Sunday, December 31, 2006

Family Goals For 2007

We sat everyone down and had a little family meeting to discuss some goals for the New Year. Kelly and I had three that we wanted to institute and the kids help add two, so here is our list in no specific order:



  1. Play more games


  2. Eat more healthy foods and less junk


  3. Have Family Home Evening more often


  4. Read the New Testament


  5. More teamwork in the household work




We wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year in 2007!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Office Space - Day 6

The day started out pretty good. I went and had some blood drawn at 7:30 and then came back amd was able to get started on the waterproofing paint soon after breakfast. I finished the painting and then started on some more prep work. The existing wall between the furnace room and the new office space was in bad shape and needed some structural enhancements. I had to scrape up some carpet glue and cut up a little more carpet where a new wall was going. I started framing in the wall that will hold one of the most important features of the new office, the locking door. This wall is also going to have some shelves facing into the play room so games can be stored there.

Framing Begins



I crashed around 3:00 not able to put forth much more into the project. I laid down for a short nap before getting ready for our last Christmas party of the year. It was for my Mom's side of the family and it was at my Aunt Jan's house. There were a lot of people there and we ate, participated in a few little games, watched a few magic shows, and exchanged gifts. It was fun to have all the family together.

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Office Space - Day 5

Another day and another set of priorities gets in the way of remodeling. Today it was other home repairs that caused me to not get as much done as I had hoped. The water heater needed the Pressure Relief Valve replaced, luckily this turned out to be a seven dollar an 15 minute repair. I can handle those! Next it was the Condensation Pump on the furnace that was leaking, so I replaced that. That took a little longer and cost a little more but still not too bad.



So I started painting on the waterproofing and boy is that stuff thick. Imagine painting with Soft Serve Ice Cream but thicker. It also didn't go as far as I originally planned so it was off to Menards for the second time today to pick up another gallon. I've got about half of the smaller wall to go, but I'm just too tired to finish tonight.

Waterproofing the Room



We went out to dinner with my Parents, Sister, and Bridget at Cici Pizza. Only one more day until my Sister heads back to school. It's been fun seeing her. I know the kids have really enjoyed spending some time with her.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Office Space - Day 4

No new pictures to post today because I don't think you would notice any differences. I prepped the foundation blocks for water proofing today by cleaning the masonry with a wire brush attached to my drill (thanks Dad) and brushing on an acidic cleaner to help the paint stick to the blocks. The wire brush cleaning created such a mess, even though I had plastic up on all the openings, that Kelly had to run out and get an air purifier to help clean up the dust. She got a nice one that never needs the filters replaced you just need to wash one filter and vacuum another. It has been doing a wonderful job already.



I did get a chance to work and play with the kids today. Mattey helped me empty the dish washer and vacuum the living room. Kaden and I played with his new Little People Garage he got for Christmas. Megan and I played catch outside and flew her remote controlled UFO since it was so nice and sunny out. The girls also had a chance to play with Abbey and Emma, their 2nd cousins from Virgina.



Hopefully tomorrow will bring pictures with noticeable changes.

Christmas Report and Pictures - Take 2

We spent Christmas Eve night over at Linda and Larry's house celebrating with Kelly's family.  We had a good dinner and managed to coerce a few people into a family picture BEFORE presents were opened, or attacked as I think of it.



The pictures can be checked out at Flickr.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New Office Space

Kelly and I are past being frustrated with coming downstairs only to find someone little has been in or on one of our desk (mostly Kelly's). We have decided to trade spaces with the kids. We will be remodeling the old toy room/food storage area and turning it into OUR office space/exercise area with locking door to keep small ones away from things that are not theirs.



We started the process by cleaning out the furnace room to accommodate all the extra stuff that would be stored in there. Then we consolidated what feels like the entire basement into one room, which is a little too much stuff for one of us to handle. This will have to do until we can finish the new room.

Basement Remodel Before - 1 Basement Remodel Before - 2 Basement Remodel Before - 3



Then it was DEMO time. The first day I tore down most of the paneling.

End of Day 1 - 1 End of Day 1 - 2



The second day I took the rest of the stuff down, took up the carpet, and even disposed of it all with the help of my Dad and one of the local dumps. The girls came along for the ride and couldn't get over all the "ravens" flying around the trash.

End of Day 2 - 1 End of Day 2 - 2



The third day was more of a planning day. We made some preliminary plans for the layout and some rough estimates as to supply needs. My Sister came over and watched the kids while we went over to Menards and picked a few things to get started with. I came back and patched a hole in the main furnace run that the previous owner had ripped open to provide heat to the old toy room. It was a mess. Hopefully now the Living Room and Kitchen will get some more heat. I'll have to figure out a new way to get heat/ac into the new office but there has to be a better way.

End of Day 3



I will try my hardest to post updates as the process continues. Feel free to stop by and help any time you want. :-)

Christmas Report and Pictures - Take 1

We had our Christmas with my Mom, Dad, and Sister on Saturday the 23rd. My Mom had to work all day so my Sister made a salad, well she brought a head of lettuce (as a joke) and then produced the real salad. Kelly made Chicken Cordon Bleu, her Tapioca Orange Salad, and a couple of pies one of which was my favorite Lemon Meringue.



We had supper and then the girls wanted to do something crazy like open gifts. The adults had fun watching the kids open their gifts. And Kaden had fun taking most of my gifts. One of mine was a box of Twinkies and he promptly opened the box and began eating or mostly smashing one. Then he basically claimed my new wind-up flashlight as his.



Anyway we had fun spending time with each other celebrating the Christmas holiday. Here are the pictures on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Never Again

This Black Friday stuff is for the birds or at least the crazy birds. I can't remember the last time I was part of a morning shopping trip on Black Friday but I can remember the last, it was last Friday.



I had no plans on going shopping, I was going to sleep in and then go play basketball around 9:00am, but Kade woke me up a little after 5:00 and there was no going back to sleep so I thought I would go see how bad it was. There were a couple of movies that Kelly wanted at Target and a gift that we wanted to pickup at a good deal there as well. I arrived about 5:45 to a parking lot filled with cars and lines forming at both entrances. I wasn't dressed, nor crazy enough, to stand out in the lines so I patiently waited in my nice warm car for the lines to start moving. When they finally did I slowly made my way towards the entrance. I was passed by many running towards the door. I just shook my head.



Once I finally found the back of the line I managed to make it into the store and the start of the electronics section where I was then officially part of the smush pit. What a mess. People will push, squeeze and manipulate there way around you in any way possible. I've never been bumped from behind with a cart (by the same person) so many times in my life as if I had any room in front of me to move to. Once I finally made it through that mess I still had the toy smush pit to look forward to. It was the same thing once again. Luckily for me I only had 6 items so I used the first available express checkout lane and I was out of there in about 15 more minutes.



I don't care what the deal is, it will NEVER be good enough to get me to go out in this madness again!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Pictures From Megan's Baptism

Some of you may have already seen these on Flickr or on the Photos page, but in case you missed them here is the link to the pictures we took at Megan's baptism.  What a special day that was!  I was so proud of her.

Megan in her baptism dress

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Just Plain Cute

A couple of weeks, well now it's probably been months, ago I uploaded some cute pictures of my family, to Flickr, but forgot to put them up on this site so that everyone could see them. I feel blessed to have such a great family!

Happy Birthday MomA little red in a sea of greenGet in the game

Friday, October 13, 2006

3D Pumpkin Carving

I have never seen anything like this before. Absolutely amazing!

If you have yet to try and carve a pumpkin in a 3-D manner you need to. Its fun and everybody enjoys a cool pumpkin. Unfortunately they begin to rot less than a week after carving so be sure to take plenty of pictures. You can experiment with ways of preserving them but I find nothing works better than a nice photo. Some chefs that I have carved for put lemon juice on the faces to help slow down the natural molding process that will occur.Picking out the right pumpkin is very important. You need a pumpkin with a thick wall. To get this kind you will have to choose one that is very heavy for its size. Also avoid perfectly round pumpkins and opt for ones that have a protruding ridge that sticks out on one side. These shapes make nice faces as you could imagine how difficult it would be to carve a 3-D face onto a shallow flat surface.


Gallery / Toys and Collectibles - Villafane Studios Artist Ray Villafane

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another Hole

These girls have no limits as to how they try and get money from the tooth fairy. Sunday night Mattey's other front bottom tooth was pretty loose. We had been working with her to wiggle it, but she would only let me do it a little at a time. I guess on Sunday night she decided it was time to get that thing out. She wiggled it for a while and then said she was going to let her sister help her. This was the part I couldn't believe. They went out into the hallway and Mattey let Megan tie a piece of yarn on her tooth and then...Megan pulled down and said, "I cracked it!" Mattey came back into our room, looked in the mirror, turned around towards us and popped it out. It was one of the funniest things I have seen. She was so happy about it. I'm telling you, if you have a loose tooth don't get anywhere near these girls.

Mattey loses another tooth

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Can't Drive 55

Happy Birthday Dad! It's hard when your birthday lands on a day when you have to work but I hope you can find some time to celebrate and enjoy your special day.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Megan is GR8, Let's Celebrate!

How is this even possible?  I can't believe that Megan turns 8 years old today.  Kelly just took cupcakes over to her school for her class to help celebrate and I am getting ready to go and pickup a flower and deliver it to her at school.  I hope she feels special on her birthday.  I sometimes wish we could have that youthful excitement back when it comes to these days.  Birthdays just aren't quite the same when you get older.  We will be celebrating with family later tonight with some cake and ice cream.

Happy Birthday Meg!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

I feel like taking a few minutes to pay my respect to all those innocent people who lost their lives 5 years ago today. 9/11 changed so many things in our country, and in our world. This is one of those days where I actually remember exactly what I was doing when these events happened. I was at work when the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center tower. The word started spreading through out the office as people tried to get access to news site on the Internet. The overwhelming amount of traffic on the Internet that day brought the news servers to their knees. Groups of solemn people gathered around radios or any other type of media we could get access to as the rest of the terrifying and horrific events took place. I remember walking outside and just looking up into the sky and wondering how anything like that could happen.



I'm thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy in this great country and for those who fight to protect it everyday. Today I reflect on the great loss of that day but also remember those who were so heroic and the feeling of pride that was brought out in all Americans.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Megan's Soccer Schedule

It's time for a new season of soccer to begin this weekend. Megan has moved up from the Instructional League to the Recreational League, whatever that really means. All, except for one, of her games will now be played at the Knollwood soccer field (Green 2) on Adams Road just east of Grape Road. Here is the whole schedule:



9/9 - 9:30 AM

9/16 - 8:15 AM @ 4-H Green 2

9/23 - 10:45 AM

9/30 - 12:00 PM

10/7 - 9:30 AM

10/14 - 9:30 AM

10/21 - 10:45 AM

10/28 - 8:15 AM

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

I CAN Do Better - Part II

Remember that truly inspiring video I posted a while back about the father who pushed and pulled his disabled son through the triathlon? I found out that they have their own site and I also found this summary of how this all got started. What a wonderful story!

Eighty-five times he’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he’s not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars–all in the same day.

Dick’s also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?



And what has Rick done for his father? Not much–except save his life.



This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.



“He’ll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'’ Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. “Put him in an institution.'’



But the Hoyts weren’t buying it. They noticed the way Rick’s eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. “No way,'’ Dick says he was told. “There’s nothing going on in his brain.'’



“Tell him a joke,'’ Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.



Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? “Go Bruins!'’ And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, “Dad, I want to do that.'’



Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described “porker'’ who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. “Then it was me who was handicapped,'’ Dick says. “I was sore for two weeks.'’



That day changed Rick’s life. “Dad,'’ he typed, “when we were running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!'’



And that sentence changed Dick’s life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.



“No way,'’ Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren’t quite a single runner, and they weren’t quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.



Then somebody said, “Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?'’How’s a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.



Now they’ve done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don’t you think?



Hey, Dick, why not see how you’d do on your own? “No way,'’ he says. Dick does it purely for “the awesome feeling'’ he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.



This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992–only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don’t keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.“



No question about it,'’ Rick types. “My dad is the Father of the Century.'’



And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. “If you hadn’t been in such great shape,'’ one doctor told him, “you probably would’ve died 15 years ago.'’



So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other’s life.



Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father’s Day.



That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.“



The thing I’d most like,'’ Rick types, “is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.'’


Personal Development Blog · Personal Development Ideas

Monday, September 4, 2006

Crikey!

Sad news reported from Australia:

Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and environmentalist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray during a diving expedition. He was 44.


ESPN.com - MORESPORTS - 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin killed by stingray while diving

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

On Thursday the 25th I was invited by Justin to go to Chicago and watch a Cubs game with him and Bryan. I was pretty excited since I haven't been to a game in many years. We had a smooth drive in, only getting stuck in traffic for a short time before taking a little scenic detour down State Street. That makes you quickly appreciate the nice neighborhood we live in. I had put a travel plan together that included parking at our favorite, but expensive, downtown garage. After traveling up many floors to find the first available parking space, we parked and took the elevator to the ground floor. We decided to head towards Wrigley Field and find some lunch around there.

Home of the Chicago Cubs



The trip to Wrigley from downtown was so smooth. We took the Red Line, which is the train that you enter like a subway but then later in the route goes up to be an elevated train. What a cool way to travel, when you don't have to do it every day. The Addison train stop is right next to Wrigley Field, which added to the effortless travel. We found a small place to eat on Clark Street before going into the stadium to find our seats.

Game crew



The weather was absolutely perfect. A little overcast, with a strong breeze blowing out of the park (which would assist a few of the Cubs homeruns). Our seats were on the third base side and up in the first section of the upper deck. They provided a really good view and a nice breeze to help us stay cool.



The first four innings of the game were extremely exciting. The Phillies struck first scoring one run in the first, but the Cubs came right back with four in the bottom half of the inning. They would pile it on from there, scoring eleven runs by the fourth inning. It was a lot of fun.



We left after the seventh inning stretch to avoid some of the crowd. The train ride back in to downtown was a little busier but was still just as easy. We walked through a few shops on Michigan Avenue before going back to the car. The ride home was even better with us hitting no traffic at all. It was a fun outing.



Check out the photoset on Flickr.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Kelly!

Today I want to wish my wonderful, talented, loving, creative wife a Happy Birthday. I can't believe that today marks the 16th year that we have been together, especially since you are only 28. There are a lot of other things scheduled for today but I hope we can carve out enough time to make you feel appreciated on your special day.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Tooth Fairy Might Need a Loan

This sibling rivalry thing is getting out of hand fast. Megan not wanting to be outdone by her younger sister, "cracked" her tooth on the bus yesterday. She showed me that it was loose when I got home from work, but it didn't seem like it was ready to come out. I went outside to mow the yard and she came running outside with tooth in hand. She twisted it and pulled it out. Don't get a loose tooth around these girls or they will yank it out for you.

Another hole

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Font Repository

I came across this site today and thought that some of you crafty people might find it useful.  After clicking on a particular font you can enter your own text to get a preview of what that text would look like in that font.  Pretty cool feature.  Most fonts are free for personal use.  Try it out.

Download fonts | dafont.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

We Survived

Today was quite a day. The day started with Megan calling me at work to tell me that Little Bowser (one of her goldfish) had died. Just what we needed on the first day of 2nd grade. Kelly said she was pretty upset at first but she was pretty calm by the time I talked to her. She had the traditional first day of school pictures and then she was off on her bus. We met her 2nd grade teacher last night and she seemed very nice. Megan was excited because she knew who this teacher was and had visited her classroom last year.



All aboard

I took lunch a little early so I could see Mattey get on the bus on her first day of Kindergarten (it doesn't even seem possible). As soon as I walked in the door she said, "Look Dad!" She had a hole in her mouth where last night there was a tooth. It was loose but we didn't think it was that loose. While eating her Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich she said, "Ouch" and started to cry. Kelly looked and there was blood around her tooth. Mattey went into the bathroom to look and a few seconds later she came out with tooth in hand. She pulled it out. Unreal! As if the first day of Kindergarten isn't enough excitement.

This hole feels weird



Then came the next episode. We waited for her bus for 45 minutes after the scheduled pickup time. Buses normally run late on the first day with all the parents taking pictures of their little Kindergartners, but this was ridiculous. Finally I got a hold of transportation and they said that Mattey's bus had a mechanical failure and the driver had to switch buses. All this waiting to see Mattey get on the bus for the first time and finally Kelly just took her to school. Of course the bus arrived at school just as Kelly was leaving.

On the look out for the bus



Anyway I made it home to see Mattey and Megan get off the bus together. What an incredible site to see both of them getting off looking all big and cute. I think that was about all the excitement I could have handled in my fragile state. There are plenty of pictures in the Flickr photoset titled "1st Day of School - 2006".

Coming home together

10 Tips on Leading a Balanced Life

I think I could learn a lot from some of these tips, maybe you could too.
Balance is important. When one aspect of our life becomes too dominant we loose that balance and experience conflict and unhappiness. It’s not easy and sometimes it feels like a juggling match but if we develop some healthy habits it is possible to achieve balance in a relaxed and calm way.

Life is a Journal or Self Help and Personal Development for Lazy People.: 10 tips on leading a balanced life.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Street Artist "Installs" Fake People in City

This artist has created fake people and animals, placing them all over Washington DC and New York

Mark Jenkins: Street Installations



Sunday, August 13, 2006

Still in Business

This is obviously not what you are used to seeing when you come to standifordfamily.com. We have experienced a catastrophic server mishap with our past hosting provider (which I don't blame for any of this - sometimes things just happen with technology) and I am currently in the process of getting things setup with this new host. The website is going to change but how fast I can get to it is another thing.



Please take a moment to register as a new member. This new system will allow you to maintain your own user and password, unlike the old system. I promise I will work hard to get this one up and running (and looking nice).

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Are You a Happy Employee?

This article refers to a happy employee, but this quote from that article can relate to happiness in life as well.

I feel that God has given us the ultimate gift called Life. However, we only have this gift for a limited time. How long remains to be seen. He has left us with a choice to choose how we spend our time. This precious gift should not be squandered on doing things that don’t matter to us. Life is a collection of our experiences, thoughts and feelings. If our actions do not positively contribute to these things, are we not wasting our gift?


Dave Cheong | Engineer to Entrepreneur

Monday, July 31, 2006

New Financial Calculators on the Provident Living Web site

President Hinckley said: "We have been counseled again and again concerning self-reliance, concerning debt, concerning thrift. So many of our people are heavily in debt for things that are not entirely necessary. . . . I urge you as members of this Church to get free of debt where possible and to have a little laid aside against a rainy day."


Financial Calculators

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Big Boy

Today I took Kade in for his 15 month check up.  Thankfully he only needed one shot, unlike Mattey who will be getting mulitple shots tomorrow.  Kade weighed in at 24 lbs. 3 oz.  I was sure he was over 25 pounds.  He is such a load to haul around.  His height is 32.5 inches.  He's grown 2 1/2 inches and a little over 1 pound since the beginning of April.  I can handle that.  Not too fast.  Other updates on Kade, he is getting a lot more teeth.  Last month he worked on his molars but only 3 of the 4 came in.  Now the fourth molar and the 4 cuspids are coming in.  Ouch!  He is also sleeping in his own bed for most of the night.  He is still waking up but he goes right back to sleep, usually without a fuss.  Kade is climbing up everywhere and getting into everything.  His new thing is to take the cushions off the couch.  He will sit in the cushions spot shaking his head not letting me put it back.  Kade is funny, entertaining, and always on the go.  He will soon be 16 months old.  Where has the time gone?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sweet Surprise

I just got a phone call from our reception desk and they told me that I had a cookie basket delivered to me. The first thing I did was to check the date on my watch, trying to figure out what the special occasion might be. On my way over to pick it up I was sure that they were mistaken and that it really belonged to someone else because I couldn’t imagine why I was receiving a cookie basket. To my surprise it definitely had my name on it and the card attached said, “Because you’re always there when we need you and you never let us down. Enjoy!” It was signed, “Communications Team.” This is a group of individuals that request a lot of last minute updates to our website. I always try to squeeze their request in regardless of what I have going on.


The cookie basket came from Cookies By Design and it has three different computer cookies with different things on their monitors and a big thank you cookie in the middle. I can’t wait to show my family and then dig into it.



Feeling appreciated at work, I think, is something very hard to come by. Sometimes all it takes is saying thank you, but other times I think it helps to do something a little more. This is an excellent example of someone going above and beyond to make me feel appreciated. What a great surprise on a stormy Thursday morning!


A token of appreciation

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I CAN Do Better

This (thanks Sami) shows me that I have a lot more that I could be doing for my children. We are all so blessed if we just take a step back and look at what we have.



[youtube]WjPrL3n63yg[/youtube]

Friday, July 7, 2006

Megan Gets Braces

Yesterday Megan went to Dr. Wong’s office to have her braces put on. She had to have them put on the top teeth only to correct her under bite. The doctor is pretty confident that the braces should be able to correct her bite within six months. Megan was extremely brave during this procedure; she even said it didn’t hurt at all when they were putting them on. I know it’s only been one day, but she has been extremely good about all the extra dental care that needs to be done when you have braces. A little later in the day the brackets on her back teeth were irritating her cheek, and she said her teeth hurt a little bit but she never complained about it. Good job Meg!

Megan smiles with her new braces on


This is also the first picture that I am posting from my new Flickr Pro account. You can see the rest of the pictures from this set by clicking here. If you don't have a Flickr account (the basic ones are free) you can view the photos but you won't be able to comment on them. There are some really neat features that Flickr will add to our photos and I'll have to outline those in a future post.

Monday, July 3, 2006

16th Work Anniversary

Arriving at work this morning I saw a card sitting on my desk. It was a Happy Anniversary card from our Human Resources department. It's hard to believe that it has been 16 years since I started working at Press Ganey. There have been many employees who have come and gone in the many years since I have been here and currently there are only four other employees who have worked for PG longer than I have. I feel blessed to have stumbled upon a job, which turned into a career, and has provided our family with all its needs and many of its wants.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Nice Lunchtime Experience

I just got back from an invigorating bicycle ride. I’ve been trying to spend the first thirty minutes of my lunch hour doing some sort of physical activity. Yesterday I jogged for a little over a mile and a half and then walked another mile. Today I brought my bike with me in the trunk of my car, and then locked it up until lunchtime. The weather was beautiful, sunny with a slight breeze. I started out by going down the East Race, which is just a short distance from where I work. At the end of the East Race I picked up the East Bank Trail. This trail took me over US 933 and right to Angela Boulevard. The crossing over Angela and the crossing at North Shore Drive was the only traffic I had to worry about. Behind Saint Joseph’s High School there is a dirt path that leads over to Holy Cross College. There was a road that went through the college which dead ended into a small dirt bike path. This path went right along an old railroad track and opened up to a larger dirt path that leads right to Saint Mary’s Inn. I looked at my trip meter and it was almost at three miles exactly. I rode the same path back to work and by the time I parked my bike it was almost exactly thirty minutes of riding and just over six miles. I felt great.

Monday, June 26, 2006

The First Day Megan Learned to Ride

Here was one of the main reasons I was trying to incorporate video into the website. I wanted to post this video of Megan on the first day she learned to ride a two-wheeler. I was pretty impressed.



[flv width="320" height="240"]http://www.standifordfamily.com/videos/megan_learns_to_ride_a_bike_05082006.flv[/flv]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Community Promotional Video

The South Bend/Mishawaka Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) created a promotional video to attract and welcome visitors to our area.  It's interesting to watch and see how they try to market our area to visitors.  There is no lack of Notre Dame footage in the video, but why not when the CVB slogan is "Notre Dame and a Whole Lot More!"  It is a well put together video and worth a few minutes of your time.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Happy Belated Father's Day

I came across this little poem while reading an email message from an LDS mailing list and wanted to share it.  I try to be the best I can and know that my Dad did the same for me.

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Toiling and striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,

Glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come home and to hear his voice.


Only a dad, but he gives his all,
Smoothing the way for his children small,
Doing with courage so stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
These are the lines that for him I pen,
Only a dad—but the best of men.

Standifordfamily - Now With Video

I have been working hard lately (just ask Kelly) trying to convert video into a format that is viewable on the website and I think I finally have something that will work. If you wouldn't mind helping me by posting a comment, letting me know if you can view the video ok.



This really short clip shows one of Megan's favorite things to do while we were swimming at our hotel in Disney.

[flv width="320" height="240"]http://www.standifordfamily.com/videos/disney_swimming.flv[/flv]

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mattey Gets Her Ears Pierced

Mattey has been saying for a while that when she turns five she is going to get her ears pierced. So two days after returning from vacation we took her to Claire’s to get them done. Kelly and I both told her that it was going to hurt. We even watched a very young girl get hers done before Mattey and Mat said, “I’m going to be brave.” Unfortunately there was only one person there so she had to get each ear pierced individually instead of both at once. She tried hard not to cry but she couldn’t contain it. She was a little upset for the next few hours but has been very proud of her earrings ever since. She can’t wait to take out her studs and wear her butterfly earrings.




Caution: Sad faced picture included in this album

Megan Learns to Ride on Two Wheels

This is one of the many stories that has been on my list of things to post to the website. A while ago I took the training wheels off of Megan's bike and helped her learn how to ride. Not surprisingly she took to it rather quickly. She’s still got some things to learn but overall she does a really good job. I took some continuous shots of her as she rode by one day and here they finally are.


Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Megan's Softball Schedule - Updated

We finally have gotten a hold of Megan's softball schedule for the rest of the season.  There may be some additional makeup games added in here and there but for the most part this should be it.  She loves to have a fan base so if you want to enjoy some good old fashioned fun at the ballpark, pick a day and come join us at East Side Little League.

Wednesday, June 7th 5:30PM
Saturday, June 10th 12:00PM
Saturday, June 17th - 9:30AM at South Side Little League
Saturday, June 24th 4:00PM

Friday, June 30th 7:30PM

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

It's sad to think that we only set aside one day a year to recognize the greatness of mothers. This should be an ongoing everyday holiday. I am lucky to have, in my life many examples of great mothers. Our children are so blessed to have a mother who takes such great care of them and who sacrifices all to make sure they have what they need. Sweetheart, I am grateful for all that you do for our family and hop… expect you to have a great day. :-)

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Happy Belated Birthday Mom

Now don't think I forgot my Mom's birthday because I definitely did not do that, I'm just a little late in posting it to the website since her birthday was Saturday, the 6th. We celebrated with her on Friday night. Kelly made a very delicious Mexican dinner since it was Cinco de Mayo. We had tacos, chicken casadias, and taco dip. The food tasted great! Afterwards we gave Mom her combined Birthday/Mother’s Day gift, a new Canon A530 digital camera. She was very surprised and happy.



Hope you enjoyed your special day!

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Spring 2006 Semester - Finished

I just finished taking the final exam for my Introduction to Statistical Theory in Economics and Business class. At first I wasn’t too worried about the final because I had done so well throughout the semester that I didn’t “have” to have any of the points from the final to achieve the required C grade. As it got closer to the time to take the test I started feeling a little more pressure to try and exert myself a little more and shoot for something a little better than that. So then I calculated out that I needed a 39% on the final to get a B- in the class. Now after actually going and taking the test, I really hope I got at least a 57% on it so I can get a B. Calculations, didn’t I just get enough of that! Anyway now I have a whole week off before Summer Session I starts. Yippee!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

My Final Art Project

Today I presented my final art project for the semester. It is a five foot long piece that I created in Adobe Illustrator. I was a little intimidated when first reading the assignment, but it didn’t turn out too bad. For as much work as I put into this assignment, I was happy to see my professor give me an A-. That seemed to be the going grade for the semester, so that is what I expect I will see on my final grade.


I need to thank Kelly for cutting all the borders off of each individual page, and my Dad for his creative ideas and for making several attempts at getting the picture to print on one big piece of paper.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Weekend Update

Friday night we watched Chicken Little for FMN. I really enjoyed the show and the soundtrack was excellent. So excellent that I ended up buying it and downloading it on Saturday from the iTunes Music Store. I made both girls a CD and surprised them by having it in their CD players.



Saturday was a busy day. Kelly took the girls to a Primary activity in the morning. They both enjoyed that. While they were gone Kade and I went for a small bike ride, he seemed to enjoy it but his helmet was so big that every time I looked at him the helmet was covering his entire face so he couldn’t see a thing.


As soon as the girls got home we gobbled down some lunch and then Kelly dropped the girls and me off on Ivy Street and we walked over to Notre Dame Stadium for the Blue and Gold game. It was a gorgeous day with a few small rain drops here and there. I had plans of staying as long as possible figuring the girls would not make it through the whole game. We made one trip out for a snack a little bit before halftime trying to beat the crowds, which we didn’t, but other than that they were excellent. They got into cheering and they also entertained a few of the fans around us. Very early on in the game when someone got tackled Megan said, “He’s safe.” A lady sitting behind us got quite the kick out of that one. We actually stayed and watched the very last play, which happened to be the field goal that won the game for the blue team. After hurrying to get out of the stadium to beat the rush, since there was a record 41,000 people there, we stopped and looked at a booth selling ND clothing before heading for home. Our plan was to call Kelly to come back and pick us up but I asked the girls if they wanted to walk home and they excitedly said yes. Mattey got a lift for most of the way but Megan walked the whole thing. I think they were just about to break down when we got to our street and then that perked them up enough to get us home.


I grabbed another quick bite to eat and went over to help Justin with his remodeling project. I worked with him and Kelly’s Dad to redo some wiring and helped to get the room ready for drywall. Old houses sure have some interesting wiring, some of it down right scary.


Later that night I managed to stay awake for some of King Kong. Kelly and I started watching it around 9:15 and since it’s a 3+ hour movie it didn’t get done until quite late. That was just way too long of a movie. They really needed to cut some of that out.



Sunday, the kids and I went to church while Kelly was able to get a little more rest.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I Survived the Hospital

What a week I've had, well Mickey and the kids too.  Last Tuseday night we went to a friends house for a little get together.  On the way there I noticed that I was starting to get heartburn.  Great.  On the way home, a few hours later, it was really starting to hurt through to my back.  The thought of taking some Tums made me nauseated.  I tried drinking as much water as I could to try to dilute the acid in my stomach but it wasn't helping.  I tried going to bed but I was really in pain.  Needless to say I finally tossed my cookies, a few times, in the wee hours of the morning and my pain was even worse.  I couldn't get comfortable to sleep.  I tried laying on a heating pad for my back pain.  The pain started getting better around 4 am so I could finally get some sleep.  Mickey was wonderful and stayed home from work so he could get the girls to school.  He took Kade to work with him for a meeting.  I slept most of the morning, tossing and turning.  The pain never went away like I thought it would.  Around 3 in the afternoon I had Mickey call our doctor's office to see if I could get in.  Well, I've never been a patient at our new doctor's yet so I couldn't get an appointment.  Remind me I need to see him sometime.  Anyway, I said let's go to the ER.  Not that I really wanted to go there but I wasn't feeling better and I was white as a ghost.  We waited 2 hours before getting a bed.  I had an ultrasound on my belly.  They found some stones in my gall bladder.  To make a long story short, I was admitted on Wednesday, had my gall bladder removed on Thursday, and I was home again on Friday.  The gall bladder was about twice the size as if should have been.  So I guess it really needed to come out.  Althought the surgery went well and I'm recovering nicely, I DO NOT recommend a hospital stay to anyone.  The communication was awful and I didn't get much help.  Thankfully I'm independant and didn't have much pain after surgery.  I'm happy to be home again.  Thanks to Mickey for picking up my slack.  I feel so lazy as I lay around and he is doing housework and taking care of the kids.  Thanks also to our parents for their help with the kids.  It would have been very difficult without you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Weekend Update

I’ve missed a few weekend updates lately so I figured I better get back on the horse and give a quick update. Friday I took the day off of work since it was the last day of Spring Break for the girls. Originally we had planned to go to the zoo but the weather didn’t look like it was going to cooperate so Kelly took the kids on Wednesday and we decided to take the kids to see Curious George. What a mistake! Kaden is not very entertained by the big screen (or the little screen either), which is good unless you want to watch something. Needless to say he and I quickly left the girls alone in the theater while we wandered around Target wasting time. Later that night we sat down and actually had Family Movie Night and watched the Chronicles of Narnia.

Saturday morning Megan and I went to church to help clean the building. This was the second week we had done this and she is such a good helper. She enjoys certain jobs, even getting a little upset when someone else cleaned the kitchen. To reward her willingness to help, I took her to Crispy Crème for a donut.


Did I ever mention that I think Kohl’s is evil? They send out these great coupons with percentages off to get you to come into their store. Then when you get there they already have “huge” sale prices and you end up spending a fortune because you can’t pass up the great deals. Really you do get some great deals but be prepared when the cashier rings up the total, it might hurt. Anyway Saturday night was another clothes shopping spree for the girls. They got some really cute outfits. We also split up and conquered the grocery shopping. The girls and I went to Walmart and Target, while Kelly and Kaden shopped at Meijer. It worked out pretty well, thank goodness for cell phones.



Sunday we had church, where I really feel like my job is to monitor the hallways. Except for sacrament, I don’t think I ever get to sit and listen. Kaden is so into wandering around right now, he doesn’t like to sit still. We looked like a mess by the time we left because he bit his tongue and ended up getting blood spots on his, mine, and Kelly’s white shirt.


We finally had a birthday party for Kaden on Sunday afternoon. It was a simple last minute get together at Nana and Papa’s house, with cake and ice cream. Everyone enjoyed watching the kids play around and looking at Kelly’s great scrap booking skills. There were also quite a few compliments on the cake, not that surprising since I think my wife makes the best cakes.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Completely Useless Trivia

Here's a bit of information that is sure to win you points with all your friends. At a little after one o'clock today the time and date could be written as, 01:02:03 04/05/06. This will happen twice today if you don’t use a 24 hour clock.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Kade is One!

I've posted pictures of Kade's birthday.  On his birthday he opened a few presents from us and then dove into his cake.  He didn't get as messy as I thought he would.  Maybe he doesn't like strawberry cake.  On Friday we went to Build-A-Bear so he could pick out a new friend.  It took him a while to pick something out.  He kept looking at everything else going on.  He finally picked the giraffe.  The girls got to pick out new clothes or accessories for their animal friends.  We struggled to name the giraffe and then left the store.  Kade hugged his friend all the way home.  How cute.  When we got home I thought of the perfect name, of course that didn't happen when we were at the computer filling out the birth certificate.  Oh well, the giraffe will be known as "Stretch".  Kind of fitting since we used to call Kade that many, many months ago.  I hope Kade's second year goes a little slower.  I'm sure it won't since he is always learning to do new things and getting into all kinds of trouble.  His latest tricks are putting things in the toilet, like Mattey's pajamas, and finding trash, left by his sisters, and wanting to put it in the trash.  Maybe I'll have one kid that likes to clean.  That would be nice.  Happy Birthday Kaden Andrew!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday Kaden!

It’s hard to imagine that Kaden was born a year ago today. The time has gone by so fast and except for a few months he never really seemed like a baby.

First birthdays are exciting times, but also kind of tough because the individual celebrating doesn’t really get into all the hoopla. I guess that is supplemented by older siblings who get extremely excited for his birthday. Megan said last night that she wouldn’t be able to sleep because tomorrow is Kade’s birthday and Mattey and Megan both have been counting down to his birthday for the past week. One of the most exciting things is that Kade can now sit in his car seat facing forward; Kelly actually went out to the van last night and changed that around so he’ll get to take his first forward facing ride while taking Mattey to her field trip today.


Happy Birthday Little Man!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Amanda

We had the opportunity to celebrate with Amanda last week, but today is the actual day so I wanted to wish her a Happy 21st Birthday.  I hope you enjoyed your special day!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Slime City

Friday Megan didn't have school so we needed something fun to do.  I had watched Martha earlier in the week and she had made slime.  I thought that looked like something the girls would like to do.  So we did it.  It's just a little glue, water, food coloring, and the important ingredient, borax soap.  Megan made hers green and Mattey's is purple.  They had fun playing with it.  They held it in their hand and it would ooze out.  Mickey came home from work and had to make some.  I did too.  Sadly Kade is too little to play with it since you can't eat it.  Check out the pictures in the gallery.  Have fun if you decide to make some too.  Watch out it gets everywhere!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Weekend Update

Friday night Kelly took Mattey to a birthday party for a friend at her preschool. It was a pretend sleepover so she got to wear her pajamas which are probably her favorite thing to wear. She ate pizza and cake, played games, watched a movie and made a craft. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the rest of us had pizza with Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Amanda (who flew in for the weekend), and Bridget. We also had a craft as Megan instructed everyone on making shamrocks out of green paper using a heart shaped cookie cutter for a pattern. She was quite the leader.


Saturday morning I repaired the water softener which had sprung a small leak that I noticed too late last Saturday to work on. I was able to go out and buy a new o-ring and make the repair surprisingly easily except for one small detail. When taking the bypass value off I broke one of these small plastic clips that help hold it on. I checked three different stores before realizing the only place to get this was online from Sears. Luckily I was able to rig the thing together while we wait for the $2.49 part to get here. That is bad enough for this little two inch diameter piece of plastic, but then tack on the $5.99 shipping and I about lost it. Throw it in an envelope with a stamp and send it my way. Good grief!


Later that day we went over to Aunt Jan’s house to celebrate Amanda’s upcoming birthday. We had some good food, which I ate way too much of and enjoyed some time with the family. Mattey was quite the photographer while Amanda was opening her gifts. She takes some really good pictures. The kids really love it at their place, because it’s so roomy with many places to play. We were able to sneak in a couple of games of pool which is always a good thing.


Sunday was pretty laid back. We went to church and hung out around the house for the rest of the day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

More Pictures

I just posted some late Valentine pictures.  I wanted to take more pictures of that day but I needed another hand.  I did Mattey's school party and I was doing too much to take pictures so there aren't any from the party.  I will say it was a sucess.  The kids played "HEART" bingo, had cupcakes and cookies, played games, and then I read them a story.  Kade went along and he was really good.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

An Irish Celebration

Mattey had her St. Patrick's Day party today since she doesn't have school on Friday.  She was dressed in green from neck to toe.  She was really cute, green is a great color for her.  Kade and I got done really quickly at the doctor's office this morning (His ears are finally good.) and had visited Mickey at work but still had some time left before Mattey would get out of school.  So we went in to peek at the party.  I was just in time to take some pictures of her eating her snack.  They had fruit on a stick with green dip.  There were green and gold jello jigglers.  And magic milk.  It started out white but when it was poured into the cup it turned green!  The kids got a kick out of that.  Mattey was surprised to see us.  When we got home she told me all about her day.  The Leprechaun came and made a mess of the room but left gold coins for everyone.  "It was a disaster!  The chairs were on the table, the numbers were up-side down, the room was a mess."  Mat couldn't wait to dig in her goodie bag.  She did have some lunch before eating most of the candy.  She is so sweet, she even shared two chocolate coins with her sister.  I think she had a good time.  Thanks to the moms and teachers that put on the party.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Weekend Update

This week’s feature film, for Friday night’s Family Movie night, was Yours, Mine & Ours. This is a remake of a 1968 movie that originally starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. It was a good movie and for once I actually stayed awake for the whole thing.

Saturday morning I cleaned out the “dark room” as the girls call it. It’s actually the furnace room in the basement. I purged a lot of empty boxes and other stuff. It felt good. After lunch I took the girls outside to play in the gorgeous weather. I washed the van and the car while the girls played with some relatives who were visiting our neighbor. Megan really enjoyed playing with Kelley, an 8 year-old girl who was great at gymnastics. She was flipping all over our yard. Kelly took advantage of the nice weather by transplanting some flowers and Kade enjoyed just being outside. Later that night Kelly and I watched Walk the Line, the story of Johnny Cash’s life. I was not that impressed and wished I would have fallen asleep instead of keeping myself up to watch.


Sunday morning we attended church where Kelly ran the whole show in primary. Besides doing her normal assignments she also taught the kids music. She was a one-woman show. After church we rested for a little while before taking dinner to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We took salad and a Papa Murphy’s pizza. We haven’t been to their house in quite a while and it was nice to visit with them. My Grandpa was especially thankful for us bringing the food as he thanked me a couple of times. Afterwards my Grandma told my Mom that she was tired just watching us chase Kaden around. He loved the fact that they had electronic equipment (tv, cable box, dvd player) right at his level.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

A Pleasant Surprise

I was very concerned when my economics professor told us that we would be having a test the day after we came back from Spring break. The week off would be nice, but my memory is already bad enough without a week off. I was very worried that I would forget all the things that I had learned, so worried in fact that I actually attended a study session the night before the test. I don’t think I’ve ever attended a study session. Anyway I took the test on Tuesday and I left class feeling like I had really bombed the test, so imagine the shocked look on my face when the professor handed me back my test with a score of 90 out of 100. I almost got up and did a little happy dance right in the middle of class.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Show & Tell

Today Mattey had show & tell and she was supposed to bring in something that starts with the letter M.  She told Mrs. Wright that she was going to bring herself in her bag for show & tell.  I thought that was pretty smart and cute.  Mattey couldn't decide what she wanted to take.  She thought about taking me, Mom, but I wouldn't fit in her bag and I would have to bring Kade.  So she decided to take something that was about herself.  This is a page I did about her.  I loved the picture of Mat and had to make a cute page with it.


New Pictures

I finally put a few pictures together of what Kade's been doing lately and added them to the gallery.  He turned 11 months already.  I'm not ready for him to be one yet.  There is a variety of things that this boy has been up to.  He is still pretty good and seems to be getting over his ear infections.  But he has taken a lesson from his sisters.  He has been screaming and getting into all kinds of things.  He loves to walk.  He wanders all over the house just checking things out.  His favorite places to explore are the girls' rooms because they always have something interesting that they left out.  Maybe someday it will teach them to put their things away, probably not until Kade can open their bedroom doors.  He's already trying to do that.

Monday, March 6, 2006

The Weekend Update

Friday night we watched Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed for Family Movie Night. Kelly had picked this movie up a while ago when it was cheap and we finally broke it open to watch. We had rented it a while ago and couldn’t remember if it was an appropriate movie to let the girls watch over and over again. Needless to say they watched it again on Saturday morning. They probably would have watched it again on Sunday after church if Megan hadn’t lost her TV privileges for the weekend after a little attitude episode on Saturday morning.


Saturday morning Kelly and I cleaned out our room while the girls watched the movie, well I cleaned up my dresser top and Kelly cleaned out a couple of drawers and a bench. We took the bench downstairs and it really opened up our bedroom. I also spent some time working on homework, thanks to a teacher who assigned homework and scheduled a test for the day we come back from spring break. I tried to spend a little time during the week working on it but I really wanted to enjoy spring break and completely forget about school. The girls and I attended the baptism for one of Megan’s friends. It gave me a chance to explain some of the things that were going on to Megan, since it will only be six more months until she gets baptized. Kelly made Chicken Parmesan for dinner.



We went to church, where I received a new calling (a chance to serve). I am going to be the Ward Facilities Representative. I will be going every first Saturday to make sure people know what needs to be cleaned, set up the projector for any special events, and also help to maintain the temperature on Sundays. We were going to try and go visit my Grandparents after church but I had a horrible headache and ended up lying down for a while. After dinner we played a couple of games of Uno (Kelly’s not allowed to play anymore) before putting the girls in bed.


We’re glad that Amanda is doing ok after being in a car accident yesterday. She said the road quickly became slippery and they spun out before the car ended up off the road on its side. What a blessing that she only suffered a few scrapes and a cut on her finger. Did you get any more sympathy hugs from the guys yet? :-)

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Weekend Update

Friday night we (well most of us – I caught a little cat nap) watched Kermit’s Swamp Years for family movie night.

Saturday Kelly spent a good portion of the morning pulling chicken breasts apart so she could make her famous chicken rice burritos. We spent the evening at Kelly’s parents house, celebrating their anniversary with a Mexican themed family dinner. One of the highlights of the night had to be Kaden screaming at Uncle B when he got too close to him. It was quite funny to us but probably scary to Kaden. We got Kaden a new antibiotic to help with his ear infection because he refused to take the other one. Seems funny to say that an infant can refuse anything, but if he didn’t spit it out while we were giving it to him he threw it up right after pretending to take it.



We all attended church although Kade and I didn’t do much but wander the halls during the 2nd and 3rd hour. He just wanted to be held or play in the water at the drinking fountain. My parents came over in the afternoon and we spent some time visiting with them, well the girls spent a lot of time climbing all over Grandpa. Kaden starting getting a diaper rash on Saturday that started getting worse on Sunday. I feel bad for the little guy.


Can we get a weekend where no one is sick, please?

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Weekend Update

Friday night we attended an "It's Great to be Eight" party for Megan. This party is for kids who will be turning eight in the current year and gives the kids an opportunity to hear from a few people at our church about their upcoming baptism. It was a pot luck dinner and then three very short talks. Megan was a little too antsy and loud for my liking during the talks but I guess she is only seven and sometimes I expect a little too much from her. Kaden and Mattey stayed with Nana and Papa while we were away. It seemed strange while we were driving in the car to realize that it had been almost 5 years since Kelly and I went somewhere alone with Megan. How time flies!

Saturday morning we attended a theatrical production (and I use that term loosely) of the Ugly Duckling at IUSB. I had seen the advertisement for it while I was in class and thought it would something different that we could do as a family. It was enjoyable and best of all short (only lasting about 45 minutes). Megan said she liked it but she got quite restless after about 15 minutes so I know it wasn't that gripping. Mattey seemed to like it and Kade, well he and Kelly spent a lot of time NOT in their seats. Not really surprising. Saturday night ended in a foul way. Megan mentioned that her stomach hurt and the next thing you know she lost a large portion of what was in her, all over the floor. Poor thing! She quickly fell asleep after that while I was left to a night of carpet scrubbing. Not exactly what I had planned but just one of those wonderful blessings of being a parent.


Sunday Megan, Kaden and I stayed home while Kelly and Mattey went to church. Megan was scheduled to give a talk in Primary so Mattey pinch hit for her. Way to go Mattey! By the end of the day Megan seemed to be fine. She had a hot dog (not my first choice but she kept it down) and then a PB&J later before bed.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

First Art Project Added to the Photo Gallery

I've finally added my first Computer Art & Design homework assignment to the photo gallery.  The assignment was to "create a computer image based on the culture of South Bend."  Creatively I struggled with this one for a while before finally coming up with the final design.




The background for this picture is from a picture I took of the St. Joe River from the bridge behind my work.  That picture itself turned out really nice.  I also drove around and captured a few other pictures, like the orange structure that sits outside of Century Center, the Morris, and the Golden Dome (with Meg's help).  Some of the other pictures came from Kelly and her trips to the zoo and some are pictures collected from the Internet.  All in all I think this turned out pretty good.


Stay tuned for other priceless works of art.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day today. I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to share my love with my best friend and with our children. My life is blessed everyday by all the things that my wonderful wife does for our family.

Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetheart and Kids!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It Won't Be Long Now

Last night I was helping Kaden with learning how to walk.  He just had that look to me like he was ready to go.  Before the night was through he was taking 4 to 5 steps at a time and looking like he knew what he was doing, most of the time.  I don't know if we are ready for him to be running around after his Sisters, but it doesn't look like we will have to wait long to find out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why Geeks Make the Best Dads

As soon as I saw this headline I knew it had to be posted on this site.  Number 1,2, 7, and 8 are so true in our family.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Smoked Out

This is exciting news to me.  How many times have you gone to a restaurant, requested a non-smoking area only to be seated a few feet away from the smoking area?  Or just been in a non-smoking area and still had that awful smell creep into your nose while you are trying to enjoy a meal?  Hopefully this will bring this to an end.  Now if they can just ban these people from smoking right outside the door that I have to come in and out of.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gloomy Winter Day

As I walked through the rain to my first class this morning I realized how odd our weather has been this winter.  I caught a glimpse of the 7-day temperature outlook and the predictions were all above normal.  We seem to have been spared a lot of the precipitation of the cold type.  We have had rain but really not a lot of snow.  I get the feeling that we may be in for a bad February and March.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Spring 2006 Semester at IUSB

This semester I am again attempting to juggle two classes while trying to maintain some sanity.  The two classes I am taking this semester are Introduction to Statistical Theory in Economics and Business and Computer Art and Design I.  I was a little concerned yesterday when the professor in my economics course said that this class requires 6-9 hours a week of outside class work.  Yikes!  Hopefully that won't be the case.

Monday, January 9, 2006

New Pictures and Glasses?

There are new pictures in the gallery, the rest of Christmas and of Megan getting glasses.  She went to the doctor last month and was told that she needed to see an eye doctor.  She had an exam last week and then picked out the frames she wanted.  She was upset that she couldn't take them home that day.  The office said it would take 2 weeks.  That's a lot of waiting for a 7 year old.  We got a call 4 days later saying the glasses were in.  Meg was thrilled.  She was happy that she could have them for her first day back to school.  Megan looks really cute in her glasses.  She likes to wear them now but I'm sure the novelty will wear off and then she'll be like the rest of us and wish she didn't have to wear them.

Are you a Lurker?

I so am!  I was out lurking this morning when I came across this post.  It made me think how much I enjoy reading the comments that are posted on this site.  It also brought to my attention that I should be more willing to share my comments with others.

So take the advice of another site and "Don't be a stranger" or "Would it kill ya to comment?"

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Kade is 9 Months!

The time sure has gone fast.  Kade turned 9 months on December 29th.  I know I'm a little late in posting this.  He went to the doctor on the 28th.  He was 21.5 pounds and 30 inches tall.  I was surprised to see that he didn't even put on a whole pound in three months.  He did stretch out 1 3/4 inches.  I'm glad he is slowing down a little, he's so heavy.  Kade is really fun, although his red hair is coming through.  He is starting to throw fits about not getting his way.  They end quickly, thank goodness.  Kaden is walking around the house, I mean the perimeter of rooms.  He is on the verge of walking any day now.  He took two steps yesterday but I'm sure he didn't realize it.  Today he was playing peek-a-boo all by himself.  He is sleeping better at night, waking up twice but going back to sleep without having any milk.  Kade likes playing with the cars and trucks that he got for Christmas.  He's always finding something to sample from the floor but doesn't have much interest in real food.  I've posted a few pictures of him.

Friday, January 6, 2006

Some Christmas Pictures

I have just posted two albums in the gallery from Christmas Eve.  It's been hard getting this stuff done with everyone being sick lately.  I will continue to work on the other Christmas pictures since we have about 300 of them.  I won't show all of them.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

A Visit With Santa's Helper

On Friday the 23rd we picked Megan up from school and went over to the mall to take the kids to see Santa's helper.  Even though it was the day before Christmas Eve we thought we would beat the rush by going straight from school.  Well we must not have been as quick or as smart as we thought because we had to wait in line for about 45 minutes for our turn to see Santa.  It seemed like it was going to be a successful trip as Kaden and Mattey sat on his lap and Megan knelt in front for what looked like a pretty good picture.  We waited for them to print our picture and then the visit took a trip for the worse.  Megan was quite blurry in the picture so they said we would have to retake it.  We had to wait while other people were having their turn and then when it was our turn Kaden started screaming the minute we tried to sit him on Santa's lap.  Needless to say we ended up not buying any of their pictures, but we lucked out because I was able to capture a good shot.  I also got one with Kaden not so happy.