Sep 28, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes (Turn and face the strain)

David Bowie nailed my life recently with this song.

(Turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

Change certainly is a strain. I am quite comfy in my rut and I am not a huge fan of making changes but a change definitely needed to take place. The only difference between Bowie's song and how I feel is that I do want to be a richer man. :)

My changes won't be as drastic as Mr. Bowie's was at times

Change began a few months ago. I decided that I need to go back to school and I decided to train as a Pharmacy Technician and then perhaps go further in school and become a full pharmacist. So I began the tedious (straining) work of preregistering, meaning I had to pass a bunch of tests to see if I can be admitted. It only took me two times (stupid math) and I finally was admitted. I paid up and I was ready to go. Fast forward to today and I am going in my fifth week of school and so far, I love it.

That got the ball rolling and another change came into my life and it was an unexpected one. For those that are not familiar with the LDS church, each member has the opportunity to work/serve a function. I was the 2nd counselor in the Elders Quorum. But I got a call from the Stake Presidency and was issued a new calling. I am now technically part of the Bishopric, I am the Executive Secretary. So now my life is filled with meetings and assisting the Bishop and making appointments. It is a lot more work but I also enjoy it quite a bit. I really get along with the Bishop (he is my neighbor across the street) and I am quite thankful that I can be some sort of help. The worst part of this calling/job is that I know more about people than I want too but on the other hand that is also the best part. I can see how the Church can help them and how the members of the Church reach out and help. 

Then another change came. Since I have a new calling and I am going back to school at nights, Kristy's life needed a change too. Unfortunately she was released as Young Women's President. We knew this day would be coming and we had a feeling it was going to happen since I got a new calling. But it still made the event sad. I will miss her calling I think more than Kristy will. I absolutely love and adore these girls (if you can't already tell) and my whole family will miss being a part of their lives. Luckily for me, I still will be working with them since I will make sure that they are meeting with the Bishop regularly and I will still some of them in choir. Kristy did get a new calling, she is now the Stake Woman's Athletic Director. So it is not like she won't be busy.

That is just a few of the major ones. Life, as always, proves to be unexpected and busy. I will blog more next week (a change I want to make) about what else has been happening.

Jul 30, 2012

Girl's Camp 2012 Part III: The Epic Conclusion

Fridays are by far the best day of Girl's Camp. Not only is it our last full day and night (and I do look forward to coming home and showering and sleeping in a nice bed) but we usually have a powerful testimony meeting that night.

We woke up early Friday morning and got our gear together to head up on our huge hike to Mount Naomi. Mount Naomi is the highest peak in Cache Valley reaching 9,980 feet! It was a a six and half mile hike (round trip) and it was amazing.

It must have been the lack of sleep but I was a little wired for the hike. I decided to teach the girls a chant that I learned from Daniel Bryan from the WWE. His gimmick is to run down to the ring pointing in the air "YES! YES! YES! YES!" I got most of them to do it before we started up the trail some of them were too embarrassed to do it but by the end of the hike I had all of them doing it.

During the way up we would stop and one of the leaders would tell a story of a strong woman from the Church. It all started with Sister Atwood speaking about Abigail from the Bible, after she spoke we got a chance to find a place by ourselves for reflection. We took along our journals that we made and we were able to write a few thoughts down. After about five-ten minutes we then hiked some more until it was time for another leader presentation. What was rather interesting and inspirational is that each leader did their own presentation without really telling anyone what she was doing. And there was a natural progression as we went up the mountain. Kristy than shared a story about her great-great-great grandmother who crossed the plains at a terrible price to come to Utah. The leader presentations were unforgettable and really stuck with my mind. Sister Arnes spoke about her grandmother and how she was buried with a fork when she passed away. Her grandmother always taught that everyone should keep their forks after dinner since dessert is coming. So we should always keep our forks (faith) because dessert (a greater reward) is coming up. That certainly made an impression on me.

Unfortunately during the hike, Maeve got a little sick and couldn't make it up the rest of the mountain. I think she was a little tired (it was her first girl's camp) and perhaps a little dehydrated so Kristy took her down the mountain back to the lake so she could rest and the rest of us soldiered on. We stopped again a little bit later and had a fantastic true story of Sister Baker that really hit me hard. After her talk I laid down in a small grove of trees in the shade. I could see the sky and feel a slight cool breeze. I had been struggling lately with a few people that I thought were friends. I have been very disappointed in these people and it was beginning to affect my work in the church. That all disappeared, right then and there, it all disappeared and now I no longer feel that it is an issue. I know that my prayers were answered and I know that this experience was not only good for me but it was good for the girls. Especially for them to learn that they will have experiences that will be hard but they could have a "happily ever after" since ladies not that much older than them have gone through the same thing.

The last part of the hike grew to be a little more difficult. It was a lot warmer and a lot more steeper and we were much more exhausted by this time. Some of the girls really had a tough time going up the mountain but we were close. It was hard for me to watch some of these girls really suffer but it warmed my heart to see others each out and help them out. I stayed in the back to make sure that all the girls were in front and not missing so I was last to make it up the mountain. Finally I got to the end and suddenly I could hear this chant. "YES! YES! YES! YES!"

These girls rock!

I looked up and saw the girls that had already made it cheering! It made me want to run the rest of the way to join them. We finally reached the top and it was awesome to make it. I looked around and saw many girls crying from excitement that we all reached the top. It was an unbelievable feeling. We caught our breath and sat down and heard Sister Allen speak to the girls. Her talk was simply amazing. It reminded me of a scripture found in 1st Nephi 9:1
"And all these things did my father see, and hear, and speak, as he dwelt in a tent, in the valley of Lemuel, and also a great many more things, which cannot be written upon these plates."
There are things that I learned and heard that they were just too sacred to talk about. One of the things that I can share is that a mirror was passed around to the girls. They were to look into the mirror at themselves and ask if they are truly happy. It was interesting to watch the girls (I was sitting up above them) and see their reactions. After ten minutes or so the Bishop invited us to go a little further up the mountain to see a view that was absolutely breathtaking. We sang some hymns and the Bishop had some neat and simple words for us. Then it was time to hike down the mountain. Part of me didn't want to leave. The Spirit was so strong up there. But the best was yet to come. 

We were so high up. It felt like we were on top of the world.

We came home exhausted but energized by what we have been taught. It was a long hike and we were happy to come back to camp. All we had to do was help prepare dinner and have a celebration for those girls that completed their Personal Progress. When we arrived at camp a few families were already there helping prepare dinner which was a relief to a lot of us. We also invited our cool Camp Hosts to come eat dinner with us. We had a nice short presentation for Sister Baker, Taylor and Kara whom all earned their Personal Progress medallions. They each shared their thoughts with all of us and it particularly made an impact on our camp hosts. Rick and Marilyn both told the girls how much they enjoyed us being there. Rick quoted the Bible and said that all of the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians were found here. And then he told the girls that he had been to a lot of other denominations and said that they all have a morsel of good and the rest was ugly but he liked what he saw in our church. And then he said that our church did not contradict with the Bible and that he and his wife were going to look into the LDS church. I glanced at the girls and saw the Emily girls burst into tears. What a fantastic experience for them. We knew that the camp hosts were not members of our church but we didn't seek them out to convert them. The girls were just being themselves, they were not putting on a show, they were just being who they are. So impressive that they have that much influence and power to make a difference in someones life. The camp hosts were so impressed with us that when Marilyn had to go to the Instacare (she got sick) they made a special trip to the store to buy us all doughnuts and a bag of those extra-large marshmallows! They also made a special stop at every one's campsite (we shared the campsite with other people) and told them that we were having Girl's Camp and to not worry about the noise.  The camp hosts and some of the parents then left to go home and we were left at the campfire for a quiet and close testimony meeting.

The testimony meeting was astounding, there really isn't any other way to put it. The girls bared such simple and tender testimonies. There were a few that hit me pretty hard. One girl in particular impressed me with hers. She was one that I didn't know all that well and I knew that she had some difficulties during the week but she was so strong. She has been strong all her life, she was the only one in her family that went to church and she has gone all on her lonesome. I was impressed with her strength. Here she was only 14 years of age but she had strength well beyond her years. Another bore her testimony of how the hike was physically the most difficult thing she has done. And she did it for her dad, to show him that she is strong and can make it. She said that when a few of the girls outreached their hand to hers it was like if Christ himself did the same thing. There was not a dry eye among everyone there around the campfire. Every single testimony built mine, every testimony strengthened mine. There is a lot of stuff that I could write down but I feel I should keep it private. Let's just say that this was one of the best experiences I have ever had and what a group to share it with.

Now I am going to get a little sappy. We said that whatever is said/done at Girl's Camp stays there but I want to share something. I absolutely love Girl's Camp and I love each of these girls. Some I have known for awhile and some I had barely met but I love them all just the same. I love and appreciate them for who they are. I want to be around them because of who they are and I desire that for Kristy and Logan. I want my family to be with these people.

Since Girl's Camp, I have had the special opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with others. I find it kinda funny, I am not a Young Women, I am not a Young Women Leader but I was chosen to share my experiences with the whole ward about Girl's Camp.

Then it was time to pack up and go home.

Jul 27, 2012

Girl's Camp 2012 Part II

Logan and I woke up early and headed out of the camper to a nice cool morning. Logan and I played around while the girls did more camp certifications. Soon it was lunch time and Manuel (one of our neighbors) came up so he could take my place while Logan and I went home.

Logan was sad to leave since he likes to spend time with the girls as much as I do. We came down the canyon back into Logan and it looked like he was going to fall asleep in the car. I let him ride in the front seat since he get smacked on top of the head by the trunk hood of our car. We got home and I gathered some supplies we needed and then I jumped into a nice cool shower and use a real bathroom. I have this strange phobia of using the can while camping so I was happy to have a break from Girl's Camp. We ran to Smith's first to grab Sister Brown a Diet Coke (which Logan thought was so cool, "she is just like you dad!") and I dropped him off at Aunt Lynn's and I made my way back to camp singing Broadway tunes.

I had to walk up to camp from the lower parking lot. I packed my backpack with a ton of cheese and walked up. All of the leaders and girls were up by the fire when I came strolling in. Keisha saw me and yelled out "Doctor Pepper!" and ran down to the road towards me and about knocked me down as she hugged me. At first I was a little embarrassed by this show of affection and then I looked up and saw some other girls heading my way. Then I knew what was going on, they had just finished up this epic water fight and they were all soaked to the bone. They were trying to get me all wet as well! I knew something was amiss.

After I was "welcomed" back I grabbed some dinner and sat by Brother Atwood who was telling me that he really wished I was here for the water fight. I guess it was all the girls conspiring against him. I was suddenly very glad that I was gone for this activity. And then without any warning (thanks Atwood!) I got doused by this huge bowl of cold water. I jumped up and saw two girls running away, Serena and Anna. I raced right towards one of the large coolers of water and twisted off the top and looked savagely for the girls who wronged me. They ran into the food tent thinking that they were safe in there. Boy were they wrong! I crashed into the tent and both girls were in a different corner cowering. Poor Kenzie Davis was right in the middle washing her dishes like a good girl. I first drenched Serena and then I acted like I was going to get Kenzie and then I flung the water and got Anna! Anna then told me that she was innocent in the whole drenching and I didn't want to have gotten someone who didn't deserve it so I made a pact with her. I would get her her food and clean her dishes for the rest of the week. She accepted the terms of the deal which was good because I didn't want to watch my back and sleep with one eye open for the rest of the time here.

One of the things that girls do at Girl's Camp is to perform skits. Each group took a night to perform them (I forget which was which so I am cramming them all here) and they did a real good job with them. They were funny and they taught a principal of the Gospel while doing it. Then of course they got to sing all those silly camp songs.

Even the Leaders get into it.

Some were a little too excited for skits that they forgot when to deliver their lines.

This is EXACTLY what it looks like. Bharti knows how to make a garbage bag dress look good!

After Bharti got married she tossed some toilet paper like the wedding bouquet. Taylor was so happy she snagged some. I don't think I want to get in the way!

Look familiar? Yup, same song.

After all the skits and the girls went to their tents, Brother Atwood asked if we should have some leftovers. One thing I learned about this man is that he can certainly pack it away. We warmed up all the leftover chicken and some of the potatoes and we had a large hearty meal way late in the night. Before we were able to eat, Kayla came over to us, sadly she was sick. She had a fever, body and headaches and was not feeling  good at all. We got her some medication and I asked her if she would like a Priesthood blessing. Both Brother Atwood and I placed our hands on her head and blessed her. She then went back to her tent and slept the whole night. We were going to then eat when Bharti and another girl came over and said that she was struggling with panic attacks. Brother Atwood and I blessed her as well and invited them both to stay and eat with the rest of the leaders. I could tell that the blessing was working wonders already because she acted much more relaxed. I am thankful that I have the ability to do this.

I slept really good (must have been the food) so I woke up with a lot of energy for the new day which was nice and laid back. In the morning after a yummy breakfast and a great lunch the girls did their certification for camp. It was nice to walk around a bit and chat with the girls. I ended up sitting with my wife and a group of them and just sitting enjoying the shade and chatting. After lunch we headed to the lake to play around. We had a lot of girls and so we were thinking of cramming them in the camper so we could use as little vehicles as we could. I was not so comfortable driving the camper up the mountain with the girls in back so I voted not to do it. Shanda kinda felt the same way so we decided not to go and she also said that she didn't trust the truck to even work. We walked over to the camper and tried to turn it on and it was dead. She said that this does happen quite frequently. Kristy then mentioned that it was not worth risking the girls to save a measly five dollars anyway. I mentioned that you just watch, the camper will turn over when we get back so we know it was a good idea not to take it up the mountain.

We all climbed in our cars jammed and sang along with some music and went to the beautiful lake. One of our neighbors brought us all this extra gear to play with, kayaks and floaters. We walked to the beach area and I sat down in the shade and watched the girls have fun. It was nice to just sit and watch in the shade. I sat with a few other leaders and threw grapes at girls and other people and ate a ton of hummus.

Kristy took the kayak across the lake to meet the girls at the beach.

It looks like Rossy has no legs.

I absolutely love this picture. They are the sweetest girls.

After a few hours we packed up and came back to our campsite. That night at dinner we said goodbye to Brother Atwood since he had to go home. The girls presented both of us with a t-shirt they made for us, a huge "Thank You" card and we also got a Young Women pin that we can put on our suits. Interesting story about the pins. I knew about the pins since Logan and I went and got them Tuesday morning before we left. We got to the store and there were no pins left. I asked the guy and he said they were out. I was disappointed. Logan and I were about the leave when he said he remembered something. He walked behind the counter and pulled out this small little package. He said that someone ordered some a few weeks back and have not picked them up and that I was welcome to them. Out came three pins, the exact amount that I needed! 

Cool pin eh?

The front of my new shirt the girls made me. 

The girls wanted to give me a new nickname but luckily Kristy talked them out of it. But now instead of Dr. Pepper, I am now know as Sister Pepper. Not sure if that is a promotion or a demotion.

Shanda and I also went to try to figure out what we need to do with the camper. It was facing inward and it would be hard to get another car to try to jump it. We lifted the hood and tried the camper and nothing. Then I lightly pushed down on the battery cable and BOOM! the truck turned right over. Both Shanda and I looked at each other happily that the truck started but also amazed. We all think that this was not a coincidence. It was the right thing to do by not putting the girls in the truck. I joked to the girls when I told them this story that I saved their lives. Sure, nothing could have happened if we did take the camper. But deep down I feel that it could have ended up disastrous.

We told the girls to go to bed early since tomorrow was our huge hike. But us leaders stayed up late trying to scare the girls using the walkie-talkies we had. It didn't work as well as we wanted but at least it kept us very entertained!

Jul 25, 2012

Girl's Camp 2012 Part I

I know I have not blogged in over a month and I apologize for that. I just can't seem to keep the habit. But I knew I had to blog about my experiences at Girl's Camp this year. I look back on last year's entries and I am so thankful that I have a record of my time there. So without further ado, here is what happened at Girl's Camp 2012!

The week at Girl's Camp was some that I will never forget (or want to forget, hence this blog) and it was filled with a lot of fun and a ton of unbelievable experiences. I already have a soft spot for these special Young Women and spending this week with them only solidified this. There is a special bond that happens between the girls and luckily between them and I as well.

I will warn you ahead of time, I will be documenting almost everything. All the funny moments along with all the truly spiritual moments as well, and let me tell you there are a ton of them. And I may getting a little sappy too.

Logan and I ran some errands Tuesday morning, we had to fill up our car with gas and we met my dad at Lee's to have a doughnut. Then we came home and packed up and met at Sister Allen's home at noon. Both Kristy and I were driving and they asked me if I could take the camper up which I initially didn't have a problem with. We met all the girls (there  ended up being eighteen of them) and we had a quick devotional before we headed up Logan Canyon to our camping spot outside of Tony Grove. Logan came with me in the camper and was planning to stay just one night. Originally he was going to stay with us a couple of nights but Kristy and I learned of a little drama/resistance from someone else so we only took him overnight. I really don't want to go over that since by the time camp ended I absolutely had no issues with this certain person.

Look how nice and clean they are! That wouldn't last.

The drive up the canyon was more than I bargained for. The brakes were really REALLY soft and that camper felt like it was shaking and sliding all over the place. We took that first curve in the canyon and both Logan and I got a little sick to our stomachs. Logan hated the drive but the longer I drove it, the more used to it I got. Doesn't mean I liked it though.

We finally got to our campsite and we had a quick lunch and then all the girls set up their tents. Logan and I were lucky enough to get to stay in the camper so we didn't have to worry about setting up a tent.

One of the things girls do at camp is their hair. Who knew right?

Now I don't like to camp. I don't mind it if it is only a day or so but we were not leaving this place until Saturday afternoon! The other male leader that came with me was surprised to hear that I would happily go to Girl's Camp but that I don't like camping any other time. Well, let me tell you why I love Girl's Camp.

I get treated like royalty.
These girls treat me so good. They are always willing and wanting to serve somehow and they like to make sure I am taken care of and included too.

I am well fed.
There is always plenty of food and it is part of my job to make sure that all the food is taken care of. The food is always fantastic and I like to do my part.

I don't fear for my life.
I have been to Scout Camp. When I go to sleep at Girl's Camp, I don't fear that my tent will catch fire. I don't fear that one of the girls will take revenge on me in a scary way. I get to go to sleep peacefully, well as peacefully as I can with all the giggling and talking going into the early morning hours.

 I learn something.
(Here is where I may getting a little sappy) These girls are absolutely wonderful. They are tremendous examples and because of that, I learn something and typically it is something that I should already be doing. Being around these girls really make it easy to be a good person.

I get to serve.
Most of the times they are doing nice things for me but I do manage to get a chance to serve them. One of the reasons I like to go is because I get the chance to use the Priesthood to serve them. 

The rewards definitely outweigh the negatives of camping. 

After I chopped some wood, Logan and I found some shade by the road and sat down. Unfortunately Logan accidentally scraped/bruised himself while shaving some bark off the wood. He is alright but it did hurt him pretty good. He was not the only one that got hurt. When I split this huge log, part of it jumped up and smacked my thumb. I looked down and it looked like my thumb was a little out of place. I twisted it back and felt it slip back into place. I don't think I fully dislocated it or anything but it did look/feel like it was out of place a bit. Logan and I took a break from the wood when two of the girl's Taylor and Kara came over and wished me a happy birthday. I looked over and they had made a paper bag journal just for me. See what I mean? They are always looking to serve and I am touched that they thought of me.

 You can see the bruise starting to form on Logan's hand.

This was after I twisted it back into place. It was sore for only about a day.

Now I like to be a little devious at times with some gentle teasing. I noticed that Bharti was going to get some water in a large heavy bowl. I challenged her to try and raise the bowl over her head knowing that the water would probably spill over. And I was right, she tried to lift it over her head and spilled some of the cold water on her head. That night Logan and I snuck down to the bathrooms and awaited some of the girls to come out. I jumped out and scared them and one of them about died. Her blood curdling scream I am sure was heard back in Logan. I noticed that I also scared Anna so I immediately took off running back to camp. She is a fast runner and I knew that they only way to get away from her was with a decent head start. She caught up to me and smacked me on the head. Luckily for me these girls can take a little teasing. At least I hoped so or it would be quite a long week for them.

After dinner Logan and I retired to the camper after all the girls were sent to bed. Both of us were really tired. So we changed and got into bed when Logan asked if we could close the windows. All of the curtains were wide open! So glad that the girls were already in their tents. How embarrassing!

Jun 13, 2012

My Second Calling

I serve in the Elders Quorum in my local ward here and I have been in that calling for about two to three years. But it seems like I have been in Primary for at least half that time.

Last summer I substituted for a friend for three months and I am the go-to-guy for helping out. I just really like being with the kids. It is like Comedy Central there.

So a few Sundays ago I was subbing once again and they made an announcement for a Teacher's Appreciation Breakfast. I kinda laughed to myself that I should get invited to come since I spend a lot of time there. But of course I was only kidding myself.  Then a knock at the door came a few days later.

I was surprised that I was invited. And I was taken back by the amount of appreciation they gave me at the breakfast with the other teachers. They made it a point to mention that I was sacrificing a lot to not only do my calling but to also teach the children.  The food was fantastic and the small message and amazingly kind words were very uplifting. They also gave us these bottles of water with a package of Crystal Light and with a note.

It is very nice to know that you are appreciated and that someone notices that you are making a difference.

Jun 8, 2012

The New Voice

For those that don't know, many years ago I attended Utah State University with the goal of graduating in Broadcast Journalism with an emphasis on Sportscasting. Life as it does, got in the way. Instead I moved down to Salt Lake and had many wonderful opportunities and experiences with my wife and her family. And we added Logan to our family as well. I do sometimes think about what life would have been like if I graduated but I honestly don't have regrets on how life turned out.

Fast forward now about 13-14 years later and I got a text that I never EVER thought I would get. My brother-in-law Justin helps coach the local football team the Logan Stampede and they were in desperate need for someone to come in and announce at the games. So he texted me and asked if I was interested. Of course I was interested!

So a few weeks ago I announced my first game at Logan High. I didn't know exactly what to expect so I wrote a bunch of scripts beforehand and practiced and practiced around the house. I am sure my neighbors must have heard me use my announcer voice. I biked down to the stadium and walked among the players and opponents and I wondered to myself if I bit off more than I can chew. I found Justin and he took me to meet the head coach and to go to the broadcast booth. All the coach did was show me how to turn on the mike and show me my stool. 

Yeah, that was all the instruction he gave me.

I asked him for more details and he gave me the rosters for both teams and basically all he said was "Don't embarrass me or the team."

Oh boy, I was really getting nervous. There were a few small scripts for some of the sponsors all written for me and he told me that this was my show and I can do what I want. I then met the guy who ran the clock and some of the football players that didn't dress came up and did stats. I was relieved for that, they said aloud what happened on the field and then I announced it for the audience. You know, things like "18 yard reception by #80 for a first down."  That sorta thing.

"Moon river...."

I am glad that I made some scripts and I am very glad that the mom of the girl who sang the National Anthem helped me with what I should say. Soon it was game time and I got the look from the coach on the field to start the game. So I began...

The little girl next to me was the one who sang the National Anthem. I was way more nervous than she was!

I thought I did pretty good for my first time. I only screwed up a few times. I accidentally announced the wrong player (and boy did the players in the booth hassle me for that) and I said some things that really didn't come out right. I knew the calls on the field good enough but there were a few things that I had to clear up with the players.  They were really nice even though they were giving me a hard time. They were teasing me that I should watch more football and stuff like that. Finally, I had enough and I turned to them and said "Hey, I have won the Superbowl with the New York Jets five years straight in Madden, so I think I know what the hell I am talking about." First there was silence and finally they cracked up laughing.

The head coach was pretty happy with my performance and asked that I finish out the season for them. I agreed and I showed up a couple of weeks later for the last home game. 

I was much more relaxed for this game. I wrote some new scripts and was feeling very comfortable. That is until I found out that the game was being televised live!  I had to write another script announcing that to the audience.  Luckily I had some great stat people with me who made my job a whole lot easier. I hardly made any mistakes and I had a great time.

After the game I tracked down the coach to thank him for the opportunity and he was very happy with my performance. He said I had a real talent and to expect a phone call for next season. So it looks like I will be the new voice of the Logan Stampede!

Who would have thought that about a decade later I would be doing what I originally wanted to do!

Jun 4, 2012


Last Christmas my sister gave me one of the best gifts I have ever been given.

She gave me a New York Jets mug that you can put in the freezer to make your drink slushy. For the last five months or so I put the mug in the freezer and every night after I put Logan to bed, I treat myself to a Mountain Dew. I pour a Dew in and within a few minutes I have some slush.

Well, the other night I did the exact same thing I have been doing for months and I heard this very loud POP! I looked over and saw Dr. Pepper (yeah, I don't drink Mountain Dew every night) pouring from this crack in my mug.

You can see the crack from the bottom to the top. 

I was really looking forward to having some of these during the hot summer nights this year. I am didn't expect this to happen.

Jun 1, 2012

I'm Back

I am not dead.

I may have fallen off the face of the Earth but I am not dead. You would think that falling off the face of the Earth would kill someone but here I am.

I have been doing some thinking and I regret that I have not been blogging. I know that I have forgotten events and thoughts since I didn't record them down. And after our fantastic Anhder Family Reunion I really have felt the need to do some blogging.

But I am not promising anything.

All I can promise is that I will try to blog more.

Last Tuesday night my family and I went and got some family pictures. For Girl's Camp this year, the Young Women decided to offer family pictures. We volunteered to go first and let the Young Women test this (and us) out. A few leaders came along as well and we went down to this cute area with train tracks not to far from our house.

I thought the girls did extremely well. It was well worth the money and we got to keep all the pictures they took. They had some very cute ideas and of course it was just fun to be around them.

I love this pic!

This one made me laugh as well.

Jan 24, 2012

Logan the Scout

I was never much into Scouts. I had some decent leaders but it just was not my thing. Logan on the other hand likes Scouts and I have absolutely no problem with that. We had a Court of Honor this evening and Logan received his Wolf along with some other awards.

Logan putting the pin on his mom.

Like I said, I have no problem that Logan is into Scouting. I am pretty proud of my kid.

Jan 23, 2012

Random Ramblings: It's My Blog...

... and I will blog when I want to.

Blogging: So I missed another Sunday. Well, it is my blog so I can do whatever I want to do. So I have decided that for the remainder of my BlogBlitz(tm) I will be skipping Sundays.

Reading: For my quarterly book I am reading the sequel to Mick Foley's Have a Nice Day. Yup, another wrasslin' book. Hey, I know what I like.

Writing: I have had this comic book idea pop in and out of my mind these last couple of days. I am combining that idea with another novel idea The Samaritans with it and seeing where it is going. And surprising myself, I have also scripted a few pages. I think I am going to use this idea for the upcoming ScriptFrenzy. Before I script more I am going to plot out some stuff. This idea was something my friend Joel and I developed way back in the day but we decided to go in another direction. Hopefully he doesn't mind me dusting this off and adding a coat of paint.

Planning: What to eat here in two weeks for the Superbowl. Yesterday we ate these yummy sweet pork sandwiches/salads while catching the games. Now that the stupid Pats and Giants made the Superbowl, the only important thing about the Superbowl will be the food.

Disappointing: While both games yesterday were exciting, two of my least favorite teams won. I was hoping for the Ravens and 49ers but I guess I cannot win them all. But on the other hand, I felt this way four years ago when the same teams faced each other and it turned out to be one of the greatest games ever. Oh well, there is always next year.

Reading Part II:  I have decided to read all my X-Men books from the beginning which leads me to this:

Blogging Part II:  The comic book geek inside of me is going to do a comic book blog sometime later this year. I just have to find a clever name for my blog and set it up. I am planning on blogging about each X-Men book I am reading and I am choosing 3 panels from each book to blog about. I'll be blogging about other stuff as well.

Jan 21, 2012

Strange Weather

We took Logan to his basketball game this morning and I went with a light jacket, no coat. It has been unseasonably warm here. In fact, we had rain these last couple of days which melted all the snow we had.

Those smudges are not smudges at all. Those are some snowflakes!

Now we have some snow on the ground. It first rained a lot then suddenly it switched to the largest snowflakes I have ever seen. And then back to rain and then it came down as ice pellets.

Strange weather indeed. But at least we do not have tornadoes coming down.

Jan 20, 2012

The End of an Era

Next month marks the end of a huge era for me. 

For the first time since December, 1985 I will not be picking up a monthly issue of the Uncanny X-Men.

This was my first issue of the Uncanny X-Men that I bought monthly.

I am sure most of you are thinking this is not a big deal but this certainly is a big deal for me. Imagine for second that you bought and read a comic (or something else) every month for the last 27 years. 

Now I am ending that streak and it is ALL Marvel's fault. Don't get me wrong, I still love and am interested in the X-Men franchise but I can no longer afford it.

Back in the day, when I first began to read comics there was only one X-title, Uncanny X-Men. But now there are five main X-Men books and at $4 a pop that can definitely add up. But then Marvel decided to be greedy and publish these X-Men books more than once a month.

Because of this obvious money-grab, I was forced to drop other titles that I was reading (and loved) so I could just keep up with the main X-Men books. I was hoping that this would not become a regular thing since Marvel was not consistent in these double-shipped books so I hung on for as long as I could.

Uncanny X-Men #4... LAST issue

But then I had to drop the Avengers, then Captain America, then Secret Avengers, then the plain X-Men, then X-Men Legacy, then Astonishing X-Men, then Captain America and Bucky and now finally Uncanny X-Men. Not only am I done with the X-titles but it looks like I am done with Marvel completely. The new Avengers vs X-Men miniseries will be my swan song for Marvel.

I am not done with comics completely. There is still a ton of classic material that really interests me but my days of buying comics monthly seems to be over. The only book that I will continue to get monthly is an independent book called The Savage Dragon.

I'll have to blog about this comic sometime in the future. 

It is sad that after 27 years and 348 (344 issues of Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 and 4 issues of Uncanny X-Men Vol 2) straight issues that I have to quit something that I love so much.

I sent Marvel an e-mail about this issue back in July but received no reply. I just sent them another e-mail this morning informing them that I am dropping all the books because of this. If I get a response, I will blog about it here. 

Jan 19, 2012

School Daze: Logan's 3rd Grade Class

I am not sure if my little experience qualifies as a true "First Kiss" but I am counting it. When I was in the 3rd Grade  I was kissed by a girl named Carmen. Ar first I thought she was cute but then when she kissed me, I hated her. Hmmmm... now that I think about it, that was something that became standard.

Here is Logan and his 3rd grade class. Here I thought I was hot stuff in the 3rd grade and then I look at my kid and I think he is just a little kid. I wonder if he has a crush on any of the girls in his class.