Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All You Need is Love

We've been home from Girls Camp for 3 days! Preparation for 4 days of high altitude, outdoorsy living on Cedar Mountain at Camp Little Thunder, began last January when our stake announced that the theme this year for camp would be Come Unto Christ.  Each ward was asked to choose an attribute of Christ as their own theme for this camp. Our YW made a list, narrowed it down and unanimously chose, "Love".

How could we dress up this attribute and make it memorable for the girls? They decided that we should be the Master Chefs, where everything we do, is done with love.  Our motto was, "The Special Ingredient is Love" and as Jesus was is Master and did all that He did with love, so should we.  We had a baking theme that included aprons and chef's hats. Our camp cheer was, "All You Need is Love". Are the B7 YW geniuses or what?
Since January, we've spent months fundraising, creating packing lists, designing logos, making camp decorations, hiking, certifying, skit writing and rehearsing, practicing songs and preparing for this one-week event.  To say it's a lot of work is an understatement and that doesn't include all the preparation done on the Stake level.

The week of Girls Camp included great spiritual and physical moments. The YW participated in rock climbing and repelling as their high adventure activity.  To see these girls conquer their fears to climb mountains and scale 100 foot cliff faces is inspiring.







Their were plenty of unifying field games, and craft rotations to keep the YW busy.






One of the highlights of the week was the Skit Night, where our YW shined.  They performed so well and won the crowd over by passing out homemade chocolate chip cookies for everyone afterwards.  


The most memorable evening was our last night at camp.  We attended a wonderful fireside where we released balloons into the air with our testimonies tied to them.  We listened and participated in a beautiful program of talks and music and then retired to our own camp site for an uplifting testimony meeting.  





We spent some time discussing the wisdom of the attribute they chose and exemplified over the week.  Love is the root of all other attributes and characteristics of Christ.  The YW were examples of unity and love in all that they did this week and demonstrated what it means to have Christlike love.  

Much love and thanks goes to so many who helped make this Girls Camp the success that it was.  We appreciate Sis. Carter for being our camp director and organizer.  She did so much for us.  Sis. Green made pounds of chocolate chip cookie dough and darling decorations for our camp.  Sis. Bair and her daughters baked dozens of cookies and brought us Cafe Rio (probably the YW's favorite part of camp) on Friday evening. Sister Anderson helped create our darling aprons and made pins for our camp lanyards. Sister Larson joined us the last evening and helped bring YW home. Bishop Bair and Bro. Kanenwisher helped haul our gear to camp, set it up and then came back to help take it down and bring it all home.  We would not have been able to feel the Spirit or have enjoyed the atmosphere of camp without all their efforts.  We appreciate the Stake Presidency and the Stake Young Womens Presidency for all the time, sacrifice and inspiration that went into making this Girls Camp amazing.  The B7 YW are 'juiced' and ready to take on the challenge given by the Stake to read the entire Book of Mormon in 40 days!  We are warriors!  We can do it!


I'm grateful for the love of our Savior that made this all possible.  To accomplish all this and more, All You Need is Love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hope

I have felt more contentment in the last two days then I have since Chloe's wedding.  It started off with a Sacrament meeting about 'hope'.  I'm sorry to say that I've allowed my doubts and fears overcome me a bit recently. But I feel hope has been renewed in me a bit.

Boyd's Grandma Fern passed away last week and her funeral was yesterday, Monday.  We left after Sacrament meeting on Sunday to head up to Salt Lake City.  On the way we were able to spend two hours with Hunter in Cedar City.  Every Sunday, with approval, we are allowed to visit her for 2 hours between 1-5pm.  This is the first 'informal' or non-therapy visit we've had with her.  We sat outside under a tree in the shade and just soaked up every minute.  Miracles are happening in her life and I can literally feel the effect of prayer on her behalf.  She does too.  I recognize that she has a long road ahead of her but right now I feel hope again.  That's something I haven't felt in quite some time.  I don't know what the future holds for her and my little family.  But I have faith that it will all turn out, even if it's not the way I expect.  I have to laugh even as I type this because I know that there will still be dark days and that I won't always feel very faithful or I won't always feel like enduring to the end, but today I do.


After getting to spend time with her we headed up to Orem to spend the night at Chloe and Ryan's new apartment.  I'm so pleased with their new lodgings and with the direction they are going in their lives.  In one day, I was able to spend time with all of my girls and even though they weren't all together, my little two-sizes-too-small heart swelled with contentment.

We got up Monday morning and headed to Grandma Fern's funeral in Bluffdale.
We last saw Grandma at Chloe's wedding. She is an example to me of one who is strong and determined to the end.  When I walked into the Relief Society room and saw her lying there, I almost believed that she would sit up and look around and say, "what is all the fuss?". My children are so blessed to be a part of this woman's legacy.  Chloe was her first biological great-grand child and from first grandchild to last great-great grandchild, she knew and adored them all.  We have all been the recipients of her handiwork and love.  We took a couple of beautiful stuffed animals she sewed for the girls with us up north.  We left one with Hunter and the other we kept with us as a reminder of her tangible and enduring love for us.  As her obituary said, she was the epitome of one who "lived with a brightness of hope, a deliberate joy, loved with a passion and resolved to live a faithful life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  I am forever grateful to know her and have her example in my life.

I think the highlight of the day for me was to be able to see family that I haven't seen in a long time.  I really do love Krista's family, including all her siblings and their children.  It was also so awesome to have all of Boyd's siblings together even if only for a short afternoon.  I love them all and consider them my brothers and sisters.  I feel like we've all grown up together.


Left to right:  Boyd, Matt, Jenny, Ken, Chris, Laura, Krista and Ken

Boyd was a pallbearer and sang at the graveside with his brother Matt and sister Jenny.






Left to right: Winston, Peter, Jennell, Sherry, Raymond, Jennifer, Krista
Fern's children

I'm grateful for a knowledge of the Plan.  I'm grateful for Fern and her legacy.  I'm grateful for my own family and that we can be together forever.  And I'm grateful for the hope that I feel today.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Happy 18th Bridger

I meant to post this yesterday!



And she was my easiest baby!

Happy 18th Bridger, you'll always be my baby.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Credit Card Knife

Recently I was given a great little credit card knife to check out and use. I've had it a couple of weeks and have already used it several times and have found it super useful, compact and very handy.  I can think of tons of places I'd like to keep them and because they are small and light-weight, they will fit anywhere and take up hardly any space.



First of all, when this knife is closed it is exactly the size of a credit card.  I even managed to fit it into my wallet.  Of course, I'm not sure if keeping a knife in your wallet is necessary and I'd advise not leaving it in there if you plan on traveling by plane, but for women how great is it that I can literally carry a knife in my wallet or purse if I want and the space and weight are negligible?!  Don't get me started on how great it is in a backpack.



Opening and the knife literally takes seconds, with the twist of a small locking mechanism, flipping out the blade, and folding the handle and snapping it into place.  





The knife blade is sharp and of good quality and pretty much does everything my standard pocket knife does on my hikes.  Other then the blade, the rest of the knife is made of plastic, which means no rusting after I use it to cut open my pomegranates...trust me, this happens.  Rinse it under water and go.

If you are interested in learning how to get one of these knives for free, click HERE

You can find this tool and some other really great gear at www.survivalkit.com

It's the ultimate preparedness website.  Be sure to check them out on Facebook, where they have giveaways and contests all the time and really great practical tips.

They also have a blog with tons of ideas.  http://www.survivalkit.com/blog/

For the most incredible deals and best methods of food storage preparedness go to www.mypatriotsupply.com  

You have GOT to contact these guys to hook you up with the best and most affordable food storage available.  They also sell heirloom seeds for storage!  How cool is that? I recently was able to try out some veggies grown from these seeds and they were delicious.  Go to their website for the latest in water filtration and survival provisions.  By far, the best deals anywhere!

They have an incredible blog as well at www.blog.mypatriotsupply.com  

Enjoy your prepping!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Learning

We saw Hunter last night.  Bridger, Boyd and I drove up to Cedar City for our first Family Group session at the Horizon House.  Every day is an education on this roller coaster.  I believe Hunter is doing well and she's sort of wrapped in a safe cocoon right now.  Is it perfect?  No.  But its a step in the right direction. She looks so good to me.  I haven't seen her look this physically healthy in quite some time.

I've been trying to encourage Bridger to get up before 8am every morning and get out and do something with me.  We haven't done it every day and it is a struggle, but I'm pretty sure once I get her outside, she ends up enjoying herself.  Some times she's just grouchy and we'll just take a walk in silence and I'm okay with that too. I'm just grateful that I have this opportunity to spend quality time with her before she leaves for Ephraim in August.




My friend Raquel sent me a Suunto Ambit2 GPS watch last week.  It's a Finnish product so it includes a European technology learning curve. I am thoroughly enjoying figuring it out and getting to be back on with keeping track of my excursions. I will be posting more about this little gem of a tool later.  

I really believe every day offers something to learn.  I'm grateful for these little opportunities for growth.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bug's Day

Happy Birthday to our Hunter Bug.  We still haven't seen her yet.  I hope she calls today.


I want so bad to be with her today.  I miss her so much.

I have a lot of guilt I'm dealing with too, so this day is very bittersweet.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Losing Perspective

Bridger has graduated from high school.  I didn't even cry.  I was pretty much a mess for both Chloe's and Hunter's but I shed no tears. Well, not until later.  She leaves for college in August and we'll be empty nesters. We got the official invite to attend the empty nester meetings.  I'm still trying to decide how I feel about that.


My house has been a revolving door of well wishers.  In other words, it looks like a bomb has gone off.

Even though I barely have the energy to move, I have forced myself out on some hikes that have been really great recently.  Hiking soothes the soul.

Hunter has been released from jail to a rehab house, which is great news.  I will get to see her in a week for the first time in 4 months.  I'm pretty excited about that.

I am REALLY struggling with a few things right now.  Night time is the worst, morning is the best.  It seems the demons really do prefer darkness and a good night's sleep is a great cure all for most of what ails us.  Sure, problems are still there in the morning but they are manageable when you are able to keep a good perspective.  Dawn seems to bring on good perspective.  

I was able to spend some time with a dear friend from high school this weekend.  I am aware of the fact that I am not a good friend.  This causes me a bit of anxiety. 

Chloe and Ryan have been here for a few days and will be leaving in the morning.  They takes good care of me.  I will be sad to see them go, so I prefer to not think about that until I see their 4-runner drive away.

I'm tired all the time.  Can't seem to shake this zombie-like stupor I'm in.  I think I'll go to bed.  Maybe I'll have better perspective in the morning.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

En-Compassed


Last Wednesday we completed our second annual walk to the St. George Temple with the youth from our ward.  We started this tradition last year when we embarked on the almost 5 mile walk from our Mulberry chapel to the temple itself.  This year, I wanted the journey to be a bit more meaningful.  That's a pretty tall order to fill considering we bunch together 12-18 year old boys and girls and send them out in 82 degree weather.  It's not always the ideal setting for reverence.  It's not that I wanted this event to be perfectly holy and upright.  I wanted them to have fun, but there also needed to be a purpose.

Each year for Girls Camp, the Young Women are required to go on a hike as part of their yearly certification.  I have been able to get permission to use our walk to the temple to qualify for that certification.  One of the requirements of a 3rd year camper is to learn how to use a compass for orienteering purposes.  I figured we could accomplish this task of teaching them how to use a compass, certifying for our hike and applying that as an analogy of how the temple is like a compass in our life.

We began in the Relief Society Room with a brief discussion of what a compass is, it's historical use and how it is helpful.  The dictionary describes a compass as a device that is used to find direction by means of a needle that always points north and as something that helps a person make choices about what is right and effective.

I asked the youth how compasses are helpful.  Here's what we determined:
Compasses always point to true north.
Compasses help us find direction.
Compasses help us negotiate through unfamiliar territory.

With those definitions in mind, I asked the youth to think of how the Temple is a Compass during their walk to the temple.  We left shortly after our discussion and headed to our first stop at a park where a water stop was provided by our advisors in YW's.  Along the way I pointed out the 'petroglyphs' made by pioneers high up on the desert varnish depicting the Cotton Mission established by Brigham Young when he sent settlers to this area to colonize.


During our 15 minute break in the shade at the park, Bro. Kanenwisher took our 3rd year campers aside and demonstrated the use of a compass. After hydrating, we set off again and by this point in the hike, the temple was in our sights for the rest of the journey.








We followed an established walking/biking city trail route until we reached Dixie High School, where we left the trail and crossed the street over to the temple.  After a quick drink and photos on the steps of the temple, we all joined together in a circle under a tree in the grass for a quick discussion where I asked the youth to tell me what their impressions were about how the Temple is a Compass in their lives.

With the same definitions as established before;
How does the temple point to True North.  Who is True North?
How does the Temple help us find direction?
How does the Temple help us negotiate through unfamiliar territory?

I asked each one of the youth to share how the Temple is a Compass in their life.  I asked them to complete this sentence:  The Temple is a compass in my life because...
We had some wonderful and thoughtful remarks. I don't know if this activity left as big of impression in their lives as it did mine, but the Spirit did testify of the importance of the temple in our lives.  I also asked the youth to list some other 'compasses' in their lives.  They came up with; the Holy Ghost, scriptures, Patriarchal Blessings, parents, prophets and teachers. Applying the same definition of a compass as before, these are all great compasses in our lives.  We are blessed to have these tools given to us to lead us back to our Father in Heaven.


After our discussion we walked over to the church parking lot across the street from the temple where Sis. Bair had pizza waiting for the youth! Spiritual and physical nourishment are both important!  I gave each of the youth a small compass on a carabiner along with the print out from above.

Thank you to all those who participated in our Temple Walk, both leaders and youth.  We had so many parents come to help deliver the youth home afterwards too.  I'm so grateful for the support of wonderful leaders and parents in this ward.  Girls Camp hike, accomplished.  Compass discussion, accomplished.  Successful and meaningful joint activity, accomplished. I'd say this was definitely a mission accomplished.  

I feel encompassed in the love of our Savior and friends.  I thank Him for temples.


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