Present is a hit

Sunday, December 26, 2010

So Grandma and Grandpa got each grandchild a flashlight that hangs around ones head for reading in bed. Mr. M insisted on his tonight when he went to be. This is how we found him 15 minutes later. Out soundly. Too cute. I guess this present is a winner. After I took the picture and put his books away, I tried to take the light away and and to pry it our of the one hand that is holding it. I thought for sure he was going to wake up and chew me out, but the day was ful of Christmas cheer and he was just too exhausted to wake completely up.


Christmas Eve Surprise

Saturday, December 25, 2010

After cleaning the bathroom Christmas Eve morning. I was working in my room, when I heard this loud crash in my bathroom. No one was in there and I was not sure what happened. Nothing could have prepared me to see my shower door shattered. How did this happen? I thought to myself. The towel was not heavy and I found it intriguing how the glass broke. It shattered straight down. If the door had fallen out, glass would have gone even further, like falling onto my counter. Instead it all just dropped straight down. The top and bottom rails were still were they belonged. So how did this just happen?

After checking on replacement cost, I did an internet search since this was a big mystery to me. I found out that tempered glass has a weakness to it. It is safer than regular glass, but it can just explode for no apparent  reason. If it got even an invisible crack it, that could be enough to cause it to shatter. None the less, no one was in the bathroom when it happened and we got it all cleaned up. It took a few rounds to make sure there was not glass bits left. Goodwill took our good door, as we were wanting it out right away and we are now sporting a shower rod and curtain. Not the same, but it works for our budget. I am also not keen on spending another $300 on glass that might just explode again and next time maybe with some one in there next time, so I think I will stick to our new method for a while.

PS One of the articles says it is a rare occurrence that happens and you are more likely to to get hurt from falling off your toilet than have a serious injury with your shower doors braking. So, with such luck, I might have to Velcro everyone to the toilet just to avoid future injuries. Just kidding on the Velcro, but I am trying to figure our how one falls off, but that is for another day.


Family newsletter

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

1.         High school--That's right we are finally old enough to have a kid in high school.  I keep rechecking the math and am sure  she should be in 3rd grade not 9th, but everyone else disagrees.    Miss A has adjusted well to 6 am seminary (unlike her mother).  She has also maintained  her 4.0 GPA (so far)that she has had since middle school.    She has found ways to be on the good side of all her teacher too, which is of course never hurts. 
2.        Glasses- Little A and Mr. M are now sporting a cool pair of glasses.  Little A loves the new world she can see and wears them happily.  Mr. M. was borderline  on needing them  and  has yet to hold the  same appreciation as his sister.
3.        Botox- Yep,  we love Botox.  The FDA approved the use of it this year for treatment of those who have more than 15 days of headaches a month, which Shaun met that requirement twice.  It does not make him pain free, but  it makes  the severity  so much better.  No, he does not have any appearance differences either, if you were wondering.  He has been told he is a good  candidate it have a nerve stimulator implant (like a pace maker for  nerves) in the future when the Botox no longer works.   
4.        Cards- When  not running everyone around Denise tries to make cards.  She started it about a year ago and decide to make a blog to remember what she made, so she could repeat favorites.    She enjoys entering card challenges,  which means she is always making something new.
5.        Math & Spelling Whiz-  What can we say.  Each of our kids are so bright.  (We know it is a comment all parents say, and we hope they  all mean it.)  Each of our children seem  to find the area they can really excel at.  Little A has chosen math and spelling.  She pretty much  loves  practicing both.  We will be driving down the road and she will ask for a math problem.  I am impressed that a 2nd grader can add double and triple digits in her head. 
6.        Running - In May the stake women's church group announced they would be holding a triathlon in September.  Denise jumped in with both feet and started the whole family running (no one else would swim or bike). Miss A decided along with starting high school she would also try her hand at sports, she choose cross country running. She started running in late June and by the end of the summer the whole family joined in. A local running club held weekly races in August which the whole family was able to participate in. Miss A's cross country adventure hit some rough spots when she hurt both ankles but she pushed through to the end of the season (we are so proud of her for not giving up).  In September Denise entered her first Triathlon, she performed awesomely and had a fantastic finish (way to go Denise). In November, Shaun ran in his own race called "the first Annual running of the Turkey's" where he took first place and last place (you do the math) were hoping for a larger turn out next year.
7.         Painting - After 5 years we decided the house needed a little touchup in the paint department. With a little effort every room in the house (well almost) received a fresh coat of paint, with Denise doing the lion share of the painting. Along the way we decided the half bath and the laundry room could use a little work so with their fresh paint they got new flooring (wow what a difference it makes).
8.        Preschool - Mr. M last year was so disappointed everyone got to go to school except for him (I don't think we could have survived another year). Now he is 4 and loves going to preschool which Denise teaches on a rotating basis along with 5 other mom's. He loves every minute of it.
9.         Family campout - Last year we discovered a wonderful invention located at many of the state parks, "yurts". We tried one out last year and thought it was great, so this year we reserved a few for three nights and had a Gatherum family campout. The whole family ventured out of their comfort zone and traveled further south to the Coos Bay area, where there are some great state parks.  We loved the trip and have decided yurts are a great way to go camping.
10.        Well we wanted to think of 10 interesting things about us this last year, but really  we aren't that exciting, so  ten is that we love and appreciate all of you.  We hope your Christmas is filled with the love of Christ  and one another.   We miss you  and hope the new year is filled with much joy. 
Shaun, Denise and the kids


Christmas Orange

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I got to read a story in Little A's class at school. I modified this story and then gave this little treat to the kids last Thursday.

The Christmas Orange
Sometimes it is easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. The busy traditions of the season and the appealing advertisements for material goods can leave the pure and simple truths far, far behind.

Jake was nine years old with tousled brown hair with blue eyes as bright as a heavenly angel. For as long as Jake could remember he had lived within the walls of a poor orphanage. He was just one of ten children supported by what meager contributions the orphan home could obtain in a continuous struggle seeking donations from townsfolk.

There was very little to eat, but at Christmas time there always seemed to be a little more than usual to eat, the orphanage seemed a little warmer, and it was time for a little holiday enjoyment. But more than this, there was the Christmas orange!
Christmas was the only time of year that such a rare treat was provided and it was treasured by each child like no other food admiring it, feeling it, prizing it and slowly enjoying each juicy section. Truly, it was the light of each orphan's Christmas and their best gift of the season. How joyful would be the moment when Jake received his orange!

Unknown to him, Jake had somehow managed to track a small amount of mud on his shoes through the front door of the orphanage, muddying the new carpet. He hadn't even noticed. Now it was too late and there was nothing he could do to avoid punishment. The punishment was swift and unrelenting. Jake would not be allowed his Christmas orange! It was the only gift he would receive from the harsh world he lived in, yet after a year of waiting for his Christmas orange, is was to be denied him.

Tearfully, Jake pleaded that he be forgiven and promised never to track mud into the orphanage again, but to no avail. He felt hopeless and totally rejected. Jake cried into his pillow all that night and spent Christmas Day feeling empty and alone. He felt that the other children didn't want to be with a boy who had been punished with such a cruel punishment. Perhaps they feared he would ruin their only day of happiness. Maybe, he reasoned, the gulf between him and his friends existed because they feared he would ask for a little of their oranges. Jake spent the day upstairs, alone, in the unheated dormitory. Huddled under his only blanket, he read about a family marooned on an island. Jake wouldn't mind spending the rest of his life on an isolated island, if he could only have a real family that cared about him.
Bedtime came, and worst of all, Jake couldn't sleep. How could he say his prayers? How could there be a God in Heaven that would allow a little soul such as his, to suffer so much all by himself? Silently, he sobbed for the future of mankind that God might end the suffering in the world, both for himself and all others like him.

As he climbed back into bed from the cold, hard floor, a soft hand touched Jake's shoulder, startling him momentarily and an object was silently placed in his hands. The giver disappeared into the darkness, leaving Jake with what, he did not immediately know!
Looking closely at it in the dim light, he saw that it looked like an orange! Not a regular orange, smooth and shiny, but a special orange, very special. Inside a patched together peal were the segments of nine other oranges, making one whole orange for Jake! The nine other children in the orphanage had each donated one segment of their own precious oranges to make a whole orange as a gift for Jake.

Sharing what we truly value is the true spirit of Christmas. Our Heavenly Father gave us His beloved Son. May we, like the children in the orphanage, find ways to share His love with others less blessed.


Iphone music

Monday, December 20, 2010

This is amazing what technology can do.  There are three songs in this video, each one uses the iphone or ipad  to play a different instrument.  All I can say is wow, and no we are not getting an ipad either.  If you can not see the whole video on the screen click over to youtube for it at


Christmas without the mas.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Blogging Etiquette

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our Blog used to come up as Shaun & Denise, at least until Denise started her craft blog and changed it to come up as Denise and since she has primarily  been the one blogging here it's not that big of deal. Well that is until... I decided to leave Denise a Comment on her crafting blog. She thought it was a little weird to have a comment appear to be from your self. I don't think it is, especially since I left my trade mark -SG after it so people know (or at least they should in my opinion) obviously one solution would be for me to get my own account but that not going to happen. So what is the proper etiquette here? What do you think ? -SG