Monday, September 8, 2008


Holy I am almost 2 months later finally publishing the post about our road trip. Here it is!

Our car made it! We got back last week from our 6 state roadtrip. We packed up the Natural Gas car and headed north to Boise Idaho. We of course left a little late, but that is nothing new to us...We got to Boise around midnight on Saturday night and stayed with my brother-in-law Cardon's family. We sported his family's new Buddy scooters around town and swam in the pool. We met up with my brother Cameron and his girlfriend Kristin. They had planned on going to Portland too, but by way of trainhopping. Yes, my brother hops trains and has traveled to Portland before by doing it. This time was different though...they arrived just west of Boise from hitchhiking and had missed the train that he knew was going to Portland. So they waited around for a day and decided to hitchhike back to Boise and wait for us to show up so they could hitch a ride with us in our car to Portland.

It was the first time I had seen my brother act flirty towards a girl. He was happy and it was interesting to watch. Mandee and I both got a kick out of it. It was a good thing that Mandee had brought a huge cartop travel bag to put all of our stuff in so there could be room for Cameron and Kristin inside the car. We said goodbye to Cardon and family and headed out the next afternoon for Portland.

It was an uncomfortable drive all squashed together in the car (except for me, I was driving). We entered into the only state in the Union that does not allow you to pump your own gasoline! I wasn't sure if you had to tip the gas pumper; what if he cleaned your window? I did anyway just so I wouldn't feel like a jerk. We got into Portland and we dropped my brother off at 2:00 am at his friends house. We then accidently found our way to Mandee's brother's house in Aloha. The next 3 days were a blur to me. All I remember is shopping at thrift stores! There is a warehouse where all of the unsold thrift store merchandise from the multiple chains receives it and brings it out in huge bins for all of the vultures to scour through. It is funny to watch how serious some of the people get about it! No on is allowed to touch the merchandise until the bin is in place. When placed, people start digging, throwing, spitting and kicking (just kidding) to find their treasurs. I thought that it was cool, but I don't last long at any store, especially with Kenton. I bet we filled 5 shopping carts of stuff. They sell it for .69 per pound which is awesome! Mandee sorted out some of her stuff and we drove around Portland selling it to consignment shops for fun. Mandee made some more spending money for the trip which was nice! We were able to see Mandee's other brother Eric and his wife Skyi. I wish we had more time to spend with them since we only hung out for a couple of hours.

We went to breadfast with Mandee's brother Shane and his wife Callie and their daughter Mackenzie. They are also thrift store junkies and went with us a few times to the stores. There is something in that Schanderl blood....

We left for California and made it to Dunsmuir, California. It is a small railroad town. We got there just before midnight and found the Railroad Motel. It was the coolest thing ever! It was too bad that Kenton was asleep and didn't get to see all of the train cars that were scattered throughout the park that were converted into motel rooms. We tried to get a room, but the office was closed and the person living above the office was to tired and lame to let us stay. So we drove around forever and found the main drag in the town. Mandee went in to a bar and asked for directions to a cheap campsite. It took forever for her to leave the bar because there were a couple of drunk dudes acting like drunk dudes (talky talky talk). We got back on the interstate and headed for a National Park. We set up camp and slept well. We had some quarters to pay for the heated shower at the campsite and we all took a shower which felt great. We then headed back to Dunsmuir to check out the railroad motel and giftshop. Kenton loved it! We hung around town for a couple of hours and even hit up a garage sale before we left.

We drove for awhile and went and saw Shasta Lake and the damn. You could see evidence of the burnt mountainsides from California's tragic summer of fires. We got off of the freeway and headed for route 99 to Chico. It was very scenic full of orchards and farmland. We found the natural gas station to fill up the car with, but to our dismay, you had to have a special "member only" card. We luckily were able to pay cash to a member who let us use his card to get gas. We then headed through Sacramento to Oakdale where Mandee's Uncle Max and Aunt Kathy live. But just a few minutes from Oakdale, disaster struck! I had to take a serious toilet pit stop and there were no gas stations or any stores off of the highway! I became desperate and thought that it would be better to let it all out off the side of the road in somebody's orchard instead of my pants. I decided to pull over and get out. There were houses down the whole street with orchards to the sides. There were also lots of cars traveling on the road. How could I accomplish this task and not get caught? Well the Macgyver in me saw the bridge close by and I climbed over the railing and under the road I went...Literally! Wow, that was too close! Mandee thought that it was pretty funny and decided to share my adventure with her uncle on the phone...Thanks babe, and thanks Taco Bell!

We got to their house and visited for a few minutes until we turned in and went to bed. For the next few days, we actually got to relax! We just hung around the house and swam. It was very relaxing. A couple of days later, we all drove up to Big Trees National Park where there were of course...BIG TREES! The biggest one was around 40 feet in diameter at the base of the tree. Crazy!

We left a couple of days later and drove to Southern California to visit Tyler and Erica Johnson. They live in Dana Point. We went surfing a couple of times and I loved it! I was able to get up a few times. The first day i went out I got so tired from swimming and I threw up in the water. It was not pretty. I just hope that no one noticed...

We all drove up to Hollywood and got to check out Hollywood Boulevard. It was cool to see the stars on the sidewalk and see the famous Chinese Theater. Tyler then drove us all over and pointed out famous clubs and what not. We had a blast. Of course Kenton had a meltdown on the sidewalk in front of hundreds of people. Before we left Tyler and Erica's, Tyler gave us chiropractic adjustments at his office. My back and neck are so wack! Tyler touched my back and just laughed...he was suprised that I could live with my bones the way they are. Mandee's were bad too, but I think mine were worse.

We also got to see Karisa, Scott, and Nick. We all went to Laguna Beach and played on the beach. We wish that we would have had more time to hang out with them, but we were drawing closer to the end of our trip. We also got to spend a couple of days with Mandee's uncle Wolfgang and his wife Dawn. They have a cool Murphy bed that folds out of the wall that we got to sleep in. We went to a petting zoo for Kenton. He had so much fun. To top it off, there was a train ride that he got to ride on. The bad thing is when the ride ends....Kenton thinks that he has the right to ride anything as long as he wants! It is always hard to leave somewhere that he likes.

We took off a couple of days later and visited one of my missionary companions Josh Leavitt. He is a medical student in Las Vegas. We got to visit his family for a few hours along with my other missionary buddy's wife, Amber Parry and her kids. We weren't planning on staying to long, but we just got talking and lost track of time. It was great to visit them. I hadn't seen them for about a year (except Amber).

We left and I was really going to try and drive the whole way home that night. We got to Mesquite and tried to find a campsite because Mandee was afraid of me driving at night (with good reason). After an hour, I decided to drive to St. George. We were going to camp, but we found a CHEAP motel on the edge of town. Holy cow what a dive! We found a rat,its droppings, and cockroaches in the beds! We were so tired at this point that we just took our sleeping bags out and put them on the bed. I guess that we can't expect too much for $20.00 on a holiday weekend. We got home the next day and found ourselves spending the next week or so trying to catch up. But hey, that is life, right!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

It has been quite a busy and hectic week. We went in to Mandee's first Doctor's appointment and got to see our little baby on the ultrasound. We were both excited to see the little one on the monitor. Unfortunately, the doctor informed us that there was a problem...the baby had no heart beat. Neither one of us even thought about looking for the heartbeat when we saw the baby. We went from a total happy moment to a total sad moment. The baby grew to be 9 weeks and 4 days old. We figure that it must have died within the last couple of days. We all had a hard few days as Mandee was sick and our plans on having our second child were shattered. Kenton seemed to know that something was wrong and was very quite and blar for a couple of days. We would like to thank all of our friends and family who called, visited, brought use delicious food, and so forth. Thanks!

Mandee took her Jetta to get her oil change at Wal Mart last week right before someone interested in buying it came to the house to look at it. The car started up and then a sudden "thump" came from the motor and the car turned off. It is in the shop right now being torn apart to find out if it was Wal Mart's fault or if it would have happened regardless of having the oil changed. It would be great if it were Wal Mart's fault so they could pick up the bill! We are not sure what all happened yet, but we should find out soon.

On a happier note, our friends Zach and Amber were in town from Las Vegas and stopped by for a visit and some dinner. It was nice to see them since it has been almost two years since I had seen them. Zach rode in the sidecar that is hooked up to the pink stella scooter with Kenton in his lap. I don't think that we could have looked any more gay...but it was fun.

Speaking of scooters, I finally titled and registered my 1974 Vespa Rally 200 scooter. It is a blast to drive around and I get like 75 miles to the gallon!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

And Then Came Another...

Well, today is Mother's Day and what better way to celebrate the day than by the announcement of another addition to our family. Mandee is pregnant!!! We just found out so we are not sure how far along she is at this time, but it looks as though the baby will be due around late December or early January. Mandee, I think, is hoping for a girl (because she has a ton of girl clothes) but will be happy with either one. She enjoys being a Mother and loves staying at home with Kenton full-time.

Kent's entire family was treated to an Eastern Carribbean cruise in early February by his parents. It was an absolute blast! We went to Turks and Caicos, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Tortola. We were able to snorkel, rent scooters, swim, and kayak. Grandma helped out by watching Kenton during some of these activities. We all ate very well and very often. We both gained over 10 pounds! The ten days went by too fast! That is okay because we spent almost three days hanging out in New York crashing at my sister's apartment. We had all beeen there before, so this time around we pretty much ate at all our favorite spots.

I am now working at the Utah State Developmental Center where Mandee use to work. Three years of working graveyards was plently long for Mandee and she needed a well deserved break. I attempted the graveyards for a couple of weeks, but later changed my mind and now work the early morning a.m. shift. I enjoy the job, but I do not plan on staying there long term. It works for our situation at the moment and so we are happy. I still do part-time eBay selling and enjoy it very much. It is always exciting to see what recycled clothing items can go for...a recent unbelievable sale was a $4.00 vintage Gucci handbag that sold for $510.00 to someone back east. Unbelievable!

Kenton finished off the ski year by outskiing his mama. He went probably a dozen times to Sundance. He started out on the rope tow, then midway on the lift, then to the top of the lift where he spent most of the season, and then the last day of the season we took him to the back mountain where he did a great job. He really loves to ski and vocalizes it on a regular basis. His new favorite sport is longboarding with Dad by our house. He really has no fear which is exciting, but nerve racking too!

I totalled my Toyota Tacoma just over a month ago. I t-boned a Jeep Cherokee half a block from my house at night trying to make it over to a ward member's house who are friends of ours. It was surreal...I think that I broke my nose, but I never went to the hospital to find out. I had two black eyes and some cuts on my face for over a week. So to replace the truck, we bought Mandee's Mom's Jeep Cherokee (ironic, huh..). I miss the reliability of my truck and hope to some day soon replace it. We also bought a Chevy Cavalier that is a bi-fuel vehicle. It runs on both natural gas and regular gasoline. We bought it at an Arizona State Government fleet vehicle auction for a great deal. It only costs 2 cents per mile to drive it on natural gas!!!!! We also will be getting a $3,000.oo tax credit this year for registering it!!!!! Mandee is always willing to talk to anyone about the benefits of driving a natural gas vehicle, so if you have any questions, feel free to call or email her.

Here are some recent photos of what has happened in the last few months:

Monday, December 10, 2007

First Day On The Slopes

We took Kenton up skiing for the first time last Friday. It was opening day at Sundance and we wanted to be there. Kenton wasn't too happy with us layering him with all of the gear, but as soon as he was dressed he was okay. We rented the smallest ski boots available and the shortest skis from Park's Sports in Orem and headed out. There was quite a bit of snow at Sundance, considering how much they usually have.

We hiked up to the rope tow and I picked him up, grabbed onto the tow bar and headed up. I put Kenton down between my skis and sat back to have him get a feel for the skis. He instantly enjoyed them and would talk, sing, and laugh. I took him down the first run nice and slow. He loved that too! Mandee took him down a couple of times with her snowboard. It was a lot of fun! We all had a good time and we now know that Kenton likes skiing! We hope to take him a few times this year. We even got a snowboard for him. That might be a little later though...

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Well, Summer is almost over. I can't believe it! It was a fun summer for the three of us. I was able to help my father for another year of cherry harvesting. It usually takes us 2-3 weeks to complete the harvest working 6-10 hours a night; 6 nights a week in the middle of the night. We do it in the middle of the night because it is cooler which is great for us and great for the cherries. Kenton and Mandee were able to come and visit one morning this year and see first hand what the cherry harvest consisted of. Mandee and I were also able to go to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon with my family a couple of weeks ago. We were gone 6 days and hiked probably 25-30 miles all together. It wasn't too bad considering we had hired pack mules this year to haul all of our food and equipment to the campsite. We hiked, swam, swam, and swam some more most of the time. We all swam behind one of the waterfalls and dove right through it. We found a rope swing down river that was a big hit too. Mandee even repelled down one of the waterfalls and jumped about 30 feet off the edge of it! She sure isn't afraid of getting hurt (eventhough she does get hurt quite often...). Kenton stayed with my mom and had a little vacation from us while we were gone. It was great to see him after almost a week away! We sure missed him and love him so much! I am still working from home doing Ebay sales and being a stay-at-home dad while Mandee continues to work graveyards at the Utah State Developmental Center. I am hoping that I will be able to obtain a steady job in the near future so Mandee can stay home with Kenton. I do enjoy doing Ebay, it is flexable and fun. I recently have started doing a large portion of the shopping which is a big change for me since I hate shopping. Now that I know what to look for, I don't mind it as much.One of my best friends recently died in a helicopter crash flying for the Utah National Guard last week. Clayton Barnes was a great friend and I have many great memories of him that I will never forget. He was so influentual in my life and got me interested in ska music, Vespa scooters, snowboarding, mountain biking, and more. I will really miss the guy! Kiss it better baby!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

All Grown Up

A couple of weeks ago, my wife Mandee was at work and I was watching Kenton. I had made a couple of burritos for a late dinner and had a rather tall glass of milk to accompany them. So I relaxed on the bean bag and watched TV while I ate my dinner. Kenton was playing with his toys and crawling around in front of the TV and next to the bean bag. I finished my dinner and set the plate and cup on the ground next to the bean bag. A few minutes passed by and I noticed that Kenton was being very quite. So I looked over and saw him holding my tall glass (which is heavy and is probably larger than a quart) to his mouth drinking out of it! There was a little bit of milk still in the glass that he got all over his mouth and face. I died laughing as I took the glass away and wiped off his face. Kenton does a lot of things that mimic what Mandee and I do. He feels left out when he is not doing what we are doing. He just wants to grow up so fast!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

We started out as two, and now we are three. We welcomed little baby Kenton into our lives on August 10, 2006. We love him with all our hearts. He has made life very different for the both of us forcing us to restructure how we spend our time and other things. But I personally feel like it is 100 % worth it.