Sunday, September 27, 2009

Several Thoughts... try to follow along.

We were able to go watch Taylor play soccer on Saturday. I don't know how many times she actually kicked the ball, but she was definately the cutest player on the field!
Then we were able to treat the kids to a trip to Sea World.
(We all had free tickets! haha!)

This one has WAY too much energy!

Grandma J let them bury her feet. Wild and crazy grandma!

Watching the pet show.
Now, here are where my thoughts are going...
The reason we were able to do all these fun things with our awesome family, is because I didn't go on a planned backpacking trip.
Why not, you say?
I had planned a three day 45 mile trip thru the High Sierras culminating on the last day summiting Mt. Whitney.
But everyone else had to cancel. My friend from back East was busy with business. And my son Tyler, had just been called a 1st Counselor in the Elders Quorum Presidency and decided it was more important to stay and get sustained and set apart and get to work in his new calling.
I feel some concern for my son.
He has had some very tough business decisions to make lately, and not everyone he is associated with agrees with everything he has had to do. There has been a lot of talk going around and some of it is hurtful. But I think he is doing pretty well. It's going to be a long haul, but he knows that and is trying to do the right things. I am especially impressed at his resolve to not talk ill of any others that may have been involved. So in a time when getting away for a few days may have been enjoyable, he decided to stay and attend Church.
It brings to mind a scripture that many quote as their favorite:
1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
I believe this scripture typifies Tylers obedience (or at least his efforts!)
However, the following scripture is actually the one that is one of my favorites:
1 Nephi 3:8 And it came to pass that when my father had heard these words he was exceedingly glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord.
So when Tyler told me why he decided not to go, I felt nothing less than exceeding gladness that he wanted to stay and serve the Lord.
And so I say to my son, as Lehi said to his:
1 Nephi 3:6 Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmered.
Well, that and "we'll do the trip next year!"


Road Trip!
We had fun on Labor Day in Mammoth.

Diane said she'd be willing to camp in a tent, but we couldn't find a camp site to reserve so we had to settle for a condo. Not too disappointing to Di, since when we travel I like to help cook (and even clean up!)

But I was craving some outside activity so we headed right out to see the sights.

The lakes are beautiful even if there were tons of people around. I actually like a little more solitude, but Di is not a backpacker. Knowing we were going to be "in town" but also knowing we were going to a place called "Mammoth Lakes" I took the canoe along just to make sure we didn't spend all our time shopping!

I wanted to put in and paddle around every lake, but we were limited on time so we just picked a couple. This is Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop.

We paddled across the lake and found the inlet stream. Very scenic and very few people. We paddled up here enjoying the quiet, peaceful scenery. We followed the bends as the channel narrowed and it was actually pretty fun to paddle in... until we decided to go swimming. If you have ever been canoeing, you know that "swimming" is what happens when "somebody" paddles a little too close to the bushes and "somebody else" leans over to try to avoid being scratched by them.

This is the last picture the camera took after our adventure. Luckily, there were some rocks nearby that we could swim to. And from where "somebody" got to go swimming two more times, once to retrieve the paddles, and again to retrieve "somebody else's" glasses from the bottom of the 7 foot deep stream...
We hadn't planned on this adventure so it seriously cut into our shopping time. Bummer, huh? We did take a little hike down to Devil's Postpile but the camera was still suffering so we didn't get any pics.
All in all, a very successful trip. A little relaxation, a little outside activity, and all with the one I love the most.

Life is good.


P.S. This water is NOT as warm as Hawaii.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

On the trail again.

Sometime this last Spring I realized I hadn't been hiking and camping enough and decided I was going to get out more this year. After I made this decision some interesting things started happening. For some reason I found myself in the shed sorting through all my camping stuff, just wanting to see it all again. There are some great memories there and they came back as friends, almost asking why I had been ignoring them for so long. Then a friend called and said he wanted to climb Mt. Whitney this year. He lives on the east coast and works for the same company as me and we have gotten together several times to do some nice hikes in Yosemite and along the Appalachian Trail. Well, he wanted to climb the big one and so we made plans. And I started training for a pretty serious 3 day 45 mile hike.
And best of all was being able to do some hiking and camping with my son and grandson.
Even my wife suggested we go tent camping in Mammoth for Labor day (I couldn't find a campsite to reserve so we ended up in a condo... bummer, huh?!). But we did take the canoe and had a great time on the water and we also hiked to Devil's Postpile. How out-doorsy are we! OK, I wore a Hawaiian T shirt and not my North Face fleece, but it was warm! Di will have to post those pics... they are on her computer. Anyway, I have always loved the outdoors (especially the mountains) and I was getting right back into my element. So, here's where I'm going with this; I was told last week that I will be released from High Council during Stake Conference next week and that my Bishop had a calling for me. I figured in the last 7 years I have written and delivered over 70 talks and traveled many miles and fulfilled countless Stake assignments so I was OK to move on... but I had to wait for the Bishop to call me to find out my new calling. Have you guessed it? I am now the new scoutmaster for Troop 159 in Wrightwood. Well, who'd a thought? It's been a long time since I served with the youth and to be honest, I don't even know most of the boys that I will be working with. But this much I know, every one of them will be better for having been a scout. Scouting builds character. It builds friendships. It builds memories. And I am looking forward to every minute of it.
Have a great scouting day!
Bro. J, Scoutmaster Troop 159