Friday, August 31, 2012

I Learned From My Mom

Do you remember the time that you learned how to tie your shoes for the first time?  It is quite clear in my mind although it was many years ago. 
One end of the shoelace on top of the other.  Then form one loop and wrapping the other end around the loop and through the hole.  Grab hold of both loops made and pull it tight.  It seemed so hard at first but with some practice it has become second nature. 
My mom's patience was unwavering.  She knew that I would get it one day and she stood by my side with confidence in my ability.
So many other lessons have been learned from her. 
I have learned that through hard work and endurance I can learn anything, from a good teacher.  Thanks to my mom!  I love you for all that you do to teach me and help me.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Can Find It Here

I was looking over something on the computer.  It was a PowerPoint presentation that somebody else had created.  I was attempting to make a change to the background but couldn't figure out how to do it.
"Let me show you how to do it."  I heard those words in my mind because our eight year old son Danny says them all the time.  These kids are very smart and I think the reality is that they are not afraid to press an unknown button and wait to see what happens.
It is a true blessing to have the computer in our day and time.  The blessings of the Internet are incredible too. 
I am thankful for the time that I live.  It is an exciting time filled with great opportunities.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reach Your Potential

I have been learning about reaching your potential.  That is a difficult thing to do.  In fact, for each of us to reach that pinnacle we must first face the challenges that hold us back.
I recently met a man who struggles when speaking in front of an audience.  He told me that it is the single fear that he has in his life--he would rather do anything else.  I watched his hands tremble as he was asked to speak in front of a group.  He did it with courage and strength.  We all must face the fears that trouble us. 

On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the only blind man in history to reach the summit of the world's highest peak - Mount Everest.

Sometimes we need to step out of the shadows of our 'comfort zone' and stretch ourselves out.  It is hard but the struggles we have seem to make us that much better.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Hero

Neil Armstrong was a humble hero who saw himself as a team player and never capitalized on his celebrity as the first man to walk on the moon, mourners said Friday outside a private service attended by fellow space pioneers, including his two crewmates on the historic Apollo 11 mission.

I'm reminded that everybody is a hero in one form or another.  The acts of kindness that so many share with others defines what a hero really is.
Some are glorified for their achievements and others never get a single word spoken about them but in my mind they are still heroes.
Think about the heroes in your life.  Maybe a parent or a grandparent.  Is there a friend or brother and sister?
A person like Neil Armstrong had accomplishments that most of us will never achieve but the things we do in our homes and communities help shape and mold what the future of this world will become.
Keep up the good work!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day Of School

The first day of school is in the record books.  Each of our four children had a successful and happy day.  There was nervousness but the excitement prevailed.  I love to hear their take on the things that are the most important to them.  Learning stimulates their minds and expands their normal way of thinking.  I love the anticipation of what a new school year will bring.  Nat and Lol are in high school and I hope that they take advantage of the experience as a whole.  Hooray for school!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lead Out

I heard something recently that caused me to think.  “Out of every team emerges a leader.”  That statement forced me to contemplate my own life and am I doing all that I can to be an effective leader.  The greatest success I will ever achieve is within the walls of my own home.  So I ask a question to you, are you doing all that you can to lead in righteousness within the walls of your home?  How we act and what we do will have great impact on the lives of our children and grandchildren.  That success hangs directly off of what we contribute and how we execute the decisions that we make.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Amazing Things Of Life

When was the last time you flew on an airplane?  Was it fearful or did you find it enjoyable?  I find it incredibly amazing that a large machine can fly through the air with such grace and mobility.  Every working part must be orchestrated so that the functions that each performs is precise.  I love to watch airplanes fly and it makes me grateful that I get the chance to be a part of the success.  So it is with our lives.  The precise implementation of all that we learn must be practiced and then properly executed to produce good sound results.  The next time you fly pay close attention to the operation of the aircraft and you’ll know what I mean.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I accompanied Brady on his inaugural scout camp-out.  The excitement has been building for a couple of weeks now.  With packing list in hand Brady gathered the required materials that he would need for a successful night.  We camped out in Tooele, Utah in a place called Settlement Canyon.  There were five boys and three adults present.  We had an incredible time and I marveled at the way the boys treated one another and the effort they displayed in carrying out such a successful event.  Happy Scouting Brady!  We’ll have plenty more opportunities just like this.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Get Past Your Fears

Some people struggle while speaking in front of big crowds.  Others think that holding a small snake can’t get any worse.  Yet others aren’t quite comfortable doing anything that is out of the ordinary.  Can I suggest that you “walk out on a limb” and stretch yourself beyond what you normally otherwise would?  Life is an opportunity to stretch, learn, and grow.  The growth that we receive will help us and bless our lives forever.  Learning is a continuous improvement.  It’s exciting, it’s difficult, and yet the dividends are huge.  Stretch a little, you’ll be glad you did.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'm Getting Tall

Our boys and I went to the Magna Library.  Just inside the door is a large fee-standing wall with a arrow slide on the side and a measuring tape runs from top to bottom.  You stand up next to the wall and you slide the arrow to match the top of your head to find out how tall you are.  Brady, our oldest boy, stood up to the wall and asked, "How tall do you think I am?"
I reallly didn't know what the outcome would be.  I slid the arrow until it reached the top of his head.  The tape read five foot three and a heavy quarter. 
It took me forever to get to be five three.  I can't believe how big our kids are getting.  It amazes me that the time is racing by.
One of the highlights for a kid is getting taller.  It's how you measure growing up.  I am thrilled for these kinds of times.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's Likely You'll Win

When I was in third grade, a girl in my school class used to run around the playground and I was never able to catch her.  We would play tag at recess and I never could catch her.  She would run me down and it caused me frustration.  I decided that it was just going to be that way but I knew that as we got older I would get faster than her.  That day did come and it was in fourth grade when it happened.  I remember thinking to myself that I knew it would come.  If you have ever experienced a similar experience you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't then keep on trying and eventually things will work out.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Savior’s Call to Serve

In the monthly magazine, The Ensign, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson taught us the importance of heeding the call of the Savior.  I enjoyed this message and found it of significance to share with you.

"All who have studied mathematics know what a common denominator is. For Latter-day Saints, there is a common denominator that binds us together. That common denominator is the individual call each of us receives to fill assignments in God’s kingdom here upon the earth.
Are you ever guilty of murmuring when a calling comes to you? Or do you accept with thanksgiving each opportunity to serve your brothers and sisters, knowing that our Heavenly Father will bless those whom He calls?
I would hope that we would not lose the real objective of our cherished opportunities to serve. That objective, that eternal goal, is the same spoken of by the Lord and found in the Pearl of Great Price: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
May we ever remember that the mantle of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe of responsibility. Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God.
By willingly walking the path of service to God, we will never be in the position of Shakespeare’s Cardinal Wolsey. Stripped of his power after a life of service to his king, he sadly lamented:
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
What kind of service does heaven require? “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.”
I pause when I think of the words of President John Taylor (1808–87): “If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.”
Like a glowing searchlight of goodness is the life of Jesus as He ministered among men. “I am among you as he that serveth,” Jesus declared as He brought strength to the limbs of the cripple, sight to the eyes of the blind, hearing to the ears of the deaf, and life to the body of the dead.
With the parable of the good Samaritan, the Master taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. With His answer to the rich young ruler, He taught us to shed our selfishness. With the feeding of the 5,000, He taught us to see to the needs of others. And with the Sermon on the Mount, He taught us to seek first the kingdom of God.
In the New World, the resurrected Lord declared, “Ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.”
We bless others as we serve in the shadow of “Jesus of Nazareth … who went about doing good.”God bless us to find joy in serving our Father in Heaven as we serve His children on earth."

To all people, the call is the same--reach out to those in need and carry out our responsibility to serve all men and women.  Service always makes you feel good.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Some Of Life's Greatest Lessons

We have always enjoyed being together as a family. The joy that we feel as a family comes from doing things together. One of our favorite things to do is work hard to accomplish a particular task or goal. We have always worked well together and we understand that each individual provides a set of specific skills that contribute to the end result.
On Saturday, we worked hard to fulfil a 'Bake Sale' that Danny had lead. His goal was to make enough money to buy a trampoline. I knew that it was possible. With Becky involved I have learned that anything is possible. We began at around 9 AM and the plan was to go until everything was sold or 2 PM. There were a lot of people who came and purchased many goods. At 2 PM, we cleaned up and headed for home, with the knowledge that 'success' was the end result. We didn't have any idea how much money was earned. In the end, the Bake Sale yielded $365. Hard work and teamwork as a family prevailed once again. We saw the kindness and generosity of many people and our lives were blessed because of it. As the kids jump on the new trampoline, I can't help but think of the lessons they have learned, that will last not only in the present but the future just as well. I am grateful for hard work and determination.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In Case You Missed It

The speed of life is an interesting phenomenon.  The older you get the swifter it passes by.  I have always found it interesting to see what emphasis people place on certain things in their life.  I don't judge somebody for something or someone that they find especially important to spend their time with.  I do find it rather interesting when people occupy their time on things that yield absolutely no return on the investment made.
I would ask you to contemplate the things and interests that occupy your time.  While you're thinking I ask this of you: Does your spouse or children find place in your particular interests?  Remember, that when life comes to a close the things that you will think the most about will be the things that deal with the family.  I can't imagine that I will ever wonder why I didn't spend more time at work.  Or was my interest of such import that I may have sacrificed quality time with those who matter the most to me.
I'm not suggesting that interests are not important, I am hoping that those do not overshadow what is of significant worth in the end.
I find myself wondering and hoping that what I spend my time doing is of benefit to those who I have personal stewardship over and that will make the most difference.
Life is the training course that will help determine who I really am.  I want to pass successfully.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Glue That Holds It All Together

I have noticed for many years that being married to Becky is a joy beyond comprehension. I also understand what caliber of woman she is. There are no boundaries at what she is capable of doing. She is extremely creative and she is a 'go-getter'!
I am so grateful for the characteristics she possesses of goodness. She defines the word integrity. She is a solid and devout friend. Her goodness gets overlooked many times but she doesn't do good to be noticed. I love what she has to offer those who know her and those that love her.
I am grateful when I'm in her presence--she makes me a better person.
I hope that all who read this have somebody in their life who 'multiplies' you and helps you reach your potential.
Becky blesses the lives of each of our children and they will hold her in high esteem all the days of their lives and into the eternities.
Thank you for being who you are! I love spending my life with you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ever Been In A Funk?

Life is full of GREAT days!  I love my life but there are times when you have to fight through the trenches and battle until the clouds part and the sun comes shining through.  That's the feeling a friend of mine has had in recent times.  I think we all understand some of those times because its called life.  I have repeated over and over that the clouds of doom and gloom will pass and that when that time comes he needs to look for brighter things and be willing to put a smile on his face and move forward.  That is the key to life.  I like the analogy of falling down and standing back up on your feet, brushing the dirt off of you and then off and running again.  There is a freshness that comes from someone who chooses to look on the 'brightside' of life.  I am convinced that this particular approach will yield the greatest rewards.
If you're currently in a 'funk' keep working through it because things always get better.  We are children of a Creator who made us that way.  Everybody has rough patches but sooner or later those pass and the road gets smoothe again and things do become better.  Patience is important.  There is a time frame for everything and this situation is no different.  Life is full of beauty and wonder and the tough times help us grow and mold us into what we are to become.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dreamers Live On

Our youngest boy, Danny, has always loved the feeling he gets while jumping on a trampoline.  I'm not sure if its the elevation you get when you jump high or if its the feeling of a good work-out, but he loves time spent jumping on the tramp.  We haven't had a trampoline now for a few years.  He has asked many times when we were going to get a trampoline.  Well, the idea came up that we ought to have a bake sale to raise some money to help buy a tramp.  Danny is very excited about it and so that is coming to pass.  On Saturday, August 18, 2012, a bake sale is being held to help with the purchase of this trampoline that Danny will love so much.  It will be held in Magna from 9 AM-2 PM, or until he sells out on 8000 West and about 2900 South.  Danny is looking forward to it and we know that he will learn a few valuable lessons from participating in this worthwhile effort.  Danny always has been a dreamer and I am so grateful for that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Do It The Right Way

As an employee for the Boeing Company, there are many different people with different cultural backgrounds and their upbringing is even more different.  I find it interesting how different a person's work ethic is.  From the day I started as an employee for McDonnell Douglas, I knew that the quality of work I did would in some way directly impact a family member of mine as well as myself.  I knew that a quality product was the only way to go.  Well, a short time ago, a teammate, who is relatively new to the company, approached me about a particular process he had followed while building a specific aircraft detail.  My eye immediately spotted something in his process that wasn't right.  I pointed out my observation and he looked at me like there was no big deal.  I hesitated telling him anything else but couldn't do that in good conscience.  I took a moment to tell him of the importance of doing a good job, the first time.  We talked about many things throughout our conversation.  When we were through discussing the topic I walked away and was grateful for the work ethic I was blessed with.  I was grateful to my parents for instilling in me the importance of doing a good job.
Our lives are filled with opportunities to do the right thing, no matter what it is.  I was reminded, again, that doing things the right way is the best way!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed nego

If you remember one of the great Bible stories from the Old Testament, it comes from the book of Daniel.  This is a great example of good friendships and the influence that friends and making good decisions are in our lives.  Even when faced with death, these three young men would not 'cave in' to the threats of the king.
In our day, we are faced with our own challenges and there are decisions we must make, and some have serious consequences attached to them.  Like we taught our kids, tonight.  Be willing to stand up for the things that are right even if it may cost you something that is 'of the world'. 
Let's have the strength and courage like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed nego. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Face Your Challenges--Head On!

I was taught a great lesson that is valuable for everyone.  Some people have already mastered this approach while others are still learning and will eventually master it.

“Sit straight and tight in the boat and let the waves come to you.”

There are enough things to worry about, in life, without finding others that bind us and hold us captive.  May I suggest a couple of things that I have learned lately?
First, some things in our lives will happen the way they do because the outcome is based on the actions of somebody else.  And second, there are things that happen in a particular way just because they do. 

“Sit straight and tight in the boat and let the waves come to you.”

I think it is great, sound advice that we can all learn and live by.  Every day is a new day filled with endless possibilities.  Today might be that day for you.  Take every situation one at a time. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What Will You Choose, And How Will You Choose It?

I have a man that I know who was involved in a serious criminal act that has landed him in jail--with the potential of a long stay.  I feel bad for the choice that he made and the consequences that now follow.  His is a long road ahead and a lot of pain and suffering for him and his children will yet insue.
I can't emphasize the importance of making good decisions.
Many years ago, I sat in church and was taught a valuable lesson that has helped on several occasions.  The lesson was this.  Make the decisions ahead of time so that when the time comes when you are faced with decisions that need to be made, you have them already made.  That may sound crazy but you would be surprised how effective that solid counsel is.
When Becky and I were first married, we made a committment to one another that we would never go to lunch, alone, with someone of the opposite sex--a co-worker or friend.  We have kept that committment with each other but we have both been faced with the situation and it was easy because we had already made the decision ahead of time.
The lesson was good then and it is still so now.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The End Approaches

For those of you who have kept a close eye on the Olympic's about over.  I am grateful for the things that I've read and seen.  I am grateful for an opportunity for the world to come together in a united venue to compete and to better understand each other.  Here are a few photos that  help us visualize some of the memorable things we've seen.
I haven't watched but a few things but I enjoy when the Olympics come around.  Sunday night wraps them up for another four years.

Brazilian soccer player Romulo adjusts a teammate's head with some on-field chiropractic.

After two weeks of Olympic competition, the hallucinations start kicking in. Lindsey Berg thinks she's looking at Justin Bieber.

Freestyle wrestling includes butt-kicking, head-banging and -- shown here -- boot-licking.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Some of you may know that I work for the Boeing Company.  They are a great company to work for and the opportunities I have to grow are wonderful too. 
In June, the President and CEO of the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group announced his retirement after 38 years with the company.  His replacement is a man by the name of Ray Conner.  He has worked for the company for 34 years and has a resume' filled with valuable experience to lead and guide the division of the Boeing company forward.  I was amazed at the counsel he gave to a large group of Boeing interns at a recent conference. 

"Humility is part of leadership. You've got to have a plan, you've got to prepare yourself, you've got to perform when you get into the job, and you've got to have a strong base of relationships with people."

The part I really wanted to focus on is the characteristic, humility.  No matter your position in life or the responsibilites you have, humility needs to play an important role.  I believe that humility is a key factor in a person's true success.  Whether you're a father or mother, sister or brother, friend, husband or wife, the fact remains the same--being someone who possesses humility will pay huge dividends in the success of your relationships and strengthen those bonds.

I want to be humble and I hope that one day I will get there.  When I'm dead and gone I hope that it will be said of me that I was a goodly and humble man.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One On One

Tonight, Danny and I spent some time walking the sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.  We visited along the way and enjoyed one another's company.  I haven't been alone with Dan for quite some time but tonight seemed like a little piece of heaven. 
A young girl hollered out his name and came running toward him.  He was kind to go up to her and talk with her about the summer and how things were going for her.  She asked him if he could come over and play on another occasion.
I joked with him and really loved to ask him questions about the way he sees life.
What an evening.  I am thankful for fatherhood and the great blessing that it is in my life.
Now I need to make the time to spend one on one with our other three kids.
Life is so generous to me and how thankful I am.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One For The Books

You surely have seen this sprinter.  I am grateful for the inspiration of a person like this who doesn't hold back on an experience of a lifetime and one that could inspire and help somebody else in need.
This is Oscar Pistorius, the sprinter from South Africa.
This picture speaks for itself.

Oscar Pistorius demonstrates his sprinting skills to London Olympic chief Sebastian Coe at an event to launch the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Monday, August 6, 2012

It Can Always Be More Difficult

I sat in church and listened to an individual talk about the challenges that they face.  This person has endured some terrible things but I had to remind myself that my life is very good and I have challenges too.  We all have them and some are more intense than others but we all have the God-given capability to overcome them.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ helps with all of the obstacles that we face.  That is why His act is so important and needed for all of mankind.
Stop for a moment and think about what the Atonement means for you, just today.  I want you to review what that really means.  It is complex and hard to perfectly imagine what He did for you and me, but He did.
I am grateful for all that I learn from the trials that come my way.  I hope that is the same feeling you have.
We are loved and our Father understands what we face completely and fully.  We are never alone.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Words From The Heart

Tonight, we shared moments together that we will remember into the eternities.  We decided to 'go for a ride' in the van and enjoy one another's company.  We enjoy being together as a family and listening to the thoughts and feelings that come from the heart.  Natalie wanted to share a few words from the scriptures that were particularly touching to her.  Each of our four children subsequently shared their feelings and words of scripture that they had studied in church, that meant something to them. 
Becky and I sat in the front seats and glanced over to each other on several occasions, touched by the rehearsal of words and feelings of the heart.  I felt a sense of peace and a glimpse of eternity, if we will do what is right.  I am so thankful for the divine organization of family.  I give thanks for all that I learn and the pure desire I have to do what is good and right.
Tonight was a 'parent payday.'  I am a better person for this experience.  I love my family!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Today we attended a reunion on my Grandpa's side of the family. (my mom's
 dad)  It was an enjoyable time and it was really nice to see some of the people that we don't ever see.  We weren't expecting to see our grandparents.  To our surprise, they showed up.  I learned a couple of valuable lessons.  First, there are people who are very gritty and tough.  I hope to be that kind of person. (I don't think I'll be tough when it comes to reunions, though)  The second thing is sometimes you do things that aren't very fun.  In fact, many things in life are not about you.  I am striving to do things for others because its important to them.
How thankful I was to be in the presence of my grandparents.  It is a joy to be in their midst.  I don't know how long they will be around but today was a great opportunity to be with them and to love them.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Miss You

Two nights ago, our boys spent the night at Becky's parents house for a 'sleep-over'.  Their cousins are in town from St. Louis and so grandpa and grandma had an opportunity to enjoy their grand kids.  Our girls have 'teenage' things that they do and so Becky and I spent the evening alone.  I love spending time with Becky and we really get a kick out of each other.  As I climbed into bed, I felt a slight loneliness for our boys but knew and understood that they were safe and happy. 
I am so grateful for the privilege I have to be a husband and father.  It brings me joy that cannot be measured.  It is easy to feel ungrateful and lose track of the things that are important.  Make a special effort to see all that is good and then be grateful.
Life is how you perceive it to be.  Even during the tumultuous storms that come, there is much for which we can be grateful. 
My family means everything to me.  I love to be with them and enjoy what they have to offer me.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I Love You, Dad

I am a man who is blessed with so many things.  Being born to good parents is an important thing to me and something that I express gratitude for every single day.
Last night, my dad was presented with a very nice recognition from members of the Muslim community in the Sacramento, California area.  My mom accompanied him for this highlighted evening.  As you might remember, my dad currently serves as the president of the Interfaith Council of Sacramento.  I must admit that I'm not a person who is impressed by titles so I'm not boasting about his title...neither is my dad.  I state that only to impress upon your minds the goodness that can be done by a person who is called to lead.  He does that very effectively.  What is his secret?  He LOVES people.  He is accepting of ALL people.  He learns what others believe and then RESPECTS them for how they choose to live. 
When I was a teenager, I attended a early morning seminary class at the church. (Seminary for me was studying and learning about the scriptures and then learning how to apply what I learned to be a better person and a true follower of Jesus Christ.)
My dad substituted for our teacher on a few different occasions.  It excited me and it excited my friends too.  He is the type of man who makes others feel comfortable and he's very easy to be around. 
I am so proud of my dad for his recognition but more importantly I thankful for who he is and who he represents.  I love you, dad!  Thanks for all that you do to bless and enrich my life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Give It Your All

Michael Phelps - 19

Michael Phelps - 19

2004-12 (15 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze)

Arguably the biggest story line coming into this Olympics was Michael Phelps' pursuit of becoming the most medaled Olympian in history. After his gold medal-winning performance with the U.S. in the 4x200 relay teamy, his mission was accomplished in his third Olympics. Not only does Phelps have the most medals, but also 15 of them are gold -- six more than the next best gold haul.

There are great stories from the Olympics.  I watched the opening ceremonies but haven't watched anything else.  I read inspiring stories that are unfolding and it is a tremendous world in which we live!