Thursday, November 29, 2007

Introducing the next GQ cover model

Several months ago I was at church and I saw this cute little kid enter church wearing a little suit with a tie. It took me a second to realize that the little boy was mine. I was so used to thinking of Baker as our little Baby Boy that it took me a second to realize that he is quickly turning into our little man. Seeing him in his little outfit was so adorable. Well, you'll notice that he isn't wearing a tie in this picture. That's because a week or two ago I turned to Heather and said, "did we ever get a picture of Baker in that cute little suit that he used to wear to church?" She said no. As usual we had great intentions of taking his picture but back in those days I was in the Bishopric and Heather had two kids, an entire music lesson, and several other things to all juggle Sunday morning before church all by herself (needless to say those generally are not the most priceless Kodak moments). On the flip side Baker had usually been in nursery for two hours, eaten snack, and wrestled with several kids during that time. As a result he usually crashed in the car on the way home. Again, waking a sleeping child for a parent's picture gratification is generally not a great idea. Either way, we never got a picture. So imagine Heather's surprise the other day when she came out before church and her little boy was wearing his suit. Why the surprise? Well the suit is for 6-9 months. For those of you who are counting Baker is now less than a month away from being 2. While it may be a little small for him (his vest looked like he was a high priest still trying to wear his mission vest; which we know there are several of those that exist in the church) I think the overall look was fetching. He certainly is a fun child to have in our lives.

I also wanted to show you a picture of Katie and Baker together. I love this picture because it really illustrates how Katie treats Baker. She is an absolutely wonderful big sister. She will play with him and entertain him for hours. The two of them have a very special bond and Baker will often follow her around the house and do everything she does. Katie is not in his vocabulary but one of the very first words that he learned to say was, "cis-sy" (Baker for sissy). It seems that Katie can get him to laugh and play faster than anybody else in the family. For example, the other day I went in to get him out of bed in the morning. After several minutes of catering to his every need (changing his diaper, getting him a drink, changing his pee soaked jammies), during which time Baker hardly acknowledged I was there, Katie walked in the room and he jumped up and yelled, "CIS-SY" We certainly are a lucky to have two such beautiful and loving children.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Do you ever wish you had a recorder?

So I'm driving in the van with Katie, Baker, and her two neighbor friends Tyler (the one with the monkey face; not that he looks like a monkey but the one literally pulling the monkey face) and Josh (the one in the stripes). As I'm driving them home I have one of those moments where I think, Man I'd pay money to have a tape recorder right now. So I decided I'd hurry and sit down and try to recapture some of the magic. We'll see how I do. Many of you may not realize this but in St. Louis they require you to tell a joke in order to "earn" your trick-or-treat candy. As a result the kids were all well versed on their latest jokes. As I got in the van I received a chorus of "do you want to hear a joke?" My thought, "who wouldn't want to hear a joke created by a five year old?" (although secretly in my head I set a timer to see if we would make it all the way home hearing progressively more creative jokes; my hypothesis was yes; my hypothesis was confirmed).

First Joke:

Katie (K): Why did the kitchen cross the road?

Answer (A): to get some food to cook and eat

then a variety of jokes that followed, each child taking their turn. Katie's second joke:

K: Why did the squirrel cross the road?

A: because it was attached to the kitchen. Rounds of laughter, where does she come up with these things.

Later, Tyler, asked: Why did the Thanksgiving dog cross the road?

Josh: to meet his girlfriend.

Katie: that's silly Josh, dogs don't have girlfriends.

Josh: Yes, they do. My uncle Rick has a dog, and his wife's name is Lasso (?) and she has like 10 kids.

Katie: Oh yeah, well why did they Thanksgiving dog cross the road?

Tyler: because he wanted to eat some turkey.

Katie: wrong

Tyler: because he wanted to be with his family and friends while they ate turkey.

Katie: Wrong again.

Tyler: b bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb (that isn't actually what Tyler said Baker simply decided he needed to share computer time with his daddy). Back to the conversation.

Tyler: because he wanted to kill the turkey so he could eat it.

Katie: How did you get it?

Tyler: Hah! I got it right. In your face!

Katie: Allright, here's another one. This time I'll make it easier so you can get it right on the first time. Why did the house cross the street?

Tyler: to eat turkey with his friends (noticing a theme?).

Katie: NO! because he had feet.

Tyler: You mean he didn't like his neighbors so he decided to walk to the other side of the road to find new neighbors that he liked better?

Katie: Yeah you got it.

Tyler: Hah! I got it right. In your face!

Oh the wonder of kids. They literally could keep you entertained for hours. By the way, for those parents that have had similar experiences and as a result found themselves placing a mental wager on how long the conversation would last? We drove from our stake center to my house. Approximate traveling time: 19 minutes. So the essence of the story? Come to St. Louis, where for the small price of a candy bar you will meet our future comedians. We love you all and hope to see you soon.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Nauvoo, here we come

Our spontaneous, last minute Nauvoo trip to see where the Pioneers lived, included a special friend, Madeline Rozeski, for Katie. We drove the short distance (3 hours) to get there and see the Nauvoo pageant (which both girls slept through after a hot day in the sun).

It was a day filled with laughs, tears, and more than a few "when do I get my ice cream cone?". Riding the oxcart became a joyous experience as Katie and Madeline wowed us with their rendition of "here comes the oxcart" over and over again. But it was well worth the experience since they were so proud that they could be on a pioneer wagon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Calling All Relatives

One of the things that we absolutely love about Saint Louis is the variety of activities that they have for families absolutely free. Take for example the Clayton Art Festival. Every year they block off a significant portion of Clayton (a suburb of St. Louis) and bring in artists from all over the nation (but mainly from the midwest). As part of the celebration they bring in food, entertainment, and most importantly free children's activities. One of the things that Baker and Katie were able to make this year is crazy paper hats:

Next we went over to the table where they got to make marble art. As you can see they put a paper in the box, cover a varitey of marbles with different color paints, and then let the kids have at it.

These are only 2 examples of the activities we did that day. They also had sand art, clay sculpting, and a variety of other activities. And the best part, all of it was F-R-E-E free. Music to a cheap man's ears. The great thing is Saint Louis has 60 other activities exactly like this one going on each and every weekend. We've absolutely loved living here and invite all of those interested to come and visit and partake of this beautiful city.


After weeks of questioning and guessing we had our ultrasound today and we found out that it was a little baby B-IRL. For those of you who don't know what that means, let me explain. Heather and I for the past month and a half have been toying with the idea of waiting until the birth of the baby to find out if it is a boy or a girl. My main reservation was how Katie was going to respond; she has been convinced that it is going to be a little girl. I was afraid that if she didn't know until the day of that it was a boy then she would be very disappointed. However, for the past several weeks she has been very open to the idea that it might be a boy or a girl. So finally I asked her. I said, "Katie, what if mommy and daddy don't find out what we are having until we go to the hospital." Her response, "whatever, I'd love it either way" (what an angel she is). With my major reservation deflected I had relatively little justification to not take the plunge; despite the fact that we were still questioning ourselves as we walked into the Dr's office. So long story short: we still don't know what we are having. Although Heather swears that she saw a little device floating in the amniotic fluid. I told her that her mind was playing tricks on her because she was trying as hard as she could to find out, without finding out. Overall, it was a fun experience (although it took everything we had to not look at the screen when they told us to look away). In the end, we still feel fairly confident that it is a girl but Heather's "UFO sighting" (Unidentified Floating Object) has introduced a small glimmer of doubt. Either way we are thrilled and look forward to holding this little baby in our arms.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm Singing in the Rain

The other day Heather and I were in the kitchen finishing a project (as we are known to do). After a while of complete silence we looked at each other and asked, "where are the kids?" After a brief search in the house, to no avail, I glanced outside and saw a topless little girl roaming the rain drenched streets. She was hopping from puddle to puddle, enjoying herself immensely. Upon seeing this Baker decided that it was unfair that his sister was having fun without him so he darted out the door and immediately dove into a puddle. Before long the entire neighborhood was out laying in the puddles. The two older girls (Alyssa and Mallory) seemed to find particular pleasure in getting Baker to lay on his belly in the puddle and do his best Shamu impersonation. That kid is quite a character. The experience was too cute to not capture on film. Although I captured some of the footage on our camcorder I didn't think to get a little digital clip that I could add to the blog page. You'll be happy to note that we finally dressed our daughter (we didn't think it would be proper to let her roam the streets topless). However, somehow we failed to put our son in something more dashing. You can't see it well in this picture but he had on a 2T onesie. By the time he was done playing in the puddle the part that was suppose to cover his bottom was dragging on the ground in between his legs. It is amazing they let us take our kids anywhere.

How Many Kimballs does it take...?

We were very forunate to have our amazing friendss visit us over Spring Break 2007. The Kimballs are a family that we met while we were in Lubbock, TX. Tom and Andy played basketball on Saturday's and worked together at school (Tom was, and continues to be, a wonderful mentor) . Heather and Melissa became close friends through their heated discussions at book club, some of which actually focused on the book!

Knowing that the Kimballs would be visiting us on their Spring Break I devised a few science projects to keep their minds alert because you know what they idle mind is the devil's workshop. I knew that if they didn't keep their minds occupied they might start concocting bizarre stories like diamond mining dwarfs that save small African Villages. So, in honor of the old tootsie pop commercials, I decided to see how many Kimballs it took to outweigh a Brimhall. What started out as a joke quickly turned into an increased desire to renew my South Beach Diet. I mean look at all those kids. I wish I could say that this experience help me increase my excercise and cut back on sugar. But alas, due to a sweet tooth and a weakened will, I simply have to say, add another small child to the pile. I've heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but, who has heard the one about it taking one large man to raise a village!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Happy to be a Brimhall

This week was a special one since it was Heather’s 33rd Birthday. Yep, she is officially well into her 30’s. And how did she celebrate?? Andy told her she could sleep in, but who really sleeps in with dishes being washed and a baby screaming and Katie yelling for a bowl of cereal, so she just hid in her room and read a book until Andy finally opened the door and caught her red handed. But he made her breakfast and then the first
activity started. And what activity is worthy of a birthday? That’s right! You guessed it, cleaning house. This went on for about 2 hours and then the real fun began. Heather had told Andy that all she wanted to do was letterbox for her birthday. So unbeknownst to Heather, Andy created a box and cleverly planted it for her, in her honor. It is published on under the title Grover the Groundhog. This had to be about the best gift ever. So off we went (after figuring out the clues online) and in 20 degree weather, ran to the box, grabbed it and headed to Fritz’s restaurant and rootbeer bottling plant for lunch.
It was so fun. They brought you a rootbeer float sundae for your birthday and we all gobbled it down rather quickly. Katie especially loved it as all the kids meals came in little cars. Plus, you could watch them actually making, filling and labeling the rootbeer bottles while we ate. Once back in the car, we stamped into the logbook of Grover and then rehid the box where it went. Andy is so very clever.

Then we were off to find the box at the Deer Creek Rocket Slide Park that we had Searched so diligently for last weekbut could never find. The kids fell asleep on the way there but were quickly awakened and actually excited to go in below freezing weather and swing. What kids we are raising. I’m not sure what that says about us that we encourage this behavior when we are all sick. But it was fun. The day continued with sharing cake with our friends across the street and playing Sleuth. A game that Andy won for the first time (or so he says). What a wonderful night! Thank you!!

Andy was busy this week preparing letterboxes and teaching. He has struggled with whether to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday and decided against him though this meant missing out on a fun party with friends. It’s not always easy to try and follow gospel principles. This was a big week for him with presenting. The Stake had a couples sweetheart ball and Andy was a key speaker at it. He spoke on communication is marriage. Everyone was relaxed in his presentation and really enjoyed it. He spoke about trying to avoid pitfalls, changing your perspective and made an excellent analogy between Moroni, Ammoron and Pahoran that everyone talked about in the next class. The entire night dancing was spent fending off comments from people on how great Andy was. But we did get to dance (well except for the weird single teddy bear mixer that left everyone uncomfortable) and we loved every minute of our date night without the children. But we did miss our friends that would dance with us in Lubbock. Everyone here was embarrassed or said they didn’t dance.

Katie started the week on a low point. She got so mad at Heather asking her to clean her room that she told (well really screamed) her: “I’m going to kill you.” Now where our nice, sweet daughter got this kind of language is of no consequence, and while Heather wanted to really explain that actually she was her favorite person and how Katie really loved her and should want to be like her, Heather marched her straight to time out. Katie sat on the chair and cried. Once she was cried out and Heather thought that Katie was ready to apologize for her comment, she told Katie to come talk to her. Katie then said, Mommy you need to pay me all your money for being mean to your kids. (Heather making Katie pay her money everytime she wants to do an activity or earn something). It took all she had not to laugh. The week continued with Katie playing dress up. And lacking a sister certainly didn’t stop her from having a partner. She played the fairy godmother and with a little bibbity bobbity boo, Baker was quickly transformed. She loved telling Heather that even though Heather wasn’t as pretty as Katie was, she could sit by her while they played. Obviously self esteem is not an issue with Katie.

Baker had a busy week of cruising around while he held onto chairs, toys and even the cats back. He will be walking in no time, which will perhaps help him escape from his sister. He loves to play exactly what she is and while Katie gets frustrated when he puts the littlepet shop animals in his mouth instead of talking with them as his brilliant sister does, she tries to understandand teach him how to play. He babbles more and more and Katie insists he is talking and that she understands, and her interpretations of what he says are priceless. He babbles one sound and she’ll interpret an entire sentence. It’s like watching a bad voice over of a Japanese movie. But he keeps us happy and laughing and loves on us just enough to let us know that he is happy to be a Brimhall.

Time for a Whitening?

Heather and I decided for Christmas that we wanted to upgrade our digital camera in order to enhance our family pictures. We have loved our first digital camera immensely but have recently realized its limitations. So with the help of Heather's father, Shelby and Jim, and three separate trips to Circuit City (exchanging cameras everytime we went) we picked a camera that we were satisfied with. One of the features that sold us on this camera was the fact that you could set it to only pick up a certain color within the photo and it would take the rest in black and white while enhancing that particular color. We weren't sure we believed their claims so we decided to take it for a test spin. Here are the results of our experiment. You'll notice in the picture above that we decided to focus on blue.

Next, we changed it to red. Look at that cute little devilish vixen. Isn't she adorable.

Now, here is where we were truly amazed. You'll notice earlier how I mentioned that it takes any hue of the color and truly enhances it. Notice poor little Baker's nose and cheeks. The red is faint but noticeable. Overall, we were very please with our new purchase. That is until we tried the yellow. Again, I remind you that the goal of the camera is to take any hue of the accent color and enhance it (or maybe I am just saying that to make myself feel better). Either way, it doesn't feel like I have an inch of yellow fuzz on my teeth. But you know what they say, the camera never lies. Let's just hope (like the myth that the camera adds 10 pounds) that it's really not as bad as it seems. At least Katie came out looking like a princess!