And While You’re out There Sittin’ on a Fence…

We’ve had another adventurous week… It started off on Monday with Luke, Abby and Baili being featured on the front page of the paper. It included a picture from the YMCA from last week’s party. They are in the “jumper.” Baili is the one high in the air, Luke is on the floor in the back right and Abby is the one on the far right. Tuesday, the weather took a turn for the colder, as it has since averaged right around the mid-40s. The cool part of this is the changing of the leaves on our trees. Each tree is in full fall plumage and the kids can’t wait for the all the leaves to fall so they can rake them and jump in the piles! We again went bike riding each night this past week, which enabled me to finally meet my New Year’s resolution of getting down under 220 lbs by the end of the year. Wednesday morning, I officially weighed in at 219!! When I went through all of my health scare stuff, I was over 300, so I’ve dropped over 80 lbs now!!

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Thursday night, we left early from work to pick up Matt and go to parent / teacher conferences and get his grades for the first 9 weeks. Matt nearly got all A’s & B’s again…just missing it with 1 “C” in a class with at very tough teacher. He missed it by mere tenths of a percentage point but the teacher wouldn’t budge. All of his teachers say he started off poorly but has gotten tremendously better as the year progressed. All of his teachers like him and had very positive comments for both he and his proud parents. We left there and had a few minutes before we needed to pick up Abby for her conference. So, we went to Dairy Queen and talked about things and then picked up Bu. Abby received straight A’s again! Her teacher said she was doing great and we are very proud of her. Friday night, Abby went with Gracie and Dee to see a sold out debut showing of High School Musical. She ended up staying the night with her friend Megan on Saturday night and going to see High School Musical again!
But it was Saturday when we had all the fun… We got up and went out in upper 30s/lower 40s weather to begin the task of putting up a privacy fence along that back edge of the property. As Luke and I began taking apart and removing the old white picket fence, Matt hauled over a half ton of concrete and all the tools back to the job site. Chad arrived a little before 11 – which was perfect as we were wrapping up the pre-fence tasks as he pulled up. Thankfully, he was able to get both a tractor and an auger that really made a difference. Plus my good friend and boss, Dennis, loaned me a butt-load of tools that really made the job much easier. Unfortunately, we still had to hand-dig one post-hole early on, as it was sitting right on top of the gas line (of course). Other than that, we didn’t have any real major issues. Matt was a huge help, as not only did he help hold, push and retrieve things for us; he also drove the tractor and ran the auger for us!! The weather turned out really nice. After initially calling for cold weather and rain most of the day, it ended up being partly sunny and cool…which was perfect for putting up a fence. We had to make a couple runs to the hardware store, but we still managed to put it all up in one day. We finished up around 10 pm, under the security light and crawled in to the house, totally spent! I still had a few things that I needed to finish up today, but for all intents and purposes, the hard part was done in one day! Lola was happy to be off the leash; she didn’t like being restrained at all and refused to use the restroom…except in the house! Ann greeted us at the dinner table with a warm meal, caffeine and 800 mg of Advil!! So, I sit hear typing this today with very sore muscles. I debated whether or not I wanted to give in to the boys to get back out there and do more work or stay here and flop on the couch, watching football and NASCAR…but I finally broke down after the Cowboys’ game and we just finished up as it got dark and came in for food and showers.

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Well, as I finish up this week’s entry, I want to give a quick shout out to my little bro, Rob. Happy birthday buddy! I love ya and hope you have a nice last year of your life as you know it. When you turn 30 next year, it all goes downhill man!! …also wanna wish my cousin Nathan a happy birthday as well…what are you up to now, like 35??

I have a nice selection of Way Back pictures for this entry. So, let’s get to it: First up, we have my beautiful mother from her junior year in ’66.


Here’s a picture of the guys in my department a year or so ago. We are inside what is now our gym at work. Sadly, only Dennis (the goof next to me) and I are left, as Ernie moved to Ohio and Dan is now passed away.


Next is one of our wedding pictures from September of ’95. Included is our birthday boy…did I mention he is 29???


Next is another picture of our last Disney trip in 2004. Here, Abby proudly introduces Tigger to her new little brother.


Here is a great picture from 1997 of Grandma Owens’ side of the family.


Here is a cool picture of us getting ready to depart on our Pirate sunset cruise in 2002. That was a lot of fun. We have a lot of other pictures I’ll need to find from that evening.


Here is proof that Matt’s tractor work yesterday was not his first time on one! This is at Grandmaw & Grandpaw’s 2nd house in Rossville, spring of 2003.


Here is Matt with a big bandage on his wrist where he burned himself on Chad & Deanna’s grill on Memorial Day weekend, during the Indy 500 in 1998…ah, nothing like watching the race from the emergency room’s 15” TV. Chad had just purchased a large screen TV and paid to have the race live…but that’s the story of our lives!

Next is a picture from 1997 at the old Market Square Arena in Indy. We were there to see The Ringling Brothers / Barnum & Bailey Circus.


Here is a fun picture of me and one of my best friends, Mark Crum. This was taken at his house one evening when I stayed overnight in the winter of 1977. We had a great time that night!


Here is one taken nearly 29…did I say 29(!!) years ago! Man; that was a long time ago, huh?? This was taken in November of 1979 the living room at our home in Temple City, CA.


Here is a great one! This was taken on the road somewhere in the vicinity of Gatlinburg, TN in approximately 1982…MaryAnn, can confirm this information??


In tribute to the Pirates winning sectionals Friday night, I present a picture of the author during sectionals my senior year, in the fall of ’86. We were undefeated at that point and got beat this game in triple overtime by the eventual runners-up, Valpo.


Next up is Ann & her friend Jeannie doing some sort of ancient Egyptian pose! This is circa 1981.


Here is a very colorful picture, taken at Mom & Dad’s house on the hill in Rossville. I think this was taken in early 2001.


Here’s Matt at his birthday party here in our living room. We had about 20 kids over for a magic show for what we think was his 6th birthday party in 2002.


Here are the little street urchins from about the same time frame as the last picture.


Here is Matt and his kitty, Slushy. Sadly, she died only a few months after adopting her (well, Grandma and Gigi took her in) of cat leukemia. This was taken in early 2003. That crazy cat loved to climb in their Christmas tree and lie on the branches!!


Here are two I’ve been saving for this post. These are a couple of old Halloween pictures. The first is from 1980. This was a homemade costume Mom put together for me! This was taken in the kitchen of our Temple City home. The second is the next year in 1981. By this time, we had moved back to Indiana. This is in our living room at our home on Kenwood Dr. in Lafayette, IN. We lived directly across the street from one of my best friends (pictured) – Mike Stoewer. The kids are looking forward to making jack-o-lanterns on Tuesday and trick or treating on Friday.

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Finally, we have a trilogy of pictures of my girls. The first is from 2002 in Disney World. Next is 2003 in our living room on Christmas Day. The final one was taken in our playroom on Ann’s birthday in Jan. 2004.

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Well, as this will be my last entry as a thirty-something; I again want to wish Robby a Happy Birthday and to everyone else – Happy Halloween…and I’ll see you on the other side!!

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