Friday, October 31, 2008



This election will certainly go down in history as historical. It's great to see soo many people interested in the process. I am still shocked that I can go in and vote by just telling my name and address. No ID required.

Friday, October 24, 2008

At the NC State Fair

Here we are at the NC State Fair. We just had some footlong dogs and now we are going to ride some more and see if we can get sick!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Remembering Dwayne Cross

Last night I heard the very sad news that a friend of mine and brother in Christ, Dwayne Cross, had tragically been killed in a car accident on the way home from work. According to the news report, Dwayne was 35, which is much too young to lose your life, but reminds us that each and every day is precious, and tomorrow is never promised.

Dwayne and his family attended church with my family for several years starting around 2001. They moved to Indiana a few years ago and Dwayne worked as a security guard at the University of Notre Dame.

I didn't know Dwayne very well when we attended church together. I took a lot of photos for the church, and as I looked this morning for images to remember Dwayne, I found him in the background more than the foreground. He was a quiet guy who was not out in front of the camera very much. But even more so, I think Dwayne was a guy who was just humble, and who worked very hard to provide for his family.

In the years I knew him, I remember him as a new Christian, whose faith was growing year after year. We attended Promise Keepers together in 2005, and I remember Dwayne growing in his desire to know the Lord and serve others. One thing in particular that impressed me about Dwayne was his focus on keeping things simple and on what's important. He wasn't a lofty theology teacher by any means. He was plain-spoken and matter-of-fact. He was secure in his relationship with Jesus, and had a sense of "realness" about him, imperfections and all.

In one particular instance, Dwayne and I were in a men's group together. I'm not sure what the connection was, but Dwayne was very instrumental in our group adopting an orphanage one Christmas and taking gifts to the children. I recall that because the orphanage was associated with an organization that some did not agree with, and because it was 30+ miles away from our church, some argued that we should not take on this project. I remember Dwayne being vocal and adamant about supporting the project, and saying basically (I am paraphrasing)... "It doesn't matter how far this is or who ELSE supports these kids - WE need to do something here, and help them." And so we did.

Dwayne was a tough guy. He was strong. He worked as a guard at the prison for a while, and I'm sure his life was often in danger. But he could handle it, through the strength God gave him. I know he used those hard environments to share his faith. While the rest of us stayed in the comfy suburbs, Dwayne lived out his faith in a very hostile world.

I believe Dwayne was a big teddy bear inside. I'm sure he wasn't the perfect husband and father, nor are any of us. But I am sure because of his faith in Jesus, that he is with Him now and for eternity. So maybe I knew Dwayne more than I thought.

Every moment is precious - let's not forget it. Goodbye Dwayne. We'll miss you.

Backyard Campout

Tonight we bought a tent and had our first big campout in the backyard. I remember my dad camping out with me when I was about 6. The tent was green and canvas and had wooden stakes and room for I guess 2 small people. We didn't have power in the tent with a DVD player, lights, a cell phone with a camera, and room for 7 people, but I still remember it. I think my dad's feet stuck out of the tent and we went in before the night was over, but it was still memorable. Time for bed now. Good night.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Seth and Me at NC State

Today I took off work and will be attending my accounting class in person. Seth came with me so he can get a taste of real college life. Here we are outside of my old dorm, Tucker Hall. The top left room was mine ... 359 Tucker... "Corner room at the Y." The dorm looks to be co-ed now.

We were walking past Reynolds Coliseum and Seth noticed and asked about some man-hole covers. "What's in there?" he asked. Ironically, from my memory, the one he had asked about was one of the entrances to the steam tunnel system underneath the campus. I had told him about the days when we would climb down underground and then wander the maze in the "otherworld" beneath NCSU. So I guess he found it. Upon searching the web, I found something that indicated the tunnel entrances have been secured since after 9/11. So I guess he'll never know the fun (or fear) in running through the tunnels after midnight.

Then we went to the brickyard area where we had lunch in the "atrium." Back in the old days, the choices includes burgers, hot dogs, and fries. Today, they have Chick-Fil-A, some pizza vendor, and of course, burgers, hot dogs, and fries. I was tempted to get the burger, just to hear some person say "Want cheez on that?" but I opted for the CFA stand-by, as did Seth.

Out in the brickyard, there was what was known as "the brickyard preacher." Not sure if it's the same person year after year, but the message is the same, "Turn or burn, you worthless evil drinking sleeping-around college-aged sinners!!" (click on picture to read the sign) The crowd usually stands clear of the guy, but in this case, I think an athiest was getting into a shouting match with the Most-Righteous One, and so the audience moved in closer. I have to wonder how effective this method of evangelism has been over the years. Perhaps they should try actually meeting people and telling them "You know, none of us are perfect. We all screw up and do the wrong things sometimes... Even so, God loves each and every one of us, and wants us to know him." Nah... that would just fill up our churches with a bunch of sinners and people with problems.

Then we walked around the brickyard some more and got the picture with the upside down NCS brick logo. We went into the incredible DH Hill Library, which was alive with students and collaboration and computers and studying... It was amazing to see the bustling and lively environment. It was peak season on campus.

We then walked down "engineering row," passing the buildings for nuclear, mechanical, industrial, and electrical engineering (at least that's what they used to be in the 80s). Then, when I pointed out the chemical engineering building, Seth commented, "Yea - I thought I smelled something." So that was a good laugh for me. Those Chem-E's and their noxious experiments.

Hopefully all my boys will make it to college somewhere, perhaps even to NC State University.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Caleb's Big Ice Cream Cone

This is what happens when Caleb makes his own ice cream cone at Jason's Deli. Everyone in the restaurant was amazed as he walked back to the table.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Made it to 64

We made it all the way to highway 64 in Apex!

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American Tobacco Trail Bike Ride

Here we are on the American Tobacco Trail enjoying a nice Saturday bike ride. That is Brandon, not Luke, along with Caleb and Seth.

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