Saturday, April 18, 2015

Prom

Jess and family came down to help take photos of the kids that met at our house for pictures before leaving for dinner and the dance. Jess took some great pictures. I have a few that worked.

 Ryan May, Ammon and Nathan Millington
 
 Christa Liddiard, Ryan May, Ammon, Olivia Trent, Rachel Sessions and Nate Millington
 Kevin and Gillian came as well to see the kids off - Kevin totally photo bombed this picture but I removed him. (Sorry Kevin. :)  )

 Christa is the Senior Prom Queen and Ammon is the Senior Prom King.




Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Poplars and Payson Temple

Jim found this cool area between Payson and Santaquin and took me there last night. It looked really cool. He knows I like strange things and I like lines so we took a field trip.





 Coming home we could see the lighted temple and it was breathtaking! I can't wait to go inside! The grounds are beautiful.


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Simple Citizen Win

Brent recently had the opportunity to be the mentor for a BYU team in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge competition.  This competition was being hosted by the U, with teams competing from most universities in the state.  Brent was pretty excited about his team's idea - which is a good one!  In simple terms, it sounds like Turbo Tax for Green Card applicants.  It's a simpler, online method of applying for Green Cards; which is usually a really expensive, complicated and long process.
Brent met up with his team this past weekend for the final round of the competition.  They ended up taking the Grand Prize win!  His team won $40,000 for their business.
One of his team members sent him this link to an interview they got to do with NPR.  NPR edited out Brent's name, but they did talk about their mentor.  It was really nice! Check it out.

http://kuer.org/post/byu-student-startup-wins-top-prize-and-40k-utah-entrepreneur-challege

Monday, March 30, 2015

Good Weekend


We had a great weekend. I spent Saturday morning helping Gillian and then met Jim at a furniture store where we finally bought our first "real" sofa. We ordered it so it won't come for about 3 weeks. That will give us time to get rid of the white love seat downstairs and move the plaid couch from upstairs to downstairs. We also have a TV to get rid of so this should all happen within a week.

Friday night Jim received a call from a member of the bishopric asking us if we could be ushers on May 19th for the Payson Temple open house. I did a happy dance all over the house. I am so excited to be part of this event!

Sunday we got a new bishop and new counselors. Bishop Merrill and family need to move to a warmer moister climate to keep him alive because of all the problems he has with his lungs. They will head southeast somewhere. Andy May is now the new bishop and we are delighted! He and his family are very good friends and we respect him a great deal. He will be wonderful with the youth! Seth Waite is the 1st counselor and Dallin Millington is the 2nd counselor.

Friday after school Ammon brought his report card home. He has a 3.9 GPA. He was so excited! If we take the report card to Krispy Kreme, he gets a donut for every A he has. Yum.... we're heading out this weekend. He is in the final term now for high school. Graduation will be May 28th. He is getting pretty excited. He also asked a beautiful girl to Prom and she said yes. He blessed the sacrament and bore his testimony Sunday.

Today I took another walk during lunchtime. I found a stairway to nowhere. I have no idea why these stairs were built.



 I love this tree at the Provo Temple. I find trees to be very interesting without leaves. I love the lines and I like this picture.
 The spring flowers at the temple are yellow and white this year. Every year I anxiously look forward to what it's going to look like. I love springtime! 

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

Flames


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

Dad

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.