Welcome, welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read about our crazy, fun life. Look around to learn about us, our adoption story, or to find out how to contact us. Feel free to make comments (LOVE comments). We do have the comment moderator on, so if you want it private, just say so. Also, we have pass along cards. If you'd like some, just let us know! Thanks again and happy reading!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How fast can you eat peas?

Tonight for dinner we had peas as a side dish. Well~ Jared, being the cute and funny man he is, decided to try to eat peas really fast. Look at how well he did! Sorry, I just thought it funny.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Late posting....

So Jason's (Jared's brother) birthday was Nov. 13. We made oo-eee-goooeey-yum-yum cake and had just fun visiting with them that night. Here are some pics. of the birthday man.

Jason smiling for the camera. Michelle (Jason's wife) is just chillin'.

The oo-eee-goooeey-yum-yum cake. Sorry about Michelle and Taylor (Jason's friend) having weird faces. I took this in the middle of singing happy birthday!

The humongous fort

Here's some pics. to show our big fort with the Michaelis kids!

Jared and Cambree in one part of the fort.

Laura in the second part of the fort.

Emily in the third part of the fort. Heidi is stepping on the bars and Nathan is under them.

Trying to show how big the fort is. Don't know that you can tell really though. It took up the whole room.

Jared playing with Heidi, Cambree, and Laura.

Our fun filled week

This week my brother Jacob came home from his mission. 2 years and I am sure that my mom felt like it was 20. Jacob had been serving in the Massachusetts Boston Mission. I think he was very happy to have gotten home before all the cold weather hit. I do not know about you, Jacob, but I despise snow. I got to talk with him on Friday and catch up a little with him. He is excited to start school and spend time alone. Jacob, I would like to point out that having a companion post mission is much better than on the mission. You get to pick one you like and you can go for a run without dragging anybody else along with you. Scratch that I like to go running with Devin better than I like running alone. Well, Jacob, welcome home and we are glad to have you back.

Devin had a very full week. It was filled with fun and excitement. Tuesday was the funnest Tuesday of the month, Pack Meeting. Devin did all types of fun stuff with the boys. This month's theme was heroes so the boys got to do lots of stuff to warm up for Pack Meeting. Devin set up some cones and the boys had to weave through the cones with a soccer ball. At another location Devin had the boys do an army crawl through a maze of tables. They also did pushups, a run and jump rope. Devin collected all the times and the kids got a little reward for having the best score. There was a 4 year old boy there who could almost stand under the tables and he just sprinted through the course and won that one. He was so proud to have beat the older kids. The boys also had to do heroic things during the pack meeting like stop a train from running off the tracks, or save a baby from getting run over. Devin really had a good time with all the boys when they came up and talked about their heroes. The boys seem to like the cheers. I decided to change up the cheers a little this month and the boys got cheers based on their hero. A 6 year old little boy could not sit in his chair any more and had to tell us about his hero, Super Man. Everyone stood on one leg laid their body out flat and flew for his cheer. I think this was one of the funnest Pack Meetings in a long time and Devin made it much funner. I am a little sad because I am not going to get to be Cub Master any more. Our Cub Master is finishing up his training and will be back for the next pack meeting. Maybe Devin will help me stage a coup and dethrone the Cub Master.

Saturday was fun. I started the day out by reading for many hours before I had to do anything else. This was relaxation at its best. Soon after that Grandma and Granddad who had come the night before got up and we had a good time talking and eating breakfast. Eggs and toast is my favorite breakfast on Saturday. Then the fireworks hit and Nate and Autumn, my brother-in-law and his wife, came over with their kids, Ben and Emily. They had some stuff to discuss with Grandma and Granddad. I took the opportunity to play with the niece and nephew. They where noisy so we went upstairs to have our fun. We started the games off with a few rounds of hide and go seek. This game ends up being very lame because of Devin. She keeps the house in such good order and uncluttered that it is difficult to find a good hiding place other than the closets. We soon went to a game of chess. That lasted about 3 minutes and we went to fort building. The bunk beds made a good fort we jumped off the beds threw the kids around and really just got some energy out. Their favorite game was jumping on my back and then telling me things to do. I would follow their instructions exactly but I would do it in ways they could not see in advance. The would tell me to walk into walls so I would do it backwards mushing them first. I was happy to have distracted them while Grandma and Granddad got the news. A position in an assisted living facility had opened up. They are going to be moving in this coming weekend. Granddad and Grandma have been traveling to much over the past few months and where looking for a more permanent solution. Devin and I are excited to have them close by so they can drop in for Sunday dinner. Playing with the Ben and Emily was just a warm up for what happened latter that night.

Our bishop has been out of town for most of the last three weeks. His wife has started to show some of the stress of not having your companion around so we volunteered to watch their kids. Saturday night all five kids got dropped off at our house and we had a blast. When the parents left they asked what time they should show up and pick up the kids. I responded, “Late!”. Jason and Michelle were at our house as well so the fun was more than doubled. I thought the kids would like to help put pizza together for dinner but they did not want anything to do with that. Jason is much to exciting. The kids played tag in the front room. The love seat and the couch where the bases and the game is played much like a normal Payne game with lots and lots of taunting. The only major change to the rules was that once you tagged someone they had to act like an animal of your choice while they were it. We had chickens, walrus, snakes; the list could go for a very long time but you get the idea of all the sounds that would have emanated through the house. My favorite was 2 year old Cambree. She had a green shirt on and acted like a cute little frog. After dinner I tried to calm things down by putting a movie on. The kids could not agree on one so we put on a second movie upstairs. As soon as the movie ended it was time to play again. We went upstairs and started to play in the bunk bed fort. You will notice from the attached pictures that this was a massive fort. There were passages from one compartment to another. It filled the room and fell down many times. Lucky for us it was easy to put up. Everyone went wild with all that was going on. Devin would pin me down and the kids would tickle me. Jason and the kids kept throwing balls at each other. We were a little disappointed when the parents showed up at 9:00. Only 4 hours later to pick up the kids. I guess that when you get older 9:00 is late. We were happy to have had them over. Earlier that day I got a warm up for having everyone over. If you need your kids watched or entertained please call us. We know how to up the stakes on fun at our house. We hope in the coming week your homes are filled with as much fun and laughter as ours is.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jared & Devin update

I want to point out how SPECTACULAR MY WIFE IS!!! I have a simple care free life with out much stress. Devin on the other hand is always on the go with more to do than she has time. Most days of the week Devin wakes up way to early. Some mornings she has work, Others she has school and sometimes she just can not sleep because her list of things is just too long. Devin then spends the rest of her day running from one task to the other. I am wondering if this type of behavior is what women do all the time. I know for me I wake up go to work come home do the minimum possible to get everything done and call it quits and forget about everything else. Devin has enormously long lists of thing that she feels need to get done. One day this week I went into work early around 5:00 a.m., about the same time Devin got up and went to work. I came home a little early to help Grandma and Grandad with some doctor appointments. I came home picked them up and we rushed out the door. We where not really in much of a rush we mainly wanted to have lunch with Devin. Who would not want lunch with Devin. I want to point out that having lunch with Devin is one of my favorite things to do if I can. We then headed across the street for the doctor appointment. I thought the thing would take 30 minutes but they informed me it would take an hour. I had a good time with grandma while we waited. She has this purple walking cane and I thought it was fun to play with. Grandma and Grandad have so much wisdom to share it was a privilege to be there with them. After the appointment the doctors informed us that we could not leave for another 45 minutes. I then got to hear stories about flying planes and other things that happened throughout the lives of Grandma and Granddad Hurst. We headed home and instead of getting to stay home I had to go back to work because my morning meetings got moved to the afternoon. Someone on my team had their pipes burst. I got home made dinner. After the dishes Devin and I went grocery shopping, and put together some cub scouting stuff and then walked around the ward and delivered the stuff. By the time all this was done it was close to 9:30 at night. Devin still had other things to do and close to 11:00 we finished up and went to bed. After this long day I started to notice that Devin does this same type of schedule 5-6 days of the week. She gets up gets moving and does not stop until everything is done. I do try and help her on her lists most days but she has an infinitely long list. I wonder how this beautiful creature can do so much. I am lucky to have such a woman in my life and look forward to being with her for the rest of eternity. Maybe there will be some time to breath then.

I do not have many stories this week, but my brother Jason has one and I want to tell his story. Some of you may be familiar with a particular superstition about Friday the 13^th . It has a stigma of being a very unlucky day Jason would agree with you if and only if the day is Friday November 13^th this just happens to be his birthday. Jason claims that if his birthday is on that dreaded Friday then bad things happen. The first time this happened was in 1987 Jason turned 1 year old and to his credit expunged the memory from his head. He is not sure what happened but he claims it was the worst birthday ever because he can not remember it. The day was just to traumatic. 5 years latter in 1992 Jason was turning 6 years old at the age of 6 every birthday is important and Jason was no exception. For some unknown reason his parents did not celebrate the day be letting him stay home from school and play. This mad the little kid feel sad and on his way to school the big kids on the bus learned that Jason is having a birthday and it was Friday the 13^th being a small child they picked him up in celebration and passed him around the moving vehicle without seat belts The older much bigger kids decided to give him birthday throws. That means they picked him up and threw them from one person to the next being so small they did not realize how rough they where being with him and hurt the puny Payne. The day was ruined again. As we move forward to 1998 Jason's birthday approached. He was turning 12. He woke up excited to see what presents his family had purchased to express their love for him. As he went out to the kitchen he soon realized that EVERYONE had forgotten his birthday. There where no presents no nothing. Obviously when the situation was noticed our kind mother. She quickly did all in her power to rectify the situation. Unfortunately the damage had been done. Lucky for Jason because of leap year he had been spared the cruelty of another Friday the 13^th until now. Jason had formed a hypothesis that something bad has to happen on his birthday if it is on the dreaded day. He woke up and as far as he can tell only his wife remembered. Jason patently waited for the day to progress. For some inexplicable reason NO ONE called to wish him a happy birthday, also no one even sent him a card. I would have called him but first of all I did not care like everyone else and we had planed to take him out to dinner the next day, after I forced him to clean my house. He has to earn it some how. This just goes to show that you should not have your birthday on Friday the 13^th is is just bad luck.

Devin and I are excited for this next week. Grandma and Grandad are coming back into town. We love having them around they bring a special spirit with them. Also my brother Jacob is coming home from his mission, he as been serving in the Boston mission. We are preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It really is a time to celebrate being with family and friends. We hope the holiday spirit starts early in your house as well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our fun week

Like the last few weeks this letter has a medical story, but unlike last week it does not involve Good Looking. For those of you who do not know, that is what I normally call Devin. Good Looking got a hold of me at work and told me the important news. Our nephew Taylor,6, had done something dangerous and was being rushed to the emergency room. Soon after she informed me of the situation. Taylor had been trying to be funny and was putting a plastic,toy eye ball in his mouth. Just coming of Halloween, I thought that was pretty funny. Devin then told me that Taylor had swallowed the eyeball and felt real bad. At this point I started to bust a gut laughing. I thought Taylor would be proud that he succeeded in being funny. Devin then sent me a picture of the little boy feeling sick. I just laughed harder. Devin expressed her heart felt sorrow for the discomfort of the distressed young lad. I then educated Devin that the whole situation is hilarious. Devin again reinforced her feelings of compassion. I could not stand it any longer and said “I will laugh today, I will laugh tomorrow, I will laugh at Thanksgiving when I see him, and when he is dating and brings his date home; I will tell the story and laugh then. This is the type of thing you get to hold over someone's head for the rest of their life” I think this is similar to when I was an infant and peed in my own mouth that is just funny. Devin still does not think it is as funny as I did and we will just agree to disagree.

This last week I was not feeling very well. According to my co workers I had pig pox. I spent several days hiding in my room, feeling sorry for myself. There was one advantage to this isolation Devin let me rent whatever movies I wanted and I was distracted by entertainment that Devin normally would not watch.. For example I watched the movies “Streetfighter: the legend of Chun Li”, “GI Joe: the rise of Cobra”, “The Da Vinci Code” and last but not least “Ice Age:Dawn of the dinosaurs”. OK I picked that last one because Devin wanted to watch it but I still enjoyed the movie. I am better and happy to be back on my feet doing regular stuff. As a matter of fact I got to do something really fun on Saturday. I was asked to participate in the baptism of an 8 year old girl in the ward, Diana Lake. We are friends of the family and they asked if I would witness the baptism and help with the confirmation. I want to point out that baptisms are one of my favorite church meetings for the following reasons.

1. They are normally short

2. They focus on core principles of the gospel

3. They signify a person turning to Christ

4. There is always a sweet spirit

I was happy to go and listen to the talks and see the beautiful children be excited about joining the church of God.

We have also been blessed over the last week to have Grandma and Grandad Hurst here this last week. They had been in town for doctor appointments. I want to say that Devin and I really enjoy having them in our home. They are examples of the type of people we want to be. They really are fun to have here. Like one morning Devin and I were waking up and talking about what we had to do for the day and we heard Grandma screaming. We rushed to the bathroom and learned what the problem was. The toilet was overflowing and making a big mess. Devin and I quickly jumped onto the problem and cleaned up the water and unclogged the toilet. When we went downstairs and walked toward the kitchen and something hit me on the head. It was not hard, as a matter of fact it felt cold and wet; just like water. We quickly put a bucket under the drip and let the rest of the water come out of the ceiling. Grandma felt real bad but we had been having trouble with that toilet since we moved in and it just gives us trouble from time to time. When they visit we always have Klondikes for Grandad. My brother Jason knows this and looks forward to their visits so he can steal some Klondikes as well. Sunday Jason came over for dinner and quickly ran to the freezer he knew there were not many left and was hoping to grab one before it was to late. Jason was disappointed to find that the last remaining Klondike had Granddad's name on it- written with permanent marker. Do not worry, Granddad, I was looking out for you.

Other than that not much has happened. Devin got released from being Bear leader and is now just on the cub scouting committee. Devin is busy as ever with school and work. Last of all LIFE WITH DEVIN IS SPECTACULAR!! We hope your week is just as good as ours is.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our week

I would like to relate a story that happened earlier. Today we had stake conference so we got out of church at noon. This was much earlier than our regular church time. After a quick lunch I was holding my cuddly companion on the couch. I was sitting up and Devin was laying down in my arms. This happens to be her favorite position. We had been doing this for about 20 minutes and I looked at Devin and noticed she was about to fall asleep. I informed her that I wanted to take a nap as well. Devin informed me that going all the way upstairs was an inordinately far to go with out being held by her husband. I looked around the room and noticed that there was another couch in the room. I offered to take the initiative to push the couches together and then we could take a nap. At this point Devin started to whimper and educated me on the amount of effort it would take to attempt such a task. I held her as she started to doze off. I then told her I would hold her next to me on the floor next to the couch. Devin then notified me that the time required to leave my arms and move to the carpet was still extraordinarily long. I could not think of a solution to our conundrum. At this point I started to cry with want of sleep. Devin finally relented and gave in to the original request. Devin then slept for the next three hours. She is much more rested and is in a much better mood.

My morbid mate had an exciting day on Friday. If you remember from last week Devin did not get to participate in the amputation of someone's toes. This week Devin had her operating room rotation and got to watch the the removal of several organs. Her morning started out with the removal of a bladder. I thought to myself, “That would stink”. What would you do without a bladder? With the amount of water I drink I would be continually urinating. I would need a diaper or something. Devin then informed me that the bladder being removed was holding gallstones and that the bladder was the gallbladder. Devin claims that I was not listening but I still think she left out information. The second operation was for the same thing. Devin was slightly disappointed because they did not slice the patient open and only had three small incisions. People looked at what was happening on a TV monitor. She did call me at lunch to brag about what she got to observe. The afternoon was more of the same. Except the people in the afternoon had hernias. The first patient had the incisions again which disappointed Devin. The second patient was sliced open like a pinata, but Devin had to go to her debriefing at the end of the day and did not get to look at the guts of that person. Devin came home excited about all she got to see. I was happy to be at work writing test cases for computer programs.

This week I had a really cool missionary experience. Sunday night I got a referral to teach a family in the ward. Eric is a less active member and recently learned that his girlfriend and her kids did not know much about God, Jesus, or anything about religion. He asked if someone but not the full time missionaries would come over and teach them about God and Christ. There are two children in the family Triston (7) and Haiden (6). Since there was only a little knowledge in the house about God I decided to talk to them about God and lay a foundation to build on. We talked about living with God before we where born and what God did for us there. We talked about the creation of the world as a place for us to learn. We then talked about communicating with God. We talked about prophets and having the scriptures to learn what God wants us to know. We then talked about personal revelation and the importance of prayer. Getting to this stage took about 30 minutes and I figured that the kids would be running out of attention. The kids really seemed to enjoy the lesson and everyone was happy to set up a new appointment for next week. I am excited to talk to the kids about Christ. Eric wanted us to teach the children about the nativity and the meaning of Christmas. We are looking forward to next week. We hope that your week will be filled with spiritual experiences.