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!)

June 14, 2010

Bye, Aunt Nat

Idaho is going to be sad while Natalee is gone, but Montana is going to be SOOOOOO happy to see her come!! Nikki had a hard time saying good-bye in these pics...she just hid it really well!!

New Stake Presidency

We had a "special" Stake Conference Saturday and Sunday, not our normally scheduled one, to change our Stake Presidency.  It was held at the Dixie Center so all 15 wards could be in attendance.  There were a LOT of people there.

Since Dallin is the male rep. from our stake on Seminary Council, he was asked to conduct the special youth meeting held at 8:00 a.m. prior to conference at the valley chapel.  Dad said he did a really good job. 

The area Seventy authority was Elder Bruce Hafen. He and his wife, Marie Hafen, gave excellent talks at each of the meetings we attended over Saturday and Sunday. 

I had the honor of playing the piano for the main session of conference.  (Dallin thought it would be cool to play one of his "rock 'em, sock 'em" classical pieces on the mic'd piano with HUGE speakers!  That was a no-go!!)  But I really enjoyed getting to play!!

Now, (cuz I know you REALLY want to know!) the new stake presidency is:  President Dan Frei, President Richard Harris, and President Jim Ence.  I think they will do an amazing job!!

June 12, 2010

Commercial. . .


I don't advertise on our blog, but this is something I want EVERYONE to know about!!

I have always been impressed with the business Dan and Janet run. First in Tennessee, and now here in Utah. I enjoy the times I'm in their shop and see the expert quality they turn out! The wall-sized photos (not just a framed picture, but I mean the ENTIRE WALL!) they produce are amazing!! They have incredible equipment, and produce spectacular photos, as well as many other products. Check out their website...their prices are unbeatable!!

Scaring President Roosevelt. . .

Dad likes to read books sometimes while we watch TV, especially on commercials. Last night he said, "Oh, you'll want to hear this..." I muted the TV, and he read a passage out of his book titled, "The Roll Away Saloon - Cowboy Talks of the Arizona Strip"

I'll see if I can relate most of it: The man relating the story had been up on the Kaibab with an assignment to "ride the forest and bring in all the cattle they could find." Apparently this was quite an undertaking, as the cattle scrambled through the brush and timber. The horses and men were trained for the task and pushed the cattle hard and fast, and even more so when they happened upon a cougar feeding on a newly killed deer. At one point, the men were shouting loudly, the horses were riding fast, and the cattle were moving even faster when they passed a group of horsemen and packs, caring even less who the people were.

By evening the cowboys had the animals corralled where they needed them, and the men went on to their camp, laughing and kidding each other about how they must have scared that group of men they came across. When the two came to their camp, the cook told them there was a group camped several hundred yards away, and it included President Theodore Roosevelt!

"The next morning I thought it would be in order to go to President Roosevelt's camp and apologize for the fright we had given him and his party the previous day." Which he did. He then offered to put on a rodeo with some of his friends for the President. President Roosevelt's responded kindly with:

"Today is Sunday. I prefer to honor the Sabbath Day. And, if you will forgive me< I appreciate this offer, but I'd rather you didn't today."

The men apologized for not knowing it was Sunday (they worked everyday of the week) and offered to put on the rodeo the following day, which they did.

Even though this took place in 1913, I'm grateful for a President of this country who wasn't afraid to keep the Sabbath day holy, and encouraged others to do the same.

It may seem like a "little thing," but it is a "little thing" that has great power to bless our lives!!


June 10, 2010

Tribute To Hans

June 10, 2010

Someday I'm going to write "The Hans and Amelia" book. When I do it will have all of my thoughts and feelings, as well as a lot more detail, but for now I want to write a shorter version, as a tribute to Hans.

When Kristy was a senior in high school, she started hanging out with "The Dixie Boys." Occasionally Amelia, at 15 years old, would tag along. At some point it came to my attention that one of "the boys" kind of liked Amelia, and she kind of liked him back. I didn't think there was anything wrong with that since they were in a group setting and Kristy was there. I also appreciated that "the boy" didn't ask Amelia out on a date since she wasn't yet sixteen.

On April 14th, 2005, Amelia celebrated her 16th birthday. She was mortified that I painted our front window with "SWEET 16 AND NEVER BEEN KISSED?!?!?" with lots of question marks around it. (Mothers can be a royal pain sometimes!)

Late (around 9:00) that evening, there was a "ding and ditch" at our front door. Someone had left a note, which led to a string attached to our house, which string went WAY UP into the dark evening sky, that was attached to three very large pink balloons. Dallin helped Amelia reel in the balloons, then everyone gathered around as Amelia read the poem attached to the balloons, asking her to go with Hans Kirchhausen to Dixie High School's Senior Ball. It was VERY cool!!

And so Amelia and Hans started to date, but they also dated other people. Hans graduated that year, and then worked with his family's business. After nearly a year, Hans started getting close to when he could submit his papers for a mission. Wanting to follow his Bishop's counsel to not have a steady girlfriend when he went on his mission, Hans talked to Amelia about it and they decided to "break off" their relationship. I'm not sure who it was hardest on, Hans or Amelia, but it was very difficult for both...and it only lasted a couple of months.

Soon Hans had his mission call, there was a whirlwind of "last" activities, including a week-long trip to Nauvoo with Hans' entire family. Rod and I were a bit concerned about this, but after "interviewing" Hans, as well as my having lunch with Penee Kirchhausen (she showed me the list of rules she and Holger had for the unmarried children, which made me feel good!), we felt good about Amelia going. Not long after that Hans had his mission farewell, and was off to Argentina!

That first year of Hans being gone was long and difficult for Amelia, however she handled herself very well. She did lots of creative things for Hans, and immersed herself in her college classes and dance. In December 2007, Amelia went on a medical field trip to Mexico as part of one of her classes. And she met a boy, who was in charge of field trip. Apparently they hit it off, and he asked her out when they returned. At one point Amelia asked me if I thought it was alright to go out with him. I told her, "I think it would be wrong if you DIDN'T go out with him. If your relationship with Hans can't stand up to the comparison with another guy, then you don't have much." And so Amelia dated him.

A few months later, after a lot of pressure from "medical boy," Amelia wrote Hans a letter explaining that she had met someone, was going to "give him a chance," so she wouldn't be writing anymore. However, she assured Hans she wouldn't get married before he came home from his mission. (Little did we know that Hans never told his family about Amelia's "dear john" letter...until he got home from his mission. It was a devastating shock to them!)

So Amelia and "medical boy" dated the last seven months of Hans mission. He came home over Labor Day weekend while we were camping at Navajo Lake. The following weekend Hans had contacted Amelia and made arrangements for them to go out. I'm not sure who was more nervous about this date, but everyone was! I was VERY surprised when Amelia returned an hour later. I thought they would surely spend a lot of time together, but I was wrong. The gist of what took place was that Hans asked Amelia if she was happy. She told him she was, so he simply said, "Well then, that's all that matters." And he let her go.

Fast forward to November 2008, "medical boy" proposed to Amelia and they became engaged. We got through the holidays, then some rough family stuff in January/February 2009. February 14th Amelia went through the St. George Temple to receive her endowment, a month before her scheduled March 14th wedding. It was a beautiful day and a time I will always remember.

A few short weeks later, on a Sunday evening, a few "issues" came up about the wedding dinner. It was all kind of strange, like slow motion, how everything happened. One minute we're discussing the dinner, and seemingly the next minute "medical boy" is packing his stuff, saying he doesn't think the marriage is going to work, and leaves the house. He and Amelia had minimal contact for the next couple of days and he thought through his feelings, then finally told Amelia that "he didn't think they knew each other well enough, and that they needed to date more."

Boy, if that wasn't a RED FLAG I don't know what was!! As difficult as it was, Amelia managed to see the light and totally cut things off. The next several months, understandably, were VERY difficult. There were some funny situations where Amelia would go on a blind date and be thought of as a return missionary, or as a young widow. And she never felt the compulsion to correct their views. It was a strange 11 months. Through all of this turmoil Hans would call or text Amelia occasionally to see how she was doing. Her 20th birthday (1 month to the day after her planned wedding) was especially difficult. But it Hans who called her to see how she was doing and to lend his emotional support even though he was no longer in the picture. Amelia really appreciated his understanding of her and his friendship with no strings attached.

In June 2009, Amelia moved to Rexburg, Idaho to go to school and to live with Brandon and Tannya. Hans had moved to Provo to broaden his horizons a bit and to get out of St. George. January 2010, Kristy moved to Provo to atttend BYU after returning from her mission to Korea. She and Hans had remained friends and she was grateful for their friendship as she adjusted to post-mission life at BYU.

Kristy was the perfect "mediator!" She would talk to Amelia about Hans, and then she would talk to Hans about Amelia. Gradually she calmed each of the emotionally hurt victims into a state of "it won't hurt you to go out with each other once!" And so they did. It went well.
Fast forward to May 28th, in San Francisco. Hans proposes to Amelia, and she agrees to be his wife. And we presume they will live happily ever after!

Now, here is my tribute to Hans: As I have watched this young man over the past six years I have seen a boy who has wanted to do what is right. He has tried to follow the counsel of his priesthood leaders. He chose to serve a mission when he could easily have worried he would lose his girlfriend. He went anyway. He got a "dear john" from the girl, but never let anyone but his sister know until he got home. He could have been angry, he could have let it ruin his mission, he could have been vindictive and vengeful. Instead he chose to really care about Amelia. Was she happy? Yes. "Then that's all that matters." That isn't the usual response. None of us like to be hurt or disappointed. But Hans cared what the Lord wanted, and he cared what Amelia wanted. And then Hans trusted the Lord that His plan was perfect, and Hans would accept whatever that was.

I can't imagine how Hans felt through the last three years. But I am so grateful for his example, for his love of the Savior; for his willingness to do what the Lord wanted and being willing to accept His will no matter what, even when it looked very dark! I am SO grateful for the way things have turned out and Rod and I have no qualms about our daughter becoming Hans' wife. We feel very blessed to have him as part of our family!! Well done, Hans!!

June 9, 2010

Still Not Too Old...

After piano lessons this morning, Harrison and I went for a ride up Snow Canyon. It was just the two of us and was lots of fun. I had Harrison practice being the trail guide, complete with conversation and everything. When we were driving back to the corrals I asked Harrison what he had learned. I was surprised when he answered, "A whole lot more about my religion that I should know!"

I simply had told him about different conversations I've had on trail rides, some of the topics of conversation, and some of the answers I've given. We ended up talking about polygamy, the word of wisdom, the Holy Ghost, revelation, and the Articles of Faith. Hmmmmm. . .

This afternoon after piano lessons, I took my last student horseback riding. (That's pretty cool in itself...talk about motivation for having a good lesson!!) Anyway, Harrison had the horses saddled for us as soon as we got to the corrals which I was very grateful for!

Megan and I drove over to the Anasazi trail, and got the horses out. But HOLD YOUR HORSES (literally, this time!)...the cinch on my horse had busted off, and the saddle was totally loose. Thank goodness that didn't happen while we were riding! Anyway, after a brief evaluation, and knowing we didn't have any time to run back for a different cinch, I unsaddled Red Star, walked her over to the truck, and hopped on her bareback.

We started out a little slow, just to see how she would do, and then we picked up the pace and rode as if she had a saddle on. It was great!! I had fun being with Megan, we had a good talk about "stuff" too, and we were not deterred by a little thing called a saddle! I guess I feel pretty good that I can still ride bareback at "my age!" ^_^

June 8, 2010


I read a book yesterday written by a neighbor of Dan and Janet in Mapleton. It's about the neighbor's sister, who had a stroke a week after her 3rd child was born, and became totally paralyzed. It details her struggle to recover as her doctor said there was no chance for survival, as her husband has an affair, then divorced her and sought sole custody of the three girls. A couple of ideas in the book really jumped out at me that I think apply to each of us:

"A threshold guardian is someone or something that guards the way to the next stage in one's development. This person or event makes you struggle, or seduces you to take the path of least resistance. It proves that you are strong or it wears you down--enticing you to quit and just stay where you are.

A threshold guardian may be an enemy, a hardship, an obstacle, or an unexpected fortune, a lucky break, or advancement. The threshold guardian, be it a person or a situation, presents you with the opportunity to evolve. How you deal with the guardian determines the direction of your evolution."

Just like the boy, the cocoon and the butterfly story...where the boy thinks he is "helping" the butterfly by tearing away bits of the cocoon so the butterfly can get out; but he doesn't realize the struggles the butterfly makes, flapping it's wings against the tough cocoon shell, is what makes it strong enough to survive and be able to fly; and the butterfly, because things were made "easy" for it, dies.

Our experiences, hard though they may be, are what make us grow into stronger individuals, or they can shrivel us up and crush us. We determine what they make of us.


This morning I read Elder Rasband's talk he gave in the Priesthood Session of Conference.(p.51) I enjoyed reading about his experience with President Eyring while he was assigning missionaries to their missions. What an interesting process, and spiritual experience! It reminded me of MY mission, of Brandon's and Kristy's mission calls, and of some of their friends. I'm grateful!

June 4, 2010

Humanitarian Aid Center

So Janet, Deanna, Rebecca, and birthday-boy Kyle, and I went to the Humanitarian Aid Center in SLC. We went on a tour of the facility and it sure was amazing to see the organization and capabilities the church has to bless the lives of so many people!! Here are the pics from our visit...

June 3, 2010

What A Story. . .

This is one story that I have GOT to write!!
There was so much drama in their story it will make an incredibly good book!



Kristy just finished writing a book regarding her amazing mission experience (pre-mission, mission and post-mission.) We just received the first five copies and it is BEAUTIFUL!!

When I came home last night, Rod was standing in the kitchen, nearly late for mutual.
He said, "I just can't put it down!" Now that is saying something.
If you want a copy, let me know. $7/book

June 2, 2010

How does YOUR garden grow???

In case you haven't checked up on the community garden lately you might want to look at some of the recent pics on the blog (santaclaracommunitygarden.blogspot.com)
Dallin wasn't terribly thrilled when we got to do some work in our own garden after FHE as our "activity." I reminded him how Denzel and Brandon hated working in the garden at Dallin's age, but NOW look who's planting their own gardens. He wasn't impressed.
Anyway, the more time I spend working the soil in various capacities, the more I am reminded of the correlations it has with so many things. Then I came across this quote I used to have on the fridge. Thought it was a good reminder:

"A regular and consistent pattern of scripture study is what will be most helpful in our lives. A few little flowers will spring up briefly in the dry gully through which torrents of water pass occasionally. But it's the steady streams that bring thick needed crops. In the agriculture of the soul that has to do with nurturing attributes, flash floods are no substitute for regular irrigation." -- Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1981)

I hope we are "cultivating" our souls with consistent and regular "irrigation" by living the gospel, by praying, reading our scriptures, serving others, and finding ways to "be a little better."


June 1, 2010


I was green with envy when we walked into the tack shed at Holtmans in Malta!! So, with some help from Dad and Dallin we did a little improvement to our little tack shed! I wish we would have been inspired FIVE YEARS AGO!!
Hope you like it Nat and Wyatt!!