Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

This is the time of year that hearts are a little warmer, and smiles are a little more abundant.  People tend to give a little more to those that have a lot less.  At the same time, heads are heavy and join with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in saying "for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men."  The economic situation, daily news stories of crime and robbery, and personal pain or trial all contribute to a grim look on life and this Holiday Season.  What made the difference in Longfellow's situation was hearing the bells on Christmas Day.  Really, these bells were simply made of a clanker against the iron bell, some would even call it disrupting or annoying.  To Longfellow, though, the meaning behind the bells was what made the difference between a cacophony and music.  Most churches have stopped the traditional ringing of the bells on Christmas (most don't even have bells), and most people would be hard fought to even find a set of bells ringing on Christmas.  This does not stop us from hearing bells all around us if we listen.  Remember, it's what’s behind the bells that matter.  A simple star lit up on the refinery, a Salvation Army bell ringer, a nativity scene, a kind deed from a stranger, a Christmas song on the radio, a family gathering, a surprised look on a loved one's face when they receive an unexpected gift, a memory of a happy time, a memory of a sad time, a Christmas tree in an office building...  The list goes on.  You'll recognize the bells in your life when "the world revolve[s] from night to day, a voice, a chime, a chant sublime of peace on earth, good will to men!"  It wasn't the bells that changed Longfellow's outlook; it was the Spirit of Christmas that filled his heart.  It is the same Spirit that inspires men and women to do good.  The same Spirit that brings us comfort, peace, and truth.  It is the Spirit of Christ.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mom and Pop

       Here are my parents.  My dad here was watching my mom play guitar hero.  Can you believe that they both played?  They were both pretty good, but I think that my dad might have had the edge on my mom.  Pretty impressive Pop!

                                                                 I usually take my camera most places I go.  Today, however, I didn't have it when I saw some of the prettiest skies during the sunset.  There were deep red/orange clouds scattered all over the sky.  I mean, they weren't just over the mountains in the west, they were in the east, south, and you know what I'm getting at.  You'll just have to trust me because I didn't get a picture.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kids, Turkeys, and Family


I don't know about any of you others out there, but it drives me crazy when I'm sitting at my computer minding my own business writing my blog when suddenly a picture that I'm writing about disappears!  You know what I'm talking about, I'm sure it has happened to you.  If it hasn't, it will.  It could happen to you!  It's like those silly teasers they give you on the news.  "Is something in your kitchen slowly killing you?  Find out tonight at 10!"  I mean honestly if something was killing me in my kitchen, shouldn't they tell me right then and not have me wait two hours?  Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving.  We went to Dave and Mindy's house in North Ogden and had some good turkey, good times, and good games!  If you want to see more from Mindy's point-of-view check out her blog.

That last picture was of Spee, of course.  He is so stinking cute.  He was so funny Thanksgiving night, he probably had 6 juice boxes and he was still hitting people up for a drink of their drinks as well.  As you can imagine, he had a full diaper that night.  This picture is of Tristan.  He was a hoot too, always running around with the older cousins and keeping up just nicely with them too.

This is Sean.  I think he had a good time watching the happenings of Thanksgiving.  Emily and Geoff came for a visit on Friday.  It was a good time with them.  I miss my Texan Siblings and hope that one day Texas and Utah can merge to the great state of Utex so that I can see them more often.  I don't think that will happen.

Finally, this is Ivy.  This picture turned out really well.  We were playing this game with that green ball that she has in her hands.  Pretty much all we did was through it back and forth with a little bit of dodge ball/keep away action.  Not really an inside game, that's why we had to keep out of view of Mindy!  I have more pictures of the weekend that I'll have to post soon.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Clean Energy

I guess you can say that I'm experiencing blogger's block. It is quite serious and in some cases fatal. I just don't know what to say about these pictures. I was looking through some pictures I took a while back and found some that got neglected. These were taken in some parks around Temple Square in Salt Lake. It's good to see that the city is up to date on clean energy.

The cool summer nights of yesteryear, or just a month or so ago. With Thanksgiving this week I can't help but feel the excitement for the holiday season. I always look forward to the good food, the family get-togethers, the games played, and service rendered. It seems like there has been a huge push these last couple weeks for food banks. For good reason too because with the economy down and unemployment up there are a lot of empty cupboards out there. I'm deciding to find more ways this season to help out with money or food, I guess we all can.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where in the World?


Who really cares about Carmen SanDiego, where in the world was Dave?  I can honestly say right here.  I found out that it is pretty hard keeping up with the blog when I work in Ogden, live in Salt Lake and don't have the Internet at my apartment.  Unfortunately, nothing really exciting has been going on in my life.  Here is a picture of Finn and me taken back in the Spring.  I include it because it was both of our birthdays last week.  He's trying to get me off his bike in this picture.  I was just along for the push.

I already miss the long days of Summer.  As many of you can relate, I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark.  I'm worried that the headlights on my car are going to burn out!  Consequently, it is hard to take
 pictures of everyday life when it is dark.  Since I had no other option, it took a picture of the full moon.  Slightly overexposed, the picture looks like it has the sun in it instead of the moon.  What can I say-- Gotcha.  

On a final note, the biggest game for both BYU and Utah is on the horizon.  I am really excited for the game.  I've been counting down the days for weeks now.  Whether you sport the red or blue this Saturday, it will be a good game.  I've been reading a lot of things online about what sports writers and bloggers have to say about the game.  Don't worry, I've gotten both sides.  If you want the Utes view check out the Salt Lake Tribune, and if you want the Cougars--The Deseret News.    I was quite surprised that there were comments of people out of state that liked neither of the teams, but just wanted to bash on the MWC saying that it doesn't even compare to the BCS conferences.  Say what you will, you can't deny the fact that the Mountain West held their own this year against the "high and mighty" BCS teams.  If you don't believe me, ask a Wyoming fan...or a Tennessee fan for that matter.  As for who will win the game on Saturday, we'll just have to watch and see.  However, Go Cougs!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Frights and Scares

Grandpa loves cows.  He works with them at work, and even holds them on his day off.  Tyler enjoyed wearing his little cow costume.  
Even super heroes need their juice.  Here is Esplan getting a quick drink before he headed back out to help with the spook alley at his house.  It was a warm Halloween, you could even go trick-or-treating without a coat this year.  Not that I went trick-or-treating, but it was just my observation of the ones coming through the alley.  

This scary figure is actually grandpa with a mask and chains on.  With the black lights, fog machines, spiders, and even little mice running around on the ground, the spook alley on Nathan and Kristy's porch turned out pretty spooky.  Most of the kids enjoyed it, but some wouldn't go through even with their mom by their side.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Should Have Paid More Attention in Chemistry

When people ask me what I have become since I have grown up, I will undoubtedly reply "a chemist."  I recently took a job with a great little company in Ogden.  When I say recently, I mean recent enough that I'm trying to remember all the things I learned in Chemistry and am trying to apply them all.  This picture isn't the lab I work in currently, it is a picture I took a couple of months ago of the lab I did research in at the Y.  In this lab we did cancer research, in the lab I work in currently, I analyze the mineral content of compounds.  I'm lucky to have a great job and look forward to learning even more about the periodic table!  

Here's a fun little picture that I took right by the President's Circle up at the U.  If you look carefully, you can see some familiar buildings in the reflection of this light.  I don't know if this is the Talmage building in the reflection, but I think it is interesting that both BYU and the U share a common building.  I didn't walk up close to it to see if it was James E. or not, but we'll call it close enough.  Campus is really pretty right now with the trees painted different colors.  

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturdays in Fall

Before it was taken down, we were able to get out on the trampoline.  I watched my nephews while their parents were attending a funeral.  As you can see, we had a pretty good times.  You can say that it was a pretty good Fall Saturday.    

Here's Finn showing his jump on the tramp.  He would only jump under the condition that his brothers would sit down and stay still.  Only then would he venture into the middle and jump maybe a foot or less into the air.  He liked it and for the most part, his brothers complied.

This last picture is my failed attempt to get the four together to have a group "brothers" picture.  Well, as you can see, it didn't go over that well.  I had to bride Esplan with a piece of candy to even get on the tramp, and even then he wouldn't look at the camera.  I think I did successfully catch 4 out of 4 kids with an unhappy face in this picture.  Not bad if I say so myself.  I have a new respect for professional photographers that can get kids to comply to their pleadings.   It didn't work for me, I should just stick with what I'm good at.  Like trying to figure why gas prices in Utah are at $3.40 still while Texas is sitting at a fat $2.60!  That is outrageous and complaining about gas prices reminds me of the beginning of the summer talking about it with my roommate Richard.  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wasatch Range

A panoramic image of the familiar Wasatch Range in Salt Lake.  This is another picture taken from No Name Park.  It is a welcoming sight.  I remember seeing this range coming back from my mission in California.  I always like looking at these mountains heading down to Provo after a nice weekend at my parents house.  I'm sure it won't be a very welcoming sight to the Cougar's football team after coming back from Ft. Worth with a juicy 'L' on their shoulders.  Anyway, either way you look at it, they are beautiful mountains that deserve attention and appreciation.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Park with No Name

Just west of my little place, I found a park that didn't have a name.  Maybe it did, and I just went in the wrong place, either way I took my camera to see if I could take some pictures.  This towering plant was hanging out by the Cattails.  

And this is to keep my readers happy with a picture of me every once in a while.  I'm just taking a break, sitting on a nice little dock over looking more of a marsh than a pond.  There was water down there either way.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who Would Have Thought

Who would have thought that Burt Brother's Tires has wireless!  I'm here getting my tire fixed and saw a sign on the wall that said "Wifi Hotspot" and I said "time to update my blog."  This picture was taken on the way up to Snowbasin.  It was snowing, but not enough for the resort to be happy, I think.  I went with my parents and had lunch up in the lounge.  It was a very impressive place.  I haven't been there since before the Olympics and I can tell you that they did some serious remodeling for the world in 2001.  You'll have to check my parent's blog for some more pictures of the trip.  There is a really good one of the two of them! 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Here It Comes

With my formal goodbye of good weather, the winter snow came in with haste. When I looked out the window this morning, I saw a winter wonderland. Like I've said before, snow before the new year is a much welcomed sight. Here's a picture showing the light blanket of snow which Morgan got this morning.

You don't a get a change of leaf colors and snow very often. Usually Mother Nature is pretty good at getting ready for winter by shedding her tree's leaves before the snow came, but not this time. On the news, the weatherman said that snow is common by November 4th. Taking that information, you can say that this was a little early.

This is a picture of me playing in the snow. It was fun while it lasted, but I got pretty cold and had to run inside to get warm. The shoes that I was wearing filled with snow after each bounce, so at the end of my little winter-jump, my feet were ice-packed. 
Also, as you can see from the 
picture, this is not your usual jumping on the tramp, but is what we call Extreme Jumping.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Goodbye Summer (Warm Weather)

For all the good times that were had this summer, I say farewell.  Don't go too far because we'll be having them again next.  Here is a picture containing a couple from my visit this summer of my niece Hayley.  She is such a cute girl and I thought this little arrangement took nicely to her.  I hope I'll be seeing my Texas siblings (which are half of them) soon!  I sure have a good time each time I go out there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Looking to the Mountains

Here is a picture of Mount Olympus from my apartment.  As you can see, it is a pretty prominent peak in the Salt Lake valley.  My new apartment is in Holladay and is turning out to be a nice little place.  I have two roommates whom I roomed with down at the Y.  For the most part, we don't really see each other much at all.  I guess that is how life is sometimes.   

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mount Olympus

Last week I hiked up Mount Olympus in Salt Lake City.  It was a good little hike.  Actually, it wasn't that little.  The hike is a little more challenging that I was anticipating, however I ended up having a fine time.  I didn't make it to the very top where you can look over to see Downtown because the last little bit required mere mountain climbing techniques.  I think if someone was with my I probably would have done it, but being alone I decided to take a few pictures of where I was and head back.  

Here I am, near the top.  You can see the Salt Lake valley behind me.  To the left of the picture would be Mount Timpanogos with a great view of the back side of the Wasatch range.  

For the most part, the trees hadn't changed colors yet, but there was a little section near the top that had some beautiful color.  This picture and the first picture were taken in that section.  It was very beautiful and steadily steep at the same time climbing up through that grove of trees.  I recommend the hike, not as an easy little dusk hike, however.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Looking at Fall

 The weather this weekend has been turning a pretty cold.  This is a picture taken from the Morgan South Cementary looking west over the valley.  

This is another picture of the valley I took a couple of weeks ago.  This is going up towards Deep Creek looking west still.  The colors on the mountains can be seen a little more.  

Here is one last picture.  I like the yellow contrast against the old wood posts of the fence.  It's a beautiful time of year and I thought that I would share a few of the things that I've seen.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Aggie Country

Last night, we went up to the BYU in Logan. It was a fun game to be at and I always love going to Logan. I don't know if the Aggie fans were happy to have all us cougars up there on their turf, in fact I know that a lot of them didn't like us. My roommate prepared me by telling me that Aggie fans hate BYU just as much as the Utes, and I had a hard time believing him. I came to find out that a few definately do! They should have been ashamed of themselves that the cougar fans cheered just as loud as they did for their aggies.
The game didn't go as well as my dad, and a lot of the Cougar nation would have hoped. Oh well, the first quarter was great anyway.

This is my Dad, Aunt, Uncle, and cousin that goes to Utah State. It's funny, I have a shirt that says that same thing, but is for BYU. I'll always like Utah State and for more reasons than just because I have roots there. My grandpa went to school there. It was a great night, great company, and a good game.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Old Firetrucks

A firefighter can be put into the category of Noble Professions because of the work they do every day. I’ve always like them. I even spent a summer with a few helping them lay brick on their off days. Sometimes in the word today, good and noble professions get a bad wrap by a handful of extremists. For example, the modern world of medicine has lengthened the average life span by leaps and bounds, and the infant mortality rate is down by a very large percent. Yet for some reasons there are a few out there getting rich selling books like “What Doctors Don’t Tell You;” they’re making it sound like the whole medical profession is out to get you. I can go on about this but it suffices to say that doctors, being scientifically grounded, will support any alternative method of medicine that enhances health and well-being if there is sufficient data (not testimonials) to back up the claims. Police officers are another example. The vast majority of them act altruistically for the benefit of the society, but those rubbing too close to the law will be the first to speak out on their flaws. I guess what I’m trying to say is: firefighters don’t get a bad rap like other good professions. There are no books written about what firefighters won’t tell you, or how there are alternative methods to putting out fires and saving lives.

I guess I could say something about the pictures. There are some old fire engines parked (maybe for good) in back of the fire station. The old fashioned and antique look is what drove me to them. In Photoshop, I applied the Orton Technique to make the pictures look like they flashbacks in your mind from a yonder year. I guess they look a little better. Here’s a thanks to all the volunteers and employees that make the Morgan County and City Fire Department alive and running.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Up on the Range

In the mountains of Morgan, we took a drive. We all piled into the back of the pick-up truck and headed on up. It was a very pretty evening. The trees are colorful and the weather just a little bit on the chilly side. I found a tree whose trunk meandered its way up in the air. I thought it was intriguing, so naturally I took a picture of it.

Naturally, Esplan was a little worried. I don't think he'd ever experienced anything like this in his life. Out of a car seat and into the mountains he goes.

Michael and his glowing countenance. When we got up to a nice canyon, we roasted some hotdogs and marshmallows. I can't think of a better meal. I spent what seemed like hours roasting a dog to its perfect color and temperature just to lose it in the dirt walking over to get a bun. If there wasn't as much cow manure than dirt on the ground, I probably would have bucked up and ate it; but I thought that a little food for the critters wouldn't hurt.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Current Events

The House rejects the financial bailout and the Stock Market dives.  I can honestly say that this is not my fault.  I have not changed my lifestyle, spending habits, investment portfolios, hairstyle, or anything else that might cause the economy to be doing poorly.  I haven't bought a house, faltered on my mortgage or anything else like that.  So that settles it, you can't blame the bad economy on me.

I guess one thing you can count on in this turbulent time is that when you come home to Welcome Home, you'll always find a good picture or two and you always find a little bit of rambling on by me.  I know that it is no Seriously, So Blessed which will cause a few friends and family to get bored easily.  Just for your information: I have better pictures (just look this one of Esplan/Jasper/Oliver/Peter), I'll tell you my name, and I'm not sarcastic very often.  I guess I shouldn't say anything because my readership is only a fraction of the girl that does Seriously, So Blessed.  Maybe the government could work something out with bailing my blog out--not in the hundreds of billions, but a small percent will do.  Heck, I'll even take 1/10,000th of a percent of $700 Billion.  I'm not bitter or anything, it's just that I know that some friends and family read her blog more faithly than their own kin and blood.  No, I'm not bitter.  However, I do think that the cause of our economic problems is because of that blog.

Coming Home for Homecoming

Big events were happening up in Morgan over the past week or so. Homecoming with all its many festivities was the highlight. We all went to the game and had a grand old time. We ended up sitting over on the visiting bleachers because the students were drowning us out over on the home side. They played North Sampete and won by no small margin. I haven't been to a high school football game in years so I'm glad I went

Here is the home crowd. As you can see fans from all ages come to see the mighty Trojans. There was a time that I could tell you the last name of nearly everyone on the home bleachers, but now I can't because Morgan is growing and I've been gone so long.

Kristy is swell. She was able to watch a little bit of the game when she wasn't watching her little ones doing laps around the bleachers.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lightning Strikes

Last Saturday night, I set out on a quest of catching some lightening. Just like when Christian tries to catch his crickets and like little Billy trying to catch his coons in Where the Red Fern Grows. This picture is an end product of my work. You probably recognize that this on the front porch I’m sorry there is that vinyl railing in the way. I would set my camera up on one side of the porch all nicely composed with a lot of sky and a little bit of tree action going on in the sides of the picture. While the picture was taking, I would see lightning light up the sky at the other end of the porch. So I would take my camera to the other side of the porch and take a picture there only to discover that the sky was lit up at the other end. I couldn’t believe I was getting faked out by the lightening. Finally I just happened to be in the right location at the right time, but the picture wasn’t composed as well as I would have liked.

One thing that just amazes me about pictures of lightening is the amount of detail the branches show. When we see the flash of lightening, we can’t see or I guess fully appreciate the complex branching unless you take a still image of it. I mean, just look at that electrical activity there! It amazes me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Temple Square

It's always impressive to go to Temple Square. The grounds are always kept up really well, it is an impressive place. This is the Salt Lake Temple, or a silhouette, rather. It took 40 years to build, and will no doubt stand the test of time. The history of the temple is really interesting and a brief version can be found here.

General Conference is coming in a couple of short weeks. I can't help but think that it is one of my favorite times of the year. The conferences are held every six months-- in the spring and fall. It's appropriate that they are held in seasons of change, because the prophets and apostles encourage just that as they spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, a season of change in our lives. I'm looking forward to it.