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Monthly Archives: November 2007

Elf Yourself!

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Okay, I admit it… I can’t resist silly stuff like this. Earlier this week, someone at one of Unishippers’ franchise locations found this site where you can upload pictures of people you know and make them dance like Santa’s elves. This person had put in pictures of our company’s executive team and it was hilarious. (Thankfully, the executive team had a sense of humor about it!)

Anyway, I went to the site and added pictures of my four kids. When I got home, I gathered the kids around my computer and they were howling and screaming with laughter. It was really fun. Here’s the link so you can see waht I’m talking about.

 http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9628987324

I like promotions like this, they’re so much fun. So go ahead, elf YOURSELF!!

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2007 in Technology

 

The Eternal Battle

The “eternal battle” is generally considered to be good versus evil. During rivalry week, some would say that it’s BYU verses the University of Utah. Or how about Homer Simpson versus Ned Flanders!

But there’s another battle that is constantly raging in my life — and that is the “battle against the bulge.” Yes, it’s the eternal battle between eating good food and staying in shape, and the temptation to succumb to eating deliciously unhealthy food. And it’s especially difficult at this time of year with the holidays.

A recent article I read says that the average American gains about one pound over the holidays (popular myth says 4-5). One pound may not sound like a lot, but since most of us don’t end up losing that extra pound, it stays on forever and will accumulate over time.

Last year, I gained 10 pounds over the holidays. Amazing! This year, I absolutely refuse to be so irresponsible and foolish. If anything, I want to lose weight this holiday season. Aafter gaining two pounds over Thanksgiving weekend, I started a diet again on Saturday, only to be foiled in my efforts by a delicious Thanksgiving meal with my in-laws on Sunday. I guess I should have known not to go on a diet with one Thanksgiving dinner to go.

My dieting woes are briefly described in a previous blog called Yo-Yo Dieting, where I describe my ups and downs over the past few years. Since that post, I have lost 10 pounds (from 196 to 186) and then gained back four pounds. I’m currently at 190 and would really like to get down to 180 by year’s end. I have five weeks to do it. Question is, can I realistically stick to a diet at such a delicious time of year?

For those of you who remain slender without much effort or exercise, I am sincerely jealous. Why is it that some people can eat whatever they want and never do any exercise and still stay trim? It’s not fair! Oh, but that’s right, life isn’t fair, is it! We all have our particular challenges, and one of mine is resisting the temptations of high-fat, high-sugar items.

And while I’m bemoaning this “cross” I have to bear, I realize that it’s nothing compared to other addictions people face. For example, those who struggle with drug addiction go through the same type of cycles, although exponentially greater and more intense. They fight their urges to get high, struggle with serious withdrawals, then finally succumb and get high, only to later go through deep depression and self loathing once they have hit rock bottom. It’s really a tragedy, and it makes my struggle against indulging in egg nog or chocolates seem trivial.

So as I embark on the next five weeks, wish me luck and please don’t offer me any treats…

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2007 in Health

 

Counting My Blessings

As I approach this Thanksgiving, I have several blessings for which I am extremely grateful. Here they are:

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James Andrew Lambert is six weeks old and we’re thrilled he’s a part of our lives! 

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Lily is three and is so happy to have a baby brother. She looks a lot like her Grandma Judy in this picture, don’t you think?

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Six-year-old Brianna is our blond bombshell and loves to look pretty. Here she is posing in a dress that Robin bought for our upcoming family portrait.

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Parley turned eight earlier this year and he has given us eight years of excitement. He’s a very enthusiastic boy as you can see from this picture, taken at Lagoon earlier this year.

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And of course, I’m incredibly thankful for my wife Robin who made all of those other blessings possible. Plus she’s a pretty incredible blessing in and of herself. Our 10 years of marriage have been fantastic and I’m so glad we found each other.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2007 in Family

 

Of Bribes and Boondocks

Bribes. Most people would consider them morally objectionable. In some third-world countries, they are simply the norm in the business world. And this weekend, such was the case at my home. Of course, we prefer to use the euphamisms “incentives” or “rewards,” but the result is the same — an attempt to get compliance from the kids.

After their regular chores on Saturday, I bribed the kids with a trip to Boondock’s Fun Center if they would do some extra work in the yard. So we took the kids there after lots of leaf raking and putting up the Christmas lights (yes, it’s early, but we wanted to take advantage of the good weather — just know that while the lights are on the house, they won’t be actually turned on until after Thanksgiving!)

We enjoyed the go-carts as you can see from the little video below, and then we all participated in 18 holes of mini-golf (the kids are getting better and more coordinated, but it’s still a bit aggravating to play with them because they’re so slow.) Overall, we had a great time together.

So how do you motivate your children? How do you develop a sense of fun without giving them a sense of entitlement, like they deserve to be rewarded for everything they do? Don’t some tasks need to be done without rewards (apart from the satisfaction that comes from the sense of accomplishment they get)? What’s the right balance?

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Two Pirates and a Baby

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“Arrrh mateys. This is the pirate king, sharing a picture of my pirate princess and new baby! Arrren’t we cute?”

This picture was not actually taken on Halloween. It was taken on Monday after I finished playing the role of Captain Willey Walkalot at my children’s elementary school. Let me explain. Our school’s PTA leaders happen to be in my ward, and they are trying to get our school to be a “Gold Medal School” by encouraging the children to exercise and walk a certain number of miles during the school year. This year’s goal is over 15,000 miles walked collectively by the children. The PTA leaders really wanted to kick off the program with a pirate-themed assembly in which Captain Willey Walkalot encouraged the kids to walk their miles. I guess I have a reputation of being a bit of “ham” (imagine that) and so they asked me to be the pirate captain in search of a new first mate.

A kid-teacher team from each grade was selected to compete in seven pirate tasks and the winning student got the honor of being my first mate. Then all the kids were recruited into my crew (they were each given an eye-patch) as we sail in search of buried treasure, which according to my script, is actually the treasure of health and fitness. 🙂 Anyway, as you can imagine, I had a blast performing in the assembly on Monday afternoon.

I didn’t tell my children about it, so they were surprised. My costume, makeup and character were so convincing that Brianna didn’t know it was me at first. When I said hello to her in the crowd, she looked kind of nervous and confused. I guess I would have reacted that way too if some strange guy with eyeliner was yelling “Arrrh” to me in a gravely voice with a pirate accent.

Incidentally, I based my character’s voice off of the Sea Captain from The Simpsons. However, when I made my initial entrance into the school assembly, a country-western twang escaped my lips, and I had trouble reigning it in. Nervous actors sometimes mix up their accents. Oh well, I’m sure no one noticed or cared, although it’s possible that some talent scout was in the audience and would have recruited me to be in the next “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel if I had maintained the proper acccent. You never know!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

“Among the Ancestors”

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More than 25 years ago, LDS apostle Bruce R. McKonkie wrote a succinct and informative introduction that was added to 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon. This introduction included a phrase that, at the time, reflected the thinking of most Latter-day Saints. In describing the people of the Book of Mormon, he wrote: “After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.”

The new version, which first appeared in the Doubleday version of the book,  reads: “After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians.”

Click here to read the Salt Lake Tribune article on the subject.

I like the revised introduction because it echoes my own belief that the Nephites, Lamanites and Jaredites were not the only ones living on the American continent thousands of years ago. In fact, I subscribe to the view of a “limited geography” in which people descended from Lehi were one group among many, mostly those who migrated across the Bering Strait.

Like many LDS people, I have had to revise my traditional thinking on this subject because of recent DNA research that suggests American Indians most likely descended from Asian ancestors. Of course, the evidence certainly has not convinced me that Lehi’s family did not exist. It has simply shifted my view of the ancient American world.

Much debate has occurred and will likely continue over the historicity of the Book of Mormon. Critics would say that the lack of evidence to support the book’s narrative or the numerous anacronisms (i.e. horses, breastplates, etc.), along with the DNA research, proves that it’s a work of fiction. Apologists from FARMS and FAIR give a variety of evidences in favor of the book’s historicity  such as chaisms, Native American folklore that seems to relate to Book of Mormon references, etc.  I find the whole discussion fascinating since I am a passionate student of “Mormon studies.”

However, despite arguments for and against, I do know that the book has brought me closer to Christ. It has made me want to be a better person. It has converted me to the teachings of the Savior and for that I am grateful. I do believe that the Book of Mormon was brought about by the power of God. I have had a spiritual witness of that truth, confirmed to be by the power of the Holy Ghost in answer to my prayers. I have put Moroni’s challenge to the test, and have found great peace as the quiet answer has come.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2007 in Spirituality

 

Important November Dates

Those of you who know me, know that I have a peculiar habit of remembering dates and bringing up trivia related to significant dates in my family’s history. I now have three important November dates to remember. November 3, 4 and 5. Here’s why:

November 3, 1993. This was the day that I entered the LDS Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, to learn how to become a full-time missionary for the Church. Donned in my new suit from Mr. Mac and wearing an orange “dork” dot on my name-tag to indicate that I was brand new to the center, I was ready to go. After a tearful goodbye with my family, I walked out into the corridor and began my life as a missionary. After getting my hair checked (to ensure it was short enough) and my immunization card verified (to make sure I had received the right shots), I lugged my suitcases to my dorm room, met my new companion (Elder Olson from Oregon) and began to unpack. Soon we were eating dinner at the cafeteria and then meeting our branch presidency who gave us the “have-you-properly-confessed-all-your-sins” talk.

My first day as a missionary in the MTC was a mix of great excitement, homesickness, confusion and joy which I’ll never forget. At times I thought I would go crazy due to the monotony, but it was a spiritual feast for a young man eager to share his beliefs and anxious to learn how to do so in the Portuguese language.

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November 4, 2007. This was the day I blessed my fourth child, James Andrew Lambert, in sacrament meeting and presented him to the ward. He was blessed with the ability to be empathetic and have insight into human nature that would help him be loving and not judgmental, always looking for the good in others. He was also blessed to be a leader, a counselor, a follower and someone who could be relied upon. He was blessed with faith and diligence that will give him the power to change people’s lives.

Many members of my family were there to support us, and it was a wonderful experience. What’s more, it was my turn to conduct the meeting so I got to bear my testimony about the plan of salvation and the importance of families in Heavenly Father’s plan. Afterward, we had a luncheon over at our house for 12 people from Robin’s side of the family and 15 from my side (along with the six members of the Andrew and Robin family). As you can imagine, it was somewhat chaotic, but fun. I love seeing family and it was great to have the support.  Here’s a picture of him and Robin. Don’t you love the little sweater he’s wearing? He has cute corduroy pants to go with it!

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November 5, 1982.This was the day I was baptized in the East Millcreek Stake Center about two weeks after I turned 8 years old. I remember being dressed in white and rehearsing the baptism with my dad in one of the rooms at the building. I was anxious not to have to be baptized twice due to not being immersed completely (i.e. having my foot come up out of the water), and so Dad suggested that he put his foot on my feet once we were in the water so that they wouldn’t pop up. It worked like a charm.

The font had a beautiful painting behind it that made it seem like you were being baptized in the River Jordan like Christ. I had a great feeling that evening, and have felt a similar spirit many times since as I have attended baptisms. It’s been 25 years since that day, but I cherish the memory and treasure my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Posted by on November 5, 2007 in Uncategorized