Friday, August 31, 2012

Peach Days Ice Cream Eating Contest

In the past it has been tradition that the Royalty participate in the Ice Cream eating contest.  This year the rules had changed to families, but they still let the girls participate. 

We were missing one girl so Julie, one of our Special Needs Participants, filled in.  In the beginning, the girls were eating so nicely with their spoons...but it didn't take long for them to dig in with their hands.

Unfortunately they came in 2nd place...and also unfortunately, they were all sick!  It was fun to watch the princesses get a little messy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Peach Days Practice

The Royalty needed to get together to practice before their Peach Days Performance.  We were adding a new song with sign language that involved audience participation....and also we needed to teach Mandie the city jingle.  The girls had fun practicing together. 

Right after the practice we went to the Hurricane City Meeting regarding our assignment for Peach Days.  The Committee Chairman asked us to perform our city jingle.  McKayla was working and couldn't make it and Mandie had only practiced it a few times so we were already at a disadvantage.   It also didn't help that each girl has solo lines! The girls did it as best they could...but it was definitely not their best performance.

An Unexpected Change in the Royalty

The week before Peach Days, Hunter told us she would be moving to Salt Lake.  This would leave an opening in our Royalty.  We contacted the city and they told us that the next in line was Mandie Leavitt.  Brooklyn and I went over to Mandie's house and Brooklyn asked her if she would join the Royalty.  Mandie was so excited.  She now has only one week to learn the city jingle as well as the other songs the Royalty will be performing at Peach Days.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Elder Moore's Sandy 2nd Ward Homecoming

On August 19th, we were back in Sandy for Justin's homecoming there.  We stayed at the Farr's house.  The Morgan's were kind enough to let us use their home for the luncheon after church.  It was nice to hear Justin speak in the ward he had grown up in.  One of the elders from his mission sang a hymn in Spanish and it also brought the spirit in. 

The celebrations were fun, but the best part of the homecoming is seeing how much the missionary has grown. Elder Moore's testimony increased, he had a quiet confidence, he had changed. His love for the people of Nicaragua was evident in the way he spoke of them and the stories and memories he shared.

I am so grateful for the mission Justin served. He worked three jobs in the months prior to serving his mission so that he could earn the $10,000 required. This was a blessing to him and to me as his mother. I am so proud of him.

Elder Moore, the last two years were invaluable to you, to me, and to the people you were able to teach. May your testimony always burn bright. And may your time in Nicaragua serving the Savior stand as a foundation and a testament that will guide you throughout your life. I love you son!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Kings

When I bought my house at 1243 E. Forest Ridge Road in Sandy, Utah in 1994, I believed that I would live there for the rest of my days.  It was a great home in a great neighborhood.  I had looked for six months for that house...and then I realized it wasn't the house I was looking for, but the people...the friends my children and I made while we lived there. 

With my divorce, it was evident I wouldn't be able to stay in that home.  My parents made a decision to buy my home and we would all live there together until the boys got on their missions.  My parents added 1400 square feet onto the already 3300 square foot home.  It was a big house!

When we all moved to Southern Utah, the market had crashed and my parents decided to rent out the house.  We were blessed when my friends and neighbors, the Kings, decided they wanted to be the renters.  I had taken care of their little girl Whitney when she was off-track from school and had taught her piano lessons in my home.  It only seemed natural that they live there. 

Thankfully for us, Marcie has a green thumb and a golden touch.  She has loved and cared for that house in a way I never could.  When I was there last, I had to take photos of the beautiful yard and gardens.  To me, it is heaven.  Having my dear, sweet friends living in my old house means I am able to go back there and visit whenever I feel the need.  Thank goodness, when I return now, I do not have the bad memories that occurred there, but only beautiful ones.  Thank you Bill and Marcie for giving me that gift.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brooklyn's First Day of School

On August 15 Brooklyn began her first day of her senior year in Hurricane High School.  It is fun to look back over the years and see how much she has grown and matured. 

A cool thing about being the Class of 2013 is they will be the first students to graduate from the new high school.  Almost all of the old high school was demolished except for the auditorium.  They have a new football field, tennis courts and baseball field as well.  It is really a beautiful school.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

St. George Temple Trip

 We were excited to go as a family to the temple.  It feels good to be there all together.  Also it was a welcome bit of respite from the busyness of the week.  The St. George Temple is extra-special to our family since my 2nd great grandfather, David H. Cannon, was the temple president there for 31 years.  His picture hangs in the foyer of the sealing rooms on the third floor.

One of the elders from Justin's mission, Taylor Webster joined us at the temple too.  He only lives a couple of blocks from the temple...lucky guy!  It is fun when Justin comes down to visit me that he gets to see his old mission friends.

Lacey brought Charlie, Hallie and Brooklyn down with her about the time our temple session was getting over.  Although we thought Charlie would be starving, he was in good spirits!

We then went and enjoyed a meal together at Iggy's. This picture is funny because the two returned missionaries are trying to figure out how to use their smartphones.  Technology changed a lot in the two years they were gone!

                                                             It really was a perfect day!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Elder Moore's La Verkin Homecoming

Back in July of 2010, we dropped Elder Moore off at the Missionary Training Center and kept driving to our new home in La Verkin. Because of this Justin had never been to this home or this ward.  He was the only missionary serving from my ward, and the Bishop and I thought it was important he do a homecoming talk here as well as in our old Sandy ward.  The Bishop hoped his talk would motivate other young men to serve a mission.  He did a great job and I enjoyed hearing firsthand his mission experiences and seeing how his love and dedication to the gospel had grown.

Some family members and friends came to the La Verkin homecoming. They came from Montana, Salt Lake, and Meadow, Utah and other distances.  Grandma hosted a wonderful Mexican party complete with taco salad and a pinata.  

Justin continues to have his fun personality!

It was a very good day and I am so happy to have my son home!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Float

One of the biggest responsibilities of the fair is building a float for the Washington County Parade. Since I didn't know the first thing about building a float, I was thankful another family in the Royalty had done one before.  Katie came up with the idea to have the Royalty swinging.  Since the theme of the fair was "Let Freedom Ring" it made sense to have the girls "swinging on a star."  Thank goodness we had a dad that was willing to do all the figuring and welding and building to make the float strong and secure.

As a side note this float would also be used in Hurricane's Peach Days Parade.  And we also needed a float for La Verkin's Winterfest Electric Light Parade. Because I am cheap on money and time, I thought we could convert our patriotic star float to a Christmas star float for the Winterfest.  This saved so much time and money.

Because we had to take the float 25 miles away for the Washington County Parade, the main part was built in La Verkin, but all the wrapping and stapling and decorating had to be done down in St. George.  During the fair week, we met after our responsibilities to work on the float.

I love this collage because it shows all the different things going on that day.  There was a lot of work being done and even time for a pizza break.  We were grateful that Justin was back to help us and that Grandma did such a great job designing Brooklyn's star.  We loved being calmed by the playing of the violin.  I also loved that Taffi got under the float to staple the fringe on.  I joked that she reminded me of the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz after the house landed on her!   This float was a lot of work, but we were so proud of it.

 During this time Justin was looking for a car to buy.  He took Grandma with him to test drive a car.  We were all surprised when they drove up in this big mafia car with Grandma's head in the back window.  Hahaha!

The next morning we met early to ride in the parade.  The girls looked so beautiful.  We were excited to win second place.  The second place prize was $100.  This money went back into the Royalty fund.  One less fundraiser we have to do!

Each of the girls added originality to their swing by decorating the star with their name and position in the Royalty.

After the parade it was time for the Princess Showcase.  This is where all the royalties from the cities in  Washington County get together to perform.  Brooklyn performed her "Firework" song.  It was met with rave reviews!  Doing sign language to a song is not a common "talent" and the song is so upbeat, that everyone always seems to get involved in her performances.

 Brooklyn became good friends with Kelby Tyler, Miss Washington County.  They enjoyed talking and serving together.

One of the things Brooklyn loves at the County Fair is the Texas Twister.  She was so excited to get one!

We spent some time wandering around the fair.  Brooklyn said goodbye to some of the ladies she had come to know, June Jeffrey and Pam Gubler.

And then she said goodbye to her week at the fair.  We were very involved and learned that there is a lot of work that goes into putting on a county fair.  We were happy to be a part of it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Ribbon Cutting

It was so fun being able to open the fair.  Brooklyn sat on the stage with the other princesses and the mayors from each city in Washington County.  Mayor Karl Wilson and his wife Melanie are favorite people of ours.  They have been so good to Brooklyn and are always happy when they see her.

The Mayor and the Princess would each arise.  The mayor would then introduce his princess and she in turn would introduce her royalty.  After that, the Royalty would do their city jingle.  Ours is "La Verkin is our city and we love it...."  It is really cute with lots of movement, signing, and rapping.  It got the loudest applause!

 Following the ribbon cutting, we all went outside for the flag ceremony.  The theme of the fair was "Let Freedom Ring" and in this election year and all that has gone on politically, it was nice to take a moment and think about the sacrifices that have been made to retain our freedom.

Before we left for the night, Chuck and Debbie Hardy were so nice and treated us all to a ride on the ferris wheel.  I must admit, there were some jitters on some of our parts, but it was a time to be remembered!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


We attended Sacrament Meeting at the Eastridge 2nd ward before heading back down to La Verkin.  It was an exciting Sunday as the bishopric was released and a new bishopric called.  The new bishop is Tony Taylor, and his counselors are Mike Moyer and Craig Fox. 

Brooklyn saw one of her elementary school friends Jordan. 

We then had fun taking some family pictures in front of Wendy's house before making the drive back down South.  We had to leave that day because with Brooklyn being Miss La Verkin, we had to get back to begin her Washington County Fair duties the next day.  I was super glad Justin decided to come down with us!

This picture is heaven to me.  I love being with all my kids.  I am so blessed.

We always like taking a goofy picture.  They are just fun!

And I can't say thanks enough to Wendy for letting us join her family for 10 days.  That is a long time to have even your own family!  I love you friend!

The Washington County Fair Duties

We were excited for the Washington County Fair.  With Brooklyn being Miss La Verkin, we knew there would be many responsibilites for her to fulfill.  The Royalty's first assignment was to check in the art for the Home Arts Display competition.  It was fun meeting people and seeing all the photos, sculptures, paintings, etc. that they had done.

There were forms to fill out, labels to be made, frames checked to make sure they were properly hangable, etc.  It was a long day, but very rewarding.

The next day the girls went to the same building, but this time they checked in quilts, canned/preserved fruits and vegetables, home items, etc.  There was a lot of down time at this assignment as they were still waiting for displays to be built. 

On Wednesday, the girls helped put ribbons on the fresh produce people had brought in for judging. 
The girls had Thursday off and were back on duty Friday.  This time they helped with the Baby judging contest.  How fun!

Unfortunately, they made me the "bouncer".  I was assigned to make sure only one adult came in with each baby.  It was amazing to see how many wanted to bring grandma's, siblings, etc. in to keep their baby smiling and happy.  I was not the favorite when I said, "Only one person per baby is allowed."  After two hours of doing that, I asked for a swap.  I was tired of being the mean one.  I was able to tally up the scores, and that was much better!

The Royalty did a great job helping set the fair up.  I never realized how much work went into the fair and it makes me appreciate it even more.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Stake Report

We had a chance to run by and see Elder Nate Dukatz.  He and Justin had their farewells on the same day and he returned from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mission the same week Justin returned.  While visiting that day, it was mentioned that the missionaries would be giving their reports to the Stake Presidency and the High Council that next morning at 7:30 am.  After talking to the Stake Executive secretary, he confirmed that Justin would be giving his report then too. 

There is nothing like walking into that High Council room and having all the men arise.  It happened at happy times in my life - like when I was serving as a member in the Stake Primary Presidency.  And it happened at sad times - like when my marriage was dissolving.  I feel such love and respect for the men who stand out of that same love and respect. 

Justin was happy to see his old friend Paul Willis there as well.  President Dibble asked each Elder to state their name, their ward, their future plans, and tell an experience that showed something they learned while on their missions.  Once again, another spiritual and humbling experience.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Philly

Justin had no problem deciding where he wanted to eat lunch.  My boys have always loved The Philadelphian in Sandy.  Me, not so much.  The food is greasy, the carpet is dirty, and it is definitely a guys place.  But anything for my boy.  So we were off with the Stewart/Wilcox family and Devin in tow!

Justin also handed out gifts from Nicaragua to his uncle, aunt and cousins.  Fun times!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Release

Because we arrived home so late from the airport/dinner, the Stake Presidency decided to release Elder Moore on Friday morning at 9:00 am.  We took the opportunity to have some family pictures done before  we headed over there. 

The time spent with President Blake was wonderful.  He has a wonderful way of making everyone feel comfortable and of testifying of truthfulness.  He asked Elder Moore to bear his testimony.  Through tears, he told of his love for the gospel and his love for the people he served in Nicaragua.  He told of his goals to do the things necessary to stay close to the Lord.  President Blake assured him that he will still be in the service of the Lord but in a different capacity.  Now his work is to get an education and create a life with a wife and children.  He spoke with Elder Moore about the importance of good friends.  To spend the majority of his time with those that are living the standards he wants to keep.  He challenged Elder Moore to read from his scriptures daily and to go on one date a week....not a official date.  This seemed difficult to Justin at first, but he does enjoy is just that he hasn't been able to enjoy them for two years.  That night he had a date!

President Blake also talked to Brandon a little bit.  With Brandon's new occupation as a police officer, President Blake challenged him to gravitate to the good guys.  There are parts you have to do for your job that is "street cop" but not to carry that mentality into his personal life.  He said good men can be found and you must surround yourself with them. 

I felt the spirit in the room and also the love and gratitude for the mission experience.  As we left, Justin's mission was over.  The name tag was removed.  But the testimony and the experiences can never be taken away.

Souveweirds...I mean Souvenirs!

We went back to the Farrs knowing Elder Moore would be unloading his suitcases with all he had brought back from Nicaragua.  He arrived in the dark barely able to see the Welcome Home decorations we had prepared.

He threw all his belongings down into the family room and then began the unloading.  He brought back none of his clothes except what he was wearing. 

And the reason for that was his shoes looked like this:

And his pants looked like this:

While unloading the souvenirs, I noticed some interesting things in there.  The tuxedo hat, the rainbow colored shirt, a lavender bowtie which I forgot to photograph.  And machetes...lots and lots of machetes.  They may have been useful in Nicaragua...but here, not so much Elder Moore.  I was excited he brought me back a nativity and a colorful handmade bag...both things I had asked him for!

By the time the night was over, this is what the people looked like and this is what the floor looked like:

It was almost two in the morning and Elder Moore still wasn't tired.  I didn't want to go to bed if he wasn't ready...but I was oh so tired.  Little did I know he would be up at 6:00 AM just like in the mission.  I can't attribute any of it to jet lag since Nicaragua was the same time zone as us...I guess it was just pure excitement with maybe a little fear mixed in!