Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Friday, July 29, 2011


Summer is a time for sleepovers with cousins and friends. I'm not a big fan of friend sleepovers, but sometimes I buckle under pressure. I told them one friend sleepover a summer is my limit.

The outdoor sleepover was planned with Ben and Mitch, much to my surprise. They persuaded Mike into building them this fabulous tent. Mike slept outside with them to save me the inconvience and discomfort.

The entire night I tossed and turned, and looked out my window wondering if the BIG raccoon would be back for an uninvited visit. Fortunately, the night was very uneventful.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bountiful High School July 23rd Baseball Tournament

The 16U Baseball Tournament began on Saturday morning against Cottonwood. The Braves were able to pull off a big win against The Colts, winning 7-6. It was a real nail biter. Cook pitched 6 innings with Tommy wrapping it up in the 7th.

The team was on fire today. I wish I could remember all the boys' stats, they were impressive. Among other things, Mike (as lead batter) was 2 for 3 at the plate, one walk, and turned a great double play at second.

Tuesday, ended the tournament for Bountiful against Alta. The first inning was filled with excessive team errors, which ultimately cost the Braves the game.

While Tuesday wasn't their best game, overall this team has done very well. This sadly ends baseball for the summer.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Night To Remember

The 24th of July wouldn’t be same without the Paul’s fabulous party. There is lots of great food, friends, and relatives.
Sometimes boys' can be really boring at parties. Good thing we had Brian to spice things up a bit

Brian’s fireworks show is always a hit. This year was exceptionally exciting. In our host's very own words he says, “My fireworks show had everything. Dangerous fireworks, first degree burns, and crying babies.” Wow, and we all lived to tell about it.

To be completely fair, I think it was only the first two rows of kids that were shot with shrapnel (well maybe shrapnel isn't the right word, but it best describes it), or received some kind of burn. And babies crying, I think it was only Millie. She didn't love the noise.

Grandpa Wayne seemed a little nervous quietly moving his chair further and further back. He got out his nifty safety goggles once things got a little out of control.

We were all seated when the fireworks began (bottom pictures). As sparks began to fly, the viewers ended up in neighbor's yards, or standing on rocks (see picture top left).
This video sums it all up. I couldn't decide whether it was screams of delight or screams of fear.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bountiful Pioneer Days

The spotlight was on Bountiful Friday night as we celebrated Pioneer Day. The day starts early as hundred's of people stake out their favorite spots for the parade.Enjoying a little KFC, and some entertainment.

I was especially amused with the crowd for the "trinket toss" as I call it. You know, the stuff that you will probably throw in the trash the next day that everyone fights over.

Our favorite Millcreek cheerleader was on the school float. Go Ash!

We happened to be sitting directly across from the Bountiful Tabernacle. I found this picture of the actual tabernacle with the tabernacle float passing to be extra cool. Our favorite float! After the fireworks we had a progressive neighborhood party. We went swimming at the Gulbransen's, and walked up to watch the fireworks at the Parry's. We have fabulous neighbors and had a great time!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kids Camp

Personal Progress is a program that begins when a girl turns 12 and enters the Young Woman program of our church. Within this booklet are several values and experiences that a young woman completes and records.

Among other things, the purposes of the program is to help young women draw closer to the Savior, serve others, learn leadership skills, and develop relationships. It helps young women prepare for the future and learn skills that can prepare them for what awaits them in life.

Part of the Personal Progress is to accomplish 10 hour projects’ that can be completed with other young women. These projects help young women to learn leadership skills to be used in future roles such as a wife, mother, and homemaker. A young woman also learns how to organize, communicate, and complete a difficult task.

Lizzy, and her friend Bailee decided to create a Kids' Camp for kids 2 through 7 in the neighborhood. They spent hours organizing, and preparing for this camp. All young moms that might welcome a break from their toddlers were distributed a flyer, regardless of their religious affiliation. The camp was one week, Monday through Friday from 10 to 12.

Each day was filled with fun activities and snacks. They created crafts, watched a movie, had game day, water activities, and a challenge course. At the end of the week each happy camper was given a hippo cupcake and prize to take home.

Most days Tiffany supervised and helped the girl's prepare for the camp. I was so grateful to Tiffany for helping the girls fulfill their Personal Progress Project.

Lizzy and Bailee couldn't have been cuter. They were so patience, kind, and full of energy while supervising these activities with 18 to 21 kids a day. The girl's learned leadership skills, organizing skills, developed many wonderful relationships, and were of service to these young moms.

It is an experience Lizzy and Bailee will cherish for the rest of their lives. Hopefully, this experience has prepared them for future roles in their lives.
Water ActivityHippo cupcakes given to the kid camp participants.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dark Garage

Bad things happen in our garage at night when it is dark. You may remember the “skateboard incident” I had while running to the car in the dark in the garage. Last night, it was Mike’s turn to have a frightening experience in our dark garage.

When Mike got home last night the garage door happened to be up. I try to keep it down as much as possible, but with teenagers’, and youngsters coming and going it doesn’t always get put back down.

When he walked in the garage he was thirsty, bent down to pick up a water bottle, and came face-to-face with a HUGE RACCOON! The raccoon hissed at him, Mike scream (yep that scary), and ran in the house.

We have had other encounters in the past, with one particular HUGE raccoon. I have to wonder if this is the same one. It stands about 3 feet tall, is big and burly, and awful scary. Not something you want to come face-to-face with in the dark.

I thought maybe the raccoon had eaten our little dog Bella, since she was MIA for the night. I wasn’t about to go looking for her in the dark after the raccoon story. However, we found out in the morning Bella had an unauthorized sleepover with her friend Max.

The deer are eating my beautiful flowers; the raccoon is tormenting my child, who needs to go camping to encounter the wonders of wildlife? Not me!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

17 Miracles

The kids and I went to the movie theatre to see the movie 17 Miracles. It is a pioneer film unlike any I have never seen before. It has increased my appreciation for the incredible sacrifices the pioneers made during their travels to the Salt Lake Valley. I have a renewed appreciation for them.

The movie is based on unbelievable actual events that the Willie Handcart Company endured. Levi Savage, one of the fearless leaders, kept meticulous records of the journey west toward the Salt Lake Valley. The film is based on these records. It is stated that “Many of the unbelievable miracles showcased in 17 Miracles come directly from Levi’s first hand journal entries. What he came to find out is that for every tragedy, there is a multitude of miracles.”

Ben, who is 8, had a difficult time understanding the miracles. He would lean over to me and say, “That really didn’t happen, did it?” One of the miraculous miracles that happened in the film was a young daughter coming back to life. I am sure this is difficult for him to process, since his experience in life has been different.

We had a FHE on Monday that included a discussion about miracles. I focused mainly on ones that he may be familiar with in the Bible.

I have a lot more teaching to do, but I hope that someday all my children will understand the beauty and reality of miracles. Although I may not have experienced the greatest miracle that I would have liked to have happen in life, I do believe in miracles.

I am so grateful for the pioneers, and the sacrifices they made for all of us. Pioneer Day commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24th. I hope to be especially mindful of them as we celebrate this holiday this year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy to Help

Watching the neighbors house while they were out of fun to do!
Kids enjoying their pool.....with permission!

Monday, July 18, 2011


This morning I asked Katelyn to go on a leisurely walk with me, to the temple and back (about 3 miles). She agreed, but wanted to walk to Bountiful High and back which seemed much too strenuous for me. We negotiated and decided to walk to Viewcrest (a street just past the temple).

On our walk, Kate brought an I-Pod to listen to music. “That sure looks a lot like the one you kids passed along to me”, I inquired. “Oh yea, we use yours all the time,” she laughed. I have to wonder what happened to the up-graded I-pods that I have purchased for my children over the years. I am sure no one will fess up.

As we were walking, Kate let me use one ear-phone while she used the other. How nice, my daughter let me use a portion of my I-Pod. It was a little tricky; we had to walk in sync with each other. She was very thoughtful with the music as she listened to some of my oldies, Billy Joel, The Eagles, The Beatles, and Journey. We did step it up a notch or two with the music and listened to Pink, Katy Perry, etc.

I have to admit I got a little distracted with the music. Kate would say oh, just a little further, and we kept going and going until we rounded 4th North, walked/jogged down 4th north, turning on Davis Blvd. I finally realized I may have been duped. There was no turning back at this point.

We did have a great time. When you share headsets you both can listen to the same songs and sing really loud. Not to embarrass ourselves, we would stop if we saw someone. Some 10 year olds were taking a rest on their bikes when we passed, “Taylor Swift”, one yelled. I guess we did get a little loud.

When I got to the end of Davis Blvd. I decided I was not going to make it up 1800 South. We had no phones with us, so I decided I was going to hitchhike. Well, my version of hitchhiking – wave down anyone I knew for a ride.

As we were just about to turn up 1800 I saw a white suburban that resembled ours. I flagged it down. It was cute Mike. He had gotten worried about us (because we were gone so long) and came looking for us. I was so happy to see him.

As I opened the door to the suburban he would drive off a little to make me run to the car. He did this several times, laughing, before he gave me a ride home.

After today’s adventure, I have to wonder if my kids have secretly enrolled me in a physical fitness plan.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Lately, I have been on a guilt trip. While vacationing at Flaming Gorge this past week, my mind wondered to the last time we were there with Steve. We had so many great memories on that trip.

I have been reluctant to share a memory that happened during that trip that has always made me feel a little guilty. It happened on the night of his birthday.

Steve had really been on a celebratory frenzy the day of his birthday. We ate at the Flaming Gorge Lodge for breakfast, lunch on the boat, and dinner back at the lodge. If you have ever eaten there, you know that food portions are ginormous. Even sharing a meal between two people is a lot of food.

Steve not only enjoyed his meals, but he topped it off with apple pie ala mode, one of his favorite desserts. It was his birthday, so I said nothing. I did think in my mind about his high cholesterol, and acid reflex problem. Both aliments were not conducive to his intake of food that day, or the type of food he was consuming. He was on medicine for both, and thought nothing about it.

That night he woke me up, with chest pains. He believed it was from acid reflex, not a heart condition. He had the same situation happen two Christmas’s ago. We had gone to the ER where he was monitored, and diagnosed with acid reflex. The physicians thought it was associated with the foods he had indulged in Christmas day.

It was the middle of the night when he told me he may need to go to the hospital in Vernal to get things checked out. I thought we should leave immediately, he wanted to wait.

He was convinced that it was all about what he had ate, and as I continued to encourage him to go to Vernal, he adamantly denied. He had us walk him around outside; he sat on the condominium’s deck, took additional acid reflex pills, and after quite some time decided that it was definitely acid reflex.

The next morning he seemed fine. Still not convinced that it was acid reflux I asked him to visit the doctor when we were home. He refused, stating that the problem was solved.

Wonder if, I would have forced him to go to the hospital in Vernal that night. Maybe they would have foreseen a heart condition that would have saved his life in August the very next month, when he passed away.

I’m not sure, nor will I ever know, if I could have done something to make a difference that night. Sometimes my mind wonders, and feelings of guilt are brought to my mind.

My guilty feelings flare up now and again, until I remember that it is Heavenly Father’s will as to when a good person is taken from this earth. I am reminded of this.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Birthdays come and birthdays go, another year of existence, with happy memories. To those that have passed on, we remember not a year lived, but a lifetime. We share memories of a life that was well lived.

Some day, I hope this celebration will get easier. For now, we recognize it with heavy hearts.

We miss and love you Steve Brown! You were one of a kind!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Black Bears

I am always a little suspicious when I see signs like this while I’m vacationing in the wild.

It makes me a little leery about what might be lurking around the corner, as I make my way to the outdoor cranny by myself in the dark.
One night, around midnight, while Katelyn, Lizzy, Mike Hanna, and Trevor were playing cards outside on the picnic table, they heard a raucous in the bushes. It sounded like a wild animal was enjoying a midnight snack.

Everyone, but Trevor heard the noise. Trevor put his head down on the table in disbelief. The clatter continued, this time everyone stood up to see what creature was stirring in the bushes. They saw part of the animal, but were unsure as to what it was.

“Do you think it’s a bear”, Mike Hanna inquired in a frightened voice? “I’m getting a little scared”, he continued. Katelyn, Trevor, and Mike were all starring at the bushes, ready to take action and confront the furious beast, when out jumped a big DOG.

Katelyn fell on the ground in laughter at her scared protectors. No Bears were out tonight.

The Flaming Gorge Bridge

It is rumored that my husband has jumped off the Flaming Gorge Bridge, when he was at a youth activity MANY years ago. This is a rumor that I really wish my children weren’t aware of. Rumors like this may tempt others to do the same.

This year as the 3 boats full of relatives and friends were casually enjoying the ambience under the bridge, someone, may or may not have jumped off the bridge. If this person jumped off the bridge, it probably would have been the highlight of the trip.

Unbelievable, is all I have to say! Other spectators may have stopped in awe and wonder as this particular event may have happened. The rocks under the bridge, where most people were cliff jumping, lost their allure after by-standers may have watched this risky undertaking.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flaming Gorge 2011

Flaming Gorge happens to be one of my children's' most favorite vacation spots. The scenery is divine with towering pine trees, and sculptured rock cliffs. Water sports, camping, boating fishing, and sometimes, rafting the Green River are among our preferred activities.

Rain or shine, we always have a wonderful time at Flaming Gorge. We especially enjoy spending time with Steve's family, and friends. We build memories that will last a lifetime.
Fun in the water.
Wake boarding and water skiing. Mike and Ben love to fish. Ben's fishing pole broke, which made Ben really sad. Mike being the kind brother he is, tried to temporarily fix his pole with some duct tape.
Camping, dinner, and enjoying each other's company. Night activities - "The masks, playing cards, and hanging out. Most nights the kids would stay out playing games until 1:00 a.m.
Tubing - Meg didn't like the double tube with Quinn. The other's had a great time.
Ben - the captain, and the beautiful scenery.
Boating - The Thomas' boat, grandpa's boat, and our boat.
At the end of the torrential downpour was a beautiful rainbow, and lots of mud. Sometimes we would hide out at Dutch John eating ice-cream until the rain would subside.

Depsite of few "unfortuate" events, we had a fabulous time!

A Series of Unforunate Events (Day 3)

We were so excited to get out on the lake today. The first skier jumped in the water to ski, and I couldn’t pull him up. The boat had very limited power. Back to the marina we went.

Fortunately, Johnny (my marina friend), had some knowledge about boats. The bilge pump wasn’t working and pumping water out of the boat. Also, the fuel pump was dirty, and may have had an air bubble in it. Johnny replaced the fuel pump, and we took the boat out of the water, released the plug which drained the water from the boat. We were finally good to go.

The boat not working wasn’t the worst part of the day. The worst part was when we were informed that one of the little cousins on another boat had fallen while wakeboarding and cut his cheek.

Jackson had a very deep cut on his cheek. There was lots of blood, but he was very brave! He was taken to Vernal to receive treatment. He couldn’t remember what had happened, so they performed a CT scan on him. He had a concussion, and a very deep wound that required many stitches.

Poor looked much better once he was stitched up at the hospital. They were back to camp by late afternoon. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get Ben to water ski or wakeboard after this little incident. We are so glad that Jackson is doing well!

Sarah brought back a nasty bug bite. At first view she thought it was ring worm, but after Jordan’s dad, who is a physician, took a look at it, it is only some sort of bite.

There were other “unfortunate” events, but I think this will be the end of my series, phew!

Stay tuned for the fun parts of our Flaming Gorge Vacation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Day Two)

We went out in the boat early today with 2 nephews, a niece, and my children. The sun shimmered on the glassy, quiet, pristine lake. The lake was undisturbed and perfect for skiing and wakeboarding. They had a fabulous time wakeboarding and skiing in the crisp, cool water. Everyone had a chance to participate in as many water activities as wanted.

It was a good thing, because later in the day it began to rain. It started as a small drizzle, and ended in a torrential downpour. I have never seen it rain like that. We hunkered down in tents, or in grandma’s motor home to play cards.

Once the rain subsided a little in the late afternoon, the boys’ began playing an impromptu game of wiffle ball in the camp ground streets. The women were challenged to participate. Each aunt took their turn hitting the ball. I wanted Ben to pitch to me thinking me would try to pitch a decent ball to me. His intentions were to pitch as high and crazily as he could.

Being a little competitive, I was going to hit the ball regardless. I jumped up, swung, hit the ball (mighty fine I might add), got off balance and rolled off the street and into the small ravine. I am sure it looked worse than it was. I was quite a spectacle!

The next day I felt like I had experienced a terrible wipe-out while water skiing. I had a little discomfort when I would breathe (a few bruised ribs I’m sure), along with other aches and pains, nothing serious. It reminded me of my skateboard adventure.

Meg and Quinn delivered the extra key to the Suburban this evening. I was so excited to finally have my own vehicle. They arrived in the early evening so Mike, Sarah, Jordan, and I quickly ventured over to Cedar Springs Marina to retrieve the suburban. Much to our surprise, when Jordan opened the door to the car, alarms started blaring as if we were seasoned thieves trying to steal a vehicle. We ignored the alarms; Jordan inserted the key in the ignition, only to find that the car was in “theft” mode and would not start.

My heart sunk, and my determination to not be defeated continued to thrive. I began the desperate calls again – first AAA, than Chevy roadside. Their suggestions were to tow the vehicle back to Salt Lake and get a key made. That just didn’t seem like a viable solution to me. Finally, I called Murdock Chevrolet, the car dealer who had made my duplicate key, and received a more practical solution.

They had to make several phone calls to get me the feasible solution, but once they did, I was happy. Each duplicate key must be micro chipped. If it is not, your key cannot be used unless the “theft mode” is disabled. It takes quite some time to disable, but IT WORKED!

Once the “theft mode” was disabled the battery was dead and the car battery needed to be jumped. Thanks to Grandpa Wayne, and Aunt Jen, we got a jump, and finally were able to drive the suburban after hours of working on it. Mike stayed with me the entire time. What a trooper!

The troubling part about this was that every time I locked my car and opened it, the car alarms would start AGAIN. My children always seemed to need something out of the car at 7:00 a.m. or earlier. You can only imagine the commotion it caused in our camp ground. Our fellow campers weren’t real pleased with us. After a mild cursing from our neighbors, I left the car unlocked the remainder of the trip.

One would think we had experienced enough unfortunate events for one trip. Stay tuned....there is more to come. We all were able to have a good time despite these events and enjoyed ourselves throughout the trip.

"It's not so much what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us."
James E. Faust - Oct. Gen. Conf 2004

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Day One)

Before I post my Series of Unfortunate Events happenings, I need to preface it with my notion that for the most part, I don't believe in bad vacations. I believe that you can make a vacation great regardless of "unfortunate events". There just seemed to be a few extra difficulties on this particular vacation. Some are humorous happenings, and others (the injury ones) a little sad. There were also, MANY wonderful, fun, exciting parts of the trip that I will get to later. Regardless of the good, or the bad, I believe in this quote, "Happiness isn't a circumstance or a situation, it's a decision."

Our annual trip to Flaming Gorge began on Wednesday, July 6th. It takes a village – well maybe just a family in full cooperation – to prepare for camping at Flaming Gorge. Once we were packed, and ready we left for our trip. The beginning of our trip was very uneventful. We made it to our destination without any troubles. We unpacked quickly, with the help of several kind cousins. We were anxious to get out on the lake and take an evening ride in the boat. After launching the boat, the kids came around to the dock to pick me up. I jumped on the front of the boat, and as I did something slipped out of my jacket pocket, into the lake.

“The keys”, Sarah shouted. The car keys had slipped into the murky water at the dock, quickly making their way to the bottom of the lake. “Oh, no”, I shrieked. Unfortunately, the water is extremely high this year which makes the possibility of finding your keys very slim.

Wanting to solve the problem, I quickly ran to the store at the marina and asked for suggestions. Stacy, Jimmy, and Johnny, became some of my best marina friends. They tied a large magnet to 40 feet of rope to try to fish my keys out of the water. Jimmy fished for my keys for a long time; I got to hear a lot of stories, and learned about selective listening as Jimmy enjoyed telling stories with a lot of profanity. I also, learned to limit the amount of fresh air I inhaled since Jimmy liked his cigarettes. Regardless of Jimmy's vices, he was a good man to offer his assistance.

After idea number one failed, I moved on to other sources. I called On-Star, AAA, and Chevy roadside Service. After hours of researching my problem, a child of mine informed me that we had a duplicate key at home. This information may have been useful hours ago. I quickly called Meagan to bring up the spare key when she came the next evening.

Luckily, we camp with Steve’s family and the Thomas’s, so although I had no transportation, no money, we were not alone. We slipped the boat at night, so we could boat, but we needed transportation to get to the boat, and money for our necessities.

With our kindhearted relatives we were never without anything we needed, and were able to boat the next day with the cousins.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ready To Go

The boat is out of storage, received its summer check-up, and is ready to go on our vacation to Flaming Gorge on the 6th. When Mike and I picked the boat up from storage, I was pleased to note that I no longer have white knuckles and sweaty palms when I drive on the freeway while pulling the boat. Remember this and that? I have come a long way baby!

With lots of baseball and other summer activities, I didn’t get a chance to take the boat out for a test run before Flaming Gorge. Monday morning, on The 4th of July, Meg, Quinn, Mike, and Lizzy, took the boat out to Willard Bay for the morning. They left at 6:00 a.m. and were back by 11:30. No one was on the lake. Maybe it was a little too early for regular folks. They skied and wakeboard for a couple hours. It was a nice break for me to have a son-in-law able and willing to help make sure the boat was up for the trip, while I was home sleeping, and preparing for the trip.

We’re ready to go!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We have a portable fire-pit in our back yard that we use for fires. The kids love roasting hot dogs, smores, and just getting warm. Last week’s “cleaning of the closet” prompted a need to burn some of Steve’s clothing, so we ignited a fire in the pit. It sounds harsh, but it was the proper way of disposing of these particular items. After burning the clothing, we all decided to make smores for dessert. They were delicious, and that ended our evening.

A couple days ago, Mike quietly confiscated one of my small Tupperware containers to use in gathering the ashes in the fire pit. Upon my discovery, I told him that the next time he wants to dispose of fire ashes that he should use a plastic bag. He then proceeded to tell me how the ashes were those of his Dad’s burnt clothing. He was gathering them to take on our vacation to Flaming Gorge, to spread at his Dad’s favorite places.

Once I knew the purpose of my Tupperware, I told him he could take any container he wanted. It warmed my heart, and made me all teary to think of what a thoughtful young man he is.

Happy Birthday America!

On the July 4th we celebrate our Independence, and Freedom as a nation and as individuals. Many people aspire to leave, their homeland to come to the "land of the free and the home of the brave" to live the American Dream.

The United States of America offers many opportunities to it's people. I am "proud to be an American", and am grateful to those who serve our country to ensure our liberty.

Happy Birthday America!

Family barbecue to celebrate the 4th of July.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In The Dog House

Is it possible for humans to be "in the dog house" with their pets? If so, that is exactly where I am with my dog Bella. Bella has been giving me "hints" (if you know what I mean), all week that she needed more attention. It has been a very eventful week, and my focus needed to me on more important tasks. So bascially, I have been ignoring her just a bit.

Bella begun ignoring me back. Last night was the ultimate snub, when she slept on the couch in my room, rather in my bed where she sleeps every night. What? Isn't that where offended spouses are suppose to sleep when there has been conflict or discord?

I've been trying to make amends today. Hopefully, I'll be out of "the dog house" tonight, and my furry friend will join me in my giant comfy bed.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mixing Things Up A Bit

I couldn't figure out why my boys' baseball pants weren't coming clean......until tonight!