Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Literally… I had a little adventure on Saturday.  SOY had it’s 2nd annual Family Fun Day in Pella at the Vermeer Pavilion.  I had the kids with me since Cheryl had to work.  They had fun while I ran the skeeball game for kids and also took some video.  It was a good day.  Throughout the day the temperature had dropped making the roads very slick.

I didn’t find that out until it was too late.  We were heading back to Pleasant Hill (35 minutes away from Pella, IA), and the roads seemed fine until about seven miles into our trip there was a section of road that had blown snow on it.  It was also completely ice covered.  I didn’t know that until my car slid, did a 360 and was off the road.  I didn’t have any time to react to what was happening.  When we hit the ditch, which was filled with snow, the bottom of the car slowed while the top half of the car was going 65 mph – so we rolled and stopped inverted.

We were all fine.  We got our seat belts unbuckled, dropped down and climbed out of the vehicle.  I praise God that we all walked away from it unharmed.  My car has been deemed a total loss, mainly due to its age I think.

I thank God for the snow that was in the ditch which softened our impact – it could have been far worse.  I also thank God for those who stopped to give us a hand, the DOT guy who called EMS, the Miller Lite distributor who helped my kids and I out of the car, the nice lady who let us warm up in the SUV.  We also praise God that SOY’s executive director and his wife left later than we did and were able to give us a ride home.

Anyway, interesting weekend.  Please pray that we find a good replacement car.  This morning when I stopped by the salvage yard to get my license plates and personal effects I shot some video so you could see the damage.

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Janet Green over at DMWebLife.com tagged me to participate in a meme called “7 Things You Never Knew About Me.”  I supposed to share some things about myself that perhaps you were not aware of and then invite a couple of other people to participate.  I’m sure that you are sitting at the edge of your seat in suspense.

1.  I absolutely hate, I mean hate movie musicals.  Only my wife really knows the depth of my dislike of musicals.  On stage, live they are fine.  Movies no way.  Can’t stand them.  The fact that people burst into song in unlikely places just annoys me.

2.  I am a twin.  People who know me well in person know this, but I assume the average reader of this blog does not know that.  Yes there is another person that looks like me running around the Des Moines area.  He used to work for Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources so I used to call him the professional tree hugger in the family.  I used to tire of questions like, “what’s it like being a twin?”  I don’t know what is like not being one?  We are identical, not fraternal.  We don’t look exactly alike anymore, but you can definitely see a family resemblance.  There is no denying that he is my brother.

3.  When I was courting my wife, Cheryl I sung an Italian song called “Vittoria, Vittoria” that I learned when I was participating in the Iowa State Vocal Solo competition as a freshman in high school.  It stuck in my mind.  It was in Italian so it must be romantic right?  Who cares if I didn’t know what it meant!  She was awed by my serenade and knew that I was the man of her dreams.  Ok, not quite like that, but she did like my voice.

4.  Cheryl also thought I was a jerk when we first met at Drake (her freshman year, my sophomore year).  She knew my room mate, and came by to see him.  That weekend I was my drill weekend for the Iowa National Guard and didn’t get much sleep so I was kind of grouchy so I’m sure I seemed like a jerk.  Keeping the tradition of Vander Hart men, I grew on her.

5.  When I was a senior in high school I asked a total of 11 girls to the homecoming dance.  I finally got a taker.  It was pretty sad when word got circulated around how many I had asked.  I think the 11th felt sorry for me and said yes.  It wasn’t one of my brighter moments.  I should have kept my pride and went stag or miss it altogether.

6.  I used to have my left ear pierced, it was done on two separate occasions.  When I was 17 I wanted one and my Mom and Dad actually made me sit down and write out a list of pros and cons before getting it done.  Back in the day (1989) there were not too many guys running around with earrings.  I  got it pierced and it closed shut when I was in basic training.  I had it re-pierced when I was a freshman in college and kept it for a year before deciding that it wouldn’t look that great when going on job interviews.  My Mom especially loved the dangling ones I wore.

7.  My first car was a 1973 Pontiac Grand Am which I bought from my uncle for $1.  It was a big boat of a car which the girls really dug.  That car likely saved my life when my brother and I were driving to Camp Dodge (Iowa Army National Guard base) for our weekend drill after an ice storm.  I was driving on Lower Beaver Ave. in Des Moines, almost to Beaver Ave. when I lost control of the car going down the hill there.  We spun off the road and slammed my side of the car into the utility pole.  My legs were pinned between the door and the transmission (that was on the floor of that model).  Once helped out by EMS I walked away with just an aching body from the jarring effect and a cut on my left hand from the glass that was blown in.  If I were driving a smaller car I probably would have been killed or at the very least, seriously injured.  As a side note I had a car accident on Saturday which I’ll blog about later.

I’m tagging four bloggers to participate here – Eric, Jake Bouma, Noah Braymen, and Foxfier to participate.  Just be sure to link to this post so we can read what you wrote.

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I’m mostly doing this for my kids because I have my office located in a locked detention facility.  So for the 5 1/2 years that I’ve worked for Serve Our Youth Network, my kids have not been able to see where I work. 

It also gave me a chance to test out a new video camera that SOY was able to purchase with a small grant we were awarded.  I will give a virtual tour of Polk County Youth Services on SOY’s blog, Serve Our Youth Network News, in the near future.

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Awkward Moment

The Bible says that husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the Church, (Ephesians 5:28).  That is a sacrificial love.  Husbands must give of themselves sacrifice their comfort and pride at times.  Tonight was such a night for me.  It began with a request.

“Honey, could you go to Hy-Vee (our local grocery store) for me?”

“Sure, I said, what do you need?”

“I’ll write you a list.”


I grab the list… milk ok, tortilla chips all right, guacamole… she must be having a definite Mexican craving.  I look further in larger letters and underlined is products that every man dreads.  Feminine hygiene products… that time of the month, and she needs me to pick up the supplies.  “I can do this,” I thought to myself as I felt sweat bead up on my forehead.  Having done this before in almost fifteen years of marriage I felt pretty confident in my feminine hygiene product shopping ability.  The key to success is to find the product quickly and be nonchalant about it.  Get in and out no fuss, no muss.

I find the appropriate aisle find the appropriate and locate the appropriate brand and then the stuff of nightmares came true… I couldn’t find the right type.  I’m looking all over, checking different brands… staring at what seemed to me to be the bane of my existence.  One guy passes by and gives me a “dude what are you doing?” look.  A minute or two passes I still frantically search – who needs blasted wings for anyway?  What is she going to do?  Fly?

I finally gave up pulled out my cell phone to call my bride.  I have to call three times before somebody answers… meanwhile a couple of ladies pass me by and gave me a “you sucker” look.

She finally picked up, and I told her my dilemma.  “Are you sure?” she asked.  “Um… yes.”  She asked me to look at a different brand, and I said, “but it doesn’t have wings… I told you that already.”  A couple passes me by and the guy gave me, “I am glad it isn’t me look.”  I am looking at long, regular, extra thin, overnight…. and finally come away with an acceptable alternative.  Mission accomplished!

I love my wife!

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