Kids and Christmas…

Have you seen the Mormon Messages the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produces? Our family enjoys watching them. They’re thought-provoking. They’re inspirational. We met one of the producers of Mormon Messages in July when we had new family pictures taken as well as a video produced. His name is Tucker. He approached us a few months back and asked if our kids and some other kids we knew would be willing to be filmed for an upcoming video with kids about Christmas. Neal, Riley, and a few other kids we know were interviewed in our home. A few weeks ago the LDS Church released the video on its Mormon Messages YouTube channel in time for Christmas. The video, Kids and Christmas, features Riley and three of the friends – but no Neal. He was left on the cutting room floor. We didn’t say anything to him about it for a week or so. We didn’t know how he would react to not being in the video. He was actually OK with it. Neal’s a good sport. He understands. Maybe they’ll use him in another Mormon Message down the road.

Check out the video (Click on this link to be directed to the video. For some reason WordPress isn’t placing it in my post). Riley shows up around the 2:14 mark. I love his honest and sincere response to what he would say to Jesus if he was there when He was born. I love my little guy – and his bigger brother. They are sincere in their love for Jesus Christ. Enjoy the video and have a Merry Christmas.


The Block

I was nervous the whole day. My team wasn’t playing great. Actually the defense played pretty well – holding the other team to only 16 points. My team’s offense just wasn’t doing it. That is until the fourth quarter. You know what I’m talking about… the Utah-BYU game at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Finally the Utah offense started to roll putting up 17 points in about 11 minutes. When the Utes took the lead, there was just over four minutes to go. Too much time. BYU moved the ball down the field with just a little too much ease. Then it all came down to this – The Block:


From: Trent Nelson, The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah’s Brandon Burton got in on the left side of the line, practically untouched, and blocked Mitch Payne’s field goal attempt as time ran out to seal the win for the Utes. That pit I had in my stomach all day all of a sudden went away. Finally, it was Utah’s turn for one of these games to finish in our favor. Here’s the scene on the field from section N20 moments after the block.

Amber and I went to the game with my dad and my Uncle Blair. It was cold. I was prepared for the cold. But, I was still cold. The win and the hot chocolate after the game made up for the coldness. We’re not coffee drinkers, so we don’t go to Starbucks. But, they have dang good hot chocolate and we stopped to get some. I got the peppermint hot chocolate this time. It was good!

Overall, I think the game was good as far as the fans go. It seemed like most fans were trying to be on their best behavior, given the crap that’s gone on during the last 12 months. I think people were afraid to say anything and take a chance at offending someone. I’m glad this rivalry will be changing with the move to the PAC 12 and BYU’s move to independence. Playing in September will change things up a bit. No more 12 weeks of build up which adds to the issues. Here’s Amber and I showing our U’s after the win. And Amber and I with my dad.

These two guys make a new sign every game. They based this sign on one that a BYU student put up on the scoreboard at the Marriott Center in Provo after BYU beat Utah State in basketball last month.

Overall, I was very happy with the way the Utes played this year. 10-2 isn’t too bad. It could have been better. They definitely weren’t as crisp during the last four games of the year. Next up is Boise State in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas. Boise had a heart-breaking lose to Nevada last week. It spoiled their hopes of a chance at the BCS title game. National media are already stating that Boise’s going to work the Utes to death as a statement to the nation that they deserved to be in Glendale in January. What people forget is that Utah has a coach who is one of the best at preparing for bowl games. The Utes have gone to 8 straight bowl games and won 9 consecutive bowl games – longest in the nation. Coach Whit will have this team ready – even with Wynn out with season-ending shoulder surgery. Terrance Cain will be ready. At least that’s my hope.

We’ll be making the trip to Las Vegas for the game. We’re taking the boys and going with my dad and Amber’s parents. We’re excited. They boys are even more excited! Looking forward to the quick trip and the game. Go Utes!



This year’s Thanksgiving was a great one for our family. We spent the day with my family. Two of my siblings families were with us this year. We missed the other two. The food was great and the company was wonderful. Even I had some fun…

The boys made good use of their spoons while waiting for dinner.

Amber made some amazing pies. She stayed up late on Wednesday night, and it paid off. She made a pumpkin pie and a cherry pie. Check out the picture below. Isn’t this pie awesome?

Neal enjoyed looking through the newspaper with grandpa.

It was a great week. I took most of the week off from work. It was good to be with Amber and the boys. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving too!

Who’s the Turkey – 2010 Edition

So Who’s the Turkey in 2010 according to Neal? Before we get to this year’s Turkey, let me give you some history. Neal loves to draw. In November 2007, he came to me with a couple of well-done pieces for a 6-year old. The first was of a Utah-BYU football game. Check out the score on this one! The second was of a turkey dinner. Both masterpieces in my eyes.

In November 2008, Neal took a different angle on his piece. He decided to combine Thanksgiving and turkey and the Utah-BYU game. BYU all of a sudden became the Turkey. The Utes won big in 2008. All was well in Uteville. In November 2009, Neal put together this masterpiece – Utah aliens destroying BYU. Even though the Utes lost a heartbreaker, we still all knew that BYU – and especially Max Hall and his hate were the Turkeys! I would like to introduce to you the 2010 version of Who’s the Turkey?

Again, the Turkey is BYU. I sure hope that’s the case again on Saturday. Hoping for a nice Utah win to finish out the season 10-2. Go Utes!

Seriously, Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Last week, Amber and I celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s already been 15 years. It seems like we were just dating. I’m thankful for Amber’s infectious personality. She’s such a great friend to so many people – no matter who they are and where they come from. I’m also thankful for her creativity. Creating brings her joy. Being able to create like she does has given her many opportunities to touch others and help them understand how they can be creative in their own way as well. Most importantly, I’m thankful for her unconditional love for me and our sons, Neal and Riley. She’s the best mom and the best spouse around. Happy anniversary, Babe. Love ya!

Ragnar… Wasatch Back

Heading down the south side of Avon Pass towards Liberty - my first leg

Two weeks ago I completed my third Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay. This year was just like the last two – an amazing experience. Our team consisted of some great family members, and some new friends. I was runner six in van one again. I ran those legs last year. In our van was my brother-in-law, Matt, Amber’s aunt, Sharon and her cousins, Spencer and Jordan. We also had a special friend of Jordan’s — Danielle. We started at 7:30 on Friday, June 18 in Logan, and finished 188 miles and just over 31 hours later in Park City at The Canyons Resort. In van two was Amber’s brother, Geoff and his wife, Jill. She was awesome! Jill was our team captain and spent a lot of time getting things ready for our team.

The relay for me this year was a little harder. My training since January has been very limited. I’ve been battling a plantar faciitis injury in my right foot. It’s taken numerous doctor appointments, steroid shots, and two podiatrists to help it to feel better. My foot held out very well during my three legs. In fact it felt great all of the next week, but started to show some signs of soreness again earlier this week. Overall, it’s so much better than it was 5 months ago. I think I’m about out of the woods.

Our team is signed up for the relay in June 2011 already and we also signed up a team for the Ragnar Las Vegas Relay, October 22-23. It starts in the Valley of Fire, and ends at the Red Rock Resort and Casino on the west side of Las Vegas. I’m excited for this relay. Same distance, but not as many drastic changes in elevation like the Wasatch Back has. Participants who run both the Wasatch Back and The Las Vegas relays receive a special “Saints and Sinners” medal. I’m excited to get this one! Want to see more pictures? If you’re friends with me on Facebook, check out my profile.

Team 218 - Up & Running

An update’s coming… I promise!

Seriously, I promise an update is coming soon. The past two and a half months have been crazy-busy at work and home: school activities for the boys; soccer; Wood Badge; ribbon cutting and open house, etc. And now, the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay is on Friday and Saturday. When I get back from the relay, I promise to give some great updates on what’s been happening with the Packer’s. Until then…