Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm geting really bad at this "weekly' blog. It is becoming an every other week kind of blog.

There were several activities over the past two weeks so we will sum them up as best we can.

Fishing trip
Knowing we were moving I took one last opportunity to go wade fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. I know I plan to come back and do it again I just don't know when. I had originally declined the chance to go because I was working the PGA tournament here in San Antonio, but I knew I would regret it if I did not go fishing with friends. It just so happened the we were off work on Friday so we decided to go down Thursday night and fish all day Friday and most of Saturday. First and foremost I can report that I was injury free this time. For those that were not aware last year I went and stumbled into an oyster reef and cut my feet, 14 stitches. We got started first thing Friday and I hooked into the first fish. We couldn't keep it, the fish I caught, similar to a catfish is the "carp" of the coast. We ended up catching lots of fish, but only being able to keep a few, size restrictions. I ended up with two good size redfish. Saturday was much windier and colder. I again hooked into several fun fish, but only kept one flounder. I was never under the impression that flounder had such mean teeth. We had a great time and had no regrets.

PGA Tournament
Although I found a subsititute for the weekend shift I was able to work the Wednesday shift. It is by far the best day to work a tournament. The Wednesday is the charity pro-am and the golfers are more relaxed and willing to take pictures, talk, and sign autographs. They were all remarkablely friendly. I took Hunter with me and set him up with a handful of colored sharpies, comfortable chair and a tournament flag. He sat with us at the first green, while myself and two other volunteers "controlled the crowd". Hunter was our crowd. He got every pro on the pro-am to sign his flag, three pros who weren't in the pro-am, and two amatuer golfer. Amatuer golfers, but retired NBA players. All in all his flag is covered and some of the guys he talked to were, Adam Scott, Chris DiMarco, Justin Leonard, Charles Howell III, Anthony Kim and Kevin Na. The two amatures were Bruce Bowen and Michael Finley. Kevin Na you might not of heard much of until this tournament when he shot a 15 on one hole, but he was very nice to Hunter and gave him one of his golf gloves which he signed for him. Hunter also got about 2 dozen golf balls from the players, some signed some not. One of the funnier players on tour is Rocco Mediate. Hunter had a cute interaction with him. As Hunter was approaching Rocco and about 40 feet away, Rocco turned to one of the amatures and said, "I picked about the worse day to not sign for kids" Hunter unphase went up and asked for his autograph. Rocco said, "Didn't you hear whatI just told him?" With a smile Hunter, handing him a Sharpie replied, "Nope." He signed Hunter's flag. a couple cards and two of the volunteer hats. I asked him to sign a golf tee to which he laughed.

Ward Campout
Our annual ward campout was this weekend. It was held in a beautiful location with high cliffs and a river running through that the kids and adults could play in. I choose not to take any fishing equipment and stayed out of the water. Although the site was pretty it was not well designed for groups. We had several families there and had over 160 people in attendance. All of the campsites were spread out and it was difficult to socialize with other families. We knew that this would be our last chance to really visit with several of the families and we took advantage of the time. Linda and Hunter set up the camp and I made dinner with homemade rootbeer. The girls and Nathan quickly paired up with friends and would come and go as they pleased, always under the watchful eye of an adult. We will definately miss this group of friends.

Last Days at Zachry.
Getting a new job is always fun and exciting, but leaving everyone and everything I have worked with for the past 5 years was definately diffcult. I know that in an organiztion that size there were still people I was not able to say goodbye to. I had a great time there and I can't think of a 5 year period in which I learned and grew more than I did in the past five years. Hopefully I will be able to take those things that I learned with me to Arizona and apply them. There is no doubt that over the past five years i have grown more peosonally and professionally than any other five year span I can recall.

Enchanted Rock
While I was fishing Linda and group of ladies took all the kids to Enchanted Rock. From all accounts a good time was had by all, except one of the boys whose nature allergies went into full effect. Apparently he is allergic to everything that grows in south Texas. Pollens and grasses especially. Our kids had a great time and I'd love to tell you more about it, but Linda is the storyteller on that one and shes not available so she'll tell you about it next time.

That will wrap it up for now. I'm sure there are things I missed, but next week should be even more eventful.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Arizona Palmers Take 2

As most of you know or at least I thought you knew, my parents and sister are in Arizona and for some time have been referred to as the Arizona Palmers. That however, is about to change. I have accepted a position with a new copper mine and our family will be moving to Arizona as well. We will be in the south east portion of Tucson about 45 minutes from my folks and about an hour plus from Linda's. We are very excited about the opportunity, not just personally but professionally. I have been offered the HR Manager position and will have a great group of folks to work with. We will miss our friends here in San Antonio, and Zachry has been a tremendous growing opportunity for me. As a great friend of mine and current boss always says, "Never pass up an opprotunity" and I particularly believe you should never pass up a great opportunity. On with the week.

Spurs Game

From time to time I have friends and co-workers that help me out with tickests to events. We've gone to basketball, hockey and football. this time I asked a friend for some tickets to the Jazz/Spurs game and I greedily asked for the courtside tickets. He had offered before, but I turned them down so he was very willing to allow me to use them for a game I was this interested in. I took Hunter with me and we had a great time. As normal we arrived way early hoping to get a photo or autograph of a player or two. I had purchased a Tim Duncan jersey in hopes tha maybe we'd get lucky and he's sign it for Hunter. We got there as they opened the door and were allowed to stand next to the tunnel. Hunter got the first spot next to the tunnel where the Spurs players go in and out. There wasn't really any room for me which was fine because I was watching the Jazz players shooting. When the teams warm up they do so on the opposite basket of where their bench is, so we were standing on the side where the Spurs would sit but where the Jazz warm up. I noticed one of my favorite guards growing up was a coach on the Jazz so when he approached the bench I went over to get an autograph. Of course, I left my Jazz hat at home because, "Like I'm going to get any Jazz autographs." All I had was the little freebie program with Spur's players info in it, but he can sign the back of it. I went over to get it and he very polietly signed it and I got Gordon Hayward and Evan's autographs as well. At which point an usher suggested that I go to the other tunnel and get other Jazz players to sign it. Hunter was cool on his end and had already gotten a few autographs on the jersey so I went to the other side. Since he was in front I could see him fine and since I'm 6'5" and was in a bright yellow shirt he never lost me. Anywho, I was standing next to a couple Jazz fans when the San Antonio big three Duncan, Parker, and Ginoblli, came out to warm up. I got some ok shots with the cell phone and camera and then out of nowhere Duncan heads to my tunnel. I flip to his page in the little program I have and bam I got his autograph. A few minutes later Ginobilli comes our way and bam bam got his too. A little while later Parker heads our way and bam bam bam got his as well. Not bad for being on the "wrong" side of the arena. I got Al Jefferson from the Jazz and Hunter ended up getting George Hill, Matt Bonner, De'Juan Blair and a couple benchers. We were sitting a few rows from the corner next to the Spurs bench for the game and as the time went down we moved to the front row thanks to a guy I met at the game. The pictures included are from the front row and the one picture is of me taking Hunter's picture from the telecast.

Hog Hunt

A friend of mine and I took a couple guys hog hunting as part of the scout auction. We had baited the area for a few weeks and knew that they had been showing up around 9:30 pm. We got there at 7:30 and began to set up. One of the individuals got on his phone walking around talking and the other decided to talk to a man about a horse. As these two things were going on Brad sees a herd of pigs heading right at us. We get everyone back to the guns to find out that one them could not find his bullets and one of the guys did not bring a gun. So the first "customer" got his gun and steadied himself the other could not find his bullets still so I gave him my gun. They got ready I told the second one that the I had put the safety on when I gave it to him and told the first to pick a pig and get ready. I asked if they were ready to shoot and had a good broadside shot. Yes and yes!! One.....Two.... Three......BANG. The ears stop ringing, the smoke clears we look at the bare grassy area and no pigs. Shayne airmailed his shot over the back of the pigs, and Troy forgot to take the gun off of safe. We searched and searched, but no indication of a hit. We sat for four more hours and never saw another pig. It was fun though.

Award Ceremony

Each quarter the kids elementary school does an awards ceremony for each of the grades. Students can receive awards for perfect attendance and for earning all A's. We are fortunate to have kids that are incredibly healthy and that also tend to get good grades, so Linda got to attend awards ceremonies for each of them. All four of them had perfect attendance and Hunter and Taylor both had all A's. Also, Hunter and AnnaLynn both received word that they have been accepted into the National Elementary Honor Society chapter that the school is starting. They were both thrilled--Hunter even gave a little fist pump.

Book Fair

One of the school districts top fund raisers in the annual three day book fair. This is no run of the mill new book book fair. This is Texas! Each elementary school is responsible to collect as many used books as they can and turn them into the district. Then books are sorted and organized into sections. Children's (Picture, elementary, series, and young adult), Sports, Humor, Romance, Mystery, Classic, Fiction, Non Fiction, Biography, Travel, Art/Culture, Texas, Reference, How to, Hobby, and more. Then to keep the math simple all, yes I said all soft bound are $.50 and all hardbound are $1. Needless to say there are some professionals that come, no I am not referring to those that bring a wagon, sack lunch and water. I mean book resellers that scan each book to know the value and inventory that the store has. Then there are those that think they will look for one or two specific books in the somewhat organized chaos. We were in the middle. I took a long lunch from work and met Linda there. We knew series that the kids liked or thought they would like, topics that they might have an interest in and authors and subjects that they liked. We went through the endless tables and rows and picked out some great books. At the end of the day we had found some old school Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys (hardback), new school Nancy Drew (Soft), Star Wars, Spiderman, Magic Tree House, Magic School Bus, Wizard fo Oz, book on insects, books by Janette Oke, Phyllis Whitney, and Mike Lupica (Hunter's favorite author), and many many more. In all we bought 100 books. Some real favorites of mine were a softcover book on how to run the west coast offense (for Hunter and his coaching desires), a 10th anniverary Far Side book (soft) and a book of quotes by Yogi Berra. Linda's favorites were the Snow Treasure, a very nice Little Women copy and a Series by Beverly Lewis (3 books). We also got a Disneyland tour guide book for $.50 for our upcoming trip.

Singing for Relief Society

I (Linda) got a call this week asking if the girls would be willing to sing at a Relief Society Auxillary training meeting on Saturday night. Both girls were thrilled to do it and so we ran through the song a couple of times and then showed up at the church a couple of minutes early (thanks for that good training Dad!). A few other children were singing with them and everyone was right on time and ready to go. Unfortunately, the sister presenting was not aware of the time. The children waited patiently and sort-of quietly in the hall for their turn. Twenty-five minutes later she finished and the kids went in to sing. I played the piano for them and they sounded beautiful.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Playing Catch Up

Wow time really gets away from you when you aren't paying attention. I will try and capture a few of the highlights fromt he past two weeks. Hunter's Birthday!!! The big 11. He had a pretty good day. We had a small party for him where he got a few gifts and some cash. The big gift was a Tim Tebow Denver Bronco jersey. He also got a microscope, but it does not work as well as we had hoped it would. He asked Linda to make him a brownie cake in the shape fo a football. She did that and then covered it witha chocolate glaze and decorations. that, with A big scoop of ice cream made a very tasty treat. Pinewood Derby This was Hunter's last cub scout pinewood derby race. We had come up with a pretty cool design and with the help fo scroll saw were able to make it. we did everything as normal and thought we had a pretty good car, but the competition gets better and better every year. He placed fifth, I think there were 16 entries this year. After the event was over i jokingly turned to one fo the faster cars made by a family that does quite well and asked, "So do you start polishing the nails for next years car tomorrow?" They laughed and the dad told me their secret. He said that he goes to the auto parts store and gets a top quality sandpaper to sand downt he nails. At this point that is no secret. Then he said he puts the nail in his dremel tool and spins at high speed rubbing the nail with wet dry sandpaper. Again no secret. most of use that trick, I do it in stages from 100 to 400 grain. That's the difference. He said he starts at 300 grain and goes all the way to 2000. I'll try it in a couple years when Nathan turns 8 and is scouts. Twisted Ankle I know what everyone is thinking, "Of course you twisted your ankle. What were you thinking playing basketball at your age with those young kids?" To which you are probably correct, but it wasn't me that twisted an ankle. It was Linda! She has been playing some pretty competitve volleyball with some of the ladies from church and landed on someone's foot. She kept in ice for 24 hours. No not the whole time. 20 minutes in 20 minutes out. The ankle never got too swollen and she has recovered nicely, but will be out for another week or two I'm sure. Bowling Party This past weekend AnnaLynn had an end of year choir party at a nearby bowling alley. It was well attended and she had a great time. I volunteered Linda to take her because the parents had to attend the whole two hours and were only to watch and not bowl. As some of you know I enjoy bowling and I would have struggled watching a bunch of kids bowling while I watched. I figured that with Linda's ankle the temptation was removed and she could only sit and watch anyway. Of course whe she got home she informed me that parents were free to bowl all they wanted. AnnaLynn did very well at first and then tired as she went. Linda started to do the math and figured the ball weighed over 15% of her actual weight, so getting tired is explainable. She had fun and that was the point of the whole thing. Will try to post pictures later. I know this is a pretty weak recap of the last two weeks, but we are all doing great and hope to have more interesting topics next time.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Most of the activities that happened this week involved me (Linda) and the kids, so I get the pleasure of writing our blog. I must say, it was nice to sleep in and and just play for the week.

So, what did our fun include? I'm not sure what the kids would start the list with, but since I'm writing this I get to pick and so, my favorite thing was . . . . Huh, who knew I wouldn't be able to pick a favorite? I guess I'll just have to go in order.

Eisenhower Park

We started and ended the week by heading to Eisenhower Park. This park is best known for it's hiking trails, and that is what we went for. On Monday we tried one of the shorter trails and gave the kids a taste of hiking. On Friday we branched out and tried a combination of trails that were just a bit longer and we took Annie (the dog) along as we hiked. We had a picnic lunch both days about halfway through the trail and that allowed everyone the rest they needed to finish up (Okay, maybe the kids didn't need a rest, but I did!). The kids did really well on both days and I was really impressed by the quality of the trails. Because the weather was cool I almost felt like I was hiking in the mountains. Before heading for home we stopped at the playground and the kids tested their rock climbing abilities on a great rock climbing wall.

Children's Museum

The San Antonio Children's Museum was doing some special things for Spring Break, so we picked a day that had some activities the kids wanted to do and headed down there. The activities for the day included a science experiment that involved Mentos candy causing Diet Coke to shoot to the ceiling and an art project using fingers and bubblewrap to stamp a beehive and bees. A new science area had been added since our last visit and we were all anxious to see it. It lived up to all of our hopes and the kids had a blast exploring electricity, earthquake tables with building blocks, lego racetracks and making tissue paper butterflies fly. Of course, we also had to stop and the ball exhibit and the fabulous grocery store. It's a fun place to visit and definitely gives me an appreciation for peace and quiet when we leave!

Service Project

On Thursday I took the kids to help a widow in our ward with some yard work. I said work, they would say that they played. They raked leaves, trimmed bushes, filled birdfeeders and bird baths, picked-up sticks and small branches, vacuumed her car, ran in the house talking 100 miles an hour, ran out of the house (still talking 100 miles an hour), ran in, ran out, ran in . . . .
Anyway, Grandma Janie enjoyed watching the children running around and they thought that she was very funny. Overall, it was a very successful service project that was all the better for the fun that was had throughout.

Camping Out

During all of the craziness of the week, John had to go on a business trip. This bummed the kids out, of course, so I had the crazy idea to pull out the tent and camp in the backyard. We needed to waterproof the seams anyway, so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone. Our tent is rather large and this was the first time that we had put it up, so it was a bit of an adventure, but in the end it was done. We all camped in the yard Thursday night and Hunter, Taylor and Nathan camped out again Friday night. AnnaLynn was not feeling well, and I had a soft bed upstairs and am not totally crazy yet so we slept inside. I think that we can safely say that the tent is large enough for our needs and hopefully it will get used lots over the next few years. Just to prove that I am not totally crazy, I waited for John to come home before taking the tent down so that I wouldn't have to do it by myself!

Well, I think that about sums the week up. Overall, it was a fabulous Spring Break and now it's time for school once again!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh What a Week!!!!

This week I had to go to Waco, TX to visit a jobsite with our NASCAR truck driver, David Starr. He races our compnay truck on the NASCAR truck series and will race in the Sprint and Nationwide series this year. The site visit was actually on Tuesday but I had to go up on Monday. With me out of town the kids get to out to dinner. We had purchased a Groupon for a pizza/game place, but it expired so they went to Chuck E Cheese, luckily we had a coupon. The kids had fun and Linda didn't have to cook or clean.

The site visit went well. The project, a large coal fired electricty plant, is going along nicely and they were very accommodating to us. We went on a tour and had a chance to take a few pictures of the site and David with the employees. With me out of town Linda found herself at the outlets looking for pre-spring break bargains for the kids. She found some things, but was a little disappointed in the "finds". We were looking for an outdoor table and chairs, nothing fancy just something that would allow us to take advantage of the weather and a covered porch. I suggested to Linda she stop at the Pottery Barn outlet to see what they had. They had some, way out of our price range, but there was one sad little scratched up one in the corner that was still pricey, but considering it had two leafs that made it capable of extending over 8 feet long, it was a deal. Linda called and I picked it up on my home from Waco.

Just to keep things really hopping, I had to be back in town in time for AnnaLynn's final choir performance. The sang several songs from Broadway and did a really cute job with them. Their opening number was different from past performances in that they started in the audience by their families under the ruse that they had to give us permission slips for a choir party in a few weeks. I think everyone was surprized when they started singing and commenced to go to the stage. They were pretty proud of themselves for tricking all of us!

On Tuesday night the brakes on my truck went out so I had to take my truck in Wednesday morning to get it fixed and was able to work from home with my Blackberry, call forwarding and VPN access. With all of the kids in school working from home actually works quite well. That night we had a Physical Education showcase that the girls were in. Taylor did some fun things with a parachute, while AnnaLynn did some kickboxing. The highlight of the whole activity was the portion of Taylor's performance where the class launched a huge octopus in the air.

I had my Stake Basketball championship. I missed part of the first game becasue I was at the school event. However, when I got there we were well ahead and I went in just to give someone a rest. We ended up winning that game and played in the finals. With as many players as we had we weren't tired from the first game and played a very good game. Although it was a physical game we adapted quickly and won easily. That makes it Back to Back to Back league Championships.

Pretty normal day. Truck was fixed late Wednesday and I was back in business. Thursday the girls had crafting club and had an awesome opportunity. Joni Mitchell, a member of our church and one of the first friends we made when we moved to San Antonio is a terrific cake decorator. She was asked if she would be willing to share her talents with the girls. The leaders assumed that she would show the girls how to decorate cupcakes that they made but she volunteered to make each girl their own little cake. The 6 inch round cakes allowed the girls to do all aspects of cake decorating with multiple colors and decorating tips. Oh by the way, there were 13 girls in attendance. Needless to say the girls had a great time at this event.

This week more than most we found that we really needed a night out. Linda and I didn't do anything too exciting, but we had a great time. We were able to fullfil our goal of going to the temple every month. From past visits we have gotten to know one of the Sealers at the temple quite well. Well, at least I thought he knew us quite well. This week I arrived at his location first and he asked if, "My lovely wife will be joining us?" I told him she was on her way. He then asked, "How far along is she now?" My first thought was that I'm not quite sure, but I'm sure she is just putting on her last few things and will be out of the dressing area shortly. Then I remembered the last time that question was asked and the shock and immediate whiteness came over my face and he said, "Why did I think she was pregnant?" I responded, "Maybe you have more inspiration than you thought." This is not an announcment of number 5, at least not that I know of.

This was another busy, but a productive one. I started out going to Home Depot to buy some ingredients to mix for our garden box. That's always fun. I mowed the grass in the front yard and turned on the sprinkler system, Spring is in full bloom here. Then as soon as I dumped the 20 plus bags on the driveway I had to go and help our Bishop clean out a semi-abandoned house. Some things going to storage the rest going to Goodwill. That was going smoothly until, and I send this out a friendly word of caution to those who may have to move themselves, the bungee cords did not hold the king sized mattress down by running the cords through the straps on the side. I'm sure the rest of you are thinking, "Duh" and you wouldn't be alone. Hunter thought the same thing and actually said, "That's not going to hold" to which I replied, "I tied down three places and we're not going very far." Apparently distance is not the issue, speed is. At 50 miles an hour that bungee cord didn't stand a chance. Luckily the Bishop had some real straps and after we pulled it out of the road we strapped it down. After everything was delivered we worked in the garden and prepped it for the seeds and plants.

Finally, we were able to get some tickets to the Hockey game and I took the three younger ones. We got there early and went down to the glass where 3 different players threw the kids a hockey puck. The game was good even though they, the San Antonio Rampage, were crushed 7-2.

I'm sure I have forgotten something, but nothing like a really busy week and daylight savings to kick off spring break!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Everybody Loves Hunter!

Volleyball Date Night
This week for our date night we went to the Volleyball game of a friends daughter. She is a great player and will be entering high school next year. The whole thing has way too much drama and emotion for me, but the overall volleyball is very good. There is little net play, they are all kind of short still. When I play I like the net stuff. Not great at spiking, but blocking is very natural for me. I enjoy that the most, but rarely do I see one at this level of play. Conversely to me Linda loves and appreciates a good back line player. Something about a diving moving rabbit like play really gets her excited. It is great to watch but even more fun when you can root for a friend.

Home Depot Kids Workshop
As some of you may know the first Satuday of every month is the Home Depot Kid's Workshop. They have different projects that are fairly simple for the kids to put together and gives the big kids a chance to browse (I call it one of Daddy's toy stores) for necessitiies. This time they were building a Home Depot race car. Hunter was not interested due to a headache and the girls were looking for something a little more "girly", so Nathan and I went and did it. Took 15 minutes to get there, 5 minutes to find it in the store and 3 minutes to put it together (one more minute to put the stickers on). He loves it and we had a great time walking around once completed. I was able to find a few things that I had to have.

Pinewood Derby Preparations
Hunter's last Cub Scout pinewood derby is this month and he has been designing his car. We tried to borrow some equipment to work on it this weekend, but when I called to get the saw on Saturday I was told that my help was needed to help a Sister pack up a trailer and get some extra things to storage. Her husband has been deployed and is not returning for a few months and she decided that she and her 16 year old son needed to be closer to family. Unfortunately, I was not able to work on the cars that day.

For those paying attention, I said cars. As a big kid I suggested that our Ward Activity, sponsored by the High Priests, should be an adult pinewood derby. We are going to utilize the track the same night as the Cub scouts. Our pinewood derby is a little more creative. We have two divisions. The traditional rules division, which adheres to the 5 ounce rule, and the modified division, where there is only one rule. That rule follows the church guidelines that states that there are to be no open flames in the building. Last time we did this we had two very creative cars. One was a pinewood derby car cut in half with two long dowels connecting the two pieces making a dragster funny car. The way it was positioned on the track gave it an easy 2 foot head start. This year the car's nose must start behind the start line. The other creative car had a CO2 canister that was punctured giving it some air pressure.

We will keep you posted on the outcome towards the end of the month.

We won our quarter final game and move on to the next round. I only scored a few times and devoted myself to defense more than offense. I had given blood earlier in the day and the technician accidentally hit a nerve, I can't feel much of my left arm and when I do it just hurts. Hoping it improves by Wednesday.

Scouts and Activity Days
This was a typical of week for the kids in terms of Scouts and activity days. Hunter and AnnaLynn had a great time with their groups while Nathan and Taylor got to stay home and play with Dad.

Hunter In Charge
I mentioned briefly that I had to run and help a Sister move, but while I was gone AnnaLynn had a viola lesson, which left Hunter in charge of the younger two while Linda and AnnaLynn were gone. He did fine for the half hour they were gone. Then Linda came home and had to take an elderly lady to the funeral of her friend. Which left Hunter in charge for a another 45 minutes until I returned. Then when Linda got back to the home of Sister Koernig, who is 85, they realized they were locked out but had an old key to an old lock which would not budge. They called me to see if I could get it, which left Hunter in charge again. Luckily, I was able to open the lock without any trouble or delay and relieve Hunter once again. He does do very well and it is nice that we don't have any babies or else there is no way could we pull those moves off.

Fieldtrip to Aquarena Springs
Hunter had his final elementary school field trip this week. The 5th grade teachers looked a little farther abroad than they have in the past and decided to take the kids to an aquarium that also boasted a glass bottom boat tour of the springs that form the beginning of the San Marcos river. Linda got to chaperone and said it was worth the hour plus drive to get there and Hunter has said it was the best field trip ever. The kids got to see species of fish that have survived from dinosaur times as well as moss covered turtles and bubbles underwater where the springs came to the surface forming the river. In addition to it just being cool, the kids actually managed to learn a thing or two.

Sunday Performance
This week AnnaLynn and Taylor were asked to sing "I Love to See the Temple" with two other girls at the end of the Relief Society lesson. Normally this would not raise a big flag as something that was out of the ordinary, but we have a very large relief society. The girls did their performance to about 80 sisters in the ward. They did very well and unlike if I were to sing brought tears of joy to the eyes of the listeners as opposed to tears of torture.

Stay Tuned...
In upcoming articles we will have
March Madness Selection picks
Hockey Night
Date Night
Temple Night
PGA volunteer and tournament
Talent Shows
Choir Performances
Pinewood Derby Results
and much much more.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fried Caterpillars

Mothers Without Borders
Probably the highlight of the week was attending a fund-raising dinner for a friend who works with an organization who works with orphaned children in Africa. These children have been left behind from parents who have died do to AIDS and other illnesses. The family that brought this subject to our attention, Allison and Shayne Stokes, have been several times and have wonderful stories about the children they have worked with and adults that are trying their hardest to provide for their families and others. Linda was asked by Allison to help with the money collection because of her extensive background in off site banking. I was asked to help with the auction. Both of us were happy to help. They auctioned off several hand crafted Zambian items that were the hit of the event. Linda has made it a goal to someday accompany Allison to Africa to help and meet some of these awesome kids. Besides the auction we had adinner of traditional buffet food. Pasta, vegetables, meatballs, and chicken. However, the event would not be complete without the offerings of a few traditional Zambian choices. There was a corn meal offering, a relish (salsa -like) topping or dipping sauce for it, a Zambian fried chicken that was finger licking, and no dinner would be complete without Fried Caterpillars!! We were told they were a real treat for the children and that they were a "potato chip" like snack for the kids. As I put a couple on my plate I had in my head a French's Fried Onion like taste as they looked very similar. I put a big fat one in my mouth. Texture was good, initially, taste was fine. Then I bit into the little sucker. Nope, not an onion!! It had a little bit of an after taste, but at the end of the day and for the purpose of this Blog I can report we both ate a caterpillar, I drank my drink rather quickly, but I ate a caterpillar.

Blue and Gold
Hunter had his last Blue and Gold dinner on Friday. For those that aren't aware what the Blue and Gold dinner is a scouting celebration that recognizes the "Cub Scout Birthday". Hunter did a small charades act to demonstrate some of the activity pins that Webelos can earn. One of the Sisters made an awesome Cub Scouts cake and all who attended brought something for the potluck. Hunter's last cub scout activity will be next month when he builds his final pinewood derby.

On Saturday AnnaLynn and I went to watch some club volleyball. Our friend's daughter who is in the 8th grade plays on a club team and was in a tournament. They played several matches and played very well. They made it to the Championship match and lost in 3 hard fought sets. They had a chance to win in the 2nd set, but a couple unfortunate plays cost them the match. We have not signed AnnaLynn up for volleyball so far this year, but she still has the desire and want to play.

Basketball Update
We won our last "regular season" game and finished 2nd. We will have two weeks of tournament play. We are the 2nd seed and hope that we have a the right mix of players for the last three games. It isn't a matter of the type of players, its a matter of the right number of players. Last week 15 showed up and it is difficult to get everyone meaningful playing time.

Taylor is Taylor
This week Taylor had to do a biography report at school this week. Of all people she choose Taylor Swift. Apparently she likes her songs, she thinks she has 3 songs, she thinks shes pretty, long curly hair with sparkly eyes. Taylor dressed up like Ms. Swift and even had her hair curled. She feels like she did a good job on the report and is waiting for her grade.

Hunter's Cultural Activity
This week Hunter went to the Symphony and has decided that he is not interested in the attending future events. I personally think that it was not the music that he found "boring and hideous" and it was the fact that he had to wear "hanger clothes", Sunday shoes and a tie. The teacher insisted that they kids dress the part and Hunter would rather shove an ice pick in his ear than wear those clothes to school. His standard wardrobe is a Florida Gator shirt and one of four pairs of shorts.

Handi-Craft Club
The girls had their club this week and were able to work on their stuff. They started new projects and hope to finish them both before next week.

Luckily we have a pretty boring week scheduled this upcoming week but as usual we will always have something to report.