Friday, October 31, 2008

I should have stopped, but "NO" I had to . . .

Tanner cracked me up today after school. We all know that we eat WAY too much junk on Halloween, but have you ever seen a kid experience that? Or better yet, heard a kid ADMIT it? Tanner came home from his class Halloween party and was feeling a little, shall we say, "full." He kind of groaned and said, "I ate SO much today, that I'm not going to be able to eat for a while. I should have stopped eating, but 'NO' I had to eat that one last cookie." We are in BIG trouble if he feels like that already. He hasn't even left to go trick-or-treating yet. lol

Can I have some church bread?

A few days ago, Trevor came running in after school and said, "MOM! Can I have some church bread!?!?" (If you can't tell, he was extremely excited about it.) I was kind of confused at first and asked "What bread?" He then repeated with even more excitement and emphasis, "CHURCH bread!" I then thought, "Of course, CHURCH bread, yeah, that clears everything up." :) As Trevor ran to get the bread, I realized what he meant.

On Sunday, Chase was assigned to bring the bread for the sacrament. Usually I use a loaf of the wheat bread that I have here at home. But all my bread had been in the freezer for a while and sometimes it doesn't thaw out as fresh as you would like. So Jerel and I stopped at the store to pick up a loaf on Saturday night. I just randomly picked a loaf of white bread which happened to be Wonder bread. So there you go--church bread is white bread full of lots of sugar and preservatives. So I replied, "Sure." Trevor was pretty excited and ready to go, but then Tanner was afraid to eat it. He explained that some kids at school told him that you can get cancer from eating white bread. Are you serious? I quickly cleared that up and explained that we eat white bread often, it's not going to give us cancer, whole grain bread is healthier for us, blah, blah, blah . . . Trevor and Tanner finished off the loaf in literally a few minutes. Apparently white bread is quite the novelty in our house. Who knew! Just think, all I have to do is give Trevor a loaf of Wonder bread for Christmas and I'm all good. Sounds Wonder-ful to me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reflections of Christ

A beautiful slideshow presentation of Mark Mabry's photographs (Reflections of Christ). Music is from the Reflections of Christ CD. These images were part of an exhibit that was on display at the Arizona Temple Visitors Center, and is now on display at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square until Nov. 8, 2008.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

FHE fun

For FHE last night, we all hurried home from school/work/football practice, ate dinner and headed to a mostly empty movie theater to view the latest edition of High School Musical. Our family has enjoyed the first two installments of this Disney production (although Jordan claims to have not seen the 2nd one) and we hoped that this episode would be just as entertaining. Being the cheapskate that I am, I had the kids all load their pockets full of candy from home (I tried to get Camille to take a whole bag in her purse but she thought the bag was too big). The movie always seems better if you know you didn't mortgage the house to pay for refreshments. So how was it? The consensus was that although it was entertaining, fun and whimsical, it came in last place of the 3 (or if you're optimist, it got the bronze medal). The music was good (not great) but it was lively to the point that Trevor was literally dancing in the aisle as we were leaving.

On a side note, why is it that young boys find so much humor in the bathroom? We could have saved some money by skipping the movie and just having the boys visit the restroom a couple times. There always seems to be someone or something in the bathroom that causes hysterical laughter and general giddiness. Oh, to be young again!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

St. George Marathon - The Race

I woke up at 3 am and got prepared to go. The marathon is a point-to-point race so the race starts 26 miles outside of St. George. All racers are required to ride a bus to the start with the first buses leaving at 4 am. The race organizers offer some nice early bird prizes to encourage participants to come early. Camille drove me to Worthen Park again where I boarded one of the first buses. I dressed warmly because the temperature can be a bit chilly while you are waiting for the race to begin. I brought 4 granola bars, 2 bananas, 2 bottles of water, and one bottle of Propel. I got to the start, grabbed a pair of the free gloves they had available for the first 1,000 runners and found a place to sit down next to a fence. I spent the next 2 hours resting, eating my food, and visiting with the other runners seated close by. After about 30 minutes, it started to sprinkle. The forecast called for rain later in the afternoon so this was a bit of a surprise. The race organizers had large trash bags to use for rain ponchos and I was glad to have a little bit of protection from the moisture.

At 6:15, I laced up my shoes, attached my running chip, and headed for a porta-potty. There were dozens of them but every line was already at least 10 deep. After using the facilities, I headed to the start line to drop off my extra clothes in a bag provided by the race. Then I situated myself in the front half of the pack of runners (approximately 6,500 total runners) and waited for the gun. I never heard the gun but the pack eventually started to move and we were off. It was still dark so I had difficulty seeing the actual start pad to know when to start my Garmin. The first couple miles were very crowded but the pace was close to where I wanted to be. Runners began to spread out after that and I was able to settle into a good pace in spite of the rain which varied from sprinkling to pouring. In addition, we were running into a strong headwind for a good portion of the race.

I paced a bit faster over the first 7 miles but the course was mainly downhill and I felt like I was not pushing things so I just went with it. We encountered Veyo Hill at about the 8 1/2 mile mark and I took it very easy going up it so as to not burn myself out. Miles 10-12 were a steady uphill climb but I still felt good upon reaching the halfway mark and I was a good 2 minutes ahead of my expected pace. It was about this time that I started to feel my left knee. I have had problems with this knee over the years but it usually bothers me when I play softball or basketball. I wasn't too worried but I did wonder how it would effect me down the way.

I don't remember much from the next 7 miles except for the rain. My clothes were absolutely soaked which caused my shorts to hang a little low. While I didn't think they would fall down, it was just something else to bother and distract me. It is things like this that really wear on you when you are running long distances. When I got to mile 20, I knew that I had paced correctly and that barring some major problem, I would reach and exceed my goal of running the race in under 4 hours. However, about a mile later, I developed a severe pain in my left hip. I'm not sure where it came from but it might have been due to me favoring my left knee. In either case, it was very painful and I slowed my pace to see if it would work itself out. No luck. I just figured I would endure it the best I could and not push the pace anymore.

The last 4-5 miles were very long, slow and painful. However, it was about this time when we came into St. George and the streets were lined with well-wishers who shouted encouragement and cheered all the runners on. I was surprised to see so many people out considering the rain but it motivated me to keep running and finish. I knew that Camille would be waiting at the finish line to greet me and empathize with my injuries and that also spurred me on. I pushed through to the finish line completing the race in 3:58:24! You can click here to see the official results or here to see photos from the race. Camille came right up afterwards and congratulated me and took some pictures. I got some food and drink and enjoyed a post-race massage. My hip was so sore that I could hardly walk for a couple hours but after icing it, it felt much better.

St. George Marathon - Pre Race Activities

On Saturday, October 4th, I ran the St. George Marathon. It seems a little unreal now as I think back on the event but what a great sense of accomplishment. I trained for 22 weeks and didn't miss a single workout. Here's how the race went:

Camille and I left early Friday morning and drove to St. George, UT which is about a 6 1/2 hour drive. We arrived and went to Worthen Park (the finish line of the marathon). I had incorrectly assumed that the expo associated with the marathon would be at the park but we were told that it was being held at the Dixie Center, a few miles away. We quickly went to the Dixie Center where we were able to hear the keynote speaker, Rod Dixon. Mr. Dixon is a world class runner having won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in the 1500 meters and winning the 1983 New York City Marathon in 2:08:59. He had a great deal of useful information and his comments were very motivating. Following Mr. Dixon, they held a first-timer's clinic. Again, excellent clinic with useful information concerning the race and the course.

We then went to the expo where I picked up my race packet and we visited many of the booths set up by various stores and companies. It was a smaller expo than we expected but it was well done and well attended. The race also sponsored a pasta dinner at the Dixie Center. We enjoyed salad, spaghetti, bread, and cake. They also provided some fruit and water. The dinner was well organized and the food was good.

Our good friends from our days at BYU, Conley and Kari Gali, now live in St. George and they were so gracious to let us stay with them. We went to their home and got settled into the guest room that they provided. They treated us like royalty and fed us extremely well. What good friends they are! That night the Gali's were attending the local high school football game so Camille and I watched the BYU vs Utah State football game. Afterwards, I set all my gear out for the morning and got to sleep.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Camille has a birthday!!

Today is Camille's 38th birthday. Oh wait, am I not suppose to say how old she is? At what age do women start lying about how old they are? But honestly, Camille looks so good, does it really matter how old she is? I was fortunate to catch her in a moment of weakness and she agreed to marry me (in spite of the fact that I was a "terrible dresser"). She continues to put up with me and I love her for doing so. Here are 38 things that I love about Camille (also click here to check out the blog of Camille's mom to see some great photos of Camille as a child):

1. She's a hottie!
2. Fabulous singer
3. Intelligent
4. Creative
5. Still a kid at heart
6. Romantical (her word)
7. Supportive of me in everything I do. Last Saturday, she sat in pouring rain for 4 hours at the finish line of the St. George Marathon just to see me finish.
8. Compassionate
9. Trys to understand sports
10. Great cook
11. Loves our children
12. Crys easily
13. Loves to read
14. Pays attention to the details
15. Worries about the details
16. Exercises even though she hates it
17. Loves Jesus Christ
18. Caters to our children (also known as spoiling)
19. Is the PR person in our family
20. Can prepare a FHE lesson in seconds
21. Puts up with my obsession with sports
22. Never sneezes just once (except for that one time in the temple)
23. Pretends she is not ticklish
24. Is patient with me when I break the camera (it's happened a few times)
25. Hates being dirty but goes camping with the family
26. My bestest friend
27. Loves to be spoiled
28. Embraces her role as a mother and wife
29. Magnifies her church callings
30. Volunteers her time to assist at the school
31. Loves to learn
32. Orders desserts to give to me
33. Will help anyone at a moments notice
34. Talks about herself in 3rd person
35. Is impressed by the simple things in life
36. Loves to be feminine
37. Classy dresser
38. Teaches our children both secular and religious studies

Sunday, October 5, 2008

For the love of Shannon

Jerel's sweet sister, Shannon, passed away early this morning. I don't know what to say. I have so many thoughts and feelings. I have deep sadness and miss her already, and yet I am grateful that her suffering is over. I'm glad she has found the peace that her poor body needed. The last few months have been especially hard for her. This last week, test results showed that the same fungus that caused her to lose her sinuses and eye this summer, had now gone to her lungs. She fought as long and as hard as she could, and then some. Her suffering is now over and she is now with our Lord and Savior. I have imagined her reunion with Him all morning. What a joyous reunion that must have been! I find great peace in knowing she was at peace with the Lord's will. Her testimony was amazingly strong, and she is an amazing person. She will always be alive in our hearts. If you want to see just the sweetest messages written about her, you can click on the link to her blog on my family list. Her husband, Paul, is a true saint that not only blessed her life, but our whole family's. He saved her life in more than one way. What a great man he is. I'm honored to have both of them in my life.

Shannon made me want to be a better person. I was reading Shannon's blog yesterday and was touched by her example. Someone who she visiting teaches wrote a thank you for a letter that Shannon had sent her. It was sent just a few weeks ago. Here she is feeling the worst she has ever felt--ever--and she is still doing her visiting teaching. That's the kind of person she is. I really have no excuse to not get mine done. Just one of the many lessons that I have learned from Shannon and her example.

I'm so grateful that we all saw her this weekend at Boyce's wedding. We all loved seeing her. We had such a great time. I'm glad we got to sit by each other in the temple. We are a forever family. I have a true testimony of that because the Spirit has born witness of it's truthfulness to me. The picture of Jerel with Shannon is at Boyce's wedding last week. I love how alike they look--same hair, glasses, matching clothes. He is really missing her today. He sure loves his family.

I find great comfort in the words of our prophet today. I can feel of his love for us. It reminds me of the last general conference we had in April. Six months ago, early Sunday morning, I lost my step-dad Randy. I felt great comfort in Elder Bednar’s talk that day. It feels as if the prophet and leaders are speaking directly to me. I know the Lord loves me; He loves all of us!