Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Website is Active!!!

Well...After many nights of no sleep, I have finally launched my photography website.  I am working on finalizing all of my business/tax paperwork to become an "official" business.  This will be a very part-time business.  So the website isn't all that professional, but it serves its purpose.  I hope to develop it more in the future.  I have a price sheet, galleries, and online proofing/ordering (which is pretty cool!).  Take a look when you get a chance!  More to come...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas cousins through the ages...

Most of you know that Kari and I and her two brothers' families built homes next door to each other in 2004 (we affectionately call it the COMPOUND). For the last five years, we have taken pictures with all of the cousins on Christmas Eve in their new PJs. Here is our latest pic, taken in our living room (we rotate houses each year). This will definitely be fun for the memory books! Also...note Zach's robe...he has worn the same robe for the last 4 years. We know what he's getting next year for Christmas! It's fun to see the cousins added over the years and it's hard to believe that in 5 years, we'll be sending Zach out on a mission.

2007...In Grandpa and Grandma's house...They moved in next door to us in 2007 (making it 4 houses in a row).

2006-Matt & Aimee's House

2005-Jeremy and Jenn's House

2004-Our first year in the compound! Taken at our house.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You really should think before you act...

...especially when there is a camera in front of you! I asked Matt to come over and fill in for me while I set up my lights and shot some test shots. Afterward, he was to act as the trigger man. Well, during the test shot, he thought that it would be funny to "expose" himself. No one else in the group knew what was going on...In the end, we have this great picture! I respect everyone too much to show the entire picture, so I had to censor it just a little. The original picture reminded me of a Seinfeld episode (think "Bro")!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Family Pic...

Finally...We took a family picture! Enjoy...

Here is what we used for our Christmas cards this year. It really shows the family's personality. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Hmong New Year!

Reagan Elementary celebrated Hmong New Year yesterday. One of our teachers has a collection of authentic Hmong dress and much of the staff dressed up for the occassion. We had a huge Hmong potluck and great assemblies. Kari came over in the morning to take a picture with me and the boys. It was a fun day to celebrate an amazing culture!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ward Christmas Party...Santa Pics!

We had our Ward Christmas party on Saturday morning. Santa almost didn't show up...but he made it just in time for pictures. I shot over 50 family/child portraits with Santa. I had the 5x7 prints made at Costco and ready to go at Church on Sunday. I am quite pleased with the results. Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Turducken anyone?

So, I was watching a show on Food Network and they featured Turducken.  It is a boneless chicken inside of a boneless duck inside of a boneless turkey.  There is some yummy sausage-based stuffing in between each layer.  I knew that this was the turkey for me!  Well, I couldn't find duck anywhere before Thanksgiving, so it wasn't going to happen.  I did, however, make the stuffing, deboned the turkey and added chicken thighs to the inside of the turkey (I would have deboned a chicken, too, but I was afraid that doing two birds on my first attempt would be difficult).  I placed the laptop on the counter and watched a YouTube video on how to debone a turkey.  It worked great!  It took about 7 hours to cook the concoction.  I am pleased to announce that it was delicious.  I am for sure going to find a duck and add a full chicken to the mix next time.  Christmas?  We'll see.  Sam was so into the process and he helped me throughout the evening.  We not only did the "Turken" but we also prepped and cooked a regular turkey using our "secret recipe."  Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Knott's Berry Farm Trip...

We spent 4 days at Knott's during the first part of Thanksgiving vacation. We had a blast. We stayed in a great hotel and the kids loved the jacuzzi and the indoor pool. Knott's closes early during the winter so we had the evenings to play around in the pool. We spent some time at the beach with the Minnicks and played a mean game of football. The drive home was eventful with pouring rain, two kids throwing up over the grapevine (where we couldn't pull over for at least 20 minutes), and complete exhaustion as we drove late into the night. With all of this, it was the still our best Knott's trip yet! Here are some pics from the adventure...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kari's Photo Shoot!

I can hardly believe it myself! Go visit my photo blog and check out some pictures from Kari's photo shoot. So sexy!

New pics on my photo blog...

Well, Kari cleaned out my photo studio yesterday and I felt inspired to shoot some photos (and I actually had some time to do it!). I posted a pic of Ricky that I took a few months back and then some pics from Meghan's photo shoot this morning. Check out my photo blog for all of the pics. I'm including one of my favorites from this morning. Kari is going to pose for me this afternoon!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day Parade

Meghan was sick today, but Kaleigh marched in the Fresno Vet Parade. Here's mom, dad, and Kay posing on the route. The weather was perfect for the event! Happy Veteran's Day!

Lucy and Uncle Robb

Lucy and I hung out in nursery on Sunday. She was in town visiting for the weekend. She slept in my arms about 90% of the time. She woke up to throw a little fit and so I could snap a picture. A pacifier and 4 minutes later she was back to sleep. I appreciated the excuse to ditch high priests!

My Political Survey Results

OK...Here's the shocker of the day...I took this quiz and guess what? I'm a Republican! I was glad to see that I wasn't a Fascist or an Anarchist...or worse...A Democrat! Whew!

You are a

Social Conservative
(30% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(80% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Republican

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Friday, November 7, 2008

Attacks on my blog continue...

OK...So the buttons are a low-blow...but they just made me laugh. With all the hate and ugliness that has been thrown my way, I just had to do it. You're right, Sam Clauder, sometimes mean things do make you feel good! :-) Well, I sent Sam Clauder an email last night asking him to please avoid my blog. If he wants to make himself feel better about his losses and continue to attack my personal views, I suggested that he do it via phone or email. I gave him my email address. Of course, that is not how he does business. Within an hour, I received multiple hateful comments on my blog. That's how he does business, I guess. Pretty effective communication from the "communications director" of the county party. San Bernardino Democrats should be proud! I wish that he would realize that I only see these hateful comments as ignorant ramblings of a scorned man and his actions only fire me up! Thank you, Sam, for the late night laughable comments and the creative posts (and yes...I have heard of the research supporting homosexuality as innate and unchangeable...I just don't buy it. Just because we don't agree doesn't make me ignorant...I am very well-informed and am very well-behaved, thank you!).

So for now, I bid you adieu. I am going to bring my blog back to the focus on the family. I wish that our State and liberal gas-blowers would do the same. California would be a better place.

(PS: For those of you who don't know...There is an "idiot" system in blogger. You can moderate the comments and disapprove the comments posted by idiots. That's what I'm doing now. I still get to read them and laugh my head off, but I can keep them from my family blog. Also, I think that I am going to start a political blog so that I can continue to enjoy the Sams of the world!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

And I've been accused of intolerance...

I had a fun moment this morning. I noticed that a person left a comment attached to my "Victory!!!" post. It was from a man named Sam Clauder. This is what he said:

Sam Clauder said...
Think you got enuff kids there?Or are you still popping them out to overpopulate the world?No problem. You can always send them off to die in the next Republican liars' war.

What a sweet thing to say, right? I clicked on his name to his blog and it was blank. The chicken just blew in, blew off, and blew out. What a real tough guy...to make such statements as a "masked man." So...on to my response:
  • I do think that I have "enuff" kids, thanks (by the way, "enuff" is spelled "enough" (you'll have more credibility if you can actually spell your thoughts correctly)). I would like more, but "popping" them out just became too tough for my wife. My kids will be productive members of society, will not suck the system dry by abusing social programs, and will fight for the things they know to be right. They'll be good conservative Republicans, I'm sure! :-) We need these kids to become productive adults to balance out the hatemongers who anonymously spew their mindless drivel. The world will be a much better place. If I could have a hundred, the world would even be better.
  • My wife probably would be offended by the "popping out" comment. I was present at all of my children's births and it was just a little more difficult than that.
  • "Send them off to die" Wow! What sane person with any ounce of compassion would wish that on anyone? How sad! Not only is it a slap in my face, but it is so unfair to our vets that have given their lives in all prior wars so that you can have the freedoms that you enjoy (even posting hate mail!). Oh, by the way, "liars'" should have been "liar's" since it is singular. Just thought that you'd want some additional help with editing.
  • I was called intolerant a few different times during the Prop 8 run. I never attacked anyone, never called anyone names, never wished death on anyone's family, never picketed in front of any gay bars, and never whined or complained that if we didn't win we'd take it to the judges. Why can't the "no" side tolerate my views? I don't think that intolerance is what they're really fighting. Prop 8 was aligned with my values and I fought along with thousands of others to help it get passed. Apparently 52.5% (or 5,388,497 Californians) agree. I think I'm in pretty good company!

I did a search and found out that Mr. Clauder is the PR Chair for the San Bernardino County Democratic Party (a county where 67.1% voted "yes" for prop 8). He was the the communications director for Tim Prince's failed Congressional run (he lost by almost a 2-1 margin on Tuesday). Mr. Clauder was also a major force behind Prop 66 (remember the one that wanted to limit the 3 strikes law?); it lost too. Maybe Mr. Clauder is bitter because of these losses??? Maybe he was just looking for someone to tear down because he was feeling so blue himself this week??? Next time, Mr. Clauder, will you please do the following: keep your communication appropriate (should be second-nature for you since you are a "communication director"), don't wish my children dead, or better yet, please just keep your thoughts to yourself.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We put out signs, slapped on bumper stickers, walked precincts, called many people, fasted & prayed and here we are! We are so excited about the outcome!!! At the risk of sounding corny, I was a little emotional when I went into the poll and marked my little black circle for Prop 8. Maybe I was growing weary; maybe I was just so very hopeful. I know for sure that I was very grateful to be participating in the democratic process.

After our election night party, everyone left and it was just me and a laptop, watching the very slow California returns. I finally plopped down on the couch for a little bit after midnight and then had a very real dream where I was celebrating Prop 8's victory. It was SO REAL. I got up (about 2:30am) and pulled the poll numbers up. We were still ahead! I spent the next few hours identifying missing counties, looking at trend data, forecasting votes and came up with a final forecast of 52.3% "Yes." (Pretty close to the 52.5% final count.) I was excited, but Santa Clara County was only 25% reported and I knew how they were trending...They could have been the "sleeper" that I worried about. But thank heavens we still had Riverside and San Bernardino counties with tons of votes to count and they balanced out SC's effects. When I left for work by 7am, Santa Clara was 100% reported and we gained a little bit. I knew then that we were solid at that point.

Of course, no one wanted to call the victory today because it was so close. I watched the internet all morning long and then just after noon, LA Times, SF Chronicle, and the Fresno Bee all called the victory. It was so great to see it in print! I knew that when all of this was over, there was going to be a loser. Today, the loser is gay marriage. It is not homosexuals. It is not civil rights. Intolerance and bigotry are not the winners either. I don't buy this one bit. I don't buy that homosexuals have the same rights to marriage. Homosexuality is a choice. Period. That choice does not automatically come attached to all rights.

In the end, it's our children that win. Although we'll face this again (hopefully not too soon), we have stopped the movement for now. We have made the future fight a little easier for our children. We protected our families yet again. California can stay on the more righteous path a little longer.

To steal the words from the hope-monger's wife..."For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my [state]." Thank you to everyone who volunteered time, money, and talents. I appreciate your support of MY family.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A redneck parade for Prop 8

A number of guys in the ward decorated their trucks and we drove
throughout town. It was a lot of fun and the support was evident. I
only had two people flip me off! Oh, I just love the tolerance for my
views!! Afterwards, we met members of the ward at Clovis and Herndon
and waved signs. It really invigorated me. Here is a pic of my truck
with the American flag in the back. As I drove down the street, the
flag waved just like the stereotypical confederate flags on redneck

Thursday, October 30, 2008

YouTube Video of Soldier Supporting McCain

OK...So I read about this video on FoxNews of an injured soldier sharing a message to Osama....Oh, sorry Matt...Obama. It has over 11 million hits and I think is very powerful. Thought that I'd share it with everyone. It gives me a little bit of hope for the future in these very dark times that I feel we are about to face.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We Support Proposition 8

So Kari and I went to the special fireside broadcast last night dealing with Proposition 8. We were encouraged to use blogs and other electronic media to share the message. Obviously, Kari and I are supporting Proposition 8. Why?
  • Acceptance of homosexual marriages destroys the sacredness of marriage and the family unit.
  • Our kids don't need to be taught in public schools that gay marriage is an acceptable alternative. We get to have a say on sex-education curriculum, but nothing bars a school from teaching gay marriage without warning parents in advance. This is not an "extremist" claim as some say...Just yesterday the US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of parents in Massachusetts claiming that they had the right of pre-notification.
  • Prop 8 isn't anti-gay. It is anti-gay marriage. Period. Behave in a way that you want to behave, but please don't redefine marriage to help justify your moral choices.
  • Prop 8 is not intolerance. We are tolerant and we wish the anti-prop 8 crew would be more tolerant of our beliefs. Why does fighting for what we believe make us intolerant? The anti-prop 8 crew is fighting for what they believe in the name of tolerance. Double standard for sure!
  • There should be a separation of church and state. We don't disagree. But this doesn't mean that our government should be anti-God, anti-value, and immoral. Eternal philosophies and divine principles are the very fibers that hold together our government and sit as the foundation of our independence and our Constitution. No man can deny that our Nation's forefathers understood this, lived this, and proclaimed this. Why do so many feel that we must be value-neutral now?
  • Like Captain Moroni, we feel it is our responsibility to hold up our Title of Liberty and defend our values and, ultimately, our liberty.

What can you do?

  • If you live in California...Donate time, energy, $$$$. Tell your friends about your position. We are.
  • If you live outside of California...Donate money via the Protect Marriage Website. Monitor the Church's Preserving Marriage Website because there may be a call for members across the U.S. to help with phone calling as the election draws near.

If you haven't seen the new commercials for Yes on 8...Check them out...



Saturday, September 6, 2008

Jellyfish or Nasal Discharge?

All of the little kids loved finding jelly fish parts on the beach. I
just about threw up every time they brought a chunk up to us. Here is
Ammon displaying one of his new beach toys!

Our Three Runners

Jacob, Jacob, and Trevor hit the track yesterday at Clovis East for
their first cross country meet. It was hot and it was their first
experience, but they did a great job! I think that they were all a
little reluctant to join, but it's good for them to be a part of a
team. Next up...wrestling!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jonathan's Mended Heart!

I can't imagine what Kristen and Aaron have been going through over the last week. Jonathan is now 6-days post surgery. It was a long surgery and a tough recovery. Julie kept us posted on the status throughout the week. I heard that he may be coming home today or tomorrow. That's exciting! We've been trying to stay away until things calm down. We look forward to visiting them soon. Check out Aaron's blog to get the latest. Here are some pictures that I pulled from their website:

Last pre-surgery chest picture.
After all of this, he can still smile for his mama!

Fat No More!

Well, we finished our summer session of the Fat Man's Club! I started out at 214 lbs. and ended up at 189.8 lbs. I beat Jeremy by .2 lbs. There was some satisfaction in that! I think I put on about 5 pounds after finally drinking some water after 24 hours of fasting and 12 miles of jogging to get me to weight. I still would have been fine since my goal weight was 195. I hope to continue on and drop down to about 180-185 lbs. I would like to run a half-marathon soon and I'm looking forward to triathlons in the Spring. Check out Matt's Blog and Jeremy's Blog for some details and pictures (my camera battery was dead!). You have to love my hair and outfit. After jogging, I showered up and put on a very thin pair of shorts and a thin exercise shirt. I also had to blow-dry all of the water out of my hair...So I looked GOOD! Oh well...Jeremy/Jenn, Matt/Aimee, and Kari/I took the kids to Hometown Buffet for breakfast (that is absolutely Kari's favorite place to eat (I am saying this with such an amazing amount of sarcasm...she hates it there!)). The adults went on a date that night to Fugazzi's and then I had some ice cream at Maggie Moo's. I miss ice cream! Let's hope that this "falling off the wagon" doesn't last too long!

McCain and Palin!

I was at the gym early Friday morning and was watching FoxNews while I was running on the treadmill. I watched as Pawlenty announced that he was out and then the big news...I felt it coming...Romney was not the pick. I was so p'd off for just a few minutes. Then there was talk of a plane from Alaska, etc, etc. I had read about Palin in various blogs over the last few weeks and I began to get excited at the idea that it really could be her. (I am a fan of very conservative ladies...Especially the one that lives in my house!) Kari tried to call me so that I could listen to the announcement over the phone, but I was tied up at work. My excitement was confirmed when she was announced.

I feel bad for Romney (but I still have some issues with his early abortion stance (come on!) and with his sometimes apologist attitude towards the Church); I still think that he would have been a very strong VP. He seems to be a good sport and supports the McCain-Palin ticket. You should read his statement about the pick. We'll see more of him, I'm sure.

So I've got to share another of my favorite videos from the McCain campaign. The Osama-BiteMe ticket is such a joke:

Slip and Slide of Slime!

I promised the kids at Reagan that if they increased their test scores, I would slip and slide through slime during a rally. Well, they did it! We had a great rally with games, music, cheers, and, of course, a 20-foot slip and slide. My new VP, Kim Buendia, is such a good sport. She wasn't around when the promise was made, but she slid with me anyway. Of course, how bad could it have been with all of the protection she had on! I was wearing only board shorts and a swim shirt. We had a blast and the kids loved it!
You really need to click on the pictures to see the bigger versions!