Saturday, November 29, 2008


We are grateful for: horsies, sunshiney mountain days, the Man from Snowy River movie (because its theme song kept matching our ride), and a special thank you for Dad, who worked hard to make our trail ride perfect.

During one day of Thanksgiving break, we went up near the family property in Lowman, Idaho for a good journey up the trail. With a few of our cousins joining in, we got 7 horses lined up. Jerry did great riding the mustang Garnet, especially for it being only his second time on a horse! He kept a brave smile through all the trotting, and remained a good sport even with several mishaps including: a saddle that slid sideways on him, mismatched stirrup lengths (turns out he got the broken saddle), borrowed sneakers (not boots), and a saddle-sore rear end for the next several days.

On the plus side, we can all applaud Jerry's uncanny skill with a camera. He took this cute shot of Titan and me while riding in front of us. He twisted his torso in the saddle and stretched his arm out behind him with the camera aimed in my general direction. Voila!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chinese Thanksgiving

We heard the Chinese Ward was having a big dinner this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving. Since we are technically not part of the Chinese ward, we brainstormed how to legitimately attend and thereby feast in the joys of Chinese culture and also eat all that good food. We decided to invite one of our friends, James, who is Chinese, to go to the dinner with us. While he is not yet a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, James fit right in with the happy crowd that night and seemed to have a lot of friends there. Way to be social, James! He won a doorprize: a pumpkin. He let me bake a pie from it yesterday--and apparently it was delicious, because he phoned later that day to say he and his roommates had finished it off so I could go pick up the empty pan.

The day after the ward activity Jerry took James to the MTC where they volunteered to be taught by missionaries learning Chinese. Guess who was there! Elder Brandon Steele! Jerry felt so grateful to see him, and even snapped a quick picture--but didn't have a chance to chat, of course, as the missionaries were all pretty wrapped up in their work. Only about one more week and then Elder Steele, with the rest of his district, depart for their respective areas all around the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Job!

Jerry landed his first "real" career recently. He keeps trying to be humble about it, but let's all remember what the business world looks like these days. We feel really grateful the Lord has smiled upon us. Only a dozen or so applicants out of seven hundred were accepted for this particular position. Jerry is enrolled in Avery's rotation training program (GOLD = Global Operation Leadership Development program), meaning they will train him in different areas of the company. His first training will be about Lean Processing (supply chain). Then about one year later, they will rotate him into another position, for example engineering, so that he can learn different things in a short period of time. After 2 or 3 rotations, they will assign him a management position. The starting salary is above BYU Business school's average.
Next time you lick a US postage stamp and smile at the delectable taste, thank Avery--it is the contracted provider. The company deals with most types of adhesives, even the reflective sticky stuff that covers street signs and license plates. They also make stationary, labels, commercial product labels, protective outer layers on cars, and so forth. Check out the website if you are interested in the new world of Jerry: . Avery-Dennison is a Fortune 500 company.

We are not sure yet about the location for his position, because he will fly out to several different plants to make sure he gets a good fit. This company does have plants in Asia, including Hong Kong, but we will be in the US for at least the next few years. Avery will wait for Jerry to graduate of course, so we get to stay in Provo at least until May or so of 2009.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Retracting a Previous Statement

A couple weeks back we remarked on our dislike for turkeys. We now have to say, since one of the most adorable little gobblers (pictured above) has become part of our family, turkeys aren't so bad!
We won this huge hand puppet--approx. $50 value--at the bookstore's Christmas preview night yesterday. The store was full of news cameras, crowds of stampeding customers, and free prizes galore. We got quite a handful of free items, but will not detail them here, as some will be given out as gifts for Christmas...! We plan to whip out Mr. Turkey Puppet at our Thanksgiving visits with family. Be excited boys and girls!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I have started to hear rumors of Christmas in the air. It began with the playing of Christmas music the day after Halloween. Then, five minutes ago I discovered one of my friends has finished putting up Christmas decorations in every room of her house, complete with color scheme and all. My first instinct was to say, "Wow. Early." But then I glanced behind me and had to sheepishly acknowledge the wrapped Christmas gifts I taped and ribboned-up just last night.

These presents are simple--kazoos, chocolates, a clip-on tie--and are getting sent to Australia tomorrow, to make sure little brother going there for his missionary service gets the package in time. The postal worker told me last week (with a frantic look in his eyes): "To Australia?! Send it as soon as possible! You never know with customs!" So pre-Halloween Christmas shopping began. Jerry had the idea of sending a clip-on tie, because he feels indebted to his clip-on for its habit of helping him be punctual. A regular tie, he has explained, is nearly impossible to don while driving down the road. A clip-on, in contrast, can be snapped with ease while the steering wheel gets briefly managed by some body part other than the hands.

Second Admission of Christmas Planning: A few weeks ago for a Family Home Evening activity, Jerry and I assembled Christmas boxes to send to soldiers. We donated them through a campus-wide service project. We felt cheery while we wrote Christmas greetings to unknown faces far across the world. We included small games, craft kits, toys, candies and clipped stories to send from past issues of the December Ensign. We kept our costs low, but got creative and overall felt pleased by our humble contribution. Project Uplift occurs every October at BYU, so keep an eye out next year if it sounds like something you'd like to do!

Forgive the lack of Halloween posting. Christmas, here we come!