Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day Photo Booth Session

We had fun this morning with Apple Photo Booth -- I seriously have not seen my mother laugh this hard in years.

See the Flickr photoset.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve Day 2006

We had a nice morning at church -- Erin sang in the choir, and I wrestled Matt in the congregation. Thank you Wendy Shipley for walking Hannah for most of the sacrament meeting.

Christmas 2006

We managed to get a Christmas photo that worked reasonably well on the way out the door this morning. Everyone is in the photo, looking at the camera, and is smiling (or at least not crying or frowning).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Photo Booth Photos

Matt and I had a lot of fun playing around with Apple Photo Booth for a while this morning. Check out our photos.


Matt and Scott

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

Japanes Shirt Folding

Ok, this is pretty impressive. I've got to learn how to do this.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gracie Loses Her First Tooth

Tonight, just before going to bed I asked Grace if I could look at her tooth (which has been very loose for several days). Surprisingly she agreed. I asked outright if I could try to pull it out -- again, surprisingly she agreed.

We're please to report that Grace has lost her first tooth. Check out the Flickr photoset here.

Gracie's First Lost Tooth

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hannah's First Birthday

We had a nice first birthday party for Hannah. Check out the Flickr photoset.

Hannah

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Matt on the Computer

Here are some photos I took of Matt playing on my computer on Sunday after church. He sat pleasantly at my computer for about 45 minutes listening to "Wipeout" by the Ventures. He was having the time of his life.

Matt at the Computer

Glen Beck's Conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

I normally agree with Beck's politics, ideology and philosophy -- but not really big on his dramatics or theatrics. That said, I came across this video today in which he speaks of his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and thought it was quite nice.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Calgary Flames Vs. Anaheim Ducks

Sean took me to the Flames game on November 10, 2006. Flames won 3-0. The first period was pretty exciting. Check out the photos I took.

Flames Vs. Ducks

Dancing Gracie

Grace, Matt, Hannah and I stayed home together the other night while Erin went out. Here' are some photos of Gracie that Matt took.

Dancing Grace

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kevin Wolff Turns 30!

My brother Kevin turned 30 years old last week. Check out the photos. It's strange to think we're growing up.

30 Year Old Kevin

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pumpkin Carving

These are some of the best pumpkin carvings I have ever seen.

Ayn Rand's Objectivism

I've been waist deep in "Atlas Shrugged" lately, and have become a bit obsessed with it ... again. Some have asked me to define what it is about the philosophy that I enjoy, and I recently came across this description of "Objectivism" in Rand's own words.

  1. Reality exists as an objective absolute -- facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.

  2. Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses) is man's only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.

  3. Man -- every man --is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.

  4. The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween 2006

We had a fun night on the streets of Tuscany -- there were more children out than recall seeing for several years despite the -10 degree weather. Gracie dressed as a "glow fairy" (I'm not really sure what that is), Matt was dressed as superman, and Hannah as Piglet. See my Flickr Halloween photoset.

Halloween 2006

We went around the doors next to our house, then to the Freibergs, then to my folks place -- Matt fell asleep in the car on the way to my folks place.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Atlas Shrugged

I've been re-reading Atlas Shrugged, and am thoroughly enjoying it. Rick suggested I read this book several years ago, and it honestly changed my life -- or rather it enhanced or clarified my thinking on philosophy and on the concept of objective values, the meaning of words, the importance of doing what you say, the importance of intellect and ability etc...

It's good to read this sort of book more than once, there's so much to it, and over the years I now have more/different experience by which to understand the book.

I noticed Judy's post on the possibility of an Atlas Shrugged movie being produced staring Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart. I've heard this rumor for years -- but I bothered to do some research, and was able to confirm it (also here). I looks like Brad Pitt is actually being considered for the role of John Galt. Like Judy, I've also had fun giving consideration to who I think would do well in the movie.

Over the past few years, I've been casting the movie as I read the book. Here's what I've come up with (this is subject to change as I give it some more consideration):
  1. Dagny Taggart -- Jennifer Connelly (younger) or Catherin Zeta-Jones (older).
  2. John Galt -- Orlando Bloom (younger)
  3. Hank Rearden -- Clive Owen (drop the accent)
  4. Fransisco D'Anconia -- Lou Diamond Phillips (they'd have to make him look South American)
  5. James Taggart -- James Woods
  6. Lillian Rearden -- Sigourney Weaver
  7. Eddie Willers -- Ewan McGreggor or John Cusak
  8. Ragnar Daneshold -- Heath Ledger
  9. Bertram Scudder --
  10. Orin Boyle -- Allan Rickman
  11. Wesley Mouch -- Geoffrey Rush
  12. Paul Larkin --
  13. Dr. Floyd Ferris -- Matthew Broderick
  14. Robert Stadler -- Kevin Spacey
  15. Hugh Axton --
  16. Wyatt Ellis -- Matthew McConnaghey
  17. Midas Mulligan -- Nicholas Cage
  18. Quentin Daniels -- Christian Bale
  19. (able train worker guy) -- Josh Duhamel
Others I would like to see in the movie but not sure exactly where they fit in: Rober DeNiro, Cate Blanchett, Parker Posey (as James Taggart's bride).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

2006 Annual Pumpkin Giveaway

On Saturday Grace, Matt and I went to the annual "Great Pumpkin Giveaway" which is held by a local real estate agent. This event began four or five years ago, and to my recollection, Gracie and I have been to every one (Erin took Grace last year because I was in Halifax).

I love the expression on Matt's face in the photo below. He was so focused on getting this pumpkin to the car.

Matt's Pumpkin

Here's Gracie selecting her pumpkin.

Lifting the Pumpkin

You can view my Flickr photo set to see all the photos.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Trouble By Two

Matt and Nathan sitting on the Ritchie's front step.

Matt and Nathan

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October 18, 2006

We had some excitement on Sunday when Matt went over the handle bars of his bike and knocked his two front teeth out of thier sockets.

Matt's Fat Lip

It began on Saturday when he went over the handle bars of his bike for the first time and got an inordinately large fat top lip. It looked really strange, and was quite painfull, but his teeth stayed were un-affected. The thought occured to me to take a photo of his lip, but at the time I couldn't muster the energy.

On Sunday morning after a good nights rest the swelling in his lip had decreased dramatically, and he was looking almost normal. After returning from chuch the kids got on thier bikes and begged me to come outside to watch them ride (as yet, even though they can ride thier bikes un-assisted, they for some reason are not able to ride un-supervised). I got up to go outside, and the moment I opened the garage door (literally) I saw Matt, who was riding his tricycle for some reason, turn sharply uphill towards the house on the driveway. The sharpness of his turn caused the trike to fall over an Matt fell teeth first onto the pavement.

He began crying instantly, and from the steps in the garage I could see blood pouring out of his mouth. I ran down to him and somehow knew that this was worse than the fall he took the day before. I scooped him off the ground and rushed him into the house to clean the blood out of his mouth and inspect the damage. I felt sick when I saw one of his front teeth pushed abnormally back toward the inside of his mouth about 4 millimeters, and down towards his bottom teeth about 3 millimeters -- it looked really painfull and (now that the episode is over) quite strange.

I held Matt tight in my arms and got him into the van. Erin woke up Hannah (who was napping innocently) and put the two girls in the van so we could drop them off at Lara's house and get Matt some medical attention. My first thougth was to go to the children's hospital, but thankfully Sean was able see Matt at his office.

In the car ride to Sean's office Matt started to calm down somewhat, but would randomly burst out in tears of pain. It made me feel sick to think of the strange, painfull discomfort that he must have felt when he relaxed his jaw and his mouth began to close on teeth that weren't set right.

Fortunately, when we got Sean's office and sat in his dentist chair Matt's teeth had already set back in thier sockets. Sean said that it's likely that Matt pushed them back into thier sockets by pressing his tongue on the back of his teeth. We're just glad we didn't have to anesthetize Matt and push the teeth back in manually.

When all is said and done, his teeth, now back in thier sockets, are noticably lower than they were before the accident. Before his accident, Matt's teeth had molded around his pacifier so that his bite formed an eliptical void in the center of his mouth. Today, his front teeth have droped down, and the elipse is no longer visible. Also, the pain in his mouth caused him to not want to use his pacifier. Strangely this accident has corrected his bite, and gotten him off his binki (pacifier).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Grace and Matt Learn to Ride a "Two Wheeler"

While we were vacationing in Utah, Matt and Grace both learned to ride a two wheel bicycle. Matt learned first -- probably by watching his older cousin Nathan. Matt got on Nathan's bike and I pushed him up and down the street not more than three times before I was letting go and Matt was pushing himself. In another 20 minutes, Matt was able to ride the whole lenght of the street on his own, and only needed my help to turn the bike around at the end of the street to start pedaling back.

Matt & Grace

See the flickr photoset (detail)

The next day, Gracie showed some interest in riding the two wheeler. I think she gained confidence by observing Matt. I asked her if she wanted to try, and she nodded yes -- half hesitant, half not wanting to be shown up by her younger brother. Gracie learned more quickly than Matt. She was pedaling unassisted on her second attempt, and was able to turn the bike around within a few minutes.

Since returning from Utah, all the kids want to do is ride bikes. It's driving me crazy. We spent about 3 hours outside riding bikes yesterday, and more than an hour this morning (in 10 degree Celsius whether).

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Grand Canyon 2006 (GC06)

On Monday October 2nd, 2006 I fulfilled a dream I've had for almost ten years -- I hiked into the Grand Canyon.


Two years ago, on the Ribbon Creek trail with Sean, Mike Gedlaman, Randy Fibke and Derek Kearl, I suggested that we do our hike the following year in the Grand Canyon. My suggestion didn't get much support, but I sort of resolved in my mind that I was serious about going, and that I would find a way to make it happen.

Last year, on the same Ribbon Creek hike, I suggested it again (with the same group of hikers) and Sean and Mike agreed to go. I started to do the research, and learned that a backcountry permit was required to spend the night in the Canyon, and that backcountry permits could be obtained on a first come first serve basis not earlier than four months before the desired start date. As the four month mark got nearer, the four or five people that had shown interest began to drop out one by one. Sean booked a trip to Hawaii, Mike spent his vacation allotment in other ways and didn’t have enough vacation time to make the trip. Kevin was totally committed in the beginning, but through some miscommunication between he and I, he ended up deciding against it (he thought I had decided not to go, and then he made other plans). Jeff Shipley and JD Taylor also couldn’t come – Jeff got a new job, and JD ended up have to make two trips to Utah in 30 days.

In mid September I still had not obtained a backcountry permit, but was resolved as ever that I was going to make it to the Grand Canyon. Erin made me promise that I wouldn’t go alone, and I’m glad it didn’t come to that because I may still have gone – even on my own. This trip had become a bit of a promise to myself that I had to keep.

In mid September I called David Waite (a missionary companion of mine who grew up in Bunkerville Nevada, and who now resides in Salt Lake) to ask if he was interested. I regret not calling David earlier – I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me earlier in the trip planning stage. Had I called him in March, I likely could have obtained an overnight permit in time and would have had an overnight stay at Phantom Ranch. Regardless, David agreed to come but required some careful planning as only 30 days earlier his parent’s home in Bunkerville, the home he grew up in, was burned in an electrical fire.

On Thursday September 29th Erin, the kids, and I got in the car and started the 15 hour trip to Salt Lake City where I would attend the LDS General Conference on Saturday and Sunday, then leave my family in Salt Lake with Erin’s sister Amy and continue on to Knabb, Utah (40 miles North of the Grand Canyon) with David Waite to spend the night on Sunday evening before entering the Grand Canyon. On Sunday morning while sitting the LDS Conference Center waiting for the conference to begin, I struck up a conversation with a fellow seated next to me who coincidentally had been to the Grand Canyon. He gave me some advice, and ended by saying that if we could at all spare the time, we should get to Zion National Park. He told me he enjoyed Zion’s more that he enjoyed the Grand Canyon. This was very intriguing to me, and I decided that on our way home from Bunkerville, I would suggest to David that we drive through Zion National Park. My seatmate at conference proved to be right about which Canyon was more amazing.

Matthew had a major breakdown when I left on Sunday evening, and when I got into the car I had private teary moment. It was so hard to leave Matthew in that condition. I tried not to let David see me like that, but David knew, and kindly offered to cancel to trip. As hard as it was to leave – I knew Matt would be over his fit only a few minutes after I left, and I couldn’t break my promise to make it to the Grand Canyon. Honestly, I wanted to cancel the trip and stay with Matt.

We arrived in Knabb late Sunday evening. David and I visited for the entire 4.5 hour trip. It felt like about 45 minutes. It just flew by.

Monday morning we woke up at 6:30 AM and were on the road by 7:00 AM. We arrived at the North Rim entrance to the Grand Canyon at roughly 8:30 AM local time, and we were hiking the roaring springs trail by 9:30 AM. We visited with the park ranger at the entrance to the park for about 20 minutes and explained that we only had the 1 day in the park and had to be to St. George Utah by dark. She recommended the Roaring Springs trail, and suggested we stop at Supai Tunnel, then hike back out and drive to Imperial Point and head south and stop at each of the lookouts. She further recommended that we do the 4 mile hike out to Cape Final, and she told us that this was the most spectacular view in the Canyon, North or South Rim.

Park Ranger

We took the rangers advice and started hiked Roaring Springs and Cape Final and stopped at 3 overlooks in between.

Roaring Springs Trailhead

We started out down the roaring springs trail, and after about 20 minutes of downward hiking, we came to Coconino Lookout – our first real view of the Canyon. I did it. I made it to the Canyon after 10 years of thinking about it. It was an amazing feeling to actually be there. The vista was amazing, but the sense of accomplishment was far more satisfying. I could have turned around at that point and gone home a happy man.

My First View of the Canyon

The Canyon is amazing. I can’t describe how vast and majestic it really is. The best views of the Canyon were actually not from down inside the Canyon – but rather from the several lookout points (Imperial Point, Angels Lookout, Cape Final and Cape Royal). I got lots of great photos, although there was a fire at the South Rim which sent smoke and haze through the whole Canyon -- unfortunate, but not devastating.

Imperial Point

After spending the day in the Grand Canyon National Park we packed up and drove to Bunkerville, Nevada just outside of Mesquite (a popular golf and gambling destination) where I met David’s family for the first time after having heard stories about them since 1994, 12 years ago.

David’s family is remarkable! We stayed in his brother Stephen’s home, as his parents home is uninhabitable as a result of the fire. I was greeted very warmly by everyone, and David’s mother called me “Scotty” the whole night (I loved it!). We had pizza for dinner and a lovely family home evening after dinner. Stephen and Emily Waite have a beautiful home inside and out. Emily is clearly a very talented home decorator and mother. I also met David’s sister Krechele again (I had met her at BYU almost 10 years ago, right after my mission), and Krechele’s husband Craig, and children Sarah and Matthew. Krechele’s Matthew reminded my own Matthew.

Krechele, David and Matthew Watie

The next morning we arose at 6:30, had breakfast, and then David gave me the penny tour of Bunkerville. Which, as I had suspected, didn’t take long. I hugged Mama Waite and we were off to Zion National Park.

Main Street Bunkerville

In a word, Zion National Park is AMAZING. Truthfully, it proved to be far more spectacular than the Grand Canyon, and I am so glad we decided to spend some time there. We arrived and went to the visitor center and spoke with a park rangers about what hike we could do in just a few hours. He recommended Angels Landing, and told us that it fit our time constraints, but the last half mile was difficult and not for the faint of heart. The trail description in the trail guide says this about Angels Landing,
Strenuous. Long drop-offs and narrow trail. Not for anyone fearful of heights. Ends at summit high above Zion Canyon. Last 0.5 miles follows steep, narrow ridge; chains have been added.
We boarded the shuttle and took off for Angels Landing.

Angels Landing

We kept pretty a pretty fast pace for the first mile or so, hiking quickly and passing dozens of other hikers. We hiked quickly because I was trying to be back in Salt Lake at 8:00 PM and it was a four hour drive from Zion to Salt Lake. It also been my experience that I’m no more or less tired after the mid-point of the hike regardless of the speed of the hike. This may seem illogical, but I think David would agree.

After slowing our pace and taking a brief rest, I spotted the mountain peak and became a bit nervous and a bit excited about arriving there. The trail is beautifully maintained, and paved for most of its five miles. I kept commenting to David that I had never hiked such a well manicured trail of this difficulty. There were decorative retaining walls, and paved trails, and friendly signposts etc… The trail was full of switchbacks, that wound back and forth along the perimeter of the mountain, frequently taking us out to the edge of the Canyon for some spectacular views. The weather was excellent, about 30 degrees Celsius.

Switchbacks on Grotto Trail

As we approached Scouts Landing we passed a group coming down the trail who heard us make a humorous complaint about the increasing pitch of the trail. One of the men in the group, in his late twenties said something about how it only gets more difficult the further up you get. I commented back that we love difficulty, and that’s what keeps us hiking. He sarcastically said something like, “we’ll if you’re that comfortable with difficulty, you’re going to love it up there – you’ll be so at ease you’ll take a nap.” Sensing that it was going to get difficult, I stopped and had David promise me he wouldn’t let me back out if it got steep, or if my fear of heights started taking over. I said, “David… we’re going to get close to the top and I’m going to start getting afraid of heights. Don’t let me chicken out – get me to the top and I’ll get you to the top.” We promised each other then we continued on.

Not five minutes after our empty promise to each other we came to Scouts Landing and could see the last half mile to the summit. My heart sank. Instantly my fear of heights took over and I began to doubt that I’d make it to the top. I could see why the trail guide said that this hike is, “not for anyone fearful of heights”. From Scouts Landing the trail narrows to less than five feet wide in most places, and becomes very narrow with 1488 foot sheer drops on either side.

Scout Landing

There are chains punched into the horizontal parts of the trail that continue from Scouts Landing to the top at Angels Landing. I could see people who looked like little sheep moving slowly along the chains, bending over and crouching down to hold on. I felt sick. David moved over to the side of the rock to look over the edge. I felt sick. David asked for the camera to take a couple of photos of what he could see off the side. I felt sick.

We agreed to have some lunch to and wait to see if I could acclimatize to the height. I couldn’t. We ended up spending about 30 minutes at Scouts Landing and in the end I didn’t have it in me to make it to the top. I admit I was a bit frustrated when I spotted a woman who appeared to be roughly 70 years old coming off the chains after having successfully been to the top. My frustration was compounded when I saw a nine year old boy bounding down not even holding the chains. I did manage to crawl over to the edge of Scouts Landing and peek over the edge for about five seconds. I quickly returned to the middle of the rock, and re-centered.

Courage...

The hike down was very enjoyable. We stopped frequently for a picture and I just couldn’t get over how amazing the Canyon was. I decided that I really wanted to come back to Zions and spend more time hiking the Canyons, and maybe attempt an Angels Landing summit again. David and I spoke about making this a yearly trip and spend some time at Bryce Canyon next time.

Zions Canyon

We got in the car and started the trip back to Salt Lake (only after a stopover in St. George for something to eat at Café Rio). We arrived in Salt Lake at about 8:30, pretty close to our forecasted time. Matt came bounding out of the house and hugged me for about three minutes. I hugged him back.

So I made it to the Grand Canyon – I did it, and I was pleasantly surprised by Zion Canyon National Park. I can scratch the GC off my life’s list of things to do. Next up, Florence.

Scott at Zions Canyon

David and Scott at Scouts Landing

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hannah at the Office Window


Hannah came to the window of my home office while I was working the other day. She was so cute, I just had to stop for a few photos.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Welcome JD Taylor to the World of Blogging

I hung out with JD today for a bit, and he showed me his new blog taylormadetimes.blogspot.com.

I knew it was only a matter of time.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I am all alone and loving it!

Well we have started school and preschool. Gracie is in grade 1 and matt started his first day of preschool today. I have really enjoyed the last hour and a half because Hannah is sleeping so I have been all alone to do what I want. Gracie is finally getting used to school. I took Hannah in to wake her up this morning and I have to say it was our happiest morning yet. Gracie loves her little sister and waking up to her in the morning is much better than waking up to me. I think Hannah will wake her up everyday.

I am enjoying the new schedule except for the very hectic time of getting gracie at lunch with all three kids and taking her back with all three kids and picking her up after school with all three kids. Sounds fun ey! All kidding aside I do like the schedule...the kids are in bed before nine and that's good because all the shows are starting!!! Speaking of shows I watched the premiere of dancing with the Stars on tuesday and wednesday. I was surprised how light on his feet Emmet Smith is wow!

Scott's GC06 trip is officially on!! That is Grand Canyon 2006 for those who don't know. We are heading to Utah in two weeks and going to conference then Scott and his mission friend David Waite are travelling to the Grand Canyon for a few days while I stay with Amy and Brad. We are all excited to go it should be a great time. I hope the kids are good for me though!! Of course I will eat Cafe Rio for all who want me to! I have to try cold stone this time too because I have never been and everyone says it is awesome!!

It's time to get ready to go get matt from school and sadly the alone time is over until 9:00!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Greg Melchin Annual BBQ

We attended Greg's annual BBQ on Saturday (see the flickr photo set here)-- held next to the Bow River at the Shriner's park. Basically the same thing as years past, but the attendance seems to grow each year. Several of the PC leadership candidates attended and spoke to the group.

Melchin BBQ


Certainly the highlight for our family was the face painting. Grace and Matt had thier faces paited by a very talented face painter.

Painted Faces

The Peacegiver

I recently re-read portions of "The Peacegiver" and was struck again by the depth of this statement,
"Being mistreated is the most important condition of mortality, for eternity depends on how we view those who mistreat us.”
Remarkable!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Appreciate What You Have

What if the popculation of the earth was reduced to 100 people (keeping the same demographics, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, culture etc...)? This brief slideshow attempts to answer this questions, and presents an interesting perspective along the way. Though I'm not big on the dramatic effect slideshows like this try to create, the information is interesting, and the final message, "appreciate what you have" is good.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tuscany Ward Corn Bust and Chili Cook-off

We had a nice time at the 1st Annual Tuscany Ward Corn Bust and Chili Cook-off today. It was an excellent day, and a very well attended event. There were lots of games for the kids, and of course who doesn't love corn on the cobb.



There was also a chili "cook-off" -- I'd guess about 20 people prepared entries, including Erin and I (that is, my contribution was to sign us up, Erin's contribution was to make the chili).



Richard Young performed a magic show, which was very well recieved by all the kids. My hat goes off to anyone who can hold the attention of 75 kids aged 2-18 for 40 minutes. The guy is simply amazing.



After the party, we came home and decided to meet the my folks and Erin's folks for some Dairy Queen. Matt brought his "purse" full of change and bougth pony rides on the mechanical pony for all the kids.

Big day tomorrow -- Gracie's first day of grade 1.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

August 26, 2006

What a day. It started off like any other Saturday... Matt up at 7:15 AM, Hannah and Gracie not far behind. I had to go into work for a couple of hours to get a project done before Monday and so after watching some Saturday morning cartoons and having breakfast with the kids -- then I went off to work.

Erin had a Wal-Mart photo session scheuled for the kids at 12:00 which she went to alone -- hard (with a capital "H"). Gracie was quite uncooperative and they spent the first 20 minutes trying to get the kids to stop crying and look at the camera. When they finally calmed down and posed -- the camera broke, and wouldn't take any photos. Erin went home without getting a single photo.

About the time that Erin was battling the kid's, Steve Miller called and invited us out to ride in his carriage. He's been training two of his horses to drive a carriage, and he had them out for a 15 km ride. Erin's cell phone is broken, so I drove to Wal-Mart to find her and try to go out to Cochrane. I couldn't find her car in the parking lot, so I drove home and sure enough she was just pulling in. When I rolled down my window I met with a very frustrated mother. Nonetheless I convinced her to come along, and we all ended up having a really great time on a Saturday afternoon carriage ride.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hummer Ride

Dr. Miller came into the office this afternoon and told me to drop whatever I was doing, and come for a ride... in a Hummer H3. Fortunately I always have my camera with me. See the photos.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

August 22, 2006

It rained for most of the afternoon, so Erin and the kids were quite bored when I got home from work. We ate dinner quickly and then decided to walk over to visit the Shipley's (Jeff got a new motorcycle). Of course I took some photos...


Hannah

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sunday Quote of the Day!

Matt says
Mom I'm using my manners because Jesus doesn't want us to throw bread on the floor

Sunday, August 20, 2006

August 20, 2006

Had a nice day today.  Morning meetings went a big long, so I ended up attending the Rockyview ward.  After church I took the kids for a long walk in the ravine (even Hannah came along in the snugli).  All three of the kids haven't slept very well these last few nights, so Erin didn't come on the walk, instead she had a nap.

We went for the longest ravine hike yet!  Matt was excited to keep walking south toward the river, so we pressed on for about 10 mintues further south than we normally do.  I regret not briging my cameral because the ravine was so green, but I just couldn't manage it with Hannah strapped to my chest.

Later we went over to Rick and Cathy's place for a delicioius dinner (steak and Tabler corn on the cobb).  We had one of my favorite deserts -- vaniall ice cream and strawberies.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Melchin Family Photos (March 2006)

In March, all the Melchins from the Rick and Cathy clan gathered in Calgary. Everyone came to Calgary to be with Rick as he was released after having served 18 years in the Calgary Alberta West Stake Presidency. Here's the Flickr photo set...

Until next time!

Well, Amy and the kids (including Melinda to help her drive home) left for utah today. Lara and Sean also left for Kalispell with their kids. It has been almost two weeks of fun and playing. We have also tried a few new things like the wave pool which was very fun except for walking around a wet floor that isn't your own with bare feet. YUCK!! Next time the water shoes will be on!! Oh and Sarah and Erik taught Hannah to crawl. She still is slow but definitely moving. It is very exciting and a little sad. She is just growing too fast. I keep telling her she is not allowed to crawl and Grace is pretty confused by that I have to explain that I just want her to stay small longer. Unfortunately the children have all had some wierd bug with a fever and headache and a few of them have produced little spots. Don't worry it isn't chicken pox only some wierd fever related rash. Grace isn't feeling well tonight and Scott is off with Matt picking a few things up for her.

The summer seems to have gone by too quickly. I have been thinking about all the things we need to get ready for school and a tight schedule again. I have purchased a few new things for gracie that she is so cute in and of course she got a new barbie backpack with a waterbottle. She especially likes the waterbottle. Matt of course has given me a few new quotes none of which I can remember right now. He is really into keys again and trying to open all the locks he sees. I know I talked about doing my girls afternoon out but the summer seems to have been so busy that it has never happened. The only thingI have done was with Melinda and my mom. One tuesday night when Scott didn't have meetings we went to The Devil Wears Prada which I really liked. The summer has also been focused on watching every minute of So You Think You Can Dance. Now that it's over and Benji won rightly so I am looking forward to watching Dancing with the Stars. I love these dancing shows. For anyone who doesn't know I love to dance and I danced all through college taking various classes. I am determined to get Scott to take a class or two with me. It would be so fun! I know Scott is up for it!! Lately when I ask him for something he says "Anything for you my sweet" He's cute!!

Hannah is fussing gotta go.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Can!

I saw this video at work today, and was really touched. I can't belive how hard a thing this man undertook for his son -- it makes me feel pretty small. I'm giving you fair warning... you may want to get up and get some tissue paper now.

Tom (my boss) was telling me that the son highlighted in the video told his father that he didn't feel pain when they were competing.

UPDATE: I bothered to do a little bit of investigation on this, and as it turns out the son Rick Hoyt, said he doesn't feel "handicapped" when they compete. Here's the full story of Dick and Rick Hoyt.

Speedtest.net


This is the nicest Internet download/upload speed test yet! The image above is the test I ran from my computer at work. Click on the image to do your own Internet speed test.

August 15, 2005

I golfed in a corporate golf tournament yesterday -- though I went in feeling like I didn't want to be there, I ended up having fun. I'm starting to make more consistent contact with the ball, and that makes the game a whole lot more fun. The biggest difference has been that I've started to use the Taylor Made driver Networc gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. It treats me very well (VERY WELL). Somehow I'm able to drive long and straight with that thing, and that makes it a whole new game.



The tournament organizers invited the 2006 World Long Drive Champion (Gerry James) to sit at one of the holes and tee-off for us. When my foursome arrived at the hole, Gerry gave a nice long 400 yard drive, and put us just a hundred yards from the pin -- right down the middle of the fairway. When it was my turn, I pulled out the Taylor Made, and knocked a respectable 300 yard drive, also down the middle of the fairway. After my stroke, Gerry Says "Scott, you're the man". How sweet is that!

I could like this golf stuff -- if it didn't take 4-5 hours out of my day.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The First Step in Recovery is Admiting You Have A Problem

Ok, I have a problem. I'm addicted to Flickr. I can't stop uploading photos.


We went to Peters' Drive-in tonight (slideshow). It was a bit chilly for this time of year, but we ate outside on the picnic tables anyway. The kids threw french fries (pardonez mois... "freedom fries") at the seagulls, as many generations have done before. Pete still makes a mean burger and milkshake.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Weekend At Bernie's


Several weeks ago, my boss invited us out to his tree farm for a day of fishing and a BBQ. We had lots of fun. The kids especially liked casting off the doc, and marveld at the fish that were caught.

I caught a fish, which we brought home and ate that night.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Erin


Hannahs Baby Photos

I know this is now almost a year old, but I thought I would post Hannah's newborn photos.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Grassi Lakes Hike 2006

The Wolff's and the Freibergs hiked Grassi Lakes, near Canmore Alberta today (Heritage Day 2006). The hike was perfect for our little group. I ended up carying Matt most of the way up, but he walked the whole way down. Gracie is quite comfortable being on her own -- it's amazing what a couple of years of maturity will do. Erin carried Hannah in the Snugli, and the two of them fared very well.

It took less than an hour to get to the top (including a couple of stops along the way). The lakes at the top were amazing. The colour and clarity of the lake water was remarkable.

While Erin, Matt and I we're stationed at the top -- some climbers above us kicked some rocks down, and about 15-20 baseball sized stones came hurling through the air all around us. Erin was hit by one in the shoulder and it was very painfull. Had the rock fallen a couple of inches lower, it would have hit Hannah in the head. Erin quickly ran out of the way, and I grabbed Matt and got out of the way. I can honestly say this was the most dangerous "outdoor" experience I've ever had.

That aside, the trip was really great. The weather was excellent (not too hot), and the kids had lots of fun (Livy and Matt will do much better next year).

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lara and Erik in Hawaii

We were over at the Freiberg's place tonight, and I got carried away with Lara and Flickr... It suffices to say that Lara is now a Flickr member (lara.freiberg). This entry was posted directly from my Flickr account (having added Lara as one of my contacts). For the more technically inclined, I edited and customized the template to post according to my own preferences.

Matt Eating Corn on the Cobb


Matt Eating Corn on the Cobb
Originally uploaded by scott.wolff.
We had Taber corn on the cobb last night, and discovered that they both love it -- Grace especially. Gracie had three cobs, and still left the table un-fufilled. Grandma and Grandpa Wolff are coming over for dinner this evening, and we're having corn on the cobb again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Matt at Windermere, or "Flickr Rediscovered"

Matt at Windermere

More than a year ago, I signed up for a Flickr account, but I didn't really use it, because I was bent on writting my own blogging application. Yesterday I re-discovered Flickr and fell in love. Today I registered for a "pro" account.

For the uninitiated Flickr is a free online photo sharing application (the pro account costs 25 USD/year). While Blogger does allow you to upload photos directly to a blog post, I find Flickr easier to use, and a far better way of organizing photos to be shared online. (For organizing photos on the desktop -- Google's Picasa is the clear favorite.)

There are several ways of posting Flickr photos on your blog -- including (for those familiar with Picasa) the "Blog This" button -- which supports simple, one click photo posting right to your blog.

Flickr was one of the first application to really get behind tagging (which is now the web's trendiest method for categorizing anything), and they've got the photo collection thing licked -- they call it photos sets. Check out my photos set of Matt's 3rd birthday. As a software developer I'm amazed at how cool Flickr's organizing tools are -- brilliant. I'm also really impressed with the slideshow feature. A sweet tool, very well implemented.

Flickr also has some great tools for managing privacy and copyright. I highly recommed you check it out (free registration required). If you do sign up, drop send me a note and I'll add you to my contact list.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Flickr

I was showing my dad the Flickr photos sharing service tonight, and I ended up posting some photos.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

For the last several months I've been reading to Gracie before bed. The text is the Chronicles of Narnia. We started with "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" mostly because I wated to read it to her before the movie was relased on video. After reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, we began from the begining of the series and have been reading straight through. On Sunday evening we finished the fifth book in the series, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader".

The series is openly a metaphore for Christianity. As I understand it, C.S. Lewis wrote the novels as a way to teach children the Gospel through story. I have been so impresed by C.S. Lewis' gospel insight, and remarkable writing, that from time-to-time after reading to Grace I've re-read passages to Erin. For instance, here are the last few paragraphs from the final chapter of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

"Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?"

"I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a great river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder."

When Lucy asks if Aslan is in her world (England), Aslan states that he is,

"But there I have another name, You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by know me here for a little, you may know me better there."
There are dozens of deep gospel metaphores, most deeper than what I've quoted above (I only quote this one because we read it just the other night). I've become a great admirer of C.S. Lewis. His writting is excellent, and his treatment of Christianity is some of the best non-scripture teaching I've ever read.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

For the last several months I've been reading to Gracie before bed. The text is the Chronicles of Narnia. We started with "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" mostly because I wated to read it to her before the movie was relased on video. After reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, we began from the begining of the series and have been reading straight through. On Sunday evening we finished the fifth book in the series, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader".

The series is openly a metaphore for Christianity. As I understand it, C.S. Lewis wrote the novels as a way to teach children the Gospel through story. I have been so impresed by C.S. Lewis' gospel insight, and remarkable writing, that from time-to-time after reading to Grace I've re-read passages to Erin. For instance, here are the last few paragraphs from the final chapter of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

"Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?"

"I shall be telling you all the time," said Aslan. "But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a great river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder."

When Lucy asks if Aslan is in her world (England), Aslan states that he is,

"But there I have another name, You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by know me here for a little, you may know me better there."
There are dozens of deep gospel metaphores, most deeper than what I've quoted above (I only quote this one because we read it just the other night). I've become a great admirer of C.S. Lewis. His writting is excellent, and his treatment of Christianity is some of the best non-scripture teaching I've ever read.

Friday, July 14, 2006

July 14, 2006

It's the Calgary Stampede this week. I haven't had as much desire to go to the grounds this year, as I have in years past. Not sure why. Last couple of years Erin and I have gone down to "kids day", and seen one of the kids shows, and the superdogs. But this year nothing.

The clear highlight of the stampede was going to see Wide Mouth Mason (one of my favorite bands). They're not at all a country band, so they were definately out of place performing during Stampede -- perhaps thats why there were less than 50 people actively participating in the concert. Kevin and I watched the whole concert from less than ten feet away from the band, and several times the lead singer caught me singing his songs at the top of my lungs like a lame teenage groupie.

The best part was meeting the band after the show. There were so few people, that we just walked around the side of the stage, and greeted them. I really regret not bringing my camera. The concert was excellent, despite the poor turnout -- they played thier hearts out.

In my next life, I'm coming back as a rock star.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Matthew is 3 today!

Well, Matt is three today. I can't believe it. It is a miracle we have all survived so far. We love him and he sure has a lot of spirit in him.

The big boys (Sean and Scott) are at the youth camp this weekend so Lara and I got a babysitter yesturday and took mom out to the mall in her wheelchair. We went to Moxi's for lunch and then did some shopping. We had a great time and it was nice to be away from the kiddies. We of course brought the babies but they never cause too much trouble. We had a great time and it was nice to be able to get mom out!

The kids and I spent the rest of the evening at Lara's. We got pizza for dinner ( it was a very indulgent day) and the kids continued to play. They were all outside which was nice. Before we left the kids started playing with icecubes and from this comes the quote of the week.
Matt, no more icecubes in your underwear!
Today we are getting ready for tomorrow. We are having Elise and Kevin over for dinner and then Matt's birthday party at 7:00. The family is coming and it should be fun. We are having a spiderman theme.

Hannah is fussing in her highchair time to go.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Water Water Everywhere

Gracie participated in her kindergarten year end program entitled, "Water Water Everywhere". She was quite nervouse about performing, even to the point where she, crying, told us she didn't want to do it. Erin and I gently insisted, and she did great. My dad took some photos of the concert.

The class spent the year leaning about water, and Gracie would frequently come home saying new words like, "evaporation" or "conservation" or "water cycle". I've got to hand it to her two teachers, Mrs. Jantzen and Ms. Jocelyn -- they were excellent.

Gracie's done kindergarten, and in September off to the new Tuscany School for grade one.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Quote of the Day

We rented mom a wheelchair so she could go out and Matt is in love with it!

Lara shouts from mom's room
Matt get the wheelchair off the trampoline


Sunday, June 25, 2006

I'm Tired!!!

I feel like Lara and Amy! I haven't slept through the night for about a week now and it's catching up to me. I haven't stopped to rest though. This week was busy. Gracie had her first all day field trip to Camp Kiwanis this week and she did awesome. She took her lunch and I completely over packed it. She had plenty of food. I didn't want her to get hungry. Matt also went to his first birthday party. There were about 7 little boys there and it was quite funny. They didn't really play together and they couldn't focus on things very long. Opening presents was interesting because they didn't get the concept of giving their gift away to someone. Anyway it was funny.

On friday I picked up mom a wheel chair so she could go to a movie. I hope she went because I haven't talked to her since. Matt was so in love with this chair he didn't want to leave when we dropped it off to mom. Needless to say he spent a lot of time crying on friday. We had our karaoke night at lara and sean's. It was reallly fun. Lara and I sang a duet to madonna's "material girl" It was a knock out duet and who ever sang the worst gets shut down. Well we sound too much alike because we got the exact same score the whole song. It was really funny. Thanks to all who came and sang with us it was great!

Yesturday (saturday) we spent the day out at Scott's bosses land near sundre. He's got a bunch of land and a man made pond that is quite big and 14 feet deep filled with rainbow trout. He also grows blue spruce trees there. We spent about 2 hours at the pond and scott caught two fish accidentally. He had thrown his line out and couldn't reel it in because it was tangled and the fish bit. We let the first one go but the second was too hooked to we brought it home and cooked it for dinner. The kids were slightly horrified but ended up trying it and liking it. Matt fell off the dock into the 14 foot deep pond and luckily Scott was right there to catch him but he did go in to the top of his head. He cried and within minutes said he had to pee. Cold water I guess!!! Is anyone shocked that he was the only kid to fall in???!!!

We then headed up to the little cabin area for some bbq'd hot dogs and other yummy treats. We spent another couple hours there eating and visiting. The kids played around us and I must say Matt is growing up. He can now play without us having to follow him where ever he goes. It is nice for all. We did have one accident though. Grace fell off the treehouse ladder. She landed on her back and then did a little back sommersault. She got a pretty good scrape on the underside of her right arm and a good winding but was not seriously hurt. It was scary for her!

We were glad to be home after a fun day and glad when all the kids crashed after a good bath and a little rainbow trout. I have to say Scott and I crashed too.

We made it through another sacrament meeting today. Half of which I was alone for because Scott was late getting to our ward from his meetings. I must say that the two hours the kids are in classes is really nice. It's sort of like free babysitting!! Tonight we are off to Kevin and Elise's for dinner. We haven't seen them in two weeks. That is too long.

Bye for now!

P.S. Hey Libby we'll go to Calaway Park anytime!!! And Girls are you getting ready for your afternoon off? I thing we'll start next tuesday July 4th. Let me know if you are in.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006

This is my test post… I had a nice day today …..

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

June 18, 2006 (Father's Day)

On Sunday, while over at mom and dad's place for dinner, we had one of those freak summer rainstorms where the sky is blue, the sun is out, and it's raining cats and dogs. We couldn't resist going out and playing in the rain. Here's some photos (click to enlarge).


The kids were quick to get wet, but Kevin lead the way for the adults. He eventually laid right down in the gutter, and bathed in the rain water. My dad has some photos of that.

It's quite remarkable to experience a rainstorm like this. The sun was out -- the sky was blue, there was a warm wind blowing. We had a similar storm right when I got home from my mission.



This photo doesn't really do justice to just how much it was raining. Trust me -- it was alot.