Monday, August 27, 2007

First Grade

Maya starts first grade today!

Good Luck Maya!

We are Proud of You!

(and please stop growing up so fast!)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Race for the Cure

I know lots of my friends contribute both monetarily and physically to the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. I thought I would let you know who I am supporting this year and invite you contribute if you can.

I am supporting my friend Tara J (Not Tara V). We were co-workers a few years ago while we were working for Lexign/Providus in Rockville, MD. Those were some great days. We got to be really good friends and she helped me through a really rough time in my life. Hopefully I was some contribution to her as well, and not just a leech!

You know, now that I think about it. That was only time in my life where I have actually had good friends at work. And not only people that I enjoyed working with but people who I enjoyed being with away from work.

Anyway, back to Tara. She is a cancer survivor. She has participated several times in the National Race for the Cure while she lived in the DC area. Now she lives in the Milwaukee area with her husband and new son and she is still an avid supporter. She and her husband are currently battling another tough time. They are planning to race this fall after she recovers from surgery.

Please help me support them and support all of the cancer fighters.

Here is Tara's support page.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Weekend in Philly

We headed up to celebrate Mom Kneeland's birthday in the great state of PA. We drove up on Saturday and met Bruce and Donna at Donna's birthday restaurant of choice. Sonic Americas Drive-In!

That's right, there is finally a Sonic within 75 miles of us. Finally, when we can no longer stand the constant barrage of Sonic TV and radio ads we can now drive an hour and half for relief. Now the sweet taste of a Cherry Limeade or a delicious Southwest Spicy SuperSonic is only $25 in gas away.

Bruce even had a chat with the owner/manager guy. He said that soon a whole lot more Sonics (around 90) will start popping up on the East Coast. WooHoo!

I went bicycle shopping with Bruce while Jill, Kelly and their mom did their own shopping. Then we ended the day with a great bbq dinner and watching Donna open her birthday presents. We also worked on trying to finalize our wedding photo album. Yes, we are still trying to pick out all the photos (and mattes). It hasn't been six months yet!

On Sunday we went to church with Donna to the South Philly Branch. It was interesting to go the branch and see the strength of the small group. We enjoyed some yummy enchiladas, took naps, and help Bruce put his business website on the air. I quickly recreated his copy-ad as a web page by cutting a pasting the parts from a PDF file. Once I got home, I was able to make it look better with photoshop. You can check it out here: It is not great but at least is better then the generic message of "Welcome to the Future Site of..."

Well that's it...bye.

Friday, August 17, 2007

August Utah Trip

It had been over a month since my last visit to Utah. The trip was a bit strange in that I went from Tuesday to Tuesday and then came back on a red-eye. It took quite a while to find this flight. I just was not willing to pay more than $500 for a ticket. With the unconventional itinerary I only had to pay $498!!! What a racket!

The Sunday before my trip, Maya had to visit doctor where they found out she had contracted an infection in her lungs which progressed into pneunomia. Since Emily had already used up all of her time off for past illnesses (hers and Maya's), I solicited my family for help. My dad was able to stay home from work on Monday and Tuesday to watch Maya by using his sick days. Since Maya lives in his house for one week a month, he is fully entitled to use his sick days to watch Maya. Which he was quite excited about.

Maya and I enjoyed a week at home. While I worked, Maya enjoyed coloring, puzzles, games and ,of course, a bunch of movies.

One of Maya's highlights of the week was when Isabelle and Gracie came over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the evening. Luckily Maya was feeling much better and they spent the evening 'helping' Grandpa water the garden. They ran up and down the irrigation ditch over and over. Boy did that bring back some childhood memories.

Here are some more pictures of them playing in the water.

Saturday found us as the Hogle Zoo again. It has actually been several months since we had been there. I know some of find that hard to believe. Sharlie met up with us with little Jake and her niece. We enjoyed the Bird Show which had a few new changes. Like the "newly engaged" girl, who is afraid of birds, but 'wins' the doves being brought to her wedding and picture with the doves as they fly by her,then her getting scared and falling into the pool of water. (What do you think of that grammar!) They played it up pretty well and made it quite convincing.

Here are the rest of the zoo pictures.

Monday, Maya's new before and after school program (The Winner School) was going on a field the zoo! Tuesday, Maya really did not want to go to school and therefore we were having a really rough morning. We were finally able to get past that. Emily even ended up stopping by before work to encourage Maya to go to school.

After school, Maya and I went to Cottonwood Heights to go swimming. Maya had a great time for a couple of hours.

I was quite sad that my visit was over so quickly. I really wish I could find a job in SLC. I am missing too much of her life.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Wakeboarding on the Potomac

On Saturday, Brent and Bethany Stevenson invited us to spend the day with their family.

We were pretty excited about being on the water.

We loaded up the Malibu with our lunches and drinks then drove to Dam Number Four on the Potomac river near Hagerstown, MD.

First task once we were on the water was filling up the water bladder with 700lbs of water for counter balance in the bow of the boat.

I remember boating and skiing many, many moons ago and remember having to move people back or forwards in the boat in order to help the boat get up on plane quicker. They choose to preload the boat. Plus it helps the boat sit lower in the water which helps to create a larger, wakeboard friendly, wake.

Bethany was first to jump into the 84 degree water and show us how it is done.

Then fourteen year old Michael stepped it up a notch with some high flying antics. He and his mom were having a contest of one-ups-manship.

Today's challenge was a 180. Bethany landed the trick first but Michael didn't let her get away with it for long.

After many attempts he finally landed a 180 wake to wake, which was one-up from his mom since she only did one wake.

Brent strutted his stuff and showed us all that you really can teach an old dog new tricks. It just takes a little nerve, a bunch of practice, and a lot of ibuprofen.

Next I gave it a shot. The last time I tried to wake board, it was completely unsuccessful at getting out of the water. My thought at the time was it may have been because of the boat load of people in a small boat. Ha! Get it? Boat load of people!

The time before that, it was circa 1992 and it was still called skurfing. The board was unidirectional, thin and had neoprene loops to stick your feet under. The vessel was incredibly different from the amazing Malibu craft. We were in an inflatable zodiac with a small outboard motor. That was an experience.

So anyway, back to me. My big bad self (emphasis on big) was none to easy to get up. After several tries with the rope handle launching out of my hands, I tried some gloves and my grip was greatly improved.

I was finally able to out of water, played around a bit trying to get the feel of it again, rail slided on the wake then promptly splashed down the next time I tried to cross the wake. Unfortunately my arms, shoulders and hands could only handle a couple of more tries before having to take a break.

Jill was next and did a great job getting up. Her challenge was trying to point the nose of the board towards the boat. Instead she headed straight for the outside of the wake each time. She did a great job and with a bit of practice she will be ripping it up.

We had a great day on the water. It was amazing how smooth the water was all day long. The narrow river (two hundred yards or so), tall banks with tall trees really protect the water from the wind. There were plenty of boats but the wakes died out really quickly when they hit the banks.

Everyone had one, two, maybe three more times on the water. We took a couple of swim breaks in the warm water, ate our lunch and soaked in the sun. We finally packed it in and headed for home at five. What a fun day. We dragged our tired bodies home and I started popping the ibuprofen again.

Here are the rest of the pictures.
Actually, it is only about 100 of the 500 pictures that I took.