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.


Love in the month of February

Wow! Time just keeps going faster as I get older.  I’m still loving my job, and since things have slowed down a bit, I get to get back into my research for what the future computer labs will be like next year.

Valentine’s day is coming up, and Mikki and I have had some experiences this past week that really have taught us more about love.

First of all, I love my family.  On Tuesday evening, we went to Cannonville to spend our last evening with Chelsea as she would be entering the Missionary Training Center the next day.  We had a great time together, and we were able to be there with President Chenoweth the next morning as she was set apart as a full-time missionary for the church.  I felt a little jealous, as I do miss the feelings and revelation that comes to missionaries in the service of the Lord.

We then made the trip up to Provo with all of the family (George, Teresa, Chelsea, and Shan).  We had some good discussions and laughs as we made the drive.  When we got to Provo, we decided to eat at the Olive Garden, and we only had a little over an hour before we needed to drop Chelsea off.  We waited for a good amount of time, and I guess they didn’t have any larger tables open up, as many groups of 2 or 3 that had come after us, were being seated.

Chelsea was getting pretty nervous, and I though back to my lunch before going into the MTC.  I had been pretty nervous as well.  I’m sure she had similar thoughts like, “I’m really not going to see my family for this whole time as a missionary; Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing? I already miss being at home.” With the way things were going at the Olive Garden, we decided we’d better just go to Zupa’s instead.

When I’ve usually been to Zupa’s, the lines are always long, but they move pretty quick.  Thankfully, when we went in, there really wasn’t a line.  We all ate pretty quick, not necessarily because of what time it was, but I think we just were all a little nervous too as we knew that Chelsea was going to be gone soon.

This was the first missionary drop-off experience that I have had since being home from my mission.  It was also the first one that I had since they had changed the way they have them come.  I had gone through the old way where they have the family go into the chapel, sing Called to Serve, say our good-byes, and walk out the separate exits.  Now they give the missionary a time to just get dropped-off at the curb of the MTC.  They previously instruct the families to say their good-byes before dropping them off.

We had about 15 minutes before we had to drop Chelsea off, so we went to the parking lot in-between the MTC and Provo temple.  There were quite a few families doing the same thing of going to the parking lot, saying their good-byes, and then taking them across the street to drop them off.

We took a few pictures, let Chels know how proud we are of her, shed some tears, and then made the short drive to the MTC to drop her off.  They basically have a line of about 30 cars all at once line up to the curb.  They have maybe 3 or 4 missionaries per vehicle help get all the luggage, and then point the missionary in the right direction of where to go next.  In the matter of just a few minutes, we all just drive off leaving them in the hands of the Lord to start their mission experience.

We love Chels a lot, and are glad that she made the decision to serve a mission.  I know that the Lord is aware of our needs and will help us make the best decisions for our life.  If we follow the guidance we receive from him, he will bless us so much every time.

As for the latter part of this week, on Saturday, our stake put on a Valentine’s dance.  It is really fun to be a part of a University Married stake, where our leaders plan and help us all build our marriages.  Mikki and I went out to eat at Milt’s, as we were treating that day as if it was Valentine’s Day.  We figured we would beat the rush so we wouldn’t have to try to have dinner when everyone else goes out.  After dinner we got ready for the dance.  I finally wore my Bow-tie that Mikki had given me about 6 years ago when she had gone to London.

We had a fun time dancing, singing, and socializing with many of our friends.  We have the largest ward in our stake, and a lot of our ward went to the party.  There still wasn’t a ton of people as it was kind of snowy outside. I’m so glad that we went, and were able to celebrate the love that Mikki and I have.  I hope all of my family and friends take the opportunity to show their spouse, and family how much they love them during this Valentine’s day that is coming up.

I love you all, and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s from Jim and Mikki

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.