Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Presents

Here is the kids' haul for the season.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Here is a quick year in review in pictures for everybody.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Elijah, as a donkey, signing "Away in a Manger"

go here if it doesn't work:

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Crunch Time

The end of the semester is getting near. The final paper for my writing class was turned in on Monday. Finals are coming up fast. The first one is a week from tomorrow.
Criminal Law - December 12, 9am
Torts - December 14, 9am
Civil Procedure - December 18, 9am

For all those prayer warriors out there (and any others down with divine communication) please feel free to offer up a bit of supplication for me during those times, I certainly will not object.

Tonight we went to the Christmas program for Elijah's preschool. It was a full house, standing room only. Maybe after finals are complete I will try to post the video I took of our boy singing for the world to see.

Take care everybody.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Here's hoping you all are enjoying a Happy Thanksgiving! We are planning a nice cozy and lazy Thanksgiving. Hopefully I can avoid school work for a day! Here are some pictures:

Jackie and Elijah enjoying their Wed before Thanksgiving off

Jackie's painting at recent trip to Children's Museum in Baltimore

And not to be outdone, Elijah's masterpiece

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sorry about lack of posts

Sorry guys, I haven't had much of a chance to post here. It really feels like crunch time here, but we are still about 3 weeks away from finals. We get the whole week off for Thanksgiving, so I should be able to get all caught up if I can stay somewhat disciplined.

I hope all of you reading this post have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween

Hello everybody, just checking in, letting you all know I am alive and kicking (barely - there is still a tiny bit of brain activity left). Today I had my first experience as a prosecutor in my Criminal Law class, unfortunately for me, I believe the class was video recorded. So one time offer here, email me at in the next couple of days and, if possible, I will email you a copy of the video when it becomes available, then you can all join me in thinking "what the heck am I doing here."
I felt a bit brain dead today, I just finished my assignment for Writing Class late last night and had very little gas in the tank this morning, I didn't start moving in time to bike to school, so I begged for rides, hopefully this doesn't become a reoccurring event (although I did get a chance to watch Spongebob this morning waiting for my ride). If I wasn't brain dead after all of that and class today, I definitely am now after preparing for Civil Procedure class tomorrow over elements of personal jurisdiction in Supreme Court opinions - man if that doesn't get the blood pumping, I don't know what will! :)
Take care, I'll talk to ya all later.

Monday, October 15, 2007

case in school

Found out something pretty interesting about Lenny Bias. I found out about it in Civil Procedure in a section about summary judgment of all places. I was always under the impression that Bias just used cocaine after he was drafted, living it up per se, and died because of an overdose at that point. I found out in a case from his parents suing his agents for not getting a life insurance policy (which was ruled in favor of the agency because a drug user couldn't get a million dollar policy) that Bias had used cocaine on numerous of occasions and had supplied others with cocaine in college.
It was probably already common knowledge, but here I am reading a court case to find out all about it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

kickin' it with Tom & Abe

I figured it has been a while since I put on some pictures and right now I could either do an exercise for my Writing class or actually post here on the site & I am sure you all reading would much rather have me post some pictures. Here are some pictures from Myrtle Beach and D.C.

As you see above we finally made it to Washington D.C. We went on Saturday, our Pastor and his wife from church took us down and took us on a day tour of D.C. The kids stayed with a couple of families from church, it all worked out very nicely.

Monday, October 8, 2007

a new day

A new week has begun here at school. Not much to look forward to at this point, the Cubs are done, the Huskers have no desire to perform like a Husker team should, our sucky flag football team has to win on Tuesday night just to make the 'playoffs'.

Hey, but.. um ..., never mind, there isn't much to look forward when it comes to reading CivPro.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A picture of Luke and his host

go cubs

The Baseball playoffs are going to reek havoc on my schedule, these East Coast Times are killing me (although they are nothing like what Luke is dealing with and the FAR East times). The other night I stayed up and turned on the one game tiebreaker between the Padres and Rockies, of course it went into extra innings, I could only handle up until the end of the 12th inning, and of course the 13th inning was the decisive one, and quite a decisive one at that. The Pads scored two in the top of the inning and the Rockies still came back and won in the bottom of the inning. Tonight the Cubs/Diamondbacks game doesn't start until 10, same for tomorrow night, so I am going to try to get as much done at school today as possible so maybe I can catch some of the game. Then of course this weekend the Huskers game v. Missouri doesn't start until 9:15. At least that is a Saturday night.
We played an intramural football game last night, our team sucks. Last week we didn't score and got beat by at least 60 points, last night we actually scored and only lost by 1 touchdown in the end. We have a couple of people on the team, one of them is the captain, that take it way too seriously, but the rest of us are really enjoying it, and one of the girls on the team always brings cookies or brownies.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Letter to my bro

I just got done writing to Luke in China and decided to save a little time and just paste it here as well, most of it is about my week and I am sure you are interested in what Luke is up to, so you can infer some info about him as well:

Luke (the Duke of Pu Dong),

Hey bro, thanks for the pictures, it looks like you won't have to worry about being alone, overcrowded is probably an understatement. I had a busy week, was about to write weekend but all of last week was pretty filled as well. We had a practice exam on all Intentional Torts in Torts (basically torts are civil caused of action for compensation) on Friday so I had to start outlining the class on Tuesday so I would be ready. Wednesday I had a fruitful day here at school and among other things, found out that I needed to do more in depth preparation for Criminal Law, but once I got home I didn't accomplish anything, although Elijah and I did come up with a secret handshake. Thursday I got through my classes and then revisited the torts outline, re-reading it several times trying to really just memorize what the rules of law were. That night a few of us got together and had a "Glannon" party. Glannon is the author of a supplement text that goes through many hypothetical examples to help you grasp the concepts. We actually did study, I was kind of doubtful when I headed out, but I decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised we went through so many examples. Friday was the practice test and I feel that I did well on it, was able to locate all of the cause of actions in a fact pattern and state the rule of law and apply it to the facts of the cases. Later in CrimLaw I was well enough prepared to make it through another class since I had read so far ahead the prior week in our trip to S. Carolina. Friday night the family headed over to Wegmans, a classier grocery store, about 15 miles away. We ate dinner first, the kids got some grub from the salad bar and Nicole and I hit the asian bar. It was 6.99/lb so it was hard to keep the weight down, my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach. After eating we went through the organic aisles and the health food aisles, they actually had a bunch of gluten free stuff for Elijah. After there we ended up stopping at a small strip mall and Nicole did some clothes shopping and we all ended up in at another store checking out their sale on shoes. After that our night was pretty much shot, I don't think I did any studying when we got home, maybe some reading. Saturday I got up and started putting together the first part of my Civil Procedure outline. Talk about torture! It took me all day - all day and all I had to show for it was 4 pages. After I got that done I read for my assignments in CivPro this week and it was on joinders. I should have just thrown in the towel at that time but I went ahead and struggled through it all while I watched the College Gameday final and headed to bed at about 3. The next day I skipped church and started working more in depth on the Criminal Law stuff and then worked on my writing assignments for my Legal Analysis/Writing class.
So here I am just at school now, thought I would give you a run down before I dug back into the next cases in CrimLaw. Hope you are doing well, I'll try to keep you updated since you are not sure you will be able to set up a blog. It is kind of weird, I didn't really think much or worry much about you stateside, but now that you are over there you are definitely on my mind now, not that you are in any more danger over there, but that it is just a totally different 'world'. I talk to kids here at school about my bro in China, but they just think of it as a study abroad trip (all these rich kids that have been everywhere), but I see it as so much more, I am really proud of you. Keep in touch.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sorry, about the few updates, and getting the hopes up on last post. Not much time to post lately. Besides the big trip last weekend (that was a blast) my schedule has been pretty boring. I did play in an intramural flag football game on Tue night. We got our butts kicked, didn't score, I think they stopped keeping score after they hit 60. I had fun, but there were about 2 kids on our team that weren't enjoying it at all.
My brother is in China now, so hopefully he'll get a blog going here soon and you can come link to it from here - at least something will be exciting from this blog.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

At the beach

Today we are just hanging out at the beach in N. Myrtle Beach.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

happy valley

Just a quick post about the game. It was fun; quite the experience. Our tickets were supposed to be in the senior section, but we ended up in the freshman section right behind the band. The white out was quite impressive, and then all the students had a white pom-pom thingy to wave, so that was a site to see, all waving in unison. I saw many great t-shirts and heard many ribald chants. Some of the better t-shirts were: "Roll up your pantlegs, your in JoePa's house now", "I don't give a Notre Damn...", "Notre Lame, consistently losing bowl games since 1995", "Ann Arbor is a whore" (not ND related, but still quite, um, creative) and many more. My friend and I hit the tailgating before and after the game and then hung out a while to wait for the traffic to die down, but it still took us over an hour to go 10 miles once we got out of town a bit. College Station is in the middle of nowhere, so there is no interstate that goes through, and the highways that do go through are only 4 lanes for a few miles before and after College Station, so once you get out of town, all the traffic has to merge into two lanes for a ways until you get down the mountain and closer to Harrisburg. We didn't get home until 3 am, so I'm glad I all of my reading done before I went because I was pretty out of it most of Sunday.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Two weeks down...

I made it through another week! It was full of more interesting cases, rules, people and professors. Penn State has tried to put together a diverse student body at the law school and it shows, I have met many interesting people from all walks of life. One day between classes I was sitting at a table with a bunch of black girls from New York City and the next with a bunch of 'kids' right out of college from the area. Today I met someone that was from Denver and the more we talked, the more we had in common, he went to school at Weber State and graduated from Murray High School just two years after I graduated, just down the road from Taylorsville.

Tomorrow I am going to the Penn State v. Notre Dame game in Happy Valley. My friend Chris, from school, and I are going to try to be there by 2 for tailgaiting, he has a friend that rents a house during the fall up there just so him and his wife can make it to all of the games. Game time is 6 and it is a white out, everybody is supposed to wear white. Everybody here talks about one of the last times there was a white-out, a couple of years ago v. Nebraska, where they killed Nebraska, somehow I have conveniently forgot the score over the years, I was really amazed we got killed that bad back then. It should be a good game for anyone who likes to see ND get their butts kicked, like me.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Getting ready for class

Since my description of school was so vague on my last post, I went ahead and timed the amount of work I did getting ready for my classes tomorrow. I spent 6 hours typing notes, finishing assignments and preparing briefs for 3 classes tomorrow. I did finish a whole weeks work for one of the classes as well. So that may help show how much time I am taking at this point to study. Tomorrow I will only have one class to prepare for on Wed, and I only have to review my reading and take notes, so that should only take about an hour.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Huskers Win, Norte Dame and Michigan Lose, What a Day!

Looks like another exciting season of college football is on the way. Hopefully I will be able to enjoy some of it before it is over. I have a bit of the regional coverage blues. I didn't get to see the Nebraska game this weekend. At least the USC game will be a national game and Wake Forest will be on ESPN I think. Speaking of ESPN, and ABC, I was disappointed at their coverage on Saturday. I could not believe how often the announcers and the producers messed up. I think the announcer called Wisconsin's AD 'Larry' Alvarez at one point, and I can't tell you how many times during the highlights, the wrong footage was shown. Then the halftime show on ABC, man is that torture or what? So yeah, moving on now...

The first week of school is over. I learned quite a bit, it is a whole new mindset for me in many ways. I spent many late nights getting ready for my classes because you never know when the professor will call on you to describe any aspect of the cases we are studying in the classes. I really like my professors so far, they are really neat. Feel free to take a look at their credentials: Terry, Groome, Farrior and Chong. The cases we have read for each of our classes have been pretty interesting, you could hardly make some of this stuff up -3 yr old on a tricycle running into old ladies, a 5 yr old pulling out (and putting back, but not in time) chairs from old ladies, perverts being threatened by whole families, groups of men tying up others and threatening castration and death, frat boys stealing bubble gum, friends suing over a car crash, dogs getting shot in front of their owners by federal officers, frustrated doctors thrusting nurses' faces into a surgical opening during a gall bladder operation, lady slipping on a piece of apple strudel, buffet owners stealing plates out of others' hands... and then the hypothetical situations that the professors, and sometimes students, make up from studying these cases (now what about this, or if that had happened, etc), it definitely keeps me awake. The professors themselves are entertaining as well in their different ways as well. I would go into detail here but it would be just my luck that the wrong person would find my page. I don't really know how I could describe my first week of law school in a way that would make sense, especially since I can't write that well anyways, but I must say I am not scared of it, it is all very interesting to me and I think I will have no trouble doing the work, it is just a lot of it. Maybe in a couple of weeks I will know more about the whole process, but for now it is just keeping all my thoughts organized and my books read. Each class gave us about a 5 minute introduction and then it was straight into the material. I have been using my laptop for notes and have the OneNote program from Office 2007. The program is pretty good for organizing all of the notes and cases, I can link back and forth and even drag things into my notes from the materials (including power point presentations) the professors make available to us.

So yeah, that is enough rambling for now, maybe I'll actually put my thoughts into a better format next time so that by the time you get done reading it, your eyes won't hurt as bad.

I may go to the Penn State - Notre Dame game next week, I haven't made up my mind yet. College Station is about 1.5 hours from us and I am sure it is a madhouse on game day, so I will have to weigh the options and see where I am with my work.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

School starts on Monday

I already have assignments for school next week - a bunch of reading, a brief and a worksheet. 120 pages in one class, 65, 45 and 50 in the others. My plans so far are to read each assignment and then go back and take notes for each class and then make changes/additions to those notes in class. Well I better get back to reading...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Books are Bought

As you can see above, I now have all of my books that I will need the first semester. It set me back about $450 (just imagine if they were all new). This morning I went in and got my id card and 'elion' login for the websites. My new email address is, feel free to drop me a line.

There was only about 8 of us this morning that got our id's and books, that means there are about 120 more students that may be waiting until tomorrow to get their books - I'm glad I got them when I did, the bookstore was crowded with just 6 students looking for their books.

As for now, I have only 1 assignment so far, read 'The Anatomy of A Lawsuit' (the thin blue one in the middle of the pile above) for Civil Procedure (CivPro). Besides that, I need to set up my computer to work with the PSU networks, install Norton Anti-Virus (free through school), buy Windows Office, and install other print/save software from school. Needless to say, I will be in front of my computer all day.

I have a request (from my China-bound bro) to give a report after my first week, so I am obligated at least to leave an entry by then, hopefully I be able to get a couple more in as well.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The summer continues

You all have probably seen the pictures from the beach by now up on Nicole's blog. If not hit the link to the right for her page. We had a blast at the beach, it was a beautiful day. I think I am just trying to stay busy with all of these little side trips (yesterday we went to Shippensburg and Chambersburg and today we went back to Chambersburg) so I don't have to start thinking about school yet. Next Wed we have a open house and then Thurs & Fri we have orientation, we do have to read three cases before then, but I have been avoiding them for a long time now. I think I can go in on Tue and finally get my school ID and website login (my ELion login) and maybe buy books. Once I can login I can take care of all of my medical requirements - health insurance, immunization records, etc.

BUT for now... I'll continue to suck every last second out of my summer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Of goalies and cucumbers...

This will probably only make sense to my immediate family, but I must share it just the same. It looks like we may have another 'Picky' in the family, Elijah has been pickin' at his 'goalie' for a couple of weeks now.
This week it has been hot and humid and we have got a couple of big rainstorms as well. I have finally found a safe route to the temp. law building, it is about 6 miles on the back roads. I have road it (on bike) 3 times now to get used to riding again, it is actually a nice little ride, I think I will actually look forward to it many mornings. About midway is a family that we met at church. Jim runs an auto shop at his 'farm' and told me to stop by anytime. I stopped by on the way back home this morning, he was away at the Poconos, but I did get to meet his older sister that runs the office for him. We talked for quite awhile, she was very nice, I even came away with a few free freshly picked cucumbers, I'll have to get my mom's creamed cucumbers recipe.

Well, so long for now, next week is our last real week together, so hopefully we'll get out and do some fun things, visit some more state parks, etc.

If Matt or David are reading this - Happy Birthday guys!

Monday, August 6, 2007

ESPN story about Carlisle

Take a look at this story on ESPN about the old Indian School here in Carlisle. There is a new book about the football teams.


We all had a wonderful weekend. Friday night Nicole and I got to meet a few of the incoming Dickinson Law students, we met for dinner at the Rustic Tavern. Some friends from church watched Jackie and Elijah. They went to a carnival at a town nearby. They had a blast, they came back with bags of peanuts, candy and toys.
On Saturday, one of the students I met at dinner, Chris, and I went and joined a couple of the 2L (second year law school) students for a game of ultimate Frisbee at Thornwald Park. It ended up as just a couple of short games since it was so hot.
On Sunday night there was a potluck at church. A few of us got to talking and we decided to play a game of Settlers of Catan. So our friend Theresa went home and got the game so we could play. It took a bit to set up and explain the game, but it was worth it! The game was very fun and we plan on playing again on Wednesday night. Theresa and Lisa will be coming over for dinner and we plan on playing it then. Side notes on both of these ladies - Lisa is a vet down the road in Shippensburg and had been in school at CSU for a couple of years and we found out at lunch on Saturday that she actually called to check into a vet job in Cortez, boy what a small world! Theresa is a teacher at Liberty and lives outside of Carlisle (in Mount Holly Springs) in the summers. Her brother is Sid Bream, former baseball player for the Pirates, Braves and others, baseball fans out there may remember Sid Bream as the one scoring the winning run for the Braves in the playoff series back in 95 (I may be wrong on the year).
But yeah, all in all, what a weekend.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ignore this post, just trying to get a picture to work

Disc Golf

I don't have any pictures, but Elijah and I just got back from a round of disc golf. The course isn't too far away in Mechanicsburg. There are just nine 'holes' and it is not a 'long' course, but we had fun just the same. Elijah came up with a new technique on his throws, going with a 'throw and roll' approach now, very similar to his Uncle David's tomahawk throws, just without the distance and Monica Seles-like grunt that goes along with David's technique.

There is something I feel you all need to know....

The Cubs are in first place now! Let's see how long that lasts.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

By Request(sort of) - Chicago Pics

Us in Chicago! Really it was all surreal to me, look at those buildings!

And by request, a picture of the Vlachos! Chris and Patty were great hosts!

Elijah, and Jackie a little ways behind him, at the water feature, Crown Fountain, in Millennium Park.

This the Cloud Gate, but everybody calls it the silver bean.

Jackie and Elijah again.
We had the best tour of downtown Chicago, we saw all the sights worth seeing, esp. Wrigley Field. We hope to go back soon.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Here is a picture of Jackie and Elijah at the beach today. We went to Laurel Lake at the Pine Grove Furnace State Park,
the kids had a blast.

Here is a picture of the smallest bedroom in our home, it is decorated very much like my office back at CLT,
just on a much smaller scale.
Yesterday, we made it over to Lancaster County to see the amish country. It was very cool to see all the buggies. I am sure though that the non-amish of the community get quite annoyed at it if they are in a hurry, I can see how in certain areas they could slow down traffic quite a bit.

When we drove to Lancaster County, we took the York Road out of Carlisle, then headed to Lancaster (the town) on HWY 35, got off on the New Holland Pike and then headed to the Newport Rd, going through such towns as Eden and Paradise, and oddly enough, Intercourse.

Since we have been here in PA, whenever we go anywhere, I have tried to stay away from the Pennsylvania Pike (Toll, I76) and I81. It is fun to head over the old country highways, you get to see all the old farmhouses and old townships. (On a side note, Carlisle is a bourough bordered by a few townships like South Middleton and Middlesex, so to a westerner, this is all kind of strange.) The roads are set up quite different here. Heading out of Carlisle is the Holly Pike, the York Rd, the Harrisburg Pike, Walnut Bottom Road, etc, all named after the destination. In many cases you could go 3 or 4 different ways to one destination. Back home in Colorado, it would be the equivalent of different roads heading out of Cortez, one to Dolores, one to Stoner, one to Mancos, one to Durango, one to Shiprock, one to Farmington, etc. (of course the mountains would make it quite hard), but I think you get the idea.

There has been many little details like the roads above that I have found quite interesting. Another item is ice cream - there are little homemade ice cream and custard shops everywhere, I'm surprised Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins can even stay open here. And of course everyone has their opinion as to which one has the best ice cream.

Ok anyways that is enough of the PA details for now, I'll share a little about what I have been up to lately, besides exploring PA that is. I have done quite a bit of reading lately. I finally finished Lee, an abridged biography of Robert E. Lee, and then read Carl Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years. I am now reading a book called Lincoln's Constitution about the whole states rights/central government sovereignty question, centered around the issues that came up with the Civil War, the south seceding and Lincoln initially overstepping his duties (most likely only because Congress was not in session). After that I have a book on Lincoln's early years when he was a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois. After that I should probably mix it up and read a book that has nothing to do with the Civil War or Lincoln! I did get some good title insurance insight from the Lincoln book - Lincoln's dad lost money on selling his first farm in Indiana because on the title the legal description had one or two of the directions wrong, and they ended up moving away from Indiana mainly because of the difficulty with titles! Not many people would have found this all interesting, but I thought it was great. I also picked up on a funny story in the Lincoln book about General Lee that wasn't mentioned in the Lee book (probably because it is an abridged copy), it was reported that Lee liked getting his hands and feet tickled, and he wouldn't tell his kids a story unless they first tickled his feet. Oh, all good info, I am sure it will come in quite useful these next few years. :)

Catch up

Ok, so I'm not in Colorado anymore, so that means, among others, that I am at a far lower altitude and am pursuing a law degree at Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

I will go ahead and start out by saying thanks to all of you for all of your encouragement in this whole process, I was very encouraged by everybody's positive words for me, it was truly appreciated.

The trip out was quite an adventure! The moving truck barely made it over Wolf Creek Pass, it vapor locked and we had to let it sit for awhile and after that it crawled over the top. Later in the middle of Iowa I had a flat tire, so I spent a couple of hours waiting for the service truck to come while Nicole and the kids headed on the Chicago. Luckily, there was a town nearby that was having a celebration for its 150 anniversary, so there were a couple of bands and activities to kill the time. Overall though, the trip was great. We spent some time in Denver with friends and then the next day met my Grandma Madeline in Fort Morgan for lunch, she drove down from Greeley. That same day we made it to Sutton, NE for dinner at my Grandpa & Grandma Leininger's. While there Jackie got a chance to ride on the combine.

We were able to spend a couple of nights in Sutton and spend time with all of my family there. We then headed for Chicago to stay with Chris and Patty Vlachos for two nights. We spent the 4th of July seeing the sights in Chicago, it was awesome. After Chicago, we made it to Pittsburgh, stayed a night there and then headed to what we now call home, Carlisle, PA.

Since we have been here we have done a bit of painting and a bunch of cleaning in our new home. We are enjoying our home now that we have most of it arranged. There is a big open basement with a bunch of storage. We have set up half of it as a play area for the kids. All of their toys, movies, games, etc. are down there. We found a big ol' comfy couch for them to put down there. On the first floor there is a small kitchen, a dining room and a family room. The picture above is from the family room, the kids are watching a movie on the TV while sitting/laying on their beanbags(Nicole doesn't want them on our new couch :) ). On the 2nd floor is 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. The smallest bedroom we are using for my office. The decoration is just about the same as was my old work office, but on a smaller scale.