December 23, 2010

PRE-Christmas Eve with the FAM!!. . .

Since it was easier for nearly everyone (minus the Texas clan) to get together up in Layton (thanks to Linda's and Monty's hospitality AND the use of their home!) we had a FUN pre-Christmas gathering. We were glad that Wyatt could be there, too!!

Enjoy the pictures!!

December 21, 2010

Yup, this is Santa Clara!!

Our family sure knows how to have a good time without much planning. . . Dallin spotted the canoe on the "rain-made" lake by the dike you kids used to cross going to the middle school.

Kristy, Mil and I couldn't pass up the opportunity...(Dallin had to go to volleyball practice!) So hi-jacked the canoe and paddled all over the lake. It was great!! Dad shot some of the pictures even though he was VERY concerned that we'd tip over...and we almost did!! But it was a blast!!


Random pics from the flooding in Santa Clara, down by Mark Walter's ranch, and by Green Valley

December 19, 2010


In the December issue of The Era, there are many excellent articles! One, in particular, was a good reminder about “stuff,” and how to make sure our lives aren’t defined by our stuff.

1. Know Who You Are. One of the most subtle and dangerous aspects of materialism is the false identity it can give us.” Does what we “have” make us better than someone else? Or does what we don’t have make us miserable and feel inferior? There is a constant onslaught of advertising messages trying to sell us an image of who we ought to be based on what we ought to buy. This is a distortion of our true identity; we our children of our Heavenly Father and we have a divine identity and potential.

2. Know Where You’re Going. The bumper sticker that says, “He who dies with the most toys wins” may be funny only because there are some people who really do believe it. The prophet Alma taught, “Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.” The stuff we can buy in this world is nothing compared to the gift of eternal life, “which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God”

3. Be Grateful. People who develop a sense of thankfulness are able to reduce the negative effects of the materialism that surrounds them. “We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we … cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.” (Pres. Monson)

4. Think Outside Yourself. Material things, along with the ways they are marketed, move our focus onto ourselves rather than others. In this way, materialism can cause us to quietly reject the Lord’s commandment to “love thy neighbour as thyself.” Focus on self, and the stuff of this world, is not part of living “after the manner of happiness” In fact, modern research seems to have verified that (1) you can’t buy happiness and (2) a focus on others can bring greater personal satisfaction. “We are happiest when our lives are connected to others through unselfish love and service.” (Elder Withlin)

5. Be Wise. The Savior told His Apostles, “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” In other words, we should be innocent but not naïve; we should understand the ways of the world without being worldly. We can avoid developing materialistic attitudes if we are more aware of the selling intent of advertising and marketing. Remember, the ads we see are just trying to get us to buy stuff. For what do we exchange our dollars? We need to be careful that the incessant drone of materialism doesn’t influence our attitudes and thoughts and cause us to forget the Lord and His commandments, as well as our true selves
“The tugs and pulls of the world are powerful. Worldly lifestyles are cleverly reinforced by the rationalization, ‘Everybody is doing it,’ thus fanning or feigning a majority. Products are promoted and attitudes engendered by clever niche marketing.” DON’T GET TRAPPED!!

December 13, 2010

The not-so-good, very bad day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I don't usually have "bad days." But this was one of the rare days that qualify!

It started out great!! We took 8 horses in two trucks and trailers and headed to Navajo Loop up on the Red Mountain Trail. Harrison Schram was driving the second truck and had Mark Gubler and Isaac Allen along.

I had made the turn off across Highway 18. Harrison wasn't far behind, so I was surprised when he didn't come in behind me. Turns out he didn't slow down enough to make the turn, so pulled onto the right shoulder and was going to back up to make the turn.

I started walking towards the highway, and as I got within about 100 yards I whistled to get the boys' attention and tell them NOT to back up, simply make a U-turn and pull in. Well, my loud whistle was interpreted by Buck (who was in the back of the truck)as a signal to "Come!" He jumped out of the truck and started to run across the highway. But a truck was coming from the other direction and hit him, killing him instantly. It was an awful thing to witness, and then to realize my error.

The man who hit him laid down about two year's worth of tread on the road trying to stop. I was so grateful he didn't wreck in trying to avoid the collision. He was so sweet in his apology as he said in his Hispanic accent, "I'm so sorry about your doggie." I assured him it wasn't his fault and he helped me carry Buck off the shoulder and by some bushes where we laid him.

Not wanting to traumatize our riding group by the event, I talked with the boys in the truck about it a bit, assured them they didn't do anything wrong, and then we went on our horseback ride.

One of the riders was an 8 year old boy (Jake) whose birthday was the day before and we were helping him celebrate! I simply told him, "Well, my dog got hurt a little bit, but he'll be okay (he was!). Let's go ride the horses!!" This little boy didn't need to have that sad event in his memory bank.

So, the ride started out pretty well. Jake got comfortable on Silver and was riding without a tether. However, shortly before we arrived at the look out over Snow Canyon, Silver bucked and Jake went off the horse, landing on his back. I couldn't believe it!! In 6 years of riding, Silver has never bucked anyone off!! And Jake was traumatized!! Luckily, he was willing to get on behind me and we rode Zoro together. I had Jake's mom (Julie) ride Silver because she's so smooth, and then Mark pulled the empty horse behind him. All went well until we were about two thirds of the way back to the truck. Suddenly, Silver bucked again, and Julie went off into the sand. Unbelieveable!! She handled it very well, even though it was HER first time riding a horse and she was scared to death!! She got on Zoro and rode with Jake behind her. I rode Silver, who didn't dare buck with me!

Well, we got everyone home without further adventures and I was relieved! I felt badly for Julie and Jake; I was very disturbed about Silver's behavior; and I was holding in an extreme amount of sorrow about our sweet dog being killed.

When I got home I told Rod what had happened and then we drove back up, with a shovel, so we could bury Buck. I was so grateful Rod had gone with me. It was a sad time and we both cried as Rod dug the hole between two small pine trees and we carried Buck there, placed him in the hole, and covered him with the dirt. It made us think of how hard it must have been for the pioneers to bury their children and loved ones along the pioneer trail.

We are grateful for the joy we have had having Buck in our family. He served the original purpose for which we got him: to be a riding companion to Natalee when she was training Silver all alone.

Buck was SUCH a good dog. He loved to go with the horses whenever we rode and he helped the horses become totally accustomed to a dog darting in and out around their legs. He was very obedient, always stayed by my side when he would go running with me. Harrison LOVED having Buck for a running companion, too. I think nearly all of you kids have run with Buck at one time or another!

And we're grateful to have the last pictures taken of him being with Nikki sitting on Buck's back, pulling on his ears, with his patient look of, "Are we DONE yet?" never moving an inch until Nikki was done having fun with her doggie.

December 5, 2010

I don't usually use this word. . . but it works . . .

Life is like a straw. . .
. . . YOU are the only one who can make it suck!


A story was related in church last week that I wanted to repeat:

A gal walked into a nutrition store to get some vitamins while she was on her cell phone. The clerk, a friend of hers, started to help her while the gal was finishing up her conversation. At one point the woman on the phone said, "Yes, I'm home..." which rather startled the clerk because she knew this woman to generally be an honest, good person. The clerk didn't want to think poorly of the gal, but this was an obvious lie.

Well, the friend finally hung up her phone and mentioned to the clerk, "We just returned from up north, attending my uncle's funeral, so I had to let my daughter know we were home..."

Wow! How many times do we KNOW that something is one way...I mean, it's OBVIOUS, isn't it??? Just to find out we didn't know as much as we thought we did...

I hope we will all be careful not to pass judgment, even when we THINK we KNOW!!

December 3, 2010

Mom's reflections...

People occasionally ask me if I'm feeling the "empty nest" syndrome. I quickly reply, "Not so much...I have 25 'kids' who come in my house every week! (piano students)" However, perhaps I am if reflecting on the past 30 years of parenting is part of the empty nest experience.

It all started a few days ago. Dallin, Dad and I were putting up our NEW Christmas tree. Talk about slick! It’s the kind where the branches fold out with a little flick of the wrist, and, of course, is pre-lit! As Dal and I were fluffing the branches, he said, “Hey! Do you realize in a couple of years we won’t be doing this anymore?!” Not missing a beat, I said, “Yeah, we’re going to get a little table to put in front of the window, and we’ll stick a little tree on it, and YOU will get this BIG tree!! Boy, our life is going to be simpler!” In retrospect, I think Dal was awakening to the fact that “things change!” And from here on out in his life, there’s going to be a lot of change!

The next day “emotions” started to be tweaked in me. Weird evaluations of the past 30 years of parenting were the order of the day. “Remember this? Boy you sure blew it! Remember that? WHAT were you thinking!?! Man, you sure weren’t a very good mother!!”

Why is it always easier to see “stupid thinking” when someone else is having a problem than it is to see when YOU are the one being sucked into it?! SHEESH. Nevertheless, that’s what was going on when Natalee called me. I am SO glad she has figured out how to talk about feelings and not just shut down like she used to! ^_^ We had a good talk about a lot of things, and then I mentioned something about feeling like I’m losing a daughter because she is up in Logan, she’s far from home, much closer to Wyatt’s family and, in my emotional state, I felt like she cared much more about HIS family than ours. (Yes, I know it was retarded thinking…)

Anyway, we were able to talk about all of our feelings about that AND other things. Like my feeling badly that we were always so stretched financially and couldn’t buy so many of the things it seemed like “EVERYONE else” had. With a little help from Natalee, I suddenly looked at things a little differently. She said she didn’t remember some of the stuff I brought up, but that she was grateful for all the things she has learned because of not always having everything she wanted.

I said, “Okay, let’s see. Each of you kids KNEW you were loved. No question there. You were given MUSIC; you were given the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST; you were given parents who you KNEW loved each other; you were raised in a moral home. Wow! Would I trade any of those for MONEY? Nope!”

And so, these are just some of my rambling thoughts and experiences of the last couple of days. I am SO grateful for ALL that we have been blessed with, even when it may not have seemed like such a great blessing at the time!

Sometimes it takes the bifocals of time passage to help us see more clearly exactly what we have been blessed with.

I hope you’re all paying attention in your lives, and making good choices, so when you look back you will not have many regrets.


November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We sure had a fun time up in Mapleton for Thanksgiving! Thanks to Dan and Janet (and family) for their hospitality!! We bombarded them with our clan (other than the Texas bunch) and had everyone together for Thanksgiving!! We had fun eating, playing games, watching football and visiting with cousins, aunts and uncles, and Mom and Dad Barton.

Too bad the BYU v. Utah football game didn't have a better ending!! Then it would have been a PERFECT weekend!

Oh well, next year!

November 19, 2010

Because it rains when we wish it wouldn't,
Because men do what they often shouldn't,
Because crops fail, and plans go wrong
Some of us grumble all day long.
But somehow, in spite of the care and doubt,
It seems at the last that things work out.

Because we lose where we hoped to gain,
Because we suffer a little pain,
Because we must work when we'd like to play
Some of us whimper along life's way.
But somehow, as day always follows the night,
Most of our troubles work out all right.

Because we cannot forever smile,
Because we must trudge in the dust awhile,
Because we think that the way is long
Some of us whimper that life's all wrong.
But somehow we live and our sky grows bright,
And everything seems to work out all right.

So bend to your trouble and meet your care,
For the clouds must break, and the sky grow fair.
Let the rain come down, as it must and will,
But keep on working and hoping still.
For in spite of the grumblers who stand about,
Somehow, it seems, all things work out.

November 14, 2010


I wish I could remember what CD I was listening to...I think it was one of Uncle Kim's talks at BYU-Idaho. Anyway, it really made an impact on me, so I wrote it down on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt. Good thing is was a long receipt!!

"Faith in Christ is inextricably tied to, and results in, hope in Christ for our redemption and exaltation. And assurance and hope make it possible for us to walk to the edge of light, and take a few steps into the darkness, expecting and trusting the light to move and illuminate the way. The combination of assurance and hope initiates action in the present."
10:30 p.m. Sunday evening...have just a minute to do some writing...

Last Sunday I came home from the 4-day stint up north for the piano competition.
I need to learn to CHILL regarding this whole thing!! I think this year I really got psyched out (due to a couple of non-related, but related incidents.) Too bad things aren't as clear DURING the fact as they are AFTER the fact!! Someday maybe I'll get a clue about life!!

The judges really enjoyed the lunch Linda prepared for us, this year with at least a little more notice than last year. Even with the planning we barely had 20 minutes to eat, grab some bowls of soup for one of the judges and two other ladies who "got lost" and barely had time to get to the hotel, set down bags, and dash off to the university.

The second day I spaced leaving one of the judges at the hotel, remembered 10 minutes before we were to start, had to FLY back to the hotel and we were only 10 minutes late getting started.

Uhmmmm, and this year was my "parking ticket" spectacular! Got one on Temple Square when one of the judges and I went to the Tabernacle Choir rehearsal on Thursday evening. It was AMAZING, but the ticket was uncalled for...just because I parked where it said "carriage parking" and there was no carriage there...

And then I got another at the university when I parked where the ticket booth person said I could because I was late with the was I supposed to know I was parking in a fire zone??? There were 4 other cars parked there and I parked in between them?!?!

I paid the Temple Square one and am appealing the University one. ^_^

The competition really is enjoyable to me once things get going. It's just long!! Three days worth of listening to CRAZY AMAZING PIANO PERFORMANCES is something else!

AND, when the judges say they just heard the two most amazing performances of their LIVES, is really saying something!!

So, enough about last week...

Dallin's first matinée for PETER PAN went remarkably well! Maybe I'm just a proud mom, but I think Dallin is doing a GREAT job as Peter Pan. AND he flies really well too! We're looking forward to Opening Night this week! (Nov. 18th) AND we're looking forward to family coming down to support Dallin, too! (I'll start taking some pictures and video so I can post it for Jaimi and Mike to see.)


October 26, 2010

Halloween Family. . . thanks to Dal!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Hard times. . .

With so many things happening to us, or to those around us, I thought this video particularly touching...

October 25, 2010

Where's my camera when I REALLY need it?

I WISH I had a picture of Dallin's face a few minutes ago!! He was just heading to the shower after a heated rugby practice (which was after his play practice...).

Just before he shut the bathroom door I said, "Hey, did I tell you??? (pause pause) We're going to have a BABY!!"

I thought he was going to pass out!

For a split second I couldn't understand his reaction, then I "got it" and quickly said, "NO, NOT ME!! SILVER!!" The look of disbelief/relief on his face said volumes!

But the glorious news is SILVER IS PREGNANT!! And this time it's not a false hope!
NAT & Silver
From Horses 5-22-10

I took her to the vet this afternoon who did a physical exam on her (good thing she was in a chute or the vet would have had the bejeebers kicked out of him!) Since she's 3 months along, the fetus has already dropped down in so the vet couldn't feel the foal. Out of the generosity of his heart (without charging me!) he did an ultrasound on Silver. I could see "Baby Silver's" ribs, heart, and tail in the few quick flashes we got!! It was SOOOOO cool!

Since we don't know the exact date Silver was bred (sometime in July), we're going to use Jaimi's birthday (July 11th) as the breed date. So the foal date will be around June 4th!! WAHOO!!!

(Silver and the stud meet for the first time in July!!)

(one of the foals from this stud)

October 24, 2010

Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans!"

--John Lennon

October 23, 2010


It probably sounds strange to link calories and budgets, BUT there is a correlation!

This past month Dad and I have been doing something different...well, mostly I have been doing something different, but Dad is helping. We've been "bugged" the last year or so that it seems we just get further and further behind financially, even though we're trying really hard to not spend very much money. Three weddings, 4 hospitalizations, numerous doctor visits, etc., etc., MIGHT explain some of it. But we were still frustrated.

SOOOOOO, at the beginning of the month I put a spiral notebook on the kitchen counter and said, "I want to write down EVERYTHING that comes in or goes out financially EVERY DAY! Don't let me go to bed without writing it down."

And so, that's what we've been doing. Suddenly, we are both MUCH more aware of where our money is going, and I tend to think twice before spending money because I know I'll have to write it down.

That's when it dawned on me that it's very much like calories. If we don't know there are 2000 calories in one small box of Crunch and Munch at Wal-mart, it's very easy for me to eat the entire box by myself. Once I found out the incredibly high caloric content of that box, I have NO PROBLEM leaving it on the shelf!!

If we take the time to track (calories or dollars) that come in or go out, we have a much better chance of being successful at what we're trying to accomplish. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS. . .it's just another kind of DUMB!

I am AMAZED at the difference it makes, and I also feel rather STUPID that it has taken me over a year to figure this out. Oh well...better late than never!!

October 18, 2010

Dallin at the Benefit Concert

Nice duet Dal!! Great warm up for the play!!

Mom got to accompany Jadon and Shelby!

October 17, 2010

Still here. . .

The other day someone said, "You know you're too busy if you need a planner..." I thought that was an interesting thought, and temporarily made me glad I don't carry a planner! Well, I think the flip side is, "The person who is so busy that they need a planner, but doesn't carry one, is very close to becoming insane!" Here I am!!

Sheesh! I haven't written on the blog, I haven't written in my journal...but I have jotted notes on the calendar. Doubt I'll get much further than notes for now.

Some of the highlights:

Dallin wasn't struck by lightening thanks to a last minute decision to check on something in the auditorium before he headed out to his car, which was parked right in front of the tree the boys were standing under when they got hit by the lightening.

Rod's shoulders are continually improving. He put his arm around me at church...which he hasn't been able to do for awhile!

I am now out of my boot and into my running shoes, although I'm not allowed to run yet.

My piano students did VERY well with the piano evaluations this year. 5 of the 20 entered were given the highest ranking available; 13 were given the second best, and 2 were given Excellent marks. I was pleased! AND three of the five were chosen to perform in Ogden at the State Convention Recital. COOL!

We had a really nice Fall Piano Recital at the St. George Tabernacle last week. We sure are lucky to have such a great place to perform in! Now, if I can just find the time to get the videos uploaded!!

Dallin and I have two performance gigs that we actually get PAID for!! One in December and one in March. It's lots of fun to perform together!

We've done a lot of riding the past two weeks, and we've gotten a lot of work done at the corrals. The replacement barn looks great, and the corrals are getting a facelift, too!

Dad and I, Kristy and Jenny (mission comp) rode down in the Anasazi Valley on Saturday. It was really cool, and we ended up on Pride Rock. Made me miss Natalee!

Well, that's the brief "catch-up" for now! There's lots to tell, but so little time!! I love each of you. Keep working hard at being the best you can be for today, then do even better tomorrow!! ^_^


October 4, 2010

Marathon Weekend 2010

My foot surgery kinda wiped me out of the marathon-running game, so the next best thing would be to cheer on my kids and my running friends, right?! That's what I thought!!

However, I didn't get up with the kids at 3:00 a.m. since I had stayed up until 1:30 a.m. waiting for Kristy and Charles to get back from the Las Vegas airport...Charles had flown in from Kansas City at the last minute (to run under my bib# since I wouldn't be using it), but he was on the red-eye flight. They got home around 2:30 a.m., and with a brief "nap," Kristy, Dallin and Charles were ready to leave for the marathon bus loading a bit after 4:00 a.m.

Summer and Elizabeth (my training partners) were also running the marathon together, and I felt little pangs of envy as I thought of the excitement of the race and that I COULD have been running with them! (I actually considered calling my doctor for permission to run "just a part of the marathon" with my boot on, but then I thought he might not be too impressed with that.)

Julie Schram and I headed up through Snow Canyon State Park to view the runners at about mile 18. But nearly half-way there cars lined the sides of the road, and I knew this vantage point was NOT going to happen! I flipped the car around and headed to our second choice...Snow Canyon Parkway and Bluff...mile 23.

This was a great place! It wasn't congested, Julie and I enjoyed sitting in our lawn chairs, cheering on different people and even seeing some people we knew!! Julie and I walked up the race route, looking for all of our runners, covering one-half to three-fourths mile.

At one point Dallin called me on his phone wondering where I was...he was passing the north entrance where he was EXPECTING to see me. He was a bit disappointed that he'd need to run nearly 5 miles to get the extra encouragement he needed from his mom! When we met up he was VERY spent, and his feet were killing him. He draped his arms around me for a bit, and then we walked arm-in-arm while I talked to him, and gave him some medicine. By the time he and I were back to the chairs he was ready to finish the last three miles, and he did it in a total time of 4:57:44!

After seeing Dallin off, I headed back up the route where Julie was.

In the meantime I heard from Kristy. She was very disappointed that I wasn't at the north entrance! She was going to jump in the car with me since she was hurting so badly. I explained to her what had happened and simply told her, "Get on a NOT finish this race." She was a smart girl and listened to her mother! The shuttle dropped her off by us.

Summer didn't have a phone, so we weren't sure WHERE she was, but Elizabeth DID have a phone, so we were able to talk some. She sounded really good and like she was being very smart listening to her body. She said Summer was ahead of her. We had walked quite a bit, but then thought we might just head back to the chairs. So we did and moved them closer to the intersection.

Daniel Belmont and his wife were running the marathon, but she was REALLY struggling. I was able to give her some stuff to help her through the end of the race. Medicine and fruit snacks are a BIG help!

Shortly after that we saw Summer! She looked hammered!! We were on the opposite side of the barricade trying to talk to her, encourage her, give her some water, etc. Suddenly, I knew what I needed to do. I gave Kristy my purse and keys to the car and said, "Take care of things. Drive where you need to...I'm running Summer in." And I did!

I was SO grateful I could be there for her, and share in part of the marathon that we had trained together for. People looked at me very strangely and even made some comments about my running with my big black boot. It wasn't terribly comfortable, but I knew Summer needed my mental support to get her through the toughest 3.2 miles of the marathon. And she finished splendidly!! About 45 minutes later I watched as Elizabeth crossed the finish line, beaming at her great accomplishment!! It was a GREAT race!!

I went to Dr. Burton this morning for my check up. He was NOT impressed when he found out I had covered 5 miles of the marathon route in my boot. After tersely ordering some x-rays, he went to see another patient. After getting the pictures taken of my foot, I was left in the room with one of the x-rays in plain sight...and I could see where the bone had been broken and come out of alignment. I was SICK!! How could it break and me not feel anything?!?! I haven't been on any pain meds for the past few weeks!

When Dr. Burton came in I knew he was going to be mad. He looked at the first picture, then the next and the next. After looking at all five he said, "Wow! You are healing remarkably well!!" I about cried! I asked him to show me what he was seeing because all I could see was the place where the bones didn't come together. He assured me saying, "What you were looking at is where we took the knuckle out of your toe. This place here is where I cut the joint and wanted it to fuse back together well. It is!"

Without much thought I said, "Oh good!! Will you please write my husband a note and tell him that I've been a good patient?!"

Dr. Burton somewhat sternly said, "No, I can't do that."

Not giving up, I asked, "Could you write a note that says I'm healing well in spite of my stupidity in running part of the marathon??"

He smiled and said, "THAT, I can do!" And he did!!


September 26, 2010

Swiss Days Parade 2010

So here's what Saturday looked like. . .

Got the horses out of the backyard (they spent the night in our yard...I won't say how bad everything looked in morning's light!) and brushed and saddled, while Harrison and Dallin did "damage control" on the backyard. The grass HAD needed mowed...but now what's left of it has been over-fertilized! The big bushy grape vine got "deforested," and a trampoline spring was "sprung" from it's 9" to a stretched out 24"!

We trailered the horses to the parade start and took some pictures. Nearly seven year old Isaiah Nielsen waited for me to lift him up on Zoro, with Harrison holding the lead. Then I dashed off to jump in one of the lead cars of the parade, as the Volunteer of the Year...still seems funny to me. (READ THE EARLIER POST FOR DETAILS...)

As soon as I got to the end of the parade, Mitzi Gates put me on her 4 wheeler, and drove rapidly back through the parade route to the start. The horses had just come around the bend at the very beginning of the parade!! I got off the 4-wheeler with my "gimp" foot, and climbed up on Zoro with Isaiah! PERFECT timing!

Celeste, Shaylee, Cassidy, Isaiah, Harrison and I all had the FUN FUN time together!

As people saw me TWICE in the parade and wondered about it, I simply mentioned I've always wanted a clone!!
September 24, 2010 – Friday

What a "surprising" Swiss Days it has been this year! A few days ago Rod asked if I wanted to go hear the yodeler sing at Swiss Days on Friday night. I had just read the review about him and said it sounded like a great date!! (The stage was set, figuratively. . . )

Friday was a VERY busy day, that didn't go the way I had planned! My intention was to spend a good portion of the day doing homework, after I got cleaned up. Ha! Didn't get one lick of it done!! I'm still not sure what took up my morning -- oh yeah, piano competition stuff, piano recital and evaluation stuff, community garden computer work, and the family blog all got done...then it was off to visit Don and Joyce a bit, pick up my 5k race shirts (didn't run/walk the race, but I LOVE the shirts I registered for!), took the computer in to get fixed, went to Home Depot for parts for the community garden, back to the computer store, then home with barely enough time to get the horses brought to the house to wash and ready them for the parade on Saturday. Whew!

Rod came home after school for a "blink" before he left to go to physical therapy. I was working on the 2nd horse. Rod came home from his appointment and I was on the 4th horse, and it was now 5:15. (Rod starts to wonder if "the surprise" can be pulled off...)

At 6:00 I STILL have not cleaned up for the day! (Rod's getting worried, because I look and smell like a horse! [My words, not his!] and yet I have NO CLUE about what's REALLY on the agenda...)

It's 6:15 p.m. when I take one of my new Swiss Days running shirts and head for the shower. (Rod breathes a sigh of relief...)

I was all cleaned up by 6:40, but was hungry and suggested I cook some corn from the garden and slice some tomatoes. Rod wasn't enthusiastic about it, but I knew how good the corn was! I was sure he would enjoy it, so I made some in the microwave. It only took a few minutes. I could tell that Rod didn't want to be late for the Yodeler so we ate HOT corn very fast, and then we were on our way with 5 minutes to spare.(Nothing out of the ordinary was even close to MY radar...)

We drove down to the Swiss Days festivities, and I only had to ask Rod to slow his pace down a couple of times because my foot is a bit painful to walk on. (I still had NO IDEA. . .)

A school group of kids was singing as we finally located a couple of empty seats in the crowd under the large white pavillion tent. The group finished singing as I decided my foot would be MUCH more comfortable if I took my shoe off and rested it on Rod's leg. (Rod didn't say a thing, just rubbed my foot...)

After the kids left the stage, Mayor Rick Rosenberg got up and welcomed everyone. He thanked the sponsors who have helped, and mentioned a few other things, then he said, "Is Patrice Hunt here?"

"What????" Was my first dumbfounded thought? He asked again, so I stood up as I thought "They're thanking me for doing the parade for the last two years??? Why??!!" Then the mayor asked me to come up to the stage. As I HOBBLED up there with one shoe off and one shoe on (diddle-diddle-dumpling, my son John!) he announced, "Patrice is our VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR!" Partway to the stage I turned and looked at Rod, questioning if he knew about this. That (sweetheart) RAT!!! Turns out he had known for a MONTH!!

It was a very nice honor, and I was TOTALLY unsuspecting!

(I DO feel a bit satisfied to know that I caused Rod a tad bit of concern with all the last minute "wondering" if I was going to be ready in time for our "date.")

By the way, the yodeler was REALLY good! I'm glad THAT part of our date was still part of our fun evening!!

September 24, 2010


So the other night, there was a "Ding and Ditch" at our door. I went out side. . . and the pictures tell the rest of the story!! ^_^

We found the "L" in "Loo" the next morning. Sooooo, Dallin's going to Sadies with Malia Loo. . . in NOVEMBER!!

September 22, 2010

Marriage Advice. . .

So, we have FOUR children married now, and only three left! Within the next 5 years we could have ALL SEVEN KIDS MARRIED!! Wow!!

With that said, I've thought a lot in the past several months about Dad's and my marriage...the things we've learned and experienced together, the joy and happiness we STILL share even after 30 1/2 years of marriage. Here's a few of the things I've thought of:

1. Dad and I started out loving each other...a lot!! That's a great start for any marriage! ^_^ Because of that, we really wanted to make sure our marriage was a good one. From the time we were engaged, we have been interested in learning from "marriage advice" that others thought was important. We heard many versions of the "toothpaste tube being squeezed the wrong way." We learned the importance of differences and to be FLEXIBLE!! Just because you grew up with something one way, and it feels like the "ONLY WAY," don't make your "different-ness" a battle ground to die on.

Here's one example that took me awhile to learn...Dad grew up with a "dolly" and I grew up with a "hand truck." So you can imagine my need to PROVE that what he was referring to and what I was referring to was definitely NOT a was a HAND TRUCK! We didn't "fight" about it, but I wanted to prove I was right. I found several catalogs that called it a "hand truck" complete with a picture, proving my point.

Whether I was right or not, I was WRONG!! Luckily, before I drove that stupid hand truck into the ground too far, I realized my husband was getting bugged about my "know it all" -ness as he asserted a few different times "well, WE called it a dolly." And that really is the bottom line. Grandpa Hunt could have called it a "tram" and that's what it would have been to Dad. Did I honor my husband by driving the point and making it an issue? No!! However, once I became aware that I was accomplishing something I REALLY did NOT want to do, I stopped, apologized and we have learned to laugh about our different-ness. He does NOT have to call it a hand-truck, and I often find myself calling it a dolly!

Would I EVER want "being right" to be the thing that puts a wedge in my marriage. NO! Don't let it be in yours, either.

2. Kindness cannot be overrated. There are LOTS of traits that are important in a marriage: trust and love are HUGE in my book! However, I had never really thought about "kindness" until I was married to my husband. Dad has so many wonderful traits that help make our marriage wonderful. But his KINDNESS to me has reaped him HUGE rewards. I am dedicated to him, love him, admire him, and am willing to serve him and try to make his marriage to me a joy and a blessing and NEVER a regret. So many times we get what we give. What came first? The chicken or the egg? Well, I can honestly say, our marriage is as happy as it is because of the kindness of my husband.

I have said several times to the girls, "When you get married, I hope you find someone as good as your father. Look for someone who is KIND!" I truly believe that. Boys, if you will find a way to set EGO aside, and truly find a way to be kind in everything you do with or for your wife, it will come back to you an hundred-fold! It won't always be easy. There have been a few times in the past 30 years that Dad hasn't been perfect. I can't remember what they are, but there is a teeny-tiny spot in my heart that remembers, and I feel extremely grateful for a good husband who has managed, in those slip-ups, to apologize and make things right.

Now there have been TONS of times that I have been emotional, offended, WRONG, etc., but because of the kindness of my husband, of taking MY PROBLEM on his back, it has freed me up to calm down, and learn to be a kinder woman. I am indebted to my husband for eternity!!

Well, that's only the tip of the ice berg, but it will have to do for now. I have HOMEWORK TO DO!!


I love each of you SO much!! I feel very blessed to be a part of our wonderful (and growing!) family!!


September 19, 2010

Denzel's and Anna's Wedding

What a spectacular day this was!! Anna was a beautiful bride and Denzel was dashingly handsome in his dress uniform!! (And my dear friend, Judge Lynn Davis, did a great job with the wedding ceremony!!) We are SO happy for Denzel, Anna and Bridger!

And what a GREAT PARTY there was afterwards! We loved the dancing and the friends and family that were there!! Thanks everyone!! (If you DIDN'T get to be there, the slide show and video may help you enjoy the experience a bit...)

Pictures from the luncheon/reception...

September 16, 2010

Boot Ride!

Yep! I couldn't take it any longer and just HAD to go riding. Harrison did SUCH a good job getting the horses saddled, loaded, and the trailer ready to go by the time I was done teaching piano this afternoon. And we had a great ride!! Boy, the horses were sure happy to be out, too!!

It was great therapy! And my foot was happy the whole time!

September 13, 2010

I DO Have a Brain!!

Sooooo, last night I was talking to Julie Williams and heard myself say "I feel like I'm watching a tidal wave build and can see that it's going to crash on top of me!!"

After we hung up I started to think more about my words and the mental picture I had, then I thought, "Stupid woman!! If you see a tidal wave building, ready to crash on you...why don't you MOVE?!?" So, MOVE I did! I dropped 4 of my classes...and it turns out today was the last day to drop! Boy! I dodged that wave just in the nick of time. I learned enough about Access for the time being and can understand what Brandon is talking about when we discuss his program, my Economics class is put on hold until January, and Word and Publisher might have to wait til then also!

Now I'm ONLY taking piano pedagogy, piano fundamentals (theory), and Powerpoint.

I also have the STATE piano competition coming up, and the STAKE 11 year old program we're in charge of in November. I am SO grateful I honored my husband's request last year that I not do the city's parade (which I've been in charge of the last two years) since I'm still in charge of the state piano competition. The hit both at the same time and it would have been ANOTHER tidal wave coming at me in two weeks! Whew!!

On the other side of things, yesterday was Stake Conference and Dallin gave a really good talk there. He said he was nervous, but he sure didn't look or act like it. Nice job, Dal!!

Dad REALLY enjoyed going back to teaching today. When he came home he said, "Wow, being back at school reminds me how much I really enjoy teaching. It was great being back and having so many kids be glad I was back." He was tired but not wiped out. So I was glad about that!!

I got my stitches out of my foot and now it's just a two week wait (with my boot) until I can get the pin out...and hopefully get back to some normal shoes. WAHOO!!

That's all for now.


P.S. I'm starting to re-read "The Peace Giver" I highly recommend it...and I'm sure you'll hear more about it from me down the road. ^_^

September 11, 2010


(Updated slideshow with the dance pictures, too!)

Dallin was voted onto the Homecoming Royalty this here are the pics! Homecoming Parade, Homecoming Assembly, (I'm working on getting the not-the-best photographer-in-the-world video uploaded...), and the half-time at the Homecoming Football game.

Even though someone else was chosen as "King," Dal's still very "kingly" in our eyes!! And we thought Kenzie Willey looked darling as Dallin's date!!

Congrats, Dallin!

More updates...

Lest I be accused of not telling you something I told one of the other kids, and that YOU are always the LAST to know something...I'm putting it in writing, then you BETTER be advised. Right???

So, Nat first...she REALLY was a big help to Dad and I when we first had our surgeries, but we also knew she was ready to be on her own and was looking at moving to Logan. She spent a lot of time on line looking at job openings, etc. One of the places she applied was the Marriott's Springhill Suites. They liked her application, and wanted to interview her sooooo, she drove my trustee Sonata up to Logan. Before she headed back on Monday she had the job!! Hurray for Nat!! After a few days at home, and just a week post-op for me, Nat and I drove up to SLC to look at a car we had found online. The short version there is: I was feeling AWFUL when we left early Friday morning...I threw-up in Cedar! (Luckily we were able to pull off the freeway, hose me down and clean up the car before continuing on our way.) Nat bought the 1996 Hyundai Sonata, we got it inspected and registered, went out to eat, then Nat headed north to Logan, and I stopped off at Barton's in Mapleton to spend the night and try to recuperate before heading home Saturday morning.

Nat's enjoying her job and her car. The place she moved into had a really BAD feeling about it, so she moved out after the 2nd day, and is staying at Kevin and Ann Jensen's (he was my district leader on my mission...and they are friends we don't get to see very often!) while she looks for a better place! (And we are grateful Wyatt is taking good care of Natalee!)

Now, most of you know I'm taking some college classes this semester. But I thought I'd feel you in on the how & why!
I considered going back to get my bachelor's degree in Music...for about 60 seconds. And then I thought, "WHY?!?!" There are only a couple of the required classes that I really want to take...I'm 54...I don't want to teach on a college level...I don't have a ton of time I don't know what to do with...etc., etc. So I signed up for the one music class that I really wanted to take to help me be a better piano teacher.
AND THEN I TALKED TO BRANDON. . .this is all YOUR fault, son!! As we talked about some of the stuff he's involved in, he told me about ACCESS (a database computer program that I hadn't even heard of). Well, ever since Brandon and I took a "how to build a computer" class together when he was 14, we've enjoyed "talking computers." Since I didn't know anything about Access, I decided to take a class in it...and then I saw three other computer classes I really thought would be fun (Publisher, Powerpoint and Word). So, I suddenly had FOUR on-line computer classes I was signed up for in addition to my music class. AND THEN I THOUGHT, "Hmmmm, I really think an economics class could be interesting to me NOW..." so I found an on-line economics class and signed up for it. Suddenly, I'm only 3 credits short of "full-time" so I sign up for a "Music Fundamentals" class, also on-line, and THAT'S how I got to be taking 7 college classes this semester when I didn't have time to go back and get my Bachelor's Degree in Music!! Go figure!!


September 8, 2010


Over the years (from the time I was four!), I've had to learn anger management techniques! Let me see, I smashed a porcelain Model T car my parents had been given as a treasured wedding present when my dad wouldn't take me with him to the store. I remember cuz I got paddled pretty good for that.

I still have the note from my kindergarten teacher sent to my mother saying, "Mrs. Barton, Patrice is doing much better in class, but would you please ask her WHY she was jumping on the ping pong table and WHY she bit Peter?"

And then there was the time that Dan and John locked me out of the house and were laughing at me through their bedroom window. Without blinking an eye, I punched my fist through the window. Somehow I didn't get cut, AND they were the ones who got in trouble!
I could go on and on, but it's not very pretty.

Needless to say, I've worked hard to find ways to overcome my "anger issues." Several years ago I typed up this list and posted it on the fridge. It has been a good reminder to me, and I hope to you kids, of good ways to deal with anger. I'm going to print out a "small version," laminate the 3x5 card and send each of you a copy to keep in your wallet, on your desk, mirror, or FRIDGE. I think it is a wonderful reminder for us to read DAILY. It sure has helped me!


1. I will be quick to say I'm sorry and I'll be slow to get angry and take offense.

2. I will talk about my feelings. Even when it is difficult. Rather than keep them inside where they can build anger.

3. If someone doesn't understand why I'm angry, I will explain things calmly and I will not vent my anger on anyone else.

4. I will realize that everyone makes mistakes. Myself included. I will not always think I am right and everyone else is wrong.

5. I will learn to graciously say, "you might be right." – even if I'm sure they're not!

6. I will acknowledge the part I had in doing something wrong and be quick to apologize and make things right.

7. When someone has offended me, or I have become angry, I will be quick to forgive them. Even if I don't feel like it. I cannot afford the "luxury" of anger.

8. If I get angry about something, I will allow myself a few minutes to calm down and then I will apologize and/or forgive the other person. I will not allow myself to hold onto the anger.

9. Remember, having a bad attitude doesn't help anger go away. It just adds fuel to the fire!

September 7, 2010

August 27, 2010

Mom's surgery...GRAPHIC!!

So Nat and I managed to get a "pre-op" horseback ride in on Wednesday night. It was beautiful and I loved being out again. The weather has finally started to cool down, and it's bearable to ride. But now, with my foot out of commission for awhile, riding isn't too much of an option!!

For the faint of heart, you might not want to watch the slide show clear to the end...the pictures of my foot are very graphic! Julie was a real trooper, driving me into the doctor the day after surgery because there was a lot of bleeding in my heal. Got it taken care of, AND it was a great photo op!!

Dad's OTHER shoulder...

Dad's surgery the second time around wasn't too traumatic!! In fact, it took three hours longer to get him into surgery than originally planned. Thank goodness Nat was here and stayed with Dad while I went home and taught piano lessons. With the extra long delay I was able to do my lessons, accompany Dallin's solo for the Peter Pan auditions (he IS going to be Peter Pan!!), and made it to the hospital in time to have dinner with Natalee and be there when the doctor came out with his report. Everything repaired the way it was supposed to! HURRAY!!

August 22, 2010

Amelia's & Hans' Wedding!

What a wonderful day it was!! It was WONDERFUL having an afternoon wedding! Talk about relaxed...I even spent some time weeding in the garden before everything got underway!! Here's how the day went. . .
Amelia had some help from friends and family getting ready for her marriage to Hans. . .

The marriage took place in the St. George Utah LDS Temple. We were so grateful to have so many family members and friends there to share in our joy!!

After getting lots of pictures taken with both sides of the family, we managed to make it to The Bell Tower, where the wedding luncheon was held. What a beautiful place to celebrate!

One last dance with her father...

Amelia gets some help from her sisters before heading out with her husband...

And then the beautiful couple were OFF!! We'll see them in two weeks when they get back from their honeymoon in the Caribbean!!

August 11, 2010

Better late than never. . .

Speaking of Pine Valley, here are pictures from our weekend getaway LAST weekend! Thanks to Joyce and Don for their hospitality!!

August 10, 2010


So, Dallin and his buddies (Trevor Bringhurst, Rusty Sullivan, and Thomas Hafen) decided to have one last fling before school started by hiking up Pine Valley Mountain CLEAR TO THE TOP!! AND CAMPING OUT UP THERE!! They made it...called Dad and I from the top, (we tried to flash them with the large bathroom mirror -- it didn't work so well), and FROZE overnight in there sleeping bags! BUT they had a great time and now have the memories to last them a lifetime!

BTW, The wild raspberries were DELICIOUS!

August 8, 2010


In our Sunday School (strengthening marriages) class, we were given a list of rules for discussing problems. It was interesting to Dad and I that we already do these things. We think the suggestions are good for EVERYONE who is trying to improve family relationships!

1. Decide on a time and place to talk (Dad and I always talked in our room, or on a drive. Do any of you kids remember Dad and I ever having a problem in front of you?)

2. Stay on topic. If needed, write down your points of view. Don't get side-tracked with other things that are bothering you. (A LONG time ago, we listened to a tape with similar counsel...don't bring an arsenal to throw at the other person by dredging up all kinds of memories from the past...)

3. Speak softly

4. Take a break, if necessary.

5. Be kind.

6. Use appropriate language. Profanity and name-calling are offensive, demeaning and abusive.

7. Do not use violence.

8. NEVER threaten divorce or separation. Decide now to never allow those words to cross your mind, or your lips.

9. Seek spiritual help.

10. Rest and try again. If you cannot solve a problem in a short period of time, agree to revisit it later.

This is a short list, but there are some excellent suggestions. I'm also going to look for a brochure that Dad and I got a few weeks after we were married...on our honeymoon we heard a commercial from the church about the "Divorce Bug" and to call for a free copy. When we got home I did. The brochure had some great recommendations. I know I still have it. So, when I find it, I'll write them down.


August 6, 2010

Don't Get Tricked!

I was going to write last week, but then got involved in doing too many other good things...

Julie Schram's brother in law bore his testimony in church last Sunday and related how we are blessed and strengthened by the Lord. It made me think about several things, but particularly how Satan lies to us coming and going. One minute he's saying things like "No one will ever know. It won't hurt you, just try it. Everyone else is doing it, so don't be stupid. It's not that big a deal!" And then, the minute we listen to him and make a stupid choice, does he console us and tell us how wonderful we are? No, suddenly he is our biggest foe, jeering and tormenting us with how stupid we are, how worthless we are, how utterly hopeless our situation is.

And yet, our Savior is totally opposite of that. He coaxes and encourages us to make good choices, to be our best selves. When we make poor choices, He is there to help us repent, to forgive us, to sacrifice Himself for our sakes as we strive to make improvements in our lives.

Just a reminder to pay attention to what you listen to!!

August 3, 2010

July 30, 2010

Ice-Rain Storm

Santa Clara got POUNDED today (Friday) with a freak ice and rain storm. Amelia was SUPPOSED to be having wedding pictures taken...that got cancelled. Within less than 10 minutes there was a RIVER of water bigger than any we've ever had filling up Canyon View. Once the ice stopped blasting out of the sky, Kristy and I got out the boogie boards and took advantage of the "high tide."

Here are a few pictures, too.

Dad's Surgery

Dad is a VERY good patient, even when the surgery doesn't go like we would have preferred!

July 26, 2010

The Grand Canyon

With Dad's shoulder surgery scheduled for tomorrow, we decided to take a "day trip" to the Grand Canyon since only Dad has ever been there(...can you believe we have lived in Santa Clara for 25 years and this is the first time we've gone to the Grand Canyon???)

Anyway, it was a fun trip. We enjoyed being together (Dad, Mom, Kristy & Dallin) and also had fun stopping at Jacob's Lake and eating hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches at the little dinner, along with strawberry milkshakes! Yum!

We didn't have cell service once we got past Fredonia, so it wasn't until we were nearly home that we found out the doctor's office was trying to reach us to tell us Dad had been scheduled for surgery TONIGHT!! No one told us they were even thinking about it. Oh well, it's rescheduled for Wednesday, and we thoroughly enjoyed the trip today!

July 16, 2010


July 15, 2010 – Thursday

This morning I was working in the community garden for a bit before needing to head home and, with Dad, take Dallin to get his wisdom teeth removed. Marv Wilson was working on his boat, so I called over and asked if they were heading out to the lake today. He responded that they had been out yesterday and he was simply cleaning up. We chatted a minute, then he said, "Yeah, we broke the key off in the ignition and were stranded on Quail Lake for awhile..." We laughed about their predicament, how long it took to get help, and the need for a locksmith come look at the boat later today. And then I went home to get cleaned up before we went into town.

It was while I was doing my hair that thoughts started to infiltrate my mind. Marv's words played over and over in my head -- "We broke the key off in the ignition." -- and then I thought, "YOU are a terrible mother!" as different thoughts started flooding their way onto my brain's stage. Luckily, I recognized the source of the emotional attack, was able to shut it out, and then paid attention to the rest of the thoughts. This is what came through, loud and clear:

"We" broke off the key in the ignition. Not "I" nor "Nola" nor "Weston," but "We." Even though "one" person probably actually broke off the key, Marv's declaration of "we" made it a family affair. And it was. They were stranded together, they worked together, they made it through together. It became very clear to me how powerful that one word of "we" is. And what makes "we" is "the family." What fortitude that is!! The FAMILY is strength, it's unity, it's togetherness, it's power, and it's security! No wonder the adversary works SO hard to destroy it!!

Although I haven't been aware of the importance of saying "we did this" when something went wrong – more like DALLIN left the freezer door open and everything has melted in the freezer!! Or KRISTY backed into the light pole at Dixie High School, crunching the Suburban's back bumper, or AMELIA totaled the Dynasty, or DENZEL baptized the Subaru, etc. – I recognize the reality of the strength that comes from our family! It always has, for which I'm grateful!! I see it as you kids want to be together; as Dallin wants Kristy to hold his hand as he lays on the couch recovering from his surgery; as Amelia and Hans work to fly Jaimi to Utah for their wedding; as Brandon makes sure Dallin comes along to climb the Grand Tetons; as Denzel wants to "pass inspection" on the newest beaus being introduced to the family; and LOTS more!

I am SO glad that WE are a family. That we strengthen, support, encourage, test, try, grow, and even groan, sometimes, together. I feel the POWER of our WE and I am grateful!!


July 15, 2010

Dal's Wisdom Teeth



(click on the video to view -- it may to go the Picasa website, but you should be able to watch it... This is just a VERY small sample of lots of video taken!!
From Wisdom Teeth


From Wisdom Teeth1

July 2, 2010


While we were gone on vacation, a few more things showed up...a naked mannequin ended up on our roof; an orange construction barrel; 17 pairs of shoes; and a different door mat! VERY STRANGE PEOPLE IN SANTA CLARA!!

So this morning Dad and I got up to yet another "odd" site out our bedroom window...a tall ladder was perched on top of the horse trailer!! I hope these guys (girls wouldn't do something like this!) figure out that what I REALLY want them to leave me is a nice Dodge Ram Truck with a Cummins engine, extended cab, preferably silver or white, but I'm not THAT picky!!

July 1, 2010

Horses on vacation...

Yup, the horses are on vacation, too! Dad and I drove out to the middle of nowhere and ended up someplace between Beryl and Modena...12 miles from the paved road, running alongside the railroad tracks.

Allen Bailey has a stud (the black and white horse that isn't Morning Star...) that has produced some beautiful colts (the little brown and whites that look so much alike) so I guess we'll see what we get a year from now. If nothing else the horses have 12,000 acres to run on, they won't have tons of flies to bother them, and unrelenting heat during the day! HOORAY!!

Poor Zoro didn't get to stay with the "girls" -- we took him to Pine Valley for the month. Come August I'll see about bringing him back down to Santa Clara, and maybe the "girls" too.

In the meantime, I hope the stud doesn't get kicked to death!! ^_^


From Garden 7-1-2010
I got an 11 mile run in with Elizabeth and Summer this morning...and we "cooled down" by picking at the community garden.
From Garden 7-1-2010

When I got home I was talking on the phone with Nat, and I looked in OUR garden while we talked about her plans for the day. And then I started saying things like, "Oh! There's a lot of zucchini! OH!! There's a HUGE yellow zucchini!! Oh, man! There's a BAT (giant-sized zucchini)!! So here are a few pics of what we got from both pickings!!

From Garden 7-1-2010

June 29, 2010


We hope everyone has a GREAT FOURTH OF JULY!!!


Did you you hear about the couch that got deposited on top of our horse trailer? Last Thursday night I had gotten back from a ride about 10:15 p.m. so it was kinda late. I quickly got ready for bed, said my prayers, then heard something strange outside. I thought someone might have hit the trailer with their car, so I looked out our blinds. What I saw took a minute to compute in my ready-for-bed brain: There's a COUCH on the hay rack above the horse trailer!!

I woke up Dallin, who climbed up on the trailer and lifted the couch down to Dad and me. What do you think we did??? We put it on the corner with a "FREE" sign on it. Someone was SURE to take it off our hands!!

Just after doing that a truck came up Red Mountain from the south. The guys in the truck must not have noticed us, in the dark, as they pulled to the stop sign. The passenger had a camera in his hands, with the window down, so I said, "Hey, do you want to take a picture?" The guy was kinda shocked, and one of the other guys in the truck said, "Go, go, go!!" Then the truck quickly turned LEFT up Canyon View Drive. We figure we gave THEM a surprise they weren't expecting, too!!

I looked out the window around 1:00 a.m. when I woke up for no reason...and the couch was gone!

The next morning Dallin saw someone had posted on Facebook that they had found a "FREE COUCH" on the corner... Funny!!

June 28, 2010


It sure is a different scenario being "the youngest" kid having a birthday at home. There's not a bunch of commotion, it's not hard to figure out when to eat so that everyone can be here (oh, wait, Kristy STILL didn't make it for breakfast OR DINNER...busy, busy girl!) We only had to cook ONE package of bacon, and MOM actually did the "Tradition, Tradition" dance!! Holy cow!!

Dallin sure is turning into a fine young man. We are grateful to have him in our family and we love him TONS!!

June 25, 2010

Splatalee Ann!!

NAT'S DREAM JOB in Montana was more like a "nightmare" today!! Nat took a ride out, leading with a less-trained horse, and had quite a spill! They were crossing a river at one point when her horse freaked and started bucking IN THE RIVER!! Nat was doing fine til the horse went down, slamming her into some rocks and pinning her under water...her foot was wedged in the stirrup as the horse started to lunge to get out of the water, but she managed to pull her foot out of the boot (MY $230 boots I had given her!), as the horse bolted. The boot floated downstream with the fast moving water...Nat's face was cut and bleeding where it hit a rock, and she's pretty sore all over. She had to walk back to the ranch...AND no one was there because of stuff the owners were doing in town, two hours away! She called and told me about her ordeal, for which I was very grateful! I'm always glad when you kids feel like you can call and tell me the scary stuff that has happened to you, if for no other reason than to know we will continue to pray for you and cheer you on!

I told Nat to take be sure and take some aspirin, that I was very happy to trade my $230 boots for her life, and I was proud of her for getting back on the horse (who ran back to the corrals) and riding him around so he didn't think it was okay to buck in the water.

RIDE 'EM COWGIRL!!! We are SO grateful Natalee's relatively okay. (The pain will go away after awhile!!)

June 24, 2010


Believe it or not, Dad and I went on a date. . .to the acupuncturist!! How cool is that?!?! Dad's back and shoulder have been giving him some trouble, and my lower back has gotten "tweaked" a couple of times the past month. Since Mark Montgomery gave me a WONDERFUL gift last year of "free acupuncture for immediate family members for life" I haven't really taken advantage of it, mostly due to a very busy schedule. That is crazy!! I forgot how TOTALLY relaxing it is to be there for an hour.

With it being Dad's first time, he wasn't very relaxed. . .but I was SO proud of him for being willing to go and to try this even though it was out of his comfort zone!

The other cool thing...he just walked in the room and said, "You know what I just noticed? I'm walking normally!" (not his "side-winder" walk when his back is hurting...) I go back tomorrow (Dad and Dallin are going to Youth Conference), and both of us go back on Monday.

Who says we're too old to try new things???? ^_^

June 23, 2010

Ever Learning...

June 23, 2010 – Wednesday

Parenting is an interesting experience. Many times over the years I have been taught as I have endeavored to teach you children. I guess that's the case in many situations, not just parenting...the teacher learns more than anyone else.

For example, when Amelia was 10(?) and her soccer team really needed a coach, she asked Denzel to be her coach. Of course, I encouraged him thinking this would be a REALLY good thing for him to do for his sister. He kind of back-pedaled saying he was too busy. I told him, "If you are too busy to coach Millie's team, you inadvertently send her the message that you don't care about her."

Well, the Holy Ghost took my words and taught me with them. Dad and I had been talking a few days earlier about what I could cut out of my schedule since I was feeling VERY overwhelmed with all the things I was involved with...our balloon business, the wholesale food business, the bread business, AND seven kids! But there wasn't anything we could see we could cut out.

However, when the Holy Ghost replayed my words to me,"when you are this busy, you inadvertently send your children the message that they aren't important to you..." I felt slammed with reality. And, when the Holy Ghost talks, I listen! Within one week I had sold the balloon business, and given up my route with Wholesale Foods. We would find a way to make things work financially. And we did. I ended up helping coach Millie's team, and it was memorable!

There are MANY such circumstances I've been involved in with each of you children. I think I'm learning...I HOPE I'm learning... what the Lord wants me to learn.

Now, another case in point...last night Wyatt (Nat's boyfriend) and I had a lengthy talk about his decision to not serve a mission. As you can each attest, I have LOTS of feelings about the importance of a young man serving a mission. However, ultimately, each individual needs to make their own choices. (They get to choose, but they don't get to choose people's reactions to their choices.) As we talked about many different aspects, one of the things I shared was regarding our willingness to serve the Lord. If worthiness isn't holding us back, but we're not willing to serve the Lord, that may be just as problematic.

Anyway, as usual, I took my own words to heart and did a personal evaluation of MY desires and my life. Am I willing to do what the Lord wants? Are there things I'm holding back from the Lord? Do I serve Him in every way I possibly can, or are there things I need to improve? (Like visiting teaching, attending the temple more, reading my scriptures more...I AM doing good with my goal of not saying the "C" word anymore!)

So, this morning I had a cavity fixed by our new stake president, Dan Frei. I told him I've often remembered his example. He was surprised and said, "of what?" I replied, "A little over 4 years ago you finally achieved your dream goal of purchasing and owning an Elk Ranch. I knew you enjoyed hunting and that this was a dream come true. Then you were called to serve as a mission president, which was NOT what you had planned. And yet you were WILLING to put your goals, your dreams, your wants aside, to serve the Lord. Your example has been a BIG influence in my life."

At this point President Frei gave a small smile and said, "The day before we left on our mission, as I drove away from the ranch, I cried. It was hard. And yet, the ranch is still here. I don't have any regrets." And that mission to Brazil was for THREE years! He missed his only daughter's wedding. He sacrificed much. But he was willing. I hope I can always live MY life in such a way that I don't hold anything back from the Lord.

And I hope each one of my children will have the same desires to do what the Lord wants, even when it's hard, or inconvenient, or not the most fun, or even scary. There's one thing I DO know...we can NEVER give more to the Lord than He gives back to us. There may be times when it seems like the Lord is requiring too much of us. All I can say is, "TRUST HIM!"


June 21, 2010

Good Things To Come

Dad saw this...told me about it and I watched it... (Even though it talks about Kanarraville, it's filmed in Ivins!!) The point is excellent!! KEEP WALKING...GOOD THINGS ARE TO COME!

June 19, 2010

Horses & MORE horses...

On our way to camping at Zion National Park, Kristy and I stopped by to the our "old" horses. They are reproducing FAST!! I think all the mares are ready to foal again...after having foaled last summer! Sheesh!! There are seventeen now! (Not counting the two studs!)