Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Million Step March Progress

I know I'm terrible at posting blogs and when I do they are kind of boring. I checked my monthly progress with my Bodybugg today and since I wearing it I have walked 720,240 steps. There are about 2,500 steps in a mile so it's about 288 miles.

I started out averaging about 8,000 steps a day and my goal is 10,000. I now average about 13,000 steps every day. My dogs are in the best shape of their lives. Bob wears one too now. I keep telling him it's not fair because he burns way more calories than I do. Yesterday, for example I took 3 separate walks for a total of 16,607 steps. I burned 2946 calories. Bob makes an effort to walk throughout the day and went on an evening walk with me to the dog park. He ended up with 10,076 steps but burned 3,006 calories. Secretly, I'm not jealous. I'm actually glad that he is joining me as we challenge ourselves.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday Jared

Its hard to believe that today is Jared's 30th birthday. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of my old family pictures scanned so when I went to look for pictures of Jared, I checked 2 of my picture folders. Vacation and working on the car.
Jared and Emily have joined us for some fun vacations. In this picture we were zip-lining near Coba in Mexico. We jumped from a high cliff and your eyes are not deceiving you, the landing pad was a rickety wooden platform with no railing that ended by slamming into a moldy matress. Even though Bob, Emily and I were all anxious to jump and zip, Jared opted to be the photographer and help us as we got to the end of the ride. He was generous (or chicken) enough to allow our driver to use his turn.

Some things about Jared:

If there is work to be done, or if someone needs help, you will always find Jared there.

Jared is Bob Jr. which is probably why I love him so much. He has inherited Bob's talent to fix things. It is not unusual to find Jared spending his Saturday with his Dad working on someone else's car.
He likes the same things as Bob, has some of the same mannerisms, loves family but is not a huge fan of big gatherings or crowds but will be happy to drive 100 miles and give up his weekend if you need his help.
Jared was lucky to have survived the first 5 years of his life (he was a tough 3-5 year old) but I'm glad I decided to keep him around. He was a tough toddler but a great teenager and even better adult.
Jared is a wonderful uncle and his nieces and nephews love him. He is going to be a father himself this spring and I'm sure his son will be blessed to have him as his Dad.
Happy Birthday Jared, we love you!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Million Step March

I am not big on making resolutions that I won't keep but I do like to have goals and a way of measuring my success. About 5 years ago I made a goal of walking 1,000 miles in a year. I was able to make my goal in 6 months. I kept a spreadsheet to track my miles.

One thing I really wanted (and got) for Christmas this year was a Body Bugg . It's a device you wear on your upper arm that tracks your physical activity using sensors. The contestants on The Biggest Loser wear them. You log in to a web site where it lets you know how you are doing. It also asks you a lot of questions about the types of foods you like to eat and it develops a meal plan for you.
You are supposed to log what you eat every day but I have to admit that with the holidays, I haven't been doing that. Maybe I will if I get serious.

One of the goals of my program is to walk 10,000 steps each day. I love to walk so it doesn't seem too difficult, but it is more than I am doing now. Even with my 2 daily trips to the dog park I fall short.

So I decided if I do the 10,000 steps per day I should make 1,000,000 steps in 100 days. That doesn't seem too tough. The fun part is that it keeps a record for me and if I forget to plug in, the info is still there.

If you decide you want to get a Body Bugg, I suggest getting it from Costco.com. The price is not only lower but it comes with a one year subscription to the website. I'm not sure what it costs after the year is up.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Christmas Eve is the one time every year that the whole extended family is invited to my house. Last year we were snowed out but this year we had a lot of family.

There were 7 Sirrines, 4 Walshes, 11 VanderHoevens, 6 Lutzes, 3 Livelys, 4 Keenans, 2 Dukas and 1 Ojeda, so 37 people, not to mention 2 dogs.

No VanderHoeven family party is complete unless there is a ton of food this was no exception.

My family was especially blessed because we had all 5 of our kids and our 3 grandsons over. We even had Olga, Jared and Emily's exchange student who has become part of the family (dang it, is that lamp crooked?).

Emily played the piano and this year we sang Silent Night in English, Spanish, German and Dutch (my favorite part of the night)

Then there was the white elephant gift exchange with some very clever gifts. The rule was that whatever you ended up with, you had to take home. That rule was obeyed with a few exceptions. Let's just say violators will be prosecuted.

Patricia was pretty happy with her "Hander-pants" and she couldn't be convinced to trade.

I got an assortment of products from a Japanese store including a package of freeze-dried fish. They turned out to be a highlight of our Christmas the next day but I'll let someone else tell that story.

Donkey Dancing 2009

I would have to say that as a mother Jacki is above average, although once in a while she can be pretty cruel.
Last night during our Christmas Eve party, a lady bug landed on Connor. He was not amused and he jumped up and danced around saying "get it off, get it off". Instead of being the kind sympathetic mother helping her child, Jacki lost control laughing. I have to admit it was pretty funny.

Connor on the other hand was not amused.

Happy Birthday Bob!

I suppose I should update my blog every 2 months, although in this case I am late. Sorry for the same lame post for so long.
Yesterday was Christmas Eve and unfortunately for Bob, also his birthday. He gets overlooked sometime but on the other hand, there is always a party and a lot of company.
When we came home from our usual walk at the dog park Bob was greeted by Heather, Jason and Brooks with poppers and silly string, lots of silly string.
It's great having the kids home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

14 Things About New York City

I have spent nearly as much time on the road these days as I do at home. This week I'm in New York City. I took the picture below on my cell phone from the conference room where I spent my day today. Now before you think it's glamorous I want you to know that I got here in the center seat at the back of an airplane that left Seattle at 7:00 am on Wednesday. I'm here for 2 days of business meetings and tomorrow I am back on an airplane for 6 hours (it always takes longer going west). For the most part I have almost no time to do anything while traveling except for work more hours in my hotel room to make up for the time I lose in the air. This time, I can't resist. Last night and again tonight I left my hotel room about 6:00 pm and just started walking.
My hotel is on 5th Avenue in the swankiest part of town, which leads me to my #1 thing about New York.

1. You can get a heck of a deal if you book on Expedia. No, this is not a commercial but I got a rate at the Peninsula Hotel at half of what the published rate is.
Even at 1/2 the price I could never afford it but when the driver from the airport dropped me off he told me I was staying at the movie star hotel.

2. Avenues run North and South and streets run East and West. There is a lot more distance between Avenues than between Streets. It's good to know if you are walking. The good stuff is on the Avenues.

3. Don't bother bringing "sensible shoes" nobody wears them. I will spare you a picture of my blistered feet but everyone must have blisters. They don't wear jeans either. Everyone is dressed up. I brought my dressier work clothes with me and I'm underdressed for business meetings. I don't own anything dressy enough.

4. Don't bother trying to find the Cash Cab. There are 13,000 taxis in the city and most of them are full. It's not easy to get one but you have to step out into the street and wave until one shows up. It's easier to walk.

5. Speaking of taxis, what are you supposed to tip them? I took a taxi from Macy's to my hotel last night and the fare was $8. I gave him a $5 tip and the cabbie, a NY cabbie said "Wow, you are a good tipper".

6. Which brings me to my next point. It's a lot easier to visit NY if you can expense everything. I'm not sure my budget will ever be able to afford a trip here on my own dollar, although I would love to come here with Jacki and Heather.

7. The top of the Chrysler building really does shine but the Empire State Building is not as tall as I used to think it is.

8. I wouldn't drive in NYC to save my life. People honk just for atmosphere. The locals know when it's safe to cross the street before the light goes green but the tourists don't. Yikes!!

9. It's amazingly safe to walk around. They say Gulliani took the city from 50,000 police officers to 150,000. They are on every corner and a local I talked to said there are twice as many in plain clothes than in uniform.

10. It's awkward to cheer for the Twins against the Yankees when you are having dinner at the ESPN Zone restaurant. The food is good and I ended up eating there both nights. In fact the seating host recognized me. It figures, millions of people in NYC and I get recognized. It has an amazing view of Times Square. Yesterday I was eating and the whole place was full of Yankees fans. When the Twins scored 2 runs I sort of applauded just a little bit. Sheesh...I got some stares. It's all in fun though.

11. Macy's has really cool escalators. The whole store is cool. They have a whole floor devoted to the fat lady section.

12. Bob would hate it. It's everything he doesn't like.

13. Bring a camera. Cell phones take lousy pictures.
14. People smoke here. Lots of them smoke. I would imagine it's a stressful place to live, especially wearing those shoes.