Wednesday, December 30, 2009

28 years until I finally had my first Big Mac

While it wasn't a goal, tonight I ate my first Big Mac. I got a coupon for a free sandwich last night at the Bulls game because they scored over 100 points. I had jokingly thought about adding it to my next list of goals. While I go to McDonalds plenty, I usually stick to the typical double cheese burger and fries. I don't stray too much from my normal routines when it comes to food. Thus why I had my goal for trying new foods.

Here's a pretty view of my first bite.

The burger wasn't bad. Honestly, it wasn't too much different than a normal burger. I expected more from the special sauce. I'm probably not going to get another one any time soon, but I probably won't make it another 28 years until my next one.

Here's the finished shot. It looks nothing like the Portabella burger that I had over the summer. It was far better than that thing. Too bad this one isn't a goal that I can check off.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bulls v. Pacers 12/29/09

The original plan for the night was for me to take the girls over to my friend Ryan's house to give both Melissa and his wife Leslee a break from the kids. It turned out to be nothing close to that.
At 4:21, I got a text from my friend Jay asking if I would go to the Bulls game tonight. He had tickets from work that he couldn't use and was looking to give away. I asked Melissa and she said no problem. So....Ryan and I went to the game together leaving the wives to entertain the kids while we were away. Our seats were on one of the ends of the court about 20 to 25 rows up. Face value of $110! It was great! I have only been to two Bulls games and the last one was about three years ago with Matt. It sure is different when you are down by the court watching the game.
Here's a picture to show the view from our seats.
A shot of the scoreboard after the game.

Because we were not in easy-out parking we had time to stroll around outside after the game. We made it over to the Jordan statue and snapped a few pictures. It was a pretty popular place to be after the game and took quite awhile to get a shot.
Altogether it was a great night. Definitely something that doesn't happen too often. Melissa said that the kids were good and that she had a fine night. Thanks Melissa for being so great!

66. Merry Christmas from Matt/a baseball from every MLB ballpark

I got a great Christmas gift this year from Matt. We both have a goal that in our lifetime we will be able to make it to all of the Major League baseball parks. We have gone to quite a few together (10, I think). A neat idea that Matt gave me was to buy a baseball from each park that we go to as a souvenir. The problem is what do you do to show them off? I had them all in a bowl on the coffee table, but after having kids, there was no way for that to stay together so I just began storing them in a bin in the closet. Matt was great enough to construct this to help show off what I have.

After seeing them on display I am more motivated to add to the collection. August 15th is one day we plan on seeing the Twins play in Minnesota. Other than that we don't have any other trips planned. Maybe sometime this summer Melissa and I will take a trip somewhere for a weekend to get away. Baseball game for me, Broadway show for Melissa? Sounds like a win-win to me!

Monday, December 28, 2009

38. Red Badge of Courage

I just finished this classic novel. Tonight begins my attempt to read each night after the kids go to bed until I go to sleep. Goal #93. I might also try to mix in goal #100 during that time as most of my typical TV watching is after the girls go to sleep.
The book was ok. **Spoiler alert** Boy joins army. Boy is in battle, gets scared and runs. Guilt makes boy feel bad so he rejoins his group and fights again with his battalion. Boy becomes a war hero for his efforts on the battle field.
It's a good story. Semi-quick read. I've heard about it enough over the years and now I have read the story to know what the book is all about.
One more book to go and this goal is done!

62. Visit My Grandparent's Grave

Matt and I went out for a run this morning. I have to say that after the run today I am so glad that I got a treadmill for Christmas. Aside from a few times with uncomfortable wind, the weather wasn't too bad. The snow was the problem. The city of Aurora apparently takes over two days to plow some of the side streets. Our destination that we wanted to get to was the cemetery where our grandparents are buried. After taking a roundabout trip to get there we made it to the entrance. I had done a little research at the library to find out where they were buried, but that didn't help so much due to the large amount of snow that we had gotten over the past few days. After a lot of walking around and trekking through snow we finally found a headstone with the "Weis" name on it. It was in the right area that the library materials said it would be, but from what I thought I remembered, their names were on the headstone. Maybe it was on a smaller plaque hidden under the snow.
Due to the large amount of snow we couldn't tell if there were smaller stones on the ground signifying if this was indeed where our grandparents were buried. I will have to stop by again when the snow disappears to check again. Its not too hard to stop by the cemetery. I just wanted to do it with Matt the first time I went there.
After leaving the cemetery we stumbled upon this opportunity.
I was in no shape to top out at Michael Scott's max speed of 31 mph, but I just had fun running with it picking up my speed.
When we were done running I felt pretty tired. Between the wind and snow it gave me a greater appreciation for the treadmill at home. Having Matt out there on the run made it much more bearable for sure.
27 days until the race! Hopefully I will be ready!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

13. Sit ups

This morning I watched Melissa's 89 year old Grandfather do 40 sit ups with no problem. He says he does them every day just to keep his strength up and to keep active. He didn't struggle at all to get them done at all. Makes me think that I really need to get into the groove of working on my own sit up and push up goals. I didn't dare to try to max out in at that time. I'm going to wait for a more private setting to see what I can do. Hopefully I can get to 40 easy ones sometime soon and make my way to 100. Sometimes you find motivation in places you never expected it to come from.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

1. I finished the New Testament

I'm half way done (not really!) with reading through the whole Bible. Today I finished up the New Testament. I didn't start out too diligent reading through, but lately I have been really good at getting my reading in each day. I have gone non-traditional in my reading. Each morning when I get to school I log on to Bible Gateway and read a few chapters. It has been a real nice way to start each day of school.
It was the first time that I had read all the way through the New Testament in one "short" period of time like this. It was interesting to see the connections between all of the written letters. Next up, the Pentateuch.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

34. Curriculum Renewal/Reform

Another class down! (2 of 14) Not much to say but I'm glad it is done.
I'm using the wildcard on the memorization of presidents/vp/party because I don't have as strong of a desire to memorize the vp/party section anymore. I still look at the list of presidents and try to get them down, but I don't think the other two parts are as important anymore. Another goal down!

Monday, December 14, 2009

37. The Last Lecture

I finished my 5th biography! Last week one of my students told me that their mom was reading the book, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. His lecture became quite famous on the internet for his ability to speak so easily to a large group about his life with pancreatic cancer and things he has learned along the way. I haven't seen the whole lecture yet, but plan finish it some time soon.

This book was really written with the purpose for his kids (ages 6, 4, and 18 months) to have something to remember and know their father by. It is a really good book and an easy read. As I was reading through it reminded me of Ron Clark's book The essential 55 where Ron Clark talks about 55 rules he has for his classroom. The Last Lecture has 62 chapters with each one containing a certain memory or important lesson. These chapters are his way of teaching his kids how he wants them to live their lives through giving stories about his own life. It is a great read. While you know he will eventually lose his battle (died July 28, 2008), you know that he isn't going down quietly.

I enjoyed this one a lot (I finished it in 3 days) and thought that the life lessons that were given in the book were a great piece that he could leave to his kids and to the rest of the world. Next book on the agenda is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I'm thinking that one will take a little longer than 3 days to finish.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

91. Foundations of Curriculum EDU 8130

I just finished my first class of my program (1 of 14). The second will be finishing later this week. While having a class on Saturday mornings beginning at 7:30 isn't the most ideal time to have a class, I enjoyed the class quite a bit. The group of people that I have class with is a really good group. This class studied how curriculum is put together and what components make it up. That's the least boring way for me to describe the class.
As enacted earlier for marathon completion, Matt suggested that each class that I finish will also count as a wildcard. I think that is a fair suggestion as it trades the time that I am taking for my studies for a task that is no longer one that I see as important.
The thing that I see as not as important is cleaning out the car. While I do see it as important, I haven't kept the integrity of the goal getting it cleaned as much as the goal intends. Another goal down!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

69. Read a book about nutrition that would help me understand nutrients and vitamins better

After what seems like months of reading this book, I'm finally done! Nutrition for Life is over! I bought this book a long time ago at Borders because it seemed to be the best book in the nutrition section of the store. I have really grown to like the DK publishing group for non-fiction (Mom, take note!). They really do a good job putting pictures together to help explain the content of the book.
After reading the book I have a better understanding of why vitamins do the things that they do. There was nothing earth shattering in the book as far as new things I learned, but it was a good book to read. I definitely didn't internalize a lot of what I read, but I did learn about a lot of different foods to eat more of. Lima beans seemed to be mentioned a lot for high nutritional value. I hadn't realized they were thought of so highly.
This book is finished. I am going to try to get one or two of the reading goals done in the educational section next. I have a little bit of a break from reading for my classes right now and think I have a chance at getting those done. Now I just have to find something interesting to read.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Little bloggers

I had a kid at school tell me that he asked his parents to start a blog. His parents did the same thing that I did, they laughed. I then asked why he wanted to start one, his reply was that he wanted to type out the 50 goals that he had set for himself so he could keep track of them and write about them.

I share with my students that I have a blog. I usually use it as an example if I am talking about experiential writing or something in that area. I talk openly about my goals and they constantly ask what goal I am working on or what goal I want to begin next. I have had kids in the past say that they had one or two goals that they wanted to do, but never have I had a kid that had a list of 50 that he wanted to begin right away (his time line is 3 years for completion). I was touched to see that he wanted so much to do something just like me.

The solution that his parents came up with was that he could just open up a Microsoft Word document and write everything there (sound's like Creed's blog).

We went to the library right after he had shared this information with me. I walked by his computer and saw that he had typed into the search box "how to start a blog."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gotta keep trying!

I wrote another letter to Time today and got this message:

In a nut shell, the letter is a way of saying, you took too long to write in for the week. Next week be faster. I get this message about half of the time. I usually save the content and send it in the next week. This particular article was one I had to sign my name as "Paul Lewis." I talked pretty openly about things that happen in our school. I figured it wasn't something I wanted my name on. Not a great career move.

39. The Millionaire Next Door

I have been wanting to read this book for awhile. It is often discussed on two of the personal finance blogs that I read. One of them is The Simple Dollar. The author of this blog is a guy from Iowa who went from being a huge spender to being a guy who finds joy in frugality. I like his site and find plenty of tips that I can use in my daily life. His site is actually the site that I first read about 101 goals in 1001 days. The other site I go to is Get Rich Slowly. The author is from Oregon. He was also a huge spender that turned his habits around. He tends to write on a lot of topics that I find interesting, but he gets into numbers which tends to lose me after awhile.

Both of these guys have done reviews on the book which can be found here and here.

The biggest point that I got out of the book was that there are wealthy people and there are people that try to look like they are wealthy. Most of the truly wealthy people (those who have a net worth of over $1 million) are people that don't live the lavish lifestyles. They don't have a need to impress others with their money.

A point to take out of the book is to spend less than you earn. That's pretty obvious. Avoid trying to impress others with the things you have. I know I can't afford a lot of things I see other people with. I've learned that is ok. Paul says in Philippians 4:12 "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Paul's words come from the extreme areas of having plenty and being in need. I know that I haven't really learned Paul's "secret" completely, but I understand what he means. After having kids, my list of things that I want has gone down greatly. I have most of the things that I need. The book discussed clothing, houses, and cars as being downfalls for people to not gain wealth. I'm happy with where I am at with all of these.

This was a good book to read. The formula to becoming a millionaire isn't a secret. Be wise with where you spend your money and save wisely and regularly.