31 May 2009

Does anyone else have this problem?

So it has become nearly impossible to get a quality candid picture of my child. She loves buttons and anything with a light up screen is a plus so naturally every time we try to take her picture instead of catching some adorable moment of her childhood we instead end up with one of a long series of pictures of her reaching the camera. If I don't take the picture fast enough it is just an extreme close up of her forehead. I try to be sneaky but to no avail, she knows when the camera is out and she wants it. Below are some of my favorite examples, they range from sweet to cranky and then on to downright ornery, enjoy.

24 May 2009

Well that doesn't happen every day.

So on Sunday May 17th we had a special stake conference with Elder Anderson presiding. We got to the chapel just minutes before it started and of course with an apostle there it was just busting at the seams. Jennifer and I were about to see if we could find seats in the gym when Brother Gardner from our ward walked in and asked if we needed seats, we replied in the affirmative and he guided us up to the front of the chapel, just three rows from the stand.

Well after the opening speaker and musical number the program simply read something to the effect of "Elder Anderson to determine the balance of the meeting". He had decided that he wanted to hear from someone who was at each of the three special meeting they had, he noticed Jenn and asked the stake presidency about her. They all thought it was a great idea so President Earl went up to the podium and asked Jennifer to share her thoughts on the Friday meeting. Once she was finally convinced that he had in fact said her name she made her way up there, I thought that she was going to faint, bear in mind this was a huge meeting. President Chamberlain later confided that he feared she might throw up.

Once Jennifer got to the microphone however, something amazing happened. The Spirit really blessed her in knowing what to say. I have never heard her speak that clearly, concisely and with that level of conviction. I was so proud of my wife, she was amazing. What a neat experience to be noticed by one of the apostles and for them to place that much trust in you. I knew that she was equal to the task.

16 May 2009

Star Trek

Well kudos to J.J. Abrams, Matthew and Jennifer give Star Trek two enthusiastic thumbs up. The movie was well written, well paced and a whole lot of fun. Critics referred to it as this years Iron Man and after seeing it I understand why, it was an example of a good action movie. You can still have characters and personal drama amidst all of the explosions and such.

The only criticism that I would have is that I would have liked to see the Enterprise itself as more of a character, I would have liked to see it play more of a part in the action but that was minor and might have been awkward to try to fit in. I'm really interested to see our Trekker fans take on the movie. (That's you Christy)

Holy...well that about says it.

Elder David A. Bednar

Elder Neil L. Anderson

Elder W. Craig Zwick

It's not everyday that you get to go to a stake center and hear the teachings of two apostles and a seventy but that was our privilege just last evening. Elders Bednar, Anderson and Zwick have come to our area and last night they held a special meeting for all young adults within a nine stake area. The meeting was amazing and Elder Bednar managed to keep it fun at the same time, I didn't realize that he had such a sense of humor. He actually made several jokes about Mormon culture and tried to clearly delineate the difference between the culture and the gospel. The meeting also took an interesting format, it was conducted completely as a question and answer session with the overall theme being to encourage us to recieve revelation for ourselves. Elder Bednar made the point repeatedly that we did not need to come to a meeting with two apostles and a seventy to recieve inspiration, they had the same scriptures that we have and we are therefore able, with the help of the Spirit, to obtain answers for problems pertinant to our lives directly from the Lord. It felt good to know that we were in the right place.

I have to share one memorable event. We knew that the stake center was going to be crowded but unfortunately due to the demands of getting a babysitter and my having to work we were not able to get there quite as early as we would have liked. Well, just as we stepped into the church who else would walk right by us but the general authorities themselves. They were heading into the chapel and I was taken aback to see them right in front of me. It did not seem possible that I was in the presence of two apostles of the Lord and yet there they stood. I think they read the dumbfounded expressions on our faces and stopped to shake our hands. Elder Bednar, I noticed, was really good about asking your name. They had a power and a presence about them.

The evening was an incredible treat. It lasted for two hours and I felt like I could have sat there through the night. I've never been in a church meeting that seemed to fly by quite like that one. I know that those men are servants of the Lord and I am grateful that we had the opportunity to be there.

10 May 2009

Jenn and I have a life.

Well it might be hard to believe but Jennifer and I are also member of this family, (I know we are very Bailey centric). Well, on May 2nd we actually went on a date. We saw a comedian, Daniel Tosh. We had seen him previously on The Tonight Show, he was hilarious so we were really excited about going. Granted we were a little apprehensive because comedy can tend to be crass but we looked up reviews and went to his website and felt pretty good about going.

While a lot of his jokes were hilarious, he unfortunately went really crass on us. It seemed that as the night wore on the jokes got worse and worse and his language just got more and more foul. It was really disappointing and also very eye opening. We know that we have to be really careful about our entertainment and this just reinforced why. The next day I had some of the punchlines replaying in my head again and again. So too bad, he is a talented performer, but not our cup of tea.

Miss Piggy

I was really sick back in the first part of April. As a result my nose was really runny and I had to sniff a lot. Bailey apparently picked up on my snorting and began to try to imitate it. I think it came out pretty amusing. Here is a picture of her "cute" snorting face.

Mother's Day Picnic

Well today was the day for our annual family picnic in honor of mother's day. These are always so much fun. There was a ton of food, catching up and a pretty competitive game of kickball (unfortunately I was playing so I did not have time to take pictures).

Of course the day started out on a high note. We went to church with Jenn's family in the morning in Sparks. They have such a friendly ward, it was really a treat to be able to go. They served up strawberry shortcake for all the mothers, they even had the elder's quorum take over primary at the end to make sure that all the women were able to get their treat.

Due to a scheduling problem on my part I was also committed to help out with the lesson in Relief Society back in our own ward which meant a drive back to Reno, but it was well worth it. The elder's quorum (at least the ones that I've been to) could really learn something from the Relief Society about how to put together a lesson. The teacher was prepared, first off, she even called me back on Tuesday about the lesson which means she was getting it ready more than just the night before or morning of, also the sisters all had their manuals and were great about participating. I really consider myself lucky for having been there, thanks Sister Carlin for asking me.

Happy Mother's Day

Well, it is that time of year again when with a cute card, some flowers and/or a phone call we try to show our wives and our mothers and all the special women in our life just how much they mean to us. Perhaps our intent is better received when reinforced continually throughout the year. I have several special women in my life who have earned the title of mother. My own mom is an inspiration to me, she is soft spoken, faithful and encouraging to us in whatever direction our ambitions lie. I know that she believes in her children and that she loves them, I love you mom.

My wife...I love you more than words can tell. Your patience and forgiveness seem boundless and I am grateful for that as I try to fit the image of what a man can be. Your counsel is always insightful and usually appreciated. You are very selfless in the way you not only care for our daughter but also in the way you support me as I pursue an education and other goals that take me away from home so often. I love you Jenn and thank you for not being afraid to speak up when I get distracted and lose sight of what is most important.

My mother in law is an amazing woman. She trusts me and I appreciate that. She trusts me to take care of Jenn and our little family and though she has had occasion to see me when I am not being my best she nonetheless still loves me. She works hard, too hard sometimes, to ensure that I feel that I belong in the family and I hope that she knows just how much I do feel very much at home with her and I am so happy to know her.

This list is by no means comprehensive. There are grandmothers, teachers, sisters, friends even my boss who have also had a great impact on my life. How grateful I am for the good women in my life. Thank you for everything that you do, I would not be the man I am without your guidance, support and correction from time to time, I love you.

06 May 2009

Bailey's a genius, further proof

So back in February I was playing with Bailey and trying to help her to figure out her shape sorter. Standard issue, plastic bucket with a lid that has cut outs for different shapes. Anyway, I demonstrated for her how to locate the appropriate space for the different blocks. I then gave her the block to take a turn. She reached right down and pulled the lid off the box and threw the block inside. My first instinct was to try to correct her and model the appropriate way to use the toy but I realized that the objective is to get the block in the bucket which she did. She saw her way around the problem. I was so proud of her.

03 May 2009

Bailey is a Genius

So Bailey is a genius. Today in church she was wandering around in Sunday School and found something on the floor. Jennifer didn't want her to play with it so she said, "That's garbage". Well upon hearing that Bailey marched right to the front of the room and threw it in the garbage can. She then turned around with a big cheesy grin and clapped her hands for a job well done.

I can't believe how smart she is getting. Jennifer is doing such an amazing job teaching her too. What a great couple of girls I've got.