30 November 2010

Knights of the Rectangle Table

It was an afternoon much like 12 November, when the Riverton Raccoons and the Willow Springs Wildcats faced off in Mandi's first chess tournament.

Eagerly anticipating her next challenge...

Mandi has been involved in chess clubs at school for the past couple of years, and this year decided she wanted to compete in a tournament.

Mandi carefully trying to trap her opponent.
The yellow queen Mandi is holding in her left hand is a prize she won during a raffle at the tournament.
It has become one of her most prized possessions.

 She did very well, playing three games and winning her last two.  She took 5th place for her grade and helped her school win the tournament.

Mandi showing off her 5th place trophy.

It was a great time, and fun to watch Mandi play.  She has since challenged me several times at home, where I've been able to squeak by with a few wins.

Tonight (28 November 2010) was a different story... We played twice and she put me in checkmate both times; one of them being what we thought was "Fool's Mate"... but it took her five moves, not two (I'm not THAT dumb... ok, that's subjective.)  I guess I'd better get practicing!

28 November 2010

Welcome Home Sagers!

I had the honor and privilege today of seeing President Richard K. Sager and his wonderful wife Lois; who served as my Mission President and Mission Mom 17 years ago when I served in the Tennessee Knoxville Mission (TKM).  The occasion was their report after returning home from another mission in Tennessee, this time as Temple President and Matron of the Nashville temple.

It was so wonderful to see them and to be inspired by their talks.  It was even better to get a few moments to visit with them after the meeting.

Left to right:
Lois Sager, Elder "Dead Cow" Litster, President Richard K. Sager
As a special bonus, President Thomas S. Monson, our beloved prophet and special friend of the Sagers, was in attendance.  I had the honor of shaking his hand and exchanging some pleasantries for a brief moment.  He's an amazing man, and it was wonderful to be in his presence for a short time.

The Sagers have had such a profound impact on my life.  They are two of the most selfless, Christ-like people I've ever met and were an incredible support while I was away from home for 2 years serving the Lord.  I appreciate our friendship that has lasted all these years.  Seeing them today, it was as if no time had passed since our last opportunity to be together.

And speaking of getting together, we're all very excited to start putting together a TKM reunion next Spring... so all of you that served with me under the Sagers in the Knoxville mission, keep watch.  We want all of you to be attendance, so please join our facebook group.  (If that link doesn't work, try this one)

Reunions are so awesome... I've been able to keep in touch with some of my missionary friends over the years, sometimes in person, but mostly through the blessing of electronic communications (instant messaging, email, social networking sites, etc.)  Having in-person reunions can't be beat though, and I hope all of my fellow TKMers will be able to attend ours.

Anyway, welcome home Sagers!  We love you and have missed you!

20 November 2010

17 Cents Away From 25 Dollars (And we're feeling pretty Lowe's about it...)

Let me start out by mentioning that the reason I've dropped off the face of the blog long ago, is because we've been working like mad to finish our basement this year.  On top of family, normal work, church and other things, I've had a moonlighting job, and it has all eaten up 20 hours/day or more.

This weekend was particularly interesting.  We're about 98% complete with finishing the basement (finishing, not furnishing -- that's next year... heh) and we needed to pick up some hardware this weekend for some of the little things that are left for us to do.

This required a trip to Lowe's.

We packed up the crew and headed over, hoping to get out of there in $300 or less.  We met our goal, and started the voyage home.  Before pulling in the driveway, Gwen asked me to stop at the mailbox so we could get today's mail on our way in.

As Murphy's Law would have it, in the stack of mail is an insert from Lowe's.  Can you guess what it had in it?

Trying to remember what we were set back as we walked out of the store, the number $294.xx came to mind.  Gwen and I smirked at each other, said "Ain't that always the way?!" and had a good laugh.

Then the thought struck, "Maybe they'll still honor it even though the sale is completed."  So we rushed in the house and I grabbed the phone... pulled the receipt out of my pocket, found Lowe's number and started to dial.

While doing so, my eyes scanned down the receipt so I'd be ready to tell the employee how much we'd spent so I could justify using this discount card.  As I was about to press the last digit to dial, and to add insult to injury... this is what I saw:

Needless to say, I hung up the phone, with a big fat, "Are you KIDDING ME?!!?!?"
I guess I'm getting dyslexic, because I could have sworn it was $294...

What makes this story even more humorous is, at the end of our adventure, when it was time to pay the piper (er... the cashier); of course the kids are bugging to buy everything on the end caps.  Ok, actually they just wanted Gatorade.

We told Brennan, Mandi and Kimmie they could get one, but Kimmie opted out in favor of having a tall glass of Chocolate Milk when we arrived home.  Curse that chocolate love... that extra buck would have saved us $24!!!  It would been the most valuable Gatorade we ever purchased.

Moral of the story... check your mailbox before you head to the hardware store.
And now you know...

01 November 2010

Kim Possible DVD Box Sets for USA Are Finally Here!!!

BOOYA!!!  You heard right folks... I'm not sure why it took Disney so dang long (Germany has had them for quite some time) but they finally have USA versions available of the Kim Possible Season 1 and Season 2 DVD box sets!  That's the good news...

The bad news... Here's the sitch: only 2 seasons are available at this point and they're only available through the Disney Movie Club.

New KP DVD Box Set Listing on Disney Movie Club
If we want the other sets, we need to get ordering these as soon as possible.  I know it sucks that you have to be a member of the club, but hey, if you join, I believe you get your first several movies at a deep discount; I just don't know if the box set DVDs are included in what you can select for those first few.

(Will one of you out there new-to-the-club that joins and purchases the KP box sets please report back here and let us know if you get them at discount or have to buy from the catalog after the initial order, please and thank you?!)

Feel free to let me refer you so I can get some free movies too!  :)

What's so funny about the timing of all this, is that I'd waited and waited and waited after finding out Disney had released these in Germany so long ago; in hopes they'd finally hit the USA.  I'd even checked the Disney Movie Club catalog several times in the past, but to no avail.

Two or three weeks ago, I finally broke down and bought the Region 2 versions from Amazon Germany, only to get an email from the ultra-cool peeps at Save Disney Shows that informed me the boxed sets were now available to USA customers via the Disney Movie Club.  Looks like I'll own both copies.  heh

So don't delay, go join the club if you haven't already and get your Kim Possible boxed sets today... I want the other two sets!

(As of this writing, I didn't see them available on Blu-Ray, but I'm not worried about it, since they're probably not planning on re-mastering in a higher resolution.  I'll take what I can get.

I've already ordered mine!!!  Go get yours today.