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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Adventure for Youth at BYU Idaho

It's been a busy couple of weeks getting Brady ready for the Adventure for Youth Program at BYU Idaho.

On June 18th we sent a suitcase with Grandma to Pocatello so that Brady didn't have to take everything on the flight to Idaho Falls. We sent his bedding (sheets, blanket, pillow), his scriptures, a towel, swimming suit, swimming shoes, personal toiletries... basic stuff..

On June 20th and 21st he was in Salt Lake City visiting his Dad for Father's Day. He flew out Saturday morning and flew back Sunday evening.

On June 24th we were able to meet with our Bishop and get Brady a temple recommend to do Baptisms during AFY at the Rexburg Temple. On June 27th the Youth in our ward did Baptisms in the Boise Idaho Temple at 6:15 am. Then they took the youth out to breakfast. I was glad that Brady was able to attend before he left for AFY.

At 1:55 in the afternoon on Saturday, June 27th Brady flew to Idaho Falls. I was able to get a great deal on the flight. It was easier to fly and not drive all those hours. Aunt Rhonda picked him up from the airport and he was able to stay with my little brother, Richard and his wife Rhonda in Blackfoot Idaho. Richard and Rhonda's daughter, Autumn is the same age as Brady and they are going to AFY together.

Rhonda told me that they had a great weekend with Brady. All of Autumn's friends think he is sooooo hot... Giggle! This is the email Rhonda sent me about the weekend:

Brady kept hiding last night and scaring the crap out of Autumn. He would jump out at her downstairs and yell and she would start screaming. Then they would just crack up laughing. It was soooo funny.
Later, I went down to talk to her in her room and her back was to me. I said her name and she jumped a mile. She told me she was a little on edge and I shouldn't sneak up on her. It has been a blast having him here.

I am sure they were having a great time. He called me Saturday night and they were giggling and playing Rock Band. They are very close cousins and are connected at the hip when we are together.
Monday AFY started. Aunt Rhonda took the day off work and drove them to Rexburg (thanks Rhonda you are awesome!) This is what she said about the check in:
I got them there all safe and sound. It was a little confusing. The college is huge and it was hard finding their dorms. Plus, we were late and I got lost finding the places they were staying.

I dropped Autumn and Katie off on the side of the dorm with their counselor and left them.

I wanted to go see their room but needed to find Brady's. It was on the other side of campus. We arrived there 10 min late and the office was closed so he couldn't get his key to his dorm room. There was a phone number to call but they didn't answer. Since I had his room number we went to find it.

We walked up 3 flights of stairs and found an AFY coordinator. He had a master key and let Brady in his room. It was tiny 2 beds (cots) and a little closet and desk type deal. It smelled like dirty socks.

There were signs everywhere NO WOMEN ALLOWED. I told the counselor I was his mom and wasn't going to leave him until I knew he was checked in.

He took Brady to where everyone else was and helped me get his things from the car.

Then I left and had to try to find Katie and Autumn again. Katie left some stuff in the car as I was throwing them out on the side of the road. I found Katie and gave her the stuff she forgot, but didn't see Autumn.

I am sure they will have a great time. They were very excited. I think we ruined poor Brady being in this noisy house with these girls, he is used to his quiet home. Then all the talk with Katie and Autumn on the way up. It was pretty funny.
This is Brady and Autumn.
Katie is Autumn's friend and she went with them to AFY. Katie, Autumn and Brady.
Autumn, Brady and Katie.

Monday was check in at 1:00 pm, meet their counselor and group. Dinner, Devotional, then they did some AFY games and they end the night with a devotional with their counselor at 10:00 pm.

Autumn texted Rhonda Monday night and told her they were having an absolute blast.

They start each morning at 7:00 am with breakfast and scripture study. I am sure it will be a very fun and spiritual week.

Autumn texted at 6:30 Tuesday morning saying they were up and ready for the day. They were doing rope courses today that involved some heights but she was excited.
There is a Rope course on the campus which they did Tuesady morning. Then after lunch they had an adventure and some activities. After dinner they were doing a service project and a dance at 8:30 pm then devotional at 10pm and bed. I am sure with Autumn and Katie the dance will be fun for Brady. They will make him dance!

Wednesday they do some activities in the morning. After lunch they will go to the Rexburg temple to do baptisms. After dinner they have a AFY Recess and end the night with a devotional.
Thursday they are rafting down the Snake River. Last Monday we received this email from BYU Idaho regarding the upcoming rafting trip.
Dear AFY Participants,

Final preparations are being made to welcome you to AFY, and we look forward to having you join us this June.

Eastern Idaho has experienced an especially cold, wet spring. The Lewis and Clark River Expeditions company, who guides our white water rafting trips, has requested that each youth who participates in the rafting trip be properly attired for these unusual weather conditions. To avoid the possibility of hypothermia, splash gear will be available for participants attending an OYA session in June. The splash gear keeps most of the water from the body, but it does not provide insulation. Please bring pants and shirt or long underwear to wear under the splash gear. Cotton fabric (such as sweatshirts, jeans, and t-shirts) is unsuitable for cold-weather rafting and is STRONGLY discouraged. The following fabrics provide an appropriate insulation barrier for cold-weather rafting:
· Polar Fleece
· Synthetic Fleece
· Wool
· Neoprene (or similar synthetic)
· Wet suit
Your safety is our main concern, and we appreciate your efforts in taking additional precautions.
After recieving the email I started making calls to find a wet suit that we could borrow. Luckily my customer, Mary Kay let me borrow one of theirs. I was worried about this before we recieved the email. I knew it was going to be cold and dangerous. I have to keep the faith that they will take care of my son and will not put him in any danger.

I also told Brady to hold on tight and stay in the raft. If he didn't feel good about rafting on the river he could opt not to do it. I told him it was his decision. Autumn will text Rhonda after the rafting trip and we will be praying that all goes well.

Friday is the last day of AFY. They start off with breakfast, scripture study, devotional, testimoney meeting, lunch and closing ceremonies. It ends at 1:45 pm and my VERY nice sister in law - Aunt Rhonda will pick the kids up.

I am working Friday morning then will drive to Pocatello for the July 4th holiday and spend the weekend with my family. We will return Sunday and Brady starts Driver Training bright and early on Monday morning July 5th.

Jason and Sharon will be staying at my house to take care of my plants and home while I am gone. (they just said to have the kitchen stocked with lots of good food - LOL)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Decorating for the 4th of July

I think the 4th of July is one of the most important holidays! I think it is important to show my patriotism, to show my children the love I have for my country.

The struggle for liberty and freedom is one of the greatest battles we are experiencing in our world today. It is imperative that our children and families grow up appreciating their freedoms and the privilege of living in this land which is "choice above all other lands." (Ether 2:10)
This is the front of my home. My US flag is hung proudly! Last year I found that cute Uncle Sam wind sock. I have small flags stuck in the ground in front of my landscaping across the front of my home.
Many years ago when I was living in Salt Lake, I purchased this Uncle Sam at the Quilted Bear. He's had a few fixes in that time - new hat, new beard, new jacket.. But he is still my favorite decoration. Isn't he cute?
This hangs on my front door.... from Home Interiors.
This hangs in my front doorway, by my mail box. I found this at the D.I. for a few dollars several years ago. Love it - it was a great find.
This is my glass table.
A closer look..... the metal Statue of Liberty is from Home Interiors. After 9/11, I had to purchase this statue of firemen and policemen. I hope we never forget 9/11......
On the other side is an Eagle holding a flag and another metal Uncle Sam from Home Interiors. The metal figures hold a tea light and light up...
My coffee table with three wooden stars - Red, White and Blue.
Another Metal 4th of July tea light lamp from Home Interiors. The little rag/button doll was another find at the D.I. The little Denim Kids marching in their 4th of July parade from Home Interiors.
Another Denim Kid figurine from Home Interior... Are you feeling the Spirit of Patriotism yet?
One of my customer's is a shop-o-holic and sends sacks of hand me downs with me all the time. Last year she sent this cute throw and a couple of years ago she gave the weird looking Uncle Sam. I love it though... I love free things... I am like her Thrift Store donation.... then I go through all her sacks of treasures and pull out what I want and send the rest to the D.I..
This is my fire place.
I love this picture of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.. Love it! It's from a calendar I once had. I had to save it and use it with my 4th of July decorations. One day I'll frame it.
Last year this was my new purchase. I love finding cool 4th of July stuff. Slowly I'm getting quite a lot of great items for this holiday.
My Piano....
I love this cute Lady Liberty... It was found at the Quilted Bear when I purchase the Uncle Sam on my front porch. I sure miss the Quilted Bear!!!!

Teaching our children to be patriotic, to know and understand the Constitution as the source of their freedoms, and to be willing to sacrifice to maintain their liberty is akin to hoisting our own title of Liberty.

President Gordon B. Hinkley said:

"I believe in America. I am grateful for the Constitution under which this nation lives and moves and has its being. I am profoundly grateful that somehow for more than two centuries of time we have existed as a nation and grown to become the strongest and most free in the entire world. I am grateful for those men whom the God in heaven raised up and inspired and who pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish this nation and its government.

I believe in America - one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. We are, of course, not without fault. We have more than our share of crime and of every other evil to be found on earth. I fear that we have become an arrogant people, but when all is said and done there is no other nation quite like this nation.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Motivational Monday - American Flag

America's Flag

The first American flag design was adopted by Congress 225 years ago and has been updated 27 times since.

Red stands for valor,

white stands for purity

and blue stands for justice.

The largest American flag is 255 feet by 505 feet and requires at least 500 people to unfurl!
Did you know that the American flag is folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is folded and handed to the widow or widower at the burial of a veteran? And did you know that each of those 13 folds can be interpreted as a spiritual symbol?

The first fold - is a symbol of life...

The second fold - is a symbol of our belief in eternal life...

The third fold - is made in honor and remembrance of all the veterans who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world...

The fourth fold - represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance...

The fifth fold - is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealings with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The sixth fold - is for where our hearts lie. It is with our hands over our hearts that we "pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"...

The seventh fold - is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is the armed forces that protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our Republic...

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day....our mothers...

The ninth fold - is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of men and women who have made this country great, has been molded...

The tenth fold - is a tribute to fathers, for they too have given their sons and daughters for the defense of our country since the beginning of this great nation...

The eleventh fold - in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob...

The twelfth fold - in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity, and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit...

The thirteenth fold - is the final fold, and it shows the stars uppermost, reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God we Trust."
And after the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States ever since, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


It all started with this book..... My little boy is READING a book!!!!

My boys have NEVER enjoyed reading books. I have tried and tried. I have purchase lots and lots of book. I have read to them. I have set reading times. I have tried to get them excited about reading..... but they never would do it.

In speaking with other mothers through the years, I found that I wasn't alone. Lots of boys hate reading.

I told Brady we needed to go through a week of no electronics. No TV, No Computer, No video games.... We needed to walk, bike ride, read books and see if we could do it. (we only lasted a couple of days - but it was a "good thing")

Brady picked up a book and read... I was amazed to come in and see him reading in the living room, the TV room, on his bed..... even in front of the computer.

I was giddy.... excited... surprised!! My boy is reading. Yeah!

When he finished book one.... he started right away on book two... Yes, these books have been in our book shelf for a couple of years. Sitting there... not being read.
Brady couldn't put this book down. He was soooooooo excited about the story, surprised at the twists, surprised that he couldn't figure it out...

He has been begging to tell me all about it. But, I don't want him to - because I need to read them.

He told me that he finally understands my need to talk to someone about the Twilight books when I was reading them.

The BEST thing is that my Brady is FINALLY a READER!! Yippee!! I think that once you get the bug - you never lose your desire to be lost in a book.

I came home to a note on the kitchen counter:

Mom, I finished book 2 today. Please go to the store and pick up the next one.

Aaaaahhh -- how cute is that?

We went to the store and picked up the next two.
Thank you Brandon Mull for making my son a READER!
Maybe I will be able to get him to read Harry Potter or Twilight.... A mom can only hope.
Isn't it amazing that my smart cookie - hasn't been a reader??

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dairy Day Parade

The great thing about living in a small town are the little parades. In the spring they have the "Dairy Day Parade", in the Winter we have a Holiday Parade with Santa, In the fall they have a Scarecrow Festival and they even have a movie night at the park each weekend in the summer - all these fun family activities for free! I really enjoy living in Meridian and the small town atmosphere it has.

I live in the downtown area of our dear little town and can walk to all of these wonderful events (minus the movie night). I can even sit in my back yard and enjoy the fireworks during the 4th of July celebration. Pretty cool!

This year I invited my Niece Robyn who lives in Nampa to come and watch the parade with us. It is much more exciting when you watch the parade with little children. Robyn has three little children.

She almost didn't make it because the police blocked off all entrances to my house. I told her to tell them that she lived here and the mean old police wouldn't let her through on Locust Grove and Pine. Luckily there was a nicer police officer who let her come at Franklin and 3rd East. I posted a comment about this on Meridian City's facebook site and they got back to me. Hopefully they will speak to the Police officer who was soooo mean - maybe he will have better commonsense and let residents to their houses - sheesh!

Anyway... she made it. It was a rainy day - a rainy parade. We loaded up with our umbrellas and set off to the parade. Her little boy, Colt, Robyn my niece, Jayden and Halle. Such a cute little family. Her husband was traveling back from Pocatello and couldn't join us - his name is Jason.
At the beginning of the parade we get FREE chocolate milk - the best way to begin the DAIRY DAY PARADE - woo hoo... Colt, Jayden and Halle showing us their yummy milk.
I had to get a picture of Brady drinking his chocolate milk.
We made out with tons of candy for the kids and 3 Dairy Day Parade shirts that they were throwing out to the crowd. Robyn got one for her and her husband Jason. This is Brady's Dairy Day T-Shirt. This is the front of the T-Shirt.
The back of the shirt --- Have you had your 3 today?
I took tons of pictures of the parade. This is the genie and his flying carpet.
The camel.. The legs moved back and forth as it marched forward along the parade route.
Lots of cows. The paint was running on this poor cow - from the rain. A cow truck!
Pulling a cow family and their cute barn.
It's all about milk - for strong bones! We need to "fuel" our bodies with Moo Juice!
Plastic bag wrapped drill team.. Kinda funny -- but a least the show went on!
I had to post this picture because I caught my umbrella in the photo. I'm melting, I'm melting... OK - wrong story... :-)
Along the parade, they also gave cheese string and coupons... Lots of coupons. Halle, Jayden and Colt received a squeeze ball from the Red Cross, a mini Frisbee from a bank (I think) and TONS of candy. They certainly got a bunch of fun things - here they are holding their sacks fun of yummy things!
Colt enjoying a sucker from his sack.
There were clowns - two silly clowns on a trampoline. Quite talented in a silly way!
Gymnast too! I love how these talented girls walked on balance beams, did the bars... even little boys doing the horse. Oh... I don't know all the names of the things they did - but it was wonderful to watch. There were several floats with equipment on them and gymnasts.
Around and around this girl went! They tied their hands to the bar - for safety. Just what you would need on a rainy slippery day is a girl flying off into the crowd. Yikes! and such bravery!
The Democrats had a pretty cool float.
Did I mention it was a Dairy Day parade - tons of Cows!
A cat chasing a block of cheese.
Pizza has cheese on it!
This was really cute... their were about 10 of these little cows hooked together. A cow train.

It was a long parade - more then an hour and a half. Which was long - starting at 7PM and we left at 8:30 because children needed to go to the bathroom. I don't think we missed much... Sometimes they give out ice cream and we may have missed that... But no big deal - we had ice cream sandwiches at my house for the kids.

It was a fun time - even though it rained. I am really glad that Robyn, Halle, Jayden and Colt could come and watch the parade with Brady and me. We had a great time! Thanks Robyn!

Hallee was brave enough to sit on my lap - which kept the chill away.
A side note..... Jason and Sharon were invited to the parade and were even at my house. They were afraid of a few rain drops and stayed home. Too bad for them!! But, Jason barbcued some awesome steaks for us, Sharon made asparagus and baked potatoes. Dinner was waiting for us at the end of the parade. It really was a wonderful evening!


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