Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's fun to stay at the...

It's true. I've finally joined up!
Mckenna started preschool a couple of weeks ago and her school just happens to be close to the Y. I figured I could spend the two hours trolling around stores in the area, go back home, or take the advice of my wife and work out at a gym nearby. And so I find myself in sweats and a t-shirt signing up at my YMCA on Friday. Forty five minutes later, complete drenched in sweat, I hobble off the elliptical machine I just abused (or was it the other way round) and realize that I should have stretched FIRST before starting my workout. Silly me. Live and learn. I now have a plan to work out during the time that Kenna is at preschool, which is Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 AM to 11:30 AM. At the Y there is this room where all the equipment and machines are all hooked up to a central computer that keeps track of your exercising. You can set goals and monitor your progress. Plus you get to win t-shirts with every achievement level you progress to. I'm hoping that the t-shirts I win will get smaller with each level. Wish me luck!

I cleaned the church building today!

The title says it all.

No, but seriously folks. Serving is a blessing. I am going to be teaching Elders Quorum tomorrow on Lesson 13 in the TPC Joseph Smith Manual. In preparation I have been listening to the lesson over and over on my PSP in MP3 format to get me more acclimated to it for when I actually sit down and try to plan the lesson, say an hour before church begins. (slacker, i know) Well, there is this one phrase that Brother Joseph uses that seems to stick every time I hear it. It is, "No month ever found me more busily engaged than November; but as my life consisted of activity and unyielding exertions, I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it."

So it was with this same determination that I answered the phone at 8:15 this morning to the sound of my father-in-law, Rod, asking me to show up at the church to clean. And so it was done. I just wish I could be as diligent in cleaning my own house.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Parenting and Ponies

I once remember a wise man (who is actually my good friend Jared Newlun) say to never make a promise (aka - threat) to a child and not follow through. And so it was today at Mckenna's preschool that these words of wisdom came flooding back to me in the moment when I began to say, "Mckenna, if you don't apologize to Trevor for kicking the cars he was playing with, you won't get to ride the ponies that your teacher paid to come to school today."

Now, up until this point, at least for a few weeks, I had known that ponies were going to be there that day and wanted nothing more than for my daughter to be able to ride them. In that heated moment, I decided that I was in control and if Mckenna didn't want to do the right thing, and apologize then she certainly didn't want to ride the ponies.

My heart was crushed when the words spilled forth out of my mouth. I had to place all my faith and hope in my little girl that she would choose the right. Not only so she could learn the principle of compassion but also so she could enjoy the ponies later.

She fought me with a fury that I had only seen previously in her mother. Stubborn as all hell and just as determined. About half of her class had already had their turns on the pony and her name was called to go next. She still hadn't said sorry.

I excused us from the classroom and Mckenna and I had a little talk outside. I told her again that if she didn't want to say sorry then she didn't want to go on the ponies. Secretly and earnestly I was pleading and yearning in my heart that she would break, all the while trying to communicate to her with my body language and facial expressions that I didn't care if she got on that blasted pony or not.

Parenting & teaching correct principles = mental anguish (sometimes)

Final, after asking many times if she was ready to make restitution she agreed. We made our way back inside and crossed the room to Trevor. By this time just about all the kids had taken their turns on the ponies and Mckenna's turn was coming (and going) fast. As we both stood there facing Trevor in an eternity of silence, I found myself craving a pair of vocal pliers to pull that five letter word up through Mckenna's timid body and out of her vice clamped mouth.

When it seemed that almost all hope had been lost along with her pony ride, Mckenna offered a muffled 'stharry' into the corner of her elbow aimed at Trevor. She had barely redeemed herself and her pony ride.

The whole ordeal had taken it's emotional toll on her. She almost 'lost it' a few times before even sitting on the pony for a picture and also while she was on him, but that was mostly to Oreo swatting at imaginary flies and moving around alot more with Kenna on him that any other time. The pictures will turn out awful. That was very frustrating to me, you know? We worked so hard to make it all the way here, now here is a place that we don't want to be. Poop. She did better when it came to riding around on Ranger though.

Then we went to the library. Fun!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our House

Kelley and I finally got that house that we've been after. In the end it went to auction at the end of May, we were turned on to an investor (who we convinced to buy it then sell it to us), and lastly closed the deal on the 26th of June!
Yay, were home owners at last. We had both had enough of the one-bedroom apartment living for more than 5 years. Besides, if I hadn't maned up and bit the big one, Kelley would have taken drastic measures. I neither know nor want to know exactly what those measure would have been.
Rod, Alex, Kenny, and Jared Newlun all helped us move on the 27th. I was somewhat surprised yet relieved to find that everything which encumbered out one bedroom apartment fit in our garage with room to spare. We will move everything into the house once we get our walls painted and the flooring done, carpet upstairs (for me) and hard floors downstairs (for her). There is still some stuff at the apartment that we will move when we return from camping at seaside with Char & Ryan. I will blog about the adventures that we are currently having in the next entree. I'm blogging on location in our campsite. Yes, this places has free wifi, which is one of the many amenities here. It's hardly 'camping' at all, execept we are sleeping in tents.
For now we are sleeping in the living room on our tempurpedic mattress with Mckenna in her Dora bed at our feet. I wonder how it will be adjusting her to her new room, seeing if she will stay in her room all night instead of coming in to mommy in the wee hours of the morning. Her room is already painted a 'Cinderella Blue', but it still needs one more coat.
the downstairs consists of a living room, dining room and kitchen all open to one another with out any walls blocking any part of the view from one room to another. The kitchen counter is the only thing separating the kitchen from the dining room. And I would like to add that the vantage point from the kitchen sink to the gas fireplace, whereon sits my 42 inch plasma television, is unobstructed making it a much more desirable thing for me to do dishes. There is also a half bath downstairs, just off the kitchen, with just a toilet and a sink. Oh, did I mention the ceiling downstairs is about 9 feet high? It's awesome, it really makes it feel larger, which I love. I always thought I wanted a house with vaulted ceilings.
The upstairs has 3 bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, and a landing area. The master bedroom has a double sinked bathroom with an alcoved bathtub/toilet area separated by a door. Finally Kelley can do her makeup and not have her nostrils offended. There is also the biggest walk-in closet I have ever seen with his and her sides. We will probably use one of the bedrooms as an office, mostly for Kelley, and the landing will probably be used for a computer area or bookshelf/reading area.
There are a few more things we will periodically want to improve or change, but all in all, we are very satisfied with our house. I will add pictures once we have a computer hooked up to post them.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


ask me about the house sometime

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Posting from my PSP again.
I recently purchaced a Wii and am loving it! I haven't even touched my
PS3 in a couple of weeks. Don't let Kelley read this, she went through
a lot of trouble to get me that PS3. Those Wii games are just so darn
fun! Especially the Mario games.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Father/Son Camp Out

So, once again I went on the father/son camp out for my ward despite the fact that I don't have any sons of my own... ...yet. I had actually called up Jared Newlun to see if he wanted to go see Prince Caspian with Kelley and me. He said he couldn't because he was going on the camp out with his 4 sons. So I had a feeling that I should call my sister Stacey to see what was going on with her boys. I had taken Nate, my nephew, on this camp out a few times before in years gone by. Stacey reminded me that Jason was in Japan to attend his grandmother's funeral and that her boys, Nathan and Jack, would love to go on the camp out.

We headed up in the morning on Friday to Zion's Camp. On the way we stopped at Crazy Eric's, a one-stop-heart-attack-shop with the greasiest burgers and fries still not outlawed by the FDA. I had the 'bogfoot' meal which consists of two patties side by side on a hogie roll with the works. So good. But a word of advice, once it cools off, the congealed fat dimishes the taste quite a bit. And on we went, another 10 minutes and we arrived.

The campground is a church owned property and one that Kelley and I stayed at before we were married as part of a Young Single Adult activity. There's a huge field to play soccer/football, a rope swing, and new additions such as an archery range and more.

We camped next to Jared and his boys and Sean (the brother of Jared) and his boys. Shortly after arriving we set up the tent. I borrowed almost everything we need from Stacey. I tried to include both boys in this endeavour handing them tasks that suited there ability.

With the tent up and both boys lathered up with sunblock, we all made a mad dash for Lake Deveroux. Arriving down at the lake we were greeted by a flock of Relief Society sisters sunbathing. Thankfully they left shortly after we descended to the water. Tannis, Deacon & Xander (Jared's twins), and Jack all took turns using the four floatation devices that we brought. But the show stopper was a huge rope swing that was tied to a tree overhanging the lake. I was about the fourth person up on the platform to go, the whole time fretting that my newly added weight might break it. As I sat on the edge of the elevated dock, the rope between my legs, I hesitated ever so slightly. I had a revelation in that moment about the prominent role that fear has played in my life. I'll have to think more about that one before expounding. I leaned forward and felt the pull of gravity do the rest. It was a blast. I even coaxed Nate to go on it once. I'm sure he loved it. Towards the end of our lake time Nate went to hunt salamanders with a few of the other boys while Jack was just contented to keep playing in the water. We stayed out there for some time, enough for me to turn a little pink anyway.

Upon returning to camp, we visited with others camping close by. One of Nate's friends took Nate to the archery range while the rest of us stayed behind to start preparing dinner. Shortly thereafter along comes some guy to anounce a 'fireside' or something and said that it was starting in like 5 minutes. Jared replied that we were in the middle of making dinner and if there had actually been some kind of iternerary we wouldn't be caught off guard with food in the fire/coals. So none of us went to the meeting. There was way too much food. We had hotdogs, ribs, deviled egg salad, brownies, juice, chips, potato salad, and the list goes on and on. Nate got back towards the end of dinner and had what was left of the ribs.

The Andersons, Jeff and Brad, showed up late so we shared our food with them and let them stay in our tent so they wouldn't need to find a place to set one up so late. After dinner we all just sat around our campfire and talked about everything and anything. I had the makings for smores but was just too tired to get out the stuff, that and I didn't want to deal with the mess of little boys flinging marshmellows all over the camping chairs. With Nate, Jack, and the rest of the boys in bed, the men stayed up till just after midnight, continuing their talking. Jared was almost obligated to tell the classic stories of our times together with the young men on their fifty miler up to Ross Lake. I'm convinced that trip has entered into the annuls of local church lore. I'll write about those exploits later, just for posterity's sake.

After a night of tossing and turning every hour due to the rough hard ground, I was awoke to what sounded like the thundering of a thousand native birds performing their mating calls. I couldn't fall back to sleep for the life of me. The minutes just ticked away as slow as possible until my alarm went off. Cleaned up, packed up, and we were off to set up tables for the pancake, sausage, egg breakfast that the Samoan ward was preparing.

Breakfast was alright, the sausages tasted a little off but that dissapointment was offset by the addition of chocolate milk. Before we left, Nate played some volleyball and Jack just played with sticks.

On the road we had to stop to pay the toll to go over the new narrows bridge. Definitely not worth the $3 they are charging. All in all, it went well. It was only after the fact that I learned it was Jack's first time camping. I just hope I didn't traumatize him too bad into not wanting to camp in the future.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PSP blogging attempt #2

I'm now trying to post with my PSP at work using the "post-by-email"
feature. Gmail works fine by PSP. Did it work?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blogging frustrations... ...already

So, I was at work this evening. The person I was doing a 1:1 with had fallen asleep and I decided that I would take a break from trying to read thru the Priesthood Session of General Conference by try to blog on my PSP. PSPs are notoriously horrible for entering text because it's input format is set up like a phone keypad and it doesn't anticipate what you're trying to type so you end up pushing about 20 some odd buttons just to get one word out! Okay, so the thing is, my blogspot page opened on my PSP and I started to enter text and when I was done I tried to submit it but it wouldn't submit or allow me to save. Needless to say, I had just wasted 30 minutes trying to post something, the same size as this, to no avail. Lesson learned. Only blog with normal computers. The end.

So much Church, so little time...

So I'd just like to share some indulgences I have been having as of late. Namely, the Church's many websites and what they have to offer. I love, and I mean LOVE, the LDS Church's compressed audio web page. I've been downloading anything and everything lately and listening to it in the car, at work, at home, you name it. It's great, it gives me the spiritual pick-me-up I need when I just don't have the time to sit down with the scriptures themselves. Another sin-less pleasure I've been enjoying is the Church's distribution website. I have bought all, and I kid you not, ALL of the DVDs available. I figure if I can't stop watching TV on the Sabbath, at least I can make it something spiritual. Lastly I have started getting the itch to do genealogy. Hence my final plug for the Church's genealogy website. I just downloaded the program that goes along with it, Personal Ancestry File. I know that Rod, my father-in-law is really into this stuff, so if I should run into any hiccups, he's the one to call.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Profile Update

Just dropped by to update my profile and add a pic. I think I will seriously start 'blogging' here now because both of my sisters-in-law (Laura and Bonnie) do so, and in no other place but here. So I join them in their quest for the meaning of life through family history preservation. And now my wife, Kelley, just brought me some food so, I'm outtie! p.s. Happy Mother's Day!!!