Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Window is still Cracked Open


"Er Bear"

This week my baby Erin started back to school for her last year of public education. Wow! As I sat back after she left for school, (actually I really didn't sit, I kept busy working) and pondered the event, I suddenly realized that this was the last time I would send a child off to school. I then thought back over all the years of sending all of my children back to school. Each year I remember always feeling so excited for each of them but also so sad because I loved having my children home for the summer. They were all my little buddies and I missed each of them when they were gone. I remember most all the other Moms talking about how excited they were to have summer over and sending their kids back to school. I always thought there must be something wrong with me because I didn't feel that was AT all. Well, now as I worked in my yard, I thought about the windows in our lives. A big window is about to close in my life, and that means a new window is about to open. That is an interesting feeling. I don't quite know how I feel about it at this point. I would have to say a little sad and a little excited.

Erin and her new Viola

Now, I do believe that was about the fastest summer we have ever had. Time flew by soooooo fast. I don't know why, because I can't really even remember what we did. I know we worked a lot because we didn't vacation much. Well, I would have to say we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish though.


These were our goals for the summer. Erin decided she was ready to invest in an upgrade in her viola. We thought her old viola would last through High School, but she has improved to the point that she was ready for a better one. So, we decided to start shopping. We have learned a lot about musical instruments, how they are made, what makes one different than another, and on and on. I was very surprised at how much different each instrument can be and how unique they are. I was also so surprised at the different prices. Our goal was to find one before school started this fall and we barely made it. She also was working and saving her money so that she could pay cash for it. I was so proud of her. She is really growing up right now and this experience has really helped her learn a lot more about life and the value of money. She has a much greater appreciation for all those Fruitfull runs and raising good 4-H animals. She also is practicing with greater quality and intensity. This is paying off. She is really improving right now and we are sure enjoying it. She also started up taking piano lessons again. She realizes that if she wants to pursue her education in music, she will need a better piano base. So, lucky me, I get to hear her practice the piano too. It seems like that is what she does with every spare moment, play viola and then play piano. And since she is the only kid around now, she can just leave it out and it is safe and convenient to play easily.


Her next goal was to complete a home study Social Civic coarse so that she could graduate from High School early. She did it. I am so proud of her because I didn't know if she would make it. It has been my observation in the past that she kind of has a problem with procrastination. I don't know how she got like this, because it is not like me at all and it drives me crazy to watch a procrastinator. She did it though, and I lived through watching the first half of the summer before she even opened the book. I was also very careful to not say anything about it. I really thought that this might be one of those hard learned lessons of failure, but I was wrong. Even procrastinators can get things done on time.

Erin has a dream.. She wants to get a music scholarship and major in music performance. But at the same time, wants to get a certificate in something like Visual Tech, Surgical Tech, Respiratory Therapy or Phlebotomy. That way she can get a job while she is studying what she loves. She is working on her pre-requisites at Community College now to get her into one of these courses now. What a smart girl. I am so excited for her. I know she can do it.

Life is good. I Love you Erin. Thank you for being a part of our family.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This is about the most horrible picture of me ever, but just look at the adorable new crop of babies. Sorry Jodi and Chris, but I think this beats your new crop of beets, cabbage and cauliflower. I am so lucky.
Last week we had such a great time at our annual family re-union. We started out at Jodi and Chris's place in Annabella on Friday afternoon. Saturday morninig we all got up and some of us went on a beautiful bike ride down the canyon starting at Big Rock Candy Mountain. I loved it. I think the bike bug is creepping into the lives of my kids. How FUN! I think that Lincoln's #1 word in his vocabulary right now is Bike Ride.

After enjoying a little bit of time at the Nielson's we headed up the canyon to do some good old mountain camping. We left equiped with 4 wheelers, tents, trailer, fishing poles, dogs and plenty of good food. I can hardly believe how much the chemistry of our family changes each year. What a big difference it makes for each of the grandkids to grow in one year. All of the Mamas and Papas were extra busy attending to their own little growing crop of kids. Jay and I hardly saw each other the whole time we were there. We were both so busy just trying to take it all in. We both had so much fun just playing and watching all of our kids being parents. And the Grand Kids. Oh my, they had so much fun playing with each other and they are so dang cute. And what great bonds they have with each other.

Like my post said:


And this is why!


Levi came into this world about the cutest baby I have ever seen. Way too cute to be a boy. He was also very stubborn. I saw this as a future gift. He has great values and holds to them very firmly. He also has an extremely sensitive and sweet side to him. He seems to care about others feelings and is very sensitive to them. He has tons of energy and goes and goes. He makes a great big brother and cousin and we all love him.

Casey is extremely sweet, kind of quiet, really pretty, and really smart. She is usually sitting back quietly watching, listening and paying close attention. She has an incredible attention span. When I am around Casey I find myself striving to be better. She is also a great big sister to Whit. He is crazy about her.

I love Heston. He is a rascal but he is melted in my heart. He is a thinker and has very interesting thoughts. He is really a big tease and is fun to play with. He is also extremely athletic. He can be serious, goofy, happy and funny. I love to talk to him because he tells me exactly what he is thinking and it is always interesting to hear his thoughts. He is honest. He is also like velcro. He sticks right with me.
Dantsel is my little Bug a Boo Girl. She is a girly one. She is a princess through and through. She is really fun and sweet. She is smart, kind and pretty. She loves to look pretty and wear jewelry, have her nails done, and has beautiful hair styles and cute clothes. She also loves horses. Maybe she will be a rodeo princess some day. She looks like her Dad!
Emery had kind of a rough start in life. She surprised us a little early and had colic to boot. But she has outgrown her misserable start and is a total joy now. She is as cute as a button and so so sweet. She is a little social butterfly. I love to listen to her cute little chit chatting and singing. She is always surprising me with her intelligence. This girl is going places in life. She is full of determination.

James is about the best natured little person I have ever seen. He is also goofy and funny. He is brave and athletic like his Mom was when she was a little person. Jameser Boy is just dang cute.


I believe that Lincoln and I were great buddies in the pre-existance. When he was born, he looked in my eyes and when I said hello to him, he looked in my eyes and seemed to say to me, "Oh, there you are." I just love this little guy. He loves anything mechanical or with wheels. He wants to know how everything works. He can't stop talking about bikes and four wheelers. I love it when he follows me around.


Whit is so cute. He is his own little guy. Everyone loves Whit. I think he is going to always be everyones friend. He is acually the first of my grandkids that I think resembles me a bit. Look at that face. Oh, I love you Whit.

Gwen is adorable. She has Zachary's cute cheeks and Nikki's beautiful eyes. She is full of smiles. She melts my heart.


Here is Tiny Tim. He is a clone of his father in looks. He is a sweet little package from Heaven. He is so mellow and sweet. He melts my heart when he nuzzles his little face up to me and cuddles. He also has the cutest little grin. And ohhhh, so good natured. NO COLIC! Yeah!!!

Little Duncan is another little replica of Brandon. He is bright eyed, and very good natured. How Cam and Brandon get such perfect natured babies is a mystery to me. We can already tell he is another special little one.

So there you have it. I love all my little sweetie pies. Thanks for making my life so wonderful. You are all so unique and different from one another. I think of you all like little warm fuzzies. Love just grows and grows and grows. The more love there is, the more their is to share. If we hold back, the fuzzies will turn to cold pricklies. Not in this family. Not ever. I am so blessed to have you all in my life.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pioneer Loved Ones

Lately I've been spending quite a bit of time thinking about our family and loved ones. This happens to me once in a while. Of course I think about my parents and grandparents that I remember and look forward to being re-united with some day. And there are those friends and family that are still living, that I don't see much of, that I think about being with someday too. But lately I've been thinking more about relatives and what I call "Kindred Spirit Friends" that were special to us on the other side of the veil. Ever since our return from our back east Church History trip, and our experience as chaperone's for our Stake Youth Conference on the "Muddy River Mission" I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about some of our family heritage. I have especially been thinking about little baby Electa Roberts and her mother Mary. It is very humbling for me to think about their courage and dedication to what they believed in. They sacrificed so much for their beliefs. Brigham Young, who was a good friend of theirs, I'm sure, said "The test of a mans faith was his willingness to uproot himself and his family, time and time again, and start life anew where he is needed." They certainly did it. They left their home in Provo when they were called to come to the Muddy River to help the Indians. It must have been so hard. I live here now all these years later and I know that this part of the world can be wicked. I love it here and feel a very special spirit here. That is why we are here. Mary came here without the conveniences that we have. She brought her children here and even lost little baby Electa here. When I think about it, I feel so much love for her. The other day as I was cruising along on my very nice bike, on a nice paved road, I decided to stop and visit the old pioneer cemetery where Electa is probably resting. I feel so close to her and look forward to giving her a hug when I am re-united with her on the other side. I can't help but think that she is near to me and helping me on the other side. How must Mary have felt when Brigham Young came and told them they could leave. She was probably so happy to be going back to Provo but also sad to know she was leaving a part of her behind. Well, now I am here and close to her lost baby and I love her. Isn't that a strange thing. When Jay and I decided to move here with our family, we had a very spiritual experience. We knew we were suppose to be here. We didn't know why, but we also felt some spirits on the other side that were very near to us and directing us. As I think about it now, I wonder if it was Benjamin and Mary Roberts and their family. I guess we will find out some day. It is also interesting to me that Benjamin was Grandpa Vogels grandfather and Grandpa Vogel spent his last days here. I do know that I have a great love for these past pioneers that they are a part of me. We are a part of their family and they are a part of ours. I won't forget them and I think they are aware of us too.
After my bike ride I decided I would go back and take a few pictures. As I sat on the hill of that old pioneer cemetery, looking over the valley, I wondered how much different it must have been for Mary looking over the same valley. When I decided it was time to ride home, I looked across the valley to where my home is. The steeple to the church, across from my home, looked so tiny and far away. When I got on my racer bike on the paved road it took me only about 25 minutes to ride home. It was probably about 90 degrees out by that time of the morning. When Mary headed back North, it probably took them at least one full day just to get to where I live. Hopefully it wasn't a hot summer day and they had some decent water to drink.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Who is the Happy one?

Last week we went on our first family vacation for the summer. I don't know for sure if most would consider it a vacation, but we sure came home happy and tired.
We left Logandale on Tuesday afternoon and our first stop was Ivins, Utah for Erin's viola lesson. We then continued heading North bound to Annabella, to drop Erin off to stay with Chris, Jodi and their kids. My my, Erin sure loves and misses those adorable, active, wonderful kids. She promised Jodi she would do all the dishes she could, and assist with chores if she could just go and spend a little time with them. It was very late by the time we arrived and Jay and I hit the sack for our early journey to Delta. Did I mention we picked Leslie up from her home in Mesquite to go with us? It's always a very interesting and an eventful time when Jay and Leslie get together. When I pray for patience I think Heavenly Father answers my prayers by having me practice my patience skills when those two are together. I know they really do love each other but they definitely have a hard time showing it. Anyway, back to the vacation. Wednesday morning we headed to Delta to help Dallas and Tim move to Salt Lake City. All of their personal belongings have been stored in our trailer for two months and now the time had finally arrived for them to move to their University of Utah destination. We had promised them we would help them move and we were so glad we were not making a Eastern trek to Virginia for Pharmacy school. We spent Wednesday night at the Loveless house with Marie. We couldn't resist staying up late to spend time with her. The next morning we got up early and headed to SLC. When we arrived at their student housing complex we played with the cute kids and helped them unload their belongings and played with the kids some more. Dallas and Tim just kept thanking us and thanking us for helping them move. Yes, it was a lot of work. Especially for us old folks with all our aches and pains. Poor Jay is still recuperating from a bout of Tennis Elbow (also know as tendonitis of the elbow) This is from all that hammering on my wonderful new chicken coop.
I L OVE YOU JAY! Thank you for building me the best chicken coop ever. As I was saying, does this sound like a fun vacation? Well, as I was unloading all of those boxes and boxes in the heat of the day, I had a big smile on my face. Why? Because indead there is nothing in life that can make a person happier than to be able to help someone else out. As I thought about this great lesson I remembered what Mom told me in one of those tender last moments of her life. I pondered her thoughts on this subject. I remember her telling me about staying in Grandma and Grandpa Vogels winter home in Desert Hot Springs while she was recieving her cancer treatments. She was by herself and had to drive herself into Indio for her treatments. I'm sure she was very tired, especially on her drive home, after the treatments. There was a nice retired lady that lived near by. She came to Mom and asked her if she could drive her to her doctor apointments and treatments and assist her. Mom did not want to be a burden on anyone and declined her offer. This kind woman then pleaded with Mom to please let her help her. You see, her and her husband lived an easy life filled with taking it easy, golfing and doing anything they desired to do. But she was not happy. She was missing out on what really makes a person happy. That is to be able to help someone else. Mom told me it was so hard for her to be a burden but she decided to let this woman help her, and she was indead a great help to Mom. So who really was the happy one. Of course, the one giving service. Thank you Dallas and Tim for helping us to have a very happy vacation.
We then took Leslie to see her Sleeping disorder doctor in SLC. I love Dr. Farney. He is so smart and down to earth. He has every right to be a snooty doctor with the knowledge he has but he is so kind and genuine. He always treats me like a normal person and doesn't act like he is ten times smarted than me when he talks to me, even though I know he is in fact at least ten times smarter than me. Being a nationally know sleeping disorder specialist, we are very lucky to be one of his patients. I wonder if he is the way he is because he knows how to get a good nights rest. We then continued our journey South. Back to Annabella. It is always so fun to go spend time with Chris, Jodi and their family. Now, here is what we did there. Besides goofing off in their garden and grooming horses, dogs and not ourselves we went on a great bike ride. We loaded up all their bikes, my bike and a few others and headed to big rock candy mountain. There we unloaded our bikes and when on this really cool bike trail through the canyon. It was so beautiful and fun. After our bike journey, Jay took Levi and Heston fishing. They caught a whole slew of fish. Jay and I didn't want to start smelling like rotten fish so we headed back home. (with the fish) We got home late Saturday night. Jay had bisopric meeting at 6:00 am the next morning. After attending 2 hours of our 3 hour meeting we decided we better go home and get some rest. We were so tired we could barely walk accross the street and up the driveway to our home. When we got home we got undressed, pulled the covers down, turned on the fan and fell asleep for 2 and 1/2 hours. Boy, were we tired but happy.
Well, whats a blog without a picture. I took all of these pictures while I was flying down the trail on my bike. Now that's action.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nauvoo, Niagra and Kirkland

The entertainment was great!

Jay loved the Oxen!

Rhonda at the Yearsleys! This is the family that took our relative, Benjamin Morgan Roberts, an orphan, Grandpa Vogels grandpa, in. I didn't even know it when I was there. Cool story. Thanks to sister Paula it was waiting for me upon my arrival home.

I loved this picture of the Kirkland Temple in the Visitors center in Old Kirkland. The Spirit was very strong there for me.

Niagra Falls was beautiful and very wet.

Dreams Do Come True

Many years ago my parents took me on a vacation back east to see church history sites. At the time I was about 15 years of age. Growing up in the church I always heard all of the stories about Joseph Smith and the early pioneers. It was just a part of my life. I didn't really have too much appreciations for all that our early ancestors did for us. I do remember starting seminary that next fall. As we talked and learned about the different things that occurred with the restoration I could visualize the events better since I had recently visited there. As I grew and read and my testimony developed, I gained more and more appreciation for our past. Then as I became a parent, I even appreciated what the early saints went through more. I still always remembered the sites my parents took me to see. I would think back and try to remember it all with the dream of someday going back and seeing it again. Over the years, I have told Jay about my dream to go back and tried to explain what it was like. He thought it would be more enjoyable to spend the money on a fishing trip to Alaska or something else of the sorts. I really didn't think we would ever make the trip. Then the unexpected happened. Each year the graduating seniors make a trip back east to the church history sites and they had extra seats for chaperons that needed to be filled. Sweet Jay, knowing that this has always been a dream for me decided we would fill some of their empty seats and go along with them. We thought Erin might like to go along in that she would be graduating early form High School next year and wouldn't have the opportunity to go. So we signed up. Much to our amazement, Erin decided she really didn't want to go. She felt like she would rather attend girls camp. We thought she was going nuts so we then decided to take Leslie in her place. BRAVE! Leslie was not able to go with her graduating class because we didn't dare send her on her own. She has always wanted to go, so this was her chance. We had a wonderful trip. I was amazed at how much the church has done to develop the sites. There were beautiful visitors centers at each place we visited. We truly sensed the sacredness of many of the places we visited. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to visit and learn of the sacrifice's of many of my past ancestors and better see and understand our history. I am also so grateful for my testimony. It is strong and still growing. I am so grateful for it. And finally I am especially grateful for such a sweet husband who always seems to make all of my dreams come true.
Here are some beautiful sites we visited. I took about 600 pictures and I couldn't even delete hardly any of them. They were all so pretty. It's a good thing I like green because I sure saw a lot of it.