miles in 3 hours with a top speed coming down Cherry Pie Hill that Kelly would not be very happy about . . . but boy it was fun!

QOTW Results

No reason why I asked - just curious!

"Which is your favorite top grossing animated Disney movie?"

Total votes: 22

Finding Nemo: 8 votes, 36%

The Incredibles: 5 votes, 22%

Monsters, Inc.: 4 votes, 18%

Aladdin: 2 votes, 9%

The classics were better: 2 votes 9%

The Lion King: 1 vote, 4%

Toy Story 2: 0 votes

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thanks a lot . . . 1 Year and $1500 later!

For those of you who don't know, I wear a hearing aid because of a birth defect.

I started wearing a hearing aid while at ACU because that was when digital technology in hearing aids came out - until then the analog stuff wasn't much help.

I found an audiologist in Abilene who got me fitted with my hearing aid and I kept using him even after Kelly and I moved back to Fort Worth after graduation.

In October of last year my hearing aid needed a few repairs so I UPS'ed it back to my audiologist in Abilene. The only problem was that UPS ended up losing my hearing aid mid-transit! Save that tracking number, folks!

I called them for 2 weeks and they kept telling me that they lost it somewhere at their Distribution Hub in Mesquite, "Sorry, Mr. Stryinuck - it seems it went in but never came out!".

Luckily I purchased a $1500 insurance policy from UPS when I paid for the shipping - it only cost me an extra $12. So after a few more weeks I got a check from UPS and had my hearing aid replaced by a local audiologist.

The reason I'm telling you about all this is because I got a voice mail today from my old audiologist in Abilene, "Mr. Stresiyuck, just wanted you to know that we received your hearing aid and we'll call you when it's fixed."

1 year and $1500 later, UPS finally made the delivery!

What can Brown do for me? Don't ask!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Biff does Stand-Up!

Brian D found another great video for us!

It's Biff from Back to the Future - his name is Tom Wilson.

Apparently he's doing stand-up comedy now - clever guy!

(Double-click play button to start video)

Thanks, Brian!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

QOTW Results

My question this past week was prompted by a trip to our local Target.

While walking through the baby section I found my new favorite t-shirt for Tate.

It's a Beatles t-shirt for babies!! Ha!

I was also surprised to see t-shirts for The Rolling Stones - which got me thinking, "I wonder which t-shirts they sell more of: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?"

Hence my question.

Quite frankly, I'm not too surprised The Beatles won my Question of the Week! I think they're much more indearing and their music was by far much more innovative.

To me, The Rolling Stones seem to have a sound they stuck with, albeit a good sound. What separated The Beatles was they practically had a new distinctive sound with each new album. For instance, compare Sgt. Pepper's to Help! or The White Album to Hard Day's Night.

And that's why Tate will be a big fan of theirs as well. He'll have a unique sound all his own as well! Plus, he'll just appreciate really good Rock N' Roll!

Here are the results from this week's Question of the Week:

"The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?"

Total: 15 votes

I've Got a Feeling (The Beatles): 10 votes, 66%

Start Me Up! (The Rolling Stones): 1 vote, 6%

Neither, they're both old!: 4 votes, 26%

(PS: For those of you who think The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are too old to matter and therefore don't know otherwise, I've Got a Feeling and Start Me Up! are songs by each group.)

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Friday, October 13, 2006

I pity us all!

Everybody has a reality TV show these days.

Case in point, be sure to stop down and watch TV Land's I Pity the Fool, starring (you guessed it!) Mr. T himself!

Are you kidding me? You mean some executive at TV Land thought so much of Mr. T's jibba jabba that they gave him his own TV show?

In that case, what about me? I should have a TV show! People could vote on how long it takes me to find my car keys each morning!

As for Mr. T, let's keep track of how many times he gets confused and says "Hey kids! Eat your drugs and say no to vegetables!"

Obviously Mr. Big Time Exec at TV Land never saw this jem of a video sent to me by Brian D!

Here are some Mr. T fast facts:

- Born Laurence Tureaud on May 21, 1952.

- Was the 11th of 12 kids (Holy cow!)

- Awarded a football scholarship to Prairie View A&M, Texas where he majored in Mathematics but was thrown out after his first year.

- For about 10 years, he worked as a bodyguard for Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, Steve McQueen, and Diana Ross. He charged around $3,000 a day. His business card read, "Next to God, there is no greater protector than I".

- In 2005, after seeing the effects of Hurricane Katrina, Mr. T announced he would never wear his chains again, saying they were "an insult to God", and donated clothing and money to Katrina victims.

Like I said, I pity us all!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Today's Top 10 . . .

Top 10 Reasons Why North Korea's Kim Jong-Il Wants a Nuclear Weapon:

10. His new glasses and hair-do doesn’t seem to impress the ladies.

9. All the other deranged psychotic dictators have one.

8. Wants to finally win that elusive blue ribbon at the Pyongyang Jr. High School Science Fair.

7. Actually, he thinks it’s a time machine.

6. Still mad that he wasn’t drafted to pitch for the New York Yankees.

5. Turned down by Bravo to have his own reality TV show because he wasn’t interesting enough.

4. Tired of always being mistaken for a Hobbit.

3. Things just haven’t gone well ever since he appeared on The Ricki Lake Show.

2. Wants to trade it for handful of magical beans.

1. Plans to use it on Osama Bin Laden for accusing him of cheating at Scrabble.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Is this the best we've got?

Political banter of any kind usually gives me tired-head in 3.5 seconds or less, but I'm going to stop down for a moment because our current Texas gubernatorial race is a perfect example of why I avoid politics at all cost.

For those of you who don't know:

Supposedly, incumbent Governor Rick Perry is leading the polls at 33%.

Carol Keaton "One Tough Grandma" Strayhorn (I) is second at 22%.

Chris Bell (D) is third at around 18%.

Kinky Friedman (I) is fourth at 16%.

So you can look at this one of two ways: Gov. Perry has a 10 point lead on his competition OR the majority of Texas wants someone other than Perry to be governor.

There's still plenty of politic-ing to go but it looks like unless it is discovered that Rick Perry has been sending inappropriate text messages to Al-Qeada he'll retain his seat as governor.

But here's my point in bringing up this gobblely-gook: In the political juggernaut that is the great state of Texas, is this the best we can come up with in a gubernatorial race? Are there not more dynamic, qualified, reasonable, viable candidates for governor somewhere in Texas?

For governor we get to choose from:

- An incumbent who, for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, I just can't get totally comfortable with. (Sorry, Mom!)

- A democratic candidate who is so bland I forget his name as soon as I hear it.

- Some lady who wants us all to refer to her as 'One Tough Grandma'. (One Tough Grandma? Oh pa-leaze! Ann Richards had death rays shooting from her eyes compared to this woman!)

- Some guy named Kinky who can't make a point unless he can emphatically stab his cigar in the air while he's talking - which I think he does to draw attention away from the fact that he is horribly misinformed on almost all things pertaining to state politics.

So forgive me if I don't jump in my car and rush to the voting booths next month. Let's just say that I am more impressed with my 6-year old niece's rendition of Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline'.

QOTW Results

Business Math at ACU will always hold a special memory in my mind. Not because it provided me a venue to showoff my impressive 'human calculator' talent*, but because that class was when I first saw Kelly and thought, "Hey now!"

I showed up late for class (imagine that!) and the only untaken seat was to Kelly's immediate right. The lay-out of the room meant that I would have to spend the entire semester looking directly past Kelly's profile in order to see the teacher.

Best seat in the house - sometimes it pays to runs a few minutes late!

I'm sure Kelly had similar 'hey now!' thoughts when she saw me but because she was dating some jerk at the time she obviously had to restrain herself.

By the way, if said-jerk happens to be reading this then: That's right! You were a jerk!

Anyway, take a moment this week to remember the first thing that crossed your mind when you met your significant other and then tell them why you've got a smile on your face.

And, if you're comfortable, feel free to share with us what it was!

"What was the first thing you noticed about your significant other?"

Total votes: 13 votes

His or her looks: 4 votes, 30%

His or her brains: 3 votes, 23%

His or her sense of humor: 3 votes, 23%

Actually, he/she noticed me first: 2 votes, 15%

His or her wardrobe: 1 vote, 7%

His or her car: 0 votes


Friday, October 06, 2006

I hate Chick-Fil-A Cookies & Cream Shakes!

Actually they're really, really good.

Which means I have to eat them all the time. Which means I have to ride further on my bike . . . which is why I hate them.

If you have never partaken of this sweet nectar of life then I advise you resist temptation at all cost! Once you have one they seem to call our your name everytime you drive by a Chick-Fil-A.

Sometimes I resist - but most times I don't!

By the way, did you know that it only cost $5,000 to purchase a Chick-Fil-A franchise? They make thier money by making the owners pay a ton in royalties!

The hard part is the interview process! S. Truett Cathy (founder) is super picky on who he awards franchises to.

Owners with well performing locations (and which of them aren't?) can make an annual salary of $150,000 - top performers can earn up to $250,000!

It's actually not a bad gig - other than having to work on Saturdays and the average age of the employees being somewhere in the neigborhood of 16.5 years old!

And I should know, I used to be one of those 16.5 year olds.

Anyway, if you end up getting a franchise of your own - save a Cookies & Cream shake for me!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Book Rant! The Case for Faith

First, thanks again to Shannon & Brad for buying this book for me.

This reading is my last installment of "The Case for . . ." series. Case for Faith is my second favorite of the three with Case for Christ being #1 (it should be mandatory reading) and Case for Creator being #3 (a little knowledge and/or interest in physics will help).

If you're not familiar with Lee Strobel here he is in a nutshell: athiest investigative journalist trys to disprove God, Jesus and Christianity but, in the process, becomes a Christian himself - pretty cool!

Each book outlines his research on the topics of Christ, Creation and Faith.

In Case for Faith, Strobel sets out to answer 8 simple* objections:

1. Since evil and suffering exist, a loving God cannot.

2. Since miracles contradict science, they cannot be true.

3. Evolution explains life, so God isn't needed.

4. God isn't worthy of worship if He kills innocent children.

5. It's offensive to claim Jesus is the only way to God.

6. A loving God would never tourture people in Hell.

7. Church history is littered with oppression and violence.

8. I still have doubts, so I can't be a Christian.

Ever have one of these pop into your mind?

If so, it's OK. Strobel reminds us that we can only have faith if it is in the midst of doubt. If there is nothing to doubt then there's no need to have faith. Remember the guy in Mark 9:24 who told Jesus, "I believe but help my unbelief"?

Here are some quotes:

Pg. 101 - On the universe being created by random chance: "Sir Frederick Hoyle put it colorfully when he said that [The Big Bang Theory] is about as likely as a tornado whirling through a junkyard and accidentally assembling a fully functioning Boeing 747."

Pg. 119 - On God's Old Testament orders to kill men, women and children: "People assume that what's wrong for us is wrong for God. However, it's wrong for me to take your life because I didn't make it and I don't own it . . . God is sovereign over all life and he has the right to take it if he wishes."

Pg. 156 - "Jesus didn't come into this world to make bad people good - he came into this world to make dead people live."

Pg. 192 - The truth about hell: "Remember that hell will forever be a monument to human dignity and the value of human choice. It is a quarantine where God says two important things: 'I respect freedom of choice enough to where I won't coerce people, and I value my image-bearers so much that I will not annihilate them."

Pg. 236 - "When you scratch below the surface, there's either a will to believe or there's a will not to believe. Faith is a choice."

Get it. Read it. Live it.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Mallory-ism #1

I'm at my In-Laws and I've commandeered their computer again!

I found some great pics of my niece, Mallory!

I'm sure her mom would have preferred to post these pics herself - but hey, I found them first!

I'm suprised her UT Longhorn father allowed Mallory to wear this shirt!

Apparently Mallory was a little moody when this picture was taken!

Gotta admit - she's a cute one!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

QOTW Results: Speeding Tickets!

"Your license and registration, please."

You gotta hate the sound of those words. We've all heard them - some more than others. Unfortunately, I've heard them a lot!

I have gotten out of several tickets by pulling over before the cop had a chance to pull in behind me and turn on his lights. Hey, when you're guilty - you're guilty.

One cop came up to my window and said, "Well, I guess you know why I pulled you over." He checked my license and then sent me on my way with just a warning. Such a nice guy!

Here are some lame excuses some people have actually tried:

- "I had to speed up to get up the hill."

- "I'm low on gas and need to get to a gas station as fast as I can!"

- "My speedometer is broken. It reads 15 mph below what I'm actually doing."

- One guy got upset and messed up the 'my wife is at the hospital in labor' excuse: "My wife is about to get pregnant and I need to be there when it happens!"

- Given by a motorist receiving a ticket for doing 64 in a 25 mph speed zone: "I was speeding up for the 55 mph zone ahead."

- Apparently they made a movie about this excuse: "Every time my car drops below 50 mph it dies."

- Given by a dad with a backseat full of kids: "Just trying to get away from the noises in the backseat." (He got off with a warning!)

- "My dad told me I could get away with doing 11 over without getting stopped."


"In order to get out of a speeding ticket, you would:"

Total votes: 19

Kill him with kindness: 11 votes, 57%

Start crying and say you're sorry: 5 votes, 26%

'I didn't know it was 30 mph': 2 votes, 10%

'You'll never catch me!': 1 vote, 5%

Get mad: 0 votes

Claim a State Trooper Association donation: 0 votes

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Warm fuzzy feelings!

Yesterday was filled with warm fuzzy feelings!

The first one came during our sonogram appointment. Tate has gotten big! Kelly tells me not to get too hung up on it but I can't help but be a proud daddy!

And since Tate keeps using Kelly's pancreas as a punching bag I can only assume that he is getting strong as well!

Yep, big and strong - that's the way we Strzinek's grow 'em!

(Some of you are laughing right now because you remember what a bean pole I was in high school. But as far as bean poles go, I tended to be the bigger and stronger of the bunch!)

Continuing on now . . .

Here are a couple of pictures of Tate.

The black & white says 'Good Morning' because we had to wake him up in order to get him to move so that we could get a good shot.

Our sonogram lady had an interesting technique of waking Tate up: placing a plate on Kelly's stomach and banging on it with a metal spoon! It woke up babies in Oklahoma!

Once Tate woke up it was amazing to see his eyes open and look around. Supposedly his eyes are open in the black & white picture. We also watched him yawn!

(Enter warm fuzzy feelings!)

But I also got warm fuzzy feelings later yesterday afternoon when we received an answer to a prayer Kelly, myself and so many others have been praying for such a long time.

Our friends, Jody & Janell, went to a sonogram appointment as well. They were hoping to find a little baby - they found two!!!!

Twins! Yeah God!

We're so happy for you, Jody & Janell!

Gotta love those warm fuzzy feelings!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kelly-ism #4 (She's on a roll, folks!)

As Kelly and I were driving to church last Sunday we were listening to Sunday Morning Praise on KLTY when we heard a song with the lyric, "God's eye is on the sparrow."

Kelly asked, "Remind me, Wade - why do I care if God's eye is on the sparrow?"

I, welcoming the opportunity to show off my vast theological wisdom (sarcasm!), answered, "Well, if he makes an effort to watch a little sparrow then, because you are his child, you know that he definitely cares about you and is watching you."

Kelly took a moment to think and then said, "Or maybe God is just really into bird watching!"

There's one thing about life with Kelly: Never a dull moment!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Robert Tate Strzinek

That's his name!!!

I gave Kelly an "end-of-September" deadline to make up her mind on our short list of names for our baby boy. She caught me a little by surprise by deciding so quickly. And why wouldn't she with such a great name like Robert Tate Strzinek?

He'll be a 3rd generation Robert - my dad and I both share Robert as our first name. But like me, he'll go by his middle name. Kelly was the one who actually thought of Tate - I knew that was the right name as soon as I heard it.

Funny how that happens. For so long, I was worried about how I would know (See What's in a Name). But as soon as Kelly said it - I knew, "Robert Tate! That's his name!"

Those of you close to me know that ever since then I've been dropping not-so-subtle hints to Kelly that Tate was my favorite.

Now I get to start on his nicknames. So far I've got "Little Man Tate" and "Tate-r-tot".

Saturday, September 23, 2006

QOTW Results: Just when you think you know your blog audience . . .

My question was: "You would like to have 2 tickets to watch your favorite team play in the . . . "

Your choices were: (1) NFL Super Bowl, (2) NBA Championship, (3) NHL Stanley Cup Finals, (4) MLB World Series

You chose: "Forget the sports! Give me 2 tickets to see Oprah!"

(I can't believe I have a picture of Oprah on my blog!!)

Seriously folks! We gotta talk! I put that choice in at the last minute just so that the non-sports fan would still have something to choose from!!

I guess I've learned something new about my blog audience today. I would have never known that the majority of you would rather watch Oprah in person than watch a national champion be crowned!

(Maybe it has something to do with you achieving your dreams rather than watching someone else achieve theirs!! Oooo, deep!)

But, that's cool! It's all good! Maybe I'll glace through an O Magazine while standing in the check out line so that I can learn more about your likes and dislikes . . . But what if someone sees me reading Oprah's magazine? . . . Well, so much for that idea!!

Don't worry - I'll figure out some way to accommodate all you Oprah fans. Just don't be expecting any free cars just for reading my blog!!

Total votes: 16

Oprah: 7 votes, 43%

NFL Super Bowl: 5 votes, 31%

NBA Championship: 2 votes, 12%

NHL Stanley Cup Finals: 2 votes, 12%

MLB World Series: 0 votes


My next question is in honor of my wife - who recently drove through the City of Alvarado, Texas at an excessive rate of speed!

Can anyone say 'deferred judification'?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kelly-ism #3

So I’m sitting in my office working on my computer when my 7-month pregnant wife comes in and says, “I’m big, aren’t I?”

Immediately, internal alarm systems went off – ‘Don’t answer that question!!!’

I initiated selective-hearing in hopes that the question would just go away. ‘Just keep starring at your computer!’

Kelly persisted, “Don’t you think I’ve gotten big?”


All I could think to say was a very weak, “Birth is beautiful . . . ?”

Luckily she was in a good mood and didn’t notice the sweat beads on my forehead . . . just 76 more days!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Me, cat lover? Eh, not so much!

I've never liked cats. Which is fine because they have never liked me.

I was 7 years old when I had my one and only cat - his name was Junior and he was completely black. He hissed everytime I came near. Even when I was just walking through the room he would just glare at me like he was thinking, "That's right, kid! Just keep on walking!"

Junior never appreciated the way I always wanted to take care of him and be a good cat owner. Like the time I noticed that Junior bad breath - I put some toothpaste on my toothbrush and proceeded to brush his teeth.

You know how peanut butter will sometimes get stuck to the roof of your mouth? And then you spend the rest of the day smacking and licking peanut butter? Apparently the same thing happens to a cat when you put toothpaste in his mouth!

From then on Junior kept to himself and I, in order to avoid cat scratches, kept to myself.

I'm sure this was the same type of relationship the little boy walking down my street last night had with his cat.

While I was mowing my front yard, I noticed a boy who seemed too young to be out by himself walking down the sidewalk. I could tell he was looking for something so I asked him if everything was alright.

"Have you seen my cat?" He said without introducing himself.

"No. What does he look like?"

"He has fur and a really long tail." That narrowed it down a bit.

"Well, what should I do if I find him?" I expected the little boy to give me directions to his house.

"I dunno." He gave me a blank look like he hadn't thought that far ahead yet. Then he continued . . .

"My dad says I can't have a dog because I already have a cat. So if you find him you can just keep him."

"Gee . . . thanks."

Boy continued down the sidewalk.

Don't get me wrong - cats aren't totally useless. The video below shows that they do carry some entertainment value.

(Double-click play button to start video)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

One Man's Junk, Another Man's Treasure

There's one reason and one reason only to have a garage sell - to get rid of junk.

You can't have a garage sell in order to make money. Case in point, here are a few of the hot deals going down in my drive way early yesterday morning . . . around 6 AM!!

Nintendo 64 and 12 games (around $500 new): $10
The $200 22-inch TV I bought my sophomore year at ACU: $20
The $150 VCR I bought to go with my TV: $10
Our really nice (and extremely heavy) $500 entertainment center: $40 - yeah, that one hurt!

We got rid of a lot of stuff - but we didn't make much money doing it. I think the final take came to around $140 - which actually isn't too bad for a few hours of work.

I've always felt weird having garage sales. You're basically telling people, "Hey! Come buy junk I don't want anymore!" And when they walk away without buying anything it's hard not to take it personally, "What's the matter? Don't you like my junk? You think your junk is any better?"

The biggest acheivement of the day: Now that we are a one TV family (gasp!), Kelly has agreed to purchasing a new TV for our new armoire!! Whoo-hoo!

But here's where I need everybody's help. Somebody please tell Kelly that it is a waste of money to purchase a HDTV without purchasing the HDTV package from Dish Network!!

QOTW results

"Which new fall TV show are you most excited about?"

Looks like everyone is buying into the hype! Let's hope Studio 60 doesn't get the Friends jinx (also known as the Seinfeld jinx) - nobody goes on to do anything significant in thier first post-Friends project. But I have to admit, I'll TiVo Studio 60 and give it a shot.

There were 2 votes for "Other" - I'd like to hear which shows they were for.

Total Votes: 22
Studio 60: 7 votes, 31%
Twenty Good Years: 5 votes, 22%
Brothers & Sisters: 2 votes, 9%
Heroes: 2 votes, 9%
Other: 2 votes, 9%
30 Rock: 1 vote, 4%
Jericho: 1 vote, 4%
Friday Night Lights: 1 vote, 4%
NFL MNF on ESPN: 1 vote, 4%
Happy Hour: 0 votes
Kidnapped: 0 votes
The Nine: 0 votes

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Messin' With Sasquatch!

Here's my new favorite TV commercial! You never can go wrong with Sasquatch humor!!

Click here to see all 4 commercials!

(Double-click play button to start video)

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Nesting Place, Part I

We're now officially certified to have a baby! Kelly and I graduated birthing class last weekend at The Nesting Place.

I have to admit, going in I wasn’t very excited about the all-day Saturday AND Sunday class – particularly since it was scheduled on the NFL season opening weekend. But after the Cowboys’ 24-17 loss to Jacksonville I can confidently say that I had more fun watching caesarean videos with my wife than I did watching the Cowboys cough up their season debut – well, maybe not.

But I am sure Bill Parcels could have used some of the breathing techniques Kelly and I learned!

Anywho, here’s a quick birthing class recap:

- Birth is beautiful but one ‘show-all’ video is about all I can handle.

- Caesarean birth is just as beautiful . . . but thanks, I’ll pass on the video.

- Kelly made sure that I wasn’t the wiseguy who cracked stupid jokes the entire time . . . as if I would ever do that!!

- In the ‘I didn’t know that!’ Category: I thought an epidural was just a one-time shot – but it’s an actually a catheter . . . I didn’t know that!

- I still haven’t heard a good explanation for how the baby knows to turn upside-down in order to be born. One of God’s little secrets I guess.

- It’s pretty ironic that we say a pregnant woman is “expecting” because when it comes to the actual labor and delivery she can never really know what to expect.

- Part of the class was a tour of the Maternity Ward at Baylor Grapevine – I hope we can get one of the cool birthing room suites - very nice! Although it could use a bigger TV.

- Unexpected extra that was free of charge: Kelly and I made new friends – Scott & Jennifer. We have lots in common: We both go to Dr. Cope. We both had miscarriages last year. We both drive Honda Pilots. We both worry about how our co-dependant dogs will adjust to the new baby. They live just south of 170 & Alta Vista – we live just north of 170 & Alta Vista. But the craziest of all, Scott and I wear the exact same New Balance tennis shoes . . . I know, freaky weird!

- My biggest concern coming out of the class: How in the world am I going to remember everything I just learned and still be of any use to Kelly in 3 months?

So, all in all, it turned out to be a pretty good weekend . . . despite Drew Bledsoe’s 3 interceptions!

Stay tuned to Part II: The Breast-Feeding Class.

My prediction: This will be the most excruciatingly awkward 4 hours of my life.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It wasn't meant to be . . . or was it?

By now, there was supposed to have been balloons and decorations. There was supposed to have been cake sticking to little fingers and covering a little face. There were supposed to have been grandparents with way too many presents. There were supposed to have been digital cameras and video cameras. There was supposed to have been a birthday party because, by now, Kelly and I were supposed to have had a 1-year old baby. But by God it was not meant to be.

So I guess it may sound strange when I say that although I remember the pain of our miscarriage it is actually joy that I feel in this moment. That joy comes from what I believe is God’s promise that one day in Heaven I will hold that very child in my arms.

Just one of the cool things about going to Heaven will be gaining God’s full understanding. To me, that means more than just learning all the answers to our petty little questions – it means we begin to see things as they were meant to be. So when that day for me comes I will see my child as he or she was meant to be – beautiful, strong and very much alive.

Here on Earth we recognize people by their faces and names. But God in Heaven recognizes people by their heart – and so will we when we get there. And it’s a good thing too because when we receive our new heavenly bodies we won’t look a thing like what we do here (because we will look like what we were always meant to be). So the only way we will know our friends and family in Heaven will be by recognizing their heart the way God does.

When you recognize someone by their heart then you know them through and through. No introductions are needed. No name tags are necessary. There’s no starring at each other asking, “Where do I know you from?” With God’s full understanding you see straight into the heart and suddenly you know exactly who that person is!

Therein lies my joy – looking forward to the reunion of a father and child long since separated. I will immediately recognize my child and my child will immediately recognize me. No awkward hugs. No weird handshakes. Just sweet embrace! . . . because by God it was always meant to be.

I miss you, little one – Can’t wait to see you!

PS: I know that some may disagree with my perception of Heaven. Quite frankly, I’m fine with that. I realize that I may have it completely wrong. Even so, the true Heaven, whatever it is or will be, still won’t be a disappointment.

So before you correct me by explaining how we probably won’t remember anything or anyone from our time here, understand that my present perception of Heaven has led me to a peace about our loss that can only come from God Himself. I admit that it very well may be the wrong perception. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad perception.

And if we find, when we all get to Heaven, that you are right and I am wrong then you can be the first to tell me . . . assuming of course you’ll even remember what it was you were right about in the first place!