Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...I can see the house from space!

As you can see, we spent the better part of this long weekend getting ready for Christmas. I am leaving for a three week Asia trip next Saturday, and this was the last weekend that we had to get everything done for the holiday.

Because of the crazy week I have in front of me, we had to pretty much do in three days what normally takes me all of December. Dylan and I spent all day today on the roof, running back in forth to Wal-Mart, and hanging lights. The picture doesn't do it justice, but we really went overboard and the house looks awesome.

The lights in the windows and around the garage door and front are framed, so I just have to snap them in. Unfortunately, a string was out around the front door, so I had to pull them off the frame and glue a new strand on. Fortunately, that was the only hang-up. The lights on the roof, the wreath, and the candles in the windows were bought at a significant discount after last Christmas. They look really cool. We are having someone come in the hand the rest over the second story eves...I have a tremendous fear of heights. In fact, just getting on the first story roof to hang the wreath and the candles was a real accomplishment for me.

It also gave me a chance to try out my new Little Giant...the best purchase I have ever made (and why I have conquered a little of my fear of high places).

Lastly, it gave me a chance to bond some more with Dylan. Amazing how we talked about how important I think it is that the kids have great memories of the holidays. It's a real driver of why we have so many lights and a 12-foot Christmas tree.

I just hope they don't mind not getting presents. I think all of our money is going to the electric company this year!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Blue Collar Man

What does it mean when your woman tells you that she likes the way you look? What does it mean that she says this when you are camping and all decked out in cammo, jeans, unshaven and wearing a ball cap? What does it mean when she tells you that she likes the look better than the slacks, shoes, and dress shirts that are commonly worn to work?

My answer - who cares? All I care about is that she said it.

We camped up at Texoma this weekend. Cassie, Angie and I did the tent thing with several couple friends of ours and their kids. We had a great time. We talked and laughed, we ate, we fished (a lot - and no, I didn't catch anything STILL). We made a huge fire, we ate s'mores, we fished some more, and we tried to sleep (it wasn't the cold - that was manageable. It was the half deflated air mattress that did me in).

Ultimately, we had a great time in the out doors. Back to my original point. I hadn't shaved in a couple of days and saw the camping as an opportunity to wear a lot of my hunting clothes. All I know is that I was warm and comfortable - and that Angie liked the way I looked. I guess I looked "MANLY".

If you see me wearing GUY clothes, don't be surprised. My woman likes it!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

12.2 for $87.50

More numbers...

I've basically starved for the last three days. Since I just completed a light lunch I can now laugh about it. I was able to lose 3 pounds on my last day - yes, that's THREE pounds in one day. Not only did I eat little, but I took a 40 minute walk last night just to make sure I made it.

This means that I lost a total of 12.2 pounds in 31 days. So far, I'm one of four to have made goal, which makes my cut $87.50 of the Lard pool.

One of the nice benefits of my walk last night was that Dylan accompanied me. We spoke the whole time and it was nice. We talked about astronomy (he's covering that in school right now and the moon was HUGE), duck hunting, basketball, and Christian Rap. It was GREAT!

Next step is 5% body weight loss by the end of the year. We are proposing a $100 payment if you don't make it. If we end up doing this, I'll need to lose 14.12 pounds by December 29. That's only 2 pounds a week for 7 weeks, and I'll probably be in India for 3 weeks of that, so it shouldn't be too difficult.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

62 and 12

I guess I'm a little fixated on numbers these days...perhaps a future blog entry.

I'll start with 12, since that's shorter. 12 (in ounces) is the weight I need to lose in 36 hours to be on the winning side of the "Chub Club". I've lost a pound each of the last two days, and if I can do it one more day then I've hit my goal. Since there are several here who have already communicated that they haven't made it, that should mean some money. I think I'm going to buy a nice lunch for me and Angie with it. Next is 10 lbs in 5 weeks.

The 62 is much more interesting. It represents the number of kisses that I got last night from Cassie. If you've ever tried to get a 4 year old to give you affection, you know that 62 kisses is a very big deal - and it was to me. When I discussed it with Angie, she said that it made sense, that I've been available to Cassie, I've spent time with her doing goofy things and playing games, and that it is showing AND Cassie is responding. I think there is a message here - and certainly not one that I haven't gotten before. When I make myself available to the kids, it is the right thing to do. I've been trying to do it more since this summer and I think that the kids are responding - and frankly, I've enjoyed them so much more, as well.

Clearly, however, I can do more. Dylan and Cassie are somewhat natural for me to "hang" with. Marissa and Justin are more difficult. What do you do with a 10 year old pubescent girl? Or a moody 19 year old young man? I'm not sure I know what the answers are, but I know that whatever we do it needs to involve my time. It's good for them. It's good for me!


Monday, November 06, 2006

3 in 3

If you've tracked my blog, than you know that weigh in for the "Chub Club" is coming soon. On Nov. 9th, I get weighed in and have either lost 10, or not. I weighed this morning, and am 2.8 pounds away from goal.

The good news is that I've lost 7.2 lbs in less than 4 weeks. The bad news is that if I don't lose an additional 2.8 in 3 days, than I'm out $50.00, and I don't really want to throw out that money. I'm pretty positive that I can make it, as I've been able to lose 10+ pounds in a week when I am very strict on my diet, so I should be able to lose a pound a day for three days. I just need to start exercising. I haven't all month, and it has kept me down (or should I say up?).

I'll let you know the results on Thursday. I plan on doing this again, even if I don't make it. I'm suggesting 12 pounds in 6 weeks as our next $50.00 level.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Too busy to blog...

Sometimes we just don't have enough time in a day. I wish I could create a few more hours a day with God-like powers, but I can't - and that means one thing - something has to suffer. Unfortunately, I have to go to work everyday. Unlike my mother-in-law, who celebrated her retirement a couple of days ago - and for the first time in forever, didn't have to get up to report to the office this morning, I still get up every day. I could leave earlier, and I do that every so often, but with a monster project underway, I don't have the flexibility to do that. In fact, because of my absence in the office on Tuesday to attend said retirement party, I'll likely be in the office until 8:30 or so, tonight. I could blow off school, and I do that on occasion, but we only have 4 weeks left, and I need to secure passing grades. No sense in wasting the last 10 weeks by getting lazy in the last third of the semester.

That leaves two things that I can take from, my family and sleep. Now, I try my best to be active in the kids lives, especially at events that are going on in the evening and on weekends. I do end up missing some stuff, so I really can't pare down anymore there. That leaves just sleep - and frankly, I haven't been getting enough. I need MORE!!!

When I don't get enough, everything suffers. Angie knows when I'm cranky worst of all, but everyone else does, too. That's why I am planning a couple of hours all to myself this weekend. A Saturday afternoon nap will do wonders, and I am going to take one, even if it means giving Angie a couple of dollars out of my budgeted spending money to do it. "Honey, here's $20, go to a movie on me, and take Cassie with you, cause I'm taking a nap." That two hours apart will do wonders for our marriage.