Monday, November 30, 2009

Party Time on the old Homestead

Thanksgiving was great!!!

Teresa's family invited us all down to Huntington for a Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration and we all had a good time. The turkey was delicious, the pies were delightful and all the activities were first rate.

The only negative was that Josh and Heather were in Virginia visiting her parents and family (they moved there earlier this year after Don lost his job in North Carolina and took another in VA).

A bunch of us went paintballing on Thursday. As I have commented before, I am only good as a target for all the other players. I can't get down low very well and I am much larger than I used to be so it is harder to hide behind trees (they have to be pretty broad to prevent anything from hanging out the sides). The positive thing is that Parker was able to 'kill' grandpa twice in his first escapade with paintball. In fact, I was the only player that 'died' every game so I guess I have the most experience with 'resurrection'. Joel, Kevin and I got into a pretty good 'firefight' and I received my most painful shooting when Joel nailed me in the back as I tried to get away. I can't see the impression but Teresa says it is pretty large and welt-like.

(Different colors are to represent the paintball experience)

Saturday afternoon Joel and I went to the annual BYU-Utah game and had a really fine time. The game was nip and tuck all the way with the Cougars finally prevailing in overtime. It has been several years since I went to a game live and this one was worth the wait. There was a bit of a brouhaha when Max Hall made some comments about the Utah fans and such after the game but I think it has been blown out of proportion by the media and others. What he said was not really much different than the quote I shared from a Utah fan who attended last year's game in Rice-Eccles Stadium. Sadly, these games seem to bring out the worst in some people.

It was a little hard for some of the students to come back to school today. All those days off gave them too much time to forget how to behave. It's only three weeks until they are off again and this time it will be for two whole weeks. January is going to be interesting.

We are only days away from a mission call for Joel.

this month
are Joel, Grandma Grange;
Melissa, and Parker.

And of course, we must not forget that this is when we celebrate the Savior's birth.

(Real birthday is April 6 for those who don't remember)

It's time to start playing Christmas
Music (several stations in town have been at it since October….Not Cool)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

I know what you are thinking!!!

You probably think I am going to share a list of "thankfuls" in my life.

You're right.

But it's not a list like any I have made before. This one will share some of those invisible people

who have done some little thing and never been recognized.

None of the things they did were earth shaking but they were significant to my progression.

See if you can get a little of the drift for why I remember them so fondly.


Mr. Hobart Tompkins—probably the first teacher to take time to really help me feel like I was worth something. Mr. Tompkins was my English teacher when I was at Flagstaff Jr. High (9th grade) and he was a stickler for proper grammar. All that I know of writing and speaking came from the lessons he taught and the practice he demanded. He was also the only person who believed I should run for student body office in that same Jr. High. The vote was not close but the seed of confidence was germinated and it grew from that experience.

Brother Reid—sadly, I don't remember his first name but I will always be grateful for the work he performed as my first scoutmaster. Physically I was a small boy but he encouraged me to be successful…and I felt like I was. He was killed in a trucking accident (my first experience with death) and left our troop to someone else but his influence has helped me have a desire to work in scouting. I have often thought of him while working with the boys in my own troops.

Raymond Beckham—OK, his influence wasn't such a little thing but he is not a person most people think of when looking back on my life. As the Mission President in the Canada Calgary Mission, he was assigned to keep track of nearly 300 19-21 year old young men and a few sisters and couples. As I have grown older, I am more and more amazed at the patience and care he was able to offer, despite what must have been an overwhelming responsibility. He was firm and demanding but those are things I needed at that time in my life. He was also very influential in setting the tone for the rest of my life. The two years he blessed my life have been the foundational years for my adulthood.

Ron Shill—Bro. Shill was my favorite professor during my undergraduate years at BYU. My first introduction to him was from another student who suggested I might want to transfer from his class. He was known to be difficult in his requirements and many were scared away but because of scheduling needs, I had no choice. My classmate was correct…the class was the hardest I had ever taken. But it was also the most interesting and enlightening business class of my years at BYU. I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for another class the next semester. I learned to be prepared and never try to fake a presentation from this marvelous teacher.

There are other people who have helped me along the way but these are the first that came to mind for this post.

Maybe another day I will be able to remember some more names.

Really stinks to get old and forget all the good.

Thank heavens for the Resurrection!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

East Canyon and No Rants

I am experimenting with new fonts for blogging so be patient with this post. In the past I have found some to be too busy and almost unreadable. It does help to increase the size but many are still too fuzzy to be useful. This one seems to be pretty good so I will use for today.

Last weekend we had our annual family trip to East Canyon Resort. This has become a family tradition and has grown to include all the grandkids and even a friend or two for the single children. The setting is pleasant and there are no real distractions so we can focus on building the bonds that last forever…or at least try not to kill each other. It did help that we were able to use some 'bonus time' and get extra condo's so we weren't all on top of each other. One other benefit: each of our children made one of the meals and all were delightful. It is so nice to have good food when we are all together. Thanks ladies (and those men who helped) for improving the size of our waistline and tickling our taste-buds.

One of the grandkids was ill early on and by Sunday, we had several others who were exhibiting sickness signs. Don't think it was 'piggy flu' but who really knows these days. Even with the maladies, we were able to get in a few paintball games.

It was Bryce's first time and he really seemed to enjoy the action. And I was pleasantly surprised that he made no complaints when he was shot (more than once). He's getting to be a really solid young man. Can't wait to take the rest of the little ones out and take a few pot-shots at them. Reality is that I am so slow and stiff that I am an easy target for them and it makes me feel good to give them success. Or maybe I'm just a horrible player and get killed easily. Whichever, we had a grand time.

No new political or religious rants this time so I guess things must be pretty cool for now. Hope all are happy and praying for wise decisions from those who lead us. See you next post.