Monday, December 29, 2008

The day after

Christmas morning, the kids unwrapped a letter from Jared that told them that the nice "man in brown" would be delivering "Rock Band 2" the next day (Dec. 26th).  The kids were thrilled!  Later that evening, Jared realized that the shipping address he had entered was at his office, which would be closed.  The morning of, he talked to "Brown" and found out that it would be delivered between 1-2:30 pm and left at the appropriate time to sit in his office and wait.  Around 4pm, he noticed "Brown" across the street at the bank, aka his former office.  He then wonders if he accidently sent it to his old address and goes online to investigate.  Sure enough, that is what he did.  He runs outside in time to see the truck drive off.  He goes across the package delivered to the bank.  He jumps in his truck to try and catch "Brown" and gets stuck in a snow bank.  By the time he gets out, the truck is gone.  But wait... Jared calls "Brown".  They get ahold of the driver.  He is in Springville.  Jared goes to Springville.  Jared saves the day.  Jared gets home by 5:30pm.  Not quite how we imagined the day.  Rock Band, however is a huge hit!  We played for 5 1/2 hours.  
Next time Jared, leave the shopping to the women!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish a very, merry Christmas to all our friends and family (and random people who may be stalking our blog). We are so grateful for our wonderful family and friends and feel truly blessed. We are grateful for our Savior, for his life and his atoning sacrifice in our behalf. What a wonderful time to celebrate!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: 
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, 
Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, The Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9: 6

"Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who condescended to come into this world of misery, struggle, and pain to touch men's hearts for good, to teach the way of eternal life, and to give Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. How different, how empty our lives would be without Him. How infinite is our opportunity for exaltation made possible through His redeeming love."
President Gordon B. Hinckley

Friday, December 19, 2008

Welcome Home?!

So, just 2 days ago I am sitting in Florida and the temperature is in the high 70's. We pack our bags and leave our lovely little pre-christmas vacation and come home to THIS!!!

Can I go back now??

Disney, Day 5

Today's adventures were found at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  The Tree of Life was incredible, this photo doesn't do it justice. The whole park was incredibly beautiful. We had a lot of fun seeing all the animals and the wonderful shows.

The highlights of the day included two of our all time favorite rides: Aerosmith's Rockin' Rollercoaster and Everest.

And that concludes our trip to Disney World. Until next time....
***Sorry, Amaya just reminded me that Rockin' Rollercoaster was actually in Hollywood, not Animal Kingdom.  It's all such a blur to me now!  It really was one of our favorites though.  I guess the other ride enjoyed at Animal Kingdom was the "Rapids" (a water ride).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Disney, Day Four

Today we visited Disney's Hollywood Studios. This was my favorite of the Disney parks so far. There were a few less people (maybe), and the best rides so far: the roller coaster (featuring Aerosmith) is like Space Mountain times five, and the Tower of Terror is the kind of ride I would not normally go on, but Kyla shamed me into it. It was fun but I prefer solid ground under my feet and to generally stay around 1.0 G, so I was ready to check it off on my list after one run. Kyla wanted to go again. Unfortunately, we didn't make it back to that one, but we did do the Aerosmith coaster three times.

Today was also our biggest day of standing in line to get photos taken with a nonverbal person in a plastic costume, which is starting to make the Cheerful Dad feel a little "Disney-ed out." Looking forward to Animal Kingdom and the Everest ride tomorrow, but I'm fine with there not being any more Disney parks to go to after that. Actually, there are. Don't tell our kids.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not Disney, Day 3

We took a break from the Disney-ness today and drove out to Kennedy Space Center. Very impressive place if you've never visited.

You can't appreciate the sheer size of a Saturn V rocket without standing in the room with one. It's amazing to me that 3 guys would sit on top of one of these and light the fuse, then rely on 1960s technology to bring them back home. The Space Center is one of those places that make you appreciate being an American. (And I think the kids even liked it).

Tomorrow it's on to Disney Hollywood Studios for some more fake entertainment.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Disney, Day Two

In case you thought that mid-December would be a non-crowded time to come to Magic Kingdom, I don't think any such time exists. There were certainly plenty of folks there today. Not that I'm complaining. I am the Cheerful Dad, as I keep telling everyone, and we're here to have fun and we will even if it kills us. (And we did).

I felt sorry for all the parents with their strollers, babies, and toddlers, crying, fussing, and falling asleep. We have a fun, peppy bunch of kids and it's nice when even your 8 year old likes the rides that are actually fun. The kids did Big Thunder three times and Space Mountain twice, and those were the favorites.

In contrast, here is a demonstration of what "It's a Small World" can do to your alertness level toward the end of a long day.

Fortunately, my iPod was handy, so I was able to flush the *%$# song out of my brain with the aid of some heavy metal before it became permanently inscribed in my neurons. (For those of you not aware, the song in question loops continuously from when you first get in line until you jump off the little boat and run away screaming 45 minutes later. The Disney staff who work there have to wear special earplugs to avoid seizures. And you know exactly what song I'm talking about. It is starting to stick in your head now. Flee, my friends, before it is too late).

Disney, Day One

Friday was Epcot Center day. We forgot that it might actually be cold in Orlando, and barely had enough long pants and jackets to go around, but mid-60s and breezy is still a lot nicer than what we left at home. Soarin' Over California was the consensus favorite attraction. If you've been to Epcot Center you know that they have miniature versions of a dozen or so different countries for you to check out. We found that the most fun thing was to visit the gift shops and try on all the hats.

Home late with tired kids and up early tomorrow for Magic Kingdom!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santa's Early Visit

Much to everyone's surprise, Santa decided to stop by during church last week. The kids returned home from church to find some new luggage under the tree, and a note from Santa explaning that this year's main present for us was a "Fabulous Florida Vacation!" (you can hear the price is right guy voice, can't you).

That's right, Santa is sending us all to Disney World, December 11-17. The real world excuse is that there's a medical conference to make part of the trip a tax break. And the conference is only till noon on 2 days, so it's mostly play time even for Dad.

I hear it's going to start snowing this week, so while you're out shoveling your driveway you can call us to see how the weather is. I am generally a bit of a Disney scrooge (the kids have been to Disneyland once, too long ago to remember well), but figured if we're doing it, might as well go for it.

The kids are pretty excited, as you can see from this Toyota-inspired snapshot:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hurrah for volleyball!

I love volleyball! I am not the best player ever, but I have fun. This year our season was really short. Three games and then the playoffs. Some how our ward team made it to regionals this year. I was proud of our team. We played really well, especially since we are a bunch of middle-aged woman with at least 31 children between us. We went up mostly against all of these young moms who were in their 20's, who all looked like former BYU volleyball players, and we held our own. And most importantly...we had FUN!! Thanks girls!

posted by Lynette (not Jared)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Domestic goddess or just crazy?!

Every once in a while, I decide that my life isn't crazy enough with all that I have going on (3 church callings, volunteering at school, sewing dresses, remodeling the house, church sports, kids sports, etc.) and I decide that I should be a good mormon wife/mother and do a bunch of canning.  So, this is what I have done:

TOMATOES (18 pints)

PEACHES (21 quarts)


PASTA (26 cans/approx. 75 lbs)

(I canned the pasta with Jen & Marcie...some of the cans have already been taken was a lot of pasta, baby!)

CHICKEN (14 quarts & 18 pints)

And finally, APPLESAUCE & APPLE PIE FILLING (14 quarts)

I don't know.  What do you think...Domestic goddess or just plain CRAZY!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

First Pheasant

One bad thing about being born in the 1990s is that you missed growing up in the 1970s, when we had the great fall tradition of hunting pheasants in the fields around Spanish Fork, with Grandpa's black Lab, Bart, leading the way for us, BYU football on somebody's radio as we walked through the cut grain, and hot chili at Grandma's house at the end of the day.

My boys have missed out on this and I've never even taken them bird hunting with me. I've only been able to go a few times since they've been little, and it's mostly been on school days and to pheasant farms where you pay your way.

We actually made an effort this year and Bryce got his hunter education finished in time for the fall hunt. Wildlife Resources sponsors a youth-only pheasant hunt which was held today in Huntington. The weather couldn't have been better and Bryce managed to bag his first bird despite the cub scout flunkout hunting dogs we had with us. (Can't complain since we don't even have a dog). There were several other roosters he had a chance at, but Bryce humanely decided to just "train" the birds for other hunters by giving them the experience of being shot at and missed. I think some of these birds lived for almost five minutes after that. There were a lot of guns around.

So tomorrow night he and I get to share a manly man-snack of grilled pheasant breast. Bryce wouldn't believe me when I told him that on your first bird, you have to rip the heart out and eat it raw. I did that, didn't I, Dad?

Edit: I just looked at the photo. Who the heck wears a "Vote for Pedro" shirt hunting?

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Memorable Weekend

This last weekend was a very memorable one for me. Halloween is always a lot of fun and this year was no different. Actually, it was a little different...two of Jared's sisters brought their kids over to go trick-or-treating with us. We had a lot of fun!  And, incase you were wondering...yes, out of all the pretty places in the yard that we could have chosen to take a picture, we chose to take it in front of our open garage!

The thing that made the weekend the most memorable, however, was that Kyla was baptized. It was such a special day. Amaya and Bryce provided all the piano music for the baptism, Kyla's cousins and brothers sang a nice musical number & the grandmas gave very nice talks. I am so thankful to be married to a worthy priesthood holder, who was able to perform that sacred ordinance for Kyla.  Kyla looked so happy and so beautiful!  It was a wonderful day!

All 4 of our children are now goal down...a million left to go!

Kyla and two of her wonderful friends, Amber and Jennie.

Kyla's cousin Parker came to visit for this special day

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our "new" house

On the lighter side, I thought I would share with you our "new" house!  No, we did not move. We just remodeled.  It might have been easier to move.

First we ripped out the "soft" alder floors and replaced them with Andean Pecan "hard"wood floors.  They are a little wild, but I love them.  They tie all my woods in nicely.

Next, we took out our cracked countertops and replaced them with quartz countertops. Jared's brother, Mike, came down and helped us tile the backsplash. I think it turned out awesome.

Finally, we had to replace all the floor baseboards (ripped out to do the floor). We did this ourselves. Both the ripping and the replacing. Jared's dad did help us paint the baseboards with a sprayer he borrowed from his friend. Damon also helped us out one day. I really like the look of the taller baseboards.

The "new" house! Thanks to everyone who helped!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


If I do end up publishing this blog, I hope to heck that none of my posts are as serious as the first one I wrote, the election night one. Here’s a lighthearted look at another polarizing subject: Soccer.

I like to believe that I am in no way a racist, except for one way: (Insert tongue in cheek here) I believe that soccer is a game for the browner people of the world. A game for people who live in places where donkeys or camels are still a valid choice for commuting to work. Just keep on trampling each other when the soccer bleachers collapse.

I don’t like soccer partly because it gets in the way of more important games, like football. Football is the greatest team sport known to man. The thrill of watching it, the depth and strategy are second to none. The down side of football is that you can’t play it when you are a slightly overweight almost 40 year old dad. You can play some pretend versions of it, which are still fun, but it’s hard to find 22 guys and 22 sets of helmets and shoulder pads to throw together a pickup game for old guys. It’s a good thing you can’t, because if you could my knee ligaments would not survive for long. So when you’re a slightly overweight almost 40 year old dad, you have to satisfy yourself by coaching football. You can’t coach real tackle football because you don’t have an extra 40 hours a week (and perhaps also lack actual coaching talent), so you have to be glad your 10 year old wants to play “flag” football.

So you go to the flag football draft and you try to put together a team that will do well and will be fun for the kids. (That means you have to get skilled, fast people so you can win.) Then, various members of your team start not showing up for practices and games because, you guessed it, they also play SOCCER.

I got news for you: If you are on my football team, my football practices are more important than your soccer practices. They are also more important than your soccer games. In flag football we have to figure out things like formations and plays and zone defenses. And we have like 2 hours to figure it all out before our first game. But you’re not here because you are at soccer practice where, as far as I can tell, you just run around and kick stuff.

My children all gave up soccer a year or two ago and I am forever grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved attending all your games. Especially how they would take an entire hour and your team would excitingly score zero points, and have the ball in the other team’s half of the field for up to 5 minutes out of the 60 minutes. The reasons for this, as far as I could tell, could be outlined like this:

Your team: A bunch of white kids
The other team: A bunch of white kids plus one or two youthful soccer gods who were apparently bitten by a radioactive South American.

So dear soccer: Just stay over there across the ocean or south of the border and you and I will get along just fine. Love, Me.

P.S. Don't go calling yourself "football."

Election Night 2008

I hope I’m wrong.

I write this on Election Night 2008. John McCain just conceded the election.

As a country, we have just taken a step that I fear will come back to haunt us. We have just elected an extreme liberal, arguably a Marxist and socialist, to the nation’s highest office. I am deeply concerned about the consequences that this decision holds for our nation over the next few years.

Mr. Obama certainly looks the part. I will give him that. He looks good in front of a camera and he gives a good speech. It’s what he stands for that I can’t put myself behind.

It’s not that the current administration has done such a bang-up job. I’m actually fairly unimpressed. Perhaps the best that can be said is that they have kept us safe. No terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 2001. I feel that is a significant accomplishment and speaks to the effectiveness of the Bush foreign policy and aggressive pursuit of radical Islam wherever it may hide. However, the Reagan-era conservative ideals of fiscal responsibility and limited government seem to have been abandoned.

We now turn the page into an unknown future. Here’s some things I feel are likely to happen over the next several years, as a result of America’s decision today. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

• Starting in early 2009 with the next Congress, a more extreme version of the 1994 Clinton assault weapons ban will be passed by Congress and happily signed by President Obama. Just like the 1994 law, this new law will be based not on actual facts, but on propaganda and arbitrary, meaningless distinctions. It will do nothing to reduce violent crime rates, but will serve only to erode the constitutional rights of Americans.

• As a result of President Obama’s passive, pat you on the back foreign policy, our enemies abroad including radical Islam will become more bold and active. There will be at least one deadly terrorist attack within U.S. borders in the next four years.

• The U.S. economy will grow out of the current recession, but such growth will be limited, and be slower than it could have been, as liberal economic policies and redistribution of wealth undermine the American work ethic. Every congressional vote and presidential signature that takes assets from those who have earned it and redistributes to those who have not will contribute to this. Please don’t misunderstand. I believe that part of the role of government should be to provide a safety net for those who are struggling, to help them get back on their feet. But President Obama seems to be about all kinds of entitlements and social programs (“Share the wealth!”) that are beyond the constitutional role of government and will encourage a welfare culture. Economies based on these principles have historically failed.

• Lastly, my personal consumption of aspirin will increase, as government bureaucracy becomes increasingly entrenched in the administration and distribution of health care. If you’re interested, feel free to ask me for examples of how arbitrary and ridiculous policies and rules invented by bureaucrats in government-run health plans consume time and add frustration and stress to my work day, every single day. I’m not looking forward to more of it.

I’ve been frustrated by how so many Americans, including many in my own family, seem to have fallen for Obama’s line. I’ve come to the conclusion that voters from conservative, religious, family values backgrounds who support Obama fall into one of two categories:

(1) You have been taken in by the handsome face and the eloquent speeches, but haven’t looked deeper to see what the man is really about.

(2) You are a lazy person who looks forward to what will land in your pocket for free as a result of the new economic policies.

Sorry, but that’s how it looks from here.

President Obama, I salute you. Your rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights you’ve reached has been singularly impressive. Please, lead us to a better America. Lead us to the change you have promised. Please just allow me to hang on to my God-given and constitutional rights as you do so.

If I’m wrong – in other words, if after the next four or eight years of you in charge, we’re all rich and happy and all our enemies are dead and we still have rights and we still know who God is in America, I will happily admit to everyone what an idiot I am, and I will personally thank you by taking you out to shoot off some assault weapons.

Please prove me wrong.


I did it. I gave in to peer pressure from my creative brother and sisters and started a blog. Mostly just so you could read it, Mom. (“Because you’re such a good writer,” you said the other day. Well, we’ll see).

Some things you readers should know up front:

• I feared starting a blog for a long time because I didn’t want to start it and then not have it be updated for 17 months. I thought when/if I did start the blog, I would need at least a few filler posts to get started in case I didn’t get back to it for a while. So here’s a couple posts for you, and I hope you don’t hate me after reading them. I’ll try to throw something new up at least half as often as Josh or so. We’ll see how it goes.

• I will probably not be as good as all of you at including perfectly cropped, expertly taken photos to illustrate my posts. It’s not that this is hard to do, I do use a Mac after all, but it’s just that I am too lazy to do it.

• Our family is increasingly deficient in adorable small children who do cute and funny things. We have children, and they are adorable and cute and funny, but they’re not so small and that may give us a disadvantage in sources of material, because they don’t do things like sit on cheese naked so much any more. Melissa, I didn’t even know “swass” was a word. I slightly regret my decision to look it up on urbandictionary just now.

• So my commitment to you is to occasionally/rarely provide insightful and/or stupid commentary on some random topic, which you may or may not find entertaining. I also commit to you that Lynette will provide you with cute and inspiring updates on what our kids are up to. Hear me Lynette? That’s YOUR job.