Sunday, March 29, 2009

Porter - weened and walking

So, I just have to give a shout out for Porter.
Since he turned one last Monday, it was decided (as with the other kids) that he would be weened in short order.
Well, he doesn't like that and has been going through withdrawals. As part of the mourning process, he has taken up walking. He took his first real steps today.
I guess we have another Dallin on our hands. Going straight to walking and by-passing the crawl (unless you consider his modified army crawl a real crawl).

Daddy Daughter Date

Saturday, March 21 Daddy and Emma had a date. The most wonderful kind.

Emma learned how to ski!

Shortly before my birthday in mid- February, the kids had learned I was going to go skiing as part of my birthday gift (Thanks for the help, mom and dad). They decided that they wanted to learn how to ski. So for family home evening I got my skis, boots, and poles to show them how to use the equipment. Emma became so excited that she made me promise to take her. Every weekend since, she was on me to take her. So on March 21 we got up early went to Eden, UT, where we rented her skis and bought an edgie wedgie (little device that attaches to the front of the skis so they stay together), and continued up to Powder Mountain (Matthew went there with me a few years ago when he came out before his mission).

She picked up the technique in record time. By the second time down, she was skiing without almost any help and by lunch time she was telling me to stop telling her what to do. She loved it so much that I had to put my foot down and tell her no more runs! She didn't like that and made me promise to go again. I asked if we could go on her birthday, she said no, because "that is too far away". Well, unfortunately, I don't think she will get her wish. We are running out of weekends and the snow will give way to the summer heat all too soon. However, I did tell her that Nana and Papa would love to take her sometime in the future. Thanks Nana and Papa for your generosity.

Here are a few pics from the day. I will try to upload video sometime if I can figure out why it isn't working on my laptop. Until then, enjoy these.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Savannah and Abigail's Spring Break Video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Porter!

One whole year!!! Hope it's great (and don't hesitate to post pics, mom and dad)!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Savannah and Abigail's Spring Break 2009

We were supposed to spend our Spring Break between Oklahoma and Colorado, but as we've learned, things always change at the last minute and normally as Daddy is headed out to see his little girls. This visit did not disappoint in that regard; Daddy was already on the road when he was told plans were changing--Nuf-said...
In life, when given lemons I don't make lemonade--that is the obvious thing to do. Instead I strive to make Cherry Lime-aide so those observing can say "how in the world did he do it?" And so it was for Spring Break 2009, I was dealt a bushel of lemons and did what had to be done to make something sweet out of it.
I left Oklahoma after work on Friday and found myself in Idaho Sunday night sleeping in a hospital bed with Savannah. She had a lung problem that was given 3 different names depending on which small town doctor or nurse I talked to. Monday morning she was released and we got Abigail and went to the Willow Park Zoo in Logan. You never would have known Savannah was just in the hospital. We took it easy, but she seemed as happy and healthy as any little girl with a runny nose and a slight cough.
We had to take Abigail back to her mom and then Savannah and I stayed in the Marriott (thanks to Uncle Matt who hooked us up with a good deal!) since the doctor was worried that staying with Grandma might get her sick--he wasn't sure if Savannah was contagious still or not. Hmmm.
We got Abigail back the next day and decided to do some site seeing. We found ourselves in Promontory,Utah, to visit the Golden Spike National Monument. We saw the RR tracks and learned a little bit about trains.
Then a miracle happened! The girls' mama said Abigail could stay with us for 2 whole nights! That was a first!!
Later in the week, Savannah, Abigail and I found ourselves at Aunt Carrie's in South Salt Lake City. We stayed there for a couple of nights and had some fun hanging out with Mia (the "puppy goggy")and Carrie.
We went up to Park City and saw the Olympic Park, then finished our visit with a dip in the Great Salt Lake--Oh the bitterness of that water and the bitter taste of having to return these two sweet girls back to their mother.
Guess like lemons you have to get past the bitter rind in order to find the sweetness within. I think we found it in this visit. There are two little girls who might not fully understand it, but they know their Daddy loves them very deeply and he knows he would go ends of the earth for them.
Thankfully this time it was just to Idaho.
Silly Girls--always trying to get away with stuff behind Daddy's back

Just hanging out at the Marriott

Savannah likes to put Abigail on her lap--remember that Abby weighs the same as Savannah!

The Golden Spike Monument out in Promontory, Utah, where the last spike was driven when the transcontinental railroad was connected.

Having a picnic near Promontory Point.

At the Utah Olympic Park in Park City Utah! Didn't have enough time to take a bobsled ride...maybe next time!

Dipping our feet in the Great Salt Lake, on the west side of Antelope Island.

The idea was to role up the pant to avoid soaking everybody's pants. After all the splashing we should have just jumped all the way in!

Footprints and Shadows in the Sand.

"Savannah Speaks"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Save the date

I'm not gonna say why just yet (ya'll probably know anyway!) but if you would all kindly save May 30th, 2009 on your calendars and not schedule any trips out of the country or anything, that would be great! Love ya and I'll see you then if not sooner! ;)

Take a look at this story

I might have mentioned before, back in December 3 girls in our ward were in a terrible car crash, finally the last one was able to go home after 77 days in the children's hospital in denver. Well, our news station, 9 news, got a hold of a story highlighting a school paper this girl had written shortly before the crash, 'what courage means to me, by Brooke Gardner' After reading the paper, I was truely amazed that an 11 year old wrote it. You can check out the story and the paper on the 9 news website.

The Young CO Millers update

Well, I realized that it's been awhile since I posted more than just a quick note on a few things, so I decided that I got a little bit of time at work tonight (I was called into do the over night with only a few hours to get some rest before coming in) so here is a little bit. Well, I just finished a week of midterms, all four midterms happened to be on Monday, so that was nice to get them out of the way, but I still had to go to class on Wednesday. So school is going well, I've got two fun classes, both flight simulator classes, and surprising to me, I'm doing better than most students who already have their private pilot license, or at least my pretty little patterns on the computer screen look a bit better. Maybe someday I can transfer that all over to real flying. My other two classes are pretty boring to me, economics, joy. Well, half way done with the semester!!
Christy is take a class up at Aims CC. She started off with a math class, but when the teacher expected the students to already know the material without him actually teaching it, she decided to switch to another class that fitted her schedule, so water color was it, and after she started 2 or 3 weeks late, she got caught up in like 1 class period, and she of course amazed her teacher with her painting ability. We do believe it was a good thing she switched, though math comes easy to some, and difficult to others, she might have stressed over the math class to much, especially since we later found out that she would be expecting. So Christy and I will become parents this year. The due date is Oct 14th, and so far everything is going well, and though Christy does get the morning sickness, it hasn't been like some of the horror stories that we've heard many women complain about. So we are very excited for these challenges and joys that a new baby will bring.
Christy is still working on her book. She is doing a re-edit on the first book, and should be finishing up soon, then she will start back at trying to promote it more than she has been able to recently. She does have a book signing and an art class coming up soon at the local Barnes and Noble, a two day event that should help get her name out there a bit more. And for you who are waiting for book two, don't worry, it'll be coming out soon, maybe, hopefully.
Well, that's really most of the news/updates that we have, it's been good to read what all you have written, since there was a big gap of very little being written by us. Hope that all goes well for every one, and we look forward to hopefully seeing everyone come the end of may(?). We love you all, and will talk to y'all later!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

X-Country Solo--Complete!

Finally, after weeks of strong surface winds and even stronger at 3000 to 6000 feet--must be Oklahoma, the winds finally calmed down a little bit. So it was time to complete my last major requirement before being able to be tested for my Private Pilot Certificate (to be finished very soon)! The FAA requires a Cross Country Solo Flight of 150 nautical miles or greater with landings at 2 other airports besides your own. So I took off from KPWA (Wiley Post) flew west to KSCM (Clinton Sherman Moore) in Clinton OK, then Southeast to KADM (Ardmore Municipal) in Ardmore, then back over Oklahoma City to my home Airport, about 277 nautical miles as the crow flies. Obviously it all went well. What follows are pics and excerpts from my trip!

ME: "Wiley Post Ground 2099D(elta) @ Oklahoma Aviation with Tango, Request Taxi to 35 Right. Flight Following 262 at Flight Level Four-Thousand Five-Hundred."

KPWA Tower: "2099D(elta) Taxi to and hold short runway 35 Right, left turnout approved, Departure Frequency 124.6, SWAK 5120."

That's me on the Taxi way headed to the active runway at KPWA

ME: "Oke City (Oak City) Departure, Skyhawk 2099D off Wiley Post climbing through Two-thousand five-hundred."

Departure: "2099D climb on course and Ident."

That's me en route to KSCM

Me: "Sherman Tower, Skyhawk 2099D 10 miles to the east inbound to land with the ASOS (A-sauce--Not for steak BTW)."

Tower: "2099D, plan Right Base runway 35 right. Wind 320 @ 8, dew point is minus 2, Altimeter is Two Niner, Niner, Niner, no traffic observed between you and the airport, report on right base at 2 miles out."

That's me standing next to 2099D on the ground @ KSCM

Ft Worth Center: "2099D, Altimeter is Three zero, zero, zero, frequency change approved, contact Fort Sill Approach on 118.00."

Me: "Three zero, zero, zero, frequency change approved, Contacting Ft Sill on 118.0, good day."

Me: "Ft Sill Approach, 20099D with you Five-thousand Five-hundred"

Ft Sill: "Radar Contact, continue on course"

That's me somewhere over Oklahoma (of course I know where I am) Cruising at 5,400, 108 knots Indicated Air Speed, 120 knots ground speed, headed to KADM (Ardmore).

Me: "Ardmore Tower, 2099D 12 miles to the West inbound to land with Echo"

Ardmore Tower: "2009D make left base for runway 35 clear to land."

Me: "Clear to land, runway 35, 2099D."

Me: "Ardmore tower, 2099D going around"

KADM Tower: "go around, make right downwind for 35"

KADM: "2009D, left on Alpha-one Right on Alpha, Taxi to parking"

Me: "Alpha-one, Alpha, to Parking 2099D"

That's a CAP Plane and some Jet, the only others I saw at Ardmore. The on-field Restaurant was closed--frown--but the Tower was open!

Me: "Oke City approach, 2099D is over Oklahoma University, request transition to Class Charlie Airspace, inbound to land at Wiley Post."
Approach: "2099D, maintain course, stay north-east of the Downtown building and continue onto Wiley Post."
Me: "Oke City approach 2099D, would like to cancel with you and transition to Class Delta Airspace, inbound to land Wiley Post."
Approach: "Frequency change approved, radar service terminated, contact Wiley Post Tower on One two six Niner."
Me: "Frequency Change Approved, going to 126.9"

Me: "Wiley Post Tower, 2099D, about 4 miles north east inbound to land with Tango"
Tower: "2099D clear to land runway 17 left, wind 150 @ 10, altimeter 30.03"
Me: "Clear to land 17 left, 2099D"
That's me with 2099D after a successful flight.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Too proud for words

Hello, my lovelies! I wish you could know what is in my heart: It is over-flowing with love and joy! I see you all moving forward and doing such wonderful things. I am so proud - the good pride, not the bad!

Congrats to Carrie for a little one to love and take care of. Mia is a cutie and I am glad she makes you happy - and even more responsible! ;) You do have the support and acceptance of one of your parents, but I probably wouldn't make a good dog-sitter. :(

Yea for Matt and Christy. Waiting for that first baby is one of the most exciting life-changing moments (okay, months to you, but it really is only a moment if you could see it from my perspective!) of your life. It will never be the same again, and that's okay too. Great, in fact. I am holding my breath for the ATC paperwork to come in, JUST IN TIME, to make all the other deadlines work. But in any case, we are here to help mama Christy anyway we can, even though she has many other helpers close by too.

Cameron, all you do for your girls is totally incredible to me. So much, with such a little reward of time. Of course, it's extra nice for us because we get to see you more often this way, but we would give that up in a minute if it could be better for you. Good luck with all the challenges you face in the near future.

Nathan, you inspire me and I wish there were other ways we could enjoy you and your family more often. The kids are growing up so fast, even faster than you all did, so it seems, and that was just a blink of an eye. Keep up the good thoughts, work - the home work kind - and give those sweet kids and beautiful wife an extra hug now and again for me. Wishing I could do it more often myself.

Darcey, I've waited a long time to see you so happy, it thrills my heart just to hear it in your voice and see it in your face, even if it is only in pictures. Rob is beyond words. Just the thought of him coming to our house was exciting enough, but he exceeded any and all of the high expectations we had and demanded for our "lung yady." And just so you all know, we did ask if he was an Eagle Scout: Obviously so, since he passed the acid test and your dad was more than pleased with what he saw and heard, though he didn't appear to show it! He wants you to be happy, but it's still hard to give up his little girl-which other dad's of this family will learn some day, too. I can't wait to have everyone else meet him. He fits so well in our growing-little group. Darcey, one question: Did you and your grma A. get together and decide you'd teach me a lesson? It parallels your dad and my "courtship" and marriage plans so awfully close, and as more details come out, others may marvel at the commonalities too. Just cause it worked didn't mean you had to follow it. ;) Poor Carrie: How is she going to follow in your footsteps now?! Are there any other real men out there? (It's okay, Carrie; I've got faith in you! No worries!)

Your dad left this morning for Nepal. I'm not sure what you all know, but this isn't for hiking, though there will be some of that. It's for the work that is being done to make the medical center and school for the remote village that Jagat came from, where it takes 9 hours of walking just to get to medical help. Now there is going to be a medical center for the people who live there thanks to the efforts of Randy, Bob and to a little lesser degree, your dad. Randy really got it going with the corporate backing of Intrada, the company he works for. There is a rather large contingent going, so it will be quite different. I do know that he flew into Newark today and then onto Delhi, India. That flight is about 14 hours long. Then they have a 15 hour lay-over before flying on to Kathmandu, Nepal, arriving on Sunday afternoon, the 8th. He will basically be out of touch until he returns to the states, which will be on Monday, 23 March. What kind of surprises could we come up with while he's gone? Hmm-m-m-m...

I am fine. I've got lots of projects lined up for myself (what would mom be without her projects?) and I am busy at school. Still in second grade. (Dallin, there is another kid in my new class that reminds me of you, again. Blonde, blue-eyed and smart, alot like you! I guess I just want to have you in my class, so these other boys show up so I think of you.) I tend to live it (school) almost 24/7, but am hoping I can let some of it go a little since we are on the down-hill side of the year. (Any bets?) I've done both parent-teacher conferences for this school year, and just finished doing report cards, yet some people still call me, "Just a sub!" Them's fightin' words!!!! I only get sub pay, but I do all the work. Not complaining, -too much. I was glad I could help my friend, Mary, during this very difficult time for her. So it's worth it.

Family Vacation (I hate the word "reunion") thoughts:
Nathan's family is looking at going to Disneyland this fall and has "invited" others to join. You all know that I've wanted to get something going, but I have the bad habit of procrastination, thinking that now won't be a good time because.... or because.... But if we don't start somewhere, it will never happen. SO, thanks Nathan, for getting the ball rolling. Keep us all posted (here is a good place for that) on the plans - when it may be, and we'll see what else others can do. I'm guessing Matt and Christy won't be available, nor Darcey and Rob, but who knows? Stranger things have happened. (Remember our trip to DisneyWorld? That was a true-blue miracle, right down to Cameron's knee surgery, so even he could go - sorry Cam. ) Anyway, other ideas I've had are: Renting a condo at a ski resort, during ski season, of course; Renting a house-boat on Lake Powell so we can skip along the water in the jet-skiis; Meeting/camping in Yellowstone [Darcey, it might be more fun with Rob around ;) ]; a cruise (now, that's a REAL dream!). Other ideas out there????? Post it. Let's talk.

Well, enough of my epistle. I guess that's why I don't do this too often: I talk way too much.

But most of all, please remember I am so very proud of you all and love you more than you know. Some of you THINK you know, but you have to have done it as long as I have to REALLY KNOW! so....

I win!!
I've got the best kids in the world!
Love you lots and lots and lots.....
Hug, hug!! Kiss, kiss!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just a quick note

Well, I had my ATC interview this past Tuesday, after a quick 45 min interview, my interviewer, Sharon, told me that that she would send her recommendation for me to have the job to OK city, and then they would get a hold of me for more paper work, mainly my medical and background checks. She told me it could be up to 6 months down the road, hmm more waiting, it's only been a year since I took the test, what more is 6 months? Well, if that is the case, the good news is I can finish this semester of school. The bad news is that (for those direct family members this should not be news anymore but for the rest of you it just might be) the timing would be right around the time Christy will be due to deliver, I would hate to miss that because of 3-4 months of training in OK City but, I guess I'll have to do what my family needs me to do (I may take one day of training off, but I'm advised that that would be a very unwise thing to do). So I'm just waiting and continuing with what I'm doing so far, and hope that it all goes well.

Darcey's Visit To Oklahoma

Darcey was here, got to spend some time with her, saw her smile a lot, met Rob (again), made a video, thought I'd share!

Wonderful Challenges

I came home late tonight thanks to a wonderful work schedule that will never allow me to do anything the first few days of any given month. Nothing. No matter how sick or how hurt (even Tiffany having a baby did not stop me from working during these nights as we close our monthly books). Death might give me some allowance, but even then, I wonder how things will get done without me. Not that I am that important but nobody knows my bookkeeping strategies or understand the intricacies of my division. So I work and it gives me satisfaction that I will probably have a job well into the future. As soon as the boss has somebody else learn my areas of responsibility, then I will fear. Well, I do digress and I did not get on to talk about work.

Instead... let us talk about politics!! Just kidding. Tiffany was awake as I returned home, watching a movie. Normally, when I get home late on some of these nights I usually expect to find her either in bed or downstairs on the computer doing finances. I guess we both like late night bookkeeping. But no, this time she was up with Porter watching a movie. As I came into the room he perked up his head to see what was the commotion. Then, with a straight face that only Porter can do, he just stared at me. Finally, he came to me and we enjoyed some time together playing around as Tiffany finished the movie. It reminded me of the good ol' days back in Logan when I would come home late at night (every night) and play with the kids (Tiff kept Dallin and Emma up so they could see daddy as they did not see me due to morning classes and working late). It reminded me of a time that we had little but enjoyed life. I am sure that in the daily chores of taking care of kids and having no husband around to help, Tiffany may not see it like that. Of course, taking 7:30 classes and leaving school to go straight to work until 10:00 at night wasn't that fun for me either. But as I look back, I think of what a wonderful time it was in our life. Obviously it wasn't wonderful in the fact that I didn't spend a ton of time with my family (sufficient, but not a ton), or in that we were busy going to school, or that we had to worry about how to pay to fix the car if it broke down or a myriad of other possible issues that abounded. But I still look back and think, what a wonderful time. Why? - Because we were working together for a cause that was just and a challenge to meet.

May I suggest, family, that if you ever think your life is not going somewhere, pick a challenge and go for it. I see Dad heading off to Nepal again. The challenge is not the next climb up a mountain, as fun as I know that is for dad. But it would seem the challenge is finding ways to help a people he has fallen in love with. A people who are half way around the world.

It really doesn't matter the challenge. I see Carrie getting her beautiful puppy, Mia. The challenge isn't buying the food or the vet bills, it is the challenge of taking care of something that depends on you. When somebody (or something) is dependent upon you and you sense the responsibility, we may raise to the challenge.

Sometimes we go looking for challenges. Look at Matt and his FAA dream. He has worked so hard for this opportunity. Why somebody would want to take on that kind of stress and responsibility, I don't know? Two planes on a collision course separated by five miles of thin air will rely on Matt to guide them safely to their destination. Way to go Matt in going after a dream. Challenges often are brought upon by our own aspirations and as we accomplish them, a sense of purpose and fulfillment fills our bosoms. Matt, just don't let me crash the next time I am in your airspace. ;)

Sometimes challenges come as we develop talents and hobbies. Darcey and her budding business interests: Cupcakes and other tasty treats. Now there is a challenge. Who would ever have thought that cup cakes would be the main ingredient in a business plan? Now, I don't know Darcey if you are even considering such an establishment, but as you play with tastes, sizes, and possible sales, there is a challenge that you rise to meet. A better recipe, a better flavor, a new idea. It moves us forward to better and greater opportunities.

Some challenges come when we wish they wouldn't. But as they come, we still push forward and make the best lemonade smoothie invented (Darcey, you should get into this as well - especially in Phoenix - yum!). As I have watched Cameron and the challenges of being a father yet being far away from his children has been a heart wrenching experience for me. But the time, expense, and love that he expends on his girls to spend time with them shows how we might rise to the challenge no matter the circumstances. No doubt this is not how he wants it, but he works as best he can to be with them often. His rise to meet this challenge has been an inspiration to me indeed!

I want to thank you all for being inspirations to me. Life is full of fun and amusement, but it is the challenge of life that leaves us fulfilled. Mom, you are truly the most inspiring. Staying home to raise five wonderful children may have been fun, it may have been a sacrifice, it may have been a blessing, or quite possibly a curse. Yet, through the challenge of being our mother, we have all surfaced with resilience and fortitude that will get us through much of what life has to offer. Thank you. (However, your organizational skills did not rub off on me. I wonder how life would be different if my home were full of quotes and sticky notes.) :)

Cheers to you all and sorry, this may not have been a 'fun' piece to read, maybe even a 'challenge' to get through, but to me, it made me appreciate my family and the challenges we all go through. It is these experiences that build our character and strengthen us for future challenges which we will look back and wonder with amazement why we enjoyed those times soo much.

It is now too late to stay up any longer and I must get to bed with the challenge of getting up early to go and run. Now there is a challenge!

Good luck to you all on your next challenge.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday!!!

Here's wishing Nathan a Happy Happy Birthday!!!