Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
A few days ago as I was heading out of town for a boys camping trip, I went to turn on the water and noticed no water was coming out of the yard hydrant. I literally had the car packed and running when I discovered that something was wrong. I knew that not watering the lawn for 5-6 days could potentially cause a lot of damage, but my plans of camping sounded a lot better than fixing the problem. And I was right, camping was a lot more fun than fixing the problem.
When I got home I started investigating what could be the problem and hoped that it was just bad valve in the hydrant. The only problem was that hydrants are buried deep in the ground to avoid freezing and I had no idea how deep. My trusty Kubota back hoe would be the perfect tool in digging up the hydrant, but it is inches away from our well and main water line, which meant that after scratching the surface with the tractor, it was down to me and the shovel.
I gave myself a little head start on digging with the tractor, but then I had to start digging by hand...and digging...and digging...and digging. I followed the hydrant down 3-4 feet and started to wonder if I had some different type of faucet or hydrant. I made some calls to some different home-improvement stores and found that one of them carried an 8-foot hydrant, 2 feet above ground and 6-feet below ground. What are the chances that I owned the house with the elusive 8-foot hydrant? Why would I be writing this blog post if it weren't the case?
I ended up have to dig 6 1/2 feet down. At around the 5 foot mark, it was too hard to throw the dirt out of the hole, so I just put the dirt to the side inside the hole and essentially dug a smaller shovel-sized hole at the bottom of my big hole where I could get on my knees and bend over with my shoulder on the ground to reach the bottom of the hydrant. Once the hole was dug, it was an easy fix of just unscrewing the old unit and replacing it with the new one.
I spent the good portion of an entire day on that hole, and the problem seems to be fixed. It's days like this that owning a condo sound really nice.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We spent a week with my parents, brother, sister and their families at Mt. Hood, OR in July. My parents rented a house in Government Camp, OR where we all slept, yes, all of us. That's nine kids under the age of eight, for those at home counting.
We spent a day playing at local ski resort, Ski Bowl, that they've set up with all kinds of rides and games for the summer season. The highlight of the day was the alpine slide that we played on most of the morning. Describing the slide is similar to that of a mile long water slide, but without the water. We rode up to the top on the ski lift and then down the slide on plastic sleds. Since most of us adults had little kids with us, we were given different sleds to accommodate two people, and we soon learned that these two-man sleds were much faster than the other ones. Todd, Josh and I were soon racing as fast as we could down the mountain, but unlike most testosterone-raged races, we had small children with us for padding in the event of a crash. Even the kids had had blast. The five older kids Caleb, 8, Jaxon, 7, Michelle, 7, Abby, 6, Chase, 6, (our niece, Michelle, was also with us) rode up the lift and down the slide non-stop.
We did have one incident that day when Chase crashed his sled. We're still not sure exactly what happened, but somehow he ended upside-down on the slide. Caleb claims that Chase was going so fast that he ran into the back of Caleb's sled and crashed. Which begs the question, why was Caleb going so slow? But an adult who was on the lift above the crash said that Chase wasn't near anyone when he crashed. Since I know Chase's and Caleb's dads well and I'm very familiar with the trouble they caused as kids, I tend to believe that we're not getting the whole story. We may never know.
We also spent a day at OMSI in Portland. A great place that every kid in the Northwest should see. The kids got to see all kinds exhibits from dinosaurs to a tour of an actual submarine. My personal highlight was in a certain area of the museum where there were a bunch of types of puzzles and mind-teasers, and we all tried to solve them. Unfortunately for me, it was another one of those days that I have realized that I was adopted. To see my parents, brothers, sisters, and wife struggle so mightily with simple illusions was quite painful. I helped them as much as possible, but there was only so much I could do with their feeble minds.
(* Quick side-note before I see my wife and am banished to to basement couch, I may have gone to the information desk a few times at OMSI and looked up the answers to the questions. Some may call this cheating, by I call it using all my resources).
The other major activity of the trip was a day spent at the Portland Zoo. The kids had a great time seeing and learning about all the different animals. We even saw the elephants poo and pee again. I'm starting to believe there is a genetic trait in elephants that causes them to relieve themselves around my children.
The trip was a complete success. The days spent as a family are always filled with our own special mixture of laughter, cynicism, and political rants. The kids adored the time spent with their cousins. The food is always excellent and I'm fairly certain I gained 10 lbs.
A huge thanks goes to my Mom and Dad for all their generosity. We all had a fantastic time.
Please click on the link below to see the pictures from the vacation.
Putting the sexy back into Scrapbooking
Wallace Men with a little Fyer
Abby playing with her cousin Ella in Medford
Caleb's birthday. We're a fine looking family!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The kids all sporting their new T-shirts from Grandma and Grandpa Foster. Some kids are apparently more happy with their shirts than others.
The oldest and the youngest of the Foster grand kids, Caleb and Zoe.
Abby and Caleb Easter Morning.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Caleb and Abby continue to get better and better at skiing. Particularly Caleb has grown into quite an aggressive skier. He's doesn't have the best form yet, but what he lacks in skill, he makes up for in courage. He loves to brag to anyone who will listen that he thinks the ski runs that are rated as 'black diamond' are "easy". It is true that he'll go down just about any slope on the mountain, but I'm not sure why he has to boast about it all the time? He must get that cockiness from his Mom.
Caleb did humble himself one time while tree skiing when he fell into a large hole under a tree where there was no snow. I was in front and by the time I realized he had crashed and taken off my snowboard, he was in tears wondering if anybody was going to find him. Poor kid was in a hole taller than him, and stuck at such an angle that he couldn't reach down to take off his skis. I had to lye on my stomach to reach down and pull him out. But after wiping away the big tears and a short hug, he was flying down the mountain again.
We also filled up some Spring Break days with other activities like going to a few movies and watching our local Arena Football team the Spokane Shock. The movie after a day of skiing wiped out poor Abby (see picture below), but not to worry, Caleb and I took care of her popcorn and drink. And the Shock games are always a blast. Of course they lost (mainly because I was rooting for them and attended the game), but we had a great time and we all got a free Taco Bell Chalupa since they scored 65+ points. Go Shock!!
It would be nice to have spring weather during spring break one year, but until then we'll continue to take advantage of our time together.
He requested this picture with the double black diamond name plate in the back ground.
You didn't think I was going to spend the money and buy good seats did you?
Caleb and his homeless looking smile.
Monday, April 5, 2010
It wasn't but a few weeks later that my Dad treated my brother in law, my brother, and me to a Utah Jazz game against the Sacramento Kings. Anybody who knows me, knows I'm a very big fan of the Jazz. Ever since boyhood, I've followed the Jazz closely along with the rest of my family. We met in Sac-town, ate some great barbecue and then headed to the stadium and our third row seats! I've gone to a few NBA games, but never sat this close to the game. We all wore Jazz shirts and stuck out like a sore thumb surrounded by King fans. We got noticed by a few players and even saluted by Carlos Boozer during warm ups. (my knees almost buckled, do you think he likes me??) The Jazz didn't play well, even though they came into the game on a win streak and were playing against one of the worst teams in the league. They lost by a few points but it was still a cool adventure. NBA games are very different from college games, it's much more entertainment than the pure basketball that college games provide. It was great to hang with the Wallace men (and Fryer I suppose) for an evening.
Then a few weeks later, I set out for Las Vegas to watch Gonzaga play in their conference tournament. Because they had the best record of the conference, they had a bye to the semi-finals. Which meant they only had to win two games. Gonzaga had a huge following and the arena was 90% zag fans and they were there to party! The crowd was screaming every play for the essential home team. They played well their first game, but struggled mightily during the conference finals and lost. Are you sensing a trend here? Me too. Maybe I should stick to cheering my teams from the comforts of my own living room....
Monday, January 25, 2010
The turkeys have been our on again/off again friends. Friends when they hang out outside the lawn, NOT friends when they stay on the lawn and....cough...cough...leave "fertilizer" all over the place. Because, please remember, though turkeys are birds, they don't leave behind cute little turkey...muffins, they leave behind dinosaur-sized muffins!
It's usually not that bad since the turkeys normally hang out in groups of 10-15. But this winter, the turkey (flocks? cackles? groups? posse's?) have combined for some reason to amass in numbers of 60-80!! I tried to count them a few times and I got up to 67 before they scattered.
I'm not sure of these turkeys' master plan. But I'm a little concerned about a hostile take-over with their sharp talons. If we are attacked by turkeys, don't tell me that I didn't warn you.