20 September 2008

State of the Art Tech-hot-ogy

Techotogy: That One Gwen; She's tech-savvy, she's hot and she's a blog prodigy.

Welcome to the world of blogging, honey.

19 September 2008

Shopping by Kimmie

Jeff said I have to introduce myself. I'm Gwen. I'm the supermom Jeff tells you all about. I'm the mom of the Q-T-Pie kids in all the pictures. I don't have as much time as Jeff does to blog, and I'm not as great at writing as Jeff is either. But I'm trying my hand at it anyway!

Today, my cute little Kimmie announced she wanted to go shopping. She grabbed her purse, put on her slippers and invited me to go with her.

At the moment I was changing one of the twins, so I asked Kimmie what she was shopping for.

She simply replied, "Shopping."

I realized I had to explain myself. "Are you shopping for food? Are you shopping for clothes? Are you shopping for tools? What are you shopping for, Kimmie?" I asked.

"Dress-up" was Kimmie's response.

I asked where she planned on doing this shopping.

"My room."

Before I was even done changing one on the boys, Kimmie went to her room, gathered up her spoils, and returned with an armful of too-big clothes she had shopped for! My cute little Kimmie is a true girl.

17 September 2008

The Sons of September Slip into Celebration Mode

Part I - Brennan's Birthday

So all three of my sons were born in September. We couldn't break the mold no matter how hard we tried. Whether we liked it or not, we got all our boys in September and our girls in December.

So Brennan's birthday came first... He got breakfast of his choice (pancakes and muffins), a wireless Playstation 2 controller, homemade Oreo cookies for his birthday cake, lunch with Dad and the family (thanks to work being so close to home now!) and some presents that are awaiting shipping from overseas (Kingdom Hearts 2 collectibles.) It was a fun day.

That weekend, we threw Brennan's party at NickelMania. 10 kids and 4 adults, and it was a riot! Though I have to say, I wonder if the adults had more fun than the kids. They say youth is wasted on the young... well, many of the kids blew most of their 40 nickels in about 20 minutes due to throwing them into the "ticket" games trying to win prizes. Brennan and his friend Bryson put 20 of them each into a Simpsons arcade game so they could have 60 lives each. heh.

They certainly don't appreciate the concept of arcades as the adults remember it from our youth (said in the voice of Grumpy Old Man: "Back in my day, video games cost $0.25 and we LIKED IT!!! Oh how we LOVED IT!!!") See, when we hit arcades as kids, the goal was to see how long you could go on one or two quarters on a game.

And these nickel arcades are packed with games we used to play as kids. The really fun ones, like Frogger, Q*bert, TRON, Joust, Donkey Kong (and all sequels), Super Mario Bros, BurgerTime, Defender, etc. they're all there and more. One wall is lined with old-school pinball games. They have some newer ones too, so there is pretty much something for everyone there. The adults talked a lot about ditching the kids some time and having an adults night there. I think we will.

Anyway, everyone had a great time; and it was wonderful to see Brennan have such fun with his friends.

Part II - Ryan's and Andrew's Birthdays

Congrats, Gwennie!!! You survived the twins' first year! You are more than Mom-of-the-Year material, trust me... And we still need to do some kick-butt bash for you and your achievements! Since I didn't have time to do anything cool around their birthdays, we'll have to see about something special come Anniversary time. ;)

So Ryan and Andrew celebrated their first birthday on Sunday with my family gathered round (we had six birthdays to celebrate amongst my siblings' famlies and mine; my own family accounting for three of them. heh)

As is tradition, we like to give large pieces of cake to the children (Brennan got an entire small cake for his first birthday) and enjoy their reaction to it after being placed in front of them. We must not like getting sleep.

Needless to say, Ryan and Andrew didn't delay in devouring their chocolate goodness that tastes infinitely better than that nasty-smelling formula they've been forced to consume throughout their first year.

It was a well-received right-of-passage into toddlerhood, and they accepted it gleefully. The pictures and video will tell all; but for a cliff-notes explanation, Ryan dropped a large portion of his cake down in his lap just before I started taking video of the event. So when his tray already looks empty when you watch the video, that's why. You'll chuckle when he finds it again during the video. Enjoy!

And now our feature presentation...

click play on the video below

And finally, the aftermath... Way to get in to your work guys! Y'all really cleaned house (rather made a mess of it...)

Happy Birthday, the boys! I love you!

02 September 2008

Tender Moments with My Family

Gwen's grandmother passed away last week and we headed to St. George for the funeral. It was a wonderful and honorable tribute to a great woman that has influenced all of our lives for good and we'll miss her. We're grateful she's returned home to her Heavenly Father and husband who passed a few years back; away from her suffering.

Gwen's family did something very special at both her grandfather's and grandmother's funerals; something I've never seen done before, but would love to see at more in the future.

Each of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren wrote down something special they remember about Grandma on a paper heart. The paper hearts were then affixed to a balloon (one heart per balloon) and we all released them together after the dedication of the grave, while a special song played on the loud-speaker. It was a very precious and tender moment.

As we watched the balloons fly high into the sky, my sweet compassionate Mandi burst into tears. As my loving wife brought Mandi into her arms to console her, my youngest daughter Kimmie cuddled in and my son Brennan came close to lend his support. I feared ruining such a tender moment, but felt compelled to capture it on camera as I was so moved by it myself.

Family is what it's all about, my friends... and it's times like these that are poignant reminders. So draw in your little ones... hug them, tell them how much you love them. Because no matter what life throws at you, they're what you always have, no matter what.

And cherish the special moments like this... they're what stay with you through time while the other things fade away.

01 September 2008

I Saw an Arrow of Light... (the a-"Bridge"d Version)

This month Brennan will graduate from being a Cub Scout to being an 11-year old Scout. His leaders, especially Nic Hales, have worked extremely hard to ensure he met the goal of achieving his "Arrow of Light" award before he moved on.

Now the Arrow of Light is the highest honor a Cub Scout can earn. From the Boy Scouts of America site: "The pinnacle of Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light Award. The requirements for this badge include developing outdoor skills, gaining an understanding of the values of Scouting, and preparing to become a Boy Scout."

Sadly, I myself never earned this award; and it probably means Brennan is a better outdoorsman than I am. Those of you that know me will testify this is true.

Back to the story...

Last Tuesday was Brennan's final Cub Pack Meeting. He was presented with his arrow of light. As you can see he was proud of himself; and well he should be. We're pretty proud of him too.

After the award was presented, Brennan got to pick which cheer we would do for him in honor of earning this prestigous award. As you can see, he picked one that would make a good shot to make mom and dad look not-so-presigous in the picture (props to Shanette for catching us at the opportune moment!); the "watermelon" cheer.

... And of course, the best part about being a dad ... the hugs of appreciation afterwards (though I must say I didn't do much... Mom on the other hand... she got two hugs; one from Brennan and one from me.) Congratulations, Brennan!

Next came the Bridging Ceremony, symbolic of their crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. Brennan got to tell the Pack what his most memorable experiences were going through Cub Scouts, which included Flag Football and a really fun overnight campout at Uncle Keith's in Tooele; where Brennan got to ride a horse and more.

We're all looking forward to the adventures Brennan will have in the Boy Scouts and hope his enthusiasm will continue on.

Our many thanks go out to all of his leaders over the years. You've all been wonderful.

Congratulations, again, Brennan! We love you and are so proud of you! :)