Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Working With Adam

I have a co-worker named Adam Clark (and he's a good, bright, motivated worker, so ... it must be the name). He says he has ancestors who helped settle Spanish Fork, but we can't seem to make a connection via the family history stuff.

Does anyone know why the Clark line goes back only a few generations?

Jess -- Dad -- Henry Clifford -- James Edward -- John Richard -- dead end

Is there more info floating out there that we know of but haven't connected in FamilySearch?

On another note, I enjoy using to help quickly visualize fan charts and decendents. It uses your FamilySearch credentials and is pretty slick. You can't use it to enter data, but it's a great visualization tool.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


I found a tomato soup recipe in the Better Homes & Garden magazine. It looked simple and I had most of the ingredients so I decided to try it - and best of all, it only has 220 calories per serving.
This is the BEST tomato soup I've ever eaten. I decided to share it. It's simple and delicious.

1 TBS Olive Oil
1 med. onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
3 c. lower-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 TBS butter
1/2 tsp sugar

1. In 5-to 7 qt sauce pot, heat oil on medium. Add onion and garlic; cook 10 minutes., stirring.
Add broth, tomatoes, baby leaves and 1/2 tsp salt. Heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat; simmer 20 min., stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, trim crusts from bread. With heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut 4 hearts from bread slices; toast hearts. Stir bread scraps into soup.
3. Remove and discard bay leaves. Stir in butter and sugar. In batches in blender or with immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Stir in 1/4 tsp. pepper. Served topped with croutons if desired.

About 4 servings, 220 calories, 4 g protein, 27 g carbs, 11 g fat (3 g sat), 3 g. fiber, 928 mg sodium.

I did not use the toast croutons. I just served saltines and Ritz crackers along with a spinach salad.

So yummy!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Clouds

I have not taken a single winter picture this year. The cold hurts my fingers too much. But today, it was just too amazing to pass up. If we lived in Spanish Fork, it would seem gloomy again today, like yesterday. But up here, we are above the clouds and it is truly beautiful. Enjoy.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Million Dollar Highway

Chad and I are sitting in our hotel room in Albuquerque, NM counting our blessings tonight. As you should know, we are on our way from Utah to Houston, Texas. We left Provo on December 23 and stopped in Grand Junction to spend 4 days (most importantly Christmas) with Chad's parents, siblings, and grandmother. It was a great 4 days but this morning we embarked on the real journey to Texas. 

Here is a screen shot of our planned route:

This goes from Montrose to Trinidad, CO. Montrose is about an hour southeast from Grand Junction.
We intended to take highway 50 from Grand Junction, into Montrose and then on all the way east until we hit I-25 (the freeway that connects Denver to Colorado Springs). Notice I said intended. aha. We did take highway 50 to Montrose but when you go through the town you have to take an east turn somewhere to continue on 50. Neither Chad nor myself saw the signs to take us that way and continued on the road. 

Here is where we ended up traveling:

Notice we are not in Trinidad, CO, but in Albuquerque, NM... How did that happen?
Wait, what? How did you not notice you were not going the right direction, you ask? Because of a few reasons.... 

1: We knew we were not going to hit the mountains until a specific time in the journey. 
2: We knew we had to go over a lake as a part of the trip.
3: We knew the part where we were in the mountains would be pretty scary.

So how did we notice that we were not on the 50 but on the 550? 

I specifically had looked at some of the traffic cameras to see road conditions a day before we left Utah just to get a feel for how things could be. One of them was by Monarch, CO looking at a specific part called Monarch Pass. I was pretty scared because there was already a good amount of snow, the elevation was very high but I knew we could stop at the ski resort right by it so it helped give me some comfort. 

Fast forward to this morning: We had started to go down the mountain side and I noticed we had yet to see an established ski resort. I put my location on, asked google where we were and saw Silverton, CO. I knew the name, but didn't know where in Colorado that was in respect to where we were supposed to be. I put in our location and put directions to Poncha Springs (where we were hoping to stop for lunch) and that is when I saw the mistake. 

The road we stayed on in Montrose had changed to highway 550 and because of that one mistake of not seeing any signs for highway 50 to take us east, we headed due south, into the San Juan mountain range. 

Have you heard of the Million Dollar Highway? Well, let me tell you, after having first hand experience from driving it today I can honestly say it is breath taking... in so many ways.

The MDH is a stretch that was made from a Russian immigrant to take gold ore from Silverton, CO, a big mining town (not so much today by they way) to a town called Ouray, CO. Well, in order to get to Silverton from Ouray you have to travel 12 miles in the mountain. No big deal right?

No biggie right? I grew up on a mountain and Chad grew up in Buffalo. We can handle it... Right?
It looks harmless enough on this scale... but try this out for size:

Oooo what about this?

See what I mean by breath taking in multiple ways? And those pictures are in the summertime. 

The roads were actually really clear for having dumped snow all over the state like crazy on Christmas. We had perfect weather and there were not a lot of people driving north thank heavens! Because there were so few people going north we could drive in the middle of the road for a bit. But why would we need to? Because of this:

And this:

Once again, both taken in the summer. I couldn't find a good winter picture that explained just how bleeping dangerous this was. We had NO CLUE what was going on until we were already out of harms way. By the way, the traffic closest to the cliff is traveling south like we were today. Oh and, the highest point of elevation is at Red Mountain Pass (along the MDH) measuring in at 11,018 ft above sea level. :|

Just so you know, just because we were so focused on not making any driving errors with me in the car with Kate and Chad in the Penske truck doesn't mean we couldn't appreciate some of the beauty. Here is another google image to show how pretty it would be in, yes, spring/summertime. 

And yes, this is actually on the highway. We drove right by it and I was so worried about being safe I didn't notice it said Switzerland of America. 
Chad just said, "After that, I am pretty sure I could drive anything." I agree. 

I just have to say that we were incredibly blessed today. Before we go on any trip we always say a prayer for safety. Tonight I can say fully that the Lord didn't just hear our prayer, He moved our hands, feet, and guided our eyes to get us here. Oh how great the Lord is you guys. 

From here we had planned to drop into Amarillo, TX for lunch (about 4 1/2 hours east of here) and then stop in Wichita Falls, TX for the night (not to be confused with Wichita, KS) but we decided to take I-40 all the way to Oklahoma City instead. The chances of getting a hotel room would be better and it is only 20 minutes more of a drive. All together because of that change and todays travels we are adding about 2-3 hours extra to the whole travel time than we originally planned. But that is okay. We just feel really blessed right now to even be alive after the 12 miles of death we drove up and down today. 

If you feel so inclined to see more pictures, read more or even watch a video of what we drove through today, please follow the included hyperlinks. 

With much love, 

Kaitlin, Chad, and Kathrynne (WE ARE STILL ALIVE!!)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Giving Quilt

The Giving Quilt

by Chris Clark

Christmastime,with eleven children, and in the best of circumstances, has proven to always be a challenge but one we have tried to meet with creativity and joyful expectation. Some years have been harder than others--and some have been more rewarding than others. The years we have been able to involve our children in projects and "secrets" have been more meaningful and fun for all of us. We have always tried to teach our children that giving is far more in keeping with the Christmas spirit than getting something but occasionally we have definitely been on the receiving end far more than the giving end. Here is the story of one of those years.

We have a child who was born with Spina Bifida in 1995. The precarious nature of the disease plays itself out within the first two or three years. The prognosis cannot be determined at birth and with the medical advances being made every year, hope carries the family through. We entered Primary Children's Medical Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah in August of 1997 to do a simple procedure that was supposed to keep us there only three or four days at the most. Due to some complications, that three day stay turned into five months. Our son ended up having eight surgeries in the following six weeks. I had ten other children, with seven still living home. One of them was pre-school age. Over those months, my children took turns missing school to stay home with their little sister while my husband worked. About a month after the initial procedure was done to our son, my husband had a mini-stroke which eventually led to his dismissal from the company due to his inability to do the job. We were devastated! What more could possibly go wrong--and all at once?! As the months wore on, Christmas approached. We were allowed to bring our little boy home for a couple of days to have Thanksgiving together as a family and then he went back up until December 16th when we were finally able to bring him  home to stay. Needless to say, shopping and planning for Christmas was never given a forward thought. I found myself worrying about it in the back of my mind, but could not do anything physically or financially about it and so hoped that my Christmas gift to my children would be my presence home where I could fix them breakfast, do their laundry and listen to their problems for a change.

I had become good friends with the social workers at PCMC and they had met all of my children at one time or another. They liked our family and they were pleased to see the tender way my children dealt with this sick little boy. One day one of the social workers approached me about the idea of the judges in the Third Circuit Court in Salt Lake City providing Christmas for us. I was reluctant because we had such a large family and I was embarrassed. She pressed me and eventually convinced me to let the rest of my children have a few gifts to help lighten their minds and give them some happiness. She asked me interests of each child and sizes and wants and needs. I gave her some very sketchy ideas that were all very cheap gifts.

Much to my amazement, two days before I was able to bring our son home, some gifts began to mysteriously appear on our doorstep. Someone had decided to do the Twelve Days of Christmas for our family. Our kids were giddy with excitement! This was only the beginning of an entire town pouring out their love and goodness upon a family who needed, most of all, to have their spirits lifted The thoughts were far more important than the gifts. We had Santa Claus visit our house twice! The obstetrician who had taken care of me during this difficult pregnancy came to our house loaded down with gifts from his own family. And then the gifts from the judges came down. I thought there would be one of two gifts for each child. I was wrong! They brought down two vans full of garbage bags full of wonderful gifts! We didn't have enough space in our living room to hold everything. I was dumbfounded beyond belief! I knew my my husband and would NEVER be able to duplicate this kind of Christmas. But what a boost this was to my children. What a way to thank them for holding down the fort through all those long, long monts of tears and fears!

I don't remember many of the gifts--they were  absorbed into our lives, having been used, enjoyed and either discarded or given away since then. But there was one gift that appeared wrapped in a beautiful box that remains with me every day. It is the one that I treasure the most. I opened up the box to find a soft brown plaid quilt. It was so soft. When I pulled it out and opened it up for everyone to see, I gasped to see the quilt's ties knotted around ten dollar bills completely covering the quilt. To this day I do not know who gave us this quilt. I have never let the children use it. It It remains in my cedar chest so I can bring it out every year and remind our children of this remarkable Christmas.

After our lives settled down a little more and our son became healthier, I had time to reflect on the meaning of Christmas and determined that I needed to bring joy to someone outside of our own family. I thought about that wonderful quilt and was able to give that same gift to other families in need for three years by involving my co-workers to help bless the lives of others.

The true gifts of Christmas are those of caring and love, not money. True, we were able to pay some bills with the money tied on that quilt, but more importantly, the love that came wrapped in that quilt propelled me to spread the same thing over and over and over.

Christ said it best:  For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and yet took me in: Naked and ye clothed me: I was in prison and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we three an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say until them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25: 26-45)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Meaning Behind My Christmas Tree

One of the favorite activities for me as a child was helping decorate our Christmas tree. I only remember two things about our tree in particular. We had bubble lights, which I'd like to find today, and Mom had us put on silver icicles so very, very carefully. They had to be put on just right. I loved helping put those icicles on. Mom used them over and over so when we took the tree down, we had to take one icicle off at a time and very carefully lay them down in the box for next year. We all had our own personal decorations made at school that went on the tree, but I don't remember them.

As we got older, Mom began to take the reigns and decorate the way only Mom could decorate with beautiful color schemes and with decorations she made herself. She loved decorating her Christmas tree, too. I think that was probably the only thing that brought her real joy during the holiday season. The rest of the "stuff" was stressful for her.

Our Christmas tree has become very meaningful to me during the past 4-5 years. Before that, I just gratefully used whatever we could find, whatever anyone gave to us or whatever we could scrounge up. It had no meaning except for the few ornaments each child made at school which was added to the tree. As I tried to switch my head and heart over to the real meaning of Christmas (honoring Christ) and rid myself of guilt and feelings of inadequacies regarding the kinds of gifts I could (or could not) give, the tree became my focus.

I love my tree. It is not large or opulent. I think everybody should love their trees. We bought a medium sized fake tree that was not pre-lit. I had to have a tree that I could lift by myself. Jim and Christmas trees don't get along well. (Ask a neighbor that saw our tree catapult into her yard one year. But that's another story for another time.) So I put up the tree. I take it down. It has to be smallish. While I'd love to have a beautiful, full, pine smelling tree, they are too expensive now. I have to be content with what I have. And I am.

Every year I had added one or two new decorations and the colors morph a bit. There's more red on the tree this year. I thought I'd tell what each major ornament means to me and why it's on the tree.

I believe that Christ really lived on earth, died and atoned for our sins. I believe that is the reason we celebrate Christmas. And one day, because of  Him, peace will come to the earth. Full, everlasting peace.
 Adrianne sent me a large LOVE nativity a year ago. It is spectacular! When I saw that they were making small ones, I ordered ten to give to the women I visit teach, to the people Jim and Ammon home teach and to my co-workers. I am totally in love with these as ornaments as well as the big one. That is what Christmas embodies.
 Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus. The small key next to them says "Let Him in." This is pretty self-explanatory. This is a small one. I have a larger one that is front and center on the tree.
 This is one very large icicle. I have many smaller, clear glass icicles. They represent not only the icicles we hung on our tree when I was little, but they also represent the frigid fairy tale winters in Cokeville, which I loved.

 The snow-covered trees on this ornament reflect my memories of winter in Wyoming. Once the snow started to fall, it didn't leave for eight months. It was cold and white and beautiful.

 There are many clear glass ornaments that were my mother's. I inherited all her Christmas decorations. Her taste wasn't mine but the clear glass balls are classy and timeless. They remind me of her. She was classy and even though she has passed away from this earth, she, too, is timeless and I"ll see her again one day.
 Another nativity scene to remind me of the true meaning of a special day.

 I have several different kinds of snowflakes on the tree that I love. This one is simple but it reminds me of our living room windows every winter morning in Cokeville. Jack Frost came every night and brought new and beautiful patterns etched on the inside (yes, inside) of our living room windows. I never tired of looking at those patterns of frost.
 On the top of my piano are the nativity scenes - the ceramic figurines were made by Mom. The Christus statue stands above all in the room and the LOVE nativity scene was made by my daughter, reminding me of my love for all my children and for the love the Savior has for all of us.


 I put all the Santa Class figurines that I have on top of the bookshelf this year with garland and lights. The tree has no Santa Class mention. But these Santa Clauses are special to me because they were all given to our family. Most came the year we got the quilt with all the money tied to it. I want to always have them present to remind me to always be grateful and to express my gratitude to people who care about me and share with me some part of their goodness. That's why the Santa Clauses are on display.

 So here's my simple little tree that is packed full of memories and meaning to me.
I hope you find the same kind of joy and meaning in your own trees this year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ammon's Missionary Talk

The following is the talk Ammon gave in Church as his "Missionary Talk." He found all the resources, quotes and scriptures. I helped him organize it. His testimony at the end are his exact words.  I thought this was pretty impressive.

By Elder Clark

Good morning brothers and sisters. I would like to begin my talk first of all with a quote from a General Conference address given by Elder David L. Beck in April 2013 entitled Your Sacred Duty to Minister to Others. 

Minister every day. Opportunities are all around you. Look for them. Ask the Lord to help you recognize them. You will find that most consist of small, sincere acts that help others become followers of Jesus Christ. 

I would like to talk a little bit about service and why it’s important and how we can do it. As Elder Beck said, we should be serving in one way or another every day. The acts of service don’t have to be huge and time-consuming. They should just be thoughtful things you do throughout your day. Elder Beck gives us more ideas of how to minister. He said, Start in your own home. This is where you can do your most important ministering.
He then suggested a great way for young people to minister. Quote:
Do you want to try an interesting experiment? The next time your mother asks for your help around the house, say something like, “Thank you for asking, Mom. I would love to help.” Then watch her reaction. Some of you might want to brush up on your first aid skills before you try this. You may send her into shock. After you revive her, you’ll find a noticeable improvement in your relationship with her and an increase of the Spirit in your home.
That’s just one way to minister to your family; there are many others. You minister as you speak kind words to family members. You minister as you treat your siblings like your best friends.
We, as priesthood holders also have a duty to minister in our quorums. One of the kindest ways to serve and minister is to sincerely care about our quorum members. We need to pay attention to their activity and their needs and do our best to support them.

In Mosiah 2:17, King Benjamin said, “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."

Have you noticed that when we talk about missionaries that go out into the world we say they are “serving” in certain locations? Why do we use the term serve? Because missionaries are trying to find God’s children and teach them who they are and what they should do to return to Heavenly Father. Most of them don’t know about any of this. Elder May will be serving Heavenly Fathers’ children that reside in Germany. He will search for them. He will teach them. He will serve, physically in any way they need. That is what King Benjamin meant that when we serve our fellow beings, we are only serving God. He loves all of His children and wants them to return to Him. We help accomplish that.
I am serving in a different capacity. I am still a missionary but I help more with the temporal side of things. At the Deseret Meat facility, I do the orientation for the volunteers. I tell them what they need to do to be safe and to keep the products safe and clean for those who will eat it. I show the safety video. I fold gloves (which was hard for me to learn to do). I shred paper. I just do whatever they need me to do. This, too, is helping the work of the Lord. I, too, am serving.

I will go through the temple on Saturday and after I have done that, I will be qualified to help serve and work in the temple as a volunteer. We all know that work in the temple is for those who have already died and can’t do their own work. That is the highest form of service.
Elder Ballard talked about service in a conference talk in October 2012. His talk is entitled: Anxiously Engaged.
He said, We are to love God and to love and care for our neighbors as ourselves. Imagine what good we can do in the world if we all join together, united as followers of Christ, anxiously and busily responding to the needs of others and serving those around us—our families, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow citizens.
How do we ingrain this love of Christ into our hearts? There is one simple daily practice that can make a difference for every member of the Church” That simple practice is: In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help. 

Elder Ballard ended his talk with some good advice. He said, I know that if you do this—at home, at school, at work, and at church—the Spirit will guide you, and you will be able to discern those in need of a particular service that only you may be able to give. You will be prompted by the Spirit and magnificently motivated to help pollinate the world with the pure love of Christ and His gospel. 

President Spencer W. Kimball said: "God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other" (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 82).

One of the fun things about my mission is the assignment I have chosen to tag photos. There are many church service missionaries that are called to be photographers. They submit their photos to the church to have them available for Church media. They call me a “tagger.” I go into the large file of photos and tag them by deciding what category they should be assigned. I have tagged more than a thousand photos since I started a month ago. I really enjoy it. I actually found a photo of Pres. Tervort and a second one of Sister Tervort serving on their mission with Family History. I was pretty excited to see them in those pictures. So I got to tag them.
Last Sunday evening we went to a special devotional at the Conference Center for Young Church Service Missionaries. It was a great night. The very first person I met there was a service missionary that wanted to take my picture. There were several missionaries doing that. They were happy to know that I was tagging pictures. If their pictures don’t get tagged, they don’t get used. I am actually serving not only the Church, but these missionaries in helping them accomplish what they have been called to do. It is a simple task. It isn’t hard. Most people in the church don’t even know about this program. It makes me happy to be doing what I can to help the Church move forward.

I love the words to the song Have I Done Any Good? “Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped any one in need? Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad? If not, I have failed in deed. Has anyone’s burden been lighter today because I was willing to share? Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way? When they needed my help was I there? Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love.”

I’m so grateful for the opportunities I am having on this mission. I love my mission!

I would like to leave you with my testimony. I know God lives and loves us. If we continually hasten the work of salvation by being anxiously engaged in service to others, we will come together to build God’s kingdom. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth today. If we abide by their counsels, we will one day live with God again.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

2015 Christmas Gift Exchange

Based on previous years, this should be the line up for the 2015 Clark Family gift exchange. This isn't supposed to be a burden on anyone so please keep it simple. Also note that Chad and Kaitlin are moving immediately before Christmas (they leave Provo on Dec. 23, spend Christmas with Chad's parents in Colorado, and then continue on to Houston after the holiday).

I don't know of other's travel plans over the holidays.

Jason & Michelle: Chad and Kaitlin

Adam & Amy: Ammon

Brent & Chelsey: Jason and Michelle

Jess & Jen: Adam and Amy

Mike & Adrianne: Brent and Chelsey

Lindsey & Hans: Jess and Jen

Lance & Nancy: Adrianne and Mike

Dave & Tana: Lindsey and Haans

Gillian & Kevin: Lance and Nancy

Chad & Kaitlin: Dave and Tana

Ammon: Gillian and Kevin

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I hope Caleb and Megan share some of the pictures the professional photographer took. I think she was very good. I struggled with the handrails. They were always in the way and I didn't know what to do with them. But I got enough for me to remember what a fun trip we had and how wonderful the wedding ceremony was. Everything about the wedding experience was great.

Here are the combined families - now bound for eternity. Jared is the only one not present.

 Lindsey wanted pictures of her family standing in front of the temple. They were like little ants when I took the full temple. I don't have the right lens for that kind of shot.
 The temple changes colors depending on the time of day. This one was taken in the afternoon the day before the wedding.
Below is Jim talking to the man that performed the marriage ceremony. I can't remember his name. I have never heard a better explanation of marriage and the temple covenants than this man gave. He was one fantastic sealer!

 Look at these handsome brothers! Scott refused to be in any pictures I took so he got left out.

 This one is one of my favorites - just a little break for the girls.
 Cecily and Eva were clothed perfectly for the wedding. And Lindsey didn't even know what the colors of the wedding were. Aren't they adorable?
 Now sisters.


I promised Gillian I would post more pictures from Nevada so here are some.

 These were taken just outside the main lobby at the Bellagio. It was beautiful but also a little cheesey. The kids seemed to like it a lot.

 This was the ceiling in the main lobby of the hotel. These are all blown glass - it was quite dark in the room so it doesn't show how really beautiful this is.
 Gillian had just bought her little selfie stick so they were having fun trying it out.

 There are some huge, beautiful homes just above where Gillian lives. Multi-million dollar ones. I loved the sleek lines of this house.
 This house would cost about as much as a single townhouse in Georgetown in Washington D.C.
 I loved these little barrel shaped cacti.