Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trip to Jurassic Park

For months, we'd planned to take our kids to Dinosaur Land over UEA weekend. There was just one problem. Dinosaur Land is technically called Dinosaur National Monument. And as we all know, our beloved Senator Mike Lee decided to close down all national parks in order to prove to President Obama that Americans shouldn't have healthcare coverage or access to fake dinosaurs. Or something like that.

Right after we officially decided to pull the plug on the trip, the government--and the park--reopened. But it was too late for us to turn back. Luckily, we had a backup plan.

Instead of driving three hours to Vernal and staying overnight, we just hopped in the car and drove 45 minutes to the Dinosaur Park in Ogden.

It was a perfect fall day for looking at giant dinosaur statues (surrounded by blowup Halloween decorations), digging for bones, and playing on the Jurassic playground.

And if that wasn't enough, we were able to eat dinner with our Dutch friends, the Koots, on our way home. They made us delicious pannekoeken. These Dutch pancakes are superior to the American kind because they can be filled with cheese, or apples, or ham, or whatever. Curtis topped his cheese pancake with dark chocolate syrup and whipped cream. I ate my ham pancake straight up. Dee-lish.

Sorry, Mike Lee. You can't hold the Sutherlands down.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Another Season of Soccer

I didn't mind coaching Curtis' soccer team last season. But since I'm still finding my place at New Job, I decided I'd just be a bystander this go round. 

It just didn't work out that way. 

"Organization night" (which is always highly disorganized) happens a couple of days before the first game of the season. The kids meet their coach and get their uniforms (the most important part of the entire season), and the parents pass around the treat sign-up sheet. 

When we showed up at organization night, we didn't see any coach or any uniforms, just a bunch of parents looking awkwardly at each other. After a few minutes, someone from the rec center came over and said, "Uh, are any of you the coach?" 


"Yeah, we had a guy say he'd be the coach, but he's obviously not here. I've tried to call him like a hundred times and he never answers or calls me back. So does anyone else want to be the coach?"


Everyone looks awkwardly at the ground. Since I was the only dad there (not that it takes a dad to be a coach, just ask my own coach/mother), and one of the only folks that spoke English as a first language, I volunteered. 

Today was the last game of the season. Curtis had another good year. It was a little harder to score goals with actual goalies (there are no goalies in the Pre-K league), but he still managed to be quite the little Cristiano Ronaldo (just with more army rolling; Curtis spends more time diving and rolling than any kid on the field). 

Because it was the last game, I figured we needed some action shots. Traci was working today, so I had to sneak some shots while I was coaching. As I was running down the field with the team, I took. Curtis, the boy who hates pictures, was not amused. 

At this point he turned and said, "Dad, what are you doing?"

Every kid loves to be the goalie. Not only do you get to touch the ball with your hands, but you get to wear this cool dress.

I finally got a great action shot without Curtis noticing; but I blew it with my fat finger

i tried again, but Curtis was not having it
Maybe we'll have better luck with pictures next year.

The Best Part of General Conference

Young little families are supposed to make traditions, right? For the second straight year, we decided to spend the two hours between the Sunday sessions of General Conference walking around Silver Lake at Brighton. We figured it would be the perfect time to see the fall leaves in Big Cottonwood Canyon and also give us a chance to enjoy the mountains for the last time before winter.

Once again it was a minor disaster. 

Last year, we left sunny and warm Salt Lake City only to arrive at a Brighton that it was much colder than we had expected--or dressed for. But this year, we were ready. We got all bundled up and loaded into the van. 

Curt was upset about something to do with his gloves, so he screamed, whined, and cried the entire trip up the mountain. Once we got there, he was fine. And, as it turned out, we didn't need all the warm clothes anyway. The temperature was really nice, but there was quite a bit of snow on the ground. 

That was great news for Tate and Curtis, who were ecstatic about throwing snowballs. The only problem was that a warm day, combined with melting snow, equals a muddy mess. This was reason enough for Paige to be upset the entire time we were there.

Grumpy Paige, grumpy Curtis, muddy Tate (who couldn't manage to stay upright on the icy paths), and hungry parents made for a great trip. 

Disgruntled family time. An annual tradition.

Here are some pictures of us pretending to have a good time.

Curtis, refusing to smile

Tate was the happiest of the bunch

Paige, refusing to have any fun

Smile, Curtis. I'm gonna take a picture of us.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

October Boys

Today Curtis and I worked on fielding ground balls for the first time. 

It's good to be a dad. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

We Raise Healthy Children

We've always had trouble with Paige and food. At any given time, there's only about three things that she's willing to eat. Usually it's nuggets, pizza (but only gross pizza Little Caesars or Totino's; I brought home The Pie the other day and she refused to eat it), and cottage cheese. But she's never had trouble with candy. 

This is her creation from our last trip to Yogurtland. Cheesecake yogurt, covered in gummy worms and Reese's Pieces. She ate every bite. 

We're good parents.