Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day!

This is one of those days you dream about. School closed. Dad stayed home from work. Four inches new snow!

We started the day off with Mickey Mouse Pancacks. Mattie made this one herself.
Then we went sledding with the neighbors. Even Hazel went.
(Emma and Mattie are the two kids there, and if you look closely you will see me w/Hazel, the rest of those are neighbors whom you don't know, but they'd give you some figgy pudding if you asked ;-)
The video is of Sam who decided to start going down all by
himself after about the fourth attempt. Really, it's quite brave of him.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Tree Hunting 2008

We headed out for our annual Christmas Tree hunt this weekend. There wasn't much snow, so we could drive pretty far in and found some great trees fast.

Taylor measuring his tree.

William and Kenny hauling our tree out.

Carrying all the trees up the hill.

Jerome and Chloe holding hands helping each other to the truck.

Anne and Grandpa waiting in the truck.

Jerome, William, Anne, and Chloe finishing up their hot chocolate.

Funny Video

This was posted on Laura's blog and is a friend of hers. Tom and i laughed pretty hard so thought you guys might like it as well. And I think someone in our family could come up with some pretty good stories like this as well. ;-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sequoia National Park

A memorable Veteran's Day vacation. A sequoia - General Sherman tree - is the largest tree (not tallest) in the world. We are standing in front of the Fallen Monarch. The inside was once used stable for the cavalry, a bar, and even a settlement site at one time. There's a reverential/fantastical feeling around these quiet giants. In the picture on the right, you can see how they dwarf pine trees, at least in width. I would recommend visiting the sequoias, at least once in a life time, to everyone. This park happens to not be too far away from Yosemite, if you wanted to hit both of them at the family reunion time. Details on when that's going to be will be coming shortly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apple Smashing

Thank you Mark and Marianne for inviting us. It was worth the drive, we loved it and loved seeing you. So here are our pictures from it.

I tried to upload a video of Mark turning the grinder, it was amazing to me, but I couldn't. Sorry! Holland was pretty good himself. :)

Our Halloween Pics

The result of last minute digs out of the costume box, Ahh the memories!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Allison on the right, Brianna on the left (shirtless) playing peek-a-boo.
Pooh and Piglet. We were having problems getting them to smile despite the candy in their laps.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Apple Smashing

Halloween 2008

Uncle Carls Hay Ride

Cider Press

Halloween 2008

Jerome (Train engineer); Chloe (Giraffe); Will (BatMan); Sophie (Bunny); Anne (Oreo Cookie)Bat man needs a ride-so he asks Jerome, the train engineer for one. He would also like a cookie and milk to go with that...and his mom for emotional support.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Gay approval

So, I've just been thinking (a lot) about the upcoming elections so feel free to disregard this outpouring of opinion. I hope it doesn't come across as bigoted.
A major issue here in CA is Proposition 8 which says, "The state of CA will recognize marriage only between a man and a woman". As of right now, gay people have the exact same rights as married people. They can even get a civil union. The only thing they stand to gain from this amendment to the constitution not passing is approbation and ability to adopt easier.

If it doesn't pass, the majority of the people who are not gay or lesbians, will lose freedoms. Churches they belong to will lose their tax exempt status if they don't allow same-sex marriages. This could cause many churches to close, some will lose the freedom of going to their church. They will lose the right to explain to their children - at a time they deem appropriate - what "gay" means (sexual preference) and why they do/don't believe in it. Same-sex marriage will have to be taught as equal as traditional marriage, starting as early as kindergarten. Now religious people have quiet differences from those who are gay or support the gays. If Prop 8 doesn't pass, the law will require all federal organizations to push their lack of morals on everyone else. Having chosen a partner with whom procreation is impossible, I think they should have to accept the consequences. There is no research proving that people are "born gay"; one study showed it's a psychological disease like schizophrenia.
The fact that the gay community is so determined to gain approval from what is mainly the religious community - a community very few gays are members of for the obvious reason Christians see sodomy as a sin - makes me question what they themselves think of their abnormal sexual behavior. If they don't think what they're doing is wrong, why do they want everyone to accept it? If they think it's O.K., why can't they just live with quiet certitude that they're different and that's O.K.? It's fine if they want to live that way; it just bugs me they want everyone to accept, not just tolerate, what they do in their bedroom. It seems to me they gain very little whereas the majority will lose immeasurably. I see this as expanding the pleasure-seeking and rationalization that is rampantly growing out of control. They already have the freedom to be gay whereas we, meaning the majority, will lose many freedoms.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's been awhile, and thank you for your guesses and support! As I'm sure you know, I will be serving in the Mexico, Mexico City East Mission for the next 2 yrs. starting Jan. 21! Here's a couple of pictures to show ya first hand. It's nice to know I've been born into such a wonderful family.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ethan May be getting his mission call today so we wanted to get in on the lottery:

Cami ($1): Japan
Paul ($1): Asia (I guess Brianna and I are the only smart ones choosing WHOLE continents): but I guess if I had to narrow it down a little I would have to say Thailand.
Katelynn ($1): She says "Ai yi" which means "aunt" in Chinese so I guess she is saying China

-We will be using Paypal to pay for these guesses, or since Mark and Marianne have been so lucky to handle some things for us in the states you can just get it from them :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our guess for Ethan's mission call

Andrea: Dominican Republic
Kenny: Finland
William: Disneyland (California)
Jerome: Montana
Anne: Italy

William's Broken Arm

We finally had our first broken bone. William was helping Grandpa put up the Halloween decorations. They were moving some haybales with the truck to the front of the driveway. William said Grandpa was taking a short cut and the hay started to fall. William fell off onto his hands and knees. But the hay didn't stop falling and fell on top of William's right arm. Grandma was hoping it wasn't really broken, but the x-ray showed a clean, straight break that should heal quick. As soon as we walked into the hospital, William started crying about not getting shots. He had just gotten his kindergarten shots earlier in October. Every nurse and doctor he saw he asked if they were going to give him a shot. He finally got an IV so they could give him morphine before putting on the splint. It took 4 tries to get the IV in his arm because he wiggled too much. With a broken arm and an IV, he couldn't bend his arms and his nose kept itching, so we had to scratch it for him. But when he was done, he got a couple suckers and a trip to McDonalds.

William in the ER after getting his splint on.

Ready to go home with his sling!

Finally found a shirt to fit for church.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where is Eman going?

Dan -($1) Florida, USA
Kelli - ($1) Russia
Allison ($1) Pacific Islands
Brianna($1) Africa


Ethan's Mission Call Lottery

Hey, Let's do the lottery on here, just so we can all coordinate and sees where Eph is going. Just post it in the comments or do a new post.

Taylor-($1) England
Sophie-($1)The Philippines

Emma & Mattie-($2) France
Sam- ($1) Vancouver Canada
Tom- ($1) Ontario Canada
Keriann- ($1) Everett Washington

Mark - ($1) Australia
Marianne - ($1) Atlanta GA
Holland - ($1) Brazil
Cate - ($1) Russia
Caleb - ($1) South Africa
Taylor - ($1) Viva Costa Rica

Anyone can participate.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Coming Home From School

As I learned this weekend, I find great joy when others are hurt because they find themselves in precarious situations. Like when Taylor fell down the spiral stairs with a cast on b/c he couldn't catch himself and when Robin tried to do a front flip and ended up landing on her face spread eagle b/c she backed out at the last minute. I laugh every time I think of those things.

So this afternoon I was taking a shower (finally) and I thought about Mattie coming home from school and I was laughing my head off (the girls have to walk about a half mile from the bus stop). So I had to take some pictures to share with you. For some of you this may be reminiscent of Ethan coming home from school.

Coming up the steps:

I love her face in this one.

AHHH Sweet Relief......

Tell me if you laughed as well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

End of Capitalism?


In case you haven't heard, there are lots of people in the U.S and abroad who count the recent economic problems as strong evidence that capitalism does not work. They claim it has created a greedy few who have now taken advantage of the small people. They claim a lack of regulation is entirely to blame. The failure of this capitalist strategy led to a systemic collapse, and now the government is "bailing out" those criminal, greedy people on top, and not doing anything to help the poor people on the bottom.

Related sentiments are very common in the media. For example, after President Bush's address to the nation about the economic bail-out, the local news people here interviewed many people at risk of losing their homes. Their universal response to the speech, emphasized by the interviewers, was that the bail-out protected the rich, but allowed the working class to lose their homes all the same. They all thought the billions should go to pay the mortgages on which they are about to default.

This message of the victimization of the poor was also articulated by both Obama and McCain in the recent debate. McCain said "And Main Street is paying a penalty for the excesses and greed in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street."

Regarding these thoughts, let's look at a couple of interesting articles from the end of the Clinton era. Please skim this:

and this:

I especially like this paragraph, in case you missed it:
"In 1992, Congress mandated that Fannie and Freddie increase their purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers. Operating under that requirement, Fannie Mae, in particular, has been aggressive and creative in stimulating minority gains. It has aimed extensive advertising campaigns at minorities that explain how to buy a home and opened three dozen local offices to encourage lenders to serve these markets. Most importantly, Fannie Mae has agreed to buy more loans with very low down payments–or with mortgage payments that represent an unusually high percentage of a buyer’s income. That’s made banks willing to lend to lower-income families they once might have rejected."
Now tell me, the mortgage crisis that initiated this entire economic downturn, was it the result of unregulated capitalism, or did government intrusion in the free market disrupt the balance of normal risk taking behavior?

Now, I know I am going to sound cruel, but think about this. In America, we have enjoyed, for the past 12 years, the ability to live in incredible houses. Granite counter tops were only in mansions a decade ago. Now, they are almost standard. American have felt entitled to live in whatever the neighbors live in. The mortgage people said we qualified for these homes, so we must be able to afford them, right? Isn't this where the greed lies?

McCain said the average American, or main street, is paying the price for the greed of Wall Street and Washington D.C. I think Wall Street and Washington D.C. are paying the price for the greed of the average American.

Please share your thought. The purpose of this post is discussion and debate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We were wondering where everyone was spending the holiday's this year. We are planning on being in Soda Springs for Thanksgiving. That is our only plans so far.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Go Broncos

We took Sophie to her first BSU game!
this is the bus my company rented to take us, there were about 20 of us. We rented the bus and driver for 500 RMB (or $70) for the day. Pretty good travel arrangements. Notice the guy in front of us, his load is probably 3 or 4 times the size that he is, I'm not really sure how we got around him. The road the whole way there was pretty much a one lane road made into two full speed lanes.
Some of rice fields and a rice field worker.
One of the rice field workers dwelling.
Some more fields on the way
Somebodys house, that is old and made of wood (in background) rebuilt with mud and rocks and fell apart (on the left) and now building a new house of brick and cement. Notice they live in there while they build it too.
3 people on a motorcycle is a regular occurance, but this is quite the skill set. You can easily see how 3 would fit on there comfortably, right? But add just one more and it gets a little crowded.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008


In Route to Pigeon Spire

Marianne and Pigeon Spire

Mark on Second Summit with Howser in Background

Marianne, Nick, Rick, and Heather

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Our new house that I LOVE!!!

Here are some pics of it. I love it b/c it is so light and airy and I think we'll need that up here when the gloomy days seem endless. The backyard is fabulous, and it is a short drive for Tom. Anyway, come visit us, we'd love to see you all.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hazel and Sophie's Blessing

We made Hazel really mad by taking this picture.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Hainan Beach

My cute ladies.

Evening stroll on the sand

"Long walks on the beach"