The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


While I was gone last week my kids were helping their grandma clear out garbage.  She is in the process of packing and will be moving to Idaho with us next year.  Her property has piles of useless junk that needs to be taken care of.  My 6 year old Nohlan who was helping in this process made up a word to describe the circumstance.

Colubious: A collection of useless items.

he asked if we could make it a real word.  Being the supportive parent and wanting my 6 year old to have his 15 minutes we made colubious a real word.  How you might asked?  Through the magic of the internet and wikipedia.  You can see it at:

It is cool having a child who created a word.  I always wanted to leave my mark on society, however I thought I had to do it through hardwork and service.  That is not the way.  I am going to sit around and start making up words and see if I can get them to stick, my only problem is all of the good ones are already taken.

Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Final Post for the Lava Beds Blog

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Final Post for the Lava Beds Blog: "This is the final post for our Lava beds blog. It was a great trip and even after we have been home for 3 days I am still finding sand in pl..."

2011 Lava Beds Trip: HOME!!

2011 Lava Beds Trip: HOME!!: "Quote: “Every time I move a body part, sand comes out of it!!!” -Bro Anderson Quote (and story): Brother Anderson is driving, we are listeni..."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011 Lava Beds Trip: thursday, pizza, caves, bugs and blood

2011 Lava Beds Trip: thursday, pizza, caves, bugs and blood: "Quote of the day: Fat people crawl. Items of note: We have had a fresh fruit or vegetable at every meal We left the lava beds tonight and..."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Tuesday went well

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Tuesday went well: "The lava beds are just south of Klamath falls Oregon and actually on the California side of the border. The street the guys are standin..."

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Alex is having a great time, he wishes you were he...

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Alex is having a great time, he wishes you were he...: "On our way to Klamath Falls, fun windy roads for 30 miles! Justin started at our last stop to call both Brother Anderson and Brother Judd “D..."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Day 1 BBQ, Jet Boats and Alex

2011 Lava Beds Trip: Day 1 BBQ, Jet Boats and Alex: "The young men on our trip will be making a blog entry later this morning as we get in the car and drive to the lava beds. I wanted to give ..."

Monday, July 18, 2011

2011 Lava Beds Trip: "The pitchfork tangled in the stableman's legs"

2011 Lava Beds Trip: "The pitchfork tangled in the stableman's legs": "Quote of the day so far: 'Whenever I go on airplanes, i get a bloody mary mix' -Brother Anderson So far today, we have slept through about..."

I am totally Lazy this week

I am going to be acting as one of the leaders for our Wards Venture Crew and Varsity Teams high adventure trip this week.  We have created another blog to post our exploits for the family, friend, insurance company (we had an issue a few years back that still kind of haunts us) and various other minions who obviously want to know what we are doing.  So instead of creating a post for each Blog I am going to use the same post for both blogs.  We will be posting as we get Internet access and have time in camp.  It should be awesome!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harmon, kickin it at Cub Scout Day Camp

I absolutly love scouting.  It is so much fun, teaches such great things and give kids the oportunity to do things they would never otherwise be able to do.  My son is spending this week at day camp and I am here in Chicago not able to be there.  My wife posted some photos on facebook I thought were so cool I decided to post them here as well.

They have a pirate theme so here they are making their Jack Sparrow head pieces

They are practicing rowing their long boats for their skits...something about krackins in them thar waters.  Nothing like 60 ten year olds walking around talking like pirates.  Especially when they all have their own special way of doing it that some may say is not quite right.

They had the BB gun range.  Harmon asked when they were going to let them use the "real" guns.  Apparently I never thought that he only uses BB guns at day camp the rest of the year when we go shooting he used live rounds in a wide variety of things from .22 to 30.06 and 12 gauge shots guns.  BB guns can be cool too.  His instructor did say Harmon is a really good shot and was tearing it up on the range.

They learned how to cook breakfast in a paper bag.  How cool is that?

Bacon and eggs in a paper bag.  I wonder if they fought over who got to burn the dishes?

You have 60 boys in one place, playing with guns, fire and knives what is the natural next things to teach them?  So why not bring in the experts?

The wife and the son getting to have all the fun.  Yes I am kind of jealous that I could not be there for Harmons last day camp. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Waffle House at 3:00am

I am in Atlanta again on business and I had to get up at 4:00 this morning to catch my flight.  I arrived at my hotel at about 4:30 east coast time completely tired and wanting to go to sleep.  I got settled in my room with the intention of sleeping for a few hours then catching the late showing of Transformers 3.  Instead I woke up at 11:00 after 6 hours of sleep wide awake ready to start the day.  I worked until 3:00am and decided it was time for a meal.  Not sure if it is breakfast of dinner.  The only thing open at that time is Waffle House.  These are a chain of small greasy spoon diners across the south.  I was there from 3:00-3:30 eating my Chicken Bisquet and hashbrowns (still not sure if it breakfast or dinner).  In that short 30 minutes all of the following happened:
·         Some guy used the ladies restroom and went table to table in the entire place asking if they changed the mens and womens bathroom this week because the mens used to be in the back.
·         A group of 4 highly inebriated individuals came in and the server gave them their water in plastic kids cups with lids on it because she did not want to clean up a mess when they spill their water.
·         The cook who is also the manager yelled at one of the servers for not having better customer service in front of everyone.
·         When the guy was in the ladies restroom the other server stood at the door telling him to hurry that there were ladies out her needing to go pee.
I miss the south.  Every time I come back and visit I am always surprised by the very different public social interactions that take place here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bless his heart!

I learned something powerful and amazing this last weekend.  It was taught by a sister in our ward.  She shared this profound truth with my wife who shared it with me.  It demonstrated the power of words and when properly used you can say just about anything to anyone.  These magic words…”bless his heart”.  I didn’t understand when she first explained this to me.  It took a few examples and an explanation.  You can say anything about anybody if you follow it with “bless his heart”.  Let me give you a few examples:
That famer is trying to milk a steer, bless his heart.
He is not the sharpest tool in the shed…bless his heart.
That (insert family name) are an interesting lot, bless their hearts.
If you read this and it still does not make sense try this read the following examples out loud and then make sure to leave a small pause before the bless there heart.
That boys has no idea that girls likes him, bless his heart.
That sister puts up with a lot with her demon kids, Bless her heart.
Boy honey your sister is a glutton for punishment, bless her heart.
Does the elders quorum teacher ever prepare a priesthood lesson before church starts?  Bless their hearts they sure try.
See with a little modification you can say almost anything in any circumstance if you use a variation of three magic little words: Bless their heart.  There is power in them thar words.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Good Idea / Bad Idea

Good Idea: Buying fireworks for the 4th of July
Bad idea:  Forgetting to close the screen doors before the kids light smoke bombs on the back patio.

Good idea: buying smoke bombs for the kids
Bad Idea: letting them light the smoke bombs in the dry yellow grass…it catches on fire

Good Idea: having a ½ acre lawn to play in
Bad Idea: Waiting to long between mowing
Great Idea: have the kids mow the lawn while I clean the garage

Good Idea: Plant a garden
Bad Idea: wait to long to weed it and end up puling lots of plants during the weeding process.

Good Idea: Plant Potatoes in your garden
Bad Idea: Letting volunteer potatoes from the year previous grow in the middle of the onions

Good Idea: buying Ice cream for the kids on a hot summer day
Bad Idea: Forgetting you bought ice cream and leave it in the truck of your car on a hot summer day.

Good Idea: Taking an IPod to listen to on the plane while traveling
B ad Idea: Forgetting your headphones

Good Idea: Ice cream
Bad Idea: Running out of ice cream,  Ice cream is never a bad idea

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mormory Monday...Skittles and Scout Camp

Today my oldest son Mayson leaves for one week to attend his first scout camp.  I only attended scout camp once as a youth and I have some very distinct good and not so good memories.  One of the most distinct and longest lasting was the ride to camp.  Our Bishop drove us up, there were 6 of us that went.  We left at 4:30 in the morning in order to get to camp by 8:00.  The Bishop had just bought a brand new Suburban a couple of weeks earlier and this is what we were riding in.  We were told to bring a sack breakfast to eat on the way up.  Between us we bags of junk food specifically root beer and a huge bag of a brand new candy called skittles.  We were quite effectively working our way through the skittles and soda when we started to climb the winding mountain roads.  At this point of time the sun started to come up and shine through the trees.  The trees shadow on the road caused a sort of strobe affect as we drove past.  I was in the middle bench and a voice from behind me said something to the affect of I think I am going to throw up. 
The Bishop slammed on the breaks and instructed us all to get out quickly. (Just a side note here our Bishop was very mellow and not what I would call animated.  So showing this level of excitement and emotion was very rare for him.)  There six of us were standing on the side of a mountain road watching Brant throw up, then it triggered Peter and them it triggered Kevin.  The remaining three of us were also looking a bit green around the gills.  Bishop then said none of you can get back in until all of your throw up.  We looked at him in disbelief but there was no joking or jest in his voice.  So with a little prompting and help we all threw up so we could get back into the truck.  We drove the last 30 minutes with windows down and heads hanging out (before seat belt laws). 
To this day I cannot eat skittles.  I cannot stomach even the thought of putting those rainbow pieces of evil into my mouth.  It immediately takes me back to a winding mountain road and getting motion sick. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sol Duc and Feelings

I was a chaperone for the young women going on a three day camping trip to Sol Duc hot springs last weekend.  The older boys climbed mount Adams and the younger boys hiked a 10.3 Mile loop on the beach and Lake Ozette.  While the girls spent hours at a time sitting in hot spring pools…I so chose the right activity.  The really cool thing about this particular activity is that my wife and daughter were both on the event.  The even better part of this trip is that Rhonda and I were extra leaders we had no real assignments so we could come and go more than normal.  We were able to spend some one on one time in the woods and in a setting without distraction talk about our kids, family life and where we are, where want to be and where we should be.  Seeing friends, family and coworkers struggle in marriage I am truly blessed to have someone I am equally yoked with. 
The girls tieing ropes for their tarp covers.

Our ward runs a year round girls camp program.  That means the girls go camping every month just like the boys.  They have high adventure trips (usually involving nail polish and being entertained in some way) but always a good time.  We started this program about 4 years ago and it is great to see the girls really  grow.  On this trip the older girls where teaching the younger ones.  They were problem solving.  They were following leadership principles and patterns that have been taught for years.

Manicures and Pedicures in the woods.

The really important part of this is the spiritual side.  Getting these daughters of God away from the world and out into nature where they are able to be taught by the spirit and feel the love of the other girls is critical.  The ward camp leaders executed probably the best activity they have done in the last few years on this trip.  It was well planned and thought out taking into account the specific needs of each girl.  It was really impressive.  It is also impressive how the spirit works.  The leaders asked for the parents to write a letter for each of the girls that they would open and read and write their feelings in a journal.  The devotional was going well until it came time to pass out letters.  They had every letter except for my daughter’s.  My wife had written the letter and it was beautiful and expressed our feeling wonderfully.  However it was nowhere to be found.  After a few minutes of panic on the leader’s part it still was not located.  The girls all went different directions and the ward camp director took Regann and was going to talk to her.   That is not what was hoped for, however Regann had both of her parents there so I took a few minutes and wrote another letter for her.  This one was not nearly as flowery or eloquent as my wife’s.  It was however what I felt and we were able to give it to Regann in time. 

The girls and the camp leaders hugging after the testimony meeting.  They stood there and cried for a really long time.  I was in my comfort zone taking pictures a safe distance away.

It is no secret I am not an emotional person.  Touchy feely stuff, expressing feelings and  outwardly showing charity and empathy are things I really struggle with.  There is a reason when my kids fall and get hurt they will walk right past me bleeding  and look for their mother.  I tend to focus on this physical injury and ignore the emotional distress.  One perk of being a “Robot” as my wife, friends and coworkers have called me is that I don’t ever get offended or embarrassed.  But  in this moment and circumstance emotional and heartfelt is what my daughter needed and a situation was created  that she was able to get that and we both grew. 
I have found it easier in life to not think or worry about the emotional outcome of things.  I like clear cut black and white lines and really struggle with shades of grey.  Whenever emotions enter into any equation it does nothing but blur the lines.  Seeing how my daughter reacted to that letter and with the other young women this weekend it is clear I have missed the boat in some way.  I am not saying I am going to start watching Jane Austin with my wife, or let the kids have a cat or dog but I do think that I need to start paying closer attention to feelings…mine and those of others. 
Who knew I would ever say that.  I sure didn’t.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Glory Holes and Rattle Snakes

On our vacation last month we went to Owyhee Reservoir in Eastern Oregon.  It was warm and we rented a Teepee right on the water.  My kids swam in the lake for hours at a time.  We went canoeing and fishing for crappie, bass and catfish.  We actually caught a few.  The weather was fabulous.  We stayed in Ontario Saturday night so we could attend church.  One of the purposes of this trip is to shop wards and find out where we want to move to.  After church we made our way to the lake.  
We were unpacking and Mayson yelled hey I found a lizard.  I yelled something back like that’s great, get back to work.  Then my 8 year old Daughter Payton yelled Daddy I found a snake.  My kids are not afraid of critters, so I knew they were headed in to pick it up.  A split second later I screamed don’t touch it.  I went over to where it was and sure enough it was a Rattle snake.  It was only about 15 inches long and had 2 rattles.  We knew we could not leave a rattle snake in camp. So my dad said here I will hold it and you kill it with this knife.  Not likely, how about we throw  a rack on it or move it into the next camp.  He then took his knife out and cut its head off while he held the body down with the handle of his fishing pole.  Ok not a bad start to camping.

I downloaded this photo of a what the snake we found looked like.
The kids think their grandfather is the new Crocodile Hunter and I have not asked what they think of their less gutsy dad who just wanted to squash it from a safe distance with a rock.  I think time will be the judge of how that story evolves…however I don’t think it is going to be kind to me. 

Glory Hole with water pouring into it.

Glory hole after water had dropped and only a little is draining.

While we were at the lake they had a structure I have never seen before.  It is called a glory hole.  It is an emergency water release for the entire reservoir.  It is a fixed concrete ring with a steel lip on it that acts as a drain whenever the water gets to high.  Yes it is like a bath tub drain for a lake that is 53 miles long and about 1 mile wide.  When the water level falls below the level of the drain it stops running out.  This glory hole was really impressive to see.  It also scared the heck out of my kids.  Our camp was several miles from the drain which also sat next to a hydroelectric dam.  My kids wouldn’t let us take the canoes that direction for fear of getting caught in a current and suck into the hole and chopped up into little bits and turned into fish food.  We came back by it a few days later and the water level had dropped and it was then just a round ring in the water and not nearly as scary.  Nolan our 6 year old said it was be ok to canoe that way now that they turned the drain off. 
I downloaded these photos offline.  You can see the glory hole well above the water line.

This is an air shot of the dam.  At the time in 1932 when it was built that it was the tallest dam in the world.  You can see the glory hole in the top left corner of the photo.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Getting Older and having changes in life

I had an amazing 4th of July.  It was one of those aha moments for me and I could totally see the wisdom in our Heavenly Fathers plan for us.  People were growing up, moving on and changing their stations in life right before my eyes. 
I attended a BBQ and party of a friend and I saw a lovely new mother.  It was her first baby and he was only a couple of weeks old.  The last time that I saw her, was Memorial Day and she was more than ready to let that baby out.  It made me think of my wife and our own kids.  How we are physically prepared for parenting.  In the last months of pregnancy I have never met a mother who could sleep well.  They have to get up every little while to use the restroom, move roll over or get something to drink.  When the baby comes she has already been conditioned to get up every few hours which is perfort for nursing, diapers and the like, hopefully with the help of a loving husband.
Over the last 6 years as Bishop I watched lots of kids grow up.  The group of kids that graduated this year are especially close to my heart. All of them were either in Primary or just turned 12 when I was called.  We literally spent their entire youth program experience together.  Because of my calling I was privy to many personal struggles, difficulties and one of the first to find out when they had growing and spiritual experiences.  They have all graduated and are no longer part of the youth program and I am no longer their Bishop.  We are moving into a relationship as peers and no longer advisor and follower.  Listening and learning about their life plans and the optimistic outlook was refreshing.  Seeing them move into the realm of adult relationships and developing friendships with people outside of their high school and ward circles is a very powerful time in our lives.  We talked about it for years that from 16 to 23 or so is probably the most fun time of your life.  You have abilities, resources and not a lot of responsibility.  You can take off for the weekend or drive 80 miles to see a movie …use the movie as an excuse to see a girl.
As I sat there watching this take place I have to admit I was a bit jealous.  Knowing what lies ahead between college, mission life and post mission singles life it was truly a great time in my life I will always treasure.  I would not want to do it again but it is fun thinking about it.
These growing an learning opportunities are the things that shape us give us character and points of reference.  I truly love and care for my wife.  I don’t think however I would truly appriciatte how much so if I did not have the experience of falling for a girl before mission and see her get married while I was gone.  Or after my mission think I had found the right girls and have it go sideways.  The hurt and sick feeling you suffer through in a breakup really helps make the sweetness of marriage comparable to nothing else.  Life is good especially when you are surrounded with the right people.

Monday, July 4, 2011

High School in McMinnville Oregon and Bremerton Washington

I had the great joy of attending 3 high schools.  Two in Oregon and one in Washington.  I ended up enrolled at Bremerton High School for a grand total of 4 months and 2 weeks then graduated.  Hopefully my kids will have a bit more stability and deeper feelings for their high schools.  The people I went to school with were exceptional.  I hung out with an LDS crowd and we always had a good time and rarely ever got into trouble.

We are in the process of moving to Idaho next year so my wife has wasted no time getting rid of stuff that does not need to go.  She found an old photo album of mine and because of digital technology you all get to see photos that if I had to guess no one outside of my family has ever seen.  These are from the 18 months I lived in McMinnville Oregon.

I also found this one:

These two are the only could find however I know there are more someplace else.

In addition to the second half of my senior year I also spent the year before my mission in Bremerton.  I was out of high school and was working a couple of jobs so I could afford to get film developed.  These are really fun.

I worked at Pietros Pizza and really loved it.  In fact if I could make a living now as a pizza delivery driver I would totally do it.  Best job ever.  We had some body call in a prank order and we ended up with a dozen or so extra pizzas so I took them over to the Thatchers house.  They were having a party and I could not go until after work.

As I think back it seemed like we were having a party at someones house pretty much every weekend.  Nothing formal just show up play basketball, watch a movie, jump on the trampoline or something else.  Always a lot of people and always a lot of fun.

It also seemed like whenever there was a school dance it was the basically the same group of people and everyone took one step to the left and got a different date.

Since my daughter has turned 14 I have been a chaperone at most of the stake dances.  I have to say we were cooler then than they are now...and the music was better.  It is very weird going to these dances and sitting there watching how painful it is for the boys and girls to interact.  I always wonder how long it is going to take for them to realize.  Most every who attends these dances wants to dance...with a member of the opposite sex.  As soon as they realize that girls and boys are equally afraid of each other it will completely change their worlds.  But usually by the time that happens you are already married.