An observation from President Packer’s funeral

One of my favorite moments from the funeral of President Packer didn’t make the final video release. I thought I’d share it here since I took a screenshot during the live video.

After the casket was loaded in the car in the background, Sister Packer and the family turned and entered the cars seen at the bottom of this picture. As the remaining members of the Quorum exited the tabernacle and saw they were not yet loaded, they stopped and waited for the family to enter the cars rather than walk around and enter their own cars waiting in the cortege line. Her husband is gone, but Donna Packer holds the complete love and reverence from the Quorum. 

 

I love this photo for another reason that was more apparent when seeing it live. When Elder Nelson saw they were not yet loaded, he stopped. His brethren in the quorum didn’t look around to see why nor ask each other the reason for the stopping. Instead, they saw that Elder Nelson, the senior member and probable President of the Quorum stopped and they instantly followed his lead. After 21 years of following President Packer as Acting President and President of the Quorum, the mantle has moved and it is recognized.

The mix of strength and humility in this group inspires me so much.

Meeting the challenges of Today

I read this talk a couple weeks ago and have really worked to comprehend all that is taught. It’s directed my personal study since then. It was given by Neal A Maxwell in 1978 and has proven to be absolutely prophetic in the 40 years since. I highly recommend reading it along to the audio so you can get the full delivery of his words. A few things:

1) This is bigger than any one topic, be it political or personal. I hope that it will be read as such and applied far and wide.

2) I believe Neal A Maxwell to have been a prophet, seer and revelator before he died in 2004. This message is just one of many examples from him. I do believe there are still living Prophets and Apostles. This talk has led me to study more intently their words.

3) This talk contains warnings: (“But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions”)

4) This talk also contains beautiful assurances (“If he knew beforehand the movements and whereabout of fishes in the little Sea of Tiberias, should it offend us that he knows beforehand which mortals will come into the gospel net?”)

5) To focus too much on the warnings or the assurances does an injustice to both. It’s ok to be optimistically apprehensive.

6) Fore-ordination, when correctly understood, is a beautiful doctrine.

All that being said, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

James Taylor Life Highlights

My top 5 James Taylor moments:

  1.  Meeting him in Massachusetts
  2. My first JT concert in 1994 when Grandma Judy gave me her ticket
  3.  My first time hearing “You Can Close Your Eyes”
  4. A thrift store in Petaluma, CA where we did service hours during my mission. The manager was a JT fan and had him playing on the store speakers all day. It had been over a year since i heard his songs.
  5. This morning, seeing this clip for the first time:

My Little Shadow Named Cole

I always looked forward to the day that I would have a son old enough to play with me. Cole has hit that age.

During the day, if Cole hears my office door open, his ears perk up. He hops to his feet and comes running down the hallway. Today, I went out of the office to get a bottle of water and when I came back Cole was sitting at my desk, “working like dad.”

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Every night, he’ll sit on my lap as we watch the Red Sox games. When I do a home run dance, he does a home run dance.

On Saturdays, when we are doing our outside work, Cole insists on having his own tools and shovels. I love to have the little helper, even when he gets in the way. Last Saturday, we were fixing our sprinkler piping and each time the water would bubble up the PVC , Cole would be there to clear it away.

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Of course, the benefit of of a Cole shadow is it reminds me that I’m an example to Cole and Will. What dad does, so also does these boys. So in addition to WWJD, my conscious recites WWCC. (What Would Cole Copy)

Keeping Our House In Sync

For the last few weeks, Candace and I have been testing an iPhone app that helps us get all kinds of things done. It has really been working well so I thought I’d share it with others.

There is a free service online called Zenbe Lists. It has a real nice interface for keeping different lists of to-dos, or anything else you need to list out. They also have a really nice iPhone application. So, here is our setup and how it works for us.

First, I created an account online with Zenbe Lists.

Then, I purchased the $2.99 Zenbe iPhone application (iTunes link) and downloaded it to my iPhone and Candace’s iPhone. Once installed, I entered the same login credentials on both of our phones.

So now, I can create a list, on my iPhone and it syncs automatically to the online site. Then, when Candace starts the app up again, my lists and items will sync to her phone. And of course this works from her phone to mine as well. Here is an example of our lists.

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As you can see, if I need something at Target or from the grocery store, I can just add it here as I think of it. Then, when Candace starts up the app at the store, everything will sync and she’ll see all of my items along with the ones that she has listed.

This works for more than shopping lists. For instance, while we were prepping for our trip last week, we made a list called, “Todos for Trip” throughout the week. Then, we just made sure everything was checked off before we left. This saves the feeling of “I know I forgot something.” as you pull out of the driveway.

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So, it’s a pretty basic setup, but I thought I’d share it in case any other households are looking to keep in sync. There’s just one rule. Wives are not allowed to make a list called, “Projects To Do Around The House.”

Boyhood Dream Fulfilled

When I was younger, my favorite book was Where the Wild Things Are. I read it, and had my parents read it to me, all the time.

So, I was happy to see that they are going to make a movie based on the book. There have been a few articles on what to expect, but just recently they released a trailer. (embedded below, nice HD copies here)

Just seeing those different characters makes me feel like a boy again. I can’t wait to see this movie. It’s supposed to be released in October.

The Stucki Boys

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Many of you know already, but Candace had our second son on Tuesday. His name is Will and weighs in at 9lbs and 7oz.

Cole went to meet his brother last night so here is the obligatory hospital photo. So far, Cole is glad to have “Baby Wiw” and just wants to hold him and pat his face.

Candace is doing well after the planned c-section. She should be able to come today. And that’s a good thing because we miss mom.

Playing With iLife 09 and Faces

One of the best things about owning a Mac is the iLife suite that comes free with all new Macs. It is a collection of great applications for videos, photos, making websites, etc.

One of the most popular applications in iLife is iPhoto. It is an application to organize, clean up , and publish your photos.

The 2009 version of iPhoto was announced a few weeks ago and just shipped yesterday. Among the new features is a technology called “Faces.” With it, you can add a name to someone in a photo, and then iLife will scan all the rest of your photos and try to find that person in any of them. It’s a very simple way to organize your pictures.

I installed iLife 09 last night on my iMac. I thought I’d show some quick screenshots of how cool this technology is in iPhoto.

First, you open up iPhoto and so you can see all your different film rolls.

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Then, choose one of the rolls and a photo in the roll. Here I’ve chosen Cole on a trolley car in San Francisco.

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Once you’ve picked a photo, the software will help you find prominent faces in the picture. You can then tag the people. Here I’ve added Cole.

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Once you’ve tagged the person, you can go to the “Faces” part of the application. iPhoto will then scan all the photos where it believes Cole is pictured. You’ll then be asked to confirm them. This step is amazingly accurate. In the hundreds of pictures of Cole, there were just a few photos of other fat little baby faces. If you choose to work with an adult in the pictures, it is quite a bit more accurate because features are usually more distinctive.

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Once done, you’ll see that iPhoto will organize your photos by who is in them. Very neat.

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The whole iLife suite has a ton of new features, but I thought this one was just too cool not to share.