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Christmas news

We got exciting news at Christmas. We were blessed to have Raven, Bryon and Sidnee home for the holidays.

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We got an apple for Christmas. Meet Granny Smith.

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Off to college

Sidnee and I drove all night Thursday to get to Utah. This is what fishing looks like when you don’t sleep all night.

Guess who caught the only fish.

I was able to do an endowment session with Raven and Bryon in the Salt Lake Temple on Saturday.

I took Sidnee around BYU campus on Sunday and showed her around, pointing out things that may have “allegedly” happened many years ago.

Sidnee got us matching socks at Old Navy while she was applying for a job. That’s dangerous.

I was able to have lunch with Sidnee, Raven and Bryon before flying out Monday. It was a short trip, but very memorable. It’s hard to have her gone, but I know she is where she needs to be, and she has a great support system close at hand.

 

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Utah trip

We just returned from Utah for Kenzie’s high school graduation. It was a great trip.  We had some difficulty on the way and had to replace our alternator and battery in Salt Lake City.  We were fortunate that it happened in SLC and not some remote part of Oregon.

I was able to ride Corner Canyon with Steve Holland.  The altitude kicked my butt this time, but it was a blast to ride Vertigo.

The kids saved their money so we could go to Tucano’s.  We embarrassed Kenzie and Sidnee for their graduations.

I was able to ride with Mike Both on Monday. We hit the old stomping grounds at Eagle Mountain.

I was able to ride Jackrabbit, Roadrunner, and Deadwood, as well as new trials like Nirvana, Given To Fly and Creed. I miss the Eagle Mountain trail system.

Shawn Peck and I were able to ride in Eagle Mountain as well. That was a lot of fun.

Jaxon wanted to go to Timpanogos and Provo City Center Temples, and we made that happen.

Mark Flickinger made it home before we left, so we were able to ride Corner Canyon. We ended on Rush, and it was a blast.

We got to spend time with Raven and Bryon and met their dog Storm. He was a cool dog.

DeLana was able to play basketball a few times. We got to watch softball games and eat pizza. The time with family is never long enough, but we had a great time. We wish we had more time to see other friends, but we accomplished the family and Temple goals we had. This was a great family trip with many tender mercies.

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Christmas card 2016

As we started 2016 we had no idea what changes we would experience. Raven graduated high school from Summit Academy, turned 18 and started college at UVU.  img_0174-1

 

Sidnee turned 16 and got her license. She thought she could eat these 16 tacos, but didn’t come close.  Jill Clark made her the special birthday hat.  Sidnee started a new school and played soccer.img_1409

 

Mason turned 13 and started a new school. He served as the Deacon’s Quorum President for a while in Eagle Mountain. He has spent quite a bit of time outdoors cliff jumping, mountain biking and hiking.img_2595-1

 

Jaxon started a new school and learned to be a confident swimmer in the North Umpqua river. He participated in the pie eating contest at the Fall Festival in Roseburg. He didn’t feel so good when he was finished.img_1592

Steve’s cousin Paige was finishing her mission in Eugene recently. Her last city was Roseburg, and we were able to see her a few times. This was at Stake Conference the day before she left.img_1617

 

Our biggest change came when we moved from Utah to Oregon. In April we felt like it was time to move, but we didn’t know how or where. We came to Roseburg, Oregon to visit Shawn and Jill Clark in July and fell in love with Roseburg. They brought us to Tioga bridge in Glide, and we were blown away by how beautiful the area was.  Steve was able to get a job transfer with Chase and we made the move in late August.  The move has been challenging at times, but we know it was the right thing to do.  We miss family and friends (Idaho, Utah and New Jersey), but we love being surrounded by nature.  We hope this holiday season finds everyone safe and healthy.  We love and miss all of you.img_1662

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I still remember

911

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Goodbye 2013

As I was reflecting on 2013 over the last few weeks, difficulty and pain seemed to be the overriding theme. Today I made a list of highs and lows, and I was surprised what i found.

Lows:
Skin cancer
Major surgery for suspected cancer
Mattressland closing
Being sick so much
Money problems

Highs:
Tough Mudder with my brothers
No cancer
Donating platelets
Ward Christmas program
Temple Square
Temple with Raven and Sidnee
Century Ride
Riding Sundance with Ryan, Reed and Kevin
Catching Fire with Raven
DeLana taking the kids to Canada
Girls Camp
Christmas experience
Getting Bay
Riding 650 miles on my mountain bike
Making the Tough Mudder book
Using a lathe for the first time
Erick & Tami Hull visiting unexpectedly
Attitude shift

The financial struggles and potential cancer weighed pretty heavy on me, so that seemed to linger in my mind, but there were clearly many good things that happened this year. I am confident that 2014 is going to be a better year for us, because things are going to finally work out financially, and I have chosen to look for the beauty in things. My struggles do not define me. I define me.

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Changing of the guard

Bishop Goertzen was released today. He was called as Bishop of our ward when we split and became the 2nd ward 4.5 years ago. He was replaced by Bishop Laursen, who had served as a Counselor to Bishop Goertzen a few months ago. Bishop Goertzen did a great job, and Bishop Laursen will do a great job.

It’s funny to me that humans are so adaptable, yet we resist change. We are probably the most vulnerable species at birth, and our bodies aren’t protected from the elements like animals. We sunburn, and we get cold and wet. But we do have the mental capacity to create clothing and shelter, and overcome our natural shortcomings. Yet we resist change, even though it is a necessary and crucial part of life. Everything has a season, and God has given us the ability to experience different things and different times in our lives. It is so easy to drudge forward and not enjoy the things around us, especially as we struggle with trials and challenges. But I think life is to be enjoyed, and we should grab on to the people and experiences around us.

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