Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Silent Monks sing Hallelujah

I'm stealing this from my friend's blog, but I thought it was too good not to share. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Brian is going green!

So, I keep hearing in the media that I should buy some screw in fluorescent “energy efficient” lamps for my house. I happened to be in a lighting store the other day (O.K. I guess that isn't too hard to believe since I work in one) and saw some of these on the shelf. Sure enough they did say, “screw in fluorescent”, and “energy saving”. So I decided I would do my part for the environment and bought a couple to try out…


Here they are after screwing them in my front room fixture.

I’m not sure they will save me much energy but I do feel closer to nature now that the sun is inside my front room!

For reference to understand the pictures below here are some figures:

Light is commonly measured in foot candles (fc). Some common light levels are:

An overcast day will produce an intensity of around 1,000 fc

An operating table will be around 1,000 fc

General, Open offices 50 fc or 30 fc for offices where a lot of computer work is performed

Warehouse 10-30 fc

Pro Basketball court 125 - 300 fc

Hotel Front Desk 50 fc

Hotel lobby 10 fc.

My meter can't read over 1,000 fc so I had to be a few feet away to get a reading under 1,000.

Light level on the couch.

Bradley taking a reading near the floor. It would have been higher if he would have held it level.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just a post

I figure that I should probably post something so we're not stuck on Halloween pictures forever. The only problem is, I don't really have anything particular to post. So, you're going to get a quick update.

We are all doing well and staying healthy despite the mounds of snow and arctic temperatures. Brian and Bradley recently celebrated their birthdays. We kept the celebrations pretty low key this year, but enjoyed the events anyway. Bradley was particularly excited about opening presents and was more than glad to help Brian on his birthday. It was also nice to have my mom in town for Bradley's special day. Her trip wasn't meant for his birthday, but it was a nice coincidence that she was here anyway.

Daniel is a handful. He is such a happy baby, and brings so much joy into our home, but he keeps me busy. He is growing so fast, you can hardly call him a baby anymore. He has been army crawling since the end of October, got his first two teeth and perfected sitting in November, and is now faster and stronger and all over the place.

As for me, I'm learning what it feels like to wake up really early again. I've started running with a couple of people that I met through my book club, but the best time for us to meet is 5:30 in the morning. It is so nice to get out and run again, but it is especially nice to have people to run with. They keep me motivated and have talked me into some crazy races in the spring.

I guess that's enough of an update for now. It may be a month before I get around to blogging again, so in the mean time, enjoy your holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why we dressed up

I realize it's the middle of November, but I'm finally getting around to blogging about our Halloween. This year we all dressed up. Originally, Bradley didn't have any interest in dressing up, but then we found this costume.

Obviously Bradley needed a counterpart, so we dressed Brian up too.

Daniel was always going to be this.

So, I got in on the action and dressed up as well.

And there you have it, Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat, and the less specific Dragon and his Princess. Not exactly a cohesive unit, but a couple of great pairs for a fun night of trick-or-treating.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Similarities Anybody?

If you've followed this blog since the beginning, you might remember this video.

Now look at this.

What is it about the jumper that brings out the boisterousness of my children? Bradley is about 3 1/2 months older than Daniel (though they're about the same size)in his video,so his jumping skills are a little more advanced, but something about that jumper makes my boys sing.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Yesterday I had to get some paints from the craft store to paint my paper-mache mask that I made as an example for my Cub Scouts. While at the craft store Bradley wanted to get a little bit of everything he saw. We settled on some watercolors so he could paint too. Here is Bradley in action. He wanted Daniel to watch him, so he is in the high chair wondering what's going on.

This is Bradley's very first watercolor picture.

And, here is my mask. It looks like a bear, which is what I was hoping for.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This post is mostly for my mom. In talking with her yesterday, she mentioned that I needed to post some pictures of my growing boys. Daniel is getting so big. He is full of smiles, he's started to roll over, and he loves to watch his big brother. Bradley is tall and skinny, still loves to play with his cars, and is getting to be very chatty. If you'll lend an ear, he'll talk it right off. So, for my mom, and anyone else who wants to see, here are some pictures of my boys from May to today.







Friday, September 11, 2009

Oh Dear!

This post requires a quick disclaimer. Here it is. **I am not a politician. I am not a political activist. I can’t even say that I like politics. But, I am greatly concerned with the direction our government is headed, and the last straw has been dropped. I can’t do much, but I absolutely can’t do nothing. **

Yesterday in the shadow of the Healthcare debate, the Senate voted for the confirmation of Cass Sunstein to lead the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA); this position is being called “The Regulatory Czar.” Mr. Sunstein was confirmed by a vote of 57 to 40. Included in the 57 “yeas” were both of the Utah REPUBLICAN Senators, Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett. I know this may sound like a little thing, but as “The Regulatory Czar,” he will have the ability to tweak regulations, making things harder than necessary. Again, this may not sound like a very big deal, but let me introduce you to some of his beliefs. In his own words, Cass Sunstein has said. . . .

"We ought to ban hunting" - Cass Sunstein, in a 2007 speech at Harvard University

"[A]lmost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine. And if the Court is right, then fundamentalism does not justify the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms.“ - Cass Sunstein, writing in his book, "Radicals in Robes"

"Animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives …" - 2004 book Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions

"[T]here should be extensive regulation of the use of animals in entertainment, in scientific experiments, and in agriculture." - Cass Sunstein, “The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer,” August 2002.

"A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government." -Cass Sunstein, arguing for a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet in his book, 2.0 (page 137).

"In what sense in the money in our pockets and bank accounts fully ‘ours’? Did we earn it by our own autonomous efforts? Could we have inherited it without the assistance of probate courts? Do we save it without the support of bank regulators? Could we spend it if there were no public officials to coordinate the efforts and pool the resources of the community in which we live? . . . Without taxes there would be no liberty. Without taxes there would be no property. Without taxes, few of us would have any assets worth defending. [It is] a dim fiction that some people enjoy and exercise their rights without placing any burden whatsoever on the public fisc. . . . There is no liberty without dependency. That is why we should celebrate tax day . . .” -Cass Sunstein, “Why We Should Celebrate Paying Taxes,” The Chicago Tribune, April 14, 1999

I don’t know about you, but these beliefs don’t generally fall in line with Conservative Republican beliefs, and they do not represent my beliefs. Now, given the new found ability to tweak regulations, Mr. Sunstein has the opportunity to make small changes without oversight, that will affect these issues (gun control, animal rights, free speech, taxes) and so many more.

So now the question is what can I do? I admit, it is too late to stop the confirmation, and I was lulled into a false sense of security. Both of my Senators have been voting as I would have them on other issues, so I didn’t think I needed to contact them on this issue. However, it is obvious that I was wrong. I am now going to contact both Senator Bennett and Senator Hatch, and let them know that I disagree with their vote, that I’m concerned with this man’s opinions and his ability to influence my freedoms, and that I will now be voting against them in the next election. I will also be encouraging all of my friends, family members, and neighbors to do the same. These men have been in Washington for too long and are blinded by the wishes of the people they are suppose to represent. If you agree with me, I would encourage you to write them as well. You can find Senator Bennett’s contact information on his website,, and Senator Hatch’s information on his site, If you are not one of my Utah readers, and you would like to know how your Senators voted on this confirmation, you can find out at If you agree with me, I would hope that you would contact your Senator’s too. I think it is a good indication of what kind of a person President Obama is by the people he surrounds himself by, and so far, I am scared. He is friendly with too many socialists, communists, terrorists, and radicals, and they are all making their way into our government. Please be mindful of what is happening, and don’t do nothing. Even if it’s not much, make a stand and do something.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mobile Madness

Bradley and I decided that Daniel needed a mobile. We used three hangers, some string and six baby toys. It only took a few minutes to make and Daniel seems to love it!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bradley's Tools

Today Bradley was playing, no, "working" with his tools. As he would pick up one of his tools, he would tell me what he was working with. Let me introduce you to his tools.

First, we have the hammer. Yes, you and I would agree this is a hammer.

Next is the screwdriver.

Or is this the screwdriver?

According to Bradley, they both are.

Then, there is the apple"saw"ce, of course.

And, last, is the bubbles.

Yes, that's right, it's called bubbles, because this end looks like a bubbles wand.

Don't ask me how he puts some of these things together, but it's awfully cute. And, here is one more cute thing. My two boys sitting together on the rocking chair. Bradley is only slightly offended by having his brother within touching distance.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bradley Baby Pusher

Bradley decided that if Mom could push a baby in a stroller then he could do it too!

Friday, May 8, 2009

More Trains!

There was an old steam engine coming through Ogden for the annual reenactment of the Golden Spike Ceremony on Sunday.

We took Bradley and Daniel to see it. Well, we didn't expect Daniel to even wake up and he didn't disappoint us in that.

"Bradley was absolutely fascinated with the size of them in real life!"

Bradley loved it and we spent quite a bit of time looking at all the other trains the Union Station has on display. Bradley kept saying, "more trains, more trains".

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Daniel James Ekstrom

7lbs 15oz

Bradley on the way to meet his new brother

Bradley wasn't sure about this new addition at first.