Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SLC Christmas Mini-Vacation

After work Tuesday we packed up the car and drove all the way to Salt Lake City... We met with Karrissa and Joe to pick up their kids. (They were going to a Dentist dinner thing at the Joseph Smith Building).

We went to dinner, then swimming, the a long hot bath. It was fun playing with the two little girls.
Then after Karrissa and Joe returned we went for a walk up to Temple Square to see all the Christmas lights and stop by at JBs for some hot chocolate on the way back to the Radisson hotel. Today we'll get some breakfast, then off to spend some time at The Gateway. A quick, nice, mini-vacation.

Oh, yea... we also HATED the sleep-number beds!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Boxing Day at Provo Town Center

After a nice breakfast of omlettes... we headed out to the Provo Town Center to watch the new Disney movie 'Bolt' with the grandkids. Everyone came along.
I thought the movie was pretty good. I especially liked the little hamster 'Rhino' - it was well worth the time to watch!Then we spent some time looking in the mall waiting to get into Red Robin for dinner.Then home to watch the grand-kiddies while Karrissa and Joe had a 'high-school friends party' - I had a chance to finally get McKinley 'into' the 'Money, Money, Money, by the Pound' after bath fun on the bed to get the energy out. She even got into the 'ooohh yeah' part!

McKinley had fun going shopping with Grandma (Jill) to the stores to find some play makeup for her toy vanity.

Christmas Morning

We had our Christmas morning event at our home - with Gram and Gramps along to watch. Everyone received great gifts - both from Santa and from wrapped packages. We had great fun watching the girls open their toys, and the big kids had fun with their stuff as well.

We held the traditional Christmas breakfast at our house - but a couple of the cousins and their families were away this year so it seemed a bit 'small' - but still great fruit compote, egg casseroles, and home made cinnamon rolls.

This year Ryan made the cinnamon rolls and had two forms of frosting - cream cheese and 'regular'...

Then we waited around for the call from my son Brent who's on a mission in Brazil. But he could only talk for a little while... so he spoke with Karrissa and Joe before they had to go to Kaysville to talk with Joe's brother Steve who's also on a mission.

After a nap, we had a nice hour and a half call with Brent, learning of his adventures and mission experiences in Sao Paulo Brazil. Check out his blog at

We had a vote and this year DIDN'T go to a Christmas afternoon movie... weird break in tradition if you ask me.

Then dinner and work on iPhones and Macintoshes up at Janet's for the evening.

It was a nice Christmas at home!

Christmas Eve with the Family

We held our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and program at my sister Janet's house again this year.

Everyone has to participate on the program in order to get their gifts from Grandma and Grandpa (my parents)

We had some hilarious dances, touching songs, funny videos, and a nice Christmas Retrospective movie with photos from past Christmases. Along with caroling and visiting.

Here are some pictures from the event. I was trying out a new 'Flash Diffuser' that seems to work very well with my Nikon D40 camera.

Then we came home and had our traditional gift giving (one only) and always pajamas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

White Christmas in Orem

Yes Virginia, we will have a 'White Christmas' this year in Orem, UT!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Battlestar Galactica Fest...

Last week in the hotel room I spent my evenings getting 'caught up' with the TV Series Battlestar Galactica.

I watched season three over again, and then all of season four. This was in preparation for the January 16th broadcast of the final set of episodes to conclude this series.

A nice diversion from reality - good story line, great special effects, and intriguing characters. What's not to like?

'A Christmas Carol' Family Tradition at Hale Theater

Again this year we all went to the Hale Center Theater's presentation of 'A Christmas Carol' like we do every year. It is a fun tradition to get my Parents, Sister + Family, as well as all our kids to go the this live musical version of the Dicken's classic.
Every year there is something different - sometimes better, sometimes worse... but this 'Scrooge' does a great job. Hopefully the Hale Center Theater will finally be moved into their new facility by next year's performance!

Last week of teaching this year!

My last week of being away from home and teaching a WLAN class was last week in Los Angeles.

Because of a couple of 'snafu's' - I only had two students in the class... the hotel was right by LAX, and the cost of parking plus rental car would have been over $400... so I just stayed in the hotel all week.
I did go out for dinner with the two students one night - at a place called Schmidt & McCormicks - the food was excellent.Because on of the students had an early flight on Friday, we went late a couple of nights, and so finished class by 11:30am on Friday...

Because of great travel karma, on the second busiest travel day of the year, I didn't arrive home in Orem until after 1:30am... I should have just driven home, I would have made it hours earlier!

But I'm now home for the rest of the year - and Karrissa, Joe, McKinley and Kylie were here at the house when I woke up Saturday morning! yea!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Family Christmas Letter

The Parsons family of Orem, Utah had another fine year. We love our house, our ward, and having friends and family come visit!Keith has again ‘morphed’ his business to be exclusively focused on Wireless Network training. He traveled lots this year, but the business is doing well and allows for a lot of Family Vacations - which we love. 46 weeks on the road, but there were 30+ vacation days with Jill and the family! And Keith really enjoys being ‘Poppa’ to McKinley and Kylie.

completed her Bachelors in Nursing! What is she going to do with all that extra time? She is now working three 12’s as a Labor & Delivery nurse at Orem Community Hospital. Jill is glad to be back in ‘Young Women’s’ at our church. She is a great Grandma to McKinley and Kylie and loves to spoil them!

Karrissa & Joe live in Las Vegas where Joe is in his second year of Dental School at UNLV and Karrissa works part-time for Dad. They had a second girl this April – Kylie Elizabeth Winward - to make us Grandparents a second time. We love having them call or better yet, come visit! We like the weeks when Joe is in finals – we get Karrissa and the girls at home.

Ryan is a Junior at Brigham Young University – and moved back home this year (to keep Alysha company). He is studying Physiology and Developmental Biology (Pre-Med). He is a big help around the house and does a great job ‘holding down the fort’ while working at Dad’s office part time. Ryan is a fantastic cook and loves to try new recipes.

is now serving a LDS Mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil – after finishing up a great freshman year playing Lacrosse at Brigham Young University. He even got to play in the National Semi-Finals in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Brent’s letters have been great – he has become quite the comedian and author.

Alysha is a Junior at Timpanogos High School – and is on the Dance Team. She enjoys friends, playing, friends, dancing, going to the gym, and friends. She is a happy addition to our home – bringing life and laughter with her wherever she goes.
As a family we still enjoy taking vacations – spending time together – and love having little granddaughters to spoil. We thank our Heavenly Father for all the many blessings we’ve been given this past year.

May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas Season and a very Happy New Year!

Keith & Jill Parsons
383 Ridge Road
Orem, UT 84057
801 223 9400

in Memory

Contact Info
Jill –
Karrissa & Joe Winward –
Ryan –
Brent -
Alysha – Alysha Marie Parsons on Facebook

Here it is in a graphical format

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kurt Bestor Christmas Concert at UVU

Last night Jill and I went with my parents to the "Celebration of Life - Kurt Bestor Christmas" concert held at the McKay Events Center at UVU... it is hard for me to not say UVCC... it took years to get to UVSC... I think it's going to take awhile to get to the 'U'niversity part of their name.

This concert was sponsored by the Central Utah Cancer Center and dedicated to the 2500+ cancer survivors. My Mom is a Breast Cancer Survivor and we were glad to be able to go and enjoy a nice night of enternatianment together with her and Dad.

I am NOT into the entire lifestyle and personal choices Mr. Bestor has made... not at all! But he does have skills and talents that make him a great performer. This was the 20th anniversary of the Kurt Bestor Christmas Concert series. The acoustics in Abravenel Hall in SLC as Soooooo much better than the sports arena of McKay Events Center. But it was still a good concert. Fun to watch and listen to.

I've never heard of his highlighted vilonist, Jenny Oaks Baker. She was AMAZING! - so I went and purchased some of her albums via iTunes so I can listen more to her great ability.
If you have a chance to attend his concert this year... I can heartedly recommend it - just ignore the self-centered and egotistical comments of Mr. Bestor - he really does have skills and a history of producing great music - I just didn't like hearing him tout his accomplishments continually.


Monday, December 8, 2008

A bedtime story...

Once upon a time there was a very happy couple. Their names were Freedom and Capitalism. They married and had many wonderful children. Their names were Independence, Self-Worth, Hard Work, Dignity, Charity, Faith and Hope. They all lived happily for many years and the children respected their parents and loved them both very much.

Freedom and Capitalism later had several naughty children, very naughty. They weren't so respectful and never appreciated their parents. Their names were Wealth Envy, Environmentalism, Animal Rights Activism, Racism, Feminism, and Ultra Liberalism. These evil children blamed their parents for everything and hated their parents' Freedom and Capitalism.

In fact, these unappreciative children began to hate their parents since they didn't realize their parents gave them everything they had and didn't realize that they wouldn't even exist without their parents. They hated their parents so much, they began to plot with their neighbors to kill their parents and to keep their home. Their neighbors' names were
Socialism and Communism who on the outside were a very lovely couple but inside they were very, very ugly.

They and their children, whose names were
Despair, Poverty, Suffering, and Repression had been welcomed into every neighborhood they had lived in. But then thrown out after years of suffering and the loss of many lives.

So late one night in total darkness because
Socialism and Communism did everything in darkness and away from the light of the truth. While everyone was asleep, Wealth Envy, Environmentalism, Animal Rights Activism, Racism, Feminism, and Ultra Liberalism along with their younger obnoxious brother, Hollywood, disguised by Socialism and Communism and let them into the house of Freedom and Capitalism.

It wasn't hard to do, because they always left their gates and their door open for everyone.
Wealth Envy led the way because he knew the house oh, so well. The evil children led Socialism and Communism throughout the house, one room at a time. Then one-at-a-time they killed Hard Work, then Dignity, then Independence, Self-Worth, Charity and Faith. They finally found the room of Freedom and Capitalism and killed them as well. It wasn't hard to do, since Freedom and Capitalism always left their door unlocked and open for everyone.

Hope survived. Hope survived hiding in the closet. She ran out during the ensuing celebration. After Socialism and Communism moved in, things went well for a while but then they decided they didn't like Freedom and Capitalism's evil children, either. They wanted their own children to have the rooms in their new house.

So late one night in total darkness because
Socialism and Communism did everything in darkness and away from the light of the truth, they sent their own children to kill Freedom and Capitalism's remaining evil children.

Poverty and Suffering killed Environmentalism and Animal Rights first, for they were so hungry, they had to kill all the animals for food and the trees for their wood. And besides, why should animals have rights if people don't? Hopelessness killed Liberalism, the retarded brother of Communism. Then Poverty, Suffering, and Repression killed Feminism. The retarded sister of Liberalism. And Hollywood, the young obnoxious son of Freedom and Capitalism, was also killed. Finally, Wealth Envy, who led the attack on his parents, died at the hands of Poverty since there was nothing left to envy.

Socialism and Communism and their children, Poverty, Despair, Hopelessness, Suffering, and Repression lived in the once beautiful home of Freedom and Capitalism which was now in great disrepair and they all lived sadly ever after. All that was left of the family of Freedom and Capitalism was Hope who was quietly hiding in the woods.

Dr. John Rossi - Florida - December 2008
Italics and Color added by Keith Parsons

Travel & Vacations for 2008

In preparing for our Family Christmas Letter, I did some reviewing of our lives this year. I'm glad that I 'finally' have a 'journal' in the form of this blog. It made it easy to go back and see all the things we've done this year.

Here's a detailed list of the different travel, vacations, and work we've done as a family and as myself this year.
So it's pretty obvious I did have to travel quite a bit for work, but I get to have fun times on vacation with my wife and family quite a bit as well!

Travel and Days Stats
Number of Flights - 167

Days of Family/Jill Vacation Time - 29

Total Days working - 202

- AirMagnet - 100

- Aruba Networks -32

- Consulting/Custom Training - 34

- Course Development - 35

Personal Self Improvement Training Days - 16

Weeks where I flew somewhere - 46

Weeks where I didn't fly anywhere - 6

Countries Visited

- Mexico (Encinata, Tijuana, Puerto Vallarta)

- Netherlands, Amsterdam

- Sweden, Goteborg

- New Zealand, Takapuna

- Canada, Orillia, Toronto, Ft. McMurray

Cities in the US

- Atlanta
- Boulder - Chicago - Corvallis - Dallas - Dash Point - Denver - Detroit - Estes Park - Eugene - Ft. Collins - Grand Rapids - Laguna Beach - Las Vegas - Los Angeles - Minneapolis - Moses Lake - Newark - New York City - Orlando - Philadelphia - Phoenix - Portland - San Diego - San Francisco - San Jose - Santa Barbara - Seattle - Spokane - St. Louis - Sunnyvale - Tillamook - Washington DC

Family Vacations

  • Snowmobiling at Daniel's Summit
  • Las Vegas (Spring Break, Stomp)
  • Week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Week in Moses Lake
  • Long Weekend in San Diego/Seaworld

Keith & Jill Vacations
  • Santa Barbara, LA, Encinata, Tijuana, Dash Point, Laguna Beach (Brent's Lacrosse)
  • Boulder, Denver, Ft. Collins, Estes Park (Brent's Lacrosse)
  • Portland, Tillamook, Corvallis, Eugene (Brent's Lacrosse)
  • Las Vegas (Kylie's Birth)
  • Dallas (Brent's Lacrosse)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Philadelphia for a Week

This week was spent in Philadelphia... not actually in the city, just by the Philly Airport. A bit West of the city, on a bend in the Deleware River. This is about as close as I ever got to the city this time around. I've found I can save at least $300 per week by not renting a car, not going out at night, but working in my hotel room. It is a little boring... but with Christmas just around the corner...

In one of the student exercises I have folks make a 'folder hierarchy' using the Country-State-City where you were born... this usually keeps the structure fairly 'unique' and cuts down on the overlap between students. Having been born in Kenitra Morocco 'decades' ago... I've always thought that was a bit unique.

But in doing this class exercise I've learned there is quite a bit of 'internationalism' in my classes.
When I do this internationally... Sweden, New Zealand, Netherlands, etc. I always get a wide smattering of birth locations... and normally inside the US it's more mundane.

But this week I had Havana, Budapest, Prague, London, Tel Aviv and the Panama Canal Zone!

I'm now home for ten days - and have to work hard on a course update as well as doing some recordings for new CBTs for AirMagnet.