Sunday, September 27, 2009

Someone Said "YES"!

Sunday, September 27, 2009! A BIG day for the Boltes! Someone said "YES"! It happened in Upland, Indiana, at Payne's Restaurant. Bethany Cleveland agreed to become the wife of Jordan Bolte, our son. Jordan is a wonderful young man.... but I'd have to say that he certainly "traded up" - for sure!

Bethany is a delight and joy to be around. We have come to love her personality, her heart, and her love for God... and our son. We have prayed for many years for Jordan's wife-to-be. God has answered our prayers with an excellent young lady named Bethany.

She is from Michigan and has great family. I have been thrilled to see how they have welcomed Jordan into their family circle during the dating days. Jordan has put quite a few miles on the Scion Tc driving from Indiana to Michigan. He's made even longer hauls from Alabama to Michigan. It must be love...

Jordan searched for the perfect ring for many months. He actually picked up the ring while we were in Australia in July. I'm really impressed that he was able to hold on to the ring until now.... he was quite anxious to give it to her quickly. But, before he did, he was adamant about getting her parents' blessing. He spoke to her father and they agreed to meet face to face to have "The Discussion". I came to learn later that Mr. Cleveland asked Jordan some very appropriate, yet tough questions. Apparently, Jordan spoke from the heart and did very well. The Clevelands gave their blessing for the two to wed.

While her parents were visiting this weekend at school, Jordan decided it was time. He actually sent us a text message prior to the big event. It said "Game time! Ring time! Gimme 2 hours and I'll be a taken man...". Here's the play by play as I imagine it.... even though I, actually, wasn't even there....

Jordan, Bethany, and her parents decide to have lunch at Payne's Restaurant near Taylor University's campus. It's the favorite hang out for the two seniors. It's a sandwich and coffee shop of sorts.... a place where local artists often display their latest efforts. The location of their seating must be very strategic... not too far, not too close. They all order from the menu, but Jordan's heart is beating 90 miles/hour. His voice isn't quivering yet, but it's not too far away. Thank goodness he visited the Men's room earlier. He certainly doesn't have any appetite and Bethany thinks that's a bit strange. But, for all intent & purposes, she has no idea what's coming....

Also what she doesn't know is that Jordan pulled an all-nighter and drew a picture of the actual scene that was about to happen. Of course he is sleepy, but the adrenaline is racing! Jordan had actually worked it out with one of Payne's employees to call Bethany up to the current art work to show her the latest displays. There are several examples of wonderful paintings, drawings, and photographs. Bethany enjoys most, if not all, of them. Then the employee says, as she unveils the final drawing, "they are all good, but this one is the best!".

It is a drawing of Jordan on his knee proposing to Bethany in Payne's restaurant! She immediately recognizes it and spins around to see the love of her life on his knee, asking " Will you marry me Bethany?" I suppose she screamed "YES!" and parents, bride-to-be, and a couple of other unsuspecting customers shed a few tears. I did too, when I received an email with a picture of the ring on her hand...

No date set yet, but I'm guessing sometime after they both graduate next May. They really are a pretty cool couple. I'm honestly looking forward to seeing how God uses them on their journey ahead. Welcome to the family, Bethany! We look forward to getting to know your parents and sisters more also. Now.... it's time to give your cheeks a little rest.... stop smiling for a few minutes....

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Shot at Greatness!

A shot at greatness! Not many of us get it... not many of us even deserve it. But, some people are so authentic... so honest... so genuine.... that they not only get a shot, but they overshoot the target and achieve something that some of us only dream about.

I hope you'll read the story of one man from Kentucky that raised a wonderful family, was extremely comfortable in his own skin, and only wanted to be the best he could ever be... no matter what everyone else thought. His name is Archie Burchfield. I met him once. You'd never think of him as great.... until you saw what he could do....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Where Do You Rank in Your Family?

At least number 3... that's where I rank in our household of, let's see....., three! Yep, 3!! Let me rank the three for you: it's Cody, Tami , and Jim. Or, best case: it's Cody, Jim and Tami. In either case, I am below the dog!! Of course Tami would disagree and tell you that she loves me much more than Cody, our black 2 year old flat-coated retriever, but her actions speak

Here are a few examples:

  • Cody can chew up a perfectly good pair of shoes, and Tami says "they were old anyway".

  • Tonight I got home before Tami did. When she walked in the house, she said, "tell me how your day went today beautiful." Of course she said these words using a voice that sounded like she was talking to a 2 year old... and she was (one with 4 legs).

  • What do you do with any unused bottled water? You guessed it.... pour it in the dog's bowl... bottled water for heaven's sake!!

  • After a wonderful evening dinner with Tami on our back porch... maybe grilled steak, I notice that there's still steak left on Tami's plate.... cut into appropriate sized bites for you-know-who. Yoo hoo.... remember me? I'll eat the beef tenderloin....!!
  • The frequency of our car washes has increased significantly since Cody likes to stick his head out the window and drool down the side of our Toyotas. She says, "they needed washing anyway".

  • The dog has a bark that will raise the dead. Not just loud - but it's a sort of howl... not a howl exactly though, it's more "howl-like" than anything. Actually, for a few seconds, it sounds like someone just stabbed him. Trust me, at 2 AM, I sit up in bed like I'm the one that just got stabbed!

  • When I punish the dog for something, you would think I was a convicted criminal. I punish the dog and 10 seconds later, she's loving on him... You think he's confused??

  • I have spent more money on this animal than I could have ever imagined: $1000+ for an underground fence, $100's on Doggie Day Care, $100's on overnight boarding, $100's on vet visits, and no telling how much on treats, food, and car washes...
  • Cody likes to "goose" people. Consider yourselves warned if you come to our house. Tami thinks it's cute...

Cody is a rescue dog from a pound in Lexington, KY. Our daughter Caitlin gets credit for that kind act. But, then after keeping him in a small apartment and realizing that he was going to grow to about 60 pounds, she decided that we should keep him... thanks Cait! Of course, Tami loved the idea! So, we are now considered adoptive doggie parents...

I've calculated the number of hours I spend with Tami on an average day, and the number Cody spends with her. Yep, he spends more time with her than I do... They have bonded quite a bit, and seem to have this intuition and language all their own. She loves Cody and he loves her. I'm just the guy trying to raise my rank, while keeping my shoes off the floor. See ya at the car wash...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dancin' in the Moonlight...

For the 10th year in a row, Huntsville will get to experience the "Moon Over Three Caves Dance". There is dancing to live music (the band is the ever-popular "Juice"), a silent auction, a buffet from Carraba's, libations on the house, and a remarkable moonlit setting in front of the mouths of three caves... yep, actual caves! We have attended several times, and the cave-setting & atmosphere are quite impressive. The event usually sells out and is sponsored by several corporations and individuals. It is scheduled to take place this year on September 19 from 7 - 11 PM. All proceeds benefit the land preservation efforts of The Land Trust of Huntsville & North Alabama - Tami, my wife, is a Board Member.

Oh, and by the way, she is the Chairwoman for the entire event this year! If you know my wife, you know that she is a great event planner. She brings class and a mountain of creativity to everything she touches. This event is no different....

For the 1st time in the history of The Moon Over Three Caves Dance, ten 1-of-a-kind, original & hand-painted rain barrels will be auctioned off. About 40 people, along with the local artists, previewed these beautiful collections last week at an Artist Meet-and-Greet. These barrels are incredible.... extremely hard to pick a favorite! Each is uniquely different and impressive. Tami proposed this idea to
the Land Trust Board after she saw a similar idea implemented in Lexington, KY - locally painted horse statues that were placed about the city & later sold for charities. Everyone expects this new rain barrel idea to be wildly successful. I do too! If so, next year you might even see 20 or 30 rain barrels becoming the canvas for talented local artists again....

Tami has certainly been working diligently on this event for many months. Many people are involved and it has been highly anticipated. There has been TV and newspaper coverage of the event. (top picture is from the Huntsville Times) Needless to say, we'll be glad when the event is successfully completed. Folks generally only Chair this event one time.... not because it's a bad thing to do... but, I'm guessing, because their spouses want to spend more time with their
mates... Tami is doing a wonderful job balancing her life's activities, but at times she has a laser-like focus on The Moon Dance... maybe as she should....

If you're in the area next Saturday and would like to witness an extraordinary event - that my wife had a little bit to do with - please join us! You can obtain tickets by calling 256.534.5263.
Look for me.... I'll be the guy watching his wife run an impressive show...!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why I Don't Use Facebook & Twitter...

OK...let's get things straight right from the beginning. I do not have a Facebook (FB) account, nor do I have a Twitter (TW) account. I admit that I have looked at both, and I have occasionally written a message on my wife's FB wall, notifying folks about the latest post on my blog. But, I do not want, nor plan to acquire my own FB or TW account. Why? Let's see....

I'll mainly discuss FB since that's the most I know about. Seems like you're either in one camp or the other. I suppose some people use both, but it appears that most folks gravitate to their preference. I know the most (although little) about FB because that's what Tami uses. and uses. and uses! I remember when PCs first came onto the scene decades ago and they were migrating into people's homes. Once we finally purchased one, she thought it was evil! She thought it was like opening your home to perfectly unsafe strangers. Back then, it was a time when you were careful about the information you put on the "public Internet". Boy, has she changed her tune!

With FB, you let people know things, and thoughts, and feelings like never before. It now makes ME feel like we are totally transparent and visible. Do I really want someone to know that I am about to take the dog for a walk in my neighborhood? Or that someone just changed a poo-ie diaper from the dark side? Anyway, social networking has firmly grabbed a foothold in today's electronic culture, and it appears it's here for a while. Tami is a testament to that!

On FB you have "friends" that you either accept or ignore. Some people have hundreds, thousands of friends. Are they really friends? I'm sure I don't have that many! My Mom & Dad might be considered friends....but, 400 - 500? No way!! I'm sure I might know that many people, but they're more like acquaintances - right? Seems like an extremely easy way to offend people also. I mean, if you ignore a "friend request", isn't that like saying "butt out, scum dog! I don't want to know you! Eat dirt & die!!"? Talk about the dark side.....

Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer, recently wrote about FB & TW etiquette. Now, there's even etiquette for social networking! I'm still working on the basic "normal" etiquette, much less, FB etiquette... The immediacy & speed of the shared information is clearly the biggest change. She says that "these days, milestones like marriage, pregnancy, breakups, and divorce are being described over more forms of communication than ever before." You have to ensure you release the sensitive information in your preferred sequence: written letter, e-mail, phone call, FB, or TW, etc. Heaven forbid if someone reads something sensitive on FB before you were able to tell them "in person".

So here's the scope:

  • I don't know how to use Facebook...

  • I don't know the proper etiquette in online social networking circles... when do you use a "mood face"?

  • I don't want to share my mundane and trivial moments with the entire world... after all, they're mundane and trivial...

  • I am afraid that I truly would have only a couple of friends..... I think Tami has over 450+... boy, would I look bad!

  • I don't want to spend several hours per day reading YOUR mundane and trivial moments... after all, well you get it...

  • I am afraid I would make someone really mad if I didn't want to be their friend.... even though I don't expect many offers....

  • I originally thought FB was for young adults.... not old guys like me....

  • And, mainly.... Tami would kill me if we had to share the computer for "Facebook time"....

Oh, BTW, let me know how many of you read this blog posting because you saw it on Tami's FB..... it is a great way to advertise.... Later...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quotes about Grandparents...

A co-worker, Cheryl, sent these to me while I was in Australia. I want to share them with you... (isn't Savvy cute?)

What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure. ~Gene Perret

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. ~Welsh Proverb

A child needs a grandparent, anybody's grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world. ~Charles and Ann Morse

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. ~Rudolph Giuliani

Our grandchildren accept us for ourselves, without rebuke or effort to change us, as no one in our entire lives has ever done, not our parents,siblings, spouses, friends - and hardly ever our own grown children. ~Ruth Goode

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you're just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. ~Pam Brown

We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me. ~Phyllis Theroux

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~Marcy DeMaree

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. ~Author Unknown

Sometimes our grandmas and grandpas are like grand-angels. ~Lexie Saige

A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. ~Author Unknown

If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first. ~Lois Wyse

They say genes skip generations. Maybe that's why grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable. ~Joan McIntosh

Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being. ~Margaret Mead

Do you know why grandchildren are always so full of energy? They suck it out of their grandparents. ~Gene Perret

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. ~Proverb

Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old. ~Mary H. Waldrip

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. ~Gene Perret

The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent. ~Sam Levenson, You Don't Have to Be in "Who's Who" to Know What's What

Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love. ~Author Unknown

The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap. ~Author Unknown

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. ~Alex Haley

Grandparents are there to help the child get into mischief they haven't thought of yet. ~Gene Perret

It's amazing how grandparents seem so young once you become one. ~Author Unknown

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren. ~Author Unknown

One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather. ~Joy Hargrove

A garden of Love grows in a Grandmother's heart. AuthorUnknown
Grandchildren: the only people who can get more out of you than the IRS. ~Gene Perret