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. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Funny family night tonight.  Hyrum gave a lesson he was very excited to give.  He asked us to write down detailed instructions on how to make a PBJ sandwich. We all wrote down the instructions we thought he needed.  I knew he was only going to do what we told him to. Knowing this I thought I would get creative and see how committed he was to following the instructions to exactness.  The girls gave some instructions but never got the bread out of the bag.  Tiffany gave him instructions that successfully made a PBJ sandwich and cleaned up after himself.  I provided the follow instructions.

1) Open the bread bag
2) Take out two pieces of bread
3) Place the bread in front of you
4) Open PB jar
5) Use knife to scoop out PB
6) Spread PB evenly over one piece of bread
7) Smack yourself in the face with PB side of bread
8) Open jelly jar
9) Use knife to scoop out jelly
10) Jam as much jelly up your nose as possible
11) Shake your head like a wet dog
12) Take non PG bread in hand
13) Toss bread at your sisters head

Needless to say we have PB and jelly all over Tiffany's new kitchen.  I was in tears I was laughing so hard.  The girls were not amused as they got both pieces of bread thrown at them.  I will hold Hyrum shaking his head "like a wet dog" as a fantastic memory for a while.
I attened the funeral of Wally Rupp on Friday.  He was in his late 80s.  It is always hard to lose a mentor.  I learned a lot from him and measured a lot of men by what he did.  He was a colorful Mormon.  The first time I remember ever being sworn at was by him.  We have a picture of him and all my brothers with our eagle neckerchiefs.  I feel like I'm required to give back to young men due to my experience with Wally.  I can think of 4 other men from the 20th Ward I consider as mentors.  Bishop Daniels.  Bishop Porter. Keith Rupp. Mark Olsen.  Mark was the YM President when I was a Priest.  President Rupp was the Stake President in Dad's first time in the Stake Presidency.  I was struggling to get an adult to go Home Teaching with me.  I was attempting to set appointments and get the adult to go.  It didn't work too well.  Dad heard about it and asked that I get someone who will go and I was assigned to be a companion with President Rupp.  We visited all the old people in the Ward.  We would talk about all the aches and pains they were experiencing and then he would turn the lesson over to me.  It was good to have a partner who was willing to go.  I learned a lot from President Rupp.  Whenever Dad needed to do some service for his families he took me.  I was never his companion so I think he felt that I needed to have some hands on experiences with him.  We would mow lawns, clean homes, and do whatever was needed.  I never minded hard work so it was easy to go with him.  I found that he purchased a few rooms worth of carpet for a few of his families.  He did a lot of things like that and we never heard about it.  I paid for many from my rec basketball team.  I did not know about this until I was much older.

Wally's funeral was great.  He has had two of his boys earn the Silver Beaver award for scouting.  his sons told many stories about his life.  how he was a simple farmer and married a very educated woman.  Gloria was awesome.  She passed away many years ago.  It was good an awkward to meet some of the old friends from the 20th Ward.  most of them were very interested in talking to Tiffany but not necessarily me.  I'm fine with that and I thought it was funny. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

We were able to go see Rachel open her mission call.  She is going to Barcelona, Spain.  We are all very excited for her.  We recently have had a few interactions with her where she has opened up a bit.  It has always been a challenge to get her to say a few words to our family, especially Emma.  they were very tight when they were younger but eventually grew apart.  She is a great girl but we have no idea who she is.  Since her High School experience had ended it feels like she is opening a bit more to us.  Lincoln was a challenge too.  Samantha has always been able to be with our family like she belongs.  I have worked on Lincoln for many years and the last few years I've been able to get through but not with Rachel.  That feels like it has been changing.

We have had a weekly call from Mom and dad while they were in Africa.  We have been able to use Skype to video conference.  It has been good to chat.  they have been very interested in how our kitchen has been progressing.  We have a working kitchen now.  We have our appliances installed.  we still need the finish work and back splash.  we are considering tdoing it ourselves or hiring it out.  I'm tired of spending money.

I did not get the job in FILI I was hoping for.  They hired two people how have done the job before.  They had twos pots and hired one of them quickly after they finished interviews.  The other they took 3 weeks to get back to us. After a week of waiting I was told I was still being considered for the job.  It was between me and one other candidate.  The other candidate has had the job before and was currently without a job.  I consider it an act of mercy that I did not get the job.  If he did not get the job he would be unemployed.  I was offered to come to a few sales meeting the have and meet with the manager quarterly.  I guess it is a good sign.

We were able to take Hyrum to the temple for the first time.  We were trying to find a time when everyone could go with us to the temple but the older girls were too busy so Tiffany and I took him on friday after school.  The Jordan River temple was closed for two years for significant renovations so we went to the Oquirrh Mountain temple.  They wanted to make a big deal of the day for Hyrum so they called to see if a member of the temple Presidency was available to talk to him.  They sent the temple matron to talk with Hyrum.  She did a fantastic job.  She shared a story about a temple in Europe and how they have always been very concerned about making sure those going to the temple be dressed and clean when entering the temple.  If they are not prepared they could be sent away.  They noticed a group of men who were a little dirty and unshaven.  the Spirit told them to let these men into the temple.  they handed them temple recommends that were dirty and little dog eared.  They explained that they are in the military and have just landed from being in Afghanistan for many months.  Their temples recommends were on their bodies the whole tour.  They had just landed and felt like they could not wait and came directly from the airport to the temple.  The Temple Patron suggested we always have a recommend and feel some urgency to go to the temple.  Hyrum seemed touched by this.  I was able to baptism him and Tiffany was able to give him a towel when he got out of the water.  We went to Cold Stone when we were done and got some ice cream. 

We took almost the whole family to the BYU game.  BYU v Toledo.  We should have won by a lot but we barley beat them.  It has been a challenge this year.  new coaches, fans upset.  It has been hard being a fan this year.  we took everyone but Emma.  She had a party she wanted go to.  It was a late kick.  the game started at 8:15.  We did not get home until 1:15.  It was fun but I think wea re all paying the price.

We had a fantastic General Conference.  We just finished our kitchen so we spent most of the day loading the cupboards.  We made a tent like we normally do.  Tiffany and Eve made sweet-rolls in our new ovens.  I fixed us breakfast.  We smoked some ribs.  We had our wall of church leaders to post quotes on.  I took Hyrum to Priesthood session.  we sat next to Nate.  Keith and Matt and Dean decided to go some place else for the session.  We went over to Mom and Dads for ice cream.  Carrie, Kim and our family and kids were there.  John and Angela showed up after we got there and visited a bit.  Rachel was very talkative which was great.  Angela cornered her and in Angela's usual way got a bit loud and overbearing.  I hope it didn't chase Rachel away.  Conference was overall a good experience.  Now it is back to the grind.  We will take the next few weeks to watch conference in place of scripture study to try to soak up whatever we missed this weekend.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

It has been a challenge to find time to write in this journal.  Our laptop went out and we have been a one computer family.  A lot has happened.  Hyrum has been ordained to a Deacon.  He was very prepared.  I had attempted to be as prepared as possible.  It was great having Hyrum in priesthood opening exercises.  While we were in opening exercises Tiffany came and pulled me out of the meeting.  Tiffany's step dad had a accident in the bathroom at the church.  He had messed himself and all his clothes.  he did not make it to the bathroom in time.  The bathroom smelled horrible.  I attempted to help him but there is not much I could do.  I went from that to hyrum's ordination.  I hope it went well.  I was not as focused as I wanted to be.  hyrum passed the sacrament the next week.  We reviewed what he is representing and he took it very seriously.  He has a new tie and a pocket square for church today.

Emma was in powderpuff again.  She was on a good team again this year.  We was attempting to handle powederpuff, DECA meeting, musical auditions all in the same week.  She somehow found time.  Her powderpuff team won the championship this year.  Their is a running joke from the high school saying that her "Queen Bees" yellow team might be the only football team to have a win on that field this year. 

Emma had suggested that hyrum and Mari audition for the high school musical.  Hyrum was reluctant which caused me to pause and wonder why we are paying for voice lessons if he did not want to use them in a show of some kind.  Mari was very excited about trying out.  She made it back to a few call backs.  Emma didn't which put her in an uncomfortable situation of having a younger sibling getting called back and she did not.  Mari is cased as Amaryllis is the show.  She has a few lines and sings a duet.  She is very excited.  Mom and Dad wished this was not happening while they were in Africa.  We will take a lot of pictures.  Somebody normally takes a video.

We are in football season.  Tiffany normally starts the season feeling like she likes football and then is wanes over time.  It might be different this year with our family doing no sports.  We had a big football game last week.  The BYU v Utah Rivalry game.  Eve has started to take her fandom personally.  It was a very close game/  With our kitchen being ripped out our yelling echoed and made us louder.  It was very close towards the end.  Eve made us stop the game and say a prayer. She watched the fourth quarter from outside.  she watched in through the screen door.  BYU lost at the last second by attempting a 2 point conversion that did not work.  Eve was an emotional mess.  She blames me for getting her emotional connected to a team.  I told her it will only get worse.

I had applied for a new job in FILI assisting my role in completing annuity tickets.  I found out late on Friday that I did not get the job.  The process took 3 weeks.  There were a lot of rumors about why it took so long.  It sounded like they were trying to get someone who worked in that group to come back.  I was not their first choice.  I have been told doing what I do at the level I have been doing it makes me special.  I guess I'm not special enough.  I want to find a role that will help in having more growth than I currently have.  I feel a need to do something new but once you get to my level on the sales side we don't have a lot of options. We have law changes taking effect next year which will make my current job a lot harder.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Felt very blessed again today.  I have started praying before my 2 hours of inbound to try and increase the opportunity that might come.  I had another big day.  I have about $1.8M in opportunity today.  I have a scheduled interview for the FILI job next week and I have mixed emotions.  The last few weeks I have been reminded of why I like my job.  I can;t do it forever though. 

We started the floor refinishing today.  We will need to move out of the house for a few days.  They want us to remove the cabinets and sinks.  I'm concerned about how Tiffany will do without a sink for 3-4 weeks.  We will find out soon enough.

It is starting to feel like Fall.  I love the Fall.  the harvest, football, change of the season.  We will be canning soon.  the air will start to turn crisp.  I hope we get a longer Fall than normal. 

I attempted to help emma with her Math tonight.  This year she has a text book which will be very helpful.  I still struggle with the Math.  I often thought I would retire early and teach Math at a High School.  I'm starting to reconsider.  Maybe I'm not good at math. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

I went into work like usual today.  We still have not purchased a car for emma.  I think I feel too poor due tot he remodel.  We need to get her a car.  until Tiffany begins Orchestra Emma gets my car and I get driven to the train.  I catch the Frontrunner in Draper and it lets me off almost on the doorstep of work.  Before my first appointment I get a text from Tiffany saying the floor guys want to fix our floor this morning.  We just got the painting done and thought we had another week before he needed to remove the cabinet.  We also needed to get the dishwasher moved.  I finished my first appointment and cancelled the rest for the day and took the day off.  Tiffany was able to get Mari and Hyrum to help her move the cabinet before I got home..  they seemed to enjoy it.  tiffany had asked for help on facebook to remove the dishwasher.  We stopped to get lunch from Wendy's as a reward for the kids and before we got home we had a neighbor Tom Allen ( or Allum) came over and was working on the dishwasher.  He is a handy man and was taking the dishwasher apart.  It was far more involved than I thought it would be.  What took him 30 min would have taken me 3 hours.  I came home for no reason.  tiffany told me when she dropped me off at the train that she had nothing planned to day but to get the house straightened.  She has struggled with the house being in disarray.  She was hoping to create some order.  With her afternoon free I thought she would wait until tomorrow to start the cleaning.  After lunch she went at the work she had wanted to do.  this has left her extremely tired.  She has always been a very hard worker.  I would have helped her if I had known she was working on the home.  I went to the basement and tried to sleep and ended up watching super hero movies woith Hyrum.  We played a few video games. 

Tiffany has an increasing concern that she will turn out like her mother.  She struggles with her relationship with her mom.  I think her Mom still thinks of her as her little girl and has not found a way to adapt to the ever evolving relationship.  the girls have started to notice it also.  She talked to Emma and eve like they are little kids.  I keep trying to help Tiffany see she has complete control over this.  If she wants to have a relationship with her kids as adults she will need to adapt.  I don't feel like this is a legit problem for her but she still gets concerned. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

this has been an exhausting week.  We are still working on our remodel and this week was painting.  We needed to paint out ceiling and walls.  I don't do so well working over my head.  I don't know if it is a lack of arm strength but I struggle.  After work each day this week we worked on painting until it was time for bed.  I don't do well will little down time.  I feel like I'm soft for needing the down time but I do.  I was painting the ceiling while Eve was having an end of Summer party.  I'm sure it looked weird us having no drapes and me painting the ceiling.  Tiffany painted the kitchen in the morning and I tackled the family room while she was at a Stake meeting.  My back was killing when I was done but we got it finished.  the rest of the week was painting the walls which is much easier and I don't mind it so much.  I was able to watch/listen to the Olympics while I painted.  I have always enjoyed the Olympics so it has been a good distraction.  The painting is done and it looks good.  now we can have the floor guy do his job.  we need to find a place to be for 3-4 days while they do what they do.  We were hoping we could do the floor in the Summer and go to the cabin.  I will be done in September.  Grandmother found out we need a place and is expecting us to move in with her.  We'll see.  Jennie lives with her now and I don't want to intrude.

I attempted to help Mari with a wart she has had for about a year.  She has a wart on her hand that does not respond to treatment.  I had a wart years ago that I removed with a knife.  I carved at it until it was gone.  No blood and inside there were these black seeds.  I was hoping to help Mari and she is very concerned about having it gone before school starts.  I took a pin to it to see if it was tender and it was not.  I took a knife to it and it bled a bit but it did not hurt.  I eventually gave up.  I could not see what I was doing.  I think I might try to order some new treatments online and hope it helps her.

Today we had our back to school blessings.  It is always a special experience for me to provide that for my family.  I am still concerned about Emma.  She is wanting so much from her school experience that is not happening.  She wants a core group of friends but she keeps seeking it in areas that she can;t seem to get it.  She tries to break into these strong selective clicks.  She has many friends and everyone seems to know her.  She seems to be well liked but she struggles to get the results she wants to have.  I have often thought that she would do better in College.  she seems to be a bit advanced for the friends she has in school.  She is considering scholarships, a major and a career path.  Most of the other kids are more concerned about their high school distractions.  Emma has always been like this.  As her father I love it but I think it hampers her social life at times.  I can;t be prouder of her.  she has grown and developed skills that I was surprised to see.  She has gone from not being able to sing in front of us to singing at the wrong time in social scenarios.  She has a bog year ahead of her and I'm confident she will figure it all out.  I hope she gets the results she is hoping for.  I hope she feels our relationship allows us to have an open discussion about her concerns.  She very often will attempt to solve all her problems herself.  I wish she would share more so we might be able to provide direction.  Tiffany and I see the world very differently so our suggestions often are different.  Between us we should be able to provide something of value. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Felt very blessed the last two days.  I have been struggling at work so far this year.  I started asking the kids to pray for their dad while he is at work.  I have a short opportunity each week to take calls that come in the company.  this can be a great opportunity for large cash flows into Fidelity that I can get in front of.  Sometime this inbound yields nothing but other times there can be a few good leads we get.  Yesterday I prayed in the morning I would have a lot of opportunities to work with.  I prayed before my 2 hour block I was given I would get some good leads.  My 2 hour block had a lot of great opportunity.  I was able to get in front of about 2 million dollars which can be as much as I see in a whole month.  This is not the first time this has happened.  When I feel like I need help at work I ask the kids to pray for there dad and normally things turn around in a hurry.  I fully belive the Lord wants us to pray over our fields, our homes, etc.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I have not been able to log into this journal for a few months.  I keep meaning to try something new to get access.  Finally I realized what I needed to do.  A lot has happened since I last had an entry.  I'll try to recap what has been happening.

We are entering Emma's last year of school.  Soon she will be on a mission and off to whatever adventures she has a head of her.  She is very determined to go on a mission.  She will doing MDT again next year.  It has been fun to see her have more confident with her talents.  she has gone from not being able to sing in front of us to singing all the time.  It has impacted Hyrum.  We took hyrum to see some end of year plays at the High School.  I think he has had his mind opened to other possibilities.  He has decided he does not want to do football this Fall and instead has asked for voice lessons.  I didn't feel like I could force him to stay with football.  Because of his birthday he does not qualify to play with his friends.  he plays a year ahead and some of the kids are two yeas ahead of him in school.  I'm still trying to come to grips with it all.  Mari has decided she does not want to do sports any more and with Hyrum not playing football this will be the first Fall in about 10 years that I will not be coaching anything.  I'm ok with not coaching but I have a lot of time on my hands now.  Tiffany is very excited to have her Saturdays back.

The Summer has been very busy with camps.  It seems every week we have one of our kids off for a week.  The camp that sticks out is when Emma took her cousin Lauren to Oakcrest.  Lauren, having down syndrome, can't go to Oakcrest without a camp buddy to assist her.  Emma took her after she had already been to a camp 2 of the last three weeks.  She was very tired and I think not fully aware of what she had volunteered for.  Lauren would not have been able to go to the camp without Emma volunteering.  Once we got her home she broke down.  Exhausted, frustrated, and mentally strained.  I was very proud.

We just completed the Mutli Stake Triathlon yesterday.  I was in charge of the finish line like I have been in years past.  I got there very early and got everything set up.  Very proud of Eve.  She was nervous to do the Triathlon after her accident last year.  We took her on a bike ride last week to get ready and she cried the whole time.  she was white knuckled the whole way. She could not make a left turn.  Her elbow would lock up and not allow her to turn.  She finished the race and feel good about the outcome.  It is always good to have the Triathlon over.  We had about 400 sign up for it this year.  It grows every year. 

Mom and Dad are finally in Africa.  They were suppose to leave in June but they could not secure the Visas needed to get there.  After about a month of patience they were able to get them.  They have been there for about a month.  we Skype on Saturdays with them.  We are all trying to assist in helping Grandmother while they are away. 

Lincoln is in the MTC.  Mark asked that I smoke a bunch of pork shoulders for the farewell.  I have been able to use the smoker a lot more than I thought I would.  I was able to talk with Mark about work at Fidelity.  I have needed a mentor and have asked that he help me determine an appropriate career path.  I get into these funks where the stress of being in a high paying sales role is a bit much.  I have been in my current role for about 11-12 years.  I feel like I need to do something new.  I think the stress I have is causing some imbalance in me.  About every 2-3 years I get into a funk where I feel down, stressed, I don't eat as much.  I have been able to work through it and eventually be ok but I wonder if I changed things if I would not have this cycle of  . . .  I dont know what it is.  The last time it happened the doctor thought it was depression.  I have a new doctor now who thinks I might be able to power through if I add exercise.  I officially retired from basketball last august when I turned my ankle.  I have not yet found something to replace it.  Tiffany thinks this funk I'm in comes when we spend large amounts of money.  The last time it happened we were finishing our basement.  We spent about double what I was expecting.  I have since learned to read an invoice properly.  We are currently remodeling the kitchen.  It is a mess and we have been at it for 4-6 week.  We will not be done for at least another month.  I have started the process of moving to a support role with the insurance side of Fidelity.  It is one of the few roles that will not require a massive pay decrease.  it will still be a decrease of about 25-35% but they pay my current role to try and keep us there forever.  We should still be able to make a living at this new role.  I have been spending a lot of time this past month downloading and reconciling out finances through Quicken.  It has been a lot of work and some painful to see what we have been spending our money on.  We have had some large expenses like our patio, the fence, Eve's cello.  We have also been spending a lot on food, accessories, and other stuff we don't need.  I think we have a handle on it now.  I feel very poor.  We have the funds needed for the kitchen but I have liked how much security I felt having that cash there.  If I take this new job it will be some time before I get that back.  I have lowered how much we are adding to retirement hoping that will help.  As soon as I started the process of trying for a new position we are having a lot of success in our current role.  Tiffany feels this is a tender mercy of letting me leave the role on top.  I hope I'm leaving the role for the right reasons.  I hope I'm not looking for something that is not there.  There is a lot of security I have with the clients I work with.  Having direct access to clients is the safest job at Fidelity.  I would be leaving that to help reps like me.  Not as secure.  I have thought about trying to negotiate a move to be a manager of my current role but I'm afraid that pay cut would be too much.  I'm also concerned that at my current base I might be at risk of being paid more than others in my same role.  That might make me at risk the next time the company is looking to save some costs.  Mark tells me I can't worry about that.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

We had Ward Conference today.  I learned two principles I wanted to write down.  Sis. Lisa Saunders taught out of Mosiah.  She went away from her prepared talk.  She reminded us about Limhi and the problems they were facing.  She read from Mosiah 24:14 about how the Lord will visit his people in their affliction.  He does not remove the affliction or use from the burden but he promises to make it light.  the affliction sometimes is necessary to make us who Father wants us to be.  It can be hard sometimes.  It is supposed to be hard.

Pres. Saunders taught us many things.  He told a baseball story about not living up to commitments.  He was a pitcher and was told he would not be needed to bat anymore.  he told the coach that he would be ready to bat if called upon.  He forgot about his promise and deep int he season the coach turned to him to bat and he struck out.  the coach reminded him of his promise and they he didnt deliver what he promised.  The principle that he taught that stuck out to me was how when we look back on our lives and are grateful for people who are patient with us.  They dont get frustrated about who we are currently as we struggle to become who our Father intends us to be.  When he was called to be Bishop his father told him to see people as who they are rather than who they will become less you add to the damnation of their soul.  We are grateful for those who have mercy on us as we struggle to learn what they already know.
Mari's baptism was a wonderful experience.  It is always a special privilege to baptism my children.  Iwas wanting to make sure I savored everything I could about this one.  I've told the kids that if they marry right this would be the last baptism I perform.  The Spirit was strong.  Grandma Mildred gave a great talk about Baptism.  She covered the covenants we make.  She has Kits Kats to hand out to the kids.  Mari felt the Spirit and began to cry.  It was as perfect as it could be.  Mari invited everyone she knows.  Most could not come but many did.  It has been a challenge to see by baby girl grow older.  I want to keep her small for as long as possible.  She doesn't quite fit on the lap like she used to.

I have great kids.  They try hard and seem to be making decisions that will provide them happiness.  Emma has had a string off rough outcomes.  She went to DECA state as a Finance competitor instead of marketing.  I think she did this do to a cute boy with a great smile.  She did not place high enough with State to go to the National competition.  I tried to suggest she play to her strengths but she was pretty determined to try something new.  She went to Drama State and did very well.  She did a Comical piece as a crazy Cheerleading Coach.  We went as family and watched her compete at Bingham High.  I thought she did very well.  She was easily one of the better performers.  The judge we witnessed judging her gave her a lower mark than Superior which kept her from medaling.  She took this hard.  To make it worse she and one other act where the only performers from the school who did not medal.  In the past Riverton and Lone Peak have tied for first place as the top school for Drama.  Riverton missed being the top school by one medal.  Emma felt like she should try to be an SBO for her Senior year.  She did not get that either. She is due for a win somewhere.  She wanted to compete for Miss Riverton.  I feel like she has been too busy trying to be everything that she had not been able to be her best for these things she has been trying.  She has been coping well.  She has had a great attitude and I have been very proud about how she has been handling it all.  She will be OK.

It might not have helped that eve has had some unique success.  She has been selected in being part of a Mormon Message.  She will be playing her cello in an inspirational message. We went to Provo for her audition an shortly after Tiffany got a call that she had been selected to be the cello girl.  tiffany took her to Provo a few days later to shoot the scenes.  They called a few days after that to have her do the voice overs.  They did this at the conference center.  Tiffany and I both went to that appointment.  They took us to a small recording studio.  I was impressed with all the buttons that were on the sound board.  Their were two women who where asking Eve to say many lines over and over in slightly different ways.  There was a man who was starting the recordings.  It took less than 30 min.  They let us know that the recording studio is used for many things by many important people. They recently had Elder Christopherson record his Conference talks.  He is fluent in Spanish and can do OK in Portuguese.  He prerecords his Conference talks so those who want to listen in their native tongue can do so with his voice.  They try to prerecord most of the foreign languages.  I think they said they record the messages in 77 different languages.  It could have been 44.  I remember ti was a big number.  They said the Elder Holland caused them some concern with he talks.  he likes to provide some ad-lib to the beginning of his talks.  it keeps them on their toes.  when they have a talk that is done in the "native" language they have a small army of translators who translate as the talk is happening.  This last Conference they did not have any native speaker which made them happy. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

I sometimes forget I have this as a way to keep a journal.  A lot has happened.  Regular season church basketball is over.  We are still in Region play.  We had a  change to the Region sports leadership and they are struggling to get a schedule together.  They had the Region championship during Spring Break/Easter Weekend.  they changed the last weekend to be a month later in April.  Allowed some stakes to attempt to reschedule games so all their players could attend.  It was a Deacons game against our ward and a Ward that had 5 players that play on super league teams.  I think they thought they were going to win big.  Kyle Chandler and Jared Medina played very well and by themselves won by a big margin.  My obligation is done.  Now on to Dodgeball.   We dont have a Region date for dodgeball yet.

We went to Disneyland over Spring Break.  We went with the Chandlers.  It was fun.  I don;t like amusement parks or crowds.  Easter weekend is the busiest time to be at Disneyland.  Melissa found a way to use fast passes so we got on all the rides we wanted to before the park got too crowded.  The weather was great.  We rented a home closer to the park so we could get out of the park and swim when the park got too crowded.  We went to the beach after two days at the park.  It was a fun lazy day.  We discovered that most of the kids need a tutorial on how to apply sunscreen.  Emma and Hyrum has very bad sunburns.  Emma had handprints on the back of her legs that we ok but the rest of was bad burn.  hyrum normally swims with a short but took it off for the beach.  He attempted to apply sunscreen on wet skin and it did not work.  We spent most of the night applying cold compresses.  I had my hands in ice water ringing out whatever rags we had to put on the burned skin.  We did it again Sunday night for the boys who where still struggling.  Mason had a bad burn too.  IT was a trip taht was fun but we were glad to be home.  I took the day off after we got home to sleep and recover.  The rest of the kids are still not right with their sleep.  Mari falls asleep on the way to school.  Emma can't focus and tries to get to bed early. 

Friday was the BYU alumni day for BYU Football Spring camp.  Keith gets us into a practice where we can watch what the team is doing and eventually intertact witht he players.  they always make me feel small.  Fred Warner made me feel like a little boy.  I got to meet Ty Detmer who has always been a sports hero of mine.  Since the Miami game in 1990 I have not been the same.  I told that I have two sports heroes in my life that if I hear they have done something bad it would destroy me.  He can;t mess up.  If he does it can;t make the news.  Hyrum always runs around and gets the players to sing a shirt for him.  we ran to Walmart on our way to the event to get him a shirt.  Eve came and got a few pictures with the players.  They served us JDawgs after the practice.  It was good times.  After the alumni event we got to watch the BYU rugby team beat up on Utah.  Ryan plays for the B Team.  Utah does not have a B Team due to sanctions that has depleted their team. 

While we were in Provo we went to an audition for Eve.  She was asked to auditor again for a mormon message.  They had her play her  cello trying to show different emotions.  She says it went well.  She was very nervous but felt good about the outcome.

We had a great General Conference this last weekend.  It is great to hear what has been prepared for us.  hyrum came to Priesthood session for the first time.  He and Jacob did great.  Pres. Uchtdorf made a Star Wars reference.  He thought it was awesome.  We built a tent like we always do.  We did not have as many of the traditons that we normally have due to our trip and Mari's baptism next week.  We didn't buy the baby food and make butter.  That is a weird tradition anyways.  Tiffany brought that one into the family.  I don't understand it and I don't participate.  It is always sad to see Conference end.

We had a good FHE tonight.  Tiffany has been weeding to get the home ready for Mari's baptism.  We planted some flowers as a family and we had a lesson on baptism.  We reviewed what the baptismal commitment is.  We reviewed KATS, CC, MM, SAW.  We reviewed how to stand in the baptismal font.  I asked the kids to share a memory from the baptism and Mari shared her testimony.  It is a special privilege to baptize my children.  It is a challenge to have them get bigger and not be my little kids anymore.  The next stage is fun too but it is different.  Whenever I think that I still want very little kids all I need to do is be around really little kids for a few minutes and remember the noise and smells that come with the cuteness.

Eve provided a sweet experience that made me very proud.  There was a new girl in one of her classes.  the way the room is set up the girl had to sit by herself at the back of the class.  Eve asked if she could go back and sit with the new girl and ended up eating lunch with her.  We used it as an example of how to fulfill your baptismal covenants.  Super proud of Eve.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tiffany's 12 days of Valetine's

Day 1 - Key Lime Soda  -  Honeymoon was first time Tiffany had Key Lime, loves it
Day 2 - 4 cans of Principles   -  I'm Chipper
Day 3 - 2 back bamboo back scratchers  -  because I have her back
Day 4  -   Smokehouse Almonds - Nuts about me because I'm smoking hot
Day 5 - Dove Dark Chocolate with seas salt Caramel  -  Thanks for San Francisco
Day 6 - Accomplish the Impossible - Russel Nielsen  -  With you I can do the impossible
Day 7 - Bag of Funyuns  -  You are a Fun One
Day 8 - Cherries and Cream soda  -  You are the cherry on my Sundae
Day 9 - Gummy Bears - You are my cuddly gummy bear
Day 10 - York peppermint Patties  -  York awesome for singing with me, we where mint to be together
Day11  -  Rootbeer  -  Thanks for Traditions
Day 12 - Hot Tamales and the DVD Church Ball  -  You look hot in your ref shirt.