Friday, January 28, 2011

No Flossing on Sundays? - by Brad

When I got the job that brought us back to Wenatchee seven years ago, it was despite the fact that I applied for a position which I was under qualified. Nonetheless, since nobody qualified wanted the job, they gave it to me. Well, a little over two years ago, a similar event took place at our church. When they needed a music leader, nobody else wanted it so I (Mr. Unqualified) ended up with the job... without even applying. I don't really know the first thing about singing, and I don't really know the second thing about playing guitar - well, maybe I know the second thing about playing the guitar, but certainly not the third or fourth.

All that to lead up to this random observation. The past couple weeks I have noticed an annoying phenomenon. I have a tiny gap between my upper two front teeth. It's about the size of pin hole and not really noticeable except that air can pass through it. I think this is fairly common, right? I started noticing a couple weeks ago that when I sing, air passes through the hole and makes small air bubbles form under my top lip. As we progress through a song, the off-key vibrations emitting from by vocal chords seem to drive these spit bubbles to the bottom of my lip. It feels like they are trying to free themselves by leaping out of my mouth. This starts a small chain reaction. First of all, to keep the bubbles from escaping, I make funny movements with my top lip while I sing. This results in me singing even more strange than I normally do.

Anyway, I think my solution is to refrain from flossing Sunday mornings... at least between the top two teeth. I'll let the weird white stuff build up so it plugs the hole. Otherwise, I might just get a small piece of chewing gum and stick it on the inside of my upper central incisors. Any other suggestions?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ugh, Birthday, Dialogues, Scuba - by Brad

I have slowed down in this whole blogging bit, so I better get another post in before January ends. A lot has happened, so I have several random topics to discuss. Some of this stuff has already been on Facebook, but I don't really trust that Facebook is reliable enough to maintain our family's "online diary."

Ugh:

Spencer has been giving us a run for our money. The first two weeks of January were a blur of fit throwing, time-outs, much screaming, and many (many, many) instances of "applying swift force to the tender posterior." We were about to pull our hair out... or someone's hair out. He seems to be doing a little better now... there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out before his cuteness outweighs his trouble again.


Birthday:

The little trouble maker turned 4 last week. We threatened to take away his birthday so he would stay 3 for another year, but we ended up throwing him a party. When Spencer was asked what he wanted for dinner he replied, "pancakes." So we subjected our families to breakfast for dinner with pancakes, a couple different egg dishes, bacon, and a glorious blueberry pastry thingy that Lindsey made (I think there is a real term for it, but I don't remember).

Spencer is always trying to play with our iPods, so we made him an iPod shaped cake. We also got him a cheap mp3 player so he can listen to his songs without messing around with ours.



Dialogues:

Spencer got another toy guitar for his birthday. He loves them all. It plays a few songs with the lyrics. On the most popular song, Wesley said he thought it plays, "Sweet Home on the Llamas."

Spencer, while getting his cereal ready to eat, looks at the milk carton and says, "Oh yeah, this is from cow squirt." Our kids are very interested in where our food products originate.

This morning at breakfast, Elliott mixed up some chocolate milk for him and his brothers. When he finished drinking his milk, he looked at the chocolate mix left in the bottom of the cup and said, "there's some sludge in the bottom of this cup." I asked him where he learned to use the word "sludge." Apparently his language enrichment class is doing good for him.

Lindsey texted me this message: I started watching a cooking show and Spencer stopped to watch it with me. Then he said, "Mom, I wanna cook now." I hope we have a chef in the making!

The other day we went to Eastmont Park for a change of pace. We don't visit that park very often because the play equipment isn't very impressive. There were several people with unleashed dogs. On our way out, we passed a lady with an unleashed dog and Wesley took the initiative to look out for his little brother and inform the lady, "Spencer doesn't like dogs." The lady replied, "It's okay, he likes people." Yeah, cause that makes it all better!


Scuba:

I haven't posted much about my new found hobby, scuba diving. Last fall Lindsey and I started thinking about taking a trip to Hawaii. I mentioned to a scuba certified friend that if he and his wife came with us, I would get scuba certified also so we could dive there. Well, they agreed to go on vacation with us (coming up in May) and I signed up for scuba classes. My dad also got excited about the idea, so over the week of Thanksgiving the two of us took scuba classes in the evenings. My first couple dives to get certified were in Lake Chelan the last week of November. We used dry suits so even with 4 inches of snow on the ground, 27 degree air temp, and 38 degree water temp, we stayed pretty warm.

After we got certified, we waited a couple weeks while our own equipment was being ordered. Then on December 29th, Aaron took my dad and me out to Whidbey Island for our first real dive. Since there were a lot of "firsts" happening, I struggled with my buoyancy for a while at first, but once we got down deep enough, it was amazing. Now I'm looking forward to doing a lot more!

Getting my equipment ready...


Aaron, me, and my dad. Almost ready...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Christmas Recap - by Brad

I thought I better catch up a little and add a few Christmas pictures. We spent Christmas Eve with Lindsey's parents. To limit the number of gifts we had to provide for the extended family, we had a gift exchange for the kids and one for the adults. For the kids turn, they drew numbers to see who could draw first. There was no stealing allowed. The trickiest part of a gift exchange for the kids was finding gifts that were exciting for kids ages 3 through 12.


It took Elliott a long time to make his decision...


Spencer could tell that his gift was a snow sled by the way it was wrapped. He loved it so much he decided to sleep in it that night. When he woke up Christmas morning, he admitted the hard plastic was not comfortable. A hidden surprise included a bag of marshmallows that he was hugged for a little while...


Wesley enjoyed his Zhu Zhu pet...


The older kids were having a blast with a toy that would record and repeat (in a chipmunk voice) whatever they said...


Christmas morning we were at home and unwrapped presents and stockings. We don't have too many pictures to post because everyone was in their pajamas and still looked rather sleepy.

Ever since November when I started taking scuba classes, Spencer has been obsessed with my scuba gear. So he got his own mask and snorkel to play with...


Later Christmas morning, we headed over to spend Christmas afternoon with my family. We did a little sledding and then enjoyed the family.


A bonus was that we were pretty successful in getting a decent family photo...

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Pre-Christmas Post-Christmas - by Brad

Now that the busy time of Christmas is past, I am finally getting around to blogging about some of the December activities leading up to our Christmas festivities... hence the pre-Christmas, post-Christmas blog post. I will try to post some pictures from Christmas within the next few months.

I already posted several pictures of our sledding. We have done quite a bit of it this year. The scenario typically plays out that I take the boys outside sledding, and Lindsey prepares something warm for when we get back inside. Here Wesley and Spencer enjoy some hot chocolate...


Lindsey had a gift certificate (thanks to one of her races) to a ginger bread store in Leavenworth. The boys got to stay up late one evening decorating this ginger bread house. Like most ginger bread houses, very little actually gets eaten...


Then we started on the dreaded Christmas card photo. We tested out the setup with Spencer making goofy faces... 


Then we had to make goofy faces ourselves...


Finally we found one that we could settle on (Spencer is trying to wink)...


When I was a kid, my grandma would make one of my favorite breakfasts. Its basically deep fried dough, similar to donut holes but in strange shapes. Because of the strange shapes this breakfast received the name "birdies" because they sometimes look like they have little deep fried wings. My sisters made a great breakfast that featured these birdies. The proper way to eat them is to dip them in powdered sugar (double-dipping is allowed). Good food, but not good for you.