Thursday, September 29, 2016

family night adventure

We took a fun drive starting up Logan Canyon for our family night activity on Monday night.  The girls were not expecting it and I said, "I'm bringing my camera!  We leave in five minutes."  Zee said, "Mom!  I need to shower and do my hair if you are taking pictures.  You didn't warn us."  My response was, "Since when would I NOT have my camera with us for anything?"  That was the end of that discussion.  wink-wink!

 These two girls are so cute, they don't take a bad picture.  We were laughing so hard while trying to catch a few shots.  This place that they are standing is where Doug and I got engaged.   We love to take a drive up to this, one of our favorite spots on earth!

There's just no denying that things are just plain different without Quayd.  I missed his humor on our drive.  I missed watching him find the spot that would give me heart failure as he climbed or crawled through it.  He's definitely a dare-devil.  So, this was a very tame drive.  We were gone for almost four hours and there was not one scare or "thrill".  Well... other than when we saw a black cow grazing and I said, "Look at the bear!!!"  The girls fell for it for about two seconds!

As for wildlife, other than lots of cattle and sheep, we did see these deer grazing about ten feet from the side of the road.  We stopped to look at each other for a minute or so before they left.

Several beautiful waterfalls, some only a foot or so. But, the moss was so green and the water so clear.  We are so blessed to live in these beautiful mountains!

Doug and I were both surprised at how many leaves have already fallen in the canyon.  In our valley, they are just barely starting to turn.
  So beautiful!

The sun went down as we reached the summit, so most of our drive was on a shady path... then again, it's usually like that up the canyon.

 Fall is my favorite color!

Left-hand Fork comes out at the south end of the valley.  We have only driven this trail a few times in our years together.  I was in awe of these rocky ledges.  How anyone could not look at these mountains and know that there is a God, I'll never understand!

At the summit, there was a herd of sheep and their sheepdog.  We had Zulu with us. That sheepdog was not going to let us come anywhere near those sheep!  He came running at a full pace, so Zulu ended up inside the car.  I don't think that Zulu minded the security of the car at all.  Notice the color of the trees... this was taken at the summit just before the sun set.  The light on the trees shows the truer color than the rest of the pix taken in the shadows of the mountains.  So beautiful!

 Following our drive, we came back into the valley and stopped at the Taco Bell drive-thru, which is the girls new "it-place" since Quayd has left.  We laughed about the fact that Quayd hated Taco Bell, so we never ate there, but now that he's on his mission, he's mentioned eating there several times because he's made a friend that works there.  The girls needed to pick up a few items of make-up, so we made a stop for that.  We were home in time for a nice soak in the hottub and bed by eleven.  A night can't get any better than that! Life is good!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Letter #7

Here's Elder Corbridge's letter for the week. We texted back and forth for quite a while.  He's so dang funny!  He sent photos and a video that made us just laugh out loud.  He was holding onto a street sign, acting like the wind was blowing him away. It was so great to hear from him!  Thank you for your support, love and prayers.  Just FYI...Quayd's birthday is October 15.  He was so excited to have notes from his sisters this week, so I know that he'd love to hear from you all too!  His address is 7000 Central Avenue.  Highland CA 92346   Thanks again! 

Hey!  Holy crap!  My birthday!  I forgot about that!

Logan and Hunter are both going on missions.  They are the coolest! I love them so much. Logan had the whole ward and friends and family going to his setting apart as an Elder, so, the bishop lost control of the whole thing.  That guy is loved!  He works at Taco Bell and everyone loves him there!  He's super funny!

Anyway, it's hot here, but super windy.  It's great! I love the weather and there's no soup day! I'm going to miss the cinnamon rolls this conference though.

I've tried to ask Dad’s “feel good questions”.  It's hard to open your mouth and just start asking, but I'm getting a little better.  My goal this week is to talk to at least ten people everyday. I love that Dad is having fun in the YSA.  I love that!

So, we had transfers.  Elder McMurray is gone.  Elder Hilton is here.  A whole ton of fun is now in our district and we've got sisters in our district now.  Nothing has happened this week at all… really… same as last time.
I don't know if I told you this, but one of our investigators, our family, we love them to death.  They've got an 8 year old, but the parents don't want to get married or get baptized for this reason.  The first time I met the father, he was in a wheel chair. His name is Joe.

For the past month, he's been having a problem with his foot… like literally to the point where it's elephant feet.  The doctors have messed him up pretty bad.  They got rid of the infection by cutting a big hole in his foot.  A couple weeks ago, we thought this would be over, but they cut a vein, which made it worst.  His foot was black.  It was dead.  There was no color except for black.

Everyday his wife would call, sobbing, telling us “What should we do?  How can we fix this?  Why is God letting this happen to this man?” I wish I had the answers.  I've cried over this man a lot. 

Every time, the wife tells us how his pain is worse. My district, however, they like to make fun of it, at times, like saying, “Oh, hey, if Joe dies, Krista and Joseph will get baptized.”  Now, it might be true, but, I don't want it to end this way. I've prayed and have fasted, but I'll tell you one thing… God works in mysterious ways!

I wish I could tell you that I gave him a blessing and, according to his faith, that his foot was healed completely.  I'm sad to say that is not what happened.  Instead, I have seen the blessing of humility and faith during this hard time.  The doctors amputated two of his toes. So, now he has Spider-Man feet.  That's pretty cool, but, that's not the point!

Joe's faith has increased!  Before, he and his family would not come to church, would not read the Book of Mormon or pray.  But, since this has happened, Krista and Joseph have been reading the scriptures and going to church. Joe has been helping his family, even in his situation, helping his son get ready for church, looking for his wife's shoes and wants to read the Book of Mormon.

I testify that the way Heavenly Father works is not according to what we think we can do, but what we can rely on the Savior,Jesus Christ to do! When we are humble and want to change, repent and become better men, that's when a miracle happens! Now, I can't say that Joseph is going to stick with the faith, that he has grown during this time. That is up to him, but, I've seen what happens when people look to Christ or our Father in prayer and I know that when we do, that people’s lives, our lives change! 

There might not be a baptism or our appointments might not fall through, but, if we put our faith in Christ, that's when things change. That's when men who leave their faith behind and find it again, continue to grow. That's when the Lord is doing His work. Jesus Christ is accomplishing his work! I am so grateful for this week, this week of humbleness and change of heart.  There have been so many who have asked if we could pray with them.  People on the streets!  It's amazing and I know it's because of the Lord!  I love you guys!

Elder Corbridge

I love this!

Here's his companion, being quite serious.  Quayd loves his companion!

So typical of Quayd... have camera - make cool pix!  Always telling a story.

Doug couldn't get over how much older he looks already.  He'll be 19 in just a few weeks!

Another Crazy Elder photo... I've never seen Quayd in a hat, so this made me laugh, but it tells a great story.  We heart this boy!!!

 We had a great visit over emails today.  I do love Mondays and I do love this boy!!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

more of this and that... but all good stuff!

What a productive and fun week we've had!  We finished the entryway project!  I will take pictures when I get the Halloween decor up next week.  That was so much fun to have Alan and Jill here again working together.  We had them for a few meals this week and lots of laughs, as always!

ZJ got her braces off !!!  She looks so dang cute!  She is one happy camper!

The weather has turned to definite fall!  Rain, snow on the mountaintops, the furnace is on.  "Soup Day"!  We have had some severe thunderstorms this week.  Lots of damage to trees all over our valley and power outages from the wind and rain.  It's been incredible.  In one town in Utah, they received over 80% of the annual rainfall in two and a half hours.

Last Friday night, we had a very fun double date with Dave and Trish, our good friends from Smithfield.  We went to dinner at Sabor's and sat on the patio for a very long visit then decided to head home and play Fruit Salad and gab some more!  Good friends are one of our greatest blessings and we have been blessed!  We laughed so hard and enjoyed playing our favorite new and unpredictable game!

Last week, I was able to enjoy lunch out with my good friend, Mary Ann and breakfast and a lunch with Denise last week.  Carol's been involved with the elementary schools this past few weeks and I've missed our morning Sonic runs, but I've kept so busy at home, which is always a good thing!

Saturday was the LDS General Womens Conference, which was wonderful!  President Uchtdorf spoke, which always makes me so happy!  I was asked a few months ago to be in charge of the dinner for the YSA Stake.  This was probably the most simple task I've ever had.  We had a few meetings to plan, I made a few phone calls and ordered food, we picked it all up and served.  There was a decorating committee, so I didn't have to even give that a thought.  It was a wonderful day!  Working with these young women is just a choice experience.  Two gals from the ward that are in Doug's ward from last year came early and were there just to help because I'd mentioned it last week when I saw them at First Dam for the Home Evening.  They remembered and just came!  LOVE that!  Such great young women who will be leaders in no time!  DARLING girls!  I loved the opportunity to visit with them all while we put the meal together!

Doug went home and put on his suit, then returned for the dinner.  There were only 3 men there with the 150 women.  Doug, a young man who'd helped set up the electronic part of the evening and the YSA Stake President, President Job.  We were able to enjoy a nice visit during the meal with President Job.  He shared some fascinating faithbuilding stories.  This man is one of my heroes in this life.  Seriously, he shook every single person in that building's hand and can call them by name.  What a great example of unconditional love to everyone he knows!  Doug sure loves working with him!

I can't count the amount of time I spent in the hottub this past week. It's been a busy week.  Thankfully, the girls and Doug have been around to help with every project.  Doug worked all day then painted all night.  I have become the "Go-for" girl.  My painted days have ended, sadly.  I told Doug that once the downstairs hallway is painted, I may never paint another wall.  Meaning, I may never supervise.  It's time to start hiring it done!  Thankfully, this home is all painted after that hallway!   I am one blessed woman to have this good man as my forever companion!  I heart him and his big heart!  And his strong back!  And his willing soul!  And his great big smile!   AND how much he loves me back!

It's Monday!  My favorite Day of the week!  Letters from Quayd this afternoon!  Hopefully, a drive up the canyon before it gets too dark!  A busy week ahead but this week will be filled with fun!  Other than laundry and normal daily stuff, we have no big fires, just fun!  Life is good!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

group home evening

On Sunday, Doug had the assignment to do a training session for all of the leaders and committees of the Family Home Evenings groups in the YSA Stake.  He asked me to help.  We had so much fun working on it together and preparing a 50 minute long class.  Family Home Evenings in the YSA are different than normal family home evenings because the groups are assigned as groups by the bishop.  Each week is different... one week, they meet with just their group.  One week, they meet at the home of the Bishopric members (which is why we had them last year each month for dinner).  One week it is a stake activity and then there is the week that they meet as a ward for a group home evening. This brings them together for an activity of some sort at least four times a month, plus other activities.

As Doug and I prepared this class together, we talked quite a bit about how I'd had the privilege of being the Family Home Evening host for the Senior Singles all those years in Smithfield.  What a wonderful and lovely experience that was to get to know those sweet little old ladies and to enjoy their wit and wisdom!  Most of those women have "graduated", as Doug calls it and are gone now. There are only a few still left who are living.  I will be eternally grateful for that opportunity to get to know and love them!

For our class, we discussed the how tos and whys of being organized, planning and preparing great activities; ways to encourage attendance, reasons for them to want to come and to not want to come.  In the last ten minutes, we passed out a list of some fun ideas for Group Home Evenings and I thought, this morning, I should share them here on the blog!  They would make for some fun activities for youth activities or large family activities!  So, here they are!

Group Home Evening Ideas

1.       Ward Talent Show
2.        Indexing/Family History Night
3.        Minute to Win It night
4.        Cook-off Dinner with prizes (Appetizers, Main dishes and desserts)
5.        Line Dancing
6.        Watch Nacho Libre with Nacho Bar (or any other theme movie with theme food.)
7.        Campfire
8.        Temple Tales & Testimonies (Have several people share unique old stories of historical temple experiences, then testimonies of their own)  (FUN AROUND A CAMPFIRE!)
9.        Use “Just SERVE” for service ideas (see
10.         Visit Old folks NOT in December   Play games with them.
11.         Carol the halls of Seniors with oldies songs instead of Christmas Carols any month but December
12.         Spudwood Derby (Like a pinewood derby only using raw potatoes)
13.         Pudding Pictionary (using pudding instead of a white board... can also be done with sugar or salt or flour on a tabletop)
14.         Book of Mormon Bingo
15.         Write Missionaries from Ward or siblings
16.         Service Scavenger Hunt (Great ones suggested on Pinterest)
17.         Collect food for charity
18.         Collect toys and blankets for kids or the animal shelter
19.         Clean up a Park or road
20.         Make cookies or treats for firefighters or police
21.         Serve a special Meal for seniors in a local home ward
22.         Write thank you notes/make simple treats and deliver to YSA leaders
23.         Photo Scavenger Hunts
24.         Getting to Know you Games
25.         Ask someone to come in and speak to your group about a fun topic (organizing, study habits, relationships...)
26.         Read Guinness Book and try some of the simple quicker insane ideas in it.
27.         PINTEREST!!!  Search FHE ideas, YSA activities, YW activities, LDS Activities

 Group Home Evening is the reason for this list, but I think that lots of these would be great just for your own personal family night or ward youth activities.  Thought I'd share!  What a gift, I say again, to work with and serve the YSA and enjoy this special time with Doug and all these super beyond amazing young single adults!  Life is good!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

an activity, a movie and more paint!

And in other news....

On Monday afternoon, we had the YSA Stake FHE, which was the big box boat racing across First Dam.  Sadly, hours before, a suicidal man had held his soon-to-be ex-wife at gunpoint up the canyon, it was reported, officer arrived on the scene and the man would not put down his weapon, was making threats and an officer fired a shot, killing the man.  This was a tragedy...for the man's family, as well as the officer involved.  My heart just breaks for the officers and first responders who are diligently working so hard to protect the communities and face so many challenges on a daily basis!

The canyon was closed during the aftermath and all of the press was at First Dam, where the YSA has held this activity for years.  There was no changing plans... you need a body of water and at the last minute, you couldn't reach the entire stake.  So, we went as planned.  The press conference was over,  the 6PM news was right as the YSA kids arrived, so lots and lots of media trucks and reporters.  Doug commented that our boat races would be a great story for the nightly news.  However, the press reported and most left after the 6PM news.  So, our activity was a success!

Each ward is given the same amount of supplies and materials... duct tape, this year, two large styrofoam blocks, plastic bags and one hour to create their boat.

my sweetheart loves this calling, loves these kids, loves the gospel... always smiling!

This good man in the center is Norm, our neighbor, friend, bishop of one of the YSA wards,

These kids are from 35th Ward, the ward that Doug served in last year.  I was told by the Stake President, while the burgers were cooking, that 80% of the youth changed!  That's a huge turnover!
This is 34th Ward, Doug's ward that he is serving with as Stake High Councilor.

It was fascinating to watch as one or two took the lead with the idea and the rest just went to town getting the task done!

Each ward had a totally different concept!

And they were off!  The race itself only takes about five minutes, if that!

This cute boy had gotten inside their plastic wrapped block, however, it took him quite a while to get enough balance in the box to not topple over sideways.  The colors in the canyon are stunning!  It was a perfect evening!  We'd planned on attempting this with our YW two week ago on the one night that it got very cold, so we cancelled it.  This night was perfect!  I'd taken a sweater and never needed it at all, even after the sun went over the mountain.  I love autumn!

We have now put away the canning supplies and moved into the entry way to finish it up!  Last night, we got the primer painting done.  Today, we'll begin the painting in the entryway and down the stairs.  The downstairs will be our next major project, I am more than ready for this project to be completed!  I do not love painting like I used to... a sign of my aging, I suppose.  I'm just thankful for Doug!  Denise keeps saying, "I can't believe you're still alive and haven't finished that entryway yet!"  The food storage was priority but we are over and done with that!  It's time to get my home back in order! AND decorated!

It's Homecoming at both of the girls schools this week, which means overlapping activities. So many activities.  Zeej stayed home from school yesterday with a bad cold.  Today, she was off and out the door on time, so hopefully, she can survive the rest of the week.  She never moved from Monday after school until late last night.

Late last night, Book Group went to the movies to see the book of the month, Light between Two Oceans.  I had not read the book yet, but went to the movie anyway. OH MY WORD!  I HATED THIS MOVIE!!! It was as close to Sophie's Choice, in regards to a painful to watch level!  HEART WRENCHING! SO hard to watch.  Beautiful scenery.  Beautiful music... incredible score.  The romance/love story was lovely.  But, seriously.  The majority of the movie was just painful to watch.  At one point, I said, "I can't do this" and literally wanted to leave.  Carol said that had I watched the previews and read the book and not gone through what we went through with Kelly's children, it might not have been as painful to watch, but, seriously... Nicholas Sparks has met his match!  I cried myself to sleep and woke up crying again.  Please pass a movie with a happy ending and some good laughs. 

That's it for today!  This project has got to be done and the sooner the better!  So excited to see this HUUUUUUGE project coming to a close!  Life is good!