15 February 2013


Duke sleeping.  Yep, that's the dog.  He is moving as he dreams.
Here's another video of Duke.  He was helping with the pre-washing of the dishes.  Sorry it is shaky, I was taking the video from our laundry room because he knows I don't want him up there and if I got closer he would have stopped.  It was pretty funny though.
Charlie and I were playing with Qwirkle and Duke got a hold of one of the pieces.  I fished out from his mouth what I could.  He swallowed the other half.  I have no idea why he was so determined to eat it; its made out of wood.  I contacted the company and they are sending me a replacement piece free of charge.

Valentine's Day

Here at the Martin household we celebrated with a Valentines dinner.  Of course Charlie had to spill his water before I got a picture...
 ... and then spill it again.  We made him clean it up.
 We had lots of fun during the meal watching the middle candle drip. 
Charles gave me these lovely tulips a few days prior.  I gave Charles a heart that I cut out of wood and sanded down.  It wasn't great, but he liked it.

13 February 2013

Kiddos Growing Up

Our Dog Duke

"Doot!" is the way that Charlie says our new dog's name.  It is pretty cute.  He likes to pat Duke's side and will point out his nose and eyes.  He likes our dog quite a bit.  I have even seen him trying to get up on Duke while saying "pwease!"  Charlie sure loves our new dog.  Henry is currently indifferent to the fact that we now have a dog.  Go figure.
We are having the rest of our fence put in and it should be done in about two weeks.  My desire to get a dog became re-piqued.  I started looking all over online for a dog.  I finally found a cute little puppy (half St. Bernard, half Great Pyrenees) at a shelter.  We were all ready to go pick him up.  The shelter sent us "adoption" paperwork to sign.  After reading the four page document I found nine different things that I was not willing to commit to.  Such as notifying the shelter if we move, if animal control was called, if we die, or other such things along with keeping the dog indoors.  (I have never understood the idea of keeping a dog indoors.  Sure they may "prefer" it, but I am sure a horse, pig, or chicken would prefer to be indoors too.)  So, I let the animal shelter know that what they were asking was ridiculous.
Being put out by the shelter I decided that I was just going to get a dog off of the KSL classified instead.  I found a gorgeous English Mastiff for $50!  I was so excited that I called up the people and got him that night.
It has been a little tough trying to figure out how to house the dog though until our fence gets put up.  He was in the basement, but then we switched him to the garage and put the cat in the basement.  (Kitty and Duke don't really see eye to eye on things.  I think Duke would be fine with her, but she antagonizes him.  Hopefully they will get along one day.)  Our fence should be installed in about two weeks, so before then Duke is allowed in the house a few times a day and he takes two short walks each day.  He barks quietly a little bit when feeling lonely, but when told to hush he does.
He is as well fairly well trained in the idea of boundaries in the home.  I told him one time not to come down the hall to the bedrooms and he pretty well respects that.  He knows how to sit (he may not always do it though), shake, and he is getting better on walks to not drag me along.  He just always wants to trot on the walks which is the speed of my running.  And the best part is that he is so incredibly nice! Charles said that the more he gets to know the dog the more he likes him.  I am glad that he is such a sweet dog.  That does kind of translate into the idea that he isn't much of a watch dog, but I think if it came time to it he would step up to the task at hand.

I am so glad we have such a cute, nice dog!

(I know that none of these photos are great and I am not wearing make up, but it is what we got.  We will try for some better ones later.)

11 February 2013

College or Bust

Most of you understand how much I love Friends of Scouting.  Thanks to a recent Facebook post, I got many replies, most of which shared my frustration.  Some replies were especially enlightening and we got some insider information on why things happen the way they do.  Well, I've decided that if local Scout units can shamelessly beg for money for what is universally considered to be a good cause, my children can shamelessly beg (or their parents rather) for money for education which is no doubt considered to be a good cause by an even greater portion of the population.

Ok.  I'm not really begging for money, BUT if you're swimming in hundred dollar bills and you can't find enough places to put them, you can now click on our children's profile pictures on the left of our blog and it will take you to the Utah Education Savings Plan website on how to contribute.  The real reason that I'm making this post is to tell everyone that Utah has one of, if not THE, best education savings plans in the nation.  Almost every state has one, but Utah's has been hailed as exceptional and ANYONE can create an account even if they do not live in Utah.  It was easy to set up an account and we're hoping that this is a great way to start out our kids' college career.

Of course, money that you spend on education is always tax advantaged, but through this plan your money can be making money in the stock/bond market which has traditionally been a much higher rate of return (around 10% historically) than what you can get in a savings account (less than 0.5% the last time I checked).  At the moment, we are only making our children contribute to the account; we have not put any of our own money in, just the money they have been gifted.  We have contributed 20% of their income to college in this plan, 20% to mission, and 10% to tithing.  That still leaves them 50% of their money to waste on snow cones and slingshots.  

06 February 2013

Henry is Two Months Old!

Henry is over two months old!  He sure is growing up.  Because of some rescheduling Henry just had his two month appointment a few weeks late.  Well, Henry is as healthy as ever!  All of his percentiles were right on track.  Weight is still in the 75th percentile (look at that double chin!) and his height is still in the 95th percentile.  It is so nice to have such a healthy, happy baby who sleeps so well.

What We Do

Charlie loves being with Henry, even if Henry doesn't just love it.
Charlie showing me how to pray.  He learned that you are supposed to close your eyes during a prayer from our example.  We never told him to; he just started doing it.  It is so cute to peek during a prayer every once in a while seeing him pray so reverently.
 Charlie helping me push the laundry basket down the hall.
 Charlie and Henry after their naps.
 Charlie with his "helmet," "sword," and balloon.
Kitty hanging out with the birds. 
 Henry and Charlie hanging out.
 Charlie had to be closer to Henry.

Trip to Idaho

Charles had a week long trip to Detroit so the boys and I decided to head up to Idaho to spend the week with my sister Colleen and her sweet family.
Charlie had a hard time going to bed in a new place, so he would stay up with me until I went to bed.  He fell asleep in one of the little kid chairs one night while watching a movie.
Charlie didn't care to sleep on the floor since it was quite cold so he slept in the bed with me.
Charlie loved playing with his cousins and all of the excitement that was always going on.  It was heaven for him to have playmates all of the time.  Charlie had a hard transition when he got home.  Here Charlie is in the bath with Gideon.  He didn't really care for that. 

Cell Phone Pictures

Charlie snagged this from the laundry pile so I helped him put it on :)
Our cat has no fears.  She would not move when I pulled into the garage--stayed right where she was.  I didn't want to run her over.
Charlie is in the cupboard on our office desk.  He fit pretty well.  I was able to get the door shut and everything.  I remember as a kid emptying out my mom's cupboard of towels and then climbing into it with my siblings.  I also remember climbing into our dog's doghouse with them when it was raining.  Small spaces to crawl into are such fun as a kid.

More From Our California Trip

So, I am a little behind on blog posts.  Here is a second post about our trip to California for David and Laura's wedding with photos that Colleen took for me.
I don't know how Charlie does squats all day, but he does.
Swings were great fun until I almost made him fall out.
Charlie thought that this was a slide.
Charlie wasn't getting a ton of sleep on this vacation and so during one of his meals he started falling asleep at the table.