Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Click on Slideshow to View Large Pics

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rocking around the Christmas Tree (Woah!)

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope your Christmas has been blessed. We've been having a great day. The major highlight surrounds the big present we got for Aaron and Sammy--a mini electric guitar "Pee Wee Les Paul".

There are two different videos, one of each kid on the guitar. Sammy jammed first, and he rocked! Then Aaron got on next and totally blew us all away. I don't know where he got his moves--he's really only seen Alvin and the Chipmunks! He just kept playing for about 10 minutes and I boiled it down to the best 1 minute. Both boys gave new meaning to "Rocking around the Christmas Tree"!

(P.S. I'll be teaching both boys to play now that they have the guitar).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun with the Dunns on the Vander "Chute"

Hey, here's something else you can do with a shovel besides clear snow--and something to put all of that 3 feet of snow to use! Here it is, the Dunns, our church friends and neighbors, brought the kids over to try our latest sled run "chute". Just about everybody took at least one run, even my mom, brave soul! (Sorry we didn't get any footage of Mike sledding). Kids were getting pretty radical with wall rides on the ending berm, that is until... Well, all's well that ends well. Makes all of the snow hassles worth it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Instant "Let It Snow" (just add lightning)

Here's my contribution to the craziness of the big snow storms we've been experiencing (which even included lightning, so it's possible with snow). A new variation of "Let It Snow". Sing it to the kids for a good chuckle. Best sung with a loungy feel, and maybe add sound effects for extra impact. It all started when I accidentally sang the word "frightning" instead of "frightful" in the first line...

Oh, the weather outside is frightning
And I just got struck by lightning
And since I'm starting to glow
See me glow, see me glow, in the snow

My eyeballs, well, they’re a-popping
And my hair is all a-sparking
And I feel like I’m gonna blow
See me blow, see me blow, in the snow!

Why does everything seem so bright?
And why do I feel so warm?
All I did was go fly a kite
In an electrical storm!

Well, I think I’m probably dying
‘Cause my brain is slowly frying
You better run before I explode!
See me glow, see me blow, then explode
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Christmas, Josh and Evie

The boys say Merry Christmas to their friends Joshua and Evette who moved to Texas. They sing "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" too. Enjoy.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

So I'm putting up Christmas lights on the highest point of the house (a few minutes before this picture) and my boys are steadying the ladder for me. The neighbor girl calls over to them, but my oldest says, "I can't talk, my daddy might die right now!"

P.S. Do these pajamas make my bottom look fat?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

6th Grade Graduation

(L-R) John Bernardi, Greg Butcher, Alec McKinnon,
J.B. Skogstrom, Blaine Vanderschuit

June 1980 (felt like '79 though). Me and the boys were the tough kids who ruled the playground and tried to rule the classroom--and the principal's office (never understood that spelling trick about how the principal is your "pal"). Note the OP and Lightning Bolt shirts (you'd also see Vans shoes) along with my sun bleached surfer hair (yes, that's me on the far right). I'm in contact with everyone on the list except Greg, although I saw him at the 20-year reunion [strike that, just caught up with him on Facebook]. John actually lives nearby (Big Bear).

Just last night I was thinking about those good old days on the hot Oneonta blacktop, prompted by one of my students wanting to learn the Cheap Trick song "Surrender". Hey Alec, remember when Mr. Comlossy did the Rock'n'Roll History thing and we lip sync'd to "I Want You to Want Me" and "Surrender"? Funny, I wanted to be the drummer but had to do electric guitar instead. Strangely enough, about 6 months after this picture I asked for a drum set for Christmas but got an electric guitar instead ("Get him a guitar, preferably a quiet one" is probably what my dad told my mom). The rest is history...

P.S. Dad, I have a drum set now if you want to come listen.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Art Show Benefit

Elisa's artist brother Stephen Romio participated in an event for a charity called Hope Gardens which helps homeless mothers get off the streets of Los Angeles. Elisa, her parents, my Dad, Nancy and I all attended. It was great to see my dad and we had quite an experience over dinner at Shakers with me confessing to a bunch more teenage sins, which took over two hours. It says something about my dad that I feel comfortable telling him this stuff years later. (I hate to "hide" this in a post, but please pray for him, as he's starting chemotherapy next week for cancer in his lungs and around his chest area).

As for the lack of art in the video, it's sort of a no-no taking pictures of someone's art at an art show, so the sample I have is a portrait Steve did of Elisa that hangs in my music studio. It hardly does justice to his talent, as good as the portrait is. It's one of the quick "30-minute portraits" that he does on weekends down at Universal City Walk. You might want to catch him there and have him do yours. Steve is a great brother-in-law and an impressive guy, and a true artist (he's at the end of the video).

(The song is called "City Lights". I wrote it and recorded it for my step brother's entertainment-design video. Somehow the first part of it fits just right with this, too. Sorry, Mike!)

The Goodbye Boy

Some of you have experienced Sammy and his long goodbyes. This video has a very short one for him. He's got it down to a routine now, out there sitting on the fence these days (see for yourself). Better than crying on the steps and running after the car with extended crying back inside the house, like it used to be. Funny, he even once cried saying goodbye to one of my music students he'd only met a moment earlier, and he's known to run out to say goodbye to students he's never really met. What can I say? Some people are just made a certain way. Sammy is and has always been the "goodbye boy."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Edd's 56th Birthday

Some of you know my good friend and fellow worship leader Edd Williams. This college professor and all around good guy had his 56th birthday party this last Saturday. It started at 5 p.m, but I arrived at 7:30 from a rehearsal, saying "What, you didn't set your clocks back--I thought I was only an hour and a half late!" I thought I was early (for a musician).

Edd's kids, his wife Kim and her daughters were all there, along with many others from Calvary Chapel Lake Arrowhead. Shortly after I arrived, I was offered a guitar to play, and Steve Smith, Edd and I all jammed out to various songs, including a blend of "Hey Jude" and "Better Is One Day" (naaaaa, naaa, naaa, na-na-naaa-naaa, na-na-naaa-naaa, than thousands elsewhere..."). It's always great to jam with Edd and Steve, because we've worked together so many times we gel almost effortlessly. I was the last to arrive and the last to leave, amid a pretty impressive electrical storm. At least it didn't rain on the previous night's festivities.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Night's Festivities 10/31

Here is a short video of the October 31st festivities as put on by our church here in Lake Arrowhead. Like normal Halloween but souped up on deluxe candy-roids for a more full-throttle-but-family-friendly effect, with a dash of "The Fiery Furnace" from the book of Daniel. Aaron was the good Anakin Skywalker and Sammy was a clone trooper. Elisa and I went as a "respectable couple" (note my short hair now) predisposed toward proving our ping pong prowess whilst our progeny partook of the party and paraded their pricey apparel, perspicaciously spoken per pomposity (pwa-ha-ha!)...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Old, Staying Busy

We're back! Taking a breath for a quick post...finally. September was a busy month, mostly getting started with homeschooling the boys for the first time (post coming soon), but also busy with music lessons. I'm happy to say I have more music students than ever--I think 40--which happens to match my age.

On the age topic, I'm becoming more and more familiar with "the law of diminishing returns" but less and less familiar with what exactly that means! I don't really have the "momnesia" excuse Elisa does, so I'll just chalk it up to the over-the-hill thing. Let me explain.

Take this past Saturday as an example. Picture day for soccer. I'm coach for Sammy's team, assistant for Aaron's. Pictures are going well. All morning I'm asking myself and several others "I wonder when the coaches versus referees game is?" A little later, Aaron's coach asks me if I'm playing in the game today. Oh yeah, the game is the same day every year, picture day. Pretty memorable, huh? So why couldn't I remember?

Game time, I feel like a smarter soccer player than ever, with more confidence and command of the game. Why won't my body just do what I tell it to do? (The universal complaint, so I didn't feel alone). It got a bit embarrassing when people started making fun of all of my misses on goal in the first half. Come second half, I persevered and did manage to eek out two goals and an assist, and the coaches did win for the first time in several years (5-4), but I'm still feeling it two days later.

Anyone else identify?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The "Luckiest Kid in the World"

Birthday Pie Blow-out

Aunt Kerry, Papa, Nannie, Elisa

Nana's "I'm the life of the party but don't think I won't use this" look

Aaron's 7th birthday has now come and gone, with three (yes three!) birthday celebrations for this one birthday.

The first celebration was Saturday in Laguna Hills at Aunt Michelle's (my former stepsister I just call sis). My former stepfather "Daddy Rick" was there, whom I hadn't seen since I was 8 years old (32 years ago!). As you can imagine, this was a very big deal for me, and the sad fact that there is no reunion photo is actually a testament to just how absorbed Daddy Rick and I were in our conversation. Sister Cindy and her family showed up too, and it was probably 28 years ago that I last saw her. Uncle Ryan (Michelle's hubby) took over entertaining the kids in the pool, and his father Carl was a very generous host for the whole deal. A big thanks to everyone involved.

The second party was on Sunday, Aaron's actual birthday. Nana (my mom), Papa and Nannie (Elisa's parents), Aunt Kerry, Danni and Michelle (Aaron's cousins), were there at the Arrowhead Village pizza place with me, Elisa and Sammy. Later that night before bed, Aaron said "I'm the luckiest kid in the world, because I get to have cake so many times!" Funny thing is that he neither likes cake nor believes in luck, (note the birthday pie in the pic above), but he was really referring to all of the birthday celebrations he was getting.

Which brings us to the final party on Tuesday, with friends from church, for which the camera was hiding somewhere, probably in my pocket... The Joiners, the Dunns, the Cookes, the Sharpes, the Ecklands, the Diaz's, and others were all there to imbibe the Star Wars motif ambience. Aaron got two more light sabers, one of which is spring loaded which Aaron calls "the ultimate light saber". At the end of the party, Aaron said "This is the best birthday I've ever had!" An amazing trio of celebrations for an amazing kid.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Safari Birthday with Cousin David

Aaron and Cousin David with 9-foot python constrictor

Sammy cuddling with unknown snake

Aaron and Sammy's cousin, David (actually their second cousin—Elisa's cousin Sylvia's son) had a "Safari Birthday" which included a cool treasure hunt and a visit with "The Lizard Wizard," a lady who had snakes, alligators, lizards, turtles, and frogs. Amazing how the kids will hold killer snakes when someone tells them it's okay...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Murphy Working Overtime

If you don’t believe he is real, here’s proof that Murphy (of Murphy's Law “if anything can go wrong it will” infamy) is alive and well. Worth reading if only to laugh at me, or with me if you’re feeling kind. Does this sort of thing happen to you?

(Murphy at work? Personal encounters at 12:08 and 3:25 a.m.)

Wednesday & Thursday, August 7 & 8, 2008
6:57 p.m. - Finish clipping fingernails using clippers on key chain (a guitarist thing).
6:58 - Put keys down somewhere. Go downstairs to change shirts to go to church men’s study.
6:59 - Bewildered at why I cannot find my keys when I just had them a minute earlier.
7:00 - Spend 10 minutes scouring the house for the keys.
7:10 - Find keys in basket by phone—which is the first place I looked but didn’t find them. They were camouflaged from the usual angle and only by defying visual perception and reaching in did I find them. Uncannily like a cartoon, where whatever you want magically appears when you reach for it (dynamite, anvils, etc.) Thus begins the surreal feeling of the rest of the night.
9:20 - A great men’s study ends. I decide to waste a little time shooting the breeze before going to pick up my mom at 11:20 curbside at Ontario International Airport.
10:58 - Arrive at airport. Feel guilty for telling mom that I didn’t want to spend money on parking. Decide to park, picking lot for U.S. Airways.
11:00 - I see no sign for U.S. Airways at this terminal. I do see there is a flight from United (the airline she departed on) arriving at mom’s 10:55 arrival time. Realize that in my hurry to get to men’s study, I forgot the paper with the flight number. Think to call mom. Realize I forgot Elisa’s cell phone (Murphy knows full well that mine is broken) and that I have no change for the payphone.
11:02 - I keep looking around for U.S. Airways information.
11:04 - Finally ask if this is the terminal for U.S. Airways. Told to go to next terminal.
11:10 - Feel grateful the parking attendant lets me out free.
11:12 - Park in other lot, proceed to other terminal, look for mom’s flight on the flight readout. See no evidence of any U.S. Airways flights whatsoever.
11:15 - Pace back and forth. Finally find an airport employee who explains to me that U.S. Airways does not “subscribe” to any flight readout display, and so no information is available for them. Begin to consider more and more that mom could be coming in at either terminal.
After all, because my mom couldn’t find her glasses, it was my 13-year-old niece who uncertainly said she thought the itinerary said U.S. Airways. Hmm, but mom flew out on United…
11:30 - Decide to loop slowly around the airport, passing by each terminal repeatedly looking for mom, feeling I’m bound to see her at any moment. Grateful once again another parking attendant lets me out free.
12:00 a.m. – Upon looking at my clock on the 5th loop, I begin cursing, angry that I did not bring the information paper or the cell phone. I stop cursing, pray briefly for forgiveness. Decide to leave airport to get change for payphone.
12:08 - A maze of loops and turns and endless stoplights later, I arrive at gas station only to be denied change by the “Change Nazi” behind the walk up window. He would not even sell me anything so I could get change. I shuffle my feet, moving sideways in what seems the required motion. The man behind me, who said “Dang!” was nevertheless able to buy a pack of cigarettes with no hassle.
12:10 - Arrive at the gas station across the street and proceed to get a bunch of quarters in change, purchasing a candy bar and drink to improve my odds for getting change. Succeed in getting $2.50 in quarters (enough to foil Murphy, I think). The cashier is incredibly slow counting out the change, says almost nothing and never looks at me. More feeling like I’m in a cartoon or bad movie.
12:15 - Call my mom’s cell phone from the gas station payphone. I hear her voice for only a split second, and then nothing. I assume she is getting in trouble on the plane for having her cell phone on. I opt to call Elisa, thinking my mom will have called her with any flight delay info, etc.
12:16 - Elisa tells me my mom’s plane was diverted through Las Vegas instead of Phoenix. Isn’t it obvious that the monsoon in Phoenix is Murphy messing with me personally? Elisa is able to confirm the U.S. Airways information and give me the flight number.
12:25 - Arrive back at airport and park at what I assume is the correct terminal. I wait. I wait.
1:45 – Almost an hour and a half later in an airport chair, I come out of the strange half-sleep. No sign of mom. The terminal is almost completely empty except for a few like me and the janitorial staff. Nature calls. I am rebuffed from bathroom entry by janitorial staff. I walk away, turn around, only to see a man walking out from the bathroom area looking “relieved.” I do a double take. I find the “family bathroom” he came out of, off to the side of the men’s bathroom.
1:48 - I myself look relieved upon exiting, and spot a row of very nice payphones just outside the bathroom, and realize these phones take VISA. No change required. Uh huh. Yeah. My eyes involuntarily cross. I decide to call my mom.
1:49 - To my excitement, mom answers. I ask “Where are you?” meaning, “where in this terminal?” “Las Vegas” is NOT in this terminal. Mom explains her ETA is 3:00 a.m. I tell her I’m going to go sleep in the car and how to find me in the lot.
2:00 - I consider my mom’s difficulties in finding things, and re-park the car so it will be impossible to miss. I go back inside to the payphone to give her the new directions.
2:01 - I lose 50 cents when my mom’s voicemail answers.
2:02 - My mom answers, takes instructions, etc.
2:05 - The tossing and turning in my car begins. Murphy has some serious fun with me, interrupting my pathetic hopes of sleep with not only the predictable screaming jet landings, but also a freight train, parking lot lights in my eyes—one of which flicks on an off every so often, and a sprinkler which sends a mist into my open window. I experience some semi-insane bursts of laughter, as if I was watching a movie about all this happening to someone else.
3:23 - I hear luggage wheels, look up, and there’s mom.
3:25 - After paying the $8 parking fee, I begin telling mom my tale. We visit the first gas station and I take this photo (above) of the “Change Nazi” dozing off on the job. I decide to leave it up to Murphy to bust him. But I think maybe Murphy really likes this guy—actually that this guy is probably a manifestation of Murphy himself, so why bother.
3:27 - I head over to the other gas station for a coffee and a snack. The only thing the cashier says is “17 cents,” the amount of my change.
5:00 a.m. - I get my mom home. We talk. I tell her to get some sleep.
6:00 a.m. - I curl up in my bed, glad that although Murphy seriously messed with me, I was able to keep my cool for the most part, and even laugh about some of it. And you?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Light Saber Show

Oh my, I can't believe how fun this is. Aaron (who is learning piano keyboard) figured out how to get the upstairs keyboard to play this demo song, and then he choreographed this "light saber dance" and even let me film it. He would only face one way, so I had to cram into a corner and was a bit close, but it worked out. Never in my life would I have imagined Aaron could come up with something like this. The boy's got moves to make even Yoda freak...

Oh, if you haven't seen Aaron and Sammy's track and field video, you gotta scroll down to June 7.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kid Joke of the Day

Here's the script of this morning's Aaron and Sammy joke:

Why did the chicken cross the train tracks without looking both ways?

(Without hesitation) Because he was too busy thinking about hair.

You got it!

(Looks dumbfounded)

(Mom starts laughing and Dad joins in)

Actually I meant to say feathers. Because he was too busy thinking about buying some feathers.

Now perhaps you're all wondering like I am how Aaron could have known that answer?!?!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Leo Carillo and Pt. Mugu Camping Reunion

(Elisa thinks this is my best video to date...)

We arrived at Leo Carillo State Beach campground the evening of July 9 to reconnect with my "former childhood stepsister" Michelle (I just call her my sis), along with her husband Ryan and two kids, Jade and baby Ayden. Jade looks almost exactly like Michelle did at that age. The last time I was at Leo Carrillo I was about that age and was with Michelle and the rest of what was our extended family at that time, so this reunion brought back some lost memories.

The first part of the video is of Leo Carillo, with one actual photo of Michelle(!) also duplicated in an enlargement. We were supposed to take a brother/sister shot but I guess were otherwise distracted. The beach is a true natural wonder, on a less beaten path just north of Malibu.

The next part is of the second leg of the trip a few miles further north, at Sycamore Campground (just south of Point Mugu [not MAGU!] State Beach). It's a toss up what's more beautiful, Sycamore or Leo Carrillo. We were graced with many close encounters with wildlife, including dolphins and seals. And as is often the case with Sammy, he provided more than his fair share of comic relief and friend-making. Aaron and Sammy fans will certainly not be disappointed in general!

On the way home, we had a surprise for the kids, which you should be careful to watch for at the REAL end of the video. Oh yeah, the song is "Out of Breath" by Lifehouse. Post a comment.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Leo Carillo Tide Pool and Rocks

The morning after we arrived at Leo Carillo, we took an early trip out to the beach at low tide, all of us except Michelle, who doesn't appear in this video because she was sleeping in with the baby (besides being a vampiress who doesn't show up on film--hee hee--see the other video). We had a great time exploring the tide pools and the natural beauty of the whole Leo Carrillo experience.

Aiming for a subtly different take compared to the other video, I tried to sum up the wonder-filled feeling of that morning in what turns out to be my most subdued video to date. Gentle souls may resonate more here. It's set to Bach's Cello Suite #1 - Prelude (one of my favorites)--I guess I've done a complete 180 from my punk rock birthday video. -Blaine

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Coming Soon

I've been very busy and unable to post until just recently. There is a bunch of stuff I have backlogged of momentous occasions in June that need blogging. Aaron graduated from kindergarten, Sammy graduated from preschool [THIS POST IS NOW DONE], they both had a great final meet with their track and field team [ALSO DONE], and I had what turned out to be my best ever Blaine's Music Studio student recital (which are more like concerts). I hope to get all of this posted soon, to replace this quick reminder post of what's to come.

Aaron and Sammy Graduations

June 2008 held two major milestones: Aaron graduated from kindergarten, and Sammy from preschool. Okay, maybe not MAJOR milestones, but you'll be sure to enjoy this video compilation anyway. As usual, I've boiled everything down to a short best of reel, from Sammy's brief ceremony to Aaron's long but sweet ceremony, with a bit of the usual mirth mixed in.

Some may be wondering "Why don't Blaine and Elisa just post some quick pictures with a brief caption?" "Hi, my name is Blaine, and I'm a videoholic" is the short answer. Hey, but here's two pictures AND a video! Enjoy whichever ones work for you...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday (What?!?!)

My mother-in-law wanted me to do something special for her on her birthday. So I recorded a song and put it to a video just for her. Went through all the hassle of playing and recording every instrument, singing my guts out, even finding the perfect photos for the video. Nice right? Well there's no pleasing some people. I mean, I don't get it. See what you think.

Hey, if it's not your birthday, watch it anyway. It's all about winning friends and influencing people. Then pass it on. Yeah.

Disclaimer: No one was actually offended in the making, viewing, or posting of this.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

2020 Olympics, Here We Come!

Aaron and Sammy are on they’re way to the 2020 Summer Olympics. Or at least you can judge for yourself by watching this amazing video of them from their final track meet of the Rim Youth track and field program. It really is an excellent program, coached by Rim High School students. Full-on track and field, all major events, similar to a decathlon.

When watching the video and comparing Aaron and Sammy in the various events, you have to remember that although Sammy is as tall as Aaron, he is almost 2 years younger, and is just learning the ropes. Aaron’s strong suit is the field events, for which he was team champ. Sammy’s strong suit is his “get the job done no matter how I do it” attitude that keeps him teachable and aiming for that podium.

Most importantly, their smiles prove how much they enjoy it. In the final 100-meter race for each (separately), you see both Aaron and Sammy smiling at the beginning of each race, Aaron in particular just before the starting gun sounds--he said he smiled because he was thinking about what it would be like to win (you will smile too when you see this). Other favorites are Sammy’s “scarecrow” hurdle form and butterfingers with the heavy shot put, and Aaron's late start on the hurdles because he said he was thinking where the bullet went from the starting gun. The whole thing was a blast for all.

How apt that the coaches gave both Aaron and Sammy the award for “Most Energetic”.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to Sammy

Yesterday (May 23) was was Sammy's 5th birthday. He has the same birthday as my (Blaine's) dad. The little guy pretty much never gets up any earlier than 7:45, but he was up around 6:30 and making all kinds of funny noises and comments about it being his birthday, and thankfully he kept himself occupied because I was zonked on Benedryl (allergies) only half understanding him. He waited patiently till 9:oo when mom was done with her work before opening his presents. The coolest was one of those little styrofoam remote control helicopters.

Later we braved the weather (snow and fog in late May) and drove down the mountain to a place called "John's Incredible Pizza" which is like Chuck E. Cheese's on steroids with an all you can eat buffet to satisfy any glutton. Elisa's parents brought Danni and Michelle, Sammy's cousins, and Elisa's cousin Sylvia and husband Ralph brought their kids Lexi and David, and Jeremy and Nichole Dismuke brought Jaden and Austin (and baby Jonathan).

Among other cool gifts, Sammy got a little practice casting pole. Now he can start planning that fishing trip with Ace Harrison (see the Harrison blog), although Vanderschuits don't seem to have as much naturally occurring omega-3 fish oil in their blood as the Harrison's apparently do. On the fishing topic, Aaron did catch 3 or 4 blue gill last summer with just the broken end of a fishing rod, and kissed one of the fish on the lips for the camera (where is that blasted pic?). We'll see how Sam's love affair with fish develops.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sammy's First Audio Story (copycat!)

Not to be outdone, Sammy also wanted to record an audio story (if you haven't heard Aaron's yet, it's in the post below from yesterday). Aaron was concerned because Sammy couldn't read, but I just said Sammy could just make one up on the spot. Sammy's 47-second story, called "The Bear Adventure" is almost point by point the same as Aaron's "The Mountain Lion Adventure" except Sammy came up with a surprise spiritual twist with Aaron in the role of hero rather than Daddy and Mommy. I also tried to come up with a unique soundtrack for Sammy's to capture what I felt was his spirit. Sammy's narration is sure to get you smiling again. Post a comment!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Aaron's First Audio Story

Probably about 6 months ago I told my sons that we could record a story in my studio, with sound effects and music and such (at the time I was recording an audio book project for an author friend--see my recommended links). They were really excited and kept asking about it for weeks, only to give up since Daddy was too busy all the time. Last night I was recording something for my upcoming recital and I opened my studio door and told everybody "Be quiet now, because I need to record some vocals." Next thing I know, Aaron gets all excited thinking that meant that I was finally ready to record one of his little stories. Well, he finally got me! Even though I didn't have much time today, I decided we'd better record, since he was home sick from school and I was beginning to feel guilty.

It's basically a one-minute story Aaron wrote that I made a quick soundtrack for. Fun enough for a little project (I remember making a few similar recordings with my Dad on his little recorder when me and my siblings were little). Aaron's reading is sure to make you smile or even laugh in parts. Have a listen, and post a comment if you enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Insane Front Yard Sled Run 2008

My best ever effort at building a "sled run" for the kids. Originally inspired by Uncle David the previous year, but then pumped up on steroids for an even wilder (dangerous?) ride. Off the front porch, down the steps, berm off the fence, snake through the yard, berm against another fence, up against the house, and the wind down at the bottom of the yard.

The thing Sammy had going for him was that he was really loose and low--and good at hanging on for dear life. Okay, so it wasn't all that bad! But he was going down backwards a few times to lessen the fear factor until I told him to go forwards. Apparently he figured what he couldn't see couldn't hurt him.

Aaron's balance made me feel better about him in spite of his more edgy, radical riding style. Plus he kept his helmet on. This is probably the last time we'll ever do this kind of front yard track because it only works for little kids. The bigger you are the higher your center of gravity and the harder it is not to eat it on the first berm. Plus, I hate to have to keep denying the neighbor kids who sit and watch from a distance like I'm some kind of stingy meanie. Kids, go look up "liability".