Thursday, August 30

Fun For The Whole Family: Who Does Jack Look Like?

Wednesday, August 29

As Much As I Hate To Admit When I'm Wrong...

A congratulations are in order for my sister, Missy, and her husband Jared. They are expecting another boy to add to their collection! She found out yesterday during her ultrasound and we are very excited for all five of them! Needless to say, she's going to be very busy trying to keep up with all four of those boys!
And thanks to Missy, I'm not 2-for-3 on my predictions thus far. I felt in my gut it was a boy, but guessed a girl ('cause I thought 'what are the odds?') and it turns out I shoulda gone with my gut! I'll refresh your memories on my predictions and throw in a new one for Reagan and Trish since I promised! Here they are again:
Aaron & Cara: BOY (I was right!)
Scott & Vanessa: GIRL (I was right!)
Jared & Missy: BOY (I was WRONG!)
And we won't know the following two until they're born:
Craig & Rebecca: GIRL
Reagan & Trish: GIRL

Monday, August 27

Better Safe Than Sorry...

They were doing a spot for the television station here this morning with Tri-Cities Safe Kids, stressing the importance of safety restraints and proper installation of them. They had to wait a couple minutes for the cameraman to show up, so I asked Ann to look at my car seat in my car to make sure I installed it correctly.
She asked me how old Jack was and how much he weighed and when she got to the car, she said very kindly "you're going to hate me for this, but Jack's car seat should really be rear-facing still."
I was shocked at first, but she explained to me that Safe Kids Nebraska actually encourages toddlers to remain in car seats for up to 30 pounds or 2 years old--which is totally different from the 'word on the street'!
Her explanation is as follows: Pretend you get into a simple fender bender where another driver bumps into the back of your car. Yes, without a car seat, the child would not have a very good chance of survival at all--even from a fender bender, because of the inertia created by the two cars.
If the car seat is rear facing, it absorbs all the impact for the little one. If it is front-facing, it is like asking a toddler to absorb all the impact just like an adult would--which typically causes very severe internal injuries. She said statistics prove that the survival rate is much higher for a child who is rear facing.
So, needless to say, we moved it right back to rear facing and it will stay that way until Jack gains nine pounds. So...for a while!
I just feel bad because we let Jack ride front facing for such a long time. I'm thankful nothing happened.
The segment was really great and it really 'drove' the point home for me. I know a lot of old yucksters always say "well we didn't have car seats when I was growing up and I turned out just fine!" and they make you feel stupid for buckling your kids in. Well, back then, people didn't travel near as much with kids in the car.
And back then, people didn't have cell phones or computers or other technologies either. We take advantage of those things, but we don't protect our kids? Plus, people back then did a lot of other stupid stuff that we wouldn't do now too. No offense...
We have never NOT buckled Jack into the seat, even for quick trips. Yes, it's inconvenient and sometimes he doesn't want to sit there, but we're the adults and it's our responsibility to protect our chilren. There are times when I'm getting him out and I hit my head and I wrench my back and have to bite my tongue to prevent bad words from flying out, but I think it's worth it.
And I'd rather ride with a screaming child than have them eventually riding in a hearse, thanks.
Buckle up your kids. Make sure they're safe. Whether it's a trip 15 miles away or just down the street. Most of you are great drivers, I've seen you in action, but think about all the other idiots out there who AREN'T!
Here's the website for Nebraska Safe Kids:
They have upcoming car seat safety checks in many areas, including where I grew up. They also have car seats for sale which can save parents hundreds of dollars. Check it out!
And I'm officially OFF my soapbox!

-The Vrbi

Sunday, August 26

Weekend Update

Joann watched Jack while Mommy and Daddy went to a movie on Saturday night. The movie was superGOOD! Thanks, Joann!
Jack hanging out in his bucket o' plastic balls.
What a funny little guy. He's pretty happy despite a slight ear infection...

Red ball, I challenge you to a Stare Off!
Rub a dub dub...
His car says 'buzz lightyear to the rescue' when you push on it. He's working on it!
And the bucket of balls is empty. AlaKazam!

We hope your weekend(s) was/were as fun and great as ours was!
The Vrbi

Jack's Room

By request, a virtual tour of Jack Parker's room...

Where's Your Nose?

I love the fact that I can upload videos THROUGH Blogger now, instead of using another service, encoding it and hoping it works!

Saturday, August 25

How To Spend A Saturday...

Jack helps Mom get ready to go to the library.
Go on ahead, Ma and Pa. I'll meet you at home!
15 years from now this picture will be even 15 times cuter!
Feeding the ducks at Suchs Lake (yeah, it's pronounced 'sucks', but it totally doesn't!)
Throwing the ducks some bread.
Gotta keep those birds fed!
I didn't realize until I saw this picture that Jack thought the bread was for him too.
And just in case you thought we were two crazy people just throwing bread on the ground, Amy got the ducks in the picture too!
Quack attack.
All tuckered out and ready for his second napster of the day.

Wednesday, August 22

House Fire

We just found out a little bit ago that Amy's brother Dan's house in Omaha was destroyed by fire earlier this morning.
They work very late at the casino in Council Bluffs so were sleeping at 8:50 a.m. when a neighbor woke them up by ringing the doorbell over and over again. When Dan answered the door the neighbor told him they'd called the fire department and that the house was on fire.
Their smoke alarms did not go off. The cause of the fire was that one of his outside lights was turned on and it had turned upside-down. It started the soffet on fire and had really burned a lot before the neighbor noticed.
Dan and his girlfriend, Amber, were okay, but the house is unliveable and will be for several months. It destroyed the roof and most of the kitchen and there is a lot of smoke damage.
They are staying with friends tonight and until they find a place to stay while the house is being renovated. Keep them both in your thoughts and prayers.
And do yourselves a favor tonight: Check your smoke detectors!

Tuesday, August 21

Rate The Names, Part II

So, we're treating this baby name thing like a tournament of sorts I guess.

What I've done is taken the top two names from each poll and introduced a wildcard name into the mix as well. You may begin voting now, but the rules have changed a bit. Now you may only vote once in each poll, so it'll make it more interesting! Once we get it narrowed down to two names, we'll let you all vote again! (Note: The name chosen through polling will not be the deciding factor in choosing a name. Just so you're aware!) And if you hate all three of the names we've chosen, you are allowed to enter your own favorite name for consideration. Just so you know though, that'll be your one and only vote, so make it a good one!


Monday, August 20

What's Your Opinion?

A Couple Photos

There is a picture of Tori on Aunt Heidi's wall of her doing this very same thing when she was Jack's age. She would crinkle up her nose and snort. We called it 'funny face'. Jack started doing the same face the other day impromptu! It is so cute! And it brought back such great memories of baby Tori!
Jack was playing with Dad's shirt, so we put it on him. He enjoyed that for a while!
Being a big boy in Dad's shirt!
He looks like his dad, does he not?
Future matador? Wrong color...
We took Jack to CostCutters on Saturday and they mutilated his hair. Fortunately, Laurie's mom evened it out and made it cooler than Dad's!

Sunday, August 19

Keeping Y'all In The Loop

Howdy all. We are photo-less this week, so I'm going to have to just update everyone on what's going on with us this time around. It's been Monday since I updated and we wanted everyone to know how things are going! Don't know why we don't have photos to upload, but we'll have some soon for sure!
Well, we'd be remiss if we didn't dive right into work, since that's kinda been the focus of our past week. Amy went back to work last Monday and students started on Thursday. This year she is at Gates Elementary 100 percent of the time. She's also the technology integration specialist (or something like that) so she will occasionally have to travel to other schools. But from week to week, Gates will be her focus. The school is about three minutes from our house, which is a welcome change from her first five years. If you don't remember, she has traveled to Palmer, Chapman and Farwell for work before and that was ridiculous. So, she is now at Gates full time and it's close to home which is perfect!
This is actually the first year she's ever had a focus at one school, so she was able to decorate her room. Before, she was all over so really didn't have a home base to call hers. Her room at Gates looks exactly like a teacher's room instead of a coat closet! I went to their open house last Wednesday and met a lot of the faculty. They are all really nice. Her principal is Julie Martin, who was also her principal at Seedling Mile several years ago. They work together really well and Mrs. Martin is a very hands-on administrator. Amy is always amazed that she finds time to attend all the meetings for every kid! Not many principals would do that!
I started work on Thursday at NTV and I have to say it's a great fit. My boss, Susan (Friehe) Christensen is originally from McCook and she and I will get along really well. She works out of Lincoln mainly, so I'm on my own mostly.
If you log on to (actually you should bookmark it while you're there; it's an awesome web addy) you'll see what my main focus will be--for the first few months anyway. They just revamped their main webpage and it's my job to sell advertising on it. This was never a focus of theirs before but to keep up with competing media, it's a must. And that's where I come in. I am to become their internet sales guru guy! I'm in charge of creating revenue through the webpage, including the My Local Search on the right side of the page, and spearheading many Internet advertising opportunities and projects. So, as you can see, I'm both excited and nervous! The plan is for me to get the web revenue going, build a great earnings base on that, then dive into selling television spots! It's going to be a big undertaking learning all about the web ads then learning about TV since most of my experience has been in print, but I'm ready to take it on!
But the best part of the whole thing--by far--is that I have my weekends back to spend with my fam. And to me, that's the most important thing in the world. This weekend has been great. We've been able to spend some real quality time together. And, after all, that's what it's all about, right?
Jack went back to Laurie's on Monday and at first it seemed like he vaguely remembered her and the other kids. He was a little standoffish for about two seconds, then started having a blast! The first week, they had picnics and played outside and went to the park by Laurie's house. He is really enjoying it and his new friends have all grown so much! When summer hit, Jack was still just kinda crawling around, but now he's back and he's walking all over, tries to talk, eats real food all the time, etc... Laurie's house has sure changed since last fall when Colson, Deni, Makenna and Jack were all just babies. Keyara is the oldest of course. She turned three this spring. She and a new girl, Brooklyn, are the oldest at Laurie's.
When I dropped off Jack the second day, Laurie's own kids Jayden, Austin and Brody were there. The look on Jayden's face when Jack started running around was priceless. She was not expecting that AT ALL!
The flooding situation has stabilized. It stopped filling up last Sunday so we're in the process of getting everything out of the garage and back into the basement. I'm trying to find some pallets that I can put everything on so that if it happens again, we have 2-1/2 inches of breathing room before everything gets drenched again. My garage is looking horrible and is a source of anger for me. I can't do anything with all the stuff right now and it's a nightmare. Whatever. What doesn't kill us only makes us disorganized and disheveled, right?
The garden is doing well despite a couple weeds and my complete lack of attention to it this summer. I planted some pumpkins and they are overrunning the entire thing. There are a lot of pumpkins setting on and I'm not sure what to do with all of them. If interested in some pumpkins, give us a call!
We have several friends expecting children at the end of this year and beginning of '08, so we're enjoying that excitement. I would like to reiterate that I was correct in predicting another boy for Aaron and Cara, and last weekend I found out that I was correct when I predicted a girl for my cousin Vanessa and her hubby. So that's two for two so far! We'll find out what my sister is having soon, so I'll keep you posted! I predicted a girl, but I'm not sold on that prediction! I actually think she might have four boys at home here soon!
And we just found out that our friends Reagan and Trish are expecting their first in February so we're extremely excited for them too! I'll give a prediction soon, but I'm thinking a girl for the Wilcox's! I can't write that in stone yet, so give me a couple days to ponder that one!
We are also looking forward to birthdays for all our nieces and nephews coming up. In fact, they're all in the next three months: Nathan on September 7, Matthew on October 14, Tori on November 3 and Peyton on November 12! Luke just had his at the beginning of this month, but we missed the party. Dang it!
We're looking forward to seeing the Huskers and Broncos volleyball teams in action this fall. We have been avid Husker v-ball fans for years and Tori will probably play a lot more volleyball this fall as a sophomore at ol' Wau-Pal so we're glad we have weekends free to go watch her in action!
Other than all that, I can't think of anything else to say!
So, enjoy the rest of your August and we'll get some photos uploaded!

The Vrbi

Monday, August 13

A Trip Across Six Counties

Rick and Jack had a really good time catching up. (Yeah, his shorts were wet from the car ride. So sue me!)
And Granny Janny got to see her little man. Daddy and Jack made the trip alone so Mommy could get her ducks in a row for the school year!
Jack and his Pa did some serious bonding.
We stuck around for a while before going and seeing Gramps Jer and Grammy Tami so Uncle Jake could see Jack walking. He was amazed at Jack's skillz!
Tickle time!
Luke and Jack doing some catch-up. None of his cousin's knew what to think of his walking!
Jack likes to take Nathan's binky and give it right back. Not sure what's up with that, but it was 15 minutes of entertainment and they both seemed okay with it.

Nathan Lyn
He's a lil monkey...
Matthew and Luke ham it up for the camera.
Matthew was my buddy. He really took to me, which is good cuz last time I saw him he was quite uncertain about The Dave.
Matthew pins Luke. They were having a good time playing.

Here, buddy. Have some of mine.
Reach out and touch someone...
Two little boys, eating spaghetti, goofin' around.
Grandma Elaine loves her grandson. Even when he's being messy.
Matthew Jared, Jack Parker and Luke Carson

Jack met Peyton's cat, Addie. He liked her pretty good.
And he rode Peyton's horsey.
I love this picture. They are just sizin' each other up.
Jack helped Grammy Tami with dishes.
Jack loved the spagh-oulash Grammy made. Dad made sure he got something from all five food groups for every meal!

Okay, I have to admit that this isn't in one of the food groups, but he liked it!
Peyton and Jack.
C'mere Peytie. I'm gonna get you messy!
Grams and Gramps have a fun sandbox for their grandkids. Peyton and Jack played in it briefly.
And this time none of it went in his mouth! Beat that, Mommy!

Peyton, Sarah, Jack and I went to the pool after the sandbox. Jack kept trying to walk through the baby pool by himself. Didn't work the best.
Look at those muscles! Just like his dad's.
Grandma and Grandpa's little angels: Luke Carson, Peyton Elisabeth, Nathan Lyn, Tori Rae, Jack Parker and Matthew Jared.
Just another shot of the kidlets. They lined up fantastically for the photos!
Jack and Matthew were having their own fun.
Playing in Grandma's flowers.
Grandma loves me, Grandma loves me, Grandma loves me...
Tori and her buddy Jack
And Jack enjoyed the time he spent messing with Granny Janny's cat's dish.