Interview with Abby: Christmas Edition

Abby: Knock knock
me: Whose there?
Abby: Orange
me: Orange who?
Abby: Orange you say banana

Q: How was your Thanksgiving trip?
A: Good

Q: What did you do?
A: Play with my friends. Seth said to go downstairs because there was a bad guy there so I killed him with Ollie's gun.

Q: What else did you do?
A: Play with Brianna. Hey, I drinked my chocolate milk all gone. (Speaking to Mom) He's making letters huh? (points to the computer) That thing is making letters.

Q: What do you want for Christmas?
A: Some baby clothes and a barbie.

Q: What does Santa do?
A: (laughs) Plays with kids.

Q: What are you learning in school?
A: Sings ABC song while shaking a maraca wildly.

Q: When is Christmas?
A: In five weeks.

Q: What do we do on Christmas
A: Put up our decorations. (Sings Santa Clause is Coming to Town)

Q: What are you getting Mom for Christmas?
A:  I will let her have a angel. Mommy, you're going to get an angel for Christmas.

Q: What do you want to get Dad for Christmas?
A: Uh ahh. A singing trumpet.


Q and A with Abby

Q: How old are you?
A: "Two. I was two and a half, and then I'm three now."

Q: What is you favorite thing to do at school?
A: "I like to play house."

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: "My favorite food is fruit snacks."

Q: What did you do with daddy yesterday?
A: "I stayed with you when mommy left and we played the play dough robot game." (cranium)

Q: What is your favorite thing about church?
A: "My favorite thing likes to color at church."

Q: Who is your best friend?
A: "My best friend is Lexi."

Q: Best friend at school?
A: "McKenna"

Q: What is your favorite thing do with Mom and Dad?
A: "I... My favorite thing is doing... doing... doing... I don't know. Favorite thing, I don't know, I don't know. (singing) I don't know I don't know. Washhu Wasshu. Naaae."

Q: What is your favorite (FHE) Lesson?
A: Uh, my favorite lesson is... uh I don't know.

Q: What happens in your princess dreams?
A: (baking pretend cookies) "I need to go potty." (runs up stairs)

Q: What do you dream about last night?
A: "I had a Belle one."

Q: What did you do in your dream?
A: "I spinned with Beast."


Indie Churchy Rock?

For those who don't know, I'm in charge of the youth program for the boys in our church. This constitutes boys from the ages of 12-18. When it came time for us to be in charge of the September combined activity (which includes the young women), I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. The theme of our program this year is the thirteenth article of faith which talks about seeking after good things. Two of the other leaders and I came up with an activity for the kids to do and we had three groups of kids who rotated through the different stations. I chose to write a song and have the kids add some singing and claps to round out the sound. I basically rearranged the words of the verse to fit into a song (with a little poetic licence taken of course.) All in all we had about 25 kids there that night who contributed to the song. You can listen to it here.


It's Alive!

This blog has been mostly dead for a few consecutive months now, I'm sorry to say. It just seemed like I needed a big reason to blog again because it had been so long. Well big reasons have come and gone and I continued my neglect of this digital space. Life is good, and life is busy. There have been ups and downs, but mostly ups.

Lately, some people who I care about deeply are in the midst of incredibly trying times. It brings me down when I think about it, and I've had a heavy heart for a couple of weeks now. With the sadness though comes more reliance on faith and a greater desire to help and support where I can. We certainly are never helpless, never comfortless, and never without a friend.

There is incredible strength in the bonds that we share with our family and friends. Courage and hope can be drawn from the most simple of gestures and connections. I recognize the need in myself to improve in my ability and willingness to act.

I've learned that gratitude is the most effective remedy for sadness and sorrow. Everyday I'm more and more grateful for my family. Natalie is an absolute rock. The best partner I could ever wish for in this life. Abby is the most fun person I've ever met. She is so full of life and energy. She amazes and inspires me every day, and she makes me laugh constantly. From her lips have been uttered some of the most pure and sincere and beautiful prayers I've ever heard.


The Amazing Millie

I've written in the past about my friends Brady and Amanda. Their daughter Millie is fighting Leukemia, and recently a complete stranger heard about Millie and offered to set up a donation website to help with her extensive medical expenses. I want to share with you all a link to the donation website as well as a thank you video that Amanda put together showing Millie's progress through the treatment, trials, and tears that this brave little soul has endured. You can read more about this amazing family on their blog.


Generation X - King Rocker

This song just came on my ipod and it made me really happy. I hope you all appreciate it as much. Billy Idol should've kept this haircut. Epic.


Happy Memories

Lately, it seems like there has been a lot of sad things happening to people I know and love. A large majority of these instances have been completely out of control of the people they are affecting the most. I thought it might be good to generate some discussion and sharing of happy memories. Seems how this is my idea I'll start.

Memory #1 - Last summer we attended our friends Jake and Eli's wedding reception. It was in a lush, green, secluded back yard on one of those perfect summer evenings. The light back there was incredible and Abby was having a great time dancing to the music and running in circles on the grass. We were there with some of our best friends, most of whom we hadn't seen for some time. I can't put my finger on exactly why it was so great, but I distinctly remember thinking that night that I was experiencing something very close to heaven.  I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Memory #2
- This one is hard to explain, and it is not so much a solitary memory because it has happened more than once. Sometimes when I'm in a social setting, I'll catch a glance of Natalie from across the room and for a second I'm seeing her again for the first time. It is similar to times when you see pictures or video of yourself from an angle your not used to seeing. It takes a second for you to realize who you are looking at followed by a flood of thoughts. Do I really walk like that? Etc. However, when this happens with Natalie, after the recognition takes place a flood of memories of our lives together comes into my brain and it makes me happy.

Memory #3 - I remember being a very young kid, and being incredibly excited for my older brothers to come home from college. I would watch tv with the volume low so I could listen for the back door and hear the familiar voice. It always seemed like an eternity waiting for them, but they always made me feel like a million bucks when the time finally came.

Please, share some good memories, I think we could all use them.


Huntington Beach

On our way to the airport after our Disneyland adventure, we stopped at Huntington Beach to play on the beach and see the ocean. It was just before dusk and the light was really amazing. I grabbed the camera and started snapping photo after photo. Abby was so mesmerized by the waves and the sea shells that she was almost completely oblivious to me. It was really fun to see her experience the ocean for the first time, and I think these photos do a pretty good job of capturing the moments.

The Magic Kingdom - Part 2



The Magic Kingdom - Part 1

 Disneyland was amazing. Here is some photographic evidence.

Brianna (Abby's BFF all weekend) and Leslie.

Natalie somehow caught this amazing picture of us flying by on Thunder Mountain. Just don't ask her for a good carousel shot.

Tiffany, Ryan, Mr Blue Shades

How can you not love these girls?

Jasmine pinching Aladdin's hind quarters.

The Fam on Small World

Abby LOVED the carousels.

Lady in background did NOT LOVE me taking this picture.

Huntington Beach. Abby was obsessed with the sea shells.



So far the babysitting exchange has been a lot of fun. Here is some evidence.


Dear Management of ...

First and foremost, I wish to congratulate you on the excellent work with the remodel and opening of your new establishment. I work nearby and often noted the progress on the building, wondering what would replace Big City Soup (R.I.P.) It is obvious that a lot of care and resources went into making your business a reality. The style, cleanliness, and atmosphere are all excellent in addition to the staff being very helpful.

Now I will get to the real point of my writing. I stopped in the other day for some lunch when I saw a note on your large blue sandwich board indicating that you serve soup. Perhaps in my subconscious I was hoping for a gustatory experience akin to what I had grown accustomed to when dining with the aforementioned previous tenants. When I entered, I saw on the board that the soup of the day was "Roasted Tomato Soup." I have partaken of this type of soup in the past and thoroughly enjoy it. I was cold and hungry, and this bowl of delicious soup was going to really make my day.

I sadly must report it was easily the worst soup I've ever had. I must reiterate that I was both hungry and cold, a situation which would normally make a warm, home-made soup taste even better. I must at this point also interject that I'm really not a picky eater. This is in fact the first time I've felt the need to inform an eatery of sub-par dining experience I've had.

For the sake of future patrons I feel a duty to give some constructive criticism. The soup in question consisted almost entirely of sliced baby carrots in vegetable oil. There were some chunks of celery, the corpse of half a tomato, tasteless green "spices," and a pinch of water, but in essence it was sliced baby carrots in vegetable oil. The soup was scalding hot enough and I was hungry enough at the time of consumption that I made it through three bites before I realized what I was tasting (or not tasting as the case may be.)

This "Roasted Tomato Soup" tasted strangely to me like sliced baby carrots in vegetable oil. In an attempt to salvage the meal, I drained the oil-water mixture and placed a couple slices of carrot into my mouth. Unfortunately, they had become saturated in, you guessed it, vegetable oil.

Don't get me wrong at this point, I have nothing against either baby carrots or vegetable oil. I've enjoyed thousands of dishes over the years which incorporated one or both. In fact, I have been known to snack on raw baby carrots from time to time. It's the strange combination of these two as the primary ingredients of "Roasted Tomato Soup" which activated my gag reflexes and resulted in pouring the remainder down the drain.

You really have a good thing going. The home-made croutons were quite good. I only write this in hopes that you can find a way to improve the soup situation. As I mentioned, I work nearby and would gladly pay for delicious soup from time to time during these cold winter months. Thank you for your time and attention. I have spewed quite the dissertation.


Jesse Crowley


Resolution 2011

Last year I wrote a short resolution on this blog. More than any other goal or resolution I've made in my life, it actually stuck with me. For the most part, I believe, I was a man of action more than a man of intentions in 2010. That's not to say there isn't room for improvement, but I think I made significant progress.

This year feels like it will be a very important one for me. I feel the same desire to be a man of action, and within that idea there are a few points of emphasis I choose to pursue.

1. Gratitude - My favorite people in this world also seem to be the most grateful. I'm guilty of often taking blessings and people around me for granted. I hope to show a great deal more gratitude in 2011, and I hope to do it in more ways than spoken words.

2. Enjoyment - Last year, during high adventure camp with the teachers and priests, one of the other leaders said "I really like camp Jesse." I knew exactly what he meant, and it really stuck with me. The nature of the camp meant that there were no real worries or responsibilities, it was pure fun all day every day. "Camp Jesse" was different from "normal Jesse" because he was allowing himself total enjoyment. I know that the circumstances at the camp are impossible to duplicate for an entire year, but the attitude I possessed during my stay could be carried with me throughout the year.

3. Balance - I think at times my drive to get things done in 2010 left too great a burden on my family. I hope to better balance my time and priorities so those who are most important in my life will always know it.

Well, there you have it, a little more wordy than last year, but I think doable.