Sunday, July 31, 2011

Big critters

I was burning a bunch of photos to a CD tonight for some fellow adoptive parents of a girl from Harar, and ran across this video. Figured it would be fun to post it. Hard to believe this was only a few months ago. Feels like eons...

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Levi caught this one.  Well, actually, Levi and I spotted it, Grandpa caught it and stuck it in a Starbucks mug for us to take home.

Grandpa's mustangs.

Spotted this girl munching on the neighbor's flowers.

Headed down into the ravine.  Think it was a little humid there?

Missed it by that much.

Not sure if he got this one or not.

How many fwogs awe in thewe?

Climbing out, dirtier, sweatier, and happier than when they started.

Levi, of all our kids, loves critters the most. Kid is in heaven there.

The holy land

At least that's what Paige calls it.

This year we flew.  Cheap Allegiant tickets combined with expensive gas means it was a minor cost difference.  It also means a 3 hour flight, instead of a 3 day drive.  While I realize that deprives our blog readers of our adventures from the road... we appreciated the quick an uneventful trip.

We arrived at the Meyer homestead without incident.

Our kids love it at Grandma and Grandpa's house. For a bunch of city kids, it's a chance to be one with the great outdoors...

(I didn't encourage this. Well... OK... maybe a little.)

To get some mud between their toes...

To have deliberate contact with nature...

(I actually didn't encourage this. Totally Paige's idea. I just took pictures.)

To experience things that city folk tend to frown upon...

(It was for Grandpa, who was baling hay. Really.)

To hang out with their cousins...

And be buried by them.

We also hung out at the Children's museum.

Our kids love it there. They love being spoiled by their grandparents, staying up way to late, catching critters, hearing Grandpa's stories about ol' Split Ear and Smoky the Pony.

It's like a big giant summer adventure...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Upright and ambulatory

I've got more pictures from the annual trek to Michigan, but for tonight this is all I am posting...

The most amazing thing, other than Sophie walking?

The whole video was digitally recorded on my phone, edited on the same phone why flying cross country in a jet airliner, and uploaded to the internet shortly after landing.

The irony is that I ran it though an 8 mm app to make it look old timey, but when the 8 mm film was invented by Kodak in 1932, the previous sentence would have been about as comprehensible if a Martian had landed.

Sometimes technology flat out amazes me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How it really went down.

We took family pictures tonight with the whole Meyer clan.

There were sixteen people.

Eight of them under the age of eight.

It was 97 degrees.

And 437% relative humidity.

So when I post pictures in a few weeks of the perfect family photo, with the sweat and the tears and the grumpy faces all disappeared by the magic of Photoshop, don't believe the lies...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lil monsters...

Click to embigginify...



The melon wasn't quite ripe

I guess we should have let it go a while longer. There is one more back there on the vine to try. I am not a huge watermelon fan, but I will say that even the little ripe part was far tastier than a typical store watermelon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My artistic side

New decoration in the girls' room.  Paige ordered this vinyl tree to put on the wall.  I was tasked with installing it, being that Paige claims I have an "artistic side."


I disavow any knowledge of an artistic side.  I claim it's not really artistic... it's anal retentive.  I had a diagram showing where each and every leaf should go.  I followed it exactly.  If left to my own devices, I doubt it would have turned out as well.


Also note that Sophie is free standing in the first picture.  She is darn near walking.  She can get a few steps in, but it is still more of the semi-controlled crash type of walking.  But every once in a while, she shows signs of corrective balancing maneuvers.  I fully expect that within the next few days, I will have footage of full on sustained bipedal locomotion!

This is why I pay taxes

After holing up in the house most of the day, taking shelter from the blast furnace outside, we ventured out to the Gilbert Independence Day celebration.  We found a perfect spot right on the side of the road and backed up the van.  Then walked over to the party at Central Christian Church and procurred some bomb pops.  The things melted faster than we could eat them.

Even Sophie enjoyed one, although I am not sure the sugar agreed with her, since the few licks she got all ended coming back up.

The viewing location couldn't have been better.  A quarter mile across open field from our spot to the launch location.

The big kids played games in the back of the van.  Sophie mostly fussed.  Luke dug and dug and dug and dug in the dirt.

The show before the show.  The sunset was awesome.  But note the brownish "clouds" near the ground.

The haboob soon arrived.  Luckily the wind wasn't too bad, just a bunch of dust.

Then the show started.

The kids thought it was awesome.  They had a running commentary going the whole time.  Levi and Noah especially got into it (horrible quality pic from a video capture.)

Midway through the show, Paige made some comment about our tax dollars going up in smoke.  I told her "This is exactly what I pay taxes for.  They should just wipe out large chunks got the goverment, and use the money to pay for more fireworks!"

The kids kept waiting for the "great finale."  I think they asked "Is it the great finale yet?" about 100 times.

Then after the big show, we had a little tiny one at our house.  Being that fireworks are now legal in Gilbert, I couldn't really pass up the opportunity.

Happy birthday, land of the free and home of the brave!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Man they get old quick!

On Sunday Levi and Noah hit the big 6 years old.  Hard to believe.

We surprised them Saturday night with their gifts.  I took them on Friday to the bike store, with specific instructions that we were only going to see if they were big enough, and were not going to buy anything.  They took a pedal around the back parking lot, exclaimed how awesome the brakes worked, and then said "Can we buy them Dad?!?!!?"  They were a wee bit disappointed when I said no and we got back in the car empty handed.  Luckily they didn't catch me whisper to the counter guy that I would take two, and to hold them for me until the next morning (which also happened to be their big sale day.)

They look hilarious on these things. We originally got some cheap Walmart bikes, but then I decided to splurge and get them some nice ones, in a bigger frame size that they can grow into a little. They went from looking like giants on their old little tiny bikes to midgets on their big ones. I'll have to get a picture for comparison at some point here.

Equal performance, which pleases their father. Coordinating colors, which pleases their mother.

The next morning for their actual birthday we got our Dutch on. First it was Denny's for a free breakfast...

Then Krispy Kreme for twenty four free puffy little pieces of heaven...

Then Joe's BBQ to fill in the bottom half of the food pyramid (plus some lemon cake)...

An aside: How can you not love a place that still sells these? I surprised some busybody hasn't outlawed them already...

Then to Liberty Market for some free red velvet cake, a giant cinnamon roll, a macchiato, two waters, and the opportunity for the boys to appropriately use the line "Hit me again barkeep!" (She thought it was hilarious.)

Next year we will need to go for the Joe trifecta and hit the Farm Grill as well.

Then we headed over to Grandma's with all our free goodies for the birthday celebration. First was a party at Jambo, some indoor playland place that they kept seeing on PBS, and were dying to go to. Forgot the camera at my mom's, so all you get are lousy cell phone pictures.

They are the blurs in the middle.

I made sure all the children were in compliance with caution #4.  I am sure that is a real issue with their younger clientele.

I wonder if the forks and knives feel inferior...

Then off to Grandma's for treats and presents.

"Free" makes it taste soooo much better...

Somehow I caught them looking less than thrilled with their birthday treats.

Happy birthday Levi and Noah!