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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Death by Chocolate

chocolate

Okay, so this post is a bit of a rant about my foolishness regarding calorie intake during the holidays. I have just spent the last five days throwing caution to the wind when it comes to what I eat. And in those five days, I have gained a whopping five pounds! What’s worse is I felt guilty and worried about weight gain the whole time, so I didn’t even really enjoy it. How annoying is that?

The most abnoxious part is that I chose to eat lots of “worthless calories,” meaning that I ate a bunch of little candies, mints, taffies, desserts, chips and dip, sugary drinks, eggnog, etc., just because they were there. Instead of resisting those “worthless calories” and not packing on extra fat, I gave in and just ate whatever was there. How stupid!

The way I see it, if you’re going to splurge over the holidays, why not do it with something you really just love to eat? I ended up wasting my caloric input on a bunch of stuff that I wasn’t even all that interested in eating.

It doesn’t help that we’re dealing with short days, long nights and cold, windy conditions outside, which makes it a real challenge for me to go out and exercise. I think it also messes with my craving for food. Instead of wanting to eat veggies and fruits, my inner caveman is concerned about survival until the spring, so I crave calorie-dense foods, which are high in fat and protein. My body thinks it NEEDS to put on extra fat to ward off the ever-present threat of starvation that our ancestors faced every winter.

So in the spirit of honoring my ancestors, I packed on extra pounds last week and now weigh 175, which is 8 pounds over my lowest weight of the year of 167. So my goal is to get back to 167 over the next three weeks before we go on our trip to Florida. I guess I’d better start up yet another weight loss contest with my friend Mike. 😦

(And here I thought that my beard shaving and haircut would help me drop at least a couple of pounds in hair weight alone!)

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2008 in Health

 

Goodbye Beard

Okay, this post is just silly. It is not me being an egomaniac and posting 10 headshots of myself. It’s just that for the past couple of months I’ve had a beard and longer hair, which is a big change from my look, which has basically remained the same over the past 20 years. Now that my play has ended, I have shaved my face and cut my hair. I just thought I’d have a little fun in the process. So my wife dutifully took all these mug shots as I shaved in stages. I find it fascinating how various facial hair styles evoke different reactions from different people such as:

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My last haircut was in early August, an eternity ago for me who gets a haircut every four to six weeks. This look works well for the shepherd part I played in the show. Others have said I look like a college poetry professor, a protesting 60’s radical or Barry Gibbs from the Bee Gees.

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After the haircut Robin said I now looked more like a lumberjack. Several people have told me I looked like Tony Stark from Iron Man (a.k.a. Robert Downey Jr.)

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This style, technically called a Van Dyke not a goatee, is very common today and doesn’t look too bad on me…

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Here’s a profile shot of my beard and somewhat prominent nose.

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Handlebar mustache. Reminds me of a small town sherrif.

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An even less flattering version of the handlebar mustache.

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Here’s one with the mustache only. I think you have to be over 50 to be able to grow a mustache and have it look decent. This look makes me think of a used car salesmen, or worse, a creepy guy offering kids candy near an elementary school.

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Another unflattering look with the mustache. Cheesey!

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Pure evil!

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Nice guy. Somewhat dumb looking with a newly shaven face. And it really is as smooth as a baby’s behind. (I know because I just  gave baby James a bath!)

So that’s my silly post for today. I’ve had lots of people tell me I should have kept the beard and/or the hair. Others have said I look better clean shaven. What do you think?

This shot was taken in Great Clips earlier tonight. When I arrived, they said I’d have to come back tomorrow as they were closing. I literally BEGGED them to let me get my hair cut; I offered to even pay extra. I just could bear the thought of another couple of days with this shaggy do…

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Posted by on December 27, 2008 in Silly Stuff

 

Merry Christmas from the Lamberts

Here’s the text from my 2008 Christmas newsletter:

Dear Family and Friends,
 
Merry Christmas! 2008 has been a wonderful, exciting year for us, and we are counting our blessings. We are certainly grateful for the love and support of wonderful friends and family members. Here’s a quick update on us.
 
Our oldest son, Parley, is now in fourth grade and would spend every waking moment with some type of electronic device (TV, computer, X-Box, etc.) if we let him. He just finished reading the entire Harry Potter series and enjoys school and playing with his friends. Brianna, who is in second grade, was involved in Sunshine Generation for much of the year and enjoys singing and dancing. She loves to color and play the piano by ear. Lily is a typical four-year old, very needy. Luckily we found a good pre-school for her, which she enjoys. She’s a very popular little girl with lots of friends.
 
Robin continues to manage our household very well, busily caring for our four little children. She’s constantly attending to at least one of them and craves alone time, which she rarely gets. We’re very lucky to have her, as we would likely starve and be in rags without her. Robin serves as an “Activity Day” leader at church, organizing regular activities for a group of young girls in our home. This fall she participated in a large women’s choir called “We Also Sing” that gave two performances in the tabernacle in November. She also recently performed a piano solo and a violin accompaniment in sacrament meeting; reminders that her talents are not limited to wiping noses, folding laundry, etc.
 
I’m enjoying my job at US Bank and have learned a lot this year. I continue to serve as a counselor in our ward’s bishopric, which is both time-consuming and rewarding. My roles in my profession and my church calling don’t really jive with my current appearance — for the past two months, I have had a full beard and longer hair because of my involvement in the production of “Savior of the World” at the Conference Center Theater. I play Eli the Shepherd, and have really enjoyed being back on the stage in this musical drama. My acapella group Harmonix also had a very busy year with over a dozen performances. Good times!
 
We had a great family trip to St. George, Zion and Bryce in the spring, as well as extended family trips to Bear Lake and East Canyon over the summer. Robin and I got to visit New York City in October and had a blast seeing all we could possibly see in four days.
 
Here’s a little video review of the Lamberts in 2008 that I posted on YouTube:

We hope you are happy and healthy, and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
 
Love,
 
The Lamberts

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2008 in Family

 

Singing at Christmas!

I’ve posted about this before, but I just LOVE singing at Christmastime. And this season has been especially busy with my involvement in “Savior of the World.” After the show closes on Saturday, I will have done 16 performances since we opened on November 15, along with six gigs with “Harmonix,” my acapella performing group, during the month of December. Add that to the ward choir performance on Sunday (which could have used A LOT more rehearsal) and I’d say it’s been a very busy performing schedule. My wife has been so sweet and understanding through it all, although I realize I owe her BIG TIME.

Tonight, the bishop and me, along with the first counselor, finished our annual six-hour marathon of caroling at each of the 150+ households in our ward boundaries. We sing a verse of a traditional carol, drop off a card, wish a Merry Christmas and are on our way. People are generally gracious, although I still think it’s kind of funny to have three grown men serenading other adults, children and lots of dogs at the door. It’s a great way to spread some Christmas cheer and bear witness to the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ at the same time.

Tonight, an elderly lady answered the door and got all misty-eyed and told us how much our brief visit meant to her. This woman, who has very little contact with the outside world, said we made her night. Another man, who had just had a stroke, smiled and thanked us by giving us a plate of goodies.

There’s just something about music at this time of year. I love it!

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2008 in Music / Theater

 

Jazzy Old Saint Nicholas

Last night we attended our son Parley’s school choir Christmas concert. He’s in the fourth grade and has been practicing twice a week before school for a couple of months now. It has been a great experience for him. As dutiful parents, we were there with our other children and our parents, video camera in hand. I got little bits of each song, but this one, called “Jazzy Old Saint Nicholas,” was my favorite, mainly because of the actions. My son is such a ham. I wonder where he gets it?  🙂

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2008 in Family

 

Bringing Order to Chaos

Do you ever feel that you’re constantly battling chaos? What I mean is, does it often feel like an uphill battle to keep your life in order?

I live with four children ages 9, 7, 4 and 1, and my wife and I feel like we are constantly trying to keep our house from reverting to a state of absolute filth. I cannot believe how much junk that we somehow produce. And the “clutter-factor” is astounding — there are so many little toys, hair accessories (clips, bands, ties), books and homework papers to try to keep put away, not to mention all the laundry that is constantly strewn about, both clean and unclean. If Robin and I aren’t constantly working, the house reverts to a pig’s stye in the blink of an eye. Oh, and did I mention kitchen clean-up? Dishes constantly have to be done, the dishwasher ALWAYS needs to either be loaded or unloaded, the counters/table and floors always have to be wiped off or swept/mopped. I’m frequently finding apple cores in diverse places, candy wrappers lying on the ground and used dishes sitting on any available flat surface. Add to that all the shoes and socks that always need to be put away. (Note: if you have an average of three pairs of shoes per family member, that’s 18 pairs for family of six. Wow!) And those 18 pairs of shoes often have a hard time locating their “sole-mates” and finding their way back home. Oh, and did I mention how much I hate trying to match up socks?! It’s horrible. What about disposing of used diapers? That’s always a treat.

So as I write this post, I am a little concerned that you are judging us; that you’ll think we’re sloppy people who do not teach their children responsibility and accountability. Trust me, we’re trying. But we have to constantly nag to get the kids to do stuff, and we both hate to nag. It creates such a unpleasant feeling in the home. So we offer motivation, both positive and negative, rewards and punishments. For a while, we did the “accountable kids” program. But it was hard to keep up with. Right now, we have little mason jars for each child in which “righteous deeds” are rewarded with a quarter that is to be used for their purchasing of Christmas presents for their “secret Santa” (more on that in another post). But that doesn’t seem to motivate them much.

We’re also trying to train them to avoid making messes in the first place with a few simple rules like:

1. If you get it out, put it back.
2. If you mess it up, clean it up.
3. If you put it down, pick it up.
4. And so on…

I take comfort in the fact that everyone has to deal with chaos to some degree. I also take comfort in the fact that everyone in my family situation has a cluttered house, at least occasionally. I don’t care how good you are about keeping things clean and neat, four children WILL mess up your house. Now, I won’t blame all of our messiness woes on the children; Robin and I make our fair share of messes. But we also clean up much more than our fair share. I guess that’s what we signed up for when we decided to have kids.

My goal is to do 30 minutes of work each morning while everyone is asleep. And I usually accomplish that goal, which consists mainly of unloading the dishwasher and tidying up the five main rooms in the house. I don’t do a lot of actual cleaning (bathrooms, vacuuming, etc.), but I feel I make a good contribution. (My wife might disagree since my tidying often consists of picking stuff off the floor and putting it on the coffee table…)

Last night I came home to a beautifully cleaned house. No clutter. Clean kitchen. Kids in bed. It felt (and feels) so good. But I can’t help looking around the house and thinking about how quickly it will degenerate later today, despite our best efforts. I often think of Sisyphus from Greek mythology, who was punished for an offense against the gods by being cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down again, and to repeat this throughout eternity. That’s how I feel sometimes. As I do the dishes each day, I sometimes wonder if I’ll be doing dishes for the rest of eternity. Will there be housework in the next life? Or will we be able to snap our fingers like Marry Poppins and have the work do itself.

Anyway, I’d better end this post since I’ve already on too long. I’ve got some more chaos to tame!

P.S. What have you found to be effective in the war against clutter/chaos?

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2008 in Random Thoughts

 

Eli the Shepherd – Pictures

The musical drama “Savior of the World” is a wonderful play and a unique theater experience. I have really enjoyed being a part of it this year. I will admit that it’s been a sacrifice of time and resources, but it’s all been worth it. We are now more than halfway through the run and after today’s matinee, will only have five performances left on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, December 17 at 7:30
  • Friday, December 19 at 7:30
  • Saturday, December 20 at 2:00
  • Friday, December 26 at 7:30
  • Saturday, December 27 at 2:00

Tickets are sold out online, but may be obtained by calling 570-0080 on Tuesday mornings December 16 and December 23 at 10:00 a.m. You can also see about getting stand-by tickets the day of the performance. Just give me a call and I can check on their availability for that day.

Now to some pictures taken last night when Robin and her family, along with my son Parley, came to the show.

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Posted by on December 6, 2008 in Music / Theater