Pala Training

Finished up the “Strategic Planning Retreat” in Pala today. Man, I love Pala. The weather was a perfect change from the desert, it was overcast and cool all day… and the best part? I got to go come home to my family! The training was interesting, Clint Hackney was hired to take all the managers and executive staff through the process of outlining a strategic plan. We created a vision statement, mission statement, and set lots of measurable goals to improve our program. The training days were long but we did some good work and all came out better for it. Plus I got to visit Caleb and his awesome family last night (I’m still excited about that, can you tell?).

As I was leaving the resort I saw a little fruit & veggie stand across the street so I stopped by and snagged a bag of 20 avocados for $5.00. SWEET! I figured I would pick up some avocados from avocado country and I assumed that they were grown near there but now I’m wondering. They’re little guys and not ripe at all but I’m hoping for the best. The man running the stand said that I could ripen them quickly by putting them in a paper bag and setting them on the stove. Something about the warmth of the stove makes them ripen faster I guess, I should research that. Either way, there are gonna be some sweet little avocados in my future.

The ride home was a rough one, not enough sleep over the past couple days made me a drowsy driver. I had to roll the windows down and play airplane-hand to keep from dozing off. In spite of all that, I made it back just fine and had a breakfast for dinner with the wife, Mom-in-law, and kids. Brigham is waving on cue now, all you have to do is say “Dilé bye bye” which means “Tell them bye bye” or something to that effect and he’ll start waving at you. SO CUTE!

My Namesake

I was at a training for work today at Pala Resort and Casino which put me within an hour of Caleb Jasper Horman, my namesake, so I decided to drop by for a visit. It was really nice to spend some time with Ashna, Preston, Carter, Caleb, and Grandma Suzanne. Caleb weighs all of 5 pounds and change. I have no experience with such a little baby because mine we’re both more than 8 pounds. He’s adorable! He looks like a little old man, his fingers and toes are amazingly long and slender and he’s all wrinkly and squirmy. He slept for almost all 45 minutes or so that I held him because I made him all cozy and warm. I was able to get some decent shots of Caleb because he’s already a modeling pro, at least when he’s sleeping. I had a great time catching up with such a wonderful family. I’m looking forward to seeing y’all again soon.

Stand as Witnesses

Went to Church today. I was asked to share a spiritual message in my Priesthood Executive Meeting this morning. I chose to share a very touching talk from this October’s General Conference by President Henry B. Eyring entitled “A Witness“. Here are the two sections I shared:

I was once invited to speak at graduation services at a university. The university president had wanted President Gordon B. Hinckley to be invited but found that he was unavailable. So by default I got the invitation. I was then a junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The person who invited me to speak became anxious as she learned more about my obligations as an Apostle. She called me on the phone and said that she now understood that my duty was to be a witness of Jesus Christ.

In very firm tones she told me that I could not do that when I spoke there. She explained that the university respected people of all religious beliefs, including those who denied the existence of a God. She repeated, “You cannot fulfill your duty here.”

I hung up the phone with serious questions in my mind. Should I tell the university that I would not keep my agreement to speak? It was only two weeks before the event. My appearance there had been announced. What effect would my failing to keep my agreement have on the good name of the Church?

I prayed to know what God would have me do. The answer came in a surprising way to me. I realized that the examples of Nephi, Abinadi, Alma, Amulek, and the sons of Mosiah applied to what I was. They were bold witnesses of Jesus Christ in the face of deadly peril.

So the only choice to be made was how to prepare. I dug into everything I could learn about the university. As the day of the talk grew closer, my anxiety rose and my prayers intensified.

In a miracle like the Red Sea parting, I found a news article. That university had been honored for doing what the Church has learned to do in our humanitarian efforts across the world. And so in my talk I described what we and they had done to lift people in great need. I said that I knew that Jesus Christ was the source of the blessings that had come into the lives of those we and they had served.

After the meeting the audience rose to applaud, which seemed a little unusual to me. I was amazed but still a little anxious. I remembered what happened to Abinadi. Only Alma had accepted his witness. But that night, at a large formal dinner, I heard the university president say that in my talk he heard the words of God.

 

I saw… (a) miracle in the bedroom of a man who had given sufficient faithful service to think that he had done enough to rest.

I knew that he had undergone lengthy and painful treatment for a disease and had been told by the doctors that it was terminal. They offered neither treatment nor hope.

His wife took me to his bedroom in their home. There he was, lying on his back on the top of the carefully made-up bed. He wore a freshly pressed white shirt, a tie, and new shoes.

He saw the look of surprise in my eyes, laughed quietly, and explained, “After you give me a blessing, I want to be ready to respond to the call to take up my bed and go to work.” As it turned out, he was ready for the interview he would soon have with the Master, for whom he had worked so faithfully.

He was an example of the fully converted Latter-day Saints I meet often after they have given a life of dedicated service. They press on.

President Marion G. Romney described it this way: “In one who is wholly converted, desire for things [contrary] to the gospel of Jesus Christ has actually died, and substituted therefor is a love of God with a fixed and controlling determination to keep his commandments.”

These events are true examples of what is found in the book of Mosiah.

Mosiah 18:9 – Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
-via Mosiah 18

In the first story, President Eyring was , after much prayer, determined to “stand as witnesses… at all times… and in all places” and in the second story the Faithful Servant was ready “stand as witnesses… even until death”.

I can see the desires of worldly things dying in me as I strengthen my relationship with our Heavenly Father. I didn’t grow up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and although I was a relatively good kid, I struggled with the temptations of the world just like everyone else. But now, as I spend more time in sincere prayer and studying the scriptures I’ve found the things of the world appear less and less appetizing.

Outlaw Pinewood Derby

Tonight is the big night. Over the past two weeks I’ve spent about 8 hours or more working on my Outlaw Pinewood Derby Car and IT DOESN’T WORK! Awe Barnacles! It’s a serious contraption with springs, levers, release pins, sharp points, CO2 cartridges, and a gopher trap. This thing is a beast, and quite dangerous because of all the sharp metal. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that simpler is better. There is too much that can go wrong for it to work. The main problem is that the puncture plate on the back of the car puts way too much pressure on the release pin for it to actually release, the release pin just stays stuck there. Oh well, I’ll chalk it up to experience for next year. This morning I quickly put together another car that only held two CO2 cartridges and nothing else. That car along with a couple of screws in a board (car starter) and a hammer are what I took to the race. It was difficult to get it to fire on cue but when it did, it flew… right off the track and into the leg of a spectator. She said that it scared her more than it hurt. The car was way too light and the force to puncture the CO2 cartridges bumped the car around the track making its direction pretty unpredictable. The first car I build actually worked better because of all the added weight. It just shot down the track. I did win two races, one because of the force of the hammer hitting the back of the car propelled it down the track and one because the CO2 cartridges worked correctly. There were several other neat cars racing tonight. A frog, a blocker that had arms that kept other cars from passing, and several basic cars with fun themes that were all supped up with axle lube and only 3 wheels. Seriously fun night!


The Big Three One!

Well, today is my B-day. Dar called me and her whole 4th Grade class just sang me the Happy B-day Cha Cha Cha song. Adorable! No real b-day plans today, I have a big meeting at work or I would be having a b-day lunch at Las Flores with Tara. It’s only the best little hole in the wall Mexican joint in Coachella. You know a place is good when they’re only open for breakfast and lunch because they keep getting robbed as soon as the sun goes down. We’re planning to go next Wednesday. I’m gonna go do the official weigh in today so I can start my diet right. There is a clinic where I work and they’ll let me use their fancy scale. 323 is my prediction. I’ve got 98 days till the Spartan Race and really need to lose some weight. What’s reasonable? 10 pounds a month? Maybe not, but that’ll be my goal. My goal is to weigh 293 by the end of January.

Okay, I was over the mark by a bit. I current weight is 318.6 so that means my new goal is 288.6 by January 28th. I’ve been getting the “Workout of the Day” emails from SpartanRace.com and so far they have provided me a good laugh. Here’s what they sent me:

WOD for 10-21-11
“There is no secret to success. What exists is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. “~ Colin Powell

Let’s keep it simple but brutal. Endurance and strength.
2 mile run
200 lunges
100 push ups
2-4 mile run
200 body weight squats
100 burpees
2-4 mile run

There is 6-10 miles of running involved in this workout… HAHAHAHAHA And 100 burpees? I’ve never done a single burpee and doubt I could get through 10 without dying. Maybe someday but it’s gonna take some time to get there. Needles to say, I won’t be attempting this today.

This has turned out to be one great b-day! During the meeting this morning my Boss sent one of my co-workers to get a cake and she came back with this huge Oreo cake and a single piece of carrot cake just for me. Earlier this morning I was telling my coworker that, for my b-day, Dar usually makes me the absolute best carrot cake from total scratch (she even grates the carrots) and then puts this frothy, candied frosting on top. So while she was at the store for the Oreo cake, she picked a single piece of carrot cause she knew its my favorite. So the meeting ran long by a few hours and then there was this cake, but I hadn’t had lunch yet… so my tummy is full of cake and my lunch is still in its bag. I’m training for a Spartan Race people, which means I’m counting calories… I can’t have lunch and cake!

I was surprised today by a little handy work from some of the sneakier people in my office. While I was out, they collected up all the hole-punches in Southern California and flung their contents all over my nice shiny office. It was like all the attendees had a sneezing fit while gathered on my desk for a hole-punch convention. It was rather funny but took almost 30 minutes to vacuum. I felt loved.

By far, the best part of my day was news from a very dear friend. Ashna and her husband Preston had their second child today, a boy. He was 6lbs 9oz, 20 inches, and he was born at 8:12 am… on MY BIRTHDAY… well, OUR BIRTHDAY. I’ve known Ashna since high school, in fact, she’s the one who first introduced me to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of the seed she planted in me and the example that her family showed me, I was baptized. I was so close to her family that I asked her father to baptize me. Last year I was Sealed to my Wife and Children in the Temple for all time and eternity, thank you Ashna. But wait, there’s more. She texted me this morning with this picture and the

conversation went like this.

Ashna: My dear friend… I am pleased to introduce you to… (long pause) Caleb Jasper Horman.
Me: Adorable! Love the name! Congrats!!! He looks just like Carter.
Ashna: 6lbs 9oz 20 inches at 8:12am
Ashna: I thought you would like the name!… it’s a great name from a great guy… You!
Me: Awesome! I’m so happy for you!!! I’ll be near you on Monday and Tuesday….. Wait What???? Holy…. Oh my gosh Ashna, I don’t know what to say…

It seemed at that point I should stop texting and call her, so I did. I must have sounded like a bumbling fool. I couldn’t find any words to express how I felt and still can’t. You see, my middle name is Kaleb. My parents decided to step away from the traditional spelling and use a K instead of a C. I imagine that Ashna and Preston went with Caleb (with a C) because their first son’s name is Carter and they could stick with a C theme that way. My heart welled over and at several points during the 4 hour meeting after our conversation, I was almost overcome with emotion and had to wipe my eyes. Ashna and Preston, I am truly honored. Your son is beautiful. We have all been blessed today, thank you.

Finishing the Race

Over the past week three of my friends parents have left this world entirely too early. The pain my friends are going through is difficult for me to imagine but I can see that it’s very real and that each one of them are truly hurting. Not only that but now my friends parents have missed out on half of the life they could have lived here on earth if the circumstances were different. This past week has really been unsettling to me and it’s made me think of about how I’m living my life and how I’ve treated my body. I’ve decided that I am going to change my lifestyle and finally get fit after 30 years of being overweight. I would like to know my Great Grandkids and if I continue with this sedentary life of mine, that’ll never happen. Tyler (my brother) and I have decided to train for and finish a Spartan Race. We’ve already chosen the race. It’ll be a Super Spartan, 8 mile, 15 obstacle race on January 28th 2012 in Temecula Ca. It’s going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I’m really not looking forward to all the running I’m going to have to do to get ready for it but I now see that my wife and kids deserve a healthy husband/father that has more time left on this earth than he’s already spent here. Wish me luck.

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