Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years in "The Big Apple"

America's oldest teenager, Dick Clark, actually turned 80 in November. Despite lingering effects from a stroke in 2004, the former "American Bandstand" host will be back to roll in the new year tonight on ABC's "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2010."
I remember growing up that the best part of saturday morning was waiting and watching "Bandstand" Even writing this the Bandstand theme song is playing in my head!

Dick states.....It's always an exciting evening when we bring in the new year at Times Square. In the early days, the crew consisted of the cameraman, stage manager and my wife. We stood on top of a building with a ladder. These days several hundred people are employed, and the live Times Square coverage is quite an extravaganza!
I'd say he looks amazing for 80.

This Weeks Photo From Arlington National Cemetery

U.S. Air Force color guard team marches up Jesup Drive on its way to Section 25 to bury a retired Air Force colonel.

Photo by: Kaitlin Horst, ANC Public Affairs
It's hard to imagine that this is the photo from this week after all that snow from last week!! I think I still see some leaves on the trees!
If your interested in looking at the weekly photos please follow this link:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Arlington National Cemetery

This photo was taken on Monday the 21st.
At least 20 inches of snow blanketed Arlington's grounds over the weekend, causing the cemetery to close to the public Saturday and Sunday. The cemetery will hold scheduled funerals on Monday; however, it remained closed to the public on Monday to allow crews to continue to clean and clear the roads of snow.

Photo by: Superintendent John C. Metzler, Jr.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Salt Lake City LDS Temple


The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospels and in various apocryphal texts.

The remembrance and re-enactment of the Nativity in the Christian celebration of Christmas signifies their belief that Jesus is the "Christ" or Messiah promised by the Old Testament.

I am always amazed at the many different "nativity" settings each new holiday brings.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Shepherds In The Fields" by Artist Carl H. Bloch

The Birth Of Jesus Christ

Several years ago, while pondering the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I discovered a few fitting details about the rigorous, devoted lives of ancient shepherds. I regret that I can no longer find their source. Perhaps one of you will recognize the passages and inform me of their origin. As I pondered those details in light of the account of the Savior’s birth, a message divinely intended for parents seemed to illuminate itself. I share it with you in all its tender simplicity. It speaks to Jesus‘ awareness of each of us. And I wish you a Merry Christmas.

Imagine the life of a shepherd two thousand years ago, tending his flocks at night—a harsh and lonely life framed on the fringes of cultivated land.

Generally of modest means, shepherds either owned a small flock or were hired to work for someone else. Thieves and natural predators like wolves, lions, and hyenas in the wild, presented a real and constant danger to their livelihood.

Picture them, then, dressed in cloaks of homespun wool or sheepskin carrying simple weapons to protect their charges, the flocks they loved: “a goat’s hair sling for hurling stones; a 30-inch wooden club embedded with nails.”

Consider their love, their relentless care of their sheep. During the day, their flocks wandered over unfenced rocky ground, nibbling on grasses. Following on the alert, shepherds carried a water bag and such fares as dates, olives, cheese and bread.

Thatched roof huts at various lookout points protected the worthy caretakers from the desert sun. At night, if the weather was severe, shepherds returned to a cave or a sheepfold.

Sometimes they set up tents for themselves but in warmer months, they often slept beside their flocks in the wild.

One dark night, those shepherds—far removed from the artificial glitter and glow of Herod’s palace—were visited by a holier light. ….

Parents who labor honestly and endlessly in their homes today are not unlike the shepherds of old. We are often seen by the world as shepherds were in their day—as living on the fringes of cultivated lands—living outside the lands of political correctness and moral in-correctness. Some say we have chosen antiquated roles, bound by outdated notions of womanhood. We say we are right where we want to be–forming souls and shaping nations’ futures.
Like shepherds of old, those of us who are striving to be good parents, to vigilantly tend our flocks and fortify our homes, are armed, too—with a simply unyielding faith and steadiness of purpose.

We like shepherds, are constantly on the lookout for those who would disturb the peace and sanctity of our children, those who cleverly but unconvincingly “call evil good and good evil.”

In our own little fields, our yards and homes, our own flock of little ones wander and frolic and grow as we watch, like shepherds of old, prayerfully and exhaustingly over them day and night. And like shepherds, we, too, sometimes even sleep by them.

We, too, wander over rocky ground—shepherding our children through pebbled crossroads and often less than smoothly paved roads—and likewise feel the heat of hard work and the blazing trials of parenthood. We, too, know it’s worth it to remain faithful in our charge. We, too, know severe spiritual weather and some dark and cold nights. We also know the joy of true shepherding, of the intimacy, integrity, and fidelity of providing a haven of safety and a spiritual learning center for our loved ones. We know the joy of keeping our flock together and the pain of straying sheep.

Will angels not, then, also minister to us as we keep faithful watch in our fields?
Will we not also be surrounded by a light and a love and a power as great as that shining for the shepherds of old?

Will we not also be guided to Jesus Christ as we continue to work in our fields of our individual homes?

Is the Savior not also intimately aware of us in our own little dwellings, on our own little streets, tending our own little flocks?

I believe the answer, as the Christmas story illuminates, is a resounding “yes!” Jesus Christ is aware of us.

The story of the shepherds is the story of the sacredness of the work of tending those in our care—it is the story of faithful mothers and faithful families living to care for and protect their flocks.

It is an affirmation that for us—shepherds of new—the Good Shepherd, even Jesus Christ, will illuminate our lives with the glow of His love, His guiding light—as for shepherds of old—until we likewise behold His holy face.

More Family Pics From Zion Canyon Weekend!

Daddy loves his little Wynter Brooke!

Beautiful Princess is Sleeping!!

Hey! You kids get out of the road!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wynter's First Visit to Nana's House

Baby Wynter posing with her two new holiday"besties"

Brigham Young home in St. George

Family Gathering

This past weekend the kids came north for a few days. We went into St. George on Saturday to search for a blessing dress for baby Wynter. There really are only a few stores locally that would have what we are looking for. And.........I can't believe the kids couldn't find anything in Las would think that Vegas has everything. Interesting enough the lady at Christensen's says that there are a ton of people that come up from Vegas.

Christensen's is just the greatest store! We have shopped there since the girls were very little. I can remember buying alot of their school clothes there.......way back when.... I remember buying them the cutest jewelry when they were like in first grade.

Anyway.............(Sorry about the trip down memory lane)!
We found a dress........It is adorable. We are so excited for baby Wynter's blessing.

We went by the Brigham Young home to take some photos. It is always so beautifully decorated for the holiday. Joe is such a great photographer. I Love the pics.........Thanks Joe
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas With Ray Conniff

It's Always A Ray Conniff Christmas!

I love christmas music! Let's face it, I start playing it in August!!

It really isn't Christmas without certain artists such as Frank, Perry, Bing, Dean, Sammy, Nat, Johnny Mathis and of course my absolute favorite, Ray Conniff. It's sad to say that most of the younger generation do not even know who some of these artists are ...especially Ray Conniff.

I can remember The Ray Conniff Singers from way back. I remember my Grandma Opal and I sitting and listening to the radio and she'd say ...oh thats Ray Conniff. I can still picture the album covers that I would play over and over on our "Hi Fi" Ha Ha Ha...

If your not familiar........I beg you to listen to at least one of his christmas songs and if your around my age (hahahah) it will take you back to a simpler time......

He was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts in 1916 and learned to play the trombone from his father. He studied music arranging from a course book.

After serving in the U.S. Army in World War II (where he worked under Walter Schumann), he was hired by Mitch Miller, then head of A & R at Columbia Records, as their home arranger, working with several artists including Rosemary Clooney, Marty Robbins, Frankie Laine, Johnny Mathis, Guy Mitchell and Johnnie Ray. He wrote a top 10 arrangement for Don Cherry's "Band of Gold" in 1955, a single that sold more than a million copies.

Musician, Composer. With a career in the music business for over 65 years, he recorded over 100 albums and sold over 70 million albums, cassettes and CDs. He was the proud recipient of a Grammy Award for his recording of "Somewhere My Love," two Grammy nominations, over 10 gold albums, 2 platinum albums ("Somewhere My Love" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"), CBS Records-Best Selling Artist for 1962 Award and countless international awards. He was also one of the few artists to receive the prestigious CBS Records International Crystal Globe Award for outstanding sales outside of the United States.

In 1959 he started the Ray Conniff Singers (12 women and 13 men) and released the album It's the Talk of the Town. This group brought him the biggest hit he ever had in his career: Somewhere My Love (1966). The title track of the album was written to the music of "Lara's Theme" from the film Doctor Zhivago, and was a top 10 single in the US. The album also reached the US top 20 and went platinum, and Conniff won a Grammy. The single and album reached high positions in the international charts (a.o. Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan) as well. Also extraordinarily successful was the first of four Christmas albums by the Singers, Christmas with Conniff (1959). Nearly fifty years after its release, in 2004, Conniff was posthumously awarded with a platinum album/CD.

On October 12, 2002 he died in Escondido, California, and is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. His grave marker bears a musical score with the first four notes of "Somewhere My Love."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Vegas Weekend

This past weekend I traveled to Vegas to be with my daughter Mackenzie and her family. It was a wonderful time. It's always great being together no matter what we are doing. The following pictures are from the journey home on Sunday afternoon.......Evidently we had some great rain and snow while I was gone. Enjoy...........

My beautiful Zion Canyon

Beautiful Scenery between Virgin and Springdale.