Sunday, November 30, 2008

Practice Run

Our friend is leaving town for a whole week to do some work in Phoenix, leaving behind his awesome wife and crazy little Lizard to fend for themselves. They called me up on Saturday to see if I could let Lizzy play with my kids while they went to a movie. Look at that picture and tell me you would have said no...Yeah, I couldn't either.

The only hiccup...Janet got a call from her sister and needed to go out of town on Saturday to help out, so it was just the kids and me (of course Jena was there to fill her new role as a Sheppard-dog). I thought to myself "No problem, The Lizard will just run around and play with the older kids and I can get my last assignment for school finished up". You know how things like a budget always look SO good on paper, but never quite work out in the real world? Yeah I didn't work on my assignment.
This was a GREAT reminder of what we went through with our little rug-rats (that is Jaylucifer not Janet above). This morning Janet asked me casually if I remembered what it was like to have 5 kids under 4 years old and I truly believe that I have repressed those memories. I think I was in survival mode, just living day by day and trying not to kill ANYONE (it was also pre-Seminar days). Now that my kids are older, help out more, are more fun to play with, and actually turn my jokes right back on me I have just forgotten the tough times of 3 years ago.
I had a BLAST with Lizzy, as did my kids, but it reminded me that the bottom of the tree doesn't get decorations, cupboards and drawers need locks, silence is NOT a good thing, and don't let the toddler hand you the glass dishes when loading the dishwasher. This little princess was so much fun, she had this guttural laugh like a dirty french-man, made farting noises like her dad (immediately followed by afore-mentioned laugh), played with everything in the house from Teddy bears and blocks, lids and cups from the lower drawers, and Jena's food dish (Personally I think this was her favorite).

She eats cookies like her the fistful, and LOVES Elmo's World. The best part of the day was when I put on an Elmo's World video for Lizzy, and before I knew it ALL of my kids were sitting down with her watching it while they munched on some home made cookies. All in all it was a fabulous afternoon with a house full of kids VS. the Dad. The only casualty of the afternoon was my school work, but that is what Mondays are for right?

Thanks Jon and Sarah for letting me was great!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Utah Utes MVP

I appreciate my Wifey giving me a night to chill out and let the fumes of Saturday's game dissipate a little.

I have to say that I am very glad that the Utes are going to a BCS Bowl game, that only builds the credibility of the Mountain West Conference (in case having 3 teams in the top 25 teams in the Nation didn't help), plus it will bring in more money for our conference. While my Blue Pride wanted BYU to win this game, I am STOKED for the Utes and all their fans...GREAT SEASON!

Now, on to my topic. I would like to put on my hat as the "Sunday Afternoon Coach" and rant about Max Hall's performance on Saturday.

One of Hall's strong points as a quarterback is that he can thread a needle with his passes. He has the ability to hit a six inch hole with defenders on all sides, and complete a pass to Collie or Pitta when he is being chased down by the defense and everyone is covered by at least 2 defenders. I think he is an outstanding QB, and has Professional level talent. Saturday was proof that the Ute defense was on their A game, forcing 5 interceptions and blocking or batting down even more than that.
This is where Mr. Hall went awry...EMOTION. Max is the leader of the team. He is responsible for having a clear head, guiding his team through the peaks and valleys of the game, and calling plays that will instill confidence and build momentum for his Offense.

Hall started out the game in the deficit however. Before the first kickoff, Utes and Cougars met at the center of the field in heated words and a few shoves. Absolutely shocking to me was that Max Hall, the leader and supposed example to the rest of the Cougars was not trying to break things up, but was being pulled out of the fray by his coach! Then as the first half ended (and in my opinion the beginning of the Y's downfall) after Hall threw yet ANOTHER interception, he was charged with a PERSONAL FOUL for shoving a Ute! Way to lead by example.

You can see by Coach Mendanhall's expression here that he to was not amused.
So, to all you Ute fans out there, please no more snide comments on the dismal Cougar performance...I AM WELL AWARE WE LOST. We are bringing back our team next year, and I am hoping that Bronco can help Max learn from this experience that as the leader of a team there is no room for losing your cool. I think we would have seen a much different game (not saying a win, but maybe a better second half performance) had he kept his head and not gotten caught up in the negative emotions and trash talking.
In all fairness, maybe his wife was sick and in the hospital...or someone kidnapped his uncle and told him the only way to see him alive was if he threw the game...there has to be SOME reason. =)

Friday, November 21, 2008


Chuck's excited for the ride

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Grateful...and an Update

Chuck's recovery is taking longer than we had hoped {we're still in the hospital}, but he's doing well. He's kept down some food since the surgery so we are fairly certain at this point that it was a success. He's still vomiting occasionally after a feeding so he had an x-ray taken this morning to see if there is some barium contrast {from his original study for the diagnosis} still in his system from Monday that would interfere with his body functioning properly. At this point we are just being patient {which is what the surgeon suggested} and continuing observation to see if he just needs a little more time to get back to normal.

We are understandably tired and emotionally drained......but so grateful not only for modern medicine, but also for our wonderful support system. We could not ask for a more amazing group of family and friends. We offer a big thanks to all of those keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, those who have fed us, cleaned our house, watched our kids and come to visit us. It's such a relief for me, as a mother, to know that my other children are being loved and well cared for in my absence - it's given me one less thing to worry about.

Chuck's a strong little guy and is going to come through this with flying colors...just as soon as his parents learn what they need to from this experience.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Overwhelming Gratitude

In our lives we have ups and downs, pains and joys, as well as those lovely "growth promoting" experiences. The birth of our latest bundle of baby goo has brought a remembrance of the important things in life back into focus. The power of God has been evident through the pregnancy, during the labor process, in birth, and now even further in our latest experience. We have been humbled and awed by the power given to us to act in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The power of the priesthood and the love of our Heavenly Father have been made manifest in our home over the last two months with power that I have not seen since my mission days.

A couple of weeks ago our little Chuck decided to start throwing up after he would eat. As time progressed he started losing more and keeping less. Janet got so good at it that she would feed him next to a garbage can and when he would make "the face" or "the sound", she would calmly point him at the can and really cut down on laundry duty! She read a doctor's opinion which said puking was a laundry issue not a health issue for babies, plus she had a friend that told us all of her babies were pukers, and even spoke with her midwife about it. We thought we simply had an Up-Chuck-er...end of story.

On Monday Janet took him in to get weighed at the doctor's office because his puking was so bad we weren't sure if he was getting anything at all. He was obviously losing weight and looked scrawnier than when he was born. I had to sleep in the recliner so he would be sleeping in an upright position and wouldn't choke in the night. Janet had her whole afternoon planned out: she would run by the doctor's office, then go to Wal-Mart, then to Harmons to get produce and some things for dinner and run a few errands as well. She said she would be gone a while...(little did she know!)

Janet ended up going downstairs from the pediatrician's office to have some images done, and then they sent us to the ER to start surgery prep and stabilization. We were told that he had a case of pyloric stenosis, yeah just follow the link... They had to cut open our little 5 week-old baby boy in order to make him feel better. My brother Bryan and I gave him a blessing, and once again the upside down state of my life was righted and I was at peace.

His surgery went well and we were told that his stomach was quite distended and his pylorus muscle was huge for his size. We have been in the hospital for 2 days now waiting for him to recover and his stomach to adjust to taking food again.

We are FILLED with gratitude that we live in a day when this can not only be diagnosed, but also treated. I am humbled that...due to no effort on my part...God has allowed us to live in this day of miracles. My wife and I do not need to sit and watch our little son slowly starve to death and not know why or how to stop it. Then I am reminded of situations like my brother Brad and his amazing wife Jaaga and what they have gone through...and are still struggling the life of their little Amanda.

I am grateful that I not only live in a world of the restored gospel, but that I have a testimony for myself. Our God has a plan for us, grand and also on a very personal and intimate level. He wants us to be successful and the priesthood power is the secret weapon he has given us to use not only against temptations, but also for our trials and as a life-line when in our pains and sorrows.

When life gets too hard to stand...Kneel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There can be only ONE Number Two!

We have a very real, and very serious problem to address in our Universe. Tensions have arisen between Dwight Schrute and Darth Vader as to whom should be the supreme Number Two, in their minds there can only be ONE Number Two! They have agreed that the voice of the people should be heard (maybe not heeded, but at least heard). I would like to present our two candidates, and enumerate just a few of the strengths and a distinct weakness of each. I will then give all of you exactly ONE WEEK to put in your thoughts and cast a vote in this historic election. Choose wisely.
Dean is acting as my official Coin tosser to ensure equal representation. Dwight has won the coin toss, and will therefore be outlined first.
Dwight is the Assistant to the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Inc. Paper Company. He serves Michael Scott in all regards, unless the need arises (as laid out in his chart) for all control to revert to Dwight. He is personally resposible to ensure that no time or company resources at Dunder Mifflin are wasted. This has been especially dificult since there are no other employees alive with the intelect, drive, work ethic, or skills that Dwight posesses. He often finds himself in conflict over issues that are common knowledge (or should be) such as the fact that Brown Bears are best!
  • Purple belt in karate. (Granted, opponents are in elementary school).
  • Proficient in Mace deployment.
  • Paintball gun skills that are worthy of at least $500 for lessons.
  • Wrestling experience with his cousin Mose.
  • Possesses a variety of weapons, including Bow Staff, Taser, Brass knuckles, and even nunchaku.
  • Power of persuasion through use of supreme intellect, rapid-fire fact reciting, cunning, and even intimidation.
  • Strong Sexual attraction by members....member of the opposite sex.
  • Business owner, has found opportunity to open "Rustic" bed and breakfast at Dwight Farms.
Major Weakness:
  • Attacks have NO EFFECT on Jim.

Darth Vader is the second in command of The Empire, serving under The Emperor. The Emperor's sole purpose is to bring unity to the Galaxy, and ensure that no one goes hungry or feels like they are inferior to anyone else. The idea of poverty is non-existent under this rule of government. There is no "class system" because everyone is treated equally, every citizen has a job, an education, a place to live, and free health care. Why can't the rebels understand that it is THEIR fault people are dying in this unnecessary war?


  • Can sense the presence and approach of enemy.
  • Has the ability to move items, open doors, and even cut off air supply of disrespectful subordinates (Jim would NEVER put Vader's stapler in Jello).
  • Skills with Light Saber are matched by the number of individuals with....I mean counted... on one hand!
  • Follows orders so thoroughly, loyalty could not possibly be questioned.
  • Survivability...Lord Vader is the LAST of his kind.
  • Has a cool Egg shaped personal chamber...or charging station if you will.
  • Can make funny faces during tense conflict negotiations...and none would be the wiser!

Major Weakness:

  • He wears a cape. Everyone knows that is the downfall of EVERY super hero...or villain.

Remember to take your time in this decision, use both the facts listed here in conjunction with your personal knowledge of each candidate.

As a reward for your participation, each vote caster will be entered into a drawing...prize yet to be disclosed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What exactly does it mean to be a Veteran?

So, I am sensing a theme here...My wife is always posting cute pictures and Witty one-liners, while I am writing the political and make me feel good about myself posts! Hope you all will stick with me for a minute here, if not then scroll down and look at Chuck scowl at you.
I have had many congratulatory and supportive text messages, phone calls, and emails today for my service in the military. Each time I hear one, it makes me cringe because I did not ever serve in an "active" war zone. After I told the third individual that I am not deserving of any appreciation or recognition, I decided to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective.

My sweet Bride was almost 9 months pregnant with our third baby (including two-one year old babies in tow!) when I got the call that I had been activated to go to Iraq. I was so excited, I couldn't sit still! I was finally getting the opportunity to serve my Country and prove my worth! My Woman on the other hand was drinking nasty Oil and doing jumping jacks to get my son out before I left.
The night before my unit was to fly out, I was given a stand-down order along with 4 other guys from the 142nd MI Battalion. I was heart broken and felt like I was being punished, while Janet and all others in my circle of family and friends were saying prayers of thanksgiving that I would not be going to war.
To this day I don't know why I was called to stay behind, but I am sure that God was the driving force. It took me many years to come to grips with, and I obviously still hold on to it, but I did serve my Country. I gave almost 10 years of my life to serving in the military, and was given the unique responsibility of maintaining the operations from other arenas of the world while my brothers were sent to Iraq.

I am very proud to have been a part of such a noble profession for so many years, and to stand in line with other brave men and women today. Today is a day to celebrate those who have served, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave all. So by this definition, yes I am a Veteran.
Thank you, a HUGE and heartfelt thank you goes out to all the men and women through out the world that have made the commitment to keep us safe on our soil. Taking the fight overseas as to spare us the agony of seeing the ugliness of war on our hallowed land.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pictures {Halloween, etc.}

This is for Grandma Barton! She's been dying to see some pictures of the kids at Halloween, so here you go. {They were doctors and accident victims. The boys have some pretty awesome gory temporary tattoos.} And there are some other various pictures from the last couple of weeks as well. Enjoy! :O)

Jamie actually fell asleep with a quesadilla against her cheek. I have no idea why she put it there in the first place!Yes, I even bought scrubs for our sweet Jena. I'll let Greg tell you all about this obsession in another post.Don't you love the way Chuck holds on to Greg's hand? Greg just about loses his finger when he tries to pull it out!Chuck's troubled scowlDoesn't Chuck look like he's wondering, "Why the CRAP did you let Jamie hold me!? She's only THREE!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mr. President, I SUPPORT YOU

Today was a marvelous day not only in our Country, but in the World. We live in a time in which we see violence as the solution to problems of all types. We see road rage here in America where a person gets shot for driving too slowly, in Iran a woman gets beaten with a stick for showing her face, in China people are beheaded for producing faulty toys and shaming the country. The list goes on and on with examples of senseless and brutal attacks on humanity. This is why I feel so grateful for the outcome of our elections today.

Don't get me wrong, I am a strong conservative voter and things did NOT go as I would have preferred today. The reason I have such feelings of peace is because the American people are not happy with the leadership of our great Nation, or the direction we are headed. They feel the bite of a rough economy, the look of the diplomatic stance of the US, or seeing the lack of respect certain nations have for us in the international arena, and at the perceived lack of progress in a war-torn region under our guidance. The people from California to New York and everywhere in between took these uncomfortable feelings to the polls today, and in a very orderly and peaceful manner let our leaders know what they think.

The voice of the people has been made known. I may not agree with all of the policies or viewpoints of President-Elect Barack Obama, but he will be my president in a few short months and for that deserves my respect.

I have heard from numerous people tonight about their fear of what is going to happen to this country, and that President-Elect Obama will bring about the ultimate destruction of the United States of America as we know it. I say keep your peace. There are still enough patriotic and God-fearing people in this Country that will not stand for things of this nature to occur. I have been told that our Constitution will hang by a thread, and it will be the voice and power of good moral men (and women) that will save it.

The United State Constitution is an inspired document which was written, as I believe, under the direct influence of our Creator and Father in Heaven. He saw our day, He knew the challenges we would face, and He also knew that just as a child who has not been taught proper respect or boundaries the people of this Nation would rebel. Our day of humility is to come, but it does not mean that our day of extinction or destruction is coming in the next four years. The Spirit will stir in the hearts of good men who will be ready and willing to stand and defend the virtues and values to be found in our wonderful constitution.

Take heart, God still loves us even if there are a good number of people in our government who have low moral character. I do not in any way equate the supporters of President-Elect Obama as evil or sending our country down the drain. In fact, I know of many good-hearted, moral, patriotic people that voted for Barack Obama in good conscience.

I love this Nation, and would still choose to live under Her protection even in the rough times over a country in which I was not free. God has blessed us today with peaceful elections and in a few months we will witness a smooth transition of power. In January President George W. Bush will get on a helicopter and leave the White House and President Barrack Obama will take over. We will not see tanks in the streets, there will be no violent clashes with police, and there will be no hostile take-over or political executions to mark the beginning of a new "regime".

I thank the brave soldiers of this and previous generations that made today possible.