Saturday, December 31, 2011

Project 366

I'm not one to make many New Year's resolutions, let alone keep them. Tomorrow, however, I'm going to attempt one, and I call it: Project 366.

The idea behind this project is that I will be posting (at least) one photo per day here on Disconcertingly Choppy, along with at least a brief description of each. Ideally, I will be able to look back on this blog in a year - assuming we all survive the end of the Mayan calendar in late December - and will have, well, at lot to look back on to remind me of the year 2012.

So, I will be posting my first photo tomorrow. Happy New Year, gang.

Monday, December 26, 2011

'Twas the Day after Christmas

Belated Christmas Wishes from all of us (well, me) here at Disconcertingly Choppy! Here's hoping that you enjoyed your holiday.
As for me, I gathered with my siblings, nieces, and nephews at Mom and Dad’s home for a big family dinner on Christmas Eve. While Mom and the girls prepared a delicious meal, the kids created some chalk drawings out on the driveway and sidewalk. The results were, I must say, rather impressive:
When dinner time came, we all sat down together for a scrumptious feast.
Have I got seven of the world's best-looking nieces and nephews, or what? (Answer: Yes, I do.)
Dinner was followed by the annual family Christmas pageant, which Biz once again put together, giving speaking or acting roles to most everybody. The kids arguably enjoyed taking part perhaps more than any of us. Jackson insisted on playing the role of Joseph, which he could pronounce only as Jovis, while Kira played Mary; Jenna and Kenna were angels; while Luke, Dallin, and I were the three wise men.
I gotta say that I love the mischievous looks on Luke's and Dallin's faces in the above picture.
Afterward, everyone opened the gifts given to them by those who pulled their names out of the hat. The best part of this is always watching the kids’ eyes light up when they get something they really like.
Christmas Day itself was great, as we got to spend part of the day at church, which consisted of sacrament meeting only. Mom, Dad, and I were invited over to Dave and Jessica’s for dinner, and following that, Jenna, Luke, and Kira showed off the presents that Santa Claus had brought them.

Today, Boxing Day, we had a sort of second Christmas when Scott, Claudia, and their girls joined us at Steve’s house for a Korean lunch. Korean food is still very much a taste I have yet to acquire, but it was good to get together with our cousins and also to get the latest updates from Eden, who was able to call them from Ecuador on Christmas Eve. Later that afternoon, most of the adults went over to the new Centerville Megaplex to see Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, the next film in that series, and we enjoyed it a great deal.
Happy Boxing Day, Bedford Falls.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Spirit of Giving . . . and of Receiving

This week, I've been doing some thinking about both giving and receiving. After all, it is the Christmas season, and it's a topic on most everybody's minds right now.
It was on my mind the other night when Kylee accompanied me to see the Madison Square Garden version of A Christmas Carol at the Davis Center for the Performing Arts (aka our Improvables home). Scrooge's problem, of course, is that he spends most of his life receiving and not giving. Only after the three spirits show him the errors of his ways does he learn that it's all in the giving.
Additionally, Bro. Kjar gave a rather thought-provking lesson on the subject a few days ago at our mid-singles Institute class. His conclusion was, essentially, that gifts not only have to be given but received and, as a result, both the giver is blessed for giving and the receiver blesses the giver for accepting the gift.
I think the same principle applies to dating - something that we single people tend to tussle with more often than we'd like to. At times, you seem to give a lot to someone who either doesn't want to receive the gift or who doesn't want to give anything back - at least, not at the same level you're willing to be at. It's like putting quarters into a slot machine. (Believe it or not, that's actually something I heard in a Michael McLean song.)
At any rate, what's my conclusion? I'm not 100 percent sure that I have one, although I do know this: I'm going to keep on giving. I may be a bit more cautious about whom I choose to give what and to what degree, but I will keep on doing so until there is someone who wishes to receive - and to give back a little now and then, too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Steve and Summer and the Spring

We had barely gotten over the pleasant surprise of Ben and Adi's engagement when, earlier tonight, Steve proposed to Summer (she said yes). They both came over to share the good news and to show us a videotape of Summer's reaction to receiving the ring at a party over at her parents' house.
They are planning on a wedding sometime in the spring. I am excited to be receiving not one but two new sisters-in-law in 2012.
Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chip off of the Old Block

My parents like to tell a story about my older brother, Mike, when he was just a toddler many years ago. One day, after spending some time playing at a neighbor's house, they asked him, "What did you do today, Mike?" His response: "Push!"

Fast-forward to yesterday's family dinner, when his three-year-old boy Jackson came running up to me and said: "Paco, you're on my team."

"Great," I responded. "What are we doing?"

"Punch!" he said, pounding his fist into his other hand.

"Punch what?" I asked.

"Kenna," he stated, matter of factly. "She's a girl." (He had, apparently, been chasing her around for some reason and wanted my help.)

Yes, the apple doesn't far that far from the tree at all.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Dinner with Luke 2011

My nephew Luke turned six years old Tuesday, and to commemorate the occasion, yesterday I took him out for lunch and to the store for his annual birthday excursion.

A kid after my own heart, he chose McDonald's for lunch and, surprisingly, actually helped eat more of my Quarter Pounder with Cheese than I was expecting he would. Not a problem, though; I was happy to share. Luke's a great conversationalist for a six-year-old and, as we ate, he told me how he's been enjoying his kindergarten class.

Following our meal, we went over Target, where Luke picked out a LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean set as his present. It was the one where Captain Jack Sparrow is on the island of the cannibals (from the second film in the series), and I found myself having to answer his "What's a cannibal?" question as delicately as possible.

Luke's a great kid, and I enjoyed spending the afternoon with him. Here's to many more birthdays.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Oh, the Weather Outside Is Frightful . . .

Perhaps you've heard the news by now, but in case you haven't: On the evening of November 30/morning of December 1, strong canyon winds – some gusts reaching over 100 MPH, or the equivalent of a grade 2 hurricane – swept through several parts of Davis County, including Bountiful. The power was knocked out all over town and is still out in some places (fortunately, mine was restored after about 24 hours).

Additionally, many trees, including ones older than I am, were knocked over. The neighborhood looks quite different than it did a few days ago.

Regardless, I'm grateful - because things could have been a lot worse. Overall, my second hurricane was actually not as inconvenient as that one I weathered in Puerto Rico 22 years ago.