Monday, December 08, 2014

Update on this weekend

Rather if you have seen it on my facebook or if mom and dad told you, or someone else in family, most of you probably saw that Chad and Kathrynne were in a car accident on Saturday. Every one is okay, including the guy in the other car, but I will tell you what happened.

I asked Chad to talk Kathrynne with him to the store so I could have some uninterrupted time to clean and get ready for the day. He was on his way home from Target and was going down 4800 N (or Foothill Dr) down by the Riverwoods. He got a green light and started across the intersection at University Ave when a guy ran the red light. He basically t-boned our car. His car hit ours right behind the front passengers wheel well. Our axle is bent pretty bad and it was leaking transmission fluid. The other car was worse. The scary part is that if Chad was hit a few feet farther back, it would have hit Kathrynne.

Our car got towed and will be transferred to Martin's Collision today. We have awesome car insurance from State Farm and our rental will be covered by them. What isn't covered (20% of the cost) we will be taking it to the other drivers insurance. Martin's Collision is a certified place by State Farm so we won't have to get an adjuster to go out and look at the car. From there we will find out if it is totaled or not. 

The other driver admitted out loud to Chad, and the officer heard him say this as well, that it was all his fault. Let's just say that this has not been the best weekend. I am just extremely thankful that both Chad and Kathrynne are okay. I am thankful for my friend Emily picked me up and stayed with us and took us home. I will thank my lucky stars every day for the safety the Lord had given our family. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

We're Cooooming....

Hey ya'll. Well, this post is mostly for the Utah folks (sorry everyone else). As you know, we are coming to Utah for Christmas this year. Here are the dates we have planned at the moment:

We will be arriving in Utah on Dec. 20. We are not sure what time. This will depend on when we leave. There is a chance we leave on Friday night, but that has not been settled yet.

We will be staying in Utah until Saturday, Jan. 3rd.

We are looking forward to being there and spending time with anyone and everyone who wants to see us. We don't have many plans settled on yet, in terms of set dates and times, so if you want to schedule something, feel free. Or we can improvise as we go. Either way.

Our kids talk about it a lot these days and we are all excited to see you all.

See you there!

Adam

Thursday, December 04, 2014

2014 Christmas Gift Exchange

For reference, here is the "assignments" for each of us in the 2014 Christmas family gift exchange.

Jason & Michelle: Gillian & Kevin
Adam & Amy: Chad & Kaitlin
Brent & Chelsey: Ammon
Jess & Jen: Jason & Michelle
Mike & Adrianne: Adam & Amy
Lindsey & Hans: Brent & Chelsey
Lance & Nancy: Jess & Jen
Dave & Tana: Adrianne & Mike
Gillian & Kevin:Lindsey & Hans
Chad & Kaitlin: Lance & Nancy
Ammon: Dave & Tana


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mother Did You Know?

This morning Ammon had one of his favorite carols playing on his computer. It was the rendition of Mary Did You Know by Pentatonix. It is a very beautiful piece of music.

A thought  immediately came to my head that I want to share with everyone. Yes, Mary had an the most amazing baby ever born into this world. But the thing that made him amazing was that he provided a way for every child to become like him and his Heavenly Parents.

That means that those babies that Chris and I have held and nurtured, and those children that you kids love and teach and serve are in the end as special as that baby that Mary held in her arms. Chris told me this morning how she used to tell the boys that if they lived good lives they could grow up to be worthy to become prophets. She was right, but had way underestimated the real possibilities.

So, Mothers, did you know?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Day and I Am Thankful

I am thinking about this holiday with my heart tonight. I have been watching a movie about the Christ and his mother, Mary. That leads me to acknowledge that for which I am most thankful: a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Chris in its true form. My life has been full of the teachings of Christ since I was a child. My faith in it has become very strong. I am willing to do whatever God would have me do for his gospel and its workings on earth. I say that in great weakness, but am the first to say that God is forgiving, patient, and long-suffering, and will accept my humble offerings.

The second thing that I am most grateful for is the privilege of having Chris as my wife for time and all eternity. This blessing to my life is actually the same as the first thing I have mentioned. The essence of the Gospel is my love for her and all that it has meant and will entail for all eternity. There is nothing more important than the opportunity be a part of sharing the gospel to my family. If His work is to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man, then my humble part in that work is itself eternal in nature. With such a woman by my side as Chris is, and with the Gospel that Jesus has provided, even my own self and my family will go on for ever.

There are lots of other things for which I am thankful, but they all are part of the first two things. May my gratitude never end!

Jim Clark

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Payson Temple

The Payson Temple is nearing completion. The landscape is done but fences are still all around it so we can't get too near. I'm so excited to see the finished product. The stone is more the color of the bottom picture - just depends on the light. The top picture is the front view, 2nd picture is from the southeast and the bottom is from the northwest.




Monday, November 17, 2014

Final Day of Ammon's Week



Final Day of Ammon’s Week

Words fail me. The only words that come to mind that would describe the week-long event honoring Ammon can’t quite convey the feelings Ammon, Jim and I experienced. Overwhelming, deeply touching, gratitude, spectacular, fantastic, awesome, humbling. Those words combined might convey some of the emotions that went through our minds and hearts over the past week. Every event showed that much thought and work was expended on behalf of Ammon. Students stepped up to the plate. The student council had to be beyond tired at the end of the week. They were the first at the school and the last to leave. I wondered how they had time to sleep, let alone study and attend classes. Their parents must have invested in pretty large batteries to plug their kids in at night – just to energize them to go another day. I looked at so many of the administration and faculty members that brought their families to events so they would have a little time with them. They don’t get paid for after school hours. We saw the personal sacrifice of so many that it truly was humbling.

The students at Salem Hills High School shattered the perception of a self-centered world. They showed our part of the world that service is alive and well and that youth can do great things.

Although we had sent food to school for the Skyhawk Gorge in previous years, we ourselves had not attended and had no idea what to expect. I have never seen so much food at any event before! Almost every school club and organization and some local businesses had tables filled with samples of every kind imaginable. There were goldfish, brownies, bars and cookies. There was every kind of candy, trail mix, banana splits, hot chocolate and rootbeer floats. There was snake jerky and wonderfully spicy meatballs. Mac and Cheese sold out very quickly. We looked for something other than sweets. We found strawberries and grapes, hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones. The tables lined every single hall on the main floor – all hallways were filled with food, people and students serving. The cafeteria was also filled. Hundreds and hundreds of people flocked to this event. The school sold “Ammon Productions” shirts and dog tags saying, “Make Ammon’s dream come true.” All kinds of people were wearing their shirts, showing that they had purchased them to support this event.
The going was slow as we worked our way down the hallways. People stopped to talk to Ammon. He hugged everybody. He is definitely a hugger. He ate what he could. He smiled until I thought his face would crack. We saw old friends and made new ones. It’s amazing to go anywhere with Ammon. He knows everybody and everybody knows him!! They become instant friends when he is with us.

All the while the food was going, entertainment was going on in the auditorium with people that signed up. Guitar playing, small groups performing, soloists, etc. It was a lot of fun.

I am not sure what the monetary goal was. I think in years past they have raised anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.00. There was a poster by Ammon’s special ed classroom that showed the progress of money raised, filling the cup. I didn’t see the poster but Ammon had been watching it. The event was last Monday night. When Ammon came home on Tuesday afternoon he said the cup had been filled and they reached their goal. That’s such wonderful news!!!

I’m impressed when any organization does something like this. I’m even more impressed that student council members could pull this off with a little help from the administration.

Ammon didn’t slow down. A week ago (Saturday morning following the week-long event), a videographer came to our house to interview and film Ammon. He is going to be in a dance with some young girls at the religious fireside Lifehouse Dance Academy puts on every year. This year it’s about connections. They want to use Ammon as the focal point and being a spokesperson for the need to feel connected.
I thought they would only be at our house for maybe a half hour to an hour. Two and a half hours later, they finally left. I think they kept asking him questions because they weren’t actually getting what they thought they should get.

Here are some of the questions and Ammon’s honest answers. I kept totally quiet. These were his feelings. I didn’t try to hurry him or re-phrase. This was simply Ammon.

Q:  Do you feel broken in any way?
A:  No, not at all.

Q:  Why do you think God gave you this body? Others can walk and have normal bodies. Have you thought why you have this one?
A:  Well, Christ came to the earth to pay for all our sins as long as we repent. None of us are perfect so I guess this is my thing. That’s why I have this body.

Q:  Do you ever feel invisible?
A:  No – only at stag dances. I don’t like to go to those because it’s dark in the room and it’s loud. My voice is so quiet that no one can hear me and they can’t see me, either. So I won’t go to stag dances any more.

Q:  Do you think it’s difficult to take care of you?
A:  Are you kidding?!? No! Oh, they have to help me get dressed and stuff like that but I’m not hard to take care of.  

Q:  Do you think you have a purpose on this earth and what it would be?
A:  We’re going to sing “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today” in ward choir on Sunday so I’ll say, “Have I done any good in the world today? Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad? If not, I have failed indeed.” I guess that’s my purpose.

There were many other probing questions and the answers Ammon gave were all very simple and straightforward. I thought, “Why do we make life so complex? Why can’t we have simple, powerful answers like this?” 

When they didn’t get the “poor is me,” “feel sorry for me” answers, then they turned to me to get reality. The reality is that Ammon is the way he says he is. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He has been blessed with a purity and humility that compensates for his physical difficulties. He doesn’t take offense easily. He has never said a single bad word about anyone in his life. He chooses to see the good in others. He would never think someone was purposely mean to him. In his innocence, that spectrum of his thinking doesn’t exist. We try to help him stay that way with positive things to say and do. The reality is that he is left out often by peers – not purposely but due to inconvenience. The reality is it is hard to take care of his physical needs. He was referring to the typical teenage troubles that worry parents. He doesn’t talk back. He doesn’t show any rebellion at all. He is always (!) grateful for everything we do for him. He tells us a hundred times a day that he loves us and expects us to say it back. What kind of teenager is like that?! No, he isn’t difficult to care for and he recognizes that.

Last week Ammon sang a solo at the special education talent show held in Spanish Fork. He didn’t lip sync – he sang it with two other girls singing the girl part. He sang, "Don't Give Up." He loves this song. It epitomizes his life. He isn’t afraid to try something new. He doesn’t care what others think because he only thinks the best of everybody else so why wouldn’t they think the same about him? What a philosophy. 

I continue to be amazed by this young man.

Monday, November 10, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JASON AND JEN!!

 
I hope this day is wonderful for both of you.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Sleep Paralysis Anyone?

I'm curious to know if anyone else in the family has or does experience what is called, Sleep Paralysis. I do on a recurring basis. Thankfully not too frequently, but it does reoccur every few months or so for me. Anyone else experience this?

Adam

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Ammon's Week

Ammon posted some of the things that happened today at Salem Hills High School in his honor. It was one very nice assembly that touched all of us. The school selects someone every year to sponsor for a Make-A-Wish dream. They do a large, week-long fundraiser to help make those dreams come true. Only one student was unable to have her dream fulfilled. She wanted to go to the birthplace of Jane Austen. The student passed away before she was able to go to England. I believe Ammon is the 6th person to be honored. Make-A-Wish would not accept Ammon two years ago so we told the student council members to find someone else but they would not accept a no from us. They persisted - two or three different times until we remembered The Dream Factory that Adrianne had told us about a few years ago. Two of the women that run this local chapter went to school with Adrianne. We contacted them and the rest is history. They are still very involved with this project.

Since Ammon's dream has already been granted and paid for, the money that is raised during this following week will be given back to the Dream Factory to give to another deserving child. We are so happy to be part of this experience and to hopefully help someone else feel the joy we have felt.

The assembly was organized by the student council. They did a whole lot of work to get this to come about. We were totally impressed!

Top photo was the schools jazz band. They were really good. I thought a lot about Adam's band and how much fun it was to follow him around and here their performances.

 This young man is now a missionary in Finland named Steven Goodsell. They were able to get an audio clip of him talking to Ammon and congratulating him on this honor. They were in choir together and Elder Goodsell was always very kind to Ammon. His younger brother is now on the student council.
 Here is the SHHS student council. Most of you know Devin Minson, top left in bright peach/orange shirt. The boy on the bottom right next to Ammon is Kenny VanAusdel and he was the persistent kid that got us to agree to do this.
 This is just a group of boys that are friends with Ammon. The boy on the right next to Ammon packed Ammon up into the football stands last week when they had senior pictures and held him.
During the assembly we all went up on stage at one point and talked a little about Ammon and what we like about him or how he has affected us. Even little Austin took the mike and said, "I love Ammon." It was the cutest thing ever!  Lauren and Abby at first didn't want to say anything but when the mike came around to them, they each told something they liked about Ammon. I was so proud of them.
 Devin and Parry -- two cool guys.
Despite all the things Ammon hasn't been able to do in the past, he sure is making up for it this year as a senior. He's wearing us out! He could barely contain his excitement last night before he went to bed and was just as excited today! I am so grateful for the wonderful experiences that he has been able to have throughout his life. I believe, besides meeting Elder Holland, this topped all of them.
It was really nice to have so many family members come and attend. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shapes & Colors

There were so many interesting shapes, lines, texture and colors in Capital Reef that I couldn't quite take it all in. Here are a few more in the canyon or just outside of it.

This top picture was near the top of the hike to the Tanks. Kind of a scary hike for somebody with shaky knees but I made it up and down, only falling down once. Thanks to Jess, he provided a steady shoulder on the way down.
 Jess took this picture of Jim. Proof that he was there!

 Jess had a picture of the names on the wall on his blog - I put this one in so you could see how high up the names are that are carved into the rock. This is called the Pioneer Registry. I don't know if they were at ground level when they carved those names in the 1800s and erosion moved the road bed downward or if by some magic they climbed up there. It is pretty amazing.

 This was my favorite little spot. It is a perfect bowl to climb into.
 I wish I hadn't blown out the background but this rock is dramatically slanted. Love the lines.
 A child's dream playground.


 Jim took this picture. Gnarly tree that is really cool.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fish Lake


This tree is for Ted. One day he needs to find Kathy. And it's a heart for the Richard's family.

 This isn't Fish Lake, obviously. Just one little ledge that caught my interest in the Grand Wash at Capital Reef.
 Although most of the leaves had dropped, Fish Lake was spectacularly beautiful. I have always loved quaking aspens, even without their leaves. Some of these pictures will be printed off and hung on my wall going down stairs. I love these pictures.


 This is the entrance to Doctor's Creek trail head. Most of us have been up that hike. I love the leaning parallel lines of the trees in this photo.

 Two interesting trees with etchings from some creative people.
I have so many pictures of this trip I don't know what to do with them all. Few needed editing because the lighting was so perfect. Guess I'll print them off and make an album because I never want to forget this weekend. The world is so beautiful!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Vacation

Thanks to Jess & Jen, we were able to enjoy a 3-day vacation. It was a much-needed break. We met them at Jen's grandfather's ranch east of Bicknell. We spent time riding on 4-wheelers (Ammon and I both for the first time in our lives), hiking, taking lots of pictures and enjoying each other's company. Thank you! We had a such a good time. Make sure and thank Mont for us again!

 When Ammon got back from his 4-wheeling ride he said, "Wow! That was a rush!" He loved it!

 This is the grist mill across the road from the Ellet's ranch. This is the natural picture with no touch-up. The lighting was perfect.

 Brenden learned to drive a 4-wheeler and seemed to love it.
 Spider man.
 We hiked through the Capital Wash at Capital Reef. The kids had a blast climbing in every cavern and hole they could find.



We spent the last day at Fish Lake. Those photos will come later.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Waning Autum


These are the last photos I will take of leaves and the mountains. The reds are fading quickly. It was beautiful but didn't last very long. Today is cold and cloudy. We will still have some nice days later on in the week, but autumn is waning.


 This is as far as I can get into Loafer Canyon. Gates are locked and cabins are private so I can go no further than the gate. Bears are frequently seen in this canyon.
 To the right of the picture above, just around that out cropping of rock and up a little canyon is the largest tree in Utah. One day I'm going to go find it. Schools used to take elementary students up there to see the tree but now that it is closed off for private use only, we can't easily get up there.
 Below is the top of Loafer. From this view it looks doable - but I know better. :) Doesn't this make you want to hike up there and hike through all the woods? It's calling me. One day in the next life.


This is my post (Mom). Blogger is being temperamental and won't let me sign in under my account.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Quiz

Quiz of the day...

Answer these question, but be careful...there is a trick in it, that you will miss if not careful!


What is the # of the states in "New England"?


How many leagues are there in a mile?


How many years is a US senator's term?

 
How many sides does a hexagon have?


How many lines are there in a Star of David?


How many "geese a-laying," are there in the Xmas carol?


How many is a double trifecta?


How many legs does an insect have?


How many feet in a fathom?


How many days did it take to create the earth?


How many feet under are you buried?


How many sides are there on a dice or cube?


How many make up a 1/2 dozen?


How many kids are the Clarks (Adam and Amy) going to have come next May?


How many strings on a guitar?


How many players are on the ice at one time for a hockey team?




Did you get them all right?


Friday, September 26, 2014

Doctrinal Question

A couple of weeks ago, I was teaching about the Aaronic Priesthood restoration in seminary. I try to challenge my students (even at 6:30 in the morning) to think a little more about the gospel then they have in the past. I remind them that some of them will be serving missions in a year or less and that they need to be prepared for difficult questions. They don't necessarily need answers to every question but it should be apparent that they have given some thought to various doctrinal principles.
As I was preparing the lesson, I came upon something that I had never really given much thought. The issue was if John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph and Oliver, why did they in turn confer it upon each other after they were baptized? I'm curious to hear what you think. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Doorbell Ditched


Tonight we were doorbell ditched.  I answered the door and as I opened it, I heard a girl's voice say, "Go, go, go!" And off took a car with two girls in it.  I didn't have my glasses on and couldn't describe the girls to Brenden, but we thought this was pretty cute. He has no idea who this nice note was from but I'm pretty sure he'll find out somehow.


We all laughed saying, "Well, the good thing about anonymous is that you tend to be friendly to everyone." 
Looks like Brenden is doing pretty well at school. We're going to have to beat the girls off with a stick.

Hikes

I've been on 4 of the hikes listed on this website. Can you guess which ones?


 http://www.newscastic.com/news/10-life-changing-utah-hiking-trails-2247121/

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Busy Week

Ammon was asked to be a spokesman for BYU Football's Thursday's Heroes this past Thursday on a radio program called Cougar Nation on 960 AM. We took him to the golf clubhouse at Thanksgiving Point where he met Ben Criddle (a past BYU football player) and then was the radio guest for a short segment. Ben asked me a question as well. I didn't expect to be on the program but he wanted me to talk about how the program has affected our family in general. It was a fun, quick trip. After it was over, I went back to work.

We attended Parent Teacher Conference on Wednesday night and Friday night Ammon and I worked on covering some boxes to use as the Pop Tab Drop for Ronald McDonald's House. Ammon made a short video about the program last spring but the school didn't show it. It will be shown on Monday and the drive to collect pop tabs will begin in earnest.

Friday afternoon Jim met with Ammon's video production teacher to learn how to use the GoPro camera and they discussed Ammon's video he is working on this year, "Butts & Bellies."

Today the boys went to Sadie Hawkins. Brenden's date picked him up at 1:00 with plans to do lots of activities all day. We aren't fans of spending a full day together but we had never met the girl so Brenden said he would check in as the day went along, which he did. Ammon knows the girl. She has been one of the peer tutors in their special ed art class. She is a nice girl.

Here is Ammon getting ready to go into the radio program.

 It's obvious that Brenden's date, Whitney Stubblefield has gotten to know Brenden pretty well when she showed up with matching Batman hoodies. She told me that's all he talks about in class. :)
 Kelaini Fifita asked Ammon to Sadies. We've known their family for several years but not well. They have a pretty large family. Kelaini has a twin sister named Karina. Ammon has known her for a while as well.
 I had never personally met any of these kids but Ammon knows all of them either because he has taken classes with them or they have been peer tutors for some of his classes. They left about 6:00 p.m.
We fit watching the Iowa game and the BYU game in today as well. It's been a really busy week. Next week nothing special is planned. We can catch our breath and slow down a little.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Approaching Fall


The colors seem to be a little muted this year. The quaking aspens are actually turning before the scrub oak on our mountain. I hope the explosion of color happens soon.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Baby K


This baby Kathrynne has to be one of the most beautiful little girls I've ever seen. She had so many expressions this morning that I couldn't choose which one I liked the best. Kaitlyn asked me to come and take a few pictures with her in her blessing dress before she grows out of it. That was this morning's appointment.





 Somebody else got asked out to Sadie's today. Brenden doesn't even know it yet because he is hanging out with friends today.