November 30, 2008

Hitler Comments on BYU's Loss to U of U

Some people are quite passionate about football! Others are down-right obsessed with the outcome of their teams. So it comes as no surprise that Hitler had some words to say about BYU's loss to the U of U during this football season.

November 29, 2008

Organization is the Key

Michelle has a knack for getting things organized. "Everything has a place and everything in its place," is a motto she often quotes to me. Knowing that sometime you just need a little nudge to get her going I started a "simple" project Saturday morning.

We've been talking about switching the blanket closet for the boy's closet (of adult supervised activities). See, the problem is that during "quite time" at least one of the boys is sleeping and getting an activity for the other boys who are awake requires sneeking into the bedroom and removing the item (after finding it) without waking the sleeping child. The sneeking was tolerable but the finding was getting to be a significant challenge.

After hearing about this for too long I decided it was time to swap closets. Michelle told me to put the boy's stuff on the table so she could sort through it. I pulled out all the blankets and put them in the boys room. I then began the process of extracting all sorts of items out of the closet in the boy's room. Most of the stuff didn't seem to have any logical relationship to each other. There was a loose collection of childrens books, some puzzles, some activity stuff and other random nick nacks. I put it on the shelves in a loose Khayyam organization with the most random stuff on the kitchen table. Once the boy's closet was cleaned out and vacuumed I placed all the blankets inside.

I then announced that the project had gone as far as I could take it and the rest was up to Michelle. Before long I noticed that every item I had placed in the closet had been removed! Not a single item was in its "original" place. Well, Michelle is the master mind so I just let her go to work. And before I knew what had happened we had organization...or everything!

This picture shows the final result. It would have been more dramatic if there had been a before picture but we're still marveling at this level of oranization. Sometimes we just walk by and open the door just to look at it. Most of the organization was done with old diaper and wipes boxes that we seem to have (in abundance). But now everything is categorized and labeled and even the boys know where to put things away. AMAZING! And there is simply no way I could have completed such a feat of organization alone.

November 25, 2008

German Pancakes

1/8 t salt
1 cup flour
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 t vanilla extract
1 cup milk
6 eggs (beaten)
Maple syrup or powdered sugar (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter in a medium baking dish. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into baking dish with butter.
Bake until pancake is puffy and golden brown (30-40 minutes).
Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup or powdered sugar.

November 23, 2008

Aleky Loves To Play Ball

Aleky Face
Aleky is such a cute boy. When he's in a good mood, and that is most of the time, he is simply irrestible. One of his favorite games is catch. Well, it's actually more like "roll" than "catch" but he loves it just the same. He'll get the ball and roll it to you. Then he'll gesture for you to roll it back to him. For a kid that small, he has an unusally long attention span for this kind of stuff. It's great, to play ball with your son. I have no doubt that as he gets older he'll want to keep playing ball but the ball with change size and shape with age.

November 22, 2008

Family Chores

When I was growing up we had chores that we had to do before we could play. So it only seems fair that my boys have chores too. What I didn't realize when I started this parenting gig was that all the boys want to do the same chore (and it almost doesn't matter what that chore happens to be). So the chore this time was cleaning the toilet. Each boy had to have their own turn to scrub the bowl and get it shiny white. By the third boy we just about had it sparkling. Donovan actually got 2 turns (I think he was taking a turn for Aleky). But at least we can say that our boys do their chores and our bathroom is clean.

Discovering the Music Inside

We didn't get everything cleaned up after Aunt Trista's party last night. And it didn't take long for my boys to discover the guitar that had been left out on the desk. I happened to find Donovan and Michael scaling the desk to get to the coveted treasure. While they haven't shown any innate aptitude for playing the guitar it was cute to see them strumming it anyway.

November 21, 2008

Birthday Surprise For Aunt Trista

My sister just had her birthday this week. Her boyfriend (Mike) tried to call me a couple of times this week. After a little phone tag we finally connected and he began to lay out his grand scheme of surprising Trista for her birthday. As circumstances would have it, her birthday fell on a Thursday, after she would be finishing a long shift at the hospital. So Mike's ideas was to have a surprise party on Friday instead.

We thought it would be a great idea except that the party was scheduled to start after their date ended, around 8:30 pm or so. Since our boys go to bed at 8:00 pm that posed a little problem for us to attend at Autumn's house. So, with a little texted messaging, we arranged to host the party at our house.

Then on Thursday evening I get another call from Mike. He wants me to call up my sister and "set the stage" by asking her if I could ask Mike to come over tomorrow (Friday) to help me move something. Then he would have an excuse to come over and bring the cake. Then he would say that he forgot his coat and would come by and "pick it up" and SURPRISE, there would a party all ready to go. He gave me specific instructions as to when to call Trista, what to say and everything. So I played along.

When I called Trista that night I wished her Happy Birthday. We talked about her day at the hospital and how she wasn't doing anything special that night (all by Mike's design but unbeknownst to Trista). I asked the appropriate questions and Mike happened to be there too so I talked with him. We even went through a whole dialogue for Trista's benefit. And we were ready to go.

Friday evening we're told that Mom was expected at 8:15 so that if she arrived late she'd still be on time. Larrisa was on the ball and got mom out of the door in order to make it at 8:00, right on time! Well they were the first to arrive so the go to help decorate. Cheyenne managed to make it just before 8:30 and help put the finishing touches on the preparations. Then we got "the phone call" asking if Mike could stop by and pick up the coat he had left earlier that day (he had never actually come over at any time). Of course we were still up and thought that would be just fine.

The plan went perfectly! Apparently the day had some interesting weirdness to it, none of which had anything to do with us so we found out about it later but it sounded quite fascinating.

It was great. Trista is so good natured that she loved the fact that everyone had worked so hard to have this party for her. We were set to play games and have cake & ice cream. In the end, reliving the day and the subtleties of the plot won center stage. Trista was certainly impressed with the great effort put forth in her behalf. A few more of her friends arrived and we talked a lot, were entertained a little and laughed the most.

In the end we just wanted to wish Trista a happy birthday. I'm impressed that Mike coordinated this great effort with our family, especially since I've only met Mike on one other occasion. It was great.

Baby Shower Is Filled With Sweetness

Michelle was invited to a baby shower tonight. The decision wasn't hard even though it was Friday night. The event was being hosted by a culinary expert and dinner was included (with the price of baby gift). Obviously she went and had a wonderful time, leaving me to fight for the survival of my little boys.

We survive, only just. I whipped up some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese along with some fruit (on the side). The boys loved me! The gobbled up their dinner and then wanted treats. Well, you can't tell 'em no after they ate all their dinner so now they love me even more. The dinner ended and Michelle showed up wondering what she would find, having left all the boys home alone. And she was thrilled to see the boys all ready for bed, having eaten (all their) dinner, brushed their teeth, said their prayers and were just getting reading to be tucked in for the night.

As I tucked the boys in to bed Michelle leaves to unload the car...? She was taking gifts not getting them. I was certainly perplexed when she brings in this huge pot of soup. I was definitely confused by this turn of events. I quickly tucked the boys into bed and hurried out to investigate. That's when I noticed this pan of...something yummy sitting next to the huge pot of soup. Michelle could tell that my brain was struggling with this whole turn of events so she kindly explained what had happened to turn a a gift giving experience into a treasure trove of goodies in return.

Apparently she went to the shower like normal. She hadn't had anything to eat since this morning so she was starving and helped herself to some generous portions of soup and yummy stuff. After the party was over she somehow ended up with the left-overs which she brought home to share with me. I still don't know what this yummy stuff is called but Michelle is supposed to be getting the recipe! I can hardly wait!!!

November 20, 2008

100th Post

I haven't been a blogger for very long so I'm still learning all the importants things you need to remember when blogging. This post marks 100 posts for us! It's hard to believe that we've had 100 experiences to record. The really cool thing that Michelle and I have found is that by writing down all these experiences, we've discovered that our family is really quite busy, we're doing a lot of things, our boys are the cutest boys in the world and we have an amazing family.

In some ways I feel sad that we didn't get started sooner. We've been married for over 6 years and now we have most of a summer and fall recorded with pictures and memories. What about the other 6 years!!!??? Better late than never. We do have some pictures from those 6 years but they are in the shoe box title "to be scrapebooked." So we may never see those pictures again.

But we're having a blast and I have to believe that the best is yet to come. I'm excited to see that we have some friends and family who check our blog from time to time and hopefully more of our friends and family will discover us as well. We're heading into the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons and this is truly a great time of the year to reflect on the many blessings that we have. I know that we're facing our own personal struggles and things aren't exactly the way we have pictured them in our minds, which sometimes brings discouragement and frustration. But we don't have to look very far before we find people who are a lot worse off than we are and we start to count our many blessings.

We always have things to be thankful for, even if it is just that the sun rose on another day. I hope we can join with our family and friends in making this a great holiday season.

November 19, 2008

The Scooter Fights Back

Donovan is not lucky at all. We were looking back through our pictures for a project that we've been working on and noticed all of the pictures that have Donovan's head looking like he's been beat or something. He is, by far, the most injury prone boy in the family.

This time he was riding his scooter to computer class (which is held at the stake center 3 blocks from the house). As Donovan was cruising to class he apparently offended the scooter because the scooter, all of a sudden, stopped and smacked him in the face! We asked Donovan what happened but he just said, "I don't know!" The scooter has remained silent.

November 18, 2008

The Library Is Full Of Exciting Things Called Books

I've discovered a new and exciting place in town. It's called the library! They have thousands of books and you can borrow them for FREE! They really don't have a limit on the number of books that you can take at a time, at least not a limit that I'm likely to reach any time soon. It is really cool. You find the books that you want, waive your library card at them and they tell you to bring the books back in 3 weeks and enjoy...just like that.

So the tough part is picking out the books that you want. With thousands of books lining shelf after shelf, how do you possibly pick out the books you want? I have found that I can just walk up to any shelf, start picking up books and they're all new to me. So it doesn't really matter, just pick up a handful of different books, check them out and off I go. The boys have been thrilled. New books for the past 2 weeks.

I have discovered that reading a book a night just doesn't work. Usually its more like 4 or more books and they're not done when I am. So my handful of books for the week...only lasts about 2 nights. But since this is a new discovery I'm still learning. And the boys love the process.

November 17, 2008

The Eating Exploits of Donovan Jones

There are some days when eating is just more difficult than it's worth! Donovan seems to have more of these days than anyone else in the family. I don't recall having many of these days at all, especially since getting married to one of the best cooks I know! But if I did have this much trouble it's got to be decades since I've experience as many struggles eating as Donovan is currently experiencing these days.

The Best Thing About Wal-Mart...The Arcade

If you were to ask my boys what is the best thing about Wal-Mart I'm sure they would tell you that it's the arcade. It doesn't matter which Wal-Mart store we go to our boys can locate the arcade instantly! The electronics section of the store is the next best thing. Tonight we had to go shoe shopping since David out-grew his Sunday shoes about a month ago and we keep planning on getting to the store; we've even made it a couple of times only to discover that the store is out of shoes that are his size. As we walk into the store the arcade must have been calling because the boys made a bee-line there and David planted himself in front of the most expensive game in the arcade. The boys were fascinated with it, even with no money. David is just sure he knows how to drive and loves to practice at any chance he gets. Donovan and Michael aren't quite as sure but they'll take the wheel if you let 'em.

David made the fatal mistake of forsaking his seat to explore the other games and Michael was quick enough to sneak in his own turn at the wheel.
David was back in an instant but didn't dare throw Michael out of his seat with me watching. So he did the next best thing and decided to coach Michael on the fine art of vehicular navigation.

The reason for our Family Home Evening outing was to find David some Sunday shoes. We were fortunate this evening to locate some shoes that fit David. After trying on the entire store selection of (Sunday dress) shoes in his size (both of them) he was able to make his decision. Then, with the drudgery of shopping out of the way, he proceeded to play on the shopping cart. I have to admit to being just a little guilty in encouraging such rowdy behavior as I was the one directing the cart through the isles at top speed!

Poor Michelle was subjected to the emotional scaring of her family tear down the isles having a grand ole time, in public! She walked casually behind, checking prices on various items and spotting a deal on winter boots insisted that we stop horsing around and get serious (okay, I made that part up, but she did stop and we did too). This time there were boots in everyone's size so we got each boy a pair of snow boots so we're almost ready for winter.

Having accomplished the purpose of our trip to the store we quickly exited the store and headed home. It is always fun to drive past the Provo temple en route to our home. The boys get so excited every time we pass the temple. Many times the talk about mom and dad getting married in the temple (even though it was actually a different temple, at least they have the right idea). Tonight they were just excited to spot Moroni coming up over the trees!

Having safely arrived home we quickly got the boys ready for bed, brushed their teeth, said their prayers and got them under the cover...and not a moment too soon! I think it took them all of 30 seconds to be sound asleep! What a glorious outing for our family. While it might not qualify as a typical Family Home Evening (FHE), we had an enjoyable time.

Leaves are a Child's Playground

Today was such a beautiful day that we had to take a break from the daily routine to take a walk in the park (in our back yard). The three older boys couldn't contain their energy any longer and sprinted down the windy park path. They stopped and waited to cross the street until I managed to mosey on up and then they were off like a shot with only a faint hint of dust to mark the way.

When I finally caught up to David and Donovan I discovered them hiding beneath a huge pile of leaves! We've done our best to keep the leaves off the lawn so that it would look nice and presentable. Here in the park the city crew had just blown all the leaves off the sidewalks and into great piles in random places in the park. This pile happened to be on the path (so much for clearing the sidewalks) and the boys couldn't resist. It was the cutest thing!

November 16, 2008

Cooking Breakfast Is More Difficult Than I Remember

This morning I woke up and decided that I would make a nice home-cooked meal for my family. Michelle was tired from staying up too late a partying with the Johnsons and I wanted to surprise her and pleasure of not having to wake up just to wait on the family. So I set out to get breakfast prepared and in the oven.

First things first, I went to the recipe box and found the recipe for Breakfast Cake. With the recipe in hand I began to assemble the necessary ingredients and supplies. That is where everything began to fall apart! The recipe calls for an 8 inch square pan. No problem, we own one of those but I couldn't find it in any cupboard, counter or dirty dish pill! I finally realized that we had just used this pan the night before to take dinner to a new mommy (Lisa Blanchard) in the ward.

Next, I pulled out all of the ingredients for making my Breakfast Cake when I hit problem number 2, the recipe calls for shortening and our container of shortening was missing in action. How do you make Breakfast Cake without all of the ingredients? I was already concerned about the "cut in the shortening" part but now I didn't even have the shortening to be concerned about.

So I'm struggling here trying to figure out how to make the wonderful Breakfast Cake and feeling a little helpless. At this point anyone familiar with cooking would know that there is no problem here. But my lack of recent cooking experience has left my resourcefulness center (in my brain) a little rusty. At that very moment of great alarm Michelle wakes up and comes walking into the kitchen to see what is going on and take inventory of "fires" that need to be put out already this morning. She sees me standing in the kitchen with a counter full of ingredients and a perplexed and dumbfounded look on my face and asked the simple question, "what are you doing?"

Her simple solutions to my perplexing dilemma leave me feeling sheepish as she explains that I can use a different pan and that she has modified this recipe to use vegetable oil instead of shortening (because the vegetable oil is healthier for you). Problem solved and off I go to create my delectable masterpiece.

Since I want to have boiled eggs with our breakfast I go ahead and get the eggs on to boil while I finish putting the Breakfast cake together. BIG MISTAKE! The eggs only take 10 minutes to boil and the Breakfast Cake takes 25 minutes to cook. That means the eggs will be done and cold before we get to eat breakfast. (At one time I would have remembered that.)

Just as I'm about to begin mixing the ingredients for the Breakfast Cake Michelle, who has decided it best not to leave me unsupervised in the kitchen, directs me to make the topping first. "But it doesn't say that on the recipe," I reply. "Not everything is one the recipe card. Some things you just know from experience." Alas, my great deficiency in the kitchen is a lack of experience. So I quickly put the topping together and set it aside for later.

As I begin to mix the ingredients for the Breakfast Cake I begin adding the all of the dry ingredients, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I didn't realize that is what I was doing until I was about to add the vegetable oil and Michelle stopped me in mid-pour. Apparently your supposed to mix the dry ingredients, then the wet ingredients, and then mix them together. No harm done...I quickly mixed the dry ingredients in the bowl and then added the oil, milk and egg. I quickly whipped that together and I'm on my way.

By now the eggs are done boiling and I'm washing a new pan to bake my Breakfast Cake in. It takes a couple minutes to prepare the pan and as I'm drying it Michelle reminds me that I need to do the flour trick so the cake doesn't stick. It wasn't on the recipe card but I should have known this from experience. Easy enough, I prepare the pan and go to pour the cake into the pan. But something has happened to my batter and it isn't quite as pour-friendly as I would have preferred. Again, having the pan prepared and the oven pre-heating (which Michelle had done for me when I wasn't looking) are things you do before mixing the ingredients together.

I scrape out the cake batter into the pan, help the batter make it to the four corners of the pan and then sprinkle the topping on and I'm ready to go! I put the pan in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. But Michelle saves the day by turning the pan so it's not in the oven at an angle. Who knew? An oven doesn't have exactly even heating in every space and so the back will be hotter than the front at times (or something like that). If I had left the pan in the oven at an angle I could've had over cook front and undercooked back. As I sit back for a moment I begin to wonder, "since I'm not using the cake pan from the recipe, will the cooking time change as well?" Michelle is there to save my day. Upon visual examination she was able to determine that our pan required just 21 minutes of baking instead of 25!

I was elated. We had finally reached to moment of peak anticipation as we prepare to eat this home-baked meal. I rounded up the boys and we sat down to eat as the cake was ready to emerge from the oven. The boys each had a boiled egg to start and each boy was eyeing their egg eagerly but had to wait for the prayer (to bless the food). As the amen sounded loud and clear, each boy tore into their egg and I removed the Breakfast Cake from the oven. As I head to the table with my prize cake in front of me Michelle directs me to place the cake outside!

No why would I want to do that? Because you can't serve the cake right out of the oven; it needs some time to cool. Again, just a little experience would have let me know that vital piece of information. So the boys quickly devour their first cold egg and are diving into the second. The cake isn't cooling nearly fast enough. With the second egg gone each boys is demanding more food and I can't give them anything so I panic and pull more eggs from the fridge, through them in a pot and start boiling a few more eggs to satisfy the ravages of hunger sweeping through the house. Michelle relents and allows me to get the cooling Breakfast Cake before it was cool enough and we cut it up and pass it out to our starving boys (growing boys think their starving if they experience any hunger pains at all). The gobble down the food, asking for more.

With only a single piece of Breakfast Cake remaining, the eggs finish boiling and are ready for consumption. At that pinnacle moment the boys finally decide that they have had enough to eat. They clear their plates, throw the egg shells away and wash their hands. They have been satisfied with my masterful creation. I revel in the "Thank you Daddy" that each boy echos.

Despite the fact that I created this breakfast in almost perfect "reverse" order we still had an enjoyable moment, "breakfast as a family." Of course I'm better prepared and more experienced for my next culinary adventure. So the next time I will be able to surprise Michelle (in a good and pleasant way)!

November 15, 2008

Cheese Ball

2 8-oz Cream Cheese
1 5-oz jar Old English Spread (Kraft)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1 t. Lemon Juice
1 t. (scant) Garlic Powder

Mix all ingredients together; chill 1 hour; form into a ball and roll in nuts.

Extra Help With The Yard

I think I may have been blessed with the best boys in the whole wide world. Now they aren't always coordinated in their efforts and that can cause a disturbance or misunderstanding from time to time. But on the whole these boys do their best to help out and be a part of the action whenever possible. Here are Donovan and Michael in action:

November 14, 2008

Photo Album of My Ballroom Dance Days (on Facebook)

Some of you may know (and some may not) that I was blessed with the opportunity to dance with BYU's Ballroom dance company. I've finally gotten around to posting some of the pictures from our 2001 tour to England, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. These pictures can be found at:

BYU BDC Memories (2001)
(These pictures are of the places and people on tour)

Ballroom Dancing Action Photos (2001)
(These pictures are of the actual dancing, costumes and performers on tour)

Just a little memory lane. I've posted these pictures on because so many of my ballroom friends are already on Facebook so it made sense but I am excited to share these pictures with anyone else who may be interested. (If you decide to join facebook and reconnect with friends, neighbors, acquaintances, classmates, etc., please make sure to add me to your friends list! Thanks)

Breakfast Cake

1 1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 T. Baking Powder
pinch of Salt
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup Milk
1 Egg

4 T. Flour
6 T. Sugar
3 T. Butter
1/2 t. Cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 400; prepare 8 inch square pan (grease and flour it)

Prepare topping: mix all ingredients together, stir with fork; set aside.

Mix (dry ingredients) flour, sugar, baking powder & salt together; add (wet ingredients) oil, milk & egg and blend. Pour evenly into pan, sprinkle topping over cake. Bake 25 minutes. Let cool (until warm) and serve.

November 13, 2008

Postcard Standards for the United State Post Office

Until today I never knew the specific requirements for a postcard (according the the USPS). I go on vacation and see small postcards and big postcards and I wouldn't think twice. Then I started sending out postcards for my business and all of a sudden I'm getting all sorts of postcards returned to me! I was I googled it. Sure enough, my postcards exceeded the USPS standards (after I had already printed and successfully sent hundreds of postcards). So here are the postcard standards:
  • minimum size: 3.5 x 5 inches
  • maximum size: 4.25 x 6 inches
  • minimum thickness: .007 inches
  • maximum thickness: .25 inches
  • intermediate sizes are allowable

If the postcard is too small or too light it is undeliverable; if the postcard is too big or too heavy it qualifies for a different mail class and costs more money. Who knew?

November 12, 2008

Christmas Tree Permits on Sale (Today)

One of our favorite traditions is to go Christmas Tree hunting over the Thanksgiving weekend. It is fun to head out of town and get away from the city. We then spend hours walking through the trees looking for the one perfect tree still standing! Quite frequently we're walking through the snow, other times it's been windy. But regardless of the weather we always make it a fun time together with the family.

One of the biggest challenges to finding the perfect tree is to properly gauge the actual size of the tree. With nature as a back drop anything can appear small. We've had a couple of experience where we found a tree that was bigger than it first appeared! It can be a challenge to fit a large tree into a small living room.

The other big challenge is to find a perfect tree, one that is straight and tall, full (but not to full) and not loop-sided, with a single stem (many branch into multiple tops) for the star on top. Michelle has the eye for these trees and can spot one a mile away, as long as we can get inside of that mile radius! So we'll spend time driving through the wilderness enjoying the time together.

The final trick is that you need to have a Christmas Tree permit! This year there are only 400 permits being sold to the public (I'm not sure where the Christmas Tree wholesalers get permits). I just bought our permit and there are only about 80 left (and today is "opening" day for permit sales). If you're going to get a permit you need to be at the office in Spanish Fork first thing in the morning or you'll end up waiting until next year. The address is 44 W 400 N, Spanish Fork.

November 11, 2008

The Casting of a Super-Star

David went in for his 2 week check-up for his broken arm. We had a new set of x-rays done to see how his arm is healing. I'm not an x-ray expert but I'm told that his arm is healing just fine. It still looked broken to me so when the doctor said that David would need another 4 weeks in a cast I couldn't see any point in arguing.
The doctor cut of his green cast and then the nurse washed his arm.

Then the senior doctor came in to put the gor-tex cast on (as this procedure is apparently more difficult to do). David originally choose blue for the cast color but they didn't have enough blue so they defaulted to purple (we could have gone for yellow or orange as his other options). So for the next 4 weeks David is going to support the Utah Jazz! In any case, my little super-star has a new cast and didn't seemed phased by the fact that he had to have a new cast.

(Just getting in a little X-box while he has the chance.)

November 10, 2008

Family Home Evening - Obedience (Starring Jonah & the Whale)

Tonight we had our Family Home Evening (FHE).  We discussed the importance of obedience, listening & obeying.  We shared the Bible story of Jonah and the Whale (Jonah 1:1-3).  In this story Heavenly Father tells Jonah to go to Nineveh to teach the gospel and Jonah doesn't listen and obey.  Because he was disobedient and didn't listen and obey Heavenly Father he was swallowed by the whale.  Just like Jonah, when we don't listen and obey we will get into trouble.  But when we do what we're supposed to do things will go well.  

I thought it was a great story with a wonderful point but somehow I don't think my boys got the same message I was trying to share.  While I'm trying to make the point about being obedient, David is jumping on the couch and I have to keep asking him to stop jumping and sit down.  Michael was to busy running back and forth between the couch and my amazing picture of Jonah that he didn't even know we were talking to him.  Donovan was so tired that he just sat there, so lethargic that he didn't make a sound the entire evening!  Aleky was the only child who seemed interested in what I was say but I suspect he was secretly thinking about eating my scripture pages.

This is the second FHE in a row that we've been able to hold the gathering together by sheer will-power.  I'm not sure what happened but our children have gone wild; pure, raw uncontrollable energy oozing from these poor children.  Maybe it's the cooler weather (and not playing outside) that has caused this explosion of fitfulness.  Whatever the cause, we need to find a way to harness this energy or find a way to drain it because neither our house nor our sanity will survive an entire winter of this commotion!

November 4, 2008

Play Ball

Every day has such precious moments if you'll take time to look for them. There are some days when those moments are not so obvious and there are other days when they hit you like an avalanche. This evening was one of those special moments.

While trying to get the boys ready for bed I was in and out of the bedroom. On one of those trips I happened to see David playing ball with Aleky. While Aleky hasn't developed his professional ball skills just yet he certainly was having a great time playing with his older brother. And it especially warmed my heart to see David taking such good care of his baby brother.

The Creativity of an Einstein

Donovan is such an amazing child. Like all little brother he tries so hard to emmulate his older brother and do everything that he does. Obviously he isn't always successful but that doesn't stop him from trying. But Donovan has run into a problem...David goes to school. Since Michael and Aleky both take naps that leaves Donovan with 2 hours of "what do I do now?"

The periods of solitude have brought out the creative spirit in Donovan. While he may not necessarily volunteer for being abandoned for hours at a time he is able to keep himself amused until David gets home from school. However, some of that creativity has begun to spill over into his other activities...such as dinner-time!

We suspect that this creativity streak may be similar to that of the great Albert Einstein! While his creative ideas may not be quite as refined or controlled as the great inventor, it should only be a matter of time until his greatness is revealed.

See for yourself...

With all of the seriousness of voting and the election I wanted to add a moment of good, clean humor to the day. This short clip brought a smile to me face an I thought I would share it.
PS - I voted today. I hope you did too!

November 2, 2008

Hair cutting time

Mom said I needed a hair cut. What do you think?

All done! Now I am the handsomest One year old ever, right?
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Wheels Powerd by kids

How many kids can you get in and around a power wheel?

This power wheel lost it's battery power, but that didn't stop these kids from having fun. My boys became the engine and away they went.

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Daylight Savings Time...A Free Hour in Time

I'm not sure what to think about daylight savings time. On days like today I think it is a wonderful idea. In the fall we "fall back" an hour and basically get a free hour! But there are other days (like the one in spring where we "spring forward" and lose an hour) that I wonder at the absurdity of it all. While I lived in Arizona there were many days where the time was an hour different depending on which side of the street you were on! (Arizona doesn't use daylight savings time but the Navajo reservation does and some towns are split!)

Regardless of my waivering opinion on the subject, the fact is that today I got an extra hour. While some people would use that time for sleeping that isn't really an option when you have young children who don't value the extra hour of sleep. I would suspect that most people would have used that extra hour to study their scriptures, pray or in some way enlarge their souls, recognizing this hour as a gift from heaven. I'm not quite that good so I used my hour to catch up on my blog. With a holiday this past week I haven't had time to write about everything because we've been to involved in doing it! So this extra hour has been a chance to catch up on the great memories of this fall/Halloween season!

(and I've also modified the comments so that my non-blogger friends and family can now comment)

Farewell Party for the Joneses...Good Luck in Oregon!

Saturday night we had a farewell party for the Joneses (my brother Darius and his family). They are leaving our fair state and headed to the great north-west, to Oregon. They have been talking about this move for some time but it has finally become reality and we are sad to see them go. Before they left town we wanted to get together a final time (for a while). We decided to have a weenie roast & pot luck dinner followed by some games.

The weather was perfect, hardly a breeze, clear skies, cool air and fall colors in the trees. In spite of these perfect conditions (and because we had just had hot dogs on Wednesday) we decided to cook up some hamburgers on the new grill. Michelle has been using her new (early Christmas present) grill for bottling our chicken meat; we've beat our poor stove into the ground trying to bottle our pears, peaches, grape juice, etc...the stove was not designed for bottling and canning; so we invested in a 3 burner grill to handle to intense heat from the bottling and set it up in the garage.

We have now discovered that the garage is a great place for bottling but not a great place for cooking, smoking, BBQ-ing, or anything else the will produce smoke!

We had the family start to arrive around 5:00 pm, around the same time we started the fire. Darius and Kristen (along with Morgan and Olivia) were the first to arrive, followed closely by Trista, Cheyenne, Larissa and Mike (Trista's new boyfriend).

Larissa wasted no time jumping into the social circles of conversation...through text messaging with...well no, it wasn't with us!

Aleky spent a lot of time hanging out by the fire, in his high chair. For the most part he was content but he was quite excited when the food started showing up on the tables. His first course was...bread.

Despite our incredible success with roasting hot dogs 3 nights previous, the boys acted like it was torture to eat a hot dog this time. They were okay with the jell-o and definite approved of the Cheetos and potato chips but hot dogs we "so yesterday" and they would have nothing to do with them.

We've heard rumors about the guy named Mike from Georgia that Trista has been dating for a couple month now. We were quite excited to finally meet him. While he claims to be from the south I strained to pick up any hint of the true southern accent; if it wasn't for the fact that they met through his sister who lives in Georgia I might have to wonder! But over-all he seems like a very cool guy.
While Cheyenne tries to appear like an innocent college freshman we know that she's anything but innocent. After bathing the boys and putting them to bed we played the game "Cranium." Cheyenne was on the team with Trista and Mike and it was obvious that they were in cahoots and had played the game before.

Larissa took some time off the text messaging to join teams with Darius and Kristen. Don't let 'em fool ya, they are good at this game as well. I think someone forgot to remind them about proper gaming etiquette at our home...we are supposed to ALWAYS win. As it turns out we ended in 3rd place of the 3 teams! I don't supposed that had anything to do with poor luck, no TV knowledge and limited exposure to this game?

It was quite an enjoyable evening and we were sorry that it had to end. We called the game just after 11:00 pm when Morgan's energy finally ran out and she was too tired to carry on. We had a lot of laughs, sometimes a little too loud (somehow our boys slept through it all!) but an enjoyable evening never-the-less.

We are going to miss the Joneses as they head off to Oregon for new opportunities. They have been wonderful friends and great family. We wish them the very best as they begin this next chapter in their lives. And we hope to stay in touch and up to date with each excited new adventure that they have! Good luck guys...hope to see you soon!