Sunday, January 15, 2017

WE have had a great christmas break.  We surprised the kids with a trip to San Diego.  On Christmas morning we opened all of our presents and then we sent them on a little treasure hunt.  We put together some clues that rhymed which took them to the library where we had their luggage.  Then to Hyrum's room where we had some flip flops.  then to Tiffany's music room where we had 3 presents.  Marked When?, How?, and Where?  The first two were in boxes. For the When? we printed a calendar and marked the end of the month.  for the how Tiffany folded a paper airlplane which we put in the box.   For the Where we had them open a box that has a Eggo Waffle in it with the logo torn from the packaging and a cup of sand.  all of this on a cookie sheet.  We gave them instructions to our the sand on the Eggo.  It took them a while but eventually they got Sandy Eggo.  We left the morning of the 26th and came home very late on the 31st.  Temperature ranged from 65-85 degrees.  We went to Imperial Beach like we had before.  There were a lot of rains which meant we could not use the beach in Imperial.  The Mexican government will let their sewage drain into the rivers that bleed into the ocean.  When we have a good rain these river flush out into the ocean and contaminate the water.  We went to the beaches in La Jolla.  The beach was great btu the waves were much smaller than the ones we saw at Imperial.  We were able to give Emma and Eve some surfing lessons while at La Jolla.  They wiped out a lot but had a lot of fun.  By Wednesday they lifted the restriction around Imperial.  We rented wet suits for everyone and had a lot of fun at "our beach".  Mari and I went into the water very early that morning.  It was not yet 7:00 and we were hitting the waves.  Mari was fearless.  The waves were very large.  It did not take much to go far on a wave.  Were having fun on the waves for a little over an hour before the other came to join us.  I'm glad we had the wet suits.  the water was very cold.  by a little after lunch time the waves were much smaller and the tide was not coming in nearly as far.  We moved a little closer to the water and everyone took turns going back to our rental to shower and change and come back to the beach.  We sat in the sun for a few more hours.  It was in the mid 80s while it was in the mid 30s back home.  We went to the Mormon Battalion as visited with the sisters.  they were very talkative with the girls.  Tiffany thinks they were missing home due to Christmas.  We went to Ghirardelli's for some overpriced ice cream.  We went back to the Blue Fish and stood in line for over an hour to be seated.  We went there on the 31st.  they said they were busy due to the holiday.  We visited a few new places this time.  We went to a great taco shop where Hyrum got a lucidor mask.  I had a California burrito.  Fries, steak, shrimp . . . man it was good.  We went to iDesserts.  It was a dessert shop that used molecular biology in making desserts.  It was different.  Good, but very expesive.  About the same cost as Ghirardelli's but not as much food.  We went to a taco shop that was close to Imperial as got some Asada fries that were awesome.  the girls really wanted some Horchata. Every trip we go on the girls make a play list for us and one of the songs was about drinking horchata in December.  We went back a second time for good measure.  It was a fun vacation and hard to come home from.  Coming back to cold weather was hard to adjust.  I'm still not right yet

We ended the year at work with some tremendous momentum.  I have 2 month where everything went my way.  We had a large amount of money come in the door and everyone I talked to wanted my help which lead to a lot of production.  Every week I had big numbers.  I have a new boss so I'm bit concerned that I might be setting expectations too high.  It is another lesson of when you pray over what is important to you the Lord will bless you.  I had a very rough beginning of the year last year which lead to an underperfoming year.  This year has started with that same momentum.  I am convinved that the Lord means it when he sayd to cry over your flocks and your fields.  I have asked the family to pick up their prayer on behalf of my job and it has brought a great benefit.  Right now I feel like work is ok.  Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning.  Like I desperatly need to do something else but right now things are ok.  When I have times like I do right now I thinking I would be crazy to want to have a different job.  I know it is only a matter of time before I feel like I'm drowning again but right now things are good. 

While we were in San diego we got word that Lavell Edwards had died.  He was not doing well for some time.  I have not met him before but he was a large influence on me when I was younger.  It has been a rough year for my aged mentors.  We lost Scoutmaster Wally and BYU Coach Lavell.  Keith played under Lavell and was able to participate in the funeral services.

Mom and Dad are getting old.  We had Emma's last MTD performance they due as a musical review.  I'm very proud of Emma and how far she has come with her talents in this area.  I tried to help her when she was in 9th or 10th grade but she refused to sing in front of me.  She has come a long way.  the performance was awesome but Mom and Dad missed it.  They forgot which is common for us.  I don;t think they have come to a perforamnce for the older kids for 1.5-2 years.  they have not been to Hyrum's sports events.  To make it a bit worse Emma found out that while they were missing Emma's event they were having a fashion show with Rachael as she showed off her mission outfits. Emma has tried to be friendly with Rachel but she has gotten nowhere.  We keep hearing that Rachel is a wonderful girl but we would have no idea which is very common for Mark's family and the rest of us.  I don;t understand why that is.  I forced them over to our house before Lincoln left for the MTC and tried to create some memories with them and did not yield as much as I hoped for.  I think the kids are starting to notice a lack of attention.  We see on social media that they make it to many of the other cousins events.  They made it to Tiffany's orchestra Christmas performance.  Tiffany feels like they don't make as much of an effort as they should.  I think she forgot they came to her concert.  I have just come to accept it.  That is one reason why I did not want to have a large family.  When the grandkids come i didn't want to have so much going on that I can;t make most of what they do.  That is my hope anyway.  I also think that Tiffany is a bit upset that they have not been by to see her new kitchen.  I'm not sure how to handle it.  I think the other families visit mom and dad more than we do and maybe that is part of it.  they get more reminders for their events than for ours. 

We just started our basketball season for stake ball.  We are two weeks in and I'm already exhausted.  I'm not getting as much help as I thought I would with my new committee.  We have a few new additions to the committee.  I was hoping to be able to go to some of Hyrum's basketball games that are scheduled at the same time as the stake games.  So far that has not happened.  We don't have any conflicts going forward.  Eve is doing well with her games.  Their team had a run in with a parent that was a little too involved.  This mother came over a taunted the girls after a close loss.  Eve was not prepared and came home livid.  she was so angry she began to cry.  I remember taht feeling about the same age.  I don't think she will want to keep played basketball.  She does not like all the practices. It is fun to support her while she is wanting to participate. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Wand Names for Hyrum's Wizard Party



Smoke
Oak with dragon heart string center  -  The wood was rescued from a fire at the Keebler elf cookie factory.  During the creation of this wand it was infused with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon from the cookie making happening during the fire.  Name   -  KeebWeeb wand

Elderberry with a phoenix feather core.  This wand was created by a gnome who was playing with a magic book during a lightening storm.  He thought he was creating magic but really a lightening bolt struck his hovel and created this wand.  -  Name  -  Lightning Strike Wand

Elm with a Unicorn hair core.  This wand was created by the great Unicorn Vladimar who was sharpening his horn on an Elm tree.  The friction created a fire that Surprised Vladimar so much that he farted and created a bigger fire than before.  Name  -  Toot Methaune Wand

Oak with Dragon heart string – This wand was hand crafted by the great elf wizard Lego LutLut.  He was trying to create the best back scratcher and in doing so created a wand instead.  Irionically it is still a great backscratcher.  The strongest spell it casts is the scratch be gone spell  -  Name – Smokey Smokey Pokey Pokey wand

Pine with a Minotaur Booger core  -  This wand was made from a tree that the great Minotaur Spike collided with while fighting the massive troll Mungnut.  His face hit the tree so hard that it splintered into many fragments.  The largest fragment was crafted into a wand and has great power especially against trolls  -  Name  -  Boogey Spike Wand

Pine with House elf fingernail core  -  This wand was an carved from the great pine tree that was cut down to great the white house.  It has in it all the knowledge and power of past presidents and leaders on this nation.  It can be used to make those around you either wiser or dumber based on your command.  -  Name – I.Q. Tawssah Wand

MARI  -  Spruce with Gold and a Hair from the great Elf Queen Elsa  -  This wand was created when the Elf Queen Elsa threw a tantrum.  She was very made and sent burst of of light from her castle to the forest around.  One of the trees that caught on fire was a home a family of ice ferrets.  They scampered away safely but they left all the gold they had been piling in the tree.  This became the core of the wand.  Name – Elsa Wah Wah wand.

Elm with a Dragon heart string core  -  This wand was crafted by the great Olivander himself.  He was eager to get remove it from his shop due the odor it greatest.  During the making of this wand the crafty Weasely twin made a visit to the shop and drop a stink bomb in the workshop.  The stink bomb fused with the wand and now whenever a spell is made it releases and nasty smell and makes fart noises.  Very powerful wand but also very smelly.  Name  -  Tooty Toot Weasel Wand

Pine with a Golden grass core  -  This wand was handled by the great king Midas.  King Midas was cursed having everything he touched turn to gold.  He was running away from his angry girlfriend after accidentally turned her favorite pony into a gold statute.  While running away he tripped and while screaming touched his tongue top the grass outside the girlfriend’s house.  This made the gold extra pure.  The king commanded wands be made from the grass.  Great wand but might get you trouble with the ladies.  Name  -  Spit Git Wand

Elm with a Jedi Lightsaber core  -  This wand was an experiment from the Great Yoda himself.  He ws trying to find a way to magnify the power of the force.  He created the smallest lightsaber and crafted a wand around it.  This did not help him use the force but it did create an awesome wand.  This wand will help you make friends with the Jedi and know who is a Sith Lord without having to ask  -  Name  -  Luke, Give It a Try wand

Pine with a Tooth from a Jibber Jabber core  -  The Jibber Jabber are known as a group of people who can’t stop talking.  They always want to talk and they can only talk about themselves.  They are extremely annoying.  This wand is often used as a way to shut them up.  Instead of words coming out of their mouths they only hear a small baby cry coming out of their mouths.  This wand is also used to help   shy people talk more often.   Name-  -  No Talkie Talkie Wah Wah wand

Cherry with Unicorn hair core  -  This wand is a recycled wand.  It was last used to break into Gringots in an attempted robbery.  A large haggle of orcs stormed into Gringots and but were stopped by a large horde of goblins.  This wand was used by Steve the Orc who was very handsome for an orc and a very powered warlock.  He is not is Azakban sure a life sentence for his crime  -  Name  -  Steve the Wand

Elm with a Moutain Dew center  -  This wand moves very fast and is very jittery.  It slashes and moves so fast that most can’t see it.  It is great in making everything go faster or  move much slower.  Be careful to make sure it is pointed the right way.  -  Name  - Go Go Beh Go Go Wand

Oak with a Syrup core  -  this wand is normally very stick unless you use it correctly.  Casting a spell the wrong way will have you and those around you covered in sticky syrup.  You will be the hit and breakfasts but be careful all other times of the day.  -  Yum Sticky yum yum wand

Sunday, December 4, 2016

We have survived the musical season at the high school.  Riverton high school performed Music Man.  Emma was a principle dancer and they let Mari play the part of Amaryllis.  Emma was fantastic as usual.  Mari had a few speaking lines and did a very good job.  We saw the show 6 times.  We went for a rehearsal to take pictures.  We aw it with the middle school and for each performance.  When I close my eyes all I hear is 76 trombones.  After the middle school performance Mari told me "I want to do this the rest of my life."   I think we have started something within her.  She is already looking for other shows to perform in.  Emma did great and we get to tease her now about her first kiss being a gay guy on a bridge.  She has been paired with the same guy for most dances and shows and he is openly gay.  It was very uncomfortable.  We had almost all of my family come to see the show and a lot of support from the Ward. 

Emma is starting to apply to all the local schools.  i thought she would make an attempt at applying to BYU but so far she is hoping she will get accepted into the U in their business and marketing program.  That is the only school she is excited about.  She is not applying to BYU.  i think she is wanting to go to Snow for a semester and then go on a mission.  After the mission she wants to go to the U.  We try not to talk to Tiffany about it.  Whenever we talk about Emma graduating Tiffany gets emotional.  It has not hit me yet.  I knew this was coming and I think I'm prepared.  Emma is enjoying her MDT experience but not her DECA experience.  She is not getting along with the other officers in DECA.  they are being catty and mean.  She will be considering resigning as the president if she can't find a way to make it work.  She was an officer last year and had a great experience.  This year has been different.  the advisors have not been much help with refereeing the officers.   We are trying to help her through this process and give her the best experience we can.

Eve has been having health problems for a while.  I was not aware of these concerns.  she has some stomach issues in the Summer that have not gone away.  We recently got her some help.  She went into to see a lady doctor and the technician found a large cyst on one of her ovaries.  She went back in for another look and the cyst is not there.  I think the first technician made a mistake.  She saw a GI specialsist and they found a blockage.  She is on some medicine that has made her weekend a challenge to enjoy.  they are trying to clean her out.  She has been in consistent pain and this medicine seems to make it worse.  We are hoping she will be able to get better soon.

Hyrum has started basketball again.  Since he has not been in football it is taking him a while to get his athletic feet under him.  I'm starting to get organized with the Stake league.  We have more teams than we have had in the past.  It will make the scheduling more challenging than in the past.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Smoked some ribs yesterday so I'm in a happy place. 

This past weekend was a catch up weekend.  We finished the base boards and moved all the furniture back.  Tiffany is feeling better having the home back as it is supposed to be.  Emma and her friends used the basement to create a massive blanket fort.  They were planning to watch a movie but instead gabbed and ate some cookie dough.  They seemed to have fun.  Emma has been very stressed about the musical.  She feels a need to watch over all of Mari's needs with the musical forgetting that she is not a mom yet.  Tiffany and I have not been doing much with Mari for the musical becasue we have not known what was needed.   We are now helping Mari with her lines and costumes.  We hope this will help Emma.  What we really need to for Emma to communicate better.  We are trying to help her there.

Eve has been chosen to participate in recording a song for the new Youth Theme for 2017.  She spent the day yesterday in Provo recording the song.  She has her cello, a viola, and 2 violins.  She did not try out for the song.  She offered to participate and the composer "Facebook stalked" Eve and Tiffany and felt comfortable having Eve participate.  she will be filming the music video next Saturday which means she will shopping all week for the perfect look.


Sunday Observation

Heavenly Father want us to be happy.  We try to read scripture as a family every day but it does not always work out.  When it does not work out for us we quote and article of faith or a scripture we have memorized,  All I have do to is start the family and they will finish the verse.  One of the favorites is "Adam fell that man might be, and men are that they might have joy."  Our father wants is best for us.  His view is often times long term.  We want immediate happiness but sometimes we are meant to struggle.  I think of two examples with different calling Tiffany has had that were challenging.  I think of when she was called to be the Primary Pianist when she had not played the piano consistently since she was in Middle School.  She would practice many times during the week and then play on Sunday.  On Sunday the Primary kids were very honest in the appraisal of Tiffany's talents.  She kept trying to get better and did a great job.  Every time I hear her play the piano I remember that experience.  I would often times hear her play and turn off the TV to listen to her practice.  the other example was her experience with our Ward YW Presidency.the gals she worked with were great but younger than Tiffany.  many of them had small children around the same age.  They would not include her in things and started to develop a click in the Presidency.  Many of the women in the leadership felt isolated.  These younger women got the attention for the YW.  the Presidency was not following the handbook.  The YW as a whole were not unified.  Is caused Tiffany a lot of stress.  She had to learn to get over her concerns and find joy in what she had control over.  She eventually did and got released because she was called into the Stake YW Presidency.  She is loving her calling in the Stake and hopes it will last for a long time.  So do I.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mom and Dad's Tribute to Wally Rupp

Our Wally Rupp Memories
(Can't let Wally's passing go by and not post our thoughts. This is long and if you aren't mourning Wally you may choose not to read this.)
We moved in to our first home in 1970. We had 3 three year olds (Mark, Christie and Carrie) and Matthew was 1 1/2 years old. The subdivision was built on the Mackay farm who had sold it to a developer. It was obvious to us new comers that the locals were not to happy to have these starter homes filling up their backyard. But Wally said he didn't like chicken farming anyway but he did get a bit upset when some of the new comers tried to fill in his irrigation ditch. "These stupid kids don't understand water rites"

We were all endeared to those blue eyes and that premature gray hair and it wasn't long before we knew the whole family and learned to love that elegant Gloria and wondering how that Wally ever talked her in to marrying him. It was obvious she adored him but she was always trying to temper that Rupp reputation we kept hearing about.

We had three tricycles for our 3 three year olds and one day all the back wheels went missing,. We couldn't imagine what had happened to those wheels. A few days later two little boys showed up with a old red wagon full of wheels. They were asking if any of the wheels belonged to us. Wally was standing there looking rather fierce as we talked to the kids. Seems someone wanted to build a go cart and needed some wheels. Wally was not smiling one bit.

We were assigned a new home teacher, Wally Rupp. The kids loved Wally throwing them down the stairs and catching their foot just before they sailed off bringing them back to safety. That was only the boys and when the twins tried to get a turn he told them he didn't play with dumb girls. That didn't stop the girls from vieing for his attention and they loved going on "girl hikes" with Wally at girls camp. He still called them dumb girls and they ate it up.

He was the scout master and Mark looked forward to turning 11 yrs old so he couold be a part of the 745 troup. I remember Mark's first 50 miler as he walked out of our circle hauling his backpack over to Wally's. As he walked away from us all we could see were these little legs from the knees down and this huge backpack. I didn't want to let him go but wally assured me he would keep him safe. When he returned we asked him about all the rumors of initiation etc. and all he would say was that it was a great time and he couldn't wait till next time. None of our boys would tell us what went on at the 50 miler. But as far as we knew they always returned safe and sound with an increase in confidence and the ability to solve their own problems.

Once when I worked with the Laurels in "MIA" I was just arriving and 3 boys come blasting out of the church on a dead run. They went right over the hood of Wally's truck jumping into the back with Wally right behind them. Wally leaped into the back of the truck and grabbed those kids by the hair and through them out of the truck telling them he never wanted to see them again (in so many words). Farrell was bishop at the time and the boys came from inactive families. I worried that they would never come to church again but the next week they were back fully engaged in Wally's troop.
The phone rang quite late one Saturday night and when Farrell answered it a voice said, "Where the hell is Moses, I can't find him anywhere." Seems Wally was trying to prepare the lesson for the Deacon's Quorum and was looking for the Book of Moses and couldn't find it.

All of our sons were prepared to be eagle scouts by their Scout Master, Wally. He was organized and if you started with him at age 11 you would have your Eagle by age 14 but you had to work at it. We watched our boys work through those merit badges one at a time, go to classes when Wally told them to get to the library this day for your merit badge class. All 5 of our sons recieved their Eagle because Wally made it a priority for them. He accepted no excuses and we watched as our boys learned what was meant by that Scout Oath. I think Wally always kept an element of fear in those boys but they never doubted that he loved them and would do anything for them.

I was attending a meeting in the boardroom at LDS hospital one day. In came a good friend who was the director of social work. I told him he was looking rather tired was he ok? He said he was the Scout Master for his ward and had just got home from the 50 mile hike and he was tired. I asked him if it was worth it and he said, "Oh yes, it was a great time and just happened to meet the Greatest Scout Master of all time on the trail while we were hiking."
I said, " Oh really, was that Wally Rupp?
He looked at me surprised and said, "Yes, how did you know?
Well, for me Greatest Scout Master and Wally Rupp was a no brainer. He then went on saying he had heard so much about this legendary scout master and he finally got to meet him. It is true Wally was pretty famous.

We heard a rumor once that Wally told his bishop (his brother) to make him the Scout Master and then just leave him alone and not ask him to do anything else. We are so glad that he was the scout master for all our boys.

These last years we could always count on getting a hug every Tuesday morning at the temple from Wally - smiling from ear to ear - always so glad to see us.

We love the Rupp family and have many memories of Wally, Gloria and all 9 of those kids. Great memories, sweet memories, really happy memories. Farrell has some choice memories that he can't necessarily share as he was their bishop and those memories will forever be dear to him.
I will miss my proverbial hug from MY Wally, I can't help shed a a tear as I think of how many of our memories are linked to Wally and the Rupp family.

So Steve,Larry Rupp, Darrell Rupp, Carl,Lyle, Norm, Gordon, Aaron and Gayle Rupp Black we love you. We are sad that we were not there to celebrate his wonderful life. We are in Africa for a season thinking we will never see a flag wave that we won't think of our Wally. You see you have to share him with all of us because we love him too, we will also miss him.
We are so so glad we have had the Rupps in our circle of friends for many years.
Farrell and Marilyn Barlow
We had a good Birthday.  Eve and I have been celebrating our birthdays together since she was born. I prayed for her to be born on either mine or Tiffany's birthday just to make it all convenient.  She was born on mine.  When she was about 4 years old I began to understand what it will mean to share a birthday with one of my daughters.  Everything with pink and glittery for about 8 years.  It has not been nearly as colorful the last few years.  For my birthday Tiffany took me to Top Golf.  She beat me soundly.  Top Golf is a gold driving range that has targets.  All you need to do is get the ball to a target.  not necessarily the target you were aiming for. We played three games and she beat me each game.  We then went to R&R BBQ for lunch.  I can do better.  We then went to a movie to watch Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  It was a very bizarre movie.  We did not make it all the way through the movie. That night I watched a BYU v Mississippi State football game.  It was a home game.  Eve did not want to go because she was having a birthday party the next day.  I did not feel like we could go and have her watch Mari on her birthday so we all stayed home.  It was a double OT game. It did not end until about 1:00 in the morning.  The next day Eve through a Quinceanera.  Her friends were convinced she needed to do this and would do everything needed for the party.  They did not.  Eve seemed to have fun.  they had the party in doors which became very loud.  I buried myself in the basement and watched some football and baseball until it all went away.
 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Rough week at work.  Our manager had moved on to a new role so we are having a change there.  They laid off 15 managers this week.  Most of them will have an opportunity to move somewhere else in Fidelity but not in management.  they want to increase the number of reps per team and take some of the responsibly away from managers to work on projects.  they want them to manage.  I struggle with how most of the managers are coached to manage at Fidelity.  I'm not looking forward to this.  They are likely not going to back fill our manager and instead blow our team up across the remaining three managers.  We lost a few reps in the last few weeks due to poor performance.  A few more will likely follow them.  We have heard more about how the changes to the laws of the Department of Labor will effect us.  Most roles will change dramatically.  We will not be comped the same.  I hope my current skill set will translate over to whatever the new rules could offer.  My not getting that FILI role is starting to sink in and I'm bummed about it.  all these concerns could have been avoided if I got that job.  We are in a new quarter so we have to start from a clean slate and get new results.  That is always stressful.  The feeling at work is not optimistic.  It is like there is a cloud hanging over all of us.  I'm trying to be positive and promote postivity among everyone but I feel myself slipping in whatever funk I have had problems with recently.