Category: Uncategorized

One of My Heroes

Dad and MeAll of my life, my Dad has been someone who I can look up to.  As a kid I was always a Daddy’s girl.  My Dad was a superhero to me.  There was nothing he couldn’t fix and nothing he wasn’t strong enough to lift.  He was a person of character. He treated people with respect and was always there to help out.  There wasn’t a problem he couldn’t solve.

But my Dad was also the person who helped define my faith.  We may not have had long spiritual talks, but I watched him live his faith every day.  Life has not been easy for him.  He has had more than his share of losses.  When I was only six months old my Mother died, then a couple of years later he had to bury my oldest sister.  He was blessed to marry my Mom when I was three.  But he lost his Mom when I was in third grade, his Dad a couple of years later, and then his oldest brother.  We joke with him that having surgies is one of his hobbies.  I can’t list the surgeries that he has had.  And he has successfully battled cancer — twice.  I don’t list these things to make you feel sorry for him, but I want you to see what he has gone through.  He has walked a path with a lot of hardships but you would never know by looking at him.  He has never questioned God or asked “Why me?” His faith has never wavered.  He always believed and knew that God would get him through it.

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Game Show Fail

Tonight my episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” finally aired. I can now legally talk about the experience. That, in itself, is a huge relief. I thought I would collect my thoughts on the journey here, since this is our family blog, and this had a lot to do with the family.

A Brief Recap
For those who have no idea what I am talking about, last summer I auditioned in Seattle for the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” I passed the test and interviews and received notice that I had made the contestant pool. In August I was selected to be on the show. Stacey and I flew to New York at our own expense and taped my episode in September. The episode aired last night.

If you leave out the actual game, it was a great experience. My game play, however, was a complete,  unqualified disaster. The new version of Millionaire shuffles the difficulty levels and dollar values ($100-$25,000) for the first ten questions. This means you could get the hardest question and it may only be worth $100 . If you walk away before question 10, you keep half of the money you have won answering questions up to that point. Lifelines are ‘Jump the Question’ (2 of these) and ‘Ask the Audience’. If you jump a question, you don’t have to answer, but you lose whatever dollar value the question is worth. Oh – and you don’t know the values until you answer. I jumped two questions early on. The first was worth $25,000, the next worth $15,000. That was pretty much the end. I ran up against an iPad question (more on that later) and asked the audience. They were more or less evenly divided on all four answers. I took a guess, betting against the audience and risking my paltry $12,600 bank. I was wrong. 35% of the audience was right. Instead of $6,300 (half the bank), I got the consolation prize of $1,000. Subtract travel expenses for three days in Manhattan and I came out of the thing in the hole. Game show fail!

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Disneyland 2010 Photos On Flickr!

Disneyland 2010 Family PicIt’s been awhile since I updated. Got a couple of good posts brewin’ – hope to get ’em done during Thanksgiving break. In the meantime, I have uploaded half our photos from the Disneyland 2010 trip this month. Go here. If you click on Photosets, you will see one named 11-2010_Disneyland. As always, you can also click on a Girl’s name at the left to see a filtered list of just that munchkin.

Disneyland was pure craziness and pure joy. Four is still more than three – especially while travelling. Lots of stories to tell about all that – from celebrity sightings to Ride Math. A special thanks to Jenn and Grandma and Grandpa Barsness and Aunt Rachel, without whom our sanity and our photos would be sorely lacking. More later this week!

Here’s a few more not in the feed…


37 Seconds With Ella @ 6 Weeks

Ella is now focusing, smiling, and actively checking out the planet she’s been dropped into. And she does the tongue thing Janae used to. Here’s 37 seconds of cute baby for what ails you. Feel free to drop back by if life is ever out of perspective…


Ella @ 6 Weeks


Four is More Than Three.

Simple math, I know. But it’s the math we do these days…

I am often asked how different life is with four girls. Mostly I try for a witty comeback like “well, four is more than three.” To make amends for my snarkiness, I present these actual thoughts on the subject:

It’s not that big of a change around the house, provided we remember to keep the newborn out of the reach of Maya, the Long-Armed Toddler of Doom. She’s obsessed with the kid. Likes to crawl into the car seat with her and has added a fifth word to her vocabulary: Ella (she actually says “Erra”. I think she may be Chinese. Time will tell).

Going out is a bit more complicated. The diaper bag is burgeoning with two sizes of diapers and costume changes. There’s a lot of junk in the trunk (mostly two large all-terrain strollers – the kind they used on the Apollo moon landing I think). And Ella likes to toss her pacifier and screech like a wounded Predator about two minutes into any trip. This is like nails on a chalkboard to the twins. Something about a crying baby evokes a visceral response and overwhelming urge to nurture in the female types (“Mommy, can you help Ella to stop crying?”). Well, not Maya so much. She’s happy as a clam in the car, as long as we’re talking about the three minutes in every trip that Janae is not poking her or stealing her book. During the rest of the trip, we have two screechers. I am thankful for the Mickey Mouse portable DVD player strapped to the back of my headrest. I’m starting to really enjoy the Little Einsteins. Proof that my descent into madness has begun.

Vehicle options are narrowing rapidly. My Chevy Malibu, even fully crammed, can hold only 5/6 of the brood. The minivan is our only option for comprehensive troop transport. I’ve been looking at other possibilities, but I’m pretty much limited to a Humvee or one of those airport shuttle vans. Or a Dodge Sprinter (which is basically an airport shuttle van). This, of course, means I’m sticking with cheap American-made minivans. I have four college educations and four weddings to save up for, people.

We are noticing that the world seems to be unfairly prejudiced in favor of groups of four people. Vehicles, booths at restaurants, Family Packs of tickets to the Mariners, the list goes on. Go ahead – ask for a table for six with two high chairs at your favorite restaurant and see just how long it takes the host to work out THAT algebra. You could fly to Alaska, stalk, kill, dress, and cook your own moose in the time you’ll have on your hands in the lobby, desperately praying for the “your huge table is ready” pager to light up while attempting to keep the toddler from burning the place down. This is an ever so slight exaggeration, but this subtle discrimination (which I have dubbed “Fourism”) must be confronted and eradicated from our society. I’ll start the petition…

Our home is teeming with life. Loud, messy, exuberant, joyful, tearful, beautiful, wonderful, precious life. We have gone from the desert of barrenness to overwhelming fruitfulness. God has transformed our home into living proof that He still hears, still answers, and still does miracles. We were very sure of this when we had only three girls. But He has left no doubt :-).

My gift to you for reading to the end? The first official pic of all four together. Enjoy!

The Arnold Girls, circa June 2010