I was recently encouraged by our good friends living in Norway to adapt my photo-journal entries into blog posts so they can keep up with what we are doing. That was a few months ago, so it is pretty unlikely that anyone even reads this until I tell my mom that there are a bunch of photos and videos to check out, in which case my efforts will be worth it. I decided to write new entries for this blog since I thought it would be awkward having every entry on the blog start "Dear Diary..." I also didn't think it would read the same without the tear stains all over the pages. A couple of disclaimers; first, my writing style (if you can call it a "style") it is very much stream of consciousness. Kind of a scary thought, a lot of sarcasm, confusion and dry, cheesy humor. I will try to proof-read, but I type (kind of)fast and hate spending more time on this than I have to so it will probably be a bunch of photos with random weird captions. If you hate it I am sorry, you will have to follow Katie's facebook and wait 10 years for an update, oh wait, is following only for twitter? The other is that I don't normally brag about or force the topic of my kids on people. I usually keep it to myself except when talking to Grandma or others I know really want to hear. Since you are still reading you are either trying to psyco-analyze me or may have some interest. Please don't judge my doting over my kids. Besides, Katie and I are pretty boring so we deflect all attention to our kids.
In case you hadn't heard (which I'm not sure how most would have since we are terrible at all social interac... I mean social media) we moved recently. This wasn't prompted by anything except an overwhelming desire to get out of the suburban neighborhood we were in and into a place with a little more property. We now have just under 3 acres of heavily wooded heaven here in the muggy mosquito-infested outskirts of Houston Texas. I was pulling for something more like 20 acres, but Katie would not agree to significantly increase our house payment AND have my commute become 1.5 hrs AND live in a trailer, so we settled for a good middle ground. We closed on August 14th, and are loving it so far. As we had hoped, the kids are really enjoying spending time outside. They have a weekly playgroup in the ward here, and this week they went to the park. When I asked them how they liked it Alyssa said something along these lines. "Well, it was fun, but it was kind of pointless. I like our yard better." Every day when I get home from work we spend at least some time outside, exploring our woods or playing in our grass (which is way softer than at our last house, which means it doesn't draw blood).
In case you really haven't heard from us since the last blog post, our kids are Alyssa (7), Brianna (5 this month), Caden (3) and Dianna (1). See what we did there, A,B,C,D? Yes, we are weird. I have to say it was inspired by the Duggar family. Katie and I have always wanted a large family, so when we have 24 kids and cover the alphabet (including the two of us) we will qualify for our own T.V. show! Ok, well it is not guaranteed to continue, and there is no guarantee that we will stop at 24, but hey, it sure narrows down the choices on names.
I still work for FMC Technologies, blah blah blah. Katie is a homeschool mom and loving it. She has also been on a whole grain, natural foods, non-processed kick for a couple of years now, so between preparing homeschool lessons and making home-made everything she is pretty busy. Add to that a new home that we love, but now there are so many "possibilities" that we have a bunch of new projects to do and I'm not sure how we will get to 24 kids, or to 5 for that matter. I warned you up top that it could get a little scary, just sayin'.
Ok, enough of that, I let you in too far and now we just have to go with the photos and possibly videos if blogspot has improved the upload interface from the last time I was on here. Only one dirty photo in the bunch, so we will start with that.
Again, I warned you, cheesy, dry humor. Katie may be the only person in the world that thinks it is funny, which is a big part of why I married her and why you will probably stop reading soon if you haven't already.
We got a note from Caden's Nursery teacher that the dress code for church must include boots and a hat. We had to spring for this $5 beauty at the Houston Rodeo.
Selfies with dad, which of course means make dad look at the camera while making a fool of himself and convince him it is fun.
Alyssa has been losing teeth, and the new ones are coming in really crooked. Already putting money away now for this future brace-face.
Wow! Mom really is comfy to sleep on!
Caden, like most kids, went through a phase where every hurt needs a band-aid. Doesn't matter if there is an actual wound or not, "Mommy it hurts, I need a band-aid!" "But son, it is your tongue." "I don't care, put a band-aid on it!" Then the child proceeds to cry until you stick a bandaid on his/her tongue, at which point you all crack up laughing and the kid chokes and you have to explain to the doctor why there is a band-aid down your kid's throat. Fortunately this one was only on the upper lip, which wasn't funny at all.
Here is my sports plug so I can feel manly about mommy-blogging. GO COUGARS! Have to say that I am happy about Saturday's win, especially as a Cougar in Texas. BYU 41, Texas 7. Taysom Hill is a beast, so fun. This photo is actually from last season, but love it when these kids pretend to like BYU football for me.
Took this on a business trip to Norway. I went a couple days earlier and spent some time with our friends the Glenns. This is a place in Stavanger called the "Three Swords". Very original right? You can look it up if you want more info, which you don't, so you won't. That is our buddy Parker in the foreground, so those things are pretty big.
Parking job in norway. Who needs to parallel park when you can just back up to the curb.
Between November 2013 and April 2014 Katie and I have each had two siblings get married, and 3 of the 4 were out of state. We spent a lot of time lately on the road, but this was a bonus. Manti was one of the locations and the temple there is awesome. Small town with a beautiful temple. It was my first time there and I was very impressed. Katie's brother Scott got married there and we are really happy to have his wife Annie in the family.
My mom is from California and I love junk food/fast food so any excuse to go to In-N-Out is a good one. Since the closest one to us is 3.5 hours away in Dallas we go when we are in Utah.
Katie's extended family lives in Utah, so we had a big shin-dig while we were there for the wedding. This was at Thanksgiving last year. It was nice to have Katie stand in my shadow for a change.
I served my mission in Argentina, and I love junk food. I don't know if meat wrapped in bread and deep fried counts, but I made these empanadas around Christmas and they turned out perfectly. Maybe not quite authentic since they were whole wheat, but flaky and delicious. Love me some Green-olives in there.
We made doughnuts for Valentine's day. These are "healthy". Whole wheat, home-made succanat and cocoa frosting and peanut-butter drizzle. Delicious and will still give me a hear-attack, but if Katie let's me eat it I'm going for it.
Brianna is adorable.
This is at the Phoenix Zoo. Alyssa - "Caden! save yourself! I'll hold it open!"
Here at the Zoo again, my sister Alice on the left and Sally on the right with my niece Aayla next to her. Obviously I am the only one taking this photo seriously. They respect me a lot...
My dad turned 60 and of course needed Depends and a walker. Thank good-ness for second-hand stores (not second-hand adult diapers, or second-bum?)
Here is a photo of Alyssa after she got glasses this January.
Home-school activities. "Maybe they won't be totally socially awkward if we tie their legs together and make them spend the day walking around like that." "Great idea, that is how we will get them to meet new people!"
Alyssa can almost always be found somewhere in the house reading or playing with legos. She is a total nerd and we love it. I think this is the 3rd Harry potter. We had to pull on the reigns after that, but she just rips through books.
Obviously I need to start working on my neck muscles if we are going to ever have another kid.
Katie's brother has an addiction to guns. This AK-47 was one of his new toys and Dianna was getting into it. She already knows how to manipulate people. "How to win friends and influence people" Page 1: "pretend you love the same things they do."
Caden is Diaper-man. I have the copyright/Trademark so I am going to have Katie trolling your blogs and Facebook photos this Halloween. If any of you use this costume idea you will hear from my lawyer. The great thing is it took about 2 minutes to put together because they have the velcro straps. And if he needs a change while we are out trick or treating you lose the helmet and gain a mean prank on someone handing out pencils or toothbrushes.
Thank you Vanna! We watched some youtube videos on sand castles and had a lot of fun with it. The beautiful Gulf of Mexico is in the background. You got nothin' California beaches! Come to Texas! We love oil, football and BBQ!
Here are our friends the Glenns. I love those guys. The boys (all 4 of them) are a lot of fun. Stephen and Sarah are ok too.
Here are the kids in the U-Haul before we left our first home. They were really sad about leaving, as you can tell.
Katie and I as we took the last couple of things out of the garage. We miss the ward a lot, but are adjusting well to our new area.
Of course with so much grass dad needed a riding lawnmower. And of course everyone wants a ride.
Dianna turned 1 and didn't like the "healthy" cake. Ok, actually it was delicious but she is a ham for the camera.
Dianna taking advantage of the chaos at the new house and having a snack from the floor.
She can't walk yet, but she can mow the lawn. Gotta start 'em young.
This is my niece trying to eat Alyssa. This one is for Grandma.