Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Have Some Cow - by Brad

Lindsey gave me some A-1 flavored beef jerky in my Christmas stocking. I shared a little with Spencer and he loved it. He asked me what it was and I explained where is came from, what it was flavored like, etc.

A few minutes later, Lindsey smelled his breath and asked him, "What were you eating?"

Spencer confidently replied, "A-1 beef turkey, from a cow."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmassy Stuff - by Brad

The past couple weeks have been full of Christmassy things. For us, the festivities started when Wesley's preschool put on a Christmas program. I think I have raved about his preschool teacher before, but I have to mention her serving heart. Instead of having his program at a school or at a church, she had it at a senior center. This way, instead of just bringing joy to our family, the kids were able to bring joy to many elderly people who love having kids and families visit...




We received a cool advent calendar a few years ago, and it has become a highlight for the boys before bed. Throughout the day they ask whose turn it will be to open the boxes and rearrange the magnetic characters (adventees?).




Tuesday and Wednesday night (before Christmas Eve) we celebrated Christmas with my sister's family and our parents. The kids played hard both evenings and then on Wednesday, we opened a few presents...




It appears that we came out with at least one picture of all the participants (yes, Lindsey does have brown hair now)...


When kids are involved I think it is standard to have one "acting goofy" picture in the bunch. However, I am not sure they usually get posted, so...



Christmas Eve we headed over to Lindsey's parents' house. Her sister Amy came up with a fun game for the kids called "hide the pickle." She hid a green pickle on the Christmas tree and had the kids hunt for it. After a few minutes, Wesley was victorious as the one with the most keen eyes...


Lindsey was snapping pictures and Wesley was making a grinchy face...



Christmas morning was spent at home. My parents and grandma came over to join with us as the boys opened their stockings and the rest of their presents.


Many Christmases have seemed busy and crazy. However, this Christmas was just about the perfect sanity balance of family fellowship and relaxing. Maybe it's because the kids are getting older or maybe it's because I am getting older, but this Christmas seemed a little more reflective of why we are celebrating. God with us.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

More of Spence & His Guitars - by Brad

I think that Spencer's true love is the guitar. During our Christmas festivities at my parent's house, Spencer found my mom's classical guitar and spent a lot of time playing it. Lindsey couldn't help but take a few pictures of him...





For Christmas, we bought Spencer a cheap kid's acoustic guitar. I was surprised that it really isn't much smaller than my guitar. Still, Spencer has a real guitar that I don't have to worry about... plus, he can fiddle with the tuners on his guitar without me getting after him...



Of course the box was almost as fun as the guitar...



But now that we threw away the box, he has been sitting around all day playing his guitar...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Card Photo Flops - by Brad

We tried a few different poses and places for our Christmas card photo. We didn't really like any of the pictures we got, but we ended up having to settle on something. Here is what we tried...

This looks more like a family mug shot than anything else. Look how warm and festive we are against a large bare wall...



I'd say this one isn't too bad, but Spencer has a slightly weird look on his face. Also, I think we were grumpy by this point and when we reviewed these pictures, nothing looked good...



We liked this idea, but the bums-to-face ratio was a little off...



We almost settled on this picture, but I felt that it either looked like we were segregating the boys and girl, or that Lindsey just smelled bad...



Even though it may not be the best picture of any of us, we ran out of time and settled on this one...


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Auto" Biography #9 - 2006 Mazda MPV - by Brad

2006 Mazda MPV

After a few months of stuffing three kids in the Audi station wagon, we submitted to a van. Since we couldn't afford a SUV large enough to haul our kids around (besides a 1979 Suburban) Lindsey finally admitted that practicality was more important than style... well almost.

Lindsey researched and researched for a van in our price range that looked the least like a van. She ended up finding a Mazda MPV in Seattle that would work for us. I will spare you the details of our purchase experience. If you want to hear me rant about a certain Mazda dealership and the ordeal we went through, we can chat later. The first thing I did when we got home was remove the dealer license plate frames.


After two years, the van has been a good vehicle for us. The only drawback is that it doesn't have much luggage room. So Mike and Becky found us a $500 cargo box for only $50 at an REI gear sale. A few weeks later, forgetting that the cargo box secured to the top of the van, I tried pulling into the garage... not a good idea. Luckily Lindsey's dad is an expert at rebuilding fiberglass, and you can't even tell that I smashed it up. We figured out a tip from that experience. When you have something strapped to your vehicle racks, put your garbage can right behind the garage door. Then you will hit the garbage can before you crush your cargo.

Years Owned: June 2007 - Present

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Busy, Guitar, Birthday, Tree, Rambing - by Brad

We have felt busy the past couple weeks, so there has been nothing new on the blog for a while. I am not sure if we have really been busy or if we just feel that way because of the season. For sure work has been busy for me. The county has been having budget problems the last couple months which should be culminating this month. Thanksgiving came and went. I think I single-handedly ate 3 pumpkin pies in two weeks. Wesley's birthday came and went (see below). And Lindsey and I finished watching season five of Lost... like I said, I don't know if we are really busy or just feel that way. I am not sure why I am reporting so much. Maybe it is because Lindsey and I have been talking about Christmas cards... that deadline is looming.

Spencer still loves his guitar (I believe he got it last Christmas). Every time I get out my guitar, he has to run find his and he plays along with me.



Wesley turned 5 last week. He opened his presents in record time, probably verging on rudeness, but at least he was very excited about every card he opened. He seemed to be just as excited about the cards as he was about his presents.





Wesley wanted a camouflage cake. Lindsey and I thought we could piece together different colors of fondant together to make a camouflage pattern. We were wrong. It looked horrible. I was about to head to Baskin Robbins to buy an ice cream cake when Lindsey came up with the idea to pull all the ugly frosting off the cake and mush it together. The effect was a slightly marbled looking solid layer of fondant. We still consider it a flop, but at least it didn't look horrible...



We got our Christmas tree earlier than we ever have. We usually for a week or two after Thanksgiving, but this year we got our tree two days after. It was much nicer picking out a tree when there wasn't 6 inches of snow on the ground...





Even though we got our tree in November, we couldn't handle decorating it until December 1st. I guess Spencer enjoyed decorating shirtless...







It was fun to see the snow fall this evening. I think it has stopped now, but we have a nice dusting on the ground.