Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Halloween at Cabin Bluff, GA

Scott's company had an "executive get-away" last month. They held it at a place called Cabin Bluff on Sea Island in Georgia. It was soo much fun, I've never been somewhere like this before.



There was about 40 of us at the resort, we had it all to ourself. Each couple was given a golf cart to get around in. There was a fishing dock that we could go out and fish off of at anytime. They had a large container full of live bait-shrimp and another container that was the largest tackle box I've ever seen. They also had coolers along the dock full of water and beer, all of this was for us to use at our will. Never did we need to pay for a thing.

The larger cabins had a beautiful "living room" and on the tables there were baskets, some had a wide supply of chips, some were filled with fruit and other goodies. It was seriously like being at home, we could eat out of the refrigerator as we wanted, it was awesome.

They had guided activities for us: We were also able to go hunt deer and boar, we took dogs out and went quail hunting. We could go sport shooting, clay pigon shooting, golfing, fishing, whatever we wanted and there was someone at our beckon call anytime for anything, yet there wasn't anyone around breathing down your neck telling you what you could or couldn't do.

Which way'd he go...which way'd he go? (Quail Hunt)


My Shooting Coach


Women Only Quail Hunt


It was fabulous. There was a cooler of beer and water at ever hole on the golf course, as well as on the bocce ball grounds. The service was unreal, I would LOVE to work somewhere like that! Well, I'd actually love to own something like that and be able to give the specialized service and attention to the groups coming in. They cooked beautiful yummy meals for us, and afterwards we go night fishing, play pool, sit around a large fire and tell stories, Halloween night it was a big costume party and we did karaoke all night.

I don't think I explained this well, but I've been meaning to get pictures up for awhile now and I just need to get them up...so here ya have it!!!

Our cute little cabin

The View to the dock



Pool Deck

One of Scott's many catches

Does something look a bit odd about this picture...nope, the gator has actually been placed on the ceiling...I love the south!!

One of the cabin lodges

Cabin lodge

It's Halloween Baby!!!

Some of the men and their stupendous karaoke skills






Our pimp'n ride, but we usually walked, it was beautiful!


So, uummm...how'd I get clear up here in this stand? Where'd I get this gun? You want me to sit here for how long????


Funny little story: as the guide was showing me how to load the gun, he handed me a bullet to put in the chamber, I paused and looked at him as serious and confused as I possibly could and asked him which way the pointy end of bullet went in...the look on his face was priceless!!! One of the gals standing close by said it was even more funny because I don't "talk" like them (the southern accent) and I sound like some yankee from the North East. Oh, it was a good laugh!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keep Moving Forward...

If you have not seen the Disney movie, 'Meet The Robinson's', You really should. I don't believe it was one of Disney's big box office films, but there is A LOT to be learned from this movie and I personally feel it has one of the best lessons to be learned:

In the movie, each failure is a time to celebrate, every failure is an "Awesome Failure" because by failing we learn! If you give up, you've learned nothing! KEEP MOVING FORWARD! "Brilliant failures, lead to successful futures!"


"Around Here, However, we don't
look backwards for very long.

We keep moving forward, opening up new doors
and doing new things, because we're curious...
and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."

~ Walt Disney

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The TRUE POWER of Narnia...



I RARELY, RARELY, sit long enough to watch a movie...we don't have many in our "library". Other than Scott's hunting videos, 95% of our videos are based on true stories or movies with deep purpose/meaning and great lessons to be learned...to me.

I decided to turn on a movie as I puttered around the apartment this morning...again, I can't even tell you the last time I watched a video, or the last movie theater/movie Scott and I went and saw, so this was out of the ordinary for me...

I chose "Narnia". WHAT AN AMAZING MOVIE!!! The special effects are absolutely mind boggling,.. If you do not like my ramblings and "stories", "analogies", you may close this blog down now... :-) I won't take the time to depict each part of the movie, but if you believe in Christ, His great atonement and the role/s it plays in our lives and our part in our Heavenly Fathers great plan...this is a MUST see! Or, if you did not see/feel the symbolism in it the first time you watched it, PLEASE, watch it again. Also, it's VERY, VERY possible that you are all saying to yourselves, "duh, Jen"!, but I'm sharing it anyway...For those of you who have a deeper understanding of this movie, I would love to hear your thoughts on it as well...I really need to read the book!

Aslan, the Great Lion King, suffers greatly & even dies for the mistakes of a traitor, or a "prodigal child" - each of us

Each child represents characteristics that we have, good or...not so good.

* Lucy- The child like attributes that we should all carry with us, throughout our lives, VALIANT
* Edmond- The prodigal child, which we all are, none of us are perfect, yet he finds forgiveness, and Asland even states that his wrongs have been taken care of and should be spoken of no more. We should not only forgive those who have hurt us, but we must forgive ourselves and MOVE ON, learning from the past, yet remembering no more. JUST
*Susan-Motherly, or a care giver, GENTLE
*Peter- Protector, leader, courage, MAGNIFICENT

There is so much more in this movie that humbles me, yet also gives me HOPE to move forward, to always remember the great sacrifice and love our/my Savior and Heavenly Father has for me. The part of the movie that moved me to writing this post was the scene that Peter, the eldest brother, and Edmond, have learned that Asland was sacrificed and that Peter must lead the troops to battle the great evil. A little preface, Peter and Edmond have not said much of a kind word to each other during the movie...This battle will determine the future of an entire world, including themselves-not a light burden to be carrying on your shoulders. Anyway.. As Peter contemplates the battle that lies in front of them, Edmond tells Peter that he must lead them, and that their is a great army ready to follow him. Peter, states, "I CAN'T!" Then Edmond says," Asland believed you could," ... which at this, it means a lot, for Asland is the greatest king and is held in the highest honor of his people. ( This next part is the part that moved me into writing this post.) Peter than states, "So do I", Edmond stating his belief in his brother, Peter's hope brightens, his faith in himself and those he loves and is going into battle with, is what strengthens him enough to MOVE FORWARD, to not only face the great evil that stands in front of him, but to face the evil with courage, hope, determination and faith that they will win.

I've become such a softy in my old-young age...I had already cried at so many different parts of this movie, but I really let the ol' eyeballs squirt when this happened - let me tell you why...

I believe that the majority of the people who are reading this post know they are a Child of God, a son or daughter of the Greatest King, He did not send us into this "battle" called life to fail. He is not here in person, He will not deny us the OPPORTUNITIES and RIGHTS to grow and to learn how to become great sons and daughters. (Prince's and Princesses, Kings and Queens) Yet for me it is difficult to "move forward" at times, some times I just want to yell...well, I have yelled, "I CAN'T DO IT". As I turn to my Heavenly Father and BEG for Him to just let my life be perfect.. wink, wink... He sends an email, phone call, voice mail, or a note from one of my most beautiful sisters, telling me, "I believe in you." Those words may not be said, or written, but the very thought of the love I have for my sisters, and knowing how difficult life can be, I want to be strong and faithful for them. The true belief from a sibling has the overwhelming power to keep hope alive, and stretch my faith to higher grounds. The amazing examples that they have ALWAYS been for me deserves nothing less than my very best. We may not see the face of the Savior or our Heavenly Father each day, but we can feel His love and His faith in us as we turn to those we love the most, for that is one of the many miracles He puts before us.

To those of you who may be reading, who may not have the same type of relationship with your siblings or parents, I would like to challenge you to become that sibling, wife, daughter, son, husband, friend, etc. that inspires those around you to be the best they can be. And to you as a sibling, father, mother, etc. I plead with you to strive and even take some responsibility in understanding the true power of love, and belief and what it can do for your siblings/family and for yourself.

Toward the end of the battle scene, the great evil pierces the body of young Edmond, Peter sees this in action and the rage of love and determination moves him to a greater faith as he battles his way through to the great evil that seeks him. Though his love and courage are outstanding, he is a young man, with little experience, his skills fall weak to the greatness of evil shadowing him; after he has fought long and hard and given it his all and he is almost taken over by the great wickedness, a roar of courage and hope enters the scene as Asland "finishes" the battle.

The power we have as sisters, family should NEVER be taken lightly!! At times we may carry heavy burdens as we assume the positions/responsibilities of: wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, father, son, brother, grandfather, friend; please know that your Heavenly Father is aware of your sorrows, as well as your joys. The Savior loves and suffered greatly for each of us, don't let it all be in vain. Let us all fight this battle, called life, with love and faith and helping those around us do the same...Hey, it's all about finding "Joy In The Journey" right? RIGHT!

SLY

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spiritual Pep-Rally?

OK! So I want y’all to think back to the good’ol days of high school pep rallies! Especially HOME COMING! I’m sure there are some who did not feel the same I did, so I’m going to tell you what I see/feel when I think back on HOME COMING week at Kanab High School…There is MUCH more than what I will share here, I’m trying to keep it simple…wish me luck. ☺
















The red and white signs that plastered our town and businesses, our yards and our school proclaimed, “WE’RE THE BEST! BETTER THAN THE REST!” "GO! FIGHT! WIN!"The week was full of activities to get all of us excited for “The Big Game”. A giant bomb fire the night before the game seemed to represent the burning spirit of not only the school, but also us as individuals. Our beautiful community was bursting with KANAB COWBOY SPIRIT! We weren’t going to let anyone bring us down!

Now, there are A LOT of analogies that I could share here, but as I said I hope to keep to my main point of interest this morning…

Our lives are full of small and not so small “football games”. I feel that most of the time the signs we see around us say, “YOU CAN’T DO IT, DON’T TRY!” Then there is a flashing neon sign pointing to “the easy way out.” (The easy way out is different for all of us, maybe it’s drugs, alcohol, laziness, selfishness, confusion etc. etc.)

I want to challenge each of us to find ways to keep your personal pep-rally fire burning, not an easy task, believe me, I know.

For me, my recent, pep-rally; General Relief Society Meeting, General Conference, General Priesthood Session and an added bonus, Sheri Dew came out to Baton Rouge to speak to us, and shared her amazing spirit with us. New and encouraging signs like those that plastered the community just before Home Coming are now lining my thoughts; leaving very little room for the nasty neon lights, directing to the easy way out.


The re-occurring theme that stood out to me the last few weeks as these different events took place was, “FINDING JOY IN THE JOURNEY” Now, I don’t want to get too personal on this, so I’ll leave it at that, but I do ask that, if you have read this post, that you do 2 things:
(1) For the next couple of days, keep your eyes and hearts open to the simple miracles and blessing that you may usually walk right past, going unnoticed, or even cursing, under your breath. Make physical note of them.

(2) For the next couple of days, while doing your “boring, mundane”, chores, do them differently. For example, while cleaning your house; put your favorite music in and most importantly, TURN IT UP then “groove” as you scrape the boogers off the walls. Then going back to #1, write down you are so grateful to have boogers on the wall…for if you didn’t have boogers to clean, you would not have your beautiful children. I mean really, I don’t know the last time I had to clean boogers off my walls because my “grown-up” friends left them there.

This is getting long, but when I get my spiritual pep-rally, the “spirit fingers” come out and I get all excited about sharing what has helped be find greater “joy in the journey”… This past Sunday, Fast and Testimony meeting, I actually did spirit fingers from the pulpit…not realizing I had done it until I sat down…but, it was subtle, and it wasn’t like I did a toe touch to go with it or anything! ☺

Last of all, it’s easy to be excited when things are going well; The community has signs plastered around proclaiming “YOU ARE THE BEST!” and the ‘Rocky’ Theme song, “Eye of The Tiger” is blasting in the background, and the crowd is cheering your name! YOU CAN’T FAIL! Right?

Yet, much of the crowd you noticed started walking out of the game after half time, and they would have left earlier, but they wanted to see who won the raffle for the blanket. The last few minutes tick away on the scoreboard, and all you hear are a few crickets in the background. You say to yourself, “BUT I’m so close to winning, where is everyone, I don’t know if I can do this on my own?” The lights on the field power-off. It was a long rough game. As you lie on the dark cold field, not wanting to even try to get up, you’re alone, you’re tired, you hurt, you’re confused “Did I win? Did I loose?” you ask yourself. Then the sprinklers come on…the real important answer to the really important question is, do you stay where you are,give up soaking in self pity, because everyone left you? Or do you pull yourself from the ground and play in the sprinklers like you did as a child?



Find Joy in the Journey my friends! Find ways to keep yourself hearing "Eye of The Tiger" and seeing the "GO! FIGHT! WIN!" signs, long after the crowds have abandoned you. Learn, grown and better yourself from all of your little and not so little “football games”.

I love you all!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now that It's over...

We were blessed to not get hit with the 'east' side of the hurricane, here in Lafayette. The eye of the storm came right over us, and from what I've learned, it's one of the best places to be.

The eye of the storm never really formed, but my friends told me of times when the eye was so clearly defined that the sun was out and only a slight breeze. They'd even go out and play for a while until the back end of it came through...crazy! We did go out when the eye got to us, but it was still raining a little. My one friend is almost 40 yrs. old and has been through every hurricane here, and this was the first one they didn't loose power. There were many in Lafayette who did, but we were fortunate enough not to loose it. My friends did loose one of the biggest limbs of their pecan tree, it just SNAPED! Again, very blessed because it didn't fall on the house or the fancy swing set they have or the fence. It didn't destroy anything.

Scott was scheduled to fly into Lafayette Tuesday evening, but we thought he'd end up staying the night in Houston due to the storm damage, nope. He was able to come in at the scheduled time.

We lucked out, but there were many in Lafayette and especially Baton Rouge who did not fair as well. Baton Rouge was on the 'east' side of the storm and was slammed with major damage.

Tuesday, the day after the storm we got a call from a local church leader; (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) he was asking many of us in the Lafayette Ward to get maps and turn-by-turn directions to EVERY member in the Baton Rouge area. The majority of Tuesday afternoon and evening my friends that I was staying with (Chuck and Tanya Duhon) worked on getting the information put together for the branch we were given. They needed the list that night. What a task! On top of that, Lafayette had an 8 pm curfew. If you were caught off your property after 8 pm, you would be arrested. So we needed to get it all put together and get it to one of the leaders before 8 pm. (Thanks to MapQuest to got it done, just in the nick of time.)

The men were asked to go to Baton Rouge Saturday to help clean up yards and do what they could to help the members and their neighbors in that area. Not thinking much of it, Scott left about 5 am Saturday morning. As he and chuck and another friend Paul, pulled into the Stake Center in Baton Rouge, the sight overwhelmed them!

There were vehicles from most of the surrounding states that filled the parking lots of the church house and the temple. (Temple is next to the church) People had been camping out for a few days and were planning on staying until the job was done. There were a couple 18 wheelers full of supplies: chain saws, cleaning kits, tarps, rope, tolietry kits, etc, etc. When they walked into the church house it had turned into a large, well organized command center. I'm not sure on the details of how they got work-orders, but they organized teams to go out to certain areas with work orders in hand and a list of things they'd need to take with them!!!! They had t-shirts for all the volunteers. T-shirts said, "Mormon Helping Hands - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"

They went and cut up trees and pulled trees out of peoples roofs/houses and then covered the holes with tarps. Or they'd just cut up all the trees that were down in their yards and even in their neighbors hards. I'd love to get Scott and Chuck to write up a little more about what they did, their experiences and how it made them feel. (I won't make any promises.)

I was with Tanya that day and when the guys got home later that night, it was an awesome experience to sit around the dinner table and have them share these experiences. Chuck said something like this, "I didn't feel like I was serving, I felt that the church was serving me, us. I know that if what happened in Baton Rouge ever happened to us in the Lafayette area, the same service would be given. I'm so grateful to be a member of this church."

There was only 1 hour of church the following day, Sacrement and it was fast and testimony meeting. WOW, it was awesome!! The men were planning on returning to Baton Rouge to continue with clean up. They got the word that there were so many form surrounding states and so much was done on Saturday that we no longer needed to go to Baton Rouge. SOOO...they put work orders together of the members here in our area, divided up into teams and went out to help those who had trees down and whatever other problems cleaned up...after they went out to do fast offerings. :-) A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

Again, I was at Tanya's and Chuck and Scott went out to help and a crew came over to there place to cut down the remaining tree limb. The day after the storm chuck cut off all the side branches and we had picked up all the leaves and limbs, but it was too big and dangerous to remove the main limb. The crew that came over had a big bobcat...I think that's what it was, and the team of 5, (chuck nor Scott was there) removed it, cut it up and put all the remaining wood, neatly into the wood pile. Then off they went.... It was awesome!!!

I would like to get some pictures from the Baton Rouge clean up, but I don't know if I'll find someone who took pictures.

Here are a few shots of the tree that our friends, Chuck and Tanya Duhon lost.



Once the clean up had started...




Us cleaning...



All that was left once we finished. This is the limb the crew came and removed and cut so nicely for fire wood.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav, Gustav, Gustav...

At this point I really don't know what y"all have seen or heard on Gustav. This could be boring for many of you...? :-)

Local News Stations: KADN, KATC, KPLC, KLFY

New Orleans Local News: WDSU
Baton Rouge Local News: WAFB

I'm absolutely fasinated with weather, so I've been glued to "The Weather Channel" the last few days. As well as web sites about hurricanes, (National Geographic has some good information and video clips) It becomes even more fasinating now that I'm even closer to it all.

Gustav has now turned into a Category 3 Hurricane (125 mph) as it passed up the Caymen Islands last night. Projections that it will hit a cat. 4 somewhere in the Gulf, and then fade back to a cat. 3 or even 2 by land fall. BUT, generally, what I've learned from hurricane speacialists and learning more about hurricanes is that as it slows it could just sit and drop A LOT of water and more sustained winds for a longer amount of time. I'm SOOO grateful for "projections", but that's what they are, projections... Here are more PROJECTIONS from the latest updates: A few days ago, the projected land fall was anywhere from Corpus Christi Texas to the panhandle of Florida; it has now shortened up and now:














Hurricane Categories
Cat. 1 winds at 74-95 mph
Cat. 2 winds at 96-110 mph
Cat. 3 winds at 111-130 mph
Cat. 4 winds at 131-155 mph
Cat. 5 winds at 155+ mph

This just came up on the TV screen...while I was on the phone with my dad-
There are now a few MANDITORY evacuations by Parish: Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Mary, and Terrebonne, Louisiana Parishes (click on photos to enlarge) We live in the Lafayette Parish.


Me and where I'm at: (click on photo to enlarge)



In the last 5 minutes I've learned:
- The missionaries called from our area and have now been evacuated to Baton Rouge to the mission home...
- I just received an email from our Relief Society Pres. that church has been canceled, in order to prepare homes for the storm and evacuate if needed...

I've been very calm about all of this, I mean I've been getting things ready and all, it's maybe just so, not real. It just seems like it's no big deal and it always happens to "SOMEONE ELSE". BUT, even since the start of when I started this post, so much has happened that makes me feel I need to be a little more concerned about what's going on.

Hmmmm...maybe I should turn off my TV and my computer and actually get packed up...??? I'm a addicted to!!! It's hard to pull myself away from it!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gustav...Coming our way???

Watching Gusav - click here for more info



So this could POSSIBLY be the first experience with a hurricane...??? I'm not really worried about it...YET. But Scott is leaving for Utah tomorrow and not supposed to return until Tuesday or Wednesday next week. IF the storm hits it will be Monday, as of now. I've already had many friends call and tell me to pack my bags and that IF it comes in that I'm welcome to stay with them. So, needless to say I'll be packing my backpack with my 72 hour gear and adding any of the final touches today and tomorrow. One friend just called and said that her husband went out to Home Depot, Lowes, etc. to get a small generator... GONE! The masses have already begun to do there shopping for the storm. ACTUALLY, interestingly, Louisiana has a FREE TAX day at the beginning of hurricane season, state tax is removed from purchases to get people more interested in getting supplies EARLY. (they also do this tax free day a few days before school starts to help with the purchase of school uniforms. ALL school private/public wear uniforms.)


Unfortunately Gustav has already caused a lot of damage & deaths in Haiti. I haven't heard any reports about our children in Haitian Roots, but will keep you posted when we get word from our coordinators over there.

More on Gustav
Haiti-Cuba-Louisiana
Tropical Storm Satellite

LOVE Y'ALL!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Enjoying Lake Powell

Scott & I went to Kanab for a week to meet up with my sister Bean (Jeana), who lives there with her husband and 2 girls and our sister Joni, who is living in California with her husband and 2 children.

We had a lot of fun. The first two days of our trip were spent at Lake Powell. Bean and girls weren't able to join us... SAD... we missed them and we'll plan on them joining us next time!

It was a lot of fun to see the kids AND adults enjoy the sun, water and great beaches of Lake Powell. We were also delighted to accept the offer of spending the night on a "boat house" as Oliver calls it.

Oliver is the boy in the video and Eliza is his sister in the video...

Not the best video or anything, but fun to do... Joni had the GOOD camera and we're all awaiting her footage!

This is dedicated to Grandpa Jon and Grandma J...ACTION!

video

Monday, July 28, 2008

Avery Island - May 2008

So, I apologize up front, I didn't have a lot of time to edit the videos and to really look at this, so i don't know what'cha might find. BUT, it does have some shots of gators and swamplands...

Click to play Avery Island May 31, 08
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DREAM! FIGHT! LIVE!

Life has taken on MANY new perspectives for me over the last few months...again, it's not one moment, but a conglomeration of moments over my lifetime. Technology is an amazing thing and has opened a facet of the world that is absolutely remarkable. (see videos below) There are so many stories to be heard, to be learned from and to share and all we need to do is search for them. Search for what motivates us. I've learned that the word motivation is another word for "why?".

Have you ever felt like what you want is just out of reach and that it's "impossible". OR maybe someone, even a someone you love and look up to, has told you it's impossible or just not supported you in your DREAMS because it wasn't "realistic". Maybe you've got a dream deep down inside but you don't feel it's possible so you keep it buried deep, covered with fear, covered with excuses; "no money", "no time", "it just wouldn't work", "I'm not smart enough", "I don't have the support"...etc. etc. etc. MAYBE you don't even dare to dream? What is your dream? What is your spouses dream? What is your child's dream?
What is your "WHY?" Believe in YOUR dreams, believe in miracles!

DREAM IT, FIGHT FOR IT, LIVE IT!!



"Yes you can, you can do anything you want to do, as long as you make up your mind, you can do it." - Dick Hoyt (father)



When we learn to live for others, that is truly when we have learned to live.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to Buy a Child in 10 Hours

First of all, if you found my blog because you are truly searching how you can obtain a child slave for yourself-one thing I say to you.......... You are going to hell!!!


Putting that aside... :-) Many of you may know that I'm a member of a non profit organization called Haitian Roots. Our focus and goal is to support Haitian children through education. (Please visit the website for more information.)

This is a recent letter sent to the board of Haitian Roots, including myself, from one of our co-founders.

As you watch the video segments from ABC News, I would like you to know that I have been to Haiti, and I have seen the streets and even the hotel where some of the footage was taken. I URGE all of you to take the time to read/watch the horrific story, "How to Buy a Child in 10 Hours" Not to depress you, but to open your eyes and hearts to what is going on, and to know that there IS something you can do about it!!! Again, visit the website www.haitianroots.com
Call me (801.372.0219) and I can tell you more about what we are doing and how YOU CAN HELP!
___________________________________________
Dear Haitian Roots Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I send the link to the news segments I just watched about child slavery in Haiti. I know that all of these things exist but it is hard to see them up close again. I am reminded of the time we spent visiting the home for rescued slave children. This whole segment made me feel so desperately sad. But it also helped the flame in my heart to grow-to remember why we are doing what we are doing. As you hear in the second segment, many people agree that one of the biggest reasons for child slavery is the lack of educational opportunity. I hope and pray that we will be able to reach more children and that the children we are educating will grow up to me moral and ethical leaders that will change this type of thing.
ABC NEWS - "How to Buy a Child in 10 Hours"

Regrettably, slavery even exists in the US. Having read the most Trafficking in Person's report, I realize that this is a world problem. I feel lost when I first think of these things. But then I take a deep breath, say a prayer, and try to think of the next thing that I will do to try to raise money for our cause. I truly believe that there is hope for Haiti and the key is education. As H.G. Wells once said, "Human history becomes more and more like a race between education and catastrophe."
We are in a race and, again using another to say what I'm feeling more eloquently, I will use Abraham Lincoln in regards to this race that we are running, "I am not bound to win, but I'm bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I'm bound to live up to what light I have."

We may not be able to change all of Haiti or end slavery, but we can be true to what we have felt strongly to do. We can and are making a difference.

Thank you all for your friendship and dedicated support of Haitian Roots

Sincerely,
Shannon A. Cox
Co-Founder
www.haitianroots.com

Thursday, July 3, 2008

botox?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now that it's clean...

Well, it's official!!! The renters have moved into our home, as of June 14th. I'm very excited for them.

A couple of weeks ago Scott and I were in Utah to FINALIZE the cleaning and moving out, what a process! But I really enjoyed seeing our accomplishment...if you'll take a second to look down a post or two you'll see the MESS we had... compared to now...



We built the home and moved in a little after our first year of marriage. I think at about day 3 in the house we were talking about getting "touch-up" paint - which we never did. But The last day we were there, we touched up the paint. What a HUGE difference it made!!! If y'all haven't touched up your paint recently, We HIGHLY recommend it!

The amazing elk has been temporarily displayed at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Provo, Utah. Because he stands 6ft. + from chest to tip-top antler, fitting him into our small apartment OR fitting him in the Subaru for the drive out, just wasn't going to work. :-) If you're ever in the area, you should stop by and say hello to him. He's in the archery department.



Another clean room, what a feeling it is! Now, as you can see in the picture, there is a very large "post-it-note" hanging on the wall. This is actually a post-it-note, just like the little ones we have sitting on our desks. It's awesome!! I pulled out a large marker and made a list of all the things that needed to be done. As we finished with each room or project we checked it off. LOVE IT!!! They'd be great for all sorts of things! Kid's rooms would be fun, use for coloring...???





Yea, it was weird locking up the house for the last time. I'm sure it would have been much more difficult if we had sold it. It's amazing the memories that are made. It really is difficult to wrap my brain around the fact we had lived there for 6 years. We've had comments from others with concerns about a family with 3 small children living in our home. With all the damage that could...will be done. To this I say: We built this home with a family in mind. We had been married a year and had started working on building a family as well as a home. As God has willed thus far, children have not lived in our home. BUT, we expected boogies on the wall, fruit punch on the carpets, peanut butter on the sofa and "art work" of creative imaginations to been seen and heard as you entered the home. That's what the house was built for, now it will fulfill it's purpose!!



We love our neighborhood in Pleasant Grove and our neighbors there are like family. There will be some that I know we will be in touch with from here on out, no matter which directions we may go!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Weather from Lafayette...

January 18, 2008 - 1st Big Storm
This storm woke me up, I thought there was an ambulance outside our apt. complex because the lightning kept flashing like the lights on an ambulance, police car etc. It was AWESOME!!!

video


May 14, 2008 - Tornado Warning
We've had a couple Tornado "watches", but this was our fist warning. The tornado touched down in some areas near by, but it didn't visit our neighborhood, directly. As you can see the rain and a good gust of wind was what we got. The rain comes up fast, it's like ponds just drop out of the sky. The way this place floods blows my mind, I've never seen anything like the weather around here!!!
video

A few Things I've Missed Along the Way...

Well, because I went so long without a familiar computer, I've gotten out of the habbit of even getting on now that I have a new one...so I have a lot to catch up on and stuff that happened long ago but I'm going to do my best to post a few...a lot of pictures and comments on the last few months I've been here.

Mardi Gras 2008
It was February 1-5th I believe...it reminds me a little of any parade we'd have out west, but instead of throwing candy, they throw beads, cups, back-scratchers, and other fun toys and items...contrary to what many may believe about Mardi Gras and getting beads...you DON'T have to "flash" anyone in order to get them. There is a lot more to Mardi Gras than I had ever imagined!! It's a lot of fun and we will be comming out here long after we leave for the great celebrations. I too would like to hold Mardi Gras parties at my home, wherever we may be - so friends and family, start looking for some great masks and Mardi Gras festivity gear, so when the invitation arives for our parties, you'll be prepared!!! :-)

Mardi Gras Links:
Mardi Gras Outlett
Why Mardi Gras?
Mardi Gras 2009

My battery on my camera died at the beginning of the parade I went to...so I don't have any of the floats really, but a few shots before and after the parade. (I charged my battery during the parade...SAD) The Duhon (Due-yawn) family are wonderful friends of ours.

Chuck Duhon & Scott at the Parade, Tanya Duhon & Jennifer after the parade - once we took most of our beads off, they get hot. Kennedy Duhon & Maddie & Brendan Duhon & Maddie














Here's a kid who really knows how to sweep the beads & cute Maddie "enjoying" the bead...can't you tell she just LOVES'M..??










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CrawFish! CrawFish! CrawFish!

My first crawfish boil was over at the Duhons. They boil the crawfish, potatoes, garlic & corn on the cob with amazing cajun spices, once done to perfection, the water is drained and the delectable creation is poured onto the table - no forks, knives, spoons needed - break in! FYI - don't wear anything you don't want to get messy... A tantalizing dip is prepared by the individuals who are eating, made to fit your taste buds. The base of the sauce is ketchup and mayo, from there the individual will add tobasco, cajun seasoning etc. to taste. YUMMMMM!!!














We haven't learned the art of true crawfish boils, but fortunately when we're craving crawfish, Scott was blessed to find a fabulous little ma/pa cafe that you can get crawfish...DRIVE THRU style. This way we can bring it home and enjoy as desired by our taste buds.



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Magnolia Ridge Plantation/Gardens

Scott and I spent the afternoon doing a little sight-seeing and cruzing a couple of the near by towns. The pictures are of Magnolia Ridge Plantation in Washington, Louisiana. We actually missed when the garden is in full bloom. It's usually the end of March, but due to a longer, "colder" winter than usuall, it bloomed later, but it was still beautiful!!!


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MOVING OUT...

Our home in Utah was being rented by Scott's brother and his wife, but recently decided to move to Southern Utah. We then decided it would be best to CLEAN...GUT out the house, COMPLETELY, and rent it out. I have NO idea how we ended up with so much STUFF!? It was a long hard process of cleaning it out...mostley emotionally difficult, but I'm SO, SO, SO glad we did it. I don't have any pictures of it yet now that it's cleaned out, I'll get some when I go back in June, but here are a few of the messes... YIKES!!! (The "stuff" is a combination of ours, Scott's brothers, some things from my grandfather I was keeping, plus a few things from neighbors...yea, CRAZY)














The new renters will be moving in in mid-June. A cute family of 5. Scott and I built the house in 2002. Unfortunately it never enjoyed the writing on the walls, sprinkler hoses being drug through the hallways or the pitter-pat of our own children living there, so nows the time to really break it in!! I'm excited to see them move in. They are wonderful people!

We kept very little, and what we kept is a few "heirloom peices and hunting/fishing/camping items (in a small, storage unit) that we'll be using when we come back to Utah to visit & play. We didn't take any furniture with us to Louisiana. We took the T.V. my sewing machine, cloths (not all), and a few "projects" for me to work on and that was pretty much it. Oh,and of course MADDIE! :-) If it didn't fit in my car, it didn't come. Talk about down-sizing! It was difficult at first, but the thought of moving into a larger place makes me a little nausious. I'm LOVING the luxury of a simple life!!! I need to get pictures of our apt. on the blog....


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Main Street River Ranch Apartment - Lafayette, Louisiana

The furniture was rented by the company, it isn't the best and I've felt as though I've been in a hotel-but the rental contract will be up at the end of May and I have been able to go pick out my own choice of furniture...I'm soooo excited!!! It will feel MUCH more like home once we get our new furniture here! YEA!!! For now - here is what I have - the furniture has been moved around NUMEROUS times, it's a small room and two walls are french doors-makes it a bit challenging, but fun!

I've been playing around with the video editing stuff on my computer so once I get the new furniture I'll do a video tour...that should be fun!!! Until then here's what I got for now - it's no longer arranged as you see in the picture...















Check out this site and the links to the right, under "Lafayette" to see where we live.
Main Street @ River Ranch

Friday, May 23, 2008

An Afternoon with Tami

Hey Ya'll!! Enjoy!!
(The video isn't so good, but I'm not going to take the time to edit it or it'll never get done. You'll hear the thunder after I ask Tami if she saw the lightning... no justice is done on my little digital camera...

Click to play Afternoon with Tami
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Make a Smilebox photobook

Yesterday afternoon my friend Tami and I did a little photo shoot...now when she asked me if I wanted to go take pictures, in my mind I imagined, landscape, building, wildlife, NOPE! She had an entirely different idea! She's awesome!! Unfortunately she's only here for a couple more weeks and then her and her husband, Billy are going home to Houston, TX. They've been traveling the world with his job for the past few months and this is their last stop before heading home. We met a couple of months ago, but we were instant friends... Friends Forever... :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

30 & Loving It!

~ ~ ~ My computer DIED on me, therefore I only have access to a computer when Scott gets home at night, but then I'm getting dinner ready, we go out to play, and/or he needs to use the computer for work...so I haven't had much of a chance to check in on many of my friends blogs or update my own. They have a business center here at the apt, but I can't login to my own blog, nor can I get to many of my friends blogs...??? not cool...anyway, we're looking into getting me another, but it will be awhile, I'll check in when I can. Love ya! ~ ~ ~



OK folks, WARNING, there will be much meandering in this post. I won't promise that it will make a lot of sense, you'll most likely shake your head in confusion and browse to the "Jelly of the Month Club"(see video) page, to find more thought provoking entertainment...You've been warned... :-)

Ok, so I've been 30 years old for almost a year...that would make me closer to 31 than 30 but, it's the last 1-2 years that has lead to me sharing what I'm going to share...

I personally didn't have a hard time with it. I was asked why I didn't mind being 30? The first thing that came out was, "I was young and dumb, now I'm young and wiser." But, I've been thinking a lot about my life lately, and pondering about that statement...

WARNING WARNING WARNING Jelly of the Month Club is sounding better every moment...

I'm not saying that I should go into "The Guinness Book of World Records" for being in the top 10 of most wise people or anything, I'm just comparing myself to myself.

I've thought a lot about when I really started to feel a change. I've been blessed with many amazing "ah-ha" moments, I can't share them all with you..well I could but it would take me months, if not years to write...for I'm long winded...ANYWAY... Comparing myself:

-1st day in the MTC vs. the 1st morning I woke up in 18 months and didn't put my name tag on
-1st time Scott Woolsey asked me to dance vs. 1st dance as Mr. & Mrs Scott Woolsey
-1st day on the job with Alpine School District vs. the 1st day in Louisiana as a homemaker
-1st day at an orphanage in Haiti vs. 1st reluctant step onto the plain to return to the U.S.A

This isn't even the beginning, but I hope it gives you, as the reader, a better idea of what I classify as to being "wiser".

As Scott and I have moved out to Louisiana and have been packing up our "stuff", it's amazing all the memories you find. Yesterday, I was going through all my mission stuff, letters, tapes, pictures, journals and a wonderful scrapbook/s my mother made for me. Many times I lost focus on my project, but it was worth it. I read through letters from my parents/family, and my friends...I even popped in a few cassette tapes to hear voices from the past. It was awesome. It's amazing how much I have forgotten. There were so many small little things that brought back big memories. Seeing the faces of the friends I made in the MTC, in Portugal and in Cabo Verde, (Africa) brought so much love into my heart.

I'm amazed at how much more love I have felt at 30 compared to 20. I've learned that the more I experience life, the more I love, the more I love, the more I feel love from those around me. When I say I feel the love from those around me, it's not necessarily they love they have for me, but the love they feel for what surrounds them; their family, friends, etc. It's awesome!

Anyway, I have much on my mind but I will have mercy upon all of you and sign off now, but I will close with...

- Be more concerned about what God thinks about you than what peple think about you.
- Faith makes things possible not easy.
- Love is a journey, not a destination.
- A positive attitude brings strength, energy and initiative.
- Two things are hard on the heart - running up stairs and running down people.
- You can make more friends with your ears than with your mouth.
- You never saw a fish on the wall with its mouth shut.
- Your success reflects the sacrifice you're willing to make.
- Look for the small miricles and you'll see them everywhere.
- Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
- Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.
- Smile, smile, smile...it increases face value.

"You can't define me by my look, but by my spirit, listen, hear it."

Hait-through the eyes of my own camera - 2003