Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We Prayed...

God Answered - BIG!!

For the past 18 months we have prayed diligently for the cabin to get done and be ready for campers...



The cabin was finished and ready for campers 10 minutes before they started arriving.  Totally God!

For many years we have been praying as a family that God would use Big Canyon Ranch to draw people closer to Himself.



One of these boys asked Jesus into his heart.  The last night during Cabin Time, he raised his hand and asked his leader, "Um yea, how is it I get Jesus in my life?  I want him."  For him, it was all worth it.  (There may have been others, I haven't heard yet.) 

For those of you new to our blog, we have just built the first Lodge at Big Canyon Ranch  (a Christian Retreat Center and Camp in Utah).  My husband oversees everything and everyone.  I am the camp cook (with much help from friends and my children).  Our children help Brian or Mr S. (program director) wherever needed.  They were incredible and had a blast! 

These 5th and 6th graders arrived on Sunday and left Thursday.  Five full days of fun, games, challenges, eating, singing, playing, laughing, sweating, swimming, sleeping (a little) and most of all learning about God and his love for each one of them.

I took so many pictures and video.  I captured a lot!  It was hard for me to condense all the footage.  However I was able to take 5 days and make a 5 minute video.  I hope you have time to watch it.  Oh the fun we all had!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Having a Blast!

Yes! I am still here. Still going strong.
The 5th and 6th graders left Thursday afternoon and the Women's group arrived yesterday (Friday). Can't wait to tell you all about it. I have some great pics too.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I am still alive. Exhausted but alive!
We got the cabin done about 10 minutes before the kids started to arrive. Absolutely amazing. We had so much help and everyone pitched in. The campers are loving it.
I am off to prepare breakfast for them so don't have much time to share all of the details but will soon.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Forty Four Years!

That is a long time.

That is also how long my parents have been married.

July 18, 1964

10wedding IMG_9898

Aren't they adorable?

Happy 44th Anniversary Dad and Mom!!!

Check it Out!

Making Progress

Things were rockin' and a rollin' up there today.  Look at all we got done...


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Carpet pad.  Carpet and curtains.



Toilets and faucets.


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Stair and loft railing.



These are the bed frames and siding waiting to be installed.


Here they are getting installed.  Two rooms down, six to go!


Like I said, it is very exciting.  One more day.  Can we do it?  The suspense is killing me.

Good night!!!

Will it be done?

That is the million dollar question!  Sunday afternoon is the deadline.  5th and 6th graders will be arriving (5o I believe) and ready to move in to our first lodge at Big Canyon.  We have called "All Hands on Deck" in full force.  We have volunteers all over the place working their hearts out.  We have also hired a few men to finish the tile and lay the carpet.  We are still optimistic.  Things won't be 100% done but we are hopeful to have it livable.  Here are some pics.  What do you think?  Will we get 'er done?


Hudson helping me hang curtain rods.



A bedroom with carpet in it.  (Did I mention that it is still in a roll)


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2 of the 8 showers tiled.    Doors on the toilet stalls. No handles, yet.


IMG_6510  The "Meeting Room".  It also has carpet (in rolls).



The vanity sinks and the tile supplies.


Oh My! Where is Ty (the home-makeover guy) and ABC when you need them!!!!

The good news is that the railings are going in, the carpet is being laid, the tile should be done in 3 bathrooms (there are 4), the base and case is getting finished, the toilets, faucets and showerheads are going in, the bunkbeds are ready to be put in as soon as the carpet is laid, we have water, and we have power.  What more do we really need?  Let me answer that for you, Sanity!

Even though it is crazy, it is exciting.  Please be praying for all of the groups that will be staying at Big Canyon this summer.  Pray they will be drawn to our Savior and have a full understanding of who He is and what He has done for them. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mommy in the Making

This is a slideshow of Tess (19 months) taking care of her baby while we were playing outside. Notice how she throws her baby so she can fix the seatbelt or how she "pats" (very hard) her baby's head. She had us all laughing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

8 Weeks Later...

How Am I Doing?

It was 8 weeks ago that we delivered our son, Jeremiah, prematurely.  He died in my womb at about 16 weeks gestation and I gave birth to him at 19 weeks.  Please click on "Jeremiah" on the side bar for more details of his sweet story.

So, how am I doing?

In all honesty, I miss my little man.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him.  I desire to feel his little feet and elbows kicking in my womb.  However, I am in a peaceful place with the Lord.  He truly is my comfort and the healer of my very broken heart.  And for that, I am so thankful.  "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4  The loss of Jeremiah is real and significant.  There are tears.  They will come and go.  I know that and I expect that.

When I found out I was pregnant, there was great excitement and with that, much anticipation of joy in raising this little blessing.  My heart loved and embraced this new little life.  And now those things have suddenly been quenched and my dreams with Jeremiah unfulfilled.

My broken heart has helped me (in a much deeper way) to discover Gods intimate love and infinite mercy.  His gentleness and His graciousness have come over me like none other.  He is my Redeemer, my Savior, my Abba (daddy)!

These past weeks have taken me to a place of deep prayer and worship with the Lord.  It seems as if I am fasting but in a different way, when my thoughts are taken to Jeremiah (which is often throughout the day), I am quickly taken to the feet of Jesus.  I just pray like a mad woman!  I love the fellowship that I am experiencing with God.

I love to talk about him.  I still shed tears as I share our story.  It has been an amazing journey.  Thanks for your continued love through all of this.

Blessings to you,


IMG_4564-1Jeremiah's tiny little hand resting on my finger.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

S'more Fun

We have a fire pit in our backyard that the children call the "Marshmallow pit".  How appropriate!  Anyway's, the other night, we set the pit ablaze and began the roasting of marshmallows.  I think we all agree that S'mores are yummy and we always want "some more".


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Kisses for Daddy!  Even more yummy ~  Mmm Mmm

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Dogs

I got some fun pics of our dogs ~ thought I would share. I am also experimenting with a new program for posting so this post is a trial run.

IMG_6216Bandit is Caleb's best friend. He is a Blue Heeler/Aussie mix and a loyal protector of the children.

IMG_6290-1Oakley is one year old. She is Border/Heeler/Pyrenees mix. She loves to be wherever the children are and a great protector of our home. Her bark is intimidating.

IMG_6276 And then there is our new addition, Rodeo! He is Basset/Lab mix and 10 weeks old. He is extremely cute and that is a good thing for him because he has dug up some flowers and that could have been his ticket outta here.

IMG_8414Wait a minute, we only have 3 dogs. Why is there a pic of him. Oh yea, this is our imitator dog. He acts just like one of them. All he wants is to be around us and his head rubbed or to lean up against us. Crazy dog turkey!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Let Freedom Ring

Happy 4th!

We found ourselves celebrating the 4th in Henefer (a town 20 minutes from our home) for the third year in a row. (No, Rob,we don't know a Jennifer that lives in Henefer) We love it and always have a great time! We rolled out of bed at 5:30am. Everyone got dressed in their 5k (3.1 miles) running clothes and we were off to "the races". The five older children, Brian and our friends, the S family, registered for the race. By 7:00am they were lined up and ready to run the race. Everyone finished and did such a great job.

Finishing Times

Caleb 22:10 - third place for 17 and under (boys)
Abbi 24:24 - third place for 17 and under (girls)
Hudson 25:07
Maggie 28:22
Weston 36:33

After the awards ceremony, we went to the Breakfast Feed ~ yum yum! Then we hung out on the grass and watched/listened to the talent on stage. We stayed for the 10 cent ice cream cones and then went home to crash!! Long naps were taken by all. After naps, we grilled steaks and ate Brian's homemade Butterfinger ice cream. Oh, double yum!

I have put together another slideshow of our day. Be sure to keep watching after the first song ends.
(Caleb finished the race quicker than I expected. I was not ready and did not get video of him running by ~ bummer. Good news is, I did get everybody else)
Some more fun times with the families camping at Big Canyon

Hanging out

Deanne and Courtney



Our private "big time" fireworks display at Big Canyon


That's how old my Grandma is!!
Each year we always get to pre-party before the 4th because my Grandma's birthday in on the 3rd of July. My Grandma is an amazing woman. She has prayed for and continues to pray for all of her grandchildren (8) and great grandchildren(36). She lives in a senior home and pretty much takes care of everyone there. Lately, her leg has been hurting and so that has slowed her down a bit but other than that she is the Energizer Bunny ~ keeps on going!
This slideshow is of the little party that we had for her. It was Grant's family, Abbi, Maggie and Me that were "on sight" to celebrate.
In the second video clip, Grant tells her to blow out her candles and that confused her because they were not lit - we forgot the matches. She played along well.

Grant, I just had to!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Horsin' Around

Abbi is 10 years old and ready to take her horse riding to another level. WOW!! She has done just that. We found a certified instructor for the "Dennis Reis Horsemanship Training". Abbi and Chief have had 4 lessons and already we see a big difference in the confidence level of Abbi and working with Chief. And Chief is a new man!! After their 2nd lesson, Abbi said to me, "I don't recognize Chief except for his coloring. He is a new horse." He knows she is her friend and she is the one in charge. He respects and honors her. Abbi has the foundations of teaching and working with Chief. This slideshow are pics taken during her lessons. They don't give the lessons justice. I seriously had goose bumps and at one point I cried just watching Abbi work some bad habits out of Chief. Do you remember the horse ride Abbi and I went on? Well, Chief was the one that I was riding and would not get his feet in the river. He jumped it with me on his back!! So, one of Abbi's lessons took place at the (dreaded) river. You will see that Melissa (her trainer) and Abbi got him in the water! He actually likes it now. The last video clip is Abbi walking him to the river and stopping in it. Absolutely amazing!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

True Love


We have a litter of 4 kittens. This little orange one (no name yet) is Elizabeth's most favorite. She always has him in her arms. She even hides him in rooms wrapped in a blanket so he can stay in the house. Nope!! He is an outside kitten.

She was reading to him one minute and the next minute they were sound asleep.