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Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

Hi! This is Kim blogging! I decided that I should contribute to our blog and not let Chris do all the posting. He IS a much better writer than me, but I want more of a say in important things like our blog's background (think back to our lovely ramen and Seahawk ones), and besides, it looks like a lot of fun. Anyway, here is my first post...although Chris is standing behind me telling me what to do and how to do it. THANKS SWEETUMS!

We want to wish everyone a merry Christmas! December escaped us, and we didn't get Christmas cards out (translation: we were too lazy), so instead, please enjoy a slideshow of our adorable boys. A very talented friend in our ward took these pictures, and we love them! Rhett was very camera shy and not too cooperative as you will see in some of the pictures, but we think it gives them more character. Anyway, if you would like to check out more of her work, visit her website at http://www.dionsenecaphotography.blogspot.com.

We love you all! Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quincy and Queenie Quackenbush


Meet Quincy and Queenie Quackenbush, our alter-egos. We are an integral part of the Mesquite, Nevada nightlife. We go from casino to casino performing various shows consisting of annoying yet often catchy medleys of popular songs. We decided to perform at the ward Christmas party last Friday. We condensed our Christmas Extravaganza show into a fun medley of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silver Bells, Jingle Bells, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. I think it went over pretty well. We were getting a few strange looks from people that normally know us as shy, but by the end, I think everyone warmed up to us and started having a good time. It's a good thing they weren't serving eggnog or things might have really gotten out of hand.

Owen and Rhett aren't quite to the age yet where they are embarrassed by their parents.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Have you ever been to Baltimore? Kim's clothes have!

So here are my excuses this time for not blogging in so long: I have been extremely busy training two new employees, Kim and I have been practicing for the three different Christmas programs we've been asked to perform in, I've been playing basketball late into the night to get back in shape, and my old age causes me to fall asleep as soon as I sit down on a couch.

I'm at work right now, so I'll have to post some pictures later, but I had to blog about our trip home from Colorado on December 1st. We had a great time visiting Kim's family, but I don't have time to blog about that. The trip home is much more interesting for a blog post.

We found some cheap flights awhile ago, so we thought we'd fly this time instead of drive. The drive from Denver to St. George with two kids takes anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. We thought the flight would be much quicker and much less stressful. We planned on landing in Vegas at about 7pm local time, then driving the 2 hours to our house putting us in our humble abode about 10pm St George time. We were wrong.

We got to the Denver airport around 4pm for our 6:05pm flight. We checked in, walked to our gate, saw that the flight before ours hadn't even arrived yet, walked back to the food court area, grabbed some dinner, and headed back to the gate to wait. Owen happily ate his happy meal, Kim and I enjoyed our Einstein's bagels, and Rhett fought his way through a feeding of some sort of turkey and rice concoction. Rhett would not drink any milk, so we were preparing ourselves for a nightmarish flight of baby screaming. The flight before ours pulled up to the gate around the time ours was supposed to depart, so we were told it would be about an hour and a half delay. They were right. Our plane got stuck in a snow storm in Chicago before it got to Denver. We boarded our plane around 7:40pm, and luckily, Rhett fell asleep as soon as we sat down. He was in peaceful slumber during the entire flight, and we thanked our lucky stars as we felt bad for the lady 4 rows up that was trying to console her screaming baby.

We landed in Vegas about 8:30pm local time. Rhett woke up. Owen fell asleep. We found our sit-n-stand stroller at the gate, (the kind where the car seat for the baby goes in front and the older kid can either sit or stand in the back), crammed Owen's limp body into the car seat area because he could neither sit nor stand, and propped Rhett in his car seat where Owen should have been sitting or standing. We made our way to luggage carousel #3 where our 4 bags were supposed to be. We found zero. We walked over to the Southwest missing luggage office and found 3 of our bags. We were told the snowstorm in the Midwest threw everything off. We were guaranteed that our 4th bag would be on one of the final two flights arriving from Denver before the night was over. If we decided to wait for our bag, they would give us a $50 voucher towards a future flight. If we wanted to drive home and have them FedEx us the bag, there would be no voucher. Kim's bag with all of her clothes, makeup, and such was the missing bag. We decided to wait since Owen was asleep and Rhett was happy. The next flight from Denver was arriving at 10:30pm, so we took our time and rode the shuttle to our car, loaded up the 3 bags and the 2 boys, then drove to the parking garage to wait. I went in to check for the bag while Kim stayed with the boys in the car. The Vegas airport uses parking meters in the parking garage, so Kim was popping quarters into the machine every ten or fifteen minutes waiting for me to come back. I made my way to the luggage carousels again, found the one with the bags from Denver, watched everyone come down the escalator and grab their bags, and stood there for five more minutes contemplating what it would be like to dive down the luggage chute. I walked over to the TV screens with the arrival information, found the last flight arriving from Denver, found the carousel those bags were supposed to be on, and walked around for another hour waiting for that flight to land. I called Kim, and Rhett had fallen back asleep, so she was bored out of her mind. At least I had weird people I could watch and shiny signs I could read advertising the casinos and other Vegas attractions.

The last flight from Denver finally arrived around 11:30pm local time. The carousel started churning, and I got a little giddy-up back in my step. I watched everyone come down the escalator and grab their bags, and stood there for five more minutes contemplating what it would be like to throw an airport employee down the luggage chute. I walked back to the Southwest missing luggage office, and the way too happy lady at the counter excitedly said, "Oh! We found your bag! It's in Baltimore! Would you like us to FedEx it to you?" I thought, "No, lady. I think I'll keep waiting here while my wife fills the parking meter with more quarters." I managed to get a $75 voucher instead of a $50 for all of the trouble, and headed back to the parking garage. As you can imagine, Kim was thrilled to see me come back empty-handed. I explained what happened as we merged onto the highway at midnight. I looked over at Kim and said, "The good thing about all of this is there won't be any traffic through Vegas."

If I could, I would shove those words back down my windpipe, because as soon as I said that, we heard sirens. Traffic slowed down to 5 mph as the fire truck and ambulance tried to get through. It took us 50 minutes to drive maybe 3 miles, and all we got to see was the clean-up crew towing wrecked cars away. I stopped at a gas station to get an energy drink because now Kim was asleep and my eyelids were heavier than Oprah in 1990. The energy drink did nothing for me. I had to pull over and take a quick nap. I woke up 30 minutes later feeling ready to finish the drive. After drifting out of my lane a few times, I decided I should stop putting my family in jeopardy and take a longer nap. I made it to Mesquite, pulled over in the Oasis Resort and Casino parking lot, and slept for 2 hours. I woke up, finished the drive, and we were all warm in our beds around 5am St. George time. The whole trip took about 13 hours. We should have driven. Kim's bag was on our doorstep 2 days later.

Good news! Kim has decided she wants to get in on this blogging stuff, so she will now be a regular contributor. I hope. Her motivation is the website www.blurb.com. They can take your blog and turn it into a book. She wants to have all of our family memories in book form. You should check it out.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Have a Free Minute

After reading everyone's blogs this morning, it looks like our lives are all very similar. Kim saw Twilight yesterday. Our ex-renters haven't paid us according to the court stipulation. We're excited for the big BYU/Utah game today. I fired somebody. We're excited to see family for Thanksgiving. I fired somebody else. Our kids are growing up so fast, doing amazing things. I might have to fire somebody else. Kim's birthday is next week. My employee that has been with us for over 2 years is leaving next month. Rhett's teeth are coming in. I heard a nasty rumor that one of my other really good employees might be leaving next month. Owen, Kim, and I are speaking in church tomorrow. Kim has been working more to make up for the money we're not getting from our ex-renters. Owen absolutely loves Preschool. Holiday hours start on Friday and I don't know how I'm going to keep the stores staffed.

So I apologize for not posting anything lately, but our lives are pretty much like everyone else's, right?

This is how Owen looked one day last week when we picked him up from Preschool.


This is Rhett being held upside down. We were trying to get a picture of his teeth, but ended up getting this great shot of his cheeks. I think he's storing food in his face for the winter. I don't know why he's getting such a head start though. I'm pretty sure it stayed in the 70s all day yesterday.


I see teeth in this one!


Okay Rhett. I understand why you're storing food in your face now. It has been getting pretty chilly during our evening walks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama? Really?

Does anyone else feel like there's a dark cloud over our nation now? I know George W. hasn't been the model President of the United States of America, but Obama? Seriously? Did the voters do any research before they marked their ballots? I am not one who usually tries to wax philosophical when it comes to politics, but i thought it was pretty obvious that the Vietnam veteran who was tortured for our freedoms would make a much better leader than someone who hangs out with Jeremiah Wright. People wanted a change. I guess they're going to get what they asked for.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Daylight Savings, Shmaylight Shmavings

Who needs an extra hour of sleep? The thunder and lighting are competing to see who can be the loudest this morning. I think the thunder is winning. Owen and Rhett were both woken up at 5am, so I thought I'd post a Halloween blog.

A few years ago, I bought a Halloween costume to fulfill my lifelong fantasy of one day being a garbage man. This was my third time wearing it, but instead of just dirtying up my face, I thought I'd go zombie in 2008.

What goes better with a zombie garbage man than a pet skunk?

Owen really wanted to be a vampire this year. This is proof to all those doubters out there that good old dad really did the makeup.

I think he turned out pretty good.

So here's the finished family:

You are probably asking yourself, "Where's Kim?"

That's her with the purple bat on her face. I don't know if you could have been able to figure that out on your own or not.

We went to the ward Trunk or Treat party first. We combined with a different ward, so the entire parking lot was full. After that, we headed over to the local nursing home. The residents all had funny hats on, and the kids went down the line scoring even more candy. We ended the night going door to door in our neighborhood. Sadly, we only found three people home. Owen's teeth will probably thank us later. Here's his haul:

We decided to let Rhett enjoy his first Halloween by letting him attack a blue raspberry sucker. Here's the result:

I have to end with this picture. After our initial attempt at washing Owen's makeup off, he was left with some pretty manly looking eyebrows.

I love Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Puking Pumpkin and...Spongebob?

I will start by saying that I take no credit for coming up with the idea of a puking pumpkin. In fact, I even copied a design I saw online. Kim's brother, Scott, also did a puking pumpkin this year, but I don't think he added enough puke. So here is my attempt at the puking pumpkin, with extra puke:


Kim, on the other hand, decided she would print out a picture of Spongebob Squarepants and then try to use it as a pattern on her pumpkin. Here is her result:

What do you think? I think it looks like the skull of a monkey. Feel free to leave your impressions in the comment list.

Owen was pretty pleased to help us with the pumpkins this year. Rhett was pretty pleased just chewing on the cord from the blinds as he watched us carve.


Our camera was acting up on us last night, but if you look closely, you can see puke coming out of the pumpkin's nostril. He felt better after I told him not to be embarrassed, because that happens to humans also.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rhett Video

At the request of certain family members who have not been able to see Rhett very much, I will post a video of him today. He is still a beefy baby. At 7 1/2 months old, he's wearing Owen's 12 month clothes. I haven't captured any video of him saying "Dada," but this video is a pretty good one of him laughing. Enjoy.
video

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Birthday...part 32

According to Blogger, this also happens to be my 100th post. I'll try and make it a good one.

32. Wow. I am old. I've been 32 for 2 days now, and I hate it. I apologize to all of you reading this that are over 32 years old, but this really stinks. I now need to spend extra time each morning plucking gray hairs out of the side of my head. I am having a very difficult time motivating myself to lose some extra poundage. My knees hurt. Owen is almost 5 years old, and I already have a hard time keeping up with him. My 18 and 19 year old employees probably think I'm out of touch with the world. I'm not where I thought I'd be spiritually by this time. I'm halfway to 64 now.(Sorry Mom.)

Even with all of these negative feelings about my age, I really can't complain. I have the best little family I could have ever imagined. I have amazing brothers, sisters, parents, nieces, nephews, in-laws, etc. I've got a good job. I have great friends. I have a strong testimony of the gospel. I just need to start fresh and get myself back in shape physically and spiritually. I need to be satisfied with one plate of food, not two. I need to make the time to exercise a little bit each day. I need to make time to read from the scriptures each day. I really need to stop being selfish and serve other people. I know what I need to do to be happy and not care about my age. The hard part is actually doing it. I'm sure I've bored everyone enough. On to the pictures:

Remember this?

Well, we did it again this year. I'm telling you, I just wasn't feeling the vibe for this 32nd birthday. No creativity at all.

Here's Owen one year later on the same redneck trampoline:


Notice how dreary the weather was this time? We only lasted about an hour because it was so cold and windy. (When I say cold, remember we live in St George. It was 57 degrees outside. Our bodies just aren't used to that anymore.)

Rhett's first trip to the farm resulted in this look on his face the entire time. He wouldn't crack a smile because the cold wind was making his eyes tear up.


We did the corn maze again.


We pet some animals.


Owen went down the redneck slide and rode the cow train again.



He also discovered a new tunnel and tire swing this year.



And we sat on some hay.


We went to Texas Roadhouse for a full slab of ribs, and Kim made me a delicious lemon cake this year. Here I am ending the night while talking on my cell phone as usual.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Family History

So I was digging through some archives in the Family History Library here in St. George, and I came across this old picture of some distant relatives. It turns out that Kim and I are related. Her great-great-great-Grandma Kitty married my great-great-great-Grandpa Chester. They had two boys. The older one was named Orson, and the younger one was named Ralph. Here's the picture:



(Ignore the copyright info in the lower right hand corner. I don't know where that came from.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weird Dream

I want to blog about our recent trip up to Logan, and I want to respond to a tag from The Hirschi Kiss blog, but I need to blog about this weird dream first. I'm sure you've noticed I've brought back the Seattle Seahawks layout. They are struggling right now and they need all the moral support they can get. I had a dream last night that I was the new Seattle Seahawks quarterback coach. The song you are hearing in the background was being blasted through the stadium speakers during practice. Every time one of the Seahawks receivers was injured and carted off of the field, Jerry Rice would pull up in a limousine in full Seahawks uniform, asking to be on the team again. We turned him away every time because he was just too old to keep up. Don't ask me why this Celine Dion song was playing. Maybe the words were giving us the moral support the team so desperately needs right now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Month of Firsts

Rhett:
Sat up by himself


Ate solid food


Said "Dada" while wearing soccer ball Easter basket hats with Owen

(OK. He really didn't say "Dada" here, but he has said it numerous times when waking up in the morning. I just haven't captured any video of it yet...and I couldn't resist posting this picture.)

Owen:
Started preschool


Kim:
Got to church at 9:00 am! Not 9:25 am!
(We live 3 minutes from the church. I go early to set up chairs.)

Me:
Set the record for the highest single game score in Shortbus Fantasy Football Fantasy Freaks League history. My team is the Boomslangs. I got 187 points in week 2. I know. I'm a dork.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Young Lady, Get Out of Here

I finally have some time this morning to post this funny story:

We have a nursing home in our ward boundaries called The Beehive Home. Every Sunday from 1pm to about 1:30pm, members from our ward go over to the home and do a little sacrament meeting for the residents. Once a month, the Elders Quorum is assigned to do the talk and the prayers. As the Elders Quorum secretary, it is my job to find people to fulfill these responsibilities. Let me just say that it is probably easier to conjugate Finnish verbs with a gun to your head than it is to find someone from the Elders Quorum to give a 5 minute talk or a prayer at The Beehive Home. Needless to say, the talk assignment is often fulfilled by yours truly. A few times, I have had to ask Kim to come with me and say one of the prayers. This was the case last Sunday on August 31st. Wherever Kim and I are, there's an Owen and a Rhett also. The residents absolutely love when kids come to visit, so Rhett got pretty excited with all of the attention he was receiving. It was time for the meeting to start, but Rhett was still juiced up with excitement. He was squealing like a little porker getting chased in a Greased Pig Scramble. Kim handed Rhett to me so she could say the opening prayer. That was alright. Then it was time for the sacrament. Rhett was getting louder. Then it was time for me to give my talk. Rhett was full-squeal volume now. Kim took Rhett into one of the back hallways to no avail. I was about 2 minutes into my talk when one of the residents raised her hand. I thought, "Oh how precious. This little old lady has a question about some deep point of doctrine. Why not? Let's see what she has to say." So I acknowledged her and said, "Yes?" Little old woman answered angrily, "There is a young lady here with a baby who is making a lot of noise. You are up there going through the motions but I can't hear a word you are saying. Can someone please tell that young lady to leave?" I stood there with my mouth open as the other members of the ward tried to hold back their giggling. I looked over at Kim and said, "Young lady, get out of here!" By now, everyone in the room was laughing except the angry old woman. Kim took Owen and Rhett outside and sat on a bench where Rhett could squeal to his heart's content. I finished my talk, we had a closing song and prayer, and then I went outside with Kim where we were bombarded with apologies from various residents and members of the ward. We weren't offended at all, so it was funny that we were getting so many apologies. It turns out that the angry old woman suffers from dementia.

So long story short, I kicked my family out of a church meeting. I can't wait to go back and see what happens next time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Was Tagged Again

My sister Kim tagged me again. I hate these things because I think of better things I could have said for days afterwards. Here you go:

8 Things I'm Passionate About:
1. my wife
2. my boys
3. my church
4. my other family members
5. my food
6. my job
7. sports
8. laundry

8 Books I Love:
1. Holes
2. Angels and Demons
3. The Da Vinci Code
4. Digital Fortress
5. Deception Point
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
(my favorite of the series)
7. The Giver
8. Letters From a Nut
(Look this one up. You won't regret it.)

8 Words/Phrases I Say Often:
1. "I'm going to start exercising on Monday."
2. "You're definitely going to want a text messaging bundle with that."
3. "Your turn. I changed the last one."
4. "Holy shnikeys!
5. "Let me call you right back."
6. "Please don't spill your cereal today."
7. "Please don't puke on my work pants today."
8. "You're fired."

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die
1. go back to South Africa
2. have at least one daughter
3. get one of my children's books published
4. see my kids become more successful than myself
5. see the Seahawks win a Super Bowl
6. get back in shape
7. be guilt and debt free as I take my last breath
8. I want to go on an exotic vacation with my wife, and forget to bring a toothbrush. We will go to the closest grocery store to buy a replacement toothbrush. While we are there, we will meet one of the following five people in the toiletries aisle: Reese Witherspoon, Elisabeth Shue, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood, or John McCrea. I will say, "Holy shnikeys! It's _____________! (Fill in the blank with one of the aforementioned names.) I am a big fan of your work!" (Unless it's Carrie Underwood. I'm not such a huge fan of country music anymore. If it's Carrie Underwood we run into, then I will say something to the effect of, "I think you're smoking hot!") The celebrity will say, "Thank you very much. It's so nice to see another English-speaking American here. Do you guys want to hang out tonight?" Before Kim can say anything, I will shout, "Sure!" We will then arrange to have dinner at a fancy restaurant. We will talk all night and we will become good friends with the lucky celebrity. We will say good night, but then find out that the celebrity is staying at the same resort we are. We will then go to their suite and watch an M. Night Shyamalan movie on a big screen t.v. while eating Jack in the Box chicken sandwiches and drinking chocolate milk. We will end the night with a Pente tournament. I will win the tournament, and the celebrity will congratulate me by giving me a Saab 9.3. Out of the kindness of their heart, the celebrity will also give Kim a baby blue Volkswagen Bug or a baby polar bear. We will retire for the evening, but then meet up again the following morning for a hot air balloon ride over the exotic land in which we are vacationing. The hot air balloon pilot will supply us with scarves, all you can eat Egg McMuffins, donut holes, and of course, chocolate milk. After the balloon ride, the celebrity will have to attend a charity event in a neighboring country. We will exchange cell phone numbers, scarves, and hugs, promising to correspond again once we have returned to the grand old United States of America.

8 Things I Learned This Year:
1. Children really do learn by example.
2. I am getting quite comfortable at firing people.
3. I am not the best Powell at Guitar Hero.
4. It is too easy to gain back weight you thought you lost forever.
5. It scares me that I might never outgrow my procrastination habit.
6. Never let someone rent your house who can't pay the full security deposit.
7. Too much Jack in the Box and chocolate milk is a bad thing.
8. Love for family can never reach a limit. It is always growing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here is the Picture

Here is the picture of Rhett that I was talking about yesterday. Thanks for sending them again, Kim (Myers).


What do you like better, black and white or the color-enhanced?

Admit it. This is probably the cutest baby picture you've ever seen, right?

I'm a little biased.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Couldn't Go a Whole Month Without Posting

I have a good excuse. Since the last post, I've pretty much been working open to close every day except for the week we went to Washington. And who wants to blog after an 11 hour work day or while on vacation? Not me. So here is my feeble attempt at somewhat catching up:

We opened a new store! That gives me 3 stores which I am directly responsible for in southern Utah and a total of 7 stores for the company.

Rhett is rolling over and sitting up! He also had his manhood cauterized because the circumcision was healing back on itself, but let's not focus on the negative. (My sister Kim took the best picture ever of Rhett after he rolled over on to his belly, but the CD she made for us from her digital camera is not formatted correctly. I'll have to post that picture later.)

Owen is a swimming champ! He graduated from swim lessons again this summer and was able to use his talents this last week up in Washington. We went up for a family reunion in the Tri-Cities area, where my sister Kim lives with her family. Here's Owen with his cousin Ally.

There are so many more things to say, and so many more pictures I could post, but this will have to do for now. I'm tired. I'll try not to go another 27 days without blogging again.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Boys of Summer


The St. George Roadrunners are a local baseball team here from the Golden Baseball League. I'm sure you've heard of them. Or maybe you've heard of some of the other teams in the league, like the Yuma Scorpions? The Reno Silver Sox? The Edmonton Cracker Cats? Well, we went to the game last night against the Orange County Flyers. I called in to the local sports radio station and stumped the host with a sports trivia question, so he gave me 4 tickets.

Owen had a blast looking for the mascots. We're pretty special down here. We had two mascots to chase around. Saturn posed for a picture, but we never caught up to Reggie.


For those of you that don't know, yesterday was Pioneer Day here in Utah. It's a pretty big thing. It's almost as big as the 4th of July. I won tickets to the game on the perfect night, because after the Roadrunners won 15-7, they put on the longest and best fireworks show I have ever seen in my life. I am not kidding. It was pretty impressive. Owen couldn't control himself and was laughing uncontrollably for the first 5 or 6 minutes. Rhett was just as enthralled. We couldn't believe he didn't get scared with all the loud bangs. We were so mesmerized by the show, we forgot to get the camera out. This morning, I was asking Rhett if he had fun last night watching the fireworks show, and Owen said, "It wasn't a fireworks show Dad. It was a fireworks movie!"

Here's a picture of Rhett getting some sleep so he could be ready for the fireworks:


We had so much fun. I think we'll make this a Pioneer Day tradition as long as we're here in St. George.

Other blogworthy news:
Samsung is having a sales rewards program where you can earn points to redeem for thousands of different things. I sold enough Samsung phones to get Owen his first bike, and I also got Rhett a Jumperoo.

Yes, I actually put this thing together.

Rhett loves his Jumperoo so much, he even sleeps in it sometimes.