Thursday, May 29, 2008

Flying Midwest

One of the more surprising things about our trip back west was flying Midwest airlines. I had never actually flown Midwest before and was quite surprised that they are still serving food on fact it's not just food but warm chocolate chip cookies! It's almost enough to make you forget that your trapped in a small compartment thousands of miles above the earth. Even more surpising was how pleasant and funny the staff were. So although almost all our flights were delayed about 10minutes to an hour, it was fogotten amist the friendliness and chocolate. I almost feel like I should write the company and thank them for striving to keep making flying pleasant amoung all these airline troubles. In fact...I think I'll do that right now.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


We saw a muskrat for the first time. It was quite exciting....after spending a half an hour debating whether it was a muskrat or beaver...we finally broke down and went to Boarders to look up Wisconsin wildlife. And it was the furry little creature below. Picture a small beaver with a rat tail and you get muskrat.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back from traveling

We were lucky enough to take a few days off and take a trip out to California. It was our first real vacation in 2 years...we decided vacation is a pretty cool thing.

We spent the week mainly with Sarah's family and I'm happy to report that we all still managed to like each other at the end of the week. So much so that I think we'd actually do a week long vacation with my family again if we ever get the chance.

Matt's beginning to post a few of his photo's on his photo blog. And one of these day's I'll have to put together some of my favorite highlights.

But currently Finn, our house guest, rented The Pink Panther and is watching I must go indulge my need for a yearly slapstick comedy film.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

2007 Project

Spurred on by a recent posting of Christine's quilt project which she started while staying with us, I thought I'd post the project that I began while she was here. While her quilt definatly had a more worthy purpose (for her man), mine was more of an attempt to get rid of left over scraps and try an new quilting technique or two. Whoo hoo for finished projects!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


So, in all honesty...I actually like matzah. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a comfort food...but put a little peanut butter on it or jam and it's quite tasty. That being the case, I found this video quite amusing (just beware it has a catchy tune).

And, in case anyone is still wondering what matzah is, let me know...I can send you a box.

Monday, May 05, 2008

3 more days

Until the next episode of Lost. I don't know if can make it.

Favorite new theory

Friday, May 02, 2008

Show me the money: part 3

continued from yesterday

If we really are to use the rebate money to “stimulate the economy”, Matt and I have been challenged to think of ways that we could actually do so with the rebate. I fully recognize that for some people paying off a debt or loan might be the wisest thing to do. I recognize that some people might actually need to use this money for basic necessities (which would be a good thing). But for those of us who really don’t need this money to get by each month and are viewing this as an early Christmas bonus, here’s some ways to spend your rebate check in a way that might do more for the economy than buying a new ipod.

1) Give a large potion or all to a local food bank. Food banks are being hit extremely hard right now and with the new economic uncertainty, demand on their services is only increasing. For many food banks it takes around $300-$500 to operate one day of service or more. That one day could be the encouragement or support needed to get an untold number of people back on their feet.

2) Invest in a community development investment funds/accounts. Sojourners recently highlighted this type of financial investment. I feel they state clearer what the impact of spending a rebate this way might be better than I could:
"According to the Calvert Foundation’s online Social Return Calculator, your $1,000 deposited in a [community development fund/account/bank] could build .19 affordable homes or finance .32 microenterprises (while creating .53 jobs) over the three-year term of your loan. You did not give the money away to do this; you simply moved it to a financial institution whose primary lending mission is to serve low-income people."

To learn more about these types of investments or how to do so, I suggest taking a look at the links at the bottom of the Sojourner's article. For those of us who are drawn to the saving for a rainy day principles, this might be a great option. You may not get as great of a financial return, but just imagine the human impact return.

3) Give an extra gift to a local missionary. Like food banks, many local missionaries are struggling to make ends meet. Working where we do (at InterVarsity), we hear of this quite often. Your extra gift may be the answer to prayer for a local missionary and may help them continue to purchase their basic necessities. We’d love to pass along names of those who would be blessed by some or your entire tax rebate.

4) Spend your money at a non-corporate business (mom and pop store) or a local artist. Since many of these folk cannot compete with big businesses they often have a harder time making ends meet. Choosing to spend your money there can have a greater and more immediate impact than spending at a bigger cooperation.

5) Find 10-15 other like minded people to pool their rebates to help a single mom at your church put a down payment on a house and expect no repayment. Talk about helping someone gain a bit more financial stability in their life (and their kids).

There are many more ideas out there. For some other ideas check out

So how will we use the rebate? The jury is still out, but we're leaning towards one of the above ideas.