May 30, 2008


Every once in a while when I'm really tired, I use a set of earplugs (like the ones pictured above) to help me sleep since its hard for me to get back to sleep if I'm woken up. So a few nights ago I plopped in the earplugs and had a great night's sleep. When I woke up, I pulled the plug out of my left ear and reached in for the one in the right ear and it wasn't there. I thought that was a bit odd since I couldn't find it in, by or under the bed, and even more odd that the ear was ringing and buzzing and I couldn't hear very well out of it. I realized that somehow the earplug had embedded itself completely into my ear during the night.

Have you ever actually tried to look inside your own ear in a mirror? It's impossible. I had to get one of Jeni's portable mirrors and hold it up at just the right angle to the main mirror to even see the end of the plug. I'm sure it was quite a scene - holding up a small mirror in one hand and reaching into the ear with the other. I tried to grab the plug, poke it, prod it etc. with my fingers but no luck as it was in too deep. I could barely even get my fingertip on it. I started getting a little nervous and pictured what would happen if I went to the Emergency Room:

Nurse: What brings you in today?
Ro: I.... I've lost hearing in my right ear.
Nurse: When did this happen?
Ro: Um... When I woke up. I must have had some trauma to it during the night.
Nurse: Let me take a look (as she looks into my ear).
Ro: I.... I think my earplug might still be in there.
Nurse: (Laughing hysterically) Dr. Jones, Dr. Hamilton- you've got to come and see this. Bring your camera!
Ro: I think I'll go home now.

I determined I would have to operate on myself. I decided to forego the anasthesia, grabbed my scalpel (a pair of small red scissors), put on my scrubs and I was ready. Gently I poked into my ear with one of the blades and tried to move it around in such a way as to create some leverage between the blade and the earplug, just like I knew House would if he were there. It took about 10 minutes but it worked! The earplug came out completely enlarged, not scrunched at all, something you'd normally only read about in medical textbooks but I got to experience first hand.

In the future, I'm either going to invest in a nicer pair of sanitary scissors and a smaller portable mirror, or buy earplugs that have the string attached for easy removal.

May 28, 2008

Quote 3

(God) sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, p. 162

May 26, 2008

Quote 2

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, p. 3

May 25, 2008

Knocked Out

Yesterday we brought a few items to sell at our neighbor's garage sale. Aside from a few of Jeni's decor items, we also brought Rocky, Maddy's guinea pig. As much as we all loved the little guy, during the last 3 months he had become more time consuming and costly for Maddy than she had thought he would be. We ended up selling him, cage, ball and all for $10 to a mom with 3 young kids that couldn't stop playing with him. It was sad to see him go but it was the right thing to do, for us and for Rocky. Goodbye champ!

May 24, 2008

Quote 1

Charity - giving to the poor - is an essential part of Christian morality: in the frightening parable of the sheep and the goats it seems to be the point on which everything turns. I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid that the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charities expenditure excludes them. I am speaking now of 'charities' in the common way. Particular cases of distress among your own relatives, friends, neighbours or employees, which God, as it were, forces upon your notice, may demand much more: even to the crippling and endangering of your own position. For many of us the great obstacle to charity lies not in our luxurious living or desire for more money, but in our fear - fear of insecurity. This must often be recognised as a temptation. Sometimes our pride also hinders our charity; we are tempted to spend more than we ought on the showy forms of generosity (tipping, hospitality) and less than we ought on those who really need our help.

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 86-87

One of the subjects Maddy has learned in school and become very good at this year is persuasive writing. She's persuaded her teacher to stop using the word "rad" as it is "so 80's," and she also did great on a persuasive test.

Her most recent attempt has been to try to persuade Jeni and me to give her her own e-mail. Instead of the more common "everyone else has one" or "its cool to have one" arguments, Maddy presented us with the following persuasive paper.

Though we haven't decided on the e-mail yet, she certainly was very persuasive! Maybe she could teach us this talent so that we could persuade her to clean her room each day and not date until she's 30.

May 21, 2008

Arrow of Light

We are so proud of Joey who tonight was awarded his Webelos badge as well as the Arrow of Light, the highest award a Cubscout can earn. In a way its the Cubscout version of the Eagle award. Joey worked really hard in the last 3 months on Activity Badges such as Traveler, Readyman, Citizen, Family Member and Handyman. Now he moves into Boy Scouts and is looking forward to a Father and Son's Boy Scout summer campout to Moab. Congratulations Joey!

The first picture below is Joey with his friend Cade Twitty who also earned the Arrow of Light tonight. The last picture is Joey surround by many of the younger Scouts.

May 18, 2008

Pears and Pecans

I just tasted the most delicious (non-chocolate) ice cream! Häagen-Dazs recently introduced a new flavor - Caramelized Pear & Toasted Pecan. It combines a deep pear flavor with small chunks of caramelized pears and bits of toasted pecans, and was the winner of last year's Flavor Search competition hosted by Gourmet Magazine. It's a real treat that doesn't fill you up, as evidenced by me eating almost the entire pint in one sitting.

May 16, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

To thank Jen for being the wonderful mom that she is, I surprised her on Mother's day with an 8 course meal and spent most of Saturday and a few hours after Church on Sunday preparing it. It was a lot of fun and Joey helped me quite a bit, especially with the Chocolate Truffle Torte which he made without any help. Here was the menu.

It was a really fun day and we were glad to celebrate with Jen's brother Steve and sister Rebecca.
Hiking the Y

Last weekend I went with Joey and his Webelos group to hike "The Y." If you haven't seen it before, the Y sits on a mountain above the BYU campus in Provo.

The hike was 1.2 miles up to the Y and by up, I mean up! It was a steep trail climbing over 8500 feet. As we got started I immediately regretted the Triple Cheeseburger I had eaten for breakfast that morning (just kidding!.. it was only a Double). For a history of the Y, click here. It was a fun day with Joey and below are some pictures. I really need to cut down on the cheeseburgers.

May 04, 2008


Call me crazy, but I find yardwork therapeutic. I love edging, mowing, not so fond of weeding, but most of all I love running the sprinklers when I’m done and watching the water cover the grass. I could honestly stand there for an hour just watching the sprinklers go back and forth.

Maybe my love for sprinkler systems goes back to my high-school days where I worked for a landscaping company on Mercer Island, Washington. I spent an entire summer digging trenches, laying sprinkler pipe, mowing lawns, bagging leaves, etc. I am reminded of this job every time I look at my right leg and see the long scar I earned during an encounter with an old piece of rusty rebar that summer. If you live in Seattle, having a sprinkler system is a luxury since there is so much rainfall. In Utah, however, having sprinklers is almost a must.

Winter in Utah has lasted far too long this year, in fact we had snow again last Monday. Temperatures are looking up though and this last Saturday I took advantage and worked on the yard. There’s nothing like a freshly cut lawn at the start of spring and watching the sprinklers run for the first time. If only I could figure out why my scar starts throbbing everytime they come on!

May 01, 2008


While at Disneyland, we had Maddy and Joey's caricatures done in watercolor by a great artist. We saw her during one of our first days in the park and liked her style the best. Below are the pictures, start to finish!