Category Archives: Family - Page 2

Cub Scout Trip, Shame About the Pictures

Bug had his first Cub Scout camping trip over the weekend. Dad had his first camping trip in … oh, quite a while. I can’t quite remember the last time but it might have been the firefighters camp out in Omak.

But, since I keep on forgetting my camera, all i have are these four from my cellphone. They are in chronological order: 1) The borrowed tent, just after being put up 2) Bug reading in said tent a few hours later 3) The dawn the first morning. 4) How bug ended up sleeping, the second morning.

We never checked if there were missing parts to the tent we borrowed from someone at Vertical Measures (hi, Jenn). We got it up in record time in the beam of the headlights.

We never checked if there were missing parts to the tent we borrowed from someone at Vertical Measures (hi, Jenn). We got it up in record time in the beam of the headlights.

For some reason it was about 11:00 and Bug wanted to read a book by flashlight inside the tent. He did for a coupe of minutes then said he was tired.

For some reason it was about 23:15 and Bug wanted to read a book by flashlight inside the tent. He did for a couple of minutes then said he was tired.

On the first morning of Cub Scouts Camp. I took a lot of photos because I woke up at 6:10.

On the first morning of Cub Scouts Camp. I took a lot of photos because I woke up at 6:10.

Bug moved around at night, though into quite sure how he did this. He should've been cold, he did not complain.

Bug moved around at night, though I’m not quite sure how he did it to this extent. He should’ve been cold, he did not complain.

Jasper Stark at 6 Months

197I could put a slew of photos here but I’m organizing those, still (of course).

Today Jasper Stark turned 6 months old .He celebrated by trying carrots for the first time and made his usually range of cute-tastic faces – ad kept going. He has no food dislikes, yet. He ate with brothers Eddie and Jack who have lovely, expressive faces as well.

Jasper is amazingly cute. It is a complete honor to watch him grow up and I am cherishing every second because I know in a blink of an eye he’ll be 1, 3, 5 , 10 ….








Everywhere We Go – The Unit

Ah, I’ve been humming and starting to sing this for a few months now and then I stop because I don’t know all the words. Then I resolve to look up the lyrics and then I forget. But I remembered less than a minute ago:

(Leader sings a line and all repeat)

Everywhere we go-o
Pe-ople want to know-o
Who we a-are
And where we come from
So we tell them
We’re from [name of town]
Mighty, mighty [town]
And if they can’t hear us
We sing a little louder

(Repeat, get louder each time until you reach your limit)

And if they can’t hear us
They must be DEAF!!!!

Lego Exchange – Ways to Recycle, Reuse and Recreate

Re. Create.

So LEGOs are expensive – yup. They also don’t go in for much recycling at all of plastic, paper or anything. Which is surprising really, if true.

But that article links to and talks about PleyGo, a Play-As-You-Go monthly service that allows kids and parents to trade and rent out LEGOs. That’s pretty cool.

A second link at the same site talks about ReBrickable, a service doing much the same thing, though down to the single LEGO, if I’m reading it right. There’s also LEGOexchange, which isn’t a live site yet but I have to imagine is going to do something similar.


This is the last thing Eddie created out of LEGOS earlier this week.                                                               He called it the R-17 Scorpion “because of its sting.”



Expressions of a Three-Month-Old Baby Boy

One of the big things I noticed about Jasper, today he is three months old, is the huge range of expressions on that tiny face. He wiggles, he dances, he leaps and jumps. And that’s just his cheeks. His smile is huge, he can giggle and push out his lips and squint and everything is always moving and always fleeting.

Early on a Sunday

I’m awake. It’s 6:15. On a Sunday. This is slightly unprecedented. And by slightly I mean completely, when not involving an airplane. For Jack it’s a regular but I got up before him today. It wasn’t long before I heard something. It sounded like one of the cats was shutting the open dryer door. Instead, I walked around and saw Jack sitting cross-legged on two plastic storage boxes, Iron Man sunglasses and red Cars walkie talkie in hand. I so wanted a photo – but decided that would be one of those pictures that just stays inside.

“Good morning daddy.”  He thought I might be upset that he was on there. “Good morning, Jack. How are you?” “Great.” Kisses. “Keep going.”

My first instinct was to work a little, low-brain, time-intensive stuff. But then I realized I’ve been trying to write a few blog posts all week. It’s now 7:08 and Jackie has been in and out talking and playing. Jasper started wailing though I left the room with both mom and Jasper sleeping. I went in and saw the second sweet boy smile of the day. I’m still waiting for the third, but he’s not up, yet.

“Daddy … What?” (Sounding more gentle then it looks on the screen.) … I love you 61 times. Noo, 31 times. 61 has become his favorite number, he walks around telling people he will give them. 61 bucks. Yesterday he started correcting it to 31; I like to think he’s being more careful with his money .. but then he just said, “I love you 81 times.”

I actually woke up at 5:40. Went to the bathroom, got dressed and was headed out to wake up the kids ready for a work day when something clicked that it wasn’t a work day.

It’s 7:25 and Jack has now been sent to his room by mom – it easily could have been me – for complaining, loudly and poutily no one reads to him, continuing to flick a book’s pages even when being asked and then told to stop. He hit Jasper’s bouncy chair after making a special effort to walk around the table to do so.

I’m now watching the 1st episode of the 6th season of West Wing on my phone as I type. Mom and Jasper are now outside, enjoying the early morning coolness. The day has begun.


Daddy’s Gonna Make Up a Lullaby

This morning was a slow start. I heard the alarm, didn’t associate it with anything like, say, getting up. Finally woke up around 6ish and Carrie asks if I want to snuggle with the baby. Sure do, got things to do, though. Get the other kids up for a start. Carrie said she’d take care of that, then said, oh and he hasn’t been changed since last night.

It was not too ugly in there, just piddles and I changed him and put some take-on-the-day
clothes on him. This double whammy agitation always gets him to cry even if I wasn’t inept at is as I was this morning. So I settled back down with him in my arms and started singing to him. I had about six verses, some of which fell apart as I sang, but these were the three best I sang. And I’m pleased to note, he went off to sleep.

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby

There’s a funny squirrel sitting in a tree
He has a nut shouting “look at me.”
Everybody looks to see the sound
Silly squirrel gets shy and faints to the ground.

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby

We’re sitting here, comfortable in bed
We have a lot of things to do instead
But we’re going to watch the world go by
That will happen whether you laugh or cry.

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby

We’re up in space hanging around
Everyone’s telling us not to look down
We do anyway and what do we see
The entire world at your fee-fee-feee…t

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby


Egg Boogaloo

Today Jasper left his enclosed world for good and is on his way to a world of daycare. It’s a shame that has to happen but who’s independently wealthy these days. And those who are, well they tend to be to busy and ignore their kids.

But it’s not a competition. It’s funny that everyone wants to say “he looks like you Carrie” or he “he looks like his daddy.” Truly truly truly he’s healthy, he’s smiling now and it doesn’t matter. He is lovely. He is going to be lovely, like his brothers.


PHOTO: What, It’s Spring Already?


Three Weeks Old Today – Jasper

You are beautiful.IMG_7666

(Photo by Carrie)



I had the better bed but I also had the greater loneliness.


Jasper Stark Introduces Himself to the World

We are so happy to see him. And so overwhelmed with gratitude.



UPDATED 19:26 with more and bigger pictures.




Love Carrie – 1st Anniversary

2012 was an amazing year and the busiest year of my life. Today is the one year anniversary of the most astoundingly great ideas I have ever had that came to fruition  last year – I married Carrie. It seemed like a good idea at the time – it seems like an even better idea now. (Thank you all for coming, it was so special but we didn’t get thank you letters / photos out – yet ) Sure, we’re still getting used to being a family and figuring out what’s important collectively and individually. It was not your typical first year of marriage – a few months into it, Carrie found out she was pregnant. It was something we planned for – we just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. And somewhere between wedding and knowing about him – it will be a boy – we moved.

Little guys are growing, my life is fuller. We continue to grow together in so many ways. Love you babe.

Eight Months Pregnant

With a due date for Jasper of February 17, 2013, today marks the eight month mark of Carrie’s pregnancy. I haven’t been wise here; IIMG_6416 should’ve posted every week about what’s been happening with Jasper and how, now, his legs and body seem to have no room. He’s constantly kicking – he wants out, juuuust not quite, yet.

Last night the cat, dream seemed protective of both of them – Carrie was sleeping in the chair and Jasper was – and still is – inside. In likely reality, Dream had found a warm spot to snooze himself, but this guy kept waking him up taking pictures with his phone.

Visits to the birth center and meetings with a few different midwifes have been a success. There’s been no problems; the worst we heard was that Carrie needed to up her protein a little bit but blood pressure, baby heartbeat and growth of body and baby body is going fine.

I feel I should be able to come up with more to say but “We’re having a baby” covers an awful lot, doesn’t it? E & J seem pretty excited to have a little brother and that’s thrilling, too. Carrie thinks they’re unsettled, too, just because of impending big change; the same they would with any big change.

I, of course, worry about crazy stuff; the 1 in a million chance things. I’m completely unprepared for all the wonder that will filter through my brain and body. We did start buying a few things – car seat – and diaper bags. We got our first Jasper clothing from Aunt Kathy at Christmas. It’s super cute. We also gave Jasper jewelry out to people for Christmas. We think we’ve finalized the full name.

It’s happening. Sooner rather than later. Mom and Dad will be relieved.

These Guys – Best Gift Ever

I don’t talk about them much here. It’s not because I’m worried about things, it’s just that I don’t do a lot here period. And I do like to take time, usually, writing about those I care about. But here’s a few pics from this week – Eddie dressing up on mismatch day yesterday; Jack riding a mini-landbound boogie board yesterday after seeing Santa and both of them getting their kicks on route .66.


IMG_5958 IMG_5967 IMG_5965 IMG_5963


Thanksgiving 2012 at BS Ranch

After launching a few rocket balloons, some getting stuck in trees and watching Uncle Ricky Rat and Shayla come back on their half hour quad trip I am just now sitting down with pecan pie and some delicious cake called Thanksgiving Dump, enjoying the rapidly cooling Punkin Center evening.

I’m listening to the chattering conversation of wife’s family and people I don’t know, with the sound of plastic bat baseball down below me and just now relaxing. Just now. A good day. Here’s a few photos from the day.








When I left yesterday to go see the ultrasound images of our yet-to-be-born baby at Marquis Digital Imaging I put my phone on shuffle play and listened to songs on the way. Then I put my phone on mute and let the music play on, during the imaging, and then on the way back to work. At the exact time we found out we’d be having a boy, “A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key)” by Bright Eyes was playing.

The Unit (Carrie, Eddie Jack and I) grows to four.

Van Halen – China Town
TFDI – Forever Everyday
Bassnectar – Afterthought
Authority Zero – Break the Mold
Kanye West – Drive Slow
Beastie Boys – Slow and Low
Linkin Park – Papercut
Silverstein – Intervention
Asher Roth – Pubic Garden
Eminem – 3 A.M.
Eminem – Deja Vu
Pearl Jam – Just Breathe
Bassnectar – Boomerang
Disturbed – Warrior
The Cure – Just Like Heaven
TFDI – Heaven With A Broken Heart
Janis Joplin – I need a man to love
Cage The Elephant – Around My Head
Roger Waters – Another Brick In the Wall Pt. 2
Madonna – Superstar
Skillet – Should’ve When You Could’ve
Asher Roth – Roth Boys
The Decemberists – June Hymn
Bassnectar & Seth Drake – Above and Beyond
Van Halen – Beats – Workin’
Snoop Dogg and Nancy Fletcher – Gz and Hustlas
Eminem – Steve Berman (Skit)
Janis Joplin – Down on Me
Silverstein – Forget Your Heart
The Beatles – Act Naturally
Authority Zero – Movement
Bright Eyes – A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key) – being played as we found out you were a boy
Beastie Boys – Fight For Your Right
Linkin Park – Cure For the Itch
Disturbed – Remnants
Nicki Minaj – Did It On ‘Em
The Decemberists – Don’t Carry it All
Asher Roth – I Love College

Puzzles Of A 6-Year-Old

So, the boy’s a smart one and a near neophyte when it comes to solving puzzles and noticing patterns. It can be easy to overlook that for me, mostly I guess, because we don’t give him enough puzzles to work through. Sure, right now with the tooth missing and the haircut, he looks something like a cuter Alfred E. Newman. But there’s some crazy hidden madness to his method.

Over the weekend he wanted to play rush hour. I didn’t want to point out that the weekend didn’t have a rush hour, and Jack was asleep so sure, go out and play in the one-car-every-90-minutes traffic.
And by that I mean the game Rush Hour. I got it out for them about a week ago because it has cars and they like cars and it was a moment where I needed them distracted so I could get something (who knows what?) done. Eddie immediately said he wanted to play it, and I said “It’s more difficult than it looks, we’ll play it later.”

If you haven’t seen the game before, you put cars and trucks down in a pattern set down on a challenge card. The goal is to get the red car out the exit ramp. It’s really rush hour in a parking lot. Here’s an online version, to give you a good idea.

He tried the first one, of 10 at the beginner level. It was 9 and he got stuck because they get more difficult from 1 to 10. But then he started another, and after getting the idea that he could ONLY slide them, he got this big surprised goofy look on his face when he saw the path clear to the exit. He did all the others randomly, skipping one because he couldn’t do it but then sailing through all those and a few in the Intermediate level.

He stuck with it a while beyond the usual 6-year-old attention span – what Jon Stewart used to (and by used to I mean early 1990s) call Short Attention Span Theater.

What, me worry?