Saturday, November 29, 2008

Great Sand Dunes

Lisa and I decided to head south to the Great Sand Dunes National Park today. We have really been wanting to see the dunes, but haven't gotten around to doing it. After all of Lisa's family left today, we packed up the kids and took a little road trip. The above picture is what it looks like in the summer. As we approached the Park on the highway, we were treated with a white delight that was quite different from what we expected.

The sand dunes were all covered with a couple inches of snow from the storms that had passed through the last couple of days. They looked amazing in white with the big mountains in the back drop.

This one is the tallest sand dune in North America. It is 750' tall. You can hike to the top of it, but we knew the kids would never make it.

Instead of hiking to the top, we went to the visitors center and let them run around and play with all the interactive stuff.

They were in heaven.

After the visitors center, we went out to the dunes and let them run around and throw snow balls.
Again, they were in heaven playing out there.

Once the kids had their full, we decided to leave. On the way out we kept running across different groups of deer. After forgetting my telephoto lens the other day in Garden of the Gods, I made sure to tote it along this time. I'm so glad I did too because we saw several large bucks (though none as large as the one I saw at Garden of the Gods).

This nice buck was milling around in some distant trees, so I left Lisa and the kids in the car and ran off after him. After sneaking up fairly closely, I got this picture of him.

He refused to turn broadside for the photo, so I whistled to get him to stop. He did stop, but the camera wouldn't focus on him, and I ended up taking a few terrible, blurred photos. So I didn't get any good broadsides of him. After attempting to get the camera in focus, he took off like a bolt of lightning and I got this cool action photo of him in mid-leap.

Feeling bad for not getting any good side views in focus, I thought I was going to go home bummed again. But my fortune was turning for the better. After driving further down the highway, I spotted another nice buck laying down in some trees. Again I left Lisa and the kids in the car to go stalk this bad boy down.

Here is the shot I took through the trees.

As I got closer, the does that were with him spooked and he got up and started to walk away. At this time I got a decent broadside view of him.

I was really happy with the photos I took of him, and didn't think the day could get any better. I called my dad to tell him of the bucks I was seeing, and as I was on the phone with him, we came across another group of about 4 bucks. I told him I would call him back, and I went off to stalk them for some more photos.

This is a straight shot of a 3 point that was eyeballing me the whole time.

Lucky for me his big 4 point buddy didn't mind me being there and allowed me to take this winner of a shot. Pretty dang cool.

I love my camera, and I love my stalking skills. Too bad I couldn't hunt these guys. Oh well, maybe some time in the future.

In all it was a beautiful day. The Sangre de Cristo mountains and the Spanish Peaks were so scenic it made the drive down very pleasant. We really enjoyed the dunes and recommend it to anyone who lives in Colorado.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cornucopia of Fun

The Foster family came out to Colorado Springs for this Thanksgiving week. We really enjoyed playing host for them and showing them the sights and activities of Colorado. It has been a really enjoyable week with them in town. Fun was definitely had by all.

We took the family up to the top of Pikes Peak. We really got our moneys worth when we bought our annual pass last June. We have taken so many family and friends up to the top. The view is fantastic from 14,110 feet. When Dan and Heather passed through the Springs after their trip to Ohio, the peak was enshrouded in clouds, so they didn't get to see it. Not this trip though-everyone got to enjoy fantastic weather and views from the summit.

We took a trip to Helen Hunt Falls. It has a strenuous hike to see them (all of about 20 feet). They were beautiful in the cold. As you can see from these next two shots the falls were half frozen and beautiful.

On Wednesday afternoon we took them all on a drive through Garden of the Gods and enjoyed the spectacular views there. Tucker loved the "Giant Rocks" as he kept calling them. Unfortunately I did not bring our telephoto lens or I would have gotten some phenomenal shots of some huge mule deer hanging out in the park. There were two separate bucks that are quite possibly the largest I have ever seen, but they were just out of range for our 18-55mm lens. Too bad too because they were ginormous. One easily had a 30" spread, great mass and great height. He was a typical 5 point that would have scored well over 200. Arggggg, I need to remember to carry that telephoto with me more often.
On Thanksgiving day we made a feast fit for kings. Even Tucker pitched in with the cooking duties.

Here are a couple of images of our table and the delicious dishes that we had available. We even busted out the fine china for the occasion.

Needless to say, we had more than we could eat. Everybody came away from that table with full bellies, some more than others (like Lisa and her 7 month pregnant bulge).

In our house we have a rule that everybody contributes. There is no room for free loaders. So, after we were done eating, the two who lounged on the couch while the rest cooked and prepared the food were assigned dish duty. Archive this one in your folders Foster family. That's right, your eyes are not mistaken, we got Ken and Spencer to do the dishes, and they did a fantastic job. Our goblets and china even had to be done by hand. Thanks guys!

The rest of the time was spent lounging around, watching football and great holiday movies, and of course playing lots of board games (again, we got Ken to play too!).

We are very grateful for the sacrifices that her family made to come and spend the weekend with us. It will be a Thanksgiving that we and our kids will remember for a long time to come.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What kids do best.

The sister missionaries stopped by tonight while Cody was at Young Men's and the kids started playing upstairs. I knew they were playing in my room, but thought the extent of their destruction would be throwing the pillows off my bed. WRONG! After the missionaries left I headed upstairs to find them both standing in the tub, fully clothed with the water running. Aubrey had used up one of my lip glosses all over herself while Tucker had shampooed his hands who knows how many times. You might not be able to see it, but my bed and the wall are covered in sparkly pink lip gloss.
My thread from my sewing machine was strewn around the room with various other items from my desk.

I guess I can't get too mad at them. Of course, deep down, I'm sure they knew it was wrong, but what kid hasn't done something like this when their parents weren't watching!
On a side note, here are the pictures I got from my second try at Kiddie Kandids yesterday. Still no picture of the 2 of them together, but some cute individual shots. If they'd only smile like they did in the tub... Those are the smiles I really would like to pay for!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rivalry Week

As most everyone in the State of Utah is aware, this weekend is the rivalry game between BYU and Utah. In honor of this intense game, I thought I would post some hillarious (playful, not serious) smack talk against the Utes. Before I do, let me start off by saying that all the Ute fans who think that BYU fans are self-righteous are quite hypocritical. Ute fans think they are so much better than BYU fans because they don't claim superiority. Therefore, they are so much better than the BYU fans. Please, the very fact that they claim to be better than BYU fans is a self-righteous attitude in and of itself. The bottom line is that both sides have idiotic, obnoxious fans, and any one (from either side) that begins to sincerely attack the other side is a moron. No need to get mean and nasty, just relax, have fun, and enjoy the game.
Ok, before either side gets too high and mighty on their teams success, let's look at recent history.
From 1922-1971 the U was 38-5-4 vs. the Y
From 1972-1992 the U was 2-19 vs. the Y
From 1993 on the U is 9-6 vs. the Y.
Last 4 years = 2-2
Last 8 years = 4-4
last 20 years = 10-10
Now you can see why anyone who starts claiming "Utah is going to destroy BYU", or "BYU owns Utah" is being ignorant and foolish. Now, on to the fun part. This is long, but includes some of my favorites.

How many Utes does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one and if he is successful, he gets 5.5 credit hours.
What do you get when you put 32 Ute coeds in a room? A complete set of teeth.
Why do Utes hang their diplomas from the rear view mirror? For handicapped parking of course.
A Ute fan was venting and fuming about the bad name their kind had been getting. Drunkards, stupid, etc, he'd had enough. So he set out to prove all the naysayers wrong. Ute fans can really be smart! So he jumped in his car, drove out of the trailer park (so THIS is what it feels like to drive sober!), and headed down the highway. Not two minutes into his travels, he spotted another fan in full garb, sitting in a row boat out in the middle of a wheat field, rowing for all he was worth, and going no where. Disgusted, the fan slammed on the brakes, jumped out of his car, and screamed at the top of his lungs: "You IDIOT, don't you know that its morons like you who give fans a bad rap? If I could swim, I'd come out there and kick your butt!"

Kyle Whittingham grew so frustrated at his inability to beat the Cougs the last two years, he decided to watch BYU's practice in disguise and ask Bronco why he's been so successful. Bronco replied I have smart players, let me demonstrate, so he calls Max Hall over to him and asks. Who is your fathers, brothers, nephew. Max instantly replies Bronco, that's easy, that'd be me. Kyle Whittingham left very impressed. The next day at practice, Kyle asks Brian Johnson BJ, who is your fathers brothers nephew. BJ thinks and thinks and thinks and finally says, Wouldn't that be me? Kyle is furious and yells, NO YOU IDIOT, IT'S MAX HALL!!!!!!

Whittingham dies and is admitted to Heaven (Wait, this is just a joke and not reality.). He is met by St. Peter and Whittingham asked him where he was going to stay. St. Peter told Whittingham that the mansions up in Heaven weren't all that fancy because of the humility of the denizens. They walked for a short time and St. Peter showed Whittingham a small cottage with a white picket fence and a very beautiful garden. Whittingham was very happy with it and said he was very please. Some days later, Whittingham walks up to St. Peter and starts complaining quite bitterly about the Bronco's mansion. St. Peter looks very confused and said that Bronco lived in a very humble cottage also, probably more humble that Whittingham's. Whittingham griped on about Bronco's mansion, the big one up on top the hill, surrounded by BYU flags and large flashing signs with Bronco's name and picture on them and how the singing ofa million voice choir singing praises to BYU football was bothering everybody. St. Peter starts to laugh and told Whittingham that that wasn't Bronco's house, that it was the Lord's main house.

Do you know how to get a Ute co-ed in a freight elevator? Grease her hips and throw in Twinkie! Do you know how to get her back out? Throw in a Weight Watchers pamphlet!
What's the difference between a coed and a cop car? It takes at least two cop cars to block the road.
How do you get the Ute grad off your porch? Tip him for the Pizza.
A fan - Bubba - died in a fire and his two alum sons - Kyle and Andy - were called in to identify the body. Kyle went in and the mortician pulled back the sheet. Kyle said, "Yup, he's burnt pretty bad. Roll him over." So the mortician rolled him over and Kyle looked and said, "Nope, ain't Daddy." The mortician thought that was rather strange. Then he brought Andy in to identify the body. Andy took a look at him and said, "Yup, he's burnt real bad, roll him over." The mortician rolled him over and Andy looked down and said, "No, it ain't Daddy. "The mortician asked, "How can you tell?" Andy said, "Well, Daddy had two buttholes." "What? He had two buttholes?", said the mortician. "Yup, everyone in town knew it. Every time we went to town, folks would say, "Here comes Bubba with them two buttholes..."

Two football players were taking an important final exam. If they failed, they would be on academic probation and not allowed to play in the Holy War that weekend. The exam was fill-in-the-blank. The last question read, "Old MacDonald had a _________." BJ was stumped. He had no idea of the answer. He knew he needed to get this one right to be sure he passed. Making sure the professor wasn't watching, he tapped Brent on the shoulder. "Pssst. Brent. What's the answer to the last question?" Brent laughed. He looked around to make sure the professor hadn't noticed then he turned to BJ. "BJ, you're so stupid. Everyone knows Old MacDonald had a farm." "Oh yeah," said BJ. "I remember now." He picked up his No. 2 pencil and started to write the answer in the blank. He stopped. Reaching to tap Brent's shoulder again, he whispered, "Brent, how do you spell farm?" "You are really dumb, BJ. That's so easy. Farm is spelled E-I-E-I-O."

You know you're a Ute fan when...
The Halloween pumpkin on your front porch has more teeth than your spouse.
You've been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
You think a woman who is "out of your league" bowls on a different night.
Jack Daniel's makes your list of "Most Admired People."
You think Genitalia is an Italian airline.
You wonder how gas stations keep their restrooms so clean.
Someone in your family died right after saying "Hey, y'all watch this!"
Your Junior/Senior prom had a daycare.
You lit a match in the bathroom and your house exploded right off its wheels.
The bluebook value of your truck goes up and down, depending on how much gas it has in it.
Ya' can't git married to yer sweetheart 'cause there's a dang law against it.
You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.
Your toilet paper has page numbers on it.

Things Whittingham has said to try and motivate his players...
Are your parents siblings?
I would ask you how old you are but I know you can't count that high.
Calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people.
Did your parents ever ask you to run away from home?
Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you'd had enough oxygen at birth?
I'd like to leave you with one thought...but I'm not sure you have anywhere to put it!
Do you want people to accept you as you are or do you want them to like you?
Go ahead, tell me everything you know. It'll only take 10 seconds.
Have you considered suing your brains for non-support?
He is the kind of a man that you would use as a blueprint to build an idiot.
If you're not stupid then you must be possessed by a retarded ghost.
Here's 20 cents. Call all your friends and bring back some change!
I'd like to see things from your point of view but I can't seem to get my head that far up my butt. I bet your brain feels as good as new, seeing that you've never used it.
Do you still love nature, despite what it did to you?
I don't know what makes you so stupid, but it really works!
I hear you were born on a farm. Any more in the litter?
I'd like to help you out. Which way did you come in?
If I ever need a brain transplant, I'd choose yours because I'd want a brain that had never been used.
If ignorance is bliss, you must be the happiest person alive.
Keep talking, someday you'll say something intelligent.
Learn from your parents' mistakes - use birth control!
So, a thought crossed your mind? Must have been a long and lonely journey.
Some day you will find yourself - and wish you hadn't.

What's the difference between Rice-Eccles stadium and a porcupine? The porcupine has 40,000 pricks on the outside.
Ice is no longer available in the drinks at the cafeterias at Utah. The senior who knew the recipe graduated.
There's a ute out for a walk. He comes upon a river and sees another ute on the opposite bank. "Hey!" he shouts, "How can I get to the other side?" The second ute looks up the river and then back down again and replies, "You are on the other side!"
Two Ute builders were working on a house. One Ute was on a ladder nailing. He'd reach into his nail pouch, pull out a nail, look at it, and either toss it over his shoulder or proceed to nail it into the wood. The other Ute couldn't stand it any longer and yells up, "Why are you throwing some of the nails away?" The first Ute explained, "When I pull it out of my nail pouch, if it's pointed toward me I throw it away. If it's pointed toward the house, then I can use it!" The second Ute got real excited and called him all kinds of names, explaining, "Don't throw away those nails that are pointed toward you! They're for the other side of the house!!"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

BYU vs Air Force

Yesterday Lisa and I had the opportunity to go to the BYU vs Air Force football game here in Colorado Springs. My parents flew in town to go to the game with us, and we got some awesome seats (as you will see from the photos). We had 70 degree weather on Thursday here in the Springs, and then Friday came around with snow and a low of 13 degrees. It got a little better on Saturday for the game, but was still quite chilly. Perfect for a November football game.
Our seats were on the 50 yard line, right in the middle of some die hard Air Force fans, retired Air Force personnel and ex- Air Force Academy cadets. They were all so respectful, polite and fun to be around. Too bad other hosting schools can't be the same. We had a great time harassing them back and forth with friendly banter throughout the game. Here is a shot of Lisa and me enjoying the game.

My mom and dad cheering the Cougars on.

At halftime, we called our dental school friend John Adams to meet up with him and his wife. On our way over, we ran into another dental school friend, Aaron Haskett. He graduates from the Colorado Ortho program in two weeks and then is off to Oregon.
Moments after snapping this photo, another dental school friend, Hans Egbert walked by with his brother-in-law, and then another dental school friend, Cody Coleman called Aaron to let him know he was at the game too! It was really fun and quite coincidental that all of us ran into each other at a BYU football game. What a small world it is.

Here are a few of the game time photos I snapped.

The cougars played quite poorly the first half, but thanks to Austin Collie's leadership in the locker room at half time the team came out and dominated the second half. They won the game 38-24 and the highlight was Austin's over the shoulder touch down catch in the 4th quarter. It was a thrilling catch. My hat goes off to the Air Force crowd and their incredible hospitality. Oh, and the amazing patriotic atmosphere at the game. The salute to the soldiers that had recently returned from Iraq, the phenomenal F-15 fly over in the missing man formation, and the general respect for our nation. What a game. Here's a video someone posted from the game yesterday. The F-15's fly by at about 30 seconds in the video. It was very moving. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby Boy

My doctor's office is awesome and offers free 4-D ultrasounds when you are 28 weeks. We received a ton of pictures and a dvd of the whole thing as well. Tucker came with us and thought it was pretty cool to see the baby. He looks so sweet - can't wait until we actually meet him. I'm 28.5 weeks right now, so hopefully only about 10.5 weeks to go. I plan on being induced early.

Will it ever get better?

I took Tucker in to get his pictures taken at Kiddie Kandids this morning. Aubrey is in Utah with Grandparents, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to just take Tucker and not have to worry about another kid. He just still hasn't gotten the hang of it. Why don't little kids like to sit still, hold a pose and smile perfectly for the camera? (Deep sarcasm there if you didn't catch it!) I had a free 8X10, so this is the resulting picture. Not too bad, but if you could see his real smile, you'd realize why I'm not necessarily loving this picture. Plus for the first 20 minutes or so I had to get him to stop crying because he was being a baby about being there. Oh well, it was free. I'm headed back Monday morning with Aubrey to see if we can get anything worthy of putting in a frame and I'm crossing my fingers that I can get a cute shot of them together.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dia De Los Muertos

As if you haven't read enough Halloween posts yet, here's another one! We met up with our friends Cassie and Jordan to take our kids trick-or-treating. Cassie grew up going to retirement/nursing homes trick-or-treating so we found one close by and took the kids. They were certainly able to maneuver around the wheelchairs and walkers to get to the candy! (Sorry the photo is blurry, but you get the picture.) Running down the halls of the nursing home.

After the nursing home we drove to a nearby neighborhood and let the kids go up and down the street. Tucker and Aubrey had to RUN to every house. They loved it! Tucker would ring the doorbell and both kids were experts at saying trick-or-treat and thank you. They got a stash of candy and too bad for them, but good for us, they are allergic to half of it. No peanut M&M's, Snickers, Baby Ruth, Reese's, etc for them. That's alright though. They got a plethora of suckers and smartie-like candy to keep them happy and stocked up on sugar.
Cody and I were kind of lame parents this year and didn't go out to buy our pumpkins until the day before Halloween. We had to go to 3 different grocery stores to find any. WalMart was out, King Soopers were all rotten and we had to pick around to get any semi good ones at Safeway. Oh well, the kids don't care. We never got around to carving them, but last night I let the kids paint them. They loved that!