Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thoughts from TED

Have you ever heard of TED? TED is a conference held a few times a year, as I understand with the worlds political and thought leaders, at least that's what they've claimed. :) Hundreds, if not thousands of fascinating talks have been compiled which include many of the world's most interesting people discussing topics they are passionate about. Professional comedians to PhD's take the stage at TED and it's all pretty cool and fascinating. Gill and I have wasted hours watching these talks.

We recently watched a TED talk by "Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert. I have not read her book yet, but found her talk quite fascinating. Watch it on a Sunday afternoon when you are more likely to have 20 minutes, unless you're the second counselor of a bishopric: Gilbert spoke on the topic of genius, how the ancient Greeks believed that someone who created or did something amazing was not inherently brilliant in and of themselves, rather their skill or lack their of was attributable to their genius, what they believed was an unseen whisperer of secret knowledge and inspiration. Gilbert then explained how over time, especially during the Renaissance, the world came to slowly replace this with the concept that a person succeeds or fails based on their own powers and talents.

Gilbert said that she believed that this new model was a mistake and that she felt there was more truth to the Greek model of genius. She based this opinion on her own experience in writing. Often, she felt that information was given by an outside source as she was struggling to solve a problem. Later, she began directly addressing this source and asked it to give her the information her creative work required. I have often felt the process of obtaining inspiration has been similar for me, and I see God as the knowledge giver.

As an example, I remember working on my capstone research project as a history student. My capstone class covered middle eastern studies and my class had only four people including myself, so unfortunately my professor afforded each of us a lot of personal attention and the lofty expectations. He expected that we would each produce a 25-50 page research paper. Yikes! To even begin such a daunting journey I had to have a research idea, and sadly I had just come down with "historian's block", a distant cousin to the ailment more commonly contracted by writers and other creative types. This wasn't just my diagnosis: my professor held no qualms about bluntly informing me that all my ideas stank. Day after day I wrestled with this problem until I found myself with absolutely nothing and my topic proposal was due the next morning. I went to bed and prayed for help with the kind of fervor that imagine comes only to those who know they will die tomorrow.

And my prayer was answered: I don't remember inspiration or an answer to prayer coming to me in quite this way before, but that night I dreamed of an amazing research idea. It was such a good idea that I remember thinking it couldn't have come from me. The dream was so vivid, (which is saying a lot since this was an answer to a research problem) and I saw every point I needed to include from start to finish. I then woke up at 7:00 am and began writing everything I dreamed down on paper. One hour later I had a topic proposal printed and ready for my meeting with my professor. I was shocked by my professor's reaction: it was the first time he had ever praised my work and he said it was apparent I had spent a lot of time developing my research topic. What he didn't know, and what I was too embarrassed to admit was that I had only put hand to keyboard less than an hour earlier. 

Unfortunately, I don't seek this kind of revelation often enough, but I was reminded again how much easier life would be if I had a constant flow of this kind of useful and relevant information. It turns out that I was laying in bed tonight and "my genius" began talking to me again telling me some really useful things--it was a nice reunion. (Uncle Mike would suggest I get my head examined, lay on his couch, or both.) 

As a side note  I'm definitely an internet addict, and I think this is due in part to the fact that I have come to believe, somewhat naively that the answers to all of life's questions can be found via Google. I have often sat here, at my desk, clicking and re-clicking my three favorite web links (Gmail, Slickdeals, GoogleNews . . . Gmail, Slickdeals, GoogleNews), hoping that something would penetrate my skull, inspire me, or motivate me. Sadly the internet is somewhat lacking when it comes to getting good, relevant information to the really tough questions. Strangely, we live in the "Information Age" but so much information is, in fact, misinformation and exhausting to sift through. Some of the best answers to my questions have come to my mind in the quiet of the night when I can't remember when I prayed for help, or even what I prayed for, but I realize that the information I'm receiving is something I need to remember and act on, so I write it down, and thank God for telling me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

George's First Testimony

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to share a special experience about George. Today in the testimony portion of Sacrament meeting, after three people bore their testimonies George whispered to Gill, "I want to bear my testimony." Gill was a little nervous because George has a pretty strong vocabulary and sometimes has "interesting" ways of expressing himself. Consequently Gill asked George what he wanted to say.  After the person speaking sat down George shouted, "It's our turn!" and the congregation giggled. Gill reminded George that when we bear testimony we only say special things at the pulpit.

Gill brought George to the pulpit and nervously admitted to the congregation that this was a first for George. She held George and leaned forward bringing his mouth close to the microphone.

George said: "I love God . . . My mommy and daddy love me very much . . . The gospel is so cool . . . The gospel helps me to learn the right way . . . Amen!"

Between each phrase Gill encouraged George and asked if he had anything else to say.

Several people came up to George after church and commented how much they enjoyed his testimony. It was short, simple and sincere. Gill also mentioned that in the Bishop's lesson in Relief Society, he discussed George's testimony with the class and it was neat to hear how it helped many people feel the spirit.

We are proud of George for having the courage and desire to share his feelings with people he doesn't know.


George (The first time he bore his testimony) November 4th, 2012

I just wanted to add my feelings about this experience.  This morning we contemplated not attending church because George is showing some signs that he is getting sick...mostly the dreaded disaster know what I'm talking about.  We also had missed church last Sunday because on the whole we were not feeling well then either.  As we discussed our options we came to the conclusion that we were less worried the bishop would think we were going inactive and more concerned with not having our desperately needed spiritual weekly uplift, so for the first time in I can't even remember, we miraculously made it to church ON TIME and I must say, even looking clean and nice...did I mention it was miraculous?  We even made it early enough to sit in a cushioned pew...don't worry it was the last row.
As per usual all sound in the chapel was coming from our pew mostly in the form of Ollie gurgling and babbling much more than usual and the unwrapping of starbursts for George who was chanting about his desire for a snack.  (To give a little bit of perspective George is the oldest kid in our ward and often the only one in nursery).  I feel like Nate and I have grown accustomed to the background noise of our kids while trying to hear the sacrament talks and testimonies but most of the time George seems rather oblivious.  Normally I like to say things like "oh did you hear that?!" (with excitement) "they are talking about baptism..." (etc.)  Today however, as Nate mentioned above, George (upon being reminded that people were speaking at the pulpit) declared his intention to share his own testimony.  When George said this I had mixed emotions...we had not recently had a talk with him about getting up and bearing his testimony or anything, or how to do it, what is appropriate to say or anything.  I think the major lesson that George has gleaned from sacrament meeting is that the people speaking at the pulpit are saying something "really important"...mostly because that is my major tactic for getting him to listen, which by the way seems to rarely work.  I reminded George that we only say really special things at the pulpit, and George was confident that was what he would do.  I suppose my emotions were mixed because I did not want to tell him what to say, being eager myself to hear his testimony, but also worried something about farts or santa clause would be born into the microphone.  George and I walked hand in hand up the aisle as most turned and smiled at us and I whispered "here we goooo."  George of course then spoke confidently to the congregation of adults, his testimony.  It is hard to explain what I felt as George declared his love for heavenly father, that he knows his mommy and daddy love him very much, and that the gospel helps him to choose the right.  I of course had a few tears rolling down my face by the end and bore a testimony of my own.
In relief society the bishop taught the lesson and started it by asking everyone their thoughts on George's testimony and how it had brought a strong spirit to the meeting.  The bishop then went on to say how priceless George is to his mother and wanted to remind us that God loves us even more than that.  So often I think of my love for my boys and how powerful that feeling is and how imperfect I am.  I then compare it with God's love for us (his children) and how powerful and perfect that love is for us.  Thank you again to my boys for reminding me of this eternal truth.
Love, Gillian
George and Mommy after church on Fast Sunday (November 4th, 2012)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Family Y Hikes

It is starting to set in that our stay in Provo will soon come to an end.  With the "Y" on the mountain so close to us Nate is even more prone to suggest hiking up that trail.  Homecoming night, Nate and George ventured up the mountain to see the lights on the Y (Ollie and I stayed home and watched The Proposal).  Nate may not ever clean the toilet but he is a fantastic dad.  Nate is so interested in creating memories with George and Ollie- in the world we live in today it seems a rare quality.  Here are a few pictures from their hike.  
Trail Head
Half way up (the golden hour)

Sitting on the lit up "Y" with George on Homecoming night 2012
After seeing these pictures Ollie and I were pretty jealous so we hiked the Y as a family two days later.

At the trail head with my boys!

We made it!
Not everyone can say they nursed a baby on the Y!

Job Hunt Update

I thought this school year would be a little less stressful, what with a job offer from Goodyear in hand and all, however I decided to do some more looking and asked that Goodyear extend my acceptance date twice. In the last three weeks I have done a lot of company research, flown to San Jose to look at tech companies, applied to close to 15 jobs, interviewed at 7, and have walked away with 1 fly back from Kellogg. I really enjoy Kellogg products (please see the size of my stomach for proof), and I am hopeful at the prospect of working there for several reasons: they have locations in both the Midwest and the west coast so Gill and I could potentially have the opportunity to live close to family; next I've been told that their compensation is very competitive-- so maybe someday we'll be home owners and not renters only. Hooray!

Gill and I are the kind of people who really hate getting our hopes up for fear they'll be dashed to a million pieces . . . wait, I guess most people are like that . . . but I have to remind myself that anything could happen as I look on at the potential locations we could be 'stationed' at next and dream of maybe, just maybe upgrading to a  3 bedroom 1.5 bath home, somewhere larger than 900 sq ft. Ah, one can dream.

My deadline to get back to Goodyear on their offer is the end of the month (Halloween . . . oooooooooh) and my fly back to Kellogg is the 26th of this month so I'm cutting it close with this, but we have been praying that we can find the best opportunity for our family and so far these are two doors that remain open, and they're both great options, as far as I can tell.

I'll keep you all apprised as the situation unfolds. Love you - Nate

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It must just be that your body is so bad...

When Nate first applied to BYU they gave him an interview, during which they told him that he had an impressive resume but his GMAT score was just too low.  At that point Nate was not accepted into the MBA program and we felt pretty bad about ourselves.  The reasoning for not accepting Nate into the program reminded me of one of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits where Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze try out for Chippendales.  The judges pick Patrick Swayze to be their new dancer and explain to Chris Farley that although he has really sexy moves...his body is just too bad.

The video is hilarious so please click on this link to watch:  Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze

Nate decided to give the GMAT one last try (making it the 4th time) and scored in the 90th percentile.  Upon calling BYU back (with his new sexy body...a high GMAT score) they not only accepted him but offered him a scholarship as well.  
The first semester of school was so stressful.  Nate interviewed with countless companies who again thought he did well in interviews (he practiced non-stop with EVERYONE and even wore out two sherpas) but thought he lacked the corporate experience they were looking for ("it's just that your body is so bad").  Finally after several months of searching and interviewing Nate was offered an internship at Goodyear.  The internship was perfect for us and Nate was able to get some experience under his belt and was given an offer for a full-time job when he graduates.  
With less than a couple weeks left before we make the decision to accept the offer, Nate is interviewing with some other companies.  Since it is such a big commitment we really want to search out all the opportunities and be able to make the best decision for our family.  
We are now in the middle of a pretty "exciting" week.  Nate has five interviews and three corporate dinners to attend.  The interview with Hewlett Packard (HP) was on Tuesday and by dinner that night we had received the dreaded email.  We joked about the contents of the email (all emails of this sort talk about how difficult the decision was to make...bla bla bla) since they were able to give their decision within a couple hours of the interview we laughed about how hard it was for them to make a decision and how they stewed over it for 30 seconds and then picked! :)  After receiving that email it was hard for us to be excited about going to a business dinner and have our game faces on is much like getting dumped (over and over)...but we have to remember that nobody likes rejection and this process is difficult for everyone (bla bla bla).  A short pep talk later we were off to dinner at La Jolla at the Riverwoods which has fantastic food!  I may have drank 5 gallons of lemonade and nearly licked my plate clean, Nate was even on his second dinner (he also had a main course in his class right beforehand) and left no evidence of his salmon and orange creme brulee. One of the big wigs from the company came to our table to say hello and he talked about how difficult it is going to be to make a decision on who to hire because there are so many good choices (bla bla bla) so I piped in and told him if he needed any help with the decision making he could give me a call (they all laughed...but I was serious:).
Although this process has been difficult (by process I mean the last few years) at the end it feels good to have really fought for our victories and although we often looked heavenward and wondered what the plan was...(and still do) it has certainly been a refining process and as we look back at the challenges (of course) we can see blessings that have come as a result.  It has given us the "700" philosophy (Nate's GMAT score), which for us means that we do not give up...we are a scrappy bunch and will fight for the "right thing."  We have learned that the easy way is not necessarily the right way and if something is difficult or discouraging, it doesn't mean it is the wrong choice, in the words of George, you just have to "Keep trying"...and praying.  

So to this week I say BRING IT ON!
Who could say "No" to this face?!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conversations with Georgie

Everyday George and I have hilarious conversations so I thought I would share a few:

(While driving in the car)
George: How do you fall in love?
Me: Hmmm...well you feel it in your heart...
George: Where is my heart?
Me: It is in your chest.
George: Does it talk?
Me: No but it beats.
George: Well isn't that like talking? (In an "Im right" tone)
Me: I suppose so.

(Later in the car)
George: Are we on Earth?
Me: Yep.
George: Why am I on Earth?
Me: You made the right choice to be born on Earth to learn and grow and have experiences...
George: Well, I want to make the wrong choice and go to outer space.
Me: (trying not to laugh) When you grow up you can be an astronaut and go to outerspace.
George: When I'm a grown up daddy?
Me: Yeah when you have kids of your you think that will be fun?
George: What's a kid?
Me: You and Ollie are kids.
George: I'm a little boy. (not a kid)
Me: Do you want to have little boys of your own?
George: Yeah.
Me: How many?
George: 10 or 12 little boys.
Me: Wow that's a lot.  What are you going to do with them?
George:  Play with them and go to outer space.  I wish I could go to outer space in this car right now.
(Then I pretended to press the outer space button and we flew through space all the way home).

(In the bathroom)
George: Moooooooooom (yelling for me from the toilet).
Me: yes George...
George: Come here I want to talk to you while I poop.
Me: (smiling) ooook...(I sit down on the rim of the tub)
George: Soooo...what do you know about poop?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Giving Tree

Tonight as a part of the bed time routine (George already exhausted and sick) George asked me to read him "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.  Oliver sat babbling and chasing his pacifier around the floor.  When I got to the page where the tree said she had no more to give, George began to sob.   George explained through his tears that he wanted the tree to have a tall trunk and branches and that he was sad that she had no more to give.  For a moment I tried to cheer him up by telling him that the boy sat on her tree trunk and she was happy again.  He cried and cried and as I held him in my arms I wanted to cry as well and I agreed that I wanted the tree to be tall again too.   Later that evening as I related that event to Nate, both Nate and I fought back tears.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Blueberry

One of the fun things that comes with being pregnant is the weekly emails you get comparing the size of your growing fetus to a piece of fruit.
"Your baby is growing...and is about the size of probably feel like..."
With George we missed a few weeks of emails somehow and when we looked at videos on youtube we were startled that our once "blueberry" sized baby had taken actual human form and was bouncing around with arms and legs and everything!  Well on George's first day of preschool I had a similar startling thought...  "Our blueberry has a backpack and a teacher!"
9:15 a.m. sharp George and I stood at the top of the stairwell taking pictures.  George is of course trying not to smile and holding a backpack that will itself probably only hold two pieces of paper.  The first day went well and George jumped right in without hesitation and was escorting his teacher to the bookshelf before I was even out the door.  My main concern was the language in the preschool contract outlining that your child must be "fully potty trained."  Reading those three words I pictured George doing his post potty naked victory lap...nudity, according to George, helps him to be extra "speedy."  Well we are now on day 4 and we haven't been kicked out yet!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Visit to Clovis

Trip to Hanford with Grandma Kris and Grandpa Steve.  Our first train ride!

George's 3rd Birthday Celebration

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodbye to the Fark

Almost immediately after Nate completed his last final we packed everything up and said goodbye to our 800 sq ft apartment in Spanish Fork.  We had lived in that apartment for nearly four years, which was all but a few months of our marriage.  We loooooved our little apartment and the small town feel of Spanish Fark.  So many things happened in those four years.

I remember the first summer when we discovered the Snow Shack on the corner of 100 South and Center street...we even had punch cards because we just had to have "snowies" every chance we could.  Then one morning we walked out our front door to see that a ferris wheel had been set up on our street with accompanying carousel, tilt-a-whirls and the like.  Summers in Spanish Fork meant parades, rodeos, fireworks you could see from our parking lot, and lets not forget the famous tri-tip sandwiches!  You could hear all the events in the high school stadium over the loud speaker which we attended on occasion, as well as the crack of baseball bats when it became spring, and on Saturdays it was yard sales and the farmer's market.  In October in between sessions of General Conference it was fun to go to the farmer's market to buy little pumpkins or fall decorations and fresh made breads and zucchini.  I also really enjoyed this because I would always see someone I knew whenever I was out and about.

I don't know what they are feeding the kids at the local high school (which was across the street from us) but this past year they won the state championship in Softball, Baseball, and Lacrosse.  I know this because they put the whole team on top of a fire truck and had a little mini parade around town.  They don't need to plan ahead for this because all of the sirens bring everyone out of their homes wondering what the heck is going on!  I started to become desensitized to sirens, assuming someone had won something:)  They even had a parade when a soldier came home from the war...towns just aren't like that anymore.

Sundays when it was warm we would often walk over to the track at the high school and talk while we went around a few times.  A couple weeks before George was born we walked a lot at the track...we have had many conversations there that motivated big changes in our lives.  A couple blocks away is the local library where Nate studied for the GMAT many hours.  We have also rented probably all of their movies and every one of George's birthdays has been celebrated in the park behind it.  The park is also where George swung on the swings for the first time and where we had playgroup once a week.

Last Halloween George and I went trick or treating to all the stores on Main street which was lots of fun.

Christmas time in Spanish Fork means a holiday parade at night where they have a bunch of floats decorated with Christmas lights and a local restaurant supplied everyone with free hot chocolate.  At the local Macey's grocery store they had a real Santa Claus come to the store and visit with kids for free.  The Santa was so kind and looked like the real thing.  George sat right on his lap and they talked business:)  One winter it snowed and snowed and snowed.  Everyone was outside digging their cars out and shoveling driveways and walkways....and streets!  I even saw an old grandpa with a plow on a station wagon plowing the side streets!  New Year's Eve meant turning all the lights off after midnight and watching all of the amateur firework shows around the neighborhood.

Along with walking or running on the high school track, I attended "UVU" classes at the Spanish Fork high school while I was pregnant with George.  I would cross the street to go to night classes and occasionally run back during our breaks to make a quick sandwich.  I still get that morning sickness gag feeling when I get near that building.  We did walk on the track quite a bit but we also walked everywhere else.  A block behind us there is a home that kept a few horses and we would cross the street to say hi to them and try and feed them random pieces of plants.  In Spanish Fork there are actually more horses than people, a stat few towns can beat.

In our "backyard" which was about 4' deep and 30' long, George and I had many adventures, one summer I bought an inflatable pool and we would go back there and I would try and keep him from drinking the water.

Our apartment was quite roomy for us when we moved in...we had a spare room and everything.  For a month or so Nate's sister even stayed with us while she attended beauty school.  Our "spare" room went through many changes, it started out just lined with boxes, then we used those boxes as computer desks (his and hers) and Robin slept on a blanket in the corner:)  Then some friends gave us a real desk made out of wood (or it's relative) and I remember the two computers did not fit as well and there was a real draw to getting to the desk first because that meant you got to put your legs in the feet hole.  We watched general conference on those computers while laying on the floor.  Soon the "spare room" was transformed into a baby room!  Grandma Backman gave us a crib that fit perfectly through the doorway and a family in our ward grew out of their changing table.  Soon we bought a used futon and a bookshelf.  I decorated the room with art from my jobs at Boys and Girls Club and New Haven.  When George grew a little older we bought a twin bed at a garage sale and got rid of the futon.  George got a big boy bed equipped with a shelved head board which was constantly jammed with library books from grandma Kris.  Lastly the crib was unpacked again for the boys to share the room.  Our bedroom started out with a mattress that was given to us my Grandma Backman and some furniture that came with the apartment.  Later we upgraded to a real bed which we put on pedestals and crammed all of our "spare room" items under.
The halls were often used (I imagine to the chagrin of our neighbors) as our own indoor race track, hiding spots for hide and go seek, and a photo gallery.  When George could crawl I would hide in the hallway and play peek a boo and he would laugh so hard and crawl over to me.

So many memories in that little two bedroom apartment.

Bathing George in the kitchen sink

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Well look at us now...bloggers.  For the record, it was Nate who started this awesomeness.  I think after reading a couple of posts from Tyson's blog he thought to himself, " Hey if people want to read about adventures in Africa they will definitely want to read about Ohio and Utah"...hmmm.  Ohio and Utah aside, our lives are typically hilarious, messy, and loud, so why not write it down.
I was just commenting to Nate on the state of our apartment (specifically the mess) and his response was "We are only going to be WT for one more week" (for those of you who don't know what WT means, it is probably because you are not).  In April we packed up about 95% of our belongings and jammed them into a storage unit via the elders quorum and their various offspring.  During the move my mom looked at me in horror as if she was watching a terrible accident occur...I reassured her that Ikea doesn't sell anything nice enough to mourn.  My mother-in-law said that you can only move about 4 times with the elders quorum before you have to just throw everything away...hilarious.  Nevertheless guess who we will be calling when we are ready to unload the storage unit.  We packed the other 5% of our belongings into our neeeeew vaaan! (That was my game show host voice).
Im not even sure how many hours we spent driving.  First we went to Clovis for some much needed R & R (rest and rehabilitation) then it was on to The Ohio.  The road trip was actually pretty fun.  We were able to see a good portion of the old Route 66 and tried to make the necessary stops (bathroom, nursing, diaper changing, eating, sleeping) at interesting places of which included several "Radiator Springs" towns, the world's largest Teepee, museums, old farm town gas stations and the like.  We probably sang "Get your kicks on route 66" 1000 times and likewise said the phrase "What I would give to see this place in it's Hay Day."

After 5 days in the van we arrived in Akron Ohio!  20 minutes later our car was unpacked and our apartment fully decorated.

Move-in Day
Fully Furnished
For the first couple weeks we did not have anything but our bums to sit on.  Later we got a black leather recliner, kitchen table and chairs, a couple lamps, and camping chairs.  After that we felt like we were in hog heaven...light Aaand chairs...what more could we want?  A Bed!  As we are now nearing the last week of our internship experience it will be 3+ months sleeping on an airmattress, and it didn't start to get "comfortable" (and I use that term loosely) until the top half of our double-decker popped.  Mornings are the best, you either wake up laying flat on the ground or rolled almost on top of the other person- gravity has really brought Nate and I closer:)  We are thinking of having a ceremony where we shoot the thing.

Summer Internship 2012 - "Fun In 'The Ohio'"

Hi all,

Gillian and I are a little late to the blogging party, but here we go . . .

Gill, George, Oliver and I are returning to BYU in two weeks. My summer internship at Goodyear ends on Friday, August 10 and I have a final presentation to the Steering Committee tomorrow. They will decide whether I have a full-time job offer to return next year or not. I have received good reviews and feel confident that I will get an offer, however I do not want to start counting poultry until I see yellow fuzz.

Here's a list of some of the things we've been able to do this summer:

  1. We've spent the entirety of the summer in the Green, OH which is just south of Akron. We live on the first floor of a nice apartment complex and we are fortunate enough to face a forest that backs to a golf course, so we don't get much traffic. Our ward, the Canton Ward meets 20 minutes south of our apartment in North Canton. 
  2. We're 3.5 hours from Clawson, MI where Gill's siblings live. We've been out to visit them three times this summer. 
  3. We visited the Kirtland Temple and the surrounding Church Historical sites. A few weeks later I volunteered to go with three men from the ward and we mowed the John Johnson farm lawn and did other small projects on the camping area that is directly behind the farm. Afterwards we went on the tour of the farm. It was a great experience.
  4.  Gill and the boys came with me to hang out with some of my colleagues at an Akron Aeros Minor League baseball game and an Italian American festival, both in downtown Akron. 
  5. Earlier in the summer Gill's mom Valerie flew out and we drove down to "Amish Country" which is down around Millersberg, just south of here. We bought some decent Amish cheese and got some pretty cool photos of the Amish. 
  6. A few weeks ago I was able to attend my first Major League Baseball game - Indians vs. Orioles. Unfortunately the Indians lost, but they had a pretty decent Beatles cover band at the end which was fun to sing a long with. 
  7. A couple days ago we drove down to New Philadelphia, a small town about 45 minutes south of here. It's a small town that has a small park and rides, much like Roeding Park in Fresno. It was our consolation prize for not getting to do Disneyland with the family. 

At the John Johnson Farm
Inside the John Johnson Home
Outside the Home
The Giant Rock Landmark
First Major League Baseball Game
Small LDS Cemetery  from the 1800s
Gill and George on the fastest carousel in the world! (or so it seems)
George flying at Tuscora park in New Philadelphia, OH
Family portrait May 2012
More John Johnson Farm