englers.org webmail that works (finally)

After 2 years or so of promising to install a decent web-based email program for Evan, Shadel, and my mom, I’ve finally done it.

So, if you want to email any of us, you can do so now:

  • John [at] englers.org
  • Christine [at] englers.org
  • Evan [at] englers.org
  • Shadel [at] englers.org
  • Jessica [at] englers.org

Those email addresses aren’t real, you’ll have to replace the [at] with the “@” symbol to email us (I’ve done that to keep us from getting more spam).

Mom, Evan, Shadel, you can login to your email here:

http://webmail.englers.org/ — There’s a link over on the side of the website so it’s easy to find.

Call me for your username and password if you don’t remember them from last time I set this up and it didn’t work so well.

Media Dump – Photos and Video

I spent the evening putting together photo galleries and a couple of movies from photos we’ve taken since New Year’s Day, and a little video footage we had.

As always, you can visit the Engler photo gallery directly to see the rest of the albums if you want to.

Nothing fancy on the movies, just somw raw footage with a little title here and credits there:

Smiling, Cooing, Toys and Flying
– a couple of different segments of video thrown together… cute stuff, in my opinion, of course.

The Drummer
– Josh was letting Jack play the airdrums that he has at his house.

7 weeks old now

Jack hit his 7 week old mark this week. And boy, is he really growing fast folks! We weighed him the other night, and we think he’s around 12 pounds now.

Let’s see… since the last time we posted an update, Jack has started learning lots of new things, and is impressing his parents all the time.

Christine took Jack to lunch last week with her old office-mates. They had a good time visiting with all of the folks from Freese & Nichols Austin office. Jack also got to meet his cousin Katherine last week. Jack really liked Katherine, and we’re hoping to talk her into helping us out a little with some baby sitting in the near future (Mom and Dad have to get out every once and a while, don’t they?)

We had dinner over at Josh and Elise’s house on Monday. Christine cooked a Lasagna (okay, Mrs. Stouffer’s coooked it, and we just warmed it up) to take over to their house, and we all chatted and played with Jack until 10:00, before Christine and I drove home.

Jack has definitely learned how to smile, and can do it on command now. He’s started cooing, and agooing, and mmmmming and making all sorts of other sounds. He’s also learning to push up with his feet when we hold him on our laps in a sitting position. And he’s just starting to play this his toys… fun times…

Jack just loves to “fly” over his Daddy’s head, and is too fun to play with when he’s in a good mood. When he’s in a fussy mood, he’s still cute, just in need of a little extra loving. And he’s not all that fussy all that often.

Jack is starting to take longer naps during the day. And those naps in his swingy swing are just too much fun… You should see Christine and I sneaking through the living room so as not to wake him. It’s too much fun.

Next week we go for his 2 month check up, and Jack gets his first shots.

In other news, I’ll be in Dallas on the 25th and 26th of January and then in New York the week of January 31st.

The Five Hour Drive

Christine and I drove up to Dallas for New Year’s Eve weekend, so we could have Christmas with the Kamp family. We left on Thursday around noon, and made good time getting there.

We really enjoyed spending time in Dallas with the family, and had a great time exchanging Christmas gifts.

Jack really enjoyed spending time with the family. He made smiles at Mary and Frank (that’s new) and made other noises and facial features for me (you know the type). He really liked Jennie and told Christine and I on the way home that she was free to visit Austin any-time she liked. Jack sat in Uncle Michael’s lap a few times, and enjoyed it very much, and enjoyed watching football with him. Uncle Steven and Jack were bragging to each other about who got better Christmas gifts… I think Jack won the argument.

A special gift that we received was comprised of two hand-made items from Frank: A little plant stand/table and a floor lamp. Both are made out of wood, and have a great finish and a neat design. Thanks Frank.

Mary relieved Christine at night, letting her sleep through the night for the most part, which was a very welcome gift indeed… (we may be going back up there every weekend, if we can talk Mary into staying up all night again … just kidding).

After spending 4 days in Dallas, we decided to head home — right as the weather was deciding to rain. We loaded the car down and got on the road around 4:45 or so.

We drove the first hour or so at about 20 miles an hour, through a torrential down pouring rain. The rain slackened up a bit around the Ellis County line, so we kicked it up to 45 or 50 there. After being on the road 2 hours, we were finally almost to Hillsboro and able to drive around 70 mph, until we hit the narrow lanes (due to the never ending construction on I-35).

One nice thing about the drive in the rain was that we discovered that the new Volvo we got has automatic windshield wipers. Who would have thought wipers could figure out for themselves how fast they need to wipe based on how hard it’s raining?

We made it as far as Salado, Texas before Jack started getting cranky. We’d been on the road 3 and a half hours.

So we stopped at the Salado Creek Grill and Truck Stop. I got gas while Christine got Jack out of the car. She took him into the bathroom to change him, and started feeding him in there, and then got stuck … she couldn’t carry everything back out.

So, after I moved the car, I went inside, and bought a bottle of water and a Mountain Dew, and some Halls lozenges. Then I ordered fried mushrooms and waited. And waited. I finally sent the waitress in to check on Christine, and she came back carrying the child seat for us to help Christine out of the bathroom.

We ordered a grill cheese and burger (greasiest food we’ve ever eaten by the way), ate dinner, got Jack fed and changed, and got back on the road.

We hit Austin around 9:30, and after almost 5 hours on the road, were home.

Ugh… I hate hard Texas rain sometimes (but then again, I’d rather drive in hard Texas rain than soft mushy wimpy Seattle rain any day).

Here’s a few links to some photos we took in Dallas:

  • Kamp Christmas 2004 – A collection of photos from our visit to Dallas (wouldy ou believe we forgot to take photos of anyone actually opening presents?)
  • Santa Baby – Some photos of Jack with his Polar Express Santa doll
  • Two Hams – Frank and Jack checking out the Hams
  • Baby Bath – The baby taking a bath

And we took these photos of Jack smiling after we got home from Dallas.

Dub gets engaged

Gotta little story for you Ags:

One day, a guy named William Davis Miller is born. W.D.’s little sister can’t say “W.D.” so she calls him Dub. It sticks. He grows up in a small town, working cattle and goats, and is a smart kid with some decent looks and a great voice. He goes to Abiliene Junior College, gets a degree, then goes to A&M, joins the Aggie Band, gets a degree, goes to music school, becomes a touring musician that’s always on the road, starts law school in Houston, and then…

Dub gets engaged to his girlfriend of a few years: Marci. Big congrats Dub!

Here’s a few pictures of Dub, Marci, and Jack.

Texas Chili Contest

Warning – If you can read this whole story without laughing out loud, then there’s no hope for you. I was crying by the end.

I received this email from a friend today… too funny not to pass on:

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better.

For those of you who have lived in Texas, you know how true this is.

They actually have a chili cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the San Antonio city park.

The notes are from an inexperienced chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield, IL.

Frank: “Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (native Texans) that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted.” Here are the scorecards from the event: (Frank is Judge #3)

Chili # 1 Eddie’s Maniac Monster Chili…

Judge # 1 — A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge # 2 — Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.

Judge # 3 — (Frank) Holy sh!t! What the hell is this stuff?! You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put out the flames. I hope that’s the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Chili # 2 Austin’s Afterburner Chili…

Judge # 1 — Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.

Judge # 2 — Exciting BBQ flavor; needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge # 3 — Keep this out of the reach of children. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Chili # 3 Ronny’s Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili…

Judge # 1 — Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. Needs more beans.

Judge # 2 — A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers.

Judge # 3 — Call the EPA. I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting sh*t- faced from all of the beer…

Chili # 4 Dave’s Black Magic…

Judge # 1 — Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge # 2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish, or other mild foods; not much of a chili.

Judge # 3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds?

Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 300-lb. woman is starting to look HOT …just like this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Chili # 5 Lisa’s Legal Lip Remover…

Judge # 1 — Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge # 2 — Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.

Judge # 3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead, and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks.

Chili # 6 Pam’s Very Vegetarian Variety…

Judge # 1 — Thin, yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.

Judge # 2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

Judge # 3 — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. I sh!t on myself when I farted and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone.

Chili # 7 Carla’s Screaming Sensation Chili…

Judge # 1 — A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.

Judge # 2 — Ho-hum; tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress, as he is cursing uncontrollably.

Judge # 3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt.

At least during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing; it’s too painful. Screw it; I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Chili # 8 Karen’s Toenail Curling Chili…

Judge # 1 — The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold, but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge # 2 — This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild, nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge # 3 farted, passed out, fell over, and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself.

Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor fella, wonder how he’d have reacted to really hot chili?

First Christmas, White Christmas

This Christmas was Jack and Ella’s first Christmas.

What a special Christmas is was too. It snowed in Houston on Christmas Eve. Who’d have guessed Jack and Ella might get a white Christmas on their first Christmas … in Houston!?

We all met in Houston at Aunt Debbie’s for the annual Teaff family Christmas on Christmas Eve, along with about 40 other people (maybe more). Debbie and Raymond truly are fantastic hosts, and we’re thankful they continue to host Christmas for the whole family, year after year.

Jack and Ella were looking forward to seeing Santa. Jack was also anticipating meeting the rest of the Teaff side of the family, as this was his first outing to meet the family.

Ella is now 9 months old, and Jack is one month old.

All of the kids and adults had a wonderful time at Christmas… heck, even Wesley enjoyed himself, much to the dismay of one of Raymond and Debbie’s guest.

Presents were exchanged and Santa came and handed out gifts. He also asked everyone in attendance what they wanted for Christmas as they all sat on his lap. Poor ol’ Santa’s knees sure got a work-out (there were lots of families that Santa granted family pictures to, including ours).

I think everyone got what they wanted for Christmas, most of all, everyone seems to be in good health and great spirits, and looking forward to 2005.

I’ve put some photos from Christmas online here. Bless you all this holiday season and Happy New Year!