Primary Program 2015 - I Know My Savior Lives!

>> Monday, September 28, 2015

Alayna and the Primary children in our ward had their Program yesterday in sacrament meeting. They prepare all year for this special day. Each child has a speaking part. Some are very short, some are long, some have scriptures, others have talks. No matter what size or shape of the part each one is a truth and testament about the Gospel and the theme for that year. This year's theme is "I Know My Savior Lives." The children also work very hard to learn several songs that they perform as well. It truly is the BEST sacrament meeting of the year!!! :)

 This year Alayna had a talk and she memorized the whole thing! She did an amazing job and Jared and I couldn't be more proud of how hard she worked to do her very best!

Way to go Laney Bug!!!!


Deacon's Lake Campout

Friday after school the Deacons met at the church to head up to Canyon Lake for a campout and to play on the lake. :) 

Eli was extremely excited. He hasn't done a lake trip yet and he was looking forward to shred some waves! :P

When he got home on Saturday he was exhausted, sunburned, and couldn't stop telling us all about his adventures. The leaders really pushed the limits on showing the boys a good time and possibly causing fatal the boys of course loved every second of it!!!! LOL!!

We are so lucky to have leaders in our ward who put in so much time and effort into helping our boys have so many awesome experiences. Thankful for their dedication and service! 


Julie & Dave's AZ Visit!

>> Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jared's sister Julie and her new fiance' Dave came through on their way to Florida last night. Julie has lived in Washington State for many years, but her boys are grown now and has found love again. She's sold everything and is moving across the country to Cape Canaveral, Florida to start a new chapter in her life. Big changes for her..but exciting too! :) 

They are stopping to see family along the way and last night they made it to AZ. We just had a small simple dinner, lots of laughs and got to meet Dave. It was a nice evening. 

Jen surprised me with this super awesome gift!!! Just cuz she loves me! It's PERFECT! I love it!!! :D

Before they had to head out we tried getting some group pictures. It's really hard to get so many people, especially the kids, to cooperate. LOL! These were the best I could do. 

Julie & Dave left this morning for Texas to see her mom and sister Jonita. They have a lot of miles to cover! 

Best wishes to the new couple! <3


Eli's 1st Dance!!

Friday night Eli had his 1st school dance!!!

We took his friend Christian and they were really excited! 

Eli HATES it when I take his picture so I had to take these SUPER quick before anyone noticed...LOL!!!!

They said they had a great time. Mostly eating pizza and snow cones....but he said they did dance! That's pretty amazing for Jr. High kids. Most of them just cling to the walls and are too embarrassed to get out there and bust a move. :P 

He's growing up so fast! Eli is really becoming an outgoing funny guy. The ladies sure like him and hopefully won't become too much of a distraction just yet for him. I don't blame them though. He's a handsome, smart, witty, young man. Hard to not want his attention. :D


Ward Campout & Tonto Natural Bridge

>> Tuesday, September 15, 2015

We had our ward campout over the weekend! We always try to go every year since we aren't big campers and Alayna doesn't get to go camping very often. The boys go all the time in scouts. This is always a big deal for her! :) She was super excited! :)

We take out the back bench in the van and throw in a twin mattress along with hundreds of blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, food, an ice chest...pretty much our entire house! :P The boys sleep in a tent and the girls sleep in the back of the van on the mattress! Who said you had to rough it when you go camping!?! LOL!!! Truth be told. Alayna has a fear of bears and she feels safer in the car. Mom likes to be comfy so I don't argue much. The van is pretty great! LOL!

We have to wait for the kids to get out of school which gives us a late start. It was pretty much dark by the time we got there to set up camp but with our new tent it went up in seconds and we were done just in time. :) Last year's tent was thrown in the trash since it wasn't much better than sleeping out in the rain, in a pond....LOL!

We gathered for s'mores, games, and a devotional. Visited friends and had a nice evening. Bro. O'laughlin brought these HUGE marshmallows for the kids to cook. It quickly became a competition of who could fit the whole thing in their mouth and eat it the fastest. Alayna put the boys to shame and skunked 'em!!!! She's a crack up!!!

The next morning we had breakfast, visited some more and then tore down camp.

He's working very hard...LOL!

 The guys got a game of football going. It lasted forever. It kept ending in a tie and they didn't want to quit until someone won. We finally just had to call it. :P

They were exhausted...they were glad we said it was time to go. :)

We left before lunch because I wanted to do a hike the boys have done before with their troops. It's the Natural Bridge State Park. It's on the way home towards Payson so it's perfect to just hop over to. Alayna and I haven't ever been before and I wanted to see if my foot could handle it. I was pretty nervous, but I decided to do my best.  

This is at the top of the trail. 

The goal is to get down to that bridge.

The water comes from a brook and drips down that greenery. It makes for a pretty rainbow!

It's not a great pic but you can see down to the bottom of the canyon from the top observatory deck. Pretty cool!

They have a few different trails you can do there. All of them are easy except for the one that takes you down to the cave....of course.... I was getting more worried as I'm reading the warning. They state it's rough, steep, difficult, ect, ect....They weren't kidding!!!!

I had to hold on to Jared all the way down so I didn't slip. It was very gravelly and uneven. But I made it! :)

 Alayna wanted to go swimming in the pond. But when we told her there was more to hike she quickly changed her mind. :P

This is where we want to go....

 We had to take a little break. It was also pretty warm that day!!


 We made it!

 Same pic from the top but now from the bottom. :P

I stayed back as Jared and the kids hiked around in the cave. It's too slippery and difficult for my foot to handle. They had a blast though! :)

It's wet in there and water just continually drips all over you. :) Made it nice a cool.

After they had fun exploring the cave they finally came out to get me and we headed back up the trail. It was MUCH harder to climb out. I was exhausted. Like exhausted to the point of my legs were shaking and I was huffing pretty hard...I guess I'm not in as good of shape as I thought! Jared was dragging me up the trail. 

My foot did REALLY well and I was thrilled about that. Jared even told me he was so proud of me! :) It's slowly getting stronger. I'm very grateful! :)

Alayna said the hike was the best thing EVER! And wants to go hike all the time now. :) She's so cute. It was a fun family experience. I'm glad we did it. We need to try to find more fun outdoor things to do as a family. 


Court of Honor- Star

>> Thursday, August 27, 2015

These fine young men earned their Star Rank Advancement last night along with a whole slew of merit badges!!

  Sorry for the poor picture quality. It was dark, it was on my cell phone, and my friend zoomed in and digital zoom is terrible! LOL! I'm glad I have them though! :D

Eli has been hard at work in scouts. He's really loving all the cool outdoor things they get to take part in. We are so proud of him already earning his Star! He told us in just 6 months he could earn his Life. He's determined...and I have NO doubt he will will be able to achieve it! 

 This is always my favorite part of rank advancements. When the boys present me with the pin and I get a big hug! Eli is more hesitant to hand those out lately. But I squeezed him tight anyway!! LOL!

Congratulations Eli!!! You are a stud!

Walker also was there and earned a bicycling pin, and a repelling pin from his High Adventure camp he went to over the summer. I tried to get a picture of him but my phone battery died on me. :( Darn it!! 

We are proud of him too and are hoping he will be able to get to his Eagle project soon. :)


Cibeque Falls

>> Sunday, August 23, 2015

Eli's Scout Troop went up to Cibeque Falls for a campout and a hike. 

Doesn't it look gorgeous?!?

We might need to give Eli pointers on how to make sure we can actually see him in group pictures...LOL! He's the one in the back behind the guy in the blue holding a large stick! :P

Eli said the hike was a bit more intense than the boys thought it would be. Later the leaders admitted it as well.. LOL! Parts of the river were REALLY deep..up to their necks! They all thankfully survived and came home safe and sound! :P 


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