Friday, November 7, 2008

Hiking to Donut Falls

I have fallen behind in blogging again. I am going to do my best to catch up on the big stuff. A few weeks ago we hiked to Donut Falls up Big Cottonwood Canyon. We all had a great time, but we will be sure to go a month or so earlier next year to be able to see leaf colors at their peak. Even though we went on Oct. 18th, the weather was beautiful!
The boys hiked with Dave up to the top of the falls. I stayed behind with the girls. The rocks were a little too treacherous for them.
I sure love hiking. In making a list of my 100 life goals, a lot of them centered around hiking. I hope we can hike more next summer. It can only get easier and easier now that our kids are getting older. The four oldest are great hikers. Lindsay still gets tired easily, and wants help. We warned her as we started that she is a big girl, and we weren't carrying her or giving piggy-back rides to her. She did great, but Donut Falls is a very short and easy hike.

At the bottom of the falls, there are a bunch of small rocks to traverse to get to an area to sit and relax. The kids always love to slip off and get their feet soaked!

I will be sure to plan at least 4 or 5 new hikes for next year!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jon Got His Mission Call!

The entire family has been waiting very impatiently for Jon's mission call to finally come. We knew it had been sent from church headquarters last week. My mom and dad were set to leave for Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 15th bright and early in the morning, so we were all crossing our fingers that they would still be around for this important event. I talked to my mom about 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14th, and she was pretty certain it wasn't going to come that day. She had talked to a post office worker that assured her that mission calls always came in on Thursday in Springville. Thanks goodness, it came! We all gathered at my parents' home in Springville to be with Jon as he opened his call.
He is going to the Chile Concepcion South Mission, and reports to the MTC on January 28th. I think he is really excited to be able to speak Spanish!
I am so excited for Jon! He is going to be an awesome missionary. I am so grateful for his example to my kids! He always shows genuine interest in them and always takes time to give them attention and play with them. We love you Jon and are so excited for you!

My Long Lost Brother

Chris came out to Utah this past weekend. It was really fun to see him, Cade, and Nathan. I had just talked to my dad a few days earlier where he mentioned how much Chris and I used to hang out together as kids. The funny thing, is I had just been thinking about that very same thing the day before.

Chris and I were the best of buddies growing up. I didn't hang out with Jared and Aaron nearly as much as I hung out with Chris even though he is 3 years younger than me. I loved being with Chris.

A few things we did together as kids: built forts, caught lizards, played pickle, swam in the pool, played marco polo, sat in the sauna, biked the neighborhood, collected junk from ravines in the neighborhood, swatted at bees, made trips to Thrifty for ice cream cones, called for rides back home so we didn't have to bike up the huge hill in Diamond Bar, boogie boarded at the beach, attended YMCA camps, played basketball and baseball, played pool, sang songs with the player piano, performed skits, imitated karate, shot bb guns, and went on a lot of long walks to explore. I wanted to post some pictures of us playing together as kids but I don't have sad!

I feel bad looking back over the last 20+ years that we haven't stayed as close as I would have liked to. As I got into high school, I started going to my dad's house for less and less time. I had my friends and sports I was involved in. I started becoming less and less close to Chris; not that I didn't love him, just that we didn't spend as much time together anymore.

I feel bad that my kids know Chris mostly as #76 of the Steelers. Lindsay refused to sit next to "that guy" to eat her banana split. I told her "that guy" was Nathan, her cousin. She obviously didn't believe me, because she went to sit next to her cousin Jacob instead. I am so happy for Chris and all his success. His wife, Jaimee, is awesome. I only wish his family lived a little closer so we could spend more time together. We all have our fingers crossed, that eventually, Chris and his family may move out to Utah.
Some things I love about Chris:
1. His laugh! Dave and I were talking about being excited for Chris to come visit so we could here him laugh. His laugh is a deep hearty laugh, that makes me smile ear to ear every time I hear it.
2. He is scared of so many things you wouldn't think a 300 pound football player would be scared of...everything from mice to strange sounds in the house. One of my favorite memories of Chris is on our family vacation to Lake Powell nine years ago. A mouse, or some rodent had climbed aboard our houseboat, and Chris was squealing his head off while standing up on a chair. It was so funny!
3. He is sensitive to so many things! Chris is not afraid to let his emotions show.
4. I love talking to Chris. He is so personable and is so easy to talk to.

I love you Chris! I am going to work harder at building an adult relationship with my little "big" brother.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jaron is 14!

Where in the world does time go? I can't believe my little boy is now 14 years old! I only have him 5 more short years until he leaves on his mission! Grandma and Grandpa Wakley and Goddard all came over for a little family party for Jaron.
This is Jaron's present from Lindsay. All the kids made him things.

Mmmm.... cheescake and ice cream.
A Few Things I Love About Jaron.....
1. He is a very good example to his younger brothers and sisters.
2. He always tells me thank you for dinner, and he never complains about what I make. If he doesn't particularly like something (mushrooms), he just moves them to the side of his plate.
3. He is very obedient. It is very nice to have such an awesome teenager.
4. He loves to tell me about all the things he did during the day, he asks lots of questions (of which most I don't know the answers to), and he is fun to talk to.
5. He looks out for other people, especially his siblings.
6. He is always up for playing a good board game or Dance, Dance Revolution.
7. He works really hard including doing well in school, scouts, and learning the clarinet. I never have to ask or tell him to practice the clarinet. He is constantly practicing just because he wants to improve.
8. He is working hard to develop a strong testimony of Jesus Christ. He works diligently to read his scriptures, and he is always so attentive in Sacrament meeting. All my other kids still love to color and read the church magazines in Sacrament meeting, but Jaron has been earnestly trying to listen for several years.
9. He is always willing to help out. He will take on a project, speak in church, teach a lesson, help someone with homework, hang out with those who need friends, and just do little things around the house without being asked.
10. He is a very good babysitter! The younger kids love that he takes time to play with them when Dave and I are away.
11. Jaron is very social, and a goof around his friends, but he knows when to be serious and not goof off.
12. Jaron is always excited to try knew things, and works hard to improve in the activities he undertakes.
13. Jaron genuinely loves each member of our family, and he shows it through hugs, play, compliments, and patience.
14. Jaron is an amazing young man! I couldn't be any prouder of him than I already am. He lives up to some very high standards he has set for himself. He is an amazing son and older brother, and he will make a wonderful missionary, husband, and father someday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

We had a fun Labor Day weekend filled with a lot of activity. The Gockens gave us some free tickets to the Children's Museum at the Gateway that expired on Saturday, so we decided to make a day of it. We headed up to the Gateway, and spent all morning and afternoon there. Here is Dave helping Natalie on the climbing wall.
Brayden seemed to have the most fun at the museum of all the kids. He was excited to try each thing out. He loved to see how things worked, and he has no qualms about dressing up in costume when Dave told him to. I am glad Brayden is not worried about acting too grown up yet. I love enjoying my boy!
Here is Brayden on the climbing wall. He climbed it many times.
After a couple hours at the museum, we were ready to move on to other activities. The kids were very excited to rideTrax, so we took Trax to Temple Square. The kids loved riding the "train." We went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to check out when the show times were for the Legacy Theater. We were up in the waiting room, waiting to watch the Joseph Smith movie when a missionary came up and chatted with us for a little while. We asked him if Harold and Carolyn Asplund were still serving on temple square. He pulled out his little blue schedule, told us they were in the North Visitor Center for a little while longer, so we skipped the movie, and headed to see my aunt and uncle. It was fun to see them. I know I don't see enough of my dad's side of the family, because as I came up to talk to Carolyn she didn't seem too sure that she knew who I was. It was fun visiting with them for a little while. Carolyn reminds me so much of my Nanny, especially when she talks! We took the kids up to see the the statue of Christ and then headed back on Trax to the Gateway so we wouldn't miss the BYU football game! If you zoom in on this picture, you will see Natalie is not too happy. She really wanted to go back to the children's museum, and was upset with us that we weren't heading back.
We had big plans for Labor Day to go see "Kung Fu Panda" with my mom and dad and all the siblings and cousins. Somehow, none of us thought the movies would be crawling with people and sold out for all of the shows except for late at night. Since we couldn't get movie tickets, we finally decided to head to Riverwoods Park to play and hang out. We had a good time, and the weather warmed up enough where we were very comfortable. The boys and men played bocce ball, the kids played on the playground equipment and rolled down the big hill, and the rest of us sat around and talked. We finally planned to get our family study group up and running again, so I am very happy about that! We had a great weekend!

Lindsay's 1st Trip to the Zoo

Dave took Lindsay to the zoo for the first time while I was away at Education Week. They had a good time. Her reaction to the zoo was typical Lindsay... check each thing out for just a few seconds and move on. I have quizzed her about the animals several times, and each time she changes her mind about which animal she likes best. She keeps talking about the train she got to ride there. I think the train was her favorite part.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Education Week in a Nutshell

I went to Education Week with my mom this past week. I have been 8 or 9 times. I am not exactly sure. I love it, and I always come home renewed and ready to take on the new school year. This week was my favorite of all the Education Weeks I have attended. My husband is so awesome to take a week off work to be with our kids so I can go. I always stay in the dorms on campus, and it is a mini-vacation for me.

We went to Brick Oven twice, and Cafe Rio once, along with grabbing a sandwich here and there for lunch on campus. We do not believe in taking time off from class to stop and eat, so we are always eating on the run until we stop going to classes at 5:30 p.m. We also get to relax and play in the eveings. We spent our evenings going to Iron Man, The Hulk, and a musical production of Pride and Prejudice at BYU. One night we ate leftovers in the dorm and watched the Olympics on the TV in the lobby.

This year was my favorite because of the concrete ideas in my head and in my notes that I want to work on. I left very inspired.

Things I am Going to Concentrate on Now because of what I learned at Education Week... The Short List

1. I am going to create a list of 100 life goals. I had two different teachers talk about this. I know it may take a while to think of 100 different goals important enough to label as "life goals" but I am going to work at getting that list put together and keep it somewhere where I can be motivated by it.

2. My uncle, Wally Goddard, spoke at Education Week this year and he was probably the speaker that had the most profound effect upon me. He made the atonement come more alive and real for me. He also spoke of keeping a "Samuel" Journal where we record our spiritual feelings and experiences to show the Lord our gratitude of his hand in our lives. In 1 Samuel 3:19 it talks of Samuel not letting any of the Lord's words fall to the ground. I have tried to do this in the past, but not in a separate journal. Here is a picture of my new Samuel journal below.

3. Randal Wright actually made me feel fine about having not kept a journal all my life even though he said he was trying to make us feel guilty. He said that all experiences can be summarized into 3 words to help us recall the experience. He also mentioned that we could go back and record lessons that happened a long time ago. So I am going to record experiences into 3 word summaries to help me to recall them, and then I am going to write out the full experience when I can get to it.

4. Elder Robert D. Hales spoke on the Education Week theme "The Journey of Lifelong Learning." He said "The most important thing we gain from lifelong learning is not the degrees, recognitions, or jobs, but who it makes us become." "Nothing, absolutely nothing, could help a woman develop her talents more than being a mother." I just need to be more actively involved in learning and recognize the lessons I learn with my children and not just let life happen to me.

5. I didn't really attend a class on scripture study, but Wally taught the subjects for his classes using the scriptures. I felt inspired to find a scripture study program for myself and for my family that would make us yearn for our study time. I bought a book to help us in our family study. Dave looked at it one time, and said we need to buy the same books for all the other books of scripture (I just got the Book of Mormon one). After our first scripture study as a family, I have witnessed Lindsay trying to mark in her scriptures, and Bryce asking about important scriptures he can mark.

I can't wait to go again next year!