We just returned from our annual autumn trip to Southern Utah to find that winter has officially come to Utah Valley! Brighton opened on Friday with over 60" and we're hoping to hit the slopes this weekend... with Sam in tow! Yup, we're planning to get Sam on skis this year, and we're all very excited about it. Steve went out with him today to get season-long rentals and he called me as soon as he got home. Here is an exact transcript of the conversation (you'll have to do your best to imagine his most excited squeaky voice):
"Mom, I got new skis!" "Wow, Sam, that's really cool!" "Yeah, and God takes care of you and come home soon!"
I'm fuzzy on how his second sentence works into the conversation, but I'm inclined to agree! Anyway, we're very excited to get Sam up to the slopes, and I guess that only time will tell how much fun we all have! We went to the premier of the new Warren Miller movie last weekend, so we are completely psyched to get out in the snow!
Sam's cognitive skills have really been developing, and we've had tons of fun seeing his powers of reasoning and deduction grow. He is reading more and more and now likes to spell out and then read the words that he recognizes (like, "look, Mom, that sign says exit - E-X-I-T spells exit!") and he can recognize both capitol and lower-case letters now.
Here's a conversation that Steve and Sam had last week:
Sam: My number is three. Three is not in the alphabet. Three is a number.
Steve: That's right, numbers are not in the alphabet. Numbers go on forever - numbers are infinite, like God, He goes on forever.
Sam: Yeah, you're right. [pause] God is three.
Sam isn't the only one who is growing by leaps and bounds, though. Ben has been dazzling us with his linguistic skills and has been learning new words faster than we can write them down! Favorites of late have been "choo choo", "thank you" (eah oo), "water" (aer), "tea" (both of water and tea being used when he wants a sip from my cup of water or iced tea), "on" (as in, turn that light on), and "Nesbitt" (bit) who he likes to taunt with food and then tell to "go". Poor dog.
But not only is he using a ton of new words, he is also inventing new games! The latest is a hilarious dinosaur game where he raises his arms menacingly and runs after us growling until he catches us and bites us. Ok, so the game is hilarious right up until the biting, because he sometimes actually bites for real, but I think that he's starting to make the distinction between pretend biting and real biting. Anyway, he's a very vicious predator.
Ok, now Steve is going to tell you about our trip to Moab...
We spent the entire UEA break (Utah Educators Association) in Moab with youth group. UEA comes every October and is supposed to be the time where teachers go to a state education conference and the kids get Thursday and Friday off school. For the past three years, I have gone to Moab with the youth. Last year, Jamie came along and we were in charge of providing meals for the kids. It went so well last year that we decided to repeat it this year. Jamie, Sam, Ben, and I piled into Sunshine and drove her down to Moab with our good friends the Knappenbergers close behind. It ended up being a very rainy first day in Moab. Nothing could spoil the boys positive attitude though. They found much satisfaction in throwing rocks into any available puddle and after nearly a week of rain there were quite a few to choose from. Luckily, the rain stopped on our second day there and we were able to go explore Dead Horse Point and other sights around and in Arches National Park. While we were in constant awe of the way that God formed the arches and red walls of rock around us, the boys amused themselves by floating plastic boats in puddles. Sam hit one momentous mile stone though; he had his first poop in the woods. Pretty tough to do when you just recently got the hang of doing that indoors where you are supposed to. He sure made me proud.
Jamie here again... we had a fun, low-key Halloween this year. We weren't even planning to do costumes because we were getting back from Moab on Saturday and that's when Utah celebrates Halloween (Gramma sent some really cool Spiderman pjs, so we were just going to let those suffice as costumes) but then I had to stop at KMart on Wednesday for oil for Sunshine and they had these super-cute fireman costumes on sale, so I figured that they'd be good dress-up outfits if nothing else. Well, the kids went wild for them! Sam insisted on taking his fireman jacket and hat and axe (don't ask me why the outfit had to come with an axe, but Steve showed it to the boys before I had a chance to throw it away, so now it's in inseparable part of the ensemble) to Sunday School and even woke us up this morning asking us where his hat and jacket were. It's sure nice to know that the costumes were appreciated so enthusiastically! Ben liked his outfit, too, but it was a bit big and I had to pin up the bottom of his dress (jacket) because he kept tripping over his costume! He likes the hat best of all, and gets very upset if Sam tries to put on *his* hat, since Sam's is red and Ben's is yellow. Ah, yes, the adventures of sibling possessiveness.
Sam was into pumpkin carving for the first time this year, so that was fun. The enjoyment was increased by the fact that our pumpkins came from our garden again this year, and Sam had a lot of fun telling me how they picked the pumpkin from the garden. Steve is very much a pumpkin artiste and was happy to take his direction from Sam - this year's pumpkin had to have "scary eyes, a crazy nose, and a mouth" (I guess that Sam left the actual design of the mouth up to Steve). The little pumpkin was decided to be modeled after Ben, and hence had big wide eyes and a happy grin with six teeth.
Well, the last piece of news for this newsletter is probably the biggest - this week is my last at Dynix and I'm moving on to a new job on Monday November 8th! It's been a hard decision and a very interesting process, but I decided last week to accept a Sr. Software Engineer position at MyFamily.com and I am super-excited about my new position! It's not that things were bad at Dynix, but it was my first job out of college and I knew that I would have to move on eventually to another job to gain some breadth in my experience. MyFamily is actually in the building right next to Dynix and they have been growing like crazy and when they offered me a position there, I knew that it was the right job at the right time. It's hard to leave the friends and coworkers who have been so great to me over the past 3 1/2 years, but I am really jazzed about the possibilities and growth and challenges that lie ahead.
I'll be doing front-end user interface work at MyFamily, which is work that I really love. They're a dot-com, so instead of writing software that gets shipped out to customers, I'll be writing code that will get posted to the company's web site. It's a whole different side of software engineering, and I am very excited about learning about a whole different side of my field. Oh, and don't worry (too much) about the company's security, they are doing very well and managed to survive the dot-com bubble and ended up stronger because of it. Most of their revenue now is generated by subscribers to MyFamily.com and Ancestry.com, so I definitely encourage all of you to run out and get subscriptions!
So, you won't be about to use my Dynix email account after this week. My St. Mary's account is still up and checked daily, so please update your address book to use firstname.lastname@example.org
As you can imagine, it's been a tumultuous past few weeks for us as I have interviewed and we've decided whether or not the time is right for me to move on from Dynix, but now that the decision is made, I am so excited about the opportunities that are ahead! Hope that you're doing well and that things are a bit less crazy (but no less fun) for you than for us!
Steve, Jamie, Sam, and Ben
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