Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas edition.

I didn't include a letter with our usual Christmas card picture this year, because I procrastinate alot...but as some of you know, I do my best work when procrastinating!


Kolby had a big year this year...first of all she was born, which is a crazy experince in it's self. She has my heart in a way the boys never could, but we won't tell them that. Her smile, eyes and love of snuggle time while watching hockey is something I will cherish forever. She got her ears pierced in August and will be working on earning her driver's license next month.


Brecken is the life of the party, he needs, and I MEAN NEEDS your attention at all times. He learned how to kneeboard this summer and loves to ride on the tube with his brother and cousins. I can still wakeboard with him standing on my board, but I think those days are over as he is getting pretty big. He loves to wrestle, give snuggies and "proper kisses". He can ride a horse by himself, thanks to Grandpa Bob. He started hockey this year, and at 3 years old is keeping up with the 5 and 6 year olds he skates with. (He got on the team because his dad is the coach)


Is the big first grader, is learning to read, write and listen in class. He even has a crush on a girl in his class, and we tease him about her, but he brings it on himself most of the time. Maxim learned to kneeboard, rides Juneau the horse really well, and likes riding on jetskis. He played baseball and continues to create epic battlefield scenarios in the basement or on the deck with his Star Wars, Transformer, and Super Hero figures. He had his first assist during a game last weekend, and he said he "loves everything about hockey"...and even when the Varsity Girls team teases his brother and he. (the boys are, to quote one of the girl's varsity players, "the mascots of Huron Hockey" as all the older kids seem to love the boys).

Steph and I:

I'm still at the electricity factory working in communications and demand side management. Steph works full time for our company...we started a photography/multimedia company this year...hours upon hours were spent in our office and shooting family pictures for clients.

We couldn't believe all the business we have had for a company that has been in existence since August. It is a lot of work, but we love it. Sometimes we fight like those guys that build motorcycles on TV, but we always kiss and make up. Check out our website if you want it is probably the main reason why I haven't been blogging as much as I used to.

I also forgot to blog about something major that Steph got this year...a dog. Kia joined the house hold in November...she is a lap dog and super cute and doesn't bark, so that is the only rules I had for a little muppet dog, Maxim loves her, Brecken wrestles her, and Kolby sometimes shares her pacifier with her.

Plain and simple, our family is over-blessed. Thanks for caring enough to visit the site all the time and may you enjoy Jesus' Birthday party on Friday.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Keeping out the "riff-raff".

I have always heard people say that the winter seasons in places like South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana helps to keep out the "riff-raff". I assume in this statement that "riff raff" means less fortunate people, folks that didn't grow up in the area or like it says, just plain old "riff raffers".

Well, this morning I woke up to -25 degree wind chills and some snow falling sideways...and I thought, wouldn't it be nice to live somewhere else?

Does that make me "riff raff"?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

T-Shirt of the Day.

The website has a new shirt on their site every day...some of them are not in good taste, but some have witty sayings like:'s a Party!, you know stuff like that.

I almost bought the one from is the script.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bear Grylls...Man vs. Wild

Over the long weekend we had some pretty nice weather so I decided to drop in the kayak and go for an early winter paddle.

When I got about a half mile from shore I thought I would hate to fall in the water today. I paddled for about a half hour and watched the geese swarm the lake. As I got back to the house I realized that my usual method of getting out of the kayak was not available due to the fact that I took out the dock and my ladder for the winter months ahead.

I thought of a couple different options and the best one seemed pretty easy, until I tried to stand in the kayak and push off of the seat to get up to our permanent dock. Kayaks don't set still in the water and it takes no force at all to move them. The kayak slid out from under me and I caught myself on the dock...then my hand slipped and I fell backwards, "Neste' Plunge Style" into the water which couldn't have been more than 33 degrees.

I don't remember much right after I fell in as I went into shock right away, but I drug the kayak out of the water and then ran up to the house dripping wet and as cold as I have been in a long time. (Donnie H. if you are reading this, I was as cold as the time we sided that old farm house of Brad T's in the dead of winter.)

I pounded on the window and waited for Steph to come to the patio door to rescue me. It took her a while, so while I waited I remembered an episode of Man vs. Wild where Bear fell into cold water and when he got out he stripped down to his gitch to warm know works.

Steph and the family had a good laugh at me and I took a long hot shower.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Parade Of Lights

The family got together at the Tailgate and then took in the Parade of Lights afterwards. We got a pretty extensive family picture, some key folks are missing. Like Sheila and Aaron's dog Bailey and the other half of Scotty's head, but pretty good for a quickly.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

P-Dog is old.

My nephew Preston is like 11 today? When you get old you forget how old people are. I remember when Jason and Angie had him I thought, oh no, now Steph is gonna want to have kids. Well, I put that off for a while, but would never take it back now that we have them.

That brings us to the nickname...I don't remember where it came from, but to our family Preston is P-Dog, and Jason became "Uncle Red" a few weeks ago, and Brecken LOVES to call them by their Happy Birthday P-DOG!

Friday, November 20, 2009


I am now 37.

Funny how that sounded really old when I was 27.

For some reason when I have a birthday I always reflect on the person that I am, well, at least since I was about 30.

I know sounds a bit strange...but after all these years on Earth I realize there is only a few things that really matter.

Love without limits, your wife, your kids, your parents, your sister, your in-laws, your co-workers and complete strangers.

Embrace creation, play in it, work in it and capture it.

Take pride in your family history, your country, and your what you can to make those things shine, no matter how dysfunctional it may seem. :)

Finally love the One who died to set you free.


For those of you who feel obligated to buy me a present (Skipper and Eric) you really don't have to...instead check out our new line of fine photographic artwork by clicking on this link. HIS Signature is a celebration of our family love of the outdoors and my outdoor/nature photography. These photos come either printed on canvas wrapped frames or studio mounted frames, no framing or matting needed just put them on your wall. Call Steph to place your order.

Monday, November 16, 2009

M-R Ducks...S-M-R Ducks

When we lived in Sioux Falls I used to hunt ducks and geese...a ton. When we moved to the lake I felt like I didn't have the time, so my waders and decoys sat in a storage bin for almost 3 years. Steph's folks came this weekend and her dad and his hunting sidekick Mike brought their duck gear so I thought, why not.

I forgot how much I love duck hunting...I honestly almost enjoy it more than hunting pheasants...especially this year as the pheasant hunting has been more like work.

We had some super good hunts in the last 3 days...I kind of don't want to go back to work tomorrow, but I have a load of things to get done, so duty calls.

Here are some pictures I took with my BlackBerry's camera. They turned out way better than I thought they would!

Mike, aka, DuckMan, and my father-in-law waiting for me to call them in.

Mike...waiting for me to say "Take 'em!"

Roger's silhouette on another gorgeous morning!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Photographer's Kids

You know the standards, the Preacher's kids are naughty (right Brad), the Doctor's kids are always sick, the photographer's kids...well, this picture says it all. This is not staged, this was real attempt at a family photo.

This might be our Christmas card from LakeHaus Productions....

Monday, November 09, 2009

Buster and Beauty

Sometimes I wish my dad wanted a Harley Davidson, or about 4 snowmobiles, or a couple 4 wheelers, but a lot of guys don't want to hang out with their dad, or don't have a dad, so I don't complain. I just give him a hard time about his Old West purchases.

Here is the latest...Buster and Beauty, and the "breaking cart" not pretty, but it is for working a young team. The boys and I had fun bouncing around the prairie on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Mr. Mom Weekend

Steph and her best friend went to Minnesota for a Heart's at Home seminar/shopping spree/get away from life for a few days trip. I manned up and took the kids, with tons of help from Penny and Bob, and let me tell you it's not easy.

I totally respect any stay at home mom or single parent for that's not sweatsuits and lattes all day long. I didn't get much sleep on Friday night because Kolby thought it would be good to watch the moon come up over the lake for a few hours...until 1:30 AM, and Saturday morning the boys woke up at 6:35 AM...Kolby was 5 minutes behind them. (just hang on for a second I have to go change Kolby's diaper......)

Saturday we went to the SDSU football game with Grandpa Bob and the Jacks had a very off day to say the least, but it was fun to hang with Grandpa and the boys. Kolby and Grandma went to some gathering of women and had fun too.

I learned a couple things over the weekend: Girls are harder to get dressed than boys get jeans and a shirt...but the little princess gets "stylized", I also had no idea where any of the kids' clothes were, also just because I don't eat breakfast doesn't mean the boys shouldn't either. Sunday on the way to church, Brecken says, "Dad, I'm like totally starving." Also the funniest one of all came out of Brecken, "Dad, I want to watch Sponge Bob Wears Pants."

Dear Steph, you can't get home soon enough, we all miss you very much!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

When the Doctor is your friend...

I have a had a few close friends that also doubled as my various medical care of those is a dentist in town that we lovingly call Doc. I have been known to eat a bit of hard candy and my teeth have paid for it.

I had 2 fillings to get today, and Doc stuck one side with the 12 gauge needle full of diesel fuel (cause that's what it tastes like) and then proceeded to stick the other side to complete the mouth numbing needed to perform the work without me crying. I don't mind going to the dentist, and since he is my friend it is fun to hang out with him, (Even if it cost about $300 every half hour...that is what insurance is for) but the WORST part is the shot.

My right side numbed up fast, like I took a dodge ball right to the nose, my eyes watered and I felt left side different story. If I remember right I took 4 or 5 shots to the left cheek...then we waited, and waited and tried to drill a little bit, but nothing.

Doc and his assistant joked about the older lady a couple days earlier that took her fillings but refused anesthetic, and that she was tougher than me. Finally Doc tried one more spot, he said it was his last trick. I would never be a good prisoner of war, because if the choice was giving up information or taking that shot again, I would tell them where the weapons of mass destruction were.

So we waited some more, nothing...I said it's a little numb let's Doc did a couple little test drills and I felt it, but not bad. So basically he did all his drilling with my mouth still feeling the love from the spinning bit. Then about 3 minutes before he put the stuff in my tooth for the new filling, my lip falls asleep like a dog in the sun on a Sunday afternoon.

I guess the nerves in my mouth are very slow to react, which makes me wonder why my mouth got me into trouble all the time growing would think I wouldn't be so quick-tongued.

Also, have you ever tried spitting with a limp lip? It's more like drooling.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kolby in her favorite chair.

Living On Liquid...really.

Our boys have the fever.

Nothing else, just the soul-sucking fever.

Well, it actually hasn't affected Brecken's ability to be wild while sick, or tell me, "I'll show you where you are going you RAT SCALLION." I'm not even making this up, last night between 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. I think he broke the Guinness Book Record for repeating a certain phrase...Just over and over and over and over, you get the picture. (Thanks, Veggie Tales)

Maxim hasn't eaten for a couple days and Breck slowed down last night pretty quickly, they have survived on G2, Chocolate Milk and a ton of they are truly living on liquids.

I am feeling well, as are Kolby and Steph, but I keep using Purell almost every hour on the hour, I think I put it on my tongue at one point yesterday...just to be safe!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Bird

I don't agree with this video, but I always get a good laugh out of over-dubbed video spoofs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Birthday Party Meltdown

These young parents should be reprimanded for letting this boy scream and pout about not being able to get his brother's presents.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Yes, we have 2 other boys, and I'll post a photo of them later...Kolby owns her daddy though.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bathroom Remodel.

Most people plan long and hard about any major renovation to their home...we are kind of the same way, but we fast track the planning process. (Notice I didn't say we fast track the entire process.)

On Tuesday I decided to take Friday off, and in another conversation Steph told me she wanted to remodel the main bathroom. I called her on her desire to rip it apart, and we were at the lumber yard on Thursday night and down to studs in the bathroom by Friday night.

Maxim and Brecken were big helpers...I even let Brecken put a hole in the wall with a hammer.

I got most of the needed sheetrock up today, and the new shower and tub will be hauled into the house tomorrow after my buddies get done watching the football game at our house.

I am so pleased with my speedy progress that I am almost thinking that I will have the bathroom back together before next summer.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Kolby is mobile.

Kolby has been crawling around pretty good for the last 2 weeks, and as I type this, she is pulling herself up to the coffee table. 7 months old and she is standing on her own.

I am pretty sure I'll be buying her a Jeep Wrangler and pink BlackBerry here in a month or two.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

100% on the first spelling test.

So I guess I might have been a little more nervous about Maxim's first spelling test than he was. Today was the day he had to spell words like: can, man, is, it, cat, mat, had, hat, I, and the hardest one of all...the.

I didn't realize it but "the" is spelled nothing like it sounds...ta-ha-eee. So Maxim and I made up a song about "the" to help him remember. It must of worked because he aced the test.

I'm a little nervous about this method of learning through song...I'm reminded of a certain episode of "Cheers" remember..."Albania, Albania, you boarder on the Adriatic...".

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Beauty of Skype.

I don't know if any of you use SKYPE's services, but I have recently found the joy of talking to someone on a computer and being able to see their faces...the only problem is, I have a couple of buddies who live on the other side of the Earth, and in order to hook up on the Skyper I would have to get out of bed at 4:30 a.m. to get them during their evening.

Now if Skype could invent some way to bend time so that we could have the ease of video calling our friends in other parts of the world, AND being able to do it during normal Central Time Evening Hours...that would be great.

If you want to Skype us it's pretty easy our Skype userid is my name...Thomas...and so on.

Just don't make me get up in the middle of the night to talk to you.

Monday, September 21, 2009

New United Way Website

I just launched the new website I built for the Huron United Way...check it out...if you want.

This is another LakeHaus Productions I should probably make a website for LakeHaus Productions...but hey, paying customers first!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

United Way 2009 Campaign Video.

Chris Studer and I put this together for the Huron United Way.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Phelps the Painted Turtle...goes back Into The Wild

We let Phelps the Turtle go last night...due to the heavy pressure we were getting from the general public not agreeing with our keeping of a turtle in captivity...note the comments we got this morning on yesterday's story. (So if you do the math we let the turtle go before this dude commented...and I am writing with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek)

Enjoy the video of Phelp's happy reunion with the lake.

(For the record, as I know some people have asked me...yes, Brecken owns shirts...he just refuses to wear them most of the time.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Phelps the Turtle...

Our friends gave the boys a turtle to "release" back into the wild of Lake Byron. So we brought it home, put it in a tub, gave it a name...with plans to release it the next morning or so.

I think the problem was giving the thing a name...Maxim wanted to call it "Swimmy" but he tends to name everything after it's most dominant characteristic. Remember "Shaky" the cat...I am surprised he doesn't call Brecken "Crazy" or "Screamy" or "Psychotic". Anyway, I came up with the name Phelps, because he's the best swimmer I know and this turtle is super fast compared to the turtles I have known before.

For the last 3 evenings, I have tried to get the boys ready to let Phelps go back "into the wild", but Brecken's heart completely breaks, and I can't bring myself to let the turtle go.

I am not sure what to do, and I even googled "what to feed a painted turtle".

I don't think I am the first parent to let their kid keep a wild animal for a little longer than it was supposed to be around, but with Brecken this is tough. Remember the dead baby rabbits he carried around for a day?

So for now Phelps is the guard turtle in front of our house!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Somebody is old today..

I think it is Skipper's birthday if you see him throw him over your lap and give him some BARN BURNERS on behalf of his nieces and nephews.

Happy B-day Uncle Skip.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Catching Up...quickly.

I've been off the BLOGSPOT for a little bit...I'll catch you up with a busy week by using only a couple words to describe the events of the last 6 days...

fair set up
kicked it with the family

start the fair
booth duty
pork loin sandwich
ring of fire with maxim
felt sick
didn't puke
worked out
almost puked

booth duty
foot and mouth virus
lots of hand washing
more booth time
made fun of Studer and Johnny
pork loin sandwich
Godfather's pizza
lots of mints at the booth
closed the booth down

work out
booth duty
out at 10am
Jon Ruben
hung out with dave decker and willet
Sanctus Real
Everyday Sunday
Run Kid Run
Remedy Drive (bad show)
TFK...rocked it as usual
drove home
dropped Gus and Angie off at 2:30am
bed at 3:30 am

Opened the booth
worked out
back to the booth
porkloin sandwich
left the booth at 2pm
helped Steph with the sick kids
foot and mouth virus
more handwashing
mowed the lawn
sprayed weeds
sprayed for insects
sprayed for insects again

opened the booth
pork loin for breakfast
more booth
closed the fair down

tore down the booth
Brecken helped
little work
picked up Maxim from school
fish supper
held Kolby
fed Kolby
cleaned kitchen with beautiful bride
logged on...told you about it.

Tomorrow: work...on the golf course...I know rough...PR work you know.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I think I have spent the majority of the last 10 days using an Adobe brand computer program in some way shape or form at the office and at home for our business.

Remember on the movie Wild Hogs where the computer nerd guy gets the tattoo the Apple Computer icon? I'm thinking my next tat will be of the Adobe icon...

"You guys aren't gonna wear helmets?"

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fair Week.

Basically I spend most of next week at the SD State Fair, I know to some of you snobby-types that would sound like a lame time. Our family has some ties to the fair as Bob was the manager for a few years in the mid to late '70's, so Sally Sue and I did some growing up right there on the fairgrounds.

The company has a booth at the fair that is basically my as a bonus to those of you that read this blog and will be attending the fair...if you see me at the booth, come up to me and say the secret pass word "Hey Thomas!"...I'll get you a cool flashlight or a bottle of water or something cool.

Except Skipper and Verlie you guys get a peppermint candy and that's about it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Didn't anyone think about this before they built it???

(CBS) A supercomputer used to predict weather patterns and measure the effects of global warming is itself one of the top contributors to pollution and global warming in the Great Britain, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Everyday all day school...

Last year Maxim went to Kindergarten on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays...this year is first grade...real school!

They started last week Wednesday, and on Thursday evening he asked when his next "at home" day would be...I explained the concept of weekends to him and he seemed to understand.

Last night we were playing baseball in the yard and while we were picking everything up he said, "can I have a day at home weekend tomorrow?". I laughed...we long for those for the rest of our lives.

Until we hit 63 and retire like Skipper and Verlie, then it's mess around time while the wife works to support the family.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Samantha K.

LakeHaus Productions is Steph and my side business, it is a combo of my video and still photography passion, (and schooling) and Steph adds the business side of the operation.

I have been taking quite a few pictures lately, and am getting behind on the editing process, but here is one that popped while I was editing tonight.

Samantha K. is super easy to photograph so I didn't have to do much to make her look good besides push a couple buttons.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm on my yearly "booth duty" tour representing the electricity factory at local fairs and farm festivals, it amazes me how happy you can make someone by giving them candy or a free pen.

It is a great study in human behavior to watch them look at our booth and all the cool stuff we give away or have lying on the table. You can actually break the fair-goers into a few different groups in their etiquette concerning giveaways on a table.

THE BAG LADIES: Usually retired, carrying a huge hand bag and a page of address label stickers with their address on them. These ladies NEED every piece of give away material you have, and also a few more for their grand kids. They will always tell you, "I'm picking up another one of these for my grand kids." (Yeah, lady your 6 year old grand kid really needs a refrigerator magnet and a little case of toothpicks and breath mints) (Wondering about the address label sheets??? that is so they don't actually have to fill out the "register to win" sheets)

THE CUDDLERS: These are usually middle-aged to older men, who don't feel like they should take anything off of your table without first talking to you about what your business does. Deep down inside you know they could care less about your energy service and they want the shiny key chain and a hand full of peppermints...but they feel the need to "buy you lunch" before they take your stuff.

THE COOL KIDS: Usually between 16 and 40 something...they walk by, see all your cool giveaway stuff, but totally act like they don't want anything...only to send their buddy or kid over to grab the nice pens, and key chains...then they end up asking for a hat too.

THE BEARDED ONES: My colony friends...they love the heck out of fairs and exhibit booths, old young, male and female, they all sign up for the "register to win" prizes, even the 8 year olds...they take every single piece of paraphernalia, informational document and giveaway toys. These guys are my favorite...they are the reason I don't have to bring anything home after the fair is over!

I think I usually fall into the "cool kid" category, except today....SDSU was giving away ice cream...I went back 2 times for SDSU ICE CREAM, got my bowl from the same lady...she said, "Back for more, huh?" I didn't even care..."Yep, I said...getting this one for my wife." (Sidenote: Stephanie wasn't along) It was great ice cream...always has been the best.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Maxim...The First Grader.

I know it happens to every parent, so I don't want to say it, but I really don't feel like Maxim is old enough for first grade...but he starts this week.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Kolby got some bling...

I wasn't quite sure about this...but Steph wanted her little one to have earrings at 6 months. I have to say I really like it, I couldn't watch them do it, but I like the outcome.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Wedding Dance

Why didn't I think of this for our wedding, Steph?

Amber K, this is how you should roll into your big ceremony!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Kolby is afraid of our dogs.

Our 2 dogs are about as laid back as dogs could be...they both love the kids and have never ever shown a mean side at all, with that said, we don't think twice about the boys climbing all over them or playing alone with them. If we were concerned the dogs would have gone a long time ago.

So the other day Kolby, Lilly the English Pointer and Annie the German Shorthair Pointer went for a little walk. The dogs were running through the fields looking for rabbits and pheasants and Kolby was just fine...until Lilly came running up to greet her.

I guess in the 5 or so months that Kolby has been alive she hasn't seen the dogs up close and personal. SHE WAS TERRIFIED of the "moving stuffed animals". It took a good minute or two to calm her down.

We thought it was a one-off situation where they just surprised her and frightened her, so we tried it again...this time with the dogs inside the kennel...same result.

I guess the only way to cure this is to get a new puppy for her to sleep with and grow up with...that way they will be about the same size for a while and bond really good together.

Anybody got a good duck hunting, water-loving chocolate lab that is about to have puppies? It would be great if it was here in time for duck hunting season...I mean so Kolby and I could take her new dog out in the duck hunting blind.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Capped off a great week.

As I mentioned, Steph and I hosted 6 parties in 7 days this week, we had a blast...but today was about our family.

We slammed some drive-thru fast food after church and the kids took much needed naps. I worked on my retaining wall/lakeside beautification projects and Steph worked on her tan and a book.

We decided to get out on the water around 6pm and almost had the lake to those are nights we push the kids to do things on the water. The boys have loved the tube this year and are very comfortable in the "big water".

My buddy Jared dropped his kneeboard to us this morning cause he thought the boys might take to that pretty easy. AND THEY DID.

Brecken and Maxim both loved it and we saw a side of Maxim in the water that we don't see too often...he was pretty aggressive about getting back on after he fell and didn't quit.

We capped the weekend with some good family time in the living if I could just kill the 3 flys that are bothering me right now!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Another Party

Summer kind of started out slow in the "party at the lake" department. It still hasn't really been super hot out and because of the rain and cool weather it seems like my buddies that farm have been working when they usually have some free time.

This week changed that as we had family and friends over 6 of the last 7 last party today and we are going to take Sunday off for ourselves...I think.

Steph is a trooper with all of her house cleaning and takes a special woman to host 20 some guests, make a gourmet meal, and back a boat trailer into the lake...oh yeah and take care of 3 kids.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Backyard Visitors.

This is what Steph and I woke up to on Sunday morning...we have a pretty cool backyard.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Couple Of Faceplants, And A Flying Brecken

Fun night on the water...Steph and I both face-planted hard. Steph's was way harder and caught on video, so we post those kinds of things to show how tough she is.

She was doing a surface 180 to ride into the wake switch...she took it waaaay to slow, and caught an edge. She is pretty "diesel" to take a slam like that and still get up and ride.

I rode with Brecken as usual to cap off my sessions...he loves jumping the wake a little bit, and on this one we got a little out of control. The legs and arms that are flying around are Breck's I've got a hold of him by the life jacket! Grandma Penny and Reece DON'T WATCH THIS!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Penny Calls Out Justin Morneau

If you knew my Grandpa Walt you remember that in retirement he spent his summer evenings watching the Twins and calling Tom Kelly a "dummy". He loved the Twins, but he always thought he could manage them better than "The Skipper" Tom Kelly. (in all reality, TK and Gardenhire do miracles with basically no budget)

Well, I saw a little bit of Walt in his daughter last night. As my mom and I were watching the Twins and Oakland in the 2nd inning the Twins load the bases, and Justin Morneau steps up to the plate. Then Penny says, "Well, Justin hasn't done anything for a while, so he needs to get something done here." The count goes full and it looks bad for number 33. I joked with Grandma that Justin wasn't gonna get it done this time...then he cracks one to right. GRAND SLAM!

So there you go Justin Morneau, I guess Grandma Penny needs to call you out more often. By the way after the Twins went up by 10 I told Grandma Penny that it might not be enough...the Twins got beat last night 14 to 13.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Maxim's Adventures Before School Starts.

Maxim knows that the freedom of summer is quickly coming to a close, and he wants to fit in one more "bacation to Aberdeen" and a trip to a place with a Toys R' Us.

Maxim has grown up a lot this summer, he is even trying things his 3 year old brother is already doing. I say that in jest, but it is almost the truth, because only 2 days after I snapped this picture of Maxim all alone on the water in a kayak, Brecken was all alone in the kayak as well.

The boys love our neighbor's kayaks! Thanks G and K.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fun Day At The Zoo

We had a great day at the zoo yesterday, as did half of the city of Omaha...75 degrees and a light breeze, it was actually hotter in the desert dome than out on the pavement. It was a full as I have ever seen it.

The kids loved the monkeys, gorillas and of course everything in the aquarium.

Hitting some shopping areas today and heading weekend with the Fast girls.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Omaha Weekend

Headed to Omaha for the weekend with the Fast girls...tell me Maxim and Brecken aren't the luckiest boys in the world!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You Fill Up My Senses...

John Denver's song "Annie" has a line that says, "you fill up my the mountains in spring time, like a walk in the rain"...and on and on. It's a song about being in love and comparing it to the rush and emotional feeling you get while experiencing nature.

That song comes to my head a lot when I'm outside...climbing, kayaking, hiking, skiing, biking or mowing the yard for that matter. Today that song was in my head for the wrong reasons.

As loyal readers know I bike to and from work a lot, I hadn't rode for about 4 days so I got up this morning a little early, because of the head-wind I would have to pedal into, and hit the still wet roads.

It has been raining almost every day here in Beadle county, and things are saturated to say the least. So when I set out to ride today, I was looking forward to smelling some fresh cut hay fields with a little rain on them to make them more "smelly". The funny thing was...for the entire 18 miles this morning, I smelled a bad combo of: wet, stale carpet, and hunting dogs fresh out of a slew.

I wrote it off to the fact that the rain has been falling for weeks and everything is a little thanks to the rain for "filling up my senses" with some funky earth smells all morning.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Penny Was Right!


Earlier this spring my boys found some baby rabbits, they played with them all day, carried them in a 5 gallon bucket, and even carried them around in a rain boot.

Grandma Penny came out the night after the boys found the rabbits, and of course they went back to the nest of rabbits, picked all 8 of them up again and showed them to Grandma. I am sure she was impressed with my parenting, an she was pretty insistent that the boys be scrubbed from head to toe with a anti-bacterial soap of some sort, then pressure washed 3 or 4 times over. She told us the boys could get "tularemia" from rabbits. (For the record it is pronounced like it reads, but just run it together "Tulare"-"Mia")

I had never heard of Tularemia, and joked that it is some disease that originated in Tulare, or that my mom was a little bit overboard in her cares for her grand children. I was of the mentality of let boys be boys, jump off roofs, playing in dirt, play with dead birds, etc.

So with the breaking news today of the epidemic in Sioux Falls, I have to say, "mom was right." Click here for the tularemia story from the Argus.

For the record, the boys played with the rabbits for about 2 days then kind of forgot about them, and I wanted the rabbits to die. I know cruel, but we have enough rabbits around so it didn't bother me that this litter of 8 wouldn't make it. Most animal moms don't return to the nest after humans touch their babies, especially after my 2 young Jeff Corwin's unsettled the birth place. Crazy enough there was 3 younglings that survived out of that litter.

The boys have not shown any symptoms of Tularemia either...that we know of, unless symptoms include, not listening the first time, punching a sibling, and refusal to wear shirts and shoes at all times.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I know I have an obscure taste in music, and I'm fine with not listening to what is on any genre of popular radio today. So sometimes I think I'm all alone on the music I like, so I wanted to share some with the readers.

I found this band the other day, and I can't get the song out of my head.

I am sure Uncle Skipper will download the whole album on to his MP3 player and rock it down G-City's Main Street.

Pretty good message about today's world politics and the abuse of power, but that is a blog for another day.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Happy 7-7

I celebrated the 7th day of the 7th month by putting $37.77 worth of gas in my car. I admitted my addiction of all things 7 to someone over the weekend, and they thought I was obsessive compulsive...a little bit I suppose.

I know I am not the only person with this addiction to a number, I am just glad that gas prices are way down from a year ago when I put $77.77 worth of gas in the Expedition and our boat. I thought that was super cool...then I thought it was way to much to pay for gas.

Monday, July 06, 2009

6th of July Insomniac's Post.

I'm lying in bed writing this's 12:30 a.m. and I should be exhausted, but all I can do is look out at the water, with the FULL moon shining on it. Our family played hard this weekend, and everyone else in the house is sleeping away.

Not me...thanks to my dad I am an insomniac. I sleep like 5 to 6 hours a this is kind of my boring time, I don't want to be up and walking around the house doing things. I am afraid I would wake up the I lay here and try to fall asleep.

Most things I "try" to do I get pretty good at, but "trying to go to sleep" is one thing I have not become proficient at.

So that's it...probably the most boring post I have ever done here at the old blog. Anyway hope you all had a great 3rd of July, 4th of July, 5th of July and hope you are sleeping now that it is the 6th of July and you have to go to work in 8 hours.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Thanks to Grandpa Bob for turning his backyard tree into a Norman Rockwell painting waiting to happen. Notice the "cape"...Maxim and Brecken ran around all day with their Superhero capes on.

We buy them thousands of dollars in toys in a lifetime, when all they need is a rope and a little help climbing a tree.

I think the only time our boys wore any type of shoes this weekend was to go to church on Sunday morning.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mike and the Angel.

The real TV news looked like Entertainment Tonight last night with all the celebrity deaths. Charlie's Angels was a little before my memory of pop culture life began, but I do remember that Farah was hot and every woman tried to do their hair like her...some still do. Mike Jackson was more my era.

I'll never forget when Thriller came out. I think my cousin Brent had the record, we listened to it all the time at his house, and some of those songs are still on my MP3 player.

Here are my 3 favorite MJ songs...for the record anything he did after the BAD album is junk....after BAD was the Wacko-Jacko era.

(If you click on the name of the song you get the video from

#1 Billie Jean

#2 Smooth Criminal

#3 Dirty Diana

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pictures for a lifetime...

I am pretty sure we all have a few pictures that have been deemed "family classics". They are the ones that resurface at graduations, weddings, etc. We already have a couple of them in our family, and I think I have posted some here.
We got a couple more pictures in the last couple days, and as I was looking at pictures tonight I knew I needed to share 2 of them.

The first one was taken with my BlackBerry's camera, but it turned out really good...Kolby sitting in her car seat with the cool new sunflower hat that Grandma Penny got her. I love it when Steph wears hats, so it is natural that when Kolby put one on it would melt me.

The other one was a picture that Steph snapped of the boys "running away from home". I am pretty sure Maxim was the mastermind behind their life on the road, as he told Brecken, "Come on let's get out of here and run away." As you can tell he took his most important possessions in his right hand, that is a plastic tote full of Star Wars guys and Super Heroes.
Both of them in white t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops, ready for life on their own...if only it could be that easy.
They actually got pretty far before they turned around.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Old Summer Jobs

Do you ever long for your old summer know the one you had in high school and college. I know a lot of folks who read this are still doing their old summer job, working on the farm, but I'm talking about the minimum wages, minimum work load summer job, that basically gave you gas money, Taco John's money and movie money.

This morning I had to run out to the baseball field to take a picture of some new signage that my company sponsored, and the field crew was out getting the diamond ready for a baseball clinic. I instantly got the desire to take my shirt off, and drive around the "tri-plex field groomer" and also a rake, not to mention mow the afternoon away in the outfield. Those were the days.

Then it was into the office at the electricity factory, and when I went to get my coffee, I ran into my old boss from the Water Department. What a great first summer job that was working for the water department with Bryan W. We logged miles on every street in Huron, went into some disgusting basements to change out meters, and weed whacked around fire hydrants.

One of the funniest stories ever to come out of that summer was on one of our first days, we were called on the city of Huron's 2-way radio frequency. You see the water department employees all had "call signs" like Doug T. was "W-4"...some other guy was "W-12"...etc. Well Bryan and I were out on assignment (whatever that was) and we hear over the radio "W-4 to W-dipsticks, you got a copy?" Bryan and I looked at each other and he smiled and said that must be us.

So I answered the call, "This is W-Dipsticks, go ahead." Little did I know that all city of Huron employees with a 2-way radio heard that...we were the "W-Dipsticks" for the rest of the year.

Yep, some days I would trade jobs with a guy mowing outfields in a long as I could have my job back a little later.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Stoke" Defined

Cousin Erkel and I went out in his Malibu last night...perfect night in the water, on the water and in the boat. After a couple sessions we ran over to the dock to pick up "the boys". My nephew Carson is in town for a few more days and he wanted to wakeboard.

He pulled on our Jr. sized board and I gave him all my coaching ability and within about 5 or 6 pulls he got up for about 50 meters. The smile he had on his face was amazing. He got back in the boat a short time later and was still just one big smile.

He talked about it for quite a bit in the boat.

That night he was on the phone with his mom telling her about how he wakeboarded, it may have only been 20 seconds, but it is what it is...I know the feeling it's what surfers call "stoked". You get this feeling that you don't get on dry land, and you spend your entire life thinking about when you can get that feeling again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My new favorite baseball player is...

I guess in the back of my head I always thought my favorite Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa was on the juice. He went from a real likable outfielder who hit 30 or 40 HR's a year to a guy that smacked out 60 and had a body that looked like the Statue of David.

Well, the report is out there...he failed a test in 2003, no big sup rise. Just another little dagger in baseball's back.

With that said, I would like to tell you about one of my new favorite baseball players.

He plays for the Huron Park and Recreation Coach Pitch White Sox and is number 77, because an older kid had 7 already. He turned 7 years old today, in the batter's box he has trouble with the low pitches, but he doesn't quit trying, and if you pitch one up around his shoulders he can really smack it, and he does it with a smile. He kind of hustles to first base, his mom works him over for not running fast...he'll catch on to that later.

He is good in the field and always thinks about his mechanics before he throws to first...he actually hurt his dad's hand the other day throwing the ball!

Congrats son you are my favorite baseball player, even if you play for the t-ball version of the other baseball team in Chicago...Happy Birthday

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


For the last 4 days this blog has been perfectly least for the rain that surrounded every moment of our weekend in Montana and our drive back to SD last night.

It rained pretty much the whole time we drove through Yellowstone.

I had some free time on Sunday so Steph and I went rock climbing east of Bozeman, only to get completely soaked and hailed on...I used my climbing rope bag as a helmet/rain coat so I could pick up all of our gear and not get pelted to death by the grape-sized hail. Then on the hike out I slipped on some mud and fell into a huge puddle and Steph got a good laugh out of that.

Then last night was the kicker...we drove with the windshield wipers on for 600 miles!

I can't tell you how ready for sunshine we both are!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to Kansas City...

First off I want to say that my wife is the most understanding person I know...aside from my folks who we pawned our kids off on for an extra day this weekend.

Steph's high school reunion has been on our planner for a few months now, and it happens tonight in the heart of downtown Kansas City at some trendy restaurant. A bunch of her girlfriends have been planning their reunion on for a while, and I was looking forward to putting faces and names together, to go with all the stories that Steph tells me.

Thursday was going as planned until I got on a conference call, and it seems like a weird schedule of vacations, business travel and my willingness to do anything as an employee that could help the company landed me in Montana for the weekend and into Monday afternoon.

I called Steph and passed the news to her and she was excited. I was dumbfounded. She wanted to come with, and since we already had Grandma Penny and Grandpa Bob taking the boys and the Fasts looking after little Kolby it made total sense.

So we left yesterday, hiked around Devil's Tower, today we are hitting Yellstone NP (my company serves YNP and I have work to do in the park), we are also going to do some rock climbing in the area. Tomorrow morning we are climbing in the Bozeman area and I have to do a little work on Sunday, and then a bunch on Monday...then driving home.

Steph said she would rather hang out with me in the mountains and go rock climbing, hiking and do some shopping in Bozeman than go to some stuffy Kansas City reunion to listen to people brag about how great their life turned out.

I was totally ready to be MR. STEPHANIE DECKER/GLANZER for a weekend, but instead thanks to my super fun job, we get to tour around Montana....together this time. It's nice for me to travel with my wife for work...did I mention that our kids are back in SD? Boy we will miss them by Monday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Passing of the Breck-Flu

You have heard of the the perils of the bird flu, the media has scared you with the swine flu...well, our friends and family experienced the Breck-Flu.

Here is how it went down...

Brecken was the initial human carrier, (we think he got this new strain of flu from a combination of handling dead animals, wiping his nose on his shirts, eating grapes off the floor, drinking water from our well, and a scrape on his knee he received while skateboarding).

Brecken passed the bug to Maxim, Maxim passed the bug to Kolby, Kolby passed the bug to Stephanie, Stephanie passed it to me, in the mean time we also knocked out Jerad and Angie Fast as they spent time at our house on Saturday night while Maxim was infected and in the mean time Grandma Penny and Grandpa Bob also got the 24 hour knock down from the Breck-Flu.

So to keep from anyone in our house getting sick again we are going to enforce a medical glove and mask policy for all visitors, or we will just use video conference to invite folks over from now on!

Thanks Brecken!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Saturday In Pictures

Here was our Saturday in pictures...except for the part where I worked for 7 hours on a retaining wall project in the yard.
Brats on the grill, perfect day at the lake.
Grandpa and his vaqueros taming the Old West.

Maxim riding all by himself. (notice the look of fear in Cookie's eyes)

Brecken and his "Buckle Bunny" Kolby getting her first riding lesson, and not really enjoying any of it.

Brecken and Grandpa driving the "tractor".

We capped it off with ice cream at pictures of that.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wrapping Up May Birthdays

Today is the day we celebrate my cousin Jon's I blogged about before May is a busy month for our family and extended family as far as birthday's are concerned.

Jon's, which is today, puts the end to our run which averaged about 2 per week.

So Happy Birthday to the guy that was basically the brother I never got from my parents. Jon and I have stories upon stories to tell our boys about things we did when we were young.

Here is one...I don't even know if Jon remembers this or not...we must have been about 10 or so, and I saw the Lone Ranger movie, and in the movie the Lone Ranger and Tonto cut their hands and shake hands to become blood brothers (long before the HIV epidemic). I always thought it would be cool to have a brother...Jon has 2 so this wouldn't have been a big deal to my only alternative was to have a blood brother.

I don't remember the circumstances of how both of us were bleeding at the same time, (which probably happened more than once), but we both had little tiny cuts on our fingers and we mashed the tiny splattering of blood together to officially become brothers of blood.

So Happy Birthday to my Blood's that for an obscure childhood memory?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a great Memorial Day weekend as our friends from Sioux Falls came to the lake for a little Summer Kick Off party.

The kids lived on the trampoline and had a blast...I think 11pm was the average bedtime for all of them.

This picture below of Brecken pretty much sums up his Memorial Day Weekend...I have 4 or 5 pictures of him from the weekend and he has a soda in his hands in each picture. He has been cut off and is now going through withdrawal.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Maxim picked today's video...

Maxim loves Ben 10 Alien and he wanted to choose today's video post, he chose this video from youtube.

Someday I'll make him type something into the blog...sorry it's been a while. Lots of travel and a super fun holiday weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Little SDSU Cheerleader...and another birthday.

Steph sent me this picture of Kolby in her SDSU cheerleader outfit today...I'm in Nebraska and she broke my heart that I couldn't give her a big hug and kiss.

I'm not sure she'll be the cheerleader type, but with Brecken and Maxim for brothers she might be the cheerleader that is always the one to be thrown up into the air doing cool stunts...we just have to make sure that they don't practice with her until she is at least 10.

OH YEAH...and Happy Birthday Uncle Lynn!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spray Paint + Brecken = Graffiti

I was marking the ground where we are going to build a retaining wall the other day, and must have left the neon yellow spray paint sitting on the steps.

On Thursday Steph was in Sioux Falls and I was on vacation to babysit the kids...Kolby was crying and needing to be fed, so I sent the boys outside for a few hours. I hadn't seen them run by any windows so I was a little bit nervous as to what they were up to.

Then like clockwork I saw Maxim and there was Brecken right behind him carrying the spray paint...and before I could figure out what he was doing with it, he started to paint the outdoor fire place.

I jumped up and yelled at them to stop, and lucky for me I caught him before he did any damage! I said, "Brecken, no, no, no, you don't play with the paint."

Then Maxim the consummate professional big brother said, "Yeah, dad I told him to quit painting everything."

So my walk around the house started. You know those Family Circus cartoons where they show the neighborhood and the path that Billy took to do something...well, we have that path in neon yellow.

Concrete steps, landscape timbers, sidewalks, grass, landscape rocks, a bench in the front of the house, and the thing that took the most beating was a little car that the kids can wheel around in...all of it, tagged by the great graffiti master Brecken.

He didn't hit the house or his sister, or anything real we got lucky. I have a feeling we might find a few other things that were tagged. I did notice this morning, when I was cleaning out the dog kennel, that my scoop shovel is now a lot easier to tell from other people's scoop shovels thanks to the yellow paint.

Some people write their names on their property, Brecken just color codes his property.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Birthday...Cassidy Bay.

Cassidy turns 14 today...that means she can somewhat drive a car in South Dakota I think she can test for a CDL to drive a semi...we make kids grow up a bit quicker in SD.

Happy Birthday and now you can get a Facebook page right?

Here is a little video of me basically being mean to Cassidy while we were on vacation over Christmas.

One thing folks might not know about Cassidy is that she is pretty quick with her tongue, and very funny...she keeps me on my toes and I like to mess with her.

I so want to fly on this guys planes.

I guess it was only a matter of time before someone realized that nobody pays any attention to their flight attendent's little manifesto prior to take off, so this guy gets it and I am sure everyone got the point.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Kindergarten Graduation

Maxim's kindergarten graduation ceremony was last night, held in conjunction with the spring concert. He wore the little cap and gown and everything...I'll post pictures later.

This morning when Steph went to wake him up for school, he thought she was joking. "I don't have school anymore mom, I graduated."

She tried to convince him that it was a ceremony and that he has school for another few days. He wouldn't buy it. I was still in bed, and he comes in and jumps on me and says, "Mommy says I have to go to school today...tell her I graduated."

I then explained to him that he has to go until Wednesday...he cried.

I dropped him off at the playground and he was surprised to see a bunch of kids at school, so he grabbed his backpack and said, "I guess I'll see you later."

Yeah Maxim, like the last week of school for a kindergartner is real cream parties, field trips, recess...just wait until summer vacation starts, I have a job for you hauling landscaping rocks around our yard, that I want done before Memorial Day Weekend. Oh wait, it was kindergarten graduation not 8th grad graduation, I got ahead of myself there.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

MAY this be birthday month...

I was talking to a good friend of mine yesterday, and I asked him his when his daughter's birthday was...he thought for a moment, whipped out his BlackBerry opened his calendar and then told me.

I was glad to know that I'm not the only one that needs a BlackBerry to remember important dates, like your wife and children's birthdays.

May is a busy month for our family as far as birthday's go. It starts with Roger and ends with Dr. Jon...Here is today's big celebration.

Happy b-day to my niece Avery!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco De Rogero.

Happy Birthday to my father-in-law...59 again?

Here is a photo that I took of Roger last year...a man, a dog, on his land...and his shotgun is not pointed at his son-in-law.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Blog About Bob.

My dad got blogged about by the President of his Alma about it here.

He claims he's really famous now that he made the Tabor College blog site.

Friday, May 01, 2009


I heard this story on National Public Radio about a bird that dances to the actual beat of a song by the Backstreet Boys. If they speed it up, he speeds up his routine, and if they slow it down...he hears the tempo and slows down his routine. It made me wonder, if a plain and simple bird, a Cockatoo can keep the beat to a song, why can't all humans?

As a drummer I often watch how the music I'm playing moves people. I would say, as a general statement, that the majority of mid-western men can't keep a beat. I would also say that most women can instantly recoginize when they should clap or at what speed they should dance/or bob their head. Which makes me wonder why more girls don't play the drums...Kolby will be forced to play the drums...because if you remember from a post back in 2007 Maxim wants to play the flute.

I worry about Brecken playing the drums...I have a feeling it would end up being a rerun of Animal from the Muppet Show...anyway here is the video.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sick of the swine flu.

Maybe I watch too much CNN, but I am already sick of hearing about the swine flu...I can listen to ESPN talk about A-Rod's steroid use for months, but if I hear one more story about the pig flu I'm going to start wearing a mask everywhere I go.

I actually don't think it is CNN's fault though, I trust that CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta is telling me things I really need to know about how to keep from being the first South Dakotan to acquire the latest fashion in mutated flu bugs.

Funny thing is...Jack Cafferty might agree with me, that the swine flu coverage is a little overblown at this point.

I actually blame my sickness of the new sickness on our local CBS affiliate, a couple of the reporters think they have their physician degree from the University of Phoenix Online, because the fire and brimstone that they have delivered over the last couple of days has me worried to leave the lake. Very similar to the way their meteorologist have you looking for shelter in the basement when it gets cloudy in July.

I have an idea, let the national networks worry about the swine flu, and the locals worry about flooding, local city government, and the Scotty Friesen Wedding coverage.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

End of an Era.

Everyone knows my cousin Scott...he has the personality of a politician without all the bad traits. When he walks into a building, everyone knows him, or will by the end of the night. He's that kind of guy...everyone's friend.

Well, Scooter is getting married this weekend, and I couldn't be more proud of him. He kind of followed in my footsteps, he is marrying a gal named "Steph".

So the clan will be together this weekend to celebrate, and I am sure Uncle Skipper has something planned, that is if his wife let's him pull his Shenanigans.

I wasn't sure the bachelor would ever settle down, and it almost took 40 years, but this is the big weekend. So when you hear the crowd cheering and engines revving on Saturday know that they are celebrating Scott and Steph's wedding vows.
I leave you with Scott's latest "gangsta picture" that he sent to me. Although he looks dangerous in the is not really that gangster, to throw up a peace sign, in front of a Hallmark display at a Wal-Mart...but hey, were from the 605 what do you expect?