Monday, May 24, 2010

Wondee and Mnadee get hitched

My cousin Ron got married to Mandi this weekend. It was a lovely wedding. Weather was perfect. Venue was great. And our kids were... well... let's just say they did OK, all things considered.

Levi and Noah spent much of the pre-ceremony time growing their seed collection.

Although they were warned multiple times that once the wedding started, they had to sit down on the bench quietly and listen... it somehow didn't sink in. They got dragged out the back of the ceremony shortly after it started for making a racket.

Grandma, catching me photo-stalking her...

Luke and Ella, hiding out behind the post waiting for Mandi to make her entrance.

Luke was the ring-"bear."

"I not a bear! I a LION! RAAAAAAWR!" he kept saying.

Ron, always the ladies man (well, at least until this Saturday, that is) got all the bridesmaids choked up with his vows.

Did I say the weather was perfect? Couldn't have been nicer.

At the reception, we taught Levi the whole "ring your glass to make them kiss" trick. He took to it with gusto, and spent about the first half hour sneaking up behind them, ringing his glass, and then skipping away in a fit of giggles. We kept waiting for him to shatter a wine glass with his enthusiasm.

Mandi watching Ron and his mom dance.

Did I say our children were well behaved? Sorry guys. Hope they didn't take that out of your damage deposit...

Ron and Mandi dancing.

Playing under the table counts as appropriate wedding behavior, right?

Ron and Mandi also had a photo booth set up, for all their guests to have their pictures taken. We tried to get our kids to play along...

Grandma got all her kids to play along...

My mom attempted to get her kid to play along...

And Ron and Mandi? Well, they needed no encouragement...

Luke, however, had had enough...

(Yes, his mean ol' dad plopped him in front of the camera, in full cry over not getting candy, and told the photographer to start taking pictures. Might as well capture reality.)

Check out the rest of the photos here. Even if you don't know any of these people, there are some pretty funny ones.

Finally, I got home today and Paige told me that Levi and Noah somehow got it into their heads that they were going to Mandi's parent's house today to go swimming. They were there for the rehearsal dinner, and saw the pool, and must have thought they were invited back. So in an effort to bribe win the hearts of Ron and Mandi, they made these little envelopes full of spare change...

Congratulations Wondee and Mnadee!

The New Gilbert Woodshop

My buddy Jonathan is slowly becoming Norm Abrams. He outfits his house with wainscoting, custom paneling, plinths, and other fancy woodworking terms I can barely pronounce.

He has time to do all this because he has no children. Yet. He will soon learn. ;)

Around here, we go for projects that are a bit more redneck wood.

The kid's playground was looking a little worse for wear, what with all the Arizona sun and yard sprinklers. So I first made a few improvements, moving the picnic table under the slide, and building a sandbox underneath.

The sandbox is approximately 2.5 times the square footage of their previous sandbox, which will hopefully reduce the turf fights by an equivalent factor. More importantly, the new sandbox is approximately 5.7 times further from the back door to the house, which will hopefully reduce the high sandbox to house sand transfer ratio that currently occurs around here.

Although little boy pockets still are highly effective sand transfer mechanisms.

All things one need not consider when building plinths and wainscoting. Good luck buddy! ;)

The climber also needed a fresh coat of some kind of wood protectant. Given the various surfaces, it is a pain to paint. We tried rollers once, and it took forever. I used a pesticide sprayer filled with Thompson's water sealer once. Fairly effective, but my wife also complained that it was covered in sticky half dried drips of water sealer for months because I over applied.

So I figured this was an appropriate excuse to purchase a fairly cheap paint sprayer. And since it touted that the dual nozzle design "minimized overspray" I figured I was golden.

"Minimized", however, does not mean "none."

It also doesn't help when someone get excited about his new toy, and decides that nearing dark would be an excellent time to test out the sprayer. Apparently I also got some overspray on all of Luke's new sandbox toys. And his brothers. Not his brother's, possessive nouns. His brothers, the direct objects.

So a few days later I could be found scrubbing overspray off of all of the bars of the climber.

I still haven't gotten to the toys, as my wife keeps reminding me. The boys cleaned up just fine, however.

And the playground turned out rather nicely refurbished, overspray and all.

And on the theory that there is no such thing as too much sand, I hauled in about another 800 pounds of the stuff.

Just to make sure a sufficient quantity makes it into the house...

Kindergartener no more

Ella officially moved on to the first grade last week. Here is her last day of school photo, complete with a hummingbird. She can now read, but we are still working on teaching her how to smile properly...

First day : Last day

She had a graduation program, but it was nearly impossible to take photos with the lights all dimmed. We recall being worried in preschool about whether our shy little firstborn would even get up on the stage. This time she was waving her way through the handmotions, and singing loud enough that we could pick her out.

The only shot I got of her getting her "diploma." It's kind of like those grainy photos of sasquatch lumbering through the woods, where the photographer swears that the brown out of focus mass is a mother sasquatch and her baby ducking behind a bush. So that is Ella right there in the middle, shaking the principal's hand. Really, I swear!

A blurry photo of her and Mrs. Marquard, her teacher (the one who has no idea what she is in for next year.)

And her other teacher, Mrs. Nikki.

Congratulations Ella!

At least one of them got on stage.

Levi and Noah officially graduated from preschool the other day. I was up to my eyeballs in work, but Paige got to go. Of course, she only got to see one of them perform in the program.

Noah is pretty easy to spot, right there in the front row. But did you see Levi, with his hands over his ears? Apparently he sat like that the entire program, and refused to sing at all.

I'm not entirely sure what we are doing wrong as parents...

The little troublemakers after the program...

Congratulations boys! Your poor kindergarten teacher has no idea what is about to hit her. :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

"God is God..."

"...and God is good."

So says the wife of Zac, who died yesterday from cancer. I stopped by his website yesterday, and the semi-random quote at the top was the following:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot

I never met him, but I'd say Zac was no fool...

His service will be broadcast at tomorrow at 4 PM (South Carolina time). Given his testimony in life, I'd guess his testimony in death will be worth watching, even for those of us who never met him.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grilled pizza. Tasty... and oddly shaped.

For our Mother's Day and Luke's 2nd 2nd Birthday, we made pizzas on the grill for the kids. The idea of making pizzas on the grill was so exciting that they overlooked the fact that there was "too much sauce" and that the bottom was covered in "black stuff." They scarfed down both pizzas. There was, however, something odd about the shape.

The one I made bore an eerie resemblance to South Dakota...

Creepy, eh?

Paige's pizza, however, was even stranger. Shaped by forces that Paige claims were entirely random, her pizza was oddly similar to the continent our daughter will soon (hopefully) come from.

She claims that this is an omen that we will soon get a referral.

Personally, I think it was actually SSNID, or Severe Subliminal Nesting Instinct Disorder. ;)

The kids, however, had fun point out where on their pizza their "someday sister" would come from. Before they ate her entire continent...

Luke's 2nd 2nd Birthday

Yes, he already had a birthday party. But the Addink family wasn't included, so he got to have another one. As has become tradition, Paige made him his very own cake.

Hmmmm, the furrowed brow again. Gets that from his mother's side, I swear...

Blowing out the candles.

Who, me? Sneak frosting? Never!

The frenzy of opening presents. As always (says the grumpy ol' dad) he was spoiled rotten.

His last present from mom and dad. His very own excavator.

He's already put it into use dumping little piles of rocks throughout the yard, for the mower to find. Yee haw!