Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Soooo Tired.

So I have been working hard on the bathroom so Andrea and I can finally have our bathroom back. If I can work hard on it the next few days I really think I can finish the pluming, electrical, and sheet rock up. It is just seems to be coming along a lot faster than I expected. I really think that it is going to look great. I am really excited to see the finished product. I just hope it turns out as nice as Andrea sees it in her head. I really want this to turn out nice for Andrea.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alex's Early Attempts at Walking

video

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Remodeling

Where once stood a master bathroom, I now have a beautifully empty 8' x 8' room just waiting to become magnificent. Unfortunately it is going to take a LOT of work. We spent 6 hours and $3000 at Home Depot on Saturday buying every detail from the sheetrock to the faucets. We bought sinks and tile and paint and pipe and wire and boxes and the list goes on and on! Check back for pictures as the work progresses. I'm hoping we'll have a beautiful and fully functional bathroom again by Memorial Day. No - I am not kidding. That is my actual goal.

Adam and Alex really like trying to help Daddy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I've Been Tagged (Kirk)

1. I cannot believe I am going to say this but I have kissed another guy. I do not even think it counts cause our lips hardly touched. Long story short he came to act like he kissed me and at the same time I acted like I was going to kiss him. Neither one of us knew the other was going to do that and our lips barely connected.

2. I love animated movies. I am so excited that I have kids because now I can act like I am going for them when in reality I am going for myself.

3. Another genre of movies I love are chick flicks. I mean seriously these are good shows. Movies do not always need to be action, fighting, blood, and stuff like that. Yes, those are great movies.

4. I like musicals. This is not something you find in a "jock" but it is true. Geez if I keep this up it is going to seriously sound like I am gay.

5. I hate putting lotion on babies. Heck lets face it I hate putting lotion on anything including myself. I cannot stand that slimy feeling you get from lotion.

6. I actually like hospital food. The only exception to this is the last time I was in the hospital for my knee. But I was on really powerful antibiotics so all my food tasted funny. So it was not the hospital food that tasted bad, everything tasted bad.

7. I really want to be a teacher. Fortunately, I think I found a short-term solution to this problem. Once I am done with training for the IRS or I have been there a couple of years I can go teach at the University of Phoenix. I have my masters and I work in the tax field so I could teach the tax class for the accounting program. I think that sounds like a good fit.

For those I'm tagging next:

1. Cody
2. Jay
3. Raini
4. Okay I am lame
5. Andrea stole my people
6. So I am only tagging
7. Three people

Whew! Ok, now here are the rules
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Wow, They Grow Up Fast

About 9 months or so ago, Kirk and I signed up as members of the West Valley Fitness Center. One of the coolest things they have there is called the "Edutainment Center." (Yeah, I do know how to spell). This place is SO cool. They have a little miniature grocery store complete with kid-sized carts and shelves stocked with empty food containers. They have a DDR game, some exercise bike games, a miniature theater with a stage, curtains, and box office, and equipment that makes even the best McDonald's Play Place look like CrackerJacks box toys.

Adam knows this place by one name: The Fun Place. He recognizes the outside of the building. He LOVES it there. When I first started taking him, he was a little too small and a lot to tentative to navigate the equipment by himself. He couldn't climb up the various levels, and anything that moved or swayed terrified him. Fast forward to last night.

Adam asked me to come play with him, so I broke the rules (hey... I'm the size of some of the 13 year olds I've seen in there) and followed him through the maze of equipment. We climbed up a long tunnel, grabbing at various hand- and foot-holds along the way. We went through a tunnel that spins while you go through it. We went around, over, and through all sorts of navigational hazards, and at one point I had to ask a group of girls which way Adam had gone; I couldn't keep up. He raced up a series of tunnels that have small ladder-like grooves cut into them. This part was once specific part he didn't used to be able to do by himself. Again, I couldn't keep up. I had to stop to rest because my knees hurt so badly. He had found the rocketship which doubles as the time machine from "Meet the Robinsons." We spent a minute or two "in the future," then he led me to the black slide. After a few seconds of pitch black downward motion, we both landed on the ground. "Let's do it again, Mommy! Come on!" he begged. But Mommy was exhausted.

The whole thing just made me swell with motherly pride as I saw the confidence and ability Adam has gained over the last 9 months. I'm not quite sure when it happened, but I think my insecure toddler has turned into a real boy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Seriously Scary Name Test

What Andrea Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection. You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive. You have the classic "Type A" personality.

TRUE


You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

TRUE


You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

TRUE


You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

NOT REALLY THAT TRUE


You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

TRUE

I've Been Tagged

1. In 8th grade I had a piano fall over backwards and land on my leg. Amazingly, I didn't break anything.

2. For about the last 6 years I always told people that my favorite color is green but that secretly it is blue. Even more secretly, I really think it is black.

3. I almost never dream about anyone that I actually know.

4. I'm addicted to reality tv. American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Big Brother, The Biggest Loser, BRING IT ON!

5. I love Eminem. Yeah -- the rapper. Even though I don't agree with most of what he has to say, he says it so well! (Note: I will only listen to him edited)

6. My favorite animated movie is "Anastasia." I adore the blue dress she wears to the ballet, and I think Dimitri is the sexiest animated character ever.

7. I'm organized. I put this on here only because it is a recent discovery of mine. After playing a game in which I said that my organizational level was a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10, Kirk began pointing out all the areas of life in which I am an anal retentive kind of organized. So, here I am admitting it publicly. I AM ORGANIZED.

For those I'm tagging next:
1. Martha
2. Julie
3. Mark
4. Becca (yep, you both get to do it separately)
5. Kirk (you're not getting out of this that easily)
6. Christopher
7. Kris

Whew! Ok, now here are the rules
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Kirk's Travel and My Dilemma

Scenario A: Kirk leaves for Missouri on March 3rd and stays until March 27th. He doesn't come home at all. He buys groceries instead of eating out every day and ends up making extra money on his business trip. We use that money to eliminate debt or buy something fun when he gets back.

Scenario B: Kirk leaves for Missouri on March 3rd. We pay about $200 out of pocket for Kirk to fly home late Friday night on March 15th. He would be here all day on Saturday, and we'd have a birthday get-together for Alex. He'd come to church with us on Sunday then head back to the airport. He'd stay in Missouri the rest of the time until his business trip ends on March 27th. Besides the $200 we'd have to pay, we'd also miss out on $50 to $75 that Kirk could have earned extra while still in Missouri.

What should I do? I really want Kirk to come home so we can see him, but is it really worth $275 for him to be home for a day and a half?

Will it be harder on the kids to have him home for one day and then gone again? Will Adam be SO excited to see his Daddy and then inconsolable when Daddy leaves AGAIN?

Or will it be better for the whole family to get to see Daddy for a day?

I can't decide what will be best for our family in the long run. Please offer your insight.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Long Day

I had to drag my kids down to the Delta Center (I mean Energy Solutions Arena) today because Lisa, Michelle and I were trying out to sing the National Anthem for a Blaze game. I'll be sure to post if they pick us, but that's not the point of this blog.

Apparently the trip took a lot out of Alex and Adam. At a stoplight on the way home, I turned around to check on them, and this is what I saw:





Announcing... Tasha

After a lot of discussion, Kirk and I have come to the conclusion that we need to get rid of our dog, Diego. We rescued him when he showed up in my parents' backyard, hoping he would be a good fit for our family. In most ways, he was. Unfortunately, he won't stop using my closet as a toilet no matter what we try. So, sadly, Diego has to go.

We still want a dog, though. Just one that doesn't pee in the house, and ideally one that people actually like. (I'm not quite sure why, but no one likes Diego except maybe Chris and Kris. I don't know -- do you guys even like him?) Anyway, we still want a four-legged friend to cuddle with and feed the kids' messes to.


Enter Tasha.



Tasha is a Rotweiller/Beagle mix and she weighs in at 37 lbs, which makes her about 15-20 lbs less than Sam, if you remember him. She is sweet as can be and seems to love us. She has been great with the kids so far, letting them poke her and stuff even when she was scared. She slept with Adam last night and was actually very reluctant to leave his bedroom this morning. So far, she is looking like a great fit for our family.



Monday, February 4, 2008

Not Looking Forward To Next Training

Okay so I have posted before about my next training that will take place in March (3-27). The training will be going over the 1040, for those of you that do not recognize what that is it is the tax form you fill out when you file your taxes. It will be interesting to get the in depth knowledge that I will receive. I've learned about it in college but I am sure it was really basic stuff I was taught. For example I was reading about the schedule A today that is attached to the 1040 in my personal study today at work and I already learned more stuff I never knew that had to do with charitable contributions, business expenses, and casualty loses to name a few things.

Anyway back to the training issue. I thought I would research today how much a plane ticket would cost to fly back and forth from Kansas City to Salt Lake City. It looks like it will be about $450 dollars. The per diem rate for lodging is $103 with $49 for food an misc expense per day. That brings the total if I stayed for the weekend to $304. So the IRS will reimbursement the $304 so I would have to pay the remaining $146 out of my pocket. There is no way I can pay that so it looks like I will be spending 3 1/2 weeks by myself with no car in Missouri. I think what I will end up doing is not eating a lot so I can use the money I save on per diem towards the plane ticket. Being away from my family for 24 days is just too much for me, besides Alex turns 1 while I am away in Missouri which will make being away that much harder.

I also just found out I will be gone for a Blaze game. This will be the first Blaze home game I will miss. :( Now the question becomes who will Andrea take to the game that night or if she will just give the four tickets some some lucky family.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl

Okay so I don't know about anyone else but wow that was a great Super Bowl. With the start of the first quarter I was thinking it would be a high scoring game. Turns out to be quite the defensive battle. I must admit I would have liked to see the Patriots run the table and get the championship but I was going for NY even though I really didn't think they would win. I was very pleasantly surprised that NY was able to pull it off. Anyway that is all I have to say about the game.

The Principle of Succession in the Church

Last night, my family got together at our favorite Thai restaurant to celebrate Kirk, Adam, Michelle, and my dad's birthdays. Brett & Lisa had watched President Hinckley's funeral, and they were sharing the experience with us. At some point, the conversation turned to the principle of succession in the church, with the two main viewpoints being as follows:

1- The most senior Apostle AUTOMATICALLY becomes the next president of the church. This happens as soon as the previous President dies and the 1st Presidency is dissolved.

2- The most senior Apostle has traditionally always become the next president of the church; however, there is no actual procedure or doctrine. The order of succession is more of a tradition; the Quorum receives revelation from the Lord for who should be the next President.

The discussion became pretty intense because each person was confident of his or her convictions. Finally, the discussion came to more or less of a standstill, and Kirk and Skye started talking about the SuperBowl.

As soon as I had a chance at home, I hopped on to LDS.org to see what I could find out. Although I could provide no documentation, I had always thought the succession was automatic. I wasn't sure, though, when the new President was to receive the mantle and everything would be come official. My curiosity lead me to this article from a 1996 Ensign. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=9509dbdcc370c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

The whole thing was pretty interesting, but here are some of the more pertinent parts:

2. Seniority: a governing principle of presidency. The factor that determines who presides among the Twelve and who may actively exercise all the keys of the kingdom at the death of the President of the Church is the principle of seniority. In 1835, when the first Quorum of the Twelve was called, seniority was arranged by age. Since then, seniority has been determined by the date of ordination into the Quorum of the Twelve.

"The matter of seniority is basic in the first quorums of the Church," President Spencer W. Kimball explained. "All the apostles understand this perfectly, and all well-trained members of the Church are conversant with this perfect succession program."

In addition to determining presidency, the principles of seniority provide rich, practical blessings in Church administration—wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration that have been acquired and tempered through plentiful experience. The omniscience of the Lord is always manifest in the preparation of his chosen prophets through their many assignments and responsibilities in the Twelve.

"This is a wise procedure," Elder John A. Widtsoe said. "It places at the head of the Church the apostle who has been longest in service. He is known well to the people and trusted by them. He himself knows the procedure of Church affairs. He is no novice to be trained for the position."

3. At the President's death there is no First Presidency over the Twelve. Following the principles taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith, when the President of the Church dies, the quorum of the First Presidency is automatically dissolved and the counselors, if they previously had been in the Quorum of the Twelve, return to their respective places of seniority in that quorum. The senior Apostle, as President of the Twelve, automatically, by virtue of that seniority, becomes the "Presiding High Priest" of the Church and, as such, actively holds and exercises all the keys of the kingdom and "preside[s] over the whole church" (see D&C 107:65–66, 91). "Equal in authority" to the First Presidency, this presiding quorum of Twelve Apostles is as much a Presidency of the Church as the First Presidency is when it is fully organized and operative (see D&C 107:23–24). Likewise, the President of the Twelve at that time is as much the President of the Church in function and authority as when he becomes sustained as such in a newly organized First Presidency.

"There is no mystery about the choosing of the successor to the President of the Church," President Joseph Fielding Smith confirmed. "The Lord settled this a long time ago, and the senior apostle automatically becomes the presiding officer of the Church, and he is so sustained by the Council of the Twelve which becomes the presiding body of the Church when there is no First Presidency."

This article helped to answer some of my questions, but I'm still interested in the subject. If you are aware of other articles, quotes, or books about this principle, let me know.

My Absence From The Net

So if you have ever emailed me in the past you know that usually respond very quickly to your email. There are a few reasons behind this. 1. I had a notifier at work letting me know when I got an email. 2. I had a lot of free time on my hands at work and was waiting for something to do. Now at the IRS things are a little different. I am in training which keeps me very busy learning more about tax law and other things related to the joy of paying taxes. But more importantly the IRS does not allow us to check personal email while at work. In fact they are so serious about it that you could be fired if you do so. This also applies to blog sites as well. Which kind of sucks cause even if I don't post on your site I would read all of my friends sites every day. Now I feel like I am losing touch. Please keep posting, not like you would stop because I have trouble checking it, and please keep emailing me.

As far as the job goes I am loving it. It just seems to be such a good fit and appears to be a very interesting job. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the training I go on in March. I will be in Kansas City, MO from March 3rd to March 27. That is almost 4 full weeks. The IRS will reimburse me the lesser of flying home or staying there for the weekend so at least I can come home on the weekend to see my family. The bad thing is I will miss Alex's first birthday. Knowing my luck he will start walking while I am gone.

Well that is all for now. See you at my next post.

Friday, February 1, 2008

My Uncle's Experience at Pres. Hinckley's Viewing

Today (even as I write this, my heart still cries...) Enid, Leticia, and I were able to attend the viewing of President Hinckley. As a church employee I was able to take my immediate family, living at home, to a viewing held from 7:00 to 8:30 this morning. Doors were to open at 6:30.

We arose for the occasion at 5:00 am, dressed for the occasion, and left for the conference center by 6:00 am. The snow was falling and it seemed to be a fairly quiet morning. There was little traffic at that time.

As we passed the conference center at 6:30 am, and we could see some folks gathering. By the time we parked under the Church Office Building and arrived at the conference center, it was approximately 6:40. We stood outside for a few more minutes in the cold and lite snow. Leticia was shivering as I held her close to me.

When the doors opened, I had Enid by my left hand and Leticia by my right. They asked us to shut off all cell phones, radios, and anything else that would make a noise. Everyone was quiet and reverent as we walked into the foyer.

They led us into the great conference hall and the first thing that caught my eye was the dark oak pulpit that was down in front. I thought of the many times that I saw him speak to the world as the spokesman of the Lord. I realized that was gone and past. A lump in my throat told me that this viewing may be a little tough in the very near future.

There were users all along the way and they led us to the far left side of the hall and had us sit down for the 10-15 minute wait. A recording of the tabernacle choir was playing throughout the building. I remember particularly the song, "Heavenly Father, are you really there?"

We waited for a few moments and I talked softly with Leticia and Enid and we decided it would take more than 620 times to fill the conference center with the membership of the Church. That would be once a day for almost 2 years...

We noticed that those who came in before us were being led out of the hall and out into the west foyer. We shortly followed suit and walked reverently through the open spaces, up the escalators to the third floor. I recognized a couple of users from our ward and stake as we walked.

I was fine and quiet inside as we walked by the pictures of the current apostles. I noticed that Elder Cook was not there yet, and I also brought to mind that President Monson and President Eyring are now a part of the quorum again.

There was no door to walk through, but as I passed from the room with the pictures of the apostles to the hall of the prophets, I felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost fill my body and told me that President Hinckley was truly a prophet of God.

We entered from the West side of the hall and walked to the East. The line of people split and walked on either side of President Hinckley. The bottom half of the casket was closed and covered with flowers. He looked very happy, and pleasant, all dressed in white. As I walked by, I had a hard time controlling my emotions. Leticia was squeezing my right hand tighter and tighter, and I had my left hand touching my mouth as the tears fell. Enid was smart in grasping a Kleenex in the room before. I found it to be a very personal thing, and I didn't look around to notice if others were having the same reaction. I did receive a gentle smile from a couple of the users who were there in the room. I'm sure they could see I was struggling.

With Enid and Leticia by my side, we then walked back into the great hall. This time we were on the upper balcony and we passed by several bouquets of flowers and pictures of President and Sister Hinckley; some with and some without their family. I was especially touched by the flowers coming from the grand children. Enid noticed one note that said that "Christmas will not be the same with you not here..."

We traveled back down the escalators and exited the building towards the west end. We walked around the front and noticed many more people gathering to attend the viewing. I thought of the great hall that started as a dream by President Hinckely. He wanted to build a conference hall that could bring many more saints together under one roof.

As I walked further, I looked across the street and saw the majestic Salt Lake Temple and I counted my blessings...

May the Lord's choicest blessings be yours,
Timothy W. Lewis