The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ice fishing...this is fun?

The first of the month I took 3 of my kids to a youth ice fishing event at Horse Thief  Reservoir.  The weather was windy and raining hard.  Water pooled on top of the ice so we were standing in puddles.  We had chairs so when the rain hit our water proof coats it rolled down our jackets and pooled into our chairs.  We are on the ice for about 90 minutes and caught no fish.  It is really my fault I have an anti-fish catching gene.  It has been passed on to my children and they are relegated to suffer from it all of the days of their life.  Bummer for them.  However I continue to try and catch fish.  I have caught crab, shrimp and clams.  I have even caught a few small fish in the mountains last fall.  However when I go on back packing trips and the expectation is we will eat fish for part of our food.  I either bring a highly experienced fisherman or additional food.  This plan has always seemed to work for me.   Here are a few photos from our ice fishing trip (take note no one is hold up a fish)

I always like to take a picture at the beginning of events like ice fishing, yard work, backpacking, or surgery while people are still happy and really not 100% aware of what is coming.

His bait came off of the hook and floated to the hole at this point of time he asked if we were having fun yet and if we could go home.  Approximately 30 minutes after we arrived and that is on top of the 2 hour drive.

She is having fun and actually got a strike but failed to land it.  I blame her fishing genes.  They obviously came from the shallow end of the gene pool.

Reganns chair is full of water and she was wearing a cotton shelled work jacket.  Very warm until it gets wet.  After we did get into the car she was down to a t-shirt, tights and bare feet for the ride home.
Selfy with me and the oldest kid on the ice.  Some day I hope to be there when someone shows my children how to catch a fish.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A life-long losing battle against body hair

One of the twelve year old boys in my house (we have 2) came and said, "Look.  I have an armpit hair".  He raised his arm and showed me the solo folicle and I reached out and pulled it out for him.  I then said "Oh man that was close.  If you don't get them early they spread everywhere".  Having two young men in the house with cracking voices, body erupting with funky smells and arm pits that look like a flower bed in the spring just at the verge of blooming has made me long for a time that I didn't have to shave.  One of the best parts about working from home is that for 3 plus days per week I can have a questionable personal hygeine regiment and live strictly in my pajamas.  No one except for my family seem to mind so it is really a win-win for me.  For twelve year old boys having their body change in such a dramatic way is exciting to them.  However, if they really knew what was ahead for them I doubt they would greet this new experience with such celebration.

When I was on my mission I was like any other 19 year old kid.  Lean, in decent shape, and not afraid to walk around without a shirt on.  However this is not really appropriate behavior for missionaries.  Swimming, sun bathing, and any other fun, outdoor activity requiring anything short of a shirt and tie were few and far between.  Like 2 years in between.  From the time I landed in the Phillippines most of my apartments did not have very big mirrors.  In fact, I used a small round 6 inch mirror for shaving.  This allowed a view of my face and not much else.  I did not see any problem with it.   I could shave, style my hair, and pop the occasional infected facial pore. That all changed when I moved into a nicer than ususal apartment in Taytay Rizal.  We had a full sized bathroom mirror.  The first time I used it, it caused me to literally take a step back and gasp.  Keep in mind it had been almost 18 months since I had seen myself without a shirt on.  I had lost weight, I had a really, really dark face compared with my borderline albino body and most shocking of all is I had chest hair. And a lot of it.  I remember saying outloud "Banal na baka saan na nanggaling?"  or for you Tagalog deprived types "Holy cow where did that come from?" I was completely speechless.  It was like waking up in someone else's body or having a huge pimple on your face that everyone else could see but no one told you.  Ya it was more like the pimple example.  It made me wonder what else has changed?  I turned and did a quick inspection of the rest of and me and some of my chest hair had migrated to the top of my back.

In this paragraph I was going to go an and talk about back hair but my wife thought it would be in bad taste.  I do have to say that there is a dude I saw white water rafting the Dechutes River a few years ago that honestly looked like he had a sweater on under his life jacket. He was a body waxer's dream client (keep in mind a nightmare is also a dream).  It was one of those I-can't-help-but-stare moments but nobody noticed because they were all staring too.  This is one of those people you can look at and say no matter how bad my sitiation gets it is not as bad as his.

So now as I have to shave every day and fight a losing battle to keep my ears from looking like I have custom earmuffs, I can't help but think of my son and nephew who are just now starting this journey and wonder if I were to do it again, I would buy the bulk pack of razors from Costco.  Either that or ask for electrolosis as a graduation gift instead of luggage.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Good news I'm not a pedophile

I was recently driving through Rigby Idaho going to visit a couple of the rural high schools (I don't think they have anything but rural high schools in Rigby) in the area.  My cell phone rang and I wanted to take the call, however my Bluetooth battery was dead.  So me being the law abiding person I am pulled over and took the call.  It was a wonderful visit from a childhood friend and we talked for about 15-20 minutes.  When the call concluded I pulled on the road and drove on.  I found my way to the high school, took care of my appointment and followed the same route back through Rigby.

However this time there was a Sheriff's car on the side of the road watching the cars go by.  I was driving under the speed limit (because that's how I roll) and he quickly whipped out behind me and pulled me over.  Then things got weird.  I get pulled over 5-6 times a year and get a ticket about every 3-4 years.  Getting out of tickets is my super power.  It ticks my wife off but once again that's how I roll.  I don't even get excited or nervous when I see red and blue lights in the rearview mirror anymore.   So when the sheriff pulled me over I really didn't think anything of it, that was until he started asking me questions.  Our conversation went something like this:

Officer: License and registration poleeze (he spoke with a southern drawl)
Me: Here you go, what seems to be the problem officer?
Officer: Did you drive by here earlier today?
Me: Yes
Officer: Did you park on the side of the road by the elementary school during their recess and leave when it was over?
Me: I did take a phone call earlier today and parked on the side of the road, I looked up and pointed to where I parked up the road and for the first time realized "hey there is an elementary school".
Office:  Could you please show me your phone and the phone call you made?
Me: Not without a warrant. (I always wanted to say that to a was as awesome as you would expect)
Officer: Please wait here.  He walks back to his car and does his cop thing.  He might have looked something up or he might have ordered his lunch either way he was gone for a really long time.  Then he came back.
Me: Everything OK?
Officer: You don't have any warrants or outstanding tickets.
Me:  Thanks, I always wondered if I got away with all that stuff I pulled as a teenager.
Officer: He smiled and said what is your business in town?
Me: I am going to the high school to speak to them about the college I work for.
Officer: The reason I pulled you over is that a car matching yours parked in front of the elementary school and drove off as recess ended and the teacher on duty was nervous and thought it might be someone stalking a child.
Me: It probably was me, I pulled over to take a call, but there was no children stalking going on.  I have 6 of them at home and frankly don't have room for anymore.
Officer: Here you go, (he gave me back my ID and registration) drive safe.
Me: No problem.

I then drove to the High School, took care of my appointment, and left the town of Rigby.  Then I called my wife to tell her I got pulled over.  She immediately asked if I was speeding or if I was talking on my phone while driving.  I said I was doing neither, he pulled me over on suspicion of being a pedophile. She said "WHAT?"  I said don't worry, I then told her the story and I did not fail to mention all of this could have been avoided if I simply broke the law and took the call while I was driving.  Oh and not to worry it turns out I am not a pedophile.  Good news for everyone.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Spliting of the Ward

They made an announcement today that mostly fell upon deaf ears.  One of our stake high councilmen and I might a very dashing one (he has sweet sideburns) read a letter from the stake presidency.  It said that we are going to have a special meeting next week during the super bowl giving us the boundaries to the 2 new units that are going to be created in our stake.  That 6 of the 8 units in our stake would be affected.  He then went on to read a very nicely worded letter on how we should not speculate who the new leadership would be or where the new boundaries would be.

Ok let me clarify the deaf ears part.  Everyone was listening and paying attention when he said we are going to split the wards and create 2 new units in the stake.  However the minute he said "The meeting is scheduled for 4:15".  I would say the majority of the priesthood holders in the room quit listening.  Super bowl kickoff scheduled for 4:30.  Is that by accident or is someone just trying to lose friends. I am not a football fan but I have for years gone out of my way to watch the super bowl if for no other reason than the commercials and half time show.  It is also a great reason to make chicken wings and pizza on a Sunday afternoon.  Who doesn't love pizza and chicken wings we could even start with a prayer and call it family home evening. 

Then the instructions to not speculate.  WHAT?  Exactly how do you not do that?  How can you in your calling not wonder who is going to be in your class next week?  Or how many new kids you get from the other units?  Or if that one kids that bugs your wife will be on the other side of the line we are not to talk about?  How about if you are a counselor and live on the opposite side of town as the president if they are in another ward you might be moving up or out. 

Then there are the people like me who really don't care where the new boundaries are but like to fan the fire for the people who do.  You also can do this by saying fun things like have you considered with the new changes you could end up in a Bishopric in the new ward?  Or the road you live on seems like a nature dividing line I hope you live on the right side or you might end up as nursery leader.  I wonder if that boy who stocked your daughter is going to be in our new ward?

One easy solution for all of this is to have a live feed ticker tape on the game running at the bottom of the Stake presidents power point presentation on the new ward boundaries.  A real time feed of the game would benefit many in attendance.  We could also use this as a fundraiser, let the priesthood quorums run a small betting pool say no more than 2-3 bucks a map and let the map that closest resembles the new stake boundaries be a winner take half and their wards youth programs gets the other half.  It is all really just thinking about the greater good.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas Cards and Costco

With the holiday season officially over the Anderson family has formally missed the accepted window for sending Christmas Cards (I refuse to call them holiday cards).  I noticed this year many of our friends for whatever reason seemed to miss this window as well.  We had less than half of the normal number of cards we historically have received.  I am sure our lack of cards received this year had nothing to do with the fact we did not send any out.

The funny thing is we started with every intention of sending out cards.  Frankly when you can get 100 custom photo cards with fancy envelopes from Costco for under $30.00 who would not send them out?  My wife had our outfits picked out and the location selected to take our annual photos.  She lined up a family member with a nice camera to come take the pictures and then starts the discussion over which photo to use.  That's when the real fun starts.  Comments like: I like this one but Nolahn is blinking, yes but my nose is shiny in this one, I look fat in all of them, what are those two doing in that photo, why did you have them stand together, what are they looking at etc etc etc...

After we select the best photo you know the one that makes us look like a happy family with no interpersonal issues at all.  The kind of photo you would be proud to see hanging on the back of all your friends' front doors.  I would dare say a photo that could win family of the year and the local Stepford Wives convention.  Then have to select your "custom" card background on the Costco website.  You try to select one that captures your personality but not on the front page so it is different from all your friends.  You upload the photo and test the different backgrounds, upload multiple photos and try a collage option, after what seems like hours you go back and select the one on the front page because it works the best. 

Then comes the joy of addressing  the envelopes.  Nothing like writing a 100 addresses to people you only see when someone dies, gets married or have never met because they are some long lost aunt on your wife's side of the family and your mother-in-law would be upset if you don't send her your annual Christmas photo.  We smartened up a couple of years ago and created a mail merge list of all our Christmas card addresses.  We are able to print out all the addressed envelopes in just a few minutes.  This took the cramping hands and bad penmanship out of the holidays so that is a real perk. 

After you have the addresses done and cards stuffed in the envelope you have write your Christmas letter.  The letter you write to let everyone know how you are doing but only include the good stuff.  You leave out the part how your son got worms at scout camp, or how your other son got fired from his job,  or your daughter broke up with her stalker boyfriend and started dating his brother, or you got released from your church calling for apostasy.  No we mention things like my son had some memorable times at scout camp and got close to nature, your son is looking at going back to school and is currently doing some consulting work, your daughter is in a new relationship with a family friend she has known for years, and that you got released from your calling and are anxious to see where you are going to serve next.

After they are  stuffed and sealed you have to put postage on them and realize you don't have enough stamps.  So you head back to Costco to get their discounted 100 roll of holiday stamps.  While you are there you pick up a couple of take and back pizzas, bag of popcorn and milk for dinner because no matter what you are going to get these cards done tonight.  You get home cook your pizza, drink your milk and stamp your envelopes.  The job is done all that is left is to mail them and frankly that is a blog post in its self.

Some how this year we missed the opportunity to participate in this annual ritual of holiday spirit.  I am bummed and think I am experiencing a twinge of guilt about not getting the cards out.  However there is always next year and if not I suppose I could always send out a Happy 4th of July Card.  I wonder if Costco has a custom card for that?

Monday, January 20, 2014

deep thoughts from my corner chair

As I sit here in my pajamas wondering if I am going to take a shower today it gives me a chance to contemplate the really important things in life.  I believe most if not all people suffer from the same types of fears and questions at some point of time in their life.  We all have insecurities that we must overcome or have them rule us.  Here are a few that I have been thinking about lately:

  • Fear of what in my bedroom.  Let me explain.  Have you ever been laying in bed in the dark and had a foot or arm hang off the edge of the bed and then all of a sudden you realize it is not with in the safe confines of the bed and you quickly move thinking to yourself "wow that was a close one"?
  • Closet doors.  I am married to someone who shall remain nameless that has a fear of sleeping in a room with open closet doors.  I think it stems from a bad experience watching Mary Poppins when they were dancing with the clothes.
  • Sharks.  There are two kinds of people those who are scared of sharks and those who like to swim in the ocean.  My wife who shall remain nameless refuses to swim in any live body of water because of sharks.  We live in Idaho and that little fact does not even weigh into her thought process. 

I have also been thinking a lot about my children's future.  The more I see them go out and make choices and start to plan the more I realize how youth is wasted on the young.  I want to help guide and direct them so they can make good choices.  For example we have already arranged 3 marriages for my oldest son.  I have my favorite (JO) and there are 2 backups in case something happens and she gets wooed away before he comes home from his mission.  I also have decided to create nicknames for all of the boys my daughter dates.  This means I don't have to actually remember the boys names or who they are.  In 10 of 15 years when we are sitting around visiting with family and my daughter is married I can start dropping names like Bingo, Sparky, Corn Flakes and Loser Boy and no one but she and I will know what I am talking about.  I am a big believer in planning for the future and a good joke does take set up time.

I believe a good gage on well you did as a parent is determined by how much therapy the kids need once they move out.