Thursday, December 28, 2006


Today marks ten years since that day in Waco where Valerie officially agreed to be bound together as husband and wife. What was she thinking?

In our ten years we have lived in 4 states, owned 3 homes, lived in 3 apartments and have had 2 kids. I cannot imagine trying to go through this life with anyone else.

I love you more than I can express in words and you still make me excited about the future. I look forward to growing old with you.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Today Cooper turns seven.

I still remember being in the hospital and walking over to the warmer and having him grab my finger with his little hands.

The joy and fear that comes with knowing you are in charge of another life.

But through all the joys and trials, I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Happy Birthday little man.

Val would want you to know that she took this picture

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

small group

For those in our small group, please remember to check out the small group blog to communicate about small group meetings and information.

Friday, November 17, 2006

that's how we roll

Tomorrow we set off on our road trip to Houston for thanksgiving. In fact there are several things I should be doing right now, but I admit, I have taken a moment to check some stuff on the computer and sync my iPod for the trip. I am looking forward to listening to the Boyd-Wallis talk sometime on the trip (thanks Brenton)

I don't mind flying, I'm not scared of it and we have done it many times, but I like road trips. I like the uninterrupted time with family. I like stopping at unexpected places (like when coming back from Illinois with me and the boys we stopped at the World's Largest Truck Stop in Iowa)

My wife and I have different ways to plan a road trip. Her plan involves deciding where we are going to stay and where we are going to eat before we ever leave the house, where my planning is much more casual.

It is also good to get out of your routine for a while. Both to refresh and to appreciate what you have.

I'm sure there will be some trying times on this trip. With a 6 year old and a 8 month old there have to be, but I am looking forward to it. Tomorrow we take off, and that's how we roll.


Today I sent some simple notes in Cooper's backpack to remind him to do a couple of things at school.

It is like it hit me for the first time today that I could do that because he can read.

It is strange the little milestones and the impact they have on us.

I look forward to doing that more. To remind him of stuff or just to let him know I am thinking about him.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

cooper gift guide

I often gets calls from the different grands about what Cooper is into and what he wants for his birthday or Christmas.

With just 15 days until his birthday, here are a couple of things Cooper has said he would like.

First is the Gross Out Monster. Apparently Cooper saw this on a recent trip to Walmart with mommy.

"The gross out monster has tools to operate," says Cooper. "What you can do with the tools is get the body parts out."

Cooper loves monsters and halloween and associated stuff.

Next is Moon Sand.

Cooper has been asking for this since he saw the comercial about 6 months ago.

"You can make stuff with moon sand," says Cooper. "And even castles."

Lastly, is Mouse Trap.

"Mouse Trap has traps that mouses get in," says Cooper.

So there you go, a couple of ideas stright from Cooper.

"Love Cooper," he adds.

Friday, November 10, 2006

back to basics

Alright, now back to what I originally started this blog for anyway.

Here are some pics.

product placement

You are Michael Dell, the Christmas shopping season is starting and you are pushing your line of TVs. What better than some product placement.

Hollywood have departments that work in this filed, to work product placement deals out for movies, but this is the first time I've seen it at the whitehouse.

Here is your challenge, find a quote from a past president and work in a product placement that they might have missed.

For example: A Tyson chicken in every pot and a car in every garage – Herbert Hoover

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lincoln Quotes

I am a big fan of Abraham Lincoln. It is why my second son is named after him. Sometimes it is good to reflect on the voices and wisdom of the past.

So here are some quotes from Lincoln:

If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.

The Smartest Guys in the Room

Time for another movie you might not have seen, but maybe should.

This time it's Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room

If you want to understand better how corporate greed, deregulation and other factors came together to produce one of the biggest business scandals in American history this movie is worth viewing.

Hear it all from the people who lived it, including rare corporate audio and video tapes. I thought it was a well crafted documentary that gave real insight into what actually happened and how.

As citizens I think we need to understand what happened, how it could happen again and what role government should have in preventing it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


"Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people may be engaged in. That everyone may receive at least a moderate education appears to be an objective of vital importance."

Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

stupid web tricks

Alright, another one of those things you look at and say, "Why?" But then you do it anyway.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

my political rant

It's that time of year again. The air is crisp, halloween is over and Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. And of corse there is the stench of politics.

Yes, turning on the TV or getting the mail is like watching a big, political, Jerry Springer show. So while I don't usually stump for candidates or issues, and this blog was really set up to let friends and family around the country in on Lincoln's latest milestone or Cooper's escapades at school, today I am going on a political rant.


Watching the ads in Minnesota's 6th District, neither Michele Bachmann nor Patty Wetterling want me to vote for them. They each want me to vote against the other. I have decided to oblige both of them and vote for independent John Binkowski.

Both Wetterling and Bachmann have just seemed to go off the deep end. Each commercial a little worse than the one before it and all of them taking the truth and twisting it into a unrecognizable distortion of reality. I just cannot feel good about voting for either of them.

I have watched a couple of debates and have been doing some research and I have been impressed with Binkowski. He is young and I don't agree with him on every issue (I think even if I ran I wouldn't agree with me on every issue) but he seems intelligent and optimistic and certainly not the venomous nature of the other camps.


I am supporting our local levy for school funding. I do think our local schools do a good job of trying to be fiscally responsible and trying to do their best to educated the children of our community. Once again, I may not agree with the way they want to spend every dollar, but I think they are trying to do their best to manage the educational system in our community.

Honest people can disagree on the issue, but what I can't stand is the people who don't have kids in the school system and don't want to support it simply because they don't think they should have to help pay for it. If that is the case then there is a lot of money I want back from the government.

This cannot be all about US or even OUR kids, it has to be about the community. It has to be about all the kids in our community and giving them at least a chance at a decent education.

To me the issue of education is much bigger than this school bond. I think we need to rework the way funding for education is done in our country. I think education may be the most important effort that the State is involved in, and to deny people a decent education based on where they live is ludicrous, and we should be ashamed. The lack of education is a form of oppression. Educating all children is a benefit to our society.


I think George Bush missed a real opportunity to shine with Kerry incident. There is no doubt that Kerry has a bad case of Foot in Mouth disease. But imagine what could have happened if instead of jumping on it for another stump speech the president had said something like, "I don't think Mr. Kerry believes that our troops are uneducated or lack courage. We have honest disagreements on the corse this country needs to take fight terrorism, but I am not going to use a gaffed joke aimed at me to tear him down."

I really think he would have gained more support that way than he did pouncing on it to try to make political hay.

None of us are perfect, but when our political leaders say the Jesus is the biggest influence in their life and they have chances to be graceful and forgiving and humble, I would just like to see them take more advantage of them.

So, let me climb down from my soapbox and take care of my kid. I think he is waking up from his nap.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

tying shoes

A while back we bought Cooper a book about how to tie your shoes. It has the bunny method and the rocket method.

Today Cooper decided he wanted to learn to tie his shoes. So he got the book out and was working on it. He got pretty frustrated at first - which he tends to do.

When he got it fiquired out he was so excited. I told him we could go out this weekend and get him some lace up shoes.


Another fun time was had this halloween. On saturday I took the boys to the community center for their parade and activities. Cooper won a prize in the costume contest.

He usually picks out what he wants to be a year or so in advance. Such as the robot last year and the werewolf. He loves monsters and stuff like that. Next year he wants to be a racecar/monster truck driver.

That night we all went to the haunted hayride at the YMCA camp in town.

Halloween night I took Cooper and Lincoln around. We went to about a dozen houses then Cooper wanted to go home and pass out candy. He enjoys that as much as going trick-or-treating.

Halloween is nice because it seems like it is the one time a year the whole neighborhood is out and everyone is in a good mood. I need to get better about meeting our neighbors and getting to know them. At least we have halloween to start.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

the grands

The grandparents were here this past weekend. As always I put my dad to work on various projects. We love where we are at in Minnesota, but it is times like these that I am reminded how easier things might be living closer to family.

Thanks for everything.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

sick again

Little Man is under the weather again. The grandparents are visitng, so Sunday grandma stayed home with him. I think he is cutting some more teeth as well.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

like his old man...sort of

We got a note from school the other day saying that Cooper has qualified for an independent reading group in the gifted and talented program.

I was in a reading group in school as well, but it wasn't through the gifted and talented program. It was in the basement and we read illustrated Electric Company stories while the other kids read actual books.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

almost like a real office

After months of having the computer stuck on a table in the basement we finally bought a desk and started to put the office together.

Special thanks to Chris for giving of his time and van to help me pick up the desk at IKEA.

I wish I had before shots, and I'm sure I have some snap shots of us in the room, but before the walls were white and dirty, there was nasty carpet on the floor and cheap miniblinds on the windows.

I will be slowly putting the office together, but it is so nice to have the computer and work space back.

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go?

You may never sing that Chris Tomlin song the same way again after reading this story.

Lightning exits woman's bottom

Monday, September 25, 2006

first grade reading

this summer Cooper met with his first grade teacher for a reading assessment. he came home with the results today.
Cooper's ScoreSchool Average
Letter names26 out of 2625 out of 26
Letter sounds28 out of 2823 out of 28
High Frequency Words20 out of 2016 out of 20
Phonetic Set 15 of 52 of 5
Reading of Dogs100% accuracy 78% accuracy

I credit his gene pool (mother) and television. God bless you steve and your little blue dog.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rabbit Proof Fence

So I have decided periodically to post some movies that you might not have seen, but maybe should have.

Fist up is Rabbit Proof Fence

Set in 1931 Australia this movie is based upon a true story of three aboriginal girls who escape and head back to their home after being taken to be trained as domestic staff.

The DVD includes interviews with the actual girls (now women) of whom the story is based.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

under the weather

Lincoln has been under the weather the week. It appears that he has an ear infection, a virus and is cutting 6-8 teeth.

It started Monday which was the fussiest day of his young life. Then Tuesday he was running a fever which has been off and on.

I have been sleeping with him downstairs so the rest of the family can get some sleep. It has given me some flash backs to when Cooper was young and Val was in residency and thus gone a lot of the time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

be a candle

The other day Lincoln and I headed to Target to pick up some formula and other groceries. We ended up in a slow checkout line.

When we made it to check out the girl working the register apologized for the wait. I said it was no big deal to which she answered, "I wish everyone had that attitude."

She went on to explain how she had started on the cash register next to this one and it had crashed. Apparently the lady who was checking out had gotten very upset and had been yelling at the checkout girl.

I told her that life is too short to spend it fussing over such small things to which she again mentioned how she wished more people treated her that way.

I tell the story not to brag about how great I am. More times than I probably want to admit I am the impatient one, but I write it as a reminder (to myself if no one else) how easy it can be sometimes to be a light in the world.

Too many times I think we only look for big opportunities to be a light. If we are going to be a light we want to be a spotlight and we miss the opportunity to be a candle. It can be pretty easy to be a candle and enough candles shine as bright as a spot.

So I challenge you and me to try to look for those opportunities to be a small light in someone's life. Maybe its holding a door open for someone, maybe its getting your neighbors mail, or maybe its just having a good attitude with the check out person at Target.

Monday, September 11, 2006

how about them Bears

Granted, the packers are not the powerhouse they used to be, but anytime the Bears can go into lambeau field and win is a good day. And then to hand greenbay their first scoreless game since 1991.

The Bears meet all three division rivals at the beginning of the season.

September 24 - minnesota

Sunday, September 10, 2006

fundraising in 2006

alright, i remember taking home the order sheets door to door, to family and my mom took it to work. but that was the '70s and '80s.

now my son is in the school fundraising game and we can do it the new way.

so for family and friends that are far away but would like to support Cooper in his school fundraising, now through September 18th you can purchase items from Sally Foster

I thought the link was set up to automatically put in Coopers info, but if you need it his school # 255635 his student # 472877

Friday, September 08, 2006

web work

I am sitting at the computer with a sleeping baby on my chest. He has been really hard to get to sleep. While it is hard to get housework done right now, I can type on the computer.

A couple of things I have been working on:

I have been working for our dentist on creating a web site for them. It is in the beginning stages of getting the site up.

I also recently redesigned our church web site.

I had been playing with the idea for a while, but wanted to get input/approval from higher ups. Then someone convinced me to go ahead and do it.

I was getting really tired of the old site. There is more that needs to be done, but I like it better than the previous site.

Monday, September 04, 2006

chruch lady fired for...being a lady

"Since 1946, Mary Lambert has been a member of the First Baptist Church in Watertown [NY], and for the past 11 years, she's been the Sunday school teacher.

"But, last Thursday Lambert received a letter from the Diaconate Board telling her that she was dismissed from her position because the board had adopted the scriptural qualifications for Sunday school teachers.

"The letter Lambert received says, 'A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became sinner.'

"The letter was signed, 'Thank you for your anticipated cooperation. Very truly yours, Kendra LaBouf.' Kendra is the wife of City Council Member and Pastor Tim LaBouf."



Thursday, August 17, 2006


I still have some work to do, but here is my first picture of some finished trim.

Land of Lincoln

Cooper and Lincoln are spending the week with grandma and grandpa in the Land of Lincoln

I am at home desperately trying to finish the trim in our house that we tore out when we had the floors worked on. I am learning on the job.

It has been a lot of work and no one is going to mistake me for a professional, but it is a lot of fun and there is a certain sense of satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures from their trip so far.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Well, I was really worried about KidStuf this week. It is the most time I have spent working with the script and the least I felt prepared since we started doing these. We practiced 5 or 6 times this morning and never were able to get through it.

The actual KidStuf performance went over OK. It was the best we did at the intro part. I forgot one thing I was going to do in my rapid response time, but all in all in went well.

I was missing some of my peeps.

Next month starts the new adventure of doing KidStuf after the service. That brings it's own new challenges. Especially for Chris as he does sound for 2 completely different services and for Michael who will add preaching to a day he already host and sings.

Friday, August 04, 2006

a long week

It has been a long week.

First Val got very sick Sunday night. She had to go to the ER. turns out she had an infection that hit her very hard. She was out from work until today. Tuesday we thought she might end up in the hospital.

I had some unexpected deadlines with some church stuff and trouble with my old computer handling such large files.

My little guy who had been sleeping through the night stopped. I blame teething.

I am more nervous about Kidstuf this week because my part is more scripted and requires timing, so that has me a little nervous for Sunday.

So I am glad this week is almost over.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

garage sale 2: electric boogaloo

the garage sale went ok. especially considering we did no advertising and the 4 signs i put up kept blowing down. i am going to try it again this friday and saturday. val is working and on call so it will be me and the boys trying to handle things.

i have a couple of big items i am really trying to get rid of, including a computer desk, file cabinet and table. we will see what happens.

i am also trying to sell stuff on ebay

mainly stamps my grandfather took out of germany during ww2.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

garage sale

Well, we are finally going to try to have our garage sale. After watching lots of shows like "Neat" and "Clean Sweep" I have become motivated to purge as we work our way around the house. So this saturday we will be having a garage sale to try to get rid of some of our stuff. If you are out an about stop by and say hi.

it's fun to stay at the YMCA

Last week Cooper went to the YMCA day camp. It was at camp Manitou, located in the Monticello area.

Each day he went from 8:45-3:45. I was a little nervous after our basketball camp experience, but he loved it. I think it is one of the best things we have signed him up for this summer.

He came back everyday happy, dirty and tired. We will certainly be doing that again next year.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Lincoln: He is doing good and has pretty much taken to sleeping through the night which Cooper took about 3 years to do. At his 4 month checkup he weighed 16lbs. 6oz.

He is now wearing size 12-18mo clothing. All in all he is a pretty happy baby. Like they say, all he needs is to be held, changed and fed.

Cooper: Coop loves his little brother. Loves to gives hugs and kisses. We have tried to keep him active this summer since I can't spend as much time playing with him as normal. He is in t-ball, this is the last week for that. It has gone pretty well. At the last game he caught a fly ball and everyone cheered and gave him high 5s. He loved that.

He attended soccer camp and that went well. He went to basketball camp, that did not go well. Tomorrow he is going to a YMCA day camp. He is excited and hopefully it won't be too much for him.

Valerie: She is back to work and starting to get into a routine again. I think she has done pretty well for going back after 3 months off.

The House: We had a leak in our main floor bathroom so we ended up replacing all the flooring in our bathroom, entryway and kitchen. Most of the main floor. Thank heavens we had Chip Bauer we were able to call and help us get through it. Now the floor has been replaced but I still have to finish the trim. I also painted while the floor was out.

My dad and I pulled out the old laminate flooring. Forth of July weekend we recycled that floor and replaced the nasty carpet in my office. It is a major improvement. Next will be painting the office and then I am going to redo the whole set up. Val and I took our first trip to IKEA to look for office furniture. I found stuff I liked, but wow, that place is sensory overload. Plus we somehow passed by the carpets 3 times trying to get out. The warehouse part was like the scene out of "Madam Blueberry"

The Website: I just recently redesigned the site. I had a booth at walk 'n roll and Cooper passed out magnets. Traffic has been increasing but I still am having trouble getting people to use the features like the discussion boards. I even have a contest going on the try to get that going.

Me: What can I say but I am plugging along. Still trying to balance that having 2 kids. Mainly it is making time for Coop. We going swimming on Fridays and put Lincoln in the drop off day care at the community center so we can have some time together.

I am really looking forward to getting the house put back together. The boys are going to grandma and grandpa's for a week in August, so hopefully I will get everything done in that time.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Well, it has been a while since I put anything on my blog. Maybe in part because there has been so much going on.

For those of you who don't know, we (meaning my wife) recently discovered we had a leak in our house. It was easily traceable to our main floor bathroom. The leak had been going on for a while and had rotted some of the subfloor. Thus our adventure begins.

We had to have the bathroom floor repaired so we decided to take out all of the laminate flooring (bathroom, entry, kitchen) which covered most of our main floor, and tile.

My first call was to Chip Bauer Someone I knew through church and got to know more while working on their web site.

This also led to redecorating the bathroom and painting the kitchen. Hey, if you're going to do it now is the time. We also plan on replacing cabinetry hardware and lighting. So it has been a little crazy trying to get everything done.

I had help from Joel Westrum (also from our church) in removing our dish washer. By help I mean I watched as Joel removed the dishwasher.

They are suppose to tile this week. Last night we drove to Wisconsin and met my parents. It is about half way between us and them. Val and Lincoln went to spend the week at my parents. Cooper has school and other stuff going on, so he is staying in Minnesota with me. We got in late last night in which I put him in bed and began cleaning the last items out of the kitchen.

With no baby I slept in this morning and got up around six to do my last minute prepping of the kitchen so I can paint while Cooper is in school.

Anyway, that is what is happening in our neck of the woods.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

some pics

My sister in-law pointed out to me today that I hadn't put many pictures up. I realize that is true, and since I started this blog in large part for family far away to be able to keep tabs, here are some pics. Thanks for keeping me in line Angela.