August 31, 2009

Payson Lake and Grotto

This weekend Joey and I went with Bob and his family and Grandpa Mike to the Payson Lake and Grotto. Mike grew up close to a mountain and loves hiking and the outdoors. I'm not as convinced, but I did have a great time. Joey found a log in the lake that looked identical to the Lochness Monster, and I even found a tree with my initials carved on it. Have I been here before?

August 28, 2009


We celebrated Joey's 12th birthday this week. He invited several friends over for pizza and cake and the theme was Sponge Bob. Jeni made a really creative cake and the kids also went swimming at Jeni's uncle Terry's pool. All in all a really fun day. Happy Birthday Joey!

August 26, 2009

Beehive Pasta

Last night I spent a few hours guiding Maddy and her Beehive group from Church through the steps of making both pasta and meatballs from scratch. Teaching a cooking class for thirteen 12-13 year old girls made for a very active and fun evening. We started with each of them making their own dough (1/2 cup flour, 1 egg), then they made the meatballs and the sauce, and then rolled, cut and cooked the pasta. It tasted great and I used the same recipe I posted a short time ago. Thanks Kim, Angela and Rhonda for all of your help! Below are pictures from the evening.

August 25, 2009

Mind Games

With the start of school last week, Maddy and Joey are both now in Junior High; Maddy in 8th grade, Joey in 7th. How did this happen? I don't remember them getting this old. Surely it must have happened overnight. And why is it that my eyes see them like the picture above, but my mind sees them like the pictures below?

August 23, 2009

Quote 44

I am going to preach a hard doctrine to you now. The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to Him. And that hard doctrine lies at the center of discipleship. There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and heart, where we really do decide which way to go and what to do. And when we submit to His will, then we've really given Him the one thing He asks of us. And the other things are not very, very important. It is the only possession we have that we can give, and there is no resulting shortage in our agency as a result. Instead, what we see is a flowering of our talents and more and more surges of joy. Submission to Him is the only form of submission that is completely safe.

Neal A. Maxwell, Sharing Insights from My Life, BYU Devotional, January 12, 1999

August 20, 2009

Red Hot

Another great magic trick by Joey. Hope you enjoy!

August 19, 2009


I did not have a great experience the last time I visited the Lagoon Guessing Booth.

I visited the booth again this trip.

171 pounds. 31 years old.


August 17, 2009

Lagoon 2009

We spent a much needed vacation this last weekend in Salt Lake City. Fun memories include two days at Lagoon, Utah's amusement park, redemption at the Guessing Booth (more to come on that) and a dinner of fresh bread, unique cheeses and large grapes from Whole Foods. I just wish there was a Whole Foods in Utah County. Oh how badly I wish! Below are some fun pictures from the vacation.

August 13, 2009


Not too often in my life have I heard a song that moves me to the very core. I'm sure it has something to do with the time period I'm going through in my life but I think more than anything it's a simple melody that does it. And for some reason for me these types of songs rarely have lyrics. Some examples of this include "Sketch in E Flat" by John Barlow Jarvis, "The Spirit World" by Kurt Bestor, "St. Jarna" by Depeche Mode, and "Out of Thin Air" by Howard Jones.

If you watched SYTYCD this season, you probably saw the dance set to "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles. Since that night, I have not been able to get that song out of my mind. I found a great performance of it by Sara herself on the piano and have attached it below. Thankfully, I found the sheet music this week and am in process of learning it. One of the fascinating things about this song is that it is written in the key of C, the key without any sharps or flats. I don't think I've ever heard a song so melodic and beautiful in that key before which to me adds to the greatness of it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

August 11, 2009

5000 - Maddy

Yesterday we celebrated Maddy's 5000th day on this Earth! We track these milestones for each of our kids as well as for Jeni and my anniversaries. We still do annual birthday celebrations but tracking the 1000 day marks has been fun since they come only every 3 years and they always lead to some great conversations about taking advantage of every day we're given.

To celebrate Maddy's milestone, we took her and her friend McKenna to Cold Stone for an "anything on the menu" treat, which Maddy took full advantage of. Happy 5000 Maddy!

August 09, 2009

Quote 43

God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 148

August 05, 2009

Maple Dell 2009

Joey and I returned this last weekend from a week-long Boy Scout camp at Maple Dell in Payson, Utah. Because Joey isn't quite 12, I had to go along and I was glad I did, even though of the five fingers that were cut during the week two of them were mine! Joey did great during the week, earning the Archery, Rifle Shooting, Wood Carving, Basketry and Environmental Science merit badges. As a result, in September Joey will earn his Star Rank and he's just two merit badges away from his Life Rank. The pictures below are various shots of the camp, the boys (there were 12 of them total) and a few of me and the Scoutmaster, Branden Plewe.