Thursday, December 17, 2015


This year we volunteered to host Thanksgiving at our house. It was a Calderwood year in terms of who we would be eating with since we drove up to Pasco last year and spent the holiday with my family. My parents were going to be alone with Spencer so we invited them up as well. We have a great hosting space and fit well, so a few extra people actually is nice when splitting up the meal. We cooked the turkey and made the gravy and the sweet potato casserole. I received a delicious recipe from a friend in Maryland years ago that I get compliments on year after year. Even my Grandma thinks it's good, so it's a keeper!
Cerola brought this fun tablecloth for the kinds table that had activities and coloring for the kids to stay busy. Ironically, the 2 Grandma's are shown in the picture. 
 Aubrey and I got up and ran Midway's annual 5K Turkey Trot. I stayed with her and we finished in about 37 minutes. Not bad for not training and being 21 degrees outside. We were freezing and ready for the hot chocolate waiting for us inside town hall. We took hot showers and helped finish getting the house ready for our house guests set to arrive by 1:00. Cody's turkey was amazing as was the rest of our meal.

After the meal we enjoyed some football on tv.

The tryptophan from the turkey was kicking in some people decided to kick back and grab a power nap.

There was even some wrestling later on.

 My parents brought up their ukulele and my Dad and Aubrey played some duets for us. I bought a newspaper earlier and we all looked through the Black Friday ads for some good deals. There wasn't anything worth going out late or early. Friday afternoon we drove down to Salt Lake and did a little shopping at Scheels and picked up a couple items when the crowds weren't bad.
Saturday Mickey and Cerola met us at our house in the morning and we celebrated Cerola's birthday and drove up Lake Creek and cut down our Christmas tree. I stood in line a month earlier to buy my permit at Soldier Hollow. The tree isn't as full as we typically get, but it's still a good one, nice and tall. 

Tucker Pheasant Hunting

On Saturday November 14th my dad had the opportunity to go pheasant hunting up by Tremonton. A vendor he uses at work offered to take him and some guests hunting. Unfortunately for me I came down with a nasty stomach bug after coming home from Washington DC. I was in bad shape, so we sent Tucker to go have a great hunting day with his grandpa.

I have some great memories of pheasant hunting with my dad while I was growing up. I was excited for Tucker to build some of the same memories.  

They had a very successful day, and the weather was perfect for a fall hunt. Tucker even shot his first pheasant all by himself. That single shot 410 is a great little gun for him. The smile on his face says it all.

While I am sad that I wasn't able to go along with them, I was super happy that Tucker and my dad had such a fun day together.

Friday, December 4, 2015

BYU Football season tickets

For the past few years my dad and I have shared season tickets for BYU football. It's been a ton of fun to go spend a few hours with him a few times during the fall. BYU made it a really entertaining year too by winning all of their home games.

Here's one of the earlier games when the weather was warm.

Here's the final home game they played against Fresno State. A little colder, but still entertaining.

Towards the end of the game I went down by the field to get a closer view.

The home games are all finished now for the season, so I am anxious for next year already. It's becoming a great fall time tradition with my dad. Go Cougs!

Washington DC

Back at the beginning of November I had the opportunity to go to Washington DC for a week as part of the delegation from the Utah Dental Association to attend the American Dental Association caucus and committee meetings. Each year the location changes, and over the next several years I'll get to travel to Denver, Atlanta and Hawaii.

It's always fun to go back to DC. It brings back great memories of our time out there for dental school. While we were there we took a tour of the White House. It was pretty cool and educational.

We had some awesome views out over the White House lawn towards the memorials.

We also took a tour of the Capitol Building. I've done the tour before, but it's still a good tour.

As a group we went around and visited with the Utah congressmen and senators. We were talking with them about some resolutions and bills that are before the respective floors that we would like to see passed. The bills deal mostly without unfair practices that dental insurance companies practice that cheat patients out of their dental benefits. Basically we are just asking that the dental insurance companies play by the same rules that every other business in America is required to. Here is a picture we took with Senator Orin Hatch after our meeting with him.

One evening the ADA had a reception at the Museum of Natural History. They based it off the movie Night At The Museum. Lisa and I visited this museum several times while we lived out there. It's one of my favorites in DC. I took this selfie in front of the Easter Island statue and sent it to the kids. I titled it, "You, Dumb Dumb! Give me gum gum!" They got a good kick out of that.

Most of the time we were there was spent in long, boring meetings unfortunately. Here's a picture of some of the Utah delegates at our table during one of the very boring procedural meetings for the ADA.

In all it was an eye opening trip for me to see how the ADA functions. It makes me appreciate all the time that people put in behind the scenes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Halloween '15

This year we procrastinated and spent the Monday before Halloween in the aisles of Walmart looking for costumes.  None of the kids wanted to repeat anything in our storage boxes at home. This was in the first year in many that our school district allowed the kids to have a costume parade. Grandma Sue came up and took me to lunch beforehand and we waited for each grade to pass by. It was cold, but the kids were excited to walk around the block and wave hi to their admirers. 
Cole was Spider-man. No masks or weapons were allowed.

 Aubrey was a pirate. 

 Blake was Captain America. He is one of the only little white kids in his all day kindergarten class. Most of the kids are placed in all day because English is their 2nd language, they are Hispanic. He came around the corner holding Mrs. Henry's hand. 
 Tucker and his group of friends. He was a Grim Reaper.

 Cody and I went as the Lion Hunter and Cecil the Lion. We thought our costumes were hilarious and very clever. The scandal over the dentist that shot the famous lion earlier in the year was all over the media. Some people immediately got it and others needed it explained. Cecil was a lion in Zimbabwe that was killing the people and a dentist in the US had a permit to go on a lion hunt and happened to shoot Cecil. Animal activists weren't very happy. I did my own makeup and found my costume at a Halloween store in Orem. We trick or treated in our neighborhood this year with the Clarks. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Fun Family Saturday

On Saturday October 24th we had a fun family day. Lisa and I took all of the kids to the BYU home game against Wagner. The weather was perfect, the seats were great, the food was delicious, and BYU scored 70 points. Totally fun game for the kids. They loved it.

After the game we then drove up to Park City to attend this year's new Warren Miller movie- Chasing Shadows. It was another great Warren Miller production. We got some free ski tickets and are all pumped for the snow to start falling now.

It was a great day together doing some things that we all enjoy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Over the kids week of fall break this year we took a trip to Mexico. We invited my parents to come along too. We were fortunate enough to have some friends donate a week at their beach house to us in an effort to continue to help Lisa with her cancer recovery. It was another fantastic trip.

Lisa and I used points for our airfare and took Blake and Cole with us. We didn't have enough points for all of our family, so we paid for the tickets for Tucker and Aubrey and they flew on a different airline with my parents. This was the first time the kids had traveled to a foreign country. We got all of them their passports and they were excited to use the Spanish that they had been learning at school. Lisa, Blake, Cole and I arrived at the house first Sunday night. While driving on the street of the house we saw some animals that we have never seen down there before. These first pictures of animals are not mine, but they are the animals we saw.

We saw some striped basilisks.  They run on their hind legs and can run on water. The first one we saw was running across the road on his hind legs, standing up. It was quite the sight to see.

We also some some of these rodents called agouti. They look like giant guinea pigs. It kind of reminded me of the ROUS's from The Princess Bride.

We saw some more coatis as well. We have seen these before, but it was fun to see them again.

And Lisa and I spotted a small Tapir that quickly ducked back into the jungle.  It was fun to see so many different animals.

Unfortunately we lost the pictures we took from our first two days. Cole accidentally deleted them off of our camera. Oh well, that's life. We didn't lose a whole lot from Monday. It was mostly a relaxing day for us that we spent at the house. The kids loved the pool and couldn't get enough of it. We did some snorkeling, and also some relaxing in the lawn chairs and hammocks. That evening when the hermit crabs were all coming out on the beach the kids were catching as many as they could. Some were huge, the size of a softball. They really enjoyed that.

On Tuesday we took a trip to Chichen Itza. It was the third time there for Lisa and me, the second for my parents, but the first for the kids. Thankfully I took these two photos with my phone.

On Wednesday we woke up to some more sunshine. Here are some photos of the beautiful views we had right from the house. 

Here is the pool. You could usually find our kids here playing.

That afternoon we went into Puerto Aventuras for a few hours. We did some shopping and my mom bought some fun stuff for herself. While she was buying her stuff, I tried these sombreros on the two little boys.

We went and watched some dolphins training. The kids loved it. We got to see them jumping out of the water and even doing flips. It was very entertaining for them.

After the dolphin show we went to the shipwreck museum in town. I told the kids it was a pirate museum, and that got their attention.  It's a fun, smaller museum that is free.

One of the coolest things about this house is that the bay right there has a coral reef. You are mere steps away from some great snorkeling. I took the kids out and taught them how to use their snorkeling gear. Tucker and Cole absolutely loved it. Tucker in fact would even go snorkeling on his own. He's becoming so independent and is growing up so fast.

We saw the usual awesome fish like tangs, angel fish, sargent majors, parrot fish, etc. Here are some photos that Tucker and I took.

A yellow tang.

A blue tang.

A damselfish.

My favorite, a couple of spotted juvenile damselfish. Their spots are so brilliant blue. They are so fun to watch.

Tucker and I even saw some sting rays while we were out there.

Like I mentioned previously, the kids loved the pool. They played, and played, and played there. It was fun to see them enjoy it so much.

That evening a storm started to roll in. Little did we know that Wednesday was the last day we would see sunshine. It provided a beautiful sunset that night on the beach.

Thursday morning we woke up and headed out to Coba. While driving on the back road to Coba and Chichen Itza we would see these huge tarantulas walking across the road. I stopped for one on Tuesday and got a picture of it. Unfortunately it got deleted. But on Thursday we saw some more. This one wasn't as big as the one on Tuesday, but the picture still shows how big they are.

I let all of the kids pet the giant spider. They thought it was cool.

I had a pet tarantula on my mission, so it was fun for me to play with them again.

When we got to Coba, we rented some bikes to quickly and easily access each of the ruin sites. It makes the visit so much better. We all got pretty wet from the rain, but getting rained on in the jungle isn't so bad. It's already so warm that you don't mind it.

Blake and Cole weren't big enough for the bikes they had available so I rented a taxi guy to chauffeur them around. Lucky kids.

Tucker and my mom smiling in the rain.

The main temple at Coba is the tallest in the Yucatan peninsula. It has some steep steps. I was pretty nervous about our safety going up those steps in the rain. They were slick. But everybody did awesome and there were no slips or falls.

My dad and mom enjoying the view from the top.

You can see in this photo all the water that was accumulating on the ground from the rain storm. Nobody in our group was complaining though. What a bunch of troopers.

The ball court.

We have always really enjoyed stopping at this tree with all the roots going everywhere. The kids had fun climbing on them.

When Lisa and I came here 12 and a half years ago for our honeymoon, we stopped at the same tree. Here is a picture of Lisa from 2003 climbing the same roots the kids were.

The kids found a creepy spider up in a crevice of this tunnel.

Me trying to act like a tough rock climber.

We were all loving the Mexican cuisine we ate while we were there. This restaurant at Coba also provided wonderful views of the main lagoon.

When we got back to the house the kids caught this gecko and were so proud of it.

These geckos could be seen all over the outside of the house. At nights we would sit on the patio and watch them eat bugs.

We aren't easily deterred from adventure by some rain/thunder storms. So Lisa and I headed out on the kayak and took Cole and Aubrey snorkeling.

Cole loved seeing all the fish. He was hooked.

Here's a picture of my dad snorkeling.

Friday we got absolutely dumped on. It was the most rain I've ever seen come down in my life. We weren't able to get out much that day. We were hoping to go to a cenote, and we even drove to it. We sat in the parking lot in a torrential down pour and gave up after 30 minutes of it not letting up.

On Saturday it was much of the same. We still went to Playa Del Carmen anyway to get the kids out and about.

When we woke up Sunday morning we found that the massive storm had dislodged this huge tree that was stuck on the reef and pushed it up on our shore. That storm was quite the doozy.

My parents had to leave early Sunday morning with Tucker and Aubrey to catch their flight. The rest of us had several hours to kill so we went into Cancun and took the little boys around. They thought the giant Spiderman at Coco Bongo was really neat.

Despite the rainy weather at the end of the week, it was a fantastic trip. Some of our kids are even saying that they liked it more than their trip to Disney World. Success.