Saturday, April 23, 2005

April 23, 2005

We went for another hike through the ravine last night, this time Erin joined us -- and we had rubber boots for both Gracie and Matt (Matt wore Gracie's old boots that didn't fit very well). The kids had a fantstic time spashing in the water.

I was really surprised how well Matt did; I expected him to fall into the water on the first or second crossing. He actually made it to the fourth or fifth crossing before filling his boots with water and eventually falling right in. A couple of times he teetered, but managed to keep his balance. By the end Matt was completely soake, and I scooped him out of the water and rushed him home (ahead of Erin and Gracie) before he got too cold. We both decided that if Matt was going to have any chance at staying dry, he'd need new boots... we remedied that today (he got new boots from Wal-Mart). I put Matt down for bed, and as I've been doing the past few nights, I laid on the bed in his room. I fell asleep with him at 8:30 for the night. Sweet!

Tonight,after going to Wal-Mart we went to Peter's drive through for dinner and stopped off at the Melchin's for the evening. Sean was preparing for his priesthood lesson tomorrow, and we had an interesting discussion on the "key to the knowledge of God." We've been taught previously that the key to the knowledge of God is the covenants and ordiances of the priesthood, and Sean is going to use President Faust's talk from the October 2004 priesthood session of general conference. Sean is gives a very well prepared, uplifting, inspired lesson. I look forward to it.

I've been reading the "Miracle of Forgiveness" by President Spencer W. Kimball. It's the classic LDS book on repentance and forgiveness. The more I read the book, the more I'm interested to learn about President Kimball, he must have been a very pure, humble person. Tonight Cathy described him as being "without guile".

Friday, April 22, 2005

April 22, 2005

Grandma Wolff surprised us with a visit to Calgary, and she and mother stoped in to see us last night. It's good for Gracie and Matt to spend time with her -- we don't go down to Cardston very often (certainly not as often as we should). Gracie was so interested to show grandma Wolff her Barbie dolls. I took some pictures of the visit, and as usuall Matt became obsessed with the camera to the point that we had to put him to bed. It is such an effort for grandma to come to Calgary, I'm quite surprised she came -- but very happy she did.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

April 19, 2005

Work is really busy lately -- I'm having a hard time staying on top of everything.

After dinner this evening, we took the kids to Leavitt's Ice Cream Shop. Dad, Kevin and Mason met us there. On the way we took a detour to the top of Canada Olympic park. I parked the car, and Gracie and I walked out and looked out over the city from the top of the hill. It was fun.

Lara has had a bit of a scare with her pregnancy, but fortunately everything is fine. Erin seems to be getting over her constant tired/sick feeling -- thankfully.

I had to stay with Matt for about 35 mintues this evening in order to get him to bed. I just sit and read in his room.

Monday, April 18, 2005

April 18, 2005

J.D. Taylor came over for dinner this evening. His wife and kids have been in Utah for the past couple of days. We had pizza and talked about building a deck -- he's got some great ideas!

Friday morning of last week, Erin was woken by the sound of someone downstairs in the kitchen. It was Matt. He climbed out of his crib, opened his door and started roaming around the house.

He gets out a night too. He's decided that he doesn't like to go to bed anymore, so I've been putting Matt to bed for the past week or so. Up until last week, Matt would gladly go down -- his bedtime ritual consisted of turning on the humidifier, and turning off the lights. Now I've got to stay with him and rub his back, this process now takes about 15-30 minutes.

Mom and Dad, Kevin and Mason came over for dinner on Sunday. Elise stayed home with Porter who's significatly improved, but not well enough to leave the house yet. Erin made Chicken Taco Pie, everyone loved it.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

April 17th, 2005 -- (Terry Fox)

This week marked the 25th anniversary of the commencement of Terry Fox's run across Canada. I shamefully admit that until this week I didn't know much about him... other than he tried to run accross Canada in an attempt raise money for cancer. I know alot more about him now.

At age 21, Terry Fox began his "Marathon of Hope" in St. John's, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. When he began there were only a few people who knew him or his cause; 143 days later most everyone in Canada knew him. Terry had a type of bone cancer, and his leg was amputated well above the knee.

I saw Terry's brother Darrell on TV this week -- Darrell pointed out something remarkable. He said that most people who run a marathon will train for months, and will take weeks to allow thier body to recover. Terry Fox ran the equivalent of a marathon everyday for 143 days. He did it with a prosthetic leg -- and cancer.

He ran over 5000 km's (more than half the distance of Canada), and eventually stoped outside Thunder Bay, Ontario because the cancer had spread to his lungs. To date, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised over 360 million dollars for cancer research.

This week I've seen lot's of archived video tape of Terry Fox, and what impresses me most is that hope, and optimisim seemed to radiate from him.

Terry Fox is a hero.

"Some people can’t figure out what I’m doing. It’s not a walk-hop, it’s not a trot, it’s running, or as close as I can get to running, and it’s harder than doing it on two legs."

"I'm not a dreamer, and I'm not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.”

"If you’ve given a dollar, you are part of the Marathon of Hope .”

--Terry Fox

Sunday, April 10, 2005

April 10, 2005

My computer has been down for the past several weeks, so I haven't made an entry recently. It's should be fairly telling that I haven't had time in the last 45 days or so to fix my computer -- infact for the past three weeks I haven't even turned it on (I've been bringing my notebook home from work however).

I got a modest bonus from work (a pleasant surprise I wasn't expecting), so I used part of it to replace the mainboard and hard drive on my home machine. I also added another gigabyte of memory. Kevin mentioned to me this evening that when he at WestWorld Computers before leaving on his mission (1996) the fastest computer processor was a 33 mHz, and the absolute most memory you could put in a computer was 32 megabytes. I now have two gigabytes of RAM in my computer -- which in 2005 is uncommonly large, I suspect that in five or ten years from now 2 gigabytes of RAM will be uncommonly small (if we use RAM at all).

Enough about computers...

Here's a brief recap of the past thirty days: We leased a van, we drove to Utah, we found out Erin is pregnant.

After thinking about it for some time, and doing a fair amount of research, we decided to lease a 2005 Pontiac Montana. It's quite a nice van (as far as mini-vans can be nice). It has a built-in DVD system -- which was a non-negotiable feature for Erin, and an automatic sliding passenger door. The rear seats also fold down. While driving, Gracie becomes quite engrossed watching DVD's (her current favorite is The Incredibles) -- Matt on the other hand couldn't care less. He sits with arms raised, and hands behind his head most of the time. Matt is extremely determined to do things for himself. For instance, he insists on buckling his carseat himself -- which is tough, because at his age he doesn't have the strenght or the dexterity to do it. Needless to say, getting in and out of the car has become moderately frustrating.

One of major influences in the decision to get the van was that we had decided to go to Utah to visit the Ritchie's and to attend general conference. We had assumed that the van (or better said, the DVD system) would make the 15 hour trip more palatable for the kids. The trip back to Calgary was better, but the trip to Utah was nigh unto unbearable. The DVD system did nothing for Matt, and Gracie kept getting frustrated because she couldn't fall asleep in her carseat. At one point all four of us were yelling. On the trip down, we learned a some things about the configuration of the van (ie: tilting the seats back to promote comfortable sleeping), and the trip home was much more enjoyable.

Utah was fun. For the first time I felt like I could live there. The weather was great -- the community that Brad and Amy live in seems really nice, everything just seemed good. The kids had fun with thier cousins. Gracie and Annie got along quite well. Gracie was over-stimulated most of the time, and was frequently given to tears -- but she had a good time nontheless. Matt did quite well with his afternoon naps but struggled a bit with nighttime. The sun was up early and shone into the room we stayed in, waking Matt up at 6:00 AM the first few mornings we were there.

Almost all of the Calgary group got sick while in Utah. It started with Lara, then Erin and Melinda, then me, then the kids.... We were introduced to a cold remedy called "Airborne", which seemed to work quite well.

While in Utah, I worked on a website for Brad for a couple of days, and on Thursday we skied Brighton. I was almost at the peak of my sickness on the Wednesday before, and had decided not to go, but when I woke up to 47" of new snow in the mountains, and a perfectly blue sky, I reconsidered how sick exactly I was. On Friday, I paid the price. The skiing was great, some of the best I can remember.

Conference was nice. It's really something to be in the Conference Center. I attended the Saturday afternoon and Priesthood sessions. This is my third time attending conference in the Conference Centre, and it still impresses me. It's quite remarkable to hear the hum of 20,000 people come to a complete silence at the first appearance of the prophet. The sound of 20,000 folding seats -- closing almost instantaneously -- followed by utter quite, is quite unique. I can't think of any other place or event where that many people can be that quite, and show that much respect. The congregation rises to it's feet, and becomes silent before the prophet can make more than two steps into the room.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to spend some time with David Stratton Waite. We met him for dinner on Tuesday evening at the Macaroni Grill. It was great to see him again. He tolerated the noise of the kids, and the constantly interupted conversations for about an hour, then we finally gave up and determined to meet again another night without the kids. So, on Thursday after skiing, David and I went out for dinner and got a chance to catch up. Getting together with David is quite intersting -- he's got a way about him. I can't explain it, but somehow even though we don't get a chance to speak to each other more than once or twice a year, and even though we don't spend time together in person more than every three or four years -- somehow, when we are together, it's like we've never been apart. I've often thought that the bond we created as missionary companions, is somehow stronger than all the time we've spent apart. We spoke about family, work, books, church, future plans. It was great. David is great.

Lastly, Erin is pregnant. Though I hadn't planed on an exact date, nor had Erin and I really spoken about it, I've been feeling like it was time for us to have another child. Number three is kind of intimidating, but I'm sure it will be great. Erin is starting to become quite ill -- moreso than I remeber with Gracie or Matthew. She's nauseated and tired most of the time. I hope we can all make it.