Friday, December 26, 2008

So That Was Christmas

Well another Christmas has come and gone. I have to admit, this was probalby my least favorite Christmas yet. Dont get me wrong I enjoyed watching the faces of Tyler and Sarah as they opened all their presents. Debbie enjoyed her gifts as well. I must say I made out like a bandit.

So whats my problem you ask?

Having to leave Debbie and the kids to get to work by 830 for starters. Then having to actualy work while I was there instead of collecting my double time and a half 8 hours for doing nothing. These were petty things. The real truth of the matter was, for 9 hours I was by myself and had a lot fo time to think about things, namely my grandfather passing away and not being here for this Christmas. This was my first Christmas without him. I had 36 with him and this first time without him hurt. Ive been in a funk the last 3 months due to my HRT starting to wear off and now Christmas came and went without grandpa.

Ill be ok. I have some fun things to look foward to in the next week or so. Im traveling to San Diego next Tuesday to meetup with Chris "DuckGeek" Butler from our board to attend the Holiday Bowl as his guest. Theres a possibility that Kristi "kjboston" will come down from Irvine to meet the two of us. Then I come home and attend the Coyotes vs. Avalanche NHL on New Years Eve. The bitchin thing about that is that I got front row, on the glass seats for the game. Way cool! Then after the game itll be off to the Tippery's for their annual NYE block party. I can drink and not worry about driving that night as my dad is loaning us his motorhome and we are going to park it by Doug and Beths house so we can go and crash after the party.

So life isnt so bad, just hit another one of its potholes. Ill pick myself up, dust myself off and press on.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Me and My Guy

On Sunday Dec 6th, Sarah and I traveled to Lake Pleasant for a Girl Scout Me and My Guy fishing trip. The activities for the morning lncluded a pancake breakfast, a short hike, arts and crafts and of course fishing. Sarah and I were the first father/daughter combo to arrive dark and early that morning.

The weather that morning wasnt all the pleaseant as it was cold and windy. With that in mind I was beginning to wonder who schedules a fishing trip in December. We started the morning with a turn at the nail art booth were Sarah and I took a piece of square plywood, some nails, hammer and some multicolored twine and made a heart for mommy. After that it was time for some fishing. No luck catching anything but the bottom of the lake and me losing a brand new lure. We then headed to our pancake and hot chocolate breakfast. After that it was bracelt art and the short little hike on a trial just above the shorline. After that we retunred to fishing were our luck hadnt changed but at least this time I didnt lose any tackle.

Kylie, Maya and Sarah

Sarah doing her nail art

The three girls on the hiking trail

After having no luck with fishing, Keith, Kylie's dad, suggested we head to a small municipal park were the fishing was alot better. Pretty much like shooting fish in a barrel. So off we went. I wasnt able to fish at the park as I didnt have an urban fishing license but I had more fun watching Sarah and Kylie fishing. After 30-46 minutes Sarah caught her fish ever fish, a ssmall sunfish/bluegill. Not to long after that we decided to call it a day, headed over to Subway and had lunch.

Sarah fishing at Rio Vista

Sarah and Kylie with the catch of the day

Keith and I cleaning up

The early morning start mustve got to Sarah as she passed out on the way home. I kinda wish she stayed asleep longer. It wasnt 20 minutes after we got home from our very special morning when she crashed on her bike. But thats a story for tomorrow

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Surprise Party

Going back in time once again with this blog entry. On Friday the 5th Debbie, Sarah, Tyler, Megan, Ryan and I went to the annual city of Surprise Party at the Surprise Recreation Campus. Its the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The party takes place on Friday night and most of the day Saturday.

We went up there around 7 ish to take part of the festivities. Basicaly they have a stage with bnads playing, arts and crafts booths, rides for the kids etc. We justn kinda hung and and waited for the hot air balloons to do their lightup acty and then the actual ligthing of the tree. They did it a little bit different this year. Initialy they didnt have the baloons out. THey just had the baskets of the balloons scattered about and when the lighting of the tree took place, the balloons hit their burners. It was pretty cool looking to see those big ol flames coming out the top with out the balloon.

After a while they started filling up the balloons with air and gave the whole party a unique glow show. There musvte been 12-15 balloons there. It was pretty neat. Definately will go back next year.
Sarah, Debbie, Ryan and Tyler

Dude, your head is on fire! Lol. Kinda interesting how I got this guy directly in between me and the hot air balloon basket as the balloon crew hit the burner.

The official City of Surprise Christmas tree. Probably the most photographed thing in Surprise this time of year.

One of the balloons a glow

A few more of them lit up for everybodies viewing pleasure

Just a little bit of useless trivia for you folks that I learned when we went on our hot air balloon ride. There are two parts to a hot air balloon, the basket and the envelope. The basket is what the pilot and passengers rides in, the envelope is the material in which the hot air fills and allows the balloon to rise. So in actuality the term hot air balloon is the sum of two parts, the basket and the envelope. SO there you go you leanred something new today. That knowledge and 6 bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks =)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

We've had a lot going on in the last week or so that Id like to share but just havent had the time or the ambition to do so. Ill start off with the hike we took as a family this past Saturday.

Debbie and I have been part of a small group through church for the last two months. We meet with other couples and discuss the book Have A New Kid by Friday. It is written by Dr Kevin Leman. Its a pretty interesting way of changing your childs attitude, behavior and character in 5 days.

During one of the meetings we decided as a group that we would get together and do something as a group with our families. It was decided we would hike a nearby mountain. There were some concerns as a few of us had small children but would were reassured that they would be able to do it wasnt that challenging.

So we show up Saturday afternoon with our two kids and Megan and Ryan ( Deb's sister Heather's kids ) There are like 6-8 couples in the group normaly. Well only 3 of us couples showed up. Heather and Jeff are in the group too but were in Vegas ) Oh well, I guess its not such a big deal, it wont be as crowded on the trail ( as it was there were 16 of us )

I probably shouldve paid more attention to how long it took us to climb up and down but I didnt. We took our Garmin GPS with us as there was a Geocache at the top of the mountian. After much searching by most everybody in the party we never did find the cache. Jason said that when he cant find caches he tells Joe Darago ( our lead pastor ) and Joe usualy finds them. SO it sounds like Joe might be doing some hiking soon =) Never the less a good time was had by all. After we made it back down the mountain we went to a nearbdy park were we had some Gatorade, water and snacks and the kids played on the palayground and a few of us played a real short game of football.

One bit of irony. As Debbie and I got to the top and start looking west from the mountain, we realized this was the same mountain we flew by when we went on our hot air balloon ride a month ago. Whats the odds in that?
On the trail up

About halfway up, looking south towards Peoria

Ryan, Debbie, Sarah, Tyler, Me and Megan at the halfway point

Almost there, looking north towards the next mountian

At the top

A little post hike football in the park

A good time was had by all, nobody fell off the mountain or biffed it down the trail in a major way so life was good. My kids really enjoyed it and I think hiking will be something we will continue to do as a family.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Holiday Meme

I saw this on Kris's blog and decided to play along

If you want to play along, copy the questions onto your blog, post the answers, and leave a comment here so I know to go read yours.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? As bad as I am at wrapping things I prefer wrapping paper, it gives a present a more personal touch

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, real ones die here too fast

3. When do you put up the tree? Usualy the day after Thanksgiving, this year Ill do it over this weekend

4. When do you take the tree down? Day after New Years

5. Do you like eggnog? I dont recall what it even tastes like its been so long

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm probably my Star Wars Snowspeeder or my Spider-Man action figure

5. Hardest person to buy for? Debbie

6. Easiest person to buy for? Myself ( what? dont tell me you dont buy things for yourself while out shopping =) )

7. Do you have a nativity scene? No, but I plan on buying one this year

8. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail them, kinda goes along with the wrapping paper theory

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Drawing a blank here.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

11. When Do You Start Shopping For Christmas? Up until a few years ago, I'd do my shopping ( like most men ) on Christmas Eve. Now its usual the week of Chirstmas

12. Have you Ever Recycled a Christmas present? No

13. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Danish Butter Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Tamales

14. Lights on the tree? Yeppers, our tree is pre-lit with 1,000 clear lights

15. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night, Christmas Sarajevo and Gene Autry's Silver Bells

16. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Usualy travel to one of the inlaws houses

17. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes but only by singing that bit at the beginning of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. ( again, gotta go with Gene Autrys version =) )

18. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel that Sarah made in preschool

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Day.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Christmas decorations and music in the stores before Thanksgiving

21. Favorite ornament theme or color? no theme really, just a mix of old and new

22. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Honey baked ham

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? My two front teeth =)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Whoa Nellie! Were has the year gone?!

I cant believe its December 1st already. Sheesh is seems like the first of the year was just a few days ago. Time to get the Christmas decorations down. Actualy Ill be doing that Thursday and Friday as I have the days off.

I weighed in this morning, boy that wasnt good. I guess Thanksgiving finally caught up with me . I gained from last week. Sucks as on Thursday morning I was down 1.4 lbs from that Monday. Ooops. Im still down but that number is dwindling fast. Need to keep focused.