Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Right now it is about 1:30 in the afternoon, so if Colby were here, he would by awake by now. It has been nice over the last month or so being able to sit and talk to Colby during the day, and having Colby go on my trips to Rock Springs and Franklin, Idaho with me.
The toughest parts of missionary life for Colby will be getting up at 6:30 in the morning and staying awake all day in class. I can see him telling his companion to come back at 10:00 and wake him up. Or telling his companion that he can do without a morning shower and breakfast so to come back and wake him up when breakfast is over. Oh well, by now, I’m sure he will be used to the early to bed and early to rise thing.
I have to take some consolation in the fact that I’ve sent two out and they have both come back bigger, stronger, faster, etc.. I can’t say the time goes by quickly though. It didn’t when Tyler and Bryson were gone, and I’m sure it won’t go by quickly while Colby is gone. Two years is two years. I’m not complaining. I’m proud of Colby just like I’m proud of his brothers. Colby will learn a lot and grow a ton, and I’m glad he made the decision to go on a mission.
Another thing I’m missing – kind of - over the last week, is the lack of people in the house every night. None of Colby’s friends have been coming over since he left, and that leaves the house much emptier. In fact one night last week I went downstairs and everyone was out of the house, the doors were locked, all the lights were off, and the family was all in. It was 10:15. That has to be a new house record. I have to be honest here - I hope we can at least tie that record more often.
I sure hope something comes in the mail today. I’ve gone out to check it about ten times already. I’m going to have to have a talk with that mailman.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Well, this marks my entry into the bloging world. I have been introduced previously by my parents briefly by way of story and by photo, neither of which were all that flattering. As they said I am a student at the
Dropping off my brother got me thinking of my mission. I thought about all the interesting experiences I had, and even more all the growing and interesting experiences Colby has before him. It will be good for him. I am having a bit of writers block so I think I am going to cut this blog short. I am hoping somehow that it will be a little easier from here on out now that I broke the ice.
this week is going to be really stressful cause as you can tell from the other blog i got into the High School science fair and that is this wednesday and thursday and so i have to sign in for that and get everything ready. then i have High School registration on wednesday and thurday so there is the first problem. then on during the day on thursday i have a solo. i'm singing "Defying Gravity" from Wicked and i'm really stressed about that.
school is going great, in a way. i'm really sad that Colby is gone but i'm staying strong. other than that not much is happening.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Anyway, those of you who know the family realize that tomorrow morning my baby boy, Colby, will be leaving the family for two years to enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo in order to prepare to serve a two year mission for the Mormon Church. He will be at the MTC for about two months to learn the French language, after which he will spend the following 22 months in and around Montreal, Canada. Colby has grown up way too fast for my liking. He is my baby boy, so as he gets older, so does his dad.
I’m not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby when both Tyler and Bryson left us to go on their missions two plus years ago, and I’m certain I will be crying like a baby tomorrow afternoon when I say goodbye to Colby.
Since Colby was a baby he has been my “Partner”. I have watched him grow probably more than I have been involved with his growth. He has been a wonderful son, and very easy to raise. I feel more like a spectator on the sidelines then a coach when it comes to Colby. He has pretty much made the right choices and done the right things without a lot of prodding from me.
I remember back to when Colby was born. The kid was huge. He was nine pounds, but he just kind of slipped into the world, the way he has kind of just slipped along through life. We got to the hospital at about 2:30 in the morning. It was raining, and it took us a while to get to the hospital because my car broke down on the freeway. I got it running again, and when we finished the half hour drive to Lakeside, California from Hacienda Heights, Colby was ready to come. It took a while for them to complete the paper work once we got to the hospital, and by the time they got it all done and got Debbie into a room, Colby was on his way out.
He was a big ball of love, and he really has been the same ever since. Of all the people I know in this world, Colby has the greatest ability to love everyone he meets. That is not without its rewards either.
My memory goes back to a time when Colby was about five years old. Our family and my brother’s familywere fishing on Salem Ponds. No one was catching anything. It was quite depressing. Colby took off down the bank of the pond for a while, and I lost track of him. He came back about a half hour later with a string of at least a half dozen fish. They were all cleaned and ready to cook. When I asked him where he got the fish, his response was that a couple had been fishing all weekend. He talked to them for a while, and they were about to leave. Instead of taking the fish home, they wanted to give them to him. He just makes friends that fast.
Another time our family was up sledding. Colby was about six. We would take turns sledding down and carrying the sled back up the hill again. Colby went down on the sled, and we lost sight of him as he went around a corner on the trail. We waited for him to come hiking back up the trail, and after a while I thought I would have to go get him. Just as I got up to go see what was taking him so long, here comes a snow mobile with a couple on it, and Colby on the back. Once again, Colby had made friends with the snow mobilers, and the rest of that day he had a free ride back up the hill every time he sledded down.
Colby continues to make friends to this day. I think that when he leaves, we will feel like the house is empty, because I would imagine his twenty or so friends that are here at the house every night won’t spend their evenings here without Colby. In fact it is 11:00 the night before Colby goes into the MTC right now. He was set apart at 9:30 this evening. There are still about forty kids at the house saying their last goodbyes to Colby. Colby promised he would get the last one out by midnight, but if they are gone by 2:00 in the morning I will be surprised.
I’m certain that Colby will make friends quickly when he gets to Canada too. He is just that way.
I am trying not to make this too long. Colby will be missed by all of us. He is a great son, and I am very proud of him. I love him a ton.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
RUT 3 – Four days in a row at the gym. I can get all the way up the stairs now without resting on the landing. Anyway, I had an epiphany (A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization) today while I was on the tread mill. Well, not really an epiphany, I just wanted to use a big word. It was more like a random thought. Now, I don’t really want to turn this Blog into a political forum, but I thought since I am posting on the Blog, and my children are the main readers of the Blog, I would try to post some items related to my thoughts or ideas on different subjects that otherwise would go by the wayside. Anyway, let me take you into my mind a bit.
I have to go back a few days first. I was listening to the Doug Wright show on KSL the other morning. Those of you who live in Utah understand that it is the political season here when the legislature meets for a month or so and creates a bunch more laws to make our society a better place to live – sometimes. Anyway, there have been some controversial bills put before the legislature during the session, and one in particular was a bill that turned back the clock on the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. I’m not certain of all of the particulars of the bill, but it supposedly attempts to outlaw most abortions in the state of Utah.
Anyway, Doug Wright, the KSL personality, was taking calls about the bill. First, he made it very clear that he is against the bill because of the estimated $5,000,000 plus that it would cost the state to defend it in court, and because in the opinion of the Utah Attorney General there is no chance of the bill being deemed to be constitutional. Doug Wright’s position appeared to be that there are plenty of other programs that the money could be used for much more effectively to help both unborn children as well as living children in the state. He made it clear that he is in favor of outlawing abortion, but that the bill before the Utah Assembly would not accomplish that.
He took a call from an individual who was completely opposed to Doug’s position. The gentleman stated, “if we save one life with the $5 million, it is worth the money.” Doug tried to help him understand that the money would not go to save a single child, but that it would be wasted in unwinnable court battles. The gentleman continued his verbal support of the bill.
The whole conversation made me think quite a bit. The reason for this RUT is not to discuss my feelings or opinion related to the legalization of abortion. The point I want to make to my children, and I guess anyone else who will listen, is that sometimes we do what we think are the right things, for the wrong reason.
What became very clear to me while listening to the caller on the radio was that he was more interested in “saving” the mother of any unborn child than he was in saving unborn children. He was more concerned about imposing his will on any woman that might feel it necessary to have an abortion than he was in saving the life of unborn children.
I contrast the attitude I heard from this caller with the one I have found in someone I truly respect. I’ve had the opportunity of meeting and spending some time with Norm Purdue. Norm is a pretty ordinary guy, who worked hard all his life to provide for his family. He took his family to Ethiopia several years ago on a service vacation to help work on villages in Ethiopia. Norm found a country with a huge problem. Girls were having children by the time they were 13, and they were dying of AIDS by the time they were in their late teens.
Norm came back to the states and decided that he could do something to help these girls. He took a unique approach to the problem. He also found that the girls in Ethiopia are generally uneducated. His position was that if we can educate them, they can change their lives. Also if they are educated, they will educate the next generation of children, both male and female, which will have a profound positive effect on the entire country.
From Norm’s desire to save these children, he started the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund (COEEF). His organization is now directly responsible for educating over 500 girls a year in Ethiopia. The interesting thing is that it costs about $200 per year to provide books, uniforms and tuition to educate a girl in Ethiopia. Just for fun, let’s do the math. How many girls could Norm save with $5,000,000? The quick answer is 25,000. But as girls get educated, they will tend to educate others, and so the number grows. COEEF’s website can be found at www.coeef.org. Have a look at it, and if you have a desire to save the life of a child, and you can pull together $200 extra dollars, I would suggest you strongly consider sponsoring one of Norm’s kids in Ethiopia.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
I just googled the word "Blog", and I thought that it would have to be an acronymn, but it isn't. It is short for Weblog. And when you look up the definition it says - Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web site.
Well, I thought about how I would write on this thing, and I think it would be better for me to call my posts RUTS which stands for "Random Unintelligible Thoughts".
So here goes my second RUT. I was at the Gym working out this morning. BTW, this is my second day of my new diet and exercise program. Well, I guess since I went to Olive Garden for lunch yesterday and had "all you can eat" soup salad and breadsticks with a side order of alfredo sauce, I can't really say I've started the diet yet, but I have gone to the gym for two days in a row. Maybe tomorrow I will get up the energy to even go inside the gym and work out. :)
But seriously, things have changed since I was a kid. Now you work out on these computerized machines. You put your weight and age into the machine, and then it comes up with your target heart rate. They even have little sensors that you hold on to while you are working out, and it tells you your heart rate. It tells you whether your heart rate is too low, too high or in the target zone. Now tell me something, by the time I walk up the stairs to where all this fancy equipment is, my heart rate is already above the target zone and into the danger level - does that mean I shouldn't be working out on those machines?
Anyway, back to my RUT - while I was there at the gym (with my heart rate way above the danger line), I was watching a father and his son (about four years old)playing basketball out on the floor. It sure brought back a lot of memories for me. I spent a half hour on this crazy machine watching this kid trying to put the basketball in the hoop. His dad would go shoot a few baskets, and then he would come back to his son and try to teach him the proper technique for shooting. His son was just hucking that basketball at the basket for all he was worth. He was hitting the bottom of the hoop when he threw it up. But he kept trying - and smiling. He finally made it about 20 minutes into my workout. I about came off the bike cheering for the kid. It was fun to watch -
And, as I said, it brought me back to a day long ago when I used to take my boys out to the court. They would mostly watch me play my games and go shoot a few hoops before and after the game and at the breaks. They were fun father and son outings. Except one game I took the boys to that is. It was a Saturday morning game. Tyler and Bryson were 5 or 6 and Colby was about three.
The nerves were running before the game, and I was running late, so I had to stop in for a pre-game leak. Well, the boys needed to go too, and since they couldn't reach the urinal yet, and I didn't have time for them to go one at a time in the only available stall, I decided we would take care of them in a mass production fashion. So, I situated them all inside one of the stalls. Colby and Bryson were on the sides, and Tyler was in the front of the toilet. I got them set up and then left the stall for them to get their work done, and closed the door behind me.
Things were going well for a few seconds. Then something terrible happened. I believe it was Colby who first lost control of his hose. That is when I heard a yelp - not from Colby but from Bryson - who was directly across from him. I guess when Bryson went to cover his face, he let go of his hose. That is when Colby and Tyler started screaming. I guess Bryson was moving around trying to get out of the direct stream which sent water in all directions. By the time I got to the door and opened it, there were three boys dripping wet, with hoses still running. Luckily I only opened the door a crack, and, due to my quick thinking, I immediatley closed it again. I waited a minute or two. It was tough with all the crying and screaming going on, but I'm glad I did. They were still dripping by the time I reopened the door, and now they were all crying.
So what is a dad to do - the game is about to start. You have three boys dripping from head to toe in unpleasentness. I had to think quick. I threw them each up on the counter, and washed them down the best I could in twenty seconds. Then I unrolled a half a roll of paper towels, handed them to the boys and told them to come into the gym when they were dried off. I can't remember if we won the game that day, but I sure had a memory to last a life time.
Enough fodder, back to my original RUT. When I was at the gym, it brought back great memories when the boys were kids playing baseball, soccer and football. I coached the boys' teams when I could, and that reminds me of some good stories for other posts. I have also had a great time watching Colby play LaCrosse the last several years. What a fun sport that is to watch. Advice for young fathers - spend as much time as you can having fun with your kids playing and watching sports. When you are old and grey, you will be glad you did.
Indulge me one more minute. Today Elyssa's science project was due. So, I spent half the night last night finishing it for her. I hope we get a good grade. It was fun to do though. We put together a report on how to determine the speed of an object by taking pictures of the object at a predetermined shutter speed, and calculating the speed based on the distance the object travels. Ask us about the project if you want to know more. It was fun spending time with her working on it.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
OK. This is it. My first post on the family blog. Debbie stayed up all night last night to set this blog up, so I thought I should at least write a little something this morning. Maybe a little about the family would be good for those of you who are just joining the blog for the first time:
I'm Dean - I'm the dad. I was raised in Central California, met Debbie at college and moved to Los Angeles for much of the first ten years of our marriage. We then moved to Salt Lake City area in 1991, and have been in the area ever since.
Debbie - she's the mom, was raised in Whittier and Hacienda Heights California. She went off to college in Idaho where she and I met. She tried to live in my hometown of Merced, California for a few months after our marriage, but she is a Southern California girl, and so we were back to Southern California. I next tried to pull her away to Missoula, Montana, but when the temperature dipped below zero, we were on our way back to Sunny Southern California. In 1991 we finally broke the ties of Southern California when I was transferred with work to Salt Lake City. We have spent the last 15 years in the Salt Lake area.
Tyler - he's the oldest son. Tyler returned last fall from serving a mission in Bangkok, Thailand for the Mormon church. He works full time at Fidelity Investments, and he is a full time student at University of Utah. He can tell you more about himself.
Bryson - he's the second son (by less than 5 minutes). (Tell me if these two sound like twins). He returned this fall from serving a mission in Tampa, Florida. He works full time at Fidelity Investments, and he is a full time studentat Universty of Utah. He can tell you more about himself.
Colby - he's the baby boy. He is leaving on a mission for the Mormon church next Wednesday. He will spend the next two years in Montreal, Canada.
Elyssa - she is the baby. She is about to turn 16 and spends her time chatting with boys and singing. She loves both of them. I hope she gets on American Idol, wins it all, and shares her winnnings with her Dad.
That's the family. They can tell you more themselves. I will try to write from time to time on this and post some pics. Anyway, here is the latest pic. we have of the whole gang, taken last weekend when we went ice fishing at Fish lake in Southern Utah. BTW, Bryson is the hungy one in the picture. You can guess the rest.