Thursday, August 27, 2015

Georgia on my mind

We just got back from Georgia.  Mike had a training for two days and since we are homeschooling he said, "You should come!"  It was a great visit and we loved hanging out with Nancy and the kids.  We didn't expect to see much of Lance because he has a super crazy schedule but when we did see him it was great.  The kids had such a great time together and when we told the boys it was time to go they were like, "No, we aren't leaving."  They just wanted to play and play forever.  I will post more photos on my own blog when I get a chance but I wanted to post these because seriously, look at those cute faces!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Post

Adam and I once had bleached hair. And apparently really red skin. Unfortunately, this is a picture of a picture, taken with my cell phone in poor lighting late at night, so forgive the color. I don't remember the exact date of this photo, it was Adam's first bleach job, I believe. I bleached my hair a few times in college, including immediately before heading to Indonesia for 15 days. That was a fun juxtaposition: this tall while American with lightning white hair surrounded by lots of little, brown Indonesian kids.

This is a full-size couch. We sold this couch a few weeks ago, but had a heck of a time getting it out of our basement. I remembered that it took three guys to get it down there when we got it, but I'm proud to say that Jen and I got it out. And with only one hole in the sheetrock. Our ceilings aren't particularly low in the basement, but just low enough that we had to think about things. The stairwell getting to our basement, however, is not conducive to getting much down. That's where the hole in the sheetrock exists -- I can only think so much before brute force takes over. I can fix holes in sheetrock, but I can't manufacture brain cells on a whim.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

It's All About Timing

I find that life is all about timing. Last night I took Judy Flack (who was visiting with us for the night) on a short drive. We went up to the very top of Woodland Hills in a new subdivision that is being built called Summit Creek. New roads have been built and new, ultra modern/woodsy kind of homes are being built. I didn't take her up there to see the houses, but to view the valley below. This was one night I did not take my camera and I missed it.  In photography, it's all about the timing - being in the right place at the right time.  Clouds had moved in - it was raining at the north of the valley and it made the lake look like it was part of the rain - one continuous sheet of silver. It wasn't raining south of Provo. To the south of West Mountain, a group of clouds were trying to shroud the sun but there was one small hole in the wall of clouds. It caused a streak of gold that shot across the yellow and green fields in the valley. We both just sat there and stared at that scene. It was incredible and one that would have been worthy of being a poster (with the right photographer which I'm not). But I didn't have the camera and by the time I could get one, the lighting had changed.

I find that I miss those shots in life as well. Sometimes I do something right and it all just falls into place, creating a wonderful scene in my heart and mind. And sometimes I either don't have the right emotional tools in place or understanding isn't clear or I'm just out of sync with the Spirit. I don't like it when that happens. Learning to recognize the missed opportunities is important because it helps me watch for upcoming opportunities and, hopefully, I don't make the same mistakes again. Far too often in my life I have missed appropriate opportunities and have just plowed my way through life, not bursting through the clouds and not shining my light on anybody. All day yesterday I felt like that. I felt sad and out of sync. I don't know why, but I did. How I wish I had a camera yesterday to go back and view my day and my heart and my mind.

Part of this out-of-sync feeling right now is because we are talking about our future and Ammon's future. It's been a struggle to find people and places that will open their minds and hearts and embrace an opportunity to help a young man fulfill a mission. I have been surprised by that but I don't know why I should be. That's a pretty natural thing that happens in this world. We are slowly finding places for him to serve -just one more piece of the puzzle that needs to be put in place and then we need to hire two new people to take care of him. Both boys that have been working with him have to quit when school starts due to sports and school responsibilities. We can't really hire anyone else until we have a schedule. We're working as quickly as we can to get this completed. That puts all other future plans on hold and I don't like that. I don't like unknowns. But that's where the faith comes into play and it's necessary for us to use it. I know it will all work together for the best. I just don't know the timeline.

At least I had the sense to wander around the Provo Temple grounds yesterday and that helped raise my spirits.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sunday Evening

After a great lunch and a wonderful Sunday Nap, I went to my favorite chair downstairs and watched TV. Since it was Sunday, I selected some appropriate programs on Netflix and enjoyed a pleasant evening. The Last thing I watched was a movie from Netflix titled Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. 

I was deeply moved by this movie. I wished that I had someone to testify to of what I felt tonight. When I prayed in the evening I mentioned this to God, and he said clearly, "You do. Testify to your family." So even though this might seem a little strange, I am doing so right now.

As I watched the first part of the film depicting Joseph's young life I was moved as deeply by the Spirit as strongly as I ever have. Remember, I once ran the Joseph Smith farm and the Hill Cumorah Farm. I have been in the sacred grove many times, once even logging. I have cut hay in what is now the area where the Temple is standing. I have ridden my horse up the hill Cumorah and all over its fields, and have even plowed and seeded a large field on the top of the hill.

That was a wonderful experience for Chris and I, and confirming feeling came to us many times from the Holy Ghost while we were there.

But, last night I had such a strong spiritual experience watching the film that I need to pass on my feelings to all of you who read this blog.

God is real, and as Alma says about faith, it is real and discernible. Joseph saw the Father and the Son. It is as real to me as if I had been there instead of Joseph. Believe me and be blessed. That knowledge gives motivation to live the commandments better and better as each day goes on. Continue to confirm that knowledge for yourself. It was confirmed to me in the strongest manner last night.

Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet of God. I long to meet him and feel his loving spirit. He was the most important prophet to live since the days of Adam, Noah, and Christ himself. We know much about him historically and intellectually, and I want you to know that I know of his prophetic calling. It is real and discernible to me, as real as my own life right now.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the authoritative representative of the Godhead hear on this earth. Service in it brings happiness and sometimes overwhelming joy. Being part of that Kingdom of God on earth is the most significant thing we can do on this earth. There the true Gospel is taught, the ordinances administered, and the official saving covenants offered. Even the ultimate ordinance of Eternal Marriage is mine through this Church. Chris and I have all there is to offer in eternity because of our knowledge of and our participation in this Church. It is known by me to be God's true Church.

I give you this testimony of these things in all humilty, knowing that it may seem strange in this format, but I want you all to know that I am doing what the Holy Ghost told me to do last night as I prayed and thanked God for his testifying to me with such power.

I am not powerful in any sence, but I know that God will back me up,

I love you all, Dad Clark

Friday, July 03, 2015

New contact information for our children

Alyssa and Brenden now have their own phones.  They are very excited.  If you want their number please go to the family spreadsheet OR personal message me on Facebook.   I will add Dan's address and phone as well this way you can call and write him.

Here are some recent pictures:

Monday, June 29, 2015

Senior Pictures, Birthday Party and Mission Stuff

We have been busy this past week. On Wednesday, Jim, Ammon and I met with Bro. Shelton at the DI facility with the LDS Employment system. Ammon began the process of getting ready to serve a Young Church Service Mission by having a 3 hour assessment. Bro. Shelton interviewed Ammon for an hour, asking us questions as well. And then Ammon took a 2 hour computer assessment. Ammon said it was "challenging." It may take some time to find a good match and it may end up being quick. It will depend on whether or not they can find something that Ammon can actually do using some skill sets so he will have developed an opportunity to find some kind of employment at the end of the 2-year mission.

There are so many opportunities where young people can serve now. It used to be mainly in the welfare areas but now it's in the Family History Centers, the LDS Motion Picture Studio, working with seminaries and institutes, doing digital research, working in the temples, etc.

We are waiting to hear from the missionary couple (who I went to high school with) to see when they want to meet Ammon. I think they are waiting on the results of the assessment. We have no idea where Ammon will serve. We don't know if it will be all day, five days a week or 2-3 days a week. You can pretty much dictate how much you want to work. Ammon said, "Bring it on! I'll work as much as I can." He is getting more and more excited as are we. If I didn't have to work, Jim and I would probably put our papers in as well and serve at the same time in the general vicinity.

This means Ammon will not attend the vocational rehab school as planned. The church meets with these young kids before the mission starts, during the mission and after it has completed to help them with future employment. It seems like the best of both worlds.

Kaitlin's in-laws came up to celebrate Kathrynne's first birthday over the weekend. They asked if I would be willing to take some senior pictures of Morgan. Sheesh..... I was so nervous. I learned a lot. I especially learned what NOT to do. We got some good ones during two different sessions - one in the morning and one in the evening. We took about 400 pictures.  You'd think I would learn something!  I absolutely must take some classes.........

Here are a few samples. First two were taken on the campus of BYU.

 Evening picture taken at Gladstan Golf Course.

 At the top of Loafer Canyon.

This little cutie is one year old! She loved her little cake.

Kaitlin made this very yummy cake - triple chocolate with a chocolate whipped cream frosting. It was sooooo good!

And here's the little mess when she finally got through decimating her cake. I was glad somebody else got her out of that high chair!  Happy birthday, Kathrynne.
As an after thought --- we really like Chad's family. They are so much fun! They are good people, too. It's always fun to get together with them. They have "bonded"with us - ask Gillian and Lindsey about that. They might tell you the reason we have bonded with the Lanhams.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New address for Jared again

Jared just got transferred to Casper, WY. Here is his new address:

Elder Jared A Clark
1180 South Locust #1
Casper, WY  82601

Please write him

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Reunion of Friends

We had the opportunity to go to Chelsey and Brent's last night to spend the evening with Brent's family. Not only were Charlie and Yolanda there, but so was Lynn and Joe Thurman and some of their kids. These are forever friends that we love. It was a great evening full of laughter.

 Brent's cousins.
 Charlies Angels (on the front row).
 Goofball Brent, who will turn 40 tomorrow!
 We spent a lot of time laughing.
 The month of June is a special one for Brent & Chelsey - Brent's birthday, Chelsey's birthday and their 18th anniversary will all be celebrated.
Thanks for inviting us! We had a wonderful time.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Cultural Celebration

The Payson Temple Celebration is finished. Last night 14,000 youth performed for Elder Erying, Elder Russell M. Nelson, Elder Cook  and Elder Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve were there. 
The stands were filling rapidly by 5:15 p.m. The performance was scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The day had been wonderful -not too hot with some clouds that kept things relatively cool. All of a sudden, Satan unleashed his fury and it began to hail. An announcement instructed all people to leave the stands and seek shelter due to severe weather. It poured for almost an hour.I don't think I've ever seen rain that hard in Utah. But just after 7:00 p.m., it stopped and everybody filed back in to sit on drenched benches and a drenched stadium. The program didn't start until about 7:45 p.m.

 The theme was "Fill the World with Love."

 Rain -looking out into the stadium from where we took shelter. We were all drenched and so, so cold.
 Elder Eyring gave a few remarks and said, "Let the celebration begin."

 A release of doves got things started.

 Each stake carried a flag to show their representation. Ammon got to be part of that. It was at the beginning of the program.
 Happy Feet dance. It was a lot of fun. The kids on the trampolines were really good!

 Note Nathan Millington next to Ammon really getting into the Happy Feet Dance.

 The bagpipes from a Payson Stake played "Amazing Grace." It was so beautiful!
 2,000 Stripling Warriors. Ammon was somewhere in the crush of boys.
Ah, we finally saw him and the boys are helping him rush off the field.

Finale - a release of balloons amidst the rainbow of shirts.
We were really grateful for Nathan Millington because he took care of Ammon all day long. They left at 8:30 a.m. and we all got home about midnight. It was a very long, wonderful day. What a great experience for these young people. I think they will remember it their entire lives.
Satan may have wanted to thwart this event, but I'm sure 40,000 prayers to God overrode Satan. It was one more evident event that showed this Temple is here and ready to go.