Thursday, December 30, 2010

New York city

This week we traveled to New York for an overnight stay. We were accompanied by two of Payton's cousins and their mom. Instead of driving we took the train. The train ride wasn't up to my acquired Swiss standards, but hey, it beat driving.

We stayed at Times Square; the convenient Marriott Marquis. A cool thing about this hotel is its elevators. They are centrally located in the building, traveling up and down the outside of a column. The elevators are each given a letter designation. Normally you press an up button to go up and then look all around to see which elevator opens up. Here you go to a centrally located panel and input your floor number. The panel then tells you which elevator to go to. So smart and so cool.

We didn't do much on our short trip. Tuesday night we walked to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree. Everyone but me and Parker got up early early on Wednesday to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Parker and I slept in. We woke up about the time the rest of them were finished skating.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snow Ho Ho

We didn't get a white Christmas, but we had a nice one. Here it is the day after and the snow is starting to fall. Several inches are expected to fall overnight. Burrrrrrr.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Killing time

It's Christmas Eve and I have been sent out with boys to give Kathleen some time at home. She needed time to do a few things. I needed paint, but the Sherwin-Williams store was closed. We wound up at Starbucks. Parker is crashed. Payton is tired and waiting for me to finish this post so he can play Angry Birds.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our first projects will be...

We have been in our new house for a couple of weeks now. What will be our first projects aren't exactly what we thought they would be.

Tomorrow I am supposed to get a shipment of flooring. We have a room in the basement that is finished, but the floor is bare concrete. This is going to be our exercise room. We found a 4 station home gym and decided to buy it. We chose the same kind of flooring the seller had in his home. It is rubber and a full 1/2" thick. Really heavy duty stuff - just like you'd find in a gym. This is going to be the first room we paint.
We have a nice laundry room. The problem is that it is just a room with a washer, dryer and laundry tub. I have found a source for specialty plywood and hope to get started building a couple of base cabinets and then putting in a new countertop across them and the washer and dryer. Phase I will have the laundry room looking pretty much like our laundry room in Ohio. But this is just the start. This room is big enough to be a mud room too. Phase II will be building a 'locker' for each of us to keep our coats and shoes in. Phase III will be adding shelving to get some storage out of the room as well.

Payton is doing well in school. There have been no issues with adjusting. He is riding the school bus and enjoying it. It has been some 35 years for me since I last road a school bus. Now I find myself waiting at the bus stop each morning and afternoon. Something ain't right here. I'm not going to school.

I got the garage straightened up. It is much bigger than our previous garage. It is a proper 3-car garage. The only problem I have is that I need a 4-car garage to store my stuff. We would like to build a detached garage. Then I would have a place for all my stuff and the house garage would then be just for the cars and bicycles.

The kid's playset and basketball goal were set up this past Sunday. A couple of guys did it all in about four hours. The backyard is looking a little more homey.

The basement is still a wreck. But the gym is in pieces all over the place. Once that is put together I can tackle putting the remaining stuff away. Ahh, the joy of moving. Try it. You'll like it. Not!

We were invited to a Christmas party at a neighbor's house this past Saturday. It was real nice. Met some more people around the neighborhood. They had a Santa come to the house. He road in in a local cop car with lights flashing and siren blazing. One of our neighbors is a retired G-Man. He has connections.

Any who, Merry Christmas to y'all and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

First night in the new house

We spent our first night in our new house. It was so much better than the hotel. We still have A LOT of unpacking and moving in to do. Our first impression is that we expect this house to be a right nice place to live. It would be incorrect to say the house is perfect because it does have its imperfections. There is plenty to do to make the house our home.

Payton's room is nearly setup. There is lots of room for the boat bed and then some. The undersea mural on the wall goes perfectly with his bedroom theme. Previously this was a girl's room; a blue room for a girl. At closing we were told she wanted to know if we were keeping the mural. Of course! It's why we bought the house.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The boys with the grandparents

I hustled everyone outside to try and get a picture of the boys with Grandma and Grandpa. I told them to be patient. We trekked out into the vacant lot next door and took the picture in the woods. It turned out fairly well and will look nice on our wall at home.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Every Thanksgiving the Dolan clan gathers at Hilton Head Island for Thanksgiving. The clan just might be at its maximum size now. The eleven grandchildren range in age from 16 down to 2.

BTW, obviously we are all packed and are living 'homeless' in Hilton Head right now. Not bad considering. We head north to close on our new house in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just about ready to leave

The movers have been packing us up for a couple of days now. Today they started loading the truck. They say they'll be on the road Thursday evening. If that happens we'll be on our way to Hilton Head early Friday morning.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Octobooo! 31st

Today was a good day. First was Payton's football game. Today the Eagles played the Chiefs. My allegiance to all things Chiefs had to be put on hold while I rooted for the Eagles this day. Unfortunately both teams were winless and one was likely to stay that way. The game started out trading touchdowns, but soon the Eagle's running game took over and won the game 38-23. Payton even ran for a touchdown - an '80 yarder'! He was running his little heart out. The defense was chasing him. It was a hoot!Well like I said it was a big day. Today was Halloween of course! Kathleen got the boys dressed. Parker fought being in his costume, but after having in on for a bit he was fine. Payton was dressed as the coolest little zombie. Parker, since he already had all the accessories, was dressed as Buzz Lightyear.
I love this picture of Payton in costume!
The boys got quite a bit of loot. Plenty of candy to last awhile. We saved our best candy for last so we have a few peanut butter cups left over. Mmm Mmm good. We hope all of you had a great Halloween.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Payton's school picture

Our eldest recently had his school picture taken. This is his first real school photo. Previously it had just been a class photo. Handsome little boy he is. Well, at least his Mom and Dad think so.

He really took having this picture taken to heart. I think he picked out his own clothes. He had Grandma and Grandpa take him to get a haircut too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Construct your own Ninja stick

Payton received some cool stuff for his birthday from his Swiss friend Hirad. One thing was TinkerToys. Payton likes building things and what better to build with than TinkerToys? Payton likes watching review videos of toys and such on YouTube and he has always wanted to post his own video. This is his first published video. I'm sure he'll do more as he gets older and learns to do them himself.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Football and the park

Today, and each Sunday now, is Payton's flag football game. Ironically he plays for the Eagles. Get it? We're moving to Doylestown, PA... North of Philly... Get it? Anywho, he plays for the Eagles.After Payton's game we went to Symme's Park for their Halloween festival. The town decorated the walking path with Halloween stuff and had candy stops every so often for the kids. They gave free small pumpkins to the kids and had a petting zoo as well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Payton's new look?

Here's Payton aka Peter Parker aka Spider-man.

Good deed Sunday

Payton and Kathleen did a good deed today by picking up trash in the park. We have a nice park right in our own back yard. The park has always been there, but only until recently it was just wooded land. Symmes Township blazed a nice walking trail through it recently. It measures about 2/3 mile and is much like walking through the forest in Switzerland - without the elevation changes.
Check out the two trees bent and crossing one another is the picture above. Back in the mid 90's a tornado came through our neighborhood and bent these trees over. It did the same to many others. Why they didn't break is unknown - some did. You would think they would have straightened back up, but they stayed this way. The branches on the left tree grow vertically like bunch of trees growing out of the ground.

About half way through the trail it was time for a drink, some rest and a snack. The trail has a nice restroom building with drinking fountains. Parker isn't quite tall enough to give himself a drink and needs a little help. The park has even provided drinking facilities for dogs.

Symme's Township Historical Society is reconstructing an 1830's log house within the park. We've been watching the progress. It has been slow and steady. The floor is in and the first floor walls are up. There is still plenty to do. It's a two-story house, so the second floor is still to come. You can see from the pictures what they started with and where they are. Pretty cool eh?

The weather has been much cooler here the past few days. It makes walking our trail so nice. There is still plenty of green on the trees, but leaves are drying out and falling to the ground. It allows more sun light to filter through. To bad that we may be leaving soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I got my stripe goin' on...

I just mowed the yard and I have a nice stripe goin' on. The yard doesn't look like a ball diamond, but pretty good none the less. It's been a pretty hot and very dry summer. Even though I water the yard, it was only staying a passable shade of green ahead of brown. I started watering daily and after two weeks it greened up really nice. It takes a stripe real well now. I likey.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crossing the Little Miami

Every day to and from school, me and the boys cross over the Little Miami River. After school today we stopped at Nesbit Park and walked down to the river. The water level is down so low that we were able to walk through and across to the other side. I dressed the boys in swim suits and old shoes so they could walk in the water and get wet. I made the page sized poster below so that Payton could share his experience with his class tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Payton had a good birthday party yesterday. School friends came. Neighborhood friends came. Kids of mom's co-workers he has met came. It was a great turn out. Kathleen made a fantastic Iron Man cake. All in all it was a great birthday party. We rented a jumping balloon for the kids to play in. The playset got a workout too. We had plenty of dogs and burgers, but the kids just ate cake.Payton got a lot of presents, Bakugons, Legos, Iron Man, games and more. He loves his birthdays. Happy birthday Payton! And cheers to mom for being a great mom putting it all together.