Andy and I start taking our kids camping when they are about four months old. Carter’s first time was on an outdoor ed trip I led with students, and I ended up sleeping with him in the back of an Expedition. Aila’s first camping experience was last year’s two-week road trip up to Olympic National Park.
This year, our first camping trip was in Sequoia National Park with my brothers and their partners (and Smurf!). Camping with kids is not exactly a relaxing experience (looking at you firepit of death), but to us, it is worth the extra planning and stress. Here are a few reasons why: Continue reading “7 Reasons to Take Young Kids Camping”
We celebrated my step-dad’s birthday and kicked off our summer with a weekend trip to Sea Ranch with my family. My brother, Dave, was in town after road-tripping from New York with his girlfriend, Emily, and his doggie, Smurf. I’m not sure if the kids loved Smurf or the ocean more.
The view from our house.
Spinning on this chair is so much fun!
Point Arena Lighthouse.
Harv’s first board game EVER.
Run to mama!
Playing at the park with Agong.
Two grandkids and a granddog.
The whole crew.
Experimenting with the ponytail.
Just outside the front door!
Eating eating eating. As per the usual.
Watching the waves.
She wanted to play with him soooo bad!
Ahhh, brother and sister relaxation time.
Hiking around Mendocino.
Mama and Waby out for a hike.
In-n-out stop on the way home.
Andy and I got to go explore on our own for an hour!
A few weeks ago, President Hancock (side note: a man who gives me hope in the Church, and whom I deeply admire) asked me to speak at the adult session of stake conference. Talk about whatever you want, he said. I felt honored, blessed, excited and overwhelmed. I would be camping with my family for most of the time I had to prepare, and the conference session fell on same day as Carter’s fourth birthday party. It was a veritable outpouring of blessings (and work!) in a short period of time.
Preparing for the talk was perhaps the greatest blessing of all. I hauled my quad to Colorado as we camped all over the state, reading scriptures and swatting mosquitoes each night by lantern light as the kids slept in our tent. It was a welcome reminder that there is no excuse for shallow scripture study. Deep and meaningful scripture study connects my Spirit with God and gives me power. Recommitting to make my daily scripture studies more meaningful…starting now.
As I prayed fervently for inspiration, the Spirit guided me to study specific topics and read the book of Matthew. I didn’t receive any clear direction for my talk for several weeks. Instead, the Spirit seemed to tell me, as long as you are spending time asking for answers and searching the Word, inspiration will come. Continue reading “My Stake Conference Talk: Willing to Be Disturbed and Willing to Disturb”
We rallied for families on June 30.
Families belong together and all the children must be reunited with their parents immediately. Continue reading “Families Belong Together”
Since my baptism in August 2000, I have asked many questions about the gospel, church history, Mormon culture, and modern day revelation. I am often critical – as I also am of society in general. I am constantly aware of things we can do as a people, and as a Church, to be better. This questioning and critical lens come from a place of love for people and the Savior. Continue reading “My Easter Miracle”