Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Surprise For You Daddy!

This is my mother riding a horse.

This is my sister Susie riding a horse.

This is my big brother David riding a horse.

Uh yah, this is Lou Lou and I "riding" the fence. I asked my father(hi daddy)why we never learned how to ride a horse. He said we were never interested.


Who do you think that foot in the stirrup belongs too?

And look at my friend Dixie. And look how low to the ground those cows are. And look at that grey ear?

Yep, you can only get shots like that if you are sitting on a horse! I have been keeping a secret. Since living here, I have admired those people, cowboys, ranchers, kids, rodeo folks, who can ride a horse like it is second nature for them. I have always enjoyed rodeos and I love driving on the highway and having to slow down for the people on horses as they round up their cattle to move to greener pastures. Ask my kids. Everytime I see it or drive by I always comment. I just love it. So I asked my friend Dixie if she would teach me how to ride and she didn't even hesitate, she just said yes!

Dixie first took me to an inside arena so I would feel more comfortable with an enclosed area. That was only the one time and now I can ride in the wide open spaces of southern Alberta. I love it! One day she called me to help her bring in a cow to a corral with foot rot. A few days later we went riding for fun on her property and found a cow with prolapse(that was an interesting site), and this morning she called to help her bring a bull in. It needed to be seperated from the female herd.

You know why this video is short and very bumpy right? Because riding a horse is not second nature to me yet, and I had a hard time taking a video and holding on the reins.

I bet your heart is just so full of happiness huh? And I think a shot of father and daughter riding horses together is a must. What do you say? This fall?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Time For an Update

Michelle's room. She has been moved in for almost a month now. Isn't she a lucky duck? She loves her room and we do too. We have a new(to us)card game called speed so we will go to her room, sit on the carpet,and play cards. It's fun. One of the best things about her being in her room and being so close to moving in, is that she feels like she can invite her friends over. It has been a long time coming and the time has arrived where she can entertain.
Yep, you are seeing right! That would be carpet in Mark's office. We carpeted the dining area with the same carpet too. Our bedroom should be finished tomorrow and the stairs on Friday!!!!

I suppose this is self explanatory. What is not explanatory is that somebody, not sure who exactly, put all the oulet boxes about 3 inches too low. So no backsplash until that little job of moving them up gets done.

The wood floor and all the tile in the laundry and back entry way is in also. We are SO almost in!!!! Sorry there is no picture of the wood floor. I did take one but it was so shadowy that you couldn't even see it. I will take one soon when the lighting is better and the dust is off the floor. Soon, I promise!

Michelle and Julia

Julia is Michelle's best friend. She is from California and was in our stake. For Christmas she was given a trip to visit Michelle so she cashed in on her present and visited last week. The visit was too short, but the girls managed to keep themselves pretty busy. They have the best time together.

These photos were taken behind the above Prince of Wales hotel in Waterton Park. Nope,the Prince of Wales never even stayed there. Go figure!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July 17, 2006

Can you believe that it was two years ago that we crossed the border and began our home building journey? These last two years have been, well, you know. We have had all kinds of thoughts and feelings, but never seriously doubted the move. It is has been one of those kinds of experiences where you have to go back in time and remember what brought you to this place and experience and just remember "how you felt" when the decision to move here was made and under what circumstances. It is easy to get discouraged and then say to yourself that this was a dumb move and nothing is going right so maybe this was a bad idea. " No, just remember how you felt" and keep moving ahead. So that is what we have been doing for the past 730 (ouch) days!

But look! There is a rainbow overhead!

We have been feverishly working on "getting in" this month and it looks like it just might happen. Now, I didn't say the house would be finished, just that we would be moving in. Michelle has been in her room for almost two weeks now. The lucky duck. We wanted her to be in before Julia comes for a visit so there would be more room and more plesant circumstances. Neal's room just needs his baseboards on, but he has been sleeping in his room the last few nights.

The reason why things are finally getting close is that we had a great phonecall on Sunday evening. We had a man working for us in December, but in January he took a job as the head maintenance man at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton so his time with us ended. We were disapointed but what can you do? Hire somebody else right? Easier said than done. So what was the phonecall about? He quit the PW and is working for us FULLTIME! He comes at 9 every morning, works hard, and then you know what he says just before he leaves for the day? You will never guess. He says, "Well, I will see you tomorrow". And guess what? He comes back! He has been here 4 days and this is what he has done.
1. Downstairs bathroom is tiled and grouted
2. Laundry room is grouted
3. Granite laid in the kitchen
4. The gas fireplace is ready to go
5. Odds and ends taken care of

Our electrician has been here two times this week(he has a full-time job so he comes after work for a few hours)and installed Michelle's ceiling fan, light switches,bathroom lighting and the pendants over the island.

And today's agenda? You will never guess.....the wood flooring!!!!!

The only thing we need is our hot water. Our plumber has been out town, but he is back now.

The best thing of all? It is warm and sunny!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Moroni's Quest

Mark,Michelle,and I are back from our stake youth activity, Moroni's Quest. It was a four day event which started last Friday at 6:45am and ended at noon on Monday. Our stake puts this on every four years and this year was the third time. I believe it started with a couple from the area who wanted to create an activity where the Book of Mormon comes alive.

We started with a bus ride to a designated stop where each "tribe" was to build a travoi to carry the needed items for the long day ahead of walking. Let me back up-before heading out, there was a re-enactment of Lehi telling his family that they were to leave their home and travel into the wilderness. We built our travoi and headed out as tribes but after about a mile we were told that we needed to go back and get the plates, and of course, there was murmuring.
When we reached the starting point each tribe found a stack of Book of Mormons, one for everyone. I think you get the idea. The whole weekend was full of re-enactments and hands on activities. Mark and I were tribe leaders which meant that after most re-enactments we gathered with our tribe to discuss the event and then try to apply it to their own lives and how each could learn from it. There were over 26 re-enactments and about 20 discussions with our tribe. Over the last 6 months all of the tribe leaders from the stake had training meetings so we could get familiar with the events and particular scriptures surrounding them and as you know, we had to wear our costumes to most of them.

There were 18 tribes with a couple as tribe leaders and 10-11 kids in each tribe. The tribe leaders were to come up with a tribe name, a flag, and trinkets for 4 of the discussions of our choice. We decided on the Mohanrites because we have a personal connection. Let me explain. Reynolds Cahoon was a close and personal friend of Joseph Smith and one Sunday after the birth of his son, Reynolds Cahoon asked Joseph Smith, who happened to be walking by if he could give their baby and name and a blessing. In that blessing, the baby was given the name of Mohanri Moriancumer, which was the first time the name of The Brother of Jared was revealed. So we thought the Mohanrites would be a fun name. We had to also come up with a tribe trinket so we came up with a light clearish stone like the Brother of Jared used to light up the 8 barges. The trinkets that we added to the necklaces were, small chains for Abinadi, a small gold ball for the Liahona, an arrow head, and a picture of Christ in a tiny picture frame charm. We would give these out during the appropriate discussion. Some of the kids loved them, some of them could take them or leave them. Mark and I each had a necklace as well, so if any of the kids lost their trinkets and wanted another one we handed ours over which we were glad to do. Here is Mark's necklace minus the arrowhead.

The land that we used for Moroni's Quest was a quarter section (165 acres I believe)that belonged to a Bishop from the stake. This land was prepared with a camp kitchen, a ton of newly built picnic tables,new bridges, and a stage with a wooden backdrop for videos and some of the re-enactments. They also had plenty of porta- pottys around. I don't want to lessen the impportance of this activity, but to see these things around in such a picturesque setting was too much of a temptation for me. This land was dedicated for this purpose. Two other stakes will use this same place for their Moroni's Quest in the next couple of weeks. There was the girls/leaders camping area at one end and the boys/leaders camping area across the way with seperate areas set up for each ward to have get togethers at night for treats and testimony meetings Sunday night.

The weather was fairly warm and hotter as the days went by but do you think this California girl complained even one bit? My motto was "bring it on"! And because it was so hot and dusty from all the walking and sitting in the sun for discussions and various events, I was dirty and after 2 days of no showers my hair was pretty gross. So you know what I did? I washed my hair in the creek. Yah, I bent down, got my hair wet, put on the shampoo and rinsed it good. It felt pretty darn nice. The best thing was though, was that I did something new.......since living here there has been alot of that for me.

We had such a good tribe, with such great kids and so fun to be around. Some were quiet,a couple of them leaders, some maybe struggling with different things, but they were all respectful, attentive, polite, and open to the spirit, which there were plenty of opportunities to feel it.

We had war re-enactments, about 6 of them. The favorite one was when one group was assigned to be the Lamanites and the other group the Anti Nephi Lehi's. The Lamanites were instructed to ,of course,run towards the Anti Nephi Lehi's and "kill" them with the their weapons.(see 1st picture). The Anti Nephi Lehi's were instructed to drop their weapons when the Lamanites were a certain distance away, drop to their knees and pray. You can't even imagine the over whelming feeling that came over us, over me, over the Lamanites. It was very powerful.

There was wicked King Noah who declared Abinadi put to death.Some of the re-enactments were pre recorded so as Abinadi was burning his "voice" was trembling and obviously in pain as he continued teaching. The kids were silent.
We also had Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty.And King Benjamin.

This is Amalakiah leading an army to destroy the Nephites, but as you can see there is a fortification there to stop them. You can't tell from this picture but when the army reached the fortification they were blasted with water blasters.

The best part of the weekend was on Sunday morning. We all gathered and were instructed to blind fold our eyes. We then listened to about 5-7 minutes of destruction and then complete silence. It seemed to go on for a very long time. We then took off our blind folds and there on the backdrop was a huge painting of the Cardston Temple along with music playing. Nobody was talking, everybody was silent because they knew what was coming. From behind us, "Christ" appeared from the brush. I can not describe the feelings that we all felt and the site we all witnessed. "Christ" was walking among us, at the beginning touching people and hugging others, but after awhile everybody wanted a hug from Him. Some people, adults and kids alike, went to Him for a second hug and embrace. There was music playing, which for me, always adds the spirit. As He hugged these kids, He called them by name and told them He loved them. We all knew it was not real, but with the spirit that was there, it might as well have been Jesus Christ himself! These kids experienced something life changing and unforgetable. I wish I could put this into words better.

After this event we took a short 10 minute walk to the place designated for Sacrament Meeting. An alter had been built for the priests to bless the sacrament and the teachers passed. After Sacrament was over we then had another discussion and another war and then the conclusion when Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith , where he then took the plates out of the ground and walked away. Then our stake presidency said some parting words and a blessing to each of us. They also each greeted us and bid us farewell individually as we walked back to camp. Our ward and another took the bus back to the Mountain church where we started and left our vehichel Friday. Mark picked up the truck but I wasn't ready for the weekend to be over so I stayed on the bus for another 10 minutes or so and I am glad I did. I realized something through my tears. A thought came to me almost 2 years to the day when we moved here and driving with all of our belongings. A soon as we passed the border I just wanted to be by myself and get geared up for the changes. And the closer I got to our new home (my in-laws) I didn't want to stop. I thought that if I didn't stop at the house and just kept on driving that maybe the move wasn't really happening. I just wasn't ready to leave the past. I felt that same way on the bus coming home from Moroni's Quest. I just wanted the bus to keep going and never stop because then the past would never be the past. I loved our weekend as tribe leaders and I felt like I finally had something that was ours(mine)that hasn't been for a very long time and I wasn't ready to give it up just yet. So you can probably guess that this week has been emotional for me.

Mark and I wonder why we were asked to be tribe leaders, but we are so glad we were. I have been to others youth conferences many times and have always enjoyed them and the testimony meetings at the end of the weekends were always the greatest, but to have this weekend where we learned more about the Book of Mormon, felt the spirit so many times, and our testimonies strengthened was, without a doubt one of the highlights of my life. When we picked Brad up from his mission in December it was such a great experience and I still tear up when I mention how great the trip was. And I know that Moroni's Quest will do that to me as well.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

O Canada!

Today is Canada Day. Cardston always has a celebration with entertainment,food,and jolly jumps which means it is a fun family event. And at 11 pm the fireworks go off.

Here are a couple of videos of some native dances. Cardston borders the Blood Indian Reserve so they are involved in a lot of festivities. The first dance is the Jingle dance because this young girl has jingle type things sewn onto her costume.

The next dance is the hoop dance which is depicting the creation. I only posted the ending of the dance. At the start of ther dance the dancer lays out quite a few small hoops and throughout the dance he picks them up with his feet and adds to the others. It was pretty interesting.

Now for a special treat...........Laurel is singing one of my favorite songs. It reminds me of my mother although I am not quite sure. It just takes me back to a happy time during my youth I suppose. I have a lot of songs that do that to me.

Summer theater opens tomorrow night so the full time cast performed some numbers from each of the three shows. I'm telling you, these productions are great with talent that is amazing. Every show is great and there is something for everyone. I think you should plan a trip up here and see for yourself.

Sorry you have to kink your neck to see this correctly. There was a man up front, totally in the way, and I didn't want him in the video.