My Kids are getting Edumacated

January 4, 2011 by  

Yesterday marked the first day of pre-school for Braelyn (officially, anyway, since she had a practice day Dec. 30) and toddle-care for Brody at La Petite Academy near our house. Both kids had a great time, and according to their first day report, Braelyn loved painting and Brody loved the stairs. I am not sure what stairs he loved as I don’t recall seeing any, but it does not come as much of a surprise.

Braelyn Day 1 at La Petite Academy

Braelyn loved painting the most.

Brody's First Day at La Petite Academy

Brody enjoyed the stairs.

Up until this point, both kids had been in an in-home daycare, but in early December, the provider announced she was retiring on Dec. 21st. Thus, Rebecca went to work quickly to find the right place for the kids. Upon visiting La Petite, she was instantly impressed with the facility and staff, and excited that the kids would both have teachers with degrees in elementary education. She was a bit horrified that our children seemed to not be able to do some of the same things as the kids there (Braelyn, for example, still drank out of “sippy cups” while the kids in her class used regular glasses). She was also excited about the formal education process, accompanied with ample play and nap time, that the kids would receive. Thus, the monthly savings of my trading in my Escalade for a truck quickly evaporated and we enrolled the kids.

In all, I am extremely happy so far with the decision. Both kids now have members of both genders in their classes (at the in-home daycare, Braelyn was the only girl) and will do learning activities as much as just being “babysat”. The evaporated savings from my vehicle swap should pan out for the best. And you never know, my Princess Braelyn may just become a world-renowned artist and allow me to retire early.

Lunch is over, so now it’s back to work…

Peace,

RE

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My Teams and their Brilliant Coaching Changes

January 3, 2011 by  

As Kansas City Chiefs fans are all getting pumped up for their playoff game this weekend, I am thinking about the wonderful moves my university (Colorado State University) and my favorite football team (Denver Broncos) have made in the past few years.

Mike Shanahan
Almost two years ago to this day, Sir Patrick Bowlen, owner of the Broncos, decided that consistent winning seasons and playoff appearances was just not enough. And on that day, he decided to dismiss Mike Shanahan as coach and VP of Football Operations. Yes, Mike and the Broncos were failing to advance in the playoffs, and missed several years. But the season the Broncos had before his firing was one marred with injuries, and yet the Broncos just missed out of the post season. But that just wasn’t good enough, and so Shanahan was out and the New England Patriot’s young offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, was in. At the same time, the Kansas City Chiefs were seeking their head coach, and Shanahan was rumored to be in. Instead, the Chiefs took Todd Haley. As an aside, had the Chiefs picked-up Shanahan, I would have finally converted. When they hired McDaniels, I felt like it might be okay…

Fast forward two years and McDaniels was fired mid-season. Despite my love of the Patriots (my 2nd favorite team), I was happy that McDaniels was out. He created more issues and led to the Broncos heading further in the wrong direction. But it all boils down to Bowlen and his idiotic move of crushing his franchise. On that day two years ago, Bowlen turned his investment upside down.

Denver BroncosNow, the Broncos turn to the legend, the man, John Elway, to assume the VP of football operations. While I am a huge Elway fan, I think this move is as much about positive publicity as it is rebuilding a franchies destroyed by the owner. My sis, who lives in Ft. Collins, says rumor is Bowlen has Alzhemier’s Disease setting in, and she swears it’s not a joke. Well, I don’t know if I believe that, but maybe that would give some logic behind his brain-dead moves of the past 730 days.

On the pro-scene, my only comfort is found in thinking about the Chiefs setting a new NFL record… becoming the first NFL team to lose 7 consecutive playoff games. That, following their assistance this past weekend in the Raiders becoming the first NFL team to go undefeated in conference play and not make the playoffs, is something to put a smile on my face.

Sonny LubickA year before Bowlen went nuts, Colorado State did the same thing. Out with the legendary Sonny Lubick (108-74 in his 15 seasons at the helm of the Rams, including 6 conference championships and 9 bowl game appearances) and in with Steve Fairchild. While it was nice that Fairchild was a former Ram, his accomplishments at CSU make that a moot point. Yes, in his three years in charge have yielded a stellar 13-24 record, including an 0-8 conference season in his second year. Yes, Oh and Eight. Hard to do in the Mountain West. CSU offered Lubick a PR position when they forced him out, but unlike Elway, Lubick passed. While Sonny was definitely past his prime (he had 3 losing seasons in his last 4 years), he built CSU football and should have been allowed his final season and to leave on his own terms. Instead, out with the old and in with the new.

The Broncos and the Rams certainly have made it difficult to continue being a fan. But I am, and always will be. I just hope that Elway’s first move will be to bring in a quality coach. I would have loved it to be former Steeler’s coach Bill Cowher, but that won’t happen for sure now that someone holds the VP of Ops title. Instead, it looks like we’ll probably end up with Stanford’s coach Jim Harbaugh. Folks, someday people will learn that with little exception, college coaches tank in the NFL. Yet they keep getting hired (and ultimately fired).

Chiefs Suck
This weekend, I will watch the Chiefs play, and no, I won’t be wearing red. I will be reminiscing of the days of old with the Broncos, hoping for a quick and speedy turn-around of a once great franchise.

Peace,

RE

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The Buried Life

January 2, 2011 by  

As we enter 2011 and I sit here watching the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs do battle at Arrowhead Stadium, I am actually thinking about what I want to do before I die. Spencer got me hooked on MTV’s The Buried Life, a show where four guys try and cross items off of their bucket list while helping others do the same.

The Buried Life

I don’t have a whole lot of items on my bucket list, but there are some things I definitely want to do. In no particular order, the list for my own The Buried Life would include:

Places to Visit

  • Austrailia
  • Dubai
  • South Africa
  • Amsterdam
  • A few weeks exploring Eurpoe

Other things I want to do:

  • Coach high school & Legion baseball again
  • Walk my daughter down the aisle
  • Be a grandfather
  • See 150 Dave Matthews Band shows (I’m currently at 76)
  • Own my own businesses, including a sports bar or some variation
  • Set my children up financially

Not sure how many of the items I will get to accomplish in 2011, but only one or two are probably even close to feasible in the short term. But a guy can wish, right? Some items will definitely require me to live awhile since I became a parent in my mid thirties, but hopefully with a commitment to being healthier, maybe that will just happen.

I am definitely thankful for my wonderful family and friends, and certainly hope to share in my Buried Life experiences with them all.

Peace from the OP,

RE

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Midterm Elections

January 1, 2011 by  

Feeling quite a surge of red today. The results and predictions are just now starting to come in, and I am anxious to see how well my favorite prediction site holds out. ElectionProjection.com is a site I have watched for the past 6 years and I am blown away at how accurate it seems to be. In the 2008 presidential election, it did miss two states.

This morning, the site showed the Dems and Republicans each with 49 seats in the Senate and 2 for the Independents. It is pretty aggressive to think that’s how it will turn out, but we shall see. The house showed Republicans gaining 62 seats, well more than enough to keep Pelosi from sitting behind the President in his speeches yet to come. Even if the Republicans fail to get the majority in the senate, I think it is quite obvious people are not happy with how the past two years of change have gone.

Thus far, three senate seats have been called (msnbc.com). Kentucky is the first call to go from blue to red, and Rand Paul is the projected winner. ElectionProjection.com did call this changeover. In fact, so far all three have been predicted correctly.

More later. Am definitely excited to watch this unfold tonight.

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Happy 1.1.11

January 1, 2011 by  

Happy new year to all of my family and friends. I have no doubt that 2011 is going to be a crazy and chaotic year (thanks, Braelyn & Brody). I just hope it will be a better year than 2010–not that 2010 was all that bad, but you always hope things get better with time.

Braelyn turns three next Sunday, and she’s so excited for her Minnie Mouse birthday party next Saturday. She picked out the cake and everything. Crazy how much she has grown over the past year, as shown in her Christmas pictures from Dec. 24th 2009 and 2010.

Braelyn also just started preschool. She went for a practice day last Thursday, and Monday will be her first official day of pre-school. That and her weekly gymnastics on Saturday are two of her favorite things… aside from any toy that Brody happens to be playing with.

Speaking of the Brodster… he turned one in September and is quite the character. He, too, has grown considerably.

Brody begins toddler school on Monday, at the same place Braelyn goes (La Petite Academy). He loved the place last Thursday when we dropped Braelyn off… so much he got mad when he had to leave. So thankfully, both kids should do well in their new school.

Rebecca is loving her job at Treo Solutions, though she travels to Albany, NY a bit more than I enjoy. I do not think I am cut out to be the primary care giver. Rebecca is awesome at it… I just am “OK” at it. For 2011, Rebecca has vowed to not be grumpy (I give it < 1 day till she breaks that one), to give up soda (Diet Coke has been her cocaine), and until we go to Maui (January 17!!!), she vows she isn’t drinking a drop of alcohol. Best of luck to her as she takes on these three monumental tasks at once. She is one tough cookie, though, so I bet she gets 2 of the 3.

Spencer is doing real well in his junior year at Blue Valley Northwest High School. He has had a tough past year, with two friends taking their own life. He is a strong kid, and has pulled through. He really is turning into a fine young man. Says his mom is already going through a state of depression, trying to deal with Spencer being out of high school in a year and a half. Something tells me it’s more Spencer than his mom, at least at this point. Something else tells me Spencer will be around a year or two after he graduates… time will tell.

The big dawg Hoover is doing well. Still a bit gimp from his bad legs, but he is handling quite well. He has even been going up and down the stairs to the basement quite a bit of late. He’s a great dog… and just over 5 years old. We will have had Hoover for 5 years in just a few weeks.

As for me, I’m doing well. Lost about 12 pounds in the past month, but not completely by diet and exercise changes… while I have been going to the gym a bit more of late, I also took back to my old bad habit of chewing which I gave up on January 1st of last year. It really surpresses my appetite. I made it to labor day weekend without one, but only had a few while at the Gorge. Then I resumed on a regular basis the last week of November. I intend to quit it again right after Maui. I need to keep up the weight loss until then! Work is going strong and keeping me busy… a good thing.

Resolutions for me for 2011? Not much, really. Will quit chewing again after Maui. Still don’t drink pop (gave that up last NYE). I guess just keep going to the gym and eat better. Be healthy. Yep… sounds familiar, I am sure.

Oh, the other thing… as of today, I have seperated my twitter and facebook accounts, and do not intend to post status updates via either. I have grown tired of that, and realize it’s pretty much a big waste of time. As such, more about me and my happenings will be found right here on RyanElledge.com. Oh, and twitter will become more of a work thing for me. Less personal, more professional. That’s the plan, anyway.

To any of you who have stumbled upon this, in whatever manner you came, thanks for stopping by and reading. I hope you have a tremendous 2011. It will be quite a year… and one without my beloved Dave Matthews Band since they are taking the year off. Ugggghhhhhhh.

Peace,

RE

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Free At Last! Free At Last!

May 21, 2010 by  

Now we can quit our jobs and pursue our passions! I am so thankful. Thanks, Nancy!

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Quick Trip – Not the Convenience Store

April 24, 2010 by  

First, let me say that when you sit back and really think about it, it is truly amazing that at this precise moment in time, I am riding in the passenger seat of my vehicle, traveling at 80 MPH, and typing on a computer which is plugged in and connected to the Internet. The technological advances in my 38 years have been amazing. Even more amazing is to think about what has transpired over the past 92 years of my grandmother’s life. Truly amazing the things she has witnessed.

On Wednesday evening at about 8:00 pm CDT, Rebecca, Spencer, Braelyn, Brody and I set out on a top-secret trip to Casper, Wyoming to pay a surprise visit to my 92 year old grandma, who was just recently put into a nursing home, and to my mother, who had it not been for my grandma’s situation would have been travelling through Overland Park this weekened to visit us. We drove all night under the cover of darkness, leaving shortly after Braelyn and Brody visited my mom via a web cam session before “going to bed”. Well, they did go to bed, but in the car seats of our vehicle.

We drove all night, stopping three times for gas and beverages, and we arrived at my parents’ house at 6:30 am MDT on Thursday morning. Our 11.5 hour trip concluded with me placing Brody in his car set under a blanket with a sign reading “Please take care of our baby. God Bless.” I rang the doorbell numerous times and ran around the corner. My pops answered the door (he was the only one to know we were coming) and hollared at my mom to come help. After a short look of shock, she realized that the baby left on her doorstep was her grandson… and soon the rest of us came around the corner. Surprise number one: complete success.

Surprise number two came later that day, when Spencer, my dad and I went to visit my grandma. She, too, had no idea we were coming. She was very excited to see us, too, and I was impressed with how good she actually looked. She is in the nursing home after suffering a fall a few weeks ago, and they found her heart rate to be down around 42 beats per minute. Better news came that same day when doctors confirmed her heart rate was back to normal, and they say if they can get her kneww rehabilitated, she can get out of the nursing home and into assisted living. That would be a great outcome.

Braelyn and Brody got to spend some time with Grandma as well, as we visited with her several times over the last few days. Today’s visit was the best — her spirits seemed better and she looked really good. We sat outside and visited, snapped some pictures of her and the kids, and had a great time. I am so thankful that we had the ability to get back and see her, and I know she was thrilled to see Braelyn and Brody again.

Now, after spending a few hours back at the baseball park watching the Casper Oilers come up short (quite a bit short, I might say) against the Gillette Roughriders, we are back in the car heading home. If all goes well, we’ll be in Overland Park at about 9 in the morning. A day of recovery on Sunday, then back to the normal grind on Monday.

Always nice to be able to spend time with the folks and my oldest sister and her family. And seeing my grandma, especially as good as she looked today, made the 24 hours we are spending in the car well worth it. Now, hopefully my parents will get to come out our way in a couple of weeks for their makeup trip, and Brae and Brody can get a little more attention from the grandparents.

Now I am going to put this technology to use and watch a movie. Or maybe take a nap, since I’ll be in the driver seat soon.

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March 21, 2010

March 21, 2010 by  

I guess later tonight I will have been on this earth for 38 years. Holy cow, that seems like a long time. The age 38 also seems old, but weirdly enough, I don’t feel that old. I definitely have a little gray in my sideburns (thanks, work) and I’m packing some extra luggage, but other than that, I don’t feel much different than in college. Ok, ok… it does take me longer to recover after a night of beverages. That does make me feel old.

Would like to start by saying thanks to all of those on facebook and who have sent me texts already a big thank you for the birthday wishes. It actually makes me feel bad, because despite what some people may think, I am not on facebook that much. Most of my status updates come from me sending a tweet, and my facebook ap on my iPhone is where I respond to most facebook things… and thus, I do not see when everyone else’s birthdays are and thus don’t go post nice messages on their birthdays. I guess I really need to start checking that facebook birthday announcement section and doing it, because it is nice to receive the birthday wishes.

Only one political paragraph today, but I just have to do it. Sadly, my mom shares her birthday with the worst act of terrorism against the US in its history: 9/11. I fear that after today, I will share my birthday with the anniversary of the Obama health care plan passing (no thanks to a bunch of special favors) — something that we will all pay for over and over again. Oh well, March has sucked thus far (work issues and weather), might as well add that to the mix. End of birthday political rant.

It was so cute waking up this morning and lying in bed. I could hear Braelyn out in the kitchen practicing saying “Happy Birthday, daddy!” Too, cute. Of course, I heard her practice it yesterday, too, but it is awesome to hear over and over. Probably the best birthday present I could ever get (second place would be the HC plan failing today). So when I came out of the room, there she was, watching Chicken Little and she said “Happy Birthday, Daddy”. Awesome….

Had Brody been born three days later, he and I would be exactly 6 months apart. Yep, my “little” boy turned 1/2 last Thursday. He is growing fast… likes to make noises (he’s grunting/talking right now) and he always has a smile on his face. I have been extremely fortunate to have two awesome babies… only cry when there is good reason to. I hear Braelyn over coloring me a picture right now… in fact, here she comes to show me. She just brought over a little spiral notebook with the most awesome one color crayon scribble ever! Other parents should be jealous… Her artwork is multiplying. At daycare she painted three pictures for the first time, and they will sell for millions!

While I referred to March as having been a crappy month thus far, some good has happened. I reconnected for an hour plus on the phone with Robert Conley, who I grew up playing baseball with and who I roomed one year in college with. He also helped me coach baseball. The next night (and well into the morning after), Casey Peterson and I met up for dinner, drinks, and who knows what else. I hadn’t seen Casey in almost 20 years, since we graduated high school. I also just got back from Oklahoma where Spencer and I had a guys trip (sorry, Brody, maybe in a few years you can join) to watch some NCAA basketball and some Oklahoma State baseball, where Dusty Harvard is the starting center fielder. Dusty (@dharvard24 on twitter) played center field for the Casper Oilers the last year I coached, and he’s the last player I coached still playing college ball today (as far as I know, anyway). He is off to a solid start, and hopefully he’ll get drafted again this year. The Cowboys were supposed to play 1 on Friday, 2 yesterday, and 1 more game today. With the weather, they ended up playing a double header on Friday and cancelling yesterday. I bet they cancel today, as well. Anyway, Spencer and I headed home a day early, in the snow, just one day after wearing shorts and a t-shirt to a 70+ degree double header.

The weather this winter has sucked. Global warming my ………

Well, I am going to go help Braelyn color a bit and get Hoover outside. Thanks again for all of the birthday wishes. I will try and do better checking out whos birthday is when on facebook and sending messages back.

Thirty-eight down, hopefully many more than that remain…

–RElledge

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A Salesman I would Buy From…

March 3, 2010 by  

Thanks to Shawn Hashmi for sending me this bit of SpAm is KoOl:

I took a Cadillac Escalade out for a test drive today. The salesman sat in the back seat describing the car and all its wonderful options.

The seats were of particular interest. He explained that the seats directed warm air to your butt in the winter and directed cool air to your butt in the summer heat.

I stated the car must be a Republican car. Looking a bit perplexed, he asked why I thought it was a Republican car? I explained that if it were a Democratic car, the seats would blow smoke up your ass year round.

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The Great Open Debate

January 8, 2010 by  

Thankfully we have that open and transparent government of change we heard so much about.

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