While Grandpa Al was still in town, we decided to do Andrew’s Priesthood Ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood in preparation for his mission to Frankfurt, Germany. We were fortunate enough to have Joe Hale come over as a member of our Stake High Council. Mike gave a spectacular blessing to Andrew. We are so excited for Andrew’s future and the amazing things he will be able to do now that he holds the higher priesthood.
It’s been a bumpy road watching Andrew as he went back and forth about serving a mission. It all started with a pretty great spiritual experience last fall that helped him realize that he did in fact want to serve a mission. He was pretty solid about it for a few months but then something happened the beginning of this year. He had lots and lots of questions about things he never questioned before. His testimony was definitely tried, and he spent a few months pondering, praying and asking for answers to his questions. It was during this time that he had many conversations with not only his parents but also with his Grandpa Al. He later told me that it was the conversations he had with his grandpa that helped him back on the path to serving a mission. With nervous hearts, Mike and I kept asking him if he was going to finally turn in all of his paperwork. It was right at this time that COVID19 was starting to shut down the world and Mike was preparing to go and pick him up. In a quick conversation Andrew told Mike that he had finally made his appointment with his Stake President for his final interview before turning in all of his paperwork. He had wanted to surprise us but with everything that was going on he felt like he needed to tell us. We were both so incredibly excited by his decision. Then it was the long wait. Days turned into weeks and finally a month passed, and we were starting to wonder what happened to his paperwork. With General Conference in the mix we weren’t panicking just yet. Then as Tuesday passed, which in the past was the day that the mission calls came, and he had no email about his mission call, we encouraged him to write his Stake President. Surprisingly, two days later his call came. Mike and I weren’t home at the time when he received it and so he read it to some of his closest friends via Facetime. When we got home, he read it to all of us plus both sets of grandparents that were chimed in on Facetime. It was nice to have it be intimate with just family. When he read that he would be going to Frankfurt, Germany on August 19th we all lost it. We were beyond excited for him. I couldn’t believe it because a year ago I had a dream that he would serve in Germany. It was one of the most powerful dreams I have ever had but I didn’t put a whole lot of stock into it because let’s be real…it was a dream. Apparently, Mike had been having impressions that Andrew was going to go to Frankfurt. Again, mind blown. To say that we are excited for him is an understatement. We are so happy that he chose for himself to serve a mission. We know that he will make a great missionary!
When I thought about picking my son up from his freshman year of college, I wasn’t expecting it to be under such circumstances. It started out early in the morning in a trendy Uber from Colorado Springs to the Denver airport. It was cold and snowing. The airport was empty, even though it was the middle of a business day. I was the only person in line in security. There was hardly anyone in the airport. The flight from Denver to Salt Lake had about 20 people on it, so we spread out and had multiple rows to ourselves. Interestingly, the Salt Lake airport had quite a few people in it mulling about. I guess Utah got the memo about the Coronavirus a little after the rest of the West. Even so, it was still pretty vacant. The rental car guy was pretty excited when I showed up as I think I was one of the few people renting a car that day. It was a brand-new minivan, which turned out to be perfect. I left the airport and headed to Rexburg. The weather was warmer than in Colorado, so there was no snow on the roads. I got to Rexburg and Andrew was mostly ready to go. We finished packing a few things, and then loaded up the minivan with all his stuff. We cleaned his apartment and then headed out on the town. We went to Gaitor Jacks, which is a really good sandwich shop by his apartment and then he showed me around BYU-I. It was a lot bigger and nicer than I realized when we were there last time. It was fun to see where he would hang out, study, and chill. It was really sad to see it, though, knowing that he was getting shortchanged on his freshman year experience at college. I think that Andrew’s second semester was really good for him. He found his place, found some friends, and was heading in a good direction. It was sad to see it cut short. After that, we headed back down to Provo. We stopped in Ogden to get some food and made it pretty easily down to Orem. Once there, we unpacked some of his stuff into Sara’s parent’s condo, then went to sleep. It was a long day. On Saturday, we got up, washed clothes, bedding, and went to Costco and then Target to get some bins to pack everything neatly in the basement closet. Andrew got his hair cut (way short) and then we cleaned the condo and decided to head out early toward home, so we didn’t have to drive all day on Sunday. We drove to Grand Junction and got Buffalo Wild Wings, checked into the hotel, and watched movies. It was the prototypical guy road trip. Sunday, we got up early and headed toward home. When we got to Vail, it started snowing like crazy. There were people sliding off the highway and I was sure we were going to get stuck. The rental van had two-wheel drive only and it was struggling and overheating all the way up the pass. When we got to Frisco, there was about 1 foot of snow on the ground and it was snowing heavily. I didn’t think we would make it up the pass to the Eisenhower tunnel, so I refiled the radiator fluid, said a prayer, and we headed out. Turns out, when we got to Dillon, there was no snow and the rest of the drive home was easy. It was a whirlwind trip with Andrew, but a lot of fun. We had no idea that the Coronavirus storm was just starting.
Written by Mike
We got up early and headed up to Grand Targhee Ski Resort to go skiing today. It only took 70 minutes to get there and there was no traffic whatsoever. The drive was also pretty spectacular, and we were in awe seeing the amazing Tetons. When we got there, I walked in and got my rental boots and demo skis and we headed to get our lift tickets. With the military discount they were only $45 a person. What a steal! We grabbed some snacks and water and shoved them into Andrew’s ski pack and headed up the Dreamcatcher lift so that we could head down the runs under the Blackfoot lift. One of the guys at the ski rental place mentioned that there were some great runs over that way. Well, that guy was so wrong. Maybe on a powder day those runs are great, but they were mostly icy when we went down them. We canned skiing on this side of the mountain and headed back over to Dreamcatcher and then skied down the other side of the resort until we made our way over to the Sacajawea lift. This side of the mountain was definitely where the adventure was to be had. There were a few runs that were powderier than others and overall, we had a great time skiing down the Snowdancer run and the Medicine Bowl run. With a little more powder, we would've skied down some of the black tree runs but there just wasn't enough snow for me to feel comfortable doing that, so we skied mostly blue runs. After eating lunch at the bottom, I swapped out my LINE demo skis for some VOLKL skis. I did not like the LINE skis at all. They were much too light for me. I had way more fun skiing after lunch on a better pair of skis. We skied pretty much until the lifts were almost closed. Then it was back in the car for a pretty easy drive back to Rexburg. I dropped Andrew off back at his apartment and then headed back to the hotel to shower and rest. We met up later at Da Pineapple Grill for some pretty tasty Hawaiian food.
26.45 5th out of 10 vs Palmer
25.97 2nd out of 7 at Widefield
25.66 37th out of 143 at Indian Invite (CMHS)
25.91 7th out of 15 vs Rampart
25.99 97th out of 240 at Mustang Invite
26.27 6th out of 10 at Coronado
25.35 14th out of 26 at CSML Prelims
25.20 14th out of 16 at CSML Finals
58.95 6th out of 14 vs Air Academy
58.94 4th out of 9 at Liberty
1:17.16 3rd out of 5 vs Palmer
1:15.58 2nd out of 6 at Widefield
1:14.58 24th out of 56 at Indian Invite (CMHS)
1:18.91 7th out of 8 vs Rampart
1:12.68 51st out of 117 at Mustang Invite
1:28.15 5th out of 6 at Liberty
1:16.55 6th out of 7 at Coronado
1:11.09 12th out of 20 at CSML Prelims
1:09.87 9th out of 15 at CSML Finals
2:15.90 6th out of 6 vs Air Academy
6:35.00 3rd out of 8 vs FFC
200 Freestyle Relay
26.31 split time vs Palmer
Total time 1:47.61 at Widefield
26.37 split time vs Air Academy
25.34 split time at Indian Invite (CMHS)
25.58 split time vs Rampart
25.15 split time at Mustang Invite
27.20 split time at Liberty
25.13 split time at Coronado
26.54 split time vs FFC
200 Medley Relay
Breaststroke split time NR vs Palmer (team time 1:56.82)
Freestyle split time NR at Widefield (team time 2:12.53)
Freestyle split time 25.25 at Coronado
Butterfly split time NR vs FFC (team time 2:07.46)
One of Andrew's college essays was dedicated to Jazz music and the things he learned how to play Jazz music:
While I have many different interests, I find music, especially Jazz music, to be the most engaging experience that I get to enjoy on a daily basis. I have always been a huge fan of music, but Jazz music peaked my interest more than any other type of music. In Jazz, there are no limits to your creativity; you can express your emotions through the ways that you play. Each song that I hear is a new story, a new experience. I often find myself losing track of time whenever I listen to or play Jazz.
During my freshman year in high school, I had the opportunity to join the high school Jazz band as a trombonist. I had always wanted to know more about Jazz, but I had only dreamed about playing it. Learning how to play was not easy. It took many hours of hard work to begin to develop my skills, which inspired me to learn even more. A defining opportunity came when our class went to see the Dizzy Gillespie big band. I used every moment to study how these great musicians played, from their sound to their posture. Later that night, we were able to work with these musicians and learn from their experience with Jazz music. Although we were only able to work with them for thirty minutes, I learned some new techniques. One of their trombonists told me that the best way to learn Jazz was to watch good musicians play live.
Since then, I have been able to work with all sorts of Jazz bands and musicians from all over the state. Having an opportunity to learn more about Jazz feels like Christmas to me. Even now, I am in a music honors society where I take every opportunity I can to teach others about Jazz. I also play in our High School’s advanced Jazz band, which was created just this year. I listen to Jazz music every day and it never gets old. I’ve learned so much about music in general because of my love for Jazz music, and I will never forget the things I have learned about hard work and the feelings that come from playing Jazz.
First Day Of School
Garden Of The Gods
Mountain View ES
Pine Creek HS
Slices Of Life