Monday, June 30, 2008

hello July

Junkless June is over. I will be up at midnight eating ice cream and drinking pop.

My point: I proved to myself that I CAN go without the junk. Now I just have to learn to eat it in moderation. I will not undo what I did this past month. If you do, what did you really gain from going without.

Many people have had a very positive experience. If you didn't - maybe you should evaluate why you did it in the first place

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yesterday I was coming home from work and got into an accident.

This guy turned right in front of me and I creamed him. Not sure what made him think he could make it but he was wrong - it wasn't even close. 

I tried to swerve to miss him but to no avail. I locked the brakes and braced myself for the inevitable impact. It felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I saw the panic on his face then I saw the airbag punch me in the nose. 

My rearview mirror was dangling, my windshield shattered, some of the buttons came off of the dash, both airbags blew and then I stepped out of the car. My front end is a hot mess. I am not sure how much damage but it's not looking good for the mitsubishi. 

He was cited for "failure to yield when turning left", we exchanged insurance info and off I went. Trying to drive home with airbags hanging there was a little challenging. 

My point: you never know when someone is going to totally disregard common sense and take a ridiculous risk. We need to calculate our risks before we injure someone. 

To answer the obvious question - NO, I was not speeding or texting and no one else was in the car with me. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

thumbs up

When a company gives awful service I will tell people so I feel like I should do the same for companies that give great service. 

Verizon just hooked us up. Recently we discovered Twitter. It was very cool when I thought I had unlimited texting. Then I get the bill and realized it was only unlimited for verizon to verizon customers. BUMMER!!!

I called verizon and explained my ignorance and they credited my account and hooked me up with a REAL unlimited texting package and got it added to my wife's plan as well but here is the kicker - It will cost NO EXTRA a month... go figure. I can't disclose how I made it happen. We can chalk one up for a blessing or for flirting, either way, it was great. 

My point: we need to spread good experiences as much as the bad ones. I like hearing both only because it lets me be cautious of the negative companies and it makes me want to do business with the great ones. 

Good job verizon, you get a "thumbs up". I took the extra time to ask to speak to the person's supervisor so I can brag on her. She made my day, why not make hers.

disclaimer: my wife sat here and listened to the entire conversation and was ok with my flirtation (actually encouraged me to) as long as it saved us money... 

Monday, June 23, 2008

finish strong

We have one week left until the end of  junkless June. I have heard some great things from many people. Even those who have had to pay penalties are reporting that they officially broke the craving for soda, coffee, sweets, snacks... etc.

I have always believed that anyone can start but not everyone can finish. I remember being told that "if you start it, you finish it". It doesn't matter what it is, you do your best until the very end. I have always told Shayna and I will tell Hannah & Raegan - "there ain't no quit in you". Ok, so the grammar is pathetic but you get the point. 

Junkless June is teaching me a lot about the people involved. Some threw in the towel early while others said they didn't officially start it and then there are some who no matter what happens, they will not quit. It doesn't matter how many times they fall, they get back up and run thru the finish line. 

My point: if you are not going to complete the task, don't start it. If you do decide to stop before the task is complete, don't offer lame excuses or a bunch of  garbage that people won't believe anyway. Chances are that you are only saying it to make yourself feel better anyway. 

Just own up to it and choose what you start a little more carefully. You are only making it easier to quit each time you start something new. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

5 ways to stay in love

It is no secret that I love my wife very much. She is my best friend. We have chosen to allow this marriage to be built on biblical principals.  It isn't always easy, but it is well worth it. 

Here are 5 very practical things we have done throughout our relationship to choose to love:

//10 reasons I fell in love with you: one of the first fights we ever had as a married couple, we went to our separate corners. I knew she was too mad to talk so I just went in and asked her to write down 10 reasons she fell in love with me, then whenever she was ready, come and talk to me. When she came in, she was still very visibly mad but she did it. I said, I will read my list of 10 reasons I fell in love with you first. As I read, I could see her body language changing. When I finished, it was her turn and it took the focus off whatever we were arguing about and put the focus on our love. We then calmly talked about what we disagreed on and made up. 

//Filter your actions thru biblical love: one time during a disagreement, I was reading the bible. I was looking for reasons to strengthen my stance on how right I was but what happened was I different, I felt very convicted. I read 1 Cor 13 (commonly referred to as "the love chapter"). I then filtered the way we were treating each other thru the Bible's definition of love. I went to my wife and started working thru the biblical definition of love: patient, kind, does not keep score... (you'll have to read the rest for yourself) and apologized for the way I was acting. I said, love is patient and I was not very patient with you, love is kind and I was not very kind to you & went thru the entire list. She then accepted her part of the argument and we calmly made our way to a loving solution. 

//I Love you because: sometimes we will just lay together and take turns saying "I love you because..." then we fill in the blank and it feels great. 

//I feel loved when: we will also tell each other "I feel loved when..." and point out when we feel loved by the other one. This is great because it reinforces the positive things and of course we want repeat what is rewarded. 

//Heart talk: one of the best things we have done for our relationship is learn how to communicate very tough topics in a calm and loving way. This one is extremely hard but well worth learning how to do it. We don't always do it as well as we want to but that is when we allow the emotions to get in front of the love. When you hear the heart instead of the anger, it is much easier to talk calmly and work to a loving solution.  

My point: of course we disagree at times, but we choose to work thru those times. We don't let feelings stay internal and grow into bitterness. We have a choice to grow in our love. If we say we "Love", do we back it up with our actions. 

If someone asked your spouse: do you feel loved - what would their response be? What are you doing to make your spouse feel loved... 

Before you ask, NO - I am not kissing up for something I did to make her mad... This is just another way to show her how much I love her. 

Sunday, June 15, 2008

junk update

Here is the latest on the junkless June challenge.

We have about $95 in the junkpot. We had one person pay the "quitter" fine and a few have paid the penalty so they could enjoy a dessert. 

I appreciate those of you who are acting with the utmost integrity. There are few people who have not turned any penalties yet. I am not challenging the honesty of those people at all. I do want to make sure everyone understands what is considered cheating. Here are a few examples of some penalties:

//A sugar-free mint was considered cheating because the bag said "hard candy" - candy is on the list. Not all mints are candy - you need to look at the bag and be honest.
//a hash round from McDonalds - they are fried
//chicken parmesan - the chicken patty was fried
//a fruit popsicle - dessert / sweets
//a jolly rancher - candy
//tasted coffee - coffee is on the list
//licking peanut butter off your fingers after making a PB&J - peanut butter is on the list
//drink pop (even diet) on June 1st when it is clearly on the list - claiming "I didn't see the list yet... TOO BAD, It was posted and it is your responsibility to read it. 

These are just a few. There are many more. Even if you "didn't mean" to cheat - you need to have the integrity to admit it, report it and pay your penalty. You may try to justify not paying it because you forgot or didn't mean to or it was an accident - TOUGH!!! Your integrity is on the line. Other people are being honest and you need to also.

My point: If you are being totally honest, thank you. If you are cheating and not reporting it, you have some serious issues. If you said you were going to do the challenge then you cheated and decided you would quit instead of tough it out, and now are saying the lamest of all excuses "well, I didn't sign the paper"... I got one word for you - WHATEVER, YOU SISSY PUNK LOSER!!! 

If you said you were gonna do it, finish it. Be a person of integrity. I don't know how you can sleep at night if you are cheating and not owning up to it. You are only cheating yourself. 

Don't be a liar liar, we know what happens to your pants...


Today we talked about how as fathers, we hold the keys to our children's doors. Those doors can be good or bad. We have to have the wisdom to unlock the good ones and lock the bad ones. 

The relationship with the father is one of the most important relationships we can have on this earth. The view we have of our father leads us to make many decisions in our futures. 

The older I get, the more I appreciate the way my dad raised me. He kicked my butt when I was wrong and encouraged me when I did good. He praised progress and didn't ask for perfection. He let me know that I am responsible for my own decisions and my actions have consequences. 

Some of the doors my dad unlocked for me are: integrity, hard work, sacrifice, gratitude and honesty...  I will always hear him say "do it right the first time and you won't have to go back and do it again", "take a little more time and do it right", "if you say you're gonna do it, do it!" - just to name a few. 

He unlocked those doors by going thru them himself. It is one thing to say to do things but I got the honor of seeing them lived out. I saw him get up before the crack of dawn and work hard so I could have stuff I probably didn't even appreciate. 

My point: you are unlocking and locking doors for your kids. You need to be intentional about it. I can only hope and pray that when my girls reflect on the way they were raised, they will be half as appreciative as I am with my dad. 

I love you dad, Happy fathers day. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Well another year has passed in the life of my oldest daughter Shayna. She turns 12 today. She is absolutely beautiful both inside & out. 

Birthdays cause you to reflect on memories. Many years ago, we visited one of Shayna's friends who had a mother battling Lou Gehrig's disease. She couldn't communicate verbally at all.  My heart broke for her because I thought - how can I tell my kids & spouse how much I love them if I can't speak. 

On that day Shayna and I decided that we would figure out a way to say "I LOVE YOU" without having to use words. We decided that one would do something 3 times and the other would respond back with 4. We figured "I LOVE YOU" is 3 words and "I LOVE YOU TOO" is 4 words so it just made sense. 

So if ever there was a time I couldn't speak, I could blink 3 times and she would know I was saying I LOVE YOU. I tested this from the time she was just a little girl. She would be on my lap watching TV and I would squeeze her leg or hand 3 times and without thinking she would squeeze back 4 times. I was amazed at how quick she caught on at such an early age. 

Even now, when I text her I will either end with the words I LOVE YOU or I will put "1.2.3." and she will respond with "4". If we are going somewhere and can only see each other but not hear - I will hold up 3 fingers and she will hold up 4. 

I am so glad I have a nonverbal way to communicate. If for whatever reason I couldn't tell my family I love them, it would be horrible. This way - anything in 3's or 4's - we know what is being said. 

My point: We need to be intentional about making great memories to look back on. Have something special for the people you love. Be intentional with what you say and how you say it. 

Happy birthday Shayna 1.2.3...

Monday, June 9, 2008

are -vs- want to

I think I am going to change the question "how are you doing?" to "how do you want to be doing?". That may change the way people answer. 

Today, I overheard a person casually ask someone "how are you doing this morning" only to hear the person respond "I am so tired, I didn't get to bed until after 11". I thought - oh poor baby, did you not get your 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep!!! 

Why do people feel the need to tell people how bad things are. Is there nothing good you can say? Wow, that must be awful. 

Then there are people who will make it sound like it is the biggest deal to do the smallest little thing. They go into all the things that they will have to do or how much of a pain it's gonna be to help. 

If you can't do it, say no. If you can but it's gonna take some rearranging or changing plans - do it without complaining. I would rather hear you say "NO" instead of all the awful things you have to go thru to say "yes"... 

My point: Unfortunately when people say "how are you", most of the time they are just being nice. The next time someone asks you that question, give them a big smile and do your best to respond in a positive way. Watch their reaction, they will be surprised that you are different, because most people answer negative. 

If I ask, I really do care how people are doing but there are those people who you just know are going to be negative no matter what - so I stop asking those people that question and I will begin asking "how do you want to be doing?", if the response to that is negative - you got issues! 

Sunday, June 8, 2008

junk update

1 down - 3 to go

We are one week into junkless June. After many questions of clarification and reports of some serious headaches from withdrawals - it appears that things are settling nicely.  

I am hearing some people say that they need the accountability to get off certain items, others are appreciating the need to think before they eat while some people could make drinking a glass of water difficult... nonetheless, we are one week down with three to go.

Only one person so far has admitted to wanting to pay the penalty to throw in the towel so they can enjoy the things they gave up. While I would hate to see that, it would add more money to the junk pot. 

Please let me know if you have cheated at all. So far I have been very impressed with the integrity of the penalties. While most of them were accidents, there are some reports of it just being easier to pay the fine and enjoy the item. As long as they follow the guidelines, admit they cheated and pay the fines - cheat all you want.

So far there is $60 in the junkpot. There are still a lot of people that either didn't cheat or just didn't admit it yet...

My point: I think people are finally understanding the heart behind the original idea of junkless June. It is not to find substitutes it is to break yourself from the craving or desire to even want that item. 

I am very surprised that I am not craving sweets... go figure

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

why X

Why are things you shouldn't look at rated "X"? Here are some alternative ratings that may work better:

"Y" / Y are you looking at this garbage. Y are you choosing to make bad choices.

"W" / What the heck are you doing. What do you hope to accomplish by staring at this junk. What are you doing in private while looking at it.

"N" / Nothing good can come from this.

"U" / U need self control. 

"I" / I chose to look at this. I choose to keep looking at this. I am choosing not to get help. 

I guess "X" is assigned for a reason, I just don't know it. Then you have those things rated "XXX". Wow, what must be going on in that sick world to get three letters. I think the three letters should be IAM - Which would stand for I AM so ashamed of myself. I AM in so deep but I tell myself I can stop at any time. 

These are just a few right off the top of my head. Feel free to add your own. 

My point: You can call it what you want but it is what it is. You can rate it or just call it an addiction. I hear pornography addiction is the hardest addiction to break free from. I can't imagine how lonely it must be to live that lie. 

I am not judging, I just don't understand how someone even gets caught up in it but then chooses to stay in it... I applaud anyone who breaks this addiction. You are awesome!

There are some great websites out there if you need help or know someone who does (seriously it is one)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

it's the heart

The motive behind junkless june is to give up things that you struggle with. We are all giving up what everyone else struggles to make it a competition and so we can all join in the suffering...ha

Here's the big thing we junkless participants need to understand: it's the heart behind it that counts. The intent behind this month is to go cold turkey, not to wean or find healthy substitutes. I totally agree that we should find healthy alternatives but this contest was to get rid of the cravings all together. July can be the month we implement the healthy options. 

I have had many questions today. They were all innocent enough and I appreciate the integrity of the questions and the acceptance of the penalties incurred. 

Each time there is a question, I will give my opinion, which is my best interpretation of what I think you were saying, then I will ask the person who put it on the list and a few others. So if you are the one who said "fast food hamburgers" and there is a question about hamburgers, I will ask you and a few others for the heart behind you placing it on the list. 

Here are the questions and clarifications that came up on day one:

//can I eat a hamburger from a restaurant that is not a fast food restaurant?- yes. 

the reason is because the person who said it meant the "fast food" burgers only. The restaurant burgers are different. I think we all know the difference between a McDonald's burger and one from Max & Erma's. 

//is a sugar free mint considered candy?- yes. 

it says "hard candy" on the package. Candy is on the list, so even if it doesn't have sugar, it is candy.

//is a healthy snack with sugar free cool whip, sugar free pudding and fruit considered "sweets" or a "dessert"? - yes. 

cool whip and pudding are "sweets" even if they don't have sugar. If it is a sweet, it is a sweet. Again, the heart is to go cold turkey. I appreciate the healthy alternative but it was a snack that could be classified as a "dessert". 

//can I eat soft tacos from somewhere other than Chipolte? - yes. 

This person struggles with Chipolte soft tacos. The other places are not a temptation for her so she sees no reason to put them on the junk list.

//is tea sweetened with a sugar substitute acceptable? - yes.

This person is only giving up sugar sweetened cold tea. It is for cold tea only. You can have hot tea with sugar or cold tea with a sugar substitute. Again, it is the heart behind why this person put it on the list. 

My point: not everything on the list is "junk" - I get it. The goal is to rid you of temptation and to help develop self discipline. You can find the healthy alternative next month. This month is cold turkey. Once you know you can go without it, you will have more confidence to go with a healthy version. It will no longer have control over you and you can prove that you don't NEED the stuff you thought you couldn't go without. 

I know of at least 5 people who have incurred a penalty. Please report any penalties or questions to my email . There is at least $25 in the junk pot up for grabs. 

If you have a question please ask before you do it. You will be penalized for ignorance! As long as we are all playing by the same rules and with the same unquestionable integrity, this will be painfully fun... 

Please don't miss the heart behind this month. Don't be anal about it. If you have to ask, it is probably off limits.