Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Interim Period

What do you do in that interim period of time between Christmas and New Years? It's too early to take the lights off the house, and too cold as well. Lots of television - too many reruns though and after eating all the cookies and candy, funeral potatos and hams, laying on a couch makes my stomach look like Jabba the Hut.
Who decided there could be 35 bowl games anyway? Who wants to watch two .500 teams play in the Meineke Muffler Bowl? All the rain outside makes it cumbersome to plan a fun outing. I hate to drive all over the Pacific Northwest with four 20-somethings in the car - it's just not that exciting for them. Me, I'm entertained easily. Them?... they want instantaneous adrenaline or just to be left alone. I'm betwixt.
Melanie let me buy a camera for Christmas to replace my Pentax ME Super. It took a couple weeks to put it together, bartering for the body from B&H in New York and gambling on e-bay for the lens from someone who didn't know what they had. It's a Nikon D90 with a Sigma 17-70 f2.8 macro lens. We stretched our dollar pretty far though, getting this for about half the normal cost by using a little creative purchasing. Melanie gave up a lot of stupid gifts that I normally would have bought for her. She must have figured the camera would be better used than the socks, kitchen gagets and purfume, for which I have no nose nor taste.
Here is the first photo taken with the camera. I know... it's out of focus. You would think I could at least use the auto-focus, but I messed it up on the first 2 shots. However, I'm looking forward to learning how to use it and already have a couple projects in mind.
But here is the 3rd shot from the camera. It's passable and the subject matter was worthy... but keep it clean - there are teenagers around.

We took a walk along the Theler Wetlands near Belfair. While working at US Bank during the 1990's, I help finance this conservation project by selling some of the real estate owned by the Theler Trust. The money went to the North Mason School District which built an outdoor classroom on these wetlands. If you are ever out this way, this is a very interesting walk, easy to get to, perfectly groomed trails - and flat with several interpretive markers to explain the value of this resource.

Maybe I'll do a Happy New Year post as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Time Is Nice

From our home to yours, we hope you all have a Joyful and Merry Christmas.

Tom and Mary Ann came by for a few minutes. They use any excuse to celibrate their affection for one another.

It snowed in Seattle - 2 weeks ago and it's still here. We've never had so much snow for so long as we have this year. Only our 3rd White Christmas we can remember while we've lived in the Seattle area - 20-1/2 years now.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Merry Christmas to our Family and Friends.
Our hope to for our family and friends is a Merry Christmas and a safe, Happy New Year. 2008 was a good year for us and we pray 2009 will bring us just as much gratification and joy. We hope to remain close to you and continue to pray for your happiness everyday.

The traditional band picture. Brandon wanted to be the front man - whatever that means.

Four angels fell from the heaven and landed in the snow in our yard.

Steve and Melanie with Mr. Snowman in our backyard.

Brandon and Curt graduated form BYU-I in December. They are both trying to tie down their first jobs out of school.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


It's another wedding - actually, this was the first wedding of the Summer, it just took longer to get the photos back from the photographer. Whitney and Curt were married on August 15th in the Seattle Temple. The sealer was our former Stake President and the ceremony was very calming.

Here are all the guests who came to the temple for the wedding...

...and Whitney's family...

...and Curt's Family.

Curt's family hosted a dinner afterwards at Maggiano's in Bellevue.

On the 16th we hosted a reception for the couple at our home.

The dress...

and another shot of the dress...

Mary Ann prepping Brad's wardrobe.

...and sitting in the dress.


Whitney ready.


The game is up.

Two of the bride's maids - Kendal and McKenzie - twins...

...and the third bride's maid, Maurine.


The Cake.

The Groom

The decorations.

The wedding party.

Starting new.

A fine Summer.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's a Wedding!!

Hey family - and if you are reading this and you are not family, that's okay, but it may seem a little weird to you. But- family, we had a wedding!! No, not Whitney's, that was last month. Leon and Staci's daughter Lynsie married a young man named Andrew Ransom from Hermiston, OR. They met at BYU-I. When Andrew returned from his mission, they became engaged and were married in the Seattle Temple on September 13th. Their reception was the 27th in Marysville, WA where Leon and Staci live.

Here is the happy couple just as they emerged from the sealing ceremony at the Temple.

And the bride's relieved parents.

Mom and dad came to visit and joined into the fun. Only three bars though.

Both families on the temple grounds.

Afterwards, the parents of the bride and groom hosted a nice dinner at a restaurant. Here is Andrew giving the acceptance speach at the restaurant -
"Now, close your eyes and click your heels together and say,'There's no place like home, there's no place like home...'".

Mom and dad stayed a few days. We dragged them to the beach and down to Rustin Way in Tacoma for dinner. I think they will stop coming to visit because we haul them all over the state.
We heard from Whitney's wedding photographer who said the pictures from her wedding will be delivered the first week of October. Shortly thereafter I'll post some here for you to see.
We hope you are all well and happy. Til next time, gird up your loins. Steve.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Connection to Sarah Palin!

What's the deal with Sarah Palin? Didn't she rock the show at the RNC Convention? Did you know my pants have met Sarah? Look at the photo to the right - those are my pants!! This silly looking dude didn't have any cold weather gear for the Iron Dog Snowmobile Race in Alaska earlier this year so I took the pants off my a_ _ ... shelf and gave them to him so he wouldn't freeze. I'm almost famous.

Summer 2008 - Too Much Fun

WHAT a summer this has been. Going in we knew we would be busy but it turned out to be a sprint and a marathon combined. McKenzie was worried that her last summer home would be spent making wedding preparations for her sister, and she was right. Once Whitney and Brandon returned home after Summer Semester, we went right to work preparing the arrangements for Whitney's marriage to Curt Gillis, a fellow Whitney met at BYU-I. He happened to be one of Brandon's roommates so it was quite convenient.

Here is a picture of Whitney and Curt the day she took out her endowments in the Seattle Temple.

This is a picture of them exiting the temple just after being sealed. Whitney's expression is priceless - "Gosh!" she says as Curt walks on her train, his first official act as a new husband.

I shouldn't be so mean. They actually are very cute together and Curt did get over his clumsiness. Here he is holding still for the picture, "one hand in his pocket and other one holding his new bride".

Some of the kids celebrated the occasion.

While others patiently waited for the bouquet.

Here is Whitney's half of the wedding party. Sorry I don't have the entire party but the photos aren't back from the real photographer and I shot very few pics that week. We will post some of the photographer's pictures when they arrive.
Brandon had a birthday too, his 25th, and celebrated as usual.

We even did the tourist thing with the family and Brandon's friend Roxanne from San Diego. Summer in Seattle still requires a jacket every now and then.

Curt's family lives in Houston so we travelled there for his open house. I have no pics from that trip except for this armadillo at Goode's Barbecue.
McKenzie was super excited to leave for college.

We met up with family and even had lunch with Scott and Jill Walker (comment on that!) but didn't even take a picture.

Mom and daughter cried, just a little when they parted. Dad felt empty but shed no tears until further down the road.

When we dropped Mic off at school, we also took in a Cougar game. Here is Dana and me on the sidelines just before we got busted for being where we shouldn't. I guess we didn't look enough like broadcasting students to get away with it.

Melanie and I also went to the Washington game in Seattle the following week. BYU can sure draw a crowd wherever they go. We sat in a friend's season ticket seats in the upper deck of the south bleachers. Circa 10,000 Cougar fans scattered through the stadium made it sound like a cross-town game. The drunken Husky fans who sat by us were gracious in defeat.

Hope everyone else has a great summer as well. I'm glad it's over.