November 2008


We had a very good Thanksgiving this year, out at the lakehouse with Debbie and Raymond. Cheri, Greg, Paige, Patrick, and Matthew were there too, and our friends Joan, Ted, Lydia and Leo joined us as well. I took a bunch of photos but haven’t downloaded them to the computer yet. So here are a few that Peggy took:

Like I said, Thanksgiving was very good this year ;)

Today was Jack’s fourth birthday. I can’t believe he’s four already.

Just five years ago Christine and I were getting ready to buy our first house in Austin, with a five year plan before we had kids. Then two weeks after we closed on the house, we found out Christine was pregnant. “Life is what happens when you’re making plans” my mom told me.

It’s been an awesome four years. More fun than I thought it would be. And soooo rewarding.

We took Jack and Grayson to Chuck E. Cheese’s tonight to celebrate. The kids had a blast and we did too.

Here’s a photo of the boys paying air hockey:

Here’s a movie of the shenanigans of the kids from Halloween:

This past weekend, Christine and I took the boys to the Circus. To the Circus!

Talk about a blast. We saw a huge elephant perform, tight rope walkers from Columbia, a jumping troupe from Russia, clowns, dogs, ponies, little elephants that people could ride on, the human cannonball, and more.

The boys had a blast. Jack was glued to his seat the whole time, watching and taking every thing in… with lots of “whoa” and “wow” thrown in for good measure. Grayson wanted to walk around and play with his monster truck that he brought with him, so we did that while Christine and Jack watched the show.

At intermission we went down on the circus floor and jumped on a big bouncy thing, and got close to the ponies and little elephants (they aren’t that little, btw).

Grayson and I left after intermission, while Jack and Christine stayed and finished the whole thing. Jack stayed up until 10:00 that night… way past his bed time, but boy did he have stories for me when he got home.

What a good family event. We had a blast.

Here is a photo of Jack at The Little Gym from today. He lives going to the gym and is really good in the aparatuses.

On November 1st, I had a landscaping supply company deliver 13 yards of dirt in the form of two types: 6.5 yards of mulch, and 6.5 yards of Dillo Dirt mix.

I’m not going to write every detail about how I went and hired three guys to come help me get it spread out over the whole yard, because that was just lots of work, but, before I went to get the guys, Jack and I started working on the first pile of dirt, and I’ve got to say that Jack is one hard worker:

1. Using his shovel to get some dirt:

2. Loading his wheelbarrow:

3. Picking up his wheelbarrow while I picked up mine:

4. Leading Daddy into the backyard:

We each made five or six loads before the other pile of dirt showed up, and as soon as it did, I was off to Home Depot to hire some help.

This year, we went over the Cyndi and Marc’s house for Halloween to trick-or-treat in their neighborhood.

Jack was Optimus Prime:

Grayson was Mickey Mouse:

Christine had to hem Jack’s pants, because they were too long, so I had to find the sewing machine for her… and I guess that she figured since she had the sewing machine out, she’d just make Grayson’s outfit from scratch. And he loved it!

Rowan was Bumblebee, Kaelyn was Minny Mouse. Chris and Tonya’s kids were there too, and they had a blast too, and were really cute in their outfits.

Grayson was sick, and didn’t feel well, so after I took this last photo of the night:

Grayson and I jumped in the car, and headed home so he could sleep, while Christine and Jack stayed out until 10:00 p.m. collecting candy.

Lots of photos here.

Grayson was playing in the bath the other day, taking a bucket of water and dumping it on his head, and then laughing really hard. So I grabbed the camera, and took a few photos.

He was sick that week, so seeing him happy was a nice change of pace. After bath, he crashed hard and fast… and I was able to grab a few moments with Christine reading to Jack before Jack went to bed:

Bathtime and bedtime are lots of fun, and one of my favorite parts of the day.

More photos here.

On 10/21, the boys and I were in the backyard, just hanging out… no big deal, but lots of fun. I took a few photos:

More here.

We went to Dallas a few weekends ago, on our way home from Tulsa, and spent a few days. I had to speak at a DFWIMA meeting on Tuesday evening, and we wanted to spend some more time with the family, so we just stayed over for a few days on our way home.

We did lots of fun things while we were there:

1. Frank set up a tent in the back-yard for the boys to play in… and Jack and I spent the night in it the first night in Dallas. Who knew that my kid tossed and turned so much? I woke up at one point with toes digging into my neck. We slept inside the rest of our trip. heh.

2. We celebrated two birthdays. Steven turned 30, and Grayson turned 2. They were both good sports about sharing a party, though afterwards Grayson pulled me aside and said “Next year, remember I’m the one that’s most important, and while I love my Uncle Steven, he has to get his own party… oh, and I’m not wearing a damned hat again. One last thing: that cake was good. Do that cake again, please, Daddy.”

More photos of the party here.

3. We opened presents. Woohoo! Presents!!!!

4. I spoke at DFWIMA, and Christine got to come with me and see what I do when I’m speaking at industry events. It’s always fun to speak to peers with other peers.

“… I’m too young to marry…” – or at least that’s what I remember hearing about Tulsa from some country song…

Christine and the boys and I headed to Tulsa the weekend of October 11th for, Christine’s cousin, Christopher’s wedding.

Talk about fun!

First we flew to Tulsa (on Southwest of course), rented a car, and then drove to the Embassy Suites. We were experimenting with staying in a hotel room that actually has two rooms and a door between the two with the kids. It worked, although, sleeping on a pull out couch isn’t ideal.

We went to dinner with Uncle Ben, Aunt Gayle, and Angela on Friday night (at Luby’s) and had a lot of fun (the boys running around) and great conversation.

Then on Saturday we got up and went to a wedding.

It was great to see all of the Kamps in one place. Everyone looked fabulous:

The wedding was a lot of fun, and we were really glad we went.

That evening we drove out to their land just outside of Tulsa, and had fun getting to know more of the couple’s friends, listening to good music, eating good food, and drinking good beer.

On Sunday we flew to Dallas for a few days…

More photos here.

The temperature outside finally feels like fall. Love it!

Christine emailed me this photo while I was away on business recently, because Jack “wanted to show Daddy” what he’d made:

Not bad for an almost four year-old.

What did we all do before camera phones and iPhones?