Friday, October 9, 2009

Karen's Birthday

We visited Jean & Karen on Wednesday to celebrate Grandma Karen's birthday. She made an excellent chicken/white bean chili and all sorts of sides to go with it - great food as always!! We stayed and let all the girls play for the evening. They all get so excited together; it's so much fun to watch and join in with!!

Grandma has a helper
I'm so cute!
So Happy
I am one with the flower...
I can fly!
Group Hug

Monday, October 5, 2009

TJ's Cross Country Meet

Our karate student, TJ, had a cross country meet at Kimberly HS last weekend. Jen and I went with his mom, Kandi, to cheer him on. Here is a link to some pictures posted on our karate blog:

Cottage Visit

We were up at the cottage last weekend. The grandmas babysat Rae & Joeli so Jen and I could go out to dinner for our anniversary. We went to The Woods - EXCELLENT food, highly recommended!! Aaron was up with his girls, Serenity and Adriana, visiting Jean and Karen also. Rae & Jo were so excited to play with them!! On Sunday we got a start to the winterizing of our cottage - we hooked up the inside winter pump. We'll be back up next weekend for a couple of days and will probably disconnect and drain the main water system.

Gratitude - I am grateful to have a family that plays and laughs, and inspires me to do the same.

First Frost

Last Thursday I woke up on our anniversary to a beautifully frost-covered back yard. I had just mowed the lawn the day before and frost highlighted the circle pattern.

Gratitude - I am grateful for the awesome beauty nature provides.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I got Jen (us) a new camera for our aniversary. So, we will be starting to share pictures on this blog on a regular basis again! ...I know most of you (Pam) just want to see pictures of the kids anyway. Here are some pics from yesterday's birthday party for our nephew, Chase. We went to the Greenville Zoo and then watched the Packer game.

at the zoo playground
Rae getting a good view of the animals

petting the bunnies

Joeli loves the bunnies

Rae and Jen with the goats

Joeli is still in the bunny cage

Rae on the playground

Watching the game with Joeli and niece Sanibel

Rae & Chase watching a movie

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Turkey Antics

The other day, Jen saw our group of turkeys come across the yard and visit our pond. One by one they hopped over the edge and disappeared from sight down by the water. Oddly entertaining to watch!

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

Chasing Turkeys

The highlight of my day, yesterday, came in the morning. I was having breakfast with Rae and Jo when we saw our Turkey family in the back yard - a mommy turkey and 6 babies (although the babies are getting pretty big now). When we were upstairs brushing teeth, we saw the same group again with two more big turkeys in the yard, and most of the babies were laying down sunning on our hill...pretty exciting stuff! The kids wanted to go outside to see them, so I let them out the front door and told them if they were quiet as they went around the garage, they'd be able to get closer and see them longer before scaring the big birds off.

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

Cottage Day

What awesome weather to be at the cottage! I brought Rae & Jo up for the day...actually we got there late last night. This morning Grandma Jean watched the girls while I vented a new bathroom fan at her cottage (btw - it doesn't have the easiest attic to move around and work in...a little swearing took place there this morning). She had to leave around noon to go to work, so the girls and I went back to our cottage and enjoyed the awesome weather. We took the paddle boat out to the sandbar/island. Yes, there is now a small, sandy island on Big Newton Lake...its been a dry year with horrendously low water levels. The sandbar is massive though, and lots of fun to go swimming at with the kids. There are some rocky sections, but lots of sandy areas with shallow water to run and play in. Jen had supper ready when we got home to Seymour - I'm so grateful to have such a great wife!

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

Moved In

We are in our new house! The house and land are PERFECT! It's an awesome example of working with the universe through positive thought, trust, intent, and gratitude!! We started moving in a little over a week ago, and are now in the monumental task of unpacking and putting everything away. Little by little it is starting to look like a warm home with furniture, plants and family pictures; and less like a storage facility with piles of boxes and stuff everywhere.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

House(s) Update

Everything is going well with both houses! Our Omro house that we're selling is moving right along. We had the electrician here yesterday to fix a couple of minor things from the building inspection, so that's all done and cleared. I've got the major work done on the kitchen change...demo, framing, electrical, plumbing, sheet-rock... Just have a couple more coats of mud, painting, reinstall cabinets, hang a door, and some trim. The buyers faxed over a copy of their loan everything should be ready and just waiting for closing!!

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!!

Kids at the Cottage

This last weekend we were lucky enough to bring 4 little ones to the cottage with us - Rae and Jo, along with our nephew, Chase (almost 3), and niece Sanibel (2 months). Jen's brother and sister-in-law were celebrating their anniversary, so we got to steal the kids for a couple of days. The three older ones played together, or at least around each other, most of the time. And, except for a little fussy time Friday evening, Sanibel was a content baby all weekend either in someone's arms, laying on a blanket, or sitting in a little princess chair.

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

Last House Project

I'm in the middle of the last, and unexpected, project for our house. The buyers had a building inspection done and found that we did not have enough clearance around our electrical panel. There are no simple places that meet electrical code to move or turn the panel to...leaving a $3500+ price tag to relocate it to the garage, have the power company trench a new main line to the house, and reconnect all the circuits back to a junction box. We didn't like that price tag too much, so I'm moving half our kitchen cabinets, re-plumbing the kitchen sink, and studding in a closet around the panel. This only costs us about $60 in materials, but I'm up for a few late nights working on it. And I thought I was done with projects on this house...haha :)

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

We Bought a House!

We went to look at a couple of houses on Saturday and loved, loved, loved one of them. We put an offer in right away and heard tonight that it was accepted!! It is the PERFECT house, layout, setting, location...

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

Not the Right House

We just got the news that the sellers of Morrison house closed with the primary buyers, so the search and planning for our next house continues...


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Accepted Offer

Lots has happened since we have posted on this blog, and hopefully over the next week or so, we can get most of the updates on here to catch-up.

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


We've been more than a little scattered lately. There has been lots going on this spring and many big events we've had recently. I'd like to post more details on them, but that will have to wait a while - I'm grabbing a few minutes while the kids sleep to to put out this quick message now :) So, here's what has us running around like crazy...

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 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, 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

Larissa Mae Zeise

Our friends, Zak & Carrie Zeise brought their first baby into the world!! Larissa was born Friday, April 10th...7 lbs 3 oz, 20 inches long, with a natural birth! Amazing and wonderful!

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

Getting Lots Done

The Lutsey family has been going like crazy in Omro! We've been knocking out all sorts of projects on the house the past couple of weeks...some really amazing stuff!! Jen took both girls up to the cottage for a few days last weekend and it sounds like they had unparalleled fun! Our sister, Jen, and her son Chase came up with them for a couple of days and Roy & Pauline were up for a day too! We're looking forward to celebrating Easter and Rae's 3rd birthday at our house with Jen's family on Saturday and in Green Bay with my family on Sunday. Weather is looking great for the rest of the week...yea!! (Pics coming soon of house projects and family...promise)

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


We installed a handrail last weekend. We mounted it low so both kids could reach it...they love it! They are both very excited about being able to use it up and down the stairs all on their own!! It was my first time doing a project like this. It turned out pretty nice. All the angles and lengths came out right on the money first time! Lots of little things and extra time than I first figured...but that's pretty normal for a first time project with me :) The rest of the trim work around the stairs is still a work in progress - that should be getting done this coming weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Earth Hour

Saturday, March 28, 8:30 PM
Turn off your power for one hour - Earth Hour -

Make a statement about climate change and help yourself, your family, your community, your country, your world. I just heard about this yesterday, and it sounds like a great idea. Jen and I will definately be taking part in this. I don't think there is anything in our house that can't do without power for an hour, so we'll just switch our main breaker off, light some candles, play our crystal bowl and send love and healing energy to the universe. Even if you live in an appartment or have appliances that need continuous power, you can turn off all your lights and unplug things like TV's and computers that still use electricity even when turned off. Events like this are great for their immediate impact, the message they send, and as reminders to all of us to change our daily habbits.

Sweeney Todd

Fun movie, in a very dark and disturbing way. When the movie was done I realized I did enjoy it quite a bit, but was a little perplexed as to why. I think there are two characteristics that appealed to me.

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

Busy Weekend

Jen and I had a busy weekend, filling our time with an assortment of things, people, and places. Friday evening I had an appointment with Gayla, the intuitive/clarivoiant Jen and I like to see a couple times a year. She uses intuition and communication with your spirit guides to answer questions or concerns you may have. She is an amazing person and always a pleasure to spend time with. Then we went to Green Bay for the night. Rae and Joeli got to play with Serenity and Adriana again...they all get along so well and have lots of fun.

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

New Kitchen Floor

We were really getting tired of our "OSB flooring" in the kitchen. So we decided to finally get a new floor put in. We ended up going with a floating laminate floor. It's the first time I've worked with this type of product. It was way easy to put in...once the first row is laid out straight the rest of the pieces just snap together. Nothing gets attached to the floor or walls, you just have to leave a gap around the walls and vents for just "floats" on the subfloor. It doesn't look near as nice as hardwood or tile, but its easy, cheap, looks decent and installs quickly...all the things we were looking for right now.

First you lay our and tape a foam underlayment

The first couple rows took the longest...trimming and fitting them to our 110-year-old wavy walls.

Half way done. The middle rows went super fast!



Monday, March 9, 2009


Here are some pics from a couple of recent family birthday get togethers.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


TED - Ideas Worth Spreading. This is amazing and wonderful and SO NEEDED in our world. Here is a brief description of TED from its website,

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 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

Rae's First Day of School

Rae went to school yesterday! She had her 3 year old screening at one of the Omro elementary schools. It is a 40 minute, play orientated session with a professional that is trained in childhood development. Rae didn't want to go back with Miss Megan alone right away, so Jo and I went with her. It didn't take more than a few minutes before she was off playing with Miss Megan and stopped looking for me. So, Jo and I went back to the waiting area and played in the halls. Rae got to stack toys, count, name colors, use her words, play catch, climb stairs...all sorts of fun stuff. It was really great to see how fast she was comfortable in that setting.

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

Happy Birthday Roy!

On Sunday we had a birthday party for Jen's dad, Roy. It was a nice relaxing day. We had a great brunch at High Cliff...I don't remember the last time both Rae and Jo ate so much at one meal! We hung around town for the afternoon. Rae & Joeli got to play with Chase for the day. Jen Vandenberg is pregnant and due in 7 weeks, so there is always lots of baby talk...very exciting! Zoe has been working out a lot lately and is getting back into soccer leagues starting next weekend. For those of you who don't know, Zoe grew up as a local sports star, traveling and playing soccer internationally! Should be fun to see her get back out there.

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!!

Serenity & Adriana

On Saturday we had a chance to see Karen's son and family. They just moved to the area and are staying with Mom and Karen until they get set up here. So, we got to see Aaron, Candace and their two daughters, Serenity (1 1/2) and Adriana (6 weeks). Rae and Joeli had the greatest time playing with the other girls. All four were so cute!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Way To Go Kathy!

Yesterday, we attended a purple belt test for my mom's student, Kathy. Jen and I were honored with being apart of the review panel, and a couple of our students made the drive up to class also. Kathy did an outstanding job and made our decision on passing her very easy. She was an outstanding example for everyone in attendance...hope our students were watching :) Afterward we all went next door for a bite to eat and a couple beers to celebrate. What a great group of Martial Artists, Family, and Friends!! Congratulations Kathy!!


Christmas left me with a new sport to try thanks to my mom - snowboarding! I've been itching to give it a try since I brought my board home in December. A few weeks ago, I went out to the small Omro sledding hill to see if I could get a feel for it by trial and error. Turned out to be lots of error...and I was happy to be able to return home with nothing major broken.

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


The Amgen Tour of California starts Saturday! It is a 9-day stage race that draws the biggest names in cycling. This year the field contains probably the best collection of top riders and teams to ever assemble in the US. This is Lance Armstrong's second major race in his comeback. He looked better than expected last month in the Tour Down Under. He was expected to just ride through and get use to the peleton again. But he was already in great shape and his recovery was way better than expected. He was out there racing, leading chase groups, and hammering out the climbs. He finished with the front groups in all six stages. While Lance's form and conditioning are looking great, this race is not his main focus...he is prepping and training for the Giro and the Tour. Look for him to help teammate Levi win his third consecutive AToC title...but who knows, if he smokes the TT he could be in the running. Versus will be covering it on TV.

Here's a good artical for an overview of what a big deal this race is!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Sugar

I'm on day 2 of my healthier diet sugar and no soda. Well actually I should call it a low sugar diet. You'd have to go pretty extreme to eliminate all sugar, and I don't know that the health benefits from the last little amount make a very big impact. I get rid of all sugar based foods...deserts, syrup, candy, high sugar cereals... I still eat a good amount of fruit. The health benefits of fruit far outweigh the impact of its fructose on the body. It's obvious that regular soda is eliminated in this diet change, and I include diet soda/drinks in the things to go also. The artificial sweeteners can have some pretty bad effects on your body. Splenda is the big name right now. It is a name brand of sucralose. The advertising for this product looks nice, but in reality you are poisoning your system with chlorine! It wasn't very thoroughly tested before FDA approval and many natural health professionals consider it as dangerous and detrimental as other artificial sweeteners like aspartame. A warning for people on meds: it can even affect your body's ability to absorb some prescription medications.

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

Gran Torino

Jen and I got to have a date today!! A couple of weeks ago, we started a more advanced, less formal, Saturday workout. This weekend we didn't have a workout scheduled, so when Jen's mom called offering to babysit, we went to a matinee instead. Even though I was pretty tired from the night before with the kids, and low energy, it was still really nice to get out with just Jen for a few hours!!

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

Cottage With the Girls

Rae, Joeli & I just got home from a couple days at the cottage. We went up to get out of the house and play for a couple of days...and give Jen some time to rest and have fun at the house (she likes to move around furniture and rearrange things). It always feels so good to be up there, and both girls seem to love it too. It was pretty cold and windy outside so our snow time was somewhat limited. We still managed to play in the yard and on the lake a little, sledding down the hill to the beach and cruising around on the snowmobiles. We brought a bin of toys and books that have been packed away for a while, so they had lots of "new" stuff to play with inside.

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 overheated on a ride last year and has been sitting in the garage ever 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 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 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

Plan To Be More Consistent

One of my plans for 2009 is to be more consistent with updating this blog. I don't have pictures yet...misplaced the camera yet again :) But, here are a few updates on the family:

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.