Thursday, October 23, 2008

My First Deer Hunt

Let me begin by stating that I am not a hunter. I am a Bambi lover and will cry "Run, Bambi, Run!" if I think I can save those beautiful big eyes from an early demise. Guys in college wouldn't let me go rabbit hunting with them after the first time because I couldn't deal with the cry of little Thumper.

Yet I just spent two days with my son Ken, his wife Shiann, their two children, Spencer and Shawn and Ken's friend, Bryan. They were down at Shiann's family's property near Price, Utah. The picture above is of Ken's 4-point buck. Poor little thing!
Little Shawn Boardin is learning to talk. He has a deep voice just like Kenny did as a child.

How I loved the mountains! I loved the stars at night and the huge campfires. I really loved playing with Spencer and Shawn. I slept in a camper bed that was not quite the width of a single bed. I also shared it with Spencer and Brittany (our German Shorthair dog). In the early mornings and the twilight of the evenings, we would drive all over the mountain logger roads and look for deer so that Shiann could get hers. We only saw one buck, and he got away. (He heard my silent, "Run, Bambi, Run!)

The temperature at night was about 16 degrees. It never got much past 40 degrees during the day. Bryan lent me his insulated coveralls so that I could stay warm. They are amazing!

Spencer liked to swordfight with the marshmallow sticks and to play ball with Brittany and "Knock, Knock" with me.

Both Spencer and Shawn Boardin love the doggies. (Brittany and Baby)

Shiann is such a wonderful mom and wife. We are happy to have her in our family. This was a really great little vacation for me. I have felt somewhat overstressed lately and have happily benefited from a couple of days in the wild, enjoying bright starry skies, the smell of pines, the hypnotic flames of a campfire and the love of my family.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blessings Understood

I am actually posting a second time. (Lonna speaking) So I guess this blog's for real now. I haven't been sure exactly what kinds of things to post--whether I should post only what others want to read or what really moves me inside. So I've decided today to blog about something that touched me deeply.

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to a RE-baptism. A friend of ours committed a serious crime, lost her membership in the Church and has spent the past seven years in prison. She has been diligently working towards being baptized again into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and her day finally arrived.

I have been to many, many baptisms, beginning with my own when I joined the Church. I thrilled at the baptisms I witnessed in the mission field in Argentina. I have enjoyed the baptisms of little children in Primary when they have turned eight years old. And I have been touched by convert baptisms of adults who have searched and found the truth.

Yet, never have I felt the meaning and significance of this ordinance as I did when our friend was baptized for the second time. We talk about taking things for granted. I guess I have. I think about my baptism and my great blessings when I take the Sacrament on Sundays. I ponder the Atonement and the meaning of repentance and forgiveness as well. The covenants I made with the Lord at baptism are very important to me.

This special meeting for our friend brought these teachings and this sacred ordinance into a perspective that sank deep within my soul. I have always (since my baptism) enjoyed the Priesthood blessings in my life. I have always been able to partake of the Sacrament. Our friend has been denied these blessings for seven years. She knows what it is like to be without them, especially after having had them all her life. She knows a kind of repentance that I have not experienced. She has endured years of the absence of the Holy Ghost in her daily life. She has experienced a true "contrite heart" and diligence in working towards the reinstatement of these blessings.

As she went down into the waters of baptism for the second time in her life, and her son helped her into the baptismal font, she broke into tears and actually sobbed with happiness. I, too, began to cry, as did most of the audience of close to 100 people. The Kleenex box was quickly passed through the room. The depth of her joy and gratitude was apparent and touched each of us. The Spirit of the Lord witnessed to me that she was clean and that the Atonement is real.

It quickly dawned on me (something that, of course, I already knew!) that if the Lord would forgive her for such a grievous error, then the Atonement can be real in my life and I really can be forgiven for my sins. God really does love us, He really loves me. My baptism so many years ago became supremely significant to me at that moment. My testimony has been cemented in a new manner and my baptismal covenants have taken on more depth of meaning in my life.

I now have more understanding and gratitude for my blessings.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Welcome to our new blog! This is very new for us. We have been reading blogs all summer to get pictures of the Cropper family for our Reunion DVD. It has been delightful to view all of the creativity and just so much fun to keep up on all the "happenings". However, I have learned that if I begin to look at blogs, I had better plan to be at the computer for a very long time. Everyone's blogs have links to other blogs that grab my interest. I am becoming a blog junkie.

Our big project for 2008 has been the Cropper Family 2008 Reunion. The picture is a composite of eight different photographs. The family members arrived and departed at various times during the five days of our reunion. (Our family is wearing the dark green t-shirts.)It took 30 hours to combine all the photos on Photoshop. Even then, it is not perfect. But it is a great attendance record! :)

When we began planning it almost two years ago, we decided to focus the Reunion on Max's parents, Kenneth and Leora Cropper. At this point, there are 133 descendents and six more are expected between now and February. Many, many hours were spent putting together fun activities and games that would highlight Grandpa and Grandma Cropper. We also tried to emphasize the needs of the children that would be attending and tried to make sure that every activity would include all ages. The reunion was held in August. We rented a cabin close to Grace, Idaho. For the most part, it was a success. We had 82 people attend and shared many fun moments together.

A big thank-you to all family members who helped out in so many, many ways, both before and during the reunion, to make it all work.

One of the activities was an informal talent night. Our family chose to sing a crazy song called, "I'm My Own Grandpa!" I will post a clip of it on here if I can figure out how.

We tried to upload the video of our family singing this song, along with the progressive pedigree chart that makes sense out of it. However, this blog will only support a video of 100 MB and our video contains 425 MB. This is likely because there are five verses with a chorus before, after and in between each one. So . . . this is such a fun song that I am going to post the words of the poem. You can also see the photo of our chart.

I'm My Own Grandpa

Many, many years ago when I was twenty three
I was married to a widow who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her and soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life,

For my daughter was my mother 'cause she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matter even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became a brother-in-law to Dad,
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle then that also made him brother
Of the widow's grown-up daughter who, of course, was my stepmother.

Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandchild for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue
Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother too.

Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild.
And everytime I think of it, it nearly drives me wild.
For now I have become the strangest case you ever saw:
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!

I'm my own grandpa! I'm my own grandpa!
It sounds funny I know, but it really is so.
Oh, I'm My Own Grandpa!