Sunday, June 29, 2008

Skeet Shoot

We had an Elders Quorum, husband and wife combined activity. It was a very masculine activity. We have members in our ward who have enough property to use for shooting at clay pigeons, or targets, or skeet, or whatever you call it that are launched into the sky with these spring-loaded machines. For some reason, we were told we couldn't come if we weren't happy with our spouse. There were a few horses kind of close and we had to make sure we didn't aim toward the neighbor's house at all, but there was enough space so no one got hurt. They also have a beautiful garden. It reminds me of my grandparents' garden. Isn't it just lovely?There were also some awesome clouds in the sky that evening. This one is very tall. I think it's called a cumulus cloud. You can correct me if I'm wrong.This is Jessica. You can't tell from this side, but she's eight months pregnant. It was pretty loud out there. I wonder what the baby thought. She said he wasn't moving much. By the way, she out shot her husband and came in third out of the whole group. Her husband better watch out.Here I am and I don't think I look very comfortable holding a gun. I certainly didn't feel very comfortable. I finally was able to hit a few of the targets, but I definitely had more fun watching everyone else shoot and visiting.No one was hurt and I think everyone had a good time. We had a barbecue, but honestly there wasn't a lot of eating going on. The men were far more interested in the guns than food.I wasn't paying attention and didn't get any pictures of Robert during the shoot. He did very well. When they threw the targets from each side, one after the other, he hit both targets five times in a row. I was impressed....and maybe a little nervous too. He's pretty darn good for having only one good eye to sight with.

Frosting Fight!

Hi everyone. This is my friend, Cindi. Her family and ours get together quite often on Sunday afternoons for dinner and games. Here she is, calmly chopping veggies for our sub sandwiches.

Here I am. I usually don't appreciate pictures of me, but I'll be in several this post. I am calmly putting the cheese on our sandwich.

Here we are again and we're not so calm. I'll tell you that I didn't start this, but Cindi may disagree. I promise, I was standing next to her when she finished spreading the chocolate frosting on the cake. She held up the spatula right in front of my face and it looked like she was going to put it on my nose. I said something like "don't you dare" and she just looked at me and grinned and did it anyway! I knew she was a trouble-maker and I couldn't just allow her to get away with it, so I grabbed what frosting I could and got her back.

But she did her fair share of getting me too.

Of course she didn't let up at all and we kept going for a minute or two. The camera happened to be close by and Robert enjoyed getting these pictures of us.

It's amazing one of us didn't have any claw marks after this. I have really long finger nails and it looks like we could seriously injure each other in this position. Just look at the amount of frosting on my face and there's hardly any on hers. I don't know how she managed to get away with that.

After it's over, we're still friends. Although if we had been ruthless and gone for the clothes, I can't tell what might have happened. I'd call Cindi the winner of this skirmish since I can see more frosting on me than on her. Something similar to this event happened over a game of spoons once. Suffice it to say, I won that time and the spoon was very....uh....bent out of shape over it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You Might Be A Geek If...

I came across something that ... well honestly resembled me (Robert).

You might be a geek if...

If you have ever owned a calculator with no equal key and know what RPN stands for.
Guilty.... and I am proud of it.... (does that make it worse?)
If you can type 70 words a minute but can't read your own handwriting.
True... very true...
If people groan at the party when you pick out the music.
I don' think they do... doesn't everyone like "Miami Vice Soundtrack", "I'm Blue" and "Safety Dance"
If you thought the real heroes of "Apollo 13" were the mission controllers.
They were!!!!
If you spend more on your home computer than your car
uh.... guilty... (that's bad right....?)
If you know what http: stands for.
Hyper-text transfer protocol.... doesn't everyone know that? Geesh...
If your three year old son asks why the sky is blue and you try to explain atmospheric absorption theory.
Yes, and now he understands it... right!
If your 4 basic food groups are: 1. Caffeine 2. Fat 3. Sugar 4. Chocolate
.... I am trying to cut out Caffeine, Fat and Sugar....
If your spouse sends you an e-mail instead of calling you to dinner.
Sometimes it's the best way to get in touch with me...
If you know the direction the water swirls when you flush.
Northern hemisphere is different than the southern.
If you rotate your screen savers more frequently than your automobile tires.
I rotate the background on my computer DAILY! Really, do the rest of you just LEAVE IT THERE...!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Crazy Spiders!

There are a lot of interesting creatures in Oklahoma. I posted last week about a huge spider we found. We've determined that it was a baby tarantula since it jumped and had rings on its legs. Now we had a new friend in our garage. Notice I said "had". Robert promptly took care of the problem after we had our fun. This black widow spider had trapped a huge bug. The bug was literally screaming and making a huge fuss about the whole thing. It was caught and there was nothing it could do except make a lot of noise and move a lot. That spider worked quickly and it was amazing to watch.

Those small white balls in the picture aren't egg sacks, thank goodness. Robert thought they might be, but they are just air soft gun pellets.

I feel like we're watching the Wild Kingdom in our yard every day with all the crazy critters we've seen this year!

Oreo...Poor Dog

Tuesday afternoon Oreo got out of the yard. When he was younger he would have run for hours, but he is a lot more calm and we don't worry about him getting away so much. He simply went next door to visit a dog he often hears. The neighbor dog is a boxer, and a big one. He is easily five times Oreo's size, and he is a mean dog. Oreo has no experience with bad dogs and so went up to play with him, and he ended up getting bit, rather bad. He came in the house with his tail between his legs, and just wanted to be left alone. Wednesday he came out limping, favoring his right hind leg. A delicate inspection indicated it had a good bite mark but didn't appear to be infected. Dad and Mom are the only ones able to look at it, as he is very protective of it. We will watch him for the next day or so. I hope he feels better.

Our Activity at the Church

Wednesday is usually spent taking the Nicole, Riley, and Jared to the church for their activities. This week, Nicole was at camp and no one else had any activities, but Robert wanted to go up to the church to play the piano. Riley wanted to go just to throw a basketball, then Jared wanted to go too. Sarah was having a bad day so to help her not feel so bad it was decided that the whole family would go up to the church. First we stopped at QT for slurpees. I don't know what you call them, but they are the icy, almost frozen drinks. Those things make my kids happy instantly. Sarah once said this about slurpees. "What's better than a slurpee...practically nothing." Back to what I was really writing about...
Robert got to play the piano, the kids played basketball, mom took pictures and made sure everyone had a good time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Poor Jared (And Mom)

Jared is going to Cub Scout Day Camp for the week and Monday was the first day. The National Weather Bureau issued the following warnings all day Monday.
  • Flash Flood Warning

  • Flash Flood Watch

  • Flood Warning (apparently the... "non" flash type of flood)
So, they went to the church to play in the gym with all the other boys from our ward that couldn't go to day camp. All the boys took it well and had a great time playing soccer, tag, hide and seek, and basketball. Tuesday was slightly soggy, but a lot of fun. The boys went fishing, tied knots, played marbles, played water games, shot slingshots, and started a paper mache project. They are anxious to ride the zip-line and shoot BB guns. We'll have to see what they get to do today.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sarah's Turtle

We drive by a place near our home where there is a small pond and a dead tree that has fallen half way into the pond. During the warm months it is common to see turtles sunning themselves on the tree, ready to dive into the water at the first sign of danger. Everyone can see the turtles from the road. Everyone but Sarah, that is.

She has been quite upset at never seeing a turtle there. We have pulled over but there is a fence keeping us too far back to get a good view for her to see. The other day on the way to church, we found a turtle in the middle of the road. It is common for them to get on the road to enjoy its warmth, but it isn't the safest place for them. I pulled over, and picked it up. I gave it to Sarah to have (for the day) and play with.

This type of turtle can close itself up so it is totally sealed. You can't get to it at all. Really cool. Sarah named it "Torti". We had a great time, and at the end of the day, sent the turtle back home to.... uh.... find its mom.

Temple Trip Was A Blast

Wife and I went to the Temple the other day. We left the house at around 5 pm and picked up a new friend, Trisha. I usually like to listen to books on tape when we drive, but the conversation was so good.

I don't remember much of what was said but I really enjoyed the time with my wife and a friend. The temple was, of course, wonderful. It was uncomfortably crowded, but when I thought about it, I realized that is a nice problem to have. It was calm and peaceful. Perhaps someday I will talk about why that was such a big deal, but for now, suffice it to say... it was nice. The ride home was long (as you would expect) but again, the conversation was filled with funny stories and tiny rants about the way the world "ought" to be, that the trip was over quickly. I am looking forward to going again in July.

Hello Folks

I thought I would make a simple entry. Laura has graciously allowed me to write on this post. I know she wanted this to be her area, but I talked her into it. So...with a promise to spell check everything, and to not be too crazy, I am posting my first entry.

I thought that I would simply give you a link. I think it is the coolest link on the web. I have hit this website, almost daily for at least 6 years. It is Astronomy Picture of the Day. With it, I get all the cool pics from the probes on Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, as well as info on cool pictures from telescopes around the world. I am the most novice of all back yard astronomers, but I like to keep track of where the planets are in the sky... Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars especially.

This is a picture of Saturn blocking the sun. How cool is that!?

Anyway...Just wanted to say "Hi.."

Saturday, June 07, 2008


This is a scene that I rarely witness with my kids. They are all good readers, but I don't catch them reading very often. However, sometimes they get hooked on a really good book or series. Jared (8) has recently started reading Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series. There are 13 books and each book is about 300 pages. I took him to the library to get two of the books he hadn't read yet, and before a day had gone by, he had read them both! So I went back to the library and told the librarian this, and she sent me home with all of these so I can try to keep him occupied with reading this summer.

These are all rather large books and I am glad he's taken more of an interest in reading. I just hope I can keep him interested after he's finished this particular series. Any tips on how to do that? It's a constant struggle around here. I think Nicole has read the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series about four times each. It will be a miracle if I find something else she's interested in.

Friday, June 06, 2008


So in between the storms, once Memorial Day is here, we swim...and swim...and swim some more. Well, by we, I mean my kids. I'm more of a fan of relaxing in the chairs and listening to my iPod and watching the action. We've been to the pool every day except Sundays. When my parents were here, they took them every day for anywhere from an hour to three hours (thanks Mom and Dad!). I'm surprised all their skin hasn't flaked off them yet. I hadn't taken any pictures of them swimming this year and I took Jared and Sarah on Wednesday when Robert took Nicole and Riley to their church activities. Jared and Sarah had a lot of fun in the water and I had fun messing around with different settings on my camera and trying to get some decent pictures. I love that I can take as many pictures as I want without wasting anything. It sure does make it easier to get some decent shots.

Personally, I think those pictures turned out pretty good. The color is nice and the picture is clear. I'm not really a photographer, but I'm having fun and it sure helps to have a decent camera. Now I need to work on the inside shots. Those are so tough.

Now I have some action shots of Sarah jumping onto this poor turtle. She had a blast and reenacted it many times over so I could get some good in-air shots.

It amazes me how much my kids love the water. I never went swimming much like this when I was a kid. My swimming pools were usually canals on our farm and that didn't lend itself particularly to doing tricks and and jumping onto large plastic turtles. Mostly it was a way to keep cool. My kids are all very independent swimmers and didn't have any lessons from anyone except their dad. Apparently he's a pretty good teacher, because they all are very good and not afraid of swimming in deep water at all. Here are a few more shots of them just having fun. I love watching them swim. It is relaxing to me. Much more relaxing then actually being in the pool and being the base if they're playing water tag, or the platform from which to jump, etc.


We've had some severe weather this spring. I've been through several springs in Oklahoma, but this one is the most exciting so far. We haven't actually had a tornado touch down within about 5 or 10 miles of us, but we've had tons of lightning, rain, hail, and wind. It comes and goes quickly too. Last Saturday morning we thought it might storm, but it wasn't serious-looking. Within 15 minutes, we could see the clouds rolling in. 15 minutes later, we were being pelted with wind, rain, hail, and lightning. It only lasted about 1/2 hour and then the sky was bright and sunny again. It was almost as if it had already forgotten about the storm. It probably rained at least an inch in that short time, and my kids thought it was great fun to be outside right in it. What possesses them to do this kind of stuff?

Only my 13 year-old daughter wasn't prancing out in the rain. I know she got wet, but somehow I missed getting her picture to prove it. Anyway, the rain came fast and strong. Just look at my poor flowers...

As I said, we also got hail with this storm. It wasn't very big in our area, about the size of marbles, but I heard it was pretty damaging in some other areas.

We've had two big storms since this one. This one lasted an hour or two. Sunday at church we heard it rolling in. Our Bishop said that if the power went out we would just continue our sacrament meeting. Sure enough, about 10 minutes later, it went out. After about two minutes, everyone quieted down and the meeting continued. It was fast and testimony meeting and it ended up being very spiritual in the dark. I guess not being able to see faces somehow helps facilitate feeling the spirit? Probably not, but it was a very good meeting anyway.

The next storm was last night. We were up until about 2:00 am with tornado sirens going off. Nothing near us was organized enough to produce a tornado, but because it was possible, we had to be ready to take cover. Nothing major happened except a lot of lighting, wind, and rain. The lighting was especially cool last night. Our ceiling fan looked like it stopped everytime it got a good flash of light on it. The sky was full of lightning that didn't stop. It wasn't onesy-twosy flashes. It was a constant barrage of light. It was beautiful...and scary enough that the kids slept in the living room with flashlights. If it helps them sleep, then I guess I'm okay with it.

Birds, Spiders, and Toads. Oh my!

Ok, so we live in a neighborhood, but we're out in the country. We've seen a lot of wildlife in our yard this year. Here are a few pictures that we've taken in just the last week alone.

There were two beautiful cardinals being very busy in our back yard. Here's what they were busy doing...

Isn't it a perfect little nest, with one perfect little egg? Wait a minute. Where's the tree? I thought most birds preferred trees for their nests. Apparently not, since this is the second nest we've found in this hanging basket this month. It's sad though. Both times the birds have built their nests, laid their eggs, and not returned. They were different kinds of birds each time. We have some swallows in our front yard using our porch to build a mud nest. They've done this before. We somehow manage to attract birds without trying. We don't feed them or anything. I guess we're just bird lovers at heart and they know it.

On to our next visitor. This spider was going into our garage and I'm really glad someone saw it before it made it further inside. Just look at this thing. It's a monster!

The kids marveled at it for hours. We determined that it wasn't an extremely dangerous spider, but it wasn't very nice either. Robert took the kids to the pond to let it go so it was far, far away. When he got it out of the jar, he said it jumped at him. Very scary! You have to look close to see the spider, but he's in there.

I think we may have an infestation here. We have toads all over our yard. We've left our doors open and found them in our living room and even in my bathroom. It's a little shocking to see one when you're really not expecting it. It's even worse to step on one when you're not expecting it....ewwww! Anyway, they're constantly everywhere in our yard. In fact, I didn't have pictures of any this morning when I decided to write this post and I just went out and found two immediately.

Besides the exciting creepy crawlies I've mentioned, we've also had fun things like a rather large snake, june bugs, fireflies, mosquitoes, mayflies, roly-polys, wasps, etc. Anyway, it's quite interesting to see all the animals and bugs who consider our yard and home their habitat. Where did I get off thinking it was my habitat?!?!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Finally, I take the plunge!

Ok, after being asked over and over about my blog and why I haven't posted yet, I'm here to make my first post. I've procrastinated thinking I need to know everything about blogging before I start, but I've come to terms with the fact that if I try to do that, then I'll never start. I've also thought that it might take too much of my time, but I know that it doesn't have to take more than 10 or 15 minutes once a week and I don't have to go crazy with it, I just need to do it. I'm not good at journaling or scrapbooking, but I know I can handle this. There's no reason to wait and now everyone will get to enjoy my way cool posts! Not really, but I really want to share some of the things our family does and this is a fun way to do it.

This past week was a great week at our house. Something very rare happened. My parents came and visited and were able to stay for the whole week! We all loved it and were sad when they had to go home yesterday. They are such busy people and were grateful they could stay that long. They came because Jared was getting baptized. It's amazing to me that he's already 8. I think that might mean I'm getting old or something. We spent our days eating great (but very bad) food, playing games, and swimming in the pool. It was a great way to start off the summer and now everything else will pale in comparison. I'll have to get creative to keep the kids busy.

I'm so proud of Jared and his decision to get baptized. He's becoming so mature and is making really good choices. Of course he's still an 8 year-old and does act like it, but I've seen him be consciously aware of some decisions he's made. It makes me happy to watch him grow up. I'm also very happy with all of my kids. They are all great!