Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yes, Finally a 2010 Update!

A Confession and a Problem: Where do I begin?

I guess by admitting the obvious: I am a lazy blogger. I'm sure there is a 12 step program somewhere to help me admit I am a lazy blogger, make amends for lazy blogging and then having a spiritual awakening. Instead, good old fashioned guilt is helping me admit "I am Chris, and I blog lazily."

January--a Sealing to Remember!

So January started off with a bang since we got to seal Will to us and bless him. Angie's parents and my Mom came down as well as Angie's sister Julie and her husband Steve and their kids. It was an amazing experience in the Temple. We were joined by so many friends and Will was so alert and intensely looking at each person as they hugged us.

At the Temple with a few of the friends that joined us:

Family shots:

Chris' Mom and Chandler:

February--Revenge of the Dad...I mean Christopher!

Can I just mention how much I don't enjoy the pinewood derby? It is supposedly about the boys except that the Dads all make the cars and then turn the testosterone up to 11 on race day. There is a lot of trash talking and even a few tears. Of course, my being "above" the pinewood derby comes from winning the derby this year! I can't give out any secrets but I did spend a lot of time and money researching and building it. This is because there were tears last year in the Miner household over some wobbly wheels, poor performance and hearing a little too much trash talking. I plotted for a year but avenged his performance last year!

Christopher did have a cute design, an ice cream sandwich pinewood derby car:

Angie was happy to point out the good news: I get to make one more car next year with Christopher and then two again in 7 years with Will! I wonder if I can recycle this same car three years?

March--It came in like Lion

Jackson and “The tree that blew down and sucked a day of our life chopping into tiny bits and hauling to the dump and also did I mention the workers of questionable documentation I hired from a neighbor to help me chainsaw said tree into bits.”

Random photos of Will being cute:

April--Fathers and Sons came early this year

Jackson and his best friend Andrew at Fathers and Sons campout:

Is it just me or does the dog tied up in the background look like a dog that should not be out camping? It looks like a sacrifice to the Mighty Kong.

The boys spent a LONG TIME throwing rocks into a river. I have to admit that the "adult" boys enjoyed it too. If we had a fire at the same time we would have been diverted for a couple of more hours just putting sticks in the fire. River and fire = hours of boys' fun!

This used to be boys camping, a tent in the living room (I miss it!):

Chandler almost got himself thrown into the river. We call this particular life lesson “Don't cross Jeff and Shane by splashing them with river water from large rocks you throw near them and expect them to do nothing--also don't expect Dad to intervene to save you, he will be taking pictures.” I admit the title of this life lesson is a bit wordy but it is very descriptive.
Speaking of Chandler, he joined the track team at school. We were so proud of him! (and happy he had something to do after school every day besides beg to play video games). He did the 100 and 200 meter sprints as well as the long jump and hurdles. He got to compete at a couple of meets and appears to have joined because he actually likes it, not as a way to meet girls. I guess that was just his Dad's motivation for sports back in the day.
One thing I have always been impressed about Chandler is that he is always smiling-even when he is running hurdles!

April and May--Baseball takes our every waking moment

Baseball came in the spring and felt like it sucked up our lives for months. Jackson and Christopher both played. Jackson played outfield and second base and enjoyed a great season. Christopher played all outfield but his team won the championship for his division! I was able to help coach his team and we had a great time.

Last year I paid them for each hit and Jackson and Christopher hit so much that they were paid like small banana republic dictators. Baseball essentially turned into a massive wealth transfer system from Chris and Angie to Jackson and Christopher. I think the tax system collected fewer dollars than Jackson and Christopher. We tried a modified pay-for-play system this year. They still got some money this year but I started skipping games that were "paid" games and paid them much less per hit. Luckily we didn't have a labor dispute or a strike!

June--A surprise trip to New York and Washington DC

The family joined me for a business trip to New York and then we drove to DC.

Here we are in Times Square:

We got lucky with Will--he slept good and was the least grouchy boy. The other boys took turns having meltdowns and fighting with each other. That said, they were actually great kids to travel with. I think we're wearing them down!

Here are Chris excited to be on Wall street, 3 boys who just want to know where the nearest McDonalds is and one boy asleep in his stroller:

At the natural history museum I offered Jackson a dollar if he would ask a security guard where they kept the dinosaur that came alive at night like in the movie Night at the Museum. Of course, this being Jackson (he who fleeces his classmates out of their lunches through stockbroker-like trading), he asked 3 guards and then demanded I pay him three dollars, one for each time he asked! Angie was horrified at both of us but really mostly at me...

We got to see our old friends, Shane and Chyayn Fillmore. They are the best! They have 4 girls that are similar in ages to our boys and we are crossing our fingers that we can get them all to go along with the pre-arranged marriage contracts we cooked up years ago. The kids played kickball in the backyard, we roasted marshmellows in their outdoor fireplace and we made them pose for an updated group (engagement) photo.

Before we left New York for Arizona (2004):

Visiting New York (2010):
Jackson was so excited that Shane is a drummer in a real live band (Highbench-they are awesome!). He got Shane's autograph and had us listen to Shane's CD from New York to DC.

We loved visiting DC!--"Lot's of 11 year olds get lost in the Subway"

The boys had a surprisingly great time at the library of congress but they LOVED the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Something about watching millions of dollars being printed spoke to them!

Jackson and Chandler with $1 million:

The three musketeers at the Smithsonian:

Angie in reflection at the Vietnam memorial:
PDA at the Washington Monument:

We only had one hiccup in Washington DC: we lost Jackson in the subway. I know what you're thinking, no big deal, right? Wrong! As the metro car pulled up, Jackson got on and the doors suddenly closed while the rest of us were on the platform. I was at the doors and saw the horror on his face as he realized he was trapped on the metro by himself. It was scary. As the subway car pulled away, I yelled at him to get off at the next stop. He nodded and began to well up. The car pulled out and was gone. Angie was right behind me. I tried to play it cool. "Lot's of 11 year olds get lost in the Subway". That did not seem to calm her for some reason. It seemed like forever before the next metro came. We got on it, each of us praying to ourselves that Jackson had gotten off at the next stop and was ok waiting for us. Angie was trying to keep it together but that is a lot to ask of a mom! As we pulled into the next station, Jackson was standing on the platform with a very nice family that had seen the whole thing and got off to be with him. There were lots of hugs and a few tears. Thank you random family that helped us with Jackson!

Angie’s 40th Birthday--the pressure was on!

For Angie's birthday in June, I had to do something big. It was her big 4-0 (don't tell her I told you). I surprised her with front row tickets to the Yankee/Diamondbacks game where we sat literally on the Yankee dugout so she could politely nod at me while I talked and she stared at Derek Jeeter. We had such a fun time together it was easy to remember why I love her so much!! Lucky for me Derek had other plans after the game.

Later that weekend, a couple of Angie's girlfriends kidnapped her for an overnight at a resort (shopping, movies, etc) and the next night we threw a surprise birthday party for Angie.

My favorite moments:

->seeing Angie get embarrassed as the 15-person stretch Hummer limo pulled up

->taking the neighborhood kids for a quick ride in the limo and hearing Logan Wicke yell out the window "Ha Ha. I'm rich!"

->Seeing our friends in matching Manchester United t-shirts for Angie

->Melissa's amazing cake with Angie's favorite things: the New York Yankees, Manchester United, and a Kindle [with an edible typed story about us!]

->the drunk Englishman at the English pub dropping 15 f-bombs when he saw the aforementioned Manchester United shirts [he was a Liverpool fan, it figures]

->talking Angie into getting a fake tattoo

Melissa's amazing cake!

July--Will has a birthday and won’t blow out the candle

William had his first birthday and wouldn't blow the candle out. Instead he just smacked it with his hand to put it out. That's what I like, a doer! Will aged big time around his birthday. He started walking behind a little walker he pushed around the house and won't stop eating (just like his old man).

Yes, that’s all!

That is about it for 2010 so far. I am a recovering lazy blogger and will get on the updates. In our next edition, Steve and Julie move into our house from Las Vegas [that's 8 boys in the house!] and buy a house in our neighborhood (yeah!), school is about to start (bigger yeah!) and Will appears to have little interest in walking on his own (boo!).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of 2009

Where do I start to catch up 2009? Here we go in order from our last post:

Will was a Zebra for Halloween. He was happy, as always, but obviously is too young for candy. That didn't stop his brothers from collecting candy for him--they just didn't share it :)

As holidays approached, Angie made the cutest gingerbread houses with the kids. She even had some of our friends over. She is amazing!!

In early December Chandler ran his first Triathlon with Chris (Chris' second). Chandler was second in the pool, top 10 on the run and did awesome!! He wants to keep doing them with Chris.
On Christmas Eve we have our own weird traditions: big dinner, talent show, nativity, singing carols and of course, desert! We used to mix in bowling and a movie but we've had to spread Christmas Eve over a couple of days. It was too exhausting as it was. Angie's talent this year was making jam for people (last year she compiled a Christmas caroling song book). Jackson and Chandler baked (cake and cookies, respectively), while Chris and Christopher both did stand up routines. There were jokes ranging from knock knock jokes (Christopher) and material about "Mrs. Claus is so lazy" (Chris). Jackson enjoying some dinner:

Will got to be baby Jesus for the Nativity. Chandler was Joseph, Jackson was a wise man and Christopher was a shepherd.

Christmas day brought wonderful presents for all. They all loved opening presents!

This week Will's adoption was finalized in Utah. Here we are with the Judge that approved and finalized the adoption. We are so grateful! It was more of a hearing than either of us knew. We testified, the adoption agency testified and the Judge asked a few questions. In the end we both got a little misty-eyed when the adoption agency and the Judge both said they found it was in Will's best interest to be with us. Here we are with the Judge after the hearing:

Finally the boys got to enjoy playing in the Utah snow. Here is Chandler sledding with a cousin (Hinckley):

Here is Jackson taking a nasty spill:

Here is a link to a youtube video of Christopher taking a big jump:
See you all in 2010!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our Beach Vacation

We had a great beach vacation for fall break. It was one of the first times I was sad to come home. It was such a relaxing week. The boys spent 4 days boogie boarding and playing in the sand, Will spent 4 days sleeping on the beach and I spent 4 days reading on the beach. We also spent some time at Sea World and caught the BYU and San Diego State football game. It was a fantastic vacation!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our Month of August

August was such a fun month for the Miners. It started with the boys going back to school. That is always a good thing for Mom:). Chandler is in 7th, Jackson is in 5th and Christopher is in 4th. Will and I are spending lots of quality time together.

Chris participated in his first triathlon up in Show Low. He swam 25 laps, biked 12 miles and ran a 5k. I think he did great. We loved watching the race. Me and the boys sat on a hill by our hotel and watched him bike up this huge hill.

Chandler is loving 7th grade. He said it's really easy (luckily his grades are all A's). In his math class he has only missed one point so far. He also got his reading level tested. No surprise- he is reading at a 12th grader in his 9th month of school. I don't know where he gets his love of reading.

Jackson is loving 5th grade. His teacher is great and he is being really diligent in his homework. He also earned his Webelos badge this month. He worked really hard over the summer and earned almost all of the Activity badges. He only has 3 left.

Christopher is doing great in 4th grade. He is really getting older. He has also finally got the reading bug. He has been finishing a book a week since school started. I am so happy. I love our house full of readers.

Will is such a great baby. He was 14 lbs 1 oz at his two month check-up. He is also sleeping great. He is usually sleeping through the night which has been great for his "older" parents who were having a rough time with the multiple nighttime feedings. He is so cute and really talking up a storm now. The boys are amazing with him. We are very blessed that he is in our family.

Now that August is over- the craziness begins. Soccer every night and on Saturdays. I hope we are up for it :)!