The Taggart Family -- Life, Family and Friends

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Four days to go. . . TO GO

May Day
Joseph, his friend Matt and Tim leave for China on Thursday May 1. . . MAY DAY! MAY DAY! We are scrambling to get packed and ready-- tying up loose ends, making final travel arrangements and finishing up assignments and callings before departure. Stress can be both motivating and exciting.

Final Physical Therapy Evaluation
On Fiday, the University of Utah students did their final evaluation of Joseph before his treatment in China. They found some positive changes since his intensive physical therapy in December. Joseph's strength continues to increase as does his range of motion (hard work paying off). The changes are small but the current measurements will allow a baseline to compare the results of the therapy in China. One of the four students was unable to be there because of finals, the others were just finishing up their finals as well. Joseph took his last final on Thursday, he's finished for the semester.

Basement Progress
The walls are painted and everything is ready for new flooring on Monday and Tuesday. With trim and finishing touches on Wednesday we ought to be finished before Tim and Joseph disappears on Thusday leaving Mom and friends to move stuff back in (sigh).
Fast Sunday in May and June
Some of the employees of the Audiovisual Department as well as members of the Bennion Heights 8th Ward are joining us during the regular Fast Sunday in May and June in Joseph's behalf. We appreciate the many whose thoughts and prayers are with him. We can't fully express our feelings of love and appreciation for those who have helped out in so many ways, especially financially. We know the Lord will bless you, He is certainly blessing us beyond measure.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

11 Days to China

11 Days to China
With less than two weeks to go preparations are piling up. We have been so blessed with people helping out in so many ways. To those who have donated money we cannot express enough gratitude. Everyone has pitched in to help out in some way.

Jim Ely, our man on the ground in Qingdao, has been location scouting for us. He visited the Hospital and Tim's Hotel. We've included some photos he sent (Hospital top left, Hotel right, below left is the building housing 3 hotels, including Tim's). It has been very helpful knowing how much things will cost and having him scope things out ('sussing it out' as we'd say in the UK). He has provided valuable advise as well. His friends are now our friends and we haven't even met yet. Joseph has been corresponding via email with one of Jim's students, Andy (Chinese name, An Bin, 安彬) from Qingdao University who is going to help out when we first arrive while Jim and his wife are on a trip to Inner Mongolia the first part of May. We are excited.
Tim is also finalizing plans to do Church production trips doing Legacy dubbing in Mongolia and Cambodia, and doing preparation for recording the scriptures in Hong Kong and Taiwan while he is in Asia. He will spend a total of 19 days with Joseph in Qingdao during the 7 weeks Joseph is there. We are grateful for Matt Smith who will be with him the whole time.

Basement Reconstruction Continues
Tim got the wiring finished this week (with the expert advise of Nate Johson from the ward). He installed can lights in the basement ceiling. Our Bishop, Scott Kasteller did the work roughing in the walls etc. Our friend Cisco Soto's and his team are doing the dry wall etc. They got all the dry wall up on Saturday and Tim prepped the walls (covering the old wallpaper and wood panelling adhesive) with KILZ so they can be textured (note photo with former window and door opening and wallpaper nicely covered with enamel paint). It was a late night Saturday, good thing we have the Sabbath as a day of rest.

From the Fortune Cookie This Week (really!):

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Springing Forward !

Countdown to China
With only 18 days before we leave for China we are doing everything we can to get ready. There is much excitement and some stress as we make lists and check items off. Joseph is trying hard to concentrate on finishing his classes and Tim & Gloria on getting things organized (but it's a challenge). May 1st here we come!

Deal or No Deal?
The Sun is shining and spirits are high. It was a beautiful weekend, a great time for Joseph to help watch his neice and nephew. . . Elizabeth decided she should do her part for her little brother by trying to get on Deal or No Deal and win $1 million dollars. They were having casting tryouts here in Salt Lake Saturday morning. (see Thousands show up for ‘Deal or No Deal' auditions ) She prepared herself and arrived at the site before midnight on Friday and spent the night freezing to death. She didn't get picked to go on the show and win the million, but her sacrifice for Joseph was real enough and worth more than money (and remember, you get blessings and a half for overtime).

Global AV Gang
Friday night the Language Production Section of the Church Audiovisual Department had dinner together at our home. We originally planned it for Christmas time . . . schedules got crazy and we decided to wait until Chis and Jeannie Wills came over from England during General Conference. It was a wonderful time, especially the barbecued ribs & chicken and the 'pulled pork' prepared by our resident barbeque wizard Quinn Orr. Tim declared the ribs the world's best (and he's tried a lot of them).

Basement Building Continues
The work continues on the basement. It started with the previously mentioned flood-- but now it is ever-so-much "While-we-are-at-it" time at the Taggarts. The first photo shows a door being moved and the others show the closet having been removed from the guest bedroom to make it a bit larger and added to the room behind. Lots more work ahead-- while we are at it.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sustaining Leaders, Friendships, Living Space and China Plans

Sustaining Leaders
The LDS General Conference was a great event. Thomas S. Monson was sustained today as prophet, seer, revelator and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during a solemn assembly of Church members worldwide. We also had the opportunity to sustain Elder D. Todd Christofferson as the newest member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Sustaining Friendships
Friday night, former missionaries of the England Bristol Mission gathered at our home for our twice-a-year mission reunion. There were about 50 in attendence (with the mission grandkids) and it was a wonderful time. Friendship doesn't dim with time, and though the years pass, our associations only grow stronger. We have to throw in the latest photo of Elizabeth's children Ethan, Cheyenne, and Gavin, their unquestioning love sustains us all.

Sustaining Living Space
We keep working on fixing the basement from the water damage. The Bryce and Laura Westover family, our great neighbors and friends, came over to help empty the stuff from the basement to the garage. Boy, talk about forced Spring cleaning. Dad started his 'gung ho' remodeling this week. . . only to sprain his back (sigh). He'll be more careful as we move forward. While we're at it we're moving a closet to make more room in the guest bed-room etc. It seems every wall not effected by the former remodel to accomodate Joseph's new bedroom etc is being effected now. Blessings in disguise.

Sustaining China Plans
We continue to prepare for China. As you can see in the photo, Matt Smith is working out to get in shape by carrying Ethan our grandson around in his backpack. Dad got an interesting 'fortune' in his fortune cookie downtown this week. Check out the message. This one will certainly come true.

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