Tuesday, August 18, 2015

15th Adoption Day

15 years ago today, I adopted my daughter.

When my wife and I were dating, she wanted to know if I'd be willing to adopt her daughter after we were married.  She didn't just want a step-father for her daughter, she wanted a father.

That was not an issue in the slightest!

At our wedding, after being announced as man and wife, I turned to that little red haired girl and asked her if she'd be my little girl!  She nodded, and I gave her a ring to seal the deal.

14 months after we were married, the 3 of us stood in front of a judge, and that red haired girl became mine!  I've always teased her that her brother is my first born, but she's my oldest!

I've told her more than once, that her brother I got by the roll of the dice, but that I chose her to be my daughter.  And I've never regretted that choice!

It's not been easy being her dad.  But in all honesty, I'd not trade it for a thing!
I'm glad I was there for her.  In all the ups and downs, arguments and hugs, good days and bad.

She's even given me 2 grandsons!

Even better, I'm not just her father, I'm her daddy!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


My how time flies! I'm having problems believing he's in 10th grade!  It seems like just yesterday, he was a wee little feller.

As usual, you can click on the pictures to make them larger!

10th Grade

9th Grade

8th Grade

7th Grade

6th Grade

5th Grade


4th Grade

3rd Grade

2nd Grade

1st Grade



Saturday, April 04, 2015

Easter Weekend Eclipse

I'm here in this field early on this cool (cold) Easter Saturday morning taking pictures if this Lunar eclipse.

While taking pictures I'm thinking about Easter and what it means.

An eclipse is an interesting thing.  The Earth is moving between the sun and the moon.  Its cutting off all light the sun provides.

How often do we as Christians let things come between us and the light Christ offers?  It might be work, or family, or even church work itself.

Now, while this is going on, how many people will pay no attention that the light is getting dimmer, that it’s being blocked by something. Do the notice?  Do they care?

Also, how often do we as Christians allow our actions, behaviors, language, clothing, etc. block the light we're supposed to shine on others?  We're supposed to reflect Christ's light aren't we?

A third aspect that I see while looking at the eclipse is that while it’s going on.  Few people stop to notice.  This morning, most people were either sleeping or driving to whatever beckons them.  But Spiritually, how many people notice when the light dims?  We should stop everything and address the issue right then, not wait.  Like this eclipse.  There will come a time, the light’s gone and we’ll wonder how we got here, and unlike this eclipse, it may not be a simple matter to get that light back.

So, how's the light you're receiving?

How's the light you're reflecting?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Of Pallets and Seedlings

I had my seedlings in the window and I could see them all growing towards the window which isn't good.

I was considering getting something form the local farm store, and my wife suggested I use my aquarium light.  Not a bad idea, if I can figure a way to do it.  Well, after working in the garden some, I took a break and decided to work on making a seedling light source.  So, I'm looking through the garage and see the pallet boards and a plan was born.  Last year, my wife gathered a TON of pallets, and after untold hours of breaking them apart, we have a lot of pallet wood.  It is really nice to have it around.

It still needs a bit more work because I'm trying to make it adjustable, but the screws I had weren't long enough to go through 2 pallet boards.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with myself!  I'll put the light on a timer and I'll see how it goes.

(click on the picture for a larger picture)

Spring is Springing

Just a couple weeks ago, it was cold and snowing.  This morning though, while I was making breakfast for the family, I was looking out our big picture window and watching the birds flying in and out of our lilac bush with the leaf buds just coming out.

I walked around yesterday and took a look at all the trees we planted over the last few years.  You never know how they'll take the winters (or the summers for that matter) when they are that young.  It looks like they all survived the winter!  The Redbud tree is even putting on some red buds.

And my tomato seeds I planted last week are poking their heads out of the dirt and saying hello!

I know it's just March 15th and Spring doesn't officially get here for another week or so, but it definitely looks like Spring is springing around here!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Suck it up cupcake!

This is my second post where I'm not talking about chickens, photography or gardening, but this really bothered me today.

Men, do you want what's best for your child?

I hope you all would just say yes, but I want you to think about this a moment.  Do you REALLY want what's best for your child?

I've always thought that most people would always answer yes to that question, but I've come to believe that many men don't.  They want what's best for themselves!

I know a lot of youth and interact with a lot of youth and when dealing with youth, you deal with parents, step parents, grand parents, guardians, etc.  I'm shocked at how one parent can act towards another parent, with no regard for their child!

Last minute cancel of plans, never mind people were counting on them to show up, ESPECIALLY their child.  Not swapping a weekends even though the CHILD (not ex) has something special planned that they've worked really hard and long for, but the "parent" is too childish to either swap the weekend, or keep your weekend, but taking them to their event.  I bet your child would LOVE that!

I do get there are circumstances where a parent had something planned with their kid and the child had something planned with some school or extra-curricular event that falls on the same weekend.  That's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about knowing your child wants to do something that they've worked a long time on, and you decide no, because your ex really wants him to go.  Too many times I've seen where one doesn't bend at all to "show" them.  Never caring if their child is hurt in the process.

Better yet, I've seen where a woman finally marries a good man.  He has a job, works hard to supply the needs for his family.  Treats the kids well.  Why on earth would you not want a good man to treat your child well?  Many times, they have no desire to replace you, but you act as though your child can only love you or them.   NEWS FLASH for you, a child's love is boundless!  There is room for multiple people in your child's life.  I would love for as many good role models as I can get to come into my son's life, even if me and his mother were not together.

Yes, I do realize that maybe that woman hasn't picked a winner.  Maybe they are about as bad as you can get.  Guess what?  There's not a lot you can do about it.  So, you have a choice.  You can suck it up and do what's best for your child.  Letting them be involved in things they like, helping them as much as you can which might mean you have some contact with the other parent, OR you can act like a jerk all the time. 
If a child can't have their parents together, having them get along is the next best thing.

One day, your child will be old enough to notice everything, and they will.  Maybe they'll see what kind of person their mom is with or maybe, they'll just see the hurt that you've caused them.  Oh, I'm sure they'll still love you, but will your relationship be the same if you were always there to support them and loving them and never used them as a pawn?

Grow up already people.  Do what's best for your child!  A child needs peace in their lives, so is YOUR bickering and pettiness really bringing peace?  (The answer to that is no, just in case you weren't sure).

I've seen this time and time and time again.

DISCLAIMER 1:  Yes, I addressed this to men, but the same holds true for women.  So if you're a woman who was strongly agreeing with what I posted, go back through and change the genders of what I'm saying. If you no longer agree, then maybe I'm talking about you too.

DISCLAIMER 2:  This is just a blog post, these are my opinions.  No, I don't know your situation.  No, I don't know what they are like, but I know the dozens of people I'm thinking about, and it DOES fit them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


So, I was listening to the Familyman podcast earlier today.  And he talked about Nehemiah 4:14.
After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
That got me to thinking.
  • How many of us men out there, aren't afraid?  
  • How many of us men remember the Lord who is great and awesome?  
  • How many of us men remember that we need to fight for our families?
  • How many of us men remember that we need to for our sons?
  • How many of us men remember that we need to for our daughters?
  • How many of us men remember that we need to for our wives?
  • How many of us men remember that we need to for our homes?
It only takes a moment for one or more of those things to be gone.

All of these things are under attack!

Our sons and daughters are bombarded by drugs, alcohol, sex, and any number of things.  They fight with acceptance, depression, and again more things that I can list here.  And then you can add the battles their friends go through that effect our children's lives.  Do you know what can happen to your kids when bad things happen to their friends?  I do, oh how I do.

Being a dad is tough.  Too strict or too lenient, and you're asking for a world of hurt.  If you hit either extreme, I can just about guarantee you'll have some sort of major problems with your son or daughter.

We have to love our kids.  They're not perfect. How can they be, they're our kids!?  We need to make sure we show our kids the same love and forgiveness that God shows us on a daily basis!

One thing our kids need more than anything is a peaceful house.  No one wants to be in a house with lots of yelling or the cold shoulder going on, and you have to walk around on egg shells.

And one of the greatest gifts you can give you kids is to love your wife!  Cherish her.  I've heard it said that kids can forgive a multitude of sins, if you love their mother.

Our wives, too, have more on their plate than we really know.  It doesn't matter if they are a stay at home mom, a woman with a full time job (or more), or somewhere in between.  When's the last time you sat down and had a talk with your wife?  Have you dated her lately?  Don't use the excuse of no money.  You can date on a walk through the neighborhood or park.  Even a foot or back rub at home after the kids are in bed.  Does she know you've got her back?  Do you have her back?

Do you know what your wife goes through when your kids have issues?  If you're like me, you might be able to turn off part of your brain and keep truckin' on.  More than likely, your wife can't.

What's in her past that might still be spinning in her head that effects her present.  If it effects her, it then effects you!  What are you willing to do to help?

Are you doing what you need to protect yourself from temptations that bombard you on a daily basis?  Your home will be destroyed if you're not careful with what you let into your own life and heart.

Are you keeping your heart pure?  Don't say you don't struggle with it, nearly every man does.   Our society is doing everything it can to cause that struggle.  Movies, TV shows, books, commercials, games, co-workers, friends.  The list goes on and on!

How about work?  You wife and your kids need you!  They need you more than they need your money.  Now it's important for us to take care of our families.  We have to work to pay for things, but we have to make sure we don't spend all of our time at work.  We need to spend time with our kids. We need to spend time with our wives.  They need us.  The need us more than you may realize.  Maybe even more than they realized.

Now, I know I've mainly spoke to married men with children.  That's because, that's who I am.  I've never been divorced, but I know some that have.  So if that's you.  You can still listen to my advice on your children.  And if you're married again, love her.  While it's not the same as their mom, it will mean something.  And for their mother.  Be nice!  Remember in school, the fastest way to make someone mad was talking about their mother.  So don't.  Once upon a time, there was something in that woman you loved, or at least liked.
"Don't be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

Monday, February 16, 2015

1000 Posts

While fixing some problems with my blog where I had a lot of broken images (my mistake). I made the discovery that I had posted 999 blog posts. Wow!

That's crazy! Of course, by international blogging rules, I'm required to to make my 1000th post about it being my 1000th post.

However, there are no guidelines about said post.  So, I decided to have a few links back to a few of my posts.

Because of the scarcity of my posts lately, I'll not pick any posts from 2015.  They're new enough, you can probably just scroll down and see them all.

So, without further ado... here they are (in no particular order)

  1. Maybe because I'm the daddy, or maybe I just like the format of having them all together, that back to school pictures are on the list.
  2. A funny post on my son when I told him me and his mom were going on our 10 year anniversary trip.
  3. White Water Rafting from that same 10 year anniversary trip.
  4. My daughter graduated high school!
  5. Our Chickens we got last year, and the journey building their coop!
  6. 2013 year in review.
  7. Cutting the cable (or dish as the case may be)
  8. Pictures I took of my son and grandson.  They are the first I've ever made prints of.
  9. Lightning!
  10. My first Geocache hunt.
  11. I had 2 posts on the 2007 Oklahoma Ice Storm here and here.
  12. My first blog post from 4/15/2005.
Well, that's it.  It all started in April of 2005 with what possibly be the worse blog post ever and it's only taken me 10 years for 1000 blog posts.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Present Project

This year, I was looking for something to get my beautiful bride for Valentine's Day.  While shopping, I found a cool sign that I thought she would love.  I decided to get it, but when it got to the shipping, it was nearly as much as the present.  Well, I just couldn't do that.  So, I kept looking, but I kept going back to the sign, but there was no way I was going to pay that much money.  So, I decided I'd just make it myself.

Here's what I did.

First,  I took 2 boards of pallet wood that I had broken apart last year.
(These are 2 stand in's, I didn't think to take pictures till it was too late.)

After cutting them to 2 boards 12" long from each board, I think found a slat from some shutters my wife had used for a project a year or so ago.  Then I took the staple gun, and attached everything together.

I had been considering leaving the natural wood look to this, but after thinking about it, I decided to go ahead an paint it.  The inspiration piece was painted black, but I wasn't sure I wanted to go that way.  So, I looked around at some of the paints we had, and I liked the way this green looked.

I purposely did not paint it with a paint brush because I wanted some of the old wood to show through.  I was wanting a rustic looking piece when I was done.  I actually used a paper towel.

I then decided it needed something more.  So, back to the left over paint to see what magic I might create.  I found this whitish colored paint, and decided to add some to it.

Again, I used a paper towel, and I wanted to just add another layer, not completely covering everything I already had done.

So, while that dried, the hard part began. I needed to put the words on this piece.  But how to do it.  My penmanship sucks, and I'm sure it would be worse at the scale these letters were going to be.

A year or 2 ago, my wife made a really cool project where she painted some words onto a fence.  So I decided to follow her lead.  I printed everything off, and made sure the fonts and size I was going to use were correct.  After a little experimenting, and some reprints, I had everything I needed.  Now, I just needed to cut out the letters.

Before I even got around to that, I decided that "Ain't nobody got time for that!"  So, I made a trip to Hobby Lobby to see about buying some stencils.  I bought 3 sets, some black paint, paint brushes and some hardware for hanging.

I came home from work and started using a pencil to stencil the outlines of the words onto the boards.

It took me a couple hours that day, and 2 lunch periods at work, but I finally got the words stenciled.  Once that was done, it was time to color between the lines (aka fill in the letters).  Thursday when lunch ended, I had them filled in.

While working on this at work, I had commented to one of my coworkers that I had considered having some chicken tracks go across it (under the lettering) in some red paint.  Well, she thought it was a great idea.

I still wasn't sold.  But the more I thought about it, I really thought it would be a nice touch.  So Thursday night, on the way home from work, I stopped at Hobby Lobby again.  This time, for some red paint.

That evening, I worked on finding just the right chicken feet to use as templates.  I never found a great one.  I found one that wasn't bad, but after printing it, and cutting it out, it didn't work too well.  I had considered having one of my chickens walk across it after I put her feet in red paint, but decided against that.

So, with pencil in hand, I started sketching in some chicken tracks.  Up to this point, I could still back out with the red paint plans.  I could get an eraser, and go to down.  But with the way I painted the background, the only way to "fix" any mistakes this red paint might be would be to start over.

I locked myself into our bedroom with the red paint and a brush.  I took a deep breath, and put brush to board.  I loved it.  I put 2 coats of red paint on it Thursday night.  Then it was time to go to bed.

Friday at work, I put 2 more coats of red paint on the feet, and when it was done, I was impressed.  It looked exactly like I wanted.  Not exactly like my inspiration piece, but really good.  Better even, (in my biased opinion)

Friday night, I wrapped the present, and Saturday morning, after breakfast, we exchanged presents, and she opened it.

She loved it!  The look on her face, made every hour I put into this worth it!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Chicken Time

We live in Rural Oklahoma.  Not as rural as I would like, but to have as fast of internet speed that I do have, I can't live much further out than this.

We live on a 1.1 acre lot. It's not huge, well, until it's time to mow, but it's much better than many, many, many city lots.

Over the last few years, I'd been suggesting to my wife that we get some chickens.  Well, last year, my wife decided it sounded like a good idea.  So my son and I built a coop, and my wife found us some chickens.

We got 10 chickens on 4/22/2014, we split them with some friends, so we've had 5 chickens until a month or so ago, when we ended up picking up another chicken from a friend who was ready to get out of chickens.

Since that day, we've received 1,015 eggs!!!
I know that number because I've kept records.  I know how much money we've spent on food. I know how much money we spent on the coop, I know it all.

Today, on this relatively warm January Oklahoma day, we confined the dog to the house (he loves the chickens a little to much) and let them roam around the back yard.  We try to let them do that on a daily basis, but it doesn't always happen.  It would happen a lot more if the dog wouldn't chase them all over the yard.

While they were out, I took a few pictures.  They love having free range of the back yard.  And the happier they are, the more eggs we get.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Looking forward

For us, it's been a good year so far.

We started off with my wife's birthday.  I got her a 2013 Nexus 7, then that evening, I cooked steak!

My wife and I took a road trip to Bentonville AR just to eat at a restaurant we'd not heard of before that day, then we did a bit of shopping before taking back roads home.  We ate at The Flying Fish, and it was great!

Our son turned 15.  He started the day off with donuts, then that evening, we hit the Chinese buffet.

Last weekend, I got to go camping with the Boy Scouts.  We went up to Kansas and had a really good time.  The meals we adults ate were all cooked over the campfire.

And today, I got my Fitbit HR that I've been wanting.

So, like I said a good year so far.

I've been thinking about the year to come.  There's so much I want to do.  So many things I want to work on.  Many things I want to learn.  I'd love to blog more as well.  Blogging is easier when you have one topic you like to talk about.  But that's not me, I have many topics I want to talk about.  Backpacking and Camping, Gardening, Fishing, Chickens, and many other things.

So, while the year is going well, I'm not sure I know what it holds.

Guess I'll have to hang on and see.

Until next time.