Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Farewell Taylor Davis: July 23, 2013

Taylor left for the Mexico MTC early on the morning of July 23rd. McKenna was SOOOOOOO sad to miss this... but Courtney wanted to have a little send-off on the corner of our street by members of our ward that were as crazy as we are and were willing to get up extra early and say goodbye. It was AWESOME!!!

Caryn and Tyler...
 The Davis family as they pulled up to the stop sign by our house... you can see Taylor in the backseat with his mom...
 The poster Courtney made to hold up as he drove by....
 We had a great turn out! We know Taylor will make an amazing missionary! We are so proud of him!

July 2013

For the 4th of July we decided to head up the canyon and have a picnic, fish, and play in the river. The Davis family went with us... and the kids had a blast! 
 At one point Kenna and Taylor both took naps. He took one on a cot... she took one on a rock. Can't believe she slept up there! Glad she doesn't sleep walk!!
 We seriously couldn't keep Jonah and Courtney out of the river!!!

We got a little KFC on the way home and watched the fireworks! Great way to spend the 4th!!!

The rest of July was kind of a blur. It was a mix of some of the saddest moments I have ever experienced with a little bit of Joy thrown in. Our dear friends (and members of our ward) lost their little baby boy Atticus on July 17th. Dan was pretty much at their sides for 4 days... and many times since. They asked me to speak... that was genuinely the most difficult thing I have ever had to do... but it also meant more to me than they will ever know. That they trusted me with their most profound loss. I know my talk was what our Father wanted them to hear... and that "I" didn't write it. They have taught me more than they will ever know about how to face grief and to do it with a testimony firmly grounded on the Savior and His Atonement.

On Monday the 22nd, McKenna headed to her final EFY... and had a blast. We had her attend here at BYU rather than travel somewhere else. She had a great experience and we learned a lot from the different sessions she has attended and where we might want to send Courtney when she is old enough to go. My birthday was the 25th... and I enjoyed a relaxing day with Dan and Courtney. I love my life.


June 2013

This was Courtney's first year of girls camp... and Kenna's last! I was able to sleep at night knowing they were there together... and I was thrilled to find out when we went up for testimony meeting night on Thursday that Kenna had opted to sleep in the younger girls cabin so she could be with Torte! Love my beautiful girls!!! 

A sampling of our ward as they were preparing to leave. I actually left before they did so I could run up there and drop off the girls bedding... we used their mattress's from our trailer so they were too bulky to have the Stake take them. Am I mom of the year or what?! I hurried as quickly as I could and was headed back down before they even arrived. 
 Dan the Bishop man! We had a blast!
 They did a short presentation on "shoes" that we wear in our lives... and standing in Holy Places. The leaders asked me to talk about "Temple Shoes"... it was really amazing!
 My beautiful Kenna! Wish I could pull off the no makeup look like she does!

Kenna had an idea to give Taylor Davis a tie with the signatures of all of the Youth and leaders in our ward. She then wrote "You're never alone" on the backside of it as well... so that during hard times he could look at the back and see those names and know he had the strength of all of our ward with him. How cute is she! Him leaving is going to be really hard on her!
 Taylor opening the tie.. and reading the back of it!
 I think he liked it... what do you think?! How cute is that smile!

Dad's Funeral: June 2013

If you had told me 20 years ago when I married Dan that his father would live to see our 20th Anniversary I would never have believed you. He has endured great suffering for so many years, and we have prayed on a regular basis that he could return home and not have to suffer any longer. We would try to visit him regularly... but that became far easier when Dan and his older brother Travis were given power of attorney over their father and had him moved to Utah. His final year or so was spent in the nicest assisted living facility that I have ever been in, Stonehenge in American Fork. He was loved and cared for by some really wonderful people and for that we are forever grateful.

When we received the call on Friday morning that he was "going" and that we should come, we changed all of our plans that day and headed over. He never gained consiousness while we were there, but we know he was aware and could feel us. As often happens, the Lord provided many tender mercies that day, including Rustin and Emily and their family being in town from Texas... although they were attending the unexpected funeral of her uncle that morning... and it just happened to also be their anniversary!... at least they were there and he could come make peace with his dad before he passed. Dan's younger sister Aimee jumped on the first flight from Seattle and arrived minutes after he had passed away... but he knew she was coming. 

Another tender mercy... we ended up with enough money from his prepaid account in Montana that could be transferred to the funeral home in Roosevelt, in addition to the money that had just been deposited into his account for the month, to the unexpected check that "literally arrived" while we were discussing what arrangements needed to be made in the hallway outside of his room.... that we had a balance of about $15.00 when all was said and done. Manna from Heaven.

I am convinced that there is no better place to be from or be buried than a small town. Dan's father passed at about 4:30 Friday afternoon, and after calling the funeral home in Roosevelt and the city office in Duchesne we were able to pull everything together for a service at 10:00 am on Monday morning. The funeral home didn't require a pre-payment... they told us no problem they would head right out to pick him up and we could meet with them Saturday to make all the arrangements. Dan's uncle donated us a plot in the Duchesne cemetery and we were good to go.

We decided to leave for Duchesne first thing Saturday morning and pulled our trailer out with us so we wouldn't have to worry about where to stay with all of the family coming too. 

Here are the double cousins... Courtney, Logan, Austin, and McKenna in grandmas back screened in porch...
The morning of the funeral Marv, Cheri, and Jonathan drove down from Montana and were a part of the services. They have done more than anyone else over the years to provide for Mike. They are saints in every sense of the word. In this picture: Marv, Jonathan, Dan, Rustin, Austin, Travis, Greg and Logan.
Rustin, Emily, Levi, and
Two of my favorite people... Parker and Westin... LOVE those boys!

We did an open casket... but turned it so only those who wanted to see him could have a moment to say their goodbyes. He built so much out of pine over the years... this was the perfect final resting place for his mortal body.
Dan officiated and dedicated the grave...

Travis and Angie spoke and told some of their favorite memories...
After the funeral we felt like the kids needed some fun so we headed to the Duchesne pool! Like I said... we were sad but this wasn't how you usually feel when someone passes away. We KNOW where he is, and we know he was ready to go a LONG time ago!!

In this picture: Courtney, Parker, Logan, Ellany, McKenna, Westin, and Austin...
Courtney jumping off the high-dive!
Uncle Dan and Parker...
Chicken fight!!! Austin and Logan vs Dan and Kenna...
We stayed an extra day than everyone else so we could help grandma get her house put back together... and we wore Courtney right out!!!
Later that week we headed down town with Cheryl and her girls for some fun! Aren't they adorable?!
My girls... farewell June 2013!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

We decided we had to get some great camping trips on the schedule this summer... 
sadly we didn't even use our trailer the last two summers! It is hard to believe that we didn't make the time to go at least once... but in our defense... it is tough to be gone on to many weekends when you're a bishop! Also... last summer we did go on several big trips that included weekends... 

We decided our first big one would be on Memorial Day weekend... and we had a blast! We went with the Davis family, and also invited our friends son Derek. He just returned from his mission to San Diego and is attending BYU. His parents are in Germany... so we love including him in some of our family fun! He is a great guy and we loved having him along. It is interesting that Taylor Davis received his mission call to San Diego shortly after this trip. 

Playing Mexican Horseshoes...

Courtney and Jonah playing "tether ball"... conjures up memories of Napolean Dynamite...
Trying to cook our foil dinners... Derek, Kenna, and Dan...
Our home away from home... Derek was very relieved to see our digs when we got up to camp. The great outdoors are not his favorite. We bonded. (I like the comforts of home. Don't judge me.)
Courtney shooting her bow...
Katniss... I mean McKenna shooting her bow...
Jennifer is the most stylish "fisher-woman" I know... I wonder if she is a BYU fan?
McKenna caught more fish than anyone... I think this might have been her fourth or fifth...
She looks happy... but the truth is she had to stick her finger in it's mouth to hold it and she was pretty grossed out. I think that is hilarious given the fact that she put in for an archery tag and thinks she is going to kill and field dress a deer this fall with Dan. Good luck with that. I will be at the spa.
Jonah and Shane... He caught one!
Thank you  Jennifer for picking up a fishing license for Courtney! She was thrilled to catch one! Derek and I sat by the lake and visited (and got sunburned) while they all fished. It was fabulous! Every one was happy!
Derek, Kenna, and Courtney playing Mexican Horseshoes. This was a favorite at camp.
Derek's sister Kayli was able to come up and stay Saturday night with us. She is hilarious!!! We had a blast with both of them! She caught on quick and was quite the competitor...
This picture cracks me up. Kenna and Taylor decided to go for a bike ride (one of many)... got hot and stuck their heads under a facet to cool off. They look 12 in this picture. Love the windblown look!
Each night we read scriptures... and on Sunday afternoon Jonah and Courtney prepared a devotional and we played Courtney's game she made... "The Path to Happiness".
Later that day Kenna, Taylor, and Shane watched a movie...
My Mom and Dad were able to come up for dinner on Sunday night... and really seemed to enjoy it! I think they were shocked at how we "camp" including how well we eat.
Colton, Shannon, and Taylor lounging by the fire pit... she looks thrilled doesn't she?!
Colton, Shane, and Jennifer... he looks almost as excited as Shannon did...
Scripture time! Jonah... Taylor... Kenna... Courtney... Jennifer...
Cutest picture ever of Shannon and Colton.... awwwwww!
Scones for breakfast before we headed home...
Such a fun trip... and we are already looking forward to our next camping trip over the fourth of July!