Sunday, October 28, 2012

Many thanks

Several months ago, we went on an extended family vacation.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and of course, Grammie and Grandpa.  We all stayed in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains.  One of the favorite things about the week, according to my boys, was the game room--Pac Man, pool, juke box, giant TV, and more.

Since we have been home--over a month now--Little S has been consistently mentioning the 'vacation house' when he prays before we eat.

The funny thing is, he doesn't ask for another vacation.

He doesn't ask to live at the vacation house.

He doesn't ask for a game room at home.

He just says, "Thank you, for our vacation house."

I could learn a lot from that little guy.

Too many definitions

In a book I read a while back, there was this central topic that just didn't sit right with me.  It is a common idea, but I just think it's slightly off.  At first, it might sound like semantics, but I think there's a greater truth at stake.

The book gave what it called the definition of a man.  It listed things like character, integrity. . . you know, all that stuff.

Good stuff.

Great stuff.

I don't like it.  You know why?

Because sometimes, I do those things.

Sometimes, I don't.

Do I cease to be a man if I tell a lie?


I am a man.

Those things are just standards of behavior.  They don't actually define me as a man.

Honesty doesn't define me to be a man.  It defines me as honest, or dishonest.

Character doesn't define me to be a man.  It describes the kind of man I am.

You only need one thing to be defined a man.

A 'Y' chromosome.

. . . some of you thought I was going to say something else, but you could actually cut that off and you would still be a man.  You might walk funny, but that's another story.

Why do I think this is so important?

Because, I think it's critical to realize that there are some things I choose.  There are also some things I don't get to choose about myself.  I don't get to choose WHO I get to be.  I get to choose HOW I get to be.  I choose the actions I take and they determine where I am going.

You don't have to try to be a man.  You either are or you aren't.

Be honest.

Be faithful.

Be kind.

Be compassionate.

Be passionate.

Be confident.

Be secure.

Be wise.

Be you.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Eight for eight

(c) 2004 Eric Graf photography 
Eight years and counting.  That's 2920 days, plus a couple of leap days and a couple of days since our actual anniversary this past week.  I can't believe it's been that long.  Doesn't seem like it could have possibly been more than 2500!  I guess time really flies when you're having fun.

And, I AM having fun!

So, to celebrate our anniversary, here are 8 words that embody my favorite things about my Mrs O. . . with some short explanations.  I can only be so concise, you know.

8. Security.  Mrs O is equally at home enjoying a steak at Ruth's Chris or hush puppies at The Cracker Barrel.

7. Leisure.  She enjoys all manner of British dramas, reading books, and lying in the hammock--everything's better together.

6. Thoughtfulness.  She often comes home from the grocery store with stinky cheese for me!

5. Brains.  She has an amazing vocabulary and insists that people who cuss only do so because they can't say it more intelligently.

4. Strength.  Whether we're playing scrabble or debating miscellaneous issues we're equally matched--she poses a formidable challenge!

3. Equality.  We're even more perfectly matched as teammates.

2. Beauty.  She's beautiful, inside and out.

1. Whimsy.  She is 100% herself--all the time, no matter what.

Thanks for saying 'yes,' Mrs O.  I love you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Everybody Welcome

Recently, the boys went through a lesson on the civil rights movement.  They were appalled at the notion that some people had to go to one place and the rest of the people had to go somewhere else.  They couldn't fathom a world where everybody isn't welcome.

Then, we read The Berenstein Bears No Girls Allowed.  The boys LOVED the idea of a clubhouse.  We talked about what the clubhouse would look like and what it needed.  There were three requirements: rope ladder, lookout tower, and a sign--the wording of which is still being debated.  Oh, and my only requirement was that it be big enough that I can play up there, too!

We all worked feverishly to plan exactly what this project would look like.  We used Grandpa's drafting tools and had many lessons on perspective which, no doubt, were absorbed despite the appearance of going in one ear and out the other!

We also had some lessons in the proper use and care of tools, and the boys worked very hard on each stage of the process.

Now, for the sign.

Silas' vote: "100 Girls Allowed."

If he were a teenager, I'd be concerned about that.

I suggested that we simply say, "Everybody Welcome."

Elliot liked that suggestion, however, he was concerned that the clubhouse wouldn't fit EVERYone.  "It only fits 5 or 6 people," after all.

I guess we'll have to have post the maximum occupancy per fire code.

Perhaps, our sign could just say, "Welcome!"