Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Pics

Around our house, Kaylee and Tyler are the enforcers of Christmas Cheer...

Mid-day on the 24th, they were all set for the festivities to come!

Our Christmas Eve party includes an awesome, knock-down, drag-out, White Elephant gift exchange. When all 33 presents were piled up in the middle of the room, Danee set out to conquer Mount Presents!

Then on Christmas Morning, Danee received her first baby doll, which she immediately started loving on!

Later Christmas Day, Cindy's dad came over, and was surrounded by loving granddaughters...

Then the rest of the kids joined in...

After that, it was am amazing Prime Rib Dinner with all the trimmings, and an end to what was quite possibly the best Christmas our family has ever had!

Thanks to our awesome kids for being, well, awesome!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


While our tree has been up for a couple weeks now, there haven't been any presents underneath it. We started doing this a couple years ago, and it was great to see the wonder on the kids' faces on Christmas Eve when we pulled them all out, already wrapped, and let them distribute them under the tree.

Well this year, there was the added reason - our little one year old LOVES presents, and we had a feeling she wouldn't be able to leave them alone if they were out the whole time.

Sure enough, within minutes of the first presents finding their home under the tree...

...they became a jungle gym, perfect for climbing! And for some reason, the lights, which we had worried about initially and Danee surprisingly left alone, became the hot new item to play with!

Then she realized that the presents she was climbing on were similar to the ones she opened a couple weeks ago for her Birthday, and you don't need a caption to hear her saying "Oooooooh!!"

And yes, she was very happy with her new discovery!

First of all, this ribbon would be MUCH better in Danee's hands than around some box!

And this bow? Mmmmmm, Purple is my favorite flavor!!


And finally, some Multi-Tasking - Lights AND Presents!!

And now she's napping, with visions of sugar plums, or more likely, sugar cookies, dancing through her head...

Merry Christmas, Little Daneekins!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Story of Christmas

(By Cindy Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs)

I received this from my Sister-in-Law, and thought it was the cutest telling of the Christmas Story I've ever heard!

If you don't see a player below, head over to the blog and click play!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

...and not a moment too soon!!

The other day, I was at the grocery store, and while checking out, was thrilled to see this:

Yup, Carolers!! Right there in the store!! I guess the day before, there had been a jazz trio or something, but this was plenty of Christmas Cheer for me!

Then, last week, TWO DAYS in a ROW, as Kaylee and I were driving home, we got stuck behind this:

Pardon the horrible cell phone picture... It's Santa, in his Sleigh.. and there's an elf running back to the sleigh after giving us Candy Canes, and a present for Kaylee!

Fircrest Santa is really making the rounds this year!

Tonight right after dinner, we heard the fire engine's siren coming slowly up the hill...

And who's perched right at the back??

And one Candy Cane later, Danee's definitely sure that Santa is A-OK!

While taking those shots, I was wishing I had my good camera, but I left it at Donald & Lisa's after Thanksgiving. When we walked back up to the porch, there it was waiting to be discovered!! Not sure how Santa sneaked it past us, but he's crafty like that!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday Funnies (on Monday?)

Sorry it's late, Andy was working on it yesterday and I didn't have time to publish it... Enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Geek Out - An Open Letter To Pandora

(By Mike Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs)

Dear Pandora,

You've certainly done well for yourself. In a very short time, you've become the darling of the web-radio world, and your name has become synonymous with streaming music over the Internet. You're the "Kleenex" and the "ipod" of your field.


Oh yeah, also, I hate you.

Hear the gasps from your legions of brainwashed minions? They think I just committed blasphemy. How could I hate Pandora?? After all, it was created to put the power of the "Music Genome Project" into the hands of the everyman.

Well, don't get me started about your precious music genome project... Because it's crap. Oh sure, in theory it's a cool idea. But music, especially to those who truly love and know it, contains complexities that approach those of the Human Genome. And that took many many years, and many many supercomputers to unravel. And even now that it's been mapped out, nobody's quite sure what to do with it. So take your kindergarten project-level music genome project, and get back to work.

I first met you, Pandora, more than three years ago. There was a buzz building about this great new website where you tell it an artist or song that you like, and then it entertains you for hours with music that is similar to what you started with.

I was so intrigued!

Until I actually logged on. I was in a mood for some good old fashioned Power Pop. I wanted upbeat, energetic music with guitars and drums cranked up to eleven, and I hoped you could introduce me to some new purveyors of powerful pop.

I started my quest with The All-American Rejects. I wanted to hear songs in the vein of "Dirty Little Secret" or "Swing, Swing". The first couple selections were promising, but then you started slipping in the same pathetic crap I had to listen to on the radio at work every day. When Eve 6's "Inside Out" came on, I hit that "Thumbs Down" button less than a second into the song.

You responded by apologizing, and saying you wouldn't play it again.

Cool! Except that the next song was by Nickelback. Seriously. Come on, Pandora, if I wanted to hear that bland, tired, overplayed crap I'd go turn on Star 101.5. You're supposed to save me from that nonsense!!

After a few attempts at salvaging my station, I gave up and tried to forget about you. But then a few weeks ago, my car flooded and the only casualty was the sound system. While I await to see if Santa can help me out, I drive in silence... Except that I hate driving in silence! So I reluctantly clicked on the Pandora icon on my phone. The half-inch speaker of the Palm Pre does a surprisingly good job of filling the silence, which was a pleasant surprise.

But it's not surprising, that I'm finding that the silence has many advantages.

It's Christmas Time. I love Christmas Music. I've tried many of your preset Christmas stations, and I've made some of my own. As a direct result, I'm not really feeling the love for Christmas Music anymore. Out of a 5 song sequence, it's VERY likely you'll hear the same song twice. It may be a different artist, but it will be "Winter Wonderland" again and again and again.

My favorite (and of course, by "favorite," I mean "un-favorite") example was hearing the same song, by the same artist repeated with only one song between, because it was featured on two different compilation albums. Wow, that music genome project is sure powerful!

The bottom line, Pandora, is that you suck.

And if you sucked a little less, I might just hate you a little less.

Love, Mike.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The First Present on The First Birthday

(By Mike Brinkerhoff - from Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs)


Step One:

Eat The Card.

Step Two:

Eat The Tissue. (It's SO crinkly and good and... AAAH!! IT'S STUCK TO MY TONGUE!!! GETITOFF GETITOFF GETITOFF GETITOFF!!)

Step Three:

Pull the present from the bag, and inspect it.

Step Four:

Hey!! It's the best of these... I've ever seen!!

Step Five:

Pose for obligatory picture with the friends who gave the gift.

Step Six:


Step Seven:

Do the "Right Thing" and "Share" your new toy with your friends...