Friday, December 24, 2004

Santa's Helper

Kelly took the girls to the Mall on Thursday to see one of Santa's Helpers.  They were the first ones in line when the helper arrived at 10:00am.  The girls both told him what they wanted and then Kelly wanted to take their picture.  Well the photo policy is that you have to buy one of their pictures to be able to take your own.  No big deal except their cheapest picture was $13, and it looks worse than I could have printed at home.  What a rip!  At least Kelly was able to capture this cute picture.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Final Grade

I decided to check online today to see if my professor had posted my final grade for my art class.  He did and I got an A-.  I'm a little bummed by the -, but at least it was an A.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Educational Advancement

Yesterday I received my Certificate in Computer Programming from Indiana University.  It looks identical to my Associates Degree, which I received from them.  I don't know what I expected it to look like, but it just struck me as odd that it looked just like a degree.  Now what?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Excellent Educational Product

I just tried to get your attention with the title, because what I actually mean is really cool TOY.  A couple of weeks ago while searching for Christmas gifts for children in our family, Kelly came across Magnetix.  They come in different magnetic shapes, and colors, with little silver balls to help hold them together.  The girls have played with them a lot since we have gotten them, and yeah Dad has too.  Hopefully during the holiday season and in the future they will collect more of these sets so that we can build bigger things like this.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Megan's Holiday Program

Megan sang in her first Primary School program last night.  Her Kindergarten class sang three songs and Megan sang every word.  We were so proud of her.  The interesting thing was that she performed on the same stage that her Aunt dominated a few years back.  The holiday program was held at Clay High School.

Great job Meg!

Thursday, December 9, 2004

No More Teacher, No More Books

I finished my last class today for the current semester at I.U.S.B.  I spent a lot of time on my final project and today I presented it to the class.  They all seemed to really like it, especially the professor.  My gut feeling is that I did really well this semester and I am fairly confident that I will see an A when the final grades are released.  I enjoyed this art class (Fundamental Studio-2D Design) and really enjoyed the last three assignments which allowed me to use Photoshop to create the art projects.

Friday, December 3, 2004

Injury Update

I had an appointment with the Sport Medicine doctor yesterday and got an update to my ankle injury.  The good news is that I can stop using the crutches and the walking boot, if it doesn't cause me any more pain.  It feels pretty good to have an actual shoe back on, it keeps my piggies warm.

Oh yeah and I guess then there is the bad news to report.  The type of injury that I have, OCD grade 3, is not a very common one.  It's also not one that has a guaranteed medical fix yet.  They are doing much research on this injury right now, but that doesn't really help me.  The doctor said that around here there are not many people who actually do the surgery, so he is going to look around in the next week to find someone (Indianapolis?) who more commonly performs this operation.  The really bad part is that the surgery is not a guaranteed cure.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

My Attitude of Gratitude

I just wanted to take a minute to reflect on all the things that I am thankful for.  I am extremely blessed to have such a good life and most of that is due to the people around me.

  • What a blessing to have such a wonderful wife, who, as a bonus, also happens to be an outstanding Mom.  She takes such great care of our family.

  • I am thankful for two little girls, who always keep us on our toes, but can bring a smile to your face without much effort.

  • We are blessed to have family that lives close by and is willing to help out in any situation.

  • I'm thankful that my Sister has been experiencing things that no one else in our family has, by being away at school.

  • I am lucky to have a job that allows me to provide for my family and also flexes to allow me to be there for my family.

  • We are all blessed to live in this free country where we have the liberty to live as we choose.

I'm sure this is not a complete list of all the things I am grateful for but it's a good start.  Happy Thanksgiving!

"If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
-Lao Tzu

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Great Animation News - Maybe

I just saw some really cool news.  'Toy Story 3' in the works.  Now this will be the first Toy Story that Disney will produce on their own, due to their little fall out with Pixar (please kiss and make up).  As long as they can get the same voices, I think Disney can pull this off without Pixar.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

That Felt Good

I just got back from voting for the first time in my life.  I know it's pretty sad that a thirty something year old has never voted but hey at least I'm starting now.  I went at 6:00am, when the polls opened, and was about the 5th or 6th person to vote in my precinct.  Well I guess it's not really my precinct but it's my parents, where I'm currently registered.  It felt good to vote and now I can just sit back and see if the person I voted for can pull out the victory.

That Didn't

Yesterday I finally got the official reason as to why my ankle has been hurting, since I sprained it on September 14th.  The MRI, which I had on October 21st, revealed that I have Osteochondritis Dissecans or OCD.  What is it?  In my best doctor translation, I have chipped off a piece (25%) of a bone in my ankle.  The recommended treatment is to have me wear a walker and use crutches for six weeks.  The hope is that cartilage will somehow fill in the gap, but the doctor didn't seem so positive that this would happen.  If not then surgery would be just what I didn't wish for, for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Time to Charge Back

After two separate appointments, both of which I have spent an hour or more waiting to see the doctor, I have come to this conclusion.  It's time for us, the patients, to start charging doctors.  I don't mind paying a doctor for the services they provide us, but I'm sick and tired of the time I waste waiting to see them.  Now I know that I'm not a very patient person, but when I have to wait in the waiting room for an hour or more after my scheduled appointment, that is ridiculous.  I should charge the doctor's office for that time that I lost.

Maybe they should stop trying to squeeze so many patients into one day and try and space out their schedule a little bit more.  Couldn't they benefit from an extra ten or fifteen minutes in between appointments?  They could use this time to return messages or fill out patient charts.

I'm frustrated, can't you tell?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Saturday's Soccer

I forgot to post what a great time we had on Saturday morning, standing outside with temperatures in the 30's and light rain, watching Megan play soccer.  The wind was vicious.  The only good thing about it was the fact that she scored three goals in the first quarter.

Only two more games left and no more practice, because it's getting dark too early.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Good Reading

First off, sorry for the lack of news lately.  Last Wednesday Kelly and I had the chance to go to Chicago and attend the temple.  We hadn't been there in over six years, so it was really nice to be able to go.  After that we stopped at the LDS bookstore, New Words of Wisdom.  While looking around I found a sale rack that I had to check out.  In it, I found a book called Cutting Edge, by Jeffrey S. Savage.  The cover was what first caught my attention, then I read the back cover which intrigued me even more.

I finally cracked it open on Friday night.  I read the first forty pages which just got the story rolling and was enough to draw me into reading some more on Saturday.  When I picked it up on Saturday afternoon I thought I would read for a few minutes before taking a little nap.  That didn't happen.  I didn't put the book down until I had read the remaining two hundred pages, well I did literally put it down for dinner and to help give the girls showers.

I thought the book was a great technical, suspenseful thriller.  It was very easy to read and like I said it just pulled me into reading it all at once.  At the end of the book I was reading about the author and saw that he listed his email address, looking for comments.  Saturday night I sent him a message complimenting him on his book and thanking him for writing it.  Sunday I received a very nice reply from him.

I look forward to reading his next book, Into The Fire.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Megan's First Loose Tooth

While Megan was having her teeth cleaned yesterday her Dental Hygienists pointed out that one of her front bottom teeth was slightly loose.  While it may be quite some time before this actually comes out, she was quite excited.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Kevin and Mary's Wedding

Congratulation to Kevin and Mary, who were married tonight at Mon Bel Ami (my beautiful friend) in Las Vegas, Nevada.  We participated by watching it over the Internet.

I made some screen captures and placed them in a photo album.  Check them out.  I feel like the paparazzi, releasing celebrity wedding photos.

Best wishes to the new Bride and Groom!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday and we celebrated with him for a few minutes after church.  He was very happy with his new circular saw from Home Depot.  Enjoy your day Dad!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Happy Birthday Megan

Today is Megan's 6th Birthday.  This will be her first year of celebrating while in school and it should be fun.  Mom will be taking chocolate cupcakes and a game to school for Megan and her friends to enjoy.  She's pretty excited about being six.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Soccer Schedule

Megan's Soccer Team page has been updated with this season's schedule.  Check it out and come out and watch her have fun!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Megan's First Soccer Game

On Saturday, Megan had her first soccer game of the Fall 2004 season.  She has a new coach this year and three new teammates.  The game was played under extreme heat conditions, and Megan had a hard time playing.  Mom ran home and got her some ice cold water and washcloths to put on the back of her neck and Grandma tried to provide a human air conditioner for her.  She did perk up quite a bit after scoring a goal.

I'll post another message when I update her Soccer page with the new schedule.

Mattey First Day of Preschool

On Thursday, Mattey had her first day of preschool at Woodard.  Due to the funeral, she only got to stay for a few minutes.  She returned, kind of reluctantly, on Friday.  Luckily there was pink play-doh out on the table to play with.  I'm sure she will love preschool and all the fun that it brings.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Mickey's Birthday!

Today Mickey turns 27, right since I just turned 26?  I want to wish him a very happy birthday.  Unfortunately we won't be doing that much celebrating today since my grandpa died on Monday.  Hopefully we can celebrate more over the weekend.  Have a great day, Sweetie.  All of your girls love you!  Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Happy Birthday Kelly!

Today Kelly is celebrating her repeating 26th birthday.  She celebrated by baking and handing out cupcakes to all the kids in Primary.  The girls and I have a few gifts that will hopefully help her to enjoy this day.

Have a wonderful birthday, Sweetheart!

The Shedd Aquarium

Kelly has really been wanting to go to the Shedd Aquarium lately and Saturday was finally a day that we could go.  Our day started out with us leaving around 10:30am.  We stopped at McDonald's for a few breakfast sandwiches and then jumped on the Toll Road and headed for Chicago.  After a couple of, what seemed like, long construction related delays and one delay caused by an overturned semi trailer, we finally reached our destination.  As we walked from the parking garage to the Shedd, there was a very light drizzle, but nothing that would dampen our spirits too much.  As we approached the Shedd there were a couple of very large lines waiting to go inside.  Luckily since we have purchased a membership, we didn't have to wait through the entire line.  We were able to get in rather quickly.

We looked at some of the fishes from around the world, then went downstairs to feed our starving bodies.  The place was absolutely packed at 2:00 in the afternoon.  Luckily one family was just about done and they, thankfully, gave us their seats.

We walked around and looked at a few of the animals from the Pacific Northwest, then found some seats to sit and watch the dolphin show.  The show was completely packed but instead of starting the show early they made us sit and wait until the exact time it was supposed to start.  The show moved so slow and we eventually got up and left and stopped at the gift shop.  After looking at a few more Pacific Northwest animals we went back upstairs and looked around in the Amazon Rising.

Next we entered the Wild Reef, which in my opinion, has the coolest looking fish.  The only problem and this was a problem in every area, was that there was just too many people there on Saturday.  It was very hard to appreciate all the wonderful fish when you barely had any room to move.  Hopefully we will be able to go again on a day when they are less crowded.

The trip home was much nicer, except for all the rain we had to drive through.

Megan's First Day of School

Friday, Megan attended her first day of Kindergarten.  She was very excited about going to school, and really enjoyed her first day.  Her favorite activity for the day was playing outside on the playground.  She already made a new "best friend" named Nicholas.  Hmm, friends that are boys and named Nick seem to be somewhat popular in our family.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Travel Update

Mom called and said they got to Salt Lake City around 11:00pm.  They are having problems with their van that they rented so they had to stop somewhere in Nebraska and call the rental car place.  So one of the first stops in Salt Lake will be at the rental car place to see about getting a replacement or some service.  What a bummer that will be having to unpack and repack a new van.  They also plan on visiting Temple Square and Deseret Book.  They are staying in a hotel tonight and then traveling on to Rexburg tomorrow for Amanda's official move in date.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

And She's Off

Update: Mom just called and said that they stopped in Nebraska at 4:00am this morning after driving for 14 hours.  They had originally planned on driving straight through to Salt Lake, but all that driving made them a little tired and they decided it was best to stop for a little sleep.  After some breakfast they will get back on the road and travel approximately 800 more miles to Salt Lake.  They should be there tonight.

My parents left yesterday to drive Amanda out to school.  They rented a van and started on their long journey West.  Hopefully all will go well and they will be able to enjoy the time they spend together.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Amanda's Last Hoorah!

Saturday night we had a little family get together to celebrate with Amanda before she heads off to college.  After over-eating at Ponderosa, we stopped at Hollywood Video to pick up a movie.  Back at the ranch, we watched one of Amanda's favorites called The Other Sister.  What a funny movie!  If you get a chance ask Amanda to do some impressions from this movie, she does them quite well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Get To The Point

On Saturday we took a trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.  The girls and I left home around 7:15am to drive to Michigan to pick up my Parents and Sister, who were dropping their dog, Angel, off at my Grandparent's house.  After my Grandpa made sure that we had enough air in our tires, to handle the extra load (his words), we headed for the Toll Road.  After about a three hour ride, including a half-hour of impressions and jokes by Amanda, we arrived at the Walmart parking lot where we were to meet Amanda's boyfriend Nick.  After lunch at Subway, we drove a few more minutes to the park, then paid to park.  I can't imagine how much money a park like this must make in parking alone

Once the girls had their sunscreen on, we started the long walk through the parking lot to the actual entrance.  Luckily we all already had our tickets, otherwise we would have had to wait in a very long line to buy them.  We walked into the Midway and the girls, Grandpa, Amanda, and Nick all rode the carousel.

Kiddy Kingdom was next on our list of things to visit.  The girls had a blast riding all the rides.  Megan had this thing about raising her eyebrows at Nick as she would go around and around on the rides.  It was quite hilarious.  Next we attended a show, called Extreme Splash! 2004.  It was a diving show, which was quite entertaining.  We also attended a Snoopy Rocks on Ice show, which was a nice long break inside an air conditioned area.

After catching some dinner and after Mattey caught some z's, we took a train ride around the park.  Mattey loved this ride.  We walked through Frontiertown, where we rode the Antique Cars.

Then it was on to Camp Snoopy, where the girls again enjoyed some fun rides.  The highlight was watching and listening to Mattey enjoying her first roller coaster ride on the Jr. Gemini.  She loved it.

We finished off the night attempting, and mostly succeeding, to win the girls some prizes at the carnival games.  We stopped at McDonalds for a little fill-up, before making the long drive home.  By the time we got home, it was almost 3:00am.  What a long day, but it was a great time.

Photo Album

Monday, August 9, 2004

Family Reunion

On Saturday we attended the Spenner Family Reunion for the first time in a long time.  It was held at Madeline Bertrand County Park.  What a nice park.  It had a great play area for the kids, clean bathrooms (in a park, your kidding me), and we actually witnessed a park ranger come around at least twice to check and empty the trash.  The girls enjoyed playing at the playground, but I'm not sure if they enjoyed that more or if they enjoyed the auction more.  A White Elephant Auction was held and of course Grandma and Grandpa bought the girls some wonderful new toys.  The most precious object is a wooden Grandma in a rocking chair that is also a music box.  Megan really enjoyed the guy in the yellow shirt (an auctioneer) and she talked about the family reunion all day Saturday.  It was a gorgeous day out and we did enjoy talking with family.

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Two New Milestones

Here's a recap of the two milestones, one good and one bad, which I experienced yesterday.

Milestone #1- Passing the one hundred mile mark on my bike odometer
Milestone #2 - Paying $30 for a tank of gas (yikes!)

The gas was purchased at the new Martin's gas station on Ironwood and 23.  That's a sweet setup.  The pumps have a barcode readers that scans your Martin's Advantage Card to give you a discount on your gas.  Currently through Sunday it gets you five cents off per gallon.  And even with that I still paid $30.03.  The pay at the pump is open 24 hours.  I'm sure they will see a lot of my business.  The funniest part was that when I pulled up, some young kid came out and explained to me how the pump works, like I couldn't have figured it out myself.  Come on.

On a side note, I tried to stay up and watch Hildago, but it had been a long day and I wasn't really getting into the movie so I headed off to bed.  How was the show, Sweetheart?

Monday, August 2, 2004

The big 30

I finally hit the big 30, no not age, but miles per hour.  On my ride into work this morning, coming down a hill on Eddy, I was able to reach 32.6 miles per hour on my bike.  Reaching this speed was a goal of mine, and now I can say I have met that goal.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Bad Restaurant Experience

Last night we had one of the worst restaurant experiences we've ever had.  We went out to eat at Applebee's with Scott, Pam, Brendan and Corey.  Since we had eight total people in out group we had to wait for a little while to get a table big enough for us.  Eventually we settled on two tables right next to each other.  Our food arrived and everything seemed to be quite normal, but it would end up far from that.  The first problem was a bottom bun of my hamburger that was completely soaked in grease, not that big of a deal, I just requested another bun.  While I waited for my new bun (ha, ha, ha) Kelly found something very disturbing in her mashed potatoes.  A finger from a plastic glove, not someone's finger, but the plastic finger torn off of the glove.  Pretty nasty and even our waitress was grossed out by that one, along with the couple sitting at the table next to us.  The waitress went back to get some different potatoes and then eventually came back with my new bun, which was so toasted that it was black on half of the bun.  Oh well, at least I would now be able to enjoy my well done burger.  Yeah well my description of well done does not include the center still being pink.  I called the waitress back over and told her I was done, I couldn't take any more of this service.  It just so happened that the manager was over talking to Kelly about her treasure and after he was finished talking to her he came over and I explained that I would not be paying for this hamburger after all we had been through.  He asked if I would like another one to go, but at that point I just wanted to leave.  After he offered something else I decided that the hot apple pie might be able to make up for some of our issues, and luckily that was easily the best part of the whole meal, besides the great company.  I felt bad for the waitress because none of the problems were her fault, and even after all that I will still go back to Applebee's, although I may boycott the one south of town for a while.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Ride On

Today marks the fifth day, in a row, that I have ridden my bicycle to work.  It's not getting any easier yet, but I am enjoying the exercise.  So far my handy dandy computer says that I have ridden 33 miles, with a maximum speed of 26.3 mph (which was this morning), and an average speed of 12.4 mph.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A Successful Trip

Today I filled up my water bottle, strapped on my protective gear and rode my bike to work for the first time.  It was a very nice cool morning and at 5:00 am, there are not many cars out.  My trip, on my new Schwinn bike, took a little over 17 minutes to travel 3.7 miles.  My average speed was 12.8 miles per hour with a top speed of 19 mph.  I'll have to agree with my wife, who said "See you really are a geek because you even bought a computer for your bike."  As a result of this trip I can also say that the showers that my work had installed are a very nice feature, although next time I think I'll remember my towel.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

New Photo Album Available

I finally seem to have the Photo Gallery in working order.  I just finished posting a new album from Mattey's 3rd Birthday.  I'm not too far behind, am I?

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Strikes and Spares

Last night the girls and I went and checked out the newest bowling alley in town, Strikes and Spares, located on Grape Road in the old Spiece building.  It's a small (20 lane) center but it is very high tech and quite nice.  Touch screens are used to setup your bowlers, make any changes, or request service from the waiter/waitress who will come to your table and take your order.  We had it setup so that when Megan was bowling, the gutter guards automatically came up, which was really cool.  Another difference from any other bowling alley in town is that your pay by the hour and not by how many games you play.  One of the best features is that it is smoke-free.

The girls had lots of fun bowling and asked if we could go again tomorrow.

Sunday, July 4, 2004

Oh What a Night

Friday night (and then Saturday morning) we spent some time at the Cove with people from my Mom's work.  Her boss bought us all tickets to the 7:00pm Silver Hawks baseball game, which also was followed by a firework show.

We arrived about 8:15, thinking that the girls would not be able to sit through a whole baseball game waiting for the fireworks.  The girls did very well as we watched the game.  Mattey like to dance in the aisle while Megan was really into cheering and yelling "Charge" every time the organ played the appropriate tune.

It looked like we had orchestrated a great plan as the top of the ninth inning rolled around quickly and the home team was up by one.  Three more outs and we would be enjoying a great firework show.  That's when our plan fell apart.  The visiting team scored a run to tie the game, the home team didn't score in the bottom of the ninth, and then nobody scored for another nine innings.  Yes, we sat and waited until the completion of the eighteen inning game so that we could enjoy some fireworks.

It was worth the wait.  The fireworks were great and the girls really enjoyed them.  Well Mattey loved the colors but she sat with hands covering her ears most of the time.

Very large pictures are available in the Photo Gallery. The Photo Gallery is a work in progress. It's looking better than it did (meaning the pages now look like the rest of the website) but I'm having some technical frustrations with it.

Friday, July 2, 2004

Work Anniversary

Today marks my 14th year of being employed at Press Ganey.  It seems like many moons ago that I started working there as a Data Entry Clerk.  I've seen many changes in the workplace, over the years (some of which I'm not too fond of), but the fact is they continue to help provide a great life for my family and I.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Our Van

Since Mickey hasn't done it yet I thought I would post news about our van. We finally got the call yesterday, let me say it was a little like waiting for a baby to come since they both can come at their own time. We went yesterday afternoon to pick it up from Basney Honda. The van is dark blue and has a DVD entertainment system in it. The girls loved that they can watch a movie and have headphones on so we can't hear it. We are very excited about the new addition to our family and we hope to have it for many years to come. I personally love it, and my back agrees, because I finally have a seat that is comfortable to sit in for long periods of time and I don't have to bend over to get the girls in and out of it. If anyone is looking for a new car go see Chrissy Basney, she was wonderful to work with.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Long Time No News

I have been very lax at posting any news stories lately.  I have lots of news to post but each news story has a picture to post and that feels like it takes too much time.  I'm going to try and work on a faster way to get pictures posted, but of course that takes time too.

Anyway, today was the first day of our garage sale.  We had stuff from my parents and my sister, along with a ton of stuff from our house.  It went pretty well today and the weather was just gorgeous.  We've got another full day planned for tomorrow.

Last week I successfully sold my first car.  I advertised my 1989 Toyota Camry in the online classifieds at work, and I sold it in three days.  Now we're stuck for another week or so until our new van arrives.

Monday, June 7, 2004

She Shoots, She Scores!

Megan had a breakout soccer game on Saturday.  She scored six goals and got very upset when I cheered for a teammate who scored what easily could have been her seventh.  She always says before each game, "I'm going to score ten goals".  On Saturday she came as close as she's ever been.

Team Ireland plays their last game of the season next Saturday at 9:30am at the Junior Irish Soccer Complex.  Here's a map of where this is located.

Great game Meg!

Friday, June 4, 2004

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 11th anniversary and I would like to tell my wife how happy I am to be married to her.  It's been such a blessing to share these past 11 years with my best friend.  I also want to say how grateful I am for all that she does for me and for our family.

I love you, Sweetheart!

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Mom is 50!

My mom, Linda, had her 50th birthday yesterday.  Congratulations to you.  She really doesn't look like a 50 year old.  I want to wish my mom a very Happy Birthday!  She is a great mom and we all love her.  

I don't have a picture of her because she doesn't like to have them taken.  Plus I don't know how to put one on since Mickey isn't here to talk me through it.

I hope you had a great day, Mom. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Memorial Day Parade 2004

Yesterday we continued with our Memorial Day tradition of riding in my Grandpa's 1920 Model T truck in the Edwardsburg Memorial Day Parade.  We enjoyed a beautiful sunny morning riding in the back of the truck, waving and throwing candy to the crowds of people gathered to watch the parade.  After the parade we took lunch to my Grandma, who wasn't feeling well enough to attend, and my Aunt, who sat with Grandma to keep her company.

This year may be the last year we attend this parade as my Grandpa has (maybe) promised his truck to a local buyer.  After riding in this truck for 27+ (not sure) years, I wanted to make sure that I at least got a chance to pilot this old vehicle.  I asked my Grandpa if he would show me how to drive it.  I took it "around the block", with my Grandpa as my co-pilot.  That was a fun experience and I'm glad I got the chance.

As my parents and sister were leaving, Amanda (watch out Steve Irwin), found a pretty good sized turtle.  She actually picked it up and brought it back to the house to show the girls.  It was quite a site to see, but nothing like what we ended up seeing.  She must have scared the turtle enough that it couldn't contain itself any longer.  Check out the bigger picture of her holding the turtle to see what I mean.  Just click on any of the smaller pictures below to see the larger picture.

Special thanks to my Grandpa, who served in World War II, and all the other people who have served and are currently serving and protecting our great country.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Lost Deer

One of the craziest things happened today.  Cooper was looking out the window, while I was sitting on the couch, and he just started barking like crazy.  He acted like someone was coming to the door, so I got up to look.  What I saw next had me second guessing myself.  There were two deer that ran right through our front yard, no more than 10 feet in front our window.  They continued on and ran down the street.  Now this is a regular occurence for my Grandparents, but they also live in a wooded area.  I tried to get everyone into the living room to see, but only Megan made it in time to catch a glimpse.  Luckily about an hour later, while I had witnesses with me, one of the deer ran back across our yard and off behind another house.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Soccer Photos

Megan's Soccer Team page has been updated with the team photo.  She also had this very cute individual picture taken.

Happy 3rd Birthday Mattey!

This posting is kind of late, but we've been very busy.  To celebrate Mattey's 3rd birthday we went to Indianapolis and spent a couple of fun filled days there.  We bought a Family Adventure Package, which consists of a hotel room, two adult and two children's tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.  On Thursday it was a very hot and humid day at the Zoo, but everyone enjoyed the visit.  That night after a visit to Max and Erma's (Mattey told the manager that she went to Applebee's), we all had fun at the hotel's indoor pool (and hot tub).  Then on Friday we had a great time at the Children's Museum, even though there were many bus loads of kids visiting on field trips.

We got Mattey a small Karaoke machine for her birthday and she loves it.  She is quite a performer and we are considering selling tickets for her shows.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Happy 84th Birthday Grandpa!

Tonight we celebrated my Grandpa's 84th Birthday with him.  The whole family took him out to MCL Cafeteria in Elkhart.  His first choice of restaurants was Ryan's, but for some odd reason they are closed on Mondays.  His next choice was Ponderosa, but the one in Elkhart was now some other restaurant.  So finally we settled on MCL.  I wasn't too impressed, but Grandpa thought it was great and that's all that matters.  We enjoyed the time with them and then I was fortunate enough to sit out and talk with him while the girls played with Grandpa at the arcade, while others shopped else where.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Happy Mother's Day

I know this is a day late, but I still wanted to wish all the Mothers a Happy Mother's Day.  I have been blessed to be raised by a marvelous Mother and to be married to a fantastic, first-rate, and skilled Mother, who was brought up by an exceptional Mother.  Without these ladies in my life, you probably wouldn't even be reading this, because I am who I am because of them.  I just want them to know how much I appreciate them.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Another Class Conquered

I took my final exam, for my Data Structures class, on Wednesday.  I thought the exam was pretty tough and I didn't think I did very well.  Come to find out I did fairly well on the exam and I also scored an A for the class.  I had anticipated getting my first B in a Computer Science course, so this was a nice surprise.

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Happy Birthday Mom!

Everyone join me in wishing my Mom a Happy Birthday!  I hope you enjoy your busy day.  It's because of this busy day, that we will celebrate with her tomorrow over a home cooked meal, made by Kelly.  I'm sure it will taste great!

We wish you lots of happiness on your special day!

Sunday, May 2, 2004

New Website Features

Logged in users will notice some new features that have been added to this website.

  • There is a new box to the right called What's New.  This will, at a quick glance, tell how many new news items and new comments have been posted since you have last visited.

  • You will notice that new news items have an icon before the title.  The green circle, with a white star will show which news item is new or has been updated since you last visited.

  • When a new comment or comments are posted, you will see the number of new comments in parenthesis

Hopefully you will enjoy the new features. Don't forget to make any requests for new features you would like to see added.

Saturday, May 1, 2004

Fours - Part II

Thursday night we added four new members to our household.  Megan was allowed to pick out something as a reward for getting four shots, and she chose a fish tank.  After setting up the tank for a day, we went out to pick up some fish.  Our plans were to let Megan and Mattey each pick out two fish.  After much indecisiveness, they finally agreed on some fish at Petco.  We brought them home and set the plastic bag in the tank to allow them to get used to the water temperature.

Later that night Mattey came out to the kitchen and Kelly asked her why she was wet.  We almost lost our new members as fast as we got them.  Mattey had opened the bag holding the fish and some how spilled them all over the floor.  Luckily the fish were laying in some small puddles of water.  I scooped them up, some from underneath the bookcase, and placed them into their new home.  After a few nights in the tank, the fish seem to have survived the whole ordeal nicely.

So join me in welcoming Woody, Buzz, Baby Bowser, and Big Bowser to our family!

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Good and Bad Things Come in Fours

Yeah I know the saying is actually "Comes in Threes", but for Megan it has been Fours.

The Good
On Saturday, Megan had her second soccer game of the season.  She was a very aggressive player and that resulted in her scoring four goals for her team.  We think that the aggressiveness came as a result of her ball being used in the game.  She had a lot of fun and it was equally fun for us to watch.

The Bad
On Monday, Megan had her Kindergarten checkup, with Dr. Andrew (We'll miss him).  We had her all psyched up (and bribed) to get a shot.  During her checkup we found out she actually needed four shots.  Oops.  It was quite the experience for all of us.  She was a completely traumatized and Mattey was really upset and concerned for her big sister.  After it was all said and done she made it through this bad experience and she still seems to love her Dad, even though I was acting as a human restraint while she was getting her shots.  You wish as parents that you could just take the shots for them.  I would gladly take double the amount of shots just so she wouldn't have to go through this.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Spring Soccer

Megan's Soccer Team page has been updated to include this year's schedule.  Her first practice was Thursday and her first game is Saturday.  Wear your green to come out and support team Ireland.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter

That Easter morn a grave that burst
Proclaimed to man that "Last and First"
Had ris’n again
And conquered pain.

This morn renews for us that day
When Jesus cast the bonds away,
Took living breath
And conquered death.

Thus we in gratitude recall
And give our love and pledge our all,
Shed grateful tear
And conquer fear.

Words by Elder Marion D. Hanks

Friday, April 9, 2004

Preparing for Easter

Tonight we watched The Lamb of God, a video depicting the last week of Jesus Christ's life.

The girls then decorated a few Easter eggs.

Sunday, April 4, 2004

Easter's On Its Way

Yesterday we went to small Easter festival at George Wilson Park in Mishawaka.  We heard about the event from Dad, who was there twisting balloons for the kids.  We missed out on the egg hunt, but the girls got to see the Easter Bunny and they also rode a couple of rides.  It would have been much nicer if it wasn't for the freezing cold wind.

Friday, April 2, 2004

Now That's What I'm Talking About

Modern technology is a great thing, especially since I wouldn't have a job without it.  Check out this Wired article about robotic lawn mowers.  I wouldn't consider myself a lazy person but I would love to get one of these for mowing lawns and another for cleaning up leaves.  I'll still take care of the snow shoveling, since I actually enjoy this activity.

Thursday, April 1, 2004

April Fool's Day

Here's another one that's sure to bring a smile to your face on April Fool's Day.  If you missed last year's, you can check it out here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Monday Night Fun

Grandma and Grandpa joined us for dinner at Famous Dave's last night (Kids eat free on Monday and Tuesday nights).  We had some good food, as usual and Grandma took this great picture with her new HP digital camera.
Afterwards the girls got to go for a ride in Grandpa's new Mazda truck.  It's an extended cab with two tiny little jump seats, which are just about big enough for the girls only.

Then we moved on to the real driving.  We all took part in some four player Mario Kart racing.  Even though they tried their hardest, which included getting Mattey to climb all over me while I was driving, I still came through undefeated for the night.  Hey Princess, fallen off any bridges lately?  :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Happy 19th Birthday Amanda!

Just wanted to post a quick message to tell my Sister to have a great Birthday!  She's had a busy year at Saint Mary's and I think is really enjoying the college life.  We'll miss her next year while she's at BYU - Idaho.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

One Year Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of this website.  Hopefully it has been fun and informing to all friends and family who have visited.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

First Day of Spring

Today is the first day of Spring and hopefully it will be the start of some nicer weather.  A quote from the Education World website says, "The Vernal Equinox is one of the four great seasonal changes every year. Day and night are equal, and the changing weather can lift the spirits of young -- and old -- alike".

Anyone up for some Spring Cleaning?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Her First Card Game

Megan has learned her first real card game.  She loves to play Uno.  We bought a collection of Dora games from Kohl's and one of the games included was a slimmed down version of Uno.  After she had that down pat, we decided it was time to introduce the real thing.  We broke out the Special Edition Uno and now our family will never be the same.

We have a lot of fun and it gives us some good family time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patrick's Day

What do we know about St. Patrick's Day?  Green, green, green.  Well there is more to it than that, and you can learn about it here.

Do you like green eggs and ham?

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
I do not like green eggs and ham.

Megan likes green eggs and ham, she had them a couple of weeks ago at a Dr. Seuss party at school.

Hope you all remembered to wear your green today.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Our Cruise

Kelly and I (and no I didn't forget to mention the girls) just returned from a five-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Royal Caribbean ship, the Sovereign of the Seas.  Now no laughing, but the actual purpose for the cruise was training for my job.  It was a PHP conference held on the ship in two of their theaters. 

We had a wonderful time together!  Every night we tried to attend at least one of the offered entertainment options.  Here is a list of some of the things we saw:
  • Karaoke and a hilarious comedian
  • Various Broadway songs performed by the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers
  • Juggler/Dancer/Comedian
  • Flashback songs performed by the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers
We also stopped at two different Bahamian islands, CocoCay and the capital city of Nassau.  CocoCay is a private island run by Royal Caribbean and we enjoyed a BBQ on the beach, some shopping, and a guided tour aboard a WaveRunner.  On Nassau we took a guided tour of some of the old (1700's) forts and then toured the Pirate museum.  We also experienced the Bahamian Straw Market, which if you can't say no don't ever go there.
On Friday, we took a VIP tour of Kennedy Space Center.  This was a fantastic tour and we were super surprised to meet up with Kelly's parents, who were on their own vacation to Florida.

Special thanks to my parents who used almost all of their energy while taking great care of our girls.  The girls really enjoyed their time with Grandma and Grandpa.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

First Test

I had my first test in my programming class today.  I think I did ok, probably not as good as possible but fair.  It was nice to be able to leave class after taking the short test instead of having to sit through two hours of class.  An even better thing is that today's class is the last class before Spring break.  It seems kind of silly to have Spring break during the first week of March but I am glad it is here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

iTunes Music Giveaway

Finally I am having my chance to participate in the Pepsi iTunes Music Giveaway.  I have looked at four or five other stores, prior to today, and none of them have had the specially marked (yellow capped) Sierra Mist bottles of pop.  They also sell Pepsi and Diet Pepsi with these yellow caps but they are only offered in the caffeinated versions.  Anyway the idea behind the game is that under one out of every three of these caps is a code that allows you to download a song for free from Apple's iTunes store.  I bought ten bottles of Sierra Mist and I will keep a running tally here of how many songs I have actually won.

Bottles OpenedSongs Won
I am quite happy with my winnings, much better than their 1 in 3 winning odds.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day.  Most importantly I wanted to publicly say how thankful I am for a wonderful wife.  Happy Valentines Day Sweetheart!

I would also like to wish my two sweet little girls a Happy Valentine's Day.  Megan woke up early this morning and together we made Kelly a Valentine's Day card.  She loves to make stuff.  Mattey is a little under the weather so she is still sleeping. (She just came down and gave me a big hug while I was finishing this)

Kelly has lots of fun and exciting foods planned for today's holiday.  She's making heart shaped French Toast for breakfast and then dinner is planned to have all kinds of red and pink food.  How fun is she!

Don't forget to tell that someone special in your life how much you care for them.

Saturday, February 7, 2004

Happy Birthday Cooper!

Today Cooper celebrated his 1st birthday.  The girls took turns, this morning, brushing him so that he would look good for his birthday.  Kelly made a lemon cake and we sang happy birthday to him.  I'm sure his favorite part of the day was actually getting to eat a piece of the cake.  He scarfed it down and licked the plate clean.

Cooper's Birthday

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

The Dream Job

After reading this article about a photographer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I think I now know what the "Dream Job" would be.  I would love to be a team photographer for a professional basketball team.  To be that close to the action would be the ultimate thrill, and then to be able to relive that thrill while reviewing the hundreds to thousands of shots after each game.  The only downside would be the amount of traveling while the team was away on road trips.

Oh well, one can dream!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Let it Snow

I just finished shoveling for the third time today.  I actually enjoy it, as long as it's not too cold out.  It's good exercise.  We've probably gotten close to a foot of snow today.  It's been fun watching the snow fall all day long.

Winter Fun

We bought new snowtubes today (Target has them on clearance) so we played outside for a little while.  The only problem was that it was a little bit too cold for the girls.

Cold Mattey

Cold Megan

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Nice Article About Press Ganey

This article was in the January issue of Indiana Business, and gives a good overview about our company.

Monday, January 19, 2004

New Feature Finalized

I am finally finished with adding the newest feature to the website.  All logged in users now have a link to Add News, located on the right hand side, in the User Information.  This link will take you to a screen that will allow you to post your own news to the Standiford Family website.

Please feel free to post any exciting news about you and your family, or any other bits of information you would like to share.  Have fun with this.

If you need any assistance in posting news, just send me a message and I will be glad to help.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Wacky Wednesyday

There was something very wacky on Wednesday, at Megan's school, Woodard Preschool. The class was all turned around, the teachers were really wacked out, and the students looked like this:

Wacky Wednesday

And I looked and I said "oh, man", five more things were wacky then. If you couldn't guess it was Wacky Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Back in School

Yesterday I started another semster at IUSB. This semester I will be taking one Computer Science course, C243 Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis. Sound like fun to anyone?

Saturday, January 10, 2004

A Night Out

Last night we dropped the girls off at Nana and Papa's house and went out on a date. We went to Carrabba's Italian Grill for dinner. This was our first time at Carrabba's, but will definitely not be our last. The service there was outstanding and the atmosphere was perfetto! Our waitress asked us if this was our first time and then proceeded to walk us through the whole menu. We immediately fell in love with the homemade bread they continually bring you. Kelly had the Mezzaluna, and I had the Chicken Gratella. As we were finishing our meal, our waitress came around with a sample of the Chicken Marsala, which is one to order next time. Overall we enjoyed a great night out!

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Long Time No Photo Albums

After a long pause in the production of new photo albums, I have finally added a couple to the Photo Gallery. A Standiford Christmas and An Ault Christmas have been added to the gallery.

Love That South Bend Weather

Remember way back on January 2nd when it was 61 degrees. Yeah well right now we are under a Winter Weather Advisory because it is -1 with a wind chill of -22. And we wonder why our neighbors are in Florida for the winter.

Parents Please Pay Attention To Your Children

I couldn't believe this story when I read it. You can't help but laugh, but at the same time I don't think I believe the Father was paying that much attention to his kid.

7-year-old gets stuck in stuffed animal game machine

Monday, January 5, 2004

A Day of Firsts

Saturday was a day of firsts for me and my family. It started off with me raking the leaves. I've never raked leaves before on January 3rd. Normally I'm shoveling about this time, which of course now I am.
In the afternoon we attended the first wedding of one of our siblings. Kelly's brother Landon was married to Sonia Ritter, daughter of Pam and Michael Ritter the owner of Great Lakes Heating and Cooling. Here's a not so good picture of the happy couple.

Landon and Sonia

Thursday, January 1, 2004

Happy New Year!

Hopefully everyone had a safe and Happy New Year. We rang in the New Year with the girl's instruments, followed by two little girls and their Dad falling quickly asleep.

I hope to commit to doing two little things each and every day this year. One is to do something spiritual, that is either reading my scriptures or any other church related material, and the other is to do some sort of physical activity, i.e. exercise. Here is an interesting article that talks about how to keep these New Year resolutions.