Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sledding with Uncle Phiffft

In from the great outdoors. On Christmas day we recieved about 4" of fresh snow so the sledding was terrific. Here we see Peanut, Big Dawg and Sidetrack's brother (Uncle Phifffftt) peeling the layers off as they return from thier snowy adventure in the "cavine" - as BD calls it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Christmas is upon us and we have plenty of chaos in our house. Kids woke up early and opened their stockings while the rest of us got a little extra shut eye. The kids read for a while (pictured) before the present opening began. The following are a few quick pics of the chaos. Merry Christmas one and all!
Peanut among pandamonium.
Big Dawg pauses between presents.
Just a crowd of nuts.

The Wedding and Beyond

Kim's wedding was a marvelous time and a very nice event (pictured here with Buzz).

The return trip was interesting. I barely caught the flight out of San Jose only to be delayed with my connecting flight in Pheonix. Weather up North shut the Twin Cities airport down for a few hours. I ultimately pulled into the driveway at about 2:30 on Christmas eve.

It was great to see my cousins as well as share a few laughs (just a few) with my "kissin' cousins" on the Divine side of the family. What a blast.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Walk About Menlo Park

Much nicer than the snow back in Monkey Doo. Buzz enjoyed the outdoor market and a monster burrito. Ahhhhhh.

Twas The Night Before The Wedding

As pre-wedding activities draw to a close, a few folks got together to share stories and perhaps insight into what may lie ahead for the bride to be (from left: Kim, Catherine, and Erica).In this second photo we see Maddie, Diana and Gert. Diana and Gert had good advice and we all shared a lot of laughs.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Not in the Midwest Anymore!

As adventures go... I'd say this trip to my Cousin's wedding in California has gotten off to a moderate start. The crew for my flight from Minneapolis to San Jose (via Phoenix) didn't show up which meant my connecting flight would be missed. So, in light of service concerns the airline generously put me on another airline's direct flight... to San Francisco.

The only problem with this plan is the rental car... I was scheduled to pick up and drop off at the San Jose airport where my flights were originally scheduled to land and depart. I ended up renting an Enterprise car (I highly recommend Enterprise) for a day. Then figure out a pick-up-return trifecta for later in my visit.

Today was later in my visit. Thanks to my cousin Catherine (pictured here) we drove to SJ, picked up a second rent-a-car, then returned the first to San Fran. It was a two hour excursion that went as well as it could.

Gas prices are almost 70 cents more per gallon in California. Wow!

Tonight is the wedding rehersal and tomorrow is the "Big Day".

Back on the homefront, preparations for the holidays hits full pitch. Cookies get baked tonight and tomorrow and by all reports there have been no fatalities or hospitalizations... yet. Hang in there Side Track!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Delinquents Do "The Elf"

This seems to be the year of the Elf. So Naturally, we elfed the kids. Take a peek (click on this link): ELVES

Monday, December 17, 2007

Before The Egg Nog!

No doubt someone was having a bit too much fun when this picture was taken!

When They Are Good...

When they get along... wow! How great is that!? Must be the pending holiday. "Better watch out... better not cry.... " better get along... or else...

Tree Trimming

Tree trimming in earnest. Go Chalupa, Go! -a.t.

The Last of the Birthday Celebrations

One down, seven to go. The tradtioin starts when they turn five years old and lasts until they become teenagers. This was Big Dawg's first year, and soon will be Peanut's last.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Five Years Ago Today

And here he is five years later. The Big Dawg turns 5!
And now five years later!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Tree is Up

So someone tell me again... why do we put a dead tree in the middle of our living rooms during this time of year?

Salvation Army

Buzz was recently caught on film ringing bells for the Salvation Army. Tis the holiday season and probably a good thing to help with.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Better than Basketball?

BB tournaments are not always about getting the ball in the hoop. Last weekend's tournament required an over night stay in a hotel with a pool and easy access to the great outdoors. Chalupa shacked up with some teammates, and during this brief moment... she was unsupervised except for the photographer.

Hmmm, I need to know if standing half-naked in 5 degree weather then jumping in to a swimming pool qualifies as insane. If so, the Chalupa needs to be locked up for a long, long time.

BD BDay Party #5

Shown here (from left) Miss Q. Reevelette, BD, Side Track, Master R., and Miss A. Revelette. The kids painted and decorated their favor boxes.

Afterwards, they enjoyed Spiderman cupcakes. Below we can see BD poised to make a birthday wish before he blows out the candels. Master R, appears to be telepathically coaching BD. Beaner is serving.

The "Family" celebration will be later this week. As we weave our schedules around school holiday performances, soccer practice, basketball practice, Optimist activities, and decorating the Christmas tree. It's a wonder we get any sleep.

Friday, December 07, 2007

And The Angels Sang... sort of

The Beaner (top row center) sings holiday cheer along with a cadre of mutant-teenaged-angst-ridden-delinquents-who-will-soon-inherit-the-earth. Oh let there be peace!

Oh Tannenbaum

Getting it into the house will be the easy part.

Monday, December 03, 2007

And So It Begins

Snow, ice,
and of course...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Music Amok

Big Dawg Bonum? Nah, just warming up.

Seen her (below) tickling the ivories at is first recital.

Not to be out done... Here is Beaner at the same recital.

Another Season Starts

Another basketball season has begun. Chalupa (second from the right) and team won their first game against peers, but lost the following two games to older teams. A loss is a lesson, and they're ready to "school" some 5th graders as the season gets under way.

More Weather

SNOW and ICE! Lot's of it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

103 Burgers In 8 Minutes!

At Last, The Answer

Many of you have asked and many of you have claimed, but few have really had proof to validate the answer... until now!
The answer is clearly and undesputedly YES!


It's ashame this picture doesn't do justice to the red color in the tree with the evergreen background being dusted by a light blanket of snow. And today the sun shines bright despite the meager 7 degrees of heat we feel.
Tomorrow will bring the season's first substantial snow... 6 - 8"... or so they say.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On My Way to 11.5

Mt. Kato is going full bore with the snow machines.
From the Red Jacket trussle, the LeSeuer River appeared to be flowing strong with shavings of ice lining the banks.
After making the turn towards "home", I passed a very frozen looking Indian Lake which all bodes well for thick Ice in plenty of time for our New Year's Day plunge!

For Birds Only!

The feeder was full on Tuesday morning, but the -10 below zero (F) windchills seems to be keeping the birds away. Come to think of it... I didn't see any squirrels either... but I know they're out there... watching... waiting. Ack!

Winter Soccer

Depite the negative windchills outside the "dome", the kids managed to stay warm for soccer practice. The second kid from the left would be the Peanut defending the goal.
Here is a larger shot of the dome and the assundry soccer players working out the kinks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

J.A. Mandy's

Here's a rare glimpse at a well-behaved and presentable tribe. From the left working right: Buzz, Beaner, Side-Track, Big Dawg, Chalupa, Mindy (the pooch), JA Mandy and Peanut.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ahhh Food

Beaner helps Chalupa suck down a shake.
Meanwhile B.D. sucks up his Noodles and Cheese. Having a good appetite is healthy. Eating like pigs and having it caught on the camera... priceless.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Among the evening's dusting of snow this 22nd of November is an auspicious date. It's the birthday of Buzz's childhood chum, R. Schmidt (46) as well as actress Jamie Lee Curtis (49). Also 44 years ago today in Dallas, our Nation lost a chunk of it's innocence with the assasignation of John F. Kennedy.
Despite getting older, and the burden of remembering our National loss, we still have plenty to be thankful for. On this day the Taylors give thanks for our family and friends; to our military for our safey; for our health, happiness and sense of humor; our abundance of food, warmth and joy, and the many other small blessings in our lives.
I suppose we can also be thankful (in advance) that the elections will be done in a year so we no longer have to endure the interminable campaigns, speaches, and related commercials; and we will begin to usher in a new and perhaps more succesful administration.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Big Dawg loves his popcorn!

Peanut, Buzz and Chalupa.
Family night at the MSU BB game. Here is Buzz with Peanut.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

By Dawn's Early Light

If a person was up early this Sunday morning, they could have seen four guys trudging along towards a 14 mile distance along Judson Bottom Rd. From the left it's hard to tell if the Rookie looks to Brad for Iron Man advice or Tom for Ultramarathon insight. All I know is it's sometimes safer to be at the back of the pack and let some one else sling the crap from time-to-time. That's another long run in the bag, and we finished in plenty of time to get to church and do work around the house. As weekends go... this was one of 'em.

Girls Being Girls

After all these years, the Wicked Witch of the West still scrares these kids. Not to mention the flying monkeys. There's not place like home.

And of course, there is always the mall. Here Side Track, Beaner and Chalupa read some schlockie gossip rag in the lobby of a hair cut place... in the mall. Looks like I could save a bunch of money if they only trusted me with their hair.

Saturday, November 10, 2007