Sunday, December 7, 2008

City Slicker

Our Happy Ariana...most of the time.

Kindra's birthday celebration.

Cutting down our Christmas Tree with Kindra's family.

So, for those of you who don't know, my father-in-law has a small farm and he has more cows at his brother's house nearby. The other day, after getting our Christmas tree, I needed some twine to tie our tree to our car (picture Clark Griswold minus the station wagon). So we ran over to the farm to get some bailing twine. We went over by the hay bails where we could get some used twine. When we got there, we realized there were two cows loose. So, my father-in-law ran and opened the gate and told me to bring the cows over...WHAT?! How, do you bring cows over? They're huge! I am a fairly large person, so one of my rules has always been not to mess with anything bigger than me. So I tell the cows to go over to the gate, but they are not listening. My father-in-law tells me to push them over. So I pushed the cow. The cow looks at me, moos a little, and goes back to eating. In the meantime, all of the cow friends that are still in the fence start surrounding me...and they looked hungry! I have never really thought about how appetizing I look until this point in my life, but the drool coming out of those animals mouths tell me that I might make a good meal. Well, I could go on and on, but I will spare you. We got the cows in (after they decided that I made a big enough fool of myself). However, I did learn one thing about myself. Accounting was a very good decision for a career path for me.

Kid Quotes

Mom, is dad going to say stupid?

Kierra: Dad, what did Ariana get me for Christmas?
Dad: You'll have to wait until Christmas.
Kierra: Oh, I think that I know. She was probably like maybe I'll get her a baby, maybe I'll get her a, maybe I'll get her a, maybe I'll get her that makeup thing from the Disney store...yeah, that's it!

Oh, I am falling asleep.
Kierra: [begins to sing to Kindra]
Kindra: Are you singing me to sleep?
Kierra: Yes.
Kindra: Oh, that is so nice. Why are you doing that?
Kierra: So I can watch a MOOOOO-VEEEEEE!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kid Pics and Kid Quotes

Kid Quotes

Kierra: I like it, I love it, I want some more of it! (surprising quote considering I don't allow country music in my house)

Kierra: Carrots are the worst!

Ariana: Daddy, Mommy, no, RaRa (Kierra), doggy, kitty, no, ball, baby, baba (bottle), no.

Me: Kierra, wake up, it's snowing outside!
Kierra: YESSSS!! Now we can go tube sliding at Uncle Snarlings house. (translation: now we can go tubing at Uncle Sterlings house)

Kierra: Dad, why is your toenail brown (trust me, I wish I knew)?
Me: I don't know?
Kierra: Is it because girls have white skeletons and boys have brown ones?
Me: No
Kierra: Maybe there is a nutshell stuck under there!

Kierra: Mom, will you read me another book?
Kindra: No, I need a break for a little bit.
Kierra: Uggh, you're so aggrevating!
Kindra: What?!
Kierra: Mom, what does aggrevating mean?

Me: Hi Kierra. What are you doing with your friends?
Kierra: We're playing. Can you please leave now? (I didn't think that was supposed to happen until she was a teen!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Halloween was spent at our ward party as we were recently called to be on the activities committee. It was a fun party with several hundred people there. Kindra also took the girls to a pumpkin patch with a lot of activities, and Kierra had another party with her pre-school. and we had a party with the MBA program. I think they make a great witch and cat combo!

For a school project I was required to ask for responses on my leadership strengths. I asked for three stories that demonstrated a particular trait. If you ever are feeling like you need a self-esteem boost, I would recommend pretending that you have a similar project for school. I know that it is a bit contrived considering that I only asked for positive feedback, but it still feels good. At this point, I won't be surprised if I am elected as president of the United States on Tuesday. If I am, then you are all welcome in the white house anytime.

Kid Quotes
Kierra (to her babysitter): Umm, are that any small toys that Ariana could choke, uh-huh uh-huh.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It Works!!!

Today we had a nice Sunday family meal consisting of pork chops, rice, vegetables, and some of Kindra's delicious peach pie. After dinner, I took Ariana in the other room to play. After a few minutes, Kindra came in to talk to me. We were talking when Kierra came in with an entire pork chop in her hand. She was chewing and, all of sudden, she stopped walking and chewing. She reached for her face as it started to turn red. I realized she was choking, so I jumped up, leaned over, and gave her the heimlich manuever. She made a gurgling noise, and then a 4" x 1" x 1/2" chunk of fat from the pork chop came out of her mouth. I started saying, "Are you okay?" She just nodded her head and went in for another chunk of meat. We had a talk about getting meat by herself, and I am just glad she is okay. Now I know that the heimlich manuever really works. I hope that you can just take my word for that instead of figuring it out for yourself.

Last weekend was general conference for our church. It is a weekend full of spiritually uplifting talks. It was well-needed for me. I love relaxing with my family and listening to uplifting messages. Elder Uchtdorf gave an uplifting talk that talked to me especially. A couple of my other talks were given by President Monson, Elder Wirthlin, and Elder Perry. If you are having a rough day, check one of these talks out and it just might help.

Kid Quotes:

"That guy smells like he is way too old for me." -Kierra (referring to a guy at church)

"Hey, there's President Monson...where did his hair go?" - Kierra

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I Love Diesels!!!

I have only heard two females (possibly people) ever utter this phrase. The first is a girl in my MBA program who worked for a diesel manufacturer. The second, surprisingly, was Kierra. I taught her what every child should know. Put your arm in a ninety degree angle, wait until you are next to a semi, and pump up and down until you hear a horn. It might seem like a simple thing, but I do not consider keeping a 3 year old occupied for two hours on I-80 simple. See some pictures below followed by some Kid Quotes:

Kid Quotes (Mostly Kierra, but Ariana is Getting there):

Kierra (about 15 minutes into our second day of driving): Mom, Dad, I feel carsick.
Kindra: You do. I'm sorry. What do you think we should do about it?
Kierra: I think we should stop driving right now.
DJ: Do you really feel sick?
Kierra: Yes.
DJ: How do you feel sick...what feels wierd?
Kierra: My leg hurts.
DJ: Are you sick to your stomach or are you just sick of the car?
Kierra: I am just sick of the car.

Grandpa S: Ariana, come see grandpa!
Ariana:...(that silence is Ariana shaking her head no which she also does to a lot of things Kindra and I ask her to do.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two Wrongs Make a Right?!

This weekend we decided to keep things relatively low-key. The girls have had it with long drives (I'm not keen on it either). So Friday I got home from work a little earlier, and grabbed Kindra and the girls. We went of to a small restaurant that only serves from a window. Behind the restaurant there is an area to sit right on the water. It was good (greasy) food and a lot of fun. It was nice just to relax as a family. Saturday we took a trip to Stew Leonards. It is a giant grocery store with its own dairy, fresh baked bread products, butchers, fresh meat, cheese, and fruits, their own sushi chefs, lots of free samples, animals that sing and dance (imagine Chuck E Cheese), restaurant, ice cream area, petting zoo, etc., etc. I have heard it called the Disneyland of grocery stores. That made me cringe. I don't like grocery stores, and I am not a big fan of Disneyland. But somehow combine them, and you have yourself a fun-filled family adventure. It was a lot of fun and a nice time.

Ariana is definitely growing up. Her vocabulary is at about five words, and she is crawling all over the place. She is becoming pretty opinionated (that makes four of us). Kierra and her have had their first fights. The first one happened in the stroller. Ariana scratched Kierra, so Kierra said, "Ariana, please don't do that." So, Ariana scratched her agian. Kierra replied with, "ARIANA, please don't do that." So, Ariana scratched Kierra again. Kierra blurted, "ARIANA, STOP SCRATCHING ME!!!" So, Ariana scratched Kierra again. This time Kierra resorted to a little arm squeeze, and we had to intervene. There have been more, and I am sure there will be many more. However, the girls really do enjoy playing together most of the time. When Ariana wakes up from her nap, Kierra greets her with a, "Well, hello Miss Ariana Susa." You would never see a happier 10 month old than when Ariana hears that from her big sis. It makes the cat fights all worth it.


Kierra: Dad, I think we should go to the store and get some C-R-M-C-L's.
Dad: What does that spell?
Kierra: Doughnuts!

Kierra: What time does the library close?
Librarian: We close in a few minutes. It is time to pack up.
Kierra: Okay. Bye. Love you.

Nursery Leader: What is your favorite song?
Kierra: If You Could Hie to Kolob.
Nursery Leader: Oh, so you know where you come from?!
Kierra: Yeah, I come from Utah.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rabid Dog

This weekend for the Fourth, we used our extra day of driving to head up to Palmyra, NY. Unfortunately, I forgot our digital camera, so we will have to wait to add pictures (and when I say wait, I mean it will take us a while to find an antique shop that still has a machine to develop 35 mm pictures). Palmyra was great. For those of you that are not of the LDS faith, it is the place that our church was organized, and there were many special occurrences there. We missed the pageant, but it turned out to be great. We had almost the entire place to ourselves. It was a great fourth of July activity, considering the great privilege that we have in this country to worship in the way that we see fit. On the way back, however, we had a really scary experience. We stopped at a small town in New York to get lunch. Kindra was feeding the baby, and Kierra and I were playing in the grass by a convenience store. A man came up to me to see if I had a cell phone he could use. He informed me that his van had been stolen, and he needed to call his parents to come get him. So, I let him use our phone. I had noticed a dog earlier tied to a pole by the station. I had Kierra stay away from the dog because I didn't know if it was a nice dog. Well, while the man was on hold, he saw Kierra looking at the dog. He told me that the dog was very nice, and Kierra would be fine petting it. I went over to the dog with Kierra. I put my hand out. The dog sniffed my hand, and then licked me. It seemed okay. Kierra pet the dog a little bit, and then they laid down. Kierra sat next to the dog. Out of nowhere, the dog reached up and bit at Kierra face. I quickly got between Kierra and the and picked Kierra up. She was holding her hand over her face. Luckily, when I took her hand away I found that the dog did not break skin. Kierra had a red line from one tooth that ran from the brim of her nose to her cheek, missing her eye by about an inch. Then I saw the man kick his dog. It was pretty obvious to me that he had hit his dog before which explains the passive-aggressive behavior. Anyways, it was a scary way to finish a trip, but we are so greatful that Kierra is okay. Kierra's only response was, "When we get a house, I think we should only get a little dog."

Kierra Quotes:

Dad: Only people that are married kiss each other on the lips. (I am taking the liberty to stretch the truth a little...don't judge.)
Kierra: What about the Disney Princesses?!

"Dad, remember when I told you that I liked Connecticut, but I liked Utah a little bit more. Well, I changed my mind...I like Utah a lot more."

Araina Quotes:

"Uhhhhh Ohhhhhhhh"


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Across the US...and Back Again

Well, we ended up heading back across the United least this time it was by airplane. My grandpa passed away about two weeks ago. I will miss him. He is a great man. He was the first of my relatives to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. For those of you that know me, know that is a very important part of my life. He also worked hard to provide for his family, loved fishing, was kind, witty, and smart. His medical condition declined in October of 2000, and for nearly the past 8 years my grandma has taken care of him. In some ways he is probably relieved, but we will miss him. I was very glad that we were able to go to the funeral. It was good to be with family during this time.
Connecticut has been a lot of fun. We have seen an aquarium (note the ginormous sea turtle), gone to the beach, and I went on some steroid enhanced go-karts this week. It is crazy to think we have been here 4 weeks. Time is going fast and slow at the same time. I have enjoyed my work with United Rentals. I have not enjoyed the commute. Ariana is sort of crawling, sort of talking, and always very good. Kierra is really fun and...we'll leave it at fun. She turned 3 this week. I can't believe that. We celebrated by going to the beach. We miss our family, but I am glad that I have my family with me.


After going to the beach: "I like Connecticut a whole lot...but I like Utah a little bit more."

"One for me and one for Kindra and one for you, madame." (First, why is she calling her mom Kindra? Second, I am not 'me' and I am not Kindra, so I must be....D'oh!)

After seeing a lady with a tattoo on her arm in Walmart: "Why did you color a flower on your arm?"

When we unfortunately had to go by the same lady again: "Hey, I asked why you colored a flower on your arm?"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Simple Things of Life

Today we sat down at a table and had dinner as a family in our apartment. Doesn't seem like much to write about, but for me it was wonderful. We have always had family dinner around the dinner table together. That has gone away as we have been traveling and trying to get furniture in our apartment and cooking utinsels, etc, etc. It was just really nice to sit around our beefy macaroni and eat as a family. I didn't even mind fighting Kierra to eat her food. We are getting a bed tomorrow, and we will finally be settled in. Everyone here has been very helpful to us. I have really enjoyed my internship so far. The first of two projects that I will assigned is very pertinent, and I am learning new things. It is nice having Adam (another BYU MBA) in the cubicle kiddy corner from me. The culture here is very different. I love that. My manager is Jewish. It was very interesting to me to hear him tell us what foods are kosher. Our managers took us to sushi. I have no problems trying new food, but I had no idea how to order. My manager just ordered for all of us. I really liked the food. It is definitely unique. We also had Indian food that other night. The restaurants here are very good. It is nice to be getting settled in.

Kierra Quotes:

Me: It is time to go inside Kierra.
Kierra: (While crying) I don't want to sit on the hard floors anymore. (We have all hardwood floors and at that point we had no furniture).

In Kierra's prayer tonight: "Please bless that we will drive to Utah safely." (If she keeps this up for two months, our drive back will be great).

Day 16 - Cortland, NY to New Canaan, CT

We drove a really long way...we are finally here. No furniture but, as you can tell from the picture, we can adjust on the fly.

Day 15 - Dunkirk, NY to Cortland, NY

Today we saw Niagara Falls. I thought it was great. I know a lot of people say it is smaller than they were expecting...I would hate to see what they are expecting. We took a boat ride out right up to the base of the falls with mist spraying everywhere. Kierra loved it. She just walked all over the boat looking at the seagulls and the waterfall. Thank goodness to Dora the Explorer. The entire drive there I would say "Where are we going?" and Kierra would yell "Waterfall!" She was a little disappointed that we didn't find Boots there, but she was not at all sad to miss out on Swiper. Ariana, on the other hand, didn't seem to impressed. She was fine...she always is. But every time the water would hit her face, she would get a big scowl. She is growing up fast. She is scoot along pretty well, getting her top teeth, clapping, waving, saying mama and, my personal favorite, dada. I have been especially glad to have a calm baby on this trip. There were times that I felt like I was going to blow a gasket, and a crying baby might have pushed me over the edge.

Day 14 - Milan, OH to Dunkirk, NY

So, I finally figured how to put pictures in the post so they will be archived correctly. For those of you who need is the little icon that looks like a picture. Seems to make sense to most! Today's highlight was going Kirtland. Kirtland was a very interesting place. It was amazing to see how well the Saints were in Kirtland. It is an interesting progression seeing the living circumstances deteriorate as the Saints headed west. We were in a hurry (as always) but we were able to see the Whitney store and the temple. Both were amazing to me. I loved being where they had the school of the prophets, where so many of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants came, where the prophet Joseph saw his brother Alvin, and where he was ministered to by angelic beings, including the Savior himself. It was a quick visit, but I am glad we made it. A distant second, but still a highlight of the trip was going to a restaurant and being served by Amish people. Other cultures intrigue me. I grew up around Hutterites, and Amish seem somewhat similar. I am interested as to their beliefs. For now it's enough to say that they are nice people, and they make a mean piece of fried chicken.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day 13 - Bloomington, IL to Milan, OH

Today was dedicated to driving. However, I did learn something that I hoped I never would. My two year old is smarter than me (for my sake, she will be three next month). As Misti alluded to in a comment, we would be crazy to try this trip without a DVD player, but we do try to limit it. I told Kierra she could watch the rest of Brother Bear today. So, we're driving and driving and driving and the movie keeps going and going. I finally start to realize after about 2 1/2 hours (understanding that she is watch a Disney movie and not the original Pride and Prejudice) that something is up. I ask Kierra is she has watched her movie, and she says, "Yeah, this many times." Just so you don't call child protective services, I won't tell you how many fingers she was holding up. Apparently on our DVD player you can make the movie skip back an hour or so by closing the lid and opening it again...and Kierra was the first to discover it. So I was duped. Well, we also had a deal with her that she could have some candy after every few drinks of her medicine to help her constipation. So, she would take a few drinks, smile at me, and then I would give her candy (you can watch hours and hours of a movie without candy). Well, similar to the movie, I lost track of how much she was drinking. After a while, Kindra started to give her the drinks. So, Kierra took and drink and smiled at her mom. Her mom, unlike her dad, realized that that was Kierra's mischievous smile. She wanted to test her, so she gave her some candy and gave her the water again. When she got the bottle back, the level had not gone down at all. Kierra used me for candy...duped again. Disregard Day 11 when I declared that I am starting to get the hang of this fathering business. Father of the Year!!!

Day 12 - Nauvoo, IL to Bloomington, IL

Today we spent most of the day seeing the sites in Nauvoo. I loved it. I could spend a few days there. We started with a horse and carriage ride through old Nauvoo. A sister acted as a tour guide. This was a good way to start because she gave us an overview of what was there, so we knew where we wanted to head after the tour. We started in the garden area that has 13 statues that are a tribute to women. From there we went to the family living center where they teach how the pioneers made rope, candles, bread and other things. From there we went to the bakery where they sampled out gingerbread men. Finally, we went to the kids area so Kierra could try some of the pioneer games. The entire setting was very neat, and it really helped to get a feel for what the era was like. I got a glimpse on the horse tour of what the pioneers might have felt like. Many of them felt like they were finally in Zion in Nauvoo, yet they were asked to leave. As we headed on the wagon towards the Mississippi River, we could see the Nauvoo temple fading in the background. It had to be such a hard sight for those Saints that knew they would not be back. Yet, they were faithful to what the prophet asked them to do. From there we went to Carthage. It was very interesting and heart wrenching to see where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. Kindra and I went through separately, so the other could watch the girls. When I came out, Kindra asked me what I thought of it. That is a difficult question to answer. I can say that I came out of the tour with feeling confirming that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.

Kierra Quote: "I just don't want Ariana to play with her toes like that." (a.k.a. - We have been in the car way too long.)

Day 11 - Council Bluffs, IA to Nauvoo, IL

Happy Memorial Day! We celebrated by...driving! I officially feel like a dad on vacation today. I spent an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening with Kierra in the pool. My vocubulary as a dad is getting better. In Kadoka, SD my question to the hotel worker was, "Do you have a pool?" I got yes for an answer, so I was happy...until I checked in and realized that it was an outdoor pool and there was not water in it. That might have been useful information. In Council Bluffs the question transformed into, "Do you have an indoor pool?" (I still refuse to ask if there is water in it and am just chalking that up as on bad apple). I got yes as an answer so I was happy...until I got in and realized that their pool was cold enough to initiate me into the Polar Bear club (unfortunately I'm not over forty and I don't do speedos). So, by Nauvoo I realized the question needs to be "Do you have a HEATED INDOOR pool?" I am slowly getting this dad business down. Pretty soon I actually might think to check whether a diaper needs changing or give one of my girls a bath or step at a time. We got to Nauvoo tonight and I am very excited to see the sites tomorrow. We did watch a short play. Nauvoo has a very nice feel to it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 10 - Kadoka, SD to Council Bluffs, IA

I am pretty sure that IA means Iowa...if not, then you now know what I meant. I had an experience today that Steven Covey would call a paradigm shift (don't worry, it is not contagious and it will probably go away tomorrow). Today's was good, but a little stressful. We planned to go to church this morning. Unfortunately, the alarm on my cell phone did not go off (which usually means I set it wrong), then we had a long day of driving. As we finally got closer to Omaha, Kierra starting to have to go to the bathroom. For those of you who don't know (and probably don't want to know), we are helping Kierra through problems with constipation. So, basically, she might say she "has to go" for days on end. It is her extreme version of what my brother-in-law would so eloquently call 'prairie doggin' it.' Anyways, I was getting very frustrated at the frequent stops. Finally, my GPS took me to the complete wrong side of Omaha (which, again, means that I probably put the address in wrong). So, we finally ended up at the Mormon Trail Museum (Winter Quarters) in Omaha. I was very impressed with what we saw. Those men and women went through so much with such good attitudes (see Quote of the Day below). And here I am getting frustrated over a few times having to get out of the car, a cell phone and GPS malfunction, etc. Needless to say, I feel rebuked. I will meet tomorrow's drive with renewed vigor and optimism. But first, we must have a dip in the pool.

Quote of the Day: "We only went through one mud puddle was 6 miles long." - A quote from a pioneers journal.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 9 - Buffalo, WY to Kadoka, SD

Today we got up and drove to Mount Rushmore. I was very impressed by Mount Rushmore and it was a great chance to get out of the car for a little bit. Kierra was most impressed by the chipmunks in the eating area. Are you starting to notice a theme? We met up with Bryce, Lisa, and Sophie LaPierre at Mount Rushmore. Bryce was in my group my first semester of school, and we quickly became friends. Luckily, Kindra and Lisa seem to like each other too. It was really good to see them. After that we hit the road again. Something happened in the car that, if it can be recreated, will allow some easy driving. Kierra dozed off after Mount Rushmore. She was sound asleep, but Ariana was fussy. That is, until she found the perfect play toy...Kierra's pony tail. She wiggled around Kierra's head and didn't make a peep. Kierra didn't move a muscle. We have long known that she has her dad's sleeping ability. We then made it to Kadoka, SD. I have never felt closer to falling off of the face of the earth. Actually, it is pretty relaxing here. There is just nowhere to buy baby food. Kierra was pretty wound up in the hotel room. She cracked herself up by speaking in a British accent and reenacting this clip: I have to admit, it was pretty funny. I laughed so hard that my side hurt, and it's still hurting.

Day 8 - Great Falls, MT to Buffalo, WY

I've got it. An all new reality TV show to be aired on the Travel channel called Traveling Tetris. Each contestant is given, say, 3 months worth of stuff and, say, a 2001 Ford Taurus. The contestants would then be given 30 minutes to find the most efficient way to pack the trunk. They would be judged by how much luggage ends up leaned up against their 9-month olds car seat. If they do make this show...chalk me in as the champion as I get practice every morning and just about every stop! Today's drive wasn't too bad. We stopped at the memorial to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. It was very interesting. Kierra's favorite part was when she saw a bunny in the parking lot. We were all worn out in the hotel room...except Kierra. The drive through Wyoming was very pretty. We saw a herd of antelope, an owl, a hawk, and some pheasants all within a few miles. We would have felt like we were home, home on the range if the skies would not have been all cloudy and gray.

Kierra Quote: "I am ready to get out of the car now." (Ten minutes outside of Great Falls and on many subsequent occasions.

Day 7 - Great Falls, MT

Today was packed. I played basketball again, and then Jake and I went to go golfing while my parents took the two little girls to go to the childrens' museum and bounce house. Apparently, two days of rain is a reasonable excuse to close a golf course, so we went bowling instead. To our surprise, kicking the ball down the lane is almost enough to get kicked out, so our fun was spoiled. Kindra made hair bows with Kelli. Afterwards we went to see Jake's house on Malmstrom Air Force Base. They have a pretty nice setup. We came home to an early birthday party for Kierra from my family. She was spoiled, but she deserves it. This trip will be hard the two little girls. We said most of our goodbyes tonight. I hate leaving Montana. It is always relaxing and fun to visit my family. It made it even more difficult knowing that we have such a long drive ahead of us.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 6 - Great Falls, MT

We went on a date while my family watched the girls today. It was very relaxing. Despite the rain, we decided to to play disc golf. It was a lot of fun. Kindra and I tied. I can handle that. With Kindra as a wife, I am plenty happy when I don't anything we play. We had a birthday party for my brother Jake. We ended the night with a game of dominoes. I am gearing up for our driving to begin the day after tomorrow.

Day 5 - Great Falls, MT

Kindra started today with a jog. Kierra just spends a lot of time playing outside with her cousins. I played basketball with my dad and with some old friends. Then we relaxed at home for a while. Our days are filled with a lot of naps. With two 2 year olds, a 9 month old, and a 1 month old, it is very difficult to coordinate schedules with all of the children. Luckily, we all enjoy just relaxing while the kids nap. Trust me...they need it. It the afternoon we went to Gibson Park and fed the ducks and geese (and the baby geese), and let the kids play on the playground. Then we had dinner with mom and dad, Jake's family, and Kelli's family. Then I came to a sad realization. I am getting old. I know because I can no longer handle late shows. Last night Kindra and I snuck away to the 10:30 showing of Prince Caspian. I really enjoyed the 2/3rds of the movie that I was awake for. This is the second time in a row that I have fallen asleep at the late show even though I really enjoyed it. Before you know it, it will be waking up at four in the morning, I nice bowl of oatmeal at 10:00 a.m., a slice of bread at 1:00 p.m., doctors visit, a cup of soup at 4:00 p.m. watch Matlock at 6:00 p.m., and lights out by 7:30. I guess I better start working on my shuffle board.

Day 4 - Great Falls, MT

I started today with a round of disc golf with my dad. The course here is pretty fun. It is full of gopher holes. It was fun just to be outside. It was a nice day out. Then my dad and I helped my cousin Christy load up some stuff they bought from Sam's Club. I remember Christy as a little girl, and now she is married with children. Time flies I guess. We spent a lot of time outside. The weather has been nice, and I have done a lot of relaxing. We also spent some time looking for new clothes for Kindra. She has the hardest time finding new clothes (finding time and finding clothes that are cute and that fit). She is very practical and typically thinks of herself last, so I hope we can find some clothes for herself. She definitely deserves everything that she needs and most of what she wants. We didn't have much success, but we will keep trying. I finished off the night by playing a few games of pinochle with my grandma, her freind, and Kelli. Pinochle has been my grandpartents' game of choice for years. I thought it would be the least I could do, as a good grandson, to let them whoop me.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 3 - Great Falls, MT

Today was nice. Kindra and I took the girls to church. Kindra was asked to play the piano in primary here just like she was in Portland and just like she has been doing for two years in Orem. Of course, she was more than willing to help. I saw many people that I knew growing up. I always enjoy coming to church here, and see how people, the wards, and just the feeling of the church changes here over time. We came home to my my mom and dad and Mike and Kelli being home. It was very good to see all of them. Kindra and I made a dinner for a late mother's day present. We made pulled pork tacos, and I must say they were delicious. We went and saw grandpa in the hospital. He couldn't hear us because his hearing aids are broken right now, but I could tell that he definitely appreciated visitors. His eyes followed Kierra all over the room. Jake's family and grandma and her friend, Barbara Lee came over. The cousins all had fun playing outside...for the most part!

Day 2 - Idaho Falls, ID to Great Falls, MT

Today I started out the day by playing disc golf with my old roommate, Nate Esplin. It was a lot of fun. He is the person that got me into disc golf. We also went and had ice cream with him and his new wife. We made it to Great Falls, so there will be no driving for a while. We stopped at two more parks. I am starting to enjoy that more. I get so anxious to get back on the road, but I am working on it. Over the past 4 years Utah has really begun to feel like home, but there is something about driving through the beautiful mountains in Montana that makes me feel at ease (especially when nobody in the car gets carsick). I doubt that I will ever live here again, but it is sure a beautiful state. Nobody was at our parents house when we got here (they are getting back from Boise tomorrow). We went and saw my grandma and visited for a little while. Grandpa is in the hospital with fluid in his lungs, which was news to me. He hates being in the hospital. He is definitely one tough cookie. He has endured a lot. Then Jake and Khanyi's family came over. It was good to see them and their kids. Everyone (kids and adults) got tired very fast, so they went home and we went to bed.

Day 1 - Orem, UT to Idaho Falls, ID

I have decided to keep a travel-log of our trip across the country. I realized two things today. First, we cannot afford the gas to drive to Connecticut. Second, there are not enough hours in a day for me to drive to Connecticut by the time I am supposed to start work and still keep my wife and daughters sane. The first realization came when it cost more to fill up our car for our first leg of the trip than it did for our hotel room. There is something wrong with that. The only solution to the problem is that we must now sleep in our car. My second realization came when it was 6:00 p.m. when we arrived in Idaho Falls (typically a 4 hour drive from Orem). I keep forgetting that I can actually enjoy the travel on the way. We stopped at parks in Malad, ID and Inkom, ID (I know what you are thinking, and, yes, those towns are 45 minutes apart). We got a hotel room in Idaho Falls near the river, ducks, and with a nice view of the temple. We had a picnic near the water. It was a very pretty day. However, we walked past our car on the way to the river's edge, and Kierra thought we were getting back in the car. She declared, "I am not getting back in that car!" That is exactly what I did not want to hear 4 hours in to a 45 hour drive. She was very relieved to find out that we were going to feed the ducks. I ended the night by watching the Jazz lose to the Lakers to be eliminated from the playoffs. Next year I guess.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fairhurst World Tour

It is now time for the much anticipated, never imitated, often contemplated addition to our blog. So get out your pens and paper and arm yourselves for water-cooler conversations everywhere...all twelve of you. Obviously, it has been a while since I have written. We have been very busy, but that is no excuse to leave you all in suspense for three months. Right now we are rapidly cleaning our apartment as we prepare to head to our internship this summer. Our travels began last week with a great visit to Portland to see my brother, Randy, and his family. Our time was spent with trips to the beach, tolf (golf with a tennis ball), disc golf (as you can see, we can't afford to play golf the way that it was intended), four-wheeler rides, a visit with President Hansen (my first mission president), and relaxation. It was a well-needed trip after a grueling final month of school. I definitely owed the time to Kindra and the girls, but they were very supportive as I tried to wrap things up. We leave Friday to head to Montana where we will spend a week with my parents, grandparents, and siblings and their families. I am excited for Kierra and Ariana to spend time with their cousins. From Montana we will head to Mount Rushmore and then visit historic sights from the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is a trip that I have always wanted to make. I think it will be great to see the place of so many hardships that have made it possible for me to come to know my Savior better. It is also the first time that we will take a family vacation with just our family where we are not visiting other family (did you catch that?). I am very excited and also a little nervous to see how our two little girls will handle a drive across the country. I am sure that the portable DVD player that Kevin's family gave us for Christmas will become our favorite present ever. We will end up in Greenwich, CT where I will spend 12 weeks doing an internship in corporate finance with United Rentals. I am very excited by the opportunity. I interviewed there and really enjoyed the people that I will work with (as much as you can enjoy people in an interview). The area sounds great. It is an old New England town that is a 50 minute train ride to Manhattan. We are accepting visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis. After the internship we will drive to Boise and spend a few days with my sister Leslie and her family, then it is on to Sun Valley to spend a weekend with Kindra's extended family. Then we return to Utah the day before school starts. And I thought summers were for rest and relaxation! So we are taking our show on the road, and considering the fact that we will be in about 20 states this summer, check your local listings to see if we will be in a town near you!


Dad: "What are your ears for?"
Kierra: "Ear Wax."

Dad: "What songs did you sing in nursery today?"
Kierra: "'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star', 'Wheels on the Bus', but they forgot to sing, 'If You Could Hie to Kolob'!"

"Why are you stinky, daddy?"

"Ohhhh, Dad! I love Ariana's witch hat!" (See photos to the right.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where in the World?

Grad school rolls on! This semester has been very busy. The days very quickly blur into weeks. One of the things that is keeping us very busy is our search for an internship. We have a few leads, but it is time consuming and nerve wracking to not have one tied up. Interviewing for jobs has quickly become one of my least favorite pastimes. It is exciting to think that we could be anywhere in the country this summer. From Dodgeville, WI to Fort Collins, CO to Boise, ID to Greenwich, CT. Our little family is excited by the possibilities. We are also stressed by the wait. Ariana rolled over all of the way for the first time this week. Time to re-baby-proof the house. She is a very good baby. She only will cry long enough to find her thumb. Kierra is sweet, even for a two-year old. Kindra has taken up clogging again. She is in a class with some of the other wives from the MBA program. I can't wait to see a performance. I will definitely post pictures. We are surviving and, at times, even enjoying grad school.


"Thanks for not dying dad!" (Upon my return from bishopric meeting...she knows how brutal they can be.)

"Dad, is that a tiger or a cheet-o? And can you milk squek et squek et?"

"Awww! A new halloween costume!" (When she was opening a skirt she got for Christmas.)

"Just sing a song I know. I think I can, I think I can." (When I was trying to unclog the tub.)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Holidays

The holiday break has been great. No work, no school, and a lot of time with Kindra and the girls. Some of the highlights include games of broom hockey, seeing Kierra open her new trike, time with family (immediate and extended), taking my family to places that I used to visit as a kid (kissing camels at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and Traildust, one of my favorite restaurants growing up), playing games with my parents, sledding with Kindra, enjoying a mini-date at the Denver airport while we earned ourselves some free vouchers, and just relaxing. I feel rejuvenated and ready to be back in school. I am going to include some of our holiday traditions. If you have fun traditions, then please respond with them.

-Christmas Eve egg nog
-Cap'n Crunch Christmas morning
-Biscuits and Gravy Christmas brunch (I promise they are not all food)
-Christmas card DVD
-New Years' predictions buried in a time capsule (we still can't get to last years because of snow)
-Board games
That gives you an idea. If there are some you would like to share, let's hear them.

I better close with what people actually read my blog for...Kierra quotes:
-"Don't do that ever again forever."
-"My poop can't come's confusing."
-"Why is Jesus naked in the middle?" (after looking at a statue of Jesus in a robe)
-"I can't have a binky because I am not little yet."