Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who Is That Guy?

A couple of days ago I was working away in my office when I hear this giggling out in the hallway. A few moments later Jill comes into my office and shows me this picture. They'd been cleaning out some shelves and there stuffed away for all these years was a picture of me. As best as I can tell this must have been taken in the mid 90's. Look at that monitor. I'll bet it is a ten inch monochrome monitor. Both me and computers have changed a lot since then. What a scrawny little kid I was. I'm trying to lose weight but I'll never look like that again. 

I feel bad because with Lisa being gone these last two weeks I can do what ever I want with my time but I come home and think I should write a blog but I can't think of anything to write about. My life isn't exactly dull but it would sure sound dull if I tried to share with you what I do all day. 

Today I've been thinking about Lisa. Actually I'm always thinking about Lisa but today more than usual. As you know she's been in Canada helping Kira with her boys at an SMA camp but the camp is over and today she is at a Lybbert reunion. What a wonderful woman my wife is. The Lybberts are my mothers family and Lisa wants to be there to meet them all. She isn't doing it out of duty either but because she really wants to be there. I think that is wonderful. I can't wait to talk to her to see who all she met. She honestly knows my family better than I do. While that makes me feel a little bit guilty it mostly makes me love her all the more. I sure wish I could be there. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ben Came to Visit

Well my first week of solitude is nearing it's end. Tomorrow is Saturday and I'm excited because it is the PQ5K fun run. We do this every year to commemorate the 24th of July. We start at the stake center and run to the Del Sur building which is the building we meet in. It is exactly 5 kilometers so it works well. Tomorrow could be interesting because we normally drop a vehicle off at the Del Sur building but since I'm alone I will hope to bum a ride off of someone. 

Tonight was fun because Ben came down to visit me. I love that they are so close that we get to see them more frequently. With our unexpected trip to Orange County last week this makes two weeks in a row. We watched Tron and ate Cotija's so it was a lot of fun. 

I mentioned earlier that there were a couple of land mark items that I've neglected to blog about. The biggest one I definitely didn't forget about I just didn't have time to talk about it. 

On July 11, 2011 Lisa and celebrated our thirtieth wedding anniversary. I don't even feel like I'm thirty years old how can I have been married for thirty years. I then look at my kids and I realize that they're getting pretty big so I guess something must have happened. I had all kinds of grand plans for our thirtieth but with all the graduations this spring I think Lisa and I both decided we'd rather just have something quiet and peaceful. July 11 also happens to be Abram Jone's birthday. He is Ben's friend who died a few years back and every year on his birthday they have a barbecue at La Jolla shores so that is where we go every year for our wedding anniversary. The good thing this year was that Alycia was down so we thought we'd just have a quiet dinner at the house with Alycia and Ben and Sharley (they come down every year for the barbecue too) but Ben and Sharley had double booked themselves so Alycia and Mom and I celebrated just the three of us. As it turned out we all came home from the beach totally wiped and full so we didn't have any meal or any celebration. I think we just turned on the TV and watch some show. 

Lisa did give me a very nice card and I honestly had very admirable intentions but every single day something came up and I never made it to a store. I know it is no excuse but I didt promise a card even if it is late. Lisa is quite forgiving with gifts but she feels quite strongly about cards. Maybe I can get to a store before she gets home.

I'm sure I've shared most of these pictures before but since it was our thirtieth you get to see them again. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who's Lonely?

I thought that with Lisa being gone for two weeks and me home alone that I would be bored and lonely and have all kinds of free time. I guess I was just kidding myself. I've set up a routine. The first thing I do when I get home is pick up the mail and go through it and some of the extra mail that I've let build up. I then put in a batch of laundry. I then make myself something to eat. I then Go through some emails and then I watch an episode of Star Trek and then, believe it or not, it is time to go to bed. Crazy. I don't even have time to be lonely but I really am. It is very quiet around this place with just me and the cat and the snake and the fish and turtles and their eggs.

I feel real bad because I've missed some very important milestones in my blogging and in my life. The first one was Lisa birthday. On July 5th we celebrated the nineteenth anniversary of Lisa's twenty ninth birthday. I wanted to do something real special for her but she is a very difficult person to surprise. The last three presents I've bought for her have been a total bust so rather than waste our money on something that she doesn't want or won't use I insisted that we go shopping together for something. Well in the end none of it happened. We actually had a wonderful relaxing evening. I came home from work early and we went out to Pannera Bread for a light meal. Most of our meals lately are just light meals. After a quiet and relaxing meal we went to a movie. She even gave up the movie that she wanted to go to so we could watch one that she knew I would like. We went to Transformers. 

So even though it is now two weeks late I wanted to just let everyone know that Lisa is now twenty nine for the nineteenth time. I love her with all my heart and I hope to celebrate her twenty ninth birthday for another twenty nine times.

A giraffe can go a week without sleep

Sunday, July 17, 2011

They're Gone

Another crazy week and I just realized that there are some very important items that I have neglected to discuss. I will have to address those in another post however because this has been quite the eventful day and it will take me a while just to share it. 

Today Lisa and Alycia left for Canada. Kira and her boys are attending an SMA camp and any single mother with two little boys would need some help camping but with Evan she just needs a little bit more help. Justin has to work so Kira flew both Alycia and Kira up there to go camping with her and the boys. 

Last night and this morning were spent packing and getting ready for the trip so when we came home from church we had a couple of hours we could use to take care of some last minute things and then it would be off to Lindbergh Airport. Well no sooner had we walked into the house when Lisa got a phone call from Delta telling her that her flight from San Diego to Salt Lake City was delayed and so she would miss her connecting flight to Calgary. She had been rebooked on a flight that would leave tomorrow morning getting her into Calgary in the early after noon. 

That wasn't going to work because Kira was planning on leaving Calgary tomorrow morning so Lisa called Delta to see if other arrangements could be made. After an hour on the phone we had made no progress at all. I asked if we could fly out on other airlines but no luck.  I asked if we could connect through other cities like Vancouver or Seattle or Portland but no luck. I asked if there were any flights from airports in  the LA area like LAX, Long Beach, John Wayne or Ontario but no luck. Finally the stupid woman on the phone says. "Oh, I just found seats on an American flight, can you get to the airport by 1:30?" It was already after 1:00 and we don't live that close to the airport.  Why couldn't she have found that flight an hour earlier?

We finally realized that we were dealing with a moron so we piled into the van and headed down to the airport hoping for some better luck. We also figured that if a last minute flight did open up we wanted to at the airport so we could take advantage of it. Unfortunately there were just no more flight going out so Lisa and Alycia resolved themselves to the fact that they would be spending the night in SLC and getting late start from Calgary tomorrow. When they went to issue the tickets however we learned that the fool on the phone had confirmed Lisa on the flight tomorrow but not Alycia. That was especially frustrating because Lisa told her specifically on the phone that they were travelling together and she gave her Alycia's confirmation number and the woman had even asked how old Alycia was. Frustrating.

 The woman at the airport was far more competent that the one on the phone so grasping at straws I decided to ask her same questions that I'd asked on the phone. When I suggested that I could drive them up to the LA area she said, "Oh, we fly into John Wayne. In fact there is a flight leaving at 2:30. It was now 2:00. I could have screamed. If the fool on the phone could have seen that when I asked her we could have driven straight to Santa Ana and made the flight. As it turned out there were seats on a plane leaving at 4:37 that would get them to SLC in time to catch their original flight to Calgary. The problem was that it was already well after 2:00 and it was an hour and a half drive. I checked my trusty Android and it showed that the freeways were good and that it would take one hour and thirty nine minutes. We decided to risk it and off we were. Luckily the highways were good and we were at the gate about 5 minutes before they started boarding the flight. 


Every cloud has a silver lining and Ben and Sharley live in Orange County and so I called Ben to see if they were going to be home. Ben told me that dinner should be ready about the time I got there so off I went. Finally some good luck. It was good to see them and after some delicious enchilada's I gave them both a hug and came home. 

I'm starting to miss Lisa already and she hasn't been gone for more than six hours. This is going to be a long two weeks. 

1 pound of thorium has the equivalent energy as 300 pounds of uranium or 3,500,000 pounds of coal. In addition, a thorium molten salt reactor is much safer than any uranium reactor and would never have melted down like the Fukishima reactor in Japan. The United States has enough thorium to supply our energy needs for centuries. 

Friday, July 08, 2011

Alycia's Here

Wow, this week sure went by fast. Let's see if I can summarize everything that happened in a blog that doesn't go on forever. Last weekend was a very patriotic weekend for our family. Friday we celebrated Canada's independence on July 1 and then Monday we celebrated the independence of the United States. On Sunday they even recognized us Canadians when they sang God Save the Queen in church. No one seemed to know the words however because they were all singing "Our Country is of Thee". The thought was nice though.
In our community we always have fireworks on July 3 because they are so much cheaper. This year we went to the local fireworks on Saturday and then on Monday we went with the Knowltons down to Coronado Island and watched the fireworks there. Those are always so nice because we get to sit on the golf course and watch the fireworks launched from a barge in the bay. I took a short video of the big finally with my phone. 

This week we had the Germans in town all week and we had some good visits. We all went out for dinner on Wednesday night. I had "butter fish" which I've never had before. I think I have a new favorite fish. It was very good. 

Thursday of course was the temple. Not much to say there and then today I was sitting in my chair talking to Pedro when I saw him looking over my shoulder out my window. He told me that there was a very pretty girl out front so of course I had to check her out and there right in my window was Alycia. I knew that Lisa had gone to pick her up but I was still quite surprised. She is in town for a bridal shower and a bachelorette party. Alycia is throwing a shower for Jamie tomorrow and tonight she is at Katy's bachelorette party. 

With missing two days last week, the holiday Monday and Germans in town this week I'm way behind in my work so I've been putting in some pretty late nights. That means I just get home in time to go to bed so all this extra time with my wife I thought I'd have hasn't really materialized yet. Now Alycia's here and Trevor is showing up with some friends next week so not much has changed. That's good. I like to have lots of things happening around me.

Alberta has the third largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Unfortunately it looks like Obama won't buy it and Alberta will end up selling it to China instead.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Empty Nesters

It is so weird to have no children at home. Sometimes it just feels like Sarah is gone to girls camp or something and that she'll be home at the end of the week but then other times reality sets in that this is it. We've moved on to a new phase of our lives. From now on all we get is visits. I've always tucked the kids in before I go to bed. With some of them I've done that right up until they left home. Last night I went to tuck Sarah in and then I remembered that the bedrooms are all empty. How sad. I guess the bedrooms aren't exactly empty, one has turtles in it and the other one has a snake but they aren't all that fun to tuck in at night. The other problem I'm facing is that we've got to leave the door open for Sheba or she sits outside the door and cries all night. 
In spite of missing the kids I do have to admit that there is a certain freedom in being empty nesters. I come home in the evening and I have no commitment to do anything. I don't have to go to any football games, no band concerts, no scouts, no mutual, no homework, no awards banquets no nothing. The only person I have to keep happy right now is my wife and she's pretty low maintenance. 
As a tribute to this new phase of my life I thought I'd take you all on a trip down memory lane.
Here we are on our wedding day. July 11, 1981. That will be thirty years ago this week. We have no children.
1982 - Just a little over a year later and here we are with one child. We couldn't have been happier to have sweet little Kira in our lives.
1984 - Two years later and our family has doubled in size. We now have two children. Since Brandon joined our family life has always been exciting. He loves life. It was pointed out to us that some consider a family with one boy and one girl to be the perfect family. We figured that we needed more excitement in our lives than that.
1986 - My family is growing and my hairline is receding.
Ben just has to be the happiest baby I've ever seen. As long as you keep food in his belly he is content. Not much has changed.

1989 - It was another three years before Alycia joined us.
From the time she was born Alycia has been the life of the party. Everyone has more fun if Alycia is around. Again it was pointed out to us that four children is a large family now days. We had two boys and two girls and we should just count our blessings and enjoy our family. Well we figured there were more blessings waiting for us. 
1991 - Two years later one of those blessings arrived. Alex always had to be going somewhere or doing something. Can't you tell just by looking at him on his mothers lap that he wants to be going some place? He hasn't changed much, even today Alex is always doing something. You can especially see it in the kind of missionary he is.
1993 - With the arrival of Sarah our family was complete.
Alex's delivery was a very difficult one and we decided that perhaps it was time to quit.   It wasn't long however before we just knew that there was one more little spirit out there wanting to come and be a part of our family. We decided to put our faith in the Lord and have one more child. The Lord rewarded our faith with the perfect pregnancy, perfect delivery, perfect child.
2000 - Once Kira was a senior in High School we knew that the complete family we had enjoyed for seven years was about to change. We made the decision to invest in a family portrait in an attempt to freeze that moment in time. Anyone who has been to our home will recognize this picture as a copy of the life size portrait we have on our wall. 
2001 - The one thing that is certain is that everything in this life must eventually come to an end.  Kira graduated from High School and went off to college. From now on, anytime she came home she was more of a visitor than a regular part of our family. It was very difficult for me to let her go but I knew that is how it is supposed to be. I know she wasn't really gone but it still hurt a lot.
2002 - Once Kira left home it was like domino's falling. Before I knew it Brandon was leaving.  Maybe it was because I'd already gone through this with Kira or maybe because it is different with a boy but it wasn't nearly as painful for me to let Brandon go. It was also partly because Brandon was so ready to go. He's always been a very independent child and it was a lot of fun to see him go out and tackle life with all of that enthusiasm that he has. It was however very difficult when he left on his mission.
2004 - Ben was the first of our children who really didn't want to leave home. He would have been quite content to just stay at home. As with everything he does though, once he's made up his mind to do something he gives it everything he's got. I think he was quite surprised (but I wasn't) to head off to college and get the best grades of his life. I felt a significant absence in my life when both Brandon and Ben were on their missions at the same time. 
2007 - When Alycia left home things were very different around here.
Mostly they were much more quiet.  We really missed her enthusiasm for life.  With only two kids at home we were blessed with the opportunity to get to know Alex and Sarah very well.
2009 - And then Sarah was an only child.
She hated it. While she thoroughly enjoy our almost excessive one-on-one attention, she really missed the noise and commotion that she'd grown up with. She also missed Alex. With just Alex and Sarah home she'd grown very close to him.  Alex had made a point of including her in everything he did at seminary, school, church and at home and it made a huge impact on her. Alex on the other hand faced life in the outside world with the same enthusiasm that he faced life at home. He kept himself constantly busy and I think it really shows in the kind of missionary he is.
2011 - And then we were alone.
Dropping Sarah off to college was very difficult. I scarcely remember not having children at home and it is going to take a while to get used to it. I do however enjoy this new found freedom. When I come home in the evening I have no commitments. I look forward to doing a lot more things with Lisa.
Now that I've spent all this time complaining and moping about my children all leaving home and becoming "visitors" I have to share just how much fun it is when they do come home for a "visit". It is my firm belief that this is what life is all about. Perhaps my greatest joy in life is knowing that my children like to be with each other. When we're all together we have so much fun together and I'm rarely in bed before 2:00AM. The house is full of noise, commotion, fighting (especially during specific games) and activity. I realize that as more grandchildren are born and families move further away it will be more difficult to all get together but I live for those times.