December 16, 2008

It's that time of the year!

We will be starting our long road trip for our holiday vacation this week!  As we are the only ones from our immediate familes that live out of state we always come back into Texas for the Christmas holidays to visit our familes.  (  Once we have kids, we'll see how that changes ;)   )

I put together a little make do map that features most of our destinations.  Without including all of the driving we will do within those destinations Google calculates that we will drive 2,822 miles.  So by the time our trip is done...we will have traveled well over 3,000 miles in 2 weeks.  w00t!
We will start off by going to Amarillo for this first weekend then driving to Houston.  With a stop in Cross Plains to visit friends and a stop in Hico for the night.  Then we will continue onto Houston until the weekend after Christmas.  Then we will go up to DFW, Stephenville, and Hico all over again to see Amy's family until New years Day.  Then we will start our trek back up to good ole' middle Tennessee....or as I sometimes refer to it "the dirty dirty"...as in The South.  Where sweet tea flows freely, BBQ is pulled pork, and the banjos never stop playing.  (OK, I am kidding, I never hear banjos.  But I also don't wander off into the deep woods either)

So there you have our glorious trip. 

But before that we have a small group holiday meal tonight with a gift exchange planned.  Then we still need to pack and pick up the rental car on Wed.  Then Thursday Amy will pick me up from work with the dogs and bags in tow and we will hit the road. 

So if you read this and you are somewhere along that blue line you see up there on that map...let us know and we can try to get a visit in, catch coffee, let you walk our dogs, you know...the usual catch-up situations.  We'd love to see as many peeps as possible! 


drop us a line  -  isaacllanes at gmail dot com    OR   amyllanes at gmail dot com

December 12, 2008

the snow showed up here...now

Yesterday it had been raining most of the day and we had heard that there could be some flurries toward the evening.  Well when it comes to forecasting the snow here in middle Tennessee...you can't believe it until you see it.  As I was leaving the office building at 4:30pm it was for sure not just rain falling anymore but what weather forcasters like to refer to it...a wintry mix. 
So I jumped in the car and headed toward the interstate knowing I would be in the car for awhile considering people already forgot how to drive when it just rains.  Throwing some snow in with the rain is a whole other monster that people don't know how to handle.  Lucky for me the interstate was not bad yet...so I got home in 30 minutes and picked up Amy b/c we had to make a grocery store run.  That's when it was now purely snow falling and it was coming down heavy.  I was nervous driving to the store and I did almost hit another car but thankfull my quick thinking and acting go us out of that pickle with no harm done to anyone.  (remember I am a mexican kid from Texas so driving in these conditions is completely unnatural for me)

So I caught this picture from the Kroger parking lot as the snow was falling...
We were having some friends over to the house too...I called them to see if they were still wanting to come over with these crazy conditions.  They are from Iowa so they didn't see a problem with it so still got to enjoy some good company for dinner. 
This morning I took these next pictures as the snow covered everything and even stuck to the sides of our fence.  I think we probably got about 3 to 4 inches of snow in about a 3 hour span. 
Then I took a picture of my foot in the snow trying to show how deep it was in the yard but it isn't too much of a good measurement.  I guess this is why they make rulers and measuring tape..which I had right behind me in the garage, but it was early and I was all giddy about the snow.  no time to think.  just step and snap.
To friends in the north...yea...no big deal...little bit of snow for us.  To our family and friends in Texas did you guys get this much? 
The interstate this morning was a complete crawl so I finally rolled into work and found out from some co-workers that it took some of them nearly 4 hours to get home last night.  I shouldn't have bragged about my 30 min commute home...they didn't find it as pleasing. 
Well the sun is now out and all the white should be gone soon.  So we got to enjoy it for a bit and we'll see when the next random snow fall hits. 

December 05, 2008

Since I mentioned McD's...

...I know most people don't go here very often but I figured Ishould share this.


I got word, via The Consumerist, that a new item has replaced a staple item from the Dollar Menu. 
Yes, the Double Cheeseburger has been taken off the Dollar Menu and is now $1.19 and has been replaced by the new McDouble.  What's a McDouble exactly?  Two patties with just one slice of cheese.
Apparently...McD's is trying to save money on the cheesy side of things. 
Did you know there were 2 slices on the Double Cheeseburger?  I guess I never paid close attention.  Well there you have it folks...if you go to McD's and order a Double Cheeseburger don't be surprised when the total turns out to be $1.07. 
Have a good weekend...i'm out!

December 04, 2008

Food Fast

Have you ever had an idea and it sounds awesome?  You start implementing it and in the process or soon after you are done...it either has gone horribly wrong or in the complete opposite direction that you thought it would.

I usually have what I think are great ideas but probably would not turn out like I would like too...but lucky for me I never act on those thoughts and ideas. 

I came across this video a few weeks ago and it kind of serves the point...you will have to watch this.


See more funny videos at Funny or Die


Every now and then, even though I know there is absolutely no nutritional or moral benefit, I do crave a quarter pounder and some fries from McD's.  And just like the video...I start to believe that the craving probably came from the devil himself (not that he lives inside of me...but that it was just an evil craving...ha!)
I think that video is so funny to me b/c it is so true. 

Isn't every decision we made a risk though?  Some of course outweigh others but every choice has a good outcome or a bad one. 
And just like I will willingly choose to eat at McD's then wonder why I ate that...it was still a conscience decision where I knew it would not turn out to be good in the end...but choose to do it anyway. 
Why do we do that?  Why are we wired like that?
In our youth we made mistakes knowing there would be a bad outcome...but did it anyway.  Then we had to live with those consequences and endure that bad decision.  But the good thing is that it always passes...some sooner than others.  The bad does go away.

In our community group we have been sharing out spiritual journey's and everyone's story has a low point..that turns into a turning point.  Where our lives got redirected on toward the right path.  And we all have those decisions where we knew that God was leading us in a certain direction...even when we thought it would be a bigger risk...there's peace.  I have been challenged to take risks in decisions and not fear the failing of it...but to have faith that God will guard that decision when He leads me toward it.  (i'm not talking about McD's anymore)
I have always been insecure about myself and when I was given the chance to a community group leader, I took it and there is not a week that goes by where I regret doing it.  But I know it is what I am suppose to be doing.  Is it easy for me, not at all.  Does it stretch me every week, yes.  Is God putting me through the ringer so that all I can do is rely on Him, you better believe it. 
"...any time God asks you to do something that is absolutly impossible and everything inside of you screams to do the opposite and you have no choice but to die to yourself before Him, that's a benefit..."
I heard Matt Chandler say this in an old sermon of his this morning on my drive in.  And it bite me in the butt hard because I realized that I had been for the longest time trying to do it all by myself.  He followed up asking if there was anything else throwing us at the feet of Christ?  And b/c we live in America where we have everything...most of us can get everything we need or what we think we need.  And probably get it at Wal-Mart.

I hope there is something that you are going through that is able to stretch your faith and make you solely rely on Christ.  Don't be afraid to be stretched and get out of your comfort zone.  He didn't call us to be comfortable and at a stand still.

November 19, 2008

LOST!

Behold the official new poster for LOST Season 5 from ABC.

This is the one show that we cannot miss!  We own the first 3 seasons on DVD and season 4 we will get when it comes out next month. 

When will we know everything?  Soon, because the show ends with Season 6. 
I am not looking forawrd to seeing this show come to an end but I am looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up because the show has gotten all kinds of crazy and out of control. 

If you have still never seen LOST, I highly recommend checking it out and try not to get hooked after the first few epi's of Season 1.  Trust me...I have seen Season 1 entirely 3 times!!!

November 06, 2008

Horchata

There is a random sports blog that I read and today I saw an endorsement for one of my favorite drinks...this is what it said...


"So, in the spirit of completely random endorsements, I’d like to take a few moments to endorse the finest non-alcohoilc drink on the planet: Horchata.


The usual description of Horchata is “rice-cinnamon drink,” but that doesn’t begin to touch upon what it is to experience this heaven-sent elixir made in buckets by illegal aliens at Mexican taquerias. What’s Horchata? Take the flavor of a nice, soft churro, mix in the addictiveness of crack cocaine, and somehow turn it into an ice-cold drink. It is the perfectly sweet companion (for your palate AND your digestive tract) to tostadas, gigantic burritos, authentic soft-shell tacos, or whatever else you’ve loaded with fiery tomatillo salsa.

Listen to me, people. I’m a barely functioning alcoholic. But when I get Mexican food, I skip the Dos Equis and Pacifico and order a Horchata (an Horchata? Dang Spanish).
DANG IT IT’S SO DELICIOUS! I need it RIGHT NOW! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

***runs six blocks to nearest taqueria

HORCHATA! HORCHATA NOW! GIVE IT TO ME!!! ÁNDALE!!!"


This blog uses a lot of choice words...so I did edit this posting to not feature those said choice words. Anyway...I thought it was too funny that those guys actually knew what it was and love it as much as I do. If you do not know what it is...do look for an authentic mexican taqueria and they should have it for you to try.



2 postings in one day...w00t!!

Commercial Suicide

The other night we were watching some TV and laughing about how some commercials really turn us off to whatever they are marketing. Well right off the bat Amy and I spatted out that the most annoying commercial right now is the Toyota zero financing commercials. If you have seen it you know what we mean. It's not the huge dancing zero avoiding the 11 featured cars sliding across the screen...what is so annoying about it is the darn jingle! the jingle "Saved By Zero" haunts my dreams I have seen that thing so many times.

They show it soooo much during football games, no joke...it is on during every commercial break and it is a 30 second long.

I mention this because the sale ended Nov. 3rd. When I would see and hear the commercial I would remind myself Nov. 3rd is almost hear and no more jingle!

that is until I read an article last night that they are extending the sale until the end of the month...
NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

October 27, 2008

ESPN the tear jerker network...?

Saturday mornings come with a routine for me. I always catch ESPN College Game Day for the preview of the day's college football games. I love the trio of commentators at the desk which include Chris Fowler, Kirk Heibstreit, and the great Lee Corso.

Well as I had to take a break from watching to go get ready for the day. I was getting out of the shower when Amy walkes in teary-eyed and I thought something bad had happened. She tells me that as she was walking through the living room when GameDay started a piece on the head football coach of Georgia, Mark Richt and his family. I had to get online and watch it since I missed it and ESPN did a great job of player the tear-jerker with this great piece.

If this video does not, as Amy's college girl friends would say, "tug at your heart strings" just a little bit. You just might have a cold and hardend heart. ;)




Good one ESPN. And Go 'Dawgs!

October 23, 2008

Tuesday night we had the great opportunity to go see the Art Music Justice Tour in Franklin. I just wanted to go because Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken would be playing. But it turned out to be a great experience to show how we can get involved in helping oppressed people around the globe. Some of the artist shared stories of trips to third world countries and saw a need that they wanted to help be involved in and also be a voice for those people here in the states.
It is sad to know about the slavery of people that still exist is some countries and how truly oppressed they are. The stories we heard of people being victims of human trafficking and slavery are nothing compared to what we have to face here in the states.
Some of the struggles we as American Christians face are so insignificant and miniscule and yet we blow them up to being persecuted or oppressed. Given there are some families in America who are dealing with a lot right financially now with the economic downturn of our government. The reasons I refer to are examples of “I was reading my Bible at Starbucks and someone called me a Bible-thumper” and so this person gets upset and feels persecuted. (that is a bad example I know, but all I could think of)

I am not one to be too political but I have to go into this…
(***And this is not an endorsement of any type***)
So many Christians are so against Obama that all they do is talk about how he is going to change America for the worse. I have received countless email forwards of why not to vote for him and what the country will become if he gets elected president. I don’t know whether I believe them or not but I do believe and know this…God will still be watching over us.
Our God is big enough to do with America what He pleases. He knows who the president will be. He knows what bad or good decisions this person will make. We have freedom of choice under Him but He will still always be on our side.
I DO believe that.

I have come to terms that Obama may very well be our next president and all I can do is ask God for His guidance for our country, like I already do, and like I would also do if McCain is elected president.


I mention all of this because an email I received talked about how Christians will be outcasts and persecuted if the worse happens in the election. Shouldn’t we be bold enough to say “Bring it on!” Are we afraid to test the limits of our faith?
Even though the stories we heard on Tuesday night were not pleasant, I have not known a faith where all I had to rely on was God. Mainly because we are too comfortable in our big houses, nice cars, and stable jobs that we rely on those things to please us. But a 13 year old girl, stolen from her family, forced to see 15 to 20 men a day in a brothel, with no foreseeable way out…what does she have to rely on?

Only God.
and did he come through for her…YES! He saved her from that life.

We can only rely on God. But how many of us have really only HAD to rely on God. And in those times when we truly believe He will rescue us…will he come through for us…of course He will but in a way that He will be glorified.



Let's not be told who to vote for but seek into your conscience and seek your true feelings about what you agree with in the platforms of all the candidates. And know that the only change you will see make a true difference is the role YOU play out within your community.

October 20, 2008

Growing old...fast

We attended an early costume party since most of us that went have something going on next weekend and the night of Halloween. Amy had a great idea of us dressing up as elderly people and she would do our make-up like she has done before for stage performances. Well everyone thought we were a huge hit and we won best costume. Comments were even made that we are going to make awesome looking old people.

what do you think...


And no...that is not my real belly! I stuffed a shirt into my shirt.

I think I played the part pretty well...making comments about needing fiber and handing out candy. Well we had a lot of fun.

This might be our Christmas card. Look out for them in the mail!

October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Carving!!!


We all went over to the Harold's b/c they have a big front porch and carved some pumpkins ...here are the pics.

Here are Bill and Ashley Harold

Adam and Julie Mast

Sarah and Brian Calcara

Leah and Wes Bishop

Matt and Alis Henderson

Amy and I

Here are all of our finished pumpkins in all their glory.
Our pumpkin, I modeled it after Domo from the Target Halloween advertising,
is on the far right of the line up.

the gorilla suit

Today is Olivia’s birthday and last night Amy and I picked her up and took her out for dinner to celebrate. Amy could not make it to her party this past Saturday so we agreed to take her out another night. So we picked her up and went to eat at Red Robin which is pretty close to their house. We figured it was a lively place to go since she is turning 4 today she would enjoy it. When the servers came out singing her a birthday song with an ice cream sundae she froze…it was too funny.

The best part of last night was when we went to Target afterward. Amy wanted to buy her something and as they looked around I went off looking for a pumpkin carving tool kit, since that is what we are doing tonight with our friends, then they came looking for me. Naturally the kits were near all of the costumes and Olivia went over and started looking at them. Well there was this full body gorilla suit. The front side of the gorilla suit was rubber as it was the chest and they had no hair on the chest. Of course the gorilla chest had nipples on it. Then we hear “BOOBIES!” as Olivia is pointing at it and then everyone within hearing distance looks toward our direction. And of course…she said it more than once. As somewhat embarrassing as it was…it was way too funny.

Maybe it was something that you had to be there for to be funny. But Amy and I had a really good laugh…so I thought I would share.

October 07, 2008

Color Of A Lonely Heart Is Blue

...as sing the Old 97's. The color of this blog is blue and it's been lonely, so very lonely.

I am here to clear off the cobwebs, dust the menus, and write a new post. However the color of this blog will stay blue (that is unless you are using a reader to read this).


A lot has happened since the last time there was posted...here we go...

+ Isaac's trip to Houston. I was able to fly down to Houston the last weekend of Sept. to attend the wedding of my friends Tony and Angela. And it was a blast! I stayed out later than I have in a really long time...but it was worth it to be able to hang out with friends I had not seen in forever. Also had a great lunch with some cousins of mine...great times. And as always...great to visit with Andy and Mom and Dad. Those who i did not get to see...i'll be in the area for a few days in December.

+ It's already October! This past year has flown by! As of Sept. 24th I have been working for Passport for a year...and it has felt like i have worked here for 2 months! I still enjoy my job...so that is something that i am very very grateful for. Now we are heavy into football season and post-season baseball...Oct. is a good month. Not to mention the weather around here as been so amazing...it is unreal.


+ Spring Hill's Country Ham Festival. This is a huge festival held in our little suburban town and it brings out everyone to join in. Still not sure why they call it the Country Ham Festival other than they sell country ham's. But they do also have pig races, hog calling competitions, and pig chases. OK...now we sound like true Tennessee hillbillies in our town.

Amy and I volunteered and we had trash duty...in the food area...at the height of the lunch rush. We were so busy. And if you want to be a servant...spend an afternoon picking up everyone's trash as they eat nachos, funnel cakes, fried snickers, BBQ Sandwiches, and all your favorite carnival style foods. When you are handling trash...you get some interesting looks...but you never hear..."thanks for your service!" If you are at an event and there are volunteers...please be sure to thank them b/c if it were not for volunteers the event would not be a success.

Also learned that we as Americans waste a lot of food. We threw away so many bags full of food that i was getting so irritated. I know it is an obvious thing that we waste a lot of food...but right there in front of us was clear evidence, so the thought of it is still fresh on my mind.


+ TV Shows Back in Full Swing. Now that all the shows are back...we have so much stuff recorded on our DVR. DVR is so awesome b/c instead of always being in front of the TV we can watch our favorite shows whenever we want to or have time to sit down and enjoy them. As bad as reality TV is...our favorites have always been Survivor and Amazing Race and Top Chef will soon be back on again with a new season. We are TV junkies...it's embarassing. And trying to watch TV shows around football and baseball...I am frying my brain.

+ New Listenings.

The Gabe Dixon Band's self titled album that was recently released.
I have been listening to a lot of this album and I am still amazed by it.
It's just really good piano driven tunes that are an easy listen.

I am not usually really impressed by most Christian artists but Brandon Heath
is really good and we both have really enjoyed his music.
This is his sophmore album that was released in August.
And props to my little brother Andy for turning me on to
his music while I borrowed the truck in Houston.

Unbelievable

I am actually undefeated and ranked #1 in my fantasy football league.
After I thought I had drafted a mediocre team, yet it looks like my
risks of picking up 2 rookie running backs and a 1st year QB starter
has paid off.

However, b/c I am posting this, I am sure my 1st loss will come this
next weekend.

September 19, 2008

Need Gas?

Even middle TN is having a huge gas shortage right now. And guess
who's car had a lit gas light this morning. Oh yes, I just waited at
one if the only gas stations with gas for 45 minutes. People are crazy
and freaking out. I'll gladly stay home b/c I can't get to work.

September 18, 2008

Ramblings of a Beggar

+ Amy got back home last night after being gone for a week and the dogs and I were really glad to see her. When Amy went to her closet to change last night she screamed Bugsy's name and I thought the poor dog had hurt himself. Turns out that in while Amy was gone...he got upset for her leaving...so what does he do. He pooped right in the middle of her closet! It probably happened the day after she left because it was not fresh at all and how I didn't smell it is beyond me. So don't make your pets mad...when they get mad...they poop. (at least our crazy dog does)

+ I had ordered sod for our side yard that never ever grew in and so my great friend Bobby went to pick it up for me and Jason also came over to help lay it. I had prepared the ground already so we just had to lay it. And today my lower back hurts and my hamstrings feel like they have been running for miles without end. Small price to pay for our side yard to not look like West TX anymore, I guess.

+ We use Netflix and one of our favorite genre is documentaries. I love watching documentaries! I guess it has to do with it being real life and not just a movie that is fictional.
Last night we watched Young @ Heart and it was awesome. It a chorus made up of elderly people and they sing un-elderly songs. Songs from bands like Sonic Youth, The Clash, James Brown, and The Beegees to name a few artists they cover. And they are famous! They even travel to Europe on tour. It was a great flick and we highly recommend it. The flick will make you smile, laugh, and might pull a few tears out. Look for their rendition of Coldplay's Fix You toward the end of the film...amazing. It was just released on DVD this Tuesday, 9/16/08.

+ My parents are just fine after hurricane Ike. They had no damage to the house and the electricity went out for a total of 30 minutes during the storm. So they have been much better off then most people who have not had electricity since early Saturday morning.

+ Speaking of weather...it has been awesome here in middle TN with the highs of mid 80's and lows of low 60's. We'll be hanging out outside more often.

September 12, 2008

Please, Before I Go

As most people are preparing their homes and evacuating from Texas. Amy is boarding a plane to head to Texas this morning.

As many of you know I am from Houston and my family still resides there...so please be thinking of them and everyone else in the area as this hurricane named Ike rears it's ugly head over the Texas coast. I don't think my parents are planning to leave their house unless they are required to by the state/county/city officials so I can only pray that they will be fine as Ike passes.

I also can only pray for Amy's travels while she is visiting her family in Texas. She will be gone until Wednesday night and I will really miss her. It's funny at how much we take each others company for granted sometimes...and it is really evident when one of us has to stay at home alone. It just gets so lonely without the other on there to talk to. ***and the dogs do NOT count***
But Amy should be fine flying today as Ike is not set to hit Texas until tomorrow or tonight...she will get there by noon today to DFW.

You should probably pray that I survive at home alone and don't starve myself and the dogs. You all should probably pray for them first...I am pretty sure I can outlast them.

Actually it's funny how so many spouses always joke about whether the men will be able to survive when the wife is away. Does it look worse that those jokes make men look so dependant or that woman seem to be the home provider...? I guess it could go both ways depending on the gender but I when do say them they simply as jokes...but maybe I should stop. Afterall I am not completely helpless...I did mention in the last post that I was ironing clothes this week. That's worth something.


Texas...take care of my Queen while she visits!

September 08, 2008

Gibberish

Yesterday my good pal Bill and I went to the Tennessee Titans home opening game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, thanks to the sweet (free) hook-up Bill got us. We had tickets in the lower section, 29 rows up on the home side, on the 50 yard line, and to top it off we had a parking pass too. So we parked one lot over from LP field...that being...I will probably not have a better game experiance than that one.

Now that football season is in full swing. Most of us guys can't even think straight. Whether it be concerning house chores to basic responsibilities like putting deodorant on. Our minds are always thinking over the latest game, the standings, the rankings, what injuries are out there, and which games we can catch on TV or go see live.
Most of that has to do with our fantasy teams, be it one or 5. (i only have 1 fantasy team...fyi)

As a perfect example here is a conversation i had with Josh today:

Josh: dude, awesome. so....can i come over?
i have been hankering for a big dose of football
me: you have class
Josh: dang it! i already forgot about it
me: aren't you at the lifeway building?
Josh: yeah, that would be a good reason for me to still be here huh
me: haha...too funny
Josh: i got caught up in the thought of football
and no work tomorrow
me: yea...that'll do it to ya

He was already in the building his class is held...and had already forgot b/c he found out there was a double header going on tonight for MNF. awesome.
(i copied that straight from GoogleTalk)

So ladies...have patience with us guys.

And there is hope...b/c last night as i watched part of Sunday night's game i was folding laundry and then i started ironing clothes. So just stick some chores in between the TV and us guys and we can still be productive. It may be a little sloppy...but it's a start. : )

August 29, 2008

A Savior on Capitol Hill

...there's never going to be one.

I usually refrain from voicing what I think in politics but with so much going on with this presidential election is hard to not voice a little of what I think. (this in no way states who I am for or against...but simply thoughts)

First off, putting political parties aside, I think it is great to see the change that America has come to that there is a man of African-American decent who has a presidential nomination. It was great to hear of the older African-American people's emotions as Barak accepted the official nomination. I love that America has so much history and to be able to see how it is always changing. When you think about it, it is something older generations never thought they would see...and look...it's happened. We are experiencing history people!
And now (adding hours after first post) there is a female in the election as a vise president nominee! Truly a historical election year.

Now of course I am more conservative in my beliefs than not...but geez was I ashamed when I heard of and then saw a video of a major "Christian" organization asking for rain on the nights of the DNC. (some of these thoughts come from my friend Greg as we talked about this) And we ranted that if certain people believe that our God is so powerful to make it rain on those nights, is He not so powerful as to change people's hearts? Point being...why pray for rain when they could pray for the people...whether it be the entire democratic party or just Barak himself. Not stating that they or he need prayer but wouldn't it be more beneficial to pray for them than rain?

We also need to ask ourselves why we put such faith in politicians. We need to focus on our lives and the lives we all directly affect. We can't expect any politician to do God's work...we should expect ourselves to do God's work. I am not saying don't vote or don't get involved but we need to be involved in a way they we can directly contribute to our own beliefs and not let a presidiential candidiate respresent what you believe.

Here is a link from fellow blogger's post about what John Piper had to share about one issue voting. I know for a lot of people their vote with go the way of the abortion issue...which is a single issue vote. I like how this fellow blogger Bryan stated this:


Personally, I hate abortion. The thought of it makes me angry, and I’m not
embellishing. But I also realize that only a few decisions of the thousands a
president makes in his term have any direct or indirect impact on abortion.
Additionally, the chances of Roe V Wade being repealed are very slim. So based
on that, here’s my question(s) to you, choose any to answer that apply:

1. Regardless of your personal stance on abortion, what role does the
issue play in determining your vote? Is it a very small factor, one of a few big
issues you consider, your biggest factor, the Only factor you consider?

2. If you vote Republican based primarily on the abortion issue, how do
you justify electing someone to do a job based on one issue that represents less
than 1% of what that job entails?

3. If you knew for an absolute fact
that the president we were going to elect would make NO decisions in the next 4
years that affected abortion at all, would his/her stance on abortion still
factor in to your decision on who to vote for?


I know it's a tough issue and I am probably way over my head in this...but I hope everyone just takes it as something else to think about.

(again these are just thoughts and rehashes of convos and readings of mine...)

August 23, 2008

The Contenders


So this weekend Wendy came back into town to attend a wedding of some of her friends from her old church and so we got to see her. We went to Utopia Coffee this morning for brunch and we had a little picture taking time and this one was my favorite.
(thanks Mandy for the awesome photo, you're a natural)

August 15, 2008

Burrito

If any of you took notice of my twitter, myspace, or facebook updates yesterday you might be curious as to what went down. And...if you have read quite a few of these blog posts by us you might have picked up on the clues that we eat at Moe's Southwest Grill pretty darn often. (If you dont know this...Moe's is one of our favorite places to eat and we practically go there probably once a week. But we for sure do not miss more that 2 weeks without eating there...it's just really good.)

Well here is what happened...

Our little suburb is kind of exploding with retailers and restuarants and Moe's was one of the places annouced to open up in Spring Hill by this summer. That day was yesterday.
I had also learned that when Moe's opened it would give out a free burrito per week for a year to the first 100 customers on the opening day.

So my buddy Kevin (find out who Kevin is here and here) and I planned on camping out if we needed to for this extravaganza and took a day of vacation for Thursday. We were ready to camp out all night if we had to for 12 hours or more. But we planned on scoping the site out for numbers first before camping out all night. Well Kevin took the first shift of driving by to see how the line was progressing and there were about 20 people by 10pm on Wednesday night. I got up around 1am to go scope it out and there were the same 20 (give or take) people there from Kevin's last drive-by. So we planned on getting there by 4am...just to play it safe. And we were numbers 28 and 29 in line for our free burritos!

Sad news was that we could have stayed in bed until 6am b/c the next person to show up after us to be last in line happened to get there around 6:30am. oh well.

So we waited for 7 hours. And now we will save $360 in burritos for a year. woohoo!
(I also got a t-shirt and a Hatch Print made custom for the opening of Moe's in the Hill)


Now that I am sure you all think I am off my head.
I sign off, looking forward to next weeks free meal.

August 12, 2008

Games (cont.)

As the Olympic games go on for a few more days it has been fun watching all of the events so far. I was talking with Josh about how the Olympics really brings out the patriotism in our country as a whole. As I chat here and there with friends, family, and co-workers...the one thing we can all talk about and enjoy is watching the Olympics. So we as a nation still have this one thing where we can all agree on...cheer on our American Athletes! In a time when we seem like such a divded nation...be it for political, environmental, or religious reasons...it is still reassuring that we can all come together to cheer for our athletes.

Who could not cheer for the American swimmer's 2 nights ago when they swam to a gold medal finish in a race where they came back from a body length behind to beat the heavily favored, trash-talked French...? If you did not watch it please to go nbcolympics.com to see it all go down. Not only that but the first 6 teams to finish all beat the previous world record! what!?!

crazy ridiculous.

So here's to America...unified completely for a few more days!
Then it's back to the politics again...sigh

August 08, 2008

Games

As I am sure most of you all know, the Olympic Games start today with the opening ceremonies. So I am excited to get to see all the competitions and people trying to break the records to be broken. As I was browsing through my Google Reader this morning I noticed that Google has a site dedicated strictly to the Olympics and it looks really cool. Check it out here at 2008 Summer Games on Google.

My favorite part of it is this tour they did with Google Earth 3D that shows all of the venues where the games will take place.



I have always been a big fan of sports b/c it can relate a lot to our spiritial being. Even Paul gave sports examples when he said things like running the race, staying focused, and not missing the mark. Another point of Paul referencing sports is that it also dates sports back, way back into history. So as the Olymipan athletes have trained their bodies to compete in these next few days we should train our minds and hearts to stay completely focused and compete against all earthly matters that try to weak our faith.

As you watch these athletes notice their determination to do it right and do it perfect and ask yourself if you are training yourself to always do it right and to do it perfect. Yes, it takes practice, so that we have enough practice for when we do hit a trial that is going to need our full attention, determination, and focus.

Let the games begin!

August 04, 2008

Life and Love and Why

Alas, another post...after a week long absence from the blogosphere a new posting arrives. A lot has happened this past week and it mainly revolves around Amy. But I will have to post in order to save her from some tears.

Tears? Yes, tears....this past week was her last week with Olivia and Annie. She tried not to talk about it all week. It was hard on her, I know, so I tried to keep her mind off of it. But it was hard for me to do that considering she has been spending each week with Olivia for over 3 years now. What's funny is that she started this nanny job as a temporary thing until something else came along...3 years later she has 2 little girls that she loves dearly.

Every Thursday for lunch since I started working in Franklin has been spent with Amy and Olivia and occasionally Annie came along too. But this past Thursday was the last lunch all together and even I tried not to think about it for too long. I will miss looking forward to lunch on Thursdays.

Friday as Amy's day was coming to an end she said goodbyes to the girls and cried most of the way home. I know it is tough to depart from them but at the same time I cannot emphasize with her since she spent so much more time with them, yet seeing Amy sad really made me sad. But Amy has handled it pretty well actually and I am proud of her in so many ways.

As she never planned on being a nanny long term she started a new job today for another family. So she works 2 days in Spring Hill and 3 days in Brentwood now. So it is still a full-time job and not looking so short-term yet!

I called Amy at 10am this morning and she had been showered in little David's spit up. She claimed she had a rude awakening back into baby life. We both agreed she needs to have an emergency change of clothes with her at all times. ha!

OK...just wanted to update you all on that for now...more to come as I have time...

July 26, 2008

Time Alone

Well Amy has gone on a beach trip with 4 friends for a birthday weekend get away. There were no fellas allowed, so us husbands were left at home to fend for ourselves...and watch the dogs.

So needless to say, I have watched a lot of TV and movies. ha! I had ordered 2 documentaries that I had heard were good for this weekend so that I would not bore Amy with them since she'd be gone.
After dinner and hang out time with the guys last night I figured I would stay up and watch one since the dogs had been in their crates most of the day. It was only 10pm anyway. First on the list was King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.I had first heard of this movie from a blogger whom I respect as a movie/film critic, his blog is called The Search. A good mid-western fellow who went and got his master's at UCLA film school and he writes a lot of movie reviews for a few magazines ad websites. So I have come to respect his reviews and really try to watch his recommendations of certain films.

And King of Kong was no exception. What a great film that I didn't know what exactly to expect from. I found myself last night cheering for one of the guys in the movie...the film does a great job of pulling you in, even when you have no desire about video game high scores. I actually stood up and applauded at the end of this film, I was in an empty house watching this alone, I don't applaud any films...ever. EVER. **i'm sure the dogs thought i had lost it without Amy here
I won't go into into detail about the movie so that it leaves some mystery for you go to see it yourself...but I recommend it so much and I will probably watch it again tonight. (and try not to applaud once it ends again)


Then I watched Danielson:A Family Movie and I thought this one was quite different. The film focuses on a Daniel Smith who was raised in a Christian home and when grown up and finds his own faith in God then creates music and his siblings are all in the band with him. He even does his thesis on the music with his family. I think the reason I say this film was different was because of the music that they made. Not at all your typical music of choice. Now I know I have interesting musical tastes and likings...but they are not this weird and obscure. At least not from my own personal point of view. (someone enlighten me if I am way out there)
My favorite part of the film was watching a young Sufjan Stevens in it and see where he developed musically from the influences of Danielson and this band made up of family. Sufjan came in and played different parts with the family when they went on tour with the youngest brother staying at home b/c of school obligations. And Sufjan Stevens actually records his music in Danielson's studio. So by far the highlight of the film was seeing Sufjan and it chronicled his success to releasing his Illinoise album.

OK, I will leave you all with that for now. I'm not a good reviewer at all so i hope you come back to read the blog and any poor attempts of my trying to review a film or music...or a book for that matter.

Oh! have you all seen the Sour Patch Kids commercials? They are funny, yet creepy. Watch these...






July 23, 2008

Run Around

This what happens when you run around a recently mowed, wet, and muddy
yard.

Who's next?

July 22, 2008

Pics of Amy - 2nd Round

This is THE only picture that we took when we went to South Padre Island.
Oh other than the fireworks pic from a few posts ago.

Every Thursday Amy and Olivia come to Franklin and pick me up to go eat lunch somewhere...it is honestly one of my favorite days of the week. Because 1) I get to see Amy and Olivia and 2) I won't be eating a sandwich that day...ha!

We went to our favorite hotspot *Moe's* this day and for some reason I was being extra funny so I pulled out the phone and snapped these...and they are too good to not share.



Hope everyone enjoys their Hump day tomorrow!
Yay for the middle of the week.

Birthday!!!

Today is Amy's birthday!!!


I meant to grab some pics that I had taken of Amy and Olivia to post today but alas, I am forgetful. But I did just receive this picture, via email, from Lindsay (Olivia's mom) so I can post a picture! Looks like Lindsay took the girls for a birthday manicure.


***If you want to give Amy a call - drop me an email (isaacllanes at gmail dot com) and i'll email you her phone number.

July 18, 2008

No Sign of Life

...is what this blog has been experiencing lately. Sorry folks.

I keep trying to get Amy to actually post an entry...she is just not an internet person. If you have ever emailed her you know not to expect a reply any time soon. What's funny is that our small group will email me and say "Isaac, tell Amy this..."
It will be an email concerning something like a girls night out and I have to relay the message or details to Amy. ha!

But no more!
I am happy to announce that Amy has graduated into receiving and sending mobile email! (and much more for that matter)

Amy came up with the idea a few weeks ago that if I was eligibile to get the iPhone 3G for the subsidized price that I could get one and then she could take my original iPhone that I got last year. So I started my research...and low and behold...anyone who had bought an iPhone before July 11th was eligible for the subsidized pricing! Well July 11th came and the AT&T stores sold out in a matter of hours but they also had people camped out over night. I am not that guy...I was willing to wait a few weeks. I did find out that the Mac store in Nashville has stock left for Saturday morning so we slept in and got up to get there around 11:30 and there was a long line.

So I said "forget it, i'm not waiting" and we ventured to get some lunch at 5 Guys. **some of the best burgers** After some debating at lunch Amy suggested that we wait and I wanted to...but I was afraid of waiting for 2 hours then them running out of stock right as I get to the front door. Turns out we went back and waited for 3 hours and there was still stock by the end of the day. Well we got me all activated and i had already gotten a new SIMcard for Amy's line and we went home to activate her line on the original iPhone.

So now we both have iPhones. :)
It was a blast teaching Amy how to use all of the features and watching the iPhone tutorial from Apple.com with her as she learned more.

So needless to say...Amy will receive all her emails soon after you send them to her. ***Thanks to Gmail's IMAP capabilities*** And she has already been replying to certain emails with ease.

July 10, 2008

Eat Vegetarian

...but watch out for those pesticides! ***BTW we are not vegetarians


But check out this headline...

Pesticide Stew Leaves Family Hallucinating
Six People Sick and Hospitalized After Eating Pesticide-Laden Stew. How Did It Happen?

Oh man...i bet that was quite the experience for the people not eating the stew since where "those who got sick acted as though they were high on marijuana."

You can read the article here.

July 04, 2008

Fireworks

We came out to dinner at 6 and the fireworks* did not start until
9:15...we are dedicated.

*EDITOR NOTE: I corrected the word 'fireworks' from my originial mobile post. Dang iPhone keeps spelling words for me and I don't need it to correct certain words or abbreviations.

July 02, 2008

She Must and Shall Go Free

this blog is dedicated to the one...
the only...
the

Wendy D'Lyn Stivers

All of this is for leaving her out of the posts about our trip to Maryland and D.C. I have to mention that our time in Maryland was fun for us because Wendy flew in on Fri. morning and stayed with us until we all flew out on Sun. morning.

For those of you who do not know of Wendy...let me tell you about her...

We met Wendy when she first started working at interlinc with me a few years ago now. We eventually became friends through working at the same place and through our same frustations with people and the jobs we held...Amy was also temping there when Wendy started working but stopped soon thereafter.

I have to mention that our lives have been enriched for knowing Wendy.

When you think of a person who puts their friends before their own needs...Wendy is a prime example. Even when we moved further south to Spring Hill she would come visit us all the time even when other people said it was too far to drivefrom Nashville. She has since also dog sat for us when we had a random trip out of town. Bugsy and Rupert love their aunt Wendy! She also was a good friend to Olivia, when Olivia was asked by her mom who she wanted to invite to her birthday party first 3 people she mentioned were...Amy, Isaac, Wendy...awesome coming from a 3yr. old. Wendy loves life and loves to laugh at all that it entails. There is never a dull moment when she is around and you can't but laugh and love her.

Unfortunately, last November Wendy revealed that she was going to move back to Pittsburgh to be closer to family. So came the beginning of the year and Wendy moved back to PA. It was hard to see her go, but it was what she had to do, and for that it was all understandable.
So this trip was the first time that we were able to see Wendy since she had left TN.
And we loved it!

Thank you, Wendy, for showing us what a true friend is, for enriching our lives, and for the life long friend that we will never ever forget. Even though you do not live in the same area any more, you are thought of and prayed for often.




July 01, 2008

Southern Belle

This picture is a few weeks old but I just found it going through some emails so here it is for all to see. Amy and the girls, Annie and Olivia, eating breakfast at the Pancake Pantry.

June 30, 2008

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

We are back from trip #1. And we are tired...had some really long days and it started with our first day there.

3am waking up call by the buzzer.
4am leave the house.
4:45am checking bags.
6am take off
8:45 am EST landing
9am picking up car and driving to metro station
10am getting on metro after figuring out how to get the passes
11:15am arrive at Union Station to look for bus tour
1:30pm end tour
1:45pm finally eat lunch
2pm meet my Uncle Joel at Brook Brothers
2:30pmfind out way back to the metro to head back to car
3:30pm get in car to go check in at hotel in Annapolis
5pm get in car to go back to DC for Nationals ball game
7:10 game starts
9:30 leave for hotel
11pm fall on bed in exhaustion.

only to get up at 8 the next day to go bck to DC for sightseeing again...


Seeing the guys from my hometown was awesome and getting to hang out with Rene before the wedding day was much needed. We had a grand ole' time overall even though it was tiring.

Here are the pics from this weekend.

Thurs. we leave for trip #2 in two weeks.

June 20, 2008

Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Nothing new has been going on over on our side of the US. We do have a big two weeks coming up though. The next 2 weeks we will only be working 5 days!

We fly out next Wed. morning for Maryland where I will be in my good friend Rene's wedding in Annapolis at the beautiful chapel at the Naval Academy. I am honored to be there to celebrate Rene's special day. So we are taking advantage of the wedding a week from now and spending a few extra days in Maryland. So we'll see the sights in D.C. and Annapolis and maybe hit up Balitmore for a bit.

It is so crazy that in the Northeast all of the cities are so close together. When we are in Annapolis we could drive and be in NYC in 4 hours. That's like a trip i used to make from HPU to my parent's house in Rosenberg, TX. Not bad at all! I know any trip in TX takes half a day but even here in TN we aren't really close to bigger cities...cities of NYC caliber. Well we are about 3.5 hours from Atlanta. We've just been to Hotlanta one too many times now, so its yesterday's news.

But either way we are excited to just be going to Maryland. My favorite part of the trip will be going to the Nats game at the first ever "green" baseball park. The only reason I want to go to Balitmore is to tour Camden Yards since I cannot catch agame there I at least want to tour the ballpark that Larry King says is "the most beautiful park in the nation." I only know this b/c Larry King is a huge baseball fan and I read a book he wrote on baseball. And yes, Amy is OK with doing these few sports related things...it's only two things. And she actually is looking forward to going to thw ball game at the new Nationals park. yes!

Other things planned...sight seeing in D.C., renting bikes to tour around D.C. on our own (there's so much alone to do in D.C.). We are not driving into D.C. by the way we will be riding the Metro in b/c we don't want to deal with parking or parking fees in the city. Taking a sail boat ride out on the Cheasapeake Bay. Touring the Naval Academy and seeing the famous formation before lunch. And just taking out time taking it all in.

We are really looking forward to just seeing the older colonial type homes up there.


Oh and then the following week we are flying out back to Texas to spend the 4th of July holiday with Amy's mom in South Parde Island. woohoo!!! So that trip is just goign to be spent relaxing on the beach, reading a good book, and taking on some sun. That trip will be our vacation from our Maryland trip to recover.

I'll mobile post some pics during the trips to let you all in on our endeavours.

June 14, 2008

June 09, 2008

Drop The Hate

Since we have bought our home, we now live in a suburban subdivision where we have a homeowners association. And these committees are in place to prevent the lazies from not taking care of their houses and yards and keeping everything looking pleasant.
It is a good thing so that there is not that token house that can hide a car in their tall grass or people adding a non matching room to an outside wall of their house with every kid they have.

With our dues the entrance to the subdivision always has nice flowers and well trimmed trees and shrubs. The dues also helps maintain our walking trail and the playground and the trees and shrubs in that area.

Overall they keep the peace with the neighbors worried about their property value and those who would rather shoot the people who care about their property values. But all in all they keep the place looking nice and for that we are thankful.



yet here comes the but...

BUT whenever we are even going to add a simple flower bed to the side of the house...we have to submit a request to be approved by the board. Really? For real? Yes!
I understand when we needed to submit a request when we built our fence...I totally get that. And when we get around to building the pergola we want in the back yard...yea...I'll submit the request to be approved. But just a flower bed to make the earth a little greener, to have plants that will breathe the CO2 we exhale b/c we can't inhale it again, to simply make the house look more pleasant. Nope...We can't just wake up one Saturday and plant a flowerbed b/c we have to wait till Monday to submit a request and wait for approval.

for the love...

June 04, 2008

A Question Mark

Every Tuesday we get together with our community group and have discussions. It is one of the best parts of our church the living life together outside of the 'organized church' aspect of it. Given that the small group is organized for the most part but it's great to meet in a home, as the early church did, and have discussion in a comfortable setting.

Well our small group has grown a lot and we all have a great time together everytme we get together...b/c on top of our scheduled weekly gathers we have spontaneous gathering through the week and weekends.

We always start off our gatherings with an ice breaker to ease into discussion and I was always trying to think of clever questions and what not to ask everyone. Well then I learned of the questions in a box...called Table Topics.
And it is simply a little box full of questions for dinner parties, cocktail parties, and in our case a small group. I found a place in town that sells them and went to pick the original box up instead of ordering it online.

And our very first question led to a lot of discussion...probably more than we needed...ha!
Be here it is...
Would you rather like to meet
your great great grandparents
or your great great
grandchildren?
Any thoughts...?

May 30, 2008

It's All Understood

There is this site called GraphJams and they create graphs about stuff that includes songs, movies, and all that involves today's pop culture. You can even make your own if you fancy. The song graphs are my favorite b/c they are a play on the songs lyrics.
Since I am a huge Bealtes fan there are 2 Beatles songs referenced.

Enjoy!


song chart memes


funny graphs


funny graphs


song chart memes


song chart memes

And my personal favorite...
song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

May 29, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

First off...it's the first post in awhile now. I have been meaning to get on here and blog about our past weekend b/c it was awesome but we have been busy cleaning, having community group, walking/running, and just being lazy. Yup we are busy.

On with the show!

Mom Allen was in town this weekend! We had some activities planned for Saturday but that day only. We tried to keep it cool and relaxing so that we would not tire her out before returning to Texas. Well Saturday turned out to be too much anyway...sorry Mom. (b/c we know you'll be reading this)

We started it all by getting up early to go pick some fresh strawberries. And it was awesome...check it out.





OK, I know those are a lot of pictures of just one thing we did but we had to over compensate for the zero pictures we took after that morning. ha!

Those berries were sooo stinkin' good. We picked 4 pounds total and still have about 2 pounds in our freezer so we can use in smoothies in the days to come.

After the berry pickin' we went to get some lunch at Utopia Coffee here in town then did some grocery shopping. Next, we went to a local winery/vineyard that is fairly new. The face of it is half of Brooks & Dunn...the Brooks half. It is called Arrington Vineyards and it is really cool there since it is out in the country with lots lots lots of outdoor seating to enjoy the countryside views. On their site they encourage peeps to bring a picnic and just hang out...and next time we will.

After that we came home to relax some before we went out for dinner. But before we went to dinner we went to get some running shoes and then hit the mall up. So then by the time we got to dinner at 7:30 Mom was tired and I think we were also tired and it started to show fast.

The rest of the weekend we mostly hung out and talked so Saturday was our busy day but then on Memorial Day Monday we had a cookout for lunch then took mom to the airport at 6pm. Then we drove back and had another cookout with some of our friends. So by Monday night we slept like rocks!

OK...we are out to watch the S4 finale of LOST.

May 21, 2008

Deep in the Heart of Texas

After being back in Texas this past weekend, we had a reminder of the pride that comes with being a Texas native. Since moving out of Texas to Tennessee we noticed that no one talked about TN like people talked about TX. I know there are all the crazy sterotypes of Texans, like wearing boots and a cowboy hat everyday and riding a horse, which of course are completely bogus. But Texans also have a reputation of being too prideful of Texas and about being from there. I don't hear anyone proudly and boldly proclaim to be from Ohio, Iowa, Oregan, or any other state that is not Texas.

I guess I don't understand why we Texans have so much pride for our state but I love it that we are set apart. However, I try not to be obnoxious about it when in TN because it gets annoying to non-Texans, I have found out really fast. It is nice to be a fan of TX sports teams though b/c here is Vol country with that bright orange referred to as "big orange." And all of the Titans fans around too. So there is loyalty and pride in the university sports and pro sports teams but its not TN love as a state.

It's also fun to meet people from TX everywhere else too because it's like you become insta-friends or comrades. Well we are proud to be from Texas and we make it known in the most non-obnoxious ways we can. (sorry if we do get annoying about it at times you TN friends)


Lastly...when we were at Isai's graduation ceremony at Sam Houston the keynote speaker ended her speech with "...God bless Texas and God bless all of you!" In my mind I thought 'yea, that just happened' and had a silly grin on my face. It was good to be home.

May 19, 2008

Rite of Spring

Well we are back in TN after what seemed like the longest weekend, but we were fine with that. Being that we were back in TX and with some family, we could have stayed a few extra days. Well after we flew in we went to Rosenberg then Friday morning we drove to Huntsville to meet Isai and his wife Amy. They took us on a quick tour of the campus at Sam Houston State University before Amy and I went to meet her dad, grandmother, and brother for lunch.

It was good to her her family for a bit during lunch but then it as off to meet up with my family again. The boys went to play golf and the ladies all went to pamper themselves with manicures and what not. Dad stayed at the hotel and napped, ha!

After golf and girly pampering we all met up at Isai and Amy's house to spend the rest of the evening. They live so close to some property own by the school that is a soccer field and a track next to it, so we all went to the park and us guys kicked the soccer ball around. The picture shows the seats of the field and Isai mentioned that it was the original football field for the school. It's great to see so much history there in Huntsville, that and the prison, ha!


Saturday morning was the graduation ceremony then off to their house again for a celebration that was a crawfish boil. And it was so good. We had a lot of friends and family show up to celebrate with Isai on his accomplishment.

This is a picture of Isai and his wife Amy.

Then a picture of the entire Llanes clan!
(left to right: Amy B, Isaac, Dad, Mom, Isai, Amy E, Andy)

Over all it was a great weekend and even though it felt long it wasn't long enough.