August 15, 2005



Dear Family,


Boy this deadline rolls around pretty fast.  It has been great to see what everyone has been up to, and I’ve been able to easily go back and read letters whenever the mood strikes me and I’m near a computer.  My hearty congratulations go to Chuck and Lorna for helping us so effectively keep a wonderful tradition.  We really appreciate the time that it takes to keep us all on-line and on track!


Well, as to what’s going on here:  Scott has been traveling an awful lot again.  He has been to London and Australia in the last month.  Two weeks ago, he was in Orlando, Last week, he joined his family for our San Francisco Vacation,  and next week, he’s going to London.  I’m not sure where he’s off to after that.  He’s also been doing some expert witness work for a law firm in New Orleans, and a law firm in Minnesota.     This summer has been busy with his church calling too.  He was involved in Youth Conference, which was at the Rice Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah, and the last day was the day of Celebration, which was a wonderful culminating experience.  He also attended girls camp for a few days and I joined him the final evening when the bishopric comes up for a special dinner/testimony meeting.  It was fun to be there with Lauren.  Then, Scott and Landon went to Scout camp this past weekend for a couple of days.  He’s been representing the bishopric at all of the youth activities this summer, but loves being with the kids.  Some of them even think he’s funny, if you can imagine that, and still give him a courtesy laugh when he shines the flashlight in his mouth and says he wants a “light snack.”  


My work has been getting me more and more involved this summer.  Me and two of my partners at work are trying to buy a  building, rather than signing up for another several year lease on the place we’ve been for 10 years.  We’ve been hunting down buildings since March, and have finally found one, made an offer that was accepted, and we’re going through all the procedures that it takes to get it approved.  What a big job!  The building is about 10,000 ft. sq. and we will use about two-thirds of it; the balance will be used by two other tenants.  So, if all goes well, I’ll be a landlord by October.  I’ve been busy working on new projects like a DVD showing how to install our product, and a new printed installation manual.  I also got Ross roped into helping us with our Catalog—bless his heart!  I’m now serving as the Primary Chorister, and we’re busily getting ready for our September 25th program.  The kids are so cute…and are enthusiastic about everything we do.  I’m teaching them to play “I Will Follow God’s Plan” on the pipe chimes, and they love that.  Yesterday, I had Brother Gwilliam come in to visit, and when we started singing, I noticed he had on an ugly tie, so I had him come to the front, and each song the kids sang loudly, I used his tie as a singing thermometer, and cut off a little piece of his tie, bit by bit.  The kids thought this was great fun, and all of them wanted a piece of the tie to go show their moms what that crazy Sister Gwilliam was up to.  Of course, Scott went to Priesthood with a stub of a tie, and had to explain what happened to him---the Bishop didn’t realize I had provided Scott with the ugly tie, so he was totally freaked out, glad that his brand new tie wasn’t the victim that week.  Anyway, we had fun with it. 


Jim took summer classes on the internet:  Music Theory (which he excelled at and wrote some amazing tunes), and Psychology (which he also excelled at and now feels inclined to analyze each one of us).  He just finished finals last week.  He’s also been working in the Neuroprosthetic lab doing his senior project, and designed a circuitry that will be used to test amputee patients for prosthetic limbs.   He’s been dating several different girls from his singles ward, but none exclusively.  He’s actually also gone out a couple of times with Erin Gardner, who was Tyler’s Madrigal partner.   He’s been keeping in touch with Sister Kendall, a missionary serving in Liberty jail with Tyler’s Sister Aston,  and always writes a reply to her immediately upon receiving her letters.  He is the narrator of a special presentation on Joseph Smith that his singles ward choir is performing last night and tonight.  We are planning to go tonight to see it.   One of the fun dates he did recently was setting up a projector by the swimming pool, and he made a big 8 x 10 foot screen.  He projected the movie “Jaws” up on the screen while people floated in the pool—it was pretty cool.


Tyler is going strong, but we’re amazed that he has less than four  months to go.  He seems to love the area where he is at right now, and loves his companion.  He is in the area where the Iguazu (sp?) falls is located, and recently traveled to see them with his new Mission President, Pres. Shakespear.  His letters are always fun and upbeat, and we are so grateful for the blessings we are receiving as a family by his service.  Please note that Tyler is able to receive your letters by email (he just can’t reply via email), and you can write him at  or at  We appreciate all of you that have sent a brief note off to him occasionally—I know he appreciates it.  Tyler’s official release date is December 7th, and he has elected not to have us come and pick him up.


Landon just completed private drivers ed.  He is now at the point where he needs to drive 40 hours with either Scott or I, and then he is scheduled to take the driving test the first week in September.  Hard to believe he’ll be sixteen.  Scott let him drive up the windy canyon to scout camp last Thursday.  When I asked how he did, Scott said, “I don’t know….I was asleep most of the way.”  Hmmmm.   Landon has been working for papa all summer, and his place has never looked better—papa and nana are very complimentary about the work he does.  Landon took English and P.E. this summer by completing some packets, which was less challenging than last summer’s internet courses.  Another year of early morning seminary, and he has almost made up all of his missed year.   Landon is scheduled to get his wisdom teeth out tomorrow, so hopefully he’ll be healed in time for school.  He is registered to take either 3 or 4 ap classes in his Jr. year, so I think he’ll be a busy young lad.  At youth conference, a counselor in our stake presidency and his wife were talking about one of the classes on Joseph Smith, noting that many of the youth at Y.C. were the same age as Joseph when he had the first vision.  They were trying to think of any young man in our stake that they felt had the spiritual depth and maturity to receive that type of revelation, and both of them simultaneously said, “Landon Gwilliam!”   They both told Scott this story shortly thereafter.  It’s a nice compliment to him, isn’t it?   Landon and Lauren really gained a great testimony of the Prophet Joseph during youth conference.


Lauren started out her summer by going to EFY, then had youth conference, which she loved, and then attended girls camp.  She and her cousin Hailey were given a special assignment to teach the ward and stake about our assigned “Holy Place” which was Kirtland, OH.  Lauren and Hailey made huge replicas of several of the buildings in Kirtland, painted them and put on shingles and eaves, etc.  An easy-up sunshade covered with a white sheet became the temple.  Then, we bought 150 toy pieces of china from a tea set, that the girls put in bags with a poem for each girl in the stake.  The poem talked about the sacrifices that the saints had to make to build the temple, including giving up their china to make the mortar.  It was really a sweet poem, and made a cute handout to remind all the girls about how much others have given to build the kingdom.  Another really fun thing they did was for an assignment our ward had to do a skit about “Live Ordinances.”  We helped them made a little net bridal veil for all 30 girls and leaders in our ward, and then I re-wrote the words to “Goin’ to the Chapel” so that the song they sang was…”Goin to the temple, and we’re gonna get married…”   etc.  It was really cute.   Lauren worked for me at Heatizon a couple days a week this summer entering all of our customers into a data base.  She was so excited to come to work at a “real office” and got up early to fix her hair and dress in a cute outfit.  She got very good, and very fast at her work.    She’s been so good about reading her scriptures, and has also been studying about the signs of the times. 


Our family went to Jackson Hole in July with the Savage side (about 50 of us), and we had a great vacation there for a few days.  We just returned from a week in San Francisco, where we saw “Wicked,” the wonderful musical that I saw in New York and came home and bought tickets to take everybody to see it in SF.  It is absolutely darling, with really fun music that a sweet, wholesome plot that makes you re-evaluate what is really wicked and what is good.  (It’s like a prequel to the Wizard of Oz, and you find out what made the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Good Witch of the North the way they were…so cute!)  We also did Alcatraz, China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Muir Woods, Exploratorium etc.  We came home via Lake Tahoe and Virginia City, which were beautiful places to see.  We’re glad to be back!


We hope everyone is well, and we’re looking forward to the next round of letters.  And….I hope Chuck notices that this letter did make it before my midnight deadline.