Thursday, July 31, 2008

Park City

With so much of the Brown Family in Utah, we took the opportunity to go to Park City and play! We rode the zip line, climbed the rock wall, jumped on the trampoline, rode the Alpine Slide, but by unanimous vote the favorite activity was the roller-coaster. Even the self-described "wimps" (Grandma, Alison, Heidi, Clark), loved this ride! I especially liked the fact that I could control the brake and slow way down at each and every turn. Did I ride with Curt? Absolutely not! It was great for the marriage!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Agony and the Ecstasy

My kids tease me that every vacation we go on I always want to rent bikes. I never ride a bike at home, but for some reason if you get me out of my element, it sounds like a fun idea! Instead of renting, we were able to borrow bikes from the Snows and Esteses. We tied them onto the bike rack and off we were for some great family bonding. We tightened our helmets, adjusted the seats, grabbed the water bottles and we headed up Provo Canyon. No problem Haley thought until we were 5 minutes into the ride. Her booty was already sore! I knew then it was going to be a long ride! Two miles into it, Tia was done! So much for the Triathalon Sprint she was going to start training for! Even I began to wonder what I had gotten us in to when my head started spinning and hues of gray and black begin flashing before my eyes. It must be the altitude! Under duress from the men, we pedaled forward. After 3 1/2 miles, the trail was blocked off. "No riders beyond this point!" It was an answer to prayer. Due to a fire on the mountain we were stopped. The men were so disappointed, the girls relieved. At least we didn't quit, we were forced to quit. The ride back down was a breeze! The pictures show the true emotion of the outing!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Clark Cousins

Does it get any better than hanging out with cousins? Bowling, eating, playing, shopping, visiting, ping-pong, and the creamery were our favorite Utah activities. We loved being together, swapping stories and seeing all the different personalities emerge. We love our cousins!

Friday, July 25, 2008

In Memory of Ezra T. Clark December 3, 1914-July 19, 2008

I was so grateful that we were able to all attend Grandpa Clark's funeral in Salt Lake City. (Unfortunately, Cassidy missed being with us due to Cheer Camp). The family met prior to the public viewing to pay our last respects to Grandpa. Uncle Jim gave a beautiful family prayer and the casket was closed. The public viewing prior to the funeral was well-attended and it was fun to visit with relatives as well as meet new ones. It was a funeral different from any other. Held in the mortuary, there were no religious hymns or music. No scriptures or testimonies. Jane and ET gave the prayers. Dad conducted and then each of Grandpa's six children gave some remarks and memories of Grandpa. After the funeral, we drove to Bountiful for the dedication of the grave, which was performed by Uncle Mark. We took pictures, tried to stay cool, and then returned to Salt Lake for a light luncheon. It was amazing that all of our family was in attendance except for Cassidy, Katie, Samantha, Max, Natalie and Cash. What a blessing for my children to have known their Great Grandpa Ezra T. Clark.

Funeral Pictures

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Making Waves at the City Swim Championships

Clark and Bennett had an awesome swim season. They swam this year at Mesa Jr. and had a lot of great one-on-one coaching due to the small group at that pool. They were able to advance to the Championship Meet held at Shepherd Jr. High. The top 8 swimmers from all the schools qualified to swim. The final results for Clark: 3rd in backstroke, 4th in freestyle and 4th in butterfly. Some of the other swimmers were at least a foot taller, but he did a great job hanging with them. Bennett was 1st in freestyle, 1st in the IM and 2nd in the butterfly. He tied with another boy for "High-Point" (1st place overall for the 9/10 boys division). It was a long, hot night and we appreciate the awesome cheering section that supported the boys.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ezra T. Clark "A Fortunate Fellow"

"How are my little sweethearts?" That was how my sisters and I were greeted each time we saw Grandpa. On July 19, 2008, my grandfather, Ezra T. Clark, passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 93. I loved my Grandpa Clark and always felt it an honor and privilege to bear his name and to be counted as part of his posterity. I held on to the hope of passing this Clark name on to my first born son, which I did in 1995. As I have tenderly thought about his life, his example, his struggles and his triumphs, I am struck once again with the realization of how important our families are, and the ripple effect that is felt through the generations. What do I remember of my Grandpa? Visiting his home almost every summer, his big roll top desk, the intrigue of his workshop and tools, the baby pictures of his six children hung in his bedroom (the inspiration for my own children's pictures), the blue and white decor of his Bountiful home, faint recollections of visiting him at the bank in Farmington, his personal home library with plush purple velvet chairs, the yearly birthday checks, walking down the path to visit Grandma Howard, peacocks, and peanut brittle, playing "Stump Grandpa" with my own children and recent Thanksgiving dinners. What did I learn from my Grandpa? The value of money, the joy of reading, his respect and care for the elderly, especially his own mother and Grandma Howard, the importance of hard work. Unflortunately, Grandpa was not active in the church, but he raised a son with a sensitivity to the whisperings of the Spirit and a desire to know and gain for himself a testimony of the gosepl...that is my Dad. The ripple effect continues and I ask myself the question...How am I living my life? How will I be remembered?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jumping for Joy!

At last the day had arrived! July 10, 2008 and Haley became eligible for her Driver's Permit. She got the book. Studied it until the wee morning hours, highlighted and underlined. All her hard work paid off as she passed the test with flying colors. She skipped out of the testing room, jumped up in delight and squealed to all that she had PASSED! The strangers around us chuckled as Haley called any and all friends to tell them the good news. Look out world, here she comes!

4th of July

4th of July

We spent the Independence Day Holiday in Flagstaff, compliments of the Olson Family and their fabulous cabin/home. E.T., Kristin, Grandma and Grandpa were also guests. Although the fireworks were cancelled due to the dry conditions, we did not lack for fun. As with any good party, it's all about the food. We ate alot, played games, read books, golfed, rode bikes and most of all enjoyed the cool weather.

Having a Ball!

Clark and Bennett loved their time at Mountain View's Basketball Camp in Prescott. It was a little scary for mom to let them go for 5 days unaccompanied. Who would wake them up each morning? Require them to brush their teeth? Insist that they shower? Pick up after them? Remind them to say their prayers and read their scriptures? All these worries...for no reason at all! Bennett's first phone call home, just hours after being dropped off, reassured us that the fresh cut deli-meat at lunch was reason enough to love the place. Clark's first phone call informed us that he and Ryley had already read five chapters in the Book of Mormon and it was still the first day. At the end of the week, the parents were invited to watch the boys "perform". The drills and hustle were all very impressive. Grandpa Clark reminisced about the good 'ol days. Way back when, if you wanted to play ball, you just showed up to practice. No city leagues, no club teams, no summer camps. Just a love of the game. Those were the days!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Swim Team

All the cousins swam in the butterly meet held at Mesa Jr. It was the first time they have all been at a meet together prior to the championships. We missed Samantha and Carie who were out of town, but the other kids were awesome! Bennett, Matthew and Clark received blue ribbons for there amazing prowess. (I think that breaking the Sabbath Day rules to watch the Olympic Swim Trials has really paid off!) Clark's butterfly relay, in which Bennett was also able to swim due to being short one swimmer, was one of the most exciting races yet! Clark swam the fourth leg and outreached the competitor at literally the last second to win 1st place. The swimmer that took second was devestated, which takes a little fun out of the win, but the boys swam like crazy and were amazing!

No More Brace Face

Cassidy got her braces off! A bummer that it was a week after EFY, but we are excited nonetheless. She looks beautiful!

Flagstaff Fun

We went to Flagstaff and spent a couple of days with Jen and the boys before picking up the kids from NAU. We stayed at Tim & Kris's cabin (way nicer than my house!) and enjoyed the cooler weather, reading on the deck (I read "The Last Lecture" and "Who Do You Want to Be?") riding bikes, fishing, and being pampered at the club house. We are so excited to be going back for the 4th of July!