Tag Archive : nathan

Minimalist Camping

We all went camping this weekend, and had a great time.  In keeping with our minimalism, we only took a very few things.  Everyone had their 6 liter stuff sack, backpacking sleeping bag and a bed roll.  For food we kept the menu simple, with all homeade food that just needed to be reheated.  Erika had a great idea of having a ice free cooler.  All the food was frozen, and extra juices were put in the cooler instead of ice.  It stayed very cold for the 3 days, and worked out well.

We played in the Provo river, went on a nice hike, visited our Geocache, and played lots of card games.  All in all, it was a great weekend away from the world.

Swim class

Boys had swim class today.

Nathan’s Birthday

Late post of pics from Nathan’s birthday. Went to 5 guys and got new skateboard backpack.

Christmas

We had the biggest Christmas ever at the Searle family.  Here is all the presents that we got.  About 1/2 are from family or neighbors, and other are from/for our little family.

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Normally we only spend ~ $35 bucks on each other, but we spent a bit more, and got some nice stuff for everyone.

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We got the boys both some nice skateboards, from Zumiez, one of the best places to get a board.  They have great service their too.  They boys have been enjoying their boards for several weeks now.  Benjamin was trying to pull off a funny face, so don’t think he looks like that now.  Nathan went skiing last week, and has fallen in love with thermals, and wears them as pajamas now.

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Both boys got new helmets to use while skating.  Benjamin was really happy to get a green one.

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We also got them some miscellaneous science and other toys, some magnet games, and legos, and books.

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Erika got a iPod, and I got some clothes and shoes.  ( to replace (maybe) my still in use, 11 year old mission shoes ).

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Even with us going big with the presents this year, we still managed to get all of the boxes, wrapping paper and other packing material to all fit into one box, size 12 x 10 x 15.  A software vendor actually shipped me a smoked turkey this year.  It was really good, and tasty.

We had the best day ever yesterday, we all played PS3 all day and only burned about 11 calories the entire day.  We all love to play the Pixel Junk Monsters game.  It is really fun, addictive, and simple to play.  All you do is build and upgrade little towers that shoot monsters that are going to eat your little babies.

Allowance For Kids

Erika and I were discussing how great it is that our kids know more about managing money than we did at that age.  In fact dare say that our boys are 10+ years ahead in money management compared to what I had experienced.

We don’t use the fixed allowance method, rather we have a weekly chore list, that when all work is completed, it comes with a nice $5 pay day.  $1 saved, $1 to the missionary fund, and 50 cents to the bishop’s truck payment.  We are on year 3-4 of this routine and have found that it works great for a number of reasons.

First, this allowance test was all started to get rid of those crappy crying sessions at the store.  The old, “Can you please buy this? It’s only $8”, are all a thing of the past.  The boys know that we will take care of basic need (food, shelter, cloths, education, etc… ) but for other stuff, they are mostly on their own.  Candybars, treats and toys are all from their own money, and that is fine by me.

Next, both our boys know how to save.  The single saved dollar a week has turned into hundreds in the bank.  They save their birthday money, and usually divide up that money the same as their weekly $5.  It is a small competition between Nathan and Benjamin to see how much cash they can have on hand, while saving what is expected.   Believe it or not, the boys have about 60 bucks each for their spending pleasure.  We ( Erika and I ) would not have ever saved money like that in our youth, it would be long gone, the moment we had it.

Also, since it is expected that they serve a mission, and that they are to pay a significant portion of the expense, it is great that they have started early.  Just like when your kids pay for their own bike, they take care of it better.  Hopefully, they will have a more meaningful experience serving, knowing that it is their money being used.

Last, they get to learn to give.  Paying tithing, or some other kind of giving is a great thing to learn at an early age.  It helps keep selfishness in check, and give them the opportunity to see their contributions help others.  Often they are helping each other cover some expense too, and are willing to share when needed.

Just to be clear, we do pay for things outside the normal base necessities. However there usually is a ‘Meet me half way’ type agreement.  For instance, Nathan wants to go take some skiing lessons next month, he will pay half, and mom and dad the other.  Ben wanted a new bike this summer, we met half way on that too.  It really does go a long way, having your kids save, earn and spend money on a regular basis.

I found this interesting article today on the subject, and found the comments on the post just as interesting as the article.

Pima Air Museum

We drove down to Tucson to see the Pima Air Museum.  It was neat, but expensive.  I was not happy that we spent $40.00 to walk around the museum and it did not include the cool boneyard of out of commission airplanes ( that would have been another $7.00 per person and I am cheap).  It was fun though and my two boys are goofy.  Benjamin spent the whole time carrying his card with a F15-E Eagle Strike on it trying to find the exact plane.  All in all it was a good day, not as long in the car and we got to stretch our legs.

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Zach’s Baptism

Here the boys are waiting outside the church (it was still locked 30 minutes before the baptism).

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Zachary and Benjamin’s Birthdays are only 1 week apart, but Ben gets to wait until December to be baptized.  We had a good trip, but where did all the hot Arizona weather we have been hearing about go?  It was in the 50’s and 60’s.

Fall Leaves

Over conference weekend the boys humored their mom and wife with a drive in the Alpine Loop to look at fall leaves even though it was raining.  Because it was raining there were no leaves to crunch under my feet, but it was beautiful.

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Nathan – Trip

The Searle family went on a family road trip to Arizona to see their cousin Zack get baptized.  We are having a really good time there so far.  We went to the airplane museum and went to our cousin’s house every day.  We also went to two  different parks with our cousins.  What I (Nathan) think about family road trips is that if you go on a family road trip then you will mostly get along with your family on the trip and also a little while you are back at your house I know this because I have experimented it twice once in California and once here in Arizona.  What I’m trying to say is that I think we should all spend more time with our families.  Anyways we had a great time together in Arizona.

Cub Country

Took the day off, to spend with the boys, and help my wife out.  Ended up going up to Cub Country ( Fort Frontier ) for the entire day.  Ended up with 4 leaders and 12 scouts, a great day of weather, and lots of fun.

Day started off kind of weird though, turns out that I drew the short straw, and had to stand in line to register all the kids.  We have 2 combined cub packs, and our Benjamin is from a 3rd community pack.  One of the kids brought their cousin from California, so we had even a 4th pack member.  The bureaucrat at the table wouldn’t let Benjamin and California kid in, because there was no official print out for the entire pack on his clip board.

I explained my case, showed off the medical form, permission slip and proof of payment.  All of which he refused to look at, because his paperwork was incomplete.  Either way, I listened to his guilt trip for a few minutes.  Begged and pleated, and got pissed off.  I think when he started telling me the President Monson would not be happy with me if I didn’t re-register each kid into our pack, that I gave up.  Either way he saw that he had completely broke me down, and was satisfied in that, so he let me go. ( I think it would be easier to get into heaven, than signed up for a Scout camp. )

We shot BB Guns, ran obstacle courses, took hikes, played games and practiced lots of knots.  All the boys were great, and had lots of fun.

Nathan Bear Award

Nathan has worked really hard.  He turned 9 in February and just received his Bear award for cub scouts.  He also has earned his gold arrow point.  Now he will work on arrow points, arrow points and more arrow points.