Friday, December 30, 2011

Movie Time

The kids were very good today and decided they wanted to go see a movie.  The conspired together.  They looked up the movie times, made me a snack and presented me with a free back rub and a well written note.  They asked politely if we could see a movie, they would even use their own money. (Christmas gifts of AMC Gift cards) 

So off we went to see The Chipmunks, Chipwrecked.

Even though we just had lunch the kids were excited to get their own snacks.  Sam got a small popcorn, soda, and candy.  Jason got the kids pack and I got a small popcorn and soda.  The list becomes important in a minute.  Sam had her purse and I needed to grad napkins and straws for the kids.  Sam set her popcorn down on the prep counter, for butter etc., so she could put her card and wallet away.  I wasn’t looking and she knocked he popcorn over.  She lost about half a bag.  Sad but not unrecoverable as I told her I would share mine.  We walked into a full theater and found three seats near the isle towards the top.  The stairs turn twice.  I stopped so the kids could get around and when I turned I was closer to the step then I thought.  I tripped and went down.  I lost my soda, mostly on my arms and pants, and ¾ of my popcorn.  In the process I smacked my head on the hand rail and my knee on the step.  I mentioned full theater right?  So we sat down quick and I told Sam our popcorn matched now.  The above mentioned list became much smaller causing me to reflect on the insane prices at the snack isle.

The movie was funny and an overall fun time.  I just ended up a bit soda soaked with a bump on my head.

I probably won’t get any notes for awhile.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holy Crap!

I did not expect the first person to take a bath in our remodeled bathroom would be Abby.

When I came home today I was met with a surprise.  The entire house had a particular odor to it.  I was pretty sure what I was walking into when I went downstairs.  I was very, very wrong.  That was a smell I can honestly say I have not encountered since the stockyards in Clovis, NM.  Abby ate something that did not agree with her.  It passed today.  Her crate was covered from end to end.  My first problem was how to get her outside without spreading it all over the carpet.  The second was the crate itself.  The crates are large.  They will not fit through a door.  The tray is wider than a door.  So me and the little green machine went to work.  Halfway through cleaning the tray Sam came down and asked me “What was for dinner?”  That was not a good idea.  I told her and Jason to clean the living room and last I looked it was getting done.

Once the cage and floor was cleaned I still had the daunting task of cleaning Abby.  Our tub is in and the plumbing works.  There is no proper faucet and the handle is not installed, just the end of the valve.  There is a temporary spout in place for construction and eventual installation.  I took off the plastic, uncovered the drain and dropped Abby in the tub.  It is hard to wash a dog when you cannot use a hose attachment.  Just me and a cup.  She is clean now and my headache is starting to subside.  Tomorrow is a Lucky Puppy day and I am hoping the fresh air and lots of yard helps her stomach.

Off to eat dinner.  Yum. 

Goofing off

So while we work hard and slave away at our normal, safe, 8 hour (mostly), non-rocket attack having jobs this is what the folks overseas are doing!

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Addition

So today is officially my day off.  I was sitting around not doing anything.  Jason was building with his Geomag kit; Sam was playing with her new stuff; I was relaxing with Gears of War 3 and evidentially Diane was being the over achiever and giving birth.

Welcome to our goofy family Ms. Jordyn Emily. 

Ta Da!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Christmas morning!

Lots of lights, very tired.  Many kids, still only count two, sounds like more.

Yeah, I need coffee.

Lots of coffee.

A little better.


More coffee.  Write down gifts for thank you notes.  Try to read list.  Lots of luck.  Why do I feel hung-over when I didn’t drink.  More coffee, starting to wake up. 

Heat breakfast; feed young ‘uns, yep just two of ‘em.

Ok, on to the good stuff. 

Present opening went well.  I made a list and the kids and I should be able to decipher enough of it to write thank you’s.  I still got the coolest gift.  I got a drill.  Good thing as my old one caught on fire.  I tried to mix mortar with it.  Small flames shot out of the side and it stopped working.  (In my defense it was 20 plus years old and the cord was frayed in the case.)  Either way I was going to go pick up a new one soon.  Now I do not have to.  I am sure the kids think their stuff is great too but no, mine is better.

Roger’s house was fun.  Rog and Shaun had a cook off.  Whose roast was better?  Roger’s from the Crockpot or Shawn’s from the oven.  We were supposed to choose.  Not a chance.  We all agreed that they were both very good and thank you for making dinner.  The only odd part was that I broke tradition.  Since 1999 in Phoenix we have had Chinese food on Christmas day.  This is the first year we didn’t.  Well I didn’t.  Christine may have.  I am guessing the chow hall has a myriad of items to choose from.

Except for Chris being in Afghanistan it was a good day.

Our Stockings

It was early but I got the timer to work.

My kids.

The dogs got presents too!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the night before...

So on Friday I had the day off.  I did last minute grocery shopping.  I needed to make sure we had cookie ingredients and food so I could stay home over the weekend. 

I spent Friday afternoon painting the bathroom.  I got my first coat of primer on.  Covered the tub with plastic and taped the edged so I didn’t get paint on the tub.  So far so good.  I got a half gallon of paint on and I can still see green.  I will get a second coat on Saturday.

I made ham for dinner and even made creamy eggs for Christmas morning.  Jason told me he doesn’t like ham.  He doesn’t like bacon either.  I may need a paternity test.  The kids are very excited about the next day’s festivities.  We are even supposed to head out to Uncle roger’s at 4 for dinner.

Even my dogs like ham.  Jason could be an alien.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Forgive my absence.  We really haven’t done much.  My house looks like a cardboard box factory.  Chris ordered many of our gifts from Amazon or other online retailers so I have many boxes all over.

This is the kids last week before winter break.  It is the same break that we used to call Christmas break before the PC freaks got a hold of it.  I am going to leave them at the YMCA for the weeks they have off.  I will take Fridays off to give the kids a break, and save me a buck or two.  Plus it gives me more time to spend slow leaking a bathroom remodel.  I am currently into the drywall mudding stage.  I am not really proficient at it so it is slow going.  I am also repairing the crude job I did when we removed the laundry chute.  It has always looked bad and now it should look slightly less bad.  Getting the walls smooth is not as easy as it should be.  I found a lot of spots that I gouged the walls or the screw gun jumped off the screw.  I am on my third coat of mud and I have gone through two sanding and washing of the walls.  Sanding is fun.  I have on goggles and a dust mask.  I look pretty silly but the dust is mostly contained in the bathroom so clean up has not been bad.

I need to prime and paint before tiles go up.  I don’t want to take a chance at getting paint on the tiles and if I get paint on the floor, who cares!  I will be tiling over it anyway.

I need to start wrapping now so I don’t end up running to CVS the night before Christmas the night looking for tape.

I have enough trouble figuring out Christmas Eve and Day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving construction

This weekend Jason went to Uncle Roger’s house.  He got to hang with his cousin and goof off.  I however, got to hang out in my upstairs bathroom and goof off with plumbing and wall board.  The plumbing was made much simpler with the advent of SharkBite push on connectors and flexible tubing.  Sam came and helped me when we turned on the water and tested my abilities.  I goofed on one of them so I heard Sam yelling, “I see water dripping!”  She is so cute.  It was pouring straight out of a connector I had not seated correctly.  Once I corrected that we had a moment of laughter and joy as once again water flowed from the upstairs shower and tub.

Putting up cement backer board sucks.  There is no good way to say it.  I can feel every joint, knuckle, and bone in both my hands.  “Just score it like drywall.”  BS!  I had to score it on both sides and then work like hell to get it to snap.  Getting the holes right for the shower side was nerve wracking.  I was on my last sheet and I really did not want to cut more of it.  Trying to get it all correct and lined up took me longer than it probably should have but I am new.  I went through both batteries, twice.  That stuff is tough.  I guess it has to be to hold up the tiles.  I did find that the window guys put the boards in crooked.  I fought for awhile to fix my error until it dawned on me to check their work.  I can work around it but it threw me for a bit.

I had to run up to Home Depot to get a hole saw to cut the board on the shower side.  While I was gone Jason came home.  I walk through the front door and he is sitting there watching TV.  He scared the hell out of me. 

I was too sore and tired to make dinner so it was leftover night.  Luckly I made dinner all weekend so Jason and Sam had good leftovers.  (Good as far as I am concerned.)

Chris ordered the new Diary of a Wimpy kid books for the kids.  I gave them to them tonight so they had something to read during their 30 minutes I tell them to read each night.  Jason was very excited.  He has loved those books from the start. 

I was complaining about my back being sore and Sam made these signs:
(It says:  Dose your back hurt? If it does go to Sam's office! 46918 Basement in the lab.  She will only charge you $.50)

She is so cute.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This weekend looks better for bathroom remodeling.  Since I had Friday off for Veterans Day and the kids still had school, I had a lot of time to get stuff done.  I was able to connect the drains for the tub and sink.  The toilet will wait till I am closer to tiling as I don’t want to break the flange.  On the second try no water leaked.  There is one fitting that is not glued, just tightened.  It wasn’t tight enough.  Second time was a charm.  Making the drain lines larger was definitely the right move.  Water rushed out of the tub so fast I don’t believe we will have any standing water issues.
The Inspector

Tub drain - Check

Much larger sink drain.

The nut part leaked.  Once it was tight, all was good.

I wired up the light and plug in the bathroom.  I had all kinds of problems and came close to electrocuting myself twice.  It turns out what I thought were hot wires wasn’t.  In fact the line I thought was live was dead-ended in an electrical outlet in the next room.  It was just dumb luck that I hadn’t grabbed the live wire on accident.  I saw a cut in the wire so I decided to replace it.  As I chased it back I found the ends taped together in the plug box in the next room.  I have been connecting these wires as if they were live for a while.  This means the plug in the spare room had hot wires just sitting in there.

Before - Old wire on far right.

All better.

This gave me a chance to remove some old wiring.  I found another line just sitting there going to who knows where.  It runs into the attic so I cannot chase it.  I cut and taped the wires so they cannot touch each other.  (Mike Holmes would not be happy)  So I spent much longer than necessary hooking up a fan and a light.  In the end it worked out.  Today I am hoping to get furring strips up so I can put cement board on the walls.  The strips keep the walls level.  Then I can attack the supply side of the shower plumbing.  


Who’s idea was this again?

Last Weekend

So I finally got moving on the bathroom again.  I am not moving to quick as things keep coming up. 

Last Saturday I met my mom for dinner for Jason’s birthday.  We ended up at Red Robin up near mom.  Sam had her purse with her money and phone in it.  She is such a big girl.  Jason was spending the weekend with Uncle Roger.  Roger dropped off Jason at the restaurant.  (Not sure why he didn’t stay.)  Jason looked so tired.  It was funny. 

Sunday morning as I was starting to work on the plumbing, Sam informed me that her purse was still at Red Robin.  Off we went.  Sure enough it was there.  Since we were out that way we stopped off at Grandma’s house.  She has made a lot of changes since dad died.  The backyard has been de-forested; the stacks of papers have been mostly consolidated; new stuff all over.  I don’t think dad liked change.  We hung out so long I called Roger to get Jason.  He was on the way to our house.  Oops.  Off I went to try and get there first.  Turns out he dropped off Carter first so I had plenty of time.

One remodel weekend gone.

Friday, November 4, 2011

LJAL Banquet

So I go to turn in Sam’s uniform on Wednesday.  I give the stuff to the coach and she says, “See ya tomorrow.”  I looked at her with much confusion on my face.  She picked up on this and said, “The banquet.”  Oh Crap! I had completely forgotten about the LJAL end of year banquet.  Where they get awards, sign the yearbooks, hang with the team one last time.  Sam would have killed me if we hadn’t gone.  She sent the team an e-mail reminding them of the banquet.  I am pretty sure the reminder was for me.

The kids were so cute.  Sam was all dressed up in a dress.  Jason tried to figure out how to tie a tie.  I throttled him back a bit and just had him wear nice pants and a shirt.  I didn’t need food stains on his suit coat.
Goofy face.  She had tons of fun.

Joe cool.

We went and had a good time.  It was short this year and only ran 2 and a half hours.  They did a great job keeping it moving.  

Hopefully I will be back next year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We set up for Halloween and the arrival of my in laws for the weekend.  Although it was hard to tell we cleaned the house.  Both dogs shed something like 12 pounds of hair a day.  I have put the vacuum away, turned around and found a hairball the size of a cantaloupe.  I leave the vacuum out now.

Making Sam’s costume was tough.  We needed an outfit, props, and let’s not forget a hairdo.  Oh yeah, she is going as Taylor Swift.  This is not a problem but since she won’t be singing songs from house to house we have to identify her somehow.  We decide to put the name on a guitar.  Sam and I went back and forth as to real or not.  We went with not and made one out of foamboard, a stick and a strap.  Sam painted the guitar and we printed the name and glued it to the front of the guitar.

In the end she looked good.  Jason was easy.  A zombie.  An 11 year old boy dressed as a zombie.  (Most of his normal clothes make him look like a zombie)  I found a great costume at costco for him.  It had pieces of foam that looked like bones and guts.  I picked up some spray blood and with a little face make up he was golden.  I was a bit liberal with the blood.  I read the directions after he left and it mentioned that it should not be left on the skin as it may stain.  I was really hoping for the may to be correct.  I sprayed him all over.  It looked pretty cool.  I would put up a picture but I didn’t take any.  I was remiss in my photo taking and did not get a picture.  I am hoping someone got one so I can get out of the dog house.

There is hair in there too.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

LJAL Overload

This weekend was a double header for Sam.  We had Cheerfest on Saturday and A game against the Falcons on Sunday.  Sam had opted out of the competition.  There were a bunch of factors that went into that decision but the end result was a much happier cheerleader. 

The Livonia Orioles took #1 for the cheer routine and #3 for the Pom Pon routine.  We couldn’t have been happier.  My one mistake, and it was a biggie, was not having Sam in uniform.  I was afraid it would get dirty with her just sitting there and we still need to cheer the next day.  I was not aware she would be able to go on the floor during awards for medal presentation or pictures.  So my daughter was the one not in uniform.  She was very happy and so proud. 

On Saturday Sam had her last game of the season.  She wants it to be her last day ever.  I need to figure out how to get her re-involved.  She really enjoys it while she is doing it.  I think the intensity of the cheerfest practices got to her.

After the game Sam and I went to Taco Bell and then off to do our weekend shopping.  As we were heading to Kroger Sam said, “Jason doesn’t know what he’s missing.”  (Jason was at uncle roger’s this weekend.)  I asked her “Why?”  Sam explained, “I haven’t tasted your food for like, two days.” 

Kids say the darndest things.

(For the record I made dinner on Saturday night.  It was chili dogs and Sam made butt music all night long.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lucky Puppy

Every Wednesday we send Abby and Candy to Lucky Puppy Doggie Daycare.  Yes I know it makes me sound like some kind of yuppie idiot.  The dogs love it.  Kevin picks up the dogs at the house and I meet him near Ann Arbor to pick them up.  Lucky Puppy is almost an hour south of us so this arrangement works.

Wednesday s helps us in many ways.  The dogs get exercised by running their butts off.  Abby got over her fear of pools.  (Not over her fear of being bathed though.)  Candy dives in like some goofy Olympic diver.  Both dogs come home tired.  Not just a little tired, BIG tired.  This is the best part.  They both act like puppies and love to greet people.  Being tired just helps them not greet with so much enthusiasm. 

Abby is the daintier of the two dogs.  She requires more comfort than other dogs.

Tired Abby.  Note the use of a pillow.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Away game

This cheer weekend was an away game.  We went to a middle school in Northville.  Michigan is famous for lots of things, Cherries, Kwamie, the murder rate in Detroit and Flint, Automobiles and crazy ass weather.  Last week I had minor sunburn.  Today is windy enough to alter the drive path of the van.  Luck for us we get to sit in aluminum bleachers on the high side of the bowl the field sits in.  This creates a nice swirl effect so the wind is hitting you in the face and the back of the neck at the same time. The bleachers do a great job of wicking the pesky heat away from your body.  I knew it was cool out but the kids had taken the dogs around the block on their bikes and were actually hot when they got home.  I put on my two sweat shirts grabbed a hand warmer and headed out.  

I was woefully underdressed.  

I figured 11 years on the ramp and growing up in Michigan I could tough it out.  I am not tough.  By the end of the game I was hoping for a forfeit so we could leave early.  The cheerleaders didn’t look near as bad as us parents at the end of the game.  “Embrace the suck!” became our rallying cry.  In the end Sam did great, Jason was happy to hang out in the van, he was there to support his sister, and we got to see how much improvement our kids have made.

We got home and both kids wanted to go outside and play.  


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vacation wisdom

We have been talking about going to Florida for a couple of years.  Chris has bought into the idea that not taking your kid to Disney is the same a beating them with a stick. 

The Disney marketers are to be commended.

Her R&R gives us the chance to live her dream and take the kids to Florida.  We are going to leave Disney a secret.  We told the kids that we were going to Florida and Sam told me if we are going to Florida then “Please oh please say we aren’t going to Disney!”  I almost laughed my ass off right there.

She is my kid.

I just see a park with lots of people and endless lines.  I am the secluded beach type.  Mai Tai’s and water.  Good stuff.

Jason asked if there were rides like an amusement park.  I said yes and he said “Ok, Disney is fine with me.”  I told him it wasn’t a done deal and there was a lot to do and he just looked at me and said he wanted rides.  Simple is good.

Chris was bummed but was determined to find good stuff in Florida to do.  I felt bad that Chris was so bummed that I figured I would talk to Sam.

She got to sit in the front seat when we took the car to get the dogs.  She talked to me about lots of stuff the whole way there.  (That was the best part of my whole day.)

Sam told me that Disney would be ok but no pink castles.  The number one thing she wants to do in Florida is swim with the Dolphins.    I asked her if she wanted to swim with the crocodiles in the swamp and she thought about it for a second and then said no she didn't want to get eaten.  So Dolphins yes, crocs no.
Those kids make me giggle.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Monday’s usually suck. 

Not Today!!  I slept in.  I got up a bit later than I should have and the kids were almost late.  Ever other morning they get up by the time I leave so they can spend time with Lindsey.  She makes them breakfast.  I point at the cereal and tell them to leave me alone until I have my coffee.  Not today, they slept in.  I ended up scrambling a bit and had to drop off Sam and then come back home.  I had to get Sam from Brownies at 5 pm.  That gave me the rest of the day to do what I wanted, kid free.  I was almost paralyzed by the range of things I could do.  I ended up Costco/grocery shopping.  Although this sounds like a crappy chore, just imagine it with no kids.  

See not so bad.  

I spent something like an hour and a half wandering around Costco.  Did you know they have tools?  After that I went to Kroger and was able to actually shop.  No Sam asking if we can have doughnuts, no Jason asking if we can get the industrial bag of chicken nuggets.  I was just me being cheep.  I got everything we needed and headed home.  After I got it all put up it was time for lunch.  Then I took a break and had some quality zombie killing time.  I watched the news, cleaned up the basement, vacuumed, and did a bit of general clean up. 

It was a great day. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Samantha’s cheer games are almost always at 10 am.  The game doesn’t start until 11 but this way they are all there and get warm up time before hand.  On the upside I get to watch the last half of the Flag game and those kids put on a pretty good show.  Us parents yell just as loud for the 7 year olds as we do for the pro’s. 

Last week was cold as heck as we watched the kids.  I had on two sweat shirts and put a hand warmer in my sweatshirt pocket to keep my hands warm.  This weekend I am sitting on aluminum bleachers baking in the stands.  These bleachers are like tin foil pans.  I ended up under the bleachers with a bunch of little kids just to escape the sun.  I picked up three Gatorades for us and delivered Sam’s to her on the track.  She had already gone through her water bottle. 

Monday is a federal holiday.  It is not a day off for the kids.  I am so excited I can hardly wait.  I am doing as much laundry as I can now so I don’t waste valuable time on Monday with crappy chores like laundry.

So excited.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Camper Show

On Thursday the kids had a day off.  It was teacher in school work day or something.  So I took the day off and hung out at home with the kiddos.  Both kids had asked me if we were going to the camper show this year.  We didn’t go last year and evidently all the whining the year before actually meant, “I love this!”  They gave me grief about not having gone and really liked looking at the big RV’s.  I think they just like walking through the $300,000 mansion’s on wheels and imagining what life would be like living in one of those.  I could definitely do just that.  Travel across North America in luxury, oh yeah.
Anyway, we looked at those and then at the more realistic pop-ups and hybrid trailers.  I saw a couple I really liked.  I took some photos but they didn’t turn out to well.  Now I just need to find one that fits the old budget and we will be in good shape for camping season!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Baseball Sunday

On Sunday I spent the afternoon at Jason’s last double header of the fall season.  The tough part was that the Lions kickoff was at 1 pm and the Tigers started at 3pm.  I would much rather watch the Lions then the Tigers as I believe major league baseball is as exciting as watching paint dry, but we are in the championships.  I was able to download an NFL app so I could listen to the game.  Jason’s game got underway around 1:30 and the lions were already down 14 – 0.  I did not expect the Lions to win but I wasn’t thinking they would get blown out either.  Jason did really well.  He played as catcher and right field and showed a lot of hustle.  All of a sudden it was a 17 – 3 game for the Lions.  We got a big Woo-Hoo out of me at a completely arbitrary time during Jason’s game.  I had to explain that the Lions scored.  20 – 3 and I turn off the phone to wait for the 3rd quarter.  Jason nails one towards the shortstop and puts runners on 1st and 3rd.  Next kid is a walk.  Sweet, bases loaded.  Next kid pops one up and I look down thinking it is an easy out.  No such thing for kiddie baseball.  Jason is now on third and we are winning.  Next kid gets a hit and makes first, Jason scores, life is good.  Not sure what happened but we were winning 7 – 2 and then the 6th inning, and last inning in kiddie baseball, began.  In the 6th inning there is no mercy rule and our pitcher was tired.  Their wheaties must have kicked in and we lost 14 – 7.  Turned the phone back on to 26 – 10, the Lions and Dallas have scored.  Second game gets underway and all of a sudden we pick a second interception and it is a 27 – 17 game.  The second game for Jason wasn’t going as well as the first.  The long days and our lack of pitching depth was taking its toll.  They play with heart and field pretty well but our pitchers are new and still learning.  30 – 17, damn the Lions are at it again.  Jason was at bat and took a couple of good swings but it was not to be.  30 – 24, again a completely unexpected shout from the guy with the earphone crammed in his head.  Jason gets walked and is looking for another run.  30 – 27, are you kidding me, the Lions are going to make a game out of this yet.  Poor Jason is now down like 14 – 4.  It is hard to even keep score anymore.  Oh no another Romo screw up and the Lions are ahead 30 – 34!  How does this happen!  The Lions pulled off a win at Dallas stadium!  As I jump around in happiness poor jay is losing the second game of the day.  To top it off the Tigers are winning too.  We weren’t allowed to announce any tigers scores as the coach was DVRing the game.  In the end Jason played very well and you could see his improvement from the beginning of spring ball right through the fall ball season. 
Now I just need to hold out until next spring to see his next game.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


On Saturday Sam had cheer for the Orioles vs. Blue Jays game.  This is the first time I remember Orioles fans being outnumbered.  Even when we are on the road we tend to fill the bleachers with screaming fans (parents).  We do a really good job supporting our kids.  The Blue Jay folk’s evidently do the same.  It was their Family Day so it took longer and the stands and field were filled with Blue Jay crap.  (Yes I am biased.  I am not a real journalist.)  Sam did a great job. Now she likes to find me in the stands and make sure I participate in the audience participation parts.  Usually I am busy yelling at the game.  I do try and make a special attempt to watch the girls when they cheer as this is why I am there.  I do look odd as one of the few guys yelling “Orange and Black!” from the stands.  It is tough, when I see a tackle get broken out of the corner of my eye and one of the players making a break for the end zone, to stay focused.  
I was cheering for the football players at one of the games and a lady in the stands asked if that was my son.  I calmly told her “No, my daughter is a cheerleader right there.”  I am very proud of my daughter and her progress as a cheerleader; I just like watching the games too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Although I am perfectly capable of doing all the stuff around the house that needs doing.  I just don’t wanna.  The last time Chris deployed everything at home seemed to go pretty well.  We had our issues and problems but overall we did ok.  My expectations this time were just a bit off.  I expected that this time it would be easier than last time as we had done it before.


We still had the same issues as last time.  We all miss mom, still need to figure out how to juggle stuff.  We are getting it done but the routine settling is taking longer than I want it to.

Yes, I am whining.  If you are patient it will end and we can get back to the goofy stuff the kids and dogs do.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Family Day

Today was Family Day for the Livonia Orioles.  Since Samantha is a cheerleader she has a part in the halftime routine.  There are three games, Freshmen, Junior Varsity and Varsity.  The flag kids didn’t have a game so they had a Mothers vs. Boys game.  The boys won – of course.  It was fun to watch. 

I went to the game early as I volunteered to hang posters.  All the kids had an opportunity to make a poster.  This year’s theme was patriotism.  Sam made a poster with Chris before she deployed.  I know I am biased but the poster was very cool.  Evidently the judges thought so as well.  She won a gift card to Dairy Queen for her awesome poster.  Sam wanted to help me put the posters up in the morning.  Jason stayed home since he had practice from 11 to noon.  We hung 120 or so posters.  It took us an hour and they were wrapped all around the inside area.  A few folks commented on the fact that there was so much participation this year. 

Sam and her Award winning Poster

Sam needed to be at the field by 10 am.  All the Freshman parents had to line up on the 50 yard line.  Then Sam lined up with the players at the end of the field and they announced the players and their parents.  They were supposed to come out one at a time but we ended up getting a mad crush of cheerleaders since they had trouble hearing the announcer.  I went back to the stands and settled in to watch the Freshman game, I mean Sam cheer when she reminded me that I left the drink at home.  I left to get the drink.  While I was gone I lost my great parking spot.  At halftime we got to see the entire Cheer squad take the field and perform a routine.  It was very cool. 

You need the link as I marked the video private, just in case. 
Overall it was a very neat day, just a tiring one.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The beginning of a routine

Not a whole lot of new stuff to put on the blog.  The kids are doing well with school.  The balancing act with cheer and baseball is working well.  The double headers the kids have are tough to take.  They only play 6 innings but 12 innings of 8 – 10 year olds playing baseball is brutal.  They try but an 8 year old pitcher can burn quite a bit of time off the clock.  Luckily there is a 7 run mercy rule.  Watching 7 kids get walked in with an out or two thrown in takes about a year off your life.

Cheer isn’t too bad as I watch the game behind the cheerleaders in between cheers.  Sam watches me to make sure I am watching her.  I love watching football in person.  I don’t get the strategy most of the time but they play with all they have to give.  Sam is getting better each game.  The contrast between practice and games is funny.  She is all business at the games.

The dogs are doing well.  Candy seems to have gotten used to her smaller foot.  It never really slowed her down much. They are both at Lucky Puppy now and loving it.

Now that Lindsey is watching the kids in the morning they are getting out of bed earlier.  Poor Lindsey.  They talk her into making breakfast, this morning I believe the request was waffles.  If it was me I would just roll into the couch and shove them out the door when it was time for school.

Oh well, I am going to go and try and remember what it was I was supposed not to forget.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chris Re-deploys

So for many people September 11th was a day to remember, a day to mark a tragic anniversary, or a day to thank a fireman/policeman/vet.  For the Weisenberger’s it was a day to rush to baseball with an overlapping football game, a quick trip to grab lunch, and a quick run to the airport.

Chris spent the last few days freaking out, helping Sam with her family day project, working on the Randolph directory, shopping for the kids’ school clothes and some laundry.  She wasn’t packing.  She packed tiny bits at a time.  Friday she was able to get a box together to send to herself.  This alleviated a lot of the crap that she would have had to put in a suitcase.  Saturday night the bulk of the packing chore came on full.  I don’t blame her for procrastinating.  I am not a packing fan myself.  I always feel like I am going to forget something.

Chris was able to take a later flight so she could run around with us in the morning and see the kids’ games.  We dropped her off around 3:20 for a 5:20 flight.  She told me The check in desk was empty and security was not a hassle so she was at the gate reading.

Back to “Bachelorhood”

The kids’ jersey numbers ended up like this by total accident.  This was not staged.
Jason is in the middle

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vacation - Day 4

Saturday was supposed to be a day we took it easy and hung out.  Chris doesn’t understand “taking it easy”.
We went for a hike on a trail that the campground folks told us was really cool.  It was a trail that led to Hawk Falls.  We took the dogs thinking they would like the outdoors and could use a long walk.  We were hoping they were still a bit tired from their time at the dog sitters.  If they were it sure didn’t show.  They loved the trails and people.  Abby loved the people a bit too much.  She is a bit forceful in her like of people.  When I got them close to the water it was tough to get them out.  They loved trying to bite the white water as it rushed over the rocks.  Just letting the dogs splash around seemed to be enough to keep them happy.

When we came to the end of the trail there was a large waterfall that dumped into a deep pool which flowed to a second waterfall that also dumped into a deep pool.  This was very attractive for the amateur daredevil (guys).  Jason saw this and handed over his shirt and shoes.  He started at the small waterfall jumping in and freezing.  The cold water did not slow him down a bit.  We then noticed some teenagers, young 20’s, jumping off the large waterfall.  Jay was all over it.  He asked some kid how to get up there and before we knew it he was following them up the side of the hill out to the rock face.  He waited and listened to others give advice, watched a couple of people jump and then went for it.  On his first try he was a bit over cautious and slipped.  He compensated and made the jump with no ill effects.  No ill effects to him.  His Mom and I almost fell over.  You can hear us on the video gasp.  He got the hang of it and jumped about 500 more times.  Sam and I got bored.  I had both dogs and they wanted to play with the people.  Unfortunately they play rough sometimes and they were very excited that they were in the water.  Those two things were making it very tough to keep the dogs in check.  On the way out of the park we found the upper path that led to the top of the falls.  The older folks were jumping from up there.  Jason said he was going to jump from there next time.

The next morning we broke down our tents and headed home.  The drive home always feels longer than the drive there.
They were loving the river.

Aren't they cute!

A view of the falls.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Vacation - Day 3

As I previously mentioned we brought the dogs.  I have an 18 month old Sheppard-Husky mix and a 5 year old Lab-Retriever ex-PAWS working dog.   They are both very energetic.  Chris found a no kennel boarding place for them near where we were.  This helped since we couldn’t take them rafting, which they would have loved, or with us on Friday.  We went to Hoboken, New Jersey and visited Carlo’s bakery.  Yes folks, Hoboken, New Jersey.  Not too many folks will tell you that that is where they went on vacation.
We surprised Samantha since somehow Cake Boss became a show she just loved to watch.  Chris looked online and found that folks said to get there early as the wait can be 2 hours or more.  We shot for early in the morning.  We still stood in line for two hours.
When we were able to get inside it was a take-a-number organization kind of place and it went pretty well.  Chris and Sam picked out a small sampling of items and they were fairly reasonably priced.  Sam also got a t-shirt.  She was so happy.  We walked around to the alley and saw a couple of the workers loading up boxes into a van for delivery. 
We went back to the van to take off.  We were headed to the teardrop memorial to 9/11.  Afted removing the parking ticket from the window, we were off.  (Street parking is not allowed during certain hours for street sweeping)  We were headed to Bayonne, New Jersey to see the Tear Drop memorial.  It was a very cool memorial.  Tough to find, which is too bad because it is so interesting.
We went back and picked up our pooped out pooches and headed back to the camp site.  We had Chinese takeout, remember my fire skills were lacking, and had the Carlo’s treats for desert.
Not bad, but not two-hours-in-a-line good either.

Sam is so excited to be here!

Organized Chaos

Sleepy Dogs

Carlo's treats

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vacation - Day 2

On the second day of or camping adventure we went rafting.  We went with Jim Thorpe river Adventures on the Lehigh River.  They were fairly mild Class 2 rapids as this was the first time for the kids and they aren’t old enough for the faster water.  It was a fantastic trip and a good time was had by all.  Since we were camping in the boonies we had no idea where to eat.  We needed to pack a lunch for the rafting trip.  We hadn’t seen a store anywhere.  We ended up stopping at this little hole in the wall sandwich and doughnut shop.  Breakfast and lunch, check!  Those sandwiches were awesome!  Really good and they held up well to the beating they took as we rafted.  The first half of the day we were the project raft.  Always in the back and getting stuck.  After lunch we became super-rafters and somehow missed the rocks and navigated our way through the rough parts without incident.  We ended the day on a high note and took the bus ride back to the raft place.  We took showers, and were off to the campground to attempt to build a fire.
Scouts or not, I suck at building fires.  We got one going well enough to make some smores and heat a couple of hot dogs.  The rain and wetness may have had something to do with it but fire just wasn’t our thing on this trip.
The first set of rapids.

Jason got hot.

All smiles!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vacation - Day 1

Chris decided we needed to go camping.  So with bathroom remodel money in hand, we went camping.  We headed to Hickory Run State park in Pennsylvania.  It was about 8 hours away so we planned to leave early Wednesday morning.  Tuesday night as we were packing I went to put the car top carrier on the van.  Since the brackets are in the carrier and the carrier is locked I needed to find the key.  No key.  So I drilled out the rivets holding the lock in place.  Opened the carrier but I now had a new problem.  How am I gonna secure the carrier or hold it shut.  I drilled the lock holes a bit bigger and ran a chain through them, which I can put a regular lock on.  Problem solved.  That only ate up a couple of hours.  Most of our gear fit in the carrier so the interior was roomy enough to fit the dogs and two kids.
We brought books and movies for the kids and we made pretty good time.  Since the campsite had electric hookups we grabbed a box fan from the house.  (Great idea by the way) We arrived in the evening and had the tents setup (almost) before dark.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sad Day

On Wednesday July 13th my Dad passed away.  This is the link to the obituary the Funeral Home put up.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Getting older

I know I haven’t posted anything in awhile. I have a good excuse. I am old. I now understand why contractors hire 19 year old kids to do construction. I understand what needs to be done and I can do the work. It just seems to take longer to do it and a lot longer to recover. (Sorry, there was a double entendre in there.)

So I removed the ceiling and began the install of the whole house fan. The outside temps are in the 90’s so the attic temperature is in the low to mid 130’s. I told Chris we could build a sauna without the rocks if we pipe in attic air. The Whole house fan was an interesting install. Getting the boards cut just right to center the fan over the joist was tough. The temps made it difficult to measure as the sweat was getting in my eyes. I had gotten the fan housing in early so I could figure out where to place it. The metal was getting to hot to handle. This build needs to end so I can turn the fan on just to cool the attic.

I removed the copper waste lines and plan to replace them with PVC. The PVC is just a bit bigger and placing it has become a challenge.

I have a couple of photos of the progress. (Or lack thereof)

The whole house fan from the hallway.
Our new bathroom vent fan.

I believe it was starting to cool off.
The placement of the Attic fan and the gutted bathroom.