Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quintin's Baptism

What a special event for the family. We headed to Salt Lake City very early to be with family for Quintin's baptism. What do you know? He was baptized at the same church that I was baptized in 28 years ago AND the same church my sister, his grandma was baptized in. Beautiful Mt. Olympus loomed in the background with lovely city vistas in the other direction.


 Some of the Nielson relatives joined us for this day. Seeing my dad was like seeing my dad again! It's occasions like these that bring families together.


 Treats after included homemade root beer
 Fantastic bubble machine...

 Carrying on a family tradition..the goodbye dance. We headed south towards home and did some shopping and car repairs on the way.
Little Ethan was not so happy that we were leaving. He cried and wanted to come with us.

On Air

This week we experienced all seasons. Friday was summer, Saturday was spring, and today it's winter. Such is Spring in Utah.


 Kate's traveling basketball team finished up their season with 2nd place. Kate plays on the wing and has good speed and aggression.  She plays with a great group of girls. Despite all the fun, she is glad it's over.
I took the students for a live interview on local radio station, KSVC.  The students were asked questions ranging from how do you get along with your host family to what were some of the biggest changes, coming here to our area.  Miriam from Spain said the biggest differences for her were the food and religion. When asked what kinds of fun things she has been able to do here, Abril from Spain responded that she had been to Bryce Canyon, the State Capitol, California, and lots of other really cool places.  Julian from Germany said it was an adjustment coming from his city of 8 million to Gunnison where the population is only 3,000 and that is including all the prisoners!  He said he really likes his school and the people have been really really nice. Maren from Norway spoke about how her host family was like her second family. They were so wonderful she couldn't describe in words how much they have helped her. She said her country was not religious and that coming here where religion is so important was a big change for her. She said she liked the religion and that people her were super nice and kind. "Even boys would open the door for me here and treat me with respect.  Boys in Norway are not like that."  Renato from Brazil was very well spoken as was Anna from Finland. They talked about how they are having a wonderful experience here in school and with their families here in America.  I spoke a bit about the exchange program in general and about how generous and open-hearted the families have been in our area to host these awesome students.
Being on the radio was a first for all the students! They were so excited to be "on air."  After we went out for breakfast and then I took them back to school.

Brandon was on-call this week and he was swamped with appointments. Adrie has been begging to join a cheer squad which, like gymnastics, involves lots of money and traveling for competitions. We haven't reached a decision yet. Brynn had her maturation program for 5th grade and I took her out for lunch after. Cannon earned enough money from cleaning the basement and doing book reports to buy his 2nd lego chima set. The day it arrived in the mail, he was a volcano of excitement.





Sunday, April 6, 2014

St. Conference Day

When we asked our 6 year old what special day it was going to be today he announced,
"SAINT CONFERENCE DAY!"  I love it. It just might stick.

We gathered all the essentials in preparation for our spiritual feast: fruit tray, veggie tray, and...in keeping with Nana's tradition we all went to the store and picked out our favorite treat!

Cadbury Eggs *  Peachy Penguins * Peanut M&M's * Andes Mints * Gummy Worms
Speckled Jelly Beans

We also shared the day with family. Annie and Drake concluded their Spring Break weekend with Conference at our house.

Let the spiritual  feasting begin... 8 HOURS, 2 DAYS of it.
In between and sometimes during we played kickball, foosball, and ping-pong, painted nails, played with play-dough,  made loom bracelets, and took notes...

There are no endings, only everlasting beginnings  A Thankful heart is the parent of all Christlike virtues  I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints  Extend an invitation and then FOLLOW UP  There is nothing we have been through that Christ hasn't already experienced  LOVE thy neighbor as thyself  April 6 is the actual day of Christ's birth and the date His church was officially organized in the latter days (1830)   It would be amazing if everyone knew the conversion stories of their forefathers  Hark all ye Nations...Truth is on earth once more   Blame keeps wounds open, ONLY FORGIVENESS HEALS  Marriage and family are eternal   142 Temples   15 million + members   83,000 missionaries   Why do we resist endings?? We are eternal beings   Instead of being thankful for the things we have, be thankful in our circumstances whatever they may be   Gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness   Teach children about their ancestors, family stories   Changes in civil laws do not change God's moral laws   
God is our Father. Jesus is our Savior.   God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate beings. The heavens are not closed: God speaks to a prophet, he will speak to us if we ask   Through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of God   Do not  spend money on things that have no worth or labor for things that cannot satisfy   God will guide us through any difficulties we may have  Love is the very essence of the gospel. Jesus Christ is the exemplar.   Truth will always be opposed

I know these things to be true! 


Bryce Canyon National Park

We spent the day at our favorite National Park...

 We had a picnic at Sunset Point where a hovering blue jay kept his eye on our sandwiches. Brrr. It was freezing cold. Really, the high for the day was 43 degrees and we caught some snow flurries.  We hiked anyway..


 We took the Navajo Loop to Queens Gardens and ended at Sunrise Point--3 miles total.



 All the kids tried their hands at making cairns.





 Queens Garden Loop took us through this spectacular scenery


 What planet is this??

 Easter Rock, so named by Adrie because of it's pretty colors.
 Made it to Sunrise Point and walked the rim back to our cars.
After a cold day in the beautiful outdoors we headed to Ruby's Inn gift shop then to Old Bryce City for some Western photo ops.  We ate dinner in Panguitch, home of the famous Chubby burger then it was home to relax with a movie.  Thank goodness for a restful next day of General Conference!

Horseback Riding

Annie and Drake family came over to share their Spring Break with us. We went horsebackriding in Glenwood.







I think the kids favorite thing was jumping on the tramp.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Curses


This week, I received a bill in the mail that caused me to go into my closet and curse up a storm. That ticket that I got in CA for merely "keeping up with the rest of traffic" on I-15 is costing me $356.00 !!!!!

California--you have some pretty great beaches but your taxes and fees STINK!  I am just so mad it might be a few weeks before I will be able to forgive you and want to visit again! 



A Taste of the City


Last Friday I had a meeting at the state's office of education regarding foreign exchange policies for the upcoming school year. Road trip to the city! I took a couple of kids out of school and we had a fun day visiting a couple of places that my taste buds miss the most.


 This here is a liege waffle topped with creme fraische, blueberries, and drizzled with Belgian chocolate from Bruge's waffle house. Absolutely delicious.
We visited my niece Annie in the new house they are renting.
I went to my meeting. ho hum.
On our way home, we had dinner at my favorite Chinese Restaurant. My current home town is seriously lacking in good Chinese food, in my opinion, or this place has just spoiled me for life. While we were in the neighborhood we drove past the humble little red brick house I grew up in....
Goodness!! she is looking much healthier these days! This is not actually the house I grew up in but the one that now stands in its place. With all the improvements, I was glad to see that my old tree fort in the front corner remained undisturbed.