31
Dec
14

2014 in Review/ 2015 in Preview

2014_2015

Wow. It’s been a while since I last wrote something in this space. I almost forgot the password. (Sad, I know.)

But I wanted to share a few thoughts while they were fresh on my mind.

Today, I’ve seen numerous posts from friends reviewing their 2014. Good things, bad things. Mainly the good things that they’re thankful for. As I scrolled and scrolled, I didn’t see any posts that read something to the effect of “we hit the point in life where we don’t have any problems this year!”

Not one. I don’t expect to see one either.

Here’s what I’ve come learn: in any given span of time (hour, day, week, month, year), there will be fantastically amazing things that happen. Those moments and days are awesome. There are also those challenging times where you’re not sure if things will ever look up for you again. We all experience both of those things. No amount of money or possessions can really provide endless joy or protect you from the valleys of life.

The lesson; Regardless of what happens, there is a God who’s not surprised by any of it-the good or the bad. And no matter what happens-you’ll be ok. You’ll make it through.

So, in short, here’s my 2014 in Review:

  • Some really great things happened
  • Some really bad things happened
  • I have great friends and family that provide me great pleasure and support. I hope I provide the same.

See, short and sweet. I may write a lengthier list later.

And, just as short, here’s my 2015 in Preview:

  • Some really great things will happen
  • Some really bad things will probably happen
  • I’ll have great friends and family that will provide me great pleasure and support, I intend to provide the same.

What are your thoughts? What were your great things of 2014 and what are you looking forward to in 2015?

Best wishes & Happy New Year!

Mark

24
Mar
13

A recipe for you to try

Howdy Blogosphere!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, I understand. I’ve been busy and just haven’t had the time to sit down and collect my thoughts. But, I thought I’d share this snazzy little recipe my wife found online. If you like buffalo chicken wings or dip, you should like this little concoction. Let’s get to the details, shall we?

It’s simply called Loaded Potatoes and Buffalo Chicken. Sounds simple, right? My wife actually found the recipe on Facebook and passively said, “wow, this sure would be nice try. I wouldn’t mind if someone made it.” (Hint hint)

There’s a bit of prep work involved, but not bad. Just to keep you going, here’s a picture.

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picture courtesy of Facebook post

See, I knew you’d want to keep reading. Here’s what you’ll need:

LOADED POTATOES AND BUFFALO CHICKEN!!
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)(Par boil for a few minutes to ensure doneness)
8-10 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/3 cup olive oil
1&1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
6 Tbsp. hot sauce

Topping:
2 cups fiesta blend cheese
1 cup crumbled bacon( Fried already)
1 cup diced green onion

And the instructions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes into the prepared baking dish, leaving behind as much of the olive oil/hot sauce mixture as possible. Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and crispy and browned on the outside. While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the left over olive oil/hot sauce mixture and stir to coat. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. 

Top the cooked potatoes with the marinated chicken. In a bowl mix together the cheese, bacon and green onion and top the raw chicken with the cheese mixture. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious.

Serve with extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing and enjoy!

My wife and son liked it, but both said it was pretty hot for them. Our daughter opted for cereal. Maybe a little too hot for her.

Happy cooking!

 

01
Nov
12

Writing assignment

Greetings!

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t had much time to sit down and type out my thoughts online. 

By the title of the post, you’re probably assuming that this is one of those posts where I’ve been “tagged” from someone else’s blog, and now you’ll get to read about such interesting topics as ‘what’s my favorite color’, or ‘best moment in life’, or the ever popular ‘thing no one would ever guess about you’. All intriguing stuff, but no. That hasn’t happened. And, I won’t tag any of you at the end of this post, either. I promise. 

Our kids have been working on their handwriting for school. One of their exercises is to write a note or letter to their mom about anything they’d like to cover. It started with mommy and has somehow migrated to writing back and forth with me. 

Now, for those of you who know me well, you know there’s a reason I type 99% of my communication: simply because it only allows for 1% of it to be undecipherable. Clearly, I should have been a doctor. 

Needless to say, I’ve enjoyed this little exercise. We have little mailboxes for each member of the family. In the morning, the kids find their notebooks in their mailboxes. They read my note (as best as they can), and then write a note back to me. There’s just something really cool about seeing those two, spiral bound notebooks sitting in our mailbox. I’m always excited to see how they responded to my questions and what they asked me, in return. (Side benefit: my handwriting is improving as well…slightly)

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See? I told you it was getting better. Just a bit.

The benefits to me and our kids, for this exercise, have been many. Maybe I’ll have to share them in a follow up post. 

Question: How do you connect with you kids? How do you find out what’s going on in their world? How do you put yourself in a place where you can view the world from their perspective? 

You can add your thoughts below. 

 

07
Aug
12

Today’s news

It may not look like much, but it’s a glimpse into the activities of my kids. Our son created this “newspaper” and demanded I make copies of it for each member of the family. He distributed them this morning.

He’s finding that the newspaper industry can be a tough one.🙂

Who knew Polly Pocket was so demanding?

What’s your big news of the day?

 

25
Jul
12

Hey tweeps! Join me at the next Licking County Tweetup July 30!

Looking for something to do next Monday night? Come j0in as Red Oak Pub on Goosepond Rd.


24
Jul
12

A look at my day (Jersey style)

So, I’m on the road again. Kinda sounds like a song, doesn’t it? But, I’m not making music with my friends. I’m here for training. Anyway, moving on.

Here’s a brief look at some of the things I saw today.

In case you’re wondering, I’m in New Brunswick, NJ. Anyone want to take a guess which university is here? Anyone? Anyone?

After having the EXACT same make and model of car for 2 straight weeks, I’ve determined that the Toyota Yaris should be the Official Rental Car of my travel life.

I got to the office, and had to take a picture of the elevators. Why? I just liked the old school floor indicators above each car. That’s all.

So, the local Director scheduled a morale building event, a baseball game. This local team has been rocking recently and the team decided to spend some rewards from corporate on a local baseball game. So, off to the Patriots game we go!

Not bad seats, huh? Needless to say, with an 11:05am start time, there were quite a few seats available. And it was HOT!

Here’s some of the people I’m spending my time with while I’m here.

 

Kind of a neat front decoration for a bar at a ballpark, wouldn’t you say?

And, of course I had to stop by here to pick up a few things for the kiddos. Love the logo.

Tune back in tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll have some more pictures to share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18
Jul
12

A look at my day Part 2

Today was Day #2 in Durham. This is the one full day I had in the city. After a day of good meetings, we had a fun, secret group activity planned. Funny thing, the way my day started was connected to how it ended.

My day started off, like most others, eating breakfast. I had my meal here at the hotel, and noticed a guy who looked like this guy:


That would be Baseball Hall of Fame member, Ryne Sandberg. You remember him, right? He played second base for the Chicago Cubs. He’s now the Manager for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. I had looked into if the Durham Bulls were in town during this trip, and saw the Iron Pigs were in town.

Anyway, I wrapped up breakfast, grabbed a pen and hotel pad of paper from the front desk and approached the guy. Was it him? Here’s your answer:

Ryne Sandberg autograph! Sweet!

Yep! It was him. I’m glad he was willing to sign, and this will actually go to my son. I’ll hang on to it for a while to keep it in good shape, but it’s his. I won’t lie. That was pretty cool. Meet a Baseball Hall of Famer on a business trip. Not bad.

Fast forward to the evening, after our meetings, we headed to the ball park to watch the Durham Bulls take on the Iron Pigs.

My ticket in!

By the way, Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a great looking stadium. The stadium was designed by the same people that created Camden Yards in Baltimore and Jacobs Field in Cleveland, and Coors Field in Colorado.

Just in case you’re wondering, no, Hideki Matsui didn’t play tonight. He was here during the first half of the year.

Hey-look who’s hanging out on the Home Run Patio.

Here’s the view from the Home Run Patio deck. Not bad seats. Did I mention there was buffet provided?

If you’ve been to this ballpark, you’re probably looking for the obligatory picture of the left field wall. Here you go.

If you look in Center Field, you’ll see this sign.

Another great shot of the DBAP

They even have a kids play area in right field behind the Home Run Patio. Neat area for the kiddos.

This is a great park. If you’re in Durham and the Bulls are in town, stop by and catch a game.

Tomorrow, I head home. I’ve enjoyed Durham, but I’m looking forward to seeing my family again.

Check back tomorrow as I might have a few more pics to post.

If you want to see my what I did yesterday, click here.