Sunday, February 4, 2018

I'm back baby!!!

I'm sure nobody reads this blog anymore.  It's my fault!  I haven't posted for almost 5 years! 

Ironically I have an almost 5 year old.  You do the math.  

I am also posting this the same day that I have been released from serving as the President of the Young Men's Program for church.  If you don't know what this is, it's a church calling/responsibility that over-sees the male youth ages 12 to graduation and includes the Boy Scout program. 

In January of this year I crossed the 10 year mark for serving with the youth...a decade!  Wowza.  I was scared to death and incredibly intimidated when I was first asked to participate in this program.  After 10 years I have come to love and respect the youth that ARE this program and their parents.  And I will miss it terribly!  It's been just over 7 hours since I was officially released but I feel an odd vacancy inside already!  It's almost like I'm not sure what to do with myself. 

To give you an idea:

 My average Sunday responsibilities included a meeting before church, then 3 hours of normal church (3 Hours?!?  Mormons are weird...), then often times a meeting after.  I was often at church starting at 9:30am, and wouldn't leave until 3:00pm...ish.  Yikes.  Then there were our weekly activity nights that would take me away from my family for 2-3 hours (normally on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening).  Then our weekend activities such as camp-outs, bike rides, hikes, etc.  So in an average week, I'd spend as many as 4 days out of 7 away from my family.  

Side Note: Shout out to my amazing wife!  She has loved and supported me in these responsibilities.  She has gotten our boys ready for church by herself, taken them herself, for over 4 years now.  To put THAT in perspective, you try lugging a church bag, a toy bag, a 30 pound purse that has enough provisions inside to support a small country,  a 4 year old, and a baby carrier with a baby in it across a church parking lot, in a dress, on your own and still look as hot as she does by the time she gets inside...  My wife rocks and I don't deserve her! 

I am positive I made things more difficult than I should have...which I often do.  And when I was asked (by my wife) why I was always gone (physically or mentally), all I could think of to tell her was that I was trying to be the youth leader I hope my boys will have when they grow up and start this program. 

I know it sounds like I'm whining.  I am actually honored that I had this opportunity to learn from the the youth.  I was constantly learning from them and felt close to them in many ways.  And my successors are well equipped and amazing people.  So I have no reason but to feel thankful for the time I had and realize that, while I enjoyed serving in this capacity, I now get to spend some much anticipated time with the family!

Thus the blog!  Now that I have thoroughly over-explained the situation, I am hoping to dedicate time to document the great things that are happening around me. 

But first, I need to go back and fix my blog!  You'll notice (depending on at what point you read this post) most of the previous posts have lost their pictures.  Funny story-I deleted them.  See, when I was a youngster newb, and I got my first Android phone, and I synced my blog to my phone, and the pictures from my blog showed up on my phone, and my mild OCD was bothering me having pictures on said phone that I wasn't interested in having on there, and so I deleted deleted it from my blog as well.  Stupid?  Yes.  So I'd like to go back and try to fix it! 

With that, I will leave you with this quote from the famous Andy Bernard: 

"I wish there was a way to know you're in 
"the good old days", before you've actually left them."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer

       Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer

From: Gardena, CA
Started: Apparently 420 years ago
Tagline: Better Dead Red than just plain dead!
Tagline 2: Once you've had Jack Black, you'll never go back.
Tagline 3: Third time available in 420 years.
Steve-o-Meter: 3 out of 10

Review: I was actually really disappointed in this root beer.  I was really excited about this one from the presentation of it.  I mean, come on, who doesn't want to drink a root beer from a pirate bottle?  My initial thought after reading the label was "Wow, this recipe is 420 years old, it must be really good."  And of course with the pirate theme, I thought about Pirates of the Caribbean and captain Jack Sparrow's tag line "Why is the rum gone?"  I had high expectations...until I cracked this baby open.  

The taste was bland for a root beer.  It was almost bitter and there was no aftertaste.  The drink was pretty low on the carbonation spectrum so the belch-o-meter was also pretty low as well.  The ingredients list Caffeine and Brazilian Guarana.  (I guess the fact that it's Brazilian Guarana vs. normal Guarana makes it more fancy?)  Either way, I don't like drinking either of those ingredients and the taste definitely does not tempt me to come back from seconds.  Ingredients also list Red #40 which is I guess why they call it "Dead Red" root beer, but it wasn't even red so again, I think it's a wasted ingredient.

I tried to do some research on the recipe or origin and all I could find was several vendors that will sell it and the website that is apparently the bottling company for it.  I was hoping to find some good history behind it with the whole pirate theme but again was left wanting....

Overall, I would not suggest this beverage. I would recommend banking the calories and eating a piece of chocolate cake instead.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dad's Root Beer

        Dad's Root Beer

From: Jasper, Indiana
Started: 1937
Tagline: America's Premium Root Beer
Steve-o-Meter: 7 out of 10

Review: This was a pretty good root beer.  It reminded me most of MY dad's home-made root beer.  It's got a medium fizz level-not too overbearing but not smooth like a draft root beer.  The first taste on your tongue may be a bit bitter but the aftertaste is nice and sweet.  I enjoy the bitter/sweet but some may find it less desirable.  The bitter dies down the more you drink.  Amanda said she thought it had a hint of bubble gum flavor.  Overall I gave this bottle a 7 out of 10 because other than reminding me of my dad's recipe, I didn't find it to be anything out of the ordinary.  It's a good tasting root beer but I wouldn't special order it.  I would recommend it to somebody wanting an old fashioned root beer experience.

Father's Day

So, my amazing wife sure spoiled me for father's day this year!  I expected nothing less from her as she is always so good to me.

I have always enjoyed Root Beer.  I think it's because my dad has a recipe for making home-made root beer and he made it quite often while I was growing up.  He is, by default, "the root beer guy" in charge of bringing root beer to all the family gatherings, church activities, BBQ's, etc...  I'm not going to lie, his root beer is pretty dang good.  He has since passed the recipe to me and I am now able to carry on the legacy.  Granted, the recipe is super simple and uses Root Beer Extract bought from the store; however, it is still tasty all the same.  Some day I hope to graduate to actually brewing my own root beer from scratch but it makes me nervous because I don't want to start a hill-billy moonshine operation on accident if I do it wrong.
Pretty sure this is how I would look if I ever started living the hillbilly life!

So my obsession with root beer has only grown since I was a kiddo.  In high school, I found the deliciousness of Henry Weinhard's Root Beer.  It's an amazing draft style root beer that accompanied me to many late night high school movie nights with friends and camping trips with the scouts.  Word of Caution: Drink it cold!  Because it is draft style, it will spew like a boy on the tilt-o-whirl after eating nachos if you're not careful.

Then for Christmas this last year, Amanda got me some eclectic root beer bottles she found at Ace Hardware.  These flavors included the following:

Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer
Frostie's Vanilla Root Beer
Dang! That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer

It was fun to branch out and try different types of Root Beer and also learn more about each brewery and their history.  It was a really neat gift.  So it got me to thinking, "I wonder how many other root beer brands are out there."  

So I Google searched it and and HOLY COW!  There are hundreds of different Root Beer breweries across the country (and some international) all claiming to have the best root beer out there.  It was pretty amazing and definitely overwhelming looking at all of them.

While surfing the web, I found a pretty cool website,, where you can find a lot of these root beers and have them delivered directly to your door.  And my favorite part?  The 24-Pack Sampler!  This site has probably 50-60 different kinds of root beer and the sampler pack will let you try many different flavors and brands in one case.  The only two draw backs I've found with this so far is:  1.The company randomly selects the 24 root beer bottles they send you.  This means you could run into repeats if you order more than one.  2.It's kind of spendy averaging out to about $2.00/bottle.  

So getting back to subject, guess what Steven got for Father's Day?  You betcha'!  The 24-Pack Sampler!

I display my Root Beer collection with pride!

So I've decided to start a series of blog posts (maybe this will motivate me to be more consistent with posting things) that will evaluate each root beer as I drink them.  Even though I really like root beer, I'm not much of a soda drinker SO don't expect this to roll out very fast.  But at least it gives me something else to talk about other than garden and politics.  I've decided to try them randomly, asking Amanda to pick a number between 1-24 and counting from the back forward I tried Dad's Root Beer first.



Sunday, May 5, 2013


I know, I've been kind of lame posting but:

A: I will try to be better at posting more frequently.
B: This news is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

I'm sure most of you reading this are aware of this but for those of you who aren't, Amanda and I have been trying to adopt a baby for a while now.  We found out several years ago that we are unable to have babies and so, after much prayer and research, we decided our best option to start our family would be to adopt a baby.  The journey has been humbling and hard at times but always so fulfilling knowing we are going to start our family.  Well, after some waiting and prayer and much anticipation, I am pleased to announce that....


That is right ladies and gentlemen, Steven is going to be a daddy!!!!  

We were contacted a few weeks ago by an awesome birth-mom who viewed our profile on an on-line database.  After much prayer from her and the birth-father (and from Amanda and I), we were chosen to be the adoptive couple for their baby!  

We also had the opportunity to meet the birth mother today and I have to say, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect experience!  I was so impressed by her and her mother.  I had to leave for a work commitment so I only got to hang out with them for about 40 minutes.  I look forward to getting to know them more in the months and years to come!  

As for the baby, we don't know much other than he/she is healthy and due October 17th.  That means I'm going to be a daddy in:

164 Days, 3 Hours, 23 Minutes

Without further adieu, presenting for the first time ever in semi-full color, our baby, also known (for the time being) as Baby S!

I know what you're thinking and I couldn't agree more...that is one good lookin' noggin!

Thank you to all for the prayers and thoughts on our behalf.  We are truly blessed to have such great family and friends in our lives!  

Monday, November 12, 2012

What The....

Ok, so it's Mid-November and average temperature in the morning is below freezing.  And somehow Amanda and I are STILL canning and dealing with food from the garden! 

Tonight, we canned our last batch of tomatoes.......

...washed up our carrots and got them in the fridge...

...and pressure canned our first batch of pumpkin!

The Pumpkin jars are still inside, we're waiting for the pressure to come down so we can open it and I don't want to wait that long...I'm super patient.

It's been a long summer and winter will be a nice break from the garden!  Stay tuned for a review of our entire summer. 

Here are a few pictures of carrot harvesting fun!

Right After Digging Them Up
The Carrot-teer!
Monster Carrots!
So, is that a carrot in your pocket....or.....oh nevermind.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

'Tis The Season!

So the last few days have been chilly.  We're finally to that time of year where you have to start your car 15 minutes early to defrost the windows, wear a jacket the majority of the day, and when it's super hard to get out of bed in the morning because it's just so warm in bed and so cold out of it. 

A few years back I wanted to make a Christmas gift for everybody in the family so I decided to make rice bags.  I know I'm going to have to give up some of my "guy points" by telling you this but I don't really care, I'll eat some steak later and call it even. 

Amanda's feet and hands get really cold and when we would get into bed, she would always want to put them on me.  Those suckers were so cold they would stick to moist flesh.  If you're not familiar with the concept, please watch the following educational and scientifically based video. 

Not that I mind having sub zero body parts put on me just before I fall asleep, but I thought there must be a way to make her more comfortable.  So I researched and came up with the idea of making the legendary rice bag.  The concept is simple: A 100% cotton cloth bag with rice in it.  Then you take the bag, put it in the microwave for 3 minutes on high, and bingo-you have a nice, warm (hot at first) bag that stays warm for hours.  We warm them up and put them at the foot of the bed.  It makes it very nice to hop into bed with one of those babys waiting for you.  It's like summer in a bag!  Here is a picture of some of the ones I made.

I made mine a bit more fancy than a basic design.  I made an inner bag that holds the rice which is a tie-dye color then I made sleeves for them to slip into which is the plaid you see in the picture.  This way we can take the covers off and wash them periodically.  In my defense, I made the pink ones for the girls and I made the guys' blue to butch it up a bit. 

I made these probably 4 years ago and they are, by far, the best gift I think I've ever given.  The entire family still uses theirs every winter.  My sister Whitney used two or three at a time when she was at school in Greeley to keep warm in -20 degree weather.  It's nice that something so simple has made such an impact on the family.