Sunday, April 11, 2010

Memories of Mission Life

15 years ago almost to the day I arrived in the Texas Dallas Mission.
I must say, I am getting old, because I have had a hard time remembering things.
The highlight since we have been here has been running into old friends, members and converts.
I even got to do splits with some of the missionaries that served in one of my old areas.
Time goes by so fast. In a way it seems like I was just here, knocking on doors, but driving around and seeing old areas seems more like deja vu than a recent memory, everything is so foggy.
It is amazing how much everything has changed over those 15 years including myself. I wish I could say that I have changed for the better, but going out on splits with the missionaries brought back a fire I once felt for the gospel, that I miss having in my life.
While I may be more refined, professional, and wise in the ways of the world, my spiritual maturity has not seen the same growth.
Anyhow while Dallas has been one of our favorite areas, and has been a time of great spiritual reflection for me.
I hope to leave Dallas a better person than when I came here on this trip.
Sometimes I lose focus on what life is all about, and need to be reminded of why I am here.
Seeing old converts, visiting my old wards and apartments, and working with the elders here has been a great reminder for me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Houston ended up being quite a trip for our family. We originally only planned to be there for 3 weeks but with the way work panned out we stayed for 6 weeks.
A lot happened while we were there.
  1. The girls went to museums
  2. We went to the NASA space center (this was pretty cool but I am way to ADHD to enjoy most museums but it was good for the girls to see one of the many things the government does with the money it takes.)
  3. Food- Jess and I discovered Cajun Food and we love it. Muffalettas, Gumbo, Etouffee, crawfish, and the list goes on. I also had the best burger in my life at Papas Burgers
  4. We went to the Houston Rodeo (this goes on the whole month of March and is the biggest rodeo in the world. The best part was the pig racing, the petting zoo, and the famous fried food. We had fried twinkies, ice cream, snickers bars, green tomatoes, pickles, smores, oreos, and a few other things I cant recall right now. let me just say that by the time we were done with our fried feast I could feel the deep fry working through my arteries till I fell asleep that night and drifted into a oily slumber.)
  5. Jess and I got into a groove with some riding we did several 2 hr rides in 70 degree weather.
  6. The kids made friends during spring break with a couple little girls there age. The girls have been craving friends so much that they have become very outgoing in meeting other kids. when we take them to parks they get right out there and mix it up and meet kids.
  7. The Longhorn Ranch was one of the best experiences of the trip so far. We met some real nice members of our ward in Houston who took us out to there ranch. Not only did we get to see some longhorns but we also got to feed them and get right out there in the middle of them, I have to admit that even I got a little uneasy when the girls were out there in the middle of those bulls walking up to them. Our friend almost got gored by one while they were fighting over their food. We also took a canoe ride on their pond, chased an armadillo and had a catfish fry at the local Catholic church for lint.
  8. Fishing- Savannah and Shiloh had been saving their money up for some time and decided to buy fishing poles and tackle. Just behind our place we had a big pond with a bunch of crappie, so the girls caught a bunch of minos and gold fish with a net in a small stream and then used them as live bate. With 70 degree weather we spent a few days just fishing it was a great reminder that some of the best experiences are best had in the great outdoors.
  9. For Jessicas B-Day she and I went to see a play called the 39 steps, it was one of the most entertaining plays I have seen, way funny.
  10. Houston Temple- Jess and I got to check out the Houston Temple, it was on the smaller side but very unique both this temple and the San Antonio Temple have some beautiful stain glass windows.
Now we are in Dallas, my old mission area. This month we are staying in an apartment that is set up for corporate housing. It costs about the same but is much bigger and nicer. This location even has an infinity pool, it is right downtown dallas so the girls are going to get some experience living the urban lifestyle.
This week I am going to go on splits with some missionaries who are serving in one of the areas I served in 13 years ago.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Typical days for the prestons

Here is a sample of some of the things the Preston's did for fun this week:
  1. Make friends with the hotel staff and guests
  2. Visit old graveyards
  3. Decorate hotel rooms
  4. Caught fish in local streams near our hotel
  5. Pass out valentines day cards to the hotel staff and guests
  6. Watched Avatar
  7. Ate at great places

  8. Visited Down Town Houston
  9. Explored the local woods
  10. Did I mention Eating


Houston is one of those cities we were just not that excited to visit, I mean what does anyone know about Houston? Sure they sent a spaceship to the moon but what else is cool about Houston.
Well other than being the 4th largest city in the USA the biggest news to us is that they have more restaurants per capita than any other city, so while we may not be in fat city (San Antonio) any longer, there is no reason not to keep putting the lbs on.
So far we have hit several great places to eat, including Niko, Niko (when Gus found out we were going to be in Houston it was his first recommendation)
While here we plan on hitting the NASA Space Museum, Galveston beach, The Galleria (2nd biggest mall in the US), some museums and doing a boat trip on the Bayou.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Valley and Corpus

Last week we stayed in "The Valley" which is basically the southern tip of Texas which borders the gulf and Mexico.
One of the things we really enjoy is seeing different cultures and places. This area fit that description. Our hotel was in the city of Mcallen which looked like a town that was having an identity crisis. Yes it was located in the USA but if dropped from the air into the town you would have a hard time knowing that you were in the US. It seems the Mexican culture just came right across the border. Not only did most of the town speak just spanish but the majority of the signs were all in spanish as well, and the stores were organized in very much the same
way they are in Mexico.
I will say that the highlight of the trip was that I had the Best Mexican food in my life out there. The meat was smoked Texas style, but then it was prepared in a very authentic mexican style, I was blown away with every bite and ended up ordering about $60.00 in food to take back home. Wow it was so good, the bummer is that I am sure I will never find an infusion like that again. Other than that most of the mex I had in Texas has been just ok.
As Savannah Mentioned in her Blog we also hit Corpus Christi this week, but unfortunately the two days we were there were very overcast. The girls and I decide to hit the beach anyways and we found all sorts of cool dead stuff washed up ranging from a blowfish and Huge jellyfish to what looked like a cat.
As far as cycling goes I have converted my old trek into a single speed bike and have been having some fun with that. It works out pretty well since there are not many mtn climbs in this part of the country.
Anyhow we are now in Houston Texas and will be here for the next few weeks.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Ever since we hit San Diego last May I have been wanting to take the girls to Mexico, I think it is important for them to see how the other side lives, even our homeless in America are blessed compared to the poverty that exists in t third world country. Most of us here in the US do not know what it means to want somthing, so I like to get out and be reminded.
Unfortunatly every border town we were near was reportedly "to dangerous" with all the drug wars. We passed up border towns in California, Arizona and even one in Texas, however this week work has luckily brought me to the blessed town of McAllen Texas, which happens to be on the southern most tip of Texas right next to Mexico. Even though we still heard plenty of people say that this border town was also dangerous, we had a few good sensed locals who let us know that a lot of the fear was media hype.So yesterday we loaded up the kids and hit the border. In order to avoid being a target with the old Lincoln Navigator we opted to leave it in a local Whataburger parking lot and walk across the Rio Grande Bridge on foot.I knew Savannah was nervous because she had the motor mouth anxiety she gets every time she is excited, she started talking and just wouldn't stop. Mom on the other hand gets very quiet when she is anxious so between the two of them it works out.
So needles to say yes it was very safe, of corse we didn't go around looking for drugs, women or trouble, nor did we get obnoxious and drunk. However the Mexican Military was in force out there, Shiloh even walked up to one of them and asked to touch his machine gun.
Surprisingly we only saw one white couple there the whole day, and with the girls being blond they had several locals coming up and stroking their hair.
We got some great deals on some leather sandals for the girls, but mostly we ate, and ate and ate some more. The girls went crazy on the corn, ever since they watched Nacho Libre, they have had a desire to have grilled corn on a stick, but that not much of a local Utah thing so they were stoked when they saw it there.
There were a few sketchy parts of town that we avoided but, I have to admit, this border town was just as safe as any that I hit before.
I hope to visit again if I get done with work early while I am here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I have had enough people ask me what we have been doing and wanting to keep in touch with me that I have decided to get my blog going again.
Jessica and Savannah have also decided to blog on their new sites, so between the three of us hopefully we will be able to keep a record of our adventures.
Since November 1st we have been living on the road as a family.

We spent the month of November in So Cal and had a great time hitting the beaches, Disney land, and of corse we had to hand out a bit in Beverly Hills.

December was spent in Phoenix AZ area. The weather was great we did plenty of swimming and cycling, the highlight was going to some of the old ghost towns and going into an old abandoned mine. We also went to the Mesa temple Christmas lights which was a awesome way to get into the holiday spirit at 75 degrees.

January has been spent in San Antonio, and it has been my favorite destination so far. We have had some great BBQ (Lockheart), visited and studied the Alamo, hung out at the river walk and been out on a few hiking adventures.
Although we have had a lot of fun traveling, I still work. Basically what I am doing is traveling the country and training reps who work for Henry Schein.
We help them learn how to provide strategic marketing solutions and consulting for their dentists. It is actually pretty fun, I meet new reps every day and they take me around to meet their dentist who are looking for marketing help.
After San Antonio we will spend a month in Houston and then a month in Dallas.
Life on the road is quite an adventure, we basically live in hotels for several weeks at a time. The key is to either have separate rooms or to get a two bedroom hotel.
Jessica is way awesome not only is she an amazing teacher to the girls, but she is way fun to hang out with and way adventurous.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Savannah's first century

Savannah is tough.
Last Saturday the day finally arrived for Savannah's big ride, she was so excited that she woke up before dad and was chomping at the bit to get out the door.
First thing dad had to do though was to take her shorts and lather them up with shammy cream, I think she was a little taken back when she pulled them on.
So we got out the door and drove to Canyon bicycles to start the ride, after meeting up with all of our buddies and having a great Jamba Juice we started the ride.
Savannah had fun racing everyone there, especially Cameron, every time he would come around the side of us I would feel a little surge coming from Savannah.  
When we would start getting dropped on a hill Savannah would yell, faster dad faster, they are getting away from us. 
Although we got dropped several times over, we were very  fortunate to have good friends who would wait up for us and pull us back to the group. In fact by the end of the ride I was so shot that Cameron was literally pushing me up the hills.
Savannah ended up holding out far better than dad, she was always encouraging dad to go faster and catch the guys in front. Dad cramped up so bad at the end of the ride that Savannah had to push me along until my legs came back.
Savannah is the most determined kid I know, she has a unconquerable spirit. It is great to be her dad, and to see her develop into the leader she was meant to be.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Church and Gay Marriage

The Church will be reading a letter this sunday in sacrament meetings reguarding the constitutional amendment for homosexual marriage in California  Link . The letter contains very strong language, some might even say that it is sugestive of what we hear in the temple. The last paragraph states
"We ask that you do all that you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating your means and time to assure that marriage in California is leagally defined as between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage."
What do you think, is the church overstepping their bounds by getting involved in political matters? 

There are members of the church who have come right out in criticism of the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, saying that they have no business getting involved with this (Link).

The internet is aflame with this topic right now, there are even many stating that they believe that the church will eventually concede on this stating that it will be just like when the blacks received the priesthood.

I do not see the church changing their position on this one they seem to have clearly drawn a line in the sand and have called for members to make a stand.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Breakfast like a king

When I was racing back in Kentucky, I learned a secret that has been of great help to me over the years.
"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a servant, and dinner like a popper"
A high carb, big breakfast will fuel you through the day and keep you feeling satisfied.
Lunch should be smaller but still have some carbs.
Dinner should be the smallest meal and it should be low carb and high fiber (big salads).

The logic for this diet, particularly for an athlete is that you put the right types of fuel into your body at the right times. What good are carbs right before bed? You do not need carbohydrates to sleep, so if your body does not convert them into energy it will convert them to glucose and then fat. Eating big early in the day also kick starts your metabolism, particularly when combined with a workout.

This has been a good diet for me over the years (when I have had the discipline to follow it).

Yesterday, Chad sent the following article to me and I think it has some merit.

Big Breakfast Helps Weight Loss

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Now piling an extra helping on your plate may actually help trim your waistline.

New research from Venezuela and Virginia Commonwealth University shows eating a big breakfast filled with carbohydrates and protein then eating a low-carb, low-calorie diet the rest of the day can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Researchers compared their new diet with a strict low-carb diet in 94 obese women who were not physically active. Both diets were low in fat and total calories but had carbohydrates distributed differently.

On the very-low-carb diet 46 women ate 1,085 calories a day with 17 grams of carbohydrates, 51 grams of protein and 78 grams of fat. Breakfast was the smallest meal – participants were allowed 290 calories, seven grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of protein.

The 48 women on the “big-breakfast diet” had 1,240 calories a day – 46 grams of fat, 97 grams of carbohydrates, and 93 grams of protein. They ate a 610-calorie breakfast with 58 grams of carbohydrates, 47 grams of protein and 22 fat grams. Lunch had 395 calories (34, 28 and 13 grams of carbohydrates, protein and fat, respectively); dinner had 235 calories (5, 18 and 26 grams, respectively).

After four months, results show the women on the low-carbohydrate diet lost an average of about 28 pounds. Those on the big-breakfast diet lost nearly 23 pounds on average. But after eight months, the low-carb dieters regained an average of 18 pounds, while the big-breakfast group kept losing weight, dropping another 16.5 pounds. Women on the new diet lost more than 21 percent of their body weight, compared with 4.5 percent in the low-carbohydrate group.

Researchers say the big-breakfast diet works because it makes you feel fuller and reduces cravings for sweets and starches. It boosts your metabolism and keeps it up all day long.

SOURCE: The Endocrine Society’s 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, June 2-15, 2008