Thursday, May 29, 2008

Brie French Toast

My brother and his wife are quite skillful in the kitchen. Over the years, I have had some pretty tasty meals over at their home. On Memorial Day, they invited me and my parents over to their home for some Brie French Toast topped with a blueberry syrup and sprinkled with strawberries and powdered sugar. The french toast had a few slices of brie in between which added nicely to the flavor. Usually, I'm more Conservative when it comes to my cheeses: Mild Cheddar, Colby Jack, and Pepper Jack. However, my brothers family is slowly introducing their liberal cheese options to me. I was just grateful for good food and good company. I can't remember the last time I had a breakfast that good! The recipe can be found here in their website.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bryum argenteum

Otherwise known as common lawn moss, Bryum argenteum, is probably growing around your yard somewhere. This clump was found by my nephews in a little Morgan park. With thousands of square feet of grass growing around, for some reason this little patch of moss attracts little hands and minds. Christian here is holding his prize pick and I think he carried it almost all the way home. Moss isn't necessarily a bad thing because it can provide green growth in dark and damp areas--contact your local nursery for any questions you have. If you are interested in this moss, check this out. Our friends at Ohio University will tell you all about it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Decoration Day

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. For many Americans, it is a day that extends the last weekend of May. It allows them to fire up the camping trailers, boats, and four-wheelers and head out of the busy city to an equally busy countryside on this weekend. Not that taking a little vacation is bad, I just wanted to say my appreciation to our troops who have fallen in our nation's service. Both my grandfathers who have since passed served their country in the military.
I'm honored to be part of such great heritage. Thousands and thousands of men and women are working each day to preserve our country's rights and freedoms. On this day and everyday--Thank You.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Where the Heart Is

My grandma grew up in this home. There is an old black and white photograph of my great grandma and all her family around her in front of this house. A few years ago we took a picture like it with my grandma in the center. There's a lot of history here, but to me--it's home!
The simple, pure leaves of the Quaking Aspen in my parents back yard. We used sleep out in the back yard with our hammocks tied between two of these trees.
My Sister-in-law with two of her boys. We played tennis the other day and my brother whomped me! I guess I'm getting too old for that game. Finn is sporting what he calls an "Eehawk". I guess it is like a Mohawk, but not.
A tree in Morgan. The mountains are really green right now which makes the entire valley just beautiful. I been to a lot of places before, but this place it near the top of my list for most beautiful places in the world!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Enjoy Life

Sometimes I forget to have fun. I mean, how many years did I anxiously await my 16th birthday so that I could drive a car. And now, I get get to drive everyday! There are a lot of mundane things we all do everyday that would be pretty darn exciting for someone else. How many times have you walked by someone just doing their job and thought, "hey, that job would be pretty fun!"-- like the guys that get to ride that sweeper machine around the campus sidewalks, or the library security guard that gets to sit and peoplewatch all day and get paid for it, or the tree trimmers on the grounds crew that get to clime up the campus trees. We had an old swing set in our back yard growing up (it didn't look as nice as the one in the picture) and I would spend hours on it pretending to on outer-space adventures. I would even take my lunch out to eat it in my 'cockpit'. This picture reminded me of the good times we can have if we just put our mind to it. This is Michael and Christian who are having a good time on the swing set.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mother Luna

I've lived in Provo for about 5 years now, and I'm amazed that there are things that I've never seen. I'm intrigued by some of the historical aspects of Provo like this school. It's called the Maeser school and when it was still used as an elementary school in 2002, it was the oldest public school building used in the state. Now, the building is used to provide housing to low-income seniors. It was almost torn down back in 2004 or so when officials found no use for the building. The architecture and style of the building was popular back in the early 1900s but rarely is seen today. The Provo City Library is similar (although it has been rebuilt) because it was originally built in the same time period. The Maeser School was named after the Karl G. Maeser--a prominent educator involved with BYU in Provo.
If you look along the silhouette of the mountain starting with the mound on top, you can see a profile of a face. The very top mound is her forehead and it is against the blue sky. Move to your right and you'll see her eye and nose. Keep moving down past the rocks, you see her lips and chin. Her name is Mother Luna and has been known in Provo for over 100 years. According to the Daily Herald in Provo, Professor N. L. Nelson introduced her to the general public in 1899. A lot of the students in Provo in the early 20's would hike up to her nose. This is another thing of Provo that I have missed during my 5 years here. The reason is because you can't see her on the side of Provo where campus is. You have to go to about 200 West 200 South so see her. Once you do, you'll always be looking up there!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Salt Lake Streets

I'm becoming more and more a fan of Trax to get around down town Salt Lake. I think it is a fast and efficient was to get down to the Energy Solutions Arena or Gateway Mall. This picture was taken by Gallivan Center (another place I'm beginning to like more and more).
This is a picture of the Bell Tower on the City-County building in downtown Salt Lake. It is located in Washington Square which is just west of the Library (stay tuned for a picture). This building was built in the 1890's and served as the States Capitol when it gained its statehood in 1896. Originally, the building's architecture was supposed be in open defiance of the Salt Lake Temple with it's spires and statue of Columbia on the top of the bell tower. Ironically, it was the Church-backed political party that thought up the building in the first place (here is my trusty little source, for what it's worth!) Personally, I think it is a beautiful building and the architecture, with whatever initial reasoning, is magnificent.
Here is the view on the streets of Salt Lake City at night. It was a beautiful night. Instead of looking North (like the first picture), this time you are looking South along Main Street. I really liked how this picture turned out with the lights and sky.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The last BYU baseball games before the Mountain West Conference Tournament was held up at Franklin Covey Field in Salt Lake City. The game we went to on Friday was dominated by the Cougars. We left the at the end of the 8th only to find out that in the 9th, BYU scored just under a million runs. Okay, not exactly a million, but they scored 8 to make the ending score 15-2.
I can't remember if I've been to a Salt Lake Bee's game before, or if I have ever been in this ballpark. I was very impressed with the stadium. I mean, it is no Fenway Park or Wrigley Field, but for a nice evening of Baseball, Franklin Covey Field will do for me. Here the light hits the supports for the seats to make that warm feel to it. I guess the stadium does have one flaw, however--The engineers 'forgot' to put drinking fountains in! What? Do they want us to buy a $3 water everytime we're thirsty? I know--I'm a cheap college student.
Here is a shot of the action. Nothing too exciting in this picture, you've seen a picture like this a thousand or more times! BYU ending up winning the 3 game series with Utah. On Saturday's game, BYU came back with 12 runs in the 8th inning when they were down by ten.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rose Petal

Memory Grove Park is located just east and down the hill of the State Capitol. It turns out that it is an extremely popular place to take engagement, bridal, and any other type of photographs that you are in the mood for. A local High School was hosting its Prom and there were girls in their bright colored dresses with a man in a tux by each of their sides. Dropped and forgotten was this lone rose petal on the steps going up the hill.
Utah has been colder than usual this spring (I don't know how, but let's blame Global Warming). Only the late bloomers in Provo are still coming out of their Winter shells, but in Morgan, the valley trees still look naked without their leaves. This lone tree in Salt Lake was a beautiful contrast to the green trees around it. I have grown to love trees, and I think that this little tree will grow up to be a beauty!

Nothing much is happening at BYU. Spring and Summer terms are usually a little more laid back with faculty and students taking their own self-deserved Summer Vacations despite the fact that a heavy load of classes are going on for both of them. The Spring sport that I've checked out this year is Cougar Baseball. Unfortunately, it hasn't been the best year for them. The last two games I checked out have been a bit sour for the Cougars. On another note, BYU football is always something to look forward to. From what I've heard, the teams is looking good. Bronco Mendenhall announced today that running back Manase Tonga will not playing this year because he is "academically ineligible". It's too bad to hear things like that about a student athlete not focusing on his school work. That is one of the greatest things about college athletics--they are full time students struggling through school like the rest of us. Believe me, I know about the struggles associated with keeping up with classes, homework, tests, etc.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Off and Running

Esplan is heading off to an important place. I was hanging out with the kids in the back yard after Kim and Obed's blessing of little Tyler. We had a pretty intense Home run Derby consisting of plastic tennis rackets, toys bats, and a variety of balls. Joseph, Christian, and Michael did impressive work with their respective bat. I tried my hand at it to see if I could get a home run, but I was no match for my little pitchers because I didn't last long!
While I was watching the kids in the back yard, Sean took a tumble off his bike and cut his lip. Besides that and a couple other bumps and bruises nobody got hurt under my watch! I guess that is not a very good percentage, though. Sean and Finn dug for buried treasure in the sand box while the older boys hit their home runs. Esplan wondered around trying to figure out exactly how those darn bouncy balls bounced.
Come to find out, a lot of universities have bell towers. I overheard someone at work talk about the University of Alabama's bell tower. I was curious to see them so I searched for them and I have to say, they are beautiful. I also found this link of a whole bunch of bell towers across the world. I've enjoyed hearing the hourly "Come, come ye saints" line. Others on campus didn't like them as much as they wrote into the Daily Universe complaining that the bells are cutting their sleep in the early morning hours and that they are tired of hearing the same chime every hour. Let them complain, I say. I like the bell tower. Every Summer, BYU hosts a Carillon Bell concert where listeners can come come at dusk with their blankets and enjoy a Summer evening of music.
I hope you enjoy the picture, I really don't have anything to say about it. However, I heard this quote last Sunday by President Monson that I think you might like:

"Should doubt knock at your doorway, just say to those skeptical, disturbing, rebellious thoughts: "I propose to stay with my faith, with the faith of my people. I know that happiness and contentment are there, and I forbid you agnostic, doubting thoughts to destroy the house of my faith. I acknowledge that I do not understand the processes of creation, but I accept the fact of it. I grant that I cannot explain the miracles of the Bible, and I do not attempt to do so, but I accept God's word. I wasn't with Joseph, but I believe him. My faith did not come to me through science, and I will not permit so-called science to destroy it.""
President Thomas S. Monson
BYU Magazine Spring 2008