A nice Saturday

I feel like I’m expending a fair amount of mental energy these days, and really just loving a day to decompress with my wife and children without interruption or concern. Today was one of those days. I woke up and read some of Steve Jobs biography and then did some pumpkin carving research. I read up on techniques and downloaded some templates I knew the kids would love—Angry Birds, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario, Yugi Oh. Daria bought pumpkins and carving instruments earlier in the week so we set up and carved away. Dylan carved a Legend of Zelda Triforce pumpkin design and Daria and I helped Brigs and Noah. It was funny coaxing them into pulling the seeds and goo out as they really don’t get their hands dirty all too often. But they dug right in and did...

Our Teleporting Baby

This morning I was the first to wake along with Lola. As we made our way through the quiet house a mischievous idea came to me. We crept down to Joshua and Brigs room and then I placed Lola up on the top bunk beside Joshua (there’s a significant railing). Lola was in on the gig too, not making a single sound. Pretty soon Joshua became aware of Lola, “What the?” I heard as a grin crossed my face atop the stairs. “How did Lola get here? Brigs how did she get here? Maybe she did climb up here, or maybe I was sleep walking and brought her down here.” That’s when I came down and told them I thought Lola was a teleporting baby. Classic. UPDATE: Joshua just asked if we could rig up a camera over his bed so we could capture how Lola is

Painting

The past couple of nights I’ve stolen an hour or so to paint a room with my four boys. I love the feeling of working alongside my family on a project. The boys are all quite proud of their handiwork and the paint job turned out great. It was quite adorable when Brigs and Joshua painted their names on the wall. A classic moment.

A Weekend to Remember

We traveled to Calgary this weekend to spend more time with our soon-to-be daughter, currently going by the name of Serenity. Our time with Serenity kicked off at a Church Christmas party with a dinner, program, and dance. The highlight was watching Serenity dance– the girl has rhythm and energy! I even had my first dance with her which was a great moment. She has really already formed a strong attachment to Daria which is so cute to watch. Saturday Serenity came over to spend time with the boys at my in-laws. Joshua’s characteristic instinct to love and protect has already kicked in and he has been so tender and loving about and with Serenity. She is a fun little girl who loves to laugh and play and has a good nature about her. Noah loved seeing...

Halloween

I’m excited for trick-or-treating with my boys tomorrow. It’s always fun to enjoy their boyhood excitement. We are dressing up at our office with a 101 dalmations theme. Bryan will be Cruella De Vil and Dan and I are the henchmen. The rest if the staff will be dressing up as the Dalmations. I’ll try and get the pictures of all our costumes up here soon.

Treading Carefully

I’ve set some goals as alluded to in my previous post. One is very simple: Exercise for 15 minutes a day. That may sound so piddly, however I know it is easily achievable and realistic given my other competing aspirations. I’ve also realized that 15 minutes can easily turn into 30 minutes. So far so good and it feels rewarding to be doing something physically. To that end, I’m grateful for the treadmill Daria asked and received for her birthday, as well as the free weight set and bench bestowed on Dylan at a garage sale “clearance.” Everytime I see that weight bench (and use it) I think of my thoughtful siblings. Back in grade 11 they all chipped in and bought me a weight bench with a bar and weights. I’m still quietly...

Pondering Progress

I have a thing about clutter. If there is clutter I often feel like I cannot do anything else but organize. Occasionally I can bury this neurosis and relax, but usually I choose not to relax until I restore some order to my surroundings. I’ve made some headway these past few weeks and feel like I can finally think again. I was leafing through my missionary day planner this week, a 7-habits weekly planner I bought in 1998, and came across some notes from a meeting with Elder Richard G. Scott. It was a wonderful day. One thing he said struck me again today, “A lack of pondering hinders the ability of tremendous growth.” I’ve felt lately a little awash lately. I’ve certainly been doing a lot of thinking but of late it has felt confined...

Memory

Remember that fun game from childhood called Memory? I’ve been concerned about my memory for years-I feel like it fails me in too many situations. I’m sure there are multiple reasons for this-not enough repetition, slash and burning by my brain to keep up with the constant flood it takes in each day, or worse some physiological/genetic problem. I came across my old Pyschology textbook from my 1st year university course and flipped through to the section on memory. Here are some ways to improve your memory recall: Chunking: Combining digits into strings for example: 233334567891 to 2333 3456 7891 is easier. Imagery Encoding: Connect unrelated words by attaching imagery for instance associate the words with a visual tour through your house or some...

Synonym Spectacles

I love watching my kid’s ideas and vocabulary develop. They can be so creative with their small, but exploding vocabulary to get across their meaning. Take this morning, for instance, as I lay in bed while the kids each came into the room and I attempted to stay asleep. Joshy came over to my bedside and all of a sudden I felt two pointy objects piercing my closed eyeballs. Just as I was wondering what the object could possibly be (and unable to open my eyes to check) Joshy exclaims, “Daddy put on his Hard Eyes!” An immediate smirk crossed my face as I realized my glasses were being placed on my head. Very creative Josh, very creative.

I love Neil Diamond

I can no longer celebrate the Christmas season without Neil Diamond’s The Christmas Album. There is something about his zany, over the top singing of Christmas favourites-White Christmas has never brought so much glee. My friends and I used to frequently gather at Colin’s house. His was the house with no siblings or parents to get in our way. We could play Nintendo as long as we wanted, watch videos as loud as possible, film our scripted and unscripted films and generally carry on as our mood’s saw fit. One of the four schmucks, as we called ourselves, Mike, would occasionally sneak a Neil Diamond disc of Colin’s parents into the 5-disc changer. We would scream in protest and frantically run to the stereo to put our ears out of misery....