Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tis the Season to be Barfing...

With a title like that I'm sure that my literary inspiration will just spew forth. Okay, cheap barf joke. But after last night it's on my mind. Allow me to explain. Marcus-Whose-Bottom-is-Made-Out-of-Springs had his first ever experience with it last night. It must be scary as a small, innocent child to wake up in the night only to see all the ice cream you ate not 2 hours ago flying from your mouth. How unfair! Needless to say it scared the...nevermind I'll skip the 2nd cheap barf joke. It scared him. So what does any good 3 year old to when he is scared? He goes to Dad because Dad always lets him get in his bed when he is scared. Stupid Daddy.

Marcus came and stood right by my bed crying and started to climb in. THANKFULLY my nose was not as asleep as I was! My nose told my brain that letting Marcus in bed would not be a good thing right now and so my brain told my arm to keep Marcus from entering the bed. Way to go arm! By the time I awoke my body had already averted crisis #2 from happening and off we went to have our first lesson on "The bowl." The Bowl came in handy several more times that night and as Marcus improved in both aim and timing he came to show us. Sigh.

In other less gross news we are ready for Christmas!!! And, believe it or not we have snow! Not much but in the desert snow is a rarity. The best part is we're supposed to get it all week! Sweet. The boys recently sang in a Christmas concert at the church and I played my trumpet and Neisha sang in the choir. All in all it was a really nice deal. Alex reports that all he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth (he really doesn't have any at the moment), Josh wants a PS3, an XBox 360, a PSP, Nintendo DS, yada yada yada You get the picture. I told him I'd give him a JKITB 360. He asked me what that was. I told him it was a Johnson Kick-in-the-butt 360 (the approximate rotation of his behind after meeting my foot). He said he's settle for some crackers. That's my boy. Parker is happy because he got the one thing he really wanted for Christmas by winning a raffle drawing at the company Christmas party. It is a Ripstick, which is a skate board with only one wheel at each end. How insane is that?
"Hey Dad, I'm going to go ride my Ripstick now."
"Is that the thing with only one wheel, which if going down a hill you even slightly lean too far to one side will come to a screeching halt sending you careening headfirst into a parked car?"
"Okay. Have fun. I'll see you at the hospital."

I'm sure this is a real conversation in the near future. Anyway, that's enough news to gag a horse. Yes that was cheap barf joke #3. Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gotta See the Regatta

Recently we hosted the Page Balloon Regatta. Now a "Regatta" is defined as: A sports event consisting of a series of boat or yacht races. So the fact that we had hot-air balloons which didn't race at all makes the name choice very clear. We did get to see a couple balloons crash into things so perhaps Page Balloon DERBY might be a better descriptor. Parker aka "Sonic" wanted more than anything to go up in a balloon. He wanted me to get up at 6am to go get in line for a balloon ride. Of course the night before was Halloween and so between the excitement of getting boatloads of candy and the excitement of eating boatloads of candy and the consequential hyper-exciting rush of liquid sugar coursing through his veins meant that PJ got to sleep at about 3am. So being the dope, I mean, Dad that I am we arrived at the event a little after 6 only to discover that there weren't any more rides available. He and Shark Bait loved it anyway and got to stand right next to them as they inflated. That night, after the glow of Halloween and the Balloon Derby had faded away PJ told us: "Thus ends the greatest weekend of my life." Classic. Anyhow here are a few pics of the event:

Here's the troop on Halloween: Notice that Marcus is carrying a sword. He is also a Lady Bug. We received several comments about his costume. Comments like, "Oh, is that a sword?" and "Is he a lady bug? Why does he have a sword?" What? Don't ALL lady bugs have swords? Sheesh.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Say Cheese! Please?

There is one rule to follow when trying to take pictures of your children: Don't. Many a state hospital is filled with seasoned photographers who went crazy trying to get a child to "Look at the fuzzy ball and say 'Cheese!'" And while I'm on the subject, why Cheese? What is it about saying cheese that mysteriously makes kids smile? My kids are not particularly crazy about cheese and so when we say it they don't smile, but get sort of a pained, "Do we have to eat that stuff again" look on their face. Here's two classic examples: #1 Place: The Cabin. Task: To get my son Alex (aka Shark Bait) to stand next to his cousin and smile. Results: Why do I even bother? Alex seems to take it as a personal challenge to keep us from ever getting a normal shot of him. So far he's winning. Big time.

#2 Place: Our House. Challenge: To get Marcus to smile for a nice happy shot. Extra Challenge: He sleeps in the same room with Shark Bait. Results: Dang it. Shark Bait beat us to him.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Help! Rabid Child!

What is it with my kids and toothpaste!? Here I am, just trying to be a good dad and help my kids brush their teeth so they don't cost me thousands in cavity repair and I end up being attacked by a toothpaste happy rabid-child.

As you know, Marcus is two, which means he is learning that it is very important that he learns everything...by doing it all himself and brushing his teeth is no exception. Our routine goes like this: I hold up the tube of Batman and Sponge Bob toothpaste and he has to choose. Tonight is Sponge Bob. He then insists on putting the toothpaste on his own brush which means that after he puts it on I have to clean off the sink, his shirt, and the floor. Then I say, "Okay Marcus, I'll start and you finish." Of course he refuses and says, "I start. You finish." This is what I wanted in the first place. (That was a little bit of psychology folks). Well, tonight as I was brushing away he kept his mouth closed which meant he built up a ton of toothpaste foam inside his mouth. After nearly a minute of good scrubbing blue foam was leaking out the sides of his mouth. Being an insightful type of father I thought maybe this would be a good time to rinse. Well, upon pulling the toothbrush out of his mouth some of the stuff flipped onto my face which made me say, "Gaa!" He laughed. I wish he wouldn't have done that. He literally exploded on me! And as I stood there covered in a fine shade of blue goo, he said, "Daddy I 'pit on you." Yeah, no kidding.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Remembering Parker and the Stupid Patrol

Chidlren do grow up fast, don't they? I mean, one moment you're taking them home from the hospital wrapped in a hospital-standard-issue blankie and the next you're taking them back to the hospital with a not-hospital-standard-issue steel ball up their nose. Sigh.

You know, when I think about parenting, I think about the look on parents' faces. I think about the smile on your wife's face when she tells you she's going to have a baby. I think about the look of panic when you both discover how much it will cost to have said baby. I think about the look of pain and revenge when your wife is delivering the baby. And then I think of the look of absolute confusion when you both get home from the hospital with your new little one and think, "Now what?"

I'm guessing that look of confusion will pretty much be permanent for the next 25 years. Frequently our kids do stuff that I just don't get. Like why kids make themselves barf. It defies logic. Let me delve into the Bonehead archives and give you an example from when Parker was several months old:

We were all in the kitchen making something when we hear Parker barf on himself. We turned around and there he sat smiling about it. Ok.... Neisha then informed me that this was the 3rd time he had done it today and she wished he would keep his big fat hands out of his mouth. Interesting. I started to watch Parker and sure enough as soon as Neisha turned around to wash out the hand towel, he quickly stuck his hand in his mouth and commenced gagging himself. I had my hands full with food and so Neisha took his hand out and said to "Stoppit!". Let the games begin! It went something like this:
Mom: Stoppit!
Parker: Blorph.
Mom: Stoppit!
Parker: Ack-hrumph
Parker: Gak' (chuckle)
Parker: Blecch

Final Score: Mom 0, Parker 5 barfs. Well, Parker is now 9 and doesn't barf for fun anymore but does occasionally become the evil Dr. Vox who believes that the best way to cure a headache is to remove your head. That's a story for another day. But to finish today's title, we have taught our kids that certain words aren't good to say to each other or us. One of those words is "Stupid". We sat the kids down and told them that calling someone "stupid" is mean and not to do it. Discussion over. Or so we thought. We have a 2 year old who can speak. In psychological terms he would be known as a Parrot: A small colorful animal that has the annoying habit of repeating everything you say, especially in embarrassing public situations.

Marcus the parrot has taken this lesson to heart. Anytime he hears the word stupid, no matter what part of the house he happens to be in, will come running into the room and yell at you, "WE DON'T SAY STUPID!" One time just for fun I asked him if I could say, "Idiot" instead. His answer? "Yeah, that's a good word. You can say that Dad."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"NO" Prayers and Scary Moments in Parenting

It is time to continue this month's theme and what better way to do it than to remember a few of our more scary parenting moments!

But first, news from the parenting front... Marcus aka The Opinionator is learning to pray. I think. You see, most normal (emphasis there) 2-3 year olds are learning to speak and will copy everything you say, which makes teaching a child to pray very easy. Well here's how it goes:
"Ok Marcus, say 'Dear Heavenly Father'"
"Say 'Thank you for my family'"
"Say 'Please help me to sleep well'"
"Say 'I say these things'"
"In the name'"
"Of Jesus Christ"

What the? Sometimes if I'm whispering to him what to say he will also whisper "No", which I suppose is at least a little bit respectful to God. Oh well. This comes from the same child who quotes Mr. T on a regular basis. Thanks for that A-Team DVD mom!

And now a look back in time to two of our more scary moments in parenting...

One night in 2004 I came home from work and discovered two of my children in their room sulking. This would be Parker and Alex. Parker’s favorite line is "Hey Alex I got an idea." Alex’s favorite line is "Cool!." Invariably this leads to bad things. I asked them what they had done and Parker said, "We were having fun with the toothpaste." Oh boy. Walking quietly, I reached my bedroom door and listened. I heard my wife mumbling something about our boys having the brains God gave a duck. Glad that it wasn’t me she was upset with I opened the door and saw her on the floor with a towel scrubbing at a small patch of blue on the carpet. I asked, "What's up?" She promptly handed me a towel and told me to watch where I step. Sporting a genuinely bewildered look on my face I thought, "What does she mean by that?" and then when I saw what she meant. I wished I hadn’t.
Our bedroom, our place of sanctuary had become a mural entitled, "Ode to Crest, Bubblegum flavor." It looked like they had climbed up and attached tubes of toothpaste to the blades of the ceiling fan and then turned it on "Hurricane."
Everything I looked at had fallen victim to the toothpaste bandits. My bed, the walls, curtains, dressers, computer, floor, closet, lamp, you name it and it had become blue. My wife informed me that they had only been alone for 2 minutes. I honestly did not know this kind of stuff was possible. In a matter of an hour we learned to hate the smell of bubblegum flavored Crest. The boys apologized and promised never to use toothpaste again. Super.

Back in the year 2000 we learned an important lesson: kids and cat litter are a bad combo. It was a fine day and our son was playing with his friend. We were all enjoying a nice lunch when we heard him yell, "It's raining! Whee!!" followed by what sounded curiously like, well, rain. Both of us looked at each other with that "I don't recognize that sound, do you?" sort of look. Just then we heard it again, "It's raining, whee!" and then the sound of falling rain. We knew two things at that point: One, it wasn't raining. Two, we were inside. Not good. Those two thoughts occured simultaneously to us and in one smooth movement we got up from the table and headed toward the bathroom, actually hoping that it was raining. Upon opening the door we discovered that our happy child was indeed in the middle of a rainstorm. A thin coating of Fresh Step mixed with brown hail lay everywhere. I said, "Oh crap." I couldn't resist. Well, I spent my lunch hour vacuuming and our son spent his lunch hour in the tub.

That's about it from the desk here at Bonehead Central so until next time, keep your toothpaste locked up and buy a fish.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Village

There are many villages which inspire fear and terror in the hearts of the innocent. The village featured in "Children of the Corn," or the village featured in "The Birds" or the eerie, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood are great examples. My village won't inspire any terror but it was fun to make. And given the fact that this month we're sticking to Halloween related posts this seems to fit nicely.

Most of the stuff you see I carved out of EPS foam which was then painted. I added moss and other stuff for a bit of creep. Turned out nice, yes?

The cobblestone roads were actually really easy. I have a hotwire tool that made it so I could basically draw the shapes I wanted in the foam.

The boys helped me with the mountains. I have a different hotwire tool that makes carving really easy.

If any of you would like me to make you something, let me know. It's a lot of fun and could be the start of a great hobby.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Horror Survival Tips and Musical Marcus

Now that you've all survived the first installment of our tribute to the greatest holiday ever, I'd like to present for your spine-tingling pleasure a list of tips I've accumulated over the years of watching quality entertainment which, I am sure will help you survive any number of catastrophes including zombie invasions, cataclysmic meteor collisions, giant spiders (or ants, scorpions, roaches or women), hostile alien takeovers, having your brain harvested by a mad scientist or having the IRS audit your tax returns. But first, a little news...

Marcus is a real favorite around the house. He can always be found helping someone do something, or else climbing into the cupboards to drink Ovaltine mix. Night time is another story. Usually he just can't be found. It's a very odd thing to put your son in bed and then check on him later only to find that he's disappeared. This happens several times a week. Keeping in the spirit of Halloween it's possible he's being occasionally abducted by aliens or perhaps his bed happens to sit on a couple of intersecting ley lines and he gets transported to other parts of the house. Either way, we have to go looking for him and usually find that he has magically reappeared in someone else's bed. Occasionally we find him on the couch. Or in our bed. Or in the cupboard drinking Ovaltine mix. He's sort of like musical chairs except the chair keeps moving to a new location. Always an adventure, that one.

Now on to the heart of the post. You all know that many, many innocent people have met their demise in scary movies. What you may not know is that had those people been in possession of my little suvival guide, they might have survived to scream another scream. So without further delay here are my Horror Survival Tips. Don't be caught dead without them.

1. If you live near a field move away. 9 out of 10 alien abductions/invasions/crop circles occur in them. It might also be helpful to have a dog. Be warned however that your dog will either be eaten or vaporized. Best to get a cheap dog.

2. Never inspect a fallen meteor site. Especially if a gooey substance is oozing out of it. And really especially if that gooey substance eats your girlfriend. If you are trying to get your girlfriend eaten by a gooey substance, inspecting a fallen meteor site is not a good option because it will most likely eat you as well. And your dog.

3. Avoid fog at all costs. It may turn you inside out. It was also responsible for nearly 6000 automobile related accidents between 1981-1989 according to the NTSB. Also, 38% of motorcycle related fatalities are caused by fogging eyewear. Fog. The new evil.

4. Aliens always speak monotone english. Therefore to survive an alien invasion you should practice speaking in monotone using as little facial expression and emotion as possible. If you're having trouble with this, work with a tax accountant or CPA. *Note: Aliens try to "fit in" as much as possible before destroying earth and therefore are most likely to BE a tax accountant or CPA. If you are worried that you are talking to an alien, or that your friend, spouse, or mother-in-law might be an alien, look at their ears. They always forget to disguise them. Those wacky aliens.

5. Farmers are usually the first people to die. Right after their dogs. Sadly this is true. Farmers are a curious breed of homo-sapien. They love guns and dogs, and usually have a grudge against would be trespassers. This is a bad combo when staring into the face of a huge insect. If you are a farmer and your dog starts barking wildly only to suddenly yelp and then remain eerily silent. Send out another dog. Just to check. If it happens again, leave.

6. Atomic energy makes things grow really big. The Amazing Collossal Man and the Attack of the 50ft Woman are not fictional. They used to be a happily married couple on holiday until they went to inspect a fallen meteor site and decided to walk through the green cloud of fog and touch the oozing gooey substance. Sigh.

7. If you are using atomic energy to grow insects as a scientist, inevitably you will get into a fight with a collegue and break the glass windows, behind which lay the atomic energy injected insects. These insects will get very big and eat cattle. If, as a farmer you take your gun and go to find out why your cattle suddenly stopped mooing and discover a pile of bones covered with webbing, please don't follow the trail of webbing back to a dark cave. It's pretty obvious that it's a big spider. Trust me.

8. Atomically enhanced insects/spiders like cattle even more than they like dogs. But dogs still make a good snack. See note #1

9. Never, EVER poke the dead monster. This is a monsters' favorite trick. They learn it in monster school, usually as a child. The game is called, "Dead Monster" amazingly enough.

10. Women scream bloody murder at the sight of zombies, but are amazingly calm when they find out that their mad scientist husband digs up corpses to create said zombies. Although a common phenomenon, this is not healthy. A ground breaking new book entitled, "Mad Scientists and the Women Who Love Them" is a good place to start for those wishing to find tranquility.

11. Don't imprison your monster behind a door with a small, barred window in it because if you do, you will be choked to death when feeding it dinner. Plexiglass, electric fences, and pictures of Oprah Winfrey are good substitutes for monster imprisonment. Many Mad Scientists now lie 6ft under because they did not heed this simple safety precaution. As an interesting side note, many zombies are actually reanimated Mad Scientists which would explain the natural proclivity toward brains. Perhaps the reason women scream bloody murder at the sight of zombies is because they realize they used to be in love with them. Before they were a zombie.

12. The Army and the Air Force always have just the right invention to deal with aliens. If not, give them 20 minutes. This is a failsafe. When the military is nearby you're always covered. It is a good thing to keep the personal number of a General or two on your cell phone speed dial.

And finally, When someone says to you "You're not afraid of a little egyptian tomb, are ya?" Tell them "Yes" and get the heck out of there. This famous last line ranks right up there with, "I think it's dead. Go poke it to make sure." Please reference #9

That's all I can do. Now it's up to you to survive.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Horror, The Horror!

It's almost time to celebrate the Boneheads' favorite holiday and so to kick off the season I have included some horrifyingly gruesome pictures which are sure to cause many of you to scream in mortal terror, either from the scary thought that your parents dressed like this, or from the spine-tingling realization that you dressed like this and managed to survive.

This picture is how to get your butt kicked at the golf course. The "all purpose jumpsuit" is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can't see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block.

The little kid picture is how to get your butt kicked in elementary school. Now that I'm a father, I know why I got my butt kicked in elementary school. I'll bet that kid has his name engraved on that belt. Like I did. Stupid belt. At least the kids knew who they were beating up.

The second picture is how to get your butt kicked in high school. I got my butt kicked in high school because I was still wearing that crap from elementary school. This kid looks like he's pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Our next frightening addition is a picture of how to get your butt kicked in a meeting. If you wear this suit and don't sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you'd be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.

What do I say to this next one? It's how to get your butt kicked every day up to and including St. Patricks day. I don't believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles. Ever. Not even if it's "Dress like a 70's leprechaun pimp day."

The next picture is how to get your butt kicked pretty much anywhere. If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like a young Bob Saget relaxing with his "friend" in his new Terry cloth ensemble. What I want to know is who uses coffee cups that match their clothes?

Well, that's about all I can handle for one day. Stay tuned for more strange and frightening goings-on from the desk here at Bonehead Central!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Law

I have recently discovered a new Law. The impact this law has is enormous and should be considered in the same realm as the laws of physics and gravity. If you have children you will undoubtedly be effected by this law though you may not know that it has a name.

The law I'm referring to is the Law of Diminishing Utencils. In order to understand how this law works, let me explain first Johnson's First Law of Excessive Utencil Usage which states: A child will use utencils in direct porportion to the number of utencils owned multipled by 5. Allow me to explain...

You buy utencils enough to service 12 people. That's 12 spoons, 12 larger spoons, 12 forks, 12 larger forks, and 12 knives, plus 12 bowls, and 12 plates. That's 84 pieces of serving hardware. Right. Add to that enough cups to serve 23 people and you have 107 total pieces of serving hardware. Now, add to the equation 4 children. Given the current number of serving pieces, that's 29.75pieces of silverware/cups/plates etc. per child. A parent with children will tell you that 26.75 pieces of silverware/cups/plates per child is not enough. Why?

I once did an experiment at my house to determine the answer to that question. At 8am all the silverware was in the drawer and all the cups and bowls, etc. were in the cupboard. (this was when we had 83 pieces of silverware, more on that later). For Breakfast, the kids all ate cereal. Normally this would be 4 spoons, 4 bowls, 4 cups right? Wrong. Marcus used two spoons and the other kids didn't use their spoons at all but threw them in the sink anyway so technically that counted as being used. Then they all went for seconds, but realizing they had already put their bowls and spoons and cups in the sink got more. Add to that 1 more cup. 4 to be used for milk, and one more for Parker who doesn't like to mix milk and water. Breakfast total: 26.

Between 8 and 12, another 9 cups went in the sink because each child got two drinks and Parker had 3: 2 waters, one milk. Lunch time brought out 5 plates, 4 forks, and 4 cups. Marcus knocked his first plate on the ground. Snack/Lunch Total: 23

At some point between 12 and 5pm the last 5 cups got used along with 6 "other" cups. At our house, "other" could mean mugs, thermos's, bowls, funnels, jars, anything that can hold liquid. 8 more plates were used because they all ate chicken nuggets at snack time and chips, and then had more plates later when they wanted more nuggets. Can't use the old one cause it's dirty right?

And finally at dinner time at another 4 of everything. By this time the dishwasher was done so the boys happily used another 6 or 7 cups getting drinks of water (and milk) before bed. Evening Totals: 46

Grand Total: 95

"But wait!" you say. "95 is less than 107. That should be enough." Ah, but you forget my young padowan, the Law of Diminishing Utencils! This law states: The amount of utencils owned will decrease at an increased rate in correlation to the number of children living in the home. We have 4. That means that on any given day, we will lose 13 pieces utencils. For example, yesterday I loaded the dishwasher with nearly 20 forks. After they were clean, I put them back into the drawer. All 20 of them (remember that number). A few hours later I wanted a fork, opened the drawer and there were two forks. Just two. I looked in the sink. No forks. I looked in the dishwasher. No forks. I asked my 4 children, "Have you guys used any forks?" This is what they said:
Josh: "Parker used some."
Parker: "No I didn't! You did!"
Josh: "No I didn't Parker, you used one to stab ants."
Parker "That was Alex!"
Alex: "It was not, it was a beetle."
Josh: "Well Parker still used some"
Parker: "Yeah, to eat chicken nuggets"
Marcus: "I like forks! Can I have skittles?"

It kind of deteriorated form there so I left the room and continued my search. I did manage to find some here and there and by the end of the day we managed to scrape enough together to have dinner. So the morale of this story is to remember to support the Global Warming movement and buy lots of paper plates and plastic utencils.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Two Vacations and It's All in the Attitude

A very stiff and sore "hello" from Bonehead Land! Why am I stiff and sore? Because we've spent the last two days on Lake Powell with Scott "Sharky", his wunderclan, and his boat the Chum Bucket. We had a lot of fun. Hopefully pics will follow. Josh, Neisha, and I all learned how to wakeboard and Josh and I learned what a rug must feel like when you beat it with a stick. Allow me to Elucidate.
Scott bought a tube and told us "this boat really makes a great wake for tubing. I can even fill up some ballast tanks on board to make it bigger!" Well, who can ignore that kind of boyish glee? Not us for sure so out we went in turns, like little sheep fish to the slaughter. Scott starts going around in circles creating waves that would sink a battleship, and then, just when Josh or I was behind one of his Tscott Tsunami's he turned the boat straight and gunned it, effectively launching us straight up in the air. Here's the fun part: Gravity. As we came down we landed on another upwards traveling wave. Smack! Repeat ad nauseum. Literally. Kristen and Christopher also took a sound beating and Kristen took the height record, performing a twisted gainer with a face plant. Cliff Diving was great too, except for all the kids making fun of me for being scared of heights. Not cool.

Our other little vacation was to the Grand Canyon, big hole of the west. Mark and his clan came down and spent a couple of days here. The canyon was really beautiful except (Mark decided) it must have been half off for stinky people day. He was right! It was like being down wind of a turkey farm, a pig farm, a cow farm, and a used diaper heap all in one! Lot of French people there too...
Well anyway, we took a lot of pics and had a great time. On the way home we got stuck behind an accident which kept us stuck for two hours, but in true Johnson style we all got out and played catch. It was really great to see them.

In other news, Parker has once again shown us the power of a good attitude. Tonight we had pizza for dinner and it was awful. Truly some of the worst we've ever had. And as everyone started complaining about it Parker piped up and said, "Well, we can at least be grateful that it's food and not poop," and the laughter that followed more than made up for the pizza.

That's about it from the desk here at Bonehead central, so until next time be grateful for food. It could be worse.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The PTG and the Crux of Therapy

Well, it's been a great few weeks here at the Bonehead Farm. We recently went to the DCI performance in Ogden, UT and for those of you not familiar with it I've included a link to a video you can watch. The boys were mesmerized for nearly 3 hours and I think it's safe to say that they all want to play brass or percussion instruments. Marcus especially liked the performances and vomited profuse amounts of praise. Ahem.
Speaking of Marcus, he has learned how to be polite when saying "No" (which happens a lot). Now, instead of just yelling "NO!" he yells, "No Sir!" Well, it ain't perfect but what're ya gonna do? He is learning new words everyday. Yesterday's word was "Tremendous." I took a big bite of apple in front of him and he yelled "Wow! That was tremendous!" Not sure where he learned it, but ok we can deal with that. Marcus has also entered the PTG, that mystical path which a young man must travel before reaching the noble position of "big boy" at the Johnson house. The PTG, or Potty Training Gauntlet has always held a place of trepidation and anxiety at our house and now that we're in it, there's no going back. Ugh. Thankfully he's learning fast although he hasn't quite figured out what to do with poo when it comes around. Usually he'll come and ask us which, as you might guess is the makings for a fecal fiasco.
The other boys are doing great as you can see from the pix. They are enjoying every last second of summer on the trampoline and digging in our huge pile of dirt which they have named "Skull Mountain" after digging a couple of holes in one side that eerily resemble a real skeleton head. BTW, how much dirt do you put in a grave? A skele-ton. Get it? I made that up last night.
The last part of today's title deals with what I do. You learn in grad school many of the intricate processes that combine to create change in a persons' life. A person comes in at a point of conflict in their life and our job is to help them get past it, to make the needed change in order to have a more fulfilling future. In layman's terms we sell change. But the path is sometimes delicate and hard to follow. There are times when it isn't clear where to go or what to say. Therefore I have included this short video from Bob Newhart that demonstrates in a clear manner what so many therapists long to say to their clients. Follow the link here: http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYLMTvxOaeE
And that is the news from Bonehead Central so until next time, keep smiling. People will wonder what you're up to.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Learning From Experience

Mark Twain once said, "Only take from an experience what value there is in it. A cat who sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again. But he won't sit on a cold one either." So here is the situation: 3 of my children-Larry, Curly, and Moe went swimming at the local pool. It is about two miles away from our home. Neisha said, "I'll pick you up here at 2pm." At 1:30 they decide they are tired of swimming and figure they'll just walk home. No problem, except they have one pair of shoes between the 3 of them. So off they go down the road in 90 degree weather. They discovered two very important things: First, that the sun makes cement very hot. Second, that it is a lot further to walk somewhere than to drive. By the time we found them Josh was carrying Alex and Parker was walking on his tip toes and all of them had blisters on their feet. Poor kids. 

That was the hot stove. Lesson learned, right? Wrong. Not a week later two boys, whose names shall remain un-named (ahem) go to the pool and were told, "DO NOT LEAVE THE POOL UNTIL I COME GET YOU AT 2pm. IT IS NOW 1pm." That is some pretty clear communication. So at 1:40 the two un-named boys leave the pool and come to my office. But they don't come IN to the office they just stand outside in the parking lot and hop up and down on one foot because it is very hot outside and they are sharing one pair of shoes. sigh. 

What would Mark Twain say about those two I wonder? 

In the home front news, we finished putting the trampoline into the ground and finished putting a sprinkler system in the front yard. We've built a deck, stained it, and have more big plans in store. I have to thank Doug for helping me make sense of deck plans and for taking time out of his weekend to boil out in the sun while I learned how to aim a nail gun. And I have to thank my own Dad for helping me make sense of electricity when it came to wiring the sprinkling system. Dads are the greatest thing in the world. Anyone who is reading this should go right out and purchase their father a gift card to the Home Depot or Lowes. :)

Well that's the latest update from the desk here at Bonehead Central so until next time keep your shoes on. 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sayon-aura and the Mud Brothers

Once again, hello to all of our Bonehead Readers across the land of the free, and the home of the extremely dirty Johnson boys who have decided that since we don't have a pool, having dirt to swim in is the next best thing. It was so great to hear them: "Hey Parker, let's go roll in the dirt!"
"Yeah, let's get the dirtiest of all."
"I can dirtier than that!"
"No way! I can put dirt in my hair!"
"Cool! I want to try!"

I've included a pic to prove this. And yes, it is true that our home is still mostly dirt outside but that is quickly changing. We've started putting in a sprinkling system and will be putting in sod within the month.

In other house news, Neisha has tackled the building of a block wall around the in-ground trampoline and is having a lot of fun with it. She's doing a fine job of it too. Check out the pic!

And now for a little check-in with the Johnson Boys...

Josh continues to amaze us with his love for life and his ability to achieve. He received the Presidential Fitness award in school, the only one in his class. This means that he needed to be above the 85% in all of the categories. He even ran a 6 minute mile! He also qualified for the gifted program at the middle school and is participating in a special summer school program for those kids. Weird. He put summer school and excited in the same sentence.

Parker has been enjoying quite a bit of sports related success too. He won the National Fitness award and was one of just a handful of kids who did it. And he's had a great time playing baseball and in fact his team took first place in his bracket and they all got a big trophy. He also participated in field day for his school. He was a part of a four-man 400 meter relay. Out of 20 teams his took first and Parker was very instrumental in that win by running the first leg faster than anyone else.
After the race they received 1st place ribbons and as Parker got on the bus to go back to school he (in total humility) waggled his ribbon back and forth and said, "Who wants to sit by me?" Later he told me, "Five girls raised their hand, Dad. And Taylor, she raised her hand but she didn't get to sit by me. But Alexa, she raised her hand and she got to sit by me." What a kid.
One other Parkerism: The other day Neisha got in the car to go to church and when he smelled her perfume he said, "Mom what are you wearing?"
"It's just my natural aura," she replied.
"Well then wear less of it," he said.

Alex is just enjoying the heck out of life. He and I recently went to Indiana for a week and while there he got to go the Indianapolis Speedway to watch the Indy 500 cars run their qualifying laps, and get REALLY close to a lion at the Indianapolis Zoo. And what did he say to the lion?
"Here Lion lion. Come and eat me, I've got a nice fresh leg here for you. And look at this nice head, lots of tasty meat. C'mon Mr. Lion, I've got ketchup and mustard and everything! Look at that nice arm!" I have the video. The people around us just stared at him. Then they stared at me. I laughed and I'm sure they thought I was a very sick parent.

Marcus is still a wonderfully independent and capable little guy, and sometimes as weird as a three-dollar bill. Last night when I went in to tell him goodnight he reached up and pulled my head down onto his chest in a hug. It was very cute. After a couple of minutes of total silence, I felt his little hand reach down, grab my nose a little bit, and then I hear "munch munch munch." He ate my nose! We weren't even playing a game. The things that go on inside his head, I tell you.

Well, that's about it for this edition so until next time, keep your hose handy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Home Run

Well, it's nearly complete. All that's left is to put up a wall around the house and we're golden. Here are the latest batch of pics. If you take a look, you'll see a before and after shot of the land. Pretty neat..

The Law of New Carpet

There is a law irrevocably decreed before Heaven which states: Within a week of purchasing new carpet, your children will destroy it. Amen.

Truly we were hoping that we had somehow escaped the wrath of the carpet gods which take great delight in orchestrating the downfall of newly installed carpets all across the country. But no. Not us. We are Johnsons which translates into "Ruin the heck out of it!" if you happen to be a carpet god. Now the powers that be cannot ruin the carpet on their own so they usually contract with smallish type children to do the actual dirty work. Enter Marcus. 

Marcus is just starting to get curious and is pretty strong for his size and likes to carry things around the house (Note: those three things are very bad if they occur in the same sentence). So yesterday morning as my wife was sleeping peacefully, Marcus Curious spied the large syrup refill bottle and decided that it would be fun to carry it around for a while. After reaching his bedroom he began to get curious about whether or not he could open it. The answer to that question, unfortunately was yes. I believe it was about here that the carpet gods put the thought into his mind to do a quick gravity check on the syrup. Sigh. Then, with the carpet covered with a quart of syrup the carpet gods suggested to Marcus's mind that it might be fun to sort of throw the syrup around the room as though he were tied to a mechanical bull. I'm so glad I wasn't home. 

Later that day, after the syrup had been cleaned and the smell of maple syrup no longer hung in the air like a thick fog, the carpet gods suggested to Marcus that shampoo would be a much better thing to pour on carpet because it is pink and bubbly. 

Suffice it to say, Marcus is still alive albeit barely and the carpet--well, the carpet is not new anymore. The carpet gods have once again succeeded in their duty. As for the rest of us, Alex is enjoying baseball, Josh is learning about ebay, and Parker is enjoying stumping around with one leg stuck into a thick, cardboard poster tube. He calls it his "wooden-leg named 'Smith'". 

That's all the news from the desk here at Bonehead Central, so until next time consider tile. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Page attacks trash and the winner is...Josh!

This is the one day of the year when Page-ites get together and clean up this one-horse town. This is also the day when many people try to put their own garbage into official "PAT" bags and turn them in for a free t-shirt. Sigh. This year was fun for two reasons; First, it was windy and frequently I saw pieces of trash blowing by and smacking people in the head. Perhaps they should have named it "Trash attacks Page"! The second reason it was fun was because my son Josh wrote an essay about the event as part of a city wide school assignment and he won first place. So he gets a hundred dollar savings bond from NGS and a big dinner in his honor. He's pretty stoked. Here's a video clip of his teacher telling us he won:


In house news, we're almost done. Which means I get to start playing in the sand. It will be an absolute miracle if I can get anything to grow but we'll give a good shot anyway.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, it's done. We're in. Game over, man. Our ship has finally arrived. And so on, and so on. Our home is nearly complete and although getting from the front door to the kitchen is like a maze, we are totally happy about it.

You know, a while back I wrote about what I learned from moving. Back then this is what I said:

#1 Don't.

#2 If you absolutely must move, don't take your cat.

#3 Especially if it stinks.

#4 When you tell the people who come to help pack the truck "just make it fit", some wonderful surprises are going to come about. I still can't figure out how to put my computer desk back together.

#5 Guys who move refrigerators don't communicate very well.

#6 Don't have a child the week before.

#7 Being stuck in a van with 4 young children and a nervous mother-in-law may require therapy.

I would like to offer you one piece of moving advice. Pianos are evil. I also want to discover the correlation between being a Mormon and owning a 5000lb. piano. I'm not sure why it is, but it seems to be a hidden doctrine that says "In order to make it to heaven you must own an insanely heavy piano that was owned by someone who lived a long time ago and who, consequently, bought the piano from a company that handmade their pianos using steel, led, and granite. Said piano must have enough sentimental value to keep you from making the rational decision to buy a dog instead." The people that helped us move discovered Saturday that "well-built" is hidden code for "this piano is your worst nightmare". Suffice it to say, the piano is still alive, Neisha is happy, and the next Elders Quorum activity will be held at the Chiropractor's office.

Well now, that WAS enlightening! Even so, I have been blessed to learn a few more gems of wisdom that I would like to share...

To start, let me give you an update on the insanely heavy piano or as we (the movers) affectionately named it "The Herninator". It truly has become the stuff of legend. Several people who helped us move came inside, saw it growling in the corner and said "I've heard about this piano." I'm telling you, it did not want to be moved. I don't know how it managed it, but it made itself heavier and wider and I think it even bit someone. But 3 hours later the Herninator was wrestled into its final resting place (don't worry it's in the house) and Neisha played Hymns to pacify it. As for the rest of what I learned:

#8 Unpacking toys which have been gone for 6 months is like Christmas.

#9 Do it twice a year and you won't have to buy Christmas presents ever again.

#10 Never trust someone to move your fridge who's favorite phrase is, "Did I just hit something?"

#11 Hiring someone to fix drywall is expensive.

Really the move went fine. Marcus has been way excited to get boxes in his room even though it's only food storage. they're "his" boxes and that makes them great. And while we're on the topic of food storage let me just say that creating a bed frame out of buckets of wheat will make your bed over 5 ft. tall. We don't even need to kneel down to say our prayers!

This next week we'll finish up the house. Stucco, sidewalk, driveway, and then I get to start landscaping! That's about it from the desk here at Bonehead Central so until next time, encourage your kids to play the flute!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dad Wisdom and Boogers

Shoot, with a title like that I can't go wrong! I have come to the conclusion that disgusting as they may be, boogers attract an awful lot of attention. I suppose you can make them sound less gross by calling them "bogeys" like some little wizard children, or you could make the whole matter worse by calling them "nose poops" like bad little wizard children. Either way, they're here to stay and tonight at the Johnson household is no exception.
Enter Marcus, our extremely-independent-in-an-obnoxious-sort-of-way
2 year old. We were resting after a great game of tickle monster, in which mom or dad chase down screaming children, tickle them, then throw them in jail. Anyway, Marcus sticks his finger in his nose, pulls out a bogey and offers it to me. "No thanks" I say, "I don't want it." So without another word he put it back into his nose. Well you know what they say; "One in the nose is worth two on the floor". Or something like that.
The other bit of news comes from a couple conversations I've had with my kids in the past. As all parents know, kids ask a lot of questions. And more often than not, the answer is far more complicated than we'd care to discuss. It is this quandry that gives men the inspiration to fabricate some of the greatest answers of all time, or as I like to put it: Dad Wisdom. I have two that I will share with you and invite you to send me some of your best wisdom too. The first comes out of a conversation I had with Alex a couple of years ago when he asked the question: "Why don't people just bury dead people in their backyards?" Well the answer would have been quite complicated. How do you explain Cemetary's and respect, and a quiet place of honor and reflection and all that mimble wimble? So I said "Because it would be too hard to put in a sprinkler system with all those dead people in the way." Perfect sense. The other happened with Parker and to be honest I don't even remember saying it but the fact that he did makes it even better. He reminded me that once upon a time he'd asked me how I got nose hair. I didn't remember. "And then", he said "you said that one time you sneaked up to a cow and sniffed really hard and the hair came off the cow and got stuck there." Wow. I don't remember saying that but I sure hope I did. That's a great one!
That's about it from the desk here at Bonehead Central so until next time, be wise.


T.O.F.U. There have been many things in this world which are unexplainable despite our best attempts to do so. Bigfoot, for example has remained a complete mystery even though you can buy real Bigfoot prints on ebay or Bigfoot hair at “Jenkins’ Genuine Mysterious Artifacts and Fish Bait Shop.” Or there is the unexplainable mystery of why people call a car with stuff being transported in it a “shipment” when a ship with stuff being transported in it is called “cargo”.

Be that as it may, there is another yet unexplainable phenomenon in our society which has defied expert’s best attempts to classify it as belonging anywhere on the table of the elements. I’m referring of course to tofu. I have done my own research on the stuff and while not complete should give you enough information to go on. First, tofu is made of a secret governmental test material originally designed to be an adhesive/accelerator for C4 explosives. In fact, in some of the early episodes of “The A-Team” you can catch glimpses of Mr. T eating some of the explosives. However, through lack of funding tofu became basically an edible form of playdoh. Second, tofu comes in a variety of shapes, all of which look curiously like they were made using playdoh tools. Third, it tastes a lot like playdoh. (It is a little known fact that the Playdoh company actually wanted to call their product ‘Doh-fu’). Fourth, it’s used as a substitute for most meats, sweets, fish, and spackle and the winner the National Vegan “Edible Non-Animal Food of the Year” award, edging out wheat grass and olive loaf by a mere six votes!

As I stated before, tofu comes in a variety of shapes and flavors, but there is one tofu creation which is just plain wrong: Tofurkey. Sick, sick, sick. I was introduced to this food sensation by a coworker who is Vegan. This is not to be confused with Vulcan, although the similarities are quite astounding. So what is it? You’re not going to believe this. It is basically spice injected tofu that has been molded to resemble a turkey; legs, gizzard and all. It’s even color coded so you can have your preference of light tofurkey, I mean moldable goo, or dark moldable goo. Doesn’t that sound swell? And for dessert you can have tofumpkin pie! Same great goo, different shape! She wants me to try some tofookies next week.
Well that’s about it from the desk here at Bonehead Central so until next time don’t sneeze when you eat tofu. It’s not pretty.