Friday, November 23, 2007


It is now early in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving. Chris did an outstanding job with our feast. We had an enjoyable time with Jenny (Aaron's girlfriend) and her parents. Chris' mom and dad made the trip across the state to join us as well. Trace (Hannah's boyfriend) stopped by to visit with Hannah before heading off to his grandmother's for their family dinner.

It is really hard to think of all of the things that I have to be thankful for. I really have a tough time figuring out how I get to live the life that I have. My own family, the one that I grew up in, is the absolute best. Oh, we're not the perfect family--not by a long shot, but we truly love each other, miss each other and have the best of times when we get together. I'm going to have to get some of the pics from our reunion last summer to post and show off our great clan.

My family today is more than I could have ever dreamed of. Chris is tops. She really wanted to do the mom thing right. In a time when many of our peers worked as dual income families and utilized babysitters, relatives or daycare--we made the decision that we would raise our own kids. She was always there. She taught them to read. She taught them manners. She took care of them...and of me. Back when I worked long hours in the factory, she made sure I got the rest I needed, the food I needed and the time I needed with the kids. Our household joke was that Chris' idea of a two income family was John with a part-time job! Truthfully, it was much easier for me to have a part-time job (and I've had a few) than for me to try to take over any of the many chores that she was doing. It was never anything that we considered to be a sacrifice--it was just a life decision that we made...and we made it work.

When the kids hit school age, she went back to school, too. Today she enjoys working as a surgical technologist. She works three days a week and still takes care of us.

Aaron is in college! I can't believe it! He is a great young man and I am very proud of him. He is pretty much self sufficient. He earned a full scholarship to the only school in the Midwest that offered a degree program in his chosen field. He saved money from his summer job so that he wouldn't have to work while in school and really asks for very little from mom and dad. He volunteers at an elementary school a few blocks from campus and helps a third grader read once a week. If this young boy is like others that Aaron has had contact with, he probably thinks that Aaron is some kind of hero or something. Aaron has a way of making other people feel important.

And Hannah is driving! Having just turned 16 a couple of weeks ago, she is now able to drive on her own. It's nice for me to be able to send her to take care of the horses by herself--although I think that we'll still do that together most of the time. It's remained the one thing that this teen aged girl does with her dad! She is getting straight A's in school and loves to read. She is rarely without a book and thinks about a purse's ability to carry a book before buying it. A trip to the library is a must before we leave for vacation or any trip that will take longer than her current book will last. Her latest new adventure is going out for the swim team. Hannah is somewhat of a loner, having only a few really close friends--although I think that there are many more that would like to be her friend. I still tell her that she's my favorite daughter in the whole world...and she still replies that she's my only daughter in the whole world.

I have a good job and will be eligible to retire in just four years, 1 month and 14 days (but who's counting!). I like our town and love our church. We have so many good friends. I have been blessed with a wonderful ministry and feel like maybe I have made a difference in some lives along the way. I'm really looking forward to what God has in store for me when retirement gets here. This past year, I was invited to be a part of five revivals, pastored two children's camps, participated in two evangelism conferences and a number of community, children's, youth and outreach events. I was in several schools and am looking forward to expanding the magic part to include more schools and some corporate/motivational work.

I realize that I am just a simple man from a small town. I have no real education other than what I have read and/or picked up along the way. Among the six children of my parents, I am the only one without a degree. It won't be long before both of my own kids have their degrees and Chris already has hers. I am thankful that God has watched over me and shown favor towards me by providing me with opportunities and income in spite of myself. I doubt that I would encourage anyone else to do things the way that I have done them. I also doubt that things could be any better for me if I had done them differently. I am where I am and I am happy to be here.

I am also thankful for all of you that stop by to read the ramblings of a simple man. I never would have imagined that I would have regular readers from around the globe or that I would look forward to reading your posts from so many different backgrounds, places and cultures. Thanks to Bilbo for this award. If you haven't read his blog, I'd recommend it. It is one that I check daily. I always enjoy it, usually agree with him and figure that I'd probably like this guy if we were ever to meet in person.
I hope that you all had a great day.
Black Friday awaits!



Amanda said...

This was a great post! I especially liked reading about your family's decision to raise your own kids. And then reading about how great your kids turned out.

Bilbo said...

Like I always say - each of us has many things, large and small, to be thankful for. You have a great family and you obviously are happy in your life and work, and a man can't ask for much more than that. Let me know if you still plan to be in DC next spring, and perhaps we can compare notes in person!