Sunday, November 15, 2009

Angels among us!

Sometimes in life we get so sidetracked by everything else going on that we fail to see the miracles around us. Angels aren't always standing there with wings and halo, some times they are your neighbor, your co-worker, your child, sometimes someone you don't even know. But they are angels because God has placed them in your life at just the right time to bring you a message.

Someone Out There

Excerpt from Acts 12:6-19

“Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell.”

Reflection by Felix Carrion

Who led Peter out of prison? The text says, "An angel."

I've heard people say that some relative, some friend, some pastor, some child, some stranger, someone out there, was "an angel" to them. What I understand them to mean is that this person was sent to them in that precise moment when they were most needed. Out of nowhere, and with no prompting from the person they reached out to, they appeared or called or sent a book or wrote a letter or prayed a powerful prayer.

In that hour of need, and in their appearing, they were no longer just a relative, friend, pastor, child, stranger, or someone out there; they were an angel and their deed was indeed miraculous. (I recall many years ago, in the middle of a sorrowful night, while prayerful tears fell from my eyes, in search of a sign from God, my youngest son called out, "I love you, Dad," and fell right back to sleep.)

An angel is a messenger, sent by God, with a message. They point us in the right direction; they shine a light; they make clear the unclear; they open a door; they break chains; they move us from bondage into freedom's path.

All kinds of people can and have done exactly these things at God's prompting. So, today be an angel. Or, at least, go ahead and recognize the one that was sent to you (recently or a long time ago). And, be assured -- this is real!


O God, you make me smile, how you come to me. Amen.


Every now and then I get these e-mails from my church (UCC) and I find some of them particularly interesting, so since I haven't posted much lately I thought I'd share some with you.

You Have What It Takes!

Excerpt from Mark 11:20-25

Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Reflection by William C. Green

Jesus did not say believe that you will receive what you pray for. He said "believe that you have received it."

So often we pray for what we already have. Time and again the psalmist says "God is my strength," not "God grant me strength." The same with all kinds of help and healing, forgiveness and guidance, an ability to keep the faith and to pray. "God is my rock and redeemer." Not please, God, give me something I need and don't have.

So why pray? Because our petitions rightly understood are not requests but praise. The dreariest psalms, full of neediness and despair, almost always move seamlessly into declarations of what God has done and makes possible.

We are created in the likeness of God's goodness and strength--"little less than God."

True, we fall away from this and abuse our God-given endowments. But we are not stripped of them. And prayer recalls us to who we are in the first place. It's an awakening, or re-awakening, to what's still ours.

Often enough I've felt like some bottomless pit that no amount of encouragement or reassurance could fill. At those times I'd always pray for strength I lacked. I've now taken to praying another way. "God, make me aware of the strength you've given me." That's proven a good way to respect God, and others. When I quit looking elsewhere for what I already have, I find it!


O Lord, I praise you for the strength and hope you give us. Amen.


Just wanted to post a blurb about this year's Halloween events. The week before we went to a Fall Festival at Jacey's preschool where Jacey and Jadyn both got to wear their costumes (Princess and a kitty)and play games for fun and candy. On Halloween we did a little trick or treating in the neighborhood and then gave out candy to kids that stopped by. Jacey loved handing out the candy to the kids, almost as much as she liked going and getting candy. Jadyn is very talented when it comes to grabbing candy. She would get one little piece, and the people would say you can have another, then Jadyn would quickly grab like 3 pieces of candy, she was awesome! It was alomost like I trained her, almost. Ha!

Dacotah Fantasy Football League - mid year (sort of)

Fear the Rat!

Well here it is almost Thanksgiving and I am finally, finally posting again. We are now starting week 10 and I have found myself in 2nd place behind my little brother. My little brother has been a thorn in my side over that last several seasons. From not being able to beat his team at all for years at a time, to losing the title game to him twice in the last 3 seasons. Will this season be different? Well so far it hasn't with an early season loss to him, but my team seems to be hitting their stride now. Although if I can make the title game and lose one more time I would officially be the Buffalo Bills of the DFFL.

This week is the start of playing the early part of your schedule over again, which means I get to play my Dad again. Even though he doesn't have a winning record he is the 4th highest scoring team in the league, it will be tough to get a win. Plus I seem to beat his team early in the year and then get beat badly the 2nd time we play.

Well hopefully this weekend goes as well as the last few, I am hoping to lock up a playoff spot in the next few weeks, rather than need a miracle and a tiebreaker like last year! Ha!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Year, Another Birthday

Well yesterday was the 37th time the day of my birth has been recognized by friends and family. And as I get older I tend to do less and less on this day, because in reality it is just like the day before it and the day after it. However, I did have a few things lined up to make my day somewhat special. Got up like always and went to work, brought donuts in to share with co-workers, which they love, some more than others (darn diets anyway).
Next off to the Y for a little basketball, man I love playing! After coming home, I got to rock my baby to sleep for her nap and got a chance to relax for a bit. Sandy got cleaned up and ready to leave the house once BooBoo woke up. BooBoo woke up so we got Pookie ready to go as well and then headed out for a quick errand before eating out for my birthday. We chose Chili's and weren't disappointed. Sandy and I got the 2 for $20 deal and we didn't even touch the dessert, heck we were so full we didn't even touch the birthday cake.
Anyway after getting the girls inside from playing I settled in for DFFL Fantasy draft 2009. Didn't do too bad, I think. LOL It will be interesting to see how my team does this year. I am still trying to get over the hump and stop getting runner-up, three straight years!!
Finally finished off the night with a conversation with Ma and Pa, then a quick game of Madden 10. It's the little things in life isn't it?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Timberwolves get their man

According to multiple sources, ESPN etc and now confirmed by Wolves owner Glen Taylor, the team will hire former Laker Kurt Rambis as their new head coach. I guess he is getting a 4 year deal, which is actually a year longer than President David Kahn has on his contract. It looks like the Wolves are inching closer to becoming something different. I mean from the GM position, to the coaches to the players. The franchise will be a completely version than it has been for the last several years. I certainly hope Taylor is allowing Kahn to do what needs to be done and simply write the checks. So far it seems like it since he is actually willing to pay Rambis a reported $2 Million per season and under contract for those 4 years, something the Kings were obviously unwilling to do.
Things are looking up in Timberwolves Nation, but when we look back in a year or 5 years, will this be another bad decision or a genius move by Kahn. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NBA thoughts...

Ok, never updated during the finals but here goes. This was the Lakers year, there was no team that was going to stop them. As an NBA fan you had to see that, especially with injuries to the Celtics and Spurs, followed up by losses by the Cavs.
Next season will be different and it will depend on how the offseason affects each team but it seems there are at least a half dozen teams that have made moves in order to make a run at a ring. Depending on injuries and chemistry issues it should be fun to watch.
My Wolves have made a number of moves, not really sure what the end result will be. Some players brought in seem to have a purpose, only to be traded away again. I think Kahn has a plan, just not sure who he is really targeting. I think the Wolves don't have anybody who was with the team 3 years ago, talk about a roster makeover!
I personally wonder how many times Q. Richardson can be traded in one offseason! Three times so far, with how many more times to go? LOL

Another deck update...

Ok, its been a while, but anyway...
My dad cam up the weekend of Pookie's birthday party and we got the North side of the railing done and half of the South side. The last part of the railing will be tricky and not sure when it will get done. Need to set a weekend aside, maybe sometime soon and get it done. Regardless the deck is like 97% done and we have enough railing for safety and it looks pretty good as well.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Deck is 90% Done!!

Well about a week ago, Dad and I worked for almost 3 full days and thanks to what I had done before he got here, we have the deck over 90% complete. The Number could be higher, since all that is left is railing on the stairs and some extra screws on the main deck area, just put the minimum number of screws in so far so we could move on to another part. Here are a couple photos to show how it turned out, I am so proud of the job Dad and I did. My Dad is so good at so many things it is great to be able to learn from him!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Feeling kinda old lately

Not sure what brought it on, normally a person has these moments at times when they turn 30, 35, 40, 50 etc but I feel it's recently happened to me. Not sure why, birthday number 37 doesn't
t happen for a few months and I have to very young daughters who help me feel young, so not sure why it is. Maybe it was realizing that some guys I play ball at the Y with are like 15 years younger than me, and I am inching closer to 40, maybe it's the physical fitness test for work and realizing my best years are behind me, or maybe it's just the fact I keep getting more and more gray hair. It's not like I am going completely gray now, but I seem to notice it more when there is no gel in my hair. Grey isn't really that big of a deal, at least I still have my hair, but gray hair tends to be more course and stick up and just generally not look as nice on me. Maybe I should bleach my hair and cut it to hide them or maybe color my hair darker. Of course the same would have to go for my facial hair. Ahhh what is a guy supposed to do!? I still act like a guy in my 20's, I need to take better care of myself to feel that way, more exercise for my knees and other ailing joints, and I must do something with my hair. Well whatever I am sure I will adjust how I feel in a while and it will pass, but it'll come back later. Gosh what am I gonna feel like when I turn 40?!?

Deck Update

Well the post hole shave been dug, the lumber and other materials have been ordered and delivered, and today I hope to start getting the posts in the hole, leveled and secured in the holes. I am a bit nervous about doing it, but well I gotta start somewhere. My Jack-of-all-trades, Dad will be here Thursday to help with the bulk of the work, but I'd like to get a good start on the project before he and my Ma come up. I really want to get this thing done by the end of next weekend so we can move on to other projects. I would really like to finish our lower level, oak trim and new mantel, just so we can officially say the house is done, but one step at a time! :-)

NBA Conference Finals

Ok, so I been busy lately so haven't posted in a while, but I have to say the Conference Finals in both conferences have been great! Each of the 5 games so far have been close with the road team wining 3 of the 5! LA stole home court back last night from Denver and tonight in Orlando we will see who gets the all important game 3 win. Game 3 in the East is important for Cleveland since Game 4 is also in Orlando, but the Cavs need to find a way to hold on to their halftime leads. That might be very difficult, it might be even more difficult to get a lead down in Orlando, but Orlando can go cold from deep, but will they?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Win or Go Home Day!

Today is the day, both Boston and LA each earned the right to host their respective game 7's today. But will home court be enough? Both Orlando and Houston have won on the road in this series, each taking Game 1, but Game 7 is a completely different animal.
I was shocked to see Houston win Game 6, but they keep finding a way to get the job done. I joked with a co-worker that the Lakers would win Game 5 by 30, well I was wrong they won by 40! In the NBA role players always seem to play better at home so I am guessing LA wins, I don't think it will be close but Houston will give it all they got to try and advance.
The Magic should have advanced by now to play Cleveland, but they have found a way to blow Game 5, and Game 4 they should have also found a way to win but couldn't hit a shot down the stretch to put the C's away. So today what do I expect, it will pry be more of the same, Orland hitting shots early and then not being able to hit a 3 to save their playoff lives in the second half. Boston's bench will pry play great since they are at home and help Boston to a win and advance to the next round. I'd have to double check but the last 3 Game 7's in Boston have all been wins that they have pretty much been in control of the entire way. Will that trend continue I don't know, I'd like it to end (Must be resentment toward the C's for being so good as I was growing up), but it probably won't end. Right now, I think their playoff runs end against Cleveland, but then again anything is possible in the playoffs!

Baby Steps on the Deck

Well I have gotten the plans, the building permit, and the spots marked off to dig the holes for the posts. Next step is to get the guy lined up to dig the holes for us. I can't wait to get started on the project, yet nervous. It will so nice to have a deck to enjoy the Spring and Summer weather. That is assuming that the weather ever cooperates and stays above 70 degrees for more than 3 days!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Today is Mother's day and we had done a few nice things for Sandy today. Pookie and I picked out flowers, cards and balloons for Mommy Friday, and I had gotten her a necklace last weekend, but I still wanted to go out to eat for the special occasion. We decided to try Kobe Restaurant here in Fargo. It's a sushi and tepenyaki place, and we love ourselves some sushi. Well we came for the sushi and discovered a Benny Hanna type restaurant with good chefs and great sushi. The Summer Roll was the special of the day, I am not even sure everything that was in there but boy was it good! It was so good I didn't even get the customary, "you want the last piece" question from my wife, ha!
Well we probably spent more than we should have and ate more than we needed to, but boy was it good! We will definitely be back for more!! Can't wait for Father's Day (or maybe just next weekend)!


Houston, we have a...blowout!?!? What the heck happened on the way to a Laker trip to the Western Conference Finals? I'm sorry I didn't watch the game. My Laker Fan neighbor claimed the Rockets were just taking it to the hoop and scoring at will. So I grabbed my phone and checked the score and sure enough the Rockets were up by like 18 at the break. Very impressive win for the Rockets, can they pull a rabbit out of their hat in game 5? Oh wait I should have used that saying for the Magic/Celtics series, oh well maybe I'll reuse it later, ha!

NBA MVP etc...

Ok, so the MVP was named and it was none other than LeBron James. Now it's hard to comprehend that the dude is only what 25, and he seems like he is 35 when he talk to reporters. He has been amazing to watch in the playoffs so far, last night was awesome. Not only is the guy big, strong, fast and powerful, but also smart. Each time in the 4th quarter, he was handling the ball , working the clock and getting matchup after matchup he wanted and knocking down shot after shot. Mike Bibby is a good player but he gives up at least 6' on the defensive switch, and when that happened, LBJ just elevated and knocked down the shot over him. The Cavs/Hawks series is all but over, and I am looking forward to seeing them take on the Magic/Celtics winner.

Houston, you have a problem. Down 2 games to 1, and now missing Yao for the rest of the playoffs. The Lakers/Rockets series went form looking like it could go 7, to maybe it will be over in 5!!

Denver has just crushed the hopes of the Mavs fans and owner Mark Cuban with that last second 3 to take game 3. Now I know there was a missed call at the end of the game on the intentional foul, but dude, FOUL HIM UNTIL YOU HEAR A WHISTLE!! Doesn't anybody remember what they were taught as kids, got until the whistle blows so you know the play is done.

The most entertaining series for me, Magic/Celtics, can't wait for game 4 today. C's are still in it, but they need big games from role players and the deep bench guys that normally wouldn't be playing. But due to KG's and Powe's injuries they need to dig deep to try and even the series today. House has been on fire and the Magic tend to let teams back into games rather than going in for the kill. Let's see if the Magic can take it to the next level and put the champs on the brink of elimination.

NBA it's Fantastic!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs

Well today is the day in the NFL Season where teams build their futures by selecting some of the top young talent in all of college football. Detroit has already decided to select the QB from Georgia, M. Stafford, and after that it's still up in the air. The USC QB, M. Sanchez, has so much hype surrounding him that he could get picked #2 or maybe at #20. It iwll be interesting to see who goes where and if any Draft Day Trades go down. Of course I just hope that the Buccaneers get a stud at pick #19, or maybe they land a stud via trade, who knows, the Bucs need all the help they can get.
In the NBA so far, have we learned anything other than the Cavs should be in the Finals? I'd say the same about the Lakers, and think they will still get there as well, but the lakers stubbed their toe in Salt Lake City recently. With Boston losing KG and Poe, Orlando struggling with Philly, and Atlanta and Miami locked in a battle, it seems as the Cavs are clearly the Beast of the East. I am not saying LeBron and the Cavs don't lose a game on the way to the Finals, but a team does have to beat them 4 times to eliminate them. In the West the Lakers may stumble here or there but they should win the West. The Rockets and Nuggets could stand intheir way, but the Lakers are too good and have one of the best players in the league to lead them at crunch time. What do all my ramblings mean, well it just means NBA fans have to wait until June to see what we all believe is coming, Lakers vs Cavs for the NBA title. I can't wait!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lower Crest and Falling!!

Well earlier this week they projected 38' and then lowered it to 37'. Another day passed and they lowered the expected second crest all the way down to 35.5', only to drop it to 34.4' later. Well as of now it looks like it topped out around 34' and should be continually dropping over the next week. I know the water isn't gone yet and there are a number of places that got damaged and things than will need to be repaired, but it's nice to know the F-M area could return to normal soon.
However, there are other small towns dealing with flooding, hopefully the water won't get a high as they predict in those places.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

As the river rises again

I had an idea about a blog post to share regarding the flooding that the area has experienced, however since I didn't write it when the thought was in there I will just give a short update now. The Red River is over 32' which is well above flood stage, but still 8 feet lower than the end of March. It should top out around 39' at the highest this week, but weather may change that forecast.
The sights I witnessed of neighbor helping neighbor and strangers volunteering to help, and even children helping was truly truly amazing. I feel like I should have helped more, that I should have put in more time helping others. It is hard work building the dikes but it is very rewarding when you see how much it means to those in need. I truly hope that the F-M area will take steps to have permanent flood protection, so the next time this happens, the town will be ready and we will hardly even notice the river has risen. I would like to say to those who have lost a home this year my thoughts and prayers are with you and I am sorry for your loss. To those who have helped when asked to do so, I thank you for showing the rest of the country how to stand up and act when needed in a time of crisis, you are all my heroes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

January 31st

Ok this is something I wrote as a note on my Facebook page, but it is probably a good starting point for my blog. It gives some insight as to who I am and what has made the person I am today.

January 31st, is a normal day for most, but not for me. It has great memories associated with it that will stay with me forever. Today is the day 7 years ago I saw my wife for the first time on St. Simon's Island, GA. Sandy made the trip down to see this guy she had been talking to on the phone after months of chatting here and there online. That was the first night we were together and haven't been apart much since. It's also the day where 5 years ago I got out this little ring and asked Sandy to be my wife. She said yes and she's been wondering if that was the right choice ever since! LOL We have such a wonderful life together and I love here and my kids all very very much.

Today is also the day that my Paternal Grandmother was born. She passed away 7 years ago this past November and every year on her birthday is the day I chose to reflect back on her life and what she means to me. I've been wanting for years to tell my family about what this day means to me but just haven't been able to get myself to talk about it.

When my Grandmother passed away I was in Georgia for training regarding my job. I didn't really have the money to fly home on such short notice or the ability to miss many days of work without having to restart all of the training. So I sat in my dorm room alone, sad, grumpy and feeling guilty for not being there for my family, for my Dad, for my Grandma. I mean I was the oldest Grandson, I felt like I was some how the default leader of the Grandkids, the next in line after the Aunts and Uncles. I felt like I should have been by her side when she left this earth, that I should have been there to help carry the casket, that I should have been sitting at the front of the church with my Brother and Sister, that I should have been there to help hold my family up when they needed it most. But I wasn't, and that guilt has been there ever since.

The guilt gets less each year as time passes, and as I have been able to hear stories from Grandpa on her birthday, and see my Aunt remind me more and more of her each year. It helps, but it doesn't make it all go away.

How does this all end up tying into meeting my wife and the day I proposed to her, well it goes like this. As my Grandma lay on her deathbed and her time drew near, I got a call from my Dad updating me on her condition. Hoping she would improve but knowing that I may not get to speak to her again, Dad put the phone to her ear, and with a sobbing voice I spoke to her one last time. I told my Grandma that I had a good job, and I really liked it and that it was going to become my career, people were really nice and was having fun while working. I told her that all I needed now was to find the right woman and settle down and have a family. I think I ended it by telling her I loved her and missed her and hoped to see her soon. When I was done and was sobbing on the other end of the phone, Dad raised the phone to his ear again and said She heard you Jace. Dad knew she heard me because he could see it in her eyes, Grandma always had the brightest twinkle in her eyes, since she could no longer speak.

Some time after the conversation and the funeral, I started exchanging e-mails with a woman in Savannah. She was beautiful, sweet and made me laugh. Work was busy so I only got to send her a quick e-mail or rarely chat online. We almost met for the first time on that New Year's Eve, but my shyness and not talking on the phone yet prevented that and would have messed up the ending to the story. Anyway, after a few more e-mails, and a little bit of courage, we spoke on the phone, first exchanging voice mails, then a short conversation, then a long one, and then another. Soon it was time to meet.

Which of course takes us back to the start of my story, on January 31st, 2002 I laid my eyes on this beautiful woman, who became my wife.

Some people don't think there angels among us, but I beg to differ. When Grandma left this earth, she wasn't there to make her oyster stew or bake us chocolate chip cookies, but she is still with us, and she is still looking after us. She even put in a good word for me with the Big Guy upstairs and he brought Sandy into my life.

My Dad read this at the funeral:
"As all of you have heard, as Jerry had mentioned, the word NEVER came up quite a few times. That's a word that Mom grew to dislike very much. Because after having her stroke a few months later as she lie in the Watertown hospital, the doctor came in and said, "I'm sorry, but this is the best your Mom will ever be, and she will NEVER get any better." In the back of Mom's mind was a phrase, as Jerry Mentioned, BUT FOREVER will I try to prove them wrong. And as you all know after a few long months of work and dedication, Mom was home again, up walking and doing most of the things she enjoyed doing.
Then Monday evening as we were in the DeSmet hospital, the doctor came in about 9:00 and told us that they were giving her medication in order to try and get her kidneys going because they had shut down and if they didn't, Mom would be lucky to make it until noon the next day. So as all of us stay by her side hoping and praying that the medication would kick in and get her kidney's going, the time grew shorter and morning drew near. We knew that in our hearts it would be just a matter of time now before Mom would be with the Lord.
As I sat by her side, I happened to look at my watch and it said 12:00. In my mind I thought Mom had made her deadline. But then as I looked at the hospital's clock on the wall, it said about 4 to 5 minutes before 12:00. I thought to myself, if anything happens, I suppose we would use the hospital's time on the clock. So as my Aunt Jeannie and my wife, Janet, stand by Mom's side, Jeannie tells Janet to go get a nurse because something is wrong. This is the time Mom took her last breath. As the nurse came rushing in, she knew Mom was gone. She took a few vitals and pronounced Mom dead at 12:01. As I stood by her side, not with tears in my eyes, but with a smile on my face and heart, I knew Mom had proved them wrong one last time."

So on a day that marks the opening of 2 different chapters of my life it also reminds me of a woman that helped shape the man I am today. Numerous people told my family at the time of her death that my Grandmother was a wonderful person, she was a fighter, had a twinkle in her eye and they loved her sense of humor. I hope one day to have such kind words said about me.
Grandma, I love you, I miss you and I will see you again one day!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

You want me to do a what?

So my wife has been asking me to do a blog, and I said why? I have a Myspace page, then it became having a Facebook page, and just recently joined twitter, and now FINALLY, I have my own blog. Now the next question becomes, what do I blog about? Well I guess we'll just have to wait and see what comes out of me and onto this keyboard. Exciting isn't it, LOL!!