Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Bests and Worsts of 2009



The Cruise- especially having as much CocaCola as I wanted, Hanging out at cabin, Turning 12 and going to the temple for the first time


Being sick for so long



Killing my first varmint, Getting a shotgun for Christmas, Cruise


Crashing on the 4 wheeler (I was not driving)



Cruise, Getting my Driver’s License, Turning 16 and getting to date, Being in the Marching Band


None. . .



Cabo San Lucas, Colby getting driver’s license, Kaye winning City Council election, New water system at cabin


Driving to LA to go on the cruise (major snowstorm), New water system at cabin



Cruise, Winning the election, Watching Colby perform with the Lehi Marching Band, New deck at the cabin


Having Swine Flu, Weeding the Dugout, Having a snake in the kitchen

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ut Oh.

Found a new blog background site that I now love. . .
Join me in my addiction.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I have never really liked guns. I didn't grow up around guns, so they seem somewhat foreign to me. My only childhood memory of shooting a gun was at Bryant Pond Camp and I may have made that up. Ed got in a lot of trouble several years ago for giving me a gun for Christmas. I was not happy about that.

On the other hand, I am the mother of three boys, two of which have severe red neck tendencies. I have gotten quite used to buying Air Soft guns and I don't even have a problem with BB Guns. When you have Parker wandering around the cabin with a BB Gun shooting any rodent who dares to show itself, you kind of get used to it.But. . . Parker wanted a shot gun this year. That gave me some heartburn, but he is 13. The one rule is that it is locked up at all times in Dad's gun safe. Since none of us know the combination, it should be safe there. He was anxious to go give it a try, so we headed out towards West Canyon on the 26th. It was about 12 degrees. Fools. . . that's us.

We went to Wasatch Wing and Clay which is out in the middle of the wheat fields in Eagle Mountain and we used their throwers to shoot clay pigeons. What a blast. It is a cool set up and it was south facing so we didn't even freeze to death.

Christmas 2009

We had a great Christmas this year. Our festivities began on the 23rd with our annual Open House. We had a more manageable crowd this year because we didn't feel the need to invite the whole neighborhood. I think we only had about 50 people this year, but we had more opportunity to visit with our guests so it was nice.

On Christmas Eve we had a yummy, but simple ham dinner. I thought it was perfect because I didn't have to work so hard! At 9pm we had our Family Program and then we had dessert. Pumpkin Pie and Cheesecake from Costco were the choices. I am SO glad that Mrs. Costco is a friend!!!

Then the boys opened their early present and got their Christmas jammies. This is a picture of them all decked out.

Christmas morning we opened our stockings and a few presents before breakfast. Unfortunately, one of the breakfast casseroles that I made was disgusting, so we did a little foraging. Then. . . back to the presents.

Jim had so much fun traveling this fall that we bought him a new set of luggage.
Parker got the .12 gauge shotgun that he has wanted forever.
Ed got mostly clothes and gift cards.
Reed got a cool hat and a trumpet.
Colby got a euphonium case. . . but his favorite gift was the Magformers that each of the boys received. He has been making lots of creations and then takes pictures of them with his handheld video camera. I think it is funny that a 16 year old is having such a blast with magnets!

I got a new TV for the kitchen, some Philosophy perfume and a new bathrobe and slippers. It was a relaxed day, complete with naps, and we all enjoyed it.

But next year I am hoping for some palm trees!

Thanksgiving at the Cabin

There is nowhere that makes Parker as happy as Sanpete County. He lives to go to the cabin. . . and he loves turkey. . . so Thanksgiving was a hit this year! It was nice to have a few days to relax and enjoy each others' company.

Big Lew was quite photogenic this weekend. His new short hairdo is my favorite because I don't have to deal with picking a million stickers out of his coat. This is a rare photo because he doesn't have a tennis ball stuffed in his mouth.

We had a lovely feast with all the traditional family favorites. Basically we ate. . . and ate. . . and ate!
It was great having Judy here for Thanksgiving again this year. She had a lot of fun shooting at targets with Parker and Reed. I think they may have been surprised that she is a good shot!

On Friday, Ed cooked his traditional Prime Rib and a crowd showed up! We had enough people that we were able to move the hot tub from the trailer to the new deck. Now we will be able to get it working when we have some time to spare.

Clark loved snuggling with Aunt Judy. He was happy to sit with her anytime that she found her way to the couch!
Love these photos of Ed and Parker out on the deck. The sun was just setting and we were enjoying its warmth. It had been a lovely day, but as soon as the sun went down it got cold in a hurry. One cool thing that we saw this year was the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station orbit overhead. It was amazing how fast they moved across the sky.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Hate Snakes

The title of this blog really says it all. I hate them. Big ones, little ones, poisonous and non-poisonous. I hate them all. In fact, I hate them so much that I am happy to kill them. Yup. Me. The quintessential Mormon Mom, complete with Chevy Suburban, has a killer's heart.

I don't remember how it started. I don't remember ever being tormented with a snake or being frightened by one. I grew up in Maine where there were plenty of garter snakes, but apparently we didn't often cross paths. I think that the real hatred began about 11 years ago, right here in Lehi.

When we first moved to town, we lived in a house down on the south end of town. Jay and Jolene Richins' pasture was our neighbor and there were springs in that pasture. Consequently, there were little water snakes all over the place. (If I had realized THAT, we NEVER would have bought that house.) Whenever I went out to weed the garden, I would find at least one snake, so I took to wearing gloves and carrying scissors. Whenever I would find one of Satan's little buddies I would calmly grab it, carry it over to the trash can, and snip its head off with the scissors.

Remember. I did not say I was afraid of snakes. I HATE them.

I am still famous for the day I happened to grab three snakes and once and SNIP, SNIP, SNIP took care of the problem. When Parker introduced me to his 1st grade class many moons ago, he told the class that I cut snakes heads off with scissors. They were impressed. One day after that I was in Albertson's when I heard a little boy saying to his mother, "MOM! That's the snake killing lady!" I was proud.

But, no more. In the five years since we moved away from that house, I have gone soft. Monday was a lovely day and I was airing out the house and puttering in the backyard. As we ate dinner (yes. . . all five of us at the table at the sme time!) Colby got up for seconds. When he came back to sit down he startled and said, "There's a snake." Just like that. I, somewhat trepidaciously asked, "Where?" I assumed it was out on the patio- I sit with my back to the patio. "On the floor! It just came out from under my chair!"

(This is the part where I lost all my pride.)

I totally freaked out. I had my feet in the air and I was screaming. I screamed until I ran out of air. By that time, Ed was out of his chair and telling me to get up. I kept screaming that I didn';t know where to put my feet, to which he very unsympathetically answered, "On the floor!" By this time the snake, apparently frightened by the vibrations of my hysterical screaming, had gone down the grate into the duct. I was able to force my feet ontpo the floor long enough to climb on top of Ed's chair. I was no longer screaming, but suddenly I realized I wasn't breathing either. A few gasps took care of that issue.

Parker took the grate off the duct (in the floor by the sliding glass door) and pronounced that he could not see the snake. I just knew that snake was going to be happily gliding through my house using the duct system as it's own personal thruway. I had visions of Harry Potter's basilisk hanging out in there. I was on the verge of screaming again when I was sent to my room- and ordered to take the dogs with me. (As if I could go anywhere in the house without Lewis and Clark following me. . .) It only took about 5 minutes before the all clear was sounded. Parker had used a plastic sword to fling the offender outside.

What surprises and dismays me the most is that he and Ed LET IT LIVE! All snakes should be killed. Period.

I had gotten out of the habit of always wearing gloves outside and carrying scissors, but I promise I will be properly prepared before my next weeding session! And I don't go barefoot in my house anymore. It is no longer the sanctuary I once imagined it to be.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Capturing the Moment

We went to take Jim to the airport in Salt Lake this morning, so we decided to play around for a little while. I absolutely love to watch these fountains at the Gateway Plaza. We lucked out and were there for when they sync up with the music "Citius, Altius, Fortius" from the 2002 Olympics. Very cool, to say the least.

I bought myself a new book this week that was highly recommended at the Scrap Girls conference. It is called Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I use AUTO mode about 80% of the time on my fancy dancy Canon xTi, because I am terrified that I will miss the shot by being in manual mode. After reading only the first section of the book, I dared to give it a whirl today. I am pleased with the feathery water I got by using a slower shutter speed. I had no idea what I was getting until I uploaded them on the computer!
I love this shot of Reed running through the fountain. I panned with him which is how I got the feeling of movement. I feel like a little kid with a new toy! I have had this camera for two years- and I absolutely LOVE it- but I feel like I am just now figuring out how to use it! Luckily, I have Photoshop skills, too. The picture below would have been trash, with Reed terribly underexposed, but a few clicks and I can see my sweetie's face! BTW, I did not Photoshop the dark blue sky. . . that was a happy accident thanks to my polarized filter and the settings!

We also went to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in 3-D. That was a cute movie, but most of the 3-D effects were lost on Ed and Reed, since they are both nearly blind in one eye!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


They are currently doing a little survey on KSL to see if people believe in paranormal activity. I love how this stuff rolls around every October! My definite response is yes. I point first to the famous quote by Brigham Young in response to the question about where the Spirit World is. . .

Brigham Young answered this question simply when he said: "Where is the spirit world? It is right here."Prophets have told us that the spirit world is not far from us and if we could rend the veil of forgetfulness (see Mortality) we would see the spirits of righteous people who have gone on before us. They know our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Speaking of these spirits, President Joseph F. Smith said, "They are as deeply interested in our welfare today, if not with greater capacity, with far more interest behind the veil, than they were in the flesh."

When Ed and I bought our first house on 14 Spring Street in Calais, the first thing that stuck us was the happy, comforting "spirit' that struck us when we first walked into the home. Everyone who visited us felt the same way. . .

Then one day in March of 1992 or 1993 we decided that we needed to re-decorate the guest room. We moved all the furniture into the middle of the room and started removing the wall paper. We got it all down that first day and the room looked sad and empty. Late that afternoon our dogs went beserk and were standing at the door of that room looking in and barking. We thought there must be an animal in there, but they would not go into the room. Wierd, but no big deal. That night we were laying in bed when they started growling and suddenly the lights in the hallway went on. (I am getting the shivers just typing this.) Ed got up and turned the lights off, muttering about the wiring. A few minutes later, the lights went on again. Every morning we would get up to every single light in the house being on. Our neighbors teased us about leaving the lights on, but it wasn't us.

We completed the renovation in 2-3 weeks. When we finished making up the bed of the newly done room and putting the last touches on the decor, I said, "OK. We are done. Sorry about the disturbance, but we hope you like the new room."

We never had another incident with the lights or the dogs. Until we re-decorated the family room!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

To be popular.

I was never one of the popular girls in school. I longed to be like those graceful, nymph-like creatures who always looked good in their clothes, had every hair in place, and had boys following them around- happy to be at their beck and call. I on the other hand, was always overweight and could not look good in the latest fashions. (That is a blessing in retrospect. . . not too many pictures of me in the traditional garb of the 1980's!) My hair was a disaster. It had enough curl so that I could not wear straight styles and it wasn't curly enough to be pretty. On top of that, it was so thin that when I put it in a pony tail it had a diameter of about 1/2 inch. It always was a mess. No guys were following me around, carrying my books. I was a teen age failure in my warped mind.

What I was, I can now see in retrospect, was a geek. Yup. I loved playing the clarinet. That's pretty geeky all by itself, but I took it to the extreme and practiced a couple of hours a day. I got straight A's without trying too hard. Except in Algebra and I don't want to discuss THAT. I sang in the chorus and actually liked wearing all white and singing "We are the World." I was on the Hi-Q team, which is fairly similar to the Academic Decathlon program. I really enjoyed having a wide range of knowledge about a lot of odd subjects. I left the math to Kyle. That was his gig. To top it all off, I found the Drama Club my Junior year and acted in several plays. Since all my friends were apparently geeks, too, we had a lot of fun and never criticized each other.

Although I wasn't popular like I wanted to be, I was respected and I had a lot of friends. I even got elected Class President my Sophomore year.

If I had to sit down and list my friends, it would be a difficult task because I have lived in different places and been involved in different sub-cultures. (Don't worry- nothing too radical- just dog shows, karate, digi scrapping, and the like!) So imagine my surprise when I noticed today on Facebook that I have 350 friends. A lot of the people I would have on my friend list don't even have a Facebook page so it mde me wonder who these people really are. Luckily there was an application to assist me in figuring this out.

Here are the results:

34 friends are under the zodiac sign of Taurus (including my DH. . . I can put up with a lot of bull)
22 friends like country music best (not much clarinet in country music)
14 friends enjoy hiking (sick puppies)
73% female friends, 27% male friends (that actually surprises me since I hang out in a Scout uniform so much)
34% single, 66%taken (apparently I need to brush up on those matchmaking skills)
21% democrats/ 79% republicans (duh. I live in Utah!)

For some strange reason I just analyzed my friend list and came up with the following information. Please be aware that the percentages do no add up to 100% because I did not round anything and just used whole numbers.

Scrap Girls 22%
Ward Friends 16%
Family Friends 16%
Heritage Makers Friends 12%
Former Students 11%
School Buds (any grade) 10%
Scouting Friends 5%
Friends of my Children 3%
Family 3%
My Teachers 1%
People I Worked With 2%
Other 3%
People who need to NOT be my friends for various reasons 2% (like I have no idea who you are or how you got to be my friend)

I'm feeling pretty popular right now! Not because I'm thin and beautiful and have perfect hair (although it is a lot better now that it is short and I have learned to use gel) but because I have been blessed to cross paths with many people throughout my journey who like me enough to consider me a "friend." I am still a geek- well proved by the fact that 34% of my friends are digital divas like myself and think that Photoshop and Studio are the computer hotspots! But I must be a cool geek since about 14% of my friends are young whippersnappers.

Luckily I only have a couple of "friends" who are around because I am running for public office and I hope it stays that way. Although it would be nice to be popular on November 3rd. . .

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This is Colby and his beautiful Homecoming date, Brittany. Sounds like they had a great date. . . I know the restaurant was excellent since they ate at Big Ed's Steakhouse (aka our house!) There were five couples in the group and they had smoothies at Roxberry and went bowling for the day date. Photos were done by Phil Struthers and then we hosted dinner- prime rib, smashers, green beans, rolls, and a Ceasar salad. Cindie Roberts and I were the "waitresses". And yes. . . they left us tips!!!! After the dance we cooked up a bunch of Belgian waffles for dessert. I think they were all tired. I know we were!

Monday, September 21, 2009

STRESSED???? Could this be why?????

One of my good friends forwarded this to me today. I think it is a hysterically funny rendering of our beloved LDS hymns. And we wonder why we get stressed out and depressed that we aren't doing enough?

"Glancing through the hymnal last Sunday I noted that: As sisters in Zion, we, who are called to serve are all enlisted to go marching, marching forward because the world has need of willing men to all press on scattering sunshine. We wonder if we have done any good in the world today because we have been given much and want to do what is right, keep the commandments, press forward with the Saints, choose the right, and put our shoulders to the wheel going where He wants us to go. However, as the morning breaks high on the mountain top, truth reflects upon our senses, and while we still believe that sweet is the work, we also realize that we have work enough to do ere the sun goes down. And thus we ask Thee ere we part, where can we turn for peace?"

Thanks, Joan. Now I have to go scatter some sunshine!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Darn Camera!

I am happy to be the owner of a Canon Xti Rebel Digital SLR camera. Over the past two years I have taken some amazing photographs and it is the main piece of equipment in my memory keeping efforts. This spring I began to notice dust in my photos, so I had it professionally cleaned by a gentleman who came with high recommendations. He thought that it might be a great idea if I didn't take so many photos at baseball games when it is windy. Hmmph.

Two weeks ago I became quite distressed when I was trying to take pictures of Colby in his room after Brittany filled it with balloons and candy as a "yes" t0 his Homecoming invitation. The image looked very blurry and I could not get it to focus, but once I clicked the photo and oit came up on the display screen, it looked OK. I just kept shooting, thinking that the problem would shake out.

Then I took the matter and did what just about any wife would do. I complained to Ed that my camera was broken. He bought it for me, after all, so he should take some care in the maintenance and repair of said item. Right? Well, he did what just about any husband would do in the same situation- he totally ignored me. Ah, frustration.

So, here I am in Las Vegas with no camera because I wasn't about to bring that broken thing and lug it around for several days. Since I wasn't taking photos myself, I was conscripted into taking them with other people's cameras as an impromtu photographer. The first camera that I used was just like mine. I was stunned that it was having the same focus issues, but I didn't have time to talk to the owner about it because another camera was being shoved into my hands. I figured that I would have to Google it and find out what glitch was affecting the Canon xTi. That thought slipped away as I lifted the next camera, which was a different brand and make, to my eye and realized that it had the same problem! For a split second I thought that was really odd. . . and then the trut began to settle in:

There was nothing wrong with my camera. The problem had to be my right eye and how it was focusing (or failing to focus!) What the heck?????????????? How awful!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now what? The optometrist already told me that I am getting old and that I should just plan on needing readng glasses. Do they make photography glasses or am I doomed to a lifetime of guessing? Dang. Getting older stinks.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And I thought I was safe!

Imagine my surprise when I looked at my blog tonight and found out that I had been hacked. . . by my husband! He is very supportive of my endeavors and thank you to all of you who are supporting my run for city council. So far it has been mostly fun. . . except for the one bully I ran into last week. After listening to him rant and rave about EVERYTHING for about 20 minutes I decided to push back a little. My daddy taught me how to deal with bullies! He calmed right down and by the end of the discussion we were almost friends. Scary.

I have been so busy that I don't have any coherent thoughts in my head, so here are some short ramblings.

  • So, how about BYU beating Oklahoma? Time for the west to gain a little respect from the BCS.
  • And why do we always find work projects to do on Labor Day? This year we stained the decks at the cabin.
  • I watched Camp Rock on the Disney Channel. . . and enjoyed it.
  • At what point do you stop having brown hair and have gray hair instead? Is it at the 50% mark or where? Ed needs to know.

Sad, huh?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


So I hacked into Kaye's blog. This is a bad thing for me in the long run. . .it may prompt her to change her password protocol. I'm willing to risk it. Any of you who are local know that there are Kaye Country signs spread all over Lehi. However, there aren't nearly enough of them out and the Primary is on September 15th. If you can take a few signs and place them around town that would be great. You can contact me directly by email at I will bring you the signs and stakes. If you're thinking you don't know anyone in a good location, please understand there are no bad sign locations. We have about 100 signs that I would like to see out in the next few days. Please help us if you can.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The boys went back to school on August 20th. It seemed to really creep up on us this year and I am not sure why. The evening of the 19th found us packing up the backpacks with all the "stuff" which I usually have done at least a week in advance. Ed was at a meeting in Vernal and wasn't even around to give the boys their "Back-to-School Blessings."

Reed is in the 6th Grade at Freedom Elementary. He has Mr. Shumaker- just like Parker did. In fact, Mr. Shumaker keeps calling him "Parker!" He is in the same classroom that both Parker and Colby had 6th grade in which is a little crazy!
Parker is an 8th Grader at Lehi Junior High School. He thinks that 8th grade will be a lot better than 7th. . . but 7th didn't seem that bad for him. Hopefully his favorite teacher will be his PE Teacher- me! I have to homeschool him for that class because it just did not fit into his schedule. We will be counting karate as his activity.

Colby is a Junior at Lehi High School. This was a big thing- he drove himself to school! He is really excited about this year's schedule because there are more classes that he thinks are interesting. Not excited about Algebra II, though. Oh well. Marching Band will make up for it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I am a diva. Of sorts.

My smarty pants niece, writer of the "Red Bulletin Board Blog," commented that she would like to see me in the 1960's Diva outfit. So here I am. This is probably 1972, but I lived in Maine and we were a little behind on fashion trends. Was I hot or what????

I promise to never, never, never wear a bikini again. Really.

Friday, August 21, 2009

60's Diva???

This scares me!

You Are a 1960s Diva

Bold dresses, funky boots, bright patterns.

You have an eye for fashion - and make trends timeless!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

God is my Co-Pilot

I'm just guessing that the Pilot should have been paying more attention to the co-pilot. Hmmm. . .
This is NOT our vehicle. We just saw it sitting in a parking lot and thought it was funny!!!

Our "Day"Cation

We have not gone on a vacation this summer. Mostly that has been for financial reasons, but finding a chunk of time when your kids are teenagers is a feat in itself. So, we really stretched and went to Park City for the day. Reed was convinced that he had never been there before, so he was excited. He doesn't remember most of the places that we have been, but when we look back at the photos we realize that he was pretty young!

Our day in Park City began at the Outlets. I really can't complain about shopping with my kids because they are pretty easy. Colby knows all his own sizes and has his own taste. If there is something I like, I keep my mouth shut because if he knows that I like it, he will immediately dismiss it as a possibility. Parker is all about comfort. In general, his clothes must stretch and be sports oriented. Sticking to stores like Nike and Adidas works well because he can match the swishes or stripes on the tops and bottoms and look decent. This is like the middle school version of Garanimals. Reed tends towards the preppy, but also loves the sporty look. I usually help him find two or three good options and then he picks.

For those of you with girls, my apologies. I saw some of that trauma first hand. For the record, boys don't usually try on clothes and never worry about if some article makes them look fat. The whole process of looking, choosing, deciding, and purchasing is generally under 15 minutes per store. We can cruise a store in 2 minutes- no problem. They have learned this technique from their mother. I HATE trying on clothes and I do not labor over such insignificant decisions. If I love it, I buy it. If not, it stays at the store. It is a rare occasion lately that I would fall into the "it's-so-cheap-that-I-really-have-to-buy-it" trap. This trip I did try on a gown that I had seen in June. A strap was broken, so I asked and got 40% off! $60.16 for a sequined, jacketed gown is a great deal. Now I have two occasions to wear it, so within 20 minutes it was in a bag and out the door.

We packed up the cooler and had a picnic lunch at the Outlets. This struck Ed as quite funny- all of a sudden I was worried about thrift. But the real point was that Parker was in charge of cooking for the family for three days (Cooking Merit Badge) so he packed the cooler. Hey, it was cheap!

After we finished shopping, we headed to the Olympic Sports Park. It is such a cool thing to watch the kids practice their freestyle jumps into the pool. I think I may have the boys do a camp session next summer.

Then we headed into Park City proper to the Park City Mountain Resort. The kids went on the Alpine Slide and the Alpine Coaster. Loved the coaster. It was kind of a long wait, but Ed and I enjoyed talking to a couple from Los Angeles while they waited for their kids to come down the zip line. I wasn't wearing nearly enough jewelry to feel comfortable walking down Main Street in Park City, so we went back out to the Newpark area and had a wonderful dinner at Good Thymes. Reed was quite disgusted that they couldn't even spell "times" correctly. A bit of explanation was required!

It was a fun day. Park City is so different from most Utah towns and cities that it is a breath of fresh (very expensive) air. I could never live up there, but it is fun to visit!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

50 Miler

This morning the Scouts of Troop 1042 were up and moving early. They dressed in layers because the wind was whipping through the neighborhood at about 20mph. One of those layers was the ever popular pink t-shirt that denotes the "Pink Mammoths of Fury" Patrol. The hydration packs were filled and pockets stuffed with granola bars. No need for sunscreen today- the forecast was for wind and rain all morning. That dismal information didn't dampen the spirits of the 9 boys, 6 adult riders, and 4 support team members who were well prepared for a 50 mile bike ride.
The riders left Scoutmaster Lemon's house at about 7:00am and headed to Alpine. One rider was lost in the first few miles because his small stature was no match for the wind gusts. The other eight Scouts looked strong and finished the first 12.2 mile leg in under an hour. They left the "refueling" station at Wine's Park on the next leg of the route which took them down Center Street and around south Lehi over to Lindon to the Bus Garage and back. This leg was about 12.8 miles long and became difficult as the boys headed back to Wine's Park. The grade is slightly uphill, the wind was strong and against them, and by the time the last boy got back to the park there was a steady rain.
Since the Cycling Merit Badge requires two 25-mile rides, we all thought that the boys would call it a day and count this ride for a 25-miler, but they surprised us. They were halfway to an amazing accomplishment and they were prepared and excited to continue. One Scout called it a day because his gears were not functioning correctly, but the other 7 headed out on a revised route. Instead of the planned route that included shorter rides that all circled back to the park, the boys headed south towards the Bus Garage, the Lindon Boat Harbor, and on to Vineyard Elementary. At that point we were at about 40 miles completed and the Orem Sports Park has a trail that is 1.16 miles long. The boys all took 9 laps around the park to complete the 50 mile ride.

They were exhausted, but exhilarated! To complete a 50 mile ride in about 6 hours with all the elements against you is a feat to be proud of! What impressed me the most was the positive, encouraging attitude that each of the boys and leaders showed. I loved seeing them riding next to each other and chatting as they rode along. I loved handing out the sandwiches that Sis. Lemon was cranking out as the boys rode by finishing those last 10 miles. I loved taking pictures of them all along the way and handing out the 50-miler buttons when they finished the last lap.
I hope that as these boys continue to grow and turn into men, that they will take the lessons they learned today forward with them. These are some of the lessons that the boys taught me today:

  • There are hard things that are worth doing, just for the experience. There were no rewards planned, no immediate recognition, just the satisfaction of knowing that we completed something that we set out to do.
  • Life is not about competition. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses (and different equipment), but what really matters is that we all make it together. This is a Gospel lesson in action.
  • We can be encouraging to others and be happy in their success.
  • We can share what we have to help others. Brother Price gave up his bike to Parker when Parker got a flat so that he could keep going. Brother Price was able to fix the flat so that it was ready for Parker's last two laps. Then he jumped on his bike and continued. He had to ride three more laps after everyone else was finished, but he didn't mind. And guess who got the biggest cheer when he crossed the finish line? Brother Price!
  • We all need a support team. We just can't do it all by ourselves- we need to learn to trust others to help us reach our goals.
  • We need to dream and have a vision of where we want to be. Scoutmaster Lemon planned these cycling activities about a year ago. The practice rides began in April with that first downhill 6 mile ride to Willow Park. Little steps get us to big goals.
  • There should always be a "what's next." Today Lance should be feeling very happy that seven Scouts met the challenge. But, I bet he is at home wondering what else he needs to do to get the other boys ready for the second attempt that is planned for September 5.

It was a great day.