Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer Projects

This summer I tackled a major project at our house. I relandscaped the back yard. The largest part of this project was putting in new grass. I removed all of the dead grass and top soil layer myself. This took many days with just me and my shovel.

After that, I spread eight cubic yards of organic compost over the whole yard and roto-tilled it into the soil.

Finally we laid down the fresh new sod. My wife, Laura, and her parents, all helped out. After that project I built a shed and spread mulch in the planter beds.

It looks great!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Our New House


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I have been talking a lot about our new house in class. We just got it in April, but we are not moving in until the summer, after we have fixed it all up. Laura and I have a new blog that shows all of our home improvement efforts. You can visit it at sweethomeonalabama.blogspot.com . We are having so much fun making this little pink box into something special that is just right for us (and any future little ones). We hope you enjoy watching us make a mess and demonstrating our home fixing up skills.
Just click here to visit our site: Sweet Home on Alabama

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Third LA MArathon

On Sunday, March 21st, I ran my third consecutive LA marathon. This was also the third route that I have run because they have changed it every year that I have run it. This year's route was very interesting. We ran from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica. This route took us through Downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and many other great cities. It was a fun run but again, one of the hardest things I have ever done. Even training for 16 weeks does not full prepare your body to run 26.2 miles. My goal was to finish and I did in 5 hours and 42 minutes.
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Here is Laura and I at Dodger Stadium before the Marathon started. It was cold but the view of Downtown was amazing.

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Look at all of these people that I am in front of...I think most of them passed me.

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Here we are running up the hill toward the Disney Concert Hall.

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Lovely Echo Park

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Still smiling...

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Here is the best thing I saw all day. Only 0.2 miles to go.



Here is a video of what it was like to cross the finish line.

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Here I am with Laura after finishing. No, the medal does not say that I came in 25th place. It was the 25th anniversary of the LA Marathon. I was more like 13,000th place.
(Yes that is a bagel in my right hand...yummy)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monkeys in the Snow, Oh No!

What is wrong with these monkeys? Don't they realize that there are piles of snow sitting below them? Why don't they care? I guess they don't like snow...
Last week on Valentine's Day, Laura and I went on a romantic date to the LA Zoo. We have passes so we were able to go on nice date for practically no money (which is good when you are trying to buy a house). They had put snow in four of the animal's cages. This was the chimpanzee's, but they also put snow in the cages of the black bear, tiger, and snow leopards. None of the animals seemed to care about the white fluffy stuff. Most were passed out asleep on the ground. I thought at least the snow leopards would be having a good time. Nope, they were also fast asleep.


We had a fun Valentine's Day. We also went to dinner and saw a movie. We paid for both of these with the gift cards that you (my students) gave us for Christmas. So I thank all of you for helping us to have a great time.
Oh...guess where we went for dinner?
Here I am at Outback Steakhouse enjoying a delicious ribeye steak. It was so juicy and delicious! I love that place.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winter Trip to Mammoth




Before Christmas, Laura and I got the chance to go to Mammoth for a couple of days. We spent most of our time in the small town you see in this picture, Crawley Lake. Laura's uncle lives there. We went with Laura's parents and with Sandy, their adorable border collie who you've met before. I called her snowdog the whole trip. You will see why later.
We did all sorts of fun things on the trip. We did not ski or snowboard but we did go snowshoeing, site seeing, shopping, and of course had plently of snowplay. Here is a great video of Laura having fun in the snow.

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Haven't you always wanted to do that? As you can see, we had a lot of fun in the snow, even though it was so cold the whole time we were there. Since we had the snow dog with us, it was my goal to get her to play with me in the snow. This dog usually spends her days laying around the house sleeping. Let's just say that the snow wasn't her favorite thing. This video speaks for itself.

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Did you go on any interesting trips over break or do anything exciting? Tell us about it.

No dogs were harmed in the making of this blog post

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We are ready for the holidays!


Today, Laura and I decorated our apartment for the holidays.  We decided not to get a tree this year.  We had two reasons for this decision.  First of all, our apartment is very small and there is really no room for a tree.  Second, we are trying to save our money to buy a house.  We need to save every penny in order to make it happen.

Instead of a tree we hung our ornaments from some garland.  Doesn't it look nice?

Can you tell that there are ornaments hanging there?  We actually collect ornaments wherever we go.  That big red one, that looks like Mickey's head, is from our summer trip to Disney World.  Laura also took a piece of white ribbon and strung small round ornaments on it.  She is very clever.

Here is my contribution.  I decided that since we cannot hang lights from the outside of our apartment, I would hang them inside.  Here they are hanging from our track lighting.  They actually wrap halfway around our entire apartment.  We are definitely in the holiday spirit now.  Oh, that other Mickey-looking thing is our advent calendar.  Yes, we are a bit obsessed with Disney.


Tell us what you have done to get ready for the holidays.  How does your family decorate?  Are there any unique traditions that your family does?  Tell us about it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Mama, look at the chicken"

Laura and I decided to go to the LA Zoo today.  We happen to be members so why not? I love the zoo!  I can remember going to the zoo when I was in elementary school.  It has changed a lot since then. The main difference is that all of the primate exhibits have been updated and made way better than they used to be.   They are much nicer places for these animals to live.  One exhibit that we usually don't see, because it is way up at the top of the zoo, is the ostrich exhibit.  One little boy told his mom to look at the chicken.  That is one big chicken!

I love these little guys.  They are the Meerkats.  They have recently gained popularity since the show Meerkat Manor came out on Animal Planet.  I got to watch a movie about these tiny creatures on the plane during my summer vacation.

Did I mention that I love the monkeys?  Actually this is not a monkey, it is a Silverback Gorilla.  This big guy runs the place.  He is the man with the plan, the head cheese.  He didn't want to turn around.  I think this is because there were about 25 people trying to take his picture.  Would you turn around?

I just love this great shot of a tiger taken by Laura.  I think he is trying not to fall in the water.  Cats hate water you know.  A tiger is basically a really big cat, right?

Here I am with a big Gorilla.  Luckily this one is made of metal.  I wish I could get this close to the real one.  Do you think he would be that friendly?


And of course my favorite area of the zoo is the orangutan exhibit.  They have all of these ropes and straps hanging around for them to swing from and climb on.  They just get to play all day long.  I am very jealous.  It is because of these guys that I am going to name our first daughter "Oranga."  That way her full name will be "Oranga Laing."  Say it all together without pausing and you'll get why.  Have you ever been to the zoo?  If so, what is your favorite area? Tell us about it.

"What are you looking at?"