A Friend

Today, my thoughts have turned inward to consider just what a friend truly means to me. Coming from a broken home, I was able to choose the family I was born into but I have been able to choose the family that I surround myself with. The gifts and the memories that I have been given of friendship has never made me realize just how blessed that I am. My friends are the family that I have never had. A couple of quotes that I have read recently has made me think about that in more depth and detail. Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, "A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud."/"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature".

Before meeting and marrying Kristy, I had doubts that I would ever find that depth of a relationship where it would be something that I would cling to. Kristy is my wife, my heart, and my best friend. There is not a day that goes by that I do not bow my head in thanks at least once a day in apperciation of what she has brought to my life.

My life has been made far easier with the presence of friends that have often made the biggest difference for me. Though I have struggled at times with my choices, my health, and even at times my own peace of mind, they have made the moments memorable. I have been truly blessed to have great people to share my life with through the good and the bad times. I thank you, each of you that have been a motivation, an inspiritation, and often times, my partners in pranks.

I do not have the time and ability to properly thank each of them according to the amount of good they have brought to my life. Though it may not be said out loud, thank you, all of you.



Winter Prep for the Garden

We had such a successful garden this year we thought we would do a little prep for next years garden. John Boulter came up today to help us (THANK YOU, JOHN). We first had to take out a stump that was the root of an overbearing bush in the corner of the garden. Between Tristan, John and the Ax, the stump was removed in short order. After that it was matter of tiling the whole garden (once again, THANK YOU, JOHN) not just the half we used this year. It is amazing how quickly it happens with a tiling machine.

The area underneath the bedroom window was tiled. There is a lot of sunshine here year round so we planted tulip (my favorite) and daffodil bulbs here. I can't wait until next March/April for them to come up!

We are already planning our garden layout for next year. I think we will start earlier!

Tootsie Pops

It has been a long time since I have had a tootsie pop but at halloween my nephew, Isaiah, dicarded several into a basket for any one to have. Basically it was candy he did not like...at a closer look it was candy that did not have any chocolate. Tootsie Pops bring back so many memories! I took most of the pops in the basket and been slowly enjoying them since. I have no idea how many licks it takes to get to the center becasue I tend to bite them after a few licks. I am glad Isaiah was generous enough to share his Tootsie pops with me!

Happy Birthday Mom - Nov. 7th

SURPRISE! I think we pulled things off very well. As usual mom would not tell anybody what she wanted for her birthday, and she is not very easy to buy for. The night before her birthday Kerry was trying to get the birthday information out of her one more time. Mom told Kerry she could rake up all the leaves in the yard, pick up the apples (if there were any) and then fertilize the lawn. Kerry did not think that answer was very funny as it involved manual labor. I, on the other hand, knew mom really wanted those things done. Mom would be out of the house from 9am until 1pm so there was time to do it without her knowing or helping! The text message was sent to the siblings and the plan was set.

Tristan, Aaron, Daniel, Caley and I spent a few hours raking/blowing the leaves, picking up a few apples (the two trees did not produce many apples this year), putting up new numbers and a new mailbox on the house. We also got balloons and decorated the front room. It felt great to be doing all of this for Mom.

That evening everyone gathered at Mom's for pizza and to make rainbow cake. David and his family even came up from Las Vegas for the weekend.



What a busy weekend...

This busy weekend felt great at the very end. I can't say the same for all the busy weekends that I have. I spent a lot time with family and friends working and playing. It really does not get better than that.

It started on Saturday morning with a clean up project. Last spring, after a pipe burst in the basement, contents of one of the rooms was moved the court in the back yard. It was placed up on boards and covered. In August the house was painted and again more items were moved from around the house to the court. Isaiah, my 6 year old nephew, was quickly loosing his basketball area. It came time to move things back to their rightful places...rightful according to who was another story. There was water damage to some things so a trip to the dump was made (and I think some things made it into that trip without other knowing about it!). My dad tended to keep a lot of stuff that many of us did not see us in keeping although we did speculate and had many reasons for why dad wanted to keep certain things. In the end the court was cleared... the dog kennel was filled with some stuff (poor McKenna, his kennel gets smaller every year)...and Isaiah has not more excuses to use the microwave in the kitchen for his basketball hoop.

Cassandra and Asa (sister-in-law & nephew) take music classes and they invited everyone to a fesitval that was being presented by the Imagination Place. The kids and some adults dressed in their Halloween Costumes...there were a wide variety of activities...pumpkin bowling, obstacle course, coloring, instrument making and instrument zoo. I had a great time with Tristan and Isaiah working around the Isaiah collect our stickers on our map.

Saturday night we to Jenny Nichols' home for homemade Doughnuts. This is Halloween Tradition! Jenny held the event a week early due to obligation on Halloween and then there is a Uof U football game on Nov. 1st.

Sorry no picture :(


Body Worlds 3 & The Story of the Heart

Tristan and I went to see the fascinating exhibit Body World 3 & the Story of the Heart, It is touring the nation and is currently in SLC. The best way for you to see a preview of what we saw click on this link (www.theleonardo.com). You see everything from the head to the toes and everything in between. You can see what it looks like when it is working properly and when it is not working so well. The exhibit will be here until the end of Decemeber.


The passing of my Father - Claron Edwin Swenson

Obituary for my Father - Claron Edwin Swenson

Surrounded by his family, Claron Edwin Swenson passed away quietly on September 22, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah of Kidney Cancer.

Claron was born August 7, 1941. He, his brother and two sisters were raised by his mother after the passing of his father when Claron was just five years old. His mother's example of hard work and family values served as a guide for his life. Claron grew up on the Avenues and graduated from West High (1960) and the University of Utah (1973). He married Carol Gappmayer, on December, 17 1965 in the Salt Lake Temple.

Claron was well known for the service he provided in all areas of his life, setting an example with his faith and love. He spent eight years serving in the United States Coast Guard Reserve. He served in the South Africa Mission from '62-'64. He was a life-long scouter, sharing with youth and adults his knowledge and passion for the scout law and the outdoors, including 9 years as District Chairman and recipient of the Silver Beaver Award in 2004. He served in various LDS Church callings, including most recently as Branch President of the Arlington Hills Care Center. In his 34 years of service with LDS Church Security he was able to travel the world for and with some of the most wonderful people. With all that he did, the most important people to him were his family.

Claron is preceded in death by his father, Don Edwin Swenson, mother, Lucile Burnhope Swenson, brother-in-law Klaus Guertler, and his oldest son Scott Reed Swenson; he is survived by his wife Carol Gappmayer Swenson, brother Don (Nola) Swenson, sisters; Carole (Lynn) Williams and Bernice Guertler, and his children; David (Pamela) Swenson, Kelly Swenson, Kimberly (Andreas) Mueller, Kristy (Tristan) Moore, Daniel (Sarah) Swenson, Aaron (Jaime) Swenson, Matthew (Cassandra Tucci) Swenson, Kerry (Quentin) McNeil, 10 grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and relatives.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 11:00 am at the LDS ward - 680 East 2nd Avenue. A viewing will be held Wednesday at the Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple from 6 – 8 pm and 9:45-10:45am prior to the services on Thursday at the LDS ward.

In Lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice.
Condolences online: www.larkinmortuary.com


It is my sad duty....

It is my sad duty to acknowledge the passing of my father in law. It is with a heavy heart that I look back on the short time that he has been a part of my life. I have felt honored to have been accepted as part of the family. In his last few minutes here he was able to once more open his eyes to see himself surround by his family, his wife, sibling, and his children. All of them were present for him to see once more. His passing has been expected for some time, though not unexpected it has left all of us yearning to have him part of our lives still. There will be a viewing Wednesday evening at the Larkin Mortuary in Salt Lake City, Utah from 6pm-8 pm. Thursday morning at 9:45 am-10:45 am there will be a viewing at the wardhouse on 2nd Ave and J Ave in Salt Lake City, UT followed by his funeral service at 11 am. There are not enough words to rightly express our sorrow in his passing. Husband, Father, and Friend, you will be truly missed. On the evening breeze each evening we will hear your words of encouragement and love carried on its soft wings as we close our eyes to once more remember you. You are my Hero! May the Lord welcome you home in to His final embrace.



Kim & Andreas Wedding Weekend!

August 16, 2008 Kimberly Swenson married Andreas Mueller in Palo Alto, California.

Tristan and I flew down on Wednesday night. Family members flew in on Thursday and Friday. David and his family and drove up from Las Vegas on Friday. By Friday night everyone had arrived for the second pre-ceremony run through and pizza party. Saturday was the big and the pictures tell it all... enjoy!



Over the past 4 weeks we went testing driving 10 different cars. We spoke with good and not good sales people. We also did a ton of research. Dodge, Honda, Mazada, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan...and the winner is...

The Subaru Forester! (The color of our car is dark gray)

I am going to miss my Honda Civic (Sir Ferdinand) when sI sell it (as soon as possible). It has been a great car over the past 10 years!

Zachary Walks (well, sort of)

My Nephew, Zachary Swenson, just turned 9 months old yesterday. He has been working really hard on crawling and he will get it eventually. In the meantime, Zachary's main mode of transportation is rolling! He is great in any direction. He would not move his legs if you held his hands or under his arms...well that is until a couple weeks ago. We were in California for my sisters wedding (pictures to be posted soon) and found the proper motivation for Zachary...A SWIMMING POOL! Here is the video we took:

Birthday's Celebrated

We celebrate a lot of Birthdays in the Swenson family during the Month of August. We got together this month and had one big celebration. We had a ton of fun making rainbow cake. They were extremely colorful...just look at the pictures. It was Caley's 1st Birthday and she had a lot of fun with her first cake.

Birthday List:
Kim Mueller 8/4
Dad (Claron Swenson)8/7
Caley Swenson 8/8
Casandra Tucci 8/13
Aaron Swenson 8/17



Today we are gathering as a family to celebrate birthdays. Now not having experience with this matter until most recently in my life, it has always been something that I have never known how to react to. My family life when I was a child was rather poor to say the least, I did not have my first birthday cake until I was 25 years old. This will be a time of remembering where we celebrate the passing of a year. A year filled with growth and change. Never have I been made more aware of that then at this time. The year has been filled with many firsts for me and it leaves me with a bittersweet moment or two in realizing that time waits for no one. There have been bad times that have come with the good, but the good far out weigh the bad ones. When I took time to look back, I have realized that there is one that remains the same. No matter the time and place I am never truly alone any more. There is not a greater blessing (or curse, depending on your point of view) then family. I truly had thought that I had lost that chance to find that meaning in my life. Thank you. At the end of every day I realize just how truly blessed to be with the ones that love me. I would never have known the joy of what a rainbow cake is or can be. Thank you.


Garden Update

It has been a little over a month since we planted our garden. I just looked at the picture I posted then and the plants sure were small. We are glad to report that all three varieties of tomatoes are growing. I was worried about the cherry tomatoes for a while but they finally decided to join the crowd. We are having some problems with the cucumbers...they are dying at the base but after the first 3 inches they look great and have lots of blooms. The zuccini and squash are getting bigger but we don't have any veggies yet. Then there are the pumpkin and cantalope that spreading slowly but surely.

Hopefully we will be eating some tomatoes in the next few weeks. Until then we will head to the Farmer's Market.

Movie Night!

The 1st Movie Night at the Moore house was a success! Tristan and I have a large living room/dining room area in our apartment with large white walls. We rearranged all the furniture so we could utilize all the space. We borrowed a projector and hooked it to the DVD player and Surround Sound. Most our my family was able to come over to watch Cars (we found out that night that 4 people had never seen it before! It's a classic!). We created our own home theater with a 10 ft movie screen.
Movie night #2 will be planned soon.

Kim & Andreas' Utah Reception

On August 16th, 2008 my sister, Kimberly Swenson will marry Andreas Mueller. The wedding will take place in California where Kim has lived for the past 12 years (I am not sure how long Andreas has lived there). They decided to have a pre-wedding reception in Utah on July 26th. The whole family pitched in as we got ready for this event. A huge thank goes out to Aunt Carol and Uncle Lynn Williams for helping get the reception site (and get the water turned off). Thank you to everyone else who came to move tables, blow up balloons & decorate in general. It was a great night. I have put the photos on the Kodak Gallery.

Deer Valley Music Festival

On July 19th Tristan & I went to the Deer Valley Music Festival. The 1812 Overture was being performed by the Utah Symphony, along with a variety of other composition. We heard classics by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Williams, Leroy Anderson and arrangements of Billy Joel and Elvis classics. It's a great place to bring a lawn chair (legs can only be 9 inches high), dinner and listen to some great music. We even saw a few friends while at the concert: Matt & Tricia Sederberg and Alisa Gardner (I am sure that Jono was there also I just did not see him).

Moore Misadventure:
We decided to make a weekend of it and booked a condo. We arrrived on Friday night around 6pm and the desk was already closed, but we knew it would be. We pulled our key out of the safe and went to our assigned room only to discover the temp was 90+ degrees. It was so hot! We thought they just forgot to turn on the AC. As we looked around the condo for the on switch we found two fans and figured out that this was our AC. We could not believe! We did not last long in room although we had to stay for the night. Around 1AM it started to cool down. We were able to switch to a condo with AC for our second night. It made all the difference!


Flag Football

My nephew, Isaiah McNeil, has been playing in a flag football league this summer. He is only six so there is not a league for tackle football yet. In his first game he scored two touch downs! One of the players asked the ref who won at the end of the game and she said "We are all winners here!" It is great to plant that seed early. In his first game he had a knack for showing the other team the way to their end zone. He has learned a lot over the past few weeks, including the importance of going after the flag when the other team has the ball. He also has is a good sport...he was just about to score when he pushed someone out of his way. Realizing he shouldn't do this he stopped and helped the player from the other team up...end the play. It is fun to go watch him play.


Swenson Family Camping Trip

Group photo at Silver Lake
Jennifer, as she was falling into the water.

The Swenson Family camping trip was quite the adventure as usual! We spent two nights at the Spruces campground in Big Cottonwood canyon from July 3rd-5th. Kim and Andreas came in from California. David, Pamela and their family (McKaella, Jennifer, Kjirstin, Rebekah & Rachel) drove up from Las Vegas. We had three campsites so that everyone would fit. We missed having Matthew, Casandra & Asa with us, as they did not come in from Boston. The rest of us drove up from SLC.

We had a lot of adventures and misadventures on the trip. It turns out that McKaella and Jennifer are the most accident prone this year (last year everyone it was me). Jennifer, while crossing a log with Andreas & Kjirstin, fell into the pond. We were all laughing as Jen climbed out and back onto the log. Later in the day when we were back at the river playing McKaella crossed a long and fell on the log. The crack was so loud we thought she had broken her leg but it wasn't. She did come away with a lot of scrapes and bruises. We always had to keep a close watch on the campfire with Rebekah and Rachel around. They are 2 and very curious about everything.

We went on a short hike around Silver Lake on the 4th. It was perfect for large group we had and the varying abilities. There was still snow in the shadows so a snowball fights insued. Some of the kids wanted to climb up a rock and instead of saying no some of the adults helped them up the large crack that was in the rock. I think the adults wanted to have just as much fun as the kids! By the visitor center there were 4 baby squirels that we watched for a little while. Rebekah decided she wanted to hold the squirel so she reached over the fence to pick one up. We stopped her just in time.
To see all the Photos go to my slideshow on the Kodak Gallery.

We had a great trip and were glad that so much of the family that here to experience it together. This was a trip never to be forgotten!


Innovate 80 Project

I-80 around SLC is under going reconstruction. (for those of you who don't drive through here on a regular basis). All the major bridges are being rebuilt... the cool thing is that instead of tearing down on bridge and then building a new one the build the one offsite (but close by just down the freeway) then roll the massive structure down the freeway and slide it into place. It has been pretty neat to watch these massive structure be built and know be put into place. The National Geographic Channel will feature this project in a documentary series it is working on.

Bridge being put in at Highland Drive. A street I used to use quite often but I have had to change my driving route several times due to bridge construction. It keeps me on my toes.

Girls Camp - I love it!

I just have to say that truely loved the opportunity I had to help with girls camp last week. This year the camp was held a for three days at a small camp 10 miles outside of Heber, UT. My only responsibility was to run the climbing wall. For someone who was once a camp director this was a dream come true!

The climbing wall was set up inside the dining pavillion. It was great for an afternoon climb because it kept you out of the sun. The wall is approximately 20 ft with three climbing routes. We decided to set up two of the three because we only had two belayers. Each team of girls would have 1 hour to spend at the climbing wall during their time at camp. It did not seem like a lot of time but everyone had a chance to climb. We had a chance to talk people into climbing further then they thought they could go. It was AMAZING TWO DAYS!

I need to give a shout out to a few people... Mandi Kerr - Camp Director - Thank you for asking me to be on the committee...Jenny Hunter - Activities Committee Chair - Thank you for letting me do what I do best! I loved it!... Thank you to Julie, Carson and Carol who all spent time helping belay so that everyone would be able to climb.


Summer Garden

On Saturday Tristan and I finally planted our garden. The garden was going into weedy patch of ground that had previously had a garden in it from other tenants. We definitely had our work cut out. After a few purchases (shovel, hose, top soil, and the ever important plants) we went to work.
It took a while turn the soil and get out all the weeds, onions, garlic and various other things we found. It was great to start adding the top soil and then plant a few varieties of tomatoes, cumumbers, zuccini, yellow squash, cantalope, pumpkin.

It will take a while but it will be great to go pick veggies from our own garden.

After all the work our muscles are sore but it is all worth it!!!


Wedding Photographs

Wednesday, May 10, 2008 was a wonderful day for Tristan and I. It was great to see family and friends that we have not seen in a long time, and great to see those we see often. We wanted to share some photos from this day. It has been hard to choose but I narrowed it down to the following selection (I had over 700 to choose from).



I am just trying to get this to WORK!!!


Honeymoon-Hawaii's Big Island

We left for Hawaii the day after the wedding (5/11/08) and spent 1 week on Hawaii's Big Island. We spent a few days in Kona and then drove over to Hilo and spent the rest of the time there. Can I just tell you that Hawaii is amazing! Tristan is a great tour guide since he grew up in Hawaii...I will explain the trip through some of the picture...
National Parks
There are several National Parks in Hawaii and we went to all of them. The first was the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau NHP. I got several more stamps in my NP passport!!

Checkers, Handmade Canoes, Carved statues.

We also went to Volcano National Park. Most of the park was closed due to the sulfer dioxide that was being released from the craters. It was extremely Voggy (yes, that is spelled correctly) the entire time we were in Hawaii but it was still beautiful. Here are some pictures...

The flowers just grow in the middle of the lava field. Arch at the end of crater road.

Sulfur coming from the crater in the Park & Tristan in the Lava Tube (lava once filled this tube while it was flowing to the ocean).

We went to an authentic Luau during our stay. It was great entertainment and wonderful food!

Beaches and Waterfalls
Okay I will admit that we never spent any signifcant amount of time on any beach (I know, I know). We did go to a variety of beaches and I was amazed to see how different they were. We also went a several waterfalls. We did see to Rainbow Falls in the morning (the only time you can see a rainbow at the falls) although it does not show up very well in the pictures.

Tristan took us to a lot places that aren't in the tour books! He showed me many of the places of his childhood. I even let him drive the car (he has not driven for several years). The arboredum in Hilo was awesome, with amazing flowers that blew my mind away. I could go on and on but I won't...

Tristan wanted to take me to some hot springs that he frequented while he lived in Hawaii. We tried a few different ways to reach the hot springs but we always came to a dead end road. Very frustrating. We found out later that about 40 acres of the island (including the hot springs) fell off into the ocean a few years ago. No wonder we could not find them!!