Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
This was started as a short little blurb, but this now reminds me of when Trevor was younger. He used to rearrange the nativity scenes all day long. Sometimes everyone would be gathered in the stable all around the baby Jesus, other times the baby Jesus would be all by himself (and even outside the stable at times), one time the wise men were fighting the shepherds, and sometimes they were all laying down sleeping (Trevor said they had a war and were dead--I prefer to say they were tired and sleeping.) My favorite was when Trevor would put all the animals--and only the animals--all crowded around the baby Jesus. It seemed so sweet to me. "Everyone loves Jesus" you know.
p.s. While I was trying to find a picture of Trevor playing with the nativity scenes, I stumbled across this picture from a few years ago. Every year Jerel's parents send an advent calendar for the boys to share. You know the kind--you open a little window every day and there's a little piece of chocolate inside. Well, this is the year that Trevor ate all of the candy at one time on like the 3rd day. Look how sad his face was when he realized how disappointed his brothers were going to be. I couldn't resist posting this picture because he still looks so cute!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Once we met with the guys in our company it was time to meet the ladies. Oh man were they cute!! We did all these greeting games to learn about each other. We went to an assembly after to learn all the rules and what is expected of us. Then our company had family home evening. We played games and then our counselors talked to us about different things. We then went back to our dorms for personal study and then went to bed.
Tuesday and Wednesday mornings were the same. We woke up, ate breakfast, and then went to our classes. I'm going to share some of the things that were taught to me. One class was about how to communicate with heaven. How can I get heaven to talk to me more often? JSH 1:8-20. How can I tell that heaven is really talking to me? D&C 6:15 D&C 6:23 D&C 8:2 D&C8:3-4 D&C9:8-9.
Miracles are manifestations of spiritual power. How can I better live my life so the Lord can work miracles through me? 1)We need to pray for guidance. D&C 19:38. 2) WE need to take action. Our BEST effort is all the Lord needs to create a miracle. There is no need to worry about anything, because the Lord will ALWAYS do his part no matter what :-) I loved that part!
INTEGRITY. What is it? Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one else is watching you. Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone. The teacher told us this phrase and I didn't understand it at first, but once I thought about it made sense. That's how a lot of things are up at EFY. The quote is, "The followers are few, when righteousness is taboo." The teacher kept telling us that if we have the spirit with us it will make choosing the right so much easier. Then to close up his class he said, " It's a covenant to stay true to what we know."
Right before EFY, I wasn't getting along with my parents very well and I never understood why they did the things they do, but then a teacher told us these scriptures. Mosiah 4: 14-15. Then it just kind of clicked. They only punish me and take privilages away so that I will learn to walk uprightly before God and to turn away from evil things. I thank my parents for that.
I made a mission statement in one class. It is: I will be where I should, when I should, with the right people.
There was so much more that I learned but it would take about a Tuesday and a Wednesday to share all of it. Tuesday night there was the first dance and it was fun! I got to dance with a lot of cute girls. Wednesday night was probably the funnest night ever though. It was Game night! Our company competed against other companies in games and a banner/cheer-off. Our banner got third place! We kicked butt and took names at the games.
Thursday was probably the most spiritual day of my life. We had to wear our Sunday best all day. That alone, seeing all these youth choosing to wear their Sunday best, brought the spirit in over me. The young men and young women broke up for the first part of the day. My favorite part, besides the testimony meeting of our company, was when all the young men were in the ballroom for the priesthood session. We started out by singing Called to Serve. Our session director then asked, "Do you feel that?" I know that I did. The spirit was overwhelming! He then proceeded to talk to us about how we have so much power in this room. All the young men in that room held the priesthood and it hit me. We have the power of God. Jesus Christ created the world and all that inhabits it with the power of God. I have the power to act as a tool in the Lord's hands to work miracles and do his will. Then the director talked to us about how we are the chosen generation. We were saved on purpose to prepare the world for Christ's second coming. We were the strongest, most valiant spirits in the pre-mortal life. I hear that so much and it blows me away. It also encourages me though. The Lord has that much faith in me, and the youth of the church. Every time I think about this the spirit comes to me and it testifies to me that this is true.
Friday we did a service project where you and a partner made one of those little baby hats on the circle looms. I'm so glad that Alison was my partner. Not only was she really fast at the hats and knew what she was doing, but she was also pretty dang cute. That always helps :-) We had the banquet that night and the final dance at the end of the night. It was such a fun night!
Saturday we woke up and got all packed up. We went and said our final good-byes to our company and then left. I am so glad that I had the oppurtunity to go to EFY. It has strengthend my testimony and got me in perfect tune with the spirit.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Trevor's class went to a performance of the "Snow Queen." We all thought it was going to be a play. It was a ballet. Trevor and his friend's take on the whole thing, "That was a chic play."
Friday, November 14, 2008
We left Mesa on Monday evening (June 9th) and drove most of the night. We arrived at Hualapai Hilltop an hour or so before sunrise and just slept in our vehicles until it started to get light. Hualapai Hilltop is a cliff-side parking lot at the dead end of Arizona Highway 18. By way of some history, the Havasupai Indians were farming the moist valleys of the desert tributaries to the Colorado River four centuries before contact by Spanish explorers. In the 1880s, miners and ranchers invaded their homeland and forced them onto a 500-acre reservation. Finally in 1975, Congress enlarged their reservation to 38,000 acres. Today about 450 Havasupai live in Supai.
We enjoyed a quick breakfast of muffins and drinks and then began the 10 mile hike to the campground. Actually, the hike to Supai Village is about 8 miles and then an additional 2 miles to the campground. The town center consists of a modern school, cafe, small store, a two-story motel and the Havasupai Tourist Enterprise building where hikers register for the campground. Despite its remoteness, Supai resembles many small Arizona communities, except children play and dogs sleep in the "street" without fear of cars.
The trail continued past scattered frame houses with corrals and horses and continues another half mile to the first waterfall. Navajo Falls, named after a famous Havasupai chief who negotiated the first treaty with the Army, tumbles 75 feet. However, the waterfall cannot be fully seen from the main trail. We visited these falls several times during the next few days as it had one of the best "jumping-off" spots.
A half-mile farther, we could hear the roar of Havasu Falls as it echoed through the canyon. The stream plunges through a notch in the wall and descends 100 feet through mist and spray into an aquamarine pool. This was by far the most impressive part of the trip. We had just hiked for several hours through desert conditions and all of the sudden we are experiencing a tropical scene including one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen. I would spend a fair amout of time over the next week soaking in the pool and relaxing while feeling the cool mist from the falls.
We dropped our packs for a few moments and took in the whole experience. We snapped a few pictures and I'm glad we did for reasons that will soon be obvious. We continued on the trail to the campground looking for others in our group who had gone ahead of us. We found them on the other side of the creek. I crossed the waist-high creek careful not to fall or let my pack become wet. Upon emerging on the other side, Josh Boatwright asked if my camera was waterproof. I quickly realized that I had left my camera in a pocket on my pants which was completely submerged when I crossed the creek. Needless to say, no more pictures for the remainder of the week. I knew that Camille would not be too happy since the camera is really hers (since she takes 100 photos to every 1 that I take). We had just got the camera back from being repaired (I broke it that time too) so I had all week to think of a good way to break the news.
We made camp while waiting for the pack horses and mules to show up which they did later in the afternoon. Daniel Palmer and James Smith had done an excellent job of preparing for this trip and came well supplied with food, treats, drinks, tarps for sleeping on, mule tape, and anything else you could possibly need. We were missing a connecting piece for our stove but we made due by borrowing from other campers. Water was easy to come by in the campground as there is a spring that comes out of the wall of the canyon from a pipe stuck in the wall. The only drawback is that all the other campers utilize the same water source which meant the line for water could sometimes be fairly long.
We spent the next several days swimming, hiking, exploring, reading, sleeping, throwing the football and frisbee, and generally just relaxing and enjoying being together as a group. Each evening we would gather as a group and we would listen and participate in a fireside. What a great experience to be learning the simple truths regarding our Heavenly Father all the while surrounded by a virtual Eden! It really made me grateful for the opportunity to come on this trip with my son.
One day several of us continued through the campgrounds to visit Mooney Falls. At 196 feet, it exceeds Niagara Falls in height. The trail to the pool leads through two slanting tunnels blasted through the travertine cliff. You had to grasp a not-so-reassuring chain and descend slippery steps cut in the narrow ledge. I later learned that the falls are named after an early explorer who fell to his death trying to reach the base. Who's idea was this anyhow? However, the falls were very impressive and we found a rope swing at the south end of the pool which made for some fun entertainment.
On Friday, we packed up and headed out and not a moment too soon. As the weekend approached, more and more campers began to file into the campground and our personal space quickly disappeared. The hike out was rumored to be extremely difficult but it wasn't too bad at all. Most of the hike is a gradual incline and only the last mile, which consists of several large switchbacks out of the canyon, proved to difficult. Everyone made it out okay (even those that chose to use the helicopter route). The outing was a great success and a good time was had by all who attended.
A related note of interest: on the 18th August 2008 the Redlands dam on Havasu Creek burst after days of very heavy rain. The potential threat to human life by the floodwaters caused the local authorities to evacuate the village and US rescue crews airlifted some 450 stranded people to safety. In addition, reports indicate that there may have been serious damage to some of the falls themselves, particularly Navajo falls. Supai and the campground are closed to visitors until spring. Here's a photo of Havasu Falls following the flood. This isn't the first time a flood has washed through this area but it can take many years before it resembles the beautiful oasis that we experienced.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
My first response was, "No!"
And then I thought about my class and corrected myself, "Well, yes." We all had a good laugh over that one.
We all know how Trevor HATES to eat, especially dinner. Well, the other night I made another great dinner. It even had fruits AND vegetables--very well balanced. So Trevor announced VERY loudly, "I hate dinner!"
Jerel asked, "Why?"
Trevor explained, "It's BORING!"
Well, there you go. That's a new one. So does that mean that I now have to provide proper dining entertainment? lol
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Two Sundays ago, as we were driving through the neighborhood, we noticed many yards where someone had come by and stolen the "Yes for Prop 102" signs. Almost home, we dropped off Jordan and another young man so they could collect fast offerings. As we were parked in the driveway, a man (I would say he was in his early 20's) walked by and without even skipping a beat, took the Prop 102 sign. I was shocked! I mentioned it to Jerel and we both got out of the car. We both called to the man to return the sign. He yelled back with much anger, "Why can't you just let people be? What does it matter to you if people want to get married?" Jerel called after him, "We all have our own opinions--that is why people vote." I again repeated, "You walked on private property to take that sign and it needs to be returned." He then started swearing and saying many derogatory things about Joseph Smith. So much anger and hatred, and he was ready to lash out at anything and anybody. I take it as a compliment that a complete stranger, who had only seen our family for a second or two, knew we were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why he had to throw that into his anger towards Prop 102, I don't know. But I do hope we were good examples of the Lord's church--if only for a second or two. We tried to not show the same anger that this man had. We just encouraged him to vote.
Just an example of why I really was afraid and very concerned about how these changes would affect my life--my kids' lives. I was afraid of how this would affect my church. But then . . . I had stake conference.
Stake conference was a broadcast from Salt Lake City and for the whole state of Arizona, I believe. I was comforted in the Saturday night session as I heard from my stake presidency. They spoke about how fear is the opposite of faith--the absence of faith. I remember one of them saying, "It'll be okay" about three or four times in a row. It really brought peace to my mind. The next day during the broadcast, President Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke. He spoke specifically to the state of Arizona and told us that times were changing, and they would change "drastically." Those were his words exactly. But he then went on to say that we are to teach our children to NOT be afraid or be fearful. He warned us that we "need to learn how to listen to the Spirit" and to "gather as families and do the things we are taught." We are to "be steady" and "be inspired." My favorite was when he told us we could all still live happy lives. How my faith had been wavering. But I heard a prophet of God tell me that if I rely on the Lord and the gospel that I will still have peace and happiness. The votes may not go the way I want them to and the world may not be like I want it, but I can be happy and at peace. It will be okay!
Friday, October 31, 2008
On Sunday, Chase was assigned to bring the bread for the sacrament. Usually I use a loaf of the wheat bread that I have here at home. But all my bread had been in the freezer for a while and sometimes it doesn't thaw out as fresh as you would like. So Jerel and I stopped at the store to pick up a loaf on Saturday night. I just randomly picked a loaf of white bread which happened to be Wonder bread. So there you go--church bread is white bread full of lots of sugar and preservatives. So I replied, "Sure." Trevor was pretty excited and ready to go, but then Tanner was afraid to eat it. He explained that some kids at school told him that you can get cancer from eating white bread. Are you serious? I quickly cleared that up and explained that we eat white bread often, it's not going to give us cancer, whole grain bread is healthier for us, blah, blah, blah . . . Trevor and Tanner finished off the loaf in literally a few minutes. Apparently white bread is quite the novelty in our house. Who knew! Just think, all I have to do is give Trevor a loaf of Wonder bread for Christmas and I'm all good. Sounds Wonder-ful to me!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
A beautiful slideshow presentation of Mark Mabry's photographs (Reflections of Christ). Music is from the Reflections of Christ CD. These images were part of an exhibit that was on display at the Arizona Temple Visitors Center, and is now on display at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on Temple Square until Nov. 8, 2008.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
On a side note, why is it that young boys find so much humor in the bathroom? We could have saved some money by skipping the movie and just having the boys visit the restroom a couple times. There always seems to be someone or something in the bathroom that causes hysterical laughter and general giddiness. Oh, to be young again!!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Camille and I left early Friday morning and drove to St. George, UT which is about a 6 1/2 hour drive. We arrived and went to Worthen Park (the finish line of the marathon). I had incorrectly assumed that the expo associated with the marathon would be at the park but we were told that it was being held at the Dixie Center, a few miles away. We quickly went to the Dixie Center where we were able to hear the keynote speaker, Rod Dixon. Mr. Dixon is a world class runner having won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in the 1500 meters and winning the 1983 New York City Marathon in 2:08:59. He had a great deal of useful information and his comments were very motivating. Following Mr. Dixon, they held a first-timer's clinic. Again, excellent clinic with useful information concerning the race and the course.
We then went to the expo where I picked up my race packet and we visited many of the booths set up by various stores and companies. It was a smaller expo than we expected but it was well done and well attended. The race also sponsored a pasta dinner at the Dixie Center. We enjoyed salad, spaghetti, bread, and cake. They also provided some fruit and water. The dinner was well organized and the food was good.
Our good friends from our days at BYU, Conley and Kari Gali, now live in St. George and they were so gracious to let us stay with them. We went to their home and got settled into the guest room that they provided. They treated us like royalty and fed us extremely well. What good friends they are! That night the Gali's were attending the local high school football game so Camille and I watched the BYU vs Utah State football game. Afterwards, I set all my gear out for the morning and got to sleep.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
1. She's a hottie!
2. Fabulous singer
5. Still a kid at heart
6. Romantical (her word)
7. Supportive of me in everything I do. Last Saturday, she sat in pouring rain for 4 hours at the finish line of the St. George Marathon just to see me finish.
9. Trys to understand sports
10. Great cook
11. Loves our children
12. Crys easily
13. Loves to read
14. Pays attention to the details
15. Worries about the details
16. Exercises even though she hates it
17. Loves Jesus Christ
18. Caters to our children (also known as spoiling)
19. Is the PR person in our family
20. Can prepare a FHE lesson in seconds
21. Puts up with my obsession with sports
22. Never sneezes just once (except for that one time in the temple)
23. Pretends she is not ticklish
24. Is patient with me when I break the camera (it's happened a few times)
25. Hates being dirty but goes camping with the family
26. My bestest friend
27. Loves to be spoiled
28. Embraces her role as a mother and wife
29. Magnifies her church callings
30. Volunteers her time to assist at the school
31. Loves to learn
32. Orders desserts to give to me
33. Will help anyone at a moments notice
34. Talks about herself in 3rd person
35. Is impressed by the simple things in life
36. Loves to be feminine
37. Classy dresser
38. Teaches our children both secular and religious studies
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Jerel's sweet sister, Shannon, passed away early this morning. I don't know what to say. I have so many thoughts and feelings. I have deep sadness and miss her already, and yet I am grateful that her suffering is over. I'm glad she has found the peace that her poor body needed. The last few months have been especially hard for her. This last week, test results showed that the same fungus that caused her to lose her sinuses and eye this summer, had now gone to her lungs. She fought as long and as hard as she could, and then some. Her suffering is now over and she is now with our Lord and Savior. I have imagined her reunion with Him all morning. What a joyous reunion that must have been! I find great peace in knowing she was at peace with the Lord's will. Her testimony was amazingly strong, and she is an amazing person. She will always be alive in our hearts. If you want to see just the sweetest messages written about her, you can click on the link to her blog on my family list. Her husband, Paul, is a true saint that not only blessed her life, but our whole family's. He saved her life in more than one way. What a great man he is. I'm honored to have both of them in my life.
Shannon made me want to be a better person. I was reading Shannon's blog yesterday and was touched by her example. Someone who she visiting teaches wrote a thank you for a letter that Shannon had sent her. It was sent just a few weeks ago. Here she is feeling the worst she has ever felt--ever--and she is still doing her visiting teaching. That's the kind of person she is. I really have no excuse to not get mine done. Just one of the many lessons that I have learned from Shannon and her example.
I'm so grateful that we all saw her this weekend at Boyce's wedding. We all loved seeing her. We had such a great time. I'm glad we got to sit by each other in the temple. We are a forever family. I have a true testimony of that because the Spirit has born witness of it's truthfulness to me. The picture of Jerel with Shannon is at Boyce's wedding last week. I love how alike they look--same hair, glasses, matching clothes. He is really missing her today. He sure loves his family.
I find great comfort in the words of our prophet today. I can feel of his love for us. It reminds me of the last general conference we had in April. Six months ago, early Sunday morning, I lost my step-dad Randy. I felt great comfort in Elder Bednar’s talk that day. It feels as if the prophet and leaders are speaking directly to me. I know the Lord loves me; He loves all of us!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Anyways, when Tanner and Trevor came home from school today, Trevor asked if he could have a cookie. I said "sure." Apparently he asked if he could have two. I didn't hear him and didn't answer. When Trevor tried to take two, because "I didn't say no." Tanner stopped him and said, "No. Mom didn't say you could have two. If you ask her a question and she doesn't answer, it probably means she didn't hear you and you have to ask her again. It doesn't mean yes."
I overheard the last part of what Tanner said, and when I asked him to repeat himself, I was so impressed. It finally sunk in, "If Mom doesn't answer, it means she didn't hear you and you need to ask her again." What a novel idea! lol What a good big brother Tanner is to teach this valuable insight to Trevor. I think he deserves two cookies for that--don't you?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I hear Trevor in the bathroom and he yells out "It stinks in here." I call back, "Well, you're in the bathroom, hurry and flush and come out." (Hello?!) He then yells even louder,
W A I T!!! Did he just say that the kitchen stinks? My delicious smelling ribs?! He even went outside when Jerel came home from work and said, "Dad! Mom is trying to make me eat DINNER!" Oh, the horror! I wished I would have taken a picture of his face during dinner. His face varied between horror to utter sadness. To quote Chase, "He looks like you're trying to feed him poison." It was too funny to be offended, but is he SERIOUS!? This was a dang good meal. At least all the rest of the fam said so.
p.s. Tomorrow I am trying the coffee cake recipe on Laura's blog. Apparently it's absolutely addicting. If Trevor doesn't like it, well, then we know that Trevor is the problem--not the food. . . . But wait, if he DOES like the coffee cake, well, my dinner was still dang good!
Well, Jerel was right in there with them this time. I'm not sure who started "wrestlemania" this time, but Jerel towards the end said, "Geez. They're like a bunch of mosquitos; they won't go away!" Of course I had to start videoing.
When I replayed the video to the kids, one of them commented, "Hey is this the part where we captured Dad?"
I laughed, "You guys NEVER had him."
Jerel then had to add, "Just let them have their little fantasy. I kept waiting for the real fight to start."
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
That's Bronco's new motto for BYU's football team this year . . . and it's AWESOME! Their season so far has been so much fun, especially Saturday's game against UCLA. BYU handed UCLA it's worst loss in 79 years! I don't know which was better--that we scored 59 points or that we shut them out completely! I'm so jealous of my friends who got to go to the game. There's nothing like being there at BYU for the games!
I'm a Fully Invested fan!