Monday, June 29, 2009


Well, my dad's hearing was last Wednesday, and he said he felt like it went really well. His attorney made a statement that there was no just cause for termination. Then Friday, at 4:30pm, my father was notified that his contract with the Broken Arrow Fire Department would be terminated effective at 5:00pm. My dad lost his job.

My family is stunned and heart broken. Not only were the accusations against my dad ridiculous- the city manager said he violated policy but listed no such policies what-so-ever whereas my dad listed the specific policies that backed up his actions- but when the city manager got fired, we were given hope that the whole ordeal was almost over. My dad had city adminstrators "secretly" calling him and giving him advice and head's up on what was happening so we thought they were all on his side. Then we get with this bomb shell.

And to make matters worse, a phone call? How completely unprofessional! It is normal for a place to call you in and tell you it's not working out and give you the option to resign, but a freaking phone call saying your fired? How ridiculous is that?

To understand how heart broken we all are, you have to know my dad. He is a genuinely good person. He loves being a fireman, and his priorities have always been #1- God, #2- his family, #3- the fire department. He loved his guys and they knew it. The support he has gotten has been amazing, but it's so hurtful that the former City Manager and current acting City Manager tried to drag his name through the mud. I am so thankful that my dad is so strong and he has enough confidence to not let this get him down. He knows he didn't do anything wrong, and he said if he had to go back, he wouldn't change the decisions he made.

I think that my family is struggling because last year, when he was up for this job, my mom prayed that if it was going to lead to something bad- if he would get hurt or if he wouldn't love it there- then we didn't even want him to get offered the position. And I think that if he would have gotten "terminated" in the beginning, when this whole ordeal started 4 weeks ago, we would have handled it better. But as time went on, our hope grew that things would work out. Then Friday my dad's world fell apart.

So I'm asking for prayer for my family. Please pray that my dad will make it through this. Please pray that God will bring strength and understanding to him and my family. Please pray that God will reveal the next step to my dad. And please pray that the thruth will be revealed, that BA's mishandling of this situation will come to light, and that my dad's good name will be redeemed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Father

As all of you know, yesterday was Father's Day, a time to celebrate our dad's and the love and care they have given us over the years. I felt like this year was especially important in our family because of the struggles my dad has been facing over the last 3 weeks.

My dad has been a fireman for 33 years, and a fire chief for the last 15 years. He spent the first 32 of those years with the Sapulpa Fire Department, but began his journey with Broken Arrow last July when he was hired as their Chief. While it is a much different department than Sapulpa and we were all kind of sad to see him leave, he was so excited to begin a new challenge. Like in any new job, he had his struggles finding his place in this new department, but- like we knew he would- he fell in love with the job and formed strong bonds with his firemen.

There were a couple of downfalls to this new job, though. For one, it took more of his time so it seemed like we weren't seeing him as much. And his office is in City Hall, which he doesn't like because first and foremost, he's a fireman, and he wants to be in a fire station. But those are things he could learn to live with. The kicker was his relationship with the City Manager. Things were not always great between them, they had very different leadership styles and it caused some tension. But it was something my dad assumed they could work through.

Then, May 29th, the day after my dad's birthday, he received notice that he was being put on administrative leave for poor job performance. His employment status would be determined in a hearing to be held the next Wednesday. WHAT? If you have ever met my father, you would understand what an absurd accusation this is. My dad is genuinly one of the best people that I know. Well, to make a long story short, my dad's hearing has not happened yet, he is still on administrative leave and he is scheduled to meet with the City Council and others this Wednesday to defend his actions and determine his employment status. Needless to say, it has been a very trying time for our family, especially my dad.

But there has been some positives in this situation, things that I am so grateful for. The outpouring of support for my dad has been amazing. From the minute the announcement was made, and still today, people are constantly calling him to offer support. Even though he has only been in BA not quite a year, almost the whole city is routing for him. There is a pizza place that has posted flyers on every pizza box they sale that say "We Want Our Chief Back." Even the mayor calls him to say he hopes it all works out and he stays. It has been truly amazing, and made a huge difference in getting my dad through this.

So, on this Father's Day, I was reminded of how great my dad really is. He is a Christian and he raised my family in church and set the example for us. He is so generous and does anything he can to help those in need. He has an awesome sense of humor and never takes himself to seriously. He is so strong and level headed, and he always thinks things through. He loves his family and has never done anything to make any of us question that. He is a hard worker and has set a great example on finishing what you start. More than anything, he loves us.

So here's to my dad, I wouldn't be anything without you.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Could've Died! (Well, Maybe)

My aunt is re-doing her flower beds and called me Friday to see if Drew and I wanted the plants she was taking out. Well of course we did, it's free plants! The problem was, we needed to get them in the ground soon because she had already dug them up. Which meant Saturday was "gardening" day for Drew and I.

We put in flower beds last year, but the bricks were uneven and we needed to add a lot of dirt to them. So we started Saturday by buying a trailor full of dirt. Then I drove to Tulsa to pick up the plants while Drew worked on getting the mulch out of the flower beds so that we could re-use it. When I got back to our house, my job was moving and leveling the bricks while Drew started moving the dirt. Now let me clarify something here. I don't like playing outside. I don't like getting sweaty and itchy. And I don't like dirt. So why Drew thought it was a good idea to have me help in this project is beyond me.

So picture this, I'm down on my knees moving bricks, putting dirt under them, stacking them back up, then using the level to make sure things are even. If they're not, I started over. Then there's Drew, standing in the trailor, throwing dirt, over my head, into the flower bed that I'm kneeling by. I'm immersed in a situation full of things I don't like!

Then, (here's the real drama) I'm digging along, and I see a huge black spider with red on its belly. "AAHH! DREW I THINK IT'S A BLACK WIDOW!" He, of course, doesn't believe me and takes his sweet time climbing out of the trailer to come check. He killed it then took it to the porch to look at it better. This is what we saw:

Yes, a bonified black widow in our flower beds, that may or may not have been trying to take my life (that's the drama queen in me.) Needless to say, I was pretty apprehensive about continuing my job of digging up the bricks. Drew convinced me it was a fluke thing that there was a black widow in our flower bed, and the chances of there being another one were one in a million. What do you know, about three bricks down...

Another one! One in a million chance, huh? So there's the story of how I almost died twice on Saturday. Well, kind of.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Flea Situation

Well, here's an update on Hank's little "problem." Turns out, it's not so little. I was petting him Thursday evening, and he loves getting his belly petted. So he rolled over to indulge in that little treat, and I could see the fleas crawling all over him. I felt so bad for him, because you know that's not comfortable. And to make things worse, he is completely spoiled and basically gets all of Drew's and my attention. But when I saw how bad his fleas really were, we stuck him outside by himself until bed time, when we stuck him straight in his crate. He just cried and cried, which he hasn't done when we put him to bed since the first week we got him. It broke my heart! So Friday morning, I stuck his bed and blanket in the washing machine and left a message with our vet to call me back. Like I said before, I didn't really want to fill my house and coat my dog with chemicals, and I let the vet know that. Unfortunately for us, he said we could try all the "natural" methods we want, but the only sure fire way to get rid of the fleas, is to use a chemical area treatment on our carpets and leave the house for a few hours. He said the fleas on Hank are leaving eggs in our carpet, which are later hatching, and causing more fleas on Hank. So not matter how many times we bathe him and treat our yard, we have to do something in our home. He also said to bathe Hank everyday and vaccuum everyday (what?!?) until the problem is solved. And I hate vaccumming! But if it's what we have to do, it's what we have to do.

So Saturday, I put Hank in the backyard and vaccuummed the whole house and all the furniture Hank gets on. I also stripped all the beds and vaccuumed the mattresses. We already had plans to go to Alva on Saturday for Drew's mamaw's 80th birthday, so it was perfect timing to treat the carpets. After I got done vaccuming, I put Hank in the bath. 30 minutes later, I had a tub full of dead fleas and a very unhappy puppy dog. Once that was all said and done, Hank and I waited outside while Drew sprayed the house. My parents watched him while we were out of town. But when we picked him up last night, he was still itching. So we start the process again today. We won't spray our carpets again until next weekend, but I have to wash his bed and blanket every morning, then every evening give him a bath and vacuum. This is going to be exhausting! But, he's our baby, so he's well worth it- at least that's what I keep telling myself :)

On a much more serious note, my family is struggling with some bad news my dad received Friday (nothing to do with his health, thankfully) but I would really appreciate if our family were in your prayers in the days to come.

I hope everyone has a blessed week!