Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tis the Season

AS we approach the Christmas season, well fed from the Thanksgiving season, I often reflect on the many contacts I wish I kept. We have been intending (yes I know where that road leads) to put all our pictures together in a book for future reference.

Side note: A friend of ours uses software to organize her pictures, write anectdotes on pages and then sends it off to be published. Her own little family annual! You can do it online at or put it together with another program and follow the suggestions here:

I suggest doing some research in your local hometown or on the internet to find the best pricing and service. What a wonderful way though to keep those 100's (ok 1000's) of digital pictures we snap and keep on the CD's collecting dust.

BTW, did you know many CD's are only expected to keep good data for 5 years or so? It really depends on the quality of CD and how it is stored.

So, long story short, as a Bishop, I look around my Ward and see many families and individuals in need and am extremely grateful for all I have. I still work day to day and worry sometimes how I'll pay the bills. However, I have a wonderful family, a beautfiul house, and a very supporting and loving wife. I love my job and couldn't (well, I could) ask for anything more right now. Maybe a back that didn't hurt too much.

Bryce is growing and doing well on the Robotics team at his school. Blake is in UIL (writing I think) as well. Jenna is doing well in her classes and loves her teacher. Jacie spends most of her time at Nana's house (when she is home). And Brock is gaining a personality all his own. He may not have many words, (Pa - for Dad, Papa Brown, and Popcorn, which by the way he is obsessed about. He drags the popcorn maker out every morning.) but he knows well how to communicate his needs and wants.

Winter is a nice time of year to reduce somewhat the growing electricity bill. I don't know if we'll ever know if the heater works in my house. Thank you for wool blankets when needed.

I just hope that we all can reach out a little further to those around us who need a shoulder or helping hand. Enjoy Christmas and know that we love you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why I want a guinea pig - by Bryce

The next pet I want is a guinea pig. So far from what I've learned about guinea pigs is they need a lot of care. I want a guinea pig because I want a pet that is playful and not big but not small. Guinea pigs are not expensive but the stuff they need costs a lot. I think they look cool and cute the same time. Here are some pictures I found.


Here are some facts about the guinea pig that I learned:

CostWhen you first get your pet, you’ll need to spend about $35 for a cage. Food runs about $75 a year, plus $25 annually for toys and treats, $50 for an annual veterinary check-up and $400 per year for litter and bedding material. We recommend getting your guinea pig from a responsible breeder or, even better, adopting one from a shelter or small-animal rescue group.
Housing Guinea pigs are social animals who prefer to live in small groups. If you keep two or more females together, they will become great friends. If you want two males, it’s smart to choose two babies from the same litter. Since guinea pigs, like all rodents, multiply rapidly, keeping males and females together is not recommended.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Meaningless Meanderings

So as I lay down to sleep last night I wondered why it is that when we are thinking of things to say there seem to many words floating around. However, when we go to write out what is in our heads it sure seems sparse on paper (or this case the web). Perhaps that is the curse of being a male, words seem to fail us. Or perhaps we are just pre-programmed to sum things up in short, concise phrases. You'd think after being a Bishop for three years I'd learn to drone on and on, and on...(sorry, getting carried away there.) Side note: Reminds me of the character in one of Shakespeare's plays that goes on and on about brevity being the sign of inteligence and therefore he'd be brief, after his five minute explanation of brevity.

I have often thought about writing a book or story, but after a few pages I've said all I wanted to say. Now there's a good book. "Hey Larry, did you read that NY Best Seller the other day?" "Yeah Joe, I read it while I was waiting for my microwave lunch to cook."

Maybe that's what our culture needs though. I mean, we've become a society of instant gratification (or disappointment) and we don't seem to like to wait for anything. You can get married or divorced in a hurry, lunch, dinner, registration for vacation or school; it's all done in the blink of an eye. Have we forgotten the joys of sitting on the porch and watching the sun go down? Are we TOO rushed? Don't believe me? When was the last time you got impatient for the microwave popcorn to finish?

So, with that in mind, maybe we need to come out with a new style of book. Not the Harry Potter 700 and some odd pages long story to finish it all off (this book actually seemed rushed to me. I think it could have extended on to another volume, but by then my eyeballs would have dried out.) Maybe I could write a guide to the world, in an expansive 20 page book. It would cover all the need to know information on how to get a better job, live in peace with your neighbors (in-laws would take an additional page, JUST KIDDING!), the secret to happiness, etc... Perhaps this would be the most widely read book in the world, brining peace and harmony to all.

I'd start writing it right now, but it'd take too long, and my favorite show is coming on. I guess I'll have to settle for writing the cliff's notes. Well, I guess I've finally accomplished what I wanted to do, which is write more than two lines...not that it's worth anything. Partly I just wanted to see what would happen if I wrote down whatever was in my head. Now THERE's a scary thought! Try it sometime. Just sit down and write whatever comes up. Can you imagine if you did that all day long? It'd be neat to read I'm sure. In fact, this post didn't end up anywhere near where I first imagined. But I guess that's the point of meandering. It takes you to places you've never been or supposed you be. Which brings me to my next thought.

What places would you visit if you could go anywhere in the world? I've always wanted to go to Ireland (roots) and Germany to see the castles. I'd also like to visit Alaska. Maybe someday.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Faces of Brock

Since mom and dad are so busy, and I'm the last in line, I thought I'd share some of the pictures dad has taken of me. Digital technology is great, but he's not so great at printing them out. Mom says it has something to do with a squeak every time he opens his wallet, or blood out of turnips. Whatever that means.

So here are some of the many faces of Brock. This first one is when I give out and falls asleep on Bryce's chest. Bryce is such a good big brother!

And then there are those picures of me eating dad's birthday cake. Or should this be WEARING dad's birthday cake?

Follow this up by one of my "not so happy" moments.

I hope you've enjoyed some of my pictures. If you want to see more, bug mom and dad. I can help them post the pictures if they need help. Sheesh.

New Job

So, I don't officially start my new job until Monday, September 10th. However, I have already been to Calallen twice for meetings and other duties. It's hard to stay away though when you just walk across the street to your office. I dare anyone to have a better commute! There will be a lot to do there, but I look at it as an opportunity to shape a network and a department the way I want to. Right now, as far as the higher ups are concerned, the slate is clean and mine for the writing! The district will host a bond election on November 9th, and if it passes we'll have approximately 3.5 million dollars to create a totally new infrastructure, video conference rooms, and anything else we can imagine.

On the other side, Julie is in the beginning stages of opening a dance studio. A friend, and fellow church member, already owns one in Alice. She has had such success that Julie has convinced her to open one in Calallen. They have been eagerly looking at storefront property, conspiring on business and dance plans, and dreaming of all the possibilities. She's excited, and I'm really excited for her as well. Now we just have to find a place for some of the rugrats in the "tween" times when her classes start and I'm at work. I guess that's the privilege of being an older sibling...babysitting time!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bryce at his first football practice.

Actually, the pictures were from his second practice. You know, what really gets my goat (not that I HAVE a goat mind you) is how all the youth sports have moved to Sunday so as not to interfere with anything important. But that's another tangent.

Because of Bryce's age, his soccer team would have to travel all around south texas to play...on SUNDAY's. Well, as you well know we don't play sports on Sunday. So Bryce decided to play football this year. He was so excited the day before when Grandma and Grandpa got all his equipment. He wore his football shoes the whole day before his first practice. His mind changed quite a bit on the evening AFTER his first practice though! He hasn't run that much his whole life I believe. The coach is spending the first few weeks doing conditioning. And yes, this is Pee-Wee football, but it IS South Texas too! These pictures are from his second practice, which went much better.

Blake's Baptism

Blake was baptized on August 14th, the day after his 8th birthday. Following the services we had his birthday party at home. He really cleaned up on the money this year since we wouldn't allow him to get video games. Some of the money went towards new fish and fiddler crabs for his aquarium.

With Aunt Sharon, Nana and Papa.

Aunt Libby, Berlin, and Uncle Josh.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Simple Life

I really wish I had one of those...a simpler life. Life is good though, and I shouldn't complain. We're beginning that time of year when school starts, and soccer for Jenna, and soccer for Blake, and NOW football for Bryce. Sigh...three places to be and only two parents. What do you do!?!? Add on top of that Boy Scouts, cub scouts and other church duties. Not to mention we are trying to get Julie started in a dance school (managing not taking classes). Life could be worse though, much worse really. I'll just have to play a bit more of that relaxing rain showers or irish music cd to keep the nerves down.

Work is going well, but as Monday is the first day of school it would seem that some teachers have lost all sense of mind and civility. We work as hard as we can though and enjoy that time when the little hand is on the 4 and the big hand on the 6. With the weekend now here (and the garage sale, and the memorials, and the church assignments. I think I've aged 20 years this week.

If I DO get the job at CISD, it will be a nice event for the whole family. I'll walk across the street to work, and most likely get a pay raise. Either way we'll be saving money and time. It will be quite a challenge, whereas there is a LOT of work to do. But I am looking forward to the possibility. Patience, as much as I work on it, is NOT one of my strengths.

We will post new pictures soon, so be prepared for the changes!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Grandpa's 80th

We went this past weekend to Clifton to celebrate Grandpa Warren's 80th birthday. We loaded up the five kids, plus the two of us and Nana in two cars and made the 6:30 hour trip to Gatesville on Friday. That doesn't include the Whataburger stop in San Antonio.

We made it to Gatesville after answering the same questions for hours on end. Yes! We know you want to go to grandpa's...that's where we are going!

The day was good. We had a great time and took a few pictures. It could have only been better if we could have gotten some more genealogy. I did get another "war" story out of grandpa. He was stationed in California in the Army. They were having war games and his group had to hold a hill. It seems, though, that blanks don't convince the enemy that they are dead! He also told about a time that him and two other guys went out and raided the apple orchard after being ordered not to do so...on his way back, the officer who gave the order asked for his share of apples. It seems that he knew some would go and even gave them directions after he told them not to do so! Grandpa always was a farm boy.
My Hawaian Girl?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Keeping Busy

Between his full time job as Director of Technology for Sinton ISD, starting his computer business with B&R Technology Systems as a partner, and trying to start a home building business in New Mexico with Michael Bradley Homes, LLC, as well as being Bishop of the Robstown Ward, Bryan doesn't get much time at home with his sweet wife and family. Fortunately technology has helped bridge some of that gap. Over the past few weeks Bryan and Julie have been able to communicate using google's new gmail chat. Bryan is also able to keep up with his business partner in New Mexico and reunite with friends in Argentina...sometimes all at the same time!! Isn't technology wonderful?

We've had wonderful weather the past month, even inspite of the tornados to the north. Fortunately we've been spared any grief with that. We know that the hot weather is coming so we are trying to enjoy the coolness as much as possible.

The kids have been doing wonderful. Blake was chosen to be part of an ad for reading at Barnes & Nobles. Bryce has just been doing wonderful in school and Jenna is enjoying her year in pre-school. Jacie and Brock are growing faster than we thought possible.

The Lord has blessed us tremendously and we are happy to take as many blessing as we can get. Life is truly wonderful at this time.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Our New Home

Here is our new home. It is right next door to the house where I grew up and where Mom and Dad still lives. This gives us a great opportunity to work in the garden and for the kids to visit Nana and Papa. We love the big yard and the kids love to ride their bikes out in front.

We have a wonderful time tending to the flowers as well. The kids have a huge playhouse in the back and do not tire easily of being outside, which is a good thing!

I've found new solace and relief in working in the gardens. Dad has a vegetable garden and I have the fruit garden. Although he does compete rather well with me in that area too. His mulberry tree has produced an over abundance of mulberries and we eagerly await the mulberry pie we have been promised by Nana. The kids love to pick the mulberries, although they look like they have been walking in wine when they get back!

We're currently growing watermelon and canteloupe. By providence we also have potatoes we'll see how they do! They were part of the compost that was tilled into the ground as I prepared the soil.

Dad has squash, zuccini, bean, corn, onions, cucumbers and peas. It is a beautiful site to watch the sprinklers in the evening and see how well everything grows. The tomatoes continue to do well.

Dad's roof is finally done. It only took three weeks to complete. I told him that in 25 years, when the next one was going to be put on I was going to pay someone to do it, no matter the cost! I don't think he'll argue too much with me when that time comes.

Christopher is doing well as a police officer in Portland. David and Erin have moved to Provo where he has been accepted to BYU - Law School. Sharon and her husband Chris live in Dallas now, as he is stationed there for the Marines.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Easter 2007

We've had big changes in the past year. We have a wonderful new home with a great backyard. The neighbors are pretty good too! We live next door to my mom and dad, the house that I grew up in. Brock is growing tremendously as well and the rest are becoming so grown up! Here are pictures from Easter.