description of blog

This photo was taken by our daughter, Sarah Timmons, or my wife, depending on who you ask. We were in Rehoboth Beach, DE on Easter Sunday, 2011.

Several years ago, on the way home from a family vacation, I picked up a notebook and quickly recorded an incident that had occurred involving our son. Eventually, I used that story to illustrate something about my spiritual walk as a believer in Christ. Thus began a deliberate attempt to document the significance of everyday events. Almost any ordinary circumstance in daily life can become fodder for another story. This, almost by definition, lends itself to a blog.

Of course, many of the entries here are just ordinary diary style stuff... the stuff of ordinary blogs. Good grief, I don't want to be ordinary.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


The kids were unusually eager for Tina and I to open our gift from them on Christmas morning.  We had been given a few clues that they were working on something, but had no idea what it might be. 

At first glance, I thought they had found some old pictures on our computer, printed them off, and put them in a frame.  No, the effort was much greater. 

They had said they needed some time in the house alone.  Last Saturday was a possibility.  Tina asked them if Monday night would work.  No, they needed Saturday afternoon.

So what they actually did was to dress themselves up and take a bunch of pictures.  Katherine even went on-line to learn how to tie Asher's tie.  They dreamed up the poses.  We don't have a tri-pod (a problem I aim to remedy immediately), so they improvised using Asher's xylophone stand.

Once they had the pictures, they uploaded them onto the Walgreen's photo processing site.  And here lies the funniest part of the story. 

When they went to pick up the pictures, Walgreen's wouldn't turn them over.  They said there were copyright issues as the pictures were professionally done (nope - not making this up.)

Sarah told them she had taken them.  "These are professionally posed" Walgreen's said.  "What kind of camera did you use," they asked.  "I don't know," responded Sarah.  So after making her sign a release of some kind, removing Walgreen's of any hint of copyright infringement, they released the photos.

Once they found a frame, the rest was easy, I suppose.  They mounted the seven pictures they had had developed.  What you see here are the best of the 82 pictures they took that day.

While our kids have done well with gifts, this was by far the most thought out and cooperative effort put towards a gift our kids have ever managed to pull off.  It was, without question, the highlight of our Christmas.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Adventures of the Superhero Formerly Known as HandyMan, Chapter 7

After the incident which inspired this blog entry occurred and I had posted it, I introduced the homeowner to my blog.  I don't typically do this, but since she was our neighbor and good friend, I thought she would enjoy it, which she did. 
While I was there last week (the week of August 26, 2013) looking at some other work she and her husband wanted done, she commented about my lack of blog entries since this one (there was one lonely entry between this one written on May 28 and today, September 5, 2013.)
A couple of days ago, Debra died suddenly from what may have been a pulmonary embolism.  She was about 60 years of age, and in good health.
Our whole family loved Debra and will miss her.  She loved to tell interesting stories, and I think she would appreciate the re-posting of this one in her honor.

The morning started out with a rain shower, so Stupendously Content Man rode down to Seaford to pick up some supplies for another job.  By the time he was finished, the rain had dissipated, so he headed to a job he was trying to finish up.  He only had a day or so left on this large project which involved metal roofing.  There were multiple roofs covering the house and its various additions.

Stupendously Content Man was very eager to finish up this job.  It meant that 1) he could get paid for the work and 2) he could check it off his to-do list, as the job had been drawn out, and he was eager to mark it completed.  So motivated by items one and two, Stupendously Content Man climbed the ladder which was leaned up on the side of a shed style roof.  He surveyed the surface.  It had stopped raining, but the roof was wet.  The pitch was only moderate, and could easily be walked on under dry conditions.  He was uncertain about how much the dampness would affect his footing, so he cautiously put one foot down.  It held without a problem.  He moved off the ladder and placed the other foot down, and found it to be holding firm.  Satisfied with his analysis of the situation, he started the ascent to the area where he needed to finish off the last couple of pieces of roofing.

The Perilous 8 foot drop.
At about the third step, it became apparent that Stupendously Content Man's analysis of the footing situation was, in fact, incorrect.  Suddenly he was on his butt, and his ascent quickly turned into descent down the metal roof and towards a perilous 8 foot drop to the ground.

The normal course of action in this situation would have been to whip out your cordless drill, place a screw into the hex bit, and screw one's shirt sleeve, pant cuff, or, in the absence of either, one's own hand into the surface of the roof.  Unfortunately, the drill was the first thing dropped, and was already mid-air between the edge of the roof and the ground.

So, with cat-like reflexes, as Stupendously Content man slid past the aforementioned ladder, he twisted his body so as to be able to grab the ladder which, due to the fortunate foresight of Stupendously Content Man, had been secured with two screws to prevent it from sliding away from its position.

At this point, Stupendously Content Man made the decision to return to the ground, and continued working on tasks which could be performed from the safety of a step ladder.  Upon his return home to his wife, he described the incident, and she replied "Did you put a dent in the roof?"

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sarah's Artwork

Near the end of the school year, Sarah came home with a folder of art she had worked on during the year.  She will be going into the 10th grade next year.

Eyes of classmates.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ballet Recital 2013

May 15, 2013.  The sixth year of dance recitals.  Not one moment of regret for any of it.

2013 Picture night

2013 Recital with grandma and mom

2013 Recital with Mrs. Randolph, their instructor.

2013 Recital

 Previous Years

2008 Recital

2009 Recital

2010 Recital

2012 Recital
2011 Recital

Elias and His Catapult

Every year, Mr. Cash's 6th grade science class does a catapult project.  Katherine and Sarah both did one.  This year it was Elias's turn.

Elias incorporated a sling into his project.  Here is some text directly out of the essay he had to write.  He named his catapult the "Power Winder".

"My catapult, a roman torsion catapult/onager, is a combination of two catapults. I chose the Power Winder’s design because when I researched different catapults and how they work I found most kinds of catapults have one or two things that set them apart from others and make them work better. The torsion bundle, or rope twisted to create torsion, classifies my catapult as an onager and provides the power and strength my catapult needed. The Power Winder uses the sling idea from traditional trebuchets instead of a spoon shaped depression to hold the projectile. The sling action provides the momentum and length along the arm to fire the projectile faster."

I helped him some with the cutting of the pieces and drilling of holes for the screws, and offered suggestions as needed.  The catapult project is something I have enjoyed working on with all of the kids.  We have already starting thinking about Asher's, which will be in two years.

The boys have already starting thinking about useful applications for this catapult, such as using it as a pitching machine and launching water balloons at turkey buzzards.

There are two strings for launching the projectile.  One is a safety device to hold the arm down while getting ready for the launch (that arm is under surprising tension).  The other string pulls a trigger releasing the arm.


Here's another view.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Adventures of HandyMan, Chapter 6

HandyMan Changes His Name

The evening I wrote this out, a friend of mine was writing about difficulties his family was having in the adoption of a young girl.  That next morning, I realized I was writing this frivolity while he was writing about heartbreak.  Nevertheless, I've decided to go ahead and post this.

On the surface, this is a complete waste of space.  Below the surface, it is one way I battle the doldrums.  I'm not sure what makes me think anyone else would like to read it, except that one friend has told me he gets a kick out of it.  

If you do bother to read on, here are a few clues:  1) Sarcasm, 2) Bad theology, and 3) Sarcasm.

And one final note - The HandyMan series is based on actual, although not verbatim, conversations, which actually help with my state of mind.  Otherwise I wouldn't have them.

Handyman had sunk into the pit of self-analysis, again.   In a moment of weakness, he let his guard down and unintentionally divulged his state of mind to a friend.

HandyMan to Friend:  Do you have dreams, as in aspirations?

Friend: These days?  Not really.  But I am in survival mode and not able to look to the future much.

HM:  We need to learn to live our dreams while in survival mode.

Friend:  Lately, I'm content to complete the routine stuff.  The bar is much lower but I'm still not doing that well.

HM:  Perhaps the bar is different, but not lower.  Maybe dreams are for the unrealistic and irresponsible.

Friend:  I think your unfulfilled dreams weigh on you a lot.  I don't think they bother me as much.

HM:  Yea... I am so DONE with carrying that weight as of RIGHT NOW.  Survival mode all the way from now on.

Friend:  I think that is like trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

HM:  I'm done thinking about.  The bootstraps are going to work.

Friend:  That's good to hear.  Tell me how it goes so I can do that when I'm in need.

HM:  You may have to remind me what you are talking about because I am so done with it I will have forgotten.  Please address me as "Mr. Content in All Things" from now on.

Friend:  Wow!  How do you stay so positive?

...Time passes... perhaps a full five minutes...

HM:  You won't believe the change I've had.  It's a miracle!  I LOVE my present, past, and future life.

Friend:  I'm impressed!  I could never be that content.

HM:  It's the new me.  "Impressive" is my new middle name.

Friend:  Amazing!

HM:  Gonna be hard to keep track of all my new names.  How about "Mr. Unbelievable" for short?

Friend:  Or "Mr. Incredible"?

HM:  Already taken.  "Stupendous Man", "Mr. OMG", or "Awesome Boy" all work.

...A day later, while working outside, in the rain, chilled to the bone...

HM:  Mr. Stupendously Content is thankful for the rain.

Friend:  Uh... me too?

HM:  Mr. Stupendously Content is going to have another ridiculously stupendous day.

Friend:  In the rain.

HM:  Amazing isn't it?  When will it end?

Friend:  I never realized the bootstrap thing would work!

...A day later...

HM:  Have I mentioned how lovely everything is lately?

Friend:  You will have to give me the code for lovely.  Does it equal "crappy"?

HM:  Stupendously Content Man has abandoned the lowest form of wit (sarcasm), and only speaks sincerely now like a good normal Christian.

Friend: I hate Stupendously Content Man.

HM:  Yes, as with all perfect people, he is irritating.  Can I change my superhero name from HandyMan?  "Stupendously Content Man" is so much more appropriate now.

And thus, the name stuck, and HandyMan, in a mighty tug of superhuman strength on his bootstraps, becomes  "Stupendously Content Man".

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Weirdest Thing

This morning I checked my email and saw that my blog has sent out an email about an entry I posted on November 28, 2012 regarding my marathon training.

Not sure why that happened.  My blog is only supposed to send out the latest entry.  So we shall see what happens next.  Perhaps my blog will start randomly sending out other posts.  If so, this will become irritating to us all, and I shall put it out of its misery with sledgehammer or something.