Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Hope They Call Him on a Mission

Today, a newly returned missionary spoke in church. He left here 2 years ago a boy, and today he stood before us a man and spoke (softly) of the power of missionary work. His father sat on the stand and I could see the love and pride in his eyes. It was beautiful.

As I've gotten older and watched my friends send their sons on missions, I've realized what a sacrifice this is for parents; sending their precious child out into the world to serve the Lord for two whole years. Two years of communication through only one letter a week, two years of hoping and praying that all is well, two years of missing that child in every aspect of family life.

It is not in my nature to handle separation well. When Cindy Lynn went to college we sent her with a cell phone so that we would be able to communicate with her. She & I talk several times a week and IM almost every day, and I still miss just having her around. I can't even fathom how it will be to send a child on a mission.

But I know what I want for my sons. I want them to be men like their father and their uncles. I want them to have the spiritual strength that comes from living for and serving the Lord 24/7. I want what I saw in church today.

And that's why when the time comes I will suck it up, sharpen my letter-writing skills, and pretend to have a stiff upper lip.

So that my sons, too, can experience this amazing transformation.

I just hope I can teach them to want the same thing.

My question for my brothers is--what can I do to help with this? What made you want to serve a mission? What made you stick to it when the going was tough? How are you going to help your sons want to serve missions?


P.S. My new heroes are my incredible brother & sister in law who sent all three of their kids into the MTC within just a few months of each other. Our twin nephews and their older sister are now serving in the Ukraine, Las Vegas, and Portugal, all at the same time!

(Yes, I know that girls can serve missions too.
But today I was thinking about my sons!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

the office visitor

behind this door is my office. Sometimes, as my bretheren in days of yore, i spend a bit of time there.
My poor little puppy, he gets so lonely.
The crazy part is: Without the blessing of opposable thumbs, or sufficent height to even reach the door knob, he comes in every time... to make sure i'm okay...
So Says Emily.
So, someone help me out... how did buddy get in??? and does he look guilty or what???

ROBOT for Maria

This is Maria's second anniversary present. Since Addie is now always on the floor I have given Maria a hand with keeping it clean. A robot for Honey. We have really enjoyed it so far and it is getting all sorts of nasty off our floors.

They are pricey but I did some mad wheeling and dealing and got it over $110 off. Since we left our vacume in Utah we needed one and this was a way to free up some time, keep the floor clean and be sweet to my beautiful wife all at once.

Ok so Maria wants me to admit that since it is a bit unusual, this was actually our Mothers day / Fathers day / Anniversary gift we've been saving up for a while.

We love you all, We hope you enjoy this post. LOVE JEREMY AND MARIA

HELLO from Sunny HOT California

So i've seen an effort to revitalize the blog I realize I have been lacking in posting so here is some love from Sunny California average temp 101 so far

<---------- here we have Adalaigh being beautiful and happy. She is fantastic and sweet. Continues to be a joy to raise.

Here we have Addie laughing which may be the sweetest thing i've experienced ever. You all with kids know what i'm saying, All others. Just wait, it is fantastic

LOVE YOU GUYS Jeremy and Maria

This guy is right!!!

Watch this video. This guy is right on! We need to catch his spirit and take back our government!!

DAD and Ramona

(cut and past this into your browser if it doesn't open when you click on it. It's well worth it!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shelf builder

As a pumped up new home owner, I have been infected with the urge to build stuff. Shelves seem to be the limit of my skills so far, but one day I hope to pull a Val and whip out a whole basement. Here are some pics of some shelves I fabbed out in the garage with the cutest little helper known to man.


I was out flying a few weeks ago with my Battalion commander. We were flying the normal route south, and instead of passing by my job at the Camp, we circled and did some landings. I stuffed my cell phone under my helmet and made a discrete call to my boss. He and a few other came across the street as I landed and I lateral taxied in front of them before whipping it back around and taking off again. I am in the front seat, and if any proof is necessary that I am on the controls, the back seater's hand is on the hand-hold, and the front seater's neck in pencil-like, (ie- mine).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The blog challenge

Ok, Andra threw down the gauntlet when she called it "the Andra and Laila blog." So I figured I'd post, even though I posted recently about park city, a long & involved post with lots of pictures. Nevertheless, I will post again.

As you may or may not know, we celebrated Father's day early in the Ray house. Russ got a midlife crisis for Father's Day this year....

Hey all - I realize this is not, indeed mom's piano. I also am beginning to think this is the Andra Laila blog. Dad is ready to part with Mom's piano, and I am giving all of the the opportuntiy to speak for it before I do! We do have a piano, but would love to have mom's, unless anyone else wants it, that is. Please post so we an know what arrangements need to be made!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Borrowed off of facebook

The construction zones in Raliegh look much more interesting than those in Genola!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our Pet Sandpiper

Recently, Robby mentioned that whenever he drove down one side of the driveway, a bird would run right in front of his car. He though this was very strange, and figured we had a new pet living in the weeds somewhere.
When I mentioned this to Bob, he said that it was a sandpiper, and that undoubtedly, there was a nest somewhere nearby.

And Bob was right - the eggs were not actually in the weeds, but right on the gravel driveway with bits of weeds under them to form the "nest". The eggs looked so similar to the gravel that it took standing inside the house and watching the bird to see where she went to finally find them. Every time we went to look at the eggs, the bird would hop off the nest, screetching, run in the other direction, then flop down onto the ground with one wing flapping. We decided it was trying to appear hurt, to distract us from the eggs. Pretty strange defense mechanism!

Yesterday, we finally had 4 chicks. They, too, blended in very well with the gravel. We made sure not to tell the kids about them because we wanted to make sure they could stay safe!

And this morning, we found.............

Wonder what the lesson to be learned is........

Friday, June 5, 2009

Like the Jeffersons:

So, I've been working with Firestone for about 7 months now.
I was hired as a "Manager Protege". That's company speak for "do you think he'll make it???"
In My company, there are lots of rules, and they basically know how to make a store profitable. unfortunately, there are those managing stores sometimes that don't believe that the moneys spent on making it work quite apply to them. So, As things change, they need to update some of the management.

This is only my understanding of the situation. Another possibility is that in the past 2 months, we have gotten busier and busier. Under those circumstances, you can adopt the Walgreen's philosophy and open up another store around the corner. So, as things get busier, we'll need another manager for the store around the corner.
Either way, 3 out of 10 that they hire to my program will turn into managers.
As part of their rule book, you hire me, train me in each of the job categories,
and let me loose in my own store.
This month we'll open up a new store. My current manager will go up there. My co-worker, who has been with the company about 2 years, will take over as manager in my store.
Caleb has decided i've been service manager for long enough, and will take over as the Manager of Tire Sales, the other front position.
Makes sense to me.
That means i get to learn new responsibilities that will enable me to manager better. Nice, eh?
Think it'll be funny when we enable a few of the "should be doings" like our "Operation Out" where the guy in my spot spends 4 hours a week contacting fleets owners and service centers to help them sell our tires and service?
I don't know about to the rest of you, but to me, this sounds very cool.
It also sounds like the step i was ready to take, in the time i felt ready to take it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

After years of pining over selling my Super Hawk, I've acquired another one. Same year, same color, better components, much, much quieter. Now I just have to stay under 150 and keep the rubber side down!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Park City, Anyone?

I wanted to get a semi-official head count for our short "John Watson Reunion" in Park City August 15th.

Here's the plan:

We have already reserved rooms (mostly poolside) at the Best Western that we usually stay at for Sister's Nite. Awesome Andra got us the incredible rate of $49/room.

The activities of the day include watching the ski aerialists practice at the pool,
And riding the zip line and alpine slide there at the park.Happily, the ride up to the slide & zip is on the chair lifts, and is almost as peaceful as the rides are exciting.The chair lift goes right along side the ski jumps and that's incredible to see.And just in case you are worried that there may be some problem that the management hasn't already thought of...don't worry. They've thought of it!I was thinking that a cost-controlled option for dinner would be to bring costco fixings & charcoal with us and reserve a local park w/bbq for dinner that night.

Breakfast will be (one way or the other) at the hotel the next morning, and then most of us will go to Temple Square. Some will go watch Music & the Spoken Word and some will watch little children. I think they have a theater in the Conference Center that you can watch it in if you've got little kids with you. Then we can walk around and (of course) take some pictures after.

Here are the ride prices for budgetary planning purposes:

Alpine Slide--$15, 2nd ride $7
Alpine Slide w/child 3-7-- $20, 2nd ride, $3 (I'm not exactly sure about that...)
Long Zipline (100lbs +) --$20, 2nd ride $10
Short Zipline (hooray--50lb +) --$15, 2nd ride $7

There are also ride combos that save a little bit of money, but I'm not sure you can get the 2nd ride deal if you've bought a combo. Last summer Russ & I both rode the slide & the long zipline twice and it was tons of fun. We've told our kids that we're going to pay for them to each ride the slide and a zipline, and we're encouraging them to save money so that they can pay for a 2nd ride themselves.

What do you think? It's not the beach, but it will still be loads of fun! Val, Marg, can we tempt you to Utah for a weekend???