Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mom's Thanksgiving Challenge ... It's on!

I got an email from Mom this morning, where she "dared" me to write down ten things that I am thankful for. I took that dare, and I more than doubled it. Here's my list (in no particular order).

I am thankful for:
  • My family (including my wife, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, in-laws, extended family ... this should count as WAY more than one thing!).
  • My friends.
  • My membership in the church.
  • The gospel.
  • Spiritual experiences.
  • My job.
  • My home.
  • My health.
  • My mobility.
  • My sight.
  • The ability to feel things.
  • My voice.
  • Music.
  • Guitars.
  • Exercise.
  • This beautiful world we live in.
  • My education and my ability to learn.
  • Experiences, both good and bad, that mold me into the person I want to be.
  • The ability to sometimes see things for what they really are (it doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it sure helps).
  • The scriptures.
  • Animals.
  • The comforts I enjoy, like A/C, a house, a bed, a car, etc.
  • The fact that at any given moment, I can find something to eat or drink.
  • My church calling (sometimes).
  • The cultures of the world (foods, music, languages, etc).

Thanks for the idea, Mom!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We would like to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for this year. We will be spending our holiday here in San Antonio, as Leesa is here with us. It's always great to have her come visit. I think we're going to cheat this year and buy our turkey from Dickie's Barbecue Pit ... they make some pretty good bird. Other than that, we'll be cooking and baking side dishes and deserts like everyone else.

We hope that no matter where you are or what you do this Thanksgiving, you will know how thankful we are for YOU. Of all the wonderful blessings we enjoy, it's family and friends that mean the most to us.

Jay, Tita and the kids

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Remembering "Shavehead" aka Tim

Today marks a year since Tim's passing. For the last few months I've wondered what today would be like. Would I be sad all day? Would I feel at peace? Now that the day has come, it's hard to describe how I feel. There is a sense of peace, but there's also an emptiness, knowing that I can't see my "Shavehead" anymore ... at least not for now. I guess that's where the comfort of knowing that life doesn't end with death comes in. We love you, Tim!

For the last year, I've been building a "Tim" playlist on my iPod. I've put songs on there that remind me of him. Here's the list I have so far. If you think of others, feel free to tell me in the comments.
  • Annie Lennox - Into the West (from the Lord of the Rings)
  • Blackalicious - Make You Feel That Way
  • Brad Paisley - When I Get Where I'm Going
  • Bryan Ferry - Dance With Life (Brilliant Light)
  • Coldplay - Fix You
  • Collective Soul - Reunion
  • DoubleDrive - Imprint
  • Eric Clapton - Back Home
  • Fiji - Warrior of Love
  • Five for Fighting - Superman
  • Foo Fighters - Times Like These (Accoustic version)
  • Gary Allen - Life Ain't Always Beautiful
  • George Strait - You'll Be There
  • Ho'okena - The Prayer
  • Incubus - I Wish You Were Here
  • James Taylor - Fire and Rain
  • Jimmy Buffett - Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On
  • John Lennon - Jealous Guy
  • Kenny Chesney - Who You'd Be Today
  • Linkin Park - Leave Out All The Rest
  • Lostprophets - Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Homeward Bound
  • Na Leo Pilimehana - Flying With Angels
  • Paul Cardall - I Love To See The Temple
  • Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1 - 7)
  • Pink Floy - Wish You Were Here
  • Rascal Flatts - My Wish
  • Robbie Robertson - Shine Your Light (From Ladder 49)
  • Roger Waters - Hello (I Love You) (From The Last Mimzy)
  • U2 - Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
  • Waddie Mitchell - Through the Pain

Remembering Grandma

Yesterday marked one year since Grandma Harris’ passing. While it’s been tough not to have her here, I know she’s where she needs to be. I like to picture her being able to move around without pain. I can see her smiling and there are times when I swear I can hear her tell me that she misses me like “blue blazes”. I know she and Grandpa are together, and that they're watching over us whenever they can.

One of my favorite movies is The Education of Little Tree. It’s a story of a boy who goes to live with his grandparents after his parents die. Toward the end of the movie, there is a part that always gets me ... even more so now. Shortly after Little Tree’s Grandpa passes away, he says,

“Not long after that day, Grandma had taken me aside and told me again about how her and Grandpa was moving closer to the understanding. So I shouldn’t be sad, ‘cause when their bodies died they’d still be together. Always … Their spirits knowing. And that was the last thing Grandma ever said to me. She died in the night. I found a note, which read, ‘Little Tree, It’s been good. Next time it’ll be better. Remember, if you need us anytime, just look to the DogStar and we’ll be there.'

I went up the high trail that same night and I asked Grandma and Grandpa, ‘Recon I could get closer to the understanding as well, so I could catch up with you? It was lonesome,’ I told them, ‘always being left behind.’

[Now] no matter where I am, in the dusk of evening I look to the Dog Star and I say to Grandpa and Grandma … ‘Wait for me. I’m still learning the way. But someday I will catch up to you and we’ll all of us be together again. Always … Our spirits knowing.”

Monday, November 5, 2007

Celebrating Tim

It's hard to belive that it has been almost a year since Tim left us. Today we remembered him. The entire family gathered at Mom & Dad's to eat pizza and celebrate Tim's birthday. Since we couldn't be there, we decided to have a celebration of our own here in Texas, complete with the kids writing notes to their Uncle Tim and tying them to balloons that we released. We miss you and love you, Tim!

Trick Or Treat!

We're a little late posting these pictures. We hope everyone had a good Halloween. The kids hauled in A LOT of candy, so if anyone needs anything, let us know and we can send a tuckload your way!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hana hou!

Tita said I needed to put some "cuter" pictures of Keala in the blog, so here they are. Enjoy!

From left to right:

  1. Kieki, Kalani (aka Superman) and Keala lounging
  2. Kahea with her twin
  3. Keala laughing at daddy ... she knows a good joke when she sees one!