Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Comforter

Tate's artistic rendering of the Holy Ghost.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Not our Best Day at the Ranch

"Dad!" Paige exclaimed, "There's a hole in the back of our van!"

With all of our moving, we hadn't been to the ranch since the beginning of the summer. The kids were ecstatic that we were finally spending the weekend there. 

Traci and I walked onto the gravel driveway where Curtis and Tate were playing. With rocks. 

There sure was a hole in the back window, a hole the size of a softball. Cracks had spider webbed across the entire windo. Just looking at it brought a sheet of glass pebbles raining down. 

Though they were standing just feet from the van, neither Curtis nor Tate had any idea how it had happened. 

Curtis was street-smart enough to quietly flee the scene of the crime. Tate, however, chose to linger. 

"Tate," I asked, "What happened to the window?" 

"I dunno." 

"Did you guys hit it with a rock?" 

"No. Maybe something fell on it."

"Like a rock?" I asked. 


But that's as close as we got to a confession. Even as we drove home, with our makeshift garbage-window flapping in the wind, no one was quite sure how the window had been broken.

(Tonight Traci's dad asked Tate about it. "Tate, did a rock break the window?" "Yes," he replied, before quickly adding,"but Curtis and I didn't throw it.") 


Though I spent the afternoon stewing in vehicular frustrations, the kids had a pretty good day. 

Helping Grandma paint the gate

Helping Grandpa saw up the tree that was blocking the road
And riding in the back of the truck

Tomorrow morning I've got a date with Techna Glass, where I'll find out just how much a weekend at the ranch is going to cost me. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Perfect Night for the Drive-In

Heavy Metal Bakesale

I should have taken more pictures. I had to steal this one from the Trib.

This morning, Bert invited us to the Salt Lake County Fair. We happily obliged. The best part was our run-in with the Armored Combat League.

It was a band of misfits, at best. A group of Dungeons and Dragons nerds wearing 100 pounds of homemade armor. Before the match began, the head nerd took a few minutes to explain how it all works. 

"You see movies and a knight slashes another guy with a sword and he goes right down," he says. "Totally fake." 

He starts whacking his partner in the head with a sword and then an ax. "This is hardcore armor. It keeps you totally protected," he says as he smacks the guy one more time in his helmeted face. 

He then outlines the rules: 
  • You can strike, hit, kick, or punch anywhere you want (except for the knees)
  • You can use your sword to smack your opponent in the back (where there is no armor), as long as you don't, you know, slash down his spine
  • No stabbing someone through their armor in order to kill them
He then reiterated how the armor keeps everybody completely safe. 

And then the first battle began. 

"At 280 pounds, please welcome Buddy."

"He'll be facing his girlfriend Bonnie. Today's her first time in armor!" 

They started sparring. Buddy gave some love taps. Bonnie showed some fire and whacked him a few times with her shield. 

That's when Buddy balled up his fist, wound up, and punched his sweetheart right in the side of the head. 

Bonnie dropped like a ton of armored bricks. 

It took three dudes to help her get back up. (None of which were boyfriend.) 

The match was over. 

I wondered what their evening will be like. Would Bonnie give Buddy the silent treatment? Would Buddy tell Bonnie her form was all wrong? Would Buddy have to sleep on the couch? Or would Bonnie be into it? 

Hurts my head just to think about it.

If only a had a metal helmet.

Paige has one.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Not-So-Great Outdoors

In the Sutherland family, hiking equals a half hour of complaining, followed by three minutes of happiness (if there is water and rocks that can be thrown into it). The window for smiling faces closely quickly, but I got 'em! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


We may not know where the soap is, or our bathroom towels, or half of our clothes. But the band room is all unpacked.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Monday, August 03, 2015


Said goodbye to the house on Melissa Hill tonight. Thanks for the last eight years.