Tuesday, November 19, 2013


We took family pictures a few weeks ago in an apple orchard. It was fun, but it sure is hard getting 7 little, energetic bodies to hold still, smile, and not move for several minutes. Here are just a few of the outtakes of our adventure.
Look at cute little Nathan in the middle with his mean guy scowl.  Watch out, he's about to punch you out!
And then the next one is a tad too smiley. He is such a ham!
Preston kept eating apples the entire time we were there. So 99% of the pictures he has an apple in his hand and a mouthful as well.


I asked Will to smile and he gave me this sleezy pose.

Nathan is totally done with posing, Preston is still chomping away and Brig's is getting into it. What's up?

 More apple tasting.

I have no idea what Jackson is doing, but he sure is a cutie!!
I will be posting the real pictures later!! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meeting the Prophet

A couple weeks ago, I met the prophet of our church, Thomas S. Monson. It was such an incredible experience, so tender and dear to me. I knew I was going to see him and a few other apostles at the Century of Honor Celebration to commemorate 100 years of scouting in the LDS Church, but I didn't know I would actually shake his hand and talk with him.

We arrived 2 hours early to snatch up some good seats. We were the first ones to be there in our section, section 2. We were on the 6th row, rows 1-5 were being reserved. I was thrilled! After a few short moments, the security guard and ushers said they were opening up rows 2-5 and we had first dibs. We quickly changed our seats to the second row. How exciting!

About 10 minutes before the show was to start, 9 of the 12 apostles started to walk in. We were sitting in Section 2, second row, the seats are in the front and close to the door that the apostles and prophet walk through. We were so close to them. The front row was reserved for ushers and security, so really there wasn't anyone in our way of seeing anyone walking in.

All of the security guards stood up and faced the audience, that was a sure sign that the prophet would be walking in soon. And there he was!  Just watching him walk in was so moving. It was touching to see his bodyguard helping him walk down the aisle. There were thousands and thousands of people in attendance, but you could hear a penny drop to the floor because of how quiet it was. It was that reverent.

He started walking in front of the audience and was waving to people. The prophet noticed Tyler standing next to me, looked him in the eye and said "Now there's a future missionary." He was in the middle of continuing to step forward when he changed his position and walked directly towards us. The prophet then said, "watch this!" He wiggled both of his ears and all the people around us laughed. The prophet held out his hand and shook Tyler's with authority and love. They spoke for just a few more short moments about scouting, and he was on his way. He continued to wave to people and sat down.

What an amazing experience that Tyler and I shared. He will (hopefully) remember it always. I can imagine Tyler on his mission talking with the youth telling them that he met the prophet Thomas S. Monson and the prophet told him he'd be a missionary. Such a tender and simple act of kindness the prophet showed to us that evening.  

At the end of the celebration, Thomas S. Monson received an award and was asked to come to the pulpit and say a few words. Again, his bodyguard gently helped him. The prophet looked frail. He looked old. He looked just like someone's cute grandpa. Then he spoke. Each word was strong and precise. He spoke with love and firmness. It was powerful to witness. He even cracked a couple of jokes. He has always been such a kidder. 

After the hour long scouting program (which, by the way, was absolutely amazing!) the Apostles started walking out and we were all able to shake their hands. It was amazing. It was reassuring. I was truly humbled by their compassion and love.

As Thomas S. Monson started walking towards his exit, he continued to wave and shake everyone's hand in the 2nd row. As he walked closer to us he said, "There's my missionary", pointing to Tyler.  I told him I have 7 boys. 7 future scouts. 7 future missionaries. He looked back at me with astonishment and said something on the lines of "Wow, no girls?" I placed my hand on his shoulder and asked him, "I don't know, you tell me. Are there any girls waiting to come down to my family?" Everyone around us laughed, and he threw his arms in the air and said, "I do not know that information!" Again, we were laughing.  The prophet continued to walk down our aisle shaking hands with Tyler, my mom, Bill and our cousin Trey.

That evening will always be remembered deep in my heart. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to live so close to events that the Prophet and his Apostles will attend. It was such a memorable and wonderful experience!!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

100 years of Scouting in the LDS Church

Will and Scott auditioned months ago to be part of an Eagle Scout Choir to celebrate the 100 year Anniversary of the LDS partnership with the Boy Scouting program.

They were both thrilled that they made it. They spent weeks preparing with over 365 other Eagle Scouts. I was able to attend the dress rehearsal on the Saturday before the broadcast, where we were able to video and take pictures. It was such a spectacular event! I thought there would just be a couple of talks and the choir might be singing a few Scouting songs... Boy was I wrong!

The show started with dim lights on the stage and a fog machine in full force.  Then several Scouts started playing trumpets from on top of these wooden towers on the stage.  They were then answered by a bunch of other Scouts who were playing back from the balcony behind the audience. It was strong and powerful.

Scouts then repelled in with the American and Scout Emblem flags. Everyone rose and together stated the Pledge of Allegiance. This was followed by hundreds of Cub Scouts who ran out onstage and sang the National Anthem.

The performance was about how the Scouting program came to America and how the LDS church became involved with it.
An American named W. D. Boyce was visiting England and got lost.  He was randomly helped by a young boy that refused to be paid for his "one good turn daily". He made such a huge impact on him, that he went straight to the Scouting headquarters in England to find out more information.

The show had kayakers in the air, more rappelling by other scouts, pinewood derby, and even a Boy Scout on a zipline.  It was very exciting!!!

I know that Scott and Will had a great time participating, but it was so informative and helpful for me to attend as well.  It had given me a greater resolve to make sure that my boys maximize the experience that they get out of the program.  It truly is a program that makes Boys into Men!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bear Lake

We all headed to Bear Lake a few weekends ago over UEA Weekend. I am so glad we were able to get away, even if it was for a just a few days. If was so beautiful up there. The fall colors were all around us.

We went on a few hikes together near Bear Lake. They were all easy enough that all the boys could walk them. It was much colder on the tops of those mountains though!

Can you see Will? Look very closely! He's right in the middle of this huge rock cliff!

Right in front of our timeshare all the trees are bright reds, oranges and yellows. My most favorite time of year!

We went to a couple of museums. We went to a park. We played tennis every day and we also fished. On the first day, everyone caught a fish. Brig's caught the largest one and was thrilled about it!

I also brought up my sewing machine with a couple of sewing projects, and my scrapbooking supplies. While the kids were swimming, watching a movie, playing outside or whatever, I was able to work on some crafts.

We also did lots and lots of swimming in their indoor heated pool, kids pool and Jacuzzi area.

I took this shot at the tennis court right after playing a game against the boys. Breathtakingly beautiful. 
And, of course, we had raspberry shakes every night for a yummy treat!!

It was a fun relaxing vacation with the fam.