What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Some pictures of Halloween 2011.
Del Osso

I'm ready, and this pumpkin is heavy

Tony's picture of yuck

Miranda carving, and carving, and degutting (that's the worse part)

Charity came over for haircuts and colorings; Tony survived.

Tony's turn with the camera

 It is fascinating to see the world through the eyes of a four year old.  The see things differently.

Life in Manteca 26: Park Review, ****Quail Ridge, ***^ Library

This past week Tony and I visited a couple of parks, both with cool webs, which is Tony's favorite.  The first is Quail Ridge Park, which is very close to our house.  It is on the opposite of the freeway, 120 and Union.  You take Mission Ridge off and Union and you're there.  This park features one of the neatest webs I have seen.  It really looks like a spider web.  I mentioned this to Tony, and he reminded me it is made of rope. 

The second park is one we have been to before.  However it now has received a remodeling, with some neat new toys, which include a web ball, and a couple moving things, a spinning one and another that also goes around making a big circle, like a merry-go-round. Tony could do the playground peices by himself, but he also enjoyed when I pushed.  He dropped down from high up on the web, and thought he was going to break himself.  He then did it again just to prove he could.

Life in Manteca: Moon Rocks in Tracy

I read in the paper that there were moon rocks in Tracy at a Middle School.  I invited everyone to go wit me but in the end only Tony accepted the invitation. I was hoping to see something substantial, but in the end it was more like sand under glass.  The meteorite display was a bit more impressive, as you could make out patterns in the rocks.  Tony like the movie showing about the universe.  There was lots of fire in the movie, which he really enjoyed.  On the way home we got a picture of some statues at t house.  The sunset was cool, so all in all, Tony and I had a good time. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Church this Sunday

I had a very special time at church today, and I cannot write everything in a blog, but I can hit the highlights.  We had our fifth Sunday priesthood and Relief Society meetings, and we talked about the Book of Mormon.  This video was played at the end of the meeting.  It is a powerful testimony from Elder Holland of the Book of Mormon, given in conference a couple years ago.
But my Sunday started with Sacrament meeting, and three inspired talks.  I was on parking lot duty, wo was listening with the head set.  I was very focused on the talks.  President Crockett talked about the Aaronic Priesthood, and how this priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels.  He indicated this meant that the Aaronic Priesthood holders have the right to inspiration and protection from angels.  He then related a couple of stories from a talk by Robert Herbertson:
A priests quorum decided one winter to gather food for the needy as a service project. This event soon developed into a competitive activity with the Laurels to see who could gather the most food.
Jim, one of the members of the quorum, became very excited about participating in this activity. He planned to use a cart he had built for a parade and was determined that he was going to collect more food than anyone else.
The night came, and the priests and Laurels met at the chapel. They went out at the same time and returned at the specified time later in the evening. Much to everyone’s surprise, Jim’s cart was empty. He was rather sober and didn’t seem to want to talk to anyone. Some of the boys made fun of him and asked, “Where’s your food, Jim? We thought you were going to beat us all.”
Seeing the situation Jim was in and knowing that he had an interest in automobiles, the adviser grabbed him and said, “Come outside, Jim, I want you to look at my car. It’s giving me some trouble.”
When they got outside, the adviser said, “What’s wrong, Jim?” Jim began to cry and said, “I don’t know if I want to talk about it.”
“Are you upset?”
“No, not really. But when I went out to collect the food, I really got a lot. My cart was full. As I was returning to the chapel, I stopped at the home of a nonmember woman who is divorced and lives within our ward boundaries. I knocked on the door and explained what we were doing, and she invited me in. She began to look for something to give me. She opened the refrigerator, and I could see there was hardly anything in it. The cupboards were bare. Finally, she found a small can of peaches.
“I could hardly believe it. There were all these little kids running around that needed to be fed, and she handed me this can of peaches. I took it and put it in my cart and went on up the street. I got about halfway up the block when I just felt warm all over and knew I needed to go back to that house. I gave her all the food.”
The adviser said, “Jim, don’t you ever forget the way you feel tonight, because that’s what it is all about.”
Because of the priesthood Jim held, he had received the ministering of angels and through the Holy Ghost had been guided to do something that was far more important than winning the contest.
The second story is like this:
Let me conclude with an old Indian legend. Many years ago, Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley. There he fasted, and on the third day he decided to test himself against the mountain. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders, and set off to climb the peak.
When he reached the top, he could see forever, and his heart swelled with joy. Then he heard a rustle at his feet. Looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke: “I am about to die. It is too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food, and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley.”
“Oh, no,” said the youth. “I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and I will die.”
“Not so,” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you.”
The youth withstood for a while, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass. Suddenly, the snake coiled, rattled, and struck, biting him on the leg.
“You knew what I was when you picked me up,” said the snake as it slithered away.
 It has been a very good Sunday.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Music Reviews: ***Josh Grobin in Concert; *Beatles: All you Need is Love, **^ Hollowen Howls (to mmboe)

***Josh Grobin:  This C.D. was a two-C.D. pack I got from the Manteca Library.  Josh Grobin is terrific, and he ventures into singing religious music along with love songs.  I especially enjoy "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."  He begins the concert singing in Latin, but then gets into singing duets in English and other languages.  "Starry, Starry Night" is well done.  My only complaint with this set is I was hoping it would go longer--but the second disk was a special effect C.D. and didn't have any additional music.

I checked out a music CD from the library which was *Beatles songs for young people.  It didn't work for me.   It wasn't enough Beatles and it wasn't enough children's music.  It was someplace in the middle, and not very good at either genre.  The only song even mildly enjoyable was a rendition of the "Octopus Garden Under the Sea" which I have heard on Sesame Street. 

Finally another children's C.D. with a Halloween theme; **^Andrew Golds' Halloween Howls helped get us in the mood of the season.  I must admit the first time through Tony did not like it saying it scared him.  We didn't get through it, but I later caught him singing the Monster Mash song.  SO I decided to try it again telling him we could skip any song he did not like.  This had a better result as we danced to the music through most of the C.D., and then Tony took off making up his own dances and having a good time with it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Life in Manteca 25: Manteca is a Pumpkin Town; Tony and I vist the corn maze.

Here are some pictures from Tony and I at the Del Osso Farms pumpkin festivities at the corn maze.  We didn't do the maze but we walked into the corn with Tony on my shoulders and the corn was still over Tony's head; cool!!!  Tony loved the tire mountain, the bouncy houses, shooting the pumpkin gun and the bouncing pillows.  I thought the train ride was sort of wimpy, just around the corn maze, never going in between the corn.

I also have some pictures from pumpkin fields and harvesting in the area.  They really do throw the pumpkins around just like in the mural.  I love the orange in the fields.  We really are the pumpkin capital of California.

Life in Mateca 26: Egret Visit

This is the egret that was visiting the park by our house
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The Whole Armor of God: Sunday School 39

This is a link to the movie which is part of the Sunday School lesson this week.  It is an old seminary movie, but very good.  Tomorrow the theme is having Unity in the church, in our marriages, at home and with ourselves.  I am wondering how this fits into the idea of unity.  I know it is important to put on the whole armor of God, as Paul taught:
 11 Put on the whole aarmour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 12 For we awrestle not bagainst cflesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the drulers of the edarkness of this world, against spiritual fwickedness in high places.
 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 14 Stand therefore, having your loins agirt about with btruth, and having on the cbreastplate of drighteousness;
 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of apeace;
 16 Above all, taking the shield of afaith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery bdarts of the wicked.
 17 And take the helmet of asalvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
 18 aPraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all bperseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6)

So those in the class, maybe you can help me with this question of how this relates to unity.

Friday, October 21, 2011

To the Movies, ***^Abduction and **The Smurfs

Saw a couple movies at the theater last week.  Abduction at the AMC and The Smurfs at Marketplace $3 theater.  Went with Sheri and Mark and Dianna to the first and Tony to the second.  The story line of Abduction was actually intriguing.  It starred Lily Collins and Taylor Lautner with Sigourney Weaver in a supporting roll.  I am not sure why they called the movie abduction, as no one was abducted.  They were just trying to get away.  This movie had plenty of action.  It got very poor reviews from the critics.  I think this is because the relationship between the two young people was not as hot as it could have been.  Sometimes Taylor seemed stiff.  I am not sure if this was his character, who was suppose to be shy, or just some misses in the acting.  My only complaint about this movie was the giggling, talking laughing girls in the back who only came to see Taylor Lautner with his shirt off and had no interest in the story.  Finally someone asked them to shut up and they did.

The second movie is one that Tony had talked about wanting to see.  Gargamel's cat steal this show.  He/she is so funny pursuing the smurfs, and has such funny facial expression.  Gargamel is just totally evil.  I watched Tony, to see how the movie was doing.  He enjoyed most of the movie, but there was a period there, where the movie seemed to slow down and loss its energy.  He likes the slapstick scenes, Gargamel getting sucked through the funnel, getting foiled in the toy store, and things dropping on his head.  I liked the apple with thinks poking out of it getting him in the butt.  Now that is humor.  One part that started going somewhere and then didn't was Gargamel making an alliance with the Smurf's friend's boss.  It just didn't go anyplace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tony's Art #2

This is mostly during conference art.
This is a Daddy birthday party, I'm the grouchy one.



Monday, October 10, 2011

Ace Train 12: Trip to Stockton

I took and inadvertent trip (I ws reading and missed my stop) to Stockton on the train a couple weeks ago.  It was dark when I got there, and I had to call Sheri to come pick me up.  It took her about a half hour to get there.  Miranda drove.  But I met the Robert J. Cabral station, so named to honor the San Joaquin supervisor who was instrumental in establishing the ACE Train.  This is the final stop and the base for the Ace Train.  The station is newly remodeled and features a clock tower and fancy bricked streets.  I am not sure of the neighborhood, but the station closes at 8, about when I got there.  It was open when I arrived but soon closed.  I hung outside by the security kiosk.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Life in Manteca:24; and family happenings

This is a summary of the past three weeks, in which lots has gone on.  To start with we went to Charity's for me to get a hair cut and to take advantage of her pool.  Tony was into showing his muscles. 

The next weekend the Ortons were here, Sheldon, Nancy and Alyssa.  I neglected to take a photo so don't have documentation I need. 

Conference weekend followed.  We had the Larsons and Charity and Anthony over for cinnamon rolls.  It was a good Sunday, and conference was very inspirational.  Here is a linkfor those who missed it, or who want to review.  http://lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2011/10?lang=eng

Anthony helped Toy get down his darts he has shot onto the high windows, or onto the window sills.  Anthony fashioned a tool with a pole and a belt.

Up above provided the best place to give direction.  It was cute hearing Tony 
say this way. then that.

I went to my first pumpkin festival, and honestly was not impressed.  Just a big bazaar with everyone wanting to make big money.  Tony did some bouncy house stuff, but the pony ride was $7.  The only store that looked fun was the hair bow stand where Anny, Alyssa's sister, and her friend Jennie were helping.  It made me wish I had a little girl at home who could use a hair bow.  Tony and Caleb would not go for this at all, and I doubt if Miranda would appreciate them either.

April's pictures, Caleb and Alyssa above, Anny and Jennie below

This week I went to my first Sierra football game.  I entered the game and headed for the home team sign of the field.  I discovered I could not get there for there was a fence in my way.  I went back to start, and was directed to a different entrance through which you could only go to the home stands.  What a noel idea, home and visiting fans separated by a fence; sort of like the iron curtain.  I guess the school knows what they need to do, and it must prevent fights, but it is a sad commentary.  The game was between Sierra and Manteca, schools a couple miles away from each other, and all of us from the community of Manteca.  The game had the wrong result as Manteca won the rivalry this year.  Anny, Alyssa's sister, participated in the halftime cheer leading camp activity.  It was fun. 

Yesterday, Saturday started with a double date to the temple with Caleb and his girlfriend.  We went through a session and they did baptisms.  They got done and went to the Visitor's Center where we met them after they had watched a movies.  The Visitors Center is open every day of the year nine to nine.  http://lds.org/placestovisit/eng/visitors-centers/oakland-temple-visitors-center
We went to Five Guys, Burger and Fries on the way home.  They still have great burgers, excellent fries, and the peanuts are just a bonus.

We ended our Saturday with a trip to Cupertino for the Tournament of the Bands.  Although I was not there to watch anyone from the family, it was still fun.  Charity was there with her brother-in-law Brent, who we had never met as he recently returned form a mission. He was supporting Mountain View High Scbool as he is a band alumnus.
I liked the Aztec calendar this band had

Cupertino High School Marching Band

Charity and Brent
Old friends we have seen in the last couple weeks:
Sheldon, Nancy and Alyssa Orton cam to visit
Guy and Renee Berry at the temple
at the TOB, Jennifer Schulken, our past neighbor and friend.  Her son is in the band on saxophone and she says she was volunteer coordinator for TOB
Kathy Dye and Stan Dye, friends from church.  There son Scott is in the band on baritone and she was busy all day with volunteer stuff, perhaps band booster president
Elliot Gavino, family friend and former Cupertino drum major.
Diane Williams (not her current name) who is a family friend and Asher's mom who is Natalia's age.
These means in the past couple weeks I have seen and visited with the people with whom I served in the bishopric, Bishop Orton, Guy and Stan.