Book Shelf Modification

There was a bookshelf that my wife found online that she really liked for the girls room. After careful consideration we decided not to buy it.  We figured it would be too small for our needs. The feature she liked the best was that it had a bin at the bottom of it that would prevent toys or books from falling out. Here is the motivation for the project we were about to tackle.

It was made pretty easy with some pre-primed MDF that I got from Home Depot. Ashley made it pretty with letters that spelled out the girl’s name (not shown). In the end, I liked it much more than the one we saw online and the kids seem to really like it too.

Truitt's Cave Mystery

About a month ago my buddies and I went on our annual camping float trip. Along the way we ran across this neat little road side attraction that looked like it had all but been forgotten.   It took some convincing but I managed to get my friends to pull over so I could snap a few pictures.  The  place was pretty run down with everything being boarded and locked up.  I was able to get a few pictures through the windows but there really didn’t appear like there was much to see. It looked like a big rock room that went around in a circle.  It was cool looking but didn’t look like anything more than a cheap tourist attraction.

A few days ago a ran across the pictures and decided to Google the attraction name:  Truitt’s Cave.  I was amazed at what I found.  Turns out the cave was discovered in 1929 by a man named John Truitt who happened to discover 6 other caves in the Ozarks area.  Truitt’s Cave opened to the public in 1940 and had 60 years of life under its belt before it closed in 2000.  It was purchased by new owners in 2002 and remained open for another 2 years before being closed and put up for sale once again. In fact, for a mere $375,000 dollars, you can buy this gem off of craiglist!  Click Here for the Ad.

Here is a little bit more information that I found regarding this mysterious attraction.

Featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” Cave restaurant of yesteryear, with Underground River, Trout Reservoir, Root Canal Wall, Underground Geode, Endangered Salamanders and many rare formations. Learn of John Truitt, “Caveman of the Ozarks” who was the discoverer and developer of six area caves. Visit the Rock Shop, where amethyst, onyx, crystals, fossils, etc. are available. Walk down Waterfall Lane, Cross the Cedar Bridge, and pan for golden goodies at Truitt’s Frontier Flea Market, or just bring a lunch, and enjoy the Picnic Area. See one or all of three caves. Price Range $4.00-$6.00. Call for off season schedule. Have a super safe summer! 417-436-2299. Source –

After seeing this, I really wish we had a better means in which to explore this forgotten memory. I would have loved to been able to go deep into the cave to check out its wonder. But, alas, boards and locks kept us away. Maybe someone will buy this one day and return it to its 60 year glory.

My New Owners Manual

For a while now I have been trying to find a way to tie my faith into my health and fitness world. I have always felt that we need to respect the body that God has given us and do everything in our power to keep this gift runnings at its best.  I knew that such a relationship existed but I never really took the time to try and find the correlation…until now.  One day my wife and I were at Mardells and I was looking through the discount books. Crammed among the books I found an audio-book called “The Great Physician Rx for Health and Wellness” written by Jordan Rubin.

Product Description

At 19 years old, Jordan Rubin was a healthy 6’1″ and 180 pounds. Shockingly, his weight fell to just 104 lbs. in a matter of months. His immune system was at an all-time low, as he suffered from Crohn’s disease, food allergies, anemia, fibromyalgia, intestinal parasites, and a host of other conditions.  After seeing over 70 health professionals, using both conventional and alternative medicines, Rubin was sent home in a wheelchair to die. But his story didn’t end there. Through determination and a powerful faith in God, Rubin refused to give in to disease. Instead, he educated himself on natural health (eventually becoming a doctor of naturopathic medicine), and applied its principles. Now, ten years later, Rubin is fully recovered-and he desires to share the keys to his own good health. These keys aren’t just for the disease-ridden; they are for anyone desiring to live an abundant life of health and wellness.

I found this book to be fascinating.  Hearing what the Bible lists as foods we should and shouldn’t eat was truly eye opening. For example, pork is a food that should not be eaten because of the manner in which a pig eats. A pig is unclean.  A pig if kept in an unclean environment (such as a mass slaughter house) can and will survive off its own fecal waste. That waste gets absorbed into the muscles and eventually in the human that consumes it. This is just one of hundreds of examples John gives in his book.

John preaches many times in his book that we need to eat as close to the source as we can. The more processed a food is, the worse it gets for us and our bodies. Eat clean, eat lean, and eat often. That is my motto and it should be yours too.

What is the first thing you do when you buy a car, new TV, or computer program?  You look for and read the manual and determine the best and most efficient way to use your new product in a manner in which it was intended. You wouldn’t buy a car and put diesel fuel in it would you? The Bible can and is a great owners manual for our bodies.  I highly recommend this book for everyone that wants to get their bodies to run at the potential that God has intended for us.

My Weekend Fast

Over the weekend I performed at 24 hour fast. I decided to do it after listening to an audio book called The Great Physician Rx. The book lists many benefits of fasting including but not limited to:

  • Increased energy
  • Weight loss
  • The resting of vital organs
  • Reduced cravings for sugar
  • Strong connection to God

I started the fast Friday night after getting Chinese foods with my daughters. It was father/daughter night and I knew my first test of restraint would come when I made popcorn for the kids to eat with their movie. I love popcorn and having bowls of it surrounding me was not easy but I manged to make it through. I drank several glasses of water and kept my mind busy with the movie. Bedtime came and although I felt hungry, I retired for the night. The next morning was a bit of a challenge as I awoke and made the wife and kids breakfast. Being around all that food made me even more hungry. Instead I drank a cup of hot tea and more water. After breakfast we took off to my wife’s school to help her prepare for the upcoming school year. There were times in the morning that I felt hungry,weak, and a bit disorientated but as the day went on, the hunger subsided, my energy levels increased and I regained my focus. I felt great!

One of the main reasons that I performed this fast was that I heard that it would strengthen my relationship with God. The idea was that whenever I would get really hungry, instead of eating I would sit down and pray. This is what I did. I don’t know if was my state of hunger or my increased focus on prayer but that entire day, my relationship with God seemed to be very strong and even after I ate for the day, my exhilaration withheld into the night and the next day.

For anyone interested in fasting, I highly recommend it. I will be performing many more of these in the months to come. Its such a great feeling knowing that I did something to improve my health and my faith.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Live Your Life

On my way to work this morning, I heard the best saying. It was “Don’t live your life as a <blank> that also happens to be a Christian, live your life as a Christian that also happens to be a <blank>”. To use me as an example, I shouldn’t live my life as a system engineer that also happens to be a Christian but I should live my life as a Christian that also happens to be a system engineer. I thought that was awesome and a great way to start my day.

The Proposal

The day was September 19th, 2008 and it was a Friday. I had asked Ashley earlier in the week if she would be interested in going out on a date that night. I gave no specifics and I am sure she thought it was going to be the usual Pei Wei and a movie.  I picked her up at 7pm sharp and we begin to drive up North. I think after we went past 119th street she got a little curious about where we were going. It wasn’t until we got stuck in traffic that I let her in on the destination (we ended up sitting in traffic for almost an hour.)  After getting through the road construction we finally made it to the Plaza.  It was to my horror to learn that the Plaza Art Fair was also going on that weekend.  Finding a parking spot was a lot of fun and I figured getting into our restaurant would be just as much. To my surprise, we only had to wait about 30 seconds to be seated.  Things were starting to go right.

The evening started off at Baja 600 which happened to be the first place that Ashley and I met face to face. During dinner, Ashley asked me if I was wearing the same clothes that I wore on our first date. I replied with “maybe it is” and a smile.

After dinner we walked over to Barnes and Noble where we browsed the shelves for books (also a repeat of the first date).  At one point, Ashley sat on the floor to look through a book and asked me to join her. Little did she know that I had the ring box stuffed into my socks and that if she were to look close enough, she would be able to see it. I did sit down next to her but had to position my body in such a way that she didn’t notice the ring. I thought for sure a few times she saw it but she said later on she had no clue.After Barnes and Noble, we decided to go for a walk down to the JC Nicoles water fountain. We sat on a bench with relative privacy but as we sat there more and more people began to appear. Finally Ashley asked if we could continue on our walk and I obliged. She did not notice that I had slid the ring box from my sock to my hand.  We got up and walked to the other side of the fountain. It was at that point that I stopped puller her close and expressed my love and happiness for her and said that I never wanted to be without her.  I then asked her to marry me. I actually did it twice. Once standing and once kneeling!  And she said yes!!!  She made me very happy that day and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with her.