Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Great Senior Photo

Monday, December 30, 2013

Another Senior Picture

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Senior Pictures

With graduation rapidly approaching - only one semester left - yesterday seemed like a good day to get Alex's Senior pictures out of the way. There were lots of good shots to choose from, more than we budgeted for, but we managed to whittle them down to an affordable number. The shot above is one of my favorites.

I'll post more as we approach the big date.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Feast Beggar

This year's Christmas feast included ham, which is one of Dolly's all time favorites. As expected, she worked her way around the table, taking full advantage of our inability to say no to her pretty face.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Linda Pays Us a Visit

In 2008, our good friend Linda moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We've been in contact ever since through email and phone, but this week she surprised us by stopping by.

Always great to catch up with old friends.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Michele and Sam Share a Moment

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Feeding Time

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Scooping Out

The official snow measurement, provided by the lovely Michele: 4 and 7/8"

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dolly in a Snow Storm

It snowed pretty heavily this past weekend, we ended up with about 6 inches of snow or so at our house, but that's not the interesting part of this post. The interesting thing was the behavior of our cat Dolly. She doesn't particularly like going outside, she's a bit of a scaredy cat, but while it was snowing I found her pawing at the back door in an attempt to get outside. I was intrigued so I opened the door, and watched as she trotted out on the back deck. She then spent the next 10 minutes or so trying to swat snowflakes out of the air. It was very entertaining, and very unlike our cat.

I'm looking forward to the next snow storm, and apparently, so is Dolly.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saxophone Choir at Angler's Manor

Alex and the rest of the saxophone choir performed their annual Christmas concert for the residents of Angler's Manor. A stellar performance by some stellar musicians.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Swim Meet

The Normal Community West High School Swim Team hosted the season's first home meet this past Thursday, which also turned out to be Nick's first swim meet. There were some goggles issues, and some first meet jitters, but Nick worked through them and was quite happy with his overall performance.

The visiting teams were Champaign and Urbana. Normal won handily.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Barnes & Noble Concert

Alex once again participated in a Christmas concert at the local Barnes & Noble. The crowd was very enthusiastic, and a bunch of money was raised for the school band.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Seedling Theater

Our good friend John performed once again in the Seedling Theater, and as he has in past performances, did extremely well. Many of his lines had the audience in stitches. Pictured with John are  his brother Jason, his mother Krissy, his grandmother Sandra, and his father, John Sr.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Concert

As usual, the annual Christmas concert was terrific. There are more pictures of the concert here.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Rock to the Rescue

December 4th was a great day. Michele and I attended the Rock to the Rescue fundraiser concert which raised over $300,000 for the victims of the tornadoes that blasted through central Illinois this past month. The concert featured performances by Brushville, Head East, Survivor, Styx, Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon, Richard Marx and Larry the Cable guy as M.C. It was a great show, and as usual, I took lots of pictures. Yes, the picture below is of legendary guitarist Tommy Shaw.

To see more pictures from the concert, click here, and enjoy!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

This year's Thanksgiving celebration provided many great photo opportunities. The one above is a rare shot of me with all of my siblings, along with my Mom and Stepfather. These gatherings are rare, as our family is spread out over four States. More family shots are available by clicking here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

November Storm

A major storm ripped through the area yesterday, creating massive damage to the West of us in towns like Washington and Pekin, IL. It also blasted through the town of Normal where it knocked over signs and trees. I got up close and personal with it while driving home from work, it was a terrifying experience.

After the storm passed, I drove around town to survey the damage. Here's a small taste of what I saw:

Monday, November 11, 2013

History of Climate Science

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Paintball Warriors

Tyler, Austin, Evan, Justin, Alex and Nick gather for a group photo prior to their departure for CPX Sports near Joliet, where they will engage in a day of paint balling.

Monday, October 28, 2013

National Honor Society

Tonight, Alex received a well deserved honor, by being inducted into the National Honor Society.

Congratulations Son!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

College Visit - University of Missouri (Mizzou)

Alex and Kyle with their tour guide Paige Tenkhoff, a senior at Mizzou.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

ISU Tailgate

Today, Illinois State University played the University of South Dakota. This is an interesting match up, as I can claim both as my Alma Maters. We didn't go inside to watch the game, but we did do some tailgating. Below are a few shots I took from the Redbird Tent Zone, just North of Hancock Stadium:

The ISU marching band, led by Reggie Redbird, stopped by and gave us what felt like a private concert:

Alex, Nick and friends after consuming massive amounts of Famous Dave's Barbeque:

Monday, October 07, 2013

Oh Cody, You are Such a Beggar

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Best Friends

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dolly and Sam

Our beloved Sam:

And the lovable but naughty Dolly:

Saturday, September 07, 2013

College Visit - Missouri State University

Our first visit to a college in Missouri, and our second visit to a college out of state. We were impressed with both the campus and the price.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Back to School

Last year of high school for Alex, second to the last for Nick. They're growing up so fast. Where did the time go?

Nick, Alex and Cody

Saturday, August 17, 2013

An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss

Early last week, we discovered that Patrick Rothfuss, author of the Kingkiller Chronicle, was going to be doing a book signing at the Indianapolis Public Library. Alex and Nick discovered his writings about six years ago, and Rothfuss has held rock star status in our home ever since.

With the summer winding down, meeting Mr. Rothfuss seemed like a great end-of-summer family activity, so we drove the three hours it takes to get to Indianapolis.

We were very impressed upon seeing the Indianapolis Public Library, which is a grand  looking building with huge stone columns. Here are Michele, Alex and Nick standing in front of the libray just before going inside:  

Once inside, we found a very enthusiastic crowd patiently waiting for the event to start. Mr. Rothfuss conversed with the crowd as they filtered in:

The event began with Mr. Rothfuss conducting a Q&A session. He then read from his series the Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Wiffle:

After the talk, Mr. Rothfuss signed books, lots of them. For our family alone, he signed six books:

After signing the books, Mr.Rothfuss graciously posed for a picture with Alex and Nick. It was supposed to be a serious photo, but Alex and Nick were unable to stay in character:

After the event, we ventured out to the streets of Indianapolis for the three hour drive home:

Definitely a trip worth taking. Patrick Rothfuss is not just a great writer, he's also a great speaker and a gracious host.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Walking the Dog

Michele and Cody take a break on our Sunday morning walk in Maxwell park.

Another break in Children and Elders park.