Friday, May 29, 2009

Joseph, a great man

The cane Joseph Smith, Jr. gave to Joseph Knight, Sr. on the street of Nauvoo because he was feeble (in his late 70's) and needed it more than the Prophet did. The Prophet told him to pass it on to those in the family who shared the same name as they did, namely that of "Joseph." It then went to Joseph Knight, Jr., and down through the generations. Joseph Adair Knight wanted it given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints. His son took care of this for him.

Today was the unveiling in Salt Lake. The transfer of ownership of the artifact from the Knight family to the church. It will be in the church history museum at some point, but it had not yet been determined when or where. The church's official historian accepted it on behalf of the church.

There was much talk about the significance of canes. How they were so much more than a walking assistant. They held much sentimental value. They were treasured items passed down through families. This one in particular was fashioned out of Whale bone Ivory, Mahogany and silver (I don't know if it is real silver or something that looks like it). It is beautiful. Still in such amazing shape. I can picture in my minds eye, Joseph Smith placing it in the gnarled hand of Joseph Knight Sr. on a Nauvoo road.

It was a well attended event. About 100 people. To be in a room full of strangers, and know you are related to them, is a weird feeling. I felt like I should know people there, but after so many generations, families get, well enormous. I did know 3 people at the unveiling, my Uncle David, Uncle Ray, and my Grandfather. We all went up together. I am very honored to be related to such a faithful family. The persecution they suffered was unimaginable. But, we are still here. Thank you! I will post pictures from the unveiling as I get them.

(1st pic: Elder Jensen accepting the cane from Jim Knight 2nd - The cane at the unveiling 3rd - a much older picture of the cane found on the Knight family website. Thank you to Merlene Olsen for emailing me the fisrt two pics!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The new pool

Our friends the Torsak's put in a pool at their house. It is complete with slide and deck. We played on Monday. We had a lot of fun, even if it was too cold to swim. I can't wait for when it's a bit warmer and we can enjoy it more. The best thing about the pool is that they aren't using chlorine to clean it. They use a salt system. It rocks because it doesn't dry out your skin or sting the eyes.

Here is a picture of Darin being silly. He decided to use Myra's towel. Thanks for all the fun!!

Monday, May 25, 2009


If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American where as least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,
and it’s time to stand and say:

And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land

God bless the U.S.AI’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.

I am proud to be an American. I love this country. I love all that it stands for. I am indebted to all military personnel who protect my rights and liberties. Thank you! God Bless America!

Happy Memorial Day! We visited the cemetery. It is my favorite on this day above all others throughout the year. Flowers everywhere, representing love for someone. A sea of color and love for those already passed through the veil.

(Our nephew -in-law Ben who is currently in Afghanistan, again)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Lost Tradition

As a child, my family and I would go on vacations. One of my favorite things to do (where aver we went) was to look through post cards. The pictures were always beautiful. There were also funny ones. They were quite the souvenir. I would usually bring a list of addresses with me of friends and family and purchase post cards for them.

It seems post cards are a dying tradition. When was the last time you bought postcards when you were in an "exotic" place? Can't remember? I'm not surprised. These days there are so many other "quicker" forms of communication (Internet, cells phones, texting) and even any snail mail is becoming obsolete.

Post Cards are a fun way to update people with where you are and what you are doing. A way to be able to share with those you care about, the enjoyable time you are having (or not, as the case may be). According to wikipedia, the postal cards came about in 1861 because the public was looking for an easier way to send quick notes. Easier to fill out and send than a letter. Brief, to the point, and colorful! So much of our countries history is depicted in post cards. In 1908, more than 677 million postcards were mailed. How many do you think are mailed today? I bet not 677,000,000!

I received a postcard this week from The Field Museum in Chicago, Ill. It's the first I've gotten in a while. You can be sure if I go anywhere fun this summer, you will be getting a post card about it! If you go anywhere, I'd love for you to send one my way.

Postcards: Eiffel Tower, Paris France
Antique Christmas Post Card
BYU Cheer (old) post card
Santa Rosa, CA after the 1906 Earthquake post card
PS- when I posted the poll, Vi had 2 loose teeth, but by the middle of it she had three. You decide which answer is correct!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Heart Camp

Saturday was a very busy and fulfilling day. I was able to travel to Tooele (rhymes with Hella) and attend a meeting for our Heart Camp Aug. 14th & 15th. Things are coming a long with camp. It is going to be great. Heather stepped up to be in charge of the food, which is a blessing. Less stress all around there! So, the meeting was good. I have so far been unsuccessful with raising any sponsorship funds for camp and the walk, Carolyn has had success (yay!) and is doing well with that. Mike was also able to get some moola from his employer for all of his hours of service.

We are having Heart Camp at Camp Wapiti which is up Settlement Canyon in Tooele. It is owned by the Utah Elks. They keep it in repair, and maintain it while renting it to children's health groups for camps, such as ours. They are such a giving group and we are excited to work with them. This is our first year and we can't be more excited. We are going to be able to offer camp to heart families for a $25 fee per family. This will include food for Friday dinner, Sat breakfast and lunch.

After the meeting we headed up to the camp to help participate in their spring clean up. We mainly cleaned the medic building. Camp Wapiti is AMAZING!! There is an awesome kitchen and dinning hall/main lodge, with 2 bathrooms up stairs and 3 bed rooms up stairs. One room has 2 beds, both pf the other room have about 7. Then there is the medic building with a large room, a Dr. /Med room/kitchen. Then there are 3 bedrooms (each with 4 beds) and 3 bathrooms including a shower. There is also a large craft building and a fire pit with a stage. Then there is a swimming pool and playground. We will have lifeguards at camp so we can swim. There is a pavilion for outdoor eating and a large bathroom with lots of stalls & showers. Off to two sides there are cabins. Each is unique as it was built by a different Elks lodge. The each have electricity and about 9 beds. All I can say is, wow. Camp is going to be so much fun!!

We are going to have an out door movie and square dancers! Parker Kingsford is going to be working on his Eagle Project and will be doing crafts for the kids during our symposium for the parents. We are having some educational topics (causes of CHD, CHD research..etc) by Dr.'s who work at PCMC. We are also very lucky to have a fabulous man, Dr. Shad Outsen as our Camp Medical director. He is also involving some other cardiologists to come and help at camp. We are hoping that in the future this will be more of a "real" camp where the heart kids will come up for a few days without their parents and be with other heart kids. It is a great way for them to meet and interact outside of a hospital setting.

Our biggest challenge in making this a reality is money. We need funding. If you know any businesses (or people) who would like to be a sponsor and have some great advertising to our members (and a tax write off) please ask them to get involved. The closest heart camp to us is either in Southern California or in Michigan. As you can tell I am excited about camp and passionate about trying to make it happen.

My family is going to have a good time in August!!! We will be getting registration forms out in June, and they will also be on our website at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where do they come up with these things?

Actual conversation with Ashton while playing with a stuffed care bear:

mom: What is your bears name?

Ashton: His name is Popsicle because he jumps (makes sense to him I hope!). Then he has a gun to shoot bad frogs.

Those must be some pretty bad frogs that Ashton is imagining. I truly believe guns/fighting is wired in male brains. Seriously, who needs to shoot frogs? Okay, I found these "bad frog" photos online. The first looks innocent. The second mean, but the third definitely deserves to be shot! Freaky looking!! I'm going to have nightmares tonight!

Then, the same day Violet and I got into a discussion about French Fries. She basically told me that since they looked like fingers they need to be renamed Potato Fingers. And she continued to lecture me (as if I have any control or pull with the name of her food) on why they look like fingers, and it would be so funny, but make more sense. Basically she would not let up until I agreed that we would now only refer to the aforementioned item as potato fingers as the term fry (or could be the French part) is so distasteful to her. Six year olds rock!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fry Sauce, it's the new Ranch

When I was growing up in Santa Rosa, for some weird reason we would continually go to Lyon's restaurant (which saddly is no longer there) after Stake Dances, School functions, well, pretty much anything we did on the weekends. Maybe they were one of the few places open late, I don't know, but that's where we went.

Usually if one of us ordered fries or Becky's fav, the potato skins (which were seriously loaded!), we would try to create our own fry sauce. It was never as good as the stuff you could get in Utah, but it was still yummy. I believe our version was mainly ranch and ketchup, but I can't recall.

I love fry sauce. It is one definite perk of living in this state. It is readily available at most burger joints and of food facilities. I'm pretty sure I've even encountered it in the cafeteria at the Temple. Anwhoo, it is delish and I can't get enough. Ok, I can but it's great. If you are here for a visit you have got to try in! It's the only way to eat fries and onion rings, and burgers, and chicken fingers and well, you get the picture!

I think it is a crime that it is hard to find out of the state. I don't get why everyone doesn't love it like I do. This is one area where the utahrds got it right! ;) No we need to work on the driving. All hail the Fry Sauce!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Great Grandparents

Here are some fun pictures of my kids with their Great Grandparents. We took a day trip to their house over spring break, and had a lot of fun!

Grandma & Grandpa have a Giselle (exercise equipment) that the kids have fun playing on.


Grandpa makes the best home made orange sherbet. I don't know who was having more fun, Grandpa or the kids. They were like little birds with their mouths open, begging for more!

Violet enjoyed watching grandma sew and work on piecing a runner. She was fascinated!
Myra was trying to run away!
We had a really go visit! Thanks for letting us come!!! We love you Grandma & Grandpa!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nifty Fifty - One Amazing Woman!

(Grandpa & Grandma with Donna, Denise, Ray, Sharon, Reed, David & Joanne sitting)

(Ray, Donna, Sharon, Denise, Joanne grinning, Reed & David)

I was waiting and waiting to write this post. I wanted to have some amazing pictures to go along with it - but alas, I still have not seen them, so you don't get to either.

Last month, a few days before Elaine's birthday, my mom turned 50. I cannot tell you what an amazing milestone this is for her. Joanne was born in Idaho on April 17th,1959. She now resides in California. She was diagnosed at the age of 5 with an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). She grew up with this ASD unrepaired. She suffered fainting spells and other problems due to her Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). She married and gave birth to her first child before it was repaired in July of 1981. Her open heart surgery repair (which can now be done through a cath procedure) was performed by Dr. Russell M. Nelson now of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They found that her ASD was the size of a Silver dollar. She had been living with a three chambered heart. In 1982 she was given her 1st pacemaker, at the age of 23. She has now had a total of 5 pacemakers. Her first pacemaker is in a museum.
(David, Donna, Ray, Reed, Denise, Sharon, Sandra & Joanne)

Along with her battle with CHD, she has also encountered numerous other health issues including amalgam poisoning, Thyroid Hormone Resistance Disease, and Suspected Mitochondrial Myopathy. My mother has always been such an example of strength and perseverance to me. She was so good at hiding her illness, my brother still thinks she was "never really that sick". I can attest that she was, she just never let on.

(Joanne & Elaine)

I've been so blessed to have her for a mother. I love my mom. Elaine was able to have her grandmother with her for all three of her open heart surgeries, and was with her until the end. She could always count on grandma to know exactly what she was feeling and going through. They were such kindred spirits. Their birthdays are a mere 3 days apart. Both in April. My mom would unselfishly be with us at the hospital for numerous of her own birthdays while we tended to Elaine. She was always so thrilled when I was little, at the silliest little gift I would get her.
(Grandma & Ashton)

This year, since she turned 50, my dad took her on a hot air balloon ride. In the house I grew up in, we were continuously having the balloons float over our home. She would always watch them and dream about going. Well, she got her chance, and I can't wait to see the pictures. Those are the one's I wanted to share. I think that she was surprised and so excited at the trip. I'm glad she got to enjoy herself and have this experience.

Mom, I love you and hope to enjoy many more experiences with you. Thank you for always coming out and helping when I have a new baby (I mean, sheesh, that's 4 times already!). It is always too short of a visit. I'm glad that Violet & Myra take after you, and that you had such a bond with Elaine. Thank you for raising me to have faith, to not judge my fellow man and to serve. Your service through the church and the many hours as Disaster Services Coordinator with the American Red Cross are commendable. You have so many amazing talents - you are a great cook, inventing recipes all the time, a seamstress who can make anything from wedding gowns to shorts, and artist in many, many ways a composer, singer and now a business woman. I continue to learn from all you have to teach me. Are you finished with your book yet? You are simply, my favorite! Thank you for being my friend. I love you!

(Paul, Joshua, Melissa & Joanne on my wedding day)