Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas in Review - by Brad

This year, we spent Christmas Eve Eve with my parents and grandma. My dad made a neat table for the boys that opens up and they can store their Legos inside. He made a similar table for the Smiths several years ago, so our boys think it is pretty cool to have a Lego table like their cousins. It even came with neat stools for each one of the boys. Lindsey is thinking about commandeering it for a coffee table...



My parents bought Spencer a toy electric guitar because he has been on a guitar kick lately. I am not sure where he got his guitar moves from. I hope I don't do this wide stance hip jive when I play guitar...



Elliott, Wesley, and Spencer each got outfits from their Aunt Gail. The outfits also came with matching shorts, which the older boys have been wearing to bed the last few nights. We tried getting a good picture of them, but they didn't want to cooperate. I think Elliott must be praying for his missionary aunt, Wesley must think he is Superman, and Spencer just knows he's cool...



We let them open their Wii at my parent's house. This was the only present we got for them (besides their stockings) and they were quite excited. We even got my parents to play it a little. Since Elliott is on his Christmas break from school, we have been letting him play it more than we normally would.



On Christmas Eve we drove down to Lincoln City, Oregon to spend a few days with Lindsey's family. The roads weren't the best and what would normally be an 8 hour drive turned into a 13 hour trip. The boys were surprisingly well behaved... with a little help from the iPod and Star Wars Clone Wars videos...



Lindsey's family reserved two beach houses in Lincoln City. There was a total of 36 people between the two houses. On Christmas day, there were 30 foot waves rolling in and the sun even peeked out for a few minutes. It actually felt like early spring when we were on the beach. Several people (including Elliott and Wesley) were down on the beach Christmas morning and got pinned between a retaining wall and a large wave. Luckily Wesley was on his uncle's shoulders, but Elliott got soaked up to his chest. He was a good sport about it, but decided that he didn't want to go back to the beach.

With all the kids there, we played a wee bit of Wii...



The adults had a chance to play some games...



Some of the kids eating their Christmas dinner... I am pretty sure there were more kids than just the ones in this picture... at least it seemed like it...



This was at the beach house too. Elliott was goofing around, and I was playing with our camera's settings. I still don't know what I am doing, but I liked how this turned out...

Icicles - by Brad

There seems to be something wrong with the insulation in our attic. Our roof apparently gets warmer than it should, melts the snow, and we end up with huge icicles. Hopefully the ice frozen on the roof is providing enough support that the weight doesn't rip off our gutters.





A strange icicle formation appeared outside of our bedroom window and we still can't figure out how this formed...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow - by Brad

I have a lot of catching up to do from the last two weeks. Hopefully I can get most of this done in the next couple days.

Two weeks ago, we saw very cold temperatures. For about a week, the highs didn't get above 15 degrees. During this time, we received a bit of snow, so I have had my share of shoveling. Elliott and Wesley love to come outside to play in the snow while I shovel the driveway. It usually takes me longer to shovel when they are out there because I get distracted building sled ramps and helping them build snow piles. We did get a couple more inches yesterday, and it looks like we have more coming our way in the next few days.

Lindsey took the boys outside to play for a little while one day while I was at work. Elliott kept warm by sledding down the driveway on the compact snow left behind from our tire tracks. He likes the idea of being a daredevil, but like his dad, he doesn't quite have it. He still has fun though...



Wesley kept warm by shoveling piles of snow and wearing his new favorite hat...





Spencer didn't want to be outside in the snow, so mom let him play in the garage on a go-cart toy handed down from a friend (we still need to find a charger for it)...



Still, 10 degrees was too cold for his little hands...



So mom came up with a solution that made him happy again...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Word Clouds - by Brad

I stumbled across a time-waster website at http://www.wordle.net/ where you can make your own "word clouds". All you have to do is paste some text, and it will make a word cloud based on the frequency of the words. It is surprisingly simple, but also customizable.

I tested it out by pasting the full text of Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

No Tree - by Brad

This year we decided to be environmentally friendly and not get a Christmas tree.

Not really, we just didn't want to spend the money on one. Since we only have one Christmas present for our family (which we still have not opened yet), there won't be many presents to put under a tree. Also, we won't be home for the few days around Christmas as we are going to the Oregon coast with Lindsey's family.

All these reasons added up to the decision to forego a tree this year. Surprisingly, the boys don't seem to care.

Nonetheless, early last week we still decorated the house and had an evening of Christmas music, making rice crispy treats, hot chocolate, and the Grinch.

Elliott forming and decorating Christmas shaped rice crispy treats...



Wesley doing the same...



Lindsey couldn't get enough frosting, she had to go straight to the tube...



The boys settling in for a movie and treats...