Havasupai Trip: Rocks and Water

Logan and I had an amazing time in Havasupai Arizona. It's near the grand canyon and is probably the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Neither words nor pictures can hardly describe how beautiful it truly was. It was a great experience. I'll share a little about what it was like.

Wednesday all packed and ready to go, Logan got off work, his Dad and brother Isaac came from Idaho to pick us up and drive the 11 hour drive to "the hilltop" where we would begin our adventure.

We got to experience the joys of nature from the get go. Once we reached the hilltop at 1:00 a.m. we pulled out a tarp, some sleeping pads and a sleeping bag and slept until 4:30, walked 11.5 miles, saw the most beautiful waterfalls, sweat like none other, set up camp and ate some lunch, we went on a little hike to go see some more falls and explore a little. Holy beautiful. Let me tell ya! Seriously, I was just in awe the WHOLE time. It was amazing!

Saturday we got up and got ready to go on another hike. The sun was shining and we left our campground excited to see more beautiful nature. We hiked through the river, jumped off waterfalls and climbed big rocks in order to get to where we were wanting to go.

 We finally got to the cliffs 3 miles later and started jumping off. Right after I finally got the guts to jump, while standing in the water, it started to rain. Pretty quick it was raining HARD. The wind picked up and we heard thunder from all directions. There was a storm coming in, but not just a regular storm, we were caught in the middle of a flash flood! It was crazy! Climbing back up the cliff was a little difficult because the rocks were now slippery from water and mud, plus we had rain pouring on us, but eventually we made it to the top and found shelter under another big rock. While we were sitting there it was so cool to see mother nature work. New waterfalls started forming ALL OVER the cliff walls, the water once a bright blue was now a muddy brown. We sat there in the rock for probably 30-40 minutes waiting for the storm to pass. It finally let up a bit and we were able to safely walk back to camp. What an adventure!!!

Saturday I woke up around 6:30 or so, and was able to just lay in bed and ponder. I brought a little Book of Mormon with me and started reading where I had left off the day before. I was reading in Ether where Ether too had to hide himself in a rock to escape from the danger of war. The world was very wicked during his time, and if he ever left the rock, he'd have no protection. His situation was a little different than ours, but the same principle applies, really. We might not always be caught in a flash flood, or trying to escape from those trying to physically harm us, but we DO have spiritual tempests, wars, tragedies, and floods. While lying in my sleeping bag, listening to the river rushing by our campground and watching the sun slowly rise, I thought to myself, "am I allowing myself to be protected by "the Rock?" Hel 5:12 tells us that Jesus Christ is the rock of our salvation. We must totally be encompassed by his love, protection and power in order to escape the hands of Satan and conquer these daily spiritual battles we face. Every day is a battle. Everyday is an adventure! We can find so much strength and power in the Rock of our Salvation, and the Water of Life, even Jesus Christ if we seek it out and trust in Him. What a blessing it was to go to Havasupai, be with friends and family, and learn a great lesson about my Savior!

It was great to just get away from the world for a while and enjoy some of the most beautiful creations our Father has given us. We are so blessed! I loved everything about this trip! (Except the part where we had to come home.)

I hope someday you all have the opportunity to go and see what I mean! It's great...so great! We loved it!

Heavenly Pulls

Sometimes I just want to write, get it all out of my system, everything I think of each day, you know what I mean? It seems to clog up my brain, then I can't think and it's a mess all over the place.

Lately I've been feeling a little bit of a pull. The kind of heavenly pull that says, "hey, you need to be doing better," or sometimes it's, "maybe you should offer to help more." It is also sometimes as simple as, "don't worry about what they're doing, or how they look, they too are children of God...remember they are your brothers and sisters." Every once in a while I have experiences where I'll just be sitting in the car at a red light, or waiting in line at the grocery store feeling anxious and impatient. It's usually then when I get those little whisperings that say, "it's okay, you can wait just a little while." Then there are other times when I'm just angry and I don't care about other people and their feelings. Why is that?

I was reading today in Helaman, (great book by the way, if you haven't read it you should check it out) and came across a verse in chapter 12. I was reading along and learning about how the dust and wind obey better than we do. The trees sway with the wind, the water is tossed and waves are formed all at the commanding voice of our Father in Heaven. Why am I sometimes so slow to hearken to his counsel? Why do I not see individuals as He sees them? Why can't I understand that maybe the person in front of me at the grocery store taking what it seems like centuries to check out, might be going through a rough time and HAS  to use a million coupons? Anyway, this whole thought came from verse 15 in Helaman 12. It says, "And thus according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun." The part that caught my eye was the very last sentence, "for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun."

Jesus Christ, our Savior, is the Son of God. He does not move. We move. We choose to distance ourselves from the Savior through our choices. The choices we make now effect the present as well as the future. Where do we want to be in 5 years, or even 5 weeks? Of course we want the very best for ourselves. Why would we want anything less? BUT are we willing to work and MOVE towards our Savior, or will we slowly drift away and be moved away from him.

I love thinking and pondering about our Savior Jesus Christ and his love. It's outstanding how much love he has for each and every one of us. He wants us to be with him for eternity, but we have to choose to move. You see, when I first read the words "...the earth moveth and not the sun," I thought about how we move, or in other words distance ourselves from the Son, Jesus Christ. Here's the thing, it can be just the opposite. Depending on our true desires, we can move TOWARD the Son, and heed his invitation to come unto him. What a blessing! What's the blessing? That we can move! That was the plan from the very beginning. Satan didn't want to give us that freedom, and Christ did. So, he said, I'll give you the option to move, and I'll stand here steadfast and immovable to be your example, but it's up to you to CHOOSE to move in the right direction. We get to come unto Christ. We have the privilege of knowing Him. Are we taking the time to REALLY get to know him, or do we just quietly stand there and look towards his direction without picking up a foot to move forward. We have to be constantly, or you might say "anxiously engaged in a good cause," the "good cause" being the quest for eternal life.

Ahh, I love the gospel and the whole plan of Happiness. That's what it truly is, a plan for our eternal happiness, IF we hearken unto the counsels of God. I feel so blessed to have the gospel in my life and to be a part of a family who loves and cherishes it as much as I do. I hope I can do better, be better, serve more, see others as children of God, have patience with others, and even situations I'm placed in. Heavenly Father is always watching out for each one of his children. He knows what is best and promises blessings to those who are faithful. As we strive to learn the doctrine, and submit our will to his in order to fulfill his plan, moving forward with faith and doing the work he wants us to complete, we will become the person he wants us to become, and receive all the blessings he wants us to receive. I love it, what else can  I say!

I hope you're all doing well. Love you lots,

Family Fun

We had so much fun this week as Taylor and Rachelle were able to visit along with their cute little/chunky Byron.  It was rainy for two out of the three days they were here, so we weren't able to spend too much time outside, but we still had a lot of fun just visiting and spending good quality time together. Byron had a couple of explosions, but for the most part he was always full of smiles. He's such a happy boy. He gets along fine with tennis balls, cardboard boxes, or cell phone covers...easy to please. :) We loved having them here. 

Justin and Jenine were able to come up and have dinner with us as well Tuesday night. We played lots of games which ended with us yelling answers at each other and trying to beat the other team. We played girls against boys, husbands vs. wives. What a disaster. I'm almost positive the sweet little lady upstairs, Darlene, didn't get ANY sleep that night. She said she couldn't hear us, but I think she was just being nice. We were pretty stinkin' loud. It was a lot of fun. Our cheeks were hurting because we had been laughing so hard.

There's something about family that just makes you smile. I can remember times when my sisters and I would be in arguments that consisted of statements such as "I was going to wear that shirt today!" or, "ahhhh, get out of my room, you are so annoying!" or, "I already called the front seat, you can't have it!" even these experiences make me smile. Sometimes we'd be in the middle of fighting when all of a sudden we'd start laughing uncontrollably and then we'd get even more mad because we weren't fighting anymore. It doesn't even make sense, but for some reason, there was still so much love when we would argue. Why is that? 

I remember one specific time when Terriann and Sydnie were arguing and while Sydnie was marching away out of frustration, Terriann said, "Sydnie, don't be a dip stick." Sydnie's reply still cracks us up as we recall this memory, she yelled back, "I ain't no dip for your celery!" Haha. What does that even mean?! Every single one of us started laughing, including Sydnie and Terriann. To this day we still remember resolving that argument through laughter and genuine love. Oh, how I love the memories. 

No, Rachelle and I didn't get into any arguments while she was here. I think we're over that stage in our lives, but we DID spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. We made some delicious homemade bread. I went to a bread class a couple of weeks ago and now I'm obsessed with this bread recipe. It's great! Rachelle and I only made some Italian loaves, but in the class we made a regular loaf of white bread, French bread, and Italian bread. The Italian was my favorite. The bread is so moist and soft. We love it! Rachelle and I had a lot of fun baking bread then enjoying it that night at dinner. YUM!

 Speaking of having fun with the family, even though Logan and I don't have a very big family yet, we still have lots of fun together, with lots of fun plans for the future. We love the outdoors and spending time in nature. So, when we found out REI was having a huge sale this weekend we decided to go see what we could fin. Well, we ended up walking out of the store with a brand new 4 man tent. Now we get to go on little family adventures and enjoy even more of the beautiful outdoors.We were too excited to wait for a camping trip to see what it looked like set up, so the first thing we did when we got home was set it up in our own backyard. It's AWESOME! We love it, and are excited to use it...hopefully this weekend, we'll see!

We're excited for the sun to come out. We miss it. It's been raining a lot. We're hoping for a great weathered weekend. Logan's family is coming from Rexburg this weekend and we want to be able to play outside a little bit. We LOVE having family come. It's always so much fun. We feel so blessed to have such great families on both sides. We love you all, and hope you're doing well!


Logan and Shanell

Cinnamon Deliciousness!

Well, we did it, we made some delicious treats. We are LOVING the new KitchenAid! It's awesome, and now we just want to bake all the time. The only problem we have is that we want to eat all of our treats after we make them, which means we’re a lot more “jiggly”, and we have to spend a little more time at the gym. It’s a downward spiral that’s 100% worth every bite. What a disaster! (But we LOVE it!)

Friday we made some cinnamon rolls that turned out amazing. I got the recipe from joythebaker.com. These cinnamon rolls have cream cheese folded into the dough; I've never known such a delicious taste! The toughest part for us was waiting for them to rise. We felt so impatient, but knew they'd turn out 100 times better if we just followed the recipe to the "T", so that's what we did...we waited it out. It felt like forever. Once the dough had risen enough, we took off the plastic wrap, and punched out all the air...it seems like every time I do that, I feel like it was such a waste to let it rise for 2 hours. BUT it was all part of the plan. In the end they turned out to be beautiful cinnamon rolls filled with crazy amounts of butter, cinnamon, and sugar; three great ingredients to have in your diet. :) 

As I thought about the process of making cinnamon rolls; the waiting time, the yummy ingredients, the punching phase, a gospel application came to mind. Sometimes we think we have to hurry, get everything done and be perfect in this life. Sure, we SHOULD be "anxiously engaged in a good cause," but we don't always need to hurry. Sometimes all that's needed is just a little bit of waiting. I think our Heavenly Father allows us to pass through hard times where he teaches us to be patient just so he can show us that in the end everything works out the way it's supposed to. We might not recognize it at the time, but really we ARE "rising" to our true potential, and it's all part of the plan. Even if we have to get punched down a few times, it’s okay, and it’s going to work out in the end. We too are sometimes brought low, in order to rise again. That's exactly what our Savior did right? He was brought below the lowest of lows so he could rise again...for us! What a blessing!

As we listen to the Holy Ghost and really try to follow the daily guidance to the "T" we receive, we'll end up with a life that is completely in line with the plan our Father in Heaven has created for us. It's perfect, but sometimes it's hard to see the end from the beginning. Just like the cinnamon roll recipe, the pictures looked good, and we knew we wanted the end result, but we had to work through the plan step by step and be patient through the whole process in order to enjoy the rewarding results. 

I know, cinnamon rolls are cinnamon rolls are cinnamon rolls, but I think there's always a lesson to be learned about the gospel, especially when we're trying something new. Isn't the gospel perfect! I love it! And I LOVE cinnamon rolls! Yummy yummy! Life is great. If any of you have a few hours on hand...try the recipe, it's definitely worth it. Love you all!

Click here for the recipe! Enjoy!

Logan and Shanell

Time to Bake! :)

This is my new KitchenAid!!! It just came to my door! Logan bought it for me right after I saw my results from my test. What a lucky woman I am! Now it's time to try some new things! I can't wait!
KitchenAid 6094791 Artisan Series Stand Mixer, BLK Artisan Stand Mixer

Shanell RN

I just wanted to tell everyone thank you for your thoughts and prayers as I studied for and took my Nursing Boards. I passed!!! It was amazing to feel the love and strength coming from so many loved ones. I seriously can't even explain the way it felt with every single question. For the most part I was a little hesitant with each question I answered, but in my heart I knew everything would work out the way it was supposed to. (I'm just glad the way it was supposed to work out involved me not ever having to take that test again!) The way the test works is I have questions ranging in number from 75-265. Everyone has to take 75 questions, but if the computer hasn't figured out if you qualify for a passing score, it will keep going question by question up to 265 until it decides if you've passed or failed. So...by 75, if the test shuts off on you, then that means you've either done really well, or really bad because the computer has already made up it's mind about you...if you qualify or not. Anyway, my test shut off at 75, and I think my stomach went straight up into my throat, and butterflies were goin' crazy inside of me. I was so nervous, I put my hands over my mouth and tried not to squeal. (Embarrassing!) I left the testing center knowing that no matter what the results ended up being, I knew without a doubt that I had tons and tons of help in there from our Father in Heaven. I felt it. I was reminded over and over again of all the people who were praying for me. I felt so much love and faith as I hesitantly but confidently answered each question. I was hesitant because I doubted my own knowledge, confident because I couldn't doubt my Father's knowledge. I was blessed.
I wasn't supposed to get my results until Wednesday, but I checked on Monday morning just in case...well, the results were in, but I didn't want to open it. I was way too nervous, plus I knew that if I DID fail I would need Logan to be right next to me so he could hold me really tight and tell me everything was going to be okay. I also knew that if I PASSED, I would want Logan with me to hug me and celebrate with me.

I went to the park all day yesterday, trying not to think about the results and what they might be. That made it worse. I fell asleep at the park, got a little sunburned, then walked home to meet Logan. I typed in all of my information to pull up my results, and then...BAM "pass" it said. We screamed, then hugged, then I cried in gratitude, as Logan and I held each other and prayed to our Heavenly Father thanking him for this wonderful tender mercy. That's what it was. I couldn't have done it on my own, and I recognize that. I was blessed, and I'm grateful for that blessing.

To celebrate, Logan bought me a new Kitchen Aid mixer! I'm sooo excited! It'll be here on Wednesday and I can't wait to open it right up and use it everyday. I have such a great husband who loves and supports me in so many ways. He's great! I'm eternally grateful for that blessing from my Heavenly Father as well.

Thank you again for all your support! Love you!


Rexburg/Family Dinner

This weekend was a great get-away for us. It's fun to escape from life for a while and go visit family. We went to Logan's home this weekend in Rexburg, and it was a great, relaxing, fun weekend. The weather was beautiful and it was fun to see everyone again. We had decided to plan a little family dinner for all the cousins who were at BYU-Idaho. We ended up having 14 of us cousins there, plus Logan's family, so there were quite a few of us just hangin out at the Dunn's home. It was so much fun to see cousin's we hadn't seen in a long time. Logan said he had a great time actually getting to know them a little better instead of just saying, "oh, hi, you're another cousin, okay, cool." as they walk through the line at the reception or open house. We laughed a lot, and talked about old memories we had from Grandma's house, or from staying the night at each other's houses. It's crazy to think that we are all growing up and starting families. Three out of the five girl cousins that were there were pregnant. How exciting it is to see the blessings of having such a righteous, good family, being passed down to the next generation.

Sometimes I think we take it for granted, the blessing it is to be part of such an amazing family, but when we take a step back and look at the big picture, usually, for me anyway, it brings tears to my eyes to know that I am so blessed. I can remember one night when I was probably 14 years old, I was just lying in bed trying to fall asleep, as my mind wondered and eventually lead me to think of all the blessings our Father in Heaven has given us. My eyes filled up with tears, and my pillow became wet as I thought about my family; my mom, my dad, the sacrifices they have made to raise me in the gospel. I thought about my grandparents on both sides, striving to serve with all their hearts their children, grandchildren, AND the Lord. I couldn't help but think about MY future children and the blessings they would have because of the faithfulness and example of my parents and grandparents. I prayed and prayer of gratitude that night, and my heart was full. I remember that experience very clearly. That's when I realized I could NEVER EVER let go of the gospel. I loved it too much to ever even think about letting go of it. I realized that's why my parents never let go of it. We can't risk it. It's not worth risking. Sooo many lives depend upon my faithfulness in the gospel. Both physically and spiritually.

I love the gospel and the blessing it's been in my life. I'm grateful for the way that I've been raised. Without it I wouldn't have been lead to serve a mission and bless many other lives in the gospel. I'm grateful for the guidance it gave me in finding Logan. What a huge huge blessing it's been to know him and be married to him. We love each other more and more every single day. I'm grateful for his example of truth and righteousness; always living the gospel.

Anyway, this weekend was just a good experience to see family and be reminded of the blessing it is to be a part of it. We hope you are all doing well and we love you soo soo much!

Logan and Shanell