Date With Quinn

So,

Over the last month or so my son, Quinn, has kept coming up to me and saying…”Dad, remember when we went on a date?”, “Yes, son I remember.”  “Let’s go on another date.”  After that my heart fills with pride and joy that he would want to hang out with me.  Now I am not expecting this to continue but I am hoping that it will for both of them.

Today though he picked for us to go out to McDonalds, he called it the one with the arches.  We went, we ate, we talked, and he told stories.  I ended up dropping my phone in catsup, but luckily it missed going in all the important holes.  We had fries and McNuggets, I had a Big Mac, Quinn had Strawberry Fanta.  It was delicious…strangely enough I actually don’t mind McDonalds, but I did offer up Wendy’s but he didn’t choose that one.

I told him we could go ride his bike, or actually he could, it’s not big enough for the two of us, and then we could go eat lunch.  Of course that isn’t what he had in mind he wanted to eat then ride and since it was his date I conceded and let him have it his way, which is actually  Burger King and where we normally go.  After we ate we drove to the Y by our house and in the back there is a big parking lot which today was completely empty and so made for some nice space to ride around without having to worry about getting hit by a car or running into people or other bikers or anything really, except the curb, which he did once or twice.  Good thing it wasn’t a street full of cars, parked or moving.

As a side note, I might have mentioned that I got a new camera.  I’ve been saving my bones up and through a couple of early Christmas presents I saved up enough to get it in time for opening presents.  Oh, and I spent a couple of days on my homework, got it done and turned in and viola…camera.  Thanks wife.  She finally put me over the edge.  Anyway, all that to say I took my new camera out to take some pictures of Quinn riding his bike around the parking lot.

Quinn is riding his bike, actually with the pedals

He learned a new trick, which isn’t so much of a trick as just a skill that I’ve found actually needs to be learned.  Both Jake and Quinn learned to ride a bike, the balance part, on a Skuut, The problem they both had was that they needed to “learn” how to actually make the pedals to ’round and ’round.

Just being cool

And then he just suddenly struck a pose, I guess since I had my camera out he felt compelled to strike a mighty pose.

So, of course he is Joelle’s son which means he really likes to talk and tell stories.  In this case, you will notice on the above picture there is a hand brake.  Now this hand brake goes to the front wheel, but it doesn’t work worth a darn, but anyway, he wanted to show me how it worked.  He just started riding a bike and so that would be to much, back to his feet….

So you're going along...

and movin'...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then you get ready...

And then you Squeeze...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And squeeze!!!

How great is that.  Now you all know how to use the hand brake on your bikes.  He really did a great job getting out there and pedaling and just plain ol’ not crashing into to much stuff.  He’s my boy and I’m proud of him.

On the other hand, the camera was wonderful.  I had it on CL which for Nikon is Continuous Low speed, and I didn’t feel like I was struggling to get the next shot off before the bike went by.  I used my 35mm prime lens the whole time which was really cool, and also meant that I wasn’t worried about him getting to far away and not being able to crop way in, the new camera adds 10MP to the old one.

it’s got a lot of buttons and dials and switches that I am still figuring out but I’ll get there…eventually.

And on that note I leave you to it.  Have a great day.

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What’s Next?

So,

I have been in the Navy for 13 ½ years, and last week I found out that my last day on active duty is the first of September 2012.

The Navy has decided that certain rates, STG…me, are over manned and they need to get rid of some of those that are overmanning those rates.  They said they were going to kick out the people who had been to Captain’s Mast, or have failed their PRT(Physical Readiness Test).  I haven’t done any of those and I still am getting the axe.  They were given a quota of 2,888 to kick out and in the end cut 2,947.

It’s been a good run though, I’ve lived in Hawaii(a tropical island paradise), even got married there.  I’ve lived in England, although it was Cornwall way down south it was still another country and we did do a lot of traveling and site seeing, and they speak English.  I’ve also lived in Japan, although that was Okinawa…again, way down south, and they don’t speak English.  Still, we’ve lived in some pretty fantastic places and have seen and done some pretty amazing things.

I was planning on going into photography, starting my own business and trying to earn a living at something that I actually enjoyed rather than doing something that wasn’t my favorite.  I’m a bit short on that and have a ton to learn still…I thought I had time.

So now what am I going to do?

I do have a secret clearance, that’s gotta help, right?  I will have 14½ years of experience in the world of sonar.  I do have leadership experience.  All that has to count for something, right?  Jo reminded me that we will be debt free when tax time finally gets here, we can go anywhere and do anything and be anything…what do I want to be?  MAN, this is a more difficult decision than deciding Canon or Nikon.

It Brought a Tear to My Eye

So,

I don’t think I’ve actually mentioned in such a public forum that my wife and I have decided to buy a house.  Now this is a really big decision, especially since the housing industry hasn’t been doing very good for a little while now.  We were, of course, going to move to WA and try for a posting at Whidbey Island.  However, since then Jake has started school and we really like the school he is in.  He will be fluent in Mandrin and have a good grasp on Spanish and of course be fluent in English as well.  The teachers seem nice, and Jake likes the school.  Anyway, the point is we are staying in SD.

So the one thing I think that is cool about moving is you get to get rid of a bunch of stuff that you don’t need.  Well, we’ve just moved but we have also had to bring together two different shipments from two different places.  When we left England to go to Okinawa we were only allowed to take ¼ of our belongings.  This ended up being nice for us since we had to get some new stuff for our house and it really helped us to not have all the clutter around.  The bummer thing is when we moved back to the states we had to combine all the stuff we acquired in Okinawa with all the stuff we left behind in England.

Well, we just finally went through the garage to find some stuff for a yard sale we think we might have this upcoming weekend…MAN, this is turning out to be a long back story….  Anyway, we need to eat dinner right.  A couple of weeks ago my Mom and Dad came down for a visit and my Dad, who is the proud owner of a Traegar.  This is a pellet smoker/grill type of thing that is really neat…anyway!!!!!!!!  He made some tri-tip and brought it down, smoked it for 5 hours.  Ya, that’s right, SMOKED…TRI-TIP…5…FIVE…hours.  Anyway, I just got one of those out last night.

On the grill to heat up and finish cooking

That is it…a huge piece of meat on the grill, sorry it’s such a bad picture, I did it on a whim and with my iPhone, I put it on there so it could get that crust and warm up as well as finish cooking.  And….

The finished product

And this is what I ended up with.  Would you please note the pink around the edge…Ya, you got it, that’s the smoke ring or flavorfulness.  It was so good, it brought a tear to my eye.  Now I love food and the food they serve on the ship…well not to talk bad about the cooks on the ship but it isn’t the best.  A good steak on the ship…well, let’s say it doesn’t exist.  Now enter this smokey wonder…the last time a meal made me tear up was when Jo and I went to Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  I remember I had the Fillet, it was so good I cried, this was so good….

Anyway, just wanted to share how good my dinner was last night and say a super big “THANKS” to my Dad for the wonderful smokey experience.  How does it do on Turkey?  Thanks-giving is right ’round the corner.  Oh and Chirstmas, mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I’ve Narrowed It Down

So…

I know I keep writing about what God’s voice sounds like to me, I’ve done it here and also here.  Ok, so the title is a bit off, I’m not actually getting anything narrowed down I just wanted to have different title.  I didn’t want it to be the boring 3rd part in a trilogy, the ever so boring title “God’s Voice, part III”.  I mean, really?  Who’d want to read that?  The new one is much more mysterious, more exciting.  Don’t you think it’s like “ohhhhhhh, what did Brent do now?”  Maybe?

Anyway, let’s get to it.  So just to recap, God’s voice sounds like the TV or TV shows…ummmm…detailer…and just as an added emphasis possibly a website.

Wow that was quick, whatever who cares it’s a recap, it’s supposed to be quick.  Now for the real story.  So, the other day…I was putting the boys to bed and I usually get a request from one or both of “Dad will you lay down with me for  a couple of minutes”, or “Dat, nay doun me”, I think there may be more words in that last one but Quinn’s enunciation is not quite up to Jake’s level, but then again, I don’t think I’m at Jakes level either.  So I lay down with Quinn first, it’s part of a strategy, if I start out with Quinn, when I lay down with Jake I will still be in the room with Quinn and maybe he won’t need me to lay down some more with him when I get up to go down stairs, does that make any sense?  So, this night, by the time I get to lay down with Jake, it’s more than a few minutes later, I MIGHT, have dozed off.  Jake is pretty much asleep and stirs a bit when I get into bed with him, he rolls over, gives me a big hug and says…”It’s ok dad, Sandy Eggo is better than Whidbey Island anyway.”

I said “Thanks buddy” and gave him a big hug and a kiss lay there for 30 seconds and ran downstairs to tell Jo what had just happened.  Of course she is amazed and we were both like…well…WOW (which of course should not be confused with WoW or World of Warcraft)  How amazing is that?  …Ok, but that’s not all…

So the other night we’re watching the Olympics on the TV.  Of course we were since we can’t actually be THERE watching them it has to be on TV.   Duh.  Anyway, this commercial comes on…Ok, we need a little bit of back ground…Jo and I have been thinking about buying a house.  We want someplace close to base but not that close, we want some place safe, we want someplace where there are things to do for the kids but not so far away that it makes a trip into town an impossibility.  We’ve fou…ok, ok, Jo has found a couple of places that fit the bill.  One such place is called Jamul, and it is almost directly east of Sandy Eggo, 8 acres, nice house.  The other one, and Jo’s favorite is in a place called Santee, the house is cheaper, it is near a chain of stocked lakes with trout and something else for fishing, there are some kids nature classes and more all within an easy walk from the house.  We’ve prayed about what to do because it is such a huge step and we don’t know what the plan is.  With Whidbey Island we knew we were going to stay there, with Sandy Eggo we are sure we aren’t but aren’t that sure.  Back to the story…I…we, were doing our usual watching of TV during the commercial, not paying any attention because it’s AFN(Armed Forces Network), not the best commercials.  So you can understand, I either skip the Superbowl all together or I watch the Superbowl not for the commercials but because I am hoping to see an amazing game.  All of a sudden I look up and I am watching all these people scroll across the TV from left to right…I can see their name tapes…Smith…Jones…Fredrickson…Santee…Phil…wait a minute…I look over at Jo and just simply ask “did you see that” she actually missed all the other name and just looked up in time to see Santee.

At this point there has not been any more discussion about Sandy Eggo, I think at this point we are both shocked and amazed.

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SANTEE WAS A REAL PERSONS NAME.

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SANTEE WAS POPULAR ENOUGH TO PUT IN A COMMERCIAL.

I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SANTEE WAS A REAL THING.

Until a week or so ago I didn’t even know Santee was a place, never heard of it before.  Now it’s on a guys uniform?  And I’m sure it’s not just because we are thinking about buying a house there, that I am “tuned” into the word.  I tend to see people names on their uniforms in the military just because it’s their name and I want to see if they are out of uniform.

At this point, I think we’ve surrendered to God’s will.  We are waiting for orders, we are waiting to find out for sure where we are going and what we are doing, where He want’s to send us, to do what He want’s us to do.  We’ve stopped looking on the internet for houses, we’ve only been preparing for a move.  Selling some stuff, straightening up some rooms for easy packing.  And what a great feeling, to know that we are in such loving hands, such powerful hands.

My Wife….

So…

My wife…is about the most amazing person I know.  She is truly a SUPERHERO to my boys, the girls and me.  Here is what makes her super….

This weekend she had her dreams crushed, I mean destroyed.  She has a picture of our lives and what she wants out of life and how we should be living.  She wants to raise her own chickens, if we could find the land to do it, she’d raise her own cows both for eating and milking.  There would definitely be some sort of garden and probably it would be significant.  We would go to farmers markets and personally know a fishmonger, a butcher and a baker.  We would not have HFCS in our diet, nor would we have Xantham Gum, Monosodium Glutimate(MSG), or maltodextrin.  We would like to eat “Hippie” and with all the other stuff be “Hippie”, to include live in a veritable “Hippie” place.  That was Whidbey Island for Jo.  She has more websites from her research of the place in her bookmarks than I’ve ever had in my life.  She has been researching for months and within the space of one day had it all taken away….

She called her parents, cried, was sad and hasn’t done the dishes.  This is since Friday night…LATE.  Today is Tuesday.  So this is, like, 3 days later.  Now for the new place, she has a website list that rivals (possibly beats) the Whidbey Island list.  She’s already found a place for us to get grass finished beef, she’s found a place for us to live…while we are looking for a house to buy.  She has found schools for the kids to go (Japanese) which are probably to expensive to enroll them into.  She has met with several people, sent e-mails and chatted…did I forget to mention I got sick today, I was going to be a good husband and do the dishes for her.  I got sick, and SHE did the dishes for ME.

She is my friend and the mother to my kids.  She is the keeper and caretaker of my family, she pushes me to new levels, new limits.  I’m back in college, Jake will have an easier time learning Japanese in the future, Quinn is the strongest most coordinated kid in his gymnastics class, and Kira is BE-E -A-U-TIFUL.

She is MY WIFE…MY HERO….