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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Real Kurt Warner Story Better Than the Email Version!

I don't know how to write this post. I will try to be short. I received and email today that I thought I had to let everyone know about. But, before I post about any emails I like to check them out on to make sure they aren't fabricated. Well, some of the basic parts are true, but the real story is even better!

Basically, the email told of how Kurt Warner and his wife, Brenda met and how she had two children, one with a "handicap". The story talks about how Kurt convinced Brenda to go on a date with him and how he cared for her kids, especially her son, who was in a wheelchair. Well, I tried to give you the main points without all the (wrong) details. The real details are much better than the email, in my opinion. If you want to read the email, comment below and as long as you agree not to send it to anyone else, I will send it to you. Here is what Snopes said was the truth. (You can find it here.)

Origins: The premise of the above-quoted story — that NFL
quarterback Kurt Warner (now with the Arizona Cardinals) married the mother of
two children, one of whom which had severe medical problems — is true. On the
other hand, most of the key details given in the now widely e-mailed story are
wrong. (Which in itself is a crying shame because the real story about Kurt's
and Brenda's path through life is far more inspiring than this factually
incorrect one.)
Let's address the inaccuracies first: Kurt and Brenda did
not meet while both were working in a grocery store, so you can throw out all
that bit about his mooning over her time card. They met in 1992 at a country bar
while he was Northern Iowa's starting quarterback. (After being cut by the Green
Bay Packers in 1994, Kurt did find employment in a grocery store, though: He
stocked shelves at a Hy-Vee in Cedar Falls for $5.50 an hour.) The next morning
Kurt brought Brenda roses and wanted to meet her youngsters. She'd told Kurt
about her children the night before, so there was no dramatic surprise when she
introduced her disabled son. The Warners' was a lengthy courtship. They married
in 1997 after meeting in 1992 (not "a year later," as the e-mail has it). Brenda
(who is four years older than Kurt) had two children by a previous marriage;
however, the e-mail version has their birth order reversed. In real life,
Zachary is three years older than his sister, Jesse Jo. (More on this seemingly
picayune point later because it's pivotal to the real story of Brenda Warner's
life before Kurt.)
Zachary Warner (born in 1989) does indeed have serious
physical infirmities, but how he came by them is far more of a story than the
Internet fiction lets on. He was a perfectly healthy infant, not a
Down Syndrome child.
When he was four months old, his father dropped him, and in the blink of an eye,
this previously healthy baby was suddenly clinging to life, his grip slipping
fast. He suffered severe brain damage, and both of his retinas were ruptured. At
the time, few thought Zachary would live, and fewer still held out any hope he
would ever see, sit up, read, walk, or talk. Zachary's recovery has been long
and arduous, but he now walks and talks. Though still legally blind, he can make
out colors and shapes. No longer strictly a special-needs student, he is
integrated for half-days in a regular high school classroom. Kurt adopted
Zachary and Jesse after his wedding to Brenda in 1997. The Warners have since
added five more children to their brood: Kade in 1998, Jada in 2001, Elijah in
2003, and twins Sienna and Sierra in 2005. As for what sort of lad Zachary is
and what kind of relationship he enjoys with his adoptive father, this anecdote
should say it all: After the Rams victory in the NFC Championship game in 2000,
10-year-old Zachary presented Kurt with a homemade card done in Rams blue and
gold. Inside, in childlike scrawl, it read: "You're as good a dad as you are a
quarterback!" Zachary's birth dad could hardly be described in similar fashion.
An inability to come to terms with the injuries he'd visited upon his son led to
the breakup of his marriage to Brenda. He left her when she was eight months
pregnant with Jesse.
Over and above the numerous inaccuracies, the worst
offense this particular e-mailed glurge is guilty of is omission. Not content
with recasting the details of the Warners' lives (and the reality had the
fiction beat, remember), it leaves by the wayside horrendously large chunks of a
truly thrilling story of the sort one usually pays $9.00 to see at the movies:

- All the heartbreak Kurt endured trying to get into the
NFL, and the many setbacks he had to weather along the way. So many of our
gridiron heroes go in as highly touted draft picks it's sometimes hard to
realize some take a tortuous path to the pigskin paradise of the NFL. Kurt
presented as a free agent to the Green Bay Packers in 1994, was signed, then cut
by them that same year. In 1997 he had a tryout scheduled with the Chicago Bears
which fell through when an injury sustained during his honeymoon rendered him
hors de combat. (A venomous spider had bitten him on his throwing elbow.) He had
to muck about in the Arena and European leagues before finally being taken on by
the Rams in 1997 as their third-string quarterback. In 1999 he stepped in during
the preseason in place of injured Trent Green and began almost immediately to
rewrite Rams' history.

- Brenda's battle to make a life for herself and her two
children after her first husband deserted her. This former Marine had to return
to her parents' home when she was eight months pregnant with her second child
and with a brain-damaged child already in tow. She completed her nursing
training during this period, getting by with the help of food stamps and student

- The death of Brenda's parents in Mountain View,
Arkansas, in a tornado in 1996. They'd retired there just a year earlier.

- Kurt's embracing of Christianity in 1996. (Although he
was raised a Catholic, he dates his spiritual awakening to those dark days in
the wake of the deaths of Brenda's parents.)

- Kurt's throwing for a record 414 yards in his 23-16
Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the Tennessee Titans and being named that
contest's Most Valuable Player. This new mark topped the previous record of 357
yards set by San Francisco's Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII and capped an
astounding 4,353-yard, 41-touchdown regular season that won him league MVP
honors. As you can see, falling in love with and then marrying a gal who had two
children, one of them a special needs child, was just part of this most
remarkable story. In Super Bowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams in
their quest for another victory; although they came up just short, Warner was
already the stuff of legends.
Deservedly. Barbara "it's a warner-ful life" Mikkelson
Last updated: 20 June 2007

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Was on the Conan O'Brien Show

Yes, I was on the Conan O'Brien Show and I found the clip to prove it! Our inflatable games company was hired by the show to allow Conan to ride the bull. It was actually the second time the "bull" was on the show but the first time any of us were able to be on. I had one line . . . with one word. Here's the video - let me know what you think.

Super Bowl - Steelers or Cardinals? Help!

Steelers or Cardinals? I am torn. The Steelers are from PA, my home state. I have nothing bad to say about them. I usually root for the AFC teams because my team, the Colts, are in the AFC. I could go on and on. However, I can't help pulling for Kurt Warner. He is kind of the come back kid and I love his willingness to share his beliefs. The Cards aren't supposed to be in the game and I like to root for the underdog. I am not sure who I want to win. I would love to have someone/some people tell me who they think I should root for.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who Needs a Rhythm Section?

This past Sunday at church our praise band was missing the guitar player. However, the one song they wanted to play really needed the guitar. So, the drummer played the guitar AND the drums - at the same time! It was great! Well, the video below gave me an idea . . . just bring in a tractor. It starts a bit slow, but I think it is an interesting way to use a tractor. The farmers are always looking for ways to make a little extra, maybe they could rent out some of their equipment for a rhythm section.

Thanks to Jeff for the find. Here is the link he sent me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Running Up the Score

I just read a story on Fox News about a high school girls basketball game. The score at the end of the game was 100 - 0. Check out the article here. Now the coach of the team that scored 100 points has been fired. I was on the losing end of a basketball game in which the winners scored 100 points. Unlike this case, we were able to score. However, the opposing team kept their starters and full court press throughout the entire game. I don't know the background of this game, but I find it hard to believe that any team would HAVE to score 100 points. On the other side, I think we have gone a bit far when we talk about being fair, etc. We are NOT all created equally. We each have gifts and abilities which are quite different from others. We are loved equally, but not created equally. We are all important, but we are different. Sooooooo. . . I don't know what to think. I would love to hear from you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Married Bachelor

My first weekend without my wife. Jana has a weekend retreat this weekend and I will have to be a bachelor until Sunday night. It was at bit easier when I was a real bachelor (as opposed to a married one) because back them (we have been married for 1 month and 10 days) I didn't have to worry about a dog and a cat and what the house looked like at the end of the weekend and . . . well, you get the point. Anyway, I will let you know how it went, unless it was uneventful. Who wants to read about nothing?


Go VOTE for the flavor of the month at Cruiser's Cafe - You only have one day left! Do it now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Fat Guy's Prayer

I don't know if you can read this. It says "Lord, if I can't be skinny . . . Please make my friends fat!" I took this pic on our honeymoon in a store in Bat Cave, NC. I wouldn't wish being fat on anyone, however, I thought the sign was funny.

Pez, Pez, Everywhere a Pez

Jana and I stopped at my sisters (Andrea) house recently basically because Jana hadn't been there yet. Anyway, she showed us her "PEZ" room. I knew she liked Pez, but I was surprised by what I saw. . . Over 500 Pez dispensers! I immediately thought of Josh Griffin when I saw the Star Wars Pez. I loved Pez as a kid and didn't even care much about the dispensers, I just ate the entire pack as one time. None of that 'one piece at a time' junk! Shove them all in at one time. Then again, look at me. Do I look like a guy who can eat just one at a time? Don't think so.

Doing What God Gifted Me To Do

I am looking forward to spending time with the youth tonight! The youth leaders will be taking a bigger part of the night and I will get to spend more time directly with kids. We have changed the room around this year with tables with crayons, etc. for the kids to doodle when they come in. (The picture here is one of the creations from one of the tables.) Usually, I am thinking about a lot of other things and don't get to spend much time with kids. Well, tonight, I get to do what I think God made me to do - socialize! I can't wait!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Uneventful 500th Post

Well, I had big plans about my 500th blog post! However, getting married has given me different priorities and, I don't really want to take the time to look over the past year and a half and find my favorites, etc. So, my 500th blog is a bit like the Seinfeld show - basically about nothing.

If you have the time, look over the old posts and let me know which ones I should have written about.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Losing Weight . . . Again

Well, I have done it . . . again! I have signed up for a weight loss challenge sponsored by Matthew McNutt. Matthew (I don't know if I can call him Matt? I have never met him personally.) was on the "Biggest Loser" reality show and lost a pile of weight. At the time, he was a youth pastor in Maine. He has since moved to Delaware to serve at another church there. You can find out more about him at his blog. Anyway, he has this weight loss challenge, "Tending the Temple", that I have signed up to participate in. If you remember, last year I lost 41 pounds in three months for our mission trip through the Middlecreek Area Community Center. During last year's challenge, the MACC gave $10 per pound that you lost. This challenge won't be quite so lucrative, but maybe more fun. I guess there are some prizes available, but I just want to loose back the weight I gained after I lost it all - haha. Actually, If I could loose, and keep off, 10% of my weight this year and then do the same next year, I would be happy. I have to weigh in every Tuesday and send it to Mr. McNutt. So, pray for me and I suppose you will be able to keep track of my progress on the blog. The challenge is until the Biggest Loser is over for this season, but I am not sure when that is.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Thought this was an interesting picture. While travelling on our Honeymoon, we were told to get onto Bearwallow Mountain Road. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Which way do I go? BTW. . . we guessed and got to our destination.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Finishing the Reviews

I want to finish this series so I can get on to other things so this will be a long post.

The Saturday Jana and I spent most of our time at Chimney Rock State Park and the surrounding area and ate at the La Strada. The weather was nice so we at on the porch. I wasn't extremely hungry so all I ordered two appetizers. Both were good. However the best part about this eatery is the view of Lake Lure. 3.9 out of 5. It just wasn't something that I "had to do again".

Sunday, after church in Hendersonville, we decided on Square 1 Bistro. We both really liked this place and the brunch was really good. I really liked the biscuits and the jam. Actually, all of our food was good. If in Hendersonville, check out Square 1. 4.7 out of 5
Monday it was time to begin our journey home and found it harder to find places we hadn't already eaten being advertised along the road. We finally found O'Charlies. I tried their Twisted Chips appetizer which was a nice change from the regular stuff while Jana tried their Pretzel Crunch Chicken. Both were good but nothing that would bring me back again and again. The service was good and I liked all the rolls. If I remember correctly, there were a few really good deals if you were really trying to tighten the belt. I don't remember exactly what they were, but I do remember commenting about it to Jana. 4.5 out of 5.
Saturday night we stayed in Harrisonburg, VA and happened to talk with Jana's parents who suggested we try a Japanese grill called Kyoto. You should always listen to your parents, at least when it comes to eating out. This place was really good! I like Japanese, but this place was better than others I had been too. We both ate Chicken and Steak. However, for some reason, the chef made us each a small portion of shrimp, which, we usually don't like. I would never order shrimp unless it was here. It was really good. I don't know what they did to it, but I might even order it if I had the chance to do it again. I always like watching the meal being prepared at a place like this, but the taste of the food stole the show. 4.8999 out of 5!

Finally back in PA on Tuesday, we got off 81 for a short side trip (just for fun) and stopped at the Capital Restaurant Chambersburg. This little diner looked better outside than the atmosphere inside but I can't say anything bad about the place. The food was acceptable, the service good, but I wouldn't frequent this place for the food unless I was a local trying to find out the latest gossip. 3 out of 5.
To recap, every place we ate was average or better. Obviously, we liked going to DAVE'S place for the food and the company. The two other places I definitely want/need to return to would be the Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge and Kyoto in Harrisonburg, VA. If in Gattlinburg, the Alamo is a really good choice. You can't go wrong with the rest, but if there is something you know available, you might want to stick with the familiar. Jana might have another take on this. Check out her blog or any comments she might give on these posts.
The entire idea was fun and made for some interesting times. You might want to try it sometime.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Birthday Gift!

Today is my birthday and my wife was very gracious and bought me a GPS device, a Tomtom GO 720! Am I lucky or what! Well, for some of you it might not be great, but to me . . . well, I love it!