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November 23, 2008

The Newest Eyre Grandbaby!

Home at last…well at least on American soil!  We’re in Boston holding our eighteenth grand child! 

Little Emmeline was born on November 9th, eleven days early!  She was supposed to wait for us but she already has a mind of her own!  We were overjoyed to meet her.  What an amazing little bundle of joy she is!   Her brother and sister are doing a great job of handing out the tender love care as well as her parents who are now blessed with three beautiful children!

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Big sister Hazel, delighted with her new baby girl!

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And big brother Charlie as pleased as punch…although Emmeline looks a little worried about what is going to happen next!

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This Thanksgiving Season we are ever more grateful for our family which includes two new little cherubs this year.  Below find Richard’s yearly Thanksgiving poem.  We wish all our Valuesparenting family a wonderful holiday season of Thanksgiving and love!

Richard writes:

Every fall, we search for a fresh take on our favorite holiday. "Thanksgiving" can be explored as a verb, as a noun, or as an adjective. We have tried, in years past, to write poems about where it comes from, why it is important, who it is for, when it can be felt, and how it can be increased. This autumn, as we write from Asia, our focus is on what it is, and our seeking has emanated from some eclectic locations. Some new perspectives protruded from Vietnam, a place where I almost made a mandatory visit 40 years ago. In Jakarta we began to write and in Bali came a spirit steeped in offerings and peace. Secular Singapore and boisterous Bangkok gave us contrasts, and here in a rainforest retreat above Kuala Lumpur the what-thoughts germinated and the verse finally fell onto the page. Think with us about Thanksgiving:


The first thing to do when you wake,

The last thing to do before sleep,

The beginning of every prayer,

The end of every blessing,

The magnet of spirit,

The entry to solace,

The portal to peace,


The prerequisite of perspective,

The acquisition of awareness,

The residue of responsibility,

The essence of experience,

The wonder of all our wonderings,

The fondness of friends,

The foundation of family.


The deepest of holidays,

The purest of motives,

The sweetest of desires,

The surest of faiths,

The presence of God,

The core part of love,

The summum bonum of life.


November 15, 2008

Quality Kuala Lumpur

The infrastructure in the big cities of Asia are just amazing (despite the fact that there are still monster traffic jams).  The upscale shopping couldn’t be more comprehensive anywhere in the world. Bangkok’s elevated train, slick luxury hotels, gourmet food and new literal "space age" airport almost feels like you’ve been transported into the future.


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From there we went on to the Malaysian airport in Kuala Lumpur, which is also an architectural extravaganza!

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Simply fabulous buildings with wildly creative designs fill the Kuala Lumpur skyline!  Starting with the amazing "Twin Towers" with their classic Muslim design:


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We are doing workshops at a Forest Retreat in the mountains above Kuala Lumpur.  There are 12 families, camped in extraordinarily large tents.  Their children are truly incredible.  All speak at least three languages fluently. Some can also speak a couple of dialects.  The young children mostly go to Chinese schools to learn to speak and write in Chinese until they graduate to the secondary system where they go to Malaysian Schools or International Schools where they polish their English as well as Malaysian plus several dialects.  The families eat together almost every night and their kids a kind and respectful…something we don’t always see in the United States! 

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The parents are smart and creative.  We’ve had so much fun with them in several hours of workshops in talking about Lifebalance, Giving Kids Ownership and Values and The Secret Code for Families and Working with Teenagers. 


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One indication of their creativity is that they have assigned two of their kids (16 year olds) to be the Chairpersons for the event. They have planned everything including events to keep a mob of teenagers and a bunch of  little kids happy while the parents meet in workshops.  Families had fun participating in "The Amazing Race" and showed off their talents for kerioke.  They will culminate their activities with Paint Ball!  

Event Chairs: Zhao Shen and Guang Ee

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Their staying in these enormous tents in a beautiful forest complete with monkeys that provide real family togetherness!  we always feel that we learn more than we teach. This is an incredible culture with strong families. 


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This terrific mom who was here four years ago when we did a seminar for their YPO chapter drove all the way from Singapore to be with us.  How lucky we are to be up close and personal to this fascinating culture full of great families! 

Just look at these great kids learning about the nine animals from the Book of Nurturing:

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A great time was had by all!


Kuala Lumpur Families

November 13, 2008

Fascinating People in Bangkok!

Our event was last night at our hotel where the buffet is not quite like the ones we see at home but wow, was it good (and VERY chili pepper hot in some cases).

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One of the attendees was a member of WPO…World Presidents’ Organization (older YPO members) who is the sort of the Jon Huntsman of Asia. He has 30 businesses (including Tyson Foods International) and is on the boards of numerous foundations and Universities, is the Commissioner of Cultural Arts  as well as having a University named after him.  As we talked we found that we had quite a lot in common.  He had been to Utah several years ago where he had a private meeting with President Hinckley, the President of the Mormon church there.  He said that President Hinckley had given him a bronze statue after a one hour meeting with him.  With a good natured smile he said that he had a very hard time getting the gift through security at the airport. They simply would not believe that President Hinckley had given it to him! 

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He is the man to my right.  The man on his right was our host, came from France and had a delightful French accent. He is in the medical field and is just starting a business for people who need heart surgery. They have places here that look like four star hotels but are actually a medical unit with the best surgeons in the world and state of the art equipment.  Instead of costing $150,000 as it would in the US, they can do it for around $30,000.  Truly an amazing idea!  The woman on Dad’s left came up afterward and said that she had spent three years at the University of Utah which is about a mile from our home in Salt Lake City.   It was a great night full of fascinating people here in Asia. 

Today we did four private consultations and it was again fascinating to get inside of family issues.  Though we’re been in very different cultures (for one things,everyone has one or more nannies, housekeepers and drivers) many of the issues are exactly the same as in any culture. Some are afraid of disciplining their kids, some don’t have much a relationship with their spouse and some are just worried about sibling rivalry. One family had sent their youngest of four, an eight year old, to a boarding school in England just because the child thought he really wanted to go. Then he called home crying to come home and they had him stick it out and stay. Now he’s twelve and still there except for school holidays four times a year. They are loving, caring parents and they talk to him almost every day but….wow…what a sacrifice!  For the most part these great people are just terrific families doing their best with the way they were raised as a backdrop.  2008-11-12 Bangkok event 4113

The traditions in Asia are fabulous.  yesterday was a huge celebration day here that occurs only once a year.  They decorate small floats or boats (most are only about 12 inches across) with flowers, incense and candles and send their lighted floaters down the river after dark. Some say it is symbolic of sending your sins down the river and if you don’t, you’ll have bad luck for 10 years.  Others say it also signifies saying "sorry" to the river (and the goddess of the river) for the pollution.  Both are delightful ideas.  The fireworks and lighted boats (huge boats full of people along with the little ones) going down the river last night after our event were spectacular!  Wish you could all have been here! 

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Today we are going to see the famous reclining Buddha and the royal preparations for the cremation and funeral of the King’s sister which will be tomorrow. This is still the Kingdom of Siam!  Nothing bad is EVER said about the royal family…unlike the royalty situation in England.  It seems as though even though we are sitting in one of the great business markets of the world, the good citizens here are also very well aware that they are part of a great Kingdom!  

November 9, 2008


Here we are in one of the cleanest, largest, most well organized cities in Asia…Singapore.  In many ways it is the exact opposite of everywhere else we’ve been in Asia so far.  The government is well-run, the streets are immaculate and there is a fusion of cultures like no other…except maybe Hong Kong.  It is mostly a city for business…especially for banking so we’re wondering what will happen here in the coming months with this huge downturn in the economy.  We spoke to a lively group at the Raffles Town Club where we met people from all over the world…from the Netherlands to India, to Boston.

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Yesterday we found an amazing museum where there was an exhibit called East meets West.  There we heard a concert of unusual Asian instruments played by amazing professionals that was delightful!


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This instrument is made of made of bamboo painted white and with metal keys similar to a flute except that two notes can be played at once!

Last night we visited downtown where we took a ride on "The Flyer" which is an enormous ferris wheel that holds pods that hold about twenty people and goes so slowly that you can barely tell that you’re moving. It takes thirty minutes to go the whole 360 degrees and the spectacular sights of Singapore from the air will never be forgotten!

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Note the floating soccer field on the right.  There is a huge stadum farther to the right where the fans cheer.  What an amazing city!  There is no pornography, not even any poverty.  What a difference a good government makes! 

November 7, 2008

A Birthday We Won’t Forget!

This blog entry somehow didn’t post in Vietnam, but rather than delete it, we thought it might be of some interest. It was on Richard’s birthday where the first part of the day was spent at the War Remnant Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) where that tragic war ended thirty four years ago. In was so sad to be looking at the tragedy of war. Because Richard was in ROTC, he missed the battles in action. We lost friends in that war and were amazed and chilled (literally) as we had been drenched in a tropical storm the day before to be looking at the pictures of the horrors of war.

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We also saw the Reunification Palace which Ho Chi Minh’s forces took over at the end of the war. The tanks that came lumbering through the gates were still there.

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Tanks in the background

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That afternoon we had the great pleasure of meeting the Vietnam Chapter of the Young President’s Organization. Although few in number the quality of their members and the stories behind their lives were stunning! We will never forget our afternoon and evening with them, which ended with a Vietnamese dinner to die for and even a wonderful birthday cake!

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