Monday, October 20, 2008

Heather's a Year Older, and other October Randomness

Last week Heather turned 29 (for the first time we are saying). Both of us decided that the new minivan was an early present of sorts, so we went to a nice place for dinner Wednesday night. We went to The Melting Pot, also known as Fondue Heaven (in my humble opinion). We dined on a 4 course fondue meal, including cheese fondue, tasty salads, an assortment of "marbled meats," topped off with chocolate fondue at the end. It was delicious! I could easily go back there in a heart beat. I strongly recommend this delightful restaurant if you are especially looking to go romantic, it has all the finest qualities of such a restaurant; mood lighting with candles, private booths, valet parking, etc. Hopefully Heather enjoyed herself. I know I did.

Friday night, Heather was hosting a baby shower at the house, so I took the opportunity to head to Arvada and see my dad at the hospital. On the way, we (Caleb and I) stopped by at Sam's Club to purchase cat litter. As we were finishing the purchase, Caleb headed over to the food court and asked the lady for pizza. I waddled over there with a 40 lb tub of litter and sat it down at a table, and then headed over to get pizza for Caleb and I. Caleb was hilarious. As we were eating our pizza, he noticed the cat litter sitting on the other side of the table on the bench. Puzzled and excited all at the same time, he asked me "Is the cat litter going to have pizza too!?" All I could do was laugh. He is such a funny kid!

My dad is doing much better. He started chemotherapy over the weekend for the fourth time. I took Caleb to Heather's parents' house while I hung out at Lutheran with my mom and dad. We had a really good time. Mom brought Thai food for she and Dad, who had been craving the delightful ethnic food for several months. I got there around 7:30, and before I knew it, it was 10:30 and we were still talking. My mom read and told stories to Dad and I about growing up with her Mom and Dad, reading emails swapped with her sister Helen, who always has a great way of describing her childhood. I grabbed Caleb and didn't get back home until about 11:45. I promptly went to sleep.

The last few Saturday mornings have been spent playing football at a nearby park with several guys from our ward's elders quorum. It's a great way to get a workout and Saturday morning was beautiful. I played reasonably well for being a 'picnic' athlete. Every week I don't feel as sore as I do the week before. Maybe this means I am getting into some sort of shape!

That afternoon, we took Caleb and Bryce to a Halloween party at the Thomas's house. Caleb came dressed as a dinosaur. Bryce, in typical hand-me-down fashion, wore Caleb's monkey costume from three years ago. They were both cute and enjoyed their time there.

Sunday was a busy one for Heather. It started about 5:30 am when Bryce woke up to eat. Heather wrapped up around 6. Realizing that going back to bed would cause her to oversleep she stayed up and got ready for church. She is the primary president, and the ward's annual Primary program was that day. She had been laboring for weeks in preparation and was a little stressed about it. Even though it was easily her 3rd or 4th program in her 2 ventures as president, it didn't make it any less stressful. I got the kids and myself ready for church.

We arrived right at 9 am, as Heather left earlier to prepare. Caleb, Bryce and I sat in the overflow. Caleb was a slight handful but was good for the most part. Bryce had a nice blowout, which seems to occur often when I am in charge and Heather isn't. He must be saving up for me. So I spent several minutes of sacrament meeting in the bathroom. Caleb had to go as well. It was an entertaining experience to say the least.

Heather was in a bind and asked me to teach the 5 year old's in primary. The class at 10 kids who were all wound up from a busy day in church. It went better than expected, but man I was beat. My weariness was supersceded by Heather, who had been up much earlier and had the whole primary program to worry about.

Anyway, that's it for me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Edward Cullen the Doll vs. Vanilla Ice the Doll

In our high demand for crappy merchandise society, there never seems to be an end to companies willing to cash in on the current craze. In 1990, it was Vanilla Ice. In 2008, it's Twilight and Edward Cullen. For those vigilant shoppers who want to make an informed decision as to what doll to purchase for their 10 year-old son circa 1990, or their 30 year-old wife circa 2008, here is a stat by stat comparison as to which doll is the better buy.

Edward Cullen Doll:
Description: 7 inches of hunky vampire goodness. The plastic embodiment of actor Robert Pattinson.

Included Clothes:
Quality stitched recreation of outfit found in the upcoming movie.

Features: Has the ability to swoon young and old ladies alike with his ice cold stare. His hands are in perfect position to caress the hair of any 6 1/4" teenage girl doll within in arms reach; Hair is immobilized to prevent his mane from being altered to look like our next contestant. Has perfect complexion and lipstick left over from Bella (it's her color, can't you tell?) He's scary to look at, afraid for your neck's safety and he's a DOLL!

Downside: I am sure there will be several women disappointed with the fact that you cannot change his outfit. That hairdo? You couldn't go to Homecoming looking like that! (Soon to be released: Edward Cullen, Prom Date Edition). He isn't ice cold to the veins and his hardened exterior is actually because he's plastic, not a buff studly vampire. That outfit is going to look as dated as the Iceman's below in 19 years. His lack of overall mobility will not allow him to be fitted into the Barbie Ferrari, without scuffing his paint job.

Vanilla Ice Doll:

Description: 7 inches of to-the-extreme, rob a mic like a vandal prowess! The plastic embodiment of Robert Van Winkle, all the way from Miami (or is it Dallas?) otherwise known as Vanilla ICE (Yo Vanilla, kick it one time BOYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!)!

Included Clothes:
Some super fruity 2 piece that makes him look like the opening act at a Las Vegas gay bar.

With the ability to light up a stage and jump like a candle, Vanilla Ice is sure to mesmerize you with his unique dancing style and stone cold rhymin'! his arms are made of rubber, allowing him to bend and groove like his clean cut pal Ken; parachute pants can actually provide resistance and a safe landing if he's thrown out of a Cessna; contains the slickest aerodynamic hairdo known in the free world according to NASA; information on joining the Vanilla Ice fan club contained INSIDE; "ICE ICE BABY" printed on the box for clueless parents who don't know Vanilla Ice by name.

Downside: That microphone doesn't really work. He needs a plastic clip on the side of the microphone in order to hold it. Shoulder pads have been known to put out the eyes of eager children; coat does NOT double as reflective outfit when directing traffic at night. Although clothes are changeable, Ken's clothes look really baggy, and Ken's wardrobe is in serious need of updating.

In conclusion, I can't exactly tell you who has the upper hand. The Vanilla Ice doll has not been in production since 1991, and Edward Cullen isn't out until January 2009. Which is the better choice? Who would you choose? Please comment below.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Proud members of the Minivan Parents' Society

When Heather and I were married over 7 years ago, I made the ignorant statement that I would NEVER own a minivan. There was such a negative stigma attached to someone "cool" like me owning a minivan. Now that I've grown up and don't really care what people think, my tune has changed.

For those who know, we've owned both a 1998 & 1990 Toyota Corolla. Both have well over 100k miles on them and have been good cars. Unfortunately, having two car seats in the back now and an ever growing family have caused us to look elsewhere.

We found a great deal on an absolutely pristine quality 2003 Honda Odyssey. It has half the miles of our 98 Corolla, leather interior, DVD player, built in iPod player/controller, clear bra front, sparkling clean interior and 4 snow tires. It was too good to pass up as we made the purchase this past Wednesday.

It gets amazing gas mileage when compared to its SUV counterparts in today's $3.50/gallon for gas society. It rides very smoothly and we all have room! I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it was to put Bryce's carrier in the middle back seat and still had to move the front seats up in order to fit them in. Or how I developed a move similar to a lumberjack hoisting a log to get his car seat in and out of the car, or Caleb kicking us in the back from his car seat. It makes me want to drive on a long trip to really test it out.