Thursday, June 23, 2005

Desert Island

Small hiatus from blogging. I know both of you missed me...

It's July 1. That means June is over. Let me be the first one to jump for joy. June, in a word, was insane, wild, chaotic, ridiculous, nuts, crazy, swamped, stressful and/or madcap. (Thank goodness for the Thesaurus) . Here is a rundown of my June:

1. Moved into new house.
2. Ran Junior Scholars for 38 soon-to-be Seniors in high school (you know, the event where someone almost died?). That alone is enough to be "madcap".
3. Went on a family mission trip to Fort Worth.
4. Participated in Passport.
5. Oh yeah, worked my normal job.

This may not sound like a lot to you. Next summer, I will let you do it.

I say all this to say, I need a vacation. Hawaii, Tahiti, Key West, Steamboat, Amarillo...I don't care. Just a few days to rest and relax. So, I am sitting there, dreaming of a vacation and the thought crosses my my mind..."at this point just drop me off on a desert island".

This leads me down an obvious train of thought. If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and you could only take 5 (insert category)...what would they be? So, I am going to include both of you reading this in my little game.

This week's question...If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and you could only take 5 cd's...what would they be?

Let's lay some ground rules. Double CD's can count as one CD, but Box Sets cannot. So Coldplay's "X&Y" can go, but the AC/DC box set has to stay home or count as 4 of your 5 CD' have to reaaaalllllllyyy love AC/DC for that to happen. (Chris Campbell...I am talking to you.) cheating. The IPods have to stay home. It's my game, I get to make the rules.

Here is my list of "Desert Island" CD's:

1. "Hundred Year Hall" - The Grateful Dead
2. "Physical Graffitti" - Led Zeppelin
3. "Barometer Soup" - Jimmy Buffett
4. "The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion" - The Black Crowes (very underrated)
5. "Greatest Hits" - James Taylor

I am also going to sneak AC/DC's "Back in Black" in somewhere. Remember...I get to make the rules.

It could happen someday, so it is always good to plan ahead. Know what CD's you would take to a desert island. It might give you a little piece of mind...

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to look for vacation packages in Amarillo.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Random Tidbits

My wife's birthday was last Tuesday. She is 26 again...

She insisted that I not do the normal take-her-to-dinner routine. I completely ignored this, got flowers, a sitter and made dinner plans. So, I took my wife to Fuji, a Hibachi style Japanese restaurant here (in the style of Benihana...but not near as clean).

Fuji is very good. The chefs are fun (especially at night), the food is great and you may or may not see a cockroach. These are things that you look for in a good hibachi restaurant. However, every time I eat there, I am reminded of something my good friend, Kevin Campbell, once told me.

"There are stages to Fuji.", he said. "You go from excited to be eating there, to starving while they cook, to satisfied, to feeling extremely over-full, to spending a while "reading" or "thinking" (insert your own "potty" description here). You do this all in about 45 minutes."

It makes me laugh every time I go to Fuji's.


Today, our office had a big birthday party for our Vice President who turns 40 tomorrow. The Party coordinators thought it would be hilarious to dress in black and give her random "Over the Hill" gifts like pill boxes and seat cushions. They all thought it was original and funny.

It wasn't.

How do you tell people that their idea was awful? You can't. You just have to fake smile and secretly roll your eyes. Actually, my friend Garrett can. He tells people all the time when funny ideas suddenly turn out un-funny. It's a gift of his. But, he's not funny either, so it balances out.


Started guitar lessons yesterday. I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. So two weeks ago, I finally decided that life was too short to keep putting it off.

It's not easy to play the guitar. I'm not going to lie to you. My fingers hurt, my rhythm stinks and I only know two chords (as of now). But I will get better...maybe.


The College World Series starts today with my beloved Tennessee Volunteers facing Florida. Now that the CWS is happening, the NBA Finals are now completely obsolete. Before now they were only moderately obsolete.

Seriously, I am as big a sports fan as any, but I just hate the NBA for some reason. I love the Mavs. I love the Celtics. But the NBA sucks. It is almost unbearable to watch. I haven't watched an entire NBA Finals game since 2000. And, I loved the NBA in the 80's! I was a huge Larry Bird fan. I loved watching those old teams.

How does this happen? How did I lose interest so quickly? College basketball is amazing to watch. Most of these players played college basketball! Does the money corrupt them? Are the officials that bad? How do good college players suddenly lose their passion? It seems like no one gives a rip in the NBA. Oh's only 6 weeks until NFL training camps open.


And, finally, there is no greater one day activity in Texas than Schlitterbahn. We went last weekend and it is worth whatever price of admission they charge. Sure the slides are great. Sure, the pools are great. Sure, there was greatness is in realizing I wasn't the fattest person there...that makes me really happy. But my kids loved it. They smiled and laughed and swam all day and then fell asleep in about 4 seconds that night. They experienced pure joy with no worries.

That alone was worth any price.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Incredible Inedible Egg

This is my first year running the Junior Scholars Program at Abilene Christian University. Junior Scholars is a five week program where students live on campus and take 6 hours before their senior year in High School. We have 38 very bright, fun students. However, it is not a camp. I have heard it called that 6 times so far. Why would you go to a camp where you have to go to school?

Anyway, we are a week and a half into the session and nothing has gone wrong yet. Everyone gets along. There have been no complaints. No one has even missed class (c'mon, this is supposed to be like college!). Everything has gone well. Too well...

Yep...almost lost a Junior Scholar last night.

One of my kids, we'll call her "Claire" (since that is her name), had a massive allergic reaction to something that she ate. We all knew she had severe food allergies, but obviously...they aren't kidding around. She is allergic to all kinds of foods, especially eggs and milk. She has been very careful with what she has eaten. Campus Dining has been very careful with what she has eaten. They even fixed her a special dinner last night. They made meatballs, steamed rice and plain green beans. Bland, but non-life threatening.

But it seems the pre-packaged meatballs were held together by a thin egg wash. This is bad for Claire. She had an allergic reaction to the point that the EMS guys had to breathe for her. Scary stuff.

So, I rush to the hospital (from across town) and get there only to find out the ER people won't tell me anything and if I so much as go near the doors, they will call the police to haul me off. I proceed to sit down in the waiting area and try to get a hold of her parents...who are in Tennessee. Yep...she's from Tennessee. That is 900 miles away...

As a few of us sit and wait...we continue to pray, and pray, and pray. Finally, the nurse comes out and says, "I'm looking a for a Corey Patterson". My heart drops and I go back while the nurse says nothing. This is bad. After what seemed like an hour we got to the trauma room door. "You can go see her", she says. Thanks for the scare, ma'am. I go in and see Claire...she has been through the war, but God had saved her. Greatness. It was such a joy to talk to her and her parents. We sat together and laughed and thanked God for 5 1/2 hours.

God is amazing. He answered prayers and blessed all of our lives. He has done great work in the last 24 hours. He is worthy to be praised.

But, enough seriousness for a is my question. Claire is very allergic to eggs. If I cracked an egg over her hand and she didn't clean it off immediately, she would swell up. But, she can eat all of the chicken she wants. How can someone be allergic to eggs, but not be allergic to chicken? Are you kidding? Aren't eggs baby chickens? Aren't chickens grown up eggs? How is this possible? Which brings up that whole "which came first...eating chicken or not eating eggs?" If you were allergic to eggs...wouldn't you be a little hesitant to even try chicken? The human body is a strange thing.

But at least Claire is here to help me answer these questions...Praise God!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Trading Spaces

We will sleep in our new house tonight.

For those of you that know me, you might say, "I thought you just moved 18 months ago?". You would be correct.

In November of 2003, we moved from our little starter home (circa 1942) and purchased my grandmother's house that she and my late grandfather had lived in since 1985. However, as we lived there for a year and a half, we realized that it would never be "our house". As long as that house was in our family it would have been hers. Now, don't get me wrong, she never said that. But it is how we felt.

Than God started moving...

8:00 pm of Tuesday during Lectureship 2004, there was a knock on our front door. It was raining and dark. The man at the door said that he heard that we might be selling our house in the future and wondered if he and his wife (who were moving to Abilene from California) could take a look. They were just about to sign a contract on a house, but wanted to look at ours. They looked and seemed indifferent. The phone rang 15 minutes after they left (no exaggeration). "We are infatuated with your house. If you want to sell it...we want to buy it right now.", said our mystery house hunter. We pondered during the miscarriage and agreed. God had given them our house, and given us a way to find our own house.

So, we are pondering this whole deal, wondering if we should build or buy or not sell at all. Here comes dear, sweet Gina Lewis (who my wife works with) asks Jennifer out of the blue if we knew anyone who might buy their house. (They were wanting to downsize) We looked and knew immediately that this is what we wanted and we agreed to buy it.

Now, I am not one to say that it is all about us. But, I do believe that God had three couples lined up to relocate and put us all together. It was too perfect to be anything else. Our buyers needed a house for a 7 year old girl and a 4 year old boy...Bingo!...enter our house with a pink and green bedroom and a baseball bedroom. Mark and Gina needed out from under their house quickly to downsize and take care of some things. Bingo!...there we were to buy our perfect house.

There is no explanation for this except...God. He is wonderful and gives us more than we need. I pray that Jennifer and I can use this house to bless the lives of friends, family, college students and those in need for years to come. God is awesome.

Now, if they will only hook up our phones...