I visited Ireland for about 48 hours. I didn’t get to do much because work was very busy. It was a very good business trip.
The only thing I did get to do was visit Dublin for a couple hours. John McIntyre, my colleague, and I had a “pint” in McDoid’s Pub. John said “This is an authentic Irish pub. Not what you people in America think is an Irish pub.” Nice!

Running in Europe

While in Europe, I went running as often as I could; which wasn’t much. I find it’s a great way to see parts of the city that you don’t normally see. Sometimes, you might not want to see them.

Sweden – No time for a run but I did take a nice walk around the old city.
Amsterdam – I got in a couple runs. This was a case of not wanting to see things. The community I ran through was not the best part of the city.
Dublin – This was short run before my flight home. I basically ran around the apartments of Tyrrelstown.

The Classics

As part of my goals for Balanced Endeavors, I’ve been reading classic novels.  This is my list of completed and goal books.

  • Moby Dick
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Treasure Island
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Time Machine
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


I’m in Amsterdam… on a weekend… alone… I miss my friend.

The company has me staying out near the office, south of downtown. Today, I went into the city to do laundry. After dropping off my clothes, I went to the Rijksmuseum. It’s super cool. They have some amazing pieces of art.

Walking around the city was nice too. The canals are everywhere with lots of flowers. I even stumbled upon a large market that sells every type of tulip bulb you can imagine.

Amsterdam is nice with lots of History. However, it’s not nearly a clean as Stockholm.

AND it’s no fun without Lynn.

Stockholm Sweden

I went to Stockholm on a business trip. When I arrived, it was 54 degrees and raining cats and dogs. My colleague (Anders Persson) picked me up at the airport and we immediately drove to Sandviken about two hours north. There is very little between the two cities. But the country is very clean, the roads are great and the terrain reminds me of Maine; there are lots of trees and it’s very rocky.

On my second day, we stayed in the Sogeti office in Solna all day except for lunch. We had chinese for lunch, Ha! After work, I went for a walk in “old” Stockholm. It’s the center of Stockholm on a little island where the grand palace sits and most of the government offices are around this too.

To get there, I had to take a short subway ride. What amazes me most is how clean the city is. Its very similar to other european cities Lynn and I have visited. On my walk, I only visited in a couple shops. I bought an ice cream and headed back. The visit was way too short but at least I got out for a couple hours.

Lynn and I have to come back here together.

Canada with Allisons

Our divine friends, David and Lisa Allison invited us to Scott Island , their very special place, a private island in Bay of Islands in northern Ontario. This is the very northern tip of Lake Huron. If you’re familiar with the “North Channel”, you know about where we were. It’s the top of Lake Huron so, of course, the water is crystal clear and a bit chilly.

The island is amazing. It measures about 600′ x 700′. They’ve owned it for 30 years. You can only get there by boat. There is one main house plus a “Granny House” plus several small, one room cabins that are just big enough for a double-bed, dresser and a closet. The main house has a “West Deck” that has a spectacular view of the bay. The Granny House is new for Lisa’s parents. It’s a larger, open air cabin with an open architecture for living room/bed room, a small kitchenette, and bathroom.

The weather was gorgeous in the mid-80’s with totally sunny skies, and at night, down to low 60s (perfect sleeping weather while you hear the lapping of the lake waves on the rocky shoreline). We spent a lot of time sitting on the “West Deck” watching sunsets, drinking cocktails, and enjoying the great company. Along with David’s “divine” homemade bread he would make each day, we shared cooking the dinners each night. That was great fun too! We never went back to the mainland until we left four-days later.

We mostly focused on watersports like wake boarding, kayaking, swimming and such. Nathan and Reese did some fishing but didn’t have much luck. Boat excursions to check-out the uninhabited islands was lots of fun—“Flat Rock”, “Spider Island”, and “Mushroom Island” to name a few. In the past when Nathan visited, him and Reese would campout on these islands all night. One highlight for me was climbing a 30 foot rock cliff to jump off; anything Nathan can do, I can do too.

Lynn and Lisa went kayaking one morning after breakfast. Many of the islands are private and the Allisons treat it like a neighborhood. This is the Jackson’s, that’s the Miller’s, here are the Jone’s. Lynn got everyone’s stories, and during their adventure, they stopped to visit her Uncle (her mom’s brother) on his own Island, along with her Aunt and a cousin from Germany. During the week, families stop by for cocktails, others would invite you to dinner. It was very warm and welcoming. Surprisingly, many owners are from Ohio and Indiana.
It was a great time. Here are some pictures.

And a timelapse sunset:

Mission Trip 2015

I don’t have a proper story here. Just a bunch of thoughts that I captured on my phone during the trip.

  • Drive to Birmingham was easy.
  • We stayed in the gym of a southern Baptist church. Dinner was at Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ Restaurant and the biscuits were to die for. There was a very loud bang at night and it woke up nearly everyone. Linda Constand’s mattress deflated overnight and she threw it away; and she was exhausted.
  • Drive to camp how was beautiful. Not a lot of cities along the way. As we got to Louisiana, roads are very flat. Crossed Lake Pontchartrain and that was very cool.
  • Our Campsite (Camp Hope) is a little disappointing, lots of other teams here. We are very close to lower 9th Ward. This site is four feet BELOW sea level. No wonder it flooded!! Why would you build here.
  • Our work site is old house. Our task is dry walling the second floor. Rashana the owner and her children Rashan, and Kassidy came and worked with us everyday. I taught the kids the electric slide. They taught me the Nay, Nay. We had a radio and the music constantly repeated, Ed Sheehan, Walk the Moon, Cheerleader, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainer, etc. Our leader Kirk Page, thought his care got stolen but it was only towed. That will be a story for the ages.
  • It seems every night we’d run to Wal-Mart for something. John is the neighborhood leader in a wheel chair. He really liked Sophie and Maria. Lynn took our crew the bathroom down the street. Day one, one break. Day five, multiple breaks
  • Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
  • John‬ ‭15:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬ “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
  • Maria and I had a rather serious mud fight (I think I lost). We drove thru lower 9th Ward. That place is still a mess. We visited French quarter and had dinner at the Gumbo Shop. Lynn and I stopped in a small cafe and ordered barbeque shrimp thinking it would be shrimp in barbeque sauce. No, this was a large, whole shrimp cooked on a barbeque. Tasty but…
  • On our trip home we stopped at Deer Run Camp. After Chris face-planted, Lynn did the zip line and she was AWESOME. They had a Blob but we struggled to get it work. The Senior presentations were very special.
  • Songs at work site…Bad Blood, Going Down For Real, Ed Sheeran, Nay Nay, This is My Fight Song.

Here’s how I described it to my Dad.

We just got home today. It was a long, long week. There were 12 adults and 38 high school kids. We drove six large vans and a cargo truck from Cinci to Birmingham to sleep in a church gymnasium. The next day we drove to the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. Ten years later and they’re still a mess!!!

I spent five days dry walling the second floor of a house with no electricity nor water with 12 kids. It was a little warm as you can imagine. Luckily we got a generator and some fans to at least move the air. We had a rough start but they learned quickly. We only went into the city one afternoon, the rest of time was about work and church. I had a great time. I’ll send some picture when I get them sorted. Needless to say, we didn’t get to visit any of the places you mentioned below. Maybe next time.

And the story about Lynn’s Zip Line:

Nathan and I went to New Orleans with our church to help people in need. On our way, back we stopped at a campsite in Tennessee. The camp had a small lake with huge water slides, trampolines and a zip line. Nathan convinced Lynn that she should try the zip line. I was terrified because two other adults tried and failed miserably; a third couldn’t move her shoulder the next morning.

Lynn did it!! She went the entire length of the line hanging by her arms. She dropped at just the right time with a perfect water entry. I was so proud of her. It really shows that she has great strength.

There are two pictures:
1. You can see her holding on. This was near the end of the line. She started a good 50 feet away and 15 feet up in the air.
2. She has dropped and is about to splash down.

And this video is of the kids riding a carousel on the trip down. We stopped at a mall food court for lunch. It was great because after putting all the kids on, we filled the entire carousel. Very fun.


Great concert but it SO LOUD I can hardly hear today. Our seats were eight rows from secondary stage. They played multiple songs right in front of us. Bono was showing his age. They started at 8:15 and played until 11:00. The Songs of Innocence music is much better live than on the studio album. I took notes of the set list. Bono hardly had to sing the last song, the audience sang it for him.

  • The Miracle
  • Gloria
  • Vertigo
  • I Will Follow
  • Iris (hold me close)
  • Cedarwood Road
  • A Song for someone
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Raised by Wolves
  • It’s the End of the World
  • Johnny Cash song – Experience
  • Invisible
  • Even Better Than The Real Thing
  • She Moves in Mysterious Ways
  • Desire – with fans
  • Lucifer Hands
  • Every Breaking Wave
  • Into the Blue Sky
  • The Hands that Built America
  • In the Name of Love
  • Beautiful Day
  • All I Want is You
  • With or Without You
  • Stephen Hawking speech
  • City of Blinding Lights
  • A Paul Simon song I didn’t recognize
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • One

U2 Ticket  

Nathan Graduation

What a great week! Nathan graduated with honors from Sycamore. We couldn’t be happier.

The whole family came visit.

  • All the Larson’s
  • The entire LeRoy klan
  • Many friends from church
  • Parents of Nathan’s friends

Larson Family Picture at Nathan Graduation


2015 Prom

Nathans senior prop was this weekend. The kids looked great. All the families came to out house for pictures. The kids then went to Maggiano’s for dinner. We had a limo pick them up from dinner and drive them to and from the dance.

Lynn and I had hosted David and Lisa Allison along with Shelly Reddy for dinner. We had a great time too.