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, August 31, 2008

Uni, Andy and Life at Full Pace

Joseph started his last semester at the University of Utah this week. His classes, in addition to LSAT Prep, include World Religion and International Politics (an upper division Politicals Science Class) and Brazilian Literature and Culture(and upper division Portuguese Class). He also has a Comparative World Religions class at the Institute. He is set to take his LSAT tests the first Saturday of October (during Morning Session of General Conference --sigh!). His preparations are in full swing along with all the other current work. He takes at least 2 full timed practice tests each week now. He's getting better, but it is amazingly tough.

You all met Andy from Qingdao through the blog in May and June. Having obtained his visa (a miracle. . . literally) he is living in with a great man, Mark Turley in Vancover, Washington He is attending a local college and preparing for BYU in the future. This weekend Mark brought him to Provo to the BYU football game. This morning Joseph, Gloria and Tim met Andy and Mark at the Conference Center at the Music and The Spoken Word broadcast. What a joy to see him again, and for Gloria, to get to meet him.

Andy is a very wonderful man and a true brother. He has such a great sense of humor, a bright and engaging personality and a very special spirit about him. He has been taking the missionary lessons and has asked to be baptised next Saturday. He can't quit talking about how Joseph is such a great man, a good friend, and has had a powerful impact on him. The feeling is mutual for the rest of us about Andy. He and Bro. Turley are driving back through Yellowstone and the Tetons etc. He is drinking in America in deep drafts.

The Taggarts enjoyed a few minutes on the top of the Conference Center to complete their Sabbath morning adventure.

Life at Full Pace
Joseph's friend Lisa Aldridge left last Saturday and Sophie DeSilva left yesterday. We'll miss them (and their wondeful accents). Now that the downstairs no longer has guests, Dad is back at work finishing up repairs on the basement. Friday evening Tim and Gloria had a get together with all the AV Language Production staff for Richard and Vera Merrell who recently returned from serving in the Wasington Tacoma Mission. It was great to see Diane Doane and her husband who retired a while back as well. Tim is having withdrawals since his computer is having brain surgery this weekend. It promises to be reborn in a couple of days with increased intelligence. We can all look forward to the same in a more future day.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birthday Bash, Beijing Bye-Bye, and Biotech Bionics

Tonight we said goodbye to the Summer Games from China. It has been a great couple of weeks. Utah had the most percent watching the Olympics than any other TV market. Maybe because something was actually worth watching that wasn't offensive but uplifting and inspiring. The closing ceremony was spectacular.

Saturday Birthday Party

Jennifer Seegmiller is Gloria and Tim's niece and a regular part of the family. She and Scott's daughter Kalissa had a birthday this week and the family all got together in the Taylorsville Park. It was a lot of fun. The highlight for us was watching Jen open the present Gloria and Elizabeth cooked up. They arrranged to tend Kalissa a couple of weeks ago and took her to Kiddie Kandids for a professional portrait. It was fun to see Jen and Scott's face when they opened them up. Kalissa may be overjoyed at some future date... but Saturday she was just happy to play in her cake.

Biotech Bionics
Joseph has a new device to help increase the Supination and Pronation of his forearm and wrist. The device is a Dynasplint system. (more here Joseph now uses it regularly to help his right arm increase in capacity. We're getting closer to the $6 million man.

New Stake Presidency
Our Stake enjoyed a great Stake Conference today with Elder Richard Hinckley as our visiting General Authority. Our Stake Presidency was released and a new one called. We'll miss Pres Scott Maxfield who is moving from our stake and has been a great blessing to us. We are thrilled excited for the new Stake Presidency: Stanley Child, Lynn Morton, and David Mendenhall. It was 21 years ago this week that Tim was called as Stake President here. My how time flies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bristolians and Declarations

Bristol Friends
Joseph has two of his friends from his days in Bristol England here this weekend. Sophie DeSilva arrived near midnight on Friday and Lisa Aldridge arrived on Saturday. They are enjoying seeing each other and visiting.

The Declaration of Independance
One of only 20 copies of the Declaration of Independance in existance was here in Salt Lake this weekend. Watch a video about this copy of the Declaration here. Joseph and Tim went to the State Capitol Building Saturday evening to view the document on display. It was great. The newly remodeled Capitol Building was beautiful and the evening was spectacular. The view of the valley was great (as was the view of Tim's office on the NE corner of the 22nd FLoor of the Church Office Building).

Our whole family is enjoying the Olympics temendously. There are great stories of overcoming challenges through hard work, self discipline and making the most of oportunities. We join with the world in celebrating success and the joy of participation. Joseph and Tim are enjoying it at a different level having been in Beijing so recently.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

WOW from Beijing

Opening Ceremonies
Friday night we hope you were able to watch the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics. It was so incredible. For Joseph and Tim it was especially moving because of their recent experience. The organizers and the Chinese people should be proud. It conveyed many of the themes and much of the history of a great culture and people. Let the games begin!

The past few weeks have been busy for Joseph who is studying for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) and taking a couple of courses to help. He won a drawing at an orientation conducted by the UofU Law School. The winner (Joseph) got free tuition and books for the UofU's LSAT prep course. He attends a 4 hour classs each Saturday. He signed up for his other prep course previous to the drawing, it includes DVD classes and reviews in addition to classes. He spends hours each day taking tests and analyzing his answers. The LSAT is more of an extensive IQ test rather than a test for knowledge.

Over the Moon
Joseph has taken time this week to play with his niece and nephews. They are growing and really love their 'Uncle Joe'. He took them on UTA TRAX downtown to the CLARK PLANETARIUM and Gateway mall this week. What an 'out of this world' experience. Grandma and Mom took the kids to have their photo taken this week as well. Man, are they cute. . .and growing!

SkyView 40th Reunion
On Saturday Gloria willingly submitted herself to Tim's 40th reunion of the Sky View High School Class of '68. It was in Logan at the new Hamilton's Steakhouse, it was a lot of fun. Many of the old classmates were there including Jackie Leavitt (wife of Mike Leavitt, former Govenor and current US Secretary of Health & Human Services), Laurie Ballam (Mike's better half) and a host of others. Craig Jessop (studentbody pres.) and Tim's friend Randy Simmons (Dept. Head of Politcal Science at USU) couldn't make it, but it was a great time. Tim did a DVD copy of the multi-image slide show he did for the 20th reunion in 1988 and shared a copy with everyone.

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