Friday, March 22, 2013

Just Beginning...

I am hoping that I will be able to find the time and the internet connections necessary to document my trip to China here on my blog that has been so neglected for the past few years. I have to admit that it was quite difficult to leave my family this evening. I am incredibly excited for this experience to go to China and learn about their educational system and explore a beautiful country that I never thought I would have the opportunity to see. But I will miss reading books with the boys, shooting hoops with them, hearing Thomas learn new words, my beautiful wife and her wonderful smile and contagious laugh, and even having Bubba come in during the middle of the night to lay by me in bed. So the journey began as I left home around 6 pm tonight to come up to Portland. My flight leaves early Saturday morning and it was cheaper to stay in a hotel close to the airport that offers "park and fly" parking and it also made it so I didn't have to leave home at 3:30 am. I decided to go to the Portland temple before the trip and I was so glad that I did. So here we go...Tomorrow we will fly to San Francisco, have a few hours of layover (hoping to watch some basketball while we wait), then off to Beijing, and finally our last leg will take us to Xi'an arriving around 11 pm Sunday night, Xi'an-time. Should be fun!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Tuesday was a tough night for me.

First, I had to watch the Jazz fall apart once again to the evil Lakers. I always try not to get my hopes up when they play Kobe and his evil minions, but I can't help but wish that this would be the year that they destroy them in LA. Sigh. Maybe next year...

Then, I watched one of my favorite shows...only to see several of my favorite characters tragically die. I wanted to break down and cry along with the remaining castaways. I need to prepare myself emotionally for this show to end.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Angle of Repose

"What do you mean by 'Angle of Repose'?" she asked is the angle at which two lines prop each other up, the leaning-together from the vertical which produces the false arch..."

I just finished re-reading one of my favorite books, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. It was one of those occasional literary experiences in which you wish to never leave the lives of the main characters. It also was a great reminder to me of how lucky I am to be married to such an incredible woman. I feel very blessed to be able to experience this life and the eternities with her, propping each other up in a perfect angle of repose to make our way through the different challenges and joys of life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

March Madness

This is a model of great parenting. Follow these steps:
1. Put child in cardboard box with a few toys.
2. Turn on the game.
3. Enjoy.

He looks happy, right?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

2009 in Pictures

Since my last real blog posting in April, I became lazy and uninspired by this blog. So I have decided to post a few pictures highlighting the events from the past 8 months. Some life-changing and eternal, others less so.

First and foremost was the arrival of this new little critter into the family. Henry William Fuller was born on May 21 and despite the still sleepless nights, we are incredibly happy to have this beautiful boy number 3 in our home.

Although the birth of Henry meant an early end to my teaching year, I left my wife and three boys at home for a week in June to take 30 rambunctious 8th graders to Washington DC and Philadelphia. It was another great trip and I am looking forward to trip number 4 this next summer.

Summer was supposed to be a time when I was working hard on getting my proposal ready for my PhD. However, when an unexpected departure of my advising professor at the university provided me with a set back, I took the opportunity to relax...went camping with the boys, fishing, trips to the coast, and of course spending time with "Le Honnes".

Summer ended with a great trip to Utah to see our families--and especially for the kids to see their grandparents and cousins.

While we were in Utah, I ran my first competitive race since running cross country in high school. I ran the Provo Canyon Half Marathon with Amber. I had forgotten how addicting running can be. I loved it.

We returned home to a nutria epidemic. These nasty river rodents were invading our garden. Unfortunately, they had to be exterminated.

My long summer soon came to an end and it was back to school time. James started 2nd grade and Owen started his first year of preschool.

We decided to cut down the two giant blue spruces that were taking up our entire backyard. It was a big project, but a lot of fun.

Thanks to my good friends and their big tools that made the job a lot easier. We took them both down with no injuries.

This Halloween, we enjoyed the annual visit from Marge and Pops. James decided to be a wizard and Owen was a chef. Henry (not pictured) wore the pumpkin outfit that Kristine had made for Owen when he was a babe. It was a little bit of a tight fit (Owen was only 1 mo. old his first Halloween) but it worked.

Finally, we enjoyed our first Thanksgiving at our own home. We were sad to be away from family, but happy that we didn't have to spend two days traveling anywhere. We enjoyed the day with great friends and delicious food.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Battle of the Books Part III

I thought that I would at least make the effort of posting our new Battle of the Books list for this year. I have been a little overwhelmed with the whole process this year. Our principal decided last summer to get rid of our librarian in an effort to save other teachers' jobs and so the entire responsibility of Battle of the Books has fallen on me.

I was a little weary about the book list that we have this year, but have been completely surprised by how fun and addictive many of the books are. So here is the annual list. For some reason, I still haven't read some of the historical fiction. They seemed a little heavy and I have needed some light reading during the past few months. So here you go, enjoy!

Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Any Small Goodness by Tony Johnston
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Maximum ride: the Angel Experiment by James Patterson
Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
Ranger's Apprentice: Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
Schooled by Gordon Korman
So B. It by Sarah Weeks
Trapped between the Lash and the Gun by Arvella Whitmore
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy
Zen And The Art Of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick

The Alchemyst is a great read for anyone that loved series such as Percy Jackson or Fablehaven. I quickly read through the first three books and am waiting rather impatiently for the fourth book that will come out this spring.

Plain Janes is the first graphic novel that we have had on our lists. Pretty cool for a different style of reading.

The Wednesday Wars might be my absolute favorite. It is a must read for anyone who loves Shakespeare or works with youth in any way. It tells the story of a boy who spends every Wednesday afternoon alone with his teacher because all of the other students go to Catholic or Jewish seminary. He thinks his teacher is punishing him by making him read Shakespeare, but we all know that Shakespeare could never be a punishment. I loved this book.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My New Fun Find (thanks to Kristine)

If you were to ask Kristine to tell you one thing that she doesn't understand about me, she might answer that it is my obsession with buying and owning books. Kristine is perfectly fine with checking books out from the library and sometimes even waiting for weeks to get her hands on a book that she wants to read. Part of our difference lies in the fact that I enjoy reading contemporary literature, while Kristine tends to read older books.

Anyway, a few months back Kristine and I created a category in our budget called "Whatever I want." This provides us each with some money to just buy a few things for ourselves---just for fun. This has provided me with funds to go use my Borders Rewards coupons that show up in my email inbox and tempt me every other week or so. Therefore, my book collection has increased.

There are a few reasons why I enjoy buying a book. 1) I like the look of a full bookshelf that contains a variety of different types of literature. 2) I like to be able to loan a book that I love to a friend. 3) Occasionally, I like to reread a book (ex. My Name is Asher Lev, To Kill a Mockingbird). 4) I hate the pressure of a library due date that makes me feel like I have to rush through a book. 5) I have a dream of our future dream house containing a beautiful library full of books that represent many memories of different time periods of my life.

For the most part, I can read anything and enjoy it. However, from time to time, I read a book with which I make very little connection. Then these books still lurk around on our bookshelves and are visually distracting from the books that I love. So, Kristine found this beautiful website called

This site allows you to post these sorts of books and then for every book that someone requests from you, you get a credit that allows you to request a new book from anyone else. For the cost of mailing a book to someone else, I can get a book that is new to me. Of course, this wouldn't be a site for those who frequent the library and are content not to own the book, but for me this is perfect. I am waiting for my first two books to arrive and already have 5 more credits that I can't wait to use. I look forward to the additions this will provide for my classroom and dream house bookshelves.