Friday, December 11, 2009

2009 newsletter

Happy Holidays! As I look back on 2009 it helps me truly say, "I am blessed."
Here are some of our memorable highlights.

Mayflower - 11! Our cute 6th grader has enjoyed tumbling, piano, swimming, voice lessons-with her first ever voice recital last week, a little bit of baby sitting, serving on the student council, choir, reading, trampoline, playing with friends and watching and listening to everything her big sisters do and say.

Michex - 17! A senior! She is very busy with Chamber Quire performances in full swing, Play Productions, All State choir, being the Stage Manager for the school musical, cleaning Dr. Major's Farr West office for a little bit of cash, Junior Prom, Snow Ball dance, YW Recognition Award, and State Drama. Oh! and lots of friends and flirting!

Scout - 19! Graduated in May and left the next day to work at Jacob Lake near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for the summer, then headed to Dixie State College on scholarship, studying Art and Visual Technology. She is performing with Raging Red, Dixie's show choir and planning on touring with them in the spring in CHINA! Last week she applied for and got a position as a Resident Assistant in the dorms. This will pay for her meal plan so she can save her $$$ for that trip! She also met James, Mike, Tyler and many others, and we all said good-bye to Shane for 2 years...sigh.

Shematite - 21! Has been busy climbing the emotional & physical mountain of depression. Medication, kind, compassionate doctors, sunshine, exercise (she kicks some major booty on Dance Dance Revolution), family, friends, Institute, work and theater have all helped bring back her sparkle! After several nights this week of try-outs and call-backs, she learned yesterday that she was cast as the lead role (MILLY) in the Terrace Plaza Playhouse's production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! The show starts its run in February:)

Rock - 40...ish! is up to his baby blue eye balls in his Master's degree, teaching math, instructing wanna be drivers, serving in the Elder's Quorum, and pretty much being the most awesome husband in the world by taking me on my "adventures" and bringing me back home safe and sound. And he knows how to fix pretty much anything! Our bathroom floor started to "bulge" and he ripped out the sub-floor, sanded, patched, replaced and put the porcelain throne right back on. Sigh:) He also took his nephews down to Zion once again to do some canyoneering. He's the best!

Me...Desertbound- 40...! I am working 8-10 hour days for Dr. Major, now serving as Relief Society 2nd counselor(over the activities) and trying to keep up with my family while cherishing memorable moments like...
~Family dodge ball games
~Having my girls singing around the piano with their friends and each other.
~Watching Scout paint.
~ Visiting Arches and then Grand Junction for baby Meg's blessing.
~The marathon games of "Go to Jail" and Bocce Ball in Goblin Valley.
~ Directing the youth choir for Stake Conference in May and getting to meet Elder Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
~Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim in a day with Michex, Scout, Joe, Cindy and Rock! 23 miles of thigh-burning, calf-crunching, gut-puking extraordinary beauty and blessings!
~Mystery Canyon with my honey(of course) and two of my brothers, JT and Maud'Dib! Loved it!
~Re-connecting with my cousins and siblings at the Nelson Family reunion in South Fork:) Amazing.
~ Girls camp at Bear Lake with Michex.
~Jacob Lake and the North Rim to visit Scout for my birthday in August.

~Pine Creek and Spry Canyon in Zion with Aaron, Kim, Cindy and Scout.
~Back to school priesthood blessings for all the Stoffers cousins!
~Thanksgiving dinner with family to start off the wonderful holiday season.

But above all, I am blessed most by my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. My new favorite quote from President Monson is,"Fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith. I declare that God lives and that He answers our prayers. His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and our Redeemer. Heaven's blessings await us."

We love you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November Kaleidescope Message

Every month a member of my RS presidency writes a message for our little newsletter that goes to every sister in the ward. This month was my turn. I thought I would post what I wrote...

As the harvest season winds down and I look at the rows of bottled tomatoes waiting to be made into delicious stew this winter and the peaches and black berries in the freezer waiting for the cobbler, I am truly grateful to all those who contributed some of their precious harvest to me. It brings to mind the powerful and inspiring words of my favorite hymn...

"Come, thou Fount of every blessing. Tune my heart to sing Thy grace".

There is a canyon in the back country of Zion National Park that my family and I love to hike through. Just over the halfway mark there is a spring of fresh, cold water where we always stop and refill our water bottles. I have always counted on having the water from this spring so that I don't have to be weighed down by trying to carry a full day's supply. However, this spring is easy to miss if one does not know it's there. Many times I have stopped my hiking group and led them to the spring. Surprisingly, some have refused to drink or refill their containers, I assume because they question the source or they have carried enough water for the entire day. Since this canyon has many obstacles that drain me physically, knowing this source of water is there in abundance is of great comfort to me, just like having the knowledge of my Savior's tender mercy is a sweet and everlasting comfort to my sometimes parched soul that is too often "prone to wander".

The Lord truly is the Fount, the source of the Living Water, not only of every single temporal blessing we enjoy, like water for our gardens, but also of every spiritual blessing that we enjoy; even the blessing of eternal life.

As a new season of Thanksgiving approaches, I hope we all remember the "streams of mercy never ceasing" that come from the spring of Living Water, and all we have to do is go and drink!

Well, there you have it.
I stopped my car on the side of the road near the Mountain Road Nature Center on my way home from work a week or so ago. I had my camera with me, the light was pretty good and the leaves were turning. The above photo was taken of the little spring that seeps out of the ground near the trail. I finally got the right angle to capture the reflection of the gold leaves in the water. Here are some more of my favorite fall photos...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Here is a picture of Mayflower and her friend Lauren on Halloween.
Michex was in a fun mystery dinner theater a couple weeks ago. She played the part of Pippa, the snobby heiress and did a great job! I would post more pictures, but....

I am officially asking Santa for a new computer for Christmas. It just took me 15 freaking minutes to do this post with 3 pictures on it! I packed my lunch and cleaned the family room while I was waiting for the "uploading". BTW, I still love my camera:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Be careful what you wish for...

Sunday in family council Shematite talked about wanting to make more money. She would like to return to her schooling and possibly go to China in the spring as a chaperone/companion with Scout and her singing group. Lo and behold, yesterday, she went to work. The new manager, who started on Saturday and had never met her before, terminated her employment on grounds of her compliance (or I suppose lack thereof) with the attendance policy. She was sick all last week (fever, chills, cough, sore throat) and still went to work simply because she couldn't find anyone to cover for her. Apparently that is the policy: if you can't come to work, you have to find someone to cover for you. Friday, she felt much worse, but still couldn't find anyone. She let her supervisor know and asked if she would need a Dr's note or something. She was told, no, it was OK. In the 6 months of working there, she was late 2 other times so maybe this was her 3rd strike or something?
Anyway, now she has the wonderful opportunity of seeking better paying employment! ( I'm trying really hard not to be a helicopter mom and march right down to that manager and give him a piece of my mind).
So, if anyone knows where a bright, bubbly, detail-oriented, meticulous, loyal, and soon to be 21 (yes! she can serve alcohol) young lady can be of benefit to someone and get paid almost what she's worth (who actually gets paid what they're worth?) ...let us know! And pray for her and the right opportunity to match up soon:)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just a little stemming problem.

Nope - not apples.
Joe posted this little video on Youtube of the footage I gave him of our Spry Canyon hike.
Stemming has always scared me and I hate doing it. It's a good thing the water was only a few inches deep( we stemmed this just for fun and to improve our skills). I don't have the confidence in my upper body strength that I would like to have. The stemming problem in this canyon gave me a little bit more confidence, if not in my upper body strength, then at least in some problem solving skills. Yet as I get older, my attitude of "Well, if they can do it, I can do it" just might get me into trouble someday... ;) Oh! And enjoy Scout's "leaping from high places"! She makes it look so easy.
I hope Joe posts more stuff on Youtube. He does a great job! Here is the link.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall is flying by...

Fall is flying by. My Rock is working 12-14 hour days. I usually work 9-10 hours a day and so it seems we must cram all of our REAL life (work is not real life even though we enjoy it) into our weekends.
Last Saturday we enjoyed going to the Salt Lake Tabernacle and seeing Michex perform with the ALL STATE choir. WOW! 700 elite high school choir kids sure did raise that roof! It was incredible! She is also very busy every night with play practice. was really fun taking pictures of JT & Fam last Sunday.

My new calling in the RS presidency keeps me hopping. I am the 2nd counselor (over the activities) and am really enjoying getting to know all the ladies in my ward:)
At church volleyball this morning, my sweet neighbor Debbie offered to let us come over and pick apples and press them into juice. Couldn't pass that one up, so we, Michex, Dallin, Kyle, Mayflower, Rock and I, spent a couple hours picking and a couple hours pressing this afternoon. Scout and Karli are here for the weekend and they gave the crank a turn or two also. Joel & Debbie even grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for us:) Thanks so much! What a perfect, fall day!

But this, of course, led to securing a way to store the apples & juice....Enter my new (well, not really new - but at least it was free from Rock's sister!) upright freezer! Yea! And dehydrator! Double yea! Now I just need Wildbound's apple pie filling recipe...:)
Well, I would love to post more pictures and write more stuff, but it's 10:30 pm, my brain is mush, I have lost my momentum sitting here at the computer and the Utes are up by 13 with just the 4th quarter to go, so I think I am going to bed. Sigh....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Feeling a little SPRY

Once again my Rock and I ventured to the lands southward last weekend to enjoy one last summer hurrah in the canyons of Zion. Friends Kim & Aaron were kind enough to provide transportation, food, good company, laughs, new gear and plenty of understanding and patience when it was discovered nearly 25 minutes after leaving the house that we forgot our wetsuits. And more patience and understanding late that night at the campground when the Rock and I decided to buy a new rope the next day…;)

Anyway, here are pictures of Pine Creek that we did last Friday and Spry Canyon on Saturday. We were blessed with the beautiful & inspiring presence of Cindy and Scout with us in Spry (We were sorry Joe was sick!). The last time I hiked through Pine Creek, it was completely dry. Not so this time. It was wet from the get-go with several floating disconnects. I was so glad for a wetsuit! Quite a fun challenge!

This is looking up at the last rappell in Pine Creek. 100 ft FREE! Love it!

Aaaron & Kim got new gloves...;)

Looking out from the alcove at the bottom of the last rappell in Pine Creek. Boulder hopping down the streambed brought us to a couple of plunges in the "pool" and then to the Pizza & Noodle in Springdale.

The next day we met Cindy and Scout in Springdale at 8 am and were hiking into Spry by just after 9 am.

The first rappell in Spry. 170 ft.

Scout, Kim & Cindy

This is one of my favorite rappells in any canyon. It is short, but really fun. You have to sit on the edge of the cliff where the Rock's feet are, clip into the rope that is anchored on the sandstone wall across the gap, and swing out & down at the same time so you don't hit your head or hands. A definite Whoohoo! issued from Scout and myself on this one!

A vertical panoramic shot that Scout took.

This is the last rappell out of Spry. About 95 ft free! You now get to do this one instead of slide down the sandhill to the west, which the Park service now frowns upon.
Total thumbs-up! After scrambling down the rest of the boulder field, we headed upstream and took a few plunges in the "Spry" pool:) Cindy & Scout definitely showed their experience and skill in this canyon, while Aaron & Kim added to theirs.
And to my Rock...thanks again for taking me magical places and bringing me home again safe and sound. Love you.