Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shish Kabobs

If summer were a piece of meat, it would be well done. With Labor Day quickly approaching, people are cramming in the rest of their plans into a numbered amount of days and weekends. It’s comparable to students cramming in the last of the material into their brains before the final. Comparable, but not really analogous because some of the best memories over the summer are the ones we didn’t plan for or organize. I know that in school if I didn’t plan for studying for a test, it would never get done and consequently I wouldn’t do that hot. The state schools have started and BYU starts next Tuesday, and it is a walk down memory lane watching the freshmen in the bookstore with their parents getting their books for the first time. You can tell they’re freshmen because they are still blown away by the prices. Now that I think about it, I was blown away every semester.

Today in the mail, I got a mini-diploma. It is not as cool as the mini-cows, but just as cute. I was listening to a morning show on the radio that I’ve been listening to for years and the DJ mentioned that unless you are going to be a doctor, lawyer, or some professional doctor, a college degree is a waste of time and money. He said that the piece of paper is hardly worth it. I agree; the diploma you get is maybe worth a dollar because it contains fancy calligraphy and ink. However, I didn’t spend all that money and time to get a piece of paper. I went to learn, and you know what? I liked it! Even my general education classes which get torn down all the time were very interesting. They have schools which cut out the general classes—they’re called Tech Schools. If you feel your education is a waste, then you are the one to blame.

These shish kabobs are from a barbeque a couple of days ago. They were fantastic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Don't Forget the Glue

Here is a before and after shot of my mom's classroom at Mountain Green Elementary. As you can see, the room turned out quite nice. The top picture was taken back in April and the bottom one was taken last Saturday. I went in on Monday and helped out a little bit with editing some "About Me..." papers. I was doing all right until someone had her favorite color as "turchoys". I tried to spell turquoise the best I could, but just now as I wrote it, I found out by spell check that I missed the 'e' at the end of the word. I feel bad that the student will go throughout life mislead by a volunteer in her Third Grade class!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Up the South Fork

My roommate is studying for the GMAT and he goes up a leg of Provo Canyon to do a little studying. I went along with him one day to take some pictures. This is an old seed planter that I found at the edge of a big meadow. It was a pretty place.
I thought it was funny to find my roommate squatting on the bench much like a catcher would in baseball. He said he did it because it allowed him a swift getaway when the bees came. There were a lot of bees up there and sure enough, he would jump up every few minutes to run away. He is almost as scared of them as Amber!! This is a picture of the little creek that runs down South Fork. Nothing too spectacular, but soothing at the same time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Coldest Soda in Town

The legend goes that this machine wasn't placed here by man, and that the soda within is the coldest around. As you can imagine, it is pretty hard to find. The block of cement it sits on is the only commercially zoned property for miles on end out there in Croydon. However, if you ever do find it--It has the coldest soda in town!
We were out in Croydon on business, on a trek to find all the geocaches for the Morgan County Fair (which is, of course, the biggest little fair in Utah). Although the trek wasn't very gas conscious, we had a good time driving all over the valley to find the geocaches. Christian went on to win a prize for his efforts during the fair!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Day the Arch Fell

Actually, Wall Arch didn't fall today, but it did a few days ago. Check this site out to see the before and after photos of the big arch in Utah's Arches National Park. That is just the circle of life, but it is sad to see an arch go. Last weekend, our ward went on a campout up by Payson Lakes. While we were driving up there, it was raining pretty hard, and I was worried that we would be there in the rain. The rain stopped, but, as you can tell by this picture that the skies looked grey for a while. It wouldn't have mattered if it rained or not because my roommate and I came back that night so that I could take him to Salt Lake.

This is a picture of some of us early birds that got up to the site before the rest of the word. We were in charge of getting things together--Food Detail if you will. We had the best chili cheese dogs anyone could have made!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Barn Painted Red

When I was young, I had this children's book about a family who went out on a Saturday for a drive. During the book it showed the places they stopped--like the grocery store and ice cream shop--along their drive. I always found it peculiarly interesting that their trip, which started out at sunrise, stretched out the entire day when they only made about 7 short stops. At the end of the book, they arrive back to their home to see the sunset. When we were coming back from St. George, we had a similar experience. We stopped to see Kolob (a part of Zion), we stopped at Arby's, we stopped at the Red Barn in Santaquin to get some peaches and apple cider.

We then stopped in Payson to see if the Wal-Mart had notebooks that my mom needed for her Third Grade class. They ended up not having enough so we stopped at the Springville and Orem ones as well. In between the Wal-Marts, we stopped here at the Hawaiian Shaved Ice place in downtown Spanish Fork. It was shaved, beautiful, and delicious. Then, when we finally had all the stops down, we were free to go home. We decided to go through Heber to avoid the I-15 traffic, but ended up hitting the tail end of the Heber City Parade that they were putting on. The main street was closed, so we had to wind through the back streets of town. The good thing though, was that we got back to Morgan before sundown--which even beat the family in my childhood book!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Running Gazelles

When life gets too much for you, just put your head down and sleep. Boy can I relate to this! I can't tell you how many times I used my chemistry book as a pillow in the library. In my adult years, however, I can't really remember falling asleep at the dinner table, though. As I was watching him at dinner, I could tell each blink was a little longer as his eyelids became heavier. I'm sure I looked the same in my physics class!
Naturally, when the opportunity arises for Finn to put food on his brother, he'll take it! Like the lions that go for the wounded or lone gazelle, you got to take advantage of what life gives you. We had pasta that night (as you can tell from Esplan's hair) and when Finn came into the other room with an abnormally large smile on his little face, I knew that something was up.
I don't blame him, though, I'm sure I did things like that when I was his age.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Girls (and Me)

A couple of weeks ago, we went to a place in Plano where we could battle it out in the Laser Tag arena. It was pretty intense and surprisingly I was humbled quite a few times by Seth and Alex. The girls, though, didn't play because I think the vests were as big as they were. We all went out to get some Ice cream afterwards to celebrate our victories (or to soothe our losses.) Emma, who is not an Ice Cream girl, had Sherbet.
This is my sister and her daughter. What a cute Mother-Daughter couple they are. I can't believe how old my nieces are getting these days. I guess that is a typical uncle thing to say, though.

My sister-in-law with her youngest. I'm kind of like that country singer who sings about how all his 'ex's live in Texas. Well all my nieces live in Texas. I love going down to Texas every year to spend time with them.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Looking Out

One of the days in Zion, we climb to the top of Observation Point and saw the view for ourselves. It was pretty amazing. This picture really doesn't show you much of the view, but the next one does. This picture includes me, my dad, 3 uncles, and 3 cousins. I'm not one for extreme drop-offs, but I love the view. I just stayed close to the mountain side of the trail.
You can see a little more of the canyon from here. This is called Zion canyon and that road down there is the one you'll travel if you go up on the Shuttle System. We are pretty high up there, I'll tell you that much. If you look over my right shoulder, you'll see a cliff and a little plateau on top. The pioneers in there area made a pulley and cable system out of thousands of feet of telegraph wire to lower down timber. This would save them weeks of travel to get good Ponderosa Pine in the area from scores of miles away. It only took the logs about 5 minutes to get lowered over a thousand feet. I wouldn't want to be the operator of that pulley system because I'm not a big fan a heights. If you draw a horizontal line from the shamrock on my shirt to the right of the picture, that ridge you come upon is Angel's Landing which is a popular hike in Zion.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Kelli's Work

My cousin Kelli is one of my favorite people in the world, and also an aspiring photographer. She borrowed my camera and took these amazing shots. There is a little pond by the lodge where we stayed. This is a hitching post where they kept all the life vests. Turned out to be a pretty shot.
We found a nice corner of the pond that had some wagon wheels. With the sun in the far west position, the lighting turned out pretty nice. Kelli has an eye for those things. She's up in Washington now, but while she was here in Utah County, I observed the dentist she worked for as an assistant for a month or two. I'll tell you one thing, I would trust my teeth in her hands. Not that I would want my teeth out and placed in her hands, but you know what I mean.
This one is my favorite. This fence looked fairly new, so the wood really glows in the evening sun. For some reason, I think this picture would be even better with a girl in a white summer dress holding a sunflower with one of those big-rimmed sun hats in it. It seems like it would belong in a classic novel like Gone with the Wind or something like that. Actually, I've never read that book so I can't tell you if it would a girl in a white summer dress in it or not. Maybe The Great Gatsby or Pride and Prejudice would have one. I was thinking that if the dress has a big "A" on it, then you could probably find it in The Scarlet Letter. The kids on the Lord of the Flies island probably didn't even have any dresses, and if they did, it probably wouldn't have stayed white very long. Surely it couldn't be in 1984 because she probably couldn't even get away from Big Brother long enough to go stand by the fence, and Mr. Frankenstein was pretty good at making a patchwork of bodies, but I don't know how well of a dress-maker he would be. The guy in Catcher in the Rye probably would have liked a girl in a white dress standing there, but he probably would have been complaining too much about the world's phoniness to even notice her if she were there. Anyway, sorry to take you on a walk down the lane of my English memories. They were all good books. I wish I had more time to read more.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wall Street

Our family reunion was in Southern Utah this year. We stayed in this really nice lodge with air conditioning and all. We went to Zion National Park for a couple days and did some of the incredible hikes that are there. Here is a picture of Wall Street--a part of the Narrows. This was truly a majestic hike with the canyon walls reaching over a 1,000 ft over your head. I have more pictures of the Narrows and the places we went throughout the reunion, but I've been pretty busy and have only been able to get these two out. Don't worry, more will come!
One of the tributaries to the Virgin River comes through this canyon called the Orderville Canyon. It was beautiful and here my dad and Brian look up the canyon. We didn't make it very far because we decided to stay dry rather than swimming through the next part. It was a nice little hike and I recommend it to anyone wanting to see some beautiful canyons. If you can make it to this tributary, you are at the prettiest part.