Category Archives: Family

She's gone!

She’s gone! Liz is now on her way to Orlando for a conference. I won’t see her again until late Saturday night. This is the longest time she’s been gone in a situation where she is the one who went away. I’ve been away traveling for 2 weeks before, but this seems much worse to me. I will be home with the kids the whole weekend without her. First of all, I’ll miss her. Second, I’ll be lonely. Third,….I’ll miss her.

I’m hoping the kids and I can have a nice fun weekend together and maybe even get some things done. I have some computer work I can do on our home systems while she is gone, and will be doing some upgrades.

Hopefully the time will pass quickly and Liz will be safely back at home with me again soon.

The grass is cut

For the last few days I’ve been trying to time it right so I can cut the grass. For various reasons it just hasn’t worked out. So yesterday, Liz had a meeting scheduled for 7pm she had to go to. I wanted to cut the grass because it was sunny out and not raining. I had to decide on cutting the grass, and taking a quick shower, or should I make dinner and get the family to sit down together and eat a meal before she leaves. So we talked about it on the phone, I tried to call her and she didn’t answer, but finally called me back. We said we’d decide on a final solution when I got home. So I pull up and see that the grass is cut. I can hear a mower at a neighbors house, so I was thinking to myself “Oh she got the neighbor to cut for me”. Well it turned out that she had cut it. I felt the mower and found that it was warm, so I knew she had done it then. I played it off a little at first, and she said “you didn’t even notice did you”. Then I fessed up and made a big deal about it, and it was a really nice gesture on her part. So here is another praise for her!!!

A family of singers

The other night, while tinkering with Adobe Audition 2.0 and my Blue Snowball mic; I managed to talk the girls into recording something. They don’t usually let me record them for some reason, but once they get going they don’t want to stop. I setup the snowball as one input and the windows audio channel as another input. I played a song (High Hopes sung by Frank Sinatra and a children’s choir) and got the girls to sing along. Liz and I sang along too, so don’t laugh too hard 🙂 Its cute though and was fun to record. Its a little tricky to get the audio setings just right as the snowball tends to be a little quiet, but Audition gives great controls for adding amplification and input gain to the mic input. I applied a few filters and amplified the mic gain so we wouldn’t have to sing right into it. We were able to place the mic on the desk, and all sit around it and sing normally. It picked us up pretty well and the kids had a blast. Its cute to hear them sing along and do their parts. That same night, we played a bunch of other songs and they danced all around the house and had a good old time. I wasn’t sure if I was going to post this online, but I’m getting over the embarassment of knowing people will hear this. Hopefully you will find it as cute as we did. We’d love to have your comments on what you thought about this in the comments section of this post. So go ahead and listen and let us know what you think.

Recording studio

I’ve had a blue snowball Professional USB mic for a while now and haven’t really used it much in quite a long time. So I hooked it up last night and Liz and I decided (at her request) to record ourselved singing some of our favorite songs. I used some really nice mixing software to pull in the audio from a song played through media player, and on a separate channel recorded the audio from the snowball. This allowed us to play back our harmonious melodies in solo mode hearing only our voices. This enabled us to hear just how bad we were and got a few laughs out of it. It was fun to do and honestly we weren’t that bad, and actually sounded good, but we won’t be quitting our day jobs… 😉

Fun and fast weekend

We had another fun weekend, but it went really fast!!! On Friday night we had a few couples over to play games and have snacks, etc. We all sat around and snacked for a while and talked. Then we started to play catch phrase, which I’m not good at, but enjoyed watching and participating. We laughed a lot and it was fun. Then we got setup on the wii and I watched them all play boxing and we all got a kick out of watching Liz fight Mike and go nuts trying to knock him out. The night ended a little earlier than we could have handled, but the ladies had an event to go to early the next morning.

Saturday, it was just the kids and me for a while. Liz went to her event in New Tampa and I got the kids up and we started our day. We played the wii for a long time and Sarah was a natural with bowling, we scored me with 126 and her with 122 our first try. On her next try all alone, she got 148! She was also good at golf, baseball and tennis. Later around 1pm or so, Mike came back over with the kids and Sarah and Nathan played against each other for a while, and it was so much fun to watch. They played the practice rounds and tried all the different games, it was lots of fun!

Sunday Liz had Susan over to look at pictures and I worked on our storage situation a little for the computers. I ended up buying a 500GB external drive to keep our pictures and downloads on. This way it only runs when we need it, and we can take it with us. I plan to consolidate our storage onto this external drive, and delete old stuff we don’t need anymore, and maybe burn some stuff to DVD. Once done, I can sell about 3 hard drives that used to either be in a server, my PC or on a shelf. My PC has a 450W power supply which is having problems keeping up with the load. I may need a new power supply at some point as well.

I have Liz ready to buy a wii, we are going to use some money from the sale of computer parts I have and save up a little for it. In a few weeks we should have one.

School decision

Well we didn’t get accepted with special exception to the school of our choice this year for Sarah. But we at least know now which school she will be going to. We are going to send her to our district school this year and see how it goes. Perhaps we will be in a better position next year and have more options. However Abby starts school next year, so we will have two in school at the same time!!! Liz is making preparations today for paperwork and school supply shopping, so we are getting down to it. Open house is this Thursday, and we both plan to attend that. Sarah starts school (second grade) a week from today!

Tomorrow is the day – future of Sarah's schooling

We found out today that our request for special assignment goes before the HCSB tomorrow for review. We should know by the end of the week whether or not Sarah will get into the school that we are hoping for. It really is frustrating that the school we want for her is actually closer, and probably less than a mile or so from our house, but we are assigned to a school in another town. So finally we should have some kind of closure for our request sometime this week.

back to school prep

Hard to believe that school starts in about 2 weeks and we still don’t know where Sarah will go this year. We are waiting to hear from the school we want her to go to, and can’t really afford to send her to the private school she was going to last year. The school in our district is our last resort, and although its a nice school and graded well last year, its still a frustrating thing not being able to send you kids to the school of your choice. This week we will hopefully hear a final word about the school we want Sarah to go to, if that doesn’t work out, then its probably going to be our district school for now. Either way, we are totally unprepared for the coming school year. Most familes can’t wait for their kids to go back to school, but we are not average I guess, because we love the summer, getting to be together as a family and the kids have fun things they do with their friends all summer long. Its kind of sad for us when school is going, because Sarah has homework, and that eats up most of the evening once I get home and the major changes with her schooling this year is going to be hard. We still don’t even have school supplies because we honestly don’t know what we need yet, since we don’t know where she is going. This should be an interesting few weeks. I also may be going to New York again soon, so I just hope I don’t miss Sarah’s first week of school, or orientation, etc.

weekend update

Another busy weekend is now complete. Friday I had to work late from home to fix some server problems. Liz and I had been planning a date night all week to go out and spend time together, but since I had to work, we ended up going grocery shopping instead while her sister watched the kids. Not exactly what we had in mind, but its always nice to spend together. We didn’t leave until 9:30pm, and got back just before midnight. We went to the Citrus Park Wal-Mart and managed to grab a quick snack from Dariy Queen while we were out that way.

Saturday, Liz had a fund raising event to go to, so I stayed with the kids and her sister to clean the house and get ready for Sarah’s birthday party. I got the grass cut, the house work almost done and had things mostly ready for when Liz got home. That morning for breakfast I made Sarah belgian waffles (her request) and I picked up her own little personal (sarah) sized watermelon.

Her party was around 2, but we didn’t really get started until later. Liz and I cooked up a nice lunch/dinner, we had some grilled chicken salad corn on the cob, and of course cake and ice cream for dessert. Sarah got some nice gifts for her birthday including new polly pockets which she loves, and we got her some nurf guns which we all had a good time with while on vacation. We’ve already lost one of the darts. Its been raining a lot lately, so we didn’t get to do anything outside.

Sunday, Liz and I got some exterrior house work done. She got up on the play room roof and re-flashed some seams that are still leaking even after our last attempt. Then I got the front gutters cleaned out so that the water would stop destroying the landscaping in the front of the house. I need to get some mulch and re-do some areas. Liz also was kind enough to trim some of the bushes in the front yard for me, and did a nice job of shaping them up a little. Now we can see much better through our front window where we have our Bistro table. Its a beautiful view from that front window, we’ve even started eating breakfast there just the two of us, and make it a frequent reading spot at night before bed.

Again, I’m amazed that Sarah is now 7 years old. I was recently reminded by several sources how quickly time passes. First by Sarah turning 7, and second by my phone. It just happened to chime every 5 minutes for the last 1.5 days (long story) and each time it would chime, I was reminded that another 5 minutes had passed. It reminded me how valuable time is, and how sad it is that between work and sleep, I get to spend so little of it with my family.

More podcasts?

Its been brought to my attention that people want to hear me and the girls sit down and do another podcast and talk about our trip to visit family last month. I definately want to do this, but my children don’t make it that easy. First, Sarah doesn’t want to start podcasting until I force her to put the headphones on, and then she won’t stop talking. Abby is quiet and not much of a talker, so I end up doing all the talking. I do plan to try to sit them down and record a little, its just a matter of getting them to do it peacefully!