Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's a male!

So yeah....it was a male that did our ultrasound today at 1pm. He's the same guy that told us Addison was a girl before she was born. During that ultrasound we found out the exciting news that....

We're having a girl!!!! Sophie Grace Anderson is due to arrive sometime around the 21st of February, 2008. We're both very excited, and Addison can't wait to have a sister to play with. And yes, being a practical guy I'm looking forward at getting the most use out of all this girly stuff we got. Not sure if I'm ready for 2 teenage girls, and 2 weddings to pay for...but I have many years to prepare, right? hehe. Thanks for your congrats and prayers as we continue to pray and wait towards her arrival!

Monday, September 24, 2007

What do you think???

Alright folks....here it is....your chance to weigh in. This thursday, Sept. 27th, we are hopefully going to find out the gender of our new baby, due Feb.21st!

What will be added to this incredible family?


Although I don't think she understands yet that she's expecting a sibling...Addie definitely can't wait to have someone to share all of her toys with....hehe. Here she is, pretending to call her future brother or sister...


Personally, I'm just plain' hoping for a baby. Sarah tells me I should have an "inkling", or some sort of "gender-sense" where I can say "I think it's a _____". But really, I have no clue. Maybe it'd be different if the little squirt were inside of me....but I'm okay the way it's already been worked out. :)

In any case, this baby is gonna get a lot of love. So here's your chance....what do you think we're having? Boy or Girl? What date do you think it'll arrive? What time? Give your guesses, and the closest one WINS!!! (prize yet to be determined) Leave your message here on my blog. If you're reading this on my facebook, go to my blog to comment at http://pastorwick.blogspot.com

Let the guessing begin!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Experimental Hobby...

I realize this may be one of the most popular times for random people to be checking out my blog. Because of that, I've decided to go ahead and post something else besides Wheel of Fortune, that shows I'm an interesting human being also...

This morning was interesting/though-provoking and smelly all at once. Although I think I enjoyed the "smelly" part. The thought-provoking side came from a conversation with an older gentleman who didn't know I was in ministry. He was giving me advice for life, and we were having a conversation during which I would ask him questions, and he would answer with wisdom that comes from having lived over 60 years in this world.

At one point, he turned to me and thanked me for listening. He went on the complain and blame today's schools and churches for teaching us not to think, and not to listen to older people for wisdom. I listened to him for a while, and actually agreed with him on many of his points. Lord help me to be a minister that leads children of God to a real and vibrant faith, and not just one that blindly accepts anything they're told.

Before the man arrived at my house, I began a hobby that hopefully will become something I get better at. I was roasting green coffee beans! I did a little bit of research online first, but all the directions sounded too complicated, and they recommended using a covered pan or wok...and I'd just bought a new small pan with raised sides, so I closed the computer, and lit the stove. I used a wooden spoon to stir the beans as they roasted, to encourage an even roast at about 500 degrees on a medium-high heat.

After the beans had gotten past the first cracking sound, and were beginning to crack a second time (dangerously close to burnt, but hopefully a french roast), I carefully put them into a metal colander to separate the beans from the chaff. (the beans increase in size, and shed their outer skins) I allowed them to cool for a bit, and took them outside to blow off as much chaff as I could.

Finally, I brought the beans into the house and put them in a bowl that I put foil over. You want to give the beans 4-12 hours to release more gases and dry out a bit before actually grinding and making coffee. I'm sure this method will take some revamping, and I'll hopefully get better and better at it....but here is the finished product....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

...so there you have it. :)

The silence is finally over. :) I'm so proud of my wife and my daughter for being able to keep such a secret...I WON WHEEL OF FORTUNE! Yeah, the money is exciting, and the vacations are even better, but overall....wow, I WON Wheel of Fortune! Went all the way to the BONUS round, and triumphed. Even though it was a bit of a feminine answer, it does wonders for my male ego.

So pretty much everyone has questions about the prizes, I figured I'd answer a lot of it right here. That way, instead of giving the same response a billion times, I can just say "read my blog".

1. What did you win? We won $45,950 worth of cash AND prizes. They say we'll receive our winnings within 120 days of the show being on TV...so far we've not gotten any of it. The prize break-down is:
- $8,200 cash
- $6,750 Trip to Kauai, Hawaii (includes air, rental car, resort, food, etc)
- $1,000 vegas.com Gift Certificate (usable for air, hotel, shows, and food)
- $30,000 Bonus Cash
2. Do you owe taxes? YES, I have to pay taxes on the ENTIRE prizes value, not just on the cash. California state tax is 7%, and federal tax is about 30%. So after taxes, and giving 10% to the God who made it all possible, we'll end up with around $19,000 cash...along with the trip to Hawaii and Vegas.

3. What will you do with the money!!?? Well, we bought a new digital camera, and we're looking into getting a dishwasher. We have some debt we'll probably put some towards, and with 2 kids.....I'm sure we'll find a place for it all.

4. When are you going on your trips? Hopefully we can do a 3 day trip to Vegas before the new baby is born (to celebrate our 5 year anniversary), and then we're planning on using the big Hawaii trip next August or September. We have one year from today to use both trips. They can not be exchanged for cash, and can't be used by anyone but Sarah and I, or we forfeit them. As for babysitters, we'll probably use family here in Decatur...but feel free to apply within.

5. Don't you owe me money? No. :) (except Jake...I'll pay you soon!)

6. Did you record it? Yes, my friend Kyle rocks, and is making a DVD of it, as well as putting it in a form we can put on youtube soon hopefully. If you need a DVD of it, send a self-addressed pre-stamped dvd sized envelope to me. :)

7. How do you feel? Pretty good. The money/prizes are cool and all...but holy cow...I WON Wheel of Fortune. :) Meeting Pat and Vanna rocked too.

8. How did you get on the show? Read the blog I posted before this one. :)

It'd take forever to respond to all of the calls, e-mails, comments, etc. So I just want to say thanks to all of you so much for your kind words, wishes, prayers, and Birthday Happiness too.....I'm so glad to have each of you to share life with. I got lucky on the show...but my life is no gameshow....God has definitely blessed us. May God bless your life as well, and may we all realize how blessed we already are....(I think I just overused the word "blessed" and should now be made fun of. Go.)

Monday, September 03, 2007

How? (did you get on, did it go)

I know it’s a long post, but so many people have asked/are asking me about my Wheel of Fortune experience, I figured I’d put a little about it into words. I’ll start way back in the beginning…

Step 1: Audition
My wife’s father works as a manager for a store at our mall, and he’d told her about the Wheel-Mobile coming in over the weekend. We had some friends in town that weekend, and decided it’d be fun to check it out. Of course, with the chance of actually getting on the show, it was worth getting there early.

We were there early, but there was already a line. They brought little applications for us each to fill out, and collected them all into a large barrel. The next couple hours was spent drawing 5 names at a time to come up on stage, and compete in a short version of Wheel of Fortune, and they gave away a few hats and t-shirts. My friend Jason actually got called up! Unfortunately, it was a tough puzzle, and he had a bad spot in line, so wasn’t able to solve it. Be we were jealous of him still, he’d gotten on stage, etc.

At the end of the games, they announced that those who were chosen would receive an e-mail sometime in the next couple weeks. They said even if you weren’t chosen to be on stage, you might get an e-mail based on your written application (thankfully I’d made mine very interesting). A while after, my brother and I both received e-mails from Wheel of Fortune for callbacks in Springfield!!!

Step 2: Callbacks
My brother didn’t want to take time off work, cause it was a summer-only job, and he was new there. So my sister-in-law Erin met me in Springfield, taking his place. There were about 60 of us who were called back. We collected into room with a big screen up front displaying Wheel of Fortune videos, etc. One by one, we introduced ourselves, trying to be as positive, upbeat, and clear-spoken as possible. Then the games began. Each person got one “turn”, to try and choose a letter, and solve the puzzle.
I was lucky enough to have an easy puzzle, close to solving when it was my turn. I guessed a letter loud and clear, and solved the puzzle! I won a nice “Wheel of Fortune” hat. After everyone had a turn or two, we moved on to the written exam. They passed out “exams” with partially filled in puzzles of different types. We were supposed to solve as many as we could in 5 minutes. I almost went crazy trying to solve as many as possible, but didn’t finish them all. We turned them in, and they left the room to grade us.
When they came back, they had a list of names. If they didn’t call your name, it was the end of the road for you. They called my name! About 8 of us stayed, and they took a Polaroid of each of us, and had us play a round spinning a fake wheel to see what we’d look like. At the end, we were all dismissed. They announced if we’d been chosen, we would receive a letter in the mail within 2 weeks from that day. About a week and a half later, while I was practicing softball with some family, my wife ran out on the field with the envelope….I’d been chosen!!!

Step 3: Los Angeles
The letter stated I would receive a phone call within 18 months, with as little as 2 weeks notice. I tried not to get too anxious. The call came one day while I was at home, and they asked me if I could be in Los Angeles in a little over 2 weeks. The exact date ended up falling on the final day of our Mission Trip with the youth group, so I had to say no, and hoping I’d get called back soon.
I was. They called while I was actually on the Mission Trip, driving out in the middle of nowhere with a van full of teens, looking for a giant treehouse we had heard about. They needed me in L.A. in 2 weeks. We began making travel plans right away. The show doesn’t pay for any travel expenses, but anyone on the show is guaranteed to win at least $1,000. So we aimed for that as our budget, and away we went!
The flights that day went as expected….badly. ☺ Our flight was delayed, after being on the plane for over an hour with no AC, they finally released us, and told us to find a new flight. We ended up getting to L.A. late Wednesday afternoon, instead of the planned early morning arrival. Unfortunately, our luggage, with my suit…was not there yet. At 8pm, I got a phone call saying our luggage had arrived, and they would deliver it. I was a little worried, because I had to be ready, dressed for the show, by 7am. So we waited. And waited. And waited. After a few frantic phone calls at 4am, the luggage finally arrive at our hotel at 4:30am the day of the show. I pulled out my suit, hung it up, and went to bed.


Step 4: The Show
The alarm went off at 6am, and like a child on Christmas morning, I jumped up and got ready for the day. In the lobby, there were several other contestants, all talking, and getting to know each other. The hotel had a shuttle to the studios, so we all went over together…nervously becoming short-term friends.
When we arrived, they gathered us all into a small class-room type set-up. With a table full of food that most of us didn’t want to fill our stomach’s with, but was still somewhat comforting to know it was there if we wanted it. We filled out and signed the appropriate legal documents, and they went through every single rule of the show. We also briefly met Vannah White as she walked through the room with her daughter. One by one, while everything was going on…we each went back to get high-definition make-up put on us. I asked the woman doing my make-up how long she’s been doing it, and it turns out she has also done make-up for Tim Allen, and Tom Hanks!
They divided us into groups of 3, each with 1 man and 2 women. There were 6 shows being taped that day. We were to draw names to see what order we were in (1-3), and then to see what show each group of 3 was (1-6). 5 Shows were for the week of September 17th, and one show was for February of the next year. I was hoping to get into one of the 5 shows for September, but was surprised when our group was selected for the very FIRST round! I had no time to watch other people make mistakes….
We went out into the studio, and I sighed. I didn’t know what to think…I’m a youth pastor in a denomination that is against gambling, and the week of shows I’m going to be on? CASINO WEEK! Ah well, didn’t have any power over that…hehe. We practiced spinning the thousand-pound wheel (it was smaller than expected, but still shook the ground!), filmed short commercials for each of our local TV Stations…and waited. The audience came in. We were instructed not to look for our friends/family, because even a simple wave or smile could be interpreted as trying to cheat. Then…it was time. They got us set up, touched up our make-up, changing the height of the platform so that we all were close in height, but still shorter than Pat Sajak…and the music started….(you’ll have to watch to see the rest….September 17th, 2007)