Sunday, December 7, 2008

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Kate's First Grade Thanksgiving Program

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December 2008

Dear Family,
October, November and December have proven to be very busy months at the Chatfield home. We’ve enjoyed the busyness and are very grateful for the many things we are learning along the way. As I’ve been thinking about the last couple of months I’ve noticed that they’ve been filled with lots of service…Opportunities for the Chatfields to serve and to be served.

The service started on October 31st at about 12:00 noon. Kelsey received a call from the Sherriff’s department requesting his help with a family in our ward. The father of the home had taken his life earlier that morning and his wife and children needed to be told. Kelsey was able to leave work behind to spend much of the remainder of the day “sitting” with this family and giving what comfort he could.

As Kelsey attended to this distraught family, Dr. D. and I continued setting up for Bianca’s big 13th Halloween birthday party. She had invited all of her school and neighborhood friends and it looked to be a big monster bash. Dr. D. set up his awesome sound system, complete with karaoke mics and amplifiers to rock the neighborhood. Dr. D. was a life-saver for us that day.

As guests started to arrive for the party we couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous about the family down the street who was suffering. It seemed as though we shouldn’t be planning a fun and lively party when their lives were in such turmoil. As I took Jake and Kate trick-or-treating a bit later we noticed that many of the Dalley family’s immediate neighbors were staked out front of the house greeting the many trick-or-treaters with a “Happy Halloween” and explaining that “we are all of out candy, try us again next year.” We have many transplant trick-or-treaters that arrive in car loads so they might not have understood the circumstances. We live amongst many good people and we were glad to see that the Dalley family was being taken care of by most of them.

Bianca’s party turned out to be a success and she looked beautifully scary in a re-conditioned gothic ball gown…thanks Connie and Mik. Jake was a handsome Evil Outlaw and Kate a wonderfully PINK Super Girl.

The best part of November is all the reminders of what we are thankful for. The first week of November Kelsey conducted the funeral of Lin Dalley. Lin was a loved and admired father, husband, son, and firefighter. With all the good that was in his life and the great acts of service he provided to so many, he also suffered from severe depression. As Kelsey organized and conducted Lin’s funeral he was blessed to have his cousin, Brent Russon (from Bountiful) as the funeral director. Kelsey felt great peace in knowing that any questions he had could be quickly and gracefully answered by Brent. The funeral was very nice and because of Lin’s association with the Fire Fighters they honored him with a bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace, the last call, a big fire truck procession and lots of beautiful reminders of how sacred life really is. Kind of reminded me of Grandpa Brague’s memorial.

Thanksgiving day was a quiet, peaceful day with a beautifully hosted dinner at Lois’ home. She said she loves to cook and have everyone over to eat. She does it well and we along with Connie and her kids and Rich and Jon enjoyed a meal we were all very thankful for.

December is upon us and we continue to be grateful for all that we have been blessed with.
We’ve got 3 piano recitals to attend, a pine wood derby, 3 retirement home performances to give, a ward party, a R.S. dinner, a big Karate tournament, Jake’s 4th grade Christmas performance at the mall, a Christmas ballet performance…and a Partridge in a Pear Tree! And Grandma Chatfield supports it all. I think she’ll be glad when Grandma and Grandpa Jackson come home so that she can share some of the grandparent fun. We love her and glad that she chooses to be such a big part of our lives.

I had an interesting life lesson two weeks ago. I was headed off to a PTA meeting and stopped by our elementary school for a quick errand. I was in a hurry because I had only about 15 min. to make it to another school in the area. I completed my errand and then witnessed a lady rush into the building calling for 911. I stopped for a moment to see if I could help and then looking at my watch noticed that I had better leave if I wanted to be on time to my meeting. As I ran for the door a thought kept nagging me to help out. Instead of returning to my car I decided to go over to the accident to see if I could help. I found a lady all alone, sprawled out on the cold, hard ground waiting for someone to assist her. She had been driving down a slight incline and her wheelchair tipped over with her in it. She could not move and because of her inability to move and her weight no one was allowed to lift her except for emergency trained personnel. I had the chance to comfort her, cover her with a blanket that happened to be in my car and chat with her while we waited for the paramedics to arrive. After she was back in her chair with the knowledge that all was ok, just a few scrapes, I found out that she was a resident from the Hobble Creek Care Center (a local assisted living facility here in Springville) and had driven several miles in her motorized wheelchair to see and hear her granddaughter perform in a Thanksgiving concert. She missed the performance but taught those of us that took the time to help a lot about compassion and perseverance. I learned that as important as it is to be on time for a meeting, it’s even more important to serve and watch out for “the one”.

Jake’s example of “watching out for the one” might have a little different spin but just as interesting. His teacher gave him a school assignment to write to the lawmakers and the following is his plea regarding banning soda machines from schools:

Dear Lawmakers,
Don’t you dare take away vending machines out of schools. Soda is tasty and yummy. When I go into middle school, high school and college, I will want to drink soda. I will want soda in my school. I will always Love soda and I will repeat myself, I will always love soda! There’s nothing you can do to make me not drink soda. You know why? Because every time I go cheer at BYU I drink soda. Every time I’m sick I take little sips of Sprite. Sprite is a soda. So I think soda is the best and it beats the rest!
From Jake Chatfield

I thought Jake with his 4th grade writing abilities offered great reasons for what makes soda an important part of his life. A little later that week he showed what great problem solving skills he has. He created a solution to an ever present problem in the hen houses across the America…this account was written by Dr. Davis our local Veterinarian and Friend:
Here on the farm, we've tried for a week to catch the wily raccoon that had been trying every night to dig under the chicken wire seeking a "Utah Fresh Chicken Dinner". He never took the different baits, until yesterday. Jake suggested leaving a trail of Oreo cookies into the trap . And the wily raccoon was caught by the wilier cookie monster- Jake. (Of course Jake first took a bite from each Oreo- so as not to totally waste such good cookies!)

Speaking of wildlife, if you want to see Kate dramatically singing about a headless turkey check out our blog at She performed it with all of the First graders and I have to say she was the star…at least in our estimation.

Bianca has been given some unique activities to be involved in the last couple of weeks. Last night her group of young women delivered therapy dolls to the Primary Children’s hospital in Salt Lake. Bianca said she saw a cute little girl that reminded her of Hannah when she was younger. She was very tiny and didn’t have much hair but had such a cute little face. We assume the little girl at the hospital was receiving chemo treatments. We are so blessed to have a healthy family.

After the hospital delivery Bianca and her group were able to go over to the Church Office building to meet with Sister McMullin, Bishop McMullin’s (of the Presiding Bishopric) wife and mother of one of our young woman leaders. They met on the top floor looking out at Temple Square and all the beautiful lights. Sister McMullin displayed a picture of a beautiful wooden bridge in the midst of an Amazon jungle. When they were visiting there they came across this bridge and she said it seemed to be surrounded by such beauty, it was breathtaking. As her story went on Sis. McMullin explained that under the bridge lived families of crocodiles. She gave each young woman a copy of the picture to remind them of the parallels in their lives and how important it is to keep to the beauty and simplicity of life and not add the confusion of crocodiles. (picture of bridge on Chatfield blog)

While at the Church Office building Bianca remembered that Grandpa Jackson used to work on the 13th floor. She said she stopped the elevator there for old times’ sake. Bianca continues to visit the retirement home here in Springville to visit with the Grandmas and Grandpas there. She tries to go every Sunday to play the piano for them. Bianca has a special gift of love when it comes to Grandmas and Grandpas.

The First Presidency Christmas Devotional is starting, the Christmas decorations are twinkling, the kind acts of service and love are present, the anticipation of out of town guests is high and we believe that this holiday season will be the best yet. We love you and think of you daily.
Kellie, Kels and Kids

Halloween 2008

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chatfield Update 10/14/08

October 14, 2008 Happy Birthday Carri!

For the first time in almost 13 months we saw Mom and Dad! All the Chatfields gathered around the computer and actually connected face to face (via the wonders of web cam) with President and Sister Jackson…ahhh Mom and Dad! It was so nice to hear and SEE them.

It took us awhile to get the sound so as Mom worked diligently to find a solution, Dad entertained us (much to our amusement) in the background by showing us cereal boxes, fiber containers, and other breakfast items that he was preparing and then came back into the picture with his BYU hat on. He had listened to the BYU game the day (or was it the night?) before and wanted to let us know that even many, many miles away he’ still True Blue!

After the phone call ended the kids kept asking, “How long do they have left on their mission?” “When is our next phone call?” In this age of amazing technology a simple call on the phone or a hug in person just cannot be replaced. As much as we love a voice and a smile from many oceans away we can’t wait for that in-person squeeze. Only 4 ½ months to go!

We had our first little snow fall here in Springville last weekend. Jake and I went to Nate’s big Superbowl game and sat there with blankets and coats as big snowflakes fell on our heads. Nate performed well and his team fell just short of being the big winners of 7th grade football. Nate explained after the game that he felt pretty darn good about it…after all this was his first season in football and he had made it to the Superbowl! We thought so too.

Jake’s football team also did well and made it to the playoffs. Jake didn’t have a bowl game but they had great treats after the game and a certificate of achievement for “Playing Hard” and “Keeping The Game Fun”. As spectators of the games we agreed with ALL that.

We’ve also been to a few YW volleyball games. Bianca and her team have done well and have great team unity. Even though they are not always the winning team I never hear any of the team members say anything but positive “good job” comments. They’re fun to watch and every once in awhile Kate and I get to keep score.

Kate, along with her Kindergarten class, is at Hee Haw Pumpkin Patch today. She could barely sleep last night she was so filled with excitement and bounded out of bed this morning with a big smile and shout “I get to ride the bus today!” Life is good in her little world.

This Thursday and Friday is UEA weekend. Carri told us that Southern California refers to UEA as Utah’s Exodus to Anaheim. Our neighborhood lives up to that characterization beautifully. I think half our neighborhood/ward is missing every year around this time and they all come back with Mickey Mouse Ears. We hope to be able to join them one day!

We went Halloween costume shopping last week and it looks like we will have a PINK Super Girl, an Evil Outlaw, and a teenager with pink and black striped socks and masquerade mask. I asked Bianca what she was wearing along with the mask and socks and she informed me that it was a costume-in-progress. I hope the costume “progresses” and has a lot more coverage in the near future…it’s a bit nippy around here!

Kels will be celebrating Halloween in class this year and he’s not too disappointed about it. We told him we’d have fun with or without him!

My costume…well it’s the same every year…just call me MOM! We love Halloween!

Love you all.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jake-Nate Football stars 2008

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Summer with cousins 2008

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Chatfield update 9/30/08

It’s almost October and I feel like it should be just about September! I completely missed our August updates.

The kids are all back in school and mostly liking it. We still have to drag-crane-pull Jake out of bed every school morning. He’s not a morning person, to say the least, but once he wakes up and gets moving he’s got lots of energy. Kate on the other hand bounces out of bed, usually earlier then we’d like and when she finally settles down at night she goes right to sleep. Bianca is in the transitional teenage years (8th grade) where she wants to stay up late and get up late but can’t…either way! She’s always good at being to school on time and often has to wait for the rest of us for morning prayers.

Kate is loving first grade and I think I know why the stock market is in such a downward spiral---Kraft foods must have taken a BIG hit when we started packing Kate’s lunch box. Her Macaroni and Cheese intake has fallen to only one meal a week…that is HUGE! She now eats a honey and butter sandwich every day for lunch along with other semi-nutritious yummies. She is trying lots of new things and liking some of them.

Jake and Bianca eat everything in sight—pizza, chocolate and salad being the favorites. We’re grateful for active kids that eat regular meals and don’t mind taking charge of their own needs every once in awhile.

Speaking of active—we’ve been keeping busy going to Bianca’s volleyball games, Jake’s flag football games, Karate classes and Kate’s dance classes. Piano is still hanging in there for Bianca and Jake (thankfully) and Kate started this year. Kate LOVES to practice and sets a joyful example for her brother and sister. Wonder how long that will last!

We spent Family Night this week at Jake’s football game and then went over to the big high school field to watch Nate play his game. Nate’s position is a nose tackle (huh?) and gets to rush the big boys. They are even important enough to have cheerleaders occasionally. Fourth grader Jake is looking forward to those days, he says with a sheepish grin on his face.

Kels started back to school and goes to class every Friday night and Saturday morning for 4 hours each. This semester seems to be a little more manageable then the past ones and we’re not sure if it’s because it doesn’t interfere with the work day or if Kels is just studying something that he really enjoys. He still gets up rather early to study.

Kels and the kids had a day off from work and school so Kels took the kids on their yearly fall campout last weekend and came home with lots of fun stories to tell. They camped at Clear Creek in Sevier County this year and at least from the pictures it looks to be a beautiful place to visit. There were plenty of “Rock Art” formations, a Wikiup, a Cave of a Hundred Hands, pictographs, wild life and all kinds of other outdoor fun. (See the Smilebox for pictures and video)

As Kels and the kids frolicked in the dirt and sage, I waded through loads and loads of Scholastic books. I wasn’t able to go camping with the family because of PTA responsibilities, darn! We closed our week long school book fair and conducted parent teacher conferences, so I spent most of my night closing-up-shop. We all slept great the next night, home in our own comfortable beds.

And this weekend…well it’s my most favorite time of the year (or at least semi-annually)! It’s General Conference weekend. What could be better than seeing, listening and learning from our prophet and other leaders in the comfort of our own homes, in our jammies.

Sure love you all.
Kellie, Kels and Kids

Clear Creek Camping Sept. 2008

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Simply Family Sept. 2008

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Video clip of anniversary at Sundance

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Chatfield Update 7/18/08

Happy Summer!
This week has been great! No where to go, not much to do, ahhhh. The kids might not be having the time of their lives but I sure am! I’m feeling a little more ready for the commitments I’ve made that come full force with Fall-back-to-school and that feels good. The kids are still in denial about the school thing but are ok with the back-to-school shopping. We bought Kate her 1st grade backpack and she believes she is now ready to be a big kid. The matching lunch box is raring to go as well. We just wonder how she is going to make mac-n-cheese at school.

Bianca’s last couple of weeks have consisted of girls camp, babysitting, vet assisting, and volunteering one day a week at the Old Folks home here in Springville. Girls Camp was a blast for Bianca—see below—Kels was able to visit their cushy camp one night while she was there. He brought pizza and root beer for the girls and leaders, then spent some time enjoying the beautiful setting with them.

Bianca has half the neighborhood vying for her babysitting expertise. She has two regular summer babysitting jobs each week and others that call for the evenings and other daytime hours. Bianca is the kind of babysitter that plays with the kids and she often comes home with little love notes and pictures from the kids she takes care. They love her and she loves making money in such a fun way. She is working hard at babysitting as well as assisting Dr. D. at the animal hospital once a week so she can earn enough money for school clothes. She should have quite the wardrobe if this keeps up. She also pays tithing and puts ½ her earnings in savings. She is quite frugal and often finds it difficult to part with her hard earned money.

One of Bianca’s personal progress goals is to reach out to people in the community. On her own (ok, maybe with a little prompting from mom and dad), she contacted the Springville Retirement Home and asked if she and a friend could come one day a week and perform for the residents there. They were a little unsure at first, but because Bianca and her friend have been reliable and committed to being there they have become very appreciative of their service. Bianca reports that the people there are so cute and friendly. They are even requesting specific piano pieces to be played now. We think that helps cultivate Bianca’s love for the piano!

Jake’s life has slowed downed greatly. He has a awesome cub scout leader that thankfully gives him lots of fun activities to go to and encourages him to keep earning his patches, points or whatever they call them! His den leader is a 60+ year old woman, Dorothy Hinckley, and has been serving as the Bear leader for several years now. Every mother (and father) in our ward pray that Dorothy will not be released until at least one of their boys has been in the den. Last week they had a “feast” at their meeting. Jake came home telling us that was the best ever! They had a table full of little bowls of goodies. They could choose as many bowls as they wanted for their feast but had to apply that to the requirements they were passing off. I guess Jake has passed off enough to come home feeling quite satisfied. The weeks previous to that they have gone swimming at the rec center, biked to SOS Drug for an ice cream, bowling, Kangaroo Zoo (a trampoline events center), and Day Camp where they shot guns, bow and arrows, made boats and all kinds of other “manly things”. Life is good and quite productive in Cub Scouts.

Jake’s baseball season ended with an invitation to attend one of the OWLZ (semi-pro team in Utah county) games to be introduced and invited to come down onto the “Field of Dreams”. He’s excited about that and we appreciate his coach for making the season extra special for these boys. He’s told Jake that he wants him practicing off season…he expects him to come back next year a seasoned catcher or pitcher. Jake’s committed…at least for now.

Kate is just so much fun to have around…that’s good because she’s always around! She’s the first one up in the morning with a “good morning, Mom” greeting and the first one to go to bed at night. She always prays for Grandma and Grandpa on their mission, Grandma Chatfield, all the aunts, uncles and cousins and that Aunt Christine will take good care of all her animals. She also prays for little Maya (Dr. D.’s cute little dog). She has a great fondness for animals and has now added along with wanting to be a grandma when she grows up, she would also like to be an animal doctor. I’m sure she’ll be great at both.

Kels and I celebrated our 24 year wedding anniversary last Monday and feel grateful that life has been good to us. We celebrated by inviting our kids to join us up at Sundance, after all it was Family Home Evening. We rode the chair lift up the mountain and felt quietly amazed at the unspoiled beauty. We know why Robert Redford tries hard keep the tourist attractions out of the area. We enjoyed one of the two places they have to eat there and were quite impressed with the meal. The bill was quite impressive as well. Our kids realized that this was a special occasion.

I’ve been impressed recently with how simple and routine our life is and have felt very grateful for that. Kelsey has been called away for different reasons this week to help, assist and give comfort to some of our neighbors. It’s been made very clear to me how blessed we are to have the life we have. We’re far from perfect around here but so grateful for the things we are learning from the goodness around us.

We sure appreciate and love your goodness! Hope the typhoon misses once again!

Bianca’s Camp Experiences:
The bus ride to camp seemed so long. I was tired but I was too excited to sleep. We arrived at Heber Valley Camp around 9:oo A.M.
We then had a flag ceremony and we sang our camp songs, ate lunch, and played some games. At 1:30 we walked down to the challenge course. The challenge course was so fun, especially the zip-line. That was my favorite.
After that we walked back up the big long hill. We had dinner and then did our skits. Our super hero was "Cover Girl"—Our motto was "We got it covered"
The skits were really funny. That night we had a Star Party, Sister Remy showed us some constellations and told us some stories about them. We then went to our cabins and went to bed around 11:oo, boy was I really tired!
Wednesday was a really spiritual day, as my friend pointed out, our friendships were like rubber bands, our "rubber bands" had been stretched far out meaning that we all were sick of each other. After the cake walk it had been snapped back into place. For the cake walk my camp leader, Sister Parkinson had us all hold out our hands like we were offering something to that person, we were told to not talk but to instead look into each other’s eyes and express our emotions to that person. We all did that to as many people as we could and we all felt the spirit so strongly it was so comforting and so amazing. We also went to the lake, 4 people in our ward tipped over in the canoes. I thought it was funny. Around 9:00 or so we had a spirit walk it wasn't as touching, just because we were the last ward to do it and I was really tired. We all were blind folded and we had to hold onto a rope or as they called it the "Iron Rod" we walked for I don't know 3 minutes and they then put a rock in my hands and explained that that was to represent your sins, people were there to help you just like in the world and I had to listen for bad things trying to take me off of the right path. I guess we were blind folded because we can't always see what things are ahead of us, we just have to listen to the Spirit's promptings.
Thursday, John Bytheway came and he was really funny, he just kept going off subject, talking about modesty, his name, what jokes you can make out of his last name to where you can find modest prom dresses. We had testimony meeting and we all got prettied up(Sister Randall works at NuSkin so she has a whole big make-up kit) it was really fun! The bishopric came up and they brought tons of pizza and root beer Yum! We then walked up to our fire pit thingy and started testimony meeting. I did share my testimony but to be honest it took me awhile to get the courage to go up and do it, I was really scared!
It was fun though! The only thing I didn't like about camp was certification that was boring. Oh well, got to learn it sometime right?!
The weather was really nice but it was hot!
On Friday we had a flag ceremony and cleaned up cabins, ate breakfast, and packed up! I got to say I was so excited to get home! Oh and guess what, Friday morning we saw a moose it was really big! We also saw lots of deer and prairie dogs!

Well camp was great but I am sure glad to be home and have nice warm showers!
Love you all so much!
Bianca Chatfield

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bianca and Mik--hip-hopping girls

Kate's dance performance Sleeping Beauty 2008

July 4th Celebration

I’ve attached a Smilebox photo clip of our fun 4th of July. (wait till after the fireworks and you will see some fun photos)

The kids began their 4th of July celebrations a night early by staying over at Grandma Chatfield’s house, staying up as late as they wanted watching Princess Bride and sleeping on her bedroom floor in sleeping! The next morning they were invited to escort Grandma to her ward July 4th breakfast. Kate fantasized about eating a big, fudgy, chocolate muffin for breakfast. Lois said she didn’t see anything but fruit, cereal and muffins with fruit in them…which of course wouldn’t interest Kate. They all ate well and then headed over to Grandma’s pool. That is where Kels and I came in.

Lots of wet, wonderful water to cool us down on the 103 degree holiday. After pool fun we headed over to Iceberg for some shakes and a burger. Good stuff! Then it was off to the theatre to see Kung Fu Panda. Funny movie and a cool place to hang out.

Earlier that week I bought a water slide pool inflatable, so we headed home after the movie and had some more water fun…then off to IHOP for dinner and then to cap off a great day we went over to Connie’s house for a little street fireworks.

We all slept well that night.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chatfield update 7/3/08

Happy 4th of July!
I was listening to the news today and they had Whitney Houston singing the National Anthem from years she sang my eyes started to tear as I thought of loved ones in foreign lands, lands with unrest and corruption, some with terrible destruction and my heart was touched with the thought of how blessed we are to live in a land that is free. Not perfect, but free. I’m grateful for those who have served and now serving to allow us freedom in this land of liberty.

I have been looking forward to July for a couple of months now. It has become a month that I truly feel free…for several reasons. We are free of many of the pressures of daily living and free to choose our summer fun, every day…sometimes we don’t even get out of bed until 9:00 AM! That is living!...and convincing your children that sleeping in is great! Kelsey is still in the habit of rising and shining at 5:00 AM…we haven’t convinced him yet.

School came to a close in a very positive way. Bianca was recognized for her hard work as a 7th Grade Honor Roll Student for the entire school year. She closed out the year with all A’s. Jake received all E-Excellent and VG-Very Good, and glowing comments from his 3rd grade teacher. She said she will miss him. Jake said he is ready for Summer! Kate’s Kindergarten grades were as expected, perfect. She told Mrs. Miner she would miss her but will visit when she returns to school for 1st Grade. Kelsey also graduated with honors and will begin the Masters program in the Fall at USU-UVU campus. Lots of U’s there! We hope to see lots of A’s next year too! I wasn’t graded on any of my fine work throughout the year but I’m sure I would rate very high on all my chauffer, car pooling, homework assistance, cookie baking, PTAing, etc.

The week following the last day of school we jumped into swimming lessons, cheer camp, youth conference, Lois’ big b-day bash in Park City, dance performances, basketball camp, Stake R.S. Retreat, Cub Scout day camp and baseball games twice a week. Bianca is preparing to leave for Girls Camp next week and then I believe we will be ready for summer relaxation.

In all of those activities we learned a lot, had fun and will forever be grateful that we have such great things to do and fun people to do them with.

Bishop Kels is doing well. His first two weeks after being called to be bishop included visiting with an unwed mother in the hospital, marrying a sweet couple, conducting a meeting where two general authorities were in attendance and lots of phone calls from our Stake President. We know the Lord is strengthening Kels as he serves because he continues to be able to get the important things done…like a couple of golf games with Jake.

I was able to attend the marriage Kelsey performed and he gave the couple some great advice…actually the advice came from our High Priest Group Leader but Kels felt it appropriate to share at the ceremony. The counsel was: “It’s great to be right, but it’s even better to be kind.” Words we can all strive to live by.

Travis Hansen Charity Basketball Camp is what kept Jake busy for several days last week. Travis Hansen is a former BYU Cougar and has become a star pro ball player in Moscow. There is a great article about him and the basketball camp at He will be playing for the Russian Olympics basketball team. Jake was also able to receive some training from some of the BYU coaches and Ben Murdock, one of BYU’s starting basketball players. Jake was impressed when Ben told all of them that his dad used to get him up every morning at 5:00 AM to run basketball drills. Coach Rose gave the boys 4 tips on being a better teammate.
1. Be on time
2. Do what you say you’re going to do
3. Finish what you start
4. Be a good guy (no jerks allowed, just be nice)
I thought that was good advice for anyone whether they are on a team or not.

Bianca gave her first talk in Sacrament meeting. Her subject was testimony and she did a great job. We hope she is given the opportunity to share her testimony lots more…maybe at Girls Camp.

Kate was asked to give a talk in Primary about temples. She was very quick to say yes because of Grandma and Grandpa’s mission. She proudly displayed the picture of the Philippines temple with grandma and grandpa’s picture in it (thanks Dr. D.) and told everyone in Primary that they were helping people in the Philippines get sealed as families forever…”just like me!”

Jake has found a way to avoid giving talks in Primary…as soon as he knows his class has been given the assignment for next week he quickly volunteers to give the scripture or the prayer. One of these days someone is going to catch on…we hope.

FLASH**Kels just saved the day for 3 little baby quail. They were stuck in our downstairs window well and had no hope of freedom. The parents kept coming to peek over and were obviously distraught. Kels and his shovel freed the birds and boy did they scamper once their little feet hit the grass. We hope they will continue to grow big and strong and avoid the big, nasty snakes in the grass.

Yesterday I was given my first perk as the new PTA president. The principal gave me full disclosure of where they placed Kate and Jake in the 1st and 4th grades. I know the teachers they are assigned to, and that is unheard of at our school. And what was even better, Mr. Rowe told me I could make any changes I felt necessary. I felt good about the placements and didn’t feel the need to make any changes but sure am looking forward to a few more fun perks.

We hope your holiday (sorry mom and dad—you have to miss out this year) is a good, safe one.
We love you and feel blessed to live in a country where we are free to love, learn and worship as we wish.

July 4th Celebrations

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

The snow train!

Kate takes out a Toddler on the slopes

Kate an Art City Eagle

February 24, 2008

Hi All. Don’t have much to report this week other than Jake’s basketball season ended in a glorious fashion…coach didn’t show so Kels stepped in and lead the team to another win. He’s a natural…both Kels and Jake!

I’ve attached a video clip of Kate singing her Art City Eagles song. Never knew there was a school song or I don’t remember Bianca or Jake singing it. Kate belts it out quite often and after taping the song she asked if I would send the video clip to American Idol. I told her she was too young for that show but I thought Grandmas and Grandpa might enjoy watching it. She was good with that too.

Hope you all have a great week!

February 17, 2008

It’s President’s weekend and as we honor our past presidents, we are wondering what the future holds with a new president. We sure are getting tired of hearing all the campaign promises and rah, rah speeches. I think we should put all the candidates in a boxing ring, let them fight it out and last one standing is the new President of the United States! Hillary might have a chance that way!...hee, hee! I guess I need to have a little more respect for the election process…I’m trying.

To celebrate this great weekend Connie and her kids came along with us for a sledding/tubing adventure at Jolley’s Ranch. The tubing hill there has been groomed and has a great mound of snow at the end to stop runaway sledders. I was a little nervous at the beginning of the trip because just last week we heard that one of our good friends front teeth were knocked out from her sledding adventures. I counseled with the group before we hit the slopes that it would be a good idea to not try anything dumb. Well as the day progressed we all tried dumb things like tube trains, tummy slides, double decker slides and other extreme tubing fun. Nate, Mik and Bianca had a couple good wipe outs but all their teeth were securely intact when we left. Thank goodness! The entire time we had moose, deer and elk watching our antics…I wonder what they thought...wildlife!

Tomorrow we plan to have a nice calm day at the theater with all the other people in Utah County.

Late breaking news…
A little before 10:00 PM (Sunday) we heard a loud boom and our house shook…really! I thought the mountain was coming down on top of us, that the fault that we were living on had finally produced an earthquake. Jake was the first to respond with a “Mom, what just happened!” Kate asked if everything was ok, once reassured she then turned over and went back to sleep. Bianca ran up from downstairs and in her excited voice wondered if we were going to have more rumbles. I looked out our windows and saw half the neighborhood turning on lights, coming outside and lots of confused faces wondering what had just happened. The other half of the neighborhood slept through it, along with Kels!

This is the official report of what happened:
“An explosion at a Utah County pipe-casting plant rocked homes several miles away injuring 10 workers and sending at least five to the hospital Sunday night.
The blast happened at Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Co., a plant just outside Provo's southeastern limits (Springville limits), around 10 p.m.
Three people with minor injuries were taken by ambulance to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, said Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Office. At least one person was released before midnight. Two people were flown to University Hospital in Salt Lake City with more serious injuries, possibly burns, Cannon said.
As medical responders treated five other workers at the scene, officials said they worried about the possibility of internal injuries that might not be immediately detectable.
"Good news. Everyone has been accounted for," said deputy Dan Thomas of the Utah County Sheriff's Office. "There was a small explosion in the plant."
The comment evoked a wry chuckle from the 20 or so family members who said the blast shook their homes as far away as Payson and they now waited nervously for news of their loved ones.
Investigators were not immediately sure what caused the explosion, though Cannon said the blast was likely caused by work involving a calcium carbide material. Some workers were being decontaminated before being released from the plant, Cannon said.”
Monday, President’s Day—We are happy to report that all is well at our house and we hope the people injured in the “blast” are being well taken care of.

We hope all of you are safe, healthy and happy.

February 10, 2008

We’ve had 3 days in a row of beautiful sunshine! It’s a record around here and we are very grateful to know that the sun still shines in beautiful Utah. We’ve all got a little spring fever…flip flops and shorts are starting to appear even though there is still snow on the ground and the temperatures are still below 20 degrees. Bianca seems to think wearing a coat to school is not cool, Jake can’t throw a football at recess in anything but shirt sleeves and Kate, well Kate is just happy to go, go, go!

There are news reports saying that the newborn fawns are dying because there is not enough food to eat with all this snow. I guess that is why the herds are continuing to move lower and lower down the mountain. .

We’ve had an abundance of animal life in our yard munching our plants. We’ve even seen deer prints on our front porch. They lean over our porch railing to nibble on the plants that are out of reach—smart animals. Jake and Kate play the guessing game every morning—who can spot the newest footprint and what kind of animal does it belong to. There have been cougar sightings as well—and not just the BYU variety!

Jake and Bianca have been tubing and snow boarding down a slope right off our back yard. They will play for hours and come in with frozen feet and hands but oh so happy. “That was awesome , Mom!” Kate lasts about 45 min. and comes in crying because she just can’t take it anymore. A cup of hot chocolate and a warm bath usually thaws the frozen limbs and lots of marshmallows brings that cute smile back.

Yesterday Jake and Nate decided to dig Banjo and Blue out of the muck and mud that accumulates from lots of snow, rain and other stuff in a corral. After feeding and watering the horses, they put down fresh straw. It was fun to watch the boys work hard. They talked about Grandpa Jackson doing it this way and Dr. D. doing it that way…you can see everywhere they walked because there were bits of straw from one side of the corral to the other. Good work Boys! Banjo and Blue kicked up their heels in delight…I’m sure!

We’re still going to lots of basketball games and cheering Bianca, Jake and Cierra on to victory. They have all greatly improved over the season and have proudly earned a place on the picture wall dressed in the appropriate sports attire. The mothers are cheering for the end of the season! Jake and Cierra have already reported that baseball/softball season starts in the spring.

This weekend Kels had to skip a lot of the family outings. He had 3 tests, a paper due and class to attend…and that was just on Saturday! He comes home tired but always makes the time to shoot a few hoops with Jake, read a book with Kate or correct Math homework for Bianca. He’s a good dad and we’re glad he likes being home.

As for me, I’m always happy when my Sunday School class comes to a close and the 14/15 year olds head out the door. They have a lot of great questions and always ask what I’m not prepared to teach…keeps me on my toes. This signals an end to another full, fun week.
We love you and miss you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January 2008

Happy New Year 2008!
It’s good to be another year older and wiser. Actually I wish the wiser part was a little more prominent than the older part!

A few of my Christmas wishes came true this holiday season!
The first wish was having a very happy holiday. I’m always a bit fearful of school breaks because of the HUGE expectations that come along with FREE time. Being the family cruise director gets a bit overwhelming at times and this year wasn’t much different except for the constant reminder in the back of my mind…keep it simple!

SNOW was the determining factor in our activities over the break…and wow did we ever have SNOW! At least every other day we had a snow storm. That made it easy for Santa and his sleigh to travel to our house, but made it a bit hard for the Christmas Eve dinner guests to arrive. Our mountain and especially our street takes a big hit when it snows. As we greeted each dinner guest at our door we were given a big sigh of relief and a little tale of terror as they made the last trek up our hill.

In the winter we will often sit and watch from our living room window, the cars spinning and sliding trying to make their way up to the top. Sometimes they make it and often times they don’t. LaFonda (as Connie fondly refers to our Suburban---she gives many family cars a name) always barrels up the mountain with no problem—going down is another story!

Christmas Eve was a wonderful gathering of family and friends (about 30 of us) and once safe and warm in our home we shared a wonderful meal, some family Christmas memories and stories and we read the account in the scriptures of the birth of Jesus. I felt very blessed that night for many reasons…good family, good friends, a call from the Philippines and a personal testimony of the love Jesus has for each of us.

As we were eating our yummy Christmas desserts we were even blessed with a surprise guest…Santa! He was polite and rang the doorbell instead of coming down the chimney (oh wait we don’t have a chimney)! He was dressed in red with a big bag of gifts and joyfully gave to all! That memory still brings a smile to my face even weeks later…Santa is a very fun, giving man.

After all the children were nestled all snug in their beds Kels and I had a few last minute tasks to attend to and then we settled in for the night. All the fun of Christmas Eve must have tuckered the kids because they didn’t wake up till 8:00 AM on Christmas morning! A beautiful gift for their parents.

Christmas day was fun and relaxing. We stayed home in our pajamas, ate yummy leftovers and played with all the fun new toys. The cousins and Grandma Chatfield came over for breakfast and stayed and played for awhile too. Mid afternoon Kels took the kids sledding. Jake wanted to try out his gift from Santa, a snow boogie board. The sun shone brightly on the snow packed sledding hill and all came home happy, tired and without injury. I caught up on a little R&R. Great Christmas day!

Number two on my Christmas wish list was an efficient quick clean up of all Christmas d├ęcor and 2007 stresses. I wanted to start the new year with lots of energy and new resolve. The decorations came down quickly and soon after that I was released from my R.S. enrichment leader calling—a clean sweep right! A few days later I was given a new calling. I was asked to serve as the 14/15 year old Sunday School teacher. We are studying the Book Of Mormon this year and so far we are off to a good start. Kids sure do know a lot more that I used to at 14!

My third Christmas wish was to experience something new in my life. Shortly after thinking about this wish we were invited to go Laser tagging with Carri, Connie and their kids. I was unsure what this activity was all about but Nate assured me it was great fun. We split up into teams, donned vests with laser sensitive shields and guns, and entered into a great fog with lots of hidden stairways, rooms, trap doors, re-charging stations and great fun! We played for over and hour and even 6 year old Kate was awesome. Ben took home the honor of being the best sharp shooter but all felt surprisingly good about how and whom they “tagged”. After awhile I didn’t even mind taking a couple shots at Kels!

After all that fun it was nice to get back to a bit of “normal”. School started again and the first week back we had Parent-Teacher conferences. It was nice to find out that our kids are right on track and doing well. Kate’s Kindergarten teacher raved about her and her marks were very high in all areas including citizenship. Jake is excellent in his Math skills and is quite a creative writer. His teacher commented that she loves to read Jake’s stories because she can always count on his to be different than all the rest. She said after reading the same story 23 times it’s fun to read Jake’s. Bianca is grateful that P.E. is done for the year although she will be taking Aerobics this semester. She also completed her Spanish class for the year. She and Kels can communicate a little now and Kate and Jake are always jumping in with the counting to ten. Oh we are such a bilingual family. Bianca will now take an Art class along with all the other required courses. Bianca has a real interest in Art and shows real talent.

Kelsey is taking 4 classes this semester at UVSC. He’s thinking after this semester he will be ready for the Master’s Program and then on to graduation…for good! We hope that a CPA is the end result of all this…along with a fabulous job in the tropics!...or maybe just an office that isn’t in the basement. We’re grateful that his current job is a good one and allows for such flexibility. We hope he continues to be blessed with good health and a will to rise early every morning to greet the day…at 4:00 AM! Study hours are hard to find for a person working and serving full time.

My last Christmas wish is still in the wish stage and as wishes go it must not be revealed in hopes that it will come true. I feel blessed to have a great feeling of contentment in my life. As I watch my children experience things that help them to grow, mature and develop, my smile deepens…I’ve seen that same smile on Kelsey’s face. Its’ good to be a parent…it’s challenging at times but oh so satisfying, especially when one of them leans over and whispers in your ear, “I’m trying to be just like you.”