The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Slacker Blogger

I had someone ask me the other day why I have not been blogging since we moved to Idaho.  I did not have a good reason except I have been working with Rhonda trying help build the online presence of our business.  Sure Property Management you can see our website at  I will do better at blogging next year, I have some real quips I have been saving up just for you.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I have an Eagle Scout Son

I forgot to post this when it happened a couple of weeks ago. My son Mayson earned his Eagle Scout Rank. Cool beans. Best part is he is only 13.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I know lets sleep outside with no sleeping bag in a shelter we made out of sticks!

I spent the last week at scout camp.  I have spent a week of my summer with the scouts for the last 7 years.  It is a high point of my summer and I always look forward to it.  This time was a little different.  I historically go with the older boys on a high adventure trip.  However this year I went with the younger boys (my two sons included) to Camp Pigott.  We created a blog for the parents to look at every day while we were there.  You can see it here:

One of the things that most impressed me about scout camp is how each of the boys in their own way stepped outside of their comfort zone.  We had them climbing on wires 40 feet off of the ground, sleeping outside without sleeping bags, swimming in the lake...with fish in it, and eating others cooking.  My 11 year old son and another boys from our ward Max Durben both dis the wilderness survival merit badge.  In addition to the class work they had to make and sleep in a shelter with no sleeping bag for 1 night. 

When they started this process they were more concerned with spiders than with the quality of their shelter.  After a little direction and help they dialed it in.  Here are some photos of their completed shelter that they ended up sleeping that night.

It took a little convincing for them to wear more than one set of clothes when they left and to sleep next to each other.  The exact words were something like"that is kind of weird to sleep that close to someone, isn't it?"  I did not worry to much about that cold air would cure them of any insecurities they might have of sharing their personal space.  Both boys survived the night and both boys earned their merit badge.  Way to go, especially for two 11 year olds.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scout Camp

I am at Pigott scout camp and have been making several blog entries a day for the last week however it is on our scout camp blog.  Check it out:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 11: My favorite TV show...not really its about crab mac and cheese on a hotdog

I have no idea what my favorite TV show is.  It changes from year to year and now with Netflix month to month.  I can tell you I don’t like Downtown Abby.  Wow talking about TV did not take very long.  Now let’s talk about Crab and milkshakes.
Iam in Baltimore Maryland and had some time Tuesday night and decided to go out for blue crab.  I have heard about them but never tried them.  I love crab and we catch Dungeness and Rock Crab near our home every year.  When it is on sale I buy King Crab and Snow Crab they are great on the grill or in a shell fish boil.  Anyway back to the blue crab.  I went to Saint Andrews Crab House out on the docks.  I selected the all you can eat option.  A few minutes later the server brought me out 2 dozen boiled crab covered in Old Bay Seasoning.  I tore into these things and immediately realized they are a lot of work.  The legs are completely a waste of time unless you want a shellfish flavored tooth pic.  The claws are tough to crack and the body meat is hard to get to.  However when you get to the meat it is a bit stronger flavored that Dungeness meat and very good.  It was succulent and wonderful both warm and cold.
It became evident very quickly this particular variety of crab is like a McDonalds milkshake.  You know when you get a milkshake on a hot summer day and are so excited to taste that chocolate, strawberry or vanilla goodness.  You peel the wrapper off of the straw and stick it into the cup and start to suck and suck and suck.  Then you take a break and because you are light headed and don’t have the lung power to actually get the shake up the straw.  You pull the straw out of the cup and lick the outside of the straw to remind you of what you are trying to get.  Then start the sucking part all over again.  This is kind of how blue crabs are.  They give you just enough meat to keep you going but not enough to really fill you up.  After 2 hours and 30 crab later my fingers were too tired to keep going and my lips burned from the Old Bay Seasoning.  (A milkshake would have totally rocked at that moment of time.)  So today I learned from my mistakes and had crab mac and cheese on a hotdog for lunch today.  I know sounds gross and low rent however it completely surprised me.  It was kind of like salt...hard to describe unless you have tasted it (go ahead and describe salt without using the word salt, let me know that works out for you).  The combinations of flavors and textures of the crab, hotdog and mac were quite wonderful.  All in all Baltimore from a food point of view has been more fun than most of the trips I go on.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 10: Something I am afraid of

I know it has been a few days since I posted and I know I skipped over day 9 on my 30 day blog challenge.  But it is my blog so I can do what I want.  I actually quit writing because I only thought my sister read this and it is easier to call her and just talk.  However I have spoken in recent days to an old high school friend in Maryland and a cousin in Ohio that both said they read my blog and called me out for not completing the 30 day challenge so here it is. 

I have all the normal fears any father of 5 would have:

  • teenage boys  (easy handles with a unblinking stare and refusal to smile, they run off like little girls)
  • homemade parachutes (if you have sons this is self explanitory)
  • the great legos vs littlest petshop debate between son and daughter will get violent.
  • teeenage auto insurance rates (How do they calculate these insurance rates?  It has to be with some new math or international version where they are counting in pesos and charge in dallors.

I also have a fear of hitting someone in a cross walk.  When I was 17 I was driving in McMinnville Oregon and not really paying attention and this old lady was crossing the street.  I had a red light and had to lock the tires up to stop in time.  The tires screeched, there was smoke from the tires sliding and the card kind of slid sideways.  I stopped about 2 feet from here she was there screaming holding her chest then shaking her finger at me.  I have had an ongoing fear of actually mowing someone over since then.  Come to think about it maybe the teenage insurance rates are not so far out of line.

I don't do horror movies at all.  I am a total and complete wimp.  The Wizard of Oz has freaked me out as a kid and I refuse to watch it now.  When Rhonda and I went and saw Wicked last year there were a couple of scenes with the flying monkeys and I found myself looking for the exits. 

In fact there is one scene in the comedy Harry and the Hendersons that came out in 1987 that completly scary.  I was screaming when I saw it for the first time and the 2nd and the 3rd.  As I watched the clip today so I could include it here they must have changed the movie because it is not nearly as scary as I remember.  I did go back and look at the flying monkeys as well they are just a creepy as I remember.

I also have a fear of kissing and old lady and she gets the wrong message and slips me the toungue.  It acutally happened once so I this is not an unrealistic fear.  As it turns out she was trying to scare worked. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bangy Bangy, performing Twist and Shout

It is not often that my kids truly surprise me and leave me a good way.  This happened last night at their schools annual parents night.  We home school our kids but they are part of a home school group that is run by Crescent School District called OPHC.  I am sure OPHC stands for something but I have no idea what.  Anyway so every Wednesday morning our kids head over to a local church that the school has contracted to use for holding class. I know is my kids have music, ballet, art, cooking, math and drama.  There might be some other stuff too however that is the wife's department to keep track of.    

Last night we got to see Payton's ballet class perform to the rainbow connection (video comming tommorrow).  Something about twelve 9 year old girls in tutus that just warms the heart.  They were very cute.  There were the other requisite pictures on the walls, poetry readings, drama performances etc... the stuff that is fun to watch if it is your kid but truly painful if it is not.  At the end of the evening all the kids got their awards and we had a performance from the band class.  There are 11 kids in this class.  4 of them sing vocals, 6 play some guitar like instrument and 1 plays the drums.  They have a teacher who plays the piano and boom you have a band, they named themselves Bangy Bangy.  I new Regann was in this class and I new they were performing and that is all I new.  I had no idea she was singing lead and that they actually were singing fun songs...compared to those my band class did in junior high school.   I have to say she rocked it.

Bangy Bangy performing Twist and Shout

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tarzan and his influence on the next generation

We enjoyed watching Tarzan the Disney movie the other night.  My 7 year old son Nolahn was truly inspired.  He decided to start walking like and ape and dressing like Tarzan.  Here is what he came up with.  It is a beautiful thing what you can do with a roll of masking tape, wash cloth and a pair or camo underwear.

These are great when you are 7 years old the problem with the Internet is when he is 17 years old his friends will still be able to google them.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 8: Places I have traveled to

I am very lucky in the fact that I get to travel a lot with work.  I have been all over North America in the past few years.  In my life I have been to 5 different countries 40 of the 50 states and more airports than I can remember.  My preferred way to travel is by car.  I would much rather take the time and drive someplace than fly.  I like the ability to turn left when the mood suits me.  However if you are flying here are ten rules I have developed that will make your flight much more enjoyable for your and everyone around you.  I posted these orginally in May of last year.

Last year we took my dad on vacation with us and went to Idaho.  The drive on I-84 between Boise and Tri-cities in Washington is a stretch of road I have driven literally dozens of times in my life.  I know where the speed traps are, the dangerous curves and best places to eat.  However when making that drive it has always been about how fast we can arrive at our destination.  That changes on this particular occasion.  We stopped on top of the Blue Mountains and found a state park that was part of the original Oregon trail and we able to see actual pioneer wagon tracks that over the years wore groves into the rock.  We stopped and walked around the abandoned cement factory in Lime.  We visited the Oregon trail historical societies museum in Baker.  We stopped and bought cherries from some guy on the side of the road.  It was much more about the journey than the destination.  What would have normally taken 5 hours of driving stretched to about 9 hours.  The funny thing is that I don't have any memory of the driving or the time we spent in the car.  I do however have some great memories of the stops and experiences we had when we chose to turn left. 

So just some parting wisdom (this is a place to get "Ryan's words of brilliance" after all) worry less about making good time driving and worry more about having a good time while driving.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Harmons Crossover

We are breaking from the 30 day blog challenge for the day and will pick it up again tomorrow.  I want to talk about my son Harmon's evening.  As of last night I no longer have a Cub Scout.  Harmon crossed over to Boy Scouts and joined the 11 year old patrol.  I have seen this same ceremony a dozens of times over the years but I actually got a little emotional last night.  It was a simple ceremony but seeing his brother who is the Senior Patrol Leader take his Webelos neckerchief off and put his Boy Scout neckerchief on was cool.  Mayson had composure and maturity that surprised me and did a good job speaking to the room. Their scoutmaster has done a great job with the boys all wearing uniforms and matching each week.  These guys are all as far apart as points on a star personality and interest wise but when they come together they really are friends and create something that is greater than the sum of their parts.

Here are a couple of photos of the ceremony:

This is the patch that is on the back of their neckerchiefs. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 7: A picture of something that makes me happy

Pictures are great because they take you back to a time an place with great detail.  They help you remember the emotions and the feelings you were experiencing more so than just about any other medium.  I have thought about this blog post for the last week or two trying to figure out what picture makes me happy.  The thing that brings me the greatest happiness in this life if my family.  If I had the choice to go to church, work, scouts, hunting, fishing, a sporting event or whatever I would probably decline if I could not take all or part of my family with me.  Our move to Idaho in a couple of months is in no small part motivated by my desire to be able to spend more time with my family.  So there you have it simple, cliche and completely true.  My family makes me happier than anything else. 

This was taken at the Seattle Temple on our way home from Ensign Ranch after a family reunion.  It was early Monday morning the temple was closed but Nolahn wanted to stop so we drove out of the way to fulfill his request.

This is my kids showing how they take after my wife's side of the family.

Taken after my 40th birthday party.  I might or might not have grabbed her bottom as they were snapping the photo.

Take away some of the trivial nonsense all siblings go through and we have been blessed with 5 kids that genuinely like each other and enjoy spending time with each other.  Last Christmas they wanted to cut down their own tree.  So they grabbed a saw and hiked into the woods by our house, found and harvested a tree.  They decorated it and took care of it all themselves.  This tree would not have won any awards (except for maybe the most Charlie Brown) however it is by far my most favorite tree we have ever had.

We took the kids to Rhonda's Uncle Carl's home and played in the snow a few years back.  We were able to ice fish, sled and play with 4 wheelers.  Lots and lots of fun.

We spent a week on the Owahee Reservoir last year.  Between a rattle snake, lots of lizards, rabbits and not catching any fish it was one of the best vacations ever.

I had to go to Club Med in Mexico for work ( I know you are totally jealous as you should be).  Rhonda got to go with me and we decided there and then vacations to warm sunny places with out the kids are vacations worth taking.

These three photos are of me teaching my sons to shoot.  I love guns and my sons do a well.  To teach them how to safely shoot and spend the time with them is just one of the coolest things I have ever done.

I took the kids camping and it rained and rained and rained and rained some more.  We went and found a park to do some fishing and Payton discovered a great way to dry her shoes and socks.  I never would have thought of this.
This was my kids very first backpacking trip.  We went to Humes Ranch in the Olympic Mountains and had a great time they still talk about.  Nothing is quite as much fun as throwing dried deer poop pellets at your kids.
Reganns first fish...I know beginners luck.  Not only was this the first fish she ever caught as she was reeling it in the line snapped as they were scooping it out of the water.  The fish turned and swam into the net. 

OK this photo is not of my family.  It is of Elder Marian Ericson and I in the Philippines.  I look at photos of my mission and they do just make me smile. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 6: Favorite Movies

Movies are such wonderful wastes of time.  I have not seen many that I would say "by watching ____ I would consider myself a better person" or you know "Tony Stark's character in the Iron Man movies really inspired me to be a better person."  We love them none the less and know full well they are for no other purpose than mindless entertainment. 

I am like any other guy I need to be strapped down to the couch and have my eyelids taped open if you start breaking our Jane Austin or Downtown Abbey.  The English period dramas so don't work for me.  I have tried to be a good husband and sit and watch these with my wife as she translate emotional crying into some form of recognizable type of communication.  I do remember one scene where a guy broke his arm and the bone was hanging out and how everyone cried when he died from infection...and it went down hill from there.  Lots of tea parties, big hats and people talking in some sort of super secret code only women understand. 

Depending on what time of my life would determine what my favorite movies are.  When I was in high school (85-90) I had a bootleg copy of Top Gun and Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure on the same tape I would watch everyday.

As time moved on and my tastes broadened.  For several years if I was to sit down and watch a movie it would have been one of these two  Armageddon or Behind Enemy Lines:

After this I went through a Jason Bourne Phase.  I mean who doesn't like an assassin with obnesia?

I am reluctant to mention another movie that I do enjoy for fear of loosing my man card.  My wife did show me one version of Jane Austins Pride and Prejudice that was a lot of fun to watch.  It is the Bollywood version done with song and dance in India.  Here is one of my favorite scenes its called No life without wife.  Its like a bad high school stage productions:

My current favorite movie is the new Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol that came out earlier this year.  Rhonda and I saw it in the theater and it rocked. 

There they are the favorite movies of my life.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 5: A song to match my mood

I really enjoy music and there are a few artists that I absolutely love to listen to and should probably repent for doing so.  Pink just rocks!  When I am at work and under the gun to finish something I close my office door and turn up her albums Fun House or I'm not dead and am able to focus and push through whatever needs done.  One of her songs I like most is "Trouble".

There are a couple of songs that simply sound better in a car.  You know when you are driving down the road with the sun roof and windows open.  The wind blowing in and you frankly don't care how long it takes you to get where ever you are going because the weather is perfect and the music thumps.  Three songs come to mind in this case.  The first is from when I was single.  I would turn it on when I was driving to fast on the highway.  It is by Erasure "I love to hate you" ( there might be a story about an ex-girl friend tide to this song but details are fuzzy)

In more recent years I really like the group Neon Trees.  I actually bought some of their songs before they hit it big.  Their song "Animal" is one I really like, however my wife can't stand it.

The last song I love to listen to when I drive is several years old from the one hit wonder OMC the song is How Bizarre.  When Rhonda and I were first married I was working two jobs.  I was a repo man for Rent-a-Center in the day and delivered pizzas at night (coolest jobs ever).  This song was really popular that summer and seemed to come on every night when I was driving home.  It always reminds me of a time when it was just the Wife and I and we were living in a one room apartment doing whatever we could to survive.

I do at this point of time need to mention one song that has been burned into my memory and will always be associated with driving.  Not me driving but a great friend of mine Robert Judd.  3 or 4 years ago we took a bunch of boys to Eastern Washington to canoe the Columbia river.  They made mixed CD with 12 songs on it and listened to it for 5 hours solid.  When ever Shake It by metro Station came on they asked to turn it up louder.  Robert was driving them and Dave Dickson and I were in my car next to them.  So I personally never experienced this wonderful bonding time with the young men.  However after we got there and were headed to the river I was in the truck with them and heard the song, determined it was anything but appropriate and wouldn't let them listen to it again the whole trip.  So here it is as a tribute to my old friend and his time with the young men.

One of my kids a couple of weeks ago asked if Rhonda and I had a song.  They were shocked when I said yes and actually had a copy of it on my ipod.  It came out when we were dating and never really was a very big hit but I love the song and the time of my life that it reminds me of.  It is off of Rod Stewart's, Spanner in the Works album the song is "This".

If I am at home and just want to sit in awe of somebody else's mad vocal skills I listen to Il Devo sing Amazing grace.  These guys have super powers when it comes to vocal chords.

Then when I want to count my blessing that it helps to put things into perspective.  I watch Antoine Dodson.  I wonder how this guy survived this long.  You have to watch these videos in order to understand what I am talking about.

 Here is his interview set to music.  Someone has skills.  No matter how many times I see this it still makes me laugh.

 It is perfectly normal at this point of time to scratch your head and stare in disbelief.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 4: My first Car

I have not yet moved into the realm of world domination via blogging.  The only people I have been able to convince to read this are usually family or people from high school who wondered how I turned out, then they stick around out of pure curiosity about who I will offend next.  A few of these people might remember my first car.

MY first car I bought after my mission from my sister Heather because she bought it and did not know how to drive a stick.  It was a 1984 Mercury Topaz.  It was grey with a dent in the door.  I got into 4 accidents in it.  Or should I say it got into 4 accidents while I owned it:
  1. I hit a stop sign with it while speeding on some back roads in Silverdale. Dedra was with me and it was her first accident I believe. The funny thing is that a few minutes before that someone else swerved to miss the sign and they were in the ditch waiting for the tow truck when I hit the sign.
  2. My mom borrowed it and went to get me lunch while I was working at the Silverdale Hotel. She did not put the break on and it rolled backwards and hit a parked car.
  3. I left it parked in my Uncle Steve's driveway and my cousin Shad backed into it and smashed a fender.
  4. I went out shooting with some friends and came around a corner to a stopped vehicle and had to slam on the breaks to stop. I managed to stop in time however a women by the name of Kashamay Kolagowski did not and she rear ended me. The force of her car hitting mine pushed us off the road and we rolled down the hill. It was a weird feeling sitting there upside down strapped in by a seat belt. I took the insurance money and bought a mustang.
Here is a photo I down loaded off line of the muercury.  Same body type but different color.

The car that I drove in high school was my parents and it was big, ugly and got terrible gas mileage.  It was a 1977 ford LTD 4 door.  It was probably a nice car when it was new, but not so much in the in the early 1990's. 

This is an image I found online of the car.  Mine was a darker green and uglier.  This car could comfortably sit 4 adults in the font seat and back seat.  One time we were going back to my house for a party after a football game and I fit 13 people in it.  I would only put 3 dollars of gas into it at a time because if there was more than that someone else would drive it out.  With the driving I had to do back and forth to work and school at the time that would usually last me about 3-4 days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 3: My first Love

This is one of those topics that has so many loaded stories that I am not sure I want to tell them.  I had an active social life from the time I was 17 when I discovered girls were just as afraid of boys as we were of girls, (this changed my life).  I dated a lot and most of the time it was just for fun with no real relationship beyond simple friendship.  However I am aware that several of the ladies I dated in that period of time do now read this blog an awkward would be an understatement if I went the wrong direction.  So I am going to take the high road...mostly:

My first and only love is my perfect for me wife Rhonda.  Pretty much no one else matters before or since her. 

In order for me to get to point I did have some trial and error.  In my life I have kissed 9 girls including my wife (its really a select group, I hear they have matching t-shirts).  I have been on dates with 74 different girls (and yes I did keep track, I had a goal in mind but that's another blog post). 

The first girl I kissed was Jennifer James on the playground in the 2nd grade.  It was her idea.  Even at that tender young age I apparently had some form of raw animal magnetism that members of the opposite sex could not resist.  Either that or she just felt bad for me.   

The first girl I ever went on a date with was Carrie Fergus less than a week after my 16th birthday.  She was 17 and I was awesome for dating an older girl. I just realized that I actually wrote a blog post about this date in detail.  After reading it all the goofyness of that first experience came flooding back.

The only girl I ever dated whose pet I participated in accidently killing was Elizabeth Nuttle.  You can read the details of that sorted affair on an earlier post as well.
The first girl I truly had deep feeling for was Layna Endecott I was 17 and thought she was totally hot.  (17 years old boys are really shallow)

The last girl I went out with before my mission was Viki Thatcher and her little sister I cant remember her name she was like 9 years old we had to have a chaperon.  Lots of fun we went to the Never Ending Story 2.

The first girl I dated when I came home from my mission was Karin Peeples.  We went to Jurassic Park. 

The first girl I seriously thought I wanted to marry was Tania Prior.  I am glad I dodged that bullet.

I knew within 10 minutes of meeting my wife we were going to get married.  In fact we were engaged in less than 10 days and married 6 months later.  16 year and 5 kids later it was a good call. 

Just a quick side note:  If we did date and I did not mention you here it was because with the exception of Jennifer James I tried to only mention people I don't believe read my blog.  I thought to do so might be awkward for some.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 2: The meaning behind my blogs name

I was once told there are no stupid questions.  In some settings this is true in others it is not.  I am genuinely trying to be a more positive person and not be so quick to judge dumb people.  OK today is not a good day.  But when  I looked up my assignment for the 30 day blog post it kind of made me think "Really?  I need to explain that?"  But I am a good sport so I will do so now:

The name of my blog is Ramblings of and LDS Dad.  I chose this because "Ryan's Words of Brilliance" was already taken.  And it seemed a bit pretentious. 

So here goes:

[ram-bling]   adjective
1. aimlessly wandering.
2.  taking an irregular course; straggling: a rambling brook.
3.  spread out irregularly in various directions: a rambling mansion.
4.  straying from one subject to another; desultory: a rambling novel.
I like number 4 the best. My thoughts are not going to be about anything in particular just whatever I want to talk about so I did not want to pigeon hole myself into a specific topic.
of and: This is a directional marker pointing at who is doing the rambling.  My wife is going to correct my English and tell me "of" is really a preposition (Mrs. Ward from the 5th grade would be so proud I remembered that) and "and" is a conjunction.  But I like directional marker better because those of us who did not pay attention in English still know what I am talking about.
LDS: Abbreviation for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  This is my church and we often refer to ourselves as LDS or members of the LDS church or Mormon.  This is a perfect time for a Mormon joke.  What do you get when you cross LDS and LSD?  A high priest.
Dad: Someone of the male persuasion with kids.  I have some of these and they on a daily basis refer to me as Dad, I am also of the male persuasion.  So by almost any standard this would apply.
There you have it a more than you wanted, longer than needed explanation of why I call my blog "Ramblings of an LDS Dad".  However I am always open to new ideas if you have something that would work better let me know. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 1 of the 30 day blog challenge, Introduce your self

This is a picture of me and the wife taken last month after my 40th birthday party.  The party was almost as much fun as being married to Rhonda.

This 30 day blog challenge my sister Dedra has told to me do says I need to introduce myself.  I am going to work under the assumption you all can read and are smart enough to look up my previous posts and see the intro on the home page.  I also need to do 15 interesting facts about myself.

  1. I served my mission in the Philippines and apparently have gotten fat since then according to one of the sisters I served with who so kindly pointed it out on facebook over the weekend. 
  2. I have 5 kids and my 13 year old is almost as tall as me, not sure how or when that happened.  I am thinking it was while I was out of town a few weeks back.
  3. I travel a lot for work.  In the past 3 years I have been in 26 of the lower 48 state and two other countries (Canada and Mexico but they are still other countries)
  4. I think hamburgers are the perfect food.  They are so simple and can be amazing or can be screwed up and terrible.  I prefer the amazing kind.
  5. I don't like house pets of any kind, fish, birds, cats, dogs or any other creature that would require living in the same 4 walls I do.  I do however like animals you can eat that live outside and you are less concerned with if they die.
  6. My family and I are moving to Idaho on August 2nd this year.  We are totally excited.
  7. One year ago yesterday I got released as Bishop and called to the High Council.  My wife calls it the best Mothers Day ever.
  8. I like Boy Scouts a lot and am totally bummed I don't get to go on the high adventure activity this summer.  We had an incredible summer last year that had activities from climbing Mount Baker to caving in Northern California.  We have a really fun slide show that highlights our adventures on you tube.
  9. I like cooking fun foods (refer to comment 1 above).  I don't like the day to day cooking so much as Christmas candy, cheesecakes for birthdays, crab boils on the beach and smoking big pieces of meat.
  10. I am an Aries and I like long walks on the beach at sunset.  OK that's a lie.  I am an Aries but walking in sand is a lot of work and it gets cold at sunset.  I prefer to sleep in the beach in the sun bury my kids in the sand.
  11. I have very talented kids.  My daughter Regann earned her young women's medallion while she was a beehive and is currently working getting her 2nd one.  My son Mayson just turned 13 and will finish the last of his Eagle Scout requirements next week.  My son Harmon is one of the most genuine sincere people I have ever met.  He reads people and performs service they need with no thought to himself.  Payton my 9 year daughter decided to memorize all the articles of faith on her own.  She is on #8 now and comes to me every 5-6 weeks to pass off another one.  Nolahn our youngest is convinced he is going to marry his mother and is always telling me to quit kissing his wife.  OK that boy ain't right but there is one in every group.
  12. I can't speak Pig Latin and have a hard time understanding it.  Drove me crazy as a kid.
  13. I have moved (excluding my mission) 29 times in my life.  It's like I am dodging the law or owe a gangster money. When we move to Idaho later this year it will be the 30th time in my life I have had to pack up all my belongings and moved to another location. 
  14. The first thing I do every morning when I get to the office is read the daily Dilbert cartoon.  They guy who writes them really understands corporate America.
  15. I am a Mormon, with a conviction of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and try to live its principles every day (some days more successfully than others).
So there you have it a photo and 15 "interesting" facts about me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

30 day blog challenge

I was publically called out by my sister Dedra to start blogging again, not once but twice.  So I thought I should probably start again,  She said I should do the 30 day blog challenge and described here:

Day 0: The 30 Day Challenge Explanation and Description
Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts
Day 2: Meaning behind your blog name
Day 3: Your first love
Day 4: Your first car

Day 5: A song to match your mood
Day 6: Favorit Movies

Day 7: A picture of something that make you happy
Day 8: A place you’ve traveled to
Day 9: A favorite picture of your best friend
Day 10: Something you’re afraid of
Day 11: Favorite tv shows
Day 12: Something you don’t leave the house without
Day 13: Goals
Day 14: A picture of you last year – how have you changed?
Day 15: Bible verse
Day 16: Dream house
Day 17: Something you’re looking forward to
Day 18: Favorite Place to Eat
Day 19: Something you miss
Day 20: Nicknames
Day 21: Favorite Picture of yourself ALL TIME Why?
Day 22: What’s in your purse?
Day 23: Favorite Movie
Day 24: Something you’ve learned
Day 25: Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs
Day 26: Your Dream Wedding
Day 27: Original Photo of the city you live in
Day 28: Something that stresses you out
Day 29: 3 Wishes
Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

So with that being said I will start tommorrow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love and Big Metal Chickens

We are in the process of moving to Idaho.  As part of that process we are trying to buy a house.  The hard part of this is once we find one we like we have to drive to Idaho to see it.  Yes literally 20 hours of driving for a 20 minute meeting.  Kind of sucks but I dont know a better way.  On this last drive Rhonda bought a stack of magazines to read on the way.  There was a a Lady's Home Journal in pile and had this hilarious essay on love and a big metal chicken.  It made me think of my sisters and this is totally something they would do so here it is:

This morning I had a fight with my husband, Victor, about towels. I can't tell you the details because it wasn't interesting enough to document at the time, but it was basically me telling Victor I needed to buy new bath towels, and Victor insisting that I not buy towels because I "just bought new towels." Then I pointed out that the last towels I'd bought were hot pink beach towels, and he said, "exactly," and then I hit my head against the wall for an hour.

Then my friend Laura came to pick me up so we could go to the discount outlet together, and as Victor gave me a kiss good-bye he lovingly whispered, "You are not allowed to bring any more goddamn towels into this house or I will strangle you." That little speech was still echoing through my head 45 minutes later, when Laura and I stopped our shopping carts and stared up in confused, silent awe at a display of enormous metal chickens, made from rusted oil drums.

 Laura: I think you need one of those.

 Me: You're joking, but they're kind of horrifically awesome.

 Laura: I'm not joking. We need to buy you one.

 Me: The five-foot tall one was $300, marked down to $100. That's, like, $200 worth of chicken for free.

 Laura: You'd be crazy not to buy that. I mean, look at it. It's full of whimsy.

 Me: Victor'd be pissed.

 Laura: Yup.

 Me: But on the plus side? It's not towels.

 Laura: Yup.

 Me: We will name him Henry. Or Charlie. Or O'Shannessy.

 Laura: Or Beyoncé.

 Me: Or Beyoncé. Yes. And when our friends are sad we can leave him at their front door to cheer them up.

 Laura: Exactly. It'll be like, "You thought yesterday was bad? Well, now you have an enormous metal chicken to deal with. Perspective. Now you have it."

Then we flagged down a salesman and said, "What can you tell us about these chickens?" as if we were in an art gallery and not in a store that specializes in last year's bath mats. He didn't know anything about them but he said that they'd only sold one and it was to a really drunk lady, and then Laura and I said, "Sold. All this chicken belongs to us now."

So he loaded it onto a trolley, but Beyoncé was surprisingly unstable, and the giant five-foot metal chicken crashed over onto the floor. Laura and I yelled, "Chicken down! Cleanup in aisle 3!" but he didn't laugh. Then the manager came to see what was causing all the commotion, and that's when he found the very conservative salesman unhappily struggling to right an enthusiastically pointy chicken, which was almost as tall as he was. The salesman was having a hard time, and he told everyone to stand back "because this chicken will cut you," and at first I thought he meant it as a threat, like "That chicken has a knife," but turns out he just meant that all the chicken's ends were sharp and rusty. It was awesome, and Laura and I agreed that even if we got tetanus, this chicken had already paid for himself before we got it out of the store.

When we got to my house, Laura and I quietly snuck the chicken up to my front door, rang the doorbell, and hid around the corner. Victor opened the door and looked at the chicken in stunned silence for about three seconds. Then he sighed, closed the door, and walked away.

 Laura: What the hell? That's it? That's the only reaction we get?

 Me: That's it, he's a very hard man to rattle.

 Victor was surprisingly mad that I'd "wasted money" on an enormous chicken, because apparently he couldn't appreciate the hysterical value of a five-foot chicken ringing the doorbell. Then I said, "Well, at least it's not towels" and apparently that was the wrong thing to say because that's when Victor screamed and stormed out. I knew he was locked in his office because I could hear him punching things in there. Then I yelled through his door, "It's an anniversary gift for you, you big jerk. Two whole weeks early. Fifteen years is big metal chickens."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Interesting weekend

This weekend was a fun filled and jam packed with one event after another.  Have you ever been grateful for the weekend to be over so you can go to work for a break?

We home school our kids.  However we do affiliate with a home school group called OPHC where the kids spend one day a week on classes with other home school kids.  Working on fun stuff like drama, ballet, art, robotics, and other stuff.  There end of semester performances were with weekend.

Payton my little ballerina had her first public performance.  She is the tall one in the back 3rd from the right.  You can see the video on YouTube.  It is private so I cannot post it in the blog but I will on face book later today.  I was totally bummer that I could not see here perform live, Harmon had his pinewood derby at the exact same time and I needed to go with him.

The pinewood derby was Harmon's last and a real nail biter.  There was a 3 way tie for first place.  Harmon and two other boys.  Oddly enough it was the three boys whose dads were in charge.  Oops that's not good.  We ended up have a 3 race run off that put Harmon in 2nd place over all.  He also earned his Webelo rank.  That was fun.  However there are no pictures because Rhonda had the camera at the girls events.

Regann took a drama a class and had her performance.  She played 2-3 roles but this clip was my favorite.  She played an angry mother who threw a bunch of people out of her house.  I have to say she has the ticked off mom thing down.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

3 days until Ensign Ranch

3 days until one of the most fun weekends of the year.  We eat to much, don't sleep enough and talk about how awesome we really our minds.  The kids come and go we huddle in front of the fire and put into place the things we have learned from years past:

  • Spoons: When playing this game we need to use metal spoons, to much shrapnel with the plastic ones.
  • Pit: Not we are not being to loud, I only need two more shares of wheat!
  • Quiet time: for the ride home
  • Older kids: Mom and Dad don't have to go outside to play in the snow as much, they can watch themselves.  Yahoo for windows.
  • Food: No there is not to much and yes we can totally eat all that pizza.
  • Tums: yes please
  • Sunday Service: Annual family devotional, best part.
  • Firewood: Kids its time to fill the wood box again
  • Ping pong balls: You owe dad a quarter for each one you break
  • Bridges: No Mayson and Mathew a mattress is not an appropriate bridge between the bunk beds.
  • Turkey:  I will take mine deep fried
  • Bananagrams:youcanmakereallyreallylongwordsifyouhaveenoughtiles
  • Shuffle Board pucks:  They hurt your toes
  • Owen Smith:  Brilliant thespian
  • Telephone Call:  Laughing together at person on other end
  • Its dark outside:  its time to go sledding
  • Room #7:  Where all the wet clothes go
  • Funny Smell: Mom, Dad needs some pepto bismal
  • Pool table:  Should have become firewood years ago,  I have seen mountain ranges that were more level.
  • Breakfast: Hurray its time to eat again...I think I am going to be sick
  • Two rooms:  The noisy room and the quieter room
  • Dishes:  I hate them
  • Hot Chocolate:  Only with coffee mate flavored creamers
  • Mom, Do corn chips counts as cold cereal?
  • Only once a year:  Bummer but that's what makes it so cool!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Plywood+steel cable+suburban+video camera= fun times

Rhonda's mom's divorce was final last week.  That means I have tons of work to do helping get the ex-husbands numerous belongings off of her property.  This has taken the form of towing tractors, loading trailers, packing boxes, and recording it all to insure Karen is in compliance with the final settlement.  We had this really heavy tractor attachment that we needed to move.  I had no idea how to get it to the drop off spot without hurting the equipment or the road.  So I looked around and found a partial piece of plywood and a tow cable.  I attached the cable to the plywood and set the equipment on the plywood and dragged it up the dirt road.  It worked beautifully.  Nothing got hurt and I let the boys ride on it to make sure nothing fell off.  It was such fun we took a break from our work and made several other trips up and down the road.  We video taped a few.  We had to take a break after we got done playing the kids were to tired to help me finish the work.

Mayson took this video standing on the side of the suburban.  We were only going about 10 miles an hour.  Loads of fun.

 They have how to stay standing up figured out.  I am intrigued by Mayson's air guitar action.

For this video rhonda was driving and she goes slower than I do.  They spent most of the time running off and on the sled.

This was the last run before we had to go back to work.  I think they thought we would stop if they got off of the wood. 

All in all it was great fun.  We ground the wood down to nothing and got to have a fun break from the work.