Ward Campout 2011

>> Sunday, March 27, 2011

Friday we had our Ward Campout at Usery Mountain Park in Apache Junction. The Ward decided to have it close to home since not everyone likes to camp, and it would allow people to drive out that evening and go home if they'd like and still be able to come back in the morning for breakfast and games. :) We decided to rough it..but as you can see, my idea of roughing it means loading up a twin mattress and sleeping in the van with Alayna, while the men sleep in a tent. LOL! In my defense, my foot is still banged up and I have been in a boot for about a week....(this mattress idea was genius though and even when I'm not banged up, we'll be taking a mattress from now on! LOL!) The kids were super excited to go camping. We haven't been camping as a family in several years. In fact, Alayna has never gone! We even took Sammy with us!

We've never been to Usery Mountain Park. Let's just say it's not the type of camping we typically would choose. It was all desert..which is beautiful to look at but.....

not so much fun when you get one of these babies in your leg, back, paw, or hand. Walker actually bent down to take a thorn out of his shoe to only lose his balance, and he threw his hand back into the air and threaded a cactus needle through the palm of his hand. Fun times!! Poor guy.. :(

It was an adventure for sure. Sammy thought he wanted to come but little did he know how we people 'ruff' it..get it? 'Ruff' it. I kill me!! Hahaha! He really wanted to go home the first night. It was pretty funny.

Eli and Ty found a safe way to pass the time. :) We were on our own for dinner that night. Our good friend's the Campbell's made an out-of-this-world steak dinner. I'm still dreaming about that steak! YUM!!! The Ward put on a little devotional and we had dutch oven cobblers of pretty much every berry or fruit you can think of. It was de-lish! The next morning theWard made breakfast for everyone and then it was time for the games. The theme was a "Horseless Rodeo". :)
They started out with the traditional sack race. Check out Walker going full speed! :)

The men's race was pretty fun to watch. Everyone wants to see their Dad win. :P

I love the contorted faces they make! Hahaha!

Next up was the Women's sack race. I have to explain that it was killing me not to be able to play any of the games. I love games! So I decided to try the sack race with a bit of a head start...and I won!!! LOL!! I'm pretty fast even in a dumb boot! :P
The Men's race was kinda crazy!
They put two poor souls on the bucket to prevent any cheating and they about lost their lives! LOL!
Eli is the runner in the family. He's also very competitive. He was excited for the race. :)

Did you see that blur??? :P He got a full size candy bar for winning!

Next up was barrel racing. This was a team event. Our horse kept losing his head! Hahaha!

Eli's game face! Love it!

Ride 'em cowboy! ;)

The next game was called 'Branding'. It was another team event. You had to run down to the other end, grab a giant spoonful of (expired) flour from someones year's supply, and get back to your teammate and swat their butts with the flour, leaving them 'branded'.

As you can see...Jared really likes to stick his butt waaaay out there to make sure you don't miss..and Dave really likes to give a whipping with his brand! LOL!

I tried to take a cute picture of Alayna and myself, but you can see how well that worked out. :P She was too shy to play any of the games so I had to make sure we got at least one picture to prove she was there.

Handsome fella!

For the final game they had one of the older boys be a human pinata. This was hilarious to watch!!

Those kids weren't going to let him get away!!!

We had a good time, but decided that if the Ward decides to desert camp again...we're gonna skip it and head up to the pines! :)



Walker had his 3rd and final Pinewood Derby Race as a Cub Scout last week. He's had a great theme running for the previous 2 years, and this year, he finished it off with a great car! :) Doesn't it look real?!? LOL!!

Walker and Jared did an amazing job! :)

Below are the Awards he earned for each car:
The Mouse Car.

The Chee-z Car.

The Mousetrap Car.

There are many, many, many hours of hard work here. It's been a fun ride! :D


Happy 60th Birthday Dad!!

>> Monday, March 21, 2011

We celebrated Dad's 60th Birthday on Sunday (his actual birthday is today). The family went over for dinner. Dad likes to stay home and grill every year. It was a nice and relaxing evening.

We got him a Roku which he was really exited about and I made him a video montage that went over better than I had expected....It made us all cry...lol! :D Sometimes it's really hard to shop for my parents so I was stoked that we were 2 for 2 this year.

Here's the video. If you want to watch it it's about 15 min. I apologize in advance for the poor quality. Blogger doesn't let you upload in very high resolution.
Enjoy! :)


Take Me Out To The Garden

>> Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eli's 2nd grade program was a little over a week ago. It was super cute and you could tell he really enjoyed singing the songs. He was so animated and put on a great show!

He's definitely our little actor/performer. We were giggling through the entire performance watching him ham it up. It was a treat to watch him up there! :)


My Cousin Joe, The Army Man!

>> Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recently Walker was given an assignment in ALP Language to write about a person he looks up to. This is what he wrote:

I can't tell you how much this melts my heart! :)


Digging up the Past

The last few weeks I've been feeling this urge that I should start doing genealogy again. The promptings have been coming at odd times..like reading Harry Potter. What??? Weird I know...LOL!

So on Tuesday I started digging stuff out. I have boxes of records, pictures, journals, and Books of Remembrances that family members have given to me over the years. I guess they feel I'm the 'record keeper' now. :) I came across some funeral programs and my Uncle Ben Smith's stuck out to me. The dates on his program read Dec. 14, 1935-March 1, 2007. Tuesday (the very day I decided to start working on family history again) was March 1st...Four years later. It struck me....Was it a coincidence? Could be, but I don't' believe in coincidences. I don't know what it means exactly, but it made me feel like I was on the right track.

Before Walker was born over 10 years ago, you know..when I had time and not running after 3 kids..I started trying to submit a few names to the Temple. Mostly however, I have entered information, biographies, stories, etc that have been given to me in paper form and put them on the computer and scanned everything in. My Grandma McClendon is a giant when it comes to family history and has given all of us grandchildren books she's compiled. I keep pictures and save them and recently have finished scanning in all of our hard copy photos so now they are permanently saved and backed up electronically so we won't lose them. Some of those old photos from the 1920's and even further back are 'priceless' to me and it won't be long before you won't be able to look at them anymore because of deterioration.

On the subject of being prompted, this morning I was laying in bed and it occurred to me that my Dad's 60th birthday is this month on the 21st. We have practically no pictures of him as a child. His parents divorced and his Mother had most of the family photos. His Father raised the 6 boys after the split, so he doesn't have copies of photos of himself or his family. Both of his parents have passed and we still don't have any of those old photos. Again...I felt moved.

I started making phone calls this morning as I was driving the kids to school. I called his Step-Mom and his brothers at the last known numbers I had for them. I've started searching online to find address for the others as well. I was able to reach his brother Mark's home. I spoke to Rose his wife who was very warm and glad to help, however she's not sure they have much. I've left a message at his brother Tim's and I'm hoping he will call back. I don't have a current address for his brother John, and his brother Jim was last known to be in Clearwater, FL but a hurricane came through there a few years ago and no one has heard from him since. The family doesn't know if he's alive or dead. It breaks my heart. I did a search for his brother George online but no phone number was listed. It gave an address in Prescott so I sent a letter through the mail today and I'm crossing my fingers it's a good address.

My hope with all of this is to get a better 'picture' of my Father. I know his life has been filled with struggle. Nothing has come easy for him. I would love to see how he lived and the people who cared for him and simply just what he looked like when he was younger. I'd love see if my children looked like him when he was little.

I've always had a love and passion for photos, journaling, scrapbooking and preserving memories. I hope to be able to put a photo montage together for my Dad's 60th birthday. I think it would be a great surprise to be able to give him a piece of his life that's been lost for so long. I'm getting choked up just thinking of the possibility...I really hope and pray I can do this for him.

Perhaps all of these promptings have been for me to help my Dad find his past again. To reconnect with his family in one way or another. I feel I'm on the right path.

Wish me luck! I'm going to need it!


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