Friday, December 26, 2008

The first post of Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for Dad.
Merry Christmas to all who read this blog. I realize we've gotten pretty bad about updating, but hopefully this will appease our fans.
December has been one crazy month for our household. It's been non-stop activities. Kim began December with a T.E.C weekend. She served as an Assistant-Lay Director in Beatrice. I've started planning for my own T.E.C which is just around the corner, and will be located in Wahoo. For this Teens Encounter Christ, I'll be an Assistant-Lay Director as well. God willing, Kim and I will begin directing our own TEC's soon. A few birthdays here and there, some various excusrsions into the cold. Noah went with Teetee (not sure how that should be spelled) and her friend Molly (Wall-E according to Noah) to see the Star City Parade: "Big Tractor Dadda, and Santa, and Elmo!". Harrison is teasing us with a few extra teeth, and walking, but neither one is there yet. But what would be December, without our annual trip ti Uncle Chris, and Teetee Rebecca's to see Santa Clause. Noah was so excited, until the moment actually came.... For the first time in his life, Noah was actually pretty reluctant to sit on Santa's lap. But he still had to get his order for Christmas in. So, from a safe distance across the room he shouted it in "Santa, Big Tractor book!!" "Tell Santa what Harrison wants" I would say, " Toys!" "What kind of Toys Noah?" "Blue toys". And then the boy was gone.

Harrison didn't fair much better, infact, I've never seen Harrison so afraid of anyone.

This grumpy gus over to the side, went out of his way to let Santa know they weren't going to get along. I suppose Harry thought he had been a bad boy all year and didn't want to make nice with the man who was going to bring him coal.
Despite the mood of my children, I was bound and determined to get a good picture with Santa. Mostly because Kim couldn't make this annual tradition and I knew she was a little sad about that. So, in order to make my wife's Christmas wish come true, I thought I'd sit in on the picture too. This was taken a moment before Harrison quite literally screamed bloody murder in Mr. Kringle's face. (we tried)

After the jolly man vacated the premises, the boys went back to normal. Harrison, promptly crawled to a stranger and asked to be held, and Noah invited himself onto cousin Christian's bunk-bed, so that he could be a big boy for a while. I've always admired how patient Christian is with Noah, in-fact, I'm very proud of how loving he is around my kids, and in my opinion, the picture of the two of them on the bunk-bed is quite the heart warmer....

Okay, enough sentiment, let's skip ahead to the sword fight that occured right after this loving moment... Despite my praise of Christian, I quickly changed my opinion, and thought him to be pretty sneaky, after all, he did bring a gun to a knife fight, which left Noah at a slight disadvantage, good thing he isn't afraid to kick.

Even with a few setbacks, we did have some fun, and even though Noah and Harrison didn't enjoy Santa Clause as much as I hoped, the oldest did go on to spent the next 3 weeks asking if Santa was going to come that night. I'm still not sure if he wanted to see Santa, or the Big Tractor book and Blue toys that he was promised.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A cry for pictures

So I have been told that maybe we have been a little lax on updating the pictures. Maybe Greg has been posting too many nerd stories...although I don't know if it can be helped. To outway this, I decided to have a just a blog of pictures. Here are some from Valla's Pumpkin Patch. As soon as Greg downloads the new pictures off the camera, we will be posting pictures from Halloween.

Friday, October 31, 2008

For the nerds

So a few weeks ago, my brother tells me about a great motivational poster he saw; it's a Storm Trooper sitting with his hands propped on a table, resting his head in his hands. The caption reads: Hindsight, those were the droids I was looking for.
In fact, it is so funny that I went online and looked up a variety of nerdy motivational posters ranging from content from Star Wars, Star Trek, Office, The Office, etc. Most have been set up to display as a slide show as a Screen Saver, and the Storm Trooper has made it as my work desktop. As I googled these images, I thought to myself "Self, nerds came up with these posters, and I"m a nerd, so why don't I try my hand at this." Please, constructive criticism only, these are only early attempts and I'd hate someone's over zealous critique to dampen any future trials. Who knows, perhaps a career in motivating people.

I realize it's hard to read, so here you go
Precision: Not a Quality to have when trying to blame someone else for your work

I was unsure of this one, but it's turned out to be pretty good

Luck:For those of us who didn't practice bulls-eyeing whomp rats back home

And Finally, last but not least, my attempt to dive into the New Saga...

Heartbreak: who knew it could kill you?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh Boy

A short, humorous anecdote to wrap up this Blue Troll nonsense. Noah's new thing is "oh boy".
Every time he's told "no" we hear "Oh boy" as he hangs his head, or tosses his hands up in the air. It's quite the sign of defeat on his part. When Harrison moves one of Noah's intricately placed toys, "Harrison, Oh boy". It's funny. We'll try and catch it on video, but he's such a ham on video we may not catch it.

By the way, if you see the PC commercial about food, pay attention to the second person. He's kind of hard to miss. Bald headed, goatee, cheese slices in hand, big Joker like grin on his face. I believe he's saying something like "I like cheese" in a funny voice. Yeah, that's Kim's cousin. He's the family's representative to the rest of the world. We just saw it on T.V. for the first time tonight (previously we viewed on YouTube). Oh boy!

The solution

As we continue to deal with the blue troll, I've thought of a few ways that Troll can make it up to Kim and I perhaps he could start pulling his weight around the house. Let me know what you think...
1) Troll could help me in the basement. I can't help it if he climbs behind the dry wall to ensure cords are properly tucked away, and I forget he's there while patching up some holes.
2) I need help moving the lawn. I'm pretty sure that the mower blade will get jammed, and Blue Troll would be more than happy to climb under the mower and help me dislodge the blade.
3)I've been having trouble with the grill. Perhaps the cord from the propane tank to the burner is clogged, and the Troll would want to climb into the unit to explore.
4) Kim mentioned the toaster isn't working properly, perhaps Blue Troll can plug it in and take a look. Preferably in the bathtub, that has the best lighting in the house.
5) We have some carnivorous rabits in our backyard. I think they may be stuck under the shed Blue Troll would be more than excited to help guide these little critters out.

These are just a few helpful suggestions I've come up with. Please feel free to add your own.

The Saga Continues: Part II

Noah likes to test the water, bush buttons if you will. He, just like any two year old wants to know his limits, so he's become very good pushing Kim and I too our limits. Part two picks up, at somewhere between 7:30 and 8 on a Thursday Night. Harrison has been put to bed, and the older brother is on his way. Mr. Noah decides that bedtime is in fact, not in his immediate future. Let the tantrum begin.
Noah, quite literally goes to his room kicking and screaming. By this time, he's yelled and back talked Kim and I enough that we don't feel bad for making him so upset. By the time he gets to his room, Noah decides that his show, as thus far not been big enough. Upon climbing into bed, he begins to pick up the zoo of stuffed animals and throws each one on the floor. With each victim, the throw becomes more intense. Finally we come to the grand finale, blue troll is the sole survivor of this onslaught, which I have "patiently" endured for long enough.
"Noah, if you throw that troll, you will go to bed withou...."
That's all I said, before the boy gave me that look that said "how are are you willing to go?"
The troll hit the floor, and bounced. (Noah did not get hit, if that's what you thought the action word meant).
Just as systematically as each victim hit the floor, I picked each up, and removed them from the room, making a special trip for the blue troll.
Now, let's take our flux capacitor, power it up, and set the dial for 30 minutes into the future...
Noah is hysterical. "MOMMA, BLUE TROLL, BLUE TROLL PLEASE!!!!!! BLUE TROLL!!!!" He screamed. He gave up on the plea of "DADDA, ME BLUE TROLL!!!" (translation: give me the blue troll dad) about 15 minutes earlier, as I would only come into his room periodically and let him know that he needed to go to sleep, and that if he woke up his brother, there would be some unforeseeable punishment in his very close future.
Apparently I, as the dad, failed to learn my lesson from the begining of this adventure, and could not understand that Noah was not going to listen to me, and would in fact defy every single one of my parental directions.

Sad story, but the boy cried himself to sleep. It was hard, Kim and I many times wanted to give in to him, but on principal alone, we could not back down after we had so openly been disobeyed.
Approx. 90 minutes after Noah had initially gone to bed, there was quiet in our house. The tempest had blown over....or had it? Perhaps Kim and I should have considered the fact that we were only in the eye of the storm.
On a side note, Noah was slightly vindicated as Kim and I were completely unable to watch our usual thrusday night show of the office, due to our inability to hear. Noah didn't get what he wanted, we didn't get what we wanted.

Fast forward to 6 am. I have friday off work, and I'm planning on spending a restful day at home with the family, perhaps a little sleeping in...perhaps not.
"DADDA BLUE TROLL!!!" comes the too familiar cry from the boys room. Like a flash, I bolt into Noah's room to try and calm him down and get him back to sleep. Three weeks later, I'm still impressed by my ability to so carefully and quickly navigate from my bed to his, while still mostly groggy. "Noah, go back to sleep" "Noah, it's okay" "Noah don't wake Harrison". There would be no comfort for Noah. And Harrison wasn't going to let his brother be the only person awake screaming. So, long story short, Noah and Harrison both got up very early, and in very bad moods.

But why my hatred of the Blue Troll? Because for the rest of the day, we heard nothing but Noah's desire for the troll. Nap was the equivalent of the previous night in regards to frustration, once it was clear that Blue Troll wasn't an option, Noah wasn't going to give us a break.

Eventually the Troll and Noah were reunited. But now Noah knows the Troll is the ultimate tool. Blue troll will be dropped no more than 4 times at night, giving Noah a reason to scream for Kim or I to come search for the little monster. Meanwhile, Noah giggles and tells us some incomprehensible story. In the middle of the night, if Blue Troll is not in hand, the kid wakes up screaming. I'm not sure, Kim or I have had a straight nights sleep since the "incident".

To make matters worse, Noah has managed to find the missing "Orange Troll" (no I did not make this troll go missing, he just got lost while Noah was playing). Now there is twice as much fun...

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Saga of the Blue Troll: Episode I

The Blue Troll and I are currently not speaking. In fact, if the blue troll so much as looks at me funny, an accident will happen. I'm trying to convince Noah, that it's in his best interest to severe ties with this no good piece of trouble making plastic. Noah, will have none of it. Blue Troll is his best friend. I say "no". Blue Troll is his pawn, his means for causing mischief, and an accident is bound to happen.
Before we go any further, let us instead move backwards. Embarking on a nostalgic trip into the 90's, and if you'll power up your flux capacitor just a little more, we'll go all the way to the early 90's. Recall if you will, some of the fads of the time, specifically Troll Dolls, the predecessor to those horrible little beanie babies. These trolls did it all, they dressed up as marines, business men, judges, ninjas, etc, etc, etc.
Three of these little guys managed to survive Y2K, and awaken in the new millenia in my home. Kim and I thought nothing of it, and simply disgarded these little miscreants, pawning them off onto our children. If only we had been more careful. With the kind of recklessness we were displaying we might as well have fed Gizmo after midnight (PS-there will be a quiz later over all the 80's and 90's references that I seem to be unintentionally writing into this entry).
Noah took to the troll like a fish to water ( sidebar-Harrison could care less about the things, but they are fun to tickle his nose with when he's grumpy), perhaps like the little boy from the Child's Play Movie who just can't help himself when it comes to playing with that psychotic little My Buddy doll (seriously, I too can't help myself, these references are like an extension of my person, I'm not even trying) Noah found a friend, and at first it was cute, when Noah had to carry the little guy around, he even named it "Blue Troll". We would tuck Noah in at night and discover, Blue Troll held tightly in his little hands. Blue Troll would get hugs and kisses just like Noah, and occasionally, Blue Troll would join us for a meal or two, or three. But then last week things got out of hand...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Zoo, Part II

Well, as Greg is entirely too busy watching the X-Men cartoon via Netflix, I guess I, Kim, will have to continue the saga that was the zoo.

I'll continue where I left off, exiting the Cat Complex. We next headed down, up, sideways? the Gorilla exhibit. Not much to go over from this as most of the apes were sleeping or out of site. Greg did manage to get into an argument with Noah. The question: Are we looking at monkeys or apes? Obviously the answer was apes as all monkeys have tails, but, who can argue with a 2 year old? We did get a few pics around the statues though. Who needs the real thing?
I think the most exciting thing for the boys was the petting zoo. I know, all of these nifty animals with such cool evolutionary designs...and Noah loved the goats. Alas, a two year old mind does not reason. He loved getting to touch them and feel the hard horns. I think any chance to run a muck with animals is fun for Noah.

Harrison also loved to see the goats up close and to touch them. Although, you could say that there's not much Harrison doesn't like. We'll just have to assume that he enjoyed himself because of the animals.
Probably the highlight of Noah's trip was the train ride. Lately, Noah has become quite fascinated with trains. Seeing trains, going over train tracks, watching trains, watching cartoon trains (i.e. Thomas the Train); anything about trains floats his boat. Grandpa generously offered to stay behind with Harrison so that Noah could enjoy the trip w/ Mom, Dad, and Uncle John.

We all thought Noah might be a little scared on the train, just because this was so different from anything he's ever done. We were way off. Noah loved watching the steam come off the engine and loved the fact that we were actually on the cho-cho tracks. Again, the simplicity of a two year old. I did have to point out that there were still animals around, but I think I only distracted him for a few minutes before we started talking train again.

After the train, we made a few other quick stops. Noah, Greg and Grandpa fed the budgies (different types of small parrots) while Harrison, John and I watched the otters. No, I did not take any to practice my taxidermy skills (through back to the old college days working at Moral Hall). And I'm pretty sure had I tried a few people might have stopped me. I leave you w/ the fun pics.

The sounds not the greatest on these videos, but there fun to just watch Noah.

And that was our zoo trip. A fun time was had by all, especially due to the fact that most of the animals were actually awake and moving around. Another plus was that it was only in the mid to upper 70's. A perfect day for the zoo!