Monday, June 23, 2014

What? A real vacation?

We had a wonderful opportunity to get away on vacation this past week - to cruise to a place as enchanted as it was relaxing...Bermuda!

What can be said that would describe this week - perfect weather, beautiful beaches, terrific food, and no cell service!

Vickie and I had the time of our lives; a virtual second honeymoon. It took a while for us to get acclimated but by day three we both relaxed and started to get in the groove. We sat down with the upcoming day's options in front of us every evening and found out how much we wanted to do or not. It was a piece of cake really, since we both enjoyed the dinner service in the restaurant so much we made that our top priority. The entertainment was also high on the list each day.

After three days at sea we arrived and started our excursions ashore. These we figured out on our own, and chose a different beach each day to visit. Each was different from the one before...we found everything from seclude snorkeling beaches, to popular wave filled locations. Each one was wonderful in its own right. The transportation was good on two of the days - but one day the ferries to Hamilton went on strike which made things a little crazy - we figured out alternatives and made it work just fine.

There were plenty of places to enjoy on the ship as well. we had an inside cabin so we didn't hang out there, but found the lounge chairs on the more secluded decks and the lounges with live entertainment the most relaxing. Vickie had the misfortune of getting a cold-type bug on the last day, so she spent most of that day resting, but by evening we were in the restaurant again eating and went to the show that night as well.

And now I sit on the plane writing this, anticipating 107 degree weather back home, and our next trip somewhere relaxing. But then again, people come to where we live to relax most of the year. So, no complaint today; only a grateful heart for what we were able to enjoy after 33 years...btw - anyone every heard of a 3rd honeymoon?

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Saturday, June 7, 2014


We've been on the road lately. Really on the go.

First our trip to NJ for Joe's memorial and Christa's graduation (10 days). This week we were back in NJ for a work trip (4 days that turned into 5). That says nothing of upcoming trips - we know of 4 that will be happening and at least two of them will be more than a week long. Bermuda, Atlanta/Nashville, Virginia, Brazil.

Now if you are wondering what this looks like, it sometimes looks like this...

There are long hours on airplanes and in terminals. Waiting for your time to board, reading Harry Potter, waiting to use the restroom, crossword puzzles, waiting for your baggage, trying to do emails, free peanuts and occasional wheat thins, airport food or packing sandwiches, rental cars, piles of unread newspapers, trying to sleep in tight quarters, Newark Airport (especially when it's under construction). Not as glamorous as it sounds. But we are loving it...Sometimes.

Mostly because we get to be with the ones we love. To laugh together and just to enjoy time...something that seems more valuable every day. And we get to be with each other (we actually enjoy each other, imagine!)

And sometimes we get to stay at home too, and have others come here to visit.

See you soon!

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Location:S Cardinal St,Gilbert,United States

Friday, May 30, 2014

Mexican food

Out here Mexican food is as common as pizza in NJ. I'm not exaggerating. There are a plethora of choices. A few weeks ago we went to a place with a work friend and his wife that is famous for good Mexican food...very basic, just good and cheap called Carolina's.

I never said it was nice. I wish I had taken pictures of the hand written CASH ONLY signs all over the walls. And my friend said we really had to go during the day because of the neighborhood. He was right.

Today I decided to forego the 5 minute plank exercise and we went out to Mexican again, this time to a nice, new place near home called Cafe Rio.

This place actually was nice. The concept was pretty much the same at walk up to a counter and order your food and pay. But at Cafe Rio you get a show as you wait, they are making the meals right in front of you as they do at Chipotle...right down to the tortillas. We loved it and will return.

Now, can someone tell me where I can find a decent slice of pizza for lunch tomorrow?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I don't even have one.
After all I've been the Apple lover all these years.
But guess who has one now...yep, SHE does!

Now I'm not jealous or anything...really I'm not.
I mean, I have an iPad, and a (very) small part of a Mac.
And I have an awesome, Samsung Galaxy Note II...need I say gigantic?
But there's something about this that's just not right.

So when the iPhone 6 comes out and SHE gets one, I'm...I'm...

Gonna celebrate!
Congrats, Vickie. You're now officially part of the smartphone revolution. I'm so proud of you!

(Now if someone can show her how to download her coupon printing app she'll probably kiss you!)

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Amazing grace

Our pastor interviewed Jay Feely, kicker for the AZ Cardinals recently. This guy has an amazing testimony...but what makes it interesting to me is the fact that his life was changed by his own brother, who lived with a severe medical disability very similar to Joe's, except without the vent. Ironically he passed away at the age of 26, just like Joe.

Why this matters -
Jay's story is much like my own daughters, who grew up with this incredibly challenging situation in their own home. Others on the outside probably thought this would wreck his life, just like they thought it would wreck our own daughters' lives. But as we all heard this past month from their own testimonies, and as you will hear if you watch this interview, the results were quite the opposite.

I am so proud of my girls, I could just burst. They are so on track and amazing in so many ways. God gave us the best gift he could ever give in light of our own difficult circumstances...he used a very bad thing for good. Now, THAT'S amazing grace.

You will want to watch this for sure:

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Saturday, May 3, 2014


Im pretty sure my oldest two daughters are tying to kill me. Perhaps they think that if they knock me off they will get some small inheritance or something...maybe I never told them that anything I do own goes to their mother.

But if you ask me there is definitely something going on along these lines.

It all started when Danielle was out here and just politely asked me if I wanted to do a workout with her...she is just happily going the workout and Im huffing and puffing.

Im a firm believer that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger...but...

By the time the video was over I'm lying on the floor barely breathing, and almost past out. Seriously, I could hardly move for like 5 minutes, no 10 minutes. I get up and crawl away.

Then she's not done yet, she keeps sending me these workout videos links from So I set out to do them and BAM...I have near-death experience #2. And 3, 4, etc.... Here are today's -- you'll get the idea.

Now this would be well enough, but then Jamie starts with 'Hey everyone, whos up for this 30-day PLANK Challenge"...sending it to her young, energetic sisters and just happened to copy her old, decrepit father. Could you imagine doing a plank for 30 days??!!? So of course I say "I'm in". Now I'm lying on the floor setting a timer for 20 second, then 30...etc.

So if you THINK you're in decent shape, and you want to find out for sure, just hang out with these girls. They will really make a man outta you...or you''ll die trying.

Seriously - I'm heading back to watching Hallmark movies!

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Location:S Cardinal St,Gilbert,United States

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thank you, Jesus

This has been an incredible week.  There are no words to say that would express the emotions, no compete thoughts that can capture the mixture of sadness, of joy, of being lifted by friends and family.  

Our son, our only son, has gone home to be with Jesus - and all I can say is thank you, Jesus.  Thank you for many years of having him with us, for the highs and lows, ups and downs.  For life itself.

Soon we will have to figure our how to proceed from make life count for the rest of our time here.  But today I just want to relish in the life of a great man.  A son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin.  He will be remembered.