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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Fun

As usual, Christmas was a blast. The kids were so excited they were bursting at the seams, and once again, they may have gotten a little too much. In fact, we still have a couple presents that we decided not to give them. We were surprised at how much we had purchased for them. I think shopping early just meant we had more time to buy, buy, buy.

We always go home for Christmas since both of our parents still live in Parowan, which makes it fun to carry out some Christmas traditions. We always do the Nativity scene with Tana's family, the kids were fabulous sheep. My mom always does an amazing Christmas dinner, this year it was after Christmas in order to match everyone's schedules. It was fun to have every grandchild on my family's side all together. Which has been a challenge over the last couple years because two of my nephews were in the hospital multiple days last year, one of them was still very young during the RSV season and two of them live in Texas but this year we were all healthy and present. What a good time.

Last year we kind of randomly built a mini bobsled track in my parents yard and had so much fun doing it that this year we got straight to it. Gratefully we had a very white Christmas to make it even more fun. The kids had tons of fun sledding. My son was so into it that he nearly got frostbite on his cheeks. Luckily I noticed the white circles and we went inside just in time. Here is a video of our little sledding track. It's getting icier as I type.

All the new snow encouraged the wildlife to come into town every evening so we saw lots of deer. When I came home late one night there were three rabbits in the front yard. It's fun to go to the small town every once in a while and remember how relaxed the community is, how close to nature they are and to make up your own fun because there aren't endless amounts of people and entertainment venues all around.

The Lifestyle of the Healthy, Wealthy and Happy.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Home For Christmas.

It's that time of year. CHRISTMAAAAAAS! Since my wife and I are from the same town, it's an easy decision to make when making our Christmas plans. It's such a fun time of the year when everyone is taking breaks from work and giving gifts. Last year we built a mini bobsled track at my parents house so this year we might have to make it all the way up the mountain. Especially since we have some fresh snow. I'm feeling good about the track potential.

Last year the only two sleds we had were a big ice fishing sled normally used to pull fishing gear, the kids could fit all the way inside it. My son could lay flat and you couldn't even see him, so he was bombing down the mountain in that one, but the bobsled was a tiny saucer. It worked pretty good for the kiddos, but we adults could barely fold ourselves up small enough to give it ago. It made for a lot of fun though. It was more of a competition, who could make it the farthest down the track rather than who was the fastest.

It's always fun to get out of the city and back to the small town where we can ride ATVs, go sledding across the street and see wildlife in our yards. Not to mention the endless amounts of goodies that all the long time friends and family bring by. It's fun to be in a tight nit community during the Christmas Holiday. I can't wait for my mom's Christmas Eve dinner. I think I like it more than Thanksgiving. It's a little nicer, healthier and has some Christmas tradition food items that I luuuuuuuuuuuuuv.

I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas. Thank you all for following me and for adding to my community. I appreciate you all and hope we can continue to create positive influence throughout the world for many Christmases to come. Merry Christmas.

The Lifestyle Of The Healthy, Wealthy And Happy.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Jill's Wedding

Congratulations Jill and Paul. We are happy for you guys. You're a great couple. I honored to be one of the witnesses and we had a ton of fun at the reception. Great party, wonderful food and it's always nice to get our family together for some fun conversation. Best of wishes to you both.

The Lifestyle Of The Healthy, Wealthy And Happy!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Cookies

I made Christmas cookies with the kids. We didn't have any butter so we put in half as much coconut oil as required butter and used about an egg and a half when it only called for one and it turned out ok. We cut used Christmas cutouts and made a couple batches of Christmas cookies. They were both eating the dough so fast I thought they were both going to be sick before the dough even make it to the oven.

We had a ton of fun today, I took the day off of work and since my wife's sister is getting married tomorrow we had lots of family over to play in the snow and to fight like ninjas. These are the good days. Great people, family time, relaxation and play, play, play. Not to mention I'm going to Start Wars tonight at 10:00.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thanksgiving Point Christmas

We had fun at Thanksgiving Point last night. They have reindeer, ice sculptures, home made Christmas goodies and the lights drive. Oh, and Elsa from Frozen was there to so we got a pic of the kids with her. We met some family and the kids had fun in the Dinosaur Museum, before we got the hot chocolate and donuts and went on the lights drive. Thanksgiving point does a great job with all of their holiday season entertainment. Cornbelly's is great if you've never done that. Take some time to enjoy the Christmas experience. It's such a fun time of year when people go above and beyond to make this season special. Join in and make someone's day. Happy Holidays!

The Lifestyle Of The Healthy Wealthy And Happy!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Take Control Of Your Destiny Or Someone Else Will

I was listening to a talk on my drive home when I heard the speaker make a statement along the lines of "Take control of your destiny or someone else will." and isn't that the truth. People love to have input and influence in other people's lives and the sad part is, it's not always for the positive. As you study familial and societal cultures you'll see patterns that show, we as humans like to stick with what we are familiar with not necessarily what is best for us, and one way we make that happen is by controlling certain things around us, including the way we talk to people, the types of communication often including familiar manipulation and passive aggressiveness, or self-savatage. The point of this backstory is to help you understand that when you take control of your life and begin the changing process, the people around you are going to see it and more importantly feel it. You won't be able to control nor predict what they will do in response and they might be frustrated that they can't control you.

It's a scary thought to think that even the people close to you might struggle with your new life of purpose and pursuit of bigger dreams. Fear is almost always the reason most people don't even try to chase their dreams and goals. Fear of the unknown keeps people in their comfort zone, and the sad thing is, the unknown usually isn't nearly as bad as our brains make it out to be. Once you step through that fear and take the first few steps into the dark, you find you're better at navigating it than you thought and the challenges that come aren't as big and bad as your imagination.

Successful people frequently talk about risk takers and people who are unafraid to fail, these are the ones who win. Being afraid to fail is a symptom of shame. I've been reading as much Brene Brown material as possible lately. Brene has a wealth of knowledge around shame, and many of the symptoms we struggle with as a result. Everybody has shame in one way or another, and we all feel inadequate in many different areas of our lives, but for whatever reason, some people have come to the realization that failing is a part of life and it doesn't determine their value, they see failure as an opportunity for learning and growth. That is the attitude of successful people. They can achieve their goals and dreams because they are willing to walk through the mud between where they are right now and where they want to be.

The Lifestyle of The Healthy, Wealthy and Happy!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

More Work On The Kitchen

After far too many days of living in madness we finally finished the section of the floor where the wall previously sat, textured and painted the pantry remodel, and have started putting some shelves in so it's now a kinda functional, and we can put things away again. It has been awful living with the fridge in the middle of the floor and and all our food and appliances in baskets and on the counter. And the sheet rock dust never ends. I feel like we clean it up every day and yet the next day there is more. Here is a little view of the exterior progression.

One thing I did to save a little struggle was I only cut wholes in one side of the wall. I pulled the wires out of the floor and ceiling and cut the entire wall off. Then slid it over and rebuilt the needed parts. So the other side of the wall only needed mop boards and to be attached and refinished to the perpendicular wall.

The Lifestyle of The Healthy, Wealthy, and Happy!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Proactive vs Reactive Lifestyle

Live life on your own terms in conjunction with the people around you. Many people live in a state of constant reaction to all the real as well as perceived demands of the universe around them. The phone is ringing again and I have to answer it. Company is coming over and the dishes aren’t perfect. Why aren’t the pillows in their proper places? The service board at church had a project that nobody took so I had to. Sally wants my opinion for her wedding dress. Ryan wants me come golfing this evening… The list could go on forever, and not all of the things on the list are unimportant, but they probably aren’t the most important things you could be doing.

You’ve probably read my article about priorities. You must have enough self-awareness to understand which types of activities bring you the most joy and satisfaction, which things are the most important over the long term, and how you are going to make them top priority every day. Living a life in the reactionary phase brings endless chaos, frustration and dissatisfaction. Our goals ought to include habits to live a life in the proactive phase so we can live life on our own terms. It doesn't mean we no longer react and respond to other people, or serve and try to accommodate the needs of other people. It means we prioritize tasks and goals. We put the first things first as Steven R Covey says. We spend the majority of our time on important things not just urgent things.

As we spend more time on the things that are truly important to us. We find fewer things become urgent because we are preparing for the coming days and weeks by planning out and giving priority to specific pieces of our lives. People are generally a bit stingy with their money and generously giving of their time, but time is the one resource with which they should be most frugal because time is limited, and if you do not use your time effectively achieving joy you will never have another chance. But there lies the difficulty of choice, because some of the greatest joy comes from serving and connecting with other people. However, it is the type of activity and quality of connection that matter. Do not give of your time to less desired and under appreciated things. Put your whole heart and soul into the best things. The best things generally don’t just pop up out of nowhere. We can foresee many of the coming needs for ourselves and for people around us. We can plan how we want to participate and when.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Lights

After having dinner with the fam Tana went to class at UVU and I took the kids on a drive looking at Christmas lights. I love the houses that go all out. We could see these trees lighting the hill over the neighborhood housetops so we found our way to it. What a beautiful yard and cool lights. We had a good time listening to Christmas music and being weirdos how we do.

The Lifestyle of The Healthy, Wealthy and Happy!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Brene Brown's List For Wholehearted Living.

There are so many reasons for each of us to be living with a certain amount of shame in various areas of our lives expressing itself in different ways, and that's unfortunate. Unfortunate because shame is what keeps us from living life to it's fullest, shame keeps us from connecting as deeply as we might without it. Shame tells us to hide certain aspects of our lives from the rest of the world and then transforms into ugly and undesirable things. Brene Brown has given many talks and written several books and articles on only a few topics including: shame, vulnerability, empathy, daring greatly and rising strong. She is a social worker and researcher who has studied these topics for more than 10 years. During her research she compiled a list of attributes that the wholehearted live by versus those who do not.

Guide for Wholehearted Living By Brene Brown
1. Cultivating authenticity: Letting go of what people think.
2. Cultivating self-compassion: Letting go of perfectionism.
3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: Letting go of numbing and powerlessness.
4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: Letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark.
5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: Letting go of the need for certainty.
6. Cultivating creativity: Letting go of comparison.
7. Cultivating play and rest: Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.
8. Cultivating calm and stillness: Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle.

Brene claims that when she put these things on paper she was able to see that she was not living a wholehearted life. She was loved control. She was not vulnerable, she withheld much of her creativity and felt pressure to be better or perfect. It was a life changing experience for her and when she let all of that go, she experienced some extremely difficult emotional challenges but came out on the other side, happier, more connected and with a huge amount of influence on the world. Her talks have been seen and heard by millions and her books are all New York Times best sellers.

Try it for yourself. I've said it many times in my videos and articles that self awareness is difficult to obtain. It took Brene years to discover some of these attributes in herself and she works in the field, so don't just read the list and say you're good at most of them. Think about it, talk with loved ones about it and identify the ways you use shame as a shield. Then "dare greatly" and go live with passion and wholeheartedness.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Patching the Floor

After sliding the wall over in our kitchen and rebuilding the pantry, I had some patchwork to do on the hardwood floor. It's extremely difficult to match the color of the original floor but I think it's close enough that you won't notice if you're not looking for it. It doesn't have the poly on it yet but what do you think? Good enough? I used to do stone masonry working for my uncle. He hates the phrase "Good enough." It's the lazy mans way out, all these years later I can't say it without hearing him make fun of it. I hate the staircase look but I don't have all the tools I need so that's about as good as it's going to get.
Bronson Wilks

How to Invest Like Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

As one of the all-time great investors of the world, Warren Buffett is someone we should pay attention to. Isn’t it interesting that Warren Buffett and his business partner Charlie Munger, have not only beat the market average for years but have totally crushed it? And they’ve done it with simple businesses. Not necessarily easy businesses but simple and understandable.

In a question and answer session at the University of Nebraska Warren Buffett talked about the types of businesses he buys. He only buys businesses that are simple enough to understand well, and have some type of mote around their product. For example, it is easy to understand the production and sales of Coke, but it would be incredibly difficult for another cola company to take away the business and branding that Coke has already established. Coke has survived the Great Depression and multiple wars, yet it still sells millions of bottles every single day of the year. We can pretty much predict that Coke will still be selling the same or better all over the world ten years from now.

The way Warren and Charlie approach investing is they are buying great businesses for the long run. Warren said “I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for ten years.” – Warren Buffett

If you’re not comfortable owning a stock for many years without being able to watch its price changes and receive social feedback about it, it’s not the right company. Charlie said “The big money is not in the buying and selling … but in the waiting.” Many times the solid companies that don’t have rapid changes in price are fairly priced. You may not get a great deal on it but if it really is a great company, with a mote around it and the future secure you may be in the money.

“Price is what you pay; value is what you get. Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” – Warren Buffett

“A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.” – Charlie Munger Read full article...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Test Driving

I test drove a new Dodge truck. I must say it was a nice ride. It had some serious power, leather everything, storage boxes hidden in the floor, double glove box, heated seats and steering wheel, blue tooth, a 115 plug outlet for charging laptops or whatever other electronic device you bring along. It was a V8 but the motor automatically shuts down two cylinders at a time to get better gas mileage on the freeway. The back seat had more than enough room for a tall feller like myself. It seats six people comfortably. I probably don't "need" a truck right now but I wouldn't mind one.
Visit my website Bronson Wilks

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Home Remodel Project.

As many of you know Tana and I bought a house one year ago. We've been slowly remodeling as we go. The latest project was to expand the kitchen and pantry to give us more storage and more space between the fridge and the counter. I literally cut my pantry in half and expanded it. I pulled all the electrical and water lines out then cut the wall off the floor, the ceiling and the perpendicular wall. I then slid the entire wall over about two feet. I framed in the extra two feet, I moved the pantry door on an angle like most corner pantries you've seen and I installed some outlets and a light in the pantry. I rewired all the electrical and water and sheet rocked it in. I also switched out the two big fan lights for eight can lights in the kitchen and dining room. Today I've been sanding and texturing. It's about ready to paint and rebuild the shelves.

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