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"It seems to me what you lose in mystery, you gain in awe."
Sir Francis Crick

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
--William James

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Private Blog

Well, it was bound to happen! I made someone mad with a post at work and I need to make the access to the blog a little more private...I have sent an invite if you enjoy my ramblings and want to stay in touch with the Johnson Family, please accept the invite. Otherwise, just think of all the funny stories you might miss! The good news is now I can write what I want and not worry about it so much, be prepared ;-)

Had a blast with Miles and Cliff last night at the Willie Nelson/John Mellancamp/Bob Dylan show. Nice to get home from the show at a decent hour. I was totally floored by Mellancamp's show, my expectations were definitely met with his performance. I had goosebump skin several times during the show; but, none more than during "Rain On The Scarecrow". Miles had a ton of fun too. Willie was the best I have seen him and had some local Gospel Men singin' along to end the set. Dylan was mid-range for his set, I have seen him 6 times and I would put that somewhere in the middle of what I have seen from him. It was good but nothing over the top, like Mellancamp on the other hand.

Here's a great picture of me and Miles at the show:

Here's some shots from the 2 days of Camp McCall! We had so much fun and I plan to post some videos on Facebook soon. Speaking of Facebook, I deactivated my old account and now have a new account, so make me your friend :-)
Dylan enjoyed his birthday so much but he also went to sleep really easily last night too! His new Flip video camera was a HUGE hit! You should see some videos from the Jr. director one of these days. More about camp later!

Well, time to eat. See ya!

Rain on the Scarecrow by John Cougar Mellancamp

Scarecrow on a wooden cross Blackbird in the barn
Four hundred empty acres that used to be my farm
I grew up like my daddy did My grandpa cleared this land
When I was five I walked the fence while grandpa held my hand

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry there's no legacy for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

The crops we grew last summer weren't enough to pay the loans
Couldn't buy the seed to plant this spring and the Farmers Bank foreclosed
Called my old friend Schepman up to auction off the land
He said John it's just my job and I hope you understand
Hey calling it your job ol' hoss sure don't make it right
But if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight
And grandma's on the front porch swing with a Bible in her hand
Sometimes I hear her singing "Take me to the Promised Land"
When you take away a man's dignity he can't work his fields and cows

There'll be blood on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Blood on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

Well there's ninety-seven crosses planted in the courthouse yard
Ninety-seven families who lost ninety-seven farms
I think about my grandpa and my neighbors and my name
And some nights I feel like dyin' Like that scarecrow in the rain

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry they're just memories for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And Son I'm just sorry they're just memories for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

The set from Mellancamp last night

7/29/09 Heritage Park Ampitheatre, Simpsonville, SC
Pink Houses
Paper and Fire
My Aeroplane
Check It Out
Don't Need This Body
Cherry Bomb
Save Some Time
Small Town
Peace In This Troubled Land
If I Die Sudden
Crumblin' Down
Hurts So Good

Monday, July 27, 2009

Off to Camp

Dylan and I are off to Camp McCall until Wednesday! It's a great time up in the hills and we get to do such cool things together. He really enjoys it and I do to! Miles had a blast last week up there and I could tell he was much more comfortable with being away from home this year. The DVD of the week he brought home proved that point!

We had a great weekend! The game on Friday with Susan and her family was a big hit! No rain, a little warm; but, the evening went great even though Greenville lost. It was not a pitcher's duel, so at least there was lots of action! The night was topped off with a trip to Krispy Kreme that will forever be remembered as the night the woman with the donut in one hand telling her friend "Kisha" to go call 911 because the car next to them scratched her door and she "can't let that roll". It was something you can only see in South Carolina :-).

Tricia and I headed down to Atlanta for Ruth and Bobby's wedding. We had such a good time. The ceremony was beautiful and active (read that as "Catholic"). The reception was a ton of fun with a spectacular view from the 26th floor looking at Stone Mountain on one side and the north Georgia hills and the sunset on the other side. We had a table of old crazy Clemson buddies and we showed many dance skills (or lack thereof) on the dance floor. Ruth and Bobby had a fantastic evening capped with a sparkler promenade down Peachtree as a sendoff. Tricia enjoyed getting to know some of my old Clemson pals and hearing some old stories. Luckily, we have all settled a little and we have kids now and try to act responsible. I stress "try"!!! We were able to stop at an outlet mall on the way home for some shoes and clothes for school and met up with Susan and the kids in downtown Greenville at the Mast General Store.

What could be better? How about a Freedom Fellowship baptism at the lake with a BBQ meal afterwards? You got that right! We saw a wide variety of folks make that step and take the plunge in the lake yesterday afternoon and spent a couple of hours with our family from Freedom. Dylan was ready for this step yesterday; but, we are planning to celebrate his baptism the next time Freedom holds the celebration. The boys and Susan's family went to Table Rock on Saturday and the boys had themselves a complete blast hanging with their cousins a weekend. That also meant they were cross-eyed tired last night too. Should be a long day for Dylan at camp today; but, he will sleep well tonight! We were all out early last night.

Well, time to get another cup of coffee and read the paper with Keller. Then, off to camp. Wednesday is Dylan's 8th birthday! That's always a fun day at camp. We get home around lunch and then Miles and I are going to see Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Cougar Mellancamp with Pastor Cliff here in Greenville. Dylan's birthday party will be on Friday at Frankie's Fun Park! Yahoo!!!! What a week!!! Then off to Ohio next week! The summer is reaching terminal velocity!!! Hold on tight!!!

See ya!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Daze

This time of year always takes me back to the summer between my 10th grade and 11th grade in high school. I remember getting into the album Signals by Rush so intensely that summer. One of my favorite songs by Rush is on that album. Here's a wordle for ya from the tune: The Analog Kid.

Miles will be home from Camp McCall tomorrow morning. I look forward to his stories! We have a way to send him emails every day and I know he is enjoying his week in the hills. Dylan and I head that way on Monday. Tomorrow we are going to another Greenville Drive game with Susan and her family. That should be a blast and Susan and family finally get to meet Keller. He didn't even know he had so many cousins! Shadow said "great, more people taking my sleeping chairs" :-)

See ya!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Well They Say...

Albuquerque (Neil Young)

Well, they say
that Santa Fe
Is less than ninety miles away,
And I got time to roll a number
and rent a car.
Oh, Albuquerque.

I've been flyin'
down the road,
And I've been starvin' to be alone,
And independent from the scene
that I've known.

So I'll stop when I can,
Find some fried eggs
and country ham.
I'll find somewhere where
they don't care who I am.
Oh, Albuquerque,

“Our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him”
(2 Corinthians 3:18 MSG).

See ya!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Morning

Well, I see the iPhone formatting leaves some to be desired. I was typing in an email, I will try using the iPhone on the actual blog page next time around. Just got back from a great long walk with Tricia and Keller. Keller walked back from the playground trail head without a leash this morning. We had an early start and he did fine. He's a good boy; but, he has some ADHD and you have to be very vigilant, which Tricia found out last week :-)

Full speed ahead this week with work. I had a conversation with my Mom this weekend about work. I really am happy and more challenged with work when I have too much to do and believe me, I am there now! Makes the days go by very fast, especially when you work at home. I am enjoying the challenge and feel like we are making some progress too! That's always good!

Mom is feeling better and up and about but still in discomfort, especially at night. I had the joy of changing her dressing on Friday as it was raining too hard when Amy had to go to work and Pete didn't feel like he could handle it. I guess my nursing experience kicked in! She still has staples and bruising too. She's been sleeping in her chair in the living room. It takes a while to bounce back from two major surgeries, regardless of your age. She's in good spirits; but, wants to get out and do more. It's a bit frustrating to be limited as she has always been on the go. See my comments about work in the last paragraph, no need to worry about how I got that work ethic. Dad was the same way too, always on the go and looking for the next thing.

Speaking of the next thing, Africa is just around the corner. I am going to call our dentist and orthodontist this week to solicit donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste. That's a big campaign they are working on right now. The last group had good success with promoting some basic dental care and we want to make sure they have a good supply to keep the momentum up.

Well, time for work. Quick note, I finished the book about Andrew Jackson, American Lion. Well, I read the first half and skimmed the second half. Way too much detail for me; but, I would consider it the definitive history on the subject at hand. It was an interesting view of what it was like to be President before the Civil War and another history of the events that lead up to the Civil War. I now have a new book from my VP at work called The Exceptional Presenter. He sent it to my 2 consultants; but, they never read it. It was sent to me yesterday. I do look forward to picking up on more presentation skills. That's my bread and butter right now and there is ALWAYS room for improvement.

See ya!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey now

Too tired to go back in the office to post in the blog, so I will try
my first iPhone post!
Worked a short day since I was still feeling a little under the gun
from the stomach bug from the weekend. Yesterday's drive home was way
too long; but, Dylan and I had a good time. We had a good time at
ADBC yesterday and a great time talking about Africa after church at
Logan's. We are getting closer and still have a few details to finish.
Got my travel insurance today. Really cheap but oh so worth the $3.30/
day! I am working on getting our per diem money wired ahead now. Got
my sleeping pills and malaria mess today from my doctor.

Miles went off to Camp McCall today. He will be home on Friday. He's
gonna have so much fun. Dylan and I go next week!

I am teaching Dylan (and Tricia) how to play chess. They are playing
each other now and practicing the moves. Night moves...

See ya!

via iPhone

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Weekend in Sumter County

Dylan and I are in Sumter this weekend spending time with my family. I had to come down to Tuomey (my old hospital) to help teach ACLS for nurses and doctors. It's an easy check and pays for the gas to get home and spend some time on the farm. Tricia and Miles stayed home and went on a "date" to see the new Harry Potter movie together. Dylan and I got to swim and eat some country cooking too. Although my Mom is still recovering from her surgery and very sore, she is able to give directions and orders to Amy, who did a fine job with the field peas and okra and corn bread(mmmmmm). My favorite had to be the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers (could be a meal in of itself). A nice chocolate cake and coffee to top it off!

Dylan and I are going to look on Amazon in a few minutes for Harry Potter books that his Aunt Amy is going to buy for his birthday.

Tomorrow we are going to church at Alice Drive and we are going out for lunch with the Shipes family. Scott and I went on the Africa trip last year and he is one of the two folks from ADBC going again with us this year. We have some planning to do in our lunch meeting. It's exciting that we are about 1 month away from returning to Africa. I am looking forward to the work and the adventure and it's always great to have Scott along to keep me laughing.

Here's a picture of Scott and I climbing the Kgale Hills in Botswana last summer!

After lunch, we are going to head back for a quick swim and rest before heading back home to Greer tomorrow evening. Miles is heading off to Camp McCall on Monday for the week. It's his 2nd year at McCall by himself and he is very much looking forward to the week of fun and adventure. Well, that's the update. More soon! Love you all!

See ya!

Monday, July 13, 2009


It's VBS week at Freedom Fellowship. Tricia and I are movers for a group of 14 1st graders! We are the Coyotes! So, you probably won't see many posts this week unless I can find some time during the work day. Which doesn't look promising from here.

Dylan and I are heading to Sumter this weekend. I have to help teach the ACLS class at Tuomey, my old employer. It makes a few bucks for me and Dylan gets to swim in Nana's pool. Miles has camp on Monday, so he and Mom are going to hang around and go see the new Harry Potter movie while we are out of town.

Hey, did you notice the new Google Voice icon at the top of the blog? It's a neat new service from Google that allows you to link all of your phones with one call and it has a preview feature so you can know it's from Google Voice and it allows you to make cheap overseas calls too and free text messages! So, give it a whirl if you feel like talking. There is no charge for long distance calls.

I also added some of my Youtube videos on the blog too. Ok, that's about it. It's hot and muggy up here this week. Must be summer! Hey, the Drivin' n' Cryin' show was great and LOUD! My recording turned out great too, nice to see those guys again. Brings back some old memories of a far more innocent and free time for me. Rockin' in the Free World!

See ya!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Yes, once again, I am certifiable. I passed the CPHIMS exam yesterday. It was not an easy exam and required me to put on the old thinking cap. Lots of questions that forced you to eliminate 1 of 4 answers: "A-1,2,4 only B-2,3,4 only C-1,2,3 only D-1,2,4 only" or putting a sequence of events in correct order, etc. I was challenged considering I didn't study using any of the recommended guides and I didn't pay for the practice exam. The cutoff for passing was 65. I scored 68! But, 66 is still passing and all that matters is that I passed!!! I am now a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) and will be for another 3 years. I won't have to take that exam again as long as I maintain my continuing education credits. I can now add to my signature lines on Outlook and work is ordering new business cards too! Glad I didn't have to retake the exam since that $300 would have come out of my pocket. Iatric paid the 1st round! If you are on Facebook, you probably saw some of my friends getting the CPHIMS exam confused at first glance with a CHIMP exam. I guess that explains a lot about my friends over there too ;-). Regardless, I will take the jokes since the pressure is now off. I would have felt like a CHIMP had I not passed the first try.

Nl: Drivin' n' Cryin' "Honeysuckle Blue", can't wait to see them tonight at The Handlebar! Getting pumped for that show. Should be a perfect summer night for music too! I just found out that Dickey Betts from Allman Brothers fame (he was a founding member and part of the group for their first 31 years) is coming to The Handlebar in October. That will be a packed house!

I finished something today that I started over 10 years ago: the 50 State Quarters map. The Montana quarter had escaped me for too long and I had to place an order on eBay to finish the collection. That was worth the $1.98. We have the completed map up in the boys' room. Somethings take a while to complete and that's the lesson I was working on with the boys today when we finished the map.

Tomorrow marks 20 years since my first Grateful Dead LIVE experience: 7-12-1989 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. My high school friend, Marty Proctor, and I drove up there and had life journey in the process. I knew the tunes for the most part having initiated myself into Dead tapes and albums the 2nd semester of my freshman year at Clemson. My entire summer revolved around that trip to DC. I was determined to make it after not getting a ticket to the Atlanta shows that spring. I didn't have a car then either! I had a few hundred dollars in cash just itching to be spent on anything and everything in the parking lot. Back then, the Dead were crash cities for a few days and bring the entire travelling circus of campers and parking lot carnival along with them. This was the last tour they were allowing concert goers to spend the night in the lots after the show. It got ugly after this tour with cops pushing us out not long after the music was over. But, for this weekend, we had the circus lot all to ourselves after the music. I'm sure 1/3 of the lot Deadheads never made it into the show or ever had a ticket, other than a miracle or two each tour. Any way, on the way to DC, we stopped at a hotel in Northern Virginia to sleep before hitting the show. I got paranoid (I hadn't been away from home too much at this point) and put my wallet in my pillowcase in the hotel that night. Of course, I didn't remember the wallet until we had gone about 5 miles down the interstate the next morning. Long story short, I never got the money or the wallet back. I did get my license and Clemson ID sent in the mail a few weeks later. The hotel owner felt sorry for me and gave me $20 for gas. We used that $20 to drive to Richmond to find an ATM that Marty could use. These were the days of no cell phones and regional ATMs (remember that headache?). We made it to Richmond, got some money and headed back to DC. This was NOT how I envisioned my trip to Mecca!!! But, I think it was also part of God's plan to keep me from going on the rest of the tour that summer and keepin' me tied to home.

Since the band was still in Philadelphia, the travelling circus had not arrived in DC yet for the most part. We spent the day before the 1st show walking around DC and riding the subway, my first experience with that big city mode of transportation. By the time the music started on that 2nd day in DC, I think Marty and I were about cross eyed from lack of sleep and way too much of everything else. One of my Clemson buddies found us in the lot (don't know how that even happened). Despite all the hassles and fried brain cells, I do remember an incredible sense of joy when the band took the stage. There was magic in the air and it wasn't just that strong odor we all smelled either :-). This was when Garcia was focused and his playing and singing on target. The band was loose and tight all at the same time. The mass of people swirling around that open air stadium rushing the field, running from the security, the loud music and colors everywhere were imprinted on my brain for life. One large Garcia smile punctuated by Phil's bass lines and the 2 drummers were all it took. I ended up seeing the band another 39 times until 1995 when Garcia passed away. My last show was Memorial Day 1995 in Portland, Oregon. In my mind, complete bookends. The uptight insanity and confusion of the East in 1989 compared with the peaceful mellow vibe of the West Coast spring in 1995. The band had changed and so had I. What happened in those 39 shows (and a few more where I didn't get a ticket and spent the night running from cops on horseback (only in Washington of all places)), I can't do justice with words in this blog. It was a great way to see the country with friends, the ones on stage and the ones travelling the highways with you. My summers at Clemson were milestoned with Dead shows, spring breaks too. I would see the band in the DC area a total of 7 times; but, there was never another one like that first in 1989. In other words, what a long strange trip it turned out to be...

See ya!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Greenville Drive game

We had such a great evening last night at the Greenville Drive game. The Drive won 6-5 on a double play to end the top of the ninth. The boys had a ton of fun running up and down the hill next to the playground (3rd base line). We met my cousin, Tonya, and her husband, Rob at the game. They live in Clemson. Rob is a Clemson grad (93) and works for the Clemson Foundation. Rob and I went to Sumter High together. They have 3 kids: 2 precious girls and a son, Austin. Austin is a little younger than Dylan, I think. The boys get along great and we are hoping to have Austin spend the night before school starts back again. The weather was overcast but nice and cool. We had the cheap $5 seats and it just works so well for us to be able to hang out and watch the game and keep an eye on the kids running around. We also got the ride the trolley over from the county center, always a hit with Miles and Dylan. I think the most impressive part of the night was me getting a foul ball. Miles and Dylan were very impressed with my retrieval skills in the crowd and told everyone who would listen that their Dad got a foul ball. Miles is adding it to his "collection". They are so easy to please sometimes! The ball park is just a great place to see a game, can't say enough about how much fun we have there and what a great facility we have here in Greenville. In case you don't know, it's a replica of Boston's Fenway Park (our team is a single A team of Boston). Good park food as well!

I am taking a certification exam tomorrow around lunch in Spartanburg at a testing center. It's for Healthcare Information and Management Systems. It's a testing center and it's 100 questions and I get 2 hours. I have studied some this week; but, I think I am prepared. My company took care of the exam fee, which is always super in my book. The association group that offers the certification runs the largest trade show in our industry and is a big advocacy group for our industry. Check out HIMSS online. So, I hope to add the credentials of CPHIMS to my signature title soon!

Music Update:
I am so stoked to not only be listening to Styper online with Napster (all of their albums are there); but, I should have a chance to see them LIVE in Atlanta later in October with some guys from church, including Cliff. That will be cool and total retro 10/11th grade trip for me. I think my Sr. VP from work will be there too. Should be great road trip! Getting the Bob Dylan/Willie/Mellancamp tickets this weekend for the show on the 29th of this month. Also, Drivin n' Cryin show this weekend here in Greenville.

Tricia and I are having our new worship minister and his family over for lunch on Sunday. Chris is a very cool dude and a welcomed addition for our worship experience at Freedom. Check out his blog. They have 2 boys near our boys' ages. I have the zip line all ready with new hay bales for the landing!

On the Africa mission front, we had one of our ladies drop out this week. We are now searching for a lady with a passport and a servants heart who is hearing the call from Africa. I know God is going to make this work out and we are going to be in Botswana with the team that God wants to be there. Thanks for your prayers as we work through this small issue. Thank you!

Ok, time for dinner! See ya!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Mojo

Got a serious Zyrtec hangover this morning. I was sneezing like crazy yesterday after clearing the gargage (our normal Sunday afternoon chore for me and the boys) and took the whole 10mg pill last night before going to bed. Makes me so hungover, will have to remember that next time-> just like I said the last time. 5mg seems to work okay without this feeling of slow motion.

We had a great weekend! We didn't make it to Lake Hartwell on Friday because I sent an email instead of a text message to my buddy Steven. We never heard from Steven or Amanda until we had already taken the boys up to Table Rock State Park for a swim and hike. The boys had so much fun and watching Miles and Dylan run off the high dive was fun. Dylan was brave; but, he also made sure I was out in the deep past the floating diving board area when he ran off. Tricia was doing a chicken dance of sorts and hid it well with the chest high water! We plan to get down to Steven and Amanda's lake house soon.

Saturday was just hanging out and working on home projects. We got a lot of work done in the boys' room and Tricia's new office. Everything looks nice and I know Tricia enjoys all the extra room for her work and hobbies. In the late afternoon, we went down to Greer City Park for the big 4th of July celebration. The weather was perfect and the crowd was big but easy to get around. I think Greer should be very proud of that park. I enjoyed sitting out on the lawn listening to Cravin' Melon (hadn't seen them since Clemson daze) and then we all took in a HUGE fireworks display. Our neighbor, Noah, went down with us and they all had fun running around the park playing football and jumping around the kid's area. They got some tasty elephant ears too! The boys slept long on Sunday morning, we were actually a few minutes late for church!

After a great service at Freedom topped by a message from Cliff on what it means to be a Christian, we headed to Greenville to meet up with my old Army buddy, Steve Adams and his wife Ann. Steve and I were in I Corps G3 Plans back in the day. He got out and then went back as an officer in 2004. He's now supporting Special Ops in Civilian Affairs and still seems as gung ho as ever! He and Ann are on a waiting list for an adoption from China. They are currently stationed at Fort Bragg in NC. It was good to share a meal with Steve and Ann and spend time in Mast General. Steve and Ann are very much fans of Mast too. It was a great afternoon catching up and laughing about old times.

On the Dylan and the Transformer movie front... I think he got the message and appears to be good with it. A lot of folks told us the same thing over the weekend- they either saw it and were disappointed and uncomfortable or heard it was NOT for kids. Even Dylan's buddy and his parents mentioned it was not for kids and how surprised they were about the theme and language. Now, he says he will pray for the director and thinks it's not worth going to see anyways. Glad we got past that one with lots of support for the cause!!!

Well, I have to get to work. Enjoy your week and stay cool! Tricia and the boys are going to Shipwreck Cove water park (a new park not far from home) today and we have our fingers crossed that any storms will hold off for them to enjoy the park.

Did you watch any tennis this weekend? We watched some of the men's final that we recorded. Wow! What an epic battle!

NL: David Gilmour's About Face on Napster - loving this service for $5 a month I can stream almost any album. Obscure or classic, it's all there!

See ya!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Being a Dad is not easy

I hate it when I have to disappoint one of my kids. Dylan and Miles were so set on seeing the new Transformers movie: Revenge of the Fallen. We had plans to take them on Saturday for a family movie outing. That might still happen; but, it won't be that Transformer movie. Read here.
While I know Dylan loves his Transformer toys and video games, this movie goes way beyond what I want to expose to my 7 and 11 year old boys. I'm glad we got a tip from some school teachers that Tricia works with while at the Greer City park last night. I have suggested we go and see Night at the Museum 2, and that might still happen once Dylan gets over his stubborn refusal to see any other movie, ever! I told him I don't have any problems with the toys or the video games; but, the movie is not intended for him and I had major issues with the content and it's rated PG-13 for a reason. We did watch the 1st Transformer movie last summer; but, we watched it at home and we had to control some of the content and discuss during the movie. What makes it worse is Dylan's buddy, who is also 8, has already seen the movie. I was a little surprised about that given what I know about their family, maybe they missed the reviews. Oh well, like I told Dylan, I am not raising Nick. I am the Dad of Miles and Dylan and it's my responsibility to control what their minds are exposed to while they are in my care. God demands that of me and I have to take it seriously. I told Tricia (and she is in agreement with me on this after reading the review), I would rather Dylan be disappointed and mad now than be spiritually and mentally harmed and mislead. His big crocodile tears didn't help either. Being a Dad is hard; but, everything good that we pour into these boys will be what grows out of them as men when they are old enough to thank me for the hard choices. That is my prayer.

Hope you have a safe and fun 4th of July. We are heading down to the lake with some friends from Freedom (Steve and Amanda) after I work a 1/2 day. Then tomorrow we may see a movie (see above :-) ) and then Greer is having a Freedom celebration at the City park with bands and fireworks. That will be fun! You know what's really cool about the City park? Free Wifi! My iPhone picks up the signal right as I get out of the van. That is cool!

Hey, did you know Billy Mays was building a home here in Greer right next to us on Lake Robinson? Weird week with all the "famous" and infamous celebrity departures and our Governor digging a grave at press conferences. I won't be surprised if we don't have a new Governor here in South Carolina by the end of July. Sad state of affairs. Like Jon Stewart said last week: "just another politician with a conservative agenda and a liberal penis". Ouch!

See ya!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer goes fast...

I promise I keep trying to get back to this blog every day; but, something keeps getting in the way, like summer!!!

Last night we had the Africa group and family over for a cookout and we watched some of the Face the Nation videos from Botswana. Face the Nation is a group started by Open Baptist Church in Gaborone focusing on character development through Christ to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in Botswana. We will be working some with them when we are in Old Naledi, which is now only 8 weeks away. Wow! I am starting to get excited and nervous about all that we still have to do. The ADBC Youth just came back from Old Naledi and I am planning a conference call with the youth pastor, Nathan, who went with us last year. We need to get the "inside scoop" on the travel details and what's going on at the site. Please pray for our preparations and travel to go smooth.

Mom is doing much better. She had to spend the night after the surgery due to pain and oxygen levels. She went to the surgeon for a followup yesterday. The drains are out and the pain is much more tolerable, just sore now, she says. The pathology report for the 2nd surgery was clean. Thank you God! Thank you for your prayers too. My sisters have been down there taking care of Mom. I know she's in good hands.

Got an iPhone this week and all I can really say is "Wow!" This is an amazing device that really stands hands and shoulders above the rest of the smart phone pack. The web, media functions and email are so easy to use and navigate. Thanks to Iatric Systems for helping out on that too! I will be testing a good bit of our portal applications on the device, so it's more for work (that's my official line right now). I have an Otter Box Defender case in the mail right now and I look forward to getting that so I can stop treating it like "Precious". It gets finger prints and smudges pretty easily. Dylan is fascinated with it too and really, really wants one ;-)

On the music front, Miles and I are going to see Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellancamp here in Greenville at the new Heritage Park Ampitheatre later this month. My pastor and good friend, Cliff is going with us. It should be a lot of fun. Miles and I saw the Bob and Willie show in Charleston back in 2004. This will be my first time seeing John Mellancamp (my 3rd Bob and Willie show, Myrtle Beach 2005 was a solo venture) and I am really looking forward to this show. Although the date is Dylan's birthday, we are going to be at Camp McCall that morning and he told me it was okay if he didn't go because we are celebrating his birthday that following weekend. Tricia really didn't want to go and kids under 14 get in free, so Miles goes for free and you KNOW he wants to go! Dylan would probably be WAY too tired to have fun for very long after 3 days of camp. I was glad when Tricia said she and Dylan would stay home. Saved some money and stress for all of us.

Tricia's room exchange is coming along very nice. Her office and hobby room looks perfect for her and the boys are very comfortable with the 1 big bedroom. Nice to have a dedicated guest room as well. We shall see how this works when they are teenagers. Tricia is enjoying her summer break and getting a lot accomplished. Miles is even working as a volunteer media assistant at the library at Crestview this summer. If you know Miles, then you know that is something he is enjoying to the max. The boy loves books! They are also watering the plants and yard for our neighbors while they are on vacation and really excited to be making extra money too.

This weekend, we are going to the lake on Friday with our friends Steve and Amanda. Then on Saturday, Greer is having a big 4th of July Family Fun Day at the new City Park. The Clemson bar band, Cravin' Melon, is the main music act and a big fireworks display is scheduled. Should be fun and HOT. Enjoy your holiday and stay cool and safe!

See ya!