Sunday, September 30, 2007

Passing the Torch

Today the whole family went to church. Afterward we went to my parents house for a quick lunch. Amber took Allen and Ashton to the store and they came back with Halloween costumes. Ashton chose a Little Mermaid costume and Allen chose a ninja costume. I got excited and asked Allen if he knew about ninjas. After a bit the family ended up watching the movie Iron Monkey. Everyone enjoyed it and I really felt like I was introducing the kids to some really great cinema. We all win.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Heading to Work

I went to work today to get back on the schedule. I have a beard now and I guess that is why one person didn't even recognize me. Allen and I played soccer in the yard. He is fun to play games with. I also chopped a tree apart. It was lots of work and it took longer than I expected.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Another Day Older

Today I consulted with Brad at his office and my parents watched Abby and Ashton for a bit. Allen came home and we worked together to clean up before mom came home. Amber brought pizza and it was great.

We watched the next episode of Avatar tonight as a family. I dressed up like Uncle Iroh. Ashton had her hair done up like Azula. She looked very grown up. Allen has been looking like a young man, too. Abby is getting better at communicating and certainly is showing her personality and opinion much more. It is really hard to describe little changes the kids go through as they grow but a parent knows. I am happy I get to spend so much time with the kids.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Hope to Never See This Again

Today was rather leisurely and I had a good time playing with Abby as well as Ashton after she got home from school. Allen came home and he and Ashton made characters on the Wii for a bit while Abby took a little nap on the couch.

Then the excitement happened. A few phone calls came and then while I was on the phone I felt the floor was a little wet. I have the tendency to pace or walk around when I am on the phone. Because of the excitement I didn't think anything of it until my leg felt a little wet and I noticed the floor had yellow puddles. I looked at my pants and it looked like I was incontinent. For a split second I wondered if something was really wrong with me and if it was my own urine. Then I realized that the wet spot started at my knee. This was a little less freaky but not that good of an alternative. I lifted my pant leg to see one of the incisions leaking quite productively down my leg and all over my foot. The shade of yellow was really disconcerting. I showed no emotion or concern while I was on the phone but then I called the doctor's office.

Yuck. Amber said she doesn't get queasy with this stuff but what she saw turned her stomach. The weirdest part is that now my knee feel really different. Not bad per se but just different. It is almost like where my bones all meet up got a little closer together and my knee feels sloppy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We are Getting Sick

Either we all have allergies or we are getting in on a wave of season-change colds. Amber already took the kids earlier in the week to doctor. It is her turn to feel sick.

Last nights storm left plenty of tree branches in the yard. It took me a fair amount of effort to get a log off of the driveway. I helped Allen create a photo album and it was clear that he was genuinely happy with my assistance. Allen likes playing soccer with me and quickly Ashton and Abby get in on the fun. Abby and I played for a bit. Ashton made a guessing game/puzzle out of paper at school today. It reminded me of doing similar projects with paper when I was a kid.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Severe Thunderstorm

It is raining really hard. I hope we don't lose power.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Church and Home

We all went to church today. It is pretty rare that we are all able to go. Afterward we went home and spent time together. Amber had to get some things from the store so Ashton and I watched a movie that Aunt Karin gave to her. It was nice to cuddle with her. After everyone got home it was soon bedtime. For the first time Abby climbed off of Amber's lap and into mine. After the general bedtime reading, Allen and I read some in his room. There is a very old Star Wars book that was mine when I was a kid that is now Allen's. He and I read it for a bit and then Allen showed me his secret Pokemon card stash. He is really growing up.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kid's Day

Everyone was home today and we spent some quality time together. In the morning we went to Allen's soccer game. It is great fun to see him in action. It gets me more excited than I like to admit. I hold back but I still yell encouragement quite often. I do not want to be the jerk dad that takes the games too seriously (in my heart that is exactly what I am).

When we got home every was doing their own thing for a bit. After some time we congregated to the couch and watched The Incredibles together. It was really nice to cuddle.

Fun quotes of the day:
Allen told Amber that he doesn't want people at school to think he is a "momma's boy"
Ashton told me I will "be a really cool old person"
Whenever we request someone volunteer to say a prayer, Abby always raises her hand and says "meeeee!"

We have a great family.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Tonight we all watched the first show of the season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is fun to watch and the whole family enjoys it quite a bit. Amber is probably the biggest fan.

Abby and Ashton were home with me today. My knee is feeling much better so I felt obligated to move around as much as I could. Abby has taken to rearranging the back room so my mobility was tested. Ashton had Amber do her hair like one of the Avatar characters so she looked super cute all day long. After Amber and Allen got home we ordered a pizza and took it easy. It has been a fun day.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

School is Cool

Ashton officially had her first day of school (finally). Ashton made a friend at school who apparently has a kitten named "Hammy." In spite of the transportation department she made it there and back. Amber had to take her but they did bring her back. I also got to speak to the superintendent regarding the inability for the transportation folks to get things right, or to even sound like they cared to make it right.

Of course Allen went to school again today so it was just Abby and I at home for a bit. Abby had a bit of a bathroom event that ended with her in the tub and me having to mop the floor and wipe down every flat surface in the room. I kept my cool but it was pretty gross. At least she really tried to get on the potty. She is one busy kid.

Allen has made another friend and her name is Sabrina. Every time he comes home I try to get a conversation started about school and I always ask who he played with or who he sits next to during the day. It makes me feel good that he is fitting in and making friends.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stitches Out

Today I had an incredibly brief meeting with the knee doctor. He had his nurse take out my stitches and then he said "see you in two weeks so we can start talking about you getting back to work." Ugh.

Today was the downpoint of the cycle of children behavior. Suffice it to say that when Amber got home I was really appreciative of her patience with the kids. By bed time, there was no patience to be found.

Ashton will finally start school in the morning and she is really excited. She does not want to go to sleep. Today Ashton showed a little of what the future holds as she decided to change the dress she was wearing beacause "she was tired of the buttons and the stripes" and opted for a different look.

Allen had an event on the bus. I already had little faith in the bus folk as a result of some misunderstandings early on. Today they just forgot to drop him off at home. They drove by and kept going. He ended up being on the bus for over an hour because he was the last one off. At least he made a friend. He told us that a girl likes to sit next to him.

Abby was accused of being an eating machine by one of her parents today. She will not leave the snack cupboard alone unless she is standing in the fridge. Yes, I mean that literally. Her little feet stand on the inside of the fridge right next to the crisper drawers. She manages to terrorize Ashton from time to time. This is going to be interesting to see how these three interact later in life.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Again I am recuperating at home. Amber and the kids went to church and I stayed to whip up the lunch.

The kids are very caring and concerned about me. Today we looked at pictures of the inside of my knee and then I showed the kids the incisions for the first time. Allen asked if they hurt and Ashton ran out of the room with her hand over her mouth.

Allen and I played a little soccer (I hit the ball with my crutch) and then Ashton and I played catch. They really like being with me. Abby is still a fun little toddler and just likes to be the center of attention.

I sent Amber off to do her own thing. She has been running nonstop for the last week. She ended up going to get her hair done and it looks very nice. She got some highlights and relaxed at the salon.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Naughty Kids

Today seemed like a nonstop barrage of children assaulting the adults with words, disobedience, and physical attacks. Honestly, I don't know how Amber or I survived.

Okay. I am exagerating. Maybe I am a little sensitive because of the state that I am in.

The kids try to have a good time but today Amber and I just didn't have the energy or the patience to contend with the tricks and showdowns. She made it happen while I tried not to make things worse.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I am a Pansy

The big event today was that I was to change my knee bandage dressing and be able to take a (much needed) shower. Once removed I saw the blood, the stitches, the cuts, and smelled it and immediately felt sick. I knew I had to hurry because I was feeling faint and I began to sweat like crazy. Long story short is that it took me two attempts and I was laying on the floor focused on my breathing for about ten minutes.

At least I didn't fall over.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rest and Recovery

Today I spent nearly all day laying down with my leg being bent by an elaborate contraption. It has been incredibly restful. Of course, the cost of my relaxation is that Amber has to work even harder. With school starting and the bus situation being unclear it has been an even greater load for her since her work responsibilities are also growing.

My dad cam over tonight to help drop off some documents to the doctor on my behalf. He is another person that is being worked harder because of the needs of others. Neither Amber nor my dad really complain much. They are great people. I am lucky to have them in my life.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Well, it's time. I'm going in.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Visit

Today Amber's mom stopped by. I haven't seen her in a few months. There has been a falling out with Amber and that side of her family. She stopped over under the auspices to make sure Amaber was still comfortable being in her living will due to a scheduled surgery she has. Her mom had quite a bit to say and she shed some tears because she missed our family.

Tonight Ashton heard Amber telling me that I could get a handicapped sticker for the car after my surgery. Ashton replied: "I want a candy cat sticker, too!" It was very funny. She has a great imagination. She is really looking forward to school and riding the bus. Ashton talked about it a few times today.

Allen is getting really good at soccer. He is having more fun and is gaining accuracy. He played for quite a while with me after school today. We also got a new PS2 game that uses a camera to see the player and really put the person in the game. It was fun to see Allen get into that as well. You have to wave your arms and jump around to play the games. It was entertaining.

Abby is a little cuddly and took a long nap pretty early on in the day. Maybe the change in the weather brought with it a cold. She seems fine so maybe it is just a growth spurt coming up. She is growing quite a bit and helped herself to a cup of milk without spilling it today.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

An Interview

I had my interview today for a promotion. It went pretty well. I am not sure how I did but I know that the person who interviewed me will go to bat for me. I heard who the other people are that interviewed and I think my chances are better than most of the other candidates.

I didn't get to see my family too much today. Amber was the only person awake when I got home. She made me a MySpace page even though it is usually considered a place for children and weirdos (hopefully you read this, sweetheart!).

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Soccer Game

Today I had an early meeting for work but I was able to get to Allen's first soccer game. It was really fun for me to see the kids play and get a feel for the sport. Allen was more focused in this game than he had been in tee ball. I think it is based on the pace of the sport and he is a little older.

Amber cleaned the whole house. I mean top to bottom complete cleaning. Again I have to say that she works really hard. I love her very much. The kids and I played for a bit together but I had to get back to work.

Friday, September 7, 2007

School Time

Yesterday was Allen's first day of first grade. Today was supposed to be his first day riding the bus but he missed it. We had a showdown this morning and that means we both lost. It is sure hard convincing little kids that adults are right sometimes. He is a god kid but when things go wrong, he gets pretty upset.

Ashton, Abby, and I went to Ashton's school for a orientation. It was really cool because Ashton found her special new clothes for her first day. She is super cute. Abby really liked riding on the bus and looking around Ashton's new class.

My employer continues to fumble with my upcoming leave to get my knee fixed. Hopefully this doesn't get completely screwed up.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Stepping in to the Future

Today we went to Allen's school for an open house. It was busy and hot and we were running a little behind. The school is close by and his teacher, Mrs. Lee seems very nice. Amber and I had some issues as to whether Allen should be in first grade or Kindergarten but after all was said and done he begins first grade tomorrow.

Ashton will be starting school next week, too. Tonight she was being kind of aggressive verbally and I acted as though she had hurt my feelings. I said that I may even cry. She looked sad and said: "even if I tell you I hate you I really still love you, Daddy." I thought that was nice considering she didn't actually come out and say she hated me. I took it to mean that even in the worst case that she were to say something really hurtful she really still loved me in spite of how she felt. Amazing. It made me stop for a second and think about it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I submitted my name for consideration for promotion at work. I also have started school again. The kids are going to school and the need to be several places every day is increasing. My surgery is coming up and my employer has still not quite ironed out the details of my leave. For the most part, stress and tension are increasing.

I am a pretty relaxed guy. Ordinarily I have a positive outlook and feel good. I am feeling like my rhythm is being stalled and I will have to find my stride again. I know change happens and I look forward to what is to come. I am really looking forward to getting back into a good rhythm in life.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day Family Togetherness

We spent the entire day together. It was great! No one was in a hurry, there weren't any schedules, or obligations. We began the day by just doing what we wanted to. I ended up mowing the lawn and the kids and Amber played inside. After lunch (which included grilled ham and cheese sandwiches) we went to Dairy Queen. We ate the ice cream goodies at the park and then played there for a bit. I ran to the store to get some items for grilling and we ate dinner together. To top off the day we watched Spirited Away. What a great day! The kids even all went to bed easily.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Strange Day

I left home today with Amber making pancakes for the kids as a brunch. She decided to stay home from church because she had a migraine and was not feeling good. The kids were being rambunctious and running around. It was a bit of a rough morning.

At work it just seemed like there were nowhere near enough people and it was just a frustrating day. For some reason, the leave of absence time is still not figured out. I am really not sure what is going on with them.

Next week Allen starts school. Tonight he was mad at Amber and said that he didn't want to go to school. Hopefully he will be feeling better about things tomorrow.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

School Shopping Day

Today was a long one for me. I left in the morning and met Amber and the kids in Grand Rapids after I deposited my paycheck in Hastings. We went to a few places and the kids had a great time picking things out for the upcoming school year. After we ahd a quick lunch and grabbed some final needed items I went to work until 11 p.m.

I am pretty tired.