June 2016

June 2016


8th Grade Student of the Year

Savannah was recognized as John Glenn Middle School's 8th grade student of the year! Such a deserving award for this well rounded daughter of ours who excells at academics, loves to lead and finds great joy in reaching out to others.

It was so cute to watch her reflect back on the evening and feel appreciation to the fact that she received the award and what an honor it really was to be the recipient amongst 450 other students. 


Birthday Beach BBQ & Bon Fire

Natalie turned 17 and requested to celebrate at the beach with a BBQ and bon fire. It is was such a fun time and we stayed the night and celebrated Mother's Day together as well! Natalie as a seventeen year old demonstrates such class and poise. Her confidence and determination continues to grow as she steps into each new phase of her life. Gerald and I couldn't be prouder of the woman she is becoming and the example she is to each of us. Happy Birthday Lady Bug!


A Beautiful Bloom

Having never grown artichokes before It was fun to have had great success in harvesting this delicious vegetable! I planted these beauties by seed all the way back in November and worried they would not make it through the cold nights of winter but to my surprise those tiny little seedling fought through the soil and became rooted. The artichoke requires lots of fertilization and plenty of water which was somewhat of a burden as the rest of my garden seems to fend for itself pretty well with not much attention at all.
During the month of April we all watched with excitement as this vegetable continued to grow and mature and develop in size so much that we probably waited a little too long to cut the first round of artichokes from their stalks. The artichoke is best harvested when the buds are still tightly closed. If picked too late, they can become tough to eat. We were all happy to find that we had produced some of the most delicious artichokes ever!!! Of course you could claim that we are biased. Having grown the artichokes we would easily think they tasted great even if the truth was the very opposite which is why we invited some unbiased guest to the dinner table that night.

What really intrigues me is the end result of leaving the artichoke on the stalk and making the decision to not eat it. With time and the help of the sun, this beautiful purple flower emerges from the inside. So a decision has to be  made, do you wait for this beautiful flower to emerge from a plant that looks like a huge weed or watch closely and cut the vegetable from its stalk just in time to enjoy at the dinner table? This year we got the best of both worlds.
I can't help but compare the lessons I learn as a gardener to my experiences as a mother. There are times when you take a step back and look at the garden as a whole and marvel at what has been growing and how much things have matured and developed. Looking at the big picture, you realize the time spent weeding, fertilizing and watering have been so worth it. However, just like the artichoke, the harvesting time is tricky. Each child is different... for some the best harvesting time is before their petals begin to open up and for others it is so beneficial to wait until they are in full bloom. I wish I could say I've figured this out! Having 2 sons picked and harvested has proven to be very difficult at times for me. I still feel the need to fertilize and I will always and forever want to over water because that's just how I am! This is the conclusion I've come to...

1. Even after a great season of growing, the soil will always need fertilizing and sometimes those same vegetables plant their seeds back in the same soil because they can trust its a good place to grow.

2. As the gardener, I will always be prepared to help that seed find success and fight off any weeds that try to take over.

3. As quickly as fertilizer helps the garden to grow, I am realizing more and more each day that too much water can drown any progress that has been made.

I love to garden. I love having my hands in the soil. Every minute spent in my garden has been well worth it!


I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Gerald and I were able to help drive the youth to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend General Conference. In a matter of 60 hours we accomplished driving over 640 miles, walked the grounds of 2 temples, acquired (scalped) 18 additional tickets needed, watched 6 hours of conference, witnessed a marriage proposal, ate peanut butter sandwiches with a return sister missionary (Nicole Dowd) and her father overlooking Salt Lake and witnessed the Easter Bunny deliver 12 Easter Baskets to the amazing youth of the La Quinta Ward! It was a couple of days packed full of lots of driving and time for Nacho Libre impersonations.  But more importantly a time for testimonies to be strengthened and relationships to grow. That is the very reason we do crazy things that result in lack of sleep and sacrifice of personal time. 


Marching Right Along

Three months left in the school year and we are each marching right along to the beat of our own drums!
Savannah stays positive as her group of friends continues to change and she finds out what real friends are made of. We've never experienced "girl drama" like this before and I pray it does not follow her to High School next year. Yuk!!!!

Natalie lost in the first round of CIF Playoffs. It was a good season and she's already back in the pool with the Piranhas club team making goals for next years success! She enjoyed a week of relaxing after school with a little extra time but has her creative juices flowing trying to find ways to make money. She is driven to earn a 4.0 GPA and is on track to accomplish just that! 

Trevor has started perusing a dream he and his cousin JD share which entails clothing by the name,  "Inspired Naturally". He has almost completed his first year of college and is trying to figure out his next big step in life. We don't see him much as the beach is tempting and any extra time he has is spent towards making his and JD's dream a reality.

We just heard from Devin that he will be transferred out of the Mission Office in a few weeks after serving there for over 8 months. He is busy training his replacement and I'm sure is excited about the adventures that lie ahead!

Gerald keeps building onto our farm in Sky Valley. Our original chicken coop was resurrected last weekend! It was so good to see it standing in piece ready to house 24 new baby chickens soon. We also have 6 turkeys and have recently purchased 2 Red Waddle Guilts and 1 Red Waddle Boar. Things are getting exciting!


JGMS Winter Ball

Taylor Farrell, Emily Maize, Savannah and Kayla Toth
Good Freinds and a Great Group Date to the Ball

Girls 2015 Water Polo Season

Natalie's polo season is coming to a close. Last weekend was filled with very competitive games resulting in LQHS placing 2nd in DVL. The game against Xavier proved to be a test of metal strength and endurance. Both teams were tied most the game as they took turns moving ahead 1 - 2 goals. At one point, LQHS was down by 2. Natalie took an amazing outside shot followed by Brooke scoring right away to tie the game and break any confidence Xavier might have been building. It's always a great feeling to be victorious after a game and it was magnified this game by Natalie showing up to play her best game of the season! She was confident, aggressive, quick with her passes and wasn't afraid to take her shot! It was so incredibly fun to watch her hard work and determination throughout the season come all together.  CIF playoffs start next week!

Pasta Night with the Varsity Team


Happy 21st Birthday Elder Hampton

I got both my birthday package and my socks package this week! It was awesome to feel like I was right at home reading your "I like --" from all the family. Thank you for making me feel at home :)

I also have to say the dog tazer works like a champ! We always have this HUGE dog at the house of one of our investigators and Elder Mann always gets surprised (I don't know how? It always tries to eat us through the fence...) Well, this last night we went by to test out the device.

We walked up, clapped our hands as usual, and Fausto the member who was teaching with us leaned against the fence. Not a good idea... The dog came bolting our of its house and I nonchalantly took out the tazer and just in time pushed the button and you would have thought the dog got shot. It hit a wall. Literally stopped dead in its tracks and bolted in the opposite direction. Fausto was so intrigued by the device. He didn't understand how it worked and was so surprised. We then spent the rest of the night teaching and scaring sleeping dogs in the street. Thank you very much!

I will try to take a video and send it next week.

Also my socks are the best gift I have gotten since being on a mission. I really love them thank you.

I'd love to hear a story or two from the cruise!

Have a great week Mom and Dad.

√Člder Hampton|Secretario



 Amazingly Independent, Friendly, Compassionate, Insightful, Bright, Born to Lead, Competitive, Outgoing, Helpful, Funny and the magnet in our family that continues to draw us together for silly plays, dinners, dances and games. When celebrating Savannah's birthday we all shared what we admire about her and there was a common theme of compassion and outgoing friendliness that everyone has the opportunity to experience.  The road she travels is fast and furious but she's never too focused to see someone in need along the way. She is the kind of friend that lasts a lifetime because she is honest and real...what you see is what you get! This girls is not the least bit frightened to stand up for what she believes in! She knows who she is, what she wants, and how she's going to achieve it! 
Happy Birthday Savannah Mae


The Close of 2014

Savannah hosted her 2nd annual gingerbread decorating party and these cuties also made some impressive Ugly Christmas Sweaters to wear to school!

If you were to ask any of us our favorite holiday of the year I'm pretty sure our answers would be unanimously CHRISTMAS!!! The gift giving that takes place between cousins is always heart felt and brings the season full circle. 

The highlight for our family was being able to experience just exactly a white Christmas feels like!
One week in the mountains of Utah spent snowmobiling, snowboarding, and snowball throwing. There was plenty of snow to play in and we loved every minute of it.