Tuesday, July 26, 2005

July 26, 2005

The Royal Oak chapel was dedicated on Sunday (July 24th). It was an enjoyable meeting -- members of the Royal Oak and Crowfoot wards were invited. The speakers were: Bishop Wayne Jones, Bishop John Gibb, Lynne Miller (Stake Relief Society President), President Lynn Rosenvall (Cardston Alberta Temple President), President Howard Heninger, and the dedicatory prayer was offered by President Richard Melchin.

Keith Wood conducted a stake choir, which performed several pieces -- most noteably, "The Spirit of God" which is perhaps my favorite hymn. It is such a powerfull hymn -- I sometimes so overcome by it that I am not able to sing. The choir was outstanding; the music was terrific, the talks were excellent, and the dedicatory prayer was inspirational. It really was a historic event.

It's very impressive to observe how eloquent President Melchin was during the dedicatory prayer -- he's normally a very good speaker, but this was different. I know that he spent considerable time pondering what could be said during the dedicatory prayer, but the prayer is not in any way prepared beforehand, in fact -- he doesn't use, or even make any written notes of any kind. I'm sure he spent substantial effort contemplating whether he could pronouce that a temple would one day be dedicated on this site. He's been instrumental in ensuring that the church retain the excess land, and that the city have the land zoned for two buildings. On more than one occasion church administrators have tried to sell the excess land, as I'm told it's church policy not to bank excess land. The original plot of land was 20 acres, and was acquired almost 30 years ago for the purpose of retaining land for what is hoped to become a temple site. Of course over the years a temple has not been built, and a couple of years ago when substantial development of the area was underway, the church sold 10 acres of the land. Rick told us on Sunday evening, that at one point more of the land was to be sold (leaving only enough to support a single chaple), but he insisted that the land not be kept. The matter was taken to President Faust, who said something like, "you'd better listen to the Stake President", and ever since the land has been kept, and there has been no further discussion of selling the land.

During the dedicatory prayer President Melchin petitioned that because of the faithfullness of the local Saints, the land one day receive a temple. I've always thought that this will come to pass.

The building is substantially complete, with only a few minor items inside the building remain outstanding. None of the exterior landscaping is complete.

The air conditioning was not operational on the day of the dedication, but fortunatley the temperature outside was cool and rainy. We opened all the outside doors, and let the cool air circulate through the chapel.

Both Gracie and Matt weren't feeling well, and Erin debated keeping them home. I'm glad she didn't. She did however end up taking the kids home just before the dedicatory prayer was offered. Gracie was complaing of an upset stomach, and kept saying she was going to vomit. Last time she said that at church, she threw-up all over me. -- so Erin didn't make her sit through the last 30 minutes. Matt behaved quite well (wich isn't normally the case during a one hour sacrament meeting, let alone a two hour meeting).

It was a nice day. All of the Melchins were in town (except Cade and Keri) -- and we had dinner over at Erin's parente place afterward.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Leadership and Self-Deception

"No matter what we're doing on the outside, people respond primarily to how we're feeling about them on the inside"

Monday, July 11, 2005

July 11, 2005

We celebrated Matt's second birthday today. We waited until now because Keri and Amy both came up -- and they didn't arrive until yesterday. Matt didn't mind putting his party off a few days -- he was oblivious to the celebration, gifts and the cake (not the candles though). I think it spent a total of 3 minutes playing with his new toys -- the cousins got way more out of his toys than he did.

Matt did however speak incessantly about playing with dady's keys, in dady's car -- (or whose ever car he felt he had the best chance at). He constantly obsesses over the keys and cars of everyone he knows. I'm not kidding when I can identify every extended family member by either thier keys or car.

Gracie had lots of fun reuniting with her cousins today. She and Annie get along quite well. It's really good of Amy to make the long trip from Utah -- pregnant, with three kids, and without help (Brad will be joining us later in the week). Amy is a real trooper.

I'm already nervous about Gracie going to school. Of course I don't let her know that. I can't believe that in a few weeks, she'll be riding a bus from Tuscany to Varsity -- spending the afternoon at school, getting back on the bus and returning home, all without our supervision. I keep telling myself not to wimp out, that every other parent goes through the same ritual. Still... I'm nervous.

I had a nice conversation with Rick this evening about Objectivism. He's re-read An Objectivist Epistomology, by Ayn Rand -- and he's excited to say the least. I think I'm going to get a copy of the book and read it with him over the next several weeks.

I got a voicemail message from David Waite today saying that he won't be able to come to Calgary after all. He's got some urgent company business that needs his attention. Too bad -- we would have had lots of fun together. I'm sure we'll see him soon. David, if you're reading this -- we'll miss you!

Monday, July 04, 2005

July 3, 2005

We had a nice night at the Melchin's this evening. Gracie is still sick; fortunatley she's still quite lively -- just has a pretty bad cough. Matt is starting to come down with something -- he was quite fevered when we left.

The boys (Sean, Micheal, Rick and I) had an ejoyable gospel discussion this evening. I always learn something when we have these type of discussions.

After getting home and getting the kids to bed, I dove into some more ASP.NET 2.0 study. I get more impressed the more I learn. The new framework is really feature rich, as is the Visual Studio IDE. I'm really excited to get to build some real applications.

Last night Erin came down and told me that when she was putting Gracie to bed, Gracie was going in and out of sleep, when suddenly she sat up -- still half asleep, and said, "Birds don't chew -- they don't have teeth." Funny what must be going through her mind when she goes from wakefullness into sleep.

Friday, July 01, 2005

July 1, 2005

I’m writting this from Delbert Beazer’s house in Cardston.  We came down for the Hill Spring July 1st celebration.  We’re staying at Delbert’s house because the Hawthorne’s are staying at Grandma Wolff’s house, and the farm is way too crazy to consider staying there.  Besides, Delbert has a beautiful home — maybe he’ll let us stay here in the future.

We arrived last night, in time to put the kids to bed; Matt resisted for at least an hour.  We decided not to rush, so we missed the parade, and arrived just in time to see that the program had been interrupted by a 20 minute fire alarm episode.  The BBQ beef was excellent as always; Matt Burnham won the Rootbeer contest — personally I thought Eric Gibb had it locked up.

Matt and Gracie ran in races — they both did well.  Gracie is getting old enough to understand and be excited to run with all the kids.  She did great.  They both did great.

After going to Spring Glen Park, Dad, Matt and I got in the van and drove arond Police Lake for a couple of hours.  I really enjoy that part of Southern Alberta.  I’d love to own some property down there one day.

After Police Lake, we went back to the farm and Timothy and I took the four-wheelers down to the riverbottom.  The mosquitos were crazy.  The ride didn’t last that long — especially because my quad ran out of gas part way through the trip.  We collected the kids and drove back to Cardston for some Pizza’s and Cream — Matt was uncontainable.  What a relief to have them in bed.

Tomorrow we go to Waterton.  Shoud be fun.