Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Dog Racing

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Anne and I packed up the dogs and the kids and drove to the middle of nowhere (somewhere south of Draper, Utah.) There is a secret Whippet Racing course there on some dog loving soul’s farm and on Saturdays they’ll let you race your dog on a lure for a couple of bucks. Well, Anne has never met a dog sport she didn’t love and Tai is built like an Italian Greyhound, so it seemed worth the drive to at least try it out.

Basically, there is a long empty field next to some horse pasture. Using an old tractor (for a motor) and a system of pulleys, there is a lure attached to a thin rope. Since there were two of us, Anne would hold our dog and I’d walk to the far end of the course (about 200 yards.) When we signal we’re ready, the fellow at the tractor pulls a lever and the lure starts moving. The dog is then released to chase after it until the lure passes me (at which point, the lever is toggled and the lure stops.) I then collect the lure and the dog and jog back to the beginning to do it all over again.

We had a great time. Both dogs ran the course twice and seemed very enthusiastic by the second go. I’ve included some pictures below for your general enjoyment.

The Fires of Competition

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Recently some friends at work decided to start up a group blog together to share their awesome doodles with the world. Being the competitive person that I am, I couldn’t stand by and let my blog rot to nothing. So then I was tasked with finding something to actually blog about.

So I will give a quick update about our family (with some minor excuses about why I haven’t posted anything.) Then I’ll make a second(!) post about things I’m currently interested in and spending time on.

So here goes:

Anne and I have been fostering two little girls for the past nine months or so (since the middle of last May.) They are adorable and we love them so much, but I’m limited in how much I can say or post about them because of legal requirements on being a foster parent. We even had to ask Anne’s sister-in-law to take down some photos on Facebook because the girls were in them (incredibly lame and mildly embarrassing to have to do that.) So anyway, there are still several legal hurdles/challenges to adopting them, but that is the current family plan made in conjunction with the state Attorney General’s office and the girls’ Guardian Ad Litem and caseworker. We are SUPER excited for this, but also extremely cautious and anxious to clear all the remaining hurdles. We’ve heard horror stories about other foster parents in our situation losing their kids on the day of the adoption right there at court with all their families there and everything. So yeah, this occupies our thoughts and prayers quite a bit.

Skyler and Preston have both made great strides and accepted these little girls as siblings. Both boys are in elementary school (Skyler’s in third grade and Preston is in first grade this year.) Preston continues to impress us with his Chinese and Skyler is still doing well academically while pouring his heart and soul into athletics. They’re both looking forward to baseball this spring.

Anne continues to make our German Shepherd Brash do amazing things like rescue small children from burning houses, stop bank robberies and terrify all our neighbors. At least, that’s what I hear. He is the best dog I’ve ever had the privilege of vying for dominance with and he’s also incredibly cute and affectionate.

Learning Chinese

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Preston had his Chinese program today for the Chinese New Year. He has made us so proud this year and has really started to pick up the language. Anne took some video of him counting and writing the characters in Chinese.

The finished worksheet:

Mission Accomplished

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Last August I set myself a goal to lose 50 pounds. It’s been challenging, but I finally accomplished it this weekend. Anne has been super supportive and I couldn’t have done it without her. I think Preston and Skyler are a little sad that their dad doesn’t have a fat belly anymore.

Preston’s First Talk

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Preston gave his first talk in Primary on Sunday. I wasn’t sure it would happen, since he was sick Friday night and spent Saturday in bed resting. Not to mention Anne left me in charge of writing the talk and going over it with him. But there I was Saturday afternoon typing it up and then sitting down with him to go over it so he wouldn’t stumble over any unfamiliar words. And this was the result:

He seems so small up there. Makes me want to give him a big hug.

Santa Claus

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Great Grandma moved into a retirement community place this year and during the holidays they have a visit from Santa Claus, so we decided to stop by and spend some time visiting and getting in our wishes. Both boys seemed to handle it very well, which I believe was a first for us.

Gingerbread Houses

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

We have an annual tradition of making gingerbread houses at Grandma’s house and this year was no exception. Sadly, due to an seemingly insane desire to reduce the amount of food storage I carry around in the form of fat cells, I did not partake in this year’s festivities. Skyler and Preston, however, produced a pair of masterpieces any architect would envy.

First Day of School

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Preston started kindergarten this year and Skyler entered the second grade. We have been really excited for Preston because he’s in a Chinese immersion program and is learning to speak Chinese from a native speaker. He already knows a number of phrases and characters, while Anne has picked up quite a bit from volunteering in the classroom.

Skyler has become a great reader and enjoys reading Goosebumps books.

Brash

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Last spring after some discussion, Anne gave our old labrador-mix mutt back to her mom and we adopted a German Shepherd puppy. We named him Brashen (after the character in the Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb) and we call him Brash. Anne has been doing Schutzund training with him and quite enjoys spending her Saturdays out doing tracking, obedience, and bite work.

We also took some longish, and probably not very entertaining, videos of us teaching him how to track by placing little bits of hot dog in our footprints.

Halloween

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Anne took an off-hand comment of mine as a challenge this year and created costumes for our boys from scratch.