A Day at the Zoo

December 31, 2006 on 11:08 pm | In Main | No Comments

Well, the year is just about over. We tried to keep Sean and Ethan up to see the ball drop in New York, so they could learn about celebrating the New Year. Sean was able to stay up, but Ethan fell asleep an hour before hand. I think Sean was happy just to stay up.

We took the kids to the zoo today. They haven’t done much in the last few days, so we needed to take them out to do something before they drove us crazy.

I did not expect much of a crowd at the zoo, but there was a live radio show going on, and it turned out to be quite crowded. The crowd wasn’t too much of a factor though. Before we left, Sean went from riding a camel, to playing in (artificial) snow, to touching a stingray. Here’s a picture of Cortney and Sean riding the camel:


Yard Work Day

December 30, 2006 on 9:39 pm | In Main | No Comments

I haven’t done yard work today, so I decided today was as good as any to take care of a few things. I had to clean the pool filter, as it was clogged enough that the vacuum wasn’t working properly. I suppose it was a bit unusual to go out in December wearing shorts to clean the pool, but at least the temperature was in the 60’s.

I also did a bit of weeding, and cleaning up the dog mess that has been stockpiling in the last week.

My parents made another trip to look at their preferred house. It sounds like they have done everything but sign the sales contract.

Just a Holiday Day

December 29, 2006 on 10:11 pm | In Main | No Comments

My parents have cooled off the house hunting a bit. They are almost decided on one of the houses, but I guess they want to think about it a bit.

It’s hard to recall the day today — I did a number of things, none of which really stand out. I took Princess to the dog park, and it only took a few minutes to tire her out, so we did not stay long. And, we did have a nice dinner, which we were treated to by my parents. At least the food was nice, Sean and Ethan could have improved their behavior to make the atmosphere more enjoyable.

Another Rainy Day

December 28, 2006 on 10:58 pm | In Main | No Comments

We had rain again today, but not enough to keep the Christmas lights from working. Actually it did not start to rain until after dinner time.

We spent more time today house hunting for my parents. We drove out to see a new housing community, then drove back to see the one we went to yesterday again. The new house was in the foothills of the White Tank mountains, but the neighborhood wasn’t quite as nice as yesterday’s house.

I finally got around to making my home-made turkey soup today, which finished the last of the leftovers from the Christmas meal. I’m quite pleased with the results of the soup. Each time I make it, it seems to have a slightly different flavor. This iteration has a robust flavor without overpowering the taste of the turkey.

Fun During the Holidays

December 27, 2006 on 9:57 pm | In Main | No Comments

My parents looked at another house today. This one was way to the north and west, but it was large and roomy and certainly cheaper than the houses closer to us.

I gave up on the speaker cable repair. I’m sure I wired the cable properly after downloading the pin-outs on the internet, but I must have damaged the circuitry while attempting to figure out what the wires should be connected to. I ordered a new set of speakers on the internet, and my parents will be treating as an additional Christmas gift. I was at least able to get one of the speakers working, enough so that Sean and I could listen to the sound while playing Lego Star Wars.

I started putting one of Sean’s toys together, the K-Nex roller coaster that his Aunt Cindy gave him. This particular toy is a monster of an assembly job, and it might take another day or two to finish. Oh well. I think that’s what the winter vacation days are for.

Boxing Day

December 26, 2006 on 9:57 pm | In Main | No Comments

Cortney and my mom went out first thing this morning to look for the day-after-Christmas specials. After they came back-mid morning, we all went on an outing. I wanted to pick up some items to repair the cable for my computer speaker system, and my mom and dad wanted to look at a new housing development.

We were all hungry enough that we did not want to wait to go home for lunch, so we ate out. For two consecutive days, I ate enough at lunch that I skipped dinner.

After a few failed soldering attempts, I still a haven’t fixed the speaker cable, but I can work on that again tomorrow.

Christmas Day, 2006

December 25, 2006 on 8:46 pm | In Main | No Comments

Of course, we started off the day by opening the Christmas presents. Sean and Ethan certainly had fun opening their gifts.

We had a nice Christmas meal, with everyone helping out in one way or another. All of us except the kids ate our full and then relaxed for the rest of the day.

Words don’t really do justice for the day, so get check out the picture album:


Christmas Eve 2006

December 24, 2006 on 11:03 pm | In Main | No Comments

Nothing really special to report today; it was just a relaxing Sunday at home. We had plans to go out to eat for dinner, but the restaurant we wanted to go to closed early, so we changed course and made dinner at home. I made my sweet and sour chicken that Cortney likes.

After dinner, we went for a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, then we lit a log in the fireplace. I read the kids the “Night Before Christmas” before they want to bed. Cortney occupied most of the evening by making an elaborate arrangement of the presents under the tree. I’m sure the kids will be excited tomorrow; it should be fun.

Holiday Guests

December 23, 2006 on 11:26 pm | In Main | No Comments

Sean and I picked up my parents at the airport this afternoon. Cortney and I worked hard on cleaning up the house beforehand, so we were able to relax after they arrived.

All of us went out for dinner, and then we went for a walk around our neighborhood afterwards to look at the Christmas lights.

A Rainy Day

December 22, 2006 on 9:37 pm | In Main | No Comments

I took Princess hiking this morning. In a rush to leave the house, I ended up forgetting her leash. I thought about going back to get it, then decided to just take her on the trail without it. I still had the remote collar, so I thought that would be good enough. Princess stayed on “heel” must of the hike, except for when we went quickly through some of the rocky parts, where there wasn’t room for the two of us to walk side-by-side. Even though we did just fine without the leash, I will at least take it with me next time I go hiking, even if I don’t use it.

Towards the latter part of the hike, we encountered a light drizzle. It wasn’t heavy enough for us to get wet, but it did keep the dust down on the trail, so I did not mind at all.

It continued to rain most of the day, and heavier then just a light drizzle. We had to go without Christmas lights this evening as a result of the rain. The GFCI circuit kept tripping when I went to check on the lights, so I decided to just wait until tomorrow, after all of the extension cords and whatnot are fully dried out.

Wound-Up Kids

December 21, 2006 on 10:15 pm | In Main | No Comments

I guess neither Cortney nor I planned any physical activities with the kids today, so they were both really wound up by dinner time. I was actually somewhat relieved when the dog training class was canceled, as it gave me an opportunity to schedule a make-up class for Sean’s gym, at least giving Sean a physical outlet for his activity.

Sean and I, with Ethan watching, finished all of the levels in the Star Wars Lego game. Sean already wants to go back and replay the levels.

Odds and Ends Day

December 20, 2006 on 10:59 pm | In Main | No Comments

Today was a day of odds and ends. Ethan went to preschool today, but Sean is on his winter holiday break. Cortney, Sean, and I made a trip to Wal-Mart while Ethan was still in school. Sean helped pushed the cart while Cortney and I picked up some grocery items.

While leaving the parking lot, I had the bad lock of backing into the car backing out of the parking space behind me. I didn’t see any damage to my car, and the other vehicle was an older minivan, which was beat up enough that I don’t see how the owner could tell if was damage or not. I exchanged confirmation from the other owner. I don’t know if that wasn’t needed or not, as I would think the cause of the accident would have been fifty-fifty, but it seemed like the right thing to do.

Sean and I took Princess for a nice walk after the grocery trip. Princess wasn’t distracted at all by Sean walking with us, and she stayed in nearly perfect “heel” for the entire walk. With one exception — she was terrified by the running generator on the street in one of the houses. We passed the generator at the same time as the trash truck was emptying the trash bins, so the conditions were just plain noisy, but I’m guessing the generator was making more noise in the hearing range Princess was sensitive too.

Sean, Ethan, and I played more Star Wars Lego again this afternoon. We are just a couple of levels from finishing episode VI, but then we have an opportunity to go back and play all of the levels to unlock more secrets.

I took Ethan with me to Sean’s gym class. After the class, I took Sean and Ethan to McDonald’s for dinner. I kept promising the kids ice cream cones if they behaved. My plan was to give them the ice cream cones just before leaving to go home and put them to bed. Poor kids; after all that waiting, it turns out that the ice cream machine was broken. So, they had to settle for some of the cookies Cortney made this afternoon.

The Phoenix Suns

December 19, 2006 on 10:17 pm | In Main | No Comments

Sean went to his first professional basketball game this evening. We watched the Phoenix Suns beat the Toronto Raptors 115 to 98. The game was never close, and in fact it was so lopsided that the Suns never played their starting team in the 4th quarter. Still, a win for the home team is always fun.

Sean had much fun counting the score. He was able to read the score off the scoreboard, and he did so each and every time it changed. Despite the fact that Sean stayed up a couple of hours past his bed time, he was full of energy for the entire game.

Earlier, I took both Sean and Ethan to the dentist. It was Cortney’s turn to sleep in, so I had quite a logistic exercise to get both kids and myself showered, dressed, and fed in time for the 8:00 appointment. Other than the known issues with Sean’s cross bite and Ethan’s over bite, they both have good teeth, and they both needed very little cleaning.

Shopping Day

December 18, 2006 on 8:08 pm | In Main | No Comments

I finished most of my physical (as opposed to online) shopping today. I tried to squeeze in as many stores as I could in the morning, as I promised Cortney I would pick Ethan up from school. I was worried when one store had a really long line to check out, but I ended up finishing all of the shopping in time to leisurely walk over and pick up Ethan from school.

More Lego Star Wars

December 17, 2006 on 10:03 pm | In Main, Picture of the Week | No Comments

Sean, Ethan, and I played more Lego Star Wars today. Actually, we played until I insisted we stop, as my thumbs and wrists work getting sore. Some of the levels require non-stop action on the game controllers, which was too much for me.

In other news, Sean and Ethan saw Santa Claus today. Here’s the picture:


Actually, this Santa just came back from the hospital. Apparently, a large, unsupervised child ran in and jumped on Santa’s knee, injuring him enough to spend the night at the hospital.

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