A score and six years together

Today Pepper and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. It’s been a while now– over half my life! But apparently we’re still not tired of one another, because we continue to hang out. Tonight we splurged a bit on a fancy steak restaurant in town. I’m not usually one to take pictures of my food, but this dinner was exquisite.

It was a great way to celebrate a score and six years together.


This year in seminary, we’re studying the Old Testament. I love the stories in this dusty old book, and I’m excited to teach it. Today we hit Exodus, where we talked about Moses leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. Always looking for ways to liven up our high-school class at 6:30 in the morning, Pepper and I decided to put together a little Passover meal.

According to the scriptures, the Israelites were told to make unleavened bread and eat it with lamb and “bitter herbs”. I found a recipe for matzah, which is the unleavened bread Jewish people eat when they celebrate the Passover. It’s super easy to make, and was actually kind of fun.

We opted for some “lamb jerky” and olive oil with Italian seasoning to represent the bitter herbs.

It turned out to be pretty cool, and the kids seemed to enjoy it. Bringing food to seminary is often hit-or-miss; sometimes they’re in the mood to eat and other times they just pass on it and we’re left with a bunch of cookies or doughnuts or whatever. But several of them asked for second helpings of bread, and we had a good discussion about what the Passover meal represents. In seminary, any time we can go home and say to each other, “I think the kids learned something today” is a good day…


It’s still weird to think of myself as a grandpa, but hey, here we are. Little Ollie turned one today! He’s a quiet, introspective little lad.

He loves helping Grandma Pepper with her board games (or maybe he’s just after some grapes and a Triscuit).

For his birthday, we hosted a party at The Villa. I say “hosted” because honestly we didn’t do anything more than provide a place for everything to happen. Kaitlyn’s family showed up in droves, and they brought food and chairs and tables and treats and piles of gifts. We had a full house, and a grand party. Frankly, once he discovered the ball pit (!) his mom and dad bought him, he was pretty content there and didn’t have much interest in the other gifts.

Eventually he worked through the other gifts, and I’m sure he’s going to enjoy them for a long time.

One really cool thing: we posed for a big group photo before the party broke up, and in it are three of Ollie’s four pairs of great-grandparents.

That’s not something every kid can say! I’m not sure if he’ll remember it– heck, in the picture he’s just staring longingly at his toys in the corner– but this will be a good picture to show him someday. I’m glad Mom and Dad could come out to celebrate with us, and that Kaitlyn’s family was able to drive up from their various Utah homes.

Happy birthday, little guy.

Makin’ power

Finally, after a year and a half, a terrible contractor who took our money and disappeared, and a complete restart, we have solar power! Thirty panels sit on our roof, and yesterday the final inspections were completed and the electric company switched the meter so we can feed power back into the grid. I flipped the switch (actually I turned a large black knob) and the electrons started to flow.

It ain’t much, but it’s a cloudy winter day so we can’t expect much. In the next few months we should really start cranking out some power. And we’ll add another 20 or 30 panels to the roof to nearly double our production.

Will we ever recoup the cost of this system? Not a chance. I can thank a dishonest contractor for that, since we basically paid for the system twice. But it’s kind of cool to be making our own power…