Tuesday, December 30, 2008


OK, it's over. The fake tree is in the box, the presents are worn out or broken (except for the one, Christy, you know the one). I was playing with the dog and his Christmas toy, and I was thinking about which of Santa's list he was on. And then I started analyzing the song and reflecting on Scott's pre-Christmas entry about the nature of the jolly old elf. And so we begin: He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. Why is this info necessary for Santa to have? Why is he watching us sleep? He knows when we are awake, but he actually sees us sleep. Ok, moving on. He's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice. What is he doing with these lists? Selling them to telemarketers I guess. Especially the naughty list. This is how the credit card companies know where to send all those pre-approved offers, how do you think you got pre-approved? I cry and pout every year, maybe that's why Santa never comes around my place.

I have to say good riddance to 2008. Not the best year of my life. By far not the worst, but for sure not the best. Obama got elected and everyone is putting very high expectations on him. Sean Hannity is hoping that he will do well for the sake of the country, but will try to undermine him by any and all means necessary to discredit our commander-in-chief. Prop 8 passed, and civil rights took a huge step back.

We remember Michael Phelps' domination at the summer Olympics, and the incredible play of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in what is arguably the most fun Olympic event to watch. Welcome to Rachel Maddow. I would like to bid farewell to Joe the plumber, Ted Stevens, the “b” girl, OJ, Dick Cheney, and hopefully, Sarah Palin, “You Betcha.”

We always get the lists of the celebrities that have passed during the last year, here is my list of those who touched my world, and who I think made the world a better place while they were here:

Bernie Mac, loved him in Ocean’s 11

Paul Newman, knew how to use his celebrity to make life better for others

Heath Ledger, just getting started

Sydney Pollack, knew how to entertain

Tim Russert, truly fair and balanced

George Carlin, I wonder if he was surprised by what is on the other side

Tony Snow, family man

Estelle Getty, made me laugh

Gordon B Hinckley, everyone’s grandpa

Christy is starting off 2009 with the same ailment she started off 2007 with, she has again lost the use of her right arm. It has been frustrating as doctors can’t figure out what is wrong, so they dismiss her, or pawn her off to someone else, and mark it up as mental illness or that she is faking it. This is very frustrating to us as it causes a great burden on our lives, both financially and emotionally. She was prescribed something that gave her temporary, limited use of her arm, but put her body in great pain. The medical profession is somewhat of a joke to me. If you have and ailment, they just want to give you a chemical to put in your body and send you on your way. Doctors seem not to be interested in the core problem, but just getting you out of there office and sending the bill to the insurance. Maybe the healthcare reform of the next administration can help with that.
I start off the new year enthusiastic. We as a family are beaten down, but not dead. I hope for good things. I hope that social security kicks it soon enough to save our house. I hope that Kyler gets the help and understanding he needs to be successful in school and in life. I hope that I can spend more time helping around the house and taking a bit of that burden off Christy. I hope that I can make a good impression on those that hold my future in their hands. I hope that as a nation, we come together and support the new administration, and give him a little time to make thing better for all of us. I hope that this nation has not been destroyed by greed. I hope that Iraq can find peace. I hope that I can spend more time in the outdoors, with my kids in tow. I hope Megan learns how to play her new guitar. I hope that Aubree does not stop caring about others as she learns how much it hurts when they do not give back the same amount of caring. I hope that Jake continues to love the game of football as he moves up to tackle. I hope that Christy does not give up hope. I hope that people continue to blog about their lives, and that they don't hold back. I hope that everyone who takes the time to read this is a little entertained or enlightened and does not feel that this blog is a waste of their time to read. I hope that my ramblings give you chuckle or just a little insight into our lives. I hope that you will take the time to comment of the posts that you like, or dislike, or don't agree with, I love the feedback. I hope you all have a very productive and happy new year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Whining

Ryan Shupe came to the McKay Center this year without his Wasatch Christmas contingent, which was ok, but I missed Peter Brienholt. I am never able to get into the holiday spirit until I hear the Brienholt version of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” I put the cd last night and I think that I am closer to getting in the holiday mood. Not there yet, another 32 hours and it is all over. It cannot come quick enough.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Let me set the stage. I was driving to work last week, going down the middle lane of the freeway, cruising about 70 mph, a little faster than the cars to my right, a little slower than the cars to my left. A car from the right lane pulls over in front of me. Not sure why, there were no cars in front of him, I guess he just felt like changing lanes. Here’s the crazy part: HE SLOWED DOWN! I know! Why would anyone do that? I know that I spend a lot of my time on this blog complaining, but in this case I think that I have a legitimate excuse. I gotta keep going on this subject a minute. We have a parking garage at work that is semi-compact for passing. It is almost impossible to pass on the corners at the end of the garage. When I pull into the garage, people ride right on my bumper when I am trying to find a space. I like to back in, and these people make it impossible. Really people, take a chill pill. You can back off just a little bit. And don’t get me started on those people who feel that their cars deserve two parking spots.

PS, I have it on good authority that Santa is bringing a new camera to replace the one we wore out on the cruise, so more pictures will be forthcoming.

A bit of Understanding

I won't be heard saying that the last 3 or 4 years have been easy. Especially the last 2. Life has dealt us A LOT of blows as of late. It is interesting that through all of these things I am finally able to see a few reasons for why we have had some of these trials. I won't say that I am totally at peace with things and that my attitude is adjusted, because that would be a lie, but I am seeing a few things in a different light.
Three years ago, Dan and I felt strongly that we were needed by someone. We weren't sure what we could do, but we were very intently trying to figure out what we needed to do. We finally, through some very interesting experiences, agreed that the people that needed us were not ones that had been through a tragedy or natural disaster or something. These people were right under our nose. While still not understanding all of the reasons we called Dan's parents and told them that we felt that they should move back here to Utah and that we would help them get settled and they could stay with us until then. There weren't at the time any circumstances that we knew of, just a strong feeling. They felt it as well and moved here. Again I won't say that everything was wonderful and perfect during this time, two sets of adults and 4 young children trying to mesh two households is never easy, but we made it. It was during this time that I experienced strokes and just plain health issues, but I am thankful that my Mother In Law was here to help us through. She had been wondering the reasons why they had come here as well, but I think this helped her to understand.
My Mother In Law has suffered with bad knees for many years and has never had a way to get them taken care of. Since they have been here, we have been able to get them set up with the ability to get some of these things taken care of. She recently had her knee replaced and I got to and am still helping her through this process. Dan and I have finally received some understanding of why we were prompted to find who needed us. Dan has the experience and knowledge of how to make this possible that they did not have before, and I am one who has the ability to at least try to do what I need to to help and use the things which Dan was able to set up. It is a very peaceful feeling to finally see the "Fruits of Our Labors" in that my Mother In Law is doing better and my Father In Law has a job he enjoys. It has been a wonderful experience to go through this with her and see her feeling better.
I hope that things continue to improve for all of us, as we are all striving to do our best and help each other. After all, this is what life is all about isn't it?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It has arrived. Winter has finally made its appearance in Utah valley. There are many reasons why I do not like living here, but the picture above says the thousand words about why I do. I love a Sunday morning when a blanket of fresh snow has fallen and no plows or shovelers have been out yet. I can sit on a chair with a warm beverage in hand and just enjoy the sight and gentle feeling of the stillness and silence of the world at peace. I enjoy watching the snow fall silently adding another layer to the soft blanket that encompasses the earth. Then the kids get up and the peace is shattered. I grab my shovel and head out the door, wearing a coat and a nice beard to keep me warm. I do not miss the days of working construction where the snow meant suffering the cold or starving the family. I like the view out the window, not the feel of the snow melting off the roof and down my neck. I would have been fine though, if the snow had arrived on a day that I did not have to go into the office.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


OK, so I know these pics are hard to see, but it is the front and back of the wrestling medal that Kyler received at the overnight 2 day duel he just returned from tonight. He took 4th place at the 4A JV duels in Roy this weekend. Not to forget that MOUNTAIN VIEW beat Timpanogos handily on Wednesday. Kyler also pinned his opponent in that duel. GO BRUINS!!!!
Just thought I would brag a little. He is tired but feeling pretty good about himself, which is a very good thing considering his mood lately. There is no such thing as too much positive reinforcement with him.
- Christy

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some Thoughts and Feelings

The past few weeks have given me cause to think A LOT ! I will just give you a run down of some of the happenings as of late.

Around the middle of November Dan finally got word that he could start telecommuting. This had been in the works for several months. They would say, "probably next week" every week, until I think Dan had finally given up, at which point they said he could do it. This has been nice. While I know he is just downstairs, I also know that he is working. I just feel a sort of security in having him there. Just in case he is needed, he would be able to be right here. Not to mention that it has cut our gas usage in half. The only downfall, as you can see from the previous post, is that he hasn't shaved in weeks, and doesn't feel it necessary to get a haircut. While I understand this, I really don't like the beard, and he says no, but he really doesn't look good. That said, I love him, even if he has a beard and unkept hair. I just wish he wasn't so scratchy and he didn't make my face itch. Obviously I am no longer alone in this beard hating. At least I have Carl.

Another thing I have been pondering a lot lately. I am told all of the time that I have some special ability that makes it so I get the challenges I do. While deep down I know that this is true, and that I will never be given more than I can handle, remembering it has become particularly hard lately. I really do feel priviledged that God would entrust me with caring for a child with special needs, it is hard to watch that child try to learn to deal with things themself. It becomes very hard to see that you are a good mother when things you never thought your child would do happen, and they don't mean it and can't fix it. There has not been anything horrible happen, but it is hard when it looks like they are losing their dignity and all I can do it watch and try to get them help to fix it. This is very close to the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I love my children, all of them, but for one of them it is not easy to understand what that means.

I AM SICK OF BEING SICK !! I know, I say this all of the time. Really, it is so overwhelming sometimes that I could just give up. I try to not be stressed, but then I am stressed because I'm trying not to be. Although I know that stress plays a part in this entire problem, I wish that the docs and others would quit focusing on the stress and fix the underlying problem. They keep finding bits and pieces of things and I am obviously really messed up physically, but I need some concrete answers instead of band aids. I can't get better until I can be setteled that the docs have done something to help me. I know, sounds bad, but that is how I feel.

OK, that is enough whining for now. Hopefully I can post something nice next time.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Beard

Christy hates it. I like it. It’s winter time and getting colder so it is a built in scarf to keep my face warm. I may shave it around April. I am now telecommuting and don’t need to shave everyday. I think that I now have the look of a guy that works out of my basement. I have been told that the guys who get the tattoos on their face do it to keep people at a distance due to their anti-social tendencies. Maybe my beard is like a face tattoo, only quickly removable. I know that Christy hates the beard, but I wonder how she would feel about a face tattoo. Maybe a face tattoo of a beard. Hey, it wouldn’t itch.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Gym

Last Saturday I went with Christy, her niece, Tracie, and my friend from work, Paula, to the Gold’s Gym in South Orem. Paula came up with the idea that a kickboxing class would be fun. It was, at least up to the point that the instructor went up to the front and started jumping, kicking, and punching. At that point, it became work. Christy went to the pool and joined a class that was already started there. Tracie has been a dancer since birth, and she picked up the moves very quickly, and she is in very good shape so she was able to keep up well. Paula goes to the gym often, and has been to the class a few times, she did just fine. I think that I just embarrassed myself and stayed at the back of the studio. As people came to the class, I moved further back to try to stay behind everyone. I have been to a yoga class, and employed this same strategy for that class. I try not to stand out, but being the only guy in the class, and being the size of any three of the others kind of gives me away. I have been sore this whole week. On Sunday, I could not get down the stairs, and only one of my knees worked to help get me up them. I try to get to the gym 3 times a week, and I often meet that goal, but only in the summer, and only when Paula makes me go. My goal is to gain no weight over the holidays, and the gym has to be a major part of that. I have not been at all this week, and I use the excuse that I am just too busy, with my second job putting on some event almost every night, but in reality, my body may take months to recover from the kickboxing.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Random Thoughts about the Holidays

Just a few things I am thankful for.

I am so thankful for Dan. I am not always perfect at showing it, but I cannot express how much he means to me in words. He works hard and is very good to me and our children. I could not ask for a better husband. I know it sounds corny, but he really does complete me.

I am thankful for my children and for the personalities and experiences they bring into my life. I am not always perfect at showing them either, but I am very thankful for them. Even the challenges that teenagers and special needs bring. It helps me grow in understanding.

I am thankful for good friends and family. There is no way that Dan and I could have made it through some of our trials without them. Some of our friends we have known so long and have been there for us no matter what, that they have become like family to us. Some of you will never consider yourselves to be the influences for good that you have been in our lives, but you are and many continue to be.

Believe it or not, I am thankful for the health and physical challenges that I have faced in the past few years. While I do not want to continue experiencing them, I have learned to see some of the doors and opportunities that have opened up for us because of them. I have been forced to create a new me. I don't believe that the old me was bad, just needed a little bit of encouragement and experience to see who I could be. Not there yet, but working towards it every day.

Finally, I am very thankful for the land we live in. I am thankful that I can choose my religion and I can vote for whomever I feel is right, that I can sit here and ramble on on this blog, and someone will actually read it and reply, and for all of the other freedoms I enjoy.

As I read over Dan's last two blogs, I can't help but notice that I have a somewhat different opinion on some things. While I agree that Christmas has turned into a commercial holiday and it seems that it has lost it's true meaning, I think that some festivity is good. We have, in the past, been the family on the street that looks like our home is a "Winter Wonderland". We still do have plenty of lights up this year, but have toned it down tremendously. I think that some of the toning down this year is due to the economy and lack of disposable $$ to do it, not to mention much of the decorating was done by me in the past and since I got sick 2 years ago, I can't do many of the things I used to do. While it seems that this turn of events is somewhat sad, or discouraging, we have chosen to try something new this year to see if we can bring the true spirit of Christmas back to our home. Dan really has, in the past, been the one so excited for Christmas he couldn't wait.

I was reading in the December Ensign earlier today and was really struck by the first two talks given. The Presidency Message was by President Monson, and I can't remember right now who the other was. They really caught my attention tonight.

For those of you who might not be LDS, this is a good thing to think about anyway, just so happens that it came from our Prophet this time.

The first on is about how in order to gain the true "Spirit of Christmas", we must serve others. That giving is better than receiving. That giving does not necessarily mean that we give a gift, but that maybe it means giving of ourselves. This means that we need to be looking for those who are in need of help from us. Not worrying so much about what we might possibly receive. I have had many good examples of this in my life. Just to mention of few, Dan is one of the most giving people I have ever met. I have seen him serve in so many different ways, sometimes exhausting himself, just because he has the desire to help those who need it. Sometimes it's something as simple as holding the door open, or holding someones baby while they do something. Another person is my dad. Much like Dan(or I guess vice versa) he works tirelessly, especially for his wife and family. Right down to the great-grandchildren. I watched my father work 20 hour days during a lot of my childhood because he loved his family and his church and simply because he knew it was the right thing to do. My dad is 71 years old and still works a full time job and does everything he can to make sure my mom is happy and taken care of. There are many others that I know and could mention, but for the sake of those of you reading this, I won't. Service has been a fundamental teaching in the lives of both Dan and I, and we are striving to teach our children now.

This year, my sister decided that our parents had cooked and planned for Thanksgiving dinner for most of our lives, and that it was our turn to return the favor. She purchased most of the food and supplies, and we all had an assignment. I was very touched by the thoughtfullness and desire to let our parents know that we had learned by example. They did not have to do anything for Thanksgiving this year. We gave them the year off. They didn't know what to do with themselves. They are workers at heart. This sitting down and being served was a wierd experience for them.

This brings me to the explaination of what we are going to try to do this year. During the month of December, we are going to be looking for opportunities to serve the people in our own neighborhood. It may be something like hanging Christmas lights, to something simple like wrapping presents, or cooking them dinner. I believe as our family, our children as well as Dan and I, learn to serve together and spend this kind of quality time together, we will grow closer and be able to feel the true spirit of Christmas. Which truly is the best gift we could receive.

I am sure I will write again before Christmas, but I hope you all enjoy the holiday season.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


So I’m writing the obligatory “what I am thankful for” Thanksgiving day blog. I think that I will start with the big stuff. I am thankful for my wife, Christy. She has stood by me for over 20 years now. We were very young when we got married, and it wasn’t supposed to last because of our ages, but here we are 20 years later with a home and family. She has had a very rough time the past few years, but we are getting through it. She fights for her children, she supports me in all that I do, even though she hates the beard, and she keeps my on my toes. She makes me want to be a better person.

I am thankful for my family. Four kids, all of them very different. I am thankful for my home. We took a very round-about road to the purchase of this home, but because we have great friends and family, we were able to purchase a home that’s right for our family.

Employment. My state job pays the mortgage, and keeps the lights on. My other state job, through the McKay center, manages to keep food on the table and gas in the cars. The Albertson’s job pays for an occasional movie or dinner. While many are struggling and fearful for their jobs, I am pretty secure in mine. I will not go as far as to say that I feel totally secure, because anything can happen, but I feel comfortable in my job. At the McKay, I get to work with a great group of people, get to interact with the public, and sometimes get to watch a good event.

Patriotism. I am thankful for the country in which I live. An e-mail comes around every so often that says we should stop complaining as we live in the greatest country in the world, and what to we have to complain about. I think it is our duty as citizens to attempt to right the wrongs that we see in the world around us. I am thankful for President-Elect Obama and feel that he will take this country in the right direction. The standards are set high, and I hope that he can rise to the expectations that are put upon him. Health care in this country should be free for all citizens, just like defense and highways. Our taxes should go to take care of all who need it.

I could go on for a while of the things that I am thankful for, but I will just hit on a few more, but I will spare you the agony, thanks for sticking with me this long. I am thankful for the internet and the fact that it lets me post rambling blogs about my life and the things that mean the most to me. I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds this valley where we have chosen to raise our family. I am thankful for the few close friends that I have, and the extended family that has seen us through every little bump, and every huge crater in our lives. I am thankful for the 4 years in spent in the Navy, the 8 years I spent in construction, the 4 years I spent at the college, and the 3 years I have spent so far at ORS. I have had a job since I was 15 years old, and have never been eligible to claim unemployment benefits. I have been employed everyday since my sixteen birthday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I hate Christmas. I know how bad that sounds, but I really hate Christmas. You can ask my family, they will back me up on this. Last Christmas I stayed home and sulked while my wife took the kids down to her mom’s for the traditional family breakfast. A few years ago, the Christmas tree ended up out on the front lawn about two weeks before Christmas. A red “X” adorned the front door of out home one year as a signal for Santa to stay away.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is the commercialization of it all is that drives me crazy. I have enough to worry about trying to keep the lights on and the family fed, I don’t need the stress of attempting to make each child feel special and that they were as good during the year as the kid down the block that gets the new Xbox every year, regardless of the fact that I know he has been a brat.

The Christmas season used to start the day after Thanksgiving, but that is just not good enough for Wal-Mart. The Christmas decorations go up before Halloween. I feel this cheapens the holiday. And really. how much deck the halls can we take. Christmas music between Halloween and New Years. UGH.

I say, sing some carols on Sunday, put up to tree on Christmas eve, and take it down Christmas day. Give one present to each child, get rid of Santa and return to the traditional Christmas celebration of years past. Read from Luke on Christmas Eve to make sure that the kids know what Christmas is about.


PS – I have some of my Christmas lights up already, but it is only because I do not want to put them up when it is cold, and I will not turn them on until after Thanksgiving.
Just thought I had better pop in and say that we are still alive. Just busy and have a bad cold making it's way through the house. Gotta love this time of year....NOT !! One gets it, we all get it.
Hope to write more soon.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I am looking out the window at the dismal, cloud covered scene. It reminds me that the arrival of winter is inevitable. I do not like the cold. It is a wonder that my marriage has survived for 19 years. Christy loves the cold. She would open the bedroom window in the winter if I would let her. I sometimes wear a hoodie to bed and wrap up in my blanket for warmth. She will lay on top of the covers. I think it is time to add another blanket to my side of the bed.

I worked doing stucco for eight years. It was a dirty job, and in the winter, it was cold and miserable. In the summer, it was hot and miserable. In the spring, it was wet and miserable. There were a couple of weeks in the fall that were nice. I miss the companionship of that work, or the camaraderie of my last job. I miss the Navy and the nights in port where you knew that someone had your back, no matter what happened. I miss the political discussions with the construction workers around the small stool or the big lunch table. My view was often not the most popular in the room, but everyone respected others opinions and their right to them. Now, I just talk to you, the internet.

I enjoy working with the public in my part-time job, most of the time. Sometimes they are a little tough to deal with, and I guess that is why there is a job there. I am often able to view the event that I am ushering, and get to work with a lot of fun people. We get a good variety of events, and the crowd is as different as the types of events. Variety truly is the spice of life.

More Random Thoughts

It's been a few days since I posted here. I guess I took on the thought that if I couldn't say anything nice, not to say anything. I really am trying to be more positive, just the struggles in my/our life right now has pushed me to the limit a lot lately. Some days I have wondered what in the world we could have done to deserve the constant challenges we seem to get. Really, both Dan and I have had sever health problems over the past few years and continue to have them. Although I freely admit that I have my days, and a lot of them lately, that is a major part of my problem. For this reason, I have been trying to look at things in a different light lately. Instead of wondering why we are being punished, I have tried to see things in the respect that we are being tested to improve our strength. Although my true feelings are that I should be a body builder by now because of all of the strength testing, things are happening for some reason. Not sure what it is, but there is one. I still can't believe I actually said that, but I really am trying.

Anyway, in the last couple of days, I have finally been able to do something. I have done it before, and I guess that I should really be doing it all of the time, but that is leaving it all to God. Knowing that I/we have made mistakes and that we probably deserve some kind of strict talking to, but that we are pretty good people and deserve blessings as much as anyone else. This is not easy to do. I am, or have been, a very organized person, a perfectionist if you will, and I like to know the reasons why. So this is a challenge for me, only in the respect that I have to literally come out of my own way.

While I still have my moments of stress and anxiety about what the future holds, I am pretty calm and just trusting in God that he will guide us through. Some how we have always made it, bumped and bruised, but fine and we still manage to go on. I am glad to have the family and friends that we do. They help us more than they know. I just hope that they know we appreciate them.

OK, I think I am done venting for now. Hopefully I will have something more happy next time I post.


Monday, November 10, 2008

History Part 1

Ok, time for a little history lesson (very little). I was born on October 13, 1971 in Feather River Hospital in Paradise California. When I was around three, my father got stationed at Rhine Mien Air Force Base in Germany. I started school there and the cut-off days for enrollment were different there than in the US. I would be the youngest person in my class because of this for the next twelve years of my life. I have very few memories of this time except that I was bitten by ants and had a mirror fall on me and break.

When I was 5 we moved to Fort Benning, Georgia. I have a few memories of this time period. My memories are vivid during this time because they are painful. I got my first pair of glasses there. The day I got them, a girl at the playground took them away and broke them. I was running from my sister and stepped on broken glass and cut open the bottom of my foot, a wound that I still feel today. On another occasion, I threw a broken toy gun at her and she had to get stitches. She threw a brick at me, and so it went. My pinky finger was shut in a closet door and the tip was re-constructed and sewn back on. I broke my arm and have to have it re-set. On my mother’s birthday, I got my foot stuck in the mud. My mother had to come out and pull me out after she was dressed for dinner. My shoe is still out there somewhere.

We moved to Provo, Utah when I was eight, and moved in with my paternal grandparents. I learned a lot from my grandfather during that time. I miss him greatly. We then moved to a basement apartment in Orem Utah where I spent most of my growing-up years. At first I was bused to Westmore elementary school, the third elementary school I attended in third grade. I also went there for all of fourth grade as well. In fifth grade, I was bused over to the completely other side of town to Aspen elementary were I completed fifth and sixth grade.

I went to Orem Junior High in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. The year I entered the ninth grade was the year that they moved that grade out of the high schools and into the junior highs. My class was the king of the jr. high for two years. I served on the student council in ninth grade and really enjoyed that year. I worked my first real job that summer for Utah Valley State College on the landscape sprinkler systems.

I started tenth grade at Mountain View High School. I did not finish the whole year. My friend Chad got his license during that year and not being at school was much better than being there. I went back to give it a go during my junior year, but again, did not make it through the year. I worked at McDonald’s, Arctic Circle, I then got a job working at Brick Oven Pizza doing their salad bar. After a few months of that, I decided to give school another try and started my senior year. I was too far behind to graduate with my class so I dropped out again and worked at a gas station and for a restaurant exhaust vent cleaning company. I joined the Navy that year and was in boot camp when my class graduated. I completed my GED after boot camp.

I was sent to Great Lakes Training Station, near Chicago, for boot camp. After boot camp, I flew home to get married, and flew back to Illinois to begin “A” school. I was seventeen at the time. My wife, sixteen at the time, then drove out with my cousin and her friend to the apartment I had rented with all our worldly possessions in a van. After I completed “A” school in Illinois, I went to Virginia Beach for the next phase of training, and Christy went back to her parent’s house in Utah. After completing the school, we went to Long Beach California and rented and apartment before moving into navy housing. We spent the next three years there and when I was discharged, we moved back to Utah, where her parents still lived. My parents had moved to Arizona right after we were married.

About a year after we moved to Utah, we welcomed our first child, Kyler. About a year after that we welcomed Megan, three years later, Aubree, and three years after that, Jake. We lived in quite a few apartments between the time we moved back and when we bought our house in 2006. We lived in Orem, Provo, and Springville, in six different apartments, before finally buying a house in Orem.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Yesterday I didn't get a chance to write on this blog, and I had so much to say. Yesterday I was elated because the election was over and the person I was hoping for won. It was a very unique day for me.
As I watched the election coverage on Tuesday night, I became increasingly more excited as the night went on. The history that was being made brought tears to my eyes. I watched as all of these people lined up and were excited to do their civic duty and vote and then many went to places just to hear their candidate speak. I have never in my life to my recollection been involved in something like this. Thoughts started going through my head about what it might have been like for my predecessors that were my age during a time when this type of thing didn't seem possible. About what they may have been thinking and feeling during times like this. It has brought such strong emotion to me to think that only 50 years ago there were people who were not allowed to do such simple things as walk down the street or take a drink of water from the same fountain as others. As I watched in real time the happenings of this day, having elected an African American man as the President of the United States, I was so proud of our country and of how far we had come. My children have asked me why this has affected me in this way, and I told them, that it gave me hope that this country will once again reunite and be the country it can, has been, and hopefully will be again.
As in everything it seems, this feeling of pride has been quickly pushed away. Every one of my children came home yesterday telling tale of their friends who said they were moving to another country or that we have a baby killing president now. Real disappointment followed as I was listening, because 7 year old children aren't coming up with this on their own, it seems that this is what they are being taught. It is very disappointing and scary to think that this country has come so far, yet there are those that are still holding prejudice in their hearts and passing it down to the next generation. These things that are scaring our young people are in most cases unfounded and simply just incorrect. While I understand that everyone has their own opinions, as obviously I do, I just think we should be teaching our children to study and understand issues and then make their own opinions for themselves. We in this country should be able to give EVERYONE their God given individual rights. My opinion is that passing on only our opinion to our children and not letting them see both sides is only going to fuel the continuation of the prejudice that this country has fought so hard to abolish.
In one of my previous posts, I expressed my disappointment in the divide of politics in this country. The question of "Why do we have to be either a Republican or a Democrat?" My husband and I, and our children have all taken some pretty serious tongue lashings simply for not choosing the popular side. WHY CAN'T PEOPLE JUST BE WHO THEY ARE? Why do we have to explain ourselves? My husband is a very good person who is loving, kind, understanding, and would give the shirt of his back or break it to help someone. Do people see that in him? Not lately, all they seem to have seen is the Obama08 sticker on his car. I just think that people are going down a bad road and that it has to stop.

My hope and prayer is that all will come around and be united in making this country a BETTER place to live. I still have faith in the greater good of it's people.



My friend Karl just became my friend on Facebook. I have not seen him in about 20 years. When we were 14 years old we were pulled over by an Orem City police officer for reckless driving. My mother was in California, and my father was gone to work for the day. It was summer and I was the only one home. We owned a green Toyota station wagon that had a bad clutch and was sitting on the curb in front of our house. I was bored and somewhat mechanically inclined (much more than my father) and so I decided to take a look at it. There was a leak in the hydraulic clutch and the temporary fix was just to put some fluid in it. I got it started and working a Karl came over and we started to drive it around the neighborhood. Neither of us had driven before and we had never been shown how to operate a clutch. We knew nothing of downshifting, As we got braver and went further away from home, we got more daring, and went faster around the curves, we had to, if we slowed down, the car would die. Eventually, someone called in the law. It just so happened that we were very close to home when we were pulled over and we just pulled the car into the driveway of my house. I was driving at the time, and so he got my information first. We were in my driveway, so I really could not make up some address and name so that my parents would not find out. It would not have worked anyway. I know because that is what Karl tried to do. This infuriated the officer and he went right over to Karl’s house and talked to his parents. He got the phone # to my parents and said that he was going to call my house later in the evening when my dad would be home. I confessed to my dad when he got home from work, but the officer never did call. It was at least a year before we were caught driving again, this time it was a neighbor’s car that they had left with us to wash, but that is another story.

My 7-year-old asked last night why the people at Obama’s rally were so happy at the election of our 44th president. I explained to him the history of black man in America. How during the founding of this nation they were kept as slaves. Kidnapped from their homes and families in Africa, and brought here in chains to serve the white man. How they were not even counted as a whole person. Lincoln freed the slaves, but they have to fight for their right to vote in the 1960’s and 70’s, where people died trying to get that right. Some of those people who fought for their freedom and their rights were at the celebration of the election of the first black American to elected president of this great land. I can understand the streams of tears falling from their eyes. I can never relate to what they went through; I can only add my celebration to theirs and welcome the end of the civil rights movement for African Americans. I explained that this election let all Americans know that anyone can do anything, regardless of your background. Let’s hope that someday soon all Americans are treated equally, and that all are allowed to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.

I took a race relations class in college in my last semester. The teacher came from a different generation from my own. He wanted us to know about discrimination and how we practiced it in our own lives. I believe that there is still discrimination in this world. I know that some of my friends and neighbors judge people solely based on the color of their skin. I do not believe that I do. One of the assignments in that class was to interview a person of color and ask about their experience with discrimination. I interviewed a Native-American teenager that lives across the street from me. I asked if she had felt discriminated against because of her race. She said that she did not feel that she had. She felt that her heritage was great thing in her life, because it allowed to be different and she felt that others liked her because she was different. I felt almost dirty after that interview. I felt like I had brought a subject into her life that she really did not have to think about before. I hope that she did not gain the perspective that people may be discriminating against her because of her heritage, because of her skin color. I known that it does still happen, but not on the scale that it happened to the teacher of this course. I can no longer say that I have any black friends. Not by choice, but as a matter of geography. There are very few black people in my neighborhood, or really even my state. I think that is by their choice as there are a lot of very weird, very white people here. I had many black friends in the Navy. Christy never grew up around any people of color, and as I was standing watch one night, she came to visit me. The person that I was standing watch with was black and he and Christy struck up a conversation. He found her questions very amusing. She asked why black people went to the beach and why his palms were white. He laughed out loud and answered her questions without any offense or anger. He understood that she was just curious and wanted to know more about him and his culture.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The election

I worked as a poll worker yesterday in the City of Orem. I worked at the Noah Webster Academy for precinct OR24 and OR45. I was a great experience and we were prepared for the rush of voter that was to flood through our doors on a constant basis throughout the day. We all had snacks at the ready so that we could eat them at our tables as to not disrupt the flow of the record-setting voter turnout that was to form lines of people around the block in the snow just waiting for their turn to show America their pride at doing their civil duty. Never happened. We got a small rush at the beginning of the day (there were people in line before the polls opened, and there continued to be a line until about 9:00). I have to admit that it is really hard to want to vote in a state whose electoral votes are a foregone conclusion before the race even starts. It is very difficult to be blue in a deep sea of red. I live in the reddest of red counties. The Democratic Party’s pro-choice platform seems to be the only issue that matters to the local electorate. Not the economy, not the war, not the complete failure of the current administration to handle any crisis, foreign or domestic, just abortion. My 11-year-old daughter came home from school and said that she was told that Obama killed babies. What a sad world we live in. So, thanks to our California friends and others across the nation for going to the polls in a state where your vote counts.

As we heard the election news, one of the other poll workers nearly cried. She thought that McCain/Palin could pull it off. I felt bad for her. I would have been saddened if the Bradley effect was realized and the election went the other way. But, I gotta tell ya, I am thrilled with the result. I can stand with Obama and say that I was against this war from the beginning. I can’t see how you can run a $10b/month war and not raise taxes. I am totally against taking away the rights of any people based of prejudices. Democracy is more than two cats and a mouse voting on what is for dinner, the rights of all people should be held sacred and protected.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

We the people have a god-given right to the pursuit of happiness. It is the duty of the government to protect these rights, not take them away. I believe in a Jeffersonian separation of church and state. I believe that a marriage affords certain legal rights, and therefore a marriage is a legal union. The spiritual union of marriage can, and is, determined by the church in which the wedding is conducted. Freedom of religion dictates that a church is free to conduct, or not conduct, whatever marriage it deems appropriate. Telling someone that because they are gay, they do not get the same rights as other feels like bigotry to me.

My sister was married a few years ago in Idaho by a rabbi to another woman. They have adopted a child and have had a child together (with the help of a donor, duh). Because their marriage is not legal, they are not afforded the same rights of parenthood that other married couples are. If something happens to either of them, the other will not automatically get custody of both the children. Their estate does not legally pass the same as it would for other couples. These are legal matters, and if all men are created equal, than why do they not have the same rights as other people?


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hello!!.... Old Man Winter

Today is the election of the century it seems. This has been an election of historic proportions. We have had a Mormon, a woman, and an African American in this election. Even more historic is that it is looking like Barrack Obama, who happens to be African American, is going to be the president elect. It is not all said and done and it may not happen this way, but no matter what happens, we can say that we have been present through this most historic event. I for one hope that everyone has done their duty and voted. I used to not care and wouldn't even register to vote until Dan repeatedly said to me, "If you don't vote, you don't complain". He said that I had to do my part and be informed or I really didn't have any place to say anything about it. Once again, he was right. I HATE THAT ! We will have a new leader by tomorrow morning and I hope you have all participated. OK, I am now stepping off my soapbox.

As I pay attention to all of this election coverage, I am looking out the window to see that there is no sunlight. I has been raining and it is very dark outside. We are supposed to have snow falling by this evening. Several inches expected by morning. While I do realize that it is November and that this is not unusual for Utah, I am not sure that I am ready for the snow. I am a person who is always hot, so the cold doesn't bother me so much, but driving in it is very unnerving to me. I feel pretty confident myself, but when I have to go a certain speed and can't take it at my own comfortable pace, it is very scary for me.

Cold weather also brings an entire other issue. I have 2 teenagers and two other children. As I got to argue with my teens about wearing a coat or even a jacket this morning, the thought running through my mind was something like this, "I have 4-5 more months to deal with this?" Even Jake thinks he can wear his crocks in the snow. I sometimes think I should just let them be cold, but then they get sick and I end up paying for the doctor visits and antibiotics or medicines. Not to mention the guilt I would have. Seems like it is just a vicious circle. Oh well, I guess this is motherhood and I should just (as Dan would say) "embrace it", like the gray in my hair, and the fact that I am never going to be skinny or tall. I guess this is a healthy way to look at things.

OK, well, I hope that by my next post this election will be decided. I am going to find some hot chocolate and get the snow shovels ready :-)


Monday, November 3, 2008


My prediction for the final count: Us 417 – Them 121. I stand by James Carville and hope for a 60 senator blowout in the Senate. American wants change, this is the way to get it.

I will be working the polls tomorrow so I will not be able to sit at home and watch the results as they come in. Maybe will be able to steal a glimpse at the iPhone every now and then to keep up, and maybe that is a good thing, will not be able to drive Christy crazy until at least 8, and probably much later.

- Dan

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You'd Think I Was 100 Years Old !!

Well, I have come to the realization that there are some things I simply can't do anymore. It is a hard pill to swallow in that I am only almost 36 years old and I have the limitations of some one probably at least twice my age if not more.
I have been babysitting a little girl for 2 hours a day this past week, which has actually been quite nice. She is really easy to watch and not much stress for me. This is actually something that was giving me hope that I might be getting back to something near normal. If I could do this, I must be getting better right? Well, My niece had a day when she was in need of daycare for her girls, which aren't bad either, so I said OK, because I am better right? While they were really very good, I found that by the end of the day I was so exhausted that I could hardly function. How ridiculous is this? I don't want my niece to think that she can't call me we she needs it. I want to help, and it doesn't help that I look like I am about to die by the time she comes to pick them up. I am only almost 36 years old. Also, during this past week, my aunt passed away. Naturally, there was a funeral, but again I couldn't go. The funeral was in Huntington, UT, which is about 2 hours south east of here. To get there you have to go through Spanish Fork Canyon (Hwy 6). It is a windy canyon. I have not been able to get more than 2 miles up a canyon since I got sick, without being completely ill. So here is another limitation that makes my life miserable. Since I couldn't go, I volunteered to watch my brothers kids. He only brought 1 of the 3 and he was pretty good, after dealing with my own children, who are not making things easy for me, and all of these extras, I was very much ready to go to bed and not wake up for several days. This is something that is very emotionally draining for me.

I was a person who was working and helping to provide for the family, attending all of the sports and school functions, going to school to further my education and insure the future, serving my church in many capacities, and just simply trying to love my husband, children, and take care of my home. Then one day 2 years ago, I wasn't feeling well and now, I am what seems to be a fraction of myself that can do almost none of the things I just mentioned. The worst part of all of this, is that Dan now has to work so much that I, nor my children, ever get to see him, I no longer have the capacity to remember things so school is out of the question, I would never pass, my physical abilities are very limited, and my poor children and husband don't seem to know me anymore. I can't blame them for not knowing how to deal with this situation. I only wish I could help. Plus, all of the extra time Dan puts in, is still not making ends meet. Very draining.

My therapist says that I shouldn't feel guilty about this. That guilt implies that I did something wrong to make this happen. While I certainly didn't do that, I still feel guilty for putting my family in this situation. I just hope that we can soon come out of it stronger and more united. Life seems to be getting scarier by the minute. I just hope I'm around to see much more of it.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Have We Turned In to Cats and Dogs?

Recently we added a new member to our household. Dan doesn't like me to call them members of the family, so they are "Household Members".
We have had Buddy, the dog, for almost 5 years. He is an established member of our household. Buddy was a long thought out decision. A couple of our children were extremely terrified of any kind of animal, and I admittedly love dogs. So Buddy was a means to an end for the kids, and it was the correct decision. They are no longer afraid. In fact, they love him. We moved thier fear into the house and made them face it. We added Tazzy for more reasons than a pet. He is the exterminator, however, we are all attached to him as well now. He is cute and fuzzy. Now that we have had Tazzy for almost 2 weeks, he and Buddy have learned to get a long. At least to tolerate each other. Buddy is older and has had the run of the house for years and has had to adjust to the new kitten that wants to run and play in all of Buddy's places. Tazzy has also had to learn that Buddy is the king and that there are certain things he can't do. While there has been some adjustment on everyone's part, and I mean all of us including the pets, the pets seem to have figured out how to just be happy and tolerate each others differences. I do have a reason for saying all of this, I promise.
Anyone who knows me at all knows that I like to know the reasons for why things happen. While I understand that sometimes there are no reasons to speak of, I can usually make some kind of analogy that explains it. Probably annoying to some, but that's who I am.
So here goes. If we can put a cat and dog together, natural enemies, then why can't we unite our country, our homes, our cities, etc. ? Right now I am especially upset at how we can't even get through an election without feeling that we have to pick a side. Why can't we just vote for WHO ? I would venture a guess that both some Republicans and some Democrats have good ideas and ideals, but we don't get to find out what many of those are, because we are too wound up in having to be one or the other. Why must we have to pick a side. Wasn't this country established with the idea that we could be free to make the decisions that we felt best about without fear of retaliation? I hate that we don't dare to put a sign in our yard because of fear. My husband has taken so much grief for putting an Obama08 sticker on his car. It is rediculous. Doesn't he have the right to have an opinion? It seems that no he doesn't because it's not the popular one for this area. This is REDICULOUS!! Watching the debates during this election has just made me mad. Not so much informed, just mad at the mudslinging and nothing else.
I once wrote a paper at school called "What Happened to the United States of America" We are not united, we are required it seems, to be either Republicans or Democrats. I for one am really sick of this attitude. I think that this country needs leaders and citizens that take the example that our little furry friends have shown us. Life is not all about being cats or dogs, it's about being friends and family. This is the only way to progress and make this earth a happy and safe place to live.

Memory, Volleyball, and the Election

My rememberer is broken. I get this trait from my father. I can look at a person that I have known for years, and their name will escape my mind. My wife is constantly reminding me that my recollection of past events is slightly skewed from reality. This lack of recollection ability, as well as other character flaws, makes my church calling very difficult and makes social situations awkward at times. I have tried to keep a journal, to record everyday events, but it is too time consuming and I am unable to keep up with it. That’s where this whole blog thing comes in. I can share the mundane details of my boring life’s events and it get to work as an online journal as well.

Today I am working my regular job until noon, and then going to the McKay center to assist with the Utah high school volleyball championship. I enjoy volleyball, more since my daughter has started to play and I am emotionally involved in the outcome of the game. Megan went to UVU volleyball camp this summer and came out a much improved player. She has played Lehi city volleyball for the past 2 years and has come in on the second place team both years. The reason that the family travels to Lehi every Saturday in the fall is that there is no girl’s volleyball city league in Orem. This is the same reason that the family travels to Provo every Saturday morning in the fall, because Orem does not offer a flag football league to anyone younger than third grade level. Family city USA.

Barrack Obama took to the airwaves last night to explain his positions to the American people. Christy had been complaining earlier in the campaign season that she did not understand where the candidates stood on the issues. This was a great move on the part of the future commander-in-chief. It let him spend time explaining his positions without the interference of the other party’s condescending rhetoric after each stated position. Obama has been my candidate since the beginning of the election cycle. It is nice to see your horse in the lead at the end of the race. I believe that this election will not even be close. The American people will send a message to the party of Bush, Cheney, and Rove that this country wants to come together and work on the things that will unite us and advance the country as a whole, and not just one segment of society. Universal healthcare is good for the country. Energy independence is good for the country. Environmental awareness is good for the country.

I do not believe in trickle down economics. Give more money to the rich so that they can buy their boats, furs, cars, and that will somehow enrich our measly little unimportant lives as we serve them to try to obtain a taste of their table scraps. Give me a break. Only the rich benefit from that thinking. Compare the economy under Clinton to the economy under Bush. Look at the Bush tax cuts, as good at they have been for the economy, it may be time to try something else. Give a rich person a few dollars and he may spend it, or he may invest it, or he may send it to Harvard to add to their endowment fund. Let me save a few dollars on taxes, and I will spend that money. At Wal-Mart, at the grocery store, or at the sporting goods store. That spending creates jobs in my community. It helps the grocery stocker, the cashier, and the owner of the sporting goods store, not the investment banker, the Rolls Royce dealer, or the Harvard administrator.

I will be working for the Lieutenant Governor’s office this coming Tuesday as a poll worker. I think the greatest exercise of the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans is going to the polls and casting a ballot for the persons that we feel represent our interests. Many have sacrificed to give us that right, let’s honor that sacrifice by taking a few minutes to study the candidates, their stand on the issues, and casting a vote. I realize that I stand in the minority in this state, but I have cast my vote because it is my right to do so. I have a hope that an excellent showing by the minority party in this state, during this election, will let the politicians know that there are those who do not agree with them, and may have to keep at least one eye over their shoulder while passing legislation.

- Dan

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This is Dan. A self portrait. Not everyone sees it but there is a large Y in the background. Dan regularly hikes to the Y on his lunch break. He likes the time in nature and feels exhilarated afterward. This is something I can't do anymore, so he takes the kids and they hike all over the place.

Dan is so resilient. The poor man has been put through the ringer over the past few years while I have been in and out of the hospital and both of us have had several surgeries and yet he somehow still manages to land on his feet (we won't tell the Podiatrist) and keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Clothing our children is a major accomplishment, as we have a teenage son who has grown so fast over the last couple of years, he's lucky to have any clothes for more than a month at a time.

Dan feels discouraged a lot, and really, who wouldn't? He is wonderful though. He is a father, a husband, a provider, takes his church calling very seriously (and it isn't an easy one by a long shot) and still manages to find time for us. I just hope he knows how much we love and appreciate him. I feel extremely lucky to have found him and get to keep him forever. Something many people never get the chance to know.


Friends, Family and Work

Last night our friends came over. Christy’s visiting teacher (it’s a Mormon thing) brought her husband over to keep me occupied during their visit. I usually just go into my room and watch TV while she is here, but this was a nice change from the regular routine. We haven’t had many friends that are not family since the arrival of children into our brood. It was good to have Will over to play Wii and have a limited political discussion (we are an Obama household with is in the minority in our community). I am basically a hermit and like to stay home.

This week I am trying to cram 80 hours of work unto a 6 day work week. Since the introduction of the teen-aged eating, sporting, growing out of their clothes faster than we can replace them machines into our home, and the fact that Christy is unable to work, the budget is tight and is being supplemented by my working a part-time job or two. I have the type of job that finds me in a cubicle 10 hours a day, 4 days a week, ipod blasting in my ears, and me just processing paperwork submitted to the little state government agency that I work for. I work as a guest services representative at the McKay Events Center on the campus of Utah Valley University. I worked for the Orem Owlz in summer, and work an occasional shift as a produce clerk at Albertson’s. The part-time jobs force me out into public and make me interact with people. The people that I work for at the MEC are excellent and the job is enjoyable, which makes it easier to leave my family to go and do the work.

Glen Beck came to the MEC last week and I enjoyed his presentation, even though I do not agree with some of his views. I felt him to be the anti-Hannity, sincere, emotional, and trying to tell the truth as he sees it, not showboating, and humble. It was the first time that I had heard him, and I enjoyed it. One of the advantages of working that job is that I do get to see most of the events that come there. President Uchtdorf, of the first presidency of the church, was there yesterday and talked about the global economy and relative morality in the modern world. I was working, and therefore unable to give him my full attention, so I had a hard time understanding all that he was trying to say. He is German and speaks English very well, but with his heavy German accent, and my concentrating on other things, I’m sure that most of what he was trying to say was lost on me. I am now gearing up for the state volleyball championships this weekend and next.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Random Thoughts While Not Sleeping.....Again

Today was an interesting day. I have been fighting a migraine for several days now and have pretty much given up ever getting rid of it. I know, bad attitude. I either sleep a lot or not at all, I guess tonight is a not at all. Trying to emotionally get through life right now is not all it's cracked up to be.

About 10 days ago we got a kitten. While I love him to death, he thinks I should be awake at 6 AM, and somehow tells time and literally kicks me in the face in the morning when it is time to get up. I actually find it very cute, but he is lucky he is furry and soft and cute, or I might not take it so well. Plus, if he didn't wake me up, the dog would, so I guess it's good for me, this way I am awake when the older kids leave for school. I have had a really hard time getting up early since I was in the hospital a couple of years ago. It's like my body just thinks its not necessary to get up. Enough about that.

I have been searching for almost a year for a teacher I had in grade school. A couple of weeks ago when I had almost given up, I was searching through facebook on a night like tonight and just thought that I should give it a shot on there. I did not find him, but found a woman that I thought might be his daughter. I had babysat for these people and remembered some of thier names. Turns out that she was his daughter and she gave me the information to contact him. This teacher had a very profound affect on me. I had some great teachers in grade school, but this one was special. He used to tell me how bright I was and how he wished I would realize it. I did not have very good self esteem when I was young, and still fight it now. But I have never forgotten being told that I was "Bright and Beautiful" by this particular teacher. I really don't think he knows how much that meant to me. I am so thankful for finally finding him so I could thank him for being a positive and caring force in my life. I feel like I was supposed to find him because it was so easy once I looked in the right place. Now I can check off another thing that I have been needing to do. I am really happy that we have the electronic age. I have been finding and talking to many people who I haven't seen in years lately.

OK, enough ranting for tonight.


The Cruising Buddies and the Beach Dog

These are our cruising buddies. This picture was taken on the beach in Mazatlan. (Left to right) Rose, Me, Dan, Sherrie, Catherine, Jerry, Kay, and Carl is in front with the beach dog. I really miss these people.

This vacation was what Dan and I call our honeymoon. We never really had one and waited almost 19 years to go. It was the greatest experience other than having our children that I have ever had. We got to spend time together with no stresses, and we met these really great people.

Rose is Dan's dancing partner. They did do a lot of dancing on this trip. I am not one to dance and Dan loves it, and apparantely so does Rose. Rose is one of my best friends now and we all really had a blast together. Hopefully we will get to se all of them again soon.

Aubree (Or Aubs as we call her)

This is Aubree at the UVUphoria. Aubree is the aspiring actress we're sure. Loves the camera.


This is Megan. Also on the Timpanogos Cave adventure.


This is Kyler. He was hiking to Timpanogos Cave with Dan and his cousins and aunts during the family reunion.


Jake is our little "Ham". He makes a goofy face whenever you aim a camera in his direction

The animals, Buddy and Tazzy, pretending to get along.