Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stormy's Christmas presents

For Christmas our puppies (Deogi and Stormy) got new beds from Kevin and me. Also since our family(s) have so many dogs, we actually exchange puppy names for gifts too. This year uncle Doug (my brother) had Stormy...so he thought she needed a stuffed duck that quacks. Well she wasn't too sure about it at first...but I think she likes it and her new bed now:

Granite Boulders

On Christmas Eve along with everything else that goes on, the landscapers decided to deliver a load of 16 granite boulders,which is a whole semi load....

There were more of them than I actually expected to get, since we already had 12 smaller ones in the back, but I am not complaining. If you click the picture of the truck it will take you to the gallery that shows the rocks in place around the house.

The only problem was that they dumped them in the street so we had to set up a light and some cones so that our neighbours would not crash into them.

Happy 3rd Birthday!!

December 24th is Caelum's birthday. Caelum is my great-nephew, this year he turned 3! We went to Dez's house for a party and he (we) had a good time with his party hats and blowers....



With uncle Kevin (said Kevvvviinnnn)
With Silly Aunt Jody...check out those cool spiderman Pjs......they were new :)

this is his "angry" face....or so he said after we took his picture and he looked at it in the camera

winter wonderland

A few days before Christmas we had a small snow. The next morning everything was white crisp and frosty. I love to see the frost on things. This is the puppy run fence:

This is the neighbor's house (we don't have trees to frost yet....)


cleared.....finally

So, I know Kevin posted a picture of my graduation, and said I should blog more...well I was waiting to be cleared for graduation... That is right, I was just cleared this week, even though graduation was the 19th. I couldn't be cleared until my last credit hour and grade (an A of course) could be recorded. So I am cleared. What is next? Well it takes 6 weeks till the degree shows on transcripts and 6-8 weeks until the diploma actually arrives. Small steps I guess :)

Anyway here are the pictures of the big day....this is actually before the ceremony(click on the picture below to see all graduation pictures):



One of the things that is really cool is that when they announce you, they also announce your advisor. The graduate hands their hood (the long thing that hangs down the back), to their advisor and the advisor "hoods" the graduate. Even though it is a little blurry, here is my advisor hooding me....see how he chokes me? I am sure that it has nothing to do with having to take my signature page around to my committee for me 3 times :)



This is afterwards, with my parents. My parents never take pictures.....
One of my pleasures of the entire program is that I was in a cohort of students. We took all our classes together and they became life long friends. They were there to support me, they understood the struggles and together we were shoulders to lean on. Two of my cohort members were also graduating with me. Here we are left to right....Scott, Jody, and Larry.
And everyone must have a picture with Cam the Ram. CSU's mascot :)



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve

I got a call from my Uncle Phil this morning and it was great to hear from him. He was asking how much snow we got and so I thought I would post some pictures. We don't have near what April has, but it will still be here on Christmas. So this is this morning about 7:45am with the temperature at about 7F.


When the snow was coming down yesterday, Shadow was out in it. I'm not sure what she thinks about it (Shadow does not have very many deep thoughts), but she seemed perfectly happy.


So I guess it is time to get out the shovel... or maybe the broom, I'll have to see how wet it is.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Look what Jody did...

Jody decided that she would get all dressed up and go pick up her diploma today...


I'm proud of you sweetie, and I love you very much.... Dr. Jody

But I'll let her blog about this more.

The book is done...

We finally got back to "The Book Binders" in Loveland to pick up Jody's dissertation...


Jody is glad it is done, and I am proud of her for completing it. I think she might even let you check out a copy of it if you would like to read it in book form.

Office Party

Jody and I both work at home and because of this we don't get a lot of the typical office activities. So this year we decided that we should have a Christmas office party with everyone in our office... you know me and Jody. So on the 12th we went to our favorite Chinese place in Loveland (we were there doing other things as well)


We both had the Sesame Chicken for Lunch, which is really awesome

And of course you have to have a gift exchange... We drew names and Jody got me and I got Jody... amazing huh..


The presents...


I got the chocolate and the pens and Jody got the wrapping paper cutter...

It was a great time and hopefully our office can have more parties in the future.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cool or Nerdy....or both....

Have you ever made root beer? It is really easy.....if you have dry ice.... yes dry ice.

So the other day we got a shipment of some food and in the bottom was some dry ice. That triggered "root beer" in my mind. I made root beer once before when I was teaching HS and it was really cool. So I said to Kevin...lets try it.

Here is what you need:
1 gallon water
1 pound of sugar
1 oz of root beer extract
1 pound of dry ice


First mix the water, sugar, and extract.....it will be really dark brown...



Add the dry ice.....

Start to watch the magic (I think this would be really cool at a Halloween Party)










Put a lid on it and wait about 45 min to an hour.....

Yes there is some chemistry involved....here is what I found online for why it works and carbonates the soda: Henry's law says that the greater the pressure of the gas above a liquid the more gas will dissolve in the liquid. Soda is carbonated by dissolving carbon dioxide at high pressures into the soda mix. In this demo you use the sublimation of dry ice (-109°F) to obtain the carbon dioxide gas. You need to partially (but to be safe not totally) contain the gas to build up the gas pressure and force more CO2 into the root beer mix.

It is really cool and you can hear it bubbling....
video







Pouring the final product...




Nothing like root beer in a frosty mug!!!




Kevin enjoyed the final product......




This was a fun evening, and it actually turned out really well.






Monday, December 1, 2008

The sky is falling...

Well winter is coming to us again and we are having to deal with the different weather here on the plains. On our deck we have a outdoor table with a glass top on it and the other day we had 50+MPH winds and this is the result...


Yes, that is our table top stuck in the ground after flying off the deck. It did hit the house and do a little damage to the stucco, but amazingly nothing was seriously broken and best of all no one was killed. I have now moved the glass to a safe location.

The red line marks the path that the glass flew.


The odd thing is that we have had high winds before and never even thought the top would fly off, so live and learn...

Landscaping, the new driveway

During construction of the new place, we noticed that we were not going to have enough parking around here mainly due to the lack of street space and our long narrow driveway. So we thought that for practical and cosmetic reasons we should add a circle drive to the front of the house. So we got ahold of our original concrete guy. Tony at Ruiz Concrete in Johnstown does excellent work, so if you are in the North-Eastern/Front Range area and you need concrete work, he is the guy.

So here are some pictures of the work we had done. Click on the picture for more pics.

So we still have a lot of work to do out here, but we have a plan and are starting on getting everything going. But that is the 'joy' of a new house. Even after the house is done, you still have a lot of work to do.

Yummy

So this is a little late...but better late than never....

While we were in Vegas, we decided to stop at the Bakery and get a yummy dessert and a cup of tea. So on Tuesday night we shared this:


This was layered with some sort of cookie crust, ganache on top, the flake of real gold and the white chocolate Cello. It was Divine.

On Wed after I did my presentation at the conference, we went to a late lunch with some coworkers...then I went back to the hotel room to work, I had a headache, and so rested some too. Since our lunch was late, we really didn't want a full dinner...so instead we just had dessert, and back to the bakery we went and this time:

This was a really light cake on the outside filled with dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse, with chocolate curls on top.



One of my all time favorite desserts is Tiramisu, so we got this....it is a chocolate bowl, with Tiramisu inside....
While I didn't win any big money in Vegas (I think I lost $30), after eating such great desserts I felt like a winner!








I'm a winner

After reading about all the winning that Kelly, Dennis and Uncle Phil and Aunt Linda did I thought I would share a picture of my HUGE win at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas...

Eat your heart out Dennis....
$8.25 !!!

Unfortunately, I gave it all back to the casino too... :(

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday is filled with good food, family, friends and all good things.

We have much for which to be thankful for.

Later today we will be hosting dinner here, our first holiday dinner in the new house.

All the best to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vegas... baby

Well we have been in Las Vegas since Monday and we are leaving on Thursday. Jody had to present at the e -Learn 2008 conference here and so I came along for support. So far nothing really exciting is going on. We rode the monorail to go from our hotel to the conference location. It seemed to be fine. We sat next to a guy on the plane who lived in Vegas and we asked him about the monorail. All he could say that there had been no problems with it in the last year or so, but before that wheels were falling off. That was conforting. Jody's boss took several work folks to dinner at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba and I went along too, but had to pay my way. The food was good, but portions were kinda small, but that was to be expected considering it was tapas. Kari and Matt where there as well and they joined us at dinner to. Kari works there part time and so that is why they came along.

Vegas seems really kinda quiet, I know it is November and usally it is cold here this time of year, but the casinos seem a little empty and the sidewalks are not packed. I guess the economic issues are hitting here as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whew….

That was a fun party. We had about 60 people here, sometime throughout the day. It was fun to see many people we haven’t seen for a long time. Our first guests arrived around 11 am and the last left about 8 pm. I can't tell you how many tours we gave...but if you missed the party, we saved a tour just for you....so come and visit!

Here are some pics (click to see more):


Thank You!

The other day I got a nice surprise in the mail:







Cool huh? Thanks Mom and Dad DeKorte! As you see in our house pictures it goes really well next to our cake today….and then it will move into the office.





Party Day!

Today is our party and our guests will be arriving soon. I know many of you have been waiting to see pictures of the house….well here you go: (click the picture to see more)




Finally, we put pictures on the wall, things put away, and all the boxes removed! You will see that we do have Christmas Trees up….I know it is early, but it is also a Holiday Party :), but you will get the idea of how the house is laid out.

Stay tuned for more pictures of during the party…..

Saturday, November 8, 2008

More Blinds

As you know we have been getting the house ready for our party and so we ordered some blinds from Dekor and More... You know that nice little blind dealer in OR that we all know and love.. Anyway other than having to actually pay for them, I'm happy with how things came out... So here are the pictures.


Click the picture to see more pictures.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Election

After reading April's post on the election I felt that I should make a couple of comments. I believe that April did a really good job of expressing herself. First of all, neither party could ever provide a candidate that would appease everyone in the US. America is in a state right now that it is to divided and to partisan. Also, it seems like neither side is willing to give an inch. It is really quite sad. Hot topics end up in arguments so no discourse can be achieved and common ground found. For many people the thought process right now is "have my view or you are wrong". With that kind of mindset we, as a country, are going nowhere fast.

As for the election results I think that the Republicans started out way behind because many people in the US would have taken 'anyone but a Republican'. John McCain has done some great service for our country, but I also believe that during the campaign his original goals got sidelined in place of what the Republican machine wanted. His concession speech was excellent and hopefully the politicians will take his advice. At least he is still in the Senate.

I hope the Democrats don't take this big win to their heads and think they have all the power now, because if they are not doing things right, the people will vote them out too. I already saw how Joe Lieberman was already going to be 'punished' for crossing party lines when he talked for McCain during the campaign. This is really unfortunate as this sets a precedent for what happens when a representative crosses party lines.

As for our new President-Elect, I hope that some of the things he has promised do happen. I don't expect all of them to occur and actually hope some of them do not. If you look at other past presidents and look at what they promised during their campaigns and then to what they accomplished I don't believe any of them accomplished 100% of them. I don't think it is possible to even do it. I think he will be lucky if he even gets started on 25% of them during this term. I do believe that Obama was the better choice for world relations. I think we have been a poor neighbor as a country in the last few years. I expect that Obama will help to ease some of those tensions.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

You are invited!

To our Party!

We are having a big party on Saturday November 15th, starting at 12:00 pm.

Why? Well we really have 3 reasons:
  1. We want to have an open house for the new place.
  2. We always have a holiday party, but know that the time is going to be crazy in Dec, so decided to do it early.
  3. For Jody's graduation

We know how busy everyone is, so we thought we would throw it all into one big celebration. That means though that if it is a holiday party....we need holiday decorations...so today we started getting out the trees and other decorations. Please watch for pictures later this week.

We hope you can come to the party, no need to bring anything, or RSVP, please just come and surprise us!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Well it is that time of year again when the spirits are roaming the land. So it is time to carve the pumpkins. This year Doug grew the pumpkins for us in his garden so we got to watch them grow.


So we wish you a happy and safe Halloween...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Morning Fog

With Fall definitely here we have been getting some cooler mornings and the other day we had some cool fog sitting around out here... click the picture to see more.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fright Night!

Last Saturday Night (Oct 11) Jody and I went to meet our friends Kim and Ron for dinner and a scaring. So Jody and I headed to Longmont for the day, since when you live in the sticks you have to make the trip worth it. So we did a little shopping for some things we need and then met Kim and Ron at The Rib House. So we shared a combo plate since the portions are huge... we had some ribs, the chicken and the brisket and for sides we had beans, potato salad, and garlic mashed potatoes, plus a couple of rolls... see it was a lot.



After a filling and talkative dinner...
For dessert we headed out to Terror in the Corn at Anderson Farms. They do a great job of setting up a great haunted "house". They start you out by taking you on a tractor ride out to their "haunted" mining town. And then you follow a trail thru the corn and then finally thru a series of buildings in the town. They really have a nice setup, but it was fun and we didn't know if we should laugh or scream half the time. Oh, did I mention that it was raining the entire time? Not a hard rain, but just enough to add an extra bit of erieiness to it. It was also quite cold, at around 40, which for some reason it had been the entire day.

Jody also met a new friend...
And why do I always end up in Jail?


Anyway, it was a great time... tell us about the haunted houses in your area...