September 07, 2014

Rock Stars

So, I was sitting at the computer upstairs doing homework, and I could hear Liam practicing his guitar in the basement. I wasn't really paying attention, but then I noticed that someone was playing drums along with him. I asked Katie if Liam had a friend over, and she said no and that it was Tomas on the drums. I was quite surprised because it didn't sound half bad. Tomas has never taken any percussion lessons. His only experience has been playing Lego Rock Band and watching his brother. I snuck down to the basement with my phone and shot this video through the crack in the door. If the boys find out I did this and posted the video here, they'll have a fit. However, I'm not too worried. I don't think many people, least of all Tomas and Liam, read this blog.

Liam is just improvising and Tomas is playing along. I apologize I shot the video vertically, which I know is a big no no, but that's the only way I could film through the crack.


I have a friend whose son is in a major, world famous, rock band. I'm sure he's worth millions upon millions. Maybe this is my retirement ticket. Liam and Tomas could form a band that hits it big and take care of me in my old age in a manner I would enjoy becoming accustomed to.

However as I rethink that, the rock star life is not a good one. I'll settle for honest professions without all the bad stuff (and if they can send Katie and I on a trip to Europe, that would be fabulous).

September 02, 2014

First Day of School Photos 2014

Tomas is in 5th grade. His teacher is Ms. Brown. Tomas is happy to be back at school. It looks like the homework load will increase dramatically this year, but he's up to it. In addition to focussing on science, technology and math since he attends a STEM school, Tomas will begin learning the violin this year. (I don't know how my ears feel about that, but oh well.)

Liam is a junior. He's taking AP English Language, AP Calculus, Physics, Honors Drama, AP US History, Technical Theater, and Seminary. That's a pretty full schedule. Once again, Liam will be busy this year performing with Acting Up. Also, he had his drivers license for almost six months which means he will be able to drive with people in the car other than family members. This Should be interesting.

This is Chloe's first semester since coming back from her mission. Because she only went one semester before her mission, I guess you could still consider her a freshmen. However, she has enough credits from high school that she's technically a sophomore. Her current major is Exercise and Wellness with a minor in Spanish. Her current course load looks like this: American Heritage, Book of Mormon, First Aid, Nutrition, and Spanish.

And here is my first day of school photo. I am starting my second year of the EMPA program. This semester I'll be taking a public administration class and a human resources class.

September 01, 2014


To celebrate Labor Day and to see Grandma Jo and Grandpa Gene one more time before they go back hibernate in California for the winter, we went up to Midway to stay overnight and to the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Championships.

It was a perfectly beautiful day. The championships have definitely grown since the last time we attended about seven years ago.

I took this panorama shot with my iphone.
We bought a program so we could learn more about what we were watching. It's pretty amazing what the handlers have trained their dogs to do. Border Collies are pretty darn smart.

Everyone through the gate. Some of the dogs had real problems with this. I wanted to tell them to use the sheep password from "Babe."

This dog has his sheep all lined up and in step.

I believe this is the team that won. They made it look easy.

Sitting in the stands. Even though Grandma is the only one smiling, I think they all enjoyed it. Katie and the boys are just tired of me and my camera.
Our Canadian friends have told us about the Canadian specialty, poutine. It looks like they're finally making it down south. The fries with cheese curd and gravy was pretty good, but we thought we could probably make a healthier and tastier version.

You can tell those dogs really love what they're doing.

The dog had his herd gathered in very close.

I thought we'd see some crazy dog people at the event–kind of like crazy cat people. However, this guy carrying his dog around in one of those baby wrap things was as close to crazy I saw.

We also watched the Splash Dog Competition. 

This was one of my favorite dogs to watch jump. The photo doesn't capture it, but he looked graceful.
 Grandma made the following observation as we watched the dogs:
"It's impressive how the handlers have trained their dogs instead of the dog training their owner."
Yeah, Bella has Grandma and Grandpa well trained.

I had two thoughts as we headed home.
"Where was the pig?"
"Why don't we have a dog?"