Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Night Racing

Here are some pics from the as yet to be named speedway in the back yard. This was some Monday night practice racing getting ready for the upcoming race series in a few weeks. If you have a name for the speedway just drop me an email. Otherwise, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

My brother in law coming out of turn 4.

Me driving the Streaker through turn 3.

Hard to see with all the mud.
Notice the mud booger.
Bump drafting going into turn 2.
The pass in the grass. Dale would be proud.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Do you remember the first time you watched the movie Top Gun? Remember how when you left the movie you were inspired and pretended that your Honda Civic was a motorcycle and that F-16 jets were flying over head. You probably even went out and bought a leather bomber jacket and started calling all of your friends by their call sign.(Goose, Ice Man, Ghost Rider,etc etc.) You left that movie inspired. Something that you saw had inspired you to go out and visit your local Navy Recruiter.

Well for me the movie that offered me true inspiration had to have been Stroker Ace starring Burt Reynolds, Jim Nabors, and Lonnie Anderson. I was a youngster then and I left that movie knowing that one day I would drive in an elusive quest for glory. That quest for speed, fame, and glory fell short of making it to Greenville Pickens Speedway but the dream has been resurrected in my backyard in my very own velodrome of speed. I challenge all comers to no holes barred backyard go kart racing.

Seriously though, here are some pics of the as yet to be named speedway in the back yard. We are currently talking to corporate sponsors for the naming rights of the speedway.

A very special thanks to my wife who made my dream of having my own speedway some true. Actually, I didn't really ask her, it just kind of happened. But I do thank her for understandin

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Back Home

We are back home until Monday at least. We got home around 2:30 a.m. this morning and after we got the car unloaded, I finally got in bed around 4:00 a.m.. Needless to say, we slept late this morning. I got up and cut grass while Melissa cleaned up around the house. This afternoon all of my time was spent with Isaac working on the train in the train room. He felt ok today but was pretty tired all day from the low blood counts.

In other news, I had a really weird experience in a gas station last night. It seems that a dude dressed like a woman decided to get a little too close to me in line at the register. Dude that looked like a lady violated my 5 foot crossdressing bubble. This imaginary bubble is put in place by me to keep dudes that want to be chicks 5 feet away from me. Melissa witnessed the incident and laughed. It wasn't her imaginary bubble that was trespassed upon. Anyway, I quickly hopped in the car and off we were.

Oh well, I am going to bed. It has been a long day..

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Here's Our New Schedule

After talking with Isaac's doctors, they have given us the game plan for the next 4 weeks. They are started a round of treatment called Rituximab. It is an IV treatment given in the hospital once a week. We will be travelling back and forth each week for the next month. We will be at home Friday-Monday each week and will be in Cincinnati Tuesday-Thursday each week for the next month. Lots of travel but we would rather be at home at least some so we'll deal with it and move on.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cool Story

Here is the link to a story about some friends we met while Isaac was in the hospital. They were able to go home for the first time today. Just like us, they spent 15 months away from home during their transplant process. It's always good to hear of the kids getting to go home.

In other news, we will be going home on Thursday to South Carolina. We haven't heard any results yet but he wasn't scheduled to have any new procedures until the next week. We will be home from Thursday - Monday. Five days is better than nothing. Keep Isaac in your prayers. Specifically pray for his blood counts to come up. Also, pray for Isaac's friend in the hospital, Kayla. She has been in ICU for about 5 weeks.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I May Check It Out

Since it looks like we may be in Cincinnati for a couple of weeks, I have been looking for a couple of churches to check out in Cincinnati. I have been to Crossroads and it seems to be solid. Then tonight I came across another church nearby called Center Pointe in Goshen. I have checked out the pastors blog and ever since I read this post about how he dealt with a screwed up billboard I have been laughing my butt off. This is exactly what I would have done. There is nothing that a can of spray paint and duct tape won't fix. I could see the headlines now, local pastor arrested for billboard vandalism evangelism. It reminds me of last week when Bryan Holder and I broke into Chase's van while it sat in the parking lot at the church at 11 p.m. I may go check this church out in the morning depending on how Isaac is doing. And you can check out how the sign looked after he painted it here.

And speaking of Isaac, he told me today that it would be really cool if Jeff Gordon would win the race on his 1 year Bone Marrow Transplant Anniversary. And true to form, Jeff Gordon won tonight tying him with the late Dale Earnhardt with 76 career wins. And speaking of Jeff Gordon, Isaac, Melissa and I will be at a banquet with the Hendrick Marrow Foundation in Charlotte in less than one month. We will get to meet Isaac's donor for the first time. Isaac and his donor will be guests of honor for the dinner that is expected to raise more than one million dollars for the National Marrow Foundation.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Today is Isaac's one year bone marrow transplant anniversary. It is amazing to think that it has been a year and to look back at all that he has been through in the past year. Today, he has asked for a cookie cake and in a few minutes I am going to pick it up. We are still in Cincinnati waiting on the results of all his tests. One preliminary test came back and said that he had decreased production of his cells in his marrow. They did not detect any new antibodies. They believe that one of his meds is suppressing his marrow production but they won't know for sure until all of the tests are back.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Don't Send Me

Occasionally, Melissa will ask me to go to the grocery store as she did last night. I don't really mind going but I know that deep down inside there is a resident evil living inside of me that usually comes out in the grocery store. What is the resident evil I am speaking of? No, it's not check out line rage.(I have learned to manage the self check out thing rather well. And speaking of self check out it is great. It makes life much less embarrassing when you have to purchase those unmentionables like wart remover or hemorrhoidal suave.) And no the resident evil isn't buggy rage.(As you can imagine, I enjoy riding on the back of the buggy. It makes shopping fun like a game or something. You hop on the back and see how many aisles you can coast past.)

Anyway, the resident evil is this............ no matter what kind of list that Melissa has given me, I always seem to be drawn in by the lure of the fresh baked cookies, cakes, donuts, and cupcakes. This becomes a problem as I always end up with not the stuff from the list but instead, I end up with a buggy full of tasty pastries and frozen treats. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, especially when they have fresh made peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate balls. Which is exactly what I brought home last night. Please don't send me. The sugary delights torment me all throughout the store.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Update and more

Isaac's bone marrow biopsy went smooth and we are already back at the house here in Cincinnati. We had to be there at 7:00 a.m.. We left for the hospital at 6:30 a.m. and it should have taken only about 15 minutes to get there but today it is raining and the people up here cannot drive in the rain so we did not get there until 7:20. Amazingly, they prepped him for the procedure and took him on back to anesthesia. He was wide awake within about thirty minutes and wanting to go to Toys R Us. Any time he has to be put to sleep for any procedures, that means that he gets an automatic trip to the toy store. And speaking of the toy store, if you don't know what to say to someone who is sick or going through something, don't say anything.

A friend and I were talking last year about how people sometimes feel like they have to say something when you are going through something or see that your child is sick. Many times people don't know what to say and so instead of saying nothing, they blurt out some of the stupidest stuff that you could ever say to someone.(Here are a couple of true examples of stupid stuff that people have said to us or Isaac within the last couple of years. ex. Today as we walked up to the counter at Toys R Us, the clerk proceeds to look at Isaac with his mask on and say "Well what's wrong with you? You sick?" Melissa tells her that he has had a BMT and his immune system is low. She then says "Maybe you can take that mask off tommorrow". I know she probably meant well but pointing out the fact that he is different for having to wear a mask is not the best thing to do for a kid. Again, saying nothing would have been great in this situation.

Next example. Some time back, we were in a store about to head up to Cincinnati when the man in the store noticed Isaac wearing his mask. He then proceeded to ask Isaac why he was wearing a mask. Melissa told him we were heading to Cincinnati for Isaac's doctor appointments because of his health problems. He then proceeds to say the following to us "You know there is another little boy in the area that is having some problems like yours, I hear that he might not make it. What's your name?" Isaac tells him his name and then he says "oh yeah that was you they were talking about"
Needless to say that I almost went to jail that day because if Isaac hadn't still been standing there, I probably would have beat the living crap out of that guy.

Anyways, 99% of people are great when it comes to making comments or encouraging Isaac. But, if you are in that 1 percent and you don't know what to say to someone in a tough situation, then here are some helpful tips. 1. Don't tell them you know what they are going through because you don't. 2. Don't make them feel like there is something wrong with them. Treat them normal. 3. It is ok to ask them how they are doing. They will usually tell you all they want you to know. Try not to pry deeper because it could be tough for them to talk about. They will tell you what they are going through when they feel comfortable talking about it. 4. If a child is involved try to ask about them when the child is not around. Kids carry a ton of worry around inside their head and the more it is mentioned around them, the more they worry.
5.Don't say "is there anything we can do for you" just to make conversation. Be specific with people. People going through some type of medical trauma aren't likely to respond to a general offer of help because they don't want to feel that they are a burden. Ask questions like, Are there any special instructions I need to cut your grass at your house? What type of groceries do you like? What time can I sit in the hospital for you so that you can get some rest? People going through situations don't want to feel they are burdening others and general questions like "is there anything I can do" makes them feel more of a burden. 5. The best thing that you can say if you don't know what to say is this "I am sorry that is happening, I am praying for you. Let me pray for you right now" and then pray for them right then.

Follow these steps and you won't be the awkward idiot when it comes to talking to others going through tough times.

We wont know the results of the biopsy for a few days. We will update when we find out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Roller Coaster Ride

This is the roller coaster ride called our life. Monday was a pretty downer of a day. Isaac's platelets were really low and we were told we would be back up here indefinately. Needless to say we worry. Then today, most of his blood numbers are better than they have been in a month. His platelets are still low but are improved some from Monday. He is having a bone marrow biopsy tommorrow morning. They ran a bunch of tests today and some more will be ran in a few weeks. We probably wont know anything until next week. The good news is that the doctors feel that this is not something major going on. This is some relief but we are sill anxious to see what is going on. More updates later.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In Cincinnati

We arrived in Cincinnati this evening. Isaac is in ok spirits. He got somewhat homesick on the way up. He misses being at home already. We will be at the hospital for some appointments and tests tommorrow. Thursday, he will be having a bone marrow biopsy at 9 a.m.. They have told us that it will be several days before all of the tests come back. We are praying that it is something that is easily correctable with meds. It is tough having to wait to see what is going on. Melissa and I will probably not sleep well until we know what is going on. We will post more as we know more. Pray for Isaac and for his blood counts to do a turn around.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Not the News We Wanted

We got a call from Cincinnati today. Isaac's lab numbers are not looking good. We are heading back in the morning for an indefinate stay. The only thing we want is to have a healthy son. Today has been rough. More updates when we know more.

Back to the Nati

We are heading back to Cincinnati. This is still a part of our bi-monthly routine. Isaac's platelet counts are low right now which is of some concern. We are hoping that is just a small bump in the road and not a return of his antibodies. They are going to do some immune studies on his blood this week. We won't know the results for a couple of weeks when we go back up for our next visit. He had a very rough night last night. His weight is coming up which is a good thing but the platelet thing now has become an issue. It seems like there is always 2 steps forward and another step back. It is a tough and slow process and we are looking forward to the day when he is feeling like himself again.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Upside Down Your Turning Me

Sounds like a bad 70's song right? You remember the song. Anyway, this post has nothing to do with the song and everything to do with the way that Bryan Holder drives a go kart. This afternoon we got out the go karts and participated in the back yard ritual once again. Bryan struggled somewhat today in driving. During the first race series, I lapped him 3 times. We then swapped go karts and reversed direction and he found a little speed that he didn't have before. This time I only lapped him once.

We started off for a third series of racing and I was behind him. I passed him on the backstretch. A couple of laps later I got loose going into to turn 3 and he shot by on the inside. His momentum then carried him out wide and I pulled my crossover move to pass him back on the inside. Bryan didn't see me on the inside and as we came to the post in turn one, he cut right across the front of my cart. The kart I was driving has no brakes and I was already committed to the inside. His back right tire climbed right over the front of my kart sending me straight into the fence and sent him flipping onto his side.

The only rule in driving the black kart is to keep your hands inside the kart if you should start to flip. And so what did Bryan do? He immediately put his arm out trying to stop the crash. Fortunately, he was driving the kart with the roll cage and seatbelt and was wearing it. He was unijured other that some scrapes on his arm. It was kind of funny seeing him hanging sideways in the kart unable to free himself from the seatbelt. We both were laughing so hard we almost wet our pants.

After today's crash, I have now installed bumpers on the karts and am looking to get helmets since this racing is turning serious and all.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Graphic Artist Anyone?

So, I am in search for a graphic artist for Merge(my new ministry that produces summer camps and weekend retreats). You may be wondering why I am posting this on my blog. Well, the answer is simple. Currently, there are several hundred people each day that view this site according to my statcounter. And of those people around 50 or so a day come from Clemson University or Anderson College. I figured the best way to get the word out was to advertise what I am looking for on my site and maybe someone reading this will know someone who wants to make some extra cash.

Here is the deal. I am looking for a graphic artist or graphic artist in training(a college student would be perfect). At first the work would be on a per project basis for the next year or so and then possibly it could turn into something more permanent as the company grows. Basic projects would be promotional type stuff, brochures, posters, DVD covers and such. Someone that knows website design would be an added bonus. If you know of someone that fits the part or maybe that person is you, send me an email with some contact information and I'll be in contact.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Busy Day

Today was busy but a pretty neat day. It started off slow with me working at the office here at the house. I've been working on camp stuff and promo dvds and such. Logistical stuff has been keeping me busy. Then, this afternoon I headed off to OMG Studios where Chasen is in studio recording their newest release. They are in studio for the next couple of months. Chase has asked me to come shoot some video of them while they go through this process. All in all, I am not a music geek or anything but I found it to be interesting. I didn't realize all the writing and rewriting that went into making a CD. I thought you just went into studio and sang and pulled off some guitar riffs.(That last statement sounded like I know music but I really don't and I hope that Guitar Riffs is a word because I think that is what I heard someone say one time.) I will be popping in and out of the studio every so often to film for them as they progress through each stage of the process.

I left the studio at about 4:30 and had some time to kill before I had to be at Pendleton Street to speak. Since I had some time, I headed off to track down a new church start that I had heard about in the downtown Greenville area. After a couple of phone calls, I got pointed in the right direction. Radius Church in Greenville is a new church plant by Matt and Jenny Reeves. The cool thing is that it didn't start as a church but rather a ministry. Matt and Jenny started an after school program for kids back in September. There are tons of kids who show up. They have several adults that tutor and mentor the kids. Matt told me that they wanted to start with a group of people that wanted to serve. It is only recently that the church has started. It was a refreshing change to see people giving of their time and energy to truly reach the area and not just give it lip service.

And speaking of refreshing, it was cool to hear him say that they were there to serve the community and not serve themselves. I am about sick and tired of hearing people with a consumer Christianity mindset hopping from church to church just so they get fed. Every time some new church or new program comes along they jump ship because their needs aren't being met. I have had three conversations with people in the past month who have said to me I'm leaving this church and going to this other one now because I'm just not getting fed. Grow up and eat for yourself. The problem isn't that you aren't being fed, the problem is that you aren't eating. Too many "Christians" are sitting around waiting on somebody to coddle them, feed them, burp them, and wipe their butt. Grow up. It's not about you. If you are a Christ Follower, then you should know it is about reaching others. And Jesus did say that they would know us by our love. And how do we love, by serving others. The folks at the after school program at Radius are doing just that. Their faith is being put in action and it is cool to see.

After I left Radius, I headed to Pendleton Street where I challenged the students to reach their peers for Christ. I spoke out of Luke 15. I was encouraged by what I saw taking place there.

After leaving Pendleton Street, I was able to catch the second half of the youth service at our home church, Marathon. Bryan did a great job in challenging students to make wise decisions. I was hoping in a weird and cynically cruel way that he would fall from the ladder. I think it would have added some street cred to his message. I was especially impressed at the way David D handled the parking lot in the midst of a monsoon.(Actually, I never saw him in the parking lot, but I knew he would read this blog and I knew he did a great job because obviously no one was run over tonight. So kudos on the parking lot.)

And Craig, please remember next time that the race is all the way to the door even if old people are coming out of IHOP. As you saw, blue haired ladies will not prevent me from winning.(Please note, no blue haired ladies were hurt in the making of this post. Maybe scared a little at two adult men running at her as she came out of IHOP but not hurt. Ok maybe scared a lot. But I did hold the door for her.)

Summer 08

Good News. As I posted last week, I was in the Florida Panhandle meeting with four different locations as to our potential for conducting our camps(Merge). The good news is that we are about 95% decided on our location with only a few questions and minor details to nail down. As it stands right now, we will be conducting our camps for 6-7 weeks in the Panama City Area. Each of the 4 locations had its advantages but ultimately this one location fit our needs the best. Registration for Summer Camp will begin in December. Merge promises to offer the most creative camp experience that students have ever seen.

Also, registration for our Winter Retreat in Pigeon Forge,TN begins August 1st. If you would like more details, a promo dvd,and brochure, email me at or This weekend is going to be awesome. We have a concert by OMG recording artists Chasen, worship led by Chris Brown, plush accomodations, and more. The cool thing is that it is almost 65% full with people pre-registering.

And one more thing, after meeting with the location managers of two of the facilities in Panama City Beach, it looks as though we may attempt to do a Spring Break retreat as well. Up until last week, that hadn't even been a consideration but we have been given the option on a facility that Centrifuge usually uses if we decide to book it. Centrifuge usually books this location every year but they have not renewed their contract and we have first option on it depending on if this looks feasible or not. This is a huge step and a facility that we would like to have for our summer camps as well. Pray that we would make the right call on this one. I'm jacked up n Mountain Dew. Out.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Photos of My Fish

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my record day of fishing. You can check out the story here . Bryan posted the pictures from that day and I copied them from him. Here is proof that I indeed am a regular Bass Master. The fish now tremble when they hear the sound of my crank bait(whatever the crap a crank bait is).

And for you smartelics out there, I did not take the first fish out of Isaac's aquarium. Heck, if I was still on staff at a church I might even say that fished weighed in at about 15 pounds(evangelistically speaking of course).

Friday, April 6, 2007

Who does that?

Ok so Wednesday night I stayed in Panama City Beach at a Christian Retreat Center down there. After my meetings, I decided to run to the Boatyard to get some food. (Just a side note, this is my favorite place to eat in Panama City and is located right next to Capt. Andersen's Marina. Great open air place to eat and I recommend it. You can sit and eat and watch the fishing boats come in with their catch of the day.)

Anyway, on the way back I was heading down front beach road and traffic was bumper to bumper. It was high school Spring Break time and Thomas Drive was packed with teens gathering for the age old ritual of cruising. Inevitably, there are always kids in brand new $75,000 cars given to them by their parents and as always they find it their duty to scream the lyrics to every song as they pass each car in the opposite lane. It is funny to watch because they are singing normally right until the other car gets right beside them and then they suddenly burst out the chorus and begin to gyrate spasticly in their car.

But probably the most memorable thing was this truck that pulled in front of me and I had to follow it for about two miles down the road. In the back was a couple of teenage guys and also a guy in his late 20's- early 30's cruising in the back of the truck. I had no problem with the guy cruising in the back of the truck. But he wasn't just cruising in the back of the truck, he was checking out and hollering at every teenage girl that went by. Who does that? There is always that one guy kinda of like Napoleon's uncle in "Napoleon Dynamite". He wears his tuxedo t-shirt and refuses to realize he is a grown up and always tries to relive the glory days. He is "that guy". He graduated 10 years earlier but has never left youth group. He is that guy in high school who took a 7th grader to the prom when he was a senior.(If you did take a 7th grader to the prom as a senior, please don't tell me and I won't make fun of you.) Anyway, if you are older and want to cruise, go ahead and have fun but don't go and try to pretend you are still in high school.

More on my trip later. It was very productive.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Off To The Sunshine State

The title sounds good anyway. Tommorrow morning I am heading to the panhandle of Florida. I wish it was a pleasure trip but it is all business. Tommorrow afternoon I have some meetings scheduled with some college officials at my alma mater in Florida. Then as soon as that is over I'm off to Enterprise,Al to meet up with my best friend from college at his church, Church on the Circle, for their Wednesday service.

Thursday morning I have to be in Panama City at 9 a.m. for meetings with some camp folks there. Then as soon as that is over I am off back to Alabama for some more meetings with another camp. I head back to Florida Thursday Night.

Friday Morning is a few more meetings at my alma mater and then back to South Carolina.

That's a lot of meetings for a 48 hour trip but it should be a lot of fun.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Life on a limb

So tonight was home group once again. And usually after home group, I have some tales of fire and pyrotechnics to tell about. Tonight is no exception. I imagine that my neighbors consider me to be a bit off kilter at this stage of the game but I'm learning to get to a point in my life where I don't let others thoughts of me dictate my actions.

Anyway, ever since I was an 8 year old kid, I have had illusions of driving in Nascar. I soon discovered that this dream would not come to pass. So I altered my dream a bit. That dream eventually became that of having a go kart track in my back yard. Well, tonight that dream became a reality. Isaac, Melissa, and I are Official owners of CMS(Clary Motor Speedway). This is back yard go karting at it's best. Tonight we broke out the go karts in the back yard and into racing history we went. It was complete with a double file start with Isaac giving the green flag. Everyone drew for the heat races and for which kart they would be driving. In the first heat it was Jamie Boogity Boogity Boogity Crumpton easily defeating Granny Clampett errr Bryan Holder. In the second heat race I was able to handily defeat Chasen Ricky Bobby Callahan. That set up the consolation race in which Chase easily defeated Bryan Driving Miss Daisy Holder.

In the main event it was Jamie against myself. I held the lead for the first 4 laps before a caution slowed the field after Jamie encountered problems in turn two. On the restart it was a side by side battle for couple of laps before my kart pushed up high in turn one and Jamie was able to capitalize with a pass on the inside. Jamie was then able to pull away from my ill handling kart and went on to win the inaugural Garlington Court 500.

Because of the rainy conditions, none of the girls participated in the race. Isaac was our lone spectator and laughed and smiled while 4 grown men made laps around the back yard in go karts. Needless to say that with only one spectator, there wasn't much money for the winner's trophy.

After the racing, we all enjoyed kabobs on the grill. I had steak some folks had chicken, pork, and shrimp.

Then in our Bible study, I was challenged to Live my Life on the Limb so that I don't waste my time living less than the least. Our home group is going to write a book on this subject so that previous statement is now and hereby copyrighted. That sounded like official legal stuff anyway.