Monday, June 21, 2010

Peter Is Five!

Yesterday was Peter's fifth birthday. It's hard to believe that my baby is already five years old. Last night we celebrated his birthday, he opened his presents and we had cake and ice cream. (The yellow hat was a gift from Grandma Hiatt.)
Yeah, it looks like a lot of presents, but most of them are clothes, school clothes for this fall when he starts kindergarten.
Here he is blowing out the candles on the cake that Steven made all by himself.

Happy Birthday Peter!!!

A Testimony of Temple Sealings

I attended my first LDS civil wedding on Saturday. The missionaries in our ward have been teaching a family for a while and they wanted to be baptized, but the parents needed to be married first. Our bishop officiated at the wedding, and there were several people in attendance - both their family and friends as well as many members of the ward.

I think what struck me the most was the similarity between the words in the civil wedding ceremony and the temple wedding ceremony. It was like someone had taken the temple ceremony and crossed out all the good parts and just left bare bones.  "Kief, will you take Bridgette by the right hand?" "...before God and these witnesses... " "...enter into this state of matrimony..." As I listened, I felt the Spirit testifying to me that while the covenant of marriage between a man and woman is important, the temple ordinance really is a lot more wonderful. I am so grateful that I was able to receive those wonderful blessings, to be with my husband and family not just until the end of my mortal life, but for eternity.

Kief, Bridgette and their two oldest children were baptized yesterday after our normal church meetings. I hope that Kief and Bridgette can receive those wonderful temple blessings a year from now, that they can be sealed to Brandon, Andi, Donavon, Cody and Eli. A temple sealing is definitely worth the work and the wait!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day

  A day
    To Celebrate
           Elusive and
                  Sense of Humor.

Dad will
    Always be
        Young at heart.

Monday, June 7, 2010

South Dakota Highlights

We're back from our four day vacation to South Dakota. We did so much and had so much fun that it is going to be hard to limit what I write here to something that someone is going to want to read. But here goes:

Wednesday June 2nd.
--6:00AM -The house was locked up. The cats had food, water and litter boxes to last a few days, and the fish had a weekend feeder in his tank. We pulled away and began our adventure.
--Noon or so, and the rest of the day - Arrived at Beaver Lake Campground just outside beautiful Custer, SD. This was a wonderfully fun campground. We slept in a tepee, played at the playground, went swimming and played on a water slide. Here was enough fun to last us the rest of the afternoon!

 Here is our campsite. Our van was parked just to the left of the tepee, and the playground was a hop, skip and jump behind me when I took the picture.
Here is Steven inside the tepee, lying on our queen size air mattress. There was plenty of space for the six of us... There would have been space for twice as many people!
Here is the playground.
From Family Photos 2010
The kids don't seem to know how to use a swing properly.
Hannah and Peter at the pool.
Waiting their turn at the top of the water slide.
Hannah and John sliding down
Hannah lands in the pool at the bottom.
Roasting marshmallows for dessert that night
Thursday, June 3rd.
--After a delicious mountain man breakfast (eggs, sausage and hash browns all cooked up together), we climbed in the car and set out for Custer State Park.
Our first stop was the Visitor's Center where the kids received booklets with activities they could do to earn certificates. The kids spent a while filling out their books and looking around the displays at the visitors center. Here John works on filling out his activity book.
We had lunch at a nearby park where we experienced an unfortunate mishap: Hannah was stung by a bee.
After lunch, we returned to the visitors center, where a demonstration on gold panning was being held. The kids all got to try their hand at it.
We left the visitors center and set off on a drive on a wildlife loop around the park. Along the way, we saw buffalo, deer, an elk, and even some very friendly burros, who stuck their noses right into our car!
On the way back we stopped briefly at a stable so the kids could pet the horses.
Dinner that night was hot dogs cooked over the open fire.

Friday, June 4th
--After Coffee Cake for breakfast, we went to see Mount Rushmore.We took a fun winding road through three narrow (one lane only - honk before you enter) tunnels to reach the monument.
The monument was impressive, and we enjoyed a short hike on the grounds.
After leaving Mount Rushmore, we traveled to Rapid City, and eventually found the Chapel in the Hills, a beautifully carved reproduction of a chapel in Norway. 
The rest of our day was spent at the Circle B Chuckwagon. It was a blast! The kids played at a playground, locked themselves in a "jail", visited with a famous woodcarver, rode a merry-go-round, shot a pistol, ride ponies, and even participate in a gun show, before the delicious chuckwagon dinner and music show.
Josh shoots.
 Hannah is locked in jail.
Peter rides a pony. (The pony started at one point and started to run. Peter fell off, and it took a lot of time and patience to convince him to get back on.)
 John pets a pony.
The sherriff....
...and the Biscuit Bandit!
After dinner we enjoyed a fun music show.

Saturday, June 5th
--We packed up all our stuff, ate cinnamon rolls and pancakes for breakfast, and drove to the Crazy Horse Memorial. This just happened to be the day of the Volksmarch, when the general public is allowed to hike up the monument, and even walk across the great Indian's arm. Steven took the kids on the six mile hike while I toured at the visitors center, looking at the many exhibits.
Here they are at the starting line...
Getting closer...
Made it! Wow that guy is big!
Looking through the tunnel.
...And they made it to the finish! 
At this point, they found me, we climbed in the van, and headed the car towards home (via Nebraska). We ate lunch and dinner in the car, and never stopped until we reached home, about 8:00pm.
What a trip!

Shown here is only a small fraction of the 200 or so pictures we took on our trip. To see more, go to my Picassa Web Album for 2010 Pictures and scroll down until you get to them!