Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Campus Savvy

I'm doing a project/game for Purchasing/Travel and for Financial Services at BYU. I am submitting photos of various places or things on campus and they have to guess where they are. I just wanted it to be a simple e-mail every couple of weeks but they have blown it up into a great "initiative" which is not what I envisioned. I"ll let them handle it how they want, but I'm having fun taking photos and going over old ones.

Here are a few pictures I took this week. I don't think it's even legal (anywhere) to have shoes over a power line, but they are on campus. I'll see if anybody can find them.

 This picture is for Adrianne. These are the cutest giraffe puzzles I've ever seen! And they are on campus.
 The giraffes fill a woman's office that works in the Physics Department. I saw her office for the first time last summer. She gave me two little ones and I love them. She has never been to Africa and has only seen a giraffe in a zoo. All the professors bring her one when they come back from trips. They are all unique and wonderful. She has some that are as tall as I am in one corner of the room. Only about 2 buyers will know where this is on campus. It's worth everybody's trip over there just to see these cute things.

 Those of you who attended BYU will know where this dino (or whatever he was) resides.
 On Saturday we had a cute little squirrel play in our trees. He's been around most of the winter, following the quail around. He literally flies from tree to tree. It's amazing to watch him.
Happy spring, everybody!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Changes in the Stake

On March 1st our Stake President came to invite our ward to a special meeting at 3. I thought it was odd. We all kind of figured they were going to change some boundaries but I was still unsure about it because they were doing it when one or two wards in our stake were still in church.

We went and after a lot of talking and dragging on for longer than they needed to we found out that they were organizing a brand new ward. The wards that were not at the meeting were the ones that were not really effected.

With the new ward they really changed things around. It was made by taking people from around four wards. We just so happen to be right in the middle of this new ward. From our previous ward the stake took 50 households of the 150 to make the new ward. More than half of the ward council for the 9th ward (our previous ward) was now in a new ward. The bishop from our old ward is now in the new 7th ward with us and is still the bishop. Luckily he had one of his counselors come with him as well since they live right across the street from one another.

From the 9th ward our new ward took the YW president, Relief Society president, and Primary president. Jozet, was the YW president and got called to be the president in the new ward as well. Libby, who was the RS president is now the Primary president. The new RS president came from a different ward. When we were in the stake meeting the Stake President released everyone from their callings that were moving wards. If you stayed in the same ward, keep your calling unless otherwise released from the bishop. So, I am no longer an Activity Days leader. Chad however is still the Ward Mission Leader. I saw that coming from a mile away. We have the same bishop and the calling is generally a 2 year calling from what we were told so I kinda figured that the bishop would want to keep Chad in that calling in the new ward.

I was expecting to hear calling after calling on Sunday, but the only callings that were made were the quorum and auxiliary presidents. Not a single counselor was called. The bishop's daughter came home from her mission on Wednesday so it makes a lot of sense. At least he has his ward council for next week.

In other news, we no longer have church at 9... we went from 1 last year to 9 this year and then back to 1. NO!!! I am pretty sure the whole stake center heard me groan a bit with that one. I have rather had 8:30 or sometime after noon. I have never really had anything at a reasonable time. Kathrynne has a harder time with 1. I didn't really think that it was going to be a hard transition but after having 9 for two months and then changing to 1 all of the sudden I realized that 1 really is the harder time.

We are really excited about this new change and are so happy that we get to be a part of this. It will sure be an adventure.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Happy Spot

Today was gorgeous! Had I owned a nice lounge chair, I would have taken it outside to sit and soak in the sun. This little spot in our back yard is my happy spot. I am always so excited when the flowers bloom. I was really surprised to see a bee around the flowers. I can't remember a single year when bees have been out this early. Robins appeared this week as well. Spring is here!

 Yesterday Gillian threw a birthday party for Mia. She had about 10 little friends come over. Mia is obsessed with the Little Mermaid so that was the theme of the party. Gillian did a great job with the food and decorations. The kids decorated little fish with cute little sticker things. That's what's on the floor behind Mia. Here she is modeling a cute costume one of her friends gave her.

 Cute, cute cupcakes. Gillian made these cute shells out of white chocolate. Almond extract was in the frosting. Yum.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Birthdays and Baptisms

Yesterday the family gathered to celebrate Lauren's baptism (and birthday the day before). She looked beautiful and glowed all through the event.

 We also celebrated Mia's 3rd birthday. She overheard her mother telling someone that her birthday was really on the 29th. Mia corrected her mom by saying, "Mom! I'm 3, not 29th!" She is a beautiful little girl.

Of course, we didn't forget Gabe. His birthday was also yesterday. He was not present to hear about 30 people sing happy birthday to him but he was included on the list.
Happy birthday to all three kids! We love you.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


I made a candelight dinner for my guys for Valentine's Day. Real flames!

Ray and Pat Day allowed me to take some photos for a project I'm working on. They have been married for 63 years. They were adorable (!) together while I was taking the pictures. They still have flames for each other.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oh, Atlanta

Hello everyone. It seems there is still a bit of confusion in the family about what the heck I am going to be doing after graduation, which makes sense, since I haven't talked to everyone about it and haven't officially posted anything on here or social media about it yet. (I think Nancy put up an Instagram or something)

So... let me explain what's goin' on. All of you are aware that I did my internship down in Atlanta this summer at Emory Healthcare. Well, I loved my experience there and decided that I would apply to their Management Development Program when I got back to school this past fall.

Now, a little background on placement. Typically, MHA students will choose from two different options after graduating:

  1. Get a traditional job. This is a less common thing to do for students in top MHA programs. Doesn't mean it's a bad option though. You can get a project manager position or other managerial positions straight out of school, which will be competitive in salary and provide good experience. The hesitation to just getting a job right out of school is that you can get lost in the organization more easily and don't typically get exposure to senior executives on a regular basis. One area that this exposure doesn't matter as much, is in consulting. This can be an extremely lucrative career choice, and we have two guys that are headed to Deloitte in Chicago for consulting gigs. The lifestyle is awful though (for a married person). Lots of hours and a ton of traveling and time away from loved ones. This did not appeal to me.
  2. Get a fellowship. This is the most common route for students graduating from top programs. A fellowship is a one or two year commitment that is kind of an extension of your educational journey (isn't everything though?). You are typically placed with a preceptor who is a senior executive in the organization. Sometimes this is the CEO, sometimes the VP of whatever, or senior executive of a particular service line, it just depends on how each fellowship is organized. Many fellowships are similar in that you spend your time doing a combination of shadowing in the administrative and clinical settings and get assigned project work. The real benefit of doing a fellowship-type program is the regular exposure you get to senior executives. Having the opportunity to learn directly from seasoned, successful professionals in a somewhat protected environment can be very valuable. Networking in this environment can really help you too, as you can imagine.
Wait, but I'm not doing either. So where does that leave me?! Well, the Management Development Program is really a combination of both! Yes, Emory Healthcare has a traditional fellowship program for their hospitals, but I am more interested in ambulatory care right now, which is where this program is focused. Why? Well, if you want to know why, you can call me and we can talk policy and the future of healthcare. In short, ambulatory care is playing a huge role in shaping delivery care models moving forward, so it's an exciting place to be. Who knows where I'll be in 10 years. I could very well be in the hospital setting. I am keeping an open mind and plan on taking the best opportunities as they come.

Oh, but back to the Management Development Program. It's a 3-5 year program that is designed to prepare me for a senior leadership position upon completion. Not a CEO after 3 years, but more like an administrator over a program or I know one guy who became an assistant director after he finished. There are lots of different roles that could be offered. Basically, if I finish the program, I'll likely be able to land a great position within the organization. Unlike a fellowship, this program leans toward being more of a traditional job. I'll be placed with a preceptor and work in that department to start, then move to different areas and roles as needed. Along the way, I have to meet core competencies to advance through the program. This will give me exposure to many different areas and help develop practical experience, setting a solid base for future opportunities. Similar to a fellowship, I will have the opportunity to meet with senior leaders on a regular basis too; in fact one of them will be my sponsor who is responsible for giving me guidance throughout the process.

Because I'll technically be working in one department or area at a time, I will have to take on extra project work outside of regular duties to meet competencies I'm not exposed to in my day-to-day job. It's about to get a bit cray-cray in a few months. Some of you have asked, "Is this a paid position?" Of course! In fact, it is a competitive starting salary (especially compared to fellowships) with great opportunity for growth.

I love the culture of Emory, the people, the quality of care they deliver, and the opportunity I have to make an impact on the community. We are excited to be close to family!!! Adrianne is only about 3 hours away, Nancy's parents are 7 hours away, and Dave is about 9-10 hours away. Not bad!

Now...sit back and enjoy these classics to get excited about our move!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Furniture

The only furniture we have purchased since we've been married is our bedroom set and the brown recliner Jim bought just before he had his knee replaced. Everything else has been given to us or found at garage sales or made by Jim. While I really want to purchase a nice couch for the living room, that will have to wait for a while longer. I loved having the large open space in the kitchen. I didn't worry about Ammon running into anything but we realized that we really did need some kind of table there. We've looked for a long time in a lot of different stores. Jim found this one at Costco and it seemed to be the perfect size for our needs. It opens up with small side leaves to seat six but we will leave it with the leaves folded most of the time to seat four.

I'm amazed at how the color scheme and ideas I started with have kind of morphed into something else. Now I have to find something really colorful to use as a centerpiece. We need some other color besides brown here!

I bought the table and chairs last night with some of the money I received for my "excellent work service" award from work. Andy May and his boys came over today to help me get the boxes in the house and then they just sat down and put it all together. I was so grateful! The table is very heavy.

Jim will come home tomorrow after church is over. He's ready and so are we. I also fixed a toilet handle today. (Ask Gillian why.)  Ammon and I sure have missed Jim. He's doing quite well. I don't like feeling like a widow. Even if he won't be able to do very much physically for a while, he's a wealth of knowledge and can talk me through almost any task that we need to do.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Well, after years of talking about back surgery, Jim finally did it. He has been trying to find a neurosurgeon that would do it. Three doctors have refused. The last time he was told the doctor wouldn't do it, he said that he went back into the car in the parking lot and sat in the car and cried. That's how badly his back has been hurting. We finally found a new neurosurgeon that has opened practice in Payson, right next to Dr. Wallentine. I saw him concerning the sore spot on my spine and was impressed with his attitude and willingness to refer me back to a different doctor once the MRI confirmed there was no growth. He didn't ever promise Jim that he could fix all of his back but could help with a portion of it. We felt good about him and decided to trust him.

Friday morning we showed up to the hospital about 9:30 a.m. I said my goodbyes to Jim about 10:30 a.m. and didn't hear anything from a nurse until after 1:30 p.m. She told me they didn't actually take Jim into surgery until 1:00 p.m.  At 4:00 the nurse came and told me Jim would not be done for about another hour and a half. I hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch so I went home, ate something and then took Ammon back with me. We went to the assigned room where Jim would be and waited. He didn't get into his room until 7:00 p.m. He was pretty groggy. We stayed until about 8:30 and then came home. Yesterday much of the day was spent trying to balance medications and drugs. He didn't do well on Percocet. His blood sugars were very high and his kidney function was poor. Today they figured things out and finally got him off Percocet and on to Toradol, which is the drug I used with my knee that doesn't seem to have so many side affects. We went over to see him after church today and Jim was sitting in a chair (carefully). His color was much better. He was lucid even though he was still tired. The catheter has been removed but bowel function is still not working which is Jim's biggest concern. Hopefully that will be figured out by tomorrow as well. His kidney functions are better today but still not where they should be.

The doctor put rods along two vertebrae that had slipped to align them better. He was only able to get them about 75% aligned but the doctor had warned us that with age muscles and tissues get more rigid and he may not be able to get them perfectly aligned. The doctor was pleased with how much he was able to move them. When Jim had surgery on his back in the 1990s, Dr. Gaufain did not fuse it. That disc had disintegrated and there was bone-on-bone in that section and Jim also had a herniated disc so those two places were repaired and all three were fused. It was a lot of work and there will be a lot of pain and recovery, but we are optimistic that it will be a lot better than it was before the surgery.

We appreciate all your phone calls and prayers. Jim has really been touched that his kids have called him and expressed their concern and well-wishes. That has meant a lot to him.   I'm tired - bone tired. I am going to work tomorrow but will take most of the week off to help Jim once he is home. It's onward and upward now!

Last night was the Salem Hills High School Senior Dinner/Dance, catered by Tucanos. It was a stag dance. Ammon doesn't normally like stag dances but he really wanted to go to this dance. He kept talking about it with the other priests. One of the priests, Dallin Toews said, "I really didn't want to go to the dance. I wasn't planning to go but Ammon was so excited about it so some of us thought it would be great to take him." So Ryan May came over and officially asked Ammon if he would like to go to the dance with him, Dallin and Chance Lane. It was a masquerade ball. Debbie May even picked up a mask for Ammon. All the boys said the dance was a blast! Ammon said it was the funnest night he's ever had. (He has a lot of those these days.) I really appreciated the boys taking Ammon under their wing. They rotated who would stay with Ammon while he finished eating and then they all took pictures, danced and partied.

 Four awesome, handsome guys! Dallin, Chance, and Ryan with Ammon in the front. You couldn't guess who Ammon was, huh! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Busy Weeks

We have been so busy for so long I can't remember what a long, relaxing day is like. Ammon keeps us really busy and last week was especially crazy. He has been rehearsing to perform with the Lifehouse Dance Academy for their religious fireside which was done last Wednesday night at the Covey Center in Provo. After many weeks of practice, it was finally here. The performance by everyone was amazing! The video segment of Ammon's interview was touching and left many touched and in tears. The message of the fireside was profound and left me with many ideas and thoughts to mull over and inspiration to do better.

On Friday night Ammon went to a birthday party for Chance Lane at Nickelmania in Springville. He had a good time there. This week is going to be just as busy. On Wednesday I have a doctor's appointment and then we go to Ammon's final IEP at Salem High School. I have also started taking a financial/retirement class at BYU which is every Thursday evening from 6:30 to 9:30 for 6 weeks. Friday Jim will have back surgery.

I finally found a few moments to get outside and take a few photos of the winter wonderland up on the mountains east of BYU.

 This is the coolest store front ever!  I love it! Pioneer Book downtown Provo.

 Thanks to gift cards from Chelsey and Brent for Christmas, we were finally able to find a rug we like. We got it last night at Home Fabric in Orem.
 (Just pretend we don't have a green plaid couch and then you can see how well it fits into the room.)
 Pretty, pretty!
We also found a perfect kitchen table and chairs but won't get that for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, January 04, 2015


I did not have any current photos of Adam & Amy's kids so we took a few last Sunday before church. I have some I can now print off and hang on the wall.

 Henry has probably grown in maturity the most. He is a bright young boy. It was fun to see his eyes light up as he explained something to me. He was the nicest big brother! One day I saw him walk over to George, rub his head and then give him a little kiss. For no reason. Just because. Henry was very helpful and was respectful and kind. He's going to be an outstanding man one day.
 Melt-your-heart George. His dimples get to me. He is one of the most pleasant babies I've ever been around. He talks to himself. You can't understand what he says, but he's jabbering away. He gives you the "stink-eye" until he gets to know you. He's so funny and sweet.
 Ella is truly beautiful. She, too, is a great big sister. She was tolerant of a younger sister, Gracie that wanted to play everything Ella played and wanted to be next to Ella most of the time. Ella is very athletic. I joked with Adam that she would be the next great Mormon female bobsledder. She had all the right moves to make the disc go exactly where she wanted it to go while flying down the hill. She played outside for hours!
 Gracie is very enthusiastic! She wants and needs your attention a lot and when she gets it, she lights up with a grin all over her face. She loves to be interactive with anybody and everybody. She has already picked out her husband (one day when she's old enough). She will probably have to fight off several men in her lifetime before she actually gets that "one."
 Sam is so fun it's unbelievable! He is not afraid of anything. He spent hours outside, too. Adam built two sled runs - one big one and the other one for smaller kids. Sam had no interest in the little run. He got to the top of the big one and said, "I'm ready!" with a huge smile on his face. He loves hugs and he loves people. He is simply adorable.
 I normally don't post pictures of myself but Ella took this one and was insistent that she get a picture of me, so here it is, Ella. She asked me to send it to her. That was sweet.
Thanks for coming, Adam and Amy. It meant a lot and added more meaning to Christmas this year.

Saturday, January 03, 2015


We're home. We left Utah at about 2 pm yesterday (Friday) and got home around 1:30 am Pacific time. The kids were great and our new van helped with making the trip work, as we now have a working DVD player in it and a rack on top, which allowed us to carry the many extra stuff we had gotten for Christmas, etc back with us.

Considering how my (Adam) health was at the time, we feel very grateful we were able to travel so safely and comfortably home. The kids were great and the roads were clear. I just kept rotating the Tylenol and Ibuprofen until we got home. We stopped at the rest stop just before Wendover, in Elko for Gas and 2 Redbox movies to supplement the ones we already had (great idea, by the way), in Winnemucca for dinner, then Auburn (CA) for our last gas and potty break. Smooth riding all the way. I was very blessed to have no headaches or major fevers on the way home and only needed a very small amount of caffeine to help keep me alert on the roads. It was a good trip.

Our trip to Utah was fun and we enjoyed seeing everyone. We were talking on the way home, however, how little we got to see everyone, in reality. Between schedules, distances, holiday plans, and sicknesses, it's hard to get it all in and done. The sicknesses really got in the way for me, too. I was sick when we arrived in Utah (with a cold), but within a few days I felt great and we were out digging in the snow and having a blast. But then on this past Tuesday night, I came in and began to feel slightly feverish and like my cold was coming back. By Wednesday morning, I was in full flu mode and could not get it better. 

Thursday morning at about 4:30 am, I woke up and for 2 hours struggled to get my temperature under control. I could not get warm and my chest was hurting from coughing and shivering. Finally I woke up Mom and Dad and had Dad give me a blessing and take me to the hospital in Payson. We left the hospital with a diagnosis of "influenza A" and a prescription for Percocet. During the night I had felt prayed to know what to do to help since I needed to get better to drive home by Friday, etc. I kept feeling to go to the hospital, but put it off for a while until I knew for sure that was what I should do. 

Going was the right decision. I'm not sure why, but for some reason, the Percocet was able to help my body calm down. When we had gotten to the hospital, by blood pressure was somewhere near 175/100 and my heartbeat at some points during the night had been near 120. I couldn't sleep and I couldn't get my temperature regulated. The Percocet seemed to calm my body down enough that allowed my blood pressure to go down, my heart to slow, and my temperature to get back to manageable. It also helped me sleep, which was a nice blessing.

Anyway, unfortunately, my sickness meant that we had to stay away from everyone the most of this week and it wasn't so fun for any of us. We really wish we had been able to spend more quality time with each of you. We are thinking of changing up when we come to a Summer time visit to make it simpler for us, etc and plan it ahead better. This was our first visit back since moving, so we are not so great at it yet.

Thanks to you all who came down to see us and/or let us see you, let us borrow stuff of yours, and said prayers on our behalf. It wasn't a perfect visit, but it was nice and we're glad we went. 

We're glad to be home. We are still recovering. My symptoms are more like a sinus infection and a little bit of lingering flu now, but George and Sam are both feeling down and Henry and Amy too a bit. We'll be hiding out for a few days until we get everyone better here.

We love you all and appreciate your support and love thanks for spending time, effort, money, and patience on us.

Love you all.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Years

Happy New Year, everybody!

As most of you know, I don't really believe in making resolutions on New Years. I believe I should try to better myself every day. One day doesn't make it magic. However, this year I decided to write a few resolutions just to say I did it. Here they are:

1. Wake up every morning.,
2.  Get to work in one piece without any accidents.
3.  Figure out how to get rid of nose hairs.
4.  Keep from gaining another 10 pounds.
5.  Stay married.
6.  Celebrate Ammon's high school graduation.
7.  Define fun and then do something fun.
8.  Learn one new thing with my camera. (Like how to turn it on.)
9.  Keep taking pictures.
10. Burn my black slacks. Replace them.
11. Buy a shirt long enough to cover the rubber things on the butt of one of my other black pants.        (I like those pants.)
12. Go a whole month without offending one of my kids (or their spouses).
13. Nah, be myself and don't worry about offending everybody. (It's never done intentionally anyway.)
14. Don't replace my second knee.
15. Don't amputate my first knee.
16. Do something nice for somebody else on one of these 365 days.
17. Don't tell anybody you've done something nice.
18. Don't listen to Christmas music again until November, 2015.
19. Keep my mouth shut at church so I don't get excommunicated.
20. Keep my mouth shut, period.
21. Become a doormat. (Not really, but it might make somebody happy.)
22. Go to the dentist -- at least once in a year. Ask for Valium first.
23. Don't get fired. Just retire.
24. Be more positive than negative.
25. Buy rose-colored glasses.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Jim's Birthday

Christmas late afternoon Adam went outside with kids in tow to build another sled run. Many years ago he built a small one for Henry when he was just a little boy. Mike built one last year and we had enough snow to build another one this year. This run is similar to the one Mike & Adrianne built, banking around the tree. It's too bad it wasn't done while all the kids were here yesterday but it hadn't stopped snowing. Adam spent nearly two hours outside into the dark building this run. Henry and Ella helped. We got another inch or so of snow overnight so they went out again today with sleds and discs and they have had a great time. We have lots of wet clothes, wet gloves, cold toes but lots of laughter. Ella doesn't give up. She goes upside down, backwards and in a little ball.

 Ella tried the big run but it frightened her so Adam made her a little run of her own.

 Henry is a daredevil, too.

 Sam stood at the top and announced, "I'm ready!" with a huge smile on his face. He wasn't afraid of anything.

Now to celebrate Jim's birthday.