Saturday, October 31, 2009


The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Halloween 2009

Sean has been out around the neighborhood with Taylor and Aspen, Bren is out with a few of his friends, and Brian and I walked throughout the neighborhood with Erin and several of our neighbors (and their kiddos). Erin wanted to be a ballerina again this year. Makes it easy for me since all I have to do is get a leotard and ballet slippers. Since it's so hot she is nice and cool, too. We're home, loaded with candy, and exhausted.
Erin in front of our house before we left to walk around the neighborhood.
One of our neighbors dogs. She escapes from their house all of the time, and that is why they put her in this costume.
Our next door neighbors grandson, Bryce (aka Elvis).
Erin and Kaley a few houses down from our house.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Second back surgery scheduled

I'll be having my second back surgery on Wednesday, November 4. I won't know the time until the hospital calls on Tuesday. My surgeon is optimistic that this surgery will relieve me of the severe pain that I have, and that I will not have to have any other procedures. This surgery, if you are interested, is an L5/S1 laminectomy with discectomy and possible annular repair. I'll be in the hospital at least one night, and then aside from limited motion (no bending or twisting) for six weeks I should be feeling a LOT better. I just want to be able to walk properly, and get some sleep at night!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Back to the surgeon

My last back surgery worked well for relieving me of pain in my back, but unfortunately the herniation (far lateral disc herniation of L4 ad L5) is pressed against the L4 nerve root causing severe pain in my right leg, and it has increasingly become worse and worse. Over the past week it has become difficult to walk, and I have severe pain when I'm sitting, laying down, and especially when I'm driving (using my right leg to apply pressure to the gas pedal is torture).

So I'm back to the surgeon tomorrow morning, and will likely be having another surgery within the next few days (most likely Monday). My days will be back to this for a bit (these were my medications prescribed the week prior to my last surgery):

Maddox and his pumpkin

At the pumpkin festival last weekend Maddox became attached to a small pumpkin. He carried it around the entire time that we were in the section to purchase pumpkins. He tossed it, rolled it, talked to it, and shared it with other kids that walked by.

I didn't buy it for him at the time because I didn't want to have to carry it around all day. But tonight while I was at the store I saw some very similar to the one that he fell in love with, and I bought it. He was so excited to see it when I brought it home. Here he is now, in bed for the night.

Our tadpoles

A couple of months ago Erin and Lars collected tadpoles from a puddle after a big rain. We brought five of them home, and put them in a plastic container. The next day we only had three still alive.

Over the weeks we have watched them grow and grow. Originally they were just a couple millimeters long, but each day they seemed to grow substantially. The tails started getting shorter, and we eagerly anticipated the arrival of the legs.

Before we knew it we saw back legs appearing. Just two days ago they were about 1.5 centimeters long, and one of them had front and back legs, and the other two had back legs and the beginning of front legs. They were starting to crawl out of the plastic container so we took them down to the lake and let them go.

It was so neat watching them grow from the tiniest little things to nearly formed frogs. It was a great learning experience for Erin, too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Festival

We found a pumpkin festival just about an hour south of us in Bradenton. On Sunday we loaded up my car, and followed Lars and his parents (LT and Tina). Tony had to work so we had Maddox with us, too. It was hot, but still a lot of fun.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reminder to vote for Erin

If you haven't done so already please go vote for Erin for the Silly Kids photo contest at . We have until November 5 so spread the word to everyone you know to vote. It is the picture titled "Michelle", and is of Erin wearing a party hat and sticking her tongue out.

Thank you!

Who does that butt belong to?

It was Erin trying to get the frisbee out of the bushes yesterday.


Took these pictures of Maddox yesterday afternoon while we were outside playing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Homemade chicken and dumplings by Sean

I came home today from Brendan's baseball game to homemade chicken and dumplings simmering on the stove. Sean is a lover of chicken and dumplings, and while I was gone he found a recipe online, had Brian take him to the grocery store to buy the necessary ingredients, and had them completely cooked by the time I arrived. He's good! They are absolutely delicious, and the pot is nearly empty.

Recipe can be found here.


Another win! The Angels won 4-3 against Oldsmar today, and the kids had a great time. The Oldsmar field has an artificial pitchers mound, and it just seemed weird. Two more games for the fall season, and then an in-house tournament.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another win

The Angels won against the Yankees 11-6 on Wednesday night. I took advantage of the light just before the sun set to get a couple of Bren in the dugout.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Erin is a finalist!

My silly picture of Erin is a finalist in the 5M4M photo contest. Voting is now open, and each person can vote once per day. Please go to and vote for us. You are voting for the picture you see below. Thank you all in advance!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another one of our neighbors

This is the small one that lives in the lake behind us, and she's been up on land every day for the past few weeks. She must be enjoying the cooler weather. She's usually in the back yard of one of our neighbors, but yesterday and today she decided to rest up on the concrete bank of the lake.


His favorite spot in the house is on Tony's bed, right in front of the window. The sun shines in, and he's happy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A weekend of baseball

This was a weekend full of baseball. The league tournament started Saturday morning, and ended with the championship game this evening. The Angels had one game yesterday, and won 7-2, so they advanced to the finals today. They played this afternoon at 1pm, and they won 11-3. The championship game was at 3:30. The Angels were down 6-0 after the second inning, and ended up coming back to tie the game with the last play of the game (which was a run by Brendan). Unfortunately the other team ended up winning in overtime, 8-7. Our guys played an awesome game, and their coach told them that he would take a loss with the way that they played any day. It was so much fun. I love weekends that are filled with watching Bren play ball (despite the fact that we were all freezing out there this weekend with highs in the 60's!). They are back to regular season ball on Wednesday.
Bren earned an RBI with this at-bat.
Bren was the only pitcher in the first game today that didn't give up any runs during the inning.

He got a double from this hit.

Bren with his second place medal after the championship game.