Friday, December 16, 2011

I Believe In Santa, I've Met Him

Yes I Believe In Santa..

Maybe not the way that a 5-year-old believes.  And I have met him, I really have.  Once one cold Sunday December morning in Sioux Falls, SD the snow had piled up so high that when the plows cleared the streets it left a wall of snow and ice so tall and thick I couldn't get out of my driveway.  I didn't even own a snowshovel because our landlord would clear out the snow.  I was stuck.  As I began trying to clear the snow with a 2X4 that's when I met Santa.  Rudulph must have been sick because he drove up in a rusty old truck with a plow on the front.  In half a minute he had cleared a way for me to get out then rode off saying "Merry Christmas".

I Was A Santa Helper

In Arizona one year Santa needed my help.  He had some toys and food to deliver and needed my to interpret because I speak Spanish.  I went with him and watched this little family's home light up with hope and grattitude because Santa had remembered them. 

I Wrote A News Story About Santa Today

Across America, from Montana to Nebraska, needy families have put gifts for their children such as clothes and toys on lay-away. Without any explanation, Santa came into K-Marts and paid off the lay-away gifts.  Santa had given so much, but especially his money.

Santa Came To Live With Us

Again in Sioux Falls, my wife suffered from horrible morning sickness. I had to take her to the E.R. several times in a matter of weeks. She could only stay in bed. I had a 2-year-old and a full-time job. That Christmas season Santa came to live with us. He gave us his time.

He Made Me Apple Crisp

One year when I was young, maybe nine, Santa brought my brothers, sister and I out of the cold Idaho winter.  He welcomed us into his home, sat us down and made us this delicious and completely homemade applecrisp.  Then Santa told us he loved us and that we were good kids.  He gave of himself.

I've Seen Santa Many Times

Throughout my 30 Christmases I have seen Santa or experienced his handiwork many times.  Sometimes he is old and gray, sometimes a young woman, other times a bright eyed child.  His  mark can be fround in gifts carefully selected, wrapped and placed under the tree or in a stocking but also in the bright smile of a young child.  Santa means holy, saintly and what could be more divine than spreading love, hope and joy throughout the Earth.  May we never forget what the wise man said, "He that gives money gives much.  He that gives time gives more.  But he that gives of himself gives most of all."

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas this year and may you be so blessed that you can experience Santa's little miracles in your life.  If you open your eyes, I'm sure you'll see them.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tyson, Guest Food Critic

Can You Say Yum?

I know.  You're jealous


video

My job has a few perks.

I have had to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chritmas Eve, the 4th of July, Weekends, Graveyards, late night, and early mornings.  Throw in long hours of beaking and developing news on occassion in a high stress environment and it gets rough.  On the flip side, occassionally I get to enjoy a few perks.  That food was one of them.

Judge Time

I sampled everyone of those plates and loved every minute of it.  The skill of the chefs was amazing.  At that level you begin to notice the little things, does the steak have a nice sere on the outside, is the skin of the fish crispy, did they overseason or not enough season, are the the vegetables an afterthought or a star by itself, what were the extra things they did to bring out different flavors and textures?  It was such a neat experience.  One I hope to repeat.'

How it worked

There was a big taple in the middle of a hotel ballroom.  It had a lot of different kinds of food on it.  All of the chefs got to select their ingredients from that table.  They had 1/2 an hour to "shop" then if they went back it deducted from their score.  After the shopping time came an hour of cooking time.  When the clock ran out, the judging began.

I, along with three other judges, had plate after plate put in front of us.  The chefs weren't allowed to explain what they did, the food had to speak for itself.  There were curries, reductions, steaks, stuffed pork medalions and candied walnuts.  We had time to take one or two bites from each plate and then we had to judge.  I would have loved to just sit down and eat.  We assigned points to the main dish, to the additional dish (some made 2 entrees) and to the teachnical skill.  Scores were tallied up and just four points seperated first from fifth.  The winning score: 103.5

I'm Available

In case you are looking for a food critic, I'm available and I'm always ready to eat.  The chances are pretty good I'll like your food.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hurray! What Am I Getting In To?

Hurray!!

In case you didn't know.  I've taken the GMAT (MBA school entrance test).  I've done well on it.  I applied to two MBA programs and was accepted to both.  One school even offered me some scholarship money. 

U of U PMBA

One of the programs, the Professional Masters of Business Administration at the David Eccles School of Business, is a top tier program.  In fact it is ranked in the top 50 in country.  That sounds impressive right?  It is.  It is an exciting business program with a lot going for it.  It costs $48K and two years of my life.  No, that's not the school that offered me the scholarship.





Weber State MBA

Weber State's Goddard School of Business has also accepted my application.  It is accredited, close and flexible.  Sounds nice doesn't it?  It is.  It costs $19K and two to three years of my life.  Yes, they offered me a scholarship.  Less expensive is good, $30K less expensive is fantastic.  Random fact, my very first "real" job offer was to produce the 6PM and 10PM news in Eugene, Oregon for $10.00 an hour.  That's at least a lot a bit less than $30K.  I said no.  That's a no go Ducks.

Quandary

That's such a fun word but not such a fun situation.  At least my decision is between two good options.  Honestly, part of me wanted to not get accepted into one of the schools just to make the decision easier.  There are a lot of factors playing into my final choice.  I mean, I graduated from BYU, can I really go to the U?  (Yes, it is a valid concern.  No I am not being extreme.  Well, maybe a little.)

Last week I had all but made up my mind, Weber State it is.  Now?  I've done a 180.  I've realized that I may have been asking the wrong questions in my search for answers.  Now the real quandary is, do I know what I'm looking for?  I have no doubt that getting an MBA is the right decision for me and my family at this point in my life.  So, as I type this when I should be asleep I don't know what I will decide.  I feel like both are good options and I will be happy for different reasons at each place. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

7 Years Ago...

We Dressed In White

It was 11:17 AM on Saturday Dec. 4, 2004 when we agreed to love each other for forever.  We knelt down at an altar and promised.  Every day since I've tried to keep that promise.  Sometimes there are flowers.  Sometimes there are kisses after tears.  It has been a journey but we've traveled it together every step of the way and that journey began with two hearts full of love, dressed in white, in a temple of God.



She Brought Adventure Into My Life

We've traveled to Ireland


and Idaho.
We've been to the Oregon Coast













and the plains of South Dakota,

Hawaii and Missouri.


The best adventures have been the little moments of discovery all along the way where I've realized again and again that I love this beautiful woman.  Like the time she was so excited about getting soaked on a ride at Sea World, in December.  Or when we would go dancing and she'd look at me with her sassy eyes during the cha cha.

Through The Best Of Times

We were together to welcome our two beautiful children into the world.  She did all the hard work, I just took care of her as best as I could.


Poor and in a tiny apartment, she celebrated when I finally graduated college and now years later is willing to support my decision to head back to school.

We've gone back again and again to God's temples and there can feel His peace, His love and it strengthens our bond to each other.

We've served and supported each other through trials, opportunities and have savored beautiful sunsets on Western skies.

Through The Worst Of Times

How do you describe the pain of watching your Princess suffer and waste away?  There was so little I could do but love her, pray for her, worry for her and cherish her.

I am so grateful that my Carrie survived and we were blessed with our little Lydia because of her sacrifice of health.

Through Sickness

Once I had surgery on my toes and being the big baby that I am, I was in a lot of pain.  I slept on the couch because my feet needed to be elevated.  My Princess slept on the floor next to me because she wanted to be near me, she wanted to know I was okay, she wanted to comfort me when I wasn't.  She loves me.

Just Because

In the past 7 years there have been dozens of times when I have come home to my version of flowers (chocolate covered pretzels, steaks and spicy salsa).  I'll occassionally put my hand in my pocked only to discover a love note.  I grab the keys and tucked inside the key ring is a rolled up letter of encouragement.  Who does that?  My Carrie does that.

My Promise

I'll love Carrie forever and try to become the man that I should be because that man loves her for who she is and sees her for what she can become.