Monday, November 27, 2006

BYU 33 UTAH 31

So college football is great and BYU is even better. BYU is currently ranked 21 on the BCS standings and just keeps on winning! Go Cougars!!! Even better, BYU beat the University of Utah on Saturday in probably the most heroic fashion ever. Imagine 3 seconds left, you need a touchdown to win, last play of the game, last play of the season, and you're on the 15 yard line. What do you do? See what BYU's QB (John Beck) did... Amazing! This is by far the best college football game I have ever seen! Here is a video recap BYU VIDEO

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It has been a while...

Everyone,

We are sorry it has taken so long to write an update. We have been very busy over the past few months. We'll write an update for each of us so you know what's been going on.

Nate
School has started and so has the recruiting season. Just about every night for the past 3 weeks I have been going to reruiting events, information sessions, or interviews. It is nice knowing that there are jobs out in the world but it has been very busy. I have officially started the Masters program this semester and there has been a lot of reading and group work. It has been busy but fun so far.

Work has been going well, I have stayed part-time with MyFamily.com in the corporate office in the Business Intelligence Team. I was also just hired as a TA for Isys 580 where I'll be listed as a co-instructor. It's a class that teaches business grad students (MBA, MISM, MACC, & MPA) advanced knowledge in web development, MS Excel, M S Access, Powerpoint, Accounting Software, etc. It's a self-taught class so I don't know how much "instructing" I'll really be doing but I will have some lab hours where students can come in and get help. Mostly I'll be doing grading.

Allison
Allison has been very busy with church, classes, and work. She has just started a book binding class which is very interesting. She just finished binding her first book this weekend and it looks great. She has also been diligently going to her Aerobic classes which she loves. We figure Aerobics is her new hobby. Work has been hectic with school starting up again but she has successfully mastered ever aspect of her job. She is very good at what she does. She especially enjoys the monthly "Fun Walks" that BYU sponsors during her lunch hour. All the faculty and staff are invited to participate where they walk for several miles and win prizes and get "non-fat" cookies to eat. This last month Allison won a stadium chair! Hopefully we'll put that to good use.

Anyways, we hope everyone is doing well and don't forget to leave some comments!

Nate & Allison

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Memorial Weekend

We had a great Memorial Day weekend last weekend. Nate's sister Caitlin came up on Friday and spent the weekend with us before going to EFY on Monday. On Saturday Caitlin and Michele joined us on a hike to Stewart Falls, which is great hike. The water was freezing but we had a lot of fun. Below are some pictures of our journey. Later that day we finally broke down and bought a couch. The time was well overdue and we caught a really good sale so we decided to do it. It is a microfiber couch and it is really comfortable...we are very excited.

On Monday we went up to Park City to celebrate our anniversary. We celebrated it late because finals fell on our actual anniversary this year. On Monday we rode the alpine slide at the Park City Mountain Resort and then did some shopping at that outlet malls. We then stayed the night at the Stein Erickson Lodge there in Park City, which was really nice! We also went to dinner at a great Thai restuarant... we highly recommend it. It is called Bangkok Thai on Main... stop in when you get chance! Then, on Tuesday we drove to Midway, UT (between Park City and Provo) where we drove around and saw some really nice houses and went horseback riding. Overall we had a great weekend and it was tough to come back to work and responsibility but it was sure nice to get away. This will probably be our most exciting weekend we'll have this summer, other than the upcoming Everett Family Reunion, as the rest of the summer we'll be working and saving money. Anyways, we hope all is well with everyone!

Nate & Allison

On our way to Stewart Falls!

Almost there...

We finally made it!


Allison on our King Size bed at Stein Erickson Lodge

On our trusty steeds!

The view from our room balcony

The top of the mountain... our horses did all the work :)

Here is our new couch:

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

May Update

After much demand we have decided to post an update. School is out (at least for the summer) and it is great! We found out recently that I (Nate) have been accepted to the Masters of Information Systems Management program (MISM), which is great news. I will begin this fall semester and I will be graduating April 2008. I know that seems like a long ways away but it's not bad considering I'll have a masters degree. Allison and I feel very blessed and thankful that I was accepted.

Now that school is out I'm working full-time doing an "internship" with MyFamily.com in the corporate office. For the past 3 years I have been in the MyFamily.com call center where I have been a sales agent, supervisor, and systems analyst. I am now at the corporate office working with the Business Intelligence Team where I'll be working with the company's data warehouse and stuff. I'm very excited and it is a great opportunity.

Allison is doing great. She has been taking some aerobic classes (aka "kick boxing") and she signed us up for Y-Be-Fit. Y-Be-Fit is a fitness program offered to students and staff of BYU. We have to religiously record our food consumption and work on an exercise program. We had our 2nd appointment today where we did various physical tests such as strength, flexibility, % body fat, heart rate, etc... and next week we'll get a 55 page book about how to improve and set some goals. After a few months we'll go back and see if we have improved. Needless to say I have a lot of work cut out for me but it should be fun.

Allison is also enjoying her new calling as the Relief Society Secretary in our ward. She has been very busy and diligent setting up visits, and keeping organized. She is doing a great job!

We're looking forward to rest of the summer and spending some time will family and friends. We're planning on going up to Park City for Memorial Day where we'll go mountain biking and horseback riding and stay there Monday night. It will be our main vacation for the summer and it will be our 2nd year anniversary party since our actual anniversary fell on the week of finals.

We hope you all are doing well and make sure to keep in touch!!!

Nate & Allison

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Press Release - AITP Competition

To see the press report posted by BYU about our competition winnings go here: News Report

I'm also quoted in the report but I don't think I said exactly what they quoted me saying.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Flash Movie is Finished

My flash project is finished... if you want to see the final product go here: Ever-Climate System

Sunday, April 09, 2006

March Madness

As the title alludes, March was indeed madness. Not only was the NCAA basketball tournament absolute madness, but so also was our month of activities. Where do we begin? The most exciting thing that happened was my trip to Dallas on the 30th. Five other undergraduate students, two graduate students, and I were chosen to represent BYU in a National Collegiate Isys Competition. Every year the Association of Information Technology Professionals host the competition. The conference/competition lasts 3 days and we had a lot of fun. The pictures below should tell the story. The view from our 36th floor hotel room was all right! Overall BYU did very well this year. We competed in Systems Analysis & Design, Database Design, Java Programming, Web Design, and a Graduate Project Competition.

Matt and I took 1st place in the Systems Analysis & Design competition and another BYU team took 3rd in the same competition. Matt and I also did the Database Design competition but didn't do so well because we didn't know enough SQL stuff, plus they messed up on communicating the requirements. Next year we'll do better though, now that we know what to expect. Those were the only two competitions we did. The other BYU teams took 1st in Java, 3rd in Java, 1st in the Graduate competition, and Honorable Mention in the Web Design.

Ultimately, this shows how great our program is here at BYU. Our professors really do prepare us well and I hope to go again next year! Below are a few pictures of our trophies.

As far as other things go, I have been interviewing with some of the big 4 accounting firms. This summer I will be doing a summer leadership program with a few of the firms. In June and July I will be flying out for a few days to attend the programs and I'll be able to visit the offices in Phoenix. Hopefully, this will help me get an internship next summer and maybe a full-time job.

Allison has been busy doing all kinds of things as well. She is currently taking Aerobics, Water Aerobics, Stress Management, and Children's Writting classes. Plus, she was recently called as the Relief Society Secretary in our ward. Needless to say, she is very busy.

Anyways, we hope things are going well for all of you and we can't wait for this semester to be over!

Nate & Allison

Our view from the 36th floor of our 5 Star Hotel


The Winners!


The Winners again!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Flash

Right now I'm taking "History of Creativity" to fulfill my last general education requirement. The class has been really interesting because we judge historical events and people based on their creativity. We have seen how people have shaped the world by using their creativity. It's basically a history class but with a creative twist. I have really enjoyed the class aside for the tests and quizes. But the point of this entry is about Flash. For this class I have to do a "creative project" which we turn in the last day of class. We were given the liberty to do whatever we wanted. Sometimes that is good and somtimes that is bad. It can be difficult dreaming up a creative project. I decided I would create a flash movie to present my proposed invention that will change the world... well, not quite. To see the movie click on the link at the bottom of this blog entry. The movie is not finished yet but will be, hopefully, by April 18th, when it is due.

Flash is pretty cool and I have taught myself the basics. I found some really good tutorials online that include written and video demostrations. If you want to learn more check out this website: Flash Tutorials

Anyways things are going well but very busy. We'll put up another blog entry later detailing all of the events that have transpired over the past month. Trust me, we have a laundry list of things. Take Care!

Movie link:Nate's Project

P.S. Make sure you have sound and that your speakers are turned up... it's kind of boring without sound!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Valentines Day




So I found this sweet Valentines card for Allison... It's pretty funny, or so I thought. This is what it said on the front...

"I got this valentine under duress. As you know, for better or worse, I am not the sort to go for conventional, perfunctory romantic gestures. Not to mention that I instinctively bristle against conformity, gratuitous etiquette, and profit for the card and gift industry. Such gestures are important to you, however, so I do my best to play the appropriate part. Given my personal inclination to ignore St. Valentine, this card therefore represents a far greater testament to my love for you than its price tag or any perceived lack of forethought might erroneously suggest."

You may have to read it a few times but it turns out Allison thought it was funny too. Anyways, we had a good valentines day. I surprised her with a decorated living room and a candle light PF Changs dinner at home. Below are a few pictures.

Life for us right now is extremely busy. School has kept me with very little free time and Allison has been busy going to Aerobics and taking her Children's Writting class. We have enjoyed the latest 8" of snow we have gotten in the past 3 days. It has been snowing off and on all weekend. It's great! We may go sledding tomorrow since we have school and work off (President's Day Weekend).

Anyways please feel free to drop us a line and let us know how things are going!

Nate & Allison

Thursday, January 26, 2006

INTEX

If you ask any BYU student or alumnus whose major is or was Information Systems Management about INTEX you would probably get a response like, "Oh yes, INTEX, I'm glad that’s over."

Well, that is probably how I would react too but besides being glad it's over, I'm glad I did it. In fact, this semester we have INTEX 2. That's right, another INTEX, but this time... it's all semester long baby!

You're probably wondering, "What on earth is INTEX?" In the Information Systems program in the Marriott School of Business at BYU we have an integrated core of classes our junior year, or what is called the Junior Core. That means we have 3 classes that teach us different things but whose curriculum is integrated with the other classes so that what we are learning in one class applies to another class.

So, last semester, my first semester in the Junior Core, I took Java Programming, Systems Analysis & Design, and Database Management. On the Monday after Thanksgiving break we were given a business case detailing an airline company named "Rocky Mountain Airlines." This company was in a process of tremendous growth and needed a new computer system to track their inventory and their maintenance activities. We were given one week to apply all that we had learned thus far in the semester and present a sales proposal on Saturday in front of representatives from PriceWaterhouseCoopers who were the judges.

In the proposal we had to design the system, create mock reports and GUI's, explain the business benefits, and so on. Our report ended up being 77 pages long. On Saturday morning we had to present to the judges and faculty and our group did a great job. After everyone presented we had an award ceremony and our group took 1st place. Out of 20+ groups in the program, our group won. I couldn't believe but we worked hard and needless to say, that week was very difficult (I think I saw Allison for a total of 4 hours that week). But, like I said I'm really glad I did it and it was one of the best educational experiences I've ever had.

Here are some pictures of our group and some logos I made for our project. The orange "Blockwood Video" logo is for INTEX2 where we are actually creating a software package that will handle the business operations of a video rental system. Cool uh! I'm afraid this major is turning me into a nerd!







Nate Skousen, Famous?

Go to Google and search 'Nate Skousen'. The first two links go to an article my Grandpa published about my great-grandfather building Route 66. Oddly enough I show up #3 on the list, and my Grandpa shows up again on #4. Here my Grandpa (Nate Skousen Jr.) is quoted in the Albuquerque Journal talking about Route 66. Not bad, but I'm not sure how many people are "Googling" Nate Skousen, so I'm sure us Nate Skousens are really not that famous. Oh well!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Download Center

We have added a new link in the "Links" section titled "Skousen Download Center." We plan on uploading some files that you can download. Stuff you can download include funny videos, programs that Nate has made in his classes, and Skousen home vidoes. Be sure to head on over there and check it out! More stuff will be added periodically.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Cross-Country Skiing










Last Monday (01/16/06) we enjoyed a nice holiday break from school and work and decided to go cross-country skiing at Aspen Grove, which is just above Sundance Ski Resort in Provo. We had a lot of fun & even found some decent hills to climb up & ski down. Allison did a great job, even though I threw a snowball at her on the way down (by the way... she crashed and burned). The snow was great, but now it's back to school and work!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Welcome to the Skousen Blog

Welcome to our blog. We hope you come often and see what we're up to. We think having a blog is easier to manage than our old web site that we haven't touched in months. The old site is still up if you want to see other pictures and stuff, but someday we hope to merge all of this "online stuff."

The old site is located here: http://webpub.byu.net/nskousen/

Please feel free to leave some comments on this BLOG and be sure to keep in touch!

Nate & Allison