Sunday, June 30, 2013

Family Reunion!

This morning I don't have time to add pictures to the blog, so written word will have to do.

Last Sunday, Jesse and I got to go to Marc's farewell in Saratoga Springs, Utah.  Walker and Lori were there also, and it was fun to visit with them.  It was neat to be over on that side of Utah Lake and see the view that Bruce's great-great grandparents had as they raised their family on Pelican Point on the shores of Utah Lake.  It's a beautiful spot!

After that I took Jesse back to her apartment and then I drove up to Idaho to Lorna Kay's stake center, just in time to hear the "Hastening the Work of Salvation Broadcast".  Wow - was that wonderful or what?  One of the things that I loved was hearing the ward mission leader say that his goal was to have 20 lessons with a member present as the missionaries taught.  I know that at least twice, Josh has met that goal - once in La Union (and maybe more), and once in Usulutan.  Wow - that is truly a wonderful thing.  I loved the video where they showed a day in the life of a family, where each member was doing something to contribute to missionary work.  And I loved it that the family they showed looked Hispanic!

Libby stayed all last week with Lorna Kay while I was at the Young Living Convention.  She had a blast getting to know all the girls her age in the neighborhood.  Lorna Kay said after a few days, Libby knew more people in the neighborhood than they did.  She made some great friends, and is looking forward to going and visiting again!

On Monday and Tuesday, I taught a Foot Zone class to two people from Lorna Kay's town.  They were awesome and we learned a lot from each other.  They already had a lot of experience with natural healing, so I was able to do a Labyrinth to Self with each of them, which turned out really well.  I love teaching that Foot Zone class!

After the class on Tuesday, Lisa, one of the students, stayed after and we talked for almost two hours!  She is big into preparedness, so we had a long talk about that.  She has had a very similar experience to my sister Angie's.  She said that as she has studied preparedness extensively, and tried to figure out what the number one thing to "have" would be, she came to the determination that natural healing skills would be the number one sought after thing to have.  So she has changed her focus from 90% preparedness and 10% natural healing skills, to the other way around - 90% natural healing and 10% preparedness.  As we talked, it was interesting to me to see how Bruce and I have been led in the last few years in the direction that the Lord would have us take when it comes to these issues.  My focus has been all on natural healing, and Bruce's focus has been on preparedness.  He has been preparing by getting animals and gear.  We now have one dairy cow, with a heifer that will grow up into a dairy cow, a doeling goat that will grow up into a milk goat, and five horses with full gear.  Getting the horses geared up has been quite a process, but Bruce has done it!  He was able to get a fifth saddle at Christmastime, and since then he has been sewing packs for the horses.  It's exciting to realize all the preparation we have done.  I attribute it directly to inspiration from the Lord.

Tuesday night, after I got done talking to Lisa, Libby and I took off to Utah.  We stayed the night with Lindsey and Adam, who had just moved into a new basement apartment.  They were so nice to let us stay there, since they were still unpacking boxes.  Wednesday morning, we took off to Escalante, Utah for the family reunion on my side of the family! 
It was a hot drive, and Libby and I were happy to get there safely.  The group site was on a reservoir, which was sorely needed, because it was unusually hot in Escalante.  The average temperature in June is 74, and in July it is 80, for Escalante, so we just happened to be there when it was 103 and 104!  It was VERY hot.  When we got there on Tuesday, I went and jumped in the lake with all my clothes on, and then stayed in the wet clothes for the rest of the evening.  It really helped!  Luckily we had pavilion which provided good shade in the campground, so we could rest under that and play games and drink ice water.

Clark brought an ice machine which he had plugged in the whole time, and I'm telling you - that was the hit of the reunion!  We got to laughing about how Clark always has these unique things that become the hit of the reunion, like the red ball at Zion's a few years back!

 There was a really special moment on the first night when Whitney went up and read a beautiful poem, and then Grandpa stood up and gave her a hug.  It was a very tender moment.

On Thursday, Libby and I went with Aunt Angie, Uncle Rodney, Alyssa, Caleb, Carson (Ethan was at scout camp), Uncle Chris, Aunt Elena, Lane, JD, Bryant and Uncle Bruce on a hike down to some slick rock.  It was about an hour from Escalante on a crazy, bumpy dirt road. 

 We got out and hiked down to the first "slot", as it is called.
This one was called Peek-a-Boo.  It was a gully that was shaped by flash floods and rain, and you climbed up into it.
It was amazing!  The red rock had sediment layers and you could see perfect circles, where the water washed through like a whirlpool, and scooped out "waves" in the rock. 
I had only seen pictures of such a thing, so to be there and see it with my own eyes was exciting!

Then we hiked 1/2 mile over to the next slot called Spooky Gulch.  The 1/2 mile hike was exhausting because it was about 110 degrees out in the sun.  You could walk for about five minutes in it, and then you had to find some shade and drink some water.  It was really something.
Spooky Gulch got it's name with good reason.  This slot was the same as Peek-a-Boo, with red slick rock, as it's called, that is carved out between two fifty foot cliffs.  The things is, the opening starts out 3-4 feet across, but narrows down to about 18 inches.  So you're scooting sideways through this 18 inch space, with 50 foot cliffs touching you in front and in back.  Just writing about it, I get a little unnerved!  I did fine, except for about one minute where I started to feel some instinctive anxiety rise up in me.  I laughed - which is what I do when I'm nervous - and that drained out the anxiety enough that I could keep going.  Uncle Chris said he had the same thing - just a small moment of panic when Bryant was crying and there was a lot of dust.  I think that's when I got a little anxious - when a lot of dust was rising - because of the kids scrambling through ahead of us, and I felt like it was getting harder to breathe.  That was the only time when I felt anxious - when it was related to breathing!  Aunt Angie and Uncle Bruce were right by me, and we were laughing so hard.  One time Uncle Bruce went around the corner and said, "Oh boy".  I peeked around to see what he was looking at, and it was this narrow space that we had to get through.  I started laughing so hard.  When he said, "Oh boy" it was one of the funniest things I've ever heard.   I really thought he would turn back, but he was a trooper and squeezed through.

The hike back was tough!  Libby was a trooper.

 It was a great reunion, with 8 out of 10 siblings there.  Only Cedric and Craig didn't make it.  Out of the grandkids, Cheryl, Cristin, Matt (serving in Gilbert, AZ), Jarom (and Whitney and Venna), Joshua (serving in Usulutan, El Salvador), Joseph (serving in Ogden, UT), Jesse (working and going to school at BYU), Mary and Peter (on a Youth trek with Bruce in ID), Ethan (on a Scout Camp), and Hannah and Jane weren't there.  But all the rest of the grandkids were there, and Penny, a great-grandchild was there too! 
Uncle Bruce and Penny
And we can't forget Sam and Mitzi the dogs were there.  A highlight of the reunion was a Dutch Oven meal in Escalante with entertainment afterwards of a lot of favorite folk songs on the guitar.  Mom and Dad got to waltz to the Tennessee Waltz, which is one of their favorites!  One time I lost the key to the van.  I went to pick it up, and it fell on the floor.  I looked all over the floor for it - for about 10 minutes - and it had totally disappeared.  I looked in the Kleenex box and the bag of almonds, but nothing.  Finally, Stetson came and asked if I was all right, and I said, "No, I'm not all right."  He came and started looking, and in a moment, he picked up the bag of Triscuits, and found the key in the bag.  I was very grateful for Stetson at that moment!

Libby and I drove home on Saturday.  We stopped at the Young Living farm in Mona to buy some Young Living products.  We got in the paddle boats and floated around in the pond.  We rode underneath the fountain and got soaking wet, which felt SOOOO good.  We also stopped in Provo on our through to see Jesse.  It was a surprise, and it was great to see her face when she walked in and saw us sitting on her couch.  I asked her if she wanted some Stress Away, and she said, "No, I don't need any.  I'm not under any stress."  Well, that's a good thing to hear from your daughter who has just started college!  I'm so glad she's starting in Summer.  I'm not sure she could say that if it was the Fall Semester.

The next few hours in the car were interesting because it was 105 degrees in the van with no air conditioning.  Thankfully, I had gotten the window to roll down all the way the day before, so at least we had some air flow.  It cooled off a little toward sunset, down to 96 or so.  ha ha  We made it home at 10:50 pm.  I have never driven that much by myself in one day.  About 11 hours.  Whew!  The original plan was to stay in Lehi last night and meet Bruce, Mary and Peter in Logan on Sunday night, but I went ahead and drove home to Idaho, because I couldn't stand being away from them for another day.  And I'm glad I did!

In all, I have driven past Ogden FOUR times in the last two weeks.  I only really lost it one time, and that was when I was listening to Brother James' Air while driving by.  Joseph and I both love that song.  So I had a good cry while I listened to it and thought of Joseph, and looked at the mountain view that he has come to love, and the mountains he has climbed!

And now, we went to Calvin's farewell this morning, which was wonderful, and now we are packing the truck to go to Martin's Cove and another possible trip past Ogden (depending on which way we go)!  Good thing Joseph is loving his mission and working hard.  If he was having a hard time, besides the usual missionary challenges, it would be really tough to just drive by like that, but thankfully he is doing well.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hello Utah!

Last Monday, Jesse, Libby and I packed the van and took off to Utah.  Jesse packed amazingly well to go to college.  I think she brought about 1/3 of what Joseph took to BYU-Idaho!  Sorry Joseph, just have to tease you a little about that.  We dropped Libby off at Aunt Lorna Kay's and then continued on down to Utah.  We have stayed the week with my cousin Annette, which has been delightful.  Joel and Annette had lots of grandkids here this week also, so they were most generous to let us stay here.

My sister Jeana stayed here also, and together we attended the Young Living Essential Oils Convention this week.  We did more cheering and clapping this week than we have in a long time!  Ha ha
At the opening night reception, Karen saw a horse-drawn carriage walk by, so she and Reul took Jeana and I on a carriage ride around downtown Salt Lake for Jeana's birthday.  There's so much more to see when you're going slow and being drawn by a horse!
We had some fantastic classes at the Convention.  Darren Hardy, editor of Success Magazine, gave two great presentations, as did Wayne Dyer and workshop presenters.  They all such great tools that I can apply to all areas of my life, not just Young Living.  It was a fun and very valuable week!

On Friday, Jesse and I went to her BYU Orientation!

While it was fun to take Josh and Joseph to BYU-Idaho, taking your daughter to school at your alma-mater takes it to a whole different level!  Even though a lot has changed, there is still so much that is the same!  Walking around campus showing her the different buildings was so fun.  Her two hardest classes are in buildings right next to each other, so she can use her campus saunter instead of her campus walk.
Lorena in the Gordon B. Hinckley Visitor and Alumni Center for the Parents' Luncheon
   We moved her into her apartment in the evening.
I love this picture!  She has two roommates whom she likes already, and she has already met some other great people at Orientation.  She sent me this picture this morning.  I think this is Will?  But don't quote me on that.  :)
On Saturday bright and early, Jesse and I went to the Provo Temple.  It was a wonderful session.  I got to do the work for Libbie Lee, one of the family names I have researched and found while doing the Caryl-Hill names that came into our family's hands years ago.  It is wonderful to go through for someone whom you know a little about!

Then Jeana and I went down to the Young Living Farm in Mona, Utah - the Whispering Springs Farm.  What a wonderful place!  We watched a jousting tournament (not my favorite part, but still interesting).
We took a distillery tour, and at the end, we got a free bottle of Idaho Blue Spruce.  Yeah!
I got to see old friends,
walk the Labyrinth in the Lavender,
and enjoy a Diamond Rio Concert!

After the Farm Day, we got to go visit this new little person!

Jeana and I are Great-Aunts!  Literally!  ha ha  Jarom and Whitney's little one-month old baby is beautiful! By the way, we are famous because it is a known fact that Jarom used to home teach Matt from Studio C.  He said he was always acting; it drove Jarom crazy because he could never get a straight answer from him!

Libby had a ball with cousins Kaleb, Kaylee and the local friends in their neighborhood.  On Friday, she read a book for twelve hours.  She told me, "Almost every time I looked up, it had been an hour, until three in the afternoon, when I read for three hours without looking at the clock."  She is reading the Percy Jackson series.  When I talked to her Saturday morning, she had started in on another book.  Oh, to be eleven years old, with a book, in the summertime!  True delight!

The word from home was that Peter and Bruce milked Buttercup for the first time in 3 months, and it took them 2 hours to strip her dry.  Bruce said they got about six gallons out.  Oh my!  The next day it "only" took 45 minutes.  Whew!  It will sure be nice to have that raw milk again!  Dr. Strasser, a chiropractor we have been going to said that raw milk is one of the best superfoods on the planet, and homogenized and pasteurized milk is one of the top 10 worst foods on the planet.  I have heard that from other sources.  I'm grateful for Peter and Bruce for being willing to milk the cow so that we have raw milk!

Also, I heard that Bruce, Peter and Mary - the only ones home this week - without Wife and Mother - may have been watching a few episodes of Smallville.  I can neither confirm nor deny that these reports are true...

It is a strange fact that this post will now go to three - yes three! - children that are now living away from home.  Although we miss them with all of our hearts, they are where they should be, so we are happy!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Birthday Week

My sisters two oldest children, Ethan and Alyssa, have been here all week, which has been fun. Peter and Libby have had a ball with them here.
Wednesday was my birthday!  I slept and read a lot and just generally took it easy.  Grandma and Grandpa came over with a nice lunch for me, and of course Bruce and the kids made me French Toast for breakfast, my favorite!

Mary tried out for a ballroom dance team on Wednesday.  She looked awesome - at least as good as the kids that were on it last year, so she has really learned a lot.  They were impressed that she had gone to the BYU Ballroom Dance Camp.
On Thursday night, Mary had her 16th birthday party!  She researched on the internet all these fun games, and she had everything set up for each one before the party started.  One of the most fun ones was a Picture Scavenger Hunt.  We divided the party-goers into three groups, and they had a list of pictures that they could choose from in order to get points.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from the game:
A cute baby
 All group members in a super tight spot

 Entire team sitting in a chair together
 Entire team in a shower
 Something filled with water
Multiple group members lying on the grass making some kind of shape/letter.
 All group members in a tree

A human pyramid
Picture with a live animal that is not a dog or a cat

This game was called Bus Stop, similar to Musical Chairs.
Here are the "graduated girls" hanging out.

 Here are the girls shaving whipping cream off of the boys' face with a plastic spoon while the girls are blindfolded!

But the boys got the girls back when they had too feed them pudding blindfolded.

So fun!  Mary had a great time at her party.  Thanks to all the friends that came!  It was especially fun to have Britta here - she is one of Mary's best friends that moved to North Dakota.  Mary scheduled the party so that she could be here.