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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Probability of a White Christmas

Just thought I would throw this out there. The probability of snow covering the ground on Christmas day... and also what is currently out there now (Dec 23).
With all the snow the northern half of the country has been blanketed with, appears that there will be lots of people enjoying a White Christmas. I'm headed home now for the Holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christ In All Things Christmas

I enjoy the opportunity to read others blogs, getting a peak into their lives that you might not normally see. I've recently read some interesting thoughts on Christmas traditions in relation to Christ, which got me thinking. How many different types and symbols in the holiday traditions are there? Of course Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. But how many decorations or songs or performances are there that we may take for granted or perhaps not understand its meaning completely; which can point our minds to more fully focus on Christ. Well that sentence was a mouthful. I just want to share a few of the interesting things I have read:

The Christmas Tree ~ it is commonly known the evergreen is a symbol of eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all. I found what came out of Germany in the 16th century to be interesting. They decorated the fir trees with roses and candies and apples, and the day before Christmas put on a play depicting the story of Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The tree hung with apples was used to symbolize the Garden, and the play ended with the prophecy of the Savior's coming. Those who have been through the temple may find this symbolism of the Christmas tree more meaningful. It is also interesting to ponder as we try to emulate Christ by giving gifts, we typically first place these gifts at the foot of the tree.
Lights ~ are found everywhere during the Christmas season, decorating our homes, pathways, trees, etc. We know that Jesus is the Light of the World. Light is a fascinating subject in the scriptures. On perhaps a lesser note, yet interesting, if we go back to those middle-ages in Germany, the reformer Martin Luther was rumored to begun the tradition of adorning trees with lights. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home. So as we stare at the twinkling lights in the tree on Christmas Eve, we might think of the stars on a clear night as our gaze is turned heavenward, perhaps in search of the Star of Bethlehem or angel proclaiming the birth of Jesus.

Holly and Mistletoe ~ these plants not only celebrate the Christmas colors, but also have unique stories behind them. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed over the doors of homes to drive evil away. Legend has it that holly sprang from the footsteps of Christ as he walked the earth. The pointed leaves were said to represent the crown of thorns Christ wore while on the cross and the red berries symbolized the blood he shed. The ancient Celtics believed mistletoe to have magical healing powers. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace, and it is said that among Romans, enemies who met under mistletoe would lay down their weapons and embrace. Christ is the master healer. He is the prince of peace.

The 12 Days of Christmas ~ I always thought this was a goofy old song about giving presents during twelve days around Christmas. I never realized the symbolism in this catholic catechism which begins on Christmas and ends on Epiphany (January 5th). I won't write out the whole song here, but... on the first day of Christmas my true love (God) gave to me, a partridge (Jesus) in a pear tree.

"He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ." (D&C 88:6-7)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Christmas Season


Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year! What other holiday can you dedicate a whole month to? The Christmas Spirit runs throughout the season as we put out our decorations and put up the tree, feel more of the spirit of giving, and one of my personal favorites, hear the familiar sounds of Christmas music. I adore listening to (and sometimes singing) the tunes of Christmas, especially those dedicated to the birth of Jesus Christ. It is remarkable to think about the celebration of Christmas, how the world can re-focus on the birth and life of the savior, and how amazing He truly is.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Comforter

I've decided to get myself a brand new comforter for my bed this Christmas. For those who know me, you would know that sometimes it takes me a long time to make decisions. True I can be very indecisive at times, but once I know what I want, my mind is made up. I've been thinking about getting one for awhile now and finally made the decision to go for it, with the conditions it has to be micro-suede and can't be white.
Ok, so that decision is made. Now comes the fun part, actually picking one out! After browsing through Walmart and Ross and other discount stores, I didn't really see anything I particularly liked. So I turned to the internet and came across two good sites from which I've narrowed my search down to 3 (pictured). As of yesterday I have already ordered one of these. Guess which one?
Well the one I really wanted was a bit out of my price range (at $124.99). The other two fell within the range I was willing to spend, so I chose one. I guess now I need to go out and get some blue accent pillows. Unless I decide to change my mind...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Princeton

I flew out to the east coast again this year. This time to Princeton, NJ for another work conference. We stayed at the historic Nassau Inn during the week which is located in the middle of downtown (Palmer Square) and right across the street from Princeton University. I very much so enjoy visiting and touring around different college campuses, and Princeton is definitely a beautiful one.




Some of the highlights of Princeton: First night i had some of the best pizza I have ever eaten at Teresa's Cafe. It had wild mushrooms, hot italian sausage, and smoked gouda on a white sauce. Wednesday night I attended a volleyball game of the Princeton Tigers vs. Penn. I also enjoyed hanging out at the Frist Center (student union) and wondering how intelligent these students must be. I tried to find the institute class there, but was unsuccessful. It seemed like everywhere I looked around campus the architecture of the buildings looked very gothic and castle like. I bet it's even more beautiful there in spring and autumn.

New York 11-18-08
I also was able to get away for a half-day trip to New York City to celebrate my birthday! I took an hour train ride up to the city. I arrived at Madison Square Garden and walked up Broadway, through Central Park, and up to the Met museum of art, before I headed back down along 5th avenue to midtown. Jared and Debi Lee took me out for dinner to this cool little place, Kashkaval, where we ate cheese and bread and fondue. It was certainly a cold day but the weather was not too bad.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family Photo

I wanted to add a recent photo of my family for those interested to see everyone growing up. This was taken at Nate and Melissa's wedding in Rexburg in August.
Dad and Mom. Ben, Lindsy and baby Carter. Nate and Melissa. Me, Noah, Jakob, Jeremiah, and Johanna.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

OSU Homecoming

Homecoming at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater is a pretty big deal every year. It began in conjunction with the festival of the harvest which has led to one of the biggest football homecoming celebrations in the nation. Besides the actual game, the celebration which headlines homecoming is the "Walk-Around". You must be there to truly appreciate the size and intricate work of the decorations as well as the vastness of the 'sea of orange' as the whole city converges on the streets of south campus. Here are a few pictures of the event.
This year's theme was 'Generation Cowboy' and each Greek house made unique decorations accordingly. It is all made by gluing tissue paper on chicken wire. All for tens of thousands of onlookers on a Friday night. Pretty impressive.
video

Friday, October 10, 2008

First Year Coaching

We just finished our 2008 High School season last night with a loss at Regionals. I never thought I would be coaching in high school, especially for girls volleyball, but it was a great experience. I definitely learned a lot of things as I tried to teach, motivate, encourage and just have fun with the girls. Most of my time and effort was spent with the 8th graders, but I also served as an assistant with the Varsity and JV teams.
Here's a photo of me with my Ponca City 8th grade girls after they took 2nd place in the Bartlesville Tournament. It's not what's on the front of your jersey, but what is in your heart that matters.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Madison-Wisconsin


Trip to Madison, WI for work. Another fun university town as well as the state capitol. I will add more photos soon.. hopefully!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Connecticut-New York City





Me and my best friends from BYU have an annual reunion. This year we got together in small town Connecticut.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Monterey CA

I spent a week in beautiful Monterey, California in March of 2007. One of the perks of my job is the opportunities to travel to different parts of the country I wouldn't typically have visited. Though most of the days were spent in meetings, I was able to take some time and tour around. The view from the coastline was gorgeous. Lots of rocky beaches, sea life, trails, etc. This was my second ARM meeting... definitely the best one so far. I also ran into some friends there which was nice as well. We went out and had Mexican food one night, probably the best I've had. From the hotel it was a short walk to the beach and then a short bike ride into the canary row and pier. The highlight of the week was the afternoon adventure on bikes we rented. It was a beautiful day, with a slight breeze as we biked along the coast.
The beach was nice as well.
Then I went on a bike ride along the coast down to Pebble Beach.

For work, annual meeting. First we hit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Clouds

One of my earliest memories of my interest in weather began with clouds. I would take pictures of the different types and forms in the sky. I still do every once in awhile, and I thought I would put up a few of the photos I have taken over the past few years. You can't really tell, but this is the closest I have gotten to a tornado. Just in the trees is a rotating wall cloud, although not very well defined. This passed just to the east of my apartment here in Stillwater. The radar image shows the storms during this evening on the 1st day of May 2008.

This next photo was taken during sunrise of what look like some mid-level broken clouds. One thing you will know about me is that I love the combination of science and art in the field of meteorology. Sometimes it looks like the sky is just one big canvas...
.............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. Cumulus Humilis clouds during a field project June 2008. Which also produced the wettest June on record in Oklahoma, and..... re-energized a tropical storm over the state. Some of the clouds were more of a coastal origin that your typical Oklahoma summer shallow Cu. You can also see how moist the atmosphere was... .................................................................................

My favorite cloud is the cumulonimbus. This one was taken on a hike to Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City.
I wish I had better pictures of the large thunderstorms.
I also am including a photo of some cirrus clouds, since my master's research dealt with those. More pictures to come later. Such as this one. What may look like a beginnings of a tornado is actually a cold air funnel. I can also add some of my cloud paintings.