Sunday, November 9, 2014

Indian Summer

We have had the most incredible fall this year in Utah.
It can certainly best be described as an Indian Summer.
In·di·an sum·mer
  1. a period of unusually dry, warm weather occurring in late autumn.

Labor Day Weekend found us in Parowan staying in an 1890's home with some dear friends from Vegas who had just purchased this home and were renovating it.  
Nope didn't take a picture of it.
Parowan is truly Mayberry at its finest, and Jeff remembers riding horses with his 
Grandfather Adria in the mountains above it.
Yes, my dream would be to own a small second home there also.

Everytime that we drive South from Salt Lake Jeff mentions these hot ponds near Meadow Utah 
that he used to swim in as a teenager.  
He always has wanted to bring swimming suits and stop. 
Of course we never did until our trip to Parowan.  
We met our friends, John and Renee, there on our way to their home.   
It was so much FUN!!
Now I feel bad we haven't stopped before.  
They are out in the middle of NOWHERE.  
There are three ponds.
This is the first one and the clearest and warmest one.
We all loved swimming in here.
The second one which is also wonderful
The third one, which I guess is the deepest and someone had actually built a platform to dive from, but those cute cows had broke down their fence and had been in it 
so we actually chose not to swim in it.
The next week in September I flew to California to spend some time with these darling grandkids!!
Mackayla and her favorite past time--The iPad.
Macey's soccer game.  These Southern California teams really get into it.  Each team have these amazing banners at each game with all the team members names printed on it.
Cody's game--Same color jersey not the same team.  
It was only 100 degrees that day so we had to run for refreshments in between the two games
 or let's be honest Grandma really needed a drink!!
Amy and Luke and their two girls met us on Sunday 
and we enjoyed a wonderful Sunday Dinner together that Carrie had made.  
They were coming to celebrate Blake's birthday at Disneyland which we all enjoyed together.
That needs to be its own post.
As soon as we got home it was time for Bo to start his puppy training at Don's Pet Care in Ogden.
Jeff was like a new dad, so nervous to show off his puppy at class.
Bo was the star of the class!!
It helps that we have taken 5 dogs there already and know what we are doing, 
but it is so good for the dogs to go and have to learn to socialize with all the other dogs.
Disneyland called to me again.  
This time was a friends trip with my two good friends--Sandy and Sandy.
We had so much fun laughing and enjoying every moment together.
You can't ever get too old for Minnie and Mickey

The fun never ends at our house.
Carly and girls came to Utah so Carly could run the St. George Marathon, Carrie ran it too.
I stayed home and tended Lucy and Clara so they didn't have to travel more hours in the car.
It was conference weekend so during the Priesthood Session 
the girls all went to eat and play at Farmington Station.
When Carly got back we went to Park City for the day.
These cousins love being together!! 
We also went pumpkin picking with the other Brock cousins at Pack's Pumpkin Patch.
I'm sure we've never picked pumpkins in shorts and no jackets before.
Blake and Callie are always so sad when cousins leave so we needed to do something fun.
The Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point was just the answer.
Logan's favorite was doing a little bone excavation while we were there.
Soon it was time for Halloween and Grandma's get to do the funnest things during the holidays.
Callie's (excuse me-- Elsa's) preschool program was adorable.  
Blake's, or otherwise known as Jessie's, school on Halloween morning at 7:15 (ugh) 
have a breakfast for Grandparents with their wonderful grandchildren.
It was so fun and then after breakfast the Halloween Parade is held.
Great way to start the day!!
While I was doing Halloween festivities Jeff and Pepper, his brother from another mother, 
were busy scouting the mountains by Strawberry Reservoir for large buck.
This is one that they found!!
Jeff had the time of his life.  
I'm so glad he got one and now we can have jerky for the rest of the year.
So fun to have great friends to enjoy the week with in the beautiful out of doors. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hard Things All Around Us

Every time I open the newspaper, watch or listen to the nightly news, or even glance at FaceTime 
I am bombarded with tragedies, heart wrenching stories 
and heroic acts of kindness during difficult times.
I am constantly amazed at the strength and resilience of so many people
 as they face disasters in their lives.
Maybe I'm more aware but it seems to me that these hard things seem to be happening more often.
Some people close to me have experienced some life changing events that I'm sure they would of never chosen, but they have truly risen to face and hopefully overcome these times in their lives.
I have a dear close cousin who found out that her husband and father of their nine children had a pornography and gambling addiction that was destroying their relationship together.
After spending many years trying to find answers to his unfaithfulness has divorced him
and gracefully moved on with her life.
She mentions that confiding in her Heavenly Father 
and letting the Savior heal her has been her lifeline.
She is happy, confident, beautiful and faithful as she is moving on as a single woman.
As she always has, she inspires me in her trials instead of me helping her.

My oldest niece has just recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  
She went in for a routine mammogram and they found spots in her lymph nodes
 and after a biopsy was told they were malignant.
She started Chemo last week and is scheduled for 8 rounds of it.
They are being very aggressive in their treatment.  I know the side effects will be difficult,
but she is optimistic and upbeat about this unexpected bump in her life.  
She and her family are truly trusting in the Savior for strength to overcome this hurdle.
Just last week another cousin of mine just minutes after speaking to his wife 
found her dead on floor of their bathroom.
She was very close to my age.  She hadn't felt good the night before but there was no indication of anything seriously wrong with her.
I had prayed for my cousin all week to be comforted in his loss.
My sister, brother and I went to Egan Bench, Idaho to attend her funeral. 
(What a wonderful experience that was to spend time with them for a couple of days.  Of course I didn't take any pictures of the three of us which makes me sad but we had a marvelous time together.) 
My cousin was the strength of the funeral, he was the one that was comforting others.
He never wavered and mentioned to me after the funeral
that even as he found her he was perfectly calm and comforted.
His testimony of the Savior is profound.
They have six married children who were all able to gather together after their mother's passing.
Two days after she was gone they all attended the temple to show their gratitude to the Lord 
for blessing their lives with such a wonderful mom and wife.
The oldest two children spoke at the funeral sharing wonderful memories of their mom and most importantly they both bore incredible testimonies of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I came away from this funeral a much better and inspired person.
I knew they had never had much money or worldly possessions, 
but I was astounded as we drove by their home as we were leaving.  
Their home was small, very small, especially for a family of eight.  
In the walls of that tiny home they raised an incredibly righteous family.  
They know what is most important. Their priorities are where they should be. 
What a wonderful example to all of us. 

As I ponder on these events of the past few weeks 
I am amazed at the strength of these dear family members.  
I will continue to pray for all of them, but I realize that I need to pray for me to be like them. 

At times like this I'm always drawn to the scripture in D&C 84:88
. . . I will go before your face, I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

I have felt those angels before, they are there waiting to help us 
if we will just open our hearts to the Lord.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wisdom Montana

Jeff and I tend to do random things.  
Our little trip to Wisdom Montana was one of those random moments which became one of the greatest things we did this summer.
Since Jeff got our new dog, which is a "German Wirehaired Pointer" he has been studying all about the "versatile hunting dog".  I guess Bo classifies as one of those.
He found a dog handlers class to train these "versatile hunters" in Wisdom, Montana.
I had never heard of Wisdom, Montana and neither had Jeff, but google is wonderful in finding anywhere or anything.
Wisdom, Montana is advertised as the 
"Most Remote and Most Beautiful Place in the Lower 48 States".
That it is.
They do have a motel there but we couldn't rent a room unless we were coming for the wedding.
We're not sure what wedding but we didn't make the cut.
We got on our favorite website VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and found a little cabin for rent.
It was 20 miles out of Wisdom so we were even more remote and beautiful.
I now know why books and songs and poems are written about the amazing Montana Sky.
It is breathtaking!!
Jeff didn't love his class which was great with me 
because then I got to hang out with him one of the days he was supposed to be in class.
Our wonderful and dear friends Cheryl and Cal were in the middle of a road trip 
so they swung over to Wisdom and spent one of the nights with us.
The entire experience was what you would entitle Serendipity.
Wisdom, Montana was surprisingly incredible in every way.
 The first night we got there it had been raining and we were greeted to this incredible rainbow.
The road leading into our little home
The cutest little cabin in the "Big Hole Valley"
 There were little bird houses on several of the fence poles surrounding our cabin.
 I spent most of the days sitting on this porch overlooking the grand openness.
My honey brought me a little wildflower bouquet

I had heard of hay derricks but I did not realize what they were even like until this trip.
They actually use these still.  It was fascinating to watch. 
My two boys!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"I Love To See the Temple"

"I love to see the temple. I'm going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit, To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God, A place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young:
This is my sacred duty."

The words to a familiar primary song that all my grandchildren sing often.
I wanted to make that happen when they announced the open house of the Ogden Utah Temple
Amazingly the open house was held when all 8 of our grandchildren were going to be in town 
so as soon as they became available I got the tickets for all of us.
Here is our cute family.  
Notice we look like a polygamist family because not one of the dads of the kids were in town, 
but the important part to me was getting the children to see 
and feel the importance of the temple.
It was absolutely beautiful.  
The night became a little crazy and overwhelming 
so I'm not sure the impact was what I had anticipated, 
but hopefully they will remember being there
and want to return when they are older.
The fountains and grounds are wonderful.
How precious are these little ones?

I will never be the grandma with the clean house or the fresh baked goodies.
I won't even be the one who spends lots of money buying them "Things".
BUT I will be the one who will help them experience this amazing world 
that we have been blessed to live in.
I want them to love animals, nature and the wonders of the earth.
Their talents and natural curiosities need to be developed and expressed.
 I want them to be exposed to cultural events and activities.
Their educational pursuits will always be encouraged by me.
Most importantly they need to be strong in their testimonies of who they are.
My job as a grandma is to help them KNOW that they are a Child of God.
I want them to Be Strong and Unwavering as they face this world each day.
That is my job as a Grandma.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Wild and Wonderful Summer

All of the visiting grandchildren have returned home.  (Sigh)  Carly and the kids were here for the entire summer and Carrie and the kids came for a few days in August so many incredible memories were made.  We have had so many fun times but it's time for them to be with their own little families.

Because I have been a slacker I'm just going to do a photo dump of all the fun we have had.
One morning we went early to Farmington Pond to feed the ducks and geese.

 Blake and Callie did a zoo class.  Amy and I got to attend with them.

One day when Carrie was here we went to The Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point.
It was amazing and they even had activities for little Logan to do.
Their water activities definitely required special water gear. 
 A stage for our budding actresses.
You can experience all kinds of weather.  I think this was a tornado that they are involved with.
Notice that big girl in the back.  Jessi sure is fun to have with us!! She is one of the kids.
All of the Crosland girls.  What a great day.
You've got to go for lunch when we're all together

We did another zoo day with Lucy, Clara and Daisy
Pure joy riding the zoo train.
Of course we went to Aunt Cheryl's Cabin, or as the kids call her--Grandma Cheryl
 Riding in the side by side
 Bath Time for Logan

The 4th of July Celebration fell in the summer somewhere.
The Kaysville Parade
Waiting for  Kaysville Fireworks
The Adults need to be seen sometimes.

Swimming at Cherry Hill was almost a weekly activity.
One day we were gifted "King of the Hill" passes and we got to do bumper boats and the maze.
What a stud.
Logan is so patient as long as he has treats.
Maybe our goggles were on too tight.
 Love Love Love the Pool
Every time we are there it is a wonderful day in the sun
We got to celebrate together at Mackayla's Birthday Party.
Davis County Fair---Can't miss it
They love the petting zoo.
And the Carnival Rides.
 These two are the best little friends I have ever seen.  
No matter where we go they are together holding hands.
Not only cousins but Best Friends.