Mason turned 14 a few days ago. Today I ordained him a Teacher in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I remember when my dad ordained me at 14. I’ve put on a lot of miles since then. The older I get the more I just want to spend time with my family. I have a lot of flaws, but I’ve always tried to be a good example to my kids of doing the right thing and helping people, just like my dad did for me. I go to Church every week because I know that is what God wants me to do. He created the hills behind us, the trees, clouds and birds. He created us in His image. We are His children, and He has a plan for each of us.
My uncle Paul died on March 9th, so I headed down to California for the services. This is Paul and Debbie at Cari’s wedding in Utah in October.
Paul was buried at the Oakmont Cemetery. It was a warm sunny day.
We think this was the first time the 24 cousins have been together. We think Jacob wasn’t born the last time we were together.
Jacob and I are the bookend cousins. This was at the family lunch after the memorial service on Saturday.
Shalene and I drove down together from Oregon to California. We had a great time. This is at Russ and Sue’s house after the burial on Friday night.
We found a little time to hang out and be Smith boys.
We spent some time at the rope swing in Pleasant Hill being awesome. It was a sad occasion, but it was a great opportunity to see family.
Mason went to Eugene for a birthday party and the rest of us went to Bandon. This is the covered bridge on Highway 42. There was a 50% chance of rain, but we lucked out.
We saw eight seals. They followed us as we walked along the beach. And they ducked underwater when I tried to take their picture. That’s fraudulent.
It felt weird to only have four of us today. Six if we count the dogs.
There was a seal right over Sidnee’s left shoulder. After this we headed to the blue shack for popcorn shrimp, calamari and clams. It was fantastic. It’s nice to live so close to the coast.
Harbor Freight just opened in Roseburg, so Mason, Jaxon and I got some glow-in-the-dark rope for our hammocks. We continued our quest to explore new waterfalls, hiking just under a mile to Susan Creek Falls. This is just passed Tioga bridge, which is one of our favorite spots. We set up our hammocks close to the waterfall. We wished he had a fire and some hot dogs, but it was fun to relax and listen to the water. Hammocks were our Christmas experience, and everyone seemed to like it. We will be adding more pictures and the year progresses and we explore other areas.
We woke up to more snow this morning, so we went to Tioga bridge to check it out. Max and Bay loved it.
This is looking toward Bob’s Butte. We thought we left the snow when we left Utah, but apparently it followed us.
Raven wanted to take Max and Bay to the ocean since they have never been there. Bay loves to stick her head out the window.
Sidnee bought me a fish taco and Fish & Chips Chowder Shack. It was really good.
This is a bench on the pier. Max is our black male and Bay is the chocolate female.
Raven and I are brave. It was 42 F outside.
Raven and Sidnee got me crazy socks. I only wanted two things this year- to have Raven come home and crazy socks. I got both. It was nice to go to Church and spend the rest of the day playing games and visiting. This was a great Christmas.
Raven flew in on Thursday, and Shalene and Danny came down to hang out yesterday. This is the combined Smith clan on Tioga bridge.
We took them to Colliding Rivers. You can see the mud coming in from the left on Little River.
We were hoping to find something to replace the lights on Temple Square, so we went to Festival of Lights in Roseburg. They use 500,000 lights.
This is the world’s largest Nutcracker. He looked kind of creepy.
The best one ever. Penguins rule.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We just got back from Cari’s wedding in Utah. It was a short Wednesday to Sunday trip, but worth the effort. The is Cari and Wylder outside the Provo City Center Temple.
Our family unit while we were waiting for Cari and Wylder. Raven gave me those cool socks.
Ashley made the wedding cake. It looked fantastic.
Sean, Kev, Matt, Ryan, Steve, Craig, Reed. Cousin, brother, cousin, brother, me, brother, brother.