Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All Hay Who Yaw! All Hay Who Yaw!

As most of you know, it's my birthday today (yup, I'm the big 3-4)... and my wife made me 34 applesauce cake cup-cakes, each one with a candle in it!

Here's a picture:

... but when I came upstairs to pull the images off of the card, they were all damaged and corrupt.

That's not right.

But wait... why is there a pic up there?

With all that has been going wrong with the world electronically these last few days, I wasn't surprised.

So I hopped on to Google and typed in "mac restore digital camera card" and a link popped up for CardRaider for Mac.

It promises:

You have found the easiest and most affordable way to recover lost photos from your digital camera, memory card or thumb drive.

Just one click and watch your photos and movies clips come back like magic. Find the ones you're looking for and quickly recover to your computer, or send directly to iPhoto.

So I downloaded the demo... and guess what... it worked!

And then some.

As it was scanning the card for my birthday pictures it also retrieved 178 other digital photos and movies that had long been erased.

I was shocked when the thumbnail view pulled up images from holidays, birthdays, school events, swim meets, class trips, guest speakers, conferences, etc.

Only problem... the demo only allows you to save thumbnailed versions with a watermark:

Luckily, the full version was only $19.95... so naturally, I bought it and was able to send all 183 images and movies to iPhoto.

Like I said before: Haleluja!

That was a pretty good present!

Oh... and while you are reading this, I am backing all of them up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

You'd Think I'd Know Better...

... long story short: My 10-month-old MacBook died last week.

Yup. Hard drive kicked it.

My last back-up... October 30, 2007.

I was able to retrieve a lot of the info on the drive... but when I went into the Pictures folder - nothing readable.

All of our family photos since then were on that hard drive.
  • Thanksgiving 2007 with the Brunners.
  • Christmas 2007.
  • New Years 2008.
  • Andee's 2nd Birthday.
  • The house getting a face lift.
  • Alex's 4th Birthday.
  • Our trip to Seaworld with the Lotts.
All of it gone...

... well except for what's on the blog.

At least we have these.

So as a plead to everyone out there with digital photos on your hard drives: BACK THEM UP NOW!!!!

I'm going to go and finish crying.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Don't Play With Your Food

When we went to Seaworld on Thursday, we saw a sea lion playing with his food:

Father & Sons Campout

This weekend we had the Stake Fathers & Sons Campout in Bandera, TX.

We've never been to the F&S Campout since we moved here, so I figured now would be a good time to go.

I took Aaron (almost 10) and Alex (barely 4) with me. They had a great time.

We made camp and had chili dogs for dinner (thank the heavens the "burn ban" was lifted).

On Saturday morning after breaking down camp we went on a big long hike. I made the kids take water bottles, even though Alex wanted to take a can of Fresca® instead.

He hiked along a river, followings it's path... needless to say, we stopped many times to throw skip rocks, look at the minnows, and ponder the cuteness of frogs toads.

Our trail led us through large flat area (deemed by the signage as "Easy" trails).

We stopped along the way to take a closer look at the flora and fauna. (I liked this picture!)

Then through more "Easy" areas...

Alex had a habit of letting Aaron get ahead, and then he would run up and head-butt him unexpectedly. This was taken right before impact.

Alex and Aaron has a great time together. Despite the 6-year age difference, they are best buds. Alex looks up to his big brother... and Aaron likes to use him as an arm rest.

... and just to prove that I wasn't an "Absent Dad", here's a picture of all of us.

Alex is 4! (Part 2)

So... we ended up not going to Seaworld San Antonio on Alex's B-Day last Saturday.

Instead, we decided to wait a few days and go while Aaron and Aimee were in school. So we went last Thursday for a few hours (ah, the joys of having Season Passes!).

We went to big aquarium first and got there just in time to see the janitorial staff(?) clean the reef tanks. Min made the comment that that didn't look like "work."

Next we went back passed the dolphin pool and it was feeding time, so we decided to let the kids have a go at it. Alex wasn't shy with the fish.

But when the dolphin showed up, he got freaked a little.

Alex couldn't decide who he wanted to go with him on the Little Shamu Rollercoaster. So I went first...

... the went on it again with Mom.

Then we went over to Shamu Stadium and Shamu was there, so we had to have a picture with the big guy!

Alex really enjoys the Shamu shows... even though, this time we sat right above the Splash Zone... and he still got a face full of water from one of the splashes.

On the way over to the seals and otters, we passed the Crocodile Cove and stopped to see the crocks, koi, and turtles.

I just saw this big bug and decided to take a pic. Alex thought it was an alien.

I've got a video of the sea lions that I'll post later. It's hilarious.

Anyways, after that we headed over to Viva! (our favorite show).

This show showcases dolphins and white whales (belugas). They had to stop the show part way through because one of the white whales was... um... "looking for love." Eventually she made it to the back and they could start up again.

So we spent about 4 hours there... and the kids slept the whole way home.

Happy Birthday Alex!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You'd think someone just died...

David Archuleta fans react to the bad news...

... but I love the lone David Cook fan in the back!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wii can play together!

A year ago this week we got our Wii... and we love it!

Lately we've been finding out that everyone else in the family has one (i.e. Sean, Michelle, Bryan, etc.) is getting one so I thought I would put our Wii Friend codes online.

Our Wii code is:
5525 6439 1664 4091

Using this code we can send each other Wii-mail and share pictures and Miis.

We got Mario Kart Wii a few weeks ago, and that game requires a special "friend" code to play online. Here are ours:

Mikey: 1504-6291-6391
Mindy: 3050-8203-9029
Aaron: 4253-4385-1762
Aimee: 0302-0686-0614

So if you'd like to post your Wii codes in the comments, maybe Wii can get together and play!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Alex is 4!

On this day, Alex as born ("MacDuff-like") in 2004.

So today is his special day.

It started off with dad* making home-made waffles (as opposed to Eggos we keep in the freezer for the weekday mornings).

Then after a morning of cleaning and relaxing... we decided to do the cake and present before our afternoon of activities.

So here's Alex with the coveted "Happy Birthday" plate.

We chowed down on Macaroni and Cheese (w/ hot dogs) for lunch.

Then came the "Costco" chocolate cake... one of Alex's favorites!

Alex wanted ice cream to go with it... and trust me, the cake is so rich that you NEED it!

Now it's time for the gift...


Alex actually wanted this for Christmas, but we thought it better to wait for his birthday.

Now for the rest of the activities... we plan on going to SeaWorld sometime this afternoon and then go to Rudy's for dinner.

That's the plan... but it's already 3:00 PM, so we'll see what happens.

But for right now... the kids are having fun with the new toy.

And mom and dad are reaching for the Advil due to excessive whacking!

Maybe we should have gotten him something else.

* Mom had a "Scrapbook Hangover" this morning.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I'm addicted...

and it's all Betsy's fault!

Betsy convinced me to read Twilight last summer and I LOVED it. I quickly read New Moon and Eclipse.

I can't wait for Breaking Dawn to come out this summer, but in the meantime I am OBSESSED with any new info about the movie. I was very excited to see the teaser this last week. (I have heard that a full length trailer will be out soon, but that may just be a rumor.)

For the most part I am pleased with the casting. Edward is just not quite "Edward" enough for me, although I did see some hints of it in the trailer. I'm hoping that he will convince me.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Warning: This is Clayton Humor...

Sorry, but I just have to post this:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pinewood Derby '08 (a.k.a. "The Crate")

So another Pinewood Derby has come and gone... and another wonderful car has been... er... uh... painted!

So I give you... "THE CRATE!"

Warning: Dangerous Contents!

Warning: Fast Car Inside!

Gotta have his name on it!

... and "Made In Texas" on the bottom!

Aaron painted the car after I taped it off. I took a ruler and colored pencil to it for the lines. Then we used some of Mindy's stamps and ink pads to set the lettering. Then we put on the wheels and he was good to go.

After "The Outhouse (Go #2)" last year and "The Crate" this year, I promised Aaron that we would actually cut the block of wood next year.

Oh yeah, last year's block of wood won 4th... this year: Nothing.

But Aaron knows it'a all about having fun.

And he had a blast!