London Trip

I told quite a few people that I’d update my blog with our London Trip experience, so now that it’s been over a month, I’m finally getting around to it. I’ll add a few pictures to this post, but most of them will be in our family photo website.

First, it was a long plane ride. We finally arrived in London on Sunday in the morning. The rest of our group were planned to arrive 30 minutes after us on a separate flight. We had received a text before we left the US though that their first flight was delayed, so they may not make it. We were able to get on the Internet in the airport and got a message that they did make their flight, but it was also delayed.  So we waited another extra hour or so, and they were able to meet up with us.

We got to our hotel called “The California” and got settled in. We then got our Oyster cards, which allowed us to ride “the tube” (the subway in London) for our week stay. We were then able to go over to Baker Street to buy phones, and walk past the Sherlock Holmes museum/house. One of the things I wanted to try out was to use my cell phone there, so I bought a SIM card for £5, popped it in my Galaxy S5, and got it up and running with cell service and Internet access (after a little configuration). So, as a techie, this was one of the things I was excited about trying out.

After that, we went over to St. Paul’s Cathedral for an organ recital that was going on that night. We ended up having a while before the recital, so we walked across the Millennial bridge and were able to go into a Christmas market that was set up there. We had some roasted nuts from a street vendor, and had fun checking out a few of the other stores.  The recital was only about a half hour, but it was cool to be inside under the dome and listen to the organ echo throughout the cathedral. We were pretty tired, so I have to admit, I fell asleep for a little bit of it 😉 then we traveled back to our hotel for the night.

For our second day, we started off by walking by Big Ben, which is part of the palace of Westminster. We walked through a park over to Buckingham Palace. Jeb and Patrick happy that things were not as busy during the winter as it normally was during the spring/summer when they usually visit London.  I was glad, because there were quite a few people, and I don’t know how well I would have handled having a ton more people around.

We then made our way down “The Mall” toward Trafalgar Square. On our walk, we were able to see a part of what I think is the horse guard, which was basically a bunch of guards on horses that made a ride down the Mall and back up around the palace.

At Trafalgar Square, we split up and were able to visit the National Gallery and Mikki and I ate lunch in the Crypt of one of the Cathedrals nearby. It was good food, but kind of weird to think about where we were eating.  The National Gallery was pretty cool, and we were allowed to take pictures of many of the paintings there.

After the gallery, we went back close to our hotel to the King’s British Library. Most of our group only spent an hour there, but Mikki and I stayed a while longer, as the librarian in her came out. We were able to see a copy of the Magna Carta, and other cool documents.

After that, we were able to go on a good walk past the Tower of London, across the Tower Bridge, and back up by the Millennial Bridge. Below is a picture of us on Tower Bridge.2015-12-14 16.15.58

The rest of our group had a play that night, and we didn’t go to it, so we went to Piccadilly Circus, which would be the equivalent of like Times Square in New York. We wandered around, up and down the streets there, and ate some good Italian food there.

Since this seems to be taking me so long to write, I’ll go ahead and post this, and then add more information about our trip to subsequent posts.

March 1, 2015

The snow is finally here! Along with this snowy weekend, I’m finally here on my website to get things updated a little bit.

First, I’ve got to show a picture of our beautiful home covered in snow.  This past storm has given us quite a bit to shovel out.

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Mikki and I are in the front room warming up with our toasty fire.

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We love our home, so far, and it’s hard to believe we’ve been here for about 6 months now. Currently, we’ve repainted our bedroom, and yesterday, we installed some new blinds.  It’s been fun to play around with things to make the home more to our liking.  We’ll have to save up a bit more to replace carpet to a more “modern” style, but for now, it works just fine.

Mikki and I have continued to keep busy with work, and we still love working at SUU.  I’m currently taking two classes as I’ve decided to pursue a Masters of Business Administration.  My first class is Operations Management, which has been a little different than I expected initially.  The other class is Managerial Finance, which I had a pretty good idea of how that class would be.  So far, I’m enjoying both classes (but I have a test in each one this week, so that could change).

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about taking classes has been to get to know more faculty members on campus.  Currently, I not only maintain the computer labs on campus, but I also support the computers for the CSIS, Math, and Business departments as well as the Student Association (SUUSA).  Both of my classes are from the business department, and I feel like I’m developing some good relationships with them.  This past week, I have been invited to be a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, which is an honor society group that recognizes top business students for their academic achievements.

I have to give Mikki some credit, as she has been a motivator in the beginning for me to continue my education while I’m working here at SUU.  She has been taking classes these past couple years towards a Library Media endorsement.  It’s taken me two years of only work to finally feel comfortable in getting back into school.  I feel energized and excited to see more possibilities available in life as I continue to gain education.  Mikki should be finishing up her endorsement pretty soon.

As for our church activities, Mikki and I are Primary teachers.  We currently have a combined class of 8-9 year old children.  They are fun to teach, and, of course, full of energy each Sunday.  Our stake has also been having stake basketball for the past month, and we started our tournament this past Saturday. We won our first game, and it’s single elimination, so we’ll see how far we go.  I’m also the Stake Technology Specialist, which has been fun so far.  I’m looking forward to meeting more people in our stake, which will be good since we plan on sticking around for a long time.

I guess the last thing to put on here to catch things up is that we just bought a piano!  It’s been a great addition to our home, and I’ve enjoyed our home being filled with music.  Mikki is learning to play some songs, and we’ve had fun playing some duets of the songs I remember playing at home with Mom and Shelly.

I know this skips a lot of the fun things Mikki and I have done over the past year, so I plan to put a couple posts in with pictures from some of the activities we’ve been able to do.


Our Home and Smoky Mountain Road

During the end of August, 2014, we moved into our first house.  Along with a couple of those pictures, I’ve added a couple of picture of our ride we took with Mom and Dad on the Smokey Mountain Road at the beginning of Septemer.

Mom also added more of our photos on our Family Photo website here (

June-July 2013

Mikki and I were able to help Dad with taking the cows on the mountain this year.  It was a long ride on the horses, and we were able to have a pretty good time.

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Also in June, we were able to have our Shakespear Family Reunion in Tropic.  Mikki and I skipped riding the horses during that time since we had plenty during the cattle drive.  If you haven’t seen the pictures we uploaded from it, check them out by clicking on the picture.  It was pretty fun to see Bryce Canyon with the whole family.

We had to make things even since we had helped Dad move the cows.  In the picture below, there are a bunch of big rocks that George wanted to get for landscaping.  We helped him haul these back to the business.


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One of the other fun things we did in July was go camping on the Boulder Mountain.  Mikki and I spent a couple days up there, and eventually got rained out.  We did have a fun time though.  It was pretty busy up there, since it was the 4th of July weekend, but we were able to find a good camping spot close to Big Lake (which is dried up and just a bunch of grass now).  It isn’t too far from the Row lakes and Purple lake, where we had normally gone with the extended family.  It was a good chance to see how well our truck did on the rougher roads (which was just great).

May 2013

During the month of May, Mikki and I were able to have a couple of fun things happen.  First of all, Mikki attended commencement at SUU to officially graduate!

Mikki Grad Flag

It was good to celebrate all of the hard work that Mikki did to graduate in Education.  After the ceremony, we were able to get together with some of the family members that came to celebrate with us.

A couple weeks later, we were able to go to Chicago.  I was able to attend a training for some software we use at SUU.  During the first two days, I attended the trainings while Mikki was able to go shopping and she even worked up the courage to drive our rental (I think she only went a few blocks, but there are a ton of people there).

The next few days, we were able to visit some of the sites in Chicago and then travel over to Nauvoo.  Below are pictures of Mikki in Willis Tower (previously Sears Tower).

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The top floor is advertised as the Sky Deck.  It was pretty cool to look out at all of the other small buildings in downtown Chicago.

The part you can see Mikki standing in is a plexi-glass overhang so you can really see how tall the building is over the edge.  It was fun because we also saw some people taking wedding pictures there (how come we didn’t think of that :).

We also saw another person that was scared to death to actually walk in the little plexi-glass window things, so they laid on the floor and peeked over the edge.





The next day, we were able to go the the Chicago temple.  It looks a little small, but it seems much larger inside.  One of the workers was latino, and I was able to talk with him in spanish for a while.  He was kind of nervous speaking english, so it was fun to be able to talk with him for a while and help him feel comfortable.

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After the session, we traveled the rest of the day to get to Nauvoo.  We had a fun time riding through the flat land over there.  One of the highlights is that we were able to drive through Grundy County (and see a sign for an auction there).

Nauvoo was beautiful.  We had fun going through all of the church history sites and seeing the Nauvoo temple.  It did rain quite a bit there, but one of the days when it didn’t rain, we did notice there were lots of bugs.  We’re glad the weather turned out that way.

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We had a great trip altogether, and would love to go visit again.

March-2013 ☘

The past couple of weeks haven’t been too exciting for us.  On one of the Saturdays, our stake did a basketball tournament.  Our ward had two teams, and we only had one building to play in, so it was a single elimination tourney.  The team I played with lost our game by over 20 points, while our other ward team won their first game.  The leaders told us that we couldn’t switch to our other ward team unless there was a reason that some team members weren’t able to make it for the other games, and we had quite a few that were gone to a funeral during the other game, so I played with them for their second game.  We lost that one by around 7 points, and later that day found out that the team we lost to won the tournament by a long shot.  All of their games except ours they had won by a blow-out, so it made us feel a little better.

As for the other basketball news, we were happy to hear that BV won the state championship!  We wish we could have seen the game, but we had our stake conference while the game was played.  I was in the choir, and it was fun to sing.  I can’t get Mikki to sing with us though, even though she has a good voice.

We are still having a fun living in our little house here in Cedar, although we still look forward to owning our own home someday.  One evening I went and hid from Mikki to see how long it would take her to find me.  I decided to hide in the bathtub, since I usually don’t hide there and I found it was a pretty comfortable hiding spot.  Mikki was a little bit smarter this time though, as she figured I was hiding from her, so she just went in the bathroom and started getting ready for bed.  I started getting impatient, so I quietly slipped my phone out of my pocket and sent her a text message saying “Come find me!”  She didn’t even budge to go get her phone in the other room.  So then, I decided to call her.  That would get her to go get it for sure, so I thought, but she still didn’t move.  After that, I figured that she had won, so I might as well give up.  She then called out to me saying something like, “you want me to come find you, huh?”  So I then said, with much disgust, “yeah, but you already know where I am.”  I did get to scare her a little bit though, because she thought I was hiding in the bedroom closet. 🙂  Here is the picture she took of me though.  So if you ever need a good hiding spot, the tub is pretty comfortable.

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About the last thing that is of any excitement is that Mikki and I are talking a little bit about wanting to buy land to build a house on.  We’ve looked around a little bit, and I think it would be fun.  If anyone has suggestions about what to look for when buying land, please let us know.


So Far in 2013

Starting the year 2013 has been pretty busy so far.  With the start of a new year, we also have a new CIO that will be working with us at SUU.  Many of my co-workers have been nervous about the changes that come with getting a new boss, and so far, I think things are going well.  I haven’t really talked with him very much, but I think he is getting settled in and we will probably hear more about what our future will be like with the technology on campus.

I’ve kept busy in getting the computer labs ready for the new semester to start.  Before the last semester ended, I tried to get information from the faculty about what software they would need on the computers for this spring semester.  For all of you who don’t know, I manage about 750 computers on campus, which are spread out into maybe 20 or so computer labs.  One of the fun projects I was able to implement during the break was a computer lab availability website, so that students would be able to see how busy the computer labs are.  During that same time, I also install software that the teachers will need for the next semester.  I only had a couple of faculty members tell me what software they needed.  One piece of software was pretty difficult to install on the computers, and it took me probably 3 days to get it working correctly.

Now that the semester has started, I have more faculty that “need” software installed for their classes.  It’s pretty typical that the faculty tell me about what they need after their classes have already started.  It makes it difficult because now all of the students are back, classes are going, and I have a hard time getting into the computer labs to install the software for them.  Luckily, our policy states that after the first week of classes have finished, I don’t have to accept any more requests from faculty for that semester of classes.

Mikki is enjoying her job over in the Library.  She is learning all of her duties as an administrative assistant, such as balancing the budgets, she is the academic advisor for the Library Media Program, and she also gets miscellaneous tasks to help out the faculty and staff in the library.  I’m glad she is able to work with good people so she is able to be happy with her job.

We have been looking for a home now in Cedar City for the past few months now.  We just offered on a home that is close to campus and hope to find out soon if it will be accepted.  It is exciting to think of the possibility of owning a home as well as overwhelming, since it costs so much $$$.  We know some people that live in the same area which makes us more comfortable about purchasing.

This past saturday (Jan 12th), we were able to go to St. George to an endowment session in the temple.  Mikki’s sister Chelsea is preparing to go on her mission in February.  She will be serving in the Florida Tallahassee Mission.  We were happy to be able to witness her receive the blessings and promises of the endowment ordinance.  We are also excited that she has decided to serve a mission, even though we will miss her for a year and a half.

Our plans for the rest of the month include teaching the Sunday School lesson this upcoming Sunday, playing racquetball with some friends, getting up earlier in the morning to exercise, listening to Chelsea speak in church before leaving, and whatever else comes up in between.  We’ll see how we do.