Walker's 1st Shave

>> Monday, October 20, 2014

For the past year Walker has been rockin' the 'stache! He swore he was never going to shave it. He wants to grow a giant beard. However, recently some of his buddies have told him if you shave it...it will grow back even darker and thicker. So, last night Jared took him in the bathroom and gave him his 1st shaving lesson! :)

I begged him to let me video it but he refused. He did allow me to take pictures, and I'm grateful for that! :D

Here he is in his "before"....but lets get a better look at that manly mustache!

Jared walked him through each step.

A good lather is important! 

Only move the razor up and down..never side to side! That will end very badly!! :P

And there you have it! I freshly shaved face! And he didn't even cut himself! :D

Now we wait and see if it comes back looking like Tom Selleck!! LOL!


Phoenix Arizona Temple Open House

>> Sunday, October 19, 2014

Friday night we went to the Phoenix Temple Open House. It is quite a drive out there. It's off of Pinnacle Peak & just passed 51st Ave. 

The original design of the temple was for a two-story building. However, in responding to neighborhood concerns, plans were redrawn and now the building does not exceed the 30-foot zoning limit. I think they did a wonderful job creating this beautiful new temple and working with the community by addressing their concerns. Our faith always encourages all members to show love and respect to all we come to meet. This was just one more example. :) 

The kids have decided that they liked this temple even more than the Gilbert Temple. As we were leaving we asked the kids what there favorite part was and why they liked this one more. Eli's response was,"I felt the Spirit here more." Well...you can't argue with that!!! :D

It's much smaller, and seems to have more paintings, which the kids loved looking at each one. The decorating style seemed to lean towards a Native American theme through out. Not too much, but tastefully so. There is a theme of aloe stalk and blossom and desert tree leaves. The temple is earth-toned with terracotta and turquoise embellishments. Interior stones include marble and granite and the wood is sapele from Africa.

The Phoenix temple is set to be dedicated on Nov. 16th, 2014. Once it's dedicated it will be the 5th temple in Arizona and the 144th operating temple in the world. There is a 6th temple announced to be built in Tucson. 

It's amazing how much the gospel is growing here. It is changing families and blessing lives for the better. We are blessed to be a part of this missionary effort!


Camp Raymond

Last weekend Walker and Jared went up to Camp Raymond for Scouts. Thankfully the weather held out and and there wasn't the forecasted rain.

Walker got to try his hand at several feats of skill. His favorite was shooting. He was the best of the group! A new talent he never knew he had! :) 

I'll just let you look through the photos to tell the rest of the story....

A mosquito bit Walker's left eye and it was swollen shut. This is what i looked like a little while later. Poor kid...

Walker said he had a really great time. So happy for all the awesome things the Scout organization teaches my boys. :)


Christlike Attributes

Walker gave a talk on Sunday. I wanted to share it. It was really good. :)

Hello my name is Walker Kitch. Today I was asked to speak on the lesson I had in teacher’s quorum a last week on being Christlike.The basic categories of being Christlike are: Faith, Hope, Charity, Love, Virtue, Knowledge, Patience, Humility, Diligence, and Obedience. As you can see there are many amazing traits of Christ. Today, though, I’d like to focus mainly on Knowledge.

I would like to focus on this because during the lesson, Brother Hawk had us fill out a Christlike attributes sheet from Preach My Gospel. My personal low was in the Knowledge category. I realized that even though I know the gospel, I don’t truly know it. When you look up knowledge in the Bible Dictionary, it says “One of the attributes of God. Knowledge of Divine and Spiritual things is essential for one’s salvation…” It says it is attained over time not all at once. I always hear people talking about and citing scriptures from memory all the time and people recognizing scriptures and being able to tell where they are in which book. I’ve always found that amazing, because it is just so impressive to me to have read the scriptures so often and with such depth that they know all these things within them. Sure I read the scriptures for seminary and such, but I don’t truly study them. There is a difference between reading and studying.

A lot of the time we may just look to others for answers. I know I personally do this. I just find someone else who knows whatever you are trying to find out rather than finding it out for myself. If you look through the scriptures, study, cross reference, and pray, it will have a much deeper impact. I know that seems like a lot of hard work, but two of the other Christlike attributes are Diligence and Patience. So if you are truly trying to be like Jesus, then it is worth the time and effort. Finding out for yourself is so much more impactful. It strengthens you so much more than just using other people’s knowledge.

Recently this week, when reading, I noticed a change. I was more than just processing the words on the page. I was understanding them and their importance to our church. We must use all the traits while praying or studying the scriptures or when preparing to study or pray. If you live more Christlike, finding truth and knowledge will be much easier as these attributes help us listen to the Spirit.

First Samuel Ch 2 states, “the Lord is a God of knowledge”. One way to judge where you are in this attribute is to think, “Would I feel comfortable if someone asked me teach them the gospel. Would I feel comfortable if I had to be a missionary to someone today.” I personally have reflected on that recently, because some of the people at my school have been asking questions, and I’ve felt a little uncomfortable, and I’ve been struggling a bit to answer their specific and odd questions.

It is important to keep in mind that the 10 Christlike attributes that I mentioned are all interlinked. They are symbiotic. They use each other. Being weak in one can lead to weakness in others. Strengthening these attributes will not only make you stronger in the church, but an overall better person who people will want to learn from. I’d like to challenge you to look up this test in Preach My Gospel, fill it out, analyze your results and improve the lower scores slowly week by week focus on small parts and improve them bit by bit. It will make an amazing difference in your life. Truly study the scriptures and what they are saying. In Doctrine and Covenants 46 it says "To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world." Try to be one of those few. I’d like to bear my testimony that I truly believe that this church is true, that Thomas S Monson is the true current prophet, that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that Jesus Christ died for me and everyone else individually. I know He was perfect, and if we strive to be like Him we can join Him in heaven. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.


So Proud!

>> Friday, October 17, 2014

Jared has been working hard going back to school at the Church's college program called Pathways. Once he's done with this 1st year he will be able to matriculate into BYU-I to their regular online college program and earn his degree. 

I've seen Jared over the passed year since losing his job at Coppersmith, grow and become the man the Lord wants him to be. His faith and testimony have grown leaps and bounds and has blown me away! I watch him in awe as he juggles our family, his calling with the Bishopric as Ward Clerk, a full time job, and school. I love him so much!

This week's assignment for school was to write up a few paragraphs about where he wants to go with his education. This is what he wrote:

My original motivations for participating in the Pathway program were strictly to get that piece of paper. I have taken some community college or University of Phoenix classes here and there, but I saw this affordable opportunity to finally lock myself in and just get it done. I have been relatively successful without a college degree, and I felt that I had the solid experience to go further, but the lack of that silly piece of paper was holding me back.
My motivations have changed in these short 4 weeks. These lessons have motivated me to gain knowledge, to grow spiritually, to become a leader. I still want that piece of paper, as I know that I will have that sense of accomplishment and pride at completing something I have wished for for the past decade, but there is now more to it. I love inviting the Spirit to join me each time I sit down to study. I love seeing how the gospel can affect every aspect of life no matter if it is spiritual or secular. I am motivated to strengthen my relationship with God.


Fall Concert

>> Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Walker had his Fall Band Concert last night. The jazz, concert (that's his band), and wind ensemble bands played. The program was titled, "Across the Atlantic". 

Jared and the kids patiently waiting...

Jared and I were so thrilled that Walker is now tall enough to be seen behind the rest of the band!!! :) We like being able to see him and hear him at the same time! 

We can see just his head on this number. :P 

We've been to a lot of band concerts over the years. Each time his group gets better and better!! 

He's growin' up!

Eli is so goofy...I was trying to take pictures of Walker and he jumped in and started being a spazz..lol! Pretty typical Eli! Hahaha!!!


Camping Like Noah!!

>> Monday, September 29, 2014

 We had our Ward Camp-out over the weekend up near Payson. The weather predicted it would rain. We were a bit leery about going, but decided to be brave and beat the heat and head towards the pines. :)

We left after the kids got home from school around 4pm. It was cloudy with patches of the highway wet where it had already rained before we got there. When we entered Payson we saw some pretty rainbows! :)

Eli was feeling a little carsick. He's learned he can't read while traveling. Poor kid. I used to get soooo carsick as a kid. Unfortunately he takes after me. :(

We also saw this "sweet ride"!!! I had a Maverick in High School. It was this same exact color but mine was a 4-door and it was a clunker!! LOL! I had to take a picture of it...it brought back so many memories! :D

We stopped and grabbed some dinner by which time Eli was feeling much better. The Dramamine kicked in and the fresh air really helped. Then headed the rest of the way to camp. It's just a few miles north of Strawberry but before you get to Happy Jack in Long Valley. 

It was a GORGEOUS evening!

By the time we got to camp it was dark. The forest is pretty thick with trees and the dirt road was wash boarded. The last time Alayna went camping was when she was like 3 or 4 at another Ward Campout held in the Desert. She doesn't remember it. 

As we drove further into the forest Alayna's eyes were as big as dinner plates! I asked her what was wrong and in her sweet little voice filled with uncertainty she says, "Are we safe? Are we going to be eaten by a bear???" Oh my gosh..it was so funny and precious all at the same time. We all cracked up. We assured her she would be fine. But she wasn't too quick to accept any reassurances. LOL!

We found a place to park and set up the tent and as we are pulling things out of the van it began to POUR rain! It was crazy town! Jared and Walker worked as fast as they could to get our giant 12 man tent set up. Which is over 20 years old. Despite their best efforts the inside of the tent was drenched with water. And wouldn't you know it...about the time we finished getting everything done...the rain stopped!!! 

We had a nice fire pit that everyone gathered around in the center of the campgrounds and that evening we had a musical number by the Schnepf's and a devotional by Bishop Hawk. The kids played night tag and made s'mores and played until they passed out. 

Jared is such a sweet husband that he put a twin mattress in the back of the van and Alayna and I slept in the comforts of Big Red. Jared, Walker and Eli slept in the tent.

It rained all night long. In the morning we woke up and found this little guy stuck to the window. 

Alayna named him Toby. 

We laid there for a while and just watched the rain run down the window and soaked in all the refreshing sweet rain-washed air. It was a beautiful morning. :)

Jared and the boys had a bit of a different night than us.....Did I mention that our tent is over 20 years old? And it did NOTHING to keep them dry? Jared said water was dripping on their faces all night. Water was coming in through the walls and everything was soaking wet. We put the van bench seat in there, the food, etc. It was all soggy by morning. I felt terrible.....

I asked him why they didn't come into the van with us and he just said he didn't think we'd all fit. I wish he would have let us try to see first. Poor guys. Walker's whole side was soaked through, Eli's shoes were goners, it was water of epic proportions...we felt a little like Noah and the Ark! LOL!

Notice Eli is wearing Jared's flip flops!! Hahaha!
 We didn't let it get our spirits down though. The kids were more than ready to run out and play in the rain before breakfast!

Little Miss found a special friend named Wormy. :)

Alayna and her friend Morgan were trying to get the worm to crawl across a deer bone they found in the woods. 

Apparently there was an entire deer skeleton left here. The girls were fascinated! 

Morgan, Emmy, & Alayna
Our very own Catalina Ward Hillbillies! LOL!!!

I just couldn't get enough of how beautiful it was up there. I needed some good ol' fashioned out door, soul lifting, fresh air!


As you can see the rain let up after breakfast and everyone was able to pack up with out complications. Jared and I look a bit tired but we were still smiling. :) You can see the crummy tent behind us. We ended up packing it up and throwing it out!! We'll never see that piece of junk again! 

 Thankfully I thought to bring a towel. It got it's workout trying to sop up all the water overnight! 

Eli LOVES camping. He loves being outdoors at all times. He was in hog heaven the entire time!

I'm in the Primary Presidency and we were in charge of coming up with some activities for the kids. We decided on making Whirly Gigs or Buzz Saws. Alayna is coloring hers. I think the sun was a "bit" bright in her eyes...LOL!

You thread a string through the holes and tie the ends together. Then you twist and pull them it spins. It a toy the Pioneer Children use to play with. 

Walker and the older kids hanging out...

Chase reallllly loves Walker!! LOL!!!

They are really good friends. I love that they have each other. 

Chase was trying to chop wood. Jared, myself and Bishop Williams (his dad) were watching. We were mostly in fear he was going to chop his foot off. 

This homemade swing was the hit of the party with all the kids. No matter what their age!

Aren't flames cool looking?? This fire pit dried many buns over the weekend! LOL!

If you look close you can see Alayna's finished Whirly Gig around Jared's neck. ;)
 My handsome man!

 Jared chatting with Bishop Williams. 

We had to be packed up and out by noon. We only had it reserved until then. Most of the families left right after breakfast. We were one of the very last families to leave. We played card games, ate way too much junk food and played for as long as we possibly could. 

By the time we left another storm was brewing and it was getting pretty cold. 

We stopped in Payson again for lunch and headed home. When we were on Gilbert Rd/Elliot a HUGE monsoon hit. The rain was so heavy and strong it was like someone took a fire hose and was spraying the van. We couldn't hardly see the car's tail lights right in front of us. The streets were flooded immediately and we were spraying water wakes as we drove. We've had SO much rain this year! I've never seen so much water in all my life living here in AZ!

We got home slowly but surely and it continued to down pour. We unloaded the van and I began what turned out to be 3 days of laundry!! Hahaha! Go camping for one night..come home with 3 days of laundry..sounds about right! :P

It was a fun family trip with our awesome Ward family! It's given us all the bug to go do it again real soon! :D


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