Sunday, July 26, 2009

Youth Conference

Friday and Saturday was Youth Conference in Garden Valley at Camp Glenwood. I had 8 Young Women go. We had a great time and it was also a spiritual feast for me. I love going to events like this, meeting wonderful spiritual giants and totally being strengthen. It really makes me want to step up my game. I feel re-energized! I CAN DO IT!

We got there early and it was so hot. So we went on a walk to find the river to cool off. After a good climb down we found the most ideal spot! It had a sandy beach point, and excellent rocks to jump off. After about 5 minutes of stewing over should I vs should I not go swimming I couldn't resist the water any longer and jumped in, clothes and all. It was so cold it took your breath away. We progressed to a high cliff (around 15-20 feet) and it was a fun adrenaline rush. The swimming was (one of) the highlight of the trip and as soon as it was over on Saturday we went back for more. Only draw back was that our spot had become popular and it was too crowded.

There were the typical Youth Conference events: games, lots of wonderful speakers, dance, musical numbers, good food, service projects and a few impromptu that we added like sleeping under the stars and swimming.

A few things that I learned at Youth Conference:
~ The past week the spirit has really been humbling me. In this humility I have turned more fully to the Lord. And it gives me courage to stand taller and try harder because with God all things are possible.
~ Attitude is EVERYTHING! There are lots of things in life that we don't have control over. But attitude is one thing we do. We can choose to be happy and positive during a trial. We can choose to overcome great odds and we can choose to become and accomplish anything we desire with the right attitude.
~ I want to look into what it would take (education wise) to become a seminary teacher. I want to start studying the scriptures to become seminary teacher material.

I love my Young Women. I love spending time with them. They are amazing girls. I am impressed with their character and their strength. I am honored to rub shoulders with them and be apart of their lives. What a blessing for me! I hope they know how special and important they are to me.


We got to meet Shawn Bradley. He is overwhelming tall!


The cabins. They left me feeling a little claustrophobic (that's why we slept outside!)


Sleeping under the stars




The Vale crowd on "the rock"


Leaders Tiffany Johnson and me

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vegas Road Trip Continued

Sunday we went to church with Grandpa and Grandma Waite. Their church didn't start until 1 pm. It was a recipe for disaster. 4 children by myself, late late late church, unbearable heat and close quarters. IT WAS NOT A GOOD situation! Definitely one of those aaahhhhh I'm going to pull out all my hair moments!

After we got through sacrament meeting it was all good. Emma Lynn actually went to her Primary class all by herself. I WAS SO PROUD of her!!! Ruth and I were doing hall duty so we joined Spencer in nursery. (Next month she is official ~ crazy!)

We spent the rest of the day at Grandma's house. We enjoyed the time to visit and the kids weren't too crazy or loud so hopefully we didn't completely wear them out! Grandma had lots of pirate stuff from Cousin Capers for the kids. Naturally they LOVED it and had so much fun. ARRRR matey!







Monday we hung out and had a nice dinner and FHE with Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Caroline, Herb, Pam and all the kids. The highlight was playing in the flood irrigation water. Don't ever underestimate the fun power of mud and water. Thanks Matt and Dawn for being such great hosts! It was a great trip!







Tuesday morning we got back on the road. I decided to come home the Utah way (I was thinking it would be really nice to actually see people while I was traveling especially since I was by myself with 4 kids.) We stopped in Fillmore, and Layton, UT and Mountain Home, ID. 3 stops again ~ way to go guys! They make it really tempting to want to keep traveling (don't worry I am!!)


Ruth LOVES water bottles! She plays for hours taking the cap on and off and "drinking" (dumping) water.

We did miss Kurt tons though!
Austin, "These trips just aren't as much fun without dad."
Emma Lynn, "I just miss dad so so much. I want to see him!"
Spencer, "I'm going to sit on his head."

It's always good to be home.

Family Forever

Saturday night was Tessie and Ben's sealing. I know that I will not be able to adequately describe this event. It was so special and so spiritual. It was the first time I'd seen Ben since he joined the church. I cannot believe how much his countenance has changed. He is glowing with the light of the gospel. There is nothing so sweet as that complete, pure change of heart. Tessie and Ben were so beautiful and so happy. And then entered their precious (and gorgeous children.) A new eternal family unit was established. I couldn't think of a more worthy and deserving family.

As I left the sealing room I was more emotional than during the sealing. I think it is because the reality of what happened hit. It was a long road, a long time coming. To think about their progress, where they were and where they are now and know what they will become was so inspiring. The Plan of Happiness is so detailed, so intricate and so personal that it truly is the only plan that can bring eternal happiness.

My heart is so full that a friend I treasure and love can now have this blessing.

Vegas Road Trip

Last week I decided to take a road trip to Vegas. My dear friend from Iowa, Tessie was being sealed to her family. I really, really wanted to be there to support her. Kurt was wonderful (as always) to support me in that endeavor. Plus I could spend more time with my family since our time seemed so short at the reunion.

The kids and I left Friday morning. By the time we made it to Boise Ruth was ready to stop. I thought to myself, "Oh boy, this is going to be a LONG trip." We went to Target and Barnes and Noble to use some gift cards (stocked up with new music and books for the trip, so fun! Now we're ready to hit the road.) We only stopped in Wells, NV and Alamo, NV after that! What great little travelers! Austin was completely submerged in the world of reading alternating between a book (Beast Quest) and comic book (something about Spiderman the Incredible Hulk.) Spencer and Emma Lynn slept, looked at books, colored and did pages in their workbooks. Plus lots of snacks and sing-a-longs. Good times, Good times! Ruth was riding shot gun and because we could talk, laugh, sing, make faces at each other she was able to overcome her urge to bust out her car seat and scream her lungs out.


The fabulous gas station in Alamo, NV

Saturday Cousin Capers was still going on so the kids and I did a little exploring to get out of the way. We went to The Valley of Fire. That has always been one of my favorite places since I was a kid and I knew Austin would love it. It was 9 am and 104 degrees. Gotta Love Southern Nevada! We played and explored until we were too hot to enjoy it and got back into an AC pick-up.

















We headed to Mesquite, NV after that in search of a car wash, movie theater and swimming pool. We found all 3 but didn't end up doing the movie theater. They have a fun facility at their rect center. We took advantage of their outdoor swimming pool. It reminded me of the pool in Nampa but with less fountains. We had a really good time. They had a big curvy slide and after we had been there about an hour I looked up and saw Austin climbing the stairs to go down. I was really surprised because usually I have to really convince him to try some thing new. He loved it and did it again and again. Of course we didn't have to ask Spencer twice to try it. Shortly after Ruth and I joined in the fun! Emma Lynn watched from the bottom.









I couldn't believe it when we got back in the pick-up to find out that the temperature was 120 degrees! Gotta love Southern Nevada!

30 years celebration

My SIL Julie turned 30 yesterday. I knew this was a big birthday for her so I wanted to do something to help her have a special day. We sent her on scavenger hunt through Vale with the last stop being a surprise party. I think it went well. I appreciated everyone's help to pull it off.

Happy, Happy Birthday Julie! Thank you for blessing us with your good and righteous life. There is so much celebrate, 30 years of greatness!







ALL the baby girls are growing up fast!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grumpy Kid Camping

Marti and I went camping Monday through Wednesday. We started out with plans to do Strawberry Lake but after the major rain storm on Sunday we moved it back to Unity. Monday morning we moved it even closer, East Camp Creek. I like trying different camp sites every time.

Kelli, McKenzie, Julie and Mollie came Tuesday and spent the afternoon with us. It was a great way to get the baby girls ready for their first "real" camping trip in August.

My kids were grumpy and grouchy and slept poorly (especially Tuesday night.) I was ready to get them home Wednesday morning. We were back in Vale by 11 and Ruth took a much needed 4 hour nap.

But Marti, Braxton and Brooke were lots of fun and great camping mates. Thanks!!! The question is, will they want to camp with us again??? It makes me a little nervous for our next camping trip to the coast. Mainly cause it'll be a week long. That could be miserable with grumpy kids. Thinking positive...they're going to be HAPPY campers!





















Happy Birthday Hallie

Yesterday was Hallie's 2nd Birthday. We took balloons up to her grave and sent them up to heaven. We miss you and love you so much!





Sunday, July 12, 2009

"S"-Car-Go

Last night Austin decided that our van needed a name. He came up with "The Silver Line." Kurt didn't like it so Austin thought some more. His second idea was "S" Car ("S" for silver.) And Kurt built upon that idea with "S"-Car-Go.

Yes, our silver car can go.


I explained to Austin that escargot means snail in French. Is our car fast or slow? So many great plays on words. It was definitely the winner. And now our van has officially joined our family with it's own name. Welcome "S"-Car-Go!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Spencer's Prayer

"Please help me to learn Spanish."

A Mother's Ear

There are so many sounds that are music to a mother's ear. The sound of laughter from your children as they play happily together. The sound of your children singing songs they know and new ones they've just made up. The sound of chores being done quickly and without compliant. The sound of a prayer being said unrehearsed, without hesitation, and full of faith. The sound of your child learning to read. And even the quiet sound of peaceful slumber.

I have a new favorite sound. The sound of my children practicing music.

Austin has been learning how to play the piano this summer. He has done well and I enjoy our time together as he practices daily. Today he finished his first piano book. I love the sound of Austin on the piano.



On Tuesday Emma had her first violin lesson. She was expressing some interest as I was learning so I acted on it. We now go together. She was painfully shy at the lesson but as done well the past few days as she practices. I'm excited to share this with her. I love the sound of Emma Lynn on the violin.



My mom sent me my french horn and we received it today. The kids and I had so much fun this morning blaring like elephants as we experimented with a brass instrument. The boys definitely like this! :)



It brought back lots of great memories of being in band and choir and the importance of music in my life. I am excited to share that love with my children, help them develop self mastery and their own love to create something beautiful and sweet. Until then we'll continue screeching, plunking and blaring away - music to this mother's ears.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Austin said today...

"Mom, you have a pattern with your babies. Boy, girl, boy, girl. So the next baby will be a boy. I really like the name Webster. You should name our baby boy Webster, mom. Do you like that name?

Not really. What if we don't have any more babies in our family?

We will."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The magical thing about books is that you can imagine. There is nothing magic about TV."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Let Freedom Ring!



We had a wonderful 4th.

This morning I ran my first 10K (6 miles.) My goal was to run it under an hour. My time was 50:11 so I was definitely happy with that. It was a faster pace and I was ready to be done which means..............I have SO MUCH training to do to prepare for my 1/2 marathon in August!

Kurt and the kids were waiting for me at the finish line. It was exciting to see them cheering me on. I appreciate their support. Then Austin ran the 1 mile kid run. A little boy tripped right at the beginning so I helped him up and when I looked up Austin was gone. I seriously had to run (not jog) to catch up with him. He ran the whole way!!! I was so proud of him. I loved running with him, hand in hand, pushing each other a little bit farther until we reached the finish line. Totally symbolic of life lessons.



finishing the 10K


Austin and I running to the finish line


The racers

We rode in the parade also. It was our ward's turn to do the float. Kurt pulled the trailer with Ruth on his lap. He told me she was waving and talking and smiling to everyone. Even blowing some kisses, how cute! The other three kids were riding in the back of the pick-up throwing candy. Emma was overwhelmed with all the people and didn't throw a single piece (or smile) while the boys went crazy and chucked it by the hand fulls. After they finished their bag they grabbed Emma's and depleted her stash too. Spencer was even searching the bottom of the pick-up for any left over candy he could throw. I was on the trailer with my violin teacher, Iran Trenkel playing patriotic songs (Battle Hymn, America the Beautiful, Yankee Doodle, This Land is Your Land, My Country tis of Thee, and Star Spangled Banner.) It really gave me a sense of patriotism, and brought the spirit of freedom to my day. I'm grateful for a nation to worship how, where and what I may. I am honored to have been born in a place that allows such freedom. Let freedom ring!







Family Time VS. Scout/Girls Camp

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