Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mary or Martha?

Last Saturday night Heather and I truly had a Mary and Martha experience. While I went to soak in the counsel of our Stake presidency at the adult session of Stake conference, Heather stayed home and slaved away at our Easter outfits. She literally bought the fabric on Saturday afternoon (probably about 3 p.m.), cut out the patterns, and sewed like Betsy Ross on cocaine (is that sacrilegious?). So I will let you decide who chose the better half. Here is the pictures of our family on Sunday morning (can you tell by looking at the pictures that we were up until 1 trying to finish the dresses?). Unfortunately, it was Stake conference, which meant that her dresses got much more exposure but not to the people that really mattered. Our few friends that did see us oohed and aahed and once again marveled at Heather's crazy abilities. They call her Queen Midas, a little play on words from the story of king Midas and his golden touch. She truly is an amazing woman who turns everything around her, including us, into something much more valuable than it was to begin with. I am a very lucky man. Fortunately for me she had a minor lapse in judgement when she decided to marry me. In reference to partners, I definitely have chosen the better part (even if that wasn't true for my choice of activities). Heather truly is Amazing!!!

Looking at these pictures one might find themselves saying, "what a perfect Mormon family? I bet they don't have a care in the world. Let me tell you about Stake Conference. It began by Katie and Baker fighting over the crayons until they got to the point where Baker was screaming bloody murder. After several visits in and out of the cultural hall (a building whose sound structure amplifies the sound of a yelling baby even better than the chapel) I finally was able to calm him down. Looking back I realize the two mistakes I made was to let each of them bring one Easter toy that they received in their Easter basket. Katie brought a little Easter bunny that you could throw back and forth and catch using velcro "mitts." Well it didn't take long before Baker was throwing the bunny at every person in the congregation he could lure into his web.

Finally, I was able to wrestle the bunny away from him and send bunny to timeout for being such a terrible distraction for the poor members who sat in our wake. What was Baker's response? He looked at me, and with contempt in his eyes, simply decided that he would move on to the next battle; the toy airplane filled with Easter sweettarts (mistake #2). As always, within minutes he was able to figure out how to open the package and extract the hidden treasure in side, a feat that I was hoping would take him until the end of the meeting. Rather than trying to fight him on this as well, I decided I would give them each two pieces of candy and that they would thank me for my overwhelming graciousness by climbing into their chairs, folding their arms, and quietly praying to the Lord for such a generous father.

Guess again. Baker demanded more candy and when I decided enough was enough he decided he would retaliate. He looked at as if to say, "if you thought my first series of tantrums was impressive, just you wait. I'm going to take my game to the A-level; I am pulling out all the stops." Needless to say, this time he worked himself into such a frenzy that he was almost choking on his tears, literally. The poor boy couldn't breathe. Not to be outdone by her younger, more novice brother, Katie decided that she wanted in on the action. Needless to say, a morning that started with a beautiful family all dressed alike, ended with a mob of angry saints chasing a frustrated father out of the building carrying his two howling hulligans. What a blessed Easter Day!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Rain Came Down, and the FLOODS Came Up...

So, apparently our little town of Valley Park has made national news. We have received many calls asking about our well-being (take that Ashley Pace) which we've appreciated. Neither Heather or I have been through anything of this magnitude so we never got very worried. We thought, "well, how bad could it get?" Just to give you an idea of the type of flooding that we're talking about, here is a picture of the street that goes to our neighborhood. This picture was taken on Thursday afternoon at about 1 p.m. As a family we decided to walk down to the levee (a link for those of you in the dark, as were Heather and I) to see what all the fuss was about. On Thursday we walked right on top of that green hill in the background, the one where you see a person walking. We were able to walk all the way back there and see the Mighty Meramac.

The next day, barely 24 hours later, I was atop that same levee (this time I had to walk up it from the backside) because that very street, shown in the picture above, was several feet under water (the two trees that you see in the middle of the first picture are the two trees on the very left hand side of this picture). You'll notice that the water goes quite a ways down the street. For those of you that have been to our house, the water almost came as far as the gas station at the bottom of our street. For those of you that haven't visited our house, shame on you. It was amazing to see the amount of water in such a short period of time. Truly remarkable. It gave us a new appreciation of the primary song referenced in the title, and the importance of having a firm foundation. Of course, living on top of a hill isn't a bad idea either.
Despite having spent $50 million dollars building that very levee that we walked upon Thursday afternoon, experts were predicting that the river was going to crest at 43 feet (3 feet higher than the current levee) and as a result we received a telephone call on Friday afternoon asking volunteers to come "save the school." Below you will see a picture to the front door of Katie's school. The picture itself is kind of leery, it makes you feel like you are in the middle of some end-of-the-world-action-thriller. Of course, it didn't help that Heather and I watched, "I am Legend" with Will Smith the night before.
To top off the weekend my friend (Reid Sullivan, the one in yellow on top of the wall) called me on Friday night and asked if I would go down to Arnold (a neighboring city) on Saturday and help them save some homes. In the picture below we are in a person's back yard, trying to build the wall high enough to prevent the water from coming in. For those of you who don't know, there are three main jobs associated with sand bagging. The first is filling the bags. This generally requires two people, one to hold the bag and one to shovel the dirt. The second it tying off the bag, a job that is very important based on the third job. The last job is to form a line and throw the sandbags from person to person to build a wall. As you'll see below, the person that tied the bag becomes a very important person. On more than one occasion you would hear the cry of "open bag" come down the line, only to turn and receive a face full of sand.

When I arrived at the Arnold site, the organizers took one look at my physique and said, "Son, you better stand in the line!" After panting two minutes later (my stamina doesn't match my physique) they changed their minds and had me hold the bags. As far as I know we succeeded in our goal and the initial scare for these homeowners has passed.

In fact, this morning I woke up extra early to go to seminary (a drive that normally takes 5 minutes) and wound my way around the city to arrive 25 minutes later at the church. The irony? On the way home I decided to drive down the street I normally take (just to see if it was anywhere near being unflooded) and it was totally open, all the water was gone. Except for the fish on the road you couldn't even tell that a day earlier it had been submerged. I guess I got up early for nothing. All in all it was a very eventful weekend and this doesn't even include our Easter activities (which will be shared in an upcoming blog). We love you all and are very grateful for a loving Father and a community of helpful friends. Overall, we are very blessed.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Cousin Idol 2008

One of Katie's favorite family activities is to watch American Idol as a family. The whole time we watch the program she dances along to the performers and tries desperately to imitate them. She will often do extra chores just to earn the right to stay up late for this special treat. This desire was greatly enhanced when we were recently visited by Katie's cousin Brinley. The two of them are natural entertainers and feed effortlessly off of one another. They love to dance, they love to entertain, and they love to have people watch them. Well, while they were here Grammy gave them a special Valentine's rose that sang them a special song. Within a day they had the words memorized, a dance choreographed, and were asking Daddy to film them for his posterity. I quickly obliged and the following was created. Pay special attention to the exciting twist at the end of Senatra's old classic "Fly me to the Moon." Hopefully, Katie's flare for entertaining will support us in our old age!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Which one is Griffith Jack?

Number 1:
Number 2:
Number 3:
Since we have received many questions about whether or not Griffith Jack looks like his siblings I decided to have a little contest. The following three pictures are not of the same child, buth rather one of each of the children. Therefore, one is of Katie Pearl, one is of Baker Scott, and one is of Griffith Jack. So, all you friends, family members, and other interested guests that think you know the Brimhalls let's see you put your money where your mouth is. In the comments section vote for which one you think is Griffith Jack. Five points for every person that chooses correctly. An extra 3 points if you are able to correctly identify the other two. Therefore, you are playing for a grand total of 11 points. Good luck and may the force be with you. Either way aren't they all adorable?