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No word was typed in the making of this blog. It is created entirely using speech to text software. My apologies if it\'s hard to understand that times, but that\'s all part of the fun.

Ducati monster, scholarship application

Happy Friday! I figured I’d go ahead and login entry here on my way home from work on this beautiful and sunny Friday afternoon. Today during my lunch break I went into Seattle and went to the Ducati dealership. They had a couple of used to Kodi monsters that I was considering that when I got there they said that only one of them was available still. When I went out with one sales guide to take a look at the one that was available still another sales guy walked past and said he just sold it, so they didn’t have any use ones left. So of course he tried to talk me into buying a new one instead, and asked if I wanted to take one out for a demo ride. I figured why was there I might as well even know I’m not intending on buying a new one. It was sweet!

Now at new Ducati monster starts at 8500 and they go up to 10,000 depending on the model whereas use ones go for 5 to 6004 eight 2004. So they hold their value pretty well, but still I can’t justify spending the extra $2000 to buy a new one partly because they do hold their value so well, so I’ve might as well let them – the previous owner – take the initial hit on the value, buy it for a few thousand lass, and then have it hold it’s value for me from there. I’ve got some appointment set up one for tonight. One for tomorrow morning try to couple of used ones that I found on craigslist, so I am it may end up with a new motorcycle here before too long.

This week my 10 -year-old daughter has submitted her first scholarship application. Yes, I know she’s only 10, but I is bending inspired by stories that I’ve heard of others who have applied for dozens if not hundreds of scholarships and  ended up getting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships. She’s bright girl and so she’ll have many opportunities for scholarships, and they say that there are a lot of scholarships that never get awarded simply because people don’t apply . I figure we might as well start out young can get a head start – similar reason for me starting their rock Aires.

For the scholarship application she had to get letters of recommendations and she was able to get three excellent recommendations from Teria of her past teachers. She also wrote a composition about her experience being on student Council and how she showed shown excellence in leadership. She did a lot of work on the composition , starting with an outline, and then a rough draft, and then settled revisions that we worked on together. Even though we worked on it together and made sure that everything was in her words and that she was the one that was really writing it, I’ll be it with some prompting from me. So I would say things like, quote is there a better way to say that? Quote or quote ” can you think of another word for this?” I’m really proud of the paper that she wrote, and for her showing the drive to fulfill all the requirements of the scholarship. Only time will tell if she actually gets it, but I think the process was worthwhile and hopefully will have many more opportunities to do this in the future and get better at it each time. I’ve also heard that as used start getting scholarships it becomes much easier to get more scholarships because you can start referencing all the scholarships that you party received, which leads the scholarship board to believe that you are a person who is worthy of receiving more scholarships.


3 cups of tea, motorcycle of session

Hello. So it’s been a while since I last updated you on my superduper exciting life. I’ve been listening to a CD on tape – a book on CD – called 3 cups of tea by Greg Mortensen. It’s funny that I alley say CD on tape instead of books on CD because for some reason I’ve said it several times over the last couple of months and every time I say it I say it wrong and my wife laughs at me. 3 cups of tea is really good book and I’m glad that I was able to read it – or listen to it. Like I said before Ashley and I have been thinking about things that we can do to help people throughout the world that are a lot less fortunate than asked and get example of someone who has done an amazing amount of gas, especially for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan who wouldn’t otherwise have access to education. Having three daughters myself, that’s a cost that resonates with me.

In other news, my latest of session is preparing to buy a motorcycle. That’s right, after decades of wanting one, and especially in the last few months, I’ve decided that I’m finally going to buy a motorcycle. I’ll be taking dad riders training course next Tuesday and then I’ll be able to get my license shortly after and then go by my motorcycle. I’m excited to get the motorcycle, even though it means it will be harder to dictate my life for this blog.

I did find a helmet that I bought on Tuesday that has Bluetooth built in so that you can talk on the phone or listen to music. But, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to use the Dragon dictation app with it. My guess is that I probably won’t because it requires me to stop and start several times since it only records about a minute at a time. But, between a faster can you commute since I’ll be able to use the carpool lane, and the option to have a much more fun way to get to work every day, I think it’ll be worth it. I am, of course, a little concerned about the safety issue. But I feel like I’m a pretty safe person so I won’t be going crazy on the motorcycle and I don’t have a whole lot of intersections on my way to work – it’s mostly freeway and single lane backroads – so that should help with a safety issue. That’s all for today I’ll keep it relatively short tell

the weekend round up: earthquake, Seattle lessons, gravestone marker, the bubble that we live in

I’m driving home from work on Monday evening. Guess that means it’s time for the weekend round up. This was a good weekend overall, it seems pretty busy but when I think back about it was it didn’t seem like there’s a whole lot actually dead.

Saturday the weekend started off with an earthquake. At 9 AM, I participated in answer earthquake preparedness drill that was coordinated by my church. Ashley was gone all day at a conference for women so it was me and my three daughters and at 9 AM the earthquake struck and so we practice what to do. It made me realize that I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I should do during an earthquake. I seem to recall that you should find a doorway and stand in it, so that’s what we did. My daughters also showed me how to get under a table and hold onto a leg of the table and then cover your pattern neck with your other and . And they also showed me that I should point away from the closest window so that the blast doesn’t fall and get me. After the earthquake my assignment was to visit at least three families that were in my list. The list contains all the members of our ward, which is another name for congregation in the Mormon church, and to determine how long it would take to make contact with each of those families to make sure that they’re okay and then report back to the unit heater. So me and my three daughters, them on their bicycles and me walking, walk through the neighborhood and visited five houses and then locked about a mile over to the unit leaders house to report how long it took us to do that. This is a similar system that was used by the members of the Mormon church in Japan during the recent earthquake, and it allows the church leaders to know very quickly, sometimes a matter of hours for about a day at the longest, the status of each of the members in the congregation.

As a sidenote, I lived for Japan in two years from 1996 to 1998 as a missionary. I served in the exact location where that earthquake just hit, in Sendai and the surrounding areas. Maybe I’ll talk more about that later.

So getting back to the earthquake drill, after we reported our results and made the check back to our house we took care of some stuff at home, doing some chores and cleaning. I cleaned my car on the inside and out with the help of my five year old daughter. She really enjoyed helping me, and it was fun to spend time with her. We also played basketball together afterwards. Because she’s only five, shooting baskets isn’t really an option for her Soulive practice dribbling and passing. I tell her perhaps one of her most important lessons in basketball, and that is quote when dad open, pass the ball to him so he can shoot!”

ASSA played the piano for a little bit on Saturday, it had a good discussion with my 10 -year-old daughter about playing the piano. She’s taken Seattle lessons right now, and as with most kids she is not too thrilled about practicing everyday. She is supposed to practice for 30 min. every day, and every day it’s like pulling teeth to get her practice. Ashley and I both took piano lessons when we were young, and we both stopped taking care lessons and we both regret that our parents allowed us to stop taking camera lessons. Therefore, not wanting to repeat the mistakes of past generations we’ve decided that we will for sorry kids to take piano lessons. At least as long as we can stand making them do it. The sad thing is that she’s actually very get him playing piano, and picks it up very quickly. But since she’s such a perfectionist she gets frustrated with the process, and she’s also used to having things come to her easily so having to work to learn to play the piano is an experience in frustration for her. The that’s also another reason that we feel that it’s worth it to force her to play – because she tends to want to give up on things that don’t come naturally to her, we want her to learn to move outside of her comfort zone and challenge yourself a little bit. We know that she can accomplish an amazing things if she’ll just be willing to do that.

As any other parents out there no, this can be a very fine line to walk. Push them too much and they will reason you and make your life miserable. Don’t push them enough and they don’t get to see their true potential and the satisfaction enjoy that reaching that potential can create for them. Especially with our 10 year old, this seems like it’s going to be an ongoing challenge for us as she grows up.

On Saturday I also spent some time attempting to design the gravestone marker for Ian’s grave. It’s a challenging thing, because it’s such a permanent thing and also such an emotional thing to do. As members of the Mormon faith, we believe very strongly that we will see you again, that families are forever, and that doing this time well where you are a part that Ian is performing an important work on the other side of the bail. So I find myself struggling as I attempt to decide what to put on the grave marker, and what I say hi that also includes Ashley. It seems to us that there are two directions that we can take with the gravestone marker.

We can either present an image of a a baby or an intense with the theme of Jesus Christ taking care of him while we’re apart. One of Ashley’s friends sent us a picture frame after he died that said, quote” safe in his hands. Forever in our hearts.” That was a phrase that really struck a chord with us and that we really like. On the other hand, if we believe that the reason they was taken from us before he was even alive on this earth, it is so that he can perform work on the other side of the veil. And that image if Ian is a very mature spirit, even a missionary that is maybe 19 or or 20 years old. And so that becomes a very different image to Petraeus VA on the grave marker. Taking say that message we are considering using the image of a missionary name tag. So we found it difficult to balance between these two different views of you in his absence. Right now we picture him as a child and as an infant that we so wish that we could hold in her hands and in our arms in how gym and be parents to him. That we also believe that he is actively at work helping the Lord on the other side of the Vail, which again, gives us hope that his death wasn’t just a tragedy but something that Is part of a larger plan that will someday understand. I will say, right now it is difficult to see the big picture and understand why this tragedy happened. I guess that’s what’s faces for.

These entries always take longer than I think they will. You may have noticed that I have to get distracted and go off on tangents as things come to my mind. But, I guess without the ability to go back and edit this becomes a stream of conscience Merredith of what is coming to my mind. So the rest of my weekend… Saturday night we went to Ashley’s parents for dinner because it was her sister’s birthday. After dinner her parents kept our three daughters to spend the night there so Ashley and I got to hang out without the kids and spend the night together. That was a funny sentence I just said. We just came back home and watch the movie on Netflix. Relax salt, which I thought was pretty good.

Sunday morning since we didn’t have any kids, we were able to lay in bed for a while and talk a little more about the grave marker, then we got up and got ready and went for a walk. It was actually sunny on Sunday – I think the only day this past week that was sent sunny. It was actually really good to go on a walk together and talk. And Ashley’s conference that she attended over the weekend she heard some talks by some women from Africa haven’t really touched her. It reminded us of the bubble that we live in here in suburbia United States, where we think that everything in the world is going along just fine and we’re not cognizance of all the tragedies that are happening elsewhere in the world. This was a woman who was number 10 in line to be Raped and then have her limbs cut off. Her sister was number five in line, and it happened to her but it’s between five and 10 the soldiers came and stops the revels from carrying out their plans. This is a woman who had never slept in a bed until she was 18 years old, who shared a humanitarian aid kit that our church had provided to Africa they can team shampoo and toothpaste and other essential items the that we completely take for granted, with 25 other women. So we talked a lot about what we can do to help people like this throughout the world that have so little when we are so blessed. This is something that I’ve thought about quite a bit also over the last couple of years, and we decided that we want to start doing something, however small at first. The challenge will be to carry through with those desires and she not forget about it and be caught up in everyday life and all of our minor inconveniences and challenges that seems so important to us when there are people – millions of people – we’re just trying to figure out how to survive in what they’re going to eat.

I think I’ll go ahead and wrap this up overall it was a good weekend. I enjoyed spending time with my family, and especially the time that I spent with Ashley.

Roth IRAs for my daughters

On the way back from playing basketball to home. It’s Friday and I’m working from home today. One of the other things I’ve been interested in lately is setting up Roth 401(k), no, Roth IRAs for my daughters. That’s right, my daughters. According to the IRS, there is no minimum age requirement for setting up a Roth IRA. The only requirement is that the individual has earned income. I tried to set up a Roth IRA for my daughter a couple years ago and at that time I tried to set up with share builder. Share builder doesn’t allow Roth IRAs for anyone under the age of 18, so I attempted to falsify the age of my daughters. I just divide it by saying that there really isn’t a minimum age and so they were forcing me to bend the church. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t a very good idea.

However, I can’t remember what started it but I recently got interested in attempting this again. You see, I fully understand the time value of money, and that the most important factor in building wealth is letting your money compound over time. The more time the better. It made sense to me that if I could have my daughters start investing when they were very, very young that the money would have a lot more time to compound and they would have a lot more money when they needed it. Roth Ira’s seeing the perfect tool because of their many advantages: they are a tax deferred investment, you don’t have to pay taxes when you withdraw the money if it’s for a qualified purpose such as the retirement or education, and you can withdraw your contributions at any time without any tax penalties since you are pain into that IRA with after-tax money.

So the key factor in being able to set up a Roth IRA for kids is them having earned income. Tell my daughters are 57 in 10 years old, so it’s not like they have part time jobs after school yet. However they are doing chores around the house and they have a list of five or six chores that they do, and it probably takes them about a half hour each day to complete this list of chores. The way I figure it, if we were to pay a housekeeper to come in and do the same chores we would be paying a minimum of eight dollars per hour and probably much more. Therefore, my daughters have become household cleaners. To make it official so that they have earned income they will be completing tax returns every year. They have also signed a W for and as their employers, my wife and I will be providing them with W-2s at the end of the year. They will earn enough money to have to actually pay taxes, because they will be under the minimum income limit, but by filing a tax return that verifies that they do in fact have earned income, and therefore are qualified to contribute to a Roth IRA.

It took some investigating, but I found a couple of investment brokers that allowed children under the age of 18 to start Roth IRA accounts. I went with E*TRADE. My plan is to set them up on an automatic investment plan with no load no she mutual funds so that they don’t have to pay fees which can get very high for the small amount of money that they are contributing each month. By using a Roth Ira as opposed to a 529 or other college savings plan, it gives us the option to either use the money for their education if needed, or to keep it in the account and use it for their retirement in the event that they either decide not to go to college, which hopefully will not happen, or if they get scholarships , which hopefully will happen.

Someday, my hope is that they will look back and think me and realize what a genius I was! Even if they don’t, I also hope that they’ll learn something about the value of investing their money and how money can grow if you put it into the stock market and let a compound over time. Really, I would like to let them make some of their own investment decisions even after young ages currently. But because of the fees involved with investing in individual stocks, for such a small amount that they’ll be investing it really doesn’t make sense to do anything other than automatic no load mutual funds. Maybe in the future when they built up some money into the account in those mutual funds, we can sell a little bit of it and let them make individual investment decisions. They might really like to put their money into Netflix, Mattel, Disney, alright if other businesses that they are familiar with and will be interested in watching the results.

More details about exactly how to set up your Roth IRA for your kids can be found in an excellent book that I found called the kids Roth IRA handbook securing tax-free wealth from a child’s first paycheck by Tracy foot spelled FOOTE.

Internet street pilots training flight

Today I’m dictating on the way into work rather than on the way home. I’m laughing now because there is a car, it’s a red ford probe, who think she’s pretty cool, apparently. He’s trying to zoom around everyone that he can even on two lane roads without passing lanes. But I’m laughing because he keeps getting caught behind school buses and having to stop. The guy actually has a license plate that says mayhem on his super Duper cool red ford probe.

In other news, a few things that I’ve been excited about the last few days: the other day I signed up for an Internet street pilots training flight. I found it through a service that I just discovered called you bitch, which is the daily deal is an aggregator. It collects daily deals from all the different sources, Like group on living social, yelp daily deals, Mama PDF, and dozens of others that I’ve never heard up. It’s got a nice to have them all aggregated into one service that send you an e-mail daily to let you know which deals are out there. It also allows you to select what types of deals you’re interested in pulling sporting events theater tickets, outdoors adventures or equipment, spot treatments, men’s clothes, women’s clothes , etc. etc. Anyway, I’ve always wanted to try flying as a pilot. In fact, when I was 14 years old my dad made an offer to me that if I would postpone getting my drivers license, I can’t look into getting my pilots license instead. I’m not sure if you realized how much more expensive a pilots license would be compared to the drivers license, or if I’m just completely remembering that story incorrectly. Either way I didn’t end up doing it. I got my drivers license as soon as I was 16 years old. Which brings up another side story, I don’t understand why teenagers today don’t get their drivers licenses soon as they’re 16 years old.

I know a lot of you made 16 to 18 and even be on bill claimed that they have no desire to get their drivers license because they don’t think they can handle the responsibility. Really? How hard is it to drive? I can understand if they feel like they can’t afford insurance or something like that, but these guys are literally claiming that they don’t want the responsibility of driving Colin they say that they are nervous about running someone over, or injuring people that drive with them, I don’t know – it just doesn’t make sense to me. What I was 16, me and all of my friends would almost skipped school if not go right after school the very day that we turned 16 so that we can have the freedom of having a drivers license. I wonder if it’s because kids are so spoiled these days that they’re used to their parents driving them wherever they want to go. I should clarify that . I don’t really think the kids are spoiled sure say. But I do think that they are very entitled or feel very entitled, and that a lot of parents enable that feeling. And I may do the same thing with my kids. Although at this point, my daughters all are excited to get their drivers licenses Scizzors 16 years old. I know that my parents wanted me to get my drivers license soon so that I can help shuttling my younger brothers around too. So I’m not sure why parents today don’t encourage their kids to get drivers license more. I get it if it’s because they don’t want to pay for insurance or other expenses, but from what these kids are telling me that doesn’t seem to be the issue.

Back to the story about my pilot training: I’ve never been up there small single-engine private plane, but I think I would really love it. In fact, I’ve never been in a helicopter either and that’s also something that I really want to do. So in this deal came up where I can get two hours of flight lessons which includes a 45 min. flight I couldn’t pass it up for only $135. So now I just need to find a day that I think the weather should be pretty decent, and schedule my flight lesson. It says that a allows you to take up to two people with US passengers on your flight along with the instructor of course, and my daughters are are you fighting about who gets to go up with me. But I don’t think my wife, Ashley, it’s too excited about me bringing any of my daughters up in the sky with me. She’s certainly has no desire to fly with me herself. I think it has to do with her motion sickness rather than I fear that I’ll kill her, but I guess I’ll never know that for sure.

Easter garage sale

Monday, April 25 driving home from work. Today’s the day after Easter and I have a little bit of a cold today so we’ll see if that makes a difference on house clearly Dragon can pick up what I’m saying. It was a good Easter weekends all around, but it was a little bit emotional. Probably the most significant events in my life in the last several years to fillet since I’ve been married, happened about a month ago where my first son was born stillborn. I have to talk more about that experience in a different post.

On Sunday, Easter morning, we decided to go to the cemetery to visit is grave for the first time since we were there for the graveside service. It’s something that I’ve been looking forward to doing you was also nervous about it. And Ashley my wife I think has been dreading going back to the surgery. As you can imagine, she’s having a lot harder time adjusting to losing baby. It only makes sense since she is the one who carried him for a for nine months, and has had constant reminders of the fact that she doesn’t have decided that she was looking forward to since then. I was quite emotional driving to the cemetery. We of course had the three girls with us, and we were listening to music which was a good distraction so I don’t think they noticed how emotional I will I really west.

Once we got to the cemetery however I was able to keep my emotions under control, and asked It actually wasn’t too hard to keep my emotions under control once we were actually there. It is sad to walk around their section or Ian’s berry which is a special section just for small children who passed away. And you can see lots of prayers are young children and sound just as a day older or that died the day that they were born like Ian, and others who were a few years old before they passed on. As hard it is as it is to lose his son was born eight months during the eighth month of pregnancy, Ashley I have both felt that it would probably be even harder to lose your child after you gotten to know them a little bit. This probably isn’t the best topic to start a blog like it’s about but I guess that’s what’s on my mind most of the time lately. One thing it’s hard with losing you genuinely dead before he was born is that we have no memories, and especially no happy memories, to remember him by. They both lost grandparents, and were able to get over the sadness fairly quickly . That we can we have nothing to look back to as far as happy memories, and so I memories of the NR about sad times Pansat experiences. So anyway, I want to go in to much more detail about here right now. Yes we can summit up by Celine we really miss the sign that we never knew.

After church on Sunday we went to Ashley’s parents for Easter Sunday. Very I think 35 people there including family and friends, so instead. There is lots of food, lots of variety. On Saturday it was really sunny out, and it made me realize how much I miss the sunshine. I live in in the Seattle area, and of course it rains all the time. Or so it seems. When it’s not raining, it seems to be cloudy and wet, and so it really restricts what you’re able to deal outside.

We had a garage sale on Saturday since it was the first nice weekend and we have a lot of junk that we need to get rid of, including a lot of supplies and we’ve been keeping for Ian, which we no longer need. I wanted to garage sale to be a learning experience for the girls, so I asked if they would do a lot of work for it… A lot of the planning, help with advertising and marketing, at work at the Gerad salad cell cell things, things like that. Overall they did about as well as you can expect a five -year-old, a seven euro, and a €10 deal. The Centennial, I haven’t decided if I’m going to use their actual names on this blog, of course wanted to go play with some friends. That when we told her that she would get less money if she did that, then she decided she wanted to stay, but she wasn’t too happy about it and make sure that we knew that she wasn’t happy about it. You see, we told them that they would be able to split any money that they earned at the grind cell between the three of them. Of course that was before I realized how much money we would make, and some rather I’ll getting over $100 each! That’s not too bad really . I think that they did learn a little bit and hopefully they can continue to live find new ways to make money. If they are at all willing, that’s something that I really hope to be able to share with them. I want them to understand how they can become entrepreneurs and always be able to make money without having to have a job. Especially as children, I think entrepreneurs can do very well when they start off you are working for themselves instead of taking minimum wage jobs flipping burgers are working at the mall. They were too excited when I asked them to do some market research, however. I wanted them said Mark down on the clipboard where they heard about the garage sale, whether from craigslist or from the signs that we put up, which they also helped create and place. They got that seemed like a bit little bit too much, and I think they were a little bit embarrassed about asking the customers. I did ask some of them myself, because I was also interested. We have a garage sale every couple of years, and I thought it might be interesting to know whether you make the most money from people that come from craigslist advertising compared to those who drive by and see the signs, was the girls had also helps create an place. Overall, the grass I was existing success, the weather was great, and we had a great Saturday.

After the grandson was ever we play at the park, which is right next door to us. I help the girls work on their basketball skills, which they’re just now starting to take out. Especially my seven year old and €10. We actually just bought them their first girl sized basketball. I play basketball still regularly so we had a couple balls around the house, but they are all men’s sizes. It just dawned on us a week or two ago that we didn’t have a ball that they can use. They’re still too short and not quite strong enough to get the ball, even the girl size ball, into the hill. So they don’t have a whole lot of fun shooting yet, but they seem to like dribbling and passing. Really, I think they just like spending time with their parents and they know that I am always willing to play basketball and that that is and almost guaranteed way to be able to spend time with her dad.

I think I’m Xat this off now I’m not quite home yet, but my intent is that this doesn’t take the whole 45 min. trip home to record, but it still gave me some time to make calls and listening to NPR and podcasts and other stuff that I like to do when I’m driving. So all that you tomorrow so long Dragon

the most ingenious idea

So I had the most ingenious idea. Today is the first day that I’m trying out dragon software that transcribes your voice into text, and I find me a great idea if I would start a blog. It was entirely using dragon software. No editing would be allowed. So I guess the blog would have a couple of purposes: one haven’t learned how to use the Dragon dictation software better. And two, because I think it be really interesting and it can become really popular and people could really like what I have to say about the world . Period. So I just learned my first lesson dragon catch you off after so many number seconds at recording so I guess I have to got to keep my eye on it to make sure that it’s still recording. Anyway, I’m not sure what I was talking about when it cut me off, so I guess I’ll just talk about different stuff. I do remember that one thing anyways I was talking about was about a third reason that I think they would be good to start this blog. And that. Period. Oh shoot, I forgot. Another lesson learned: if you say. Period. It doesn’t add a… It says. As its own sentence, which I suppose make some sense. LOL. This is too much fun I just learned another lesson. If you say… Then it adds a… So now I know how to do it.

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