December 31, 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017
Todd Swank's Diary for December 31, 2017

Christmas Break started on a positive note for the Swank Family.  Todd, Miss Sheri, and Luke drove down to Rochester to visit our friends at the mayo clinic.  Luke's hepatologist, Dr. Leise, gave us the good news that even though his CT scan still showed there are nodules on his liver, they are stable and show no signs of growth since our last visit in August.  So we get to go another 4 months before our next check-up.  This will get him through his first full year of college without needing to do any new procedures, which sounds great to us!

We also visited his cardiologist, Dr. Baker, and he had no new concerns either.  We feel very blessed and continue to thank all our friends and family for their prayers and positive thoughts for Luke to stay healthy!!

So we celebrated Christmas as a family and were quite thankful for all of our blessings in 2017!

Luke and Avery were good boys this year so Santa gave them nice toys like footballs.

Of course, Todd was especially good, so Santa hooked him up as well.

On Christmas Eve, we drove down to Iowa to visit Grandma Leona and Uncle Jerry on the farm.  

We had lots of fun playing cards together and also enjoyed some good old fashioned Dog Wrestling.  

On Christmas Eve, we went to church where they actually let us play with fire.  Miss Sheri doesn't usually let us do this at home, so it was a nice treat for all of us.

Christmas dinner brought out the turkey and accompanied food.  Good stuff and Good stuffing.

When we came home to Minnesota, we were invited to a really fun party with a bunch of our old friends at the Fowler residence.  As usual, things got pretty carried away so I'm hoping we might have a chance to get invited back again some day.

Avery and I decided to check out the local NBA team and went to a Timberwolves game.

It was our first chance to see Jimmy Butler play in person which was pretty cool.  The Wolves pulled off a great trade with the Bulls to get him and he's already made an impact as a team leader.  I was impressed with the regular chants of "MVP" people were shouting out for him late in the game.

Karl Anthony Towns continues to grow as a superstar and is very fun to watch.  It's amazing to see a talented big man like he is draining threes like he's a point guard.  He's a new generation of player who should eventually lead the team to the playoffs again (we hope!).

Coach Tom Thibodeau sure does yell a lot, but it's nice you can start to see his vision coming together.  The team carried a 4 game winning streak into this game.

We were playing against the Denver Nuggets who were 19 and 15 and had been on a three game winning streak of their own.

It ended up being a pretty exciting game that went into overtime with the home team Timberwolves eventually winning by a score of 128-125.  It was very cool!

The best part of the game was the half time show where Christian Stoinev brought his dog Scooby to do a little acrobat show.  It's just amazing the dog can do this kind of stuff.

The best part of Christmas break has been having our boys at home again.  They seem to get along so much better now that they no longer live together full time.

The worst part has been the arctic freeze we've been dealing with for most of the past couple of weeks.  We've had temperatures as low as thirty two degrees below zero when windchill is added to the calculations.  It makes it kind of tough to take Blue for walks when it's this cold, but he still insists we do it.

We have a rule in the house that we don't walk on the ice until we start to see ice houses and cars out there.  With this cold, they started coming out in droves!

Happy New Year!!!

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals

Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for December 31, 2017

On Sunday, Miss Sheri, Luke and I went to see our hometown Minnesota Vikings take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

The reason we went to the game is because we are especially attracted to quarterbacks with red hair.

We are pretty happy with the Vikings play this year as they had a 10-3 record going into this game.  Their defense has been incredible.

There are always some interesting characters in the crowd at the game.  Not sure how you get in with an ax like this, but I'm assuming they have better connections with security than I do.

Anthony Barr is a beast.

Kyle Rudolph has been a touchdown scoring machine as our leading tight end.

Our favorite player this year has been Adam Thielen.  Not only has he been an incredible receiver, he went to school at Minnesota State Mankato where Luke is going. 

He also seems like a pretty spiritual guy.  Which is nice.

The game would end up being a pretty good shellacking.  The Bengals gained only 161 yards of offense in the game and were 1 for 13 on third downs.   Which ended up being pretty fun to watch.

Robert J. O'Neill, the United States Navy SEAL who fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden, sounded the Gjallarhorn and led fans in the Skol Chant.  That got the game started on a pretty good beat.

It's hard to believe the Vikings have been so successful knowing we are playing with our third string quarterback, Case Keenum.  But he's been incredible managing the team's offense and leading scoring drives.

He also has a really fancy looking throwing style which helps lead to his precision passes.

Of course,there are some pretty good play makers ready to help him make those scores.

I always worry about these guys with the long dreadlocks hanging out of their helmets like Trae Waynes.  I can't imagine it feels very good getting one of these yanked out of your skull.

Nice job, Stefon.

Mike Zimmer should be a candidate for coach of the year.  We'll see how that works out.

The Vikings ended up winning the game 34-7.  Everyone seemed pretty happy about it.

We even got to see the return of quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, at the end of the game!  Poor guy was thought to never be able to play again after having a freak knee injury in practice.  But he made his return to thunderous cheers from the Vikings Faithful.  He then proceeded to throw an interception with his only pass attempt, but it was fun to see him in there nonetheless.

December 29, 2017

Swank Family Christmas Letter Video 2017

This is a narrated version of the Swank Family's 2017 Christmas Letter.

December 20, 2017

Swank Family Christmas Letter 2017

Merry Christmas! 

What a year! 

In 2017, Todd & Sheri officially became empty nesters when Luke & Avery moved out to go to college. People kept telling us “now you can walk around the house naked.” So we tried it and it was kind of fun, but unfortunately Domino’s Pizza will no longer deliver to our house anymore. 

 It’s very weird having the boys live under different roofs. For the past 18 years, we’ve kind of organized our lives around their every waking moment. Now things are organized around things like take-out food and Candy Crush. 

 Sheri turned 50 this year which doesn’t seem possible. It’s really hard to get old. Everything changes. Although Todd is quite happy with all the money we are saving on our utilities thanks to her frequent hot flashes.

Todd is still fighting the good fight selling enterprise cloud applications for Oracle. He still dreams of someday becoming a professional athlete but working out just sucks. 

Avery has been doing fantastic studying computer science at the University of Minnesota. In February, the Super Bowl will be taking place just a couple of miles from his dorm room. We are hoping he figures out how to hack into their video feed and uploads some kind of video honoring his father during the halftime show. Instead of Nipple Gate it will be Cripple Gate. He says he doesn’t think he can do it, but we believe in him. 

Of course no year would be complete without us being terrified with the threat of going on the list for a heart and liver transplant for Luke. His growth and health had been doing great since his pacemaker was added in 2015. So when it was discovered during his regular checkup that there were nodules on his liver that looked highly suspicious of being cancer, we were all pretty shocked. We received biopsy results while moving in his college furniture and learned the great news he would actually get to stay and go to school rather than wait for an organs donor. Dang, was that a good feeling. Since then Luke has had a drama free semester at Minnesota State Mankato filled with all sorts of college mischief and shenanigans. We are so happy for him as we prepare to take on the next round of tests over Christmas Break. Thanks so much to all our friends and family who keep him in their thoughts and prayers.

Our beloved Golden Retriever, Sunny, has gone to the great dog park in the sky. His successor, Blue, has become an incredible dog who instantly matured when he became the lead dog in the house. Only problem is he has a tendency to smell our house guests in very intrusive ways. We are a little paranoid he may be forced to resign as our dog if he can’t straighten up soon. 

In 2018, we are selling our house and our portfolio and using all of our savings to buy Bitcoin. We will either be broke in a year or are buying Walt Disney World. We can’t wait to see which way it will be! 

God Bless Us Everyone! 

The Swank Family