Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Decathlete

It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break when Travis called me from school telling me he had just been cut from the varsity basketball team. It was his senior year, and it was a tough reality to face. Travis had been practicing and playing basketball since he was in elementary school. What would he do now? What would the winter be like without hours and hours of basketball? 

Soon after he walked in the door that deflating afternoon, I had my answers. Travis had already decided that he was going to focus full-time on track and that he was going to become a decathlete.* He went for a run that very afternoon. Daily exercise HAD to be part of his routine and if he didn't get that structure from school, he would create his own. 
(Travis and Coach Tripp)
All winter Travis worked out with David Stroshine at ASAP Training to help him get in his best possible physical shape. He traveled to Salt Lake twice a week to learn how to pole vault. He worked with his coaches at Timpview and even with his dad on the weekends (who threw discus and shot put in high school).
Who would have thought that he would place second overall (3A-5A) in the decathlon event (2014 BYU Multi/Distance Carnival) that took place this past weekend when he had only been training since January? We were surprised, thrilled, excited, and so very happy.
Travis, always remember that you have it in you to do hard hard things!
*A decathlon is an athletic event that takes place over the course of two days in which each competitor takes part in the same prescribed ten events (100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1,500-meter run).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Missionary at 18

Last week Travis received a large white envelope from the Office of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Inside was his call to serve as a missionary in the Chile ConcepciĆ³n South Mission. He will serve for 24 months and will report to the Mexico Missionary Training Center on August 13 where he will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.
(Travis and Abby)
Recently the age that a young man can began missionary service was changed from 19 to 18 and Travis wanted to assume this responsibility before he began his schooling. He will graduate from high school at the end of May and has been accepted to study at Brigham Young University, but will defer until he finishes his mission.
Travis is excited to serve the Chilean people. Although he had two years of German in high school, he is already asking us to help him learn a bit of Spanish. For some reason, the first word I thought to teach him was "leche" (milk). Once track season and graduation are over, training will probably be a bit more intense.
Life for this guy will change a lot over the next few months. He will be one of over 83,000 full-time missionaries serving throughout the world for our Church. This mother-heart will miss him terribly, but I'm so glad he wants to serve and do his duty.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kellie's Day

Kellie received her Endowment in the Provo Temple a couple weeks ago.
(Brian, Kellie, and I)
The Endowment is a special spiritual blessing. It is a sacred ordinance for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormons). This day was just as significant for Kellie as the day she was baptized (if not more so.)
(Kellie, age 8, on her baptism day)
It was wonderful to have family and close friends join us.
(Kellie and Whitney)
(Alex and Kellie)
Rachel flew out from Atlanta and
(Sisters: Rachel and Kellie)
my sister, Renee, flew in from Washington.
(Me, Renee, and Kellie)
Joyful Day

To learn why temples are so important to us watch this 15-minute video. Or, here is a 5-minute one if you prefer. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dear Rachel (#20)

Dear Rachel,

I've been doing a bit of crafting as I hibernate inside. I'm pretty sure I haven't been warm since Thanksgiving. The shelf in the front closet which houses our winter woolens has been a disaster as we all rummage through to find what we need. Well. . . you know me and my love for Scrabble tiles.
Such organizational satisfaction!
We are finally making progress on Abby's room. Here's a sneak peek:
On the first day of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Travis competed for the first time in the pole vault at a track meet held (appropriately) at the Utah Olympic Oval (built for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake.)
He had only been training for three weeks, but he was excited to give it his best shot.
At this meet Travis competed using "three lefts" (or six steps) and he held the pole down lower than many of the other athletes who have trained for much longer. However, even with this technique he was able to clear 9 feet which was his personal record. This week he cleared 10 feet at training using "five lefts" (or 10 steps). Enjoy this video dad shot with his iPhone:
Finally, look at the progress that's been made on the new Provo City Center Temple. Abby took this picture as we were driving down University Avenue a few weeks ago.
But, what am I saying? You'll be here in a couple days and you can see it for yourself. I can't wait! Give David a hug for me.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Art by Abby

Even though I've known it for quite a few years, I'm still amazed that we have an artist in the family. I, myself, can barely draw stick figures, yet my youngest offspring is one talented girl (in my humble maternal opinion.)
She drew this flag to represent a fictional country in Geography last semester.
 I received this drawing for Mother's Day last year. It is of Abby and I.
This one was entered into a recent art show at her High School.
Abby drew this tired-looking guy in her sketchbook over the course of several nights as Brian read Harry Potter aloud to her AGAIN. She says this type of expression is much easier to draw than a smiling one. Evidently smiles create too many lines.
Lastly, Abby brought this home from her Metals class yesterday. I think she did a great job especially since she says the spot-welder scared her and the rivets took a long time because of her lack of forearm strength. She was especially proud of the lid since it was of her own design.
Love you, Abby!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Treasures from Travis

No matter how old he gets, I still cherish my son's handmade creations. Last year for Christmas Travis gave me an airplane he painstakingly built out of popsicle sticks and toothpicks. For weeks this project monopolized a corner of our kitchen counter. In between homework, basketball practice, and games he cut, crafted, and glued.
I was so impressed with his attention to detail.
He even put an "M" on the tail for "Mom".
Check out that engine and landing gear.
I think this guy has started some kind of tradition
because this year he gifted me with a tree.
Simply put . . . true treasures.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Soldier Hollow

It was a chilly but gorgeous day when we arrived at Soldier Hollow on the Friday morning between Christmas and New Year. I'd been wanting to try out their tubing hill for years.
Once we were checked in and tubes acquired everyone was towed to the top.
We then chose a lane, held on tight, and enjoyed the ride!
The kids had a great time racing each other down.
Abby claims she came in first.
Brian must have been in on it too. He's there on the far left.
I took a token "selfie" to prove I was indeed on the mountain as well.
We had a really fun morning going for speed and going for air. I loved when we would slide down in groups of two or three. I usually ended up screaming or laughing all the way down.
Travis and Kellie went down together for one of their last runs of the day. I wish I had recorded their skilled take-off, but at least you get a taste of the action.