Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

9:56 AM Thursday, November 27, 2008

The first annual Snap Fitness Turkey Trot was cold, wet, and rainy. All of these things added to the early morning for the kids and dad. But... Jill and her neighborhood running buddies brought home personal best times. Jill in 25:10 for the 5K, which is the best she's ever run a 5K! Great work honey, and Heather and Sarah! Here are some shots from the race.

Salt and Pepper Shakers

12:21 PM Saturday, November 22, 2008

What a cute gift for a teacher or friend. They come wrapped in a cute bag and its ready to give to that special someone. The price for this item is $10.

These boards are so cute in real life! The "Messages" board turned out so cute with the flourish going up the metal. The cost on this board is $25. Each magnet board comes with 2 magnets and I can paint any color and you can choose the color of vinyl as well. The "Menu" board is so cute too. The cost on this is $30.

Glass blocks are so fun to make and you really can personalize them. I am selling these for $18.

I am busy making some really cute things for your homes! Here are a few things I have been working on. The cute Christmas frame is $30 and the FHE frame is $30 as well. Place your orders soon! I won't be taking ANY orders after December 15th, so if you need help with any cute ideas for family or friends please contact me!

Thanksgiving Tree

6:59 AM Wednesday, November 19, 2008

For FHE we made a tree and covered it with leaves with the things that we are grateful for.

Charlotte: Ranch, bankelie, "sumb" (thumb), bed, and I had to beg her to put William.
Emily: People, TV, Family, School, Food
William: Kitchen Utensils, Bankelie, Sucker (Binkie), Cars
Jill: My sweet husband, sweet children, health, warm home
Johnny: Sweet wife, good job, family and good parents

It was really fun to see what the kids would write and I think it was a good lesson for them too.

Monday I had my Crafters Group over to do our first craft. We made the "Give Thanks" blocks and I think everyone had fun doing it. I want to thank everyone who came over and participated. Look for the next craft in the next few days!

Did you ever think it would happen again?

9:20 PM Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I will admit to being one of those naysayers who said as little as 5 months ago that we could kiss $2 per gallon gas goodbye... but I am happy to eat crow on this one. We filled up the mini van for under $40 tonight... because gas was down to $1.99.


I only wish it was this low when we drove to Missouri this past April, $80 to fill up the tank... 6 times... do the math on that one!

Oil traded for $56 a barrel today, lowest in 21 months, Yippee, Skippy!

Charlotte has been in love with her bankelie since she was born. She always sleeps with it, always. Occasionally, we find her sitting on her bed with her "sumb" in her mouth and holiding her bankelie.
As you can imagine, this makes washing said banklie a challenge. Miss Charlotte had to have just a few more minutes with it before it was dryed.

Poor girl, I think it's going to be a huge challenge getting her to stop sucking her thumb... and a large part of that will disconnecting the bankelie from the thumb, which may not be as easy in reality as it sounds as I write it. We sure do love our big girl. :)

A Veteran's Day Tribute

7:55 PM Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today is Veteran's Day. However, it wasn't always called Veteran's Day. Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day as November 12, 1919 to honor those that had served in World War I. In 1953, a Kansas Shoe Store named Al King lobbied his city council and then his local House Representative to pass legislation proclaiming this day as Veteran's Day - to honor all Veterans. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law in 1954.

This is a picture of Frank Buckles. He was born February 1, 1901 and will soon be celebrating his 108th birthday. He is the last surviving American Veteran of World War I. Buckles enlisted at age 16 and drove ambulances during the war. Afterward, he helped transport former German POWs back to Germany. He was in Japan in 1942 and was captured, serving as a POW until being rescued in 1945. Buckles is accompanied by only 10 other WWI veterans worldwide. Frank Buckles is an American Hero.
Today we honor those heroes, past and present, who put on the uniform of our country and defend the freedom that we hold so dear. To Frank Buckles, my father, my grandfathers, my uncles, my great-great grandfathers and all those friends and acquaintances that have sacrificed more than we can ever understand, thank you. It is my prayer that God will continue to bless this land with prosperity and liberty in large measure because of your service.

Last Saturday Sarah Alvord, Heather Dalton, and I ran in the Sandy City Turkey Trot. It was really fun and the weather was awesome! John set my goal at 26 minutes and I ran it 28:31 and took 7th in my age division. Our next race in on Thanksgiving somewhere and I am going to beat my goal by 1 minute.
Thanks ladies for the good time and can't wait for the next one!

Back to the ER (Urgent Care)

12:09 PM Monday, November 10, 2008

There is no need to call DCFS on me, this was not my fault. We were at a friends house helping her move, and my little man loves to climb up chairs. Yeah, yeah I know you know where this is going, but the chair fell over with William aboard and it split his eye open. He actually was fine and really not crying until the stitches. I ran Will over to Urgent Care and they were awesome! They wanted to numb his eye before they gave him his shot to really numb it. Well he was not about to do that and ripped right off of his face. We had to swaddle him with a blanket to hold his arms down while the mean doctor gave him shots. After going through this, I would rather give birth with no drugs. Will kept looking at me with those eyes asking "Why do you hate me so much?" It was honestly one of the hardest things I have had to do. Once he was done and completely sweatey from crying so hard, he got 2 suckers and a Capri Sun. He was so happy and I don't think he even remembered what had happened 5 minutes ago. He is such a tough little kid and I can't wait to see what will happen next.

This is the craft that I came up with for November. I took the same idea from the "Spooky" blocks and changed it a little. The cost will be $4 and that will include all of the wood needed and the vinyl. What I need from you to make this successful is the following:
Mod Podge
Paint brushes
Scrapbooking paper
Black or Dark Brown paint
Please bring all if you have it or just one thing. I am going to ask each "crafter" to help contribute to the monthly craft to keep the cost down. This will happen on November 17th at 12pm. Please bring your kids fed and they can play in the basement til their hearts are content. If you have questions about this craft or need to now where I live just email me or call 272-7800. If you have friends or family that need to get out of their houses please bring them, but I need to know a count by Saturday November 15th so sent me an email or call.
Thanks and I am so excited to see how this turns out!


11:16 PM Monday, November 03, 2008

I have loved Panoramics since I started shooting pictures about 4 years ago. It's taken some courage and skill, but I think I've learned how to take them pretty effectively. To make Panos, you take a series of pictures and then "stitch" them together in Photoshop or other specialized pano software. They are used primarily in landscape photography, but sometimes, here and there, you get some people panos. Here are the ones I took from the trip. As a reninder, you can double click the pictures and enlarge them.
Seaworld Flamingos
Wild Animal Park Birds
The View from the deck at the Hotel. The ocean is in the background, with the pool up close.

This was probably the most fun of all the days of our trip. Seaworld is a blast, go there, you won't be disappointed. We've been as a family twice and I spent some awesome summers going to the park more than a few times when I was growing up. Really... go... don't be afraid, most of the stuff there can't even walk on dry land.

Seaworld is owned by the Anheuser-Busch company. They respect their place as stewards of the environment and as fortunate recipients of the blessings of liberty. During each of the last two Shamu shows we've been too, they ask every past and present member of the armed services to stand. The entire audience then stands and claps for their service. It's very emotional. This circle of flags has been here since I can remember. It's a Seaworld landmark.

The star of the whole park. Shamu performs only twice a day now (thankfully), but the show is spectacular. Orca's are amazing creatures.

My darling wife took this shot, this is priceless. I think Emily and Ed stood there for about 5 of the coasters to come down and splash them. They were wet most of the day.

My favorite shot from the day. Beluga's are my favorite animal at the park.

A polar bear... or, wait, is that Ed?

No, those are not Knotwell children, those are penguins.

William love playing with the starfish with his Momo.

When I was a young boy growing up in San Diego, this was one of my favorite places to visit. I loved going in the "tram" around the park to see the animals "close up." Many of our friends have asked where to go when they go to San Diego. I always recommend this over the zoo. It's been many years since I was last at the Wild Animal Park and I was very disappointed. The park has not been as well maintained as I remembered and the kids were pretty bored most of the day. I did capture some great shots of the animals... and, for the record, I would go back again, if for no other reason than to see the animals in a more natural state.

The elephants have and always will be my favorite animal. Elephants gather together in large groups, often 5-20 animals at a time. The Matriarch leads the group and is the most experienced female animal in the group. Elephants often protect their youngest members by surrounding them and guarding them against predators, in their world, it takes a village to raise a child. When Elephants die, they mourn their dead, often burying them with branches, dirt or any other debris they can find. They will linger in the area for several days.

All the water in the Wild Animal Park comes from aquifers. The San Diego Zoo (owns the WAP) promised the city of Escondido (the incorporated parts of the park) that they would never take city water to keep the park running. They've kept their promise for more than 20 years now.

There's no caging these wild beasts. You can find them roaming the wild parts of Salt Lake County!

Princess Dinner - Day 4

6:47 PM Sunday, November 02, 2008

This will be the last post about our trip to California Adventure. Our whole purpose for going there was to make our way to Ariel's Grotto. The restaurant offers dinner with the princesses. Since most of the princesses can't be found regularly in any of the parks, you have to book a reservation here and enjoy dinner while they walk by and interact with the kids, sign autographs and pose for pictures. Of course, since Ariel is the host, you get your first shot with her as you walk in the door.

Then came Belle, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella and Jasmine. I think Charlotte like her experience with Jasmine the most because Jasmine commented on her shoes and talked with her the most. When I was sorting through the pictures, Char kept saying, "go to my shoes, daddy." She wanted to see her friend Jasmine!

Even princes wear crowns...

And so do princesses

This picture is an ode to my sister-in-law Kari. She takes more macro pictures (and sometimes of food). So, when I take these style of pictures, it reminds me of her.