Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When Jesus Is Your Only Option

ApplausecoverI thought this portion of Max Lucado's devotional message called "He is Waiting in the Midst of the Storm" was profound and worth printing here...particularly as we encounter this financial storm we are currently weathering.

As long as Jesus is one of many options, he is no option. As long as you
can carry your burdens alone, you don’t need a burden bearer. As long as
your situation brings you no grief, you will receive no comfort. And as
long as you can take him or leave him, you might as well leave him, because
he won’t be taken half-heartedly.

But when you mourn, when you get to the point of sorrow for your sins, when

you admit that you have no other option but to cast all your cares on him,

and when there is truly no other name that you can call, then cast all your

cares on him, for he is waiting in the midst of the storm.

Max Lucado

from The Applause of Heaven

Street Tennis with Kaden

Hpim0984Every day for the last week Kaden has been asking me to play tennis on the street. Since we've gotten the Wii and played tennis together on it, Kaden's become very skilled at the game. Last week, we started to play on our street together. We've been playing every day this week. Not only every day, but for atleast 30-60 minutes each time. Kaden's become very skilled, very quickly at tennis - both forehand and backhand over the course of just a week. Kaden just likes to play. He gets into a rhythm and just loves it. He loves it so much that he got his first blister on his thumb!

Hpim0986_2In the past, I tried taking Kaden and Alex on the tennis court. That was fun, but it is so much more effort to get out there. Why not just play on the street. It's fun and you can still hit back and forth. I can imagine that it will be fun to play on a real court again when he's ready. He'll be surprised how good he's become.

I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Kaden, if you read this one day, your dad has really loved playing tennis with you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Apple Without A Home

A happy apple left us a note on our doorstep the other day. Applenote2

The note read:

We are the apples bought at a store.

The buyer had too many and didn't want anymore.

He/she shared them with a neighbor who had too many too...

So, now they are sharing us with you!

We are good for a lady, a man or a boy...

So peel us or slice us and please do enjoy!

Love, The Apples

Just for the record, we ate the last apple on Saturday for lunch! Even the one with the face on it. He tasted the best. Burp!

Warrior Cats

WarriorcatsMy third grade son is really into these books - the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. It's about clans of cats and a main character cat named FireHeart. Other character names are Bluestar, Graystripe, Sandclaw and Tigerclaw. Alex and his third grade classmates love these books. He's already into book #4 of the series of 16 books. I think this might be the next craze after Harry Potter.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Alex The Spy

Alexpaper1_2Alex and his neighborhood buddies were playing spy games yesterday. I was blown away by his creativity. He came up Alexpaper2to me and showed me one of his spy gadgets. What a cool invention.

Alexpaper3It was a piece of paper folded up. On the outside, it is a phone. You can see, the word "Sprint" on the top. Alexpaper4

You turn it over, and it's a portable HD camera.

Alexpaper5Then, you open it up and it becomes an ipod complete with tracks from Krissy Nordhoff and Eric Nordhoff.

Then, you fold it open even further and it becomes a Dell brand laptop.

When it opens up with the keyboard, you immediately are taken to the home page of Google.

Very original and creative. I'm so proud of you, Alex.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sara Bareilles

I'm really into this new record by Sara Bareilles. I highly recommend it. Just downloaded it on iTunes. Can't get "Love Song" out of my head! Plus, I'm really intrigued by the way she was discovered via song licensing and placements on commercials.Sarab

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gas Frenzy And The Good Samaritan

Hello, it's me again. Last weekend, the Nashville region experienced a gas shortage due to the pipelines from Texas being down as a result of Hurricane Ike. There were lines all across the city with 10's of hundreds of cars waiting to get their precious gas. I was hoping we could avoid them. Unfortunately, on Saturday, we were very close to empty on our mini-van. So, we tried to find the shortest line for gas we could find in Cool Springs on a Saturday afternoon.

By 3:30pm, we had found our spot. The Shell station off of Moores Lane and Mallory Lane. We squeezed into a spot. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited some more. We noticed a larger gas truck had pulled up and was unloading gasoline in the station. That seemed hopeful, since most other stations had run out of gas. We knew if we waited long enough, the gas would be delivered. Now, it was just a matter of how long do we wait.

Ericdirectingtraffic_4After about 15 minutes of waiting, I couldn't stand it any longer. I decided to take charge. I got out of the car, Krissy took over the drivers seat, and asked some questions of the gas station. Meanwhile, I noticed the line for gas had extended all the way towards the I-65/Moore's Lane exit (about 500 yards from the station). The gas station worker informed me that they were going to begin opening up the pumps one at a time in about 10 minutes. This was hopeful news.

As I returned back to the minivan I thought this was something I should share with the rest of the cars waiting in line - now a bit impatiently. So, one by one, I began informing everyone of the news. Every car seemed very appreciative. And I was starting to like my role as the good samaritan. So, after I informed about 20 cars, I returned back to the gas station and started sorting out who was going to go to which pump. In essence, I was directing traffic.

The pumps started opening up - one by one. Soon, after about 20 minutes, the line started to move. People were trying to cut in line and my job was to stop them and make them get into the back of the line. I was amazed at my boldness with these people. These people didn't like me very much. There was one guy who tricked me and told me he just wanted a soda. Later on, I would see him get gas at the pump after pretending to get soda. He had a big black Hummer gas guzzler. Shame on him. I promptly told him that he lied to me and yelled at him. He was embarrassed and making some excuse that he wasn't from here - he was from Texas. As if that would make me feel better about him cutting in line in front of hundreds of patient drivers.

One lady in line a few cars behind me was taking pictures of people trying to cut in line with her cel phone and threatening to report them to the police. She was mad!

Ericdirectingtraffic2_2As the cars started moving and I was directing them to the best pump for quickest service, each driver would smile, wave to me. One of the ladies drove past me and said "I Love You!". I had to laugh.

The lady taking pictures of everyone and making threats to cars cutting in line, she thanked me later and shouted as she drove past. "You are our good samaritan!".

I was loving my new role as hero. I felt like I was being used to help the situation. After all, I'm type-A and I couldn't just sit around and do nothing. Atleast I was out and about - doing something.

Meanwhile, my best friend from college, Don, shows up randomly and starts taking pictures of all of this. The boys love Don and he kept them having fun while they waited.

Krissy, my loving wife, of course, is making fun of me the whole time. She knows this is typical me. She is cracking up that I'm directing traffic and keeping things in order by kicking people out of line.

Well, we finally get to the pump and I join the family and help pump the gas. The kids are sick of me being gone. Kaden is crying because he is worried about me being out there. He just wants his daddy back. I get back, assure him that everything is okay, and pump gas. We finally get out of there at 6pm.

2 and 1/2 hours at the gas station. Atleast I wasn't just sitting there. I was doing something and felt really good. After all, I was the good samaritan.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Body Update

ObesitytableIf you're wondering why I haven't submitted an update recently about my progress in the transformation, I'll give you a little heads up.

I've actually been a bit discouraged about the program I'm following. I got down and started to veer off track this week. I've only worked out twice this week and it was mostly just cardio.

What I've come to the conclusion of is this: it's not the program that's wrong, it's me and my behavior.

Tell me if you ever feel this way: I start to not see results and then I start to get down. Then, I start to think there's something wrong with my plan, so I change it. Then, I'm completely off track, confused and still don't see results, so I give up. What happens is I start to let my feelings get in the way. I start to feel down and start to do not do things because I don't "feel" like it.

That's kinda how my two boys are sometimes. If they "feel" like doing something, they do it with gusto. If they don't, they whine and complain the whole time. That's where I was at - whining and not feeling like doing the workouts.

Well, I'm glad I realized this, because I was about to give up. After talking with Krissy and she confirmed it,

I've realized that the problem is not the plan, it's me. I've not been sticking to the plan. I've been snacking, binging, overeating, eating late at night and not eating the healthy foods often. There's not been a week where I've followed the eating portion of the plan properly. So, therein lies my downfall - eating. I eat too much, too often, too fast and too late. I'm great at breakfast with portions and self-control, but by the end of the day, I break down and pig out and pig out hard!!!

The challenge is going to be changing my behavior and my thought process. I need to stay disciplined and do what I'm supposed to do even when I don't feel like it - which is very often. So, herein lies my commitment breakdown. Just do the plan. It's a good plan. Just do it. Do it when I don't want to. Do it when I am not feeling like it. I need to just do it.

One other side note is that I've not found a suitable workout time. I've decided the best workout time is in the morning at 6 - 7am. Otherwise, it's not getting done. If I should miss one time, I will do it in the evening between 5 and 6pm or 8-9pm. This is my second choice.

Okay, so there it is. I'm back on my plan and sticking to it!!! On Election Day (Nov. 4), I still have a goal to be 190lbs, 34 in waist and 14% body fat. Here I go again!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

So Much Stuff!!

Garagesalesign We're about to undertake another garage sale that our neighborhood/community is sponsoring.  Oh boy, is it fun (sarcasm).  Organizing clothes, throwing out trash.  It's amazing we find more and more junk every 6 months to sell and/or throw out.  For the last 2 years, we've sold the same amount of stuff every 6 months.  How does that happen?  Do we really accumulate so much stuff in just half a year?  Who knows. 

This time, though, we have a purpose and a goal for the sale.  We're expecting our third baby and we need furniture.  The boys are moving into the bonus room, the baby is moving into their room.  We have big remodelling plans for the upstairs we're about to take on.  Hpim0969_2 So, our goal is to make $1000 at this sale (the most we've ever made) and use that to buy some furniture for the boys room (maybe even at this garage sale, from someone selling stuff).  I'll let you know how it goes after tomorrow.

A fellow blogger friend has a challenge on his blog called the "100 Thing Challenge". He challenges you to remove everything from your life except 100 Things.  100 key things you must have to live your life.  To learn more, visit his site.  I'm not up for the challenge...yet.  1000 Things, maybe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11, 2001

911I remember exactly where I was when I first heard about the terrorist attacks.  I was driving into work and I received a message on my phone from Herbie, a prospective employee, who was scheduled to fly in for an interview telling me his flight was grounded because of the plane that hit the twin towers.  I immediately turned on the radio and listened all the way in to the description of the events that were unfolding.  I arrived at the office and watched CNN along with my staff (Katie, Malin, Mark and Elena) the events unfold live before our eyes on a TV in the Crystal Terrace building, 4th Floor off West End avenue in Nashville

Our little Alex was too young to remember.  Krissy was pregnant with Kaden back home watching as well.  It was a day I'll never forget.  I changed and America changed. 

Today, I watched the memorial being unveiled at The Pentagon and President Bush as he gave his emotional speech to the families and military servicemen there to commemorate the event.  I thought of how thankful I am to have my wife and boys.  I can't imagine what those families are feeling and experiencing remembering their lost loved ones today.  I think of Tammy Trent, who 7 years ago yesterday, lost her husband in a diving accident and who experienced unbelievable personal sorrow, loneliness and pain in the days to follow.  I remember her, Trent and her family today.

I salute our heroes in Pennsylvania who gave their lives to stop a plane from causing even more tragedy and death.  I salute our firemen who died to save thousands from certain death in the collapse of the twin towers on that day. 

9/11/01 is a day I will never forget for the rest of my life.  May God Bless America!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


1apugglecute20028_31165535_std_2 Warning, if you're an animal lover, you might want to read this with caution.  Your heart might break!


Monday, September 8, 2008

Amo & Apo

Hpim0966Amo & Apo (my parents) came to visit us last weekend.  We had such a good time.  The boys got to play golf with them 2 times.  They visited Laurel Cove.  We listened to our new dance music we just recorded.  We had lots of good meals (especially at the Asian Bistro) and played some fun games with the boys! 

Hpim0967 Also, there was lots of US Open tennis and football watching.  I even got to play a round of golf with Mom and Dad thanks to Ted's invite at King's Creek.  A great course. 

See you soon Amo & Apo.  I hope Hurricane Ike doesn't hurt your house too bad this weekend :(

Friday, September 5, 2008

Taking The Bus (For The First Time)

Hpim0957My boys (Alex is in 3rd Grade - Kaden is in 1st Grade) are taking the bus home from school for the first time.  Life goes on.  Here are some pics!  I love those guys so much!Hpim0958

This brings back memories of me, Kelly Keneally and Andrea Wall waiting for the school bus on our first day of Kindergarten at Crim School.  Oh, how the years go by!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm a 'Fun-gi'

Mushroomnote_2Someone (one of neighbors, we suspect) left a random note attached to a mushroom plucked from our yard.  It was dressed up as a person on our front porch. 


Yes, we might live on fertile ground, but the fungii are going to be cut down to size today. BTW - would the neighbor that placed this nice gift on our front porch, please step forward?!