Tag Archive | vacation

More weather

We took a quick trip down to Las Vegas this last weekend.  On the way there we got a call telling us to be careful because there was a severe thunderstorm in progress, and if we hit the thunderstorm we needed to pull off the road.  I checked the internet, and yes, a severe storm was in progress, with multiple flash floods in effect.  They were set to expire about the time we rolled into town, so we went anyway – and had no problems.  We could see the lightning from the storm most of the way, but all it did was provide some entertainment.

On the way home the next day, we were driving north, and apparently the storm had made its way that direction as well.  As we approached the narrow pass through the mountains we realized that we had caught up with the cell, and just off to our right we could see the cloud just dumping a ton of water to the ground.  We began to worry that we would be caught in the narrow, winding roads just when the rain hit and flash flood conditions while we were in the river valley.  Fortunately, although we could see that portion just beside us, the bulk of the storm passed just to the east of the pass and we got a total of about 10 drops of water!  Phew.  We arrived home to see that the majority of the storm had reached home before us.  We had a wet lawn, a blown down fence, a minor mudslide that took out our dutch oven pit, and the power had gone out, but at least we were not caught in the canyon with that type of downpour!


Travel Guidance

As I was driving around in this nasty heat, my mind went back to a few years ago when we had decided to take a small vacation in July.  We decided to travel to a favorite vacation spot about 2 hours away.  On the way there our car decided to break down.  We had just put a new engine in and should have been good to go, but no.  An hour into the two hour drive through nothing but desert we were stranded on the side of the freeway.  Fortunately we did have some cell phone coverage, and fortunately we also had towing coverage on our vehicle.

That day it was also extremely hot, and with the vehicle dead we could not get the air conditioning going while we were waiting the hour and a half for the tow truck to get out to us.  For some reason, on that particular trip, we couldn’t find our blue ice, so we had decided to bring an ice chest full of cold and frozen water bottles, and several large jugs full of ice.  Definitely overkill for a two hour trip.  We were able to keep everyone relatively cool and hydrated, (including several young children and a nursing infant) and avoid any heat related problems.  I have often looked back on that experience and considered the atypical choice to bring so much frozen water with us a miracle.  It is entirely possible that it may have even saved the life of our young child.  Not only were we fortunate to have the water with us that day, but they were able to tow us all the way to a shop within walking distance of our hotel, and the repair turned out to be rather minor.


The line "Y en tus hermoso olivares,"...


I’m going through some audio tapes from 1984, when we spent Easter in the Holy Land.  I was going to upload a clip of the audio, but it won’t let me.  Here is a rough transcription. It is a recording from Daniel Rona, recorded with permission for personal use.




“Gethsemane (on Mt. Of Olives)= vineyard, or orchard where wine is pressed. Geth = garden Sheme = oil, or stuff you squeeze out. How do you recognize a wine press person – feet and clothing stained red.




Read from scriptures. (matthew – 8 verses) Most significant thing that has ever happened. The public part, happened at the rock quarry. The crucifixion was a public atonement – for everyone. Gethsemane not for everyone, only for those who take advantage of it through repentance.


Here the Savior suffered for our sins (and we say it much to easily.) We are basically good people trying to do the best we can, and we can’t even stand in for our own children, and we can’t take away their hurts, or our own. He even atoned for those trying to be wicked. We don’t have comprehension what he went through that night. Story – Elder Faust. He stood under these trees and said, “I’ve been here before.” He felt so unworthy when he was called to the quorm of the 12, that he was in actual pain, and felt he couldn’t do it. He hurt like he never hurt before. Pres. Kimball replied that they understood, because they had all gone through it. He was trying to explain that this was like the cup being pressed to his lips. He did not have to drink it. He felt he had been to Gethsemane before. It takes a long time for us to come close to comprehending what the Savior went through, just because of who we are. I’m grateful for it, I want it. He said “Repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, .and your sufferings be sore, how hard to bear, etc.” Find scripture


He hurt so much that night that he bled from every pore of his body. What did he look like? D&C 46? Who is this, who cometh down. 133: “He shall say, I am he . . . red in his apparel. The sun shall hide his face in shame. Etc


With this horrendous experience, he came down and found the disciples asleep. As he arrived he told them to sleep, then told them to wake and said He is at hand who will betray me, and the multitude, of Jewish policemen, came. Judas kissed him. Scripture. Can you imagine the man whose ear was put back on, explaining how he arrested Christ? Scripture reprieving Peter. Scripture reprieving them for abducting him at night. It is illegal, according to Jewish law to arrest someone at night, unless you catch him in the very act. And they came with swords and staves to take him. It was a full moon, significant night, the night before most people would celebrate the deliverance of the People of Israel out of Israel, and look forward to a deliverer, to live again, that he paid for our mistakes. It was so much that he bled from every pore. That night he paid for our mistakes so that we wouldn’t have to. We have to pay for our mistakes in another way. We have to only by stopping them, replacing them with blessings for others”





Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Zion National Park (Photo credit: Markusnl)

Zion National Park in Utah

The Virgin River Narrows The Virgin River Narrows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zion National Park

Zion National Park (Photo credit: Markusnl)

Collared lizard in Zion National Park, Utah

Collared lizard in Zion National Park, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today my daughter is going on a field trip to Zion National Park, in southern Utah.  It is a spectacular and beautiful place to visit.  Very peaceful and full of nature.

There is so much to see, and there is something for everyone.  One person may visit Zions and see a bird haven.  Another may see simply a desert.  Yet another may want to analyze the geology of the area.  Any way you enjoy the view, stop and give thanks to God for the sheer beauty and wonder of it all. For me, there is almost too much to learn in a beautiful place like this.

Here are some fun links to the official site.  Anyone who is homeschooling, or even if you just have time on the weekend to spend with your family, they now have virtual tours, e-hikes, and live webcams.  Even though we live relatively close, I think we will still enjoy some of the more exotic reaches of the park virtually!  Amazing multimedia for an amazing piece of land.


e-hike   (enjoy panaramic 360’s, nature views & sounds, experience advanced climbs, experience a beautiful sunrise, etc. , but don’t leave your seat!)

Tour with a ranger

Live WebcamsEnglish: Zion Canyon at sunset in Zion Nationa...

Not Messed Up

Okay, over my 16 or so years of having children in school, a messed up schedule or missing lunch account, overbooked required class, wrong locker combination, or lost registration is almost to be expected at least once at the beginning of school, with at least one child.  We call it a good year if everything is straightened out by the first day of school.

School starts early here (in 6 days) and I think we are good.  My pre-schooler is registered online, and in the classroom and his online account is working.  My 2 elementary kids have their teachers and classrooms and even one of their before school programs set up.  My middle schooler & high schooler have complete and accurate schedules – the first time – didn’t even need to see a counselor this year.  Locker numbers and combinations all work.  Seminary is registered for properly.   School lunches for all of them are in order.  We have bus numbers and bus stop times and locations.  We have even school clothes and backpacks ready.

My 2 college kids have all their classes, and have both met with their counselors.  Transcripts and diplomas are finally where they need to be.  Financial aid appears to be in order.  One child is waiting for 1 overdue textbook in the mail, and the other still needs to sell one back.  Other than that all they need are teacher texts that have to be purchased at the school.  They have a little longer before they start, but they’re still mostly packed.


Classroom (Photo credit: James F Clay)

Even piano lessons appear to be coming together early this year, and working out well.

I’m not sure if it is more amazing that everything went so smoothly, or that it is finished so early, or just that I lived through it all!


Pioneer Trivia

"Pioneers Crossing the Plains of Nebraska...

Today we are celebrating the 24th of July.  Duh – that’s the date.  Actually in Utah it is more like the state day where we celebrate the pioneers who crossed the plains and settled in the Salt Lake Valley.

In honor of their sacrifices and all they went through to settle the new frontier I thought I’d find and share some earth shattering story of hope and faith.  I started reading a few of the journals that were kept on the trail.  Rather than some incredible story, I found a funny, everyday trivia to share.

As these wagon trains crossed the plains, they took inventories of supplies and people. We often ask ourselves what we would take if we had to cross the plains with just a wagon – or worse hand cart only, and needing to account for the weight of everything we took.  What I didn’t realize was that they took their entire household.  I don’t mean just their wives and children, I mean also their cats, dogs, chickens, etc.  One wagon train alone took 81 chickens!  Almost 1 chicken for every two people!  No one bothered to put those in the pictures.

As a “modern” household who has chickens, I have a new appreciation for what it required to take a household full of chickens across the plains!  Wow!  I guess they really wanted those eggs.  I enjoy them, but I’ve never had to look at my small flock for food.  Totally different mindset.  Just a good reminder of the luxuries we enjoy.  Nothing miraculous, just some fun trivia!

Missing Miracles Even When Looking for Them!

English: JJS Karate kids during training at Ja...

I realized yesterday that I had overlooked a simple miracle Monday.  I woke up and had an idea in my head of something I needed to do with my kids.  It wasn’t a spectacular idea, but it was just what they needed.  Years ago we purchased a video series that taught basic karate skills and personal safety and discipline tips.  I realized Monday morning that my younger children needed to go through this series, and I knew exactly when and how to do it.  So, at 8am I pulled the youngest kids out of bed and started in.  Now that I have been doing it a couple of days, I am realizing how much they are going to benefit from this activity.

When I dedicate my life to my children I get the most awesome inspirations of how to help them.  The harder I look for success outside the home the less inspiration I receive.  Focusing on my family and children used to be the easiest thing for me, and my older children are turning out absolutely awesome!  I know I need to step back and do the same for my younger ones, but the pull to “fix” my husband’s poor track record of employment is SO distracting.

My children have been bored, undisciplined, unstructured, unchallenged, unmotivated, disrespectful, and generally lazy.  Sound pretty typical?  I was talking with a neighbor the other day and her child has gotten so bad she doesn’t even get out of bed in the summers and parents are both too busy working to do anything about it.  As a mother I don’t think I could let my children get to this point.  Typical families and typical children are simply not living up to their potential.

Anyhow, I digress.  As we get into our morning routine I am noticing how much my 4 year old is looking forward to his daily exercise.  I’m getting some daily exercise as well.  Already the pocking, hitting and tattling are beginning to decrease.  We still have a ways to go, but at least we are headed in the right direction.  I know I’m not a smart enough parent to always know what everyone needs, but I hope to be a faithful enough mother to always know how to help and how to raise them.

P.S.  FYI – the course we use is called “Good Kids Karate Kids” and it looks like it is no longer available except on e-bay.  The investment was well worth it as we can repeat with all our kids and it is so much cheaper than karate lessons for seven kids!  We love it.

Yesterday’s miracle came late at night.  An unexpected and unsolicited offer to invest in our business.  It doesn’t get much more amazing than that.  Now I need to do my part and pray about how to use this miracle.

Entire Week in One Post

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

The Christus Statue in the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The BYU Carillon stands as one of the landmark...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: N. Eldon Tanner Building (with additi...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

J. Reuben Clark Law School

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I have not forgotten about my need to blog a miracle daily, I just failed to make arrangements to be near the internet on my latest vacation.  I’m going to do some quick catch-up.

Thursday June 14th – attended the Williams Family Reunion.  Gave gratitude for family who worked so diligently to make it a memorable event.  Reflected on the miracles of modern travel that allowed family to attend from literally all corners of the nation.  Thought it was so cool to be able to watch videos of my grandparents with my children who were not even born when they passed.  I think that would be considered a miracle of technology working to establish the “Spirit of Elijah” in the hearts of my children.  Just because I can explain the technology does not mean that it is not a miracle.

Friday June 15th – Met with a BYU counselor to help my daughter refine her college major/minor and career focus.  I think it is miraculous that we were able to take this trip and were able to meet with the people we needed to.  Shanna is receiving exactly the help she needs when she needs it.  It was so fun to see her eyes light up when we spoke of her options.  As someone whose husband never received that help, and has been unable to find his “place in life,” I consider it a miracle that my children have such great prospects.  I have high hopes that the poverty of the parents will not curse the children yet another generation.  That will be a miracle worth seeing.  I also watched my older daughters take my younger children to tour campus as I worked to help with he wedding.  It is amazing to get a sneak preview of the abilities of the rising generation of mothers.

Saturday June 16th – Saw my sister get married.  Sure people get married every day, but this wedding was different.  Carrie has had a long wait for a husband.  Her life has been filled with unbelievable heartaches, tragedies, and loneliness.  Watching her be sealed, with her two sets of “in-laws” from her two murdered fiance’s, the veil was thin.  Today was a day of fulfilled promises and of rejoicing.  For Carrie and our family, there is no question that today was a miracle.

Sunday June 17th – A day of personal triumph.  Today was supposed to be the day that my husband and I separated.  I don’t know how I have found the strength to continue on in my trials and still stand by him.  It is still so hard to love him so much, and to still blame him for so much.  I know my children all love him unconditionally, despite their poverty.  What type of world do we live in where I am so tempted to destroy such a precious thing as a family who has great love, just because we can not find a way to make a living?  Les is not perfect, but none of us really are.  He never intends to hurt me or us, but the world does it for him every time I can’t afford basic clothes for the kids, or gas for the car, or even enough to keep the utilities on.  I am amazed every time he keeps trying anyway – and I know he always has.  Thanks to Mom and Dad for the cash they gave Les for Fathers Day.  We literally did not have enough to put gas in the car this afternoon, and here we are on a family vacation I did not want to go on.  I chose family over money this week, and I was sustained for another day.

Monday June 18th – Shanna lined up her housing for next school year.  I still don’t know how she has been blessed to afford college.  We are still trying to account for extra money in her bank account.  As she double checked her numbers again and again she found that she was able to sign her contract for a very nice apartment very close to campus.  I could tell that not having to settle for the cheapest dump out there was a relief for her.  She is being blessed with hope for her future and with the resources she needs.  I know the Lord loves her, and I know she is doing what she was sent here to do.

(BTW, because my husband was worried about me, he made arrangements to stay on vacation with us longer than he had planned.  Because he stayed longer he was also able to see Shanna’s apartment for the fall.  Not exactly a miracle, but a blessing for us, because Les really does love his daughter, and they were both so happy he could see it as well.)

Tuesday July 19th – The miracle for this day is simply the healing that has come this entire week with family.  We have had wonderful family get togethers with family who does not always really care about each other  I have been able to find a way to spend time with everyone that I needed to.  I have seen my children re-connect with cousins in a very positive way.  I have seen my husband forgive his father this week for years of hurt.  It may not be the opening of the Red Sea, but anyone who has struggled with family relationships may understand that healing of relationships is as miraculous as healing of bodies.

Wednesday July 20th – Two miracles today, possibly three.  When we stopped by Grandpa’s house to say good-bye, I was thrilled to be given the results of a late night and early morning of dedicated research from Doris.  She handed me her work on my cousin’s biological father’s genealogy.  I am excited to share that with her, but that will have to wait for another day.  Then as we headed home, Les got a series of phone calls that lined up enough work for us to be able to finish paying all of our bills for the rest of the month, and then a little.  Not a single call for work during our vacation, then everything we needed immediately when it ended.  The third miracle may involve the softening of a very hard heart.  It remains to be seen what happens with that one though.

Thursday July 21st – I came home and crashed.  Thanks to my VT partner who took the initiative anyway to make sure we got out and visited our sisters.  Heard some things I needed to hear.  The real miracle for the day though, is that Les had the energy he needed to go do a late night tune after coming home from a vacation.  Just a few months ago that would not have been physically possible because of his CFS and Fibermayalga.  He should have been bedridden today.

Almost caught up now.