Archive for Braelyn Grace

My Princess is Three

Monday, January 10th, 2011

While Braelyn has been telling people she is three for about the last five months or so, she actually turned three yesterday morning. It has been an amazing journey watching Braelyn grow-up, and no doubt, the next three years of her life are going to be equally enjoyable.

Braelyn on her Day of Birth

Braelyn Grace after her entry into this world on 1-9-08.

Braelyn at 3

Braelyn on her real third birthday.

In the the three years and now one day in this world, I am reminded of all the wonderful moments in her short life. Some of these moments, and my favorite things about Braelyn, include:

  • Taking a cruise at just a few months old. I wonder what someone would think today if she handed them her passport with her newborn picture on it.
  • Her trip to Maui, where she splashed in the pool. Yes, my daughter has done her share of traveling.
  • Her first word being “Da-Da”. While it has been replaced with “daddy” today, it’s my favorite thing she says. Maybe not as cute as her singing “tinkle tinkle little star” but I always love her saying “daddy”.
  • The tight squeezes she gives, and has me give her, multiple times every night before I can leave her room.
  • Playing with her favorite toys, which now-a-days is anything Brody has at the time.
  • Her first day of preschool–“cack” pack and all.
  • Her first visit to Disneyland, which she remembers every time we start a Disney movie and she sees the castle in the Disney opener.
  • The way she refers to yesterday, and really any day in the past, as “last day”.
  • Our Sunday ritual (which has now expanded to at least two times per week) of taking a bath in our master bedroom jacuzzi tub. Now, Brody joins us as well.
  • Her love of going outside and swinging and sliding. And swinging some more. Mix in some time with chalk on the driveway.
  • The way she said Hoover’s name…. “Who, VER!”
  • The way she interacts with my parents over webcam. Technology has enabled her to grow up knowing all of her grandparents, even though my parents do not live close by.
  • The way her picture with her grandpa Robert brought tears to his eyes at Christmas.

Most of all, I love the way she stole my heart and won’t give it back, that early morning of January 9th, 2008.

Happy 3rd birthday to my Princess Brae-Brae.

Braelyn with her Minnie Cake

Braelyn with her Minnie Mouse Cake.


You can see all of her birthday pictures in my gallery.

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My Kids are getting Edumacated

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

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…



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Happy 1.1.11

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

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 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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Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

I guess it’s only Christmas Eve right now, but nonetheless, Merry Christmas to you. I hope you and your family have a safe and joyous Christmas Eve and Day.

In just a few hours, Rebecca, Braelyn, Brody, Spencer and I will head to a church service and then home to open up presents. While this will be Brody’s first Christmas, I really think this is going to be the first Christmas where Braelyn will just absolutely have a blast opening all of the presents, or “pretties” as she likes to call them. She understands this Santa Claus guy this year, but doesn’t quite realize that Santa is coming tonight to bring her plenty of toys and clothes. I know when she sat on Santa’s lap, when asked what she wanted for Christmas she whispered to him “can-e and toyz”. I wish I could have been there, but it happened while I was out-of-town for work. Anyway, tonight is going to be a blast, and then she’ll wake up and have another gift or two that Santa might put under the tree for her.

Brody will get his share of goodies, too… he just won’t really comprehend since he’s only a few months old. Next year I am sure he’ll grasp it, as I am quite certain his big sister Braelyn will explain it all to him once the tree goes up next November.

The biggest question I have is will Santa be good to Spencer? I suspect so, since Spencer has been, for the most part, a good little boy this year.

It will most definitely be a quieter Christmas… just the 5 of us, plus Hoover and Sophie. It will be sad not to experience it all with my family or Rebeccas, but that is what living in different parts of the country do for you. Rebecca’s family is scheduled to come up tomorrow for Christmas lunch, but those plans are in jeopardy as Old Man Winter plans on making an appearance tonight. Actually as I sit here in my home office and look out the window, I notice the wind has picked up (making me feel like I am back in Casper), it is drizzling rain and approaching freezing. Supposed to turn to snow after 5pm tonight, and they say we’ll get anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of snow. It will, most likely, be a White Christmas. They say that there hasn’t been a Christmas Day with 1″ or more of snow accumulation since 1969 here in the Kansas City area. That is crazy to think about. Sure there has been snow on the ground on Christmas Day, but actual snow fall on Christmas Day, not since 1969.

Crazy to think that this year is almost done… and a decade, as well. Just think, ten years ago we were all wondering if the world was coming to an end with the Y2K issue. Now, the same thoughts go through our heads, but it’s the government we need to worry about, not some potential computer hiccup. Yep, thanks to Santa Reid, a crazy version of health care reform passed vote this morning. I still hold out hope that the Senate and the House won’t get a compromise, but seems likely they will. Funny to think that Santa Reid has clauses (yes, pun intended) in there to prevent any future congress from removing parts of his bill. At least we can all be thankful that this congress knows so much more than all others before them and that will come after them. Thankfully, I am sure the courts will probably not allow some of this garbage.

Man, I guess it’s sad that I can’t even post a Merry Christmas blog without going down the PoliTICKS me OFF route. Sorry folks.

Anyway, to you and yours, have a Merry Christmas. I hope the real Santa Claus brings you everything you want.



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DMB, Vegas, the Wife and a Birthday

Monday, December 14th, 2009

First, happy belated birthday to my wife Rebecca. She turned 3X last Friday (Dec. 11), and we spent her birthday and a few days surrounding it in Sin City. While what happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas, I will share a bit.

On Thursday and Friday, we enjoyed two Dave & Tim shows. This was the first time Rebecca has experienced Dave & Tim… and the two nights were awesome. We heard Angel from Montgomery, which was the first time Dave or the full band has performed it since August of 2001. That was a nice surprise. On her birthday, we heard Rebecca’s two most-desired Dave songs: Crash and Satellite. Yep, she walked down the isle to the riff of Satellite when we got married, and we enjoyed our first dance as a married couple to none-other-than Crash. We also heard a new, never-before-played song by Dave: After The Gold Rush. Dave played it on piano. When he went over to the piano, I was certain he was playing Out of My Hands, but no… he had a surprise for us! It was awesome. Dave said he screwed it up, but since it was the first time ever playing it, who was to know? The concerts were definitely great. I wish I had been at the Saturday concert, as I would have gotten to hear A Christmas Song, which was the one song I really wanted to hear. Oh well, we enjoed Mystere, the Cirque De Sole show. Second time I have seen it, but the first for Rebecca and Eli & Heather Bowman, our friends who joined us on the trip.

Ok, since I am often asked, that makes my 68th Dave show. It may actually be a couple more than that, but I think I have captured all that I can remember on’s website. Click that link if you want to see the exciting stats of my shows.

On Thursday, we had a wonderful… and I mean WONDERFUL… dinner at Prime, a steakhouse in the Bellagio. Our table overlooked the fountains. While expensive, it was a great meal no doubt.

Eli told me on the trip that they say you should walk 10,000 steps a day for health. I am healthy for the next few months based on our excursions in the bitter air in Vegas.

Well, that’s enough for now. Happy Holidays… and by that I mean Merry Christmas… to ya’ll out there (sorry, Obama… America is a Christian country, no matter what you say). Excited to see what changes 2010 will bring… 2009 has been a somewhat up-and-down year for me. Definitely up from a family perspective, mixed on the work side of things, and down on some other items which aren’t exactly things I want to post about. I am just thankful I have a great job in this economy, have the most awesome baby girl in the world, was blessed with the birth of my son this year, my step-son is doing better in school and is an awesome big brother to Braelyn and Brody, and my wife is the best (wrinkles and all!). I am also blessed to have such a great family and for all of my friends.

Here’s to a great 2010, including another “change” in Washington DC that will hopefully offset some of the change we’re seeing from the current mess in the corrupt capitol.


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I Don’t Feel Well

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Not sure at all why all of the sudden, I am not feeling well. I think I have a cold, as does Rebecca, Spencer and Braelyn. I hope it is a cold and nothing but a cold. I also hope that the little man Brody doesn’t get it. Right now, he seems to be the only one in the house without, excluding Hoover of course. I guess it’s fitting that I would be sick on the day the senate will vote on its health care reform bill. Wait, I mean on the day of the NIGHT that the senate will vote on it. Call me crazy, but I think the mere fact that a vote is being called after hours is a bit telling. Call me even more crazy but a bill that people haven’t had the chance to read in its entirety and which has unclear price tags associated with it is also a bit telling.

I think a new change and a new hope will sweep the 2010 elections.

Our political system is corrupt and embarassing. Yep, I think that sums it up quite nicely.

Tomorrow, lil man Brody will fly on his first airplane ride. At just over two months, he, along with Rebecca, Braelyn, Spencer and I, will embark for windy Wyoming. I looked at the forecast for Casper for next week and the temperatures look like they will be okay, but I presume the small smudgy icon on a few of those days indicates wind. Oh, how I sure hope so! I do miss the wind. Anyway, it will be nice to get to introduce Brody to the rest of my family. He has met his grandma and grandpa, but now he is in for a complete treat… one full week of constant attention by his aunts Stephanie and Wendy, his uncles Mike and Tony, his cousins Brandon, Nate, Ashley, Courtney, Keegan and Stephen, and his great grandma Dorothy. Of course, g’ma and g’pa will probably give him a little attention, too. I must remind the Elledges, Lovatos and Lechers, though, that Princess Braelyn will be arriving as well, and should be showered with attention as well. Something tells me that won’t be an issue.

We will be in Casper Sunday afternoon through the following Saturday, and I do look forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with the family. Holidays are great. Just hope the plane rides with two under two’s will go ok. I suspect the rest of the passengers will hope the same….

Busy day today. Need to attempt to finish hanging the Christmas lights [holy cow, did I say Christmas instead of holiday? How dare me….] Squeeze in an abbreivated guitar lesson at 12:30 instead of a full hour at 2pm, as at 2pm we will be hauling some 300+ pounds of custom built baseball lockers up to the lil man’s room. Hopefully we can just strap them onto Hoover’s back and he can do most of the work for us. I am anxious to see the lockers… they have been being built for six or seven weeks now by a guy I found on Craigslist. I hope they look as good in his room as they do in my head….

After that excitement I will probably need to do a little packing [right… that will probably take place 30 minutes before we leave tomorrow]. We shipped a bunch of stuff to Casper earlier this week for $14, box included, so we don’t have to check much in the way of luggage at $50 per bag round trip. Oh, Southwest Airlines, why don’t you fly to Casper?

Well, my early morning of blogging is coming to an end. I need to go refill my coffee cup. Rebecca and the kids are still in bed… I am only up because I couldn’t get back to sleep and I wanted to check in on a few auctions on If you haven’t been to, you should check it out. It is an awesome concept. I wish I had thought of it…

Have a great Thanksgiving, all.

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This is the week….

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Well, the week has arrived, though we anticipated the newest Lil’ B, Brody, would have already come. If he doesn’t make an appearance before Friday, Rebecca will be induced and he should arrive probably midday on Friday. I am so excited to have a son on the way, but afraid as well. Life will drastically change… again… with the second infant in the house. Rebecca has done much of the work with Braelyn, but I am going to have to step my game up quite a bit. It will be challenging, with work going 100 mph, but it will definitely be worth it. Our family will be complete… yep, I am proclaiming right here, right now that this will be the last. How to make that happen is subject to debate here in my house, but one way or another, I think we’re done!

Brody’s room is coming along… the walls are painted, quite a bit of decor has arrived (but has not been hung). The new carpet is in, the crib, chainging table and rocking chair have been relocated from Braelyn’s room to Brody’s. I have a guy who is going to build me some cool wooden lockers for his room, and those won’t be done for about 4-6 weeks, but that will be the finishing touch. Now, if I could just get his baseball ceiling light working… the fan works, but not the lite. Someday I will master being an electrician. That someday will probably be right after my pops arrives mid week.

Yep, mom and dad are heading here from Casper to be here to welcome Brody into the world. Will be great to have them around to help out. I know Braelyn will love it… though she absolutely loves visiting with ba-pa and grandma on the computer. Webcams make family a lot closer, that’s for sure. And anytime I am on my laptop, Braelyn comes running to talk to ba-pa.

Braelyn is quite the girl. I am nervous as to how she is going to react to having a new brother… one that will inevitably take much attention. There is a 6 month old at her daycare who she isn’t too fond of. I think she will be a great big sister. I know in about 2 years, we’ll love the fact that Brae and Bro are so close in age. Of course, daddy and Spencer will spend a bunch of time with Braelyn while mom is feeding Brody. Ah, the sleepless nights are approaching quickly!

So it was nice to have some football to watch. I did ok with my picks for week one, though I must admit I did not pick the Broncos. Don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic that they won… I just didn’t anticipate it. Was awesome to see the Chiefs lose again… that’s pretty normal though.

Quickie on politics… I am just so amazed at how many people pretend they know what the health care bill(s) being pushed are really about and what they will do. How could any of us really know how good or how bad the bills are… even our Congress hasn’t even read them! What I do know is I am very opposed to the government running anything more. They fail, fail, fail in everything they put their magical touch on. And I don’t like businesses being punished, nor individuals being mandated to. I love the legacy concept of America being a free-country. Those days are behind us all, I must say.

I do have to give major kudos to President Obama for his 9/11 speech. I was actually quite amazed at it, really. The speech was very thoughtful and sincere and well delivered (thanks, teleprompter!) The amazing part to me was the religious overtures that Obama gave during his speech. He cited scripture and referenced God. Oh, how that must just irritate the left. Oh well, I bag on the buy enough so may as well give him props when he deserves it.

Speaking of 9/11, that is my mom’s birthday. Of course I called her and wished her a happy birthday, but let this be my public proclamation of such, and that I am so thankful for my mother (and my whole family). She is a tremendous woman who cares so much about her family and friends. I pray my daughter will grow up to be the same way. I am thrilled that Rebecca suggested that Brody’s middle name be Carlen, my mother’s maiden name.

Oh, and 9/12 was the Biggest B’s birthday… my nephew Brandon turned 20! Can’t believe it… I remember vividly holding him and dancing to Lollipop when he was younger than Braelyn is today… what a great kid. He’s off traveling in Europe right now for the next week. I pray he has a wonderful, safe time over there. What a great kid, er, young man he is.

Well, Hoover is laying at my feet snoring, Braelyn has been in (and out) of bed for the past two hours (mostly in, but she did tumble out of her bed tonight), and Spencer and Rebecca just ventured to bed themselves. I guess that is my clue it is time for me to do the same. After a shower, though… I am FILTHY from finishing my firepit today. Will have to throw some pictures up in my gallery sometime in the next few days. Pretty happy with how it turned out. It isn’t perfect, but for never having done anything like it before, I must say I did a pretty damn good job.

Peace to all ya’ll out there in cyber land. Wish us well as we bring another Elledge into the world…


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Crazy Times

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Happy Sunday morning. Looked at my site yesterday and realized I haven’t posted in almost 2 months. Congratulations to you, for not having to expend your valuable time pondering my meaningless thoughts. Time to make up for that.

Let’s start with the fact that Braelyn is within three weeks of being a big sister. And, if Rebecca’s motherly intuition is correct, it will probably be less than the 3 weeks. While the baby’s due date is September 23, the doc has scheduled a Friday, September 18 induction. Our money is on not waiting that long. Rebecca feels like she needs a few more weeks to get everything done at work that she needs to get done, but the little one may not let her.

Baby’s name is going to be Brody Carlen Elledge. Brody because we like that name. Carlen because that is my mom’s maiden name and Rebecca suggested it. Elledge because I think the baby is mine. Time will tell if we got the names right!

Brody’s room is almost ready. New carpet was put in yesterday. Walls are painted. We have *some* of the stuff that will hang on the walls to bring it alive but still have to get some. So, surprise surprise, Brody’s room is baseball-themed. Vintage baseball themed, I should say. Grandpa Bradshaw was going to build a couple of nice wooden lockers for the room, but I think I complicated it enough that he doesn’t feel comfortable doing it now. So, I have to find me a good wood carpenter to get them built. Will be searching the WWW later today to find someone. I have already diagramed them and have some pictures for the lucky person to work off of.

As of today, Braelyn has been out of her crib and in her new big girl bed for one week. While Rebecca and I would have been more than content to leave her in the crib for awhile, her pediatrician suggested we get her out of the crib and into her big girl bed in advance of Brody coming home so that she won’t have any negative associations with the baby and leaving the crib. She has done really well in her queen sized bed… thanks to the rails we added to the side, we get some sleep, too. Only once this past week did we find her not in the bed in the morning, and that time she was on the chair we put at the corner to catch her if she falls. I think she really likes her new bed and has been doing quite well with it.

The Big Dawg is pretty-well back to “normal” and is recouped from his ACL surgery. He is back chasing the next door evil dogs up and down the fence line, at least until Rebecca or I get over there and get him to stop. I am not inclined to have to replace his other knee so he best take it easy.

Well, since we last “spoke”, my grandpa Carlen has moved out to California to be in an Alzheimer’s facility. He seems to be doing quite well and enjoying it, at least from what we hear out here. The facility is close to my aunt and uncle’s place so they get to see him quite frequently. It was definitely time. Speaking of evil, that is most definitely what Alzheimers is.

Should be off to the Gorge next weekend for my somewhat annual trip to see the Dave Matthews Band for three nights in paradise. Doesn’t look like I will be making the trip this year. Figure it is too risky that Brody might grace us with his presence around that time, so I am going to have to miss out. It’s a bummer, too, as I won’t get to hear the new album at the Gorge and won’t get to reconnect with Rick and Nath (from Europe) and Jamie (from Las Vegas) who we camped by last year. I was looking forward to seeing them again, but they will have to enjoy this year without Gabe and I.

Work is crazy. We sold part of the business and created a new brand, Codero, for our remaining services. This has, and will continue to, kept me overly busy with work. I enjoy working hard and a lot (yep, that’s the Republican in me), so I guess it’s good.

Ok, so I touched on politics… let me get this out of the way right now. I am so excited to live in a country with czars in charge of many aspects of my life. I am so excited to live in a country which is de-privatizing industry and taking control over salaries, leadership and the such. I am so excited to live in a country that is more concerned with the “rights” of those who intend to do harm than the safety of its citizens. I am so excited to live in a country that is governed by a few whackos who feel that even though they can’t keep our government clean they should manage our health care for us. I am so thankful to Pelosi, Frank and Obama for really doing everything possible to make my life better so I don’t have to.

Enough politics for now. Quick sports update:

* Broncose will suck. Bowlen will figure out soon he messed up.

* Royals still suck. And, as long as they have David Glass and crew owning them, they probably always will.

* Chiefs will still suck, though they may double their victories from a year ago. The push for 4 is on!

* Soccer is still not my favorite thing to watch. Spent 2 hours watching Spencer play it yesterday. And after 80 minutes of thrilling no-scoring soccer, they shake hands and walk off the field with both teams, um, winners? losers? equals? I dunno, guess it isn’t important enough to have someone win that they don’t do over time or even a “kick-off” of some sort. What a disappointment to spend so much time watching so much “action” and not even have a winner. Oh well, this way I am the only loser!

Speaking of Spencer… it’s official. He’s 16. But have no fear [yet] as he doesn’t have his driver’s license. That will be coming soon, though. He’s a sophomore in high school. Must be doing really well… hasn’t had any homework in the first week!

Ok, time to go put together a crib and such so will sign off.

Talk to you soon… maybe.


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T Minus 4 Days….

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Yes, in just four days from now, I will finally be in the car on the way to the lake. While it won’t be my first trip to the lake this year, it will be the first full weekend of fun on the boat and in the water. The past two weekends it has been painful to not be at the lake. Ah, just four days…..

To all you fans who, like me, has had enough of the annoying Fred douche bag, be sure to check out and play Fred In The Blender. I enjoyed…

Hoover is rehabbing well, though he scared me today. He was laying all nice in the yard for me while I was trimming some bushes when all of the sudden Lucky, the dog from hell, and his crew were barking at the fence and yep… you guessed it, the fence marathon and barking fest was on. Hoover had two full lengths of the fence before I got ahold of his leash and got him back to the sanctity of our bedroom. Fourtunately he seems okay, but he is still supposed to be on restricted activity. He goes back to the vet in 2.5 weeks for his 8 week check-up. Hopefully he will get cleared to exercise a bit… he needs and wants it.

The parents were here for the past few days… actually left last night and drove back to Casper after a nearly 3000 mile, one-week roadtrip to Denver, Oklahoma, Memphis, Branson and then here to the OP. Enjoyed having them here, even if only for a couple of days. They will be back in just 3 weeks for a full week, with oldest sister Stephanie and my niece Ashley and nephew Stephen. Should be a good time. They will be here for the 4th, so we plan to spend it down at the lake on the water.

In the past two weeks, we have cleaned our garage (months overdue), cleaned our house and carpet (bedroom… definitely needed it thanks to my big dawg), trimmed the bushes, fixed a downspout, defrosted a freezer… holy cow, this is the most housework I have been involved in since, well, getting married!

Speaking of marriage, Rebecca and I will celebrate our 3rd anniversary a week from Wednesday. We are heading to St Louis to watch the Dave Matthews Band (surprise, surprise). Hope it will be a great show. I am loving their new album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. I have “Why I Am” stuck in my head, on loop! Definitely the best album they have put out in a LOOONG time. And, of course, live performances of the songs kick the crap out of the studio versions, so I am anxious for StL!

Braelyn doing great… well, she is a walking injury. She has more scrapes and bruises… she just doesn’t pay any attention to where she is going (I hear this resembles my middle sister Wendy’s toddler activities) and she has no fear… she is climbing on (and falling off of) anything she can. She loved spending time with the grandparents… she even saw Rebecca’s parents for a few hours today. Tonight, she was a bit on the cranky side but now that she is in bed, all is peaceful in the Elledge household.

Spencer is enjoying a week in Florida with his grandparents Bill and Linda. They are great people, and I know he is having a great time. He sent a text to Rebecca yesterday about how he isn’t white as a ghost anymore…. well, at least one of us has some color. I intend to get mine next weekend…. finally.

I am currently sitting on the back patio, drinking some A to Z pinot, listening to Dave Matthews Band, with Hoover by my side. Rebecca went in to watch some new, dumb show on TV (she said it was dumb, not me).

Well, after every great Sunday comes Monday, and every Monday means back to the office grind. Oh well, it will be a 4 day week for me (yeah, as if I don’t work on my days off).

Ya’ll take care and have a wonderful week.

Peace from the OP,


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Late Night Ramblings

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

I keep telling myself I should get more consistent at writing some of my thoughts, as they seem to be short-lived the older I get. And while I would love to dissect specific topics and share my views, I have decided on this somewhat sleepless night, to just ramble the thoughts going through my head. So, here goes…

* Drove to Colorado last Thursday night to attend my nephew Nathan’s high school graduation in Fort Collins. Thursday was a pretty hectic day at work, and I wasn’t sure if I was still up for an all night drive. Well, I guess I wasn’t. The drive took just over 9 hours of drive time. I think I drove 4 hours, Rebecca took over for about 2 while I took a cat nap, I drove, then she drove, then I drove again. Anyway, we made it, and Braelyn slept for the most part. Stopping for gas would wake her up and she would fuss a bit, but all-in-all, pretty good traveler she was.

* Speaking of stopping for gas… the tides turned this year. Last year gas was cheaper in Kansas, as I recall, and quite a bit more pricey in Colorado. This year, gas in Colorado was about 25 cents a gallon cheaper than Kansas. I am pretty sure that we just plain get screwed on gas during the summer. Some say they bring out the “summer blend” which is less pollutant. I say they jack up the prices because they know people will be traveling more.

* Further thought on gas… at the lake last week, gas was over $2.64 per gallon (on the water). This is a significant improvement over last year’s prices which were in excess of $4.25 per gallon. We’ll see next time I am down there if my theory of sticking it to the consumer is right… now that Memorial Day has come, the boat season is officially on and I bet gas prices have shot up on the lake.

* Back to graduation and the trip to Colorado. It was great to see my parents, both of my sisters, my two awesome brother-in-laws, and all of my nephews and nieces. A mini family reunion! Had a great time seeing everyone. Wish I could have seen my grandma and my grandpa, but grandma doesn’t travel anymore because of her age and arthritis, and grandpa doesn’t travel much as his Alzheimers continues to progress (such a sick, sick disease).

* I am so proud of Nate… he is an awesome “kid”, or should I say, young man. He had a lot of fun, and I could definitely tell he was happy reaching this milestone in life. It was awesome he let Spencer hang out with him a bunch… made it a great trip for Spencer.

* Two of the Lecher kids are now graduated… or, “gradumamated” as Nate calls it.

* Sidebar: watching the Tonight Show with Jay Leno… it’s the final week with Jay as host after 17 years. He has owned the late night ratings for 15 of the years, but I suspect Dave Letterman will take that title over real soon, as I don’t think the traditional Tonight Show audience is going to enjoy the ever annoying Conan O’brien. Time will tell, but I predict a turn-about in ratings.

* The world is in a mess, and while many are thankful Obama is “in charge”, I for one am not. With North Korea going nuts, I really wish we had a better commander in chief. I fear we will “talk” our way into a major issue with them… those nuts aren’t messing around. I don’t really mean this, but I sometimes think we should show them the power of the nuke and show ’em just how dangerous they are. As I said, I don’t really mean that, but we better not tinker around here. We must take some serious action before they do.

* So, California’s supreme court says no-no to gay marriage, except for the 18,000 that did it before the election in November. Surprisingly, as a very conservative person, this is just one of those topics I don’t really have a solid opinion on. In this, the land of the free, who are we to tell people who they can be with and who they can’t? While we don’t have to condone or agree with things, this is the land of diversity and I hate to see people not have the right to be who they are, and to be with whomever they want. I don’t think it really hurts us as a society for gays to be married. Of course there is the argument that it can run insurance and medical costs up because of the associated risks of AIDS and whatnot, I think we have a lot of other issues affecting us economically that don’t infringe upon people’s rights. There are a lot of “legal” things that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean they should be illegal. Oh well, just some ranting on a topic that I, as I said before, don’t have a real solid opinion on, though I guess as I typed this, maybe I do… Hope I don’t get banned from the Republican Party or the Christian religion for my thoughts on it.

* Tomorrow (Wednesday) marks Hoover’s four week mark after his leg surgery. Four more weeks until he gets checked-up, and hopefully cleared to increase his activity. Hoover has pretty well decided he is done with his no activity period, and we find it harder by the day to keep the big dawg down. Tonight he wanted to jump and play and it took some serious force and stern words to get him to refrain. Poor guy… just wants to have some fun! And Sophie wasn’t helping…. she wants to play, too. She kept bringing toys over and dropping them in front of Hooverm trying to entice him into play. Fortunately, from my perspective, he seems to be getting much better, and I certainly hope a month from now, he will get cleared to run a bit!

* Braelyn continues to grow, run, play, make messes…. she is such a doll. One thing is she seems to find countless ways to get bruised. From running into walls and doors, to tripping over imaginary lines, the girl is showing some marks! Good thing is she is rarely hurt… hopefully she will progress quickly into a bit more control! Her curiosity definitely gets the best of her at times. She is going to be a great big sister, though… she knows where the baby is now. Well, she has narrowed it down at least… sometimes it’s in Rebecca’s tummy and other times it is in her tummy!

* The ‘rents are going on a 2500 mile or so journey in about a week, with a final stop through OP next Friday/Saturday. Will be great to see them again, even though its only been a few days.

* Hope the Nuggets make it to the finals! While I like Coach Phil and the Lakers as a rule, I don’t much care for Kobe Bryant, and would love to see Denver do well! Of course, I really don’t care for the NBA, so let’s just scrap this point altogether.

* Learned some sad news when in Fort Collins. One of my all-time favorite teachers, Tom Staffelino, has cancer and isn’t expected to make it more than another week or two. I really loved this guy as a teacher, and really got to know him on more of a personal level after high school when I was officiating high school sports and when I did my student teaching at Kelly Walsh High School. I hate to see the good ones go down. Staff, or Coach Staff as we all called him, was probably my second favorite teacher in Junior/Senior High School. Bill Callahan was definitely my all time favorite, and he passed quite a few years ago. Mr. Bocott, my 6th grade teacher, was in my top few, and he, too, has already passed. Other notable teachers were Mrs. Finchem (3rd grade), who I believe is still kickin’ it, and Ms. Simons (also still kickin’). I’m sure there are more, but these few definitely left lasting impressions on me in a positive way. I had those that left non-positive impressions, too… one old hag who taught physics but thankfully I can’t remember her name… man, she was a beyatch…. oh, I digress. Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with Staff and his family and friends. His life was spent grooming young men and women to make something of themselves… and he succeeded.

* Of A Revolution (O.A.R.) concert coming up on June 6th at Sandstone… can’t wait! One of my favorite bands.

* Dave Matthews Band new studio album comes out Tuesday… Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Can’t wait to get it. Also can’t wait until June 17 (Rebecca and my third anniversary)… we will be spending it in St Louis at the DMB concert. Great way to celebrate our anniversary!

Well, I think that’s enough rambling for tonight. You can see my head wanders a lot…. maybe blogging it will help me get to sleep. I will finish my glass of A to Z wine and turn off the tube.

Hey, life is short… we are all on this earth for a millisecond in time… make the best of it, enjoy it, and be happy. Catch me on twitter (@relledge) for my thoughts in 140 characters or less at a time.



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