Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Note on the DC Vacation

We are almost on our way. The hour is drawing near and the kids are getting excited. We will be leaving this evening at like 1:00 in the morning and we have a White House tour about an hour after we get off the plane. Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!

I am not looking forward to the plane trip with a three-year old and a little baby, but it will definitely make it interesting.

Speaking of the three-year old, Touchdown came up with this gem while seated on the toilet yesterday.

"Momma, I hope when the poopie comes out, it looks like a flower."

The wife informs me she was hoping the smell might have been flower-like but she wasn't holding her breath. Oh, wait, yes she was holding her breath. Anyway, you get the idea.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A List of Oil and Water

I present here a list of things that just don't go together no matter how you slice it.

1. Starbursts and Diet Pepsi
2. NBA Playoffs and Nickelodeon
3. Barbie boots and Daddy's bare feet
4. 9th Grade Award Ceremonies and Fun
5. Canasta Nights and Going to Bed at 10:00
6. Stores in our town and XXXL shirts
7. Asparagus and Teenagers
8. Silence and Touchdown
9. Self-Esteem and Faulty Scales
10. Blogging and Productivity

Monday, May 22, 2006

A List of Mission Disasters

I have variously mentioned almost all of the following mishaps at some point in the last year and a half, but I felt like today I should mention them all at one time.

As many of you know from reading my blog, I served a Mormon mission in Asuncion, Paraguay and points close to there about 18 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed my mission experience and remain an active member of my church to this day (I teach Sunday School to the adults of my congregation), but my mission was a test of survival more than anything else. Paraguay is, well, rustic and outdated as far as modern conveniences go. Today, I will recount the trials and travails I experience while there.

1. I fell out of a moving bus (it was going about 30 m.p.h).
2. I was bitten in the leg by a Great Dane.
3. I had a machete thrown at my head by a crazy lady.
4. I fell through the window of an overturned bus on to the body of a decapitated woman and I, subsequently, fell unconscious.
5. I was held at gunpoint for nearly two hours by a drunken policeman.
6. I woke up to find a cow in my apartment.
7. I was involved in a fist fight with the drunken mayor of a small town (Total self-defense on my part as he tried to run me over with his Jeep).
8. I awoke to find that my apartment had been stoned during the night.
9. I had my apartment broken into and $40 stolen.
10. I stayed in my apartment for two days straight as the Paraguayan Army performed a coup-de-etat and ousted Dictator Alfredo Stroessner (I was staying in Stroessner's most loyal town and the target of the Army).

Other than that it was quite spiritual.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Note on the Autobiography


The book about my grandmother has just arrived and looks incredible and hopefully my mother is pleased.

You all can see it here.

It took a tremendous amount of time and energy, but it was so worth it. Should any of you be interested in the process, please feel free to e-mail me or comment here. I am so impressed with the services at Lulu and will be using them over and over again.

A Memory of Summer Trips

As a child, I had the distinct privilege of driving around the country on various occasions with my family on family trips. The Wizard always went to a big convention every year and we went with him. In a family with five children, the trips were always an opportunity to beat on each other and ultimately to bond with each other. Here are a few of the highlights we enjoyed over the years.

1. Racing armadillos in San Angelo, Texas.
2. Playing "Rocks" or "Spoons" in Omaha, Nebraska and falling into the swimming pool to secure the victory.
3. Hitting golf balls over the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park, Montana.
4. Body surfing in the Atlantic Ocean in Saint Augustine, Florida.
5. Cruising the Saint John River outside Palatka, Florida and spotting alligators and water moccasins.
6. Drinking ice cold water in Wall, South Dakota.
7. Seeing the bats fly out of Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico.
8. Calling "Shotgun" coming out of every fast food place we ever exited.
9. Playing penny poker in Lethbridge, Canada.
10. Eating cut carrots every single day as a "healthy snack" on the road.

I hope my children have as many great memories as I have had.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A List of Things To Do Before My Vacation

The Wife and I got a crazy deal to go to Washington, D.C. flying out from Las Vegas: $123 per person/round trip. Now, of course, the flight is a midnight red-eye, but for $123 each I'd sit on the wing if I had to. What this all means is that the Wife and I are busy for the next ten days. Here is a list of things I have yet to do.

1. Spray the yard for weeds.
2. Find the suitcases that have been in storage for ages.
3. Buy lots of Nyquil for the little ones for the flight.
4. Convince the Teenager to pack lightly.
5. Convince the Wife to pack lighter than the Teenager.
6. Figure out how to carry two sleeping kids and two carseats on to the plane.
7. Beat the Wizard at Canasta (Sunday night?)
8. Find the paperwork for our hotel, car rental, and White House tour.
9. Buy lots of Tylenol for the headaches this is all sure to cause.
10. Mow the lawn. (Hey, honey, leave the computer alone!)

Wizard, I won't even need you to watch the kids while we are gone. Just relax and enjoy. Your eldest daughter is hosting so you will get the whole story, I'm sure.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Note on Roy Rogers

Touchdown is known to start singing random songs for absolutely no reason, but today the random song was "Don't Fence Me In", which was written by Cole Porter and sung by Roy Rogers, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters, and even Harry Connick, Jr. most recently. I don't know why I wanted to find all of that out, but when Touchdown demanded to hear it again, I was forced to Google it and that's what I found out.

Anyway, I was impressed that she found a song that so totally represents her entire theory of life. The Wizard would be impressed that little Touchdown discovered her life's theme so early. Oh, by the way, the Wizard and his lovely wife dismantled the Wife and I in Canasta for Mother's Day. The Wife was on Zyrtec so I doubt that we will count it as an official game, but the Wizard will harp on me if I don't mention it here so I will.

As for other catching up, the book about Grandma Lila has been sent to the printer and we should have a copy of it here this week. It was a ton of fun to do, but exhausting at the same time. I should have a link to it here imminently.

Lastly, happy late Mother's Day to all of you fine mothers out there. We are lucky to have you all.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Note on the QOTD

I rarely get to guest-host on someone else's blog, but this week I got invited to guest host the QOTD over at Indy's Place. I am pretty excited to do it. Apparently about 250 people read her blog on a given day while I average about 2 1/2 people per day so its a big jump in readership and pressure. I am up for it.

The gig is that I come up with a question each and every day that I want people to answer. Not too difficult. The first question I am posing involves a party band. What band would you hire to be your party band of choice? I think the Wizard would probably pick Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and I think my mother might pick the Beach Boys but I am going to go with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I was thinking I might go with a band like Weezer or something relatively modern but ultimately the Bosstones won out over The English Beat and K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

I would ask you all to respond here, but I would rather you go over to Indy's Question of the Day and answer it there. After all, that will make me look good.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Note on Lee

I don't really know exactly why I am writing this now, but I felt a certain responsibility to express some of my feelings on the matter. I was just reading Janie's Blog and she is struggling with the same thing. So here goes...

My next door neighbor, Lee, passed away yesterday of a heart attack leaving his wife, who is incapacitated because of a chronic back disease that required her doctors to fuse five of her vertebrae together, to fend for herself. The shock for the Wife and I was that Lee was so vibrant and alive and healthy. For the year and a half he lived on our block, he would go for a long walk every morning and he would come home and work on his yard that was so meticulously manicured. He was always waving at everyone who entered our neighborhood and he always greeted them with a smile. Of all the old people that live in our neighborhood (and there are a lot) he was not one that we expected to leave us so soon.

This unfortunate event leaves his wife in a terrible bind. She cannot function without his help. What is she going to do? I know she has family but they are far away and have lives of their own. The question that is begging to be asked is "Why?" Why would God allow such bad fortune come to such a wonderful family? Janie is asking the same thing on her blog. Why should a loving God allow such tragedy?

I realize that any answer I offer here could be considered trite considering the heartache that others feel and that I have not felt, but I feel like I should give it my best shot.

I believe all of us were sent here to Earth to learn certain things that will benefit us in the hereafter. For some it is patience, for others it is service, and for others still, it is compassion or forgiveness. I don't pretend to understand the timing that God has for all of us, but in His infinite wisdom, He knows our deficiencies and our strengths and allows us to experience tests that will try us and our mettle. For Janie's friend, perhaps the lesson is selflessness and faith as Janie has mentioned. Perhaps for Janie it is service to her friend in this hour of need. Perhaps for the lovely wife of my friend, Lee, it is perserverance and self-reliance.

It is up to us to battle through and become better men and women. It is up to us to lean on each other and seek comfort in times of trial. I realize that sometimes God appears to be distant and uncaring but, in fact, the opposite is true. He loves us. He cares for us and he wants to extend his arms and embrace us in our times of trial. It is up to us to seek those arms.

Janie, may God bless you and your sweet friend and her husband. Lee, may you rest in a heavenly abode this evening and may your wife find comfort in the arms of her Heavenly Father. God loves you and for that reason he allows you to experience heartache and pain.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Note on the Killer Flu

Just laying here perfectly still. The heaves of yesterday and the day before are distant memories. I've lost 5 lbs. and I don't remember the last time I actually ate something. The thought of food just makes me ill. Gotta go. Touchdown has Baby Indy in a choke hold.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Note on Dry Heaves

They'd be a lot cleaner than the heaves I'm dealing with right now.

Yep, the castle has been inundated by the 24-hour flu bug and I have been puked on by all three children today. I missed the wife puking by about two minutes. So...I think I will eventually get it, too.

The Wizard, who normally babysits on Tuesdays is officially off due to the unfortunate circumstances here. Unwilling to step up to the plate and take one for the team, I say, but what do I know. Love ya, Dad.