Monday, February 23, 2009

Fun With Josh

Steve's cousin, Josh, came to visit last week. We had a great time! And Maggie is a huge fan of her "Uncle Josh."
On Friday we went to NASA and then to the Kemah Boardwalk for dinner. Here are some pics:
Crazy Cuzzins
Maggie cuddling with "Uncle Josh"
Freezing our hineys off at NASA (very un-Houston-like weather)
The boys in front of the Saturn V rocket
The boys preparing for their Apollo mission (I didn't fit. The baby's getting too big.)
Trying on crazy hats at the Kemah Boardwalk
If Josh had hair and were a surfer dude from LA, he might look a little something like this:
Da' Boys
The three of us had a great time! Josh - come back soon! We love you!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


This post will likely not get much face time, as Amy is going to publish her own post today pushing this one down a notch. Anyway real quick --

This morning I woke up earlier than I needed too and I decided to go to Skillets for breakfast, don't do that -- it was dreadful, burned, flavorless, and an embarrassment to the establishment. On an up note, the coffee was good, and they filled my Thermos.

Isn't it funny that Pres. Obama keeps saying the his stimulus package will bring lasting change for generations to come? This isn't a political blog, but in my opinion (does this make it a political blog) the change it is bringing to future generations is simply more debt??

There is just TOO MUCH going on, we were suppose to go to Vegas this week. We decided that once Claire is out of the womb Vegas will be a difficult destination, so why not. I am really busy with work, and with the accident investigation ongoing I am needed in VA for some union business -- I tried to call in some help to keep our business going at home, but there was no one available -- in the end it was decided Vegas will have to wait, instead we may go to the Mid-Evil Times in DFW on the way to Tulsa -- that could be fun.

Just getting ready to fly, hope you all have a great day.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun Run

So today I ventured outside -- abandoning the dreadmill for a frolic in the outdoors. Here I am at Texas A&M University, its MUCH cooler than usual, and the dreadmill was in use. So I took the risk, and had great fun. If nothing else I got to see the bonfire memorial (which looks a little like Stonehenge). It was much more refreshing than running inside, I may take this up more often --- as long as the temperature cooperates of course.

I have a hard time with face wash, I'll admit that even at the ripe old age of nearly 30 I still have to use Proactiv (a product which I could be a spokesperson for, much like Sams Club). Anyway, this stuff isn't cheap, and I have a problem with leaving it in the shower stalls of my hotel rooms. Twice I have committed this nearly mortal sin; so I have a new policy. I must place my hair gel in a very strange place when taking my face wash to the shower. The hope is that when I go to fetch my hair gel I will be reminded to follow my own policy of getting the face wash first. Its much easier to travel with Amy -- she is always so good at looking in every nook and cranny of a hotel room before we leave; and it works we have never left anything when Amy was on duty.

We take a magazine called Budget Travel -- the first few pages always have travel tips and tricks. I'm not convinced that some of these people enjoy their trips, they are so freaking organized. I've heard we should label Ziploc bags with everything that goes in it. Another recommendation was to put a power strip in your suitcase with all your chargers plugged into it, that way you won't leave without your chargers plugged in all over the room (not a bad idea). But some of the ideas are absurd like keeping a checklist in your suitcase --- when you remove an item you must check a box so you can look for those items when packing (seriously? -- I'd rather leave things than do that).

Happy Monday -- we'll chat latter...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Its The Weekend

It is sad to report that the airplane that crashed the other day was one of ours. I personally only knew the Captain, I haven't seen him since October, but during our conversation over dinner in Washington DC I remember us talking about his faith. He was in fact a Christian, so although its not easy, we can rest knowing that we will see him again one day.

I am doing well, in fact I started a trip this morning -- I currently am sitting in a border town, and annoyingly most of the channels are in espanol. Perhaps I need to remind everyone why I am no longer the proud owner of Rosetta Stone Spanish learning software! (or maybe I never told you, I bought it off Amazon from an 'un-authorized retailer' so I could never activate it, technology these days...)

This week my Cousin Josh is coming to visit. We have much fun in store, although the one thing I was most excited about was the indoor water park in Galveston. That stupid place is closed citing 'hurricane damage' -- for crying out loud the hurricane was four months ago, we had our damage repaired in 27 minutes... (I really am joking, but just a little)... So the next plan was Six Flags -- oh their closed. Of course they are, I would hate to go to Six Flags when the temperature is actually comfortable outside, please make me wait until it is so hot that I must buy a drink at every turn. I would talk about plan C to go to Sea World -- but I'm afraid I'd be repeating myself. So NASA, and that's it -- nothing else on the agenda, I've got some work to do...

Amy and I learned about Romance yesterday -- our Church hosts quarterly events for couples, yesterdays topic was romance -- we had to define our love the options were NEW LOVE -- EVERYDAY LOVE -- or COMMITTED LOVE. We collectively identified ourselves as new love / committed love; and also decided to never allow ourselves to fall into everyday love -- everyday love is the point when a couple is just going through the motions, nothing exciting, just doing what they do, and occasionally throwing out an I Love You.

-- Happy Valentines Day Amy -- I love you more than anything, you are the best thing that has EVER happened to me. You mean more to me than anyone else, and I don't know what I would ever do without you!

Well my workout is over, and I'm getting hungry -- I must go find some cuisine to enjoy -- yall be careful now!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

AZ Fun

Last week the Norton family went on one of our famous one day trips! This time to destination was Phoenix. Fun times in Phoenix -- our grandparents stay in Quartzsite, AZ. As you can see from the picture below, this town is nothing more than a gas station with a huge desert that people park their RV's on for about six months out of the year. There are no hookups, and very few luxuries -- just a 'DRY HEAT'.

In years past Amy and I actually flew and and stayed with the Grandparents on the desert for a couple of days, this year this destination was on our agenda during the baby announcement whirlwind tour. But sadly the day we were suppose to go was the day of the once every ten years snowfall (a memorable post) in Houston.

So we re-scheduled it for this week, but our time only allowed for a day -- we had them meet us in Phoenix and we decided to go to Goldfield Ghost Town.
This place was pretty funny, and definitely a tourist trap. The one thing that I think would have been really fun was the train ride into the old gold mine that is there, but I was alone in my desire to take such a journey, so we stayed topside, and saw the fun sights.
Most importantly we got to see Grandma, and Grandpa -- and Claire got her first gift from her Great Grandma -- a very cute little summer outfit.

Although it looks like we are a little warm -- it was a dry heat!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I have joined a Facebook group called "40 Days of Prayer for Our Husbands." They have issued a challenge for members of the group for the next 40 days. I encourage each of you to take this same challenge:

You can't say anything negative about your spouse . . . to your spouse . . . or to anyone else about your spouse.

Each day you must say something that you admire or appreciate about your spouse . . . to your spouse . . . and to someone else about your spouse!

And our Sunday school class has challenged each couple to kiss for at least 15 seconds each day.

Give this a try. It's amazing how your attitude toward your spouse changes when you're constantly looking for something good to say to or about him/her and when you're encouraging the intimacy in your relationship.

Happy Marriage!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I know its been a while --

A quick time for catching up, Maggie got a haircut yesterday. I think Amy will post some before and after pictures of what the results are when I am allowed to decide which 'number' Maggie gets. She kind of looks like a nincompoop with ridiculously dis-proportionate legs. But think of the money I'm saving over the next year, I've probably eliminated at least one full service grooming for the year.

We got the bookcase put on the wall in the nursery, there are some pictures here. I was crazy nervous about this project, and I likely over engineered the mounting to a fault. But I can honestly say without a doubt that it will not fall off of the wall! One of my quality control checks included ensuring that 30% of the attachment points could hold 200% of the loaded weight of the shelf.

Amy and I went to Phoenix day before yesterday to visit the Grandparents. They 'winter' in the AZ desert, and we try to get up to see them at least once every year. This is the first year we made it a day trip; but we had a fun time. Here are some pics of the crazy fun.

There are two fun new shows Amy and I are enjoying. The first one is "Howie Do It." This is a new more modern version of "Candid Camera." The funniest episode (oh how I wish I could show a video) had this guy on this game show called 'ISO 365.' This poor guy was placed in a small room in an orange jumpsuit with the #24 on it. And the contest begins -- the first challenge is to name a sound, the sound of a horse is clearly heard, and after #24 correctly states the answer the announcer says 'Only #24 and #13 got it right, everyone else got it wrong.' This guy is dumbfounded on how it is possible to get that wrong.

His reward is a loaf of bread, and 30 seconds to eat it. Which is very funny -- but not nearly as funny as the next challenge which is 10 minutes to put together a 1500 piece puzzle which is just dumped out on the ground with no pictures. He tries his hardest but in 10 minutes he is unable to get even two pieces together. The guy is grossly frustrated, and is exasperated when the announcer says that #14 and #16 get a good part of the puzzle together, but #24 did the worst out of everyone. #24's punishment is an extra 10 days in the room. This is when he learns it is a year long game show. Very funny indeed.

The other funny show is "Meet The Browns." Yet another Tyler Perry show. Airing on TBS, give it a try -- its also pretty funny. Not much else going on with the Norton family, a quick trip to Vegas later this month -- and Acapulco in March. Good times, well chat later.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Great Fun

Here is a fun video that came across my desk.

The church I used to work for was always coming up with creative things to get people's attention; but this is probably the best I've seen. There was, of course, the Survivor Series in which the entire auditorium was converted to look like the Survivor Jungle. Many new guests would walk in and walk right back out not understanding what exactly was going on.

So let's talk about Facebook. I've been resistant all these years to join yet another social networking outlet. I'm not exactly sure why, but it's likely because I didn't want another password to try to keep up with. About three weeks ago I finally gave in. I had about 20 minutes between flights, and for some unknown reason I decided to join Facebook. I must warn you to read carefully what you are doing when you sign up as I inadvertently sent an invitation email to everyone on my Hotmail contact list. This isn't a huge deal, but there are some professional contacts on there that I am wooing in the hopes of future opportunities and would have preferred to not have cluttered their inbox with what they might view as 'junk'.

However, the upside of that 'accidental email' is that all of my grandparents and even my mother signed up. I was so surprised to see them on there, and so proud of their technical savvy. Then I realized I sent them the invitation. (I had to LOL a little.) It is a most useful website. If you haven't joined yet, I encourage you to give it 30 days. Login every day and try to find long lost friends (or they just might find you). It's easier than I could have ever imagined it would be. I have to admit that when it comes to Facebook I'm limiting my 'friend' intake. There are lots of people coming out of the woodwork that I haven't heard from in 15 years, and then I barely knew them as an acquaintance. I'm not sure I care what is going on with them. Is that wrong? I think some people like to collect 'friends.' I probably refuse 15% of the friend requests I get because I either never knew the person or just barely remember their name.

I was looking pretty hard for one guy I used to swim with in the Air Force. I found someone with his name stationed at the Air Force Academy and thought it must be him. I sent him the friend request with a message wondering if he was the right guy. This kid replied that he wasn't the one, but he accepted my friend request anyway. I found this amusing. He is definitely a collector of people.

Claire is getting her grow on these days. She has a bit of a schedule going on. Amy can predict when she will sleep and when she will dance. She is kind of like Maggie in that regard. It's one or the other. Amy and I are devising our 'Pro-Parenting Plan' that includes promptly changing the schedule upon Claire's arrival -- there will be no dancing at night. We keep watching Super Nanny to find out how to implement this rule -- so far no help.

I know people think we are CRAZY, but we plan on traveling more in 2009 than we did in 2008. We already have several big trips lined up; and this is the year we are crossing the Atlantic. Of course plans could change; but so far we are gearing up for a year of great fun.

Finally a quick shout out to our neighbor, Ronnie Hodges. He is signing this week with Texas A&M University on a football and academic scholarship. I ran into his Mom this morning who was proudly assembling a banner for her front yard with the news.

Hope you all are having a great weekend; and in spite of Facebook, I will try to keep the posts coming!