Sunday, July 30, 2006

It was Saturday night. The year was 1983. We were in Hamlin, TX about an hour or so outside Abilene where my mom grew up. My Paw-Paw's house was on the corner and I can remember it like it was yesterday. He had these metal TV trays. We'd call the local hamburger place and order 4 hamburgers and fries (the burgers were perfectly greasy, and the fries were awesome!) and we'd sit in his small living room in the house where my mom was raised eating on our metal TV trays. Then that famous animated mule would come on the TV and most Americans would hear the song lots of us can still sing today... "Heeeeeeee-hawwwwwwwww, hee, hee, hee, haw, haw, haw!" (and you thought I was going for the profound?)

So, my buddy Amanda got to program the Hee Haw re-runs on CMT this weekend. We watched some of the marathon. (It's funny how a show like Hee-Haw can transport you to a specific time and place. I had that experience yesterday.) Several things struck me. For one thing, 90% of the jokes weren't even remotely funny. Secondly, 80's hair and country plaid just don't go together. And lastly, clogging just ain't what it used to be.

This week we are having a Hee-Haw party over at Minnie Pearl's old house (some of our friends now live there) and Lulu is coming. I'll bet the entertainment of the night will be the behind the scenes stories coming from Lulu! I'll be sure to give a report.

Here's to my hometown back in Abilene, TX...population 115,000 and growing. SALUTE!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

I can't get enough of the tomatoes!!! I love em!! After recording last night I cut up several tomatoes, crushed some almonds and sprinkled them on top with some feta cheese and vinaigrette. It was gooooood. Ella ate half my bowl. Well, then she threw up all night, so go figure.

Last night went well with ZOE. The stuff is sounding really good! Randy has done a fantastic job. Peter sounds great too. I'll pick back up with ZOE at conference time. It's been good to take a break but I miss everyone!

Speaking of registration began yesterday! So, reserve your spot soon!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


* ZOE is almost done recording. It’s sounding great! I’m going in tonight to record “Offering”. Randy Gill is producing this year. He’s done a fantastic job. Peter is doing an awesome job singing the worship leader part. I’m only making a small little appearance singing this song. I’m also playing Mr. Mom at home while Sheryl records. I've got stories!!

* The record I've been working on with TJ is done as of today. YEA! We are all really pleased with the end result. I’m astounded at God’s provision through this project. It was sort of a spirit-filled version of Pandora’s Box! None of us knew when we started this how much fun it would be and how much we’d feel the hand of God.

* Tomatoes are GOOOOD! I’m finally seeing a result to my OCD in nurturing my tomato plants. We’re having lots of dishes involving tomatoes these days.

* Our friends, Hainey and Greg came through. THEY’RE ENGAGED! We’re so happy for them.

* There’s been a new, refreshing feeling at Otter Creek. Some great things happening behind the scenes and a renewed sense of filling there. That’s a praise GOD!

* Ella was making up a song the other day in the playroom...a rather disturbing little ditty. "Someday I'll diiiie. I’m really gonna die. Someday I'll die. But I think I’m gonna play first. I’m gonna play with some toys. And someday I'll die." Um, maybe we'll put that on our next kids’ record and call it, "Sobering Truths For Very Small Kids". Wow.

* As I mentioned, I’m playing Mr. Mom at night while Sheryl’s recording with ZOE. Anyone who even half-way thinks that stay-at-home-moms don’t have the hardest job is a lunatic. It’s rewarding, sure! But, this is why the commercial that said "Calgon, take me away!!" was so successful! I was supposed to give baths night before last. The kids were all outside and jumping on the trampoline. I just decided to run upstairs and get the soap and shampoo and did the good ol' backwoods dad trick. I hosed 'em down, baby. Right there in the back yard. Oh yeah!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, July 24, 2006

This weekend we finished the Kids' Project. I'll give more information soon. I am really, REALLY excited about it. It's sort of a Jack Johnson style kids' record with Christian themes. 10 original songs, a couple I co-wrote with TJ. Eric Wyse and I co-produced it. TJ has always been one of my favorite singers. What a thrill to be able to do this together before they leave for the Dominican. (Check out his link to the right.) He sounds so great on this!!

My girls have been running around singing the songs around the house. It's really such a fun record! We added kids' voices on Saturday. That was quite an experience. The kids did a good job. Here's a picture of them with TJ.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Please take a minute to pray for Ansley Brown today. She had some corrective surgery this week and is struggling with pain. She's only 3 yrs old. (For you ACU ex's this is Kristen Cottier's daughter)

Please continue to pray for my ex roomie and brother (as if that weren't enough reason to pray), Craig Fisher. His recent surgical procedure was a real pain...

Some big things coming this next week...finishing producing this kids' record with TJ McCloud before he leaves, Greg Staley and Hainey Price come through on their way to move Greg to D.C. and Sheryl's brother Chuck and his family come next Friday. It will be fun!

Congrats to our buddy, Zane Williams, on winning the Maxell's song of the year! Zane's a good Abilene boy and Otter Creeker! Go, boy!

Happy weekend, blog family!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thoughts on returning...

--the sun rises and sets whether you're in Cancun or Nashville and brings with it a new day with new adventures.

--I love nighttime at our house...scratching backs, telling stories, soft giggles...and that's just Sheryl. KIDDING PEOPLE.

--It's always fascinating to me to be around people with a different world view. It's challenging and enlightening.

--I love the ocean. It is my favorite place to be. I love snow skiing too...but that's more like fun recreation. If I want relaxation, it's the beach, baby.

--It's hot here. It's really, really hot.

--I still have a dream to live in the Caribbean and run a catamaran business. Maybe one day.

--Speedos do not look good on ANYONE. The vomit factor is way too high. As Lea Brown says...her worst nightmare is a clown in a speedo. I think I saw one or two.

--Being away from the cell phone was great. I need to try that more often.

--I'm a blessed man.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

We just returned from Mexico. What an amazing 4 days we had! Otter Creek gave us a 10yr anniversary gift last fall and we've been saving it until summer so that we would have child care. (Kiki teaches) So, with all the confidence in the world, we left the kids in the capable hands of "Aunt Kiki" and took off on the child-less vacation we've been anticipating for months. (How much do we LOVE Kiki??!!) We weren't able to go during my leave of absence for several wasn't out and Kim couldn't keep the kids, we hadn't found the right deal, and that time was not supposed to be "vacation". So, away we went on the first child-less vacation in several years. What amazing timing!

We stayed at the Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun. It is absolutely amazing! We had such a great time together laughing, relaxing, re-connecting. We even made some new friends, Michael and Monica from Ft. Worth.

I know that some people think all we do is travel and have a constant vacation. Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing. Even at the airport someone who knew us quipped, "You guys are always on vacation somewhere!" Not true. While we do travel, it's usually business and we haven't had time like this together since 2003. But, after saving and watching for deals, I can honestly say it was worth the wait!

Here are some pictures of our time away.

one if the "infinity" pools.

BST and Sheryl

Our new buddies, Michael and Monica

BST and Sheryl in the lobby

the view from our room

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just got back from Denver. Long story. Was out there helping to promote a hymnal and meeting with some folks during CBA. It was really crazy. I've performed at CBA before but never been on the exhibit floor. It was a zoo. Don't believe me? Here are some pics for ya. One thing I will say...Love me some Lulu Roman. We spent about 5 hours together on Tuesday while she signed CDs in our booth. She told me some AWESOME Hee-Haw stories. Oh, how I WISH I could share. More blogging trip ended with sitting on a runway in a tiny airplane for 6 hours waiting to take off. I'm SO GLAD to be home!!!!

BST and my new buddy, Lulu Roman from Heee-Hawwwww!

Lulu signs her CD at our booth.

BST and freaky Christian circus butterfly woman. She completely scared me.

Pic with some other circus people. They were LESS scary if you can believe it.

Stephen Baldwin. There's much to comment on here that I just can't share.

This one was for Maddie and Ella. Who knew Strawberry Shortcake was a Christian?

BST and Kirk Cameron. His TV show partner kept wanting to know if I knew where I'd go if I died that night. Kirk...nice guy.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

here are some pictures from Maddie's birthday party yesterday. She's gotten to that age where she wanted some of her school friends. There were only 3 boys from her class there. They would have NOTHING to do with the girls' games. It was so funny to watch them separate themselves---until cake and presents!! We had a great day! (The woman who used to make cakes at my favorite Nashville bakery--Becker's, now closed--still makes cakes from home. She did this awesome cake! Call if you want her number.)

Friday, July 07, 2006

One of the greatest things of having kids is hearing them talk to each other. They have these all out hilarious conversations that just kill me. Here are some recent gems...

Maddie was coughing (half of our house has summer colds--yuck!) and not covering her mouth while we were eating dinner. Ella, in her most bossy tone said, "Maddie! You HAVE to cover your MOUTH! Germs fly through the air and they land on my food. I don't like that cause it doesn't taste very good!"

This morning the girls got in my car so I could take them to my mom's for their "Friday at Nonnie's". Maddie got in and said, "Daddy, I'm THIIIIRSTY!" Ella looked at her and in a funny voice said, "Well, HELLOOOO, THIIIIIIRSTY!!"

On our way to my mom's house I overheard the girls discussing what we call "bathroom words" (translated: poop, pee-pee, bottom, and that's about it). Ella was talking about them and Maddie was trying to convince her that those words are ok to say as long as you're "in the bathroom" since they're bathroom words and all. Ella said, "No! We are NOT SUPPOSED TO SAY THEM!" Maddie told her that we just have to say them in "privacy". Ella continued to argue her point until Maddie looked at her and said, "I have an idea, let's stop talking."

These things are cute because there's no teenage attitude or angst! Given a different tone or inflection they might be completely UN-funny. But, it's one of the highlights of my day listening to them try and work things out with each other in their pre-school way. These are the days...!

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Last night we had the XXXchurch guys here to share with us. It was pretty awesome and extremely convicting. You should check them out sometime. They are doing amazing work.

Yesterday for Maddie's birthday she got to go with Ella to this place called "Sweet and Sassy" where the girls got to have their hair done and some other stuff. Thanks to Sheryl and Kiki, they had the time of their lives! Maddie chose the "princess" style. Ella chose the "rock star" style. How fitting!

Here are a few pictures from their time there. Afterwards, they came by the office to let me see them. Too cute!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Birthday, Maddie! My beautiful, red headed, charmer is 5 today. WOW! I just can't believe it. She is a lover. She is tender hearted and loves people deeply. She can't stand to see anyone in pain or sad. She is such a gift to me...and all of us in this Thomas family. I love her sweet hugs and her very girly personality. I love the way she lights up a room (at least in her father's eyes). She is 5! It's a big day for us. Happy Birthday, sweet Maddie!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America! I'm thankful for our country. Lord, give us a heart for the nations!