Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Spelling Bee

Author: Steve Martin

Abby came home from tumbling one night singing a new cheer she learned that said “R-O-W-D-I-E, that’s the way you spell rowdy”. I’m hoping she heard it wrong but I told her that that is NOT the way you spell rowdy. She tried to argue with me so I explained that each word has a certain spelling and you aren’t supposed to change that spelling just because you want to. I pulled out the dictionary and explained that it contained the correct spelling for all the words so we can check and see how words are supposed to be spelled. I looked up the word rowdy and showed it to her. She decided that I must be right.

Later on, I explained to her what a spelling bee is and she was excited about the contest aspect of it and now asks me to pick words for her to try to spell. So, every night when I lay down in her bed to “talk” I have to come up with several words and she will try to spell them for me. During the day she will randomly try to spell certain words out loud and we can either correct her, or praise her for doing a good job. She is getting better and better.

Tyler does not like to be left out of the spelling game so he also randomly tries to spell words. Tonight at the dinner table he says “how do you spell Jumanji (we had watched it the night before)?. So, I told him J-U-M-A-N-J-I. He then said “I know how to spell door”. I was impressed thinking he really is learning stuff at preschool so I said “how”? Without skipping a beat he very confidently says “H-A-K-E-R”. We all chuckled and Abby told him the correct spelling of door.

Anyway, I think it’s funny how he likes to be a part of things and can’t let his sister have all the glory from spelling.


Author: Steve Martin

Why is it that babies have this uncontrollable urge to move around when you are trying to feed them? I am not quite sure what the disgusting mixture is that I was feeding her and I don’t think I want to know. She seemed to be enjoying it even though it looks like she wasn’t. I am amazed at how quickly an arm or even a leg can swat out as I am moving the spoon toward her mouth. She was in big trouble and she knew it but she still let out a big grin when I brought the camera out to capture her messiness on “film”. It is very hard to stay mad at her when she gives you a grin like that. There was green stuff on the backrest, the side and all inside the buckle. It was gross. It’s a good thing she’s cute.

New Tradition

Author: Steve Martin

I’m not exactly sure how it started. I think I laid down on Abby’s bed after prayers and saying goodnight and we just talked for a little bit. I then did the same thing with Tyler. Now, they ask for it every night. Abby calls it talk time and Tyler just asks if I can lay with him for a little bit. I enjoy it. After a busy day of every imaginable distraction, it is nice to just lay down and talk individually with my two oldest for a little bit. I think they enjoy the one on one time they get. After I am done talking to them they now repeat the process with Jenny. I think she likes it too. Be warned, if you have a lot of kids, this could become a very time consuming tradition to start. I only have two kids old enough to do this with and they don’t have any problem making this one on one time last a little while. It brings out the talkiness in them. I guess we’ll just have to be done having kids.

We ate dinner out on the deck today since the weather was so nice. Afterward, Abby started getting her blankets and pillows out and made herself a little bed on the lawn. She wanted to sleep outside. Too bad she has school in the morning. Maybe next weekend we can sleep in the backyard. We’d better do it before it starts getting too cold. The other picture is from the other day when they wanted to paint. Tyler is such a crazy boy. But, whenever you call him that, he says “I don’t like to be called that”. We pretend like we had forgotten every time and we just continue to call him crazy.

Makenna, stop growing up!

Author: Steve Martin

I hate to brag, but my baby is just so dang cute. I just can’t get enough of her. Here are a few pictures of her from the past couple of weeks. Do you just love the blonde wig? Abby got it at the primary party. I’m surprised we were able to get those pictures as she really didn’t like having it on.

Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked and Walked and Walked and Walked. Elementary School Children Scream and Yell as they Walk and Walk and Walk and walk. Abby’s whole elementary school had a walk-a-thon to raise money for the school. Everyone in the whole school participated. Abby hit up some of her aunts and uncles and grandparents for pledges. Her basic approach was “Will you give me money?”. It seemed to work. Maybe I should start trying that. Anyway, Jenny volunteered to help out and would mark the kids’ laps for them to help them keep track. I went over and walked some laps with Abby and Tyler too. Here are a few pictures from the walk-a-thon. Abby and Tyler had a lot of fun and Abby did 25 laps!





My kids are so much fun. I think I’ll keep them.

Ghetto TV

Author: Steve Martin

First of all, what a crappy picture. I am sitting in my bed and I took this picture from my cell phone. I could have gotten out of bed and gone into the family room to get the “real” digital camera but that would require getting out of bed and it is currently 1:04am so I’m too lazy to do such a thing. Even though my phone takes 2 MP pictures, the color saturation is aweful.

Anyway, back to the subject, TV. I have a Windows Media Center PC in which I installed a TV tuner card several years ago. This allowed us to schedule our TV shows to record automatically and we could watch them at our leisure. Bacially it is Tivo but the Windows flavor of it (and no subscription charges). Well, about two months or so ago I fried the TV tuner card by not shutting the computer down when putting in an eSata slot for an external hard drive. I pulled another device that was using up a slot and set it on top of the tuner card. There was a spark and the lovely smell of burning plastic and….the TV tuner card was toast (Lesson: always turn the computer off if you are opening the case for any reason, end of story). I cursed myself several times and went about researching the newer tuner cards (the one I had was discontinued). I found the one I wanted. It is the WinTV-HVR-2250. It has two twin tuners in it. So, I could record two analog channels and/or two digital channels at the same time. A nice little upgrade since the old tuner could only record two analog channels. I ordered the new tuner card from on August 21st which should have been plenty of time before the new season of shows started back up.

I was expecting the new card to arrive anytime. But, apparently this new card is new for the manufacturer too and there isn’t a huge supply available just yet. Tonight was the season premier of two of our shows, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Office”. We definitely were not prepared for it. Since I had all TV going through the Media Center PC, streamed to our TVs through the network via an Xbox 360, I haven’t actually hooked up cable to anything but the one jack for the Media Center PC and one TV/VCR in the excercise room. So, as you can see from the picture, I grabbed my rabbit ear antenna and hooked it directly into the TV in our bedroom. Both of our shows start at the same time, 8:00pm. We decided to watch Greys and record The Office to watch afterward. So, we searched the house for a VCR tape that we could record “The Office” on while we watched “Grey’s”. Just recording via a VCR is ghetto. You can’t start watching what you are recording until it is completely done recording. How lame is that? We used to purposely start watching one of our scheduled recordings about 10 minutes after it started recording as we could then speed through the commercials and catch up to live TV by the end of the show. We don’t even know where the remote is for our VCR so we actually had to WATCH commercials. Who does that anymore? (and no, we couldn’t just get up off the couch and push the Fast Forward button on the front of the VCR, so shut up!).

It was a pain having to hurry and get home in time to get the kids in bed and be in front of the TV at exactly 8:00pm so we wouldn’t miss anything on Greys. Life without a DVR of some sort is just so much more stressful.

Now, one nice thing was that we got to watch Grey’s in High Def over the air. But, even that was pretty hokey. We found that the digital signal would change depending on where we were sitting on the bed as we watched. I had to sit in just such a way and could not bend my legs. Jenny, on the other hand, had to keep her knees bent. If she would straighten her legs the signal would drop out. I felt like I was 5 years old when we had to put tin foil on the ends of the antennas to get a better signal. I just about did that very thing until we found our special spots that made the signal come through. We stayed in the same positions for two hours while we watched Grey’s. Our legs had cramped up by the end but at least we got to finish the show.

I hope and pray that the new TV tuner card will ship soon. While we don’t watch very much TV, it is so nice to have what few shows we do watch automatically get recorded and not have to think twice about it. Long live the DVR!

Makenna’s First Words

Author: Steve Martin

It’s official. Makenna’s first words are…….. “Hi Dadda”. She says it all the time. I’ve been practicing with her and since she loves her daddy so much, she decided to make those her first words. She is “scooting” around everywhere these days. She is still working on the crawling thing. She knows how to get up on her knees but when she wants to move, she just uses her arms and toes to drag herself around. She is a very happy baby and only really gets fussy when she hasn’t eaten for a while or when she has been in her carseat far too long. I know I shouldn’t brag, but I just have the cutest kids ever.

Abby Goes to 1st Grade

Author: Steve Martin

My oldest daughter Abby is in 1st grade now. I can’t believe it. She loves riding the bus to school. Jenny carpooled with a friend all through kindergarten so the bus is something new and cool to Abby. She has made friends with one of the boys in our neigborhood and they sit together on the way to and from school. This is a little video of her on her first day of first grade. She is a cutie.

abby 1st grade video

I bought this book because I thought it would be interesting to learn and understand the love languages of my kids. I was quite right. As of this post, I have a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a 6 month old. I am not certain what love language the 6 month old is yet but I have a pretty good idea what the other two kids are and because of this book, I now have some great ideas on how to show my love for my kids in ways that make them feel loved. I always try to show and tell my love to them, but I didn’t know that I needed to do this in different ways depending on my child’s love language. What might let one child feel loved may not work for another child.

The book is all about keeping your children’s “love tank” full. when you are successful in keeping it full, your children will behave better, obey better, and grow up to be more loving and understanding in all of their relationships with others throughout their lives. I found the chapter on discipline very interesting as it is important to discipline differently depending on your child’s love language. I found that I often do not discipline very effectively and found many suggestions on how I could improve.

If you want to help your child feel loved, you should pick up this book and try to incorporate the ideas into your interactions with your child. It has also helped me to understand my wife’s love language a little better and be able to show her love more effectively and even though she has not read the book, she has taken a more active role in trying to show me love based on my love language as well. To try to help even more, I am also going to read: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.