Monday, September 30, 2013

"Serenity Now!"

-Mr Kastanza on Seinfeld. As I age I find that I am more irritable and that annoys me. I want to be improving in life and not digressing.I mumbled this one Friday at Neuroworx while getting harnessed for the Locomat. I forgot that Mike and Justin, my two quote quizzing therapists were not there, so I just got a bunch of questioning looks, instead of smiles and nods with, 'good one' remarks.
In my Elders Quorum, the lesson was on pornography. I missed it, but had my friend and teacher of the lesson Ryan Castro give me his notes.As I read through them the phrase that kept jumping out at me was, "We have to get tec-savy, as toe-curling as it seems, we are the first generation that will have to talk to it's children about pornography." Yikes,Serenity Now!Indeed.It is everywhere and it is up to us as parents to protect our kids. here's the link to his notes:

Saturday, September 28, 2013


If there is one thing that I wish for my kids, it is that they will be safe, not only physically, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally as well,or holistically in other words.I know that life is not fair, something I am constantly reminding my Colester, when he slumps his head with his shoulders and mumbles, "datnoair!!"
My twin brother Matthew made the observation that Our Heavenly Father must be hoping for us to "be careful" as we in our very limited capacities as earthly fathers tell our kids over and over to do the same.

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Music Mind Motivational Playlist

When I had Ot(Occupational therapy) coming to my home for a few months after the accident, my therapist Marc asked me to come up with a music playlist that would help motivate me while I was relearning things. I am committed to not die with the music still in me. Here's some of where I find my motivation:
1.You got to admit it's getting better, better all the time(?)
2. Got my wings clipped, yes I'm grounded, I'm surrounded by all this pavement. . . (John Mayor)
3. I am the man that you tease in the tavern, I am the one you left on the run. . . .(Peter Brienholt)
I wish that I could walk on a cloud . . .(BNL)
4. I'm not crazy, I'm just alittle unwell, I know right now you can't tell. . . . (?)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

resistance training

is part of life and having an "opposition in all things." I saw a glimpse of a news story on a man who was diagnosed with MS and is a triathlete,he got to go to Hawaii and compete in the Ironman competition. on the blip that I saw he was asked what he tells people who say that running a marathon is impossible, "That it is all mental, you can do anything you believe that you can."
My Bishop reminded me that, "We are human becomings not human beings,"I laughed and told him that that had blog post written all over it. He smiled and laughed and said that he was sure that he had read it somewhere. For now, you are my source my friend, Bishop Hanson.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Learning Curve

I experience these all the time and wanted to share my latest with therapy: When I first started to see my therapist Dr. Jeff Robinson, I hated it and told him that it was because I had to admit to him that I had a problem that I needed help solving and could not do it by myself.Finally, years later, mind you, yes- I am that stubborn, I realized that I missed seeing him and getting the maintenance that I need to keep going. Something about having to relearn to walk and having a second chance at life has helped immensely to facilitate this learning curve in my own thinking. I do not dare to suggest that this extreme and life changing type of event has to happen to everyone to be able to experience learning curves. I hope that you are more teachable than I am.
Regardless,your life therapy is tailored for you as mine is for me by a loving Heavenly Father who knows the curves we need in our life to get back to be with Him again.
Two other aha moments with Dr. Robinson:
1.Life can take a turn for the worst, if you do not guard yourself from, "seemingly irrelevant decisions. 2."We all have enough pain in our lives to maintain some sort of addiction of one kind or another. In my moments of relapsing into self-pity I have to remind myself that, "Just because you are hurt, doesn't mean that you are broken."(Disney's A Dolphin's Tale)"and that I don't have a monopoly on pain.
At my sister-in-laws wedding I saw a wall decoration with the saying on it of,"Life is short, forgive quickly,kiss slowly,love truly,smile often. I will have to work on all of these suggestions,but believe that they are all important in life. I hope to learn and incorporate theses into my life.
One closing thought on learning from 'The Gospel of Second Chances,' "We think we know a great deal, because we are ignorant of what remains to be learnt" -John Newton
So, here's to continual learning, I love school and if I could afford it would always be enrolled and taking a class or two. Something about being a geek and reading over 5 books at one time. "Life is shot. . . Live it and read/learn

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Compensating Curtis

I like CHAMPION Curtis better, but you take the bad with the good. Jan Blck, the lead PT at Neuroworx introduces me to the student interns with this title and warning to watch me closely. It's all good I get her back by asking those who get the priviledge to work with me to use 'please' and 'thank you.' that is more of a touche than my touche post.oh, well, I live and learn -hopefully

Monday, September 23, 2013


We watched Disney's A Dolphin's Tale for the past week, Abby's favorite animal is a dolphin. She has the habit of assigning out parts to everyone, no matter what show we are watching, so it was no surprise that she chose to be 'Hazel,' Max was quick to speak up and say that he was 'Sawyer,' I was expecting to be assigned the part of 'Winter'
the dolphin or Sawyer's cousin who does not have the full use of one of his legs, To my chagrin my Colemister looked at me and shouted, "Daddy, you Roofus!" (Roofus is the silly pelican that steals the fish that is suppose to be for Winter and waddles as pelicans to to walk)at first, I was sad and then he laughed and shook his head and said in a big smile, "NO! I Roofus!"

Amyers told me that her Jaylee cannot wait to come and go swimming in "Grandpa Mike's pool"
My niece runs and jumps into the pool, yelling, "Candyball!" Instead of Cannonball.
Coleman swam by himself with floaties on

My lawn still looking the best it ever has because I am not taking care of it.

Jan Black yelling at me at Neuroworx that, "You're not a flamingo Curtis!"

Shanena coming back from El Salvador, and me asking her how Ecuador was. Reminds me of the time that I was doing therapy there at Neuroworx and was on the treadmill walking and was taking a break sitting on a folding chair on the treadmill, when she turned the treadmill on, another therapist caught me and turned it off.

A student PT at Neuroworx, Amy was assigned to do my evaluation, since our insurance changed with Lex's work. She had me in the exam room on the smallest table/mat that they have there. I almost fell of it when she asked me to flip over. We laughed when both Matt and Jan came in to check on how the evaluation was going, saying, 'well, at least I didn't fall off the mat, could you imagine the paperwork that would go with that?!'

I was with Amy again, poor lady this Tuesday and kept her busy asking me 'please,' when she wanted me to do something and 'thank you,' when I did. She played along and even did it in Spanish. I am excited to continue to work with her. She is also a fellow Psychology undergrad holder and humors me by talking about psych terms and jokes with me

I am looking for t-shirts that have 'CHAMPION' written on them in my quest I naturally went to the Champion clothing website and laughed when I found out that their claim to fame is:"inventors of the sport bra."I am now laughing as I type this, thinking about the google search hits this blog is going to get now. So if you are reading this because my blog was brought up in your google search for a "Sport's Bra," the joke is on you!

I want to start a bumper-sticker campaign with my friend Joe Fernandez with "My home teacher is better than yours."

I stopped by my CHAMP of a little sister's 3rd grade classroom to see her in her element as a teacher and read a book to her kids, I mentioned to my Pa how great it was to see her doing what she loved and it seemed so natural to see her teaching them. He smiled and shock his head saying, "I don't know Curtis, It seems to me that she still needs to be in school and not teaching." I laughed with my Pa having a hard time letting go of his last little girl. I am having the same hard tim watching my kids grow up.My other sister, My Amers is in town for Lacers wedding and she could not help noticing how big our
Colester is.

My Pa takes me to Neuroworx on Fridays and plays therapist. He had me going up and down the stairs a stair at a time, stopped me with a genormous smile on his face and a tear in his eye at how excited he was for me to check with my therapists to come and see me to make sure that he was not messing them or me up.Love you my Pa. thank you for being my cheer section/therapist/coach, but most of all thank you for being my Pa.

Jan Black could not wait to share with me this joke;"What is the difference between a terrorist and a therapist?You can negotiate with a terrorist."

While we were on our way to Bear Lake, Coleman looked out the window and saw some cows in the distance and announced, "I see kitties!"

I dropped my pole at the place we were staying at in Bear Lake. My sister-in-law's best friend Jen Fauset saw my plight and helped me out by picking it up for me. I laugh and told her that I dropped it while I was turning off the lights and the TV. I try to save the world, but cannot pick up my hiking pole when I drop it. I choose to focus on what I can do.She laughed with me and commented on my great attitude. I told her that I did not have much choice, it was either that or go crazy.

Maxwell and Abby went with Lex and I to Tarzan at The Hale Center Theater. It was fun to see their excitement. Max ended up sitting with Lex, he was afraid of the leopard, and Abby sat with me, she was embarrassed when Jain's dress got caught on something and got sad when Tarzan said goodbye.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Plagues of our time

I signed up to help with nursery in our ward this past month because one of my good friends Ryan Castro promised to be there. I could not resist the opportunity to get out of my house and spend some time with him, even if it was while wrangling a rambunctious group of kiddos. I was happy to have the companionship of other great brethren in my ward: Joe Fernandez, John Thurston, and Mason Bates. You guys are awesome.
Anywho, Ryan and I were chatting about his desire to serve on Jury-duty, which lead to talking about our times and how scary things are. I mentioned how we may be expecting plagues like the Biblical ones, such as locus, but our plagues are here, like the plague of complacency. He added the plague of pornography. I said of self love and materialism.I must be the one to escape these by not letting myself go the way of the world, but being peculiar with my values and beliefs in a right and wrong.
There is the plague of freedom with no strings attached, in 'A Touch of Wonder' the chapter "Freedom, the double edged Sword" covers this topic by explaining that other generations had the task of securing freedom, ours is the harder task to live with it. Before reading the explanation in the book I would have disagreed, take a look and see what you think.
My Mission President Call, told us that people fall away from their beliefs because of three things, I believe these sum up the plagues of our day:
3, money

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Is what is desired for us to become from our Father in Heaven, see Mosiah 3:19 in The Book of Mormon. I have a cousin who went to Paraguay on a mission and got sick and had to come home early. The same thing happened to my sister-in-law's new husband.This does not make them failures.
Lex came home the other day running from work, back to work, after making dinner for us and picking up a costume for a performance by Abby. She stood in the kitchen and broke down, sobbing that she feels like she is failing. I wanted to hold her, but felt that I was failing in that regard as in almost all areas of my life right now. All I could do is tell her that I loved her and that she was not failing in my book.I know how that feels and that I was sorry.I love you too, Trever and Blake. We did not come here to fail and none of us are, myself included.

Friday, September 20, 2013

J Golden Kimball's thoughts on marriage

I have a friend in my ward that shares the last pew with me and my family. Elise Christensen started exchanging books with me about a year or so ago and I love it,the latest one was 'The Golden Legacy' about J. Golden Kimball. With all of the weddings in my family this past month,2 to be exact, My mother-in-law suggested that I share this found in 'The Golden Legacy, A Folk History of J. Golden Kimball:
. "When J. Golden had been married only a few years, he filled a speaking engagement one spring to a large group of young men and women of he Mutual Improvement Association. Many of the group were together on dates, he could easily see. "This is June, the mating season," he said, "Now some of you are thinking about getting hitched, and you think you have found an angel. Well, I want to warn you not to expect too damn much of each other and then maybe you won't be disappointed. When I got married, I thought that I married an angel. And many a times since, I wish to Hell I had."
We laugh and said that we should have had this copied and printed out for everyone at the weddings, at the very least for the newly weds.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Return with honor :Mission memoirs #3

In the Coviefe with Elder Steel I remember one morning I counted over 50 flea bites all over my body and going on splits with our zone leader who taught me that it was part of my personalized plan of salvation to serve in this area. It made me look at my life's mission differently, I signed up for this and even rejoiced to come, challenges and all.It was a continual reminder to work as hard as I could. I will never forget meeting Miguel Elizalde, he had the biggest smile on his face and spoke to us in English, saying, "I know who you are, come on in Elders!" He had seen the missionaries while he had visited family in Florida. It was a privilege to teach him. He ended up teaching us about the principle of tithing, telling us that he had a conversation with a taxi driver about how all the 'Mormons want is 10% of your money.' He said that got him thinking about the word, so he looked it up in the index of the Book of Mormon and read all the scriptures listed. He smiled and told us of how he went back to the taxi driver and showed him all the scriptures in the Bible about tithing!His one doubt or challenge with the Gospel was that he loved to go paraglide on his day off, which was Sunday, when we taught him about the importance of the Sabbath Day, he shrugged his shoulders and said,"I will just find another day to go." They don't come more golden than you Miguel. He was just baptised in time to serve a mission himself to Santiago.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I am a geek, no,not the cool kind

like on The Big Bang Theory.I had to laugh at myself when my mother-in-law came and picked up my Colester so that I could rest up and get feeling well. What did I do? I should have gone right upstairs and napped, but instead I tried to catch up on my reading (I have lost count how many I am currently reading, I think only 5 books?) and now am blogging away.
Lex talks about how the cool kids at her school are geeks, but they are confident and caring about others. She also talks about their trainings and lunch breaks and how the other mentors are really smart in their fields of expertise. Lex you are the cool kid geek.
My twin bro got me a Bazinga t-shirt with the word on front and a yellow cape velcroed to the back. To Maxwell and Coleman, I am a cool superhero when I wear it to family functions. I have yet to brave it and wear it to therapy or in public, but it is a matter of "when," not "if."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Teeth are Tools

Was my twin bro's response to my What NOT to do With Your Teeth post.I had a few more:
1.Put on a seat belt.
2. Lace your shoes.
3. Put together/take apart legos.

Monday, September 16, 2013

unplug. . . to recharge

In a world smaller and more connected than ever. I see more people confused by the flood of distractions. I myself have found it not only helpful, but health promoting to go on a Amish-like techno fast to be able to connect with peace of mind and have quiet time for the soul so to speak. I was reminded of this need a few months ago when I went to get my haircut at my Grandma's house and was told to put my phone away and that their friend has their grandchildren and kids leave their phones in a basket by the door.
I talked with my new brother-in-law Blake Marshall about this and wasn't surprised to learn from him, he had researched the topic for a public speaking class, that a study done at Stanford found that students who took ten minutes a day to sit without any 'distractions' on, scored higher on standardized testing than those who did not.
So, go ahead and get bored by doing nothing and giving your mind a break from all the noise in the world. It is on me. I will follow my own advice and take down the google ads on here. Deal? From What About Bob? "Go on vacation" from the modern world.
Solitude is waiting, no it is not a text away, leave your phone too.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Temple Twist

not to be confused with a twisted temple. My sister Lacer gets married in the Salt Lake LDS temple today,and I wanted to share what I am still learning.I have always thought that temples were for us to become closer to our Heavenly Father, sanctuaries for us, in The God Who Weeps, the authors explain how a temple is a sanctuary for Him, not us, to protect Him from the sufferings and misery in the world, "It is not their wickedness, but their 'misery'not their disobedience, but their 'suffering'that elicit the God of Heaven's tears"I love the image of a loving God who needs a safe place from His sorrows over us.
My Pa wants to and I believe that he should write a follow up book titled "The God Who Laughs." I do not want to come across of making light of something as sacred as our relationship with our Father in Heaven, yet I do know that is obtainable only when I am completely honest with myself and laugh at how ridiculous I must come across at times to Him.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Role Reversal

Yes, I already covered some of this in my Mr. Mom post, but I wanted to emphasize how blessed of a man I really am. My wife Alexie is amazing. She is the most passionate person I have ever met.I joke with people and tell them that she is my connection to culture, but it is no joke. She loves the theater, music, English and teaching. I love her.
I wait anxiously for her to get home, much like a dog must wait for their owner to come home, and when she comes in, I usually bombard her with a hundred questions about the day.I am that in need of adult conversation and I love my kiddos.
I did this scheduled bombardment of questioning her first week back teaching, she had to remind me lovingly that, (she)just got home and had a headache, and to just let her be home. Boy, do I know how that feels. A saying about walking in another person's shoes before making a judgement call comes to mind. I am a blessed man indeedy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I find myself, going through the motions at times in my life and seek for the enthusiasm that my kids ooze with. It takes some clean up, but they are so worth it.
I hear people say that, "I do not know where I would be without the church." Not a bad statement, It made me realize that I do know exactly where I would be and I am glad that I am not there.
I notice now that I have premonitions, nothing profound, like end of the world visions or winning lottery ticket numbers, but common sense things like, that is going to be hard to get past in your wheelchair, if you put that there. premonition may be the wrong word, common sense sounds more realistic, but when you have a TBI and your problem solving skills were jeopardized. I claim every breakthrough as an epiphany.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil

Because it is working and we all need a little maintenance now and then, so don't beat yourself up for needing a oil change like everyone else.I accept that every two to three days I need to get out and socialize with other adults, go to PT at least twice a week, see my neuro Dr. twice a year and as well as a therapist. As long as I meet my scheduled oil changes I do CHAMPION. I need not worry that others need more or less maintenance.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Life happens

This is my excuse for not posting for a few days.I do not like that this brings to mind/ is associated with the other 'blank happens', that is NOT what I want to convey here.I do like the idea that life is what happens when you are busy planning for it. Those spontaneous smiles and giggles from my Colester when I make eye contact with him and hold it. When Lex calls to tell me that she forgot something and needs me to do her a favor, A cousin texts to tell me that I am Champion, an aunt laughs with me about how adventurous parenting is. I love life and the therapy it offers. I do not like the therapy at times, but I do love it because of the perspective that the Gospel gives me. Men and women are that we might have joy.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Remember the 'colors personality'test that came out in the 90's? Well Lex has a friend that was her double at one of the shows that she was in at Hale Center Theater that is married to a man who worked for that company, Angie and Dan Call, I was super excited to not only have grown up time, but to be a geek and talk some psychology as well when they invited us over for dinner a few months ago.
I was relieved when he brought it up and asked me if I had taken the test. I had and shared that I was a 'blue/red,'Lex smiled and said that she was the opposite, a 'red/blue.' I guess opposites attract. We all shared about what colors our kids were and how different they each are.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I am without excuses more and more in my life as therapy and life are enabling me to do more. Saturday, I went with my twin brother and his family to a stake primary activity and then swimming at Uncle Mike's pool. A few months ago my stamina would have allowed me to do one and not the other.
Yesterday, I put a soiled blanket in the washer and then in the dryer.
I gave my wheelchair the day off a few days ago.
My cane is not in use upstairs at all when I walk to my bedroom at night or when I wake up and get downstairs in the morning.
About a year or go or so, Lex picked up the book 'No Excuses' for me. I devoured it and am grateful for the courage and example of those who face the challenges of life and use them as building blocks to enable their success. My cousin Tiffany Chidester shared with me that her son, my hero Tristan Chidester is cancer free! Talk about a CHAMPION. I shared with my therapist Amy at Neuroworx yesterday that if you look for inspiration in your life, you do not have to look far. She agreed.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


In 'The Gospel of Second Chances' the author makes the point that I agree with:"Change is the good news of the Gospel. Good people can become better. people change. You can Change." I keep thinking that I am a work in progress. My bishop told me that, "we are not human beings, we are human becomings."I laughed and told him that was worth of a blog post. I hope the physical healing/change that is taking place in my life is symbolic of the same that is happening with me spiritually. I explain words to my kids all day, recently it was the word, 'delay' which made me think of 'Dory' and the 'delay fish' comment on Finding Nemo. Abby, your dad will make it, he is just a 'delay fish'.

Monday, September 2, 2013


In Jr. High my friend Gary Bigelow would do things just to see me get mad and competitive. He always has had a way with people. Anywho, I have a competitive streak in me. When I was growing up, I would imagine myself on a game show when I was doing chores to see how fast I could do them. My bishop continues to remind me that it was a good thing that I trained for half marathons and my Pa agrees that I get to put that training to real work in my everyday life now with my current challenges. Lucky me indeed.
I cannot remember where I heard/read that sarcasm is for weak people, so here I am competitive and sarcastic.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fear VS Faith

under 'fear' in the Bible dictionary it says; "Fear can have two meanings: (1) to fear God is to feel reverence and awe for him and to obey his commandments; (2) to fear man, mortal dangers, pain, and evil is to be afraid of such things and to dread them." and faith:"Confidence in something or someone. As most often used in the scriptures, faith is confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that lead a person to obey him. Faith must be centered in Jesus Christ in order for it to lead a person to salvation. Latter-day Saints also have faith in God the Father, the Holy Ghost, priesthood power, and other important aspects of the restored gospel."
It helps me to see the two side by side in order to determine where my motivation is coming from. In the first part of 'Fear' definition it seems to be congruent with 'Faith,' whereas the second part is in contrast
"They who have faith in Christ will cleave unto every good thing"(Moro. 7:28) Bring on the good things and go forward with faith.