Friday, November 21, 2008

The Big 4-0

My beautiful wife turned 40 yesterday. And, what a day it was. I'd been waiting for Nov. 20, 2008 for several years. I had threatened Lori with throwing her a big ol' embarrassing party to celebrate this momentous milestone. She would threaten me in turn with all sorts of bodily harm, informing me that such an action on my part could be potentially fatal. For those of you who know Lori, she loves parties, but hates being the one feted. Well, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (especially for this dead man walking) so I decided to do it anyway. Lori takes pride in the fact that she is never surprised by anything. She always has things figured out way in advance.

Her (formerly) good friends Julia, Amelia, and Talisha helped me pull off the big surprise. The only real potential slip-up was my cleaning the house 2 days in a row. I came up with a logical explanation which for once she bought. My parents are coming out for Thanksgiving next week and I told her that I wanted to go the extra mile for her on her birthday so she wouldn't have to clean as much over the weekend. Julia and Amelia had already purchased all the decorations and Talisha had taken care of the food for the party. My biggest challenge was finding a legitimate reason for coming back to the house. So, here's what I did:

I dropped the kids off at Julia's house before Lori and I left for a date. I intentionally "forgot" my phone at home and then made a big production out of locking the door from the house to the garage, which normally I never do. I made sure that Lori watched me do it. So, we dropped the kids off at Julia's and ran over to do some Christmas shopping per Lori's request. Forget those romantic dates...gotta get that shopping done. Meanwhile, I had given Julia our garage code and the girls got inside to decorate and set up the food. At sporadic instances throughout the even, I made comments about how I couldn't believe I had left my phone on the desk. After we took advantage of some good deals, we went over to Olive Garden for dinner. I had told Lori that I really wanted to see the new Bond movie, Quantam Solace. So, I asked the waitress if we could get our food ASAP because of the movie start time. They did a wonderful job of getting our food right out. I had asked Julia to call Lori's cell phone at 6:30 asking to take the kids over to our house due to a meeting Dave was having. Julia pulled it off perfectly. Lori, remembering that I had locked the house door apologized to Julia for not being able to just give her the garage code and told her that we would have to meet them somewhere to give her our house keys. I knew that's what she would do. So, I piped in that I would like to pick up my cell phone anyway. And, that did it. Lori had absolutely no clue. So, we got to the house and Julia was sitting in the Suburban with all the kids inside. Lori did notice that someone had switched the outdoor light off. She kept on saying what happened to that light? I know it was on. I made up some excuse to get something out of the trunk and told Lori to unlock the door for Julia. Well, someone had unlocked the door, too. And just as Lori put the key in she said, "Hey! This door's unlocked!" She opened the door, the lights went on, and everyone yelled "Surprise!" She was shocked! Oh, it was awesome.

We had a blast! So many of our friends showed up for the party. I'm not going to comment on all the pictures below, but let me just say our house was packed. It was the best party I've been to. Thanks to Talisha, Julia, and Amelia for helping me pull this off. Lori did admit it was a happy birthday. That's all I wanted.

The shock is written all over her face.

Julia and one of her willing conspirators, Katie.

The other Liberty wives.

Amelia built Lori 2.0. She needed some lotion on those cheeks (not Amelia, Lori 2.0).

Now, I'm confused.

Matt, Mindy, and Amelia with Lori 2.0.

I'm not sure who these guys are, but they ate all the food. The middle guy kept on giving that creepy smile.

Sheila has trained Ashley well.

Donna apparently didn't want her picture taken with Lori and Tammy.

Kassady was pretty sure that the party was in some way thrown in her honor, too.

Bernie found the best seat in the house.

This is pretty much what Dave and Marc did all night.

Lori won't let me post pictures of her presents.

Josh and Amelia, great friends of ours. Josh was worried that with Lori being pregnant and all she wouldn't have the emotional stability required for a 40th birthday party. He kept on telling Amelia to take it easy on Lori.

And, a fun time was had by all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just do it

Some great advice for Detroit...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On a lighter note...

This is hilarious! Sent in response to my UFO post by my friend Steve Hafen of KVIP in Redding, CA. This is a tribute to the great film score composer John Williams.

The Waggoner Times

There's been a lot going on in Waggonerville.

Saturday, Liberty did a video shoot for "An Idaho Family Christmas" which airs annually on NBC's local affiliate. That was a lot of fun. We had to go around caroling to different houses on the set. Unfortunately, we didn't have any say in the song selection process. So, the song they picked out, while familiar, was about 2 notes above my tenor range. Not a fan. Our families were able to be part of the taping, so you'll get to see their faces along with a few other extras. Trey begrudgingly smiled for the cameras, while Kassady twirled, skipped, and laughed and pretty much stole the show. She loves being in the spotlight and hearing "camera, lights, action".

After we were done with the video shoot we went over to Marc and Talisha's to watch the Boise State vs. Idaho game. Fortunately, we ended up blowing them out, but the first half was ugly. I love BSU, but we are ranked too high. I'm afraid we're going to get destroyed if we somehow make it into a BCS game.

Then, on Saturday night, Donna Gilbert through a surprise birthday party for Dan. His 50th birthday is on the first weekend of December. He had no clue! Which was good, because at our concert Thursday a lady came up to him and said "I hear you're having a big birthday on Saturday". He just looked at her like she was crazy and said, "I don't know who you're talking to, but my birthday isn't until December". Fortunately, he just thought she was a nutcase. Anyway, he got the usual old people gifts.

Speaking of birthdays, Lori has one coming up. I won't go into great detail, but it's one of those big ones, if you know what I mean.

I have been obsessed with learning Flash and Dreamweaver the last few days. I'm fairly competent in Photoshop, but don't know a lot about hands-on web design. The cool thing is that I actually learned quite a bit. Definitely enough to get a website up and going. I'm working on a site now for Ritchey Music Group. Bet you can't figure out who owns that company. Anyway, thanks for Bart and Jon for their pearls of wisdom.

Speaking of pearls of wisdom, I'm almost finished with Winning with People by John Maxwell. I'll be sharing some highlights in the next few days. Investing in people is one of the most significant activities we'll ever engage in. It takes time, energy, and patience. But, I'm convinced it's worth it.

So many people are telling me I have to read The Shack. It's on my short list of books to get to.

By the way, did you know that unhappy people watch more TV? I just came across this article on Drudge Report. I think it's kind of funny how we heartily embrace studies that fit within our personal framework while scoffing at scientific results that somehow don't fit within our worldview. So, in saying that, I tend to agree with the results.

I'm very fearful concerning IU's basketball team this year. But, I'm very happy that Tom Crean is coach. Good days are ahead.

God is definitely working in our church. While I'm rarely at Grace on Sunday, Liberty had this past Sunday off and so I had the chance to worship at my home church. I had trouble finding a seat. It was very cool to talk to several of the new people who have given their hearts to Christ just in the last 2 or 3 months. Dave brought it in his message Sunday morning. What keeps us from being holy? What robs us of our joy? What keeps the blood pressure up? Self-centeredness (Philippians 2:1-10). One part that really stood out to me was Dave's sharing of the difference between "serving" and "being a servant". When you serve you do it on your own time, work it in around your personal schedule (and Dave wasn't knocking that; we need people who will serve). However, being a servant is on a whole 'nother level: it's being available 24/7 to minister to whoever, wherever. People know they can come to a servant in their darkest time and they'll be there for them. It goes beyond just being a friend. Good stuff.

I've really been enjoying YouVersion. It is one of the coolest devotional sites I've come across. Thanks to Shane for sharing the link.

I'm gearing up for the Christmas season. We're going to try to get some Christmas shopping done in the next couple weeks. Actually, Lori informed me that she wants to do this one her birthday (Thursday). I'm not the kind of guy that enjoys getting up the day after Thanksgiving to fight traffic and violent shoppers for a $30 discount. So, I enjoy getting mine done good and early. Well, Mom and Dad are coming out to our place for Thanksgiving, but won't be able to be out here for Christmas, so gift-giving is coming early. Trey has already let it be known that he wants just one present: a Ninteno Wii. That sounds kinda cool to me, too. So, maybe he and I can pool our resources, exchange the various packs of socks and underwear, and end up with a Wii. We'll see.

Tonight we're going over to hear Legacy Five in concert. Love those guys.

Our CD Amazed is selling like crazy. We've never had a project sell like this. It's pretty cool, actually. There's no doubt that this is our best recording yet. Literally, every week we're hearing from someone who has been profoundly impacted by one of the songs on the project. God is good!

By the way, Decemberadio is one of my new favorite Christian rock groups. Like them a lot.

Well, I have work to do, so for long.