Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I have witnessed two significant miracles during the past two months. The first was a little neighbor girl who went into heart failure on a family trip in San Diego. They had to hook her up to a heart/lung machine and were thinking the only option was a heart transplant. Following a priesthood blessing and a ward fast, she recovered miraculously. Her mother indicated she began improving markedly the morning after our ward met to start our 24 hour fast.
The second was my Brother-in-law who went into a diabetic coma one night a few weeks ago. My sister couldn't revive him and neither could the paramedics nor the doctors at the hospital--even after they were able to restore his blood sugar to normal levels. They declared him brain dead after running a series of tests and my sister made the decision to remove him from life support. His father gave him a blessing. Not long after the breathing tube was removed he began to recover. He was released from the hospital a few days later.
When I think of these miracles, I am reminded of one of the greatest miracles ever recorded. On His final journey to Jerusalem, the Savior was requested to come to Bethany by His friends Mary and Martha because their brother was sick and dying. Prior to this event, Jesus had performed many miracles, but the majority of healings seemed to have been performed in relative obscurity, away from the general public. This healing was not to be kept quiet, but was intended by the Savior to be seen by a multitude of people as final proof of His Divine calling. Jesus didn't hurry to Bethany, but purposefully took his time—in an effort to remove any doubts about whether Lazarus had truly died. By the time he arrived at Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. This was long enough to begin the process of decomposition. The sisters were in mourning and questioned why Jesus hadn’t hurried to Bethany, knowing if he would have arrived sooner, he could have prevented their brother from dying.
With a multitude of Jews present as witnesses, Jesus requested the stone be removed from Lazarus' tomb. He then offered a short prayer to His Father in Heaven and then cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth".
His Master thus commanding, Lazarus obeyed. His Spirit re-entered his body, and "he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes".
Many of the witnesses now believed. Some of the others reported the event to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said, "What do we? for this man doeth many miracles....Then from that day forth, they took counsel together for to put him to death."
This authority to act in the name of God was passed by Jesus to Peter. A separate New Testament account some time after Jesus’ resurrection tells of Peter and John passing a beggar, who had been lame since birth, outside the gate of the temple. His request for money from the two apostles was met with the following response from Peter, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Peter helped him to his feet, his limbs received strength and he was able to walk.
I am grateful to know that this same power, by which Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and Peter healed the lame beggar, was restored to the earth by Peter himself. The authority to perform miracles in His sacred name is on the earth today and these same types of miracles occur daily. One such miracle allowed me to grow up with a dad. For this I am grateful.
Sitting here eating lunch with her. Dino-nuggets (dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets).
Rylee is playing with two nuggets.
One dino-nugget says to the other (while walking along the edge of Rylee's plate, "Let's pretend we are going on a date night bowling".
Keep pretending Rylee.
(I think Jess is waiting for Rylee to be good for a couple of days to earn a night out.)
Maybe Rylee has decided it's just easier (or more fun) to pretend about date night than be "a good girl" for two days in a row.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I could tell by the way he extended his nap time that he was gearing up for a wild ride. Jessica got him dressed and I did his hair.
At 5:45 I packed him into his carseat in the back of my car along with the Saturday night man-bag (Monday thru Friday--and Sunday from 1-4 pm--it doubles as a diaper bag) Jess loaded up for us.
At 6:00 we waited for Jess at a local fastfood joint (she called and said I forgot the map and parking instructions and the stop was on her way).
At 6:05 I felt Jayson reach for me from his car seat in the back. He was laughing and dangling out of his car seat. It took me a minute to realize he was actually OUT OF HIS CARSEAT. No wonder he was laughing. I had belted the car seat to the backseat of the car, but never secured my little buddy into his car seat. Nice move on my part. Rookie mistake. One more mistake like that and Jess will put the kibosh on Boys Nights Out.
At 6:10 we were back on the road, map in hand.
At 6:20 we were getting off the Kaysville exit for a quick U-turn back to Clearfield to get the stroller I forgot. That could have made for a long evening and sore arms.
At 6:30 we were leaving the Clearfield Stake Carnival with the stroller we retrieved from the back of Jess' Yukon.
Only 45 minutes behind schedule.
The Arts Festival provided some of the best people-watching we had ever experienced. Jayson caught the eye of several ladies and one friendly Artisan gentleman we met in the elevator.
By 7:30 we were seated on the lawn facing the Park Stage watching Atherton's opening song.
The music was superb. The keyboard player/backup vocalist was definitely on his game. (Nice Job Brian!)
The louder the music, the harder Jayson danced (well, bounced) and flailed his arms. For a moment I thought he was going to start a mosh pit.
But instead, a creepy couple started slow-dancing right in front of the stage. I covered Jayson's eyes as the tattooed gentleman in the bandana slid his partner's fanny pack and moved his hand in position for a "rear-end assault". Some of the crowed groaned, others egged him on. Jayson tried to remove my hand from over his eyes.
During the next fast song, an old man set down his beer and began to girate in front of the crowd--picking up the supplemental entertainment right where the creepy couple left off. Some bands travel with back up dancers in revealing attire. Atherton apparently travels with these three. Every good band needs their own niche. "Gene Gene the Dancing Machine" (as he informed the young ladies on the front row) taught us many interesting dance moves--a few of them seemed rather suggestive.
Jayson flailed his arms and took bites of his chocolate muffin.
I had an epiphany of what I want to do when I turn 65. I am pretty sure I could make an excellent dancing Roadie for Atherton. If I started practicing now, I might even have enough moves by age 65 to perform without needing the beer.
The band finished strong. Particularly the aforementioned keyboard player/backup vocalist. The folks from Insurance came out in droves to support their compadre. Nice job.
Jayson was wound up. After all, he had rocked out hard for most of the peformance. He started to entertain the couple next to us by "bear crawling" rapidly in a circle. He flirted with some ladies. They passed him around. I was proud to be his wingman. He played hard to get by frequently returning to his wingman and burying his head in my shoulder.
On the way home Jayson was hungry. I stopped and got him some fries from McDonalds--his favorite snack. He was pounding them down as we drove through Davis County. Must have worked up quite an appetite with all that arm flailing and grass picking during the concert.
"How's my boy?"
He smiled and chuckled.
"I had a good time with you tonight buddy".
"Did you have fun with Daddy?"
'Sounds like you had a good time too' I thought. "We should do it again. Motley Crue comes to town the end of July--you up for it?" As I revelled in the proud father-son bonding moment we were sharing, I was interrupted by an emphatic statement from my little buddy.
I glanced over and saw his outstretched hand waving frantically in my direction.
He just wanted another fry.
Friday, June 27, 2008
I have created so many of them over the years and for a minute or so this morning I was thinking of the nicknames I have come up with.
Flossie, Tay, Rylee-pot-pie, Loolie, Lawbees, Lawbs, L-Train, Siggy, Sigmund, Deh-ya, Big T, T, Lanny, Hy-bee, Lantelle, Twiggy, and on and on and on. Those listed were just family. They all have one. So do many of my friends (e.g. Raggedy Danny).
It's funny how they can stick. The origins can often be interesting. My experience has been that they often morph over time into one that becomes permanent. Sometimes they are widely known, other times they remain just between two people (and I am not thinking of Honey, Love, or Pookee--that last one makes me want to puke-ee). Sometimes they are a straight copycat of a nickname from someone else that seems to also apply to the person you know. The nicknames I have developed usually morph from some single action, random thought, or close tie to something or someone--and then develops from there.
When I was little a friend of mine called me James. It came because my first name was spelled the same as Sean Connery, who had previous to that time, played the role of James Bond.
My Brother Sigmund, got that nickname from a character in the movie "What About Bob" who was small and skinny like my brother (at the time). This character was named Sigmund, after Sigmund Freud. I started calling my brother Sigmund from that point on and it just stuck.
My Sister, Lawbs, got her nickname over time when I went from calling Sharla, Shawbies, then Lawbies, then (because I'm efficient and wanted to save time by eliminating a syllable) became Lawbs. Later, when I thought of what a great rapper she would make, I changed it to L-Train. From Sharla, to L-Train. Go figure.
What baffles me is how so many people, who don't know each other and have never interacted, call me the same thing.
Seany (pronounced Shawn--eee).
The longer they hold out the "eee" the more annoying it becomes.
My dad was the first one.
Several random people (friends) throughout school and work at the Bountiful Rec Center also came up with the same nickname. In fact, at every place I have worked, in every department, on every team, it has emerged at some point. What I don't understand is why? I can understand Dan becoming Danny, Jess becoming Jessie, Bob becoming Bobby, but why, so often, does Sean become Sean-eee? I have only known one Shawnee in my entire life. A girl.
I heard it at work about two months ago when the VP that I report up through turned the time over to me for a presentation--during an Executive Team meeting. "Now let's hear from Sean-eeeeeee" (extra ee's added by me to emphasize the annoyance). Are you kidding me? In the Executive Team meeting? Why? Seriously. Why? Why pick that time and place to discover that nickname? He's never called me that before.
But alas. There's a version that's worse. Waaaaaaay worse. And 9 times out of 10 it emerges not long after the first "Sean-eee" makes an appearance. And I am probably stupid for posting it on my blog (fortunately nobody reads it). But it surfaced again yesterday. Like a brick to the head.
Someone called me "Sean-eee-Boy".
Great. Cats outta the bag.
Sometimes if you just embrace the nickname, it goes away. Sometimes though, people forget your real name.
One other random thought about names. Since Jess and I have been married, I think she has called me by my real name about four times. She has called me about every other name in the book. ("the Book" added just to hear Jess say, "Seriously?" in her semi-serious tone). It actually feels weird whenever she does remember my real name. Like I am about to be grounded or something.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Here were a few of the lowlights.The V thing (I don't know the real name for this exercise). You lay on your back and lift your torso off the floor and your legs off the floor--at the same time! Yikes! Amazingly I did it. Sort of. I couldn't hold the "V" like the lady on my right. But hey, at least I got there. Sort of. "If you can't hold yourself in position, that's OK, we'll work up to it". Good ida. Let's work up to it. I like this instructor. I think someone called her Michelle.
Legs over head, butt in air (don't know the real name of this one either). It seemed so easy for most of the class. They just lifted their straight legs up and all the way over their heads so just their shoulders and head were touching the floor. I wasn't even close. Probably just for me Pilates Instructor Michelle created a "level one" version of this exercise. From that point on, I think I fell in love with the "level one" versions of everything.
Pilates Instructor Michelle's most oft' used line of the night: "Great job. You all look so strong" (I pretended she was also talking to me).
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Right after we road the Tidal Wave, I had to go to the bathroom. But I decided to wait instead. Tayler and I are in the last stage of the father-daughter-post-potty-training development process--the "Big Girl" stage. We have been here now for two years. This stage first begins when you finally realize you are uncomfortable taking her with you into a public men's restroom. Not that you ever felt good about it. It should always feel uncomfortable to drag your sweet, innocent princess into a sticky-floored room where grown men miss a urinal from point blank range, or fill the stall toilet and don't bother to flush, or make a huge mess in, on, and around the pot with no obligation to clean it up....
Somewhere along the line you feel she truly doesn't belong there anymore. Recognize the symptoms early.
1) start sight-seeing,
2) begin asking tough questions, e.g. "Why do you have those kind of potties?"
3) occasionally say strange things, e.g. You take her into a crowded mens room, help her find the cleanest stall, wipe it down if necessary (be careful not to gag or dry-heave in front of her), cover the seat with a disposable protector or create a make-shift one out of TP squares, make sure there is enough TP, show her how to lock the door, and go stand over by the sink to wait. After all that, she feels the need to loudly remind you, "Daddy, don't look". Good thing you taught her the importance of privacy. Everyone in the urinal line now thinks you might be a little creepy.
4) Or you may notice men who seem a little uncomfortable (stage fright perhaps) the minute you and her walk in.
These are all signs you have entered the "Big Girl" stage.
In public places this stage can be challenging. Several possible scenarios exist and none of them are particularly comfortable.
Scenario 1: You have to go to the bathroom, but she doesn't.
If you are by yourself with your four or five year old daughter, you're in a tough spot.
If you're in a strange, crowded place, you have to hold it. You really can't go in and leave her outside waiting for you. Alone.
My advice during this stage is that you try to limit your exposure to these situations. Don't go alone with her to public places. If you do, make sure you both "go before you go". Don't drink an excess of fluids...And never go alone with her to a 3 1/2 hour football game.
Scenario 2: You both have to go to the bathroom.
First question you ask yourself, "Number 1 or Number 2?"
Number 2. No way. You are S-O-L. You can't risk her finishing before you. She may panic when you aren't where she left you. Plus, you don't want her outside alone in a strange public place.Number 1. You should have time. After all, it's way faster for you.
No long lines.
Quick rinse (always using antibacterial soap of course).
Dry your hands using your pant legs.
You could be out in 30-45 seconds.
Solution: Send her into the women's room, race in, do your business, quick rinse (with soap of course), pant-dry your hands, and be outside waiting for her (with the "you are such a big girl" look on your face) when she saunters out.
Scenario 3: Only she has to go (best case scenario).
You still may feel anxious sending her into the women's room by herself.
Try to relax. After all, you are right outside. Plus, the rumors are that it's way different in there.
It probably even smells nice.
They don't "miss", so the floors might be clean.
They probably all flush.
And some nice elderly lady may even help her reach the sink.
Friday, June 20, 2008
In pondering this conundrum, I have found several possible solutions:
1) the mean German Shepard next door can jump a six foot fence.
2) her black lab life partner can dig a hole under the fence and repair the resulting divot with the skills of a professional greenskeeper
3) very large birds flying over our house have recently begun eating dog food
4) the golden retriever across the street has learned to hang glide
5) the black cat that often sits on our back fence has a mean sense of humor
6) pterodactyls are nocturnal flyers and aren't really extinct
7) neighborhood hooligans are performing the "doorbell ditch and leave a flaming paper bag of dog poop on the porch" trick without ringing the doorbell, lighting the paper bag, or stepping on the porch
8) the great dane two streets away has mastered the art of projectile bowel movements
9) the garbage man discovered we were putting excess concrete (the builders buried in our side yard) in the bottom of our garbage cans and decided paybacks were in order
10) the couple down the road who walk their dalmation without a scooper or plastic bag have mistaken our backyard as a public park
11) Tayler has stopped collecting lady bugs and has developed a new hobby of gathering fecal parasites
12) Rylee has been planting evidence in an effort to prove her theory about how her mother stained her feet (see yesterday's blog entry)
13) the rosehill dairy guy delivers more than just a gallon of 2% and a half gallon of chocolate.
14) the F-16 pilots drop a few bombs during their 2am flyovers.
15) one of our neighbors hates us
Well, whatever the cause there is a bright side. The dog poop was the only thing Jayson didn't pick up off the ground and put in his mouth.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Still getting to know this little guy. Not even a nickname yet.
I do know he is the happiest little boy I have ever seen.
He is so content. Only cries when we take him out of the swing.
Pretty determined to get things he wants, when he wants them.
Loves to help mom with the dishes, cooking, and everything else.
Definitely a momma's boy.
Doesn't really crawl any more. He bear crawls. Looks like he's prepping for football two-a-days.
Loves to giggle and laugh with whoever will play with him. Ticklish everywhere.
Oh, where to begin. Not sure whether we should really call her "Naughty Pot Pie".
She can be the sweetest, cutest, best cuddler in the world.
Or she can be a terror. Yep, in the picture above she is sassing me.
She knows when she is being naughty--whenever she is caught in the act, she puts herself in time out. Saves an aweful lot of time."I go timeout" she says as she runs into her place on the living room sofa.
She has such a sweet heart. She also knows just how to tilt her head and smile sweetly. Makes daddy's heart melt. Saves her from a lot of time out too.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Just a few thoughts about my Lil' Tay.
She has always been my biggest helper. Since she could walk she has been out in the yard with me, digging, mowing, planting, and cleaning up after Rylee.
She is such a sweetheart. Always looking after the best interests of her siblings.
At random times she will tell me she loves me and give me a huge hug--sometimes two or three.
She loves when we are together as a family and hates when we are apart.
She loves Princesses, climbing, running, dancing, soccer, and teasing. She loves to play jokes on the rest of us. Her laugh and giggle brighten my day. I love you Tay!
Fathers Day was the best!
Started the day with a royal breakfast treatment. Six course meal to start the day.
Short church schedule.
Picnic afterwards with my family at Farmington Pond.
It was awesome.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the picnic.
Here is Jayson headed for the camera. Again.
Two seconds left before I get mauled.
Rylee and Tayler kept running down the hill as fast as they could. This was one of the few times they made it to the bottom without one of them falling flat on their face or back. Not so good at putting on the brakes yet.
They are the best of friends. The other day Jessica asked Rylee if one of the neighbor girls was her best friend. She answered, "Tayler's my best friend". They are so lucky to have each other.
I am a very lucky Dad! Thanks Sweetheart, Tayler, Jayson, and Rylee for a great day!
Friday, June 13, 2008
I gathered the girls together for a mini-family "Cougar Club" council. While I was putting on a fresh diaper I asked them, "How can we let Jayson suffer wearing this sweatshirt? You know he must really hate it. We have got to get rid of it. Don't you agree?" Both girls adamantly agreed.
Tayler, will you take this and throw it in the outside garbage? (Thursday morning is garbage removal time for our neighborhood). She hesitated. "You do it dad". Rylee quickly volunteered, "I do it dad!" Tayler decided she better help her.
As they headed for the front door Tayler double checked, "Um.....Daddy....Are you really sure this is a good idea?" "Absolutely!" I reassured her, wondering myself what the outcome would be when Jess found out (I was pretty sure I was strong enough to take responsibility without throwing the girls under the bus).
Thirty seconds later I heard Rylee crying from out front. "Tayler, why is Rylee crying?" The answer came swiftly and confidently, "She wanted to throw it away all by herself but I did it instead". Well, what did I care, the damage was done. Then a strange thought....I better check and make sure. When I lifted up the lid-----no red sweatshirt. "Tayler, where is the sweatshirt?" No response. "Tayler, where is the sweatshirt?" No response. "In the garage," said Rylee, still teary-eyed. "Tayler, where is it?" "In the very back of the paint shelf". Sure enough, I found it wadded up in a small ball on the back of the paint shelf.
It frightened me how quickly she had come up with her little lie about why Rylee was crying. But then, I'm the one who put her in an awkward situation. 'Was I to blame?' 'Of course not', was my follow up thought 'she learned that from her mother'. (JESS--think VISA). Yeah---VISA.
"Tayler, Rylee, when mom comes home and asks where the sweatshirt is you say, "Ask Dad". Got it. Two head nods--one blond, one brunette. "Good. Ask Dad. Nothing more".
Sure enough, "Tayler, where is the Utah Sweatshirt?" "Ask Dad" came the reply. "Tayler, do you know where it is?" "Ask Dad," I heard again.
'Good, this girl is a fast learner' I smiled to myself.
Then, an unexpected (somewhat tearful) tattle "Mommy, Tayler wouldn't let me throw it in the garbage all by myself." Oh crap! The weak link......
No harm done. Somewhere in Clearfield there is a sanitation worker with a slightly used Utah sweatshirt on his little boy.
Either that, or it's being used as a rag to clean the dipstick after he checks his oil.