Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Site

Check out the new site:
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See you there.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat

This hole Trick or Treat thing gets more and more exciting every year when you have kids. I wonder what the bell curve looks like (stock market term) at what age does their excitement peak...and then start to decline. I know that this happen, but I can't hardly picture this not being one of their best days of the year.

Brock and I took Emer and Ashy door to door all over his neighborhood last night. We were both dressed up too (I'll get pictures on soon) Emersyn would just stare into her candy bag with awe and wonder after each house would give her a piece of candy. At one house after they dropped her treat into the bag, she stood on the porch, looked at her treasure, and started yelling and jumping up and down, "I got a sucker, I got a sucker!" Every one within 20 feet had a good smile.

Ashtyn loved the whole deal too, but I think her best experience was when we came back to Uncle Brock and Aunt Stacy's house, and SHE got to hand out the candy to kids. She loved it! She wouldn't even give kids time to come up to the front door, she would see a trick or treater, grab a handful of candy, and run outside to meet them at the sidewalk.

For the kids who did make it to the door, you just had to see the look on some of these kids faces when they say trick or treat, and a little 4 year old princess gives them 9 mini candy bars. They would look at Brock (as the grown-up) as if to say, "Do I really get to keep all that candy?" Uncle Brock was AWESOME and encouraged the girls to do whatever they wanted, that made the experience even more fun for them...it helped that he had bought about 2000 mini candy bars, no joke!

Anyways, it was a great day, even little Teagan was dressed up and could feel the excitement. She was a little Indian Princess (Thanks DeManns) On a side note, as I type this every time I try to type FUN...I type FUND...I've truly been working too much!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baby Mice

So Sarah and I have no love what so ever for rodents. Sarah is truly afraid of mice. (Ask my Mom, she has seen her in action), and I am the king of the clever mouse trap. I've bought every trap possible...regular, glue, plastic, cages, poison, etc. I've tried it all over the years because I don't want any mice in my home, Period.

But Today, something funny and strange happened. I've spend the afternoon cleaning up the house and buttoning down for winter. (I'm quite behind because the 24 hour flu knocked me out for half of Friday and most of Saturday). Sarah and the girls were playing in the backyard, so I decide to clean things up a bit. I shine my grill spotless, then I quickly pick up the bulky grill cover that has been laying next to my grill for the past 2 weeks.

As soon as I pick up the grill cover, I see a mouse take off. It had been living in the nice, warm "blanket." My initial instint is to get the rodent shells loaded into my 22. But then I see a little pink blob about the size of a silver dollar curled up on the inside of the grill cover.

Baby Mouse! And it is breathing and moving.

"Ashtyn, Sarah, you have got to see this. It is amazing...wait, there is two more...and two more...and they are all alive."

Well Sarah and I share a look that probably only parents would understand. Ashtyn wants to know where there mommy is. Are they OK? Etc.

Two minutes later I've made a "mouse house" with tiolet paper, and Sarah has found a box that will provide wind protection. I carefully put them little buggers into the TP bed and put the bed into the box. Sure enough, Mommy mouse shows up about two minutes latter, but bolts when she sees us again. We're inside now, wondering if mommy is going to show up. I think she will. These mice were born TODAY, I'm sure, because as nasty as it sounds I had to clean the grill cover. (Throughly too, I hate germs.)

Anyways, I'll keep you posted on how the little guys do. I'll also let you know when I stop being so emotional and buy some new mouse traps.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Working in Mississippi

I'm spending the early part of this week in Jackson, Mississippi. We are quarterly company leadership meeting here. Jackson, MS is the home of our securities division. I'm staying in an amazing southern Mansion, The Fairview Inn. It is exactly like the ones that you see in the movies. Just beautiful. We had dinner at another MS Mansion last night...the home of one of my partners. His wife put out a spread of food like I haven't see since last time I was down here. Southern hospitality is alive and well down here. My new favorite thing is Mint Sweet Tea. I'll bring home the recipe!

I'm tired, I didn't sleep great last night. It was a combination of eating too much, and missing my girls alot. I'm also concerned about the sale of our home. I'm praying that the couple who toured it with their realtor yesterday; fall in love with it, and place a full price offer tomorrow. That would be a cool thing. You never know, it just takes one buyer!

Friday, September 12, 2008


You guys would not believe how BIG Teagan is getting. She is about 8 weeks old, and it is so cool to see a personality already forming and taking shape.

I leave for work out of town every Monday and get home Wednesday night. It is amazing how much that little one changes and grows IN THREE DAYS. It's like the sensation of seeing your chubby friend for the first time after several months, and she looking 20 pounds lighter. She may notice her weight loss transformation on a daily basis, but you surly notice because you had a different mental picture of her. (This sensation is the opposite with Teagan though, because she gets cuter and chubbier each week!)

My other two little ones are morphing each week too. They seem to be getting more intelligent and thoughtful each week though. (And one of them maybe a little sassy-er each week too...but you have to love her for it.) The depth of Ashtyn is just mind boggling, and for each of you who knows her, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And Emer is getting more loving affectionate each week. She hugs me tightly now, she is growing up and learning how to give those hearty Ansel hugs. It is pure gold.

Anyways, I'm rambling. You all know how crazy I am about these girls. I've said it before, but I'll say it again...It is truly a good life!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Giving up Control

So I’ve been working out of two for 3 days a week for about the last 7 months, and I’ve got to tell you, it is tough. I’m truly thankful for the amazing opportunities that I have with my company in Cleveland…don’t get me wrong. And I’m not trying to sound like a belly aching baby, because I know that many guys are making much bigger sacrifices than me to provide for their families futures (Soldiers in Iraq, Joe Neill, Dan Milnes, etc.) Also, I’ve been blessed with a special situation with great people like the Michaud family being willing to open up their home to me every week. (I love you guys, truly, you are good people). Without that blessing, I probably would already have went crazyJ

My prayer is for a quick sale of our home in Michigan. I know that it will happen eventually, but that would surly open wide the options for my family! I will continue to work hard and make the trip each week, that’s all I can do at this point…be faithful. I trust that God is in control and will continue to guide my family on this leg of our journey, as He so beautifully has in the past. As a guy, it is tough to surrender control, but that is exactly what I am doing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Working from Home

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I'm working from home this week, instead of making the weekly trek to Cleveland. My girls were so excited to get the news. Even a couple of evenings without their daddy-boy, it appears, is too much for them.

It was nice to be able to take the family out to dinner on a Monday, and then to come home and build forts with the girls until bedtime! Priceless moments, that I'm thankful for!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Loving the moments

It kind of hit me hard today for the first time. I HAVE 3 DAUGHTERS. Wow, where have the last 10 years went. I officially have as many kids as my parents. What a crazy deal. I'm in love so deep with these little gals, it is an indescribable feeling. I was rocking Teagan today, and I just realized that she will never be as little as she was at that very moment. Before I know it she will be as big as Emer or Ashy. I spent the rest of a lazy Saturday trying to soak up the moments...smelling Ashtyn's hair, how it feels to kiss Emer's chubby cheeks, looking deeply into their eyes (which Ashtyn thinks are windows into a persons heart).

I have these same sappy feelings about their mom too. Sarah is still the beauty queen who showed up at youth group every now and then. My brain used to go fuzzy when I'd catch a look from her. It's all still there, just fast forward 13+ years.

It's a good life. Even through all the uncertainty, seeming injustice, and sometimes scary stuff...I've been telling God an awful lot lately how unbelievably grateful I am for my tiny part (which feels extremely important though) in this cosmic experiment!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Traveling Buddy

You know you have a good friend (who's profession offers him some locational flexibility) when he say's, "Hey man, if you ever want some company on one of your weekly trips to Cleveland, let me know...I can work from anywhere."

I basically called Joe that afternoon and told him that it is a long drive, and some company would be incredible. That next morning at 6:45 AM we were hitting the trail to Cleveland.

There's one spare office at InvestLinc, and the team there was most gracious and warm. No one had a problem with me bringing a friend to work. We camped about 10 minutes from the office at Punderson State Park, and that was a riot.

We ate good, saw a movie, looked through houses I'm considering, had great conversation. All in all it was a huge blessings to have a buddy from Jackson get to glimpse the life I'm building in Cleveland.

This picture is of Joe and his oldest son Austin. (Who I currently deem as first in line as a potential suitor for one of my princesses...he's a good kid) Joe's middle little guy is Logan, and his youngest is a daughter, Adia. Wife...Laura, beautiful family.

Joe is the director of SimplyMissions.org, and is in the process of building a world class missions and discipleship organization. My friend is an artist too, check it out at Station Six!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just another day in paradise!

Well, I just got those two oldest sisters down to bed a little bit ago. Sarah is out with some of her girlfriends and she has the baby. Ashtyn, Emersyn, and I went to Westwinds to help some friends paint the nursery there. The girls played with Jessica, Nicki, Danielle, and Gracie while the dad's rolled paint until our arms gave out. It was a good time. I can't think of a better group of guys to be painting with either...Brian D, Brian D, Tom S...and there was a SAU student there helping too. Her name was Jordan, like the river, she let us know. Anyways, I'm about to cash out with a good book. Sarah could be late. She hasn't been together with a group of girls in a month or two, so who knows when they will call it quits. Amazon.com shipped me 3 new titles today, and one of them is a new Ted Dekker...I'm pumped!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fun Insanity

Ways to Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity. (Thanks to my wife for forwarding this!)

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It 'In.'

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ' For Smuggling Diamonds'

7. Finish All Your sentences with 'In Accordance With The Prophecy.'

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go.'

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme?

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won!, I Won!'

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!'

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity.......READ THIS AGAIN AND LET YOURSELF LAUGH A BIT!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Going Bald

I had a dream last night that I was going bald. And in the dream I was quite concerned about this revelation. Then in the middle of this nightmare I come to the realization that I'm not really waiting on tables in my underwear at the Cracker Barrel (with my only concern not the underwear part, but the balding part) Man, I hope dreams don't reflect on mental stability, because I haven't had a wild one like that in a while. I must be sleep deprived or something!

Well, it was a funny dream anyway. It made me think about being 12 years old and remembering the thoughts and fears that I had then. I clearly remember thinking that if I ever started going bald...or wearing glasses...etc; how embarrassing that would be.

Well, now that I am 4-eyed and balding (before the age of 30) it's neat to reflect on the dreams and worries of my youth. All my dreams have come true, and most of my worries too. It all seems to be orchestrated though to make a pretty amazing life. And you won't catch me in the Rogaine section of the supermarket. (I haven't ruled out a sweet Bon Jovi hair piece though!)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby Teagan "Irish for Little Poet"

Finally I've found the time to get these few shots posted. The first two days at home I was getting up with Sarah and Teagan about every two hours. Sarah has settled into a routine now and that means that daddy gets to sleep more. Yesterday and this morning though I woke up at 5:00 AM to see Sarah and baby soundly asleep in the "nursing chair" next to our bed. I'm encouraging Sarah to try to sleep throughout the day, whenever baby is...but that is hard with the other two girls still crazy excited about having a new sister. They want to be around and involved with Mom and baby as much as possible. Thank God for Dora and BOZ movies though, as the girls are getting quite a bit more TV that they normally do. A necessary evil in my opinion...mom needs sleep, and dad has quite a bit of work to accomplish each day.
We've been to doctor with Teagan 3 times since last Sunday. They have been checking her bilirubin levels very closely. I'm thankful to report that her levels started to go down yesterday, so we don't have to travel into see her doctor any more (until her 1 week check-up) Teagan is also gaining weight quite rapidly, which is great.
Ashtyn and Emersyn are enjoying the new baby. Ashtyn wants to be involved in everything, while Emer is still interested but cautious. True to their personalities for sure!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Teagan Gabrielle Ansel

I'm so excited to web log the birth of our beautiful baby girl, Teagan Gabrielle Ansel. Teagan arrived yesterday morning at 8:51 a.m. weighing 6#14 oz. We got to the hospital Sunday morning at about 6:30 AM and just over two hours later Sarah was nursing a strong, healthy baby. This picture is from my phone, but I'll post more as soon as I get them off her camera.
Thanks for all the supportive phone calls, texts, e-mails, visits, and gifts. We want to thank everyone who has taken such good care of us for the past couple of days!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Attack the Watermelon!

Ashtyn attacked this watermelon at my parents cottage this weekend. These pictures crack me up. I wish that I would have had a video camera because it would be on YouTube right now.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Party Day in Monroe

We are hanging in Monroe today. Two important graduation parties. Sarah's brother Jason and my cousin Kaileigh are celebrating their entry into adulthood. I spent the morning preparing my famous baked spaghetti for J's party. Almost 30 pounds of it. I try to over-cook for events like this, because it is usually a big hit.

Kaileigh's party is at Grandpa and Mary's house. That will be a relaxing and fun time with the girls. They will both want to enjoy the pool most of the whole party, and I'm more than happy to oblige.

Today is also my Grandpa's 69th birthday. Amazing, he still looks 55 and has the work ethic of someone who has never asked for a handout in his life. I set up a breakfast meeting with him last week, and after about 25 minutes, he popped up and said, "Well, I'm sorry, but I've got to get back to work at the farm." Keep in mind that he retired from 39 years at Ford Motor about 10 years ago. He still has it in him though.

My girls are dressed up in matching outfits today. I love it when Sarah does that. I'll try to snap a shot today and will post it on http://www.sillyparents.com