Home Up



    Another year has absolutely flown by. It is hard to believe that 2008 is nearly complete. Where does the time go?

    I must also say that the weather here has been pretty strange lately. We had a nice covering of snow a couple weeks ago, then a day of rain and warm temperatures that washed it all away. Then, on Friday, December 19th, we got a bunch of snow (close to 10"). Saturday stayed nice and dry, but we had close to an inch for every day until Christmas Eve, when it rained once again (although the temperature wasn't as warm, so we still had snow on Christmas). We had attempted to take the kids sledding on the Tuesday before Christmas Eve, but the roads were pretty bad with reports of lots of accidents, so we decided to postpone it. In retrospect we should have braved it, because it is already 50 degrees as I type this at 10:30 in the morning on December 27th. Of course the temperatures are supposed to drop steadily over the next week or so... go figure.

    On Friday, December 26th, Tara and I took Tyler and Sam to the movies to see both "Marley & Me" and "Bedtime Stories" (we had to pay for the tickets, but with free refills on the drinks and popcorn we saved a bunch). I enjoyed both movies, although Marley was definitely my favorite of the day. Tara and I were crying by the end of both, just as we did when we read the book. Great movie. Bedtime Stories was pretty decent, maybe not quite as funny as it could have been, but still enjoyable. I'm sure we'll probably try to get them on DVD when they are available.

    OK, the important thing here is the updates, and for now they are limited to three days worth of Christmas activities. Sam played Mary at Church on Christmas Eve, and a picture from that is on the Christmas page under Current Events. We also opened a couple of gifts on Christmas Eve. There are a few pictures from Christmas day, but I screwed up and forgot to use the camera while the kids were opening their presents (dummy me). Those pictures are also on the Christmas page. Finally, I have added a couple pictures of the kids playing with the new Wii that we got as a family from Santa Claus. Of course, those pictures are also on the Christmas page under Current Events. Enjoy, and we hope that you too had a Merry Christmas!



    Wow, we took it on the chin weather-wise this week. On Friday, December 19th, we got almost 10" of snow dumped on us throughout the course of the day. Tara and I had to break out the snow blower twice during the course of the day just to keep the driveway passable. My drive home from work was the absolute worst weather-related driving that I have experienced in my 18 years behind the wheel. At least Saturday stayed dry, allowing Dad & Mom a brief window of opportunity to get their trip started without too much trouble. It was good that they left during the daytime, because late Saturday night into Sunday morning we got another 2-3". To top it off, it was way too windy for me to even venture out to clear the driveway today. I already hate the cold, putting up with single digit temperatures with that kind of wind rules me out.

    OK. Picture updates this time around include a new wallpaper picture from our snowfall on Friday. You can see it on the Wallpaper page listed below. I have also included Jayden's 1 year studio pictures (finally - there was a mix-up where we thought they had been ordered when in fact they hadn't been yet). Those are on the Studio Photos page below as well. The last update this time around is of Christmas with Grandpa Gary & Grandma Terry. We did Christmas early this year because they are trying to get to Florida for my cousin Timmy's engagement party. Those pictures are on the Christmas page under Current Events.



    Now the Christmas season is officially underway! We had our first day with two parties planned for it this season, so I know things are starting to get close.

    Of course as Christmas gets closer you just had to figure that the 4-6" of snow that covered the ground for the better part of the month so far would be completely wiped out by one extremely warm day of rain. We had temps in the 50's on Monday with some pretty heavy rains at times, but by the time we left work and school for the day the temperature had dropped back down to the 20's. No snow yet, but there is supposed to be more coming soon. I am hoping we get some that will stick around through Christmas so we can have the proverbial "White Christmas", but also so we can take the kids sledding at some point during the winter break from school.

    On to the reason that you are really here - the pictures. I have finally gotten around to adding two sets of pictures from our Christmas parties on Sunday, December 14th. We started the day off at the Peters Family Christmas, which includes Uncles, Aunts, cousins, cousins boyfriends, etc. We had a nice time there, but we had to cut it short to finish the day at the Allen Family Christmas, which includes more Uncles, Aunts, cousins (no boyfriends for them at this party however - too young for that yet). Once again, we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. For both sets of pictures, click on Current Events then go to the Christmas page. Enjoy!



    We have had at least 2-4" of snow for over a week now, so it really does feel like Christmas early this year. We are supposed to get more snow throughout the course of the week as well. Maybe we can hit the sledding slopes this weekend!

    OK, updates... This time I have added several new sets of pictures. First, Jayden turned 2 on December 6th. We celebrated with cake and ice cream with some of our family. Jayden had a good time opening presents, although she wasn't 100% sure what to do at first. Once she figured it out, it was go, go, go.

    Next up is the addition of the Christmas section for this year. I have added some pictures from our visit to Bass Pro Shop where the kids visited with Santa Claus. Bass Pro also had craft activities for the kids to complete, and they had a couple of shooting galleries set up for them to play with. They really seemed to enjoy themselves here.

    Finally, I posted a set of pictures from our winter visit to Greenfield Village. We wanted to go at night to see the decorations, but after we did our research we realized that the night activities were extra cost, even though we are members. Tara and I decided to take the kids down during the day instead, and despite the cold we had a good time. We have talked about going down once again during the Christmas break to spend more time in the village as well as the Henry Ford Museum.

    The other update to the website this time involves the Wallpaper collection. I have added four new options from our trip to Greenfield Village. I hope you enjoy them!

    Once again, I am asking everyone out there to help me out in looking for a job. Although things are looking slightly improved in Congress, I need to be prepared just in case. Let me know if you hear of any exciting prospects!



    One holiday complete and the last big one is on it's way. My how the year has flown by. Before I know it Christmas will be over and it will be 2009!

    Lets see here, the updates this time around are limited to pictures of our trip to Chuck E. Cheese's to celebrate the fact that Drew is now potty-trained (it was our promise to him once he successfully completed his part of the training). As always, those pictures are located on the Current Events page. There is also two new pictures on the Wallpaper page.

    Once again, I am asking everyone out there to help me out in looking for a job. The way things are looking at work right now has me plenty concerned, so I am going to try to see what is available elsewhere. At this point I am hoping that next year I can look back at 2008 and it won't be the last good year for me...



    Enough with the doom and gloom of the auto industry and the uncertainty of my job, it is time for the holiday season to begin. Tara and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We know that we won't be seeing most of you on this holiday weekend, but we are thinking of each of you.

    I have finally gotten around to getting the kids most recent set of studio photos posted. Tyler's nine year pictures and Sam's seven year pictures can be found on their respective pages under Studio Photos.

    One last thing, although I am hoping for the best with the job situation, I am also keeping my eyes and ears open so I can hear "opportunity knock". If you know of something exciting that I may be interested in, please feel free to let me know. I am currently working on sending out my resume hoping for that once in a lifetime job!



    It doesn't really appear that the situation with the auto companies is improving - and the government certainly hasn't offered to help (I am not going to get into a political debate here, but they only asked for a small portion of the financial bailout amount). I have to admit, I am pretty nervous about my job. Now that I have moved over to the powertrain operations I really enjoy what I am doing, but I have no idea how long it will be here. I am currently in the process of sending out resumes, so if you know of someplace or somebody that is hiring, let me know. Any help or tips is much appreciated.



    Halloween is over, and I am finally managing to get around to posting the pictures from that night. As usual, you can find them on the Current Events page under Halloween.

    There really isn't too much exciting news to pass along at this time. Aside from work and school, there isn't too much happening right now. At this point, the kids are starting to look forward to Christmas, while Tara & I are just looking forward to the time off.



    Without the need to attend practices four days a week, I finally had some free time to scan some of the various pictures that I have had piled up around the house for a long time. As you browse through the website, you will find Drew's three year studio photos. You will also find team pictures of the kids from sporting events such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and football. I hope I have all of the "Update!" pictures in the appropriate places on the various pages.



    As much as we have enjoyed the kids sports season this year, we are almost as excited that they are finally done. Now that I am on first shift at work I can fully appreciate the amount of time and effort that Tara has had to put into making sure the kids made it to all of their practices and games over the last few years. The end of the seasons also means that the website updates will be slowing down due to our hopefully more leisurely lifestyle at home. We will finally have an opportunity to get our house duties caught up.

    OK, the important information: I have updated both Tyler's football page and Samantha's soccer page with pictures of their final game. In addition, I have added some pictures to the Wallpaper page that I have taken recently.



    The sports seasons are nearing an end around our hose, with one more weekend of games coming up. Both Tyler and Samantha have their final games next Saturday morning. After that, the updates should begin to slow down. Unfortunately, that means our weekends will start to fill up with holiday activities. There is never a free moment...

    Anyway, this past weekend was a mixed bag sports-wise in our house. First, Sam's soccer team pulled out a blowout 9-2 win in the morning. That was unfortunately followed up by a stinker of a game by Tyler's football team. As usual, you can see the pictures by following the links on the Current Events page.



    I know I just updated the website this past weekend, but Samantha had another soccer game since then. As per usual, you can find the most recent pictures of her on the Current Events page. I have also added some pictures of our Halloween decorations from outside. Those are on the Halloween page, which is the new home for all of our Halloween activities for the year.

    I have also added a new wallpaper from a picture taken last month that I forgot to add earlier.



    Another week has passed, and that means new sporting events to update the website with. Samantha had an early morning game on Saturday that resulted in a lot of girls with low energy running around. Her team ended up losing the game 6-5 (or so Sam says, I had to leave halfway through to get to Tyler's football game). After Sam's game was completed, Tyler's football team played their fourth game. The result was another loss, but it was a minor victory based on the opponents results from their previous games (we almost matched the amount of points that they had given up all year so far in the one game).

    In addition to the sporting events, we also headed to the local orchard and cider mill for their annual Ciderfest celebration.



    Now that I have been on first shift for about a month, I must say that I feel like I have far less free time to get things done than I did before. The weeknights are full of homework, practices, and now religious-ed classes. Life is crazy, crazy, crazy.

    OK... the updates this time around are as follows: It was brought to my attention that I never posted any pictures from Gil & Noell's wedding last month. Although many of my inside pictures didn't turn out well, I have posted the ones that looked OK. Next up is an update of Tyler's football game against Fenton. Another update is of Samantha's second and third soccer games. There is also three pages of pictures from our visit to the Applefest. Finally, I have added a lot of wallpapers from our trip to Mackinac over Labor Day as well as a picture of Samantha.

    I have decided against listing where to find the new pictures - I guess it is pretty self explanatory already and adds a lot of extra work on me. Anything that makes my life easier is always a plus.



    I don't really have too much to update the website with this time around. Things are settling down a little bit since the passing of our neighbor Bryce earlier this month. It has been a difficult time for all of us, but we are slowly getting back to our old routine.

    This time of year the website updates are usually fairly limited to the activities that the kids participate in, but due to the obscene amount of rain we got this past weekend there are no pictures to post. Samantha's soccer game got canceled because the fields were too wet. Tyler's team did play it's football game, although not at home as originally planned (a big thank you to Fenton for letting us use their field). Although the kids put up a valiant effort, they ended up losing 19-0. A few key mistakes and turnovers doomed us.



    Sorry for the delay in updates, I know it has been a while. Things have been pretty hectic lately. First, Tyler's football season has gotten underway and that meant 4 practices a week (although it will be 3 from here on out) and games on Saturdays. Add to that the fact that I am one of the assistants this year, and that ties up a lot of our time. Samantha has also started her soccer season, so there is more practices and games. Of course school is also underway, so none of us have much free time right now.

    We also received some bad news over the weekend when we learned that our former neighbor and one of Tyler, Sam, and Drew's best friends, Bryce McVety, passed away on Friday. He was involved in a freak accident at a friends house after school on Friday and suffered internal bleeding in the head. He was a really great kid, and it is something that should never happen to a seven year old. Everyone in our home considered him to be a part of the family, as he and Sam were born two months apart. The kids pretty much grew up in each others back yards. Everyone here is still in shock at the thought of the situation.


Bryce McVety



    OK, on to the update section of the website. First, the Camping section has been updated with the diary and pictures of our trip to St. Ignace for the annual Bridge Walk. You can find all of that by clicking Current Events and then Camping. Next up is Tyler's football. As I have already stated, practices and games are underway. You can find the pictures for those events by clicking on Tyler's Football under Current Events. Next on the list is the beginning of the school year. You can see the kids on their first day this year by clicking on First Day of School on the Current Events page. After that comes Sam's soccer pictures, which can be found on Current Events as well by clicking on Samantha's Soccer. Finally, we took the kids to the Carrie Nation Festival in town, and those pictures are also on the Current Events page under Carrie Nation Festival.

    There has been a lot of commotion and activity here lately, so forgive me if I forgot anything or messed something up. Please let me know if you spot any mistakes.



    Today was a very tough day for all of us, but especially Tara and I. What was supposed to be a fun and exciting day for our family was jolted back to reality by a phone call while we were at the Carrie Nation parade in town. Tara walked away from the noise to take the call, and I could see that something terrible was wrong by her reaction. After she finished her conversation, I learned what that was - our former neighbor, Bryce McVety, (who just moved away about two months ago) had passed away the previous night. You just never expect to hear that about a 7 year old little boy. I don't want to get into all of the details about what happened, but it was a pretty freak accident - one of those proverbial "one-in-a-million" things that seem to happen more than they should.

    Tara and I decided not to tell the kids right away because they both had to play games that day. Sam had a soccer game shortly after the parade, and Tyler had to play in a football game at 7:00 at night. We just didn't want that to weigh on their mind while they tried to live the life that children should live - fun and carefree.

    The kids managed to have that kind of day, but Tara and I were pretty much in a blanked-out zone all day. It's funny the little things that occur that trigger memories or make you realize that something won't be occurring anymore. They trigger tears so easily. What makes the situation so hard is that he was more just a little more than two months before Sam. Tyler, Sam, Drew, and Bryce played together more than one could imagine, not to mention all of the phone calls asking to play when we just couldn't let the kids get together.

    We managed to get through the days activities, and after getting home from Tyler's football game we sat down to tell them the terrible news. Tyler and Sam didn't take it real well, as expected. There were a lot of tears flowing from all of our eyes. Drew stated that we wouldn't be able to talk to Bryce anymore, and that made him sad.

    It was also a long night in regards to sleep. I think I was the last one to fall asleep (we let the kids sleep on our floor, in case they needed us during the night - and partially to have them close to us as well). I was almost out at 12:30am when an ambulance went tearing by the house with sirens blaring. All of the emotions come back after hearing something like that. Of course, I eventually fell asleep, but it wasn't a good day or night by any means.



    I have been on day shift since August 18th. I am loving the fact that I get to be home with the family in the evenings, although right now we are a little tied up at that time (more on that later). I am certainly not loving the fact that I have to be up at 5:00am, however. The new work is pretty good so far. We'll see how it goes as my training progresses.

    As for our busy schedule - we have a very full calendar right now. Tyler has football practice four nights a week now for 2 hours (It will be down to three nights once school begins). I am an assistant on Tyler's team, and Tara volunteered to be Team Mom. Samantha just started her soccer practices - thankfully that is only one night per week. Games will be following soon enough.



    Here is a direct copy from the front page when I updated the website on August 5th...

    We are back from our annual trip to the Deckerville Homecoming. We stayed at the Lake Huron Campground once again. We enjoyed ourselves this weekend, taking in the truck and tractor pull as well as the parade and car show. We also got some downtime at the campground, getting to the pool and the playground. To read more about the weekend and to see some pictures, please go to the Current Events page and click on Camping.

    As for the job updates - nothing is set in stone at this point for me, but right now it looks like August 18th I will start my new job as a Metal Model Maker for GM Powertrain on day shift. For me and our family, the day shift opportunity was the big draw. It will be a great opportunity for me to be able to spend time with all four kids in the evening, as well as take part in their extracurricular activities. I cannot begin to express how excited we all are about this opportunity.



    I promised an update on the job situation a while back, so here it is... If you read my previous post, you know that I am no longer a supervisor at work (due to the poor automotive market right now there are more management types than jobs available for them, and they weren't about to hire another one - meaning me). I have been awaiting word regarding a layoff too - although for the time being it looks like I am safe on that front.

    Anyway, I was asked on July 24th if I was interested in going to work at GM Powertrain as a Metal Model Maker (another skilled trade). I had put in for this job some time ago, and didn't know if they were actually going to follow through with their request for people. I accepted the offer - mainly because I will be going to 1st shift to work. As of right now, the unofficial start date for the new job is August 18th, but as with anything else at GM that could change at a moments notice. Keep your fingers crossed for me!



    Tara, Tyler, Samantha, Drew, Jayden, & I would all like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and safe Fourth of July.

    Baseball season is now officially over with the completion of the All-Star game on June 26th. Tyler was selected as one of three kids from our team, and he did a good job representing them. Although we lost the game, the kids had fun playing - which is what we were all there for anyway. Of course there are pictures from the game, and you can find them by clicking on Kids Baseball on the Current Events page.

    The other new set of pictures I have posted this time around are of Samantha getting her hair cut short! She has decided to shorten her long blonde hair, and on June 28th she got her wish. The pictures of her during and after can be found by clicking on Samantha's Haircut, also on the Current Events page.

    The last piece of news that I have to report is job related for me. I have completed my last day as supervisor and will be returning to work as a die maker after shutdown. Although I am disappointed to have to make the switch back, market conditions dictated the move as well as indicated that now may not be the safest time to be a salary employee. Hopefully things will work out in the future for me, but for now I am grateful to still have a job to go back to (although that may be changing too - that is currently a wait and see situation).



    Once again, no real exciting family news to report this time around. Things are pretty much the same at this point (although that may be changing for me in the future - more on that in a month or so). The kids are done with school (obviously they are happy about that, Tara and I are not so sure).

    Wait a second - I did think of one bit of exciting news to report. Tyler was named to the All-Star team for coach-pitch baseball this year! We are very proud of him. That means one more game for him this year, coming up on Thursday, June 26th.



    This blog entry is a little different that the others. I am basically copying everything on the front page, but I thought I had some information worth saving. That was sort of my original intent with the blog anyway. I don't really have a good method of saving any of the things that I put on the main page, so this was my solution. So far I haven't taken advantage of it that way. Anyway, here it is:

    Things have been pretty hectic for me lately, so the updates have been fairly infrequent based on the number of activities we have participated in. I am in an accounting class this semester while working on my business degree, and being a short spring semester the assignments come fast and furious. So far so good, however.

    The kids are also keeping busy, with the school year coming to an end and the baseball season in full swing, they don't get much free time during the week. You can tell, based on their moods and energy levels, that they are ready for school to be over. Tara and I aren't sure we are ready for that, but what can we do...

    Tara is finishing up her open enrollment period at work. She has been working full time over the last couple of weeks, so I am sure she is looking forward to getting that over with. She has been leaving work, picking up the kids and eating dinner, and then heading straight to the baseball games. Two nights a week she barely sets foot in the house except to get ready for bed, sleep, and get ready for work!



    It has been a long time since I wrote in this little blog, so I thought I should get to it. Where to begin...?

    First, the kids have been doing pretty well with their baseball season. Tyler takes some big home-run swings and therefore strikes out a lot, but when he does get it a hit they are nice ones. Samantha makes a lot of contact, which is the right approach at this age. Almost any contact in fair territory results in a base hit. Anyway, she hit a double yesterday, which was great. On her way to third on the next hit, the other teams parents and coaches called her out (we were attempting a last inning rally). Of course she ended up being out, and she wasn't too happy about it - she was starting to cry as she came to the bench. You know, youth sports really are all worthwhile when you can make a six year old girl cry.

    Second, my life at GM. For the past year or so I have been doing the job of a supervisor (while still technically being an hourly employee). Well, due to circumstances at other plants, my time is coming to an end. At this point I have put in for another hourly job (metal model maker) and am keeping my fingers crossed for that. It is primarily day shift, and from what I have been told it is pretty much up to the employee which shift they want to work. Hopefully it will work out, because it would certainly be wonderful for me to be able to be home to see Tara and the kids and to be able to help out in the evenings. I don't know how she handles everything by herself - she certainly has my love and admiration.

    Finally, I am in another semester at school (hopefully someday it will end!). Being a short spring semester really limits my free time right now, so be patient if the website updates are limited for the next little while.



    After posting yesterday, I got a little more detail on exactly what it was that Tara did to her hand. Apparently she was attempting to get the pit out of the middle of an avocado by poking through it. Well, guess what happens next. Of course the knife goes all the way through the pit and straight into her hand. While she was in the ER waiting to get stitched up she was questioning whether or not she needed to be there (which she did, getting the three stitches). I had to give her a hard time about that because I said the same thing when I got my stitches and she told me to get it checked out. Anyway, all is well now. Besides being a little sore, she is OK - no major damage in the hand and it will be as good as normal before long.



    Gotta love Michigan weather. During the course of the past week, we had one day in the mid-70's and a lot of rain. On Friday the high was 70, but by Sunday morning there was snow on the ground once again. Is it any wonder that we are always fighting through colds here?

    On to the real news of the day. Tara and I were making dinner tonight (tacos) and while cutting avocadoes for the guacamole Tara sliced her hand. A quick trip to the ER resulted in 3 stitches. Thankfully it was her left hand, so it won't be quite as hard for her to cope. She came home giving a lot of credit to Samantha & Drew for not crying while getting their numbing shot when they had their stitches.



    Well, Spring Break is over for another year. It was good having the kids home in the morning so that I could see them some. Usually I get about 30 minutes with them in the morning while they get ready for school, so seeing them from the time they get up until I have to leave for work is a nice change of pace. Of course, before I know it summer will be here and I will get to see them every day. Hopefully at some point in the future I can get off second shift and onto first, where I will be able to see them in the evenings and spend more time with them. I keep my fingers crossed every day.



    Sold! We found out yesterday that the house we went to look at sold about a week after we were in it. Oh well, something else will come along for us. Besides, there were things about the actual house that we weren't 100% in love with regarding the design, and the water-filled basement was a concern as well. We loved the yard and house style, but we are also very happy with where we are at. We'll take the time to evaluate our options in another year or so, at which time we can decide if we want to move or add on to our existing home.

    For now, our efforts will be concentrated on getting a truck to tow the fifth-wheel with. In reality, that is more important than a new house anyway.



    Just a quick rant about gas prices - the American public is getting screwed. We have been hovering near $3.00 a gallon for a couple of weeks now. Sometimes slightly more, other times less. Take today for example: Gas was selling for $2.96 a gallon when I went to work. On my way home what was the price at the exact same station? $3.29, for a whopping $0.35 price increase. What a rip-off. But, I guess those executives have yacht payments to make too.



    I have been pretty lazy about updating this whole blog thing, but there really hasn't been too much exciting to report on around here. Tara and I have been keeping busy with work and taking care of the kids. The kids have been staying busy with school and sports, although Samantha quit her dance lessons recently. That pretty much sums up our lives right now: work, school, kids activities and then start all over again the next day.

    Since my last post we have gotten inside the house that we were interested in buying. There are some things that concern us and other things that we like. At this point we are taking things slow and waiting to see what unfolds all around. It is a bank-owned house, and has been for sale since last October. We were also attempting to try to sell ours to some former neighbors of the family that bought the house next door to ours a couple of years ago, but I guess the husbands job is kind of questionable right now and they aren't sure that they want to rush into buying something (not to mention that we never worked out a price or anything). Once again, we'll wait and see what happens - if it was meant to be, it will be.



    Another whole year in the bag with the passing of my birthday yesterday. I didn't get much accomplished, playing lazy around the house and spending the rest of the day at Tyler's basketball game and then at dinner at Red Robin with Tara, the kids, and Jerry & Gail (who were nice enough to treat us). For a present, I picked up some "Cars" toys at Meijer's that I let the kids play with (Drew got the original set for Christmas, more for his birthday, and these were some more that we hadn't seen before).

    The last time I wrote I said that we had stopped and looked at a house for sale - well, that peaked the interest in us and we have since started investigating the whole thing. We aren't 100% sure if that house is still on the market or not, but if it is we are probably going to put ours up for sale and hope it lasts. We should learn more tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.

    There are some uncertainties regarding my position at work. For those that don't know, I am currently a supervisor at work (what is called "per-diem", kind of a temporary thing). I was hoping that I would become a full salary employee, but that is up in the air due to situations at other plants. I believe that if it was up to the people I work with, there would be no question. For now it is just wait and see, and hope for the best.



    When it rains it pours. I rushed through my school registration process this semester due to some confusion in my tuition assistance at work (long story) and today I realized that I have now spent two full weeks taking a class that I have already taken. Of course the deadline to drop the class was Friday - so basically I just wasted two weeks and a ton of money (no refund at this point).

    Tara and I stopped off at a house that was for sale in our area on Sunday and we liked what we saw. The price was right... 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, partially finished walkout basement, 2,300 square feet, 10 mostly wooded acres. Too bad we aren't ready to sell right now. Unless I sell the Camaro... Maybe in a year or so we'll start looking.

    On to happier news, Tara & I took Tyler and Samantha to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit yesterday (we left Drew and Jayden at Jerry & Gail's house). We walked around the various displays, checking out all of the cars that we dream of owning some day (assuming we could afford to put gas in them too). Once we finished checking everything out, we headed to the People Mover to eat lunch at Pizza Papalis in Greektown. The kids ordered a meal that allowed them to make their own pizzas right at the table, which was pretty cool. Tara and I split a small cheese and pepperoni (one slice is enough, but who can stop there?). After eating we headed back to the People Mover so that we could head back home. I thought about walking around a little bit, but it was much too cold to spend much time outside. We picked up the little two on our way, then headed home to enjoy a relaxing evening - those come few and far between at our house.



    Well, we are off to a weird beginning to the New Year. To start with, we had the fourth biggest snowfall on record on January 1st. Then, less than a week later we had a couple of days in the low 60's and tornado warnings! Needless to say, we didn't get a chance to enjoy the snowfall, and the warm weather was gray and overcast when it wasn't raining. Yuck.

    Then we had our furnace kick off on us on Thursday (the 10th). After trying to figure things out ourselves for quite a while, we finally gave up and called a 24-hour place. They wanted $150 just for the service call, so we decided we'd tough it out till morning. Well, when the heating and cooling guys showed up the bill quickly climbed. They found out what was wrong with the furnace, and it was around $300 to fix, but there was more too. The bill quickly escalated to around $1900, well past the halfway point of a brand new one. Of course, this was the route we had to go. Hopefully this will help cut down on our gas bills from now on, too. Well, we had to wait another night to get the furnace installed, but today they came and got it done. John, our installer, did a great job by himself getting everything installed and explained to us. Although it isn't an exciting purchase, hopefully it will be beneficial in the long run.

    Finally for today, Tyler had his first basketball game today. His team did very well, winning 22-2 (the scoreboard actually showed 20-2, but there was a basket early that wasn't credited). Hopefully tomorrow I will get the pictures up.


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