Tuesday, June 3, 2008


It has been a while since we last posted here. Here are some updates.

Ellie just finished her dance season with two wonderful recitals last week. She is really an elegant and creative dancer. The instructor lets the girls choreograph some of their own dances and Ellie's dances were magnificent! We are so proud of her!

Peter had his final choir concert at Eastmont Middle School last week. It was very well done. Peter is a very talented singer and actor and wants to audition for some plays this summer and next year. He has already been in "Music Man Jr.," "Seussical," and "High School Musical Jr." We take him as often as we can to see his cousins perform, too. We saw one cousin, Abby Paulsen, in the just-finished run of "Annie Get Your Gun" at the Hale Theatre. We also saw her in the Olympus High School version of "Sound of Music earlier this year. And we can't wait to take Peter to any Young Ambassador performances we can find, since another cousin, Zachary Hess, just became a member as an incoming freshman at BYU. We think Peter will love will love this summer.

Parry got straight A's the last quarter! He had been struggling with his heavy academic load this year but he really came through in the clutch at the end. Way to go, J.P!

Trish and I went down to BYU to see the Minerva Teichert exhibit. What a wonderful artist! Her paintings are so expressive. They present a different perspective on LDS culture and history that we really enjoyed. Whenever you get a chance go see her paintings.

School is over on Wednesday and we are hosting the annual neighborhood party for all the elementary school kids in our area. We will be having a water slide, and big bouncing rubber animal of some kind, our trampoline and swing set, plus hot dogs. All the neighbor kids look forward to it every year.

During the past month I have begun writing a book with a friend of mine from the Leavitt days, Greg Jarrard. It is historical fiction set during the Utah War and purports to uncover a conspiracy by the extreme Manifest Destiny crowd to use the so-called "Mormon rebellion" as a pretense for pushing the Latter-day Saints out of Utah as part of a giant grab for the gold and precious metals in abundance here. It will star some fictional chracters but also include historical figures such as Brigham Young, Parley Pratt, Porter Rockwell, John D. Lee, John C. Fremont, and Thomas Hart Benton (the Senator, not the artist).

Trish and I like to entertain and we have had four families over for barbecues during the past month. We have a trampoline in the backyard, a basketball standard in the driveway, a swing set, and a ping pong table and home theater downstairs - plenty to keep guests of all ages happy and occupied.

My back surgery almost three years ago was a miracle. It alleviated all pain, pain which I had experienced off and on for almost 30 years since I injured my back just before my mission. Nevertheless, eventually I will need full fusion surgery because my two lower discs are slowly deteriorating. To my chagrin, this past month I had a recurrence of some that old pain. So, I returned to one of my back doctors for a re-examination. Happily, he said that we could postpone surgery for another 10 to 15 years if I followed a new and rigorous physical therapy and medication program. I have been on it for about three weeks now and I am happy to report that it is working very well. My new pain has dissipated almost entirely.

I am working on a big real estate deal with one of my oldest and best friends, Milt Shipp. He was the East High School Senior Class President and I was his Vice President. We have always wanted to do a deal together and we finally found one. If it works out I will be able to buy that fancy new Hi Fi set I have had my eye on!

Another good friend, Ruland Gill just retired from Questar. I attended two different farwell events for him. At one of them I got to roast him with a fun "Top Ten Reasons Ruland is Really Retiring." His son David also got married that same week.

This year we celebrated Memorial Day on both Sunday and Monday. On Monday we placed flowers on the gravesites of Trish's brother Leif Paulsen, her grandmother Mor, and her Stewart grandparents. We also placed flowers on the gravesites of my Judd grandparents. On Monday we placed flowers on the gravesites of my brother Randy, my mother Cleo, and my sister Valerie. On those days we had dinner at Charles and Marie Roberts' home, Charlotte Paulsen's home, and visited my dad Al. It was a wonderful and spiritual feast for us those two days as we remembered our dead kin with the knowledge that we would all see them again, thanks to the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ!