today sucked

Posted in africa on July 10, 2009 by Avery

OK, today was an absolue doozy at work, it was just terrible. BUT it gets worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got caugh on the way out the door, and wound up stuck at work till about 5:40 when I decided to sneak out the back way and around anyone who may have wanted to discuss the millions of problem I dealt with at work today. (and those that are still waiting for me on Monday)

So on the way home I came up to the train tracks around the corner from my job and the tracks were on fire. No lie, the wood was there on blaze, not bad, I was able to stomp it out, but it was smoldering under the tracks bad enough I knew it needed a bucket of water to put it out all the way. So i parked the bike on the side of the road and walked across the yard to some guys house to get a pail of water. On my way back across the yard I hear my motorcycel getting run over. NO LIE. I run across the yard in time to see the HR director from my company get out of her car, she just backed over my bike!!!!!

It took close to 2 hours for the trooper to get there. Yes, I did put out the fire, at the cost of my bike, but it’s out.

Man what a day!!!!!!!!!!


Update on Lucas

Posted in burn on April 7, 2009 by Avery

Lucas is going on 2 years now since his burn, which means the kids have been home for 2 years as well. WOW, 2 years!

So we are still going through a lot with Lucas, but they are doing a new surgery on the little guy that is really just phenominal. Basically they are cutting into his scars removing a large portion (1/3 of the total scar mass this time) then reaching under his skin and pulling the subdermal layers towards the cut and stitchinng these subdermal layers into the scar. What this will do is force the real skin to grow back and take over where the scar used to be.

keeping him quiet in the car

keeping him quiet in the car

So how does one keep a kid like Lucas quiet in a two hour car ride on the way to his surgery? GAME BOY TIME! You laugh but I wouldn’t know what to do witht hat kid if it wasn’t for the game boy and the in car DVD players…

getting dressed up

getting dressed up

I think the only part the kid doesn’t like is losing his underwear. It’s the same thing every time, he tries to talk us into letting him keep them on, and he keeps trying to find a new way to sneek them back on. Of course that just means we have to hide them and find something new for the little guy to do.

when the lights go dim we find a new way to amuse him

when the lights go dim we find a new way to amuse him

On this trip one of the monitors in the prep room was on the brink, yeah even UNC has crappy computers, so they had to kill the overhead lights  in the room. This meant the game boy was out of commision and he had to move on to new adventures. his varied form sticking stickers everywhere (what nurse in their right mind gives a little boy a box of stickers and tells him to go to town?) Luckily there was also some crayons and a coloring book and we were able to divert his attention from the stickers.

the aftermath

the aftermath

Several hours later and we find a very different Lucas, sedated, worn out, and devoid of any energy. Sick and delirious, a pitiful sight to behold. But he was very insistant that no matter how bad he felt he still wanted to go to Golden Corral (he gets to pick where we eat lunch on his surgery days) And as normal the nurses were fighting over who got to care for him, he is just so easy to deal with the nurses all love him.

the ride out

the ride out

He was also insistant that he gets to ride out of the hospital in the wheelchair. But he wasn’t so keen on the fact that we was going to be in a sling for a few weeks and have a tube with a suction bulb coming out of his arm for a few days.  This actually turned into a bit of trying to convince him for several days to keep his arm in the sling. No matter how much pain this kid is in you are not going to stop his fun.

But I am a awesome dad, and found a way to get the little guy to actually like his sling. TYE DYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yes that’s right, tye dye the sling then cover it in his choice of biker patches. He had his free reign of all my patches (I used to sell them) and he went to town making the sling his own.



and profiling

and profiling

So there you go, as you see he is up to his normal self, sans one arm. And yes I had to sew the sling closed to keep him from sneaking his hand out of the holes to use his arm. But he is doing well and loving life, and he LOVES his new sling.  Also as a little added slice of pie for his joy he is going to get to a special summer camp with the UNC burn clinic this summer for burn survivors. He is totally stoked and so excited to get to go to this summer camp.

taking a poll

Posted in africa with tags on March 22, 2009 by Avery

recently we underwent some chaos around the house, no electricity for a few weeks.

Of course it had to happen when the temp outside was dropping into the teens, and inside our house hit a low of 32. Well in all the chaos we lost a few appliances as well, when the power surged through the house and made us think we were in California for a while (our entire living room was turn off, it was the middle of the night, and the lights started to come on in a strobe pattern and the room started to shake)

Well one of the items to bite the dust was the TV. There were some others too, but that is the big ticket item.

So Yeah Insurance!!!!!! we got the letter yesterday, and home owners is covering it!!!!

So I’ve limited my choices down to 2.

What say you? those that have my blog on RSS feed as I havn’t updated in forever.

I will post some this week… I hope
Samsung (it states 20000:1 contrast ratio, is this true?)

Vizio (brags about 5000:1 ratio, but being so much lower than Samsung what is the deal?)

quickest way to update everyone

Posted in family on December 27, 2008 by Avery

So most have you have probably heard by now (assuming that the majority of those that still read this are family) but Lucas made another trip to the emergency room yesterday.

The backstory is that Lucas loves to cook, it’s one of the central passions of his little heart. So he had an old pasta maker, the manual kind, but the little guy doesn’t have the arm strenght needed to use it. So for Christams we got him a really nice electric pasta maker, he was enjoying it a lot, we made pineapple pasta the first night, then we made a bach of carrot pasta, and we were working on another batch when the boy in his head decided he wanted to see if he could stop the gears on the machine by jammin his finger in it.

That is his explanation of what he did. I’m not making this up, That is verbatum what he told me he was doing.

Well the gear he jammed his finger into doubles as a meat grinder, it sucked his finger in down to the bottom joint before we could react and stop it. Luckily it pushed the finger to the side and jammed it between the grinder and the housing of the machine, by pouring oil on the gear and pushing as hard as we could we created enough space he could slide his finger out. Mind you the entire time he was screaming eake me to the emergency room.

Well we took a look at it and the tip of his finger, the nail part, was hanging off to the side.

So we had to decide what to do, and we decided to have Heather run him to the Hospital and I would call to get him in line and hopefully get him in as soon as they got there, plus I had to find someone to come take care of the kids still at home.  Christmas weekend isn’t the easiest time to find a babysitter at the last minute.

Our pastor’s wife came over and helped us out and I took off to the hospital.

I got there about 30 minutes after Heather and found them still sitting in the triage unit.  well the triage nurse actually put a bandaide on this, yes you read that right, and then sent us to see the insurance agent. We waited in that line and were told to go out to the waiting room to wait to be called back . Luckily the insurance agent saw he was dripping blood from the wound and we wrapped it in gauze after removing he bandaid.

Well we sat in the waiting room for 7 1/2 hours waiting to be seen.

When we got back into the ER the docotrs and nurses were all extrememly upset that the triage didn’t prioritize this kid and bump him in front of the sniffles and sneezes and little crap while this kid was suffering out in the waiting room

They grabbed some x-rays and examined him and determined that he had broken the tip of his finger, and that from what we described he had a fingernail avulsion that would take a simple procedure to put it back into the hole and all should be fine.

Well they went to do the surgery on his fingernal and discovered the fingernail had miraculously put itself back into it’s hole and reattached itself to the finger. None of the doctors could explain this as it’s just not possible. It can’t Happen. Yeah GOD!

So we got to come home this morning at 5 am. And we are trying to survive through the day today.

So the end result is now our most hyper kid had his hand in a splint and is in pain. Now he will lose his fingernail, and he will have to deal with a broken finger for a while but it could have so much worse and we are so happy he still has his finger.

Family with Steven Curtis Chapman

Posted in Adoption, africa, family on April 17, 2008 by Avery

Family with Steven Curtis Chapman

The kids got to meet one of the huge benefactors of their adoption last weekend.

We had a really cool opportunity to go and work with Shaoahanna’s Hope on their Show Hope campaign in Roanoke Rapids. It was fun to meet some ot the other adoptive families from the extended community, and it was such a blessing to be part of an event that blessed another adoptive family with a $4,000 grant.

Heather worked with the girls, having them hand out panphlets and carry around donation buckets, and I did the same with the boys. We stayed with teh kids and answered the questions people had, including the ones from families considering adoption.

The family was from a town right down the road from us, and all of the money raised in that concert went towards that family.

I spent a good portion of the evening chasing two Chineese gilrs around the crowd as they waddled with their donation buckets making a LOT of money for Show Hope. I mean seriously, who can say no to cute little 3 year old faces? Of course everyone assumed they were mine, but no, they weren’t even together, they were just kids that met there at teh concert and developed an immediate affinity for each other, then suprisingly enough, to me. Yeah, they were given the choice of hanging out with the girls and my wife, or with the boys and me, and they decided I looked like the better choice!

I was as shocked as you are!


Seriously though it was a really fun night, and if you hear the Steven is passing through you r area I encourage you to contact Shaoahanna’s Hope and volunteer your time to help them out at teh concert. It really is worth your time!

My Awesome Wife

Posted in family, locks of love on March 25, 2008 by Avery

Easter Sunday

About once a year, maybe twice, my family dresses in something other than jeans and t-shirts for church. I hate it, but the kids like it, so Easter is normally the day we do this. We do make a cute family, even if Yosef won’t smile if a camera is in his face.  Of course my wife is awesome for being able to pull this off, I mean getting me to wear shoes to church is a miracle.

Heather Before

 But Heather is more awesome than that! You see here here, looking quite normal, but what you don’t know is that one of her best freinds is dealing with stage 4 ovarian cancer.  The Kemo has made her lose her hair, and has beat her up pretty bad. Now our daughter donates her hair  to Locks of Love about every 2 years, I always hate to see it go, but Kaitlyn loves doing it, and it’s been her idea all along. Heck I even tried to talk her out of it the first time. 

Well my awesome wife wanted to be there for her freind, so in a total act of compassion, she decided to donate her hair to locks of love as well. But not the normal 11 inch donation, no. Heather is more awesome than that.

Locks of Love after

No she donated all 27 inches of it!

Now tell me i don’t have a beautiful wife!

Lucas is fine

Posted in africa on March 25, 2008 by Avery

Just thought i would let teh 10 people that still read this know, lucas is fine, we are all home, and everything is back to normal

In the Hospital again

Posted in burn, family on March 11, 2008 by Avery

Ok, i know it’s been a while, many reasons for that, but I’m coming out of my semit retirement to have a central place to post updates on the newest saga of Lucas’ burn.

So we have had an issue in the past with a staff infection from his burn. Oral meds worked to clear it up, but it came back. Our local doc didn’t want to do anything to hurt the burn so he told us to come back down o UNC to have them look at it.

So for the next 5 days we get to sit in UNCH in isolation as he has to be quaranteened.

Of course this would be the final week of school for the kids, so Heather can’t miss school. And of course she was planning on visiting some friends up in the frozen tundra of the hellish north east next week, so the schedule in that is up in the air… of course air fair doesn’t refund squat.

His meds are doing great, and he is perfecly happy to have his own tv that he can control and watch what he wants to watch, but we’ll see if he is still that happy at the end of the week.


Posted in family on October 21, 2007 by Avery

Let’s start by saying if you want a family update, Heather did an awesome job on her blog, so head over there

So what brings me out here today? Well I just had a really fun day, and now at 10:30 at night I am sitting here watching the UFC fights (I can’t tell you how much I LOVE the UFC) and thought the 10 people that still read my blog (a little down from the 400 a day I was getting in my heyday) would love to hear about it.

The reality is today started last night, when I dropped Yosef off at soccer practice then headed over to the church as Heather, myself and the church worship leader were playing in a trio setup (Heather on 12 strings and singing, me on the djembe, and our bud on her Taylor) the set went pretty well and the night was really good, but it went pretty late, and pushed us WAY off our schedules.

So today’s plan was I would take the kids to soccer, Kaitlyn would stay home and help Heather clean the house, then they would come get Mihret before Yosef’s 2nd game (yeah, he had 2 today) And the morning started normal enough. Lucas and Yosef both played at 9am, and both won their games, of course watching 2 games at the same time on fields 4 soccer fields apart is fun (HA) Yosef even managed to win even though it was fairly obvious wich coach the kid ref was afraid of (and all I will say on that is it wasn’t Yosef’s) It was a rough game, with some rough kids (no red cards in his league, so the kids that throw punches and grab jerseys to throw kids across the field get to keep playing, and once again let me say it wasn’t Yosef’s team) Ysef really has shown himself to be a real star on the field, a few es pro players have commented how they wish they had his skills when they were twice his age, so we are really trying to grow that and develop it. Now I could comment on Lucas’s game, but let me just ask, have you ever watched a bunch of 5 year olds play soccer? The fact that he remembers what direction he is supposed to be going, and knows how to pass the ball makes him a star on his games.

Well then at 10:30 Mihret played her game, we are unsure as to wether she won or lost, the coaches didn’t even know, one said they won, the other said they lost. Mind you I watched the entire game, as did the boys, but no one kept track of the score (the ref did, but he wasn’t around when we realized we didn’t know who won) Mihret has really shone her skills as the team goalie (they aren’t allowed to use their hands at all in her age, so she can compensate for her little legs when she doesnt have to run the field) Well as the game came to an end, Heather called to say she was running behind, so she wasn’t going to come get Mihret, which the kids were cool with, as I promised them lunch after Yosef’s 2nd game.

On a side noter here, we have some friends that turned me on to Jones soda. It’s pure cane sugar soda, and most of it’s really good stuff, I love it, but they have 1/2 cans in Halloween flavors, and I took some “candy corn” soda for the kids, and the stuff is absolutely nasty!!!!! I fully endorse the soda company and love it, but run away from these cans!!!!!

Diego Sanchez just won his fight, now I am depressed, oh well back to the day

So after Mihret’s game we had a little time to kill before Yosef played again, but he was dead tired and as he is the center forward, and striker, and plays defense, yeah, like Heather and I said, the challenge teams are trying to get him to try out for the challenge teams.  Well knowing he was going to be run down from having played already today, I bought a Red Bull at the gas station when I swung in for a coffee and a bag of ice (I had the team snacks today for the game) Well he chugged it, he actually liked it, and he definately “got wings” We don’t let the kids have caffeine most of the time, but the other mothers on the team all jumped on board and apparently Red Bull will be the new pregame tradition for the little guys! Too funny.

So after the games I took the kids to the local Harley shop (they do free lunches on Saturdays) not to mention I’m buds with half the people that work there, and todya they had killer chili. The kids loved it, and they love looking at the bikes, not to mention they love the free donuts. And I love looking at the bobbers that I can’t afford. LOL

So we come home and Heather runs to get the week’s groceries. Well we wind up watching the Motocross US Open (the kids loved it) while flipping over to the BMX freestyle Mountain Dew something or another, where the kids saw what their bikes are “supposed” to do when we take them to the skate park. Very funny, I was glad when they saw the wipe out where the guy knocked himself out (he was fine, they interviewed him later when he came to) and then they had a very moving interview with a guy that had a terrible accident, and is now a qaudropalegic, the kids all of a sudden are happy they wear helmets.

As the games came to their end, I discovered a true Hollywood travesty, a proof of the demonic conection to the stars. “The Neverending Story 3” where Jack Black is the evil that must be defeated. It was truly an evil destruction to a movie that held a fond memory in my childhood heart. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BAD.

So I was glad when the phone rang and it was one of my biker buddies calling to see if I could help him out. Apparently he had met the guys in Sonic Flood a few days ago, and hit it off with them. Well Grant threw out his back, and needed to find a massage therapist, as he could barely walk, but it was Saturday and no one around here has weekend hours. Well he wanted to know if I knew anybody, and I know a few of the therapist inthe area, so I said I would see if I could find soemone that would come in for him on the weekend. Heather came home as I was in the middle of these calls, getting nothing but dead ends. His concert was at 6, so a little after 5 I called him to tell him the bad news that I couldn’t find anyone who was available, my friends were out of town, and their contacts weren’t willing.  Right when I hung up with him, and he was going out to do their sound check, I got a call from my bud’s friend and she was willing, and excited to give a hand to the guys. Well I called to leave him a message, but of course I got his voicemail. So as Heather was going out to a revival meeting with some friends, I piled all the kids in the car and and we headed over to watch the Sonic Flood concert (as obviously there was no time left before, but I knew he would want it before he headed home to Nashville tonight) So I get there, with 4 kids, and have to explain to at least no more than 6 different people why I am trying to get past security to get to the band.  Hey, they have my kudos there, they actually stopped me and questioned me down as to who I was and why I was where I wasn’t supposed to be. Well Grant was stoked, and even more stoked when he found out all he had to bring was some merch, as she was a huge fan. Now this was a friend of a friend, and the band only had a tour bus, not very mobile, not to mention they don’t know a thing about the area. So he was massively stoked, and I would carry him over after their set, Josh McDowell was speaking, so there was a little over an hour and a half that he could be gone.

tangent time, SNL just made me laugh, it’s a bit on the adult side of humor, so click the link only if you are away of what SNL humor is like but if you don’t know about the “Iran speech” you may be lost.

Well not only was he able to walk after his session, the massage therapist and her husband brought their mobile chair over to the concert and set up back stage and she did a session with the entire band. They were IN LOVE!!!!!! Yeah, future contract might have a new stipulation n them.  It was cool to hang out with the band for the night, the kids loved the concerts (they played again after Josh was done) and they were cool, gave the kids some wristbands, and some bouncy balls that light up when you bounce them (Kaitlyn had actually asked for a ball in the lobby, but I had no cash, and she said they were $10) Well God loves my kids, and simple things like flashy bouncy balls go a long way to the health of a heart.  They have no idea what kind of life they live right now, having a family that this is more of the norm than not, but when they get older, and find out this isn’t normal, well they have plenty of stories that’s for sure.

 Yosef really likes concerts, I caught him trying to get on the stage again (it’s happened before) and he got right into the middle of a Church Youth Group mosh pit (those who love rock, and my fellow punks) will understand exactly how this differs from a “real” mosh pit. and he was very into watching the performance aspect of the show, with some very interesting observations (his favorite from the band, Superman) He knows who he is, and yes, Yosef is calling him Superman.

Well Lucas fell asleep in the second set, it was pushing 10pm, and they normally are in bed around 7:30 to 8. But they all had a blast, even if they don’t know how odd tonight was, come on, it was weird.

Cool part of the night, was the couple that own the massage therapy place have a long history with SonicFlood, as they were very influenced by them and ministered to by their albums in the past. It was very cool for her to get to meet the guys that had such a huge impact on their lives.

But come on, a biker buddy of mine runs into a band at a bookstore, hits it off with one of them, and gives him his Bikers for Christ card, then a day later calls him to see if he knows of anyone in this area (roughly 2 hours away) that could help. He knows me, get’s ahold of me, who finds a friend who has a friend that is a massage therapist, who happens to very randomely get the message, on a whim she swang by the office, and I was available to taxi him around tonight. Yeah, made for an after school special.

It was a fun day.  

Well, this has been broken up by a million differnt things, so I may get to it tomorrow and see it makes no sense, but as it’s 12:30 am I am going to bed.

?!?!?!?!? UPDATE ?!?!?!?!?!?

Posted in blog on September 9, 2007 by Avery

Am I back?

I don’t know.

I am still trying to decide.  Either way there will be some changes, as you’ve noticed I’m sure.

Where have I been, well Lucas getting burned knocked me off the schedule, for months really. Living in the hospital for a few weeks, then the intensive care needed at home, well  this took a big back seat. Your love and outreach was tremendous though, I can’t thank you all enough!!!!!!

He is doing great, he has major scarring, but in reality he is a miracle walking. It could have been so, so much worse.

Also I have started playing percussion a lot more than I used to. right when he was burned I had decided to join the church worship team (which is now 2 services, ugg) on a 2 week rotation, well the other guy quit, so now I’m every week.  Well, for now, I will be going back to taking time off on a regular basis, as this 7:30am to 1pm every Sunday isn’t going to work out too well in the long haul.

Then there was the last minute concert I attempted when Ben from 100 Portraits (Enter the Worship Circle) calle me to say he was passing through my town and it would be a good stop point for a concert. I t was a house concert venue, and although it didn’t go how I thought it would, it was a really good growth point.  More on this all later.

Elswhere, I am now an Uncle, my sister Grace had her baby,  here is a photo of her little family:

on the downside to that one, our van took a nose dive last week. When you get to work to find a message from your wife saying the van was smoking when she got to work, well you step up the game plan and kick into high gear on the shopping. Mind you I had been shopping for a van, as we knew the current ride wasn’t worth us paying for an oil change (no that’s not the problem), much less what it would take to fix it now. So I found an awesome deal at a freinds lot, not because he was my freind, but just because he had a great deal on this one, so now we have a 2003 Honda Odessey, burgendy (woo hoo) I love the van, and no longer fear for my family’s life on family trips.  Our kids only complaint was the “I Love Ethiopia” sticker I got from the airport in Addis is gone!

And we found a recipiant for the old van as well. A friend of ours just came back from a few months up river, and was in need of a temporary fix for his transportaion needs, so freely received, freely given, and the smurf killer moves on (to an owner even more descriptive of it’s nominclature)

Obviously I have been gone a while, so as you discover this post let me know what you think. Is it worthwile to keep moving this blog forward into new areas, or is it time to shut it down and move on?  Dont expect anything on a regular basis, once a week will be a miracle right now, but I will be corresponding through the comments section I’m sure

As I do pop up in googles top 10 for adoption videos!!!!! cool