Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Blessing of Forward Sight

As Far back as I can remember, I have always had this ability which I call a gift. Thinking back, I recall using it in the 8th grade pretty regular. I played football and that is the year that the coaches became hard nosed and practices were no longer social occasions. I was not the greatest at running. I hated it and it hurt. But I never quit because of it. I knew that if I stuck with it, the running would be over eventually. That is how I kept my head in it. I still have the gift of looking forward at the end result to mitigate my current situation and my attitude towards it. For example, I am burned out deluxe on school. I been going for forever and now that I am no longer in the paralegal program taking classes that interest me, I feel it even more. However, at least once a week, I remember that if I can make it through this semester, only 9 more classes to go! I get all giggly just thinking about it! That is what keeps me from throwing my hands up and saying screw it waaay more often than not, I promise you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My college education

On the night before Halloween, my daughter's Brownie Troop had a lock in at a preschool one of the troop leaders own. During this lock in, one of the little girls named Hanna who is best friends with me, took all the letters out of the little put the letter back where they belong toys. Well she quickly lost interest, so I stayed behind to put them back in. While I am doing this, I am sitting on this cool rug that has the states on it in different colors and all named in big letters. So Kathy sees this and gets a picture, and cracks to everybody, look this is Shane's college education you hear about! Ok that was hilarious, I will give her. But now, after all that, I had to play with legos last night for one of my classes! It is for technical writing and we are on an assignment which is writing directions. Me and my partner built a helicopter and a landing pad, and now we have to write the direction down how to rebuild it. This should be fun!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Mail

So I got the good news that Mom is gonna need me for the USPS mail project this year! That is a big payday and I need it pretty badly. I am hoping that between this year and next, I will be able to pay my house off before law school. That will be a stressful three years I know, but the house being paid for would remove a great deal of that stress I do believe. I am looking forward to a couple of weeks of hard running and then the big payday! I have decided the treat that we are gonna allow ourselves is to get the carpet in the living room and the tile in the entry and hall way replaced with a nice laminate flooring we have found that we like. I am so excited to get the opportunity to do that!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Just what I needed day

So I have been kinda caught up in the grind here lately. Between work, school, school work, and having a wonderful family, I have been kinda neglecting myself and my need for unwinding time. Not purposely, just haven't really had time. So yesterday, I was able to have one of those days. One of my gripes, is that I get couped up inside doing things all the time. I mean with the semester in it's last throes, the professors are trying to get all the stuff they said they would get done in at the very last and I of course have procrastinated on a paper so I have that on me, and I had a ton of filing at work that I have been too busy to get to because I have a ton of other work. So when Jason called and said they wanted to go out to Devil's Den State Park and invited us along, I was pretty excited. A day out was souding awfully good. So I got up early and got over to the office and finished the filing and lawn mowing fairly early and was able to get back for a shower and change so that we could head out and have a good time. And we did too! Just exactly what I needed, get outside, play and hike and have a good time with my wife and our good friends! The mood on the way home was so light and cheery. Kathy and I joked and laughed ( well we do that all the time, but it was even funnier and laughier than usual) and had a great time on the way back. We stopped at a little dive restaraunt on Main Street Vanburen and had dinner, then we came home and hung out till i passed out! Perfect day for Shane.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Umm it's not amazing, it's my job

So I get this every once in awhile. I like to hang out with Lauren every chance I get to get one on one time with her. We may just watch some tv or we may go fishing or sometimes we go to the movies or the park, but at any rate, I give Lauren my undivided attention for a few hours and she loves it! Some people hear that and tell me how amazing that is that I do that! I don't find it amazing at all, it is my job! It is a pleasant job and I love every minute of it, but that is what you are SUPPOSED to do! And I will tell you what that does for you as a parent. One of the things that irks me is that parents want to be their childs friend now a days and will not correct them when they need it. I am not that parent. Those parents are afraid the kid will get mad at them or something. Not me. I do all the correction she needs! And here is a shocker, she never gets mad at me. In fact, in almost all cases, she winds up in my lap loving on me within half and hour of me getting on to her or spanking her or whatever needed to be done. Kids like boundaries and rules. It gives them a sense of security to know what will happen and what is expected of them. Geez people, if you just invest your time in a child, they are a endless resource of love and happiness!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Isn't it strange?

So I was driving down the road the other day and just kinda started thinking, like I always do, and it dawned on me. Before I began dating and then married Kathy, I was a totally different person. Before Kathy and Lauren, I was not a holiday person. They were just days off work for me. I never participated in Halloween, I did like Thanksgiving, never decorated for Christmas, all these seemed like wastes of time to me. But, I remember, our very first Christmas in the house, I couldn't wait to do the yard ornaments! I am a very fortunate man in that my parents spoil me! Glenn used to decorate their house in the country and it was sooo gorgeous, but when they moved to town, they had too much stuff to put in their yard. So, I got the benefit of that and was able to decorate my lawn with stuff! But my favorite thing is that Kathy and I host Thanksgiving. I love to have everyone over, Kathy cooks up a big ol' meal, with the moms pitching in too ( not a meal without Momma's dressing and potato salad!).

But I have strayed from my point. I have changed so incredibly since the girls have come into my life. And I believe it is all for the better. I use to be a pretty selfish guy, most everything was about me. Having my girls, now I think mostly of them and how I can make their life better and easier. And I get the benefits of them spoiling me too! Just last night, I came home to a meal fit for a king that they had both cooked for me. As I sat and savored the 15 bean soup and mexican corn bread, it made me realize that this is what life is about. Yeah, I don't have the unfettered freedoms I used to when I was single ,but who the heck wants that! Not me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So close!

So I finally sat down the other day to work out my spring schedule for school. I got my degree plan out and started to fill in where all my classes were gonna be and it dawned on me. Once I am done with spring, I only need 5 classes to graduate! I could easily get that taken care of by taking 1 class in the summer and the last four in the fall! I became ecstatic at the thought of finishing my bachelors up! I think alot of my family and friends thought I was not nearly excited enough about my associates degree, and that may be true. But I promise you, when the time comes for me to walk that walk for my bachelors, excitement will not be an issue! I got a little giddy just thinking about it while typing!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hidden Blessings

Sometimes, unbeknownst to us, we have blessings that we don't see as blessings. For example, I was feeling a bit ill yesterday. I had been up for a good part of the night with stomach problems, so as a result, I was asleep on the couch when everyone else got out of bed. I wound up staying home from work to try to catch up on sleep and hope the stomach problems would stop. Well little did I know, but my wife and mother suddenly had it in their heads that since I am not lazy and never miss work, I must be hella sick! I have to admit, this annoyed me. I was harped on for harped on by my Mom to get to the doctor, and eventually my wife got in on the act. Well I eventually acquiesced, but with much reservation. Well one of the things that came from the doctors visit was that I decided to write down all the health issues I was currently having and bring them all up while I was there. I did that and I even talked at length with him about my anxiety. He thought about it and discussed the idea of prozac with me. I have a huge dislike for pills and especially pills like prozac. I decided that my anxiety had gotten to the point I had to try something. so here we go!

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a weekend!

This past weekend I have to admit was quite the whirlwind. But alot of great things came of it. The first being I am seeing my wife blossom and become such a great leader. She got a text from Lauren's cheerleading coach and it said she was ill and asked Katherine if she would take over for her Saturday. So seeing as how she knows each cheer by heart and had kinda already led them Thursday night, she gladly accepted. She did a great job. All those Girl Scout leadership classes are paying off! Plus she is pretty dang sexy when she is running stuff!

We came home from the football game and my gorgeous lovely wife proceeded to help me get the lawn taken care of. I did the riding mower stuff and she did the push mower stuff and we got done in record time! Which gave us time to get showered and go on our family date. It was great. Katherine had gotten entered in some drawing that coincided with a Rainbow vacuum demonstration and we got a gift certificate to Red Lobster for doing it. So we went and had what I would consider a top flight meal. After, we decided to go see the movie "Up". By far the best kids movie since Cars. I loved it and the day it comes out of DVD, I am buying it.

Then on Sunday, we had decided we were gonna go fishing. So we all got up and got breakfast and to my surprise, we were out of here by 11 to go fishing at Lake Fort Smith. We packed a lunch and our fishing poles and we were headed out. Lake Fort Smith day use area proved to not be the best spot for fishing, so we let Brook and Lauren play on the playground for a bit before heading out to Lee Creek to fulfill our fishing desires. By the time we got to Lee Creek, there were alot of other people that decided they wanted to fish too, so there were no spots. So we took of hiking on the nature trail that is out there. It was AWESOME! We had the biggest blast hiking down to a nice fresh water stream with the clearest, coolest water you have ever seen! We let the girls play in it for awhile and then noticed it was getting kinda late, so we headed back to the truck. We finally made it home around 5. Oh I almost forgot, we watched Wolverine, and it was awesome!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Four weeks down, only twelve to go!

Well I managed to successfully get through the first four weeks of the fall semester 2009. I was actually glad to have a couple of tests. I always hated practice in football, but I loved the games!! Probably the one thing I can say I am most proud of is the fact that I have stuck to my guns and done my reading and homework during the week as well as the weekend. I am no longer waiting till the day before things are due to work on them. So far, I have not been struggling to meet deadlines. As a matter of fact, I have a techical writing assignment due the 28th that I am pretty much done with. Oh and I have been doing my reading alot more consistently than I used to. I also downloaded a calendar for my computer. It is Mozilla Sunbird and I love it! I have been able to keep my online class assignments done on time and that was one of the biggest motivators for getting a calendar. I highly recommend it to anybody needing some free way to keep up with appts and assignments!

Friday, September 18, 2009

And it has begun.......

School has begun to get back into full swing and the homework is in abundance. I forgot about this part during my summer break. I have a ton to get done this weekend and I have vowed to lose my slacking attitude about get it done right before it is due. I am gonna devote at least 5 hours to getting things done this weekend! That's right, at least 5!

I am however gonna take tonight off from work and school and devote myself to some Kathy time. I think we are gonna go to the Crawford County Fair and see our friends Penny, Wayne and Maddie. Maddie has several rabbits and now a goat that she is showing at the fair. Then we may use our gift card for Red Lobster for a late dinner. All I know is I am hungry just thinking about it.

I have the best family support ever and sometimes I think I take it for granted. My Mom and Dad do so much for me it isn't funny. I have some issue with my F150 right now, so they are letting me use my old truck I gave them to get around, as usual . And Dad is gonna help me get the the problem fixed this weekend if we can. I think it is either a dry wheel bearing or a bad wheel bearing. We are gonna pull it apart and see. I sure appreciate having him around to help! Saves a ton of money! And I have a paper to do in Arkansas History, and I have the Crawford County ace historian just two doors down! I have decided to use John Drennen as my subject and Mom is gonna help me get some research together on him.

Kathy is so blossoming here lately. She has been attending the classes which will qualify her as a Girl Scout Leader! She absolutely shines in that role. I love the way she smiles when she is at an event for the girls or when she gets home from leading a meeting. It's like she was meant to be there doing the Girl Scout life.

Lauren has another activity she is just awesome at. She has taken up cheerleading and is so awesome! I knew she was peppy, but wow! and she knows all the cheers and all the moves that go with them after only two weeks!

Apart from the homework, my life is a blessing!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's coming back, slowly, but coming back

I have to admit, after school started back last week, I was worried. I didn't have the zeal for school that I had prior to taking the summer off. It seemed I may have made a big mistake getting used to going home after work. I missed my family at night and was not feeling the groove any more. But tonight, as I was leaving the campus, I think I got it back. I stood back and admired my campus. And once again, I remembered how blessed I am to be here. I am learning and working for a better future. It will eventually lead to a degree and that is my brass ring right now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back in School and Loving it?

Well that time has rolled around. I am back to school and as much enthusiasm as I had before school started, I may not have retained it all just yet. I am finishing out my first week tonight, and so far I see homework being an issue possibly this semester. I kinda let it get out of hand last spring and had a bad habit of waiting till right before things were due to work on them and that usually took up alot of weekends. I would come home and say "I just don't feel like doing homework, I wanna relax and unwind". The one thing I did do correctly I think is I always worked on my online class on the same day each week. I had gotten in trouble by forgetting to do a quiz or turn in an assignment in online classes before and I thought a little bit of organization would be the trick. I was right. This year I have downloaded Mozilla Sunbird on my laptop as my calendar with reminders and it is already showing it's helpfulness by keeping the next 14 days tasks in a spot at the top of the calendar. I now know that by Monday I have to take a quiz and submit an assignment in my online class.

Katherine has been great this week. I pampered her some the last month before school and kep the house picked up and not looking bad in anticipation of her having to do the housework. Not only has she picked the housework back up, but she is mowing too now! I hate to have her do it, but she does it when I ain't home so I can't protest.

One of the things I am grateful for this semester is there are no midday classes that will cut my hours down and likewise, keep me from getting my work done. It seemed I had an endless to do list all last semester and that shouldn't be the case. Not to mention this semester will be one where I can get 40 hours a week, instead of 32!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What I love about September

Let me start this off by saying I am a summer kind of guy. Love the warm weather and the sweat that is produced while working and having fun just the same. However around this time each year, I look forward to September and the cooler temps it will bring. One of my favorite memories is a September day in which a cold front came upon us and having not watched the weather, it was wholly unexpected to myself and John Vancuren Sr. and Jr. I remember we were visiting out in the street in from of John Jr.'s house and all the sudden the temperature dropped like 15-20 degrees! It was so nice and we all just sat there not saying a word and smiling. It was just a feeling of refreshment. I had no idea that at that time, John Sr. was not to be with us much longer, so that adds to the specialness of that moment. So now each year when old man weather brings us a cool front in late summer/early fall, I just kinda stop and take it in and give myself five minutes to enjoy both the joy of autumn's arrival and the memory of one of the few people I ever truly loved, John VanCuren Sr. RIP.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lottery Dreams

On occasions, my wife Katherine and I will go buy a Powerball ticket and hope for a big win. One of my favorite things to do is to day dream about what I would do with the money if we did win it. I don't mean like buy this and go there kind of stuff ( I would buy alot of cars and go to Europe for at least a month). But what good could I do with that money. The old addage is that to whom much is given, much is expected. I agree. My very first time out thinking about what I would like to do, it was only centered on helping animals and kids by donating to traditional charities. But one day, I thought of this idea that would mean so much to me if I were able to do it. I would love to be able to, by some process unbeknownst to me as yet, sponsor both a single mom who is really trying to make something of her life for her kids, but is having a rough time of working full time and going to school, and a guy that is like me, trying to raise a family and make a better life for them by working full time and then going to school at night. My thinking is I would choose the two beneficiaries, then agree to either put them in a nice house if they are not currently in a good living situation, or agree to take make their house payments for the time they are in school. Additionally, they would get a brand new car to drive with insurance paid for, and a monthly stipend of $2000.00. In return, the beneficiaries are required to maintain a full time schedule, a 3.0 grade point average, and remain out of legal trouble. Upon their graduation from school, they will be given both their house and car to keep as their own, and the monthly stipend will continue for one year after graduation or until they are gainfully employed. I think that would be awesome and kinda feed my need to further education in our area. Nice dream, maybe one day I can make it happen.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The worst feeling ever!

So I got caught in a situation today I hope I NEVER have to deal with again. When I came home today, my wife was crying violently because of the pain in her tooth. I have never seen anyone cry that hard before and it left me so upset and sad that I couldn't fix my wife's pain and make it all better. I drove her to the ER and the whole way I couldn't think but i have failed her by not having a good job and insurance so she would be able to go to the dentist before it got this far. My wife was sobbing like crazy cause I can't provide for her. I know it will be a different tune when I get done with law school, but how many more times is my impotency going to rear its head and make me feel like a tool? I need to do some serious thinking.

Who woulda thunk it?

I am up on a Saturday morning after a guys night out. A little baseball and Taco Bell and my crappy week has ended nicely! I am a little weirded out about something though. I want to caveat this next statement by saying I love my Kathy and Lauren very much, but sometimes I just want to sit and do nothing and be all by myself. In theory, it sounds sublime. In practice, it does not work as well. I had the house to myself when I got home last night and it was a little weird. I also am alone today. The girls are at a Girl Scout lock in for their troop and won't be home for a bit. I have to admit, I have gotten quite used to having them around and now I will probably not wish so hard for time alone. Never saw that coming!

On a more positive note, I had the best time at the Naturals game last night! Jason and my string of undefeated at Arvest Ball Park is now broken, but it was still a great game. I had never had seats right on the field in any game before, and that was awesome! We also saw a Kansas City Royals coach there! I don't know why he was there, but it was cool!

I am gonna try to go to Mom's this morning and get a little one on one with her. We don't see each other as much as we should since we live so close together. I am gonna try to start remedying that though. Lord, help me find time for all I NEED to do!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer is Slipping Away

Wow, where did it go? I remember vividly the last minute I was at school, getting in my truck and realized that I was done with school for 3 whole months! I was gonna go here, gonna do that, it was titilating! Now less than a month away from the start of school, and I haven't done but maybe 20 percent of any of it. Money makes the world go around, and no money makes the world stand still! I mean I have had a great summer, don't get me wrong. I have spent a ton of time with my family and friends, had cookouts and sleepovers, did a fair amount of swimming at the Natural Dam down from the house. But I had hoped to get to the Gentry Zoo, get the Alma Waterpark in, Kathy and I both want to go to the aquarium in Tulsa with Lauren. I think that is gonna possibly be our last hurrah this summer. I found out it was worth the trip and the price of admission, so I am gonnna see if I can sock back a $100 and make it a Saturday day trip kind of thing. I know Lauren will love it and I am guessing so will we!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Figure this out

So I am sitting at the table eating my breakfast and I start thinking. Where did this new found concern for my weight and health come from? It seriously just materialized out of nowhere. I am loving it though. I have stopped eating 20-30 hot dogs a week, countless sandwiches and chips and sweets. I now snack on fruit, both at home and at work. I get at least 5 pieces of fruit a day in and even some vegetables too, which I am thinking about upping. I also have a different attitude towards food. I don't crave it all the time. In addition to all this, I have spent the last week using my morning time to ride the recumbent bike and using 5 pound weights to do arm exercises while doing it. I know all this added together has made me feel so much better about myself. I have more energy and a much better attitude. I may have an explanation for where it came from. I recall not long ago, I was floundering. I specifically recall I was trying to figure out why, even though I truly wanted to, I could not for anything get myself motivated to lose weight. I desperately tried using the motivation of staying around longer for my wife and step daughter and our kids to come. So in depseration I told the Lord that I needed help. I wanted my wife to have a good life and I wanted to be the one to give it to her till well into our advanced age. I truly believe that is where this came from. HE knew I needed help, and he came to the rescue. Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 2 Momentum

I am quite excited this evening! First, I got up and did the bike and upper body workout like I decided would be a good plan AGAIN this morning (thus the Day 2). I also kept my food intake low through out the day. I even cut my usual breakfast by skippin the bacon, saving it for weekends only, and only one piece of toast. I know everybody is poo poo-ing the fruit, but I am basically eating a ton healthier than before. If I am able to keep losing while eating oranges and bananas and grapes etc. then I am gonna go ahead for now. I know I haven't had a burger in like 2 weeks and I got a huge craving today! Anyway, to continue, Katherine and I also went for a walk after supper settled for the second day this week. I think we have both synced up on this weight loss thing and are taking it more seriously than in the past. Should prove to be beneficial since we both want to lose weight so bad.

Lauren's girl scout troop had an even yesterday and I have to admit, I love doing things with the troop. It is also great to have so many new friends from doing these things. Kathy and I got invited to go out with Amber to see her husbands band play one night and I think Penni and Wayne may wind up being some running buddies for us too! Kids are a great social networking tool! I have met some great people by going to Lauren's school and social functions. Add those to the already awesome group of friends I have and it just can't get much better!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Look out sub 300 pounds!

I have to come tell this. I don't know exactly how it got started, other than the hand of God moved over me, but I out of the blue started eating considerably healthier. It started off I had to nix fast food for monetary purposes. But shortly after that, my wife bought some oranges for some unknown reason and I started eating those. Well, that was so good, I went ahead and started buying other fruits like bananas, apples, strawberries, etc. Before too much longer, I was using these as my night time snacks. Then I began to carry fruit to work and made it my mid-morning and mid afternoon snacks. I kinda thought I noticed I may have been a little weight, but I never tried to measure it or anything. I finally got the Wii Fit to weigh on and found out I had lost 5 pounds without really TRYING. So we went a step further and when Katherine cooked, she only made enough for the meal, not for seconds. At first that was a challenge cause I loved a big supper after a long day. But tonight, July 20th, 2009, I almost couldn't finish my plate!!! So for a celabration, we went for a couple of laps around our block as a family! How cool is that?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I have to say, I am loving me some summertime! I have gotten more work done around here in the last month than I have been able to get done in the last two years! I even got the deck I have been yearning for since I moved in here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

One of the good days

Today was one of those days ya know. All of the bad days just kinda fade into the background and this day is the one you hold onto. I had a good day at school and I think it can be chalked up to the fact that the semester is winding down, I have chosen to forego summer school this summer and the weather is just looking so inviting. I got alot of assignments back today and made A's on all of them. I have all A's going into the finals it seems, and I am not overwhelmed by the idea of taking finals this semester. One of those good days.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Brave New World

Hellow blog world. I was driving down the road the other day and suddenly I was sideswiped with the idea that I should start blogging. Not necessarily for the world, but for myself and if the world finds me and likes it, well that is ok too.

My name is Shane Griffin and I am a 36 year old man who just recently was able to find who he really wanted to be and I have now set out on a journey to get there, however long it takes. I married by beautiful wife Katherine in July of 07 and it has been nothing short of all I could ask for in a marriage. I also have the honor of being step parent to Lauren Doreen, a 7 year old sassy girl! She is a challenge and a blessing all rolled into one. Between my two girls, I can never have a bad outlook on life. If I am down when I get home, one of them always makes it ok within a short time.

I am also what is branded a non-traditional student. I started back to school in the spring semester of 07 and have not looked back. I was on fire for the first two years and took every class available to me and made straight A's excepting for one B which I won't get into at this time. I am fixing to graduate my Associates program in Paralegal Studies in May, then I move on for my Bachelors in Applied Science. I am actually fairly close to finishing my Bachelors already as I have been taking classes for it on the side when my paralegal classes are not available that semester. So in no more than a year and half I think, I should be done with that and heading to law school! That is my ultimate goal. I think that if I can get there ( and with the family an friends I have, I don't see me failing) my job working in a law firm paired with the tutelage I get from my attorneys will make me an exeptional law student and hopefully land me a in a good job after graduation. Truth is, I just want to work for the county prosecutors office in either Sebastian or Crawford County. I was a bail bondsman for a short time in my life and feel I owe society something.

Ok, I see no reason to give the whole story away on the first post, so I will close this out and for anybody who happens to visit, welcome and feel free to tell me I am great or that I suck!

By the by, the beautiful young lady you see me with in the picture, that is Lauren, my step daughter and one of the three most important women in my life.

and here is the most important woman in my life, Katherine by wife! She puts up with me no matter what and that is WAAAAY more than I ever got or gave to the ladies in my life before her.