Wednesday, January 28, 2009


F earned the title of 1 of 12 finalists in his school to compete for a spot at the regional round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We didn't study until the night before, so he wasn't as versed as he could have been, but he still did well. We were so proud of him. Regrettably though, he went out on the 3rd of 5 rounds.

But $100 says he will never forget how to spell the word, "transparency."

And for some reason, I cannot get a decent shot of him on stage, at any school event. I have tried every setting on my camera...I blame school lighting!

Monday, January 26, 2009

2009: The Year of saying "No."

I consider myself to be a pretty straight forward, frank, no nonsense type of person. But somehow, last year, I forgot. Carol bought me this great Anne Taintor notepad. I am plastering it to my fridge.
Oh, and please don't ask me how well this is going so far.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What was so great about 2008?

Any given year is certainly full of drama and stressful events. We definitely live in turbulent times. However, by focusing on the good things, it is possible to see how many amazing things have happened. Here is my list of great things from 2008(not necessarily in order of importance):
  1. Satellite Radio- Jaime gave me an amazing Christmas present. I got a new car CD player (so I can listen to my Ipod again) and satellite radio. A new world has opened before my eyes. It is life changing. If you care to know more just ask me about it. (Sounds like I am selling Amway)
  2. My car- It is a piece of crap, but it just turned 13 years old! I willsoon hit 200,000 miles too. Not bad for a hand-me-down from Jaime.
  3. Temple- Jaime and I got to go to the temple about 5 times this past year. This is a new record for us. Not bad for being 5 hours away.
  4. Giving presents- Jaime and I celebrated our 12 year anniversary last December. I had kept my eye on this cool ring for the past 6 months. After looking at it for months, the shop owner gave me a price that not even I (the world's biggest cheapskate) could resist. Jaime loved the ring. She said it was perfect (sincerely and everything). It is nice to know that there are times when I get it right. Jaime is so much more deserving of just a ring. I love her more than anything.
  5. Family Visits- We had great family visits this year. Mom and Dad came, Sally and Max came, and Richard came on his way to Scotland. We had a great time with them. S still talks about it.
  6. Tubing- we rented tubes and floated down our local river. We asked for tubes for our collective birthdays from the Clemmers because we loved it so much. Mom even went when she was here. And during a thunderstorm too!
  7. Dollywood- We went with Mom and Dad, Sally and Max, and one more time during Christmas break. We love this place! Dollywood and Pigeon Forge are awesome! I hope we can go again this year.
  8. Parents going on a mission- Mom and Dad left for India last October. They are so far away, but I feel so close to them. It's so great knowing that they are experiencing the same things I once did as a missionary.
  9. My Boys- They are growing up so fast. I know we all gush about how wonderful our kids are, but with mine it really is true. Jaime gave me this awesome portrait of the boys that hangs in my office. I really am the luckiest father alive.
  10. Jaime- Jaime thought it was a cop out to put her on the list. Cop out or not, there would be no reason to make a list were it not for her. She is my everything. She is the reason I am what I am and I do what I do. I love you babe.
  11. Church- my calling is stressful but majorly rewarding. It is so amazing to see people make changes in their life when they make good choices.
  12. Cookie- she is still not potty trained,but I really love having her around.
  13. Hope- this year I voted for hope and hope won. Four years ago, I voted against hatred and fear and I lost. Something has awakened in me again. As a young boy I was inspired by the words of Martin Luther King Jr. I was inspired by the sit ins of the 60s, by the Civil Rights Movement, by the Equal Rights Movement. Through nature AND nurture I was raised to be a pacifist. Call it societal pressure, but I always felt somewhat secretive (especially as I grew older) about the extent to which I would choose pacifism. A year ago I watched a special on MLK and my heart was stirred again with a call to activism. I love what he preached and I try to live it. My approach may be somewhat different, but working in a school allows me to change and influence the lives of many. I am grateful for this. Now I look to our new president. There are skeptics who feel he may not be able to do enough. The fact is, he is willing to try, and I too am willing to try. Whether or not he will be able to do it, we will be able to do it. Our world will never be the same and I can't wait to see what comes next.

So this is my list. 2008 was great but with some drama mixed in too. I can't wait for the endless possibilities that await in 2009.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You just might not eat beef again

Why is this so funny? Screaming beef just makes me laugh. BK lets you send an "angry-gram"--the recipient is not quite sure what to think. They have mad-libs style or write your own. You probably won't appreciate it like I did, but it will serve as a good impetus for Jack to post about his 2008 highlights to make the angry beef go away.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Maybe Ned's Atomic Dustbin was right

I should kill my television.

Before I launch into the following discourse, spare me the comments about watching tv, yadda yadda...everyone escapes with something, and I wish I had more time to watch tv. Don't judge.

Turns out, my indulgence as an audience viewer results in fatal consequences for the television shows I enjoy. This isn't new, but it hurts just the same. It all started with the cancellation of "My So Called Life." My love hate relationship with television began there.
I couldn't watch 30 Rock (which once healed I started watching and it is soo funny) the entire first season because I blamed it for no one watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which is what they should have been watching. Although, the only reason we were watching that was because they took away our West Wing.
As I have watched shows throughout the years, their sometimes slow, sometimes hasty demise, almost always comes with little or no notice. It's like Hollywood is saying, "Let's cancel this show. By the time Jaime hears about it, there will be nothing she can do. And we all know she will talk about writing a nasty letter, but will never do it. So, to heck (Hollywood would censor themselves knowing they were talking me) with it."
Or maybe it's like God is telling me I should turn off the tv and actually contribute something to the world.

So may story lines I will have to finish in my head. Amy, did you go to Congress forever, or did you continue to fight for the little guy?

Danny and Jordan, do you live happily ever after and Matt and Harriett, do you ever resolve your religious differences?

If Jack were writing this, he would include a line about someone from Arrested Development, but I don't know enough to even fake it. Something about Bob Loblaw (which admittedly, is funny).

And October Road? Gone. Nick, is Sam yours, or what? Hannah...what are you doing?
Along those lines, it took Jack forever to get me to watch Pushing Daisies. He got me hooked. Guess what just got canceled? I love Emerson Cod enough to name a child after him (if it weren't for some shady high school issues that might arise).

There are others, oh, like Alias, and that one about an FBI team that used to come on Sundays and I can't even remember the name but it was great. Anyone 1-hour espionage, gadget show, more about the people than the violence. Or family drama.

Brittany just started me on The Secret Life of An American Teenager. It's great. (btw-turns out Selena Gomez, is not the little sister...oops) We watched the entire first season so we would be ready for the Season 2 premiere. So help me Brittany, if they cancel this show...

My dream is for Aaron Sorkin to write a show chronicling the life and times of a group of people, basically, until he dies or I do. Let me know if you have any Hollywood connections.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Santa commanded the snow to cease

Tons of fun this Christmas break means I am sad it is coming to an end. Usually I am ready for things to get back on schedule, school to start, and sanity to set in, but we have had such a mellow, lovely break, I am not sure I want real life to start again.
Thanks for the wonderful Christmas cards and pics. We loved seeing everyone and their adorable children. However, for those of you who have three boys and your fourth was a girl, please stop sending your photos. Jack is having a resistance problem. And for those of you at church with tiny babies, do not let my husband hold them.
As far as Christmas goes, it was bikes all around. Thankfully, (but much to Jacks chagrin--whose only reason for moving here from CA was the snow) the weather was perfect so the boys were able to enjoy their new bikes.
Santa also brought Guitar Hero for Grandpa...not sure he has had much time to use it though. S is obssessed with rock and roll. He talks about it all the time. The other day, he started walking up to people and just announcing, "I'm totally awesome!" We have a rocker on our hands.