Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Life In Review - A Catch-Up Post From a Slacking Blogger

Greetings from a blogging slacker. Over the past few months life has just been hectic and so sadly my downtime (when I can find it) has consisted of sitting very idly playing mindless games or watching mindless TV (*shudder*). That's not to say that all I've been doing is a bunch of mindless activities. I've had a lot of things going on that have been very entertaining and productive. But during the moments of free time when I might otherwise be doing creative writing or updating my blog, I have been adverse to doing anything that takes any real effort.

So consider this an effort to turn over a new leaf. I've got a number of friends/family blogs to catch up on. In addition, I need to be blogging more and doing more dedicated creative writing, book reviews, movie reviews, etc.

To start off…here's today's post. A "personal" post catching people up on the lives and happenings of myself and my family over the past many months. It's been a while since my last personal/family post. For those who aren't interested in the "human interest" side of blogging, go ahead and skip the rest of the post. For the rest of you, keep scrolling and enjoy the quick blurbs and pictures from recent and semi-recent adventures. I actually haven't done a recap of activities since last fall. So you're in for a treat....maybe    ;)

Last fall was a milestone for the family as my oldest son started 7th grade and headed off to Junior High. I think my wife and I were more nervous for him than he was for himself. He was rather nonchalant about the school format change from elementary to middle school. He was excited about some of the classes and has had fun diving deeper into some of the subjects. He stopped playing the cello and started playing the tuba with the school band. While I can appreciate the tuba, I was definitely more a fan of the cello. Still, it's his choice and he seems to be really enjoying hefting the new instrument. The other two kids started 5th and 3rd grade and have really enjoyed their classes as well.

With me helping in the scouting program, I've been able to go on a bunch of fun activities with my oldest son and had a lot of fun with that. We've been hiking, rock climbing, scuba diving, swimming and plenty of camping. My middle boy turned 11 in the fall and we were able to bring him along with us on one of the campouts. Unfortunately that overnighter had a few missteps as well as some really bad weather so he ended up not having the best of times as your tent ended up completely flooded.

We had a backpacking campout in the fall through beautifully colored trees, a winter biathlon campout complete with snowshoeing and winter sports and a trip out to Stansbury Island along with a hike to find some ancient (or at least really old) Indian Petroglyphs. Scouting is a lot of fun.

For his 11th birthday, we had a pirate themed birthday for my middle son. We set up a treasure hunt all around town that had he and his friends solving a variety of puzzles and trying to figure out where to go next. It was especially fun to watch some of them try to really over think things and zip right on past the obvious (and closer) answers. In the end, they finally uncovered the treasure chest tucked away in a little wooded area of town.

Halloween is always a pretty fun time around our house (though once again we were all busier than we'd hoped so we weren't able to decorate or dress up as much as we otherwise might like to do). We took the kids up to Cherry Hill (which is transformed into "Scary Hill" in October) for some haunted mini-golf, hay rides and general fun. I won tickets to go see Sweeney Todd with the wife as a creepy date. My boys keep hinting that they might want to go to a big scale haunted house, but they're still just a little bit unsure (aka scared) at the prospect, so we still haven't done that. We did have our neighborhood "Trunk or Treat" and there are a few houses around the neighborhood who go all out and do their best to scare the kids.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were great times as usual full of all sorts of great family fun times. We had good times playing and hanging out with the family on Thanksgiving weekend. We had a number of fun-filled Christmastime outings to see lights and decorations. We went out to the Dickens Christmas Festival to see Father Christmas and participate in a Victorian London celebration. We also took a few trips out to Temple Square to see the lights and focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Our winter started pretty milde  (we actually didn't start getting real good snow until December for a change) but once it got going, we quickly had some severe snowstorms. As a result, we splurged and as a post-Christmas present to the family we now have a Snowblower which we've used on our own driveway and then had fun taking it around the block to clear the main sidewalks as well as a number of other driveways. It's the first time the boys have actually been somewhat excited to help shovel snow. In addition to working in the snow, we were able to get out and go sledding. We had some bad sledding experiences in recent years, but this year was fabulous. With powdery snow up to my thighs we raced down the big hills and had a lot of fun. I think we've hopefully erased the memory of the "crash and burn" ice sledding of a couple of years ago.

In February it was time for Salt Con, the annual board game convention here in Salt Lake. My oldest son joined me for one of the days along with my dad and three of my brothers. We got a lot of great games played and had tons of fun.

My daughter turned 9 in March and wanted to have a swimming party. So we got together with some of her friends as well as cousins and other family and went over to the Rec Center for some swimming fun. It happened to be immediately after a scout campout so my son and I were a little tired, but we still had some good fun.

Also in March, our church put on a "One Day Roadshow" or a "Play in a Day". There were ~10 different plays being put on. Our family jumped right in and had fun helping plan (my wife helped with the writing) and perform in a fun little Dr. Seuss style play about helping and serving others. The costumes were outrageous. The jokes were cheesy. All in all a lot of good fun.

April marked time for our semi-frequent family picture outing. We have a friend with a great eye who has graciously taken our pictures in the past and agreed to do it again this time (Thanks Lisa. You rock!). So we headed up the canyon to try and get some good shots. Unfortunately April in Utah is still a bit chilly and drab thanks to late frosts. So there wasn't a lot in terms of extraordinary spring color. But she still managed to capture some great pictures and we had a lot of fun.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a software conference for work to get some additional training and networking opportunities. It was a really good conference and I met some great people and came away with some great ideas. In addition, it was down in San Diego and the weather was just perfect (…which is good, since they advertise the perfect weather *grin*). Apart from the cool things seen and learned in the conference, I was able to get to a couple of beaches as well as touring the "Maritime Museum" to check out some awesome historic ships and submarines. My wife was able to join me the last day and a half and together we waded in the ocean and wandered around La Jolla and Old Town San Diego. It was a great trip.

And that's the whirlwind catchup on family life over the past ~6-8 months. No great detail on anything but at least I feel like I've provided a little something for friends, family and posterity.

Now the tricky part will be to try and get back into a more regular blogging routine so that I don't have to play catchup but instead I'm able to make more interesting in-depth posts. I don't foresee life getting any slower…so we'll see how well this works. Wish me luck. And thanks for reading. :)

1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

nice...i love the fun stuff and you and your family do together...the pirate theme awesome...we have another year before ours goes off to middle school as well...not sure i am ready for that transition...smiles.