What we’re listening to:
Dan’s car: Keane: Hopes and Fears
Leigh’s car: Sinatra Christmas Album
Jack and Sam: Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have it So Much Better
Charlie: Johnny Cash: I Walk the Line
What we’re reading:
Dan’s night stand: American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Ellis
Leigh’s night stand: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Dr. Laura
Jack: Hop on Pop, Dr. Seuss
Sam: Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea, Jane Peck
Charlie: War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
For those of you not in the know, we have been living in the great state of Utah for the past year and a half after a four year stint in the San Francisco Bay Area. Why Utah you say? Is it the ubiquity of Jell-O, the multi-level marketing contacts, the abundant food storage? Actually Leigh and I had NO plans of returning to Utah until we found out we could buy a house without selling our spleens on eBay. Then it didn’t seem quite so bad.
We are currently living in a home that has been in my family for nearly 90 years, complete with the tombstone of my great, great, GREAT grandmother lying in the driveway between the recycling bin and garden hose (I’m SURE she would have wanted it that way.) The house resides in a neighborhood full of U fans, who’s well known disdain for BYU (beyond their disdain for reading, or speaking in complete sentences) leads us to keep the Y paraphernalia on the down low. We are looking to purchase the house within a few months and will spend the next three years wondering what we were thinking when we purchased a “fixer upper” where we could “do the work ourselves.”
Jack started kindergarten this year and is the first of our progeny to brave the public school system, where no child is ever left behind. He is a big fan of Star Wars and was the young Obi wan Kenobi (i.e. Ewen McGregor instead of Sir Alec Guinness, for all you Star Wars geeks out there) for Halloween. One of Jack’s favorite activities is getting Dad a “cold one” out of the fridge as well as accompanying him to the local Maverik Country store. Actually those are Dad’s favorite activities but Jack performs both with the flair and style one would expect from a young son. Jack also likes to wrestle with his dad (shirt off) and play “jungle boy” (shirt AND pants off, as any self respecting jungle boy would present himself in the wild) with his brother Sam.
Sam is a professional chops buster. If you’ve got chops, he’s busting them. Chops have been busted before, and chops will be busted in the future, but none will have been busted with such alacrity and thoroughness as when Sam is busting them. A head strong 3 year old who likes to watch Sponge Bob Square Pants, Sam always introduces himself as “Sammy” and will commence with the chops busting (mentioned earlier) if you call him anything different.
Sam demonstrated a complete lack of awe and wonderment at Dad’s eloquent Thanksgiving invocation when not 30 seconds into the prayer, he exclaimed “BORRRRINGG!” Dad took the cue and concluded the prayer shortly thereafter…but not before asking for world peace, an end to hunger and a winning BYU football season. Sam also enjoys swimming in our lap pool (i.e. tub) for hours on end.
Charlie turned one recently and is walking around like a drunken sailor. Like all our children he goes by many names including Charlie Charles, Charlo, Chachi, Curly, Chawwee, Chollee, and Little Charlie Chipmunk. His cherubic form also leads us to call him “round”, like his brother Jack before him. He finds time in his busy schedule to pull out all the towels from the hallway closet, eat whatever happens to be on the floor, and wipe his runny nose into his hair to humorous effect.
Leigh (a.k.a. the Director of Standards and Practices) has discovered that boys become exponentially more difficult to take care for as they increase in number. Part of it may be due to Jack and Sam’s canny ability to turn anything into a weapon and start play fighting. Every stick is a sword or arrow, and everything from a chicken nugget to a half eaten cheese sandwich is a gun.
And speaking of weapons, thieves beware, for earlier this year Leigh was trained in the arts of home defense by her ex-Marine father-in-law. The training was intense and grueling as Leigh fired multiple rounds from the family shotgun, learned to load it with her eyes closed (in case of a possible night mission, I suppose) and generally pushed her limits under the steady hand of Lt. Col. H. (Ret). However, all this training was for naught when Dan’s car stereo was stolen that very same night in front of the house with nary a response from the H. camp.
Dan continues to rack up a plethora of frequent flyer miles traveling for Protiviti. He claims that as a consultant, his job is to make people think he knows more than he actually does. Of course once he opens his mouth the subterfuge is up!
In other news, while Dan was preparing for a trip to Europe, and the sleeping woes associated with extreme time changes, he decided to “leverage” (consultant term) Leigh’s new prescription of Ambien, which, in the right hands, makes excellent sleeping pills. Having been trained in medicine (i.e. Biology 101 and a few seasons of Scrubs and E.R.) Dan decided to disregard the suggested dose on the bottle, preferring his own internal wisdom of “whatever Leigh takes I need to double or triple it.” Twenty minutes later, around midnight, Dan was crawling on the living room floor in a deep stupor making spurious claims that he invented Sans-A-Belt slacks. Leigh, fearing the worst, decided to call 911. Luckily the fire department was discrete by only sending FOUR firemen in one big fire truck with the lights blazing. After pulling Dan off the floor and slapping him into consciousness, they determined he would be just fine and were able to drag him to the bedroom and throw him in bed. Apparently budget cuts prevented them from offering a story and providing a drink of water.
All in all, it’s been another solid year for us. We complain not. That said, Merry Christmas from all of us to all of you! Dan, Leigh, Jack, Sam, and Charlie.