Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tanner is a Junior now!

Tanner, with some of his friends during graduation. He is not pictured in our famlee ones because it was the BIG Suns game that night and as soon as Rachelle sang and walked, they ran to one of their buddy's house to watch the last quarter of the game. They came back just in time for a picture. Saturday, 2 days after school was out, he flew to Utah to attend EFY in Provo with his friend, Spencer. Have FUN Tanner!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kindergarten Grads

Thursday, May 27th was a busy day for our famlee. Branden and Donivan graduated from Kindergarten in the am and Rachelle graduated that evening. B & D attended Challenger Basic School, a charter school in Gilbert and had a very successful year. Branden is reading quite well. I LOVE to listen to him read scriptures with us in the morning and he is so proud of himself. When he gets to the end of a scripture, he speeds up to read the next one! We are so proud of the accomplishments of Donivan. His reading is getting better and better. This was a good educational choice for these two little boys who made lots of friends and LOVED each and every day of school!

I just LOVE all the music, poems and songs they sing! To me, it such an important part of kindergarten!

Our kindergarten grads! Next year they will be first graders!

Mrs. Peluso was Donivan's teacher. She will tutor him weekly through the summer months and we are so grateful for the many extras she provided for Donivan to help him succeed!

Mrs. "C" was the aide for Donivan's class. She also tutored Donivan every Tuesday and Thursday morning! We LOVE you Mrs. "C"!

Mrs. Whall was Branden's teacher and Mrs. Oliver was the classroom aide. Both of these kindergarten teachers were just the BEST and the right personalities for each of our boys!

And of course Tanner, their HERO! He really IS the BEST big brother and LOVES to support them in all that they do! Thanks Tanner!

Rachelle is a "High School Graduate" Now!

Graduation from high school is a milestone in the life of a student and their family! What an exciting adventure it has been while we celebrated the different activities that go along with graduation. Rachelle received several awards at the Senior's Award's Night held at the Higley Center for Performing Arts. Rachelle graduated in the top 10% of her class and received the "President's Education Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement" and then she received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Fine Arts - Choir. We all know how talented she is when it comes to music so that award was not a surprise and because she sometimes would stay up into the wee hours of the morning doing homework, the top 10% was not a surprise either! Seminary Graduation is always a special night! (my favorite when it comes to graduation). Rachelle sang a melody of songs about the Savior and brought her parents to tears once again. Here she is pictured with her Seminary teacher, Brother Zach Olson. We LOVE Bro. Olson and can you tell that he LOVES us too??? Ryan, Rachelle and Tanner have been blessed by Bro. Olson and he will always hold a special place in our hearts! The 2010 graduating class of Higley High School held their graduation on the Higley High School football field. There were less than 300 graduates because last year, Williamsfield High School opened and their senior class was split. Rachelle always felt like most of the seniors went to the new school and after seeing the small numbers, I think she was right! Rachelle and Brittney Lynn Hipps were invited to sing the National Anthem. They both made regional choir this year and love singing together.
Here is a recording of it and Rachelle said they were "pitchey" but it still sounded awesome and we were so PROUD!

Thanks to Sister Shirley who served as her Young Women's President during most of her High School years. What a tribute, she even came to graduation!

And here we have her High School choir teacher, better know as "FLO". I actually had to look his name up because I really didn't remember it, Matthew Flora. What a great a patient man!


Now the Summer fun starts. The family she nannies for, left for Florida yesterday and she is joining up with them today. She will spend a week at Disney World and enjoy a Disney Cruise. I am always envious of her and the luxuries that come with her job, however, when I hear about the "oodles" of kids that she helps out with, (this time its 6 families) I change my mind! She will fly from Florida to San Diego for a fun and relaxing trip with her friends for a week!

By the way . . . see the yellow bag??? Its full of shoes alone!!! Have a wonderful time! You deserve it!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where to put the temple!


In order to really appreciate this posting, you must have a sense of humor and understand the politics of living in a small town. The Gila Valley area consists of several small towns in eastern Arizona, but Pima, Thatcher and Safford are the larger towns and have been rivals forever. There is some real animosity between the schools, the students, and even sometimes the parents. It is no surprise that each town thought that their town was going to get the temple. People in Pima (which was settled first...) have been saying they would have a temple there for more than 100 years. People in Thatcher were sure they would have the temple built in their town since they were bigger! However, Safford is the biggest town and has more people in their stake. When they announced the temple, they called it the "Gila Valley" temple, giving no clue as to where the temple would actually be built.
In the middle of Pima and Thatcher, there is a little town (about a mile across or less) called Central. They have one ward in Central, but there was also a huge church softball complex built many years ago for recreation purposes for the Saints in all three towns. The brethren decided to build the temple there, in a nice "Central" location...LITERALLY!
When this announcement was made, I knew the people in Pima, Thatcher and Safford would be upset about this, crazy as it sounds. You would think after waiting so long that they wouldn't care at all where the temple would actually be built! Now that the temple is built, the saints feel so blessed, however, the competition still speaks. The saints in Thatcher say, "you have to look at the statue of Moroni on the temple--it is pointing toward Thatcher--and turning it's back on those sinners in Pima." Then the people of Pima say "Look at the statue Moroni on the temple--he is pointing his trump toward those sinners in Thatcher--and calling them to repentance." Oh the joys of living in a small town!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thanks Be To God!

This morning was a very special time for me and my extended family. I was born and spent 8 years of my childhood in the Gila Valley. My parents then moved to the "big" city for my parents to attend school. When I turned 18 and graduated from high school, my parents had both received their degrees and moved back and lived in Safford but taught school in Thatcher. I have spent the past 33 years taking my husband and children there to visit. We LOVE our trips to Grandma and Grandpa's house. We have LOVED our camping trips and family reunions to the Graham Mountains which are pictured behind the temple. I woke up this morning with great anticipation for the temple dedication. As we approached the meetinghouse, a special spirit washed over me as I presented my temple recommend and passed through the doors into the stake center, which was now an extension of the Lord’s Holy House. The Spirit of the Lord was palpable as we walked to our seats. A quiet reverence permeated the chapel and cultural hall where we sat. The dedicatory service began with a special welcome to the Arizona Saints by President Eyring. With each talk given, each prayer offerred and special musical number sung, the Spirit of the Lord continued to touch my heart and bear witness of the importance of temples.

I loved the stories of President Kimball. He was "my" prophet while growing up and I always felt a certain bit of "righteous pride" (is there such a thing???) that he was from the Gila Valley area. I LOVED the story that President Monson spoke of while serving on the missionary committee with Pres. Kimball and Pres. Hinckley. Pres. Monson spoke of the meticulous way in which President Kimball would assign missionaries.

Pres. Monson also spoke about one of the times he was assigning missionaries. He read the profile and reassigned the missionary 3 different times and still didn't feel that it was right. He pulled out his file and reread some of the info and he found out that this Elder spoke fluent spanish and then he knew that he was to fill a spanish speaking mission. Then it was right. He testified of God's hands in every missionary assignment. This was so meaningful to me as a mom of missionaries. I have felt the magic of those assignments. My heart has felt the witness of the spirit as those calls have come. I have seen tender mercies falling from the heavens above. I know that the Lord indeed makes those assignments and there are specific people and experiences waiting for each of these young men called as "Ambassadors of the Lord". I LOVED the story that Sister Crocket (temple matron) told about the little boy that held onto the hand of the escort that lead the way for his group of people touring the temple. When they entered into the Celestial Room, he looked up at the man and said, "Ohhhh, Jesus IS here!" The veil was thin and the Spirit spoke to that little boy! How I pray that my heart will always be humble and can feel that same spirit in everyday life! President Monson spoke of a man and woman that came into his office and said that they knew the Saints in the Gila Valley area were not wealthy people but they personally had been blessed. They then proceeded to write out a check for half a million dollars and told him to "SPRUCE" up the temple with their funds. He said that as you walk the halls of this temple, notice all of the original artwork and the great beauty that adorns this temple, inside and out. It is because of this anonymous but selfless couple. President Monson reminded us that this is HIS work, not mine, nor yours, but HIS work! We must remain righteous and with a desire to serve because we are HIS hands and HE will use us if we allow HIM too.

President and Sister Crocket both spoke that not only are the saints in this area rejoicing but those that have gone before. Thanks Be to God! In Isaiah, it says that even the desert and blossoms shall rejoice. We have had so much rain this past year as the desert rejoiced and you should see the blossoms everywhere! I couldn't help but think of our ancestors that have gone before us. I am sure that they were shouting "Hallelujah" in the heavens with us!