Christmas Morning

December 26th, 2008 No comments

I love Christmas!  This year, we decided to try and make presents for one another, rather than purchasing all our gifts.  It turned out ok, although execution wasn’t perfect.  It takes quite a bit of time to make gifts, and quite a bit more time to help young kids make gifts.  So, in the end, most of the “adults” had made gifts for most everyone, and most of the “kids” had made one or perhaps two gifts.  Nice idea, one I want to try again in the future, and hopefully apply some lessons learned from this time around.

Anyhow, I’d like to show you a few pictures from Christmas morning – mainly of the gifts I created, along with a few other pictures that just looked cute, exciting, fun, etc… and I didn’t want to leave out.

So, for Michael I made a marble maze.  This took quite a bit more time than I originally planned, and I have quite a bit of scraps of lumber to show for it (tries 1,2,3,…,10,… etc… all failed).  Not sure if you can make it out from the picture – but it’s a two sided maze and the marble drops between the two sides via holes in the center.  Object is to get it from one corner to the other.

I had originally planned on making them all mazes, but the time spent on Michael’s was soo long, that I modified my design for Trevin and Ian… their mazes are made from their names, with a hard plastic top to keep the marble in (rather than the way Michael’s is — with the marble still accessible to the touch.

For Kaylee Ann I made (with help — not enough time!) some socks with beads on them.  I actually just sewed the beads to some purchased socks.  Kaylee seems to like them though!

I ran out of time before I got to Spencer’s gift — but as you can see from the Christmas morning picture, a simple sticker is enough to keep him happy :)

Enjoy the pictures!

You’ve likely noticed the pictures of the lazer tag guns — they were a sure hit (thanks Grandma / mom!).  Michael was also (still is) very very excited about his skateboard Santa gave him… look at that grin!

Making cookies…

December 23rd, 2008 No comments

… we had quite the cookie / candy making session. All the kids got involved in taking off the wrappers from the hershey kisses, while Jill and Brianna seemed to just turn out more and more cookies as the night went on.

After we got the kids to bed, I brought out an enormous supply of legos that I had acquired via freecycle (check it out if you don’t know what freecycle is). I washed them all – which took quite some time, but after I was done, we had a huge supply of legos that I’m sure will get much use out of them from the kids (and me) over the years to come.

Here’s a few shots from our activities:

The kids had a blast unwrapping hershey kisses for the cookies. I’m sure more than one got eaten ;)

Jill and Brianna making peanut brittle — turned out quite good!

Quite the process to clean tons and tons of legos ;)

Look at all those cookies — we made 340+ cookies when all was said and done. Most of which went to several families and friends that we know.

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Yahtzee!

December 7th, 2008 No comments

Kaylee Ann - Me - MichaelKaylee Ann, Michael & I decided to play Yahtzee last night… simple game – but lot’s of fun! I’ve been looking forward to the time when I can play games with my kids — as I’ve always loved games (still do!).  Michael is now 8 – and is seemingly taking after me in the games area — as he can’t get enough of them.  Gotta love it ;)

Turns out we didn’t finish the game yet — as bedtime came before we were through.  No problem — as this just means we’ll have to play again later ;) 

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The Chefs ;)

September 7th, 2008 2 comments

The Little Chef\'s

There were some little chefs (and a big chef) at our house tonight.  We were making a masterful meal for the queen of the home – our very own Mommy Chef.  It was Mommy Chef’s birthday, so what better way to celebrate than to make a meal for her!

Mommy Chef wanted to eat an Indian dish for dinner, so she searched far and wide, until she found two recipes that she wanted to make for dinner.  To the little chefs came the duty of making Naan.  This is a very special bread that we have never made before.  Boy was it fun to make!

There was an AWESOME chef named Michael.  He was a master of the sword (ok, the butter knife).  He wowed us all with his excellent skills – and he served as our master bread cutter for the night.  You wouldn’t want to run into him in a dark alley in the middle of the night.

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There was a super duper sweet chef named Kaylee Ann ;)  As you can see – she loves cooking, and especially flattening dough before placing into the oven :)  She added the sweet spices necessary to make our bread complete.

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Dough Boy could not keep the dough off his face / mouth / hands / etc…  He was excellent at kneading the dough, getting it to the perfect consistency before tossing it into the oven ;)

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And then there was Tiny Chef… kind of like our little wonder dog – he was watching all of us, and helping keep us all safe ;)  He even saved all the food from burning, at least that is what sweet chef tells me.

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After making a healthy batch for Mommy Chef to enjoy, we decided to make our own ‘lil masterpieces to cook in the toaster oven… yummy to our tummies ;)

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And that is the end of our story this evening… we hope you enjoyed this little episode of “Little Chefs”, we sure enjoyed being Chefs!

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Ohh yes – and Tiny Chef worked so hard… well – he fell asleep after all was said and done ;)

(Story typed by Daddy as told to him by the little chefs, and with a bit of his own creative license)

THE candidate for change…

September 7th, 2008 No comments

… a new candidate has hit the scene.  If you just can’t get yourself to vote for either Barack, or McCain – you might want to check this one out:

http://www.inews3.com/topstory.php?id=4d617572797c47696c6573

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Google launching new web browser ;)

September 1st, 2008 No comments

I’ve been impressed by all of google’s offerings thus far – should be interesting to see what they do in the web browser domain.  Check it out… launches first thing on Tuesday:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/fresh-take-on-browser.html

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A true classic…

August 4th, 2008 No comments

… of all the fun translation errors you see in Chinese products, signs, etc… this one has to be one of the best I’ve encountered:

Classic Chinese to English Translation

You’ve got to love the power of computers, enabling anyone to translate from any language to any other ;)  Love it…

(Original post found here: http://dearjanesample.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/reasons-why-you-should-use-a-real-translator/)

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Randy Pausch – A true inspiration…

July 25th, 2008 1 comment

If you don’t know who Randy Pausch is — well — you should.  He was diagnosed with cancer last fall – told he had 6 months to live.  Well – his time to return home has come, he passed away this morning – he beat the 6 months, but cancer finally caught up with him.  Fortunately for us – the cancer didn’t really beat him though – he showed each of us that we have the power within ourselves to reach our dreams, regardless of what odds are stacked against us.

I watched his “Last Lecture” just a few days after it was posted online.  It inspired me to action – and his death reminds me of the commitments I made to myself nearly a year ago.  I have dreams to accomplish – and need to set out to accomplish them – regardless of the trials that beset me.  If you haven’t seen it yet – I’d start by watching it (it is an hour – so be sure to set aside an hour that you won’t be interrupted – it is worth it):

Randy – you have left a legacy behind you.  To Jai and your children – we are praying for you – and I know that Randy is hard at work preparing the path for each of you once you one day meet again in the life to come.

Thanks Randy for making this world a better place than it was before you came.

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Google Reader

May 16th, 2008 2 comments

In a world that is being filled with more and more blogs every day, how do you keep track of them all? Well – you don’t… but, google reader is sure a nice way to keep track of those you are interested in, as well as share those posts you find interesting with others, etc… give it a try if you haven’t already!

You can keep up to speed with the blog posts I find interesting either on the right hand side of this site, or directly here (all via google reader):

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There is so much truth to be found in Dilbert…

May 16th, 2008 1 comment

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