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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Letter - Reunion, Bryant's in the Friend Magazine

Sunday, June 26, 2016

As I went to save this letter on my computer I noticed that I wrote a letter on this date back in 2011.  Here is a fun excerpt of what life was like five years ago:

I am 16 weeks along now.  We will find out in a couple of weeks if we are having a boy or a girl.  We let the kids vote on whether to find out what the baby is at the doctors or wait until I have the baby in the hospital.  Spencer really wanted to wait, but Bryant and Karalee want to find out so their votes won. 

That was when I was pregnant with Tilly, crazy that we ever got along without her. 

The last two weeks have been great.  Wednesday evening on the 15th we had a baby shower for Chad’s sister Anna in our home.  I was glad to host it.  Other than provide my house I didn’t do much for the shower besides being in charge of a price is right game and buying cream puffs.  I’m excited for Anna to become a mother; she’ll be a great Momma.

I finally got to meet my new neice Liberty.  Hayley and Nick's daughter.  She is a doll.

Thursday June 16th we left town for a Sanders’ family reunion.  Brenda rented a large, amazing cabin near Christopher creek.  We had a good time.  My favorite part was kayaking and fishing at willow springs lake and playing Rook and other games.  Family reunions, especially when you are staying in the same home, provide a great place to implement the teaching of Jesus Christ.  Families really do “help us become what He wants us to be” (The Family is of God).  It was interesting to notice the different parenting styles and personalities of the kids.  I thought it went well. 

Hayley and Liberty got to ride with us to the reunion!

A photo like this with the girls standing on the top deck of the cruise ship with the ocean in the background is what I was most sad about losing when my phone got wet a couple weeks ago. Luckily it's a cute pic in the forest too.

I loved seeing my kids have such a good time with their cousins, aunts and uncles.

Like the kids' camp fire?  I thought it was so cute.

We got home from the reunion on Monday the 20th and we’ve gone back to our busy schedule of sports camps and things.  Spencer mowed several lawns this week and has almost completely payed back his $125 portion (half of the total cost) of his week-long football camp that he will be attending with the school team in Round Valley in July.  That means he’s put more than that much in his mission fund!!  He has over $2,000 saved for his mission.  He’s been putting half of all the money he’s ever earned into his fund since he was born and it has added up!

I saw this street named Trigger when I took Spencer to a lawn mowing job outside of our neighborhood.  I had to take a picture to show my great-nephew Trigger.
Tuesday for our Cub Scout pack activity (during the summer we have pack activities instead of pack meetings) I taught the cub scouts how to play volleyball.  I lowered the net so they would be able to get it over and they each successfully learned how to pass the ball and serve it over the net and play the game.  It was fun.  Wednesday I refereed the stake YW volleyball.  It is sure fun to see my former young women and to say hello and catch up with them.  Friday evening Chad and I went to our ward temple night and after the session we went out for ice cream with three other couples.  We’ve made plans to go out again and invite other couples who come to ward temple night too.  We plan to try Petersen’s Ice Cream.  They have an ice cream sandwich made out of a bosa donut and sealed back together in a Panini press.  I heard about it a couple of months ago and now I really want to try it.  Yesterday we fed the sister missionaries.  I asked them what they wanted to eat and they requested something light because they’ve had too much pasta lately and they feel so full when they get back on their bikes.  So I served BBQ chicken salad with tomatillo ranch with grapes and chips and fresh salsa from my garden for sides.  For dessert we had vanilla bundt cake (I used Jennifer’s (Tyler’s) pistachio pudding bundt cake recipe with vanilla pudding) with cool whip and nectarines.  It was quite delicious if I do say so myself and the missionaries were so grateful and appreciative.

Today we found out that Bryant is in the July 2016 friend!! He noticed his picture when the family in front of us in sacrament meeting was looking at the magazine. He wrote to the Friend for part of his communication merit badge requirements.  He didn’t even tell anyone about seeing his picture in it until we got home from church then he pulled out the Friend to make sure it was really him and showed it to us.  That was a fun surprise.

Tilly will curl up to me and fall asleep almost anywhere.  I love it.
This week in my 5K training I ran 25 mintues without stopping!  I also walked 5 minutes to warm up and 5 minutes to cool down.  I still don't like running.
Spencer plans to do his eagle project with this organization if it gets approved.
My quote for today is from Elder Gong’s recent conference talk Always Remember Him“We can become someone others remember when they most needed help.”  I hope to be that type of person.  I love each of those who I send this letter to.  I hope you are happy and have the righteous desires of your hearts met.  If you are in need of help, I hope you think of me and ask me.


P.S. I’ve worked on compiling of our family movies.  I put some of them on YouTube.

Feb. 2012 – Apr. 2012:
April 2012 – Dec. 2012:

Jan. 2013 – Sept. 2013:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 12, 2016 - cruise, summer camps, spencer's business, fathers

Sunday, June 12, 2016

It’s summer!  We’ve had a wonderful one so far.  We were lucky to start our summer a week early because we went on a cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada Mexico with my Mom, Crystal, Darrell, Ray, Reggie, Brady and Taryn.  Our kids missed the last four days of school for the cruise, but I feel that the opportunity to vacation with extended family members is a good reason to miss school, especially since Spencer was not in high school so his lowered grades from missing finals won’t affect his college opportunities.  The cruise was a lot of fun.  Here are our favorite parts:
  • Mindy – Watching my kids play and interact with their cousins.  Yummy food.  Riding the waves at the beach in Ensenada.
  • Chad – The food was pretty good.  Snorkeling at Catalina Island.
  • Spencer – Buffets.  Snorkeling at Catalina Island.  Playing at the beach in Ensenada.  Being chosen to be on the game show on the ship.
  • Bryant – Eating.  Staying up until midnight every night.
  • Karalee – Swimming and eating and staying up late playing cards with my cousins.  Finding sand dollars at the beach in Ensenada.  Being chosen to be on the game show on the ship.
  • Marlee – Going in the hot tub.  Playing cards.  Eating ice cream cones.
  • Tilly – Swimming.

One sad thing about the trip was that my iphone got wet and ruined and I lost the cute pictures I had of my girls in their matching anchor shirts and pink shorts on the top deck of the cruise ship.  Chad bought a waterproof cast for the phone so he could take some snorkeling pictures, but it only worked for a minute or two, even though he tested it twice before we left home.  I told him to use my phone because it was already having lots of problems and because he needs his phone for work.  I also lost lots of pictures and videos of our drive to California and our stay with Kayla and Jeff and their kids.  Oh well, there are lots of worse things that could have happened.

Catalina Island

Catalina Island
Karalee found an eel that had washed up on the beach.  Creepy.

There were tons of sand dollars in Ensenada.
Poor Marlee and Tilly were cold the whole time.

Heading home.
Spencer got to go on our stake’s pioneer trek June 1-4.  He had a great time.  He said he didn’t get too worn out pulling handcarts and that it wasn’t too hard.  They pulled 13 miles the first day and had only a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.  He said that was a really good sandwich.  They did 5 miles the 2nd day and had good meals the rest of the time.  The third day they didn’t pull handcarts at all.  They had a testimony meeting and read letters from their parents that morning, had pioneer games and activities and a mercantile store with candy and snacks during the afternoon, then had a fireside that evening.  The last day they pulled their handcarts 1 mile to load them up and then took buses back home. 

Chad and I got to go help with a pioneer stick game on June 3rdWe had a lot of fun.  The trek was the first time I've seen Chad in a cowboy hat.  I sure liked the way he looked in it!!  We stayed overnight to help cook breakfast the next morning and to help pack up the cook’s kitchen.  The cooks used to be in our ward before we all got split up and the head cook is getting famous and gets asked to cook for lots of different stake’s treks.  The cooks had a 2,000 square foot kitchen (Five 20 X 20 canopies hooked together) that included 2 industrial ovens, a large kitchen sink with hot water and a garbage disposal, another large sink with 3 sections, 4-5 large camp grills, 4-5 large camp stoves, tons of bowls, cookie sheets, gadgets and lots more.  It’s better than my kitchen at home.  It’s quite amazing.  It was fun helping out.  We ended up needing to pull a trailer full of cooking gear back home so I’m glad we stayed and could be of service.  

I taught RS and Chad taught Elder’s Quorum last Sunday, June 5.  I taught Lesson 11 - True Greatness from the Howard W. Hunter manual. (Because of the trek they changed the lesson schedule around.)  I felt like my lesson went well and there was a lot of good discussion.  I enjoyed teaching it.  Chad taught a lesson based off of Elder Uchtdorf’s recent conference talk about strong marriages and strong families.

Bryant got braces on June 7th.  His mouth was pretty sore that evening and the next day, but it hasn’t bothered him too badly since then.

Bryant's smile is changing forever.

June 8th was the eighth anniversary of my Dad's death.  I miss him so much. Last week at our stake's pioneer trek, Brother Ramsey, who used to shoe my dad's horses, was helping with a roping activity near the activity Chad and I were helping with.  Because of my resemblance to my brothers and sisters, he saw me and said, “That’s Jake’s daughter”.  I love being recognized as a Flake and especially as his daughter.  We talked for a long time and he told me how great my dad was.  I love bumping into people that knew my Dad.  It is a comfort to me.  Oh how I miss him.  I’m grateful for the things he taught me and for the reality that I will see him again.

Spencer and Bryant started sports camps at the school.  If you’re in town it is kind of mandatory to be there and since Spencer wants to play 3 sports next year he is staying very busy.  Spencer is doing football and weights Monday-Thursday from 6:00-8:30am, basketball Mon. – Wed. from 3:00-4:45pm, and volleyball Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 8:00pm.  Bryant is doing football and weights Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 – 10:00am and basketball Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:45pm – 6:15pm and Tuesdays from 8:00-10:00am.  Luckily I’ve worked out good carpools and can drop Bryant and his buddies off when I pick up Spencer and his buddies.  Luckily that camps are reasonably priced.  Karalee and Marlee are doing a volleyball camp at the Barney family sports complex Monday – Wednesday from 5:00-6:00pm.  I’ve got a carpool for that too thank goodness.  They kids are staying busy that’s for sure!!  The boys’ camps end on June 28th so we won’t be so busy the whole summer.

The kids also stay busy practicing the piano.

and making up games
and Karalee got to attend my friend's craft camp last week.
Spencer has started a lawn mowing business.  He mowed 4 lawns this weekend.  Three people want him to come back on a regular basis.  He hopes to get more customers in our neighborhood.  His mission fund is growing!!  He saves 50% for his mission, pays 40% to me and Chad to pay for his half of the football camp he will be attending this summer, and of course he pays the other 10% to tithing.  Yesterday Chad and I made a little lawn mower trailer out of our old bike trailer for Spencer. Now we don't have to drive him to his customers.

The last few Sundays we have been watching our old family movies.  It’s been fun.  We don’t have any family movies past Jan. 2012 because I haven’t compiled our videos since then so I need to start working on compiling our more recent videos.  After we saw an old movie where the boys had a big blow up waterslide the girls asked if we could get a waterslide.  We decided that would be fun thing to keep them happy this summer so we ordered one last Monday morning and it arrived on Thursday.  The kids have had a lot of fun on it already.  It’s big enough to hold the boys and still fun for Tilly too.  The older kids enjoy making obstacle courses on it and timing how fast they can complete the course.

My quote today is from Elder Christofferson’s talk entitled Fathers“Breadwinning is a consecrated activity. Providing for one’s family, although it generally requires time away from the family, is not inconsistent with fatherhood—it is the essence of being a good father. ‘Work and family are overlapping domains.’  This, of course, does not justify a man who neglects his family for his career or, at the other extreme, one who will not exert himself and is content to shift his responsibility to others. … We recognize the agony of men who are unable to find ways and means adequately to sustain their families. There is no shame for those who, at a given moment, despite their best efforts, cannot fulfill all the duties and functions of fathers. ‘Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.’”  Listening to this talk last week changed the way I pray for my sons.  I hope that they will be guided of what to study in college so they can be good providers for their families and that they will do their best to provide so their wives can be stay at home mothers.  I pray that they will marry women who place a high priority on motherhood.  I’ve also started praying for my girls to have a desire to be mothers and that they will marry men who place a high priority on motherhood and who will be good presiders, provider and protectors.  I sure hope they will be as happy in their marriages as I am in my marriage to Chad.