My Family

My Family

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summertime growing

I love my flowers during the summertime. Admittedly, I'm really bad at keeping flowers and other plants growing inside of my house.
Exibit A: a rose bush and ivy...

But, during the spring and summer, I'm a genius outside! (Although, the most that I do is ask Rick to make sure the sprinkling system is on the flower beds, and then go out and pluck off the dead flowers). So, perhaps "genius" isn't quite the word to use.

Exhibit B: Yummy flowers galore!

Beautiful, right? Oh, and here is my attempt at growing tomatoes (I've already eaten several!)...

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "The Earth Laughs in Flowers". If that's true, then my garden is a comedy club!

Monday, July 27, 2009

My New Favorite Quote...

"My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am." ~Anonymous

This is Cocoa, my Chocolate Lab - she LOVES me!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Health, Wellness, and Relationships Expo

I'm selling tickets to the Health Wellness, and Relationships Expo, being held next Saturday night, August 1st, at the Larry Miller Campus. (9750 S. 300 W. - Sandy, Utah (West of I-15). It will be held from 6:30-10:00 pm that night. It features the following: Dr. John Lund, Justin Williams (American Idol finalist),
Dr. Cliff Dunston, John Canaan and the One Voice Children's Choir. They'll be speaking on "The Way to a Man's Heart - The Way to a Woman's Heart - How to Keep Superman Flying and the Queen Reigning" (presented by John Canaan), and "Take a Look at Your Heart" - analysis of the #1 challenge in relationships: "Hints." (presented by Dr. John Lund). There will be lots of give-aways, demonstrations, learning, inspiration and encouragement for your life and relationships. It's a great date night for couple and families. The best part is that I'm selling tickets for HALF PRICE - just $10.00 each. And the really great part is that $9 of each ticket sell will go to Relay for Life Cancer walk I'm doing the night before - for cancer research! I'm really excited that John Canaan gave me this opportunity. I've got 75 tickets, so first come, first served. ;-) I hope to see many people at the cancer walk and at the concert that night. Email me if you want tickets: nafari01 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Great-Niece Cambria Kirkpatrick

Today, my nephew, Nathan, is getting married to his beautiful fiance, Haley. This is their sweet little girl. Congratulations cute family!

There is a reason...

You just never know when good things will happen to you. Last Saturday, I participated in the I Heart Utah Festival. They were expecting 10,000 people and got about 125. Yep. 125 people! It was sooooo hot and depressing. All the vendors were annoyed. At around 5:00 pm I decided that I'd call it a day. I just didn't want to stay another 2 hours. Then, Rannette - the Cherish Bound consultant who was sharing my booth - said we had toughed it out all day long, we should stay until the end. So we did. And the most amazing things happened...
1. I met a lady who had a booth next to mine. She thought our business sounded interesting and I'm going to go and do a gathering at her house for her and 5 daughters!
2. One of her daughters was there with her and just happened to be a teacher. I told her about the I'm An Author program for schools, and she is super excited about it. She is going to talk to her principal about having me come and teach it.
3. 2 other people came to talk to me about I'm An Author. One lady wants me to do it in the private school her kids go to. The other guy is going to convince his mother (who is a teacher) that she can't live without it!
4. I met another vendor who was promoting a concert. She offered us a booth (one of only 6) at a very reduced price, gave us 50 tickets to sell for full profit, and when she found out about my cancer, she gave me another 50 tickets to sell at the cancer walk - we get to keep all the proceeds. Incredible.
5. And last, but not least, I met a family who travels to Guatemala every 8 weeks. I told them about Four of Hearts Foundation and they are so excited to help us do fundraising and help us when we go down to Guatemala.

You just never know when cool things are going to happen. I feel like there was a reason I signed up for this festival, a reason I got a partner to help with the booth, a reason we stayed late, and a reason we met all of these people. I love it when cool things happen!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Heart Utah Festival - July 18th, 2009

The I Heart Utah Festival is this weekend, friends! It will be held at Thanksgiving Point and is FREE to everyone! That's right, I said FREE! Please join me there - and look for my Cherish Bound booth. Drop by to say hi and enter our drawing for free product and a free writing workshop for you and your friends!

Thanksgiving Point is sponsoring this fun-filled day, with over 100 vendors. Businesses include health and wellness, travel and tourism,sports and recreation, home and garden, businesses catering to women,preparedness, education, 'Greening" Utah, arts and entertainment, and there will also be a Farmers Market!

From the press release:

Throughout the day attendees can walk the Festival grounds including theme areas: (1) Pink Street sponsored by Window Fashions with vendors catering to women, (2) Green Street sponsored by Utah Valley University including businesses and organizations that focus on 'green living' and taking care of Utah, (3) Red, White, & Blue Street hosted by Vyking Entertainment representing businesses throughout Utah with a patriotic theme, (4) Kids Korner sponsored by Sunshine Generation of Utah County with businesses catering to children including numerous inflatables from Goose Jumps, (5) Sports Park sponsored by Supa Fly Mobile Detailing and representing local sports and recreation organizations, (6) Front Parking Lot sponsored by Fun
Share Rentals including boats, ATV's, motorcycles and a Utah Trikes demo, (7) and a Farmers Market reflecting Utah cuisine, food and beverage as well as local artists and crafters. Additional activities and displays include a karaoke contest at the Talent Quest booth, hang gliding display by Wings over Wasatch, a sailboat from Bonneville School of Sailing, a helicopter by Universal Helicopter, and an airplane from UVU Aviation plus many more prizes, activities, demos, and education at over 100 "I Heart Utah" vendor and informational booths. All Festival attendees can visit the information and prize booth to vote for their favorite Utah businesses and sign up to win a number of prizes throughout the day including our grand prize courtesy JetBlue Airways. A full day of entertainment will be available on Ebay's Green Stage which is powered entirely by the sun and captured by Green Tow's mobile solar power trailer. Entertainment includes local artists and musicians (Shaun
Barrowes, Jarrett Burnes, Justin Williams, Ryan Innes), performances by the Talent Quest karaoke competition winners, dance performances, and even performing dogs trained by Arrow Kennels Dog Training.

WOW! Talk about a day that is PACKED FULL of fun and information! The festival opens at 10:00 and runs all day long. There will be Krispy Kreme donuts at the opening, while supplies last. And, check this out: The first 5,000 Festival attendees will also receive a pearl necklace courtesy of SWEET!

See you this Saturday - the 18th of July. Bring your family and friends.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Missionary Work

Today we attending the "homecoming" report of one of Grant's friends, Brady Rice. He gave a great talk. He brought up one of the young men he baptized in Taiwan and had him bear his testimony. It was incredible hearing a testimony in another language and being able to feel the love he has for the gospel and the faith that he has developed - all of this despite me not understanding the language. Brady talked about the fact that there is really only one thing that is important in life. That is working on perfecting ourselves and sharing the gospel with others, so we may all return to Heavenly Father. Hmmmm. That sounded like more than one thing, but anyway...

I helped my oldest son, Grant, and his friends keep in touch throughout their missions (there were 28 of them!) with a monthly newsletter. When I was diagnosed with cancer and got sick, I stopped doing a monthly newsletter and have only done one or two here and there. It's always made me feel bad - like I let them down, or something. Like I left something really important undone. But, today, after officially "meeting" a few of those from the newsletter who had returned, I'm feeling a little bit better about it. A few of them reassured me that during the first year, it was such an important thing to them, but during the second year, they were ok. They were so involved in the important things they were doing in their own little areas of the world. They didn't really need that support as much, I guess. That's good. I hate leaving things half done. It was such a privilege to have participated in their lives for that short amount of time. I love every one of those guys. They are such a great group of men and such a blessing in Grant's life and our lives.

So, today, another mission "era" starts (or actually, continues). One of Michael's best friends, Garrett, opened a mission call to Brazil! His other really good friend, Stuart, is right now in the MTC. And Michael is working hard to prepare to turn his papers in and go on a mission.

I love missionaries and mission work. Because of missionary work, we now have a connection to the people of Japan! Who would have ever thought that would happen? What a privilege to be the mother of these young men. Such choice spirits. Such strong convictions. Such faith. It humbles me.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yesterday we were invited to go with my parents, boating at Jordanelle. We had never been there and we were excited to go. My parents have had this boat for probably 10 ten years, and we normally go up to their place at Flaming Gorge, but since they sold it, we haven't really been boating. I have many fond memories off being all together, with my sister's family, boating and playing on the beach. We had so much fun yesterday! That was probably one of my top 3 favorite times we've been boating. Rick had a blast trying to stay on the tube (my dad LOVES to try to dump the riders) - he even taunted Grandpa by getting on his knees and "riding" the tube like a cowboy. Of course, he got dumped! Alex rode and rode and rode that tube. He was so exhausted, he could hardly pull himself back up on the tube after Grandpa dumped him. During his last ride, Alex stayed on the tube, even though Grandpa was trying his hardest to make him fall off. During his ride, he decided to taunt Grandpa by flipping around and riding backwards. It was so funny. Of course, he got dumped! Matthew was hilarious. He would try to get on the tube (from the back of the boat) while Rick would steady it, but he was so worried about telling Grandpa to go "only 5 miles an hour" that he'd forget to grab the handles, and he'd flip the tube over and land in the water. He would do this 4 or 5 times before he could finally stay on. It was SO funny. We were all laughing so hard - Grandpa had to hold his stomach and couldn't sit up straight! I just remember Matthew saying "Grandpa, only go 5 miles an hour, I'll know if you go faster!" You'll see pictures of all of this when you watch the slide show. Grandpa wants to sell their boat and we really don't want them to. Maybe they had so much fun yesterday they won't sell it! I LOVE SUMMER!!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Book Review - "Discovery" Books

It's been quite awhile since I did a book review, so I think I'll do one today. I think I've explained before that I collect children's books - especially those that have incredible illustrations (of course, the contents are very important to me as well). My kids are all older now, and so in the last few years I've started to collect what I like to call "discovery" books. These really cool books focus on one topic, with pockets, loose pieces, pop-ups, etc. Some of my favorites are the "ology" books - Pirateology, Egyptology, Dragonology, Wizardology. They are all New York Times bestsellers. They are printed by Candlewick Press. LOVE these books. I probably love them more than my kids do! In fact, I use my kids as an excuse to buy the books, but they are really for me. The list price on these books is $19.99, but Costco quite often stocks these books and they are only around $10.00. That's an incredible deal, believe me.

I love these books for several reasons:
1. There is so much to look at and read. The pages are just full of hand-drawn pictures (even the borders of the pages are hand-drawn).
2. It's fun to open the envelopes and pull out the letters, maps, directions, etc. that are inside. It's like getting a little gift!
3. It brings fantasy to life. Some of the books look like journals - it makes them seem real.
4. Some of the books have real information - like the books on Egypt and Pirates. Some have make believe information - like the books on wizards and dragons. (I LOVE make-believe.)

Discovering every little surprise in these books is quite an adventure. I highly recommend these books. By-the-way, there are "ology" type books specifically for girls too - with subjects like Fairies. For obvious reasons, I've never bought any of these, so I don't know much about them. They are also found at Costco. There are others "discovery" books besides the "ology" collection. I have a total of eleven, I think. Here are some pictures, showing my entire collection.

The titles I have include: The Chronicles of Spiderwick, The Wandmakers, The Dragon Hunter's Handbook, Nephiteologist, Warriors, Pirate Soul, Knights, Disney's Pirates of the Carribean, Pirate, Wizardology, Egyptology, Pirateology, and Dragonology. There are a TON more in book stores.

Go and pick up one of these books and immerse yourself in another world. I know you'll love it as much as I do.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Watching fireworks - shot by my son, Grant

Taken from behind my rose bush - by my son, Alex

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lest We Forget...

Today I, like many others, am reflecting on the country I live in and the freedoms I enjoy. Although I am not happy with the current leaders and their unwise choices, I still love this country. And I know that it is a chosen country - one that will maintain it's freedom as long as the people are good and virtuous. I have, quite often of late, been dissatisfied with the direction our country is headed and have not hesitated to voice my opinions in front of my children. I know that childrens' ideas and opinion often mirror that of their parents. I know the importance of educating our children about this country. Noah Webster said: "Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country." I want my children to know the importance of freedom and liberty - how this country was founded on principles and values - and that it was founded, and remains free, by the grace of divine providence. Since I've been not too happy about the leaders of the country for quite some time now, I want my children to know that I still love this country. I still believe that we are blessed to live here. It is a great country - an incredible idea that was brought to fruition by a handful of incredible men. I'd like to share some of the founding fathers' ideas here...

"All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?"
--Benjamin Franklin, To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it."
--John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

"Here sir, the people govern."
--Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 17, 1788

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."
--Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781

"But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm... But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary."
--Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
--George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

"It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn."
--George Washington, letter to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, September 5, 1789

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader."
Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779

Here are my young sons - on a 4th of July many years ago. One of my favorite pictures:

Take time to reflect on the ideas of freedom and liberty today. Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Permanent Change...

Well, my oldest just moved out. It's happened before, but it wasn't really permanent. The first time he moved out it was only for the semester. The second time he moved out, it was for 2 years - out of the country - but he still came back. This time is the real thing. And I'm not ready. He's been home from his mission to Japan for 3 months. That's just not long enough for me (but plenty long enough for him, I'm sure). I had forgotten how much I enjoyed his sense of humor and his "know everything" approach to life. He makes me laugh. All the time. I did enjoy those 3 months. After waiting for 2 years to hear his voice say "Hi, Mom!" when he answered his cell phone, it's great to hear it again. I feel like going on a walk down memory lane, so here goes...

There's my little munchkin - on the left. What an incredibly cute little boy. Here is he now:

What an incredibly cute big boy. See, aren't you sad for me?!

Well, life goes on and so I guess it's cool that he is moving forward. Here a few words of wisdom for you, Grant...
1. Call your mom (that's me!) at least once a week (Dad did this the whole time we lived away from Utah - 12 years! Really.)
2. Eat. Don't forget. It's really important.
3. Don't stay up too late. You'll just regret it in the morning when you have to get to class.
4. Keep your apartment clean. If you don't, you'll get sick.
5. If you get sick, come home and I'll take care of you.
6. Come home (your real home) and visit once in a while. Bring your dirty laundry, and tell me how hungry you've been. I'll most likely take you grocery shopping for food.
7. Take some time to just relax. Play your guitar, watch a movie, or listen to music. RELAX.
8. Remember how important your friends are. Go and visit them. Often.
9. Remember how fun it can be to hang with your little brothers. Don't be a stranger.
10. Know that we love you and miss you. And, most importantly, you'll always have a place here at home.

Darn, it's so hard to say "so long" to your children (I mean, your young adults.) I'm lucky that he's so close though. (In distance and to me). So, although this is pretty much a permanent change, lots of good will come of it. Plus, it's good practice for when he really moves - away. Out of the country. Yeah. That one will be way harder to deal with. I should just thank my lucky stars he's still close by.

Grant, have a GREAT time! Ciao, baby!
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My Gorgeous Boys

My Gorgeous Boys