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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My 10 Seconds....

...of fame, that is. Here is my television debut in all it's glory. Blah, blah, blah. It's more comical than exciting. Whoever spliced and merged the footage got it all wrong for me. I don't actually use Snapfish...ever. If I ever print my photos (which is really once in a blue moon), I use Costco online, which just happens to be powered by Snapfish. It's a twisted world, working in television. I think I'll quit my acting career and go back to photography. :) Oh well, it was fun. And that old adage about the camera adding 10 lbs? It's not true. It added 20 lbs to my already apple-shaped face. I don't think it helped that Noe, the happy camera man, was so zoomed in on me. Well, enough of my griping. You may have to turn up your volume. I don't think I had the TV volume up loud enough. Didn't want to wake the kiddos.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Iraqi Lions' Den

Buddha gave his talk in Primary today. He talked about the story of Daniel in the lions' den and how it teaches us to be obedient and have faith. First, though, he opened with a few words about how reading the scriptures can help us return to Heavenly Father (since that's the Primary theme this month). Then I started to read what we'd written so that he could repeat after me. Here's how it went:

Me: "I love the story of Daniel in the lions' den."

Buddha: "I love the story of Unkey Dino in the lions' den."

Me: "No, Buddha, not Unkey Dino, just Daniel."

Buddha: "I love the story of Unkey Dino in the lions' den." (stubborn little bugger)

I love him. He's always making me laugh. Later on, I found out that on their way to church, he told The Chief he was giving a talk in Primary about Unkey Dino in the lions' den. Well, I guess being in Iraq could be considered its own type of lions' den. :) We can't wait for you to get out of that lions' den and come home next month, Unkey Dino! We love you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


My videos apparently didn't work. So, I've made them public instead of private. See if that works. Thanks for letting me know Laurie and Lauren! I hope they work now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Having been caught up in my recent photography obsession, I've neglected videos. So, here's a couple of random videos of the boys taken within the last couple of weeks. Be forewarned, the last video is five minutes of shameless, blatant showing off from both Mommy and Buddha. I couldn't help it. He's my three-year-old genius child. I think it's going to be a struggle keeping him challenged and not bored as he goes throughout his life. Enjoy!

Buddha and Bugga at the driving range:

Mommy quizzing Buddha:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Our Valentine's Day...

...wasn't really on Valentine's Day after all. We actually didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. Nothing. We're not big holiday celebrators. But, we did get to go on a pre-Valentine's Day date the Saturday before thanks to the Larson family. They came to watch the boys at our house and The Chief surprised me with an impromptu shopping trip at Old Navy, followed by a delicious full rack of ribs at Pat & Oscar's (which we shared). Then, we were going to head to the movie theatre, but we didn't want to watch the really late show that started just after 9pm, so we somehow ended up at Barnes & Noble instead. We spent two hours sitting on the hard floor in the middle of the aisle reading photography books. I'll tell you what, nothing says I love you more than your spouse expressing interest in your passion. It endeared him to me. I'm still telling anybody who will listen to me (that's you) about it. I love The Chief. He's my better half.

The second celebration we got was actually post-Valentine's Day. On Friday The Chief woke up late and let me convince him to take us all up to Disneyland instead of going into work. He complied and we had a perfect day at the DL, taking in Tomorrow Land rides and, of course, the ever-popular Nemo submarine ride (which is totally awesome, by the way). I got to go on the fast roller coaster in Toon Town with Buddha. Lines were long (probably for the holiday weekend) so we only made it onto about 5 or 6 rides, but it was definitely worth it. We had a much better experience this time than we did the last time we went in near-100-degree weather! Oh, and Buddha got his own pass for which he had to have his picture taken. He was very excited about that.

The Chief also purchased a brand new flash and UV filter for my camera...not on Valentine's Day, but I'll count it as a Valentine's gift. :)

Thanks for making my non-Valentine's Day perfect, Papa! I am the luckiest woman alive. I love you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


For some reason, if you have a Hotmail account, I can no longer send you mass emails, even if I cut down the number of recipients. It thinks I'm spam. So, well, I don't know what to do. I guess just keep checking the blog every now and then. For anyone who'd care to hear my opinion, just know that I love my gmail account! It's amazingly wonderful, simple, beautiful, efficient, and I could go on and on and on (hint, hint...get one!). Well, I'll miss sending you reminders, but know that I'm thinking of you guys...my Hotmail buddies. Don't be strangers.

My Television Debut

Well, the events of the last couple of days have been random, to say the least. Last night I got a call from my visiting teacher's husband, Bob Hansen. He said, "Hi Liz, I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I'm a television reporter and I'd like to interview you." What?! Me?! What could I possibly know that you'd want to hear from me? No, I did not know that about him. I knew that he was our ward's bishop a while ago. I knew about his interest in photography. But I did NOT know that he was a reporter. In fact, after I got off the phone with him, I had to look him up online because I couldn't remember if he'd said he was a television reporter or a newspaper reporter. Once I found him on NBC 7/39 News' website, I started to feel nervous about the whole thing. What if I didn't know what he wanted me to know? I didn't want him to feel like coming to my house was a waste of time.

He's doing a segment on photo sharing and Internet photo hosting websites (Shutterfly, Snapfish, Flickr, Picasa, Kodak, Photobucket, etc.). Since I've gotten into photography and I'm a mom at the same time (we mom's are notorious picture-takers), he wanted my opinion on which sites I liked and for what purposes (i.e. photo sharing, photo storage, printing, etc.). He and his camera man, NoƩ, came by today at 11am. They set up in the backyard and then filmed me taking pictures of my kids for a while. After that we went inside and Bob interviewed me at our kitchen table. Then we went into the living room and I got to show them my photo blog and some of my photography while they kept the camera pointed at the computer screen. I also showed them some of the photo hosting websites that I use. Anyway, while I first mentioned that this was random, I also had a blast. It's the first chance I've had to get to know Bob as Bob instead of Lorraine's husband and it was fun to show another photographer my pictures. Plus, if you really know me, you know that I'm more than ready and willing to share my opinions about things. I'm just not so sure I like doing that on television.

If you're here in San Diego, the segment will air this Saturday (Feb. 16th) on channel 7, NBC 7/39 News, at 11:00pm. Don't expect much. I think he said he'd probably interview me for all of 30 seconds and then use maybe 10 seconds of it during his segment. Woo hoo! I'll be famous after 10 seconds! :-) Just kidding.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Ween!

Don't Buddha and Bugga have the cutest cousins!?! :)


Ratchet is my sister's husband.

Monday, February 4, 2008

My Letter to Oprah

You know, since we're talking about him and this website he wants to create, I figured this would be a good time for me to tell the world what an inspiring person Jarem Frye is. I don't know why I haven't done this long ago. I've had this letter to Oprah written in my head since I met Jarem. The whole world should know about him, but I guess my own blog would be a good starting place for my letter.

When he was just 14 years old, Jarem was diagnosed with bone cancer. He had nine months of chemotherapy treatments during which doctors informed him that he would need a bone transplant in order to preserve his leg. With this transplant, a metal rod would be inserted into the length of his leg, leaving him unable to bend his knee. Jarem asked for other options. He was given two: he could have an artificial knee joint inserted, which, at that time, would severely limit his activity to walking only; or, he could have his leg amputated and get a prosthetic, allowing him an almost-full range of motion. Armed with that knowledge and knowing he didn't want to live with limitations all his life, he became a 14-year-old, above-knee (AK) amputee. After his amputation, he endured another nine or ten months of chemotherapy before his cancer was officially pronounced in remission.

When he was fitted with his first prosthetic leg at age 15, Jarem says, "I didn't like the look of it because they tried to make it look real. So I stripped it down to the aluminum, the mechanical stuff, and put a band aid on it along with a sticker stating 'mothers worry.'" His sense of humor never left him. Neither did Jarem let the fact that he only had one leg stop him from pursuing an active lifestyle. In fact, he used it to motivate him above and beyond what the average biped does in his lifetime. He puts me and my two healthy legs to shame with what he can do with his one leg. At just 15 years old he was skiing for a US National Junior Ski Team (AJET - Alpine Junior Elite Team) in the Slalom and Downhill events. At 16, he moved into the open class and was ranked anywhere from 14th in the world to 27th in the world in a variety of events including Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, and Downhill. He could have gone on to Olympic competitions, but instead he chose to serve a full-time, two-year mission to England for the LDS Church.

When he returned from his missionary service, he says, "My priorities shifted from becoming the best in the world to being the first in world," and as his passion grew for extreme sports like wakeboarding, rock climbing, snowboarding, skateboarding, and downhill skiing, he became more and more frustrated with the lack of extreme sports compatible prosthetics. So, he did the only thing left to do, he created the XT9, "the only prosthetic knee device designed to mimic the functions of the quadriceps during intense athletic and extreme sports use by highly active amputees." With his ground-breaking knee, he became the first AK amputee in the world to telemark ski, wake board, and rock climb on a professional level. Not only is he the proud owner of these lofty distinctions, he is also an accomplished competitor around the globe. In the summer of 2006, he competed in a world wide rock climbing competition in Florida called the eXtremity Games (equivalent to the X-Games, but for amputees), and walked away with the gold medal, $5,000, and some much needed advertising for his innovative and revolutionary prosthetic knee. He has also been extended an invitation to compete with the US Paralympic Cross-Country Ski Team at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. He is still considering this option at this point. As often as business and family permit, Jarem competes for worthy causes like the 100 mile cycling event he entered in Connecticut that gave all its proceeds to cancer research and the 70 mile Live Strong Challenge held in Portland, Oregon. In March he will be traveling to Norway to provide an educational clinic on the XT9 for a group of amputee, extreme-sport hopefuls wanting to learn more and try out his ground-breaking knee.

With the XT9, Jarem's enabling prosthetic knee, other amputees have also captured the title of "first" in the world. One example, Nicole Roundy (21), a native of Utah, became the first AK amputee snowboarder to board on a professional level using the XT9, and won a silver medal in the adaptive slope style competition at the 2006 United States of America Snowboard Association (USASA) National Championship. Also noteworthy are the many military personnel that are back on active duty thanks, in part, to Jarem's XT9.

Jarem has now turned his full attention and dedication to the manufacture and distribution of his prosthetic knee and, by so doing, has touched the lives of many well-known and not-so-well known leg amputees. They are now doing things with their lives that they never thought would be possible again. He is an angel and a godsend to these people because he gives them hope to replace tragedy and loss. He is deeply religious, has a great sense of humor, and never stops moving forward.

If you want to see some awesome video of just what Jarem can do with his knee, check out his website, Symbiotechs USA, and click on the videos link. There are a few videos, but one of my favorites is the third entitled, "Man Builds Machine Builds Man." In addition to amazing footage of Jarem telemark skiing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and rock climbing, you get to see his kooky side as he goofs off with his prosthetic leg. It's amazing that with all he's been through he still has such a great sense of humor. For all this and more, I am inspired by and have much admiration for my brother-in-law, Jarem.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Rest in Peace

Today we spent the better part of the day watching President Hinckley's funeral service on The Chief's laptop. It was held in the conference center in Salt Lake City. The conference center was full and the program was also broadcast over the church satellite system to wards and stakes all over the world, not to mention the Internet streaming available. It's overwhelming to think of the millions who tuned in to bid farewell to our beloved prophet. He was so loved. The service was so beautiful. The choir sang hymns throughout the program that were actually written by President Hinckley. I was surprised at some of them. I had no idea he was the author of the text in many of those hymns. I loved the tribute from his daughter and I cried and cried during the documentary of President Hinckley that aired as the procession drove from the conference center to the cemetery. I think what set me off the most was whenever they would show President Hinckley with his wife. I bet they had a lovely reunion. I loved that everyone who talked about him brought up his great sense of humor and then gave us examples of that humor. Funny stories are the best. At the graveside service they had a bagpipe soloist perform a haunting medley of Amazing Grace, Danny Boy, and Praise to the Man, as he walked toward and then away from the interment site - the music fading out slowly to the background as though carrying the soul away with it on the melody. President Hinckley loved England so much (it's where he served his mission) that he arranged for a box of English soil to be placed beneath his casket so that his body could rest on American and English soil until the resurrection.

I marvel at how little I knew about church development during President Hinckley's service. It was said that 1/3 of the church's current membership was baptized during his service as prophet of the church. And it's hard for me to fathom that at the beginning of his calling in 1995, there were only 47 functioning temples. Now, at his death just 13 years later, there are 124 operating temples with 6 under construction and 6 announced. That's phenomenal. Also in the documentary, his children talked about how little fear he had of the media. He did something that no other church president had done before him by interacting freely and willingly with the media. He was scrutinized by some for his agreement to appear on 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace, but he spoke with quiet conviction and was so graceful and loving that soon other TV icons like Larry King were inviting him to be interviewed on their shows.

Well kiddos, there's so much more I could say about President Hinckley. If you didn't get a chance to watch the funeral services or at the very least, the documentary, I highly recommend it. You can watch them here (pick the top one, 11am) or listen to them here. Enjoy. I sure did.