Monday, December 31, 2007

Hint Hint !!

Just in case there is somebody out there scratching their head wondering what to buy me for my next birthday - here is a little help!!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year Resolution

This year I started to increase the amount of running I was doing. I have run constantly for a couple of years now, about 10-12 miles a week. Mid-year I wanted to drop a few pounds so I tried increasing the millage.

I did succeed in dropping 22lbs over a few months although over the Christmas period I have gained a few back!! I have really enjoyed my increased exercise. It serves as a great counter to the hours I sit in the car each week commuting to Indianapolis. Admittedly it also serves as an excellent counter to my eating and love for home brew and craft ale in general.

One of my New Years resolutions for 2008 will be similar to millions of others, try loosing some weight. For me it will be to try getting to my target weight and staying there!!

I started an online training log to track my running, biking, swimming and gym activity. It helps me keep motivated. I'm opening up access to it, click here, and will put a link on the side for future access. You can see how well I do in 2008.

I owe a big thanks to everybody who helped me steal away and get some time to do this exercise. You know who you are – Thank You!!

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Family Picture

We went over to collect Daisy from her holidays at Randy and Lorraine's this morning/afternoon. We also thought it would be a good time to try getting a new set of family photos since their tree is very nicely decorated and they got the girls these really nice dresses for Christmas.

Not easy trying to get a dog, two small girls, a Mummy and a Daddy all smiling together and looking in the same direction!! Took 226 photos in total, about 20 or so were worth keeping. The best are posted below but some other good ones are on a web album!!

Happy New Year!!




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Friday, December 28, 2007


We returned yesterday from a very enjoyable three day Christmas trip to Potato Creek. The weather was wonderful. Clear blue skies each day with temps in the 40s. Each day had pretty much the same themes...breakfast and lots of coffee, a mid-day stroll through the park (Brad and I got two runs in) whilst Lisa and Lynne went for a walk each day. The grandmothers babysat!! We can certainly recommend this park. The cabins were well equipped and very clean.
The evenings were spent eating and playing games!! We were three three families in all, each with a cabin next to each other, but we spent most of our time congregated for food and everything else in one cabin. Very relaxing.

Today we were chilling out round the house. Reading, cleaning, washing, calling relatives, Lynne was cooking food for the girls, I went to the gym. We went for a curry to top it all off and as I write we are about to start the bathing!!

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Christmas Eve at Lisa's Relatives

We spent the first day of our trip to Potato Creek at Lisa's relatives. This was Christmas Eve and there was an army of people. Lots and lots of food, most notably some great Polish sausages, a party atmosphere, all the kids opened their presents and generally a great night was had by all. They live in South Bend which is a relatively small city in northern Indiana, about 10 miles from the state park we were to stay at. South Bend is most famous for Notre Dame University of The Fighting Irish fame. We actually visited the campus so I'll post a picture of that later.

There are lots of photos in addition to these which are posted to the web album folder.

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A Birthday and More.....

This week started off with a trip to Randy and Lorraine's house. We had dinner, dropped Daisy off for a few days and we also had birthday cake. Deila turned 86 and looked great. There are lots of photos in addition to these which are posted to the web album folder


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Anja and Emma Exchange Gifts

The McClellans, Matt, Laura and Ema came over last weekend and the girls exchanged gifts!! Emma was wearing this very pretty red dress that she look great in. Of course they each jumped right into dress-up princess clothes...



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Exchanging Gifts with Mike & lindsay

We kicked the gift giving season off last Friday. This was Lindsay's last day for 2007 and we exchanged gifts with them before they left. Since I liked it so much, I got Ruby the Daddy's Girl book that I got for my birthday. I think the customized monopoly game that we gave to Mike and Lindsay was a hit. It was in the theme of the Indianapolis Colts, they are very big fans. Mike and Lindsay, if you're reading this, hope you are all enjoying the holidays!!



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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Yippee.....A Wedding!!

We received great news on Christmas Morning, my brother Clive and Tracey are finally going to get married!! Have not heard any details yet but the wedding will be in 2009.

Congratulations to you both, wishing you a great engagement.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas Everybody

Merry Christmas Everybody. We are rather poor at sending out season greetings via mail, using either a card, annual review or using a family portrait with greetings. We have received well wishes from friends and family from Sweden, England, Scotland, Ireland, the US and elsewhere. Many thanks to all of you and Merry Christmas.

Life is finally starting to wind down here in West Lafayette. Work for both myself and Lynne has been extremely hectic over the past few weeks. Isabel's sleeping, together with her seemingly continuous cold, has yet to settle down so life on the home front has also been very busy. We both need a break and intend to relax a little over the coming days.

We're actually going to spend the three days of Christmas at a state park in a small cabin together with Brad and Lisa and Family. Potato Creek about 2 hours drive north of where we live. It should be very nice and we are looking forward to it.

We are really looking forward to Christmas morning this year. Anja is very excited about Santa Claus. Anytime we speak to her about it or others ask her what she's getting, she gets this mystic look of amazement that this person is going to deliver presents after coming down the chimney. We will try capturing some of this on video and post it in the new year.

Lindsay took this great photo of the girls other day. We think it's possibly the best shot yet of them together.

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Winter has Arrived

As we get ready for Christmas, winter has arrived in earnest here. Lots going on at home in preparation for the holidays. Just thought I'd share these recent photos.



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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Future Runner?

I have been doing a reasonable amount of running recently (more on that over the Christmas) and as such have been reading various items on the topic. Anyhow, I'm currently reading this excellent book called The Barefoot Runner which features the life of Abebe Bikila, the first person from Africa to win a medal at the Olympics. He was also the first to win back to back marathons. Incredible given where the African runners are today.

Anyhow, thought this picture was cute....Anja looked like she was interested, although she was probably looking for the pictures.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Freezing Rain

Today we have had the seasons first freezing rain. I had never encountered this phenomenon before moving to West Lafayette. It leaves for very pretty scenes but alas has also has a very dangerous element to it.

In short, it is precipitation that starts as snow in the upper atmosphere but melts on the way down. If the temperatures are below freezing at ground this rain freezes upon impact. The pictures below of branches covered in ice are from our garden this evening. The danger is that everything becomes weighed down and power lines and trees are normally the first victims. You may recall that we had damage last year so we are keeping our fingers crossed tonight..

Have a great week everybody.



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Christmas Themed Weekend

The preparations for Christmas were in full swing here in West Lafayette this weekend. With the snow still lingering outside and the fire being lit each night, it felt natural to start the preparations in earnest. Yesterday we put up our decorations. We don't do much, a tree and a few token efforts, but it now certainly feels a little more festive. We may purchase a few more lights over the coming weeks.

Today we wrote our very first letter to Santa Claus. Anja was quite excited to be able to let Santa know that she has been, and will continue to be, a very good girl. Her requests were very modest indeed, I guess it will be too much to expect a continuation of that over the years!! We too think that Santa is excellent, we have used the threat of a direct call to him twice already today, to perfect effect I must add. We may have a very compliant girl for the coming weeks!!


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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First Snow of the Season

We awoke this morning to a pleasant view. It was white everywhere with the seasons first snow. We had about 3-4 inches which was enough to feel like it had snowed but not enough to grind everything to a halt.

It was fun this afternoon getting out there with Anja and Daisy to jump around in it a little. I felt like a kid again, it was a lot of fun. A lot more fun than clearing the drive this morning at 7am.



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Sunday, December 02, 2007

This Old Man Turned 35!!

Today, what's left of it, is my birthday. Yip, turned over another leaf today, the 35th leaf!!

Had a great day...I awoke first thing this morning, too early I might add, to Anja presenting my gift and wanting me to get up!! She, together with Isabel of course, had bought me a great book entitled "Daddy's Girl" by Garrison Keillor. It's very good, well recommended.

Lynne and Anja baked a super cake yesterday, my favourite, a fruit cake. We blew out candles this morning at Randy & Lorraine's. For my birthday I got another gadget to add to my collection. A pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones. They are very cool indeed.

All in all, I have enjoyed the day. Many thanks to you all who called and sent cards :)

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Weekend Update

Here I am again, Sunday evening typing in some brief details from the weekend and wondering as normal; Why do these weekends go so quickly? The answer I guess is obvious, because one is enjoying oneself....

We had Reina over most of Saturday. It was nice having her since she and Anja simply play and look after each other. We sat around and chatted for a while when Brad and Lisa returned, Brad and myself even got a 4 mile run in. First real cold one of the was a very windy cold day...30F and in the twenties with the wind chill.

Last night our neighbour Matt came over to watch some football. A late but enjoyable night was had. We also had a few beers :))

Today we spent most of the day at Randy and Lorraine's. Brunch. We did our normal when visiting. High jacked their day by sitting around, chatting, drinking coffee and tea and generally catching up. It was fun.

Now we have to start the week all over again...hope you all have a good one!

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