081228 - 2 Winger Christmases

081228 - Up, L&D to church where Dylan was the only acolyte. When L&D got home the rest of us loaded up, did a couple of errand on the way up to the Farm.
Made good time up to the Farm, where Mark, B & their girls met us. The kids enjoyed swinging on the rope, Dusty the cats... Somehow Gma&paW had arranged lunch and everything was very nice, even Weezer stoped by. I got Lilly caged up and the fam loaded. We said goodbye to the Halstead clan as they headed home and we headed to the Winger Christmas party in Shelby.
Arrived @ John & Mary Terry's just in time to eat again! But it was more good food I couldn't resist... Ugh! There was nice conversations and a nixer game that was pretty fun, and a cell phone call from Santa. The kids each got a bag of stuff and played together & with the train non-stop. A very nice party I have always remebered & enjoyed. The crowd started to thin and we packed up back off to the Farm.
We regrouped w/ Gma&paW and had another present exstavaganza! Everyone got something they wanted and the next several hours were spent putting things together. We even had more to eat (BURTSING). The boys settled down, and we got them to bed: for a minute... Grant decided he didn't want the parties to be over and came back out to watch a video on Mansfield w/ us. He did finally fall asleep and GpaW & I had a short time to have a good talk. Off to bed, tossed & turned till about 5...

081228 - Our Christmas

081227 - Eskimo Summer

081227 - D,J&I took Lilly on a big walk to the playground, then the creek, back to the playground and home. L was able to brush Lilly while she was asleep. We packed up the troops and headed to Dayton to see the Halstead clan.
The ride to Dayton was easy and when we got there the temperature was about 70. Because the day was so nice all the kids (9) were able to take off their shoes and run crazy. We had some good food canversations and family time. The kids had the 'best time ever' playing together. The ride home was quiet. Stayed up to finish off season 1 of Heroes.
081226 - Up and to the kitchen table for the first half of day building Jack's 1000 pc Lego Space ship thingys. D&G kept themselves busy. Then I played Wii Nerf w/ Howdy while G took a nap & J played w/ his legos. We all packed up for a quick trip to the pharmacy, grocery, & Wendy's. Home for nuggets, baths & bed. L stayed up a bit watching her favorite midget show & I retreated to the basement to watch more Heroes till late.

081225 - Too Fast

081225 - Yes I know this pic is blury... But it is real. 9 years ago was my first Christmas as a parent. Now Dylan is getting big, and I'm not certain the 'magic' of Christmas will be there for him next year. This year the holiday was perfect: everyone up early, the looks on their faces opening things the love, getting along with each other, seeing our families we love, being together.
After a movie I got my 3 boys in bed and headed down the stairs in tears.
They had a great day, but are growing so fast. I want them to be my little buddies forever... All the hugs, smiles & 'I love you's as I tucked them in started my emotions. Dylan, who I tuck in last every night, felt my trembling as the emotions began to surface and asked if I was ok. How do you explain to a young boy how much you see in him & his brothers, the great kids they are now, the potential, them growing and how u just want them to be happy the rest of their lives, like they are on Christmas day... I know I can't stop it. I just want it to go slower so they can get more out of being little and worry free, and so I can get more out of it too.
I don't want it to be a blur.

081225 - Merry Christmas

081225 - Everyone up @ 7! Pure delight, everyone had a great morning and got things they love!

081224 - Santa

081224 - Up & worked all morning. Then the fam headed to Rich & Nicole's for lunch. Santa stopped by and entertained us. Grant didn't want to sit on his lap, but sure enjoyed passing out the gifts!

081223 - Cookies

081223 - Dr for wrist, AGAIN! Home & the boys r decorating cookies for Santa. Pretty messy event.
081221 - L & big boys to church, G & I ran errands and got lunch. played video games with J. D to bday party. hung out after dinner, up late watching TV.
081220 - J made bfast for everyone, boys played Wii, G&I rested. L home for lunch & got groceries.
081219 - Dylan's sing along @ school. Lori out with her girl friends tonight. The boys & I dropped the toys @ the donation center, had dinner @ Cici's, got movies & games @ Blockbuster, picked up a percription, and went shopping for Mommy & Lilly's xmas presents. Home up late watching movies.
081218 - Dylan had a Cub Scouts, Pack meeting tonight.

081214 - Lilly

081214 - Up about 5, my throat & ear killing me! I over medicated myself and went back to bed. Everyone up by 7, D&I to McDs to get bfast for the fam. L got her call this morning that her sterp test was positive! So L ran & got her perscription... G has had a snotty nose for days. This means D is the only person not ill... When L got home the boys and I had her & G stay in the car and we headed out for a quick adventure... We arrived at our destination minutes later, for L's main xmas present, Lilly. Lilly is the newest addition to our family. She is a 12 week old Goldendoodle that isn't suppose to shed. We got home and Lilly made us all feel a bit better as she ran and played in the backyard. The boys can't get enough of her, and of course proud mamma has already given Lilly a bath and blow dry...

081213 - Up with more head tenderness then other parts... Throat so sore could not eat and barely could swallow water. Jack not feeling well in the morning so L took him to the Dr. where he tested positive for strep... L dropped the boys off for naps and then ran out to get J's prescription and herself checked out... Everyone home and we had some dinner, watched some TV and all early to bed.

081212 - Woke up and pretty sore for yesterdays activities. Surprisingly that is not all... I have super high fever, sore throat and throbbing ear ache. L called the Dr w/ my symptoms and they called in an antibiotic for me. I had only minutes of consciousnesses the entire day: my Friday vanished...

081211 - Well the procedure went well, no pain during at least... L took me to get a couple perscription and a bunch of movies for recovery. Home and to the basement, settling in for the night.

081211 - Late night visitor

081211 - Up & on calls, worked all day. Had 3 beers & a valume and headed out. Teresa over to watch J&G, L&I dropped D off at the Grossels so he could go to scouts, & L&@ headed to the Dr. for my vasectomy... In the waiting room now, will report more later.... Ugh!
081210 - Up, full day @ work. Dinner @ Burger King w/ the fam, then dropped D off for karate, dropped L off @ Mejer, took J home to get his karate gear then dropped him off @ karate, G&I then to Meijer to pick up L & her grocies, L,G&I back to karate to pick up D&J. Finally home and got groceries unloaded, a snack of chocolate chips; that G spilled all over the living room floor, where D,J&I ate them all up making him furious! Got the boys to bed and L&I watched the Travel Channel, some food show featuring Columbus resturants?which made us hungry. So I ran out and got us some wings. L headed off to bed & I stayed up for a late night call. While on the 3am call I heard some noises upstairs... My investigation & pic show the culprit. I caught G in playroom, he had shut all the doors upstairs and was playing w/ GI Joes...
081209 - Up and J&I out to a home inspextion on Retton Rd. Jack is quite the litte inspector...

081209 - Lego time

081209 - Up and got a good start to the week. J went to school & the to a buddy's house. Everyone home for dinner. G&I dropped D off @ karate and then finished up our xmas shopping. When we got home we found L&J in the basement. They made this amazing Lego city! We all played w/ Logos for a bit, then off to bed. The bible bangers are heading over for a movie tonight.
081208 - Up dylan to church w/ Gma&paB. L&I stayed w/ J&G that wern't feeling well. Everyone home for lunch. GpaB had a concert and the boys didn't eat a bit of nice lunch GmaB made... (but they sure ate dinner!) J&G slept the whole way home so it was a nice quiet ride. When we got home D&J played outside in the snow, while I shoveled the drive, lights strung and fixed the headlight. After a well eaten dinner, L gave the boys haircuts and I did baths. We finished off the night watching Willy Wonka. Got the boys & L to bed & I watched the X-Files movie.

081206 - Polar Express

081206 - L got us all up & out the door EARLY! Eveb Blockbuster was still closed, rediculous... L drove us to Newcomerstown, through the light snow. We got there and everyone played, the trees are up, the little towns & trains are running and we r trying to prevent Grant from turning into godzilla and destroying it all. We had a nice lunch where all the boys actually ate and J had several dozen pickles...
GpaB came home and then the building began. All the boys chiped in and they had a ginerbread house, covered with icing and candy, in no time. D was drinking the left over icing and G was hording the m&ms. Then all the boys got in there PJs, posed on the steps for 1.624 seconds for a picture, and then off to the Polar Express.
L&I stayed @ the house, relaxed and talked by the fire. We got the call that the gang was on there way home & I ran out and got chinese. Every one back around the table for dinner, then more playing w/ Monty Python & the Search for the Holy Grail playing in the packground.

081205 - Lunch

081205 - Up and the cable guy came out and fixed the tv box, rushed through my morning tasks, had a very important lunch date I could not miss. Grabbed my sack of food, ran out the back door in the freezing cold to meet my partner Howdy for lunch at this school. I met him in the lunch room and we ate there with his friends and some other parents. We then got to go to his classroom where we were allowed to stay for indoor recess. We got to play some math/money games and it was pretty fun. By far the highlight of my week!

Walked home through the flurries and finished my day. Took the family to a crappy expensive Mexican restaurant, then home to pack, wrestle and watch some tv. Heading to the polar express in Newcomerstown tomorrow morning.

081204 - Business day... Worked all day, changed and ran out the door to go to a ColumbusREIA meeting with Jeff. It was pretty interesting and we learned some things tonight. L took all 3 boys to D's cub scouts. All home, talked and watched tv, w L.

081203 - U, usual work stuff, now getting involved in an HR case... Took a break for lunch and ran to the bank w/ Jeff, we are trying to get a lump of cash so we can just write a check for these houses instead of financing them... Back to the desk, finally getting above water. ran out for a fast dinner, loaded the boys in the car, L off to do a bulletin board at church, D to karate, J, G&I to the movie store and 2 banks, then back to karate for J. G was a MESS... ugh this is exhausting. How does L do it when I am on the road???

081202 - Up into the office still pulling out from under the pile of being away from my desk for a month... G has a fever this morning. Worked through lunch and then ran to a property portfolio manager meeting with Jeff; we bought another house... Home found some food, spent some time with the fam, then worked till 5am.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

081201 - Grind

081201 - Drug myself out of bed then drugged myself up. Grabbed a coffee and stumbled into the office. Trying to get caught up on the 'gone for a month' pile of both work & personal. Amazingly enough not everyone got the memo not to add to that pile today...
Lost internet and phone abot 2pm until only minutes ago...
Running D&J to karate and gas, L&G w/ a fever getting groceries. How can gas now only be 1.57/gal? Is that to offset my 401k losses?

081130 - Decorating

081130 - UP and a pretty stressful morning. L headed to church and I took the 3 hooligans out with me. We checked on one of the rentals and then got some supplies and a bit of Christmas shopping done. The boys were plenty tired of all the stops and stores, but they were good and hungry ;-) Brought some lunch home with us. I then relaxed while the rest of the fam put up the Christmas tree, made trains and lots of noise. This is a photo of our tree, and for Aunt Louise a picture of the beams we put in.

081129 - Parade

081129 - Everyone up and the boys snuck in a last trip down to the barn. Grant even got to drive a tractor and was quite pleased with himself. I am feeling like i was run over by the tractor... We loaded up and headed south. The traffic was light and the trip went fine.

Home unloaded everything and messed around the rest of the day. In the evening we walked over to the Gahanna Holiday lights parade and met friends and watched the bands, horses and floats all lit up. Home for hot chocolate and the movie 'Fred Claus'.

081128 - Blue Screen

081128 - Up early and all the boys down to barn w/ Gma&paW. L & I out on our annual shopping trip... We hit quite a few stores and pretty much have everything now. We stopped at Derenburger's for a late lunch & hit Boliantz as the last stop on the way back to the farm. The boys had a wonderful day: hay auction, barn playing & swinging then the big boys to a movie while G stayed w/ us. Everyone home & Amy and her computer illiterate mother Paulette stopped for a nice chat.

081127 - Family Thanksgiving

081127 - The perfect clear November morning, the crisp crack of gun shots can be heard as the men do the annual pheasant hunting. The boys up early and down to the barn. Then back up and ready for the party. Everyone down to the farm and people I've seen walking through the doors my entire life come pouring in. Some of them are now missing, but new ones show up to keep this family cohort a continuous living entity all it's own. The prayer was started with with my Mom and she had everyone participate and share what we were thankful for; it wasn't easy to do or hear, but made us all feel better and closer. We all ate and shared stories of past and present. Here Grant and his cousin Spencer show that the next generation is just as likely to get into trouble as all the previous... Groups broke out for walks and talks and naps. Jack & Dylan out on expeditions, Jack back but Dylan was out longer and almost got trampled by a herd of deer. What a wonderful wonderful day.

081126 - Home / Farm

081126 - Up and got a bunch of catch up/paper work done. L to Dr. Thought she had strep, but no. Loaded up the car & ran a couple errands on the way out up to the farm. Nice trip, traffic ok. Got to the farm, swung on the rope, saw the cows & dusty (who nibbled Grant's fingers & 'glubs').
Roger and Brad arrived with a car full of pheasants. All the boys got to pet the birds and Jack asked Roger what he was doing with the birds... that was an interesting conversation... After he learned that the birds were to be shot, he said 'well you could let them live a day'. Makes sense.
Gma & paW came home, we ate, played & stayed up LATE.

081125 - LONG Day!

081125 - Up early & met the guys for bfast. We then headed out in to the frigid gray day for a cab ride to the N offices. We got there and met the N team. We started the meeting and we hit it out of the park! We then rushed out of the meeting and to the airport. I got upgraded to business class which made the long dark trip up over the Arctic circle, 38k ft. Made it to JFK, grabbed a bus to Laguardia and got checked in. Had an couple hours to kill but got lucky enough to bypass everyone (12) on the standby list and get home in time to see the boys before they I got to put them to bed. Awake from 0:00est, chased the sun all day, exhausted by the 11pm bedtime, but worth the trip, in many ways...

081124 - Helsinki

081124 - This is a shot of the moon from over the artic circle. It was -87 degrees outside...

Made it to Helsinki and got the bus to the hotel. Met up with the guys and started working. We worked all day and to my dismay had no time to see anything in Helsinki! But we are prepared. Lori informed me that Jack was again a pilgram for the 3rd year in a row, but loved it.


081123 - Up and spent some time w/ the fam as they got ready for church. Gave everyone a kiss & big hug then off to the airport... They transferred my flight off American to Delta, which is good, that means I don't have to take a bus from Laguardia to JFK, I am flying straight to JFK, first class even!

081122 - FROZEN

081122 - Up, fixed the dryer, to the Dr. for this hellish sore throat, congestion, stuffy cough crap. It's a virus so he was no help... Got my hair cut & some meds for the trip. Home watched some of the OSU vs Michigan game. Took all 3 boys on a walk.scotter/bike expedition to the playground. It was COLD but they had fun and burned off some energy. home and watched the rest of the game. Dylan and I ran and got take out spaghetti for dinner. Then I played with the boys, making monkey chains, the Wii etc. Got packed, up late coughing...

081121 - In to the plant. Tied up all the loose ends. To the airport and spent the next 6 hours getting home. Home at midnight.

081120 - LIVE

081120 - Day 2 @ N Mex and things are ok. We were able to ship tonight!
@ homem Dylan had the Scouts Cake Bake auction tonight. He made a small smiley face and got $40 for it.

081119 - Up and into the plant after very little sleep. Still sick... First day LIVE in N Mexico and things are working NICE! Back to the hotel early and had a buffet dinner in the lounge w/ Andre & Ger. Exhausted...

081118 - Good Blood & Go-Live!

081118 - Lori called me this afternoon to let me know that we got the results from Jack's latest blood work, and it was all good! His levels are back up to the normal range! This is good, but it still does not explain why they were so low... so we will have several more months of monitoring his levels before we feel more comfortable.

Work went well; The training of the end users is DONE. The Data is being loaded and we WILL Go-Live in the morning!!! At the plant until 1am with a very fast and frightening ride back to the hotel.

081117 - Up early and into the plant. Only the Supervisors are in with us today and we have done end to end testing ALL DAY... We have formulated a detailed plan now on how we WILL Go-Live this Wednesday.

081116 - Up and everyone in to church. Home and I feel like complete crap. Flew to Mexico with my fever. Raul picked me up and got me to the hotel by 1am.

081115 - Dryer died, jack helped

081114 - CRAP! I have to go to Mex again...

081112 - Things did not go as planned in Mexico - no go live

081111 - 9 years ago today we had the car accident where I lost my eye. I usually take this day off to reflect on the last year and the people that I have interacted with. But so busy this year no day of reflection...

081110 - Dylan had a Veterans Day Assembly at school. Gpa Barker came over and participated and went to Dylan's classroom to tell of his adventures. Dylan had an early release day from school today as well. In the evening I took Dylan to Scouts where we tied knots. Later the Bible bangers came over to watch 'Expelled' @ my house, it is about the theory of intelligent design in the science community.

081109 - Acolyte & LEGO

081109 - Everyone up and in to church. Today was Dylan's first day as an acolyte. He went a bit too fast down the isle and hit lighter blew out, but he did better on the return trip and kept it lit the whole way. After church we ran home got a bite to eat and headed to Groveport to see the LEGO city they had made. It was really cool with lots of trains, big buildings and stuff everywhere. They had a table with LEGO pieces where Jack and Grant built stuff. Home and everyone playing with LEGOs.

081108 - Up in the morning to Mr. Smalley's funeral. When we were there we watched a video of him, the picture montage thing they do these days, and in the pictures was Pete and Helen standing at the Sun Pyramid in Mexico City, where I was just days before...

081107 - Fast day, flew home. Got home at midnight. Good to see the family again, even if they are all sleeping.

081106 - Mexico City

081106 - After days of taking the same route to work I asked Raul to drive us a different way. We only altered the route by a couple of blocks and we came to a very large square, the second largest in the world, second to only the Red Square in Moscow. The boarder of the square was palaces, this very old church and museums. Much better route this day.

081105 - Andre & Mark flew home today.

081104 - Full day at the office. On the way home we were stuck in traffic for two hours, for about 30 minutes of those 2 hours we had a police bus behind us sirens blazing... The traffic jams were caused by a plane crash. The VP of Mexico was in a small jet and it actually crashed on to the busy streets of Mexico City, about 5 miles from our hotel. 8 died in the plane and about 15 cars were destroyed as they were crashed into. When we got back to the hotel we went to the lounge to watch the results of the USA presidential election. Obama won, and the House and Senate are now also controlled by Democrats. Now there will be no one for them to blame... I got a late night call from Dad, he did not win his go at the County Commissioner. He did not sound too upset, but it could not be easy; he put a lot of time and effort in his campaign. The economic climate at the moment is not good, so might be for the best that he wait this round out. I am very proud of him for running and the experience that comes with it was good. There are many people out there that really like him and showed him great support. Sorry you didn't win Dad, I still love you ;-)
081103 - Normal day at work on site. Lori told me tonight when I called that Mr. Smalley our next door neighbor died. His wife Helen died about a year ago.

081102 - Andre, Mark & I worked all day. We started in the lounge, moved to the office floor then back to the lounge until they kicked us out. We all regrouped when Tom arrived for some dinner.

081101 - Teotihuacan Pyramids

081101 - This is my first weekend away from home in a long time. So I had to make it worth while. The guys (Andre and Mark) and I arranged a tour of the pyramids that are very close toMexico City. We had our driver, Raul start out tour at 9am. We drove for about 1.5 hours through places we were glad not to stop in and saw many of the sites of Mexico City... This was very fascinating to Mark as this is the first time he had ever left the Netherlands. Andre and I have seen it now many times, but it is still truely amazing that things actually work in such achaotic society. So as we got closer we first went to see a nice resturant that was underground, in a cave. It was very nice and we would end up there for lunch. Wedrove a bit further and Raul pointed out a coule of bumps in the distance and there were the pyramids, but we were still far off. It was not until we got closer and closer that the enormity of these structures actually registered in our brains...
This is the pyramid of the Sun. It rises 215 feet above the ground and is so amazing I do not even know how to describe or convey the amazment that this structure was built more than 2000 years ago, is still standing, how huge and what amount of effort this would have taken. I have never witnessed anything like this in my life. The platform in front yet alone is stagering; to think that in that very location the countless lives sacraficed... We did climb this beast, and here I am at the top top prove it. Itis said that if you stand on top of the Sun pyramid and stretch your ars to the sun it will energize you years to come; still waiting for this to kick in... The pyramid to the right of me in the picture is the Moon pyramid, this is also the photo at the bottom of this post. I did not attempt to climb that one, my legs were rubber by the end of this first climb...
There was a nice museum on the grounds, just a stoll down la avenida de la muerte (avenue of the dead). In there were many skeltons, artifacts and this feathered sepant head from the Serpant Pyramid (the smallest of the three on the site; which was still huge!) We toured the museum and then Andre and Mark went up the Moon pyramid as Raul and I sat on the sacrificial platform to watch them.
We then toured the palace marveled at the 2000 year old carvings and paintings still in tact under the cover of the ancient rock structures. We made our way back towards the car, covered by local vendors trying to sell us everything they could and fighting through the now thickening crowd of tourist that showed up mid day. Raul took us to a local tourist shop he trusted where we got further education on the local customs, drinks, gems and silver smithing. We tried the drink Pulque or agua meil (honey water) made from local cactus aguave shaped plants, the smoked drink Miscal (with the worm), and of course the best tequilla on the planet. After we browsed and got some good to take home we head back to the cave resturant for lunch. There we were entertained by people in ritual dress, from Aztec warriors to mariachi dancers.
What an amazing day!

081031 - Halloween

081031 - Halloween was a success for the boys. they got tons of candy and went farther then they ever had before. This year Grant went up to the doors himself and asked for and thanked people. Lori carried him between houses, but he refused to let her carry his candy bucket (smart boy).

In mexico they celebrate the day of the dead and there are many skeltons and creatures about the city. It was very interesting to see all the kids dressed up here, and they want money, not candy.

081030 - On the road again to Mexico City! I arrives about 1am and met up with Andre and Mark.

081026 - Bday

081026 - Today was my birthday! After L, D&J got back from church we loaded up the famliy and headed to 'The Wilds' http://www.thewilds.org/. Took us awhile to find it and wait for the bus, but it was well worth it. It was the last day of public tours for 2008 and we got to see a bunch of stuff that happens behind the scenes. The boys really loved it, and everyone on the bus got a kick out of Grant yelling and jumping each time he saw a new animal. Was very nice to spend the day with my boys. I have lots of travel coming up...

081025 - Spidy

081025 - Jack to a buddy's to play this morning,L,D,G&I ran errands. When we picked up Jack we headed out to find the new Toys R Us since our regular store has now closed... We found it and lucky for us it was the 'Grand Opening' and every mental midget that figured out figured out how to reproduce was there w/ their offspring (this of course does apply to myself...). We looked around and got ideas for Christmas (wish lists links to right will soon be updated) amongst the wandering super heros and failry tales. Home and L, D&J went to a roller skating party while G&I put the trim around the beams and poly'd the floor. D had onemore costume party before we all got back together to watch Penn St. beat OSU...

081024 - Dr. appointment day! Got my wrist looked at, I have tendinitus... Then to the dentist to get a cavity filled that I found out about the last time I was there (2.5 years ago...)

081023 - Carving

081023 - This evening we all went to the scouts pumpkin carving event. Both Jack and Dylan participated, Dylan's is the whit one in the photo and Jack's is 4 to the left. Grant tollerated the event, home baths, and bed.
081021 - Had Jack's guitar lessons tonight. Then out to a movie with the Bible bangers Religulous http://www.lionsgate.com/religulous/ . That will make you think.
081020 - After work took the boys to karate. Home got the boys to bed, the trash out and then to Tim Horton's for coffee with the Bible bangers. We ended up back at my house to watch Obession about Islam, http://www.obsessionthemovie.com/, VERY SCARY!
081019 - Cleaned up everything today. The basement water problem and all our stuff, the black car from the camping trip, the shop put back together and trying to get life bak to normal.

20081018 - 3rd Annual OSU Football @ Winger'sOSU Party

20081018 - Towards the end of Grant's party other folks started showing up for our annual OSU Football Party.

Thankfully the weather and the team cooperated w/ us, so our 50 guests had fun indoors and out. Here is a pic of the food spread that was crazy good. The Bucks won, the kids mostly played nice and the only disturbance was a 'water problem' in the basement. Everyone had a good time!

L & I got the party things cleaned up quickly and the 'water problem' by 2am, Ugh!

081018 - Party 1

081018 - Ran some errands w/ the boys in the morning getting last min supplies. Then folks showed up Grant's party. L had fun games for the kids and a baseball theme for our little athlete.

081017 - Ready

081017 - Everyone up & getting ready for the party. We cleaned the garage & house, repainted the wall, set upthe tables, trimed out the beam project... Worked all day on it. The place looks great and ready to go!

081016 - 2 Fingers

081016 - Landed and ready for a B-day, Grant is 2 today! We went out for lunch and to the toy store and had a fun day. We watched a movie at night and G can hold up his fingers and say 'I'm twooo!'. great to be home!

081015 - Up and another fast but productive day at P. Headed to the airport where I got my daily update from L. Dylan's Teacher Conference went well & the fam went to Creepside festival all dressed up & got candy. I jumped on the red eye to make it home for Grant's b-day.

081014 - Fast productive day at P. Called L, she had a bad day w/ the boys, they were out of control. Went to dinner w/ the company team.

081013 - Met up w/ Ahndi from Scotland for bfast & then in to P for a full day. Had dinner w/ the project team.

081012 - Well Dylan was up till 1:30 w/me @ the campout. We were the last ones up & put out the fire. Got up in the am and helped cook bfast for the troop then took a big walk around the property and had a nice talk. Howdy didn't like bfast so we stopped @ Waffle house on the way home.
Once @ home Doc & I cut down the mean neighbors tree that fell during the storm... I spent some time w/ each boy: baseball w/G, Wii w/J. Then packed up and off to San Jose.

081011 - Camping

081011 - Up and L ran to register Howdy for bastketball this winter. Dylan & I packed up the car w/ the camping supplies. We all grabbed some lunch, I caulked the beams and then we went to the halloween store to get the guys suited up. Then Howdy & I headed to the camp site. We got there & Howdy vanished w/ his buddies into the woods, (I saw him for a couple of minutes when the food was ready...) I got the tent up and a couple snare traps set to show the boys. Now we are sitting around the fire relaxing.

081010 - Whittler

081010 - Up, day off but took a couple quick calls, G & I picked up J from school. Then J,G&I picked up Jeff and we hit Lowes for house supplies then Dick's for camping supplies. We dropped Jeff off and then the boys & I hit McDonalds, Meijer for a couple last camping things. Home and Dylan Glasses! Then I taught Dylan how to use his new pocket knife and he did some whittling on some soap for a scout badge and then his thumb for fun... Loaded up the family and headed out to 'Red Lobster' for dinner where Grant was attacked by a lobster! On the way home we stopped at GFS and got some party supplies. Got home and we played the Wii. I stayed up late doing Coldwater accounting and getting ready for the trip to SJC Sunday.
081009 - Up, another full day getting N in line for next week. After work I headed outside and played w/ boys. L ordered in pizza for dinner. I cleaned the furnace and got it lit for the winter w/ Grants help. Dylan & I headed to Scouts and then to Meijer w/ the Grossels for party and camping supplies. Up late organizing for the next hellish week
081008 - Busy friggin day. I ran the boys to karate and Lori wasn't feeling good so she ran to the Dr. Jack & I went the pharmacy and Taco Bell and didn't get home till late. I stayed up and played the Wii.
081007 - Up early and saw Howdy off to school. Had my 1st call 7am and had a full day. Took the Yukon to get new tires. Walked thru Subway and made a few calls on the way home. Finished up about 4 and played the Wii with big boys. We had some dinner and then Howdy and I walked to get the car. The whole family went to Jack's guitar lesson and the we played kickball and watched a scarry movie. Got the boys to bed and then planned the football party and watched the debate.
081006 - Worked all day then played the Wii with Jack & D. We ate fast and then went to Jack's soccer game. Home, baths, played a math game with D and animals in a muffin tray w/ G. I read a book to all 3 and then got them to bed. Got my week organized and played the Wii.
081005 - Up and L went to church, Grant & I dropped off the big boys a bit later. Everyone home, loaded up and headed to Mansfield. When we stopped to get gas I checked out the tires and we had a really bad worn spot. So we went home, changed cars and headed to the Mowanafest. We met GmaW, took a hayride and petted the animals. Next stop was a farm w/ punpkins and a corn maze. We met GpaW @ Friendly's for dinner, headed back to the farm for a bit and headed home.
081004 - Flew in home about 5pm. Really good to see the fam. All the boys were really happy to see me. Grant had a bruised and scratched up face, he fell out of a tree... Home and got settled in, in time for the OSU @ Wisconsin game.

081003 - Farewell

081003 - Up and walked in to work, my legs are killing me for all the walking I've been doing. Really fast day, got stuff cleaned up. After work nearly everyone from work went to a bowling alley in Almere. we had some drinks, bowled some games and then had an interesting dinner where u had to grill your own food. The evening included frequent trips outside with the smokers where I tried to defend 'the American way of life' and preach to all the atheists I work with. It was a very good time and nice to see these people who have worked together from all over the world for many years outside of the office. The main event, and reason for the party, was to say goodbye to Atno & Naill, the founders of this once 2 man company. Many toasts were given, the most memorable and honest by Michael who said 'Working with you guys, was like pissing in your trousers, and not telling anybody!' After some dessert people started to fade off until only a small group was left. It was very hard saying goodbye to these guys, they are good friends now. I wish them all the best, and hope our paths will cross again.  Lori called just as we were leaving. She had the natives at the park and was heading to the movie store to get tonights entertainment for them.  I made the short walk to the hotel, thinking of all the good times.

081002 - Amsterdam

081002 - Up and it was not raining today so walked to the office today, took about 20 min. It was very nice and there were many other people walking & riding around, and children riding their bike to school. As soon as I got to work the rain POURED down! Had a really full day at work. Took a break to get lunch and I attempted to go where Ger was getting lunch, but it was Indian food that I was sure I could not digest. So in true American fashion I had Burger King again!
After work I jumped the train into Amsterdam to meet Niall for dinner. He was much nicer tonight and took me out for a full experience... First we stopped at a 400+ year old establishment that has a Gieneva tasting counter to try it. It is a mix of gin and several other liquers, we tried the 'walk in the woods' and it was smooth with multiple layers of flavors and very inviting on this cold wet night. We then headed to a little resturant and he gave me the history of the areas we walked through. He also shared a bit of his own history. I especially liked the story of his breakfast chair: when Niall first moved to Amsterdam he didn't have much money. So when one of his neighbors threw out his dining room chairs he grabbed them off the pile and took them into his house. He said when he now sits down for breakfast he laughs, because he is still sitting on those chairs.
We walk some more, found some gifts for the boys and saw more of the history. The lit up house in the photo is the Ann Frank House. We had a nice dinner where we talked about buying houses, what was going on at work and NO polotics! we then strolled to another pub and had a beer where we shared stories of our families. The time was passing quickly so we headed back to Central station, taking a detour through the 'Red Light District' to make sure the ladies were still there and the smoke of marijuana filled the air. It was. Niall got me to my platform and we said good bye. What a great night in Amsterdam.
On the train back to Almere I used the phone to check in on the family (wingercam.com) and there was preciuos Jack eating dinner, half a world away. I stared at the phone wishing I was I there. The walk bak to the hotel was quiet on the empty streets.
Called Lori and got the report on Dylan's eye exam. He is near sighted and wille to wear his glasses all the time. She said he picked some out that had a cool flame on the side. 1 more day...

081001 - Anniversary

081001 - Up in the morning and tooka cab to work as it was raining. Had a pretty full day. Took a lunch break and the guys conceeded to have Burger King for the American. I checked www.wingercam.com to see if anyone was around yet. There was Lori having her breakfast all by herself so I gave her a call. Dylan was off at school, Jack was wacthing cartoons and Grant was still sleeping and we had a nice chat. Today is our 14th wedding anniversary, and the first time in those 14 years we have not been together on that day. I am so far away, but so lucky to have her.
After work I was picked by Arno and we headed into Almere to meet Niall for dinner. The food was great, but the two Europeans grilled me for two hours about how for the sake of the rest of the world I had to vote for Obama in 5 weeks. The also debated why I would own a gun, drive a big car and anything else they generally could think of that was considered American. But I am use to defending the USA whe I am abroad and it was a stimulating conversation. I was able to ask them how it felt to be unemployed and worth millions of dollars, as yesterday was their last day working for the company they started nearly 20 years ago and had recently sold. Neither seemed too excited and they asked ME to buy dinner! Cheap rich idiots! Hahahaha
We said goodnight and I walked back to the hotel. I called Lori to finish my day.
I love you Lori, wish I was home with you!

080930 - Mini Meij

080930 - After work I was lucky enough to be invited home with Andre for dinner. We stopped off at the house his family is building in Leleystad. It is very nice, large, energy efficient and has a thatch room. It isn't done but it will be very cool. We then went to his home where I me Orean River Meij (www.mini-meij.nl) for the first time. She looks very much like her mom with redish hair and blue eyes and she smiles non stop. I held her a bit, tickled her and just watched her. She is doing all kind of fun stuff. Andre and Nicole make great parent and we talked and talked about how cool kids are. We had some good conversation and chinese for dinner. After some more conversing Andre drove me back to the hotel in their electric car! It does take some gas, and we stopped to fill it up. It took 60 Euros for the 40 liters to fill it. If you do the math, now please sit down as this will certianly show you what is coming..., 40 liters is roughly 10 gallons: 60 Euros is roeghly $100 US: that is $10/Gallon! Think about that next time you fill up your tank!
Back to the hotel and my luggage was in my room! I called L to finish the dayand it seems the light fixture went out that I installed right before I left... Jim the neighbor checked it out and didn't see anything wrong, but it made me too nervous that a new fixture wan't working so I had him take it down. He tested the fixture and it was bad, shew...

080930 - Holland Rain

080930 - Up and typical Dutch fashon it is raining... They tell me the weather is usually very sunny and nice here. I don't believe them, every trip I have made it has rained for at least some part of the day... I had bfast and then took a cab to the office. I had a full day and got a lot arranged for the rest of the week.
080929 - Well my 13hr trip has now turned into a 22 hour fiasco... I arrived in Amsterdam at 6pm, with NO luggage! I had to wait around another hour while they tried to find it but no luck... I jumped the train to Almere and then walked to the office from there. When I got there only a few people were left. But I talked Rob into driving me back to the hotel and having dinner. Exhausted I called Lori to finish my day.