Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I was thinking today about vacations we used to take with my cousins when I was growing up. We’d go to an old mountain/lake house in the middle of nowhere, Georgia. Some memories from those vacations include:
*I don’t think the place had a phone.
*The water went under the house.
*The shower was worse than anything I would ever see in college… and I saw some bad stuff in college.
*Mom would spend time each day reading a book to us… usually something on my summer reading list for school.
*There were woods next to the house that Louis and I would go exploring in.
*There was a spot in the woods that we called the “Great Wall of China”… looking back, it probably wasn’t that great of a wall… and it had nothing to do with China.
*How in the world could our parents let us go off on our own like that?
*The world seemed to be a better place back then.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Private Robert W. Ammerman (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania, Virginia. His citation reads:
Capture of battle flag of 8th North Carolina (C.S.A.), being one of the foremost in the assault.
Corporal Frank L. Anders (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 13, 1899 during the Philippine Insurrection. His citation reads:
With 11 other scouts, without waiting for the supporting battalion to aid them or to get into a position to do so, charged over a distance of about 150 yards and completely routed about 300 of the enemy who were in line and in a position that could only be carried by a frontal attack.
Technical Sergeant Beauford T. Anderson (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 13, 1945 in Okinawa. His citation reads:
He displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. When a powerfully conducted predawn Japanese counterattack struck his unit's flank, he ordered his men to take cover in an old tomb, and then, armed only with a carbine, faced the onslaught alone. After emptying 1 magazine at pointblank range into the screaming attackers, he seized an enemy mortar dud and threw it back among the charging Japs, killing several as it burst. Securing a box of mortar shells, he extracted the safety pins, banged the bases upon a rock to arm them and proceeded alternately to hurl shells and fire his piece among the fanatical foe, finally forcing them to withdraw. Despite the protests of his comrades, and bleeding profusely from a severe shrapnel wound, he made his way to his company commander to report the action. T/Sgt. Anderson's intrepid conduct in the face of overwhelming odds accounted for 25 enemy killed and several machineguns and knee mortars destroyed, thus single-handedly removing a serious threat to the company's flank.
I think all sports should have rules in place regarding concussions. Recent studies have started to point to repeated brain trauma as a cause of ALS. A lot of former football players (relatively speaking) now have this disease. Still, I think all sports should have rules in place. Why? Well, if you look at a list of sports where concussions are most likely you will see way down on the list (or not even on the list at all) are basketball and baseball. In high school, Sonny suffered a concussion playing basketball. I got knocked out in a baseball game. Not only that, but there is a theory that Lou Gehrig himself may have gotten ALS (which is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) due to repeated head trauma. Gehrig suffered major head trauma at least 6 times in his career (and he never took a day off). So all sports should have something in place.
I think it’s pretty cool that Henry Fonda quit making movies in the early 40’s so that he could join the Navy.
I think his daughter should have been arrested, tried, and convicted of treason for what she did during the Vietnam War. Protests are one thing. I don’t usually agree with them… but I still believe they should be protected. She, however, went miles past the line between protest and treason.
I’m so vain, I do think that song is about me.
Is it possible to see a baby smile and not smile back? I don’t think so.
Golden Girls… That’s what I’m talking about.
Greatest actor ever? That’s hard… Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Al Pacino, Samuel L. Jackson… Might be too hard to call.
Greatest actress? Shirley MacLaine (Side Note: How in the world did she not win an award for her roles in Steel Magnolias or Rumor Has It…? How was she not even nominated for an award for her role in Rumor Has It…?).
I believe laughing is great medicine.
I liked Rachael over Monica.
Labor Day is my favorite holiday because I get to see my Labor Day Family that weekend.
My favorite NCIS character is Tony.
I think a “Lazy River” is a great invention.
You think I sometimes say crazy things on this blog? You should see some of the emails I send. If you’ve seen those emails and you think those are crazy, you should see the stuff I’ve typed but didn’t send.
I love high school and college football, basketball, and baseball.
My favorite college football teams are Navy, Clemson, and Charleston Southern.
I don't hate USC the way most my family does. I save that hate for Coastal Carolina.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Corporal Jake Allex (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on August 9, 1918 at Chipilly Ridge, France. His citation reads:
At a critical point in the action, when all the officers with his platoon had become casualties, Cpl. Allex took command of the platoon and led it forward until the advance was stopped by fire from a machinegun nest. He then advanced alone for about 30 yards in the face of intense fire and attacked the nest. With his bayonet he killed 5 of the enemy, and when it was broken, used the butt of his rifle, capturing 15 prisoners.
Captain Edward C. Allworth (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions November 5, 1918 at Clery-le-Petit, France. His citation reads:
While his company was crossing the Meuse River and canal at a bridgehead opposite Clery-le-Petit, the bridge over the canal was destroyed by shell fire and Capt. Allworth's command became separated, part of it being on the east bank of the canal and the remainder on the west bank. Seeing his advance units making slow headway up the steep slope ahead, this officer mounted the canal bank and called for his men to follow. Plunging in he swam across the canal under fire from the enemy, followed by his men. Inspiring his men by his example of gallantry, he led them up the slope, joining his hard-pressed platoons in front. By his personal leadership he forced the enemy back for more than a kilometer, overcoming machinegun nests and capturing 100 prisoners, whose number exceeded that of the men in his command. The exceptional courage and leadership displayed by Capt. Allworth made possible the re-establishment of a bridgehead over the canal and the successful advance of other troops.
First Lieutenant Adelbert Ames (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 21, 1861 at Bull Run, Virginia. His citation reads:
Remained upon the field in command of a section of Griffin's Battery, directing its fire after being severely wounded and refusing to leave the field until too weak to sit upon the caisson where he had been placed by men of his command.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I’m really considering watching a movie that I had no interest in seeing until I saw that Betty White is in it. I just saw the commercial for it. I already forgot the name of it… but I still kind of want to see it.
Of course, when I say I’m going to watch a movie, what I really mean is that at best I’ll get the DVD… or if I come across it on TV I’ll stop and watch.
If you don’t have to worry about school, this seems to be a great time of year to go on a vacation. We haven’t seen too many people around here so far.
So, word on the street is that a football coach in Summerville is a little miffed that a former FSU football coach has a new book out with the same title (Called to Coach) that he has already used for a book. Cry me a river.
I’m thinking KC and I should name our book The Holy Bible.
What? Too far?
It only took me four trips from the van to get all of our stuff to the room. We are on the 4th floor.
I’m thinking there is a good chance Mary Ruth is going to grow up to be a lawyer/politician. If that happens, then thank God MaMa won’t be here to see it.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Private James Allen (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on September 14, 1862 at South Mountain, Maryland. His citation reads:
Single-handed and slightly wounded he accosted a squad of 14 Confederate soldiers bearing the colors of the 16th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.). By an imaginary ruse he secured their surrender and kept them at bay when the regimental commander discovered him and rode away for assistance.
Corporal Nathaniel M. Allen (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His citation reads:
When his regiment was falling back, this soldier, bearing the national color, returned in the face of the enemy's fire, pulled the regimental flag from under the body of its bearer, who had fallen, saved the flag from capture, and brought both colors off the field.
First Sergeant William Allen (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 27, 1873 at Turret Mountain Arizona during the Indian War Campaigns. His citation reads:
Gallantry in action.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Ashley Ridge at Cane Bay (Prediction: Ashley Ridge by 14... Result: Ashley Ridge won 14-0)
James Island at St. John’s (Prediction: James Island by 43... Result: JI won 43-0)
Conway at Summerville (Prediction: Summerville by 24... Result: Summerville got Coach McKissick’s 150th season started with a 50-26 win... Little known fact: Coach McKissick has coached about 12 generations of Summerville men over the years and has actually had a few fathers and sons on the team at the same time)
Stratford at Berkeley (Prediction: Berkeley by 26... Result: Berkeley won 40-14)
Even if you do remember my real predictions, you’ll note that all the teams I picked to win, won (I just thought the scores would be a little closer).
We are in need of a new air mattress. As you know, Friday nights are "MR and Daddy Campout in the Den" nights (which includes us sleeping on an air mattress). Things started out fine last night but I woke up around 2:30 AM and noticed that I was a lot lower than where I started. That, and Mary Ruth kept rolling into me. I was scared that I’d roll over in my sleep and crush her... so I had to make a move to the sofa. It was still a good, fun night. My Psych Season 4 DVDs came in yesterday, so we watched a few of those episodes and then ended the night with a few ThunderCats episodes.
I don’t know why, but I’ve got a feeling Charleston Southern is going to win the Big South football championship this season. After they do, remember you heard it here first. In fact, remember this is the only place you heard it.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Sergeant William Alchesay (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions in the Winter of 1872-1873 during the Indian War Campaigns. His citation reads:
Gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with Apaches.
Corporal Abner P. Allen (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on April 2, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia. His citation reads:
Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."
Boatswain’s Mate First Class Edward Allen (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions in June 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion. His citation reads:
Fighting with the relief expedition of the Allied forces on 13, 20, 21, and 22 June 1900, Allen distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.
Friday, August 27, 2010
The I’m just sayin... High School Games to Watch tonight:
Ashley Ridge at Cane Bay (Prediction: Ashley Ridge by 3)
James Island at St. John’s (Prediction: James Island by 13)
Conway at Summerville (Prediction: Summerville by 6)
Stratford at Berkeley (Prediction: Berkeley by 4)
I will be on vacation next week so I’m not sure how often I will get to post. I might have another “getting to know me” type series. Or I might try to get on here and give you live updates on how my vacation is going.
For any of you interested in what book I’m reading now, the answer is:
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
I have to say it has been a pretty interesting book so far. There’s a good bit in here that I didn’t learn about in school.
Hey, I hear there are some rooms available at the Whitney Hotel in Columbia.
Speaking of NCAA violations, it looks like UNC has some trouble coming their way. Word on the street is that someone may have been writing papers for some football players. Every school of higher learning that I’ve attended has had pretty clear rules on cheating. If you cheat, you get an ‘F’ in the class and you are sent to the judicial board for expulsion (and at CSU, if you cheat you are a sinner and are going to hell). I never tested this rule, so I’m not sure how forgiving the judicial boards are... but all the people in charge seemed pretty clear that cheating was the greatest of sins. So, if these guys really did cheat, it seems to me they should be kicked out of school. At the very least, they should be put on academic probation and have to sit out this season. This is one violation we at I’m just sayin... don’t look kindly on.
To help prove my point from yesterday... The Wife left me in charge last night while she went to what felt to me was an all night party at Rebecca’s house. I thought I did a pretty good job because by the time The Wife got home (well after 10:00 PM) Susie was asleep and Mary Ruth was also in bed asleep. So I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then The Wife asked me if I gave MR a bath. Doh! I just hope nobody gets hurt before The Wife realizes I can’t be trusted to keep both kids home by myself for an extended period of time.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Private Frederick Alber (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 12, 1864 in Spotsylvania, Virginia. His citation reads:
Bravely rescued Lt. Charles H. Todd of his regiment who had been captured by a party of Confederates by shooting down one, knocking over another with the butt of his musket, and taking them both prisoners.
Private Christian Albert (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 22, 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi. His citation reads:
Gallantry in the charge of the "volunteer storming party."
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I can remember back when I was growing up my Mom would go to Montreat for a week each summer leaving me and Dad at home (not sure if Sonny and Doubting Teri were also home... but if they were they were old enough to take care of themselves... so really Dad just had to worry about me). The week consisted of eating out every night (usually pizza) and falling asleep in the den at some late hour while watching TV. Oh, and clothes, pizza boxes, cups, etc. would be all over the place. The day Mom was to get back, we'd clean up everything so that the place looked spotless... and then about 1 hour before her return, we'd mess the place up just a little bit (to make her feel needed... and to make sure she didn't know we could clean up that well).
Dad wasn't away much, but when he was it was life as usual. Mom would cook (no eating out), I had to pick up after myself (no messy house) and I had to be in bed at a decent hour (no falling asleep in the den watching TV).
Even now when The Wife is away over night, I find myself up at 2:00 AM watching NCIS and House re-runs for the 20th time... stuff that I have on DVD. It’s like I need her there to tell me it’s time to go to bed.
I think he’s on to something with this whole DNA thing.
Before we get to the Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients part of the blog, let me send a big Thank You out to my good friend Ross. He gave my blog a shout-out in his sermon this past Sunday and used my family as an example in his sermon (I’m not 100% sure if it was a good example or a bad one... I hope it was a good one... but knowing me like I do, it could have been a bad one). I think other preachers could learn something from Ross. :)
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Private First Class Lewis Albanese (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 1, 1966 in Vietnam. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Albanese's platoon, while advancing through densely covered terrain to establish a blocking position, received intense automatic weapons fire from close range. As other members maneuvered to assault the enemy position, Pfc. Albanese was ordered to provide security for the left flank of the platoon. Suddenly, the left flank received fire from enemy located in a well-concealed ditch. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades from this fire, Pfc. Albanese fixed his bayonet and moved aggressively into the ditch. His action silenced the sniper fire, enabling the platoon to resume movement toward the main enemy position. As the platoon continued to advance, the sound of heavy firing emanated from the left flank from a pitched battle that ensued in the ditch which Pfc. Albanese had entered. The ditch was actually a well-organized complex of enemy defenses designed to bring devastating flanking fire on the forces attacking the main position. Pfc. Albanese, disregarding the danger to himself, advanced 100 meters along the trench and killed 6 of the snipers, who were armed with automatic weapons. Having exhausted his ammunition, Pfc. Albanese was mortally wounded when he engaged and killed 2 more enemy soldiers in fierce hand-to-hand combat. His unparalleled actions saved the lives of many members of his platoon who otherwise would have fallen to the sniper fire from the ditch, and enabled his platoon to successfully advance against an enemy force of overwhelming numerical superiority. Pfc. Albanese's extraordinary heroism and supreme dedication to his comrades were commensurate with the finest traditions of the military service and remain a tribute to himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
First Lieutenant George E. Albee (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on October 28, 1869 in Texas. His citation reads:
Attacked with 2 men a force of 11 Indians, drove them from the hills, and reconnoitered the country beyond.
Friday, August 20, 2010
It has been awhile since my last post. Part of that is because I haven’t had time (more on that later) and part of that is because I wanted to leave that as the post that comes up first for a while. I have had many people contact me to tell me what a great job The Wife did with that post. Many have even said that she could do as good a job blogging as I do. I’m pretty sure these people were either just being nice or they were drunk. But still, she did do a good job.
We have also been hearing reaction to our news. Before I climb up on my soapbox for a minute, let me share with you a couple of things I’ve learned over my 31 years of life. The first thing is you never walk up to a woman and ask “When’s the baby due?” unless you’re damn sure she is pregnant (and by that I mean she just told you “I’m pregnant”). The second thing I’ve learned is that being lucky enough to get pregnant and have a baby isn’t something to be taken for granted. I will not speak for everyone, but I can share with you my situation. I came into this thing (marriage) thinking ok, we’ll use birth control until we want to have a baby, at which point we’ll stop taking birth control and then we’ll get pregnant and so on and so forth until we’ve had all the children we want. Well, it didn’t take long to find out that life don’t work the way I thought it did. The birth control did its part... but that was about the only thing that went as planned. It took us years and thousands (with an ‘s’) of dollars and years to get pregnant with Baby Uno (later named Mary Ruth). Well, we heard, a lot of times people go through all of this fertility stuff for the first one and then have no problem getting pregnant with baby #2. So a few years go by and we decide to try this baby thing one more time. This time it ‘only’ took us hundreds of dollars and about 7 or 8 months to get pregnant with Baby Dos (later named Susie). The reason Susie was cheaper (and didn’t take as long) is that we skipped some steps that didn’t work the first time. So here we are pregnant with Baby Tres. There were no fertility drugs this time. No months and months (or possibly years) of trying and me seeing The Wife upset and frustrated at not getting pregnant. Of course, I consider all children to be miracles... but this one seems to really be a miracle to me. I will now step up on my soapbox for one second. Our fertility issues aren’t something that we’ve kept secret. This is the first time I think I’ve really talked about it on here... but our families and probably most of our friends know about these issues. We have had a ton of positive reactions to our news of Baby Tres. (****Before I go on, if you read this blog I must insist you read the reaction to the news that fellow blogger and great I’m just sayin... friend KC had. His post was classic!****) I joked in the last post about the “Was this a surprise?” question because most of the people asking it know about our fertility issues (and, let’s face it, when you’re pregnant with Baby Tres before Baby Dos turns one... you kind of expect that question). While this was a surprise, I am still happy and excited (& I’m pretty sure The Wife will be too after she gets past the being sick all the time phase of the pregnancy). Call me old fashioned, but I think when someone tells you good news, you should be happy for them. If you aren’t happy for them, you should make them think you are happy for them. That is what friends and family do. Heck, even strangers do that most of the time. Needless to say, research has shown that my readers are smart people so I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. There have been a few people who do not seem to be happy about our “situation”. Maybe they are and their words just didn’t come out right. Maybe they are just worried... not sure how we’ll make it. Here’s a secret: I didn’t know how we’d make it with just me, The Wife, and Lucy. Could we really afford having Lucy AND Maverick? Wow... can we pull this off having a baby with two dogs? THREE DOGS?! Are you kidding me?! How in the world can we afford TWO children and THREE dogs?! And yet we’ve somehow managed. I’m pretty sure God had something to do with the “somehow” part of that last sentence. But how we’ll make it is for me and The Wife to worry about (and by that, I mean The Wife... she worries enough for all of us... by all of us I am including you). “How we’ll make it” shouldn’t keep anyone from being happy for us. Granted, 99% of the people have been happy. Some have been so happy that I could hear them screaming when The Wife told them over the phone. Having friends and family to share this joy with makes it that much better. Conversely, sharing this great news with someone and having them not seem that happy hurts. It shouldn’t. For someone like me who usually doesn’t care about such things, it has surprised me how much it bothers me. It’s only a few people (who I won’t name) and yet I was up last night thinking about this. The thing is these aren’t even people that I would consider myself very close to. 100% of my close friends and family have been thrilled. But it still ticks me off that these other people aren’t. Oh well, I’ll get over it.
HEY! BREAKING NEWS (unless they called you, texted you, or you saw it on Facebook)! Jeremy and Rebecca are having a boy! This, of course, means they are now faced with the task of picking out a boy name. I am here to help. So the following are names that I mentioned in a previous post back in March (with the last name changed from Horres to Dunlap... because it would be weird if their child had my last name and not theirs).
Levon Kirkland Dunlap
Michael Corleone Dunlap
Ryne Sandberg Dunlap
Winston Churchill Dunlap
Chris Gaynor Dunlap
Greg Lewis Dunlap
Charles Oakley Dunlap
Stonewall Jackson Dunlap
Doc Holliday Dunlap
Ric Flair Dunlap
And to answer your question... There are enough great names on that list that if Baby Tres is a boy, we’d still have some cool names to pick from.
Mary Ruth suffered a concussion this week. Things were kind of scary for a couple of days but she is doing much better now. The doctor has cleared her. The good news is this did not happen under my watch. She was at day care when she took the fall and hit her head.
So tonight is “MR and Daddy Campout in the Den Night”. This is something we do every Friday night. It started out with Mary Ruth getting to sleep in bed with us on Friday nights (as a way to keep her in her own bed the other nights). Then we moved it to the den and we’d sleep on an air mattress. The air mattress isn’t really big enough for me, Mary Ruth, and The Wife... so we voted and The Wife now sleeps in our bed while me and Mary Ruth sleep on the air mattress in the den (for the record, the vote was 3-0). So on Friday nights, we pull out the air mattress and MR and I spend the night watching ThunderCats, Transformers, and G.I. Joe (and whatever else she wants to watch... but usually that’s all she wants to watch). We both love it.
Not sure if you got to see any of the basketball hall of fame stuff (I didn’t) but you have to see this. This clip is from when the Dream Team was inducted. Magic did most of the talking and he did great, but the best part is at the end when Larry Bird starts talking. For those who don’t know, Larry Bird is known for 3 pointers and trash talking. You also need to know that the 1960 US Olympic Team was inducted into the hall of fame. That was a great team with a lot of future NBA greats on it. There was some trash talking between the 1960 team and the 1992 team leading up to the induction ceremony regarding which was the better team. During this talk, Jerry West (who played on the ’60 team) talked about how the 1960 team had to stay in a dorm without a/c and they only got $1 a day. That’s all you need to know before hearing what Bird had to say.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Paymaster’s Steward Michael Aheam (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 19, 1864 off the coast of France during the Civil War. His citation reads:
Served on board the U.S.S. Kearsarge when she destroyed the Alabama off Cherbourg, France, 19 June 1864. Carrying out his duties courageously, PmS. Aheam exhibited marked coolness and good conduct and was highly recommended by his divisional officer for gallantry under enemy fire.
Watertender William Ahern (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 1, 1897. His citation reads:
On board the U.S.S. Puritan at the time of the collapse of one of the crown sheets of boiler E of that vessel, 1 July 1897. Wrapped in wet cloths to protect his face and arms, Ahern entered the fireroom, crawled over the tops of the boilers and closed the auxiliary stop valve, disconnecting boiler E and removing the danger of disabling the other boilers.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I didn’t think 30 would bother me until my best friend turned 30. Then I started to think about how old that was and that I was supposed to have so much more accomplished by now. So of course it started this introspective look at what I have learned and accomplished. And although I am not a public speaker or blogger and I don’t generally enjoy being the center of attention, here is what I have learned.
I have learned that high school was not the best times of your life – whose genius idea was that?
But college was a pretty close second or third.
I have learned that love at first sight does exist.
I have learned to surround myself with people who make me a better person. I have some amazing friends.
I have learned to be grateful for what I have, although I am still working on not coveting what I don’t.
I know the pain of being told you can’t have children and the joy of finding out you are pregnant.
I have learned that exercising is a necessary evil.
I have learned that minivans ROCK!
I have learned that I have God-given talents. Although I always wonder where that line is between good pride and sinful pride, I know that I am great with children, specifically special needs children and that I was put here to be a teacher and an advocate even if it means stepping on some toes.
And I have learned that I can do that and be a great mother.
I have learned that cooking and cleaning are not some of my God-given talents. I thank God for restaurants several times a week.
I have learned that dogs really are some of your best friends.
I have learned that my vet can see me coming a mile away.
I have learned that Hootie and the Blowfish are still one of my favorite bands.
I am still learning that life does not go according to my Type-A, OCD, plan – and that’s generally a good thing.
I have learned to apologize. So I am going to take this time to apologize to my dear friend Leigh Ann Carter. Apparently, I do not know where babies come from either.
I have learned that when you have a less than %1 chance of something happening – there is still that 1% chance that it will. I have learned that I am pregnant with my third little blessing! And although this is not according to my plan, I have already learned that that is a wonderful thing.
So there you have it. Baby #3 is due in early April (a short time after, I hope, Winthrop wins their first men's basketball national championship). This is an exciting time for me... (for us)... but really for me. There are a few comments/questions I'd like to address now.
Comment/Question 1: "Are you trying for a boy?" (or "Maybe this will be your boy"... or "Maybe this will be the boy for Greg").
Answer: See my thoughts on this kind of talk here.
Comment/Question 2: "Is this a surprise?"
(There are multiple answers I've given to this question)...
Answer 1: It's not as much of a surprise as it would be if I'd been out of town for the past 2 months.
Answer 2: We spent thousands of dollars to get pregnant the first time. Hundreds of dollars to get pregnant the second time. What do you think?
Answer 3: Nope. I remember that night when we were done looking at The Wife and saying "BOOM goes the dynamite! That just happened". Haha... just kidding.
Answer 4: Yes, but I'm excited.
Question 3: "Who is Doubting Teri?"
Answer: My sister. She earned that name by not believing me when I called her to tell her this great news. She is the only person to doubt me (not including Jenn... but to be fair, I was lying to her). Doubting Teri had to talk to The Wife before she would believe me. She will learn, I'm sure, that that was the wrong thing to do.
Question 4: "How did the rest of your family take the news?"
Answer: Aside from Doubting Teri... my Mom & Dad (and Sonny) were all thrilled (Doubting Teri was too after she talked to The Wife). Mary Ruth is excited and has decided that she needs to teach Susie how to be a Big Sister.
So there you have it. As more questions come, I will address them on here.
Before I go, I'd like to tip my hat to my good friend KC (who was only 2 months off on his guess that we'd have Baby #3 in June of next year).
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Wife and I went to the Hootie and The Blowfish concert last night. We had a blast (even if we were out past our bedtime). We’ve been to a bunch of Hootie concerts and we’ve loved everyone of them. Honestly, how could you not love seeing Darius wear a Run DMC shirt while singing David Allan Coe’s You Never Even Called Me By My Name? As a bonus, I got to see my good friend (and fellow blogger) KC at the concert. At least, I think it was KC… his seats were sooooo far in front of ours that I can’t be 100% sure it was him. I can’t wait for the concert next year. Maybe I’ll get lucky and order tickets early enough to get us good seats…
Friends, you know that this blog is all about love… but I want to talk one second about something I have no love for: The NCAA Clearinghouse. Around this time of year it isn’t uncommon to read in the paper that so and so is having to sit out of football practice because they haven’t been cleared yet by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Most people, I’m sure, read it and think here’s another dumb athlete some coach tried to sneak into school but the NCAA caught them. I can’t say for sure that this is never the case… but after my experience with that group of incompetent jackasses (no offense to donkeys out there) I usually side with the players. I was reminded of the dislike of this worthless group of employees when my Dad recently gave me the letter they sent me to inform me I’d been cleared to play Division I & II athletics. I know what you’re thinking… “Greg, you were cleared… what’s the problem (aside from your lack of power when it came to hitting and throwing a baseball)”. Well you’re right… I was unfortunate to play at the beginning of the Steroid Era (when chicks dug the long-ball) and I didn’t hit for power or throw the ball hard. And you’re right, I was cleared. But you see friends, I haven’t told you everything yet. That letter they sent me letting me know I was cleared was dated April 3, 1998. That was about a month before I completed my freshman year at Winthrop. What was the hold up? It seems the NCAA Clearinghouse felt I was short a math class and a foreign language class. The problem here is that I took Algebra I and Spanish I in the 8th grade because I was advanced. I (and all the others in these classes) took these classes for high school credit. The high school counted them as high school credit. Every college that I applied to counted them as high school credit. But not the NCAA Clearinghouse… freakin’ idiots.
So, why is a “Coming to Jesus Meeting” considered a bad thing? Am I the only one that hears “I’m going to have a coming to Jesus meeting with _______” and think, “Cool… can I come?” I mean, who wouldn’t want to meet Jesus? How do I get invited to these meetings?
An alert reader reminded me about a story I should have included in my 30 things about The Wife. A long, long time ago (Summer of ’99) when I was still young and had just started dating The Wife I decided I would travel from Rock Hill (where I was living and working) right after work to Charleston for a party (that The Wife would be at). Oh yeah, I’d have to drive back to Rock Hill for work the next morning. This being my college days, I asked around to see if anyone wanted to go with me. Only one man was brave enough (and I think you know who I’m talking about). So we left after I got off work and headed down to Charleston. We partied and had a great time and I got to hang out with The Wife and then around 3 or 4 AM it was time to head back to Rock Hill so I could take a shower and get to work. I was driving (since it was my car) with Jeremy riding shotgun. Things were going good until I started to get tired. Jeremy asked if I was ok (I think he was suspicious because I kept changing lanes while we were the only car on the road). I said I was fine. Then I took the exit. I took the exit because that was the best way to play off the fact that I’d fallen asleep and was really driving off the road. Jeremy drove after that. Jeremy drives whenever we are on the road at night now.
I am becoming more and more a fan of the Zach Brown Band and Eric Church. The Wife hates both.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Corporal Harry Chapman Adriance (U.S. Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 13, 1900 in China during the Boxer Rebellion. His citation reads:
In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Adriance distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.
Private First Class Harold Christ Agerholm (U.S. Marine Corps) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on July 7, 1944 on Saipan, Marianas Islands. His citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 4th Battalion, 10th Marines, 2d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Saipan, Marianas Islands, 7 July 1944. When the enemy launched a fierce, determined counterattack against our positions and overran a neighboring artillery battalion, Pfc. Agerholm immediately volunteered to assist in the efforts to check the hostile attack and evacuate our wounded. Locating and appropriating an abandoned ambulance jeep, he repeatedly made extremely perilous trips under heavy rifle and mortar fire and single-handedly loaded and evacuated approximately 45 casualties, working tirelessly and with utter disregard for his own safety during a grueling period of more than 3 hours. Despite intense, persistent enemy fire, he ran out to aid 2 men whom he believed to be wounded marines but was himself mortally wounded by a Japanese sniper while carrying out his hazardous mission. Pfc. Agerholm's brilliant initiative, great personal valor and self-sacrificing efforts in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
1. Her real name is Jennifer.
2. She gave herself the nickname “The Wife” when she signed up to spy... er... follow me on here.
3. Our friend Jenn from Courtyard was the first to text The Wife to wish her a Happy 30th Birthday.
4. Too bad she did it on The Wife’s 29th Birthday. Ouch. (****NOTE: This caused "Our" friend Jenn to become just "My" friend Jenn. The Wife now has a feud with Jenn the likes of which hasn't been seen since the Adrian/Greg feud... which, as you know, is a thing of the past. Maybe I'm just sayin... will be able to end this feud the way we ended the Adrian/Greg feud. It shouldn't be hard. After all, these two ladies were born with the name Jennifer Leigh... what are the odds of that?****)
5. The Wife is a first generation South Carolinian.
6. Her 14th Birthday was the last day before the Baseball Strike of ’94-’95.
7. She teaches the Special Needs Sunday School Class at Bethany United Methodist Church (at one time, she was the only teacher... she has since, thank God, found some great people to help).
8. She stole my heart the first time I saw her.
9. I believe she is physically incapable of laughing at my jokes in public. (I don’t blame her... I think this is something all women are born with... once the “I do’s” are said, women stop laughing at their husband’s jokes in public and, instead, roll their eyes whenever their husband says something funny).
10. She was in the marching band at Fort Dorchester.
11. She was absolutely, without a doubt, 100% sure she wanted our first girl to be named Madison.
12. She changed her mind around November 2005.
13. She really loved my Granny and my MaMa.
14. They really loved her, too.
15. I’m pretty sure she would have loved my Da (and I know he would have loved her).
16. She has a passion for helping children with special needs.
17. She talks in her sleep.
18. I can’t just tell her to shut-up when she does it because sometimes she’s really awake (oops... found that out the hard way).
19. She has hit me in her sleep.
20. I’m pretty sure she was sleeping.
21. I have to give her credit... she is the reason we have Maverick.
22. She is to blame for us having Donkey.
23. She loves to visit the zoo in Columbia to see the Llama (as do I).
24. President Jimmy Carter defeated Senator Edward Kennedy to win the Democratic nomination 3 days after The Wife was born.
25. I would not have my MBA if not for The Wife.
26. Shortly after she turned 3 months old, a then-record number of viewers (for an entertainment program) watched Dallas to learn who shot J.R.
27. “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John was the #1 single when The Wife was born.
28. Some other people born in 1980: Julius Peppers, Jason Segel, Wilmer Valderrama, Tony Romo, Venus Williams, Jessica Simpson, & Chelsea Clinton.
29. Some people who died in 1980: John Lennon, Bon Scott, Jesse Owens, Alfred Hitchcock, Steve McQueen, Colonel Sanders, & John Bonham.
30. The top grossing film of 1980 was The Empire Strikes Back ($538,375,067) followed by 9 to 5 ($103,290,500).
So there you have it. 30 things about The Wife. If you are reading this after 7:00 on August 11, then we are probably at the Hootie and The Blowfish concert having a great time.
Happy Birthday Jennifer! I love you!
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Major William E. Adams
Maj. Adams distinguished himself on 25 May 1971 while serving as a helicopter pilot in Kontum Province in the Republic of Vietnam. On that date, Maj. Adams volunteered to fly a lightly armed helicopter in an attempt to evacuate 3 seriously wounded soldiers from a small fire base which was under attack by a large enemy force. He made the decision with full knowledge that numerous antiaircraft weapons were positioned around the base and that the clear weather would afford the enemy gunners unobstructed view of all routes into the base. As he approached the base, the enemy gunners opened fire with heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and small arms. Undaunted by the fusillade, he continued his approach determined to accomplish the mission. Displaying tremendous courage under fire, he calmly directed the attacks of supporting gunships while maintaining absolute control of the helicopter he was flying. He landed the aircraft at the fire base despite the ever-increasing enemy fire and calmly waited until the wounded soldiers were placed on board. As his aircraft departed from the fire base, it was struck and seriously damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire and began descending. Flying with exceptional skill, he immediately regained control of the crippled aircraft and attempted a controlled landing. Despite his valiant efforts, the helicopter exploded, overturned, and plummeted to earth amid the hail of enemy fire. Maj. Adams' conspicuous gallantry, intrepidity, and humanitarian regard for his fellow man were in keeping with the most cherished traditions of the military service and reflected utmost credit on him and the U S. Army.
Sergeant Joseph B. Adkinson
When murderous machinegun fire at a range of 50 yards had made it impossible for his platoon to advance, and had caused the platoon to take cover Sgt. Adkinson alone, with the greatest intrepidity, rushed across the 50 yards of open ground directly into the face of the hostile machinegun kicked the gun from the parapet into the enemy trench, and at the point of the bayonet captured the 3 men manning the gun. The gallantry and quick decision of this soldier enabled the platoon to resume its advance.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Mary Ruth went with me Sunday to “Pool Day” with the youth. On the way there something happened that made me so proud of her. We were listening to her new favorite song (Play Something Country by Brooks and Dunn) and she was singing along and then the song ended and the next song came on. Right after the first words, I hear my little princess say “Daddy! This song is Mama Tried!”... That’s right; my little girl can recognize Merle Haggard’s Mama Tried after hearing the first couple of words. I haven’t been this proud of her since she started bringing me beer without me having to ask her to. Ok, she doesn’t do that yet... but trust me; you’ll be the first to know when she does. Anyway, it is times like this that let me know I’m doing something right as a parent.
For those of you scoring at home, we have now added ThunderCats to our rotation of cartoons that we watch (along with GI Joe and Transformers). I have started to cut back on the amount of House we watch together.
I would like to thank the state for having another “Tax Free” weekend. I say that sarcastically because I don’t really thank them for it. The amount of help one tax free weekend is for a single family is far outweighed by the amount of revenue lost by the state. Estimates are the state lost over $2 million over this past weekend. I doubt the average family saved enough to make it worth that. They say the tax free weekend helps the poor... but what little the poor are able to “save” because of this weekend is overshadowed by the government programs (which more times than not help the poor... or at least should help the poor) that are cut because of a shortage of revenue. Listen, I’m not a huge fan of government spending... and I dislike taxes just as much as the next person... but I really hate people talking about how they are having to cut, cut, cut because of a budget shortage and then they go and cut revenue. I'm just sayin...
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:
Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 28 October 1944, near St. Die, France. When his company was stopped in its effort to drive through the Mortagne Forest to reopen the supply line to the isolated third battalion, S/Sgt. Adams braved the concentrated fire of machineguns in a lone assault on a force of German troops. Although his company had progressed less than 10 yards and had lost 3 killed and 6 wounded, S/Sgt. Adams charged forward dodging from tree to tree firing a borrowed BAR from the hip. Despite intense machinegun fire which the enemy directed at him and rifle grenades which struck the trees over his head showering him with broken twigs and branches, S/Sgt. Adams made his way to within 10 yards of the closest machinegun and killed the gunner with a hand grenade. An enemy soldier threw hand grenades at him from a position only 10 yards distant; however, S/Sgt. Adams dispatched him with a single burst of BAR fire. Charging into the vortex of the enemy fire, he killed another machinegunner at 15 yards range with a hand grenade and forced the surrender of 2 supporting infantrymen. Although the remainder of the German group concentrated the full force of its automatic weapons fire in a desperate effort to knock him out, he proceeded through the woods to find and exterminate 5 more of the enemy. Finally, when the third German machinegun opened up on him at a range of 20 yards, S/Sgt. Adams killed the gunner with BAR fire. In the course of the action, he personally killed 9 Germans, eliminated 3 enemy machineguns, vanquished a specialized force which was armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, cleared the woods of hostile elements, and reopened the severed supply lines to the assault companies of his battalion.
Master Sergeant Stanley T. Adams
M/Sgt. Adams, Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy. At approximately 0100 hours, M/Sgt. Adams' platoon, holding an outpost some 200 yards ahead of his company, came under a determined attack by an estimated 250 enemy troops. Intense small-arms, machine gun, and mortar fire from 3 sides pressed the platoon back against the main line of resistance. Observing approximately 150 hostile troops silhouetted against the skyline advancing against his platoon, M/Sgt. Adams leaped to his feet, urged his men to fix bayonets, and he, with 13 members of his platoon, charged this hostile force with indomitable courage. Within 50 yards of the enemy M/Sgt. Adams was knocked to the ground when pierced in the leg by an enemy bullet. He jumped to his feet and, ignoring his wound, continued on to close with the enemy when he was knocked down 4 times from the concussion of grenades which had bounced off his body. Shouting orders he charged the enemy positions and engaged them in hand-to-hand combat where man after man fell before his terrific onslaught with bayonet and rifle butt. After nearly an hour of vicious action M/Sgt. Adams and his comrades routed the fanatical foe, killing over 50 and forcing the remainder to withdraw. Upon receiving orders that his battalion was moving back he provided cover fire while his men withdrew. M/Sgt. Adams' superb leadership, incredible courage, and consummate devotion to duty so inspired his comrades that the enemy attack was completely thwarted, saving his battalion from possible disaster. His sustained personal bravery and indomitable fighting spirit against overwhelming odds reflect the utmost glory upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the infantry and the military service.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients: Note: I’m going to start listing 2 Medal of Honor Recipients in this segment instead of just one.
Second Lieutenant John G.B. Adams received the Medal of Honor for his actions at Fredericksburg, VA on December 13, 1862. His citation reads:
Seized the 2 colors from the hands of a corporal and a lieutenant as they fell mortally wounded, and with a color in each hand advanced across the field to a point where the regiment was reformed on those colors.
Sergeant John Mapes Adams
In the presence of the enemy during the battle near Tientsin, China, 13 July 1900, Adams distinguished himself by meritorious conduct.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Let me start by saying I don’t know what the record for the longest funeral at Bethany United Methodist Church is, but I know I want to hold that record one day. I would like for it to be in Fellowship Hall so people can eat and drink during the service (plus restrooms are right outside in the hallway). I would like to have a trifecta of preachers (Will, Jenn & Ross) running the show. Of course, if my good friend Jamin would be so kind as to handle the music I would be very appreciative. I have songs and Bible verses I would like included (which I’ll get to in a minute) but I would like a large portion of the day/night spent telling stories about me. Not stories about what I great guy I am (we’ll be in church, after all... so I won’t ask you to out-right lie) but I’d like for friends and family to get up and tell funny stories. I was talking about this with Sonny the other day.... he seemed to get it. I want funny stories told... I’d like for the stories to be about me, but if that’s not possible, I’d be fine with people just telling a funny story and “photo shopping” me into the story. Of course, I trust the songs, verses and preachers will throughout the day/night remind people how much God blessed me all my life because I feel that’s important. I want mine to be a funeral where people laugh so hard that they cry and then they cry so hard that they laugh. Between family and friends, I think there should be some good stories. Feel free to make fun of me... and even more important, feel free to laugh if someone else is making fun of me. I won’t mind... and let’s face it, even if I did mind I’ll be dead so do it anyway. If I happen to be buried on the day of a big game, feel free to have a TV on during the service (but you should probably turn it off during the songs and Bible reading). Just remember, you can't spell funeral without "FUN".
As for the songs, I would like to start the service with AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. HA! Just kidding! (I hope). Really, I’d like to start with A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request. Sure, it isn’t a “church” song... but it’s pretty funny and I think it’d help get things started the right way. The order of things isn’t all that important, but off the top of my head I’d like it to look something like this:
A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request
John 14:1-4 (New King James Version)
Old Rugged Cross
Psalm 23 (King James Version)
How Great Thou Art
1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version) (***NOTE: This might come as a shock to some of you, but I really love this passage. I especially love verse 13:13, but I think all of it is great. I know it’s considered more of a “Wedding” passage but I think it would be nice to have it read at a happy event as well).
Love Lifted Me
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
Onward Christian Soldiers
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)
Because He Lives
It Is Well With My Soul
In The Garden
I’ll Fly Away
Swing Down Sweet Chariot
All Because of Jesus
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
(Maybe for these final songs it would be good to just sing the first verse. All other songs should be the first and last verse).
So there you have it. I don’t want to micro-manage the whole thing, but it would probably be good to have it start early. I would also make the dress casual. People are going to be there a long time... so there’s no use being uncomfortable.
Know Your Medal of Honor Recipient: Private James F. Adams (U.S. Army) received the Medal of Honor for his capture of the State flag of 14th Virginia Cavalry (C.S.A.) at Nineveh, VA on the 12th of November 1864.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
So, for our first ever “Know your Medal of Honor Recipient”:
Corporal Charles G. Abrell, U.S. Marine Corps. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War. His citation reads: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader in Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces. While advancing with his platoon in an attack against well-concealed and heavily fortified enemy hill positions, Cpl. Abrell voluntarily rushed forward through the assaulting squad which was pinned down by a hail of intense and accurate automatic-weapons fire from a hostile bunker situated on commanding ground. Although previously wounded by enemy hand grenade fragments, he proceeded to carry out a bold, single-handed attack against the bunker, exhorting his comrades to follow him. Sustaining 2 additional wounds as he stormed toward the emplacement, he resolutely pulled the pin from a grenade clutched in his hand and hurled himself bodily into the bunker with the live missile still in his grasp. Fatally wounded in the resulting explosion which killed the entire enemy guncrew within the stronghold, Cpl. Abrell, by his valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death, served to inspire all his comrades and contributed directly to the success of his platoon in attaining its objective. His superb courage and heroic initiative sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I remember we used to take walks down to the other little boy's church (a Lutheran church down the street from her house).
MaMa would also walk with me while I'd ride my bike (back when I had training wheeles). I couldn't help but ride through every puddle I saw. I always seemed to get stuck in the middle of the biggest puddle... so MaMa would have to walk in to rescue me.
I remember spending the night at her house when I was little and sleeping in the bed with her. She would tell me to shut my eyes right before she turned the lights off. She would say count to 10 and then open my eyes and I'd be able to see in the dark. It always worked.
I remember our drives up to Branchville.
I remember when The Old People would go on a trip, we'd laugh and say "You can't hide money".
I remember the way she would rub my back to help me fall asleep.
When I was just months old, she insisted my parents take me to the doctor... they did and found out that I was crying so much because I had an ear infection.
Most of all, I'll always remember the way she always told me she loved me.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
After our trip to the park, we then let Mary Ruth spend the night with her cousins at my Aunt and Uncle's house. I left very clear instructions for my Aunt and Uncle: 1. Don't kill or otherwise permanently damage Mary Ruth. 2. Don't tell me how bad she was unless she was so bad that she broke something and I owe you money for it.
Now for my word to the church. As you know, I'm just sayin... is Latin for "Mentor to preachers...". Therefore, I feel the need to pass on some wisdom to my dear friends who hold leadership positions at churches. You go to a church (any church) long enough and you'll hear about missions work being done somewhere in the world. This is good work and very important, don't get me wrong... but don't forget about your local "flock" that you've been charged to lead. When you have a member of your church sick (I'm talking homebound type sick... not just I have a cold type sick), call or visit them. It's a good habit to get into while you're at churches that aren't very large... and it's a great habit to keep when you have a large church. Now, before you start with excuses on why this can't always be done let me share some advice I got from Coach Hatley: "Excuses don't change man's love for the winner or score for the loser".
Listen, I'm not saying the lead pastor of a church always has to be the one to call or visit the sick/homebound members. It's not like I think Andy Stanley calls or visits every sick member in his church(es)... But if you aren't going to do it, you need to have someone else on staff doing it. And I think it's important that it is someone on the church staff... not just some other member of the church (though it wouldn't be bad to have someone on staff AND another church member doing it if you can). People talk about overseas missions as a way to show God's love... well caring for sick members of your church is another (just as important) way to show God's love. For a church staff to "forget" an elderly sick/homebound member could be a blow to that member's faith. It could also shake the faith of that member's family. Lucky for me, when the church staff at the church I grew up in (the church MaMa had been a member of for over 60 years) forgot about MaMa it didn't shake her faith or my family's faith. We were lucky, I guess, because we knew not to put our faith in man but in Jesus. But what if that wasn't the case? What if we weren't a family that grew up in the church? What if we were a family that was new to Christianity? Not having a staff member from the church even call to check on someone could do a lot more harm than any good the best sermon could do. I understand it won't always be easy. I understand it won't always be convenient, but it's something that needs to be done. Just something to think about...