Friday, October 31, 2008

"This is my favorite day of the year!"

All day long, this has been Ella's refrain...

"When is Dad going to be home?"

"When can I put my costume on?"

"Do we get to go trick-or-treating tonight?"

"This is my most favorite day of the year!"

Great... our daughter looks forward to the infamous pagan holiday more than Christmas. We are officially failures as parents...


Back up one day. Thursday the anticipation was already building. The kids got to wear their costumes to preschool...

Notice that Levi and Noah are fully in character. Levi is mouth open, screaming in Tiggerific excitement. Noah is apathetic to the whole endeavor, and slouching Eeyorish against the chalkboard.


Last night Grandma, Gina, and Tim came over and we carved pumpkins. The kids were totally excited that they got to use saws and knives, and wanted to help me cut out their designs.

Even Luke got in on the action...

Their pumpkins turned out pretty good...

I carved Luke's pumpkin for him. He told me to make the scariest one I could. So I carved the absolutely most terrifying thing I could think of on the melon...


So tonight the long anticipated sugar rush finally arrived. My customer from Japan was in town all week for the Fuel Cell Conference, so I invited him, his wife, and daughter over to go trick-or-treating with us. The kids had a great time collecting bags full of loot, and then we headed home to get them all wound up before bed.

Mmmmmmmmm, sugar...

Paige even got Kiran a little Piglet costume so she fit in with the rest of our kids. She was adorable...

I handed out candy for a little while at our house. The observant kids who saw the "McCain-Palin" yard signs, and shouted "Vote McCain" along with "trick-or-treat"... they got an extra handful of candy.

Two girls walked past our house, maybe 10 years old. One of them came up onto the driveway while I was standing outside, but her friend stayed on the sidewalk. She told the one on the sidewalk to come up to the house, because we were home. Her friend replied "No... they are voting for the baaaaad people..."

This cranky old Republican didn't give any candy to that kid... not that she would come near this spooky old house anyways.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Halloween (a few days early)

Paige took the kids in for a Halloween picture. She really gets into the whole costume thing. Of course, when it is 94° outside, those poor kids are going to be roasting...

Pooh (Ella)
Tigger (Levi)
Eeyore (Noah)
Roo (Luke)
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Cadet campout

I went camping over the weekend with the Cadets from Phoenix CRC. We spent the weekend at Larson Ridge, up on top of the rim north of Payson. I've been going on Cadet campouts since I was about 8 years old. I think I look forward to that weekend more than any other during the year.

- Setting up "Camp Faber." Marv sends me up with his tent every year, with instructions to find him a good spot. He also loves harassing me about being a right wing nut job. So a little harassment was in order.

- Finding a hive of bees on the hike out of Chevlon Canyon and getting stung. Ok, not a highlight so much.
- Breakfast. Bacon, sausage, pancakes, scrambled eggs, and hot coffee. For some reason, breakfast doesn't taste any better than on the campouts.
- Shooting holes through the blowers that have been the source of much stress (and my salary) the past 5 years.
- Backing into a pine tree as I was leaving and denting my bumper. Ok, again... not a highlight.

More pictures from the trip:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trip to the dentist

Today was the first trip to the dentist for Levi and Noah and Ella's third attempt! Noah went first, hopped in the chair and let her clean his teeth! Yeah! We were all off to a great start. Next was Ella and she let them clean her teeth too, something she had not agreed to the first two times around. Levi took up the rear and was just as brave and had his cleaned as well. He opted to the Wazberry flavor instead of cheery like Ella and Noah. What a daredevil! No x-rays for the boys today, just getting started and used to visiting the dentist. They were thrilled with their new toothbrushes (and paste). Ella even got one that plays music! (Not that Ella knows who Hannah Montana is, but its still way cool.)

All in all, great morning at the dentist!
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Levi's dream

No wonder the kid wakes up screaming in the middle of the night. He relayed this to me while scarfing down his 4-2/3 eggs (!) for dinner. His entire description was one giant run on sentence. I will attempt to capture the authentic Levi pronunciation. For the most authentic rendering, read quickly, with your mouth full of eggs, and gasp for breath every few phrases:

Levi: Dad, I had a th-ream last night! Dere was a bear. Big bear! And da bear chased-ed me. But you dot [got] your dun [gun] from your room, and chooted da bear. And you lighted his fur up with fire! And he burned-ed right up. And you chooted dat bear so he didn't dit [get] me.

[This vivid telling of the dream went on for several minutes, and unfortunately I did not take notes.]

Noah: Daddy, you were the hero!

Levi: Yeah dad, you were the hero cause you chooted the bear with your big dun!

I just found these on the camera

Quite the outfit! A lei, magic wand, high heels. Pants that don't appear to fit quite right. And the all important coon-skin cap!

Luke in a wrestlin' match with his toy. And apparently... losing.

More dress up. This time the outfit is at least semi-coordinated. But what is up with that hat?
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More praise songs to Obama

When I posted this, Paige just rolled her eyes at me.

When I posted this, she told me I was over-reacting, and to stop posting political stuff on our blog.

But there is no way she can deny that this one is disturbing. This one isn't just some song that sounds like a praise and worship song, it IS a praise and worship. Only instead of singing to Jesus, they are singing to Obama.

(The original video and website were removed the same day I posted it. The video above is a copy.)

What originally said:

"Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for You."

Now has been "updated" to:

"Love prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy tried and true. With thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for you."

And before someone says "Just because someone makes a video about Obama doesn't mean..."
- The official Obama youtube channel is a "subscriber" and a "friend" to this video channel.
- The official Obama website links to the webpage for this video.

The video website also overflows with hope and change, with an Obama "sun" rising over a field of flowers and butterflies.

That video gives me the chills. And not like "amazing version of the Star Spangled Banner" chills. More like "creepy basement ending of the Blair Witch Project" chills. Shudder...

Friday, October 17, 2008

This could either be hilarious... or a complete disaster

This just appeared on the Foxnews webpage...

Either way, this weekend's SNL will be one to watch!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mom's home!

We headed to the airport a little early so that we could watch some of the planes land.

Our vantage point from the top of the van, on top of the parking garage, gave us a great view of the whole runway. Lousy photomerge below (I could not get the seams to work correctly.)

The car off to the right of us had about five guys standing around. One old codger in a wheelchair even (not standing so much.) The all had giant spotting scopes and cameras with huge telephoto lenses. A plane would land, they would all discuss it, and then write it down in what appeared to be a log book. They appear to have been up there a while, since they were all red as lobsters. I have no idea what they were doing, but at $4 an hour for the parking garage, they must really be into it.

We even managed to see Mom's exact plane come in for a landing.

The kids were thrilled to see her in the terminal. They all ran up to her screaming, which managed to scare Luke so badly that he burst into loud wails. Whoops...
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Morning at the park

Enjoying a mid-play snack...

It's more fun to try to go up the slide...

A wee bit of static...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The hazards of Grandma's house

These were posted on my aunt and uncle's Facebook page (they are staying at my mom's house this week.) We already knew this was what happened at Grandma's, given the total crash the kids usually experience when they get back home.

But now Grandma apparently has made it official with her little sign... "Grandma's Motto: Squeeze 'Em Up, Sugar 'Em Up, Send 'Em Home."

Ummmmm, thanks Grandma? ;)

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not manufacturer recommended

I put in the winter grass today. Every year, it seems like one of the biggest hassles is getting the topper spread evenly. I usually throw it out with a shovel, then use a rake to spread it even more. It never ends up all that even. But I had an epiphany today.

I am pretty sure when they wrote the manual for the leaf blower, this was not one of the recommended uses...

But it worked really well. I ended up with a nice even coat of topper, directed just where I wanted. The only problem was that after about half a bag, the moist topper would collect inside the leaf blower to the point that the rotor was rubbing on a solid block of topper. Scraping it out was a pain in the rear, and made the whole idea take much longer than it should have.

So I had to switch tactics from the precision guided missle to the carpet bombing method...

I'm fairly sure repeated uses of this method will result in my early death due to black lung.

Shhhhhhh... don't report me!

If the gov't nannies over at the Arizona Department of Over-Protecting Other Peoples Children (AzDOPOPC) ever got wind of this, their heads would explode. Even my mom was, as she described it, a "nervous nellie." See what the expectation of cradle-to-grave gov't protection has done to society? Robbed all the fun out of life...

Not around our house though...

Since the only emails I have gotten from craigslist on the old couches have been from people trying to scam me, we hauled them off to Goodwill today. Grandma came over and helped me load them into the van, then we all went for the best car ride ever. A couch in the back of a minivan is definitely the way to travel. The kids all agreed that they wanted to ride a couch all the way to Michigan for the road trip next summer!
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Adventures with dad - Day 2

Approximately 9 AM this morning...

Me: Ella, what should we have for breakfast?
Ella: Hmmmmmmm... Spaghettios?

For the record, we had a bagel (Noah), PB&J (Levi), jelly toast (Ella), and apples all around.


We headed out to Target and Home Depot, with the Veggie Tales CD blasting in the newly repaired CD player. On the way, we stopped for gas. The local gas station appears to believe that I don't get exposed to enough TV, particularly advertisements...

The volume on this thing was deafening, you can't change the channel, it's about 2 feet from your face when pumping. I can't think of a more aggravating thing to do to a gas pump (aside from plastering it with stickers warning you not to use your cell phone.) The gas pump is one of the few places where I get a few quiet minutes to myself. Now I've got a TV blaring away at me.

I went into the store and complained to the manager, it was that annoying. Amazingly, he actually seemed thankful. Even shook my hand. He said "corporate" was putting them in over in California, and wanted to try them out here. He said that he couldn't use his intercom any more, because customers can't hear him over the TVs. Maybe he thinks they are as dumb as I do, but didn't have any evidence that customers hated them.


On the way to Target, Levi was pulling on his ear. I asked him if it hurt. "Yes." Uh oh. After Home Depot, we headed home and called the pediatrician to make an appointment. After scarfing down a quick lunch (Spaghettios!) we headed to the doctor. Sure enough, he has an ear infection.


After the 10 minute nap on the way to the doctor, afternoon naps didn't happen once we got home. The kids played most of the afternoon while I cleaned. Then we ate some chicken nuggets and strawberries for lunch and went for a bike ride around the block. Then baths and bedtime.

As if leaving me with the kids wasn't work enough, Paige also left me with a honey-do list. Unbelievable. Like I am going to have the time to wrangle the kids AND fix things around the house. Just how competent does she think I am? ;)

So after the kids hit the sheets, I started on the list. No point in straining myself, so I started off easy...
Hanging a sign on the existing hook on the screen door... not too difficult.

Hung up this giant star that Paige picked up at a garage sale. I also finally hung up the small quilt that Mrs. Bakker made us.

And since Paige will read this in Michigan and wonder where I moved her sign that was hanging on this wall... it's right here honey.
I am sure this will all have to be re-arranged once Paige gets home. ;)

I hung up the grocery bag holder thing. We've only had it floating around the pantry since we moved in three years ago.

Added the top shelf that Paige wanted.

And as an added bonus, I discovered that if the Great Depression II really does hit on Monday, at least I know we won't be going hungry.


Tomorrow... winter grass. The highs this weekend are supposed to be in the 70s! (for anyone not from AZ, that is cause for major excitement around here.) Gotta get that seed down!