Kaysville Independence Day Parade

Yesterday we watched the Kaysville / Fruit Heights Independence Day Parade. The weather was perfect, so cool. There were ominous dark clouds overhead but they didn’t rain on our parade. Just before the parade started four F-16s from Hill Air Force Base flew low overhead to loud applause from the large crowd.

Three of my children, Sarah, Paul, and Jake, were in the Davis High marching band when they attended high school. Also my niece Shauna and son-in-law Derek.

If you didn’t see the parade here are a few photographs of what we experienced.

Davis County Sheriff Officer

Davis County Sheriff Officer.

A Picture of the Past wagon

A Picture of the Past wagon. This is my favorite of the parade.

Family at the parade

Front: Adelaide, Steven, Paul, Shauna. Middle: Cheryl, Ashton, Susan, Kent. Rear: Melissa, Aurora, Jill, Connie, Mark.

Jill and Aurora

Jill and Aurora.

Help Rescue America Declaration

Help Rescue America Declaration of Liberty.

LDS Business College float

LDS Business College float.

Davis County Sheriff’s Posse Queen and First Princess.

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Kaysville to Keller

Today Jill, Paul, and myself left Kaysville, Utah at 5:25am for Keller, Texas. We went with a longer route (1,379 miles) that is supposedly faster (19 hours 55 mins). Except for a few miles, the whole route is entirely freeway — that would explain the faster. If you’ve never traveled from Utah to Texas then this post will probably be of no interest to you. However, if you have gone this way before let me know what route you prefer and why. Perhaps I can amend my return plans with your suggestions.

We entertained ourselves (when we weren’t driving) with a cell phone, a Blackberry, two laptops, GPS navigation, two MP3 players, a CD audio book, and several movies. We can’t tell you what the countryside looked like. :) After traveling 950 miles in 13 1/2 hours we stopped over in Salina, Kansas. Time to get out the laptop and blog!


17 Mar 2009 The next day (14th) we left at 6:30am and took 5 1/2 hours to drive the remaining 429 miles to Keller.
21 Mar 2009 We left Keller yesterday morning utilizing an alternative route back to Kaysville suggested by Derek. This time I had my GPS collect data as we drove straight through. At 1,236 miles, this route was 143 miles shorter. Our moving average was 67.8 mph with a moving time of 18.16 hours. This compares with a moving time plus all stoppages (minus overnight stop) of 19 hours for the longer route. If stoppages were added in for the shorter route, the longer route would actually be faster, though not by much.
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Kaysville Utah South Stake Conference

Kaysville Utah South Stake Center.

Saturday Session

My wife and I enjoy the Saturday evening session of stake conference. Last night we attended with our two sons which made it even more special. The truth be told it was one of our sons, Jake, who reminded us of the meeting, which was very timely because with my rickety memory I had forgotten about it. Those 18 and over are invited to attend and the stake president mentioned at the start of his talk that many members tell him it is their favorite meeting of stake conference. He thought that maybe it was because the children are with baby sitters. My favorite part is when President Thredgold fires up his laptop and runs through his State of the Stake presentation. This is where he projects the stake’s statistics onto the chapel wall, using it as a screen. It might be interesting for you to see these numbers and compare them to your own stake. The figures shown here are not unusual for Davis County.

The Numbers

Figures are as of the third quarter of 2008.

Total Members — 3,506. Even though we have a very large Stake Center, Stake Conference on Sunday is divided into two sessions to accommodate the large numbers that want to attend.

Sacrament Meeting Attendance — 70% average.

Ward Size — The average size of the stake’s ten wards are from 285 to 500 members. Note that the Davis Park (YSA) Ward has 175 members. President Thredgold said that the number is dropping, which is good, for it is because of a number of marriages.

Families per Ward — 110.

Youth — 600 which is 17% of the stake (12 years of age to 18).

Children — 695 which is 20% of the stake (0 years of age to 11).

Missionaries — 100. Daniel is one of these.

Seminary Enrollment — 92%.

Institute Enrollment — The largest of any stake in Davis County.

Operating Expenses — A goal for 2009 is to save enough money from operating expenses to send a member from Africa on a mission. We should be able to save enough money from cutting back on our electricity consumption to pay the $400 a month cost of the mission.

Distress, Talks, and Memories

President Thredgold went on to talk about the current distressing situation with demonstrations, retirement money gone, and a change in government. He mentioned President Packer’s talk that was circulated on blogs and that we need not be concerned about it. He finished with his memories of 2008, particularly mentioning the change in the stake relief society presidency now that Sister Staples is a member of the Relief Society General Board.

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Kaysville City Fire Station Openhouse

Kaysville City fire engines at the openhouse

Kaysville City fire engines at the openhouse


Today was the Kaysville City’s Fire Station Openhouse. Jill and I went along to tour the fire station. It is in no aspect a rickety structure as it is built to withstand earthquakes — a very handy quality in a building. Fire engines can’t put out many fires if they are buried under a mountain of rubble. We took a look at the fire engines and I climbed inside of one. I’ve never had any desire to be fireman but I am glad they are around.

Inside the fire station

Inside the fire station

The Fire Department

The fire department is responsible for fire emergencies and fire safety. The department has medical technicians and paramedics who have advanced first aid or crash injury management certifications. The fire department is convinced that a smoke detector on each level of the home cuts the chance of dying in half if there is a fire. The Kaysville Fire Department will test, change batteries, and install your smoke detectors free of charge. Remember also that a number on the front of the house, where it is easily seen, could provide a quicker emergency response time.

UHP Seat Belt Convincer

UHP Seat Belt Convincer

UHP Seat Belt Convincer

The Utah Highway Patrol’s Seat Belt Convincer was in attendance though I didn’t stay to try it out. The Convincer features two separate single-occupancy carriages atop a 26-foot flatbed trailer. The steel frame carriages, which bear a resemblance to Jeeps, have drive trains that allow them to collide with each other at a speed of 5 mph. Typically, wrecks happen at 30-35 mph and if the seat belt is tugging at you this hard at 5 mph, you can then imagine how hard it would be in a crash. The new Convincer was a senior project designed and built by a group of Weber State University engineering students.

Life Flight

An Intermountain Life Flight helicopter landed on the road to the rear of the station and some of the children got to climb inside. I was surprised how strong the wind was from the rotors as the helicopter landed. I wasn’t standing very far away and I had difficulty holding my camera. Intermountain Life Flight began service on July 6, 1978, the 7th air medical transport program in the U.S. and has transported 52,546 patients since it began.

Life Flight landing at Kaysville City fire station

Life Flight landing at Kaysville City fire station

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Our Home Storage Center

Kaysville Granary

Our Our home storage center is located at the Kaysville granary

My family is fortunate to live very close to a home storage center. We live in Kaysville and the center is located at the Kaysville granary — you can’t get any closer than that! There are home storage centers located throughout the United States and Canada. We still refer to our home storage center as the dry pack cannery — same place, new name.

Our home storage center assists my family with longer-term food storage like wheat, white rice, dry beans, oats, dried milk, and other basic food items. Our stake welfare specialist tells us when times are available at the center and we pack the food ourselves and purchase the items to take home that day. We go as a group and work together on everybody’s orders. We simply scoop the dried food into the cans, place a small packet inside to aid in sealing, and use a simple machine to seal the lid. Slap a label on the can and put six cans in a box and we are all done. It doesn’t take long to process even the largest orders.

There is a home storage center order form available that we use to plan our purchases. There are prices listed on the form. We like to use our computer to enter quantities and the form automatically updates our total cost. We then print the form and take it with us to the home storage center.

Drypack cans

A sample from our storage: instant potatoes, sugar, rolled oats, hot cocoa mix, and apple slices.

Our favorites are the fruit drink mix and the potato flakes. You really should try the potato flakes for they make the best mash potato you will probably ever taste. The dry onions work well in stews and the apple slices don’t last long if our children get a hold of them. Check out the storage life listed on the form. Most of the items are good for 30 years.

By keeping out of debt and having an active food storage program our family has a peace of mind that allows us to enjoy life to the full.


Distribution Services: Home storage products
Food Storage
Gospel Topics: Food Storage
Ready.gov: Build A Kit
Be Ready Utah
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Missionary Jake – Part 4 of 10

This is part four of a ten part series chronicling Jake’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

March 2007

My new companion has the same last name: Elder Hernandez. He looks like a bishop because he has glasses and is a little fat. He is a great teacher and missionary and I am learning a lot from him.

I am still in Tultepec. The municipal of Tultepec is known for fireworks. All of this week there are going to be a ton of fireworks. They make huge bulls (kinda like the huge mammoth that we made for the Kaysville parade) and they fill them with fireworks. On Thursday they are going to parade them around and then set them off. It is a bit dangerous so we might have to go to our house a bit early.

To answer questions. Yes, they do have piñatas. They even have a song that you have to sing while the person is swinging. We had one once and broke it up for a party. The weather still changes a lot, but it is never too hot. Sleeping at night is easy. No need to worry about that. My mattress is better than the one I had at home. I’ve spoken in church. They usually ask us to speak on missionary work. I sum up the important parts of the restoration and bear my testimony on them. I wish I had taken that same speech class that Daniel has.
How is the math going for everyone? I tried helping out someone here, but I had forgotten how to explain how to get the answer—I always had done it in my head. All of the people have a really hard time singing. Mom, Dad sings pretty well. You only have to sit through one meeting here to know it. Not sure if you have sent the package, but I am in need of more shoes. If Paul can head out to that same store and pick up some more Doc Martins that would be great.

Photo of the  scriptures with a cherry pie.
The work is growing fast here, we hope to baptize enough people in the next couple of weeks in order to divide the ward. We have a couple of families that have strong priesthood. There are four elders in this ward, so there are a lot of people in the Gospel Essentials class each week. The elders here like to hear stories of Utah where almost everyone is a member and the streets are paved with gold. Health is great, clothes are working just fine, and I could use a haircut. There is a sister in the ward that gives haircuts to the missionaries if they wash the dishes. I think I’ll take her up on the offer next week.

Things are going great here in the mission. I recently read a talk by Elder Bednar about studying the scriptures. It makes my head hurt trying to use all three methods and find all of the connections, patterns, and themes in the scriptures. It is something different so it takes some practice to make it effective, but he says each method “can help satisfy our spiritual thirst.”

I’ll be watching conference in Spanish. The experience of a member in a different language is really fascinating. It is amazing how effectively the church manages so many members in all parts of the world!

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