The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 year in review

With 2011 winding down I have thought about the things that I learned this year.  The following are little bits of wisdom that I have collected from a variety of locations.  These little gems are all things that I learned this year or that were painfully reinforced so I would not forget them.
·         You can do anything you set your mind to when you have vision, determination, and an endless supply of expendable labor. I consider my children a real blessing in more ways than one.

·          I expected times like this - but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent.

·          Both can't be beautiful. It's me or the house

·         This was sent to me by one of my cousins here house is never clean, but she looks good.

·         There are No Stupid Questions. But there a LOT of Inquisitive Idiots. 

·         Let's agree to respect each other's views, no matter how wrong yours may be. Welcome to an election year.

·         Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.  Is it bad that for the most part I don’t like people?

·         When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.

·         When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The smart left a long time ago. (What are you doing standing there by yourself?)

·         Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can borrow mine.

·         When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.

·         No please don’t eat me I have a wife and kids eat them. –Homer (I love Homer he is Smrt)

·         The tooth fairy only teaches small children to sell their body parts for money.

·         Sometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy people.  Then there are times that releasing the whole ward from their callings seems like a good idea…oh wait I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

·         I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.

·         The only reason people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.

·         After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, "No hablo ingles Mrs Cheney."

·         What you call dog with no legs? Don't matter what you call him, he ain't gonna come.

·         Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together.

·         There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot. 5 fishing trips and a total of 4 fish.  Not a good year for the outdoorsman in me.

On to 2012 for bigger and btter things.  Or at least a consistant forward motion with a slightly upward direction.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Have you ever accidently assaulted a coworker?

It is amazing the things that matter and how our ability to be embarrassed changes over time.  At this stage of my life I have to say that very few things embarrass me. I am not sure how came to this point.  My job has a very heavy sales component so being able to take rejection is something I get to deal with every day.  Maybe that has jaded me. The last time I was red in the face embarrassed and had no idea how to react was a several years ago. 
I was the branch manager for a bank.  One afternoon I was standing behind the teller line talking to a couple of coworker and a very cute 20 something single girl was working behind me.  She had to get some supplies and bent over to get them out of a bottom drawer.  She needed more space and started to back up.  She backed her butt up right into my hand.  I was just standing there it would have been no big deal but as it so happened I was using my hands to express a point in a conversation with the people in front of me and was dropping them at that moment of a time.  So instead of an accident bump or brush it was more of a forceful slap.  I immediately was horrified and apologized profusely.  The three ladies that were there and witnessed it thought my reaction was funnier than the actual incident.  I turned bright red my face got all hot and flushed I could hardly talk.  I could not even look at this girl in the eye for a week after this happened.  It was horrible. 
I would like to say I believe I have fully recovered from this particular incident, I just hope my former coworker can say the same.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A little gift for my Sister Dedra

This is for Dedra "I hate cats" Cheney. 

Ok these two have nothing to do with cats but they are super funny, for the simple reason we all know someone who would try this. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Carol

Time to rip off Dedra's posts again.  She has good ideas and is really Smrt.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Age 2: I got a wagon the I eventually used the wheels to make an AWESOME go cart with in cub scouts.  Loved that thing.

Age 3 and 4: Mom and Dad were divorced I have jumbled memories about going from one house to another and my grandparents.  I think we were in Basin City and Boise but I honestly could not say.  There was a cowboy hat and a white couch some place in there.

Age 5: We were in Boise and I got a bike.  I also remember telling Dad that the big present under the tree was a rubber raft and mom slapping me saying I ruined Christmas.  After that if I decided to tell a secret I made sure not to be sitting next to the person I was selling out.

Age 6: We were in Meridian and I got yellow and checkered pajamas and a train set.  I remember giving Dedra a big candy cane I got at a school Christmas party.  I had to crawl on the metal banister to the stairs and the furniture to get it under the tree.  Mom would vacuum the living room and leave a pattern in the carpet that would show footprints of snooping kids.

Age 7: I was wearing the yellow and checkered pajamas in the photos from last year and go in trouble for not wearing my new pajamas in the pictures.  I liked the yellow ones.  I got walky talkies that lasted about 2 days before they were broken.  I still blame Heather.

Age 8: I was still wearing the yellow pajamas in the photos.  Keep in mind nobody realized this for several years until Mom developed the film and I had 3 consecutive years in the same pair of progressively ill fitting pajamas.  I really liked those pajamas.

Age 9:  I got something I don't remember what but I am sure we bought dad Peanuts and Pepsi.

Age 10: It was not at Christmas time but sometime later that my eyes where opened to the reality of Santa Claus.  I was arguing with my Mom about not having to share a toy because she did not give it to me Santa Claus did.  The in a moment of very clear anger and frustration she yelled at me "Who in the hell do you think Santa is?"  I then stood there dumbfounded and put all the pieces together and realized I had been living a lie.  So I ran and found Heather and informed her of this earth shattering revelation.  Then I got into trouble for that.  No one said I had to keep it a secret, somehow it was assumed that a 10 year old kid would just know not to tell anyone.

Things pretty much blurred after this for the next few years.  About the time I turned 14 the holidays became more clear.  We started selling candy that is a whole series post in its self.  Lets just say we spent a lot of time helping other people feel the Christmas Spirit through the wonder of hard candy floral arrangements.

My first Christmas on my mission when I woke up and the house looked exactly like it did when I went to bed was a bit more shocking than I have really like to admit.

The ghost of Christmas Present:  This would be my married life.  Rhonda and I have worked hard to blend our Christmas Traditions and make something new that is our own.  We don't go anywhere and eat clam chowder.  We have breakfast then make a big pot of really really good clam chowder.  That is all the cooking we do.  If you are hungry eat soup or chocolate.  We get together with my family in January over MLK weekend.  We mail stuff to her family and see them in the summer.  But the holiday season is ours, we are happy to share but you have to come to us.

Oh and Santa does no longer want potatoes chips and Pepsi.  He is the bacon cheeseburger and root beer kind of a guy.

The ghost of Christmas future:  I foresee lots of homemade gifts, lots less commercial stuff and Santa bringing socks, underwear and shoes while all the cool stuff is under the tree from Mom and Dad. A very focused effort to minimize the unimportant stuff that has somehow forced its way into a holiday that is supposed to be celebrating the Savior of the World.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Aukward and Awesome

  • Not knowing how to spell awkward,aqwerd, actweird, aukwurd etc...
  • Looking the people of walmart website and finding a photo of yourself
  • Keeping your mullet long enough that they are coming back into style (maybe not awkward for you but definetly for the rest of us)
  • buttoning your shirt wrong and having a coworker point it out...bummer for that guy.  It was not me just someone I know.
  • Showing up for High Council Meeting early and checking my mail in the church parking lot then getting the message from 2 days earlier the meeting was cancelled.
  • Telling a friend about your upcoming birthday party and asking them to watch your kids that night so you can stay up late and have fun with your friends.
  • Knowing how to spell AWESOME
  • Being completely done with my Chirstmas chopping 10 days before Christmas.
  • Getting a new lap Top and 2nd monitor at work, makes it much easier.
  • Getting Christmas cards and plates of treats
  • Time off for the holidays

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Memory Monday ...with movies

    5 years ago this month Rhonda and I bought a house that we tore down an built a new spec house on.  Part of the process was to take out some of the trees.  These were 80-100 foot tall fir trees.  Now if you had a house that needed torn down and a bunch of trees that also needed to come down the smart thing (and we are smart) would be to crash them into the house.  I was going to post them on my "My Space" page, but never got around to it so here they are for the first time ever.  Good times.

    I am not one to sit down and watch hours of old home movies however one thing I love about YouTube is the ability to watch 2-3 minute clips of home movies that keeps it fun.

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    People of Walmart and my family

    My youngest brother Kyle works at Walmart and I give him a hard time about visiting the mothership to hang out with his people.  I was forwarded a couple of pics from the website "the people of walmart" and one of them totally looked like my brother Adam only taller.  It made me think are there other photos that remind me of my family on this brilliant website?  The answer is YES!!!.  I am 100% sure I will regret this post but it is funny and my family has a sense of humor.

    This photo is for me.  I have actually done this and I have to say it was a comfortable chair. 

    If Dedra were to let Ken get a sports car, this is what I imagine. (the car not the shopping cart)

    Fast forward 20 years and think of Kyle starting the graveyard shift.

    This totally reminded me of a guy my sister Wendi used to date.  Don't remember his name and don't want.  I dare you to describe this photo without using the word fruit.

    The reason Gina left cosmetology.  If you ask her about it she will say "I had a bad experience"

    Garen, you cannot get the new release of "World of Warcraft" until after midnight.  If you try there will be consequences.

    Dad is that you in the electric chair not wearing pants?

    Adam and Kaylee looking for movies

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Fun new Christmas Stockings

    We are in the process of moving to Idaho this summer.  Part of that process is getting rid of stuff and storing things we won't need until then.  When we started putting things into storage the Christmas decorations fell into this category.  Fast forward 4 months and its Christmas time.  My kids are concerned if there are no stockings then Santa will have to cut back on his gift giving.  I was originally going to go target and buy 5 inexpensive mass produced Christmas stockings but decided that was lame.  Regann and I had to go to town last week to do some shopping so we decided to hit the thrift store and see if we could come up with a better idea. 

    About 12 years ago I had a pair of jeans that I loved.  You know the pair that fit just perfect and were always comfortable to wear.  I kept them until they were literally in rags.  I still could not part with them so I made them into my Christmas Stocking so I could keep it forever.  We thought about doing the same for the kids.  In fact that's what we did for the girls, however for the boys it just didn't ring true as the best idea so we kept looking.  We then came up with the idea of using shirts and the rest just fell into place.  Regann chose the jeans and scarves for the girls and I found the dress shirts for the boys.

    We got home made a pattern and went to work.  The shirts were way easier than the jeans.  We simply cut the shape of the sock out and sowed the edges.  The jeans were a bit more tricky because we had to use the belt loop around the top of the stocking.  It took a few hours but we got them done.  The kids are jazzed and I think they are unique.  They also all look really cool hanging up.  The kids like these much better than their "real" stockings.  Nolahn was thinking next year he could use two and see how that works out.  He is a thinker.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Christmas Card Time

    For years we talked about sending out Christmas Cards.  We even did it a few times.  Other years we would buy the cards and never send them out.  Other years we would send out 10-12 and lose interest and run out of money for postage.  However for the last few years we have improved and streamlined the process.  It is very simple:

    1. In November after church so everyone is dressed nice still go out and get a family picture taken.  We have had a friend with a nice camera take take ours or recruit a family member to come develop (no pun inteded) a talent.  We usually have then take a 100 or so pictures.  With digital cameras this is really easy.
    2. We go home search through the hundred or so pictures and usually there are at least 2 and maybe 3 if you are lucky.  We then crop and center the photo. 
    3. We log into costco, snapfish, shutterfly or one of the other online photo service providers select one of their photos christmas cards and customize it.
    4. We order the photo cards and they show up a few days later.  We write the addresses on the envelopes.  Rhonda wont let me print labels.
    5. Stuff the card into the evelopes and send them off
    We have successfully spread holiday cheer and stayed in contact with friends and family.  I actually love sending and recieving the christmas cards.  They show that you are willing to take a little time in the fast paced digital world and say hey I care enough to send the very best!  Someone should make that into a tag line, its really good. 

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Things we should be greatful for.

    The holiday season is in full swing and it gives us time to count our blessings and be greatful for what we have.  It is easy to look at our kids and be thankful for them or a loving spouse and say man I really scored on that one (see photo below).  But other areas of our life maybe the blessings are not so obvious.  I would like to take a minute and count some of those.  I would encourage you to do the same because it is really the small things that really matter.

        1.       I am grateful for the person who stole my parking space , because he could have parked on the line and taken two spaces.
    2.       I am grateful for not catching any fish on my last trip to the river, now I don’t have to deal with the issues of cleaning them.
    3.       I am grateful my son’s bedroom never seems to be clean.  If it were I would have to come up with something else to constantly tell them to do.
    4.       I am grateful for ability to block phone numbers.  If you always get a busy signal when you call my house there might be a reason.
    5.       I am grateful for neighbors when I lived in town.  Because they make  me appreciate not having any when I live in the country.
    6.       I am grateful for plastic silverware.  Yes it makes me lazy, yes it is bad for the environment and yes washing a fork is not really that hard.  But it is hard enough that I do not want to do it.
    7.       I am grateful for crazy people.  They give me the chance to scratch my chin and say hmmm I wonder if that is how the world sees me?
    8.       I am grateful for Michigan winters.  Because no matter how cold and miserable Washington gets in the winter there is always someplace much colder.
    9.       I am grateful for the stinky guy at church, because we all know it could be much worse.
    10.   I am grateful that I hit a raccoon with my car, because we all know it could have been a deer.
    11.   I am grateful for people who borrow stuff and never return it, it make me appreciate the time I was able to use my stuff before they took it.
    12.   I am grateful for having to mow the lawn, because it is one less thing that I have to weed by hand.
    13.   I am grateful for the people who can’t read body language and know that our conversation really ended 5 minutes ago.  It makes it that much sweeter  when I am in reality actually able to escape.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    A duck and heart of gold!

    Yesterday at church Payton and Harmon got a Christmas present from their teacher.  They are these little stuffed animals that have a gel ball for a stomach covered by a corse mesh.  When you squeeze it the gel ball pushes through the mesh and makes lots of little gel balls.  Here are a couple of photos to illustrate what I am talking about. 
    Relax your squeeze and everything sucks back in and no harm is done.  Unless you squeeze to hard rupture the ball and colored gel is oozing out.  This is exactly what happened to Payton’s stuffed duck.  And because she is 9 years old and she had this duck in her posession for almost 3 whole hours she was able to create a bond to rival that of a mother who had just given birth to her child.  Let’s just say her world in her mind was literally coming to an end with the death of this toy.  So what would a good brother do?  Let me go down the list:
    ·         Tease her about being a baby
    ·         Tell her it was just a cheap duck
    ·         Help here feel better by letting her know Santa will be coming in two weeks with more toys.
    ·         Try to fix it with water and a turkey injector
    ·         Share your toys
    Oddly enough all of these things actually happened from one of her 4 siblings.  But Harmon went above and beyond.  He saw how upset Payton was and was going to give her his stuffed animal.  But his was a turtle and she liked the duck.  So he got a knife cut the gel ball out of his new toy he had received earlier that day and was working to get it into Payton’s duck.  This is where Rhonda and I entered the picture.  Both of us were deeply touched by his selfless and very charitable actions.  We helped him perform minor surgery on the duck to get it back together and gave it to his sister. 
    Every now and again your kids impress you.  They come up with a good answer in Sunday school or willingly split the last cookie.   But for a 10 year old boy to willingly and of his own accord take apart his new toy for parts to fix his sisters is significant.  Just thinking about gets me a little teary eyed.

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Christmas Tree Time

    For years we have used a fake Christmas Tree.  We picked it up at a post holiday sale for something like $20.00 and used it for 6 years.  We gave it away after last Christmas in an effort to reduce the amount of stuff we have.  It also had something to do with about 9000 baby spiders that hatched out of it when we brought it into the house last Christmas.  But that is a completely different story.  We are in the process of getting ready to move so all of our Christmas decorations and things are in storage and not easily accessed.  This year we decided to low tech.  Only home made ornaments, minimal lights and lots of character.  We were going to go out into the woods and cut down a tree and have the whole live tree experience.

    I came home from work for lunch last week and the kids were talking about getting a tree.  They all got their coats on and walked out into the woods surrounding the house.  We marched all over the property and found one they all agreed on.  This tree is a direct descendant from the one Charlie Brown used only with fewer branches.  Mayson and Regann pushed through the salal and other ground cover took a saw and cut it down.  We brought it is the house and put it in the tree holder and let the kids start to decorate it.

    Rhonda and I had meetings that night so we left the kids with a pile of paper, glitter and assorted craft supplies.  We came home and found the tree completely covered in paper loop chains, multicolored paper stars, assorted origami shapes, Lego's formed into Christmas ornaments and some other toys that were called into service.  The tree is to thin to support the weight of lights on the branches so they wrapped one string of lights up and down the center trunk of the tree.  I told them it closely resembled a festavis pole. 

    About two days later Payton came to me and said she would like to put more decorations on the tree and some candy canes.  We discussed it and she sliced up some apples and oranges and stuck them in the fruit dryer.  two days later she and Nolahn strung them up and hung them on the tree.  We also picked up a couple of dozen candy canes and hung them up as well.  Payton counts them everyday to make sure no one is eating them before Christmas. 

    By the commercial worlds standards this is not a very nice tree.  However by measuring the things that really matter it is amazing.  My kids chose it, decorated it and care for it.  It brings a spirit of humility, self reliance and simplicity into our home.  They are very pleased with what they have created.  I am more pleased that they are not being distracted by the tinkling brass and sounding symbols the world plays distorting what is important about this Christmas season.  I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and somewhat wild new year.

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    I found an easier way to blog

    I have found an easier way to blog.  I look for inspiration everywhere.  My Sister Dedra gives me lots of ideas.  I took her idea yesterday so today I thought the next natural evolution would be to steal her entire blog post word for word.  Not that this is an exceptional post or anything.  I just found this to be easier than creating my own.  Who know I might even someday win an award for my exceptional blogging skills.  Ane I even corrected her typos.

    Awkward and Awesome


    • At a ward party last week the drinking cups were blue and red. My friend Amy made the comment that they were making us take sides for which university in Utah we chose - BYU or Utah something. I told her they were making us pick which gang we supported. She's probably going to heaven.

    I didn't drink anything. I don support Utah or gangs.

    •I had a conversation with a person this week who was so worried about getting all their points and thoughts across that they didn't hear a word I was saying. It made for a 20 minute conversation that got no results.

    •Anna is learning how to fix her hair. Some mornings when she leaves for school she looks like an orphan.

    •I have had a few conversations with a person who has to think things through before making any decisions. Their answer until the decision is made is typically, there's a 50% chance of that.

    News flash: there is a 50% chance of almost everything, it will either happen or it won't.

    I told said person and they told me to shut up. Ha ha

    •Christmas is in less than 3 weeks.

    Are you ready?!

    •I worked a graveyard shift Tuesday night. I love graveyard shifts!

    •My phone speaks Spanish. ¿ ¡ ã ñ ¿Does blogger?

    •I got my hair cut from a lady who reminds me of one of my favorite Kansas ladies. I loved it so much I had to call my friend in KS and tell her about it.

    Awkward and Awesome:

    •Nasal cleanses. They are gross too. Matthew calls it brain washing. It's addictive.

    Feliz Jueves!

    PS, this post has been proofed for embarrassing auto corrects but I don't guarantee no typos.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Good Idea / Bad Idea

    Good Idea: reading Dedra’s blog for blogging ideas
    Bad Idea: sharing that you do nasal cleanings…gross

    Good idea: stopping to pick up a couple of items for dinner at the grocery store
    Bad idea: buying a treat to eat in the car on the way home and forgetting about it, then letting your kids find one cookie and try to divide it 5 ways.  Its like a cage match in there.

    Good idea: Showering every day
    Bad Idea: Not showering every day…you know who you are

    Good idea: Getting your Christmas shopping done early
    Bad Idea: going to the store to shop
    Great Idea: Shop online, no people, no crowds and parking

    Good idea: Watching the last Harry Potter Movie
    Bad Idea: Not getting your math homework done so you have to sit in the kitchen and listen to the movie while everyone else gets to watch it…Bummer for one of my kids
    Really Bad Idea: Staying up until well past midnight to watch the movie knowing you have to get up at 5:30am.  It makes for a very long day.

    Good Idea: Sticky Buns and Hot chocolate
    Bad Idea: Cottage Cheese

    Good Idea: Going to the dentist
    Bad Idea: trying to drink through a straw while your mouth is still numb
    Great idea: watching your kid with a numb mouth trying to drink through a straw.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    How smart is a High Councilour?

    My current calling is on the Stake High Council.  By definition these are experienced high priests with a strong testimony of the gospel, who possess wisdom and leadership abilities.  I am not sure who wrote that definition but it is not how I would describe myself, especially not yesterday. 
    Rhonda and I both had stake meetings last night.  She is the Stake Camp Director and needed to attend her monthly meeting and I had High Council.  The Stake Center is an hour from our home so when we have meetings the same night we usually leave early and hit Costco or some other store beforehand.  Last night was no different.  We gave another sister a ride and the three of us made a stop at Costco.  We march up and down the aisles looking and grabbed a few things.  We then made our way to the church and started our meetings. 
    My meeting got underway and all was going well until I looked down and noticed something was wrong with my pants.  In that light they did not quite look the same color as my suit coat.  I looked closer and the patterns did not match up in the fabric.  Oops I grabbed the wrong jacket.  So I am wearing brown pants with an olive suit coat.  Mind you they both look great on their own but together it is kind of like ice cream and turkey gravy.  Two things that just are not supposed to share the same fork at the same time.  I was immediately wondering how this happened and more importantly how my wife let walk through Costco looking so goofy. And the big question did she notice and not say anything?   I would like to point out here that I was the one who pulled the clothes out of the closet and I was the one who put them on but somehow this evolved into my wife’s fault.   I am not really sure how that happened but since we have already moved to that point and I liked it better than the alternative the decision was made to stay there and this be her fault. 
    After my meeting I made a b-line for the door and to find her.  Her meeting as just wrapping up and I asked her if she noticed anything different about my suit that night.  She looked at me and said no.  I said look again and I helped her out with the colors.  She said she did not notice it before but since I had pointed it out she could totally see it.  Great she did not notice it either now whose fault is it?  You know it is not really about whose fault it really is it is about assigning blame.  Now that is wisdom and leadership at work if I ever saw it.  I am just lucky they don’t actually give us a test before giving us the calling because after last night I am not so sure I would have passed.