August 12th, 2008

Hot August Nights

I start school August 25th, so I therefore met with my boss who resides in Reno last week to go over a part-time schedule for me.  We worked at a great schedule which allows me to work some days in the office, and the rest at home.  While in Reno, we took the time to throw around some dice in the Circus Circus casino, play some slots where Lindsey won $75, and play all the carnival type games with the kids.  However, the biggest event and entertainment was what is called “Hot August Nights“.  Thousands of people come to check out some of the coolest muscle cars around.  We LOVED it and it is most certainly a new family tradition.  Serious.

So to summarize everything that is currently going on in our lives:  Lindsey just received her Phlebotomy Certification so that she can now look for a job as a phlebotomist, I will be working part time so that I can persue the Fire Department, Tyler is 2 1/2 and has been potty trained for 2 months (yay!), and Kaitlyn is 8 months and a crawling machine and should be walking here soon.

July 26th, 2008

What have I learned this year…?

- Potty training is more fun with a Dora toilet seat

- Mini Vans ARE totally practical

- Everything I say will be repeated

- My shirt will never stay clean longer than a few minutes

- It will always take at least 25 minutes to get out the door

- It’s totally worth every penny to get your hair done (which I have not done in a really long time…)

This is probably what every mom feels like, but i just had a moment to reflect on the past year!

I had a great birthday!

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July 22nd, 2008

14 of us – 2 of them

I reported to my Jury Summons on Tuesday.  Having never been summoned before, I didn’t know what to expect therefore I went in with a clear and open mind.  Upon arriving at the courthouse I saw around 300 people who, just like me, were summoned for Jury Duty.  I filled out the generic questionnaire, dawned my name badge, and waited.  To better explain the waiting process, a cakewalk comes to mind.

As a kid we would always attend our elementary school’s fair/carnival.  I vividly remember always bypassing the cheesy fishing games, bottle games, and other corny games because I knew that the cakewalk had much greater dividends.  You got a cake as a prize – who doesn’t want a cake? In order to even be eligible to win the cake you had to first be selected to participate in the cakewalk.  The selection process of course was done by drawing names/tickets out of a hat at random.  I recall always thinking that my name was next to be called so I’d get impatient and slowly start to stand up each time they were announcing a new name.  But unfortunately, my name was NEVER drawn.  Not once.  While others would leave the fair with their winnings in hand, I would walk away with my hand hung low empty handed, tears streaming down my cheeks.

Well after 20+ years, I finally figured out that I just have bad luck when and where others seem to have better luck.  So when they announced that names would be drawn at random, I just smiled and thought to myself, “I won’t be picked – awesome!”

“Jake Toolson”.  I didn’t know what to do or say – my name has never been picked.  This must be a mistake or they need me because I left my carlights on.  Nope.  Sure enough, out of the initial group of 300, my name was chosen at random.  So I ran up the stairs to the 5th floor yelling “caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake!”

Well the fun was just getting started.  So from the initial group of 300, 60 jurors are called to a specific court room.  From there, its back to square one – from the 60, about 45 are actually called into the courtroom.  The others are excused and sent home.  Once again, I thought “Ok… me being picked in the first round was just dumb luck.  Theres no way I’ll…..”

“Jake Toolson.”


After 1 1/2 days of jury selection I was eventually selected as juror #1 which is where I would remain for the remaining 5 days.  Luckily it was a battery case so it didn’t last forever.  After deliberating for an entire day we unanimously found the defendants guilty and were released from our services never to return again – at least not for 12 months.

Suffice it to say its been a long couple weeks (months):

  • Lindsey finished her Phlebotomy Externship (which is why she was gone for 4 weeks)
  • I had Jury Duty (during which I was not paid so goodbye to 1 weeks worth of $)
  • I had my wallet stolen
  • We had a couple weeks with 100+ degree weather so we probably swam 2-3 a day for a few weeks.
  • Tyler is almost potty trained at 2 1/2 years
  • Kaitlyn is a crawling machine and walking with help at 8 months
  • Tyler is learning to swim without his water-wings

June 21st, 2008


Tyler is obsessed.  With what?

It’s not Friends (overrated), Seinfeld, Star Trek (phew again), Desperate Housewives (worst acting ever), Lost (yawn), or even Prison Break (has sucked royally these past couple years).  It’s not a reality show (which eliminates 90% of all other possibilities).  It’s DORA THE EXPLORER!

Since having served and lived in Holland (aka Netherlands, home of Amsterdam), I was able to learn Dutch.  I always thought it would be pretty dope to have my kids learn at least a bit of it so that we could make fun of other people and they wouldn’t understand us.  Unfortunately, I haven’t taught him any Dutch which is probably due to the fact that I never have an opportunity to speak it.  Except this one time in Tijuana.  Ya, of all places… so anyways, thanks to the 8+ hours of Dora he receives daily, Tyler has been learning spanish.  He actually uses the word ‘gracias’ now in place of thank you which is interesting but sometimes he switches it up and reverts back to ‘shanks’.  Either way, the kid is obsessed with Dora and I’ll admit – it drives me crazy at times.

I currently have a laminate card in my wallet on which their birthdays, full names, my anniversary, my age, and other important stuff guys forget about are written.  Well I had to make an addition to the laminate by adding lots of spanish words so I can better communicate with my son.  Matter of fact we’re going to have to take him out of nursery on Sundays and place him in an “english as a second language” class since the other kids in nursery just stare at him when he speaks espanol to them.  Oh and let me not forget about how we sing the hymns in spanish even though our ward is english speaking.  Awesome.

When Tyler is not learning spanish from Dora, he is learning how to count numbers.  Wait, they count numbers in spanish.  Sigh.  I guess raising him on Knight Rider and the Cosby Show just won’t be the same with english sub-titles.

I have at least managed (through a translator of course) to convince him to support Barack Obama.

May 31st, 2008

I draw the line at animal parks with no animals.

We recently decided to spend the day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, or what used to be known as Marine World. Growing up, I remember visiting the park on numerous occasions and being entertained by numerous dolphin and whale shows, water acrobatics/stunt shows, and lots of other sea animal exhibits. Upon arriving, we cracked open a map and decided that it would be best to arrange our day according to sea-shows schedule, just as my mom used to do. After studying the map I came to the conclusion that surely my map was in chinese because according to the map I was reading, there were maybe 1-2 shows the entire day. Yes, that’s right, 2 shows and we had already missed the first one since it was already noon.

So I gave the map to a Chinese couple hoping they could read it better and we made our way to the first appealing location on the map – Thomas the Train land. Tyler loves Thomas the Train and we thought once he recognized the trains he would go crazy and be so overcome with joy he would just pass out… well we arrived and Tyler just stood and stared at the attractions, looked back to us, and then down to the ground. He was not impressed. But we rode the helicopter and bus and decided to just move to a different part of the park.

I thought it would be fun to see how Tyler reacted to seeing sea animals such as otters, seals, dolphins amd other fun animals. Well he was not impressed by any of it except the stingray attraction. I was quite hesitant at first but it was actually quite fun. The animals feel like giant slugs and are pretty fast and Tyler enjoyed them. Next Tyler and Lindsey walked through the Shark exhibit which had about 2 sharks total, none of which Tyler could really see due to poor lighting so that was a bust. But to our dismay he was very entertained by the public phone booths right around the corner. Actually, when we walked by them he reacted exactly as I had anticipated he would upon arriving at the Thomas the Train exhibits – yah, that’s right. Tyler was ecstatic at the sight of phone booths more than Thomas the Train so we let him play with them for awhile before I decided it was time to encourage him to move onto the next exhibit — monkeys and gorillas.

Upon arriving we learned that these were actually rides and would not be able to see any monkeys or gorillas but nextdoor was a wild-safari ride which looked similar to a Jurassic Park set. It had a lot of over-sized jeeps for the kids so we went on it. It circled around what I had hoped to be a ferocious den of lions and tigers who would be clawing at our tires trying to eat us. Instead it had 2 turtles.

To finish our day we stopped by a water attraction where all the other kids were. We sat down, took Tyler’s shirt off, and let him play in the fountains of water for as long as he wanted.

After all was said and done, it really was a good trip and Tyler did enjoy himself as did we. But if you are going there to see animals, don’t expect to see any. I guarantee you’ll see more animals if you were to walk to your mailbox on any given day than you will at Six Flags. But if you are in the mood for pretty cool phone booths, $12 unlimited soda refills, rides made for adults taller than 8 feet tall, and obnoxious teenagers then by all means spend your day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.