Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

We don't go a-wassailing, so let's all get together for a good, hardy, noggling! It's the most wonderful time of the year, according to the retail sector, and everyone is all yuley with joy.

Once again, we decided that the world doesn't want hard copies of Christmas greetings from the Tolmans enough to warrant paying postage to send them. As is oft said in our home, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

It's been an adventurous year for the Tolman Five. Jon altered his career pathway and is now teaching nursing at Colorado Technical University. There should be another shift in employment by next year's end, seeing as the Kansas City Campus for CTU is no longer admitting students and the nursing program will be kaput at the end of 2012. This had very little to do with Jon's addition to the faculty.

Becky has acquired some new skills as a homemaker, including several that literally make homes. She's a more than capable drywall-mudder, tile-grouter, and project manager. The current and ongoing project is the finishing of the attic, which included re-routing the heating and A/C ducts, relocation of a load-bearing wall, and construction of stairs. Though Jon and friend Kyle Cromar have been doing more of the brute labor, it's Becky's soft, yet firm looks of direction that have kept the workers on task.

Samantha has been excelling at everything. She has gained numerous compliments from her coaches and teachers in gymnastics, piano, hog-wrestling, bread-flipping, and competitive water-boarding. She is the child that will one day do something that requires as much ambition but more morality than holding elected office.

Lucy does not care about excelling at everything. Even though she's the best and smartest of any of her peers, she would rather pretend that she's disciplining her class of ponies than practice doing something more measurable. Her arson case is currently in the jury-selection phase.

Nora is cute, in the way that a murderous, possessed doll is cute right before its head spins around and it starts stabbing people. Her most-honed skills include whining, Gregorian chanting, and depriving her parents of sleep.

It turns out that this is being posted about 10 days after Christmas, which is good enough for the folks in Sweden.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nobody's very interested in home improvement, so here are some shots of the people whose lives are being torn asunder by the home improvements:
Lucy no fits into the knit dress made by her paternal grandmother. Grandma Deanna created this using the tendons of fourteen robust wildebeasts.

It has gotten cold, as evidenced by our daughters' hats.

However, the hats are not always worn at appropriate times, so don't trust your eyes, people.

Awkward looking facial hair has popped up on people. Sometimes it happens prior to moustache/sweater parties. Sometimes it happens overnight. Sometimes it happens right after eating corned beef hash.

Nora and her evil clone, Nora.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yes, I realize that late November is not the best time to be tearing holes in the structure of a house and re-arranging furnace ducting, but it wasn't late November when we started, and I don't see you over here helping, so shut your pie-hole, smart-alec.
Sorry. We're a little on edge over here, what with the layer of plaster dust in our underwear.
We've gone from this:

To this:

And more impressively, this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

We got a lot of the ducting done today, and the particle accelerator only needs a couple more components until it's operational.

Meanwhile the girls have become fed-up with the whole project and moved in with Wiley the Wolf. Their hyper-luminescent eyes fit in better with nocturnal beasts anyway.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nutrient Dense

We tried to get Nora booked on the new VH1 reality show, "Toddler Rehab: Kansas City", but they wanted more minorities. We'll just start sprinking her Cheerios with Antabuse.

Dora and Boots being stalked by the Mutant Butterfly Woman.

A neuron typically has one axon that connects it with other neurons or with muscle or gland cells. Some axons may be quite long, reaching, for example, from the spinal cord down to a toe. Most axons of vertebrates are enclosed in a sheath, which increases the speed of impulse transmission; some large axons may transmit impulses at speeds up to 90 metres (300 feet) per second.


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Shuffle

We went to St. Louis.

It's nice that our three daughters are all able to sit together, facing the same direction while they watch movies and bicker and poke eachother and scream about their sister leaning too far.

This was the main reason we went to St. Louis.

We met up with the Shakespears. We watched their kids Friday evening at the park across the street. This picture doesn't really show off the fact that Nora is providing a majority of the swinging force.

Justin is giving Sam a piece of his mind. No wait, he's giving her a piece of a squirrrel's mind that he found buried in the sand.

Hyrum is about 6 months younger than our oldest. They made out about 5 years ago, and there's been a romantic tension ever since.

I can't remember if Hunter was trying to defend himself against a brother-afflicted wet willy, or a brother-inflicted smooch. I never had a brother. I bet a smooch would be worse.

Saturday afternoon, we went to the St. Louis zoo. The hippo exhibit was by far the best. If you're willing to spend some money, you can pick one out and eat it, like lobsters at a sea food restaurant.

I kinda wish we had splurged and paid for a $10 parking space, because when we got about 50 miles down the road, we discovered that our laptop had been stolen while we were parked on a residential road near the zoo. I wonder if those kudus had been involved.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cutsey Bootsey

We had a pretty decent conference weekend. Here's a shot of Becky and Nora basking in the spiritual bliss of the last session.

Now, before you watch this video, I want you to realize that it was not edited in any way, although we have been giving her performance enhancing drugs, such as cuteserol, cheruberone, and darlingdearsteride.

Sam's been taking lessons for about 3 months. We've purposely kept our craigslist piano out of tune so she'll be better trained. Kindof like the ninja guys that strap those clay sandals to their feet so they can jump super high when they take them off.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


There's always something to do with a house. I'm not a particularly handy man, but it's been gratifying to do things like turn this craigslist item:

into this:

Of course, there's always more on the horizon. This is going to be our next doozy:

It will require the acquisition of some new skills.

And for your amusement

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th, 2011

Ten years ago today, I was a journalism major at Brigham Young University. I remember walking through the library on campus, and seeing crowds of students gathered around the televisions that hung from the ceilings near the entrances. I had classes to get to, so I didn't bother stopping to see what was going on. I got to my communications law class, and the teacher got up and told us that as journalism students, we would certainly learn more by going out and watching the news coverage over whatever was going on than we would by having a discussion over privacy ethics or whatever it was we were talking about.
I went out and watched the news. Honestly, I wouldn't have been able to tell you the names of those buildings had you quizzed me the day before. I was pathetically clueless about world affairs for a broadcasting major. I didn't feel connected to what was going on. I didn't feel sad or angry. I only had one friend that I knew was in New York, but I doubted she was anywhere near the World Trade Center.
I watched the news the rest of the day and into the evening with interest, but little else. I should have reflected more. Ironically, I didn't start taking an interest in world affairs until after I got married and decided against a career in journalism.
The horrible, misguided people who carried out the attacks did change the world. It sent our country into the two longest wars in US history, the cost of which have perhaps irreparably damaged our economy. The united, patriotic fervor that embraced the nation in the days and weeks following the attacks has shifted to a bubbling resentment toward our elected officials.
I don't know what the consequences would be if we retreated from the war on terrorism. Would we feel defeated? Would we feel like we had helped the world by ridding it of some bad people?
Maybe rather than worry about the uncertain future, or dwell on the awful past of a decade ago, the best thing we can do on the anniversary of evil is to do good, and be happy in spite of those who would have you feel differently.


Only extraordinarily beautiful people are allowed to wear that t-shirt.

Farms are for dumb people.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Broom Girl

It's strange when your kids start teaching themselves to do things.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Samantha started 1st grade the other day. We gave her a home-grown butternut squash to give to her teacher. Apples be damned. We also taught her proper wedgie techniques to use on the kindergartners. She's good.

Lucy can't explain why she's adding marshmellows to her pizza toppings. She's still not very good with her L's, so the sentence, "I'm a gluttonous sloth" is still difficult.

Hair. Almost.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We've had a fair amount of trans-sister fighting recently. We don't have very physically violent daughters, but they're extraordinarily vocal. This post is mostly to remind us that it's possible for them to get along once in a while.

Here, they were reenacting the movie "Unstoppable." Sam is playing the part of the grizzly, experienced Denzel Washington. Nora is the young and brash Chris Pine, and Lucy is the the fat guy from "My Name is Earl" that lets the train go.

Here, Samantha pretends to be Al Capone, issuing instructions to the lower crime bosses over a mafia tea.

And some videos.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thy Fearful Symmetry

The other children saw Samantha in the feline majesty that Becky created for her and demanded more of the same.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Well, while Becky and our eldest are zipping across the country on airplanes and minivans, the rest of us are making do.

Lucy and Nora took to the stage while we waiting for the Deanna Rose farm to open. Here, Lucy is giving us her rendition of "Quando, m'en vo," Musetta's aria from Puccini's La Boheme.

Here, she holds a tomato.

Here is a picture I stole from my dad's seldom used blog of our partial reunioin a couple weeks ago. That's our niece/cousin, Annie, who is excellent.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Our charming little four-year-old, Lucy has been extra charming as of late. She's shown off her progressing literary skills by saying things like, "I do not like M-O-M."
She's also quite an artist. She presented this jewel to Becky, along with a conversation that went like this:
"Mommy, I drew this for you!"
"Oh, wow, is this lightning?"
"Yep! It's hitting her!"
"Who is the girl?"
"It's you."

Monday, July 11, 2011


We've been fairly blog-lite over the last month or two while we figured out what we wanted to do regarding our internet service. We've figured it out. Everyone can breathe a tremendous sigh of relief. Go ahead.

A majority of the Tolman clan came to KC for a visit over the 4th of July weekend. This is the only picture we managed to take of the entire affair. Nice, eh?

It was 106 degrees without the heat index yesterday. Lucy was trying to look into the camera, but her eyelids melted.

This is Donatello.