Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nogs and Logs

Ho Ho Ho.
We attended the annual Proctor Elementary Holiday Program a couple weeks ago. They used a new format which shortened the run-time significantly, which was appreciated, but it made it difficult to get a decent picture of our eldest, who was stuck in the back.  
She's the blond on the left.
Lucy was right at the front of the stage though, which made her the photographic center of attention. She performed well, despite being stuck between a couple of yule-log Saxons throughout the duration. Those two boys spent most of  two numbers throwing fake snow at each other with Lucy between them. 5-year-old Neanderthals, that's what she has for schoolmates.
 Then we had Christmas. Here are a few pictures of children, delighting in the holiday consumerism. We are grateful that they are still at an age in which they don't realize or care that a good many of their gifts come from the thrift store or craigslist.

We thought that our eldest had figured out the true nature of Kris Kringle. She told us a couple times that she knew who Santa Claus was, but when she came downstairs at 4:15 AM, she said, "Look what he brought!"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Good Pictures after a Bad Day

I hate that I feel guilty for having a good day yesterday.  I got accepted to grad school.  I worked at the hospital.  I went home and saw my three beautiful daughters and gave them all hugs and told them that I loved them.  There are some parents in this world that will be going quite some time without having a good day.  I'm sorry.  These are pictures from a recent trip we took to Austin to see my sister and her lovely family, who are also all alive and well. 


Nora's expression is due to the fact that she caught that fish, but she didn't know how to not express emotion in front of her intimidating Uncle Adam.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thank You, Independence Youths

So, we've been using our wood-burning stove. We like it. It keeps our little house toasty warm and it feels like winter and we don't have to pay nearly as much in gas. Win win win. Well, the other day, I scooped out the ashes, as is necessary with wood-burning stoves and I deposited those ashes in the garbage on the side of our house. There were a couple of tiny glowing embers. I've done this before. About 10 or 15 minutes later, we left to go to church. As I walked to the car. I opened up the trash bin to deposit my caffeinated soda can. I noticed that there was smoke in the bin. I thought to myself, "I better let the heat from those embers dissipate." So I opened the bin, and we left for church.
Well, it turns out, that rather than dissipating the heat, I actually added the third essential element of fire production. We already had some heat. We already had some fuel. We had only been lacking oxygen. 
The rest of the story comes to us via our next-door neighbors. Says Mel: "I guess some kids were driving by and saw a fire and they stopped and tried to find your hose, but since you don't have an external spigot, they knocked on my door, but our hose didn't reach, so they filled up your bucket there and and we got it mostly out, but by then the fire department had shown up and spread it around to make sure it was all out."
We had two, big, blue, plastic trash bins. This is what was left of them when we got home:
If you look close, you can see the rod that used to connect the wheels of the other bin that was totally consumed.  Amazingly, the only damage to our house was a little bit of bubbled paint on the wall. The wooden overhanging carport was undamaged. The nearby truck was unscathed.
Lesson: If you're going to stupidly leave fire hazards around your house, make sure you do it while you're at church.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


 Three pictures:
Nora, swirling through a vortex of joy on a fiberglass pony.
 Lucy, chowin' down in the clink.
Samantha, making breakfast.

Monday, September 17, 2012


 So, I realize that it's been a while since we blogged. We missed Becky's birthday, the girls' first days of Kindergarten, 2nd grade and preschool, Becky's pacemaker implantation, and Jon's little run-in with the Russian mafia, but in our defense, revealing the whereabouts of a murdered hooker can take up a surprising amount of your free time.

We went to see the Terrys on saturday. Ben just took a new position at the University up in Lincoln and they bought a beautiful labrynthine house. Lucy did not mind the frigid festivities in their backyard.
Sam and Eva were elegant and/or swarthy.
 Spencer played basketball in a recycling bin because that's what 12-year-olds do these days.
Becky and Peanut became one with the pool chairs. 

  Ben provided nourishment by heating the flesh of animals.

And this is how we felt when we left.
 Jon, Rachel, and Becca avoided the camera.
The End.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Our oldest daughter turned 7 years old a couple weeks ago. She decided to have an "UP" party.

The idea of an "UP" party is that you put a whole bunch of balloons on your house like in the movie "UP" and then you and a bunch of friends watch the movie "UP."
It turns out that there were a lot more balloons in the movie "UP" than any one person could possibly afford to buy. Actually, the balloons in the movie were digitally created in a computer. Our one little helium balloon kit looked rather silly.

Becky, in her brilliance, came up with magical craft ideas to do in addition to the movie.
Becky is better than ice cream cake.

This is a picture of 6 kids on a couch.

We borrowed Mike's projector and the big slanty wall upstairs worked pretty darn good. I'm glad we didn't build that room with a door because it would make a pretty sweet make-out locale.

That night, Sam wanted to paint toenails. It was her seventh birthday.

Monday, July 9, 2012


So, beat that.

The girls got haircuts from their dad. Yes, I'm a nurse and an adequate hairdresser, but that doesn't mean I'm not a functional example of my gender.

I realized that these ponies make 3 dollars for each 3 minute ride in a figure eight. That's 60 bucks/hour. I wanna be a pony. A pretty pony with braids in my beautiful mane, galloping through the meadow with a pack of tampons attached to my saddle.
Does anyone want to go paint-balling or play video games or chop some wood? Maybe fart?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Weeky Video

Overheard conversation:

Monday, June 25, 2012


Lucy turned 5.  Becky made this.  It took her 4 years.  I didn't think it would hold together.  I'm an idiot.  Ten tiny children hit it before it burst apart in a very satisfying manner.

This is the lovely lady who is going to get tubes in her ears and go to kindergarten soon.  It'll be interesting to see if she still ignores us as much after her outer ears are fixed.

This one is also maturing.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Trinidad, and the Big Mississippi

I remember something a fellow young man told me about 20 years ago.  We were in a tent with a couple other young men on a scouting campout.  My father was one of the leaders at the time.  He was fun and dorky. He would participate during games of capture the flag, and he would teach weird geography songs to those who were willing to learn them.  I don't remember the whole of the conversation that led up to this comment. I think it was something along the lines of one boy saying, "You're dad's goofy."
I, thinking to deflect some ridicule, said something like, "I know. He can be pretty dorky sometimes."
Then the other boy said, "I wish he was my dad."

I had never seen either of these other boys' fathers at any campout or any other scouting event.  Their fathers never played basketball, they didn't sit by their sons at church, and they certainly didn't sing goofy geography songs around the campfire.

Thank you for being a dad, Dad.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dogs 2

So here's the whole dog story:
A couple weeks ago, a friend of ours, who is going through a very nasty divorce, asked us if we wouldn't mind watching her three little Maltese dogs for a while until all the divorce stuff was finalized. The place she's staying doesn't allow pets. So we took them in. We suddenly had responsibilty for three very cute, but fairly smelly, fairly impossible-to-keep-clean, long-haired, yippy, annoying, dogs. It did provide some motivation to complete the privacy fence. That took 2 days. 
Well, as it turned out, the privacy fence was not quite as secure as we thought. The mighty leader of this trio, named Marshmellow, dug under the gate while we were out for an afternoon, and they disappeared.
I was not sad, but I was a little disturbed that these ridiculously expensive pure-bred dogs had decided to independently wander the streets of Independence, sniffing meth and what-not. I drove around the neighborhood for a bit, looking for fluffy white and red splotches in the street. They were not located.
We ashamedly contacted the owner, and to our surprise, she responded by saying something like, "Well, someone probably picked them up and is taking good care of them. It's fine."
And joy abounded. We were free of the poopy little gremlins and we could go back to our non-dog lives.
But Becky saw how Samantha had embraced Marshmellow, so they went out and got the substantially less cute and slightly less stinky Peanut Butter...
But, that's not the end of the story, folks. After Peanut had been in our home for all of two days, the three fluffy demons from hell came YIPPING BACK TO OUR HOUSE, covered in dirt and occasionally vomiting some kind of sticky white substance which looks like a combination of hair, possum flesh, and tartar sauce.  
So now we have FOUR DOGS.
Who wants to come over for a roast? 

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Here are the top ten reasons to NOT own a dog:

1. They smell. They smell like dog.
2. They shed. Their hair gets all over everything and it smells as much as they do.
3. They bark. They bark all day at everything that isn't food.
4. They eat food.
5. And then they poop. In your yard. Where your feet go.
6. They jump on your furniture with their little claws.
7. They bite. If they don't like something, they don't file a complaint, they just bite that thing.
8. They have other nasty things living on them, like ticks and fleas and moray eels.
9. When you go on vacation, you can't just turn the AC off and leave your house. You have to find someone to watch your dog, otherwise you'll come home to a dead dog, which smells even worse than a live dog.
10. Speaking of which, they sometimes get sick, and then you have to pay a guy who acts like a doctor to prescribe medicine or perform hip surgery or hit it with a shovel.

So that being said, meet Peanut Butter. Or Peanut. Or Pee Pee.
She's a Pug mixed with some other kind of thing that's not a pug. Probably a Chihuahua. So she essentially looks like a perpetually pissed-off Chihuahua. She's fat and lazy and she eats table scraps and doesn't bark and Becky just bought her. Like a pair of shoes.
So now we have a dog. A damn dog.
Kinda cute though.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

And Phyllis Begat Wendell

So they got matching dresses. And tattoos.
And they stood around in our backyard looking pretty while they contemplated the cosmos.
 This one broke the cuteness barrier with her pigtails, though we had to reinstate her prom privileges to get to keep them in.
Then we drove to Colorado and back to visit with Super Grandma. Grandpa Wendell's mom had never met Nora. Now she can live peacefully, knowing that her progeny will soon destroy all of humanity.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cry Havoc

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves
 Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
 It is meant that noble minds keep ever with their likes; for who so firm that cannot be seduced
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Grandmother's Long Shadow

My grandmother was a gardener. She produced fruit and vegetables like America produces fat kids. She supplied her family and the rest of the neighborhood with greens aplenty. And she did it in the dessert of Utah. She's getting on in years now, and her capacity to bend and weed a bit limited.
We're attempting to carry on the legacy a bit. It's not a huge garden. It certainly wouldn't sustain us, but we might have a spare zucchini or two to share in a few months if bugs don't kill them like they did last year.
Nora eats spinach.

Snap peas and beans

Owl decoys don't really work. The birds are still getting our strawberries. Does anyone have a real owl?

Friday, April 20, 2012

The open-house is almost over. We got to be very involved with the tours for a couple days. The activity and attention it's brought to the church has been great, but I'll admit that I won't be disappointed when the excitement dies down.

We took the girls through yesterday. I'm reminded of the open-house/dedication of the Denver temple when I was a boy. I only vaguely remember it. I think I was about Lucy's age.

It's quite a blessing to have a family that is much more attractive than I am. I'm like a gangly E.T. surrounded by bunch of pixie-cherubs.

Sometimes your thumbs aren't enough.