Monday, August 31, 2009

Best & Worst of the Weekend

Best of the weekend:

-Men's Retreat @ Camp was incredible!
-Jason Nightingales ministry of the spoken Word at Camp & in our local Church
-Friendship and cooperation of the men of the Clear Lake Church and Forest City Church working together at Men's Retreat
-Noon carry-in meal at church on Sunday
-St. Louis Cardinals WIN

Worst of the weekend:

-I got nothing!

Your turn!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Breakfast Is Served!

There is a tradition at Ventura High School, (all of our kids have been associated with Ventura) that entails breakfast being served to the Senior Class by their parents.

This year, Susan is a senior and I was able to help with the breakfast. The Baptist Camp hosted the event and I was asked to make the scrambled eggs w/ bacon and a bit of cheese. The rest of the menu was as follows: world's best coffee cake, sausage links, grapes and juice. The teens and their parents really seemed to enjoy the morning. I cooked the eggs, had some breakfast and ended my morning there by working in the dish-room: cleaning trays, silverware and assorted utensils!

It is always a great time when you get the opportunity to serve and I love serving teenagers! This is the beginning of our Susan's last year in school, so we're looking for every opportunity to impact the folks of our community.

Bus driving to sports activities begin for me on Sept. 1st and the schedule is filling fast. It is going to be a great year!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Best and Worst of the Weekend

OK, I'm going to try this one more time. I was hoping that I would be able to get some of you to chime in on what you felt was your best and worst on any given weekend. That program is working ... Not So Well! But, it's all good, I think your all out there reading and lurking in the dark recesses of the blogosphere.

Lets do this:

Best & Worst of the Weekend:

-Amy home for a visit
-Lynn and I did a 7 mile walk/run
-Sunday service at the Church (I'm not sure anyone else thought so, but...)
-Sunday Night Afterglow @ Kambergers Home

-Cowboy's new stadium video board (World's Largest Flat Screen) hit by a punt in a football game, someone thought that through well!
-Kansas City Chiefs running a couple of full out blitz in a preseason game just to get a chance to hammer Bret Farve, what's the point of that?

Well, What was your best and worst?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tuesday Night At The Races

Not much going on here. Back into the regular pattern again now that Summer seems to be coming to an end. School is starting, State Fair is going on, babysitting is up and running at the house and I'm trying to dig through all of the stuff in my office!

Tuesday I was asked to help on the pit crew for the #22 "Charging Charlie McKenna" car at the races held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It was an incredible experience, I've never been on the infield at a race track. There are cars everywhere, people everywhere and everyone and everything gets move all over the place with no real problems.

Charlie did very well in the heat race where he took third after being passed on the back straight away on the last lap! That was good enough to get him into the A-Main feature race of the evening. The not so good part was that he would start the A-Main in the 14th spot. Good race, heavy traffic and not a ton of room to maneuver, Charlie was boxed in and finished just about where he started.

I need to admit here that I'm a NASCAR rube! I'm one of those guys who watches NASCAR races not for the wrecks but for the strategy game of fuel, tires and position plays. What I learned on Tuesday was that it is way easier to second guess from the comfort of my living room than it is in the belly of the racing beast.

Thanks to my friend, Charlie McKenna for the opportunity to be a part of the "TEAM".

BTW, for those who know my prowess and great automotive mind and are wondering what in the world was my responsibility on the pit crew .... I was asked to run the gas grill! I was cooking pork tenderloins for the rest of the crew and special guests that were there for the festivities!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Best & Worst Of The Weekend

My Best of the Weekend:

-Philip & Susan home from camp on Friday for the weekend!
-Iowa State Fair on Saturday!
-Great services at church on Sunday!

My Worst of the Weekend:

-Another tragic accident for the Ventura community
-Tiger Woods meltdown on Sunday
-Minnesota Twins spiraling out of control; now 6 games out

What is your best and worst of the weekend?

A "Fair" Day

Saturday was the the day that Lynn and I choose to head down to Des Moines for the Iowa State Fair 2009 version. The main reason we decided on Saturday was that would be the only day that Susan could have gone with us because she would be working all this week at the camp.

At 8 AM Lynn, Susan, Philip and I took off for "The Fair!"

Once there we began our grand tour. Now at this point I need to let you know that to the best of our recollection we have not been to the Fair in about two or three years. We had been on the Fair grounds for about 45 minutes when it dawned on me why there is a void between visits. Wall to Wall PEOPLE!

With that said...We did have a pretty good day. From the DNR Natural Resources building to a walk through of ALL the livestock barns to the agricultural building it is always a great time at the Fair. Our family has never been enamored with the "midway", that's where all of the ride and carnival games are located, our real interest besides the free actives is the State Fair FOOD!

Philip and Susan started with the smoked turkey leg supplied by the Iowa Turkey Producers stand and a cool drink. After I "helped " Susan with hers, I got myself a honey lemonade from the Honey Producers of Iowa stand inside the agricultural building. Much later Lynn and I got some smoked meat sandwiches. Lynn got the smoked beef and I got the smoked ham. After a ton more walking it was time to start thinking about heading back North to Clear Lake.

This brings us to the "getting ready to leave" program. Lynn always gets salt water taffy, Susan wanted cotton candy, Philip just wanted a soda and I wanted something that I've never tried before ... a pork chop on a stick! I made my way to the Iowa Pork Producers stand and got a pork chop for only $4.00! It was worth every penny!!! The pork chop on a stick is now my very favorite item at the Fair!

Overall, we all had a very good time and a very good day. Tired and full of good grub we headed home. Maybe we'll even go back before two or three years ... just for the pork chop on stick!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday's Bits & Boredom

Another great week:

Lynn and I have been working on a landscaping project, this is coming along well and there will be a blog post w/ pictures in the near future. We moved 1.6 ton of rock on Thursday. (I slept great last night!)

Thursday afternoon marked the end of the regular camping season at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp as we wrapped up the Family Camp 5 family carnival. I grill hamburgers at this event for all five of the Family Camps. Yesterday I cooked over 300 burgers while others cooked brats and hot dogs.

The Iowa State Fair is underway and we are trying to find room in our schedules for a day trip to Des Moines. Hopefully, Susan and Philip will be able to go with us for a day of walking, fun and State Fair FOOD!

One more quick note...Thanks to all of my faithful readers/lurkers! I can tell from my site counter that the majority of those reading my blog are return customers. For that I'm very thankful and just wanted you to know that I appreciate your faithfulness. Good to get to see you this summer T. Mark Nelson, my very good friend from France!

That's It For Now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Totally FAKE - But Fun To Watch!

This is so cool but completely fake!

Notice the blue dummy just in front of the ramp!

I'm building one in my back yard!!!

Now We're Cooking

One of the many great things about summer in North Iowa is that I get asked to help with the grilling that is done almost every week at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp.

Every week of Family Camp, I help grill on Tuesday afternoon for the banquet meal. This year we've been grilling chicken breast. But the real deal is on Thursday's! That is the day of the themed picnic/cookout. This years theme is "A Day At The Races" with all kinds of carnival games and "redneck" activities: such as horseshoes with toilet seats, ring toss w/ hula hoops and garbage cans and one of the favorites ... the pit stop challenge - changing tire competition with impact wrenches. It's a hoot!

On Thursday the grilling fare is hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. My specialty is the burgers and we cook somewhere around 360 burgers. It's quite an operation, the entire process requires about four cooks and plenty of support staff. The staff at the camp has this process down like a well oiled machine!

Usually, Lynn and I cook but from time to time others fill in for Lynn. During Family Camp #4 Fouad Fanous, a friend from Ames, was the burger co-pilot. We had a great time and I love to work with Fouad. This picture was taken in the middle of our cookout!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Things You Never Say To Your Wife

Ran across this video ... laughed untill I cried!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Just Shy Of 50 Miles

This morning Lynn and I went for a bicycle ride!

We rode from Clear Lake to Ventura to Forest City to Pilot Knob State Park and back for a total of 48 miles!

We arrived in Forest City and had a sandwich at Subway for lunch, visited Pastor Doug Farrell and then took off for Pilot Knob.

Todays weather was sunny and a high of 78, what a wonderful day for a bike ride in the country!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Big Weight Loss News

I have so many things to write about but the subject that everyone is asking me about is my recent weight loss.

Here's the deal:

At the first of the year I made the decision, for a myriad of reason, that I very much needed to lose weight. I looked into everything from a gym membership to surgery. None of these were in any way viable for me and my situation.

It was at that time when Lynn noticed a friend of ours that was loosing weight rather quickly. After some inquiry I got the name of a doctor in the Waterloo area. We made an appointment and I began a "Very Low Calorie Diet".

Here are the details: 400 calories a day, a prescription appetite suppressant, 30 mins. of exercise a day with the following stipulations; no sweating, never short of breath and able to carry on a conversation while exercising. That is about the extent of the diet.

When I started I was right at 250 pounds with my goal to reach 175. That goal was realized within 3 months. So I moved my goal to 160. I reached 164 and wanted to be far more physically active than I had been, to which Lynn demanded that I must put more fuel in the tank. A move that I was in agreement with and so I moved to more of a maintenance mode. As of this morning I'm tipping the scale at 172 and I feel great!

Here are a few changes that I have experienced since March 1, 2009: I lost as much as 86 pounds. I'm off all diabetic meds, high blood pressure meds as well as no longer using my cpap machine! Dropped from a pant size of 46-48 to 34-36, dress shirt size 18 1/2 neck to a 15-15 1/2, T-shirt size XXL down to a Medium . Finally, I began about 2 weeks ago to prepare to run in my first 5K this fall!

It is about this point when folks begin to ask about what really motivated me to do this and lose all the I mentioned earlier the reasons are many and varied but I will write about them in the very near future.

One last thing ... I know that some of you will have questions, please feel free to ask! Nothing you could ask would be more awkward that the person who walked up to me as said, "You look great...You got cancer?"

Pastor Steve

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Home Again - Home Again

Just got home from 3 weeks at Camp!

Junior High Camp I served as the guys Dean; Family Camp #3 I served as the Program Chairman; and at Senior High Camp I had the privilege of serving as a counselor.

More to come ... God has been working in North Iowa!