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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Letter - Utah Arizona Fall Break Road Trip

October 9, 2016

October started out with a lot of fun.  We headed up to Utah on Friday, September 30th around 2:00pm, the kids had a ½ day of school to begin their two week Fall Break.  We drove as far as Kanab that night.  Since we don’t like to drive longer than 5-6 hours and since we were staying in a hotel the whole trip anyway we figured we’d split the drive up.  I’m so glad we did. 

Saturday, Oct. 1st we woke up and headed to Salt Lake.  We were able to listen to the 1st session of conference along the way.  We got to Salt Lake in time for a picnic with Brenda and most of Chad’s sibling who also were in Salt Lake.  It was fun to see family that we don’t get to see very often anymore since they moved away.  The cousins didn’t seem to miss a beat even though they’ve been apart for about a year.  I’m glad my kids have a relationship with their cousins, aunts and uncles.  Saturday afternoon we watched conference in the tabernacle.  Saturday evening Chad, Spencer, Bryant, Art, Aaron, Nick and Tyler went to the Priesthood session together and then went out to dinner to Chuck-o-rama.  Karalee, Marlee, Tilly and I went to dinner at Denny’s and we also went to Grandma Lisa’s (Art’s wife) house and helped make tamales.

I enjoyed the beautiful drive from Kanab to Salt Lake.  Southern Utah is beautiful.

Conference in the Tabernacle.

Chad is so handsome and so good.  I'm so lucky.
The guys at the Priesthood Session.

Sunday morning we watched the first session of conference in our hotel room.  Luckily that was our nicest room of the trip and it had two queen beds and a nice couch area too.  Sunday afternoon we went back to Art and Lisa’s condo and had a nice family dinner with several of Chad’s siblings and their families.  Lisa made us a wonderful roast dinner and also set up a pumpkin hunt for all the kids.  It was a nice time.  We helped wash dishes and clean up during part of the afternoon Sunday session and then went back to the hotel to watch.  Sunday evening we drove up to the This is the Place Park and had a good time looking at the statues and reading the inscriptions that told about their history.

All Chad's sisters and me at dinner at Art and Lisa's.

Chad's ancestor Lewis Barney was in the first company of Pioneer's to reach Salt Lake.  Spencer read the book about Lewis Barney and walked to honor him on our stake's pioneer trek this summer.

We got creative playing hide and seek in the hotel room.

Monday morning we headed to Springdale, UT which is right near Zion National Park.  We made a stop in Beaver on our way to Springdale to visit my niece NaElle and meet her new baby, my great niece, Tessa.  Tessa is beautiful like her Momma and it was fun to visit for a few minutes and see NaElle and Cody’s cute home.  We got to Springdale in time to do a short hike before it got dark.  I LOVED Zion’s park.  It is so beautiful.  It has given me a desire to visit more of the national parks near me. 

Two deer walked with us through town for awhile.  Marlee kept trying to go pet them.  Chad and I had to keep telling her that they were wild animals and that she needed to stay back so she wouldn't get hurt.

Tuesday morning Chad and the boys left around 7:30 to go hike Angel’s landing while the girls and I leisurely packed up our stuff and checked out of the hotel.  I was nervous for the boys to do that hike.  I woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was worrying about it.  It has sheer drop offs with a narrow ledge with chains to hold onto.  After getting checked out, the girls and I headed to check out The Narrows and The Temple of Sinawava.  By the time we got the park entrance there was a long line for the shuttles so Chad and the boys were able to finish their hike by the time we got to their stop on the shuttle route, so they jumped on our shuttle with us.  Chad and Spencer really loved the Angel’s landing hike.  Bryant thought it was ok.  I think it might have been a little too strenuous for him.  Chad and the boys said it wasn’t as scary as they thought it would be after watching YouTube videos about it.  I hope I will get a chance to go hike it sometime, but I didn’t feel bad staying back with the girls who were all too young for that dangerous of a hike on this trip.  We hiked about 1 ½ -2 miles to see where the narrows started.  We didn’t go into them, because you have to walk through the creek and we didn’t want to get our shoes all wet or rent water hiking boots.   I’m not exactly sure what The Temple of Sinawava was supposed to be.  Probably the big mountain near the narrows.  After that we did one more small hike to see the weeping rock.  They boys were done hiking by that time, so we went back into town, grabbed a bite of lunch and then headed to Page for the night.  We drove through Zion National Park on our way to Page and it was an astonishingly beautiful drive.  I would like to drive it again sometime.

The beginning of the Narrows.

The drive through Zion National Park
Wednesday morning we packed up and headed to Antelope Point Marina where we rented a boat and a knee board for three hours.  The weather was a little chilly as we started out and so we drove the boat up through Navajo canyon to explore a little bit and to try to find the spot where Chad would camp when he was in young men’s with his scout troop.  I had forgotten how beautiful Lake Powell is.  After that it warmed up a little bit and we all, except Marlee and Tilly because they were too cold and/or too scared, took turns riding the knee board.  The water was a chilly 70 degrees and was quite cold at first, but we got used to it after a while.  The whole experience on the lake that day with Chad and the kids was SO much fun.  Chad and I both love Lake Powell and being on and playing in the water and now we’ve been able to experience it together with our kids.  I have fond memories of the trips to Lake Powell I went on with my parents and siblings and the Lake Powell trip Amy and I got to go on with Uncle Steve and Aunt Sharla and their family.  I want to plan a family trip to Lake Powell that lasts several days in a year or two.  Anyone want to go with us?  After we turned in the boat, we grabbed a late lunch and then headed to Flagstaff.

Our hotel room in Flagstaff was really cramped.  We were getting along fine … until one of the kids wet the air mattress they were sleeping on, getting their sibling wet.  We made it through the night … but I didn’t feel like I got much sleep.  That morning we went to the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course.  It was AWESOME.  Bryant really loved it and thought it was the best part of the trip.  Marlee and Karalee got to do the kids course.  Karalee was pretty scared at first, but she got braver as realized she was completely safe and liked it enough to do the course a 2nd time.  Tilly was sad, she wasn’t old enough to do it, but she had fun being in the forest and cheering us on.  I promised her we will go back when she is old enough to do it. 

We made it back home on Thursday evening in time to get laundry sorted and then Chad and I had to go to round table.  I was a little late to my session of round table because I was determined to get a load of laundry started.

Friday I didn’t do much other than laundry and to get our van ready to sell on Craig’s list.  We made our trip in our new to us Expedition EL.  The van, sat lonely in the garage wishing it was on one last trip with us.  I still miss several of the van’s nice features, but the Expedition is a nice big, comfy ride.

Yesterday I woke up with a bit of a sore throat and sinus trouble.  Luckily we didn’t have a lot to do.  I drove Spencer to mow his lawns so he wouldn’t have to ride his bike.  It was nice to unwind after our adventurous trip.

Today has been nice.  I still have a bit of a cold and a runny nose, but my throat doesn’t hurt.  Maybe it is allergies …or I got sick from the cold water at Lake Powell.  We had a nice sacrament meeting with wonderful testimonies.  I got to sit with Tilly’s class during her sharing time because her teacher was at a baby blessing.  Relief Society had a nice lesson about our commitment to God.  Chad has been away to meetings much of the day, but he still got to spend a few hours with us this afternoon and evening.  He was able to eat dinner with us and give each of the kids a PPI.  Now he’s at stake choir practice.  They needed him in the choir more than me because they didn’t have many men show up.  I will sit with the kids since they’re still a little too young to stay good during 2 hours of conference with Spencer in charge.

I sure have been traveling a lot lately.  Marlee and I went to flew to Disneyland on Sept. 26th with Brenda, Jennie, Lucy and Emma for Marlee’s, Emma’s and Lucy’s special 8 year old Disneyland trip with Grammy.  We had a nice day a Disneyland, slept, and then flew home Tuesday the 27th.  It was fun, but exhausting.  This coming Thursday, my girls and I are driving back to California with my Mom to attend Jaki’s baptism and Carli’s baby blessing.  We will drive back on Sunday.  The kids go back to school and Chad flies to Orlando for work meetings on Monday.

My quote for today is from our relief society lesson.  “Religion is more than a knowledge of God or a confession of faith, and it is more than theology. Religion is the doing of the word of God. It is being our brother’s keeper, among other things. …We can be religious in worship on the Sabbath day, and we can be religious in our duties on the other six days of the week. … [How] important it must be that all of our thoughts, the words we speak, our acts, conduct, dealings with neighbors, business transactions, and all of our everyday affairs be in harmony with our religious beliefs” (



Bonus Pictures ... As if there weren't enough pictures in this post already. 
My nephew Jake returned from his mission to Toronto Canada Sept. 28th.  
I got a new haircut on Sept. 29th.  I love it.