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Monthly Archives: January 2008

A Conversation with Lily May

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As I was driving in the car yesterday with Lily, I had another simple conversation with her that made me smile. She was being particularly cute and so I asked her a bit of a rhetorical question which she answered. Here’s how our conversation went:

Me: Lily, how did you get to be so cute?

Lily: Well Daddy, Heavenly Father made me that way… And you and mom helped.

Me: That’s right sweetheart.

Lily: Daddy, how did you and mom help?

Me: Uh…well…

ūüôā

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2008 in Family

 

My Week in Florida – Part 1

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Last week, my company held our annual convention and sales meeting in Orlando, Florida. For months our staff worked to get ready for the meeting, and it was very gratifying to see it all come together. My main job at these conventions is to produce the main ballroom portions of the show, including two general sessions and three awards ceremonies. I worked extremely hard to make all the various videos, create the PowerPoint presentations, write the scripts, coach the emcees, provide voice overs and direct the rehearsals and call the actual shows, working with the lighting, sound and video guys, along with the stage manager to make sure everything goes smoothly. Thankfully, everything did. The meeting was a resounding success and I was quite pleased with the way it turned out. Needless to say, I was extremely exhausted when it was over.

However, that didn’t keep me from taking advantage of my being in Orlando. I called my brother Nate and he agreed to make the four hour drive from Tallahassee, where he is earning his PhD.¬†He arrived¬†just as the final show was wrapping up on Friday night. He slept in my hotel room and the next morning we got up early and¬†hung out in the hot tub¬†and talked politics. (The Florida¬†presidential primary was just a few days away, and we were very interested to see whether Romney could prevail over McCain.)

Anyway, by 9:00 we were parked at Universal Studios and¬†were literally running to get to the entrance to the park. Nate had used his Florida-resident discount to purchase¬†a 2-park ticket to both Universal Studios and¬†Universal’s Islands of Adventure.¬†I was determined to get the most out of the day! However, my flight was scheduled to leave at 5:25, so we only had six hours or so (from 9:15 to 3:15).

The day was perfect for riding the rides. The lines weren’t long at all and we were able to run from one ride/show to another one.

Islands of Adventure
This theme park is adjacent to Universal Studios and is the future home of Harry Potter’s Wizarding World. It was first on our list on Saturday and we stayed there for about three hours.¬†¬†Here’s the rundown:

Incredible Hulk – a sweet roller-coaster that propels you up to the top of the hill with surprising speed; and you guessed it, the ride was appropriately green.

Dr. Doom’s Tower of Terror – a blast off ride similar to the rocket at Lagoon; we saw the entire park from atop the ride and could even see the Orlando LDS Temple in the distance; very cool.

Spider-man – this amazing combination of 3-D technology, water, fire and heat made this the most memorable ride in that theme park. All of Spider-man’s villians came after us, but our friendly neighborhood Spider-man was there to keep us safe.

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Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – despite assurances from the ride host that we wouldn’t get wet, we both got pretty soaked. Nate was NOT happy about that, especially since he strongly suggested we skip the ride, but I wouldn’t hear of it. Sorry Nate.

Jurassic Park – this was a sweet ride, very similar to the one in California where a T-Rex almost eats you before you fall three or four stories into the water.

Dueling Dragons –¬†suspended in the air, legs dangling, I found this ride to be quite cool; lots of twists and turns in this thrilling coaster.

Poseidon’s Fury – at first I thought this walk-through attraction / show was going to be lame, although the exterior of the building was awesome. But the special effects of the finale made it all worth it; very cool. Funniest part? When the big flames were shooting around us and Nate reached out his hands to welcome the warmth (we were still wet from the Ripsaw Falls).

I think I’ll end here and recap Universal Studios and my harrowing trip to the airport in another post. I’ll also see about posting some more pictures too.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Freshly Bathed Baby

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Three-month-old James loves¬†taking baths! He just isn’t fond of getting out of the tub.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

“I Gotta Go”

Every time one of my kids says something cute, we talk about how we should write it down. Well, the blog is a great place to share stuff like that. Here goes:

Lily has been potty trained for a long time now (at least a year), but she has never given up the habit of informing us of every time she needs to use the restroom. “Mom and Dad, I need to go potty!” Since we don’t want her asking her friends if she can go “potty” when she’s a teenager, we have been trying to teach her that she doesn’t need to inform us every time she gets the urge to go. We keep telling her that she can just go and doesn’t need to tell us, but its a hard habit for her to break.

This week, after she announced her intention to pee, I said to her, “Lily, when you need to go, just go and then tell us afterwards so we’ll be surprised.” She liked that idea. The next day when nature began to call, she came up to us and announced: “Guys, I’m not going to tell you that I need to go potty!” We smiled.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2008 in Family

 

On Being a Better Daddy

The other day I was driving Lily over to her cousins’ house to spend the day playing. While we were driving, I decided to make small talk with three-year-old Lily and so I asked her about her day, her interests, etc. Then I asked her, “What can I do¬†to be a better¬†daddy?” She thought for a moment and responded sweetly, “I wike the way how you are daddy.” That warmed my heart.

I do know, however, that there are several ways that I can be a better daddy, and I’ve resolved to work harder at each of them. Here’s what I’ve decided:

Spend time playing with my children. I get bored easily and often don’t have the patience¬†to just sit down and play with the children. But it’s important to them¬†for me to be fully invested in our time together, not distracted by some email that I need to check or some unfinished video project. I’m trying to spend an hour a day with the kids doing something that THEY are interested in doing. It doesn’t always happen, but the fact that I’m thinking about it and making it a priority will make a big difference.

Help my children learn the value of hard work. I really want to teach the a good work ethic. My mom gave me a couple of useful articles on the subject and I’m trying to implement some of the good ideas there. It’s a challenge, but well worth it for their long-term success. More on this in another post.

Do individual dates with my children weekly. My dad did this for a while and it’s one of the happiest memories I have of my early childhood. I can honestly say that my children adore the time they spend one-on-one with me.¬†It usually involves an outing, such as a trip to the temple grounds, Nicklecade,¬†the McDonald’s playground, Costco or whatever. It¬†also generally involves a treat. (McDonald’s has 25 cent kiddie cones that are a great way to go when you’re on a budget!)¬†I have four children, so one date with one child per week, and we cycle through the family in about a month. (Of course, dates with baby James probably won’t be happening for a while.) Giving the children something to look forward to is really fun. The key is consistency.

Shout less and listen more. Enough said.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Ever Take Apart a TV?

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So the other night, I came home anxious to watch the New Hampshire Primary results and we couldn’t find the remote control anywhere.¬†The front panel of my¬†Dish Network receiver is locked so that you can only change the channel with the remote. So there I was, dying to know whether Mitt Romney won the primary, and my TV was stuck on some stupid Lindsey Lohan movie on Disney Channel! Argghh.

So I went downstairs to find an old TV/VCR combination unit that I bought from my brother-in-law a couple of years ago. I brought it upstairs to see if I could get¬†reception the old fashioned way. But the old TV wasn’t interested in working for me. It would turn off every 10 seconds or so. Years ago, the antennae broke off and the reception has been bad ever since. Later on, the VCR stopped working. So at this point I had had it. I was determined to junk this stupid TV. But then I decided it would be more interesting to take it apart and see what makes a TV and a VCR tick… (well, they don’t usually tick, but you know what I mean).

My children loved the idea, especially Parley, who I believe might be an engineer in the making. He was so excited. He went to the garage and brought us back two Phillips screw drivers and we went to work. We opened up the casing and and starting extracting the pieces and examining them. It was fascinating. I just wish I had someone to explain to me what the different parts do.

Parley harvested a¬†couple of circuit boards, which he thinks look like a mini-city with skyscrapers. I enjoyed seeing all the different parts and marveled at how people figured out how to put all those pieces together. Building a TV must be a complicated process — so far beyond my capacity to understand.

Oh, I finally did find the remote control, but by then it was¬†too late, I missed the early coverage. It’s just as well. My¬†man¬†Romney took second place to John McCain. Darnit!

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Harmonix Singers

On Monday night, my singing group had the opportunity to perform a 40 minute show at “First Night” at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. When we arrived we were pretty nervous — all those people who were coming to see us sing! When we accepted the invitation, we thought it would be a somewhat small venue with perhaps 20-30 family members and friends who would come to cheer us on. After doing a sound check and warming up, I went out onto the stage to set up our music and the house was packed — proabably 300+ people with standing room only. It was really cool, but we were somewhat nervous. But we went out there and did a great show consisting of 16 songs, most of them Christmas songs.

The funniest part of the evening is how we were announced. Our group’s name is “Harmonix” and they asked us to furnish a 100-word description of our group. So I put “Harmonix Description” as the header on the paper I sent them. The elderly temple square host then proceeded to introduce us as “Harmonix Description,” not once but twice. He apologized afterwards.

Anyway, I have posted our songs from that performance on YouTube and then created a blog for our group. Take a look if you have a second: http://harmonixsingers.wordpress.com/

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My favorites are “Hark the Herald Angels,” “Angels Singing Deo” and “Rudolph.” Non-Christmas music selections include¬†“In the Still of the Night,” “Silhouettes” and “Goodnight Sweetheart.”

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2008 in Uncategorized