Hold On Thy Way

DownloadsAbstract random thoughts that don’t quite know where to land… like these paintings…

Lately I don’t know how to feel about anything. Sometimes I think I should just numb myself to the hard in life and plow through. But that doesn’t seem very joyful. There are so many decisions to be made and all the options spin around in my brain. I know that though this may be life as it is in mortality, I feel God’s way is more secure.

My friend Julie reminded me recently that to “HOLD ON THY WAY” is better than just ‘hanging in there’. Sounds more solid than my abstract thinking.
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…This is only half a post… but I wanted to share to remind myself and my family in our family record about these hard decisions made and the perspective that a secure relationship with God provides the foundation we need to ‘hold on our way’.

where LIGHT is, darkness cannot be found

I think of LIGHT often.
The light of Christ.
All the symbols of LIGHT.
Someday when I get to it, I’ll have a Wall of LIGHT of pictures and quotes
that uplift, ennoble, enlightenment, encourage persevering … remind us of all the LIGHT and good in our world.
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source: Light of Christ Topics on LDS.org and Light of Christ Bible Dictionary

Related to LIGHT is my Book of Mormon Study, “What about JOY?”
Life sometimes seem too full of heartache and pain and struggle.
But I know we are to have JOY. So I’ve been studying the principles behind JOY.
Deep JOY.
REAL JOY that comes only in Christ.
Today I discovered a scripture in Alma…
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“And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing — sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.” Alma 28:14

There is so much of goodness and light up uplift in our lives.
I imagine in my children this light of Christ radiating forth
dispelling any darkness that tries to overtake them.
They are so pure and sincere and innocent.
This LIGHT is real. And so essential to JOY.

more on LIGHT soon… love these thoughts to start the day…

p.s. Thank You Nongkran_ch for filling the world with light through your sunflower oil painting.

defeat… or persistence?

We’ve had a bit of hard… and stress… and the unknown over the past month. I guess we always have a bit of each of those, come to think of it. ‘Tis LIFE! But this past month we had a hard blow. We knew everything would work out… but we didn’t know how or when. Things are still ironing themselves out but I’m still feeling anxious about what the future holds… where God wants us… and all that we will go through to fulfill our purpose as a family in this life.

Through it all though, we have been greatly blessed. So many have prayed for us. We know that God answers prayers. We feel his comfort and peace through difficult circumstances. We know we need His strength.

Someone shared this question on facebook recently…

“My children will have persistent life-long struggles too.
What do I want to model for them — despair and defeat,
or faith and persistence?”

faith and persistence

I can see that my attitude affects my children’s attitude about our circumstances. My words of doubt or FAITH put thoughts in their minds. I hope my heartfelt attitude is that With God’s help, we can endure hard things!

I was thinking about some of the hard things our family might experience in life, especially the kids as they grow up in this world. I know that hard things can make us stronger if we choose to have faith instead of fear.

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Just a few thoughts I wanted to put together and remember for family history sake! Happy end of August

Jelly Belly Beans

This summer we bought one of the big Jelly Belly Bean containers from Costco. We enjoyed quizzing each other on mystery flavors. The worst was when we thought we had a chocolate pudding but it turned out to be a cappuccino. Bleh. Today we did a survey (not very scientific, I might add) about our favorite flavors. We had to throw out some of Liza’s answers because I definitely know she doesn’t like Black Licorice or Cinnamon. These were the overall favorites.
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And for fun… found these jelly bean art pieces online.
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Rocky Mouth Falls Hike

rocky mouth falls hikeWe hike because:
1. We are practicing doing hard things WITHOUT COMPLAINING. Some of the tots have miles to go before they catch onto the NO Complaining part. But they also are learning that blessings come to those who press forward… persevere… work together… see the beauty around them, etc.

2. Enjoy God’s creations. To count our blessings for all the glorious sights… that help us catch a glimpse of all that we are meant for in the eternities.

3. Peace in nature. Have you ever passed our family on the trail? You may not find it very peaceful. We’re a pretty loud energetic group (mostly all those bouncing boys). BUT … there are moments of peace when we can be still and enjoy nature.

4. Heart Rocks, of course! When the going gets tough, I find myself pressing forward (usually holding a little hand or two), taking a step at a time, and searching all the dear Rocky Mountain rocks for ones shaped like hearts. These hearts remind me of God’s Love for me. He loves us so much that he lets us struggle and stretch and find our way to Him. He loves us so much that he sent us to families to love and care for each other. He loves us so much that he gave us prophets, truth, scriptures, the Holy Ghost, prayer. We talk about these things as we search for heart rocks wherever we go.

5. Truman loves to hike. He is at greater peace near water and rocks and dirt and sticks. And if Truman enjoys something (other than electronics), we will make that effort to be in the mountains.. because all the angels in heaven (and all the neighbors within ear-shot) know that we can use as much joy and peace from that little 5-year-old soul as we can get. Of course, mom loves hiking too… and so I plan and research and force persuade everyone to come with me.

6. Exercise & Adventure. This is a great way to be active as a family… all while seeing new places nearby. Can’t live in Utah without enjoying a bit of the magnificent mountains.

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Rocky Mouth Falls Hike

“Rocky Mouth Falls is a fantastic family-friendly hike to a beautiful 70-foot waterfall on the southeast side of the Salt Lake Valley. The trail is short at just under a half mile one-way but packs in some fantastic scener, including one of the most scenic waterfalls in the area. Though short in distance, this hike does have some steep, rocky sections as it climbs nearly 300 feet in elevation over just under a half mile.” IHC Health Site

p.s. Best news to Liza and Max is that there were NO DOGS allowed on this trail! Phew…

Grotto Falls Hike

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This is probably one of my favorite hikes to do with littles. It was short, shady, very green, had water, and plenty of places for boys to climb. Plus, it smelled great and had slightly damp ground so it wasn’t dusty like most other Utah hikes! These are the best kind of family outings.

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Other news: We listened to some new tunes in the car on our drive to Payson Canyon. After like 7 years of primary songs in the car, Hannah encouraged us to listen to fun modern music. We found some that wouldn’t drive mom and dad crazy… some Bruno Mars and Imagine Dragons… David Archuleta, etc. Max said, “I just felt happy listening to that music.” And Liza would say almost every song, “I really wike that song!”

p.s. Scotty loves chocolate milk… and his new carseat that forward faces. He loves to see!
grotto falls hike

Trail Information:
Trail Length Approx: .3 miles
Hiking Time: 45 minutes
Trail: Flat, wide and easy.
Dogs: Allowed… but we saw only 1 or 2

“Located about 7 miles up Payson Canyon is the Grotto Trail, commonly known as Grotto Falls. The trail is short, wide, with little elevation gain making it a great trail for all ages. The hike begins from the parking area just off the Mount Nebo Loop Road. It follows a small stream and curves its way through the forest. In a few locations you cross the stream on large timbers put in place by the forest service. This adds excitement to the trail especially for the kids.” Utah Outdoor Activities site

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Ferguson Canyon Hike

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Golden weeds, wee-little-snake, wildflowers, idaho-shaped rock, water reed plants that whistle when you blow.

ferguson canyon hike
Tru loved that he discovered ‘the view’. Scotty enjoyed the hiking backpack. Liza always gets rocks in her shoes (and always has to go potty out in nature!). Abe was a helper.

“Ferguson canyon is small canyon between Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. This canyon has gained popularity over the last few year and is a popular destination for rock climbers. This is one hike that the canyon itself is the destination. The hike can be whatever you want to be. You can follow the trail to the end and get to a summit or just make it to the shaded canyon wall and stream.

“The trail follows an utility road up and passed the water towers. At this point you will see the trail start decend into the canyon. Soon the trail will meet up with a small creek coming out of the canyon. The trail follows this creek for almost the entire hike. Continue to follow the trail back uphill into the canyon. The trail will now come to some granite walls. You will often find climbers on these walls trying to finish their next route.” Open Air Life site

Easy Hike
Probably 2 hours but we didn’t go to the overlook
Mostly shady
Fun to watch rock climbers
Creek was really low so we didn’t see or hear much water
Dogs are Allowed… much to max’s dismay… and much to Truman’s delight.

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This trail had an extra large amount of heart rocks… must be the type of rocks that breaks like that. Or perhaps I saw them more than usual. Or perhaps God placed them in my path to remind me of the tender mercies He sends daily.
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Independence Day Camp Out 2015

On Friday morning, July 3rd, we loaded up Beastie, our 12-passenger van, with camping equipment, and Hannah, Abraham, Maxwell, Truman, and I headed toward Cedar City, Utah for a camp out with the Thompson clan. We camped on some Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land with no facilities (no bathrooms, no latrines, no water, no nothing, except land, trees, mud, and four-wheeler trails). The boys simply used the woods, but lucky for Hannah, Uncle Bucky brought his camper and a port-a-potty.

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Prior to this camp out, the only tent we owned was a four-man tent. We used that tent for Abe, Max, Tru, and I about a year ago at the fathers and sons outing, and it was quite crowded then, so we knew we needed a bigger tent. We got this 10-person tent from Walmart the night before the camp out for a pretty good deal. And true to its advertising, it only took a couple of minutes to put it. That was a nice change.

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The other nice thing about the tent was that for once we weren’t crowded inside. Granted we only had 5 people in there. Truman was partially right we he later told Heather there wasn’t room for anyone else. While of course you could squeeze more people in there, it comfortably fit our five air mattresses and foam pads, and it would have been difficult to get another mattress/pad in there.

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My mom wasn’t there at this pseudo-Thompson family reuinion, but 5 of the 10 Thompson siblings were there: Bucky, David, Tracy, Mike, and Becky. It was good seeing them all, and many of their children and grand children were their too. Four Smith siblings were there–myself, Julie, John, and Michael. It was quite the large gathering.

The kids’ favorite part of the whole weekend was riding the four wheelers. They begged me to take them again and again.

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After each of the kids got one ride on the four wheeler, we realized they should have helmets on. They wore them from then on.

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One of the other favorite parts of the camp out was the  family volley ball game on Friday night. They played for over an hour and all the aunts and uncles were very nice about letting the younger kids participate.

thompson-volley-ball-game-july-2015One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the hike to Kanarraville Falls. Most of the Smiths and a few of the Thompsons came.

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The first half of the hike was dry and dusty.

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But during the second half of the hike, you walk through the creek almost the whole time, and it was great.

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Since parking space was limited (and $10 per vehicle) at Kanarraville Falls, all the Smiths piled into Beastie for the 15 mile drive south of Cedar City. This pic was after the hike when we were all dirty and wet but glad we had such a fun time.

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We finished the hike mid-afternoon on Saturday. We headed back to Cedar City and picked up Max and Tru who had stayed with Aunt Becky and Uncle Tracy. Then we headed back home to Lehi. It was a great weekend.

Marriage and Family

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“The Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide, in a historic decision that invalidates gay marriage bans in more than a dozen states.” FoxNews

This is big news…
news that affects our life in society.
In Regards to Religious Freedom … morality in Society.
It is to be noted and observed.

Things in the government are changing.

Not much else to say… but I pray for our country… that we will elect righteous individuals who will support our freedoms.

Uplift from Others

you are climbingI haven’t done well taking time to read blog posts from others. But this morning I opened up Jen Moss’s blog and read her thoughts on ‘When Life Hurts”. Her message really is a grand support for my current struggles mothering these unique little ones. These are my favorite parts…

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