Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Began With a Baby

"At the focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched--none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen. Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph--and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby--that's how Christmas began.

"It is for this baby that we shout in chorus: 'Hark! the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King! . . . Mild he lays his glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth' (Hymns, no. 209)."

Jeffrey R. Holland , "Without Ribbons and Bows," New Era, Dec. 1994, 6

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Multimedia Christmas Card

I received this link in an email and wanted to share it with those who may not have seen it.

Only 5 more days.

Cancel That Spare Washer Request

Thank goodness for service man #1.  He returned on Monday and cleaned up the mess that service man #2 left us.  So come to find out service man #2 forgot to hook up the pressure sensor, which is why the washer never stopped pumping water into the tub.  Service man #1 said that he has had a few complaints about service man #2 lately and service man #2 has been in the repair game for 33 years.  Sounds like it may be time for someone to hang it up.  Anyway we are happy to finally be able to use our washer again.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Joyful Season

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It is a time to celebrate not only the Savior’s birth but also His life and example. He showed us how to live and find happiness whatever our circumstances. He is the Son of the Eternal Father.

As we follow Him and reach out as He did—serving family and loved ones, seeking out those who are sick or hungry or cold or friendless—the joyful spirit of Christmas will enter our hearts. Then this Christmas, and every Christmas to follow, will be filled with hope and love.

President Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust

Friend, Dec. 2005

Six More Days

We bought a few gifts on Saturday getting us closer to being finished with our Christmas shopping.  Megan, Kade, and I went out to the Grape Road/Main Street area a little after noon.  I think that was my first chance to see the masses of people as they were out doing their shopping.  With being so busy I have been sheltered from this so far this year.  It gave me a chance to explain to Megan that patience is a virtue when dealing with so many people.  I tried to tell her that you can handle this as long as you aren't in a hurry. Anyway  I think we only have a few gifts left to get.  How are you doing with your shopping?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Anyone Got a Spare Washer?

We have had the worst luck with our washer lately.  The saga started about two weeks ago when it decided it wasn't going to spin anymore.  Figuring I could be a handyman and figure this thing out, I attempted to diagnose the problem.  After I finally figured out how to get the front cover off so I could inspect the belt, I determined that it definitely was still intact and that was the extent of my handy skills when it comes to washers.  So I called in the experts.  I called a few places locally before finally making a service appointment online at

Service man #1 showed up last Thursday ready to solve our problem.  It took him less than 5 minutes to uncover the problem.

Somehow this metal piece that connects the inner basket to the piece that connects to the motor was completely eaten away. Service man #1 said he had no idea how this would happen and of course he didn't have this part, he would have to order it. He set us up with an appointment for the following Thursday, the 15th. The part would be shipped to our house.

Thursday came, and service man #2 called but we didn't have the part yet so he said he would call back on Monday. I pleaded with him and he said he could check with us on Friday and see if we had received the part. About an hour later the Fedex truck pulled up with our much-needed part.

Then we finally get to today and the service appointment that is going to get us back in the laundry business. After about 5 minutes of being here service man #2 says, "I can't fix it." Excuse me? There was a bolt that he could not get off; so more parts would be needed to solve this problem. You're kidding me right? He says the parts might get here next Thursday but if they don't it will have to be the next week because they are off on Friday. This is getting crazier by the minute. While he was out in his van ordering the extra parts he has an epiphony. He comes back in the house with a plan to get the bolt off. His plan works and it looks like the washer is going to be in for a long night of cleaning. He takes the washer all apart, puts on the new piece and takes it for a test run. Everything is great. He packs up, overcharges us for labor, and heads out the door.

End of story you say? Nah, not yet. Kelly starts a load of laundry and after some time she says, "I don't remember the pump (we're on a well) running so much." I'm afraid to come and look, but just as I expected there was water all over the basement. Whatever tells the washer to stop filling the basket with water never said STOP. The water was just pouring out of the washer. Unbelievable!

Back to the phone to try and get someone out here to fix the new problem that service man #2 introduced. Not satisfied with the first response which is someone can be out there next Tuesday; I get transferred over to management to open a case. After much waiting I finally talk with someone who can get another service person out on Monday. Better than Tuesday, I guess.

Hopefully this will eventually have a good ending. Thanks a lot to Linda for allowing us to bring over load after load of laundry to her house. You learn how much you really rely on something when you have to do without it.

The Results Are In

I just checked and my official grades have been posted.  I got a B in World Regional Geography and a B- in Business Law.  I am extremely pleased.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The ER, Again!?

Mattey had another visit to the ER Saturday night/Sunday morning.  This is her third time in four weeks.  This time she was admitted to the hospital for tests.  Ever since she had her high fever over four weeks ago she has been having aches in her wrist and leg, which come and go.  It would hit out of the blue but only last for about 12-18 hours.  This time the pain was really bad.  Mickey took her in and x-rays, blood, and urine were taken.   The x-rays were fine.  Her urine tests were fine.  The blood tests that have come back were fine.  When our doctor came for a visit the pain had subsided some and Mattey could straighten out her leg, but when the nurse asked her to do it about 30 minutes later she couldn't.  Later in the evening she was walking and then running on her sore leg, the pain was obviously gone.  She and Mickey spent the night in the hospital waiting for labs to come back.  Our doctor released her this morning since she was no longer in pain and they can't do anything until the labs come back.  She came home early this afternoon.  We are still waiting to see what's really wrong with her.  It is possibly a virus or bacteria that has gotten into her joints.  What a miserable thing to happen to our little girl.  She is such a fighter though.  And she got a huge unicorn and horse out of these experiences.  Mickey also had an episode in the ER.  Thank goodness his parents happened to go with them.  Thanks to them for taking care of the sickos when I couldn't be there.  Mattey and Mickey have decided that they don't want to go back to the hospital for a long time.  I hope it works out that way.  We'll keep you posted as to what the doctor finds out and what he will do about it.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Fall 2005 Semester - Done!

I just finished taking the final exam for my World Regional Geography class. Since I don’t have a final in my Business Law class, I am officially done for the semester. Now I will anxiously, or not so anxiously await my grades. Those should be available the middle of next week.

Monday, December 5, 2005

Super Successful Last Law Test

I just got my last law test back and I got an 84 out of 100.  All my efforting paid off in a huge way!  I am so excited.  I also turned in my final paper today, so I am officially done with this class.  I still plan on attending class on Wednesday to pick up my graded paper, but other than that minor detail I think it is safe to say I passed Business Law!

Friday, December 2, 2005

Another ER Visit

Two visits to the ER in two weeks it too much for anyone, let alone a four year-old. Last night Mattey and I made our second late night visit to the ER. She had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic she had been taking for the past nine days.

Yesterday around noon she broke out in hives and itched like crazy. Kelly gave her some Benadryl and since Megan was already going to the doctor’s office (she has strep), Mattey just tagged along to see what the doctor had to say. He said to stop the antibiotic and give her Benadryl. We coated her in Calamine lotion last night, and kept up with the Benadryl but a little after nine we started to notice her hand swelling up. Then her foot swelled up. We really started getting concerned when her lower lip started swelling. A call to a medically qualified family member resulted in giving her an extra dose of Benadryl. After waiting about and hour and half and not seeing any improvement, and actually seeing her get a little worse as her upper lip then swelled up we decided it was time to take her in.

This trip to the ER was much better than our first. While walking in to the front desk I noticed that there was nobody in the waiting room and I thought that was a good sign. They triaged her and sent her directly back to a room. Yes! No waiting. Mattey put on a cute little hospital gown and of course wanted the remote to turn on the TV. After a little wait the doctor came in and checked her out. The good news was there was no swelling in her airways which was the thing we were most concerned about. They gave her some steroids and something for the itching and sent us packing.

Mattey has been such a little trooper during these visits. Never once has she cried and she has always been willing to do whatever the doctors and nurses have asked her.

Get better Baby!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Eight Months Already

Yesterday Kaden turned 8 months.  The time has just gone by so quickly, quicker than with the girls.  I'm sure it's because the girls keep us busy.  Kaden has a fascination with doors.  He loves to open and close them.  He's found out that he can open the cabinets and then he pulls out the things inside.  His fingers have been pinched a few times but he keeps going back.  This morning I noticed that tooth #5 has popped through, on the bottom.  I can almost see #6.  Kaden almost said bye-bye yesterday.  He was excited about leaving and tried to repeat what I said.  He is not sleeping through the night yet, you'd think by this age he would be.  His teeth seem to bother him too much, that's the excuse I'm allowing, so he is waking up a lot during the night for comfort.  I hope it will end soon because I'm ready to cut him off.  Who knows what Kade will be up to next month.  He will celebrate his first Christmas.  This year we went with a small tree on top of the piano so he wouldn't pull it over.  I'm sure he would, he's that strong.  I've included his monthly picture with his bear.  The second picture isn't that great but you can see his two top teeth.  I thought they looked cute so I had to share it. 

Last Law Test

I just finished my last test for my Business Law class.  I have been putting a lot of time into studying and preparing for this class.  I really hope it pays off in the end with a grade of at least a "C".  I know a "C" is not the greatest but for this class it would be extraordinary.  I have taken this class once before and got a "C-" which in the business department is considered failing.  I still have one more law paper to write and then there is all the work I have left for my Geography class.

Only one more week of school to go.  Woo hoo!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Another One?!

The tooth fairy may be calling someone for a loan.  While I was in the shower on Thanksgiving Megan came in and a few minutes later she said "I got!".  She got what?  She had pulled out another loose tooth!  This child has a huge hole in her mouth from all the missing teeth.  She was happy to show off her newest hole at dinner.  Megan is now a maniac when she gets a loose tooth, wiggling it until it's out.  Which is funny because she didn't want to wiggle or pull them out in the beginning.

More Pictures

I finally found time to add more albums to the gallery.  I hope you enjoy them.  Sorry that some of them are a month or two old.  Life has been busy and we can only do what we can do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I figured since all my other posts have been very late, I should take this chance to publish my Thanksgiving post a day early.  I am thankful for all that I have, especially my family.  They are very precious to me, worth more than anything else in this world.

Take a minute to tell someone 'thank you' for something they have done for you.  It feels good.

"Gracias, danke, merci whatever language is spoken, 'thank you' frequently expressed will cheer your spirit, broaden your friendships, and lift your lives to a higher pathway as you journey toward perfection. There is a simplicity even a sincerity when 'thank you' is spoken."

- Thomas S. Monson, "The Profound Power of Gratitude," Ensign, Sept. 2005, 3

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Few Fall Activities

I've finally, with Kelly's help, gotten around to putting up some pictures from the week before Halloween.  On October 25th, I went with Mattey and her preschool on a field trip to the pumpkin patch.  It was very cold out that day, but like Mattey said, "It was fun and good."

On the October 28th we had the annual Trunk-or-Treat at church.  It was another huge success run by Kelly, the Primary, and a little help from the Activities Committee.  The kids always enjoy the activities, especially the balloon twisters, and of course all the candy they collected.

Click on one of the pictures to go to the photo gallery for that event.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Holey Mouth

Within the past week and a half Megan has lost two of her teeth.   Her mouth is rather holey.  She pulled both of these teeth out on her own.  I think she really enjoys taking them out.  At this rate the Tooth Fairy is going to go broke.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Fall 2005 Soccer Season

The Fall 2005 soccer season was officially over last week.  Megan had a lot of fun and really enjoyed Coach Ed.  She received another medal, which she likes to show off to anyone that comes over.  Here is a team picture, taken at the second to last game.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Kaden is 7 Months

It's hard to believe that Kaden is already 7 months old, and when you watch him he seems to be growing up too fast.  He is pulling himself up to everything (and falling quite frequently) and cruising along the couches, especially when there is something he wants.  He is really quick at crawling and keeps everyone on his or her toes.  Particularly Mattey who doesn't much like him coming into her room.  Anyway here's his monthly picture taken with his bear.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Little Bit

Little Bit (Mattey) had a doctor's appointment last week. She wasn't sick, but rather just went in for a four-year checkup.  The results, healthy all around and here’s the tale of the tape: 40 1/2 inches tall and a whopping 31 pounds.  And that is why sometimes we call her Little Bit.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Only Two Games Left

This season of soccer seems to be going by so fast.  Megan only has two more games left so I figured I better post the dates and times of her remaining games.  All games are played at Tarkington Field which is across from Hickory Village Apartments on Hickory Road.

Saturday October 22 @ 11:00am
Saturday October 29 @ 8:30am

Friday, October 14, 2005

Newsweek: The Mormon Odyssey

Newsweek's cover story examines the life of Joseph Smith and interviews Church president Gordon B. Hinckley.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Just Plain Busy

This school thing has really kept me on the go lately. I've had two tests recently with lots of reading and studying in between.  I’ve also written a law paper as well.  It really makes me wish I had only taken one class instead of two, but at that rate I would never get finished with school.

Yesterday Megan had a dentist appointment.  She has come a long way from when she first had to be held down in a chair to get dental work done (Boy am I hoping that Kaden doesn’t have to go through that).  Now she goes back all alone with the hygienist and comes back all smiles.  What a difference!  Megan had a panoramic x-ray taken of her mouth yesterday.  That was pretty cool to see all the adult teeth just waiting to push the baby teeth out.

Kaden pulled himself up to the couch last night for the first time.  He was trying to get Kelly’s knitting.  He is really moving around after things now.  The fun begins!

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Can You Say Enfuego?

Saturday was a beautiful day for a soccer game.  The sky was a gorgeous shade of blue, the grass and trees were still green, and the temperature was just right.  All that being said, for a short period of time during the third quarter, all I could see was red.  A red hot little soccer player named Megan.  She lit the other team up for three straight goals in matter of minutes.  She was totally ENFUEGO!  Here she is on her way to scoring a couple of the goals.

You can see other pictures from that day here.

The funny thing about this is that even after scoring all those goals, the next time she went into the game she wanted to play defense.  She loves playing defense.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Just like Yogi Berra and Yogiisms, Mattey can come up with some great quotes.  The other day while opening and playing with a new set of Triangle Magnetix, she let loose with a slew of them.

"That's unbelievable, Insane I meant"
"I liked these things.  I wanted these for years"

"I'm in heaven"

She's a real character!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quick Stats

Today I received a grade on my first project I turned in for the World Regional Geography class I am taking.  I got 95 out of 100, which I was quite satisfied with.  I went in and looked at the online grade book and saw that I was only 3 points off of getting the highest grade of 98 and thankfully 80 points above the lowest grade of 15 (YIKES).  I did put a lot of time into this project and now I am ready to start working on project number 2.  This project has me mapping all of Asia, whereas the first project I dealt with Africa and the Middle East.

Friday, September 23, 2005

He's Almost Got It

I just posted a new album of Kaden in the gallery.  The pictures show his attempt to crawl.  He is really getting around quickly now without offically crawling.  He seems to be content with what he can do and will some day figure it out.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday and although I doubt, due to scheduling, we will get to celebrate with him today, I wanted to wish him a very happy birthday.  I hope you enjoy your day!

All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.
--George Harrison

Friday, September 16, 2005

Meg is 7!

Megan had a good birthday yesterday.  When she woke up she found greetings on the bathroom mirror.  She got to take cookies to share with her class.  Then Mickey surprised her at school with a rose that he delivered.  Mat and I decorated the living room and surprised her when she got home.  We went to Build-A-Bear for her party.  Meg knew what bear she was going to get, the velvet one.  Mat knew what one she was getting too, the purple one.  Everyone picked out what they were going to make and then got in line to stuff them.  They all wished on a heart and put it in Meg's bear since it was her special day.  Then they fluffed and brushed their animals before dressing them.  Then everyone headed to the computers to print out a birth certificate.  After everyone vowed to take care of their new friend we went to Picture People and had a photo taken of all the kids with their friends.  We then had cupcakes and punch in the food court before heading home.  Meg did stop by the store on the way out and bought Lucky a pair of PJ's.  Check out the pictures in the gallery.

Little Man

I've put the Kaden album in the gallery.  I hope you enjoy these cute pictures of him.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

No More Toothless Grins

All last week and this week it seemed like Kaden might have been bothered by his teeth.  I have been feeling almost everyday, nothing.  Today I just happened to put my finger in his mouth not thinking anything would be there and there it was, the top of a tooth.  I couldn't believe it.  There wasn't anything yesterday when I checked, no immflamation or redness.  He wasn't as miserable as the girls were when they got teeth.  He had a little cold last week with conjestion, drooling, and a lot of sneezing.  Maybe the symptoms happened at the same time.  Kaden is growing up too fast, size wise as well as what he is doing.  He has almost figured out how to crawl!  So much for keeping him a baby.  Kaden, no biting please.

Pictures, Pictures, and more Pictures

I just put 6 albums of pictures in the gallery.  Most of them are things we have done this summer.  I've noticed while I was putting these albums together that Megan likes to be in the water and Mattey prefers to be on land and play in the dirt.  I'm planning to put together an album of just Kaden.  We take so many pictures of him and they aren't shared.  I will get to that soon.
I guess I've taken over where Mickey left off.  He is quite busy lately with work and school so I thought I would help him out.  Thanks for showing me how to do this, Sweetie.

Happy 7th Birthday Megan!

Today Megan will be celebrating her 7th birthday. She is taking cookies to school to celebrate with her classmates. Then later tonight she will be having a birthday party at the Build-a-Bear Workshop. She is so excited about this. Have a great day, Meg!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, Dear Megan,
Happy Birthday to you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mattey's First Days at School

Mattey started preschool on Monday.  She only went for an hour on Monday and then two and a half hours on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Her teacher this year is Mrs. Wright.  Megan had her for her second year too.  Mat has a few friends in her class this year that were in her class last year.  That was nice.  Today Mattey's teacher from last year, Mrs. Romey, told me that Mattey was very different this year.  She is outgoing and confident.  I'm so happy.  I hope this will help her be more comfortable next year when she starts kindergarten.  I don't even want to think about that yet.  I have put some pictures in the gallery of her first few days.  Of course today I didn't take the camera and she was having fun playing in the water.  I'll have to remember to take the camera more often to get good pictures.  We have a lot of field trips this year.  That will be fun and offer many photo ops.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

First Soccer Practice

Megan had her first soccer practice, last night, for the fall 2005 soccer season.  After skipping the spring season so that she could play softball, she was really excited about playing soccer again.  Her first game is set for this Saturday at 9:45am at Tarkington, which are the fields directly across from Hickory Village apartments.  I will post a schedule soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Kaden is Five Months

On my birthday, August 29th, Kaden turned 5 months old.  I took this cute picture of him with his bear from Nana.  He is such a sweet baby.  He has shown us that he can have a temper but it doesn't show too often.  Kaden is rolling all over the place.  He can also get up on his knees and elbows.  He tries to sit but I think he's a little too top heavy to stay up for long.

Horsing Around

Saturday we were out picking the rest of the grapes so I could make juice.  The girls helped in the beginning but there were too many bees flying around.  Thankfully Mickey came out to spray water and help cut the rest.  Mickey happened to turn around and yelled for the girls to "Look!".  By the fence were the horses that we see all the time when we drive north on Ironwood.  The owners were taking them out for a walk.  They stopped and asked if the girls wanted to go for a ride.  They sure did!  Meg rode on Zali, his full name was too long to remember.  Mattey rode on Nick, he had Technical in his name.  They rode up and down the street and then they each fed a horse half an apple.  The girls were very excited and I'm sure it will be something they remember for a long time.  The owners were very nice and they said we could stop by and see them any time.  Check out the pictures in the gallery.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Back to School

After a semester off (not counting summer semesters), I am once again enrolled in classes at IUSB.  This time I've decided to take two classes, call me crazy.  I am taking Legal Environment of Business and World Regional Geography.  These classes will assist me in my new determination to finally get a bachelor's degree.  Hopefully I can stay motivated.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy Birthday Kelly!

Somehow it's already time for our family's birthday parade to begin.  I want to wish my wonderful wife a very Happy Birthday.  With my current surgery, she is pulling her load and mine and I am lucky to have her taking care of me.  I wish her the best on her birthday and hope that she can enjoy this day.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

First Days of First Grade

On Thursday Megan had her first full day of school.  She was loaded down with supplies and her lunch as she waited for the bus to come and pick her up.  We didn't get any good pictures of her leaving for school but Kelly got a few good shots waiting for her to come home on Friday.

Friday, August 26, 2005

On The Mend

I had my first follow-up appointment and physical therapy session yesterday.  The doctors say everything is going well, although you might not guess that if you could see it.  It's all bruised up and nasty looking.  There is not much swelling and they said I can ditch the crutches whenever I feel like it.  I also don't have to sleep in that awful boot anymore, although I do have to wear it throughout the day.  Now I have exercises that I need to do four times a day, so I hope my work doesn't mind me taking a few minutes to do some throughout the day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

We Have a Winner

Last night I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, well as best as one can with a four-year-old lying next to you, when all of a sudden I heard Kelly running up the steps and through the living room.  She burst into our bedroom and said "I won!"  A few weeks ago she had entered a couple of her designs in a card contest at Pages In Time.  The judging day came and went with no notification so she assumed that she hadn't won anything.  This came as a great and well deserved surprise last night.

You can see a small write-up on their home page or you can click here to see the winners and some pictures of their entries.

Way to go, Sweetheart!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Successful Operation

Thursday night my Dad and I drove down to Indianapolis.  We checked into our hotel room at the Wyndham Hotel and then headed over to Keystone Crossing for a late night snack.  We got a table at the Cheesecake Factory, where we first ordered an appetizer to split.  The Sliders, small hamburgers, were quite tasty and then we moved on to dessert.  Dad had the Chocolate Mousse cake and I had the Fresh Strawberry Shortcake.  Both were extremely good and hard to stop eating although we were both quite full.

Yesterday I successfully underwent arthroscopic surgery on my ankle.  Minus the two plus hours I had to wait for the actual surgery to begin, the whole operation went off completely without a hitch and with some of the nicest people participating.  I would give the entire staff at Methodist Sports Medical Center a 5 for their friendliness.  I felt like I was in really good hands.

Now I begin the recovery phase.  Hopefully the night's sleep will get better because last night was not very good.  I am on a strict elevation schedule for four days where my foot is supposed to only be down for ten minutes at a time.  I'm also on a slew of drugs for the next week and a half.  My favorite is the Cryo-Cuff, a soft cast like boot that you fill with ice-cold water.  It wraps around the ankle and provides much relief.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Please Don't Ever Make Me Go Back

Last night while attending a family gathering at my Aunt and Uncle's house, I experienced the frustration that is known as dial-up internet access.  It was not so long ago that this was the only option for connecting to the internet and for some this continues, unfortunately, to be the only way to gain access to the Information Highway.  I tried, unsuccessfully, for quite some time to gain access to a page that required a Macromedia plug-in.

My Aunt's computer is currently connecting to the internet via Wal-mart's dial-up access. Maybe it was just a bad night, but this thing kicked me off of the network at least five different times while I was trying to load the plug-in.  Finally I gave up that part of my quest and proceeded to get her signed up for SBC's DSL special that they are currently running.  Thankfully for her their neighborhood is capable of receiving this service.  Hopefully within the next week or so she will be up and running on a REAL connection.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Going Under the Knife

Well after almost a year of not being able to participate (pain free) in any sports, I am finally scheduled to have surgery on my ankle.  In a couple of weeks I will be going down to the Methodist Sports Medical Center in Indianapolis to have my ankle scoped.  The doctor is quite confident that the surgery will bring me relief to the pain I have been experiencing.  I was happy to see all the pictures of athletes, some from the major sports, autographed and hanging in the doctor's office.  All of them said something like, "Thanks Dr. for fixing me up."  That was reassuring.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Fernwood Botanical Garden

On Saturday we took a short trip to Fernwood Botanical Garden in Michigan.  We had never been there before.  Besides all the beautiful flowers and plants, they currently have an art exhibit of large bugs on display.  The "Big Bugs" are huge sculptures done by David Rogers and will be on display until October 16th.  If you're into it they also have many different trails for hiking.  The only problem we had was the heat.  It was actually one of the cooler days but it was very sunny and hot while we were there.  We documented the event with many pictures, of course.  Click here or click on the picture below to enter the gallery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Still Growing

Yesterday we took Kaden in for his 4 month checkup.  He now weighs 18 lbs. 11 oz. and is 27 3/4 inches long.  While his growth rate has slowed a little, that's still 3 lbs. 9oz. heavier and 2 1/2 inches taller in two months.  The doctor said he was "Perfect" and "The kind of baby everyone hopes to have."  We sure think so!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Good Clean Fun

Saturday night Kelly and I watched a really good movie.  The Walt Disney film National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage was an extremely good action adventure film.  We were thoroughly entertained.  After the film we commented on how there was actually no bad language in the film, was that really Nicolas Cage?  That was a relief from most of the films that are out now a day.  I can definitely see watching this one again and/or picking up a copy.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Now You See It, Now You Don't

We had a couple of messy trees that we wanted to have removed from our yard.  After contacting a couple of companies, we decided to have TLC Tree Removal Inc do the job.  This turned out to be an excellent choice.  The owner of the company is a one-man show.  He took a Pine tree and a very large Sycamore tree down in a matter of a couple of hours.  Granted the clean up of the mess took quite a bit longer, it was done with great care.  If you ever need tree removal, I highly recommend looking him up.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Why in the Summer?

This week our household is being overtaken by a cold virus.  It started towards the end of last week with Kelly starting to not feel well, then Mattey actually sleeping during church because of the medicine she took for her cold.  Now yesterday Megan really came down with it.  She had a hard time going to sleep last night.  Kaden seems to be holding his own and luckily I have only had a few minor symptoms.  I hope we can hold out and not join the rest of the sickos, and hopefully everyone else will get better quickly.  Colds in the summer just don't make sense to me.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

4th of July Fun

This post is about a week late, but hey better late than never, right?  Last week we went to the Firefly Festival to listen to the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and to see the fireworks.  It was a chilly night, but the show was good.  The fireworks were especially entertaining and the kids loved them.  Kaden even seemed to enjoy looking up at them and he wasn't bothered by the loud noises.

On the 4th, we helped welcome home Jan and Doc, my Aunt and Uncle who just moved here from Alaska.  We enjoyed some fun at their new house.  They have a small lake behind their house, which the girls loved playing in.

Back at home the girls played with some sparklers in the slight rain.  Photos are posted in the Photo Gallery.

Two Cute, Too Cute Pictures

Last week we took Kaden and Mattey to Picture People to get their pictures taken.  Kaden's was his 3 month picture and Mattey's was her 4 year picture (only a few months late).  After a very long wait, we struggled to get a happy picture of Kaden.  Mattey took her turn and then we finished up trying to get a good picture of Kaden.  The pictures turned out very cute!

Saturday, July 2, 2005

A Night Under the Lights

Last night Megan played her last Softball game under the lights at East Side Little League.  She had a huge cheering section, including Dad, Mom, Sister, Brother, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Nana, and two Uncles.  The crowd was not disappointed.  Megan came up to bat in the second inning with runners on second and third.  She singled in a run and then hustled around the bases to score on a different play.  The highlight of her night came when the coach presented her with the game ball.  She was so excited and we were all very proud of her.  Way to go Meg!

Friday, July 1, 2005

Boys Night Out

My Dad and I went out last night to see the new Batman movie, Batman Begins.  I thought it was the best of all the Batman movies that have been released.  The interesting thing is that, like Star Wars, this movie actually is supposed to have taken place before the other Batman movies.  If you pay close attention, there are a few things that lead into the Batman movie that was released in 1989.  We had fun and the girls enjoyed a night with Grandma, while Kelly also got a little bit of a night off.

A Little Update to the Last Week of Softball

Due to some untimely rain on Wednesday night, Megan's game was cancelled.  She now plays her last game tonight at 7:30.  Good luck Sweet Peas!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Last Week of Softball

This week will be the last of Megan's softball games.  She has a game on Wednesday at 7:30 and then another sometime on Saturday.  Megan has really enjoyed playing softball and I'm sure she will anxiously be waiting for next year's season.  I've also enjoyed helping out, except when it has been extremely hot.  I'm glad to see her enjoying a lot of different sports and activities.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Softball Pictures

These are hot off the presses!  We just received Megan's softball pictures at this morning's game.  They turned out really cute, not that I had any doubt.  We weren't even there when they took them so I had no idea what to expect.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Kaden's Ten Week Picture

For both girls Kelly has taken a ten week picture of them laying naked on their stomach.  They were both strong enough to hold their head up and Kelly was able to turn them into some really cute scrapbook pages.  Monday it was Kaden's turn.  I'll save the nude pictures for his scrapbook, but here's an adorable picture that I thought I would post.

Passes with Flying Colors

Yesterday Megan's report card came in the mail.  She had an excellent year.  She mastered everything that was introduced to her.  Her teacher, Mrs. Holmberg, said Megan "made wonderful progress in Kindergarten" and that she has "nice printing".  She did great in my opinion.  Meg is looking forward to starting 1st grade in the fall.  She has a workbook that she is doing this summer so she can keep up with her learning.  She always wants to do the math part, which is great.  She is reading very well too.  The only thing that I'm bummed about this school year is that she didn't learn to tie her shoes.  Isn't that part of the kindergarten curriculum anymore?  I guess we'll have to work on that this summer.  I hope I have the patience.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Memorial Day 2005 (better late than never)

This post is quite late, but I just got around to posting the pictures. We went on the traditional Memorial Day parade ride in my Grandpa’s 1920 Model T truck. This was the first year, due to health issues, in a while that my Grandma was able to co-pilot the truck. It was nice to see her back in the saddle again. The crowd seemed bigger this year and my 15+ pounds of candy didn’t get us through the whole parade. I’m not sure, but that might have something to do with the girls throwing entire handfuls at a time. They love throwing the candy out to the crowd.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Last Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday Megan attended her last day of Kindergarten. She has really enjoyed going to school and has grown a lot academically. Her reading skills have really blossomed throughout the year. On Tuesday we had the opportunity to attend her Kindergarten graduation. She received a certificate for her accomplishment and we presented her with some flowers. We’re also celebrating by going out to see the movie Madagascar.

Here are a few photos from her last days of Kindergarten.

Way to go Megan!

Monday, June 6, 2005

A Happy Anniversary

Kelly and I celebrated our twelfth anniversary on Saturday by taking a small day trip to Chicago.  Grandma and Grandpa were nice (and brave) enough to keep the girls while we brought Kaden along for the ride.  We had a very nice (and quiet) trip there, with only one little blood pressure rising situation.  We had one of those close encounters with a car accident and it caused our hearts to speed up for a little while, but the rest of the drive was uneventful.

We found our normal parking lot (what a rip off) and headed out to Michigan Avenue.  Our first stop was Niketown to look for some comfortable casual shoes.  While we were in the store the weather took a huge turn for the worse.  The skies darkened, the wind picked up, and then the rain let loose.  It was nasty.  Kelly asked whose great idea it was to come to Chicago.  We decided to wait it out in Niketown and we actually didn't spend too much extra time in the store before the rain stopped.  As we stepped out on to the sidewalks again, the sky was still dark but otherwise it was fine.  By the time we got out of the next couple stores, the sky was as blue as could be.  Crazy weather!

The American Girl store was insane!  We had to check it out since both girls are kind of into them.  You could spend an entire afternoon in there and a small fortune.  The Apple store was, well as cool as usual.  We even sat in on a little demonstration of the new operating system, Tiger.  I made my first trip into a CompUSA store.  I always read about their great deals but I'd never been in the store before.

PF Changs was our choice for dinner and what a good choice that turned out to be. It was around 6:00 and I was worried about getting a seat, but I forgot we were in a big city where most people eat much later. We got right in and it didn't take long before we were enjoying our meals. Kelly had the Sweet and Sour Chicken and I had Chang's Spicy Chicken. The manager came around and asked us how our meal was and I told him it made a great anniversary dinner. He then insisted on buying us dessert. I was already completely stuffed but when they brought out this warm cinnamon cookie topped with a big scoop of ice cream, I somehow made some room. Wow, that was one awesome dessert!

It was great just spending a day with my Sweetheart.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

We don't call him Chubba Bubba for nothing.

Yesterday we took Kaden in for his two month check up.  He weighed in at 15 lbs. 2 oz.!  He is also 25 1/4 inches long.  At least he is getting taller and not just wide.  I hope that someday soon he will slow down.  It's so sad when your baby grows so fast.  The girls were this size at 4-5 months.  The good thing is that he is very strong, Dr. Jensen kept commenting on his strength and muscle tone.  I just hope that my back can continue to handle carrying him.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Mattey's Birthday Pictures

It took me a while, but here are the pictures from Mattey's birthday.

Father and Son Campout

On Friday night, my Dad and I attended a Father and Son Campout at Potato Creek State Park.  I hadn't been camping in twenty years.  This was a great chance for my Dad and I to get away and enjoy some time together, in the woods.  We setup the tent and enjoyed some chili dogs for supper.  Then the raccoons attacked.  Not us, but my Dad's brand new tent.  They put a nice size hole in the back of the tent, which we repaired with duct tape (of course).  We spent the rest of the night (until a little after one in the morning), talking around the campfire.  Saturday morning came a bit too early, but we helped cook breakfast for everyone (there were 37 people attending).  We had a great time!  Check out the photos.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Happy 4th Birthday Mattey

Today we celebrated Mattey's 4th birthday.  It's hard to believe that it's already been 4 years since she joined our family.  What a joy and a blessing she is.  She makes us laugh with her witty phrases.

She wanted to go and see the elephants on her birthday, so we took a trip to Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.  We had lunch there (dropping a small fortune for some not so great food), watched a Chinese parade (which included all of two things), watched the dolphin show (which seems to get shorter and shorter), and walked around looking at different animals (people included), and of course shopped (probably the girls favorite part) during the four hours that we spent at the zoo.  I said we had fun, didn't I?  The girls enjoyed it.

We then drove home and went out to eat at Applebee's where Mattey got some balloons and a free ice cream sundae.  When we finally arrived back home Mattey opened up the rest of her presents before we put the birthday girl to bed.  I'm too tired to post any pictures, but be sure to check back as I will post some.

Friday, May 20, 2005

See This Film, You Must

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see the newest episode of Star Wars, not once but twice.  I went at noon to see it with my department from work.  We have someone who was nice enough to pay for all of us to go and watch it.  I was impressed with the film and I really loved how Lucas tied it all together with Episode IV.

Later in the day I called my Dad to see if he would be interested in skipping out of a meeting he had planned to go and watch it with me.  Of course he was, and so along with my Sister, we went to the 5:30 showing.  It was just as good the second time.

Now all we have to look forward to (in terms of Star Wars) is the release of Episode III on DVD, so that we can have one big Star Wars marathon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Happy 85th Birthday Grandpa

I want to wish my Grandpa a Happy 85th Birthday today.  How lucky I am to have such a great person as my Grandpa and to be able to have him around for so long.  He's still very active, always up in the woods cutting and hauling wood, and as of this week still employed occasionally as a grader operator.  I have learned many things from him and one of my favorites is the game of pool.  He taught me billiards when I was a small boy and I still love to rack 'em up with him.  We played a few games on Sunday and the Apprentice beat the Master.  The girls and I took some pictures during the match.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Tooth Fairy Comes Early

Mattey had a dentist appointment yesterday to have her last bad tooth fixed.  It looked badly decayed and sometimes she would say that it hurt while brushing.  Getting her to the dentist was no easy task but with a lot of talking and, of course, the promise of a reward, she was finally ready to let the dentist fix it.

When we first got there, she was very talkative with the dentist.  She started getting a little apprehensive when the chair began to move and lay her back.  Then the dentist put on the mask, which supplies the laughing gas to try and calm her.  This was one thing she had really hoped to avoid, but it did calm her down.  After closer examination, the dentist said that the tooth was broken and that he wouldn't be able to save it.  I stood there, leaning over and holding her hands while the dentist pulled out her tooth.  This was not a pleasant sight but luckily for her the dentist had her good and numb so she didn't feel much.  After it was all finished the dentist had her bite on some gauze to help with the pain.  This has become her comfort.  She still is walking around with a piece of gauze half sticking out of her mouth, obviously not the same piece.

After coming home to get some sympathy from Mom, we went to Toys R Us to pick out a reward.  She picked out a couple of new sets of Magnetix.  She picked out some purple ones and ones that light up.

The broken pieces of tooth were left under her pillow and the Tooth Fairy must have felt sorry for her, because she left her two dollars.  At least now she won't be bothered by that tooth anymore.  Mom and Dad were quite proud of how well she handled this event.

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Happy Mother's Day

I would like to publicly proclaim how thankful I am to have such a wonderful group of Mothers in my life.  They are always willing to help in any way possible.  I'm thankful for their influence in my life and my children's.

My wife is such a wonderful mother.  She continually puts her own desires aside to make sure that our children are well cared for.  This fact is driven home by having recently observed her completing another pregnancy.  The time she gave up and the pain she endured, to bring another beautiful spirit into our home, was more than I can imagine giving.  I am blessed to have her as my companion in raising our three fabulous children.

I love her very much and I love Mom and Daddy.

I love her.

"Our mothers and fathers gave us life and brought us into this world. They gave us the opportunity to obtain mortal bodies and experience the joys and sorrows of this bounteous earth. In many cases, they set their own dreams and desires aside for the sake of their children. How fitting it
is that we honor them and show by word and deed our love for them and our gratitude."

--Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Saturday, May 7, 2005

The Little One

Megan played her very first softball game this morning.  Her team is called Lilly's Sweet Peas.  They were totally blown out by a much better hitting team.  Actually the game didn't even go the entire six innings because the other team was ahead by ten runs.  Megan played center field for the whole game.  She had one defensive play and had two at bats.  Her first at bat ended with a strike out, but her next at bat she made contact and was thrown out at first base.  I think she actually would have been safe if she would have ran straight to first base, but since she ran out into the field after the ball she got thrown out.  She seemed to enjoy herself and was a bit of a crowd favorite.  They nicknamed her "The Little One", since she is the smallest of all the girls on her team.  That's what happens when you are a six year-old playing with girls up to age twelve.

There was another first that happened at Megan's game.  I was the home plate umpire for the game.  It wasn't that bad of a job and I suspect it won't be the last time I do it this season.

Check out the pictures.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

I just wanted to take a minute to wish my Mom a very Happy Birthday.  I hope your special day brings you lots of happiness.

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip!

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

It's Only a Virus

It all started last Thursday when Megan got sent home by the school nurse because she had a slight fever and lacey (as she described it) skin.  She told us that Megan might have fifth's disease and she would need a doctor's note to come back to school.  Well her guess on the disease was way off and the doctor told us it was just a virus.  Megan came home from the doctor's appointment and went straight to her room and fell asleep, so we all know she was definitely sick.

She stayed home from school on Friday and started developing a cough to go along with the fever she had.  By Saturday she was running a fever of about 103, coughing, sneezing, and complaining about different body parts hurting.  Sunday night she woke up around 1:00am with a bloody nose, which was a first for her.  She handled it quite well.  This was the first of four nose bleeds throughout the day.  We think this was because she was slightly dehydrated and the Sudafed we had given her caused her to dry out too much.

Tuesday we took her back to the doctor, just because her symptoms were getting worse and not any better.  The doctor just reaffirmed it was a virus and that we were trying the same treatment that he would recommend.  So last night Megan wanted to lie down around 5:30pm.  She didn't really fully wake up until 8:30 this morning.  She and I were up quite a bit, with another bloody nose, but she always went right back to sleep.

This has been one evil virus.  Hopefully she will be able to kick this thing soon.  It has been really hard on the whole family.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Business Opportunity

So I did some real Googling this morning on this "business" opportunity that was pitched to me on Tuesday night. I found out that this is a web enabled version of Amway, which from what I understand was the biggest selling scam from years back and still going. The idea is that this company will help you setup your own internet store by providing you with a cookie cutter website (if I'm going to have an online store then I will decide what it looks like) that sells their overpriced products. Mostly health and beauty products, but you can also click on links that take you to Office Max and many other "real" stores where you and of course the scam company get a tiny cut of the sale price. Visitors have to pay and sign up to even look at this online store. Who in their right mind should have to pay to go shopping? Okay, I guess we do at Sam’s but that’s different.  Isn't it?

Anyway luckily I only wasted a few hours of my time meeting with a representative and researching the opportunity on the internet.  From what I've read you could waste a lot more than that if you sign up.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

State Quarters

Did you ever wonder which state quarters have been issued already?  Or have you ever wondered when a certain state is planned to be released.  Here's a nice site that provides a schedule.  If you're really into them and you missed some along the way, here's another site that can help you fill in the gaps.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Great Husband!

I have such a wonderful husband!  I want to thank him for being home these last few weeks, and this last week has gone by too fast.  It has been so nice to have him around.  He has kept the girls busy and has gotten a lot of projects done and spaces cleaned out.  I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow when he goes back to work and reality hits.  I took all the kids out by myself yesterday and it took me forever to get everyone ready and then when I did Kaden puked all over himself, me, and the floor.  I know I will eventually get the hang of it but I will miss having Mickey around.  Thankfully he has a good job that can be flexible when needed and I just have to get through until 3:00 every week day. :-)  I love you, Sweetie.  Thanks for spending time with us and taking care of a lot of extra things.  I really appreciate it.  OXOX

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Two Week Update

It's almost hard to believe that two weeks have passed since Kaden was born.  We took him for his two week checkup yesterday and he gained another 9 ounces.  He now weighs 10 lbs 1 oz.

Friday, April 8, 2005

See Spot, See Spot Multiply

On Sunday, or Monday I noticed one little spot under Mattey's nose.  I didn't think much of it, until I noticed a few more spots in her hair on Tuesday night.  By Wednesday morning, there was no doubt as to what we were dealing with.  It was a full fledge Chicken Spot outbreak.  Poor thing!  We have no idea when or where she contracted the Pox, but she has been having a rough time with them.  Her and I have had horrible nights of little sleep on Wednesday and Thursday.   Thursday I looked up some home remedies and found an oatmeal based solution for her to bathe in.  That seems to help stop the itching for a little while.  Thank goodness she finally let us put some Calamine lotion on her last night.  The first night we tried to put that on her she totally freaked out.  Hopefully the lotion will help dry them out and we will all get a better night sleep tonight.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

A Beautiful Busy Spring Day

Yesterday was a gorgeous spring day. It got up to 75 degrees and it was very sunny. We had a very busy day but took advantage of the nice weather.

The first thing on our agenda was Kaden’s first weigh in at the doctor’s office. After only being home for five days he gained 9 ounces. He’s now 9 lbs 8 ozs. When we left the hospital he was 8 lbs 15 ozs. He better slow down or he will catch up with Mattey in no time.

Then Megan and I spent some time outside playing and cleaning the garage. She really wanted to go for a bike ride, so we convinced Mattey to come along too. Kelly pushed Kaden in the stroller while Megan rode ahead of us all and Mattey rode her tricycle by herself. Normally we have had to push her while she rides her tricycle, it has a handle for this purpose, but this time she actually was doing most of the pedaling and some of the steering. That is one thing she needs to work on.

After our ride, Kelly asked the girls if they wanted to plant their bulbs, which they received for Easter. They also received little gardening kits to help in the planting process. They each dug their holes, planted, and watered their three bulbs. They had fun.

Next we headed over to the dollar theater, which is now $1.50, with my parents to watch Racing Stripes. It was a good movie, funny and had a good story.

Overall it was a great day to be out and enjoying the fresh air. Of course there are a few pictures available in the Gallery.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Oh Boy!

Welcome our newest addition to the Standiford Family, Kaden Andrew.  He was born at 5:52am, weighed in at 9 lbs 2 ozs, and was 21 1/2 inches long.  Mom and baby are doing great!  The girls are thrilled to be big sisters.  It's been a long day and all I want to do is sleep, so I'm not going to say much more, except for how proud I am of my wife.  There are plenty of pictures that will speak for themselves.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy 20th Birthday Amanda!

I just wanted to post a quick message to tell my sister Happy 20th Birthday.  I hope you have a great day!  This is the first year that I can remember her birthday being on Easter.  I'm glad she's surrounded by friends, at school, because we'll miss celebrating with her.  Here's a picture, taken with Amanda's new camera, of her holding the flower arrangement she received from Mom and Dad.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Easter Eggs

Tonight the girls had fun decorating some Easter eggs. Kelly had boiled fourteen eggs and the girls each decorated six of them, which left Kelly and I one each. We took some pictures, of course, and added them to the gallery.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Top O' the Morning to Ya

Hope you've all got your green on today. Take a few minutes and search for your pot o' gold. For me it's my family, which should be increasing in size any day now. I consider myself one of the luckiest little leprechauns to have such a wonderful family.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

And Then There Were Four

Yesterday I was feeling a little under the weather so I left work early and headed home to bed. Since I seem to have the inability to sleep during the day (i.e. take naps), I popped in a DVD that a friend from work had lent me. It was the first disc from season one of the Fox show 24. I've never watched the show but was told it was really good. I ended up watching the first eight shows. I was hooked.

I think I will continue to only watch the seasons after they come out on DVD (two and three are already available). I don't want to get hooked into watching TV on another night. I like the fact that I only "have" to watch TV on two nights of the week.

On Sunday nights we've been watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Actually for the past two weeks both girls (Megan totally and Mattey somewhat) have been watching it with us. Then on Wednesday I have to see Alias, and then lately I have been watching the show Lost which is on right before Alias. Both shows are directed by the same person.

It's also been nice that we’ve cut down on the amount of channels we have. A few months ago we cut back from Expanded Basic to just Basic cable and the difference has been wonderful. First it costs about $30 cheaper and it has drastically limited the amount of TV we watch.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

First Kid to Leave the Nest

On February 26th (yes I know it's taken me a long time to post this) our first child (sort of) left the nest. After much talk we decided it would be best if Cooper found a new home. He was very energetic, maybe a little too much, and could cause quite a bit of stress with his barking. Also with the new baby coming it seemed like we weren't going to have enough hands or nerves left to be able to keep him.

Cooper was adopted by a very nice family who lives in Atlanta. This family had tragically lost their dog, who was an older sibling of Coopers, about three weeks before getting Cooper. The Dad and the ten year old son drove to our house to pick him up. When they arrived and Cooper first met them, the boy's face just lit up. He was best friends with their dog, and I'm sure he will be with Cooper. We talked for a while and then it was time for them to hit the road. We were really nervous about how Megan would handle this. She, with her spiritual reassurance that Cooper was going to be ok, was a champ. She handled it better than anyone else in the family did. We all said our goodbyes and they headed for the warmer climate of Atlanta.

Life has been good since Cooper left. There have only been a few "I miss him" phrases muttered and it is much quieter when we leave the house or when people come over. Megan was having a bad night last night and she added to it by saying that she comes home and is all alone without Cooper. We decided it was time to drop an email to the new family to see how he was doing. I received this response this morning.

"He seems to have adapted well, but I am sure he misses the girls. He and the boy have become big buddies, and he whines whenever the boy leaves the house (which he probably did for you as well). You guys did a nice job training him, and we are really glad to have him as a part of our family. Please tell Megan that he misses her, too, and that she can visit anytime. Tell her also that he barks at the cats, Sarge and Pepper, and they don't like him much yet. He chases them around the house. Fortunately this has not happened in the middle of the night, yet."

It sounds like Cooper is doing well and although I'll miss seeing him playing with the girls, I definitely won't miss any of his noises. I've posted a photo gallery of some of the pictures we have of Cooper.

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Snow Building

Megan and I spent some time outside this morning building a Snow Robot.  Well I spent most of the time building and she spent most of the time playing.  It was the perfect snow for building, but unfortunately it was a little too warm because about three hours after we had finished, it fell over.  Check out the pictures.

Friday, March 4, 2005

This is Getting Ridiculous

CNN is reporting that gas prices may go up another 25 cents in the next few days.  This after we already witnessed the gas prices rise by 20 cents on Thursday.  Time to go back to horse and buggy, or at least time for the weather to break so I can start riding my bicycle.  Thank goodness neither Kelly nor I put that many miles on our cars.  Can you image the people who have to commute long distances to work everyday?  That would be expensive!

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Another One Bites The Dust

Sunday morning Megan lost her second tooth. She lost this one a little differently than the first. I was downstairs, on the computer, when she woke up. She came bouncing down the stairs and I got my ten seconds of tooth wiggling in. After that she was trying to twist it and she said, “it’s twisting” and then pop she pulled it right out. She was pretty excited.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Way a 6 Year Old's Mind Works

So I guess my nesting instinct has kind of kicked in.  This morning I told Megan that I was going to clean her room and take out a lot of stuff, like her desk, because it's always a mess.  So next thing I know she comes out of her room saying that she just cleaned her desk.  I went to look and yes her desk was much cleaner but where did the stuff go?

I had a good laugh.  She had put it on her bed and Mattey's. 

So after a few hours and a trash bag full of junk later this is how her room looks. 

I hope that it can stay some what clean for a while, but I'm not too hopeful.  I told her that I did the hard part and now she can keep it up because there are no more toys in her room or paper products to make the mess.

Maybe That Wasn't Such a Good Idea

In one of my prior posts, I was talking about how we had learned to play Canasta at a friend's house and how we should add this game to our collection. Well we did and now I’m wishing we didn’t. I thought I was pretty good at learning different card games and picking up their different strategies. Obviously I was wrong, because I have yet to win the stinking game. I am 0 for 2 when playing with a partner and after last night I am 0 for 3 when playing against my wife. She has the uncanny knack of getting a lot of points and leaving me stuck with a bunch of cards in my hand, which is not good.

I will not give up, although it gets rather depressing at times, I will triumph. I’m just not sure when that will be.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Sometimes kids say things that just totally catch you off guard. Yesterday, while on the way to Megan's Book Fair, we had quite the laugh. Kelly was driving and was trying to find an opening in traffic to pull out into. In order to make an opening she sort of peeled out a little bit. From the back of the van, Megan yells, "Mom's driving like an elephant!" We all just started laughing and then Mattey chimed in, "Elephant’s don't drive!" I guess to get the whole effect you had to be there, but it was hilarious!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

On this Valentine's Day (and every other day) I am especially thankful for my sweetheart and for all that her friendship means to me.  She is a wonderful companion and I am eternally grateful to have her as a partner in raising our two, and soon to be three, wonderful children.  I love you Sweetheart!

Megan is having her Valentine's Day party at kindergarten today and of course, her Mom will be there to help.  She is very lucky to have a Mom who is so willing to help out.  Happy Valentine's Day Meg!  I love you!

Mattey had her party last Friday and she came home from school with all kinds of goodies.  Happy Valentine's Day Mat!  Daddy loves you!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Porting Experience

Last week I got a new cell phone from Amazon.  As of November 24, 2003 wireless customer have had the opportunity to keep their existing numbers even when changing wireless providers.  This process is called porting.

Well this past week I experienced a porting nightmare.  I started the process by calling my new wireless provider on Saturday.  They verified all my information, about my then current provider and said the porting process would happen the next day because I made the request late on Saturday night.  No problem.  They said I would receive a text message telling me when the porting was completed.

Sunday came and went and no text message, so Monday I started the phone war.  I called my new provider, who said there was a problem with my old provider, then I called the old provider and they said there was a problem with the new provider.  You know the finger pointing routine of it's not our fault it must be their fault.  Anyway I thought I left it in the capable hands of a customer service representative on Monday night after being on hold for forty minutes.

Along came Tuesday and still no text message.  After four more calls back and forth between providers I finally reached my breaking point.  I had to raise my voice a little bit and then magically I was transferred to a representative who was ready to help me in any way possible to solve the problem.

This was the person I needed to speak with from the get go.  Peter was the man!  He started by including me in the conference calls with the service providers, then when it was apparent that they still weren't getting any where he offered to continue the leg work and call me back in an hour.  Thank you for not making me wait on hold like the other representative did the night before.  He ended up calling me back a couple times.  Finally someone who is willing to work for the customer.  He even got me a $20 credit on my account for all the headaches I went through.

I'm happy to report that we finally had porting goodness the next morning around 5:00am.  I now have a new cell phone with the same old number, just the way it's supposed to work.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

What Can't They Do?

Google has just posted the beta version of Google Maps.  I like this much better than Mapquest and will now use this for all my mapping needs.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

New Card Game

We went over to some friend's house for dinner and played a new card game.  We learned how to play Canasta.  We played a version called Canasta Caliente.  This version is played with a special deck of cards where as the normal Canasta can be played with two decks of normal playing cards.  Even though the boys lost to the girls, this was a really fun game.  We'll have to add it to our collection of games.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Euchre Champions

My work held a special Euchre tournament this week to
celebrate our company's success. A co-worker and I decided to enter the
tournament at the last minute.  There were thirty teams entered into the
tournament.  The team name we decided on
was Standing Kowz, which was a combination of our last names.  We played well together all week.  Today we
won our Semi-Final game 10 - 2 to move into the championship game, which was
also held today.

The championship game was best two out of three games.  We lost the first game 10 - 9, which put us in the hole.  The second game was another
close one.  With our backs to the wall most of the game, we came back and won the second game.  The third game we finally hit our groove and
won 10 - 5 to capture the euchre championship.  It was a lot of fun.

Another co-worker sent me this great picture.  It's the perfect logo for our winning team.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Groundhog Day

Quoted from CNN, "Punxsutawney Phil has spoken, and the news isn't good".  The poor critter was drug out of his burrow and saw his shadow which means six more weeks of winter.  Bummer, I could have dealt with Spring coming earlier.

The official Groundhog site is really busy right now, but they have all the details.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Big Event in Megan's Life

I thought the best way to handle this was to let Megan say it in her own words.

Tonight I just lost my loose tooth and I got a picture.  I can't believe I finally lost my old tooth.

Way to go Meg!

Friday, January 28, 2005

New Color Option

At the request of my wonderful wife, I have added a purple color scheme option that users may choose from.  Remember you must be logged in to utilize this feature.

Let's Just Call This My Geek Post

There are just a few things of "Geek" type interest that I would like to post, so excuse me while we slip over to Geekville for a few moments.

  1. The official Star Wars website has posted the text to the famous opening screen scroll that all Start Wars movies have.  It also includes the opening text for Episode III, due out on May 19th, 2005.
  2. I recently installed PHP 5 and MySQL 4 on my Power Mac G5.  These are some of the tools that I use to produce this website, except I have never worked with version 5 of PHP yet.  This is the version I learned about while on my infamous "training" on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
  3. Recently I purchased some printable DVDs from Sam's Club.  The label on the package says specifically for inkjet printers.  I thought to myself, how do you print on these.  Today I found out.  Epson has a line of printers that actually has a CD tray which you can put discs into and it will print on them.  How cool is that?

Now back to your regularly scheduled news items.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Small Trip to Chicago

Since Megan didn't have school on Friday we decided to take a trip to Chicago. We booked a hotel room at our favorite place to stay, lined up a place for Cooper to go (Thanks Mom and Dad), and headed for the Windy City.

The drive to Chicago was great! How many times can you say that? It was sunny, the roads were clear, and really there wasn't that much traffic. We arrived very quickly to the big city and parked our van (one of the more expensive things). After checking into our hotel and dropping off our bags, we walked over to Michigan Avenue to wait for a bus. It was pretty chilly waiting for the bus, and the girls were disappointed every time a bus came that wasn't ours.

We rode the bus, which the girls loved, to the John G. Shedd Aquarium. We enjoyed our visit to the aquarium much more this time because it was much less crowded. Megan was in documentary mode the whole day. She kept asking me to make a video of her and she would walk up to an exhibit, point to it and say something like "and here we have, what Mom". It was hilarious.

After another bus ride, we dropped some stuff off at the hotel and walked to the Rainforest Café where we had dinner. We've decided that although the experience is kind of neat, the food isn't really that great and it's kind of pricey.

As we were leaving the restaurant it finally started snowing. We woke up the next morning to six inches of snow and bitter temperatures. We had wanted to go to a couple of stores on the Magnificent Mile but after checking out the outside elements we decided to head for home before it got any worse. The drive home was slower, but the lack of traffic made it not too bad to endure.

Check out the photo album for our Chicago trip.

Monday, January 24, 2005

A Big Change

Today marks the end (although I see it as a new beginning)
of a bunch of changes for this website. I'll
try to outline some of those changes for you.

The first change is that the website is now being hosted by instead of that other hosting company that gave me nothing but fits.  This company is run by a co-worker of mine
and has allowed me to have more control over my web environment, which is a
good thing.  The only drawback to
changing hosts is that, due to the nature of the internet, I'm not sure when
everyone will see this news posting.  Usually
hosting changes are seen within 48 hours.

The next change is the more obvious one.  I finally have a new design.  I've worked many hours setting up this design and
tweaking it to be exactly what I wanted.  

One of the coolest new features is located on the home page.  The photo that you are seeing on the left is
a random photo from the Photo Gallery
Click CTRL and R and you will see a different picture.  You can click on the picture to see the
larger version or you can click on the photo album name, listed below the
picture, to go to the album itself.

Another pretty nifty feature is only available to those who
are logged in.  You now have the ability to
choose your favorite color scheme for the site. 

This feature, if you are logged in, is available right underneath the
random photo.  You can currently choose
from one of four available colors, but I will take requests for other color
schemes.  Once you have chosen a color
scheme, it will stay that way until you logout or until you choose a different

Also visible on the home page is a small calendar.  The white highlighted days are days in which
there was news posted.

Like I said I'm not sure when everyone will see this, so if you
wouldn't mind posting a small comment when you see this news item, I would
greatly appreciate it.

I had a lot of fun redoing this site.  Hopefully you all will enjoy it.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Crazy Web Hosting Company

I have no idea what is going on with the current company that I use to host this site, but their days are numbered anyway so I have given up caring about what their problem is.  Yesterday the database that I use to drive this site was down most of the morning and then when it was actually available they messed something up.

If you happen to view this page and it tells you that there are one hundred and seventy some new news items and all the news and comments are marked as new, just hit the refresh button on your browser.  This will correct the little glitch that my wonderful hosting company introduced yesterday.

I am trying to find time to work on my new site and design and once this is completed I will be moving to a new hosting company.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Off to a Bad Start

Here I said I would strive to do better in 2005 and it's been ten days since I last posted a message.  We've been busy remodeling our bathroom, which after all the trim gets painted (who knows when that might be) I will try to remember to post some pictures.  It looks great!  Kelly has the eye for design and as long as she can find the things she is envisioning, her plans always turn out looking great.  The bathroom remodel is no exception.  Sorry to leave you hanging, but for me to describe it wouldn't do it justice.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

First News in 2005

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Let's hope 2005 is a prosperous year for everyone.  It should be an interesting one in our household.

I'll also use this time to apologize for the lack of Christmas content.  This has been a very busy week.  I will strive to do better in 2005.