Saturday, September 29, 2007

Blogging together?

Blogging together is not the only thing that keeps a couple together.

If you want to know what does, tune in to Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura. They're experts and as an added bonus they fix and entertain at the same time. But I digress as usual...

When I started this blog, Nancy was in the hospital with the then un-named Grace, I assumed that once home she would take over. I say that only because it seems like blogging is more in her domain than in mine. I have to admit I was wrong. Not that Nancy is not at home blogging, but that I have found ... lets call it a new hobby. Hobby sound so much better than addiction.

Regardless, I do like the razor analogy Nancy mentioned. I was tempted to buy her her own razor, you know the one strong enough for a man but made for a woman. Well whatever, razors or deodorant, it is all the same in an emergency, Right? Well in the end I didn't get one, mostly because I knew that she really likes my razor better and would use it regardless. Oh well, all I can say is we will continue to share blogging, razors and, on the odd occasion deodorant ... maybe. (Tooth brushes are out!) :)

I really like the wedding photo above. Mostly because we are so skinny and young looking. I also know even though I can't see it, I have lots of hair on top of my head! That is the way it goes and comes over the years, hair by hair and ounce by ounce.

I thought I was in love back then. I know I really was, but now I look back and think it was kids play, meaning our love has deepened and matured over the last 11 years of experience together. Thanks honey for the last 10.75 years and I look forward to the next 10 or so. I'll be your blogging partner anytime!

(I'm waiting for the obligatory and collective "AAAAAAWE" from the audience.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Couple Who Blogs Together, Stays Together...

This blog was created with the intentions of being a family blog. The question is can a couple (happily devoted to one another) really share a blog? It's kind of like a husband and wife sharing a razor--you tolerate it but you would really rather she got her own darn razor to dull. We'll see.

Monday, September 24, 2007


From swim goggles and a Sunday dress...

To our little gymnast defying gravity.

Emma is full of life. She keeps us busy and has only two buttons. On and Off. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to work the buttons! She will go 100 miles an hour all day long, and then with out warning she will be out like a light. That quick. What would it be like to be 3 again.

This is what I looked like at 3 years old. I think I was a bit ticked about something. I can't remember what.

But enough about ME.

Emma loves to sing (sometimes with vibrato ... it is really cute) mostly "Jesus wants me for a sun BEAM!" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". She also likes to talk sing songie. My favorite, (but officially it was terrible) was when she would talk sing song after a toot "I Faaaaarted, I Faaaaaaaaarted!" at the top of her lungs. That killed Ben and Sarah. Like I said officially that was a no no, I'm sure I got after her for using the "F" word, but I have to admit I did laugh a bit. No doubt she has been schooled by her older siblings. Shame Shame!

Lately she likes to to bump into things and then exclaim "Ow my arm!" or "Ow my head!" As of late her favorite thing to say after siting down is "Ow my Butt!" That also brings the house down with Ben and Sarah. Tonight in the middle of FHE after a failed somersault she said "Ow my head popped off." She is always coming up with something new and funny to say. Her older siblings wait for the funny and then try to make her say it over and over. Emma usually obliges with such a willing audience.

I (WE) could make a million if we could bottle Emma's energy. I'll leave you with a few pics of Emma at her best! Did I mention she is A HAM! And a bit messy to boot.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hunt for that special Spoon

So what is the big deal about spoons? I use forks and knives and I appreciate a real good quality kitchen knife. It is an essential in the kitchen. But I love my spoons. I am really not a spoon snob. I like and use all kinds of spoons, but I love to use a melamine slotted spoon in the kitchen. Melamine is the kind of material the spoon is made of. I know that there are PVC, wooden, and other types of slotted spoons. But I like the melamine type the best.

Now something about me: I would have to say of all the home duties I am most comfortable and enjoy the work in the Kitchen the most. Cooking is sort of a passion for me. I am not the best by far, but I like making good food and probably enjoy others liking my food better.

I learned to cook in my Mothers kitchen. The love of cooking and the method of cooking has it's beginnings for me there in her kitchen standing on a stool watching her make magic. There are a number of things I learned from her, like adding butter or heavy cream to almost any recipe is a plus. I also learned that a slotted spoon was an essential kitchen tool. To me the slotted spoon is the equivalent of "Sandwich Sprinkle" a spice mix found from my favorite mail order spice shop called Penzies. (That will have to be another blog entry.) It is a kind of joke in my family that I use sandwich sprinkle on everything. And they would be right. Well when I cook the tool I reach for more often than not is my slotted spoon.

I have owned a number of slotted spoons but they are hard to find for some unknown reason. When I see a kitchen store I enter and search for that special spoon. I have NEVER found the melamine slotted spoon in the United States. The last one I found was in a store in Denmark years ago.

I use my slotted spoons so much that I have worn them out. In fact, I am down to my last one. (Oh the horror!)I treat it very nicely and I try not to over use it. The one I used before my "last" one (it looked like spoon 3520 in the picture above except mine was navy blue, incidently my favorite shape), was in the dish washer and fell from the top basket and straddled the heating element. My cherished spoon was burned up. (An untimely end!)I almost felt like I should finish burning it and keep the ashes in a little blue and white urn in the kitchen, you know for good luck. If you are worrying about me Don't. The spoon was unceremoniously thrown out. I may be crazy, but I am sane. (What?) Anyway, just like that I was down to one. It looks like 3519 in the above picture. Not my favorite shape but it is my last one.

At last the search is over! Special thanks to Nancy my brilliant wife, (who always gets the best gifts for others, and is always thinking ahead) found a slotted spoon source while surfing the web. What did we do before the Internet? I have included the web address so you too may start your own melamine slotted spoon experiment. Will it make you cook better? I don't know, you will just have to try it out. For me I just feel more comfortable in the kitchen with my slotted spoon in hand. I know it sounds silly. But I stand by my spoons.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Grapes of Wrath

Yesterday (by the way my 21st anniversary of my entry into the MTC) man I am feeling old.

Well as usual I digress... So on Monday I thought it would be fun to go to my Parents house and harvest Concord Grapes. It was fun! We basically picked all the grapes that were ripe or even acted ripe. The whole idea was to bring them home put them in the steamer and extract the juice. The juice will then be processed into Jelly at some point. (That has not happened yet.) I did this last year and the jelly was such a hit I knew that I had to go for a repeat performance.

Have you ever started a project and wish you had left it for another day. It seems like there are not enough minutes to get everything that needs doing done. Well the grape project was one of these projects. I should have juiced later. The picking went smashingly. All objectives for the outing were met. The kids got out of the house for a few hours and we came home with grapes.

Unfortunately it was the seaming that went awry this time. The product was fine. (I'm sure you are much relieved!)I got 12 cups of juice. (That will make 2.25 batches of the good stuff.) I was multi tasking while Emma was pushing up a chair so she could get involved in the kitchen activities. She usually makes her way to the sink, (which drives me crazy). I was steaming and making dinner at the same time. I had turned my back on Emma's scooting chair and by the time I turned around she had gotten up and reached for a banana on the counter next to the steaming grapes of wrath and burned her little arm on the steaming pot. ACK!

I felt terrible. First because I was in charge of the kitchen and second, I was also watching the kids. Failed on both stewardship's! Of course my first reaction was to let 3 year old Emma know that her accident was a result of not following my precise instructions by keeping away from the hot steamer. After an unneeded 3 second lecture I pulled my head out and got cool water on her arm. Luckily for us the burn was not as bad as I first thought although bad enough. She slept all night and is feeling much better today.

Still I feel sort of jerk like for my first reaction. I guess that is all part of being a father. Next time I will administer first aid first. Everyone knows that there is plenty of time to lecture after the fact. Having said that it is strange I still feel a lecture is needed. I know from experience as a "lecturee" for many years that the "I told you so" lecture really does no good and is actually quite pointless. However, I have also learned that it does make a Father feel better to give the lecture anyway. Hmmmm. Kind of funny and dumb at the same time.

I have to admit the greatest lectures I ever received growing up were the ones I never got (but deserved). I still have to learn to give that one.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mono thematic?

For the record we are a family of 4 children now. I realized that nearly all my postings have been leaning towards Grace our newest addition. I hope that for the sake of my other deprived children that the mantra will not become the Brady-esk (if that is a word) "Gracie, Gracie Gracie ... that's all I hear!" I do have to admit that Grace is an easy subject and like most new Born's they require constant attention, therefore naturally become the center of all attention.

Today was the emergency preparedness fair (co-sponsored by the city of Walnut Creek) and I got to take the "Other three" out for a spin so to speak. We had fun. The highlights for the kids, and particularly Ben was the Bomb Squad, complete with the robot, and the favorite Fire truck. I have to admit that there were other "First Responders" there, but some lacked the enthusiasm of the Police and Fire units present. Namely the Red Cross disaster relief mobile unit.

It looked like they were in a modified U-Haul truck. The second owners (after U-Haul and before the Red Cross) must have tried to convert the moving van into an RV in the driveway and after failing sold it to the Red Cross at a bargain price. Unfortunately I did not get photo to share. (I need to start thinking and snapping photos like a blogger!) The people manning the truck looked like they just got off the night shift as they sat on the tail gate swinging their legs waiting for interested people to see what kind of services they offer. I have all the respect for the Red Cross and what they do and stand for, I was just sorry for them. Their faded orangeie reddish and white truck could not compete with the larger than life just waxed all the bells and whistles, uniformed Fire Truck or Bomb Squad. At any rate just to prove I really was there with the kids here are the photos in the Fire truck. We all had fun and Dad enjoyed the tri tip sandwich. Yum. The fair had a good turn out and was well organized. Viva la 72 Hr Kit!

Friday, September 14, 2007

To sleep or not to sleep, Is that a question?

Have you ever had an experience that was lets say ... undesirable, and after a couple of years go by you think to your self. "That wasn't all that bad." I think we all have selective memory at times and hopefully remember the good things rather than dwell on the not so good things. I think in general that is a good way to look at life.

Well I remembered a lack of sleep with our other children after they were born and determined from my past experience that "it wasn't all that bad before." Well, well my friends all I can say is selective memory in a funny thing. Being tired just seems to be a way of life with a new baby. Nancy of course receives the least amount of sleep between us and I know when she reads this she may want to poke me in the eye for even half complaining about MY lack of sleep.

So what about the question "to sleep or not to sleep?" It seems like when Grace is asleep that is the perfect time to sleep or not to sleep.

On one hand SLEEP! Boy that sounds soooo good. On the other hand, work. At some point you have to keep up with the other kids, the laundry, the dishes, the cats, the dust, spilt milk and crushed crackers on the carpet, bills, emails, thank you cards, etc, etc. (Now when Nancy reads this I am afraid she will poke me in the other eye for insinuating that all these things are on MY list of things to do when not sleeping. I do have to admit I have stepped up my duties in the Kitchen and laundry room, but Nancy courageously tackles all of these things on a daily basis.) (I hope I have saved my eye.)

The only problem with choosing to sleep or work is not being able to do both at the same time. If you do one the other suffers. If you choose sleep, after the well needed snooze it is like awakening to the aftermath of Katrina. Yikes. If you choose to try to get one step ahead of the mountain of work to be done you by default continue to enlist with the ranks of the living dead.

So what ever you do you do, and the things that are not done will just have to wait. From my experience of having been a father of a newborn 3 previous times, I remember that this does not last for ever! That I know I remember correctly! Thank heavens!

Good heavens LOOK at the time. I should be asleep!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Who says Daddy can't nurse?

Well nurse? I guess in actuality it really should be called pacify. So Daddy really is just a pacifier, a big binky, or what ever you are prone to call it in your family. We call it a binky. I have heard other names, but they all escape me now other than pacifier. Oh well.

In the end, Grace and I had some quality one on one time today. She woke up and hollered for her Mom who was unable to answer the call. I stood by her bassinet and tried to give her a real binky, but she would not have it! Emma was on the scene and EXTREMELY upset that Grace was crying. When she saw me standing there, and from her perspective unable to see the binky dance in and out of Gracie's mouth became frustrated and gave me the "look" and kept saying "Daddy PICK UP! Daddy PICK UP! Daddy PICK UP!!!" I finally picked her up and Emma's concerns returned to her favorite new show "Yo Gabba Gabba" on Nick. Such is the life of a three year old.

So I had this brilliant idea. (Not original however. It also worked on Ben, Sarah and Emma.) At any rate I found that the pinkie trick still works. We were able to look at each other and just relax. Well, I relaxed, and Grace, ... you could read it on her face. It would change occasionally from I am happy and comfy right now, to the look of confusion. I could almost see an imaginary thought bubble over her head saying "Hey I thought I got milk when I did this!" Poor baby daddy is already confusing the situation. She is a doll and oh so soft.

On the subject of pacifiers being so Soft; Sarah and Emma have the habit of sucking their thumbs. Normally Sarah likes to twist her hair or rub her ear lobe. Emma does the same things with the addition of holding her little soft blankie when it is not lost. With Grace now a part of the family there is a newer and softer thing available.

Both Sarah and Emma have been known to suck their thumb and rub Gracie's head. I feel like the farmer that is constantly trying to keep the family dog out of the hen house. The dog knows he shouldn't do it, the farmer is constantly vigilant, but the dog just can't keep him self out of such a cool place and watches the farmer and heads out when he is not looking. Well I have managed to keep the girls from rubbing the hair off of Grace's head, but it is a constant reminder to them from the "farmer". "Stop rubbing Grace's head!!!" I say, "BUT it is soooooo soft."

Well they are right and to tell the truth I like to rub her head a little also. OK so sue me! It is soft and I like it too. But what the girls do not know yet and I will not tell them is that her little neck is just like velvet.

Grace is a kissable baby. Such a doll and a sweetheart! Already it is impossilbe to imagine her not in our family! We all love her to pieces.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Editorial: Where have all the flags gone?

Today is Patriots day. A day of remembrance. A day to remember those that died, some because they were in the wrong place and they could not get away. Some trying to take control, and others who were in the right place doing their jobs. We remember them and the families of all left behind.

Remember 9/11! In a way it has become the new Alamo, and the new Pearl Harbor. I have heard many tributes today on the radio and television remembering those who perished in the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Particulary those who gave thier lives as they attempted to save others. The true heros.

The days after the attacks we came together as a country with our colors. Red, White, and Blue flying in solidarity, with honor, and remembrance. The flag blankedted the United States. It was amazing. Something I will never forget. Flying the Flag was beyond patriotic, it was almost an act of defiance towards those who wished ill on the United States. We will not sit back, we will remember! Those were some hard days, the begining of hard questions. But we seemed to be a country united. It was a good feeling. Time has passed, I do not think we have forgotten, but somehow we have become used to it. I wish that didn't happen. Regardless, I must ask the question.

Where have all the flags gone?


Thursday, September 06, 2007

And the mom speaks...

Yes, I really was there! I'm feeling great and so happy with my little brood! Gracie is so fun and I want to kiss her until I'm silly.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What's in a Name?

Introducing Grace Kay Jacobs!!!!

We are all finally in agreement on a name. We were successful in continually pushing off the persistent volunteers at the hospital looking for birth certificate info until this morning when Grace and Mama came home! Yippee!! As first time parents so many years ago it seems we were kind of over come with the pressure to get a name chosen to keep the volunteers at bay, so we felt a bit rushed with our first. This time we were definitely not rushed at such an important decision.

So what is in a name? No pressure on the parents right? It is just the name your child will have for all time, answer to on that all important first day of school and may even determine seating order. Ick.

Well regardless we are pleased to introduce Grace. I was not really "hip" on the name until she was born and I first laid eyes on her, and I immediately thought to my self "this is our little Gracie!" So for me my very distant second choice leapfrogged into the lead with out any problem. The kids were in need of a little bit of gentle persuasion, but we have now all agreed.

As always we appreciate all of you that have sent good thoughts, prayers and messages our way.


Monday, September 03, 2007

9/1 Birthday

We are so pleased to have had a new baby girl on the first of September. We are still trying to decide on a name and have narrowed it down to two. The final choice will be forth coming. Nancy is doing and feeling great and our new baby is wonderful. The kids are excied and already love their baby sister!

Pictures pictures pictures. I hope you enjoy our few posted photos. Hopefully more will be comming soon.