Christmas Eve and a Birthday
December 24, 2011, 8:59 am - James Farrer
I love my kids so much! I'm not really sure how early they got up this morning because they got up, fed themselves, and played relatively quietly letting us sleep in a bit. And even now that I'm up they are still playing great. Considering it's a holiday and a birthday today I'm amazed and grateful!
In Case You Haven't Heard
December 21, 2011, 10:19 pm - James Farrer
I think most people have heard through other channels but Amy JoAnn was born last week. Shauna had a doctors appointment and when asked how she was doing she responded with "Can you just break my water now?" and the response was "Sure let me call the hospital!". They weren't too busy so we went in straight from there and they induced her. After a few hours Shauna had three really good pushes and viola! Amy officially joined our family at 7:19 pm.
Weighing in at 8 lbs 6.8 oz. she officially tied Abby for being the biggest baby. She is 19.5 inches.
December 12, 2011, 2:16 pm - James Farrer
Last night we had a false alarm and almost went to the hospital for our fourth child to be born. We are excited and hope we are ready. We have been watching for the signs that it is time and have been seeing many of them but we are not quuite there. Last night I ran around trying to make sure everything was in order and we were getting ready to hop in the car and things started calming down.
It struck me today how similar waiting for a baby to come is to waiting for the second coming of our Savior. With both we are told it is the final hour but only God knows the exact time. Similarly we see the signs of the times all around us. Great wickedness and great righteousness, wars and rumors of wars, natural disasters of all sorts, and the gospel being preached just about everywhere in the world. He really could come any time. But in the meantime we need to live in a state of constant readiness and diligence.
Lucky for us we've been promised that if we are prepared we shall not fear. But no one ever said there wouldn't be a fair bit of anxiety over staying ready...
Who knows maybe today will be the day...for either.
December 8, 2011, 8:50 am - James Farrer
This morning I had the unusual opportunity to perform an extraction. Alex decided to put a small Lego piece up his left nostril. I'm not exactly sure what prompted him to do it; the best guess I can come up with is that William wanted the piece back and Alex, in an act of defiance, decided to put it up his nose for safe keeping.
Shauna and I attempted to use tweezers to pull it out, but with a terrified two year old squirming it, if anything, pushed the Lego further in. Finally as a last ditch effort I used some carefully timed and applied pressure to force Alex to blow his nose in such a way that it came most of the way out without tools. From there Shauna could work it out with her fingers.
Needless to say it was a great wake-up call to all involved and I was a bit late to work.
The Car Adventure
November 12, 2011, 10:22 am - James Farrer
The kids and I had some time this morning and so we decided to make a movie. So we pulled out the tripod and got the camera set up on it. Then we went to town.
We made the movie Stop Motion style taking one frame at a time and movie the pieces bit by bit. To actually put the movie together we used Windows Live Movie Maker which made it pretty easy. We ended up making it at 10 frames per second and I think it worked out pretty good for our first try.
After making one all together Abby wanted to make another. I showed her how and gave her a pointer or two, the most notable is about halfway through to move the pieces shorter distances. Not bad for a 7 year old.
Here it is on youtube.
9 years and Shelves
September 28, 2011, 9:20 pm - James Farrer
Shauna's done working now and things are supposed to be slowing down right? Actually it's not too bad. Though I'm not sure Shauna really knows how to slow down. She only made 4 quarts of salsa and bottled about the same of tomatoes. And that's in between getting the kids to school and everywhere else, making meals, and just generally making sure everyone is taken care of.
Yesterday I took the day off to spend some time with her for our Anniversary, 9 years, pretty crazy. With the baby coming soon we figured we'd spend the time getting things ready together. So we put up some shelves and started rearranging dressers and things to get ready. So far I'm liking shelves a lot better than the dresser, which will be going to Shauna, so her dresser can go to the kids. I'm not exactly sure how it's all supposed to work out but Shauna seemed pretty happy with the solution and I can't complain. My closet space is a whole lot more accessible now.
September 13, 2011, 10:35 pm - James Farrer
Today I took the scenic route home from work about the time the sun was setting. While I was riding I came to a part of the road that parallels some train tracks and this time there was a train cruising along. We were going about the same speed and stayed roughly together until the tracks turned to go up the canyon and the road turned the other way and crossed over.
For the last mile or two there wasn't any traffic so I matched our speed, waved to the engineer who waved back, and watched the sun set through the wheels of the Utah Railway engines. It was quite a site to ride next to the train and it's pretty rare to see a Utah Railway engine. Pretty cool. It made the ride home on the motorcycle just that much cooler.
A Plethora of Pictures
August 8, 2011, 10:11 pm - James Farrer
I've added a whole bunch of pictures from the summer. Enjoy, and don't be afraid to pace yourself, there's a lot .
August 3, 2011, 8:15 am - James Farrer
I went up this morning to say goodbye to William before I left for work and when I walked into his room I saw him neatly rolled up in a blanket, tight as can be, with his head sticking out and a great big grin on his face.
I said "Hey Taco!", and he responded with "I love being a taco!".
I love my kids, they are awesome!
August 2, 2011, 3:41 pm - James Farrer
Wow, I just realized I hit my 6 year mark as a full time employee at BYU. I started with little expectation as to how long I would stay and it's been a good thing. I have switched positions 4 times so I've seen some variety. I like where I'm at and can see myself doing similar work for a while to come, whether at BYU or somewhere else.
April 24, 2011, 2:39 pm - James Farrer
Alex didn't want to stay in his bed last night so this is where he ended up. I'm honestly a little surprised they fell asleep together, but it was quite the sight to walk into.
April 9, 2011, 8:25 am - James Farrer
Abby: I just made the hi-yo go down and up once.
Mommy: (to Daddy) We have smart kids.
Abby: Of course you do!
April 8, 2011, 7:54 am - James Farrer
This morning Abby called Alex a waffle eating machine. I love my kids!
Family Home Evening object lesson for the kids
April 3, 2011, 7:52 pm - James Farrer
1 flat plate
Milk - enough to cover the bottom of the plate
The milk is like us. When we're doing what's right we're nice and clean. But sometimes we make mistakes and sin (add pepper all over the top of the milk here). When we do that we get ourselves dirty. Not the outside but the inside. Being dirty isn't much fun. Fortunately we have a way to get clean. Just like when we take a bath to clean off mud; we can repent to clean off our insides. We first need to try and fix whatever we did wrong. This could be giving a toy back that we took, fixing or replacing something that we broke, or giving someone a hug if we hurt them. Then we need to apologize. When that's done we need to pray and ask Heavenly Father to forgive us. Once we've done this the power of the atonement makes us clean again (put a drop of the dish soap in the middle of the plate and watch the pepper move away to the sides to show the clean white milk).
That's what we did for family home evening tonight and the kids loved it.
A Great Article: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
March 3, 2011, 7:26 pm - James Farrer
This is a very good article on working with and managing IT groups. The world would be a much better place for everyone, not just the IT folks, if more people read, understood, and applied the stuff in this article. It may not be perfect, but it rang truer than just about anything else I've read or heard.
View article in a new window
A few highlights:
"Good IT pros are not anti-bureaucracy, as many observers think. They are anti-stupidity."
"Users need to be reminded a few things, including:
- IT wants to help me.
- I should keep an open mind.
- IT is not my personal tech adviser, nor is my work computer my personal computer.
- IT people have lives and other interests."
"With IT, you cannot separate the technical aspects from the business aspects. They are one and the same, each constrained by the other and both constrained by creativity. Creativity is the most valuable asset of an IT group, and failing to promote it can cost an organization literally millions of dollars."
And last but not least:
"What IT pros want in a manager is a technical sounding board and a source of general direction. Leadership and technical competence are qualities to look for in every member of the team. If you need someone to keep track of where projects are, file paperwork, produce reports and do customer relations, hire some assistants for a lot less money."
What does Education really teach?
February 12, 2011, 9:57 pm - James Farrer
Here is a thought provoking video about education.
Click to watch the video
January 30, 2011, 10:06 pm - James Farrer
So the weather was surprisingly warm today (for January, around 40 degrees) so I decided a ride sounded good. Abby can reach the footpegs for the passenger seat now so we've been contemplating getting her a helmet so she can ride with me. On a whim today we tried to see how big Shauna's helmet is on her and with an extra stocking cap on underneath it's actually not a bad fit.
So I took Abby out for her first real ride today. We just putted along some of the backroads for about half an hour and she loved it! I couldn't help but smile and laugh at her excitement. She just kept looking back and forth and enjoyed the ride. We were mostly in small farming areas and there were lots of cows, horses, and a few sheep, chickens, peacocks, dogs, and other wild birds flying around. I saw a pretty pheasant just off the road too.
The best part is that she is definitely excited for going out again. I think I may have a new riding buddy. :-)
Dinner conversation after watching Rainbow Brite
January 25, 2011, 7:14 pm - James Farrer
A: It's nice to have jewels
M: It's nicer to have friends so you have someone to talk to
A: But sometimes jewels can be magic
M: Not that often
A: (relunctantly) I know.
With yummy fried chicken and mashed potatoes
January 22, 2011, 7:05 pm - James Farrer
Abby: "This is the first time I liked apple juice...again."
It's been a while
January 16, 2011, 11:24 pm - James Farrer
Well, it's been a while and since I was writing Dano, my brother who's on a mission in Norway right now, anyway I thought I'd post a similar update here.
Christmas and the trip to Colorado were good. The kids got way too many toys as usual though they're apparently a hit because the kids have been playing with them a ton.
The kids are growing like crazy. Abby is learning to read and is picking it up tremendously fast. We have to be careful because we can't spell things anymore and expect the same privacy since she can sometimes pick it up. And she loves playing games. Especially "Daddy's games". We got the Seafarer's expansion to Settlers, Ticket To Ride, and Creationary (pictionary, but with Lego's, it's awesome!) Today we played Settler's and she doesn't quite get all the rules and how it works, but she wants to be involved and is watching.
William still loves anything ship related. Pirates, treasure, swords, water, cannons, etc. Peter Pan and his flying ship and Eric from the Little Mermaid with the ship he rams into Ursula are two of the favorites. He likes playing games with us too, though his attention span is still significantly shorter than Abby's. He actually won when we played a game called Quoridor a few days ago. It's a relatively simple game and Abby and he are starting to understand how it works.
Alex is just cool. He acts almost a year older than his age and is talking quite a bit. It's hard to remember he's only two and doesn't understand as much as the other kids yet. He plays with the other kids, chases, tackles, plays with whatever they're playing with (sometimes to the frustration of the others) and can melt your heart in a second with his smile, laugh, growl, hug, or just about anything it seems.
On a different note, I got a promotion of sorts at work. When we went through the reorganization earlier this year they just moved me straight across in job level (well they didn't actually do anything to my job description at the time so it was more of a default) but just before the end of the year they were updating my job description and we looked at the 3 levels of engineer that I can now fit into and I ended up fitting into a level higher than my job before. Which is really awesome and meant an extra raise to boot. I always seem to be causing some sort of stir at work so it's nice to see that they appreciate what I do.
It seems that now I'm getting into the winter doldrums and just chugging along. So I'm just trying not to spend money and stay positive. Drifting...
On a brighter note, I was able to sneak a 20 minute motorcycle ride in yesterday which was really nice. It's been really cold and it finally got above freezing for more than a few minutes and the roads cleared enough to go ride. I'm excited for spring and am hoping to go on a lot of small trips and maybe even a few big ones. But I was hoping that last summer too and it sure didn't happen like I'd hoped.
I've been reading a travelogue of a guy who rode around the world, top to bottom and then around (WorldRider.com). I'm not quite that ambitious, but I think I'd like to ride coast to coast. I doubt it would ever happen in the same trip, but even split up would be cool. I remember driving it (two trips a year and a half apart) with my family growing up and it was cool then, though long squished in the back of a car/van. I'd love to do it on a motorcycle now. On the bike you're much more a part of the landscape instead of just watching it through a window. Someday...