Herolds' Hangout

Thoughts, Reminders, and Reasons to Brag...


The Polar Express Movie

Last night, after returning from my parents', the three of us watched one of Skyler's Christmas presents, The Polar Express, together on our bed. Renea and I noticed that it had a couple of references to Grand Rapids, Michigan. After the movie, I looked up some excellent information on it and learned that the author grew up in Grand Rapids. The department store that the train passes was Herpolsheimer’s and as I looked at some photos from the Grand Rapids Public Library website, I instantly had the memory of visiting the shopping center well after it's heyday and the popular monorail that was attached to the basement ceiling. It wasn't the fondest of memories, since I was too old to ride the monorail, but my younger brother gladly took a seat and traveled around, while I sat and watched.

I then looked up and saw photos of Creston High School, from long ago. It's pretty neat to see old photos of places that have a prominent place in the memories of my mind. It also saddens me to think that two of my other schools are no longer existing: Huff Elementary and Northeast Middle. I couldn't find any articles on Northeast Middle, which is very disheartening since I teach at a middle school and I tell my students all the time that middle school was probably the best schooling experience of my life. My opinion is that the Grand Rapids Public Schools district has failed on so many levels and the city economy is far from what it used to be. I have personally contacted the principal and a secretary of my high school and got a very lame and unprofessional response regarding current teachers. I would have loved to tell them what I do now! It digs the wound even deeper because I remind myself that my graduating class never had a high school reunion and probably never will.

So, with that...I am so happy and blessed that I moved away from that decaying town, ventured West, and met my wife, Renea. We have a beautiful child of our own and share two young adults that have bright futures ahead. Yes, I am very blessed.

Christmas 2007

Yesterday we went to the 4:30PM service at my parents' church. It was nice to finally get to church - it's been quite a while and I plan on us going again on Sunday. Then we went to Jon and Margo's for some presents and Mexican food (and shrimp!). Ashley shared some of her military experiences with us and even taught some words and phrases (some of which sounded naughty!).

Then, today, we opened more presents at home and then Josh and Ashley were off to see their dad, while Renea and I took Skyler over to my parents' house. We got to open presents again! Jon and Margo came over and we played Phase 10, but Renea and I had to tag team. There was no official winner, but I am the only one writing about the game, so I declare me as winner.

Hot Tub

Last week, we started using our new hot tub. It's been very nice not having to worry daily about pool finishes and legal matters. We have a super remote that controls everything and is well worth it. Currently, we are taking hot tub reservations for 2008.

Christmas Tree Choo-Choo Train

Tonight, Skyler took an ornament off the Christmas tree we put up last weekend. It was a gold-colored locomotive. He brought it over to his train table and started playing with it. He had fun with his newly-found train at the amusement of mommy and daddy.

Going Out Of My Way

Tonight I dropped off a movie rental, but before that, I drove out of the way to see my brother start his first shift at Bashas'. He moved into his new apartment earlier today and has had many other recent changes in his life. He was really happy to see me and I was really happy to wish him well.

Birthday Party Fun and Friends

This weekend, we went to one of Skyler's friend's birthday party. Aleks turned two and the theme was "Cars" - from the movie. Skyler knows that movie rather well since we've seen it every day for the past couple of weeks.