Monday, June 16, 2008


As you probably know, I am a Wal-Mart shopper. It seems that more and more people start to dislike Wal-Mart everyday, which I guess I can understand. It is always crowded and it is very large. It is frustrating to remember that you need deodorant when you are in the laundry section and you have to make your way through a sea of people, including many unattended children, and shopping carts to get to the other side of the store. Of course, it is that way at the other grocery store I occasionally visit, but I never hear quite the same moaning and groaning when I mention that store.

For a few moments, I would like to challenge you to clear your mind of all opinions that you may have or that you may have heard about Wal-Mart. Below are some observations that I have made and some research that I have done about Wal-Mart. When you are done, it will be okay with me if you don’t want to shop at Wal-Mart…I just wanted to share a few of the many, many, many reasons why I choose to shop at Wal-Mart.

I have lived in a neighborhood where Wal-Mart moved in, so I can tell you what it looked like before and after.
Before Wal-Mart moved in:
Many people in the neighborhood did not have jobs. They felt stuck in their situation because they also did not have cars to get them to their jobs. Many of the people’s houses were in ill repair. There was one medium-sized grocery store in the neighborhood that took advantage of the fact that residents traveled by walking and could not buy groceries at other stores. The prices at the grocery store were around 50% higher than Wal-Mart’s prices. The overall situation in this neighborhood was not good.

After Wal-Mart moved in:
Many people were hired on at Wal-Mart. This helped. Wal-Mart’s low prices helped the whole neighborhood by not taking advantage of those who walked everywhere…no more price gouging! People started buying cars and fixing up their houses. Other needed businesses popped up around Wal-Mart; businesses like barbershops, shoe stores, and many others. More and more jobs were available every few weeks. Old buildings that had been vacant for years were cleaned up and were filled with new businesses and a new police station. The neighborhood was definitely on the incline and still is to this day (4 years later).

After doing quite a bit of research, I have found out many interesting facts about Wal-Mart:
• The mission statement is: “Saving people money so they can live better”
• They provide financial and volunteer support to over 100,000 charitable organizations
• Their statement of ethics to their employees is twenty-five pages long
• Has received numerous awards with a small fraction of them being:
o Top 50 Companies for Diversity, DiversityInc, 2007
o Best Company for Multicultural Women, Working Mother, 2007
o Top Companies for Female Executives, National Association of Female Executives, 2007
o Top U.S. Companies for People with Disabilities, poll sponsored by CAREERS & the disAbled, 2004
• They work with several charitable organizations to ensure that communities in need receive critical health information and treatment
• They have recently increased the fuel efficiency of their trucks to reduce carbon emissions
• They save Grant and Amanda between $50 and $100 per month on groceries alone. I have not calculated the amount they have saved us on clothes, home furnishings, electronics, or most importantly, camping equipment.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Old Marrieds

June 3 was our 5th Anniversary. It is so hard to believe it has been so long since our wedding. For our anniversary, we went to Fort Worth and stayed in the same hotel as we stayed in for our wedding night. We went out on a nice date and ate at a very nice restaurant called the Reata. Everything on their menu was a fancy version of old west food. Grant ordered a buffalo steak and I got some strange chile rellenos. After dinner, we went to a movie in Sundance Square (the nice part of downtown Fort Worth). After the movie, we visited Barnes and Noble. We spent a lot of time there when we were dating and after we were married killing time waiting for movies. The next day, we went to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, where we were married, and had a picnic and our anniversary kiss in the same place we stood at our wedding. We have had a picnic at the Botanic Gardens every year so far and I hope we can keep it up. Below I have some pictures of our trip.

I also thought it might be fun to give a timeline of "Grant and Amanda" as well as I can remember it.
December 31, 1998-We met at a Youth Group New Years Party at our church, Western Hills C o C, Fort Worth
August 18, 2000-Our first date at an improv comedy club called 4 Day Weekend in Fort Worth
August 18, 2002-We were engaged at Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
June 3, 2003-Our wedding at Fort Worth Botanic Gardens
June 3, 2004-Living in Fort Worth
June 3, 2005-Living in Fort Worth, but trying to sell our house
November 2005-Moved to Georgetown
June 3, 2006-Living in Georgetown
December 2006-Moved to Austin
June 3, 2007-Living in Austin
June 3, 2008-Still in Austin
June 3, 2009-Hopefully Amanda has a teaching job...
June 3, 2014-Family completed with a few children
June 3, 2053-Big Party for our 50th Anniversary