Sunday, June 29, 2014

Trash Truck Day!

 Betsy and Mary Jane had a fun-filled Saturday morning as they went to the Sanitation Festival in West LA.  Trash trucks galore!!!  There was even a rolling, talking blue recycling bin (ok, maybe it was remote controlled by someone ten feet away but the little children didn't know that).

Daddy and Jack beside a trash truck.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Impromptu Reunion

Well, Mister John couldn't quite make it to his 25th high school reunion on Saturday so instead he met with a few of his Loyola compatriots from 1990.  For those keeping score, he graduated in 1989.  There's Scott on the left and Pete on the right.  Mister John is in the middle with the dorky NASA shirt.  Then again aren't almost all NASA shirts dorky?  Wear it loud and proud, man!

Anyway, Scott, Pete, and Mister John all had children running around at some point during the day.
It is important to note that after all these years, the people that Mister John hangs out with most are still his old HS buddies.  Others may come and go but the Loyola bond remains.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jack Is Concerned That His Father Is a Goofball

Little Jack may be about 9 1/2 months old now but he's already starting to get concern over his father.  He thinks that Daddy is a bit odd.  While it was a Three-Hat Tuesday for Mary Jane, Daddy decided to wear one of her "hats."  This just looks silly as Daddy has a pink bucket on his head.  He then later sang something to the effect that "he keeps in there all day."  Mommy was nowhere to be seen during this photo shoot.
The Mad Hatter

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Jack on the Move

While Mommy and Daddy are off conversing with family members, Jack has taken up to crawling around on the floor.  He calls it exploring as he has managed to get himself up on a small table next to where Aunt Nita usually sits.  Upon asking Jack why he did this somewhat dangerous stunt, his only response was, "gooooogaaagooo!"   No words have been more appropriately (are dare I say cutely) said.

It's also a great way to sneak up on a rabbit but I'll save that for another post.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

ABCs on Guitar

Every once in a while, the girls just need to rock out.  In this video, they play the alphabet song with Grampa.

Why the Face Pics during Eating?

 Mary Jane, Betsy Jo, and Jack have all inquired as to why Daddy takes the majority of his pictures when they are eating at the table.  They have complained that they rarely look good in these photos and they usually have food on the face (or in some cases with Betsy in her hair!).  There has been no comment so far from Daddy.  He just keeps taking pictures.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Note on Previous Text

Getting ready for the mother of all tests tomorrow: the Comprehensive Exam for my Master's Degree in English Literature at Loyola Marymount University.  After five years, it will be nice to have a chance to complete this.


This literary theory is a hybrid comprised of some of the basic tenets of two Romantic poets, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  Part of this theory is based upon Wordsworth's basic construct of poetry which he detailed in his "Preface to Lyrical Ballads" (1798) in that poetry is "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings."  This stipulates that all poetry derives from emotion.  I would take this one step further as emotion, not reason, drives all writers of prose and poetry to create their works.  All may be "vanity" but the inner desire to create has substantiated all these works.  Furthermore, Wordsworth proposes that poetry such be nature and simple, such that is literature written by any man to be read to or by another.  There would be no hierarchical ability for reception which deems that that only the erudite can grasp meaning.  In league with Wordsworth's famed comments on poetry, I also submit Coleridge's insistence of the "suspension of disbelief" which he posited in his Biographia Literaria (1817).  This states that the reader must consent themselves to the work presented no matter how fantastical it may be presented.  He initially created this theory to countermand the post-Enlightenment dis-attachments to ideas not related directly to reason.  Coleridge's theory can clearly resurrect itself in the 21st century where many critics disdain the majority of new works as based on previous archetypes and lacking originality.  Yet this is where the reader must be an active participant in the literary process and can differentiate between the real and the imaginary.  As non-historical, non-biographical works truly remain fiction as all plots would have never happened and thus be original to the reader to create mentally anew into their realm of belief.  To unify these concepts, my literary theory stipulates that proper literature is that which has understandable themes and conflicts, natural devices of syntax and diction, and originality.  Now one may decry the fate of such works as Paradise Lost, The Rape of the Lock, or Ulysses as they would not conform to this utilitarian form of literature.  Milton's epic may be classic but his literary construction leaves the poem untenable to large masses of people which thus render his work useless to many who might otherwise have appreciated the epic.  Similarly, the epic style and classical allusions in Pope's The Rape of the Lock would confound many although the apotheosis of the hair into a comet would be quite the imaginative and disbelieving conclusion.  Finally, Joyce's epic would fail in both manners which, although it is hailed by many as the most important novel of the 20th century, leaves the majority of the readers befuddled after the initial chapter and thus the novel would not be completed.  To put it simply, what is the point of literature as communication if the message cannot be conveyed to the largest audience available.  While by no means should the author's "dumb down" their message, there must be a unifying theory of literature which is more natural and lacking artifice.  To put it in a blunt acronym, KINS: Keep It Natural, Stupid.  In this way, all literature will be "kinsmen" so that we can share it more easily with one another and not fear the lack of reception due to author's pretense.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Nothing quite says insurrection quite like Cookie Sue and Heidi sitting in the top level of their cage.

Time for an Afternoon Picnic

Lunch Time!
 This afternoon the Erb children decided to have a picnic in the background underneath the new swing/play set.  It's easier for them to sit about and make a mess as they know either the birds or the bunnies will get their stray vegetables.  While Baby Jack didn't have anything to eat (he still only eats once a day... peas... yum!), he participated by crawling underneath the large apparatus.

At the end of the feeding frenzy, the girls decided to flop for a mini-rest.  Jack's head, still up and about, wanted none of it.  Neither did the girls... they got up 30 seconds later to play on the slide.
My name is Jack, how may I help you?

Kids Not at Play

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Relaxing in the Leaves

My hard workers also need to relax as well.  A little play and a little relaxation works well.  They didn't make leaf angels in this video but it is exceptionally cute.

Excellent Help

There's nothing like having good help and here's a good example of it.  Mary Jane and Betsy Jo helped their daddy rake leaves earlier in the week.  True, their purpose was self-serving: they wanted to jump up and down into the pile of leaves.  But they and Daddy all busted out their leaf utensils and worked hard for a few minutes before giving into the temptation of flopping into a pile of leaves or jumping up and down in them like they were muddy puddles.

Dog walker and mothers in strollers all just had to smile.  There's nothing like the pure unmitigated joy in watching two girls frolic in a pile of leaves.  And this being Los Angeles in March... who knows when those leaves will return for another stomping.

Eye See You!

I also like the crepuscular rays of the sun over parts of her face.  It makes Betsy quite radiant.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Another Sunday

Nothing like a perfect Sunday for weather.  Yes, that whole change of time thing can be bothersome... luckily for the children, they didn't know the difference.

In this picture, the girls learn that what goes up must come down.  They love the toy crocodile.

 Here little Jack is relaxing on the smooth carpet at the Well Baby Center.  Almost no one showed up for class today -- must have been the change of time blues -- but all three of our children were there.  Jack was actually quite transfixed by the music.  Betsy Jo and Mary Jane know the songs well enough to... well, ignore them at times.  But for Jack it was one big noise fest for him.
 Betsy Jo and Jack are hanging out on the couch together in the early afternoon.  Betsy had just previously said that she didn't need a nap.  Well, I think I could state that she needs one... but Jack didn't mind her being there.  He absolutely loves it when she comes over and calls him "Goo-Goo."
Here is a better family pic of the three.  Everyone look at the camera and smile!  Happy Sunday for all... especially that they know Mommy will be back tomorrow.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fun with Leaves

There's nothing quite like jumping about in the fallen leaves.  Yes, this is California so this isn't October but rather early March as the only reason the old leaves are falling off the trees is due to the new leaves are coming in.  Mary Jane thinks about going snow angel but instead makes a bed of leaves.

Some day Baby Jack will look forward to it as well.  He's off screen on a blue blanket watching all the madness.

Too Cool for School

Some Saturdays you just want to sit around in your shades.  I'm not sure if Mary Jane is signing any autographs today.  But if you're willing to blow bubbles in the back yard, she may be willing to follow you.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Mary Jane has not always been the best of nappers.  Some days she'll just sit there, read books, sing, and lie in her bed for 90 minutes and then come out and act like she's napped.  But oh, Mommy and Daddy know she has not napped.  There's just that crispness of spirit and patience that a napping girl has.  But that's quite alright... sooner or later she'll drop that nap anyway.

But today Daddy decided to take control of the situation.  He lied down beside Mary Jane and they both fell asleep.  Silly girl never had a chance.  Well, Daddy doesn't know how long has was asleep before this sneaky picture was taken by Mommy.

Note: Daddy is being covered by Mary Jane's favorite elephant Sanjay.  He's in charge of making sure she gets to sleep.  Good ol' Sanjay.  One of the guys.

Denny's or a Park?

Here Betsy is looking quite bored.  She's either at a local park or she at the nearest Denny's waiting for her Grand Slam to arrive.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bunnies Unhappy That Children Get More Attention Than Them

The bunnies are furious that the children get to sleep in Miss Jill and Mister John's bed and not them.  They want their warm TV time as well and they don't seem to be getting any.  They feel like they are literally left out in the cold with mere food and water.  Even that gift of a Purple Castle in both cages seems fleeting.  "Where's my apple cider?" queried a quite irritated Cookie Sue.

No responses yet from the adults.
The bunnies wish the girls could spend a day like them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Oops, I've been away for a while.  Sorry about that.  But life, vacations, illness, laziness, idleness, and (fill in any other appropriate noun) has kept me from my appointed duties.  I shall add more pictures shortly.

Jack is now five months old and he can roll over.  He has the ability to hold a bottle for at least a few seconds at a time.  Oh, that's a huge milestone for parents.

Betsy Jo is speaking with greater clarity... although that low mumble voice she does in the morning can be unsettling at times.

Mary Jane is now three and has had a big cake for her party.  Yes, Deborah the Zebra was there to keep an eye on it. 

Really, more pictures and posts to follow.  I always wish to have more posts than the previous year but sometimes... life just gets in the way.  Kind of like a big truck passing another truck on the 10 East when we're trying to get to Phoenix.  They pass even though they know I'll be stuck behind them for an extra five minutes.  Hey, I have crying children in my car!!!

Wait, I'm ranting... I best be getting back to grading now.