Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Letter

I have enjoyed receiving everyone's Christmas letters and pictures.  I look forward to it every year. I try to send out at least a Christmas card with an update or personal message, but this year the time got away from me and it didn't get done.  After some thought, I figured a blog Christmas letter is better than none at all.

Our family has been amazingly blessed this year.  It may not always seem that way, but we really are.  We have food to eat, reliable transportation, a roof over our heads, loving family, and for the most part good health.

Kenny is doing great at work and loves what he does.  He has almost completed his training to be a licensed mechanic as well as being recently promoted at work.  He is currently serving (with me) as the Cub Masters in our ward.  It has been a challenge with his work schedule and my health to get started and to fulfill our duties but Kenny has really taken charge and is doing a wonderful job.  He has shared with me that he feels very blessed to have a good job that supports his family in this economy.  Especially since he works in the automotive industry.

I, Rachelle, am still staying at home and busy with all that comes with this full time job.  I have decided to return to school and will start back on January 7th.  I will have my associates this spring.  My health, as always, is a roller coaster but I'm learning to deal with it better as time goes by.

Kelton is a Sophomore at Grantsville High School and is loving every minute.  He is doing well in school and has made some really good friends.  He has even started to be more active in school activities with his friends.  He was part of the half time show for the powder puff football game during homecoming and will be starting Law and Debate next semester.  He will do an excellent job, he loves to argue :)

Taylor is in the 8th grade at Grantsville Jr. High and has been excelling in all of his classes.  His teachers all love him.  He has been making some good friends as well but is more of a home body (like his parents) and isn't the social butterfly (if you can say that about boys) that his brother is.  He is still our comedian and he keeps us all on our toes.  I never know what to expect to come from him!

This past year we have not just moved back to Grantsville but also back into my mother-in-law's house.  I joke that we are the poster family for boomerang children.  Our boys started new schools, which they love. We were able to travel to St. George to spend time with family and be there for my cousin's sons farewell.  We had so much fun with everyone and we all still talk about our time there.  I had the opportunity to travel to my friends house in Albuquerque and spend the weekend.  It was a trip I will never forget and hope to repeat again with my family next time.

Somehow we met our insurance deductible again this year and that was before Kelton had surgery.  Luckily we only had the one surgery this year and even though it was Kelton's first surgery he did wonderfully.  His scar on his neck is almost healed and soon we won't even be able to see it.  I think that makes this year a success in the medical part of life.

As I said in the beginning, we have been truly blessed this year!  We have spent much time this year focusing on our relationship with our Heavenly Father and the Savior.  There have been many "angels" that have come in and out of our lives this year guiding us through our journey and I am so thankful to them for their support and love.  I know without a doubt that God is real and that he hears our prayers and answers them.  He knows our needs and is prepared to provide them to each of us if we will but only allow him to.  I am thankful for the family that he has sent to me and that they do for me.  I love you all!!

I hope each and every one of you have had a wonderful year and have been blessed this Christmas season.
May we all be able to look forward to 2013 with anticipation and excitement...may it bring us many blessings!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Laura Diane

Our first baby was a girl, we had her premature due to multiple birth defects.  We named her Laura Diane (after both of her grandma's) and this past week she would have turned 18.  I can't even believe how fast the time has gone by.  Every so often Kenny and I will stop and think about different milestones that she would have past during this time but for some reason I felt like I needed to share this special milestone.  She would be an adult!!  I don't think I'm really old enough to have a child that old.  Obviously, I am, but still...18?!

When Laura was born she only weighed 1 lb 1 oz and was 20 inches long.  Her grandparents (grandpa LeRoy and grandma Shauna) were able to see her and her grandma Shauna held her wrapped in a yellow afghan that she crocheted for her on our way to LA. According to grandma Shauna, Laura looked just like Kelton when he was born.  She had the same face and hair.  She also said that Laura was just beautiful.

It was hard those first few years when I watched friends buy cute little dresses and worry about piggy tails and braids.  They were getting their girls started in dance or other sports.  Then the time came when puberty would have started and I was incredibly thankful to not have to explain or deal with any of the emotions that start with that time in life.  However, looking back, I would go through it all willingly.  Our budget was saved by not having to buy formal dresses, professionally done hair and nails that are "required" for all the school dances. We didn't have to teach her to drive. We also didn't get to throw her a sweet 16 party.  This would be her senior year of high school.  There will not be a graduation party.  If she chose, she could be getting ready to serve her mission for the LDS church in a year.  Sometimes it is weird to watch my cousins get their kids ready for their missions and know that I would be doing the same thing.  There will not be any planning for a future wedding, no wedding dress and Kenny won't be walking her down the isle.

With all of the things that we didn't get to experience with her, there are other things that I do know we have had.  We still had a small time with her while I carried her.  She is doing other more important things with her life right now than worrying about clothes or boys or if she is safe at school.  She will never have to face the hardships of this world.  I know that there have been times in life when I have felt her close by and have cherished those small fleeting moments.  I have also had quiet moments where I have felt the Lord's comfort and reassurance that Laura is where she needs to be, that she is doing work that she needs to focus on and that she was purposely spared from having to worry about or deal with any worldly things.  With all the things that I see other girls going through, this has given me much comfort to know that she is protected, cared for and safe.  What else could a mother ask for?

I have often wondered if I would be able to see her and have her as part of our family one day and I can honestly say that we will.  I know that our family will be together and united as a whole one day and that I will get to spend many special mother daughter moments with her.  I feel so blessed to not just have this knowledge but to also have the faith that this is true.  Your family loves you very much, Laura!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Girl!

Friday, December 14, 2012


Two weeks ago I had a wonderful but hard visit on the phone with my best friend from Jr. High and decided that I needed to go for a visit.  On a very impromptu moment, I bought plane tickets to go to Albuquerque to visit.  I am so very very glad that I did.

My flight left on Dec. 7th at 6:45 am....this meant that I had to be up at 4 am to get ready and get to the airport.  It also meant that Kenny had to get up with me.  In reality, he got up and then woke me up.  I really don't do mornings well.  That might even be an understatement.  Either way, we made it to the airport and Kenny went to work and took a nap on one of the couches before he had to open the shop.

I couldn't help myself, I had to be a nerd and take a picture from the plane. This is the sun coming up Friday morning.  It was beautiful....until it blinded me :)

Let me add here that I have only flown one other time and that was 18 years ago. I have never flown on my own nor have I ever had to change planes.  I did both in one weekend.  I flew from Salt Lake to Las Vegas on a very crowded flight. Enjoyed a one hour "layover" if you can count it as a layover when it is only an hour long.  Once I landed in Albuquerque it was so wonderful to see Nikki.  She took me to lunch and it was so good. The best Mexican food I think I've ever had! I have a sneaky suspicion that she did that to soften the blow that I would have to be up at 4 am again the next morning.

Here is how the rest of the weekend went:

After our relaxing lunch we began the marathon that is called Nikki's life.  We picked up her oldest kids and dropped off my luggage, picked up their lunch for them to take to work with them. Dropped one off and then picked up one daughter from High School, picked up another daughter from Jr. High, dropped her son off at work, picked up youngest daughter at her Elementary School.  Ran home to pick up a few things for cheer practice and headed to practice that went from 5 pm to 7:30 pm.  We ran during that time to pick up her other daughter from basketball practice and then went back to finish watching cheer practice. After a couple quick stops we got home and Nikki made dinner for us.  How amazing is that?!  We ate at about 9:30 and finally settled down around 11.  Nikki still had to pick up one daughter from work at midnight.

Saturday started at 4 am...I pressed snooze, so I started at 4:30, we had to be at the gym by 5:30.  Domoneque did her 2 sisters hair for their cheer competition and once we were all ready (of course they were waiting on me, I was the slowest) we went back over to the gym for hair, make up, and another quick practice.  We left the gym at 7:30 to head downtown to the convention center so that we could get in as quick as possible when the doors opened at 8.

Here we are at the convention center waiting to get in:

Me, Domoneque, MyKayla, Nikki

I had to get a picture of the two amazing stars of the day:  Kaija and Natalya

This part is when both Kaija and Natalya were competing...Natalya is the one lifted right before being thrown into the air on the right.  I am still in awe at what both of these girls can do!

Natalya is on two teams and this is when she competed the second time. I watched her stretch and practice several times over 3 days but am still in awe at all she can do.  This is her "pulling a bow"....yes, that is her foot over her head while lifted up by those girls.  She would say, "I'm scared" while she was practicing and then she would go out and do this like it was nothing.  So brave!!!  Both her and Kaija are amazing and strong.  Not just physically but mentally (performing in front of all those people) and spiritually.

The strength and love that I saw in Nikki's family was inspiring.  They all work so hard to work together and her children show such selfless love toward each other.  There were so many stories shared and acts that I saw over the weekend that show how they all love each other.  I am so impressed with all of them!!

Once we were done with the competition, one team got first place the other team got third, we headed home and most of us got to take a nap.  When I woke up Nikki had dinner done and we all sat down to enjoy her wonderful cooking.  We had time to sit back and spend the evening talking and laughing and sharing stories.  It was so much fun and relaxing.  I was serenaded by Nikki and Domoneque, they sang a song about how elephants have wrinkles.  It was hilarious.  Soon Natalya joined in and every time she said a place that an elephant had wrinkles she wiggled her eyebrows.  It was so cute.  I shared many stories about my boys and family and now Nikki's family has some new fun sayings from our family (none of the bad ones, I promise). We stayed up until one in the morning laughing so hard.  Kenny said that they may not let me back.
Sunday we got up and got ready for another busy morning.  I had asked Domoneque to do my hair and she agreed.  I was so excited   I never get to have my hair done and spending a weekend with all girls and one who can do some amazing braids, I had to ask.  I had fun watching her plan with her mom what she would do with my hair. She did an amazing job, as you can see!

I loved my braided headband so much that I left it in to see if I could still wear it on Monday. It worked!!! I got to show off my hair to everyone I saw on Monday.  I'm sure if any of you saw me more than once you were very tired of hearing about not only my weekend but of my hair.  I'm kind of a nerd that way but I loved my hair!

Natalya had tumbling practice on Sunday afternoon, so we stopped by a store for me so I could get some things that I needed and then we went to Popeye's for lunch. I had never eaten there before.  Silly thing to get excited about but it was one more first to add to my list. 

While at tumbling practice I was finally able to get a picture of me and Nikki together.  Here we are, the whole reason for me to jump on a plane (4 times).  Some time together with a dear friend.

It was a wonderful weekend and one that I will never forget.

Thanks to all of the Quinones family to opening your home to me and showing me such love.

I can't wait to come back with my family so we can all have fun together.

Midnight Movies

We went to the midnight showing of The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey last night.  We took our boys, Seth and Kelton's girlfriend, Amanda.  We just went to the theater in Tooele so that we wouldn't have to drive so far at 3 in the morning.  It was so much fun and we all loved the movie. Past that I'm not going to say anything because I am under strict orders from several people to not say a word....but it was really really good!

Part of the deal for us going was that we all had to get up this morning and go to school and work.  Everyone did just that, with the exception of me.  I am very proud of my boys for getting themselves up and going to school. I know Kenny is tired (he has already texted me and said he is going to try to leave early) and I'm sure my boys are exhausted.  I knew I was tired but I always here my alarm.  I couldn't figure out how I slept through it until I finally looked at my phone and realized that I had left it on silent from the movie. Ooops!!  I'm kind of chuckling that I did that but feel horrible that I got 6 hours of sleep and everyone else got less that 3.

Monday, October 29, 2012


This weekend has also consisted of carving Jack O Lanterns.  This was a whole process just to get to the cutting part...I had thrown away our carving tools when we moved because it had been so long since we had carved pumpkins that I didn't think we needed them anymore.  That one decision cinched it that we would be carving pumpkins this year!

My Mom and Chris took my boys to Northern Utah and they picked out the pumpkins for all of us.  Then I had to brave Walmart on a Saturday in Tooele to get patterns and cutting tools.  Since the rain and snow didn't clean all the mud off of the pumpkins  Kelton and Seth wiped them off.  We had their cousin Kayla here for a late night and she was more than willing to carve my pumpkin for me...whew.  I had no idea how my hands would hold up and didn't feel like trying to find out.

See, always a process, never easy :)

Before long, the pumpkins had been chosen and divided up...they were clean and ready to get dirty again with pumpkin guts....tops cut and guts scooped....patterns picked....then you could have heard a pin drop in the house while they all focused on their designs.

Here are the finished ghoulish product of their hard work....
Kayla: Bat....Taylor: creepy cape guy

Kelton: creepy guy climbing out of ground

Seth: traditional Jack-O-Lantern....Kenny: Mummy  Face
Our front porch is now officially ready for Halloween!

Movies, Food and Laughter

Kenny and I decided to take yesterday and spend it together as a family day for just the 4 of us.  We don't get to do this very often, which is okay, but every once in a while we like to disappear and do things just for us.  Selfish, I know!

We have also been keeping ourselves on a tight budget, so part of our plans was to go have fun and splurge a little.  Do some things that we haven't done for a while.  

Like see a movie before it went to Redbox!! and get popcorn and drinks....

Eat at one of our favorite restaurants...

Take our boys to their favorite store...

Then hit redbox on the way home for a movie we have waited FOREVER to see...

Lastly, Netflix to watch one of our favorite comedians....
John Pinette

All in all, it was a very very very good day!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Kelton is now 15 (as you all already know) and now has his learners permit.  He is officially allowed to drive on the road and the proof is the picture below where he is sitting in the drivers seat of our truck.

How did we get to this point?  I swear it was just last year that we were in the hospital having him.  He was so small and sweet.  He loved to snuggle with mom and take naps. He would perk up and be very happy when dad got home from work.  He was our little Cheeto because he was so jaundice.

Kelton has always been very special to us and I still remember his blessing day like it was roughly 9 months ago.  We had so much family there with us that day and had an amazing lunch after church.  I can't believe how fast that first month went and how fast he grew.

Before we knew what happened he was eating Rice cereal, sleeping through the night and learning to sit up. He was such a handsome chunky boy.  Even at 3 months old he was wearing 6-9 month clothes.  He did everything early and was a wiz at taking things apart.  I was constantly finding the rubber ends of door stops and bolts from my treadmill in his mouth.

Cars have always been his first love.  He had a huge collection from an early age that was added to by Santa Clause one year...he filled Kelton's stocking with hot wheels cars.  Kelton had a special organizer to carry his cars in and each car had its own space.  He knew where each car went and we would switch them just to see if he would actually fix it. He always went back through and put them in the "correct" place.

It swear it was only 6 months ago when he started doing his army crawl that slowly turned into a quick crawl.  He wasn't walking yet, let alone driving.  

Last month was when he turned 1 year old, I swear!!  He got rid of his binkie and his bottles that day.  It was a big step.  Not as big as driving but it was huge and what his mom was ready for a month ago.

Last week he was just a normal 15 year old.  He was playing with Lego's and playing at the park.  He was busy texting girls but not trying to merge onto the freeway.

 Now, here we are, with Kelton holding his stack of papers needed to obtain his learners permit.  It really is a stack of papers thanks to all the new laws.  He has officially driven from Tooele to Grantsville on the highway.  Each of the small milestones have led to this moment.  This gigantic moment!  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kelton & Homecoming Week

It is Homecoming week in Grantsville!!!

My wonderful and quiet son Kelton was talked into being part of the male dance team, called the Harriettes (hope I got close to spelling that right.  The dance team is called the Larriettes) for the powder puff game last night.  They have been practicing since Friday and having tons of fun.  I am so glad that he has met so many good friends since moving here and am thankful for his friend Ben who talked him into dancing.

They not only had boys for the dance team, they also had boys as the cheerleaders.  I know none of this is new, I'm just talking my way through the night.  I didn't even go to homecoming when I was in high school let alone any of the football games.  The "cheerleaders" were even doing lifts and I thought it was hilarious that during one of the lifts it was a girl spotting them.  One of the cheerleaders came late and just dropped his pants right in front of us to change into the cheer outfit.  Just as an FYI, white Under Armour is see through.  I feel it is my civic duty to get this warning out there so we are now all prepared to warn our children to not drop their pants if that is what they are wearing.  Also, if you see this happening you now know to look away or you'll see a butt like we did (and we are very happy that we were on that side and only saw his butt).

 I loved seeing these brave boys get dressed and ready for their dance.  They are really wearing the tops to one of the girls outfits.  Kelton told me that he would be wearing this black top with gold sparkles on it and that it hit him just above the waist.  As you can see the top was black and the gold sparkles are the sequins along the top and it did hit above the waist but it was a little higher than a simple crop length, you can really tell on the boys that wore white underneath.

Kelton was "blessed" to have family there to support him in his dancing debut.  My sister Becca came, Grandma Susie was there along with Kenny, Taylor, Seth and me.  I love the pictures that Becca took of her with Taylor and then of the two of us.  I don't have nearly enough sister pictures.

This was an evening full of some of the best people watching.  We laughed so much and had so much fun watching all the high school kids.  It reminded me of my time in high school and (unfortunately) how much I haven't changed since high school.  I sat back and watched the boys showing off for the girls and the girls walking back and forth flipping their hair trying to catch the eye of the boys.  Sitting back and watching was what I did in high school only it was with Michele.  It was so much fun to have a chance to spend that time with my sister this time.  We both had so many fun little moments.  

You could tell all of the boys were anxious about dancing.  None of them could stand still while waiting for their turn to get out and perform.  I loved watching them do their last minute practice moves and see them try to move their hips.  Not all country boys are good at swinging their hips :)

I didn't get the end of their dance.  I thought they were done and stopped filming and then they did their final move.  They all lined up and yelled, "Harriettes (grunt)" and did a final pelvic thrust.  It was great and done only as boys can do it.
They then gathered and stood aside while the "cheerleaders" did their dance.  They were hilarious but not as good as the Harriettes.  I may be biased a little though.

The whole night was so much fun and the girls did wonderful at playing football.  I guess I should at least point that out since it was their game.  I'll admit that I could barely have caught the ball let alone run for a touchdown.  There were some amazing girls that caught the ball and did run the length of the field for a touchdown.  There were others that would just dive to grab the flag and flat out face plant it onto the field.  They were amazing!  

Kelton will be performing again on Friday for the pep rally before the big homecoming game.
Good luck Kelton....I hope you do as good on Friday as you did last night!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

T's Crazy Hair Day

It's time for time to repeat itself and now it is Taylor's turn to have his own crazy hair day.  He wanted to have his hair done in lots of pony tails like how we did Kelton's when he had his crazy hair day a couple of years ago.

Taylor's hair is so much thicker than Kelton's so his pony tails are longer, bigger and look like little palm trees.  He was such a good sport this morning while I was pulling and tugging to get all the little rubber bands in.  He looks CRAZY!!!  hee, hee :)

Taylor Crazy Hair Day 9-26-12

The top view of T's hair for Crazy Hair Day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Snow

We had our first snow in the mountains today.  I'm so excited to have these first signs of winter, even though it is only 3 days after the first day of fall.

Found a couple pictures of the dusting that 2 of the ski resorts received today and just had to share.  I love how the snow looks with all the fall color!!

Alta Ski Resort 9-25-12

Canyons Resort 9-25-12

Monday, September 24, 2012

Peek into being a Homemaker

I like to joke and say that I'm the CEO, or maybe more appropriately the CFO, of our family.  As a homemaker, there is a lot that gets done while everyone is away from home that I don't think anyone thinks about.  It truly is one of the hardest jobs that I have done and there is no training, manual or a manager to turn to for help.  You can talk with other people in your "line of work" but everyone is going to do things differently from you so that it suites their situation.  I like to hear other ideas and some of them have helped me a lot.  Others just are not for me.

While I have been doing my crazy Monday morning it made me think of all that I have done and how long it took me to do what should have been a few simple things.  I should know that if I think it is going to be simple then it will take twice as long as it should.

Here is a "simple" list of things that I do (some more than once) most days.

*dishes (by hand, we don't have a dishwasher right now)
*laundry...clothes have to be washed and dried, they don't just appear in the closet clean on their own.
*grocery, like clothes, don't just appear.
*pay bills and balance accounts...always takes more time I think it will.
*cook...this also involves planning a menu, preparing the food and finally cooking.  This is usually followed by some gnashing and gnawing of the teeth because someone is never happy.
*run all shopping fall under this as well as anything else that needs to be done.  Today it will include going to the car insurance agent to sign a cancellation paper, the bank to get lunch money for kids, picking up kids from school, and checking the mail.
*make all phone calls...there is many phone calls that are needed and not just to visit.  Although I can do a lot of visiting :)
*the bathroom....need I say more!?
*doctor, dentist and orthodontist appointments....this includes making the appointments for everyone in the family, driving myself and kids to all appointments and making sure they are all in my calendar so I can keep all of them organized and not overlapping.  I only have 2 kids, I have no idea how I would do that with more kids.  I admire all parents with mad scheduling skills!

There are other times when you get to do fun things like have lunch with a friend, get together and craft with friends or family, or simply curl up with a good book.  Other times I find myself happily in the service of others and helping with things that need to be done whether it is watching kids, running errands, or simply being a listening ear.

Staying at home is rewarding and gives so much to our family to have me home.  It doesn't mean that every day is easy or that I have fully adjusted to being at home, even after 2 years.  However, I see so many positive things happening to my family now that I am at home.  I loved working but am very blessed to be home to take care of my family and myself.

I'm sure there are things that are left off of my list, these are just the things that I am trying to tackle today.  Now that I have had my blog break it's time to tackle my list again.  I hope everyone is having a productive and happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Great Empire

Taylor just got home from school and somehow got on the topic of his hair and how thick and curly it is.  He insists that he has a worse time than any girl trying to do his hair because it is just full of knots and his comb is always getting stuck.  He then started to talk about who is to blame if he goes bald. He is going to blame his dad for one type of baldness and Uncle Steve (Kenny's Uncle) for a different type.  I didn't have the heart to explain that he can't blame Uncle Steve because he is related by marriage, therefore genetics don't come into play.

Either way, Taylor announced that when/if he does lose his hair and start to bald he is just going to shave it off and not try to hang onto "this once great empire" that he has.

What 13 year old even thinks about losing his hair let alone calling it a great empire?

You gotta love this kid!!

Brigham City Temple

This coming Sunday, September 23, the Brigham City Temple will be dedicated.  Our normal Sunday services have been cancelled so that we can all attend (or watch) the dedication ceremony.  We have only been able to attend (at our Stake Center) one other dedication and it was amazing.

Once the Temple is dedicated only members of the LDS faith who hold a current temple recommend can enter the Temple to partake of the blessings, and be sealed for eternity.  With this important day coming and the closing of the open house, where anyone can enter and tour the Temple.  I wanted to share some pictures.

Aunt Kathryn took this picture.

Brides Dressing Room from LDS church website.

Celestial Room from LDS church website.
I love the beauty and peace that is found within each Temple.  I just had to add some of that to my life today.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Runolfson's from Iceland

A few years ago my mom and aunt Fran spent many hours collecting pictures and putting them together with obituaries, stories and news clippings for everyone in the family.  I love this book and have spent many hours looking through it at each of the different faces hoping that I can learn more about each of them.

The pictures below are my Great Great Grandpa and Grandma. They came to America from Iceland and settled in Utah.  Not just Utah but Utah County.  To me this is huge because if you live in Utah then you know that Utah County has many nicknames and a reputation for being very Mormon (this will make sense in a minute). 

My mom had a collage of pictures hanging in our home for many years and these two pictures were part of that group.  They always stood out to me and being a kid I never really did understand who they were or where these two old people with scary eyes fit into our family.

Great Great Grandpa was named Reverend Runolfur Runolfson.  He was born April 10, 1852 and died January 20, 1929.  He was a Lutheran Reverend and was the first Lutheran Minister in Utah County (it says so on the other picture below).  He was from Storagerdi, Vestmanneyjaysia, Iceland.

Great Great Grandma was named Valgerdur Nielsson Runolfson.  She was born June 1, 1847 (same day as my Taylor) and died April 6, 1919.  She was from Holmahjaleiga, Kross Rangervalla, Iceland. Sadly that is all I know about her. 

For both of these people it had to have taken great courage to travel from Iceland with 6 children to England where they had 2 more children.  From England they came to America and settled in Spanish Fork Utah. Here they added 4 more children to their family.  I have great pride in this part of my family heritage.  To know that they not only had the courage to take upon themselves this journey but to also settle in an area where they were the minority.  There were many obstacles for them to overcome or at least to deal with with being one of the few families in Spanish Fork to not be LDS.  I have heard stories that my Grandma shared about growing up in Spanish Fork and some of what they endured during their childhood.  I am very proud of my Great Great Grandpa for being such a strong man and continuing to be a Lutheran Minister.  I am so blessed to have such strong people in my family tree.  I am also very happy to have pictures of both of my Great Great Grandparents as well as the church where Reverend Runolfson preached.

I have just started to dig deeper into my family history and am learning so much about the people who make up my family and have added so much to who I am.  As I learn about them I can feel them with me and it is almost like they are guiding me through the maze of people that make up our family.  I have learned that I need that help, especially when you start to put it together that some of the children changed their last name to Reynolds.

I can't wait to learn more and add to what my mom and aunt has started for me. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Life Coaster - Faith

This last week has been relatively quiet in my life other than having the same head cold that everyone else has in our County. However, that is not our normal.  I have really liked our last week and will take my head cold with all of it's phlegm and snot included.  I have visited with friends and family and read their postings on their blogs and Facebook and found out that they are all having so much stress that they're just hanging on.  I'm in shock that I'm not part of all the stress that everyone else is facing and it hurts my heart to know that so many people that I love are struggling and hurting.

I normally refer to my life as a roller coaster ride and even found this Thrill Scale and if I use this rating system to rate my normal life I think I'm somewhere between In(tense) and Ex(treme).  I will admit that there are times that this is a self imposed situation.  I know that my decisions impact my life and cause a lot of my drama.

I read a Blog that was recommended by my cousin that is written by her friends husband. He does an amazing job sharing his feelings everyday and most of them are based on his faith.  We belong to the same religion. I was raised within this religion and when I reached adolescence I began to question parts of my religion. Over the years I have had several times when both my husband and I have questioned our beliefs.  I enjoy reading other blogs and other posts on Facebook where people are so sure of their beliefs. I sometimes wonder how they can be so strong and never waver in their faith.  Never (as far as I know) question some of the commandments that we are to follow within our faith.

Why am I sharing this?  Because I am trying to make myself fit within this little box where I should be this perfect little member and even though this is the decision that we have made, I am still sometimes struggling with things. Many people will say that I am going through this because I don't have enough faith. Others will say that I am letting Satan influence my decisions and that is why I am struggling, that he is playing off of my weaknesses.  No matter what anyone else says or thinks about me, my problem is that I let their comments or what I think they might be thinking of me influence my choices.  This is when I start down the extreme life coaster (no wheels, thus life coaster instead of roller coaster) and stress myself out. I also missed church today because we are all still sick and so the guilt starts to set in.

No matter what I chose to do at this stage in my journey, there are truths that I know and will never deny. I know that  am a child of a loving Heavenly Father. I know that Christ suffered, died and was resurrected for me. I know that I need to have God in my life and a way for me to feel his presence in my life everyday. I know that there is a difference between taking a step back and becoming apostate.  I know that the scriptures are here for us to use in our lives. They help us and guide us through each of the ups and downs that we face.  I know that through Christ's Atonement that even when I struggle or question that as long as I'm doing everything I can to become a little better each day he will help me to find answers to those questions and fill in the rough spots.  He will not let me fail.

I spend so much time being so hard on myself and expecting perfection from myself even though I know, somewhere in here, that I'm not that far along in my journey to really expect that of myself. There is still so much that I have to learn and I need to be patient while I go through all the steps to get to a place where I can understand the answers that go with the questions that I have. At some point I need to understand that one of my challenges is that I was absent when patience was handed out.  I may always have some questions and things that I don't understand.  I will probably (okay, most likely) never learn how to ease up on myself.   But maybe, just maybe, if I keep reminding myself of what I do know then one day it might not be so hard to fit within my little box.  I already know that I find much happiness here and as long as I keep moving forward I hope to find more happiness.

Friday, September 14, 2012

What the......

Kenny stopped at a gas station in Salt Lake to grab a drink on the way home from work the other night and saw this car in the parking lot.  He was trying to be inconspicuous about taking the picture but was having a hard time juggling his drink and his phone so he finally just set his drink down and took the picture. I know he already posted this on Facebook, but I had to share it here as well.  

There is a lot on this car, it's just crazy!  Good luck trying to pick out all the stuff that is attached to it. 

He has seen it one more time since taking this picture.  I'm still in shock that someone is out there driving this around.  I guess that's what they're after though, that shock factor.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Jr High Hi-jinks

I met my best friend Michele in the 8th grade.  She had a very life changing move that brought her to Utah and to EJH for 7th grade, I moved there the year after.  With both of us having children in Jr. High now she wrote about her girls starting 7th grade and how hard and horrible Jr. High was for her.  I warned her on her post that I was going to share some of the fun stuff that we experienced, even some of the embarrassing stuff, to remind her that it wasn't all bad and even if she (us) did turn into Napoleon Dynamite it was okay.

This first part was just how we met. We met in math class where our teacher couldn't pronounce either of our names.  Mine was understandable, Shiflett and Rachelle, was always transformed into Rachel and Sh, Sh, Shif by then I would just answer here and let the teacher give up.  I have never understood why it was so hard to just say my name the way it is spelled! Michele's name on the other hand was just a normal name, however, this teacher always changed it to Micheal Beek.  Somehow this made us always look at each other and smile and then she would grab the roll that he set by the door and would change her absence for the teacher since she was there.  He never did catch on or say either of our names correctly that entire year. Sad!

Our next moment of connection was that we were (can still be) fashion police and would take great pride in commenting on all the outfits that others were wearing.  This was the late 80's and early 90's, there was a lot to comment on.  We were however the height of preppy by helping ourselves to her moms closet and wearing pleated skirts with blazers and loafers.  I even have pictures and may scan them in one day.  I could do that since by the time we had group pictures taken with all of our friends my hair was all one length. At least her "bad hair" was only beautiful thick wavy hair and not my crooked hair.

Michele's parents thought she was crazy the first time I came over and met them.  I had unfortunately taken the advice of my moms gay friend and let him cut my hair in a very modern haircut that wouldn't be popular in Utah for another decade or so. It was above my ear on my right side and tapered down to shoulder length on my left side.  I also let him put Henna in my hair at the same time.  Way to draw attention to an already strange haircut by turning it Bozo red.  In his defense, I did like it because I didn't like the whole following the crowd thing and I did keep my hair that way for quit a while.  I did finally decide to conform a little and cut my hair to one length but kept dying my hair red, just a more subtle red and not quit so Bozo.

I also listened to rock music, didn't watch westerns or know any cowboy poetry...her dad still teases me to this day. Especially about the hair!  I was quickly educated in the art of all things cowboy and still treasure those moments and "lessons".

We had lots of sleep overs, Dr. Pepper and cookie dough!  All of these were accompanied by lot of girl talk. Some nice and not so nice and some that was down right snarky.  As it should be for most all teenage girls.

One of those sleep overs consisted of us and one other friend that I will protect her identity because she was the helpless victim in the story. We were having such a good time and we had decided to sleep on the balcony of my apartment.  In our hast to take snacks out to our "anyone under 13" off limits area, my poor friend didn't notice that we had closed the screen door and ran right through it. She went down on top of the door.  Michele and I were laughing so hard we couldn't even help her up.  I know, we are such good friends to have :)  Once the fits of laughter stopped we quickly figured that we had better fix the door before my mom came home.  We tried to straighten the frame the best we could and put it on the track.  We went to sleep and hoped that it would not be noticeable.  The next morning my mom came out to check on us but we had closed the screen door (not the smartest thing to do when trying to hide a broken door). When she tried to open it it wouldn't' budge and so we woke up to her, not quit yelling but speaking loudly, to us trying to figure out what was wrong with the door.  Instead of cowing and repentantly explaining what happened we all started laughing because we were remembering how our dear friend had looked as she went through the door.  Through peals of laughter we somehow explained what happened and that it was an accident.  After my mom got over the initial anger and frustration of how she was going to fix the door, she started to laugh as well.  Okay, who wouldn't laugh.  Just picture it and think about it, someone going through and taking out a screen door.  It was one of the best sleep overs in my life!

We made friends, tortured teachers (not as bad as our husbands did though), and tortured one nameless girl that we will forever tell stories about.  Jr. High was just the beginnings of what we would bring to High School.  And that will entail a whole series of entries that I could start sharing soon since Kelton started High School (and drivers ed) this year.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Retiring a Flag

Our Stars and Stripes!

We had the opportunity to attend a flag retiring ceremony the other night and it is one night that will stay with me forever.  I have always thought of myself as a patriotic person. I have great pride in our country and insurmountable pride for our members of our armed forces.  I find myself realizing, every so often, my own ignorance of what is going on around me and have to take a moment to appreciate the safety and blessings that I enjoy by living in the United States of America.

Before this week the only time that I have been part of any kind of flag ceremony that has been emotional for me was when they took the flag off of my father's coffin, folded it, and presented it to me.  It was one of those moments when it truly hit me what he did for our country and what others do every day.  

When I was in elementary school we learned about the flag and how to respect and care for it.  It is a lesson that has always stayed with me and one that I will act upon.  Right after having that lesson I went to the store with my mom and the flag flying out front was tattered and had rips in it.  I complained to my mom what a disgrace that was and that it was wrong for them to keep flying a flag like that.  She told me to tell the store and took me over to customer service. I did tell them how I felt and by the time we were done shopping there was a new flag flying.  Over the years I have done this many more times and have never been afraid to share my feeling when it comes to this great symbol of our country.

This week when we attending this ceremony I wasn't prepared for the feeling that would assault me.  It was such a solemn moment watching each flag be folded and then reverently placed upon the fire.  The closest way of explaining the feelings that I felt while watching them burn was like losing a family member.  The man leading the ceremony was Kenny's 1st Sergeant when he was in the National Guard and he had Kenny be one of the ones to place one of the flags in the fire.  I think that was a special moment for Kenny to have that connection with someone from his Guard days again.

Witnessing such an emotional event brought very vivid images to my mind and I wish at times like this that I was more poetic and able to share my feeling better.  I am not even doing justice to the evening that we had with my simple thought that I have shared so far.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend a flag retiring ceremony I would recommend you do so.  It has helped me to remember again how dearly I love our Stars and Stripes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

New School Year

I can't believe that it is almost the end of August, we have moved back to Grantsville, school has started and both boys are so far loving it in this one stop light town.

Taylor is in 8th grade and doing wonderful.  He loves it so far. We had to drive to Salt Lake to get him his instrument for band, he is playing the trombone. He talked my ear off the entire way to the store (all 40 min.). According to T, his band teacher is awesome, his Language Arts teacher is oooold (he is 64 and this is his last year teaching).  He is able to go to school with one of his cousins and a friend and also found one of his friends that he had from 3rd grade.  So far, so good.

Kelton started 10th grade. He is taking digital photography and already had his first assignment of taking 100 pictures. He is also taking pottery, current issues and algebra II (he is the only Sophomore in the class the rest are older).  He also started drivers ed this week.  He is doing wonderful and has been so excited for school every day.  He also loves walking to and from school each day because we live just around the corner from the High School.
First Day of School 2012
Taylor & Kelton

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Swimming at Grandmas'

 We were invited to my cousins' Grandmas' house yesterday to swim in their pool.  It was so nice to have the pool to ourselves and be selfish and not share.  It's one of those things that I enjoy and do well, that not sharing part :)  There isn't much to add to these pictures other than maybe who is in them.  I do want to note that I did jump into the pool (3 times exactly) for the first time since I was in Jr. High. I forgot how much fun it is. Plus, when I teamed up with Jessie we totally splashed the boys ;)  We all had a ton of fun!!  I was also reminded that I am not young anymore and am totally feeling all that jumping today.

All the boys...Kelton, Taylor, Chase, James, Seth, Jackson

James, Chase, and Jackson

Kelton chilaxin'

Kelton and Seth relaxing by the diving board during one of the few moments it was not being used.

Chase as he enters the water.  Not the best picture but I thought it was fun seeing him just as he enters.

Seth..."I am not a crook" (Richard Nixon) jump :) Seth didn't say that, it's just what it reminded me of.

Jackson jumping in...kind of has a nice Karate Kid look going.

Chase jumping off the diving board...I can't even imagine what it felt like to land on his knees like that.  To be young again :)

Taylor catching some good air and doing a nice karate kick.  He also did a nice belly flop that has his tummy still hurting today.

Kelton catching enough air to pose as the "thinking man" before he straightened out to glide into the water.