Monday, July 25, 2011

47. Take someone to give their first blood donation

This goal was fairly easy.  If I wanted to do it 5 more times I would guess that I could do it.  Any time someone finds out that I give blood regularly they say that they should do it too.  I put this goal down to get me motivated to invite people to come along with me.  Today Ryan came along with me for his first donation.  While Ryan had volunteered for a blood drive when he was in college or high school, he has never given. He said the reason he wants to go most is because he wants to know what type of blood he has. Whatever it takes I guess. He did have some queezy thoughts about giving, but got over it and did a great job.  Someone in need will be very happy that he made it out.

Ryan getting his second drink before he even gave blood!
I think that I am a magnet for special days at the blood bank.  I have been to Twilight day, Harry Potter day, and today it was Parrot Head day.  That meant that when we walked in we were greeted with a lobby that was more full than I have ever seen before.

Its tough to discreetly get a picture of a room full of people.
There were 14 people filling out paper work or waiting to go back to give blood.  Ryan asked how many normally are in the lobby when they don't have promotional days.  The answer is that it is about 12 or 13 less.  Here is why:

Check out that loot!  Here's the run down of what we got on our visit:
  • Drinks served while waiting to be screened.
  • Free t-shirt that I will probably only wear to do yard work.
  • Oberweis gift card for a free quart of ice cream.
  • Cheeseburger from Culver's.
  • Nonalcoholic margaritas after donating.
  • All the snacks we could want while waiting to be discharged.  I drank a Coke, and ate a bag of Sun Chips, a bag of Cheez-its and a brownie.
  • Lastly, because it was Ryan's first visit, we both got to cash in on the bring a friend promotion.  Ryan and I will both be getting $25 American Express gift cards in the mail.

I had to let Ryan know that this is not a typical visit.  Normally you just get the snacks and maybe will get lucky with a gift card to Oberweis.

I'm glad Ryan went with me.  Hopefully we can go again.  Having someone with you is a lot more fun than going alone.  I'm eligible to go again any day after September 19th.  Is anyone interested in going?

11 goals done!

Friday, July 22, 2011

77. Volunteer with an organization in Aurora

Last night Melissa and I had a chance to go over to Hesed House to help with dinner.  Hesed House is a homeless shelter that provides meals and "beds" for the homeless of Aurora.  Our church has one night a month to serve and friends of ours have been going there for awhile and encouraged us to go and help.
When we got there we helped prepare dinner. We cut a bunch of veggies and ran food back and forth to the serving line. 

As dinner was being served I was up in the men's dormatory to help check people in and show them their beds for the night.  The room that the men slept in was a big open room that had nothing but small matresses on the floor.  For the beds, imagine matresses that are on beds at a campground then go one step below that. There wasn't much padding in them. There were 90 beds on the floor.  I was amazed that many guys just came in, got their bedding and went to sleep. It was 7:45 at night but I guess after a long day of wandering around town laying in a bed in front of a fan could be what they had been thinking about the entire day.  The men were very meticulous about their beds.  They tucked everything in and made everything look as neat and clean as we would at home when company is coming over.  This was their space and they were proud of it.

I had a good time.  My eyes were opened.  I drive by Hesed House often, but have never been inside the doors.  There are some crazy people in there, but for the most part it is a big group of people that are looking for a break and are struggling to figure out how to manage their lives.  I definitely want to go back and help again. Thanks Mom for watching the kids so we could go out.

10 goals down!

Monday, July 18, 2011

101. Play golf at Edgebrook

Today wasn't the most ideal day at 90+ degrees, but Casey and I still made it out.

Edgebrook is a course that I played a lot back when I played during high school.  It seemed like each season we played there at least 3 or 4 times for matches or tournaments.  It had been awhile since I had played there and I wanted to go back.  I figured adding this to the list would ensure that I would make the drive out to Sandwich to play one more time.

As you can tell, no one else felt like playing today.  It is 2:00 and there were only about 10 cars in the parking lot.  That includes employees and the people who were eating in the restaurant.  Needless to say, the course was pretty empty.  Empty enough that I didn't even have to sneak into the trees to go to the bathroom.  We saw only three other groups of golfers in our entire time out on the course.  It was wonderful.

I'm glad I went out there. The course was in really good shape and was just as I remembered.  I didn't play great, but for how often I get out to play I really don't care how I end up as long as I can get out.

Goal #9 done!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

3. Take kids in bathing suits to Millennium Park

We had a really good time going into Chicago yesterday.  As Melissa wrote, we visited with Mike and Josh while we were there. When Melissa and I were in Millennium Park two years ago I remember seeing the splash park and thinking that I really wanted to bring the kids down to play there when they were old enough.  The girls had a blast, but I think Charlie matched them for enjoyment.

Charlie sucking in his gut

No holding back here!
We had a great time!

8 Goals done!

Friday, July 15, 2011

49. Born to Run

I just finished this great book:
It is about the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico and their incredible ability to run for incredibly long distances and time.  It is written by Christopher McDougall.  He was originally going to learn about the tribe, but ended up running a 50 mile race with the tribe a year after visiting.   Matt, I highly recommend it.  You can skip chapter 28 which is 30 pages that talks mostly about the evolution of man and how our bodies are designed to run.  This chapter was very overly scientific and didn't really flow with the story that flowed through the rest of the book.
The story focused a lot on barefoot running and then became an ad for Vibram Running shoes. They look ridiculous.

That part of the book wasn't too rough but it got me really wanting to at least try those things out.  After reading nearly 300 pages it made me at least interested.
One book for fun down.  Thanks to Melissa's brother Mike for the recommendation.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4. Take Hannah out on 5 dates - Take 2

Melissa came up with a really good idea to get our girls to be more helpful and more courteous to others.  She came up with a system of putting a cotton ball into a jar every time we catch them doing good things.  Yesterday both girls succeeded in filling their jars to the top.  I took them to the bank where they love to go because they usually get suckers from the teller.  I told them that I needed to go and that I would take them and they got so excited.  They were jumping up and down and excited because they would be getting suckers.  When we got there the girls did not get suckers.  They were not offered by the teller but the girls didn't say anything about it.  When we got outside I immediately bent down and told them that they both were going to get a cotton ball because they didn't ask for a sucker.  They were so excited because they both knew that would be the cotton ball that would make each of their jars full.  They each were able to select their reward and they both picked to go to McDonalds.  Maddie went to dinner tonight with Melissa and Hannah went to lunch with me.  Here is a quick video of Hannah and my date together:
Disclaimer - This is not a typical meal.

We both had a good time.  I asked Hannah what she wanted to do next time she got her jar filled and she told me she wanted to do the same thing.  I am hoping to convince her that she can do something else like go to the zoo or children's museum.  That sounds like more fun and healthier to me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

75. Build deck on upstairs porch

We have a deck outside of Charlie's room that has had a ton of potential, but we have never made the efforts to upgrade it into usable space.

Here is what it looked like before:
Do not let the railing upstairs deceive you. There is nothing worthwhile up there.  All there was up there was a 15 inch step down to "floor." The railing was put up by the previous owners in the weeks before listing the house in an effort to make it look like it is usable space.  It isn't usable at all.  The roof is slanted and the railing was barely 2 feet high.

My dad came over and was an incredibly huge help in getting everything started and getting it on the right track.  He had some great ideas for how to get things leveled off on the slanted roof. The thing that was not going in our favor is that my Dad is an expert in making heavy furniture.  That was not what we needed for this project. We made a lot of progress last weekend with only the railing and about half of the flooring to get screwed down.  My Dad was a huge help!

Dad doing what he is best at.

Leveling the frame

Charlie eager to help out

Two guys enjoying working together

This project took just less than a week to get finished.  That is a record for me on a project of this size. Between taking classes and the deck being right outside of Charlie's room, it was tough to find the time to get it all finished up.

Three little kids happy to play on their new deck

Finished product!
This is something that should have been done years ago.  It is so great to have this space.

7 goals done!