*Legal Research & Writing I
*Legal Professionalism & Transactional Skills Lab
We drove eight hours to meet up with the Sears Family in Rexburg, ID immediately following my last final. J & E Sears both were graduating from BYU-I in Business Management and Home & Family Living - Sewing Emphasis. As an added bonus my mission president is a Vice President at BYU-I and he was also present at the very impressive graduation event. The graduates glowed with their years of hard earned accomplishment.
We all spent time test running some new gifts from JM Sears and giving Christmas gifts. We ate at Gator Jacks. I was pleased with the food. And, we got to spend time with Tally who also made it to ID.
The Sears clan at Gator Jacks in Rexburg.
On the ten hour drive back to the airport we opened gifts from Mom and Dad Sears, one each half hour. We also listened to lots of Christmas music including my newest mix "A Christmas Spirit".
The flight was breezy and Vegas was balmy. The beginning of our time in Vegas felt exceptionally fine, peaceful, and pleasant. And Julia even discovered that she had earned a 99% in both of her classes last semester.
We finally saw The Hobbit. We ate like pre-revolution French royalty and I gained 7-8 lbs by the time I came home. There was always BLT's on Sundays and assorted cheeses and chocolates the rest of the time.
Mostly, we slept and sort of followed everyone else around as they busily bustled about shopping for gifts. We did organize parts of the house, cook a Japanese meal for 16, and repaint part of the outdoor carport.
The Sunday before Christmas all of the extended family gathered so that the great grandkids of Marco and Robert Callister could perform a version of A Christmas Carol marvelously with assistance from son Matthew Callister. The play was a delight and it was even adapted by a Callister grandson working in the film industry. Following it there were musical performances of O Holy Night, Mele-Kalikimaka (performed and danced to by the Meservy clan), and more. There were also a couple dances for good measure. Dinner was an assortment of very well planned finger foods.
On Christmas eve the advent calendar that Julia made for me culminated in a scavenger hunt across Las Vegas. I had to shoot baskets, visit a Buddhist quasi-temple, race to a grocery store, sing a song to a neighbor in front of her entire office, and even tell my niece a story. The gift was the experience and the love from my wife. Each day of the calendar was a compliment, Christmas activity, or service to me from Julia. And of course there was something sweet involved too.
The advent calendar - we lost Day #24 and we want it back!
Some clips from hunting the scavenge.
In the evening was a large dinner featuring Japanese and Indian food and several French cheeses and French bread. Then we went caroling to neighbors and friends (and brought two as well) and had hot chocolate.
Mom wearing a funny hat borrowed during caroling.
Christmas morning was filled with gifts. It was also rather sweet. The family assembled with the Reynolds and Callisters again in the morning at Uncle Matt's for a large and delightful breakfast. It was delicious. Gifts were given and the poems and Luke 2 which are tradition were read.
Without a doubt our best moments of the trip were the planned events. Too often we went without some good plans but when we had them they were very splendid.
Among the most fun moments of the year-end were ice skating at the Venetian (where we started to try and show off on the tiny floor and met some actors dressed up as Italian gods or masqueraders), visiting the Smith Center for the Performing Arts (to peek inside), roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on the new fire pit, and taking moustache photos with sister E at the Bellagio gardens.
The exception to our planning rule was New Years Eve. We planned nearly nothing. We watched TV, made frozen hot chocolate, did handstands, played a sole long game of scrabble, played darts, and watched the fireworks from the Strip out of the windows. We toasted with home-squeezed pomegranate juice and ginger ale. This was certainly fun.
We flew back the next day after a visit to Godiva Chocolatier for milkshakes with the family.
Julia became better acquainted with the cats throughout it all. And, she gave me the most planned gift of them all--a year's worth (36) of dates planned (since I am busy in school). This reminds me for some reason of the excitement found in the poem "when what to my wondering eyes would appear."
(I, Julia, would like to interject here and state that Joe gave me a gym membership plus a gift card to one of my favorite restaurants for Christmas - I was thrilled and it was just what I wanted!! He's a sweetheart and such a good listener.)
I received several requested gifts and a number of good looking books. I am already reading the biography of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. In light of that I will leave this with a quote from George Washington found in the book..."Treat [others] with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain..."
It's a partial quote and rather than excuse it I will just try and use it.