Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Part 2 and Birthdays

Below are the boys in uniform as regularly seen around our house.  I thought I would start the off as competitors and rivals although that may not be a good thing in the end.  There is nothing like a little competition to get the blood pumping.  James likes the Seachickens and it is most likely because I don't like them.  He can be very contrary and regularly says he loves whatever I don't.  I have not found out how to use this to my advantage and am just trying to break him of that habit.
These two are the best two boys you could ask for.
James made me a coupon book for Christmas.  Brenda says it was all his idea, but I wonder where he came up with it.  He actually does give pretty good backrubs and I plan on cashing in on "get you a drink" and "shovel the driveway" very soon.
Now for the crowning jewel of Christmas....The Turducken.  I boned the duck and turkey and had some duck from this years hunting left over so I thought I would give the turducken a try.  It turned out great and gave us lots of food for all our friends that came over.
Jim got James and Matthew some coin collecting books and James had a hoot.  Looking at all the dates and finding the shiny coins kept him busy for a few hours and also kept Jim pretty busy.
There was a break in the weather and a little warming trend that made the snow just right for making a snowman.  He ended up being 7' tall and they boys loved to make it.
I took some time off over Christmas and Brenda thought it would be a good idea to go roller-skating.  I thought that was a good idea as well, but I should have known that they would not have my size skates.  I pulled daddy duty (also known as parenting) and watched Sierra while Matthew, James and Brenda tore it up on the rink.
The kids love the bath time. 
Opened a few late Christmas gift of super hero masks and capes.  Masks and capes or costumes are standard attire any time of day at our house.  They are also considered PJ's at times.
Matthew turned 4 recently and he wanted to go to the train place and have a party.  It is more of an older guy and nerd clubhouse so I don't think parties are really available for parties, but we did go to the train place and brought some cupcakes for the members of the model railroad club.  Notice the birthday ribbon he wore and of course he was in full costume.
Both of these boys could spend a lot of time at the clubhouse and it is really detailed.  I see something new every time I go there.
Then it was time to go back home and eat more cupcakes.
Sierra is so much like her mother it is scary.
We went away that weekend to Helena for a work training thing and was able to stop in a see a few friends.  It is amazing how fast kids make friends and get used to their new surroundings.
Then it was off to grandma and grandpas house in Bozeman for the weekend and celebration of Sierra's birthday.  There is only so much you can do with a 1 year old, but we tried all the same.  We went to a Manhattan Christian B-ball game and saw them invoke the 40 point rule because they were beating their opponents so badly.
She was pretty good at getting most of the cake in her mouth, but really concentrated on the frosting.  Who can blame her.
Look at that cutie.

Monday, February 6, 2017

December part 1

I am so far behind on the photo uploads that I think I will have to put December into two separate posts and then in the second I will bring it up to date.
 
The end of the month had me at work for a bit till about December 20 and then our contractor left the site.  what all of the cold temps in the area did make was a lot of ice.  That meant that before work was done, I had time to do some ice fishing with my co-worker.  We did not catch too much, but we did get to grill out, watch Monday night football, and drink a beer or two.  Now if that is not American and I am not sure what is.
Here is a little photo of the setup and the fun.  It was very cold that night, but having a BBQ and a heater made it very nice.
When my parents were out it was my dad's birthday.  We told him he could go anywhere he wanted and he chose to go to Chuck e cheese.  I think the look on a grandchild's face must be a world of difference because I would have said no right away, but my dad could not.  That place is a petri dish of bacteria.  Luckily, my immune system has been subjected to constant doses of kiddo germs, but my dad unfortunately has not.  On the way back home to Montana the next day....the germs kicked in and made for a very rough ride.
I thought with all of the snow we got during this season it was a good time to get the Z50 out and tow the kids up and down the street.  James and Matthew love it, but I have yet to get Sierra out on the sled.  Mom made me promise not to put her on it and under fear for my own life, I have kept that promise.
Work was kind of slow and that let me stay home a couple off days and take on some more "mom" duties.  I was able to watch the kids while Brenda ran errands or helped out her parents get the house ready to move in.  Sierra loves here bouncy chair hung from the ceiling and fell asleep in it.  I sent this picture to Brenda and her first question to me was did you put her in her bed after she fell asleep.  Of course I could not move something so precious, so I made it clear that when I am in charge...I am in charge and don't need to be second guessed.  I then waited 5 minutes and moved her to her bed.  I am a man dang it and I will do what I please.
This is what Sierra looks like 50% of the time she is awake.
Then it was time for some Christmas photos in front of the tree.  We once again went to the woods to get a tree.  We were not to picky this year since Brenda and I were both recovering from the belly bug and walking out in the wood looking at trees was not high on my priority list at the time.
Brenda gave Sierra a cabbage patch doll for Christmas.  I am sure she does not know how lucky she is to get the real thing and not a flower patch kid.
I could care less about opening gifts, but when you have kids it is so much fun to watch them enjoying it.  We don't go hog wild with the kids spending all sort of money and you really don't have to.  Kids like everything it seems.
Both of the boys get football uniforms and helmets which is what they really wanted.  For $30 a piece you  can make a kids Christmas and give them fun for years to come.  Those uniforms did not get off of their bodies for 4 days(and nights).
Matthew got the pie in the face game and that produced hours of enjoyment for the boys.  They even tried to play the game with their helmets on. 
 
To be continued...
 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fall and now wintertime fun

This fall has proved to be one for the ages.  Kids are growing and getting bigger and because I am working in a town that only serves hamburgers, I seem to be getting bigger as well.  For the first time at my annual physical it showed I had gained 10lbs.  For years I have been maintaining the same weight no matter what I ate or how much of it.  Gone are the days when I can eat a entire box of Oreo's, but I still manage to squeeze a few in.  I hate working out more than I love food.
Sierra was planning to be a chicken for Halloween
James is getting into making things himself and being very creative.  He found a styrofoam cooler in our garbage and thought it looked like a robot.  Sure enough, knock out one side of the box and you have a square robot head.  Add in some screws and golf tees and there he was sporting his new hat and leaving white balls all over the place.
Matthew and James really like little Sierra.  She is loved and always has someone who wants to give her a kiss.  She does not look like she is enjoying it all that much in this photo though.
Duck hunting this fall has proven to be very productive.  Lots of shells were shot and lots of birds were killed.
Sierra is always walking around the coffee table.  She has not yet decided to do any walking without holding on to something so that restricts her a little bit.  She finally decided to start doing the stairs as well and even though she goes up and down all of the time, she has yet to take a tumble.  A kid learning how to get around is kind of a mixed blessing.
 
Rub a dub dub, three DeJongs in a tub.  These goofs are so much fun to be around it is amazing.  I like a nice hot bath, but for some reason kids like the water to be barely lukewarm.  Yuck.
Matthew made a indian costume for thanksgiving and he put on a small skit with the help of mom and James.  They acted out the first thanksgiving and he played the part of Squanto.  They made up most of the lines on the fly, but after they had practiced it a few times, I was pretty impressed with the final stage version.
We ran down to grandma and grandpas for Thanksgiving.  I thought it would be a good idea to bring the motorcycle down so they could tear around the farm for one last time before the snow flies.  After a little bit of hesitation and a couple of time close to the house, James had gained enough confidence and rode all over the fields and back 40.
They boys had one last ride in the speedster before it was brought up to Spokane.  My in-laws have bought a house a mile away from ours and now have started the task of moving after 37 years in the same place.  We are very excited to have them move closer and are looking forward to seeing them a lot more.  Brenda grew up right by her grandparents while I was 2000 miles away from mine.  I think closer is better and we think that having them nearby is going to be a lot of fun. 
Once the older two boys are in bed, we can relax and hang out with Sierra.  She does not need anyone to talk to or interact with and is always busy just crawling around and looking in things.  So very cute.
Ninja Turtle knitted hats and hanging out outside.  These are the things that all childhoods should be filled with.  Come to think of it, all adult life should be filled with the same.
Wrestling time is no excuse for Sierra not to participate.  She is one tough girl and loves to wrestle and rough house around with the boys.
This past week Brenda and I had a chance to go to the annual Christmas party in Seattle.  We got to hang out with some of my co-workers I had not seen in a while and go for a night on the town as well.  The grandparents graciously agreed to watch the kiddos, so we were able to get out and have a great time by ourselves.
We also were able to watch The Pretenders and Stevie Nicks from the box suites with unlimited food and drinks for all.  That was a special treat and we are very thankful for the tickets.
The winter has finally come in full force.  Sub freezing temps had made for pretty good sledding conditions for as long as one can stand to be outside.  These boys love to go outside for a little bit anyway.  They wear me out rather fast and I have not problem keeping warm with them asking to to drag them around in the sled.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Event Filled Fall

The blog posts are getting intermittent at best.  I have been on Facebook more recently and it seems that I have used that as more of an outlet to let others know what is going on.  After the most recent election results I had to take a break from it.  It has been painful to hear the ridiculous if/then rhetoric and blanket statements and I have to take a break.  If I don't, I think I may unfriend so many people that I would be left with about 3 people to follow, and maybe that is a good thing.  Entitled liberal thinking and media is driving me crazy.
 
Jim and I once again participated in the annual speedster endurance run.  We did not win this year, but we got fifth out of 24 or so cars.  The car ran good and we had a blast cruising along the winding roads and navigation was much easier this year.  I think there was only about 70 turns to take as opposed to last years 200 turns in 200 miles.
James finally started Kindergarten.  I am not one of those weeping parents who cant believe their kid is growing up, and that is because I was not there to see him off on his first day of school.  Through this process of raising kids I have become much more empathetic to fellow parents and all of the milestones that kids reach.  Parenting little ones is hard, but it may be harder to see them grow up and reach milestones you never will be at again.
James in the front of the class....right where I was at first.  Then, once the teacher figured out how much I could talk, they put me in the back corner and a bi-folding door in front of me so I could not see anyone.  Maybe this is why I hate cubicles to this day
Sierra is growing so fast and she is very lovable.  Always laughing and happy, they is the quietest kid.  Smiles all of the time and doesn't show any sign of talking yet.
Sunday morning photo shoot with dad....in an attempt to get them out of mom's hair.
Just look at this toehead
James and Matt  went to the Spokane fair and participated in the tractor pull.  James did an amazing job and it is great they have such fun events for free at the fair.
The kids also stopped by for one night in St Maries where we watched a football game and then they next day I gave them a quick ride on a skidsteer.
Matthew will normally be seen around in his PJ's and changes about 4 or 5 times a day.  Any slight temperature change makes and change from pants to shorts or long sleeve to short sleeve (or tank top) a must.
Bath time with the three hooligans is always a good time.  There is precious little time when there is innocence in a kids life so we take advantage of it when we can.  As you can see there are lots of laughs.
James received the Barnabas award at school for his respectfulness in class.  He never did pre K and a lot of the other kids did so I think he is a little quiet.  I think since he is still getting used to the routine he was shocked to see that some of the other kids don't listen to the teacher and talk all of the time.  I am sure in due time he will be more like me, but I am grateful to see good notes coming home with him and not bad ones that I have to sign.
One of my co-workers likes to duck hunt and I really wanted to go with.  Wow is that a good time.  The first duck I shot at I hit.  I was thrilled to say the least.
Fall means a field trip with the class to the pumpkin patch.
Touch a truck day at the fire station with "free" food and kids enjoying all the aspects of fire fighting.  Matthew had to wear his fireman suit like he has for the past two years.  This is one of his favorite events.
Just look at those chompers.  She is up to 7 and working on number 8.
For some reason the boys love to go outside and work with tools.  I must be nature...or is it nurture?  Safety is always the most important this so Matt makes sure to wear his safety goggles.
Houston, we have a thumb sucker.
What a sweet and adorable child.
I got to go duck hunting a bunch more times and with a friend I work with who has a dog as well.  A hunting dog is a hug help.  This day we had four come in right off the bat and the tree of us each took one shot and each hit a different bird.  That was just of taste of things to come as we got 14 birds that day and had a lot of fun.
Manliness on display.
The boys and I went to indoor flat rack racing the other week.  If you want to see some crazy dangerous stuff and get your allotment of inhaled fuel fumes for a lifetime in 2hrs, this is the place to do it.  I may go again, but even I was wondering if it was really a healthy atmosphere.