Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

When will the construction be finished?...I haven't even gotten the permit yet!

For the better part of...well summer, Hope and Kyle have been like oil and water! Seemingly everything Hope does (from humming or laughing to simply glancing his way) bugs the snot out of Kyle and Hope is exceedingly jealous of the amount of time Kyle spends with Lisa. Actions that I am fairly confident exist in other families the world over. Except in a blended family like ours dealing with issues like this that cross family lines are tough and honestly are breeding grounds for hurt and resentment. What do you do to lessen Kyle's annoyance? Softly humming honestly isn't bothering anyone, but for Kyle, it's like someone raking their fingernails across a chalkboard. And what do you do to lessen Hope's jealousy? Kyle should have unfettered access to hugs and cuddles with his mom, not to mention that he's 8 and she doesn't have very many good hugging years left with him! Since the beginning of summer, we've seen Hope's jealousy increase as well as Kyle's irritation. There are times when they get along splendidly and then there are times that the friction is palpable. Lisa and I have talked for hours about the two of them and their ever increasing angst. We have even tried several corrective approaches...and in a word, FAIL!

Lisa and I have hung in there together about this, but in all honesty I know that we have felt the stress of it. How could we not? They're our children and we LOVE them! And so we've searched for reasons in the "Well, if I only had's" and the "I'm just not good enough's" and have found that a thousand reasons does nothing and we end up back where we left off...trying to resolve it.

Then last Sunday in the middle of singing with the worship team, God spoke to me...and it went pretty much like this:

God: Vince...

Me: singing....mentally furrows brow...singing

God: Vince...what was the main message that you and Lisa picked for your wedding?

Me: singing...um, I'm kinda preoccupied worshipping you...singing

God: Yes, I know...what was the main message that you and Lisa picked for your wedding?

Me: singing...uh, Psalms 127, verse 1...singing...unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain...singing

God: ...why aren't you letting me?

Me: ...

The fact is this...I haven't been letting God do the building. I see these issues and fear the potential long term effects they could have not only with Hope and Kyle's relationship, but with Lisa and I. And like many men, when I see a problem I want/need to solve it...the key word here is 'I'. It has nothing to do with me feeling like I can do a better job than God, instead it has A LOT to do with pain. I don't much like pain and so, the quicker a painful thing comes and goes, the better. I want this situation (that is causing pain) to go away...quickly! And so, my impatient, pain avoiding self, picks up the hammer, a hand full of nails and attempts to do the building myself. Except I don't have the blueprints...God does. Have you ever tried to build ANYTHING, let alone a house, without the instructions, or blueprints? Unless you want your house to look something like the tree fort I attempted to build when I was 10, I wouldn't advise it. Not only do I not have the blueprints, but I keep hitting my thumb with that stupid hammer...in essence, causing more pain. We know that growth and learning comes through effort...pain. A diamond can only be made through extreme heat, pressure and time. A precious child comes into this world through the pain and labor of it's mother.

God wants better for us than some ramshackle tree house built with ill cut and badly warped planks. He KNOWS what's better for us and that's why He wants to build our house...your house. And yes, there may be times that are painful...periods of momentary trouble, but God is faithful and through the pain and sweat, He will bring beauty...I KNOW He will!

2 Corinthians 4:17 - For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweights them all.

So, who's building your house?

~ V

Man Law #6

YES...It's the return of Man Law Tuesday! I've been a little busy (doing MANLY things of course!) Hope you've missed me! So, we'll start right off with law number 6:
The MAN Purse....

I DON'T care if it's European or Metro-sexual...men aren't meant to carry purses! OK...as a boy, we ALL were fascinated with our moms purses and what treasures they held! But we're no longer boys are we? According to lovetoknow.com, 'It is no surprise that men would like to have a place to carry their necessities and avoid the ugly, full, back pocket or clanking change phenomenon.'...um, necessities? Yeah, my drivers license, debit/credit card and car keys! and since when is the sound of jingling change a phenomenon? and what exactly does that even mean?

On Fossil.com, they offer what they call 'duffles' take a look:

I am almost positive that my mom owned this purse when I was 5...

Or take a look at this SWEET little number!

...for those times when shoving your pockets full of junk STILL isn't quite enough room...Oh and this one was named The Veneeto...yeah, as in Neeto Veneeto...

I think we all can agree that this one is just right out!

...thin strap, flip over clasp, yeah! This is exactly what I've been looking for to help proclaim my masculinity!

Ok, men listen...if you need to carry more than will fit in your wallet or pockets buy a brief case already! and if a brief case isn't big enough then buy yourself a backpack...'nuff said.

I'm a man, and that's MY law!

~ V

The Highlight Reel...

Ok, let's just get it out of the way right now...Yes, I know that I've missed not one but TWO Man Law Tuesday's in a row...If my friend Brian was here, he'd come over and demand that I relinquish my MAN-CARD on the spot! I'd say that I've been busy, but that would take too much time...and when I haven't been busy, I've been exhausted!

After this week, baseball is OVER...don't get me wrong, I like baseball, but when you have two kids in the same sport this is what it looks like: Practice on Monday, games Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays not to mention tournaments on Saturdays...so, when do we have time for anything else?...we don't! I'll be happy to get my life back!

Have you ever seen the Travel Channel show, Man vs Food? This guy travels around the US in search of restaurants that have food challenges. For example: One place challenges its customers with eating a 5 lb burger (yes, it has 16 slices of cheese on it...) in an hour and another challenges its patrons to eating a dozen of their Diablo Chicken wings (made with wings that have been soaked in habanero paste, then rubbed with dried habanero pepper, then topped with habanero salsa) in 30 minutes. One might ask why?...one would be right.

You've heard of King Midas right? Everything he touched turned to gold. Well, yesterday I WASN'T King Midas...I decided to create a Windows XP bootable USB portable drive, pretty cool and really handy for extracting data from a hard drive that wont boot...except I ended up reinstalling XP over the existing copy of XP on my work laptop...that didn't work so well. But that wasn't enough, so I turned around to work on the server I was preparing and CRASH...the hard disk wont boot...3 bad sectors...sigh. And STILL that wasn't enough...I made a few changes to our main router because one of our locations made the change from copper to fiber and I needed to change the main IP address for that connection...POOF! Something broke and no one could connect using a VPN client...STRIKE THREE! It as a very frustrating day, but I was able to most of my data off my laptop before I rebuilt it and I eventually was able to fix the router issue, but I'm still wrestling with the server hard drive...I don't give up easily.

Lisa's car has had brake issues for awhile, but this past weekend when I drove it and realized that braking at 50 mph caused the entire car to shake violently, I decided to do something about it. I don't know if you've had brake work done lately, but having someone change your brakes and rotors will cost anywhere from $300 to $400 dollars (if not more). I've done my share of brake jobs in the past and decided to do this myself. It took me about 2 hours and cost about $120...I felt pretty good about doing the work and saving a ton of cash!

Densie and Randy, Donna and Rose and Debbie all came up this past weekend. I just want to take a moment to say that I love my family! And I REALLY love my sisters! We had a great time and I hated to see them go. It's funny...when I was MUCH younger it really didn't matter much to me if I saw my family or not, but now...I miss them and deeply enjoy the times we have together...just wish there was more...

~ V

Yes...It's Man Law Tuesday!

Man Law #5: Men instinctively know how things are to be assembled and therefore have no need for assembly instructions, diagrams or parts lists.

Since the dawn of time when man first lashed a stick to a rectangularish rock and made the first hammer, men have been making things.

Sometimes the things that have been made have changed the course of man-kind like Henry Ford's gasoline engine. And sometimes not initially appreciated like Eli Whitney when his boss told him to 'Get that cotton pickin contraption outta my field!'

Here we have the classic bicycle...many a father has stayed up LONG after midnight on Christmas Eve assembling a child's bicycle so that it's ready for the child to run past and totally ignore while he or she tears into the countless other gifts that they're also not grateful for...sorry, lost myself for a moment...It takes us so long to put the dang thing together NOT because we can't read or follow the directions, it's because a) We want our wives to feel like we've pushed ourselves to the brink of insanity for the sake of our kids and b) We MEANT to put the sprocket and chain up near the handle bars...it's a custom chopped bike, not unlike the bikes that O.C.C make and charge $50,000 for!

And here we have the MicroLux Drill Press #81631. I'm not exactly sure what makes the 81631 better than the 81630, but needless to say it's leaps and bounds better than the 81629! Anyway, I digress...I don't know of any mad marvel of modern mechanics who could assemble this bad boy from a box of parts, but if they can...well, they're more man than I...

So...directions? BAH! Who needs 'em?...your child...if he ever wants to actually ride that bike!

I'm a man and that's MY law!
~ V

Welcome, Frogs!

My wife showed this Blog Hop to me and I thought it was a great idea! I've been writing blogs for the last three years. I'm happily married, between my wife and I we have six wonderful kids. I like to write about our family's simple, everyday ocurrances, my faith and things that God shows me about life and myself. And, oh yea ~ Man Law Tuesdays!

MckLinky Blog Hop