Graduate Nerf Wars

Nerf Wars lineup

A friendly photograph before we started shooting each other

Rachel graduated with her Bachelors degree in Child & Family Studies and Derek with his M.B.A. To celebrate we ate out, waged Nerf War, and finished with cake. So on Wednesday it was off to Cafe Rio and then to Jake and Rachel’s basement.

We divided into two teams with total annihilation of the opposing team the goal. A player was considered killed when he or she was hit in the head with a Nerf bullet. Each team had LED rings in their team color for identification.

I spent most of my time as a Nerf War correspondent, taking photographs on the front lines. Yes, it was a war out there…

Nerf Wars - Adelaide


Nerf Wars - Aurora


Nerf Wars - Dan


Nerf Wars - Derek


Nerf Wars - Jake


Nerf Wars - Jill


Nerf Wars - Megan


Nerf Wars - Paul


Nerf Wars - Rachel


Nerf Wars - Steven


Graduates Rachel and Derek

In the end we all ate a Congratulations Grads cake

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Grand Canyon Addendum

Family members who have seen this video have requested that I post it. A kind of Grand Canyon addendum to our recent trip. I about fall over laughing every time I watch Jill’s little stumble.

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So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Kaysville

Paul moving furniture

Derek and Sarah have been back from Texas since June and staying with family. Yesterday it was time for them to move back into their own home. We loaded the truck and trailer with their belongings that were stored with Steven and Adelaide. The photograph of Paul reminds me of a television show I used to watch a few years ago.

Loading the truck

Loading the truck and trailer. Steven is the one with the hat.

Loading the piano

Loading the piano. Left to right: Derek, Paul, Jake, and Steven.

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Wasatch Mountain State Park

I wanted to take my grandchildren camping so I made reservations for two campsites. I then invited the parents to go and before the day was out they were ready for the trip. So last weekend we went to Wasatch Mountain State Park. We camped overnight at Little Deer Creek Campground.

Here are a few of the photographs and videos taken by Steven, Jill, and Rick. Click on the images to enlarge. If you cannot see the videos, click here.

We unloaded and pitched the tents. We were only staying overnight but it seemed like we had food for a week. That’s Jill by the picnic table. The campsites were large, had running water, and some had shade. We had quite a view.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

I brought plenty of wood for a fire to cook our hot-dogs.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Aurora was ready to eat…

Wasatch Mountain State Park

…just about anything.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

After we ate Bryson and Aurora put to good use the local materials that were lying around. Aurora used her truck to level the ground.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

We had lots of adults to go around when the grandchildren needed to be held. Here is Sarah with Aurora.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Steven with Cassandra. Steven is the one on the right.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Derek with Bryson.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

And me.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

We retired to our tents while Jake slept out in the open.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

In the morning, before breakfast, Derek took Bryson for a walk.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Jake is a handy guy to have around when you are hungry for some ham.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Sarah appears to be enjoying her breakfast.

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Any left for me?

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Before noon we broke camp and drove a few miles onto federal land to visit Cascade Springs in Uinta National Forest. The trail through Cascade Springs consists primarily of a raised boardwalk which crosses over a series of clear shallow pools. Calcite mineral deposits accumulated and formed terraces over which the water cascades.

Adelaide holds Cassandra, who didn’t really want to see running water just right now.

Cascade Springs

Jill loves the outdoors…

Cascade Springs

…while Cassandra has yet to make up her mind.

Cascade Springs

I do believe we will go camping again. There is no better way to spend the weekend than with family.

Cascade Springs

The water coming from the springs has made a long journey from limestone caverns deep within the earth. Forced through cracks and fissures, the water emerges here as “travertine”. The deposits have gradually accumulated to make the terraces for the pools at Cascade Springs. Approximately seven and one-half million gallons flow from the springs each day.

Independence Day Kaysville Rotary Run For Reading 5K

Davis High School Flag

Davis High School Flag

This morning was the Independence Day Kaysville Rotary 12th Annual 10K and 5K Run / 5K Walk “Run for Reading” at the Davis High School Stadium. In 2009 there were 873 participants who entered, beating the previous year by over 200 runners. The proceeds of the $15 race registration will go towards the purchase of “I Like Me” reading books for Kaysville area elementary school children.

I was there to take a few photographs. Click on the images to enlarge.

Before the race

Before the race

Sarah's friend Jennifer and her husband

Sarah's with her friend Jennifer and her husband

Sarah, Derek, Jill, and Bryson

Sarah, Derek, Jill, and Bryson

Bryson was not too thrilled at the early morning start to the race

Bryson was not too thrilled at the early morning start to the race

Start of the 5K segment

Start of the 5K segment

Run For Reading 5K

Run For Reading 5K

Run For Reading 5K

Jill at the finish (39:25:00)

Jill at the finish (39:25:00)

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson at the finish

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson at the finish

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Return From Texas Exile

Derek, Bryson, and Sarah

Derek, Bryson, and Sarah

Perhaps the title of my post is somewhat over done but to me it seems like Derek, Sarah, and Bryson have been in exile. However, the part that says return is right on. Yes, Derek, Sarah, and Bryson are returning to Utah. Derek has found work in Salt Lake City and the family will be here by Memorial Day.

When Jill heard the news she was just ecstatic. Jill is not an emotional women (sounds contradictory, I know) but this once she was a whoopin’ and a hollerin’ all over the house. You could not find a happier woman in all of creation.

I am just glad it has finally happened, a lot sooner than I supposed. I admit the last month I have been praying every morning for them to return. Why am I then surprised when prayers are answered? Lack of faith I suppose.

One thing is known for sure. We won’t be letting them get away so easily the next time, if there ever is a next time.

Welcome home!

Photograph by Adelaide

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Cowboys Stadium Tour

Cowboys Stadium tickets

Sarah has Cowboys Stadium tickets

Why is Sarah smiling? Because she has Cowboys Stadium Tour tickets. One each for Derek and herself and her parents. Bryson gets to go in free. Tours of Cowboys Stadium allow fans behind-the-scenes access to several areas including the Cowboys Locker Room, Cheerleaders Locker Room, Playing Field, Private Clubs, Media Interview Room and other areas.

Cowboys Stadium big screen

The center-hung video display board is the largest high-definition television screen in the world

Cowboys Stadium Jill and Bryson

Jill and Bryson watch the big screen

Cowboys Stadium is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. It serves as the home of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. It replaced the partially-covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, and served as the Cowboys’ home through the 2008 season. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the 3rd largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity.

Cowboys Stadium football

A football in the ceiling

Cowboys Stadium encouraging words

Some words of encouragement

The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, has the world’s largest column-free interior and the largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility can also be used for a variety of other activities outside of its main purpose (professional football) such as concerts, religious ceremonies, basketball games, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, motorcross races and rodeos similar to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Cowboys Stadium Derek Jill Bryson Sarah

Derek, Jill, Bryson, and Sarah, on their way to visit the private suites

Cowboys Stadium private suite

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson would be enjoying the game in luxury, if there was one

Cowboys Stadium was designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS. Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium’s current construction cost was $1.3 billion, making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built. To aid Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in paying the construction costs of the new stadium, Arlington voters approved the increase of the city’s sales tax by 0.5 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding, and Jones covered any cost overruns. Also, the NFL provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million, as per their policy for giving teams a certain lump sum of money for stadium financing.

Cowboys Stadium Tony Romo locker

Bryson and Derek by Tony Romo's locker

Cowboys Stadium cheerleaders lockers

Bryson at the cheerleaders lockers

A pair of nearly 300 ft-tall arches spans the length of the stadium dome, anchored to the ground at each end. The new stadium also includes more than 3,000 Sony LCD displays throughout the luxury suites, concourses, concession areas and more, offering fans viewing options that extend beyond the action on the field and a center-hung video display board that is the largest high-definition television screen in the world. Glass doors, allowing each end zone to be opened, were designed and constructed by Dallas-based Haley-Greer glass systems.

Cowboys Stadium at the 10

Bryson makes it to the 10

Cowboys Stadium at the end zone

Jill, Bryson, Sarah, Derek, and Rick are in the end zone

The retractable roof was designed by structural engineering firm Walter P Moore and the systems were implemented by mechanization consultants Uni-Systems. These Kinetic Architecture fundamentals will be employed in order to create quick conversions of the facility to accommodate a variety of events. When the design was officially unveiled on December 12, 2006, it showed that, from inside the stadium, the roof will look very similar to the Texas Stadium roof, with its trademark hole. However, it can be covered by the retractable roof panel to protect against the elements.

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium Tom Landry

Tom Landry, head coach 1960 to 1988, career record 270 - 178 - 6, Super Bowl Champions 1971 and 1977

Photos by Rickety. Text by Wikipedia.
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Baby Bryson Is Blessed

Derek and Bryson in the church foyer after the blessing

Derek and Bryson in the church foyer after the blessing

Today we headed over to the Kaysville 12th Ward for Bryson’s blessing. Bryson’s relatives were there in large numbers on this happy day. For those unfamiliar with the naming and blessing of children I will explain. Under the direction of the presiding authority (usually the bishop of the ward), brethren who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may participate in the ordinance of naming and blessing children (see Doctrine & Covenants 20:70). When blessing a baby, brethren gather in a circle and place their hands under the baby. Normally the father follows these steps:

  1. Addresses our Heavenly Father.
  2. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  3. Gives the child a name.
  4. Adds words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
  5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Bryson was very alert during the blessing but didn’t cry. There were thirteen brethren in the circle and Derek spoke with a clear voice. The part of the blessing that I remember the clearest is where Bryson was blessed to have a thirst for secular and spiritual knowledge.

The blessing took place today rather than on the usual Fast Sunday because Derek was expected to be out of town next week. After Sacrament Meeting we congregated at Derek and Sarah’s home for a breakfast. Then out came all the cameras and we had a blast taking hundreds of photographs.

Go here for a hi-res (4.1 Mb) photograph of Bryson.

Related Posts

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson
Baby Bryson: Six Days Old
How Many Toys Does It Take To Entertain Bryson?

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Bear Lake Trip

Rick riding a Jet Ski on Bear Lake

On this trip we had Rick (me), Jill, Paul, Daniel, Derek, and Sarah in our van. In the Excursion hauling the jet skis were Kent, Susan, Byron, Shauna, Melissa, and Miguel. Connie and Mark will arrive tomorrow after work as will Scott, Conner, and Ashley. From Kaysville we slipped onto northbound I-15 to Brigham City to pick up the keys to the cabin. We then headed through Sardine Canyon to Logan. Then Logan Canyon took us to Bear Lake. The forecast for tomorrow is 100 degrees in the valley so this is a perfect time to go to higher elevations.
Working with Google Docs on my Eee PC
While Jill drives I am putting my new Eee PC to the test, typing this report as I ride. Before leaving I synced my Google Docs using Google Gears so I can work off-line. Then when I get home I will sync back to my online Google Docs. The keyboard is surprisingly easy to type with and the screen is easy to see. There are four modes to help with battery life. Power Saving, High Performance, and Super Performance which I surmise will really crank up the CPU speed. For laggards just slip into Auto. On a trip there is always some dead time so I purchased this little Eee to write my blogs. The battery looks like it will last at least six hours. After an hour of driving we stopped at a Wendys to eat. One can get a little peckish after an hour on the freeway. Bear Lake is two hours away so why not break at the half-way point? Let’s not overdo it. At the cabin the light was beginning to fade so we hung around playing games like Rumba Cube and I gave Frozen Bubbles and Crack Attack a spin on the Eee. Paul and Daniel always beat me at Frozen Bubbles. Jill and I shared a room with Derek and Sarah and once she stopped giggling we were all able to get to sleep.

About Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a natural freshwater lake with a unique turquoise-blue color, the result of suspended limestone deposits in the water. It is the second largest natural freshwater lake in Utah and has been called the “Caribbean of the Rockies”. Bear Lake was formed at least 150,000 years ago by fault subsidence that continues today, slowly deepening the lake along the eastern side. The lake was discovered in 1819 by Donald Mackenzie, an explorer for the North West Fur Company who discovered the lake in 1819, and named it Black Bear Lake.

On Bear Lake

Susan and Kent Ward tubing on Bear LakeAfter a pleasant night’s sleep Shauna took off at 7:30am to the beach to throw down some blankets to reserve a spot. We launched the jet skis and each of us took a turn riding them. I decided to have Derek drive a jet ski and I be a passenger and take some pictures. As I was climbing on Daniel wanted me to leave the camera. I kept it, but being my usual rickety self, could not keep my balance. As I fell off backwards into the water I stuck my hand in the air holding the camera. As I went under Daniel grabbed the camera out of my hand.

We had lunch at the beach and when Scott arrived with the boat we went tubing. This was the first time I had rode a tube. I just had to hang on. I tried leaning to each side as the boat turned and I leaned the wrong way and fell off. I got back on and Daniel drove the boat faster. I was doing very well until Jill told Daniel, “Sharp turns! Sharp turns!” She caught me on video rolling over — it looked quite spectacular. I will mention here that it is advisable to let go once you are in the water. It is a little hard to hold on and to breath. After a few seconds I figured this out and let go. The water was warm and clear blue. Byron, Daniel, and Miguel made sand castles and Ashley threw buckets of water at a dog for it to catch. The dumb dog thought the water was a ball. It chased the waves that were breaking and tried to catch them. In the afternoon the beach got busier. It is a private beach so that we didn’t have to mix with the peasantry. However, it didn’t seem that private with all the people arriving. Derek had to wrestle the beach umbrella back to land when a breeze blew it away. Scott also had to chase after his boat when his it lost its moorings and was floating away.

Return From Bear Lake

Derek had to run after the beach umbrella when a breeze blew it into the lake.
The next day five of us left for home after a breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Scott is a very good host, letting us use his cabin and boat. He let us use his bedroom while he slept in his truck. In the morning he asked if I had slept well and when I was leaving he told me to get a bottle of cold water from the fridge for the ride home. We enjoyed our time here and will be returning soon to eat our bear lake raspberry shakes which we missed out on this time around.
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