Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

I meant to do this a long, long time ago, but I got so busy I just didn't get around to it. So, please forgive the post-dated entry and enjoy our family Christmas photo & letter. :D

The Our Family Update 2009

Renaissance Man has been crazy busy in 2009, juggling the responsibilities that come with being a full-time grad student, part-time network admin, head TA for the U of U ‘s Mechatronics course, ward financial clerk, husband and father. In his spare time he enjoys eating and sleeping. :) If everything goes as planned, he should graduate with his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in May. Ultimately he’d like to get a PhD and teach at a university, but unless circumstances change we’ll be taking a break and working for a bit before jumping back in.

MamaBug thought she was a busy person last spring when she volunteered to take over the position as Box Tops Coordinator at the kids’ school. That job turned into the additional responsibility of PTA Vice President for the upcoming school year. Shortly after she committed to PTA, she was called as Second Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency. In the last few months she has been in charge of a “low energy cooking methods” night (which had a bigger turn out than some of our ward parties), Super Craft Saturday, and the school’s Reflections contest. She has collected and counted thousands of Box Tops and soup labels and volunteered at the school eye clinic and in the kids’ classes. She also managed to can/dehydrate at least 15 different food products to add to our food storage. Now she is certain that she is a busy person. So, if this Christmas note arrives a bit late, she humbly begs your understanding and forgiveness. :)

Princess Bug, who turned 10 in October, has had a great year. In February she placed second place in the 3rd grade science fair with a project studying how best to remove fingernail polish from carpeting. (Anyone want to guess the inspiration for that project?) In early summer, Grandpa sold Princess Bug a digital camera and gave her photography lessons. Those lessons paid off with a first place finish in this year’s Reflections contest. Her entry has moved on to compete at the council level and we are all excited to find out how well she does. She loves to read and has a great sense of humor. She’s also becoming a great helper, especially with her baby brother, 'Lashes.

Sunshine Boy is wishing for his two front teeth for Christmas! He is 7 years old and eagerly awaiting his birthday in April so that he can be baptized. So far this school year he has been asked to be a peer mentor (to model good behavior & kindness for a classmate with issues) and placed 3rd in Visual Art in the Reflection’s contest. He has a talent and passion for building with Legos and designs some really cool ships! Renaissance Man says that he has “The Knack” just like his daddy. (If you aren’t familiar with the term, google “Dilbert The Knack”. It’s worth it. :) ) He has a tender heart and is very mellow and happy.

Bob is our busy, fun, big boy, 4 year old pre-schooler. The pre-school held parent teacher conferences for the first time this year. We were unsurprised to discover that at his start of year evaluation he has already passed end of year goals in his verbal and motor skills. Now we just have to work on his alphabet recognition. He is cheerful and outgoing, charming nearly everyone he meets. He loves playing with his big brother and sister and can’t wait for them to come home from school each day. He also helps keep an eye on 'Lashes. We suspect that in the near future, they will make a fearful (and wonderful) duo.

'Lashes will be 2 in February and is absolutely packed full of personality. He is trying out new words daily. He shocked us all a week or so ago when he followed the example of his big sister and brothers and told us all a knock knock joke. He has outrageously long eyelashes which he will bat at you with an infectious grin. He is the first of the kids to start out with dark hair and keep it. He knows how to move and climb our bar stools as well as how to unscrew lids and turn doorknobs, all of which he is employing regularly, much to MamaBug’s chagrin. He is sweet and cuddly most of the time, but he knows how to throw and impressive tantrum. He loves to tease and explore.

As a family, we joined MamaBug’s mom & aunt on a family vacation in June to Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore and some LDS Church history sights. We loved hiking around and seeing all the cool natural features in Yellowstone. We thought Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments were awesome. The only down side to it all was taking turns running a fever. We loved the whole vacation (the kids have already said they want to do it all over again, without being sick of course) and wished that we had had more time in each place. In July, we joined Renaissance Man’s brother, and his family on a camping trip to Posey Lake. Princess Bug renewed her love for fishing and Sunshine Boy caught his first fish (and a desire to go fishing more often). We all enjoyed paddling around the lake and taking a side trip to Devil’s Garden.

On the whole, we have had a very blessed, happy, and busy year. We send our love and prayers to all of you and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Cute Christmas Special

If you haven't seen this one, it's worth popping over to Hulu to check it out. :D

Prep & Landing

Just In Case You Forget How Many Reindeer On Santa's Sleigh

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Very, Very Strange...

to wake up to the morning news on your radio and to realize that the "stupid criminal" story they are reporting is about your car...(Later a cousin sent me this link.)

Video Courtesy of

(I'm going to copy the article text to the bottom of this post because I figure some day the video clip won't work anymore.)

RM's car was stolen out of our driveway about 11:25pm on Monday. He was working in the garage and heard it being driven away. He called me to make sure I wasn't in the car (I was in our room working on the computer) and then called 911. The Sheriff's deputy told us that Honda Civics usually disappear into a chop shop within hours, but that since we reported it so quickly, we might get lucky. We made a few phone calls and said a few prayers.

About 1:30am we got a call that the police had our car. After RM got there, he found out that the three guys who stole our car had been caught. They guy who tried running got tackled face down in the snow! We got most everything back (except a clip board full of yet to be turned in homework, ug!) and a few odds and ends. They caught them so fast they didn't have time to do much or take it to the chop shop. The steering column is broken up and the little triangle window in the backseat is busted, but all in all not too bad. The scary thing though is that one of them had part of our garage door opener on him when he was caught. Don't know where the rest is, so our garage door is unplugged until we can replace it with a new code.

Really, this has turned out to be a lot less awful than it could have been. We have been very blessed! We know that the guy who took the car thought he had hours before the car was reported missing. After all, the house was all dark. If RM hadn't been in the garage building stuff for homework, we probably wouldn't have known until morning. Earlier that night RM brought more things into the house from his car than he normally does...including the binder that has all his Master's research notes in it and some expensive parts for this robot. It is being inconvenient, but not too much worse. We're just thrilled the guys that took it are in jail.

"December 8th, 2009 @ 7:31am

WEST VALLEY CITY -- Overnight snowfall helped police track down a man driving a stolen car.

A West Valley City police officer noticed a stolen car on 4000 West near 4100 South around 1 a.m. When he tried to pull over the car, the driver took off.

Officers called in police dogs and followed fresh footprints in the snow to find the suspect around the corner.

Sgt. M.T. Johnson with the West Valley City Police Department said, "I think it's pretty cut and dried. Stolen car and the bad guy got caught."

Eddie Garza was booked into jail for driving a stolen car, fleeing and possession of a burglary instrument."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Possessed by Pomeranian Puppies

Princess Bug is becoming rather obsessed with the thought of owning a dog, specifically a Pomeranian. I have several concerns about this. Besides the whole "care and keeping" issue, Sunshine Boy is mildly asthmatic and shares my dog allergies. He's had asthma attacks after visiting homes with dogs before. We've discussed that if we ever did get a dog, we'd have to get a hypoallergenic breed. In case you haven't noticed, they aren't cheap. (This all began with a friend offering Princess Bug a pure bred Chihuahua at half price as a birthday present.)

In our discussion of dogs tonight she momentarily confused me when she began to discuss "hyperthermogenic" breeds. So, do you think she's related to an engineer? :D


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