Saturday, March 31, 2007

Weekend with Shayna

Kayla and Tywana went to COSI for the weekend, leaving me here to entertain Miss Shayna. Shayna was very concerned about how she'd cope being stuck with me and without her fearless leader Kayla.

Shayna has a list of things she wants to accomplish while Kayla and Tywana are gone. She wants to update her iPod (with the songs she wants), she wants to rent a DVD, she wants to play putt-putt and she wants to watch the Buckeyes with me.

We had lunch at Frisch's today. I thought she was going to get a fish sandwich or a cheeseburger (she always gets a cheeseburger). She started lunch with a Sprite. Then, she ordered pancakes and sausage. Some lunch...



Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring Came Early

We've had some very strange weather this year. I think January was a record for mild weather. February was close to the coldest February we've ever had. And, March has been the warmest March in 30 years. The flowers and trees are almost in full bloom and it's not even April! April showers bring May flowers indeed.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kayla Working

Kayla was doing some sort of project for school today. It was so nice out that she decided to work outside. This pose (sitting with her legs turned back) reminds me of a picture taken of me at about her age when I was practicing piano sitting just like this on the piano bench.


Monday, March 26, 2007

On The Crew...

OK. I'm cheating. This 365 Project is harder than I thought it would be. I'm using a photo from Sunday for my Monday post. So, sue me!

This photo shows the mixing board I'm learning to set up so that I can relieve Chuck from the audio crew every once in a while. Guess my pictures of me building "the beast" got me into trouble.

It's actually great being involved at Nexus. At the Vineyard, when I was on the A/V crew, I felt completely superfluous. I never even made it to the "A Team" to work the Sunday morning service (actually, I didn't want the pressure of the A Team at the Vineyard- those guys are hardcore). At Nexus, there are so few people, I have to be involved and my involvement makes a real impact. I like that.

On the audio crew

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Church Home?

We had an experiential worship experience again on Sunday at Nexus. Really, it's not my thing. But, a couple of thing about it really resonated with me on Sunday. One was the image of the cross that was all around. I've really been thinking about the cross lately, mostly due to an on-line debate with Master Mike. The time on Sunday morning gave me more time to reflect on that. The other thing was this station which had the "nothing can separate us" verse from Romans. But, what I really liked was the touch at the end "not even yourself". How cool is it to actually be in church with people who believe that? I never thought I'd see the day.

Church home

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cedar Plank Salmon- mmm, mmm good

Mike gave me the idea to try a Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon. This was so good. I bought the planks at Kroger and got a 2 pound hunk of salmon. I made a marinade with Jack Daniels (well, we had Old Forrester on hand), barbecue sauce, brown sugar and orange juice. 20 minutes on the grill and this was as tasty as any salmon I've had in any restaurant.

I didn't notice until I uploaded the picture that the picture actually caught some of the smoke wafting up from the plank. Makes my mouth water all over again.

Cedar Plank Salmon

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lunch at Wendy's

The girls and I had lunch at Wendy's today. Shayna always gets a cheeseburger. For some reason, Kayla never eats them anymore. She gets nuggets. Just a casual outing with the three of us.

Wendy's Outing

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Christmas Cactus?

They call this thing a Christmas cactus. We've had it for many years now and it always blooms right around Christmas and only then. This year it bloomed at Christmas and is in bloom again.

Christmas Cactus?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Shayna So Wants To Be A Singer

During Ty's rehearsal today, Shayna took a free moment to pop in Mommy's chair and pretend...

Shayna Wants To Be In The Band

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mike Visits

Mike came down to watch the Ohio State B-Ball game with me (it just happened to be Saint Patrick's Day). I had mixed emotions as the Bucks were playing Xavier and since we had Justin and his wife in our Premarital class year, I felt we kind of knew them and wouldn't have minded seeing Xavier take another step in the tournament. It was a great game with OSU having to hit a last second three pointer to send it into overtime (which they dominated).

Visiting with Mike was nice. But, kind of weird. We have fallen out of touch over the last few years, the result of him having teenage girls involved in everything.

Mike on Saint Patrick's Day

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kayla's Clothespin Line

The girls are so into crafts. We came home from Premarital tonight and found they had made this little creation.

Kayla's Chlothespin Chain

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This is pretty cool...

Zoe Gets Her First Haircut

After 2 years, we finally took Zoe to a professional groomer. The groomer says Zoe might be a Flat Haired Retriever, and looking at the pictures on the 'net, we think she might be. She's got a beautiful new haircut (and smells great too).


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Building the Perfect Beast (again)

Ty swears I willed the Mitsubishi 40" TV (my baby) to give up the ghost. I did not. That was a great TV. Ironically though it happened to die just as I have been upgrading the stereo system. So, we had to replace it. Costco had such a great deal on this 42" LCD (from some completely unknown company) that I had to take a chance on it. Initially, I had ordered a 37" since we rarely watch TV in the family room anymore. But for only $200 more, we could get the 42" (which also had much better specs).


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Taxman

Today was time to go see the accountant. Who ever would have thought I'd have an accountant, a financial planner and an attorney (well, sort of an attorney)? I really never thought my finances would be so complicated I'd turn them over to someone else. But, now I don't even know how many accounts I have. They're all so specialized and each with some advantage over the other. The taxes are about to get more complicated as the accountant now suggests an S-Corp (thus guaranteeing I can NEVER do my own taxes again).

The way things are set up though you've got to play the game the rich folks in Congress made up. Otherwise, you just get slammed with taxes. It's all so crazy. I'm all for a flat tax and let's forget all these loopholes, deductions, shelters, etc.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday, Monday....

Kevin called me today. He was in town for a couple of meetings and wanted to have a beer together. The great thing about working for yourself is you can take off any time you like. The bad thing is all the work has to be done before you do. So, I crammed about 6 hours of work into 3 hours so I could play hooky with Kevin.

It was good catching up with him. He's doing great at Symantec and I'm really happy for him. But, I don't miss the corporate world even a little bit. I'd rather be in the basement playing chemist or sitting here playing shipping clerk than being on the road to Podunkville to call on some guy who I know is never going to buy anything.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Shayna's Basketball Is Over

Shayna's awards ceremony for Upward Basketball was today. I stayed home. I've just been way, way too busy lately and two hours of watching a clown was not my idea of winding down on a Sunday evening. Shayna improved tremendously over this season and is already looking forward to next year.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Up in Smoke

This reminded me of the recent smoking ban in Ohio, one of the most strict in the nation. Now, you can't even smoke in a bar. I met the owner of Anthony's Cigar Bar and Grille last summer at a cookout. He was just getting started (not even open yet). He put thousands of dollars into a smoke handling system, had private lockers installed a walk-in humidor, etc. I visited once. It's a great place. I wonder how well it'll do once the smoking ban is enforced.

I'm all for public safety and health. But, I find it absurd that adults can't open a smoking establishment where people who want to be around smoke and smokers can congregate.


Friday, March 9, 2007

Premarital Winding Down

Today we taught our last class for Premarital. It was on Conflict and Anger Management (a subject we know more than a little about). I'm happy to say we've both made great strides in this area, as we realize as we prepared and give the talk.

I'm going to miss the teaching part of premarital. I really enjoy giving the presentations. But, I'm not going to miss the five weeks in a row of sitting for three hours listening the same presentations we've heard dozens of times before.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Living Large at Costco

We have no willpower. While walking through Costco, we discovered this close-out THREE pound bag of dark chocolate M&Ms for a mere $2.97. The workers were raving about how they were squirreling them away. So, we had to buy two bags. To make things worse, we went back and bought another (like we didn't already have too much chocolate in the house). We also bought a 4 pound container of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans.

Costco Excess

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Shayna's Drawing

What can I say about Shayna? She drew this for our family.

shayna's drawing.jpg

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Hog Wings, Beer and God

Today's picture has nothing to do with my journal entry. Zoe's picture pretty much says it all as far as that is concerned.

I met Chuck and Deb at the Glendale Pub to discuss "Meditation Without Myth", a book I had recommended to Chuck and blogged about at The Beautiful Heresy. We were up for a night of Hog Wings (a Glendale Pub specialty that we found out they have discontinued), beer and talking about G0d.

The three of us had a great conversation over some (chicken) wings and a few beers. Spirits and spirituality, a great combination.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Where do they get these ideas?

Shayna decided a sister-sleepover wasn't enough. She brought all her Care Bear Cousins for this one.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Too Busy...

Today was crazy. We went to church then came back here and worked for the rest of the day. I was going to grill out some steaks to celebrate the end of the deep-freeze. But, I ended up making product until dinnertime. So, we took a rare Sunday night out and did Mexican at El Rancho Grande. Even the kids are noticing how much we're eating out and commented on it.

Here's Kayla at the end of the meal.


Saturday, March 3, 2007

Big Dog Pizza

Tonight, we ate at Big Dog Pizzeria. It was our first time back there in a couple of years. We ended up with 4 families (16 people). We had so many people the kids had to have their own table.


Friday, March 2, 2007

Building the Perfect Beast

This morning the girls told me I am "obsessed" with my new speakers. They say I listen to them too much and Kayla couldn't believe I posted three pages on my blog about them. I countered with their obsession with their Tamagotchi's (which seem to take more care than a real pet- the things die if you leave them alone for six hours). Saturday, when I tore the front bumper off my car, it was leaving to retrieve Shayna's Tamagotchi that she had left at Lexi's. But, I digress.

Yeah, I'm obsessed with music. It's congenital I'm sure. But, 10 years of music theory didn't hurt. I've always wanted to have the perfect stereo, then the perfect home theater. And, there is always that next upgrade around the corner. But, I've been good. It's been what six years (?) since I did the home theater in the basement. I avoided buying a widescreen TV for the family room when the bug bit a few months ago. I deserve this upgrade. ;-)

I don't think the girls have even noticed my latest acquisition, a new NAD CD Player. I just installed it yesterday and they weren't around when I was trying it out. It's not much to look at. But, it's a huge step up from my Denon changer (so now I have two defunct CD players laying around).

This latest round of stereo upgrades has been a real trip. With all the information available on the Internet now what used to be mere hours of research for me to make a decision has turned into days and days. There are so many forums, on-line magazines and websites where people can post reviews and opinions, it's literally overwhelming. And, each step up just seems like a little bit more until you've spent tens of thousands of dollars building the perfect beast. I spent at least an hour yesterday reading opinions on replacing the little 1 inch connector between the pre-amp and the amp section and another hour contemplating replacing the strap on the back of the speakers.

Anyway, hopefully, the dealer where I got the great deal on this refurbed CD player (from $499 down to about $350) will get a refurbed C372 in stock in the next couple of days and I'll have the next part for my Frankenstein.

Building the Perfect Beast

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Mom & Dad Are Back

Just a very quick post today. Mom & Dad called from the airport in San Francisco. They've just arrived back in the country after a two week trip to New Zealand and Australia. Dad sounded old (tired?). But, then he was living his second Thursday this week. They said they had a great time. Now, Mom has been everywhere in the world she wanted to visit.