Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Iowa

Merry Christmas from the spuds in Iowa. We had a wonderful Christmas together playing and having fun. It was little Cam's first Christmas and like all good babies, we was more interested in the boxes than any of the actual gifts. Merry Christmas to all our friends and family. Since you weren't here, we wanted to include a few pics on how things went.

Here is the family with their new Chrismas PJs.

Proof that Santa visited our home.

Abigail's big surprise, a new dollhouse. She loves it.

The kids and their gifts from the wonderful Aunt L!

New stools for the kids to line up to for breakfast.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What, Huh, What'd you say?

Whom of you parents out there haven't ever heard those words from your kids, multiple times during the cours of a day? It happens often enough that it almost becomes second nature to repeat things multiple times. We received a letter from the school that our kindergardener had failed a hearing test. We scheduled a time with an audiologist to determine if it was an anomaly or a real hearing issue. The doctor confirmed what the school found and we were sincerely surprised. Obviously this isn't something that happens everyday, but when you look back on things there were some small clues. He has some speech issues (very minor), which we attributed to learing to speak. He often says the "What, Huh, What'd you say?", at home in the car, and elsewhere. So his hearing loss is mild to moderate at high frequencies, and certain sounds like "s", "f", and others are little more difficult to hear. This week we visit the audiologist to find out the next options, which are likely some type of hearing aids. With all of this, the news was not a concern or major worry since we have some incredible neighbors and friends who have dealt with this for two of their children, and have let us know the next steps, questions to ask and worries to be aware of. If they read this, THANKS, little do you know the comfort that has been! So next time you see our K-man he may be sporting some new supersonic ears! We'll let you all know...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Princess Party Details

Our little party was pretty fun, and I apologize for not including the details. First of all, the boys were at their friends house, because what boy would really want to participate in a princess party. Although Cole did help plan some of the games, Thanks ColE. When planning something, include as much pink as possible. Sherrie did a great job with that. When the princesses arrived we had them decorate their own crowns (foam crowns are so cool). Then they played pin the crown on the princess, colored princess pictures, and played a game to identify the princess 'accessories' (basically a match type game with princess things). Then we did a 'treasure' hunt and all the little girls got a gift bad of princess goodies. They had fun and my wife did a great job of pulling it together.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


What is more fun for a little girl to have a Princess party with 4 of her princess friends!

Complete with a Barbie princess cake... What more can I say? (Isn't my wife awesome?)

Where were you a few years ago?

Seems like gas prices here in the Midwest have been off a few years. Four hours after taking this shot they dropped another 5 cents, and were down another 2 when we drove by the same place this morning. Funny when they started dropping we were excited to see them fall to $3 a gallon, but now they are just dropping like crazy. Why you may ask for the precipitous drop? Well my theory is that somehow energy moguls have tapped into the hot air spewing from the blowhards all over the country during the campaign season, and have found a way to power the country (or at least central Iowa). I'm sure prices will go up as that source as that has all but dried up, but it is a nice temporary reprieve!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ghosts and ghouls or rather Jedis and princesses

Thought you might like to see some pics of our not so scary halloween alter-egos. A baseball player, a jedi, a princess/Fancy Nancy (yeah maybe not an alter ego), and our tiger/pumpkin. Not really a tiger-pumpkin, but a tiger one night and a little pumpkin the other night. We went to a outdoor museum place one night and then our neiborhood the next night, so Abigail and Campbell had a couple different costumes. Now we are all on a refined sugar high with candy wrappers everywhere.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Like a weed

So I have been reminded (again) of the need to update the blog of pics from Campbell. A couple people, I won't embarass them, but their names start with 'L' and end with 'isa' and starts with 'M' and ends with 'other-in-Law' have let me know that it would be important to post news more than once a month. Who knew, blogs should be updated frequently. Here are some pics of the little weed. Sherrie and I commented to each other this weekend about how much he has grown.

By the way, Abigail has given the little guy his first nickname, so for those who don't already know, here is Campbellicious!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer time wrap up

There are too many things to post separately, so here are some summer time highlights.

Now the reason I blog (no pictures of dad)

OK, for you who have been clamoring for more pics of the baby, here you are! These pics really don't need any captions, you all know, cute babies, what more should I say. By the way, can you tell he is related? He looks a lot like his siblings when they were about this age.

A Budding Hairstylist

So for you who have read 'Fancy Nancy' books, we have our own little girl, who loves to accessorize. This is our little girl and her skills in hair accessories.

Here she is after falling asleep. Note the number of clips in her hair!

Any good hairstylist has someone to work with and practice on. Here is Kell as a somewhat willing participant. He obviously doesn't know what he is getting into!

Why not try it out on Mom too! Campbell doesn't quite have enough hair. Fortunately dad has avoided her styling!

Friday, August 15, 2008

OK a couple last pics from Puerto Rico

So Saturday I took a walking tour of Old San Juan. It is an old city (from european colonization standards) and is anchored by a huge fort and walls surrounding the city. The fort was started in 1550s and was in use by several countries (primarily Spain) in several wars (with the British, Dutch, Americans, etc) through WWII when it national historic site. I would recommend anyone visiting la Isla de Encanto to visit the Castillo San Felipe del Morro (the name of the fort).

Here is a shot of the famous 'garitas' or sentry boxes that sit at strategic corners around the city.

This last one is of the city wall, and is about a mile from the first shot. It shows the extent of the fortifications that were built up over the past 450 years. Yeah it isn't all 450 years old and they have done several reconstruction projects to bring everything up to its former glory.

Now I promise not to show any more pics of Puerto Rico, or of me... Probably

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Caribbean Sand

So I have been informed that people only really visit our blog to see pictures of the kids, and right now, mainly to see Campbell. I will agree, but as I am online today and without pictures of the kids (Campbell), I have to share some pictures of my own. Sorry, I have direct orders to update the blog with Campbell's pics when I return to Iowa. In the meantime, here are some pics of fun in Puerto Rico.

First here is a picture of me in the Isla Caja de los Muertos (Coffin Island) which is a 45+ minute ferry ride southeast of Ponce the city I was staying in. I went to the island with about 50 other people from work who are here for a meeting, so no I didn't leave my family to have a 'break'
This is a 'desert island', yeah I know you wouldn't quite believe it being in the Caribbean and all. If you want to see the cacti on the island I can catch you up on this...

Here is the opposite side of the island from the former picture. There is a lighthouse (no I didn't visit it) and the beach you see is restricted such that only turtles live there.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Train and rains

For you avid iowaspuds followers, you probably realize that we mainly update when one of you remind us that we should be sharing our Iowa adventures. Here are a few pics of the trip we went to the Boone railroad tour, which took us through some nice country in Central Iowa. Grandpa and Grandma from Utah came out and shared the ride with us. We were super excited to have them with us and to spend some time with them. Here are some of the highlights.

Here is a view over the tall bridge. The track was only as wide as the train. Yeah that was fun!

Halfway through it started raining good, here is a picture of Kell while we were going over the Des Moines River.

Here is the crew after the ride looking down the track.

I thought I would throw this one in too. Here is one of Kell and Grandma while we were going over the bridge.

Lots of fun. Thanks for coming by.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Kell Speaks...

In the last 3 days we have had about 5-6 inches of rain. So much in fact that my rain gauge is filled to the top. Last night we had a dark thunderstorm that rolled over Central Iowa. It was one of those that made the whole sky get dark very quickly and then the light show began. Our house shook with all the thunder and lightning. I was watching out the front door as the rain rolled in. We had streams on the side of our house and a river in our street. I exclaimed "Holy Cow" as the wind blew the rain in our front door and came down in sheets all around us. Kell was watching as I said that and shut the door, then he ran right to the window and said, I want to see the holy cows!

What a crack up... I tried to get a picture of the rain and rivers in the road, but it didn't quite work. Gotta love Iowa weather.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blessing Day

We were blessed today to have Campbell's grandparents, and Aunt Lisa in town this weekend for Campbell's blessing. In our church there isn't a baptism, but authorized individuals (i.e. priesthood holders, of which I am one) are able to present the child before the church to be named and blessed. Campbell's grandparents and some good friends also participated. It is a humbling experience to hold a small child and pronounce a blessing on them. Parents have great aspirations for their children, not the least of which they are able to grow up healthy, strong and wise. I know I pray that they will cultivate their spiritual gifts, that their testimonies will grow and that they will be stalwart and faithful members of God's kingdom.
Here is a picture of the crew (Lisa is behind the camera)

Here is Campbell with the new quilt fom Grandma B.

Here is a pic of Grandma B and Campbell.

On Saturday we went to the Living History Farms and this is Grandpa B and the boys in the trailer going out to the farm.

Random Updates

Since our blog is less about ranting about the most recent random thought that piques my interest and is more about pictures and communicating to our family and friends about what we are doing. Here is the newest 'random' post.

Our city is like most small towns where once a year we have a city wide party, complete with parades, cheap amusement park rides attached to the back of a semi, and a 'fun run'. In my effort to become more 'fit' I decided to do the 5K, and in doing so signed up some friends and convinced Cole to do the 1 mile fun run. Here is a picture of the crew. You may notice some other famous individuals often featured on the blog.

Here is an action shot of Cole rounding the home stretch, his shoe came untied and he kept running... What a trooper!

My cousin is really connected and was able to hook me and the boys up with some tickets to the Saturday edition of the Iowa Corn Indy race (the Saturday race was the Indy Lights race for you motor heads). It was a 100 mile race, and very fun, loud, but fun. We got a little rain at the end of the day, but we had a real good time enjoying the sights sounds and fast cars.
Here are Kell and Sam ready to race.

And here is Cole and Josh, straight from Cub Scout Day Camp.

Lastly, a neighboring town had their community events on the Fourth of July. Our Cub Scout Pack had an entry and Cole got to ride in the pickup and throw some candy out to the crowds. How much more excitment can you get!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

When it rains it pours (literally and figuratively)

This is really late, but I found that I had written all this up, and when my computer quit on my it automatically saved the post.. So this is from about a month ago....

Well, my blogging mainly happens on Sunday, so I try to squeeze everything in multiple posts. (hence the figurative rain)

Now for the literal... Many people have asked us about our situation with the flooding in Iowa. We, thankfully are fine and nearly all the roads we travel are unaffected (except for the road I take into work). As some background, and I don't have all the details, for the month of June, or at least to date, we should have received about 2-3 inches of rain, and we have probably had over 9 inches just for June. That in addition to storms upstream, and a very wet spring have largely contributed to the flooding. Des Moines is not nearly as bad as Cedar Rapids, a city east of here, where the whole downtown is underwater.

For those of you who want to know what the LDS church is doing, well, we were advised to do a number of things, not the least of which is wait...until the emergency and other workers have done their part. On the news they often caution people to avoid the areas due to the need to have the national guard and emergency workers on the scene. There are opportunities to help out in the relief effort, sandbagging and such. The LDS church has sent cleaning kits (in the form of white plastic buckets packed with cleaning supplies. I wasn't asked to help, but many in my ward did help to unload the hundreds of buckets, and get them distributed through the Red Cross. Also, we were advised that a semi with hygiene kits has been dispatched, and although I have been waiting for a call to help distribute those materials, I haven't heard more today. Really the clean up effort will be the big one.

So the rains, floods, combined with fatal F5+ tornadoes in Parkerbug, IA (north east of Des Moines), fatal tornadoes at an Iowan Scout Camp (no we are all well... I take the troop camping in two weeks, but we will surely review the emergency plan!), and a couple weeks of constant tornado watches and warnings, has made this spring an eventful one. Sitting up all night with the emergency weather radio chiming isn't a real restful one, and having to wake the kids and hunker down in the basement doesn't help either. But it is part of the Iowa Experience, and gives new appreciation for the power of nature, and our own helplessness and frailty in harnessing this power...

Our new pet

*Caution, the following post contains some images that may be considered graphic by some individuals*

About a year and a half ago Sherrie brought home a new dog, a little black lab, while I was in Georgia on business. The little guy diligently watched over our front porch since then, until he met an untimely demise. Abigail and Kell were playing with the dog when a most unfortunate incident occurred. Kell still won’t let Abigail forget that she broke the dog.

Turns out the little dog wasn't indestructible. But with a broken leg and shattered nose, he just couldn’t do his job, so we had to put him down.

We looked around and finally found a suitable replacement, and he and Abigail seem to get along just fine. Hopefully, he can stand up to the task of guarding the front porch!

Happy Birthday Kell!!!

I thought I should put together a little post for the birthday boy Kell. He is a good little boy and full of energy, who has only one speed and volume (but he is learning how to be quiet with a baby in the house). We had the greatest compliment today from his Primary teacher. He is reverent, respectful, and helpful in class. Sherrie and I weren't quite sure she had the right boy, as it is not always the Kell I know, but it is nice to know that despite his rambunctiousness, does know when to be reverent.

Kell is a great big brother, and is a caring little boy. Although, sometimes it is a little too much affection

Kell has the unusual ability to walk on his toe knuckles (I don't know the correct term), but is a little strange, and he is the only one in the world that I know who can do it!

He plays hard, and by dinner time can get a little tired out. THis is his most recent sleeping position, at the dinner table. Somehow he had wrapped his fingers around the slats in the chair and was able to fall asleep curled up and sitting up.

Here's the birthday boy with his presents, which included a new kindergarten backpack.

And a zebra tent, how much fun can that be!!