Monday, December 21, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Merry Christmas! I guess they could say, we would set this world ablaze!

I have not blogged in awhile because I wanted save everything for the Christmas blog. Consider this your Christmas card in my book. Amy will be sending out Christmas cards but personally, I don't think you're worth the price of a stamp...Our 2009 was full of pomp and circumstance and plenty of bragging for our brag letter. Here is our year in review...full of condescending and arrogant snobbery like you've never seen before:

- Peyton- Peyton went to pre-school, didn't get spanked as much, learned a little about a concept called, "reason" and rode some disney roller coasters completetly expressionless. He is learning how to play the piano and Amy says he is the next Beethoven. He also played soccer for the first time and Amy says he is the next Pele. He is so talented and smart and funny. Total chick magnet...Little Stevo in training. If you tell me different I will crack your kneecaps.

- Mya- Mya completed Kindergarten and took 1st grade by storm. She is making friends and chasing boys. She had a massive sleepover for her birfday followed by a giant lake party. She is sooo popular and she's basically a genius. She is also playing piano. Amy says she is the next Alicia Keys. She is currently in cheerleading and gymnasties...Amy says she is the next Greek goddess of the Olympiad. Take me to the Oracle at Delphi O Greek Goddess!

-Amy- HHMMMM....not much to brag about here....

- El Stevo Diablo- HHMMMM....not much going on here either...

- Amy and Stevo together- We went to the Grand Cayman and set that island ablaze! We swam with the dolphins, made out with stingrays, saved the whales, smote our enemies, found buried treasure and lived it up at the Ritz...We also attended DisneyWorld with the rugrats, with Amy and Tiff as our guides we divided and conqured every square inch of that magic kingdom of plastic!

In summary, we didn't lose our jobs this year, we didn't get excommunicated and we didn't do any serious time behind bars.

Merry Christmas and may you all enjoy your 2010 as much as we enjoyed our 2009!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Fun....Oh My!

It is officially cold and that means I am officially behind on my blogging. We had an awesome Halloween, Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas season. We have been having a great time making memories and enjoying life! Steffan and I are truly enjoying the age of our children. They make us laugh everyday and temper tantrums are happening less and less. Here is a quick update with pictures on what we have been up to.
Mya and Peyton had to dress as Batman and Batgirl, so I made Steffan get in on the action as the Joker (of course he scared all of the children, so eventually he had to take the mask off!), I dressed as Catwoman. It was an incredible 31st Birthday!

We spent Thanksgiving in New Mexico with Steffan's family and had such a blast. Mya and Peyton had so much fun with Gavin and Hailey and Grandma LaLa - of course Missy the dog and Grandma's hot tub were a plus as well. They also enjoyed one of Steffan's favorite past times, playing in the dirt. They did this for hours(Steffan's brother just moved into a new house and they haven't finished the backyard yet). They also enjoyed bowling, the trampoline, jumping castles, and visiting Santa at the mall. :)

Mya had her first Cheer leading show, and her and her team did a great job! She is the smallest of the bunch so has to be on top of all the lifts and pyramids. Although afraid of heights she does great and looks adorable!

We are so excited for Christmas and have been getting into the spirit by decorating the house inside and out! We also made a visit to the local Retirement center/Nursing home to share some Christmas carols and holiday cheer. The kids were so adorable! You will have to keep your eyes open for Tiffany's or Emily's blog as I didn't get any pictures. I just love the holidays - so many wonderful memories and time with the family!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

IT IS SO.....

COLD!! Here is what we are up to today....

After 2 days of constant snow, wind and cold, Steffan and the kids decided to play in the 10-12 inches of snow we have in our yard. After all, what are snow days for? No school today, and time to Trick R Treat tomorrow and Saturday. What a fun week!

Just three weeks ago we were saying, "IT IS SO...."

HOT!!! We spent a full week in Florida, enjoying Disneyworld Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and The Beach. We went with my Mom and Dad, and Cory and Tiffany and their kids. Everything was absolutely perfect! (If we could have only lowered the heat by about 10-15 degrees!) The kids were so good, especially considering the heat and Tiffany and I were the master planners, so we did not miss anything! There were a few long days in there, but it was worth every minute.

Mya's favorite rides were Splash Mountain, It's a Small World, The Tea Cups, and the Haunted Mansion. She loved meeting all the characters and getting autographs.

Peyton's favorite rides were It's a Small World and the Dumbo Ride. His favorite character was Ariel for obvious reasons (see the picture!). He also loved meeting Mickey and having the same mouse ears as Mickey.

Steffan's favorite rides were Aerosmith Rockin' RollerCoaster, Tower of Terror, Everest and Splash Mountain. Mostly he liked taking the unsuspecting kids on the roller coasters to see their reactions. Peyton could care less, nothing really bothered him except walking. And Mya was usually hiding her face or burried in Steffans shoulder in fear. But she also enjoyed the rides for the most part, except for Everest, which proved to be a bit much for Jaxon and Mya. Steffan's favorite character was Sleeping Beauty.

My favorite part of the trip was seeing the delight and enjoyment of the kids, and thinking back to the days of Disney when I was a kids. I love It's a Small World, and also all the Roller Coasters. Of course the shopping was great too! The character's were great, especially the ones who could actually talk and interact with the kids. It made it so magical! It was the greatest adventure and vacation we could have asked for!

Monday, September 21, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Parent/Teacher Conference?

Let me just start by saying you should see the ear hair I'm growing! Man, I'm getting old and goin' down hill fast! Poor Amy! What's next? Prostate issues?

We are going to Disney World in a couple of weeks and I've already been telling the kids that if they don't go thru the haunted house, we are putting them up for adoption! Just try me...they know I don't bluff!

As mentioned in my previous blog...Mya has a BIG personality! I just needed to re-iterate that before writing this post. We met with Mya's 1st grade teacher for Parent/Teacher Conference this past week...who I will refer to as X. We enter the classroom at the appointed time...mid morning, yes I'm missing work for this. As per the stereotype, we have to sit in kid desk chairs...Apparently, Mya's personality is a trite too large for her teacher, though she appreciates it, I think she has a hard time managing it. X seems to enjoy Mya's conversational abilities, for example, Mya telling her about hot tubbing in the mountains. However, she doesn't appreciate Mya calling her out on giving out too much work! Or, sighing when it's time to say the Pledge of Allegiance. The trick to Mya is you have to gain credibility with her...she won't just automatically listen to you because you are an a-dult! Inherently respecting authority is not an inherent trait in our little family. So if we respect you...consider it a major compliment!

So, we've been "counseling" Mya to be a better listener to X. I use the word "counseling"'s more like threats of violence! I think it's sinking in too! She's making a concerted effort to behave appropriately in 1st grade. For example, X uses a "behavior ladder" to gauge good behavior. Today, Amy asked her where she ended up on the ladder. Mya responded to Amy that she ended the day at "Super Choices"...meaning she was good. She then tells Amy that X hadn't noticed how great she was all day, so she made a point of reminding X of how good she was today...bartering for some good placement on the "behavior ladder"...some politicking if you will.

Mya then convinced us tonight that we needed to go to Chick Fil-A because all the kids from school would be there and she could see all her friends. So, we go and find out that Chick Fil-A was having some sort of event partnering with the school and of course EVERYBODY was there! Mya got her chance to work the crowd and hangout with her friends...there is no introvert in this girl!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: The Miseducation of Mr. Peet!

It's no secret that Mya has a BIG personality. She is a girls girl, feminine to the core. I love this about Mya and would never try to take her extreme girlishness away from her. However, being the little brother of Miss Mya can be a daunting task! There are times I feel Peyton gets lost in the madness and we don't let his personality shine enough...and then you add the clingy mama's boy factor that boys his age are known to show and I'll admit, there are times I have a hard time knowing how to handle him. I am not a kid person and will never pretend to be one, so this stuff definitely puts me out of my comfort zone!

Well, tonight was a step in the right direction. We have Peyton in soccer this year for the first time. I took him to his first practice...he did fine. Amy took him to his second practice...he was clingy. We took him to his first game...clingy. So, we decided I'm going to take him to practice from now on. I took him tonight...once again, he was fine.

Peyton is also a total shrimp! I don't think he eats enough food of substance...i.e., protein! He's typically on a diet of empty carbs. After practice, I drove thru Wendy's and bought a cheeseburger and chili. We shared the meal of good growth oriented protein and much to his surprise...Peyton actually liked the chili! I then let him take a bath and after the bath, I let him chill out with me and watch some TV. Now, typically, Peyton only gets to watch Mya's girly chick shows...Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, etc...gag me now, I'm nauseous! Do you think we turned it on to Disney? NO! As I was flipping thru the channels, he would give me his opinion as to whether or not he wanted to watch whatever we stopped on. I flipped to Spike TV and Ultimate Fighting was on...he wanted to watch it! I swear he did! I'm not making this up! "They're punching each other!" "They're wrestling!" I explained to him that it is a game and he got a kick out of it! After the bloody clash, we watched some Cartoon Network until the girls got home.

It's times like these when he makes me proud!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Working Class Hero Part IV- My last blue collar jobs!

For my final installment of "Working Class Hero" I'll condense my final blue collar jobs into one post. Interspersed with the Ice Plant, since it was a seasonal job, I worked for a Navajo sculptor named Alvin for a couple of months. He would create native dancers and other emblems of the Navajo Nation out of rock and take them to Phoenix to sell at an art gallery in Scottsdale. He was a phenomenal artist and my job was to cut the base of the rock per his design and set the stage for his work. Especially on deadlines, we would work up to 16 hour days. I would start the day making a fire in the shop, he would then draw lines on the rock showing me where to cut with the saw. Alvin also had a small sweatlodge on his property and one day he decided we needed to enter the sweatlodge and pray to be cleansed. My day started with chopping wood to build a large fire that was used to heat up the volcanic rock used to heat and steam the tent. After working on that and various other projects during the day, we placed the rocks in the tent, poured water over them to create steam and entered the lodge to pray. He prayed in Navajo and I sat there with my hands stingin' from the steam seaping into my blistered hands! It was a neat experience I will never forget!

Following my two years in Ohio proselytizing, I returned to Farmtown and landed a job at a furniture store called Haelig-Meyers. I worked in the warehouse with about 6 other Navajo dudes...I was the only white dude. It was a blast! This was the most physically taxing job I've ever had. Re-arranging the warehouse, unloaded shipments, deliveries, etc. My '76 F-150 had no power steering, so driving home at night with sore forearms was painful! We goofed around a lot as well though...there was always music in the warehouse, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy, Metallica and the guys loved my Ozzy impersonation! One day during down time, we decided to knock each other out by choking each other. I was instructed to hold my breath, stare at the light and a guy would choke me. It took him a while to knock me out because I would keep laughing...but eventually he got me! It was then my turn to knock out a co-worker named Avery. We both stood as I wrapped my hands around his neck and squeezed with all my might...he immediately passed out and went limp, I caught him before he hit the ground, but it freaked me out! I suddenly had visions of "manslaughter conviction" dancing in my head! One of the traditions on the it a "team building activity" was to jump a guy on his last day of work, if he was resigning! I had been there two months and was resigning to move to Utah. On my last day, I went on a delivery into Colorado and we locked the key in the truck and it took all night to get the truck unlocked. Apparently, my co-workers waited quite a while for me to return so they could give me the customary send off, but we didn't make it back until about midnight that night...too bad!

My last blue collar job was my first job in Utah. I was hired to work for Bear Creek Country Kitchens, a dehydrated soup/food manufacturer in Heber City. My initial position was on the "clean up crew"...errr janitor. After three months, I was taught how to drive a forklift and was promoted to the shipping/receiving docks. I interacted extensively with truck drivers...classy people! I worked there with a good buddy from Ohio who went by the name "Skirt"...we had another co-worker named Braden who was a total hippie, complete with the thick beard (we called him Moses...he called me idea why) We would all play basketball after work and I soon gained my typical B-ball reputation! The owners son, the General Manager, would also play. One day, I was approached by the company owner, an old cantankerous man who, as he approached me, said "I heard you're a mean son-of-a-bitch on the basketball court!" which I replied, "you heard right!" I think my response threw him off and he immediately turned around grumbling something as he walked off. We worked long hours, weekends...I once worked a 20 hour day! We went to Jazz games, threw hay at the owners ranch, I was once referred to by my boss as a "22 year old snot nose with an attitude!"...which in retrospect was completely accurate! I never said anything that warranted termination, I would only push the envelope just enough to make my point and piss off my supervisor, who was a 29 year old snot nose with an attitude!

In conclusion, I think the reason I look back at these jobs with fondness is twofold: 1) Physically demanding and rewarding. 2) I could do and say things I can't anymore, due to having much more responsibility now. I guess the trade off is now I have company directors and managers coming to me for advice, whereas back then I was just a goon. Memories....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: An Epidemic Sweeping the Nation!

Yes, you heard me! I have no choice but to report on a dangerous new disease that has reached epidemic levels! Chances are, you know someone who has fact, chances are, you have it! It hasn't reached Amy and I yet and it is my humble cry to the Almighty that it never does! Nothing in our current healthcare system could cure it and the currently proposed Obamacare in it's present form has no language regarding a cure or a solution to this mutation of the human condition...

So what is this disease you ask? It has been labelled "Schizo-iPhonia" by the American Psychiatric and Geriatric Association or APGA. Schizo-iPhonia is an incurrable addiction/fascination/obsession with the iPhone. According to the APGA, this condition has reached epic proportions. The condition has reached every conceivable demographic in this nation and is spreading like the Swine Flu in Mexico...but is more dangerous to humankind. Symptoms include but are not limited to...buying a new iPhone, compulsively downloading new "apps" for the iPhone and blankly staring at the iPhone during what would normally be productive activity...for example during a game of domino's with your family in which you should be paying attention to strategy and otherwise socially interacting with your family!

See those two people with their iPhones talking to each other? Schizo-iPhoniacs can commonly be seen discussing their iPhones with all its features and their latest downloaded applications with other Schizo-iPoniacs. The APGA advises that you do not approach this conversation or attempt to engage the Schizo-iPhoniacs as the experience will leave you bewildered and bored to tears. Some Schizo-iPhoniacs have been compelled through similar experiences to go out to their nearest Apple store and purchase their new obsession immediately!

In conclusion, this new electronic contraption of the most sinister intent has entranced millions of people. Once upon a time, Americans were simply "Cell Phone Degenerates"...we now have to contend with Schizo-iPhonia in all it's dark, touch screen glory. As for me, I will stick with checking work emails on my Dingleberry Curve.

Monday, August 10, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: The Football Madness! It's like a brain hemorrhage that won't stop bleeding!

Like Pavlov's dogs I am salivating at the upcoming football season that looms like being at the bottom of a water slide as Big Dave is merrily lumbering down! It is certainly the most wonderful time of the year! Unfortunately, I will not be able to continue my blog titled, "Stevo's Football Madness". I just don't have the time this year. I feel like I've barely got time for this blog. I've got work, kids, working out, watching football, fantasy football (the Avis boys invited me back), college pick 'em, rituals of the occult, reading Mein Kampf and of course, lest we forget, Guitar Hero: Metallica...I'm just a lot busier this year than I was last year! Now of course, if anyone wants to take over the blog, I'm open to it. And of course, I'm more than happy to beat on Cory and "Enlarged Prostate" know who you college pick 'em again this year. Here is a list of my favorite things during football seasson:
- watching football on Saturday
- watching football on Sunday
- watching commentary on football
- working on the lineups of my fantasy football team
- wondering if I have Asperger Syndrome as it relates to my obsession with football
- eating wings and watching football
- watching football in my man cave
- driving Amy nuts with non-stop football
- playing football, especially Turkey Bowl tackle football in Farmtown! Set it up Big Dave!
- I guess playing "flag" football with people here in suburbia

Now I will make my pre-season predictions. Let's start with college, my favored game, conference champions are as follows:

ACC- Virginia Tech
Big East- tough one, but I'm going with West Virginia
Big Ten(eleven actually)- Penn St. possibly another shared title with the Buckeyes
Big 12- Kansas in the north, Texas in the south-this was a tough one, flip a coin between the Horns and the Sooners-right now the best single division in the land.
Mountain West- sorry Mormons, I'm going with TCU this year, but BYU was a close second.
SEC- my favorite conference! Gators in the east (duh!) and LSU in the west...this is gonna be a fun division to watch this year! Another coin flip between them and Bama.
PAC 10- USC until they decide otherwise. But they'll lose another game they're not supposed to...happens every year.
WAC- Boise St. until they decide otherwise...they need to move to the Mountain West...wouldn't that be fun?

Florida v. Texas in the BCS Championship with the Gators winning again! Sheeeesh, this is way too easy...Urban Meyer needs to retire!

Now for the NFL:
This is an impossible league to predict in the pre-season because of parity and injuries.

Your Super Bowl contenders in the NFC
New York Football Giants
Arizona...bit of a long shot

Your Super Bowl contenders in the AFC
New England...guess who's back?
San Diego...won't be 8-8 this year, but they still have Norv Turner as their coach

My pre-season Super Bowl prediction (subject to change around week 9) is:
Philly v. New England, with the Pats winning it all...but again check back in midseason!

So there you have it. Merry football season and happy buffalo wings!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quickie With Stevo: Batman and Joker Public Service Announcements

Big Dave was in town a couple of weeks ago and introduced me to these viral videos called "Batman and Joker Public Service Announcements". Click on the link below to check out all the PSA's. Topics include sexual harassement, bike safety, heavy lifting, UV protection and how to throw a spiral. It's funny...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Quickie With Stevo: Poseur Corner

We have a landing at the bottom of our staircase, that has some wood railing. There is also a mirror right across the room from this area, so if you stand...just right, you can see yourself in the mirror. This spot has been one of Mya's favorite spots for a long time. She loves to stand next to railing and look at her self in the mirror and do all kinds of poses in the mirror. Of course, being the jerk dad that I am, I make fun of her and call her out on her narcissism.

I discovered this morning that Mya also likes to pretend that one of the railing posts is her boyfriend! She even took a permanent marker and drew a face the post! I inquired as to the name of her imaginary boyfriend and she made me guess. Lemmy? No...Lars? No...King Diamond? No...Apparently it's Ringo! Sweet! That guy is loaded! The Beatles were awesome! Ringo's a little old...but hey, he's rich! Apparently Peyton also has a post across from Mya's which he pretends is his girlfriend.

I have fond memories of myself, Rudd and Big Dave as nine year old kids running around acting like we were driving dirt bikes with our girlfriends, taking them to "Make Out Mountain"...So it appears the apple truly does not fall far from the tree!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: A Stevo exclusive interview with a very peculiar little girl...

Sorry we haven't posted in a while, it's been so busy with family visiting, beating kids, working, yelling at kids, going to festivals of pure metal (You know you're getting too old when you think about jumping in the pit but you talk yourself out of it via fear of blowing out your knee!), working out, beating the kids...Unrighteous dominion is my business...and business is good!

Mya decided that she will turn 6 this year. Based on her recent attitude it's been more along the lines of 16! I need a double barrel shotgun Amy...ASAP! Let's see, what can be said about this sparkling diva that hasn't been said already? I think we need to ask the source directly, so I'm going to interview the birthday girl...

What's your favorite color?

What's your favorite movie?
Bedtime Stories

What was the best part about being 5?
Although, Mya had no response to this one, Amy inserted her opinion: 5 was a big year! Mya decided she was no longer a little girl. She was not going to look "cute" anymore (she even said she wanted to dress "goth" as if she knew what it meant), she is growing out her hair (no more adorable bob hair cuts!), she learned to ride a bike, learned to read and write, learned how to respect authority (some authority that is...this took a lot of work...thank you Mrs. Frankenfeld!), and good or bad she is becoming more and more independent. It was an amazing year.

What is your favorite toy?

What do you think about Peyton?
Kind of weird and kind of sweet...because he has to be weird all the time, but sometimes he's sweet.

What's your favorite thing to do with your mom?

What's your favorite thing to do with your dad?
I like to sit on him!

How many boyfriends do you have?
I have 3 boyfriends...Peter, Bryson and Jake

How many BFF's do you have? (she really does know what BFF stands for!)

What's your favorite song?
Some song from "Barbie & the Diamond Castle" We're gonna find it! We're gonna find it!

What do you want to learn about in 1st grade?
No Comment

What is your favorite book?
She loves to read and is quite good at it, but she doesn't have a favorite book...she likes everything she can read!

What is your favorite TV show?
Wizards of Waverly Place

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Horseback Rider

What is your favorite sport?

Mya has grown a lot in the last year and we are very proud of her! She is a great student in school, a mean older sister who seeks to circumvent the efforts of her younger brother, is rowdy and rambunctious around her friends, sassy to her mom and dad and finally, loves to eat anything composed of sugar and chocolate!

Mya, we love you like a lip loves a canker sore...hmmm...stingy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Quick Post

My cousin Tyler shared this quote with me from Mya, and I had to share:

Tyler - “Look girls, there’s Bass Pro Shops... Have you ever been to Bass Pro Shops? They have a huge fish tank and lots of fake animals.”

Mya - “No, we only shop at Nordstrom.”

I promise we spend more time at Target than we do at Nordstrom, but I still thought this was cute to share. :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Mancrush Ringtones

I'm liking this wakeboarding business. I'm not exactly skilled at it, i.e., I'll never be referred to as "twinkltoes" or being "light on my feet" but I enjoy it nonetheless.

Amy and I, being the spiritual little sunbeams that we are, were considering a mass prayer for the children of the world in these trying times, but Michael Jackson's dead...I guess we can pull that out of the ol' bucket list can't we!

I discovered this past weekend that my brother-in-law Cory has special ringtones for his buddies with whom there is an avid "bro-mance/mancrush". I'm not sure what the songs are, but one sounded like Marvin Gaye and the other like Chris Isaak...In the spirit of this, I decided to create a list of ringtones for certain people I know. Let's see...

- Amy - "Tush" by ZZ Top..."Baby Got Back" was also a consideration here
- Big Dave - Any ballad by any hair band/butt rocker you can think of!
- Bud - Any cheesy, sexual inuendo, Margaritaville, Dancing Queen song you can think of! Is there a song about prostates???
- Craig "President of the Michael Jackson Fan Club 25 years and counting" Thornton - "Beat It"
- Mom-in-Law - scriptures on tape (unless Craig is there to recite them to her verbatim!)
- Mya - "Tuesday's Gone" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, or anything Beatles
- Mr. Peet - "Mommy's Little Monster" by Social Distortion
- Emily - Soundtrack from the "Breaking Wind" vampire series
- Traci - That dude from Top Gun that says, "I want some butts!"
- Dusty and Jen - "The Facts of Life" theme song
- Tiff - A 20 minute John Denver/James Taylor medley/collage..."shower the people you love with love... THANK GOD I'M A COUNTRY BOY!"
- Ma Busch - "Seasons in the Abyss" I'm not saying anything about being raised by you mom, I swear!
- Ol' Ern - "Free Bird" brother! Lord knows, he couldn't change!
- My Charger - "Fuel" by Metallica...White knuckle tight!
- and of course if Stevo decides to call himself..."I'm Too Sexy"...Yeah!
- and last but certainly not least, the man who inspired this list, Cory! Hmmm...this is a tough one...Is there a song that reminds me of the dude that's been my brother-in-law longer than anyone else? Is there a song about golf? Softball? Having 4 zany little sisters who at times border on clinical insanity? Is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir really Mormon? Can men have babies? Is the concept of business ethics an oxymoron? All things considered, as I think about Cory and his place in his family, I think of the eye of a hurricane...the calmest place in the storm. Cory just flows through life, nothing overloads him too much and his mind is always in a good place. Wow! Are he and Amy opposites or what??? So, my song for Cory is "Flowing" by 311...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Operation... Owen's Boat

Happy Father's Day to all you father's out there and to all you mother's who wear the pants in your family! You know who you are! Fatherhood is a mother's revenge, and it's a dish best served cold and bitter...just ask Ma Busch. Studies have shown that men's testosterone levels decrease at the birth of their children. This is nature's way of telling the human male, "Do not eat the child!" "Do not kill the child!" It is not edible and it is not competing for scare not terminate it. In fact, you have to "take care" of it by feeding it and allowing it to grow...UUUHHHH??? Me understand!

Let's segue into the main topic. I have an uncle. Owen. He is the older brother of Ol'Ern, by 15 years! For our family, Owen is THAT know what I mean? Ol'Ern always looked out for him and was a great brother to him. One day, Owen came over to our house to show off a new toy he had purchased. It was an old, worn out motor boat, probably built in the 60's or early 70's. The upholstery was torn, the paint worn off and it looked like it hadn't been used in a few centuries. No reasonable person would actually pay money for this thing. But he was proud of it and wanted to take it out to Morgan Lake to see how smooth she rides! Big Dave and I were in our pre-teens and were coerced by Ol'Ern into joining in this bundle of fun. Needless to say the boat didn't run, I seem to remember we discovered it couldn't even float and that was the end of that. Owen kept the boat in his possession and even talked Ol'Ern into docking it in our extended backyard. The extended backyard was a no-man's land of gargantuan weeds that were capable of consuming human flesh. And so Owen's boat sat in this wasteland for years and years and years.

Following Ol'Ern's passing, Ma Busch sold the homestead and bought a new house in Farmtown. As preparations were made to move Ma Busch out of the house, Big Dave and I remembered something...that P.O.S. boat is still sitting out there in the backyard! Everyone had forgotten about it! Something had to be done. The boat had to go. The new home owners weren't going to want this garbage in their "beautiful" new backyard! We devised a plan.

We understood two things. 1) The gargantuan weeds needed to be cleared. 2) Owen's boat needed to disappear. These weeds weren't the kind that you could just pull out of the ground, or even dig up from under the ground with a shovel. So we did the logical thing...rented a bobcat! If you ever have a reason to rent a absolutely need to take advantage! Just adjust the speed from "turtle" to "rabbit" and ram those weeds going full blast! It was awesome! Our next step was to hook up the boat to Ma Busch's truck and personally deliver it to Owen. Fortunately, the boat sat on a trailer, but the tires were flat and barely hanging on to the wheels. Big deal! We hooked it up anyway and drug it to Owen's house with the metal of the wheels screeching against the pavement. We pull up to Owen's house, him and aunt Laurel come out with a look of absolute shock! "what the...?" We pull up, "Hey guys! I believe this belongs to you!" He asks what he's supposed to do with it, to which we respond that's really not our concern...take it to Lake Powell and see if it will float! That was one of the sweetest moments of my life...I hated that boat, never understood why we had it in the first place and felt a sense of justice in hand delivering it back to its rightful owner...Owen...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: You don't want to find yourself "in the rears" with regards to your personal finances

I have a co-worker who thinks the statement "in arrears" is "in the rears" so I've been using it a lot. It's one of my new favorite phrases. "I'm in the rears on my mortgage payments." Or, "the customer is in the rears on their payments." Love it...

Congrats to Dusty and Sidecar Sally for getting hitched this weekend. It's been a big year for weddings. Traci and Collin Lee Rothey were also married a couple of months ago...and, a good friend and one of Amy's college roomates Mollie was married the week before. Doesn't appear there will be any more any time you understand what I'm implying Mya??? At LEAST 20 years girlfriend!

Going back to the wedding, I just wanted to give a shout out to my significant Amy. She worked hard this weekend and used her "take charge" personality in all its glory to ensure that the wedding went off without a hitch and to keep pressure off mom-in-law. At times, she is critized for being so opinionated and not being afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she thinks is right, but understand is a strength! When I first met her and got a glimpse of her Type A-ness, I commented to her that I felt sorry for her future husband! DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR ME! I did not realize what a wise decision I was making when I married her. I am very proud of her and all that she does. Ma Busch has nominated her for sainthood, Bud thinks she's capable of conquering this planet. Sorry, I just needed to get that out...

One last thing, I'm excited to have Big Dave and Lyndley come up in July. No pressure guys, I'm just setting the table!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Working Class Hero Vol. III...The Iceman Cometh!

It's been a while since I've worked on my "Working Class Hero" series, so here is Volume III. Not long after 4 years of sloughing thru high school (I have an awesome ACT score to validate this) I acquired a job working for Dewey at the Ice Plant. We manufactured and delivered bags of ice to various grocery stores, gas stations, trading posts and other strategic locations. This job will go down in my personal memoirs as one of my favorite gigs ever!

This was a seasonal job that peaked during the summer months. We would work 60-70 hours a week. A typical day entailed coming in at 7am, working until about 6-7pm, then having to go back in at 10pm to bag ice for an hour (lest the ice bin overflow). During the weekend 10pm shifts, we occasionally were blessed by the presence of some of the ladies we had been hanging out with that night! They were typically just curious about an "ice plant".

Working Saturdays was a requirement and though Dewey tried to avoid it, sometimes Sundays needed to be worked as well. You were notified of your schedule at the end of your shift...Dewey would say, "10 tonight, 7 in the morning". We would have to chip the floor in the cold room because ice would build up from the belt times the ice build up would get close to a foot thick. We would use crowbars to crack it then shovel it out. We would have to deliver ice all over the region, including various trading posts on the Navajo Reservation. Once, on a route on the Res, the hood on my truck wasn't closed properly and flew up shattering the windshield as I was driving! Luckily it didn't knock the glass onto me...the window remained intact but cracked into thousands of pieces. I had to drive an hour back to Farm Town on a freeway, looking out the drivers side window because I couldn't see through the windshield!

We became known at the various drop off locations due to our unique product. Often times, upon seeing us arrive with our bags of ice, customers would comment that, "the iceman cometh". We hated this! We developed an "under our breath" response to this greeting, but unfortunetaly I can't repeat it in this forum. We would also get to know the other vendors such as "Rainbow" John...a known drug dealer and driver for Rainbow bread. There was also the Cheetos guy who once wiped out in front of us. This accident triggered the obvious joke from my esteemed colleague with the nice mullett..."It's not easy being cheesy!"

There are many other events and funny stories that transpired during this gig, but I unfortunately cannot recount them on this record. For behold, I have written them on mine other record. Oh yeah, one last thing...I once went to work with the stomach flu and while driving my route, would stop off the side of the road to hurl! Nice!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Quickie With Stevo: Amy had a good time too!

We found this sign and Amy found herself "curiously" attracted to it...Apparently it's some sort of rum native to the island. Amy also forgot to mention that we made out with the stingray. We definitely had a good time and wouldn't trade the experience for anything!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Letter TO Stevo....Happy Birthday and Anniversary....Off to the Grand Cayman!

Every year, as spring rolls around Steffan and I celebrate our wedding anniversary on April 28th and his birthday on May 2. This year was our 9 year anniversary, and Steffan's 33rd Bday. We celebrated by going to the Grand Cayman. We really have not been on a vacation that did not include kids or sleeping on some one's air mattress -Not that I do not love spending time with the kids, or family and friends that let us stay with them - I love that too. But this time we BIG! We researched the most relaxing beach location and then found the best possible resort. So, we ended up at the Ritz Carlton on the Grand Cayman ( Need I say more? Probably not, but I will...
We spent 5 relaxing days and nights, mostly sitting on the beach and eating incredible food. I read 3 books, and 3 magazines, snorkeled several times, and swam with the sting rays. We tried to do a little shopping and sight seeing, but quickly decided we would avoid all tourist traps and just enjoy our time on the beach. Who needs to shop in town when there is a Tiffany's right inside the hotel anyway? :)
It was an amazing week, and provided many new topics/stories for my memoirs, entitled "Livin' with Stevo"...I will share a couple.
Steffan thought he would get a great tan on this vacation, so he started out a week ahead of time to prepare himself for the sun. He jumped into the tanning booth and disregarded the advise of the 17 year old working at the Tanning Salon, and went twice as long as he should have. Of course he came out burnt as can be. He repeated this task a couple more times before our departure, never quite learning....but building that base, right?? Oh 1 on the beach, Steffan neglected to sunscreen his legs and feet. We sat on the beach, reading and swimming, for literally 7-8 hours. Nearing the end of the day, a lady sitting near by said to him, "Oh my, did you get that sun burnt just today". Steffan's reply, "Oh no, I tan red". And red he was, the rest of the week he had a hard time even walking. And since our return he has been peeling like crazy. Some people never learn...
On day 3 we decided to head to Sting Ray City and also a couple of Snorkeling stops. We used Captain Marvin's Tours and ended up on a boat with about 10 other vacationers. Instead of a quiet, relaxing, and beautiful trip out into the ocean snuggled next to his beautiful wife, enjoying the fresh sea air, Steffan introduced himself to all the men on the boat, and proceeded to discuss hours and hours of football. 5 hours later, after 2 snorkel stops, visiting the sting rays, and stopping to see some starfish, Steffan had barely touched the surface on his knowledge of the NFL and College sports - past, present, and future. As we left the boat, one guy even asked him if he worked in the football industry. He wishes!
Steffan had a great birthday, if I do say so myself. He was spoiled as usual, which is really my specialty. I love for everyone in my life to have the best birthdays, after all it is their special day! (I am still waiting for the return favor from him. However, thoughtfulness and gift purchasing have never been his forte. I have learned to get over it...most of the time. But this year was my big 3-0. Still, nothing. But I did not take it out on him this year, I still went all out.) We spent the night before we left going out for Wings and Bday cake with the family, so the kids could wish him a happy birthday. He got Guitar Hero Metallica, and the Complete Guitar Hero Band. He also got a minirefridgerator for the basement, so he will not have to walk up the stairs for soda. Since this purchase and set up, which he took great care in doing, I honestly never see him. He has retired to the man cave in our basement to watch and play for hours and hours. Luckily he includes the kids on the fun and he has Mya sing her heart out and Peyton rock out on the drums. It is pretty dang cute to see them all playing together and rocking out to Metallica. Peyton has to be the guy with the mohawk and Mya loves the rocker chicks. I haven't decided whether this purchase was good or bad...I now have the main TV to myself, and all the time I want to myself at night...however, Steffan has no concept of time down there. I think he would play all night. And he is getting more and more deaf each day. And he is learning more and more useless information by the minute. Who knew he could learn more about rock than he knows about football?! Once we were in the Cayman the celebration continued, I took him out for the fanciest dinner we have ever had. It was a 5 star restaurant, which included a 7course meal. He was in heaven! Unfortunately for me it was seafood, but it was still incredible!
We have been back at home for just over a week, going through the hell I call "vacation punishment". Work has been crazy, the kids have been clingy, and our house was pretty messy until we got through all the laundry. But it was completely worth it! I am happy to confirm after another year of "Livin' with Stevo" that I did in fact marry the man of my dreams - not prince charming, or a knight in shining armor - I do not need that in my life. He is there to make me laugh, challenge my thinking, love me completely, make me feel beautiful and special, and make up my other half. We are a complete compliment to each other and truly enjoy each other's company. Confirming that for another year is truly priceless! (Hopefully my parent's agree and volunteer to watch the kids again next year!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quickie With Stevo: My Apologies

UPDATE!!! After calling her out in a LETTER FROM STEVO, My Lady of the water finally decided to get in the damn pool and swim with her children. I'm finding this technique of calling her out via LETTER FROM STEVO quite effective. We were in the Grand Cayman the first week of May and I'm going to blog about it, but I'm waiting on Amy to download some pictures onto the computer so I can post them with the blog. So, I apologize for taking so long to can blame my better half. Meanwhile, Ma Busch is in town to party and Peyton is running around yelling, "beg for mercy!" and "I'm going to eat you for breakfast!" I swear on my Dodge Charger I didn't teach him this. I'll be back with the update on Grand Cayman...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Working Class Hero Vol. II- Eye of the Tiger!

For my next entry into the "Working Class Hero" series I will discuss my first official job. Now that I had the wise, sage like teachings of Ol' Ern under my belt, my parents and I...ok, mainly my parents thought I needed to get a job. It was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school and the perfect opportunity for entry level work materialized.

My parents liked to rent movies from a small, locally owned video store called Tiger Video. I can't remember the name of the dude that owned the store, but I remember he was a man large in stature (mainly around the waist) with a well kept pornstache and complimentary receding hair line...Sharp! We'll just refer to him as Mr. Pornstache at this point. I don't recall being interviewed by Pornstache following the submission of my application, but I was soon hired for the job!

I'm not sure what my job title was or what my job description entailed or what was even expected of me, but the following Monday I was thrown into the fire to learn the intricacies of the video rental business! Well, to keep a short story short, I just wasn't "getting it". Apparently, some of my inherent weaknesses are that I'm not a "good listener", and I'm not what you'd call "detail oriented". The first of many jobs to teach me that I basically suck at these skills, or I should say, I don't possess these skills. At one point, Pornstache had me sweeping the parking a dusty desert town!

On Friday, Pornstache came in and said he was going to Kentucky Fried Chicken. He came back a few hours later and informed me that he would call me when they were busy. Apparently, they never got busy again as he still hasn't called me!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: My Lady of the Water

Let me just start by saying that I'm singing in a choir...and I actually enjoy it. I never thought I would EVER say that! I've never sung in public and Ma Busch can tell you some stories. I sing with Amy and Craig "He-Who-Has-Some-Pipes" Thornton among others. Amy sings 2nd soprano, Craig sings tenor and I'm droppin' the bass lines like I'm gettin' paid to do it! We're like the singing Von Tramps!

Now for the main topic. We've developed a new ritual of taking the kids to the gym swimming pool every Friday night for about an hour or so. We pack our swim trunks and goggles in a nifty bright pink bag which I love carrying around in public. We go to the family locker room and change into our swim trunks, then proceed to the pool. The pool at this gym is large, cold and kid friendly. There is also a lap pool, sauna and jacuzzi's in the general vicinity. The kids jump right in and I follow. I carry Peyton on my back and throw Mya around like a rag doll...she loves it!

Now I have to say, the greatest sight is seeing Amy in this situation. She's always decked out in a bathing suit and looking something like a graceful, almost mermaidish lady of the water who was born to grace the waters with her every stroke as she so elegantly...sits at the side of the FREAKING pool and doesn't even so much as get her toes wet!!! What the???? I'm dumbfounded by this! Can Amy even swim? Maybe I should find this out? Who do I need to talk to? There's another mom who does this with Amy...they sit and gossip the whole time...I won't mention any names but the Nat knows who she is! Amy if you don't know how to swim I will teach you...just like the time I taught you Bulgarian folk dancing and how to make red jello with cool whip on top. Amy, if anything do it for the children...and by children I don't mean our kids but the disease ridden, orphaned 3rd world country kids you see on the infomercials...for just pennies a day...

Seriously, I do hereby forthwith challenge Amy to get in the FREAKING pool and start swimming with her kids...immediately, this next Friday immediately! Get your bathing suit wet for once!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trying a little harder....

Such a simple goal...yet it seems an impossible task. Today was just one of those days where I really felt inspired to try a little harder. At what you ask?? Well, just about everything. It is so easy to get on survival mode, just making it through each day. I have been in this mode for far too long....Just getting through each morning routine, getting through each meeting, each workout, each meal, each activity...just getting through life.
I am taking a stand TODAY! That is just not good enough. I want to try a little harder. I want to be a better mom. I want to take care of myself better. I want to work harder. I want to be a better wife, a better friend, a better person, a better employee. In fact, I want to be a better blogger and picture taker as well. I have not taken one photo in all of 2009. How sad is that?! It is time to try a little harder to be a little better.

So, as a quick update on all other has been busy!
* We had Traci's incredible wedding in March (then she sadly went back to Utah)
* Jen got engaged to Dustin (YAY! June 13 - Denver Temple)
* My mom and I had another great enrichment (we were truly inspired by the incredible women in our ward!)
* My kids got to finally play in the snow and build a snowman (Mya even went sledding down Grandma Shirley's big hill)
* Steffan and I have been working our butts off at work (sadly we spend many late nights on our laptops, instead of snuggled up enjoying each other's company)
* Steffan went to Canada again
* I survived another "quarter end"
* Steffan and I worked our butts off at the gym as well (Steffan is down 20 lbs, and I am down 10 lbs)
* Our kids continue to make us smile and love life everyday
* Peyton had his very first Primary talk as a Sunbeam (he talked about our family and then sang "I am a Child of God" to the entire Primary of 100 kids)
* I also had to give a talk on Obedience (HA! I wish I could let myself say no, but it was actually a really good learning experience - I still have much to learn on this topic!)
* We enjoyed an incredible day as a family today - watching General Conference, playing games, playing with the kids, even folding laundry was fun, since Peyton had to help fold and put everything away. Then we went to my Mom and Dad's house for dinner (we are so lucky to have so much family so close by!)
* Today I was truly inspired, so hopefully there will be a better me to come!

Long Lost Amy

Saturday, April 4, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Working Class Hero! Vol. I

A working class hero is something to be...John Lennon. Yes, John Lennon wrote those lyrics many years ago. Apparently, he decided he was a working class hero despite making millions of dollars as a musician...

In honor of this delusional rationality, I'm writing a series of posts dedicated to my days as a working class hero! Yes, I once worked manual labor jobs in my younger years! I've since become an HR guy and have to admit there are times I feel like I'm more a part of "the Man" than a working class hero anymore...I can terminate people in cold blood with the best of 'em! I enjoyed manual labor because at the end of the day, there was always a physical sense of opposed to feeling leashed to my Blackberry...hoping there aren't any emergency situations that need to be handled. Don't get me wrong about my job, the pay is good, there is some flexibility with my hours and I usually enjoy the sense of responsibility. But I admit, I have fond memories of my early jobs. Before I get into my first paid job, I will use this post to address my first unpaid job...working for Ol' Ern!

Ern sensed a real duty to instill the ethic of hard work into the feeble minds of the Busch Brothers. Every Saturday was spent working in the yard, building sheds, digging ditches, pulling weeds, working on cars, painting the house, building a room out of the car port, etc. His timing for projects was typically impeccable...he would pick the windiest day possible to decide to put together an aluminum shed...and it had to be finished that day! I once had to take a day off from school to dig up the septic tank...and I enjoyed it...Dammit! I got into a fight at school and received out of school suspension for a day. Do you think I got the day off? Ern had a "to do" list all ready for me!

The carport project was a beast unto itself! Ern decided that everything other than the framing was DIY. My favorite memories of this include him having me drill through concrete with a handheld drill, holding up drywall while he hammered it in then Ern getting pissed off because I couldn't hold the drywall up for hours on end...I would respond to this with a sarcastic comment that would then prompt him to chase me around the house! Unfortunately, Big Dave wasn't as cooperative as I was, and I recall Ern commenting to me once, "that kid is slow as molasses!" after telling Dave to come out and help for the 20th time!

I think the most valuable lesson I learned from this experience was not necessarily hard work ethic, but how to manipulate Ern into getting what I wanted. Ern's basic philosophy was as follows, "I Ern am bound when ye do what I say, when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." I learned that if I went out and helped him without complaint and worked hard, he would hand me the keys to the party wagon, cash and a license to party on a Saturday night! Lesson learned for a young working class hero!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Dream Warriors and Snaggletooth

I was going to write a blog post last week, but knowing that Ma Busch physically wouldn't have been able to read the post forced me to put it off a week. Now that Ma Busch can read again, I'll post something.

I've been watching the floods in Motorhead, North Dakota. 1) I can't believe anybody actually lives in North Dakota. 2) I think it's cool they named their town after a cool metal band! I'll wager the town song is "Ace of Spades". Lemmy should move to this town...he would be crowned mayor without an election! It would be uncontested! I think they need to combine North and South Dakota and just name the state Dakota. Seriously, would anybody even notice the difference? Who do I need to talk to about rolling this out?

One of Amy's favorite shows is "Medium". Medium stars Patricia Arquette who plays a lady who dreams about people getting murdered and then tells the District Attorney and they solve the crime. It's like the soothsayer's version of Murder She Wrote. Angela Landsbury would've killed to be a medium in her crime drama! Anywhoo, watching Patricia Arquette in a show were she dreams reminded me of something from the past. Remember Nightmare on Elm Street? She was in one of those movies! That was the horror flick franchise about Freddy Krueger who killed people in their dreams! And the Medium lady was in it! Coincidence? I think not! She was also in a music video for the film, and guess what the song was called? Dream Warriors! Now when Amy watches Medium I sing in a really high voice, D-R-E-A-M W-A-R-R-I-O-R-s!!! She absolutely adores it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Dude, it's been busy...

Life has been busy with work, kids, sick kids, working out, playing Guitar Hero, causing trouble, and general insubordination. Some recent observations:

- You know you're getting old pluck a bunch of nose hairs and there's still a bunch left!

- I'm teaching the kids how to play bass on Guitar Hero. I play guitar since they call me Stevo Van Halen! Yeah, that's right...I can shred! I have them on the Beginner level where you just pluck the bass every time a highlighted bar comes up...I think even my mom-in-law could do it! Mya averages about 40% correct, while Peyton averages about 60%.

- I told Amy to write a blog for once...she responded that she is too busy...watching all that Grey's "Anatomy", Medium and Desperate Housewives.

- I participated in a drag race against Craig "He-Who-Has-a-Lead-Foot-Just-Not-Quite-Lead-Enough" Thornton. It was his Chrysler 300 against my Dodge Charger...both have Hemi's. Dusty flagged us and we raced about 100 yards down the street in the neighborhood. I would guess our cars have about the same size cajones' but I anticipated the snap count a little better and got the jump...never looked back. Bud said he could take us both in his premium gutless 4 banger KIA Crap Car! Just keep dreamin' Buddy!

- Speaking of Bud, he asked me to send him a picture of me, since I've working out, he thinks I already look vastly different. I responded the only picture he'd get from me would be one of my rear-end. He told me he wouldn't know the difference, it would look the same whether it was my face or my rear-end!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Ponderings of Peyton...or Pontificating, or whatever you want to call it

I want to dedicate this blog to Peyton. Peyton has many nicknames, most of which were dubbed by yours truly...Peyt, P, Mr. P, Pete, Mr. Pete, Screamin' Pete, PeteMagic, Chuck, Shrimpy, Little Pete (his cousins call him Pete too, and also refer to me as "Big Pete"). Peyton's loves include his mama, his sister, plants in all their variety, music, and playing with his cousins. Peyton strongly dislikes, authority, anything that represents authority (namely his dad), and...oh yeah, being told what to do! Today, Peyton was undressing a babie doll and Amy had to put a stop to it. She grabbed the barbie and attempted to take it from Peyton. They soon found themselves in a tug of war with Peyton shouting, "I stronger than you!" Peyton has also learned some quotes of wisdom from his father. When I ask Peyton what he likes, he'll say "chicks and cars!" I've attempted to expound on this by adding "fast cars and fast women" but Amy gets mad at me. In fact, the kids will throw me under the bus whenever I say it..."Mom! Daddy said women!" I also tell Peyton to get a job, but he just repeats it rather than going out and applying for job's tough market out there, jobs aren't coming easy! Amy taught him a saying that relates to his love for his moon's straight out of Napoleon Dynamite, "hey Peyton, do you like your boots?" To which Peyton replies, "heck yes!"

Overall, I'd say Peyton is a good kid. The key to interacting with him is if he approaches you, lay down and pretend that your dead...he'll walk up to you, sniff you and eventually that point your good to go!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Quickie With Stevo...Eye of the Tiger!!! GGGRRRR!!!!

I've been working out at this gym with a trainer and I've learned a ton about properly working out and eating better and more effective cardio, etc. For example, I wasn't aware there were a million ways to work your lats! FYI, there are also millions of ways to work your abs! I didn't think doing a lunge would be so difficult! The gym does have it's quota of juice fueled beefcakes, but overall, most of the folks are regular schmucks like me just tryin' to get by. One night, my trainer taught me this tricky little maneuver that I call "the Lunge N' Point". Essentially, you lunge then twist your body (flexing your abs and olbiques of course...because every exercise is an ab exercise!) This isn't a stationary exercise either, you're moving forward lunging then pointing. The night the trainer had me perform this awkward looking exercise, we lunged and pointed right by some massive beefcakes benchpressing a good amount of weight. I have to say, it was a little embarrassing, I'm a big guy, I can lift a good amount of weight, I don't embarrass myself in the weightroom, but lunging and pointing in the weightroom was enough to make me blush...especially in front of afore mentioned juice fueled beefcakes...and lunge and point and lunge and point and lunge and point.

Musings from Mya....Testimony

Mya decided tonight that she wants to work on a "talk", like the other kids give on testimony Sunday. I told her that those kids are just talking about the things that they believe. So, here is what she wants to tell people:

"I believe in Jesus and Jesus believes in me. I love Jesus and he loves me too. I believe in the Holy Ghost, because he is real."

So simple, but so true...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO: Happy Birthday to Stevo's Baby Brother!

Every year on January 24th we celebrate the birthday of a special person. It is the day that Stevo's...ahem...little brother Big Dave was born. My birthday present to Big Dave this year will be my obligatory blog roast of him! I know him better than most, so this should be easy! I can sense Big Dave getting a little squeamish right about now...

Big Dave and I are just 18 months apart in age, so we bascially spent our entire childhoods together. Dave was tall for his age, so we were always the same size as kids. The closeness in size and age resulted in us often times being treated like twins by our parents and other people in our lives. We also fought constantly! It typically started with words and ended in physical violence. As time went on, we were often critized by Ol' Ern for our gigantic eating habits...we eventually had to resort to covert operations to obtain necessary nutrients (snacks) without Ol' Ern hearing us! For if we were caught, we should surely die! Viva La Revolution!!!

Character traits as a child- very ticklish, could make friends with anybody and had a great love of little lost puppies...he would bring them home and name them "Sport". He would love his "Sport" until Ma Busch sent the little lost puppy packin' down the road. He's always had a big heart and cares deeply for the feelings of others...some might say "sensitive"...until you pissed him off, then he turned into a dragon.

As a teenager, Big Dave frequented many girlfriends. His hobbies included Nintendo, making mixed tapes complete with Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Poison for his girlfriends and of course drinking Kool-Aid while watching his favorite movie, "Grease II". He also hosted numerous "chip N dip" parties to attract the ladies!

As an adult, Big Dave has grown into a fruitful and productive citizen (accessories include bachelor's degree, well paying job and family). He has become quite the banker financial economist...guy. He always did well in math and it is now paying Dave, I don't need an explanation of how exactly it is paying dividends!

In summary, Big Dave is one of my best friends and confidantes...I tell him things I don't tell anyone else. I could write volumes on our childhood and the pychology behind it. He is absolutely one of my favorite people and if you haven't already met him, I highly recommend you go out of your way and make an effort to.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quickie With Stevo...Musings of Mya

With Martin Luther King day freshly behind us, Mya learned a bit about him at school. To quote Mya directly..."Martin Luther King was a speaker, a leader, a man of great courage, a hero, wise and he makes us equal". Bud thinks Mya will have the world subdued and under her control by her early 20's. We'll just have to wait and see...

One of Mya's characteristics is her vivid imagination. This can be both a strength and at times a weakness. On Sunday afternoon, during the NFL's conference championships, Craig "He-Who-is-Learning-to-be-a-Team-Player" Thornton decided it was a good idea to show his grandkids "Spiderman 3". This is the episode with the villians "Venom" and "Sandman" and is rated PG-13. Mya was enthralled by the movie, but I could tell the villians were going to scare her later that night. I warned Craig this was a bad idea. Needless to say Mya was scared to death that night and had to sleep with me while Amy slept in Mya's bed! I had a problem with this on two levels. 1)- Mya is too young and imaginitive for this movie and 2)- this was being shown during the conference championships! Sad...I asked Craig if "The Exorcist" was on tap for next Sunday! Perhaps some readings of Stephen King!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Quickie With Stevo...Work Holiday Parties

We attended our first holiday party with my new company on Saturday. I've never really enjoyed work parties that much. Holiday parties are typically an HR nightmare...a molotov cocktail of racial tension, sexual harassment and table dancing. An old boss at an old company actually broke her nose from falling on her face after table dancing...and she was HR!

The party was at the University Club downtown. The theme was masqueradish with gambling sprinkled in. At first, I wasn't going to buy a mask for the occasion, until I found out the CEO was being adamant about it so I complied. Amy and I went to the happy, fun, party joint and bought mardi gras masks. The party was actually pretty fun. We ate good food, enjoyed good company and I learned how to play craps. Basically, I learned that you place your bet on some numbers, throw the dice and occasionally the dealer gives you a few chips back.

My co-workers also got to meet Amy. Frequent comments on Amy included..."how did you swindle her into marrying you!"..."you don't deserve her!"..."your wife is such a sweetheart!" I've kept my response consistent...a little charm can go a long way! You charm your way in, seal the deal, get her investment and BAM...hook, line and sinker! You like that? I have another saying, a confident look and a clipboard will get you anywhere!

Friday, January 2, 2009

LETTERS FROM STEVO...Is it really 2009? Relax, a bunch of dead people say the end of the world is 3 years away!

So the earth has revolved around the sun one more time...Excellent! Let's celebrate like it's a miracle this has occurred! I have a hunch it's going to do it a few more times before its all said and done...just call it a hunch. I keep seeing this History Channel advertisement for a show about all the alleged prophecies for the end of the world in the year 2012... The Maya's, Nostradamus (no Thornton clan, I didn't say Nordstrom's...relax, there's no sale going on). I have a feeling Nostradamus is going to lose what little credibility he has left in 2013...we can probably quit talking about the Maya around that time as well.

I don't do new years resolutions as I'm not really a goal oriented person (I wander aimlessly thru life and occasionally happen upon success). With that being said, let's look at some New Year's resolutions and goals for Stevo & friends in 2009!

- Craig "Curlz for the Gurlz" Thornton did a 3 minute plank the other day at the gym...impressive! He has resolved to up that time to a 5 minute plank by year's end.

- Amy resolves to let Stevo out of the doghouse for the first time in almost 9 years and finish her memoir titled, "Living with Stevo"

- Peyton resolves to be gentler with grandma Shirley's chick casualties either!

- Mya resolves to conquer the world with her wit, charm, indominable spirit and talent for B.S.!

- Bud resolves to learn all the dance moves from "Mama Mia"

- Ma Busch resolves to put an end to her QVC purchasing habit and move to more modernized online shopping...does Hobby Lobby have a website?

- Big Dave resolves to become the next Milt Friedman/Warren Buffet/Adam Smith

- The Thornton/Carlson clan resolves to single handedly keep Nordstrom's in business through this tough economy

- Brother Mike resolves to stop "surfing the web" and sleeping so much and to finally take his wife out on a real date

Last but certainly not least, Stevo resolves to do the following:

- Provide more fodder for Amy's above mentioned memoir
- play on the church basketball team, "You tell 'em I'm comin'...and I'm bringin' HELL with me!!!"
- Go a year without buying any shoes
- Make sure Cory finally gets to see "The Godfather"...both I and II...ok, maybe III too!
- And of course, provide you all with more "Letters from Stevo" and "Quickie with Stevo"