December 31, 2011
(This idea came from the December 2011 Ensign)
December 25, 2011
There have been LOTS of fun activities over the past few days. . . puzzling, hedge trimming (thanks, Brand!), horseback riding, birthday parties, cuddling, and MORE puzzling! We had so much fun BEFORE Christmas, we weren't sure it could get any better!!
Horseback riding with Nikki (and everyone else!) was a blast! Nikki's favorite thing to say as we were galloping along was "FASTER!" Nat would ask Nikki, "What do cowgirls say?" and Nikki would quickly call out "YEE-haw!" She LOVES the horses and riding.
And of course there was our Christmas Eve Party at our house with the Schrams. . .
And the Christmas Program was one of many "firsts!" The "hula gang" did a great job as we all sang Mele Kelikmaka, Hans played a Alto sax solo...a first after 12 years!; Brandon played a trumpet solo...a first after MORE than 12 years!; the "hippopotamus" song was a hit with everyone, especially Nikki; Amelia, Holly and Kristy sang; and Dal and Nat played a violin duet. Lots of singing along, too!
And of course there were pictures. . . but where was DAD?!?! (And of course we missed Jaimi and her family, and Denzel and his. . . )
And then there was Christmas Day. . . and I didn't take hardly any pictures!! But this gives a little taste...We all enjoyed watching Nikki open her presents! She LOVED the hippopotamus Hans and Mil gave her...everything else was cake!! Dad's eyes "bugged out" at everything, and, of course there was lots of eating! But the best thing of all was celebrating Christ's birth on Sunday, going to church together, feeling a wonderful spirit during the Christmas program, and then getting to be there as Dallin was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood. It was a wonderful day!!
December 20, 2011
December 11, 2011
We each experience things that give us a better understanding of what a "friend" truly is. I have to chuckle when I look at Facebook sometimes. Some people have 3,000 "friends", others have less than that, but still in the 1000's. And it makes me think, "Are they truly FRIENDS, or are they acquaintances, or people someone is just friendly to, etc., etc?" Along those lines, I also consider what kind of friend I am?
So here' a not all-inclusive list of the things I think:
A friend. . .
. . . listens to you when you need to talk; sometimes they will give you counsel, even when you don't ask for it, but they aren't offended when you say "I wasn't asking for advice! I just need you to listen!!"
. . . is there for you when you need something, even if you didn't schedule it two weeks in advance. And you KNOW they would have been there for you if there was a good reason they couldn't be there.
. . . rejoices in your success even if it is something they wish they were able to do but haven't been able to. They are truly happy for you and share in your delight. (Like going to Australia! Or winning an Ipad!!)
. . . never tries to undermine your goals to improve yourself. For example, if you're trying to lose weight and they are really skinny (or not!), they don't tempt you with a piece of chocolate cake saying, "Oh come on. Just enjoy yourself! It's not that big of a deal!" The same holds true with much heavier things like stopping drinking or doing drugs. Why is it that "friends" try to pull the recovering addict down instead of encouraging their sobriety? And I don't "get" how people can be so BLIND to the fact that a REAL FRIEND would NEVER do that.
. . . does not care more about themselves than they do about you . . . and vice versa!
True friends aren't usually found in the thousands or hundreds. They are rare and should be treasured!!
I am SO grateful for my friends!!
December 8, 2011
General Conference was held a little over two months ago. Do you remember any of the counsel given?
Here are a couple of segments from Elder Packer's talk:
"If the adversary should take you prisoner due to misconduct, I remind you that you hold the key that will unlock the prison door from the inside. You can be washed clean through the atoning sacrifice of the Savior Jesus Christ."
"I say again that youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary IF you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit. Dress modestly; talk reverently; listen to uplifting music. Avoid all immorality and personally degrading practices. Take hold of your life and order yourself to be valiant."
"As one of His special witnesses, I testify that the outcome of this battle that began in the premortal life is not in question. Lucifer will lose."
I hope this is a helpful reminder.
December 7, 2011
After the show we went over to Dan's and Janet's to visit, and then spent the night...Dallin had 6:00 a.m. rugby practice. UGH!!! The rest of us enjoyed a leisure morning, including a "service project", then we drove to Rio Tinto Stadium to watch Snow College (RJ) in the Top of the Mountains Bowl game. It was VERY cold, but it was fun being together, and we even saw RJ play some!
As soon as the game was over we all said our good-byes, and then hit the road back to warmer climes!! What a great little get-together!! Wish Denzel could have been there with Anna and Bridger! And, of course, Jaimi, Mike, Ben & Kristen! Oh well, we'll be happy with what we can get!! Love you all!!
December 6, 2011
November 27, 2011
This photograph was taken about 1917 in an underground mineshaft.
The horse was totally blind, as were all such horses due to a lifetime in total darkness.
It depicts the American way of life and the effort it took our forefathers to build this great country.
"Often, when I have been discouraged and despondent beyond words. I have looked at this picture and said to myself. "I will pull it one more mile."
With that attitude in mind and with an average amount of intelligence, any person can certainly make a success of their life in this land of free enterprise." -Ross Taylor
November 26, 2011
We enjoyed a Turkey Bowl with the Schrams and Yates families before having Thanksgiving Dinner with our small crew. Had wonderful leftovers all weekend long!! Got in a family horseback ride, complete with Nat riding backwards!! We hauled 50 bales of hay (with lots of help from RJ!) and we also went shooting out on Utah Hill. Lots of fun memories! Missed "the upper half" but thought of you lots!!
November 14, 2011
Obviously we REALLY miss Dallin, Nat and Kristy. . . the rest of you have been gone long enough to be "on your own!"
WE LOVE YOU ANYWAY!!!
November 6, 2011
Well, after our simple meal, and with the power still being off, I suggested we have a special Sunday snack...smores by way of the wood stove!! The coals were perfect, Hank was happy to be in the middle of things, and they turned out beautifully!! Only one problem, we used Cookies n Cream for the chocolate part...it didn't taste nearly as good as the Snickers Mil and I used when we didn't have plain Hershey chocolate. Oh well, it was fun anyway! ( See what y'all are missing out on?!?!)
November 3, 2011
Here's an article in USA Cycling:
Here's the YouTube video:
October 31, 2011
And then. . . later in the afternoon, Mil came over to the house before Dad got home from work (I was out riding horses...) and put the same sign up on our bathroom mirror. She acted like she was waiting for me to get home from school, so after chatting a minute, Dad made his way to our bedroom and bathroom. I was on the phone with Mil to hear Dad's reaction. He was very surprised but was wondering if the sign was for ME to see. After assuring him I already knew and that the sign was for him, he was very excited and happy too!!
. . . then there was the creative way Hans and Amelia let everyone else know about the pregnancy! Via the "Movie Trailer" located at http://www.hamovies.info/.
We ate some really good food, played fun games, held Danielle's little tiny (5 lbs) two week old baby girl dressed up as the cutest butterfly, and played Halloween themed games of Family Feud and Charades. Great time!!
Tonight, Dad and I, Hans and Amelia, and Megan Amundsen, are going to eat Mexicali soup, watch Hocus Pocus and hand out Halloween candy!!
October 30, 2011
Hans and Mil were still in Idaho this past spring when it would have been a perfect time to ride, and then they moved here in the middle of the HOT summer . . . and things got really busy with school and the piano competition, etc., etc.
Well, Mil, April Nielsen and I finally got in the Kolob Arch ride!! We left Saturday morning and drove the 45 miles north to the Kolob exit. We're so grateful for a truck that runs and can pull three horses...the day couldn't have been more beautiful!! PERFECT weather. We rode for about 6 miles, stopped at the "water spot" and ate lunch and took pictures...then rode to the arch trailhead. Had to leave the horses tied up, and hiked in another mile, climbing up and over rocks and hills. By the time we hiked out, our legs were pretty tired, and we were VERY grateful to have horses to ride out. As it was, our bums were sore and we were SO ready to get off the horses by the time we returned to the truck. What a great day!
October 28, 2011
October 24, 2011
October 19, 2011
1. Wednesday I left St. George right after class and headed to SLC. Stopped in Provo for a brief visit with Dallin (20 min.!), drove to SLC and met up with Kristy for a short dinner at Sizzler before heading to the airport to pick up the first of three judges for the event. Mykola Suk and I drove to Rocky's and Cherie's where we spent the night. Didn't sleep well due to all the logistics of things.
2. Thursday, I dropped Mykola off at the music store after a brief check-in at the Garden Hilton Inn in Sandy. Then dashed off to the airport to pick up Caio Pagano and Giorgi Latsabidze, the other two judges. Drove to the hotel, had about 15 minutes to get settled, then drove to Daynes where we had 10 minutes to get everything situated before we started seven hours STRAIGHT of a very intense piano competition. This was the Senior division (ages 15-18) and there were 15 VERY talented competitors. (Dallin's friend, Weiyi Le won!) During a 20 minute break, we ate a quick Cafe Rio dinner that was brought in. After the awards it was back to the hotel with the judges, and my continued work on getting things organized for Friday's competition.
3. Friday, I drove judges to different locations before heading over to the Music Teachers Conference at 8:00 a.m. I WON a gift basket with beautiful taupe towels!! I was thrilled because I was going to buy some next week! Only cost me $1!! I was able to hear bits and pieces of a couple workshops, and then it was time for our Junior division (ages 11-14) competition. Banquet afterwards with the conference, and the judges and I bowed out early due to our fatigue. However, Kristy came over to the hotel and gave me a "good" (bad!) workout. I KNEW I would be sore!! (And I was...could barely walk down the stairs on Saturday...Sunday was worse!)
4. Saturday we had an early (7:00 a.m., awake at 4:00 a.m.) board meeting...had to leave early to deliver judges to practice areas (they each perform internationally and have events coming up). Got a few more snatches of conference workshops in, lunch with the judges, and then non-stop collegiate division (ages 19-26) competition from 1:00 - 8:00 p.m. Kristy was there to help with door monitoring. (Lots of memorable stuff, but don't want to go into too much detail...)
5. By 9:30 we were all sitting at a table at Carino's restaurant. . . and my massive headache for the past 24 hours finally subsided . . . even GOOD stuff can be stressful.
6. Sunday morning saw me up at 4:00 a.m., taking judges to the airport at 6:00. Then getting back to the hotel, checking out, and taking my piano student (Alex Tucker), and Giorgi to meet up with Kristy at The Spoken Word at 8:45. When we walked into the Tabernacle with the choir warming up, Giorgi was blown away with what he saw and heard. It sent chills down me, too! Afterwards, we walked around Temple Square, watched the Joseph Smith movie at the Visitor's Center, went to the reflection pool, the south Visitor's Center, then realized we were barely going to make it to church with Brandon and Tannya in South Weber. Sure enjoyed holding Nikki in church, while listening to the talks!
7. Headed back to Salt Lake, dropped Giorgi off at the airport, got Kristy back to her car by the temple, and drove down to Provo to exchange laptops with Dallin (his needs some major repair and I have a brand new one. . . is something wrong with this picture???); drop off a debit card for Natalee to pick up so she could buy gas for her trip home (another long story...), and then FINALLY got on the road back to St. George by 6:30 p.m. I was just a tad concerned about driving on so little sleep in the dark, but I was VERY blessed, and received phone calls right when I needed them and got into town around 9:45. I was exhausted and happy to be home!!
I absolutely LOVE the friendships I have made over the past four years of being in charge of the piano competitions. Giorgi has recently been invited to join the piano faculty at the Music Conservatory in Vienna, Austria and he has invited Kristy, Me and Dad to come visit next year!! I told him he is adopted into the family, so just know you all have an older brother...just two years older than Denz! Maybe we should all pop over and pay him a visit. All the judges were amazed when it came up that we have seven children in our family. I told it was nothing compared to my sister-in-law with 14 children! Isn't life relative!?!?
Well, that let's you know what I'VE been doing this weekend. All Dad did was WIN AN IPAD II at the technology conference he attended while I was gone!! (And I thought my towels were cool...) He is LOVING learning about it and using it. VERY COOL TECHNOLOGY!!
Hope your lives are calmer than ours!!
October 12, 2011
There are TONS of marriages, relationships, etc., out there that are "small packages" and they bring with them lots of problems and unhappiness.
When we TRULY understand about giving of ourselves (NOT for what comes back to us, but because it's how we really feel) then we attract that kind of relationship, person, and experiences. Some people NEVER understand this concept, and their lives reflect it.
By the world's standard this concept can be very mundane and not very fun or exciting. But the world is actually wrong. It is the most healing, complete, secure and reassuring sense of our "being" there is! When we feel this, we are MORE free to bless and give, and it NATURALLY comes back to us in many many forms!!
Often we hear the Savior's counsel "As I have loved you, love one another" or "Love thy neighbor as thyself." We would do well to heed His words.
October 11, 2011
Red Flags of Pride:
Uncle Kim said that he knows this list because he has dealt with each of these things, and that we should each work vigilantly to overcome these and other red flags of pride.
October 10, 2011
October 9, 2011
October 7, 2011
- Just one touch won't hurt.
- I'm afraid if I take my hand off I won't be able to leave it off.
- I deserve this.
- The only reason I feel pain is because of my Mormon culture.
- But I was born with the desire to touch the stove.
- It's my parents' fault. They're the ones who bought the stove!
- I just need to adjust to the burning rather than try to overcome it.
- I want to be excommunicated so it won't hurt when I touch the stove.
- No one told me touching the hot stove was bad.
- It may hurt, but at least I am touching it with someone I love.
- It's not like it's totally wrong. It's a gray area.
- Everyone else is touching it.
- I'll touch it if I want. It's my right. Nobody is going to tell me what to do or not do.
- Stove? What stove? I don't see any stove.
- I just don't care anymore. I'm numb to it.
- I know it's wrong, but I'll move my hand tomorrow.
- You can't go without touching the stove all the time.
- I've blown it now. I might as well touch it more.
- Those who don't touch the stove are old-fashioned; my generation is different.
- At least it's just my hand, and not my whole face.
- How will I know it hurts unless I touch it myself?
- At least the other stove touchers accept me and don't judge.
- There are others who touch it more than I do.
- If God didn't want me to touch the stove, He wouldn't have given me a hand."
October 5, 2011
October 4, 2011
Nat was off to Arizona for RJ's game (sheesh! you'd think she liked him or something!!), and Dad went to the Priesthood Session of Conference with Harrison and Devon (and Ryan and Jared, too!), soooooo Mil and I went for our own little campout (see what you started, Nat!)
After our wonderful dinner, and ride together, Holly and Julie came over and we played Nertz and ate popsicles! It was a fun, fun evening!!
October 3, 2011
I hope people who see the window pause to think about their lives...the kinds of choices they are making whether they be issues of honesty, integrity, or morality, etc.
Hans and Amelia had breakfast with Dad and me and we watched The Spoken Word together and Sunday morning Conference. It was fun to watch them build waffle town houses and share candy at "half-time."
For the afternoon session of conference, Dad and I were completely alone for the first time in 31 and a half years! Wow!! It was pretty cool!!
The message that was shared today that had the biggest impact didn't come over the tv or radio. It came from Hans and Amelia (and Nat and RJ.) We got talking about "hotel rooms" because of Nat and RJ needing to get separate rooms in Arizona since his parents didn't end up going to his game so he couldn't stay with them...and he SHOULDN'T be staying in Nat's room. Anyway, it reminded me of Hans' and Amelia's trip to San Francisco when Hans proposed to Amelia.
He had made reservations at a very nice hotel in San Francisco, for two separate rooms. Well, when they arrived at the hotel, they were told that there were some problems and asked Hans and Mil if they would mind sharing a room since they were short on rooms. When our recently engaged couple declined the offer, the hotel manager said they could have the suite, complete with jacuzzi, etc., and they would "comp" it, meaning their hotel stay would be free, rather than DOUBLE the cost because of the need for two rooms.
Well, they declined, and the hotel somehow survived their troubles. But more importantly, Hans and Amelia had POWER. The power of self-control, the power of integrity, the power of personal purity. I'm betting the price of the rooms was worth it, and then some!!
September 27, 2011
Yeah, that's about the size of my days in general, except for the piano recital stuff! So, I'm driving home from my college class, talking on the phone with my parents. I get to the corner at our house and notice a car in the driveway. Not just any car, but MY HUSBAND'S. I said to my parents, the instant I saw his car, "Rod's home from school...he's NEVER home from school. I've got to go!" And promptly hung up the phone. I ran in the house and it was silent. I called out thinking I would hear Rod's voice, but there was nothing. I went through every room, ending in our bedroom; then I heard him in the bathroom. He was sitting on a stool, hunkered over the bathroom sink. I instantly thought of MORNING SICKNESS!!
I asked if he was feeling sick, and he surprised me when he said he wasn't. He then gave the details of how he was eating lunch and started to feel spasms in his throat. He got a drink of water and it came spewing out of his mouth. And it got worse after that. Even trying to swallow his saliva made it spasm worse and come out. That's when he decided it wouldn't be too cool to stay at school and teach.
(I could just see it: "Today, students, we're going to discuss the esophagus and what happens when it's not functioning correctly...")
Anyway, we took him to the doctor (where Nat works, of course!) He gave Dad a nitroglycerin pill to put under his tongue. The doc said it would only take about 5 minutes...it took 20...but it DID work. Will we waited though, Dad got THE WORST case of hiccups...LOUD and jolting. I must not be a very good wife, because it was VERY hard to not bust up laughing right out loud. I tried really hard, as I rubbed Dad's back, but after a few minutes, with his head still down he quietly said, "I can feel you shaking..." That's all it took, and I let out a loud guffaw! It really was quite funny. Dad got laughing too, in his funny "hold it in" laugh, and it actually stopped the hiccups!!
After a while, Nat (yeah, she just told her job she was going with her dad!) Dad, and I went to the hospital. Nat stayed with Dad while I ran home to get things ready for the piano recitals (which was rather hectic...enough said!)
The scope and biopsy went well. We'll know in a week what that shows, and then Nat and Dad came to the piano recitals. Hans and Amelia came and saved the day with the video camera! (They found a clever way to attach it to the tripod even though the regular attachment piece was missing!!)
I played Autumn Leaves at both recitals and only messed up the second time I played. Lots of other thoughts kept racing through my head...I'll have to work on FOCUSING more.
All in all, it was a memorable day, and I'm VERY happy that Dad is doing well!!
September 26, 2011
September 25, 2011
On Friday evening (after an afternoon of horse washing!), Dad and I, Nat, and Hans and Amelia went down to Swiss Days where we enjoyed some good Navajo Tacos, looked at booths, and listened to the really good Swiss yodeler entertainment. Nice evening together!!
Nat and I enjoyed sharing the horses with the other girls joining us in the parade. There was a lot of work to be done washing all the Pine Valley dirt off the horses on Friday and getting them pretty for the parade. Harrison came and helped saddle Zoro, also helping out with some other stuff too!
There were a lot of people watching the parade. The horses did VERY well in spite of the mountain men shooting off their guns frequently, kids darting out to grab candy, and lots of distractions all around them. And our riders did an excellent job, too!!
Natalee and Mom,
Megan Amundsen, Alex Tucker,
Madi Yates, Sydnee Yates,
(Isaiah Nielsen on back of Natalee), Brock Yates and Johnny Moncrief
(as our Pooper Scoopers!)
September 19, 2011
September 14, 2011
Good job, RJ!!
September 13, 2011
Nat and I rode up to Three Ponds and made a small campfire. Only took two matches and a bunch of dried twigs. We cooked hot dogs, (only a little sand got in them from our sticks...), took pictures, laughed, cried, talked, roasted marshmallows, made s'mores, ATE the s'mores, and enjoyed the incredible beauties of Snow Canyon.
So, once again, another beautiful and memorable ride!
September 10, 2011
On the way home, Dad and I stopped by Palisade State Park...I camped there with my family when I was TEN YEARS OLD! And it's a whole lot prettier now than I remember it back then. We should all go camping there next summer!!
September 9, 2011
September 8, 2011
September 7, 2011
September 5, 2011
|From Labor Day Weekend|
After all of the fun, and loading up on homemade bread and biscuits, Dal and Kristy headed back up north, and RJ had to head back to Ephraim.
Today Nat, Mil, Hans, Dad and I went to Pine Valley for the afternoon. It was an incredible day! We took 5 horses out and really enjoyed being together, even when Brown Jug tripped, went down on his front legs and pitched Hans forward. Hans handled it beautifully as he quickly scrambled (army crawled) off his horse before the horse got back up on his feet (hooves). He gets the "Amazing Rider" award for the day!!
|From Labor Day Weekend|
Thanks for a fun weekend "lower half of the family!!"