Friday, March 27, 2009

The Ultimate "Blended Family"

This story, as reported on CNN, is pretty extreme and would not fly in our situation. This woman and her new husband moved in with her ex-husband. The woman and the ex have joint custody of a couple girls.

Other than financially, I can't see that this is a good situation for anybody. The girls must be very confused, one of them even remarked that her mom had "2 husbands".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Birthday Dinner and Christmas Activity

In our large family, we can't afford to eat out at restaurants very often. We've mentioned here before but we do let each child choose a restaurant for their birthday and we go have a special meal as a family.

In the past couple years we got months and months behind, we ended up starting over in January with Emma. Well Nathan's birthday is coming up Sunday so we went on Friday night to Red Robin.

It was a good night, everybody seemed to enjoy their food and the staff came over and sang a silly birthday song intended to embarass the birthday boy.

Then tonight I stopped in at Pizza Hut but they had more drivers than business so I was able to take the night off. Brooke was at a sleepover with a friend, and Nathan & Jacob were at their dad's, so Luke asked if I would take him to BW3.

Victoria had a great idea for Christmas to make coupons so that each kid got some special 1-on-1 time with their parent. Luke's activity was a night at BW3. We ate wings (blazing and teriyaki), played NTN Countdown trivia, NTN Poker, and then another music based trivia game called Payback.

It's a 6-round game and the 6th round you get to wager some % of your points (like Final Jeopardy. I wagered 30% of my 15k points and missed on the question, "What Eminem song samples a 197x Aerosmith song? I was very frustrated that I didn't remember that Sing For The Moment is built on the core of Dream Weaver.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The "No Response Necessary" E-Mail Productivity Trick

By Jason Holland

Some days it seems like half your e-mail time is spent sending short replies to people to let them know you got their e-mail.

"Thanks!" "Got it!" "Working on it!"

Of course, there are times when an important e-mail requires confirmation. But for the most part, it's just a courtesy.

So let's all agree to stop. It cuts down on productivity. And the time would be better spent writing and following up on e-mails that do require a response.

So here's what you do. Before hitting "Send," type "No Response Necessary" in the message or even on the subject line. (In Outlook, you can simply click the little red flag on your toolbar and choose that option from the dropdown menu.)

Ask your colleagues to do the same. Before you know it, that flurry of unnecessary replies will stop and you will have added hours to your workweek.

This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, a free newsletter dedicated to making money, improving health and secrets to success. For a complimentary subscription, visit

Monday, March 2, 2009

Focus On Marriage Simulcast

On Saturday Victoria and I attended the Focus On Marriage simulcast, held at our home church. We arrived slightly after the 9:30 start time and the sanctuary was packed. We sat about 4-5 rows from the back, and every row in front of us was totally full. The worship leader, Jeremy Camp, had already begun to sing.

The first speaker was Gary Thomas. Gary made several good points, including that once you get married, God becomes your Father-in-law.

At the break, Victoria and I got our picture taken. The film was sent out and by the end of the conference we were given a matted 5x7, a very nice keepsake from the day!

After that was Beth Moore! What a fireball! She said that instead of expecting marriage to be perfect, maybe good was good enough?

The last speaker before lunch was Dr. Del Tackett of the Truth Project. He spoke on creation, and how God said it was not good for man to be alone. He also compared the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to the family (Father, Mother, and Children).

Next we had lunch, which was brought in by Chick-Fil-A. We sat with Todd and Christine, a couple that I went to church with about 10 years ago!

After lunch, the speaker was Gary Smalley. Gary told some hilarious stories including how he wanted to find out if he would enjoy the device that allows people to hang upside down to stretch their backs. He rigged up his own apparatus by drilling holes in the soles of some old boots and attaching them to his garage door. Then once he got himself upside down he couldn't get out, and feared he would die until his kids came to his rescue.

Gary's points on marriage is that on our own, we are like dead twigs, unable to do much but by attaching to the Vine (Jesus), our twigs can blossom and flower.

The final speaker was Dr. John Trent, author of The 2 Degree Difference. He recommended we take what we had learned during the day and instead of trying to make drastic changes in our lives (and possibly not carry through), we make 2 degree changes that we can accomplish. He likened this to steering a car, where a 10 degree change may take us off the road entirely.