Friday, August 28, 2015

Standing Tall and Proud

Cody has changed in many ways since joining our family, most noticeably, he has become what I would describe as more confident.

Initially, Cody had a difficult time looking people in the eye. Whenever his eyes met with a person's, he would immediately look away, then look back, and then look away again. This behavior was so noticeable, that we often referred to Cody as Mr. Eye Darter.

Over time, as Cody apparently began to realize that in our pack, everyone is an equal, the eye darting behavior gradually went away. And the eye darting wasn't the only behavioral change we've observed, we've also noticed changes in his posture. Cody not only gazes longingly into your eyes now, but he stands taller and prouder with his head held very high.

What an amazing transformation to see the insecurities dissipate from this beautiful creature.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


This is a weekend that Michele and I look forward to each year, because it is the weekend that Normal hosts the Sweet Corn Blues Festival.

This year's festival was absolutely perfect in every way. The temperature was much cooler than the scorcher we had last year, and there was no sign of any dishonest street preachers like the one we encountered on a prior visit.

As always, the sweet corn was spectacular, but this year included an additional good experience, which was the food at The Rock Restaurant. They sell gyro sandwiches and other Mediterranean food.

I'm a huge fan of gyro sandwiches, and man oh man, I think this was the best gyro experience I've ever had. Not just because the sandwich was delicious and hot, but because the restaurant was very clean and inviting, and the workers were very friendly and helpful. Here's a photo of the delicious gyro sandwich I was served:

Hot golden brown french fries. Steaming hot, thick cut lamb. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

I think I've found my go to place for Gyros.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nick Went to College

Michele and I have become empty nesters, now that Nick has left for college at Southeast Missouri State:

Nick's dorm room at Towers East

Our good friend Sarah stopped by to wish Nick well on the next chapter of his journey through life.

We spoke to Nick yesterday evening, and he assured us that everything is going well. He told us that yesterday morning his entire floor went to breakfast together, and today, he will be going cliff diving. 

Did he say cliff diving?

Wow, I guess the adventure has begun. I couldn't be more proud of this young man.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kris and Her Babies

My sister's girls really love their mom:


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Josh Dropped by for a Night

On his way back to Sioux Falls from his summer internship in Washington D.C, Josh stopped by to say hello.

It was nice to re-connect with him. We just don't cross paths as much anymore. Good luck with school this year Josh!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Alex Goes Back to College

Yesterday was move in day for Alex at Missouri State. He's excited for another good year.

His room looks like a very productive studying environment, which would probably be true of any room containing an Einstein poster.

Some of the peeps stopped by to wish Alex well and to say goodbye:

Michele and I got into some pictures also:

I couldn't be more proud.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A Night with the Peeps

Last night was spent hanging with a few of the peeps. Michele and I were partners in a game of spades, and we lost rather spectacularly after I made a very silly play. I'll just have to pay better attention next time.

I did manage to get in a few photographs before the party broke up.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Friends is Never Easy

Said goodbye to David Baker yesterday. He died June 27th from the cancer that had been growing in his lungs and other parts of his body, and had remained undetected until just 23 days prior. It was a sad emotional day.

Family members carry David C Baker to his final resting place in St Michael's Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD

The silver lining on an otherwise bleak day was reuniting with old friends, and naturally, I was armed with my camera:

Richard Baker and his 19 grandchildren

Richard Baker and his 6 remaining children

Steve Baker and his 4 children

Shane, Brian, May and Ron

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Another Positive Step in the March for Equality

The supreme court ruled 5 to 4 yesterday that marriage for gay people is a fundamental right, which cannot be denied by popular vote. I am so proud of my country right now, and so disappointed with the 4 dissenters on the court. Those 4 conservative justices ought to be ashamed of themselves.

The Obama administration celebrated with this incredible illumination of the White House:

In 1967, the supreme court passed down a ruling in Loving v Virginia that prevented the states from passing laws preventing people of different races from getting married. That case is recognized today as a no brainer by nearly everyone. Oddly enough, there are people in significant numbers that disagree with yesterday's decision, despite the obvious similarities with the Loving case.

Individuals should be able to choose whom they marry, period. End of story. Full stop.

The next time someone tells you they believe in traditional marriage, ask them which one. As I already pointed out, prior to 1967, traditional marriage meant marrying someone with the same skin color. And if you continue moving back in time in this country's history, you'll find that traditional marriage used to mean that women were simply treated as property, which sadly, is still traditional for some people.

Personally, I believe in marriages that are based on love and mutual respect. That definition may not qualify as traditional in conservative circles, but it does honor the rights of individuals to make their own choices concerning marriage, which is something I proudly support as a liberal.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Kristen Graduated from High School

We spent last weekend in Minnesota with Kristen and the rest of the Minnesota peeps. Fun was had by all.

Congratulations Kristen!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Baseball at Normal Community West

Michele and I watched today as the Normal Community West Wildcats defeated the Normal Community Ironmen 3 to 1 in a Sectionals match.

The Wildcats take on their next opponent this coming Saturday. Good luck Wildcats!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Honor Track Meet

Michele and Sara and I went to Bloomington High School yesterday to watch Andrea run in the Honor Meet. Andrea wasn't happy with her performance, but our group thought she looked amazing!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Graduation Party

This weekend's graduation festivities came to a head at this afternoon's outdoor party. Luckily, the rain showers were minimal.