Saturday, July 26, 2008

Heavenly Father created for me...

This morning we got everyone up and got all our swim meet gear packed and headed out for what we knew would be a long hot day of swimming. The last meet of the year is notoriously long and slow. As we pulled in to the lot we were amazed to see no one there. To make this story short, the swim meet was yesterday. They changed the date but failed to let us know!

Since we were in Wendell we decided to go over to Niagara Springs. We are so thankful that we did. We were the only people in sight. The water was completely clear and the grass was green and everything was quiet. No cars or people talking. This is why we love Idaho. The birds were singing and we could hear the water fall. It was the most peaceful and soul refreshing experience I think I've had this summer.

It made me remember what we were instructed to say in the tours of the first ordinance room of the temple (Rustin and I are tour guides). The room is painted with a stunning mural of the magic valley--"this mural is meant to remind us of the creations of our Heavenly Father in our behalf and of His love for us as His children". This is just the sort of thing I would want to do for my children if I were sending them to a far off world. To provide them with a serene and beautiful environment that I would hope would remind them of home.

This leads me to think of my own home. It's not the most important thing to have the biggest fanciest home on the block but our home should be a place where our children feel and experience peace every day. Our homes should be more loving, forgiving and uplifting than the world that they will go into. That way they will seek after things that remind them of home.

In all I'm glad we got the swim meet times wrong. One of those tender mercies.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oakley Rodeo

Yesterday was the 24th of July. This is always a great time to appreciate and remember our heritage. Rustin and I both had early pioneer ancestors who came across the plains with handcarts,wagons and boats. Our primary had a parade from the church to the park which was lots of fun for the kids. In the afternoon we headed out to Oakley for the kids rodeo.

Benson took one look at the mutton busting and saw the kids hitting the dirt and said "no thanks". Jenna cried that we didn't let her ride but she never would have done it :)

Austin rode the calves--with his toes just about touching the ground! Here he is waiting for his turn--a little nervous before his ride. He bravely held on for a few seconds before he bit the dust.

Dallin and Landon rode the steers. They were much bigger and more serious than we had anticipated. While waiting in the stalls the steer were bucking and jumping and ramming the sides of the gates. The boys were absolutely thrilled.

Dallin strapping in before his ride.


Dallin stuck like glue for four good bucks before he bit the dust. I didn't get it on video. He has a few aching muscles to prove his braveness. Did I mention that this child already had stitches this week? He ripped his arm open climbing a fence. I'll have to write about that later I guess.

Landon's ride landed him in the ambulance. He was one of the last to ride. He got the biggest and rankest steer of the lot. Seriously. Dallin had to leave the stall because he was to nervous to watch what he was sure was Landon's impending demise. Rustin was thinking "man I'm a crappy dad for letting him do this..." One of the clowns rode Landon's steer for only two bucks right before Landon.

He didn't actually go to the hospital. They checked him out at the rodeo and recommended we take him in but we opted to drive home first. He was quite a bit better when we got home and got a couple of Advil. He is fine this morning. Very sore and achy but totally thrilled with his adventure. If you look in the picture in the ambulance you can see the outline of the steer's hoof on his calf where it rubbed the skin off and a bruise starting to form. He also has a big swollen hand but we think he will be fine.

I think they are cured of any desire to join the rodeo circuit but who knows--they may decide to ride again next year!

Jules here's a picture for you--look familiar?...

Singleton Reunion

We finally got together from the Singleton side of my mom's family. The reunions with my cousins from that side are some of the best from my childhood. I really loved seeing those who came. We are going to try to do this every two years so we don't lose touch with each other.

We spent Thursday at my parents house and swimming at Dierkes lake. Then we went to the south hills and spent Friday night at the church cabins--Pinedell camp. It was definately too short but a lot of fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The temple is ready!

Isn't this such a pretty building? I'm sure you all want to come visit! The strength of feeling inside the temple, even before it has been dedicated, took Rustin and me both by surprise. I truly feel blessed to have such a beautiful place as a part of my life. It was a lot of fun to take the kids and show them where they will get married (one can always hope!). What a fun time to be alive!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Look what I did!

44 cups of strawberry jam, a gallon of frozen berries and 6 cups of strawberry puree! I wouldn't have made it without my friend Brittany. It was a fun (and very sticky!) day.

Did I mention we picked all the berries yesterday morning too? (11 gallons!) I'd say we get extra points for that.

4th of July

I think this might be my favorite holiday. Of course I say that about every holiday. Except I really do love this one. We had Juli and Spencer and Emily here (and of course Kenj and Mom and Dad). We went down to Dierke's lake on Thursday.

History lesson here: When they built Shoshone falls dam it backed up the snake river and flooded Mr. Dierke's orchard. They could pick apples from canoes for two years. Of course that was quite a while ago!

Dallin and Landon and Rustin and Spencer jumped off the cliffs (I hate it when they jump--it totally brings back memories of childhood pressure) and the kids played in the sand.

On Friday night we went to CSI for the fireworks show. It was great as usual and everyone stayed awake!

Water fun

We are enjoying the warm weather. Last week we actually had 22 kids over here playing in the sprinklers. I can't tell anyone no! They all had a ball and we had Popsicle sticks everywhere. That's okay.

Who needs bottled water when you have this!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jenna's 5th Birthday

Our little Jenna turned five on Friday. This was a much anticipated day around here. My mom and I made the cutest birthday cake ever...

and Jenna got lots of fun girl stuff. We noticed that she is the only kid who truly loves to open clothes!

She didn't actually get her ears pierced. We all chickened out--she's just wearing little stickers.

We also had a birthday party with the cutest cakes ever (if I do say so myself!). The girls painted their fingernails and crowns. The boys made swords and then spent the rest of the time fighting with each other.

Look at those blue eyed cuties!

We had Jotham and Jamie here for the weekend which was really fun. I think the highlight for Jamie and me was the Parade of Homes. Benson and Mark were two little peas in a pod as usual. The other kids had a lot of fun as well.

We had our own little dance on Saturday night which the kids loved (we really need more girls)! In all it was a great weekend. We have my sister Juli here with her kids for this next week which is sure to be non-stop fun. I think the 4th of July is one of the best holidays ever. We are looking forward to having everyone home!