Sunday, September 26, 2010


A few years ago I was called to be the scoutmaster in our ward.  This was not my first ride in that rodeo so I enlisted the help of my best friend (Teresa) as my Number 1 unofficial assistant.
We started our adventure with 5 or 6 boys and over the couple of years we worked together, we were able to increase our numbers to 14 or so regulars.
Included in the posse was my youngest son Joel and one of his friends, Cory Mortensen.  I knew Cory’s parents and had some affiliation with him before our Scouting encounter, but to me he was really just another 12 yr old who we were trying to get to Eagle before he turned eighteen (made it when he was 14).
A few years earlier, because of a calling in the bishopric and later work I did as YM president, I became acquainted with an energetic, excitable, never stop talking, speed speaker named Ellice Tan.  For a time she had quite a crush on Joel and made it a point to be in our circle whenever he was around. She got over Joel but never slowed her speech pattern (I often had to remind her my ears were old and couldn’t conjugate as fast as she was spewing). 
I mention these two because today we had a sacrament meeting with both as our main speakers.  Since we no longer have “Missionary Farewells”, we make it a point to hear a last message from the departing missionaries as they are about to leave for their field of service.

Both were assigned topics and we requested they take approximately 15 minutes each to share their feelings and testimonies.  Knowing both, as I do, my fear was that we might have one of those meetings that extended past the one hour ten minute limit we try to enforce.  In fact, I had already warned my counselor who was conducting to not announce my comments for fear there might not be time.

No need to worry!!!  Ellice, who could barely tell us what she had for breakfast in less than 15 minutes, took a total of nine for her message.  She also decided that her friends, who were supposed to provide a musical number, weren’t really ready to share so they didn’t come prepared to sing. Then Cory followed up with a whopping 8 minute sermon, leaving a large void for someone to cover. 

The Stake President had no interest in talking so I was left with 20+ minutes before the meeting should be ended.

What was to be done???

The Bishop stood, shared a few words, announced the closing song and ended the meeting at a quarter to the hour.  (You see, I know that the President likes short meetings and wouldn’t be concerned if we left early.)
Lesson learned.

Don’t trust young people who talk a lot to fill your meeting because they panic and talk even faster than normal.  And don’t be afraid to end early if things don’t go as planned.

It was a good meeting and both will be wonderful missionaries.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Secret Ambition

I know that I just posted an entry but there was one other thing I forgot to mention.  Recently my eldest daughter (who is also my youngest and most beautiful) mentioned to me that the Deseret News was looking for people to write some things for them as they began a change in their format.  She had applied and been readily accepted, receiving several assignments almost immediately.  She suggested that since I like to write it might be fun to apply and see if they would be interested in my talents (as feeble as they may be)
For some time there has been a niggling thought in the back of my mind, urging me to expand my writing outside the current venues I am using.  SOOOOO, I went to the page where application can be made and followed all the directions with the assurance (in my own mind) that success would be had.  The easiest part was taking a few facts about a world event and organizing them so they would make sense to someone who was not aware of the things that had happened (mine was about the floods in Pakistan).  Not only was I able to produce a lucid and flowing article, but the story written was much more compact than required by the instructions.  As I pressed send for the transmittal of my credentials, I was confident that there would be an immediate reply suggesting that I had been remiss for waiting so long to offer my expertise.
One week passed and there was no response.  Of course, I reasoned, that is because they were so busy sorting through the thousands of applications received.  Patiently, I waited and envisioned the great things I would write as the world was enlightened by the musings of my mind.  When a second week had passed I began to wonder what kind of knuckleheads were running the program.  After all, how could they not rush the request for my talents back so I could get started on my new career as a member of the Press?  Ah, but not to worry!  After nearly three weeks, there was a message in my e-mail that signified the desire this grand company had for the labors of my fingers and mind.  The words went something like this:
Dear Loser Writer:
You have the worst style of writing we have ever seen.  It is amazing to us that you can compose a sentence that is intelligible, coherent, or even readable.  Please understand that we never want to hear from you again.  We mean it!!!  In fact, if you ever consider writing to us again, we want you to know that we will file a court injunction and sue you for everything you own.  What ever made you think anyone would want to read the mish-mash you write.  LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And in case you didn’t understand, we hate your writing style, we despise the message you are trying to communicate and we hope that you will be banned from any blog, e-mail account, or other writing medium that is part of this mortal life. 
XXXXXXXXX (name redacted to protect the guilty)
As you might imagine, this was not the greeting I was expecting.  It seems all those years of writing in my journal and composing witty letters to my children, students and other teachers had been wasted.  And can I ever justify writing in my blog (where some poor unsuspecting victim might be assaulted by my words) again when I might be the harbinger of pain and incomprehensible anguish. 
What a terrible blow to my ego and my desire to become a true writer.  But I do have this one consolation.  Though I may not have the talent and skill necessary to find my way to fame and glory, MY DAUGHTER does.  Not only has she been accepted to the elite levels offered by the Deseret News but she has had two, (2), dos, deux, of her articles printed in the on-line version of Mormon Times.  You can go Here to see the first and right here to see the second.  Hurray for Melissa!!
The moral of this story is:
If you can’t become good at something, make sure your children can and live off their glory and fame.  So far it’s working for me.  How are you doing.
BTW, I wonder if my chances would be better if I submitted another application under an assumed name like Michael DeMoux.  Maybe I will try that!!!???!!!  I’ll show them to turn me away.

P/T and ECR

Parent/Teacher conferences at the Jr. High tonight so I have a little time to put something out on the blog. 

Maybe not!!  Just had a run of parents that took nearly an hour.  Usually there aren’t that many who come but this year seems to be different.  I do have a great group of kids and I am enjoying the goodness they bring to our class.

Now for a little about the state of the family.

Last weekend we took our annual trip to East Canyon Resort and had everyone there but Josh and Heather (Josh had a business meeting in San Francisco and Heather went with him…the babies stayed with Heather’s mom for a few days).  We had three condos and plenty of exciting activities (see attached photos).

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Katie learning to golf                                                                         Shuffleboard with little folk

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The Pool was really nice                    DeMoux’s in the wilderness

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The four little ‘outlaws’                             Ellie practicing the crab walk

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Brothers in the “Troll House”                   Bryce making a great shot



From time to time I get a little grumpy about the cost and inconvenience of owning a time-share but weekends like this remind me why we put up with the hassle.

These are days the kids will always remember and they really charge the old folk back up so we can endure a little more of the struggles that lie ahead.

Thanks to my sweetheart for keeping me (and our family) grounded in reality and eternity.


Grandma with Baby Emma

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

End of Summer Report

This will be short but I don’t want anyone to think I have forgotten to make any entries.  Most of my time, lately, has been taken up with projects--

We finished the crypt (well, sort of) and have moved some things down into the room.

Brian and Paula bought a new house so we have been painting with them.

School started last week and it takes a while for my body to get acclimated (translation: I am tired a lot).

Late summer allergies seem to have turned into a cold (or something worse) and I am feeling miserable.

Other than that, my life is going well and I am happy as a clam (though I can’t see how a clam could be very happy, all cooped up in the little shell thing all the time).  Things will always be better but they are pretty good now.