April 29, 2009

Slightly Biased

Isn't she just adorable?

Not normally very good at taking photos it has been especially tough the past couple weeks since misplacing our camera. Is it at your house? In your car? Please let us know. Here are a few from the past couple weeks taken with the backup.

Lily had the hugest smile while sleeping the other night in the car. I am sure she was dreaming about when daddy comes home, the other time she busts out that smile.

At her Grandma Emmett's house in her new dress.

Perfecting the backwards navigation of the stairs.

Jack, not one to normally be shown up, puts on a show by demonstrating that he too can go down stairs backwards on his stomach.

Family photo op before church Easter Sunday.

April 18, 2009

Pops are out right?

We got to spend a spring break of sorts in California over Easter. Beth and her sisters and mother drove down together and I was able to join them over the weekend. They were able to keep busy doing the usual and even made a field trip to Disneyland. It was certainly a nice break from the extended winter going on around here.

Here's a few photos from the park.

Lily having fun and not so fun on the slides.

The female version of this photo. Same sweater and everything.
We found a handball in the bushes at the school and got busy. Which brings me to the subject of this post. Pops are out right? Beth and I disagreed on this fact. Probably because she is the one who hit it. Here I am busting out just one of the moves from my childhood. Cucumbers! Not even a surprise Watermelon! could catch Beth. She is a handball wizard.

Girlfriend Rock

According to my resume (anybody know how to get the ' over the e?) a few of the things I have to offer the world include "Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to think critically and analyze information to produce results. Effective team player and motivator."

I've always thought that if there wasn't some crazy hard rule about a resume only being one page I could include some of my real skillz. Maybe I could just edit experience and take out "#1 fastest drive-thru attendant at El Pollo Loco summer of 1995." One of those skillz would be "EXCELLENT mix maker."

I was reminded of this a couple weeks ago after a letter from my little brother Elder Michael. Apparently earlier that P-Day he had borrowed his Mission President's computer and made a quote "sweet mix" and asked if I remembered all the "sweet mixes" we used to make. Do I remember? Of course I do, I made one that morning as well. His mix would probably only be considered sweet by other missionaries or mothers on a Sunday afternoon but still. Upon further thought I wonder if it's hereditary. The next best mix makers I know are my little brothers, both tied for second.But will we be able to teach Jack?

Since blogs are an excellent forum to share bits of wisdom I thought I might occasional share a mix. This particular one is called Girlfriend Rock. If you can't figure out why take another second. Yes these were all on my computer, including Elton John and Avril Lavigne. With the exception of Ocean 11 I'm sure they are all available for download (now $0.30 more!). I haven't been able to find them since the glory days of Napster.

  1. Rock 'n Roll -- The Sounds
  2. Girlfriend In A Coma -- The Smiths
  3. The Rock Show -- Blink-182
  4. Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend -- Mr. T Experience
  5. Rock Your Body -- Justin Timberlake
  6. Ex-Girlfriend -- No Doubt
  7. Rock Lobster -- The B-52's
  8. She Has a Girlfriend Now -- Reel Big Fish
  9. Punk Rock Girls -- The Queers
  10. My Girlfriend's Dead -- The Vandals
  11. Solid as a Rock -- Ocean 11
  12. Swiss Army Girlfriend -- Mr. T Experience
  13. Crocodile Rock -- Elton John
  14. Girlfriend -- Avril Lavigne
  15. Rocksteady -- Ocean 11

April 9, 2009

Best Friend?

*Note from JohnE - after a couple weeks this is the best I could come up with for my 100th post.

One of the things I love about living in what some consider the middle of nowhere is the excellent recreation available. The cycling, running, and swimming around Heber Valley is an absolute treat (OK maybe not in Winter). On a run you are more likely to see an Osprey, Sandhill Crane, Bald Eagle, or of course the Hawk than a pigeon or a crow. However, there is a potential danger to running in the country. Because of this danger I have been become quite literally a scaredy cat, always on the lookout. I switched earphones because noise canceling earphones open me for not so sneak attacks. What is this danger you ask? It's the country family dog.

Now I am a dog lover and a former dog owner. I hope to one day own a dog again. I just have to wait until my kids are old enough and I can trick them into wanting a dog so bad they'll sign away their life promising to care for and clean up after it. But I was and will be responsible about it, no matter how "nice" or "loving" she is. Cheyenne, while crazy, wouldn't hurt a fly. Actually that's not true, I once saw her eat a fly out of the air. But whenever I was outside with her she was either on a leash or tied up, because other people don't know she's crazy friendly. Apparently this common courtesy doesn't apply to families that own more than one acre. Once you hit the acre mark it is no longer required to fence or tie your dog. I have a couple favorite routes and have over time learned and named every stinkin dog. Luckily I've never been attacked let alone bitten. At least not since the mission but then I was actively trying to get onto properties so I guess it was bound to happen.

My short run is an excellent out and back. It's 4 miles to the top of Memorial Hill and back. Plus from the bottom of the hill to the top is exactly a mile so if you want a good 10K you just run the hill twice. Here is who you need to be on the look out for:
  1. Grendel (Mile .67 and 3.4) - This house is actually the worst I have come across. Grendel is an Irish Wolfhound. If you haven't ever seen an Irish Wolfhound think Shetland Pony but instead of ridiculous think terrifying. The size of a small horse and looks of something bred to kill wolves. And it's not just Grendel because also at the Nielsen's is . . .
  2. Killer (Mile .67 and 3.4) - Killer is a champion German Shepherd. Very pretty and almost jet black. For a period I was the Nielsen's home teacher and know both these dogs to be gentle giants but it still doesn't help when they come running. They are only outside if someone in the family is working in the yard which is amazingly often when there is 3 acres to tend. Plus I know Killer is employed by Wasatch Search and Rescue. Whatever his intentions may be his job is literally to hunt humans and that is scary.
  3. Tad (Mile .75 and 3.27) - Tad is a six month old Golden Retriever and reminds me of my dog growing up. I guess I spoke too soon when I said I hadn't been bitten because Tad (who is a tad) did run up to me and do that jump on and mouth thing puppies are so fond of.
  4. Bucky (Mile .88 and 3.14) - Bucky is the ultimate pound rescue mutt. Even though he doesn't wear a collar it does look like he treats the property as an invisible fence and just gives a few warning barks.
  5. Danger Zone (Mile 1-3) - You aren't in the clear once you get to the hill. Like any road with no one and no houses around this is where people come to walk their dogs who need a leash without a leash. Just be ready if you see any cars parked at the bottom.
A popular long run is 10 miles and is sort of a half tour de heber. It's a picturesque run over the river, through the woods, to grandma McEuen's, by the lake, along Soldier Hollow, and home. These roads are particularly populated by families with many acres therefore not required to follow the guidelines set by society. Here is a quick sample of who to look out for:
  1. Orange Lassie (Mile 1.64) - A descriptive name but I actually haven't seen the Hyde's dog in a while so maybe the obstacle has been handled.
  2. Ren (Mile 2.61) - The first of two annoying toy dogs on Casperville Road. About the size of shoebox this dog has the best hearing of any dog I've seen. No matter which way the wind is blowing you can't sneak by Ren. Ren is persistent and doesn't stop barking but because of his size it wouldn't bother me if it wasn't for his effect on . . .
  3. Stimpy (Mile 2.64) - Stimpy is a yellow lab and honestly would not give a care if it wasn't for the noise his friend and neighbor makes. If Ren is out then Stimpy gets up and puts on a show. If I run up and see Stimpy alone all he does is lift his head look to Ren for instructions. If Ren isn't around then Stimpy goes back to sleep. Gotta love old labs.
  4. Napoleon (Mile 2.83) - This dog has made me madder than any dog. A miniature pinscher with a true Napoleon complex. This dog actually chases and tries to attack cars. Napoleon is also one of the few dogs that I can run faster than. The annoying part is he doesn't give up. Unless you turn and face him at which point he turns and runs like he just got beaten. But eventually he turns around and starts chasing again only this time a 1/4 mile behind.
  5. Grizzled (Mile 3.35) - This is a true cattle dog and looks like he is about 20 years. Even though he sits right on the road he doesn't bother to investigate. Which is a good thing because despite his age I would pick him in any scrap.
  6. Amigo (Mile 4.3) - Amigo is a border collie mix. After a few initially intense moments where he thoroughly checked me out and began following just behind me (forcing me to keep my head on swivel) I invited him to come run next me so I could more easily watch him. He ended up keeping me company for over a mile at which point he turned (hopefully for home). Since then he has joined me one more time.
And it goes on with 5 more named unfenced dogs before mile 8 and the civilization of downtown Midway. Sure there are pluses like I get to work on my neck muscles for swimming and I've heard that running backwards is good cross training for something. I guess I'm just jealous that I probably won't ever get to be one of the those people the rules don't apply to.