Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday feel good movie

I understand that my movie recommendations are usually cause for most people who know me to run inside, bolt the door, screen their calls, and cancel mail service for the week just in case I try to slip them a disc that way.

This one is also mostly recommended by Aimee so that you can rest assured that it does not contain; animation, subtitles, vampires, a sad ending, bad guys winning, or bicycles. Also, because I liked it you know it's not straight from the 80's ;)

So, if you dare take a recommendation from the me after the slight disclaimer, go rent 'Lars and the Real Girl' immediately. You'll thank me later. Or hunt me down and smash my bike ^_^

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Pizza Party

Click above for the gallery, or below for the rest of the post.
Last weekend we managed to get all the brave Smith souls up to our place in spite of the raging winter blizzard. Good thing too 'cause I'm not sure I could have finished off 18 pizzas myself ;)

The cousins kept each other very well entertained without too many shed tears and the kitchen staff kept everyone well fed. We had some fantastic desserts, a beautiful salad all the pizza everyone could eat (chicken asparagus with the fav of the day). Hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves enough to be willing to do it again soon!

Christmas doctor fish

Ian found the ploy; all the fish are from Finding Nemo! Avyrlie loves Christmas and animals.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Aimee and Ian Down Under

Click the pic for the gallery:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hate downloading from Flickr?

Want to download a bunch of pictures easily from Smithpix? You can stop pulling your hair out and click below for a simple, speedy solution :)

Apparently, not everyone loves Flickr as much as I do. It makes my life much simpler especially for searching through photos.

The best tool I've found for grabbing a bunch of photos quickly is a program called FlickrDown.
Below is the link to the download page. Grab either the .exe file or the .zip, whichever works for you.

Click here to download FlickrDown.

The first screen lets you search for a user's photos. My username is 'eouio'. Enter it in the search box and hit 'Lookup'.

FlickrDown pulls up a list of all the sets I have available. You can either choose the entire set or click on the name of the set for a list of individual pix with thumbnails so you can see what you're getting.
After you've made your selections, choose a folder to download the photos to and hit 'Download'.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008


Thanksgiving was at the end of a pretty hectic week for Avyrlie and I. Top it off with her REALLY needing a nap and the day was just shy of relaxing ;)

It was great to see everyone although it was a smaller crowd than usual. Jarom and his family were feasting elsewhere, and Chelsi, Kendall, and Greg's family all just stopped by to sample pies :P Can't say I blame them at all; Pies and turkey is what it's all about...

The kids played pretty well with a few bruised egos, but nothing serious. Avyrlie asks when she will get to play with her Big Girl (Austyn) again.

I enjoyed the chance to be brain-dead for a bit and spend more than a couple hours outside of a vehicle.

Welcome to the Family

I have no small obsession over chocolate (especially dark) and always have an unhealthy supply at hand. You can imagine my excitement upon discovering Guittard's (my favorite brand) Extra Dark chocolate chips. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies just got better! My only complaint is that they are not over-sized chips so the cookie tends to drown them a bit...

Friday, December 5, 2008

On the mend

Ian had a Dr appointment with the orthopedic surgeon to day to make sure his shoulder is healing up nicely and hasn't somehow been broken, again... We snagged some x-rays as well.

Original Break:
October 18 - original break

After another football fall at school:
October 31 - Really Broken Now

and this morning:
December 5 - Healing Well

still not 100%, but good enough to do about anything but contact sports

Snowboarding will have to wait :(

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little Turkey

Avyrlie's favorite stop, the deli.

Jimba, and a bow to the littlest Smith

I even set the thing up with them and then forgot to mention it here. This is why I have a day job ;)

Chelsi, on the other hand, has recently posted about our newest arrival to the internet: Our Parents. Kudos to Chelsi for remembering her elders and I humbly accept my lashings.

Head on over to Jimba for the latest and greatest happenings in the grandparent world!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lloyd, Live and Unrehearsed!

There us just nothing quite like Coach Lloyd's end of the year football banquet. Some things have become pretty cool traditions and others have become traditions just for the sake of tradition. This is my quick laundry list and later I'll put up some pics and such (yes Chelsi, 'more later' meaning some unspecified time before or after my death ;)

Location: very cool. We've had it at a private room in a golf course clubhouse the last couple years. Food is nothing to write about, but edible and the size and privacy are perfect. Only complaint is the lighting for photos. I need to to brave it and just set up some strobes.

Trophies: also very cool. Just the right size with name, league, and team. I'm expecting something more if we ever best Grantsville though!

Posters: We all agree that black and white is the way to go for these. Our Team Mom does an awesome job picking out a great shot of each kid and making up an 11x14 print. All the kids and coaches sign each others' posters and put the stickers from their helmets on them. This is the third to go up on Ian's wall and look pretty cool together.


Presentations: Cool. Almost very cool, but they tend to go a bit long for the attention span of 16 football playing eleven-year-olds. All the coaches really care about the kids and enjoy coaching so it's fun to have a chance to them to give the kids some praise without the pressure of the season.

This year our team mom also made me a color poster of the offense with Ian out front. It was one of my favorite pix of the season and, of course, I was all teary eyed heading back to my seat. What a pansy ;)


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone who eats these asks for two things: Another one, and the recipe. Send a self addressed box for the first. Click to the rest of the post for the second ;)

Mix dry ingredients seperately:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
(yes, fresh. this is why these taste better than yours ;)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Beat together till smooth:
2 eggs
1 cup sugar

Add to egg/sugar mix and blend:
1/2 cup canola oil (only canola will do)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine wet and dry mixtures. Then add:
1 cup Ghirardelli or Guittard oversize milk chocolate chips. The cookies are hopelessly ruined without this exact key ingredient.

Use 1/4 cup scoop to measure dough onto greased pan.
Round with spatula.
Bake at 325 for 16 minutes. A toothpick should come out not-quite-clean.
Cool for 5 minutes then transfer to rack.
Sprinkle powdered sugar on top if your diet allows.
Put in ziploc as soon as they reach room temp.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cat dog

Linna snuggling with Avyrlie's stuffed cat.

Return to Up Over, and Beautiful Musgick

Aimee and Ian are back home and working on settling back into a routine. Ian's routine has been catching up on his homework, which he has done a pretty good job of despite all the complaints. Sometimes it's hard to tell his and Triela's howling apart...

Click below for more useless babble :o

Ian and Aimee traveled 17,585 miles during their 12 day excursion to the Outback. I only managed to log about 1,145 but I was lacking jet propulsion (really could have used it ;) I'll have her fill in the trip details later as soon as I convince her that blog is not a four letter word... From the tales I hear from Ian, they hung out with violent crazies, had cute animals killed and ate them, made absolutely sure
everyone's shoes were well broken in, and supported kangaroo castration. GOOD TIMES!!!

As for Avyrlie and I, her feelings about the experience were summed up the day before Thanksgiving. Prior to that day she had spent twice as many nights away from home as she had in her own bed (which is also my own bed...). I had planned on dropping her off with Kim and then picking her up early on Thanksgiving, but when I asked her if she was ready to go see Kim she looked up at me with tears in her eyes, not crying but very sad, and said, "I just want to stay at my home. I just want to watch my movie and stay in my own bed. Can I just stay at my own home with you and Linna and Triela?". She had pleaded her case well (even if I was on par with the dogs) and it was an argument I was happy to lose.

I called up Kim and asked to bring Avyrlie early the next morning. I started with 4AM in mind, but she negotiated 'early' clear to 7:30 (pretty sure she had a PM number in mind ;) Avyrlie was happy to go see Kim the next morning after spending the night with dad painting and making pies (yes, I choose my activities in order by letter and it was 'P' day. Images of dogs...)

I'm always torn a bit about Aimee heading out of town. My life becomes insanely busy, my work schedule is bizarre, and dogs and Ian transform into Cerberus (with the chaos of Aimee's absence they seem to guarding the right entrance at least (-_-)'

On the other hand, even with the demon creature(s) present, I get the best sleep ever. I like quiet, dark and hot. Aimee of course likes noise, enough light to see, and cool feet (there are therapy books written solely about her fan disorder...). Three hours of the Super Sleep every other day, and I'm happy as a clam. Probably shortens my life span as well, so maybe it's good that Aimee makes me get more anyhow :(

Avyrlie is the super trooper when it comes to just going with the flow. We found her breaking point this last week, but it took a lot. She had a ton of fun playing with cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles and was well behaved and helpful. She adapts and finds things to love and enjoy wherever she is and is never without friends. At home she loves to help with anything you are doing even if it is just to give a 'Great Job, that makes me so Happy!' pep talk.

During the last couple weeks we both did a little breaking in at the Home Depot. I spent a fair amount of time there getting materials for a slight kitchen tweak. Of course this involves many 'emergency' trips for us amateurs who lack construction planning skills (or construction skills for that matter ;) The 'Orange Store' has never been an exciting trip for her. She either can't touch things because they're dangerous, or she's not interested in them (see the correlation...). In a moment of weakness or because I felt sorry for her being stuck with dad for so long, I gave in to her request to ride in the 'big cart'.

If you ever push one of these three seat extended behemoths around a store, the first thing you realize is that it is exactly three inches too long to turn around in any isle without making a sixteen point maneuver (thank goodness Home Depot has prybars...). The second, and most destructive discovery, is finding that the steering was designed to mimick Lagoon's Wild Mouse ride. One second you are saying hello to some guy with his kid as you pass them in the gardening isle, the next second you have run over the kid and tipped a shovel display onto his dad. Now I understand all those 'Clean up on aisle 3 and bring a first aid kit' announcements...
Quickly we learned to venture only into uninhabited aisles and avoid ones with freestanding displays.

After one too many medical mishaps with the 'Big Cart' I finally said No, stayed tough through the puppy-eyed protest and made it into the store with Avyrlie riding almost happily on my shoulders. I had no idea why I had won the cart battle until reaching the trim and molding section. Avyrlie demanded down from her perch and took off running toward the dowels, shouting in her sing-song voice, "I'm going to make my musgick! I'm going to make lots of musgick!". Yes, music is one word she cannot seem to master...

She proceeded to visit the slot for each size dowel and pull three of them out, leaving them protruding about 12 inches. All the time she was telling me about how beautiful the musgick is and how she has to make it so the kids and her friends and her girls and her boys will be happy. I have no idea where she got this idea, or what wooden dowels have to do with musgick, but she now loves trips to the 'Orange Store' with dad because she gets to make her Beautiful Musgick.

My slight kitchen tweak didn't turn out quite the way Aimee had envisioned. In her mind she pictured the end result looking something like this:

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any palm trees so the end result may differ slightly from Aimee's ideal remodel ;) I'll put up some pics in a separate post, but it's turned out pretty good so far. Having the bar in place of the cupboard is an amazing difference. Tons easier to fit people comfortably and it feels much more open and social. I'm saving the boat dock for last ;)

So thanks to everyone who helped with Avyrlie and we're glad Grandma Sutliff is back in the states! I'll sign off for today with some oldie/goodies that I browsed through this morning:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It won't steal my soul

IMG_2344, originally uploaded by eouio.

Not the coolest pic, but I'm pretty happy that Avyrlie will look at the camera again. No more vampire movies for her for a while ;)

This has been where we have spent most of our time together over the past week as I take her back and forth to various family members. She is having a ton of fun playing with cousins, Scotty, grandparents, and even occasionally dad.

I hung out for a bit yesterday evening with Jessica and Greg and his parents who are visiting from California. Of course I had to bring up where they were spending the holidays. Apparently that subject has not quite been put to rest yet :o

It was nice to sit and relax, go out to dinner, coax Greg out of yardwork, and just watch the kids play a bit. Avyrlie and Dylan play really well together lately and the only crying is during "Attack of the Carpet" episodes. I think we managed to see the last of those though.

Then back home to more dogs, crap, painting, tub Avyrlie, read her a book, torture Linna, make Triela howl, and then off to deliver Avyrlie to the latest big-girl-sitter (Avyrlie was not keen on the babysitter term).

Kisses to mom

VID 00019, originally uploaded by eouio.

And she almost blew a kiss ;)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Reaching down under

She stopped at each fax machine to 'call' mom.

ice princess

Avyrlie loves it when she sucks a little piece of through her straw. She jumps up and starts chanting "I got a little ice!" over and over until you manage to convince that you do in fact understand how awesome her princess ice sucking skills are. It takes a while cause it's pretty awesome ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chair flying

IMG_1969, originally uploaded by eouio.

just for K (aka De facto Bro-in-Law)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Furry Fleabag Tail

I have a chew bone. It is very good.

I also have a chewbone. I don't chew, just bite
and swallow, so I have no idea if it's good.

I'm done inhaling my chewbone. Can I share
yours? Uhhh, no.

I will wait until you set it down for a moment,
and then I will steal it away.

I love it when you watch me eat. It makes
stuff taste better knowing that you didn't
even taste yours! WOW this is GOOD!

You so suck.

Now we will nap.

And now we will nap some more.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ikea Art

Avyrlie loves to color at ikea. She's developing quite the style ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A dozen years of Ian

IMG_1735, originally uploaded by eouio.

Somehow we've survived this long ;)

More pics to come...

Birthday Zoo

IMG_1868, originally uploaded by eouio.

We helped Dylan celebrate his third birthday at Kangaroo Zoo tonight! More pics to come...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday Dress

Aimee is constantly searching for the perfect Sunday dress. The Latest: