Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I have to admit, on my way to Paris I started to get an anxiety attack. Thoughts were flooding through my mind such as: we shouldn't leave our kids and be so far away from them. How will we communicate with anyone if we don’t understand the language? What if the French are rude? Why are we doing this?

But Paris turned out to be magical! The Parisians were friendly and very hospitable. I love Paris and 10 months later I can’t get Paris out of my system. I want to go back! Seth loved Paris, too. We had a great time together and it was a fun adventure. Happy 5 year anniversary to us! We took over 600 pictures in 3 days, and here are a few highlights.

Notre Dame


A friendly cat visiting as we ate crepes

The Seine River

Giant size Nutella

Arc de Triomphe

The 284 stairs we had to climb to get to the top

The Eiffel Tower

The elevator in our hotel

Palace of Versailles

Paris at night

The love lock bridge - if you place a lock on the bridge your love will last forever

Paris in the Springtime

Yes, we ate snails aka Escargot

Monday, August 12, 2013


One Sunday afternoon in March I received this text from my mom:
Mom: “You won't believe what Caroline caught Max doing behind her back!” 
Me: “What?” Of course I was thinking the worst — girls, drugs — the worst!  
Mom: “Max has been taking missionary lessons”
Me: “What!!! And behind her back? How did she find out and how could they do that without an adult present?”
Mom: “They were coming once a week 'til he told her. He is going to church tomorrow Caroline is going to go, too, so he doesn't have to go by himself. On Caroline's birthday we were at her apartment and we saw the missionaries walk by so Sal asked them to come in we introduced them so I guess they came back. Moana was home when the missionaries came over to teach him while Caroline was at work.”
Long story short, Max was baptized on April 13, 2013 at the age of 14½. Max turned 15 in July. I got a text from my mom last night, August 5th, saying that Max was asked to be the Teachers Quorum president. So proud of my nephew that he made the decision to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. What a great example he is to his family.

Side Story: at the baptism Seth met a 3rd cousin on his dad’s side!

Max looks so much like my dad

Baptism Day & Seth with his 3rd cousin

My mom and I with Sister Dunn and Sister Gilson, who were my YW leaders a long time ago.

Uncle Jeremy and cousin Andrew with Max

Bob’s Big Boy after the baptism

Chandler AZ, Stake Trek 2013

Seth and I were asked to help out as support staff on our Stake Trek. At first I was not thrilled to go and as I thought about it I realized that I needed to step up and do hard things. As much as I hate to camp and be cold and dirty I knew that I needed to be an example to Rachel and Alex. Rachel was old enough this year to go, though she had a few trials to face. The Trek was physically and emotionally challenging but she endured and overcame the challenges she was faced with. It was hard to see her go through these experiences on her own but I’m so proud of her for going. She loved her Trek family and they loved her. During this week we saw many miracles, and was involved in some. After this experience I have a better understanding of Isaiah 41:10:
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." 
I learned that our Heavenly Father is always with us and strengthens us. Sometimes He does this through Young Womens leaders, friends, and family. Heavenly Father used Rachel's leaders as the instrument to perform the miracles we saw. I’m so grateful that my girls have leaders who love them and are great examples for them.

I survived the Trek and so did Rachel. Seth had so much fun with the black powder riffle activity he wants to do this again in 4 years! I don’t think he realizes that in 4 years he will be an even older old man – 50!

Rachel’s Trek Family

Getting Ready to Leave


Rachel sharing an experience she had with me

So tired!

Black Powder Rifle Shooting

Playing Cowboys

Sleeping Quarters

Camp Site

They made it and they are smiling!

Rachel with her Trek Ma

Rachel with her Trek Pa

Looking at these pictures 5 months later brings back so many wonderful memories of the experiences our family had. I can even feel the Spirit as I sit here and type.

Just in case you're wondering what a Trek is:
Every four years the youth of Chandler Arizona Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints depart on a multi-day reenactment of a 19th century handcart pioneer trek. The trek experience allows the youth to gain appreciation for those that paved the way before, to learn valuable lessons of perseverance, and strengthen their testimonies in Jesus Christ.