Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas 2007!! More out-of-sync, out-of-control pics!!

Yeah, we know, this happened almost a year ago... However, last Christmas (that's CHRIST-mas not "Holiday Season") we didn't have this wonderfully trashy blog! Therefore, we lacked the ability to show poorly lit photographs of all our loved ones with puffy eyes, crooked smiles, messy hair, and other types of impairment not to be mentioned here!!

I also must note that Wendy, Josh, and Dad somehow managed to avoid our camera lens.... It's not that we don't love you, you just proved to be too wily for us to catch!!

Mom and Jim on the horse-drawn carriage during our trip to New York City. After many a mile of walking on unyielding concrete, the 15 minutes in the buggy were sheer bliss!!

Mom with the big draft horse that pulled our carriage. This is New York however, so the horse requested a schmeared bagel and a cappuccino rather than carrots.......

A very large Gothic Cathedral on 5th avenue.... like a moron, I can't remember the name!

Jim outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. See, we folks from Stormville have some culture after all!!

Jim with a suit of Armor that must have been designed for midgets.....okay, RICH midgets....

No explanations for this one - just my wife using the camera at a bad moment! You'll note that she has managed to weasel out of being in any of the pictures thus far!

April and Grace on Christmas morning - what time is it again???

Maddie with her Gingerbread house - unfortunately she took out a sub-prime adjustable rate mortgage to buy it, so she lost it in foreclosure and Snow White (being of Old Money) bought it for well below market value!

Grace and her own lavish Gingerbread house. She decided to eat it, collect the insurance money, and move back in with her parents.....

Lily and Grace dancing - I think.....

Maddie and her Webkinz pet, Boo. Maddie is our resident computer genius (just slightly bested by her grandfather) and is currently working with Microsoft to fix the problems with Windows Vista.

You all may notice that there are a lot of pictures of Lily. This may not be a good thing for her, especially when she turns 16. I will personally make sure that her Prom date sees this one!!

Ambien? Who needs that when you've got a house full of kids! Pat sleeps peacefully.....for now!!

Evan cracked me up by telling me lawyer jokes and quoting Jay Leno!!

I don't know where this camo hat came from, but the kids seemed to love it. Lily spent much of the day on the phone with her agent trying to get a role in the next 'High School Musical' movie. They turned her down because, despite what she thinks, she's not in high school yet!

Diane and Dave with a bottle of his favorite drink - "Arrogant Bastard Ale"

Does this really need any explanation?

Thankfully Jim Novak's real "mug" looks better than the face on this mug. I'm sure Suzi would agree!!

Father and Mother Christmas, enjoying the festivities from the best seats in the house!!

And last, but not least, Amy couldn't entirely escape the camera - here she is opening a sweet gift!!
We're all looking forward to Christmas again this year, and hopefully we will get the new pictures up in less than 11 months!!

Random Pictures

Ok, Amy and I were thinking that we have a lot of great pictures that never see the light of day on our blog, and maybe it wold be fun to show some of them. Of course, this completely wrecks our already out-of-sync blog, but what the are fun!

This is literally in our backyard. God bless Idaho!! You can sit by the river in the evening and watch Ospreys dive bomb for fish!

Also pretty much in our backyard (the park is about 100 yards from our door) We had an early spring this year which flooded the river, which consequently required the power company to open ALL the floodgates at the dam!! Look at all of that Dam water!! Random note - one area on my mission was so boring, we went on a tour of the local Dam on preparation day.... the sole purpose of taking the tour (also quite boring) was so that we cold use the word "dam" a lot.

Amy making faces during a hike of scenic mineral ridge. Ok, well, it wasn't all that scenic until we got to the top.... it was more of a hot uphill slog to a beautiful view....

Jack Handey once wrote, “When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if not…mmmmm, boy!” Amy and I called this our "free apple pie" because Amy picked the apples for free, and we had everything else. With the cost of fruit lately, it can cost over $10 for the apples alone, so we were pretty excited about our free apple pie!

This is a neat picture from our summer trip to Utah. Amy and I are perched in the lofty Logan Wind caves (which, by the way, were actually carved by water....go figure!)

Dad and I standing by the precipice in the Logan wind caves, each of us thinking, "all it would take is a little nudge and....."

Killing clay pigeons is an old family hobby that we seldom get to do anymore. Tim and I are blasting away and hitting fewer pigeons than we would like to admit....

Dad, the master thrower of pigeons. He decided to be generous and did most of the throwing....probably so he wouldn't show us up too badly!

Almost lost in the Idaho wilderness - Mom and I exploring a trail to nowhere. This is shortly after I went bushwhacking and fell down several hills....

Mom birdwatching in Idaho by Cougar Bay.... unfortunately the birds must have gone out for lunch that day....

Baby geese being herded along by their mama in Cougar Bay. Aren't they just fuzzy and cute!! You can see one of them registering his displeasure with being prodded along....

We took about 500 pictures of this Great Blue Heron that day - he was quite the fisherman, and we managed to get a few good pics of him catching and eating fish.
If you're still with us, thanks for looking.... we'll have some more out-of-sync pics coming up soon!!

Some of these are from before we succumbed to the blessed nerdiness that is blogging, and some were just left out for the sake of breadth (or decency). So, here we go!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008 - Get Your Vote On!!

Amy and I got out and Voted today! I realize that this isn't exactly exciting news, but it felt good to contribute to the cause - especially when you feel like your candidate is the underdog and could really use the help.

By reading that last sentence ( and seeing my red shirt), you can probably guess who I voted for. My sister recently chided me as being "Dad's last Republican Hope" and you know what? I'm damn proud of it.

I see nothing wrong with standing for a government that believes in God, the Constitution, Freedom, lower taxes, punishing criminals instead of law abiding civilians..... and the list goes on. Benjamin Franklin has been credited with saying, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." I am not a "right wing conservative" by any means - heck if I ever met a democrat who didn't believe in abolishing my freedoms and trampling the constitution, I might even vote for him (actually, I voted for a Democrat Congressman today becaues I believe in his ideas). However, in our highly divisive political system , I haven't seen too much of this lately.

I concede that Barack Obama will most likely win this election - the presidency has practically been handed to him on a silver platter. However, I sincerely hope that those who vote for him do so for the right reasons. I have heard more and more rhetoric about what a "historic" election this is, and I find it ridiculous. May we all vote for the person that we think is right for the job, not the person who will make the history books. I am not any kind of racist, but I really don't care if our president is Black, Hispanic, White, Asian, etc. I care that he will make the right decisions for this country. I think regardless of today's results, we can consider the "glass ceiling" shattered forever, and I am proud of our country for that.

I should note that while I have expressed my own views very strongly here, I respect the differing views of others - the freedom to express our own differing views is one of the protected rights that makes this country great!

If this post offends too many people, I will take it down. I am just sick and tired of keeping my feelings inside on this one - if any of you are offended, post a comment and I will remove this.

And I promise to keep the politics off the blog from here on!

Thanks - Jim

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween and All Things Autumnal - Take 2!!!

Hey Everybody!! It's been a beautiful fall up here in North Idaho! This year, Amy had the wonderful idea that we should go to a real pumpkin patch rather than just buying our pumpkins at Wal Mart. It was a beautiful day and it brought back a lot of memories of picking pumpkins when we were kids! In the Photo above, you can see Amy displaying a lovely traditional orange pumpkin, and Jim displaying an atrocious green monster pumpkin (which we got for 1/2 price because it was green! Score!!)

Here we have a pic of Pumpkin number 2 being weighed and Amy surrounded by orangey pumpkin goodness!

The carved Pumpkins - Jim Tried for a Spooky Tribal Face design that he sort of made up on the fly, and Amy made an awesome flaming skull design! By the way, we learned something awesome about green pumpkins - they are super easy to clean out and their guts aren't slimy and stinky!! Awesome!!

Not so awesome - We also learned (the hard way) that a pumpkin with 1/2 inch thick walls will rot and collapse by the next morning...... We waited 'til two days before Halloween to carve the pumpkins, but Jim's gave up the ghost a bit early..... :(

Just for comparison's sake, here is our pumpkin from last year - we got all Martha Stewart on this one with raffia hair plugs, blown eggs for eyes, and gourds for the nose and ears.

Costumes!! Ow can it be Halloween without them?? Apparently, Amy and I went as the 70's for Halloween. Jim kept telling people he was a used car salesman, but the truth was that we just wanted an excuse to wear some of our awesome old clothes. Amy's dress was one that her Mom used to sport back in the day, while Jim's suit was a gag gift from his sisters. The scariest part is that it fits perfectly!

Jim and his friend Tim from church had the best hairpieces at the Ward Halloween Party..... The best costume was the Transformers plane costume worn by the little boy in the picture - it was made of cardboard, but it REALLY TRANSFORMED!! How awesome is that? Parents everywhere - the bar has been raised!!

Finally, on Halloween night, our friends invited us out for dinner and a scary movie (and saved us from the loser existence of sitting around our apartment complex where Trick-or-Treaters fear to tread...)
Overall, it's been a fun holiday for us and we hope it was great for you and yours!!!