September 12, 2009

Saturday Routine

With the start of school, comes my usual Saturday routines. Men's group, watch a bit of football, do some work in the garage. Very relaxing.
The Saturday Men's group took the summer off and we just got started up again today. It was good to see the guys again and catch up on what's new for everyone. One of the guys is a sales representative for Porter Hills in Sparta. It's a retirement community. He offered breakfast for our first get together. I had a sneaking suspicion that we'd have to listen to the pitch, but it's was OK, very low key. Can't really explain how conflicted I was, but it was definitely not just me that was uncomfortable, one of the guys that's older than me was really put off. Oh well, we survived, it wasn't too hard a sell and had a pretty good breakfast for free.

The boys were at a youth group event at church. The youth group is called Ignite and the boys really enjoy the time. Since it was the season kickoff, they had a concert with the group, Atlantic

Music the kids like and a message too! They look pretty interesting, but I'm sure the bands that I listened to when I was a kid were pretty weird too.

For fun Holly and I went to a sports bar and were able to watch the Iowa/Iowa State Football game. Great that we could see it, too bad ISU got beat up so bad, Iowa 35, ISU 3. Maybe next year. I chose this picture off the ISU website. The guy doing the tackling had a pretty rough day, I think he was too excited to play well. He caused numerous issues in the first half. Not that I blame him, I'm just saying...
Have a great day!

September 11, 2009

Rolling into the Weekend!

Today we finished up a 2 day project with customers. It was a deep dive into a big project that we are just finishing up. We were looking to see what went right and what went wrong and trying to figure out how to address it so that the next project would work better. The customer sent up 5 people to be a part of the review team and we were pretty honest so I think we identified what we need to do for the next project, but we really wont know until the next opportunity. Until then, we have a few things to do to get ready.

Unbeknowst to most, I have become a carrier of a pocket tape measure. Several years ago I received the tape measure from a supplier and really liked having the definitive answer in my pocket. Well, a week ago I was at a customer site and we were trying to determine the approximate size of the space we were going to design in and so we used that tape measure to record some measurements. Well, it was lost that day, never to reappear. I talked with my mentor, who also carries a pocket tape measure and he advised EBAY. I checked it out and I am now the proud owner of a "Zippo" brand, pocket size, tape measure. It's pretty cool, it came in the original case with the original price tag still on it. I love it! (As I proof read this post I realize that I am pretty warped, but hey, I'm OK with that too!) The shot from EBAY is below.

Tonight was Ian's first behind the wheel lesson for driver's ed. He came home with the grin shown below(he's holding the record that must be maintained). Ian actually took the other photo from the back seat of the driver's ed car while the other student was being instructed, this time was logged as "observation" time. I guess they need several hours of "observation" in a car as well to get their license. Not really sure how that works, I mean, the kid "observed" during how many trip to Aunt Reen's, Uncle Larry's, Uncle Dave's...without ever quiting the video game he was playing, well, you get the idea. Maybe it's because the instructor is more vocal that I am. I don't know, but what I do know is that within 3 to 4 weeks, I will have a chauffeur for driving me around.
Have a great day!

September 10, 2009

These Days are Full Speed!

First up, a Birthday Shout Out to my little Sister Molly. Great to type with you today! I hope that you have an awesome birthday! I have discovered I have a very limited supply of photos and so here's what I have. I offered to let her edit, but she was on the road and thus I chose.

Molly and Rick, summer of who knows when

The next two were lifted out of larger shots from Christmas 2003.
Maureen and Molly

Molly and Pam

Work's going pretty good, but we need to pull out of these times and get back to the good times. I have lots going on and not enough time to make it all happen, no news there.

Ian's just started in Driver's Ed. He's had 1 class room session and will be taking to the road/parking lot tomorrow. Michigan has a stepped program and it's pretty confusing, but the way I see it is that after a month of class and practice driving he's our part time driver with us required to log 50 hours of driving, 10 of which must be at night. He wants to learn to drive my car, the Focus, cause it's small and he thinks its going to be easier to maneuver. Could be, but I think he's forgetting the clutch, it's a manual. Then again, I learned on a 52 Cranbrook, kind of like the one below except we painted it, by hand, with Latex paint, to look like a saddle shoe. We were really twisted growing up in Brownsdale with no vision as to what was really cool. Also, in retrospect, it was 1971, so it wasn't even a classic car at the time. I digress, Ian will surely take to the clutch just like his Dad, easily and with his own style.

Have a great day!

September 8, 2009

First Day of School!

As is our tradition of the past 11 years, we were all up early for the first day of school. Even though they say they hate it, I know that they enjoy hanging out with the people that they know. They were sure I wasn't going to subject them to this annual ritual, but they were oh so wrong. I have many first day pictures and I love them all.

Spencer tried a new plan, he took a self portrait with his new camera phone. I didn't even check the quality. The rule is on the front porch.

Ian was sure that I couldn't possibly mean that he needed to pose. I assured him that he did. He resisted only to the point of no smile. Though right after the shot I had him in full smirk.

Holly was in good spirit, considering that her babies are now bigger than her.
Hard to believe another summer has come to an end. It was a cool and damp one, but hey, the grass looks better than it has for years this late into the season.
Hope your milestones are a much fun as ours.
Our friends with the little boy in the hospital are still hanging in there. The boy is fighting back, but the medical data isn't that good just yet. We're still sure Luke will be home in no time flat.
Have a great day!

September 7, 2009

Tough day at Young's Landscaping. Actually, it was a tough weekend. The boys and I moved 6 yards of topsoil, cut down a pine tree, created a new fire pit and the back yard was tweaked. I took a few photos to show our efforts.

There used to be three pine trees here, we left the center. the one on the right was covering a foot of the sidewalk and the one on the left wasn't looking too good. The neighbor across the street stopped and thanked us for keeping this one.
From a previous effort, the front bed was spruced up. I took this because it's really shaping up.

Holly poured her creative juices into this front flower bed and it really shows. We only bought some Mums and mulch, everything else came from some of our other flower beds. It looks great and under control.
Street side:

House side:

One shot of the back. The 6 yards of dirt were mainly to fill in the sandbox that we had under the deck. The rest really just needed to be brought back under control
Hard to believe that we're in the middle of suburbia. It's going to be a calm place to hang out, that's for sure, once we have the grass in that is.

Have a great day!

September 6, 2009

Sunday work is slower

First up, I owe a birthday shout out to Thomas Young. Dude, not sure if you get these, but I totally failed. Thomas is a totally cool dude that graduated this year and he's a guy that I am proud to know. As little as I see him, he's always kind, considerate and happy to see us. That's huge in my book. Because I like him, I'm not throwing up a cheesy photo of him from so bygone event. Thomas, I hope that your birthday was totally awesome!

Church today was great. I had this Sunday off from working with the kids and so I went to first service. Strange crowd that first service group. Just kidding, usually I am serving in the Fort, so the kids that I usually hang out with were in big church, just like me. During the greeting, where you shake hands with those around you, I sought out the kids and we gave high fives!

Here's the gang going into the Silver Springs Water Park. Yes we're all sure were going to get wet and it's going to be wild!

Once we locked in our spot we sat and goofed off a bit. Then Bob struck a great pose. Happy and great to see us having fun.

As usual, Holly's the best looking!

These next two shots are from the boys coming down the slide, racing. The first shows Spencer on the right hand track, kicking up a bit of splash.

At the end of the race, Spencer is waiting for his older brother to catch up. This shot shows Ian hitting the main water rather dramatically.

The yard work is going, but not as fast as it used to when I was younger. Oh well, it's still getting done and I'm liking where it's heading.

Have a great day!