Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On The Road

For some a long car ride is torture, but I have never minded them.  I love learning the lay of the land when traveling somewhere new, and take comfort in the familiarity of a route often traveled. The drive to Utah is one of the latter. Night owl that I am, this trip is most often taken in the dark.  So when we came through the Virgin River Gorge on a beautiful sunny day, I couldn't resist trying to capture this section of the drive.
 As we traveled further into Utah we drove through several areas that were battling wildfires.  The haze from the smoke mixed with the billowing clouds hovering low over the land made for a stunning sunset.
 We were able to spend the night with my sister Janelle on our way to the Bohn Family Reunion.  The next morning I got to go for a 12 mile run with my brother Billy. I absolutely adore my brother. Going for a run with him is an opportunity I always cherish.  Its a time where we get to reconnect while doing something we are totally passionate about.  We started at this reservoir up the American Fork Canyon. The setting was unbelieveable and the run was awesome!
 I had some really good one on one time with Janelle the night we arrived.  She is so talented and has the kindest heart and a desire to always do whats right. As we ended our run at the Timponogos Temple my heart was so full of gratitude for the family that I was born into and the remarkable people that are my siblings.  I feel so lucky that we are all so close and enjoy each others company as much as we do.
 A trip to Utah would never be complete without a trip to Cafe Rio for my very favorite salad on the planet.  Peter and Janelle, Billy and Jen and their girls joined us for some good mexican eats before we headed off to Heber City.  The anticipation and pure joy I feel at having this treat is a little embarrassing, but something about that big tortilla with melted cheese, the sweet pork, kick of cilantro, and crunchy tortilla strips, ahhhh! It gets me every time!! 
 The last picture from this road trip is from our drive home.  
We came back across the northern part of Nevada along I80.  I have often wished for a magic wand that could make that desolate state just disappear.  There are miles and miles of just nothing.  It can be a bit overwhelming as the dusty dry landscape stretches out as far as the eye can see on every side.  It also makes for some interesting potty stops along the way.  I snapped this shot as we pulled over for a little road side relief.  It perfectly captures the exit and on-ramp that lead to absolutely nowhere, right in the middle of nowhere.  Welcome to Nevada my friends!

Bohn Family Reunion 2012

The last weekend in June Ted and Sherry Bohn gathered their family at the Heber Valley Camp.
We stayed in darling little cabins and spent a couple of days laughing and catching up
The camp has several different ropes courses that we were able to do

There are couple missionaries called to serve at the camp to lead the courses and run the various areas
After each of the courses they talked to the kids about how the activities we were doing related to life and the kinds of trials they might face. 
They bonded at the various courses
And got to know each other up close and personal

The Bohn family is spread out between opposite ends of Idaho, New Mexico and California so nobody sees each other as much as they would like.
The cousins especially were excited for time to catch up
The adults were all surprised at how much the kids had grown since we had last been together
Ted and Sherry were just thrilled for a few days to love on their grandkids
Garrett convinced them to allow him onto the courses in spite of his broken casted ankle
On the swing course the men hoisted the kids up, pulling on a long rope
And the rest of us watched as each expression transitioned from nervousness to excitement

And then as they became more and more brave with their tricks as they would swing back and forth 50 feet in the air!
Theres nothing like spending time with a sibling you haven't seen in way too long
Or being surrounded by cousins who are all so close to you in age
These sweet sisters were always smiling and the first to offer help anywhere it might have been needed
On our last day at camp we had a talent show.   
The Bohn family is all incredibly gifted in the music department. 
All of the Bohn kids have married someone who is likewise gifted. 
All of them but Jeff. Not only am I not gifted, I created a major deficit in our gene pool.
I suppose I could have been more organized and arranged for Jeff and Drew to sing something together or a way for Wes to play the piano, but alas I completely dropped the ball.
While each of the other families performed for the group, our little clan was completely lacking.  Poor Jeff is stuck with me and my lack of talents of any kind to contribute.
Luckily we didn't end the reunion on a sour note.
our last day together was spent at Temple Square in Salt Lake
The kids explored the visitors center and relished in the last few hours of being together
I just wanted to eat this little man up
But Jeff beat me to it! Can you blame him?
We had two happy parents, with four of their six kids
All of their spouses
And many of their grandkids
It was a great few days
spent in some beautiful places
with a super fun bunch of people
that we are privileged enough to call family!

Girls Camp 2012

The third week in June started bright and early for us.  After months of planning and preparing it was finally go time!  Getting the girls and their gear into the buses and and trucks was kinda like playing Tetris, and how it all fit was kinda like the story of the loaves and fishes, nothing short of a miracle!
When we arrived in camp with all the senior girls and leaders it looked a bit like a ghost town
but set beautifully in the pine trees
 After a full days work we had the place all decked out!
My sister Tara was in charge of the decorations and signs among other things this year 
Don't think I'm being a biased big sister when I tell you she did a dang good job of it too!
Our cabins were nothing fancy, but they got the job done
This awesome group of girls who are seniors in high school this fall helped run the camp.

and were lead by the Camp director Kirsten and her two assistants

and we were under the direction of these awesome ladies in the Stake Young Women's Presidency
When the buses arrived Tuesday morning our awesome girls were ready to welcome their younger crew members
It's always fun to see them arrive with their big happy smiles and even more fun when you end up twinning!
Once everyone is there it's a sight to behold! 
Our senior girls were true beacons of light as they shared personal experiences and testimonies of Jesus Christ and the joy that comes from following His light.
They wanted to impress upon the younger girls the importance of being a good friend and family member, help them to recognize their unique gifts and not be so critical of themselves and others, challenge them to stand up for what they believe in even if they are the only ones courageous enough to do so, and finally to encourage them  to gain their own testimonies.
There was time to spend studying the scriptures, writing in journals, and taking in the beautiful surroundings.
There were musical numbers and an outpouring of the spirit.
There was time to spend with good friends
and time to make new ones
There were times we were just hanging by a "thread"
There were times for striking poses
and shakin your booty when you think no one will notice
There were times to act crazy
And dress even crazier!
There were times to get off of your feet
or even sit for a bit
There were times to look tough
And times when you needed an extra hand
Or a reminder to stay anchored amidst the chaos
There were times we all went a little crazy
And there were times that all we could do was smile.
It was busy, it was fun. It was hard and it was rewarding.  The girls were filthy but their hearts were pure as they wrapped up camp on Saturday and committed to keeping that light of Christ burning bright upon their arrival back home.
But first, these girls needed a nap!