Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wade, The Handy-Dandy Floor-Layin' Man!

I put myself to good use these past 2 days and completed a project that had been on my To-Do List ever since we built our house several years ago . . . lay flooring down in the attic!

Oooooo! Exciting stuff, isn't it?

The only problem with my sudden motivation to get handy around the house is that I'm no Bob Vila!

In fact, I'm more like Tim Taylor - the funny guy who's better off letting someone else handle the power tools!

But an overflow of Christmas decorations, baby items that needed to be stored away until baby #2 (which is not happening anytime soon!), and a long list of stuff that probably should just be thrown away meant that I needed to make better use of my dark, drab, floorless attic.

So first, I added light . . . and it was good!

Then (thanks to Mike, a good friend who has lotsa cool power tools!) I put in floors . . . and it was good!

But the best part was that I did it all without having to spend quality time at our local emergency room . . . and Kelly said, "It was good!"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tagged . . .

I've been tagged again . . .

This time it's by Get Off My Lawn! - a blog I tripped over not too long ago. I found Lawn (as I'll call him) immediately endearing as we have both learned to embraced the grumpy old men within. Take a moment to stop by and even say hello. But consider yourself warned - I don't think he likes it when people walk on his lawn!

(Love that blog title, by the way!)

Now, on with the meme. Here are the rules:

1) Post a note about a blogger you would like to see something wonderful happen for. Maybe one whose posts have touched your heart in one way or another. Include details as to why you admire them and what you wish for them. Be as supporting and affirming as you can.

2) Post your favorite memory around selflessness, giving, or doing for others. Something that has actually changed you.

3) As a postscript, name one thing you will actually do for someone in your life before December 31 that is born out of joy.

4) Tag 3 other bloggers who will play the game and find the spirit. Don't forget to leave a comment on their blog so they continue to share the good feelings.

Sounds easy enough, right?

1. Helen - If you don't read her blog then you should. And if you do read her blog then you know that she is definitely deserving of something wonderful to happen in her life! She's had a rough go at it lately and could probably use a little encouragement. Hang in there, Helen!

Blessed Assurances - Another blog that should be on your radar screen. Susan (a crazy high school friend of mine who knows too many of my crazy high school stories!) and her husband Jeff are hoping for a little wonderful bundle of joy. I desperately hope that for them as do so many others! Hopefully this will be their last Christmas as just Susan & Jeff!

The A-Team - Want a good reason why Jody & Janell deserve something wonderful to happen? They're raising twins! And if you've ever googled 'raising twins' then you'll know that it ain't easy! But despite all the challenges they face (most of which strike the fear of God in me!), both Jody & Janell come off like pro's - although more like exhausted pro's! All the more reason why I wish something wonderful for them!

2. I once pulled over to help 2 old ladies whose car had broken down out in the middle of nowhere (between Comanche and Brownwood, Texas) during a hot Texas summer. Since I have the mechanical IQ of a dead hamster and didn't have a clue how to fix their car, I instead used my friendliest, most-trustworthy smile to offer to drive them to a relative's house 45 minutes away. I could tell they were a bit leery of me at first but they accepted my offer.

During the drive, I talked non-stop about my then-pregnant wife and my small group in hopes of reassuring them that they didn't have anything to worry about. I don't know why I did that other than maybe then they wouldn't think I was some psycho serial killer . . . because we all know that psycho serial killers don't have pregnant wives and don't go to weekly bible studies.

Apparently it worked because they both fell asleep in my car! No joke! Think about it - 2 old women who spent 2 hours in the heat and then sit in an air-conditioned car with some babbling idiot who won't shut up about his church and family . . . I'd act like I fell asleep, too!

I actually felt bad when I had to wake them up once we got to Stephenville because I didn't know where their relative's house was.

Once we got there, they were sweet and offered to pay me for my inconvenience. I declined and drove away just happy that I was able to help.

3. I know I need to do something for Kelly. She works hard everyday with Tate and never complains! I'll think of something good and then share it later.

4. I'll tag Jennifer because she tagged me not too long ago . . .

. . . Chris & Sarah because I've never tagged them before and I'm curious if they'll do it . . .

. . . and Wendy because maybe then she'll throw in more pictures of Casen just for the heck of it - and you can never go wrong with more Casen pictures!

Thanks for the tag, Lawn!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

No Home For A Tree

Am I the only one who feels sorry for the trees that don't get picked in time for Christmas?

I know - kinda sappy.

But don't worry, they'll soon be turned into useful products such as tongue depressors, golf tees and particleboard!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Ah, yes! The annual trip to the local shopping center to visit Santa Claus. No doubt the highlight of every child's Christmas season!

But you'd be crying too if you heard what this creepy-lookin' Santa had just whispered in their ears!

Ever wanted to know how Santa really felt about his gig at the mall? Just take a closer look at Santa's left hand!

Although little Mikey and Matthew were unaware, Jessica knew something was up when upon closer inspection she realized this year's Santa was really just a mannequin the mall had borrowed from Macy's.

Santa will have one of two effects on most children. One child will glow with Christmas joy while another will experience fear itself - especially if Santa is wearing make-up!

While most older children delight in telling their siblings that there really is no Santa Claus, Mary chose this moment to instead tell Jeffrey that he was really a girl and Susan that she had actually been adopted from a family of coneheads!

The twins agree - vertical stripes do nothing to slim Santa's figure.

Some kids like to show how tough they are by shaving their hair into a mohawk and wearing skull & bones t-shirts with camo pants. But we all know that Santa's lap is the real litmus test for true toughness!

Have you ever seen a Santa mail it in any worse than this guy? Of course she's screaming! I bet he didn't even start growing out his beard until October!

The first thing they teach you in Shopping Mall Santa Class is that screaming children aren't near as bad after your 4th Crown & Coke!

Hope you don't have anything to scream about during your holidays!
Thanks to Dad-N-Law for forwarding us these pictures!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

QOTW: Hey Santa! Duck And Cover!

It looks as though the 'signs that the end of world is near' theme remains appropriate for our weekly QOTW recap.

I have to say that I'm quite concerned that we may be seeing a new trend as last year's results from this same question were a bit more, let's say . . . passive!

Out of 14 votes to this same question a year ago, I was the only one who had no issue with filling a Santa intruder full of chocolate chip cookies, milk and several rounds of buckshot. Meanwhile there were 7 of you who would have used up 2 GB on your digital cameras with photo evidence that the fat man in red actually exists!

But apparently something's different this year because Santa doesn't stand a chance if shows up without his SWAT team gear!

What gives? Did Santa get a little too handsy during last year's photo-op or something? Sheesh!

Regardless of what has drawn your disdain for Father Christmas, I feel that it's my responsibility however to give you fair warning that, according to Weird Al Yankovic's The Night Santa Went Crazy, Jolly Old St. Nick can be pushed only so far! In other words, what goes around comes around!


"You're woken early Christmas morning by a man wearing a red suit placing presents under your tree."

Total votes: 11

You assume you're dreaming and go back to bed: 0% (0 votes)

You hide your family in a closet and call the police: 27% (3 votes)

You gather the kids around for a photo-op: 9% (1 vote)

You get trigger happy with your 12 gauge shotgun!: 63% (7 votes)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grumpy Old Man Incident #1

Searching for a sign of the impending apocalypse? Then look no further than today's teenagers . . . particularly those found in my neighborhood!

Apparently I haven't been taking my medication for my Grumpy Old Man Syndrome because a series of events tonight ended with me standing in the middle of my street and yelling at some local punks.

Instead of trying to explain what happened let me just say that it involved said-hoodlums running out in front of my car on purpose (??????) and me asking in a not-so-polite-infact-quite-aggrevated-and-loud voice to 'please stay on the sidewalk' . . . but not in so many words!

I dunno, maybe stupid is the new cool for kids these days.

I probably wouldn't have twisted off on them so quickly had I not known that these were the same teenagers who have been recently picking on a couple of younger kids on our street.

From there I went to our local shopping mecca and quickly noticed a widespread lack of parental supervision as every teenager born in northeast Tarrant County between 1989 and 1993 was congregating in packs of 20 on the sidewalk - making it quite difficult for me to get by with Tate in his stroller!

I tried to be polite at first: "Excuse us!" "Do you mind if we slip by?"

After a while I discovered a far more efficient phrase: "Make a hole!"

A couple thoughts jumped around in my head as I drove home: (1) I can't possibly be turning into a grumpy old man - I'm only 32! (2) If those punk kids mess with me again I'm gonna ring their necks!

I think it's time for me to go take my medication!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Now I'm Just Mad!!

What can possibly be worse than getting a stomach virus for the 3rd time in as many months?: Getting a stomach virus the day before your niece is born!

So while everyone else is at the hospital today anticipating Morgan's arrival, I'm home in bed anticipating my next dash to the bathroom!

I can't tell you how mad I am right now!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tagged . . .

Jennifer got me with a 12 Random Things About Christmas meme . . .

1. Have I ever mentioned that it bugs me when stores play Christmas music before Thanksgiving? It also bugs me how commercialized Christmas has become. I recently tripped over a new blog that covered this topic very well!

2. That being said, I usually get hit with the Christmas fever around the 20th or so - at which point I'm having a holly, jolly Christmas . . . and a happy new year!

3. My favorite Christmas present growing up: Bonkers - my half-golden retreiver, half-cocker spaniel that I loved dearly for nearly 10 years. We named him Bonkers because he could have benefitted from a daily dose of Ritalin.

4. (Spoiler Alert!) I remember when I realized that there was no Santa. Some kid at school was going around the playground breaking the bad news to everyone. It didn't bother me because I never really believed in Santa in the first place. I just remember thinking, "Of course Santa's not real - no real person would come through the chimney!"

5. Although I knew there really wasn't a Santa, I always allowed myself to have fun imagining that he was real.

6. Although I love living in Texas, I still get a little bummed every year we don't have a white Christmas.

7. My parents have a great tradition of giving "Spirit of Christmas" gifts on Christmas Eve. They aren't gifts on our wish list but rather gifts my parents want give us - hence the name "Spirit of Christmas". I always got bummed as a little kid when I'd open it up and it would be a book, a framed picture of our family or some other kind of momento. But as an adult, it's one of my favorite gifts.

8. My "Spirit of Christmas" disappointment was always short lived because of the great stockings gifts we got on Christmas morning. Stockings are a big deal in my family - and still are with Kelly and I. We got cassette tapes, VHS movies, toys, etc. And each gift was individually wrapped.

9. There was always something magical about running to our living room and seeing the Christmas tree surrounded by all the presents including the 'big one' from Santa. Half of me wanted to just stand there and stare in awe . . . the other half wanted to rip everything open - truly one of the greatest moments in a kid's life!

10. The worst Christmas present I've given Kelly: A heating pad to use when she had cramps! This was back in Year 1 or 2 - I was actually using my active listening skills because she had kept saying how she wished she had a good heating pad. Although it wasn't the main gift I gave her that year, the look on her face when she opened it let me know that my active listening skills weren't as finely tuned as I thought!

11. The best Christmas present I've given Kelly (so far!): I had her wedding ring updated!

12. Usually the song Twelve Days of Christmas makes me want to shove fists full of tinsel in my ears. But I've been known to stop and listen (and giggle!) if it's being sung by the greatness of John Denver and The Muppets!

Thanks for the tag, Jennifer!

I'll tag Kelly so she'll have a chance to complain about having to wrap each stocking gift individually . . .

. . . Keri because she'll be "none too happy!" . . .

. . . Audra because it's time for her to update her blog . . .

. . . and EDMC because she tagged me a couple weeks ago!

Here are the rules:

1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas.

2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word.

(Whoops! I think I broke this rule!)

3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.

4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What A Year It Has Been!

You may have noticed that I allowed Tate's first birthday to pass without so much as a comment or photo. That's because I've been busy working on his video.

Happy Birthday Buddy-Boy!

In case you'd like some more, here's the video I did after Tate's first week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Random Google Search Results #3

EDMC gave me permission to continue to piggy-back her great idea so . . .

To once again prove that some people think Google has an answer for everything (and it does!), here's another installment of random Google searches that have lead people to Wade's Rantings. I added a link to the post that Google found.

1. "accidentally dropped something down car a/c vent" - It wasn't your wedding ring, was it?

Shocking Confession #3

2. "controlling your husband" - I'd like to file a complaint with Google for this one as there is absolutely nothing on this blog having anything to do with controlling one's husband . . . and I resent any insinuation to the contrary!

3. "remember the alamo i forgot who won" - Yet another example of why Texas History should be taught in all American schools!

Sigh! . . . The Mexican Army of over 6,000 men led by General Lopez de Santa Anna fought 200 Texan volunteers at the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas in March 1836. Only 6 of the volunteers survived the battle but they were soon executed because Santa Anna would not give quarter to 'revolutionaries'. Legend has it that Davy Crockett was one of the 6 but nobody knows for sure. Susanna Dickenson said that she saw Crockett's body by the garrison where he fell supposedly during the battle.

Later at the Battle of San Jacinto, Sam Houston yelled, 'Remember the Alamo!' as a rallying cry and led the Texans in a surprise attack against the Mexican Army. 600 Mexican soldiers were killed in less than 20 minutes. General Santa Anna was captured and Texas won its independence.

The stars at night
Are big and bright!
(Clap, clap, clap, clap!)
Deep in the heart of Texas!

I know, I'm a history snob. And I have no earthly idea how this Google search brought up my blog.

4. "what do you do when your mother-in-law chokes you?" - Get a restraining order!

Do You Do The Heimlich?

5. "Is it a good idea to air out dirty laundry in church?" - Umm . . . based upon the title of my post on this subject, a little discretion in this area will probably be greatly appreciated by your fellow parishioners!

Please Air Out Your Dirty Laundry Someplace Else!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

QOTW: O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum 2007!

I know, I know - this post is a retread from last year. But not all 300 posts can be original! Plus, this is a pretty good annual debate!

Now let's first take a moment to marvel at Kelly's lovely yuletide decorating. Note the fiber-optic snowman in the corner that turns a bit psychedelic after you get loaded up on Dr. Pepper . . . .

. . . . ok, continuing on now!

Let me re-issue the Pro's & Con's of real and artificial Christmas trees.

1. Drive to a tree lot, fight for a parking space, lay claim to the most non-odd looking tree on the lot, haggle over the price of said-non-odd-looking-tree with some guy who has a Marlboro hanging out of the corner of his mouth, strap said-oddity to the roof of your car, admire the affinity between tree sap and the roof of your car, and drive home at a snail's pace so the wind doesn't strip all the needles off of your over-priced freak of nature.


2. Bring artificial Christmas tree down from your attic.


3. Finally finish 2 hours of stringing lights, hanging ornaments and balancing a tree topper only to have your wife come in and say in a very unimpressed tone, "It's still leaning too far to the right!"


4. Spend only 45 minutes propping artificial tree perfectly straight up in stand, plugging in pre-hung lights, hanging ornaments and a tree topper.


5. Notice your real tree going up in flames because it caught fire from the Christmas lights after you forgot to keep it watered!


6. Watch your neighbor haul his charred Christmas tree to the curb because it nearly burnt his entire house down . . . while reminding yourself that your artificial tree is fire-retardant.


7. Once Christmas is over, pay a $250 ticket because you got caught dumping your real tree in a ditch on the side of highway!


8. Spend all of 30 minutes after Christmas taking down your artificial tree and putting it back in the attic.


I guess that settles it! Get an artificial tree!_____________________________________________

"A real Christmas tree or an artificial Christmas tree?"

Total votes: 16

Nothing beats the smell of a real Christmas tree!: 25% (4 votes)

Artificial! Trees lots are a scam!: 75% (12 votes)

Friday, December 07, 2007

300th Post!

I remember a conversation Jody and I had a few years ago about blogs. I remember saying , "What da' heck is a blog?", "Why can't they just call it what it is - a website!" and "You'll never find me wasting my time writing a blog!"


300 posts later, we can all see that I am perfectly capable of change! (Just don't tell Kelly!)

So I've been trying to think of something clever to write for my 300th post - like 300 Random Things You Didn't Know About Wade.

(Ugh! I'd rather poke myself in the eye 300 times!)

But instead, I'll just issue a great big Thank You to all you in the blogosphere who, for some reason, actually keep stopping by to see what I have to say.

I can only imagine what the next 300 posts will bring!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I Got Some Great News This Week!

I get to keep my job!

Following a series of unfortunate events (the details of which I won't bother boring you all to death with), my company decided that "ensuring future corporate prosperity" (how's that for generic business speak) meant giving some of us severance packages for Christmas!

From a business perspective, I actually understand why they had to do it. I even understand why they needed to do it during the holiday season (tax right-off; plus, it keeps the 2008 books clean). What I struggled with was how they went about doing it.

We got an email a week ago saying that severance packages were coming for some of us. Unfortunately it didn't say who. Since our managers were in the same boat as us, none of them knew either. So we just sat around for a week (literally in some cases!) waiting to find out who would get the ax.

Yesterday was D-Day. If you got a phone call from your manager (assuming your manager hadn't already been let go) then you were safe. If you got a phone call some random person from Human Resources that you didn't know from Adam . . . well, we hope you enjoy having a little extra time to spend with your family this Christmas. And oh, don't spend that severance check all at once - that's supposed to last you for a few months!

I got a phone call from my manager.


I have to share with you all that I really was at peace with whatever happened. I spent time in prayer with God. I spent time talking with Kelly. Although I had no idea what would happen, I had a sense that things would be OK either way. I kept reminding myself of Jeremiah 29 when God says, "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you."

I kept focusing on the fact that God has plans not to harm me. Getting laid-off certainly wouldn't be any fun. But that wouldn't mean that God had suddenly decided to stop providing for Kelly, Tate and I. And since nothing happens by accident without God's knowledge, I had a peace within me that even if I did get laid-off, God would continue to provide for us in another way - and in doing so, He would reveal yet again how truly faithful and wonderful He really is!

So as the dust continues to settle let me say how grateful I am that not only do I still have a job; but even more grateful that I (and you all, too) have a Heavenly Father who looks out for us and provides for us all that we need . . . simply because He loves us too much to do otherwise.

Please pray for those, both at my company and elsewhere, who will go through this Christmas without a job. May they be gainfully employed by a company who has never heard of such a terrible thing called lay-offs!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tagged . . .

EDMC tapped me on the shoulder with a meme. This one you take the first letters of your middle name and find adjectives starting with the same letter that describe you.

Yet another fine example of how simplicity sometimes can go hand-in-hand with higher degrees of difficulty.

Witty - Although not near as witty as I would like to think of myself to be, I love to make Kelly and Tate laugh - so therein lies the reason for my constant search of the next punchline . . . or barf sound, depending upon my audience.

(By the way, this little exercise has brought to my attention the disturbing shortage of adjectives beginning with the letter 'w'. I had to choose between witty, wacky, womanly, weak, and whimsical. So yeah, I'm witty.)

Axiomatic - Kelly says she can read me like a book. There's a part of me that wishes I could be an unpredictable enigma. But I think part of human nature is the need to feel known and understood - and that would be me!

Debonair - Let me guess, now you're thinking I'm delusional, right?

Eclectic - Which is what Kelly's calls my music collection on my iPod. Hey, I can't help it if I have a refined, albeit deaf, ear.

Thanks, EDMC! Let's give Keri, Tara and Audra a try.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Last Week's QOTW: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Had to wait to post this one until I finished with the lights. Which apparently puts me in the category of decorating on December 1st.

The roof is dying to have some lights added up there but since I'm trying my best not to fall off a roof this holiday season it's not going to happen - because we all know that the first thing that would happen as soon as I step foot on that roof would be for me to fall off of it!

Maybe Keri's husband can swing by and throw them up for me!

It's funny how every year while putting up the lights I always think of the that scene from Christmas Vacation and hope it doesn't happen to me.

Now that I've got the outside lights up ( . . . and working!) , it's on to the Christmas tree!


"When will you decorate for Christmas?"

Total votes: 26

Already decorated! (Sorry, Wade!): 15% (4 votes)

As soon as we clear the Thanksgiving table: 30% (8 votes)

December 1st: 34% (9 votes)

December 15th-ish: 3% (1 vote)

Bah, humbug!: 15% (4 votes)