I'm looking to build a list of reasons to agree or disagree... This is all I have so far: Please help!

My Dad recovered from a scary surgery

On the 4th of July, 2006, my dad, Marvin, was getting out of his RV. We were at my cousin's cabin in McCall Idaho. He twisted his ankle, getting out, and hit his head.

We were more concerned about his ankle, but should have been worried about his head, because he actually was knocked unconscious... we don't know how long he was out in the forest laying there, and I don't like the vision of him hobbling to the cabin…

Anyways he must have hurt his head. A few months later he started having cognitive problems. He was falling down mowing the lawn… he had just had eye surgery, and at first he thought he was having problems with his vision…he went to the emergency room when one morning he couldn't get out of bed…

My mom was really scared. Everyone. I think he went in on a Friday. The doctor was out, and so he had to wait till Monday to have the operation: a bi-lateral hemotosis, or something… basically it was to stop the bleeding… the blood was pooling up in his brain…

He had to go through therapy to learn to walk, and do everything again…

They had him doing mind exercises…

That was more than 6 years ago. From that time he has seen 2 more of my kids born, seen them at Christmas and for summer break, visited them here, and spoken to them almost every weekend.

I'm very grateful for modern medicine, and for my dad.

You should track family graduation photos on the same page

I was still very young when my brother graduated from High School
Driving to high school graduation
1998 Megan's BA in English. I finished Ricks the
same time (?) she finished at the Y. Best girlfriend ever. 
Best mom. Ever. 
Best dad. Ever.
1998, Assoc Mech Engr,
Forsnes. Probably the best teacher I ever had. 
My parents took this picture after 
I graduated from Ricks in 1998
2002, BS Electrical Engineering
J, 1st Grade
2003 Masters in Technical Communication

Visiting Washington, Oregon, and Northern California state parks can be a good vacation

Megan and I got married over a Christmas break, my sophomore year in college. There wasn't much time, and we didn't have much money, and so we didn't "go anywhere exotic" for our honeymoon.

Megan was a trooper, and said that our road trips that we took to Washington, Oregon, and the California coasts were our honey moons the next 2 summers were our honermoons.

We brought our tent, stayed in State Parks, and only got rained out once. 


  • went to Mt. Saint Helens. Did not pay for helicopter tour, 
  • went swimming in the Columbia river, 
  • rented a 2 person boat, 
  • lake canoed 
  • took a ferry to Victoria on British Columbia, 
  • walked in the red-woods, 
  • visited KC
  • stayed in a Casino in Reno
  • Spent a day in San Fransico
  • saw the worlds shortest river
  • walked down to crater lake 
  • made Megan cry driving down the world's curviest road

Driving through a tree
Megan making hash-browns on our Camp Stove.
This looks like the coast
One of the many places that waves ambushed us
At a Japanese garden in Seattle. We were able to visit KC

Megan and I had fun on our Senior prom

It was a dark and stormy night, the night before prom. Derek and I sat in our basement at the computer late into the night. Koji sat engrossed in his video game to the left of us. Derek and Dan had earlier enjoyed "Tommy Boy." I was scheduled to be a participant in this movie watching event, but I had to wait for Koji to arrive from his track meet, not wanting to leave him alone like a free electron in a silicon chip, or Mr. Burton on a cold blustery morning, wandering the lake in a lonely manner, looking for a fish to complete his lonely soul.

REM blasted in our mind, a little too loud for music to be when you are trying to discuss matters of importance, but we were proud of our flippant attitude in determining the most extravagant event as graduating seniors.

In light of our dire circumstances I said "Don't worry about it. We'll just figure it out tomorrow morning." The topic of conversation was what we would do tomorrow morning. It was too late for sensible people to try and be sensible.

Derek had a hole in his pants, and he proceeded to rip off the bottom portion of his lower garment. Koji heard the ripping noise and looked at Derek with that expression only Koji can make (Koji was a foreign exchange student. He was a member of a punk rock band in Japan, but was harmless in a way that very few Americans could possible imagine. He also personified the bad-singing-Japanese person to a tea, and attempt everything from Led Zeplin to the Beatles (at a moments notice). The look that shows his complete inability to understand American members of the human race. My Mom looked like she disagreed with my conclusion of normality when she rolled her eyes in our general direction, as she put away the groceries.

I've never known my mom to go shopping at 11 o'clock. She must have been bored to have wandered about the deserted grocery store to look for food to fill my lonely stomach.

Derek and I came to the conclusion that we needed to go to some park down by the River. Our plans involved

Looking at pictographs and

Running around and flailing our arms about, and just being down right silly.

Doing some target practice with my Dad's Guns.

That night I tossed and turned like a hairy toothed mad man, pulling and stretching a quilt trying to cover his cold feet. I was ill. I had a nice cold sore developing, and my nose was runny. Derek called at 7:00 AM to inform me to get ready to make a purchasing arrangement for groceries and flowers. I rose out of bed at 8:00 too tired to flail my arms about. Derek arrived at my abode at 8:30 and waited while I brushed my teeth. We then got groceries, flowers, and girls.

Megan and I drove around Derek's house until he got there. We fixed and consumed breakfast, which consisted of Swedish pancakes, (a little heavy on the egg, but really good) fruit with cream, OJ (Of the fruit variety.)

Katie, Derek's youngest sibling, ate with us. I wanted to hit her. Derek did. Just joking she was just fine and as a result of her fineness; no violence ensued.

After breakfast we went walking around at the Snake River, looked at pictographs, threw rocks of the bridge, and messed around. I didn't feel silly enough to flail my arms about. We stopped at a shooting range and shot beer bottles, clay pigeons, and listened to Pachel Bell. Some guy told us not to use my handgun, not to shoot beer bottles, and to pick up the garbage, all of which we were obliged to do, and all of which we did. We had a nice drive and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. We then went our separate ways to prepare for the big event.

Derek picked me up at 6:00 in his Lexi, and we picked up Megan at about 6:10. She looked very virtuous, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy. We went to Lara's house were the congregations and multiple host of people were gathered to look at us, say absolutely nothing intelligent, and take our pictures, all at the same time. We stepped inside the living room that had more people than square feet, and more cameras than the Grand Canyon on a Japanese holiday. We muddled through our trials and woe, and got on our way.

We had our pictures taken, three times. Once I got home after the night, I tried the smiles I used in front of a mirror and they looked exactly like what they were, fake. Not that I wasn't having a good time, just that I have no reason to smile looking at some annoying woman telling me how to hold Megan's hand.

Having completed our mission, we proceeded onward and upward, on to The Gamekeeper! The salmon was interesting, kind of enjoyable, but not succulent, or completely satisfying. Not something I totally chewed down on. Although I guess I did, kind-of, chow down. Not because it was extraordinarily good, just cause I'm ordinarily a pig, and I forgot to eat differently than usual. I was worried about talking, and so I eat pretty fast.

After dinner we went to the dance. It was loud. I wanted to go do something fun. I knew they had a baby grand piano on the stage at the Civic Center, and I thought it would be cool to go play piano or something. I wanted to do something memorable instead of just going in and trying to talk over the noise.

I wanted Megan to feel comfortable, but it was unsupervised and I didn't think she wanted to go in. It was probably locked anyway, but for a while I thought I was with Derek, and so I was thinking we could find a way. Then I remembered I was with Megan, so after being immature a little bit trying to do something fun, I succumbed to the dance and we went in and sat down at a table. We wandered around a little, talking to some of our different friends. We danced about 5 slow dances. I wish we would have danced to Stairway to Heaven, but maybe Megan wouldn't have liked it.

Surprisingly they played Offspring, and some other non traditional dance music. After prom we went to Video City to get a movie, but it was closed being 12:01. We just got "The river wild" from Lara's residence and watched the movie at Derek's. In conclusion, it was a fabulous fun filled night for everyone. Or at least I hope.

Later I learned that Megan was very upset that we did not get desert. Derek got some flaming thing.
Me checking Megan out. Jesus watching.

Moving across the country can be hard

In January 2003 Megan and I moved from Boise Idaho to Chicago Illinois in a 24 foot U-haul.

Our fist day we go snowed in at the mountain-pass going into Salt Lake, and we had to stay the night in Burley, Idaho after only traveling a few hours.

In that hotel I realized that I had my mother-in-law's keys. We had to mail them to her the next day.

We fought icy patches, blowing snow, and light snow flurries all the way across country. All our: shampoo, olive oil, and bath-tub-bubble-bath froze across the plains, as we experienced negative 20 and 30 degree weather.

Finley (our dog) seemed depressed on the trip (even thought he got more space than Megan or I), and slept all most the whole way there. Each morning we would have to break the ice out of his doggy bowl.

We arrived in Chicago on their coldest day in 4 years. There was a 100 yard walkway between our apartment, up the stairs, and to the U-Haul.

It wasn't fun, but we were alive, and finally together again.

My parents are cool to visit me in Illinois

It is a 22 hour drive here. A long way to drive, but my parents have driven out here twice and flown out twice. They brought their trailer one time. Other times they slept on our pull-out couch.

Its not the Ritz Carlton, but we always love having them them visit.

September 2010 at the Chicago arboretum, when Both Mom and Dad came out after Philip was born.

September 2010 at the Chicago arboretum, when Both Mom and Dad came out after Philip was born.

2010 when my Mom came out by herself when Megan was on bed rest.

2009 Visit

Related Links:

Summer Vacation to visit the family can be hard but are important

Assertion #1: Summer Vacation to visit the family can be hard...
Reasons to agree:
  1. It is hard to travel with kids that are younger than 2.
    1. Young kids have separation anxiety.
    2. Young kids may have problems sleeping in new places. 
  2. Kids have a hard time getting out of and into routines. 
  3. Traveling is hard
    1. Traffic can be annoying
    2. Being in a car for long times is hard, especially for kids. It hurts my lower back.
  4. Our kids always get sick on vacation.
    1. 2012
      1. James through up on a mattress, and in bed two days before we left.
      2. Phil through up in bed.
      3. Megan was sick, and we got a late start. 
      4. I didn't get sick until Idaho, luckily. 
  5. 2-year-olds cry all the time.
Movies that agree:
  1. National Lampoons Vacation

Assertion #2: ... it is important to visit family.
Reasons to agree:
  1. It is good to try to spend time with their grandparents. Kids need as many positive relationships with safe adults as possible. Grandparents usually have love, interest, and motivation to help their children. Spending time with grandparents helps answer the question of "where did I come from", and "who am I". 
  2. Going on a family vacation can be disorienting because you get out of a routine  but some times it is important to get out of a routine, and look at your life differently. 
  3. When kids see their cousins they can see that people live lives 


I'm writing this from my parents place. As our family has grown in size, the economics of flying with more people has suffered. And so our 2012 Summer Vacation (AKA: Trips to see family in Idaho) started off with a 1,700 mile drive with 3 kids in a car.

Below is our adventure packed "travel laug" (get it Laub.. ? Oh never mind).

Day 1, Drove to Nebraska

We planned to leave on Friday and drive for 11 hours. However, on Wednesday (or Thursday?) Phil threw up in our Bed, and James threw up on his mattress (which got thrown away). Megan wasn't feeling good on and so we didn't leave till 2:30pm. We ended up driving 470 miles (8 hours) and making it to Omaha Nebraska. It turns out they had the Olympic swimming qualifications in Omaha, and some college sports, and so most all of the hotels were taken. The Days-In hotel was very musty. I didn't get to sleep until after 2pm...

Day 2, Drove to Utah

We arrived in Salt Lake at 1:30am, after waiting for 2 hours in Nebraska when the Highway patrol shut down the free way, while they life-flighted some people away from a 6 car pile up. There were very bad winds, very hard rains. Because of all the lightening strikes, the power was out at one of the gas stations we stopped at. Garmin told us to drive up a dirt road, but we ignored it, and got stuck in traffic for 2 hours.

2 hour traffic jam in Nebraska

James on his DS

Day 3, Drove to Nampa Idaho

We slept in @ Uncle Lewis' house. Visited with Megan's Uncle and brother, on the way to Idaho.

Day 4, Sick

I was sick and slept most of the day.
Went to fire works @ Granny Janie's.
J stayed the night at Amy's house

Day 5, Drove to McCall Idaho

Packed up again, and headed to McCall.
Stopped at the Cascade Water Park to watch the kayakers surfing.

Day 6, In the woods and on a lake of Northern Idaho
My daughter and youngest son saw deer on a hike with Grandma and Grandpa.
Went on a hike with my brother.
Went with my brother and their family to see the McCall fire works.
Spent time on the beach

A on the beach

Crashing A into J, as he tries to avoid her

Day 7, Still in the woods
My brother and the cousins left. Read. James was bored.

Day 8, Woods
Megan cleaned on the atomic scale. Ate at My Father's Place in McCall. Went to Ponderosa state Park. Saw a deer. Returned home.

Day 9, Drove to Nampa (again), time with Family Watched Men In Black 3 with my brother (thanks Amy for watching the kids).

Day10, Family Church.
Anita Kay, Greg, and Steve's family came over. Its great that the kids got to play with their cousins.

Day11, Family Megan's mom fixed breakfast.
Used quick-crete to fill in a sink hole in Granny Janny's yard, moved some rock, got stung by a wasp.
A quick wind storm knocked over Dad's crooked willow. We borrowed Bob Barton's chain saw to cut it up. It was probably about 1-1/2 feet across. Got stung by a 2nd wasp.
Visited with Megan's Aunt and Cousin from Texas.

Day12, Dad took the tree to the dump. Only cost $4.
J wanted to fly a kite, but there was no wind. Grandma said we should fly the kite behind grandpa's ATV. It worked great. James wanted to fly the kite on the way home, but it got stuck in a tree.

Day 14
We went to Megan's uncle, Richard Chadwick's funeral. He sounds like a great guy, father, and husband. I only met him a few times. Megan and I watched his kids one time at their home in Meridian, when all the kids were little.
Dinner with Megan, my Brother, and his wife.
Softball with his church softball team.

Day 15 Went to the Zoo Boise, which was not too bad coming from Chicago. It was a great day outside (the day before had been in the hundreds).
Went to the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. Saw a whole bunch of stuffed animals, a living deer in the parking lot, sturgeon in the pond, small and large rainbow trout, and some sort of crane or egret.
ATV w/ James and Ali.

Day 16 Grandma and grandpa went to a grandaughter's singing performance
Megan took the kids to visit a cousin
I got packed, and updated this

Day 17
Flew back home

Steve and CoraLyn watched Philip while we took James and Alison to Yellowstone.

Steve was going to jump creek and took James and I with him.
Its cool taking James to some of the places that you went to when you were little.

July 2006. A 5 months old

Christmas 2004 soon after J was born (2 months old)