Search This Blog

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Letter - Flake Reunion, Back to school

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I can hardly believe this is the last day of July.  This year is going by so quickly, but it has been a good one and there are several things I am looking forward to before the year ends--Bryant’s birthday in 13 days, a possible camping trip with old CO2 ward friends in August, a trip to Disneyland with Marlee and Brenda and the other eight year old cousins in September, a trip with our little family to Salt Lake for general conference and slowly vacationing our way back home, Halloween, Karalee’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Tilly’s birthday, Spencer’s birthday and Christmas!  Life is so nice when you have so many wonderful people to interact and celebrate with and to love.

Here is a report of some of our activities over the last three weeks that have passed since I’ve written.  Spencer spent July 11th – 15th at Round Valley high school for a team football camp.  He had a good time, but ended up breaking his finger.  He now will have to miss the first few games of the season while he lets it heal.  I’m beginning to wonder if football is worth all the injuries that come along with the game.  He loves it though, so he gets to make the choice.  He can’t get his finger splint wet and it is getting pretty gross.  Luckily we go in this Wednesday to get it changed.  Spencer has hired Bryant to help him with his lawn business so his splint won’t get all grassy.  They make a good team.  I’m sure thankful that they’re such good friends and that they work and play well with each other.

We spent the last two weekends in Snowflake.  Tyler Ann’s wedding reception in my parent’s barn was on July 15th.  It was so fun to see how Travis and Teresa transformed the barn into such a cute wedding reception venue.  I’m glad we were able to help out a little bit since Teresa did so much for mine and Chad’s wedding receptions.  On Saturday the 16th Chad and I took Rachel, Trey and all our kids minus Tilly (she didn’t want to go) to Clear Creek near Winslow.  We had a fun time jumping cliffs.  Karalee even jumped off Dragon’s head!!  I am so proud of her for doing something adventurous.  The evening of Sunday, July 17th we decided to bring Trey home with us since we would be heading back up to Snowflake the next weekend.  Trey was a fun guest and very helpful.  He’s welcome around our house anytime.  Last weekend was the Flake Family reunion and Snowflake Pioneer Day Celebration.  All of my siblings were able to attend.  It is our favorite time of the year so we are all there almost every single year.  The celebration theme this year was Snowflake’s musical heritage.  It was so fun to attend the town program to see the musical performances and see pictures of all the music teachers and musicians who were honored.  I’m so thankful to all those who live in Snowflake who work so hard to put on the celebration every year.  It is a lot of work for them.  Oh and my sisters, nieces and I played our violins in the Flake program and it went well, but I didn’t get a recording of it. I’m hoping Dean will send me his recording.

Reception picutres:

The chickens got to stay for the party.

Clear Creek group
Selfies with cousins at the Flake Rodeo:

Kate Me Jackie
Me, Steve, Jewel, Daliah and Maggie
Tom and me
Jacque, Mark, Richie's son, me Richie
Me and Sandi
Me, Uncle Steve, Aunt Sharla, Brenda, Kacie
Me and Sank
Me and Uncle Dean
Me, Dawniel, and Jon

Me and Teagan
Karalee and Rachel - best buds
Mom accompanying the Liberty Bells and the community choir
Beginning of the town rodeo
My kids started school last Tuesday, July 26th.  Spencer is a freshman (I have a high schooler!), Bryant is in 7th grade (His first year of junior high!), Karalee is in 4th grade, Marlee is in 2nd grade and Tilly will start preschool on Aug. 9th.  They enjoy their teachers.  I’ve been getting up earlier than I did last school year to exercise before we have family prayer and scriptures.  I’ve been kind of grumpy and have yelled a lot this week and it has trickled down to the kids yelling more too so I will have to learn to control my temper and not yell so much so we can have more peace in our home.  I like getting my exercise out of the way before the kids are all up though so I’ve got to learn to get used to getting up early.

Tilly's had her friend Emma come over to play twice last week while the big kids were at school.  She sure missed the big kids.

Tyler’s sister Annalyn had her baby on July 26th.  They named him Treigen.  He’s very cute. 

Last week I learned that one of Satan tools is to make us feel like we have no other choice but to disobey the commandments.  He is still trying to take away our agency.  However, I know that if we pray and turn to God, he will open a way for use to use our agency in harmony with His commandments.

My quotes today are from church today.  The first quote is from a sister missionary who reported her mission in sacrament meeting today. 
No matter where we are at spiritually we all need to repent daily and make adjustments to our lives.” 
The second quote is from our gospel doctrine lesson today.
“To be a righteous woman during the winding-up scenes on this earth, before the Second Coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home--which is society’s basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 326–27).
I know I can repent and do better, especially as a mother.  I fall short often, but I am not without hope.  I know Christ’s atonement is sufficient for me to make my weakness strong.  I am so thankful to be a wife and a mother.  It is a privilege and an honor.  I am working to give it my very best efforts.



P.S.  Here are some pictures from 4 weeks ago.

Amy's family came to stay with us for a few days.

My brother Travis brought his boys over to play before Tyler Ann's wedding and he stayed too.  I'm sure glad my kids have good uncles to tease and love them.

Tyler Ann and her new husband Travis Parham

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Letter - All Good Comes From God, Be a Saver Not a Borrower

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Last week went well.  We were blessed that Chad got the 4th of July off of work on Monday.  That afternoon we went to the watch Finding Dory, it wasn’t my favorite movie.  That evening we went to my cousin Jaime (Caldwell) Shelton’s home for swimming, a BBQ, and fireworks.  It was fun to get to know her and her kids.

This week I’ve dusted off my violin and started working on a song my Mom asked my sisters, nieces and me to learn to play at the Flake reunion.  The song, “Fiddle Faddle”, is probably the most advanced piece I’ve ever learned.  I’ve set a goal to practice it three times each evening so I don’t make a fool of myself and so I can feel confident performing it.  I’ve improved a lot but I still have some trouble spots.  Normally I don’t enjoy playing the violin much, but as the week has progressed I’ve actually enjoyed learning this song and might try to learn a new song on the violin or viola after I perform at the reunion.

Wednesday morning I had the amazing opportunity to work as a volunteer with the Catholic Charities to help some refugees.  I met with Violetta—a social worker, or case manager, or whatever her title is who was a refugee herself 10 years ago—at a Walmart in Glendale to shop to set up an apartment for six men who are refugees from Cuba that would be arriving in Phoenix that afternoon.  We filled up three shopping carts with dishes, towels, bedding, cleaning supplies, and all the other basic things people need to set up a home.  After that we went to the apartment, carried everything up to the third story apartment and put everything in the rooms where they belonged.  Then we went to Fry’s and bought 1 ½ carts of food for them, probably enough food for about a week or so.  We went back to the apartment and carried everything into the apartment and put everything in the fridge and cupboards.  It was a great experience.  While we were shopping at Walmart I felt the spirit very strongly.  I remembered Elder Kearon’s promise when he said, “Seasoned members of the Church who have given years of service and leadership attest to the fact that ministering to these people so immediately in need has provided the richest, most fulfilling experience in their service so far” (Refuge from the Storm).  However, I did receive some opposition while leaving Walmart that bothered me quite a bit.

As we were walking out of the store Violetta stopped to have the Walmart greeter check her receipt to prove that she had paid for everything.  As I was standing there waiting to help push the carts out to her car, a man and woman noticed all our stuff and asked me if I was moving into a new place.  I told them that we were setting up an apartment for some refugees.  I could tell by the man’s expression that he didn’t like that very much but he didn’t say anything.  However, as the woman walked away she critically said something like, “you should help the people in our own country.”  It really bothered me.  I shouldn’t have let it bother me so much because it ruined the spirit I had felt earlier that day.  I thought about it a lot and this is my conclusion of the whole experience—“All things which are good cometh of God” (Moroni 7:12).  Satan is sneaky and when he can get us to criticize the good that others are doing he gains power. However, in the end he will not win. Good will triumph over evil.  I have a renewed desire to compliment and praise those who are doing any type of good and to bite my tongue and change my thoughts when I think something critical.

Thursday morning Spencer and I went to the temple.  He did baptisms while I did initiatories.  It was nice to do that together.  Friday Amy and David came to stay with us.  Our kids had fun playing on the waterslide and then we went to swim at the Lamoreaux’s and Josh jumped off the diving board!  Friday evening Amy and I attended Tyler Ann’s bridal shower and then went to Celeste’s to practice “Fiddle Faddle” with Celeste and my Mom.  Saturday was my niece Tyler Ann’s wedding.  It was a beautiful sealing.  It was fun to be in my temple with so many of my sibling.  I’m looking forward to the Flake Family reunion in two weeks when all of us will be together. 

This morning I had some thoughts about finances that I plan to teach my children.  The council I will give them is to be a saver not a borrower. Those who save can save others. Those who borrow can't. Those who are borrowers have already spent their money before it arrives and don't have the freedom to choose where they would like to spend it. 

 My quote today is from John Wayne.  “Life if tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.”



Sunday, July 3, 2016

Letter - Odd Jobs, Commandments are like Train Tracks

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Tomorrow is the 4th of July.  I wore red, white and blue to church today complete with red lipstick and red, white and blue toe nails.  Red lipstick always has and always will remind me of my Mom because she rarely goes anywhere without it.  She looks beautiful in it. 

I had fun giving Tilly, Marlee and myself patriotic pedicures yesterday evening.  (Karalee didn't want one.)

This week went well.  It was my boys last week of their sports and strength camps.  It has been busy for them and for me, but I think it was worth it.  They kept busy but still had time to do their chores at home and play some too.  It was definitely better than them playing video games or watching tv for the large part of the day which is what probably would have happened had they not done the camps.

Last Tuesday the kids and I went to swim at the Bowens.  The kids had fun playing the basketball game speed from the top of their rock waterfall.  That afternoon I got my hair cut again.  It has been two months since I cut it short so it was time to get it done again.  I don’t like the cut very well though.  It was thinned out too much and the top layers aren’t short enough, plus I had her try an A line cut and I don’t like the way it looks on me.  I am going to get it re-cut next week.

Wednesday I had to take Bryant into the orthodontist to get a bracket fixed that came off.  Since we were out around lunch time I took the kids to Chick-fil-a for lunch.  Spencer didn’t come with us though because he went to lunch with some friends at Tacos and More which is located across the street.  He has now paid off all the money he owes us for football camp and is keeping 40% of his lawn mowing money for spending money.  I’m proud of Spencer.  For the last few weeks Monday -Thursday he’s had 2 1/2 hours of football practice in the mornings then come home and mowed a lawn or two. Then three of those days he also went to 2 hours of basketball practice in the afternoons and then mowed another lawn or two. All in hot, hot weather!  He's a hardworking, strong young man.  Hopefully this will teach him to go to college and get a good education so he won’t have to do manual labor for a living.  When I tucked Tilly in to bed on Wednesday night I asked her if she wanted to get married in the temple. She said, "Yes I want to marry Westen. (Chad’s sister Heather’s son.) I want him to be my boyfriend." She was very sad when I told her she can't marry her cousin.

Spencer coming home from a lawn mowing job.  He had been out for a long time and it was getting late and he wasn't answering his phone so I went to check on him.  :)
Tilly and Westen
Thursday morning Heather took Tilly, Marlee and Karalee to the Basha High School pool with her kids.  I went to lunch at noon for visiting teaching.  Only one of our sisters ended up being able to make it, but it was a fun way to visit and get to know each other better.  I took my other sisters something during the month and have texted them several times to check up on them and let them know I was thinking of them.  Thursday afternoon Karalee got invited to go bowling with her friend Natalie Sedig.

Friday Heather and her kids came over for lunch and to play on the waterslide.  Karalee had Natalie come over and Bryant had Davin come over too.  Friday night Spencer and Bryant got to go on a date with Chad and me.  A few months ago, Bryant asked if he could go on a date with us if he read a stack of about 10-15 of our past issues of the Friend magazines.  He finished reading those this week so he got to go with us.  We decided to go to dinner and a movie.  Spencer asked if he could go too if he paid for his meal and his movie ticket.  We said that was ok with us as long as it was ok with Bryant since he had to read so much.  Bryant was agreeable to let Spencer go.  We ate a quick bite at In and Out Burger and then went to see “The BFG”.  I thought it was an excellent movie.  I have never read the book, but Chad suggested I read it to the girls before they see it when it comes out on vidangel.  

This time of year is a good time to earn some money while people are out of town.  Bryant has a job this week taking care of a dog while the owners are away.  They offered to pay him $10 a day to go to their house to feed and walk the dog each morning and each evening.  Spencer got a second job of watering shrubs for one of his lawn customer while he is out of town.  They are paying him $10 a day.  We also got asked to pet sit a little inside dog at our house for our neighbors over the long weekend.  They offered to pay $40.  If we accept the money maybe we’ll let the girls split it since they don’t get hired out yet and they’ve looked out for the dog so well.  We figured pet sitting the little inside dog was a good way to let the kids get a taste of having a dog without having to get a dog.  It worked.  They realized that dogs are stinky, especially their breath, even if it is a clean inside dog.  Now they don’t want a dog.  However, they are having some fun with it even though it is stinky so we will probably pet sit for them again for short periods of time. 

Sammy, the little dog we are pet sitting.  She looks like she is either missing her family, or needs a break from our crazy family.
Spencer called and set apart as the Teacher’s quorum secretary.  The bishop gave him a nice blessing when he set him apart.

I took this picture of Marlee last week.  You can often find her doing some sort of coloring or craft project.  She had made that little head band with the three feathers in the back and was working on something else.  She often leaves me little notes with a picture of me and her that says, "I love you Mom".  She is so sweet.
My quote today is from me!  It was a thought I had yesterday morning when I was unsuccessfully trying to sleep in.  “Commandments are like train tracks. They help us reach our desired destination. They are not limiting. When we get off the tracks and derail ourselves from the commandments we are limited.” 


P.S.  I wish my dear brother Tyler a happy birthday since it is his birthday on Tuesday.  He is kind, and fun and a great cowboy.