Sunday, August 23, 2009

Free Work?

The same week the boys were at my grandparents, my grandpa was doing some tractor work for a neighbor. He had knocked down a tree branch and scattered pine cones. Anyone that knows my grandpa knows that he would never leave pine cones all over someone's yard. So, he gathered up the boys and took them to pick up pine cones. They had only been working a minute when Charlie looked up at my grandpa and asked, "Now, are you getting paid for this, or are you doing this for free?"

Violent Television

About a month ago the boys went to spend a few days with my grandparents on the farm. The first night my grandma told them to go to bed. An hour later she went to check on them. Henry was almost in tears because Charlie would not allow him to go to sleep. Charlie was laughing and jumping on things having a grand old time. My grandma had Henry move to another room and eventually all was quiet.

The next morning, bright and early, Henry came upstairs. He ate toast and cereal and was ready for the day. An hour or so later, my grandma went to wake Charlie, who was still hung-over from his night of fun. Food was the last thing on his mind, but my grandma made him sit up to the counter and tried to feed him. He said to her, "I don't know why I can't go to sleep. I think it is because at home I watch TV at night and I watch A LOT of violence. It just keeps me awake." I know Mark and I are not the best parents, we are the first to admit we probably don't supervise things as much as we should. In fact I don't think I have been down to the basement this week. I had no idea that is why Charlie will never go to bed (I thought it was that he was thirsty, or had to go the bathroom, or his brothers were asleep and he was bored....) Apparently, he is watching extremely violent television and that is keeping him awake. I guess he had better go find some new parents that actually supervise their children and then maybe he will be able to sleep.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Deep Thoughts by Charlie Wolthuis

"Mom, where does jam come from?"

"This jam comes from raspberries from Grandma's garden."

"Mom, where do raspberries come from?"

A little more impatiently, "From plants."

"Plants come from seeds. Did Jesus invent seeds?"

"Yeah, he invented a few things."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Safety Guy

Mark is safe. Mark is very safe. I tend to be a little more relaxed when it comes to things like crossing the street, water, seatbelts... Maybe it is because Mark grew up on the East Coast and in a bigger city. They had to be safe. I on the other hand grew up in Idaho. I was driving trucks, tractors, and motorcycles (not dirt bikes), by the time I was ten. We are a little more laid back here in the West. All of our kids inherited Mark's tendency towards safety, which is not a bad thing, most of the time.

Our kids are at the family cabin in Utah this week. On Monday night I talked to Mark's mom and she told me about their cabin adventures. Apparently, Charlie had a chance to go down the river on a tube, but he insisted he couldn't do it without a life jacket. Understandable. Charlie is not that great of a swimmer. After the river fun they decided to go down to the zip-line the neighbors put in. A real zip-line. Jack went by himself. Henry went with his uncle. Charlie thought about going, but insisted he must have a parachute.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Mark, I mean, Jack, won the stake pinewood derby today. I don't think that many people showed up, but Mark made it his life's work to get someone there, so they would actually hold the thing. He wanted to test out the "modifications" he had made so he would know how to plan for next year, as Jack placed in the top 10 in our ward, but apparently that is not quite good enough. Since we do not own our own track, although I would not be suprised if that is in our future, the only way to test these changes was to enter the stake pinewood derby. They had had little interest, so Mark made calls, e-mailed, and recruited anyone that would take 2 hours out of their Saturday to enter. All his effort was worth it, Jack's car won, but more importantly set a new track record. With tomorrow as a day of rest, I am sure we will begin the engineering process for next year on Monday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


We went to the cemetery today to visit my dad's grave. As we were walking throught the cemetery the boys were pointing out gravestones they liked and names that were the same as theirs. As we were standing around talking to my mom and my grandparents Henry piped up, "I want to be buried in a creepy graveyard, not a cemetery." Okay, I thought. "I also want to have a white gravestone that looks old and I want it to say RIP in big letters."

Way to plan ahead, I will let your wife know.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Presidential Hair

My kids have been bugging Mark to cut their hair for a couple of weeks. If their hair starts to get at all what they think is "long," they start to worry they are going to look like a girl. Their hair could be an inch and a half long and they freak out, "I am going to look like a girl! Cut it!!!" Girl is a bad word in our house.

The other day Charlie and I were in the kitchen together. He looked up at me and out of the blue said, "I need a haircut." I thought he was going to make a comment about looking like a girl, but that was not on his mind that day. "If I don't get these things cut off (he pointed to his sideburns) I am going to look like Abraham Lincoln."