Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Here's hoping every one's holidays have been enjoyable. We have certainly taken advantage of taking a few days off from work to spend time together. Our Christmas was simple and relaxing. Darren appears to be relaxing a little too much in his snuggly gifted to him by a "good" friend.

Camryn went retro with her hula hoop. She should have been born decades earlier because she really new how to rotate her hips.

Our traditional Christmas morning picture of the kids. We still make them wait at the top of the stairs before rushing down to see what Santa brought. We think that Taylor and Darren still believe.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Las Vegas - City Center

Kristi, Darren and I went to Las Vegas last week for work and a little relaxation. Darren and his friend Quincy had purchased tickets to a concert by Muse and we thought it best to accompany them. The timing worked out well as I had to be in town to help test rooms in the Aria Hotel which are controlled by my company's technology. The Aria Hotel and the City Center development which opened this week are amazing. The complex consists of three hotels, three private residence towers, a shopping complex, a convention center, a monorail and a theater where the new Elvis Cirque du Soleil show will be shown.

The project cost $8.5 billion dollars and was the largest privately funded development in the world. They had to hire 12,000 people and almost all of them were there last week being trained. It was amazing to see the coordinated effort involved in opening a hotel of this magnitude.

Our technology controls the guest experience in the room from automated blind control to lighting and welcome scenes.

The above picture is of one of their standard guest rooms. The high roller suites which are on the top four floors are unbelievable. I'm sure I'll never set foot in that type of hotel room again.

The above picture is of the bath in one of the luxury suites.

We all had to wear hard hats and reflective vests.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Benefit Concert

Last night's benefit concert and dinner was fabulous. Hilary put on a beautiful performance - if you haven't purchased her new Christmas CD you should get it to enjoy during the holiday season. A couple of friends from High School came to the event as well as business associates and long-time friends. Thanks to everyone for their support of the shelter which really is a worthy cause. It is easy to take for granted how blessed we are to having loving relationships and supportive families. As usual, the atmosphere and meal at LaCaille were top notch. During the holidays LaCaille decorates their grounds with lights that help bring extra holiday spirit.
Taylor came to the event with us this year and enjoyed the grown up food and her Aunt Hilary.
Jill Wankier and Michelle Warner, fellow Alaskans joined us for the evening.

Beautiful St. George

For the third consecutive year, I was required to work a Friday and Saturday in St. George. The first day of work was at Sunbrook and the second day at the Ledges. Our "work" sponsor was unable to go so I scrambled at the last minute to put together a team which included my cousin Glen and a couple of friends. For the two days our score was 21 under par. The "work" teams were broken into two flights with the winning score in the first flight 43 under par and the winning score in the second flight 30 under par. The weather was wonderful and has convinced me that we need to plan to purchase a second home here some day.

Uncle Jack joined us on the second day. He and Glen carried the team.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Greatest Birdie of My Life

First of all, this story will confirm how pathetic my golf accomplishments are. I'm in St. George this weekend to play in a golf tournament along with our good friend Bart, my cousin Glen and an associate from work. Bart and I drove down together and being early, we decided to get in nine holes of golf this afternoon at Green Springs. After an uneventful (double and triple bogeys aren't eventful) round I found myself with a 190 yard approach on the par four ninth hole. I pulled out my trusty four iron and hit a beautiful, hooking shot into a house about 50 yards from the green. The ball bounced off the house and to within two feet of the hole. I calmly tapped in for what was certainly the greatest birdie of my life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

USU vs. La. Tech

I think the real purpose of parent's week is to fill the football stadium - it worked. We bought tickets. We bought Aggie gear. We bought stadium food. The Aggies won and we had fun. Darren's attending USU has created fans out of all his brothers and sisters and now they are talking about going to school here.

Parent's Weekend at USU

Kristi, Taylor, Tyson, Camryn and I piled into the car this weekend and made the short trip north to Logan for the annual parent's weekend at USU. We were all excited to see Darren. I think the longest length of time that has passed without seeing him has only been three weeks, but it feels like a reunion each time he comes home or we go to Logan.
Our kids love every hotel pool. Even when we go to Lake Powell and spend the entire day in the water, they always want to play in the hotel pool that evening.
Darren recommended a great Italian restaurant called Calloway's in Smithfield, just outside of Logan. The food was fantastic!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Big Apple

I'm in New York City this week to get some required training for work. Everything here is fast paced, hectic, bright, busy, tall.... I'm not sure why anyone would want to work and live here, but I guess about 30 million people do. Looking out the 42nd floor window of my hotel on Times Square, you'd think that several million of them are still milling about on the streets below (and it's currently 11:00 pm).
Where other than New York would you find a ferris wheel inside your local Toys R Us.

For dinner tonight we hopped on the subway and headed over to Little Italy. If the section of the town has Italy in it, the food must be good. I wasn't impressed. Our meal was okay at best - we must have made a poor restaurant selection. The forced (and in my opinion fake) accent of the waiter didn't help sell the authenticity of the restaurant. We'd have been better off dining at the Olive Garden on Times Square.

Holiday Benefit Concert

Hilary has once again agreed to perform at the South Valley Sanctuary's holiday concert. Thank you Hilary - its great to have a famous sister. The dinner and concert will be held again at LaCaille restaurant. We are looking forward to the evening and hearing some of Hilary's new Christmas music.

South Valley Sanctuary Recognition

The domestic violence shelter for which I volunteer was recognized by the LDS church yesterday at a luncheon held in the Joseph Smith Building. The church public relations group recognized five not-for-profit organizations for their contributions to the community. Our shelter and staff have done fantastic work over the past several years so it was nice to see them recognized. The shelter has 13 rooms which are always full of domestic violence victims and their families.

In the News

Tyson and Camryn were thrilled to see themselves on television for a recent local news feature on the school districts efforts to make school lunch more healthy. Camryn was included in a close up in the lead in piece and played a stand in role during the main story. Tyson was shown in two close ups making quick work of the new and healthier food options. Tyson confided in us later that while the food may be healthy, it tastes like crap. It took the full measure of his acting talent to smile while downing the baked fish sticks. As you can imagine, the texts are rolling in from classmates and friends who were watching the news.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Keith Urban Concert

If you are a country music fan and have a chance to attend Keith Urban's concert, you must do so. Kristi and I attended his concert in SLC this past week and it was excellent. We loved his music and were impressed with his ability to entertain. By the end of the show he had the entire crowd at Energy Solutions Arena in a frenzy. Early in the show he crossed the arena through the crowd on the floor. As people reached to touch him, a platform and railing on the end of the arena tipped over and about eight people fell head first to the arena floor. Several people had to be administered first aid and Keith stopped the concert briefly to make sure the injuries weren't serious.

First Day of High School

Our sweet daughter Taylor is now a high school student. This picture was captured while taking her on her first day. She is attending Bingham High School just like her older brother. We are sure proud of her!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trying to Set a Record

Kristi is the type of person who does something well or she doesn't do it at all. A couple of weeks ago we took her to the ER for severe back pain that kept her from sleeping or walking. We assumed it was a slipped disk or something similar. Not satisfied with one disk bulge, she decided that three broad disk bulges would be even better. She goes to her back doctor on Wednesday to see what course of action he recommends.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Family Evening at the Ball Park

We took the family (+ Taylor's friend KC, - Darren) to a Salt Lake Bees game on Monday evening. We're not sure who won the game as we left early. I think the kids' wanting to leave had something to do with their meeting their treat quota early in the fifth inning. It was all we could do to get them to stay through the sixth with the Bees leading 7-4.

Camryn getting an autograph from the team mascot - Bumble.

Taylor and KC striking a pose. One of the few moments when they actually sat with us. I think teenagers get an allergic reaction if they spend too much time with their parents.

This hit went out the park - home run.

We had nice seats nine rows behind home plate.


I went golfing a few weeks ago with a friend of mine and on the eighteenth hole got these pictures of a family of deer that crossed the fairway. The hole is fairly short par five that is reachable (you can see the green in the background). I reached in two and had an eagle put from twenty feet. Then a par put from five feet. Followed up by a tap in par.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

...and then there were three

We made the family trek to Logan this weekend to drop Darren off at school. Having your first child, or any child, grow up and leave home is a mixed emotion experience. On the one hand we are happy that Darren has developed into a potential rich young man, capable of tackling the challenges of attending college and being away from home. On the other hand we will miss him in our home on a daily basis. He has been a great example to his brother and sisters and a tremendous support to his parents.
Check in was on Saturday and Darren joined the masses of freshmen and their parents hauling boxes back and forth to their dorm rooms. After getting his room set up, we went on campus and hit the bookstore to outfit the family in Aggie gear and had lunch at the Taggert Center.
Darren and his room mate Zack in their "home" for the next eight months.
What trip to Logan would be complete without going by the temple for a picture or two.
Tyson was pouting all evening and wouldn't come outside of his sleeping back for the picture. I think he was pouting when he found out that without actually drawing the short straw, he had to sleep on the floor.
After dinner we left Darren and Zack and they stayed in their dorm room for the evening. We decided to stay the night at the local Holiday Inn. Taylor spent the evening reading "A Tale of Two Cities" - not by choice, rather she has to as part of a summer reading assignment for honors english. Her review of the book would probably start, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of books..." After swimming we all went to bed about 10 pm. I wonder if Darren was asleep by 10 pm as well?

We went by Darren's dorm room on Sunday to formally say good bye. Hugs were exchanged, a few discrete tears were shed, and the three kids still at home turned their thoughts to taking over his room left behind at home.

Monday, August 3, 2009

You May be a Taliban If....

With apologies....

You may be a Taliban if....

  1. You refine heroin for a living but have a moral objection to beer.
  2. You own a $3,000 machine gun and a $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.
  3. You have more wives than teeth.
  4. You wipe you butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon unclean.
  5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet proof and suicide.
  6. You can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.
  7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
  8. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least one.
  9. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have other uses than setting off road side bombs.
  10. You have always had a crush on your neighbors goat.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lake Powell - Day Four

It's 105 degrees and we're melting. We have been on the lake on hotter days, but not by much. As it was our last day, everyone took one more try at wake boarding. Camryn is getting so close to getting up and staying up. She is very enthusiastic about trying. She gets that from Kristi, not me. Darren gave it a valient effort but claims he's retiring the board for good. Tyson doesn't like to wake board, but is a fan of the knee board. We got off the lake early and will have a nice dinner tonight along with a little rest.

Darren giving wake boarding a try.
Camry gets up, but only temporarily.

Tyson and Camryn hanging out with Bart.