Friday, July 31, 2009

Freedom is a Fragile Thing

Love a kid who, when given a choice, chooses the Reagan Library for a day out with mom while the brothers are in Big Bear.

We were there once on a field trip and I've always wanted to go back to do it on our own time. It's in a really beautiful location and Air Force One is especially fascinating.

In the garden is a section from the Berlin wall. Over lunch, Bryce and I discussed why the Berlin wall was there in the first place and the fact that the wall splitting Berlin served to clearly demonstrate the stark contrast between freedom and oppression.

I was especially struck by this Ronald Reagan quote, taken from his California Gubernatorial Inaugural Address:
Freedom is a fagile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation.

Which reminded me of:
Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty:
"And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—in memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole."


how grateful I am for the blessings of freedom that is mine through inheritance.
How precious it is.

Monday, July 27, 2009

And While We're On the Subject...

Of gastronomical excess:

This is totally out of date order, but while we were in Lake Havasu last week, we also celebrated Bryce's and our nephew Daniel's birthdays with a full round of hot fudge brownie sundaes. Tyler and Justin shared one and then proceeded to finish off everyone else's leftovers.

The best part is that Justin ordered his dinner without mayo, because he didn't want the fat or calories! Like having a Diet Coke with a donut, I guess you gotta cut back somewhere:)

How to Build a Lineman

It is literally imossible to fill Tyler up these days. He eats constantly but is never full. He is actually trying to gain weight for football but it's slow going. Oh, to be young and in a growth spurt.

We went to Claim Jumper the evening of Bryce's birthday and Tyler ordered the Motherlode Sandwich: "Cure 81 ham, roasted turkey, tri-tip, cheddar & Swiss cheese, onions,lettuce, tomato, pickles & 1000 Island dressing stacked 8" high on toasted French roll", as stated in the menu. We didn't measure, but I actually think it was higher than 8".

Tyler: "I had to take the lettuce out. It was just wasted space."

I suggested maybe he save half for a future meal, but he wouldn't hear of it.

Toward the end, there was some doubt he'd get it all in. The waiter took an interest in the project and gave Tyler tips on how to move his body in order to find just that extra needed space.

The last bite. Note that all that was left was that inconvenient produce: lettuce, onions and pickles.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finally, 12

Dateline: July 10th (I'm a little behind as Justin so kindly noted in his last comment.)

Bryce has had a countdown going in his room for the last month, his sole wish for his birthday was a phone (that and never again having to stand with the Primary to sing in Sacrament Meeting). He could not wait. The rest of us could not imagine who he would have to talk to since he never calls anyone on the house phone. How wrong we were. Mr. Popularity. I guess our first clue should have been the near constant chatter he has going over XBox Live (you can play video games and carry on conversations with others playing at the same time). We succombed. He got right to work texting everyone he's ever known. I front loaded it by asking people to text his new phone with a birthday message, so that kept him busy most of the day. However, it was a mistake to give him the phone prior to the little birthday event (a trip to Mountasia with a few friends) since then he was tempted all day to "converse" with texting buddies rather than enjoy the friends present in the flesh. Anyway, here's his day:

First stop: go carts!

Bryce swore he had the slowest car on the track.

Next: bumper boats, followed by mini golf, video games and laser tag. Mountasia is kind of your one stop shop for kid fun.

Jeff loves Mountasia.

Pitstop at Farrell's for a little "fuel".

Tyler makes this face alot now for pictures (see below).
I don't know why, it's not really his best look.

Yeah baby, there's nothing like the Farrell's birthday song accompanied by the siren and big drum.

Ha! Bet you thought this was lunch! Actually, those are toasted coconut cookies (chicken fingers), ice cream with caramel sauce (mashed potatoes and gravy), and candies (peas and carrots). Louis and Matt thought it looked better than it tasted.

Of course, no trip would be complete without shopping for prizes. All the boys pooled their tickets for Bryce so he ended up with almost 1,000 tickets for his shopping pleasure.

Clearly, this is serious business, no time for pictures. See what I mean about that Tyler face?

What???? Somebody has already come up with Justin and Tyler's brainstorm for their next business! They were going to sell a whole line of air instruments--air guitars, air drums, air harmonicas, etc. on EBay. Only they were really going to make them out of .... AIR. They were in the process of looking for a manufacturer and everything! Oh well, I guess it's back to the drawing board!

I'm not sure this prize was really necessary at my house...

Good friends...Good day!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Eagle has Landed!

Subtitle: "Two Down, One to Go..."

On Tuesday night, Tyler finally had his Eagle Board of Review and is now officially an Eagle Scout! I say finally because his Eagle project (coordinating the post office food drive for the Santa Clarita Valley) was completed in May, 2008 (yes, 2008--not 2009). He became eligible for the award in September (he had to wait 6 months after his last rank advancement). All that was needed was an application (granted, it was TWO pages), a few signatures (from people we go to church with EVERY week), and to turn it all in to the scout office. He proved to be incredibly resistant to my nagging, but all was done and turned in last month.

Here he is with the Board of Review. He was almost tripped up by the pledge of allegiance, but covered nicely:) After that, it was all downhill.

With the proud parents.

From one Eagle to another.

In full scout regalia.

Now, the funny thing about this is the fact that by the time he reached his Board of Review, none of his scout pants fit. Bryce just got new ones but those didn't fit either. Those things are expensive, I didn't want to buy another pair for the few times he would wear them in the future. So, he borrowed Jeff's scout leader shorts and we thought he could get away with them if they were gathered just right...

Dang! Those guys on the Board of Review don't miss a thing! They asked Tyler about his shorts in the interview. I guess they thought he shouldn't be penalized for growing, since they awarded him anyway. Tyler's feet were also killing him because his toes were all curled up in a pair of Jeff's hiking boots. Poor misfit kid, we'll have to find a better outfit for the Court of Honor.

Of course, we had to celebrate afterwards! Tyler had a 4X4 (for the uninitiated, that is 4 slabs of hamburger and 4 slices of cheese at In-n-Out). I think maybe those pants will fit by the Court of Honor...

All kidding aside--Congratulations Tyler! You're an amazing kid and awesome scout. We're really proud of you!