Friday, September 28, 2012


 Provo Canyon

Grape Harvest


Will eying it up...

Then in for a goal. Will and his friend Trent each usually score about three goals a game.

Sarah running cross-country for Springville Jr. High. She is a steady runner, never walking or slowing down, and always finishing in the middle of the pack.

Joel with a near miss at a goal. A few minutes earlier he scored a beautiful goal.

Mueller Park in Bountiful--a beautiful setting for a Friday evening soccer game. (Joel is in control of the ball)

The Bountiful LDS Temple

Down below in the bright of the setting sun is the Great Salt Lake.

It was no TV or electronics week at Brookside Elementary which, as hoped, led to some creative play with some old toys.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

56th birthday, born in 1956

I was born 56 years ago today in 1956 at Holy Cross Hospital (a Catholic hospital) in Salt Lake City. The attending physician was Hank Theurer from Richmond, Utah who was a friend of my dad's older sisters.

Saturday birthdays are a good thing--there is time to do all kinds of things. There was time in the morning to hear Sarah and Joel practicing the piano--something they usually do after school before I get home. Both are developing into wonderful piano players. Will started the piano this week and is showing great promise. We then watched Will's impressive soccer team. He helped them win with his five goals. I then mowed the lawn, watered the garden and picked tomatoes and peppers for some fresh salsa for tomorrow's family dinner. While I was in the back yard I heard our neighbor let out a cry of shock. He then called his wife to come and see the large garter snack emerging from under his deck. She was not happy to have a snake in her back yard and urged her husband to get rid of it. I then called out to see if I could get the boys to come and see it before he did his wife's bidding. They of course said yes so we went over and I grabbed the snake to let Joel and Will take a look. We were then gifted the snake which we took back to our house to surprise Marie! She was surprised and not happy to see it--I thought she only didn't like mice. Sarah was not phased at all and soon all three kids were in our yard happily playing with the snake they named Fredrick. I love this photo of pure joy. It will always remind me of a happy moment.

We then all journeyed to Salt Lake City for Joel's soccer game. While the team was warming up Sarah and I went to spend my birthday money from my mother-in-law on a new croquet set. Driving to a sporting goods store in Sugar House we passed Stratford Ave which I recognized as the street where we were living when I was born. I called mom during half time and she remembered the house number. After the game (Joel's team lost, but Joel scored an impressive goal) we went and found the home.

This is the home at 1262 East Stratford Ave where I lived for the first two years of my life (dad was in his final years of residency at the University of Utah Medical School). I was impressed that this house and my current house are both xeriscaped (the planting of vegetation that needs less than normal amounts of water) and include beautiful lavender colored Russian sage plants.

Just up the street is the Highland Park LDS Chapel, where I was given a name and a priesthood blessing by my dad. After this serendipitous reconnection with my infancy we decided to celebrate with an Arab dinner of hummus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh, fetoush, felafel and pita at Mezza restaurant. As we went to enter the restaurant I realized that my wallet was missing. I last remembered taking it out of my back pocket while watching the game so that I could sit more comfortably, so we hustled back to the soccer field, but it wasn't there. Marie then thought to open up the camp chairs and there it was secured in the folds of the red chair I used. Happy day. Delicious food. Drove home listening to the rocky start of the BYU-Utah game. A great birthday at home and about with the family. Tomorrow afternoon we will have Sunday dinner of flank steak, corn-on-the cob, potato salad, beans, rolls and root beer floats at our home with a score of Emmetts now living in Utah County.

Congratulations to my oldest brother Bill, who at age 60 won his class in the Top-of-Utah marathon today. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brigham City Utah LDS Temple Open House

Yesterday we took the kids out of school early and headed north to Brigham City for the open house of the new Brigham City LDS temple. Our guest of honor was my mother Norda Agnes Fife Emmett who grew up just two blocks west of the temple and who attended Central Elementary School on the very block where the temple is now located. She drove over from Logan with two granddaughters--Sam and Jamie. We brought a third granddaughter, Erin, up from Provo. Marie's parents also joined us. This is a painting of Brigham City that was in the reception room set up in the basement parking garage of the temple. It shows the single steeple of the pioneer tabernacle and the  double spires of the new temple.

Tabernacle, used primarily for stake conferences on Sundays


Temple-- used during the week for special ceremonies and ordinances including weddings for eternity and baptisms for deceased ancestors. 

Prior to the tour we were shown a video about temples and about Brigham City. We then walked quietly on a silent tour of the temple. Photography was not allowed inside so I downloaded these photos from the LDS Church web site. This beautiful baptismal font on the backs of twelve oxen is located in the lowest level of the temple. One painting is of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River. The other is of a pioneer baptism in a near by creek.The art work throughout the temple was wonderful. There were old familiar paintings of Jesus and His life combined with original art of local landscapes. One original painting showed local Washiki Indians being confirmed members of the church by pioneers. Descendants of these early converts posed for the painting. Two other paintings showed pioneers harvesting local fruit.

The murals in the instruction room where worthy Latter-day Saints learn about the purpose of life and the plan of salvation are of the local mountains and marshes.

The celestial room on the top floor is symbolic of our eventual reunion with our heavenly parents and our earthly families.More photos of this and other temples can be found here:

Grandma Emmett with six of her grandchildren: (l to r) Erin, Joel, Jamie, Sarah, Will and Sam.

Erin, Jamie and Sam are all the same age and are all in their second year of college.

With Marie's parents Blaine and Jean Tueller.

I have fond childhood memories of regular trips to Brigham to visit grandma and grandpa Fife. One of the annual trips was for the September Peach Days festivities. Nothing beats Brigham City peaches. Peach blossom motives were found both inside and outside the temple.

The round stained glass windows are of peach blossoms.

The temple grounds include 18 fruit bearing trees--we saw pear, apricot and apple trees. A nice touch given the many fruit orchards that are still found in Box Elder county.

Angel Moroni

After the tour everyone enjoyed fresh cookies and bottled water in the parking garage temporarily turned visitor center.

We ended the pilgrimage with a stop at Maddox Restaurant. It is famous for its fried chicken and steaks. When my brothers Bill and Bob returned from their missions the family  tradition was to stop here on the way home from the airport for a family dinner. I was offered the same, but after two years of limited meat in Indonesia the thought of a big steak at Maddox seemed too much for my rice trained stomach. I opted instead to go to G & G Fife's for some fresh peaches and milk and rolls with freezer raspberry jam. Yum. For this early dinner, Joel and Will chose steaks--something they never get at home. I tried ground bison/buffalo meat covered with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Perhaps the best part of the meal were the fresh rolls with raspberry butter and the fresh peach pie for desert. Double Yum.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Joel for President

A few weeks ago Joel decided that he wanted to run for student council at Brookside Elementary. To apply he had to write a 250 word essay (which was completed after many uses of the word count tool) and had to complete 5 hours of community service (Joel joined me for a ward service project cleaning up the yard of a widow, he and Marie made 10 sack lunches for Provo's Food and Care Coalition, he helped wash the fence of our elderly next door neighbors, and he joined all of us in helping Aunt Rachel with some yard work in which all three kids had a blast with her old-time push mower). The teachers at Broadside then met together and selected six students to be on the student council out of the forty who applied.  This week the fourth, fifth and sixth graders will vote to decide who from the six student council members will be the president, vice-president and secretary. Joel would prefer not to be president--that way he still gets a Brookside hoodie, to miss classes and to go to a conference at BYU but he doesn't have assembly speaking duties. They each had to submit a campaign poster. Joel's creation was very much a family project.

BYU Football

Last Saturday we all went to the BYU-Weber State football game at 1:00 in LaVell Edwards Stadium.We all enjoyed watching second cousin Riley Nelson (son of Marie's cousin Joni Tueller Nelson) play at quarterback (but sadly for only the first half).

The maples on Squaw Peak were already in full color--earlier than most seasons.

I intentionally selected seats on the west side so that at least part of the game would be in the shade of the press box (who knew that our seats would also be right next to the Weber marching band--we moved) The much welcomed shade finally arrived at half time soon after we all finished our frozen lemonade and ice cream.

Most of the seats around us were not sold, but they gradually filled up with other smart folks seeking shade (it's the Middle Eastern thing to do). Notice the tubas in the distance.

On of my students, Jordan Mitchell, who in two of my classes this semester, is part of the cheer squad. He is the carrier of the U banner for the celebratory run around the field after each touchdown. These three runners are met half way by the second part of the relay team. On one run (BYU celebrated 7 touchdowns) the tag man for the U banner did not show up so Jordan had to run the whole way without relief. He worked hard but could not keep up with the fresh legs running in front of him.

From our seats you could see the green windows of BYU's new broadcasting building (yet to receive a prophet's name) and the gables behind it of the new Heritage Halls that have replaced Deseret Towers.

Joel and Will doing a celebratory dance after the big win (45-13).

Walking back to the car the kids all had a turn at ringing the BYU bell.