Joshua Dale Crawford Aug. 26, 1989 - Apr. 21, 2010

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Health and Wellness…and Emergency Response Fair?

Today my company hosted a Health and Wellness Fair. They brought in a dozen or so vendors relating to, what else, health and wellness, all offering free testing, special offers, etc. One of the offers was for free flu shots. I thought, heck, why not go get a free shot. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had a flu shot before and the price is never going to be better, right? So I went over with a co-worker and we both got shots. Since this was my first shot I was asked to remain in the area for at least 10 minutes and check back in with the nurse before leaving. No problem.

Shots don’t bother me, and the same held true for this occasion as well. I got my shot, and since I had to hang around for a while I talked to some of the vendors. I got a complimentary toothbrush, dental floss, 5 minute massage, even a bone density scan (ha ha for those of you who know what my current favorite commercial is right now – my bone density is fine by the way). I checked back in with the nurse, she signed me out, and I was good to go.

I made the short walk back to my building and was joined in the elevator by 2 other co-workers and a couple of other gentlemen. One co-worker was directly in front of me, the other on the other side of the elevator with the other guys between. We made a couple of stops and all that remained were myself, 2 co-workers, and another gentleman, each in our respective corners of the elevator. All of a sudden my co-worker who was directly in front of me face planted against the front of the elevator. No one did anything. Perhaps he just lost his balance right? No need to embarrass the guy, just let him collect himself and be on with it. He remained upright, adjusted his glasses, but I noticed he had a death grip on the hand-rail. All of a sudden, he face plants again. At that point I step up behind him and ask if he’s alright. He mumbles something about getting a flu shot and collapses against me. For a brief moment I was supporting most of his weight, and then my other co-worker jumps in and takes one side of the now passed out guy. Meanwhile the elevator stops on the 17th floor and opens up. The 4th guy props the door open while we attempt to carry him out of the elevator. We don’t make it far at first, we seem to be stuck on something. I realize at that point that he still has a death grip on the hand rail. So while the two of us are supporting him I simultaneously am attempting to pry his hand off of the hand rail. Finally his hand is free and we drag him out of the elevator and sit him down on the floor against the far wall. He’s still completely out at this point. We ask some passersby to call 911 at which point the guy wakes up. He’s really out of it, but says he’ll be alright, just needs to remain sitting for a while. No one had left to call 911 yet, so we changed it to have someone call security. No one knows how to do that so the 4th guy goes back down to the lobby to get building security. Meanwhile someone has brought water which really helped bring the guy around. He was really pale and sweating heavily, but was a lot more alert. He maintained that he would be alright, but we all continued to stay there while he rested and sipped on water. Security showed up and cancelled any and all calls for 911 after verifying everyone was alright. A few minutes later I accompanied the guy back to his cubicle on the 18th floor and made sure his cube-mates knew what happened so they could keep an eye on him. We encouraged him to go home if he continued feeling ill effects. Nothing’s so important here that can’t wait for his return tomorrow. He said that he’s passed out a couple of times from shots before and that he’ll be fine with some rest. He said he felt fine after he got the shot and as he walked back to our building, but the elevator motion just got to him.

So there you have it. That’s what my last couple of hours has been like. My arm is a little tender. Go figure.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome Eva

We have a new niece! YEAH!!!!!

Her name is Eva Elizabeth Dobesh.

Birth Date: November 13, 2008 at 8:08 AM
Weight: 6 lbs.
Length: 19 inches

Eva comes to us via Angie's sister Lisa and proud papa Jeff.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We have some more pics on the camera of Halloween, but we’ve not downloaded those ones yet. So you’re stuck with this one, taken at the Trunk-or-Treat. Austin wanted to be Batman which worked out nicely because we already had the costume. Angie put together a Robin costume for Luke. There were some more details on the front of his shirt, but by this time they’d all fallen off. Still, didn’t she do a fantastic job? The part of Spiderman was played by our neighbor Peter.

Friday, October 24, 2008


It’s confession time. I suppose I’m prepared to lose friends over this issue, however, I really hope it doesn’t come to that. Many of you may in fact be offended by what I’m about to say because, quite frankly, this post is a result of my visiting your blogs.

So, here goes….I HATE PLAYLISTS ON BLOGS!!!! There I said it. It’s out. I just can’t hide it anymore.

I have never identified a single good reason for having a playlist on a blog. If I wanted to listen to music, I’d go listen to the radio or go to a website that allows me to tune in to my favorite station. But that’s not why I’m visiting your blog. I’m visiting your blog because I want to READ about you and/or your family. I want to know what you’ve been up to lately. I want to follow up on how your latest weekend trip went. I want to know how your kids are doing. But I absolutely do not want to hear a random sampling of your favorite songs. I just don’t.

Many of the blogs I follow do in fact have playlists, and the first thing I do is turn it off. And as if having the playlist in the first place isn’t irksome enough, most of the time I have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find it, then I have to scroll all the way back to the top to read the latest post. GRRRRR!!!! But the absolute worst offense? Putting up a video on your blog for everyone to watch, and then reminding them to first turn off your playlist. DOUBLE GRRRRR!!!! It’s like you’re admitting that you know it’s an annoyance and yet it’s still there.

Am I alone in this fight? Please tell me someone out there is with me on this?

That’s all. I relinquish my soapbox for the day. Have a great weekend everyone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gladys Knight

According to Wikipedia, purveyor of all truth and knowledge on the Internet (right?), “Gladys Knight joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1997. She had occasionally teased LDS Church President, the late Gordon B. Hinckley, that his flock needs to inject some "pep" into their music. Knight created and now directs the Mormon-themed choir Saints Unified Voices ( SUV has released a Grammy Award-winning CD titled One Voice, and occasionally performs at Mormon church firesides.”

One such fireside was held in Seattle this past weekend, and Angie and I were able to attend. If I had to sum it all up in one word, I would say “WOW”. If I had to sum it up in a few paragraphs, well, that’s what you’re going to get now.

This was definitely not your typical, run-of-the-mill, LDS fireside. In fact, it was quite uncomfortable at first. After all, have you ever been in the chapel clapping and cheering during I Am a Child of God, Because I Have Been Given Much, and throughout someone’s personal testimony? Have you ever been in a chapel fully decked out with rock band regalia, including keyboards, electric guitars, and speakers bigger than you are? It took some getting used to. I believe I adjusted a little quicker than Angie did. To me it simply felt like I was back in Oklahoma at a typical Baptist service.

As the choir first entered, the music was blaring, everyone was on their feet and many were clapping to the beat. After everyone was settled, the meeting was opened by a local leader who advised, “I felt as if some of the clapping was a bit timid for the occasion. Don’t worry, we’ve checked with Salt lake and they’ve confirmed that this building is structurally sound enough to withstand whatever level of clapping you can attain this evening. So relax, have a good time, and let the choir and Sis. Knight know you appreciate their talents they’ve decided to share with us tonight.”

After that, everyone loosened up. Despite the uneasy feeling at first, the performance of Sis. Knight and the choir was simply amazing, such that one could hardly keep from clapping in beat and applauding at the conclusion of each song. And yet at the same time one would’ve been hard pressed to not feel the spirit that attended throughout the entire performance. The songs were simply amazing. The choir and its members were phenomenal. Throughout the evening there were several soloists who performed, all of which were incredible. There were songs performed in Spanish and Hawaiian (is that the name of the native tongue???) which were beautiful. I just don’t know that there’s anything I can say that will let you fully appreciate how great this event was. As an official fireside there was no charge for attending, however, tickets had to be obtained as there was limited seating available. I don’t think I’ve seen a stake center that full of people before. In short, if any of you hear about this fireside coming to your stake, do yourself a favor and plan on attending. Not in any way to discount the wonderful performances, the highlight of the night by far was hearing Sis. Knight’s personal testimony and conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here’s a little tidbit of info for any of you mission friends who may be reading this. In the pamphlet of information that was distributed to the wards in promotion of this event, one stake president said, “You can’t emphasize enough what a powerful missionary tool this event is. Until you are there and hear the testimonies of Sis. Knight and her husband, you cannot appreciate the opportunity you are about to be given.” That stake president was none other than Gordon Bean, Stake President of the Oklahoma City South Stake. I couldn’t believe it when I read it. I mean, I can believe it, Bishop Bean was always amazing, and his family is incredible, I was just really surprised to see his name listed there and to know that he’s now the stake president. Anyone who served in the Moore Ward, coming up on about 10 years ago now (yikes I’m old), will know what I’m talking about. The Beans fed the missionaries every week, Tuesday’s if I’m not mistaken. And I don’t just mean that they fed 2 missionaries, they fed all the missionaries in the ward, which, when I was there, numbered no less than 6 at any given time, and was sometimes upwards of 8. My first mission Christmas was spent at the Bean’s home. Every missionary loved the Bean’s and they took care of every missionary. They were every missionaries mission family away from home. I am very happy to see them ever progressing in the Gospel.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

House Pictures

On more than one occasion my life has been threatened due to a lack of pictures of the inside of our house, that we’ve been working on since we moved in. Thus, motivated by nothing more than a desire to save my own life, here are the most recent pics we have:

Dining Room During: Notice the custom 1970’s light fixture. This thing actually pulls down from the ceiling to whatever height you’d prefer at any given time, then releases back into the ceiling when done. You’ll notice too that the wainscoting is not finished in the far right and left corners of the room.

Dining Room After: New ceiling fan, wainscoting finished, trimwork completed, and a few decorative touches finally hung.

Living Room After: New paint, new baseboards, old window (that has been replaced now), insert taken out of fireplace, new area rug, again with the decorative touches hung on the wall.

Office After: New paint, new baseboards, old window (which you can’t see and which has been replaced now anyway), new blinds. The desk is around the corner to the left.

Boy’s Room After: New paint, new chair rail around the room, new baseboards, old window (which you can’t see and which has been replaced now anyway), new blinds, new curtains, new rug, and new big boy bed for Luke (we finally had room to pick up the matching twin bed from my parent’s house).

Master Bedroom After: New paint, new baseboards, old window (which you can’t see and which has been replaced now anyway), new blinds (also can’t see), new curtains (again, can’t see), new rugs. This picture is taken from the doorway of our ½ bathroom (sorry, no pics of that either).

Main Bathroom After: New paint, new shower rod, new shower curtain, new floor, new toilet (seat that is), new vanity (barely seen), and new mirror (not seen).

As yet unseen: The entire downstairs wherein is contained a family room/play room/ TV viewing area, 2 unfinished bedrooms, 1 unfinished bathroom, and 1 unfinished laundry room.

So there you have it. That’s our house. Having just had all the windows replaced on Sep. 22nd, I’m sure there will be some “new window” pictures coming sometime down the road.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Command is a fairly strong word. By definition it reads:

1. To direct with specific authority or prerogative; order.
2. To require authoritatively; demand.
3. To have or exercise authority or control over, be master of; have at one’s bidding or disposal.

This past weekend I attended the Saturday night Priesthood session of General Conference, as all good Mormom boys ages 12 and older are to do. I tend to rather enjoy the Priesthood session as I find that those who speak usually don’t sugar-coat things so much for the guys, the way they do when there are women and children present. It’s a time for great directness, leaving little room for wavering or doubt, in regards to the way one should be living his life.

At any rate, on Saturday night, President Monson shared a couple of fairly humorous stories, one of which I’ll be sharing here today, but both of which I immediately went home and shared with my family.

President Monson related the following story that happened to a friend of his, Bro. Borrup (sp?), as he was a fighter pilot during WWII. Bro. Borrup was assigned to a high risk mission to take out an oil refinery somewhere in the South Pacific. This mission was to be the longest flight as yet attempted by the military, and Bro. Borrup knew right away that he would be assigned to this detail. As it turns out he was assigned, and they did take fire to the point where all on board had to jump from the plane. Bro. Borrup landed in the water, attempted in vain to inflate his life raft, passed out, came to enough to attempt again to inflate his raft, and this time being successful, had just enough energy to climb into the raft before passing out again. He awoke and found that he had 2 comrades with him. They tethered their rafts together and floated for 3 days in enemy territory without food or water. How they were not seen by the numerous enemy ships and planes was the first miracle noted by Bro. Borrup. His 2 companions asked Bro. Borrup if he prayed. He noted that indeed he does pray, and that indeed he’d been praying almost continuously since he’d awoken.

One day they saw a U.S. submarine approaching. They thought for sure they’d been rescued. But to their dismay the submarine continued on right past them. A little while later the submarine approached again, and this time it again went right past them. At that time, Bro. Borrup relates that he heard a voice in his head tell him, “You have the Priesthood. Command that submarine to return and pick you up.” So that’s what he did. And immediately the sumbmarine returned and picked up the 3 fighter pilots. The captain of the submarine relayed that he had no idea the 3 pilots were lost at sea, and indeed had not been on any sort of rescue mission to pick them up. He all of a sudden simply knew that they were there and needed rescuing.

I returned home after the session to the wonderful smell of stew and biscuits that Angie had made for dinner. I relayed this story to Angie and the boys as we ate. They too thought it was comical to simply command a submarine to rescue you. Okay, Angie and Austin thought it was funny, Luke just laughs whenever anyone else is laughing.

A little while later, as we were preparing for bed, Angie had the boys in our room putting them into their pajamas, while I was brushing my teeth. This is the conversation I overheard:

Austin: “Mom, can I tell you a question?” (He likes to tell questions, not ask them).

Angie: “Sure.”

Austin: “Mom, I command you to go get me a biscuit.”

I spent the next few minutes cleaning the toothpaste off the bathroom mirror while Austin received an important lesson about how he did not yet have the Priesthood, and that even if he did he couldn’t go around commanding people, least of all his mother, to do things for him that he wanted done, that the Priesthood is only to be used for blessing other people’s lives, and that we would soon be having a Family Home Evening lesson to help us all understand more about the Priesthood and its proper uses.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Austin's First Day of Preschool

Austin started preschool on Sep. 3rd. He goes Mondays and Wednesdays for 2.5 hours. A lady in our stake has taught preschool for 25 years and we were fortunate enough to get him into her class. She also agreed to put him in the same class as all his Sunbeam classmates from church, which is technically the 4 year-old class, although Austin is only 3. It’s hard to imagine that Austin still has 2 full years before he can start kindergarten, while the rest of his classmates will all start next year. We’ve been told the drop-dead date for testing in early is Oct. 31st. Austin’s birthday isn’t until Nov. 2nd. We may still inquire to see whether we can get him in next year, but we’re not holding our breath.

Anyway, here he is on his 1st day:

Myr's House

As always we got to make pit-stops at Myr’s house on the way to and from UT this year. We’ve loved having Myr in Kuna as it’s about the half-way point in our trip. More often than not we stay the night and continue the journey the next day, which makes the whole trip that much more relaxing.

Well, Myr is getting ready to move on us so this year was the last year we’ll enjoy our pit-stop at her house. Here’s some pics from our visit:

Old Friends Austin and Tyann:

New Friends Lucas and Cameron:

A couple crazy noodles (and their pool toys):
Lucas hiding:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nielson's and BYU

We took a day on our vacation and went down to Provo/Orem/Springville to visit friends and stop by BYU. Okay, in all honesty, we really went so Angie could get her fix of Café Rio. We know there’s closer locations to Layton, but it’s just part of the tradition to hit the one in Provo so off we went.

We first headed down to Springville to see Sara and Luke. They boys apparently were in some kind of crazy mood I guess. This was the best shot we got of Luke and Austin together, and it appears that Austin has grown a 3rd arm, but rest assured, Lucas is back there somewhere and that’s his arm you see.

For those of you who don’t know Sara and Luke, they were in our ward when we moved up to WA and lived in Renton. Luke is a few months older than Austin, so they quickly became best friends. Sara and Luke moved back to UT last year and we’ve been missing them ever since. So in our household we have to distinguish between “Buddy Luke” and our Lucas/Luke. We miss Buddy Luke a lot and are always very excited to see him every chance we get.

After Springville we headed north to Provo. We like to stop and visit the old stomping grounds. Only problem this year was that our vacation was so late in the summer that it was Education Week at BYU. Holy cow there were tons of people there. We ended up parking south of campus and walking up the dreaded hill. Never thought I’d have to traverse that hill again, but it actually brought back some good memories. However, I never had to push a stroller up that hill, and especially not one w/ 2 kids on it. Wow, that was tough!

We headed to the bookstore to load up on some BYU gear for the upcoming football game. BYU came up to Seattle and played UW on Sep. 6th and we went with some members of our old Scenic Hill ward in Kent. The football game is another post entirely, look for that one shortly. The preparation for the football game took place while on vacation. At any rate, it’d been somewhat of a long day already. The boys were both tired from playing at Sara and Luke’s house. It was early afternoon and definitely nap time. The bookstore was crammed with Education Week participants. We were slowly making our way through the clothing section to get T-shirts and hats for the football game and Austin was not happy with us. He was ready to go home (to grandma’s house that is). At any rate, Angie found a couple of cute BYU hats for the boys and brought them over to try them on. Lucas loved his, but Austin threw a fit. He ripped off his hat and proceeded to scream, “I don’t want to wear the hat. I HATE BYU!” I swear the entire bookstore went dead silent. Instantly all eyes were upon us. To be quite honest, the next few minutes were something of a blur. I don’t think I passed out totally, but there was definitely a lack of oxygen flowing to my brain. Luckily Angie knew exactly what to do. She picked him up and beat the UTE right out of him! I’m kidding, I’m kidding, nobody run off and go reporting us to the authorities. I’m just saying that before I knew it I had armfuls of hats, T-shirts, and glow-in-the-dark basketballs with instructions to “Buy these, I’ll be back in a minute” and off she whisked with the stroller and the boys.

After I recovered from the shock of the moment, the lack of oxygen to my brain, and the sudden disappearence of my entire family, I slowly proceeded to the cash registers. Luckily, for my sake, all the registers were down, which gave me plenty of time to stand there and gather myself, as well as for others to recover from the blasphemy that had so recently been thrust upon their ears. Soon enough, my family returned with several Jamba Juice’s in hand and all was restored to its natural order. Not only that, but a deep and meaningful conversion had taken place along the way as well. For no sooner had they returned with the drinks, but that we found Austin now singing praises to beloved BYU, purveyors of his new favorite drink, the Jamba Juice. Thank you Jamba Juice, for making all in the world right again.

After the bookstore we let the boys play on the hill by the library for a while. First, because this gave them a chance to get out of the stroller and run around a bit, and second, to facilitate the finishing of our drinks. Here’s the boys having fun rolling down the hill:

After they worked out all their wiggles, we proceeded over to the new Student athlete building where they have displays of all the sports memorabilia. We received a fantastic tour from the gentleman working there. He had lots of fun stories to tell us, things we’d have never known just roaming around on our own. Here’s some fun shots from our visit.

With the Cougar:

With Ty Detmer’s 1990 Heisman Trophy:

Austin with Shawn Bradley (well, sort of):

We had a great day. It was a lot of fun. Alas, we finally accomplished what we’d set out for that day, and stopped by to get Angie her Café Rio shredded pork salad on our way back to Grandma Joyce’s house.

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Another of our yearly stops when we visit Utah is Hogle Zoo.

We actually purchase our zoo memberships from Hogle because we visit every year, and with that membership we get into both Seattle and Tacoma zoos free. It works out quite nicely really. Angie and the boys go to both zoos up here with some regularity. Austin really loves the Tacoma zoo because of the beluga whales and walruses. Go figure.

At any rate, we were excited to see the new cat exhibit at Hogle, but we needed an expert map reader in order to find it. Luckily we brought Austin along for just such an occasion:

We missed the grand opening of the cat exhibit by a day last year. Lucas loves tigers so he was really excited to see this:

All they need now are some lions and they’ll be set. Seattle has some great lions so Luke gets his fix up here often enough.

Luke also really enjoyed the white alligator currently on display there. He’s got this thing with alligators. He walks around going “chomp, chomp”, moving his arms up and down, and then he comes and “chomps” on you. He thinks it’s the greatest thing. It’s quite cute really so we encourage it of course.

The baby giraffe was neat to see, although apparently not all that neat since we have no pics of that. The boys also really enjoyed the bird show:

Luke and I were sitting on the end of a row just a few rows up from the presenters so many of the birds came swooping right over our heads. He’s really fascinated with birds so he loved every minute of the show, including the low flying birds, which I thought would’ve kind of freaked him out. But it didn’t, he loved it.

Austin’s favorite part may have been eating lunch with the zebras. Note to self: lunch with zebras is not the most pleasing olfactory experience. But hey, how often do you get to each lunch with zebras, right?

We saw rhinos, snakes, camels, gorillas, orangutans, lemurs, bears, penguins, and sloths! Austin has taken to hanging onto my legs and being a sloth, wherein, you guessed it, he just sits there and hangs on and does nothing else. He thinks it’s the funniest thing.

Alas, despite all the cool animals and shows, the biggest hit of all just may have been the playground. They seriously need some shade at that place! The kids would love nothing more than to spend hours on end playing, but ultimately every parent gets tired of standing out in the sun, roasting alive, and thus call the kids to order and march on to other attractions, no doubt ones with shade. If there was shade at the playground, the parents could sit forever, the kids could play forever, and all would be happy, except perhaps the animals waiting to be seen. Here’s a few playground shots:

When all was seen and done, we stopped in to let the boys get little souvenirs. Austin picked out a huge plastic coloring mat, and Lucas ended up with a little rotating puzzle toy. In fact, Luke ended up with a little spin top as well, which we didn’t find until unloading the stroller back at the car (yes we returned it).

Thus concluded another great vacation day.

Lagoon Day

We spent Monday Aug. 18th at Lagoon with the boys and the fam. It was a great time. Austin didn’t know what to do with himself he was so excited. It was quite hot so we started out at Lagoon-A-Beach. Austin, Taylir, and Tylir (cousins) ran around together while I took Luke around to all the kiddie slides. Truth be told, I’m not much of a fan of the bigger adult slides in the first place, so I had a great time taking Luke down the kiddie slides. He was laughing and having so much fun, despite the fact that he would always cover his eyes while we were coming down the slides.

I took both Austin and Lucas out into the deeper pool (up to 5 ft. deep) and both were actually pretty freaked out by that. They didn’t really like that one too much. We need to get those boys into some swimming lessons! They wouldn’t even let go of my neck long enough to pretend to swim. Guess that’s what happens when neither Mom or Dad are big into swimming.

After about an hour at Lagoon-A-Beach, we changed clothes and hit the kiddie rides. Austin knew only that he wanted to ride Puff the Dragon first, and second, and third, then maybe try some other rides. I took Lucas on Puff the first time, and he was all set to go….until it started moving that is. Then he was NOT happy. He wasn’t having any more of Puff the rest of the day, despite Austin’s repeated rides. Austin's in the 2nd car on the left below:

We eventually hit the Cars:

Bumper Cars:

Little Swings: Angie, Taylir, Austin w/ back to the camera

Boats: Austin & Taylir share a boat, Tylir behind

Helicopters: Austin & Tylir

And Airplanes: Austin with his back to camera again! w/ unknown boy

Many of them we rode several times.

Luke’s favorite was definitely the Merry-Go-Round, which he got to do twice. I took him the first time and did alright, but my vertigo didn’t allow me to do anything but stare at the ground in front of us for most of the ride. Angie took him on the 2nd go round.

All in all, we had a great day. We topped it off by hitting Rattlesnake Rapids:

Luke was not quite big enough yet to go on that with us, so we left him with Lisa while we all rode. I was so hot that I thoroughly enjoyed being the one to get hit with the waterfall at the end of the ride. I really needed it. We’re told that Lucas was watching for us and was excited to see us, but then when we went past, this was the face he made…

It was a great day, and is one of the things we make part of our yearly trip. Looking forward to it next year already!

Monday, August 4, 2008

6th Anniversary!

We celebrated our 6th Anniversary this weekend, yesterday to be exact. Six years it’s been already. Holy Cow, where does the time go? In six years we’ve lived in five places (Provo downstairs apt., Provo upstairs apt., Renton apt., Kent condo, and Kent house), I’ve had 5 different positions within the same company (salesperson, client support rep., billing specialist, accounting specialist, and now payroll specialist), Angie’s been gainfully employed as a hotel front desk clerk, junior college assistant softball coach (they took 2nd in the nation), junior college head softball coach, Division 1 head softball coach, and substitute teacher in no less than three different school districts. She’s also been woefully underpaid at home as a wife, mother, gourmet chef (most of the time), not-so-gourmet chef (only occassionally), chauffeur, maid, nurse, therapist, and no doubt countless other things that escape me for now. One thing she’s definitely mastered is hand washing dishes. Of the six years we’ve been married we’ve had a functional dishwasher in our place of residence for approximately two years, and we are back to not having one in the home we just bought. A kitchen remodeling is in the cards, but we’re not sure when that’ll be as more important on the list right now is new windows for the entire house. Kitchen may have to wait a while.

We’ve had no more and no less than two amazing little boys during this time. Austin in 3 ½ and has been the subject of probably 99% of the posts on our blog, so you know all about him if you’ve been following us for any length of time. Lucas is 1 ½ and is starting to talk a lot more now, so he’ll no doubt be providing plenty of blog fodder shortly. We are continually amazed by the things our boys do and say, the hugging, kissing nice times, and more often than not the no holds barred hand to hand combat.

We celebrated this weekend with a little mini vacation with my parents. Originally we were supposed to head off to Long Beach, where my mom’s friend has a cabin we were going to stay at. We were set with substitutes for our Sunday classes and everything. However, the cabin fell through so mom and dad just decided to come stay at our house for the weekend. They insisted that vacation rules applied though, so there was absolutely no cooking at home allowed. We went out for every meal. It’s been a long time since we’ve been out for breakfast, perhaps even it was the first time for us come to think of it. On Saturday we hit the “Speed” exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. I must say I was actually a bit disappointed really. It was alright, but nothing great I thought. But it did serve it’s purpose, as Austin absolutely loved it (he’s got the gash and bruise above his right eye to prove it)! On Sunday (our actual anniversary date) we hit the Mariners game, which is always a good time. It was Dave Niehaus day, he’s been the Mariner’s broadcaster since the organization started, and he’s the 2008 winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, recognizing excellence in baseball broadcasting, and results in his entrance into the baseball Hall of Fame, the first Seattle Mariner to be inducted. We all got collectible bobbleheads, which I must say are quite heavy and very well made. None of this crappy free give-away plastic junk. At any rate, free bobbleheads, free showing of the Navy’s Blue Angels (in town for Seattle’s SeaFair), who flew over the stadium a couple times during the game, and the M’s actually won, a rarity this season for sure, it was just a great overall day.

Alas, the weekend, as all good things, came to an end. Grandma and Grandpa returned home Sunday evening, I’m back here at work now, joy of all joys, and the boys, well one of them always has to be sick else all things would not be right in the universe. Luke is headed to the doctor’s today as he’s not been feeling well the past couple of days and the glands in his neck are visibly swollen. By visibly I mean you can see them from across the room, not simply upon close inspection. Hopefully we can get him feeling better before we head to UT in T-Minus 9 days and counting.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wanted: Law Abiding Bicyclists

My co-worker Diana really got me riled up today. Not with anything work related. You see, she’s a very diligent “blogger” (is that an adjective now?) and her latest post was about some vigilante bicyclists here in Seattle. Here’s what she had to say:

“Yesterday a group of 100 bicyclists - called Critical Mass - were doing their monthly demonstration - they ride in a large group and block off cars to try and make a point that we should share the road. They blocked one driver from being able to pull out of a parking spot - he got nervous as he was surrounded - he nudged his car forward bumping into some of the cyclists - they in turn surrounded his car - banging on it - and ended up smashing the rear window, punching the driver through his open window, and slashing all 4 of the tires.”

Just last night I saw this same story on the news and I went on my own little rant to Angie about the bicyclists I’ve seen here in the Seattle area. It is my opinion that they (the bicyclists) themselves are the cause of most of their troubles. I am not exagerating when I say that 75% of the bicyclists I have seen in the Seattle area do NOT obey the traffic laws when riding. Yet the whole point of their "Critical Mass" protest is to make drivers aware of them and to get us to "share the road." Just this week I have seen bicyclists weaving in and out of traffic at their pleasure, riding between cars stopped at a traffic light so as to work their way to the front of the line, coming to a complete stop IN the bus lane and refusing to move when a bus comes along that needs to get through, running red lights, riding on the sidewalks when they otherwise would have to stop at a red light on the street...I really could go on and on. Bikers demand respect on the road, but I contend that they'll never get it until they start giving it.

Also, just a little note about their little “Critical Mass” rides. Their route has on a couple of occasions taken them right past my bus stop. I must say that the spirit that infuses these “bikers” while on their demonstration is quite hostile. It does not surprise me at all the way they all rallied together to attack the man in the car, causing extensive auto damage and personal injury. As they ride down the road, completely shutting down traffic, they spew forth loud-mouthed obscenities at people on the street watching them go by. Mind you, there are no cars in sight because they’ve blocked them all from getting on the streets. So they’re out there yelling and screaming at people who are waiting to take the bus. How much sense does that make?

In my opinion, these bicyclists at Critical Mass are out there looking for a fight, and when someone gives it to them they immediately turn into the poor downtrodden outcasts of society just trying to make the world a better place and just look at how the rest of of the world treats them. Poor, poor bicyclists, boo hoo.

As John Stossel says, “Gimme a Break!”

Monday, July 28, 2008

To Infinity And Beyond!

The conversation as it was reported to me:

Angie: “I love you, Austin.”

Austin: “I love you too.”

Angie: “I love you three.”

Austin: “I love you four.”

Skip a few steps

Angie: “I love you infinity.”

Austin: “I love you And Beyond!”

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Absorbent And Yellow And Porous Is He

Okay, so maybe not so yellow or porous, but Austin is absolutely every bit as absorbent as his hero SpongeBob SquarePants. And maybe SpongeBob isn’t his hero, per se, but he does greatly enjoy watching him (to the dismay of his mother), so much so that even Lucas loves it now and stands there singing “SpongeBob SquarePants” over and over again as the theme song plays.

Forget all that, this post is not about SpongeBob. It is about Austin. He did/said something last night that had Angie and I rolling with laughter yet again. It was bedtime and the routine had been started. He was on the brushing teeth stage when this event occurred. Angie had started him out in the bathroom (of course), while I was sitting in the living room. As he began brushing his teeth Austin walked out into the living room, shoved the toothbrush to the side of his mouth, thus greatly extending his cheek outward, and loudly proclaimed, “This is ridiculous. I need a Reach toothbrush!”

Are you rolling yet? Well we were. If you don’t get the joke, perhaps you don’t watch enough television. Right now there’s a commercial out for whoever it is that manufactures Reach toothbrushes showing a guy brushing his teeth, except that in his attempt to reach the back of his back teeth, he repeatedly “misses” and jabs the toothbrush into his cheek. That’s when he exclaims something to the effect of needing a Reach toothbrush. What made it all the funnier was that Austin was absolutely dead serious. He really wanted a Reach toothbrush to be able to brush his teeth properly. He was so mad that he couldn’t reach his back teach and he just kept getting madder the longer we were laughing at him.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Exterior House Pics

As promised, here’s a few before and after shots of the house and yard:

Front of house looking South:


During (kind of): Flower box in front of house is cleared out, but fence and shrubs in the background are still there. Notice the lovely extension cord hanging from the window!

After: Fence and shrubs removed in background

View from front door across the street:

Before: Note that you can't even see the fence that's hiding underneath all that shrubbery.

After: Shrubs and fence removed.

Front of house looking North:



Southwest corner of front yard:
Before: Again, there's a fence rotting away underneath there somewhere.


So there you have it. One rotten old fence, numerous bushes and shrubbery, a rotten tree stump, and a random rose bush in the middle of the yard all removed. Notice too that our yard went from being fairly green to completely brown. We figure we'll start watering and taking care of it as soon as there's more grass than weeds. Until that time, well...

Now, on to the backyard!