Sunday, December 5, 2010

Strange Competition Nears End

(Northern UT)

A local family decided to spend their weekend in a very unconventional manner - by having a vomit and diarrhea competition.

"I've always enjoyed having a post-Thanksgiving cleanse," stated the father, kg, "but with the increase in popularity of Black Friday we decided to push it back a week to avoid any conflicts.  Plus with my fear of public rest rooms it would not have been as successful as it has ended up being."

Their oldest daughter, Superstar, got the ball rolling early on Thursday morning when she rolled over and puked down the wall of her bedroom.  Hearing the commotion, the youngest, Rockstar, said "I wanna fo up too, Mommy," and proceeded to throw up down her mother Wheels' back.  The two siblings battled throughout the day with the Superstar finishing on top with five official spew sessions.

Their efforts paled in comparison to those of their other sister Toots.

"Toots really stepped up her game this weekend," said kg, "I know she'd been getting down on herself because her vomit just wasn't falling this year.  I told her to take it one vomit at a time and continue to give 110% and it would all work out."

And work out it did.  In what is likely a Skog Family record, Toots was able to lose her milk and cookies not once, not twice but 10 times over a 24 hour period.

"I am just happy we planned ahead with this one," added Wheels.  "We had the bowl ready so each time Toots said she was going to throw up kg had the light switch on and I got the bowl in place and to little Toots' credit she never overshot the bowl.  We missed out on a lot of sleep but it was worth it to avoid the laundry and to have minimal cleanup."  

"I am very proud of Toots.  I had no idea something so small could blow that much chunk," stated her father.

Not being much of a vomiter kg made his contributions elsewhere.

"I'm not sure he was even sick," said Wheels, "I mean, he spent 4 hours on the toilet today but that's only 15 min more than most Saturdays."

"I wasn't happy with my performance at all this year.  I trained daily for hours and I ate as poorly as possible leading up to this weekend.  I mean checkout this menu starting Thursday - Chipotle, InNOut, Ben & Jerrys, Tornados from Maverick and then Ruby River.  I should have been in the bathroom for at least six hours."

The true diarrhea champion may very well have been the Rockstar.  "A few times it sounded like someone poured a pitcher of water in her diaper," said her father.

"I can't remember smelling anything so foul," added her mother.

Whether it was from the smell, lack of sleep, or envy, Wheels finally got into the mix Sunday morning.

"I've only puked four times so far but I got more in me, I'm a trooper," declared Wheels as she headed back to bed for some much needed rest.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Skog Family Season in Review

It's the time of year where campaign promises and lies are thrown around like confetti at a parade.  Well I'd like to clear up a few of the rumors that have been floating out there about the Skogs.  No, we haven't moved to England so I can "get my hooligan on" as some have said.  I have NOT locked myself in my room and vowed not to shower or shave or even come out until my sports teams start winning, I just grow hair very quickly.  Toots has NOT driven us to the brink of madness from lack of sleep, in fact, she's been doing quite well sleeping in her bed for the past few months (nice job jinxing that kg, I wrote this last night before bed and wouldn't you know it we had a nighttime visitor.  I'm not gonna say it was Toots but she was small and wore footie pajamas and apparently has 7 elbows and 3 knees.)

The truth is this - sometimes you get overwhelmed. You procrastinate. You know that you have tons of things you should be adding to your blog but just don't know where to start. Well let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a boy named Paul. Paul's 'family' was in a really big hole and was unsure how to dig themselves out. Paul said, "Let me dig" and dig he did indeed. It was glorious. He dug them out of the hole, killed the bad guys, got the princess and blew up the death star or something like that. The End.

After that inspirational story I knew I could finish this blog post that was started two months ago, in fact, I had to. Also, in the spirit of promises that will never be kept - I promise, if elected, to update this blog daily, to get better candy in the vending machines and to get our school yearbooks. Let's get to the Season in Review.

Last Days of Summer

Ahh, the good old days. The days before bus stops, homework, teachers, books and teachers' dirty looks.

Fancy Nancy Goes to School

Our girls love the Fancy Nancy Books. However, I fear the Superstar is taking her love a little too far. This was the First Day of Kindergarten Fashion Show followed by her teaching her sisters how to 'dress modestly' - who says kids get nothing from Family Home Evening?

Count Like a Rockstar

Not to be outdone with all of this school talk, the Rockstar decided it was time to show off her counting skills. She counts as well as her sister Toots used to know her "A-B-Bs".

When the Older Sibling Is Away...

Superstar kind of rules the house when she's home. The first few weeks she was at school the other girls weren't sure what they were supposed to do without her. They finally decided that sisters gotta hug, as long as it doesn't linger too long.

How to Eat Like A Rockstar

The Little Rockstar keeps going over the 20 lb threshold and then goes on hunger strikes and drops below.  She is our little Gandhi.  Wheels has gone to extreme measures to ensure that she is gaining weight - she drinks half and half with her milk and she gets to watch Backyardigans to keep her in her seat.

Superstar Soccer

Superstar had another successful season of Soccer. Wheels was good to get these action packed photos that make her look very interested because in actuality she spent most of the time looking around and holding hands with her cousin Millie. Let's just say I'm not sure Superstar is as in love with soccer as her old man is.

The Tooth Fairy

Lots of firsts and lessons learned this day. Superstar lost her tooth (first one), Toots broke a long string of nights sleeping in her own bed (she was afraid of the tooth fairy) and Wheels and I learned that you should always keep a few dollars lying around so the tooth fairy doesn't have to buy the teeth with large bills. We covered it up by saying the tooth fairy pays more for the first tooth (bullet dodged) otherwise I'd start pulling out my own teeth for supplemental income. I mean, have you seen my chompers? I'd get top dollar for those bad boys.

Toots Turns 3

Toots graduated from the Terrible Twos which gives Wheels and I about 4 more months until we start them up again with the Rockstar. Toots celebrated the way any three year old would - Tea Party with Krabby Patties, French Fries and Orange Juice.

Superstar Parties Like a Rockstar

Superstar turned 6 and we threw her a Rockstar Party. The kids were glammed up, split up into bands and a battle of the bands ensued. The bands did an excellent job especially given the fact that this was a Hannah Montana/Kidz Bop free zone and they didn't know the songs very well.  The bands didn't trash their hotel rooms too badly other than the fact that we're still finding those boa feathers throughout our yard and home.

Before we finish discussing birthdays let's take one more look at these cakes. Handcrafted by Wheels, she was the true Rockstar. Finally those hours spent watching Ace of Cakes paid off.  Well done, Wheels.

Halloween Pumpkins

I'm not sure which surprised me more this year while carving pumpkins - the fact that Toots was no longer afraid of them or the staggering amount of songs from the 1950s about monsters, vampires, etc. Seriously, next time you need some Halloween songs don't waste $5 for the cheesy mix compilation at Target, just setup a station on Pandora Internet Radio called, "Monster Mash" and prepare to have your mind blown.

Halloween 2010

And finally, The Skog Girls present - The World's Worst Halloween Photoshoot - Enjoy! See older kids look away from the camera while you try and get the younger kids to focus. Watch in amazement as tiny witch hats and costume accessories are destroyed by the wind and rain! Oh well, at least the kids were adorable. In other Halloween news - I could have sworn I had some pics of the older Bells in their Halloween gear. Unfortunately I did not. Hopefully my sister will get around to posting them on her blog because they were fantastic.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?

For some of you football season began Thursday night or perhaps it started last week when the boys in red and blue kicked off their seasons. Some of my neighbors might disagree and say that football season has been here for a few months ever since summer practice began at the high school and little league levels. Well I’m here to tell you that football season has indeed already started and the official kick off date was August 15th. “August 15th?” you ask yourself, “that seems arbitrary… was that the first high school game?” Nope. “Fantasy football draft?” Guess again. “I don’t want to guess anymore.” Fine, I’ll tell you – August 15th – 1600 British Summer Time at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool England. “Beg your pardon?” many of you just muttered under your breath, well allow me to explain.

I've been a fan of soccer ever since my youth - played it for 7+ years, served a mission for the LDS Church in a soccer loving country but really the only soccer I ever watched was during the World Cup every four years.    Before you call me a bandwagon jumper, I'll have you know that it wasn't just this past World Cup that I enjoyed, I've been watching them religiously since 1990.  When Wheels and I were unemployed newlyweds  (a combo I highly recommend) in 2002, we would stay up all night watching the live feeds of World Cup games from Japan and South Korea with Flanksteak and his friend Jonny Boy.  In those days you felt as if  you were a member of some secret club and you felt pity for your friends who were missing out.  Soccer was a small, obscure indie band you loved to see in a dive bar on the verge of blowing up and playing at large arenas around the United States.  Actually a nice comparison would have been the Kings of Leon circa 2002.  In Utah, you could see them play at a small club with 200 people and over in England they'd sell out 40,000 seat soccer stadiums.  In fact, their second album was released in the UK six months before it was released on the band's home soil.  However, the past twelve months have been good for the Followill brothers as well as soccer in the USofA.  Neither have reached the status of U2 or Coldplay but each has received some mainstream recognition complete with radio hits and performances in larger arenas.

I enjoyed the crap out of the 2010 World Cup.  I would rank Landon Donovan's last minute goal against the mighty Algerian team that advanced the US into the knockout round of the cup as a Top 10 sport highlight of my lifetime.  Even better than the goal scored by Pele to help defeat the Nazis in Victory.  Had I been watching it at home and not in my company's cafeteria I would have possibly shed some tears.  I nearly did anyway.  It was that exciting and emotional.  Sure the US should have easily defeated the 'powerhouse' Algerian team but after some terrible officiating and near misses most of the fans had written off the game and the Cup for another four years.  If you haven't seen the youtube clip that was emailed around with the reactions from different crowds in the USA yet then I demand you watch it now.  Goosebump city.  Plenty of other story lines were enjoyable as well - the upstart Chilean team, the big bullies like France and Italy getting knocked out early and of course Uruguay's run to the semifinals.  By the end of tournament, the level of man crush that Flanksteak and I had for Uruguayan Striker Diego Forlan was off the charts.

Once the Cup ended and the last vuvuzela had been blown Flanksteak and I were at a loss.  Now what?  We didn't want to wait another four years to enjoy soccer.  We put our heads together and came up with the following two step plan:

1 - Stop taking Real Salt Lake for granted and support them with more sincerity.

We are lucky to have the MLS Cup Champions playing right in our hometown.  As much as I enjoy watching their games, I can't help but feel like I'm seeing a lesser brand of soccer.  It's like watching the SL Bees instead of the SF Giants.  Same game, still enjoyable, just not quite as good.  Part of the joy of the World Cup was seeing a sport played at the highest level.  We needed more.  This led us to step two.

2 - Find a premiere international team to follow

Although it hopefully will be someday, it's not a stretch to admit that the best soccer is not currently being played on US soil.  Just like foreigners who watch the NBA or the NFL we set out to find a team and/or league that would allow us to see the best soccer possible.  Which league should we choose?  The consensus top three most respected soccer leagues in the world are La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy) and The English Premier League (shockingly based in England).  We quickly settled on the EPL because we knew that it had recently partnered with ESPN and we figured the games would be more readily available on TV.  Our first thought was, "For which team does Diego Forlan play?"  Unfortunately he is no longer playing in the EPL so we dug deeper.  We read wikipedia histories, an article by ESPN's Bill Simmons discussing his quest to find an EPL team after the 2006 World Cup, and dissected each team's roster.  We must have spent two whole hours figuring this out.

Many teams were ruled out quickly - Manchester United - would be like deciding to just start watching baseball and picking the Yankees.  Chelsea - last year's champs, didn't want to hop on the bandwagon, plus we have multiple friends and family members who like Chelsea and we wanted to have some rivalries.  Even though we didn't want to pick the current champions, we did want to pick a team that would have a legitimate chance at winning a title over the next few years, which eliminated many of the other hopefuls.  We were left with a final three of Manchester City, Tottenham, and Liverpool.  My quick and Encyclopedia Brown-esque readers will be able to deduce the team we selected.  It wasn't Manchester City and we were glad to not have picked them because they have been buying up all of the world talent over the past few years and the games of theirs that we have watched so far have not shown them as a fun team for which to cheer.  Think Miami Heat come this NBA season.  Much more fun to root against.

So what made Liverpool so special?  Pleasant roster - check.  Cool jerseys - check.  Liverpool is also the most decorated team in English soccer history but they've been down for the past several years therefore a championship isn't out of the question but it isn't a given either.  We wanted to suffer a little before we were just handed a trophy.  All important and valid reasons but it was this final tidbit that really sealed the deal - "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Why am I quoting a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel and why would that sway my opinion?  For those of you who don't know, my Grandpa Strat was a renowned music teacher and because him our family has a deep love of all music and musicals.  I'm certain you could pick any member of my mother's family out of hat, pick a song from a musical out of a different hat and that person could name the musical from whence it came and sing it for you.  That person would then select three other members of the family and they'd bust it out for you in 4-part acapella no less.  Most soccer teams in Europe have a team song and that of Liverpool just so happens to be the above mentioned song.  Once Flanksteak and I saw that the decision was made - we were taking our talents to Merseyside.  Fans sing You'll Never Walk Alone at each match and it is so ingrained in the Liverpool culture that is included in the team's crest and above the stadium gates.

This announcement might come as a shock to some of you and most of you probably stopped reading this post many paragraphs ago.  Fear not, I haven't given up my love of Football and since I'm not British I promise to continue to refer to Soccer as Soccer and Football as Football, not American Football.  However, as my neighbor Coach T can verify, I will not be ashamed to sit in my kitchen on Sunday mornings in my underwear watching soccer on a shoddy internet stream and drinking yerbamate.  In fact, I have to - I made a pledge and if that interests you then join Flanksteak and I and we vow that you too, will never walk alone.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Skog Family Week in Review


Once upon a time I vomited while on a ride at Lagoon.  Some of the details are now hazy but I know I was between the ages of 14-17, it was Stake Lagoon Day, the poor sap with whom I was riding was my pal, Colin, and the stomach twisting - chuck inducing culprit was The Rock-O-Plane.  Not to be confused with The Roll-O-Plane, which is no longer in existence at Lagoon.  Rumor has it (I'm sure the Internet never lies) that sometime in 2002 the Roll-O-Plane had a large passenger enter one side and as it lifted into the air it came together like a circus strongman bending a steel bar.  Click here and scroll down to see a pic.  Luckily nobody was hurt.  However, somebody did get hurt in that Rock-O-Plane on that fateful day.  As Colin and I made our final loop and unloading descent, I laid over the bar with my light breakfast inching ever closer to the top of my throat and finally "unleashed the kraken" all over the bottom of the cage.  We locked the bar in place and were able to finish the road unscathed, minus a few splatters.  The decent thing to do would have been to get out and tell the Lagoon employee what had transpired in the plane.  The line was long, however, and who was I to make all of those nice paying customers wait several minutes while the cage was cleaned and sanitized?  So I did what any normal 14-17 male who just blew chunks in public would do - I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me.  To this day it haunts me.  To the lottery winner who got the pleasure of riding in that cage post-kg explosion - I offer a sincere apology.

I took Superstar to Lagoon for Frightmares when she was three years old.  Because of the Halloween theme Superstar had thought until this trip that the name of the park was - Howlagoon.  I was excited to show her the park during non-nightmare inducing days.  Wheels, on the other hand, was not as excited to return to the park for her first visit in over a decade.  Wheels is something of a, how would you say?  ah yes - An Amusement Park Snob.  I'm sure it has something to do with growing up in proximity to Cedar Point, arguably the best park in the United States.  Cedar Point has had the World's Tallest, Fastest, etc Roller Coaster at different points of the park's history.  She might have a point - go ahead and checkout some of the coasters on their website.  We'll be back here waiting with Wheels laughing at our lousy Colossus.  Throw in the fact that Toots' tummy has provided many tales like the one described in the first paragraph and you could understand our trepidation as we headed for our first family day at Lagoon.

We started off slow - the Baby Boats - which are a rite of passage for any young child.  We'd heard horror stories from people such as The Bells who talked about throwing their kids on a scary ride right out of the shoot and scarring their children for the rest of the day.  Nothing like waiting 45 min for this thrill ride.  Actually, I didn't wait for this ride.  Myself and two of the Bell Boys made a break for Tidal Wave and rode it (twice) while that poor sap Wheels watched toddlers and infants clang bells in a circle on repeat.  I made it back just in time and the kids loved it.

Next up we hit the Red Baron.  One of the girls' favorite books is Snoopy and the Red Baron so we asumed this was a great idea.  It started off fine and both Toots and Superstar seemed to enjoy the up and down but after a few laps around Toots began to cry.  "Great," I thought to myself, "It's gonna be a real fun day here with Toots."  As the ride ended and I went to help the girls disembark their planes I saw that Toots' seatbelt was undone which seemed odd since not once did I see the unfasten your seatbelt light during the flight.  Not sure how that occurred but she seemed fine after returning to the safety of the ground.

After the seatbelt debacle we decided to hit another ride that was beloved by all children, The Bumper Cars.  I feared the ride wouldn't be as fun for the girls since they basically play bumper cars with the neighbor kids and their power wheels in the cul-de-sac everyday but this time it was actually not only allowed but encouraged by their parents.  What kid wouldn't like that?  Toots.  Well at least not when she got stuck against the side while kids continually smashed into the back of her car.  "I've made a huge mistake," I thought once again.

Once Toots had again calmed down we headed back for a few more kiddie rides. Toots began to get her groove back and something clicked. From that point on the only crying was when she was not allowed on rides because of her height. We had planned ahead for this but it really depended on whether the teenage kid running the ride was being vigilant. Toots is 34.5" and Superstar is 44" tall. Both of them were just shy of two Lagoon magic numbers - 36" and 46", respectively. 36" means that you can ride some of the big rides while accompanied by an adult and some of the 'extreme' kiddie rides. 46" is the cutoff for most of the better adult rides, all of which Superstar was willing to ride. We'll see how brave she is next year when the 46" barrier has been crossed but for now Superstar claims she would ride anything and has so far lived up to her braggadocio. We had Toots wear some sandals with a heel to get her closer to 36" and we instructed her on proper tippy toe techniques. She was close enough that most of the ride operators just let her slide but there was one kid who spoke like Borat and operated the green swings that kept shutting her down. We tried at four different times throughout the day to no success, usually being greeted with, "Sheez eee leetle beet a tooo esmall..." She was devastated. Luckily she found many other rides that she enjoyed such as the Musik Express and Rattlesnake Rapids - "Get Kim wet! Get Kim wet" was apparently the war cry there. All in all a terrific day at Lagoon.

We enjoyed ourselves so much that a week later we decided to bounceback. That morning as I left work for home it was raining as hard as it had poured all summer. "I've made a huge mistake," I again thought to myself, nearly turning around to head back into the office. However, I pressed forward with faith. I consulted with The Bells and my old man upon arriving home and The Bells were going to not let a little rain stop them and they journeyed to the park. Big J and I thought we better sit out until the weather cooperated a little better and after a short wait mother nature welcomed us with a delightful day. Here are Toots and Rockstar out for a pleasant drive.

The only negative aspect of the day was the malfunctioning train. We had somehow escaped riding it on our first visit to the park but you don't slip something that awesome passed your kids twice.  Each time we tried to  have a train ride there was a sign informing us it was out of order and would be up shortly.  Finally towards the end of the day the ride was back up and running.  We waited for a few minutes and then loaded up and the kids sat eager to see a few random animals and a really nasty lagoon filled with 20 foot carp.  As the engineer blew the whistle a puff of black smoke shot out and not in a good way.  The ride was down again and we were asked to exit.  Luckily for us we did see some animals during our brief time on the train.  We saw some monkeys, exotic birds, a lion and some bashful bears.

An extremely pleasant day, indeed. By the end of our twice in one week Lagoon experience even Wheels was singing its praises. Also, Because of the rain there were extremely short rides and we were able to ride anything we wanted. Even Toots, who finally got her ride on the Green Swings.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Skog Family Weeks (Month) in Review

The following takes place between the first week of July and the first week of August.  The events occur in real time.

Fun in the Sun

I might be a lazy sack now, but once upon a time I spent all of my free time outdoors.  The Skog girls have carried on the tradition this summer, usually starting their harassment of Wheels about 8:30 AM.  "Can we go outside, Mommy, can we go outside?  Can we see if 'X' can play?  Can we, Mom, can we?"  Welcome to Wheels' world.

4th of July Hike

We spent a good chunk of the month with either Wheels' parents visiting us or the Skog family visiting them. During their visit for the 4th of July we hiked up to the lower falls of a local canyon and lived to tell about it. It ended up being a bit further than we had anticipated but we can't complain. Someone who can complain? Flanksteak. Next time you see him ask him about his July hike. We are lucky to still have him with us.

What's For Lunch?

Meal time has always been a sore subject in the Skog home and by now you've seen many instances of the Skog girls being difficult and picky with what they will or will not eat. Well now that I know what Wheels is trying to serve them for lunch I think I'm on their side.

Rockstar Report

The Rockstar continues to grow up right before our very eyes. She has always been a relatively easy child as far as naps and eating go but so far this summer she has decided to take after her big sister Toots and tell mother that 'she don't need no stinkin sleep!'

No Sleep

She has also learned a few things about herself.

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

And finally she has gone from the Rockstar to the Walkstar. (Trust me, I know how terrible that joke is/was but it's 6:00 in the AM and I'm not exactly throwing fastballs this morn...) Legend has it that I didn't walk until I was quite old. The Rockstar has followed in my footsteps (groan) and has waited until nearly 18 months to start taking some steps. Depending on my mother's mood when she tells the story, I was anywhere from 18 months to 4.5 years old when I walked for the first time. IRregardless, congrats to the Rockstar for her small steps for womenkind.  (Quite possibly the worst paragraph in Skog Blog History!)

Swim Lessons

Superstar's first summer of swimming lessons.

Trip to Nevada

We took what is becoming our annual pilgrimage to Northern Nevada to visit Wheels' family.  Superstar especially looks forward to this trip and started asking when we were heading out approximately 2.3 hours after she finished her last day of school.  As usual it was filled with plenty of good times in the outdoors.

Boating at Lahontan

Wheels claims that her all time favorite past time is wakeboarding but due to the fact that she has been great with child for the past 3 years straight it has been awhile since she was able to do said past time.  Luckily for her, wakeboarding is like riding a bike and she got up lickity split and rode the waves like a true champ.  Below is her first and best run of the day.

If wakeboarding is really like riding a bike then this is terrible news for me because I sucked at riding a bike and only learned to ride one at the age of 8 to not be mocked for missing the Cub Scout Bike Rodeo. Some of my other weaknesses are lack of upper body strength, flexibility and balance. In other words, I'm REALLY good at watersports. I did actually get up on my first try but fell every time trying to get over the wake. On my last run of the day I quickly got outside of the wake and had my longest ride to date. One whole minute. At that point I was tired and knew that if I attempted to cross back over the wake I would fall on my face or worse and so I decided to go out on top with my dignity intact.

Papa Dennis is 61 years old going on 30. I think I'd trade him bodies straight across, no questions asked because as this video details he is in better shape than men half his age.

Lake Tahoe

Spent a pleasant day kayaking and playing on the beach at Tahoe. You'll have to take our word for it since the pictures aren't plentiful. Probably from all of the time spent shooing away dogs that were scaring the crap outta Toots.


Superstar went for her first quad ride. A nice journey up the canyon and foothills of the Dayton Valley.

One other thing Wheels and I did this summer was get addicted to a tv show about a forensic detective who also happens to be a serial killer. Uplifting stuff. You know you've watched too many episodes in a short period when you're out riding a quad in the hills and spot this creepy Santa from a distance and you both freak out in fear that it is a dead body.

The Popsicle Thief

Pay close attention to what goes on in the background of these pics and then watch the video for Toots' Tantrum of the Week sponsored by Popsicle Brand Frozen Treats - Where Anything's Possible!

Projects with Grandma

When not playing outside in NV the girls spend their time making crafts and 'projects' with their Grandma. Here's some of their latest creations.

kg vs. The Bees

We seem to have a real bee and/or hornet infestation. I have destroyed more than one nest from our swingset this summer and now they seem to have taken a liking to the bushes in front of our home. The other afternoon before mowing the lawn I decided to take a wiffle ball bat and teach them a lesson. Wheels decided to get the camera and teach me a lesson on stalking. Watch out because stuff is about to get real. I hesitated about putting this on the web for fear that we'd end up with another Star Wars Kid-esque situation but I have to admit I chuckled watching my pest control skills. Just remember folks, kg is the X factor.

Country Fair Days

Our small town had its annual Country Fair Days and I'm sad to report that there wasn't another epic dance off between my nephews like last year. Superstar was able to participate in the Future Cheer Camp and ride on a truck in the parade. Good times as always. I've grown to really look forward to this annual tradition and hope that our girls never reach the point in their life when they wake up in the morn and sing, "There must be more than this provincial life..." Until then we'll enjoy our silly parade and games in the park.

As always, thanks for reading.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Skog Family Week in Review

Last summer we canceled our tv partially because of budgetary constraints and also just because there wasn't anything that we really watched during the summer months anyway.  Because of this we were forced to create our own shows.  We decided to do the same thing this year.  Here is what has been playing in the Skog home along with the TV Guide Episode Summary:

So Superstar Thinks She Can Dance?

A behind the scenes reality show about a young girl and her dreams of becoming the next Shirley Temple.  Watch as she tries to stay awake during late night rehearsals and taps her way into the hearts of America.

Commercial Break - Time Life Music Presents: The Skog Girls Sing the Songs of Summer

Remember the good old days when you could pick up a nice four record collection of hits through the mail and it wasn't a Kidz Bop album?  Well good news!  The Skog Sisters have brought this back!  Act now and you can receive this old timey favorite of Papa Dennis:

But that's not all!  The first twenty callers will also get this medley of Disney hits!

But wait!  There's more!  If you call in the next five minutes and use your credit card you'll also receive a bonus disc of Inspirational songs.

Operators are standing by!

Commercial Break - Superstar Has Fallen and She Can't Get Up

Strollers Can Be Dangerous.  Be safe out there this Summer.  The More You Know...

The Next Food Network Star

A young kitchen prodigy shows off her culinary skills, including kg's patented stir technique, to make the perfect scrambled eggs.

Oprah's Search For the Next Talk Show Host

The World's Tiniest Rockstar attempts to become the World's Tiniest Talk Show Host.  Hilarity ensues when her guests can't understand her gibberish.

Cappy Gilmore's Blindside

Hilarity ensues when a homeless man (kg) is taken in by a Utah Family and he helps lead them to last place in their annual family golf tournament.  Disgusted with the outcome, the family Patriarch (The Oscar Nominated Big J) throws him back on the streets and kg is forced to steal the family van as well as the coveted "Brown Keg" and make a run for the border.

America's Next Top Supermodel

The stakes are raised when Wheels tells kg that there's no way his beard could get any worse.

Father's Day

Finally, what goes with this fine programming?  Popcorn of course.  I have successfully brainwashed the girls into loving my snack of choice.  Sadly, our popper had not been working well as of late and conveniently the Friday night before Father's Day it officially gave up the ghost.  On Saturday the girls quickly remedied this problem, although I don't think Rockstar was as excited as her older sisters were to give this gift.  She really wanted to go with the tie.  Perhaps if you didn't speak in gibberish, Rockstar, your voice would be heard.  Maybe next year.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Super Saturday

Memorial Day Weekend wasn't just a nice opportunity to celebrate our fallen ancestors it was a time to take pleasure in the pain of our current friends and family.  That's right, it was Super Sat!  Some of you might ask, "What is Super Saturday?"  Here is a brief history lesson for the uninitiated:  Super Sat is an annual tradition that started nearly 10 years ago when Herms and I realized that due to the proximity of our birthdays we should milk them for as much as possible.  Super Sat was born as a day to play any and all sports, eat a lot of meat with no sides and be as manly as possible or at least as manly as two wussbags like Herms and myself could be.  After a few years we realized that Big J's birthday was also within a reasonable proximity to ours and therefore we should be milking this event even more.  At that point, Super Sat expanded into its current weekend format.  The only thing that has changed over the years is that as we have gotten older (read: fatter and lazier) we have toned down some of the athletic events and added more games, movies and eating.  Trust me, it's for the best.


In the past we have had a trophy but this year we were playing for the coveted "Schaudenfreuder" T-shirt.  "Schadenfreude" is a German term, roughly translated as, "I take pleasure in your pain" and it was in tribute of the late, great Father Herms who passed away last year.  This was a victory phrase that he commonly shouted at Herms and I after wiping us all over the tennis courts of various SL Valley parks.  Side note: The championship shirt was misspelled, much to the dismay of Herms' spelling bee champion son, Jack.  I suppose we should have trusted him over Google.


kg, Herms, Big J, Flanksteak, UtahFun, Troy, and Big Al.


Each event was worth 5 pts and kg was allowed to give random points at his discretion.


The First Event was the Double Down Challenge.  kg, Herms, Big J, UtahFun and Troy all met at the local KFC.  Flanksteak was unable to join us and Big Al boycotted this event due to the fact that he worked at a KFC during his formative years and has never stepped foot in one since his last day of work over 16 years ago.  Fun Fact: Big Al used to smell so badly when he came home from work that Crazy Sue would force him to strip down to his undies in the garage and leave his uniform outside of the house.  Another Fun Fact: While working at KFC, Big Al was well known for his prowess of sliding the furthest on the grease covered floors.  Alrighty then, now that everyone is hungry let's get to it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the KFC Double Down, it is a 'sandwich' that consists of two chicken breasts that serve as the bun and a middle section of cheese, bacon and a mystery sauce.  The Double Down is so controversial that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine had sent a letter asking KFC to refrain from advertising this sandwich to children.

UtahFun, who would not be able to join the Saturday events, realized that he really needed to step up his game in order to have a shot at the title of Super Sat Champion.  What happened next is the stuff of legend that will be passed down from generation to generation.  It was one of those life changing experiences where you will always remember where you were when it happened.  UtahFun stepped right up to the counter and asked for a Double Double Down.  John, the kid working the register, got a twinkle in his eye.  "Are you serious?" he asked, "I've never seen one of those before.  It would make my night."  UtahFun said, "Yes, let's do it."  I've never seen someone as excited to be working in the fast food industry as John.  He told the girl in the back to get out of the way because he had to make this.  Not only did Utah have the World's First KFC, we might have actually created the World's First Quadruple Double Down.  It was a gamechanger that I'll never forget.

UtahFun jumped out to a huge lead after I awarded him 10 pts. Big J, who was trying to work off his annual tax season weight gain, declined to eat the tasty sandwich and was awarded no points. Flanksteak was awarded a few discretionary points for timely texts like, "I've never seen UtahFun look so happy" and "That should be the picture in his obituary." Well played, Flanksteak.  Big Al was awarded no points and the rest of us earned our 5.

Next up was a screening of Iron Man 2.  No points were awarded for participation because we were all winners for seeing ScarJo in black leather.  Herms was deducted 1 point for poor parking and Big J earned one point for screaming in disgust after we waited through the 10 minute credits for a big payoff.  Good laughs there.

After an intermission we started back up Saturday afternoon and hit the tennis courts.  The participants for this portion were kg, Herms, Big J, Flanksteak and Troy with Herms as the huge favorite entering the tennis portion.  Rules of this event were: Round Robin Doubles, switch partners each game, everyone gets to serve twice and one player sits out each game.  Simple enough.  Rather than a coin toss, teams were chosen by the old, spin your racquet and let the other players guess tactic.  For example, if I had a Prince tennis racquet I would hold the handle and spin the racquet and let my opponent guess "P or D."  The handle is then revealed and the winner gets to choose if he/she would like to serve or receive.  Much to our surprise, the big winner of the Tennis event was Big J.  Granted, Big J was a fine tennis player in his prime, some might even dare say that he was "the finest athlete ever to come out of Cache Valley*" but the man is now a senior citizen.  I'm not sure if it was payback for the mocking he received the night before for bowing out of the Double Down Challenge or what, but I haven't seen an old man dominate his juniors athletically in such a fashion since Thornton Melon.  Flanksteak and I tied for 2nd, Herms in 4th and Troy in 5th. 

Next up was disc golf.  Again, considering that he was the only one to have ever played and that he owned his own discs, Herms was a heavy favorite.  This time he delivered.  kg did not fare as well, losing his disc on the first throw.  Luckily, as we headed off the course after our round was over, another group of golfers had found the poorly thrown disc and returned it to Herms.  Side note: The crowd at the disc golf course was an interesting bunch to say the least.  Our group had the beards to fit in but lacked the bare chests, tattoos and chain smoking.  Big J might have lacked some distance with his throws and his Fred Flintstone-esque twinkle toes delivery, but ever the competitor, Big J actually removed his shirt at one point in order to see if that would help his game.  I took a few photos but when I tried to pull them up on my computer I got a blank picture that just said, "These photos were washed away by the Weber River" similar to when someone flips off the camera (or worse) at Disneyland while riding Splash Mountain.  Very strange.  Anyway, Herms took first, then Troy, Bry, Big J and kg taking up the rear.

The group then made a pitstop at the finest meat shop in Utah, Sniders Bros.  Sadly, the shop was out of turkey wrapped in bacon but we made do with beef tenderloin, salmon, chicken and pork.  Big J was awarded special points for his fine work on the grill and everyone was awarded points for eating enough meat to shave a few years off of their lives.  UtahFun even made a brief cameo.

Big Al also joined us for the evening portion of Super Saturday that consisted of games.  Board games, billiards, etc.  Big Al made an excellent showing, considering he had missed the opportunity to score points at the earlier events and pushed himself into the top 3 overall standings.  However, it was Big J who continued his domination who came out on top.  Truly a fine exhibition and effort by the old man.  I hope he wears the shirt with pride.  Please join me in congratulating our 2010 Super Sat Champion, Big J.  Kudos to you sir.

* citation needed

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Skog Family Weeks in Review

Long time readers will remember that the motto of The Skog Girls is that they just want to party all the time.  Living this kind of lifestyle doesn't allow for much blogging time but here is my attempt to get the blog back on track.

The World Cup 2010 Spring Preview

Superstar finished off her first year of soccer with a successful spring season.  As you can see from the pics below she is really good.  She even got a medal and they don't just hand those out to everybody.  Superstar enjoyed it enough that we are going back for more this fall.  To be continued.

April 24th - What A Special Day

For as long as I can remember my family has made April 24th a special day.  I'm not quite sure why but some internet searching led me to understand that it is perhaps in celebration of the salvage of the famous old Swedish warship, The Vasa.  More likely though, it's for Barbara Streisand's birthday.  My parents did always love The Broadway Album.  IRregardless, I have continued this tradition with my children.  This year Superstar made breakfast burritos and then Wheels and I went out with some family members for a lovely sushi dinner.  A most excellent day.  I am told that Superstar was friggin adorable while she cooked up the burritos and we wish there was better photographic evidence.  Also, Superstar planned all week to have her sisters and her wear their matching, "Daddy's Little Angel Shirts" since she knew the 24th was a special day for her old man.  Thanks, Superstar.

The Land of Zion

Wheels, ever the fan of The Matrix, headed down south to the land of Zion during the first weekend of May with her good friend AM. She was pleased to report that it wasn't nearly as strange as portrayed in the movie and spent most of her time looking at rocks and walking.  Sounds like the perfect recipe for an exciting trip.  The girls were able to make it to the top of Angel's Landing and have pictures to prove it.  Fun Fact: kg and his fear of heights and lack of walking skills have actually climbed this as well.

Tunes From Toots

Here is Toots with the ol' schoolyard classic - Cinderella Dressed in Yella.  In the other clip she poses the question that all Little Mermaids ask, "What's a fire and why does it... what's the word...?"

The Rockstar Has A Question For You

Speaking of questions, Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?

The Most Delicious Ice Cream Topping Ever

I love ice cream and root beer.  I would dare say that a root beer freeze or shake might be my favorite dessert.  However,  I don't really enjoy a good root beer float.  How does that make any sense?  Well if any of you are in the same boat then please rush out NOW to your nearest supermarket and pick up some of this tasty treat.  I loved it and my girls did too.  I've only tried the A&W so I can't vouch for the Dr. Pepper topper but I imagine that would be delightful as well.

Dinosaur Park

Wheels took the girls to the local dino park on Memorial Day while I was golfing.  Since I wasn't there I don't have much to add other than these pics are a much more enjoyable archaeological experience than the last Indy Jones flick.

Superstar's Portfolio Vol. XVIII

Once again, all shot by Superstar (If you can believe it!)

Toots' Pics Vol. I

Toots decided to throw her hat into the photography ring.  I never would have guessed that two amateur photographers with such talent would live under the Skog roof.  Nice debut, Toots.

Rockstar - Not A Fan of the Grass

My only memory from when I was a small child is that of me crawling around with my head skimming the floor in front of me.  I believe it was to help steer me away from the grass, of which I was deathly afraid.  Glad I could pass along something more than just my hair, silky falsetto and hay fever to my girls.

Superstar All Grows Up

Superstar is moving on to kindergarten.  Unbelievable.  Our little Superstar is all grown up.  She grows up and she grows up and she grows up.

Random Pics

Well I hope you enjoyed your tour of April and May as much as I did.  Here are a few other misc pics since I figured that what this post was missing was more pics.

Thanks for reading and have a great week.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Q&A with kg

It's been too long and I have many questions that need answered so let's get to it -

kg, I know you are a fan of LOST.  Can you explain WTW happened on the finale? (Crazy Sue)

My opinion (and that of many others) is this - the island was real.  Everything that happened on the island actually happened.  The sideways life this season was Jack's purgatory that allowed him to come to grips with all of his issues and finally move on to the afterlife.  This alternate universe was only for Jack and each character probably had their own version of a sideways life.  I know, really profound and hard hitting analysis.  That said, I really enjoyed the finale, in fact I can't stop thinking about it.  I wasn't bugged by all of the unsolved mysteries or unresolved questions regarding the island's mythology.  I'm not ready for these characters to be out of my life.  What I'd really like to see is what happened to Hurley and Ben on the island after Jack's mission was complete.  Couldn't they make a new show this fall called, Still LOST and let us see their wacky adventures as the new caretakers of the island?  Make it happen, ABC.

The Jazz season ended once again with a loss to the Lakers.  What can the Jazz do to get over the hump? (Big J)

There are so many what ifs for the Jazz over the past few years.  Because of injuries, the Jazz have yet to put their best team on the floor during the playoffs.  What if Memo didn't tear his achilles tendon?  What if Andrei doesn't strain his calf?  What if Boozer is able to play through his oblique strain and the Jazz beat Phoenix and secure the 2nd seed?  What if Matthews' tip goes in at the end of the game 3 of the Lakers series?  What if Memphis doesn't do the BS trade that sent Gasol to the Lakers and tipped the balance of power in the west back towards the Lakers?  Perhaps it has something to do with all of the LOST alternative universe mumbo jumbo, but here is one last 'what if' that will really blow your mind - What if Kobe Bryant had decided to go to college and not jump right into the NBA after high school?   Did you know that his first choice was Duke?  I hate to think that in some sick and twisted alternate reality I would have been a Kobe fan.  My one saving grace is that I was in Chile when he would have played at Duke so luckily I would have missed seeing him drain jumpers on the hallowed floor of Cameron Indoor Stadium or hitting game winners to beat the Tarheels.  Even still, it makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.  See you in hell, Mr. Bryant.

Is there anything you hate more than the Lakers? (Flanksteak)

No, but a close second is yard work.  When Wheels and I were dating we made a deal that when we got married she would do the yard work and I would clean the house.  However, every time we have lived in a home with a yard Wheels has conveniently been pregnant.  Even though I despise it, I have at least tried to mow the lawn and maintain a semi-respectable yard.  This year it has gotten out of hand.  Our side lawn is a swamp and I fear that our children could end up with malaria or yellow fever.  Even worse, thanks to a neighbor who shall remain nameless (Patty) who let his/her yard go, the Skog yard has turned into a dandelion nursery.  By the time the summer is over there might be a new Public Enemy #1 for the Skogs.  I realize that the above thoughts might have made it sound like Wheels is currently pregnant.  I assure you that she is not.  So why don't I just let her take over the landscaping duties this summer?  Well, because things between the lawn and I have gotten personal.  I will beat this lawn or die trying.  See you in hell, Mr. Lawn.