Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday and Remodeling Update!

we have been busy! for Xmas, we traveled north to "Donkey-town" to see Brooke's parents. we had a great time there. we racked up with some Lowe's gift cards! woohoo! we both had to work Friday and Saturday, so we had to come home late Thursday night.

our remodeling is coming along, too. it's hard to get alot of stuff done just in the evenings, but we're doing well. we FINALLY got all the wallpaper off in the dining room. we bought an electric sander to smooth out the rough patches, and it worked great. as i type, brooke is peeling wallpaper in the foyer near the front door. i enlisted my buddy Ryan from church to help me do some demolition in the master bathroom. we have completely removed the shower pan now. so it's just subflooring exposed now. we've still got some to remove from the old tiled walls, but it's coming along!

we'll head to "Monkey-town" for New Year's with my parents. we hope to post pictures soon of our holidays and the remodeling.

hope everyone has a great new year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Adios Avocado!



so this was our master bathroom. a couple of things to note here:

1. this photo was taken from an adjoining doorway to a spare bedroom. ergo, this isn't truly a "master" bathroom....more like a "jack and jill" setup. we will eventually wall off that doorway, making it a true master bathroom.

2. the large shower stall to the left is now gone. years of lime and calcium deposits almost prevented me from unscrewing it, but a little C-L-R loosened it right up. before buying the house, our home inspector told us about a leak in this shower pan. he estimated it would cost about $3,000 to repair it. sooooo.....we decided not to pursue that. we will instead install a shower head in the current tub to make that a shower/tub combo. where the shower is now will be where the toilet will soon be. which leads to note #3....

3. just below view to the right in this picture is our current toilet. it quite literally is the "stinkpot"....you know, when one person is just stuck in the middle of a big group. that's what it feels like where it is. it's kinda like they got so excited to have a full shower and a separate tub in one room that they forgot to plan for a place to put the toilet. so they said, "we'll just stick it here in the middle of the floor....". crazy.

4. please note the colors. avocado green tiles with avocado green countertops with avocado green striped wallpaper. somebody REALLY liked avocado green. i guess that was a sign of the times. anyhoo, any and every thing avocado will be removed.

5. how do you like the hanging light? i'm not judging, but if it was me, i would have picked a light that didn't hang in front of that cabinet door....you know.....so you don't bang into it every time you open that door. just a thought....

to date, in this bathroom, we have:

*striped the wallpaper
*scraped off the popcorn ceiling
*dismantled the shower
*broken off all the tile (shower and tub) - very time consuming

and that has taken the better parts of 5-6 days. we haven't taken pictures really since then, so we'll try to take a "demolished" picture soon. we'll be working quickly to get started on building it back up the way we want.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

As of 3 pm today....



...Brooke will be finished with this semester!!! woohoo!!! she has done awesome so far. one of her habits is to figure out what she needs to make on her final to either pass the class or get a certain letter grade. since she's done so well this semester, she only had to make like a 12 in some of her classes to pass. i think she needed a 46 today to pass. anyhoo, she's done great, and i'm so proud of her! i know she's ready to have a break from studying and working on projects for school. now, she'll have some time to work on some house projects!

check back soon for bathroom remodel updates. we're bustin' up some tile!!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Remodeling update (with photos!)











we have been tearing up our bathrooms in our house, but in a good way. we had started pulling down the wallpaper in our master bathroom. that came down MUCH easier than we thought. so today, i finally disassembled the old shower stall. that's where i'm standing on the ladder in the first picture. we have decided to remove that shower b/c there is a leak in the shower pan. it would cost an estimated $3,000 to get that repaired. we don't like the layout of the bathroom as it is right now, so we'll move stuff around. we'll put a shower head with the current tub, and move the toilet to where the shower is now. it already looks much better with those glass doors down. then, we started scraping off the popcorn ceiling in the master bathroom. that, again, is alot easier than i thought it would be. so we got that done.

then, we pulled off the wallpaper in the half bath downstairs and the full bath upstairs (the old cherry wallpaper). again, that came off REALLY easy. we were pumped. we wanted to keep working, so we started to pull the wallpaper off in the foyer at the front door.

big mistake.

that stuff is stuck on firm. as easy as the rest of the wallpaper has been, this wallpaper is that stuck on. so, we halted for the night. we'll have to score it, and soak it with wet newspaper to get it off. that will be a chore. but we got really lucky not having to do that for all our bathrooms.

so we've made progress. we can't wait to get all the popcorn off and the paint on the walls!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!



the love of my life turned 26 today! i'm so proud to be her husband. i tell her this all the time, but it's weird to think back when i was a kid about how i tried to dream of what my wife would be like. the funny thing is: in my wildest dreams, i never thought i could be this happy. i didn't think it was possible to love someone so much. i'm so thankful for her.

i hope you're birthday was great! i love you!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend update

we had a wild weekend. we both had to work on Wednesday, so we planned to head to Montgomery to stay with my parents that night. well, plans changed. i developed waht i can only describe as "a headache from the dark side" late Wednesday afternoon. it knocked me on my back where i had to miss church that night. i can't think of the last time i've been too sick for church. it was bad. anyhoo, i woke up for about 30 minutes after brooke got home from church, just enough to try to eat some crackers, then back to bed. i was fine by the morning, thank goodness. brooke took such good care of me. i'm a pitiful patient. :)

we spent all Thanksgiving day at my mom's parents' house in Fort Deposit, AL, which is just a bit below Montgomery. we had a great time there seeing my side of the family.

we did get some bad news while we were there, though. that morning, brooke's grandfather, Marvin Pressnell or "Gandy", passed away. he was 80 years old. it was somewhat sudden, but his health and mind had been frail for years. he was a faithful Christian his entire life, which gives us more peace than we can describe.

so, we came back to work on Friday. after work, we drove up to Decatur for the weekend with brooke's parents. we had a great time there, too. we had the funeral Sunday afternoon. brooke's dad and her brother Chris conducted the funeral. it was a very moving service. he was a great man that has influenced thousands of people, either directly or indirectly.

one of the best parts of the weekend was the "Beatdown in T-Town"!!! i felt like Bama would win, but i was afraid that it would be a slobber-knocker. i'm so proud for JPW and the other 8 seniors. those kids came to Bama b/c they love Bama, and Saban has said they've been the ones who really deserve the credit in turning things around. it's great to break the streak. it's great to shutout Auburn. it's great to feel the pendulum swinging back our way. now it's gets really interesting. if we beat Florida, we can beat whoever else we face. i'm scared to death of Florida, but if we can sneak past them somehow, we'll beat Oklahoma/USC/Texas/whoever. i'll pull a "nicky pressnell" and just go ahead and call that. i might be wrong, but that's my opinion after seeing how this college football season has gone.

brooke has about 2 weeks left before she's done with this semester. then, she'll only have one more semester of classwork left! her senior year will be strictly clinicals. she has worked so hard for this, and i'm so proud of her!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My dad is famous!

my dad, Tommy Williams, is the topic of the feature story of the Business section of the Montgomery Advertiser today. they did an article about his clock repair business. not only is it online, but it's on the front page of the Business section of today's (Sunday) paper. the online version has a good video of him explaining his business.

check out the story online, and visit his website. i'm so proud of you, daddyboy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Freaky Eye Saturday

i was watching the Texas Tech/Oklahoma game, but that is a laugher right now (42-7 at the half). so here's a some information on Diabetic Eye Disease.

it is estimated that almost 8% (or over 23 million Americans) have diabetes. so almost one in every 12 people that you meet will be diabetic. this condition can cause devastating vision loss if left untreated.

if a patient's blood sugar levels are out of control, their prescription will fluctuate dramatically. usually, this causes patients to seem more nearsighted than they truly are.

here's a fundus photo of an eye with diabetic eye disease:



just to orient you, the yellow circle is the optic nerve. the red lines are the blood vessels. the large red splotches are termed "blot hemorrhages" or large blood leakages within the retinal nerve fiber layers. when the blood is leaking out into the retina and not reaching it's target tissues, the body can try to grow new blood vessels (called "neovascularization") to compensate. this is a valiant effort by the body, but it actually makes things worse.

here's the main point of this post: every diabetic needs an eye exam AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR!!! if i don't see any blood leakages in the retina, once a year is plenty to monitor their eye health. if i see just a few tiny blood leakages, i will follow them every 6 months. if i see an eye like the one above, i'll probably watch them every month until this resolves. if any blood approaches the macula (our most sensitive area of vision), the vision can drop very quickly, and surgery might be necessary.

do you know someone who is a diabetic? ask them when was the last time they had their eyes examined. make sure they know how important regular eye care is for them. we only get one set of eyes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the other day, i got a wild hair...





well, we got our foundation fixed last week. so that means we can get started on remodeling. so one night this week, i went to our master bathroom to try to peel some loose wallpaper. much to my delight, the glue must have broken down over the years, and the wallpaper just peeled off completely. this was a major relief. we vividly remember how difficult it was to remove the old wallpaper at our house in Alabaster....scoring it and soaking it with DIF gel. it was a nightmare. so now, we've got bare sheetrock to work with. :)

stay tuned for updates on how we're planning to reconfigure our master bath.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So what's new?

actually, not a whole lot. things are trucking along for us. brooke is still doing well in school. her study load is really high right now, but she's doing great. i'm so proud of her.

my work is good. i had a conference at the Wynfrey Hotel in B'ham this past weekend. it was good to see some old friends from optometry school.

i'm somewhat sick right now. i've got that crud that alot of folks have right now: sore, scratchy throat....dry cough....congested nose....yada yada yada. i was off today, so i've tried to get well before i have to go back to work tomorrow.

we had our Gospel Meeting this week at church. James Watkins spoke, and he did an amazing job. like i told him, of all the Gospel Meetings we've had in the 7+ years i've been at Shades Mountain, he's been my favorite. if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, take the opportunity. you'll be enriched by it.

hope i get a chance to blog soon about Bama heading into the SEC Championship game undefeated.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My favorite author......



...passed away today. Michael Crichton died at age 66 from a private battle with cancer. apparently, he kept the news of his cancer away from the public. this was the first i had heard of him being ill.

there's no other author that i read from. not stephen king or john grisham or anyone. maybe i should branch out more and find other authors to read, but Crichton always had a way of blending the scientific/medical side with the suspenseful/entertaining side that really appealed to me. he graduated from medical school before devoting his life to books, and he always incorporated difficult concepts into the stories in a way that i could really grasp.

the first book of his that i read was Jurassic Park. that was the summer blockbuster in the theaters when i was a teenager. we didn't have the cash-money to go to the movies, so my parents bought me the book. about a year later, i watched the movie on VHS. compared to the book, the movie was awful. i understand that the movie was a special effects breakthrough production, but it left out critical parts from the book, and the book painted a much more vivid picture than could be reproduced on the big screen.



i went on to read most of these selections in this cover collage. "Sphere" is one of my favorites that i read periodically. "The Great Train Robbery" was a piecing-together of an actual train robbery in the 1750's (?). i liken it to an "Ocean's Eleven" type adventure. i just finished "Timeline" for the first time. "State of Fear" is probably my favorite. in this book, he challenges the well-believed concept of global warming. basically, he exposes it for what it is: a theory that is one of 100's of theories for why our climate changes over time. he drew harsh criticism from environmentalists for his objective and documented views on the illusion of man-made global warming.

i know this isn't a blog about the house or our family or our work, but the sudden loss of such a great author seemed necessary to blog about. so if you're looking for a good read, give one of his books a try.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!








we had some friends over for a halloween party Saturday night. i think we counted 33 total. so getting ready for this party forced us to get the new house somewhat in order more quickly. we had taco salad and LOTS of halloween candy. we watched some football and played our annual game of Celebrity. we had a great time, plus, we got an extra hour of sleep that night from the time change. woohoo! check out my facebook profile for more pics.

we've had some issues come up (quite literally) with the house. our first night, we slept without heat b/c i couldn't figure out how to get the pilot light to come on at the furnace. our master shower isn't working right, so we have to climb the stairs to the guest bathroom for our morning showers. and to top it all off, our sewage line was clogged, and "poo-water" spilled everywhere in our laundry room (and dripped into the unfinished basement). we've almost got that resolved. the clog is gone, but the stench remains. but, we're loving how close we are to work/school/church. it's been wonderful.

now that our halloween party is done, we can start our projects. be watching for more pictures soon.

ps.....how bout my Crimson Tide?!?!?!?! if you could jump in a time machine, travel back to 1/3/2007 (the day Saban was hired), and tell the masses that Bama would be ranked #1 in 2008 the week Saban returns to Baton Rouge to play LSU, you would be locked away in the crazy house. but here we are. we may lose to LSU, Miss State, Auburn, and Florida, but i'm enjoying this ride. i do think we're playing a little over our heads, but i believe we can make it undefeated to the SEC championship game. then, i'll be scared to death of Florida. they are good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New House Pics


finished basement that will one day become the "man cave" or some other catchy name.




one of our out-of-date bathrooms that needs new flooring, wallpaper removed, painted, new toilet, etc.




yes, that is lime green shag carpet!




here's the prettiest view of the house. we can touch up the inside, but the brick was a big plus for us!


more pics will come later as the remodel progresses....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In the infamous words of Lloyd Christmas.....

"We're there!"

we have officially closed on both houses. we have moved 95% of our belongings to our new house. and we are wore slap out!

a big thanks to everyone who helped us this last weekend in the move (some both days): big red, ethan, jason, nolan, and rick's parents. things went great because of ya'll pitching in and helping. it's great to have good Xn friends.

email me if you need our new address, or check our facebook profiles.

we hope to post some pics soon. our internet hasn't gotten hooked up at the house yet (i'm posting from work between patients). so be watching for more updates as we undergo "the great remodel"!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Time is winding down....

it seems very strange to think about our last few days in our Alabaster house. we're planning to be officially out by the end of this month, but we'll probably be mostly moved up to Hoover before then. and the little things that we've grown accustomed to at our current house will be missed. there are a few things at our house that we wish we could transplant into our new house.

like our built-in bookcase in the basement. or our crapemyrtle by the mailbox. i'll even miss our old clunky oven and stained carpets. mainly because we put alot of our lives into that house.

for the first time in my life, i laid tile in our kitchen (at an angle no less!). i fixed the squeaky steps going to the top floor. i replaced our garage door. that house is where i came home after i graduated optometry school. that house is where we found out that brooke got into pharmacy school. that house will always be the house where me and mark and david and big red played scattergories till 4:00 am the night of the Skynard concert. that house will be the house we spent night after night playing cashflow and nertz with ryan and kelly. we've had halloween parties, Christmases, hurricane parties, and Bible studies there. and in 15 days, it will all be just a memory.

our kids will never toddle up and down the steps we climbed a million times. they'll never play in the backyard i dreaded having to cut. they'll never know what our monster in the fridge sounded like. we'll just have to try to describe it.

but we get to make some new memories soon. we're unimaginably excited about this new house and all it offers. but it's bittersweet to realize the piece of ourselves we have to give up to get it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

We have a closing date!

we're set to close on our current house on October 20th! woohoo! this is the same family that made the offer we accepted back in late September. they did get approved on Monday of this week. so, the wheels are turning. we are so thankful that God has blessed us in this move.

as it stands, we're going to try to close on our new house the same day. hopefully the attorney can get everything done at once to save everyone some time. we will have some time to get everything packed up and moved, but it will be a whirlwind 2 weeks!

please continue to keep us in your prayers as we tie up all the loose ends with this. things look great so far, but it's hard to predict if everything will go as planned.

ps...if you're in the B'ham area, let me know if you're available on a Sunday afternoon or a Monday to help get some big stuff moved up into Hoover. :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Freaky Eye Friday

no pics this time! just some information about vision and sports.

there has been a wave of eye injuries in sports. Phoenix Suns star Amare Stoudemire got poked in his right eye during practice yesterday. now, his iris is torn. sounds like angle recession to me.

next, former Florida Gator star Joakim Noah also got poked in his left eye. his was forceful enough to cause a blood leakage in the eye. sounds like a hyphema to me.

finally, Tampa Bay Rays slugger Carlos Pena left yesterday ALDS Game 1 with "blurred vision". i was instantly intrigued. from some research, i found out he had scratched his eye the day before, and it hadn't healed completely yet. the classic corneal abrasion.

3 finely-tuned, highly-trained athletes. all 3 in great, physical shape. but one false slip to the eye, and they are incapacitated. i think we all take our sight for granted until something goes wrong. Stoudemire and Noah may develop glaucoma or a traumatic cataract. Pena could develop recurrent corneal erosion or have resultant scarring that prevents him from competing at the highest level.

take care of your eyes. wear appropriate eye protection, even if you think you look stupid. if you injure your eye, seek help immediately. so much can be treated if it's addressed in time.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Okay, I just had to post this:







WHAT A GAME!!! i haven't posted about Alabama all season long (other than that video before the season even started), mainly b/c i didn't want people to think i was one of those crazy, outlandish, typical Bama fans that only saw things through Crimson-colored glasses....even after the Clemson game. but, man, what a game! i never envisioned us dominating UGA like that. as the game was getting started, i realized, "this is the same way we beat Clemson: keep the ball on offense, and stop the run on defense." i'm so proud of our team for playing so consistently so far this season. we have faced every challenge with tenacity and confidence. and so far, it's paid off.

so, now Bama is #2 in the AP poll, but #4 in the coaches poll (which is the one that counts in the BCS rankings). like i told brooke today, all that matters is we need to keep winning ballgames. i don't like that LSU is ahead of us in the coaches poll, but if we keep winning, we'll get a chance to change that.

i sure do hope Saban can keep the players hungry and focused for the Kentucky game. i'd hate to blow a great wave of momentum on a let-down conference game.

RTR.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good news on the house

we had an offer on the house over the weekend, and we have accepted it! the only remaining hurdle is for the prospective buyer to obtain financing. but, things look to be going great! continue to keep us in your prayers as we tie up the loose ends on our current house and transition to our soon-to-be new house. we'll let you know of any other updates when we get them.

also, jennifer and jarred crow came to visit this weekend. brooke and jennifer are BFF from way way back. it was great to see them. here's a pic of the girls before they had to go back home to Arkansas.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Funny Cats







that last one about the jawbreaker OWNED us tonight!!!

www.icanhascheezburger.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Haven't had one of these in a while....

first off, whoa! it's been "4-eva" (forever) since i posted last. sorry about that.

so, i had a "first day at the new job" on Monday. it made me think back to when i got my first job back in Macon, and when i had my first day at Sam's as a REAL doctor. but things went well. i'll only be working at this new job part-time until my contract with Sam's runs out (my last day there will be October 4th).

so, i had a day full of learning. their way of doing things is similar to when i worked up in Cullman, but maybe on a grander scale. in the morning, i worked at the Hoover office, which happens to be the biggest/busiest office. i got to shadow the doctor there some, as well as see a few patients myself. the biggest difference for me will probably be record-keeping. Dr. Schaeffer's offices are completely electronic, so there are no paper files....just computer data on a program called "Exam Writer". it's really nice, but i'm still lost in it. it's tough enough learning a new exam form when you work with another office, but it's much more difficult learning a computerized exam form. i kept going to the wrong screen, or not knowing how to find the right screen, or not knowing where something should go. i think that will be the biggest acclimation for me.

in the afternoon, i worked at the Colonnade office off of Hwy 280. the doctor here helped me learn the computer programs better. i will be splitting most of my time between this Colonnade office and an office in Roebuck. i'm very excited about working there.

so, i'll stumble along for the next few weeks, trying to get my bearings in this new job. i'll work there 2-3 days a week for the next 3 weeks until i completely with sam's.

we're doing well here. still waiting on one of our house-lookers to turn into a house-buyer. keep praying!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tallahassee, Rivalries, and Mushrooms

we had a great Labor Day weekend. we took advantage of the long weekend to visit Mark and Jennifer Butts in Tallahassee, FL. this was the first time either of us had been to Tallahassee. Mark and Jennifer have been there for about 2 1/2 months now. he's working with the Timberlane church of Christ as their youth minister. here's one of their better pictures of the weekend.



on Saturday, we took a tour of the town. we went to Wakulla Springs (where the water was ICE COLD!). we drove by Doak Campbell stadium on the way back into town. Mark and I decided to do "the chop" in honor of FSU.



most evenings involved coffee and Rook. we played probably 5000 points of Rook throughout the weekend. it was great. i can't begin to tell you how much we laughed. i'm beginning to suspect there was something in the coffee. anyhoo, we got to taking funny pictures with the built-in camera on my computer. here's the best shot we got:



brooke couldn't even open her eyes for the picture b/c she was laughing so hard! it was too much fun. we had such a good time with them. that's the most we've gotten to see them in years. their son Brock is about 14 months old, so we had a good time playing with him. he's a really good little boy.

on the way back home, we stopped and visited with my sister Kristi and her family in Coosada. true to form for the weekend, we played some Rook. it was great to see them. Kristi even agreed to wear my Bama hat for the picture, as long as i wore her ugly Auburn visor. it was so worth it!



so that was our crazy weekend. on to the mushrooms. brooke pointed these out to me last night when we got home from church:



these things popped up just overnight in our yard! and they seem to follow a path leading from our house, through the natural area, and into the front lawn. weirdest thing i've ever seen! does anyone know what might have caused these to pop up in a row like that? how should i get rid of them, other than just knocking them down? any suggestions would help.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's that time of year



watch at the 2:20 mark for your Julio Jones moment of the day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I gotta go back, back, back to school again!!!

yeah, that's a catchy Grease tune, but it's definitely not brooke's favorite song.

she had her first day back on Monday. she's got a great group this year (alot of their classwork is done via small groups of 5-7 people). her schedule is alot better than she thought as well. so, although she's not excited about being back in the school mindset, it's been better than she was thinking it would be.

things continue to move slowly for our house situation. still no strong prospects for buying our house. we're anxious to get things moving fast, but we're praying that God will do what's best. that formula can't fail.

thanks for all the good comments on Alligator Mouth Hummingbird Tail. i didn't mention this before, but i actually typed up all the book for Mr. Nicky. he wrote it all out by hand, and i typed it up. and his son Brandon designed the artwork for the cover. pretty neat, huh?

again, if you want to buy a copy for yourself or get a set for a young families class, click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Alligator Mouth Hummingbird Tail

i realized yesterday that many of you might not know that my father-in-law Nicky Pressnell is not just a preacher, not just the best FunSing leader at Maywood, not just the best father-in-law i have, but is also a published author.

"Pepaw" (as the grandkids call him) has written a small paperback book that is being published by Donnie Hilliard at the Cloverdale Center for Family Strengths. it's called "Alligator Mouth Hummingbird Tail." it's written as a parenting guide. it offers anecdotal stories coupled with strong Biblical teaching.

let me encourage you to purchase a book. it's only $5.00!!! i know this would make a great book for young adults/young families classes at your local church! here's a small excerpt to whet your appetite:

Even though our kids are all different and need different methods at times, there is a common denominator. That common denominator is consistency. When you tell a child you are going to do something, do it. You must be consistent. If you tell a child to stop or he will be punished, then if he doesn’t stop, punish him. Don’t have an alligator mouth and a hummingbird tail. Mean what you say. One of the biggest problems with parents is that they take no action and want to know why their child doesn’t mind. About all some do is say, “Don’t do that” and never follow up. If you start out at birth being consistent, then by the time they are around two, they’ll know the rules and what to expect. Every child will tempt you. Don’t give up or give in.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Well, it's now official

after a lot of prayer and contemplation, i've decided to join a large group optometry practice in the Birmingham area.

it's really a long story, so bear with me as i retell it.

the week before we left for Maywood, this doctor contacted me saying he wanted to interview me about joining his practice. at first, i was taken aback. i hadn't been looking to change my job situation. i certainly hadn't been spreading the word that i was looking for something different. he told me he had gotten my name from a optical rep that visits the Cullman office i've been working at 2 days a week for the past 2 years. so, after talking with brooke, we decided it wouldn't hurt to meet him and see what he had to say. plus, it would be good experience for me to go through the interview process.

so, i met Dr. Schaeffer the saturday before we went to camp. i went in to the meeting knowing that whatever he said, i wasn't going to say "yes" that day. the meeting went really well. Dr. Schaeffer is a unique character. he's a very type-A personality. he's very reputable in the academic field and the community. ever heard of the Schaeffer Eye Center Crawfish Boil? that's his baby. anyhoo, everything he said made great sense to me. he's offered me a large pay increase over what i'm making now, full benefits, local work (less miles on my car, not to mention the cost of gas), and the ability to practice optometry to an extent that i can't do in my current situation. well, he offered the position to me that saturday, but i told him i needed to pray about it and talk things over with brooke. he understood that i'd be at camp the next week, so i told him i'd get back in touch with him when i got home.

i tried my best NOT to think about it while at camp. and i didn't, for the most part. i'd still pray alot about it, but i wouldn't fret over it. but, as i prayed about it, i came to the conclusion that this had to be a blessing from God. there were a number of reasons:

1. i wasn't looking for anything. this just fell in my lap.
2. though i'm a "doctor", i haven't been able to make even close to "doctor money" in my current situation.
3. i wouldn't have to spend one night a week away from home like i do now (no offense, big red and patti....like i told you before, that's one of the biggest "cons" in my decision: that i won't get to hang out with ya'll every week anymore).

so as the week toiled on, i was leaning more and more towards accepting the job. that first monday back to work, i got a call from the doctor i currently work for in Cullman on thursdays and fridays. she was calling to tell me that she was only going to need me for maybe one day a week starting in September. when i heard her say that, it's like a window from Heaven opened and said, "how much more proof do you need?!? take the job, dummy!" so, i called him up and we met again to discuss particulars. i called up my district manager with Sam's the next day to give him my 60 day notice. then, i called the doctor in Cullman to let her know. i signed the contract today, so i'm official. :)

so where does this take us from here? the next few weeks will still be the same.

if you need to get your eyes checked at Sam's or Cullman, you'd better act fast! my last day in Cullman is September 8th. my last day at Sam's is October 4th. after i'm finished at Cullman, i'll start part-time with Dr. Schaeffer.

thanks for reading my story. keep us in your prayers as i transition. i'll blog soon about more specifics of my new job. here's a teaser that hopefully some of you might get: do you think Julio Jones and Andre Smith might need contacts? i might get to find out one day soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Update

sorry it's been a week since i've posted. things have been busy.

so, here's a house update! unfortunately, no good news just yet. we're still waiting for someone to fall in love with our house. we've had some traffic come through, but no bites just yet. we've dropped the price twice since we first listed (our first price was outrageous in hindsight). we're trying to be patient before we drop it again. we've added a "broker incentive", where the broker that brings the eventual buyer of our house in gets an extra $500 at closing. that's helped, but nothing just yet.

brooke starts school back August 25th. she's dreading having to get back to the grind of school, but she's ready to get it over with! keep her in your prayers as she starts back.

one of our older members from church passed away this week (John Landers). he had battled health problems for the last year especially. he was a wonderful man. a very encouraging person. but most of all, he was a faithful Christian. that means more than anything else at a time like this.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Just call me "Redbeard"

so, i'm rockin' the beard. i let it go at camp last week, and i haven't convinced brooke to let me shave it yet. not sure how long this little experiment will last, but thought you'd like to see it while it's still here.



Monday, August 04, 2008

Fun Sing at Maywood

every day at 9:30 am, we would have a period of Fun Sing. we sing stupid songs like "mama, don't you whoop little Buford" and "dum dum da da da da" and "singing in the rain". well, this year, i had 2 new favorite fun sing songs. one was what i call the "chicka-chicka" song, and the other was what i call "peel the orange". i took a short video of part of the "peel the orange" song. have a look:

Good Ol' Maywood Camp!

we had such a good time last week at Maywood!  we are still recovering from the long days and short nights, but we're getting there!  

brooke was a co-counselor in Gilgal, the 13-14 year old girls.  she also taught a girls Bible class for the 11-12 year old girls.  i was a counselor for Dothan, the 9-10 year old boys.  i also taught the 7-8 year old boys in Bible class.  i also got to speak at our nightly worship service on Monday night.  

we loved getting to catch up with so many old friends.  even though we were "working" to keep up with all these kids, it still felt like a vacation because we spent the entire week with Christians.  

we are making plans already to go next year.  Kristi, Kate Reed, Ryan, Kelly, Mendy, Emily.....ya'll be making plans too!


Brooke and Patti James


A beautiful camp sunset over the "Sea of Galilee"



Me and some of my boys for Bible class


The stands were this packed or worse the whole time!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A-Camping we will go!

we're leaving this afternoon for Maywood!!! we'll spend the week at this camp where Brooke virtually grew up. it will be great to see so many of our friends and help all the kids this week.

check back next week for updates and pictures.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gage and Ella

Kenzie and Gage

forgive me for being late with this post, but our niece and nephew (Kenzie and Gage Pressnell) stayed with us for a few days in the middle of July.  we had a great time with them!  those kids are too funny, and they are very sweet and well-behaved.  here are some pictures to give you an idea of what all we did.



they absolutely LOVED our neighborhood cat that we call "Shasta".  that was one of the first things they asked about in the morning when they got up was, "Where's the kitty?"



the kids got to meet alot of kids from our church during the week.  this is a picture of Gage and Ella at the McWane Center.  they became big buddies by the end of the week.



here's the entire group of kiddos at the McWane Center.  


we even took a break from shooting basketball to get some ice cream from the ice cream truck!  i think Kenzie ate about 3/4 of hers before it melted.  most of Gage's ended up dripping onto the bricks at his feet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mascot Bloopers


way too funny....dog, i love people falling down!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ever feel like this?!?


i rounded the corner at work today in Cullman and found FOUR charts in one door!  it was a family of 4, all dilating in one room.  some days just seem that busy and hectic.  but that was definitely a first for me!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What will your legacy be?



i got the chance to speak at the Flint church of Christ as a part of their teenage summer series class.  the theme for the summer series is "movie trailers".  see pictures above.  for each lesson, the class will watch a short clip from a movie, and then we make Biblical applications from it.  my movie was Gladiator, one of my all-time favorites.

the main lesson we discussed was looking at our purpose in life.  what is our reason for living?  how do we want to be remembered?  we made some good points about wanting to receive that inheritance of eternal life with God once this life is over (1 Peter 1:3-5).  

i think it went well.  it's strange to explain how it feels when i'm teaching/preaching.  i always tell Brooke that i'm either Peter or Paul.  when i feel comfortable and confident in my lesson and presentation, i feel like Peter preaching on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  when i feel nervous and awkward and the words just don't come out right, i feel like Paul (who had a reputation of being a stronger preacher in letter than in person).  fortunately, i felt like Peter last night.  

as an aside, you must click this link:  Boom Goes the Dynamite.  yes, sometimes i feel like this poor guy when i'm teaching/preaching.