Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jack is now 5! His birthday was officially today but we celebrated it on Friday with our neighbors. To complicate the matter, we gave him his big present (the Lego airport set!!!!) on Thursday. Let me just say that Lindsey and I can be real pushovers at times.

Jack is an amazing child. He is very obedient and does a great job taking care of his younger brothers. A great example of his character is how he watched out for Jude at our last church activity. We were at a park and there were a million kids running around. As it often turns out, Jack had a friend that wanted to play with him and Jude was tagging along. I explained to Jack that he needed to take care of Jude and make sure he was included. Later, I noticed them all running around on the playground. Jack couldn't keep up with his friend because he was going out of his way to help Jude who was trying to keep up with his older brother. Jack would help him climb up where he couldn't get up on his own, or he'd simply wait, shouting encouragement to Jude who wasn't quit fast enough. Jack is amazing!

Jack loves food and he reminded us of that as we were pulling homemade bread out of the oven. The bread was coming out of the oven just as Jack and Jude were supposed to be going to bed. That's when the begging and pleading started from Jack; he just had to have some bread before he went to bed. So, since Lindsey and I are pushovers (starting to become the theme of this post), we let Jack and Jude get their fix.

It looks like they both have jam on their bread but if that were the case then Jude would be eating something normal, which wouldn't be right. No, Jack has jam and Jude had ketchup.

Our neighbor friend was so nice to take us out harvesting. In Fargo, there are fields dispersed all throughout the city and surrounding area. Since our friend was harvesting nearby, we took him up on his offer to harvest some corn. For those who are wondering, I think the only major crop left to harvest around here are the sugar beats. Was anyone wondering that?
We went down to Minneapolis a few weeks ago to visit the Nelsons and other COMO people. One of our "to-do" items while in the cities was to go to Costco. That's right. What else would you do while visiting friends.
This picture is of Jack and Darla "reconnecting" in the shopping cart. It was good to see the two love birds together again.

Remember when I mentioned Jude's weird eating habits. Well, he also doesn't like the way lots of foods smell. It only took about a minute of his yelling that dinner "stunk" for us to find him an alternative eating arrangement out in the back yard. He was actually happy to eat out there, but the wind kicked up and he came back inside.  
The next night Jude decided he would eat in the pantry which is behind the pictured door. Lindsey and I couldn't help but laugh as we listened to his silverware clank against his dinner dish. Surprisingly, that was about all we heard from him during dinner.

It has been a a couple weeks since I took these pictures of Jude at dinner and I'm happy to say that he has joined us back at the dinner table.
Jude is our funny man. He loves playing tricks with his underwear and coming up with funny jokes. His favorite jokes are "knock knock" jokes. The best part of his joke telling is that he is the one who is always laughing the most.

Fall is here and so we had to hit up the fall celebration at a local park. Jude's favorite activity was this barrel ride. Jack's was buying and carving pumpkins. Ezra liked talking to the ducks.

 Ezra picked this pumpkin up over his head because he is the worlds strongest baby.

If you can't see Ezra's eyeballs it's because he inherited Lindsey's eyes. I watched Ezra today run from one end of the room to another, only to headbutt Jude in the stomach. I guess what goes around comes around.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Everything is peachy in Fargo. Jack started preschool this past week. He found his CTR ring right before he was about to leave and insisted on wearing it so he could choose the right. He then met a friend at school and assured him that he would recognize him when he came back the following day because he'd be wearing the same ring.

We've started the money thing with Jack and Jude. They now get paid to do certain chores on Saturday. We also started a "business" where they sell small loaves of bread to neighbors. We had two loaves to sell last time we went out (we've actually only done this once) and the first guy we talked to bought both loaves. I hope a dollar a loaf wasn't to steep? Anyway, Jack and Jude were super excited. As soon as the transaction was complete, Jack said, "Sweet!!!!".

With money now flowing into their pockets, we've made a few trips to Wal-mart. Of course, they haven't earned that much money, but Grandma Ohlson provides installments of generous amounts of cash from time to time. With that, Jude has blown all his money and probably doesn't realize he will have to save for the next 5 years in order to buy the $200 train set that he wants. Jack is a little more careful with his money. He wants to make sure he still has a stash but his is going pretty fast as well.

Ezra was attached to my hip this weekend except for the 6 minutes that I was taking a shower on Saturday. Even during that, he stood outside the bathroom and pounded on the door until I came out. He has "viper like" striking power which allows him to rip my glasses off before I can react, only to then throw them on the ground and smile. If he could have it his way, he'd stay in the bathroom and splash his hand around in the toilet. Then, he'd eat the roll of toilet paper!

Lindsey has been very busy with her calling as the young women's president. I think the fact that we talk about her young women as much as we talk about our boys means that she is doing a good job. Never did I think we'd get wrapped up in the things that teenagers deal with so early in our marriage. Hopefully this will mean that we are that much more prepared when Jack, Jude, and Ezra get to that stage. The young women are lucky to have Lindsey.

I actually just left this post to go help Jude. He was calling out for help because he woke up and had to use the bathroom. I sat him on the toilet but he wasn't quick enough to "tuck it down". So, he shot pee all over the wall. I said, "Wow, Jude. You just shot pee all over the wall". He then said, "Yeah. That's why they call it a fire blast".
Jack is loving the skateboard. He was really proud of himself when he figured out how to roll down the driveway standing up.

Here is my partner in crime. He is sweet, soft, and squishy, but Lindsey and I work hard to keep him from pulling the boys hair. He also likes to pick up hard objects and pound them on Jack and Jude's head; he can usually get in about 5 good whacks before we can stop him.
 Lindsey's parents were in town and they helped us discover our local pond. We headed over there one day and ran into our neighbors who were out rollerblading. They probably wished they hadn't seen us because their kids ditched the roller blades and ended up in the smelly pond with ours.
With a source of income, Jack and Jude have been able to pay tithing. I think they'd pay more so long as the bishop continues to give them candy after church.

Lindsey dug this picture out for a lesson she taught the young women. The topic was on dating, so here we are. This picture shows me as a Jr. and Lindsey as a Senior in high school. Say what you want but it should no longer be a mystery as to why she was so in love with me!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wow. I need to try and catch up here. Well, we made it to a family reunion/my mom's 60th birthday celebration in Ashland, OR. We stayed up on a mountain in a small trailer (AKA scooner) at Howard Prairie. One of the great things that came out of that experience was that I learned our whole family could sleep in a one bedroom trailer if needs be. Not an ideal situation in my eyes but possible. Highlights: Jack learned how to cast a fishing pole, Jack threw up all over Jude and Ezra while on the trailer bed (Jude was irate!), we made it to the Ashland 4th of July parade and watched the jets fly over from the field in the back of Aunt Fern's backyard, we made it up on the hill where we visited my mom's relatives who live entirely off the grid (my dream), and we got to surprise my mom with a birthday celebration.

 Here is a picture of the trailer we lived in for 3 days. More impressive was the forest we got to explore.
 Grampa teaching Jack to cast. Funny, he never actually casted into the water. He just tied pine cones on to his line and did some land casting. Didn't matter. He still loved it.
 This is my mom's Uncle Billy. He has been in Ashland forever where he drove truck hauling trees. He was also a jockey at one point in his life! He is a great representation of all the fun people that make up my mom's side of the family--especially those still living in Oregon.
 Here is our new little home. We finally moved in and I think we have officially closed (Not sure. Should probably know that detail but things got complicated). Anyway, it is good to be in a home and out of student family housing. We had forgotten the difference a garbage disposal makes, along with a washer and drier that are actually under your roof. Having more than one toilet is also a major bonus. As for me, I think the first time I got to mow the lawn made me feel like I had accomplished everything I needed to accomplish in life.
 Here is the hill I had put in the backyard. I tried to have it "tucked" back in the corner as much as possible. Couldn't resist putting it in. Our builder was excavating the lot next to us and I basically had him move one of his piles of dirt into our backyard. Will be a huge pain in the butt if we ever decide to get rid of it but the boys enjoy it for now.
Ezra turned 1 on the 9th! He is already walking which makes him our earliest walker. He has a "farmers tan" where his arms bunch up from his chubbyness, and he is very vocal when trying to get what he wants or does not want (Like when I steam rolled him on the tramp today). All around, he has been a huge blessing in our lives. For those who don't know, Lindsey and I said we weren't going to have a baby while in grad school. Then Lindsey got the impression that our plan was all wrong and along came Ezra. We are so glad he is with us!

Well, those were a few highlights from the last few weeks. I left out about a million awesome memories, so I'll try and be more diligent with my posting.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today is day 18 of Lindsey and the boys being away from me. They took off shortly after we arrived in Fargo for a family reunion in Utah. The reunion has ended but they have been staying at Lindsey’s parent’s home waiting for me to fly out to Vegas, so we can all go to my family reunion in southern Oregon. Needless to say, we have been away from each other for way to long and I really miss my family. I missed Jude waking up in the morning and telling me he got lots of good sleep. I miss Jack’s obsession with cereal. I missed Ezra’s happy smile and determination to be in everything. I miss Jack’s references to garbage and Jude’s feisty attitude. I missed sitting down with Lindsey at the end of the day to talk about the good and the bad and how we are going to tackle the next day.
So, what does a guy do without his family? Initially I spent my time reading, packing so we can move into our home that is being built, cleaning, and working long hours. This left me burnt out and feeling sick. The fact that Lindsey wasn’t feeding me healthy food probably added to my weakening condition. At one point, I actually went to sleep in the corner of a bathroom at work for 15 minutes, because I thought I was going to pass out in a meeting. (Hopefully my boss doesn’t read this! Don’t worry though—I’m not hourly.) As I stepped back and realized how poorly I was taking care of myself, I started to slow down so as not to self-destruct. The rest of my time was filled with some extremely lazy moments of playing on my iPhone, as well as some moments were I actually took advantage of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had with my family home.
Unique things I did:
1.       The first night I slept from 5:45pm to 4:30am
2.       Traveled to and attended the Bismarck temple
3.       Saw the largest sandhill crane in the world and possibly the universe!
4.       Attended different churches on Sunday (Lutheran, Presbeterian, Catholic, and Baptist)
5.       Called old friends
6.       Took up running
7.       Repeated #1 above
Okay. My list isn’t that long. Maybe I could have taken better advantage of being a bachelor and done more cool things.
 Who would have thought the world's largest sandhill crane would be located in Steele, ND. I spotted this guy driving back from the temple and had to stop. Who wouldn't?  I think this bird feels the void I was feeling as a result of no longer living close to Barstow, CA which is home to the largest thermometer in the world (not pictured).

I had to take this picture because it represents the one true meal I cooked since my family left. (I mostly stuck to sandwhiches.) It was supposed to be a pot pie, but I didn't have enough canned potato soup. So, I substituted a can of clam chowder for the potato soup and called it good. It didn't turn out to be the most amazing meal I've ever had but it did the trick. Can you still call it pot pie when it has seafood inside? I think this might be a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day Dad

Now that I'm a father I've started to appreciate what my Dad did and continues to do for me. When I step back and think about the responsibility parenting brings I often think, "Crap! This is really hard. Where did these three kids come from." Then I think of my Dad and am amazed by all he has accomplished in his life given the five children he had to support and raise.

My fondest memories of my dad are mostly associated with all the fun places he has taken our family. He loves the water and fishing which resulted in us spending many hours on Lake Mead and the Colorado River. I'm not sure if the story is true but I heard he bought a boat before he furnished his house. He is Lake Powell as far as I'm concerned and I don't have much interest in going there unless he comes along. My dad is also a pilot at heart and has had his license to fly as long as I can remember. He's had enough hours in the sky that I even trusted him to take Jack and I up in the air. I guess you could say he is also a mountain man of sorts as long as he has skiis on his feet or a gun in his hand. By that I mean he was always taking us to a ski resort where every one of us eventually took off on snowboards. He also got all of his boys into hunting which served to bring us closer together.

Aside from the play, I am grateful for my Dad for his dedication to provide for his family. Having recently completed a graduate degree, I appreciate more the work my Dad must have put into graduating from dental school. But even more amazing are all the years he spent working as a dentist only to come home and ice his back because of the nature of his work. He continued to do this until he couldn't practice dentistry anymore because his back bacame "worn out".

I also can't thank my Dad enough for living a righteous life. He served a mission which inspired me to then serve a mission. He attends the temple regularly and is always doing genealogy work. Other than a few toys, he has been modest in the way he spends his money, never giving into the temptation to buy the luxury items he could afford. He has opened his house up to many people who others would turn away. This meant that we had--as I saw it--strange people living in our home or visiting for up to months at a time. This he did because he is a loving man who desires to give people a chance. Most important to me is probably the fact that he has never given up on this children. We have all needed his love and support and he has been there for us.

I'm afraid this post fell short of really describing how great my Dad is so just trust me when I say He is a remarkable person. I don't have any recent picks of him on my computer but I've got some oldies!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

We had family pictures taken before we left Minneapolis. We figured it was an important time in our lives, so we chose one of Minneapolis's most respected and creative photographers. Check out Jaci Udy's site here:


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I’m not sure where to start with this post. It has been a while since I last wrote and a lot has happened. Our world has been turned upside down recently with our move to Fargo. It was an emotional move for Lindsey and I. It started by watching many of our friends move away before us. Many people from my graduating class lived in our student housing complex, and they took off to different parts of the U.S. There were others as well who graduated and moved on—non-MHAers—which made COMO feel very empty. Then it was time for us to pack up which caused me to really think about those who had left and those I’d leave behind.
It has definitely been the trend the last 6 years for our family to pick up and move but this move was extremely hard. There is something to be said about being transplanted hundreds of miles from everything you’re comfortable with and finding yourself in an environment where you have to make friends that you will rely on because you want to and need to. That is exactly what we did in Minnesota. We made friends who we absolutely trusted and loved. We have a lot of great memories camping, hanging out by the local lakes, cooking big dinners on the holidays, celebrating birthdays, having people over for scones, etc., but we probably had most of our fun hanging out at the COMO playgrounds or cooped up inside together during the winter.
In thinking about how I usually deal with these situations, I realized that I tend to cope with leaving people I’ve become close with by not making much of an effort to keep in contact with them. I did this when I said goodbye to the people I served on my mission. (I basically said goodbye and then stopped all contact with them.) I’ve done the same as we’ve moved around while in school. I know that sounds horrible but I get really attached to people so to think about them but be removed from them makes me depressed. Just writing this post and reflecting on life in MN makes me sad. We’ve been in ND now for 12 days and my coping mechanism has been to stay really busy. Now, I’ve got time to think about what I’ve left and want to stop writing this so I can fill my mind with other things. But I’ve decided that would be a horrible thing to do because there are just too many great memories that are not worth loosing, and there are too many great people who I can’t afford to lose contact with.
I have to give a special shout out to the Nelson family for being awesome friends and for helping us move (Am I even spelling your last name correctly?). Erik was always willing to fix my junker car, paint bikes, and joke about things we shouldn’t have joked about. Jenny became our permanent sitter there towards the end, introduced us to the most amazing burritos, and was quick to shout a "turtleman call" from across the parking lotl. Darla was Jack’s first girlfriend! Bennett was amazing because of his passion to wear certain types of clothes, not wear shoes, and do things his way. And Tate is the "miracle" boy.

 We were basically able to retire Jude's blanket before leaving. We cut it down to its current state which is a little square. Jude will hold it up now and look at it as if it has lost all value.

 Jack and Jude finished up their swimming classes at the YMCA. They both graduated!
Jack and Darla at COMOs spring celebration. 
 These pictures are of our last get together at Ann Lake. The women stayed behind with the babies and left the men to wrangle all these kids. We were close to a lake and caught a lot of sunfish. Jude was in charge of the worms and deferred having his picture taken.

 This is what our couch tends to look like when friends come to build "forts".
 I love getting Ezra up from naps. He has four teeth now and is already standing his ground when he doesn't like the way things are going. Mostly just a smiling, happy kid.

I'm not a huge sports fan (that may be an understatement) but I thought it was cool that the company I now work for sent my family tickets to the Twins game. Had to leave before it ended because the kids weren't to into it. They probably thought they were on another planet since I've never had them watch sports.
 We took one last trip to the Natural History museum. This museum was great because their was a large room dedicated to hands on learning.
Ezra skinned this raccoon all by himself? Maybe this is why he came home sick. Are you supposed to let your baby play with animal skins?
Jack was a little upset he didn't find any boogers.
Jude and Tate.

 This is how Jack dresses when he wants to impress his friends!
 I finally graduated. This is me walking out after the graduation ceremony ended. I'm yelling up at Jude who was too busy playing my iPhone to pay any attention to my grand accomplishment. I don't blame him.
 And here are my truck driving buddies. We took off for Fargo in the U-Haul but started off by making a major mistake which was to give Jack and Jude lemonade from Wendy's. Jude drank and drank and it wasn't five minutes into the trip that I had to pull off the side of the road to let him relieve himself. We then got back on the road only to have him request another stop. I couldn't pull off fast enough in our large truck so he ended up having an accident. I eventually got him out of the truck after which he went pee three times before I eventually got him all cleaned up. I guess we will be cutting back on the beverages next road trip. You can google how long it takes to drive from Minneapolis to Fargo and then tack on 3 hours for all the stops we had to make.
Yeah! We made it to Fargo. I'll post more of what we've been up to shortly.