Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mr. Laugher Pants!

Dads have one goal in life...be funny! Forget the dishes, the laundry, and the vacuuming...Laughing is where it is at. Today Noel was playing with Greg and although Greg has laughed before, he has never laughed so long and hard as depicted in this video.
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Way to go, Dad!...That is some nice laughing action.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Early Christmas

Christmas came a little early this year to the Dickens' household. Yesterday morning (Dec. 1) Noel received a call from the University of Kentucky and also from the University of Michigan congratulating him on being accepted into their dental schools. Hearing from both schools was quite a relief as we are now better able to plan for next year and our future. Plus, we are excited to have the application process over and done with.

We want to thank everyone that helped Noel through the application cycle. We would especially like to thank Jeff Bird for taking interest in Noel's application and continually bugging the admissions office at UK.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Vacation - 2008

About once a year the Dickens get together and do a family vacation. This year they decided to get together in Florida during Thanksgiving where both of Noel's grandparents live as well as his aunt Gayle and cousin Scotty and his wife and children. Noel had not been to Florida to visit his grandparents, aunt, and cousin since he returned from his mission and was excited to see them and the changes in their lives. The following post is series of pictures from the vacation.

However, before the pictures begin, we would like to take the time to go over a list of things we are grateful for.

1. Our marriage - We are eternally grateful to have been married in the temple and enjoy the blessings of an eternal marriage. Nothing is better than family prayer together at night after a long day...Love you Amber.

2. Greg aka. G-reg, Gregorio, Chachi, Turbo-(man) - Our lives have forever been changed...luckily for the better :) We love you Greg.

3. Family - just as Nephi said that he was born of goodly parents, so have Amber and I been blessed to count Gordon, Lynne, Susan, and Paul as our parents...we love you! We also wish to tell our siblings how much we love them and miss their presence in our lives. We wish you the best and hope you know we continually pray for your safety and happiness.

4. Tates Creek Ward - This really is an extension of our family. We were apprehensive about moving to Kentucky, but Noel had a strong feeling that this was where we needed to be. This ward has taken us in and treated us like family. We are grateful for the each member that has blessed our lives. We love you...you know who you are :)

5. Education - Each step our lives has been touched by learning and we are grateful for the quality of education we have received and for the chance we had to do so minus financial restrictions.

6. Home - We are grateful for the home in which we live and the relative tranquility we enjoy within its walls

7. USA

8. Testimonies - This year our testimonies have grown by leaps and bounds. We wish to give gratitude for our callings in the church and friends that have strengthened our knowledge that Jesus Christ lives and that he is our redeemer. We are also grateful for the knowledge that our family will be together forever.

Now, without further ado...


Above: Grandma Dickens...sharp as a needle and ever becoming the BYU fan.


Above: A cold root beer margarita after a long day's work at the beach.


Above: niece Julia and her personal bodyguard.


Above: Check me out...I'm on an airboat and going to whoop that gator.

Above: Greg's first swim...we hoping it would be in the ocean, but a pool will do.

Above: Our little boy and his man-boobs with aunt Maren.

Above: Amber driving the airboat and me pretending I am airport grounds crew.

Above: niece Julia...you think she is so sweet until you see...(below)

Above: She really is sweet...:)

Above: Greg loving up on his aunt Hayley...work the mullet boy...work the mullet.

Above: Pelicans trying to grab our catch after some deep sea fishing.

Above: Hip uncle Jordan and his want-a-be groupy Hayley.

Above: Two blonds conferring over whether peanut m&m's are better than original m&m's.


Above: Sunset over Marco IslandAbove: What is my mom doing to me?!?! Was that broccoli she ate last night?

Above: Beautiful people.

Above: LesliAnn and Julia checking out their future mega-yacht.

Above: Mama's boy

Above: Heaven

Above: Family - Noel's Aunt Gayle, Mike and LesliAnn (Noel's sister) with their two children Luke and Julia, Hayley (Noel's sister), Lynne, Maren (Noel's sister) and Jordan


Pseudo-Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a weird holiday for college students or young couples as the parents expect you to spend that time with them. It is not that you don't want to spend that time with family, however, until you attempt a Thanksgiving dinner yourself you truly are not an emancipated adult.

This year we decided to have a couple of friends over for a pre- or pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner to earn the much sought after certificate of emancipation. Overall the dinner was a success. The turkey was well cooked, the mashed potatoes were the masterpiece of Jeff Bird and Bryce Jones working together, the stuffing was acceptable, the rolls were to die for, and the vegetables and pies were rockin'.



We love our house, but one defining characteristic of it is the lack of space to store decorations. As such, we have limited our decorations to two holidays: Christmas and Thanksgiving. It was fun to pull out one of the two holidays we have and decorate the kitchen table accordingly.


The best part of the dinner was enjoying the company of good friends. We assume they enjoyed the dinner as we have no reports of upset stomachs or midnight rendevous with the toilet.
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3 Months

Let's make this simple...Greg is 3 months...Peace.

Alright, Amber got mad at me and I have to list some of his accomplishments.

1. Can now aim his spit-up
2. Smiles even when Amber passes gas
3. Can sit up
4. Can officially post a picture of himself on Mullets.com
5. Sleeps through the night...Dad really likes this one
6. Diapers require gas masks
7. Loves to swim
8. Follows voices

Ok...that is enough.

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Bumbo!

Everything good comes from South Africa...including the Bumbo seat. That is right folks, Bumbo seats are made in South Africa and are the product of some Umama's imagination. This week Greg graduated from the bouncy seat to the Bumbo seat and mom and dad are super excited. Yeah Bumbo!!


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Rolling...Rolling...Rolling with the Homies

When your head weighs half of your 17 pounds of massive baby tummy time and rolling becomes your nemesises. So far Greg can roll half way, but tends to get stuck by his arms. Below are some pictures of his latest attempts. We will be sure to add pictures when he actually completes the roll.



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Killer Frisbee Golfing

Frisbee golf is a huge sport in Lexington with two 18-hole courses within a mile of our house. Amber shot this video of me during our last frisbee golf expedition of 2008.

Special thanks go to Jeff and Melea Bird who put up with our craziness and who lent us the frisbee in this video (which I nearly lost).

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Adventure Race - 60 Miles of Fig'n'Pain

Adventure Race 2008

Most people don't realize the serious locos the Tates Creek Ward is blessed to have. Now when I say "locos" I do so with the up-most respect for Scott Price, Jonathan Bylund, and Tony Mendez.

After a grueling month and half of exercise (ok...maybe not so serious exercise) and serious carbo loading I participated in the Red River Gorge Adventure Race 2008 aka 60 Miles of Fig'n'Pain. The race involved canoeing, rappelling, mountain biking, and running 60 miles worth of terrain in the Red River Gorge. All teams had 12 hours to complete as much of the course as possible while carrying all of the supplies needed for the entire day. Our team, "Malpractice" (as it composed of a Periodontist, 4th Yr Medical Student, Chriopractor, and Public Health Specialist) finished in 12 hours 12 minutes very sore, dehydrated, and hungry. Despite the immense pain experienced throughout the day, the race was the experience of a live-time.

Shout-outs go to:

Scott, our bona fide team leader and psycho cyclist, was responsible for preparing us for the adventure race.

Jon, team motivator, for amazing resilience.

Tony, team brains, for being ultra-prepared by being the only member to wear shin-guards.



Below I have included some of the pictures I took during the race. Unfortunately I did not take pictures of us finishing, but all they would have shown is four very tired and exhausted...yet brave!...men.

Below: Scott and Jon trying on their rappeling harnesses.


Below (3): Early morning as we began our canoeing for checkpoints.





Below: Scott rappelling.

Below: Malpractice at mid-day before running to the rappel site.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2 Months...Yawzur!!

Amazingly enough the time has come to take Greg's 2 month pictures. However, by posting this I feel like one of the newly wed couples that take their picture daily.

Major differences since last month's picture are: (1) Able to sit up, (2) Smiles at the camera and not just Amber or me, (3) Spits up like all of his food was poisonous, and (4) He and hippo are friends and not enemies.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

World's Best Birthday Card

Today was Amber's 25th birthday! What a great day to hit the quarter century mark. Every year I try to buy or create the funniest card Amber has ever seen. Last year's card consisted of an old man in a speedo with the quote "I guess that is where Sag Harbor got its name." Unfortunately Amber laughed so hard she nearly peed her pants and as such the bar was set pretty high this year. After a lot of deep thought and surveillance of Greg's movements I came up with the following card (see below).


If you peed your pants then I partially succeeded. Now the question is whether Amber will pee her pants as well. No matter what, I am so proud of myself and perhaps will even submit it to Hallmark. To all you other October 22nd birthdays...HAPPY BIRTHDAY and splendid Happy Halloween.

P.S. If you couldn't tell, that is me in the picture...aka Boogie Man and yes I did sign a model release form:)
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Howdy Cowboy!

I promise...last post of the day. Noel's Aunt Karen and Uncle Joe live in Texas. So that Greg would fit in with any Texas babies, they sent him these little cowboy boot booties. Too cute!

Check out those thunder thighs! You gotta love a baby with chub rolls.
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University of Michigan Trip

Noel had a dental school interview at the University of Michigan on Friday. Because I had a short week at school (yahoo for fall break on my first week back), Greg and I made the trip with him. It is only about a 5.5 hour drive to Ann Arbor. It was a nice drive, and Greg did great in his carseat for that long. He slept most of the way. Being new parents, we haven't quite figured out how to pack only the essentials, so the car was crammed with baby paraphernelia. It looked like we were homeless and living out of our car.

After Noel's interview, we went for a walk at Nichol's Arboretum on campus. It was really pretty. Greg didn't like all the sun in his eyes, so Noel fixed that.



I'll tell you something. I have become a wimp when it comes to the cold. I was cold pretty much the whole trip. Really it was nice, crisp fall weather in Ann Arbor, but I have become accustomed to the heat that we've had this fall in Kentucky. What am I going to do when it gets cold here? It will be even colder when we go out west for Christmas. I'll just have to wear 6 layers of clothes. :)


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