Tuesday, December 16
I want to thank everyone for their kindness and thoughtfulness in wishing me a Happy Birthday. I am grateful for all my friends and family, especially those that called or sent messages.
I am very thankful for my dear wife who posted those wonderful messages and photos of my past. I couldn't ask for a more loving eternal companion, I am glad we can be humorous with each other. Our little girls also made the day very special with handmade cards and many hugs, kisses and birthday wishes for me.
Thank you so much.
Monday, December 15
Okay, I'm thinking and hoping that Kirk Cameron was the craze during this time. Tyler, don't hate me but I just had to embarass you just a little bit on your birthday!!!
Sunday, December 14
On Tyler's 27th birthday, it snowed in St. George, so we spent the day seeing Zion National Park sprinkled with a dust of snow. It's one of our fondest memories...we're looking forward to many more.
Friday, December 12
H also now has her two front bottom teeth... the same two A is soon to be missing. Cheryl is now feeling the side effects of teeth on nursing and doesn't like it. 8-O Neither A or C nursed into the teething stage.
---- Original Post: 11/27/2008 10:13a.m. ----
There's a lot of excitement around our house right now, and it's not because of the holidays.
On Monday, we found out that "A" is losing her first tooth. "A" was exactly six years, three months old on Monday.
She is losing the bottom right front tooth, the exact same one that "H" is getting right now, her first tooth. "H" was also exactly seven months old on Monday.
We're waiting for the loose tooth to become really wiggly, then we'll help it out.
Tuesday, December 2
I am also thankful for wonderful in-laws and their own families who are so kind and fun to be with. I'm so thankful to have married into a great family and gained wonderful relationships through it.
At times I've been saddened that I haven't had a sister but when I look at the big picture I've been blessed with a great mother and mother-in-law, wonderful sister-in-laws and three loving daughters so what more could I ask for?
Last but not least, I'm so thankful for Tyler and what a wonderful provider he is for our family. He is so protective of each one of us and is a genuinely hard worker!! Whatever he sets his mind to he can accomplish!! I'm thankful that I can confide in him so much even though at times my complaints can be endless:) Not to be cheesy, but he truly is my best friend!
Thursday, November 20
Was it Santa Claus? One of his elves? Rudolph?
Since the sound was only audible when the furnace was running, I decided to check it out first (it's the only thing in our attic that could make this sound). During the next cycle, I determined that it was coming from the blower. After reading the owners manual, (left next to the furnace), I read that the blower was a "sealed system" that never would need to be lubricated. However, when I felt around, and saw quite a bit of grease on my hands, I quickly determined that it was no longer sealed. That was the dead give away as to why it sounded like the blower was seizing up at the end of the cycle.
I called the company that installed the furnace when the home was built almost exactly three years ago. They told me that the furnace was still under warranty and that no amount of maintenance could have prevented this problem, HOWEVER, we would have to pay labor costs estimated at $150. We made the appointment for Thursday morning at 9:30am.
I won't rant about the quality of furnace that was installed in our house. But really, it's only THREE YEARS OLD!!!!!
Last night before bed, we kicked the furnace up to 75-degrees and would shut it off when it got there. The blower sounded hideous to say the least. We shut it off at 71-degrees and hoped that the insulation in the house would keep us from freezing until they came this morning.
It was nice and cool this morning in our house. Not as cold as I expected, but too cold for Cheryl—rather her concern for "H." We woke up to A and C on the floor in our bedroom (not an uncommon occurance, even when the furnace is working properly).
As scheduled, the repair was made and it came to $15 less than estimated. My mom called Cheryl today to see if it was fixed yet and how close to estimated it came to. She told her that it was, and it wasn't as bad as expected.
When Cheryl told me that my mom had called, I immediately checked our account balance. Sure enough, my mom had made a small donation to help us recover from our set back.
Thanks mom!!! I guess that Santa did come early... well, sort of.
Friday, November 7
I love Halloween!!! In fact I always have loved it, but adding little ones to the picture makes it even twice the fun. Since C was barely two-years-old she's had a fascination with the "Wizard of Oz." We'll never forget being on a car trip and C at the young age of two out of the blue said, "Give me back your ruby slippers, they're of no use to you!" The fascination has continued ever since and there's never a day that goes by where C isn't having to wear a blue dress, or is found carrying around a tattered old basket with a raggedy Toto (who's a white poodle) inside. Therefore, we dedicated this Halloween to the Wizard of Oz.
A was a great sport through all of this. I don't think that being a witch for Halloween was top on her list but she happily gave in when we presented her the option. Tyler used his creative skills to make her a wicked broom out of materials left over from our yard and a bamboo stick. And of course Cambry was Dorothy complete with ruby red slippers (red church shoes) on her feet.
We went to A's Halloween Parade at her Elementary School and we're excited to find out the the 1st grade teacher's theme was none other than the "Wizard of Oz." C was so excited when she saw Glinda, so of course we had to take her picture with her. Also along the way we ran into the Cowardly Lion, The Tin Man, and A's teacher was the friendly Scarecrow.
Along the way Dorothy decided to stray from her usual behavior and picked up a lonely pirate along with a ballerina munchkin along the way. Of course, Aunty Em (or boring Mommy) was the one behind the camera.
Wednesday, November 5
We don't want to take our blog private, but we do want to protect the identities of our children a little more.
As visitors to our blog, and when referring to our children in comments, please use their first initial in all references (comments with actual names will not be posted).
If your family's blog is not already listed, please post a reply or comment to this entry and we'll add you to the list.
Tuesday, October 28
Friday, October 24
Our family spent a fun filled night at Hee Haw farms. It was a beautiful fall night filled with corn mazes, slippery slides, a haunted barn and crisp fall air!
A & C had fun riding in their pretty pink piggy!
Daddy took C on a fun filled 4-wheeling ride!! It was a great evening until the very last when our daughters decided to enter a blown up haunted house. While every other child came out with a huge smile on their face, A and C came out balling and appauled that we would even consider sending them into a place like that. What can I say, we love our girls but they all need to toughen up!!!
Wednesday, October 22
Is it A's newest masterpiece?
Is it Tyler's newest Elk Horn?
Have we adopted a new baby into our family?
No, it is our latest zucchini to take over the garden and it is in the 100th percentile for zucchini's. Now the question is, "What in the world is mom going to do with it?"
Monday, September 29
Friday, September 19
Today, I caught the action on the Digital SLR camera from my work with a telephoto lens. You can see some of those photos here, or go to www.tylerkurt.com/soccer.
A started out the "season" primarily socializing, doing cartwheels, and even picking up bird feathers off the field. Gradually, she has figured out why she is on the field and is not afraid to get into the action herself. She has really turned into a "Go Getter." Maybe next year, she'll be the Unstoppable A.
Friday, September 5
As usual, A was dancing around in our family room last night. Only this time, as she twirled, she tripped on a pillow on the floor and ended up falling into a shelf on the entertainment center—splitting her chin open.
Half an hour later, we were at the local clinic—luckily for us they were still open. We paid our copay and waited for the doctor. Understandably, A was scared about what the doc might do to her. She said that it didn't hurt too much, but she was very scared of the unknown. I tried to explain to her that he was going to "patch her up with stitches." Not knowing what stitches were, I explained that it was "string."
When they told me what they needed to do, I decided to have Cheryl come over too. (Thank you Sandy for watching C for us) When Cheryl arrived, the nurse needed to give A a shot of Ketamine to eliminate the fight in her. She had a lot of fight just trying to give her that shot—it took two of us to hold her down. Within a minute or two, she was limp. The doc referred the effects of the drug as similar to Alice in Wonderland.
For the next hour, the doc cleaned out the wound, numbed her with local anesthesia and sewed her back together. Three subdermal dissolving stitches and ten surface stitches—they will be taken out next week. There is NO WAY she would have sat still enough for the doc to put in all those stitches. She mumbled a few phrases while she was out.
When A came back to consciousness, she described her experience as that she was a sleep and that it felt like "people were walking on [her]." The sedative is the same one used when the troops are injured in combat for emergency field medical operations. On the way home, she complained of some double vision and at about 9pm, she vomited. Shortly after that, she was a sleep. After 10pm, I carried her to bed and we changed her bandage.
It is scary to see your child in a state of unconsciousness caused by a drug. You hear too many stories of children given the wrong dosage and having major complications due to an overdose. You just hope and pray that these doctors know what they are doing and that everything will be alright. All you can do is comfort them while they are in such a helpless and vulnerable state—even though they themselves are not in the reality we are experiencing. I do have to praise A for her strength and bravery through all of this. She was a real tough girl.
Thursday, August 21
The following story is courtesy of FOXNews.com
Man Makes Record Catch With Barbie Fishing Rod
ELKIN, N.C. — David Hayes' granddaughter just ask him to hold her Barbie rod and reel while she went to the bathroom.
He did. And seconds later he landed the state record channel catfish at 21 pounds, 1 ounce.
Alyssa's father had bought the pink Barbie fishing rod for Christmas and she had caught a few bluegill before her grandfather hauled in the catfish.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported the catch Aug. 5 in eastern Wilkes County has been certified as a record by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Hayes and his granddaughter have been fishing in the pond behind his house since she was big enough to hold a pole.
Hayes says his granddaughter worried he would break her rod. He landed the 21-pound fish on a 6-pound test line. It was 32 inches long, 2 inches longer than the rod.
Monday, August 18
This last weekend, Tyler's family ventured down from the Ogden area to join us in a camping trip to Payson Lakes. I must admit that Tyler took A and C up Friday afternoon, while I came up Saturday morning with H and Tyler's mom. It got too cold up there for a three-month-old to sleep in a tent (not to mention too cold for me ;) jk).
Tyler took the afternoon off on Friday and packed up the van with all our camping supplies, Opa's canoe, and all four of our bikes. The van was loaded down!
Opa (Gil), Tyler's dad, came up with Tyler's sister Tammi and her two kids, C1 and C2.
When Omi (Trudi) and I arrived Saturday morning, Opa had breakfast ready for us. They packed up the campsite and we headed down to the lake. This is a great campground by the way, surrounded by pine and aspen trees with a small lake. We'll be back for sure.
Tyler took C1 and A out in the canoe to do some fishing. We got A her very first fishing pole, an early birthday present, it's a Barbie themed pole. After several failed attempts at close to surface fishing, Tyler decided to drop the bait down to the bottom of the lake. Within a minute, A had a great 10-inch fish on her line! Reel it in!!! A was so proud of her catch! She even ate it for dinner that night.
Maybe in the next summer or two we'll purchase a tent trailer. That's my kind of camping.
Wednesday, August 13
Yesterday, I did the same thing . . . only the result was very different.
A week ago, I took the advice of my brother-in-law, an avid road cyclist (thank you Ron). Since I can't get the road bike I want (too expensive), I replaced my big fat knobby tires on my mtn. bike with small slick road tires (26x1.25)—a $50 fix.
I was able to do the same ride in exactly 45-minutes of riding time, or 17.86 mph—only my second time riding home from work. At the end of this ride, I felt much less exhausted. One factor could be that the temperature was about 8-degrees less yesterday. Or it could have been the fact that I was riding in bike shorts (no, not the tight spandex kind, sorry). But I am sure that the new tires really helped a lot (much less resistance on the road).
I was getting to the point that my gears weren't much of a resistance—I couldn't pedal any faster. Road bikes have a higher gear ratio, allowing for faster speeds.
My goal is to work up my endurance and strength to do the ride in under 40 minutes, or 20+ mph by the time the weather turns too cold.
Monday, August 11
Sunday, August 10
Sunday, August 3
Sunday morning, we had LDS church services at the Campfire Bowl. Due to the sheer size of the group, we couldn't hold it in the normal area designated as the Chapel. (When this camp was a seven-day camp, services were held in the Chapel for all troops and staff that wanted to attend.)
Delose (the camp director), gave us (Todd and me), a preview of the alumni meeting to be held in the lodge later in the day to discuss the need for contributions from alumni and others to pay for program equipment expenses and maintenance costs. One of their biggest needs and wishes is for climbing equipment and sailing vessels (catamarans, etc.).
At noon, we took off for home. Another 30 miles of road, most of it dirt, towards Ashton, Idaho, on down through Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Brigham City and Ogden. I dropped off my dad in Layton and then home.
According to Google Maps, I clocked 770 miles and over 16 hours of driving on this trip. 406 to Camp Loll and 364 back home including all our detours. This is nothing compared to Todd's 2200 miles he covered for this trip.
It was very relaxing to take our time this weekend. Normally, we drive straight to camp and straight back. It was nice to relax at the different campsites and enjoy the scenery more on the way up there. In my opinion, it is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Looking off the cliff near the Campfire Bowl down into the crystal blue waters of Lake of the Woods
Saturday, August 2
We packed up camp near Flagg Ranch and drove the 17 miles of dirt road to Camp Loll. As this week's scouts were leaving, staff alumni and their families (300+ in number) were arriving at camp.
After lunch and setting up our tents (third time in three days), we had the chance to use the facilities. Waterfront. Archery. Polar Bear Plunge. Rifle Range. Rapelling. Etc.
Our first priority was to do the swim check in the infamous cold water of Lake of the Woods (60 degrees this weekend). I ended up being the first of all alumni to complete the swim check. Todd was second. Conner attempted twice, but decided both times that the water was too cold.
Afterwards, we took out row boats, whitewater kayaks and sea kayaks. I also took several other plunges into the water.
After the waterfront, we hit the archery range. I consistantly hit the blue area at the top of the target with three of my arrows. Two went past the target and into the hillside.
Since we were already in our swimsuits, we decided to take our group over to Polar Bear Springs to take "The Plunge" — 10-seconds of sitting down while 35-degree water cascades over your body (this makes you wonder why humans are at the top of the food chain) . . . I again took the lead in our group, followed by Dawson, Todd and then Conner. I guess that my dad is the only smart one in our group.
After dinner and the evening flag ceremony, it was off to the Campfire Bowl . . . actually a stage on a cliff overlooking the lake.
Just before the Campfire program began
Proof that I took the Polar Bear Plunge. I admit, I have extra padding to help me endure such freezing water.
View Larger Map
Camp Loll is located on Lake of the Woods in Wyoming, two miles south of Yellowstone and four miles north of Grand Teton National Park in the Targhee National Forest. Access is by dirt road either from Ashton, Idaho or Flagg Ranch, Wyoming near the south entrance of Yellowstone. About 15-20 miles of the road before arriving in camp is on roughly graded dirt roads. The road is commonly called the Ashton-Flagg Ranch or Grassy Lake road. The camp is operated by the Trapper Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America based out of Ogden, Utah.
Friday, August 1
This morning, Todd was itching for all-you-can-eat sourjacks from Jedediah's in Jackson. After breakfast, we looked around the shops in Jackson before heading up to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park where we took the ferry across the lake to hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.
We then drove on to Flagg Ranch, a small resort/general store area just before the South Entrance of Yellowstone. This is where the road takes off across the southern boundary of Yellowstone towards Ashton, Idaho. About a mile west of Flagg Ranch, we found a campsite right next to the Snake River where we cooked dinner and swam in a small arm of the river near Polecat Creek. Later, we took a dip in the area that was formerly the Polecat Creek Hot Springs Resort.
A cute chipmunk eating that same nasty bug after I flipped it off dad's shoulder (I must have killed it). The chipmunk came up on it's own, picked it up and started munching. Don't worry, he didn't eat the legs or antennae.
Todd, Dawson and Conner on the ferry crossing at Jenny Lake
Thursday, July 31
This weekend, we returned to Camp Loll, where Todd and I served on staff for several of our summers: Todd in 1986, '87, '90, '91; myself in 1990, '91, '92.
Todd drove with his four-year-old (Dawson) from Blue Springs, MO and met myself, Dad (Opa) and Todd's oldest son Conner at the Star Valley Cheese Factory in Thayne.
We began our journey in Layton, up I-84, over to Huntsville, over Monte Cristo and up through Randolph, Woodruff and Star Valley. After a late lunch at the Cheese Factory, we drove up through Alpine Junction, and Hoback Junction, we found a campsite on the Hoback River to spend the night. One of Todd's good friends from Loll, Dan Reeder and his two sons, met us at our campsite.
The legendary Star Valley Cheese Factory was a big disappointment this trip. Their cheese room was empty, half of the cheese they had was from Utah's Cache Valley, the "squeaky cheese" (curds) were dry and quiet, the knick-knacks and huckleberry treats were MIA and we were the only people in the restaurant. A far cry from previous trips, including the one three years ago.
While driving over Monte Cristo we wanted to follow up to our snowmobiling adventure on March 21 this year, I wanted to stop by the that outhouse we let the kids slide off the roof of to get a picture.
Tyler and A went snowmobiling in March.
Tyler, Todd, Gilbert, Dawson, Conner