Saturday, December 30, 2006

Special Wrap-Up...

There will be a special 'Year End' Wrap-Up coming early next week! Stay tuned! Have a safe and exciting New Year's!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Twelfth Day of Christmas...

Merry Christmas from Dad's Place!

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

Twelve Java Mudslides...

Eleven Caramel Lattes...

Ten Cappuccinos...

Nine Blueberry Bagels...

Eight Dad's Place T-Shirts...

Seven Strawberry Milk Shakes...

Six Frappuccinos...

Five Shots of Swamp.

Four Chai Lattes...

Three Ham & Cheese...

Two pounds of beans...

And a large cup of Dad's Place coffee.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Friday Christmas Un-Wrap...

Whether we want it or not, Christmas is upon us. School is out...the kids are to prepare...and presents to buy. But in our hussle-bussle week, there are a couple of great reads this past week. Hope you enjoy! Here's Christmas week, in no particular order...

Brandy had a case of 'pray & stray'.

Mark has a MUST READ on Cultural Stupidity - KGTDFJ. And just before I clicked publish, Mark gives us a well-expeced Part #2. Great Job Mark!

Hot Topic of the Week is over at MonticelloLive. And congrats to ML for being inducted into the 9rules blog community.

'Jeff and his runaway' are a runaway for Blog of the Week!

Oh, and I can't forget the story of the lost keys!

Kevin took us on a stroll down memory lane.

Wouldn't it be great if some of our church members would be as much on fire as our church vans?

Ever saw a child that didn't want his picture taken? Check out my Pic of the Week over at Carolyn's.

I pray that each of you have an incredible Christmas. May all your dreams come true! From our cup to yours...

Merry Christmas!

Jim, Denise and Tabitha

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Big Wheel Truck Stop...

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years...their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway, they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.

No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.

Still no luck.

The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana, I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires. I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then, hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and knelled in the front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel Truck Stop....

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

And The Winners Are...

Here are the top scores in Dad's Place' Quiz. Thanks to ALL who joined in on the fun. A NEW CONTEST will begin on December 12th. Don't miss it!

3rd Place...Your prize is one scoop of Ice Cream.

Rick Rudolph

2nd Place...Your prize is a Small Coffee of Choice.

Amanda K.

FIRST PLACE...Your prize is a LARGE Coffee of Choice.

Tammie S.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Choosing A Cup...

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned to complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor came in with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups...porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite...telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice-looking expensive cups were taken, leaving the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee in most cases. It is just more expensive; in some cases it even hides what we drink."

"What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups...and then began eyeing each others' cups."

"Consider this: Life is the coffee. The jobs, money, and position in society are the cups. they are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups...enjoy your coffee.

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11