Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It is a Boy!

Delena and I are happy to announce we are officially having a boy. We were supposed to have our appointment on Monday, but the snow storm prevented us from going. Fortunately our doctor was able to get us in yesterday. Once again it started to snow, but we braved the weather and made it to the appointment.

We are excited to have two boys and are feeling a little overwhelmed. Now for names, we had a name all picked out for a girl but we can't fully commit to a name yet.

Merry Christmas everyone, we love you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

South Ogden Old Fashion Holiday



Delena and I took Joseph to the 4th street park to for the South Ogden Old Fashion Holiday.  It is a fun and free event they do here in South Ogden every year.  There is free food, entertainment and Santa Clause for the kids.  On my South Ogden Blog (See Here) I wrote about the event and I also did a podcast about the event that you can download.  Check it out if you have time.

Here are some fun pictures.  Joseph didn't know what to think about Santa.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yes it is true

Many of you that have been following us on Facebook know this news already. But we are pregnant.We are very excited to bring another child into our home. The crazy thing is, there is a ton of pregnancies on our street. There must be something in the water in South Ogden.






Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I love saving money!

So I know Ben is the usual blogger but I have something exciting to share! I have been doing a thing called Grocery Smarts and it totally rocks! I have saved a ton of money and its actually really easy once you get the hang of it. Yes its coupons no you will not spend hours clipping and then never using them because the store brand is cheaper anyways. You will not have to go all over town either. 

Go to http://www.grocerysmarts.com/ Utah passport is g84rcm, I guess there is another passport too but this is the one I have been using. There is information online about how to use this genius program or my sister in law Michelle Markland (michellemarkland@hotmail.com) teaches a class about it and gives grocery gift cards for doing a class. Can i just tell you how awesome she is, she has a family of 5 including an infant with diapers and formula, and has built up 3+ month supply for $180 a month!! I was spending $300.00 a month on our little family of 3! not anymore! last month I spent $200.00 and I plan on watching that # drop every month! One of my receipts says that I spent $56.36 and my total SAVINGS drum roll... $79.65!! What a rush! this is 4 real guys! I love saving money!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The 100th Pinochle Game

Some of you may not know this, But Delena and I are huge Pinochle fans. Pinochle is a fun card game similar to Rook or Hearts. We have been playing for years. Two years ago we taught our neighbors the Fullers how to play the game. Since then, we play nearly weekly! About a year ago we decided to keep score. Last weekend in the heat of Pinochle battle we realized we were one game away from our 100th game since keeping score.

Tonight was the night! We had a big dinner and Delena baked a Pinochle cake. The game went forward. The first two hands set the girls back 760 points. But they rallied forward and made up

their deficit quickly. Most would have given up being negative 760, but the girls didn't. The boys

got a double pinochle pushing their points to 900. The girls then got a big hand and we ended up at 1360 for the boy and 1280 for the girls. Since the bidder goes out, we all went berserk for the final bid. I got it for 380 and my partner passed great. The boys ended up winning 1786 to 1410. It was a great game with tons of great plays. I can't believe they made up over 2000 points.


Our super bowl is now over. Final scores for the first 100 games. Guys 56 Girls 44. We will see you at the next 100 games.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Prof whose 'last lecture' became a sensation dies - Yahoo! News

Prof whose 'last lecture' became a sensation dies - Yahoo! News

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night." I have been moved by this phrase for sometime now. One person who I think exemplified what Mr. Longfellow was saying was Randy Pausch. I was saddened to here he succumbed to his cancer today. I have watched his "Last Lecture" about 10 times now and love it every time I see it. It was especially hard to hear of his death today, I was feeling tired and like not working hard. Then I heard of Randy's death and thought what he would be doing at this moment if he was still alive. Being tired would not be one of them. The world has lost another great one. We all know we can't afford to keep losing men like Randy. I wish the best for his family.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Scofield Triathlon



Back in April, Delena ran her first Triathlon in St. George. When she finished the race she told me about another Triathlon in Scofield, Utah. We often go fishing and camping there and so we knew the area well. She asked me if I would like to do it. I said, "No way, that is your thing...I am not going to do it." After about a month of her talking about it and having seen her do one. I started to think maybe I could and that it could be fun.

My biggest worry was the swim, you see I never could really swim as a kid; so I went up to Weber State and practiced a few laps for about a week. Then I came home and said, "I am mad at you, you have inspired me and I will sign up for the Scofield Triathlon." She was so excited.

Two months of training, three days a week, two times a day, finally paid off on Saturday. I was so scared and nervous. I had the swim down in the lap pool, but a lake is a whole other story. We had done a lake swim a few days before and I hyper-ventilated. What was I going to do at the race!

At the race, I had to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes because of my nerves. The called us into the water, I was so scared. Then the countdown began and finally the moment came--we were off. Before I knew it, we were done and we had finished, I survived! It was such an amazing accomplishment as a family. We had so much fun together and I am very proud of Delena and all her hard work to get here. She was so inspiring.

This is the breakdown of the event:

Swim - 1/2 Mile Open Water
  • Delena - 26 Minutes
  • BenJoe - 30 Minutes
Bike - 12 Miles
  • Delena - 50 Minutes
  • BenJoe - 1 Hour 1 Minute
Run - 5k
  • Delena - 33 Minutes
  • BenJoe - 32 Minutes
Total:
  • Delena - 1 Hour 57 Minutes
  • BenJoe - 2 Hours 11 Minutes

Below is a slide show of the event.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary and more...

Delena and I celebrated our three year anniversary this past weekend. We can't believe three years has gone by. That also means we have been blogging for nearly three and half years. It has been great to have you all with us, following our family.

We had a two part anniversary celebration. It started on Saturday the 21st; where Delena signed us up for full body massages. Delena and never had one before and was dying to try it. We had a great time and felt totally relaxed. We went to a great place in Layton called Beyond Spa.

After our spa treatment we headed to Salt Lake and checked into the Marriott Hotel. Shortly after we headed to our favorite Salt Lake restaurant--The Market Street Grill. After a great dinner we toke the train to a Real Salt Lake Soccer game. The game was tons of fun and they beat the best team in their region with a score of two goals to one.

We finished off our anniversary last night by running in the South Ogden Days 5k. Delena took 14th in her category and I took 13th in mine. It was tons of fun and a great way to celebrate our marriage.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dave Ramsey Update

Well Delena and I, along with the Fullers, attended Dave Ramsey LIVE today. It was an exciting seminar on taking control of your finances. Working in the financial industry, I always felt I was pretty financially savvy. Then about a year ago I saw an episode of The Dave Ramsey show on FOX Business. I was impressed on his financial ideas. For Christmas I got the book, The Total Money Make Over, by Dave Ramsey. It was a New York Times Best Seller and I quickly found out why. After finishing the book in about two days; I then passed it on to Delena for her reading pleasure. We were hooked. Finally a wealth building program that you don't have to buy anything. Just work hard, live on a budget and understand the debt is dumb! I realized all I knew about finances was wrong and I could do so much better. The exciting part is his ideas fall in line with the church!

Well here we are, nearly a year later and excited for our future of Financial Freedom. We no longer worship at the alter of the great FICO, we will never get a loan for a car again, and love meeting together once a week to discuss our budget (sometimes more). Our marriage has grown closer because of this program.

Well when we heard Dave was coming to Salt Lake City, we jumped on the chance to go. He really just re-explained all we knew from reading his books, watching his show, or downloading his podcasts. But it was great to get that extra bump. He had lots of great energy and really got us moving.

Thanks for all those who followed us on Twitter.

Check out his site at www.daveramsey.com

Dave Ramsey Total Money Make Over LIVE

Delena and I are attending the Dave Ramsey Live Event today. We drink the Dave Koolaid and love every minute of it.

I will be twittering my updates during the event and have a final post later today.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finished Sandbox


I was remembering why I wanted a sandbox. The Groves got one across from us and recently posted to their blog about it [see here]. Thank them for inspiring me. Joseph went over and played, he had a great time. I knew we needed a sandbox after that. Here is the finished box, includes a locking clip to hold it up against the fence when open.

Building a Sandbox
















After many weeks of thinking about this. I have decided to build Joseph a sandbox. He loves playing in the sand and dirt. But I didn't want to put one in our lawn or have to move it all the time. We have a small section of our back yard, near our cherry tree, that we have never been able to decide what to put there. Finally we decided a homemade sandbox should go there. Early this morning I got up and purchased the necessary materials and went to work. I am not finished as of yet. I had to pause for my wife's primary activity. But we are well on our way. We hope to finish it later today.

Here are some photos of Joseph and I working on it together. We are having tons of fun.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Official Time

Delena ran it in 1:31:22 Congrats!!

Delena Finished!

She did so amazing! She finished the St. George Triathlon.

Half way!

She just hit the half way point on the run I think she is at 15 minutes.

The Run!

Delena is on the run, she said she feels great and is doing very well.
She is just above the girls helmet. I know it is bad picture.

Delena has finished the bike!

We got a great shot of her coming in.

Transition 1

Not sure if this has turned out. But this her finishing in transition to go bike. She is doing so great!

Delena finished the swim

Now on to the bike!

Delena in the swim!

She is kicking butt

St. George Triathlon

Delena is running today in the St. George triathlon. Or I guess you could say she is swimming, biking and running. She is in line to swim right now. This is the 4th annual one here in St. George at the Aquatic Center near Santa Clara. I will keep you posted.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Greg Mann Music - Acoustic Singer/Songwriter

Greg Mann Music - Acoustic Singer/Songwriter

For sometime now I have been getting into the local music of Greg Mann. He is a singer/songwriter that is here locally and belongs to a band called Once (that is in Spanish so pronounce the "e".) He has some really great music with a very cool sound. I have been listening to him for sometime and to be honest, I didn't like the first song I heard, but then their latest album and songs have blown me away. I have been really impressed with what he is producing. I now have them permanently on my Ipod.


A few months ago Greg told me he had a video out to one of my favorite songs he sings - Share the Light. Well I ran into him again today and he asked if I had seen the video yet--I had not. So I went to his website, www.gregmannmusic.com and I really loved the video. So I want to share it with you all:




Also check out his new Spanish song Era Asi - So It Was. It is based on the Short Story by Ricardo
Palma, "La Camisa de Margarita". Which if you can read Spanish, it is worth the read it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Transformation

As many of you know, I work at Goldenwest Credit Union. A year ago I was helping with our annual 5k run. As we were making the packets for the runners, I got this crazy idea to put on a Youth Small T-shirt. Not a small, but a youth small. It took my a few minutes to get it on and we had to cut it off. But it was very funny. I had someone take a picture with my camera phone. Now one year later I am helping with the annual 5K run again and someone made mention of the shirt I had worn last year. So this year I put on the shirt again and took another picture. I decided to compare the two and was amazed at the transformation. My wife told me I should put this on our blog. So...here you go:


My 1 Year Transformation from BenJoe Markland on Vimeo.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Deseret Morning News | Mom blogs — Does posting photos online jeopardize your family?

Deseret Morning News | Mom blogs — Does posting photos online jeopardize your family?

I read this article this morning and it really struck a chord. My wife and I have talked a number of times about our blog and the blogs of our friends. We started this blog a little over three years ago to document our wedding plans and share them with our family. It has grown to a fun family website and scrapbook. But recently I read a post on another blog and saw their pictures of the family and it started my wife and talking about the safety of blogs. If you have ever gone to the Utah Sex Offender Registry, you will see there a number of registered sex offenders in our area. In addition there are cyber-predators all around looking to steal your information and identity. Our blogs provide a lot of information to these people. Often our address, school names, photos of family and children.
About a year ago a new accounts representative at a local bank helped a new customer. She was very friendly and started a great conversation with the customer. The new accounts representative told the customer about her family, where they lived, what school her daughter attended and her teacher's name, etc. Well, two weeks later she gets a call from a stranger saying they had kidnapped her daughter and wanted $1 Million dollars to return her. They said they had gone to their school, to "so-in-so's" class room and picked her up. The information was spot on, because they were that new customer she had helped weeks earlier. Fortunately all was well and the child was safe, but a friendly conversation was turned into a horrible situation.
This same information is on our BLOGS! Along with photos of our children. Now I am not trying to scare us from blogging, just the opposite. Instead I want us to just be a little careful. Maybe I won't post that picture of my son running naked through the back yard (so a child molester doesn't see him) or talk about my specific address (so he can't find him). Still I think blogging is great and fun. I love keeping in touch with those around me. Just from now on, I will be a little more careful about what I post.

Monday, March 10, 2008

At home and alive

Surprisingly I feel very well for having had surgery. My stomach is really tight and sore, kind like I had been doing crunches all week and now finally taking a break. The part that hurts is the gas! My shoulders and back are aching with pain from the gas they use. I can't lay down, cause it hurts, so standing up is easier, but it hurts. So I back and forth looking for a good, comfortable position.

Thanks to all who have called and emailed.

Leaving the Hospital

They have given me the O.K.

I am pretty sore and beat up and I'm surprised how much you use your stomach muscles for everything. The real pain comes from the gas they use to blow up your stomach. But LeeAnn our nurse is great and I am ready to go home.

Recovery

I'm now in recovery with a bunch of pain but all is well.

Dressed and Ready

I am so excited.

Surgery Day!

It is just after 6:30 am and we have arrived for surgery. I say, bring it on! I want this thing out of me. I had a bad Gallbladder attack on Saturday and I am ready. I will keep you posted on my exciting day.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

1 Year and counting!

Joseph turned 1 year old today! I can't believe how fast that first year went. Looking back to our post of his birth (see here) we remembered Joseph coming into our lives. He has been so amazing and such a blessing.

Our plan was to hold a birthday party for him, but Joseph came down with RSV on Friday and so we had to cancel his party. He still had a good day, and he is feeling much better. We bought him a toy wagon and I pulled him around in it, he had a great time.

We prepared this video to show his first year of life:


Happy Birthday Joseph from BenJoe Markland on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Hinckley - 1910-2008

For the past 10 years of my life, President Gordon B. Hinckley has been a part of it. I remember in 1998, attending my first General Conference of the LDS Church. I heard him say, "I have a confession to make...I love you." It touched me, I truly felt his love for me and this quote has been with me my whole life. My wife and I have spent the evening swaping our favorite President Hinckley stories, it has been a night of great reflection. In our home, you will be missed and will always be loved.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blogging...3 years and counting.

I got to thinking today about how long we have had this blog. So I went back to the first post and it was honestly, three years ago! I can remember my idea to blog now. I was driving home with Delena from her brother's wedding. We had a talk about getting married that day (see my first post). Right then I knew it was for real, we were going to get married and soon. I had already saved for the ring (see my second post), but I wanted a little more cash to seal the deal. I thought to myself what a great way to preserve these moments, I should keep a blog.

It turned into an amazing journal of info, people from all over the world, including Germany and England posted comments supporting our, soon to be, marriage. Our families and friends read in anticipation for the money I would propose (see this post). One group of people even toasted our proposal, in Germany, with a beer. (see this post and comments) We were also on Utahbrides.com (see this post) the TV show, because of our blog and so much more.

Thanks for a great three years, but really, it is all because of Delena. She is the reason this all began and the reason I am so happy in life. I will never forget the day we met and my life changed for ever (see this post). Thank You my dear, you are the best and I love you.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Knee Surgery

I have had a few people now ask about my knee surgery. So here are a couple random photos of me in the hospital. They thought I had a torn meniscus, but when the scoped the knee the found only fluid. However, I would have had the scope done anyways. These photos are of me in the operating room waiting for the scope. Delena took great care of me. I have recovered well.

Results are in!

8:33 AM Update:

The Doctor just came in and said I have Gal Stones and need my Gal Bladder removed. I will be going home now and tomorrow I will see a surgeon to have my Gal Bladder removed. Man! I just had me knee scoped last week.

My Poor Body

8:00 am update.

I got some sleep but every time my pulse dropped the stupid alarm would go off and I would wake up. Now after the ultrasound I have started to feel some pain again.

Well I am just waiting for the doctor to return.

Ultrasound Room

7:42 AM Update:

Just had the ultrasound done, No word yet. I should have gotten a DVD like when Joseph was born.

Radiology

7 am update:

A little kid next to me just went up for some x-rays that could be a good sign for me.

The lady next to me keeps complaining and has decided just leave, I am finw with that.

I am feeling much better now I hope it is not just the drugs though.

I am in the E.R. Ouch!

About 4 am I woke up with severe pain in my stomach and back. I couldn't get it to go away so I woke up Delena. Result--I am in the E.R. Now. We are waiting for an Ultra Sound so I sent Delena home and thought I would email the blog to record this amazing moment. I will probably post throught my ordeal.

They think it could be my gal bladder, they have ruled out Kidney stones. But the radiology people don't get in until 7 am so I have to wait.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The 2nd Annual New Years Eve Gala

For the past two years we have gotten together with the Fuller's for New Years Eve. This year we decided to move it up a notch. We rented tuxes and put on dresses and had a super elegant dinner. It was tons of fun! There was a great three course dinner, appetizers, sparkling cider, dancing, photos, games and of course a new years kiss from our loved ones. The Eddy's showed us all up on Guitar Hero and we had tons of fun. Enjoy our slide show.