Friday, December 26, 2008

Never Never Land

Yesterday was Christmas and my entire family (plus a few friends) were at my house. Having over 30 people over in my little house was going to be no big deal because it is AZ after all and we would set up tables outside and have plenty of room. Besides, the children would be outside riding bikes, or playing basketball or football or something more fun than being in the house. Well, we woke up Christmas morning to rain. No biggie, if it is raining here in the AM that means we are sure to have a nice afternoon right? NOPE! The weatherman picked Christmas day to have the only day of the year that it rained nearly all day long. So we all squeezed into my house and made the best of it. Talk about having a close family.
The only thing that bummed me out a little was that usually when my family is all here we play outdoor games. You know we revert to our childhood and have ridiculously childish competitions. It is always really fun and we don't do it enough. I was sure the rain had prevented that from happening this year. Well, the rain let up for just a little while and my brothers found the jump ropes Talia got for Christmas because she wants to learn to do Double-Dutch. Next thing we knew everyone in the family was out there trying it. I don't want to brag . OK yes I do, but I am the official Double-Dutch champion in our family. All you younger and skinnier kids go home and practice and come back and try another day.

Bottom line, we had a great time making fools of ourselves (some more foolish than others) and acting like kids. Just like every time we get together.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

On faith

Thoughts from Kerry . . .
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. This first verse of the Bible is a profound basis for a person's faith. I believe in God. I believe that he is mightier and wiser than I. I believe that he is more intelligent and also kinder and more loving than I am. I believe that I can trust Him, and that I can discover His will and pleasure regarding me and my family. You may come to know me best by these four words: I believe in God.

I once created a computer application to decipher email based on the keys contained in a military Common Access Card. My software allowed someone to retain cryptographic protection of his personal email during the mandated period between turning a card in and receiving a new card. The mechanics are fairly simple. A person in possession of my software could use his old military card to decrypt all of his encrypted mail, re-encrypt it again with a soft certificate of his choosing, and turn in his card. When he received his new card he could use the software in a reverse mode to decrypt his email with the soft certificate and re-encrypt it with his updated card. The application works. It's good.

When God created the earth he saw that it was good. When he divided the night from the day, and when he set the sun and stars and moon to deliver their light to the surface, and when he created the rocks, rivers, plants and animals he said that all of these things were good. Some use words like good and evil as if they were mysterious or subject to debate. A thing is good if it accomplishes the purpose that its creator intended. A thing is evil (or bad) if it acts contrary to its intended purpose.

There may have been a soldier who decided that my software was bad. (I was fortunate enough to not be exposed to anyone's ire, but it probably happened.) Why would he think so? He may have misunderstood my intent. He may have been unclear on my instructions from my superiors. He may have been under the mistaken impression that it was possible to encrypt email with one card and decrypt it with another. He may have tried to use it to entertain himself and found it singularly unsuitable. There could have been thousands of reasons for a person's dissatisfaction with my little application, but none of these things make it bad. My application is good. I know. I created it, tested it and determined that it fulfilled my intended purpose.

I am also an application of Almighty God. I was created as a new mortal model, and given the name of a man on my birthday. God is now testing me. He will determine whether I am good or evil, and his judgment is not subject to the interpretations of either protesters or flatterers. His purpose is for me to keep his commandments, and to repent when I fall short. His commandments are the same for me as for every other person. If someone does not understand the commandments of God he may come to understand by asking our Heavenly Father in prayer, by reading the scriptures, and by diligently doing the things which he already understands. If a person is found wanting, he may choose to change. It's simple.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Tonight for family home evening we made a list of 100 things that we are grateful for. We went around the room and everyone said one thing until we had a list of 100. The only rule was that no one was allowed to argue with any one else’s answers. It actually came together pretty quickly, my mom was here so she had some that we wouldn’t have listed - I am sure that helped.

100 things we’re thankful for . . .
1. Talia (she was the scribe, we were very grateful for that)
2. Gravity
3. Grandkids
4. Gospel
5. Lisa / Wife
6. Shoes (that wasn’t even me)
7. Clothes
8. Fudgesicles
9. Faith
10. Kids
11. Husband
12. Jesus
13. Plants
14. Friends
15. Kitties
16. Parley P. Pratt (he is the childrens 4th great maternal grandfather)
17. Atonement
18. Book of Mormon
19. Sun
20. Carmen
21. Phone
22. Living Prophet
23. Warrior Book Series (Tobias has become an avid reader)
24. Earth
25. Water
26. Chocolate
27. Serena
28. Tobias
29. Music
30. Piano
31. Happiness
32. Yard
33. House
34. Car
35. Rocks
36. Bed
37. Sugar
38. Parents
39. Godhead
40. Food
41. Computer
42. Freedom / Country
43. Family Home Evening
44. Discipline
45. Meat
46. Internet
47. Job
48. Eyes
49. Humor
50. Free Dress Day / No uniform
51. Hard Work
52. School
53. Paper
54. Electricity
55. Plumbing
56. Bible
57. Stars
58. Technology
59. This activity (I have clever children)
60. Pine Trees
61. Understanding the real meaning of Christmas
62. Holy Ghost
63. Priesthood
64. Flowers
65. Make-up
66. Basketball
67. Neelah
68. Modern Medicine
69. Temple
70. Cadence
71. Cute People
72. Hare
73. Planes
74. Socks (again not me)
75. Free time
76. Health
77. Camera
78. Ocean
79. Daryk
80. My Piggyback
81. Money
82. Hair Holders
83. Lacking Knowledge
84. Learning
85. Words
86. Eric
87. Easy chair
88. Cookies
89. Brain
90. Vegetables
91. Watermelon
92. Yeah Me|
93. Queen Creek House / Pool
94. Winning
95. Tooth Tools (brushes, floss, etc)
96. Cherry Pie
97. Tennis Shoes Book Series
98. Showers
99. My Voice
100. Sabbath Day

Monday, December 8, 2008

This kid is confusing!

Tobias aka: "the boy" is seven years old and in second grade. Sometimes his accademic ability just baffles me. It really seems like he has retained everything he has ever read or heard. And trust me when I tell you, he reads a lot. The other night we were riding in the car and the children were listening to a book on CD (caught myself there I almost said book on tape). In the story there was a greek philosopher who was explaining to some children that he had discovered using mathmatics that the sun doesn't go around the earth, but the earth goes around the sun. Tobias said, "hey, that was Galileo." I coulndn't stand it I asked him how whe could have possibly known that and he said that he read it in a book somewhere. I spent the next few days thinking that this boy can not possibly be only seven years old.

Then, we went to our ward party and I was trying to take a picture of the boy and this is what I got. OK, so maybe he is just a 7 year old boy. A seven year old with a LOT a facts in his head. Either way it is going to be a very short time before I am completely unable to help him with any of his accedemic duties.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Still a boy!

I finally downloaded the pictures from Thanksgiving. I couldn't help noticing that quite a few of them were pictures of Kerry wrestling with his nephews. Luckily, his sister Karen is used to teenage boys and didn't seem to mind the rowdie behavior in her living room. Some of the boys are getting pretty big and Kerry had his hands full, but held his own very well. At least it seemed that way, until that night when we went to bed and he told me he had pulled something in his shoulder. Of course, when it happened, he didn't say a word to the kids but kept right on playing.

The most entertaining matches were what the boys called "push-up" wrestling. After looking it up I learned it is also called "alligator" wrestling basically, they come head to head, in a push-up position and the first one to knock the other to his stomach gets a point. I have to admit, it was fun to watch.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I love Thanksgiving. To me, it is a day that offers warm feelings of love, family, and gratitude without all the hoopla that the Christmas season typically imposes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and everything it offers; I’m just really glad to have a day to reflect before it all begins.
This year, our family spent Thanksgiving with the Kerry's family. Let me first express my gratitude to Karen for letting us extend the “letting someone else cook for us” stint. Karen spent countless hours being the gracious host and our family was a grateful beneficiary. For me, getting to know some of the family a little better was a wonderful blessing. For Kerry, being home again seemed to be a great sense of contentment. While the children just enjoyed some time playing with their cousins.
From the day Kerry and I announced our wedding Kerry’s family has gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable and accepted in their family. I am so grateful for that. Sheesh, they even laugh at my jokes – that can’t be easy. I really loved sharing the holiday with them. I especially loved how happy it made Kerry to get to spend some time with his parents. Kerry credits his dad for most of his good habits. So, I am very grateful that Dad is a loving, kind husband who cares for his wife in every possible way and for Kerry who works so hard to emulate his father.
Being away from my own family gave me an opportunity to realize how much I love them. I am grateful for a close family who plays together, laughs with (and at) each other, and look out for one another. I missed them this year and I am glad to have a family that I enjoy enough to miss when I am away.
Our family has been so greatly blessed.

(picture is Mom and Dad Thurber at thier wedding over 50 years ago)