Friday, March 18, 2016

Andrew's Ride

Monday, February 17, 2014

Breaking Bread

Moments happen.  And once in a while a moment will happen that lives in our memories long after we have witnessed it.  And once in a great while we are blessed to capture one of these defining moments on video.

Janna has been baking bread once or twice a week lately.  Ammon has begun to participate in making bread and is adorable as he pats the bread and says "Done!" when it is in the pans and ready to be put in the oven. Watch the video below and notice his patting, his exclamation of "Done!" and how he heads across the counter to get to the other loaves.  My favorite part is the end.  Priceless.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Step-By-Step Christmas Tale: 
How to Have Fun as an Accountant with a Mini-Van during the Christmas Season

1)    Become an accountant, have a family, buy a mini-van and visit a store in a large city during Christmas Season and get a fabulous close parking spot
2)    when finished shopping notice that your back tire is completely flat courtesy of a large nail
3)    using the"super-nifty-half-toy-half-joke" car jack that comes standard with most mini-vans manufactured by a "we're-about-to-go-under-so-we-build-'em-without-using-our-brains" company, jack up the car.
4)    as you turn the crank a myriad of times, constantly change your ground position. You'll think you are just getting better positioning, but it more resembles a sweaty hippo on speed.
5)    after an eternity of chugging, use cheap napkins to mop the sweat pouring from your face (gotta keep the shirt nice).  No need for a garbage can, the napkins will disinegrate.
6)    try and get the tire off. Suddenly remember that you have to get the lugs nuts off before you jack the car up.  
7)    Use your favorite "I-am-not-cussing-but-I-am really-mad" word.  Smile at your wife and tell her all is going well.
8)    crank the car down and remove lug nuts
9)    repeat steps 3 through 5.  This time use double napkins.
10) take a break
11) look for spare and be "delighted" to find it under the front of the vehicle.  Dandy, because you jacked up the back of the vehicle.
12) repeat step 7
13) resolve that you are not bringing the car down, the spare tire will just have to come out with car as is
14) remove the middle console between two front seats.  Under the console in the floor of the van is the nut that, when turned, lowers the spare.  Using the plastic tool provided, start turning the crank. 
15) Tell your wife you have to check under the car to see how it is coming.  
16) Squeeze yourself under the van where no one can see you and rest for a bit.  You'll repeat this step between most steps from here on out.
17) Mess with the spare for a while trying to figure out how to get it off the retaining cable.
18) repeat step 7
19) Ask your wife to find and read about this part of the process in the owner's manual.
20) She reads and the manual offers no help.  Check that, it is actually wrong and offers negative help.
21) fiddle with tire, holding it up with one hand while jiggling, fiddling, massaging, pushing, squeezing, smashing, jerking the retaining cord in an effort to free the spare tire.
22) repeat step 7
23) repeat step 7
24) repeat step 7
25) repeat step 7
26) repeat step 7
27) You’d like to repeat step 5 but you are out of napkins and there’s a pool of sweat running out from under the vehicle anyway.  You use your shirt.
28) You’re exhausted but you tell yourself that if you hold the spare in one hand while repositioning and fiddling with the retaining cord you’ll get it this time.  I’m not going to waste steps saying it, but you’ll repeat this step more times than you’ll admit (alternated with step 7).
29) Lay down under the car defeated.
30) Listen to your wife read about it in the owner's manul and this time hear that the cord is long enough bring the tire out from under the car.
31) Have your wife turn the crank from inside the car while you “guide the tire out”; this takes a long time.
32) Ah, now you can sit up and fiddle with the tire and retaining cord, so you do.
33) Finally figure out that the tabs are supposed to fold in and allow you to thread tham through the tire to remove the cord, but they can’t fold in because of dirt and grime
34) No time now to clean them and do it right, just bang them shove them back and forth. 
35) Eventually you’ll be able to fold them just enough to get the cord halfway through tire before it gets stuck. 
36) Spend awhile undoing it and then bang more dirt out before trying again.
37) Try again and you get it all the way through.
38) You’re tired and you don’t remember much more other than things seem to happen from there.  By the time you regain full coherence you are sitting in the passenger seat of the van regaining strength through take out Chinese Coconut Curry with the spare tire on the car and everything put away neatly in the back.
39) Don’t go to Walmart tire center, even if it is the first place you come to.  But if you do, get ready to waste a load of time before being directed to the nearest Discount Tire store.
     40) In the end don’t fight the inevitable. You need two new tires, just pull out the credit card and be glad someone else is doing it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lost Scenes From Mega Hit Movies

Most toys come and go. Some, however, seem to endure. We have a magical wizard hat that has been around a long time and is a favorite item amongst our kids. Although it actually has a "magical" look about it, the true magic is that we've had it for a long time without it getting worn out, permanently misplaced, left somewhere, or irreparably spilled upon.
The kids love the hat. They play with it, argue over who gets to wear it, chase each other around with it and then it gets stuffed somewhere and we won't see it for awhile. But, unfailingly, it reappears and we go through the cycle again.
Now, the hat is... well, a hat. But it has served as many other things throughout the course of our children's imaginative games. The other day we found ourselves with a few minutes to spare so we decided to devise a game with the hat to share with our blog fans (assuming such persons exist). The following is called "Using a Wizard Hat to Reenact Lost Scenes From Mega Hit Movies". Keep in mind these scenes were lost, so you probably were not aware they existed.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Scene: Harry finds a magical wizard hat that gives him power to vanquish Voldemort with nothing but his wand and a crusty glare. This scene was removed when they realized the scene deviated slightly from the books.

Movie: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Scene: Merlin fulfills his boyhood fantasy and enters the royal jousting tournament. Unfortunately he loses his first joust in ruthless fashion...with very little left. Scene was removed from production for obvious reasons.

Movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Scene: I'll bet you didn't know the original title was Snow White and the Six Dwarves. A decision was made early on to divide the part of the Dwarf named "Loopy" into the two roles of "Sleepy" and "Dopey".

Movie: The Wizard of Oz
Scene: In the first cut Dorothy befriends a medium munchkin (check your definition of medium) who helps her discover that the reason she lives with Aunt Em and Uncle...(what's his name) was not because her parents were dead, but rather her actual mother had become a witch and found raising a child cumbersome to her routine of terrorizing gem-named cities. At one point Dorothy actually joins forces with the witch, but just can't get past her own sweetness to fully become a witch. This part was deleted from the movie due to time length restrictions.

Movie: Gnomeo & Juliet
Scene: Gnomeo is briefly turned into an adorable lawn gnome. This scene was axed when the adorableness of the stunt double was garnering more attention than the main character himself.

Movie: The Wizard of Oz
Scene: Yes, another deleted scene from the Wizard of Oz. In his exuberance over realizing he does indeed have a heart, the Tin Man sheds tears of joy that lead to a dramatic seize-ure. The Scarecrow flies into action with his brain, ordering the Lion to get oil. The Lion, now freed from fear, runs through the forest in record time, to the witch's castle (because the witch herself had funded her terrorizing operations as an oil magnate). Obtaining oil (and a funnel) the Lion rescues the Tin Man. This scene was debated furiously and ultimately left out of the production under suspicious circumstances.

The End

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 3

I realize I skipped day 2. It was pretty uneventful except that after work the boys and I headed into Melbourne to the movie theater (Tuesday night is cheap night!). We saw Kung Fu Panda 2, which we all highly recommend. We bought a bottomless drink at the theater and it was a good thing I paid the extra 50 cents to upgrade to bottomless because Andrew drank the whole huge thing 5 minutes into the movie.

We decided that we'd head to Orlando and spend day 3 at Wonderworks, a cool science/do-cool-things place. Here are some pics we took...

We there yet?


Taylor using his mind to move a ball on the table in front of him

The scoreboard during the mindball battle between Taylor and Andrew

Taylor getting his piano practice done for the day

Andrew pitching to Derek Jeter. In the end we decided it is probably best to just walk him and pitch to Posada.

Taylor bubbling himself

High flying ropes course, Andrew is harnessed and ready to go!

The dinner show was hilarious! Plus, all you can eat pizza, popcorn and pop.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1 Week, 3 Guys, Unlimited Possibilities

Taylor, Andrew and I are bachelors for a week as Janna, Abby and Caden are in Utah for Katie's wedding. So this week we are going to try our best to document in the blog how it goes at home while they are away. So far they have been gone a total of 24 hours. We miss them already.
I worked yesterday so Taylor and Andrew had free reign. I was at work about an hour and a half when they came in to visit me (I work a half mile from home). We chatted about how things were going and they bought soda out of the vending machine. I could tell they were already relishing their freedom. They only stayed a few minutes then they were off. When I got home for lunch they had straightened the living room and were practicing the piano. Janna would be proud.
The afternoon went much the same and included the boys taking a little while to write reports. Taylor did a report on Florida snakes and Andrew on Florida birds, they chose the topics (I can't wait for tomorrow's reports, sea turtles and beavers). Then they watched their favorite show, Merlin. Here's what I saw when I got home:

The Appel's (senior missionary couple) then brought us dinner, it was fabulous!!!!

For Family Night the boys and talked about working hard so we could spend more time during the week playing. So, we tidied up a bit, folded some clothes and exercised. Here are pics to prove we tidied up (except we didn't actually vacuum, it is in the picture for decoration purposes only).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nice Story from KSL about the Ranch

Video Courtesy of