Thursday, January 19, 2012

OOOOO, Politics

I have avoided this topic because it is so polarizing.  Sometimes it can even affect the way people treat one another.

With the primary elections going on in the Republican Party, it seems like a good time to come out of the weeds and offer a few observations.
(BTW, while I am more inclined toward the Republican’s message, I am not one who votes solely on party affiliation.)

My wife and I have watched a few of the debates on the different venues and have come to some conclusions concerning the candidates.

1.    Mitt Romney looks and acts the most presidential—he will probably receive our support in the coming election

2.  Rick Santorum seems to be a good man and wants to do the right thing – we would have no problem voting for him

3.  Ron Paul and his Libertarian ideas are not palatable to us – too crazy with all the war, drug, etc. ideas

4.    Rick Perry doesn't express himself very well – he seems to be a slightly slower and less committed Bush (and this morning he dropped out of the race)

5.  Newt Gingrich is a snake and cannot be trusted – his morals and deceit are too much to ignore

Many disagree, and that is the greatness of this country and the political process.  We are blessed to have a God given constitution that, while not perfect, is much better than anything else offered in the world (think of Egypt, Russia, Pakistan, Venezuela, Cuba, China, etc.).

Much of what happens here is “rough and tumble” politics but it NEVER degrades (or at least not yet) into violence that costs human lives.  I wish it were different but the way has evolved to this and unless we have people who choose another path, it is what will be done.

My respect for Mitt Romney has grown as he has attempted to make the discussion more about the difference between himself and Obama but even he has slipped as of late.  Unfortunately, if one candidate begins with the mudslinging, all feel they have to respond in kind. 

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just be shown the differences, in a quiet and considerate way, and be allowed to make a choice?  How refreshing it would be if most (there are some who really seem to want to help) candidates were interested in the welfare of the people instead of looking for ways to accumulate more power for themselves and their followers (or handlers as the case may be).

I am reminded of Alma the Younger as he served as the first Chief Judge for the Nephites (see Alma 4).  After only a few years, he recognized that the spiritual welfare of the people was much more important that the political challenges he faced.  His love for people and country caused him to resign his office in government and focus the rest of his life on the spiritual needs of those he served. 

Would that we had more people like that in our midst so that we might be protected and guided by love of man and not love of power.

Choosing wisely is often difficult but if we focus on the long term needs of our nation, I believe that we will make decisions that will benefit our children and grandchildren for centuries to come. 

Please be involved and please do not let the vocal minority destroy what the majority needs and wants.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Some days are more special than others so we call them ‘Landmark’ days.  We recently had one with our young grandson Parker.

Parker’s birthday is the day before Christmas.  You might think that his mother (birthday also in December) would have made a greater effort to protect from the curse she hated.  Ah, but that is for another story.

So on the first Saturday in January, the family gathered and witnessed a ‘landmark’ day in the life of a young man who has been a real joy to all of our family.
Parker and his proud Papa.

This little boy (oops) fine specimen of manhood is growing up to be a fine son of God.  We love him and know that he will accomplish much in his wonderful life.

Congratulations Parker – we love you!!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Deceit

Christmas is over and life is trending back to normal.  Here are a few thoughts and experiences that made this Christmas memorable.

On Christmas day we were able to talk to Joel again.  He is doing well and only has a few weeks left in his mission.  He’s trying to not get excited about coming home but these things are always hard.  We are anxious to have him back…….mostly.  Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be cheaper to let him continue for another couple of years.  But we are glad he is happy and teaching and serving faithfully.

Our family party was excellent, with great food, pleasant company and the roar of 13 little grandkids echoing off the walls of our “casa vieja.”  Who knew the power and joy these tiny (well, some aren”t really tiny anymore) souls can bring to our family.  Thanks to our kids for doing their part to perpetuate the family tree. J

I tried to be tricky this Christmas and it backfired on me. 
Teresa and I decided we would not get presents because we are going to Arizona for my parents 50th anniversary celebration.  Our present was the tickets and stuff for the trip.
Mom and Dad when they came to Utah earlier this year.

But I decided I would be sneaky and get her a little something – usually she is the one doing that but I was pretty sure she would play it straight.  So I got a few books and some clothes and little things and put them under the tree.  She was delighted and I felt great cause I had done what she has done so many years before.

The afternoon of Christmas we had all the kids over for dinner and to talk to Joel so it was a crazy time.  When things were done on the phone, the kids put a box in my lap and said it was a present for me.  I thought it was something from them and thought maybe they had gotten together to do something nice.

The box was wrapped in a whole roll of duct tape and they wanted me to take it off, piece by piece, but I decided to cut it with a knife.  When I opened the box I saw one of the pillows off my bed in the top of the box.  Very strange!! 

Underneath was an old briefcase that had seen better days.  I didn’t want to be rude so I tried to act excited and took it out to examine it.  Beneath it was a NEW pillow that I was glad to see, but the briefcase had me perplexed. 

(Why would my kids get me an old briefcase for a Christmas present?  I don’t even use a briefcase anymore.  This is really strange.)

Josh (or someone) said “Open it.” 

So I did and on top was a piece of purple poster board. 

When I pulled that off, this is what I saw.

All fives.

Now I was really perplexed.  What was this about?

One of the kids made a joke and said they had gotten the case from a drug dealer.  Maybe so!!

As I sat there, stunned into silence (yes, I had no idea what to say) I wondered why they would give me a briefcase full of money – they didn’t, it was from Teresa.

My first question was, “What is this for?”

As one, they said, “Look at the purple poster board you threw away.”

Taped to the top or board was a small little “Hot Wheels” truck (it didn’t look much like a truck ----------- Teresa said it was the only one they could find).
The Little Truck

Then I realized that my little sweetheart had beaten me again. 

Here, I thought I was going to win the “who cheated best on the Christmas gift” award!!!  Not this year (or probably any year in the coming century).

Thanks Teresa, for a wonderful surprise and for showing me I’m just not deceitful enough.

BTW, this is what that case full of money looks like now!!