29 August 2007

Mt. Yale

I found out only recently that I'll be able to go with my friend/teammate, Shawn Griffith, on a trek. we're climbing Mt. Yale--over 14,000 feet! I am so pumped! I've been wanting to go really camping for a long, long, long time and was planning to go by myself in October. Now, I just have to take care of my checklist. I am so pumped! We'll leave September 14th and get back the following Friday. Man, I'm pumped! Click on the title to be linked to pictures of the mountain.

Here are some pictures from when we climbed the top bit of Clingman's Dome in east Tennessee near Gatlinburg:

20 August 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Max Weldon Whaley

It's hard to imagine how much love you've poured into my life. Thankfully, I don't have to imagine. I am in such an enormous debt of gratitude to you. Thank you for living your Jesus-following life in front of me.

Thanks for teaching me to love my wife by loving mom, being faithful to her, respecting her, and building her up. I have never worried that you would ever leave Mom because of your devotion to her. Thanks for teaching me to love my brother and sister--making me mean it when I said "Sorry" to Melissa and giving me the board when I hit Stephen. Thanks for hitting balls to me and letting me practice throwing them in to you at home.

Thanks for getting me to help you weave that soccer/volleyball net. Thanks for asking me if I wanted to be baptized while we did that. Thanks for putting up the tetherball pole. Thanks for letting me swing the sledgehammer against the post.

Thanks for pulling me out of the water on our first fishing trip together. Thanks for not letting the extended relatives drown me on our first camping trip together.

Thanks for demonstrating the true meaning of punctilious. Thanks for teaching me to buy shoes that fit well. Thanks for mowing a maze-path in the tall grass so I could race through it. Thanks for kicking my butt when I was being lazy while you were mowing. Thanks for racing me down Lakeview Road out in the country and trying to beat me, but still losing to me. Thanks for showing me that Tarantula, that King Snake, that opossum, and all the other animals. Thanks for showing me how to be calm around animals (and people) and for so many times helping me diffuse my out-of-control anger.

Thanks for having me read about Jesus' Resurrection and listening to what I thought about it while we sat on the back porch. Thanks for introducing me to all your coworkers and being so proud of me. A lot of people thought I'd never make anything of myself, but you did. Thanks for encouraging me to consider different vocations without pressing them on me too much.

Thanks for loving Nicole so freely and generously and gently and confidently. Thanks for praying such a beautiful prayer at our wedding. (And, by the way, thanks for teaching me about the vas deferens, too. ;-))

Thanks for playing the world's smallest violin for me whenever I would whine. Thanks for singing that song early on school day mornings--" . . . with egg on our places and bright shining faces, this is a good way to start a good day!" Thanks for letting me blow zerberts on your belly and letting me jump on your belly off the sofa. Thanks for letting me see you developing new skills (woodworking) late in life, too. Thanks for being an avid reader. Thanks for parking far out so other people could park up close and we could enjoy walking. Thanks for putting up with my long-winded theological lessons so graciously. Thanks for engaging me in theological conversations. Thanks for being willing to change your views--even later in life. Thanks for being patient--even when you were younger. You have always been like the young Timothy except that you're a father and now suddenly 60! "There is no one like you, who will show genuine concern for the welfare of others. You don't look out for your own interests, but those of Jesus Christ."

I love you, Dad. God bless you,

12 August 2007

Testimony to Brain Power

I am amazed at what the body can do "on its own" and in spite of all sorts of challenges. We don't often see the hidden abilities that may reside in each one of us, but take a look at people with autism and see how strong the ability to remember can be. Click on the title to go to an amazing story. How many points could a 17-year old, 5-foot-6-inch boy with autism make in his first basketball game? What if he had been watching other kids make the same shots for several years? Unbelievable! He's a wonderful kid, too. Although he can't play in the post-season games since he didn't play the rest of the season, he's excited about continuing to support his team in his usual role as manager. “I just want to win as a team, not individually,” he said.

11 August 2007


My "little" brother and me during a hike up a mountain in the Smokies.

In addition to hiking, we also played our 2nd annual round robin tennis tournament. Last year, the ranking went: Stephen-1, Nicole-2, and me-3. This year, it was close again, but Nicole was #1, Stephen #2, and me #3. My family left us two tennis rackets so Nicole and I can practice. We played this morning, the first to six wins. I won the first three. Then, Nicole won six in a row, barely! We have Stephen to thank for inspiring us to play tennis.

07 August 2007