John Toone and his cello, a painting by Julie Rogers.

Finding strength in my ancestors: John Toone

In his book, “Life’s Lessons Learned: Personal Reflections,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve talks about the positive influence of family histories. He writes:

“When individuals and families search out their ancestors’ inspiring actions and words, they will receive strength and direction for their own lives.”

Like Elder Oaks, I have found that to be true in my life as well. Continue reading

Our family with Delicate Arch in the background.

The Toones go to Monticello and the Southwest

My wife’s parents and my second parents, Mark and Jeanine Richards, started a new tradition in 2013 when they invited their children and their families to spend a February weekend at a massive Bear Lake cabin they rented as their Christmas gift to the whole family. Despite sharing some germs, the weekend was a fun getaway. So the tradition continued in 2014, except this time they booked the Grist Mill Inn Bed and Breakfast in Monticello, Utah, from Thursday, Feb. 13, to Monday, Feb. 17. This is a summary of what happened over those four days from my perspective. Overall, it was a quality experience for the whole family. Continue reading

My grandpa Charles Mickelsen served aboard the SS Maryville Victory, a cargo ship, during World War II.

Finding the SS Maryville Victory

There are benefits to having a blog.

Last Veteran’s Day, I posted a blog in honor of my grandpa Charles Mickelsen and his experiences while serving in World War II and Korea. I mentioned he served in the Navy aboard the SS Maryville Victory, a cargo ship, but I had not been able to find a photo of the ship. Continue reading

Sweet little Emma joined our family in June.

Top Toone family moments in 2013 (not a brag sheet)

It’s been a sweet year for our family. Look at all the cool things we did. Lisa is such an awesome nurse that she was invited by the royal family to assist in the delivery of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, the baby son of Prince William and Duchess Catherine. Our oldest son, Trevin, is such a computer whiz that he was called in to help solve the problems with the Obamacare website (yeah, it needed a lot of work). And remember that viral video, “What Does the Fox Say?” Kalen was in one of those cute fox suits dancing in the background.  Continue reading

There is power in writing down and sharing your life story. (LDS.org)

Learning to ‘Treasure up the words of life’

I have always been fascinated with real life stories.

Since my own life is so dull, I’ve made a living by writing about other people’s stories. Over the course of my career in journalism I’ve interviewed World War II and Vietnam veterans, professional/college coaches and athletes, authors, other members of the media, administrators, law enforcement, accident victims, politicians, religious leaders and pretty much any other type of person you can think of. They’ve all had something interesting and unique to offer. Continue reading