Sunday, August 28, 2016

Ryan Ordained an Elder

Today was a great day in our household. Ryan was ordained an Elder and given the Melchizedek Priesthood. He was ordained by his father, Dustin Wesley Merritt. Male members receives the Melchizedek Priesthood before they leave on their mission, or enter the temple. He has been preparing for this for a while. He's growing up!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Ryan's Mission Call

Ryan started filling out his mission pares mid-May. I was having a really hard time believing this time in our lives had really arrived. "Am I really this old?" is all I could keep asking myself. But, there I was watching my husband and son fill them out...

Almost three months later he received his mission call in the mail...

It came on a Friday, but Ryan was gone all day, so we had to wait until Saturday. We invited family to hear him read the news! The excitement was too much for Grandpa!

Ryan has been called to the North Carolina, Raleigh Mission. He will report to the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center) on November 2, 2016. 

We are so proud of him and the choices he his making. I know a mission will help him in so many ways! I'm super nervous. It will be interesting to see how it impacts our family. I know Ryan and Aaron have been best friends forever! I think it will be a hard adjustment for Aaron. But, we know he will bless the lives of those he serves and teaches.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hogle Zoo

Dustin's company usually pays for a trip to Lagoon, our local theme park. This year, however, they changed it up a bit and did a trip to the zoo. I love (meaning from a distance) animals, but the zoo often leaves me sad. I wasn't too excited, but we hadn't taken Britten yet, so I suggested we go.

They have done quite a bit to Hogle Zoo. They monkey house is still sad. They don't seem to know where they are. And I hate watching them. I really love what they have done with the elephants! And seals. And bears. There is also a splash pad for the hot, summer days!

Our older kids were busy, so Becca and Kate were able to invite a friend to go with them. Becca invited Bergen. Kate invited Mack. We had lots of fun on the train and carousel. The company provided dinner too.

I also took lots of pictures!

The ending to a good day. I love the drive home!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Temple Night

Last night, Dustin and I made it to the temple. We haven't been in a while. It seems we have let  A LOT of things keep us from going. Mostly, it was us putting it off. It was a real lesson for me. We had the desire to go, but would let other things distract us. I'm just glad we finally made it.

Before we moved, we could be to the temple in 15 minutes. Now it is at least double that. I'm not complaining because I know for others it is hours, days even. But, an hour commute adds to the time and "time" always seems to be the number one inhibitor. We can drive to four temples: Salt Lake, Bountiful, Oquirrh Mountain, or Jordan River. We usually go to Jordan river. The Oquirrh Mountain temple is the closest, but is the smallest. If you don't make it on. the. dot, then you will be waiting for an hour. Salt Lake is a live session and usually takes a little longer. Bountiful is a longer drive. Well, Jordan River is closed for 2 years while they remodel. We thought we would drive to Salt Lake (it is the temple we are actually zoned for). As we came to park in the underground parking, we read a sign: "Temple Closed." Dang! We decided to just bite the bullet and go to the Bountiful. I'm so glad we did!

We chose to do sealings. A brother in our session had a whole stack of family names to do. There were a few couples to seal, but most names were of siblings being sealed to the couples who were being sealed. Think polygamy here, or at least multiple marriages. There were a lot of kids.
As we settled in to help this man get all these names done, a sense of peace came over me. I knew it would be a night of teaching. 

When Dustin and his siblings were sealed to his parents, they gathered the parents, and then the children around the parents. All children were done at the same time. Last night, each child was sealed separately. I was curious why we couldn't gather all the children at once and seal them. Now, it might be that we didn't have enough people to stand proxy, but my heart almost burst when this thought came to my mind, "Each child is precious. I want to focus on the one." When it was my turn to be a daughter, the sealer looked right in my eyes as he spoke. The sealing was specifically for the daughter. 

After I returned to my seat, I started wondering why these ordinances had not taken place while they were alive. People's stories really intrigue me. I am reading about my Grandma and Grandpa Taylor's history right now. I was unaware that both sets of my Grandpa Taylor's grand parents had chosen to leave the church. Because of this choice, his parents were not raised in the gospel. It was later in life, after marriage, that they started to seek religion. As I think about this, I think about all the blessings lost because of someone else's choice. Last night, in the temple, it dawned on me that as those sealings were taking place, blessings were being restored. And, because of Jesus Christ's atonement, all things are made right. As that sealer, looked into my eyes, he was actually looking into the eyes of that daughter of God, who was being sealed to her parents, and restoring all her rites and blessings. What a loving, compassionate, and merciful Father in Heaven we have! How wonderful is His plan?! We are so blessed to be able to do work in the temple that unifies families and restores blessings lost!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Merritt Family Reunion 2016

For Dustin's family reunion this year, we revisited Utah's Dinosaur Land in Vernal, UT. The last time we went was the summer of 2008. I only had 5 kids then. I had a lot of little kids, so this trip was a lot different this time, kinda like Disneyland. As your kids grow, you have to learn to enjoy them at each stage and not just when they are little. I will admit, it is harder, sometimes.

We did stay at the same KOA. This time we stayed in their cabins. They were nice and very accommodating. We visited the quarry. They supply most museums with their dinosaur bones. We also visited the museum in downtown Vernal. Britten really enjoyed the dinosaurs. The older kids loved the pool! Win, win! 

And, a shout out to Wendy for taking a few photos for me. i forgot my camera...

Dinosaur Museum

Dinosaur Quarry