March 27, 2008

The Covers Are All Mine

So, this will be the first night since we've been married that Jared and I have been apart. Really, it is! He went back to his parent's farm for a couple of days to help out a bit and I stayed in Ames. Scary, I know, to be apart from each other for over 24 hours. Well, maybe not. But it will be different. I won't have anyone steal all the covers from me sometime in the middle of the night, after explaining how hot they were as they tried to fall sleep. Even after they had turned on the fan and opened the window, but were still too hot to fall asleep! I can't understand that but I still love him no matter how weird I think he is.

On to the real reason for the post. I have heard several wives talk about how trouble always strikes when there husbands are away but didn't get to have a small dose of that reality until this morning. Driving to work and the snow is falling, wet, heavy, lovely snow and then it happens. The worst imaginable thing while driving (not really, I'm just being dramatic and silly) my driver side windshield wiper stops working. Luckily I'm a block away from work so no major problems, as in cars crashing into each other due to my obstructed vision.

Turns out that the wiper had come apart and sharp metal was sticking straight out and the rubber was just dangling. Having no idea of how to attempt to fix the problem and realizing that if I did try to be "miss-fix-it" I would probably make it worse, I began to unashamedly realize how much I rely on Jared. (By the way, he is the best husband ever!)

To be truthful I have no knowledge what so ever about windshield wipers and I did begin to get a tad bit concerned cuz JARED IS GONE AND WHO WILL FIX THE WIPER?!?! After, I regained a normal thought process I decided that maybe one of my male co-workers would be as smart as Jared and be able to fix the wiper. To my suprise Jared is not the only one who knows something about wipers.

It all ended happy.... My co-worker fixed the wiper. Now I will have no excuse for my horrible driving on my way home from work. And the moral of the story, don't let your husband leave town without checking your windshield wipers!

Snow, Snow, and More Snow!

I would be lying to you if I told you that I was not bummed this morning when I woke up and it was snowing. But really it all that horrible, terrible and any other negative word you can think of to describe the weather today?

I DON"T THINK SO!!! I think it is rather pretty here in Ames. The roads are just wet and not slick at all, and the temperature is not that disagreeable either. I'm not sure if it is nice everywhere else but here where I sit it looks rather beautiful. I mean think about it... what a wonderful miracle God has allowed us Iowans to experience! SNOW IN MARCH!!!

I know ya'll probably think I'm crazy but I don't care. I am gonna enjoy this amazing day of large fat flakes of white stuff falling from the sky. And for those of you who are still down in the dumps about the snow, be encouraged! It is March 27th and the reality is that Spring is here regardless what type of precipitation may be falling from the sky and there will most likely be no evidence of it come the end of the weekend.

March 26, 2008

WTBW? Wednesday

I greatly dislike shaving.

If you've paid attention these last 5 years or so, you probably noticed at least some facial hair on me consistently. I started the "scruffy" look mostly as a direct by-product of being lazy. Then I started liking the look. At some point, enough people said it looked good that I believed I had found a winner. "Blue Steel" for Jared. Plus it helped gain a few much needed years on my baby face.

I decided tonight to shave it off. I took a quick break though to show Allison a potential new look. A hefty laughing fit ensued whereupon I retreated to the bathroom to finish hacking it all off - but not before a picture.

What do you think? Is it a winner??

March 22, 2008

It's not what you may think

From time to time, I enjoy looking at our stat monitor to see where all these people are coming from to land upon our blog. The regulars are linked from either Jason and Brenda's, Todd and Melissa's, or have no connecting address.

I laugh though at what people "google" and end up with our blog. My favorite is the possibly disgruntled husband who typed in "wife craziness" and stumbled on our blog. That's right. I'm sure our blog significantly improved his outlook on his marriage. Or something.

Curious, I did a Google search of my own for "wife craziness" and sure enough, there it was. Out of an estimate 1.33 million results, our blog was number 4.

THAT'S craziness!

March 19, 2008

The Stupid Tax

No, I didn't just come up with that phrase. I stole it from money guru Dave Ramsey. A couple times a week people write in describing the dumb things they have done with their money. I thought the following was a pretty good (?) one.....

I Couldn't Get Home!

By Lonnie in TN

About 4 years ago, I was single and had a paid-for truck. I wanted to purchase a car to save on gas money and take on golf trips. My nephew and I looked online and found a 2003 Galant at Carmax that I wanted to look at.

We drove about 50 miles to Knoxville to look at the car (driving the truck with poor gas mileage). I loved the car and was offered a good payment (5 1/2 years at $307/month). I was hesitant until I realized that I didn't have enough gas to get home and didn't have any cash. My debit card was useless because I was broke, and my credit cards were maxed out. So, what did I do? I bought the car! Stupid with a capital $.

Now I am happily married and in Financial Peace University with my wife. We have paid off all credit cards, have an emergency fund in the bank, and should have both cars paid off by the end of summer.

This had to have taken some guts to write in about. But the truth is we have all done stupid things with money. To read more Stupid Tax stories, click on the Dave Ramsey link above or under "Our Favs" section. You can also read "We Did It!" stories such as this one where people have started getting a grip on their finances and are not letting money problems destroy their lives.

"WTBW?" Wednesday

Since it is the week of Easter, I thought maybe writing some thoughts about this week may be appropriate. Right? Let's see, what else is going on this week that can overshadow it.......NCAA tournaments, Spring break, and the first day of Spring.

Nothing says Christ our Lord is risen like time wasting office pools, college kids migrating south as an excuse to party, and bunnies.

The Bible Study/connection group we are part of took time Monday night to reflect on what Jesus did for us on the cross. We ate supper together, watched "The Passion of the Christ" movie, and took communion. It was a solemn time watching the excruciatingly painful death He endured to take away our sins. Even greater though, was the thankfulness we should feel this week knowing what was done on that cross changed the world forever.

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

True Christianity is not about attending "the right" church. It's not about how nice of a person you are, how many good works you have done, if you were baptized, or what country you were born in. The only way to become a true Christian is to recognize you are a sinner and are destined for eternity apart from God. You must confess your sin and ask Jesus to come into your life. It's a free gift. You just have to ask for it and take it.

Take some time this week to think about the true meaning of Easter.

March 13, 2008


Thanks mom for the beautiful flowers.
Thought I would post a picture of them
so you could see them too. Just too bad
that you can't smell them, cuz they smell


As I entered the 2nd hour of an afternoon meeting today, I saw this on the wall across the room.

Are you lonely?
Not like working by yourself?
Hate making decisions?

Then call a MEETING!

You can.................
-SEE people
-DRAW flowcharts
-FEEL important
-FORM sub comittees
-IMPRESS your collegues
-MAKE meaningless recommendations
ALL on company time!

Meetings - the practical alternative to work.

What happened to my lunch?

An odd thing happened to Allison and I this morning. I got up and "made" my lunch for the day. (basically this means i put a frozen burrito, a banana and some cheese in a hy-vee bag) i then went to get ready for the day. Allison then came out to the kitchen and assembled her lunch for the day. She threw some salad, salad dressing, a banana, and a few other things in a hy-vee bag. She then came back to tell me goodbye, grabbed her stuff and headed out.

A few minutes later, i came out and was mystified by how my wonderful lunch had been transformed. "Is she trying to tell me something?" I thought. I figured that probably wasn't the case though and decided to head to the bank and switch her. It may be the first time the drive up window at the bank has been used as a trive thru food exchange. Her fellow employees enjoyed it though.

March 12, 2008

"WTBW?" Wednesday

(if you think this is a weird title, see post two below)

Can anyone seriously believe it has almost been a year since Allison and I got married? Indeed. Sunday will mark exactly 12 months since we said, "I do" in front of so many of our friends and family. I never really knew what exactly to expect marriage to be like, but after one year, i would definitely recommend it, especially if you can find a woman like Allison!

I'm really not that good with words, which may be ok since I don't really want to get too mushy on a blog, but I love my wife so very much. She is seriously the most wonderful woman ever in history. From the silly things she says, her positive outlook on life, her love for me (i'm still trying to completely understand that one) to the times where she is just exactly the perfect match for a not so perfect guy.

I love you Allison!!!

March 5, 2008

Favorite's notice.....

Just wanted to say we added a link to a blog started by our pastor, Jeff Dodge. It is solely about an African orphanage being started by our church. Hope you will check in on it from time to time.

"Whatchu talkin 'bout Willis" Wednesday

My good friend Todd gave me an idea with this post. My whole life I have heard people exclaim, "Whatchu talking ‘bout Willis," followed by massive amounts of laughter as if I have never heard that before. Well, I decided to start a new series of blogging called "Whatchu talking ‘bout Willis" Wednesday. It may last a week, maybe a month, who knows. It will contain items of interest to me that I think other people should know about as well. Here’s the first week's effort…..

The Seven Deadly Sins That Lead to Debt

1. Envy
The rich and famous luxury items are accessible now more than ever -- and without the wealth they once implied. With more and more people sporting expensive goods, it's easy to feel left out and far behind.

2. Forget that pride goes before a fall
Pride can get in the way of preparing for worst-case scenarios.

3. Be slothful with finances
Finances tend to be complicated and require some mental manipulation of the most dreaded of all things: numbers. Failure to pay attention to loan terms and due dates can have severe consequences.

4. Get greedy when borrowing
Why buy an economy car when you can get a loan for twice as much and ride around in style?

5. Feel wrathful at everyone but yourself
Blame others for your own financial missteps. That way you never have to learn anything new.

6. Be gluttonous
You deserve that cookie so go ahead and eat it and maybe a couple more for good measure. While you're at it, buy the bedroom set you can't afford but deeply desire.

7. Let lust lead you into spending
What can a little coveting hurt if no action is taken?

(article from entire article can be read

March 4, 2008

Where in the world?

Since we put a site monitor on our blog, i have continued to be amazed at the number of times people from all over the United States as well as all over the globe stop by. I'm sure i don't even know a majority of them, but hey, thanks for making it look like we have interesting lives!

Today we had visitors from the countries of Colombia, Morocco, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Senegal, Canada, and Spain. Amazing to me. I guess maybe our blog got more interesting once i stopped talking about the cyclones all the time??


This is absolutely hilarious.....laugh out loud at work funny!!! I just wish I was this clever. This is what one of our friends had as a respose to Jared's blog about Willis Custom Homes. Click here to see what I am talking about. Thanks Todd for the good laugh!

***** +

If you are confused by the title, thinking its some sort of a swear word, be not alarmed, for it is merely symbolically representing the highest award Energy Star gives out - the five star plus. Basically this means your house has achieved the best rankings as far as air infiltration rates, insulation amounts, excellent windows, mechanical systems sizing, ductwork leakage, correct appliances and usages, etc.

And our house got it.

Here is a picture showing how the representative sucks the air out of your house to test how much infiltration your house has.

Who is Jared working for anyway?

I get questions from people occasionally trying to figure out who I am actually working for or what i am doing throughout the days. I've put off writing about it for awhile, but thought i would bring everyone up to speed now...

I had worked for Jensen Design Build for about 4 1/2 years when my time there was up in December. They "encouraged" me to go elsewhere because my job had been to run new construction projects, and there weren't any new projects to run, making me somewhat of an expensive handyman/snow shoveler/whatever guy. I had turned down a couple other job opportunities before that, but ended up working out a deal with Duane Jensen (J-Corp) (the brother of the owner of JDB) where i would run a large project for him starting this spring. I started with J-Corp the beginning of January and have been doing some pre-construction work with the Ag Leader job and have helped with other projects they have going as well.

This move has created a great scenario for me because the flexibility now allows me to more aggressively pursue my own business of home building while still having some income from my work with J-Corp. The plan is once our current house sells, my new company - Willis Custom Homes - will begin a couple houses this spring/summer and hopefully a couple more this fall.

Hopefully by the time my project with J-Corp ends this next winter, I will be able to strictly run WCH full time and use all my time to play a more active role in each house, saving money for the buyer and keeping me on the site so work gets done as it should in a timely manner.

The new logo was developed by my friend Ben Bradley and hopefully will soon be seen popping up on signs around Ames.

Hopefully this wasn't too confusing and brings you up to date on what has been going on business-wise in my life recently.