Sunday, December 28, 2008

Its Time to Celebrate!

Christmas at the Bukey's was crazy, fun as usual. We jump started the festivities last week with Alyssa and Briggs before they took off for Canada with a weekend of presents, performing at church, last minute shopping, and loads of movies and games.

Cole and I spent Christmas Eve at the parentals and enjoyed the time we had with them, Ben, Bryan and Annie. Christmas morning was full of fun presents (wii for Cole and Dyson for me), yummy muffins, the traditional "Lansford" sausage, egg and cheese casserole, and lastly the ever-important honey-baked ham. (Nicole and Scott met up with us after a busy morning with his folks.)

As you can see above, Cole spent a good portion of the afternoon teaching Dad and Ben the wonders of Madden 09. How successful he was is still up for discussion. But when it comes to Wii bowling, watch out! These parents have some serious skills.

Regardless of the gifts, fun and family time, it is always a blessing to have a few days to pause and reflect on the gift of our Savior and His life.

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Night in Bethlehem

Over the past few months Cole and I had the opportunity to help plan the ward "Night in Bethlehem" Christmas party. While it was a ton of work and a little overwhelming, things went off without a hitch and I think everyone had a great time.

Mom and dad drove down to "support" us. Don't you love that sweet backdrop?

Everyone needed to be "counted."

Amazing drop ceiling installed by Brother Rowe

The town storyteller

Forgot your biblical attire? No worries!

"Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel..."

Cute carpenters passing out wooden ornaments

They ate,


And were properly respectful.

Thanks to everyone who helped! We could have never done it all without you, you and you. Ok, and everyone else who needs to get a blog. :)

*Thanks for the photos, Committee Chair Extrodinar Tiffany Runyon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its Bowlin' Time

Maura might not like this but there are certain times of the year when our blog will be infiltrated and turned into the sports page. The first time is December/January(football), and then again in March/April (March Madness).

After their rout of the Cougs on November 22nd (48-24, just had to proclaim it again) the Utes completed an undefeated 12-0 regular season and is undeniably the front runner for an at large bid into the BCS (second time in 4 years). BCS projections are now flying and changing day to day. Where is the Utes destiny? The following are projections from 5 highly respected Analysts.

Finally, this post isn't long enough for me to tear apart the BCS system , and I think everyone agrees with me when I say its broken and needs a serious overhaul. This much I will say, it is better to loose earlier rather then later in the season. Not only does the BCS need an official review, but conference rules also need to be looked at.

You probably could have guessed that yes, I am referring to the B12. Texas gets hosed by a rule that states in the event of a 3-way tie, the team with the highest BCS ranking get the bid to the conference championship game. Texas, who has been ranked above OK since their 35-45 victory in the cotton bowl in mid October was jumped by the Sooners in the latest BCS polls by .0124. Because of the identical records of OK, Tex, and TT, the Sooners will play for the Big 12 championship and inevitably, barring a miracle from the heavens will advance to the National championship game. Why is OK more deserving then the Horns? They're not! I do agree that there is no hotter team in college football right now save Florida then the Sooners. However, the Horns beat the Sooners. The SEC tiebreaker rules state that the team with the highest BCS ranking advances to the conference championship unless the second team is within 5 spots. Then the tiebreaker goes head-to-head. If the Big 12 had the same rule as the SEC, Texas would have the tiebreaker, win the Big 12 and play for the national title.

Because of this I am placed in a very interesting spot. The committee of the Fiesta bowl gets the first selection on Dec. 7th. We know they will take Texas, but its their second pick that could be interesting. The committee could elect the Buckeye's of Ohio State, or The Utes. Honestly, I think the second pick will be the Utes. Where does that put me? Being from Texas, my whole life I have supported the Horns and know as an alum from the U (in a month), I am torn on who to back for the game. Some say it doesn't matter because I will be happy no matter who wins. It's the exact opposite. One team still has to loose and that's the hard part. The mountain West deserves respect and winning another BCS game will hopefully pound the respect they deserve into pollsters. The MWC finished the season with 3 ranked teams, and 2 in the top 15, a very impressive feat for a non BCS conference. unfortunately, I am not sure the Utes have what it takes to knock off a team like Texas. Therefore it would be better for Utah to get a sugar bowl bid and play a team like Alabama. Alabama has sat at the top of the rankings for most of the year, but I am still not sold. 'Bama to me seems a bit over-ratted with a mediocre offense that the Utes defense could tear apart. If Brian Johnson comes out and plays like he did against Michigan, Oregon State, SDSU, and BYU, the Runnin' Utes could stun the BCS by topping an SEC giant. Needless to say, I think the Utes will not get the chance and will fight hard against Texas. If it turns out, Maura and I will be in AZ on January 5th.

the following are my Bowl projections and winners for the 5 BCS games.

Orange - Boston College vs Cincinnati - Cincinnati

Rose - USC vs Penn St. - USC

Sugar - Ohio State vs Alabama - Alabama

Fiesta - UTAH vs TEXAS - Congrats to the Utes for a great season, Texas wins

BCS National Title Game - Florida vs Oklahoma - Its tough but Urban Meyer and the Gators get business done

And that's me...Any thoughts football fans?

Daily Updates and projections on all 34 bowl games, click here

Thursday, November 20, 2008

They Walk Among Us

Given our recent lack of personal content, I thought you might enjoy the annual Darwin Awards (honoring the least evolved among us).

Here is the glorious winner:

1. When his 38-caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach , California , would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and, after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger.

The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.

The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer...$15.

If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher.

Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, 'Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from.'

9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti , Michigan , at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash.

The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

In the interest of bettering mankind, please share these with your friends and family... unless of course one of these individuals by chance is a distant relative or long-lost friend. In that case, be glad they are distant and hope they remain lost.

*** Remember... They walk among us!!! ***

Sunday, November 9, 2008

BCS Bound?

The madness all started on Monday morning when Cole found himself in a massive line (stretching the entire outside of Rice-Eccles stadium) looking to score U vs. TCU tickets. Lucky for us, he was able to snag a pair and we found ourselves at one of the University of Utah's most significant games.

We started the game a bit worried after TCU jumped ahead with a 10 point lead in the first 8 minutes of the first quarter. We had a feeling it would be a tough battle.

However, the Utes' defense stayed strong the entire time letting the offense take advantage of a missed field goal by TCU kicker. With less than two minutes to go, the Utes brought it out and scored a very exciting touchdown, leaving the final score 13-10.

Go Utes!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Colleyville Heritage Homecoming Game

So I promise this is the last post about our Texas trip (we have been home now for almost two weeks). The last Friday we were in town we headed over to the homecoming game for Colleyville Heritage, Cole's high school. Cole had a great time watching the team, seeing old friends and remembering just how crazy Texas football is. I thought football was a big deal in Oklahoma...but we can't touch this craziness.

My favorite part of the game were the Homecoming Mums. Many moons ago, couples who were going to the Homecoming dance would make a corsage of mums for their date to wear to the game. Cheesy but cute, right?

Today, the traditional mum has turned into the monstrosity you see above. Most Mums are purchased, contain yards and yards of streaming ribbons, multiple flowers and teddy bears, among more. The one above is resting on a cheerleader's megaphone but female students cart these around their necks and boys wear them around their arms.

Is this a Texas thing or have you seen it anywhere else? I was floored at the amount of weight these kids were dragging around. Oh well, you gotta love high school.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy

For those of you who have never experienced the rich and creamy beauty of Braum's Ice Cream, the photos below may seem silly. However, my family will know exactly what I am talking about.

My first job (at 15) was working in a Braum's store that was just down the street from my parents home (walking distance was key). I immediately fell in love with their vanilla bean and cookie dough ice cream, along with seasonal flavors like pumpkin, peppermint, cherry limeade sorbet and the like. A trip to Texas or Oklahoma would be lacking if I didn't stop for my favorite 2 scoops in a cup with a waffle cone on top.

What can I say, pure joy.

Our State Fair; "Don't Miss it, don't even be late!"

While in Texas, our #2 priority was to see if the Texas State Fair would be in swing. Luckily, it was! On a slightly overcast Tuesday morning Cole, Baylee and Stacy and I headed out to the fair, fully intending to make ourselves sick on fried goodness and the faris wheel.

Our first adventure came at the admission gate. In our hurry and excitement to get going that morning, we totally forgot to be frugal and see if there were any special deals. Once we arrived, we realized it was Dr. Pepper Tuesday. One can of "said soda" took the admission price from $14 to only $3. You can bet we got our fannies to a near-by grocery store to stock up on cans. Cole and I even joked that we should stand on a nearby corner and sell the rest of our 24 pack for profit.

Once inside we took a stroll through the car show, "made in Texas", homegoods and arts pavilians. We passed on the animals mostly because the smells make Cole sick. :)

We also partook of our full share of fried foods. Our favs were curly fries, corn dogs, fried oreos and fried cookie dough.

Heartattack, here we come!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Southern Politics!

Need I say more...

This scene is generously brought to you by a resident of my home town, Colleyville, TX.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

San Antonio Riverwalk

In the heart of downtown San Antonio is the well-know riverwalk area. The riverwalk winds around several hotels, shops, restaurants and a huge mall. While we were there, we ate lunch at the Lansford's favorite Mexican restaurant, La Margarita. My favorite part of the meal was those killer tortillas. After a tasty lunch we moseyed around the shops and vendors and took a boat tour through the riverwalk.

During the walk, Cole tripped and almost fell in, losing his favorite pair of "China Town sunglasses. The last photo below is in loving tribute to the occasion.

Remember the Alamo

After rolling into San Antonio for the weekend, the Lansfords took us to visit the Alamo. I have to admit that I had forgotten the story of what happened there and really enjoyed the tour, the story telling and the fun photo opportunity.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

There's No Place Like Texas

The Universality of Utah gave Cole a week off school so we decided to take a week and visit the family in Dallas.

The next several posts are of our adventures in ....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cole Lansford, Resident Expert on Ethics in Education

Only because I doubt our friends and family frequently pick up a copy of Utah CEO, I thought I would take a moment and brag about my husband's stint as a source for a recent article on Ethics in Education.

The full article requires a free username and password, but I will give you the Reader's Digest version of the article here. Cole is quoted several times. Feel free to skim, it is a long one.

Ethics in education

Enron. Tyco. Shady subprime lending. If ever business ethics were needed, the time is now, and Utah's business schools have responded with aggressive curriculum. But can ethics be taught?

by Tami Kamin-Meyer

The teaching of ethics and related principles has taken on
increased importance in Utah’s colleges over the last few years, says a fifth-year finance major at the University of Utah. “I have been instructed on ethics and ethical practices in some form or fashion in the majority of my classes at the U,” says Cole Lansford, a senior at the Rice-Eccles School of Business.

In fact, he adds, the topic of ethics has been “one of the main business principles being stressed.”

So why the renewed focus on ethics? Could it be the result of major ethical lapses and criminal behavior that have splashed businesses into the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years?

Yes, according to several Utah business experts. But can ethics really be taught?

Ethics curriculum

“Ethics, or at least ethical standards, can be taught. The real question is whether a person will adopt those standards, act accordingly and live by them,” says Kip Kint of Mission Ignition. Kint is a certified Franklin Covey coach whose company is based in Spanish Fork.

Kint admits that the emergence of ethics as an increasingly important aspect of business school does not mean that universities are cranking out graduates who consistently act ethically. There will be those who “feel they know what works for them so they may conform outwardly, but inwardly, they act differently. Some will hear what’s being taught at business school and will adopt and buy into it because they are swayed by the respect they hold for their professor or the institution itself,” says Kint.

Ethics are also stressed at the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, according to David Bradford, a Utah entrepreneur who plays integral roles with various business ventures, including Utah-based Linking Universe, an online social communication tool that seeks to harness the power of Facebook. A few years ago, while living in Southern California, Bradford was president of the Orange County Management Association, an affiliate of the Marriott School. He says that the college’s “whole philosophy is teaching ethics in business.”

One of Bradford’s responsibilities as president was to find speakers who would address Marriott students. He says every speaker was asked to discuss ethics in some way. “Ethics are a very strong thread [speakers] were supposed to talk about in every presentation,” says Bradford.

Teaching ethics to business school students is definitely on the upswing, according to Lansford. Just a few years ago, he says, class discussions about ethics focused on case studies. “But, with today’s real-world economic downturn, we are getting real-world experience in the classroom,” says the 24-year-old.

Bradford agrees that ethics have been increasingly stressed in Utah business colleges. “It’s a trend,” he says, primarily due to the incredible ethical lapses that led to Enron’s fall and the Tyco debacle, to name a few.

“People’s greed for money and power became so fundamental to their belief systems” that BYU’s Marriott School decided to alter its curriculum in an attempt to change behaviors. “BYU’s Marriott School wanted to reverse that trend,” says Bradford. The college “saw what Congress did by enacting Sarbanes-Oxley and decided to be part of that trend. They decided to be a leader in instilling ethics in our business students,” he says.

Can ethics be taught?

According to Steve Hawkins, a partner at Cohezion Communications in Sandy, ethics should be taught “as a good business practice.” However, he cautions, the foundation for future ethical behavior is laid well before a student begins their first day of college. “Honesty and fair play are instilled by parents, friends, teachers and business mentors,” says Hawkins.

Bradford agrees that a student’s background and upbringing play a significant role in whether ethics can be imparted upon a student. “Ethics are really taught in the home; 80 to 90 percent of ethics are taught before the ages of 10 to 12. What we do later in life is merely a reminder of the foundation of ethics learned early in life,” he says.

Cary Snowden, president of Square Compass, a company that builds technology-based Web sites, recalls negative feelings after he completed a course on ethics while a student at the University of Phoenix a decade ago. He says during class discussions, students expressed such varied views on ethics that he grew increasingly concerned about how ethical the world of business would be.

Snowden’s worries were exacerbated by the fact that his fellow classmates are often not the average liberal college student of today whose ears were either pierced or glued to an iPod or cell phone. In fact, he says, they were working professionals in high-ranking positions in various business fields.

As the father of young children, Snowden agrees that the foundation of an ethical life begins at home. However, due to both his University of Phoenix and business experiences, he says he realizes his version of ethics “may differ from others.”

Still, Snowden is emphatic when he says that college students “need ethics training, especially in business.”

The importance of learning ethics in business was reinforced for Lansford during a summer internship he recently completed in Salt Lake City. “One of the main business principles that was stressed was the importance of ethics,” he says. To reinforce that, his employer held a weekly learning series for interns featuring videoconferencing with management located in New York City.

One week’s lesson, in particular, resonated with Lansford.

“They focused on scandals in the last decade in the financial industry. They tried to instill how one’s reputation and ethics are intrinsic to business success,” he says.

The importance of teaching ethics

“Higher education concerns itself with encouraging students to adopt what they’re learning,” says Kint. That means if ethics, for example, are not being discussed in college, there’s less likelihood that students will demonstrate ethical behaviors in their personal and business lives after graduation.

Kint says it’s important to teach ethics to business students for a few reasons. Students will face ethical and legal dilemmas when engaged in the business world, so experience with resolving those conflicts will likely enhance their success. Moreover, “There are those who will fully adopt those standards and be better people because of them.”

“The best teacher is a good example,” says Hawkins. And whether a person is learning about ethics, business or sports, their education does not end after college graduation. “I’ve learned a lot from my partner, my clients and some of my vendors about being ethical,” he says.

While Lansford says he already had a solid, moral grounding due to his upbringing, his studies at the U have solidified his viewpoints on ethical behavior. “I’ve gotten a better understanding of the line in the sand,” he says.

It’s in the curriculum

[Writer lists curriculum from both schools. ]

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Working Hard for the Money

Cole and I spent last week in Las Vegas at the cycling tradeshow, Interbike. My agency is responsible for media registration, the press room, on-floor media center/tv studio and anything else the media requests.

Highlights included:

*Grand Lux Cafe (Love the spicy chicken flatbread sandwich)

*Super sweet room at Planet Hollywood Hotel

*Watching my first cyclecross race (road bikes with knobby tires, racing over hills and hurdles)

*Planning and executing a press conference for Lance Armstrong

*Meeting the more than 500 media folks I have been registering/emailing over the past 4 months

*Shopping in the Miracle Mile and the Premium Outlet Mall

*Paying the slots as we waited for our delayed flights (I only lost $6!)

Lance Armstrong himself!

My personal favorite amenity, the LCD above the bath tub.