Sunday, August 17, 2014


Yesterday was county at Acalanes High.  Tyler and Scott both did freestyle and Scott did breast in addition.  He made finals in freestyle but was not happy about it because it meant staying longer.  He was happy to take a break from the meet to go to Pop's.  

I thought this was a cute selfie of Kira and me and all Heidi could say was, "Look at her hair.  She's going to ask us what we were thinking, letting her go out in public like that."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Scottsdale Invitational

Scott and Tyler did well at the Scottsdale invitational at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.  Scott took first in the 100 IM, free and back.  He did well and had fun!   Tyler got a 3rd in fly and 4th and free.  Incredible!  Proud of our little men.

Some serious swim hair.

Having fun in the volleyball pit.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dana Hills meet

Gotta hand it to Tyler for taking first in several of his events and getting a county time in freestyle.   I'm impressed not only because he has half a heart, but because of his drive.  He wants to go fast so bad that it outweighs his physical limitations.  

Heidi and I watch House, MD, on netflix.  One of the cases was about an immunocompromised child who felt her parents were overprotective in keeping her indoors.  She just wanted to live a "normal" life even if it meant failing sooner.  

Several physicians recommended we terminate Tyler's pregnancy, and since we didn't, any time we have with him is gravy.  Therefore, we want him to have a happy and fulfilled life since no one knows when their card is gonna get pulled.  He has surpassed our expectations in many ways.  He's doing well in school, too.  

We talked in church yesterday about sowing what you reap.  Dieter Uchtdorf wrote a funny article about it and we discussed it in elders quorum.  People were making comments about how they worked out and strengthened their bodies in order to run faster and longer or make their bicycling goals.  I wanted to raise my hand and talk about genealogy and that it is, truly, watching the results of seeds grow.  Heidi's doing her genealogy on her dad's side, who kept good records all the way back to 1610.  I bet they never imagined what their posterity would be doing 400 years later, but here we are, writing a blog as our family history.  

But my unspoken comment was that if we cultivate our relationships with our kids, they will develop into competent individuals.  Heidi and I have different perspectives on the level of parental involvement, and she seems to think that I think the kids will just magically develop on their own without input from me.  

That's not my philosophy.  Mine is that I give them expectations and guidelines.  If they do their chores, they get iphone time.  If they don't, then they have time-outs in their rooms.  Once they know what is expected, and that there are consequences, they usually follow through.  I haven't gotten upset with them in the last week or so because I'm trying to change my attitude about parenting.  

I'm reading this book called Time and Money.  It's about how to save for the future and enjoy the journey and stuff.  Kinda like my book, only not as good.  I even emailed the author to ask his perspective on using the Buick Riviera as an example of a poor investment decision but he never wrote back.  Weak. Anyway, he thinks it's a bad idea to let your kids see you mopping the floor and instead thinks you should get a maid.  I can see his perspective but I disagree with it.  I want my kids to learn to work. Dad paid me to keep up the yard at his office and I took a lot of pride in my work.  I pruned, mowed, edged, sprayed for weeds,  swept, and all that.  The office was beautiful.  I didn't get paid much but I learned how to evaluate my work and achieve goals.  

Another thing this book discusses is not doing things you don't want to do.  Last night I made a batch of laundry soap while talking on the phone to Steve.  Making soap isn't all that enjoyable but it was good talking to Steve.    This morning, I woke up early and hung out the wash to dry.  Laundry isn't one of my favorite things to do, but none of my vehicles needs any work right now, so there wasn't much else for me to do.  So I didn't disenjoy my time.   Besides, I feel good that I'm conserving energy and resources.  

I fixed Heidi's phone.  Truly, the iphone 4 is quite a bit more laborious to fix a cracked front glass.  I had to take the whole thing apart, including the logic board, battery, sound bar, and even the frame.  But it now works.  I recommend people use, rather than youtube, because with the former, they measure the screws and color code them.  There are 1.2 mm, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.5, 3, 4.8, and 6 mm screws.  Not many people can differentiate between 0.1 mm.  But I deal with mm's all day, so I was glad for those measurement guidelines.  

Okay, that's all.  

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Scott had a meet at Woodlands in Walnut Creek.  He made the consolation finals but was NOT excited.  You can see in his expression his dismay.  He didn't even know I was taking this picture.  Plus, it was 102 degrees.  

Lately Tyler has been into watching our home videos on my phone.  I don't have that many of Blakey and he's been talking a lot, so I filmed him talking about my air/water syringe.  I can't understand what he's saying but he seems confident that he knows what he's talking about.

The kids had the co-op later that night and Heidi and I just hung out at home, in the air conditioning, watching TV.  At 9:53 pm it was still 83 degrees.  I don't know how Dan-o can survive in the Arizona heat because I bet sometimes it doesn't get under 90 there.

Seth called and we talked for 59 minutes.  It was good catching up.  I used my headset and changed the oil in the van during our conversation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My kids

I was not pleased to get a text from Heidi with this picture attached.

Scott had hit the bottom of the pool and chipped #9 last Monday.  I made him search for the piece in the pool and he found one of two.  When I arrived home from Vacaville, Scott wanted me to fix it that night.   Kira and Tyler came with us and we went to the office to produce this result:

 I was pleased.

Yesterday, after I arrived home from work, the kids wanted to hang out in the garage since Scott was working on a birdhouse.  They climbed up on the VFR and I just had to take their picture.

Blakey has been talking quite a bit and he can put together sentences with six words, like, "I found my baba right there."  He's potty trained, too, so that's nice.

School starts next week.  Crazy.  Okay, bye.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

McMillan family reunion at Bear Lake

We had a great vacay to Utah for the annual McMillan family reunion.  This year we stayed at a cabin near Bear Lake and we took the back roads.  It was pretty straightforward until we exited 80 East onto Nevada 233.  We were in the middle of nowhere and the van was running out of gas.  I pulled off the road to this gas station at 6:18 am and it didn't open until 7:00.  The owner was there, setting up stuff, and I thought he would accommodate me since I'm not from those parts.  Well, no, but at seven he said the gas was ready and I could fuel up.  

First we went to the beach.  The shallow water was warm but the lake was a chilly 64 degrees, so after a dip, we just hung out in the sand.  The boys and I drove the RC cars but they all had failures that day.

Our first excursion was to Minnetonka cave.  I'm pretty sure I've been there but it was Heidi's first time.

Kira and Blakey had had it, so Heidi left the tour early and this was the only shot I got of them.

On Saturday we saw Beauty and the Beast at the Pickle Valley Playhouse.  It was super good.  Better than expected.  There's a lot of talent in Utah.  My favorite character was Lumiere.

Adam borrowed this Hobie cat and sailed around quite a bit.  I went with him twice and we got going maybe 15 knots.

Found some snow in Tony Grove.  Tyler got too cold too fast.

Early morning fishing with Grampy.  Tyler was stoked to drive Afterburner.

We didn't catch any fish with the traditional methods, but Scott and Tyler were excited to play with the carp.  Carp are gross.  They're garbage disposers.

Some nice water in the harbor on Monday morning.

Heidi got right up on the wakeboard and made a couple of jumps.  She did pretty well, especially considered that the last time she wakeboarded was probably 2004 at Trinity.  I wakeboarded too and did some huge jumps, and I felt good because I was scared of being a young has-been.  The back held up and I tried some flips but didn't land.  Now, two days later, I have soreness everywhere except maybe my chewing muscles.

Horseback riding was interesting.  I think the horses have more than one horsepower.  Tyler and Scott rode these quarter horses and Kira and Blakey rode ponies.  

We rented these ATV's and did a course.  I was able to test the capability of our craft.  The renter guy said they were very powerful, and I was expecting them to take off like the VFR.  Not exactly, but still, the suspension was adequate and I liked being able to drift on command.  

It was a great trip.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Several weeks of haps

At Pleasant Hill Aquatics center

Watching an airplane

Tyler's backstroke.  Someone false started.

Always ready for a picture

Jared getting cattails for the kids