Archive for November, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas is up by 3.1%

Monday, November 26th, 2007

A large part of what I do for a living is pick investments for my clients, which requires me to watch the markets.  You might find it interesting that the cost to do the Twelve days of Christmas has gone up by 3.1% from 2006.  On a series note, this is a true reflection of a rise in inflation and market analysis series look at these figures to get a feel of what the economy is doing.  What I think is outrageous is the cost of “Calling Birds” has gone up 25% this year.  It costs more to get Calling Birds then it does Five Gold Rings.  I don’t know about you, but we should picket the bird store and force them to lower their prices.  =0  (I’m kidding if you didn’t detect the sarcasm in the last paragraph.) PNC Christmas Price Index – 2007Traditional

  2006 2007 % Change2007/06
One Partridge in a Pear Tree $144.99 $164.99 13.8%
Partridge $15.00 $15.00 0.0%
Pear Tree $129.99 $149.99 15.4%
Two Turtle Doves $40.00 $40.00 0.0%
Three French Hen $45.00 $45.00 0.0%
Four Calling Birds $479.96 $599.96 25.0%
Five Gold Rings $325.00 $395.00 21.5%
Six Geese-a-Laying $300.00 $360.00 20.0%
Seven Swans-a-Swimming $4,200.00 $4,200.00 0.0%
Eight Maids-a-Milking $41.20 $46.80 13.6%
Nine Ladies Dancing $4,759.19 $4,759.19 0.0%
10 Lords-a-Leaping $4,160.25 $4,285.06 3.0%
11 Pipers Piping $2,124.00 $2,213.40 4.2%
12 Drummers Drumming $2,301.00 $2,397.85 4.2%
Total Christmas Price Index $18,920.59 $19,507.25 3.1%
True cost of Christmas in song $75,122.03 $78,100.10 4.0%
“Core” index, excluding swans $14,720.59 $15,307.25 4.0%


Home Situation / Fresh Christmas Tree

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Just cut down tree and checking out the kill. The old man in the back is not my dad, he owned the farm. Nice man, lots of nose hair.

To give you an update on our home situation, we have been approved for a new home since August of this year. We have spent a number of months looking too. Nothing has jumped out to say, this is the place.” We figure since home prices have gone up so high, we are going to get the home we want and not settle for something else. It is also tough with the markets pulling off, that if we wait six more months prices will become more reasonable again.Jolyn is the Primary President here in our ward and so we have this debate of pull her away from her calling, so we look around the neighborhood as well as else where. Mom and Dad have offered their home, which is in our price range, but I struggle with that because I don’t know if this house would ever feel like mine. I do not want to by a house and then feel like it belongs to someone else. So that is the home conundrum we are caught in. We spent some time in the temple on Tuesday looking for direction and we both felt strong to be patient and the correct answer will present it self when it is ready.

Loading the tree into the truck.

 Since it is looking like we will spend another Christmas in my parents basement, we decided that we needed infuse Christmas more this year in our lives. Instead of setting up the fake tree again, we wanted an experience and most of all the “smell” of a tree. We were going to Evanston and hike around the mountain to cut down a tree, but duty calls us to Vernal so we had to change our plans. We found a local tree farm, walked a good acer till we found our tree. Actually we found three trees we liked, we marked each area with a stick or set of rocks and then drove the truck to each location.  Jolyn and I would jump out of the truck, look at the tree, then drive to the next one. (The truth was, it was getting too cold and I failed to wear a hat.  All my body heat leaves my bald head. burrrr!)  We finally settled on this big plumb bushy tree.  I cut it down, then loaded it into the truck.  The tree standing there before we cut it down, didn’t look that big, yet it filled my entire truck bed.  After we drove it home and put it up, it was obvious a bigger tree then what our eyes had observed.  We plan to decorate it tomorrow on Thanksgiving day.  And boy does the house smell so good!The kids were very excited, they were bouncing around, poking and teasing one another.  I told the kids that when we arrived home that they had to go through the tree looking for spiders.  “We can’t have any spiders or chipmunks in the house with us.”  After the moans  calmed down, Emily exclaimed that the wind while driving the tree home on the freeway, cleaned all of the spiders out for us.  That was perfect logic and I couldn’t come back with a good enough response to tease any further.

The Cookie Thief

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

We heard this really good poem at church today.  I thought it was good enough to share with you. 

The Cookie Thief
by Valerie Cox
A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”
With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.
How many times in our lives,
have we absolutely known
that something was a certain way,
only to discover later that
what we believed to be true … was not?

The speaker brought up a real good point.  She emphasized how this woman was so bothered and offended that this man would steal her cookies, when the reality was that she was stealing his.  How did he respond?  Instead of getting upset and bothered as she was towards him, he split the cookie and shared it with her.  What an example of how to act.

Support our Troops

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

I personally do not know anyone at present who is serving overseas in the military, yet I have a deep respect for what they are doing for liberty and for our country.  At times I think, “how I could support them more?”  My brother-in-law let me know about this website the other day.  It is done by Xerox and I think it is one of the coolest things that someone can do for a soldier.  It is better then doing nothing.You can go to: and write a personal message or select one of the many pre-populated messages.  Xerox will print the card and send it to a soldier in Iraq for free.   I recommend customizing a message.The other cool thing is it only took a second for me to send it and they didn’t require a ton of personal information.  In essence, Xerox isn’t doing this to collect consumer information, they are honestly attempting to support our troops.