Friday, February 11, 2011


As it sometimes happens, life gets busy. I haven't kept up-to-date with this here blog this week, and there are reasons for that. Perhaps we will share why next week.

So until then, happy guessing.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Mornings

For four or five years now, Tiffany has been going to the Temple about every other Wednesday morning. She leaves just after 5 in the morning and gets back before the kids have to go to school.

I know this was was her idea alone, but she snagged a few other ladies in the area to go with her who had similar ideas. What started out as she and one other friend, has blossomed into like 6-7 ladies going to the temple with her, usually 4 or 5 on a given week. And she is always trying to recruit more.

I have been impressed not only that she gets up that early every other week, but that she has done it for five years and has somehow, with guile or something, got these other ladies on board.

So, today, I started to do the other weeks that she does not go. I wagered that I could get more men to go with me than she could get women. She didn't go for it, but secretly, I think the battle has begun.

What a blessing to be able to live so close to Temples to go at a time that doesn't really impact the family. Sacrifice is still a part of the equation, as is always the case, but blessings flow, no doubt.

Friday, February 4, 2011

It is a Miracle

Seriously. It kind of boggles the mind.

Emma received a Butterfly Pavilion for Christmas. Before that day was done, she made me get online and order her caterpillars for her 'experiment'.

Who would have thought that you could order caterpillars online, really?

Well, they came, and unfortunatly three fourths of them didn't make it. There were only two left, and we were hoping they would survive.

They did, and they got bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and then one day, they just start hanging from the top of the sealed cup they came in.

Eventually they turned into Chrysalis' and sat there for some time - and then a week or so later, the first one popped out as a beautiful butterfly.

Amazing, really. I mean, to be able to turn from a caterpillar, change your whole body structure, and pop out able to fly a few days later is really an accomplishment. Even after having read up on the process still makes you wonder how it really works.

Just another case of miraculous events we find in this journey we call life. I wonder what's next?



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yay! No More Legacy in Front of Our Home

For some of you who read this, you know where we live. You know that there is about a 350 foot strip of land on the other side of the the road we live on that is open space. Part of this strip contains a walking trail that is part of the park system here in Syracuse, a wonderful amenity we have direct access to across the street.

Some of you may not know, however, that since 2001, UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) has been planning on a regional highway that runs from I-15 in Farmington (near Lagoon), out west towards Syracuse, and then North towards Roy and Plain city before it comes back to I-15 on the north side of Ogden. This would be a four lane divided highway, which, at least originally, was to be a limited access hwy (and I think it still is - just not sure if it's intersections are signalled or overpassed).

As part of that plan, Syracuse adopted a corridor strategy that would protect the expected route from further development. A smart idea at the time.

That corridor is what is in front of our home. We moved here in 2005 and we thought the open space in front of the home was great, when we should have questioned why there was such a large space between our home and the others a football field length across. We didn't, but we were hoping for the best.

This highway wasn't supposed to happen till sometime between 2020 and 2030. But since that original plan, the city and area has grown rapidly, causing many projects to be moved up from their original plan. UDOT is currently doing a EIS study, trying to now find out where to best put the road. They had narrowed the options last November down to 14 options, one of which was still to come in front of our home.

Just today I found out that those 14 have been narrowed down to 3 and to my great astonishment, none of the choices comes in front of our home.

This is great news on many fronts. 1 - Home value won't diminish. 2 - Less traffic on our street. 3 - Still a close access to get on the highway (which will save 5-10 minutes in commute to Salt Lake City and beyond).

For those that may be interested, click here, to go the UDOT website for more information.



View from the front porch looking northwest. You can see the trail snaking back away from us here. The housing subdivision you see ends just behind the tree on the right. A huge park is planned right there. They have about a quarter of the park in right now and as time and money allow, they will add 8-10 soccer fields (at last park review, anyways). The trail goes on for another few miles, passing another park a mile down the trail this way.
View from the front porch looking southwest. You can kind of make out the trail on the other side of the road. About 3/4 of a mile down this way is a small park and a half mile past that is a planned huge regional park which will contain 8 Ball fields, some soccer fields and currently has a small lake that was finished a few years ago. Though looking at the plans of the highway some of the future ball fields may be affected with the alignment.

View from the front porch looking west. Antelope Island, in the middle of the Great Salt Lake, stands as our view from our front window.

Handyman, I Am Not

Tiffany married me for my money.

Because it definitely wasn't because of my ability to use tools. The poor girl has learned through sad experience that me and projects just don't go hand in hand.

There was the front entry tile project that came up. That was five years ago, and the baseboards still aren't painted (I have my reasons, though. Not saying they are good reasons, but I have them).

After tiling the front entry, she thought it would be fun to tile the bathroom and paint it. The more I think about it, the more I wonder what is up with the girl. Why, when it took me so long to figure out how to do the entry way and get it finished (or close to it), would she want me to work on the bathroom? That was a year and a half ago, and I still haven't put the towel rack up (we do have one of those door hanging rack things though, so we do have a place to put towels, if you were worried - though the kids seem to think the floor is the best place any way).

Then there was the basement wall that had a crack and leaked during heavy rainstorms. I had to rip out a wall to patch it up. Thanks to a brother-in-law, we got that wall put up about a year or so later. We didn't finish it then. I told him we were going to bead board that wall, so there was no need to finish it then.

And now, finally, after about 6 months from that time, we finally have it bead boarded, and thanks to Tiffany it is even painted.

But I bring this up, because though a handyman, I am not, I am hopeful that there are other things the girl saw in me.

I am not sure what they are, but each of us have something great about us. And each of us have some flaw in us. I think recognizing both the talents and weaknesses is key to having a good life. We should exploit the good and fix the bad we have. Striving to become better in spite of our weaknesses is at least in part what this lifetime is all about. Maybe the best part about this lifetime.

That must be why Tiffany keeps giving more projects to do. Maybe one day I will figure out this handy man thing.

So cheers, and happy learning to overcome your weaknesses. I now have to go figure out how to fix a drawer I broke a few years ago.


Oh, and by the way, trust me when I say it wasn't the money. I am still trying to figure out why she took a chance on me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Master of the 11 Year Old Scouts

A Scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.
~Robert Baden-Powell

Since Tiffany and I have been married, I have always tried to avoid becoming Scoutmaster. I grew up with a Father who was Scoutmaster for many, many years of my growing up. He put together a very successful program, of which my own Eagle Scout was one of those successes. To do so, he spent a lot of time with the boys, and away from the family. From my perspective, not too much time, but any time away from family is time that is hard to get back. But then, back in the day, when dad went on a scout outing, he would often take one of his boys with him (he has three) and therefore I had many opportunities to be with him. Perhaps mom and my sisters feel like he was away more often than even I recall.

But, giving up a week for scout camp, leaving the family for a campout each month (or close to that), weekly meetings, monthly round tables and other trainings, and the time and energy I saw him give to ensure that the boys he lead had ample opportunity to learn new skills and abilities, has made me fear the day that such a calling would come.

So this last Sunday was just that day.

Except, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, I am working with the 11 year olds, which is a far cry from the 12 and 13 year old scouts. Somehow, when a boy turns 12, they seem to lose respect for their elders, find out they know more than just about anybody, all while gaining a new sense of freedom that 12 year olds gain.

I 'get' to go camping. I 'get' to do fun things with the boys. And when all is said and done, I 'get' to learn more and experience more than I would without this. What could be better, you ask? Oh, it comes as Dallin turns 11 this year, and that is about as sweet as it gets, to be able to do all these things with your boy.

It's a good thing I had a good example growing up, though. Without the example that was set by my good father, I don't know if I would be as excited as I am, nor would I know what to do.

Though a surprise, I have had the example to know what to do.

So, thanks, Dad, for being that example on how to be a great scout leader. Though it will be tough, I hope I can follow in your footsteps and accomplish, at least to some small degree, what you did.