Thursday, September 25, 2014

Carter's Picture

Carter drew a picture of mom today. "It's a picture of me mopping!" he proudly told her. It's sweet, really. It's also kind of funny because he certainly does like to mop, but that is not always a help. Carter and his brothers like to spray water around and swat the broom, dust pan, and mop around at each other.  They call this cleaning, bless their hearts! Still, Carter does like to help when he can. He is a terrific kid.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Girls Temple Night

Holly went to the temple today with her friend Jessica. As always, it was a wonderful experience. Holly was a little worried she wouldn't make it because I had to stay after school and coach the chess club. Over forty kids come to the club. Usually, someone is bound to not have a ride home, which means I have to stay late until I can call a parent to pick up their child.  Fortunately, no such event occurred today! Heavenly Father must have been anxious for Holly to be able to go!

Holly zipped off as soon as I pulled into the driveway, and I stayed home and kept it real with the boys this evening and ended up watching the movie Europa on Netflix, which I really liked. Anyway, it's interesting that most of the time Holly and I go to the Temple it's separate with different friends. That way one of us can watch the kids and the other can go. When the boys are older, I look forward to being able to go with Holly more often as a couple. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Flowers at the Fort

Holly took the boys to see a Civil War reenactment their uncles were participating in at Fort Ontario. Carter always finds flowers to pick for Holly, even during times of war!

Good-bye Old Home

So my parents have decided to sell their home in Fairport, NY. This is the home I lived in from age 12 through 19 when I left for the Philippines.  I then lived there again for ages 21 and 22 when I came home.  Then I struck out on my own into the wide, wide world. Here are the pictures.

This was our living room.

This was our dinning room, but at various times it served as a family room and even bedroom!

The family room.

The Master Bedroom. My brothers and I shared this room for a couple of years.

The bedroom I shared with my brothers when we first moved in.

Another bedroom I later shared with my brothers.

The last bedroom I had in this home while I attended college. I didn't even have to share it.

The basement. We used it for everything.

I don't know how much my sons will remember this place, but I certainly will!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Old Yogi Sweatshirt

We came home from camping at Jellystone today. It was a rainy morning, and we made it out fast. We came home, unpacked everything, and then went out for Chinese food. Later in the afternoon, Holly was sorting out clothes for Beckett, and she found this old Jellystone sweatshirt Parker wore long ago. She put it on Beckett and took this photo.  Our boys are growing up so fast!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Anderson was getting crabby while camping, so I took him into the tent to take a nap. I planned to just lay there until he fell asleep and then sneak out. Turns out I was a bit tired too. We took a nap together and Holly took a picture through the tent mesh while we slept. I was on an air mattress, but Anderson seems to have found it more comfortable to sleep between two air mattresses!

Anderson woke up feeling much better, and so did I! While we slept, Uncle Jon took Parker and Carter fishing in the creek. They made out all right.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Week with no Mommy

Holly made it to girl's camp.  I will be keeping it real with the boys for the next week without her supervision. Hopefully all will be well. We'll miss you Mommy!

Holly arrives at camp!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Carter Goes Fishing

Carter continued his week at Grandma's by going on a fishing trip with Uncle Jon.  According to Grandma, he really enjoyed it. The pictures seem to side with that retelling of the events as well.

Proud uncle and nephew

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Swimming and a Movie

Carter is busy having his week at Grandma's!  Today he got to go swimming, and Grandma sent us a picture!


While Carter was catching some rays in the water (with lots of sunscreen, of course) I took Parker to the local theater to see the movie Planes: Fire and Rescue.  We got a big tub of popcorn and tall sodas, myself Diet Pepsi and Parker "Caffeine-Free Root Beer" as he accurately called it.  It was especially nice because we got to try the new reclining seats the theater recently installed that Holly and Carter raved about earlier this month.

Soared into a 2:05 showing of animated action
The movie was great, and we refilled our popcorn and soda on the way out to share with Mom and Anderson when we got back.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Great Great Great Great Grandpa Sanders

I found this picture of my great great great great Grandfather doing family history today.  I love his beard and shy smile; there are not many pictures of "old folk" with smiles like that!  He was an early Mormon pioneer and knew Joseph Smith personally.  His son, my great great great Grandfather, was born in Far West Missouri on Christmas after the family was thrust from their home by an anti-Mormon mob.

Great great great great Grandfather Moses Martin Sanders
Born 1803 

I need to get more involved in my family history and become more familiar with stories such as Grandpa Sanders'.  Tonight, after I did an 8 mile training run for the Green Lakes 50K, we got Coldstone's ice cream as a family for one of Parker's treats while Carter is away at Grandma's.

I wish old Grandpa Sanders could have joined us, but I trust he was there in spirit.   After all, he does seem to have Parker's face and smile!

And the faces of these guys too!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Carter Goes Shopping

So I blew it.  I will be the first to admit it.  I was supposed to pack Carter's bag for his big week at Grandma's, and I did a halfway job.  I tossed a whole bunch of clothes into Carter's bag with little rhyme or reason and simply hoped for the best.  Turns out Carter wasn't a big fan of the clothes I selected. (Of course, in fairness to me, anyone who has dressed Carter knows he is very picky about his clothing.  It has to be just right.)

New Clothes
Anyway, to rectify dad's poor packing, Grandma took Carter to the store and got him so new clothes that met his specifications: namely, soft pants and shirts that don't itch.  You can see one of this new outfits above.  Sorry, Carter!  Dad will do better next time.  But look at it this way, at least you got some new clothes out of dad's goof!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Holly Goes Downtown to See "The Stones."

Holly was in pain this afternoon and went the to ER with a friend to see what was wrong.  Turns out she had a kidney stone which she passed while waiting for test results.  Ironically, she was wearing a "Hold My Stones" graphic T-shirt.  Holly thought a picture of both the shirt and the stone would be appropriate.  She is one tough gal.

What are the sartorial odds?

Dad is in!

Last year I ran the Green Lakes Endurance Runs 50K.  I just signed up for it again this year!  Here is hoping to another safe and productive race, as well as bagging another marathon (my 8th) towards my goal of 100 by the time I hit retirement.

Someday, when my four sons are older, I hope to run one of these races with all of them!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Carter Goes to the Movies

Since Parker is having his week at Grandma's, Holly took Carter to the local movie theater to see How to Train Your Dragon 2.  They were super excited because our movie theater just upgraded their seats to the electric reclining ones.

Relaxing in good cinematic style

It was funny because this was only Carter's second time in a movie theater.  His first time was going to see the Lego Movie back in February.  Carter was surprised this time to discover he was going to watch a different movie.  Apparently he thought movie theaters only showed The Lego Movie!

Not The Lego Movie, but it was still good enough for Carter. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Camping Critters for Consumption

Grandma sent us this picture of Parker as his big week continues to unfold. He went camping and visited the camp store.  Grandma told him he could pick out anything for a snack.  Did he get an Snickers bar?  Nope. A tasty Cookie-wich?  Negative.  How above a colorful box of Nerds candy? Notta.  Parker picked out a box of crickets!  Yup, they had Bacon and Cheese flavored crickets at the store.  Real crickets!  No joke.  No word yet if he has eaten them...

Tasty Insects in a Box!

Update!  After coming home with crickets in tow, Parker did indeed eat a cricket!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Parker Gets Crafty

Parker is having his week at Grandma's and went to Vacation Bible School at Grandma's church. Parker went last year and had a wonderful time.  He brought a CD home from last year's event that we ended up listening to in the van many times as a family.  Hopefully he will get another one this year.  Grandma sent us a picture of him working on a class at the Bible School today.  We'll be excited to see it when he comes home later this week.

Parker gluing like a champ!

Parker also went fishing with Grandpa.  Not a bad catch!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Brother Love

Carter made this Thank You note for Parker at church today.  Such great brothers!

Brother Love

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Birthday Party in the Park

Parker left for a week at Grandma's today, and we trust that he will have a good time. Nonetheless, there is still plenty for the other boys to do in town while their oldest brother is away.  All of them were invited to a friend's birthday party where they grilled hamburgers and hot dogs in a park. Just before the cake, they strung up the pinata, and Carter took a few good whacks at it.

Going for the big swing!
The loot eventually spilled out and Carter and Anderson scampered around getting their fill of candy and little plastic toys.  Beckett contentedly watched from his seat in the safe shade of a big tree.  Holly was working, so I was left to handle all three boys myself, but they all behaved wonderfully.  A successful party for all involved.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Boys by a Lake

Camping with family by Lake Ontario.  Holly took this epic shot of me hanging with the three older boys.  Everything looks great, especially Holly's awesome panoramic photo skills.

I once went to a beautiful lake with my three sons; everything afterwards in life was gravy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Little Anderson's Big Jump

Anderson's latest stunt, which he surely learned from his older brothers, is to climb on top of the head board in mom and dad's bedroom and catapult himself onto the mattress below.  Holly captured this photo of him before one of his big jumps.  Geronimo, little buddy!

Notice the swim suit from playing in the sprinkler...

Monday, June 16, 2014


The latest contraption to hit the Steffen house appears below.


Holly bought umbrellas to for the Pre-K picnic last Friday, and the boys want to use them constantly as playthings.  I later took Parker and Carter to a baseball game that same Friday, and the boys brought the umbrellas along. We've started to hide them to keep them from breaking them through their constant play.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Picture

Before taking off for Church Holly wanted me to take her photo with her Time Out For Women bag that came in the mail.  It's for the Women's Conference she will go to in the fall.

When we came home we celebrated Father's Day by ordering pizza, wings, and friend dough. Delicious!