Diary Entry For March 30, 2008

Luke and Avery have been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks building up their skills on the billiards table.  We modified a couple of sticks for Luke and both he and Avery are turning into a couple of little hustlers.  We figure when they get older, there’s at least a chance they won’t excel in either sports or academics, so maybe they’ll be able to fall back on their pool game.  We’re just trying to keep our bases covered. 

I’ve been working with Luke on the art of using a bridge to excel at the game of pool while having a short arm.  It might look a little silly, but it’s effective. 

Sunny’s not a big fan of our new-found interest in the old pool table.  Don’t get me wrong, he’d love to participate in the game with us.  He follows the balls around the table like they’re tennis balls being thrown for him to retrieve.  He’ll then dart around the table until the temptation becomes too strong and then he starts snapping at the balls.  This tends to get him yelled at and told to “Lie Down!”  Which he does…but then he turns on his sad face.

Sunny’s favorite winter activity is catching snowballs.  He’d catch them non-stop for hours if I’d let him.  I try to limit things though because I worry about the effect of constantly dragging so much ice along his urinary tract.  The thought kind of makes me cringe.

I imagine if I were a snowball, this picture would be terrifying!

The boys had spring break this week, so Miss Sheri and Grandma Linda took them to the Minnesota Zoo on Friday.  Apparently they weren’t the only ones with this idea, because the place was crazy busy.  By the time I arrived, Grandma Linda was getting a little frustrated with navigating the crowds of people.  She even looked at me at one point and said “This place is like a zoo!”  Then she realized it was a zoo which seemed to make her a little happier.

My job is pretty close to the zoo, so I stopped by over my lunch hour to see them.  We had just enough time to walk the Minnesota Trail together.  Then I left.  It was a good lunch.

The boys rode this wolf for a really long time, but never really seemed to get anywhere.

On Friday night, Miss Sheri and I went to see the movie 21.  I’ll give it a solid B and definitely recommend seeing it if you enjoy watching smart kids take advantage of the system.  Jim Sturgess played his part well, Kate Bosworth looked great, and Kevin Spacey was fun to watch as a professor teaching his genius MIT students how to cheat and beat the game of Blackjack.  It’s a skill I’d love to learn as well!

I was so excited to see my old buddy Sinbad in the news this week!  It’s been awhile since we’ve heard anything from him…

In case you haven’t heard, he ratted out Hillary on her fabrication about being shot at on a trip to Bosnia.  Here’s the CBS story on the ordeal:


On Monday night, the boys were honored to receive their Cub Scout Bear Badges and had the opportunity to pose for their Pack Picture.  I thought it was cute that Luke was already in the holiday spirit and showed it by adorning his beloved brother with a set of rabbit ears which I can only imagine was meant to represent the Easter Bunny.  He’s so clever!

We have an awesome den with a bunch of really fun parents!  Our Den Leader, Joey, warned Gary and Tina that if they posed for a picture with me that they might end up on the internet, so I didn’t want to make a liar out of him.  I’m going to have to start carrying photo release forms with me at all times or risk getting into trouble! 

We had an early Spring Thaw and the temperatures soared into the high forties!  To celebrate the Heat Wave, the boys rode their scooters down to the local boat launch.  It was a great opportunity for them to practice their out of control scooter slides as they ran over parts of the street where the ice hadn’t melted yet! 

On Friday, we went to the farm to visit Grandma and Grandpa for Easter.  We were afraid we weren’t going to be able to make it because during the morning we had over six inches of snow fall on us in Minnesota!  They didn’t have nearly as much snow in Iowa.  Just a bunch of cold mud. 

We had fun seeing Grandpa’s new Westfield farm tool thing.  I’m not really sure what it does.  I believe it has something to do with tossing corn, beans, and other stuff they grow.   The boys and I tried to use it like a giant teeter totter, but we couldn’t get it to totter.

Nothing like seeing a huge cement pond full of frozen pig poop to really get oneself into the holiday spirit!!

On Saturday afternoon, we traveled to the bustling metropolis of Alvord, Iowa to take part in a local Easter Egg Hunt.  According to Wikipedia, Alvord has approximately 187 residents and 54 families living in the city of which about 33.3% of them have children under the age of 18.  Lucky for us, not all of them showed up for the Egg Hunt. 

We spent the day with Miss Sheri’s brother, Jerry, his wife, Laura, and her parents, Larry and Marge.  I was a little nervous that I might have a hard time competing against all of them to find the eggs.  I paced back and forth racking my brain trying to figure out the best strategy.  Then I found out that the egg hunt was only for the kids and just felt like I wanted to cry.

We tried to explain to the fellows that they were supposed to use the baskets to collect their eggs, but they much more preferred to beat one another with them.  I guess boys will be boys.

It was a pretty mellow week for the Shortarmguy family.  Sunday night brought us to the end of the season basketball pizza party.  Since we had to miss the final game of the league tournament to attend a wedding, we didn’t receive our medals.  So coach surprised the boys with a little awards ceremony after the pizza was gone.  He was even nice enough to get one for Luke even though he dropped out of basketball early in the season after being trampled one time too many.  All in all, it was a good year in basketball!

On Monday Night, we went to the local elementary school art festival.  Luke created a picture of a turtle which was selected to be exhibited.  Although I thought he did a fantastic job with the picture, he displayed just a little too much turtle butt for my taste.

Saturday morning brought us to the annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny event at the local VFW which is hosted by the Lions.  Miss Sheri, Luke, and Avery all dressed up in their favorite Easter Egg outfits.

The food was excellent as can be seen by Avery’s plate.  We just love  Pancakes and Meat Nuggets!

It doesn’t matter where we go, Grandma Linda is always getting us into trouble.  I have no idea why the Easter Bunny holds such great disdain for her, but for whatever reason he started smacking her on the top of the head repeatedly.   We’re lucky he didn’t have any of his eggs with him or things could have become real messy.  We eventually had to call security over to have them separated.

We had the opportunity to meet a seldom discussed holiday figure known as the Easter Lion.  Supposedly, according to American Folklore, the Easter Lion would hide in the bushes on Easter morning waiting for children seeking eggs and baskets.  If he found one, I guess some pretty unpleasant things would happen.  That’s probably why we don’t talk about him much for the holiday.     

On Saturday Night, we had the honor of attending a dinner with some friends hosted by Dom and Diane Daninger.  Although there was plenty of good wine and good food, there was really a lack of good conversation.  We just all sat there smiling and stared at the same wall like this for most of the evening.  Miss Sheri thought it was such an intriguing thing to witness that she finally stood up and took this picture.  Then we left.

Saturday started off with a bang when we randomly bumped into Grandma Linda at the local Holiday Gas Station.  It was quite a thrill because one moment I was just sitting in the car with my boys patiently waiting for my wife in the store and then the next moment I found myself with an opportunity to scare the life out of my mother while she innocently stood there pumping her gas.  Who says things don’t go our way some times!

We were at the gas station because Miss Sheri wanted to wash her van after we took Sunny to the dog park.  Of course, poor Sunny doesn’t quite understand the concept of the “Car Wash” so he tends to freak out a bit as the jets of water pummel the windows of the van.  The boys find his reaction to be a bit funny. 

On Saturday night, we had the honor of joining our good friend, Kim Bailey, as she celebrated her 40th birthday.  I swear she doesn’t look a day older than 17.

Her Super-Husband, Mike, put out quite the spread for the party.  I was kind of hoping there was going to be a naked sushi bar, but no luck.

The fellows and I had some very pleasant conversations about sports and girls.  Which was good.  If we’d been having conversations about shopping and boys, I don’t think I would have had nearly as nice of a time as I did.

After the birthday party, we stopped to see our old friends, Larry and Dan, at a fundraiser for the upcoming race season for their Turn Key Racing team.  They’re going to be having 4 cars this year up from only 1 last year!!  These guys are creating a racing dynasty right here in Prior Lake, Minnesota!!  Watch out, Nascar!

Unfortunately, there was karaoke at the fund raiser.  Alcohol, microphones, and Shortarmguy are kind of a lethal combination for obnoxious behavior.  When I saw my favorite Beastie Boy’s song “Fight For Your Right To Party” on the play list, I knew I couldn’t leave without taking a turn on the stage.  It got a little ugly.  Apparently my screaming into the microphone didn’t go over well with the restaurant people, because the waitress came in and started having a frantic conversation with the karaoke guy and suddenly my microphone had about 25% of the power that I had to start.  It was kind of fun, though.

On Sunday, Miss Sheri finally decided it was time for us to crack open the coconut that she had air shipped from her friends in Hawaii.  It turned out to be more of a project than we anticipated.  It was well worth it, though, because I always feel like there needs to be more food choices that we prepare with an axe.

Miss Sheri and the boys were happy when she finally cracked the hard outer shell, but I was disappointed.  All that work and there wasn’t a single pearl to be found inside.

Some really good news for Grandpa Bob and Grandma Joyce this week!  After two very long months, they finally came home from the hospital!!  I was so excited to get them on the webcam this evening and saw my dad actually walk from the couch to the camera!  I guess his appetite has been improving every day and he’s starting to be able to get around on his own!  We still don’t know what his next steps are going to be in his battle with leukemia, but to know that he’s home recovering is wonderful news indeed!

And the good news just keeps on coming!  I just found out that my good friends, Krazy Kory and Krazy Kelli, are expecting their first child together!  I’m trying to convince Kelli to take pictures of her stomach every week so we can do a Kelli Belli Watch on my website.  We’ll see if she comes through with them!  Congratulations, guys!!!!

This weekend brought us the end of Avery’s Third Grade Basketball Season!  Thank God!  We love him playing sports, but two nights of practice and games on the weekends gets to be a little much!  We were very impressed with the progress that Avery and his team made over the course of the season.  He even made his second basket of the year at the end of the year tournament on Saturday!  Nothing like finishing the season on a high note!!  He’ll need to work on his ball handling skills and grow about six inches to be more competitive on next year’s squad.  That’s stuff we’ll get to work on right away.   Please email me tips on stretching kids!

Since I didn’t have any pictures for this week’s update on Saturday, I started snapping shots of anything I could find.  Luke became quite annoyed with me and inquired “Why are you taking pictures of me eating waffles?”  Well, Luke, now you know the answer.

On Saturday afternoon, the Shortarmguy family traveled two and a half hours to the bustling metropolis of Swea City, Iowa.  According to Wikipedia, Swea City has a population of 642 people and median household income of $28,250.  The really good news is that for every 100 females, there’s only 89.9 males.  So those 89 dudes must have really good shots at getting lucky when they go out partying on the weekend!!!  I’m guessing that last poor .9 fellow probably has a tough time picking up chicks no matter what the odds are. 

The reason for our visit to Swea City was to attend the wedding of Miss Sheri’s Cousin, Paul Brower, and his lovely new wife, Jessica.  They had a beautiful wedding and we were all lucky enough to blow big spit bubbles at them after the ceremony.

Proud Parents Deb and Al Brower were excited to have Jessica become a new member of their family.  So much so that their smiling faces seemed to radiate throughout the reception while their outfits just blended in with the background.  It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.

We knew the night was going to be pretty crazy when Miss Sheri’s parents arrived with some of her other relatives.  Normally we have to have extra security on hand when these guys show up because they tend to get a little “Out of Control”, but apparently we were able to get a special exemption for the evening.  Luckily, no-one ended up getting hurt.

After riding in the car for 2 and a half hours, sitting through a wedding ceremony, eating dinner with their grandparents,  and watching a variety of wedding toasts, Luke and Avery were ready to cut a rug on the dance floor.  They were shimmying and shaking and break dancing and doing cartwheels and splits and generally moving their bodies in every direction they could think of for the better part of two hours.

I kept telling Luke to ask a nice young lady to be his dance partner, but he refused by slapping his forehead and exclaiming the word “Dad!” in the way he’s reserved to indicate to me that I’m embarrassing the heck out of him.  So I let it drop.  The next thing I know, though, this lovely young lady bumped into him and asked him to dance.  I thought for sure he’d say “No” but then the next thing I see is that he starts boogying down with her.  Suddenly, he was kicking up his heels like he was John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.  I was darned proud of the boy!

Luke and Avery were pretty happy when we told them it was time to go home.  After working the ladies on the dance floor all night, I guess they thought their evening was going to end in a more exciting fashion.  Sorry about that, fellows.

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