Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 in Utah

We made it to Utah and back for our traditional Thanksgiving vacation.  The drive out was a bit rough as we had to wait at the bottleneck of the pass in order to put on our chains.  I had never put on chains but I knew I could do it.  Even still, they kept the roads pretty well salted and plowed and I think the chains were overkill.  But whatev.  

The kids were stoked to experience fresh snow.  There was barely enough to sled in but they were out making the most of it!  They'd go down the grass, onto Schpark's driveway, and into the street.  

Thanks to Shauna for loaning us all this snow gear.  It was great.

It snowed a little more through the night and they did some more sledding the next day.  

Chelle with her youngest daughter, Andalee.

Me and Scott ice skating at the South Davis recreation center.  I'm kind of a has-been with respect to my ice skating.  I used to be pretty good, especially for how much I practiced.  But since the hip surgeries, my muscles were too weak to do any single axles.

The ice skating rink was a few minutes away from the Bountiful temple, where Heidi and I got hitched almost 11 years ago.  It was a chilly 26 degrees fahrenheit.  Brrr!  But I'm loving my new coat.

The drive home was pretty straightforward.  We switched drivers at this rest stop near the salt flats and I did this panorama.  Normally, all of this is solid salt, but this time, it was about a foot of water.

There were two wrecks on the way home.  The roads were pretty slick even before Wendover.  I actually like driving in the snow, though.  But I'm less gutsy than I used to be.  The van ran well and we were real grateful for the heater since it was three degrees in some places.  We had it running the whole time at almost the hottest level.  Good old van.  160k!

It's good to be home.  I like the weather here.  Okay, bye.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My birthday din din

I had a great birthday.  Heidi invited over some of our friends for pizza dinner.  It was lots of fun.  There was enough food, enough seating, and it was just great hanging out.  Jeremy made this card and I just had to scan it.  He said, "See, your three favorite things are pulling people's teeth, working on your car, and working on your motorcycle."

Britton and Renee's card was pretty funny, too:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Danny!!

Happy Birthday Danny!  To celebrate the past year, I quickly took a photo from every month of the past year to give you a glimpse of why we celebrate Danny!

November...He truly understands the importance of work. He could hire someone to paint his garage, he could do it himself to make it look perfect, but instead he dresses his kids in old shirts and enlists them to paint.  He understands that the imperfections in the paint are less important than making memories!

October...He is a loyal friend and carves out time for his friends (especially when it comes to fixing cars).  He truly lives a life of service.

September...He is probably one of the most obedient men I know.  He is an amazing priesthood holder.  I am so grateful he can give our children blessings when they need one, baptize them and lead them by example!

August....He cooks!  He does a lot of things around the home which I am very grateful for! He has helped out this past year in so many ways when I was not able to emotionally or physically be there for my family.  What a blessing!!

July...Quality family time.  

June... After a long day at work, he will still find time to set up a tent, start a fire and make sure the kids have a fun time camping in the backyard.  He loves that kids are always over.

May...He got a beautiful piano to bless the lives of our family.  He wakes up each morning at 6am to practice with Scott and sometimes Tyler (depending on his mood).  What a blessing to share the talent that he is blessed with.

 April...He worked hard to get us a beautiful home, in a beautiful neighborhood that most importantly is biking distance to school and work.  That allows him to ride his bike to school with the kids and come home for lunch.  He sacrificed a 3 car garage (which was his top priority) for a higher priority finding a home with a great location which means time with his family!!! 

March...He gave me a beautiful baby boy!

 February...He rides the kids to school on bikes and loves being outdoors with them.

January...He fixes anything and everything we break.

December...He has supported me and our five kiddos so that I could go back and forth to help be with my dad!

November...He creates fun adventures for our family.

Here's to another wonderful year Danny filled with happiness, joy and memories!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

An experiment

I'm all for the kids doing their chores.  They read the job chart, they know when they're done, and they're learning how to work.  Well, that's all good in theory.  I was a great parent until I had kids.

So today I tried something new.

I asked the kids to do their chores.  They were dragging their feet, even though there was plenty of time before church due to daylight saving time ending.

I told Blake that I'd do his job for him and that he'd pay me two of his Halloween candies.  He went for it.  Tyler offered me five.  Kira offered me seven.

I vacuumed the whole upstairs, vacuumed the downstairs, cleaned the kitchen, and they each paid me.  Tyler tried to pay me with the dum dums and smarties, and I said, "No, no, I get to pick."  I went for some Snickers and Reeses.

I was hoping that they would see that it's better to keep their candy and do their jobs, but no.  Was it a fail?  As far as teaching them a lesson, yes.  But it was an honest way for me to get their candy!  Usually I just take some while they're not paying attention.  Maybe they'll see that it's better to just pay someone to do stuff they don't want.  That's what the guy recommends in the wealth management book I read last summer.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Walt's memorial dinner

Last night we celebrated Walt's memorial in the form of a dinner at his Walnut Creek home.  We got the kids dressed up in their "nice but not church" clothes, I did Tyler and Kira's hair, and I just had to take their picture.  Of course, I bribe them with the iPad to do their hair.  I'm trying to get Tyler's to look like the Bieb's.  Even though Justin Bieber is immature, he does have nice hair.  Tyler has the best on-cue smile.  He's always down for a photo.

Kira's on-cue smile isn't the best.  I had to tickle her to get a natural smile but then I was using the 50 mm 1.8, and I had to move away, re-focus, and then shoot.  Still, I was happy with this.

They were all taking this picture with their cell phones, and when I showed up, the kids' attention span was done.  Here's the best.  Scott's smirk is like Han Solo's.  "I ain't in it for your revolution, princess, and I ain't in it for you.  I'm in it for the money."

Paisley and Kira.

Good old Cochise.

Erich Lietz, Walt's cousin

Bob Maddox

Some of the speeches got a little long-winded

Heinz Lietz, Walt's cousin

Scott read a poem by Walt's dad, entitled The Perfect Son

Pete spoke without the microphone

Mister was pretty happy throughout the service

Albert Lau was Walt's co-worker at Bank of America

Food catered by Wilma Lot

Scott couldn't wait to finish his reading so he could get out of his nice clothes.  This is the R2-D2 shirt he picked out himself.

Everyone always comments on what a good public speaker Heidi is.

It was a good service.  Between 60-70 people were in attendance.