Monday, February 28, 2011

Where are you Josh ?

Yesterday after church my beautiful wife and I hit the road for a much deserved vacation ... for just the two of us!

We're staying at the Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park, CO.  Actually it is the Alpine Cabin that is one the resort property (as the actual "chateau" is not near as spacious and is more expensive ... and the cabin has a private hot tub, etc. etc.)

Pictures and stories will come in the next few days after we get home and can load them to the computer.  The cabin is awesome and today we drove around the town of Estes Park, which I haven't done since high school.  It is quite cute and we enjoyed walking the streets looking for souvenirs for our kids (and Aunt Jodie who is watching them in our absence).  Thanks again "Yo!"

The short comment for tonight is that we noticed they plow the roads very oddly here.  Because the main street through town is so long, narrow, and has virtually no side roads, they plow the snow to the middle of the road.  This would be fine, except there is no "center" lane, so the snow basically just eliminates the two inside lanes (one on either side of the road).  Thank goodness there are virtually NO tourists here but Karen and I, or we might have trouble navigating those roads!

I'll try to get pictures loaded in a few days, especially one with the road covered in snow!  :)


Sunday, February 27, 2011

I lost by one ?!

Tonight was my brother Jeremy's 234th Annual (hee hee) Oscar's party @ my parent's house.  While I am not sad about why we missed the festivities, I am disappointed that we couldn't be there because it is always THE BEST fun we have every year around this time!

I'm typing this on a laptop (thanks Grandpa Don for the loaner!) so it's going to be short ... but we always have a competition to pick the winners of all the awards with a small "buy in" if you want to make it interesting.  Every year I fill out a ballot and make a "donation" to whoever ends up winning ... because it is NEVER me!

This year, I decided to actually listen to some of the millions of comments out there about who is predicted to win ... and boy did it help!  Up until the last few awards I was actually winning this crazy thing!  Eventually the Best Director award did me in (because I didn't think a first year nominee would win, but I should have remembered that my wise brother Jeremy has recited time and again that Director and Picture almost always go together).

Huge props to my little sister Jaimee for her victory!  Thanks Jeremy for letting us play (from a distance)!

Good night!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Are you ready for a Dr Mario Online rematch ?

Awww yeah!  I finally found the Dr Mario version on the Wii shopping channel.  One of my old buddies from high school had been pestering me (not really, it was more like the good-natured ribbing we used to give each other "back in the day") to download the game since our Wii has been hooked up on-line now for a while (had to do that for Netflix).

So this evening while I was out gassing up Karen's car, he called and we chatted for a bit.  But now the time for reckoning has come ... tune in for a likely comment on this very blog about the outcome of our rematch all these years later.

My prediction?  A bloodbath ... with Daniel Myers making me look like I've never played the game before.  But who knows, even Death Valley gets rained on sometimes.  :)

Wish me luck!


Friday, February 25, 2011

What's a "Single Dad" to do ?

Let me clarify right up front ...
I am NOT a "single dad"
... except for just tonight.

My wife Karen has been dealing with all sorts of different health "issues" (although I don't think that is the right word for it because they are more like little annoyances than anything serious ... we hope!)

Tonight, she is at a medical center to participate in a sleep study, where hopefully the "staff" (I'd say "Doctor" but I have no idea if you are required to be a full fledged Dr to judge someone while they are sleeping) can determine why Karen always wakes up exhausted.  Sure, sure, some of you regular readers of my blog are going to say "Well if YOU would get up with the baby or crying child once in a while then maybe she wouldn't be so tired!" which is possibly true ... but in my defense, we have actually tried that a few times and it doesn't really seem to help much.  Even with a few days in a row of consistent rest for my beautiful bride.

Anyway ... tonight (and tonight only!) I am a "single dad" with 5 kids to take care of.  Yes, those of you who are keeping track at home astutely noticed that I said 5 kids instead of the SIX children that Karen and I have.  The answer to this riddle?  Josh Jr is sleeping over at a friend's house tonight, which is cool for him but also a shame because I was going to let him stay up late and play games with me, etc.  Oh well ... I probably need more sleep anyway.

So what does a single dad do with all this free time?  Hang out with the kids of course!  We watched a few episodes of Hannah Montana (Season 1, as if you care for that level of detail).  I brought marshmallows down to the movie room for a "movie treat."  I can't call it a "snack" or Ben wouldn't have gotten any since he lost snack for the rest of the week with a poor dinner-related decision on Wednesday night.

It was a blast!

After the "big" marshmallows were gone (there were only about four), I started tossing the mini-marshmallows at the kids at random intervals.  This turned into a huge game where each child would shout "I'm Open!" and I'd proceed to try to get a mini-marshmallow in their mouth.  Ben caught the first one actually in his mouth, so I had to work hard to make sure all the other kids caught one too.  No Karen, I did not do that to MyraWhat kind of dad do you think I am?!  I just set hers in front of her.  Hee hee.  :)  I did have to "cheat" a little with Catalina and Savannah because they are so small, and as yet too uncoordinated for marshmallow-mouth-catching ... I just tossed a handful at a time and eventually one of the many would land in their mouth.  Go ahead and call me a genius ... you can add humble to it too!

Savannah Joy (7) all ready for bed!  :)

So now the kids are all asleep in the movie room (Myra's in her own bed Karen, please stop freaking out!) and I am blogging ... then off to bed.  I suppose this is okay for one night ... but I definitely do not want this to be any sort of regular occurrence.  I want my wife back and the kids want their mommy!  :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Do You See a Resemblance ?

Tonight as a family we watched "The Love Bug."  This has always been a classic, cute Disney movie and my kids had never seen it.

While watching the movie we saw Buddy Hackett's character (Tennessee Steinmetz) and I immediately saw a resemblance to one of my favorite kids in the whole world (besides my own, of course!)

Buddy Hackett
as "Tennessee Steinmetz"

Matthew as ... himself
(not the picture I was hoping for)
 So I need your comments of agreement or disagreement ... does my "little buddy" Matthew look strikingly similar to "Tennessee Steinmetz" or am I just seeing things ?!

Either way, these are two of my favorite "characters" as each one makes me smile, laugh, and in general just have a much better outlook on life!


Is it my turn again ?!

At some point in everyone's "married with children" experience I believe some version of the following scenario plays out at least a few times a week:

Cue child crying in the background.

Wife:  It's your turn.

Husband:  Zzzzzzzz

A few moments pass and then the child cries again ... a little louder.

Wife:  Hey!  It's YOUR turn!

Husband:  Zz-zz (faking sleep) zz-zz

The child is now very loud (often screaming "Mommy!")

Wife:  Seriously?!  FINE !!!

The wife now gets out of bed with exaggerated movements aimed at waking the husband up, but to no avail for he is a very "deep sleeper" ... or just very good at faking it!  She pounds her feet on the floor with every step as she heads to the bedroom to "rescue" the needy child ... who, as luck often has it, has already fallen back asleep!

You may have to change the roles (for sometimes it is indeed the wife who "sleeps heavy" and the husband who makes what becomes an unneccesary trip to the kid's room) ... but you are probably lying if you say this hasn't happened to you.

Well ... in my house, I am the "heavy sleeper" and my sweet wife is the "angry mom" who virtually always gets out of bed to deal with help the needy children.  I am so thankful that she almost always forgets the fact that she must be angry with me at least a little bit by the time the morning rolls around.  I am also thankful that until this very blog post I have been able to retain my secret ability to be a "deep sleeper" ... but I figured it was time to fess up ... my sweet Pretty Lady, sometimes (not all that often mind you) I am awake enough to hear the kids ask for you ... but I am very good at laying perfectly still!  Plus, they didn't shout "Daddy!" so I think a jury would back me up on not moving!  :)

I love you Karen!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How hard is it to say "I'll Do It!" ?!

Today at work there were many things that happened, any one of which would be a worthwhile blog post (for me anyway, I doubt any of them would be remotely interesting to any of you ... including this one!)  :)

My topic tonight is volunteering.  Specifically, why is it so hard to get people to volunteer sometimes?!

For starters, I excuse those people who are truly frightened when the thing being volunteered for is some form of public speaking.  I understand when people have a fear of this that is worse than their fear of death.  I have never really been one of those people, but I do NOT mock or think less of those that are.  One of my irrational fears is asking for help in Lowe's or Home Depot.  It's not a "guy" thing ... I am just afraid I will sound and look like a complete idiot.  Irrational fear, I know, but it is my example of how I can sympathize with those who have a fear of public speaking.

But I digress ... in one of the meetings I had today at work, we were discussing an upcoming event that was going to need a volunteer to represent our group.  After sitting in silence for what felt like years (it was probably less than 2 minutes) I finally said "I'll do it!"  Mind you, I was ready to say that as soon as volunteers were asked for, but I am not one of those people who refuses to share the opportunities with others.  But it gets worse ...

The meeting progressed on and within about 30 minutes we were discussing another presentation that needed to be made, this time to our Site Senior Leadership group.  One of my good friends Mark volunteered after the obligatory let anyone else raise there hand so I don't look greedy or selfish time period.  And then ... we waited ... and waited ... and waited.
I looked at Mark and around the room.  No one would make eye contact.  I waited a little longer and then I just couldn't take it any more!  I said "I'll do it!  But if anyone else REALLY wants to, I will gladly bow out."

Cue the crickets chirping in the background.

I just don't understand.  This was a group of "leaders" at our site.  These are folks that manage teams of 15-20 people every day.  I cannot comprehend how there was such a hesitance to step up and take on one of these speaking roles.  I know one of my peers is deathly afraid to speak in public (although I have no idea why because she is quite good in front of an audience), so I excuse her.  She had also already volunteered to handle a large communication to our site, so I suppose that makes sense.  But I just can't believe that the other four people in the room that could volunteer didn't.

Oh well ... I am happy for the opportunity to present and "get my name out there" among some more senior leaders.  I am also looking forward to working with Mark on presenting this activity to our senior site leaders.  We've worked close together for over a year now, but never really on something jointly with just the two of us ... so it should be lots of fun, but very professional all the same.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Seems like a great day to grill, right ?!

I have been craving hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on my nice, big charcoal grill for several months.  So I suggested to Karen a few days ago that I could grill.

Today looked like the perfect day to make that dream a reality.  The weather was nice; a little breezy, but certainly not too cold to grill.  And since I am off Mondays, I would have plenty of time to fire up the charcoal and not have to rush to cook the food.

Karen went shopping this morning to pick up some "essentials" ... but more on how that plays in later.

At about 4:30pm I decided it was the right time to start heating the coals, so that they would be ready by about 5:00pm and we'd be eating our juicy burgers and dogs by 5:30pm.  Yum!  Out to the grill I go and remove the cover.
Everything looks to be in order ... Clean grill?  Check.  Empty charcoal dust container?  Check.  Utensils for stirring the coals?  Check.  Gloves?  Check.  Charcoal cylinder (the thing you heat the charcoal in so it warms quicker)?  Check.  Charcoal?  Charcoal?!  Oh no!  I had like 14 coals ... not even enough to cook a few hot dogs, let alone 8-10 burgers and the usual 24 hot dogs we cook (because the family loves leftover hot dogs and with 8 of us (7 that consume the dogs) they never last long.

So Karen trudges off to the store (she volunteered!) to get charcoal.  But Wal-Mart was on fire!  I am not even kidding!  Check the story.  Local Wal-Mart on FIRE !!!  So she then heads to King Soopers and gets the charcoal.  She gets home and I start the coals.  Disaster averted ... or so we thought!

Our good friends Mindy and Tony Campanella and their kids came over and after a few welcomes, etc. I headed downstairs to the freezer to get the burgers.  To get the burgers!  Oh no again!  Of course we have no burgers!  After a few choice words to myself, I shared this news with Karen, and then she and Mindy head back out to the store to get some steak!  Listen ... I love burgers, but if she has to go to the store we might as well get steak that is already thawed and ready to cook!

All turned out fine.  The steak was good and since it was sliced thinner than the usual steak we cook, it was done very quickly after the hot dogs were warmed.  I just can't believe that neither Karen nor I even thought about checking the freezer for burgers OR the grill for charcoal.  To be completely honest, Karen did have the thought when she was at Sams to call and ask me to make sure we had burgers ... but she didn't call.

Lesson learned: If you are hankering for some charcoal cooked hamburgers and hot dogs, check to make sure you have everything before you go shopping or invite people over for dinner!  :)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why won't that light go on ?

This evening I decided it would be nice of me to turn on the kids' lamps in their rooms before they had to head down to the DARK basement for bed.  In Josh Jr's room, the lamp wouldn't come on.  I tried a different plug and then, just for good measure, I tried to plug his radio in.  Nothing worked.

Then it hit me ... ahhh, he must have blown a fuse or tripped the circuit.

Normally this would not be a big deal, but Josh Jr's room sits on the opposite side of the wall from where our "extra" refrigerator and freezer are plugged in downstairs.  Realizing that this could be a much bigger issue I immediately checked those two beastly wondersMy worst fears were confirmed.  They had both been without power for at least 8 hours, possible as many as 18 hours.

But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the frozen food was still frozen (at least the meats, etc. were solid as a rock and look to not have been thawed at all).  There were a few minor losses, such as popsicles and frozen lemonade cans ... but nothing that was really bad at all.  The sodas in the fridge were still plenty cold, so I guess we dodged a real bullet there.

I am just thankful for the inspired idea of my doing this small act of service for my kids.  Had I not done so, the food would have gone at least another hour without the chill and who knows how much more we would have lost.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Are you a Night Owl ?

I am proud to be one!

I am equally glad that (for the most part) my wife is a night owl too!

We had a friend (Amy) and her five children over this evening for dinner and some games.  That's right for those of you keeping track at home ... 11 children, none of them over the age of 12 ... and just 3 adults.  Even though they live literally just down the street, we haven't had them over ever before.  Her husband is on assignment in Japan right now (say "Hi" Kevin!) and we've been meaning to set up a game night, get together for a while now.

Anyway, after dinner the younger kids played some Wii and the really younger kids played down in the movie room.  The adults and older kids played two rounds of Sequence (both won by the dominating and completely stacked team of Josh Jr and his mom!)  Amy then took her kids home for showers, bedtime routine, etc. and then came back so we three adults could play some more games.  It was great fun (even though I'm still feeling pretty yucky sick).  We taught her Munchkin (the original card game version) and after letting me win the first round, she slaughtered us with the Divine Intervention card!  Nice win Amy !!!  :)

While talking and chatting as we cleaned up the games, Amy mentioned how nice it must be that Karen and I are both "night owls" because usually in marriages it is only one partner who is a night owl, while the other is usually an early bird.

And I have to agree ... I think it is a perfect match that Karen and I are both night owls!  I know that Karen is not as good at staying up later as she used to be, but that's because she is such an awesome mom and gets up with at least one kid pretty much every single night (between 2:00am and 4:30am usually!)

I am so glad to have my best friend and wife enjoy being up later at night ... if only because then I don't have to become an early bird just to spend time with her!  :)


Friday, February 18, 2011

How do I post music to this Blog ?!

Seriously!  Anyone out there in blogger land that can help me figure out how to link MY OWN MUSIC from my own computer files ... if so, call me or send me the info @ my e-mail address ... or on my Facebook page ... or comment below ... anything ... please help!

I have some super cool songs to share but they are not "popular" enough to find on youtube or at some of these free music sites that the dumb blogger help instructions are trying to send me to.

If you can help me figure this out I am sure I have something to re-gift to you that would make it worth your while!

Cash can be re-gifted too ya know!  :)

HELP !!!!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Has it really been 3,000 miles already ?!

Here's the scene:
You are driving down the road and you glance at the odometer.  Your eyes quickly shift to that little sticker in the windshield.  You do the math.  Crap!  It has been 3,000 miles!  Now you're in for it ... it's time ... there's no avoiding it ...

you need an ... Oil Change!

I don't know why I hate going to do this so much.  It's not like I have to do anything difficult.  You drive in, park your car, walk inside, answer a few questions, say "No thanks" a few times, sit and read a magazine, and then you pay for the work and leave.

I think maybe it is the fact that I always feel guilty for saying "No thanks" or "I'll have to do that next time" when the employees try to sell me on various upgrades with my basic oil change.  I don't know why I always feel like I have to have an excuse not to spend more money on something I really have no idea about.

I could just ask them to explain what it is, but then I feel like the explanation is going to rope me into getting it.  Think about it.  After a salesperson gives a three minute spiel on something, do you feel good about saying no?

"Thanks for taking the time to explain why that service is vital to the performance of my vehicle.  Now that I understand it's importance I have carefully weighed the cost associated with this and decided I would rather have the engine explode and die a fiery death on the side of the road than part with $9 of my hard-earned cash.  I am a risk-taker after all and I love to gamble with the safety of not only myself but also any potential passengers in my vehicle."

So I noticed that I needed an oil change on my way home later this afternoon ... so I did the right thing ... and went and played basketball!  :)

I'll catch it before 4,000 miles ... maybe.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What am I hungry for ?!

Don't ya just hate it when you're hungry but
you have no idea what you're hungry for ?!

I tried this:

Then I tried these:

I even went to the old stand-by:

Now it's way too late to eat anything but I still feel like I'm starving!  And I ate a great dinner (Karen's homemade chicken spaghetti ... yum!) too!

Help!  Gimme some suggestions!  (Even though by the time I read them it will be way to late for them to satisfy my craving!)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How much does a "little thing" mean?

Today was very busy for me at work and I felt rushed to get out in time to get home in time to get to scouts.  Whew!

I was frustrated because I had planned to try to leave a little early (by 4:30pm if possible) so I could stop and get my sweetheart a dozen long stemmed red roses for Engagement Day.  In truth she deserves a lot more and if I had planned better she would have had much more.

That said, I didn't get out from work until almost 5:30pm, which made me completely rushed when I walked in the door.  In a frantic phone call to Karen while I was driving home, I basically didn't give her the time of day and just told her to have Josh Jr get his scout book ready and to inform her that I wasn't going to have time to stay very long once I was home.  I also basically committed her to calling our friend down the street to confirm if I was going to pick up their son on the way to scouts.  She just supported me all along and then texted me as soon as she confirmed that I was picking the boy up for scouts.

When I flew in the door it was a quick hug and kiss for a few kids, some pretend listening to whatever they were gabbing about and then I headed straight for the counter to grab Josh Jr's scout book (so I could plan an activity for tonight since my co-leader got stuck and work and couldn't make it this evening).  I vaguely remember being smart enough to give my wife a kiss and hug ... and then it happened.

She had made me a "breakfast sandwich" and told me I probably had time to eat it before I had to rush off.  I was so thankful that I didn't even know what to say.  I wolfed down my dinner and then sped off to scouts.

This "simple act of kindness" meant so much to me and it is the kind of thing I've come to expect and yes, take for granted, from my beautiful wife of almost 13 years!  I am so glad I coerced her into accepting my proposal 13 years ago and that her family helped make sure she went through with it and got hitched to me for eternity!  (I make it sound like she had doubts or something, but I'm sure those didn't come for her until well into our married life!)  :)

I love you Karen Joy Case!

Thanks for being everything in my life!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Celebrating Engagement Day on Valentine's Day ?

My beautiful wife Karen and I got engaged the day after Valentine's Day (this was because her flight back from Europe got in that day).

So for pretty much every year since we got married we have celebrated Engagement Day ... on February 15th.  This works out great most years because Karen gets lots of choclates, flowers, etc. (because I can afford more after the "holiday" rush) but we also never have a hard time going out to eat ... because, think about it, pretty much everyone else went out to eat the day before ... so we can get in at virtually any restaurant with no problems.

But this year Valentine's Day falls on a Monday, which also happens to be my normal day off duringt he week.  Add to that the fact that I have a busy day at work tomorrow, so I could not take the day off, and we had to do something we never, EVER have in our married life together ... celebrate our love for each other ON Valentine's Day.

I'll write more another time about Engagement Days from years past, but it is late and I think we're both tired from a long, fun day together.

I love you Karen!

Happy early Engagement Day!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

What's for lunch on Sundays?

Once again I am not sure exactly how long we have had this tradition on the Josh and Karen Case family, but Sunday lunch has long been the same thing (with slight variations over the years).

The following criteria are essential:
 - Daddy (me) does the cooking.
 - It is something made on the Griddle (Daddy's favorite cooking machine!)
 - It is yummy!
 - At least one kid wishes it was something different

Half-cooked (one side done)
mini chocolate chip pancakes
The main menu item has been chocolate chip pancakes.  I used to make them in different shapes (Mickey Mouse, turtles, first letter of each kid's name, etc.) but that got too difficult once we had more than 2 kids needing "special" pancakes.  We also used to use regular sized chocolate chips, but that always felt like way too much chocolate!  I know there are some readers out there who will think there is no such thing as TOO MUCH chocolate!  Trust me, there is.  So we switched some years back to the mini chocolate chips, and I think they work much better ... but they do take more time to "load" into the pancakes.

Other menu items over the years have included the following:
 - Pan-wiches (think McGriddles and you'll have the idea)
 - Egg Burrittos (basically omelettes with lots of cheese)
 - Cinnamon & Sugar pancakes (Karen loves the way I crystallize the sugar on one side of these)
 - Scrambled eggs ... and fried eggs (both swimming in cheese!)

I actually really enjoy making lunch almost every Sunday and especially enjoy mixing things up so that there is something that everyone loves at least every other week.  On really generous days I'll make almost anything you want (from the list above) ... so stop on by sometime and put your order in.  :)


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Really? Idol worship?

A few days ago a female student at BYU posted, on their website, some comments that compared the current fever on campus around Jimmer Fredette to idol worship.  She then made the mistake (?) of posting about her letter to the editor on Facebook.

In less than 8 hours, her Facebook post had been "Jimmered" with over 500 posts and comments.  The news of what happened went viral and there were stories on NBCSports,, CBSSports, and several other sizeable news outlets.  Read about it here or click This Link (you may need to use firefox to get all comments) for the full Facebook post and all associated comments.

My good friend (since way back in high school!) Craig texted me to clue me in on this and I spent my whole lunch break at work that day reading the post and comments.  Here were my personal Top 3 favorites:
 - While playing Scrabble if you happen to spell the word Jimmer you automatically win ... forever.
 - Jimmer Fredette doesn't need a TWITTER account, he is already following you.
 - A little known fact is that Jimmer has appeared in every Star Wars film to date.  Jimmer played the role of "The Force."

It just goes to show that you can't mess with "The Jimmer"
... at least not this year or at BYU anyway!  :)


Friday, February 11, 2011

Are You Busy ?

All day long at work I am asked questions.  Can you help me with this policy?  Have you read my e-mail?  Do you want to listen to some calls?  What's going on with (fill in the blank)?  Are you going to the meeting?  Did you talk to (fill in the blank) about (fill in the blank)?

I like questions ... usually.  Questions get us the answers we need to make meaningful decisions in this thing we call life.  Questions lead to education and information.  Questions clear up confusion (although some just create more).  The right questions can solve seemingly insurmountable problems.

But I HATE this question:
Are You Busy?

The asker of this question invariably has already made an assessment of the current situation of the person being asked, and it is not generally a positive assessment.  They have basically already decided that you are NOT busy, or at least not busy with anything that is more important than whatever they need at that moment.

Don't get me wrong ... I do believe some people are genuinely asking if now is a good time, but those specific words are like nails on a chalkboard for me (although isn't that reference getting a little outdated by now?!  Who uses a chalkboard anymore?!  That's right, NO ONE !!!)

So for all my blog followers or readers, please, PLEASE ... avoid this question and replace it with something like one of the following:

 - Is now a good time?
 - Can you spare a few minutes for me?
 - When can we meet to discuss (fill in the blank)?
 - What does your schedule look like for the next (fill in time period needed)?

Heck, even "Got a minute?" allows me the chance to say "No, not really now, but 3:00pm works good."

Hmmm ... maybe I should just ask for some creative responses to that question from you readers ... then I can be the one who changes since I am the one with the issue with the question.  Maybe something better than "Yeah, I am busy.  WAY busier than you apparently!"  Let me know your ideas please ... :)


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why is snow OKAY to eat ?

If you believe my three year old daughter Catalina, there is a very logical explanation for that question.  But rather than just skip to the good stuff, let me set the scene for you.

I picked up the little girls (that's Savannah and Catalina if you're not familiar with the reference) from preschool today.  I do this once or twice a week as my schedule allows for it.

Most days we "run" home with me chasing the girls but today the ground was covered in snow and there were some slick spots, so we walked.  On the way home we always talk about things, whatever is on their minds.  Because of the snow that became the subject of this short dialogue between me and Catalina:


Cat:  I don't yike da snow.

Me:  Sure you do.  You like to play in it don't you?

Cat:  Naaaah.  But sometimes I yike to eat it!

Me:  Yuck!  That's not a good idea.
Snow is not a good thing to eat!

Insert LONG pause while we walk a few more steps.

Cat:  (Softly)  I didn't die.

That's right!  Her reason that snow was "okay to eat" was because ...
she didn't DIE from eating it before!

I love her so much ... but I love her logic even more!  :)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where are we going Daddy ?

Tonight I took my two sons and oldest daughter to the
BYU vs. Air Force men's basketball game at Clune Arena.

Me, Ben, Josh Jr, and Brooklyn
@ the BYU vs AFA game tonight

(Jimmer Fredette in the background warming up)

It was a great chance to see the #7 ranked team in the country, with the almost guaranteed POY (player of the year) Jimmer Fredette running the team during his senior year.  This is also probably the last time BYU will play here in Colorado Springs for many years as they will be leaving the MWC (Mountain West Conference) for the WCC (West Coast Conference) next year for all sports except football (they will be an "Independent" team in that sport).

I am pretty sure all three kids enjoyed the experience,
but for different reasons.

Josh Jr, 11, is definitely old enough to know what is going on with BYU's great season this year and all the attention that Jimmer is getting as the likely POY.  I think he is the one that enjoyed the game the most similary to why I enjoyed it ... great basketball, from a team I root for, with good seats to watch and yell and cheer in person.

Ben, 9, enjoyed the opportunity to ask millions of questions.  I am not exaggerating.  I counted.  He is so inquisitive and I have recently become more aware that I should fan that flame of curiousity because it is always a good idea to seek more education when you can get it.  I spent MOST of the game explaining things to him, instead of just watching the up and down on the court.  This actually made it even more enjoyable for me ... and I think for him too.

Brooklyn, 7, is flat-out NOT interested in basketball.  But she loved watching the cheerleaders and did ask several questions about them.  Thank goodness her Aunt Erin was there to help answer them because I had very little to say other than  an encouraging "You can do that when you're older if you want to" rhetoric.  She enjoyed being included in the "older kids" group, which doesn't happen often.  She usually just gets to do whatever the "girls" are doing and so this was her chance to be a BIG kid!

BYU trounced Air Force (90 to 52 was the final score).  BYU scored 54 points in the second half, which was very fun to lose my voice during while cheering on some amazing plays.

But the night was more about my oldest kids and the super-cool experience it was to share this with them.  Dinner at Arby's beforehand was a blast as well and I hope we can do something similar again very soon!  Thanks for enjoying this with me Josh Jr, Ben, and Brooklyn!  I love you all so much!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Have you ever been rescued ?

I was rescued twice today.  Once by a good friend of mine from work.  Once by my awesome older brother.

After a mostly typical day at work (only a few scheduled meetings but by the end of the day I'd done ALOT of them), I headed to my car.  I was running a little late for scouts, but even with the slick roads I figured I could make it there safely.  As I approached my car (while on the phone with my wife) I realized this was NOT going to be possible.

I had a flat tire.

For future reference, the high temperature today was in the single digits, with a wind chill pretty much keeping it at or below zero for virtually the whole day.  There was NO WAY that I was going to replace my flat tire with a donut tire in that weather.

"Sheriff" Ryan
 So I headed inside and called my parent's house.  My mom quickly said she'd come and get me (thanks so much Mom!  you're ALWAYS there for me!)  Editor's Note:  Karen would have come and gotten me but I knew she had to take Ben and the other kids to the church for the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet, so I told her that I'd find another way home.  I headed back to the side of the building where my car was to wait.  I hadn't been sitting for three minutes when Ryan (a good friend of mine who used to be on my team at work ... the whole team wishes he still was) came strolling by.  He was headed home and just kinda said "Hey!  How's it goin'?"  When I replied with an "Oh, it's okay I guess" he immediately recognized something wasn't right and asked what was up.  I explained that I was waiting for my mom to come give me a ride home because I had a flat tire.  He immediately offered me a ride home.  I know this seems like a simple thing, but it meant so much to me!  The timing and his genuine concern for me getting home was just a blessing (if only because I could call my mom back and not make her drive in the crazy cold weather).  I felt better when I remembered that the church Ryan would be dropping me off at was literally right on the way to his new house.  Thanks again Ryan for being in the right place, at the right time, AND for being a great friend in helping me get to my destination safely!  I know my mom and my wife are grateful too!

My big bro Jeremy chillin' @ his desk!
 My older brother Jeremy then saved me in advance of tomorrow by offering for me to borrow his car since he doesn't need it to get to work.  He has an appointment to go to, but quickly said that he would just borrow my mom's car so that I could take his.  This is NOT the first time he has jumped in to save me when I've been in need of transportation.  When I was in a car accident last year he quickly lent me his car for like three weeks!  It was so thoughtful and selfless of him!  I think I still owe him an oil change (but I checked and his car isn't due for one for a while).  Thank you so much Jeremy!  I know we could have figured things out without needing your wheels, but you're helping me to ensure Karen has a car here tomorrow if she does need to go anywhere.  That alone (especially based on the weather) is so amazing that I can't thank you enough!

I love that in this crazy world we live in, where people are getting my selfish and lazy every day, there are still so many great people out there who really do live by the Golden Rule.  These two amazing men saw me lying on the side of the road (metaphorically speaking anyway) and did NOT pass me by.  They helped me up, gave me of their sustenance and made sure I was looked after for more than just the immediate timeframe.  I feel so blessed and grateful!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Is it time for another great laugh ?

I think SO!

In honor of the belief that laughter is the best medicine (and considering that my sister's family is not feeling well and I know many others are ill too - like my daughter Catalina) ... here are a few clips from one of my favorite comedians, who also happens to be an expert ventriliquist ...

Jeff Dunham ... and Peanut


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do you have a favorite Scripture ?

I have many!

But today in our 11-year old Sunday School class I was teaching about Jesus' life before his ministry.  Very little is written in the New Testament about this time, and I think that is by design.  It is my humble opinion that we do not need to know much, if anything at all, about the Savior's life before His baptism.  For baptism is the gateway that sets us on the pathway back to our Heavenly Father.  It is also the one time in our lives when we are truly made "clean" again.  I do not believe that Jesus needed to be baptized in order to be "clean" again (for it is written that He lived a life without sin).  BUT ... if we are truly to believe that after we are baptized that we are "clean" regardless of our past sins ... THEN ... wouldn't the same be true for Jesus if by some circumstance He had sinned as a child?

I digress (I do that alot now that I think about it!)  This blog could go on and on about my own speculations and personal beliefs about the early life of Jesus (basically anything before His mortal ministry).  Instead, I will simply share with you the passage of scripture that I enjoyed sharing with these 11-year old children in our class (5 total, two boys and three girls).

In the King James version of the Holy Bible, in the section known as the New Testament we find the Gospel according to St Luke.  In Chapter 2 verse 52 reads as follows:
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

Short and to the point, but very poignant and deserving of serious reflection, this single scripture has always meant alot to me when I think about our responsibility on this Earth.  Of course it is specifically referring to the time in Jesus' life between His teaching of the teachers in the Temple at Jerusalem and his baptism some time later.  But it is also a great charge to each of us regardless of our age or situation in life.  I find it especially useful as a way to direct the youth of this day and age on how to act as they are making choices and growing from children through the teenage years and into early adulthood.

Most important to me personally is that Jesus increased "in favour with God and man."  Which makes me believe that He understood the importance of balancing His mission on this Earth as part of Heavenly Father's plan, with that of his experience as a human being among His friends, family, neighbors, etc.  Are we truly complete if we do not seek "favour" in both disciplines?  Certainly favour with God is the most important, but without favour of man it seems unlikely that we are truly living the way He intended.

What do you think?


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ever seen these DE-Motivational posters ?

Some time ago I came across these de-motivational postcards.  I cannot remember when or how I first saw them, but I was taken back so much that I had to get one for myself.

The one I saw was this one,
a copy of which is now posted at my desk:

Which made me laugh the most because one of my peers at work has almost the exact same postcard, except hers is intended to be motivational.  The contrast made me laugh even more because unless you read the saying below the big bold-lettered word, you'd never know it was a put-down instead of something inspirational.

So here are a few of my favorites.  I hope no one is offended, but if you are ... I'm sorry!  They still make me chuckle and you can just go ahead and think less of me for it.

And last but certainly not least ...


Friday, February 4, 2011

Are You a Risk Taker ?

Among other inquiries, that was one asked of me by my mentor at work today.

And it got me thinking about a lot of different things.  So did the other questions she asked, which I really didn't have answers for when she asked them.
I just had never thought about things in that way but ...
 - isn't that what a Mentor is supposed to do for you?
 - Get you to look at things from a different perspective?

That meeting was easily the highlight of a very good day at work for me.

It is amazing how a simple question can start a ball rolling that looks like it will lead me down a very fun path.  I am looking forward to this coming year at work and the changes and challenges that await me.  2011 could just very well be my year!  :)

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I am a risk taker ... but they are calculated risks and that is a good thing (I think!)


Thursday, February 3, 2011

You don't REALLY want ice cream do you ?!

I say Ice, you say Cream ... ICE! ... CREAM!
 That was the question that I asked Brooklyn after we walked to the car in the bitter cold and freezing wind in the Vista Ridge High School parking lot.
She had just finished her final cheerleading experience (for 2nd grade at least) at the girl's JV basketball game and we were planning to celebrate with a special treat.

Her response to my question?
"Oh yeah Daddy!  I LOVE ice cream!"

At length we agreed on going to McDonald's, but only through the drive thru (we had Myra with us and I didn't want to take her out in the cold if I didn't have to).  Brooklyn rememberd that she liked "that ice cream in the cup" which means a hot fudge sundae.  I broke the piggy bank and got a large order of fries for her too, which she later shared with all her siblings when we got home.  That scene made me so proud of her because she was so kind and generous with HER special treat!

She suggested that I get a frosty from Wendy's for myself (I had given her the choice of either place) and then offered up that I could share it with her if I was too full.  Cute kid, but a little too sneaky for just 7 years old if you ask me.  I opted not to get the frosty, but she was still quite happy with the surprise fries!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Am I Right or Am I Right or Am I Right ?!

Rise and shine campers!
And put your booties on because it's going to be cold out there today.
It's cold out there every day, what is this Miami Beach?
Not hardly.  But the big question on everybody's lips ...
Their chapped lips ...
Yes, their chapped lips is ... will Phil see his shadow today?
Punxatawney Phil!
That's right woodchuck chuckers it's ...

Ahhh ... I do love that movie!  So many classic lines (like the title of this blog). So much hilariousness (like the scene in the car depicted on the right where Phil tells the groundhog "Don't drive angry!").  Some real tender moments (like the old man dying) and some tongue-in-cheek dialogue that can only really happen in this movie (such as toward the end when Rita asks Phil "What did you do today?!" and he replies with ...
"Same old, same old."

I've stated in a previous blog that we watch this movie every year on Groundhog Day if at all possible. We've had to push it back a day or two maybe once, but it is an annual event in this Case household.  This has been one of my favorite "Karen and Josh" traditions.  And tonight, we had the whole family watch it together for the first time.  It was great to see the kids laugh at different parts.
Their favorites included:
 - When Phil calls the groundhog an "over-sized squirrel" in one of his many rants.
 - When Phil smashes the clock over and over ... and OVER again!
 - When Larry says (after the car crash in the quarry) "He might be okay" and then after the car explodes in a huge fireball he follows up with "Well no, probably not now."
 - When the piano teacher pushes the student out the door for Phil's lesson.
And last but certainly not least ...
 - When Phil punches Ned Ryerson in the face and walks away smiling.

I am glad to know that there is hope for a whole new generation of Cases to get a laugh every year out of scenes like the one just after the picture shown at left: Phil shoving a whole piece of cake in his mouth and then asking incredulously, if not also almost impossible to understand, "WHAUAUT?!"  Sorry I can't seem to find google images of the face he makes (nor can I find a YouTube video of it, which is a travesty that I will have to fix once I figure out how to load videos, etc.)  Ya just have to find the movie and watch it yourself.  EPIC !!!

Ahhh memories that get turned into traditions ... awesome!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What is this "Cold Day" all about ?

When I was growing up, some in Rigby, ID but mostly in Greeley, CO, we had SNOW DAYS.  I almost hesitated to pluralize that because I am thinking it was probably less than a dozen my whole scholastic career (up until college here in Colorado Springs that is!)

Today, my children did not have school because ...
it was too COLD !

Now I'll be the first to admit that sub-zero temperatures are no joke.  I understand the fear of frostbite, etc.  But really?!  No school because it's too cold?!  What about sunburns in May?!  Why not no school because it's too HOT?!  Kids can get dehydrated walking to school with a heavy backpack and no water bottle just as easily as they can catch frostbite or pneumonia in the winter, right?!

Okay ... maybe not.  But I still think my kids have no idea how "lucky" they are to get a free pass simply because of the temperature.  They get an inordinate amount of snow days already ... now we have to start adding the wind chill factor to the equation?!

You'd think with childhood obesity on the rise, most leaders would recognize that the kids are already well-insulated against the elements.  Throw a scarf around the neck and face (leaving some eye holes), toss some boots on and maybe two pairs of socks and gloves.  Toughen up little ones!

Oooh ... I just stepped out in the garage to put something in the car for work tomorrow ...
it's like super-cold.

No one should have to be out in this kind of weather.  Brrrr ... :)