Summer 08

Tuesday, December 2, 2008




Saturday, September 13, 2008

Education Week 2008

Isaac and I went to Education Week at BYU with some friends from our ward. We went with Ann Mason and her son Scott, and Tyler Wagner. We had a great week together. We stayed in two of Ann's camping trailers on BYU's campus. Ann and I stayed with her parents in her sisters trailer and the boys stayed in Ann's trailer. In the mornings we got up and went and showered at the Provo Recreation Center. Made several friends who were there every morning with us. Heidi brought Chandler down and we enjoyed spending time with them as well. The classes were great. I learned many wonderful things and am now going back through my notes to see what things are most important for me to incorporate in my life. I don't remember which presenter said, "Are these just feel good thoughts or are you going to apply what you learn and improve your life", but this thought has stuck with me. So I am taking the time to evaluate all that I learned and making a plan to start making little changes here and there to become a better person, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Isaac really liked John Bytheway and Brad Wilcox. We went bowling together and that was fun. Ann and I went to Pride and Prejudice the musical while the boys went to the youth dance. The play was fantastic. It was so good I had Shaun come down Friday night and go to the play with me. As I go through my notes I may add tidbits here and there. Overall it was a great week and I enjoyed the spiritual feast.

Hurricane Ike

I called Shaun's parents this morning and they are in the dark but doing well. They are currently serving in Silsbee, TX on their mission and are riding out the hurricane. Their last area was Orange, TX and I hear they are getting the worst of the storm surge. Mom and Dad have two sister missionaries staying with them they were evacuated from Port Arthur, TX. It is currently under about 12 feet of water. Sister Olsen and Sister Allgaier are from Utah and I called their parents and let them know their daughters are well. I also told them I was grateful they are there to help mom and dad. The weather service says there are currently 4 million people without power and could be a week before power is restored. So far all is well and we will keep you informed on how they are doing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Grandma Bernice Hutchinson

My grandma was born September 5, 1919 and died just before her 89th birthday on August 24, 2008 of natural causes 7 years after her husband Howard Hutchinson passed away. I had the privilege of taking Zach out to see her in May before she passed away and I am so glad that I did. She was an example to me all the way to the end. I guess I got my motor mouth from my grandma because she is always talking to people. When I went to see her in the senior center she was always looking for ways to talk with everyone about the church. She loved writing to the missionaries and one of my favorite stories is when we were living in Illinois and Shaun was the Ward Mission Leader. We had the Elders and Sisters over for a meeting and I had one of my grandma's letters out and one of the Sister missionaries said, how do you know Sister Hutchinson? I said how do you know my grandma? She was from my grandmas' home ward and wrote to Jana (sorry, I can't remember her missionary name) weekly. I said, "Well you hear from her more than I do." She loved to write, I didn't get that from her, I'm more a talker. Can't get it all. She also loved to crochet. I think everyone she knew had at least a dozen afghans. I hear she had at least a truck load of yarn at her house at any given time. Don't ask for any because its an all or nothing deal and they keep finding more. She loved spending time with the other widows after my grandpa died and those that are left will sure miss her. She loved to help others it brought her great joy. They read a poem at her funeral that I really liked because it reminds me of her philosophy and I think it would be good for me as well. As far as I know it doesn't have a name and I don't know who the author is. But it goes as such:

Outside my window, a new day I see
And only I can determine
What kind of day it will be.
It can be busy and sunny, laughing and gay
Or boring and cold, unhappy and gray.
My own state of mind is the determining key
For I am only the person I let myself be.
I can be thoughtful and do all I can to help,
or be selfish and think just of myself.
I can enjoy what I do and make it seem fun
Or gripe and complain and make it hard on
I can be patient with those who may not
or belittle and hurt them as much as I can.
But I have faith in myself
And believe what I say
And I personally intend to make
The best of each day.

Autotestcon Trade Show - Cherry on Top

I hadn't planned on going Thursday, because I had already been away from the kids too much, but what a blessing that I went on Thursday. It was truly a highlight for me. When I got there I was walking around the conference in half a daze when this gentleman asked if I wanted a water bottle that he couldn't take on the plane. We started talking and he said he from Indiana. I told him that I had served an LDS mission there and loved it. Then he said that he wanted to tour the Mormon sites before he went home. I spent the next hour answering all his questions about Mormons. Questions like why did we practice polygamy, do we still, view on divorce, lay ministry, eternal families, tithing, meeting blocks, prophets, chastity, and much more. I finally asked him if he would like Shaun and I to give him a tour of SLC after the conference. He accepted and my children were very gracious to let mom be gone one more night, and I hope the Lord understands why we didn't make it to Stake Temple Day. I went to tell Shaun and he said that the three gentleman whose both was across from ours were going to tour SLC after the conference as well, so them to go with us as well and they did. Shaun and I spent 6 hours answering non-stop questions from our friends, and if they weren't asking us questions they were asking the tour guides questions. Our friends in the picture are from left to right: Somnath from India, Mike from Indiana, Steve from Michigan, and Vinod from India. I can't even begin to express what a blessing these wonderful men are to me. All of those feelings I had toward the people on my mission came rushing back. That instant love you have for those you share the gospel with and the imense spirit you feel as you bear witness of God's truths to those who are seeking. I'm ready to sign up for my senior mission now. What a treat to feel our Savior's love for them all day. I haven't yearned for my mission days in a long time, but oh how I miss those days after yesterday. We went to the Lion House for a late lunch, then we went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Bldg, Conference Center, temple square, and the geneaolgy library. We finally said goodbye as they went to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal. I can give you a log of all that we saw, but its the feelings from my heart I wish I could share with you. My heart is full of gratitude for the Lord blessing us with such a wonderful day, and for the privilege if making friends with these wonderful men. They all offered us tours of their home towns, and I've been dreaming of reasons we should go to India. This truly is God's work and he blesses us beyond our limited capacities when we reach out to others. My heart is overflowing with emotions as I reflect on the wonderful day we had, but I am grateful the Lord allowed us to have this experience. They thanked us, but we got the better end of the deal. Anyone need us to travel to Michigan, Indiana or India for them?

Autotestcon Trade Show

This has been a wonderfully busy and crazy month for me. First I went to Idaho for a wedding reception in Boise, then I went to Education Week, then school started-a rocky one at that-, then I went to California for my Grandma Hutchinson's funeral, and then I helped Shaun and one of his clients at the Autotestcon Trade show at the Salt Palace and this weekend is Stake Conference and the Scout Jamboral which Shaun, Isaac and Zach are at right now while Rachel is at a birthday party. Anyway, there is much I want to write about each event but I'll start with the most recent and move backwards. Shaun has done some PCB work for Chuck at GEMS and he had a trade show here in SLC, and he asked Shaun to help him out. Chuck brought out his wife, Eva, and one of his employees, Jacob. They got here on Sunday, and we helped them get their both ready for the show. The show started on Tuesday. Tuesday was great and I came home with ALOT of trinkets for the kids. They invited Isaac to come up for part of the show on Wednesday and he had a great time. He got to play video games, guitar games, play army games, they let him try one of their remote control guns, he got to drive a virtual car, and the flight simulator. Then I brought Isaac home we changed clothes and went to a K12 meet our teacher day at the park, and it rained, but we love our teacher. Then we came home and I changed again and headed back to SLC, then we changed again and went to "This is the Place State Park" for a tradeshow dinner. The sunset was gorgeous!!! The food was excellent. The group was entertaining and many of the participants were intoxicated. We went with Chuck and Eva and we had the privilege to answer many of their questions about the church. Then we rode the train and walk down the main street. A wonderful evening. We had a great time this week with Chuck, Eva and Jacob and I think that this week was successful for them as well.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

26 August

The end of last week was great. Dad and the kids were planning on going camping at the annual Brown family reunion but ended up only going on Saturday for a few hours. There was always a conflict between the reunion and education week. We had decided earlier that Shaun and the kids that were home would attend the reunion while Kelli and Isaac finished up education week. Well as Friday drew near, Kelli really wanted Shaun to come down and go to a play with her. Kelli called Shaun and invited him down to attend a play with her Friday evening. We decided to not go camping and Shaun went down for the play. It was a musical rendition of the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. It was very well done and very enjoyable. The script and music were all original and this was the first time the production had been performed. Kelli knew several of the actors in the play which added more excitement. We sat by a couple from southern Texas and during the evening found that they were from the same stake that Mom and Dad Olsen are serving in on their mission. We asked the couple to say hello when they arrived home (Mom called Sunday evening and said that a couple came up to them after stake conference and said they had met us at the play – that was neat).

Saturday morning, after getting the house cleaned up and ready, Shaun and the youngest four children drove up to Springville canyon and went to the Brown reunion for the day. The reunion was very nice. Everyone asked after Kelli and Shaun excused her presence. Our extend family members were disappointed to miss her. At the reunion we played games (slingshot which shot handfuls of candy and water balloons, treasure hunt) we ate lunch and had a great visit.

Sunday was a fairly normal day accept that early in the morning, we received a call from Kelli’s mom Carol indicating that Kelli’s grandmother (Bernice Hutchinson) passed away that morning. She was 89 or so years old and has been sick for some time. Kelli was able to go down earlier in the year to see her for a few days. We are grateful at this time that Kelli as able to make that trip. Kelli will be headed down for the funeral this upcoming Friday.

These past couples of days have been very hectic. We have been ramping up to attend school online. We were supposed to receive all of our school books and materials last week. As of today (the first day of school) we only have about half of the materials. Thus Kelli is running around like a crazed woman, helping the kids and putting out fires. She is truly amazing and is doing a great job. Isaac attended his first day of seminary yesterday. He said that it was really good (with the caveat that the teacher is weird).

Over the past 2-3 weeks, Shaun has been meeting with his manager to take over as team lead for the library group. An unofficial announcement was made late last week to the members of the library team and yesterday, a formal announcement went out to the rest of the team. Shaun is really excited about this opportunity and is looking forward to working with the team and doing good things. There several ideas that Shaun has been working on and will finally be able to put some of this ideas into place.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

20 August

Earlier in the week, we ended up needed to get our windshield replaced on the suburban. The kids loved watching the man take out the old windshield and put a new one in.

This past weekend was very nice. We were able to go up to Boise Idaho to attend a friends wedding reception. We decided that we’d leave early and spend the day Saturday finding things to do in Boise. Kelli and the kids worked really hard to get everything in place so we could leave Friday afternoon. Shaun came home from work a bit early (he worked late a few days so he could leave work early) and we took off around 3:00. We made good time until we arrived in the Layton area where there is a lot of construction. We ended up getting off of the freeway and taking the back roads around Layton. We made good time after that and arrived in Boise around 9:00pm. As soon as we got checked in and the car unpacked, we went to the pool.

The hotel room was great – we actually got a 2 room suit with a kitchen. The girls got one room, Mom and Dad got the other room and the 2 boys got the pullout couch in the front room (Isaac was at EFY for the week (he said that he had a fantastic time)). After swimming, we watched the Olympics and went to bed.

Saturday we got up and went to breakfast. We then decided that we’d visit some of the local museums since we had all day. We first went to the local hands on science museum. It was actually really nice. Some of the highlights were the swing that you pull yourself up on, the remote control robots you build yourself, the computer with robot arm that spells words, the sound and hearing exhibits (lots of cool things there), the electronic geyser, the bed of nails that you can stretch out on, and the biggest hit of all was the store where they had plastic food of all kinds, working cash registers, aprons and shopping baskets. The girls spent a long time there. They boys were not to hip on the shopping but there was enough in other areas of the museum to keep them entertained. There was a mirror exhibit that enabled us to get a picture of “forever” with each one of us.

We finished up around 1:00pm – went and got some lunch and headed over to the Old Idaho Penitentiary which was Idaho’s Territorial Prison from 1870-1973. The first thing we did in the prison was view a movie on the history and construction of the prison. We then went out into the yard and toured all the buildings. The kids commented about the condition of the buildings and the cells themselves and how the people had to live there. The feeling there was one of awe that people really lived there and did their time and one of quiet reflection and sadness that that kind of place was necessary. There was also a great interest on the part of our children to see the details of prison life and how things worked. The highlight for the kids was solitary confinement. For some reason, solitary confinement was the most fascinating point for them. There was also a gun collection housed inside of the jail which was interesting and a collection of old time buggies, a train car and horse drawn wagons.

After the jail we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the reception. The reception was for Katie Thomas formally of our ward in Washington. The Thomas family moved to Idaho shortly before we moved back to Utah. Katie’s older brother and sister (Elizabeth and Nathan) were part of Young Men’s and Young Women’s when Kelli was serving as the laurel advisor and Shaun was teaching Sunday school. We have been friends for a while now. A few weeks ago we were blessed to run into Elizabeth at the Jordan River temple. Kelli was in the dressing room getting ready to leave the temple and she saw Elizabeth. We had a nice talk with her there. Elizabeth had Katie send us an invitation and that’s when we decided we’d go up to Idaho. The reception was very nice and it was great to see the Thomas family members again. After the reception we went back to the hotel swam some more and went to bed. Sunday morning we got up, ate breakfast, checked out and headed home. On the way home we picked Isaac up from Steve and Heidi Kendall’s where he had spent the weekend after EFY.

Kelli and Isaac are at Education Week at BYU this week. They are enjoying themselves a lot. While dad has been at work this whole week the rest of the children have been home manning the house, taking care of things etc. They are doing a fantastic job of keeping things in order. We are very grateful that they have stepped up to the task and are being successful.

In one of the classes Kelli learned that we should write our blessing down as a reminder of Our Father in Heavens goodness toward s us. Blessings this past week; the successful completion of the school room and the ensuing peace of knowing it was in order, being able to travel to Idaho safely, the blessing of seeing old friends and seeing that youth we loved and the young adults they now are whom we still love are doing so well, that Isaac truly loved EFY and we saw his testimony grow, having our children step up and take responsibility for the house while Kelli is away and the blessing of learning and strengthening our testimonies with great activities like Education Week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

13 August

We thought we’d post a follow up to the go-cart wreck earlier in the week. It turns out that Matthew didn’t actually run over Chandler – it was a bit more like Chandler saw Matthew barreling towards him, Chandler jumped into the air to go over the top of the go-cart. Matthews head (luckily he was wearing a helmet) hit Chandlers feet as he flew over the go-cart causing Chandler to flip in the air and land behind the go cart. The cart continued forward until it collided with the neighbor’s garbage cans which caused Matthew to be thrown from the cart and the cart bounced off the garbage cans. The Wagner boys (neighbors from across the street) ran over and exclaimed “that was so cool” and checked that everyone was alright. Once again we reiterate that it was a blessing that no one was hurt.

Kelli finished getting the school room set up. She has done a phenomenal job getting everything arranged and set up. I’m grateful to her for that. - Shaun

Monday, August 11, 2008

11 August

This past weekend was interesting and very busy. Thursday, Zane and Leah came over with their family and spent the evening with us. Friday morning they were taking their little one into surgery and we watched their kids Friday and part of Saturday. Friday was Shaun’s normal Friday off so we spent most of the day running errands, fixing the cars (fuel pump, fuel filters and transmission cooler) and getting the school room and office up to date. Shaun has been completely rebuilding our home network and was able to get it finished Friday. Kelli has been working to attend all the K12 orientation classes in anticipation of school starting. Shaun was able to finish reading Breaking Dawn (Stephenie Meyer). The only thought that came to mind after finishing it was “WOW-THAT WAS AWESOME”. Friday was also the first day of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing China. We were able to watch the opening ceremonies which were incredible. It would have been really neat to be there. Chandler Kendall came over Saturday to spend a week with us in anticipation of attending EFY (Especially For Youth) with Isaac this upcoming week. Isaac and Chandler went to a stake dance Saturday which they said was great. Sunday we spent time working on our callings, getting ready for EFY, and Education Week (Isaac and Kelli will be attending at BYU) and watching the Olympics. Rachel decided, with here friend Tayler, that they would read Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) together. She started reading last week and caught the bug Friday – She could hardly put the book down. She was bothered a lot when we asked her to help with chores etc (hee, hee, hee (It’s exciting as a parent to see your children catch the reading bug)). Zachary spent the weekend helping us, playing with Isaac and Chandler, and reading. Matthew wanted to spend the entire weekend playing video games. We put the kibosh on that and encouraged him to do some reading and watching the Olympics. Incidentally, this morning there was a small miracle concerning Matthew that happened out in the street in front of the house. We picked up a little go cart from a garage sale earlier in the year. We will only let the older kids ride it as it accelerates very fast and the steering is very touchy. Dad did not feel that it would be safe for Matthew to drive it alone. Dad and Matthew have ridden it several times together – it’s a very tight and uncomfortable squeeze however. Dad was planning on taking it out in the desert and teaching Matthew how to ride it in a safe place (we just have not had time to do this). This morning the older boys went out to ride and decided that they would let Matthew ride all by himself (they apparently did not like the tight squeeze either). Matthew did okay for a minute then he tried to drive it into the driveway to put it away. Instead of hitting the brake– hit the gas. He ran over Chandler, hit the neighbor’s car, and bounced off their garbaget can, broke the front axel and flattened the tire. Luckily no one was hurt (a few scrapes) and the only damage was to the go-cart. Hopefully they have learned their lesson about being safe and listening to their dad. Bekah and Abby spent the weekend playing at home or with their friends. A few weeks ago we moved Abby from upstairs to down stars with the “big” girls. She likes to sleep upstairs in mom and dads room. Kelli was at Target and saw that they had a toddler cot on sale. The cot is exactly what we needed for Abby. When Abby saw it, she was very excited. Since then, she has insisted on sleeping on her cot in the school room. She has been very cute about it. Bekah is really excited about school and is anxious to start. Only 2 weeks to go.

This upcoming weekend, we are going to go up to Boise, Idaho to a wedding reception. One of the girls that Kelli taught while in Young Women’s in Washington, got married this past weekend and her reception will be in Boise next weekend. We decided that it would be nice to get away for a few days and hopefully see some old friends.

I have not heard anything back from Mentor Graphics on that job. I received and IM from them last Tuesday indicating that they’d call me on Wednesday but they did not call. We debated if we should all them but decided that it was in their hands. We’re just going to let it go and continue where we are and what we are doing.

We took some candid pictures of the family:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My First Blog

This is insane. My daughter has got hers up and running and I'm still lost. I hope I can keep up with the kids and all this technology. Anyway, I am excited to get this blog up and running and I hope it can happened without too many more hiccups. Hope to be back soon.