Kids are so fun. And funny.

I took some photos of Jack and Grayson in the bath:

and then a few of Grayson in his elephant towel. He’s such a cheese:

Then I took a photo or two of Christine reading to Jack:

Then of Grayson drinking chocolate milk from his bear cup:


(all photos here)

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 278 user reviews.

This summer, Ella came down to visit, so we met them out at Debbie and Raymond’s lakehouse.

The kids had a blast… Jack and Grayson love handing out with their favorite cousin!

See all the photos here.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 233 user reviews.

As a follow up to our trip to Kemah earlier this year, I’ve finally posted all of the photos from the trip… and talk about some fun photos.

I think these are my favorites:

(see them all here)

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 224 user reviews.

This is what happens you leave the scanner attached to your iMac and have two boys under 5 at home with access to it:


Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 194 user reviews.

We went for a “drive” the other day. Grayson fell down “kersplat”:

And eventually, we got both kids in the Jeep together:

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 227 user reviews.

Jack made me some “electric clean soda” and Grayson made me a taco tonight. In the bath:

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 265 user reviews.

We took a photo at the Houston Space Center last week (more on our trip later when I take the time to write it) and I loved the photo so much, I just had to throw it up here:

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 160 user reviews.

This year, we headed out to the lake again. Debbie and Raymond had a full house… so full we shared a room with two cousins! Jack got to sleep on the floor on a pallet, which Christine and I shared one double bed, and the two little girls shared the other double. Grayson was in his playpen that first night. We were all so exhausted after a full Friday, that it didn’t matter a bit (and I hope my snoring didn’t keep anyone up too much during the night).

We went swimming as soon as we got there, and the boys had a blast swimming with their cousings:

Aunt Peggy and Payton were in charge of dinner Friday night. Talk about good! Mmmmm. Mmmmmmm… Everyone got plenty of good food (fish, chicken, and beef) and lots of great conversation.

On Saturday, we took all of the kids out on the lake in the morning, for a little fun in the sun!

Grayson got sick that afternoon, and so he and I headed home… Christine and Jack stayed and played… and headed to church on Sunday before heading home to hang with us.

Good weekend, althought it was too short.

See all of the photos here.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 242 user reviews.

A week ago last Friday, Christine, Jack, Grayson and I got on a Southwest plane headed from Austin to Orlando. The plan was the hang out with Jodie and Hayes’ family for a few days, then head to my trade show for a few days, then go to Denver for another trade show and to see Joan, Ted, Lydia and Leo for a few days before heading home. Call it “mixing business and pleasure”, if you will.

In Florida, we stayed with Jodie and Hayes for a few days, and hung out with them at their house for most of the day on Friday (after the boys napped all the way from the airport to their house, and a late lunch at McDonald’s that is). Hayes cooked some of the best burgers I’ve ever had that night, and the kids got hot dogs.

On Saturday morning, we’d planned to wake up and watch the Space Shuttle launch from their backyard, but it was scrubbed due to leaking Hydrogen or something… So, instead I slept in, and then we went to the beach, where we had a blast with them at Ponce Inlet.

We all got a little sunburned, and a lot worn out… the sun and the sand can sure take it out of you. After a day at the beach, we ate at a Chili’s with the extended family (pretty much all of Jodie’s family and most of Hayes’ lives there in Florida).

On Sunday, we got up, and headed to the Orlando Science Center, where the kids had a lot of fun. Our original plan was to hit the beach again, but we decided to save the kids from another sunburn filled day… We saw dinosaur bones, and learned about electricity… had lunch, and then picked oranges. Afterwards, we headed to Downtown Disney and the Lego Store before dinner at T-Rex (which is like a Rainforest Cafe with dinosaurs instead of monkeys).

We checked into the Marriot that night, and settled in. I went to a business thing, and the kids and Christine got to sleep pretty late.

On Monday, I did “work” things, while Christine and the boys met Jodie and her beautiful kids, Emma and Morgan, and spent the morning in the pool at the Marriot… which happens to be the biggest pool in the world or something.

Christine had her hands full with the kids all day… I was working… then on Tuesday, she took the kids out while I worked from the room and the lobby of the hotel, and then we headed to the airport around noon. We were lucky we’d left so early, because we ended up having to walk all the way across the Orlando airport after turning in the rental car, before waiting about an hour to check our bags (all 7 of them) with Southwest. The Orlando airport is a zoo. We boarded the airplane, all a little frazzled. The boys wouldn’t sleep, and couldn’t get comfortable, and Christine and I were tired too.

We rented a car in Denver (we weren’t sure if we were going to until we landed) and drove a little out of our way to get to the hotel… and checked in around 9:30 p.m. or so. The staff at the downtown Sheraton were awesome though, and got us into our room quickly, and brought up a crib and fridge quickly too. We got the kids to bed, and I stayed up late catching up on work from the day that I’d not had time to do.

On Wednesday, I worked in the morning, while the kids explored downtown Denver. They hit the public library, the Museum of Art, and the Capitol grounds, before we all went to lunch together. I headed to the lobby to work while the kids took naps (Christine did too). We then met Joan, Leo and Lydia out on the Denver Mall for dinner.

I took Grayson home from dinner early, because he just wasn’t feeling well. We watched Madagascar 2, and all of us went to bed late.

On Thursday, I got up and headed to another trade show, while Christine took the boys, and loaded up the car, and drove out to Arvada, Colorado (the pinnacle of Denver suburbia) to stay with Joan and Ted for the remainder of our trip. Grayson was so exhausted that he finally just laid down in the middle of the living room and crashed. While he napped, the rest of the kids headed to the pool and playground.

On Friday, I quickly hit the trade show, then checked out of the hotel early, and waited for the family to pick me up. Meanwhile, they hit Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Dinosaur Ridge. Talk about some cool stuff! Jack told me all about all of the dinosaur footprints and bones they found on the ride back to the Wagner’s house. That night, Ted cooked filet mignon on the grill, and we all caught up a little after the kids went to bed.

We were treated to this sunset from the front porch of the Wagner’s new house:


On Saturday, we got up and headed to Boulder, taking the scenic route through the mountains. We stopped at the Barker Dam for a few photos…

Our goal was to hike to Boulder Falls, but they were closed due to fallen rocks, which was just as well, as the kids were hungry. After lunch at a brewpub in Boulder, we left Joan and Ted, Leo and Lydia in Boulder and headed to the Denver airport. Turning in the car was easier there, but the bag check line at Southwest was just as bad as Orlando.

We got to our gate about 15 minutes before we started boarding (even though we were at the airport a good two hours before our flight), and got on the plane with some tired kids.

Grayson slept all the way home, and Jack and Christine played games together. It was a great flight, and we were glad to be home.

Seven days on the road, in two cities, with me having to actually work 5 of those days, makes for a very tired family, and we’re enjoying catching up on our rest today. We loved seeing our friends, but I don’t think we’ll mix business and pleasure again until the kids are old enough to buy their own tickets and get their own hotel rooms. Or until I can afford to just not work, if I don’t want to. 😉

You can see all of the photos here:

Ponce Inlet Beach Photos
Orlando Photos
Denver Photos

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 259 user reviews.

Christine, Jack, Grayson and I drove up to Dallas this weekend to attend Steven’s graduation ceremony from SMU.

Talk about being proud of someone… I could see the pride in Michael, Mary, Frank, and Christine’s faces… And I must say he looked good in blue and red. And you can see the excitement on Steven’s face too:

SMU May 2009 Graduation

Can’t you see it?!


Seriously, though, we had a blast. The kids played a lot at Nana and Papa’s, and had a blast, and Christine and I enjoyed visiting as always…

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 258 user reviews.

The kids had a blast today outside using the sidewalk chalk… and while they started with coloring our limestone patio, they ended up coloring themselves:

Blue Man Group

What fun!

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 245 user reviews.

I had some time on the airplane home from Seattle the other night, so I put together these movies from old footage from November I had on my laptop:

Good times!

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 184 user reviews.

I took this photo of Grayson and Christine in March of 2007:

And I got a call from a guy, asking to use it as the cover art on an album he was planning on putting out soon. We chatted on the phone, and I got this email from him shortly thereafter:

From: Jonathan Kessler
Subject: A Mother’s Kiss
Date: January 25, 2009 1:35:01 PM CST
To: John Engler
Cc: Ted Kastelic

Hi John,

It was good speaking with you today.

Thanks for giving us your permission to use your photograph for the cover of our CD “Wisdom of a Kiss”, and for sending us a high-res version of the picture to use.

We’ll credit you on the CD – is the wording here OK with you?

“Cover Photograph by John Engler, ”
Also please include your mailing address so we can send you some copies of the CD by way of thanks.
It’s a wonderful photograph and we’re really pleased to have found it and to be able to use it.  It captures the concept “Wisdom of a Kiss” beautifully.

Turns out they’d found a photo of mine on flickr that they liked a lot for their new album.

So, I sent them my mailing address, and the photo in hi-res versions…

And just the other day, I found the art on their website.

So, go to their band’s website, and take a listen… I really enjoyed the songs available on their website. You will too, I bet:

Thanks Folk in A!

Go buy a copy.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 183 user reviews.

On November 16th, 2008, we celebrated Jack and Grayson’s birthday together at Kiddie Acres here in Austin.

Boy did we have fun (parents and kids included). We took a butt load of photos that day, but my favorite has to be this one:

Marc took that one, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Notice that as Grayson blew out the candles with Jack, he spit a little… you can see it coming out in that photo. Yes, it landed on the cake, and yes someone ate that piece of the cake. Not sure who ate it, but I love that it happened, and no one seemed to notice but Marc and I, and we didn’t say anything to anyone. No harm, no foul, right?


LOTS of photos of kids having fun here.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 193 user reviews.

On November 15th of last year, Ella and Momo came to visit, as did Michael, Nana and Papa. So we had a little “family” birthday party at the house (we were planning the big party with all of the friend’s the next day).

Some of the photos we took came out great:

There are a bunch more here.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 179 user reviews.