Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Requesting prayers

I got the following email from my cousin Karl and his wife Stephanie...

Many of you know that Karl and I have a godson and nephew Nathan Schmidt. He is 2 years and 3 months old. He has been fed through a tube since he was 6 months old. The doctors believe that a virus attacked his stomach and therefore had to be put on this feeding tube. He is hooked up to this tube 18 hours a day, which as you can imagine is hard. He has been in and out of the hospital all his life and has had 2 surgeries. This condition may last for his entire life or he may recover and his little stomach may work again, the doctors cannot offer them any certainty. Nathan’s parents have taken him off his feeding tube to see if he is able to thrive on his own. I know miracles happen and prayers are answered. We would be grateful to you if you can keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Please pass this on…

Please keep Nathan and his family in your prayers. Thanks so much!

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's so hard...

to be in family portraits and be taking them too! This morning we made attempt number 2 at family photos. Yesterday was our first try. Both times, we used Andy's Uncle Tom's gorgeous pond in his yard. Not only is it impossible to see what's going on or how the picture looks when you are in it, but when the remote isn't working right, it sure is frustrating (to say the least).

We got a few decent ones (out of the 500 shots we took... yeah, I really took that many!).

This one of Andy and I is probably my favorite out of all the ones we took. Getting this shot made it worth it because we haven't had a good one of the two of us in quite awhile...

One each of the kids...

And here's a couple of outtakes...

I think the ducks were glad to get us out of their pond...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Last night

Last night we went to watch the Auto Xpo cruise. Afterwards we went up to Clint and Christina's new house to have a glass of wine. The kids had a great time playing. We were up there until almost 11:00 (hope we didn't wear out our welcome!) so the kids were very tired. They both fell asleep on the way home (it's only a 5 minute drive). Once we got home we asked the kids to put on their pjs and get ready for bed. I went in to check on JT and I found him asleep like this on the floor of his room...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Very interesting...

No question why he is where he is today!

This should be posted in all schools and work places. Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this!

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

If you agree , pass it on. If you can read this - thank a teacher.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To the ranch

About a week ago Andy took the kids to the ranch with him for most of the day. It was a very windy day so they ended up eating lunch in the barn. Andy had the little camera with him so he took a few pictures...

They beg him almost every day to go to work with him. I guess he needs to do it more often.... (hint, hint).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More about Idaho

I just realized I didn't really say much about our trip to Boise, ID. We were there for a Ranch Management Consultants meeting. We had a great time and came back re-energized to improve our business. We did have one afternoon that was "free-time." Andy and I figured that we better try to see something in Boise other than the airport and our hotel. We went downtown and walked around for awhile. I only took a couple pictures the entire time we were there.

Here's the capitol building....

We stopped in at some italian restaurant for a cold beverage (it was probably 85 or 90 degrees). Okay, yes, I know we look dorky...

It was a great trip!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

With vs. Without

Today we traveled to Boise, ID for a Ranch Management meeting. In fact, I am writing this from airplane…. I will have to wait till I have an internet connection to post it though. I have been joking all along that after our vacation with the kids last week, Andy and I would need another vacation after our vacation.

The traveling process is so amazingly different with kids, than without. Our flight from Eureka to San Francisco (en route to Maui) had six kids on it. As you can imagine the boarding area was noise and pretty high-energy. Today the boarding area was so eerily quiet that I felt the need to whisper. Checking in and boarding the plane was so simple and carefree today that it felt strange. I felt like we were forgetting something or someone.

This will be good for us to get away and concentrate on our business a little….

Me...in pictures

I have spent some time since we got back from Hawaii being disappointed with the photos that I got. I went over there expecting to get lots of great snapshots enjoying our vacation. More importantly, I really wanted to take some family portraits of us… and of course I wanted them to be perfect. I have been wanting to take some updated family portraits anyway, and I thought Maui would be the perfect location. For several reasons, it never worked out for us to do this. I kept trying to tell myself that it wasn’t that big of a deal and that we could just take some at home in our yard. I was starting to get over it. Then I saw my friend Shelley’s gorgeous family photos from her beach vacation. It made me start thinking about it all over again.

Today I had an interesting thought…. I didn’t get the family portraits that I wanted, but I got something else that I didn’t realize meant so much to me. I got photos that I am actually in. There is proof that I was on this vacation. Usually I feel strange asking other people to take our photo, even if it’s just with the little point and shoot camera. It was so great having Christina there because we could trade off taking each other’s photos. Andy even took a lot more candid ones of me so that was great. I am always the person behind the camera so it’s nice to be on the other side once in a while.

I guess we will have to force ourselves to go back next year to try for family portraits again.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

High School Class Reunion

Last night we went to my 15 year class reunion. We didn't get it together and have a 10 year. We barely got it together to have last night's event. I think there were around 150 people in my graduating class and there were about 25 people at the reunion last night.

We ended up just having a mixer at Las Cazuelas. It was fun though. I got to catch up with a few people so that was good. And we had a great dinner beforehand with the Emmons and the Letters.

Front: Sonja Matsen Armstrong, Emily Wright Duey
Second: Kaitlyn Zimmer Wilder, Kim McKenzie Emmons, Amy Johnson Letter, Jessica Hapgood Gillette, Tami Pollard Engman, Deanna Gundlach Machado, Sarah Giacomini Albin, Jeremy Stanfield, Jason Barger,
Third: Adam Glaser, Andy Giannini, Clint Duey, Ivan Brownell, Hec Wood, Dan Meador, Jeramie Bowen, Brandon Kasso, Donovan Diaz,
Back: Rick Crawley, Ryan Henry, Ryan Cox

Just for fun, here's my high school graduation photo. Yes, that's my dad handing me my diploma. He was School Board president at the time so he was able to do that. Pretty cool huh? It's really hard to believe that it's been 15 years since graduation.

Maybe we will be more organized the next time around. We did talk about trying to combine with a couple other classes. We'll see what happens!

Photos for the fair

One of the things on my list today is to decide if I will enter any photos in the county fair this year. I need to decide by Friday.

I have entered some the past two years, but have never won anything. It's not that I only care about winning, but when I look at the ones that do win, it makes me go "huh?" I can never figure out what exactly the judges are looking for in their selections. I want to be able to learn from the experience of entering photos so I can improve my skills.

Trying to pick the ones to enter is tough too. I am allowed six photos total, no more than two in each category. I was thinking of entering one of these sunsets from our Maui trip... which is the best? I would love to hear some opinions.

Here's some other ones I am considering...
The animal rights people might not like this one....

Do you think it's bad that we can't see the frog's entire face?

One of my favorites from the branding season this year...

I like how this one shows J.T.'s size relative to the tractor...

Here's one I might consider entering in the black and white category. I kind-of borrowed the idea from Gina though so I need to check with her to make sure it's okay with her! :)

I would love it if anyone wants to give feedback on if I should enter any of these.... leave me a comment or email me. Thanks so much!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We're home

Last day on Maui

We couldn't not go to the beach on our last day... both kids tried the boogie boards too!

And Andy too...

After we got loaded up and checked out we headed to the Ma'alaea Harbor for lunch. Then we went to Maui Golf and Sports Park to play mini golf. The kids were excited at first, but that didn't last long. Between the heat (without a pool to jump into), and the frustration of mini golf, they weren't too happy. Can you tell?

They did get to cool off a little with the bumper boats. They had these shooter things so you could squirt everyone else. By the time the kids and the dads got off, they were soaked!

Much to our amazement, both kids wanted to try climbing the rock wall! Neither of them wanted to go to the top, but that's okay.... at least they tried it.

After this we headed towards Kahului, which is where the airport is located. We did a little shopping to kill some time, but then decided to just turn our cars in and head to the airport. We had dinner there and waited for our time to leave. We left about 9:30 pm and took the "red-eye" flight home. We changed plans and had breakfast in San Francisco. We got home around 9:30 am. We were exhausted!

Monday, July 7, 2008

More beach time

This was the only day that we split up from the Victorines. They wanted to go snorkeling and we decided not to go. While Andy and I would've loved to go, we decided the kids probably wouldn't want to try it. We didn't want to go the trouble of renting the gear and driving awhile, if they weren't going to do it.

We went to the beach across the street for a couple hours. We bought some boogie boards a couple days ago, which has been fun. Andy got some pictures of me *trying* to do it.... It was so fun, and I didn't even wipe-out too bad!

We headed to Wailea for lunch. After that we drove as far as you can go on the south part of Maui. We ended up at La Perouse Bay. I know it's hard to see in the picture, but the dark spots are hardened lava, not sand.

What a day!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

To the top of the world

On Sunday we decided to drive to Haleakala National Park to see the crater. It was a 2 hour drive each way, which wasn't much fun for the kids. The summit is over 10,000 feet in elevation. It's pretty amazing once you finally make it to the top!

This was taken at a lookout point near the summit. You can't see much besides clouds in the background, though.

I really like this picture of Andy and I. Thanks to Christina for taking it! I don't usually like other people to use my camera because it seems like the pictures never turn out. Christina did a great job with it though!

After a drive through Kula, Makawao, and a couple other small towns, we stopped at Hookipa Beach. It is known as possibly the best windsurfing beaches in the world. As you can imagine, it's windy! It was great watching. We even saw a couple wipe-outs. The kids liked that.

We walked down the street for mexican food that night, and saw this nice sunset while we were finishing dinner.

Even though we didn't do much besides drive, it was a long day! We were all exhausted by the end of it...