Saturday, June 6, 2009

We Are now a Smart Family

I tried to "surprise" Sister Tiki. We have had a Smart car on order for over a year but they had one on the lot which met our specs. I created this elaborate ruse with the help of Kimiki. I had to work Saturday, so, the timing was crucial. So after Kimiki took Troyoto into work, she picked me up at Discover and we headed down to Lindon with cashier's check in hand. I told the dealership the color and options which I wanted and that I would be there by 6 pm to pick "it" up. After a quick few minutes of paperwork and a tutorial, I was on my way.

I told Sister Tiki that the BMW was not starting and could not be jumped either so I needed a rescue. I also told her to bring the camera because I needed to take pictures of somebody at work. So when she arrived at Discover I had had the Smart hidden. I met her outside and took the camera and went back inside. I emerged from another door and drove the car over to her. She was so unimpressed while I was taking a video and it was disappointing. Kimiki and the kids were hidden in the parking lot as well. Sister Tiki gave them a little ride in the Smart. They were thrilled. She loves those kids.

As we go to Europe often we have been smitten by the Smart. It's German (Mercedes)'s French (manufactured) la Smart!

So now we are Smart!

Thursday, June 4, 2009



All the kids have graduated from high school. This one's a sweetie!

MariTiki is actually brilliant in so many ways.

We had a good time at her graduation. The speakers were pretty good. MariTiki looked beautiful and was happy with her friends. We got some good pictures. Afterwards we went to the traditional Chili's. Each child has had the after-grad dinner there. It was pretty subdued but still nice. Even the mini Tikis were fairly well behaved.

MariTiki drove home separately in the Montero, and Sister Tiki and I went to Costco to pick up her graduation gift. When Wii got home Wii told he to get the groceries out of the car (I am so sneaky). She went into the trunk and was pretty excited over the gift Wii had gotten her.

Love ya' babe!

Friday, January 30, 2009

ינואר בירושלים

...January in Jerusalem.

Wow...that was a culture shock. That was the first place I had been in over 20 years that did not use a Latin-based alphabet. Squiggles and lines, lines and squiggles.

The hardest part of travel to the Middle East is the plane ride(s). Seemed endless. Heathrow = Hades.

Jet not Jet Li. Only 9 hours difference...I can hold my breath that long.

Loved the food! Falafels...pitas...bread ropes...hummus...freshly squeezed pomegranate juice..fruitopia...mmm...mmm...mmm. Have you ever had a date in Galiliee? Most people have not...we have.

uggg...Arab drivers. Traffic is not so bad if you can read the signs???

אין חנייה
لا وقوف السيارات

"No Parking"

"Thank you, dumb American for adding to the Jerusalem City coffers," signed Officer Ari.

Arab merchants...made my Jewish blood Centigrade (international correctness). Jerusalem is, after all, the city of the profits...did I spell that right?

Shekels...a widow's mite for your thoughts.

Olive wood nativity sets. Nice. Varied prices. Negotiation priceless. Customs Agent to Tiki, "now boy, why is it that you have so many nativity sets?"

BYU Jerusalem Center = Mormon University on signs. Shabbat was on Saturday...when in Rome...

Sister Tiki fared well. That was quite the trek up the Mount of Olives...close to 45 degree incline at the top...made Diamond Head look like yawner. Hill...hiller...hillest.

Gethsemane..."now that was one old olive tree." Thanks to Akbar for the "genuine" olive leaves from the garden.

Bethlehem...I touched the spot where Baby Jesus was born! Don't mingle with the LIPs (local indigenous population) here...they are friends of Uncle Hamas over in Gaza.

Still in Bethlehem...St. Catherine's basement where St. Jerome translated the Vulgate (Latin Bible). High 5, dude!


What is the Golden Gate? Certainly not that bridge thingy over San Francisco Bay. "We'll just seal up that 'ol city gate to keep 'their' messiah from comin' in here." Good luck on that...let me know how that goes?

The Wailing Wall...pretty that temple stuff.

The Garden Tomb (the "real" one)...pretty that temple stuff.


Soldiers...imagine your 18 year old kid with an M16...bravado from the occupying army.

Final would you react if someone were lobbing rockets into your town? It's easy to be judgmental when you are 10,000 miles away and you have "no skin in the game."

Final observation deux...Jerusalem, the only place you will see more guys in dark suits, white shirts, and ties than the MTC or maybe the CIA headquarters in Langley. The beards and haircuts though...


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Grazie per Gelato

Brother and Sister Tiki with mighty Marinda backpacking and Eurailing 12 cities in 15 days...the Amazing Race...Tiki style! Frankfurt ... Bern ... Genève ... Milano ... Roma ... Venezia ... Ravenna ... Pisa ... Firenze ... München (Neuschwanstein) ... København ... Berlin ... Frankfurt (Freidrichdorf) ... aaahh! Of course the trip was all about Rome. We did spend 2 1/2 days there. Yes there were eye-popping sites, marginal transportation (transit strike...yikes!), wonderful gelato, and "real" pizza (nothing to write home about). Now I can say, "been there, done that."

When folks ask, "what was the best part of your trip?"

I can say two things, "Ah, yes. There was plenty of eye-candy. But the spiritual side far outweighed it all."

We went to the Bern Switzerland Temple in Zollikofen. We stayed in the temple accommodations which are comfortable but not lavish. Marinda got to do some baptisms for the dead with Italian kids and Lynette and I went through an Italian endowment session. It was a wonderful experience. I so love the saints wherever we go.

Missionaries...missionaries...missionaries. In Rome, angels to guide us to the chapel, Elder Mondragon and Elder Hartsock. Some more elders in Ravenna. Lots more in Frankfurt.

Why Copengagen? The temple of course. This was ended up more as a day trip since we could not get a night train to Berlin. We ended up walking to the temple and met an angel, Charlotte Fredricksen. She was recently called to serve a mission in western Switzerland and southern Germany. No trip to Copenhagen is complete without a visit to Vor Frue Kirke (Copenhagen Cathedral) to see the original Thorvaldsen statue of the Christus.

The best was in the Frankfurt Temple as we mingled with saints from the stakes in Munich and Dortmund. We also stayed in temple accommodations there for 2 nights thanks to another angel, Silvia, the receptionist. Talking, eating, serving with faithful members of the church was exhilarating!

When we got back to the Salt Lake Airport, we were greeted by President Uchtdorf (not really...but sounds good). He was there greeting a relative but I said, "hi." And introduced Marinda to him.

Ciao, tschüss, au revoir!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cheerio...and not the Cereal!

Yes...I am bad at posting. I would rather write in my journal.

Sister Tiki and I went to London for our 27th anniversary. We have been trying to do something fun each why not London?

We flew on Northwest Airlines (carrier of choice) into Gatwick. Gatwick is only about 8 miles from the London Temple. So after we rented our car, we drove over to the London Temple. We knew it would be closed but had to fulfill a dream. The London Temple will be having its 50th anniversary in March so they were closed for renovations. A nice security guy (Rob Ainke) let us use the loo, and use the phone to call the Preston Temple.

Well driving on the left is a trip! Not too bad but the steering wheel is on the right but the gear shifting pattern is not reversed so it takes some practice. The motorways are wonderful. Most tourist won't brave England traffic but it was fun...

We stayed at the Preston Temple for 2 nights. We did some temple work, had laughs, and I was mistaken for Uncle Jeff again. Preston is north of Birmingham and Manchester about 4-5 hours away.

We enjoyed Stonehenge but it was raining kitties and puppies! As no one really wants to stand around in the rain, we stayed only about an hour. Stonehenge is about 1 1/2 hours west of London...geographical London is huge. It was incredible though.

We went to church in Slough (rhymes with cow) and enjoyed their little ward while we received numerous invitations to move in. I got some great material for a talk from one of the speakers. Slough is only a couple of miles from Windsor Castle so we drove by.

We drove down to Dover and climbed around the white cliffs of Dover. The rain let up long enough for a comfortable walk. It was foggy enough that we could not see the coastline of France 30 miles away.

We lodged at the Holiday Inn Express in Croyden (suburban London) and took the train in a couple of days to see the sites. We rode the "tube" and "minded the gap." We took a romantic, yet chilly, walk along the Thames. We saw the Clock Tower (Big Ben is housed there), Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace (changing of the guard), Baker Street ("elementary my dear Watson"), St. Paul's Cathedral, Temple Church (yikes...closed on Tuesdays), London Tower, and Tower Bridge. We rode the London Eye (a 40-story ferris wheel on the Thames).

And we tasted the cuisine including bangers and mash, (not-so yummy), multiple fish and chips (yummy), scones and clotted cream (yummier), and gelato at Harrod's (yummiest). I amazed Sister Tiki by not going to one McDonald's...not even to the restroom. She did want to try Wimpie Burgers...nothing to write home about.

The best part of the trip, you ask? ...being with my eternal companion, my helpmeet, my wife (it was pretty crowded with all 4 of us...haha).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Honu brings Good Luck!

I am grateful for digital cameras and for an inexpensive sleeve to take underwater. This is why I love snorkeling! It's like life...there are many treasures under the surface.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Am Humble...but We Still Have Bragging Rights

BYU Cougars win the bragging rights for the next year by downing the Utes 17-10. My life is so much easier at work when we win.

We take a lot of guff for doing the haka...some will complain that the haka is an sacred Aotearoan (New Zealand) Maori rite.

...why then does the New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team do it at each match and for an Adidas commercial, nonetheless?

Ka Mate
Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Ka mate! Ka mate! Ka ora! Ka ora!
Tenei te tangata puhuru huru
Nana nei i tiki mai
Whakawhiti te ra
A, upa ... ne! ka upa ... nie!
A upane, ka upane ... whiti te ra!

English translation
I die! I die! I live! I live!
I die! I die! I live! I live!
This is the hairy man
Who fetched the Sun
And caused it to shine again
One upward step! Another upward step!
An upward step, another
... the Sun shines