Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Last weekend I had the chance to go to a conference in Estes Park, CO called Professors of Instructional Design and Technology. It really was one of the best conferences I think I have ever been to. Mainly I liked how laid back everyone was. The schedule was a suggestion, but the topics were up to the people there. For example, someone would say, "I've been wondering about ____. I was hoping we could talk about ___." and then if there were other people interested in that topic, they would find a place to sit down together and everyone would talk about it. In the afternoons, we tried to find good hikes. Sunday we went up as far as we could go in Rocky Mountain National Park and then got out and walked around and then drove back down to the YMCA where we stayed. It was nice to build relationships with people at the conference that were professional, but also "real" relationships that are based on doing things together.

One of my favorite parts was that there were about 1/4 of the participants (10/40) that were LDS, so on Sunday morning before the conference really got started, we got together and were able to have a sacrament meeting. It was neat to be with good friends doing something so important. It made Sunday into a special day for me. It was a fast sacrament meeting, but so nice. We sang, had the sacrament, and then shared a few scriptures. And then everyone started coming for the conference, so we finished up.

BYU was in charge of hosting the conference, so we (some other graduate students and I) got to hand out keys, keep the munchies tables stocked, and keep everything running smoothly. It really was a lot of fun.

On the drive back from CO yesterday, we hit a really bad snowstorm between Laramie and Rawlins. The wind blew so strongly and the snow was coming down hard. We had to go slowly in order to make it okay. I was glad the vehicle we were in had 4wheel drive. Anyway, we made it back last night and were glad to be back!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lori is amazing!

Just in case you did not know, Lori was in charge of two big events in the last week.
Last weekend, she was in charge of the food committee for the stake Relief Society Humanitarian meeting. She led the committee to plan, buy, prepare, and serve the food at the meeting. I got to go take a sneak peak at what she did and here is how it looked:

Unfortunately the picture is a little limited in scope and it doesn't show all the good stuff they had. But they had fruit cups, baby quiches, cheese slices, sweet rolls, and juice and water to drink. It was so nice. All of the sisters that she worked with talked about just how awesome she was! They were so impressed that someone so young could manage an event like that so well. Way to go Lori!

Then last night, she put on the Mother-Daughter Activity Days program in her ward. They prepared a cruise for the girls and moms. It turned out so nice. Lori had made passports for each of them (girls and moms) and they had different activities on different "islands" to participate in. She found some great deals on all of her decorations and on the materials for the activities. They also served a dinner. Lori had all of the place settings prepared and organized so she knew where each person needed to sit and by whom. I wished I had taken a picture of last night, but I didn't even think about it until today, but I just wanted to share how great Lori is (in case you didn't know). Love ya, Lori!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Scouts and AERA

Here I am in my official Scout uniform. Yes I am taking a picture of myself in the mirror... :) We had our first Pack Meeting last week and we had three of our boys receive their Arrow of Light and they moved on to the 11-year-old scouts now.

This week, I have been in Denver for the American Education Research Association conference (AERA - the biggest conference dealing with research in education). It has been a good conference and I have learned some things that I feel will help me with the work on my dissertation. I have decided I really do like Denver. The people here are just good people.

I was looking for a cheap hotel close to the conference, but there really weren't any. Most of the hotels were $300-400 per night. Tonya and I decided we would find one a little further away, so we didn't have to pay so much. I made reservations at a Days Inn on Federal Blvd. Well, I talked to Clint the day before we left and he said to really be careful in that area, so I got online and was looking at pictures of the area and the way we would need to walk to get to the convention center. I decided we didn't really want to stay there, so we canceled our reservations and found this other little hotel called the Knight's Inn that was only about 1.5 miles away and the area looked pretty good. I called to make a reservation and the guy that answered the phone said I was calling the Ramada. I was a little confused. He said they had rooms, so when we got here to just ask for "Joe." We got in the next afternoon and got a room.

The hotel is definitely old, but it was clean. So the Ramada and the Knight's Inn look like they were two that merged and they run both of them out of the Ramada. They have had internet and they have free breakfast. We have been super impressed with the staff. They have been so professional and definitely customer-service oriented. Even when people have asked dumb questions, they have been patient and they don't even joke about it after the people leave. The hotel has worked out great. It is over by Elitch's and there are also nice walking paths all along the Platte River. I have enjoyed my time here. Now we are on our way back to the real world again...