Friday, September 18, 2009

Dylan Clinton Jones!!

So, I'm a new aunt as of last night!! My brother's wife Kelly gave birth to a baby boy -- Dylan Clinton Jones (the baby formally known as Guiseppe). He was 8 lbs 1 oz, 21 inches long, and born around 11 pm EST last night!! I couldn't be more thrilled for Cam and Kelly!!

Jason and I are going to the hospital in Atlanta to see them tonight -- so we'll bring back more information and pictures!! Yay for being an aunt (again)!! This is Cam's first baby... so we're very excited!! He is healthy, cute and everyone is doing well! Thanks for all your prayers and love!

Wedding Craziness!!

Wow, I'm so bad with this blog thing. ;-) Surely, I've got to get better, right?? :-)

So, we're officially a month away from the wedding and all kinds of craziness... I'm definitely ready for the whole thing to be over with! I'd say right now our biggest problems (things that aren't coming together at the last minute) all involve music. We don't have a DJ for the wedding -- ours bailed at the last minute. :-/ And we're trying to get one of the youth at Buford to do it... but that isn't panning out quite as well as one would have hoped. So, yeah... no alcohol and no DJ and in the middle of the day... doesn't sound like our wedding's going to be very much fun!! We're working on it though...

And the other problem we're having with music involves the ceremony music. We really wanted our friend JD to play the keyboard because he's AMAZING, but of course he can't come and we found out at the last minute. :-/ So, back to the drawing board there. We need to find some good stuff to download on iTunes and find a way to play it at an outdoor wedding in the mountains!! I have a small karaoke machine... so maybe that will be loud enough. :-/ Jason's going to play around with it!

Other than that, I think things are good. We still haven't been getting RSVP's quite as quickly as we'd like. We have about 60-70 RSVPs of the 400 potential people attending! But a lot of people I think I'll have to contact or assume in the end. I'm sure that's how every wedding is!! Thankfully I'm just ordering food from Sam's -- and they only need a week's notice. I'd still like to know before then though. ;-) But we do have all the decorations, dresses, etc in order... so that's good!

Gotta love the wedding madness! I know Jason's ready for it to be over too... if for no other reason that to not have to hear me or his mom talk about it anymore!! I don't think he's stressed out about the "wedding" or any wedding details -- but I think me being stressed out stresses him out! He's a "fixer." :-) We talked about that in our Bible Study this week. I LOVE our Bible Study -- It's called Staying in Love. Perfect while we're planning a wedding and getting married! Listen to it online (along with other great messages): www.buckheadchurch.org/messages.

Please be praying for Jason and I as we go through this Joyful -- but Stressful time in our lives!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Update on Jason

I guess since this is both mine and Jason's blog -- you guys might want to hear an update about him! Jason is finishing up his summer semester classes this week and then getting ready to gear up for the fall classes. His summer classes went well for the most part, but he's ready to move on to something different! He took a history class, 2 education classes, and an astronomy class involving a lab.

His goal for the fall is to take a history internship class over at Sloss Furnances (counting as 2 courses), another history course, then an education course. However, he is having a ridiculously hard time registering for classes for the fall -- so be praying for him that he gets all of that straightened out. As typical for everything in Jason's life, nothing comes easy and ultimately we end up doing everything the hardest way possible. :-)

He had good bachelor's weekend on July 11-12 in Pennsecola, FL to watch the Blue Angels Air Show. He was able to enjoy the weekend with our dads, brothers, and his friend Alex! They rented a house and had a good ole time with just the boys!!

Omaha - Root Cause Analysis Course

So I'm in Nebraska for the first time in my life! It's always nice to start a job where you get to explore new places and have new adventures -- you just hope those places are more exciting than Omaha, Nebraska!! But the exciting thing about this training course is that there are people here from different places -- so I get to meet and interact with them. There are 2 ladies from Canada -- and even they are completely different. One is from Western Canada and has a very "Canadian" accent and culture, whereas the other is from Montreal and speaks French and has a very "French-Canadian" accent and culture. So, it's definitely been interesting carpooling with them and learning about their lives, their work, their plants, etc.

This training course is a course on "Root Cause Analysis" -- specifically in the area of quality. I feel like quality is an area of my company, Valmont, that is not viewed as such a high priority as other areas of the company -- such as safety, environmental, lean, etc. Well, obviously as a quality manager, I think that quality should be of the utmost importance. What good are we as a manufacturer if we are not designing, building and selling a quality product? And my love of concrete obviously drives me to see it utilized in it's greatest capacity.

So, this course has been a challenge in many ways. Most of the people attending the course work here in NE at the headquarters, and most of them are in the "structures" division of my company -- who builds light poles, etc. My specific division is the "utility" division, and I specifically work with concrete poles. So, it's definitely been a challege as they compare their problems in the steel plant and producing steel poles for a different purpose.

However, this course has been amazing. It forces you to change your thinking toward problem solving (specifically in the area of quality) and use a 5 step approach in finding the root cause of the problem and truly digging deeper in a systematic way. Check Duke Okes out at: www.aplomet.com. I'm definitely looking forward to tackling our quality problems and training the guys in the plant to tackle their own problems using this method. My favorite quote from Duke yesterday, 7.28: "Intuition is great...when backed up by data." -- Duke Okes.

Now I will go to enjoy one of the several perks of staying in a hotel -- "Guest appreciation Wednesday" -- which means free beer/wine and h'or dourves!! :-)

Now you guys will have to decide if you agree with Christina in that my life is interesting enough to blog about... this stuff is only interesting to engineering-minded geeks like me!! (I know Laura would agree with that statement -- she had to live with her dad and learned to tune me out before I even began!!)

Who would have guessed...

So, I'm not so good at this blogging thing!! I'm sure I have a million things to talk about -- so I'll try to split them up into different blogs. As always, I'm doing this just for Stina -- because I'm pretty sure she's the only one that cares about my life enough to read about it in a blog!!

So, I'll start from the present and work my way backwards...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Starting to Blog

So... never been much of a blogger. Even in high school when everyone was blogging! But Stina convinced me that mine and Jason's lives were interesting enough to blog about -- so here I am! Then I shamelessly stole her idea for a URL for my blog! :-)

So, I guess be patient with me as I actually try to get into the blogging thing!! I guess this means I need to be more diligent about taking pictures everywhere too so that I can post them with my blogs like Stina does... :-)