Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year

Here's hoping for a great New Year! I say that knowing that I have personally had a great year. I have done some reflecting this Christmas break and have realized how lucky my family and I are. Our kids are healthy and happy. My wife and I have jobs and we both love our jobs. Both sets of our parents are alive and doing well. When many families are struggling to make ends meat, ours is lucky enough to have enough money to live comfortably and enjoy life. My wife and I have some great friends, and like us, know how important their family is. I hope everyone realizes how lucky they are even if they don't think they are. You show me someone having a hard time and I will show you someone in even worse shape. Be thankful for what you have and enjoy life! It is too short! Although I don't really believe in making New Year's resolutions, I will allow myself to make a couple here since I am blogging about the New Year. Here they are:

1. Lose some weight. (I think pretty much everyone makes this one!)

2. Keep exercising. (I don't think this will be a problem. I love doing it!)

3. Have patience with my kids. After all...they are kids! I sure do love them!

Have a great New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lincoln, IL

Breakfast at Crackbarrel on a freezing cold day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow day feast

Chinese buffet on an icy day...yum!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Tiramisu tonight!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


As most of you know that read my blog I am not into politics. I am, however, into discussing injustice and misuse of power. Rod Blagojevich makes me sick! How he ever got elected is beyond me. I guess if you can carry Chicago then you are destined to be elected. First he refuses to move to Springfield and rumors of his lack of integrity run wild. Now, of course, he is in the middle of one of the biggest political blunders ever! I mean seriously, who in their right mind would think they could get away with selling a senate seat? Is he that naive or is he so impressed with his own political power that he thinks he is above the law? Either way it does not bode well for the state of Illinois. We need to clean house and get all of the political garbage in Springfield! I, for one, am not proud of saying I am from Illinois today. One of my friends today said she heard on the news that we are one of the top, if not the top, corrupt states in the nation! Aren't you excited to call yourself an Illinoisan? I would love to hear something positive about Illinois government. When kids hear about all the corruption and misuse of power in the state of Illinois in the backs of their minds they have to be saying "If they can do it then why can't I?" CLEAN UP YOUR ACT SPRINGFIELD! DON'T YOU WANT TO HAVE KIDS SAYING THAT THEY WANT TO GROW UP TO BE SO-AND-SO BECAUSE THEY ARE A GOOD MAN AND DO THE RIGHT THINGS?

Bail Out

Should we bail out the "Big 3"? That is an excellent question. I have heard both sides of the argument. I hear quite a bit "If I get in trouble the government doesn't bail me out!". Well no they don't but you are not responsible for thousands of jobs. I feel sorry for the hard laborers of these companies that are caught in the middle. That is about my only argument for the bail out. I think that the leaders of these companies have not handled money and devolpment well on their end and now they are paying for it. They do need to learn a lesson from this. The economy is in bad shape and we all are suffering which means we all have to make sacrifices. Taking a pay cut should just be the start for the leaders of these companies. I do agree with several senators that have stated that total restructuring needs to occur for something good to happen. It was nice to here the words "energy efficient cars" in the discussion of changes needing to be made. A "Car Czar" is another good idea but instead I think it needs to be a committee made of business leaders with different specialties. One person in charge of it all would be overwhelming and almost impossible. What are some of your ideas concerning the bail out?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Earth-Friendly Homes

My 8th graders are currently working on building (and describing) Earth-Friendly Homes. The imaginations of junior high kids always amaze me. They are working extremely hard and very few of them are doing the same thing. Some of the things they have to build and describe are a water system, waste options, heating and cooling options, and alternative energy sources.

I will keep you updated and will definitely have pictures up as soon as they are completed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Have a great Turkey day everyone!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Here I come Thanksgiving Break!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage

Yesterday Mr. Zanger (grade school principal at Payson Seymour Grade School) and myself visited and Ecovillage that goes by the name of Dancing Rabbit. It was an unbelievable learning experience! It sure opens your eyes. It is located a little way outside of Rutledge, Missouri. My tour guide, BJ, did a great job and had answers to all of my questions. Take a look at my picutres.

Take a look at their site.


I went to the IETC (Illinois Educators Technology Conference) this past Thursday and Friday. Other than worrying about my wife while I was there I had a great time. Mr. Page and I presented on Friday during the last session. It was not the best time slot but we had an active crowd of 15 and we had a blast sharing our knowledge about Senteo Clickers. I think for being the first time presenting together we worked well together. We had a script but we both kind of fed off each other and added to each others parts. I would love to do workshops and seminars throughout the year especially during the summer.

We were disappointed with the general seminars but the luncheon speakers were exceptional. I actually got to see Vicki Davis speak. I subscribe to her blog "Cool Cat Teacher Blog". So overall a great time and I did learn some things and meet some incredible people.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Exciting time at the hospital.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Snow and football...good combo!

Monday, November 10, 2008

And It Begins

The cold weather kind of snuck up on me this year. I have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to "smell the roses". As I look out the window today I see the end of another growing season. In a two day period the beautiful trees that were just outside my school windows have been reduced to barren land-like trees. We have been so lucky with the weather so far that when the November-like weather did hit I think it took us all by suprise. The November clouds have rolled in and have covered us in that familiar early holiday feel. I can practically smell the pumpkin pie when I look out at the leafless trees and dying grass. I hope that you are not getting the wrong impression. I love this time of year. Walks outside are one of my favorite things to do this time of year. The smell of decaying leaves is heavenly to me. It reminds me of growing up and playing outside in the fall. In a couple of weeks Thanksgiving will be here and the holiday season will be in full swing. Don't get so busy that you forget to enjoy the small things like watching a holiday show with your kids, cooking with your kids, reading a book with your kids, having a good talk with your wife with a cup of coffee, and laughing as silly things with your family. These are the things that make life worth living.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I voted this morning at 6 am. I thought I would be there early enough that I would not have to wait. Wrong! I think there were ten, or so, people in front of me to get into the door. It is an easy process but I did not think that the people that were working the polls were overly friendly. I about got my head taken off for trying to borrow one of their pens. Anyway, it was pretty painless and I am glad I voted. It does concern me a little that I am not the most knowledgable person when it comes to politics. I knew for certain how I was going to vote for President and for a couple of other issues but some offices I had no idea on. I guess as long as I voted for what I wanted as far as President and the issues that concerned me I did the best I could. I can't wait to see the results. I have to say that this is the first Presidential race that I have even been remotely interested in. Here's hoping for a great four years either way!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Don't get into trouble (at least not too much!).
Don't eat too much candy!

Do be safe!
Do be smart!
Do have fun!

A Choppy November

Our November here at school is a chopped up mess. Next week we are here two days and some change. We have parent/teacher conferences next week. The following week we get out of school on Tuesday for Veteran's Day...seriously, a Tuesday, Wednesday I will be attending a Solar Workshop in Springfield, IL., and Friday I have a 1/2 day meeting at school. The following week I am helping a colleague present at a Technology conference on Thursday and Friday in Springfield, IL. and during the last week in November we will, of course, be enjoying Thanksgiving Break. What a month! It happens and it one of the things as a teacher you must get used to. My lesson plan book, if I didn't have a student teacher, would look like hieroglyphics. Everyone have a great November!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Y Football

3 practices left.

Football Almost Over

My son's football season is almost over. He has really stepped it up concerning taking on more responsibility as far as getting homework done and having all his football gear ready. It will be sad when the season is over. He has worked hard and really enjoyed himself. I have enjoyed watching him and learning with him. He has four practices left and one game. The weather is just now starting to behave like football weather and watching football while there is a chill in the air and leaves are falling is special.

Next question...when does his basketball season start?

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Album

I just picked up the new ACDC album, Black Ice. I can't wait to listen to it. I will give my full review in a couple days. Until then...rock out!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Countdown to Smartboard

Two days and counting. The Smartboard that will adorn my room will be installed on Wednesday! I can't wait. I have many lessons already done and ready to go and I am lucky enough to be subscribed to a wonderful site headed up by James Hollis. He seems to be quite the Guru! He has already taken time out of his busy schedule to help me out with a couple of questions regarding the Smartboard. The resources for the Smartboard seem to be endless. I guess the only setback on finding resources is time. I am excited and ready to start a new page in my teaching career.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Miracle Needed

Cub and Sox in the Series? Only if a miracle happens. The Cubs are choking big time and the Sox aren't playing up to their capabilities and, in my opinion, are playing a better overall team. I guess we can all still wish. As they say, "It's not over until the fat lady sings."

Beautiful Day for Football!

The Fighting Irish play today, my son has practice, and my family is coming for the weekend to watch my son's game tomorrow. 73 and sunny today...awesome! I will blog ya' from the game with a pic. These kind of weekends are what I live for. Running around with my family in some nice weather is about as simple as it gets but some how it reminds me what is important in life. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yankee Stadium

A sad day yesterday. Although I am not a Yankee fan I am a sports history buff and I have to admit to getting a little sentimental yesterday when I was watching quite possibly the last game in Yankee Stadium. "The House That Ruth Built" gone. All the names associated with the Stadium...Yogi, Joe D, Mantle, Loe Gehrig, Ruth, Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Steinbrenner and the list goes on. It is like we are getting rid of the American "Roman Coliseum". It is terrible but I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. This is my tribute to a true American icon!


I am on my last nerve with the KC Chiefs! They are brutal! I do realize that we are on our third string quaterback and we are young, but come on, it is the NFL! LJ is not performing as he has in the past and I don't see him turning it around. The were some glimpses of the old LJ but not enough to get excited about. Tony G has been playing well but one man does not make a team. I don't know if I am going to be able to watch them play the rest of the season. It is frustrating. KC PICK IT UP AND START PLAYING LIKE AND NFL TEAM!

A Chicago Series?

Will it be the Sox and Cubs in the World Series? I know, it is too early to tell for the Cubs (and maybe the Sox!). You may say, especially if you are a Cub fan, that "too early for the Cubs?", we have already clinched! You are right but you do know the history of the Cubs. The Sox are within five games of clinching and I really hope they pull it off. Wouldn't it be something if we had two Chicago teams in the Series? I want to see it happen in the worst way. What a Series it would be! I will not be there. The main reason is is that I think it will be totally psycho in the Windy City! Cub fans and Sox fans coming together? Come on!

Monday, September 15, 2008

As she teaches...

As Ms. Hermesmeyer teaches her lesson to the freshman I find myself thinking about all the ways to teach with a Smartboard. The possibilities are pretty much endless. Kids interacting with the board, each other, and with you as the teacher. How much better can it get? Could Smartboards eventually teach a class by themselves? Probably. Does human interaction and imagination make learning on the Smartboard more exciting and beneficial? Definitely! We, as teachers, have to make sure we are stretching the Smartboard technology to the limits so that better products can be created. New projects and ideas on the Smartboard are what the Smartboard is all about! I hope I have the opportunity to work with a Smartboard on a continuous basis. I am sure it would increase my teaching success on many levels.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Giving Up The Reigns

Tomorrow my student teacher starts teaching all my classes. I think she will do an excellent job but I always struggle with giving up the routine and control in my classroom. I work hard to establish a routine and relationship between myself and my students. This year I will have to do it twice because I have two student teachers scheduled. My current student teacher is reminding of the small things. All the things I take for granted as a veteran teacher are coming back to me as I watch her live and learn. She is a quick learner and seems to adapt well.

Sports Fan Update

Let's start with the good news. My White Sox are still clinging to a small lead in the AL Central. Hopefully we can hang on. Some more good news is that my Notre Dame Fighting Irish are now 2-0 with a defeat of the Michigan Wolverines! They really put it to 'um!

Now for the bad...My Chiefs are really stinking it up! We got beat by the Raiders today! That is embarrassing. I don't know how they are deciding who to play at the quarterback position but it almost looks like they are flipping a coin!

I guess two for three isn't bad.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I got to use Mr. Page's Smartboard today! What an amazing tool. The technology involved in this thing is totally amazing! The kids really got into it (almost as much as I did!). In my opinion every classroom should have one. It is teaching at a whole new level.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Football is upon us! My son's season starts this weekend. College football started last weekend and the NFL starts tomorrow night. Today was the first day that if felt like football season around here. It was around 65 degrees or so and drizzling around practice time. My son is playing the line. He is in 5th grade and weighs 109 pounds. He is not fat but is built pretty big. He loves football and I think that he really understands the game, but what do I know. My school didn't have football. We were too small. He loves to talk about it and has really been bonding with the team. Quite a few of them have nicknames already. So far I have heard the names "Grizz" and "Mount Mosely"...pretty cool for 5th and 6th graders!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Midwest Weather

Currently it is 87 degrees in my room and 91 outside. It feels like we are in an oven. Dismissal time today has been moved up to 2:00 pm. It sure is hard for students to concentrate when the temperature and humidity are up like they are today. The students did well today even with the heat the way it was. My son has football practice tonight. Welcome to football son!

On the other hand, tomorrow's high is supposed to be 72 degrees! What a difference a day makes! This Midwest weather is crazy! Hopefully this cooler weather will energize us all. Keep cool!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rolling with Technology

Since we have established a routine in school it is about time to bust out the technology and put our 2008 brains to work! I have started by creating a social network for all the teachers at Payson Seymour. I hope all of the teachers take advantage of this. I think it will become a great asset. The 7th grade gmail accounts are almost set up and I have sent the first email of the school year to my current 8th and 9th graders. Is there any end to what you can do with technology? The Smartboards for the math teachers are in! I can't wait to get my hands on this interesting technology! Mr. Page will be very useful in filling us in on the capabilities of this futuristic textbook. May we all profit from the advantages of technology and have patience when technology doesn't always work the way we want it to.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Album

Slipknot's new album comes out tomorrow! Can't wait to crank it up!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

First Week at School a Success

For all the worrying that I did about this year I have to say that the year is starting out great! Our contract is finally settled. The new faculty is wonderful and full of enthusiasm. The kids seem to be excited and so far have been well behaved. We got all of the secretarial work done this assignments, books handed out, etc. My room is almost done as far as decorating goes. A few more things here and there and it will be complete. Next week we will start to establish a routine. My student teacher has been a real asset and I am looking forward to see her interact with the class. I am starting to get caught up in the classroom and I am getting back in the groove.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Last Day of Summer

Students, enjoy your last day of summer vacation tomorrow!

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In Rushville after a busy day at school.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


School starts tomorrow! This is going to be a great year! I hope all the students are ready. My room is redecorated and I am pretty much right on track as far as having stuff ready. Here's wishing the best to all the teachers and students at Payson Seymour in the 2008-2009 school year. Let's all be positive and hardworking.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Week From Today

A week from today I start school. I am excited! It is going to be a good year and I have spent a lot of time this summer in my room changing some things around and making it a little more homey. Thank you to Mrs. Linderer and Mrs. Steffen for giving me some of their time this summer to help in the redecorating process. I felt it was important to show the students that the young new teachers weren't the only ones that were going to bring something different and exciting to the table. I still have a few things to do at school but I think I am ahead of the game. It looks like on our schedule that we will have a little more time to work in our rooms the first couple of days of school. I hope all my students bring the same enthusiasm to school as the majority of the teachers. Wouldn't it be great if all of us were committed to having a positive attitude during the 2008-2009 school year?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cornfest Rides

Enjoying the roller coaster.

Cornfest Continued

Rides galore.


Uncle Donnie in all his Cornfest glory!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Teaching an old dog new tricks!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

At Home and Brain Spent

We are now back home from a full weekend of family reunion. My brain is almost fried! I talked sports and politics quite a bit. Although I am about the least political person I know it was nice to talk to some of Sue's relatives, specifically her Uncle Ed, on certain political issues. It was nice to hear someone from another generation lay out his opinion on the way things are going in this country. Let's just put it this way, he does not have an optimistic outlook for this country. I am an open minded person so I love to take in as many opinions as possible. I feel that he is a well informed person and I do respect him but I guess either due to my being naive concerning politics or my almost annoying positive outlook on things that I refuse to believe that our country is totally going down the crapper. Yes, there are things that need to change and I do feel that he is correct in saying that people our age really need to step up and take a stand on some things but I love this country and again, I am probably really naive, but I feel that most people want to do what is right for this country. All that being said I thought I would bust out some old campaign buttons (check out the pic).

It is nice to be home and I am really excited about figuring out how to blog from my phone. It worked well. My sister-in-law and her son are here at our house tonight to shorten their trip tomorrow.

We have a very busy week ahead of us (AGAIN!). Tomorrow is about the only day that we don't have any definite plans or visitors. Tuesday I my mom is coming to watch the kids and I have a meeting in Rushville at 12:30. When I get back from that meeting, around 4:30 or so, we are all going out to eat and then I have to drive out to Payson for another meeting. On Wednesday since my mom is here I plan on going out to Payson to work in my room in the morning. On Thursday I have training on our new grade program from 8 until 3. It is kind of nice to get back into a routine. We then have family plans all weekend! Busy, busy, busy! You gotta love it!

The Morning After

I am sitting outside enjoying the cool morning after the storm.

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This is the only time you will see anything Hawkeye on my blog.

Friday, August 1, 2008


A little Cribbage.
Watching the kids swim...hilarious!

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Family reunion. Having...

Family reunion. Having a great time at the family reunion. It sure is nice to see everybody. listen

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Family Reunion

Is all this stuff necessary for a 3 day trip for a 10 year old (excluding luggage)?!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Chance to Vent for Students

Here's your chance students! With all the new changes at school I thought this would be a good time to ask your opinion on changes that should/could be made. Please think it through before you comment and make it worth while! Please sign. If I need an explanation of something I want to be able to address you. Remember, I want only valid possibilities and nothing like "We should have McDonald's cater our lunches!".


Yet another test!

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Another Test Mobile blogging!

New School Year, New Look

I thought since pretty much everything I know at school is changing, which is a good thing I think, that I should change up my blog and update the look. I hope you like it. We, as teachers at Payson Seymour, are 18 days away from school starting. The summer has slipped away at an unbelievable rate! I have really been a slacker lately on blogging but have put it in my head that this is a good way for me to get back in the groove of the school routine so my posts will become as frequent as they were during last school year. Most of you know how summer goes...busy, busy, busy...and the last thing you want to do is tie yourself to the computer. I have taken a pretty good break from blogging so I feel refreshed and ready to go.

By the way, the changes I am referring to are a new contract, many new teachers, a new principal, and some moving of teachers. It is going to be a good year!

During the next few days most of my blogs will be from Jott so they will be short and if anything is misquoted or hard to understand it is because it was not transcribed correctly. I will be busy with a family reunion. It should be fun. My wife's family is fun and full of jokesters. Enjoy the new look!

Monday, July 28, 2008

New tool. Hey, I just...

New tool. Hey, I just wanted to let you guys know I haven't blogged for a while, but this is for which is a interesting tool because I'm using my phone to do this. See you at school, Bye. listen

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Enough Brett Favre!

Let me start off by saying I am not a Packer fan. Although I have trouble admitting it the last couple of years, I am a Chiefs fan. My dad is a Packer fan and has been all his life. He loves Brett Favre. I do like Favre's heart and will to win but this whole coming out of retirement thing is driving me nuts! I can't even turn on ESPN to get the scores without something about the "old man" coming up! Yes he will be in the Hall of Fame. Yes he was one of the best. Yes he probably still has game left in him. No it is not right to hold Aaron Rodgers back another year. He has done his time and I would bet he has learned more from Favre in the last few years than most quarterbacks do in their entire career. If Brett does want to play then the Packers should release him and let him do his thing. Start a new run with Rodgers! If I was a Packer fan it would be hard to see Brett go but I would not want to see him deteriorate in front of me and go out in a bad way. I would want to remember him the way he was when he was winning and doing all the things that we liked watching Brett Favre do, eluding the rush and using the cannon he has! Out of respect I would like to wish Brett Favre all the best in whatever he does. He deserves the best for what he did for the game of football. (I can't believe I just said that. I hope my dad doesn't read this!)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

School Mentality

It is kind of nice this summer. I have been involved with our negotiation committee and talking to fellow teachers about the upcoming school year. It is going to be rather different this year. We had 5 teachers retire on our side of the road and I am really feeling like one of the "old dogs". Anyway, the reason I say that it is kind of nice is because my brain has not been allowed to go to mush this summer due to meetings and thinking about this coming year. It is keeping me on my game you might say. It should make the transition into the school year quite a bit easier. I am very excited about the upcoming school year! I will be having two excellent student teachers this year so that should definitely add to the excitement! I have also had a few contacts on Twitter recently from fellow teachers asking me about what they should teach first in their class concerning technology. That is so cool!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Tricky "Wakefield-like" Pitch

Check this pitch out!

A Visit From Mom

My mom got here today to visit for a few days. It has been awhile since she has been here. We just did a couple of things today because of the heat. We got Jimmy John's and took it to the park for a picnic. The kids weren't really in the mood to play. They said it was too hot. I didn't think it was too bad in the shade with the breeze blowing. After we left the park we ran a few errands and I took my mom across the bridge to show her where the flood waters had been. Tomorrow we are going to the farmer's market and then taking a trip to a pond to do a little fishing before the rain hits. I do have a meeting tomorrow night but my wife and kids are going to entertain Grandma. I don't know what they are going to do but I am positive it will be more exciting than a meeting. We don't have much planned for Wednesday but I think my son is going back home with Grandma to spend a few days in my home town. My daughter can't wait for her turn. It is still 86 outside and it is 10 pm! Unbelievable!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If this doesn't get to you nothing will!

Old Friends

My wife and I got to see some old friends from college last night. He is in the military and they are in the middle of another move. It was nice to see them again and get to know their entire family. Their girls are getting big and are good kids. It is amazing to me how different peoples' lifestyles can be. I personally cannot imagine moving three times in five years. They seem to not be too phased by it. I think it would knock my whole family out of whack. We are pretty set in our routine and the kids really enjoy where they are at. I guess all of us would adapt. You don't really have an option. I admire them for being able to move and make a fresh start so many times. I guess I just think of our family as the typical Midwest family that stays pretty close to home and remain, for the lack of a better term, "simple" people. By the term "simple" I mean enjoying the simple things in life like watching your kids play in the backyard or having a summer cookout with friends. Simple to me means being happy with the everyday things that life provides you such as a smile or comment from your kids. I have a feeling of being safe and relaxed knowing that my family is living in a small Midwest city where things are a little slower than the big city. Don't get me wrong. I do like to travel and visit interesting places but it sure is nice to have a place you can call "home". I am not saying that my friends have it wrong. It is their life and if they enjoy it that is wonderful. They thing that really made me proud last night was when they said that when he retired from the military that they would love to move back to the Quincy area. To me there is no bigger compliment.

My parents always took my brother and I on vacations and we enjoyed them and didn't always know how lucky we were. It was nice to see the way other people lived but I always thought it was nice to say "We're on our way home!". I am proud to be from the Midwest and traveling, or living, in other parts of the country has always made me appreciate where I came from.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally, feeling like I am back in a routine...

It has taken me about a week to get back in the groove and get moving back in a routine. I spent the morning running out to school and getting stuff together for a meeting tonight. When my daughter and I got back from picking up my son we ate lunch and then went outside and tore out an ugly bush of ours. My daughter cleaned her room. I spent the next couple of hours cleaning the house. A very busy day but back where I needed to be. We all will be pretty busy this week. It was nice seeing some of my students this morning!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Biltmore Estate - Day 5

We went to the Biltmore Estate today in Asheville, NC. We were there for roughly six hours and walked most of the time. It was very impressive! I don't remember all the facts that were thrown out but I can tell you this, it was immense! We got to visit 60 rooms of the house. My favorite parts were the basement, that included a "game room" and and indoor pool, and the smoking and gun rooms. We ate at Deer Park at the estate. It was a wonderful lunch buffet with some original twists on some southern favorites. When we get done we went the Biltmore McDonalds for some drinks. It was weird to see a McDonalds dressed up to be that upscale. The food or prices were not different but the place looked pretty classy (pictures posted later).

Tomorrow starts the long ride home with a side trip through the Smokey Mountains. I miss the kids and can't wait to get home. It has been a fun trip but the days just flew by.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 2 and 3

We have been busy! On day 2 we drove to Duke University in Durham, NC. I took around 70 pictures! It was amazing! It is one of those places you never think you will get to see. As most of you that read my blog know, I am a big Duke basketball fan. Click on this link if you wish to see all of my Duke pics.

After we visited Duke we drove on to Myrtle Beach, SC, which was about a three and a half hour drive. As soon as we got there and got settled we walked across the street to the Atlantic Ocean! My wife had never seen the ocean before. We were both excited to be there. We then went to Broadway on the Beach and ate at Margaritaville (which neither one of us had been to). It was a great first day at Myrtle Beach.

On day 3 we got up and ate a quick breakfast and then hit the beach. It was in the 90's yesterday here so it was already pretty warm at 9 a.m. After a morning on the beach we went and ate a seafood buffet called The Giant Crab. It was delicious but we both ate way too much! After our late lunch it was on to Ripley's Aquarium (South Carolina's most visited tourist attraction) at Broadway at the Beach. It was really cool and I got a ton of pictures! My favorite part was the tube that you walked through. It was like you were right in the middle of the ocean. Since we were at Broadway at the Beach again we just milled around and did some souvenir shopping. It started to rain a little so we went back to the room and chilled awhile. When the rain had stopped we took advantage of it and went for a walk on the beach. Even though it was quite late there were still tons of people on the beach.

We plan on going to Barefoot Landing today (kind of like Broadway at the Beach) after another trip to the beach.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 1

My wife and I got up at 4:30 a.m. and were on the road by around 5:30 a.m. We drove 13 hours and are now sitting in a motel room in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It was a long day but it was well worth it. It was sunny and hovered around 80-85 degrees during our drive. We really enjoyed the mountains in West Virginia and Virginia. It was the first time that my wife had seen anything like that. She was impressed. We enjoyed the satellite radio and our GPS. We both miss our kids but are enjoying ourselves.

Tomorrow is the day! Here we come Duke Blue Devils. We are around an hour and a half from Durham, North Carolina...the home of my Duke Blue Devils. I can't wait to see Cameron Indoor Stadium!

Pictures coming soon!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Trip Tomorrow

Leaving for vacation tomorrow! I can't wait. It seems like we have been planning this for 3 years! I will post a blog with my pictures that I plan on posting on Picasa. I'll will be thinking about all you people not on vacation. :)

By the way...I hope we don't run into any flooding! It sounds like it could be possible but we will see.


Since I added my counter I have now had 10,000 hits on my blog! I know to some of you big time bloggers that isn't many but that seems like a pretty big milestone to me. Thanks for the visits and keep coming back!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Perfect Day

Yesterday was a great day! We had a lot of fun as a family. My son had one of his friends over in the afternoon. He hadn't seen his friend in about a year. He now lives in Peoria. They get along great and I think his friend is a good influence on him. His buddy is quiet and very polite. I am not saying that my son is not polite but his friend seems to have a calming influence on him. They had a blast playing PS2 and war. At around 6 or so we all went to the St. Francis picnic. All through the day I kept thinking that the heat and wind was going to blow up one heck of a storm but it never happened. It was still pretty warm at the picnic but there was a nice breeze. The kids had a blast running around with their friends and my wife and I had a good time chatting with friends. I left the picnic at around 8 and the boys were right behind me. My wife and daughter stayed a little longer but were home around 9 or so. When everyone was home my wife and I sat out on the patio and the kids played out in the yard. A family of friends stopped by at about 9:30 and we had a great time talking and watching the kids run around and play flashlight tag. As I told my wife, "This is what summers are all about!" Anyway, that was my perfect day.

More Stroms On The Way

I can't believe it! More storms on the way. I hope we get through the night without some serious damage.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fun Summer Day

My son had a friend stay the night last night and they already beat Lego Indiana Jones! His friend stayed until 10 a.m. and then we ran errands. I had to get the rest of the stuff for putting down some quarter round and a few things at the store. My wife and I decided to take the kids out for lunch so we did the HyVee thing. The kid's loved it! They ate a ton! When we got home I put the quarter round down and the kids played. My daughter was excited because she got to go next door and play Wii with one of her little girl friends. It sure is humid out. It seems like we went from early Spring right into the middle of summer! I hate having the air on.

Barack Obama

It seems that Obama is the man! Is that good or bad?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer So Far

I have been really busy so far this summer. I have done some Spring cleaning, painted part of the the garage, done some "fixin' it", cooked, taken the kids to the park and for ice cream, and walked everyday so far. I have been slacking in the blog department but I will do better. I am currently waiting for my mother in-law and my wife's Aunt to stop by with some clothes for my daughter. Yes, I have been busy but it has been a fun and stress free busy so far. I get my blood work done on Thursday for my kidney doctor visit which is next week. Vacation is right around the corner and I am really looking forward to it. My son just got Lego Indiana Jones today for his PS2 and he and his friends have been up in his "man-cave" all day playing it. He put it on reserve and has been patiently waiting it's arrival for about a month or so. The weather has been exciting around here the past couple of weeks with strong storms and tornado watches and warnings creeping up it seems like every couple of days. Anyway, enjoy your summer because I am sure enjoying mine! By the way, I rub it in to my brother every chance I get!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Busy weekend! Friday I took my son to see Indiana Jones. It was good but a little more hoaky than the past Indiana Jones movies. On Saturday we had some friends over for a cook out. It was a good time. On Sunday we made the trip to my in-laws in Iowa. My son and I went fishing with Grandpa and caught 14 fish (Bluegill, Bass, and Crappie). My son cleaned all but 5 of them. It was his first time and he did a fine job. As a family we spent a lot of time outside even though it seemed like there was a constant threat of rain or storms. Today we grilled out hamburgers at my in-laws and I fried about half of the previous day's catch. My wife and I left after lunch. The kids are excited because they get to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's tonight by themselves. When we got home I got the yard mowed. My wife and I enjoyed a quiet dinner out and are currently watching Ocean's 12 (not too exciting so far).