Fathers and Sons

Our ward had its annual Fathers and Sons camp out last weekend.

Every time I go camping with the scouts, Drew wants to come along. “This one probably isn’t good for little dudes, buddy,” is my typical response.

So Drew was super excited to get to come along this time. Starting about two weeks before the outing, Drew would ask me each night as I put him down to bed, “We’re going camping tomorrow, right Daddy?”

We went up to a group site near Soldier Hollow golf course in Midway. Not exactly roughing it, but far enough away that we didn’t get a great turnout.

The sparse attendance didn’t stop us from having a great time though. We cooked chili dogs for dinner and Jacob and Drew played with their buddies until way too late. In the middle of the night, Drew sat up and yelled loudly for no apparent reason, waking Jacob and me. Then he yelled, “I’m coming!” and laid right back down and slept. Jacob and I chuckled, and went back to bed ourselves. We had a good breakfast in the morning, packed up, and went home. A successful outing.

RSL Excite, Jazz Disappoint

Utah isn’t the best place for pro sports, but over the last two weekends we had some great opportunities to cheer on our local teams.

On April 28, Megan and I got invited to go to a Real Salt Lake soccer match. Megan has been playing soccer for several years and was excited to go on a daddy daughter date to see how the pros play the game. We had a great time even though it was a little chilly. Of course, it helped that we had sweet tickets: midfield, about 7 rows up, with free concessions and a parking pass! (Thanks, Jason!)

The match was very exciting. RSL was in stoppage time when they scored the winning goal. We went crazy! It’s always better when the home team wins.

The next weekend (May 5), Jacob was offered Jazz tickets by his uncle (thanks Matt T!). It’s not everyday that you get a chance to go see the NBA Playoffs, so Jacob and I jumped at the chance. We knew the Jazz were over-matched by the Spurs. The Jazz had barely eeked into the playoffs as an 8 seed, lost the previous game by 30, were down 2-0 in the series, but were coming home to play in Energy Solutions Arena. Surely, this would be the game for the Jazz to steal a victory.

We rode Trax up (where do all those weirdos come from, anyway?), ate in the new City Creek Center, and then walked to the game excited to experience one of the best home courts in the NBA during the Playoffs against a hated rival.

It was not to be. From the opening tip, the Spurs controlled the game. The Jazz made a few runs, but Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and the Spurs were way too good and ended up winning comfortably. We had fun, cheered loudly and booed even louder, popped tons of balloons, and even got a seat on Trax on the way home. Another great sports fan weekend.


You could just feel the pressure.

For the last two years, Jacob has won the school spelling bee. His first win, as a fourth-grader, was totally unexpected. As a fifth-grader, the contest was still his to lose, but nothing could compare to this year.

He almost didn’t enter, because of the high expectations. Once he decided to go for it again, several of his buddies (who were his stiffest competition last year) bowed out. In the minds of all of his classmates, he was already the winner before he’d spelled a single word.

Jacob studied, but not as diligently as in previous years. He was a nervous wreck the day before the contest, to say nothing of the morning of. He was worried that Dad was going to be there and not Mom. He was worried that he hadn’t studied hard enough. He was feeling the pressure.

When the participating students lined up to pick their order they chatted, “Jacob Johnson is doing this again? Great, he’s just going to win it again now.”

The pressure was on. Jacob was issued number 42 of 63 kids. After the first couple words, he didn’t seem quite as nervous and confidently spelled each word given to him. In order, his words were:

  • similar
  • sabotage
  • immediately
  • astigmatism
  • succeed
  • fiasco
  • theatrical
  • adjudicate
  • hemorrhage
  • humidifier
  • valedictorian
  • transcendent
  • dilapidated
  • tachometer

When it got down to “adjudicate” there were only five kids left. Most of them were little fourth graders, and it was cool to see Jacob give them fist bumps when they got words correct.

And then, all of the sudden there were two. Jacob vs. a fourth grader. The fourth grader was noticeably nervous, and started spelling dilapidated with a D – E – L. Since you can’t go back and change what you’ve spelled, Jacob allowed a hint of a smile — he knew he’d won. Jacob calmly stepped up to the microphone and spelled dilapidated correctly. The judge gave the next word, tachometer, and Jacob breezed right through it. Pressure? What pressure? Jacob won again, completing the threepeat.

Jacob was a gracious winner and congratulated all of the other kids. Several of the moms congratulated him and one said that winning three times in a row might not happen again for a very long time, and I wager she is correct. Not many kids leave elementary school having never lost a spelling bee. Congratulations, Jacob!

Boy Scout – 2nd Class

Jake entered Boy Scouts last June when he turned eleven. Having your dad as the Scoutmaster gives you “extra” motivation to get your requirements done and merit badges completed quicker than normal.

Jake got his Tenderfoot rank back in December and as of yesterday he received his rank advancement to Second Class. He has been working hard and has completed 12 merit badges so far and is on target to be First Class and have 18 merit badges by his 12th birthday. We know how much work this takes and we are so proud of him for making this a priority with all the other stuff he has going on in his busy life! Way to go Jake!

Here is Jake explaining what he had to do to get his Second Class.

Here I am receiving my “mother’s pin” for all my efforts in helping him. 🙂

Scoutmaster Seth, Jake and me

Sports Galore

We are always involved in some type of sport around our house so I never think to post about it. Basketball season ended last month. Jake played on a team that played in several leagues so it went from October to February. We were happy to see it finally come to an end. Jake started the season off strong and hit three-pointers like nobody’s business. It was really fun to watch him and his confidence grow. By the end of the season he was shooting less, but his defensive skills increased a ton.

Megan and Katelyn played on a the same city league team. It was actually a 3/4th grade team, but since Seth was the coach we figured we could sneak Katelyn on as a 2nd grader. And the funny thing is, she fit in just fine. She kept up with most the girls on the team, no problem. Megan led the team in scoring and nobody could outrun her on the court. This year was Katelyn’s first year of basketball and she picked up on it right away. She dominated on defensive. Seth actually had to tell her to quit taking the ball from the girls she was defending so they could have a chance to play. She also scored several baskets and most of all, had a lot of fun.

Megan listening intently as her dad coaches the team.