Monday, December 24, 2007

Las Vegas Bowl Recap

Well, here it is, almost 3:30 PM on Christmas Eve, and I'm sitting at work. I was the lucky one who got to work Christmas Eve this year. Oh well...

Anyway, this last weekend, I went down to the Las Vegas Bowl, and my first comment is that it was so worth the $150 it cost me to do it.

BYU played decent in the first half (mostly the second quarter), but didn't score a single point in the second half. Even more frustrating was the last possession that BYU had in the first half. They were pinned on their own 8-yard line with about 20 seconds left. I said to Justin, "Just down the ball and take an 11 point lead into half time (17-6). Instead, BYU decides to run the ball. UCLA strips the ball from Unga, recovers it, then score on an 8-yard touchdown pass. Three point lead instead of 11! I was sure that was going to come back to bite them.

The second half BYU was never able to get very good field position, and couldn't sustain a drive long enough to score. UCLA was in a similar position, but their field goal kicker was good enough that he hit a 52-yarder to make it 17-16. Anyway, then it got down to UCLA's last possession from their own 2-yard line with 2 minutes left. Frustratingly, they were able to get enough little by little to keep the drive alive. Then, they were able to get a 30-yard pass play down to BYU's 10-yard line. They ran 1 more play to get the ball right in the middle of the field. They then let the clock run down and called a timeout with 3 seconds left.

This is where it gets exciting! 28-yard field goal to win the game. BYU's defense got so much penetration trying to block that kick. Ethan Manumaleuna was able to leap up with perfect timing and get a hand on it. The ball still went forward a little bit, but not enough to go through the uprights. The stadium went wild. All of us in my group were screaming and jumping up and down. It was so much fun.

We went down and ran onto the field with about 10,000 other BYU fans. Pure pandemonium, but well worth it.

We went and spent the night at the Palace Station Hotel, then drove home Sunday morning. What a fun weekend, and even more so by the exciting end to the game.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I'm Going to the Las Vegas Bowl!

So about a week ago, a family in our ward called and asked if we wanted to buy some Las Vegas Bowl tickets off of them. Well, I called some buddies to see if I could find 3 other people that wanted to go as well (There were 4 tickets). I was able to find 3 other people to go with me, so tomorrow morning, I'll be heading out to Las Vegas. I am so excited. This is the first BYU bowl game that I've been to. I know, that's sad knowing how much I love BYU football. We'll probably be driving longer than we will be staying in Vegas, but it is so worth it.

Go Cougars!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snowball fight

So, this last weekend with all the snow, we decided to go out and have a snowball fight. Here is a video of it. Fun times!


Non-Crappy Starring You! eCards on JibJab

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The joys of being a Mom

I was going through some new and old pictures of the kids the other day and it was so fun to reminisce about the "joys" of being a mom. So here are some of my thoughts:


I love them no matter what....




Even when they are silly and out of control and.....






when they make messes.






There are those days when I feel like this and want to pull my hair out. But all in all, being a Mom is great!
Posted by Picasa

SMILE :)


Say Cheese!! Nathan is getting into that cute stage of smiling and gooing and I am loving it!!! Kaylee can really get him to laugh. There is just something about a baby smiling that makes everyone in the room happy. A baby's smile is just pure joy and happiness and is contageous to all. So I wanted to share these pictures so that you can catch the happy virus and SMILE too :)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 3, 2007

Early to bed...

Yesterday, we went to dinner (late lunch) at my parents house. We ended up leaving at about 5:00 PM. Kaylee and Aaron both fell asleep on the way home. I asked Stacey, "Should we just put them to bed now?" We both thought about it for a while, then decided that they could both use it. They were in bed by about 5:15 PM. We were worried that they would wake up at 3:00 in the morning, but they both slept until about 7:00 AM. So yes, they slept for about 14 hours!

It was kind of funny, after we put them to bed, we didn't know what to do. Usually we put them to bed, then go to bed ourselves, maybe watching some TV. However, at 5:30, it's a little different. We ended up just going out and organizing some of our digital pictures, etc. We then had some ice cream, and went to bed.

They both needed the extra sleep, as they both had a very late night last Friday, staying up until at least midnight. I also figure it's a good way to start off the Christmas season, as there are so many times that we don't get much sleep. It was funny, though, to put them to bed so early.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

BYU Game

Well, I took Aaron and Nathan over to my parent's house for the BYU-Utah game. We were all dressed up in our BYU gear. We were set to cheer on the cougars to another win.

I have to say, the game was very interesting, not at all what I expected. Both teams were very strong defensively. At half, the only score was a BYU field goal. However, BYU started rolling in the second half and made a couple of very nice drives. But then those drives stalled when they got into the blue zone and BYU had to settle for field goals.

Anyway, I was getting frustrated with BYU's defense in the 4th quarter when they allowed Utah to drive over 60 yards and get a touchdown to lead the game 10-9.

Then the worst happened, BYU was stopped on 3 plays, and they were facing a 4th and 18 yards to go with a little over a minute left in the game. Somehow, Max Hall was able to find a WIDE OPEN Austin Collie for a 49-yard gain. It was awesome. Anyway, as you all know, BYU was able to keep the drive going and punched in an 11-yard run by Harvey Unga to take the lead for good. It was awesome. Aaron, Nathan and I celebrated the second straight victory over the Utes.

Anyway, for the last year, this has been my ringtone. But in honor of this awesome victory, I am thinking of changing it to either this one or this one.

Tell me what you think!

Monday, November 12, 2007

You know your cooking is bad when....

Yesterday we were sitting down to what I thought was going to be a good dinner.  Boy was I wrong!  Kaylee said the prayer and in it she said “please bless that we will never have to eat this again”.  We all started to laugh, yes, even me.  After the prayer Kaylee said “there, now we will never have to eat this yucky dinner again because I prayed for it”.  Unfortunately, she was right – the dinner was kind of gross.  Kaylee’s prayer was answered –we will never have it againJ

 

I don’t know about everyone else, but I sure hate figuring out what to cook for dinner, especially when the kids start whaling and whining when they find out what I have made.  If anyone has good, kid friendly recipes, please share!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pocatello Trip

This last weekend, Stacey, the kids, and I went up to Pocatello to see Grandma & Grandpa Richins and everyone else up there. We left Friday afternoon, and got up there at about 5:30. The plan was to be there so that we could make dinner for Grandma & Grandpa so that they could rest. It is so funny because I don't think Grandma knows how to sit and relax while other people are working, because she was there helping and we could not get her to sit down. Anyway, we stayed up quite late talking to Grandma, it was very fun.

Saturday, again, the plan was to make breakfast without Grandma's help, but before we were even upstairs, she called down, "Does anyone want breakfast sandwiches." Again, we helped, but were unable to get her out of the kitchen.

It was a very fun visit. I want to try and get up there more often. When we first got there, Kaylee and Aaron were quite shy around Grandma & Grandpa. However, by the end of the visit, they would just sit and Grandma's feet and were so attentive to every word out of her mouth. It was so fun to watch. Grandma is very good with the kids. Here is a short clip of her having fun with them. Grandma is a very good teacher. Aaron came home knowing how and loving to write the numbers 8 and 5. He knew them by sight, but didn't know how to write them. This morning, he woke up and the first thing he wanted to do was practice writing his 8's and 5's. I want the kids to have as many moments like this as possible.

Grandpa was so kind and loving to the kids. He was not able to do a whole lot with them, but I could tell how much he loves them just by the way that he spoke to them. It was so nice to see Grandpa and visit with him. He still has his sense of humor, as he was making smart comments and jokes during conversations.

We also dressed Kaylee, Aaron, and Nathan in their Halloween costumes and took them to Joann and Becky's houses. It was fun to see our relatives up in Pocatello, as we don't see them as much as we probably should. And for all the Pocatello relatives now reading this blog, welcome!

Whitear Halloween Party

Last Thursday, we went to Stacey's family Halloween Party. They have been doing this party every year for 24 years. Stacey's Grandma Whitear goes all out for this party. First we eat dinner, which is always a big thing. She always makes her cauldron of homemade root beer. She makes a cake for every grandchild and great-grandchild. They have a cake walk to give them out. The kids go "fishing" and get all sorts of treats and Halloween toys and clothes. She does a scavenger hunt, and one of the children's favorites, "Spooky Sam." In this, she gets all sorts of things that feel like body parts, and pass them around for the kids to feel with their eyes closed. For example, for eyeballs, she peels grapes and passes them around. She passes around all sorts of body parts, like the heart, toes, intestines, etc. I am always amazed at the effort that she puts into it. This year was the first year that things were toned down a little...there was no scavenger hunt and no "Spooky Sam." It was very fun, and Kaylee, Aaron, and Nathan loved it.


Kaylee dressed up as a princess, and Nathan was the fierce dragon!


Aaron was the knight in shining armor to protect us all!


Stacey and I were the King and Queen. Don't laugh, Kaylee designed the crowns.


By the time we were home, all 3 kids were so worn out that they just crashed.

Christy had given me about 120 photos of the Halloween parties over the years, and I put them to music and made a slide show along with some video of the past few years. It was fun making it and everyone sure did enjoy seeing the old photos and videos.

Nathan's Blessing

Two weeks ago, on the 14th, we blessed Nathan. I wanted to post a few pictures from that morning. It was a great day, Nathan was very cute in his blessing outfit. During the blessing, he was very content. I am always nervous that my children will be screaming during the whole blessing.

That morning, before church, we had family over for a light breakfast. Thanks to all who brought doughnuts or muffins or juice to help out.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nathan's Birth Announcement

Here is Nathan's official birth announcement. Man, it was fun putting it together!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nathan's Pictures

Here are some of the pictures that we took while we were at the hospital for Nathan's delivery. He is such a cute boy. I know that I am a little biased (just a very little bit), but I think he is a good looking kid. He gets that from his father. =)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's a boy!

Well, at 3:37, Stacey gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Nathan Richard Gridley weighs 8 pounds, 3 ounces, and is 21 inches long. Both baby and Mom (and Dad) are doing fine. He has a slightly bruised face and arm, but is still as beautiful as can be. Welcome to our family, Nathan!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Six days and counting

Yesterday, Stacey and I went to her doctor's appointment. She is only 7 days away from her due date, and we have scheduled an induction for her next Wednesday, the 19th. So, if nothing happens before then, we will be having our baby that day. We are very excited. It's kind of cool not knowing what gender the baby is because that is going to be so exciting to find out what it is. Stacey is feeling quite a bit of discomfort lately as the baby just doesn't have any more room, so she's just as excited as I am.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Way Cute!

The other day, Kaylee said to Stacey, "Mom, am I cute?" Stacey replied, "Yes, Kaylee, you are cute!" Kaylee got this real upset look on her face and said, "Mom, why would you say that?!" Then, after a pause, added "I am not cute, I am way cute!" We were laughing so hard. She had a shirt on with the phrase "Way Cute" on it, but I don't know what made her think of that. Quite a funny experience.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Kaylee missing Pre-school

Last week was Kaylee's first week of Kindergarten. Late last week, one day I told Kaylee, "There will come a time in your life that you will wish you could go back to Kindergarten, so cherish it!" She attentively said, "OK", and we moved on.

Then, earlier this week, this says to me, "Daddy, I wish I could go back to pre-school!" I had to laugh that she is already to the point of wanting to go back. I didn't think to tell her to cherish her time last year because I never attended pre-school.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I've Been Simpsonized

I heard a commercial on the radio a few days ago about a contest they are doing where the grand prize is to have yourself Simpsonized and you will be on an episode of The Simpsons. Then, Gordon had a blog entry where he Simpsonized himself and Cathi. It looked like fun, so I decided to try it. Here is the picture that I used:




I Simpsonized myself twice, making minor changes. Here are the results:


Then I did it with Stacey. Here is the picture that I used:




And here is the result:




Kind of funny.

Trek Video

Well, last Sunday, our stake had the Trek Fireside. The main purpose of this fireside was to show the video that I had made, so I was a little nervous. I was so hopeful that people would view the video the same way I had and would be able to relive Trek and get the "Spirit of Trek" again by watching it.

It went very well, and most everyone said that it was very well done. Of course, they're not going to come up to me and say, "Dang, that sucked!"

I finished the video a week ago, so most of the work had already been finished, which was nice so I didn't have to worry about that video the whole week.

One frustrating this was that I produced the entire video in 4x3 aspect ratio. However, I didn't notice until a few minutes into the video that the projector was showing it in 16x9. Everyone looked short and fat. It bugged me the whole time, but I couldn't do anything about it. At least when everyone gets the final copies and can view it at home, it will display correctly and like it even more!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pioneer Trek

Stacey and I went on a Pioneer Trek for our stake last week. Stacey was one of the Ma's in our ward and I was one of the photographers for the stake. It was quite an experience. It is hard to put it all into words, but let me just say that it definitely changes lives. Many times during the Trek the question was put out "Was it worth it?" Over 200 pioneers died between the Willie and Martin Handcart companies, which is about 20% of the people. Was it worth it? Considering the faith strengthening experiences they had and the relationships that they were able to build with their Savior, the answer is a definitive YES! I was thinking just last night, that if you think about all the people who were affected by those handcart companies, the answer is even more definitive. 80% of the pioneers survived, but if you think about how many people have gone up there to re-enact the trek and how their lives have been changed, the number of people affected goes way up.

The women's pull was very touching. The young women in the stake struggled to push/pull the handcart up the hill and all the young men stood to the side of the trail and watched the struggle but were unable to help. It was amazing how this experience cemented the relationships that the youth had within their "families."

Another great experience was the crossing of the Sweetwater river. The stake re-enacted the crossing of the Sweetwater where the 4 young men carried the entire company across the river. Very few young women in the stake crossed the river themselves. Most of them were carried across by the young men. Brother Hunter, the Trek Master, had asked us all to try to envision the actual circumstances of the pioneers. For example, try to picture the snowy mountains, the ice floating down the river, etc. I was able to do that as I sat on the opposite side of the river and filmed the stake members cross the river. It doesn't sound that awesome, I know, but it definitely was.

I would do another Pioneer Trek in a heartbeat. It was so fun, and definitely life changing. If I ever do it again, though, I want to be the Pa with Stacey as the Ma. I think that would have been even more special to us.

Now that we are back, though, my real job begins. I get to take 7-8 hours of video and edit it down to a 45 min DVD to distribute to each of the youth. It should be pretty fun to go through and relive the Trek, but it will definitely be a lot of work.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Aaron's Scripture Reading

07/03/07: We read the Book of Mormon every night with the kids before they go to bed. We are mainly trying to get them used to the language used in the scriptures. Stacey and I read a column, then have each child read one verse with our help.

A few days ago, Aaron was trying to say the word "Zarahemla" and he said, "Zarablenda." It made us chuckle. He also was so excited when we were reading about Alma and the sons of Mosiah, especially when he heard that he was in the scriptures!

07/16/07 Update: Last night, Aaron said some pretty good ones, that I just had to put in here. We were reading Alma 5:54. Instead of saying "having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit" he said "being terrified of the Holy Spirit." I started laughing, and he got pretty upset with me. We kept going, and then instead of "which are meet for repentance" he said "which are meat from the parents." It was hilarious, Stacey and I were both laughing pretty hard at this point. He is a funny kid. He just says what he thinks he heard.

Later that night, he came out of bed and came to Stacey and I and asked, "Mom, can I go tell Kaylee that I love she?" It made me laugh. We said, "Yes, go tell Kaylee that you love she!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Plug-in Hybrids

I found this blog entry today about plug-in hybrid cars. It seems pretty cool. Essentially, it runs on electricity primarily with a gasoline (or biofuels) backup. The first 30 miles of the day are run on electricity only. If that truly is the case, I could make it to work and back without ever having to use any gas. That would be pretty cool. The gas mileage you actually get would depend entirely on how far your trips are, but it sounds like the worst case scenario would be equal to a normal hybrid car...not too bad.

I sure hope this kind of technology would be implemented quicker. With gas prices going so high, we need alternatives, and we need them quickly!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Peacegiver

My coworker, Steve Wise, lent me a book a few weeks ago. It is called The Peacegiver, by James L. Ferrell. Last week, while I was on the early shift at work on Memorial day, I decided to read it. Stacey didn't think that I would read it, so I made a little bet with her that I could read the entire book by the time I got home from work. It's about 200 pages, and I haven't read a book (not counting the scriptures) in probably 3 or 4 years. I started it early in the morning, at about 5 AM, and I finished it at about 10:00 AM.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, despite their circumstances. It is a great book about forgiveness and the atonement. I am not going to tell too much of the plot, but the man in this book is experiencing some problems, and has some experiences that allows him to turn inward and evaluate his life.

This book has changed my outlook on the atonement. I have a better appreciation of Christ, His atonement, and the gifts that He has given us all.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Russell's best picture

I was going through some of my old photos, and came across this one from Elayna & Richard's wedding. Russell wanted a very special picture with them, and the real photogropher kept telling him no, so I told him that I would take it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kaylee's Preschool Graduation

It's official - Kaylee is now a graduate of preschool! Yesterday, I left work for a few hours to go to Kaylee's preschool graduation. Kaylee was so happy as they did their little program. They told about some of the things that they did, sang songs that they had learned, and had a short procession. Miss Sandi and Miss Kisha had made a binder for each child that was essentially a scrapbook of the year's activities. It was very well done.

Another coincidence that occurred was that as I was standing there waiting for it to start, I was looking around and saw Sam Adams. I graduated with him from West High back in 1995. I started talking to him, and it turns out he lives just up the street from Rlynn and Sandi. His son was there as well. Next year, Aaron and his son, Nathan, will be in the same preschool class with Sandi and Kisha. It was fun to talk to him.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Kaylee learning to ride a bike

Wednesday night, I asked Kaylee if she wanted to take the training wheels off of her bike and learn to ride without them. At first she was hesitant and was so worried that she would fall. I told her that I would help her and that I wouldn't let her fall. She was still a little hesitant, so I threw in the kicker: I told her that if she tried, I would buy her a candy bar. Of course, Kaylee agreed to that. So we took of the training wheels, and then went out on the sidewalk to give it a try. She was VERY nervous at first. I had to continually remind her to sit straight on her seat to balance herself. She was able to go about 20 feet without me holding her once she got going. Then, when Stacey got home from the Young Women's activity, Kaylee wanted to show her that she could ride. That time, Kaylee was probably able to go about 30 feet on her own.

When I got home from work last night, Kaylee asked if we could try it again. She sure has fun doing it, and hopefully, will be able to learn quickly. She is improving each time she tries.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Master Aaron, the Jedi Knight

The other night, Aaron came into our room very early in the morning crying. Stacey asked him what was wrong and he said, crying still, "I can't find my light saber." Stacey chuckled and asked, "what light saber?" He answered, "my light saber." Stacey sadly informed him that he did not have a light saber and that he should return to bed. I had to chuckle with a little bit of fatherly pride that my son even dreams about Star Wars and fighting the "bad guys" with his light saber.

Speaking of bad guys, yesterday, I was watching the Utah Jazz/Houston Rockets game 6. Aaron asked who was playing, and I told him. Midway through the 4th quarter, one of the Jazz players stole a bad pass. Aaron asked me, "Daddy, why did the bad guys throw the ball to the good guys?" It made me laugh that he 1)Knows who the bad guys were, and 2)Pays enough attention to the game to recognize a turnover. Nothing amazing, but it made me laugh.

Ultrasound

Stacey and I went to LDS Hospital this morning for our baby's ultrasound. Everything is fine, and we have officially ruled out twins. I had joked around with Stacey that it was still possible. We were able to see the baby's heartbeat, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, face, and even kidneys. We told the Ultrasonographer that we did not want to know the gender of the baby. She was able to find out the gender, but she did it without us being able to tell, so it's still a surprise.

We are very excited for this baby to come on September 21st. Kaylee and Aaron are very excited as well. I think they will be very good and kind siblings to this baby.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Pioneer Heritage

Like I mentioned in my last post, I have been doing quite a bit of research lately into my family history, particularly into those ancestors of mine that came to Utah across the plains or over the Ocean, like in the SS Brooklyn. Anyway, I have found quite a few and wanted to share some of their stories here. This document contains the stories of these pioneer ancestors.

I got these stories from a few different sources. One was http://www.richinsonline.com. The other was http://www.algerclan.org. Both are very good sources that I would highly recommend to any of my family wanting more information.

Let me know if there is anyone that I have accidentally left out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stacey and I are related

I remember a while back, Gordon mentioned that Mom & Dad are related. More specifically, they are 7th cousins, 1 time removed. Well, I was doing some research yesterday on Stacey's Great Great Grandfather. I found that his daughter Hazel Whitear married Roy A. Richins. That peaked my curiosity and I downloaded a GEDCOM file that I found. It turns out that we are not blood related, but are related through marriage. Stacey's Grand Great Aunt Hazel Whitear married my 2nd cousin, 2 times removed, Roy A Richins. Kind of funny.

I found this as I have been doing some research lately into some of my ancestors. This summer, Stacey and I will be going on Trek. We are very excited. They want everyone that is going to choose a pioneer person to go as. Stacey already found her ancestor, Elizabeth Whitear Sermon that was on the Martin Handcart Company.

I haven't found anyone that was in the Willie or Martin handcart companies, but I have found a few pioneers. One was John Waters. He came in the Wheelock Company in 1853 driving a wagon for another man. His wife-to-be, Sarah Birch, was also in that company. She traveled with a handcart. Another cool one that I found was Charles Clark Burr. Though he didn't get to Utah on the same trail, he was a pioneer. He was one of the 230 Mormon pioneers that sailed on the SS Brooklyn in 1846. His wife, Sarah Sloat, who wasn't a member at the time, went with him along with his 15-month old son, Charles Elias Washington Burr. They had a baby boy born just 3 weeks after they left. They appropriately named him John Atlantic Burr. Just 3 weeks later, their first son, Charles died and they buried him at sea. It is a very interesting read.

Another one that I found was Francis Romeril. He traveled with his wife, Mary Billot and 4 of his children. They came across the plains as part of the Harper Company in 1855.

I have really enjoyed reading the histories of these pioneers. I know that it will make my experience on the Trek that much more meaningful to me. Many times when I hear about stories about the pioneers, I feel so detached from it all because it happened so long ago to people that I don't really know. However, after reading these histories, I feel much closer to these wonderful people who made such a dangerous trek.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cool Test

I know that I was a dork in high school, but I was hoping that things have changed since then. I came across a test today. I took it, and found out that fortunately, I am now cool. Take the test, and see if you are cool!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Politically Correct

Today one of my co-workers was describing a lady in another department. He said, "You know, the one who has skin of a darker persuasion." I laughed so hard that he would use that term. He said, "Well, I didn't want to use the work 'black' because I wasn't sure if it would be taken as a derogatory term." Talk about being over-the-top politically correct. I would hope that there aren't people out there that would be offended by the word black. I know I wouldn't be offended if someone called my white. However, there are people out there who are very easily offended. Personally, I can't stand all the politically correctness. It has gone too far.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bank of Mom & Dad

Today, I was doing the running the camera controls for Studio 5, which is why I was watching it, so I don't want any ribbing about that. Anyway, they had Connie Sokol on today. The topic was how to say "no" to requests. A lot of people have a difficult time saying no, myself included. Most of the time if I am asked to do something, I will do it, sometimes grudgingly. So I agree with what she said to a degree. We need to make sure that we are not agreeing to do so many things that we cannot complete our responsibilities to our family, church, and work. However, I hope to be the type of person that will agree to help out my friends or family if they need.

Another thing that she mentioned is that if one of your children asks for a loan, and they already have a loan out with you, that maybe you should say no, or at least work out a payment schedule with the outstanding loan first. She said that it is better that the child learn the principle of paying a loan back from Mom & Dad then the bank. While I agree with her, what I think would be a better solution would be to teach the child the importance of saving for something you want. If they want to buy something that costs $100, teach them to save $10 - $20 each month, and when you have enough saved up, then help them purchase the item. I don't want to teach my children to always want instant gratification. Our church leaders have warned against debt and I think that applies to children as well. If we teach our children that it is OK to get a loan for every small thing, even from the Bank of Mom & Dad, they are going to be more likely to do so later in life, again, for every small thing.

I don't have children old enough to ask me for a loan, so this is just my opinion - I am not speaking from experience. I have learned from experience, however, the importance of saving for wants and avoiding debt when possible. I hope to be able to pass that on to my children.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Early Shift / Weekend

For the next 2 weeks, I am on the early shift at work. It runs from 4:30 AM to 1:00 PM. I really like getting home so early and spending more awake time with my family, but boy, is it hard to wake up that early. It is especially difficult on Monday morning, because my body hasn't made the adjustment yet. This morning, as I walk around, I can feel my body crying out, "I'm tired, let me sleep!" As the week goes on, it gets easier. It's also nice because I get 30 min. of overtime every day. They don't like us getting overtime unless it is absolutely necessary, so this is pre-approved OT.

This weekend was a fun one. We went out to the Schumann's Saturday and had the Easter egg hunt. John and Ashley couldn't make it last weekend, so they decided to postpone it till this last weekend. It was fun, the kids sure do love running all over the yard looking for eggs. I just have to make sure that they don't pick up any "brown eggs" left over from Bailey (their yellow lab). Christy also makes a hunt for the adults. It is fun, and I try really hard not to get too into it and make a fool of myself. The Schumanns tend to treat Easter much like Christmas (i.e. it is a big holiday). When I was a kid, Easter was a time for some candy, and perhaps some small gifts. Christy ended up having a total of over $250 available for the adults, not to mention the kids. Stacey and I made out with $139, while John and Ashley got $117. Awesome! They sure do treat us well.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Friday Night Lights

If you have seen any of the series, "Friday Night Lights," this post will make more sense. If you haven't, in short, the starting quarterback, Jason, gets injured and paralyzed from the waist down in the first game of the season.

I mention that because Stacey had a dream a couple of nights ago that Jason got so mad about something that he came right out of his wheelchair to argue with someone. He didn't even realize that he was walking for a while. It was kind of funny that she would dream about a TV show. Wouldn't that be interesting in anger could help repair physical problems. If that were the case, I know a lot of people that would have no physical ailments.

Speaking of Friday Night Lights, it's season finale was last night. This is a show that both Stacey and I have been following. It's a pretty good show, not the best I've seen, but overall, I have to say that the acting is done quite well. Anyway, the ending was very predictable (they win state) and definitely left some things unanswered just asking for another season. Hopefully, they do another season. We'll see!

Kaylee's getting glasses!

Well, a few months ago, we took Kaylee to her pediatrician for her annual check-up. They did an eye test and found that her eyes were not as good as they would have liked. They suggested that we take her to an optometrist for an official eye exam. Well, Stacey took her yesterday, and it turns out that she is a little nearsighted and has astigmatism. They got a pair of glasses fitted for her and they should be here on Monday. Kaylee was actually quite excited to get glasses, she thinks she is going to look so cute with glasses, and she's right! She picked out her own frames, and she had the choice of pink, Disney princess, and lots others, but she chose a light brown pair.

It was kind of weird for me, because it's hard for me to realize that my little girl is no longer perfect. She has always passed every physical or mental test beautifully, and this is the first one she didn't. I know that it really isn't that big of a deal, and it could be much worse.

Also, with her starting Kindergarten this fall, I hope that she doesn't get teased. Kids can be so mean these days, and I want to protect my daughter all I can, but I can't protect her at school. I remember in grade school kids would get teased for wearing glasses; not by me, of course! Now it seems such a dumb thing to tease about that it's hard to imagine that it would happen, but I think we better prepare her for it nonetheless.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Can my dog poop in your yard?

I don't remember anyone ever asking me that question. But somehow, I keep finding dog poop in our front yard. The only time Delilah goes in our front yard is when we go on walks, so I know it's not hers. I really hate it when people let their dog out in the front yard to go poop on neighbor's lawn. It is no wonder that our local park has banned dogs completely. I mowed the lawn this weekend, and found a huge pile in our front yard. I feel like putting up a web cam to find out whose dog is it, then collect all the poop for a month or two and dump it on their lawn.

Even when we take Delilah on a walk, if she were to poop on someones lawn, we would pick it up. I can only request the same respect from other people.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Microsoft Windows Activation

I had to reactivate my Windows Vista last night, and I tell you, that is such a pain in the butt. I have to vent my frustration.

With Windows XP, I could activate the same serial a few times successfully. However, they have taken away that leeway. As soon as you replace enough hardware to require a reactivation, the online activation fails. So I had to call Microsoft. This process is only made more difficult by the thick English accent that the support reps have. I had a very hard time understanding them. One I spoke with asked for my first name, I replied, "Eric." He then asks, "George?" Apparently, they have a hard time understanding me, too.

All in all, it only took about 10 minutes of phone time to get it done, but here is what I don't understand: If I really were to install Vista on a different computer, and then call them, they ask if it is installed on any other computers. If I lie and tell them no, they have no idea. If that is the case, why make me talk to a person that I can barely understand? Why not have a form online I can use to do this? Are people less likely to lie to a person than to an online form? In my opinion, someone is going to lie either way. At least make it less of a hassle for the honest, legitimate users who simply replace hardware.

Promised Video

As promised, here is the video from the April Fool's Joke we played on our kids. In case you missed it, here is the story.

Monday, April 2, 2007

USDTV

For those who have heard of USDTV, they have gone out of business. That is bad news, because they were a great solution for people who wanted good quality channels without having to pay $50.00 or more per month. They offered all of the local channels in HD, and also had ESPN, ESPN2, Discovery, Food, Disney, Toon, and the MTN. I was able to watch last year's BYU-Utah football game live at home.

They discontinued their service and have allowed people to get their set-top boxes converted to be just a normal HDTV Tuner. I was able to get my hands on one of the USB flash drives with the software needed to do it. For those who may have the USDTV receiver and want to convert it, here are the instructions:
  1. Download this file. In the zip are two files: a shell script to make the USB flash drive and the software itself. Unzip both of these files into some convenient directory on
    a Linux machine.
    • cd to the directory where the software is.
    • Insert your USB drive into the USB port of the Linux machine (you do not need to mount it). Make sure that the directory /mnt/flash_drive exists.
    • Use this command to run the script: ./makekey usdtv_fta.fromService.2.7.15.0602031002.keychain.tar.gz
    • The script will format the drive, copy the software and unmount the drive. When it is done, it will tell you it is safe to remove the USB flash drive.
  2. Unplug power from your USDTV box.
  3. Insert the USB drive at the back of the USDTV box.
  4. Plug in power for your USDTV box.
  5. The conversion will begin automatically, and progress is indicated on
    screen.
  6. When it is done, it will tell you that it is safe to unplug your box.
  7. Unplug the USDTV box again.
  8. Remove the USB flash drive.
  9. Plug in the USDTV box, and it will boot in FTA-only mode.
Note also that this is a complete refresh, so you'll have to do a channel scan, set the time zone, and other settings, but it's not too hard. Good luck.

April Fools Day

Well, Stacey and I were trying to think of something good to do for April Fools Day for the kids. I remembered a little trick that Russell pulled a while ago at one of our Adult Dinners, and I thought it would be perfect.

*****Crudity alert*****

If you have ever heard of No-Bake cookies, you may know they are also called Gorilla Poop sometimes. Well, we made a batch of those cookies, then formed them into rolls so that they looked just like poop. When the kids asked if we were going to have dessert, I replied that we were going to have poop for dessert. They were grossed out, and had to ask Stacey to see if I was just joking. Stacey confirmed it, but they still didn't believe it. Well, after dinner, I told them that I had been saving up poop for a while and I was going to go get it. I went into the bathroom, where I had hidden a plate of our "cookies" and came out with it.

The kids were completely grossed out when they saw it, and neither wanted to even touch them. They both responded with a "euww" when I reached out and picked one up. They were even more shocked when I took a bite. It was hilarious! I tried coaxing them to take a bite, but Aaron would have nothing to do with them. Kaylee finally picked one up and took a little nibble, then excitedly proclaimed, "they're good!" They eventually realized that they were just cookies, but man, it was funny. We got it all on the camcorder, so I will post a video when I get a chance. Great April Fools joke!

*****End Crudity*****

We enjoyed our April Fools day quite a bit.

General Conference

Well, this last weekend was General Conference for the LDS Church, of which I am proudly a member. I especially enjoyed the Priesthood session.

Last week, there was a group that was trying to "help save the Mormons out of pure love." It frustrated me that such propaganda would be distributed under the guise of love. It was pure hatred for Joseph Smith and everything the LDS church teaches. It seemed to me that some people were offended by a member of the church, and have made a goal since then to tear down the church any way they can. There is a website that goes through each point of the DVD and provides a rebuttal.

Anyway, back to General Conference. I have to say that this weekend of General Conference was one of my favorite ever. Perhaps it was because of that Anti-Mormon DVD that made me listen even closer, that helped me feel the spirit even stronger. During the Priesthood session, all 3 members of the First Presidency spoke, and I felt the spirit so strongly testify to me that they are prophets of God. I was even more determined to fulfill my priesthood responsibilities, to do my home teaching, to love my wife and children, and to keep myself worthy of spiritual guidance. One recurring theme that I picked up on was that of obedience. If I want to be worthy, I must obey completely...I cannot pick and choose what I want to obey.

Overall, great weekend! Enjoyed spending the time with my wife and children, I sure do love them!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Videos from Studio 5

As promised, here are the videos from Stacey's demonstration on Studio 5. There are 2 versions:
Happy viewing!

Stacey on TV

Yesterday, Stacey was on TV! She went on Studio 5, a daytime show targeting stay-at-home moms. She went on to demonstrate the vinyl lettering that she does with Uppercase Living. Her segment was 5 minutes long, but it went by very quickly. She showed Jane Clayson how to use vinyl lettering to decorate your home, particularly a nursery, as Jane recently left the news business to become a mother. Stacey did a very good job and it was exciting to see her on TV. She was very nervous about it, and honestly, so was I. I was standing just behind the cameras in the studio, and when they announced the 15 second mark till airtime, my heart started pounding for her. I will try to get the video and post it, but you can also see the web page about it here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

St. Patrick's Day

Saturday morning, Stacey had to leave for a Relief Society meeting, so I made breakfast for the kids. I did the usual St. Patrick's Day breakfast of green pancakes, green eggs, and green orange juice. The kids thought it was kind of weird, but they didn't mind. I have to say, though, that the orange juice was kind of hard to drink while I was looking at it, much easier to close my eyes.

****Warning: This next part may be a little crude. If you don't want to be grossed out, don't read it.

While we were eating, I told the kids that later on in the day or the next day, they would probably have green poop. They thought that would be so cool. Well, the next day at church, Kaylee had to go potty with Stacey. When they came back, Kaylee came running to me and whispered, "Daddy, I had green poop!" Aaron did the same thing later that evening. They were so excited to have green poop.

****End warning

It was a fun breakfast and fun day with the kids.

Friday, March 16, 2007

BYU in NCAA

Well, last night I watched BYU play Xavier in the first round of the
NCAA tournament. BYU hasn't had the best of luck in the NCAA tournament
for quite a while. I was hoping that they would finally be able to win a
game in the tourney. They had a good chance of winning that game, but it
seems that when they got a nice 8 point lead midway through the second
half, they went into "cruise control" mode and let Xavier back into the
game, going on a 13-0 run. That is horrible. Another complaint - how can
BYU be so bad at free throws? I don't feel that they have a single
player that is "clutch" at hitting the free throws. Every time they are
at the line, I'm concerned that they are going to miss the front end of
a 1-and-1. What really killed BYU was Xavier's guards. BYU's guards are
just not quick enough to guard them up top and when Xavier's guards got
around them, they either had a nice easy shot or a nice assist to a big
man. BYU really needs to get some quick guards that can play some good
defense, or learn how to help each other a little better.

Frustrating night as I thought BYU totally had a chance to win that
game. Now that they are out, I couldn't care less about the tournament.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Daylight Saving Time

In response to my brother's blog, here's my viewpoint of the whole daylight saving time. This was a big deal for most IT departments throughout the country, depending on the industry they are in. For me, being in a broadcast TV industry, this was a huge deal. Our industry depends on accurate time very heavily. Most people have NO IDEA how many servers and different pieces of equipment are required to get a simple TV show out to the public. We work with so many different vendors that run proprietary software. If we just simply ran the update from Microsoft on every piece of equipment, who knows what other problems that would have caused in their programs. So we actually were quite anxious for these vendors to be proactive and contact us and let us know what we needed to do to update the equipment. Even after updating all of our equipment, I came in at 1:00 AM Sunday morning to finish up a few things and make sure that everything changed properly and was working OK. Turns out that most everything was just fine. We did run into a minor snag or two, but for the most part, it went very well. However, I believe that is because such a big deal was made of it and we worked very hard to make it go smoothly.

That being said, here is my opinion of the daylight saving time change: HORRIBLE! Congress just wasn't thinking when they decided to pass this energy saving act. Any amount of money that may be saved by making this changed was immediately wiped out by the amount of man hours and resources wasted on making sure everything was ready for it. KSL is a small company in comparison to others, and we put a lot of time and money into it. In fact we have some equipment that requires a new chip to be installed. We have to purchase these chips at a cost of about $500. Now $500 is not a huge amount, but if you figure that every radio and TV station in the country is having to purchase these new chips, it adds up. Perhaps the chip makers were lobbyists to get this energy saving act passed. ;)

I can't even imagine the amount of resources that had to have gone into this at huge companies that are very time dependent such as airlines, credit card companies, etc. This truly was a mini-Y2K.

I would love it if congress passed an act that completely abolished this time changing event completely. Of course, I like more daylight during the summer, so I would say that we stay on permanent daylight saving time. No more going back to standard time, but that is just my $0.02.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Vista

I have been using vista at home for about a month now. I just installed it yesterday at work. I have to say that my overall analysis of it so far is that it is very nice. There are a lot of things that I really like about it, and I really like the advanced security. Sure, there are programs that are not completely Vista-Compliant, but can we blame that on Microsoft? Yes, it is their OS, but 3rd party companies should have had plenty of time to adjust their code for it. With the amount of software that is out there that IS Vista compatible, it makes me wonder what happened to the companies that haven’t made the change. Why are they so much slower? One of those applications that doesn’t work is the U3 software that comes on my SanDisk Cruzer USB flash drive. I wish they would fix that. However, I predict that it won’t be too long before Vista really takes off. By the way, if you are interested in purchasing Vista, DO NOT buy the full product. There is a trick that you can use to install Vista on a clean hard drive using only the upgrade version. You can find the entire article here, but if you don’t want to go there, here are the steps:

 

Step 1. Boot the PC from the Vista DVD.

Step 2. Select "Install Now," but do not enter the Product Key from the Vista packaging. Leave the input box blank. Also, turn off the option Automatically activate Windows when I'm online. In the next dialog box that appears, confirm that you really do want to install Vista without entering a Product Key.

Step 3. Correctly indicate the version of Vista that you're installing: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate.

Step 4. Select the "Custom (Advanced)" install, not the "Upgrade" install.

Step 5. Vista copies files at length and reboots itself one or more times. Wait for the install to complete. At this point, you might think that you could "activate" Vista, but you can't. That's because you haven't installed the Vista upgrade yet. To do that, run the DVD's setup.exe program again, but this time from the Vista desktop. The easiest way to start setup again is to eject and then reinsert the DVD.

Step 6. Click "Install Now." Select Do not get the latest updates for installation. (You can check for these updates later.)

Step 7. This time, do enter the Product Key from the Vista packaging. Once again, turn off the option Automatically activate Windows when I'm online.

Step 8. On this second install, make sure to select "Upgrade," not "Custom (Advanced)." You're not doing a clean install now, you're upgrading to Vista.

Step 9. Wait while Vista copies files and reboots itself. No user interaction is required. Do not boot from the DVD when asked if you'd like to do so. Instead, wait a few seconds and the setup process will continue on its way. Some DOS-like, character-mode menus will appear, but don't interact with them. After a few seconds, the correct choice will run for you automatically.

Step 10. After you click a button labeled Start in the Thank You dialog box, Vista's login screen will eventually appear. Enter the username and password that you selected during the first install. You're done upgrading to Vista.

Step 11. Within 30 days, you must "activate" your copy of Vista or it'll lose functionality. To activate Vista, click Show more details in the Welcome Center that automatically displays upon each boot-up, then click Activate Windows now. If you've dismissed the Welcome Center, access the correct dialog box by clicking Start, Control Panel, System & Maintenance, System. If you purchased a legitimate copy of Vista, it should quickly activate over the Internet.

 

 

Pretty cool if you ask me. However, technically, this shouldn’t be done unless you have purchased a previous copy of Windows 2000 or XP, but most people have done that. Of course, this whole process would’ve been null if they had just allowed an upgrade be installed and at a certain point, ask for the Windows XP CD, like they have done in past versions of Windows. I guess they decided that it was much too easy to get your hands on just a CD of Windows XP, that they better make it a bit more difficult.

 

Like previous versions of Windows, Vista comes with some games by default. One that my kids really like is called Purble Place. It includes 3 different games, definitely targeting children, but they are definitely entertaining for them. It comes with a pretty decent chess game for the geeks like me who like to keep up their chess skills.

 

If you are brave enough to try out Vista, good luck and have fun!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Big Announcement

Well, last week we went to Stacey's doctor and heard the heartbeat of our new baby! Stacey is 10 1/2 weeks along now and is not feeling too bad (It's all relative, though). She is not as sick as she was with either Kaylee or Aaron, but still does not feel great. We are very excited to add to our family. We are not going to find out the gender on this one, it will be a surprise for us. Since we have one of each, we are ready either way. She is due September 20th. We announced it by having Kaylee and Aaron tell everyone in a video that they are going to be a big sister and big brother again. I know, Aaron won't be a big brother again, but that's OK. The video can be viewed here.

Stacey and I are going on the Pioneer Trek this summer and are both a little nervous on how Stacey will be able to handle that being pregnant. Doctor Johnson told us as long as she drinks A LOT of water and exercises plenty beforehand so that it is not a drastic change, she should be OK. I would not be nearly as comfortable with it if I were not going myself.

P.S. I have set up a site feed for my blog that can be used for RSS readers. Here is the link: http://www.ericgridley.com/atom.xml

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monterrey, Mexico


Well, Stacey and I went to Monterrey, Mexico with my parents from January 14th - January 22nd. For those who don't know, that is where I served my mission. I was such a blast to see my mission city again and to show some of the sites to my wife and parents. I must say, however, that they probably weren't extremely impressed. I warned them before we left that during January in Monterrey, it can get cold and to bring some warm clothing. What I wasn't expecting, however, was rain and cold temperatures almost the entire time we were there. The only day that we saw blue skies and the sun was Saturday the 20th. We did get to see a lot of the major places, but we did have to pass on some of them. One that I was very excited for was the Bioparque Estrella, which is a wild animal park. However, due to the weather, the only day that they were open while we were there was Saturday, and we already had plans made for that day. Oh well, maybe next time! There are many, many awesome things to do in Monterrey, and it's a pity that we didn't get to do all of them. We were able to visit a few of the families that I worked with in my wards as well as one of the families that I baptized in Modelo. It was so fun to see the people, and Stacey has told me that her favorite part was visiting with the people. All of the pictures are available here. If you have any questions about any of the pictures, feel free to contact me.