Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jon Makes Time

One of the fun classes that Jon took in his last semester at BYU-I was a woodworking class. His final project was making a pendulum clock. I had to put these pictures up. This is an heirloom quality piece that will be handed down to family members over time.

This is not a kit. Every piece of this clock was handcrafted from raw hickory lumber. I examined this clock up close and was impressed with the level of quality, attention to detail and the finish.
The detail is pretty impressive. Tools used to craft this piece included routers, a lathe, planers, joint making tools, sanders, etc. This was Jon's first attempt at a major woodworking project. He has decided that he likes making wood furnishings and looks forward to having the space and tools to try his hand at making solid wood furniture.

Not all of the students finished the project. Jon estimates that the project took him 30-40 hours to complete. With the greatly condensed semester system, completing the project was challenging for most of the class. Great work Jon.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fresh Squeezed

One of our favorite holiday activities is to go down the street to a local orange grove and pick a few boxes of oranges and make fresh squeezed juice. There is almost nothing better than fresh orange juice on ice...liquid AZ sunshine!

We tried to fit this activity in before Lauren and Erik left for Utah but the weather did not cooperate. This week has been beautiful...nearly perfect for picking.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Graduates

An academic chapter has closed for our son Jon, and his wife Stephanie, and our daughter Lauren. All three graduated in December from their respective universities. Jon and Stephanie attended BYU Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho and Lauren attended Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

Jon earned his BA degree in accounting. He will work for RSM McGladrey in Las Vegas while Stephanie completes her student teaching in the Greenvalley School system.

Stephanie will graduate with a degree in education once she completes the student teaching requirement. She was able to participate in graduation ceremonies with Jon.

Lauren on her snowy walk to the Spectrum at Utah State with other graduates for commencement ceremonies. She graduated with a BA in education with an emphasis in history.

A beaming Lauren with a hard earned dipolma in hand. Her supportive husband, Erik, graduated from Utah State earlier in the year. The new focus in their lives will be working together as Erik completes medical school at the University of Utah.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Our 2008 Christmas celebration and festivities were wonderful! All of our children were present including Jon and his wife, Stephanie and Lauren and her husband, Erik. We were fortunate for both couples to be on the Arizona Christmas rotation this year. The only person missing this year was Ben who is serving his mission in Ogden, Utah.

On Christmas eve we played a Christmas gift exchange game, a tradition that started a few years ago. Each person takes a gift with the option of keeping it or taking another gift from someone else.

The hot item this year seemed to be the tootsie roll bank full of loose coins collected over the year. In past years, the pay out has been significant so there was a lot of interest and gamesmanship for the item. Others in the group were more motivated by food so the restaurant gift certificates were also hotly contested.

We followed the gift exchange with singing Christmas carols around the piano. Lauren provided the music. Lindsay was on deck in case Lauren could not perform her duties.

Christmas morning produced one happy camper. Becky has just received some domestic tools from Lauren.

Lindsay looks enchanted with one of her gifts. Another video to watch sometime before the new year.

Jon is ready for some action and adventure courtesy of some Christmas funds from Stephanie's family.

Sandy will continue to be the seasoning in our lives for weeks to come with this gift.

Stephanie rips into one of two gifts from Jon. It turns out to be music to her ears (a Christmas piano music).

Lauren carefully unwraps one of her gifts. Erik is really getting into the spirit of the day. His hat is turned backwards in a gesture of seriousness to matters at hand.

Dad kneels in gratefulness for his gift of a year's subscription to Bicycling Magazine courtesy of Erik.

Perhaps the most profound gift came from Ben. The miniature missionary "outfit" was created one-handed by a young man, paralyzed on one side of his body. The young man made income by creating and selling these "outfits."

What a wonderful day for all of us to share gifts, review the biblical story of the birth of our Saviour and strengthen our family bonds. Hopefully, this will be a lasting memory for all.

A family picture on the staircase before Lauren and Erik left for Utah. Top row: Rebecca, Stephanie, and Jon. Middle row: Dave and Sandy. Bottom row: Lindsay, Lauren and Erik.