IMG_20130830_101131This morning we took a field trip to the peach orchard. They were few in peaches (their pickers didn’t show up for work this morning). We walked up to the orchard and watched Clark pick a few boxes. Tru loved walking on fresh gravel piles. We picked up some Diamond Princess Peaches while we were there. On our way home we drove by the temple. We stopped to walk around and enjoy the beautiful building & grounds. Isn’t morning light the best.

A sweet friend of mine shared some neat inspiration she had in the celestial room at the Mt. Timpanogas temple early in the morning. The celestial room is on the east side so the sunrise was shining through the stain glass windows. She remembered the hymn, “Oh, how lovely was the morning.” and the words “Undaunted still he trusted” struck her as an important message. I was so grateful she shared this with me.

undaunted she trustedSee the imagery from these lines:

Oh, how lovely was the morning!
Radiant beamed the sun above…
When the pow’rs of sin assailing
Filled his soul with deep despair;
But undaunted still he trusted
In his Heav’nly Father’s care. …

(Hymns, 1985, no. 26)

I love that.
We have light… hope… faith…
then Satan tries to bombard us with all sorts of discouragement and fear…
but we trust…
un·daunt·ed  :  adjective
1. not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment.

Despite Satan’s temptations, we can undauntedly trust in our Heavenly Father.
He watches over us and has a plan for us.
So blessed to have this knowledge.

I love morning light. Since we’ve been getting up earlier, I’ve seen some glorious sunrises over the mountains. I love light rays shining down on us. Reminds me of the tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father.

Yesterday we took a field trip to BYU to get something laminated. The Sun! The mountains! The fun memories of BYU. Tru enjoyed the icecream & donuts.IMG_20130829_105414

Love these two little ones who accompany me on our morning adventures.

lessons from a bike ride

IMG_20130506_111851 copyAt the beginning of today’s bike ride, Max was in the rear … needing a drink every 2 minutes … saying, “My legs hurt.” We had a pep talk. We agreed that we would stop together as a family occasionally (in the shade of a tree!) for drink breaks. We reinforced the power of positive thinking by having him say to himself, “I am strong. I can do it.” The result… Max was in the lead, repeating these phrases over and over with a huge smile on his face. Changing your words & your attitude really changes your world!

As I mom, I realize it’s way easy to teach these principles to my children than to live them. Oh, how I try. This was a great reminder to teach the principle of positive thinking by example. “I do hard things! I work hard for my family because I love them!”

a bit of July

Wow – July flew by. There is not much blogging going on here. It’s better to be out DOING than only blogging… but still. My energy level lately is zilch. I’ve been taking naps. Weird. I’ve been trying to drink tons of water. The littles always swipe and contaminate my cup. It’s hot and slightly humid. But we have sunshine! And blue skies! and Clouds!

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Tru has lots of smiles in the summertime. He gets to play with sticks and rocks. Exploring is his love.
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We’re attempting to have some type of schedule for Abe’s sake. Teaching the kids to work… and enjoy their labors is a tricky business.
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Max loves getting dressed tidy for church. He’s holding up his pants so they won’t get wet on the morning dew grass.
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JuJu is staying with us until she moves to Virginia. She is so good at braiding. I MUST LEARN… TODAY! She is a darling friend for Hannah.
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Last favorite picture from July – GREEN! GARDEN! FLOWERS! FOOD! LOVE!
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Pioneer Day Hike to Donut Falls

07 july 20137What better activity on Pioneer Day than to go on a hike. The only problem is that everyone else in Utah decided to make a family reunion of this same hike.

Big Cottonwood canyon is one of my favorite places. The rocks in the mountain are so interesting. There are no dogs allowed! Love it!

The tricky thing about this hike is parking. A tiny parking lot for hundreds of people – not so hot. I prayed in my heart that we could find a parking spot so we wouldn’t have to park at the lower lot and triple the size of the hike. Be still my heart – we drove around for a minute and landed a front row spot right by the bathroom. A tender mercy.

07 july 20138We hiked up to Donut Falls and ate some snacks sitting on rocks at the river. Tru was adventurous and ended up falling in and getting so wet. He loved exploring and playing in the water and finding sticks. “Come along Tru!” He definitely won for getting the dirtiest. Liza did great in the backpack. She was a cute little hiker.

Hannah says, “It was really pretty and a fun hike.” She was a positive soul enjoying nature.

Max has few comments about this hike. He admitted to liking hikes though… just not long ones. He does not like to trudge through water when hiking. And we noted that drinking too much water for him can cause lots of side-trail potty breaks.
07 july 20139I admit that we had oodles of complaining from a certain child. 3/4 the way through, he decided that he was going to live through the hike and actually started enjoying it. Hiking with our large and young family is really tricky. I love hiking so much… being out in nature… but I like it to be pleasant and fun. Hopefully all the kids will learn to enjoy it.

Why do we hike? Because it’s an easy way to teach the kids that they can do hard things. Exercise. Nature!!! Life slows down a bit. And best of all… it tires out the tots. Energy is spent. They sleep on the ride home!07 july 201310

Strengthen the Family

Alma 37:37 “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good.”

is the theme for the week. We had a lesson on obedience… on doing the Lord’s will, not ours. Our Savior was a perfect example of this principle.

I have been full-force thoughtful about CTR Camp this week. We have about 15 people signed up. I anticipate we could have had almost 30.

Saturday night as I went to bed, a thought… “All that I do, as a mother, needs to strengthen my family. Is CTR Camp really strengthening my family or is it causing more stress than benefit?”

Julie Beck: “A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. With personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently.” (April 2010)

CTR Camp is awesome… it’s such a good thing. But is it the best for my family at this time?

Dallin H. Oaks: “We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.

“Some uses of individual and family time are better, and others are best. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” (October 2007)

When I went to the temple on Friday the thought of ‘SIMPLIFY and SLOW DOWN’ kept going through my mind.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.

“When stress levels rise… too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

“My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.”

“Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.” (October 2010)

So CTR Camp is cancelled for 2013. I’ve cried my eyes out about it. My heart is sad. But I know, overall, it’s much better.

I don’t necessarily have less weight on my shoulders… only a shifted weight. I feel the greater importance of being there mentally and emotionally for my children and husband.

Is CTR Camp dead? No way! It’s just going to have to hibernate for a few years.

water … water ? prayin’ for water!

sprinklers_05_0710-lg-84759135Headline on KSL today: Lehi implements ‘extraordinary water conservation measures’… Which means we need to limit irrigation watering to 3 times a week (our grass!!!!!). And culinary water is running quite low which means nobody in Lehi is to water garden or lawn with it (oops… we were watering our garden with that). Watering our garden only 3 times a week = wilted vegetable plants. Sad! Tomorrow is the first day of Summer… we are in for a long hot dry one. Can you imagine running out of water? Not good people.
unless … that is … we all pray for water… and pay our tithing (I told the kids about Lorenzo Snow and the Windows of Heaven story about the drought in St. George). Max is now determined to pay his tithing every Sunday.

This is also a great story for patience & faith …

There had been no rain in southern Utah for months. As the Church leaders traveled south, President Lorenzo Snow noticed the dry earth and the thirsty plants and animals. Without rain the people in southern Utah did not know how they could grow crops to provide the food they needed to survive.

On 17 May 1899 President Snow spoke at a conference in St. George, Utah. During his talk, he suddenly paused. The room was still as everyone waited for him to speak. When he started talking again, his voice was strong, and the people could tell that he was speaking under the inspiration of the Lord. He said, “The word of the Lord is: The time has now come for every Latter-day Saint … to do the will of the Lord and to pay his tithing in full. That is the word of the Lord to you, and it will be the word of the Lord to every settlement throughout the land of Zion” (quoted in LeRoi C. Snow, “The Lord’s Way Out of Bondage,” p. 439).

President Snow told the Saints that the Lord was displeased with them because they had not been paying their tithing. He promised the people that if they paid their tithing, rain would fall and they would be able to plant and harvest good crops.

After his talk in St. George, President Snow wanted the whole Church to know about the revelation he had received. On his way back to Salt Lake City, he stopped in many settlements to preach the law of tithing to the people, and when he returned to Salt Lake City, he called an important meeting in the temple to talk to priesthood leaders about tithing. In one talk he said: “The poorest of the poor can pay tithing; the Lord requires it at our hands. … Everybody should pay tithing. … The law shall be observed. … And we shall pay our debts. … God bless you” (quoted in Carter E. Grant, The Kingdom of God Restored, p. 546). The Saints everywhere accepted what President Snow said and started paying tithing.

President Snow anxiously waited for the weather reports from southern Utah. One month passed, then two months, but no rain came. The people in St. George were not only paying a full tithe but were giving even more as offerings to the Lord. The prophet prayed more earnestly that the Lord would bless the people. He had promised them rain if they would pay their tithing. Finally, on 2 August 1899, he received a telegram that read, “Rain in St. George.” The Saints were blessed and were able to harvest their crops that fall.

CTR Camp

It all started with wanting to host a paracord bracelet activity for 4-H. I didn’t want to deal with signing up as a registered leader of 4-H. I knew I could just have some of Hannah & Abe’s friends come over and learn to make the bracelets. Then I felt prompted to do a bit more. And now it’s turned into this: CTR Camp.
1500 X 430 SLIDER 2Very honestly a few weeks earlier, I realized that it wasn’t one of my strengths to lead a large group of kids in fun group activities. But I feel it’s an area Heavenly Father wants me to strengthen, for some reason. I’m so grateful for Jimmy’s support and help… as well as advice and suggestions from friends. I’m looking forward to training some youth to be volunteer team leaders.
1500 X 430 SLIDER 1So, we’ll see how it goes. We’re hoping for a small group … yet large enough that the kids will create some new friendships.
1500 X 430 SLIDER 3These are a few of the activities…
Relays: ‘Armor of God’
Games: ‘Shield of Faith’
Challenges: ‘Iron Rod’
Races: ‘I will Go & Do’
Obstacle Courses: ‘Be Strong & of a Good Courage’
Service Project: ‘Prepare to share the Gospel’
Craft: ‘Listen to the Still Small Voice’
Art Project: ‘Testimony of Truth’
Snack: ‘Tree of Life’

I kept delaying the announcement of CTR Camp because I just wasn’t sure if I was up to getting everything done for it. But onward we are moving. It should be fun … and definitely a learning experience.

2013 Garden

Here’s the Plan Stan:2013 garden

A few weeks ago we prepped the garden. Jimmy expanded it by 4 ft. We added some dirt. Hannah, Max, Truman, and I hand-tilled it with shovels and then finally borrowed the neighbors mini tiller. A few days later we planted carrots, peas, calendula flowers, marigolds, spinach, and lettuce. And then … it just might have frozen. Aaaaaak!

This past week Jimmy planted zucchini, cucumber and some of the corn. Today we spotted some carrots poking through the dirt. Hurray. We might have some yummy crops after all.
2013 new11-webI love our family garden. The kids are most excited about the peas… and corn. Our goal this year is to do better at keeping those stinkin’ soldier bugs off the zucchini. They are icky boogers.

Our Daily Contributions

stand as a witness of god


our daily contribution
Was in need of some spiritual uplift.
Today was long.
I am weary.

Virtue is good.
Colors are cheerful.
So is Sister Dalton.

The hard is what makes it great.
i hope so.

I am a daughter of Heavenly Father… who loves me.
And that should make up the difference.

p.s. ummmm, yah… that might not have made sense.
but my brain is fuzzy …
and I can’t do much more than 3 word sentences or garbled grammar.

Progress? or PROGRESS!

Today we have a weeping, wailing, pinching, hitting, name-calling, screaming, tantruming, gnashing of teeth sort of day. I was hanging in there cheerfully until about 11 and then my spirits started getting plum worn out from Truman & Liza being so grouchy. All morning weekend I told the littles when they needed a love:everything is going to be okayAt 11, I started telling myself that… along with this:things will work outIt seems sometimes that we often take 1 step forward… and 2 steps back. Mop the floor… while a mess is being made upstairs by Tru & another downstairs by Eliza. There really is no keeping up with the messes in the trenches. But I’ve decided I’ve got to acknowledge the slight progress we do occasionally make.

Yesterday I felt encouraged. It was busy but we got so much accomplished in the morning. Piano lessons went well. I had one-on-one talks with Hannah and Abe that were good… hard… but good. Our family was totally squished on our bench… though we didn’t need to be since there was more space. It was really funny that the kids were actually getting along. Hannah and Abe weren’t reverent but they were being friends. Liza, Tru, and Maxwell wanted to sit by mom. Jimmy took Tru & Liza out at separate times. It turned out to be an exhausting day… but I felt encouraged.

Today… weeping, wailing, as I mentioned. But there is progress, there has got to be. We accomplished more work than if we hadn’t tried. Hopefully in the long run we take more steps forward than backwards. This life sure is a test. I’m grateful for moments of encouragement! Gradual Betterment… see, it’s not instant betterment. Love that.PROGRESS