Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fire Bowl

(This post was written by Robert)

Ok, so I am not an outdoors kind of guy, you won't ever see me on a fishing TV show, I don't golf, and I never just sit outside for the fresh air. But the truth is, I like my back yard. I have 2 small trees back there. I have a nectarine tree, I got in a fist fight with it once because it laughed at me, (don't ask it's a long story) and a pear tree (non fruit and very tall). I have a trampoline for the kids and a swing set (it's getting older and I am getting more and more nervous that it will collapse). And now (thanks to my wife) I have a fire pit. I love it! It is big and round and I can park my keester out on the back porch with my laptop and Dutch Oven till my heart is content. And just to sweeten the deal, my wife bought me a can to heat up coals. We (Riley and Jared and I) spent some time getting the coals lit, but once that happened, the can stoked up the coals and we were baking in no time. I am not much of a Dutch Oven chef yet, but we put some chicken quarters in, 8 coals on the bottom and about 15 on the top, waited 45 minutes, a little salt, a little pepper and voila, dinner. Laura correctly pointed out she could have done the same thing in the oven in our kitchen, and I sarcastically responded "Uh, that's why its called a Dutch OVEN!". She, again correctly pointed out, that it wasn't really worth the time. But, I look at it as a hobby and what hobby is really worth the time? Golf? Reading? Model Airplanes? No, it's okay to have a stupid, do something fun, cost hardly nuthin, keep the kids busy, get to eat it later... hobby. Later this week I am going to try some cobbler, and if she is realllllly nice, I might slide her an extra piece.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Jared's Birthday

(This post was written by Robert)

Normally we start each child's birthday with breakfast in bed. But his birthday falls on Sunday (Fast Sunday) so we were going to do it on Saturday...... great intentions... but we forgot... (Sorry Jared...) But he did get French toast and he wanted to make it himself, so he was even happier. We worked hard to get the house ready for the party. Rooms cleaned, kitchen done, cupcakes made, garage cleaned out. Around lunch time I took off for an hour or so to play the piano at the church (it is soooo nice to have a key). I have been playing Phantom of the Opera and getting better at it. Laura bought me a Michael McLean book and that has been fun too. It's funny, Michael McLean is MORE difficult than Phantom. Even though Phantom has some key changes that should be outlawed (5 flats to 4 sharps, then back to 2 flats all on one page!!!!!!! At that point Andrew Lloyd Webber is simply showing off...) When I got back Laura had set up small workstations in the garage. Each child had a baggie of marshmallows and toothpicks. Their goodie bags were all aragned neatly on the side and all the stuff was ready to go. Some kids arrived and I showed them the microscope that we had set up. There is a water retention pond just around the corner and I scooped up a gallon of moss water and decided to see what critters we could see.I found this site that talks about pond critters...


(This post was written by Robert)

We have been so busy that it was rather low key. We went to Cowboy Sharkies. My steak was far too rare. I am never picky, and this is the first time I have ever sent something back, but this was really bad. Laura got the fettuccini alfredo, and there were not enough noodles. It was like fettuccini soup. We also got the stuffed jalapeno peppers wrapped in bacon. The bacon was near rare as well. It had good taste but near impossible to eat. My salad was good, I asked for blue cheese dressing (very much an acquired taste) and it came with it, but I asked for more dressing and got ranch. Sigh, at least the conversation was good....Then we went to Best Buy. For Laura's gift I wanted to give her a picture frame that cycled photos for her office. We looked at them and it was $200 for a 7" display and it only had 150MB (I think...) of memory. That isn't near enough for the amount of pictures that we have. We both looked at it and decided we could get another 19" flat screen monitor for her desk and that would suffice. We also looked at mounting brackets for speakers and found that they are much more expensive than I first thought. Ok.... things are not going so well. Laura got me a fire bowl for the back yard. I have wanted one for a long time. I will be cooking Dutch oven .... something... in it tonight for dinner. We have a Father and Sons' camp out coming up this weekend and I want to Dutch oven.... so I thought it only wise to practice at least one dinner in it before we go. Then we went to Freshberry http://www.freshberry.net/ That was good. I love frozen yogurt and this placed opened up just down the street. Okay it's on 111'th so it is 2 miles from Yale to Memorial, then 4 miles from 151'st to 111'th but, in Tulsa miles, it's right next door. All in all it was the end of a busy week, getting ready for a very busy tomorrow (Jared's 8th birthday).

Thursday, May 01, 2008

It Is Never Simple....

(This post was written by Robert)

The first of May seems like a good time to start writing. Spring is in full force... The kids will be out of school soon...Saturdays are jam packed with shopping, errands, yard work and the occasional nap (very occasional...). Wife is busy making prep for a birthday party for Jared (turning 8). Most moms would simply get a cake and frost it. That is NOT Laura. Lets see, she
  • Made (by herself) aprons for the experiments
  • Got the microscope out
  • Spent the afternoon shopping for beakers to be sealed to mix colored water and oil
  • Making slime out of Borax soap and Elmer's
  • Pop rock gum candy
  • Had me go to Wal-mart to get film canisters (remember the old 35mm kind?) so she can fill with water and an alka-seltzer (impressive boom for 8 yr olds)
  • Got Diet Pepsi and a thing of Mentos (supposed to be cool)
  • Glued two 2 liter bottles together by the neck, so they drained the water into each other, making a cool tornado
  • A baking soda volcano...
  • Baking soda, food coloring and vinegar fun...
  • She is brave enough to let the kids decorate their cupcakes.

    So, Jared is very excited.

    We got the Tennis Shoes among the Nephite series. The CD's for books 6 - 10. Fairly hefty. I ripped books 6 and 7 tonight. Jared and the rest of the family will love it.

    Jared will be baptized in a few weeks. We are very excited.

    I could add more but brevity is....