Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Weekend Of Fun

Saturday was a busy day for us and it all revolved around Tyler. But first, Bailey lost another tooth this week, while biting a sucker. That’s three teeth lost by biting now; a sucker, pizza and the first one while biting me. This one had been loose for a while and in fact, it had been sitting there so long that her gum tissue moved down inside the hollow tooth and had formed into the shape of another tooth. Quite strange looking, but it is receding now, so hopefully it will take care of itself.
The kids went to a school carnival on Friday night with Carol and her mom and had lots of fun; and of course brought home a bunch of wonderful little goodies (or as I would call it: more crap to fill up the house). But they had a good time, so it’s all good.
On Saturday, Grandpa Livingston came up from Eugene for all the festivities. First, Tyler had his last football game of the season, and they played their best game of the year. Although they didn’t score, they held the other team to just one TD. That same team scored 6 or 7 times against them each of the other two times they played them, so it was a great moral victory. And in fact, the other team should not have been given credit for their TD, because the kid did some major flag-guarding on his TD run, but the refs didn’t call anything. But despite that, we felt pretty good about this game, compared to all the rest.
After his game the, team had a pizza party at Izzy’s (nothing but the best), which the whole family enjoyed.
But we still weren’t done. We then headed to the church for the Pinewood Derby. It was Tyler’s first time, and his car did pretty well. He ended up third overall, and he and I were both pretty happy with that.
He wanted a Blazers car, so this is what we came up with. Carol and Tyler did the painting and I took care of the cutting, sanding and grinding.
Plus, we got an assist from Jerry Balch (a friend in the ward) on the wheels and axles. All-in-all it was fun to watch, and 3rd place felt pretty good.
Plus, his car looked pretty cool, so in my bias opinion it had to have earned a few style points, too.

Here's Caden enjoying a snack at the Pinewood Derby

And here is Trevin doing the same

And this is a rare moment when Caden is actually enjoying being with someone who is not direct family. Congrats Jason Bird, you are one of the very few to have this privilege.

Well that was our exciting Saturday. No funnies this time, I haven’t been as diligent lately, sorry. But at least you can enjoy some new pics. And, if you enjoy faith-building experiences (and you haven’t already done so) read the entry just before this one.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We Have Been Blessed!

By the way, here are our new e-mail addresses. (Yes, you all know how old we are, now)

Well, I suppose I should give an update to my family on the results of a family fast we had on February 1st. Anyone else that's interested can read on, also. As you know we are employment-challenged and in January we were told by FedEx (my only job) that all part-time employees would have to call in each day to see if there was work. The first two weeks were bad. Although I went in each day, my weekly hours were cut by about a third. So I went from less than 30 a week, to less than 20 a week. We had an extended family fast for this and for other reasons as well. I can't speak for the others, but as for us, here is what happened.

Of course, I was hoping for a great new job which would mean the end of the part-time nightlife with FedEx. However, that's not what happened. But the Lord did hear our pleas and he had an almost-immediate answer. The Thursday after our fast (my birthday coincidentally), FedEx announced that all but four full-time workers would be given the option to be laid off or go part-time. That of course, meant more available hours for the part-timers. So I'm thinking this is really good. I could work 6 hours a night (that's the most they will let you do in a night), which was even more than before. However, then they announced that they wanted to keep every one at 25 hours a week, at the most. Better than nothing, but not as much as I hoped. But, nothing is impossible for the Lord. First of all, there are several people who aren't getting any hours. And secondly, I have talked with several guys, and the supervisors are being very strict with them about not going over 25 hours a week. And they all still have to call in before the shift each day, even the guys who were full-timers. My story is different. First, I do not have to call in before the shift. One of the supervisors told me to just come in every night, and there would be work. And as far as the hours go, I have worked 6 hours almost every night, since they made the announcement. No matter what, there always seems to be enough work for me, and the supervisors just never say anything. I don't know if they aren't paying attention, or just turning their heads the other way and pretending they don't notice. Whatever the case, I attribute it to the hand of the Lord. With limited work available and everyone else being strictly kept to the 25-hour rule, there is just no other explanation.

Again, I was hoping for a great new job, but with so many people losing their jobs and so many others getting their hours cut, I cannot complain about my situation. At least we have some employment, and in fact I now get more hours a week than I did before we fasted and before they made the first announcement about cutting hours. So, indeed the Lord does bless and watch over us, and we never will suffer more than is for our good. Elder Quentin L. Cook quoted President Harold B. Lee in his October General Conference talk: “Sometimes the things that are best for us and the things that bring eternal rewards seem at the moment to be the most bitter, and the things forbidden are ofttimes the things which seem to be the more desirable.” That is so true. Well, I just thought I would update everyone on how things are going and let you all know that we are grateful to you for the prayers and concerns. THANKS!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Who Knew Bailey Was Even Married?

We’ve been battling the pukes here at our house for the last 10 days, and oh what fun that is. Each kid has been touched by this ever so unpopular visitor, with Bailey holding out the longest, but finally succumbing on Saturday night. But on to more pleasant things (sort of): Tyler’s football season is nearly reached its completion, with the last game being next Saturday. They had a hard fought loss this last Saturday 21-7, but he played really well and came close to scoring so many times, including the long run that ended with a kid diving and kind of tackling him to keep him about two yards short of the end zone. So despite the cold and wet weather, it was still a pretty decent game. He is also working on his Pinewood Derby car, which will be run next Saturday. This will be my first attempt at a Pinewood Derby car as a Dad, and I’m a little nervous, because I don’t have the same car-making abilities as my dad. I’m letting him make all the decisions, though, so hopefully it will turn out well for him. We shall see. Tyler also recently received an honor at his school for “Bucket-Filling” behavior. Basically that means he has a positive attitude with other kids in his class, instead of “emptying their buckets.” Well that’s about all folks. I better get to the funnies, because there are quite a few.

So Trevin likes to play some of Tyler’s Wii video games that are a little too complex for him still. He was playing Backyard Football and he thought he was the “White” team (Carolina Panthers) and the computer was the “Black” (Pittsburgh Steelers) team. So the score is already 18-0 after about 4 or 5 total possessions, and he thinks he is winning. He says look, no one can get me down. So I check things out and, of course, he is actually the Black team and is getting hammered. I tell him that he is the Black team and that the computer is the White team. He argued with me and we went back and forth a few times. Then, about a minute later, he said: “Dad, the referee said I am the White team, so ha ha.”

Bailey loves to play things from church that she sees or hears her mom do. So the other night, Carol and I were giving the three boys a bath. Bailey was in the living room by herself. I came out, unknown to her and she was “on the phone” playing enrichment. Carol had been very busy over the past few weeks with a big enrichment activity. So I hid behind the couch and just sat and listened in. She is hilarious, because she can fake a conversation on the phone so well. She pauses, changes subjects, answers questions and anything else you would do in a normal conversation; and does it seamlessly. After a bit, Tyler was done and came out. She kept going, because she is only embarrassed to do it in front of me. At one point, Tyler thought she was asking him a question, so he answered, and she said: “I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the girls.” So he apologized and then she says to the “person” on the other line: “I know; that’s my husband. He does that all that time. Anytime, I talk on the phone he just freaks out.”

The kids were having a snack one evening while Carol and I were folding laundry. I called the three older ones back to put their clothes away. So they promptly came and did it. Then, when they got back to the living room, and their snacks, part of Trevin’s was mysteriously missing. “Where’s my licorice?” he asked. Carol had no idea, and I didn’t at first. Then, I looked at squirrel-cheeked Caden, and asked: “Did you take Trevin’s licorice?” “Uhu.” “Is it in your mouth right now?” “Uhu” So I told him not to take other people’s food; that’s not nice. About 15 seconds later, he walks over to me with a 2-inch piece of licorice covered in other pieces of his snack and tries to hand it to me. I guess he was ready to repent, right then.

Bailey was at the dinner table and of course that means time for some “musical” work. I had my back turned and she let one go. I asked: “Who was that?” She responded: “The person who always likes to do tooters.” So I said: “It was you huh?” Bailey: “Yep, I like to do tooters.” We had a good laugh, and then she said: “Please, add that to the blog.” So dainty, our little princess.

I call home from work sometimes to say goodnight to the kids. Bailey loves to answer the phone and she did this time. I used some high-pitched voice and chatted for a second, then asked her if her daddy was home. She said: “No, it’s you dad.” I said: “You’re too smart, I can’t trick you. “She said: “It’s because I go to school everyday, dad. That’s why I’m smart.”

We drove by Grandma Shirts’ old work site and Trevin pointed out that that was where Grandma used to work. Carol said jokingly: “Yep, but then she retired and now she just sits around all day and does nothing, right?” Trevin quickly responded: “No, play the Wii.” So he already has retirement plans ready.

With our pending arrival, we have been looking for a new vehicle. Our van is great, but it does not include a shoulder belt for the fifth passenger in the back, so we need to find something that does. (We wanted to go in the Suburban direction, but in order to get the fifth shoulder belt, you have to get 2007 or newer, and that is not in our price range. So our attention has turned to 2005 or 2006 Honda Odyssey. Not our favorite, but Carol keeps having kids, so what am I going to do?) Anyways, the whole family (minus me) was driving home and Bailey said: “we should get a jeep.” Carol saw a soft-top Wrangler and said, “like that one right there?” Bailey said, yeah, that one. But then she looked at it closer and said: “But it only has four seats. We would get cut off. Me and Tyler would never get to go.”

Our next-door neighbors (or at least one of them) apparently work for a Ford dealer close by, because they have different vehicles quite often and almost all of them have the same dealer license plate cover. Anyways, the guy had a big white truck for a couple of a days and then one morning when Carol opened the blinds he had the same kind of truck, except it was gray. Bailey saw it and said: “He must of painted his truck last night.”

One night I asked what we were having for dinner and Carol said tacos. Trevin then asked: “With beans?” We always have kidney beans with tacos. She said yes, and he said: I don’t want any beans.” Carol asked him: “Who are you Donald Duck?” (Side note: we have a Disney book “Mickey and the Beanstalk”, where Donald says: “I hate beans.”) So I called Trevin Donald Duck. He then called me the same. We went back and forth calling each other Disney characters from these different books we have. I then left the duck category and said: “You’re ‘Goofy on the Hillside!’” (The name of another book we have). He then replied: “You’re just goofy.” Well played, young Jedi Wise-Guy.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tighty-Whities, Karaoke And Taking Care Of Business

The football season continues and the so do the struggles. Tyler says he is having fun, though, so that’s what is most important. He has recently been made the QB, and he played there the full game yesterday. He did OK, and did rush for a TD, but unfortunately that was the only one his team had. But again, he says he is having fun, so good for him. Meantime, he passed off all 13 of his Articles of Faith and received a giant Hershey bar in primary. Also, Bailey and Trevin have already passed off the first two, which is pretty cool, considering Trevin is only 3. So what else is new? Not much else really comes to mind right now, so I guess I’ll just get to the funnies. Enjoy!

We were doing our family scripture study and were reading about the 2000 stripling warriors. Tyler asks Bailey: “Do you know what this is about?” She wasn’t really paying close attention, so we sang the line: “We are as the armies…” and she then guessed it. We said, “OK, who is that song about?” Again, we got an unsure look. So I said “the 2000…?” but still nothing. So I just gave her the answer. She then said: “2000, that’s a lot of young men to take care of.” Then, she went into a role play that could only come from the mind of a mother-to-be, and said (considering what it must be like to take care of 2000 young men, and as though she was them): “I gotta go to the bathroom. I gotta go too. I gotta go too” and then repeated several more times. Then as the caretaker, said: “Well, there’s no bathroom.” The day before, she was in that position herself at Tyler’s football game, and Carol could not take her. So I guess she applied that situation, x2000, with the stripling warriors.

Later, during that same reading time, I pulled up my long, black dress socks. It was Sunday, so I was already in my suit. Bailey said: “You have long socks. Ewe, Whitey-tighties.” So, a quick lesson on “tighty-whities” followed. Let’s hope that is all cleared up now.

So we get to church, later that day, and right as I’m about to get Trevin out of the car, I notice he has a booger on his finger. I said: “So what did you find? What are you going to do with that?” He looks at it, then, you guessed it. He ate it. I just don’t understand why anyone would do that. Anyways, I expressed my utter disgust and told him “that was so gross.” Then Bailey says: “Well Dad, maybe you should try eating one?”

The kids were watching a video from Grandpa Shirts’ 75th birthday weekend. Towards the end of the video there are several karaoke performances by different members of Carol’s family. The one of her mom singing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a classic, but that’s the only good thing I’ll say about karaoke. If it were up to me, karaoke would be banned from ever happening again, anytime, anywhere. It’s not my thing. I know, you are all so shocked. Anyways, during this particular weekend the karaoke went on long enough to last me a lifetime, and then several more hours after that. So, when the video reached that point I told the kids to turn it off. I said I listened to it enough that day two years ago and I didn’t want to re-live it now. Trevin, sitting right next to me, says: “Well, Dad, why don’t you just go to your room.” I lost out to karaoke. Ouch!

So Bailey says to Carol one night at the dinner table: “Take off your glasses, I want to see what you look like.” Carol removed them, and Bailey said: “You look a little bit like yourself.”

I was leaving for work one evening and said my goodbyes, then said “I wish I didn’t have to work anymore (meaning at night). But Trevin had an even better idea and asked: “For the rest of your life?” Wouldn’t that be nice?

Caden is to the point where sometimes he tells us what he is doing when he has to take care of business; and other times when we ask: “what are you doing,” he answers: “Pooping.” So he and Carol were in the play room the other day and were going to get our little plastic bowling set out. However, Caden felt the urge and since he’s not quite two, no time is as good as the present. Carol asked him what he was doing, and of course he replied: “pooping.” She asked him: “Do you want to play bowling?” he replied: “No. Pooping.”

Bailey and I were playing the Wii and Trevin was just sitting on the floor watching us. Carol was on the couch – covered with Bailey’s Disney Princess blanket – and told him to come and sit with her. He said no. She asked: “You don’t want to come and sit with me?” he replied, “No.” She asked him why not and he said: “Because you have girl blanky.”

Trevin has always had a hard time saying the “K” sound when it comes at the end of a word. We have been working on it with him for a lot, recently, and he has been doing quite well. So the other day, we were playing a game (I can’t remember which game, but it involved the color yellow somehow) and he was having a hard time saying the word yellow. I said: “Welwow, or…yellow?” he tried once or twice, then I said: “ya, ya, ya” and he then said it, but added a “k” sound at the end: “yellow-ka”.

So Carol and I were laying on Bailey’s bed after a long, busy Sunday, while she was hanging up the 10-12 different outfits that she had worn since returning home from church that day. Then, unprovoked, Bailey walks over to the bed and says: “Dad, you better not toot on my bed, or I won’t sleep on it anymore.” Carol and I had good laugh, to which se replied: “I’m serious, Dad.”