Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End

Not of my blog, but the year. I would like to list out all of the major things that happened to our family this year. This might take a while, so if you don't see this post until well after the new year, just know that I started it on Dec. 31, 2009 at about 5:30pm. I don't have a lot of really wise or sage things to say, but I just want everyone to have a great new year. I hope that all your wildest dreams come true. There are a great many good things that I hope will happen for our family this year. I hope that we get our house built this year. I hope that I get back the benefits that were taken away from us at work last year because of the economy. I hope that we have our third kid this year. I hope that it is either a girl or a boy. There are other things too, but I want to be done for now. Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Sometimes I think that the Christmas season in general is over rated. I mean, spending time with your family is great and everything( we spent Christmas eve at my in-laws, Christmas morning at our place, and Christmas day with my family), and the whole presents thing is nice (I got a few games for the Wii, some Oriental style cookware, a magazine subscription to one of my favorite magazines, and Rachel bought me the nook, the e-reader from Barnes and Noble though it will not be here till mid February), and the food is always good (I made Belgian waffles for dinner at the Dunns and then for dinner at my moms, we had rib-eye steak and Dungeness crab). But other than that, I think the whole thing is over rated...

But not really. I'll write more when I have time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Living at Papa's

In my last post, I mentioned that we sold our house, and were by definition homeless. Well it is not entirely true. We are not living on the street, or in a shelter or even in a tent on our property. We have been taken in by my grandfather, who lives alone in his home on Lake Washington in Bellevue. Rachel and I both really enjoy it here, as we have had the chance to get to know Papa a little better, ad have our kids get to know him period. It's kind of hard for the generations to come together sometimes, especially when we only see each other on Sunday and the holidays Papa is in town. He often travels between Witchita and here for extended periods of time. In fact, he will be leaving in a few weeks, and then we will have the whole house to ourselves. But while we have been here together, Papa has been very accommodating. Rachel and I have our own bedroom and bathroom, the kids have a room that they share, the formal living room has been turned into the kids play area, ect. Our family has sort of come in and occupied the space in this house that Papa wasn't using. It has been nice.

Friday, November 13, 2009


My family and I are oficially homeless starting today, as of about an hour ago (9am). We finished packing up all of our stuff last night and slept at my mom's house so that way there was nothing that we needed to take care of as far as the house went this morning. The buyers were supposed to come over and take possession of the house at 5064 38th ST NE Tacoma WA 98422 (I'm posting the address now since I don't live there anymore) at 9am this morning and we didn't want to meet the people invading our sanctuary on our way out. It was kind of sad being the last one out, and shutting the door for the last time. After all, we lived there for almost 6 years, we had both of our children in that house, there were several improvements we made to the place to make it more livable for us. There is a lot of our blood sweat and tears in that building and the land underneath it. But it's on to bigger and better things now, since we have a big piece of lakefront property to build our new house on. There will be more blood sweat and tears poured into the new place than there ever was in the old house. I just hope I didn't forget anything...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Packing the House

We are in the middle of packing our house now. I still have trouble understanding how much crap we have to pack up. There is a ton of stuff. We got ourselves a larger storage unit a few months ago whe we were getting ready to put our house on the market. It was twice the size of the old one, and now it too is almost full. I'm going to have to go there are rearrange everything so we can fit more stuff in it. I keep bringing home boxes from work that I find on my routes to put stuff in and there seems like a never ending stream of stuff going into them, but we never seem to make a dent in the house. It is crazy. I spent about three hours packing up my shop today, getting everything into boxes and containers, and I bet I could spend another three just in there. Then I have to do the garage, where all of my Volkswagen stuff is...
This next week is going to be crazy. We have to be out of our house on Friday the 13th if that helps you understand...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Before Halloween

I am still trying to decide what to be for Halloween. This is the first year that I will be able to make/put on a costume, since the holiday falls on a Saturday. Rachel is really trying to get me to be something that she can match all of us up together, like the Wizard of Oz or a Star Wars theme, but I like to be unique. I don't wear the same color ties as my kids when we go to church, I don't wear matching clothes of any kind. If it happens accidentally I change. That everyone wear matching outfits is most assuredly a woman thing. But I am a non-conformist.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We Are Officially Moving.

Well, we sold the house. It went for less (much less) than we wanted it to go for, but at least we are not losing a ton. The bad/good thing about it is that the buyers want to close their loan on Nov.13 and that only gives us like a week and a half to pack everything up. It is going to be crazy around here for a while. That and we don't know exactly where we are going to live for now, since we only have an empty lot right now. We will probably end up at my grandfather's house in Bellevue for part of the time and at my parents house for part of the time. But for now, we are going to be moving all of our stuff into storage and living as nomads. I thought about putting up a tent on our lot, but decided against it for two reasons: 1 It is starting to get cold, and I don't think that my wife or my children would appreciate living in a tent in the middle of winter. 2 The house is not likely to be finished for a year at least, and even I would not like living out of a tent for a year.
So now we can start saving all the money we would have spent on mortgage payments and utility bills for the construction of our next house. The city is still apparently on track to get their shoreline management plan approved sometime in the first quarter of next year, and then the permitting process should start fairly soon after that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Suggestions please

Rachel and I are currently trying to figure out what kinds of things/rooms/areas to put in our home. I think that we have decided to go with a custom builder and have them help us design a house for us. We would like to keep it at around 2500 sqft, so no we will not be putting in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. But if you could think about your house, and the things you like about it (or don't like for that matter) some creative input would be much appreciated. We've got some of our own ideas, but there are always better more interesting creative ways to do stuff.
Here are the basics as far as rooms go:
Kitchen, Family room, nook off kitchen (for eating), 3beds+master, 2.5 baths, mudroom, 3 car garage, library/den/study, Laundry/craft room. I don't know if we want formal spaces like a traditional living room of dining room. In both our parents houses the don't seem to get used all that often.
But like I said, anything you like about your house or anything you really think we should leave out post it as a comment. It would really help us out!


Lately I have been playing this stupid game on Facebook. It is called Pirates: Rule the Caribbean or something stupid. I don't know what the draw is, but I can't stop at least checking in on it every day. I am like level 27 now I think and the game is not even really that amazing. I just think I need something else to do. If you want to be in my crew and help me out, you go right ahead. Go to my facebook page and add the app to your page, but don't blame me when youe spouse comes in and gets mad because you are wasting all of your time on a stupid game that really is a complete waste of time...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Whistler BC

I have decided that Canada is dumb. Not that Canadians are dumb, but Canada is. They don't have real freeways, when they do road construction the lane modifications don't make sense, stuff is way too expensive, and they are WAY too concerned about the environment.
Now I know that these are bold statements, so let me explain:
My father in law got the police condo this last week in Whistler. It is beautiful country, don't get me wrong. We left our house at about 6pm and got on the I-5 and drove straight up to the border. It was easy, no problems. Then we got to the border and things went downhill from there. After we got through the border we stayed on the road that I-5 turns into, Hwy 99. Little did I know that this poor excuse for a highway goes straight into downtown Vancouver and that following it through the city takes special driving skills. The signs that tell you where to turn don't give you any warning, they just appear at the intersection you are supposed to turn at, so if you are in the wrong lane, you're stuck. They are also positioned high and in the trees and are small, making them hard to read or see even if you ARE in the correct lane. All of this=dumb.
Once we finally navigated our way through Vancouver and again found ourselves on some semblance of a highway, they were doing construction. They are trying to improve the roads for the Olympics next year. That is all fine and dandy, but the way that the lanes are marked for the construction is dumb. There is no warning that you are about to be redirected into a new lane. The cones just all of a sudden veer of into a new direction. Trying to stay in a lane is difficult enough, but trying to stay in the correct lane is harder still. I had at one point a few cars behind me following closely to make sure that they were in the same lane that I was, and when I decided I didn't want a bunch of people behind me on this dangerous road I put my hazards on and pulled off to the side of the road between some cones. The dumb people behind me kept on following me and ran over a bunch of cones before realizing that I wasn't leading them through the cone maze anymore.
The expensive part isn't as much a gripe about being expensive as it is about the differences between currency. The monetary values of our currency are so close that Canadians will take our currency instead of their own, but not calculate the difference between the two. In other words, they charge us more and that gets expensive. Do Americans accept Canadian currency as legal tender here in the US? Nope. But the Canadians will steal from you without a second thought. Dumb.
The last thing isn't so bad. Being concerned about the environment is a good thing. But if you are Canadian, it's like you HAVE to be concerned about the environment. All of the activities that they have for you to do up in Whistler all talk as much about how environmentally friendly they are as much as they do ABOUT THE THING THEY ARE ADVERTISING! I am pretty sure that they think I wouldn't give them a second look unless I knew that the brochure I was reading about them was printed on 100% recycled paper using 100% biodegradable vegetable based inks using printers in buildings only powered by wind power. Oh, and they also purchased a bunch of carbon credits for you, just in case your trip up to their activity made you burn any gasoline. No wonder they have to charge you so much... DUMB!
So if you are Canadian and reading this, sorry, but your country is a little less awesome than mine is.


News about the property for those who care:
1: The property is still there.
2: The city of Federal Way says it's not all there.
3: King County says it is all there
4: All the other maps I've looked at say it is there.
5: Even if it isn't all there, there is still enough of it there to build on.
6: The first environmental expert we talked to came with good references.
7: She didn't sound very enthusiastic about helping us small timers.
8: The second firm we talked to had connections with the city.
9: We hired the second firm.
10: They will look at our lot on Tuesday.
11: We might talk to Stanbrooke Homes on Wednesday or Thursday.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I am sorry that I haven't been better about blogging this year. I always seem to have other stuff to do and none of it involves being on the computer lately. For instance, right now I have both kids awake; one of them is eating in another room and the other one is crawling around the house. I have all the bathroom doors locked and the kitchen closed off, so he can't get into too much trouble. But I just had to get on and write about this important event in my life. For a while now, Rachel and I have been thinking about moving. We both like the house we live in, but it is getting small for a family of four, at least in our opinion. So we have been looking at different options and trying to decide whether or not to buy a lot and build a house or try to find a house that we would be comfortable with. We have considered moving back to Maple Valley to be closer to Rachel's work, but neither of us really want to do that. We both want our own space if you know what I mean. Both sets of parents currently live there and trying to keep up with both sets and still maintain our own identities can be a little difficult at times. Anyway, we really like living a little ways away from family. Close enough to visit but far enough away to have our own lives (If my mom reads this, no offense). We appreciate all that our families do for us and now more than ever: Rachel and I are the proud new owners of a large buildable lot on a lake here in Federal Way. It puts us about 15 minutes closer to both of our places of employment, it is a great area, close to everything and even better, it has all of the utilities in the street. The lot is big enough that we will never have any neighbors looking in our windows from their windows, the lake is small enough that it doesn't allow gas powered engines, but big enough to swim and fish and have fun on. My dad said it best: It's not a muck pond. Anyway, we are very excited and now the next step is to get our current house on the market, then we have to find a builder that we feel comfortable with, choose a plan to build, get our feasibility study done, find financing for the actual build, get permits, sell our current house, move out of said house, find somewhere to live in the meantime, build a house on our lot, rent a portapotty, and a bunch of other stuff. It's gonna be intense, like cubscouts on a campout. Intense.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lots To Catch Up On

Ok, I have a lot of stuff to say today, and not a lot of time to say it in. First I was stung by a bee last Saturday at about 1pm while I was mowing my lawn for the first time this summer. I must have been mowing too near it for my own good, because it came right at me and stung me in my left cheek. I caught it and "took care of " it, but the damage had already been done. Luckily Ammon was over by the blueberries and not anywhere near me at the time. He has not been stung yet, and I am not ready for that to happen yet. Anyway, I went in and looked to take out the stinger, but I couldn't find one, so I assumed that the bee had not left it there. In fact I could not even see the exact location of the sting, so I didn't know exactly where to look. And the pain subsided rather quickly so I forgot about it until it started swelling up at about 10:30pm that night. Kind of a delayed reaction. It didn't stop swelling until Monday morning, so I didn't go to church or work Sunday or Monday, because I sort of looked like the Elephant Man and I think I would have scared the little kids and grossed out my customers. In addition to the swelling, a large water blister the size of a quarter formed right on top of the sting site and that stuck out of my face at least another half inch on top of the swelling. It didn't help appearances any when it got so full that it started oozing clear liquid. No I did not get pictures of it. Tuesday, most of the swelling was gone though, thanks to massive amounts of anti-histamine and the blister had fully popped, so I went back to work. Ok, so thats the first thing.
The second thing is I am now in the second day of my mandatory "vacation" from work. I was suspended for 60 days for allegedly running a red light in Seattle and getting caught by a traffic camera. I will not admit to anything in writing, but I think that being suspended for 60 days without pay is an awful long time and a pretty stupid policy. What am I supposed to do for all that time? Is the policy to give me sufficent time to think about my actions? I don't know, but it seems like a pretty harsh punishment for something that only counts as a parking ticket. On the bright side, I now have most of the summer off and will now be able to do all of those things that I have written down that I never seem to have time to do, like getting the house ready to sell, plant a garden, spend time with my family, or blogging for that matter. I guess every cloud has its silver lining.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The End of My Vacation

Today was the last day of our vacation. We had to be out of our room by noon, so we just figured that we would just get out early and go do something, since there really wouldn't be any point in coming back later. We decided to go to Cannon Beach which is about 10 minutes south of Seaside, and for any of you that have seen the movie Goonies, cannon beach is where the triple stones are located, except in the movie they are backwards for some reason. That was the big draw for us to go there, but it is a really nice little town. USBank is huge there on the west coast of Oregon, for those of us that have accounts there. You can rest assured that you will have a branch close by. But I digress... Great town, awesome sandy beaches, nice place. We didn't spend much time there though because it was on the way to TILLAMOOK! We went to the Tillamook cheese factory. Now, I only buy Tillamook cheese and sour cream, so it was kind of a big deal to go there for us. We got a few pictures ate some ice cream bought some cheese and then started on our way home. It was a good trip overall, and a good first trip for our entire family to take together. I'd probably do it again next year.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ok, so I'm running a little behind.

Today is Wednesday, and I still have about half of my week's vacation left. We have spent the last couple of days here in Seaside, OR and it has been really nice. There hasn't been many exciting things that I need to talk about, mostly it has been nice just relaxing away from home and all of the responsibilities that entails. But we are staying at the Resort at Seaside, which is part of the timeshare that my parents have. It's pretty nice, the suite we have has two bedrooms, a balcony (we are on the 8th floor, which is also the top floor) with a gas BBQ, a TV in each bedroom and one in the living room area. It also has a full kitchen and two full bathrooms, and a gas fireplace. Nice. The Resort is right on the beach, and the beach is great. The water is cold, so we haven't been swimming in the ocean yet, but there is a heated swimming pool that Rachel has taken advantage of. I am pretty happy with everything so far. Except for the fact that at 8am the roofers came and started working on the roof right above our suite. Not cool.
Seaside itself is a nice place. There is a something for almost everyone. Quaint little shops, big chain grocery stores, fancy little restaurants, an outlet mall for the bargain shoppers, the beach with its miles of sandy beaches (no rocks on the beach that I could see anywhere, just sand). Last night as the sun set over the ocean, I saw a flash of green just before the sun went down completely. I thought it was pretty neat, as I had never seen it before. We also went to the local aquarium, it is the oldest one on the entire west coast. It isn't a very big one, the Seattle Aquarium is probably four or five times larger. I paid my $7.50 to get in, and went into the first room. The had a tide pool tank where you could touch starfish and anemones and crabs. They had a few small tanks with sea pens and small fish. Then there were a few bigger tanks with octopi and eels and stuff. So we walked around the first room and saw what there was to see, and then I went looking for the next room, but there wasn't one. Just the one room, and that was it. Then on our way out we saw the sea lions. This aquarium had a sea lion family that did tricks for food. They clap and splash and bark to get your attention, because for a dollar you can get some cut up chum and feed them. Pretty funny. I got some good pics of Ammon over the rail throwing food at them. But I have to go now, Rachel is getting impatient. She wants to go do something so off we go.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm Sorry

I really wish that President Obama would stop apologizing to the rest of the world for me. I am not embarrassed by my country or anything that we have done in the recent past. Except for the part about electing an extreme leftist Democrat to the Presidency...There, I got it out of my system. Thank you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Today I Came Home From Work

I went in to work this morning at about 6am, because the managers had me assigned to do an FO route. An FO route delivers our early morning packages. It's about 8 stops and all have to be delivered before 8am. I take out my 8 stops in Downtown Seattle and get done just before 8. Sometimes if I don't know the area I am delivering it can be a pretty harrowing experience, but not today. Easy breezy. When a swing driver such as myselfdoes one of these routes, they are usually assigned to a regular morning route also, so that way when they come back off of road all they have to do is scan their freight and head right back out again. But today I didn't see my name on the assignment board for anything other than the FO route. It didn't bother me, because that usually means that I would be doing overflow or something (helping out another route). So I came back to the station, and asked what I would be doing for the rest of the morning, because I have a pickup route to do later this afternoon. They said that there was no freight for me, and that I was to take a split (long, LONG lunch) and be back in time for my pickup route. So here I am, back at home and hopefully I will get a bunch of stuff done that I normally wouldn't have time to do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

I am tired. I have a toothache. I have a headache. I didn't get to take a real lunch at work today. I need to do laundry. I was late to work today. I failed miserably on my route today. I just paid a bunch of bills. I don't want to watch American Idol. I want to read a book, but my eyes are too tired. I had to eat microwave burritos for dinner. I am paying for that now. I have to clean up this room. I am still wearing my FedEx clothes, even though I have been home for almost two hours now. It is raining. It might snow again tonight. I still haven't finished the dresser. But I am holding my baby boy, and he is laughing. Life is good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Today we donated our cars to the Northwest Center. We put our keys and the signed title in the front seat and then left. When we came home the cars were gone, and we had a nice receipt from the donation people. No fuss no muss, and poof the driveway is empty. I had forgotten what an empty driveway even looked like. We didn't donate the Hyundai or the Mazda mind you, we donated our Kia Sephia and the Saturn SL2. Those were the cars we owned but just took up space in our driveway. Neither car was drivable, mostly because I didn't want to spend any more money on either of them. And I didn't really have the time to work on them myself. The Saturn needed front end work and the Kia needed new wires to the starter (I think). But I have lots of other more important things I could be doing with my time, like blogging. If you ever drive your car into the ground, I highly recommend donating it to some local charity. They do all the hard work for you and it's just done.
Although... I am sad to see the Saturn go, since I really enjoyed driving it. And I wish that I could of at least been there when it was loaded up, you know to kind of say goodbye and wish it luck in it's new life as a wrecker. It had 190000 miles on it and it had lived a good long life. My uncle bought it new in 1995, my dad bought it from him and I bought it from my dad, so it was a family car. It seems like I should have been there to tell it that it was apreciated and that it did a great job and would be missed. Instead I just said,"You're Fired! Get out of here! I don't want to see you when I get home!" Oh well, it's only a car right?

Monday, February 23, 2009

February 23

Ok I know that the title to today's post is really lame, but it is all I could think up on short notice. I just got done cooking Ammon some dinner, and he is eating right now contentedly in the dining room, which gives me a chance to write a little something in my blog. I haven't been here in a while but that is probably because there isn't much new to talk about. Ok, that's not entirely true but it is mostly true. There have not been any real exciting changes since my last post but here's what has happened. I took my wife to a little restaurant here in Federal Way called The Lobster Shop for Valentine's Day. They are primarily a seafood place, but they do have some other more typical standbys, like steaks and a pasta dish or two. But seafood is what they do best and they do it very well. We have been there a few times in the past. We sort of stumbled upon it about two years ago, just before we had Ammon. We were down at a local park on Dash Point at about 3pm and just kind of exploring. We had never been to this one. It's not a big place, but it has a long fishing pier and a sandy beach with some covered areas. It's nice. There are houses on both sides of the park. Anyway, there was this one house that we saw many people going in and out of, and upon closer inspection, we discovered that it was a restaurant. since we were hungry and feeling adventurous, we went over for a closer look. At 4pm when it opened, we went in and the hostess asked us if we had a reservation. It is the kind of restaurant where people dress up nice and call to make reservations. Luckily they had an open table for us and we enjoyed their twilight menu, which I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys seafood. Look them up, it's called the Lobster Shop. There are actually two restaurants listed on their website, but we like the one at Dash Point.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Day After...

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now officially one year closer to death. Not actual DEATH death, but 3-0. My older brother is going to turn 30 on Tuesday and I thought about calling him and leaving a voicemail with a funeral dirge playing in the background. Maybe I will still do that, but if he survives Tuesday, maybe there is hope for life after your twenties after all.
To celebrate my birthday, Rachel and I went out for a night by ourselves. We left the kids (it still feels weird saying kids) at my moms house and went to a hotel in Seattle. We stayed at the Pan Pacific in the south Lake Union area. It's a nice hotel, but not the nicest one I have stayed at in this city. I guess I can say that I am somewhat of a hotel snob now, because I have stayed at quite a few.

Rachel and the kids will be leaving tomorrow to California. I will miss them and they will miss me. She is taking them down to visit her grandfather, who is recovering from his umpteenth heart surgery.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Giving Up the Ghost

This last week of so has been pretty expensive. My Saturn finally gave up the ghost and it is now sitting as a lawn ornament in my driveway. I spent all day last Wednesday taking it apart and putting it back together. The front drivers side wheel bearing has welded itself to the steering knuckle and I don't really want to spend any more money fixing it. The engine and transmission still work fine, but it is getting up there in years. It is a 1995 Saturn SL2, and it only has 191000 miles on it. Only! Anyway, it lived a good long life and I think it's time for it to throw in the towel. So, we decided to go out and get a new car. After doing some research and deciding that we anted a car that could fit more that four people, I decided on two cars: The Mazda CX-9 or the Hyundai Veracruz. Now, anyone that knows me probably would guess that I was a little more biased toward the Veracruz, since that is where I served my mission, and since we already had a Hyundai Sonata, and I really like it. But you would be wrong. I really wanted the CX-9, since I had read really good things about it. So Rachel went down to Portland to get it, since no one up in Seattle would give us a good deal on one. I couldn't go since I had to work and I wasn't going to call in sick just to go get it (even though I have been really sick for the past week or so). So now we have one.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First New Post of the Year

So in this, my first new post of the year I want to say that I have no real New Years Resolutions. I have things I want to change about myself, but why do I need a new year to make that stuff happen? Anyway with that said, I would like to tell you all how great it felt to get up this morning at 8:30am. I didn't have to wake up to an alarm, and I got up when my body was no longer tired. It felt so good. I don't think I have done that in two months. I guess this is going to be a really random post, because the other thing I want to talk about is Christmas. I got Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the Wii. It is pretty much awesome. You get to do everything by waving around the Wiimote and the Nunchuck in the air: use the force, swing your lightsaber, move around, look around... all that stuff. That is what is so great about the Wii in my opinion. It's not about the graphics, it's all about the interactivity. With the Wii, you get to DO things, not just push buttons and feel your controller vibrate a little bit in your hands. I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of Wii Fit too. Maybe then I would start excersizing right? And if I also got Shaun White's Snowboarding game to go along with it, even better...
Ok, that's enough for now. Happy New Year everyone.