Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Dad's was a Happy Birthday! Thanks for your helping make it so! (These pictures are backwards in order.)

Fire Hazard!


Due to some feedback about the blog and idea, I am considering changing the format a little. Stay tuned, but for right now we are:


I am leaning towards random people every other week instead of chronologically every week. Tell me what you think at kodykong@yahoo.com


Sunday, September 27, 2009

From Kody:

From my blue book. Reasons I love Dad:
  • The way he desperately tries to get rid of my blankey
  • "Kody Tyler Newton reporting for pay sir!"
  • How he talks and flirts with all of the girls that call me
  • The way he reached for his belt when he was going to punish you
  • The intense golf games we had (and how he never made me pay when I lost to him)
  • The way he holds on tight while riding roller coasters
  • How I was walking into the red bathroom one morning and he suddenly woke up and said, "Oh, sh%$@!"
  • That night we stayed up late playing golf on the Nintendo
  • When he leaves his comfort zone for me
  • "Bonding"
  • Daily pork chops
  • The old 50's music we listened to while texturing the ceiling
  • "Never in my life did I ever think I would ______" (the way he always told us he never thought he would do something right before he did it - Blue Jays baseball game, Disneyworld, Hong Kong, etc)
  • Grocery shopping with him because we got pretty much whatever we wanted
  • The way he doubted but still laughed at my answering machine messages
  • How I could read his mind sitting next to him on a bench in the Sacred Grove
  • His love for cashews (and willing to share)
  • How I could always trade him my quarters and dimes for dollar bills
  • Tuna and crackers
  • Slow motion fighting
  • How his favorite movie is "The American President"
  • How he's always scared to go bowling with me because I'll beat him
  • How he always went outside to smoke
  • When he made KAYSI always pop the white pores on his back
  • His big construction dreams (backyard, bathroom downstairs)
  • The stories he would tell me of the old days (necking under the bridge in Moab)
  • His principles on how boys should never hit girls
  • The punishments when I did
  • When he'd offer me Coke...only when I felt like I was going to throw up
  • The photo where he looks more like Superman than I ever did
  • "Cotton picker!"
  • "16 tons, whadda ya get?"
  • The times he let me take the Celica
  • The fact that he's always the last one to open a present on Christmas day
  • How he used to hide his Coke underneath his desk in the den
  • How he always referred to the movie "Mr. Baseball" when I would slurp my noodles
  • How the first time I saw him run was to catch our tee time
  • His Elvis obsession
  • How he's the fastest to ask for directions
  • When he talked trash about his 3 point shooting skills
  • His desperate attempt to teach me table manners
  • How good of a driver he is (and how much he wanted me to be, too)
  • His voice when he prays
  • How his whole cd collection was the Titanic soundtrack
  • The R rated movie we would watch once in a while
  • The way he would gamble for us (with our money) and never won anything for us
  • The blessing he gave me before the state track meet
  • How he still wears my Rock Springs All-Star hat sometimes
  • His Coke decorations in the red bathroom
  • When he bought me Star Wars Episode 1 on video
  • How he got up around 6:00 am to go the Palmyra temple dedication with us
  • His willingness to always lend me a tie (and his bad taste in ties)
  • His claim to be the only Wyoming State Champion in the family
  • His attempt to switch from Coke to Sam's Choice
  • Golden Corral
  • His love for those black licorice candies
  • How he sat on the stairs until I fell asleep (when I was transitioning to sleeping in my own bed)
  • His big huge towels he used to call "his"
  • How he was so nervous about getting his patriarchal blessing
  • The one letter he sent to me on my mission
  • The look on his face on Christmas day when he realized he was debt free
  • How he was my chaperon when I got married and he was as nervous as I was
  • The epic golfing duel while everyone was watching on the second day of the Newton Cup
  • How he always tells me that they have Creamies in the freezer
  • The way he laughed during "The Bucket List"
  • How he sings "Yankee Dankee Doo" when he is holding my kids
  • The way he teased me about getting my 52 inch TV instead of his 37 inch
I love you Dad

From Kori:

More Classic Dad-isms:

  • "I love you worser."
  • Licking his finger and putting a big, wet smudge on your glasses.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I've Got the Best Birthday Ever

I think Grandpa's birthday is the only birthday that I ever remember every year. That might be coincidence or because it's the same day as my birthday (give or take a couple of years), and I love that. This year for my birthday I wanted to do what I wanted to do. People kept making suggestions for things to do, and I almost agreed to a lot of them. I actually did agree and then changed my mind. We finally decided to go out and get fried rice and then go bowling, both things that I wanted to do. I wanted the day to be all about me, and it was.

Thinking back on that now, I feel a little selfish. I called Grandpa around noon to wish him happy birthday and asked him what he was going to do. He told me that Tammy's family and Brandon's family were going to come over for a nice dinner. I asked if they were going to do anything fun and have a party with everyone, and he told me no party just dinner. Then he started telling me about how someone else's birthday (I think Jet's) was on Saturday and how Braelen's baptism was this weekend too. Thinking back on it the next day, I realized that's just the kind of person grandpa is. On Friday all I could think about was myself and how I wanted the day to be about me. But grandpa, all he could think about was making the day not about him. Making it a day about family and a weekend to celebrate the accomplishments and days for the people he loves most. And I think most of my favorite memories about grandpa are similiar to that; he loves his kids, his grandkids, and his great grandkids. It shows in every move he makes.

And that's why I love grandpa.


From Denny:

For the past 10 years or so, Dad and I have been able to enjoy private get-togethers in Las Vegas. I always seem to have 1-2 trips there per year and it generally is not too hard to talk Dad into coming. In the beginning he weaseled me into paying for airfare to bring him down. Now he's usually willing to drive; uses the excuse that he's visiting clients along the way.

We have always had a fun time in Vegas. During our first trip we golfed and rode the "Big Shot" on the top of Stratosphere. During one trip he joined me for dinner with a group of Nextel employees. It was an upscale Asian restaurant. He wasn't sure what the calamari and tuna tartar was but he liked it. At least until I told him he was eating squid and raw tuna. During our last trip Dad tried my tofu for the first time and did not run out screaming.

Our favorite places to eat in Vegas are In 'N Out Burger and the carnival buffet at the Rio. Remarkably, we can fill out plates 3 or 4 times during dinner and he and I will never eat the same thing.

Dad likes to gamble. He approaches it differently than I do. For me it is a mathematical exercise and so I don't mind playing games where I have a reasonable chance of winning. The fun is playing the game and not the money. I cannot get myself to risk more than $40 at a casino. Dad, on the other hand, is looking to change his life. He dreams of the big win. So I will head to the blackjack table and Dad to the slots. He believes that there are ways to figure out which slots are going to payoff. Looks for location. Looks for poor old women that have put a fortune into a machine and have walked away. He believes the machine is ready to burst.

We've enjoyed company on these Vegas trips. Ramie joined us once for a NASCAR race. We got to stay in a new wing at Mandalay Bay that trip. What a great room. (BTW...Ramie is just a crazy gambler...doesn't really care if he wins or loses...just enjoys playing different games). Bryan and Britni have joined us as well. I remember Bryan spending a lot of time with Dad at the slot machines. Bryan didn't play; he just wanted to spend time with his grandfather.

The last time Dad and I were in Vegas I decided to forgo blackjack and hang out with Dad at his slot machines. Unlike Bryan, Dad shooed me away. Seems he had hit a nice jackpot while I was gone and noticed that his luck ran out the minute I showed up. So I was forbidden to sit with him while he played. Of course, he hit another decent jackpot the moment I left.

Dad seems to enjoy Vegas. Something about the bright lights, hustle and energy. But he has decided that the slot don't pay the way they do in Wendover.

A few years back Dad mentioned that he's always dreamed of sitting down at the poker tables. He remembers playing poker as a youngster and being quite good at it. During our last trip I convinced him to try a little Texas Hold'em tournament at the Sahara. The best thing is that it is only a $40 buy-in and you likely get to play for at least 2+ hours. Dad sat down and instantly made friends. And he held on for a couple of hours before he was knocked out. I followed a few minutes later. During break one of the players from his table came over and told me that Dad was getting dealt great hands (high pairs...he eventually was knocked out with Queens) but that he was misplaying them. He would let too many other players see the flop and then bet his strong hand after someone else had already made their hand.

One of the reasons why Dad has always joined me at Vegas is because Dionne has had little interest in going. Well, that seems to have changed a little. Since Dionne and I have been to Vegas twice this summer (and all I hear from my youngest daughter is that she wants to move to Vegas), there may be some competition to share my room in the future.

From Patsy:

  • Another quote: "Your Mother barks at the moon"
  • Another incident: It was Dad that went back to pick up Downi when we left her at the rest stop on the way to Flaming Gorge. When we got to the Gorge I counted heads in the water and there were only 5 out there instead of 6. when we realized Downi was not there, we were stuck in some soft mud. Dad hitched a ride back to the rest stop to find Downi (which he did Thank goodness).