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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cold is warmer

We missed posting last week, so this post will cover two weeks.

Last weekend we went up to Silver Lake for a hike. We saw a moose in the wild, climbed on rocks and trees, took a nap in the woods, and generally enjoyed ourselves. Timmy really wants to go canoeing on the lake. I can't imagine dragging a canoe up there, but maybe one day...

The kids did really well, and they hardly complained at all.


After going to silver lake, the rest of the week we had a lot of meetings - Alison's calling, Mike's Board game design guild (BGDG), and Alison's writing group each claimed a weeknight.

Mike tried to get his "Grab the Loot" game played with 6 players at BGDG, but there were not enough people there for that to happen. He has been preparing this game for submission to a publisher, and it wants some more playtesting at that player count. He is also trying to fit the game into a mint tin for the mint tin design contest. So far it is fitting, but he will perhaps remove more components anyway.

Mike and the kids played Final Fantasy 5 these last two weeks, and beat it. The kids each had a character that they controlled, and they were really excited to defeat all of the bad guys and save the world.

Mike skipped BGDG this week in order to work on a website that he has been programming on the side. It is a way for playtesters and game designers to get together. It has a bunch of things that it needs to do still to be useful, but the website is coming along nicely. Perhaps in a few weeks he will have something ready for betatesting.

Mike has also been working from home on Wednesdays - his team decided to each work from home for one day a week (even though they don't technically have permission to do so). It is nice not to have to drive in, and to be able to have lunch with the family. Working from home every day is something that is looking better and better to Mike.

On Thursday, Alison and the kids were invited to Briar's birthday party. Sara reports: "We got to watch a movie that was new" Timmy interjected "and it was scary to me!" Sara continues "Well there were a few things, but I don't want to tell you all the things about the birthday party because I am eating." When pressed further, she divulged "My favorite part was the movie."

Rea has been losing teeth as well. She lost her second one this week. She is missing both her middle bottom ones right now, but the replacements are growing in really quickly. Rea reports that they hurt.

Our 8th anniversary also happened this Saturday. During the day we went to the Aquarium as a family. Timmy's favorite part was everything. All of the kids really liked it. It was fun to see how much fun they had.

In the morning we made granola, and the usual cheese (paneer). The cheese making is recently has been changing from an art to a regular thing.

In the evening Mike and Alison got some sushi from a local restaurant. It was pretty good. We found a new favorite roll, and one of the rolls we will not order again.

Today we decided that summer is over. Timmy told me that he wanted to go outside because "cold is warmer, and outside is inside".

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The surgery and surrounding days

This week Timmy has started drawing things that look more like things than like scribbles. He usually draws people and robots, and they have faces, limbs, heads, and other body parts.

Sheila was gone until Wednesday, so we volunteered to keep babysitting Petra Monday and Tuesday. It's very easy to have her when we're at home; she plays happily with our kids and doesn't take much effort.

Monday we picked up Grandma Julie at the airport and went to the zoo. We always love the zoo. However, this was not the best visit the grown ups have ever had. It was very hot, and Petra would wander away constantly and didn't like to hold hands. We saw the bird show and the elephant show, though, which was great. Rea finally got invited to participate in the bird show; she gave a water bottle to a cockatoo at the beginning so he could drink it and drop it, and then the trained raven picked it up and put it in the recycle bin. Rea has always raised her hand when they asked for volunteers, for years now, and finally she got her chance.

On Tuesday, Alison and the kids went to the first meeting with their new nature group. Someone else organized a group that Alison has been wanting, so she's very happy. They meet at a park and play an observation game. Then the kids split into groups with a couple of adults each and wander in the woods for an hour. At the end, they get together and tell stories of what they saw. It's a lot of fun. Of course, this week we had Petra, so Grandma ended up chasing her around the park while Alison and the big kids hiked. That wasn't so fun for Grandma. But hopefully after this it will be a lot more fun for everyone.

Wednesday in the middle of the day, we took Timmy in for his surgery. It went a few hours, and was fully successful. Timmy has been wearing bandages over his whole arm and leg since then. He is a pretty good trooper, and learning how to use his whole body despite the bandages.

They gave him a doll at the surgery that he named "Timmy", and drew a face on. It was pretty fun for him, and he also liked to drink all the slushy that he could afterward.

Tuesday night Grandma took Alison and the kids swimming at an indoor pool, so that we could show off what we've learned this summer. It was tons of fun and we stayed for hours. Sara showed her amazing swimming skills, and Timmy was suddenly brave to jump out into deep water and let his head go under.

Friday Grandpa Craig arrived and everyone but Mike spent the day at Wheeler Farm. It was a lot of fun. Timmy was feeling enough better that he walked the whole time and barely whined at anything. It's great that he's healing so fast.

Saturday we had a board game party. The only family that came was Kaitlin and Sal (and kids), and we also had Jae Ford and family. The kids ran all around and had a fun time while the parents played games. We got in two games: "Betrayal at the house on the hill", and "Grab the Loot!".

Mike has also finished his first book, and started the process of getting it published through KDP. It is a short book intended to be a humorous self help book on how to be a[n evil] manager. If anyone is interested in giving it a read through, he would put it on sale for $0.99 so that you can give it a try without a "big" expense.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Something can stop the Smooze.

On Tuesday we arrived home from vacation. Mike went to the board game design guild, and played someone else's game.

After Tuesday we have spent most of the week getting back into the swing of things. Mike has been working from home on Wednesdays, so he did that the day after getting back.

Friday we went to a play - The Grand Duke by Gilbert and Sullivan. We like all of their plays, and this one was no exception. The ending was totally ridiculous, but most of them are fairly so, it was expected.

Also on Friday Petra came over and played with us. She is coming over a few more times next week so that Scott can go to work even though Sheila is out of town right now.

On Saturday we had Scott and the kids over, and the kids played Titanic in the canoe. It was fun to talk to Scott, and the kids had a fun time playing together.

Timmy wanted to write this week that we played Smooze, which is that Mike is a giant evil sentient purple blob that is throwing balls of himself at people. They always win because even though he is unstoppable they can beat him anyway.

Sara wanted to add that grandma Julie is coming over this upcoming week. The kids are all really excited about it.

The reason why she is coming over is because Timmy's surgery to remove his extra thumb is on Wednesday.  We are expecting it to go well with no complications because the surgeon seems very confident, however we also have never done this before, so it is nice to have the support.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The eclipse

This was the last week that the pool was open, so we went to the pool on Wednesday so that the kids could show Mike how much they improved their swimming this year. Rea can swim all over without any problem, and was jumping from the high dive board as well. Sara is now swimming very well, and Timmy is bravely walking away from the stairs and playing around in the area where he can touch.

On Thursday we all went to the dentist, and only one person had a cavity.

On Thursday we also got another quarter cow from a local farm. Our last one lasted 2 years, so we apparently eat about an 1/8 cow worth of beef each year.

On Friday after work, we drove out to Grandma Sheila's and Grandpa Mike's house so that we could see the solar eclipse. We spent the weekend with them, going to the pool, their local waterfall, and also talking with family members. It was a fun trip.

Some of Grandma Sheila's brothers came to see the eclipse as well, so we had a full house. The eclipse was really cool. Uncle James had a really cool camera and telescope setup that he took good pictures with. That being said, no picture that I have seen yet does justice to a solar eclipse.

Watching the moon creep across the sun was cool, but it was pretty much impossible to tell the difference between normal, and 50% covered without using the glasses. When the moon was mostly covered, it got a bit darker and cooler, but once it was completely covered it was really cool to see. The entire horizon was a big sunset, and the middle of the sky showed stars in it. The darkened sun and white corona were really cool to see, and the sudden night was also very surprising.

Very rarely as an adult do you experience the coolness of something that you have never seen before that is amazing. This was one of those events.


After the eclipse, I asked the kids what the best part of the trip was, and here are their answers:

Rea liked going to the waterfall
Sara liked the waterfall too
Timmy liked making a zoo

They also all liked the eclipse, but it apparently wasn't their top thing.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sara's big adventure

The sunflowers that we planted this year are growing very big. Rea uses their leaves to hide under when it rains.  We plan on planting the seeds of the biggest one, and harvesting all of the rest of them for food.

On Monday Alison and the kids played in the creek at the park where the pool is, and for the first time we met three other families at the place that we didn't even know. The big kids caught minnows, and one of the families had a dog. Gideon loved it, and tried to say dog a lot of times. He didn't sound exactly right, but he has remembered the word, and has been yelling it all week whenever we see a dog.

On Tuesday Mike went to the BGDG meeting, and he played the Madness Place. It went well, and he got some new ideas. Now he just has to implement them.

On Wednesday, Alison went to her writing group. It was nice for her to be in a different group with non-published authors. It makes her feel more confident about bringing her own writing some time.

On Thursday Mike went to do an audit for his calling. It took a long time. While Mike was at the audit, the kids cleaned up the house and went to bed. It was like a dream.

Friday night, the kids finally got enough pins to go to a play, so we went to Seussical at the Draper theater. Alison liked it a lot more than Seussical Jr. Rea says that it was really fun. Timmy said that it was good, and the Grinch was his favorite. Sara said that the Grinch wanted it to be Grinchsical. Gideon was pretty good, and Mike liked the wickersham brothers the best.

Saturday morning we went canoeing on the Jordan River. It was very shallow and fairly slow moving, so the trip was very easy, and uneventful. We saw ducks, birds, a fish, and a purple bush. Rea took a lot of pictures during the trip, and we had a fun time. We will do it again for sure. Perhaps we will even have some cousins come along some time.

Here is a photo gallery of Rea's pictures.

This weekend was stake conference. On Saturday we had a babysitter and watched the adult session as a date. It was good.

Mike was printing up a card game to play, and he made some extra cards for Timmy. This was one of the highlights of the week for Timmy.

Saturday afternoon, Mike made a tort out of ground up nuts and dried fruit. It turned out pretty much like brownies, but presumably much more healthy. He really likes making torts, because he invents a new recipe every time.

Mike is also writing a humorous management book (with bad advice). He hopes that it is humorous anyway.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Whale Ride

Last saturday we got Rea's bike working, so this week she rode it a lot.

Sara has been reading a book every day to learn more about reading. We are hoping that if we do this enough she will start to like it.

This week Timmy has been singing a lot of songs that he invented himself.

Gideon will crawl across the whole house and play by himself now. That is fun.

Alison attended her second League of Utah Writer's meeting this week. It was a write in at a coffee shop. She hadn't worked on writing at all since the last meeting, so it was fun to spend some time writing.

On Thursday Mike's work had a summer party. We were all invited to Lagoon. We hung out in the water-park area for the first few hours, and then after dinner went on a bunch of kiddie rides. All in all it was a fairly fun time. The kids loved the whale ride the most. It was a bunch of whales that you sit in and go around a circle while bobbing up and down in a sine wave pattern. It was fun to see them have such a good time.

They also went on a pterodactyl ride, which was way to scary for Timmy and Sara, but they put on a brave face, and didn't scream at all. It was just one of those rides that only moves vertically, and lifts you up and then drops you repeatedly. We ended the day with a carousel ride, and then drove home.

On Friday we attended the second to last showing of Night at the Imperial at the Off Broadway Theatre. It was quite fun. Even though an understudy played the famous french chef, you couldn't even tell. We really like their plays. The OBT is good at humor.

Saturday we did a bunch of work in the morning, and then attended Max's baptism in the evening. They had an ice cream social after the baptism, so we attended that as well. It was fun to get together with the family. Since our last few times trying to get together family for anything has been invariably a failure, we had not invited anyone over for a while, but it was so fun that we decided to try to have another get-together.

Last Saturday I fixed the 3D printer to try and print something for a coworker, but the print went awry and gummed up the whole thing again. I fixed it again this Saturday, and printed a few things on Sunday. It is now working again. Here's to hoping that it keeps working for a little bit more.

This week was also still super hot. Perhaps we will get to move somewhere cooler some day. First we need to build up our passive income.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Three things

To start this blog off, we will have each person talk about one topic of interest, and tell three things about it.

First of, Gideon, who chooses "a-de de" as his topic. He has the following to say:
A bu bu bu bu
A de de
Gi de de de de

Timmy learned all about wolly mammoths this week. These are his top three facts:
They have big feet
They have fur
They have nostrils
They have a big head
They have long legs
They have furry things
Their butts are furry
They have fur all over
They are so big (He did downward dog to show this)
They keep their babies safe
They put their trunks up and walk around for everyone to see like this (he put his hands above his head here)

Sara wrestled with Daddy this week. Her top three things about wrestling are:
We pinned him (Daddy) down
Sara is five years old
I (Sara) love wrestling

Alison decided to launch an online business to sell homeschooling stuff this week. Her top three things are:
She is still in the planning phase
She will be researching market demand to decide which product to develop
She will be launching a product before the end of the year

Mike decided to launch a Zazzle site. Here it is. The top three things about Mike's site is:
He wanted to make a new burning peasant T-Shirt, so he made the site
All products on it were made over the course of about a day.
One of the available sizes is a onesie for your baby

Rea can ride her bike really well and swim, however she was too busy to give us three things about anything.

In additional news: we went to a movie in the park this week. It was Disney's beauty and the beast (the original one) and it was very fun for the kids. The parents thought that it was still pretty funny.

Sara also had a birthday this week. She loved her toys, and enjoyed planning everything for her birthday day. She got an elf lego set, and non-smelly nail polish, stuffed animals, and a paw patrol Everest doll. She also got cash, which she will probably spend on very fun things (candy and toys I would guess).