Category Archives: Personal stories

An Orange Triggers Happy Memories

Orange Fruit
When I peel an orange, the natural oils spraying from the orange are inviting and creates an environment that is happy and uplifting. The smell of an orange also reminds me of Christmas. For many this is when very happy memories occur. I find it interesting how powerfully connected our memory is to our sense of smell.

Life happens to everyone. One day I was with my friend Charlie. On one of his rare days off we decided to go on a little road trip to visit some of our friends. We visited for a while. Before we left, Michelle asked me if I wanted to have a Zyto hand scan, to see what essential oils my body needed most at that point in my life.

Let me back up a bit, for those of you who don’t understand what Zyto technology is. It is a machine that looks like a giant computer mouse that sends impulses from your body to a computer. Then it measures how many bio markers are out of the normal range. There are 76 markers possible. The higher the mark, the more things in your body are not in the normal range.

After I did the Zyto scan I was pleasantly surprised how accurate the scan was. For the past few days I had been feeling a little bit down and discouraged, and also having a lack of energy. The number one essential oil that showed up on my scan was orange. Time and time again I have seen first hand the accuracy of the Zyto hand scan.

Every Child Has a Story

Wayne Dyer lower or higher self
Every year I am drawn to kids that have painful stories to tell. It is an interesting ability that I have to be able to zero in on children that are in a lot of physical and emotional pain. I see these amazing kids that have gone through some very difficult situations at a very young age, and it is incredible.

One year I remember interacting with a sixth grade student named Jeff. He always seemed to be a little off socially. I was intrigued, and felt a connection with Jeff that I can’t explain. Many times I would be asked to let Jeff help me clean the school rather than going out to recess, so Jeff could do community service for breaking school rules.

I loved talking to Jeff. I always liked making Jeff feel important. One day on the local news I saw a story about Jeff. The news reporter went on to say that Jeff’s parents had been handcuffing Jeff to his bed when he came home from school. I was so surprised to learn about the painful abuse he was going through.

You never know what challenges someone is going through. Because of Jeff, and many other kids Like him. I choose to celebrate their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses. I love my job because everyday I ask myself this question “who do I get to help today”? When you reach out to children with kindness they respond very positively.

Poopsie and Other Pets

Chicken and dogI have enjoyed several pets as a child. When I was four I lived in Kanab, Utah a small country town where many western movies were filmed in the 1950-60s. This was the perfect place to have a dog. We had a Collie named Skippy. My parents said if they couldn’t find me they would call for Skippy, where I was soon to follow. Our family moved from Kanab, to Salt Lake City, Utah. My parents knew Skippy was a country dog, so he was left with friends in the country. I felt bad we didn’t bring Skippy with us but understood only as a four year old could.

My mom is very frugal. One year for Christmas she made a lot of homemade stuff. In addition to her homemaking skills we received a snow sled and a red wagon. Best of all, we got a beagle we named Snoopy. I loved that dog. I loved pulling him in our wagon or he would run after us on the sled. It is a blur to me what happened to Snoopy. I have a hunch he disappeared when we moved into the house my dad built. I was so excited about moving into a home with a small farm I didn’t notice Snoopy was missing from the picture.

Our farm was was so magical for me. I was the kind of kid that could entertain myself for hours. When I wanted to play with someone, I had nine siblings to choose from, so I rarely went looking for a friend to hang out with. Most kids wanted to come see the animals we had. I loved showing the neighborhood kids what it was like living on a farm.

A few of our favorite animals on our farm were our eight milk goats. I loved feeding them hay, petting, and singing to them. I would hang out in the barn for hours. I still can remember some of our goats names. We had Maggie, Pearl, Tiny, and George to name a few. They produced lots of milk, and yes, George, was a she. When I wasn’t with the animals I was in our hay loft hanging out in our private hay hideout made from the bails of hay that were neatly stacked to hide the entrance, it was so cool. We even had a quick escape from the hayloft’s back window.

We had several dogs, the one that stands out the most was our dog Dolly. This was our beloved family pet until it had an accident then it was my dog, and I needed to clean up the mess. I loved Dolly, She had gray and black hair. I taught her to do many tricks, and her favorite one was begging for food. One day my sister played a trick on me, and said we got a new dog. She had dyed Dolly’s hair jet black. I knew it was Dolly when I had her beg, and she begged only as Dolly knew how to. This dog was way too friendly to be a strange, new member of the family.

One pet that sticks out in my mind was our pet chicken Poopsie. We raised her from the time she was a small chick so she never associated with the other chickens. She spent all day hunting for bugs, and worms in our garden. At night Poopsie would roost under the porch by my window. One day she didn’t come in to roost. One of the hunters had mistaken her as a pheasant, and shot her. We were pretty upset.

I have loved all the animals that I was able to have as pets growing up. I have many wonderful memories that also taught me a great number of responsibilities. I was able to experience the circle of life, learn about the birds and the bees, also understand how important it is to take care of animals.


DSC03188Several years ago my Dad received a rock polisher for his birthday. We love going on long walks in the hills near Cedar City, Utah when we go visit my parents. While on our walks we look for interesting rocks to polish. Some rocks look like there is no way they could ever get polished because there are to many rough edges.

Before these rocks make a transformation they are First put in to a rock polisher container. Then put sand and water into the container put the lid on then turn on the polisher that tumbles the rocks with sand for three weeks. After the first week of rocks tumbling with sand a finer grit of sand is added to make the rocks more smooth and fresh water is added. This process is repeated for three weeks. After three weeks of polishing these rocks look wonderful, full of color and very shiny, no longer dull in color with sharp edges.

The bumps in life are like the rock with many sharp edges. With help, like a rock, that has transformed into a beautiful polished stone. We all start out like plain dull rocks getting a few sharp edges knocked off along the way. Life experiences plus the choices we make form us into the person we are today. I belief everyday every minute we are either progressing or regressing toward or away from our goals in life.

When our life gets a little muddy we need to realize that the mud is like the grit and sand that at first make the stones unattractive. Our muddy lives help turn us into beautiful people Every time we have an experience either good or bad, we need to thank God for letting us go through these experiences. We need to learn something from everyone, everything and every experience of life.

I hope in some small way your life will be a little brighter with fewer sharp edges and you will pay it forward with what you have learned from some of my life’s lessons.

One of those lessons I have learned is from successful people is that successful people take risks. Time after time when you see people that look like they have it all. Most of them got where they are in life by taking risks. Don’t take the easy road take a few risks in life. Before you do anything ask yourself what is the worst thing that will happen to me if I fail. Several people who were much older in life, many years past retirement were asked if they had any regrets in life. Most of them said they wish they had taken more risks in life.

If you like someone a lot and you ask them to spend a wonderful evening with you and they say no you are still no better or worse off than you were before you asked them. So ask them. You never know what will happen. If you are about to invest a large amount of money on a great idea determine what is the worst thing that can happen. If you can live with the outcome positive or negative, go for it.

Anytime you are in a difficult situation ask yourself, is this situation for your enjoyment, growth or both? When you think about everything you do this way it totally changes every situation you are facing.

Great Leaders

Screen shot 2015-04-04 at 4.34.55 PMBeing the father is a huge humbling responsibility. I remember being given the assignment of speaking in church on fathers day about the importance of fathers, when I realized in five years I went from not even being married, to having a wife and five children to care for, teach and lead in a positive direction. Always be prepared you never know when you will have the opportunity to lead others. Everyone is a leader to someone so make it count.

I have thought about some ways to be a great leader. First is to inspire trust. You build relationships of trust through both your character and competence and you also extend trust to others. You show others that you believe in their ability to live up to certain expectations, to deliver on promises and to achieve clarity on key goals. You don’t inspire trust by micromanaging and second guessing every step people make.

The second is to clarify purpose. Great leaders involve their family, friends and coworkers excluding no one. Involving everyone in the communication process to create the goals to be achieved. If people are involved in the process, they psychologically own it and you are on the same page about what is really important, with the same mission, vision, values, and goals.

A great leader is one that will never ask the question, “What’s in it for me?’ When asked will say, “What’s in it for all.” A great leader never puts themselves above others on their team and is willing to do even the lowliest of tasks to benefit the team.


American Flag“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.”
John Maxwell

As an American we have many wonderful ways to be great leaders. I remember my first recollection of being in a leadership position was when I was a crossing guard in 6th grade.

I felt very confident and powerful holding the safety patrol flag making sure the kids were safe crossing the street. The special safety patrol uniform and badge made me feel very important.

Four years later I was called to be a youth leader I was 15 years old and responsible for the boys 14-15 years old in my church congregation.

Little by little as we grow we are given more responsibility. This is what makes a great leader, learning one step at a time.

When I was a teenager I got a job vacuuming classrooms at an elementary after school. I worked for a man who would give me demerits for doing anything wrong. I only worked for this man for about four months when I was fired after getting my allotment of three demerits. I was devastated. I vowed that if I ever became a boss I would be fair, be kind and never make myself look better than anyone else. More than 30 years later, I am an Elementary Head Custodian the boss of several teenage youth that I work side by side with. I am not perfect but I try my best at being fair, kind and I don’t ask them to do anything I am not willing to do myself.

The times that I have felt like I wasn’t a good leader is when I didn’t communicate with others like I should have. People like to be appreciated. It is so important to let others know when they are doing a great job.

I think of all the places where I have enjoyed working the most; they were the places where I was appreciated, where there was open communication and everyone was part of a team being treated equal.

A few years ago I got to work for a new principal who was wonderful. She was kind communicated as often as needed. She asked you, “How was your weekend?” When a decision needed to be made she would ask for your opinion. The children loved her, she was in the lunchroom almost everyday. She was the happiest when she was with the children. They loved telling her jokes or talking to her if they had a problem.

One of the things that impressed me the most is that she was real. She wouldn’t lets the office workers have reserved parking. She would park in the back parking lot even when she was at the school first thing in the morning carrying a big bag of bicycle helmets for the children.

Share Your Talents With Others

Your talent is Gods Gift to youThere is no better example of sharing your talents with others than in the New Testament.

The Parable of the Talents Matthew 25

14 ¶ For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed:

25 and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strewed

27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The more we share our talents the happier we will become. Are we sharing every talent we have or are we hiding them? I know people who literally can sing, dance or play a musical instrument that have hid their talents for years, no one knows how talented they are.

Not all talents are obvious; some come in the form of empathy, humility, unconditional love and even good humor that can help lift our spirits.

I am thankful for a thoughtful neighbor Dennis Peterson who can fix anything. He has helped our family with countless car problems and he is good at doing it. He can find a problem with any car in three minutes or less, this is no exaggeration.

The world will be a better place to live when we wake up every day asking the question, who will benefit from my talents today. Go make a difference in the lives of others.