Monday, December 15, 2008

Emily Dancing

Emily had her winter concert last weekend. As usual, she was beautiful beyond compare.

Isaac's Christmas List


His TWO front teeth!

That's right he lost both bottom teeth the same night.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cute Little Preschool Munchkins




Not quite real smiles...but still cute.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rebirth of Ergonomic Entertainment

Hey Groupies!

I'd just like to announce Ergonomic Entertainment has come under new management. (ok, the same management.)

I'm going to be posting some random thoughts and short stories that I come up with. Please take a read of my first really short story - Desert Storms.

I'm doing this to improve my writing so feel free to rip it apart. But don't go nazi on the grammar. These are rough drafts.

http://ptdarby.blogspot.com/


warm regards,

patrick

Shed a tear until next year

I posted this last year on my "other" blog. But I think it needs re-posting.

As I looked out the curtains late Halloween night, I could see a few last hard-core trick or treaters scouring the neighborhood for any fool that was still passing out candy. My own bowl was empty so I reached over and flicked the light switch, banishing ghouls and ghosts for another year. Sigh....in my head I could still hear the happy screams of terror and the excited giggles of three year-olds with a mouth full of tootsie rolls. I paused, before I turned around, to savor the "haunted sounds" soundtrack that we play on a loop. But something was WRONG! The music had stopped! I felt my pulse quicken in my veins. Was this Halloween turning turning into a real nightmare? Without warning, the stereo came back on full force. A low bass vibrated through my bones, while a sharp ringing penetrated my ears drums! It was happening again. Just like last year. I was forced to my knees. Using every bit of strength left in me I crawled towards the stereo. The pain was excruciating. Next to the cd player my wife stood with an eerie smile on her face. She looked at me and laughed. I felt a tear well up in my eye. How could she do this to me? After all these years? I looked at her. She looked at me. Then, she opened her mouth and starting singing along to the music "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas! It's the best time of the year!"

Yes, even before the cobwebs have cleared from Halloween, my wife starts torturing me with Christmas music. It won't stop until after Easter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Birthday Eve

Yesterday was Eve's birthday!  My little fluffy princess is five years old!  AH!!! 
She is such a little ray of sunshine in our lives and I am so grateful for her!  
Eve loves to draw and dance and just be a little crazy kid!  

For her birthday we ate cake and sang the birthday song and she got to open her presents.  She had a good day.

Ok, the pictures are in the wrong order- but here are some pictures of the Eve in her new and fantastic birthday clothes!  THe pink leo is from us and the blue princess monstrosity is from from Grandma and Grandpa Ekstrom!  She is such a little poser.  I love photo booth! 

 




Sunday, November 2, 2008

This is Halloween!


Hooray for Halloween!
Everyone wears costumes, eats waaaayyy too much candy, and just has a great time. This year was no exception! The festivities began Thursday with Isaac's school choir performance- a clip of which is below. Sorry, we couldn't get the whole thing. It was really cute and Isaac was awesome!
That night was also my ballroom team party. So we went straight over there, ate pizza, danced like monkies, and went home to sleep off our candy overdose.

Friday was the day itself! Isaac wore his costume to school, (minus blue hair since we'd emptied out the bottle for the festivities Thursday, boo hoo!) and the girls insisted on wearing theirs all day. That night we went to our church's Trunk or Treat, which is basically everyone parking their cars and handing out candy from their trunks. Some people went all out and decorated- one large vehicle had a spook-alley sort of thing in the back. It was awesome. We amassed great quantities of candy in a very short while. Inside the actual church building there were games and food. After that we decided to hit the mall and see what candy was left and then we went to visit Aunt Hil at work so she could see us in our costume glory!

It was a fun night!



















video

Thursday, October 30, 2008

World's Most Handsome First Grader


What more can you say? That's one handsome kid...he looks like me!



OK...I know that he is Emily's clone. I was just kidding.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Black Leather Heads

A few weeks ago- right before BYU classes began- Levi and Hil decided they needed to dye their hair. I volunteered my services as an expertly-trained reader of hair-dye directions. The chosen color was "Black Leather." The weird thing about this dye is that it is a light pink-colored syrup sort of liquid. The is very deceiving because a few minutes after application it darkens into the blackness you see below. It is hard to apply because you don't know when enough is enough! Oh yes, and the other thing is that if you get any on yourself in a place you did not plan you discover it after it is too late to get it off without some major scrubbing!
It was a lot of fun, though!

Here is Hil after application and Levi is getting his beard done. Hee hee. I was laughing a little much and it was quite difficult at time to put the color onto the toothbrush I was using!




Hilary still cooking.

Coloring Uncle Levi's potey face.


The finished product. I don't have a picture of Hil- but this one of Levi is precious. hee hee He looks like an evil Santa!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A NEW NEPHEW!!!

Last Monday we received an adorable package- a new nephew, care of my wonderful sister-in-law (well, Aaron helped a little) Dine! Little Aaron Darby was born weighing a bit more than 7lbs and with an unlimited supply of cuteness! The cousins were able to go in and visit so we brought the camera to capture the moment.

Eve loved holding the little guy- she held him the most and was so careful and gentle with him.
Esther, on the other hand, expressed a desire to hold him but when it came down to the moment was happy with about five and half seconds of baby holding. hee hee






I stole the baby when the children weren't in possession. He is quite the cute little man.
Isaac loved his fellow manly cousin and even sang a lullaby to him. (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) It was insanely adorable and I wanted to eat them both.

Embassy Ball

My summer ballroom team competed in the national formation team competition at the Embassy Ball in Irvine, CA the last weekend of August. It was a pretty crazy weekend full of late nights and early mornings- I spent the day after we got back sleeping. It was a lot of fun and we did really well- especiall considering that most of the people dancing learned and performed the medleys in the past two months! We placed second in our Latin medley and second with our Standard medley. There were a few mishaps- ask me about my partner falling on top of me sometime! hee hee oh well, accidents happen! Anyhow, it was a good experience!

SO, here are the girls in the Latin medley.


and some fun with reflective surfaces in costume before we went on.This is my friend Alayne and me before the standard medley- she is awesome.

This is one of my favorite pictures- Chris and Scott- Chris directed the summer team and Scott is our UVU Ballroom director. They are pretty fun guys.

Here is the team after we competed. My dance partners are on the right end- Daisuke and fourth from the right, Abraham.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Japan photos

Patrick: Well, I got back from Japan. I don't know how quite to sum up the whole experience. Japan is very very humid. The people are nice but don't speak as much english as I thought they would. In all the countries that I've been in I haven't felt as lost as I did in Japan. In European countries, if you don't know a word, you feel comfortable looking it up. You recognize the letters for the most part. Kanji, or the characters of Japan, look so alien that you just don't know where to start.
The stereotype is that Asian people are smaller. That is somewhat true but they give huge portions of food at restaurants. I thought that was interesting.
All the bicycles have baskets.
The drive on the left, which isn't bad unless you're trying to cross the street and your mind goes blitzo and you don't know which way to look.
Tokyo is like any other big city. Downtown is shiny and modern. Everywhere else has lost its polish.
They don't do dollars and cents (100 cents equals a dollar). 100 yen is 100 yen. It's a better system.
Next time, I'm hitting some hot springs and the beach.

Here's the pictures with commentary if you care.

http://picasaweb.google.com/ptdarby/JapanAug2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy 9th



Wednesday was Patrick and my 9th anniversary. It's kind of weird because 9 years seems like a really long time- but it doesn't seem like it's really been so long since we were married!
Of course, Patrick is in Japan so I celebrated by myself- but I invited some friends over and we ate left-over desserts and watched "Funny Girl" which, by the way, is hilarious.
Patrick gets home on Sunday and I am looking forward to picking him up at the airport! I've missed him.
We've gone through many things and places together these past few years. We've suffered the humidity of Virginia, become beach bums in Rota, and watched in awe as our children were born. One thing I have learned is that most of the best things we've done are the things we've done together.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji has to be the most miserable climb I have ever done. Let me walk you through it. It's a pretty big mountain at 12,336 feet but it's more impressive because it stands alone and its entire height is from sea level.The Base runs a bus shuttle to the mountain. Unfortunately, the bus leaves at 2am. Luckily, I'm still a bit on Utah time so it wasn't so horrible. I slept the rest of the time until we got to the mountain at 5am. I took off on my own because the only people on the bus that I knew didn't look like they could keep up. ( This turned out to be a good choice as one guy didn't even make to the top and the other guy took forever.)

Hopping off the bus I was awarded one of those amazing views that just scream "Life is beautiful."
The weather was cool and moist. I never would have guessed the misery that was to come. The bus dropped us off at the fifth station, which was at 5,000 ft. This was still below the tree line that ends at 8,000 ft. I took off before anybody else from my bus. After a bit of hiking I felt pretty good. I didn't see any other americans but there some Japanese folk on the mountain that must have started pretty early to already be there.


I think this picture is from above the sixth station just above the tree lines.














As you can tell, I'm pretending to run up the mountain. Yeah, that turned out to be a big lie. What made the climb so tough is that it is constant switchbacks with no break. The trail ranged from packed dirt to somewhat maintained trails with some steps in the beginning. Towards the middle of the mountain the trail was over really rough basalt lava flows.

The whole mountain is just steep. Really steep. I took this picture to show how steep it is. All over the mountain are these signs that say "Don't climb straight." All I can say is anyone who climbs straight up the mountain has legs of steel.

The upper third of the mountain was tough because the trail became loose cinders and pumice. It was like walking through a gravel driveway. Every step was loose and you felt like you couldn't get great traction.

Summit within view.
OK, a little about the hiking stations. There are eight total on the mountain. They are like little rest stops complete with little kiosks that sell food and drink. The eighth station has a "hotel" where people are crammed in like sheep- on the bunk beds and the floor. The prices are beyond disneyland. Like six bucks for a bottle of water or soda. Three bucks for a snickers bar.

So, I wasn't too surprised when the summit had a mini-village.



But I was surprised to see a vending machine.

So the schedule for the bus went something like this. Arrive at 5am - Leave at 6pm. When I got to the summit and looked at my clock and it said 9:45am, I realized that I had some time to kill. I decided to take a nap. You'd be surprised at how comfortable lava rock can be when you're tired enough. This turned out to be a big mistake because I got a major sunburn from it. I also walked around the crater. If you curious, it looks like a gigantic hole. No boiling lava. Yeah, I know. I was disappointed too.

After that I decided to hike down. Going up was hard - going down was punishment.













And so, four 1/2 hours up - two hours down. I've been there done that. I'm one of 200,000 people who climb Mt. Fuji every year....and I'll never do it again.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fun With the 24th of July!

For those of you not from Utah/Idaho or not "Mormon" the 24th of July is a HUGE holiday celebrated with gusto. Basically, "Pioneer Day" is celebrating the arrival of pioneers to this side of the country. There's a huge parade downtown and various festivities. We went to the park next to our house with a big Pioneer Day party.
I think this is hilarious- they not only let tiny people handle the hatchet, they encourage them to THROW IT as hard as they can at a target. Hilarious. . . . and frightening!

This was an obstacle course. The monkies all enjoyed it greatly!
Rope toss around the longhorns.
Eve and Isaac with the two-legged race. (Esther and I raced as well and beat them to smithereens! )

I think the gun is bigger than her head.
I love Eve's look of concentration. hee hee
This is what I did all day- hauled those puppies from one even to another.
It was lots of fun!