Thursday, March 26, 2009


Here I sit in Philadelphia, PA. I have come to understand that I am now a rain magnet.

Let me explain. I spent two weeks for work in New Zealand. It rained every day I was there - some days a little sprinkle, others a deluge.

I returned to Texas - and it rained - for three days straight.

I travelled to St. Louis - again rain.

Returned home to Texas and it rained.

Now I'm here in Philadelphia, and it has rained the past two days and is slated to rain tomorrow here and in Houston as I try to travel home to Texas. The best part of the whole deal is that every where I have been, the areas have needed the rain. So, wish me luck as I fly the friendly skies back home.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Aunt Mary

I just received  a sad phone call.  My Dad's sister, Aunt Mary, has been in the hospital for the past week.  She's been in a medically induced coma (unfortunately, she has had quite a few problems with her health since I was about 11 or 12).  They stopped medicating her, and did some neurological tests and found that only her brain stem is working, no other part of her brain has any activity.  I am so sad for my Uncle Ralph and their three kids, Glen, Allison, and Steve.  Uncle Ralph is such a good man, sweet, humble, teachable, really, a true Christlike man.  The family had to sign papers to remove her from life support to see if she will make it on her own.

Aunt Mary is the baby of the family.  She is just slightly older than my Mom, and has been very close to both of my parents.  In spite of her health difficulties, Aunt Mary always smiled.  She always laughed and she always made sure that you laughed too, only not at someone else's expense.  As a little boy, I was drinking a coke.  My cousin David asked his Mom if he could have one.  Of course, she said no, and when he protested saying I had one, she said "we don't care what Jimmy is drinking".  Aunt Mary would have none of that - she said "Oh yes we do" and promptly snatched my coke bottle out of my hand, poured what was left down the drain, and said "We do care, he can have a grape Shasta just like the other kids".  That has stayed with me my whole life (for the record, this June will make 4 consecutive years that I have given up caffeinated cola drinks - I think Aunt Mary would be proud).  When her time is up, she will be missed, not just by her husband, children, and grandchildren, but by her nieces and nephews, and all the kids who lived on her street at one time or another (little Scott, big Scott, etc.)  I will miss her smiling face.  I will miss her love of Mexican food, and of buying jewelry at the pawn shop (she got some great deals), and her infectious laugh.

Because of work obligations, I don't know if I will be able to fly home if and when she passes.  And I hope that my extended family will give her the best send off they know how.  She certainly deserves it!  She's a great lady.

I love you Aunt Mary!  Jimmy

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NZ photos

Sheep on a hillside near the east coast town of
 Taurunga, North Island
New Zealand Temple
New Zealand Temple - small village next to the temple is called 
"Temple View", and this is a suburb of Hamilton, New Zealand.
View from my hotel room in Whangarei
located on the Northeast side of the north island
Bluff, New Zealand - most southern point on the south island
All in all, I had a good trip.  The countryside was just as beautiful as last year, although it rained every day while I was there, it was still beautiful.  I will post more photos later.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Last Day

It's my last day in New Zealand - it has been a whirlwind two weeks! I'm tired and excited to fly home and be in my bed and to hug Princess and get kisses from my girls!

It'll be a long trip home - leaving Hamilton, NZ at 11:00 AM and arriving into LAX the same day - and then on to Waco arriving in at 10:30 at night!

I've been to Church, mingled with the Saints, visited the Temple grounds, mingled with the Saints. And had the opportunity many times to talk about the Restored Gospel in many different settings.

I've been blessed with safe passage - to and from each destination. I've had great company and great food along the way. I've seen countryside where the Hobbits ran from the ring wraiths. I've seen Mordor from an airplane window - and I've seen hundreds and hundreds of cows and sheep. This NZ (NZED) is a magical place - I know I'll be back.

Look out Texas - here I come!


Saturday, March 07, 2009


Kia Ora from the wonderful island of New Zealand!

Wow! This has been an incredible trip so far. A short run down of my activities since I got here:
- Visited the vendor site in Invercargill, went to the southern most point of New Zealand called Bluff.
- Then went to Christchurch, middle of the south island, for a couple of working days.
- Travelled to Whangarei for two days, and then yesterday, travelled to Hamilton.
- I'll be in Hamilton the rest of the trip, flying back stateside on 13 March! Yep, I know it, but I'm not superstitious at all.

Just finished my Church block, went to the Hamilton East Ward, Glenview Stake. It was Ward Conference and a really good 3hours of meetings. It's really refreshing to be able to attend Church in another land. Fussy kids, kids fighting with their siblings, Ward Choir, all the usual things that we experience on a weekly basis in our own little part of the world in Waco.

Tomorrow, I'm off to a town called Te Rapa, then Tuesday to a town called Waitoa, and Thursday to Edgecumbe. All of these locations are new for me to audit, so I'm excited about that. Thursday I'm doing an audit for the Australian unit.

It's going to be nice to be in one hotel for the next 5 nights (6 in total).

Here's to Princess - Love you, Miss you, and can't wait to be back home in your arms again. I Love you.

For those loyal followers, thanks for your patience. Internet service here has not been very good in the smaller towns.