Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Movies of 2011 (JOE)

We Bought A Zoo ++
Soul Surfer ++
17 Miracles ++
The Help ++
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol ++
Harry Potter Series (-2011) ++
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Sherlock Holmes: The Game of Shadows
Warrior **Note: This movie is not for kids due to its including intense drug abuse and violence**

Christmas Stories

After listening to President Thomas S. Monson give an inspiring Christmas devotional this season, Julia and I determined to read The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. We took turns reading it aloud. I also insisted that Julia read the voices. I loved it and it was an excellent way to celebrate the season.

For Christmas we received a copy of The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke. I also read that this season and I agree with President Monson it is a suberp and worthwhile story. I loved the imagery and felt it was very easy to identify with the characters.

Friday, December 23, 2011

What A Christmas Miracle

This week Julia, her sister J, and I were in a car accident on the way to work. We were very blessed to leave the car crash safely. We were traveling US 189 alongside the river and I lost control of the car--this resulted in the car bouncing between guard rails while spinning. We all walked away from the scene on our own two feet and none of us were cut up or burned worth a nickel. Multiple inspired prayers had been given for our safety prior to the crash and I believe that it was a Christmas miracle that all is well. We also enjoyed the kindness of strangers who immediately pulled over and offered to help and to let us keep warm inside their cars and who even stayed until the police had arrived. On top of that, our boss came down and picked us up and paid to have us checked out at the hospital and eat breakfast. He even took us to get some pain killer out of his very generously kind heart.

You may wonder what this post and the ginger bread house have to do with each brother W fed us twice this week and invited us to make gingerbread houses together. This is our home--complete with snow topped roof, licorice brick walkway, and skittles door. All creatively cool ideas provided by Julia. I am forever grateful that she was protected during the crash. I love her.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa Claus Came To Las Vegas

This year Papi got to assist Santa by filling in for him during the Ward Christmas party. He was very appreciative of being on team Santa and he also appreciated that only one child cried. Although, he did say several of them had very soft little voices.

This Christmas

Here's a new Christmas song by a talented rock group called Fictionist who recently signed to major label Atlantic Records. I have a good memory of walking out of the BYU Wilkinson Center on a cold winter evening in 2006 or 2007 and finding the lead singer performing with his former band...I was very very impressed and immediately purchased their album and told him I loved his guitar solos. I think he and his band mates have kept the spirit of Christmas with this great song. Enjoy!

My other picks for 2011--
Christmas by Michael Buble
Glad Christmas Tidings by Mormon Tabernacle Choir feat. David Archuleta
The Cowboy Christmas Ball by The Killers

We also made efforts to be Christian and good by taking Julia's bonus gift card to Carrabba's Italian Grill and enjoying a terrific lunch with my sister E this morning before she heads off to Las Vegas without us. Fun times and a wonderful experience complete with jokes.

Last night, we stayed up with the Hardings and some friends chatting until late in the evening. Christmas times is excellent because suddenly family and friends have time to spend with each other instead of studies.

Monday, December 12, 2011

May Your Days Be Merry And Bright

Living in a small apartment, we found we did not have room for a Christmas tree. To make do we whipped up this beauty:

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fires of Faith

I've recently been very impressed with a three episode series BYUtv aired called "Fires of Faith." Joe and I finished watching them today and really enjoyed the educational journey the series took us on. It was a bit disheartening to see, though, that in the last part where they interviewed people on the street about whether they read the Bible or not and many said they did not or they hadn't for many years. How sad that after all those martyrs went through to get the Bible into the hands of the common people, 400 years later many have it on their shelves, but cannot be bothered with opening it and studying what is inside. I encourage everyone to watch these videos. They were very inspiring and made me very grateful to be so blessed.

You can watch the videos here.

In the spirit of Christmas

Thursday, December 8, 2011


My wife and my family know that I am an unashamed Mitt Romney supporter. I envision Mitt Romney being the Republican nominee and I am doing my part to see that it happens. Why should Mitt Romney be the nominee?

Firstly, because he is the best suited person to take on the intense economic problems and dicey hope in America's status as frontrunner in the world's economy.
*Saved the 2002 Olympics and turned them into one of the most profitable ever.
*Successfully acted as CEO of the 2002 olympics, Massachusetts, Bain and Company, and Bain Capital. Turned around Massachusetts's budget, turned around Bain and Company and also helped create 10,000's of jobs.

Secondly, because he has lived a very successful and inspiring life.
*Actively married to the same woman for 42 years.
*Active member of the same church his entire life--served it as a missionary, Bishop, Stake President, Sunday School teacher, Home Teacher, etc.
*Active father and grandfather--all five of his sons attended prestigious universities and married.
*Graduated as valedictorian of BYU, JD/MBA program at Harvard (top 5% of his class)
*Serves his citizenry as a Senatorial candidate, Governor, 2x Presidential candidate

Thirdly, he has been as leader for most of his life...successfully.
*4x CEO
*1 term Governor
*1x Stake President and 1x Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Fourthly, other leaders recognize he is an outstanding candidate and have faithfully endorsed him. They include but are not limited to--

*Former President and Vice President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993)
*Gov. Chis Christie (New Jersey)
*Gov. Nikki Haley (South Carolina)
*Gov. Bob McDonnell (Virginia)
*Gov. Rick Snyder (Michigan)
*Gov. Jan Brewer (Arizona)
*Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota, 2003-2011) - former 2012 presidential candidate
*Former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr (Utah, 2005-2009) - former 2012 presidential candidate and former US Ambassador to China (2009-2011) and Singapore (1992-1993)
*Former Gov. Robert Ray (Iowa, 1969-1983)
*Former Gov. and White House Chief of Staff John Sununu (New Hampshire, 1983-1989)
*Former Gov. Frank Keating (Oklahoma, 1995-2003)
*Former V. Pres. Dan Quayle (1989-1993)
*Former US Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (Kansas, 1985-1996)--former GOP presidential nominee
*Former UN Ambassador Bolton (United Nations, 2005-2006)
*Former Ambassador Edelman (Turkey, 2003-2005; Finland, 1998-2001)
*Former Sec of State, Sec of the Treasury, Chief of Staff James A Baker III
*US Sen. John McCain (Arizona)
*US Sen. Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)
*US Sen. John Thune (South Dakota)
*US Sen. John Hoeven (North Dakota)
*US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
*US Sen. Mark Kirk (Illinois)
*US Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah)
*Former US Sen. Connie Mack III (Florida, 1997-2001)
*Former US Sen., Ambassador to the UN John Danforth (Missouri, 1976-1995)
*Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (Florida)
*Rep. Diaz-Balart (Florida)
*Rep. Womack (Arkansas)
*Rep. McCotter (Michigan) - former 2012 presidential candidate
*CA Billionaire Donald Bren
*Washington Examiner (Conservative Washington DC newspaper comparable to the Washington Post)
*Des Moines Register (Most influential Iowa newspaper)
*Ann Coulter (TV conservative personality)

Fifthly, he has published his ideas for every American to read and learn. I've never seen a politician do such a clear and direct delivery ever.
*No Apology: Believe In America (I've read this)
*Believe In America: Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth (free download)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Apple Pie

What’s more American than Apple Pie? With Thanksgiving right behind us and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day coming up Julia thought she would try her hand at her first ever homemade apple pie. The recipe comes from a woman who won two blue ribbons for it at her county fair. It is the most scrumptious apple pie I’ve ever tasted.

She also made one for the Ward Christmas Party yesterday.

Recipe on Julia and my sister's food blog.

A Couple Pieces Of Good News I Read Recently

A Mitt Romney You Haven't Seen Yet - Parade Magazine

Mitt Romney, an active man of faith - LA Times

A Victim Treats His Mugger Right - NPR

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thoughts On Liberty, Freedom, and America (Mosiah 29)

26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

28 And now if ye have judges, and they do not ajudge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.

29 If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.

30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.

I believe in being a registered voter and an educated person of high moral fiber. I also believe in capitalism and I am a Mitt Romney backer.