Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Girls camp

It's hard to believe that girls camp is over! We have been thinking and working on it since November and now it's done! It's a strange feeling. This is a long post... please don't feel the need to read it all... I don't want to forget all the details...

The week was wonderful! Everything went so smooth. Our theme was "Daughter of the King" We tried to help each YW know that they are daughters of Heavenly father and he loves them. We named each of the levels after a disney princess. I went up on Monday with the other stake leaders and the YCL's (youth camp leaders)... I love monday! So enjoyable. It's a great time to get to know all the ycl's and other leaders... We did some training and did some archery! Yes, the pictures in the little movie are real! I got a few bulls-eye's! When i got the first one, the men helping us thought it was total luck... but the second one proved them wrong!

Tuesday morning the rest of the girls arrived. I think we had 138 girls this year. We had a great stake activity that day. We took the girls through and activity called the "Lifeline". You start off blindfolded and you are given some instructions and then you are asked to think of the most precious thing in your life and then you are given an egg to represent that thing... Then you hold onto a rope you follow it through a maze that represents life... there are tempters that try to trick you and try to take your egg and get you lost... then there is the still small voice that helps you back on course if you ask for help. It was a great activity and it really helped the girls to look at their lives and think about what is important to them and think about the temptations they have and decide how they can face them. It was interesting to be on the side where I watched some girls give up their egg so freely and some held on for dear life... some asked for help often and some never did... do we do that in life??? I was able to reflect on my life and see areas I need to work on. We were able to talk about this activity the rest of the week and relate different things to it... that pretty much took up all of Tuesday. Tuesday night my presidency helped do a little fireside for the 4th year girls...

Wednesday the girls worked on certification and did crafts, went on the zip line and rock wall. We had some rain in the afternoon and it actually helped us slow down a bit... it was kindof nice. But at about 5:00 I started to stress out because we had a big fireside planned that night and it would not have been as good if we had to have it under the pavilion... It was a test of our faith! We decided to call our Youth Camp Directors in our tent with all the other stake leaders and have prayer... we prayed that the fireside would be able to go as planned and that the girls would have a spiritual experience... While we had dinner the rain returned for a bit... then at evening flag I told the girls not to bring their poncho's to the fireside! I was a bit surprised when those words came out of my mouth! We started our fireside talking about virtue, our new YW value... we gave the girls a piece of gold fabric and asked them to write down their commitment to be virtuous on their fabric.... they wrote things that they might want to work on or change when they got home. While they headed up the hill for the rest of the fireside my counselors tied all the fabric onto this torch Heather made.... it was so cool. At the upper amphitheater we split into 5 groups and rotated through 5 different speakers. One of them was Mary, the mother of Christ and she talked about how she needed to be virtuous to be the mother of the Savior. Then the next one was Abish and she talked about the strength that she had to have... (the cool thing about Abish is that the women we asked to represent her, had studied Abish and painted a huge picture of her several years ago. The painting has been hanging in one of the church museums and she had just gotten it back... we had no idea about this when we asked her to be her! She was able to bring the painting and talk about it) The next was Mary Fielding Smith and she talked about being virtuous and making it to the temple... she talked about the hardships of building the temple in Nauvoo and then having to leave it... and then she talked about her journey to Salt Lake. The next one was the women who had committed adultery and she talked about the atonement... the last one was a sweet gal in our stake was just a few years older than them and she talked about how important it is to study the scriptures to stay virtuous. After the 5 rotations we gathered back together and listened to our wonderful Stake President for a few minutes. He did a great job as always! After President Schlauder, we had our 3 YCS's bring up our torch we had just made and we sang "High on a Mountain Top". You are probably all wondering if it rained or not during the fireside??? It sprinkled for about 2 minutes... just enough to scare me and give me doubt and then I said another prayer and it stopped for the night! It was a great lesson on faith for all of us!

Thursday was fun... John and Ashley came up to help Jeff Vance lead the 1st years on their hike... It was great to see them! We had terrible cell service this year, so I had only talked to John once. The hike was fun and it gave me a chance to get to know some of the 1st years. JOhn had fun trying to scare the girls! Thursday afternoon all the Bishops arrived and we played a fun game with them... After dinner we split into wards and had a Bishops Fireside. The girls loved being with their wards for the night.

Friday was fun day! We played princess games and had a few other activities. That night we split into our levels and had testimony meetings. I went with the YCL's and they were amazing!! Their testimonies are so strong!

Saturday we packed up and came home! I was home by 10:30! We had a few girls get sick and go home, but other than that we didn't have any major problems!! YAH!! I love my calling!! I love that I get to spend a week with these wonderful girls and leaders. I wish I could explain each picture in the slide show to you!! I will post them on facebook with captions...

Ashley's Graduation

I can't believe I haven't posted in almost a month! It has been crazy... between all of the end of school stuff, graduation, getting Mitch ready for a 2 week scout camp and girls camp, I haven't had a minute to write anything.

So, I will try to spend a few days catching up... I'll start with Ashley's graduation that was on June 11th. It was a great day! Full of emotions... I can't believe my little girl is done with High School! It seems like yesterday that she got on the bus and headed off to Kindergarten! She has been lucky to have great teachers and great friends over the years! We are so proud of Ashley!

Aunt Edie and her 3 kids, Carter, Caden and Cienna were able to come up from California for graduation! It was so fun to have them for a few days! I can't believe how big the kids are getting!! Aunt Jenn and Afton were able to spend the day with us too! Scott joined us for swimming after he got off work.

Tanner LOVES holding Afton!

Ashley getting her diploma! I missed the shot of her giving Mr. Mangino (the principal) a huge bear hug! Everyone else shook his hand... We saw him at Costco once and she yelled "Manginooooo" from way across the store and ran to him and hugged him... You would have thought he was a super star! She has always been able to build good relationships with most of her teachers and administrators.

The happy graduate!

The family....

Aunt Edie and Cienna

Aunt Jenn and Afton

After graduation we had lunch at BJ's. It was so good! We love that place.

Jenn and Tanner

Ashley and Tanner

John and Carter

Edie and Caden

Mitchell and Afton


Fun time swimming!

Present time!
Ashley's good friends Kami and Kristine came over...

A beautiful necklace from Joanna and Scott and Jenn

Coldstone Cake!

We love our Sister Missionaries and they LOVE Ashley!

I am very jealous of the gift we gave her!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

short & sweet.

hello blogging world, this is ashley. i am writing to inform you all that i have started my own blog. the address is 

i welcome all visitors :) 
well.. okay. i welcome all family and friends 

im out. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

4th year hike

Friday morning I headed up to Utah with the 4th year girls in our stake for our annual pre-camp hike... We went to the Thorley's property again up above Kolob Reservoir which is above Zion National Park. It is so beautiful! We got there and had lunch and then headed out on our hike. We were worried it might rain so we made sure everyone had poncho's before we left... I guess we should have made sure everyone had warm jackets instead! We were all cold when we got there... then the clouds went away and it made it even colder as the sun set! I think I will be able to use this hike in a talk on preparedness someday!

The hike itself was amazing! We had a fun group of girls and leaders! They were all really good hikers this year. We rarely had to wait for anyone to catch up. The wild flowers were out and it was SO BEAUTIFUL!!! The whole hillside was covered in yellow flowers with a few purple and blues ones tossed in. It was breathtaking! None of the pictures do it justice.

The girls and leaders! At one of the beautiful look-outs over all of Zion...

A fun little pond along the way...

The flowers!

We made it the end and we set up camp... we all hiked in our own tents, sleeping bags and food! I wish I would have weighed my pack! It was heavy! We cooked dinner, watched the sun set and had a nice little fireside with the girls. Ciji and President Worthen did a great job talking with the girls about our camp theme this year which is "Daughter of a King." After the fireside most of the girls headed to bed... and the leaders stayed up and told embarrassing moments... for some reason I had the most to share! We didn't have any marshmallows or Starbursts to roast so we gave gummy bears a try... they were quite tasty!! Soft and warm, they melted in your mouth!!

I thought I had a really good sleeping bag... I guess not! I was freezing all night! I'm not sure if I ever fell asleep. I don't think I have ever been that cold camping in all of my life. I didn't have a good hat to wear or good pj's! my fault I know. I will definitely go more prepared to camp. As i was laying there freezing, I remembered that it was my dad's 75th birthday and I forgot to call him! I felt so bad! And then I remembered that my sister in law Sharolyn was being induced that day and I was dyeing to know how things went!  I had to wait till our drive home to make my calls and see how things went. I was happy to hear that mom and baby Justin were doing just great! I am so happy for my brother Todd and his family! This is their 5th child!

Here is my favorite picture of baby Justin and Grandpa who will now share the same birthday!

Sharolyn and all the kids! I love this picture!!

Cute daddy and baby!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Today was one of those days that tested my patience. I took Mitchell to the doctor for a physical for scout camp and we waited for an hour in the room for doctor to come in... then the doctor had NO personality whatsoever and that made me mad... for a $55 dollar physical, he should have at least introduced himself and asked us how we were... he just walked in and said "what are you here for?" and then went on to fill out the form and check him out... I was bothered! My boy is 5 foot 9 inches tall! How did that happen?? I was in denial that he was taller than me! 

Then we get home and I told the boys that if they vacuumed and dusted while I ran to a bridal shower that when I got home we could go get Mitchell's drivers permit. I totally forgot that it was a Monday and the DMV is crazy on Mondays!! We waited in a short line and got the paperwork for the test and I thought that we were lucky and things would go fast! The test line was short and he passed and I still thought we were lucky. Then we got our number in line to wait for the rest of the paper work done and pictures.... That's when the luck ended! We got #G793 and they were on #G553! Not only did we have over 200 people in front of us in the G line, but they had A, E, I and N numbers going too! I should have left then and come back in the morning, but the boy wouldn't hear of it! So, being the good mother that I am, we stuck it out! I was even nice enough to drive them to the dollar store to get a snack. The line only moved 40 people while we were gone for 1/2 hour!!! (i forgot to tell you that Tanner came along... mistake #2) At about 5:00 the numbers started speeding up! It was so strange... you could tell that all the workers wanted to go home so they worked faster. Why can't they work that fast all day?? We walked out with a permit at 6:15 and we got there at 3:00! I had 45 minutes to get home, feed the fam dinner and be ready for the Sister missionaries to come over and have a discussion with a family investigating the church at our house! Good thing they were late. The lesson went great by the way! They have a baptism date set for June 27th! 

Tomorrow I will post some pictures of the 4th year hike that I almost froze to death on this weekend!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Awards....

It's that time of year for awards ceremonies....

Mitchell had his volleyball banquet last week and he got the Captains Award and the Coaches Award! Good Job Mitch!!

I love the award he got in Seminary... "The Silent Giant"... That's so Mitchell, quiet but strong!

Next was Seminary graduation on Sunday night. We are so proud of Ashley for graduating from seminary. It hasn't been an easy road, but she did it. This year it was especially hard for her to wake up at 5:00am! We had to go in her room several times each morning to try to get her up without getting mad at her... it wasn't easy... I don't think she will be taking any early classes at college!

She has had 4 wonderful seminary teachers! And we appreciate all the time and effort they put into teaching Ashley. Ashley loves and appreciates all of them! Thank You!!

Ashley and her teacher this year, Sister Slade...

Yesterday was the A-B Honor Roll ceremony at Derfelt... Tanner did a great job this semester and received this award! I was listening to all the moms talk about teachers next year and our neighborhood is moving to Pigot Elementary and I was like, "I'm done! Tanner is my baby and he will be at Johnson next year" It was strange...