The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lets watch church on TV

We were getting ready for church last Sunday and Nolahn our 6 year old came to me in his pajamas still and asked if we could have conference today and just watch church on TV.  It made me laugh and deep down inside agreed with him.  I wish we could have conference more so we could just watch church on TV.  The big difference between Nolahn and I is that I actually watch conference.  I am confident in saying I think he just wanted to lay around in his pajamas all day and play with Lego’s.    
However this got me thinking with the advent of technology and all of the websites the church has come out with in recent years:
BYU TV and BYU Radio channels are pumping out devotionals, cultural programming , concerts and clips from the plethora of conferences it has to draw from.  Watching church every Sunday from home should not be that hard to pull off.  I bet it would be a lot cheaper than building new chapels.  You could have virtual wards.  With virtual home & visiting teachers, virtual priesthood quorums and Sunday school classes.  You know there are some of you out there that already count face book time as your visiting teaching.  This would simply make it legal. 
Just think about fast and testimony meeting being held online.  You type in your testimony and upload it.  Someone could have the calling of editor and cut out all the crazy talk, drawn out stories, and false doctrine (kind of like this post) and just get down to the good stuff.  If it were on TV you could record it with TiVo and fast forward through the slow parts. 
I am just saying this would not be hard with the technology we have currently available to us.  However there does seem to be something inherently wrong with doing tithing settlement via email.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memory Monday about my first date

Being the novice blogger I am following my sister’s lead when it comes to patterns and ideas for blogging.  Today being Memory Monday my selected topic is My First Date. 

My first date was with Carrie Fergus.  It was less than a week after my 16th birthday and we doubled with my older sister Wendi and her boyfriend who also happened to be Carrie’s cousin William Smith (Not the actor but that would have been totally cool).  My younger sister Heather also came with us and she was paired off with Williams younger brother Joseph (not the prophet but that would have been totally cool).   So to recap three of us were related and were dating 3 others who were all related.  Kind of weird thinking back, but totally not weird at the time.

This was my first high school dance as well as my first date.  So to say I was in uncharted territory would be an understatement.  We went to the dance and there was a live band.  After their set the DJ started and we danced (I use the term “dance” very loosely) for a couple of hours.  We had our pictures taken and were ready to leave.  I think we went to dinner but was not sure.  So I called and spoke to my sister Wendi to confirm and she said we went to Abby’s Pizza. 

Wendi had a boat of a car, a 1982 Oldsmobile.  It was gray with crushed red velvet interior.  Carrie and I road in the backseat and Wendi and William in the front seat, Heather and Joe were split up one in the front and one in the back.

The most memorable part of the evening was when we were dropping them off.  We pulled up and we were running late and close to curfew so this was going to be a quick goodbye.  The door handle in the backseat where I sat was broken so it could only be opened from the outside.  While was waiting for someone to open the door Joe and Carrie got out the other side and said thanks we had a great time and left me sitting in the car.  It happened so fast that I didn’t even realize what had happened until we were pulling out of the driveway.  In my mind I had it pictured going differently.  Not sure exactly how' but me being locked in the back seat of the car was definitely not part of the plan.  I can say that I did take Carrie out a few more times.  But nothing ever developed from it. 

In hindsight it was not all that bad.  Being unable to walk her to the door was probably the best thing that could have happened and saved me from and even more awkward and scaring moment.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Houseguests make liars of us all

I  have decided there are no normal families in the world.  Everyone is crazy or messed up in some way.  We all try so hard to put out a good front and come across normal.  Whenever people come to your house you spend hours cleaning it so they don’t think your house is ever dirty.  We all struggle and have issues.  If you believe you  know someone who is normal, they are just better at hiding it.  There seems to be one family in every ward that looks perfect, acts perfect and never says or does anything out of place or off color ever.  I propose a test.  Next Sunday just stop in and watch them get ready for church. See how they work out that dynamic.   It will be the best day or your life. 
I have often wondered why we try so hard to impress our friends and family.  If we think about it, this is all really our parents fault.  Yes this is not about fixing it, it is about assigning blame.  I remember as a child we would spend hours cleaning the house, changing sheets in all the rooms, shopping for fun food and making sure the lawn looked perfect whenever my grandparents would come visit.  Mom would get us up make hot breakfast and made us wear clean clothes during dinner.  The guest  would leave and we would go back cold cereal and being able to wear the same outfit for a week at a time.   I believe we are products of our environment.  I have seen enough evidence over the years to know that this is how it was at my parents house when they grew up.  It seems to be a pattern at my brothers and sisters homes as well. 
I think it is time to let our hair down and remove the shackles.  From this point forward whenever you are expecting house guests you need to have them come a day early so they can help get the house ready and appreciate what you have to go through every time they visit.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good Ideas and Bad Ideas for your next trip to Atlanta

As I have stated in previous entries I travel for work.  My sisters do these lists every week and have inspired me to try my hand at them.  Here is a Good Idea vs. Bad Idea list for you if you ever go on a trip to Atlanta. 

Good Idea: Trying 3 different BBQ Restaurants while in town.
Bad Idea: Trying all 3 of them in one afternoon

Good Idea: Trying Gladys Knights waffle and wings restaurant
Bad Idea:  Asking for the Mormon discount

Good Idea: Visiting the Coke Museum while in town
Bad Idea:  Walk in carrying a Pepsi

Good Idea: Brushing your teeth
Bad Idea: Using the toothbrush you found under the garbage can in the hotel room

Good Idea:  Eating takeout food in your hotel room
Bad Idea:  Eating the food you found in the fridge in your hotel room

Good Idea: Staying in a hotel while in town
Bad Idea: Staying in the room you found the tooth brush and food in the fridge

Good Idea:  Grabbing a bite to eat at the local Waffle House
Bad Idea:  Take personal hygiene advice from the staff

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things I learned as Bishop

I posted this on my sister Dedra Blog a couple of weeks ago.  However some of my future posts will be based on this list so I thought I should include it here.

  1. Young men consider throwing knives at each others feet and appropriate activity to pass the time.
  2. Some members consider "Book of Mormon stories" a racist song.
  3. You cant give sisters the priesthood even when they ask for it.
  4. Letting people know they are getting a new calling or released usually goes better if they know before it is announced sacrement meeting.
  5. It is always a good idea to have a plan B when the youth are in charge of cooking on a camp out.
  6. Girls camp different than boys.  When an small animal is found they run screaming away from it.  Boys run screaming towards it with clubs and knives drawn.
  7. When giving approval to the young men to build a fire, size, location and fuel all need to be specified.
  8. The most memorable combined activities involve the police showing up with guns drawn.
  9. Its better to confess your own transgressions than those of other ward members.
  10. When people are in your office crying, laughter is not always the best medicine.
  11. You know fast and testimony has gone horribly wrong when the police show up and remove people.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Church is different when your not in charge

It has been two weeks since I was released as Bishop.  Church is completely different when all you have to do is go and attend your classes.  Sacrament meeting in the congregation is also completely different.  I all of a sudden am not concerned if there is bread for the sacrement, if the speakers even show up or if they say crazy things. 
An unexpected change was that my family got bigger while I was Bishop.  I served for almost 6 years.  We did not have any more children in that time but our oldest was 8 years old and our youngest was a couple of weeks old.  All 5 kids got physically bigger. What this means if I sit with them there is not room for us all on a small bench.  My plan was to come to church early each week and play musical benches.  I wanted to see how many different families we could displace.  You know how protective people can get over their pew.  If I took a bench that caused a family to move they would have to take someone else bench and so on.  A huge domino effect would happen and no one would be in the same spot.  I thought the plan was brilliant.  My wife however wanted nothing to go with it.  Something about we are friends with these people and you had your chance to offend them while you were Bishop.  So we spoke to a family that had most of their kids move away and we took over their bench.  They can thank my wife the peacemaker aka “kill joy”.
The thing I miss the most is the ability to play musical class rooms.  During Sunday school I could do interviews, go to primary or pretend to be a membership clerk.  It all depended on what kind of a mood I was in it was like 31 flavors of things to do.  Now it is more of a chocolate or vanilla world; Gospel Doctrine or Gospel Principles.    I was able to sit in on Gospel Doctrine for the first time in 6 years yesterday.  It was a great lesson but the expectation is that you stay for the entire lesson.
Sitting on the stand was great fun.  We could whisper to each other and take bets on how late certain people would be or how long it would take specific members to fall asleep.  It was also very clear to see which couples were fighting by their body language.  Usually by the rest hymn they had made up and were actually giving off happy vibes   It was also funny as heck to see people do their various “I am nervous about giving a talk dances” while standing at the microphone.  These dances ranged from simply rolling of their ankles to what could only be described as a small scale version of “River Dance”.
Sacrament meeting is vastly different in the pews than it is from the stand.  There is always give and take, but all things considered I am totally happy cuddling with my wife instead of whispering in a man’s ear.  It seems a lot less awkward.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A few simple guidelines when flying

I travel with my work 2-3 times per month.  I love this aspect of my job and am generally able to determine when and where I go so I don’t miss important family events.  I am usually only gone 2-3 days at a time and home every weekend.  There are some basic travel tips I think people should be reminded of on occasion.  You would think this is common sense or just basic courtesy.  However  you would be surprised how bold people can be when in an enclosed space with 180 people they are never going to see again.   Here are a few things to remember:
1.       An airline blanket is not a cloak of invisibility; please do not change your clothes under them.
2.       Just because you cannot hear yourself farting, due to the fact you have headphones on does not mean the rest us cannot.
3.       When sitting next to someone who closely resembles Jabba the Hut absolutely insist on keeping the arm rests down. 
4.       Arm rests are doubly important if you get the middle seat and you are sitting between Jabba and his sister.  Nothing quite as much fun as a sweaty flesh sandwich and you are the main ingredient.
5.       If you are going to fall asleep and drool please select someplace other than my shoulder.
6.       If you have a pet please register it and don’t stick it in your carry one for us to discover after the plane has taken off.
7.       When someone offers you a breath mint they are not being polite they are begging for mercy please accept it.
8.       If someone next to you is sleeping with headphones and sunglasses on it means they do not want to talk and do not care about anything you want to tell them.
9.       When watching a porno on your laptop, just because you have headphones in does not mean the rest of us cannot see it.
10.   If I leave a snack out on my tray this is not an invitation to share.  Please keep your Jabba fingers out of my food and take your breath mint.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I got Punk'd

The other day I found the above note on my dresser.  It was written by our 6 year old son Nolahn.  It was very sweet and is always a pleasure to get such notes from your children.  Later that day I thanked Nolahn for the note and commented how good he is getting with his words and letters.  He then asked if it was OK for him to sleep in my bed not that he has done something nice for me.  That little butt was totally working me.  He is past the “sleeping with Mom and Dad” phase of his life and well into the “you get to sleep in your bunk bed” phase of life.  He is fully aware that I have zero desire for him sleep in our bed however his Mother still likes having the babies in bed with us while they sleep.  He will usually wait until I am fast asleep and then with great stealth sneak into our room and slide in next to his Mother on the far edge away from Dad.   This plan occasionally backfires when Rhonda and I periodically change sides of the bed.
Any way I let him know I was grateful for the note but no he could no sleep with us.  Later that night at bed time he came in to give us a kiss goodnight like he does every night.  He looked at me with a bit of ire and then without breaking eye contact he kissed his Mom.  Only when he did he said kiss for mom (then he kissed her), kiss for dad (then he kissed his mom again), hug for mom (then he hugged her), hug for Dad (then he hugged her again).  He then left our room maintaining eye contact the whole time and thanked his Mom for letting him sleep in our bed.  I could not believe it, but I was just punk’d by a 6 year old.  Then to top it off he locked out door and closed it.  I got up a minute later and he totally did not lock our door he was waiting outside for me to fall asleep so he could come in and get in bed. 
This was one of those definite “I need to laugh behind closed doors” parent moments. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Its OK to have a dirty house just blame it on Bangladesh

We had a couple of friends at our house for a cub scout meeting last year.  After the meeting my wife being the great host that she is brought out snacks.  One of these ladies happily dove into the tray of treats and the other politely declined explaining she was on a diet.  The lady who was eating the treats thanked her and explained her theory on how the world works.  It went something like this: 
In order for her to lose weight somebody else had to gain it or the world would be out of balance.  It works like that for countries as well.  You have countries like Switzerland and Sweden that are clean, pristine and immaculate countries and this is all made possible because of developing nations like Bangladesh  that have more sanitary and pollution issues.  Then she went on to say your house works the same way.  It can never be clean all at once or it will be out of balance.  Your kitchen and living room can be clean but the bedrooms and laundry room are messed up.  You can have a great looking yard but your garage is totally trashed.  I think you get the point.
I laughed when I heard this theory because it seemed to have a thread of truth in it.  My kids get assigned chores every day.  These change on a day to day basis.  However there are unchanging chores like clean your room, do your homework, practice whatever instrument you are learning, feed the animals etc… The chores that change have to do with the laundry, kitchen and public spaces in our home.  It has become painfully obvious that it is virtually impossible for them to have both sets of chores done at the same time.  If the house is clean their rooms are not.  If the laundry is done no one has practiced their music.  It’s totally like the Bangladesh vs. Switzerland thing.
I am not sure what to do.  Rhonda thinks we have to much stuff and need to get rid of it.  Which is why she is planning for us to clean the garage and haul stuff to Goodwill this Saturday.  However I was planning for us to work in the yard and plant our garden.  I believe the only real solution to this is to find someone who has a garden planted and a clean house and get mad at them because they are totally throwing off our groove.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I have finally started to drink the cool-aid.

After getting regular emails from my sisters to read their blogs.  That usually go something like "you have to read my blog tommorrow it is going to be about you" I thought I should jump on the blog bandwagon.  It has taken me the better part of a week to set this thing up.  And from looking around at other blogs with all their whistles and bells I dont believe I have even scratched the surface. 

My kids really make life worth living and they also provide me with a regular stream of conversation topics.  We have been really good over the years at taking photos.  We have 3-4 digital cameras floating around the house that they use freely.  We quite literally have their lives recorded on almost a weekly basis from the time they were born until now.  However the back story and the events surrounding the photos are often times missing or become a point of debate as we try to remember where we were or shy we took the photo.  The purpose of this blog is going to be to give me a place to record the things my kids do. 

Lets take yesteday for example I got home from work at 3:30 and the there were blankets with dirty dishes on them in the yard that were the clear remains from a picnic.  The weather has been nice so this is not an unusual scene.  They are all willing to eat and play outside but take some prompting to go out and clean up the mess.  When I asked about the mess I was told they were having a vigil of sorts.  They were eating outside waiting for Reganns rabbit to have babies.  I mean when you are in labor who would not want a picnic going on in the delivery room in your honor.  This logic made perfect sence to me.  I vividly remember going out for snacks while Rhonda was in labor with Mayson.  We had been there for hours and I was hungry.  So her sister and I went to Jack in the Box.  We came back and ate it in the room so she would not be alone.  And we were sensative to her needs of not being able to eat so we did not offer her anything.  Funny thing though it has been over 12 years since that happened and she is still mad over it.  Who new?  I guess it is the little things in life that make it worth while.

So there it is my very first blog post.