Monday, January 31, 2011

Huntsman for President?

Question: How many Mormons does it take to win the US Presidency? Answer: More than 6.3 million.

Is there really room for two members of the LDS faith in the race for the White House? According to Politico and Wikipedia, US Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is expected to resign from his current post to explore a potential bid for the US presidency in 2012. Although a final decision is not expected from the ambassador until June or July, the dialogue has begun.

Huntsman's strong point would be true foreign policy experience. Huntsman speaks fluent Standard Mandarin Chinese. His name was recommended to the Republican Party by Senator John McCain as early as 2009.

Jon Huntsman Jr
Here are a couple of links on the subject:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Princess Anna and Princess Leah

The other day I came home for lunch. The girls were in their princess dresses and had a bunch of stuffed animals lined up on the couch. It was party time!

The party animals
Here are some other princess moments:


So excited!

Put your hands in the sky if you like pie!

Pinewood Derby

Last Wednesday was the annual Pinewood Derby for Mason's Cub Scout pack. This was a bit of a stress for Sean. He had failed Mason's expectations during the Raingutter Regatta a few months previous. The boat, while a very cool shark design, capsized on its maiden voyage. Pinewood was dad's chance to redeem himself, to prove his worth and to win back his son's admiration.

Things started out with promise. The car design that Mason picked was doable. It would require a bit of extra effort, but it wasn't outside dad's capabilities. As the carving/shaping reached the end, dad was actually quite proud of the job he'd done. It looked like an Aston Martin. It had nice lines.

Dad took the car to work the day before the race. He wanted to put a last few touches on the body detailing before it would be painted that night. A coworker took one look and said, "That won't go down the track." Sean had carved the wheel wells into the car, setting the tires back 3/4 of an inch. The car would never straddle the risers that keep the cars in their lanes! This was the day before the race!!!

Sean bought a new kit and threw it together that night. He put two coats of paint on it, and then came home for lunch the day of the race to lube the wheels/axles. There was no turning back. This car would be there only chance:

Mason's Pinewood Derby F1 style racecar
The hopeful cub with his car
The moment of truth
 Mason's car weighted in at a perfect 5.0 ounces. It fit the track! All appeared to be well...until the test run. Mason's car was the only one that couldn't/wouldn't make the finish line. It crept down the track and stopped about 20 ft short of the finish! Sean panicked. It was minutes before the race.

Luckily, a neighbor had some graphite. Sean had applied the Dupont dry lube to the wheels. The wheels spun for maybe a full second before they stopped. Other cars, when you'd spin their wheels, they'd go on for what felt like eternity. They quickly added the graphite, and it helped! The wheels started to spin more freely. It was time to race.

Mason's is the red car!
A second place finish!
At the end of the night, Mason took 8th out of the 17 cars. The time differences between the top eight were slim. It was a decent first showing, despite the last minute car switch. Next year we know what to do, and what to avoid. We fully expect a higher placing!

1st place next year, or bust!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gardner's Villiage 2010

In the Fall, we like taking the family to Gardner's Village in West Jordan. They decorate the grounds and the shops with the theme of 'Witches'. The kids like the atmosphere and the candy store...okay, the love the candy store. While we are there, we usually take pictures. Suzanna did an awesome job as usual.

Cousin Chase, Mason, and Carter in their Halloween costumes
Taken right after Dad literally kicked Carter in the bum for being a snot
A very cute witch
A very pretty smile from Leah
Anna posed picture perfect
Isn't Suzanna extremely gifted! Her eye for photography is amazing.

Mason's baptism

This blog didn't exist seven months, please forgive the flashback to July 2010. These are pics from Mason's baptism. He was baptized on his birthday by his dad. It was a very special and fun day.

Dad and Mason outside the church before the big event
The family before the program.
Jess' famous sugar cookies for the get-together after the baptism! (Children are baptized at 8 years of age, hence the '8'.)
Mason's own set of scriptures. A present from Mimi.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Together We Can...

Carter's school held a contest. The children were to come up with a picture, sculpture, song, etc. to the theme of "Together We Can..." Carter wrote and sang his own song, and he won! His song then went on to the district where he received an honorable mention.

Initially, Carter was very excited to do the song. When it came time to record it, he wasn't so hot on the idea. It came through in his song. He sounded very put-off. We re-recorded it 'till he did it right.

When he won, well, he was very proud and very excited because a trophy was promised. They announced his win to the school. He was a star with his peers.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Leah's big day

Leah turned two in December.

It has become tradition for the girls to go to Build A Bear where they can pick the animal of their choosing, stuff it, dress it, register it, box it up, and then pay for it. (Oh how we paid for it.)

Leah chose a very colorful bear and a very pretty princess dress (not pictured).

Suzanna and Chase met Nan and our family at the Gateway for big event.

After Build A Bear, we went to dinner and Leah opened all her gifts. She had a lot of fun with it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Twilight Series

I love these photos that Suzanna took. The lighting is awesome. The colors pop. Click on any of the images to enlarge them.

The Family Portrait

Taking a family photo is akin to flossing the upper row of teeth. Nobody really wants to do it, and the effort provides little results. When you do get something out of it, it feels like a great accomplishment.

Each year, usually in the early Fall, we gussy up the clan (new, complementary shirts) and follow Suzanna out to some remote location. What typically happens next is not for the faint of heart. It involves a child's whining, a parent's scolding, crocodile tears, demands that someone doesn't love someone else, ultimatums, and then a bribe. Thankfully, Suzanna has some serious skills and we get a couple awesome pics!

These photos were taken one Sunday up Hobble Creak Canyon. It was sprinkling when we first arrived. When it stopped, we hurried out and got the pics. As we finished, the wind picked up and the rain returned.