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April 24, 2009

The talented Butler girls

Very proud of Emily and Maggie for doing a terrific job in last night's talent show at school. It's funny to see how fearless girls are in particular. I would say 80% of the show performers were girls. Of that 80% were singing or dancing to Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus. Good times.

January 24, 2009

Smoking pork loins

I've got the charcoal chimmney fired up and the cherry wood soaking. It's time to make some BBQ! Today I'm smoking a pair of pork loins for a family get together tonight. Here is the smoking schedule.

January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Emily!

Emily's baby pictureHappy Birthday to Emily. Today is her 8th birthday. Wow! Time flies.

November 26, 2007

Maggie gets a third set of tubes

Maggie gets a third set of tubes

July 20, 2007

Emily is competing in her first triathlon tomorrow morning

The Ponte Vedra YMCA is sponsoring a kid's triathlon to raise money for the Share the Y campaign. Emily attended a clinic last Sunday afternoon to learn about the different parts of the race. For some unfortunate reason, I talked to the kids about the swim leg of the race. Do as I say, not as I do kids!

Emily's race will be a 25-yard swim in the pool, then bike 2 miles, and run ¼ mile. We have done a couple of bike-run bricks in the neighborhood, so she is ready.

I think I might put the Garmin on her to record this for posterity.

July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July

070704_4th_of_july 004

Emily and Maggie getting ready to go out and watch the fireworks.

June 29, 2007

10 years

Yesterday Karen and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. I am a lucky guy, and I remind myself every day.

June 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Maggie

It's hard to believe our little booger is 4. She is also quick to remind everyone that she is the birthday girl.

June 14, 2007

Dad's home

Came home late yesterday afternoon. They poked, prodded, and scanned him Tuesday while they had him in the hospital. Everything can back looking good. Not sure if he is going to have to go back in. I think the doctor will have to present some strong evidence for him to go back. He looks and acts like he feels much better, and he is even behaving and taking it easy. He spent most of today sitting in a chair at the cleaners. This is going to be a terrific Father's Day!

June 11, 2007

Dad in the hospital

Dad went in this morning to have the other 2 stints placed in his arteries. Nothing went well.

To start, they could not find a suitable vein for an IV. Apparently, they had to do the procedure with only a local anesthetic and Dad was able to feel everything. Then, when inserting the first stint, a hole formed and they had to repair it. Because of this, they could only do the one stint and will have to do the another in a couple of weeks. Dad will spend the night at the hospital.

Mom is pretty upset and Dad is frustrated. He was very nervous and anxious going into today's activities, and now he will have to do it again. Thanks to everyone who has kept him in their thoughts and prayers. It means a bunch!

June 8, 2007

Emily has submitted her list of demands

Things she wants to do this summer, that is. Here is the list. Hopefully, we will be able to mark all of them off. I might add a few as well.

  1. Library
  2. Putt Putt
  3. Water Park (Disney)
  4. Play date with friends
  5. Beach
  6. Boone Park
  7. Sleepover with grandparents
  8. Summer reading log
  9. Castle park
  10. Zoo
  11. Vacation Bible School
  12. Plant flowers
  13. Sprinkler park
  14. Swim practice

I think we'll fire up a Google map to track our adventures.

May 31, 2007

Ballet recital

070530_ballet_recital 019Last night was the girl's ballet recital. Emily was a dancing fairy and Maggie was a jack-in-the-box. Afterwards, Maggie announced that she no longer wants to dance at the studio, just on "the big stage." We had to tell her that she has to practice at the studio, and you only get to dance on "the big stage" every so often. The girls did a terrific job.

May 30, 2007

Emily is tops at reading, Part 2

Several weeks ago, I mentioned that Emily had read the most books in her class. Well, come to find out, Emily read the most books of any kindergartner at John Stockton Elementary this year. She received a shiny gold and blue trophy last week for reading 874 books this year. Wow!

Since the last day of school, she has been busy working on her summer reading list. For summer reading, she has to read all of the books on her own, and they must be at a certain reading level. At various milestones, she earns rewards for her reading such as ice cream at Chick-Fil-A or a cookie at Sheila's. She is already halfway to the first milestone. Keep it up Emily!

May 22, 2007

Dad's doing well, coming home tomorrow

They moved Dad into a regular room today, so we were able to take the girls to see him. He looked really good and was in good spirits. He will be coming home tomorrow and the real battle begins. Making him rest and keeping him away from the dry cleaners.

The doctors will insert the other stints in 2 weeks. Great news.

Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern.

May 9, 2007

Emily is tops at reading

Emily brought a note home from school yesterday. She has read the most books in her class this year. As a reward, she will attend a lunch today with children's author Susan Stevens Crummel. Emily had just checked out Crummel's book, Cook-A-Doodle-Doo, from the library. Because of the recognition, I wanted Emily to have her own copy of the book for Crummel to sign at lunch today. I called around to the bookstores and finally found a copy last night and drove across town to get it.

It's amazing to think at the beginning of the year, we were reading books to Emily and now at the end of the year, she is reading the books on her own. Very exciting and we are very proud of Emily!

February 12, 2007

Emily and Daddy running

When I returned from my run yesterday afternoon, Emily wanted to go for a run. She is registered for the Junior River Run being held in 4 weeks. She took off fast, but when we reached the corner she needed a quick rest and some water. From that point on she listened to me and ran at a steady pace. We ran around the block, which is a little over half a mile. I think it was her best run ever around the block. After the first stop, she didn't stop again and was very consistent. Yeah Emily!

This is a picture she drew of us later on last night of her running with her Daddy.  The pink thing in my hand is her water bottle.

November 14, 2006

S'mores on the back deck

Last night I put a couple of logs in the fire pit and we sat around it while I grilled chicken on the Weber. Karen brought the girls little foam sofa out to the deck for the girls. They had a fun time making a tent out of the sofa and a blanket. I told them maybe they can camp out in the backyard when they get a little bigger. We topped off the night with roasted marshmallows and made S'mores. Lots of fun!

September 13, 2006

Kayaking with Emily

060907_Captiva 011The family spent last week in Captiva. We always enjoy kayaking while there. This year we decided Emily was old enough to come along. She did pretty well at first, only bashing her Dad in the head a few times, but then she started to wear down towards the end. We saw lots of pelicans and other birds in the mangroves. We also paddled past the house that belonged to Ding Darling when he lived on the island.

Here is a KML file of our adventure. BTW, you no longer have to use Google Earth to open a KML file. You can now paste the link location of a KML file into Google Maps to view the file. Pretty neat!

August 8, 2006

Emily starts kindergarten

FirstDaySchool 017

Yesterday was Emily's first day of school. Boy, do I feel old. She absolutely loves school and when Karen picked her up yesterday, Emily asked if she could sign up for extended session.

We were wondering how a full day of school would affect her energy levels. Based on yesterday and today, she hasn't missed a beat. We'll see how she does Friday. Going from a 3-day a week, 4-hour a day preschool to 5 days a week and 6.5 hours a day is quite a jump.

We are so proud of our little girl.

August 4, 2006

Four generations

DiamondD 130

We took the girls to Diamond D ranch yesterday to visit my Dad's horse Poteet. She is an unbelievable 36 years old, the same age as me. I'm not sure when my grandfather purchased Poteet, but it was sometime in the 70's. My Dad took me the barn as a youngster to ride horses. That was fun until he started letting me take the dirt bike to the barn. Poteet is a very gentle horse and my Dad has taken terrific care of her. He wanted to make sure we took pictures of my daughters with her, the fourth generation of Butlers to ride her.

July 4, 2006

4th of July and baseball

4th of July and baseball

The Butlers went with the Cardozos to watch the Jacksonville Suns play tonight. The Suns won 2-0 on a 2-hit complete game shutout. Big fireworks display afterwards. More pictures to post later.

UPDATE: More photos posted.

July 3, 2006

Trip to the beach

Emily and Maggie getting ready for fun

We picked up Karen's Dad yesterday afternoon and went to the beach for a couple of hours. The girls had a great time playing in the surf and building sand castles. Plus, we had a front row seat for an entertaining soccer match. By the end of the day, the girls were wiped out.

June 28, 2006

9th wedding anniversary

Big round of applause for Karen. She has put up with me for 3,287 days. Actually, it has been 4,152 days since our first date.

A better metric would be the fact that she has put up with me being an OCD runner/triathlete for approximately 1,374 of those days.

June 23, 2006

Friday night dinner at Moon River Pizza

Moon River Pizza

Met up with the Cardozo's and Schueth's at Moon River Friday night. Very tasty pizza. Very good place to take a bunch of squirmy little girls for dinner. Afterwards, we headed to the Dreamette for dessert. They were closed, of course. Instead, we ended up heading to the Florida Creamery for ice cream. The girls had a terrific sugar rush going and then crashed hard. Very fun evening.

Maggie's 3rd Birthday Party


Last Saturday we had a Dora the Explorer sprinkler party for Maggie's third birthday. I can't believe she is 3! We had wader pools and sprinklers set up for the kids to cool off. We rented a sno cone machine and consumed lots of shaved ice and cherry syrup. Even the parents were chowing on the sno cones to cool off.

Midway through the party, we went on an adventure to find Maggie's birthday surprise. The wader pools were the Three Seas, Karen and I painted the driveway to look like Crocodile Lake. Karen decorated the gate to look like Singing Gate and I set up the front yard to have a Balloon Trail. At the end of the trail around the corner of the house was Maggie's surprise, a "big girl" Dora bicycle. She was pretty excited.

More pictures are available online. Because Karen and I were so busy with the party, Molly Cardozo took quite a few photos for us. We will upload the rest soon.

June 22, 2006

Losing teeth is profitable


Emily waves the proceeds from her tooth. The Tooth Fairy is a very generous individual. Inflation is everywhere. Gas is $3 a gallon, a coffee will put you back $4 and a tooth will get you $5. The times we are living in.

June 21, 2006

The responsibilities of being a Dad

060621_emily_tooth 002

Just added a new one today. Pulling a loose tooth. This one was no cake walk. The tooth was REALLY loose, but still hanging on. There was some gnashing of teeth (pun intended), but Emily was a big girl and let Daddy pull the tooth. She really didn't have an option, other than going to see the dentist. Her gums were getting red and swollen because the tooth underneath is ready to emerge and apparently ran out of patience with this baby tooth. The good news is Emily had a badge of courage to show her buddies at the pool today and will get a lucrative visit from the Tooth Fairy tonight.

May 12, 2006

Emily is a daisy in this year's recital

Emily is a daisy in this year's recital

Not sure you can sense her daddy glowing through this post. What a little angel! Tomorrow evening will be her second ballet recital. Apparently, the dance moves are top secret because Emily has been hesitant to show me. "Daddy, you will just have to wait until tomorrow night."

Her little sister Maggie is very excited that she will be allowed to attend the recital this year. And to think, next year we will be watching Emily and Maggie dance.

I am a very fortunate guy to be surrounded by beautiful girls (their Mom included).

May 3, 2006

Maggie gets the ENT full meal deal

Maggie gets the ENT full meal deal

This is a photo of Maggie in the OR prep area. You can't tell in the photo, but she is starting to act loopy as a result of the Versaid. She was cracking us up. Very giggly.

Next time we saw her she certainly wasn't giggling. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed, and tubes placed in her ears for the second time.

We returned home from the hospital a little after 10 am. She is doing fine, just a little groggy from the sedation. We have plenty of Dora the Explorer popsicles for her recovery.

April 10, 2006

Life's lessons

The girls learned one of life's lessons tonight, in a big way. Karen and I were weeding the flower beds in the front yard. Emily and Maggie were having a big time just rolling around in the grass. Karen warned them a couple of times it was going to cause them to get itchy. Sure enough, once they stopped, Emily was screaming that her body was itchy all over. She was inconsolable, so Karen had to quit working and take them both for a bath. Once I finished up and went inside, Karen gave me the recap. When she placed them in the bath, both girls skin turned red and resembled hives. Applying cool water and then moisturizing cream finally cooled their skin. Poor boogers. Another lesson learned the hard way.

April 8, 2006

Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Cofrans


Our neighbors Kevin and Julie Cofran hosted their annual Easter Egg hunt today. Lots and lots of preppy little kids running around looking for plastic eggs full of goodies. And this year the event was highlighted by a visit from the Easter Bunny. Too cute!

Of course, the Butler girls had to make the 1/4 mile drive around the block in style arriving in their pink Barbie Jeep.

March 18, 2006

Beautiful day at the Jacksonville Zoo

Beautiful day at the Jacksonville Zoo

Visiting the zoo with the girls, Grandpa, Aunt Margie, Uncle Joe, Sonya, Grayson, Bob, Kris, Elizabeth, Jesse, Hope and Kayla.

More pictures at Flickr.

March 13, 2006

Emily runs

Based on her running performance Saturday, I took Emily to get a new pair of running shoes today. We bought her a pair of pink New Balance 991s. She was very eager to get home and try them out. After I finished up some work, I took her for a jog around the block. The block is about a half mile. She did pretty well, only stopping a couple of times to walk. Of course, the minute she felt like she caught her breath, she tore off running again. Towards the end, I think she started to learn a little more about pacing. I might need to remind her the story of the hare and the tortoise.

More photos:

March 7, 2006

Work around the house

I’m very proud of my industrious little girls.  Emily came home from ballet and decided she need to go outside and pull some weeds from the future flower beds.  She put on some jeans, an old t-shirt and headed out the back door.  About 10 minutes later she was finished.  She was “sweaty” and couldn’t do anymore.  The little bit she did do was priceless to watch.  For her efforts, Karen gave her $2.  Ah, that’s $12/hour.  Not bad for a 5–year-old.

While her big sister was gardening, Maggie was in the kitchen whipping up some macaroni and cheese.  Not sure if she was paid for her efforts.  Might have something to do with child labor laws.  I hope the girls don’t organize and form a union.

NOTE:  The title for this post was originally “Working girls.”  After I thought about it, that wasn’t the best choice of words.  Then the post was going to be “Chores.”  Hmmm, what rhymes with “chores”?  No good.  I think “Work around the house” is innocent enough.

Emily pulls weeds
Maggie cooks

March 5, 2006

Sunday afternoon at Stinson Park

Sunday afternoon at Stinson Park

Sunday afternoon at Stinson Park,
originally uploaded by mmbutler.

We walked up to Stinson Park for a little while this afternoon. Emily and Maggie played on the playground, built a sandcastle, plus we saw this guy catch a giant sheephead.

February 28, 2006

Popcorn and orange soda

Popcorn and orange soda,
originally uploaded by mmbutler.

Tuesday night. For Emily, that means American Idol, popcorn and orange soda. We were thinking about it the other day, and Emily has been an American Idol fan since Ruben and Clay. At the age of 2, she could do a mean Ruben Studdard imitation.