Tag Archives: Birthday

Happy Birthday, Valentine!

valerieToday is my wife’s 50th birthday! Yes, she is 50, and I don’t care to tell people about it.

Does she care? I don’t think so. Why? Because she is the type that constantly quotes the words of Paul to the Thessalonians…she even concludes her emails with these verses:

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

So, Happy Birthday to Valerie (because she was born so close to Valentine’s Day), the greatest Valentine a man could have ever received!

“Happy birthday, you’re so nifty, even if you’re hitting fifty! / Valerie, my Valentine, I’m so very glad you’re mine!”

Cheesy poetry is better than no poetry, right?

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Happy 16th Birthday, Haley!

Sweet Sixteen

Today (July 28th) my youngest daughter, Haley, turns sixteen. I am so happy for her, but it does make me feel old.

Haley has always been the serious one, the only baby in the family who would look at the photographer trying to make her laugh and say with an expression, “Are you serious?” No joke, if you were to look back at all of our girls’ baby pictures, Haley is the only one who very rarely smiled. Thankfully, she got the smile to working.

image

But Haley is not longer a baby  – she’s sixteen. That’s 16. That’s driver’s license age. That’s the same age as Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles (although I have no idea how old Molly was when it was filmed). Am I ready for my serious little baby girl to ride around with a 20-something in his daddy’s Rolls Royce?

Uhmm… No. I’m not.

The Birth Announcement

Do you want to know how I first heard about Haley? Sure you do, or you’d quit reading.

Sixteen years ago I was working in Hopkinsville, Kentucky at Fuqua-Hinton Funeral Home, while my wife and other two daughters were still in Chattanooga. My wife had been trying to find a way to tell me she was expecting, but could never track me down. Finally, I was stopped by an older, Lurch-like funeral home worker as I was coming out of my office.

“Anthony, I need to tell you something… You need to sit down.”

“What’s going on?” I asked with a little curiosity.

Looking down at me with little expression and with a matter-of-fact tone he said, “You’re wife called. She’s pregnant. You’re going to have a baby.”

Yeah, that’s how I found out.

The Wildcat

July 4th at the park.

July 4th at the park.

In case you didn’t get it, Haley was born in Kentucky, so that makes her a Wildcat. Now, she is not a big Kentucky Wildcat fan, or anything, but the name fits, that’s for sure.

Haley is anything but placid. Haley is as matter-of-fact as the funeral home where I worked, always serious, even when she’s having fun. But Haley is no one to be trifled with; she’s a gun-loving, knife-wielding, fish-catching, John Deere-riding kind of girl with an a hankering for action.

Haley loves to dress up with an elegance that rivals Grace Kelly, but give her half-a-chance and she’ll get down and dirty picking weeds out of mulch and hauling rock with a wheelbarrow. As a matter of fact, she’s a little entrepreneur: she’s started her own little business called “Hard-Work’n Southern Girl.”

Doing the hard work, like her grandpa and great-granddaddy before her.

Doing the hard work, like her grandpa and great-granddaddy before her.

Boldness

But if there is anything about Haley that makes me most proud is her boldness; Haley is fearless when it comes to approaching people. This trait can be especially useful when trying to sell a box full of my books to total strangers. Haley has no problem walking up to someone and offering them a flyer, asking them to buy a book, or walking up to a total stranger in need of help and offering hers.

Haley helping after stormWhen a storm comes through our community and blows down trees that block the road, Haley is the first to look for ways to help a neighbor…even when the neighbor looks a little scary and has a chainsaw (my wife took the picture – she stayed in the car while Haley got out and helped).

But it’s when she is bold about her faith in Jesus…when she walks up to a stranger and invites him to church… when she’s waiting in line somewhere and finds a reason to offer them one of my business cards and says, “You should come hear my dad preach”… when she wants to help out in the projects where the children of drug dealers need Bibles…

When she’s taken life’s tragedies and her own brokenness as an opportunity to make things right for others who’ve also been wounded and hurt…

When she reaches out to the unloved, the unlovely, the friendless, and the forgotten…because that’s what Jesus would do…

THAT is what makes me the proudest dad in the world.

November, 2015

Volleyball Banquet, November 2015

Happy birthday, Haley! I love you!!

Celebrating the b-day at Summit @ Bryan College. We brought roses :-) Katie, is on the right.

Celebrating the b-day at Summit @ Bryan College. We brought roses 🙂 Katie, is on the right. Can you pick out Sean McDowell in the upper left corner?

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Happy Birthday, Valerie!

Before I say anything else…

Before I post another, well, post…

Before I write about things that matter little to me in the big scheme of things…

Before another minute of this beautiful day is wasted…let me say,

valerie“Happy Birthday!” to my lovely wife, Valerie (named after Valentines Day). She is the sugar that makes my life sweet.

For fun I’m attaching a video with a song I wrote several years ago just for her. I hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and somebody pass it on to a country star so I can make enough money to buy her something nice for our 20th anniversary…

seriously, I’m a starving song writer (BMI), so hook me up.

Happy Birthday, Valerie! I love you!

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Horn, be thou tooted!

Yes, it is my birthday. Gifts of all denominations (that means money, not Methodists) will be accepted. You can also send watches, old books, Martin guitars, Jaguars, Mustangs, autographed pictures of Ronald Reagan and Zoey Deschanel, and/or iPads.

Really, I am happy to be 46 years old, which is four years shy of half a century. Some people are older than me, but a lot are younger – many of which are stupid. Did I just say that? Yes, I did. It’s because I’m getting older and old people can say what they want.

Facing Mortality

In all seriousness, today is a day which I have been fearing for the last 22 years. When I was 24 my father died (coincidentally, he was 24 when his dad died). He was 46 years old. Now, on this momentous day, I am as old as he was when he went home to be with the Lord. Sobering, isn’t it?

My dad.

My dad.

Even though it is sobering, if not a little depressing, the though of being as old as my dad was when he died has caused me to reflect on my life. It has also caused me to think more about my wife and children who, if they had been like me 22 years ago, would only have me around six months longer.

If I die this year – and I hope I don’t, believe me! – at least my wife and kids will have insurance money, a collection of recordings of me preaching and singing, and a lot of written words. However, they won’t have ME.

That is why I don’t drive as recklessly.

That is why I am thinking more about my diet.

That is why I am beginning to work out.

That is why my journal entries are becoming more pensive, thankful, and less gripey.

That is why I am trying to make sure I live the way I want to be remembered.

More than ever, I want to finish well.

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90 and Kicking

Grandmommy

“Grandmommy” is my wife’s grandmother on her mother’s side.  Her actual name is Helen, and we celebrated her 90th birthday with a big party at our place (in the fellowship hall of our church – I’m the only guy on the block with a gym in his back yard).

grandmommieIt was a real treat to be able to take part in such a rare occasion. 90th birthdays don’t come around too often. As a matter of fact, living to 90 is nearly 20 years beyond the average. So, it was a privilege to be able to play music with my daughter as she sang for her great-grandmother.

One of the greatest moments (in my mind) was when Mr. Monkey sang happy birthday. Of course he would only sing when my face was covered. For some reason he couldn’t sing when I was looking.

Another great moment was when she sat there staring at the candles as they slowly burned, dripping melted wax onto the icing of her cake. “Make a wish, Grandmommy!” they would say. “I don’t know what to wish for,” she replied.

“How about another 90 years?” I suggested. Nervous laughter, like an “lol” that is never really “out loud” filled the room.

New Family

lisa and husbandBesides getting to celebrate a birthday, I got to meet a wonderful young couple, Ian and Lisa, who is now part of the family. Both of them are graduates of Liberty University and love the Lord. We had a lot of things in common, even though I was 20 years older. They even laughed at Mr. Monkey, so how bad could they be, right?

Crosses

cross with copper wireAs I was talking with Lisa I found out she had a website and business. She makes little cross necklaces out of horseshoe nails. Below is a link to her website. Check it out, and if you buy anything, let her know you found out about her on this blog.

Visit Nailed4Christ.com

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Monday Monkey “Happy Birthday” (Episode 30)

Woo Hoo! Happy Birthday!

Yep, it’s my birthday. I am 45 years old. 45 years ago one woman was given the honor to be my mother.

Will there be cake? I don’t know. Will there be presents? I don’t know. Will there be donations sent in from around the world to the Keep Anthony from Being Poor fund? I don’t know.

What Matters

Aside from a loving family and a roof over my head, what more could I ask for? Riches? No. A new car? Uh, no. I think I have been pretty blessed. And what’s more, I have something that no one else in the world has…

I have a monkey that can sing “happy birthday” to me.

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