The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why cats are a waste of skin

This post is a nod to my sister Dedra.  She did a similar post on her blog a while back and actually changed her name on face book to Dedra Ihatecats Cheney.  I was not always so adamantly apposed to the 4 legged furry beasts.  When I was 3 years old some friends of my Mom surprised us with a pet cat.  We named it mittens and had a pet kitty for 2 weeks.  I new my mom did not like it especially when it pooped in the clean laundry.  We went to the baby sitter and when we came home our precious mittens was gone and the living room window was wide open.  She had run away or so I thought.  It was not until 30 years later my Mom came clean and told us she sent her to the pound.  However in that time she successfully turned us against the feline persuasion.  Now as an educated well informed adult I have to agree cats suck.  I have many thoughts on this I would like to share.  I am not the only one who feels so strongly it took me all of 3 minutes online to find a large group of people who have similar feelings.

  • Cats don't have owners they have servants

  • Any animal that will lick its own junk and then cough up a fir ball is just wrong

  • From Personal experience on my mission they have small bones that are hard to eat around and taste a lot like gamey dog.

  • They kill people.

  • To be fair I don't like dogs much either but I will tolerate them on occasion if it is outside, they are chained up and I am not tripping over the little ankle biters.  Ok I hate dogs too, but I can understand their appeal.

  • What other animal is so closely associated with witches and bad luck?

In order to be completely fair I have heard that cats are great fun to play games with.

They are the topic of great literature

I mean they are even mentioned in the bible

I personally think chickens are the perfect pet.  You keep them outside and in a cage you rarely have to clean.  They give you eggs and people don't think your sick when you eat one of them.  And if they happen to die you don't care because you have others that look exactly the same. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Regann at Weiser Idaho

We were in Weiser Idaho last week so my daughter could compete in the National Fiddle competition.  We have never been to such an event and it was a learning experience for us all.    She had to play three separate pieces back to back and did a good job.  It was very fun seeing her up on a big screen.  Her bracket had 76 people in it and only 12 made it to the 2nd level, I am sad to say yes she was cut but we had fun.

When she came on stage she saw us and stood there posing for a photo I think waiting for a flash it was quite funny.  She is excited to try again next year and now has a better understanding of what it takes to compete at this level.  This year should be good.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Upcoming Posts

I just got back from vacation in Idaho and Eastern Oregon.  The weather was great, the fishing not so good, rattlesnakes in camp...that was fun.  I normally write my posts out about a week in advance so I don't have worry about getting something posted.  However I was completely off the grid last week.  We literally had to drive 20 miles to get a cell signal.  However I thought I would give you a preview of things to come over the next couple of weeks:

  • Video of my daughter performing at Weiser Idaho fiddle competition.
  • High school photos of friends and assorted parties (some of you should be very afraid)
  • Highlights of my vacation.
  • Discussion on my plans to move to Idaho next summer.
  • Hippy hot tubs
  • Serving in the stake vs the ward
  • The great tortilla wars "corn or flour" which do you prefer
  • Memory Monday....Meridian Idaho
  • Venturing High Adventure Trip to the Lava Beds...its going to epic
  • Mormons are the same everywhere and I am not sure it is a good thing
  • Fast food there has to be a better way to eat on vacation
  • Are life jackets meant to be worn as a fashion statement
  • What exactly is a glory hole and why are my kids talking about it
  • Why cats are really a waist of skin (its a family thing)
  • Upcoming trips to Chicago, Atlanta and Klammath Falls
That should cover almost everything.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

5 Pearls of Wisdom

1. Money cannot buy happiness, but it's more comfortable to cry in   
    a Mercedes Benz than it is on a bicycle.

2. Forgive your enemy.  But remember their name.
3. Help a man when he is in trouble, and he will remember you when
    he is in trouble again.

4. Many people are alive only because it's illegal to shoot them.

5. Alcohol does not solve any problem, but then neither does milk

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blood work and Colonoscopies

I am pushing 40, overweight, can be cranky at times and love fast food.  This means my wife is concerned  about my health.  So I had some blood work done I am happy to announce that it is down from last year.  She just sent me the story below.  I have to say it is hilarious and I have no intentions of getting a colonoscopy done...ever. 
ABOUT THE WRITER: Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald.
Colonoscopy Journal:
I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.   
A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through  Minneapolis.  Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. 
I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'  I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven.  I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America 's enemies...
I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.  Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation.  In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.
Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep.  You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug.  This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.'
This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch?  This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt.  You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently.  You eliminate everything.  And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.
The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous.  Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurts.  I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?'  How do you apologize to a friend for something like that?  Flowers would not be enough.
At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked..
Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand.  Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down.  Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode.  You would have no choice but to burn your house.
When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist.  I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere.  I was seriously nervous at this point. 
Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.
There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA.  I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' had to be the least appropriate.
'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me.'Ha ha,' I said.  And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade.  If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.
I have no idea.  Really.  I slept through it.  One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. 
Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt.  I felt excellent.  I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.
Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous.  A physician claimed the following are actual comments made by patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:
 1.  Take it easy Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before.
2. 'Find Amelia Earhart yet?'
3. 'Can you hear me NOW?'
4. 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'
5. 'You know, in Arkansas , we're now legally married.'
6. 'Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?'
7. 'You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out...'
8. 'Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!'
9. 'If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!'
10. 'Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.'
11. 'You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?'
 And the best one of all:
12. 'Could you write a note for my wife stating that my head is not up there?'

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good Idea / Bad Idea when traveling to Dallas

Good Idea: Being in town when the Mavericks win the NBA Championship
Bad Idea: Joking with the Hotel Desk clerk you did not even know football season had started

Good Idea: Taking a picture with Ed "To Tall" Jones
Bad Idea: Mistaking him for Mean Joe Green

Good Idea: Going to a steak house for dinner
Bad Idea: Asking for the vegetarian option

Good Idea:  Bringing workout clothes to go for a run in the evening
Bad Idea: Going for a run in the evenings it is like 103 degrees there

Good Idea: Staying in a hotel with free breakfast
Bad Idea: Sleeping through breakfast

Good Idea:  Going to Dallas and stay in the Gaylord Texan Resort
Bad Idea: Going alone and leaving the wife at home

Good Idea: Asking for chile on your hash browns
Bad Idea: Not knowing before hand they meant chili (beans and meat) not Chile (green  spicy vegetable)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My evening at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium

You read the title correctly.  I just spent the last couple of hours on the field of the Dallas Cowboys.  I have been in Dallas for a business conference this week and they held the closing events at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.  It was probably the single coolest business mixer I have ever been to.  They took the entire end zone and turned it into a buffet.  Then set up tables on half of the field.  There was a roaming cameraman that projected you on the jumbotron.  It is the biggest TV in the world.  This thing is 4 stories tall and 7 stories wide. 

I am not as fat as these pictures make me look.  You have to remember that this TV screen is bigger than most houses.  (Ok there is another fat joke in there someplace.)
They also had a photographer  taking pictures of people standing on the star on the 50 yard line.

In the other end zone they gave you the chance to run some drills.  Kick a field goal and catch a ball thrown by a member of the team.  You could also get your picture taken with some of the old players.  This is a photo with me and Ed “to tall” Jones and Mel Renfro.  They have 3 superbowl rings between them.  It is a bit blurry but you can still make out Ed. 

All in all a very cool evening.  I mean how often to do you get to eat a burger sitting on the 30 yard line where they play the superbowl.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Memory Monday... Proof that my sister Wendi does not age

Do you know someone who looks exactly the same as they did in the 2nd grade.  I do.  My sister Wendi with the exception of changing hair styles (refer to last Mondays post if you want more details on that) looks the same now as she did when she was in grade school.  To prove this I have a few photos to illustrate this unbelievable gift:

Here we are at Christmas in 1980.  For those slow with math that is over 30 years ago and except for the beehive hair due she looks the same.  However here is more proof.  Take a look at the rest us and watch us change...but not Wendi.



1989 (I think).  The hair has changed and she now wears glasses however she looks exactly the same as a decade earlier.

1991 we all look different...except Wendi

This is my wedding photo taken in 1995 or 1996 and she looks exactly the same still.  (On the far right.)

See even Larry changes he had hair in my wedding photo this was only taken 6 years later. 

You can see from this photo evidence Wendi either aged to her adult status when she was 10 years old or she has somehow managed to stop the aging process all together.  Either way I would like an explanation.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Good Song not so good time to play it

Music can make or break a meeting.  If it is good then it really helps the service it is not so good it takes it the other direction.  Whether it is family home evening, Sacrament or general conference the music has a huge impact.  Every night before we read scriptures with my kids we always sing and opening hymn and have a prayer.  The opening song is usually a church song but on occasion Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the ABC’s or something they learned at school works its way on to the program. 
Last week I needed to speak to the Bishop so I went to opening exercises for the young men and young women for their Wednesday night activity.  They were discussing an opening hymn and one of the leaders said sing hymn #152 (I think that is the number I don’t have a hymn book to confirm) it was the hymn “God be with you till we meet again”.  I said something to the effect of “isn’t this supposed to an opening hymn?”.  The sister who chose the hymn looked at me and said she loved this song and asked if I had a problem with that.  (She said this is a very fun playful manner, she was not looking for a fight…I think).  I quickly responded “there’s no problem ,I love this hymn”.  It is one of my favorites for funerals, ending conference and at the close of girl’s camp.  I could not think of a better hymn for these situations.  However singing it for opening exercises in a weekly youth activity is kind of like singing amazing grace at wedding.  Beautiful song but really does not fit the situation. 
This got me thinking I bet there are lots of songs and situations that would not go together.  My sister Dedra and I came up with this short but pointed list:
Grandmas funeral:  Grandma got ran over by a reindeer
Divorce Court: Families can be together forever

Bar mitzvah: I wish you a Merry Christmas
First day of School: hot for teacher
Going to the Bathroom: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sacrament Meeting Prelude: Old McDonald on the Organ
We came up with several more that were either offensive or completely inappropriate and opted to leave them off.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review of our Memorial Day Pig Roasts

10 years ago I had the brilliant idea to cook a pig in the ground like they do in Polynesian and Caribbean countries.  However I had never done this before and only talked to a couple of neighbors that seemed know what they were doing for research.  So I dug a hole in my yard 3-4 feet deep and started a fire and burned logs, wood and anything else I could find the get a bed of coals.  I then put some rocks in with the coals and kept feeding the fire for a few more hours.  After the fire was hot, the rocks were hot I put a 25lb pork roast completely wrapped in aluminum foil into the hole and covered it with dirt.  I had friends over, my cousins Jolynn and Angie came with their husbands and we dug it up.  Everybody brought side dishes to go along with the main course.  We pulled it out of the ground it was hot and steaming.  The meat was cooked however because I wrapped it so tightly in foil it basically steamed it inside the foil.  There was no extra special flavor it was simply large chunk of steamed pork. 
We ate it and acted like it was good.  However we all new, it could have been much better.  The next year undeterred by our previous experience we decided to make it a Ward Memorial Day Party.  I was Bishop by this time so getting this on the Calendar was pretty easy.  We also got some expert help in form of a member in the other ward from New Zealand who had done this many times before.  It came out beautifully, the flavor was great, the roasting was a success and it was all in all a huge hit.  Over the next 10 years this has grown to be a ward tradition that is by far the most popular event of the year. 
We have had a couple of hiccups along the way.  I listened to some bad advice 4 years ago and the pork was not cooked because we changed the way we heated the rocks.  After that we have stayed with the tried and true methods. 
I wanted to include some photos of our event from this year’s Memorial Day Pig Roast.  Good times for everybody involved…except the pig.

The first thing we do is to dig a hole that is about 3 feet deep, 3 feet wide and 6 feet long.  It looks like a shallow grave.  We then pile the bottom with large valcanic rocks then stick 3-4 large propane torches under the rocks.

 We keep the torches on the rocks until they are all glowing red

After the rocks are red hot we will spread them out with a shovel then dump wood chips on the so they smoke and cover the entire mess with burlap sacks that have been soaking in water.  We take the pig or roasts that are sealed in cotten bags then wrapped in chicken wire and place it on top of the burlap.  Then wrap the rocks and pig in more burlap.

This is actually a lot harder than it looks.  You are standing over rocks that are close to 900 degree the wood chips are smoking and the burlaps is steaming.  It is hot and hard to see or breath.  Once you get the pig on the rocks and covered in burlap as quickly as possible we cover everything with about 2 feet of dirt.

We serve lunch at 2:00 in the afternoon and start the cooking process at 5:00am.  We had the hole dug by the boy scouts a few days before.  The preparations and heating of the rocks has become a party separate from the actual Memorial Day celebration.  We have breakfast light fires with small flame throwers and activly look for ant hills to shut down.  We normally have anywhere from 4-12 people show up just for this part.  It is actually my favorite part of the day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good Idea / Bad Idea when doing the laundry

Good Idea: Starting a load of laundry
Bad idea: Forgetting about the load of laundry until it mildews and smells bad in the washing machine

Good Idea: Rewashing the stinky laundry
Bad Idea: just tossing it into the dryer thinking a bounce sheet will cover the smell

Good Idea: Rewashing the now dry bounce smelling stinky laundry
Bad Idea: Just dumping it into the pile of clean clothes thinking no one will notice

Good Idea Bad Idea: Come clean about the mistake you made with the laundry
Bad idea Great idea: Have the kids help with the laundry so you can blame them

Good Idea: Using soap when washing dirty clothes
Bad idea: using dish soap instead of laundry soap…one word bubbles

Good Idea: having the kids take care of putting away their own laundry
Bad idea: Having the take clean clothes into a dirty room.  There always seems to be folded clothes in the dirty clothes hamper when that happens

Good Idea: Ironing your dress shirts
Bad idea: Commenting how nice my dress shirts look now, way better than last week…come to find out the wife ironed them last week, her mom did them this week.

Good Idea: Washing your dirty jeans
Bad idea: forgetting to take the $20.00 out of your jeans and not writing down the serial number because your Dad won’t give it back unless you do…Bummer for the kid.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Anyone want to beat a Carnie?

It is good to have friends that have no problem pointing out that your ideas are a bit ridiculous, and they are very happy to sit ringside and watch you carry them out.  Kind of like a train wreck about to happen, it most likely won’t be pretty but it is going to be super to cool to see those cars stack up. 
Later this summer we are going on vacation.  We will be attending a festival with a carnival and midway.  I have purchased bracelets for all of my kids that give them unlimited carnival rides (ya I know, totally cool dad).  Because I purchased them in advance I got a $5.00 discount and we get 5 midway games for free with each bracelet.  I like discounts and free stuff even more.  So if you knew you had 30 free chances to win a giant stuffed animal what would you do?  You would go online find videos of how to win these games and start practicing in your kitchen.  This is what any normal person would do.  I consider myself a normal person.  
I went on to youtube and found the videos listed below that teach the required skills necessary to beat the games.  We had to go to several locations to get all of the necessary items.   The hardware store had metal rings, string and sticks.  I took my two youngest kids with me and pulled up to the local tavern to get empty longneck bottles.  As we pulled up Nolahn said “I have never been here before, can I come in?”  I told him no he should stay in the car.  I was able to get 3 empty Budweiser and 1 empty Corona bottles.  With all of my supplies in hand we went home and assembled them. I explained to my kids that they all needed to master this skill.  Watched the video and got them practicing.  I went to bed early that night to lots of clanking and bottles falling over on the kitchen floor.
Fast forward to the next evening.  My kids go to church for their weekly activities and a couple of ward members come over to visit while we wait for our kids.  The first things they do is come in the house and see the empty beer bottles on the counter.  I look at them and they look at me and simply say “not being Bishop any more hit me pretty hard.  I have a couple of cold ones in the fridge would you like one?”  My wife jumps in and says something to the affect that I am trying to cheat a carnie out of a stuffed animal and not really a new found alcoholic and I have to explain what I am doing.  I explained how cool it is going to be when my kids can go to any carnival in the country with their friends and always come home with a toy.  Yes in high school on a date my girls will be winning a stuffed animal for the boys.  Now that will put him in his place, I already don’t like him now he can’t even win a simple toy for my daughter how is he going to be able to support her…maybe I am getting a little bit ahead of myself.
To quote one of my training videos the real prize is not winning a cheap toy it is taking money from a Carnie. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Memory Monday...Haircuts

Gina , Dedra and I have all got together and decided to make Haircuts our topic for today.  If you have been invited to their private blogs you can read their versions.   

When I was a kid my Mom would cut my hair.  Whenever I asked for her to change it she said that my hair could only be cut 1 way.  I accepted this at the time not knowing how wrong it was.  As I grew older I used to give her a hard time that she only knew how to cut it 1 way…the way she wanted it.  So when I turned 16 and got my first job I did 2 things with my first paycheck I bought a Swatch Watch and paid to get my hair cut.  That was last time my Mother ever cut my hair.  But up to that point of time and even beyond there were a few “interesting cuts”

In the 3rd grade I wanted to see if my mom would notice if I cut my own hair.  Not all of it just a 1 inch square in the center of my bangs.  It took her about 20 minutes and to my surprise she did notice.  Here is a photo of that adventure.

In the 8th grade my hair was getting really long and I kept bugging Mom to cut it.  I think more out of frustration Dad said I will cut your hair.  I thought he would use the clippers and medium gaurd, it will be short and finally gone… I was partially correct.  He took me out to the driveway sat me in a chair started to cut.  He used the shavers with the guard but at some point of time opted not to use  the guard and free handed it.  I looked like a retarded Marine with a blind barber for the next few weeks until it grew out.  A couple of years later, following my Fathers example I saved my parents some time and cut my brothers hair.  They looked “Real Nice”  (imagine Cousin Edie from Christmas Vacations saying “Real Nice”)

My sisters paraded a variety of perms, hair straitening treatments  and a rainbow of colors through our house over the years.  Most of them were harmless and short of the house smelling like perm solution for the afternoon none eventful.  I do remember something about Heather cutting Dedra's hair and there being somewhat of a ruckus over that.  The details escape me. 

While I was on my mission Heather went to the mall and paid $40.00 for them to take a picture of here, remove her hair and put different hairstyles on her head so she could see what looked best.  They settled in a on a haircut that looked exactly like the one she normally wears.  So she paid $40.00 for a simple snap shot of herself with crooked hair.

The summer after my sophomore year in high school I thought I would try life as a blonde.  I purchased 2 bottles of sun in and learned what roots look like and that life is not more fun it you are blonde especially a with 2 toned hair.

I had no idea how to style my hair so it looks a lot like Jim Carry in Dumb and Dumber until I turned 16 and went to a stylist and he taught me how to fix it. 

We are not even going to comment on the teeth

There was a mullet phase in there, and darn it I could not find any photos.  I chose to have a mullet and I looked good.  Wendi, Heather and Dedra did not choose to go through their mullet phase, Mom decided for them.  I think it was because their hair could only get cut one way.  You can kind of see it in this photo. 

The real shock is my Mom went to beauty School and was licensed to cut hair.  I am confident this photo never made it into her portfolio. 

After the mullet years I went through a period of various styles and settled in on one that works and have basically kept it for the last 21 years.   

1989 or 1990 we can see some improvement over the bowl cut.

This was taken at a laudrymat in Rexburg Idaho the month before I left on my mission so April 1991 and I still have the same haircut now.  Dedra as we can see also moved out of her mullet phase.

Being the poor college students and looking for ways to save $15.00 every couple of weeks, cutting our own hair seemed like a good way to do it.  It was my wifes idea and took her the better part of 2 years to convince me.  (I was having regular flash backs to the bowl cuts of my youth) Then we started a roller coaster ride of Bad, good, really bad, really really bad, good, Ok, good, not so bad and eventually consistently good haircuts.  She now cuts my hair every month and I am totally happy having her do it.  But oddly enough she can only cut it 1 way.

Friday, June 10, 2011

10 things to consider when mowing the lawn

Mowing the lawn is one of those task we all enjoy when it is done.  The smell of fresh cut grass is a great part of summer months.  I put together a list of items I often need to remind my kids of when it is their turn to mow the lawn.
1.       I know the lawn mower has a mulching setting, however it does not work on paper or soda cans.
2.       Purposefully running over baseballs to see if you can hit your brother with them is a bad idea.
3.       The lawn mower is absolutely capable of getting closer than 24 inches from the fence.
4.       Using a lawn mower is not an acceptable way to weed the garden.
5.       Hiding the gas can is only a temporary solution, it will be found and you will get in trouble for not looking harder.
6.       Chasing the chickens with a lawn mower is bad.
7.       Using the self propelled option is not a requirement when you have a 5 by 5 section to complete.
8.       Using the weed eater to edge the yard is considered part of mowing the lawn it is not a separate task.
9.       When you parent pays you to mow the lawn it is more of a gift.  You would have to do it even if we don’t pay you.
10.   If you don’t want to rake or bag the grass then you should not have waited two weeks to mow the lawn.
Bonus Item:  Dads turn to mow the lawn ended when I had kids.  And yes I have mowed more grass than you thanks for asking.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Does anyone want to learn the to play the saxophone?

I discussed yesterday the beginnings of my experience learning to play the piano.  Let’s just say that there are not a lot of happy moments that stem from that portion of my life.  Piano was not progressing like my parents had hoped, but fear not in the 6th grade they started band at the school.  My family thinking music is important and piano not going so well, meant the solution was of course I was going to play in the band.  I actually thought for a brief moment that would be cool I could play the trumpet or violin.  I would like to play one of those.  But what I did not understand is that it is not what I wanted to play.  It was what instruments did we have sitting out in the garage?  That is what determined what I was going to play.  This meant I got to play tenor saxophone.  I did not want to play tenor saxophone, I did not want to carry it back and forth to school and I vividly remember thinking “here we go again didn’t they learn anything when we did the piano thing”. 
Mom went out and got the case out of the garage.  I had seen it for years but never opened it.  I had imagined in my mind a shining brass saxophone with mother of pearl keys.  Nope not what I got.  It was a silver saxophone…yes silver  and not even shiny, it was dull with a matte finish, this was a shocker and point of explanation every time I opened the case.  The pads were old and leaked so mom fixed that by getting out felt and the glue gun and when to town making new pads.  I remember thinking this is not going to be a good experience and is going to end up with me making up a story to my friends why I have a silver saxophone with preschool quality pads.  I also vividly remember as I opened that case for the first time in the 6th grade thinking how much I did not want to be there, and if I ever had kids they were going to learn music but they could choose their instrument.  This thought became a constant comfort to me.  I was going to fix this horrible wrong of me being forced to play this beast of a horn by letting my kids play what they want. (The saxophone only lasted 3 years before my parents gave up on that one)
Ok let’s move it forward a few decades.  I have kids and they want to learn to play instruments.  Drawing very heavily on my childhood experiences and determined to correct the horrible wrong that was perpetrated on me as a child I came up with a plan.  They could learn any instrument they want and long as the school had one for rent and they have someone to teach it.  Over the past 3 years we have had violins, guitars, xylophones, bells and of course the piano being taught.   It looks like Mayson and Harmon have settled in on the Piano.  Payton has tried the violin but it really did not stick she is asking for the piano but I want to wait for her hands to grow a bit more before we go there.  Regann has grabbed a hold of the violin… well the fiddle.  I love classical violin music, she does not.  She loves playing old time fiddle music.  So once again I am drawing on my experience as a child and biting my tongue.  She does an amazing job and is actually competing later this month in Wieser Idaho at the National Fiddle Competition.  She was practicing before going to bed the othernight and I shot this short video of her practicing the Pigtail Rag.  She has definitely progressed further than her Dad and I can always use the excuse that musical talent skips a generation or more correctly skips sons in my generation.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Its time for piano lessons

When I was a kid my parents thought music was important and started to give us lessons.  In the first or 2nd grade I was taking piano lessons from really nice lady in Boise Idaho.  Wendi and I would go to her house once a week and go into her piano room to be instructed.  Her husband would get us cartoon books to read while we waited for our turn.  It was a really fun process.  Then something happened that changed my piano experience forever.  My Mom a very accomplished piano player decided to teach us at home herself.  This would save time money and in theory speed up the learning process by living with the teacher.  I honestly don’t remember exactly how the beginning was.  I just remember how it ended.  Me sitting in front of a piano for 8 years absolutely making up in my mind that I was not going to learn anything.  No amount of yelling, screaming, grounding or head slapping (all of these were involved) would change my position.  I did not have control over much in my life, but I fully recognized this was something that I did have control over and I exercised my free agency to its fullest. 

Fast forward 30 years later from the time this started.  I can read music and if there are no sharps or flats I can pound out something that resembles a song.  I never did learn how to use the petals.  In hind sight this was probably not the best use of my free agency. 

My sons came to me earlier this year and said they wanted to learn to play the piano.  I thought “I know some of the basics and could get them started”.  That worked for about 2 weeks.  When I heard myself yell at them from the other room “you missed a note try again” it was time for me to step back.  I had just crossed the line to the dark side and had a total oh my gosh moment next the head slaps would start.  Not a happy place to go.

We found a talented sister in our ward who teaches the piano and signed them up.  She has recitals twice a year.  Their spring recital just happened to take place after their 3rd lesson.  I was hesitant to let them perform but they really wanted to, and had started to practice their duet “heart and soul” already.  So they did.  Here is the video clip of Mayson and Harmon at their first Piano recital after only 3 lessons.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good Idea / Bad Idea

Good idea:  Take the kids camping and teach them to cook using a dutch oven
Bad Idea:  Using the same Dutch oven that I took camping with the scouts last month that they "forgot" to clean…It still had breakfast in it, gross would be an understatement

Good idea: To clean the Dutch oven before we use
Bad idea:  Asking the wife to clean it for me, that one did not go over so well

Good Idea: Let the kids play outside in our front yard
Bad idea:  Let them play with the landscaping sand and fill up my fountain with sand and rocks

 Good Idea:  Wash our dirty clothes
Bad Idea:  Forgetting to take your money out of your pants…I found $20.00 that Regann is claiming, but she cannot produce a serial number so there is a real question in my mind if it is hers.

Good idea:  Letting the kids wash the car
Bad idea:  Forgetting to check to make sure the sunroof was closed first

Good Idea:  Having the kids help weed the garden
Bad idea:  Not correctly identifying good plants vs the weeds

Good Idea: Laying down gravel outside our fence for a parking spot
Bad Idea: Not laying down enough gravel and having weeds and grass grow in the gravel

Good Idea: turning former parking spot into new part of the lawn…the grass is already there
Bad idea:  People will be parking in your lawn

Good Idea:  Making Party plans with extended family
Bad Idea: Forgetting to tell the wife I planned a party

Monday, June 6, 2011

Memory Monday favorite videos people have sent me

I have friends and family that spend a lot more time surfing the web than I do.  They send me some pretty funny albeit at times really wierd videos.  So I am going to give you a top 5 count down of the videos people have sent me that I laugh or cried or just could not take my eyes off of just out of shear curiosity and being simply dumbfounded that somebody actually took the time to create this.

#5 Llamas with Hats

Kelsy Brown was at my house for BYC and she told me about Llama with hats.  If you like homicidal Llamas that have a distorted view of the world then this video is for you.  We have morphed "Carl" into our word to say to one another when you are not being as nice as you should be.  

#4 Charlie the Unicorn:

My sisters told me about Charlie the Unicorn and much life Napoleon Dynamite it was truly painful to watch but funny as heck to talk about.  Kudos to Dedra and Gina for hooking me up with Charlie (word on the street is that my brother Adam told them about it).  There are three more but they are not as good as the first one.

#3 Il Divo singing Amazing Grace

As we move up the list the quality of the content gets decidedly better (mostly).  My dear wife hooked me up with this video.  I am not sure where she found it but they are incredible.  They normally sing in Italian and all of there stuff is simply amazing.  

#2 Antwerp Flash Mob, Do Re Mi

Some great friends of ours Ben and Lysa Falge showed this video to us.  They were over for dinner one night last year and she said have you seen the sound of music flash mob video.  It is a feel good thing.  We logged in and I could not believe what I was seeing.  It was my first exposure to flash mobs.

#1  Antoine Dodson

OK there are two videos, but you cant watch the second one without the first.  It must have been a really slow news day to let this guy on TV.  Watch the first one which is an actual new report.  The second is where someone set it to music.  My wife showed this one to me and she got it from her nephew.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Losing your teeth is hard at times

My youngest daughter Payton lost like 4 teeth in the past 4 of weeks and I have to say she is a really good sport about it. She went from having a lovely young lady smile to a hillbilly grin almost overnight.
Here she is with all of her teeth.  The two on the bottom in the middle are permanent teeth that came in last year.

Ok here she is smiling with only one tooth missing in the bottom right side of her mouth but her two top teeth clearly loose and moving around.

Here she is with Lea a friend from church.  It looks like this tooth loosing thing is contagious and she caught it from Lea.  I think I am going to have to question future play dates.

The hight of her hillbillyness.  Teeth are falling all over the place.

Now she is rapidly moving into the old man "where did I put my teeth phase".  I keep telling her it would be cool if if she could lose 2 more on the top then she would have the record for the most teeth out at one time in the family. Her sister Regann had 6 pulled at once by the dentist years ago.  All she says back to me is "MOM, Dad ith stiwl teathing me about woosing all my teef.   Kids these day say the craziest things.