Wednesday, June 10, 2015

No pooping in the yard

Last week GML4 decided to squat in the yard.  His mother spoke with him and explained we don't do that.  The next day during naps his mother heard the door open and went to investigate catching him in the act.  I then spoke with him and asked him why he would do such a thing.  His answer?  "I'm a Lamborghini and I'm fast." huh?  I explained that Lamborghini's use the toilet and he hasn't violated the lawn since.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

GML 3 More pronunciations and definitions

GML3 says of things that might cut him, "Dad, will that sharpen me?"  Lately we've been trying to explain that you see lightning and hear thunder (which he pronounces Dunder). I think he's starting to get that you hear thunder and see lightning.  He thinks if you get struck by lightning, because it's electricity, that it will turn you into a light bulb.  This monsoon season he is finding dark clouds a little scary and he points them out whenever he sees one.  When we're driving he points out American flags and school buses.  He's very observant and very sweet.
I've just started coaching his soccer team.  He's one of the youngest.  At the first game he was hurt that the other kids were pushing him and he intermittently stood still and cried.  I'm not sure what to do about his shock over the fact that kids will push.  I'm hoping he'll toughen up this season.  He's also begun preschool and he enjoys it.  It is wonderful that he's my son.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Personal Revelaiton to DG10 8 March 2014

Alma 7:13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things...

This was the scripture we read before we said our family prayer.  It was the prayer before the family fast.  I think we've made our decision and want the inspiration from Heavenly Father that it is a righteous choice.  

The previous weekend was busy.  I took Thursday and Friday off as vacation and we went to Prescott Valley so the whole family could see the place we're contemplating moving.  The previous week was the Gilbert Temple dedication.  On the way back from Prescott Valley we stopped at Auntie G and Uncle Js overnight.  The next morning we got up and went to the North Phoenix Temple which is under construction and talked about how beautiful it looked from the car.  We talked about how important Temple marriage is to the eternal destiny of God's children.  The boys unanimously agreed that they would be married in the Temple.  But that is our testimony speaking not theirs.  They need to know through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves that this is God's church on the Earth and that the doctrines of the Gospel are true.  I've prayed they will feel inspired and know what it feels like to receive personal revelation as the Holy Spirit touches their hearts.

Tonight, after the pre-fast prayer, DG10 came over to me weeping.  I asked what was the matter.  He said he felt so happy and he was overcome.  He said he always wanted to feel that happy.  I asked why he was feeling so happy and he said it was the Spirit.  I was touched that my prayer for him had been answered by a loving Heavenly Father.  I will record his own account of the experience here and then print it for him so he'll remember it until the next time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

GM3 speaks

As kids learn to talk it's cute to hear their pronunciation of certain words.  Here are some of GM3's mispronunciations.

Movie is pronounced nooovie.  Cookie is pronounced queue-key.

I'm sick of sickness

Last week everyone was sick.  Bodily fluids everywhere, headaches, fevers etc...  LJ0 and I were the only was to escape unscathed.  As wg8 improved he got a taste of Pringles potato chips.  He must of misunderstood the name because he started asking for prune chips and NHL and I had no idea what he was talking about.  Until he got frustrated enough to go get the can.

The Farmer and the Watch

A farmer owned a pocket watch that had been handed down by his father and his father before him.  He wore the watch often and cared for the watch.  One day in the barn he checked the time.  Hours later he could not find the watch and remembered he'd had it last in the barn.  He was irritated and frustrated and when he arrived at the barn he was all out grumpy.  He slammed around the tractor wham!  He wrestled around in the tool shed clang!  He pitched hay vigorously, but could not find the watch.  Defeated he left the barn.

The next day his grandson came for a visit.  He explained to his grandson that the watch was all he had of value and that he was sad he could not now hand the watch down to him.  The grandson said he thought he could find the watch and promptly got up and walked slowly to the barn.

In the barn the boy walked to the center and closed his eyes and stood quietly.  The grandfather asked what he was doing, but the boy gently shushed his grandfather.  After a minute the boy cocked his head slightly to the left and took three sideways step in that direction and stood motionless again.  After another minute of silence he cocked his head again and took to steps left, three forward and stood motionless again.  Now there was almost no pause and the boy walked forward four step and paused.  Now, his eyes open he bent down, slid aside some hay and pulled the watch off the barn floor.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I'm telling you...the kid's funny DG9

"Did you know an comma can save a person's life?"
"Really.  How's that?"
"Well, if you say, "Let's eat, Grandma."  it means you want to go together to eat something.  But if you forget the comma and say, "Let's eat Grandma." it means Grandma is for dinner."
The kid makes me laugh.

 Here he is with his namesake...also funny. 
The other day NHL called and said, "Hi, this is your favorite daughter-in-law."  To which he replied, "Oh hi Casia."  Only she's NHL.  It was a nice laugh between them.  What a couple of nuts.

Bird Watching in Ohio

DG9 and I went bird watching with Uncle Steve.  Here are some birds we saw...
Barn Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
Great Blue Heron
American Gold Finch
Blue Jay
Yellow Headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Eastern Towhee
Catbird, Gray
House Wren
Black Capped Chickadee
White Breasted Nuthatch
Eastern Kingbird
Baltimore Oriole

When I was a kid my Uncle Steve would sometimes take me bird watching.  I always enjoyed that.  It's nice to take my son bird watching with him.  We went to a park Mom used to like to visit.  There is a bench out front dedicated to her memory.  It was a nice morning.

Get to know me

On one of his first days in school WG7 took 5 items to school for a session of get to know me.  These are the items he brought:
1.  Picture of his family
2.  Pok√©mon cards
3.  Dragon book
4.  Bible
5.  A Mickey Mouse Bell that belonged to Grandma Brown

I think that's just about right.

Here he is among his school work from last year...This picture is a tradition his Mom started.

Dang it!

When we bought this house we remodeled the thing.  The Mrs. wanted to replace the sliding glass doors so we did and I held on to the other doors so the boys could break them.  Well, yesterday was the day.  The boys had two glass doors each.  DG9 is up first and his first throw bounces off.  The second throw however, spiders the entire window.  It was awesome.  WG7 spidered his with a very small rock thrown very hard. 
Next up, a bat.  DG9 swung the bat.  The bat bounced off and it hurt his hands.  I don't think he was expecting the glass to fight back.  The second blow was a success and the window smashed to bits.  At the plate, WG7.  He swings, the bat bounces off the glass, it's a miss - no break.  He swings and a miss - no break.  He swings and a miss.  He swings and a miss.  With great determination he raises the bat high over head, he swings, the bat bounces off, it's a miss.  A swing and a miss.   A swing and a miss.  And a swing and a miss.  He's huffing and puffing by now.  One more swing and a miss.
Finally, he picks up a brick.  It's big, it's heavy.  He raises it high overhead and brings it down hard.  The brick hits the sliding glass door and break into two pieces.  With utter dismay he looks at me and says, "What?"
Eventually, he does smash the glass.  We clean up the glass until after dark. 
In retrospect I should have filmed the event.  WG7 is always asking to put a video up on America's Funniest Videos and that would have been perfect.  Dang it!

If you had been 20 minutes earlier you could have seen one set of the sliding glass doors here.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Generosity begets generosity

Yesterday Maw Maw and Paw Paw came over for a visit.  As we all caught up on what has been happening in our lives the boys most recent report cards were reviewed.  Each report was perfect in every respect and to celebrate their respective accomplishments Maw Maw gave each of the boys $10.  Afterward Maw Maw and Paw Paw took us all to dinner.  After dinner Maw Maw and DG9 went shopping in the gift shop and DG9 went to his favorite corner, the toy corner.  After a cursory review he asked Maw Maw if she like jewelry.  She said, "Yes, some."  He then walked her over to a starfish necklace he had been eyeing and offered to buy it for her instead of buying something for himself.  He then gave his last dollar to WG7 so he could buy some candy.  WG7 then bought candy for everyone.  Generosity begets generosity.  What good boys these boys are.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Warms my heart

I came home from work late one day this week.  When I pulled up WG7 was swinging from a tree and DG9 was laying on the concrete under the stoop.  On the sidewalk up to the front door was a foot stool and a few things a 7 year old needs to pass the time.  I opened my truck door and the boys came running over to me.  "What are you guys doing?"  "I've been waiting out here for hours for you to come home," says WG7.  I was touched.  "Yeah, and I came out later," says DG9.  They're out of school, they're bored, but still it was very sweet and I felt loved. 

A few days later I was helping WG7 take out the garbage.  Out of the blue he says to me, "Dad, you're a kind Dad."  I thanked him and promptly denied it because I want him to be a kinder, more loving father than I've been.  But again, I felt loved.

Children are an heritage of the Lord.  And happy is the man whose quiver is full of them. 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

One of those days

I've done a lot of work around the house.  I've learned to frame, rough wire, install windows, install doors, plumb some, dryawall, flooring etc...  I always have some anxiety about this kind of work for two reasons.  First, I'm not patient enough to think things through all the way and often make mistakes.  Second, I've never had anyone show me what to do and I feel very alone.  Case in point.  I spent $180 bones on a ceiling fan today.  I couldn't figure out how the light kit attached.  I modified the wireless and then figured it out.  Oh, did I mention it won't work without the wireless control?  Now I'm off to spend a second $180.  I can do it now, but this trial and error stuff is for the birds.  I need to get smart.  Grrrr.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Snake Season

Tonight we walked in the desert behind the house.  It's snake season.  I told the boys to be on the lookout.  As we were walking back WG7 yelled snake.  DG9 and I had just walked through there and when I turned around and walked back I didn't see anything.  I scolded WG7 and said, "When you say snake there had better be a snake pal, do you understand me?"  He then pointed, a little exasperated, "Snake."  Sure enough, small and camouflaged was a snake. It had the head and markings of a rattle snake, but no rattles.  It could have been a young un I reckon.  We pushed and cajoled it for a few minutes until it retreated in a hole.  When I turned around WG7 was standing there staring at me.  "Apology," he said.  I said, "You're right.  You're sorry."  It took him a minute and then I apologized properly.  He's a great boy and I'm a grump.  He was right.  I was wrong.  I sure love him.
I watched the boys climb over the fence and back into the yard and I walked around on account of my knees were hurting me.  At the end of the path I saw another rattler.  He was as long as my arm and he was just watching patiently.  I gave him some space and moved on home.  I sure do hope we miss the rattlesnake bullet.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

DT1 -- Dallin H. Oaks

“The scriptures can also help us obtain answers to highly specific personal questions. It is obvious, of course, that the scriptures do not contain a comprehensive list of specific answers to every question we could ask about a particular subject. The scriptures are not like a telephone book or an encyclopedia.
“We often hear it said that the scriptures have the answers to all of our questions. Why is this so? It is not that the scriptures contain a specific answer to every question—even to every doctrinal question. We have continuing revelation in our Church because the scriptures do not have a specific answer to every possible question. We say that the scriptures contain the answers to every question because the scriptures can lead us to every answer.
“… The reading of the scriptures will help us obtain a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will also put us in a position where we can obtain inspiration to answer any doctrinal or personal question, whether or not that question directly concerns the subject we are studying in the scriptures. That is a grand truth not understood by many. To state it again, even though the scriptures contain no words to answer our specific personal question, a prayerful study of the scriptures will help us obtain such answers. This is because scripture study will make us susceptible to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, which, as the scriptures say, will ‘guide [us] into all truth’ (John 16:13), and by whose power we can ‘know the truth of all things’ (Moroni 10:5).
“We may also find that a specific verse of scripture that was spoken for quite a different purpose in an entirely different age will, under the interpretive influence of the Holy Ghost, give us a very personal message adapted to our personal needs today” (“Studying the Scriptures,” 19–21).

Grandpa Miller

About 6 weeks ago I dreamed of my Grandfather.  In my dream he was a young man.  I have pictures of him when he was young.  He was handsome, thin and smiling wide.  He looked happy.  Beside him was a man who looked just like him.  No words passed between us, but I knew the man beside him was his father.  I remember thinking they looked alike.  When I woke though, I remembered the image of my Grandfather very clearly, but I could not remember what is father looked like any longer.

I shared the dream with my Mother-in-Law and she suggested that maybe my Grandfather wants me to get his Temple work done.  That sounds right to me.

He bears his testimony

On November 4th, 2012 DG 9 bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting for the first time.  It was clear and brief.  It was what he believes.  I was proud of him.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A boy and a booger

Recently Grandma and NHL found a giant booger on the wall.  They were unable to discern the culprit and so NHL declared that there would be no swimming until the guilty party came forward.  WG6 fessed up.

Immediately after swimming WG6 stepped out of the pool and said, "Mom, that really wasn't my booger on the wall."

Little stinker.

Charity Never Faileth

When my wife and I bought our first house there was also a guesthouse on the property.  My plan was to remodel the guesthouse over the Christmas Holiday and rent it out immediately.  My wife's family chipped in a significant portion of manual labor to help us get the job done.  We saw them everyday, much to my relief. 

You see, I was in over my head.  Way over my head.  I was feeling overwhelmed.  During this time my Father-in-law said something which has always stuck with me, "What time do you want us back tomorrow?"  He didn't ask, "Do you want us back tomorrow?"  He didn't make me ask him to come back, he just asked me what time he should be there.  It was a great comfort to me to know he was going to be there, that he was planning to be there.  He didn't know it, but he taught me a very powerful lesson about how service should be given and I've never forgotten it.

I'm grateful for my Father-in-law.

Personal Revelation

When Mom died in February NHL and I started talking about moving back to where we had family.  The move to Waco was supposed to be an adventure and an opportunity to get back into manufacturing, which I felt I was good at.  I think it has ended up being both of those things.

But we have three young boys who have grandparents and a big sister in Tucson and after Mom passed it just seemed more important to be where they were.  So we began to fast and pray each Sunday.  We wanted to understand God's will regarding the move.  After a few weeks NHL was there.  She believed that God had answered her prayer and that we should move.  To me however, it felt that my prayers had gone unanswered.

Month passed.  NHL and the boys travelled home for Summer vacation.  While they were gone I received an e-mail from the agent who manages the home we were renting.  He was telling us that the folks who owned the home wanted to move back to Texas and we would have to be out by the end of July.

The need for a little guidance was suddenly more pressing.  If we moved locally we'd surely have to sign a lease for another year.  We didn't want to wait that long.  So, I went to the Temple in Dallas.  After the session I sat in the Celestial room and I prayed.  I asked Heavenly Father what I should do....nothing.  Then I felt prompted to say, "Heavenly Father, I'm going to pack up my family and move back to Tucson, will you please let me know if you'll bless that effort?"  Immediately I was overcome with emotion and a certainty that God would bless us if we moved.

When I left the Dallas Temple I began to remember guidance from our scriptures.  Doctrine and Covenants 9:7-8 reads, "You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”  I had not made up my mind.  I was asking God to make the decision and I was getting nowhere.  So, not only did God answer my prayer, he also deeply rooted the process for making decisions in my mind.

I called NHL and shared my experience with her.  We spoke with her parents and made arrangements to move in with them and move back to Tucson.  My work asked me to stay on another month to help with the transition and so as of now I'm here and they're there.  I miss them very much.

Interestingly enough, a week after we'd made arrangements to move back to Tucson we received a call from the property manager stating that the owners had changed their minds and we could stay.  If we had never been pressed to make the decision we would not have made it until I found work there.

I find I'm excited about our return.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've always loved poetry.  This is from DG8s first attempt in second grade.    I love what he's done.
The star is a little tough to read, but is beautiful.

The Star:  Gleaming. Glowing.  Always growing happier in the dark black sky.

Well done DG8.  Well done.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tractors don't go moooo

GM1 is a freak for the movie Cars.  He could watch it all day and at times demands to do so.  Today he brought a toy tractor to his Mother and said, "Mooo."  When the kid thinks tractors mooo he's been watching Cars too much don't you think?

A Piano Recital

Yesterday DG8 had his first piano recital.  He played Three Blind Mice and The Library.  He was a little stiff at the keyboard and said he was afraid, but I was impressed.  At the last minute his teacher informed him he would be doing Three Blind Mice without being able to see the music AND HE DID IT!  He slowed in the middle for a minute, but all in all, WOW!  I was proud.  Good job DG8.

DG8 was shy about bowing and wouldn't bow by himself.  When the other kids stood at the end to bow he stood in the back.  One day he have to find the courage to bow, but for now the recital is plenty.

When will I get taller?

Today WG6 asked Mom, "When will I grow taller?" 

That book they're holding has 100 reading lessons in it.  WGs Mom acquired the book on the recommendation of a friend and reviewed almost every lesson with him herself and togther they worked to make sure the kid can read. 

I think they can both stand a little taller.  What a good kid.  What a great Mom.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pinewood Derby #1 The Debut of DG8

Dg8 is our local, neighborhood scout.  As an 8 year old he has the opportunity for the next few years to participate in the pinewood derby races with his troop.  This year was his first year, and I do mean his.  I'm not a fan of father's who put more effort into their son's pinewood derby car than their sons do. 

So we bought the kit.  He marked the profile of the shape he wanted from his car and I cut it out on the bandsaw.  He sanded the car, stained it...yes stained it because he wanted the natural wood to show through, polished the axels while I held the drill and adivsed, determined the placement of the weight, put on the cars number, placed graphite on the wheels and axels and made sure the wheels were square and level.

I advised.  I looked up ideas on the internet, bought the weights, showed him how to sand and stain, let him put on the numbers even though I didn't think they were perfect (he did though), taught him how to polish the axels as he did so and I did push on the wheels instead of using a hammer.

It was his first race.  As we sat there pre-race he said, "I don't think I'm going to do very good."  I said, "Son, you don't plant a seed thinking the things not going to come up.  You did your best, let's see what happens."  Later he admitted he was doubting himself.

Race 1 Heat 1:  2nd place
Race 2 Heat 1:  1st place
Race 3 Heat 1:  1st place
Race 4 Heat 1:  1st place  and advance to the 2nd and final heat

Race 1 Heat 2:  1st place
Race 2 Heat 2:  1st place
Race 3 Heat 2:  2nd place
Race 4 Heat 2:  1st place

Overall Performance: 2nd place out of 37 cars and 3 troops.  Not bad for a Doubting Thomas!

We looked up some stuff on the internet, but in retrospect I think it was the profile shape he chose.  It may have been serendipitous, but I believe it allowed for the center of gravity to be an inch or so in front of the rear axle.  I think the distribution of weight made the car very stable and allowed for a smooth ride.  Dg8s car was simple and beautiful.  Way to go Dg8.