Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pioneer Children

Today we celebrate Pioneer Day. And so in church today the theme of the talks were 'Pressing Forward'. We often hear this phrase when speaking of our pioneer ancestors. What great strength, dedication and faith they must have had for their cause. I feel forever indebted to the Mormon pioneers for the sacrifice they made not too long ago.

For Christmas this last year, Owen's parents gave us some great family history books. Owen's family is amazing at compiling his family history. These books had stories, pictures, time lines and so many details about his ancestors, many of them being pioneers. Side note: This is why journaling is so important. Anyways, we got these books for Christmas and I finished reading them that night. They were so interesting to me.

It started to make me wonder about my own family tree. I went on to (it is a family search/tree site from the LDS church) and created an account. My entire family tree popped up. It shows names, birth/death dates, marriage/sealing dates...basically a ton of information. The internet really is amazing. I compared mine and Owen's family trees and this is what I found:

Do you see it!? The names highlighted in red...we share the same great grandparents!! I was honestly in shock when I saw that, what are the chances!? This made the books I had read even better, since it was my family I was reading about too. I knew we both had ancestors from Snowflake, AZ, but I did not realize it came from the same great grandparents, Jesse Nathaniel Smith and Emma Seraphine West. Who knew that Owen and I are long lost cousins :)

Below is some information about our (mine and Owen's) great grandparents that came from these amazing books. They were truly pioneers and I am grateful to my ancestors. Especially these two people since Owen OR myself would not be around if it wasn't for them :)

Jessie Nathaniel Smith was the third child of Silas Smith and Mary Aikens. Silas Smith was a brother to Joseph Smith Sr., father of the Prophet. Jesse Nathaniel's father and mother joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1835 and 1837 and were baptized by Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith. They first lived in Kirtland, Ohio then moved with the Saints to Missouri and then to Nauvoo, Illinois. They had three boys, Jesse Nathaniel being one of them. When all the Saints were expelled from Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846, Jesse Nathaniel's family crossed the plains in Parley's Company and arrived in the Sale Lake Valley in September 1847. In 1851, the family was advised by Brigham Young to go to Parowan, UT and assist in establishing that community. It was in Parowan, UT that Jesse Nathaniel met Emma Seraphine West (the first of Jesse's five wives) and were married then sealed on May 13, 1852 by Apostle George A. Smith.

Jesse Nathaniel and Emma Seraphine had 8 children together. In 1878, Jesse Nathaniel was asked by the President of the Church to preside over the new Eastern Arizona Stake of the Church, which would include the Mormon settlements in northeastern Arizona. He would need to take his family to live and help build Zion in that area. They were called to pioneer again and establish a new community in Snowflake, Arizona.

In October of 1879, Jesse Nathaniel, Emma Seraphine West, Augusta Outzen Smith (another wife) and nine childern started out in three wagons all loaded with household needs and provisions. They had six horses, two mules and two cows to help pull the wagons. At the time of this move, Jesse and Emma were nearing middle life. They had made such a permanent beginning in Parowan. They owned a comfortable home for that day, and had to leave many friends and relatives. They left Utah on April 6, 1880 and arrived in Snowflake, AZ on May 22.

Jesse Nathaniel and Emma settled and raised their family in Snowflake, AZ. He had a total of 5 wives and 44 children. In 1884, he was assigned to a committee for the church to purchase land in Mexico for Mormon colonization. He also served as the first Stake President of the Eastern Arizona Stake from 1879-1887 and as the first president of the Snowflake Stake from 1887 until his death. In 1882, he predicted that a temple would be built in Pima, Arizona. Now, the Gila Valley Arizona Temple is being built, which is between Pima and Thatcher.

Pioneer : One who goes before to prepare or open up the way for other to follow

I hope to follow in our ancestor pioneer's faithful footsteps.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quick AZ Trip

This last week I was able to make a last minute trip down to Arizona! I dropped Owen off at the airport Monday night for him to go to work and I thought:

I really, really don't want to be here alone all week again. If only there was a way I could go to Arizona...

So I woke up Tuesday morning, packed the pup in the car, and headed down to AZ. I figured the 11 hour drive by myself was a lot better than staying in California for 4 days by myself.

And I was right...totally worth it! I loved being home, I loved going to work at the office and having people there with me, I loved playing games with family at dinner time, I loved visiting friends, I loved eating at my favorite places. I LOVE ARIZONA!

It sometimes gets lonley in California only because I am home ALL of the time for work, and Owen is out of town half of the time. It's been the biggest adjustment for me to be alone a lot of the time...I'm not a fan! So a trip to see friends and family is just what I needed. I would probably go every month if the husband would let me :)

Can you spy the pup? He was a great little travel companion.

Visiting the Howeys! I miss living close to these guys...

...and I love this little girl!

Owen flew into Arizona on Friday night to spend the weekend in Arizona with me. It was so nice to have him there the rest of the time. It would not have been the same without him!

The thing Owen wanted to do the most was an AZ lake trip. So we headed to Roosevelt Lake on Saturday for an all day lake trip with my cousin and his cute family.

Lance, Stephanie and their adorable kids!

Little bro. Sterling

That's the hubby...he was so good

That's me. I'm still SO ridiculousy sore from that day.

The only bad parts about the trip:
*We got a flat tire in AZ and ended up getting all new 4 tires ( expensive).
*I missed the Haboob dust storm! It rolled through the day we left...I was so bummed.
*We left our pup in Arizona! My parents were kind of enough to take Jax in temporarily. We have a few other trips coming up so now we don't have to worry about finding a place for him when we leave. We do miss him though.
*I only ate at 6 out of the 8 places on my food list. Tia Rosas and Neds...I'll come next time.

My ENTIRE family is coming out to California to stay with us next week, so I'm counting down until the AZ people come to us. I.Can't.Wait!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Red, White & Blue

4th of July
happens to be my favorite holiday.
I grew up doing the same thing every 4th of July up until 4 years ago. I'm a girl of tradition, so being away from my family for the holiday was a bit sad.

However, Owen and I decided to make the best of it. We both had a break from work and a long weekend ahead of us. We decided to stay home and celebrate, and I'm glad we did! It ended up being great 4th of July weekend with just the two of us.

We kicked off the weekend by seeing Transformers 3 on Friday night.
Does any one else wish that Transformers were real? I think they are awesome...I wish I had a car-friend like Bumblebee.
And I got to eat my favorite dinner of Movie Popcorn, Jalapenos and Junior Mints

On Saturday, we spent all day in Mountain View, CA for the Vans Warped Tour.
There's something about the craziness of Warped Tour that I just love.

I'm really glad my hubby and I share the same likeness in music and concerts.
And even though I only really liked 4/40 bands, it was a fun day.

The only bad part of the day was at the end when I realized how much my feet and back actually hurt.
I might be getting a little too old to be standing and pushing my way around crowds all day.

Sunday consisted of a sick husband, me teaching our very empty primary class and sitting on the couch all day watching this in honor of the upcoming 4th of July:

If you have Netflix you HAVE to watch this. Its American History class all over again, but a million times more interesting. It really does make me proud of our American heritage and the country that we live in.

Monday morning we woke up nice and early and headed down to the Santa Cruz beach for an all day beach sesh. We got there at 9:00 AM and stayed there all day long.

It was nice and hot at the beach. The water was even tolerable without a wet suit.
We set up a little BBQ, ate food and played at the beach.

After we got home from the beach, we headed out to see the fireworks. Our city was putting on a big Firework show at a park that is 2 minutes from our house. Even though we probably could have seen the show from our balcony, I wanted to join the 4th of July crowds. So we headed to the park.

We found a spot front and center, put our blanket in the grass and watched the show.
I love a good firework show!
It was perfect ending to our fun 4th of July Weekend.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Summer Must Haves

It's finally starting to warm up here in the Bay Area. I was honestly worried for a while that summer did not exist here. It was pretty cold up until a few weeks ago. Now it gets up to about 90 degrees and I'm loving it!

Now that it's officially summer time, I've started to obsess over a few summer items.

Essie nail polish in Turquoise and Caicos
It's on my nails now and I can't get enough. After two layers, it's the perfect bright, summer color.

Straw Hat
I got this one at Nordstroms but I've seen similar ones at F21
I've never really been a hat person, but lately I've started to embrace them and add hats to my wardrobe. I love wearing this one with anything white. And I love wearing it on our beach days.

MAC's Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara
I've always refused to buy mascara anywhere else but Target. I did not think that just because a mascara is more expensive, it is that much better. HOWEVER, I recently discovered that is not the case. I am not blessed with long, thick lashes (like my husband's...I hope our babies get his lashes). Mine are basically non-existent. So I finally caved and tried this mascara from MAC and it's amazing! It has duel brushes, so one lengthens and one thickens. I promise you it's worth paying the $10 more.

MAC's Skin Finish Natural Bronzer in Sun Power
This bronzer is perfect for the summer time. My face never tans as well as the rest of my skin, so adding this gives my face a sun kissed, but natural looking glow. This along with my mascara is all I need for my low-key week days.

Keratin Hair Treatment
This last week when I got my hair did, I had my hair girl do the Keratin Hair Treatment to my very processed and damaged hair. It is similar to the Brazilian blow out, but without the harsh chemicals. My hair is not curly, but it does have a natural wave and some major frizz going on. I have to put lot and lots of product in to make it smooth and manageable. This treatment did wonders to my hair! It's now so smooth and healthy looking. I can get out of the shower, not put a drop of product in it, and it will dry straighter and smoother than ever before. It's has been perfect for air-drying days or days at the beach or pool. I'm hoping it will stay long enough for our cruise in August. I want to keep the smooth, silky hair for the Bahamas!

Library Card
I recently signed up for a library card at our local library. After buying books new and then finishing them 4 days later, it was getting pretty pricey! The girls in my Book Club suggested getting a library card. Why hadn't I thought of that before?? It's a great can search and request a book on line from your house, the library will find it on the shelf and hold it up front for you. I have my copy of Juliet ready for pick up today and I can't wait! The card is free so you can get book after book for reading at the pool or the beach.

Happy Summer Everyone!