Monday, September 21, 2009

News of Bradley's Mission Farewell

For those of you who couldn’t make Brad’s Missionary Farewell yesterday I thought I’d give you a little look at some of the events of the day.

I’m sure Brad worked on his talk for days and days, maybe even months. He was very well prepared and had much of his talk memorized…almost all of the scriptures (many of them being seminary scripture mastery scriptures) were memorized and he had a great command of what he spoke and even more importantly there was a nice spirit about him.

Brad’s topic was on Adversity. He taught us from the scriptures and he shared a couple family stories that I thought you might like to hear…

Brad talked about the family living in El Paso (before he was born) and about some of the adversity the family faced as it sacrificed so that John and Christine could attend medical school. They were considered “poor in things, but very rich in love”, a regular comment from Christine, even today. They lived in a double wide mobile home…all six of them. It was not very often that they even had a spare quarter for “Pickles and Popcorn Day” at school. Every once in awhile they would each be given a dime to spend at the local drug store and that was a huge treat. There was adversity at times but it was a good thing for all of them because they learned, grew and showed their willingness to sacrifice.

Jake remembers this from Brad’s talk—Brad asked his mom “Why can’t everyone be healthy and happy?” Christine taught a gospel principle about recognizing the good from bad and then went on to give this analogy—one that Brad (and Jake) could easily relate to: “It’s like a piece of pie. How do you know if it’s a good pie if you haven’t tasted a bad pie.” Sometimes we are given adversity in our lives so that we might know and appreciate all that is good.

Another experience that Brad shared was his desire to receive a strong witness of the truthfulness of what he was preparing to do. He said that he went to his private sanctuary (the pitcher’s mound on the baseball field) all alone, late one evening. He spent quite a while there asking, pleading, praying for a witness that he should go on a mission. He said he went home quite disappointed because he felt nothing. A couple of days later he said that a quiet peace came over him with a soft but very direct answer to his question—the thought was that “Brad, you’ve known all along that you should serve a mission!” What a great reminder for all of us. The Church is true, prophets are inspired (including in their calls for young men to serve missions) and isn’t it great that we don’t need mighty miracles to know that.

I was impressed with Brad’s ability to remember so many that influenced his life both in the past and today. His Young Men leaders, his Scout leaders. His love for his family is deep. He named all of his nieces and nephews starting with Madelyn and ending with Jonathan…he did not forget one. I know each one of them knew of his love for them not only because he said it at the pulpit but because he shows it whenever he’s with them…I’ve witnessed it many times.

Brad loves his Mom. He said that he couldn’t think of anyone more loving than his mom. I’ve always loved the story of young Brad calling for “the good doctor” whenever he had a wound. Brad loves his Dad. He said that he looked up to his dad the most. Made my heart swell when I heard that because I know by looking and watching Brad that it is true. Many hours of early morning scripture study with John and Christine, lots of baseball games with Christine yelling “Go Bad Brad!”, many family get-togethers with sisters, brothers, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws have helped Brad to be who he is. A good, worthy man willing to serve the Lord.

After Sacrament meeting we went over to Gunnison Valley High School for a little luncheon. I guess Christine thought that would be the best place for the large crowd of family that came. I thought it was a great idea! The kids did too. They had previously prepared the cafeteria of the school to be a Mexican Fiesta…because Brad was called to the Spanish speaking part of the Oregon mission. Christine and probably many others spent hours previous to the big day making homemade enchiladas, beans and rice, salsa and chips and a “Chocolate Factory” (as John referred to it). We enjoyed the company, ate well, and kept the chocolate factory going most of the afternoon!

After the meal we all pitched in and had the high school cafeteria put back together again for business on Monday. We were then ushered outside for family pictures. Those Jacksons sure know how to corral the bunch for fabulous photos. Christine said that she hoped that at least one of the pictures would be Christmas card worthy for this year.

Well you’d think that the festivities would be over at about this time. Nope it’s that time of the year…the time all kids (and some adults) fear…flu shot time! I guess whenever the Jackson family gets together in the early fall the docs break out the flu vaccines for the entire family. The Chatfields were happy to be in on it this year. Right there in the High School lobby—one by one—every man, woman and child was poked in the arm or the leg by the nurses from John and Christine’s clinic. Some family members made lots of noise and other just grinned as their turn was over. The nurses were amazing, I could hardly feel the little pinch. They even rewarded us with a sucker. What a healthy bunch we’ll be!

It was a nice day and could have only been nicer with All of our loved ones there. We love our family and love being with you.

Brad will enter the MTC on September 30, 2009 before 12:00 noon…after his free IHOP breakfast. We look forward to hearing about Brad’s mission news via John and Christine. Hopefully the email service between Jerusalem and Oregon is reliable and swift.

Love you all…and thanks for giving me the opportunity to write a little…it’s good for my family history!

Bradley's Mission Farewell Sept. 2009

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The Jackson Family Flu Shot Clinic

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jake and Wally Joyner

While working Friday morning Wally Joyner happened to come in with his dogs to see Dr. D….Jake has been waiting for this opportunity for awhile, knowing that Wally Joyner’s dogs are regulars at the animal clinic. Jake has had a ball waiting to be signed for 6 months now.

When Wally came in Dr. D. told him that there was a young boy named Jake that was looking forward to meeting him. Wally was kind and said he had just the thing for Jake. He ran out to his car and brought back a signed picture/postcard—the inscription said:
Hope to see you in “The Big Leagues”!
Wally Joyner

On the back of the post card it gives his number #22-1st base for the Padres. Then a description—Cheerful Wally Joyner, an extraordinary hitter and exceptional fielder, exhibits more self-control than perhaps any other major leaguer. The product of Brigham Young University plays baseball as hard as anyone, but does not smoke, drink alcohol, or use foul language. “It’s easy to do those things; it’s much more of a challenge to avoid them. That’s what I choose to do,” says the man who’s an All-Star, on and off the field.

I read the description of Wally to Jake and he smiled a big smile. “I really like him,” says Jake. So do I.

High Adventure in Springville

The Buggy Ride
This weekend we participated in a good ole fashioned buggy ride and a little chicken wrangling! Good times here in Springville!

Dr. D (our local veterinarian and family friend), invited us over to the animal clinic to learn how to drive and ride in a buggy or surrey, absent the fringe on top. A couple of months ago Dr. D. purchased an Amish trained work horse from Pennsylvania. Joy (the name of the horse) was shipped here to Utah and has since been in several parades including the SLC 24th of July parade. The Amish work their horses hard for many years and when they start to get a bit older they retire and sell them. I’m not sure if Joy wanted to retire to Utah but she’s got a pretty good life here with Dr. D.

Joy and Banjo (the other horse) just eat and hang out together. Dr. D. decided it best to divide the horse corral/stall in half due to Joy eating more than her fair share of the hay. After a month of living and eating together Banjo was losing bulk and we noticed that Joy was moving (not too gently) Banjo aside when it was chow time. Now they are co-existing peacefully with a divider between them. Kinda reminds me of John and Dave’s room in the good old days!

As I drove up the road to the animal clinic to drop off Bianca and Jake at work I noticed Joy clip-clopping down the road and Dr. D and Dad with big smiles on their faces riding behind on the buggy. Dr. D. was teaching Dad how to “drive” the buggy. Dad of course learned quickly and soon everyone wanted a ride, including me.

When you sit behind Joy you realize just how large and strong she is. She had no problem taking all for a ride. We even took her up on the 5-lane overpass being constructed above the clinic. Motor Vehicles are not allowed yet but we felt our mode of transportation was ok. It was fun being the only one on the road...the construction guys were a little surprised to see some action alongside them.

Dad mentioned that it would be fun to take Mom out for a little ride. Dr. D. said maybe he’d get a little top for the buggy...but “no fringe, cause that’s a little too girly”. Sounds like a nice afternoon…maybe we’ll throw in a picnic basket and make it a date!

I’m not sure there was much work done at the animal clinic that afternoon but Bianca, Jake, Kate, Cierra, Grandpa and I sure had a fun time. Thanks Dr. D and Joy!

The Chicken Wranglers
The Sunday after our buggy ride we had another adventure. A little chicken wrangling!!

Every Sunday after our church meetings the kids and I go over to the animal clinic to feed the horses and chickens...yep, they need to eat on Sunday too!
Jake normally takes care of the chickens because they are his mission money makers...he sells the eggs to friends, neighbors and hometeachers—they’re so good to Jake...but today Bianca said she would feed them. I guess she wasn’t aware that if you’re not careful and don’t latch the chicken coop door the chickens like to bust out of their prison.

Well that’s what happened. One of the chickens saw the opening and made a mad dash for it...and escaped! We all let out a wild yell and Jake came a’runnin. We looked at each other and I guess because Bianca felt responsible for the escape she took control and started chasing the chicken. If you’ve chased a chicken before (especially in a dress and heels) you’ll know they normally out run you...they are quick little buggers.

The chickens have been making friends with a wild hen for the last couple of weeks. The wild hen hangs out longingly peering (from the outside) through the chicken wire at our hens eating their cracked corn mash and drinking (kinda) fresh water on a daily basis. I think the wild hen wants the cage life and our hens want to try life on the outside. I guess one of them got their wish because she immediately hopped the fence and raced over to the wild one!

Bianca hopped the fence as well. She wasn’t quite as agile as the chicken but she managed to get over the barbed wire fence with only a few scratches and tares to her was quite comical for those of us watching...although no one dared to crack a smile for fear that Bianca would back out of her commitment and we’d have to take her place.

After about 30 minutes of chasing the chicken from one end of the “barnyard” to another we decided we needed a plan.

The plan was to drive the chicken into a corner and then scoop her up and plop her back into the coop. Jake and Bianca were great at guiding her into the corner but when they got close enough to touch her neither would reach down and grab her. I think they were remembering the roosters we had that would charge us if we dared to get too close...they ended up taking a long car ride.

At the point I decided I was going to have to get my hands dirty too. The chicken realized that if she jumped into the horse corral with all the muck in it that she was a little safer than being out in the grass. She jumped in the corral and just stood there and looked at us. I negotiated with Jake and Bianca and said if they would chase her out of the corral and into the feeding area I would grab her and plop her in the coup. Easy as that? Well…no, but it was a good plan because it worked.

Jake and Bianca donned work boots, jumped in the corral, chased through the muck and wrangled the cute little chicken over to the hay bales where I could reach down and grab her fat little body, yelling “open the door, FAST!”

Kate our animal lover was quite disturbed with the whole situation. She kept tearing up and whimpering. All along I thought it was because she was afraid for our welfare...nope...she was fearing animal cruelty.

I haven’t heard but I’m thinking that our cute little chicken’s laying capabilities were a little hampered that Sunday. I’m also hoping that she’ll think twice about trying another escape in the near future! We know that Bianca is well aware of the need to make sure the chicken coop door is fully latched from now on!

On the way home the kids discussed the possibility of trying to catch the wild hen. They think it might be good fun and kind of easy now that they are experienced chicken chasers.

Like I mentioned before…good times here in Springville!

For your viewing pleasure…here is a Smilebox of the buggy ride, and picture attachments of the chickens--

Our little chicken friends

A Little Buggy Ride

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Friday, September 4, 2009