Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rocky Mouth Hike

If you're up for a short, easy hike with a big result at the end then you should check out the Rocky Mouth Trail in Sandy, Utah.

To give it a little perspective: it took us about 7 minutes to get to the top of the hike where the waterfall was.

And we stopped and checked out a few caves on our way.  There's an old mine that you can go into a little bit before you hit a cement wall where the mine was sealed.

And then you end up at the waterfall on the next turn where you can play in the shallow river (depth depending on the season and year, of course) and you can even climb up a level into the waterfall.

To also give it a little perspective, we had a two year old with us and she did just fine.  There's a lot of steps involved which was a lot of work for her little legs, but seriously, it's 7 minutes to the top.

A quarter of a mile to be more exact.

The trailhead is located near 11248 S. Wasatch Blvd. (directly East of the LDS Chapel).  It's just right on Wasatch Blvd.  You hike up a length of wooden stairs into a neighborhood, walk up the street and enter the rest of the trail from there.


 Jayme was the only one out of my crew who made the hike with me, but we're thinking we need to take the rest of The Circus with us soon.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You Can Be Bitter. Or You Can Be Better.

{pic source}

Sometimes it starts with something small.

I've been reading Jeffrey R. Holland's book, Broken Things To Mend (here, affiliate link).  It's a compilation of some of his talks.  I read in his talk, "The Tongue of Angels" (here) that in the book of James it tells us of a way to be "a perfect man (or woman)."  "Said James: 'For in many things we offend all.  [But] if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.'" (James 3:2)

Last night I read in another chapter, an address Elder Holland gave at a National Day of Prayer Service in the Provo Tabernacle, about when Christ is teaching the Sermon on the Mount and he concludes with, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)  Elder Holland then goes on to point out that right before that verse, Christ tells how.  "If this comes as the grand finale, the great summation in a chapter that began with the sweet and simple Beatitudes, what immediately precedes perfection?  Or better yet, what preparatory virtues point us toward perfection and this full majesty of God?  I quote the verses immediately prior to the grand declaration of perfection: 'Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?  do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?  do not even the publicans so?' (Mathew 5: 43-47)  I confess that I do not know how we meet the Savior's injunction to be perfect, but I am guessing we will be a lot closer to that goal if we can love our enemies, bless them that curse us, and pray for them that despitefully use us."

It's love. 

All you need is love.  *cue in Beattles song here*...

This morning I ran across this video from Alex Boye, Lemonade.

"I'm just so broke you won't believe
Can't get a dollar out of me
And as far as I can see
I'm losing control like a bad disease
No I just can't get relief
I've been shot down by the life police,
And everyday I try to rise
But I can't succeed
Can anybody find a cure for me?
You can be bitter, bitter, bitter
Or you can be better, better, better

When life gives you lemons
Instead of champagne
Don't worry little children
And don't complain
Remember you're golden
So find some sugar cane
When life gives you lemons
Make lemonade

Now everyday is like a brand new year,
I throw my hands up in the air
Like I just don't care,
I'm moon walking down the streets
Feeling like oh yeah (oh yeah!)
like the bottom of the glass now I see clear
So now I laugh just a little more
I stand taller than I did before
I know I'm not where I need to be
But I thank God that I'm not
where I used to be,
I used to be bitter, bitter bitter
And now I feel better, better, better

When life gives you lemons
Instead of champagne
Don't worry little children
And don't complain
Remember you're golden
So find some sugar cane
When life gives you lemons
Make lemonade

I was saved for a reason
That I can't explain
Got something new to believe in
I'm awakened again
So many miracles are
Happening each day
If I can just get out of
My own way"

These three things may not sync as the same topic at first glance, but it took me on a journey.

If my goal is perfection, which I'm well aware I will never achieve in this lifetime, then shouldn't I be watching the words that I say?  Elder Holland points out (here) with James 3:10, "Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not so to be."  Elder Holland expounds, "The voice that bears profound testimony, utters fervent prayer, and sings the hymns of Zion can be the same voice that berates and criticizes, embarrasses and demeans, inflicts pain and destroys the spirit of oneself and of others in the process.  'Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing,' James grieves, 'These things out not so to be.'"  Add that to the words of James 3:2, "...if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man..." and you have something to think about.

From there, I began to realize if I'm concentrating on what I'm speaking, it forces my concentration on what I'm thinking.  If I don't want to say it, I'm finding I'm trying to curb even thinking it.  And if I'm curbing even the thought, it's changing my attitude and feelings to be softer.

Don't get me wrong, this has been a hard thing to practice and I'm nowhere near were I should be with it, but in practicing no negative thing, I'm finding this is forcing me to more fully contemplate the second point that hit me from Elder Holland; Christ's teaching of love and prayer for your "enemy."

Not that I feel I have enemies, per se, but I do have individuals in my life that I struggle with.  And individuals who seem set out to specifically make my life harder, for whatever reason.

And now I'm trying not to express anything negative about them.  Which is leading me to curb my thoughts and not even think anything negative about them.  Which is a direct path to forcing myself to pray for them. Or, at least it should be.

And trying to love them.

And by "love" I'm generally aiming for a feeling of "good will."  I think it's in the same ballpark.  Or at least in the right direction.

It's a hard process.

It's a daily struggle.

So Alex Boye's video seemed to capture it for me.  Especially the second and third verses.  Go back and read them above.

For me, it ties back into no negative thing. I can be bitter about certain things and certain people.  Or I can be better and loving.  And if I'm to believe in the words of the scriptures, which I absolutely do, that will lead me to perfection.

At some point.

In the far off future.

 In the meantime, and hopefully much nearer future, it will lead to a happier life for me.  I can't complain about that.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Independence Day 2014

In a general sense of the word, the United States is a pretty good place to live.

We can argue politics until we're blue in the face, but when it boils down to it, I look at my life as it is, and the roads I have before me, and I know that I have been truly blessed to live in this country.

That's not to say that other countries aren't great as well, because they are, but this post is a recap of our Independence Day so all I need, really, is a *fist bump* and a 'Merica.

Or what have you.

This year it was just The Man and myself.

We made sure we covered the basics.

Concerts, face painting, and booths in the park.  Check.
Lemonade type drink.  Check.

Mexican Food... Well, 'Merica can't have them all.
Movie in a cool theater with popcorn and milkduds.  Check.
Discover the wonder that is Gordman's.  Check.
Rodeo.  Check.
(Everyone knows that the bulls are the best)

Motorcross.  Check.
(Those mountains in the background... perfection)

Sno-cones.  Check.
Big, giant, fantastical fireworks in the park.  Check.

It's no wonder that this holiday is my second favorite (108 days until Halloween).  The only things that were missing was swimming and The Circus.

As it is, I count myself lucky every day that the man I married truly is my best friend, and I couldn't imagine spending the holiday in a better way.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Jacob City Mine

I'm so far behind.  I'm just going to take the most recent pictures I have and work backwards from there until I get them all caught up.

Last Saturday we ended up with only Jayme and Sean.  

The Man decided it was high time we pull out the razors and give the kids some "driving lessons" out on the dirt trails.  

Plus, he just likes to find excuses to ride.

Which is okay with me.  I like to have an excuse to hang out with him all day.

West wanted to find the Jacob City loop.  There were old mines and there was supposed to be a ghost town, but being a pretty "public" area, there wasn't much left of actual buildings from people destroying them. Though we did find remnants of mining areas.  

And we found a few entrances for a mine or two.

The mine shafts that went straight down were far too deep of a hole for my liking.  I wouldn't go near them.  It gives my stomach butterflies just looking at this picture.

We let Jayme and Sean have their turn behind the wheel so they can start learning the ropes to driving and also to riding. 

We're usually a desert type folk and when we need to get out and away we usually flee south to Sand Hollow or Moab for the weekend.  Riding in a mountain setting was off our norm but I loved the change of pace and scenery. 

 At one point in the ride I had a little hitch hiker join me.

And she stuck around for a good few minutes, just enjoying the ride and, I'm sure, the company.

 We had a picnic lunch in the shade on some old cement foundation of some sort or other and called it day.

We rode back to the truck, loaded up the machines in the trailer and climbed inside.

I pulled down the visor mirror...

Do I have any dirt on my face?

A sure sign of a good time.

Nailed it.

If you're interested in visiting the Jacob City area you can get there from Stockton.  Head east on Silver Ave. and it will take straight up to the trailhead.  There's a loop trail there, or you can continue up the dirt past the trailhead to where the road forks.  Take the right that inclines down and that will take you to the sites pictured above.  You don't even need four-wheel drive to do it.  Though the road is only wide enough for one vehicle at a time so if you're not on a four wheeler of some sort you may want to park on the dirt road before heading down fork and just hoof it.  It's not that far of a walk from that point.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Peter On The Water

You know the story when Peter sees Christ on the water and he wants to walk out and join Him, and Christ tells him to "Come." 

And Peter does.  

He walks on water.  

Can you imagine the thrill of that moment?  "I'm WALKING ON WATER!"  And your eyes are locked with Christ and you're doing it.  I try to imagine Peter's emotions in that moment.  We have those moments.  We just did something hard, or went through something hard and suddenly a blessing is totally obvious and the joy... we did it.  Our eyes are locked on Christ.

But Peter, for whatever reason, remembers the wind around him.  And wind always brings waves. I imagine the wind pulled at his hair and clothes and the spray of the water hit his face.  And Peter's eyes left Christ; his focus was on the waves. 

And in that moment he began to sink.  

We do that too.  We stop looking at Christ because life was going good and easy and we forget how much of that is His help.  So the wind picks up in our lives and the waves come at us and we begin to feel like we're sinking, even drowning in the proverbial sense as I imagine Elder Jeffrey R. Holland would say it.   And we call out, like Peter, "Lord, save me!"

How often I've poured my heart out in prayer in that way.

I love this next part.  IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretches out his hand to save Peter.  

To save us. 

Even while He's shaking His head and saying something to the effect of, "You were right there, you had it.  What happened?  Why did you look away?  Why did you doubt me?"

Because hadn't the wind and waves been there all along?  Even when Peter first set foot on the water?

I think I can relate to Peter, out there on the water.

Maybe you can too.

(Matthew chapter 14)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Give Away: Slide the City

Let's be honest with one another here.

Slip-n-slides are the stuff that summer is made of.

Well, that and popsicles.

And while we're being honest here, let's just go ahead and admit that we never really grow out of our toys.  

They just get bigger.

I don't know about you, but these pictures say it all for me.

This is happening in Salt Lake City.

I. Am. So. There.

*insert happy dance here*

A 1000 ft slip-n-slide stretched down Main Street from the Capitol to Temple Square.

This will be a family friendly event with music, food, and drinks.  Main Street will be closed to traffic, obviously.  But the shops on the street will still be open.  The event itself is free, but there is a ticket price to slide down the slip-n-slide.  Inner tubes will be provided, and the slide will be padded.  Squirt guns and water balloons are encouraged.  If you don't want to ride the slide you can still come, grab some food, and maybe instigate a water fight.  The slide is for everyone 48 inches or taller.

More event info and ticket purchases for the slip-n-slide can be found on the Slide the City website HERE.

I have some good news for you.  I get to give away  two all day slide passes to one lucky reader.

This is the give away of the summer.

So grab a friend and enter through the rafflecopter below.  As always, it's easy to enter.  Just follow and share.  The give away opens now and will stay open until midnight July 10th.  Daily entries are available so come back and enter as many times as you want.  The winner will be notified by email on July 11th so make sure the email you use for the rafflecopter is a current one.  (Yes, I've run into this problem before... ahem, Gail)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let's meet up.

I'll race you to the bottom!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

With Real Intent

This morning, as I was checking my email, I found one from Your LDS Blog that mentioned some EFY (Especially For Youth) songs that I hadn't heard yet.

Being the curious soul that I am, I went to YouTube to find them.

My day is better for it already.

Check this one out.

Glorious, written by Stephanie Smith and preformed by Russ Dixon (who, by the way, is one of the master minds behind Beyond 5 (here)).

Tyler Castleton and Russ Dixon (Beyond 5 masterminds) have been using their talents in the music industry for a very long time, and have had their hand in a lot of EFY music.  Together they put together the 2014 EFY CD, Anxiously Engaged.

Which I own.

Which I love.

You need to hear this song from it.  It's preformed by Patch Crowe (a member of Beyond 5.  Are you guys catching on to how awesome Beyond 5 is yet?)

If you want to read the whole blog post on Russ Dixon and Tyler Castleton and their music ventures you can find it here.

Also, last night I was reading Broken Things To Mend by Jeffrey R. Holland, who is a rockstar in his own right.  In it he quotes part of the scriptures 2 Nephi 31:13, 17; a scripture I've heard and read so often but something about it struck me last night.

The phrase "with real intent" settled into my understanding and took on real meaning.  I stopped reading, all of 6 pages in on that book and I tested out the weight of those words.

With real intent.

And I wondered: what is my intent?  What am I trying to accomplish right now in my life?  Are my efforts real?  Is my desire coming from a sincere place?

Do I have real intent?

I've read on another blog ( that every year she picks a motto for herself to live by.  I always liked that idea, but I never got around to doing it for myself.  I know the year is half way over, but I think for the next six months "With Real Intent" is going to be my motto.

I'm going to live the gospel with real intent.
I'm going to mother with real intent.
I'm going to be a wife with real intent.
I'm going to serve the young women in my ward with real intent.
I'm going to study the scriptures and other church books with real intent.

This also goes hand in hand with thoughts I've been having lately.  After praying and praying (and praying) for guidance with the direction of my life it keeps coming to me that I need to focus on the spiritual side of things, study the gospel, focus on teaching the gospel to my girls and in my calling, and if I do that the rest will take care of itself.

It's all just swirling around me, again and again.  Live the gospel.  With real intent.  Study the gospel.  With real intent.  Teach the gospel.  With real intent.

And that's all I need to know.
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