Autumn in Michigan

The weather has been nice enough over the past two weeks for us to get out and really enjoy the fall weather! It’s been pleasantly warm with temps in the high 60’s and low 70’s. I’m glad, because this has allowed me to take Ella out for walks in the stroller through the neighborhood. At one house, the red leaves on the ground were so bright, I took her out of the stroller and let her play in the leaves.

After we got home, we both sat on the front lawn and watched the cars go by. She just loves to be outside! She loves to watch the squirrels, listen to the birds and wind chimes, and play in the grass.

This week Ella turned 8 months old! She has 4 teeth and two more popping through. She’s pretty much crawling like a champ and will no doubt be walking before we know it! To celebrate, we took her and her brother to the orchards to go pumpkin picking. I hope that this will remain an autumn tradition.

At the orchards, you can purchase pumpkins that are already picked, or you can take the hayride and pick your own from the pumpkin patch. Naturally, Ella needed to go on her first hayride, so we did that! She was SO tired when we went, but I was still able to get some amazing pictures. This one is my favorite from the hayride:

I love how she is cuddling with mom! She was loving the ride and the colors were just awesome. She wasn’t really sure what we were doing when we got out to the pumpkin patch. At one point, Sam made her sit on a pumpkin … she was unimpressed!

I love the way Ella looks at her brother. She lights up when she sees him. I have no doubt that she and him will have a strong relationship. After we got our pumpkins, there were quite a few pumpkins out in front of the orchard. I had Dimitri sit down among the pumpkins and then sat Ella next to him. While there are some really great pictures of them looking right at the camera, my favorite is probably the one below. She reached over and put her hand on him and they both are kind of looking at each other. A priceless moment!

I’m hoping that the weather cooperates in the next week or two, as I’m hoping to get both boys over and take some family pictures outside. Sam bought a cute outfit for Ella and shirts for everyone that match the polka dots on Ella’s outfit. I can’t wait to go out and get these pictures done!

Fall is my favorite season and I just love looking at the beauty of God’s creation! Happy Fall!

Weekend Wrap Up

I am not working my normal schedule at work, so my days are a bit messed up. The weekend for me, basically consisted of half a Saturday and today. I work Friday overnight and get home Saturday morning about 8am. I slept till about 2pm and Sam woke me up so we could enjoy some family time together.

We’re not to keen on actually going out to dinner, but we ordered out and got food from one of our favorite restaurants. I’m not going to lie – it was nice to sit back and enjoy a great steak at home and be with Sam and the baby for the day (even if it was short).

Sunny Sunday Morning

Sam works tonight, so it was Ella and me today. She was up at 7:30, and after she ate, we went out for a walk in the neighborhood. There were a surprising amount of people up that early. We saw people walking their dogs, people taking out the trash, people riding their bikes, and people just enjoying the sunshine out on their porch reading the paper.

It got pretty hot today, but it was cool when we walked. I figured we should probably get the walk in before it got too hot. Ella just loves to be outside, so when we got home, we sat out on the front porch step and watched cars go by. She gets so excited when that happens. There is a church at the end of our street, so there were plenty of cars for her to watch this morning.

When we came inside to eat, we must have woke Sam up. Sam fed her (and let her play in the apple/strawberry/banana baby food that she didn’t eat). Naturally, she needed a bath afterward! She was obviously tired, and Sam was going back to bed to try to sleep, so she took Ella in the bedroom to nap with her.

I watched a pastor friend of mine from Grand Rapids on Facebook Live teaching on a passage in the book of Colossians until Ella woke up. I usually work Sunday night, too, and sleep most of the day in preparation for being up all night. Thank God for the Internet, as I can tune into pastor friends in my hometown, across the state, out of state, and even out of the country if I want.

“I know what we’re gonna do today…”

In all the time we have had cable TV, I guess I didn’t know we had Disney Channel. That was the channel that was on when I turned the TV on today. Usually, I turn on the TV for background noise, and it is usually on PBS. Sometimes, it is on Nick Jr. because Ella loves Bubble Guppies. Anyway, it was on Disney Channel and I was happy to see that there was a marathon of Phineas and Ferb on this weekend.

I used to watch this with the boys all the time. It was so much fun. If you are not familiar with the show, the entire show happens during the 104 days of Summer Vacation. Each day brings the boys on a new adventure. They are always building something out of this world, their sister tries to get them in trouble with their mom, and their pet platypus is a secret agent who stops an evil scientist from destroying the “tri-state area.” There’s always a musical number in each episode, too. It is a blast to watch.

I’m not sure if they were running them in order, but I know the last episode they showed was the actual series finale. Ella was sleeping in my arms while the last episode (which I had never seen before) played. Call me what you will, but I was totally wrapped up in it. Kudos to Dan Provenmire and Jeff Marsh for creating such an amazing show. Sadly, the entire series is not available on DVD. If it was, I would surely buy it … for Ella to watch …. with daddy….

I never had the chance to when I was doing radio full time, but I had always hoped to get to interview Dan Provenmire (who does the voice of Dr. Doofenshmirtz). I thought it would be cool if he could do my voice mail message – hell, I still wish I could have him do it! I’d love to sit and talk with him about the show. I messaged him on Facebook once and complimented him on the music numbers and he gave me a little insight into what went into that for every episode. Those are thing things I miss about not being in radio anymore – interviewing neat people.

Almost Monday

Ella is sleeping now and the sounds of her sound machine are coming out of the baby monitor next to me. I watched a message from a pastor in Warren about the importance of the Bible and how it will be used in the last days, which was very interesting. One thing the pastor mentioned was how he tries to read through the entire Bible once a year. I really need to find a way to do that.

As I ate my dinner, I watched our cat run back and forth chasing a fly that got in the house. She finally caught it … and ate it. I’m glad I was already done eating. I’m going to take a little trip down to see my dad tomorrow. He’s recovering from knee surgery and I want to make sure he doesn’t need anything done.

One request before I close – I have something brewing that I am hoping might pan out for me. I will be looking into it further this week. If you would be so kind as to pray for me, or send positive vibes, I’d appreciate it very much.

Thanks for reading!

Well, well, well. Look who’s back…

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This is my first blog since May 18th. I guess this is the longest I have gone between blogs and many have sent private messages wondering if I am doing okay. My good buddy, Max, sent an email asking about me and it took me a while to write him back. Knowing I work in the medical field, and knowing how often I blog, he feared the worst. Needless to say, he was relieved to hear back from me. I figured if folks were worried if I was still around, I’d take some time to write.

It is not that I haven’t had stuff to write about, because I certainly have. I guess I was just having a hard time motivating myself to do so. It has been a very emotional month. So where do I even begin?

When I last wrote, I had just celebrated my 50th birthday. It seems that every time I hit a mile stone birthday, something happens to remind me I am getting older. This birthday, I found myself trying to read and really having difficulty seeing the words. I had Lasik surgery done years ago and I have had no real issues with my vision. I was told that the only thing that they couldn’t correct was if I needed reading glasses. I need to make an appointment to have my eyes checked, but until then, I am reading with these ridiculous readers on!

Speaking of birthdays, I feel bad because two very important ones came and went since I last blogged and they certainly both deserved a full blog. My wife celebrated at the beginning of the month and my youngest son officially became a teenager just a few days ago. Birthdays in quarantine suck. I didn’t get to really do anything for either of them! It will be a week or two before I see my son, so I am planning on doing something for him when he is back here with me.

I got Amazon gift cards from my mother and father-in-law, and from my dad. I decided I’d get some vinyl to play. One for laughs and one for music.

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You can’t go wrong with Frank Sinatra. They remixed his Nice and Easy album and I picked that up.

Next, I found an album I had years ago that is loaded with laughs from the great Soupy Sales.

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Graduation on the Internet

My oldest son graduated this year. You may have seen something about his school, as it made national news. They rented the Drive-in theater in town and showed all of the commencement speeches, staff speeches, and called out every graduate’s name (while showing their pictures) on the three big screens. Sadly, only one car per student was allowed, so Sam and I watched the live stream from home. It was certainly not the way I thought I would see my son graduate.

I emailed the principal and voiced how disappointed I was that only one car was allowed per student. Certainly there were more divorced parents than just me! I had hoped that he would return my email, but that didn’t happen. So, I cheered and cried when they read his name from my living room. He wore his cap and gown to the ceremony, but I haven’t gotten any pictures of him in them. I am hoping that he will come by with them so I can at least get one.

Back to Work

I returned to work two weeks ago. I really wasn’t sure I was ready to return, but the doc thought I’d be okay. The lab where I work is open, but only a few of the staff is back there. The rest are still working in a labor pool at jobs that they are assigned to. When I returned to work, that was where I went. The only bad thing is, the labor pool is going away and that means I will have to take a temporary lay off.

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The thing that scares me is wondering if they will ever call me back. I know of many people in radio who were told they were being laid off temporarily, only to have the companies eliminate those positions and terminate them. This is happening all over as many companies are doing whatever is necessary to keep their business alive. In the weekly trade magazine that comes our for just country radio stations, there is almost three pages of people LOOKING for jobs, while there is just a half page of stations looking to hire people.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day I was up early to meet my sons for breakfast. It was the first time we’d eaten in a restaurant since things opened back up. It was nice to see both of them together. Lately, I have only been seeing Dimitri, as Dante’ is now working and usually hanging with his friends. We had a nice breakfast and I enjoyed my time with them.

When I came home, Sam had Ella all dressed for Father’s Day.

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I received my Father’s Day/Birthday gift from Sam between my birthday and Father’s Day. She ordered me something that was made special for me. She had hoped it would be here by my birthday, but it took a few weeks to make. I was floored by this when it arrived. It was a book –

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She got to design how I looked, and how Ella looked. She said it was hard because her hair was still looking red some days and blonde on others. There were various stories to put in the book. She had Ella point and those were the ones that ended up in the book. She asked me to read it and I could barely make it through. It made me so emotional. It was the perfect gift and I will treasure it forever!!

My Baby Girl

The one thing that has been a plus though all of this is the time that I have gotten to spend with Ella. She brings me so much happiness. On nice days, we always try to take a walk around the neighborhood. She loves it! We look at the squirrels, listen to the birds, say hello to neighbors, and just enjoy the nice weather.

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We like to play with her toys on the floor, she likes to bounce in her jumpy seat, we nap together, and occasionally, we’ll watch Bubble Guppies together (she likes the music on that show).

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Sometimes, I will put on my Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra albums and we’ll sway and dance in the living room. Having this precious time with her has been a blessing. With the layoff, I will have more time with her and that will be the positive in a negative situation.

Classes

My DVD’s arrived for my Bible classes. I am currently re-watching the first year (the stuff that I had already done) and will continue with the new classes when I am finished. Just revisiting these classes has been very beneficial for me. I am glad that I decided to return.

I certainly feel like my spiritual life is moving in the right direction. I have a lot of peace right now, despite the uncertainty that lies ahead. I have faith that no matter what is ahead of me …. Every thing will be okay.

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With that being said, I guess that brings you up to date. I hope to not be so long between blogs. Thanks for reading!