Monday, October 29, 2012

Hunting Adventures and Senior Pictures

This week began with an adventure.  Bruce and Peter left at 4 am on Monday morning to go elk hunting.  They took Strawberry, Mackee and Lady with them.  On arrival, when they were getting Strawberry out of the trailer, she had a piece of twine wrapped around her ankle and she kicked to get it off.  Unfortunately Peter's leg was right in the way of that kick.  Luckily it wasn't too hard, and it hit right in the muscle, so it didn't cause do any damage besides making a very sore muscle.  Bruce said later that they should have turned around and gone home right then, but they didn't. 

Soon after they got there, it began to snow.  They heard elk all around them, but couldn't see past 100 yds because of the snow, so they didn't end up getting anything.  That night at around five, Bruce tried to drive the truck out of their campsite and did nothing but spin wheels and dig a big hole.  So they spent a very cold night in the tent, and the next morning he rode a horse out to a high point and called me at about 9:30 am.  Bruce said that he was snowed in, and he needed me to go up and meet him at this point and bring some chains.  He also said that I needed to come in a 4-wheel drive truck with good tires and chains.  (The chains we have were lent out, and Bruce forgot that they hadn't been returned).   Right when Bruce called, I had been talking to Karen T., which was a blessing, because I don't know if I would have thought of them, but as soon as I hung up with Bruce, I called Karen right back and asked her if Reul could go up with me to get Bruce.  They both ended up going,  but I still needed a truck.  So I called around, which was very stressful, to see who had the right truck.  Several said they had a truck, but they either didn't have good tires or no chains.  Lane K. was finally the one who was able to provide what we needed - thank you Lane! Reul, Karen and I drove up there - it took us about 3 hours to get there - and found Bruce waiting for us to come.

He loaded up a backpack with the chains, and rode Mackee back to the camp.
Bruce taking the chains back to the truck

 He put the chains on the front tires of his truck, and drove out, but not without some harrowing moments sliding sideways and coming within a few feet of a drop-off.

 In the meantime, Reul, Karen and I had a fun time enjoy the sudden exposure to winter wonderland!  Some heavy clouds moved in while we were standing on this ridge, and it started snowing hard!  It was amazing to see the storm move in like that.  Reul and Karen were perfect for this adventure.  They kept saying that they have been in a lot worse situations (ie adventures) with Gary back in the day!  They told me some great stories about camping in the Idaho wilderness with him.

After Bruce drove out with White Thunder (that's what we call his truck - ha ha), Peter came out riding Mackee bareback.  He tried walking her, but she was all over the place, so he just jumped on her back.  All of this was an adventure for him, and he was as cheerful as could be.

Driving out was tricky because we had the horse trailer in back of us and it was downhill and slick.  There were 3-4 times where the trailer started to jack-knife behind us, but Bruce knew how to accelerate and drive through it.  It's a good thing that if you get yourself into a bind, you can also get yourself out, with a little help from your wife and very good friends.  :)  I'm very proud to declare that I remained really calm through the whole affair.  My breathing and relaxation techniques came into good use.

That night, Bruce slept restlessly.  He was tossing and turning and moaning.  When we first woke up the next morning, his hands and feet were aching, and he had a bad headache and chills.  He didn't have a fever, though, so I think it was his body just re-adjusting after being so cold.  I used Peppermint on his head, Cyrpess and Lavender on his hands, and Trauma Life over his heart. And I hugged him a lot. 

There's a lot of ways that could have turned out badly, but we were very blessed.

WELL, onto happier subjects, while they were up hunting and getting snowed on, we had a hard rainstorm come through here.

Jesse bringing in the flag from a hailstorm

Mary bringing in the flag also

The rainbow after the storm
It has been complicated to get Joseph's paperwork done to go to Argentina!  It's much more complicated than what Joshua's was to go to El Salvador.  But one step done - Joseph's Passport is here!
 Joseph has been going here everyday for the two weeks.  He goes and does baptisms for the dead every day that it's open.  He said he is the only boy there with about 40 girls.  So he got up in his pre-mission class and gave a strong testimony about temple attendance. 

Mary started a new Ballroom Dance class last Friday!  Yeah!  She is fun to watch!
Peter and Bruce had their last soccer game yesterday.  This has been a fun season for Peter, and he has gotten to be a really good soccer player!  He is excellent on defense and in the mid-field.  I really saw a difference in his playing this season!

Here's Peter and Libby yesterday afternoon - Sunday.  The Lego's have been well-used these past few months.  They are on the floor in our Entertainment Room, and don't cause any problem right where they are, so it's a great playground for the imagination.

And now, for a real treat, here are some of our favorites of Jesse's Senior Pictures taken on Saturday!

And here's our favorite one.  This is the one that will go on the "Senior Pictures" wall.

Bruce and I shake our heads all the time and wonder how our children got to be so absolutely beautiful!  Jesse is truly beautiful - inside and out - I'm so thankful for her!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Temple Open House

This has been another beautiful Fall week.  Bruce and Peter went hunting last week.  They went up to the Sawtooths, which was gorgeous because of the Fall colors.  They hunted elk on Monday.  They saw a big bull elk about 400 yds away.  Peter wanted to take a shot, but Bruce wouldn't let him, much to Peter's chagrin, because he didn't want his first shot to be that far away.  Unfortunately that's the closest they got, and didn't get a chance at another shot!  And Peter won't let him forget it!  That afternoon it started to rain, and it rained for a solid 24 hours.  After being soaked through and chilled, they decided to come home on Tuesday afternoon.  Bruce said they had rivulets running through the middle of the wall tent.  That doesn't sound fun to me!  So despite opposition, and not getting anything, they still had a good time and want to go out and do it again.  Go figure!  :)  The fact is that Bruce would rather be in the mountains camping than any other place on earth, and he'll move heaven and earth to get up there.  It's true - I married a mountain man.  And it's a good thing he married me, because I love it about as much as he does.  (Just not the rain/cold/hunting part - ha ha)

Libby had a friend over yesterday, Elyse, and they had a ball playing in the fall leaves!

I had two special experiences this week.  One was going to the baptism of Chelsie and Jim, the next door neighbors to our friends Elysia and David.  They were instrumental in befriending Chelsie and Jim, and inviting the missionaries to teach them.  Jesse got to go to one of the lessons, and she loved it.  The three Elders that taught them were finished their mission this week, so to have Chelsie and Jim get baptized was a miracle.  The ward mission leader who was presiding over their baptism asked all three Elders to bear a short testimony.  It was so beautiful to hear their simple and powerful testimonies.

This missionary thing is close to my heart right now, with Joshua out doing the same thing, and Joseph going soon!  Speaking of Joseph, one of his challenges right now is that he wants to take his endowments out in the Temple so badly, but he needs a recommend from his Bishop and Stake President in Rexburg, and they are so backed up with all the missionaries putting in their papers after the big announcement in General Conference, that he can't even get the executive secretary to call him back to set up an appointment!  That is the challenge of new growth!

The other special experience that I had this week was going with Bruce, Peter, Libby and my Mom and Dad to the Open House of the Boise Temple.  Wow!  It was wonderful to be in our beloved Temple again, and to see the new decor.  It was stunning!  I loved the stained glass windows in the Baptistry, and the dark woodwork.  It reminded me a lot of the interior of the Nauvoo Temple.

As we went through, I told Peter and Libby to pay attention to how they felt while they were in the Temple.  It was a silent tour, because there were so many people, so we didn't have the talking points in different rooms that we would have had if we had come at a slower time.  When we got outside, I asked them both how they felt, and Peter said, "I had one thing going through my mind, and it was, 'This is super pretty'".  You could see the joy and excitement on both their faces, and feel of their happiness.  I was so grateful for that blessing - that they could feel the Spirit and recognize the joy that it brings.

Jesse and Mary had some other activities that night, and Jesse is taking a non-member friend, so they are going to go another time.

Jesse is practicing here with Connor and Logan for a musical number for Sunday.  They sang Armies of Helaman as a duet.  It was so good!  Logan also gave a talk that day because he is going to the Maryland Baltimore mission this Wednesday!  Eventually, if everything turns out like it's supposed to, this family will have three missionaries out at once!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Full into Fall

We are fully into Falltime!   I'm going to include pictures of fall around our home throughout this post.
Libby has started a ballet and tap dancing class.  Her teacher is Wayne Ellis' wife, Shayna.  She told me after the class that Libby is really good; that she has a lot of natural talent and flexibility, and she learns fast.  Hmmm.  That sounds familiar!  That is just what the gymnastics teacher told me two years ago!  Well, we'll see what happens with that.
 Madrigals got invited to go to an Invitational at ISU, along with twelve other choirs from eastern Idaho.  So Jesse and Mary left Friday morning for Pocatello.  They had a rehearsal with Dr. Craig Jessop, the guest conductor, who was formerly the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, on Friday afternoon.  Then they went bowling that night and stayed in a hotel.  The next day, they had rehearsal from 9 am to 5 pm, with only an hour break for lunch!  And then they had 50 minutes to eat, get dressed and be back on stage for the concert.  For the concert, three choirs from ISU sang, then each of the twelve choirs sang one number, and then they all sang four songs together.  The last number was Come Thou Fount, the same arrangement that the Tabernacle Choir did in conference last April.  According to all accounts it was spectacular.  There were 450+ members of the choir, so it was something else!  Joseph got to come down and be there!  After the concert, they got on the buses and rode home.  Mary slept the whole way, but Jesse was really cold and couldn't get warm, so she had a rough go of it.  Mary said it was like a fantasy, it was so much fun!  Ha ha  It's fantastic for Mads to have a fun experience like this, combined with singing really hard music, this early in the year.  It will shape their experience for the better for the rest of the year.
 The Cider Festival was fun!  It was a bit strange this year because you and Joseph are gone, of course, but also Jesse and Mary were at ISU also, so we just had Peter and Libby here at home!  They had to work hard to get everything ready, but that's good for them!  We had fewer numbers because of the choir being gone, but we still had a lot of people come, and all had a good time.  The only flop was the square dancing - I tried to get people up and dancing, but got no takers!  At the end of the night, I realized that I had taken no pictures!  Duh!  I was so disappointed about that, because I had my phone right in my pocket the whole time, but to no avail.  The doughnuts were a great success.  Libby and I made all the dough and refrigerated it ahead of time, so all we had to do was roll it out and fry it.  That worked great.  And the apple cider was delicious, of course!  I think we have 6 or 7 gallons out in the fridge.  After most everyone had left, Bruce and I sat around talking with Matt and Chantel, Rachelle, Heidi and Nikki.  That was one of the most fun parts of the night.  We have such good friends - great people that are fun to talk to.

On Sunday night, we had the Stake Young Women's Standards Night.  Jesse conducted the meeting, and as part of that, the Stake President asked her to bear her testimony.  It's hard to describe in words how powerful her testimony was.  Shelly told Jesse afterwards that it made her gasp.  She fits the description in Alma 17:3, "they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God."  She spoke of how much the Lord loved each of the young women, and she quoted Elder Bednar in saying, "The Lord desires through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to live in you and empower you.  He wants to transform you into the person He knows you can be."  But it wasn't so much the words, as the Spirit she spoke with.  It was wonderful.  Then Victor was asked to speak, and he did a great job.  He quoted the thirteenth article of faith, in reference to young women, and said that this article of faith described the kind of young woman that righteous priesthood holders find attractive.

 At BYU-Idaho, there was one stake that had over 500 applications for starting their mission papers just in this past week alone.  Poor Joseph is waiting for a temple recommend from his bishop and stake president and hasn't heard back from them for when he can even get an appointment.  Ha ha!  It struck me this morning, though, what a miracle it was that he got his papers in when he did, because now it would have been backed up for a long time.
I have had many experiences lately that have led me to understand the Savior in much better ways.  I want to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost that I receive, and be a servant every day to my Heavenly Father.  Elder Bednar says that if we have a question about whether we are haring the voice of the Spirit or our own voice, we can act on the guidance and then we will know which one it was.  I am going to work on that more this week.

Bruce's birthday was this week!  We had a fun singing Las MaƱanitas and making Bruce breakfast.  In the evening, Grandma and Grandpa H took Bruce and I out to dinner at Red Lobster with Michelle and Natalie, who were down visiting from Washington.  We ate shrimp to our heart's content.

Happy Birthday Bruce!  You light up our lives - we love to "love, love, love" you!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mission Call!

Joseph received his mission call this week!

Last Monday, he got a call from his Branch President, who told him that the call had been issued and was in the mail.  Wahoo!  On Thursday morning, I ran out to the mailbox, and this is what I found. 

To see the name of the Church on that large white envelope is quite a thrill!  I yelled for Jesse and Mary to come out (they were out of school that day), and they ran and celebrated with me.  Bruce was hollering from his office window to bring it in.  The postage on it was $1.90.  We couldn't remember for the life of us what the postage on Josh's envelope had been, so we searched the house up and down looking for his envelope and never found it.  The postage is important because it's more if it's a foreign call because there's more paperwork.  We texted Joseph a picture of his name on the envelope, and he called back and said, "Mom, right when you sent me that, I was blasting Called to Serve by the Mormon Tab!"  He later said that nobody was in his college apartment, so he ran around the apartment yelling at the top of his lungs.

So there we sat, staring at the call for a day and a half.

In the meantime...

We went out to the Orchard to pick apples.  I love it out there.  I heard someone say that they have never seen such a plentiful harvest.  I love the pictures that I take at the Orchard, especially of the children, because they inevitably look so happy.

On Friday, we went out to the farm to do pull pipe.  Peter's friend Hunter came along, so we had a 3 teams going, with Libby driving the four-wheeler.  We moved right along - it was awesome!  We had some trouble with horses getting loose and running hay-wire, but eventually we rounded them back up and put in their respective pastures.

After that we went to meet up with Joseph and Dane, who had just arrived into town with their ride.  When we got home, we had about 40+ people waiting in the house to open Joseph's call.  Luckily Mom & Dad got there first and welcomed people in.

Joseph opened his call to a crowd of expectant, happy faces all gathered around the kitchen table.  His call is to the Argentina Mendoza Mission, speaking Spanish!!  

He will report to the MTC in Provo, Utah on Jan. 23rd, 2013.  What a coincidence - that is the same week that Josh reported to the MTC in Jan of this year, 2012!   It's a perfect time to go in.  It gives us about a month to get ready after Joseph finishes up at BYU-I.  I really thought that my share of luck and blessing had run out with Josh going Spanish speaking, but the Lord saw fit to send Joseph to a Spanish speaking mission.  Oh, I'm so grateful!  Now the three of us - Josh, Joseph and I, can keep up our Spanish with each other.  Bruce understands and speaks quite a bit too.  WOW!!

To have that call happen on Friday night, and then to enjoy Conference Weekend with Joseph here has been heavenly.  

The announcement on Saturday morning by Pres. Monson that the age requirement for missionaries has changed was stunning!  I turned around and grabbed Jesse's hand, and we both started to cry together!  Girls can go on a mission when they're nineteen and boys when they're 18!  I told Jesse that when I was nineteen I prayed all the time that the Lord would make that change.  It wasn't the right time then, but it is now.  The cultural and spiritual ramifications of this change are widespread.

I told my family (tongue in cheek - somewhat) that this is a sure sign that Mitt Romney's going to win the election!  And here's why:  1) Mitt has to win so that the economy will improve and parents will have jobs to pay for all these new unexpected missions, and 2) The Church is going to have so much more exposure because of his presidency, that more missionaries will be needed all over the world to take advantage of all the media exposure.

But seriously, what this means to me is, as Elder Holland said in the Press Conference afterward, that the work is hastening, and the time is short, which means the Lord needs more missionaries than ever.  And the fact that so many more sisters will be able to go, well, this FB post by Porter Hoskins says it all:

I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who guides us through living prophets in our day.  I love how this is going to energize the Young Men and Young Women's programs, and Seminary also!

Speaking of Sisters, check out this future missionary!  She may have to tone it down a little, or the 18/19 year old missionary thing may not work out so well...

This is Jesse on the night of Homecoming.  She went to the dance with Victor, the starting quarterback at the High School, who got named the Idaho football player of the week for his tremendous play at the Homecoming game the night before! Way to go Victor!

Victor and Jesse
 They had a great time that night - thank you Victor for being a gentleman and friend!

And I just have to tell you about these shoes.  These are exactly the shoes Jesse had pictured in her head when she bought the dress (yes - she paid for everything for Homecoming with money she earned teaching piano lessons).  When we went shopping to find the shoes, these were the first shoes we saw in the first store that we went to.  No joke!  Talk about manifesting what you want...

I found this yoga pose on Pinterest, and asked Libby if she could do it.  Pretty close!!  Libby is SUPER flexible.  
Some more pictures - this is the last time Joseph will be out at the farm working with us for the next 2 1/2 years!  

I love this picture!
 We finished pulling pipe on Saturday after the afternoon session of Conference.  I couldn't believe the difference in our family's work.  Everybody worked quickly, happily and efficiently.  If you had told me it would be this way as little as 2 years ago, I wouldn't have believed it! 

On Sunday, we got a surprise visit from cousin Matthew!
 He just returned from his French speaking mission in Switzerland and France, and came by with Grandma and Grandpa H.  My parents happened to be here at the same time.  What a treat!
 Wow, writing this post has made me so grateful for the Lord's blessings to our family.  I feel like paraphrasing Mormon and saying, "Surely there could not be a happier family..."  We are not without our troubles (the house is 60 degrees right now because we have no heat - the furnace is broken), but they seem minor compared to the Lord's bounteous blessings. 

Coming up next week:  Cider Festival!