And they’re off!

This morning Zaque headed off to the orthodontist…

And when he came back, he was much happier.

After just over two years, he finally finished with his braces. Unlike the other two kids, he doesn’t need to have a permanent retainer glued to the back of his upper front teeth. As Kyra often asks (regarding Zaque), “What must it be like to live a charmed life?”


It was great to see Brian and Therese one last time before they head off to Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and then… South America, I guess. They’ve been hopping around Southeast Asia for the past year and now they’re getting ready for their next adventure. It was fun to catch up and talk about all of our plans for the next year. Montana may not be as exotic as Peru, but someone has to stick around this place and keep America great.

Sayonara, guys… or should I say adios? Until we meet again…


Well, today is 4/20, and since marijuana is legal here in Colorado, there’s probably a pall of smoke hanging over the state. But now that Cheba Hut has come to town, I decided to make a new family tradition to head over there for lunch on 4/20.

Cheba Hut is a marijuana-themed sandwich shop. Yeah. As it happens, though, their sandwiches are really good. So if you can ignore all the counter-culture stuff plastered everywhere, and the wall pictures and paintings depicting people smoking weed, it’s worth it. Laralee has been out to eat a couple of times this week, and that’s kind of her limit, so she passed. Zaque was heading out to play Dungeons and Dragons with friends (his usual Saturday activity). So that left Kyra, who was happy to accompany me in my new tradition.

We ordered some sandwiches and enjoyed sitting on the patio– the weather is beautiful today.

In recognition of this questionable “holiday”, Cheba Hut was giving out frisbees as trays for the food. Of course they were horrible– not at all appropriate for ultimate– but Kyra insisted on keeping hers.

I told her she’d better darn well take it to college with her, because La and I are trying to de-clutter the house and the last thing we need is a crummy green plastic frisbee. She promised she’d take it, but then admitted that in fact she’ll probably hide it somewhere in the house before she leaves, in which case I told her I’d send her the video of me burning it into a lumpy green pile of goo.

Frisbees aside, it was fun to have a good lunch with my favorite daughter. Happy 420 Day!

RIP Treebeard

Sometime in the late 1990’s, one of our neighbors decided to get rid of an old ragtag ficus tree they’d had in their house for a while. We offered to take it, thinking it would add to our “recently out of college” decor. I named it Treebeard, aka Fangorn, after the ancient Ent from The Lord of the Rings.

Treebeard moved with us to Longmont and had a place of honor in the corner of our family room, where his leaves “shaded” us on the couch as we watched movies. He added a nice splash of green to the room, and all was good.

Over the years, though, branches died and he became more and more sparse. He was sort of crippled in a way, too– we had to attach a trunk to the wall via fishing wire to keep him from toppling. So I finally decided it was time to bid adieu.

The family room seems a little emptier without him. Farewell, noble Treebeard.

Glamour shots

As part of our missionary paperwork, we have to submit a nice formal photo of ourselves. For some reason we forgot to do that for Kyra, and when she arrived on her mission, someone snapped a terrible cell-phone photo and it became her official photo for the rest of her mission.

So today, Zaque got a haircut and lost the mane he’s been sporting for a few years now. Missionary grooming standards require fairly short hair on the young men (a wise move), and it turns out he cleans up pretty good:

Then it was time for me and La. Ours turned out nicely, although as usual she looks way better than me:

Kyra couldn’t resist getting in on the action, so I gave her a glamour shot as well:

Let’s get physical

The last time I had a physical exam was when I was trying out for the high school baseball team. I was 15. In the intervening years, I haven’t been to a doctor for anything… no checkups, no physicals, no illnesses, no surgeries. It’s been pretty nice.

Now, as I’m preparing to serve a mission, I’m required to have a physical. Apparently the church wants to ensure that I’m not going to go into cardiac arrest or whatever while I’m serving. I didn’t see a way around it, so I resigned myself to the fact that I would, once again, need to visit a doctor.

Zaque and I did that today (he needs a physical for his mission as well). It took about half an hour and wasn’t too bad. In the end, all the tests came back positive. Apparently I’m still a fine specimen of health. Even after 32 years without doctors.

Can I go another thirty years without visiting a doctor? Fingers crossed…

Happy belated birthday to me

I admit I was getting a little worried because I hadn’t received a birthday card from Carolyn Rose. A few weeks had passed after my birthday, and finally there was a card in the mailbox:

As it turned out, her husband Gary has been struggling with some health issues, and she was pretty busy around my birthday. She was very apologetic about not sending a card on time, but honestly, the fact that she was even thinking about it counts.

I don’t generally get birthday cards from anyone these days– including my lovely wife– but Carolyn has never missed a year. The tradition continues, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Thanks, Carolyn!