Today was our first 4th of July in Washington. We had a full day planned, with parades, fireworks, carnivals, BBQs and more. Not everything happened how we planned, as it usually goes, but I think we had fun nevertheless. We went to Tacoma during the day and saw parts of an air show while trying unsuccessfully to hang out with Uncle Joseph, then we visited some friends on base for a barbecue. Afterwards we came back and lit off some fireworks in our driveway. They were fairly tame (sparklers, ground flowers, smoke bombs, etc), but enough to drive both kids into the house after about 10 minutes. Apparently there aren't laws against setting off fireworks here on the 4th, so it was pretty crazy after the kids went to bed. They slept right through it, though.
Oh, and our neighbors rushed over to borrow a fire extinguisher. Their grill caught on fire, and then they tried dumping flour on it, which caught on fire as well. Fortunately we had the extinguisher handy; I had purchased it after we had our own little grease fire in a pot on our stove (Naomi reacted quickly and put it out with baking soda).
Through all the mishaps, the day was totally worth it, cause I got this shot:
Lincoln and I went on our first Father Son campout this last weekend. We've been camping once before, but this time it was with all his friends from church. We had loads of fun, roasting hot dogs and smores, seeing a magic show, sleeping in a tent and waking up to rain, and having a big pancake breakfast. The campground was minutes from our house, owned by the Church, so I think we'll be back there many times in the future. Here are some pictures from the trip:
Every once in a while Lincoln does something we had no idea he knew how to do, because he doesn't seek it out on a regular basis. He has surprised us with drawing before, but the other day, he drew this for us:
My favorite part is the nose...
I got a new phone on somewhat of an impulse a couple of days ago. I had been planning on getting it for a while, but we happened to be at the right mall, and well, it's mine now. One great thing now is that I can take video with it, which is much more convenient than trying to find our main camera in the middle of a moment. So, here are some new shots I've been able to get...
Fiona has a new funny look she loves. Not sure where she learned it, though. She has been churning out full sentences recently, and she's really into Blue's Clues.
We went to the Lincoln's Preschool for a fundraiser fair today, which was very fun. Lincoln tried a sack race for the first time, and, well...
Lincoln is basically at a first or second grade reading level now, and he reads scriptures with us every night, only needing help on the most difficult words. We just hope he won't be too bored in preschool :)
For the record, my new phone is a Nexus S. It's not the very latest, but I wanted a pure Android phone with no contract.
This new camera has me excited about posting again.... wonder how long it will last. Anyway, a couple days ago, I took about 10 minutes to teach Lincoln a little piano, and he took to it very well. He practices his song every day and shows anyone who comes over. Check it out:
And of course, Fiona can't be left out:
It seems I finally did it, and lost our camera. I think it was at the Pumpkin Patch, but we're not sure. There were a few pictures and video on it, but I don't think we lost too much, fortunately. And, we had an excuse to buy a new camera... woo hoo! I was planning on waiting until we could buy something nice, but this came up, so I bought the Canon PowerShot SX130. Still a pretty simple point and shoot, but much better quality than our old one, and it shoots 720p video with really good sound. I just pulled it out of the packaging, and took a couple shots of the kids:
Not bad for right out of the box, huh? I haven't even looked at the manual yet.
Yes, I know, we've been horrible keeping this up. Well, here's an awesomely cute video that should make up for it. I hope you're happy.
We've decided to make a pretty significant change in our lives this year. Since last summer, I've been able to work full time from home on AggData, which has been amazing. The added benefit is that we are no longer tied down to any location, and as much as I love Texas, we've decided to move up to Washington state, closer to Naomi's family. I told Naomi that the two things keeping me from going up there were house prices and traffic. Well, working from home solved both of those things, since I don't have to commute and we can get a home farther away from the outrageous Seattle market.
We knew we wanted to make the move sometime this year, and we were fairly certain we wanted to build a new house in Dupont, where Naomi's parents live, but we didn't plan out anything more detailed than that. Well, in February we were visiting Washington and looking around at houses and lots like we always do when we're up there, and we found out a lot had just opened up in a neighborhood we liked, so we took a look, and this is what we saw:
That's a nature preserve in the backyard, and you can actually see the Puget Sound through the trees. Naomi and I heard angel choirs and dove in right away, probably a bit sooner than we expected. And, after some finagling with the loan (considering the market and my self-employment), we got approved and started building in the last week or two. They already have the first floor framing up:
We've also been working like dogs to get our current house ready for market, and we're pretty proud of the results. We had the outside painted, added new countertops, shoved about 80% of our stuff in the garage or sold it at a garage sale, a new back fence, and a lot more little things to spruce it up. Here's the listing with our realtor , but click here for better quality pictures. And if you know anyone looking for a really nice house in Texas, let us know!
Finally, my somewhat excited mother-in-law has been keeping us updated with pictures of our new house as it's being built. She created a blog out of it in fact: http://lincolnsnewhome.blogspot.com/. It's really exciting to see the progress; thanks Mom!
We are planning to move this July, and the house should be finished the first week of August. Oh, and here's a map of where we're building: