Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Poor Gracie

Grace broke her collar bone when she fell off a chair at school yesterday.

When we picked her up from school we noticed that she was favoring her left arm quite a bit. She really didn't complain about it but when we asked she just said her arm was sore. She went to bed easily last night and slept pretty good, but this morning she complained of pain when getting dressed so we went to the doctor first thing and the x-rays showed a broken left clavicle. Here is a picture of her and her x-ray.

She did a great job of helping the doctors today and amazingly doesn't seem to be in hardly any pain! We are going to an orthopod tomorrow for a consultation, but it sounds like she'll just have to wear a sling or for a 4-6 weeks.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

South Bend Urban Adventure

This past weekend, Scott Coryn and I participated in the first annual South Bend Urban Adventure. Here is a shot of us racing to the finish line. It was an awesome race and I highly recommend anyone who is interested to participate next year. It included among many other things... running, biking, rock climbing, rafting, ziplining across the river, solving puzzles, and buying fruit and the farmer's market. It was sort of like a scavenger hunt, we were given a map just before the start with 24 check-points all around South Bend, from Notre Dame to Coveleski Stadium. The goal was to complete them in any order and then head to the finish line. We didn't have a camera with us, but here are some media pictures from the event.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Appalachian Trail Hike 2009 - Max Patch to Hot Springs

I finally uploaded all of the pictures from this year's appalachian trail hike. It was quite an adventure and I am definitly hooked on hiking now! We started the trip at a place called Max Patch. It is basically a huge grassy area on top of a mountain with almost no trees, it provided great views of the surrounding mountians. Jeff Muzik, Todd Young, Scott Berkel, Brad Smith, John Emard, Scott Kidder, and Scott Coryn

View from Max Patch - yes those other mountains are covered in trees

We hiked just over 5 miles the first day, that night it stormed and rained pretty bad all night long. With the rain pelting the tents we didn't even hear the commotion of the bear raiding the camp just up the trail (not kidding - they had to through bottles at it to get it to leave).

Bear alert sign and our food bag hanging to keep it away the bears away from out camp

Day 2 was the longest day, over 10 miles with a lot of elevation changes. We hiked up Walnut Mountain, then to the top of Bluff Mountain and then back down to our campsite at Roaring Fork Shelter.

Here we are at the top of Bluff Mountain. We're happy to be at the top and at this point had no idea how hard going back down was going to be!

On the third day we made it to Hot Springs, NC and headed straight to a little bar for a hot sandwich and a cold beer. It was a nice day so we took a couple hours for a quick raft trip down the French Broad River. With all the rain we had our first night of camping, the river was much higher and muddier than normal.

That night we headed to the cabin where we chef Emard cooked up his world famous gumbo.

The hike was great, and I already can't wait to do another section of the trail next year. Click here to see all of the pictures from the hike.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pictures from moving day

We actually moved in late April, but we just now found the pictures on our other camera so here they are. It was a "smooth move" but never the less, I hope it's the last one in a long long time! Dave Snyder and his crews did a wonderful job and we would definitely recommend him for anyone looking to build a house in the future. These pictures are over a month old now so believe it or not that bare yard needs to be mowed for the first time this week!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Disney World!!!!

Earlier this year we took Grace down to Florida to spend a few days at Papa and Nanny's Florida house and took a day trip over to Disney. Of course, Disney was wonderful and Grace got to meet all of her favorite princesses...

Look at that smile, could she be any happier?

In addition to the day at Disney, we spent some time at a local beach, visited with the manitees and the hippo at the Homosassa wildlife park and spent lots of time enjoying the pool. See the rest of the pictures here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Catching up...

It's been a busy, busy 2009 thus far. Here are some snap shots of what has been keeping us busy...

A 70's Party

Chicago Children's Museum

Grace's Third Birthday

Monday, March 2, 2009

Building a Race Car

Grace had a great weekend. Saturday morning we attended a build and grow kids workshop at Lowes where she built a race car with her friend Eli and cousins Ty and Kesse. Here are more pictures from the event.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Disney World Here We Come...in 21 days!

Grace is getting so excited to visit Nanny and Papa at their home in Florida. In just 21 days we will not only be visiting Nanny and Papa, but also Cinderella, Mickey, Ariel, Minnie, Snow White, etc. To help her understand we made a chain representing the days until we leave...let the countdown begin!

Friday, February 6, 2009

So How Much is a Trillion Really?

As we all know, the government is getting ready to spend one trillion dollars to stimulate the economy. We hear the number thrown around all the time now and it barely raises an eyebrow. This morning I heard an economist on TV say, somewhat frustratedly, that the vast majority of people don't understand and frankly can't comprehend how enormous that number is. I was curious, so I googled it.

Obviously I knew a trillion was a huge number, but I still found myself to be quite interested and even astonished by some of the stats.

A trillion = A thousand billion = A million million

A 1 with 12 zeros (1,000,000,000,000)

Some examples I found used time to explain how big the number is.

  • A million seconds is about 12 days
  • A billion seconds is about 32 years
  • A trillion seconds is about 32,000 years

Some examples use stacks of dollar bills.

  • A thousand $1 bills stacked, not laid end to end, measures 4.3 inches tall
  • A million = 358 feet (35 stories)
  • A billion = 358,500 feet (68 miles - well into the atmosphere)
  • A trillion = 67,866 MILES (1/4 of the way to the moon)

And what about end-to-end? This Site claims it would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out dollar bills behind it end-to-end, 14 years before it reeled out a trillion dollars.

And finally, here are some of the best examples to help explain a trillion in terms of spending.

  • If you spent $1 million every day since the birth of Christ, you still wouldn't have spend $1 trillion (You'd be at roughly $725 billion and have some 734 years to go) - AMAZING!
  • You could pave the entire US interstate highway system in 24 karat gold according to this site.
  • And how would you raise $1 trillion? If every man, woman, and child in the US (300 million) each chipped in, they would each pay $3,400. For those of you following the new octupulet babies, that would be $51,000 from their mother who now has 14 children.
  • If just tax payers chipped in (138 million), they would pay $7,300 each or $14,600 per married couple. Better start saving up! I think the bills go out next year.

Monday, February 2, 2009

www.MINT.com - Try it!

We've only been using this site for a couple of weeks, but so far it is one of the easiest and best financial management tools we've used and we love it! It literally takes only a few minutes to set up, and is far less involved than Quicken or Money. Essentially you link your online accounts (bank, credit cards, investments, etc...) and mint brings all your details into one location and automatically assigns your purchases to categories based on the place of purchase.
Once your accounts are linked, you can easily trend your spending, your investments, and set up budgets and goals. You can even compare yourself against national, state, or city averages.

And best of all, it's free! They make their money by suggesting ways for you to save (To lower your mortgage, refinance with...)

Thanks to our friends Corey and Wendy for recommending the site!

Friday, January 16, 2009


As usual, Micki and I awoke this morning to two hungry dogs eagerly awaiting their trip outside before breakfast. I threw on a sweatshirt and as I stepped outside with the dogs still half asleep, I was smacked in the face with -19 degree temps. As I stood there freezing and pleading with the dogs to hurry up, I wondered what happened to global warming?

Come on Al Gore, where are the milder winters and gloriously longer and warmer summers you promised? Today, every state in the nation will experience below freezing temperatures and many will shatter all time record lows. Clearly all of our efforts to warm the globe are not working!

Now some experts are warning of Global Cooling. What?

I’m no expert, but it seems pretty clear to me that Mother Nature has proven time and time again that we can’t accurately predict what the weather will be like next month, let alone years from now.