Here Comes the Next Hurricane

Yesterday we got word that another hurricane, Frances, is heading our way. Before Charlie it was 1964 when the last hurricane hit Orlando. Now we are poised to have two in one year. Jennifer went out this morning to get more supplies: water, candles, non-perishable food. She was amazed at how little was left at the store. It’s Tuesday and the hurricane isn’t supposed to hit until Saturday. I guess Charlie has pushed people to start getting ready early. Hopefully we will be just as lucky with this storm. They were supposed to start working on our hardwood floor this week, but we are thinking of telling them to start next week just in case the storm knocks out our power for an extended length of time. We don’t want our floors to be pretty much ripped down to the concrete while we are trying to survive through the storm.

Today I went to the dermatologist and had the mole on my face removed. It’s been there since I was a little kid, but it was finally time to go. When I held Emily one of her favorite things to do was to pick at it. Well, it’s gone now and I’ve been having phantom mole pains all afternoon. When I got home, the girls were asking what happened to my face. Emily said “owie” when she saw the band-aid on my cheek.

Joining the YMCA

Yesterday we joined the YMCA again. Jennifer has been desperately been seeking something for her and the kids to do on the days that Abby doesn’t go to school. Her plan is to go work out at “the Y” while the kids play in the nursery. I was hoping to get a little more in shape so that when I go play flag football at work, I won’t be hobbling home.

That afternoon we went swimming at the YMCA’s pool. It’s amazing how much Emily loves the water. Meanwhile her older sister was screaming her head off when we removed her floating vest. We’ve always had a feeling that Emily would take to the water because in the bath tub she loves putting her head underwater, with today’s picture as evidence.

Emily is starting to understand us more and more. Today I asked her if she needed her diaper changed and she ran into her room, climbed up on her changing table and laid down waiting for me to change her. It was a little scary.

Madden Frame

Today I got my Madden 2005 frame back from the frame shop. It is quite big, but it looks great. Framing the box cover and media has been a tradition since I finished my first game. This is the first time I’ve actually done four different versions of a game before, so that accounts for the size. I’m going to take it up to work to show everyone, but it’s so big I don’t think it will stay up on my cubical wall. We will be hanging it upstairs in the office.

Universal Studios

On Monday I took off from work and George and I went to Universal Studios. I had never been since we always felt that the girls were too young for Universal and that Disney World was more appropriate for them. By far the best ride we went on was the brand new Revenge of the Mummy ride. We discovered the “single rider” line which allowed us to ride it four times before leaving. Another good area was the Terminator 2: 3D show. I had been wanting to see this since it came out several years ago. We also saw Twister, Earthquake, Back to the Future, and Men In Black.

Today is Jennifer’s mother’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Grandma. Today’s picture is of Abby and Grandma decorating a birthday cake for Jennifer when they were visiting this summer.

Emily in the Playroom with a Cycling Trophy

Today started off with us all going to Peach Valley Cafe once again for breakfast. The girls are doing better and better each time we go. This time they sat at the table without much fuss at all. Maybe we can start expanding this to lunch and dinner. We’ll have to see, but I’m skeptical.

This afternoon I picked up George from the airport. He’s in town for training as part of his job with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He came in a couple of days early so that he could visit. I’m going to take off from work tomorrow and we are going to go to Universal Studios.

Today’s picture is from about a year ago when Abby and Emily were better friends. It turns out that Emily has had enough of Abby’s torture as of late. Poppy had given Abby a cycling trophy when they visited this summer. Today Emily took the trophy and whacked Abby on top of the head with the marble base. No blood was shed, and Emily was sorry that she hit her sister on the head.

Madden Wrap Party

Yesterday we attended the Madden 2005 Release Party at a bar, Rhythm & Flow, in downtown Orlando. Jennifer finally got to meet a friend from work and his wife, Tom and Tina Carbone. It was good to get away from the kids and go out for a drink downtown. Meanwhile, Abby and Emily went across the street and stayed with one of our neighbors. Jane is a single mother with two young boys, five and four years old, Connor and Lucas. Abby often plays with them in the evenings after dinner. Jane reported that Emily was the best behaved of all of them. She had her blanket and milk ripped away from her, but she didn’t cry or put up a fuss.

This morning I went and played flag football with some of the guys from work again. This time I came prepared, I had Jennifer buy a water jug the other day. One of the main problems last time was warm water. This time I had nice cold water the whole time I was there. It was still extremely hot and we didn’t last very long, just over an hour. I came limping home, I fell twice jamming my knee into the ground and somehow I hurt my ribs. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I was in a little better shape, I wouldn’t come limping home each time I play.

We watched the movie Matchstick Men this evening. It was a good movie starring Nicholas Cage. He plays a conman with an excessive compulsive disorder, who discovers he has a fourteen year old daughter, he’s never met. I thought the movie dragged in a few places, but was overall good. It was a little predictable and I had the movie figured out about half way through.

Today’s picture is of Emily from last summer right after she started crawling. I chose this picture because she is playing with Dora the Explorer, which is one of Abby’s favorite shows. Lately when Emily sees Dora on the television, she says, “Dora!” Now that I’ve seen this picture, I realize that Abby’s has been training her sister to like Dora all along.

Madden Sells 1.3 Million in First Week

Reuters has reported today that my game Madden NFL 2005 has sold 1.3 million copies in the first week of sales. This is defintely the highest selling game I’ve ever worked on. I think Madden NFL 2002 PC sold around 300,000 copies in it’s entire run. Our biggest competitor, ESPN NFL 2K5 has sold just under 800,000 copies in their first month of sales. They came out a couple of weeks ahead of us and their price is only $19.99. Our game is $49.99 and is kicking their ass in one week of sales vs. their one month of sales.

Replacing the Floor

We heard back from State Farm Insurance yesterday about replacing our floors. It turns out that they are going to go ahead and replace the entire floor instead of making us try and match it up. This is great news and Jennifer is already looking at perhaps changing to a different type of wood for the floor and changing it so that it isn’t a floated floor so we don’t have a similar problem in the future. She also wants to get it laid out on the diagonal instead of straight across the floor, which is how our house in Round Rock had its floors.

Today’s picture is another classic picture from when Abby was around the age Emily is now. In fact, we have Emily wearing the same outfit that Abby is wearing in this picture. The picture also shows what our hardwood floors looked like back in Round Rock.

Madison Visits

Our friends, Tim and Leslie, who have been without power since the storm, found out that their power won’t be restored until Thursday. Because of this, they decided to go to a hotel and we offered to watch their dog, Madison. The girls have enjoyed having the dog at the house. Emily has been pretty funny around her. When Madison barks, Emily puts her finger up to her lips and says, “shush”.

Abby’s school was canceled again today because there’s still power outages in our county. Because of this, Jennifer and the kids had to once again get out of the house and go to lunch at “Burger Cheese”, also known as McDonalds, so that they could run around and get some of the energy out of their systems.

Today’s picture is of one of the trees on our street which got knocked down during the hurricane. This one was amazing because the tree trunk snapped.

Praying in the Dark

Today we went to church and got to see first hand what Hurricane Charlie did to Winter Park. The area that our church is in is surrounded by large beautiful trees. Once we got into the area, it was pretty bad. The golf course that runs through the middle of Winter Park was covered in downed trees. A cemetery across the street had toppled headstones from the falling branches and trees. We found our church to be without power and we ended up having service in the heat and darkness.

Today’s picture is of Emily right after a bath a couple of weeks ago.