Christmas Piano Recital

Tara and the kids played great at their annual Christmas recitals. Check out the videos.

Katie Playing at the Christmas Recital

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Grant Playing at the Christmas Recital

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Tara and Kids Playing at the Christmas Recital

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Ellie Laughing

Here’s a recent video of our little girl laughing. She’s not one to laugh too often but her brother has a nack for making her smile and laugh. He’s always had that effect on people.

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New Portfolio Pictures – My First Wedding

Well, it’s official. I’ve done a wedding. I guess I can’t really say I’m a wedding photographer but I feel as though I’ve hit a big milestone fairly quickly in a hobby I only took up 2 and 1/2 years ago. The conditions weren’t ideal (think 12:30pm in full sun), but it was fun and very educational. And boy did I get burnt. My arms are still peeling. I’ve uploaded some of my favorite pictures to my portfolio site.

A little background to how this all started. Well back in January (or so) I was asked by some friends from church to photograph their daughter’s wedding.  I was initially hesitant but after several conversations with them regarding my very very very amateur photographer status, they still insisted that they wanted me to do take the photos. So I agreed.

After agreeing, I read and read and read all I could about wedding photography. I even spent time on 2 separate temple trips to take some sample photographs. One session was just with Tara (see photos here) and another was with some friends of ours from the ward that we have a babysitting swap with (see photos here). A lot of the photos are not very good but some are ok.

I have an ok camera. It’s not a professional camera by any stretch but it was sufficient for our family picture needs. However, I felt that I was lacking in the lens department. So, I went on craigslist and found a nice Nikon 17-55 2.8 DX lens (only professional-grade DX format lens Nikon makes, btw). It was expensive but well worth it. I have almost exclusively used it since I purchased it. I also bought a battery grip, light stands and umbrellas. It all turned out to be very useful during the shoot. However, I’m afraid that I was still severely lacking in equipment. Specifically, I was wishing for a second camera and a 70-200 2.8 lens. Luckily, another aspiring photographer was with me on the shoot and brought those.

I guess the big question is would I do it again? Yes, I think I would.

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Where’s John?

Hidden John

I bet you can't find me?

We took advantage of the blossoms on the trees and took family pictures. We got some pretty great pictures of the family. Here is one I took as a joke. I bet you can’t find me. I’m hiding pretty good in this picture. If you look close you can just barely make out my ear between the branches. :)

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Watching Robin Rood

At our house, the Robin Hood Disney cartoon is synonymous with nap time. When Katie was very young, Tara and I would put it on, start watching it and fall asleep. In fact, we’d always seem to fall asleep by the “Love is a many splendid thing” song. Those of you who’ve seen the show will be familiar with the song. It’s the one in the fireflies in the forest.

Well, anyway… It’s been years since we’ve watched the show but today, Katie earned a reward and wanted to watch a family movie for her reward. What she said was classic. “I want to watch Robin Hood. It’s been forever since we’ve seen that one…. (to mommy) And you and dad have to fall asleep during the movie ’cause that’s what you always do during that movie.”

So, we watched Robin Hood. And Tara and I feel asleep on the couch during the movie like we’re supposed to. All was right in Katie’s world.

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Fun Times at the Park

Yesterday we watched the Hohmann kids while their parents went to the Columbus temple. We decided that since it was such a beautiful day, we’d go spend some quality time at the park. It was so much fun. The kids had lots of fun….
going down the slide backwards…
“Swinging” on the monkey bars…
playing T-ball…
playing follow-the-leader…


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Birthday Dishwasher

Our dishwasher was on its last legs. So Tara and I decided to replace it for our anniversary and for her birthday. Pleasantly, we didn’t take our usual 3 months to decide. We went to several stores and by the third store we had agreed on which model we wanted. The only thing left to decide was whether I was going to be brave and install it myself.

After a few days and a bit of research I decided to be brave and try to save some money and install it myself. I went to Lowes (by myself) on saturday morning and purchased the washer. The next saturday it was delivered.

After only two trips to the hardware store and several hours of work we had a working dishwasher. I am glad I took a chance and did the install myself.

The new dishwasher is really,



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Musicals on Sunday Afternoon

One family tradition that we have kept alive are good musicals. Santa brings a new one in our Christmas box every year. This past year he brought Newsies. We watched it later that day and the kids loved it.

The reason why I am writing about this tradition is that right now, we are watching “On the Town”. It was one Santa brought a few years back. This time we popped some “kermal” popcorn to go along with out movie. It was yummy. It’s amazing how fast it goes. Butter popcorn goes slightly less fast.

During the movie, Katie made the comment, “That one guy looks like the guy on ‘Singing in the Rain’.” I smiled and informed her that it was the same guy. I don’t know why it made me smile, maybe because I grew up on musicals and I know how much they meant to me and my mom while I was growing up. I remember many an afternoon sitting with my mom watching a musical (often with her falling asleep halfway through the movie). I think it brought her the same joy it brings me today.

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When my home teachers come…

Grant just said, “When my home teachers come, we’ll make some kermal (caramel) popcorn.” How cute is that!

Other favorite phrases Grant says or used to say:

  • I ‘disd’ obeyed. (sounds liked disobeyed) He means to say, “I just obeyed.”
  • My birthday was yesterday (everything is yesterday.
  • I want some yotion.
  • That will be a great idea mommy.
  • (as he’s being dragged to timeout) I’m ready to be niiiiiice
  • Singies (thingies)
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Good News, Bad News

Well, today was a good day and a bad day. Potty training is like that. You are happy to be able to free yourself from the diaper bag. But boy, is it a hard row to hoe.

I got a call from Grant (Tara dialed) early in the morning and boy was he excited to tell me something. He sounded so proud of himself when he said he went pee-pee in the potty. It made me think back when Katie was potty training. She would ‘put her pee-pees’ in the potty. I was truly excited to hear the news about Grant and gave lots of praise and encouragement.

Evidently, when Grant woke up this morning, Tara noticed that his diaper was dry and asked him if he wanted to go sit on the potty. He said yes and so began the potty training. So far, he has gone potty 6 times and missed 4 times. Pretty good for the first day. However, all of those were pee. So, we have not encountered “the big one” yet. We were so afraid that he’d have a poopie accident that we constantly hounded him during dinner, “are you sure you don’t need to go potty?”

I guess we know what we’ll be doing for the next few days.

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