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Monday, July 21, 2008

Attention all-short-sticky-little people (kids)

You are all hereby cordially invited to come and play with the best uncle and aunt ever!!! Bring swim suits and a modest appetite for we have a pool and lots of twigs and organic berries. Please make reservations by calling aunty Jessica at 435 773-2474. Call soon, spaces are filling up fast.

" I Belong To The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - Day Saint "

Hello Everyone. Jessica just finished giving the F.H.E. lesson that was taken from Elder Ballard’s article in the Ensign entitled, “Sharing the Gospel using the Internet.” At the conclusion, she challenged herself and me to apply his teachings. So, what follows is our small way of obeying his counsel. We hope these stories boost your faith as they do ours.

Matthew’s story – A Testimony of Prayer

For many years my father, brothers, and I would pack up tents, bags, food and all sorts of fishing gear in hopes of catching the “big one” at the lake (isn’t that a wonderful beginning?) Each year was the same – we’d catch a gazillion fish, but nothing resembling at all the size that every fisherman dreams of…except for this one year! While loading the boat one early morning with all the essentials for a day out on the lake (ie, easy cheese, crackers, easy cheese, water, easy cheese, dried mango, easy cheese…) a suggestion was made for a prayer, prior to launching. I was appointed. Eager as we all were to get our lines in the water I kept the prayer short and sweet, but meaningful. The short prayer ended with the words, “please let us catch the sizeable fish of our hearts desires.” This drew suppressed laughter from a few on board and we were off. Not 30 minutes later my line received quite a jerk, followed by a whistling sound. It took a moment before I realized what was happening. My line was being pulled out so fast that it was whistling. Somewhat shocked but alert I reached down to adjust my drag in order to prevent busting the line. Still the line continued to go. Once all 100 or so feet of line was spent the pole literally bent into a perfect arch. “I have something and I think it’s pretty big,” I yelled. Once the motor was killed and the boat came to a stop it was confirmed. This was no snag. The line kept jerking and the pole remained arched! Could this be that magical moment that I had been wishing for all those years? After a thrilling 35 minutes of adrenaline pumping reeling, tugging, releasing and pulling, a 19 pound mackinaw was landed! (Isn’t that great!)

What a moment. I’m not a bad fisherman but what I caught that day was without a doubt a blessing from heaven – an answered prayer – a sizeable fish of my heart’s desire.


I want to share my story of how I know The Book of Mormon is a true record of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I went off to college when I was 17 and was living in an apartment with five other girls. During the winter I suffered from severe depression. Being away from home I had no one to help me through this rough time and so I sank deeper and deeper each day. I skipped classes (which is so not like me), I slept for days at a time, and I wouldn't let myself eat even when I got hungry. My mom would call to check on me but there was nothing she could do. I told her how depressed I was and how I wanted to come home. She finally said, "I love you and I'm praying for you! How often are you reading your scriptures?" I admitted that since I was so depressed I had no desire to read. She then informed me that she was going to hang up, I was going to read my scriptures, and then I was to call her back. I did as she insisted and as I opened my scriptures they opened to Alma 26:27 which says, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." I felt a feeling of peace and hope come over me. My Heavenly Father knew how depressed I was. He was encouraging me to hold on, push through, have patience, and He was going to help me succeed! And He did! That Semester was my best ever! Even though I had missed so much school I still got the best grades ever! My Heavenly Father knew what I needed and the Lord got me through it. I know the Book of Mormon is true! I'm grateful for its teachings and how it helps me in my life.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sheep, Bears, and Boogers

I have to hand it to the Hyde girls. I’ve heard talk about all the musicals and dancing and singing that went on in the Hyde household and coming from a very musical based youth myself I was comforted to know that Matthew was raised on the same page. Matthew and I spent the 4th with my family watching Hello Dolly. This musical was referenced in the new movie Wall – e (now in theaters) so he thought it would be fun to see. There is a dance that is particularly caucky in the show where they have their bums in the air and they bounce and walk around with their hands up. Since Matthew and I are enthralled with all things kuck, we thought we would give it a try and it has quickly become our favorite dance! We’ve found ourselves doing it everywhere! In the grocery store, in the street, even in the shower (probably not the visual you wanted). So next time you see us ask us to dance! We’re all a flutter and will jump at the opportunity!

So, last Saturday brought another adventure – a trip to SLC, where we were to stay for a week. We had just cleaned up from our camping adventure and didn’t want to filthify the kitchen so we decided we would stop in cedar at one of our favorite dining establishments – Costa Verde! Yum yum, chicken salad with mango salsa! What a way to start a trip! We sat at our usual table, in the north west corner by the window and salivated over our fresh food feast! In traditional Matthew fashion we forked through the entire dish to analyze and articulate over every morsel. Only then could we thoroughly enjoy each small smakeral. When the ceremony finished and our eating experience concluded we got in our car to head on our way. At the next intersection we were amazed at the traffic jam we encountered. We then noticed several cop cars and became concerned about the huge accident that had proceeded us. As we approached the intersection we came upon this seen:

I hope you can discern the hundreds of sheep that were making a left hand turn, apparently the blinker on the hoarse that was herding them was broken, thus causing a major traffic nightmare, and for once Matthew was right, the people on the road were driving like a bunch of animals!

Here are a few more pictures we picked up along our adventurous way…..the kilt one is especially for Stephen and the other is a new t-shirt I’ve acquired.

With all these discoveries along our way, our newest adventure was off to a good start! We arrived in Salt Lake in good order, with great excitement for the week ahead. On Monday I donned my secretarial hat and booked 5 appointments for Matthew with clients of his very own! He did an amazing job! And Jill was nice enough to allow us to use her house as an office while the girls were at swim lessons. He’s done such great work and we’ve seen miracles before our eyes! The results have been fantastic! We have truly been blessed this last week!

Another great blessing came when we got to crash the Bearden’s dress rehearsal on Wednesday night. They did a terrific job! And Ellie stole the show. I’ve never known a more adorable Gretel! We were so proud! The next night my dad joined us for opening night as we cheered on Annie. She was inspiring! We were especially moved when she entered the second act picking her nose. My acting teacher would say,” that shows that she’s immersed in her character!”

For two of the six days Pam and I got to go and watch Jacoy’s kid’s while she was at girl’s camp. After my nap it was fun to entertain them and play house. One of the highlights of the job was to watch “bear in the big blue house: it’s go time” or something like that. It was all about potty training. All I can say is that if I weren’t potty trained I would be now! I’m dying to have a copy….. to be prepared for my kids I mean.

After a long week we cleaned Jean’s house while singing the “happy little working song” to jolly everyone along. Then we took off for home.

Today was our first day as nursery parents. I must say, things went rather well. There were only about six kids, and with four parents it was definitely manageable. Matthew monopolized the blocks and entertained the children around him by batting their hands away as they tried to knock his tower down. Then he taught the valuable lesson of sharing at snack time as he insisted that each child take their turn at giving him a gold fish. After church we went to my mom's for dinner where grandma had prepared Ra-ta-toie. After proper ceremony (as before mentioned ) we enjoyed a delicious meal and grandma and Matthew went off on another culinary concocting conversation. Half way though Matthew kind of tuned out. On the way home I asked where he went as we were all sitting there discussing the recently devoured delectably delicious delights. He said,” you know, when grandma started talking about cabbage I thought, if I’m ever going to grow my own cabbage I’m going to have to have a house.” I replied, “ whatever gets you there is fine with me! However the Lord speaks to you, you need to listen!” Yes, we all get our answers in different ways, Moses heard it in a burning bush (Ex 3), Balaam was told by a donkey (Num 22) and Matthew was inspired by organic produce (Organic weekly Pg 47). The Lord does hear and answer prayers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"We've only just begun, to live"

So the Monson’s aren’t much for camping. My father’s version of camping was motel 6 and while we all like the idea of being out in nature and communing with God’s creations, it seems that we are following in his footsteps. But, in an effort to make memories we all decided to get together on the third and go camping for a few nights out at baker reservoir. We all had different ideas of how to go about this adventure (now, this is a real adventure, not an errands kind of adventure) but the basic concept was the same, sleep in a tent, play at the lake, and sing cum-bi-ah while munching on smores around a camp fire. Its all quite utopian!

Matthew and I, as usual, wanted to keep it simple yet elegant. We packed a tent, sleeping bag, fishing gear, and our meal assignments and were off to reserve our spot by the lake. Thankfully we found a spot with some shade to protect us from the 110 degree heat and went about setting up our perfect little campsite nestled in the foliage. As we finished setting up we could hear the fish calling our names in the distance so we headed to the lake to pass the time till the others arrived. In the hour that followed, the fish, regrettably, stopped calling Matthew’s name and started calling mine. Unfortunately, Matthew did not catch anything. I, on the other hand, caught 3 fish that seemed to be the average size (3 inches) for this particular lake.
We returned to camp to find that the others had arrived with a slightly different method of camping then we had. They came with awnings and grills, chairs and stoves, and even a 12 piece professional chef knife set. Matthew and I realized we were out of our league. Linda even had her own private tent. Pretty classy for a 3 year old! Finally, camp was set up and it was back to the lake for some kayaking, compliments of Mindy. At first we were a bit hesitant but once I saw Matthew in his cowboy hat, sunglasses, and life jacket, I knew I was sold! I would have swum across the lake to get a good look at him! Wow! Now, I know this might seem a little weird since the majority of people reading this are Matthew’s sisters but I must say what a hotty Matthew was in that Kayak!
After I caught 3 more fish and Matthew caught one, we decided to call it a day and head back to camp for dinner. We had a great weenie roast complimented by organic taro, beet, and onion chips. A feast fit for a king (or at least 2 organic junkies). At around midnight the kids started getting crankier then was preferred so we decided it was time to turn in. With Andrew, Dawnalyn, the baby, the baby’s play pen, swing, car seat, changing table, toys, blankets, and more princess paraphernalia then is decent, it was obvious there was not enough room for the entire Monson family. So, being the sweet, lovable, caring uncle and aunt we are, we decided to invite ZoĆ« to stay in our tent with us. We thought it would be a sweet experience to play house and give us a taste of parenthood. It ended up being more of a taste then we wanted (kind of like when we took Casey to IKEA and she threw up in the car).
The night began with Matthew and I coowing over what a cherubim she was and how we would love one of our own. By morning we had a different view. One moment she was an angelic creature and the next she was a Saint Bernard trying to brush off a chew guard and catch his tail at the same time. By morning she was sleeping cross ways at the head of the bed and let’s just say that Matthew got the nice end! The worst wake up call of my life came with the smell of an 8 hour old dipper and a twitching leg aimed straight at my face.
After such a wonderful nights rest we decided to call it a trip. We stayed at the lake a while longer where the grand total was Jessica, 8 fish, Matthew 5. We then returned to Mindy’s house for a reprieve from the heat and the outdoors we had been infected with. Don’t get me wrong, I love the outdoors! But when you can’t smell a difference between the man and the raccoon in your tent, it’s time to return to civilization!
So we returned to air conditioning and running water, pillow top beds and satellite TV. We had a great BBQ with my family and watched old movies. We relaxed on carpeted floors and plush couches and felt even more patriotic since we weren’t watching our tax dollars go up in smoke. One firework did go off and Linda grabbed her ears. We asked if she was alright, and with her ears still covered she said, “it’s kind of ear shocking” wise words for a three year old!
After a sound nights sleep in a well air conditioned home (have I mentioned that it was air conditioned?) we felt revitalized and prepared for our next adventure!