Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Randoms

There are wild turkies that live behind our house.  One was sitting out under the tree in our front yard one morning.  The kiddos were pretty exited to watch it strut away.

Marae woke up with major bed head after one of her morning naps (we officially stopped those this month).  I had to capture a picture of it's gloriousness. 

I've always wanted tulips.  I was worried that the deer had eaten them all but luckily they still came up. There is just something so cheerful about these flowers.  I will have these in my yard whenever we get a home.  I planted these last fall so I was pretty excited to see them come up.

Cinco de Mayo we had a dinner with our friends the Kelstrom's and the Peterson's.  After dinner we went over to the Kelstrom's and broke a pinata.  Ole.

Going around the table: Collin Kelstrom, Boone, Marae, Eve Peterson, Theron Peterson (the little head running away), and Ella Kelstrom.

One of my dear friends, Kim Powell, that I taught with at Ridgeline came up to visit me.  She currently lives in North Carolina but she was out visiting her in laws in American Fork and drove all the way up here to see me with her two cute kids that are the same age as mine.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Elizabeth Lefler's Funeral

Elizabeth's funeral was Saturday, May 31st.  The evening before the whole family got together for a dinner.  During the dinner people got up and shared their favorite memories or fun stories about her.  It was very nice.  That night we stayed the night with Jann at Elizabeth's house.  I think Jann was happy to have us there.  I haven't been to many viewings/funerals but the viewing Friday evening was enormous.  The line went all around the church.  She was such a loved woman.

Saturday was her funeral.  It was such a beautiful ceremony.  The talks were touching and the spirit of this one lady's life was overwhelming.   The grandchildren (Mason, etc) sang a musical number.  As I've said before, I'm honored to have become a part of this lady's family.  She was an example to me in so many ways of love, service, patience, and many other things.  She will be greatly missed.

I was only able to capture pictures at the burial.  After the funeral each person was handed a rose to put on the casket.  She has so many in her family.  The funeral was filled about 10 rows back with just family.  The chapel was full with the overflow doors open and filled like you would see at a stake conference.  She was buried in Woodland.

She had two sprays of flowers.  One from her children and one from her grandchildren.
The oldest boy from each of Elizabeth's children carried the casket.

It was a sacred and beautiful day.  The tears that were shed at the funeral were not tears of sadness but tears of joy for a life well lived.  She was an angel and one that continues to be with us today.  She loved my children and I have no doubt that she will be instructing them before they are sent to me here on Earth.  Til we meet again...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Elizabeth Marie Jensen Lefler

January 1, 1922 ~ May 26, 2014

Elizabeth Marie Jensen Lefler, the daughter of Hyrum Andrew Jensen and Ann Eliza Andrus died on May 26, 2014 at her home in Woodland, Utah. Elizabeth was born on January 1, 1922 in Holladay, Utah. She was the youngest of nine children and a twin to Milo A. Jensen.
She is survived by two brothers, William Jensen of West Valley City, Utah, and Willard Jensen of Payette, Idaho. Elizabeth married Thomas Linton Lefler in the Salt Lake Temple on September 15th, 1944. 

She is preceded in death by her husband Thomas Linton and two children, Beth Lefler Edwards and David John Lefler, and Buddy her faithful dog. She is survived by Ann (Douglas) Hafen of St. George, UT, Aleen (Paul) Ure of Orem, UT, currently serving an LDS Mission in Thailand, Thomas J. (Laura) Lefler of Alpine, UT, Milo J. (Susanne) Lefler of Midvale, UT, Lowell J. (Jean) Lefler of Moorcroft, WY, Jann Lefler of Woodland, UT, Jean (Mark) Brady of Woodland, UT, and Dean Hyrum (Suzanne) Lefler of Houston, TX. She was blessed with 50 grandchildren, 121 great-grandchildren, and many others whom she loved.

Elizabeth was the 1940 Kamas Valley Fiesta Queen. She loved to play fast pitch softball and once pitched a no-hitter. She taught over 300 children to play the piano. She loved gardening and flowers ... and dancing. She served in many callings in her community and church, including an LDS Mission to Manchester, England in 1987. Family and the Gospel, for Elizabeth, were more important than anything else.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Francis Ward Chapel, 387 West Last Frontier Lane in Francis, Utah on Saturday, May 31st. A viewing will precede services from 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. There will be an additional viewing on Friday evening, May 30th at the Woodland Ward Chapel, in Woodland, Utah from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Woodland Cemetery following Saturday service.

She would always stand on her front porch and wave goodbye whenever we left.

Early Monday morning at 1:11am Heaven got one of it's most choice angels back.  Elizabeth is so extremely loved by so many.  She is a pure example of love, service, and of a faithful latter day mother.

The first time I met Elizabeth was right before Mason and I got engaged in 2007.  I walked into her living room and the first thing she said to me was, "Come here you darling angel girl.  I've waited so long to meet you."  Then she proceeded to give me the biggest hug.  I felt close to her from that moment on.  I felt accepted, wanted, and loved.  I always felt like I was her favorite granddaughter in law.  Mind you she has something close to 45 granddaughter in laws.  But the things she would say, the letters she would write to me, and the random phone calls that I would receive every now and then are what made me feel that way.  She would sit and hold my hand while we were up in Woodland and just 'be' with me adoring my children while watching them play.  She was always 'on my side' when we'd talk about Mason.  She always told Mason that he was her favorite Grandchild and she repeatedly told us all that Mason was her most handsome grandson - but then she'd turn around and call him her little fatty grandson.  Ha ha!  She had a sassy sense of humor and wasn't afraid to speak her mind - not even one little bit.

Since her death the cousins have been talking and we've been reminiscing with family members and every single person has said, "She made me feel like I was her favorite."  It takes a lot to make even one person feel like they are your favorite because you have to completely serve, love, and involve yourself in their lives... and that's what she did.  She knew each of her 121 grandchildren by names and NEVER missed a birthday.  I imagine she was writing birthday cards every single day to someone somewhere!!

Her funeral is this coming weekend and I can't even imagine how large that service will be and how long the processional line will be.  She was a valued and again, very loved citizen of Kamas/Woodland.  She planned out the funeral before she passed so it is going to be quite the event indeed as she never did anything just so-so.

She will be missed.  We went up to Woodland on Monday and it just wasn't the same.  I am so thankful I got to know her the 7 years that I did.  I'm thankful that two of my children got to meet her and the rest, I know, she will hold in heaven before they are given to me.

At the Lefler family reunion in 2011 - Julianne Hafen Openshaw (Mason's cousin) is on the right
These pictures below were taken the day that Elizabeth passed away.  Mason really felt that he needed to help support his parents and Jann so we drove out to Woodland that morning.  There is something sacred about looking at these pictures of my kids playing as if everything were normal.  But that's how Elizabeth would have wanted it.  She wouldn't have wanted everyone mourning her or worrying about a funeral.  She would have wanted to see her precious great grandbabies playing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


At the beginning of May I ordered caterpillars.  I use to do this with my students and still have the net so I figured why not?  The babies loved it.  We were worried they would hatch out of their chrysalis while we were in Yellowstone but the first one hatched out of it's shell the day we got back.  Perfect timing!  Also, notice all the beautiful flowers inside the net.  All of those were found and gathered from our backyard.  Springtime in Logan is gorgeous.

We kept them in the net for about 4 days then took them out to let them go.  It's so fun because the butterflies haven't been out in the sun before so when we take them out they just sit there and stretch their wings and hang out in the sunlight.  The kids can hold them and look at them closely.

There was one butterfly that couldn't fly when he hatched.  He looked normal but there was something wrong.  This little guy quickly became Boonie's pet.  I would see them in the backyard together.  Boonie would put him on his finger and carry him to different places.  One time I saw Boonie sitting and digging in the garden with his little butterfly sitting right on the bucket next to him.  It reminded me of a loyal pet dog.  It was pretty cute.  He'd kiss it all the time too.  He's such a lover.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


We decided to take a 3 day vacation and drive up to Yellowstone.  We are only about 4 hours away and figured we better get up there now in case we never have another chance to do so.  It was so much fun!!  We went the second week the park was open so there was still snow in some areas.  We were able to see SO MUCH wildlife because the mountains were still cold so they were lower.  Plus we got to see a lot of babies.  As we were driving into Yellowstone we passed a giant pasture with bison and their babies.

It was a lot of driving for babies but once we got to the destinations they loved looking around.  Boonie liked finding the bison (he couldn't remember what they were called and called them basselopes).  Some of them would walk close or right on the road.  

Day one we arrived in Yellowstone.  Ate at the Otterpub in West Yellowstone, went to Mammoth Springs, walked around there (it was beautiful).  Got insanely close to a bear (another rarity and advantage of going in the spring) - we saw 5 bears.  3 brown bears and 2 grizzly.  You are suppose to stay about 30 yards away from the bears.  This one was about 7.  There was one crazy lady that got about 3 yard away from it.  I didn't feel comfortable with my two juicy little babies around the bear so Mason and I took turns looking at it while we kept our little tasty fat balls away.  That night we checked in our hotel at Mammoth Springs and called it a day.

Day 2 we drove out to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  I had seen pictures and heard of hikes where you can hike down to the bottom of the waterfall (Uncle Tom's Trail) but there was so much snow still in this area that the hikes were closed.  Still the views we saw were amazing.  And honestly I don't think we would have been able to make that hike with two little babies.  That will have to be for another time.  We did get to see a rare bird in it's nest (an Osprey).  We were able to see it sitting their through our binoculars.  It's on the top of the peak in the middle of the picture below.

The Grand Canyon and the falls.

The babies weren't to interested here.  Plus there wasn't much for them to do.  They entertained themselves by playing in the melting snow.

After Canyon Village we headed south towards the fishing bridge.  We stopped along the way at a mudpot called Dragon's Breath.  Those were amazing.  The trails around this area were closed due to a bear - which we saw.  Another thing to go back to someday.

We had a picnic lunch down in Lake Village.  Mason gave a bee a massive sugar high with some jelly that caused him to pass out for about 5 minutes.  After he revived he wanted more.

Marae had a meltdown and sobbed for better parents who gave her naps in her own bed for a while.

After that we drove back to the hotel for naps and then drove across the upper loop towards Tower Roosevelt looking for wildlife.  That was a BEAUTIFUL drive.  For dinner we had bison brauts at a little diner in Mammoth Springs.  Then we locked Marae in her bear cage where she happily slept.

Day 3 we went down to Old Faithful.  We got there with about 20 minutes to spare before it erupted.  There were hardly any people.  Score!!  Later after we did the geyser loop there was quite a crowd.

Walking around geyser basin was one of my favorite things from the trip.  It was just amazing that the Earth was so hot and agitated.  It was almost eerie.  We were walking on an active volcano.  I really wanted to feel the water before we left.  We had heard not to touch the water because it was so hot that people would stick there fingers in and pull them out burned to the bone... but the rebel in me had to... it just couldn't be that hot - I still have a finger.  Granted I didn't stick it in the middle of a ferocious boiling pot.

As we were walking past the Lion group of geysers we heard a roaring sound (that's how they got their name) and they erupted right then and there!!  They only go off about twice a day!  We got so lucky.  Marae did not think so though... she did not like the warm rain shower... plus it scared her going off all of the sudden.

It was interesting seeing how the Earth had formed itself.  At one point we were walking by some geysers and I said, "Something smells kinda sweet.  What is that?"  We had been smelling stinky egg sulfur most of the time.  We couldn't figure out what that smell was we were catching a whiff of every now and then.  Then we turn around and see the lasting remains of a bison skeleton and whatever cooking/rotting in one of the hot pots.  I almost gagged because I had been semi enjoying the smell so much.  Sick!

We would have walked the whole geyser trail but the babies were hungry and tired so we went back to the lodge for lunch.  We got to see Old Faithful erupt through our lunch window.  After that we drove back to our hotel and called it a vacay.  We drove home.

On the way out we stopped at one of the Paint Pots.  It was beautiful.  The picture above is the one I took walking up.  The steam was amazing.  This picture below is what they looking like from above.

This Earth is a marvelous place.  It was a wonderful family vacation.