Friday, December 25, 2009

The Anniversary Story

This holiday season, I was asked from 3 different people to take regular cassette tapes and convert them to digital audio... or to CD's.

One of them was of Rachel's grandfather. Many years ago, when Rachel was very young, (as I have been told) he knew that he would have a hard time reading a Christmas story every passing year. So one year, he sat down and read it aloud and recorded it so it could be "read" to the family each Christmas. I never had a chance to meet him since he passed away a few years before Rachel and I got married, but this was the first time that I had ever heard this story myself.

I went through and took out the click you hear when you start recording audio, chair squeaks or at one time, someone knocking at the door. It only saved 18 seconds of audio, but the part where there was knocking on the door would distract you from the story. The family asked me to make copies of the CD for other members so they could hear it too. But instead of making multiple copies and paying for mailing packages and postage, I am doing it my way... Through the internet.

I made two versions of the recording. The original unedited version as heard on the cassette tape, and the edited version.

Anyone is welcome to download these files. They are in MP3 format, which means they can play on any computer or MP3 player. And if you want, yes, you can burn them to a CD if you want to as well.

To download the file, click each link to open a new website. At the bottom, it says "Your Files". Simply click the file name and it will ask you where you want to save it.

- Original
- Edited

(YouTube: January 25, 2019 @ 03:14)
(Updated: December 24, 2014 @ 22:40)
(Updated: Jan 6, 2010 @ 15:32)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Am Alive

I know this is the longest I have gone without writing something, but we are still trying to move into our new place and I am trying to find a second job. So I am constantly busy. I do post Twitters (which you can read to the right) more than I blog. That way you can see what I am up to.


Friday, November 20, 2009

A New Home

I guess it has been a while since I posted something, but this time I have a little time to sit down and write something exciting...

We are moving!

As of a few hours ago, we found us a new, nice and very clean place to rent, out in Hurricane, Utah (right next to the new Walmart). It is a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom with a 2-vehicle garage. Plus, there is a giant storage unit out in the back yard big enough to store a RV. But the best part is that inside the giant unit is little enclosure to make it so I will be able to run iStGeorge out of it and allow customers to walk up to the door (I'll post pictures later in case you are confused or I am not describing it well enough).

I know, I will not be in St. George anymore to call it iStGeorge, but I am keeping the iStGeorge name as the main company/business name and I will try to think of a new name to perform out of Hurricane as a "Doing Business As" (DBA).

I don't know the official (mailing) address, but I will let anyone who wants to know, know later on. And just in case, I will have it so the US Post Office forwards our mail to us.

But if you will excuse me, we have some serious packing, hauling and unloading to do. Until we take more pictures and videos, here is a picture of our new home...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spongebob Pumpkinpants

I guess Halloween is becoming my favorite holiday... No, not because of the candy. But because it's the one time of year where I get to be creative when it comes to carving pumpkins. I can't stand cutting out the basic Jack-O-Lantern faces on my pumpkin, so I go further. It took me a while to find my cutout for this year... Spongebob Squarepants. But I think you will like it more since I recorded 3 hours of video of me cutting out the pumpkin. Don't worry, I sped up the video and made it so that you can watch me cut out my pumpkin in 6 minutes. Enjoy, and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rex's Funeral - Part 3

We woke up around 9 or 10AM (Pacific) on Wednesday, October 7th, and slowly got ready and packed up to leave. The Friday (10/2) before we left, I accidentally left the van running with the keys in the ignition while at my shop. So the battery was not in that great of condition, but it hadn't been a problem on the trip. So while we were packing, we left the doors and trunk open to the van, which then drained what battery power we had to start the van. Luckily, the neighbor of the family friends house were were staying at was out working in his garage and was kind enough to give us a jump.

We thanked him and continued on our way. We drove north through Sacramento and then west over to Reno. Because there was construction going on just past Auburn, California to just shy of the California/Nevada border (about 80+ miles), and then more construction every so often the rest of the way to Elko, NV... it slowed our driving to get to our destinations.

Rachel took over driving from Winnemucca to Elko. Luckily, Rachel's friend called us around 10PM to check on us just as we were pulling into Elko. We asked him to look online to see if there were any rooms available in Elko. Nothing was available. So after Rachel hung up with him, I got the idea to take out my laptop to look for any free Wi-Fi. I found free Wi-Fi (but you are only given 5 free minutes where I was). So I went straight to to get the phone number so Rachel could call it to see if there was anything available. There was, so we reserved a room at The Rainbow and I continued driving the rest of the way to Wendover. We made it into Wendover around midnight and stayed there for the night.

Woke up on Thursday, October 8th. We both got ready and I took out what I brought into the room. The van almost didn't start, but it did and so I stayed out in the van until Rachel came out with her luggage. Checked out, grabbed breakfast at BK and continued on to Salt Lake.

Made it to Salt Lake. We stopped at The Gateway and then continued on over to my parents house. I was so happy to see the girls after almost a week. They were happy to see us too. Since it was about nap time, we all took a nap and then woke up to continue on with the afternoon. TJ let me try his drums... Real drums, not the XBox 360 kind. While he was practicing, I saw our old NES (Nintendo) game system sitting there in the basement. So I rounded up the NES box, the paddles, cables and the games that I use to play and wanted. I have still yet to hook it up to our TV.

For dinner, we had steak... Yes, this is the first beef steak that I have eaten in ... (let's see... 2009-1996) 12+ years. Not bad, but I know I have not missed out on eating steak. We relaxed after dinner and then called it a night.

Woke up on Friday, October 9th around noon. This was the first day that we have really had a chance to relax. Since we were in no rush to get home, we made a short list of things that needed to be done before we left for home. Number one, replace the battery in the van. My dad and I did that. After that, Rachel and I headed over to my relatives house to help them with some wireless internet problems. We sat around and chatted for a bit before we took off. Rachel and I stopped and had lunch at Paradise Bakery. We ate there back in April, but when you are sick, you really can't enjoy it as much as I did this time. They are a chain eating establishment, so if you can stop by one, do it!

Stopped at Target to get a few snacks for the ride home. Drove back to my parents place to start loading up the van. Because of the doll house, the van was very packed. We finally left around 7PM and made it home around 12AM. Normally, I hook my iPod touch to the back of my head rest so the girls can watch movies... But as you can see, we had to use my old iPod video -- totally white trash version of a DVD player. Hey, it worked.

Like I said, we made it home around 12AM and walked up to the door. Guess what was there waiting for me...? My iPod touch. A refurbished one. Who knows how long it had been sitting there. Sadly, I didn't have this one in my possession too long either. Something was preventing music/audio and/or videos from being played on it (yes, I tried the 5 R's). So I had to take it back to Best Buy yesterday to be replaced again. There is a lesson for you-- BUY THE WARRANTIES!!!

But it was good to be back home after a very busy week. We can't thank everyone enough for their help and generosity to make it so we had an stress-less week without the girls and for those who helped us out so much in California.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rex's Funeral - Part 2

Woke up on Tuesday, October 6th, got ready and we drove over to the church before the service actually started (got there at 8:45). We had the viewing (from 9 until 10AM) and then had the funeral service (from 10 to 11AM) in the chapel. After the service ended after an hour (the only time I have never complained to get out of church, nor look at the clock) we finished up and then for those who wanted to, we would drive all the way to Sonora (the way that Rex told Rachel how to drive it, and how I followed her back in April). We made it up to Sonora just in time and proceeded with the grave side service (1PM). I was one of the pallbearers, so they couldn't start without me. Since Rex always had a story to tell us, the one giving the grave side service asked people to stand up and tell a story about Rex. Immediately, a Jerry Seinfeld joke came to my mind during this:

"According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy."

For me, this quote/joke is true... Well, I should say that I would be doing anything other than talking in public. I really wanted to tell a story, but the first thing I could think about would be better told by Rachel to everyone else. So I whispered it into Rachel's ear. When she had a chance, Rachel stood up and starts the story this way:

(I know I might be screwing this story up from the way Rachel told it, but this is from what I remember...)

Rachel told about she called Rex a few days after she and I had eloped back in 2006.
"Dad, I have been dating this boy Ryan. Well, we have decided to take it further and we decided to drive down to Las Vegas and elope."
"(Curiously) Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.............................." he thought, "Are you pregnant?"
"No dad."
"Well congratulations!"

Well, a few months went by and we found out that we were going to be expecting twins. Since Rex was always the last to know any kind of news from family that lived far away from him, she told everyone how she thought that it would be great to tell him first.

"Dad, I have some news."
"You're pregnant?"
"Well congratulations!"
"I have some more great news."
This stumped Rex, since he was a good guesser. "Well, you've got me. I'm stumped."
"It's twins," said Rachel.

She said that she had never heard him laugh so hard for 5 minutes. This made me tear up.

I never did stand up and tell my story, because I'm not brave enough to speak in public, my voice is too deep/low and I knew that I would lose it. Since I wanted to tell my story, I told it to Rachel, Aubrey and Heidi as we were heading up to their grandma's house to pick up and load up their doll house that Rex made for them years ago.

My story was about the first time I met Rex... 3 months after Rachel and I were married:

It was a few days after Christmas and a few days before my accident. I had just gotten off of a late shift at Lin's and was heading to my car to drive home. Before I could get in my car, I looked up to see a van with Rex and Aubrey pull in the parking lot and head towards my car. They got out and we greeted each other. He also had that steady, overprotected, "You married my daughter, boy... And I'm going to be watching you like a hawk"-look on his face. But I think he did that to scare me... It didn't work. I was happy to see and greet him. Plus, he warmed right up and started telling me stories.

But what I also remember before we shook hands is that Rachel told me about how he would shake peoples hand with his 3-fingered hand (from a work accident that happened in the early 1980's), and wiggle the knuckles of the two missing fingers in your palm, causing a weird tickling feeling. He never did that to me... But I was bracing for it when I did shake his hand, just in case he did try to pull that on me.

Sorry to get off subject, but I thought I would tell that. After the funeral, there was a luncheon at Rex & Bonita's (Rex's mother) church in Sonora (2PM). We found our way to the church, sat around talking to other friends and family members while we ate. After an hour or two, we changed into regular clothes since all the services were over.

Since Rachel's mom decided she wanted to visit her childhood home in Stockton. So Heidi and Aubrey came with Rachel and I to Rachel's grandma's house to quickly get and load the Barbie doll house into the back of the van that Rex made for them years ago (4/5PM) and then head over to go have dinner at her Aunt Mariann and Uncle Justin's house... Nope. Not so easy as we had originally thought. The Barbie house was out in a shed called the "Chinchilla House" (Rex's family tried to raise chinchilla's years ago, but it never worked out). Not only was it out there, Rex built shelves over it which caused us to first try to take off the bottom wheels to wiggle it out. That didn't work. So I had to saw off a leg of the shelf just to slide the doll house out and then put the leg back so that it could continue to support the other items on the shelves. An hour and half had passed. I was planning to spend 30 minutes. But after getting that loaded, we finally drove over to her aunt and uncles house for dinner (7 PM). We ate and sat around and chatted about times gone by.

Since it was getting late (9/10PM), and since I was starting to have difficulty breathing thanks to my asthma, we knew we had to call it a night since we also had to drive back to Modesto. The girls and I talked and joked about all sorts of different things. We made it back to Modesto just in time-- Because we all had a hard and busy day, Rachel was starting to sing camp songs just out of random. But crawled into bed and went to bed.

Coming up, Wednesday through Friday...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rex's Funeral

On Sunday, October 4th, my mom (who was in Mesquite with my grandma and aunt) stopped by our place to picked up the girls so she and my family could watch them in Salt Lake City while Rachel and I were in California. I spent the rest of that evening so bored! But I packed and went to bed early since we had to be getting up early too.

On Monday, October 5th, we woke up, loaded up the van and headed down to Las Vegas to meet up with Rachel's mom and two sisters. We continued on our way to Modesto. The last time I had driven past Las Vegas, was in 1990 when my family (minus dad) went to stay a week in San Diego. It brought back some memories. We first stopped in Baker, and then in Tehachapi for bathroom breaks. But "we were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold..."* Sorry, had to add that. We were not on any drugs... Unless you count Excedrin for the head aches/migraines that we were getting throughout this trip.

Rachel took over in driving from Tehachapi. But we stopped in Bakersfield for lunch. Kept on driving until we finally made it to Modesto. Stopped at a couple stores to grab food before we went over to the houses we were staying at. After unloading, we all went to have dinner at Chevy's and chat. Because I had a migraine (this is why Rachel took over the driving), I went to bed once we got back to the house we were staying at, because we would have to be up early the next morning again for the funeral services and I didn't want a migraine when I woke up.

Coming up, Tuesday...

* Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Saturday, September 26, 2009

California, or No California

I'm hoping most of you read my last blog entry, or the Twitter postings earlier about the passing of Rachel's father on Saturday morning. Now that a few days have passed by, I just wanted to give you an update as to what has gone one, is going on, and what the plan is for the following week.

Rachel called me to let me know that the funeral might be at the end of this week, possibly Friday (that was the soonest the funeral home could arrange a date for Rex). Well, after talking to her aunt, her aunt thought it would be best if Rachel come home for a little while (since she had been out in California for a week and misses the girls and I) and to then have the funeral next week. So Rachel arranged a flight from Stockton to Las Vegas, and asked if I would pick her up. I said sure.

Sunday (9/27)
Since I thought the funeral was going to be shortly after Rex passing, like Tuesday (9/29) or Wednesday (9/30), I asked my parents if they could come down on Friday (9/25) and help watch and play with the girls a little so I can relax. Please note, I have had my mother-in-law, Kristi, helping me out by having her watch the girls a few hours each night while Rachel was away (9/21-24) so I can get some stuff done here at the house (i.e., laundry, cleaning, straightening up, business work, etc.) so I wouldn't go crazy. Watching two kids alone from morning to night can really take it out on a person... Especially if they are trying to do their normal job of picking up and dropping off computers and iPod's, and Home Owners Association stuff. ... Where was I? (reading) Oh yeah, my parents came down and helped clean and straighten up the house a little. They told me before they drove down to help that they had to head home on Sunday so they could be to their jobs on Monday. This was okay. It was enough to help me relax a little so I could handle the next few days alone with absolutely no help (since Kristi was planning on driving out to California for the funeral). But plans changed in California and Rachel was going to be coming home for the week.

My parents headed home around 1PM on Sunday as planned, and I took the girls over to Kristi's house so she could watch them while I drove out to Las Vegas to pick up Rachel at the airport. But since I had been doing all this "Mr. Mom" work, I left a little earlier than I had originally planned and stopped at The Virgin River in Mesquite and played a little on the slots. In less than 20 minutes, I had gone up and down, but left $10 richer. So I cashed out my winnings and headed back on the road. I made it to Vegas still a little early than expected. So instead of driving in circles at the airport and wasting gas, I parked in Economy and took a shuttle over to the airport. Waited until I met up with Rachel in baggage claim. We took the shuttle back to where I parked the car and then headed over to Margaritaville since I was hungry and wanted to eat at a place that we do not have in St. George. Oh, and for the record, Rachel suggested Margaritaville, not I. I would have gone to, uh... Treasure Island had she suggested it.

So we parked at the Flamingo parking garage, walked in and put our name on the waiting list. We walked and checked out a few shops that are north of Margaritaville on The Strip. Walked back and had lunch. Since it was now dark by the time we finished, and because grandma Kristi had to work in the morning, we headed back home to pick up the girls. Made it home around 10PM our time, came home and put the girls to bed.

On Monday, Rachel had to take a phone call from her aunt in California at a certain time since they were talking to the funeral home and making plans so Rachel knew what was going on and could pass the info on to me and others.

They have arranged to have the viewing, funeral and graveside service on Tuesday, October 6th in Modesto and in Sonora. Right now, I am debating on whether or not I should go. I would like to go, to pay my respect... But if I go, that means we have to bring the girls. If I don't go, then I have to stay here with the girls for 3 to 4 days alone-- I don't think I would be able to handle that many days alone. So, Rachel and I have been talking and we were thinking about flying out there, but since the girls are now 2, they do not qualify to fly for free. So we would be paying for four round trip tickets. So we may drive out on Monday (10/5) and drive back on Wednesday or Thursday (since Rachel has Monday through Friday off of work).

My main concern is that the girls like and are easily entertained by watching videos on my iPod touch (attached to the back of my head rest while I drive) ... But I tried to take this 3rd one (2nd refurbished) apart to check it out inside. But first, it was not responding to touch, and then I cracked the color-LCD display... So it is hopefully being replaced under the "accident warranty plan" that I purchased when I bought it back in December. So right now, I am without iPod touch... (If you are wondering, I am no longer offering to work on iPod touch and iPhone's because it seems Apple doesn't want you to be able to fix them without more problems).

If anything changes, I'll try to keep everyone updated by posting it here or on Twitter.

Goodbye, and Thank You Rex

I just got the word that Rachel's father, Rex McBride, just passed away to lymphoma cancer. June 29, 1954 - September 26, 2009

First, I want to say you were a man unlike any other. You loved your family, helping others and your dedication to the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America.

Second, I wanted to say "Thank You, Rex" for not killing me when you found out that I married your first (born) beautiful daughter Rachel. I'm sorry that I never asked for your permission too, but I'm thankful you still took me in as a son and treated me with respect ... Even though I had to work much harder to do so to prove that I was in fact worthy of your daughters hand.

I also wanted to say thank you for being there when we needed help financially a while back when we were struggling.

I'm very grateful that you got to see two little grandchildren come into this world while you were here. Sure, they may be brats... But they loved their grandpa very much.

Please watch over our other little ones in Heaven. We will let them know how hard you worked, loved your family (no matter how far apart you were from each other) and the church.

We have many good and funny stories to tell the kids about you. So until we meet again some day...

Meeting his granddaughters for the first time (October 2007)...

(October 2007)

The day of the girls blessing (October 2007)

The girls first birthday (July 2008)...

(July 2008)

Visiting "Grump"-pa out in California (April 2009)

Rex's Birthday in St. George (June 2009)

We will miss you Rex. If you knew Rex, could you please say a few kind words about him on his special webpage:

(I wrote this on the 20th, because I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle writing this when he passed...)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Latest News About Rex

As you may know from my Tweets, right now, Rachel is out in California with her two sisters to visit Rex (their dad, my father-in-law) most likely for the last time.

If you didn't know, Rex has battled and beaten cancer twice since first diagnosed in 1995. Last year, he sent me a text message saying he wanted my opinion about something. He let me know that the doctors had told him the cancer was back and he wanted to know how to tell his girls (Rachel, Aubrey and Heidi). So when he came to visit us here in St. George for the girls first birthday last year, we were all sitting around and he told them the bad news.

Throughout this past year, he was given an opportunity to try some test and medicine to hopefully beat cancer once again... But they had rules to sign-up and to be allowed in this testing procedure. Because his body's vitals were above the required measurements, he was not allowed to participate.

The doctors then said that he could try chemo again this time, but he has had chemo in the past and he did not enjoy it (nor would anyone else). Plus, they said that there was only a small chance that it would work, and after chemo, he would be needed to be waited on... He wouldn't be able to do anything himself. Since he wanted to be free and use what strength he had to enjoy life, he decided not to go through with the chemo treatment.

Then in April, we thought he had a week or two to live. If you remember, Rachel, the twins and I, packed up and flew out to California to visit him for a week. Luckily, because of medications and breathing oxygen, he appeared and acted normal again.

But now that 4 to 5 months have passed, Rachel got word from her aunt that the hospice told them that his body is starting to shut down. Rachel and her sisters were planning to head out next week to visit, but once they got this news, they did what they could to trade shifts so they all travel out there and be with him right now.

The last text I received at 9AM this morning was that they were on the edge of Sonora, California. But since Rachel and I have T-Mobile, after you get off the freeway to start to drive up the mountains where their grandma lives (where Rex is at), the signal for service is cut off. So I just called about an hour ago to make sure they arrived safe, and they did. But since the three of them were up all night driving, they are now taking catching up on rest.

As more news comes in, I will send Twitters.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Signing Time with Adelyn & Chloe

Lately, we have let the girls watch a DVD Series called Signing Time. They have picked up on a lot of words from it. We had to watch the DVD's as well so we knew what they were saying to us since they are still not chatting up a storm. I know the girls know many more words in American Sign Language, that they have learned, but I wrote down a few of them on a list so I could have them sign them for you. If I mislabeled a sign, I apologize.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Three years ago today, I married my high school sweet heart. Although we never dated the entire time, we first got to know one another back then and then we kept in contact through the years until we were married. But there was a very good reason that we met and I am very glad that we did. And if you didn't know, we met through the internet... We were pioneers. We did it before it was cool.

And something, even for yours truly being a geek, that I never knew about the internet... It was successfully performed/created 40 years ago today back in 1969 in a lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, when two computer successfully sent data from one computer to another through a cable. Today, that is what we call "networking". But the concept of sending data from one place to another (server to a computer via the internet, and vice versa) was born! It wasn't until 1990 when the Internet as we know it today was born.

Rachel and I eloped three years ago today, September 2nd, just because that was the earliest and most convenient day for the both of us to do so. I had no clue that the internet was created on September 2nd. I call it ironic.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cell Phone Videos 8

Once again, here is another video of videos (#8) that were taken on my cell phone.

First - Ady dances to "Bolt" and Chloe sings along.
Second - I give peanut butter to the dog.
Third - The girls dance together to "Canned Heat" from Napoleon Dynamite.
Forth - The girls "clean" grandma's backdoor windows.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cell Phone Videos 7

Whoops! I posted the video below on August 12 (4 days ago) and I forgot to finish this blog so you can view the video here. Sorry

Here is a new video of videos (#7) that were taken on my cell phone.

First - One of the girls thinks it is funny to crash on dad.
Second - Ady dances to Napoleon Dynamite.
Third - The girls eat dinner at Subway shortly after we arrived in California in April 2009.
Forth - An panned view of Downtown Sonora, California. Then, I noticed a humming bird near the bird feeder.
Fifth - We let the girls outside to help water the grass and plants.
Sixth - Playing at the water park in St. George.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Saw The Sign

After dealing with the rocks, dry/hard dirt and blisters on my fingers, I finally got the sign up at my business. And the best thing, I have already made my money back on this sign. Sweet!

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Taken Awhile

In June, I told you about how I finally moved into Ink-Pressive Prints to share a little office with the owner to get my business name out there.

On the 3rd of this month, I had them put a sticker on the door window saying my business name, hours and phone number.

I also had another business, the one who put the stickers on my van, make me a banner to put outside so when people drive-by they see that since I have had two customers see Rachel or I when we were out holding the home-made sign that I made. So if a home made sign can get me new customers without me having to stand out in the heat, I know that will work since it will be out there 24/7. I was hoping to pick up the banner last week. Long story short, I will not be able to pick it up until Tuesday (8/11/09). This is what the proof looks like...

I will post a picture of the banner in another blog entry once I have it hanging up outside.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Turning 2

On Sunday (7/26), we celebrated the twins 2nd birthday. We had the party at my mother-in-laws house. The girls received new princess shoes and bouncy ball (ones you sit on and hop up and down with). They had fun.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fun At The Water Park

On July 24th (Pioneer Day), I took the girls over to the water park here in town that we always go to. I didn't even think of it to bring my digital camera or camcorder with us.

We met up with my sister-in-law there and let them do what they wanted. We suggested to them to go play in the fountain before they turned it off at 8PM (less than an hour from when we arrived). Normally, we try to get the girls to try playing in it, but they always end up looking miserable and we end up walking back over to the water fall and river.

But that day, Chloe just took off and was very adventurous. Since I didn't have my cameras, I took out my cell phone and started taking video. Ady, like the times before, was not enjoying today and held onto her Aunt Aubrey. When we went back to the park again on Monday, July 27, she had a blast and had fun.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Singing In Her Crib

I found this video file in our collection. It was filmed on June 7th, 2009... before the last video was filmed and posted on YouTube.

Rachel heard Chloe singing to herself while waiting for someone to come get her out of her crib in the morning... So she grabbed the video camera a filmed for a few minutes without being seen.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Early Birthday Cake

My parents made a visit in town a week before the twins 2nd birthday. So we had an early birthday party with them by having cake. Here we sing "Happy Birthday" and watch the girls eat their cake. I placed the video camera on the tri-pod, so that is why it is still the whole time and you get to see me in the shot too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Can't Stop Laughing

I wanted to Tweet about this, but I couldn't do it in 140 characters or less.

About 20 minutes ago, I wound the electrical cord on the vacuum on its loops and placed it against the wall in our living room. 5 minutes ago, I was in the kitchen puting a few dirty dishes in the dishwasher. All of a sudden, I hear the vacuum start up. I shut off the water and run around the corner to see what is going on and to see who the culperite was. Instead, I happen to see two little girls running away for dear life and heading for high grounds on the nearby couches. I opened and walked through the gate to turn the vacuum off. I started laughing and Ady started crying cause it scared her because she wasn't expecting it. I held her and when she calmed down, I went and finished doing dishes. I can't stop laughing because they figured out how to plug a plug in an outlet and to turn the device on...

At the Waterpark with "Grump-pa"

During the last week of June, Rachel's dad came to visit the family here in St. George. He is doing much better now than he was doing in April when we went to visit him.

Well, one night while Rachel was at work, I decided to take the girls to the water park. I invited him along too. So we loaded everyone up in the van and drove over to the park. I took video of them playing, and he took pictures with his camera of them playing. This is one of the video's that I put together.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cell Phone Videos 6

Sorry, but I guess I got sidetracked from posting this video first instead of the other videos I posted after Cell Phone Videos 5. Plus, I guess I have been busy with work, housework, the twins and entertaining family this past week to really sit down and post something... Well, here you go...

Oh, and Happy 4th of July!

First - While we were up in Salt Lake for Christmas (2008), we stopped off at my grandparents house to say hi and to talk. I filmed this as we were planning to head on back to my parents house.

Second - On the way to drop off my father-in-law Rex at the airport in Las Vegas, we stopped to let him say goodbye to Heidi (who lives and works in Vegas). She took out a lobster from the tank to show the girls.

Third - Because Rex missed his flight, we picked him back up and went to go have dinner at Heidi's work since we were hungry. I try to let the girls bite into a lemon.

Forth - I found my laser-pointer pen in my night stand one night before bed and decided to have some fun tricking Ginger our dog.

Fifth - I think I was letting the girls eat dinner and then they started to act silly and crazy while they were still in their chairs.

Sixth - We were Grandma Kristi's house playing around with Aunt Heidi's phone and dancing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma

My mom's 50th birthday was in December of 2008, but we never really had a party for her.

So my sister sent me a invitation a few weeks ago saying that the family was planning on having a party for her on June 20th. My dad had a party, why not my mom... Since I have put a lot of money into saving my business by renting the space at the shop, we could not afford to make it and to stay up there for the party.

So I did the next best thing. I made a video for her to wish her a Happy Birthday. I had to convert it for the iPod and asked my brother to put it on his iPod touch so she could watch it.

But I wanted to let everyone else watch it since she loved it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

iStGeorge is Now A Store Location

Last week, I went and talked to another business owner here in St. George. His wife also works with Rachel at Dispatch and mentioned this to Rachel. He was kind enough to offer me to rent out some of his store location so that I can do business there as well, since he is not in there most of the time.

After struggling all this past week with business being very, very slow and knowing that if I sit around as a home business any longer, I would no longer be a business and/or I would have to get my job back at Lin's or somewhere else that is flexible with my hours.

So, on Monday, June 15th, I finally went over to the City of St. George Business License and applied to have another business license to perform business at this location. But before they give another license to me, one is required to have a building inspection. They need to call me and schedule a time... So it could be anytime this week or next week. I am kind of nervous, but since Mike (the gentleman who owns this business) is doing business in there now, so he was given a thumbs-up on this inspection and now he is performing business in there now. But there is always that, "What if they find something...?".

I am hoping that I can keep busy there to keep me in business, or I am going to be hurting even more... But I look on the bright side. This location is on a busy street of St. George called Bluff Street...

...So until I get a sign up on the building, I am going to park the van towards the traffic so that people will see it when they drive by and know that I am there and that iStGeorge exist. If you are saying, "Why not put a sidewalk sign up?"... Can't. It's not allowed. What is permitted, you have to get permission from the city to put up a sign (such as a banner on the building itself). Lame, I know.

I have already paid Mike for the month of July, but plans have changed from having have my first day open on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 to tomorrow, June 18th... So I am getting a few more things done so I can be prepared when I am there. But I will also have to bring in some things that I might need later as time rolls on.

The only thing I will have to adjust to is taking breaks and bringing little snacks with me to munch on when I am there. I've become too dependent on eating and drinking water whenever I want to. Oh, the struggles of the working man... But luckily it will be 4 hours a day, 3 days a week to get my name out there. So I won't suffer very long.

So, wish me luck! Oh, and check out the business main webpage to see what I have done...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ryan's Famous Bean Dip

The recipe for my bean dip is below. But I want to quickly tell you how I came up with the idea for this recipe since everything in it was made from scratch without any measurements from a previous recipe.

I use to eat a Lean Cuisine Santa Fe-Style Rice & Beans meal during my two breaks back when I use to work at Super Saver (I was a growing boy). Well, one day after getting off work, I got food poisoning from eating one of the package I had that day. So I decided no more of those and I was going to make my own bean dip recipe. I grabbed what I could remember what was in it or what I thought was in it off the top of my head and made different versions before I finally came up with the version that I like.

Ryan's Famous Bean Dip

1 can (16oz) of vegetarian refried beans
1 cup of sour cream
1 Roma tomato (cubed)
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp of chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup of cooked white rice

Serve with:
Tostitos Hint of Lime chips

First, cook the rice in boiling water on a stove until soft (drain any excess water).

In a large mixing bowl, mix the refried beans with the sour cream together first. Then, mix in the remaining four ingredients in with the beans and sour cream. Stir. After ingredients are mixed together, place dip in storage bowl(s) and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, scoop the desired amount in a microwavable bowl and heat in 1 minute increments (stirring after every minute, but no more than 3 minutes) until cheese has melted.

Makes 4 to 5 cups of dip.

If you heat up the dip and then place any excess dip back in a fridge for later, it will spoil in less than a week... Non-heated dip will last longer.

You can always add more tomatoes, cilantro, cheese or even a mixture of different types of cheeses to your hearts desire.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

SimNewB Helps Doctors Train

(This is an article that was on the front page (so I have been told) of The Spectrum Newspaper here in St. George, Utah on June 13, 2009.)

"SimNewB helps doctors train"
BY NUR KAUSAR • • June 13, 2009

CEDAR CITY - Cries, grunts and tears from newborns can be hard to handle, even for trained health professionals, because of the infants' delicacy and unknown health problems.

This is one reason why Valley View Medical Center, in conjunction with Dixie Regional Medical Center and Garfield Memorial Hospital, purchased the SimNewB, a computer-controlled simulator that looks and acts like a real newborn and trains for neonatal resuscitation.

SimNewB is a 7-pound, 2-ounce, 21-inch machine child that costs upwards of $25,000 and has been used in the last year to replace Intermountain Healthcare facilities' neonatal resuscitation lecture-based classes with simulation.

For the southwest Utah region, VVMC was the first to conduct the six-hour training with SimNewB on Thursday, with physicians, respiratory therapists, midwives and nurses working together on the machine.

"This provides a safe environment for this team to get hands-on experience with a newborn," said trainer and OB nurse Jenny Call, noting that a Webcam was also attached to the resuscitation table so the class could go over its successes and mistakes. "Statistically, 72 percent of bad outcomes have occurred because of communication problems," Call said of neonatal emergencies. "Since changing to simulation-based classes, Primary at Intermountain Medical has seen improvement in resuscitation outcomes and satisfaction from employees."

The team on Thursday was given different scenarios and tests by Dixie Regional trainer Kristi Carson, and acted how it would in reality while using SimNewB, checking vitals, watching heart rate and administering medications to the simulator.

"They're testing the whole time they're doing it," said nurse and educator Carolyn Shaw. "They get to use it over and over and learn from their mistakes."

Shaw noted that many at VVMC have not had a bad newborn experience, and if an emergency situation arises, newborns are often taken to larger, area hospitals or a team is brought in.

VVMC also does not place newborns on ventilators overnight in case of a resuscitation problem because of its small overnight staff, but public affairs director Scott Monroe said part of VVMC's long-term plan is to expand the maternity department.

For the last three years, Monroe added, VVMC has handled approximately 1,000 births per year.


URL to Article: Click here
Picture taken by: Patrick Cummings/ The Spectrum

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Very Busy Weekend

On Friday, I woke to find Rachel making my Bean Dip that I make... BUT, she mixes in garlic powder as an additional ingredient-- Gross!, and when I walked in the kitchen, I said, "It smells like garlic in here". Ugh! So, if you want to, I will be posting the recipe for the Bean Dip in a few days-- The way that it is suppose to be made.

The reason why she was making the bean dip was because on Friday, Rachel and her co-workers came over to the house we went to last year for the yearly pool party. Because of budget cuts, everyone had to bring something for everyone. I have made the bean dip before and Rachel has taken it into work and everyone has chowed down on it.

So we drove over to the house and we were the first ones there. People slowly started showing up and lunch was served. We played and I wore out before the girls did. Finally 3PM rolled around and the girls were finally getting cranky, so we drove home to put them down for naps.

Around 5PM, my parents came over to the house. We decided to take the girls over to the water park. We did, but we were not there very long since the wind was blowing and the girls were now starting to freeze and chatter their teeth. After changing the girls into regular play clothes, we drove over to Wal-Mart to try finding the kid cones that we have purchased before for the girls to let them eat ice cream on a cone... instead of wasting a regular sized cone and letting the ice cream drip through the bottom of the regular cones. Still no luck. If anyone in St. George happens to see these kind of cones at any store, please let me know.

On Saturday, my parents came over while the girls were eating breakfast and then played with them for a little bit before the girls pointed to swings on the TV. So, we put the girls in their wagon and took them over to the park that is right next to our house. I wasn't there very long before I had to go work on a computer at a neighbors house. When I was done, I came back to find the girls (and my dad) asleep. Rachel and my mom went shopping. When everyone woke up, we went and ate dinner at Cafe Rio. After dinner, we (the girls and I) went swimming in the pool at the hotel that my parents were staying at. We were not in the pool for more than 30 minutes before dark clouds started rolling over head and wind started blowing. So we took them back to the room and let them play in the tub. After washing the chlorine off of them, we drove over to Iceberg Drive Inn for ice cream. After eating, we dropped my parents back off at their room and we headed home for the night.

On Sunday, I had to go pick up a computer from a customer. When I came back, I found the girls awake in their cribs and so I fed the girls breakfast. I called my parents to let them know the girls were up and they could come over. They arrived shortly after and played with the girls until they had to leave by 1PM... so they could make it back to Salt Lake before it got too dark. Around 1, it was time for the girls to take a nap too. So it was perfect timing. My parents said goodbye and since I was exhausted, I went to take a nap to finish catching up on sleep.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

1000 Days

As of May 29th, 2009, Rachel and I have been married for 1000 days...

Just so you know, I had not planned this or knew the number of days we had been married in advance. I was laying in bed early-early Friday morning just thinking of different things. Then a random thought came into my head about how I wonder how many days Rachel and I have been married since our 3 year anniversary will be coming up in September. So I used this one app on my iPod touch and put the day we were married and then yesterdays date and just so happened, "1000 days..."

Talk about sheer luck!

So I went out later that day and bought Rachel some flowers a wrote on a little card, "Happy 1000!".

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cell Phone Videos 5

Here is a few more videos from my cell phone (but not the last of it)...

In the first clip, I took a break while I was up in their room placing safety lock on their dresser drawers so they wouldn't pull all their folded laundry out. I noticed Chloe did not like the drill or dust buster when I had to use it.

Second, The girls were playing in the TV room while I was watching an episode of MADtv. The musical guest, Harry Connick, Jr. who the girls seemed interested in watching.

Third, I took girls to the Iceberg Drive-In for dinner here in St. George because they were having the car show that night (and every 3rd Saturday of each month). As I was heading out after finishing dinner, someone asked me, "You're not leaving yet, are ya?" Puzzled, I said, "Yeah...". "Well, Santa will be here at 6[PM]" ... Oh. Okay. So I had to figure out how to entertain the girls for 30 minutes while we waited for Santa to arrive. This footage is of when Santa arrives... Plus the two pictures I took with my cell phone.

60 Years

On May 10th, 2009, my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. But, because May 10th was also Mother's Day, many restaurants were obviously going to be packed with families celebrating that day. So, in order to have fun and not have to deal with a crowded and packed restaurant, my family all agreed to celebrate the anniversary the following Sunday, May 17th.

So, Rachel and I (along with the girls) planned to drive up there for a very quick 3-day visit.

Friday, May 15th
On Friday evening, because Rachel was nominated to be Dispatcher of the Year (again), her work gave her the night off (with pay!). Just so you know, Rachel won it last year. Rachel asked me to go with her and to let her mom watch the girls while we went. So we drove over to where the reception was being held and made it just in time. There were other awards before they finally announced the "Dispatcher of the Year" award at the very end.

Because she had enough votes, Rachel has now won it two years in a row. I took video with my cell phone of Rachel receiving her award, but you can not hear anything the presenter is saying (so I won't post the video). After the reception was over (after 8:00 PM), we picked up the girls and then headed on up to Salt Lake since Rachel didn't have to go back to work. That made it so we could enjoy all day Saturday with my family up in Salt Lake instead of traveling. We made it up there around 2:30AM -- NEVER AGAIN!!! because the girls would not go to sleep, so I was up until 4/5 AM. We had plans to go visit and see my dad's Mustang in a car show... But, because I slept in, we never went.

Saturday, May 16th
I don't remember much after waking up. I do remember that I was able to fix tire in the van since a screw had punctured it (on the drive down to Las Vegas) and was causing it to leak air very slowly. After my dad and I fixed the tire, we all sat down and ate a spaghetti dinner as a family. It was gooooood...! After dinner, we let the girls play outside in the backyard since the sun was setting and the temperature was just right.

Then, Rachel and I asked my parents if they wanted to watch the girls while we run to The Gateway too get some ice cream. Plus, she wanted to get some clothes and I wanted to play with all the gadgets in the Apple Store... But the Apple Store was closed! So, I had to hang out in the clothes store with Rachel until she was finished. By that time, the Ben and Jerry's was closed and so we headed back to my parents.

Sunday, May 17th
On Sunday, there was absolutely nothing to do until 4PM. Finally, 3PM rolled around and we started to get ready, and then we headed over to the restaurant. The reason why 4PM is that is when the restaurant opened on Sundays, not because that was when my family wanted to go there if it opened earlier. So we sat down at three different locations. This Japanese restaurant is like Benihana. You sit in a semi-square and they cook your food on the grill right in front of you. Because we had the girls with us, and because there was fire, they were getting scared. So they wanted to be held. But since they were in high-chairs, I just hugged them and talked to them explaining what the chef was doing. So they enjoyed it later on.

Because the chefs get you involved with their act (i.e., tossing cooked shrimp in the air and trying to catch it in your mouth, etc.), it was a lot of fun! After eating, they brought out a cake with the custom picture placed on top and Sparkling Cider. So we celebrated by making a toast to my grandparents.

But after eating, it was time to go because the girls were getting grumpy. But before everyone we left, the entire family gathered 'round and pictures were taken of everyone in the Sharich side.

Later that evening, before it got too dark, we all drove over to my sister Annie and brother-in-laws Ben's house. I have never visited them in their home since ... well, ever. So we all drove over (minus TJ) in our van so the girls could see the baby chicks they were raising. The girls loved it.

Monday, May 18th
On Monday, we got packed up and ready to leave. We left my parents around 1PM. We made a quick stop to say bye to my mom at her work, then headed over to visit with my grandparents before we headed out. We were over at their place for about an hour before we took off again (they had plans to be somewhere too). We stopped to say Hi to my friend Tristyn at her work and bought a cat trap while we were there.

Got on the freeway to head home, but since Rachel never really had breakfast, we stopped at Apollo Burger. We wanted to stop and say goodbye to my dad, but he never answered his phone... So, we continued on down to Nephi, Utah to visit my grandma for a bit. By the time we left, it was about 5 or 6PM. We could have been home by then had we not stopped. But after visiting with my grandma, we continued on home and made it back home quarter to 10 ... The dog was happy to see us!

Click here to see more pictures...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Barking at the Moon

I know I just posted a blog today, but I had to post this...

I was hauling out the recycle bins to the van so I could take them to the recycling dumpsters near my house. I was hauling out the second bin when I looked over and the girls, who were watching Bolt for the "billionth" time, dancing with each other to the song 'Barking at the Moon'. So I quickly put down the bin and grabbed my cell phone and started filming. This is that video...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cell Phone Videos 4

If you are wondering, I did this last year after I realized I had enough footage from the videos I had taken on my cell phone to create a video to post here. Well, since I have not recorded anything on the video camera in a while, I thought I would start posting these videos from my cell phone.

In the first clip, Rachel and I took the girls with us to get some ice cream at Baskin Robins.
Second, The girls were big girls and wanted to sit in Grandma Kristi's swing that is in her back yard.
Third, I took Ginger for a walk at the park that dad, and sometimes after doing her "business", she will do this. I still find it hilarious today.
Fourth, I took the gate off the wall blocking the stairs heading downstairs, shut the basement doors and let the girls climb up and down it.
Fifth, then the girls were playing on the stairs heading to their room upstairs.
Sixth, we were at Kristi's when she looked outside and saw the sunset. So we all went out to look at it.
Seventh, we went to the park near Kristi's house when a couple of Rachel's cousins' were in town.
Eighth, the girls were watching My Friends Tigger & Pooh on morning.
Ninth, Chloe had Heidi's cell phone and was dancing to the music.
Tenth, Heidi tries to lure Rachel off the couch with a Dr. Pepper from In-N-Out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

California (Pt. 5)

Sunday, April 27, 2009
Just so you know, I did not take any picture on this day... So you will have to use your imaginations... Plus, it's almost been a month since this happened, so I am trying to remember what happened.

Since we drove down to Modesto the night before, Rachel and I were able to sleep in the same bed for the first time in how many days. But with the girls up (on Sunday morning), that meant we were now up. We made breakfast with what we had left from that first night we were there.

Now we had to get ready for church since 1 PM was fast approaching. Loaded up the car and drove over to Rachel's old Ward. The church we were driving to wasn't far away and is not like Utah, where they are like Starbucks... One or two on every corner. We didn't have to drive far, but we made it just in time to see Rex getting out of the van. We made our way in and walked into the where Sacrament was being held. Found a seat right up front and sat down. Service started and the girls were good for the first half... Then they wanted to get up and walk around.

So Heidi and I took the girls outside so they could run around and get their wiggles out. With me starting to get really sore from the day before (I went gold panning), chasing after them was not an option. Even carrying them was hard after a short while. Plus, my shoulder was acting up. But after letting them play around for a while, we waited for a speaker to finish and walked back in to sit down again to say the closing prayer. After the prayer, everyone who know the McBride's started swarming over to talk and to see the girls. Rex was getting too swarmed so he had to get up and go elsewhere from where we were sitting.

I was still watching one kid and Heidi the other, so Rachel was standing around talking with old friends. I know she was trying to catch up, but with me being in pain, I couldn't keep chasing the girls. Plus, I was getting cranky because I was hungry since I didn't eat much breakfast... So I said that she needs to watch one of the girls while I go grab a Big Mac (Burger King 3, McD's 1). I went to grab me lunch and came back. I was happy again. While I was away, they let the girls play in the nursery. They loved it! Since it was time to go, we headed to another church member's home since they invited us (in advance) to have Sunday lunch with them. But since I just ate, I knew I wasn't going to be that hungry... Turns out I was wrong. I ate quite a bit of food. Since my shoulder was acting up, I took some meds and took the girls into their grandkids playroom and let the girls play while I laid on my back. After everyone else was done visiting, we loaded up and went back to the house. I had to lay down since I was in pain. I don't remember much after that, I might have taken a nap... Yep! That is what I did. I woke up from my nap and everyone was hungry. So I drove to the store and purchased some frozen pizzas and a few other things. Came back, cooked up the pizzas, had dinner. Since it was really late by the time we finished eating, it was time to get the girls to bed (and then me). With Heidi and Rex in town, they were going to stay the night in Modesto too. That way, they could drive us to the airport the next day.

Monday, April 28, 2009
I think I slept in that Monday morning. All I remember doing is scanning family pictures for Rachel so she can edit them later, after we arrived home.

Since our flight wasn't until later, we left a little early so we could make it to the airport in Fresno on time and have enough time sit around and visit one last time before we had to pass through the security gate. Trying to entertain the girls on the trip to the airport... (groan).

We unloaded the van and headed to sit near the security gate. After a while, I knew it was time to say goodbye. Checked in our luggage and we walked through the security gate. Walked to our gate and waited less than 10 minutes before they allowed us to board. Took off and landed in Las Vegas around 10PM (Pacific). Found our luggage and walked to the White Zone. Rachel waited there with the girl and luggage, while I hurried and hopped on a Shuttle to take me to where the van was parked. Payed, quickly drove over to pick up Rachel and the girls, loaded up the van with our stuff and headed out... Well, we had to stop and get the girls something to eat so they would not be cranky on the drive home. Filled the van up with gas and we headed home. It was 1AM (MST) when we made it home. Unloaded the girls, unpacked luggage from the van and went to bed.

... And that was our trip. I have some video footage of us and the girls while we were in California. I'm working as fast as I can to get caught up on posting blogs, creating and posting new videos and other stuff. But I can only go so fast when I am busy with life's big task... aka: The Twins!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

California (Pt. 4)

Saturday, April 25, 2009
On Saturday,the plan for me was to have Rex's brother Sam take me over to a little stream near his place so he could teach me how to pan for gold, and if we had time, to drive over to Yosemite with the rest of the family. Since I don't know where Sam lived, Heidi drove me over to his place in or near Jamestown. He had his stuff that you use for gold panning already in the back of his truck. So we hopped in and he drove over to a spot he has panned at many times before.

I have always wanted to go gold panning. It makes it worse when I am watching the Travel Channel and they show people panning and making it look so very easy. It is fun, but where we were panning, you needed to have patience. You also have to realize that they have to edit those shows to make them fit in a selected time slot. I did pick up some tips from one of those shows, or else I don't think we would have found anything that day. They say that because gold is heavier than the dirt and other rocks around it, if gold is rolling down the stream, some of it will get stuck at the bottom of rocks when other things that are lighter usually get caught in the current and keep on moving down the river or stream.

Well, he told me to try this one spot. After an hour or two of digging, sifting and sorting out any thing that is not gold, I came out with nothing. So I saw a different spot about 20 feet down the stream that had rocks and had the possibility to have something stuck underneath it. I had to use a turkey baster since that is a good tool to suck up fine dirt and anything that a hand shovel can not get to.

It had been maybe three, four-plus hours since we started, and we still had found nothing. But since I had been digging and sucking up dirt in that one area, we finally found a couple of small pieces to call it a good dig. Even though it was now starting getting late in the day, the "Gold Fever" was setting in and we both didn't want to quit. So we kept digging and suctioning in and near that area. A few more hours had passed and by this time, the sun was slowly starting to fade. So we knew we better finish up by collecting all the stuff that never made it's way back into the river after going down the sluice (if that is correct name for that item) and placed it in a pan to rock and swish it back and forth to let the gold sink to the bottom. So after how many hours, all the gold pieces that you see in the picture is what we found.

While we were panning, he told me two things: He has been out here before and found nothing all day to show for his work, and this is the most he has ever found in one time. Rock on!

Well, we finished up and headed back to his house. I called Rachel to let them know to come pick me up. After I walked around taking a few pictures, I waited inside for everyone to arrive in the van. I was expecting to hop in the van and go, but Rex came in and chatted with Sam for a bit, while Rachel, Heidi and the twins walked around his place and looked at his dogs. So I took some more pictures outside while the sun was now setting behind the mountain and then we all went inside for a bit. Then we took off because we knew Grandma was waiting for us. But we stopped at Burger King (that is three) to pick up dinner because I never had lunch and I was STARVING. But before we made it to BK, my shoulder was acting up and then it just hit me with a very sharp pain that I asked them to drop me off at the Shell Station next to the BK so I could run in and buy some Ibuprofen and a Coke cause it felt like pins and needles being pushed into my shoulder. [For those of you who don't know, since the trip to Salt Lake, my shoulder has been in pain and it still is as I write this-- Well, it was, but not as bad since I went to the doctor on 5/12]. But when we called to see what grandma wanted, we found out that Rachel's uncle Morris drove up to visit and brought the girls a surprise. So we grabbed dinner and drove back to the house. Morris had made rocking chairs for the girls that can be put together and taken apart really easily (made it easier to ship them out to us). After putting them together so we could take a few pictures, we then took them back apart so he could ship them to us later. Since it was getting late for him, we said goodnight and he headed out.

Since it was Saturday, and Rex wanted to go to church in Modesto as a family, Rachel and I had to make a decision...

A) Stay at Grandma's one more night, get up early in the morning so we could pack our stuff and drive down to Modesto to get ourselves ready and to then quickly make it over to the church by 1PM... OR!

B) Drive down to Modesto that night, spend the night at the house we stayed at the first night, wake up and get ready (all of us), meet up with Rex and Heidi at the church without feeling rushed...

We chose Plan B. Plus, my asthma was also getting worse (.... terrible???). So I knew that once we were in Modesto, it might get better. So we packed up all our things, loaded up the car. Moved the car seats from the van back into the car, loaded up the girls who were falling asleep and drove down to Modesto (I think) a little past midnight. The girls slept most of the ride back, but started getting fussy once we were in town. We unloaded the girls and I unpacked the car. Got them ready for bed and called it a night. I was tired... and becoming very sore...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Around and Around We Go!

I took this video of the girls while we were in Sonora, California this past April.

When I started recording, the girls were watching Napoleon Dynamite. It was the scene at the bowling alley where Kip says, "Yesssss...". They girls love this movie and are starting to quote it. I just happened to get Ady mimicking Kip.

Then the rest of the video is of Aunt Heidi spinning the girls around and around, and the dizzying effect on them... Hilarious!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

California (Pt. 3)

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
On Thursday morning, I woke up when the girls woke up, but then tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t because the girls were downstairs making noises (probably screaming just to hear their voices echoing...). So I knew I was up.

Later on in the day, I got ready and drove in to town with Rex so that we could go to the local Burger King (2nd time) and use our laptops so we could check our e-mails and do what ever we wanted to do on their free and open Wi-Fi. While there, I actually ordered a Whopper because I was hungry. Just so you know, this was the first time in 19 years. The last time I had one, I was in 4th grade (1990) and the day before Spring Break (a Thursday), my sister and I got food poisoning from the Whoppers we had that night. Even though I was hungry, I was still skeptical while eating it.

After a we sat around long enough, we drove back up to Bonita's. Less than 30 minutes later, other family members that lived in town drove up with dinner from KFC. I was not hungry since I had lunch not too long before that, but I eventually had some later on. We sat around and talked while everyone ate their dinner. Shortly after, I noticed a deer walking by the house on the road that passes by the house. So I grabbed the video camera and took footage. Turns out, it wasn't just one or two deer, I counted 10 deer walk by. By this time, pretty much everyone got up and walked outside to look at the deer. After the deer disappeared, we went back inside and chatted some more. When we were leaving BK, I grabbed a little magazine that advertises things to do and visit in Sonora area. I never knew just how close we were to Yosemite. I was wanting to go over there to take pictures, but the only day we could probably do that was Saturday. But I was going gold panning on Saturday. So, what we figured was that I could go pan a little in the morning and then we could drive to Yosemite with the family. But that wasn't official, it was just an idea. But now it was getting really late and before it got too late, those that drove up to visit decided to call it a night and drove home before it got really late. We then watched a little TV and then called it a night.

Friday, April 24th, 2009
Since it was my turn, I got up with the girls when they woke up. Luckily, I did not have to make breakfast this time. Bonita made fresh biscuits with gravy before she had to leave to head to work. Very good. Since Rachel and Heidi were now up, we packed up the girls to take them into town to visit Bonita at the hospital that she works at so she could show everyone who worked there the twins. After stopping to pay a visit and making a quick stop at Starbucks (not for me, I don't drink coffee), we drove back to the house and made the girls lunch.

While we were sitting around doing nothing... except chase the girls around and saying, "No! Don't touch that.-- Put that down. -- Get over here...", I happened to look out the living room window to see that it was snowing outside. It had been raining earlier when we drove into and back from town, but time had passed that it was now cold enough for it to snow up in the mountains.

Since we had nothing planned until later, we let the girls watching "Napoleon Dynamite" for the time being.

Well, around 3 or 4PM, we drove into town again (the weather had cleared up and was now nice). Rex had a doctor appointment, so I followed Heidi since she was driving the van with Rex, Rachel and the twins inside, over to one of the family members' (that came over the night before) house. Heidi took Rex to his appointment while we hung around. The plan was to give the girls a bath since they had not had one in 4/5 days and to let me walk around and take pictures. They had cats, so I hung outside on the back porch most of the time trying to get some use of the free Wi-Fi internet that Downtown Sonora let's people use. But I was starting to have breathing problems the night before and so I was using my inhaler a lot more now. But like an idiot, I put my inhaler in my camera bag and left it in the van when I was helping them unload the girls. So I couldn't use my inhaler or go take pictures. Luckily, Marian (Rachel's aunt) had one just like the one I am using now, so I had to use that one until Rex and Heidi came back from the doctor appointment.

We gave the girls a bath while we were waiting. Once Heidi and Rex arrived, I grabbed my camera bag and decided to walk around the neighborhood taking pictures. Downtown Sonora kind of reminds me of Park City, Utah. Small little town when it was founded, plus the shops you can walk past on Washington Street reminds me of Main Street in Park City. Well, after walking around for a short little while, I headed back to their place. Not long after, Justin (Rachel's uncle) arrived home from work and we loaded up in the cars/vans and headed over to Mandarin Palace (a Chinese Buffet) in another part of Sonora. It was really good food, but when you bring the twins with you to a restaurant, you have to hurry and eat your food while the girls eat/play with theirs, then have to entertain them or they get cranky... So there is never a chance to sit, eat and relax when we go out with them. But after we were all done, I think we just ended up driving back to Bonita's for the rest of the night. Sorry, I can't think of what we did. Most likely sat around the TV and watched whatever was on. But since I was planning on going gold panning tomorrow with Rex's brother Sam, I think I tried to go to bed early, but couldn't. *Snap!* I do remember that Rachel brought the girls upstairs, where were sleeping, and ended up turning on the TV and watched the history of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. After that was over, we all went to bed since it was now 2AM in California... 3AM in Utah (ouch!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

California (Pt. 2)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
On Tuesday morning, I woke up with the girls and let them watch cartoons for a little while in the TV room. But since we did not have anything to make them for breakfast, I woke Rachel up so she could watch the girls while I ran to one of the grocery stores that we passed on the way in town the night before. I bought a few things and returned back to the place we were staying, and I ate some breakfast myself. After breakfast, I looked out the front window where the TV room was and saw that the morning light was just right for taking pictures. So I went outside and took pictures for a little while and then came back in. Because I felt dirty (because it was very humid) from the night before, I hoped in the shower and got ready for the day.

I used their computer to upload a few pictures onto Flickr since I could not figure out why my laptop would not connect to their internet via Ethernet cable.

Now that lunch was approaching, I totally spaced it to get a few things for lunch at the grocery store. On the way to get more groceries, I found a Chevron to fill up the car that the Fairbank's let us borrow with gasoline, and then headed to another grocery store closer by. After shopping, I was heading back and Rachel called me to see where I was at. Luckily I was at a red light when she called, because as soon as it turned green, I said, "Oh crap! That's right, you can't talk on your cell phone (to your ear) while driving. I'll see you soon." and hung up. I didn't want to get pulled over and have to really prove that I was from Utah, even though I was driving a vehicle with California plates. Well, I made it back and made the girls lunch.

Shortly after lunch, Heidi and Rex arrived from Sonora to come have lunch with us and to do a few extra things while they and we were in Modesto. We ended up going to a little Mexican restaurant right next to the grocery store I just came from. We sat around and talked while we ate our lunch and then after lunch, we drove over to the home that Rex, Heidi and Rachel once lived at when they lived in Modesto years ago. We drove around and Rachel showed me the middle school and elementary school that she went to when they lived there. She also pointed out a few homes that her childhood friends lived at when they were younger. Then we headed over to Wal-Mart because Rachel could not find the cell phone charger (that I knew I packed right in front of her). After buying the charger, we headed back to the place we were stayed at for the night and very quickly packed up so that we could head up to Sonora for the next few days and nights.

Before we left town, we stopped and let Rex visit with his dentist (good friends and who he traded with) and the other people in the dentist office. He has shown them pictures of the twins, but this was the first time they had ever seen the girls in person. After a little visit with them, we left and headed on our way to Sonora. But instead of Rachel driving with me, Heidi drove shot-gun with me and the twins, while Rachel drove the car with Rex (that Heidi and Rex drove in). We just happened to be heading up there while sun was setting, and since Rex was telling Rachel where to drive, we followed her. There were SO many times that I just wanted to pull over, get out and take pictures of the scenery. Had I done that, I would have gotten lost on which way we were suppose to go, and it would have taken us hours to drive an one hour drive.

But luckily, one of the girls started to wake up while we were driving. I tried calling Rachel (dead battery) and Rex (text messaging), but no luck. Since Rex knew I called, they finally pulled over on a section of road (a driveway of a home in the middle of nowhere) and gave both the girls some Tylenol (since they are still teething). While Rachel was holding Ady (since she wanted Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma...), I took some pictures. After the girls calmed down (Chloe was crying because I woke her up to give her medicine), we started driving on the road to Sonora and made it to Rachel's grandma's home just as there was little light left outside. But we brought the girls in and that is when it because a chore for Rachel, Heidi and I had to constantly watch the girls since the house was not child proof and they wanted to explore everything. We had dinner shortly after arriving. We watched something on Bio about Urban Legends. Hey Tristyn, I knew it wasn't true... the story about the envelopes and roaches. FALSE!!!

After watching TV and talking, it was time for bed. So we set up the playpens for the girls to sleep in upstairs, and went to bed ourselves.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Since Heidi had lost a bet to Rachel the night before (who the gentlemen was in one of the pictures... it was their grandpa), she had to make everyone breakfast. I was able to sleep in for a little while and then ate my omelet that Heidi custom made for me (she didn't add green peppers). Because I knew I needed a shower from dealing with the humidity in Modesto the day before, I took a shower. Ugh... I won't say here, but if you ever see me, ask me why I knew my mom would have flipped out had she been there...

After I bravely took a shower, I finished getting ready so that we could move the car seats from the car we were borrowing and move them into one of Rex's vans. We loaded everyone up and headed into town so that we could take Rex to a quick doctor appointment and check-up. Rachel went in with him, so I don't know exactly what they had to do. But since it didn't take long, we all sat out in the van waiting for them to finish up. Also, because I could not get cell phone service while up in the mountains (where Rachel's grandma lives), I was getting caught up on all the text messages and Twitters that were pouring in. I also had to change my voice mail greeting letting customers know that iStGeorge was closed and to leave a message, since I would not be able to answer the phone.

After the doctor appointment, we headed over to Wal-Mart so that we could get lunch for everyone and a few supplies. After lunch and shopping, we drove over to the cemetery where Rachel's grandpa is laid to rest. We were there for a little while, just chatting and talking about family history... and chasing the girls all over and telling them to stop throwing the white rocks (as seen in the picture).

After the cemetery, we drove over to a couple hardware stores to find a part for Rex. Bonita (Rachel's grandma) mentioned that there was a Chinese buffet and we could go there for dinner... as soon as Rex found his part. But we had just finished lunch and I wasn't hungry. Plus, we just bought some food supplies to make dinner. After he purchased the needed part (don't ask me, I don't know what he needed), I needed to check my e-mails...

So, we drove over to the local Burger King so we could let the girls play in the kid area while I used their free Wi-Fi long enough to check and reply to e-mails, Twitters, Facebook messages and anything else while I was there. It sucks going from having it to not having it, and depending on internet to keep connected to everyone else... Almost like a drug. Well, while we were there, we ended up getting dinner for everyone since it had been long enough. After Burger King, we headed back to Bonita's place for the night. We were trying to entertain the girls by connecting my iPod dock to the TV, but since they were not staying put in the room while Bolt was on, we all ended up watching Napoleon Dynamite. Shortly after the movie ended, I started to feel weak and sick. I knew I had been eating nothing but fast food (and gummy bears) since we arrived, so I knew my body was saying I needed something in my stomach that was better,healthier. Rachel quickly made me a PB&J sandwich and a glass of milk. I ate that and felt better soon after. Because it was now getting late, I called it a night and went to bed. But since the bed Bonita let Rachel and I sleep on, wasn't big enough, I unrolled a sleeping bag and slept on the floor for the remainder of the trip.