Remember Gratitude, Charity, and the Hand of God in our Lives.

Here is Rob’s talk from a couple of weeks ago. It’s really excellent. Drumroll, please…….

Julie so aptly and thoughtfully captured how gratitude can be experienced in life both in times of happiness and ease and times of difficulty. It doesn’t mean we deny the feelings of difficulty, sadness, loneliness, and pain. We feel them, understand them as the school teachers that they are and move forward by connecting with ourselves, loved ones, and the Lord.

I like to think of and teach the gospel in simple terms. In terms and through feelings that my children can understand and that I can internalize in a deep and emotional way. Living the gospel should ultimately help us feel good and whole. If I don’t achieve that in my efforts to live the gospel I ask myself why and see what comes up.

I’m not going to tell you or imply that you should feel guilty for not feeling enough gratitude. I don’t want to cheat you from the potential to feel gentle and uplifting feelings from the Holy Ghost. Today I hope to share my thoughts in terms which engender, faith, hope and charity.

The English author Aldous Huxley wrote, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” I find myself all too prone to this tendency of ingratitude. There seem to be so many reasons to be detached from our blessings.

President Faust said that, one of the evils of our time is taking for granted so many of the things we enjoy. This was spoken of by the Lord: “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?” (D&C 88:33.) I’d never really thought about how taking for granted the things I enjoy was rejecting the heavenly gift. But it is!

The Apostle Paul described our day to Timothy when he wrote that in the last days “men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” (2 Tim. 3:2.) These sins are fellow travelers, and ingratitude makes one susceptible to all of them.

President Faust also taught that gratitude is an expression of faith and a saving principle.

He said, a grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.

Elder James E. Talmage said, “Gratitude is twin sister to humility; pride is a foe to both.” Humility is tied in with being teachable and being teachable opens us up to the blessing of further divine attributes.

Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”8

President Joseph F. Smith has instructed us that “the spirit of gratitude is always pleasant and satisfying because it carries with it a sense of helpfulness to others; it begets love and friendship, and engenders divine influence. Gratitude is said to be the memory of the heart” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 262).

Gratitude seems to tie in with Faith, Hope, and Charity pretty seamlessly. I find this fascinating. So having a general attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving can lead us to the divine gift of Charity.

So how do we develop gratitude and recognize the hand of god in our lives when we live in such a fallen world and there is so much around us to drag us down?

Do material possessions make us happy and grateful? While we should be grateful and happy for the things we possess they will not be the things to connect us to others or to instill a deep sense of gratitude for the Lord.

Does social media make us happy and grateful? Really think about that for a minute. To me the answer is no, most of the time at least. I find it helpful and interesting in small doses. I’m very grateful that I can choose not to open the firehose of twitter when I need more calm in my life and I don’t want to disrupt my sense of gratitude.

President Faust said (in the 80’s), without question, we need to be informed of the happenings of the world. But modern communication brings into our homes a drowning cascade of the violence and misery of the worldwide human race. There comes a time when we need to find some peaceful spiritual renewal.

Those things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy and social media cannot deliver: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, and the love we receive from those around us. Unfortunately, these are some of the things we allow ourselves to take for granted.

So how do we develop gratitude and recognize the hand of god in our lives? President Joseph F. Smith, provided an answer. Said he: “The grateful man / woman sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him / her the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his / her  life.” He continued: “Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!”9

President Smith is telling us that a thoughtful and prayerful life is the key to possessing gratitude and to allowing the good to outweigh the evil.

Bonnie Parkin (Past RS President) said that gratitude requires awareness and effort, not only to feel it but to express it. She said that gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God’s love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence.

President Thomas S. Monson stated: My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.

I feel prompted to share some things, attributes, and people that help me feel grateful as I close. This list not exhaustive; however, these things help me keep a balance in my life as I recognize that these good things are greater than the evil that surrounds me.

  • I’m grateful for music as a medium to express and feel so much emotion. There is music for every mood, for every experience. Despite my love of music I’m also learning that sometimes silence is needed to hear myself.

  • I’m grateful for mountains and for nature. I’m grateful to know that the Lord cares enough about natural beauty to create wonderful places for to enjoy. I’m grateful to live in a place so close to nature.

  • I’m grateful for long-form writing for its power to develop ideas and convey thoughts

  • I’m grateful for the art of listening. It is not a skill that I was blessed with but with great effort I’m making improvements. I’m regularly surprised by the insights and blessings that come from listening to people.

  • I’m grateful to possess a deep relationship with Julie. I’m grateful for her forgiving nature, her strong opinions, and her confident intuition. It is so great to know and hear her and also to be known and heard in return. I’m grateful that we get to grow together.

  • I’m grateful that heavenly father has blessed me with three children and I’m so grateful they start as babies and grow from there. I’ve needed time to mature and grow to be anywhere close to as good of a father as they deserve.

  • I’m grateful that the Lord uses our weakness as well us the perils of mortality to keep us humble, to refine us, and to teach us divine attributes. He doesn’t cause these things in our lives but I’m glad he uses them. It would be so much worse if we just had to suffer through them for no benefit.

I’m so grateful to understand that I don’t need to be perfect to be acceptable to the Lord. I’m grateful to know that by staying teachable, through open communication with the Lord and my loved ones, and daily practical repentance, I can be found acceptable to the Lord today, despite my weaknesses.

Rob’s Talk: Emotional/Physical Health and Well Being (and Addiction)

Rob spoke in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday and I like to document our talks. This isn’t a full transcript, just notes, but you’ll get a good grasp of his thoughts.

“Dad, it feels good to really see right.” 

My youngest got a new pair of glasses yesterday after we learned that her vision had deteriorated a little over the last couple years. How pleased she is to correctly resolve the world around her!

A few years ago I injured my back and had quite a bit of pain in it and going down my leg. During that time I experienced much more difficulty being my usual pleasant self. I was edgy, short-tempered, and found that the pain cast a negative shadow on my experiences. 

Prolonged periods of highly demanding projects at work can at times induce enough stress to cast a pale attitude on other aspects of my physical health (lack of exercise and even feeling the stress physically at times).

I share these short experiences to illustrate a point. I’ve enjoyed a life relatively free of pain and stress. However, I find that even short-lived episodes of pain and stress affect my outlook, relationships, and spirituality. I can only imagine how much chronic pain would affect me. 

The For the Strength of Youth booklet states that we should seek healthy solutions to problems in all aspects of your life. I think healthy solutions include actions that tend to bring balance to our life rather than those that promote drastic actions. Why introduce a new stress as a means to resolve prior stress?

When I have back pain, I could be unwilling to accept my new limitations by taking on a new (intense) exercise and diet program, fester, continue getting annoyed because I can’t contribute in the same ways I used to, build up emotional barriers, whine, and re-injure myself due to lack of patience. Or, I could follow the advice of medical professionals, give adequate time for healing, do yoga to strengthen my core and back, and undertake another appropriate exercise program when the time is right. 

When suffering from work-related stress I could micro-manage, refuse to accept help, think that my spouse just doesn’t understand, build up emotional barriers, start an extreme organization system, quit my job, stop exercising, gain weight, spend less time with my kids, get less sleep, get sick, etc. Or, I could allow more people to get involved, maintain family, exercise, and sleep needs, take on fewer obligations, learn to say no, confide with Julie, and communicate with others. 

*Do all you can to safeguard your physical and emotional health so that you can fulfill your divine potential as a son or daughter of God.* 

This may include professional medical help and and mental health specialists. 

Addictions harm your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. They damage relationships with family and friends and diminish your feelings of self-worth. They limit your ability to make choices for yourself. In the lightest sense, addictions redirect our time and attention from the most important parts of life. 

Watching sports, gaming, using social media, viewing pornography, abusing prescription drugs, drinking alcohol, or having a Twinkie or Nutella obsession seems pretty innocuous; however, all can be taken to selfish extremes, distorting our view of reality and what is important. 


Just like uncorrected vision in the case of Cara’s glasses, the affects of addiction take us from reality. It introduces secrecy, distrust, and dishonesty into our most sacred relationships.

Quote from Elder Holland, “If in the days ahead you not only see limitations in those around you, but also find elements in your own life that don’t yet measure up to the messages you have heard this weekend, please don’t be cast down in spirit and don’t give up. 

The gospel, the Church, and these wonderful semiannual gatherings (and Sunday meetings) are intended to give hope and inspiration. They are not intended to discourage you. 

Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, would try to convince us that the ideals outlined in general conference (and Sacrament Meeting) are depressing and unrealistic…that people don’t really improve, that no one really progresses. And why does Lucifer give that speech? Because he knows he can’t improve, he can’t progress, that worlds without end he will never have a bright future. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations and he wants you to be miserable too. Well, don’t fall for that. 

With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we CAN improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed. 

Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. 

Heaven is cheering you on today and forever.”

Alma 53:20-21
“And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all–they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted. Yay, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.”

Testimony – gain and maintain physical and emotional health can improve our well- being and spirituality. We can use simple actions, family and friends, professional help, and the atonement to overcome imbalance, addiction, and stress. We get credit for trying.

If you are struggling with any type of addiction, seek help.

A Goodbye to a Calling

I had been the primary secretary for 2 yrs when our stake was split in January 2013. When the bishop called me in I knew why. He told me that he was about to call another sister to be president but then stopped and realized he needed to call me. I was nervous and wasn’t always glad he extended that call. There were many times I was just DONE. But there have also been so many times that I’ve been so glad he did and I’ve been truly blessed to be in primary!

At the time I became the primary president it was amongst the chaos of half our of ward leaving and half of a new ward coming in. Adults and kids alike were sad to be leaving friends.

I didn’t know many people and we only had a few teachers in place. I browsed facebook a little bit while contemplating whom to call for my counselors and secretary. All I had to go on were names and maybe a profile picture. However, I was still able to get inspiration on the women that would bless our primary and, especially, me! I love them all and everything would have just fallen apart if it weren’t for them. I value their strengths, talents, and opinions, especially when they’ve differed from mine! I trusted and relied on them and they never let me down. I appreciate them more than they know.

During the 2 1/2 years I served I went through 3 second counselors, 3 secretaries,  3 music leaders, 3 pianists, and COUNTLESS teachers and nursery, achievement day, and scout leaders. On average, we had approximately 100 primary children and 25 nursery children. Our bishopric changed 3 times. Our church time and primary schedule changed 4 times. Our church building changed once.

Much of my time as the primary president felt more like I was a human resources manager! I spent so much time figuring out callings, memorizing the huge list of children’s names that constantly came in and out of the ward, putting out logistical and emotional fires, and just plain trying to get everything (or ANYTHING) to run smoothly!

Sundays and primary gatherings could be quite chaotic BUT, every once in a while it would just click. Usually they were the times when I or one of my counselors or music leaders shared our testimony to the children and teachers and the room would grow still.

I will miss working with all the men and women I came to know. I am such an introverted person that it usually takes me YEARS to feel comfortable in a ward and to make friends. This calling definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and I feel more at home in my ward and neighborhood than I ever have anywhere else. I LOVE my people!

And the KIDS. What a blessing they have been to me! I thought it would take me a while to feel comfortable up in front of them all but they made it so easy. I love each of their little and big personalities. I love their smiles. I love their quirks.

A couple of months ago I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I told the kids beforehand in sharing time that I was nervous because I was so used to talking to them, rather than their parents. So I asked them to help me feel more comfortable by looking up at me during my talk so I would feel like I was just in primary. And they DID! I saw SO many sweet faces looking up at me, supporting me. I love them for that moment and for many others.

My last Sunday doing sharing time was also special for me. I didn’t know it would be my last but it couldn’t have gone better. The topic was on sharing the gospel. As I was pondering my lesson, general conference came on and during one of the speakers I felt strongly that I needed to ask my dad to share his conversion story. I only vaguely remembered a portion of it so I didn’t know exactly what he was going to say. After I had the primary kids write notes to our new missionary that just left, I showed the video of my dad. It’s a good story!

I ended by sharing how grateful I am that someone shared the gospel with my dad because he was baptized. Then he and my mom taught me the gospel and I was baptized. Now my husband and I are teaching my kids and they are or will be baptized. During my dad’s and my own testimony, the room was still.

Afterward, our junior primary was invited into Sunday School to sing the closing hymn to the group. I held hands with a couple of the children while we sang I Am a Child of God. Once again, the room was still.

Those still rooms are a manifestation of children of God feeling the Holy Ghost tell them that what they are hearing and feeling is good and important. I didn’t accomplish every goal I had for my primary during the time I was serving but I think we, as a presidency, helped the kids know they are a child of God and how good it feels in our hearts when the spirit testifies. We tried to mention it every time we felt it happen so the kids knew that’s what they were feeling…the still small voice telling them that they are loved. Those are the moments I will savor forever.

Sabbath Day Observance

I had the privilege opportunity assignment to speak in church a couple of weeks ago. Whenever one of us speaks I like to include our talk and testimony on our family blog. So here it is.

What is THE most influential thing we can do to build our testimonies?
Elder Ballard said Brethren spent many months reviewing every bit of doctrine and every principle in the gospel of Jesus Christ trying to figure out the answer to that very questions. What singular thing we can focus on, individually and as a worldwide church, in order to build and increase our faith in God?
Do you think it’s diligent scriptures study and prayer? Repentance? How about temple attendance? While these are all very important and fundamental, the conclusion was that partaking of the sacred Sacrament ordinance and keeping the Sabbath Day holy, above everything else, are THE most influential things we can do to build our testimonies of the atonement and our faith in God.
Doctrine & Covenants 59:9
And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
Rob has a memory (one of his few) of when he was a young child. He remembers sitting in Sacrament Meeting, looking up at the ceiling and trying to figure out where the voice of the sacrament prayer was coming from. After a lot of thought, he concluded that it must be the voice of Heavenly Father coming down to him from heaven. It was perfectly logical. As he’s grown, he obviously knows it’s not Heavenly Father’s audible voice in our meeting but those prayers and the covenants we make were given to us by Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father has commanded us to listen and think about the atonement weekly. As we do, we will feel His spirit testifying to us that Christ died for us and that He lives so that we may live with Heavenly Father again. 
During General Conference, the Brethren gave a training on Sabbath Day observance to all Stake Presidents with the request that it be passed down to ward councils and then to congregations.
In that training, Elder Nelson & Elder Ballard said that If the commandment of keeping the Sabbath Day holy is taken seriously and literally, members will remain active in the church and faith will increase around the world.
Elder Nelson tells us that if we do these things, keeping the Sabbath Day holy won’t feel like a burden, that it’s hard to do, or that we are missing out on any fun. But it will be a true DELIGHT.
Doctrine & Covenants 59:13 says that we do these things so that our joy may be full.
I have a lot good memories with my family when I was growing up. As I think about it I realize that manyof those good, joyful memories came from spending time together on Sundays. It was really the only day that we got to spend all together rather than separated off at work and school and with friends. There weren’t any distractions. Those Sundays really were a “true delight.”
Now, keeping the Sabbath Day is not a new concept or commandment. It was first implemented with the creation of the Earth when Jesus rested on the 7th day. 
The children of Israel were commanded to observe the Sabbath. Exodus 31:16
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
One of the last things Jesus taught and implemented before he was crucified was the sacrament. Then, it was one of the first things he taught and implemented after His death when he visited the people in the Americas.
I want to give a challenge to everyone. Offer a prayer and ask to know and feel of the importance of Sabbath Day observance and for the desire to improve how you spend your time on that day. Elder Nelson doesn’t want us to follow a do or don’t list. It’s not a one-size fits all answer. But are there simple, small, but long-term changes we can make in our Sunday habits in order to block out worldly distractions and add spiritual refreshment instead? I encourage you to hold a family council today or a Family Home Evening tomorrow and discuss this subject together. Rather than experiencing Sundays as just another day (on which we just happen to go to church) what can your family do to make Sundays more of a true delight and a blessing for yourself and your family?
One of my goals is to have church music playing in my home more often on Sundays. As I sat at my desk putting the final touches on this talk, I overheard my 7-yr-old daughter Madeleine in the next room singing The Holy Ghost, her new favorite primary song. Hearing that brought tears to my eyes as I felt the Holy Ghost uplift me on this Sabbath Day.

I know that as we try harder to follow this inspired counsel of the Brethren, our faith in Christ will increase, our testimonies will strengthen, and our families will be blessed. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Daddy Daughter Date: Calling all Campers!

I forgot all about blogging our ward’s annual Daddy Daughter Date. This year, since I’m the primary president, the theme was up to me. The last two years have been all about the princesses. They were fun but this year I wanted to do something different. The boys in our ward had just gone on a Fathers and Sons campout and I thought it’d be fun to let the girls have that same kind of experience with their dads. Well, at least as far as having 2 hours in a gym can get you 🙂

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We decided to hand out a tri-fold pamphlet to each girl and require them to earn “badges” by completing different skills. Here are both sides:





Golf: One of my counselors made a mini golf course out of a pallet! I really wish I had taken a picture of it!

Art: The dads helped the girls make a necklace out of leather, wire, and a pebble that they colored. No pic of this, either 😦

Photography: We set up a tent and sleeping bags for the girls and dads to lay in and get their picture taken together.

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Personal Fitness: An obstacle course with, among other things,  a log over a river, a mountain to walk around, and a cave to crawl through.

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Beanbag Toss:

Orienteering: A scavenger hunt using a compass.

Ropes: A ladder rope toss game.

Cooking: We set up a make-your-own s’mores bar, of course! We had them eat on picnic blankets around an unlit fire pit.

To complete the ambiance we decorated with real tree stumps, artificial trees, fire pits, tents, flashlights and had mountainy nature sounds playing in the background.

I wish I could’ve taken more pictures of the activities but we were busy keeping everything running and do you realize how hard it is to take pictures in a church. So Hard. The lighting is absolutely terrible and everything just looks very bland.

The girls seemed to have a fun time and I’m guessing the dads enjoyed this almost as much as making fairy wands 🙂

So, for our first fun activity as a primary presidency I think we pulled it off quite well. I have to give serious props to my counselors and secretary. They are incredible. They are amazing. They are a primary president’s dream come true.

Stake, Ward, Primary

Two weeks ago our stake split. That means the church is growing and that is so exciting! For the last bunch of years there have been 16 wards in our stake. 6-8 is normal. So, yeah, it was time. Our poor stake presidencies…

Because the stake split, it meant all the ward boundaries changed. Half of our ward split off into their own ward in the new stake. We were combined with the rest of our immediate neighborhood. We are sad we lost so many great families but are excited to get to know a lot of new wonderful families.

Because the ward split, I got a new calling. Primary President. I would not be truthful if I said it was a total shock. I have actually had the feeling for some time now, maybe even a year, that this would be my next calling. I’m not sure why I was given that feeling but I’m glad I was! Because of that, I feel I was a lot more mentally prepared than I would have been otherwise. For the last two years I was the primary secretary and so I have been in training. I know all the kids and their parents, I’ve been in on all the planning, and I was there every Sunday watching. The women I worked with are amazing people. They have been nothing but loving, enthusiastic to serve, were always prepared, and have become my friends. I will miss working with them!

In other ways, though, I did feel a little like I was thrown under a bus! Our ward split on a Sunday, I got the call Tuesday night, and I had to be prepared to not only conduct and do sharing time 5 days later, but since half the ward was replaced so was most the primary! I had to organize all the kids (almost 100) into classes and we only had a handful of teachers. I had to pray about and choose counselors and a secretary. Not until Sunday morning was my 2nd counselor called and my secretary (who will be out with her newly born babe for a couple of months). I don’t have permanent music people yet, there is a baptism on Saturday (luckily this was previously taken care of), I don’t know any of the new kids’ birthdays, etc, etc, etc. I have a lot of ideas and plans I want to make but for now I’m basically in primary survival mode just trying to get the week-to-week organized and fill in all the empty calling slots.

One of the things I did last Sunday was brought balloons and played a get-to-know-you game. I realize a lot of these kids know each other from school and the neighborhood, but it can still be quite overwhelming and sad to see your other good friends leave and have everything change. I know, because I had to do it when our ward boundaries changed when I was 15. Granted, I’m sure it’s easier on little kids than teenagers, but I wanted to make sure the kids recognize this as a positive thing. Sunday was chaotic, but it was fun!

I’m not the most outgoing, gregarious, enthusiastic person out there. I have a lot of shortcomings. I tend to over think, stress, and just plain panic at times. But this last week I have felt more inspiration, patience, and love than I have for a while. I know the Lord is blessing me with those things. Hopefully He will continue to do so!

I’m excited to get to know all these new families and help teach the gospel to them. It’s such a beautiful message to learn and life to lead. Feeling the spirit wrap around you is the best feeling known to mankind. I have the strongest testimony that these little ones are children of God and He loves them. Just knowing that one thing can help get you through anything in this sometimes tumultuous life. I want them to gain that same testimony.

Wish me luck and say a prayer for me!

Trekkies Part Deuce

If you missed Part One, here’s the link.

After a good breakfast we were off to get our handcarts. Our start time was 10:30am, later than I think we all would have liked since it was getting really hot. What really saved the day, though, was the rainbow beach umbrella Rob’s dad lent us to strap onto the handcart so that the kids could ride much more comfortably. More on that later. Here are a few photos of me and Rob relaxing before our arduous day of walking and hauling around the kids. I think are hats are adorable and isn’t Rob so sexy looking in his Indiana Jones hat? Check out that crazy air!  (….Uh….Rob added that bit.)

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Here we are on the trail, for some reason our group was at the end of the pack. I think it is our lot in life.

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After a couple of miles we stopped for lunch before heading up, sans handcarts, to the actual cove area. Madeleine was so hot and said her stomach wasn’t feeling very well. I opted to stay back with her and Caroline so she could rest and cool down. It took about 20 minutes, but then she was back to normal. It took the rest of the group another hour and a half to return so we just hung out.

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Here are few images of the hike in and around the cove.

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So what do you do if you start getting hot and all you have is a water bottle filled with some kind of berry flavor concoction? Nate didn’t hesitate to pour it all over his head. He loves being silly and getting people to laugh. 

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Here’s a shot of the rainbow umbrella. Luckily I was short enough to walk underneath while pushing! You can see Rob carrying Caroline in the baby backpack here. She slept a good portion of the walk.

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Some time after starting again from the trail head to Martin’s Cove we made our way to the river crossing. Time to cross the river!

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Quite some time after the river crossing and the women’s pull we finally made it back to the area to drop off our hand carts, clean up, and drive (much better than handcarts) back to camp. After a long and hard day of hiking and walking we settled back into camp for dinner and a wonderful testimony meeting that we all enjoyed. We discussed how we can accomplish difficult tasks much like our pioneer forbearers. Rob was feeling a significant sense of awe at the physical toils the pioneers endured while walking across the plains. We did it for a few hours and they did it for weeks upon weeks!

We spent the rest of the evening talking and watching the kids play games together. There is a priceless photo of our adventurous Cara covered in filth. She looks like a homeless child.

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Here’s a slideshow Rob put together with pictures taken by us and Robin King set to music recorded by the Plewe family. They sang this song in Martin’s Cove and again at the testimony meeting. I love their arrangement of one of my favorite songs. They did a beautiful job! Here is a link to the video if you can’t see it here.

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Father’s Day Talks

Nate, Rob, and I were asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting at church yesterday. The theme, of course, was father’s. Nate talked about why he loves his dad. I talked about how to nurture the relationship between fathers and sons/daughters. Rob talked about how to become closer to our Heavenly Father through prayer.

Nate did such a STELLAR job. He wasn’t one bit afraid to get up in front of the congregation and deliver his talk. In preparation, he drew pictures to help him remember what to say and didn’t need any help from me. Here is his talk. It’s fantastic.

My dad is the best dad in the whole world. I love it when my dad makes paper airplanes for me. I love it when my dad plays hotwheels with me.

Nate's Father's Day Talk_Page_2

I love it when my dad wrestles with me.

Nate's Father's Day Talk_Page_3

I love it when my dad takes me to Cabella’s.

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I love it when my dad goes on a bike ride with me.

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I love it when my dad lets me play on his ipod. I love it when we make pizza together.

Nate's Father's Day Talk_Page_6

My dad teaches me about the Priesthood and reads the scriptures to me every night.

Nate's Father's Day Talk_Page_7

I love my dad very much. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Nate's Father's Day Talk_Page_8



Here’s my talk.





Here’s Rob’s talk.




So Long. Farewell.

There are many reasons we are excited to move. These reasons include being closer to our family, closer to work, and buying a new home with a backyard. We’ve known this day was coming since the day we moved in. We knew it would be a five-year venture here. But those 5 years have brought so many friends and happy memories which makes it hard to leave our home here. Some of the milestones we’ve passed while in Layton are:

  • A son growing up from 6 months old to 5 years old and having 2 beautiful daughters born into our family.
  • Our oldest 2 children learned to walk and talk and all three have become *perfect* little individuals.
  • Rob got a job with URS, a great company he will probably be at forever.
  • Rob and I graduated with our Bachelor’s Degree and Rob earned his Master’s Degree and Professional Engineer Certification.
  • We’ve had various ward callings such as Primary Music Leader, Cub Master, and Organ Accompanist for me and Elder’s Quorum Teacher, Elder’s Quorum Secretary and Young Men’s President for Rob. Rob has especially enjoyed his calling with the young men. He was nervous going into it but it changed rapidly into joy. He loved getting to know these boys and they will be who he’s going to miss most.

We love our ward friends and we love our other Layton friends. Please continue to check our blog and please keep in touch. We’ll miss you.

Love, The Snow Family

High Adventure Video

I have finally managed to put together a little video showcasing some of the pictures that were taken during this year’s high adventure camp.  Photos in this slideshow were taken by Brooks Anderson, Tyson Butler, Tyson Green, and Rob Snow.

If you would like to view the video in HD or download it please visit our web gallery.  Hope you enjoy this.  🙂