Friday, October 9, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Today the girls and I saw them coming out of the woods and watched from the kitchen windows. A few of them chased each other - fun to watch such a big bird run so fast and stretch out their legs! They gathered for a while by some bushes at the edge of the woods to eat some berries. As they needed to get to the higher ones they would jump and grab them with their beaks...a group of hopping turkeys - we all had a good laugh at that sight!!
Friday, September 18, 2009
I figured the girls would peek around the garage, get excited and scare the turkeys off as soon as they started running out in the back yard. But, as I watched from the kitchen window, I saw Rae and Jo calmly walking out toward the birds, and the turkeys just kept pecking at the ground, not taking much notice. The mom turkey was the first to get a little nervous and rounded her babies up and headed for the woods. The other two just kept eating. Rae and Jo got about 15 yards to them before the two big birds took off running. But then, none of the turkeys could decide where they wanted to go into the woods, so there was a couple of minutes of Rae and Jo chasing the whole group of Turkeys back and forth across the yard. They got to within 10 yards at one point!!
The flock finally scooted into the woods, and left the girls alone in the yard peering in after them. Rae and Jo were very excited about the encounter, although Jo was apparently disappointed that she wasn't able to pick up and hold one of the babies!!
Gratitude - I am grateful that our children are able to experience and interact with nature on a daily basis.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Side Note: I'm listening to a book on CD, Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku - highly recommended if you are interested in what kinds of concepts and possibilities physics is currently tackling. He does a great job explaining extremely advanced concepts in a way that can be easily understood without years and years of graduate school.
Gratitude - I am grateful for the perfect home we are creating and finding ourselves to be in. The house is amazing, the town is great and full of friendly people, neighbors, wildlife...everything is surrounding us with wonderful energy!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I was at the new Seymour house for a building inspection this morning. There was a couple of things that came up that we wrote an amendment to our contract to have the sellers handle before closing. By this evening we heard that they have already signed the amendment and have appointments booked with the appropriate contractors to have the issues fixed. Then there was just a small list of minor maintenance and electrical things that I can easily do once we're moved in.
We have our loan in place and commitment letter ready to roll. So after a couple more days to finish the kitchen project, we stay busy with some packing because all we have to do is eagerly wait for paper-signing and moving day!!
Jen's sister, Erin, and Derek were up Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. They were celebrating their dating anniversary, and helped us play with the kids. Saturday afternoon, Zoe came up to play, and help us watch the extra kids the rest of the weekend! The weather was a little cool and windy for much swimming, but we had lots of beach time and paddle boat rides. Derek and I even took a little time to get the sailboat in the water and make our way across the lake a couple of times. Another fun weekend at the cottage with lots of young energy and fun company!!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I'm staying happy through the late hours though, as all is going very smooth with the selling & buying details for both houses. As of now we're still set to close on the sale of our Omro House August 21st, and close on the purchase of the Seymour House on August 27th.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
6 ACRES BACKING ONTO WOODED FOREST! *Amazing Grand Foyer *Oversized Great Room Offers Floor to Ceiling Brick Fireplace & Gleaming Hardwood Floor *Totally Remodeled, Fully Applianced, Chef’s Kitchen Accented by Gleaming Hardwood Floor, Custom Raised Panel Maple Cabinets, Porcelain Tile, Granite Countertops & Center Island *French Doors Off Dining Area Lead to Maintenance Free Deck, Overlooks Scenic Back Yard & Private Pond - Spring Fed: Walleye, Bluegill & up to 20’ Deep *Main Level Den Could Easily be Converted to Formal Dining *Master Bedroom with Trey Ceiling, Huge Walk-In Closet & Full Bath with Dual Sinks & Ceramic Tile *1st Floor Laundry Includes Washer & Dryer *Finished Lower Level Features Family Room, Rec & Exercise Rooms *2 Stall Attached Garage + 2.5 Stall, Heated & Insulated Detached Garage *Convenient Storage Shed with Overhead Door *Maintenance Free Brick & Vinyl Exterior *Beautifully Landscaped Plus Fruit Trees (Apple) & Grape Vines *Loads of Wildlife: Deer, Turkey & Birds
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
But, our big news right now is with our house. We had two offers come in over the weekend. The first was a little low, but we accepted the second one that was for a $1000 over the asking price!! Their house inspector comes through this Friday, and we can relax until the closing on August 21st.
The realtor selling the house we wanted, managed to sell it himself from under us, so we're back to finding a new plan for our next dream house. There are a couple of places we're taking a look at this week, and can still put in a secondary offer on our original choice. It'll be fun to see how the Universe lays this one out for us!
And of course, we're anxiously awaiting our new niece...although I'm sure she's not coming until Monday ;)
Monday, April 27, 2009
Big, big, big news - We're getting ready to move! We are working around the clock to get our house finished so we can put it on the market. We've found our dream house we plan on living in the rest of our lives...it has EVERYTHING we want and have asked for...perfect location, lots of room, some land, excellent school district.... So, we have to get our house done and up for sale, so we can put in an offer contingent on the sale of our house. We ask that everyone help us by asking the universe for help and cooperation with this big dream for our family!!
We celebrated Rae's birthday with Easter this year and it was wonderful! She is getting old enough to understand everything that goes along with the celebration and had tons of fun! Still working on the new caramel room in my mom's basement whenever we're there with a little time. We've attended a few big rank testings for karate...two black belts and a purple belt...all did excellent and were an honor to be invited by their senseis. We had another poker party with our students, that Jen won! My grandma moved from her house that she's lived in for over 55 years this past weekend. I was planning on helping, but ended up with the kids and spent most of the time trying to keep them out of the way of the other movers :) Our sister-in-law, Jen, is due with their second child in under 3 weeks...so, we're all in the excited, on-call mode for the big news. Our other sister-in-law, Pam is due with their first in about two months, and Jen is excited about going out to MN for the baby shower soon!
Thanks to all of you that have been helping and dealing with our scattered nature lately. Once this house thing calms down we'll be able to plan and organize a little better again ;)
Well, kids are waking up and we still have lots to do before Jen gets home from work...I'll get more details and pics out soon!!
Monday, April 13, 2009
When Zak called me, he was filled with so much joy, it was unmistakable and brought me right back to the moments when my daughters were born...nothing like it, nothing even close. It was love, hope, joy, unity and peace so utterly encompassing...for me, my wife and our marriage, our new child, and all the family and friends close to us.
I could feel the same vibrations coming from Zak over the phone this weekend! What a wonderful time! Congratulations Zak and Carrie, and welcome to parenthood!! We can't wait to meet Larissa!!!
Gratitude - I am grateful for children, mine and all the others around the world. They are a true expression of love, hope & joy!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Side note - I discovered a new favorite wine, Sweet Bitch Merlot. It has the taste of a merlot, but is sweeter than a usual merlot...perfect combination for those of us not excited about the dry, dry wines!
Gratitude - I am grateful for the wonderful Spring weather we've been having. Life, rebirth, and renewal seem to fill every breath of fresh air. Rae and Jo can't get enough of outside play time!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The first is watching how someone reacts when they are pushed to the edge and mentally "snap". I've always been a little curious as to how I would react in a situation like that. There are several movies where a man looses his wife/love/children...that might make me loose it too. I don't really plan on ever snapping, so there is little worry about me becoming a demon barber :)
The second aspect of the movie that sucked me in was karma. There are lots of examples in the movie about negative actions bringing negative consequences on yourself. There are also some examples of positive karmic relationships - you just have to look a little harder in this dark movie.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Saturday we left the girls with Mom and Karen, and headed to Rhinelander for a martial arts seminar. We had a great workout and reconnected with many friends that we haven't seen since last summer. Lots of sweat and lots of bruises...AWESOME! We had time to go out for a quick beer and some conversation before heading back to Green Bay and the girls.
We stayed in town for another night. Saturday night and Sunday morning we got to play with all four girls, and put the trim put up in Mom's new office. That room is all done...and doesn't look half bad! The caramel corn room is coming along well too. The drywall is all done and Mom has it all painted...looks nice with some color! We still have to hook up the outlets, build some cabinets, hang four doors, put in a sink and trim...little by little...
Sunday afternoon we headed to Darboy and dropped the girls off with Pauline. We had dinner plans with friends of ours, Bob and Noel. It was great to catch up and share stories with each other! We tried out a new restaurant, Solea, in Neenah. Very good atmosphere, good margaritas, and decent food. Then it was back to get the girls and head home.
What a great weekend...lots of family, lots of friends, lots of fun!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become even broader. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).
I've only had time to watch a handful of the talks, but I've already been blown away. Here are a couple examples from the 2009 conference just last month in California.
Willie Smits talked about how he and a team regrew a rainforest in a most difficult location. Not only did he dramatically help the orangutans, his original goal, but changed climate, fostered immense species diversity, and helped stabilize a region of people socially and economically. It was unreal what he has accomplished and his knowledge from so many vastly different spectrums needed for this project is stunning.
Elizabeth Gilbert talked about genius in a most novel way for our generation. She talked about the history of genius and how each of us can tap into the Genius in us...or more precisely "out" of us. Awesome perspective!
Eric Lewis played the piano with an astonishing and unique style. I don't know much about music, but I was blown away! He was outstanding on so many levels...talent, passion, emotion, focus, expression... You have to see it!!
David Merrill talked about and demonstrated Siftables. These are tiny computers the size of building blocks that interact with each other and in their own spacial orientation. I don't even know where to begin in how to describe them...you just have to see it yourself. Physical interaction with technology is his focus...WOW!!
I can't believe I haven't heard of this before this year. TED is an amazing resource for all of us to connect, and more people need to know about this and spread the ideas!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Miss Megan said she did great with all the games they played, and there are no developmental concerns. All the sounds she struggles with or doesn't say yet are normal for her age, and all her skills are right on track. Rae seemed to have lots of fun!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I got to watch the end of the Amgen Tour of California. It was a great race all week. Levi showed he was definitely the strongest rider and won the overall for the 3rd year in a row! Lance rode extremely strong, and along with the rest of Astana, gave Levi great support throughout. Two major U.S. teams, Columbia High-Road and Garmin-Slipstream, showed they have strong teams as well...Zabriski taking 2nd overall, and Cavendish wining the sprinting title. What a great start to the cycling season!!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Last weekend Jen and I went out to Nordic with some of our students. This time around, I was more than happy to listen to Jen's instruction and advice on how not to kill myself while learning to do this. This turned out to be a much easier day! We started on a nice easy slope at the bottom of a run for a couple passes. A few good pointers from Jen and I was starting to get the feel of it, so we were off to the chair lift and bigger hills. I was told horror story after horror story about chair lifts with the snowboard...but they turned out to be not so bad.
I stuck to the easier runs throughout the day...greens and blues. Lots of minor falls and one impressive hard tumble. Jen saw that one from farther up the hill. I didn't quite make a turn so I picked up quite a bit of speed, then caught an edge... Jen said I was horizontal four feet in the air and came down flat on my back...well mostly my backside. I had to lay there for a minute and make sure everything was intact, but the pain wore off fast...most of it anyway.
We had a great day and lots of fun on the hill. I'm addicted and can't wait to get out again! It's such a fun feeling I can see it getting more and more exciting as I get better.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Here's a good artical for an overview of what a big deal this race is!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I did this a year ago for about 6 months and it felt great - my energy was higher and steadier, my mood didn't fluctuate as much, less frustration/more patience, and best of all my sleep was super restful. I gradually slipped out of it when my triathlon training picked up. I would have a high sugar drink (like Gatorade) during and after a workout to replace the blood-glucose levels that are depleted during long, high intensity sessions. This allowance started to slip into other areas, and by the time the holidays came around I was back to eating deserts, snacks, whatever... And lately I've found myself drinking way too much diet soda.
So, yesterday I cut myself off. I haven't had any bad cravings yet, and I slept much better last night. I almost always sleep all night, but with this diet change I wake up way more refreshed and rested! Last time I did this, any cravings disappeared after the first couple of weeks. I've learned to stay proactive with eating. I eat a lot of healthy snacks between meals...cereal, eggs, peanut butter toast, fruit... The soda drinking was more habit than anything else, so it's easy enough for me to grab water instead. Or, if I want something flavored I brew some fresh tea.
It's easy for me to become complaisant with my diet, since my weight doesn't fluctuate. I've always stayed between 160 - 165 no matter what I ate. So, I stay focused on the better energy I have...and I like the discipline and structure of it. It presents lots of small challenges and many successes, giving me lots of intrinsic rewards...yay for me!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Clint Eastwood's new movie, Gran Torino, lived up to the reviews. Lots of good lessons and perspectives on life, interaction, and growth. What it means to be a good person can come in many forms. The acting was a little rough around the edges, and the camera work wasn't the smoothest either...but, those things seemed to keep me in a position to think about what was happening with the issues/lessons during the movie. It's something that would have irked me in a lot of movies, but was a really good fit for this one.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The cottage is in good shape...everything worked the same as always. I had a little difficulty getting the pump to prime, but it didn't turn out to be anything major. We started all the snowmobiles and took some short rides around the yard and out on the lake a little. Confirmed that my sled has serious problems...it overheated on a ride last year and has been sitting in the garage ever since...it started, but made some sounds that don't usually come from engines and then refused to stay running. I'll have to haul it down sometime and see if my cousin can take a look at it.
The two kids, by myself...wow that can be pretty exhausting! I'm use to watching them during the days when Jen is working, and the days and night went really good up there too. But, trying to clean everything up to leave, and keep them entertained with something, but they still come up to you every 2 minutes for help with something, but not let them pull a bunch of stuff out again that will make another mess, and time it so they'll take a nap on the way home, but not so they are so tired that they're impossibly crabby...wow it's a lot! It brings new levels of love and admiration for my Mom, and parents everywhere!! They slept all the way home (yay!!), and we got back to Omro with just enough time to grab a quick supper and run to karate class. They loved their Mommy time, and were a little crabby having to be away from her with the babysitter for the karate hour. Now both girls are sleeping ANGELS in their beds :)
Jen got to relax with a couple of movies and she still found time to change around our bedroom layout and reorganize. It has a fresh new look, plus I can find stuff again!!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Both girls are doing great! They are both talking more and more, and running around/getting into everything. It is unreal how smart they are and their level of comprehension. We've been enjoying the snow this winter, bringing the girls out to sled on the local hills. I usually wear out before they do...they'd play in the snow and ride the sled all afternoon. But, they're usually excited about hot chocolate when we go back inside! Rae just tried her first computer game this last weekend. She learned the mouse control and clicking super fast and, in just a couple of days, is already mastering the beginning levels of her game.
We have a new group of kids in our karate class this year. Bryanna and Faith are daughters of our yellow belts, Gary & Sarah, and a couple of local Omro boys, Matt & Jared...both about 10 years old. It's a lot of fun for Jen and I to be challenged in our teaching to keep the kids interested and still learn the serious aspects of our style. It brings some more young playful energy to the dojo! Our student list now is: Avery & Sieg (blue); Sarah, Gary & TJ (yellow), Will & Dave (white); and Brianna, Faith, Matt & Jared (newbies).
Jen has stayed busy with work, and continues to impress people throughout ThedaCare. With the layoffs everywhere, we are both very grateful for the security she has at work. I've picked up a couple more regular massage clients, and am excited to keep growing my business.
We have a couple of fun things coming up. I'm thinking about taking Rae & Joeli up to the cottage for a couple of days this week. It should be fun for them to see everything up there in the winter with snow! For Valentine's weekend, my mom is taking the girls all weekend (I think up North?). So, Jen and I are excited to have adult play time...a snowboarding day with our karate group and a poker tourney. The local theater group, Rebel Alliance Theater, is opening it's new show that weekend, so we might catch a performance too.
I'll end today with a request...A fellow black belt and close friend of ours, Phil Vanden Heuvel, was in a serious snowmobile accident a few weeks back. He is going through some intense recovery, healing, and therapy. Please include him in your thoughts, energy, and prayers.