19 April 2011


My ten year old is my perpetual happiness machine.

"I'm so happy! So gosh darn super duper happy!"

"Happy kid!"

"I feel happy, Dad."

Well, I feel pretty happy, too. I'm glad spring has finally shown up. I have a great wife...I'm married to the woman I love and she is fantastic. Life has gotten better, better than it was during the winter months. I have a great family full of good kids.

Good things to read: Jeffrey Holland interview with PBS

I was glad my wife pointed me this direction earlier this week. I've long struggled with a few things with church. One of them is of the question of blacks and worthiness to hold the priesthood. My personal study taught me that the church position was wrong. I'm glad that a modern apostle has come out and strongly reiterated that all of those justifications, weavings of history, fact, and human interpretation that kept the priesthood out of where it needed to be, were wrong. It truly was the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. And it was wrong.

This is one little glimpse, but in many things there is hope for the future.

18 August 2010


Redwood has the toots.

His new saxophone fits his style. He's loving making noises on it, which mostly to this point consist of a handful of toot-like notes...with the occasional strangling noise thrown in when he blows wrong. He does love it, it seems, and I like watching him play. If he can already do that in the first few minutes, I imagine he'll get the hang of more complex things soon enough.
I've spent the last few days feeling hugely, hugely depressed. I keep trying to climb out of it. I'm productive. I'm serving others. I've accomplished some things lately that I've wanted to for a long time. But I'm also really, really unhappy despite things being "good". WTF man. That's about my reaction. Life is supposed to reward you with happy when you're doing right things.
One of the accomplishments is golf game related. Shot -1 for my round last Saturday. Due to the above, I haven't felt much euphoria over it. I'm glad to have it done and overwith, since I've been knocking on that door for a couple of years. I would say I have satisfaction rather than euphoria. And satisfaction is kinda boring, mostly.

08 July 2010

Hickory's Box of Awesomeness

The Fourth of July. As holidays go, I actually like it, which is more than I can say for some. I abhor Halloween for instance.

Outside of the heat, the bugs, the noise, the smell...the fourth is pretty cool. You just have to be in the right mood. Having excited little kids makes it easier, especially when the infectiously happy personality of Apple is one of them. Even the slightest bit of fun makes any given day "the best day ever." To say she was looking forward to fireworks would be selling very short.

So Sunday evening we pile the kids in the van along with some chairs, a towel, some water...and drive off to a neighborhood close to Maple's grandmother. The area has a reputation for shooting off a lot of fireworks. We find a spot with a vacant lot between the houses, on the corner, with a lawn that is in beautiful shape. Set up the chairs. Plop the little ones in the lap. And it turns out, that at least this year, we've chosen a great spot. Despite there being a lot of mature trees in the area, we can see in every direction really well, and we're close to three or four homes that are shooting off a lot of stuff.

Many oohs and aaahs followed as well as a frightened little girl, at least for a bit. Mostly we have a lot of excitement and big smiles and some good family bonding time. Then a few minutes before we pack up, someone just two houses down on the opposite side of the road plops a box out in the street. He's backlit by someone's flashlight, so I can see him lighting the fuse. Eventually, he steps away as the light lowers to the ground. All of us are riveted on this very large box.

And then it starts. A little hiss, and then foom...foom...foom...foom. Four white streamers fire off, one at a time about a second apart. Four big boomers fire off in quick sequence - red, green, white, gold. Then streamers again. Boomers again. Streamers again, boomers again.

When it's finally done, all the kids are squealing and clapping, with little calls of "yay! more!" In the midst of the din, we hear Hickory...our most excitable little one, call out with a huge smile on his face.

"That...was like a box of AWESOMENESS!"

01 July 2010

15 Years!

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of Maple and Persimmon. :)

It's all gone by so quickly. I am grateful we are in a happy place, many years later. It's a place related to the place we started...just more wise. I am thankful for all she has given me over the years, and the times I have been able to give of myself to help her. I pray for many more fulfilling and joyful days together, many more fifteens of years.

One neat thing I've noticed about my wife lately is this: she's hot. She's spent a lot of time the last couple of years getting herself back into shape. And while every little step along the way has mattered, and made her more attractive...she's getting past the rough reshaping and resizing. She's polishing now. She is looking beautiful and fit. I like that.

13 March 2010

Redwood hates underwear

If there's one thing everybody agrees on about Redwood, it's that he's about as funny as a boy can be.

If there's one thing nobody knows about Redwood, it's that he hates underwear. The boy goes commando everywhere, it seems. We ALWAYS have to ask whether he has undies on right before he goes out the door for school. And in the past, sometimes, he'd lie to us...so we'd have to check.

Naturally, item #1 to come off when he gets home from school is the underoos. Off the bus, down the block, through the door, to the bedroom, strip down, put on shorts. The kid is a polar bear at heart, wears nothing but a pair of shorts around the house almost without regard to how cold or warm it is.

So early this week, Maple hears singing coming from down the hall right after Redwood gets home from school. She walks quietly down there, peeks around his bedroom door frame, and sees Captain Commando dancing around his room in just his shorts singing, "I'm too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it huuuuuurrrtts!"

He's mortified at having been caught, and Maple asks him where he learned that song and whether he knows what it means. Naturally from school, and no, he has no idea what sexy means.

Long story short, attempt #1 to explain "sexy" to an eight year old fails. The task then falls to me on my return home from work. So, trying to play it low key, I settle down next to him in the living room as he's playing a computer game and get his attention focused on me.

Me: "Hey Redwood...I heard Mom caught you singing a funny song today after school."
Redwood: "Yup. I was just dancing."
Me: "Yeah, Mom said it was pretty funny. She also said you might need to know what sexy means."
Redwood: "Yeah, she tried to explain it. I still don't really understand."

[insert two minutes of trying to explain the meaning of "sexy" in eight year old terms. We finally get to the point where he knows that it means something like "physically desirable" in eight year old language]

Me: "So the guy in the song, when he's singing, he's saying he's too sexy, too attractive, too physically desirable to even be constrained by his clothes."

Redwood: "Yeah, that's why I don't wear underwear."

17 November 2009

Just as 2 > 1, so...

craigslist > ebay

pfsense > sonicwall

chocolate > vanilla

barebones nerd kit > consumer grade kit

03 September 2009

Five Things

The five blessings I've received from _____________.

Increasing my scripture study:
  1. A much better understanding of HOW the spirit speaks to me, and exactly what revelation from God looks, sounds, and feels like.
  2. Calmness regarding "controversial" topics of the gospel. To the honest and earnest seeker, there is will be an answer.
  3. An understanding of why a good cross-reference system is so important.
  4. The food pyramid analogy that has served me so well and kept me from easy (and often incorrect) interpretation.
  5. A greater understanding of what it means to be happy and content in a place of struggle and strife.
Increased physical conditioning:
  1. No more shoulder pains. Which means no more sissy graphite shafts in my irons for golf. :)
  2. No more lower back pain.
  3. No more nagging muscle tears and associated injuries. I played softball without pain and it was GREAT.
  4. Looking better in my clothes. I bought new jeans because my legs and butt got bigger. They fit nicer, as do most of the clothes I already owned. I look better out of my clothes too, which Maple appreciates. :)
  5. More stamina for work and fun. I like being able to run around with my kids in the yard and make them all huff and puff while trying to catch me. Not bad for a guy closing in on 40.
Being married:
  1. Having Maple in my life. She has been a great blessing to me in many ways, but of special mention is the calming influence that she has on me.
  2. My children. I can't even get started on this, because I'd never stop. All of them, each one, deserves many paragraphs. From Apple's impish ways through Ash's stoic example, all of them bring me a smile.
  3. Working toward a common goal, building lives together and improving surroundings. Something as simple as new windows brings excitement for the future.
  4. Opportunities to serve that come to me. They allow me to show my love for Maple.
  5. Being married to maple brings me contentment, and contributes to the happiness I feel in spite of the sometimes unhappy surroundings of life. Much like #5 from scripture study.