Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rachel Graduated!

Last Sunday (August 17) we attended the Graduation of our daughter in law, Rachel Taylor. She received her Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Memphis. We sat with her parents and her brother and had a very nice afternoon.

Today is her birthday and we celebrated last night by going out to dinner with all the family (Me and Marcia, Matthew and Rachel, Joe and Kirie) and then had a yummy Baskin/Robbins cake at home.

As an extra birthday present, Rachel was hired yesterday at the Germantown Library where she'll be working in the children's department. She starts the new job today.
Congratulations Rachel!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Memphis Youth Conference

Yesterday we concluded our Bi-Stake Youth Conference which included the Memphis Tennessee North Stake and the Memphis Tennessee Stake. For most of the activities we had about 260 people including Youth and Adult Leaders.

The Conference began Thursday night with registration and mixer games, pizza, a keynote speaker (Chris Hunsicker from Utah) and a dance.

On Friday we had workshops and a service project in the morning. For our service project we made wooden pull toys for needy children in orphanages. In the afternoon we went to the Millington Naval Base for a pool party and then we went to a very large park for a barbecue dinner and informal games.

On Saturday, we concluded with a Testimony Meeting and lunch. Most of the activities were at the Memphis North Stake Center which is on the same property as the Memphis Temple. It was very nice to begin our final meeting on the Temple grounds and then go to the chapel for the rest of the meeting.

One thing we did differently this year was that Youth were assigned to stay in homes the two nights with Youth from other wards. I think most people really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know new people.

The feedback from the Youth has all been positive so I think they had a lot of fun and learned some important things. Next year we'll be doing a Pioneer Trek for Youth Conference. We did a Pioneer Trek in 2005 and it was well worth the work required.
My Youth Conference pictures are at my Picasa site.

11 Year Old Day Camp

On June 28, Marcia and I went to our Stake's 11 Year Old Day Camp. Marcia is over Scouting in the Stake Primary Presidency and was in charge of this activity. Our Stake hasn't done this kind of an activity since anyone could remember so it was a little bit of a challenge. We spent the day at a local Scout Camp (Camp Currier in Eudora, MS) Because of family vacations and other conflicts, we only had about 7 boys but the ones that went had a very fun day.
We did canoes, an obstacle course, map and compass, wood tools, native plants, lunch, and a "tent pitching contest". We had four boys from Tennessee and three boys from Mississippi so Marcia joined the Mississippi team to put up a tent and they won.
It was a very fun day and we hope to do it again next year but at a different time of year so we can get more boys involved.
You can see the rest of my pictures at my Picasa site.

High Adventure in Florida

It's been a fun and busy summer for me so far. Last month (June 10-14) I went with our Stake Young Men on a very enjoyable High Adventure trip to St. George Island, Florida.
There were 27 Young Men and 7 adult leaders. Because our group was so large, we had to divide into two different "camps". We did some activities separately and some activities together. The boys got to see new things and do things they have never done before. We got to sail, swim, jet ski, eat pizza, camp, fish, harvest oysters, explore a nature preserve island, and ride on a large yacht.
The Young Men got along very well and we had some very nice devotionals and a Testimony meeting. This will be a hard trip to top.
You can see more pictures at my Picasa site.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm Taking Guitar Lessons

I think I got my first guitar around 1972 and I've loved everything about guitars since then. Unfortunately, I never really learned to play very well. Now that I'm not going to school and it's just me and Marcia at home, I think it's a good time to take lessons and try to be a real guitarist.

I found a good jazz guitarist and teacher named John Gloria and signed up for lessons at a local music store. I had my first lesson yesterday and I'm working on The Girl From Ipanema. I enjoyed the first lesson and I'm looking forward to many more.

Marcia took pictures of our kids as they got on the bus for their first day of school so she thought it would be appropriate to take a picture of me on my first day of guitar lessons. Can you tell that I'm excited?

Matthew and Rachel are Married!

My son Matthew married Rachel Sipes on May 17. Rachel is a wonderful person who has felt like part of our family for a long time now. The weather here in Memphis was nearly perfect and the ceremony and reception were both very nice. They had a fun honeymoon at Disney World the following week.

We were very happy to have my parents and my brother Chris and his wife Staci here for the wedding. The whole weekend was beautiful and we got plenty of time to relax and enjoy being together.

I took some pictures at the reception but they aren't very good. This picture was taken by our good friend (and former neighbor) Bob Thompson. The Memphis Tigers logo on the groom's cake was very cool and the chocolate was delicious.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

We graduated!

Yesterday we had a very special family day. Matthew, Kirie, and I all graduated from the University of Memphis. I received a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration specializing in Management Information Systems. Matthew receivied a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. Kirie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre.

It was kind of a long day because we had to attend both sessions downtown in the FedEx Forum. Kirie and Matthew graduated in the morning and I graduated in the afternoon. It got a little hectic and there wasn't much time to eat or go anywhere between sessions so Marcia and I had a Pronto Pup (huge corn dog) in Handy Park on Beale Street about a block away from the forum. The weather was beautiful and there was a good blues band playing in the park. The afternoon session was kind of fun for me because Fred Smith (the founder and CEO of FedEx) received an honorary Doctorate and he spoke.

We were kind of tired when we got home so Marcia and I skipped a wedding reception we had been planning to go to and we took a nap. When we got up we celebrated with Matthew and Rachel at a local restaurant and I had prime rib (my favorite).

On Friday, we took formal cap and gown pictures at a studio and we also took family pictures for the first time in many years. It has been a very nice weekend!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness

I'm enjoying the last phase of a great basketball season. Marcia and I were able to go to 4 or 5 home games this season and have watched almost all the other games on TV. The Tigers won their first NCAA Tournament game last night against Texas-Arlington. We won by 24 and still a lot of the sports writers in the local paper this morning were talking about how the Tigers were sloppy and need to improve. I know the Tigers aren't perfect, but I still think they will win at least a couple more games.
Yesterday they let us go home early (for Good Friday) and I enjoyed watching lots and lots of basketball. I love having a laptop computer because I can do other things and still watch TV.
Spring football practice started this week so three weeks from today we're planning to go to the annual blue/gray scrimmage even though the weather is usually not very good for that event.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Service Project

Last Saturday the Young Men from the Memphis 4th branch came to my house to do a service project. I had a magnolia tree in my yard that was planted too close to the driveway and was causing a lot of problems. We had a good time!


Taking a break while it rained

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 18, 2008

I wish it were summer already

It's cold here in Memphis and I really need some sunshine in a place like this.

This is really just a test post to see how Picasa allows you to add photos to a blog.