Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pioneer Trek

Our stake held a Pioneer Trek the first week of June. LeeAnn and Bethany were both participants on the trek. They went up on the Mogollon Rim near Forest Lakes, were divided into companys and families, just like the original Mormon pioneers did when they crossed the plains. The trek lasted for three days and they walked a total of 24 miles. Pushing and pulling handcarts along trails. Here are a few pictures from their trek.

Bethany is hard to see in this picture, but she is third from the right.

LeeAnn's family, she is near the front.

Bethany's "trek" brother was carrying her in the three legged race.

The stake asked Dave if he would be head cook. So he rounded up all his cook trailers and finished a new one - the water trailer, and they headed on up to the rim country.
Dave and his staff cooked for a group of 400 people. They ate broth and bread the first night, but were rewarded with pulled pork sandwiches, corn, macaroni salad and cobbler the last night.

From the archives:
Do you see anyone in this photo that you know?

This is from the Pioneer Trek that I took thirty-some years ago, held near Spanish Fork, Utah.
I just had to pull out some of my old pictures to show the girls. (sorry these aren't the best quality of pictures.)

After they all came home on Saturday night, tired, sweaty and more tired, I asked the girls how they liked the trek. They said it was hard but they liked it. There were many times when they felt like quitting. They learned that they could do hard things. They met new people and made new friends, but most of all they strengthened their testimonies.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This Old House . . .

. . . is for Sale!

Before Remodel

After Remodel

My Dad and Mom's house in Springville, Utah is for sale. Since they have both passed away we decided it was time to sell it. Over the last few years my brother Harold has been working very hard to remodel and fix it up. He has put on new siding and windows, and completely remodeled both kitchens and bathrooms. They have painted and put in new flooring. It is now shined up and ready to sell.

Now this is not the house that my brothers and I grew up in. That house was in Montana. But I did live in this house for about a year after my mission while I was finishing college. So it does have a few memories for me. We had lots of fun times here with family and with friends.

My parents bought the house in 1984 after they had retired and moved to Utah. They chose Springville because it was a quiet little town. They bought this house because it has a basement apartment, which they rented out to help their income. They have had a long list of renters through the years, both to couples and single individuals. Mom and Dad were very courteous and friendly landlords, giving them Mom's homemade bread, cookies, sometimes meals and of course their friendship. They became quite attached to some renters.

When grandkids came to visit, the house had lots of little quirky places to play, like down the basement playing "McDonalds" through the unfinished window in the laundry room. Or outside in the little "phone booth" (I don't know where Dad got that from) or driving the VW bus. Dad's old green truck was a permanent lawn ornament in the backyard. The backyard is big and had a fruit trees, berries, and usually a vegetable garden.

A couple of years after my Mom died, Harold and Verla convinced Dad it was time to move out of the house and into their "inlaw" apartment in Provo. After that Harold worked hard to remodel and fix it up. Soon he had renters upstairs as well as downstairs.

The first time I saw the "newly remodeled" upstairs kitchen I thought, "Oh, I wish my Mom could have lived in it while it was this nice." She would have loved it.

If you notice the first picture, it has a ramp leading from the porch down to the lawn. My brother's built that a year before my mom passed away, as she was confined to a wheelchair. Harold also adapted the bathroom so she would be able to manuver in there with her wheelchair. I am thankful that he did that so that Mom would be able to spend her last few months at home instead of in a nursing home.

This house has experienced much life, laughter and love. It has also experienced it's fair share of sad times. But that is what life is all about.

Good-Bye Old House! Good-Bye my former HOME!

To take a look at other pictures of this house on the real estate listing click here.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Today is Michelle's birthday. She would have been 29 years old today if she were still living on this earth. We love you Michelle and still miss you very much.

High School Graduation party

BYU days

Early High School picture

Michelle and Katie take a break from their work at Nielsen's

Horseback riding in Montana.

Michelle & Katie

Michelle was a very special person. She had many talents and wasn't afraid to share them with others. She was self-driven and motivated like no other young person I have met. She set the example for her younger brothers and sisters in so many ways. One example of that was when she went to work for Nielsen's Frozen Custard. Little did she know almost all her younger sisters and brothers would follow her trail and work their too. (LeeAnn is the 6th Gardner to work there.) She was always very busy in good causes. I remember her senior year after she had already completed her Young Women's medallion that she planned and orchestrated a full musical fireside to include many youth from her stake.

We can only imagine what kind of work she is involved in now, up there in heaven. Without any physical limitations she must be working marvelous wonders there. Maybe she is dancing, or singing, laughing, or teaching. Whatever Michelle is doing, I feel in my heart that she is happy.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A February Anniversary

Here it is the last day of February and I am finally taking time to blog about our special anniversary this year. (I posted on Facebook, but forgot about our blog.)

On February 2nd Dave and I celebrated our 20th Wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe it has been twenty years since Dave and I tied the knot. We were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple for time and all eternity. I remember that day well. Here are a few pictures from that special day 20 years ago. (My scanner has been giving me issues so these are all the photos that I have scanned from our album so far.

Coming out of the temple. My roommate later told me that "my eyes shown like light bulbs."
Yes I was happy. I know Dave was too.

Dave & I in front of the Mesa Temple.

At the reception.

Cutting the cake.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hey Teacher !

This fall I decided to start substitute teaching again. After several hurdles (ie. getting my substitute teacher certificate from the state, replacing my Social Security card, getting fingerprinted, then waiting for the card, and getting re- immunized for MMR - since who has their immunization records from the 60's ??), I finally turned in my packet to the local school district. I went to the next scheduled orientation class and then was officially signed up in their system.

I waited and waited for that first call to come. The thing about substitutes is that you never know when you are going to get a call to sub. In our district, they are all computer generated. They could come the evening before, 5:00 a.m on the morning of, or 15 minutes after you were supposed to be there. So for the first few mornings I woke up early - earlier than 5:00 am, and wondered if I was going to get the call. After a few morning of lost sleep, I thought, it probably won't be coming for awhile.

Well, after waiting for several weeks, I finally did get a call. At a decent hour (the evening prior) so I had time to prepare. My first assignment was for a junior high English class. That next morning, I was so excited, I got there a half hour before I was assigned. I walked into school with my head held high and conviction in my step. It had been 22 years since I had been a paid professional in the classroom. There is something about walking the halls of a school that invigorates me. I felt an air of confidence that I hadn't felt in a long while.The students were kind and courteous. The lesson plans left by the teacher were complete and precise. I stood in front of the class and conducted with authority. The class responded. The day went well. YEAH! I LOVE THIS. I love to teach.

After the first day, I started to receive more calls, gradually and then more often. I have signed up to sub at all grade levels, but not all subjects (NO PHYSICS please!) I've taught kindergarten all the way up to High School. I even subbed one day at an "alternative High School" which turned out better than I expected.

In mid November I was referred by a friend to teacher that was preparing to take a 5 week leave for surgery. She liked me and so I was soon teaching 4th graders in an elementary school near here. I was lucky, I got to slide into the assignment, as she had a student teacher there the first week and 1/2 finishing her assignment. So for the first few days there, I got to observe the college student and learn the names of the 30 students in the room. This job was wonderful. I loved being in that classroom so much. I was able to help them learn long division, how to write mysteries, and about early American Explorers. I even got to go on a field trip with them to the Goldfield Ghost town. Of course I got to grade a lot of papers and do a lot of paperwork that most subs don't do. I got attached to this class and all to soon, my time there came to and end just in time for Christmas.

It was nice to have a break over Christmas and now it has started all over again. Teaching. 5th grade one day and 9th grade the next. Which do I like the best? That is hard to say. I earned a Secondary Ed certificate years ago and was prepared for the older group, but now that I am older I think I enjoy teaching the elementary grades the most.

So why the picture up above? My family teases me about being the mean or stern sub. It's true I am strict at times. Better to run a tight ship when you are subbing, or you might sink.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


We wish everyone a Merry Christmas. We hope this has been a good year for your family.

We have been blessed in many ways during the year 2010. We have been blessed with a wonderful family. Our children are all doing well in their various careers or schooling.

This year, we have been blessed to experience grandparenthood. We have little Taycee (Amy & Seth's) now 1 year old, Victoria (2 1/2) and Christian (4 months) both of whom are foster children of Katie and Robert. We have enjoyed the times we have had the little ones at our house with their beautiful smiles.

We have been blessed with opportunities to travel this country. In July, the kids and I traveled to Montana for a 100th anniversary Jackson family reunion. Along the way, we stopped in Utah for a few days to sort through and divide my parents estate. We also stopped in beautiful Yellowstone Park, on the road to Cooke City, Montana. Dave stayed home and worked hard to pay for our trip.

LeeAnn was blessed to reinforce her history lessons as she participated in a school sponsored tour to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia PA.

We have been blessed with music in our home as John is learning to play the string bass in the grade school orchestra. LeeAnn and Bethany continue to play the piano.

This year Bonnie was blessed to go back to school, as a substitute teacher. She has enjoyed the many experiences thus far from elementary school to high school levels of teaching. She even landed a 4 1/2 week long term job in a 4th grade near here, which kept her busy up until Christmas time.

Dave loves to cook for big groups and use his cook trailers. His new love is smoking meats, which he has done several times this fall to provide smoked pork for weddings and a local restaurant.

We have a new tradition in our house, and that is making tamales at Christmas time. Dave smoked the pork and then seasoned it to go in the tamales. The family all participated in making the tamales.

Then for Christmas Eve, all the older kids and their families were here to enjoy eating tamales.

On Christmas Day, we veered from tradition abit and went and flew rockets with our Bates cousins. John had fun launching the rockets that we brought out of storage and prepped for the day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July Weekend

This year we had three days to celebrate our nation's independence, July 3, July 4, and July 5th. Mesa put on a Celebration of Independence event downtown area on Friday and Saturday nights. We went down on Friday night and enjoyed it so much that we decided to go back again Saturday to see the events and to watch the fireworks.

Our American Heritage was displayed on Center Street. Here is a blow-up replica of the Washington Monument.
That is HERITAGE ACADEMY in the background, the school that LeeAnn and Bethany attend during the school year.
The National Capitol.

Here is Independence Hall. You could actually walk inside it to see various
history posters on the walls.

I am posing with a character "Caesar Rodney" who was the last one to sign the Declaration of Independence. (You might notice that he is really a she.)

They had a monster truck that John was excited to examine close up.
An old-fashioned watermelon eating contest. John finished last. But hey he got to eat some free watermelon which was so refreshing in the 90* ++ heat.
They had a wide variety of games for kids. On Friday night the crowd was light and there were very short lines. Best of all, it was FREE!

We returned Saturday night to see the fireworks. They were great. (Sorry, no pictures) The
Thank you City of Mesa, for putting on a wonderful 4th of July celebration.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Saturday afternoon we hosted the Gardner Family Swim and BBQ. We had quite a few people here. At one point I counted 20 people in our pool! And that's not all that swam that day. Dave grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and we ate a yummy dinner after our swim.

Our grand baby - TAYCEE !!